Lacy Katzen Names Three New Partners to the Firm
Lacy Katzen LLP is pleased to announce the naming of Daniel Bryson, Jennifer Chadwick and Matthew Ryen as partners of the firm.
Daniel Bryson was born and raised in Rochester. He has been associated with the firm since 2002. Mr. Bryson maintains a broad practice with a concentration in real estate, municipal and elder care law. He is also attorney for the Town/Village of East Rochester. Mr. Bryson received his B.A. from Allegheny College and earned his law degree from the University of Dayton. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Monroe County Bar Association. Mr. Bryson is an active member in the ARC of Monroe County where he presently serves as Chairman of the ARC Foundation. He is also a member of the ARC of Monroe County Guardianship Committee.
“I am very excited about the opportunity and look forward to continuing the Lacy Katzen tradition of quality service to our clients.”
Jennifer Chadwick, who received her law degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 1994, believes it is important to provide clients with enthusiastic, efficient and skilled representation. Jennifer represents a variety of clients in the areas of corporate banking and real estate law.
Ms. Chadwick received her B.A. from the University of Buffalo and was named Outstanding College Student of America. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Monroe County Bar Association. Ms. Chadwick has participated as a volunteer for Volunteer Lawyer’s Project and Lawyers for Learning. In addition, she has participated in and organized a variety of sporting activities Lacy Katzen Names Three New Partners to the Firm for the benefit of various area charities. “It is an honor for me to become a partner in a firm whose founder, Leon Katzen, is a man for whom I have the utmost admiration.”
As an attorney, Matthew Ryen takes satisfaction in counseling individuals and businesses in a broad range of legal matters. Mr. Ryen focuses his practice in residential and commercial real estate and related aspects of the law.
He received his B.A. from Alfred University and his law degree from Catholic University Columbus School. Mr. Ryen is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association, sits on the REALTOR®/Bar Committee of the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®, Inc ,and is the Secretary of the Board of Directors at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester. Mr. Ryen is the author of “Jamming Ticketmaster: Defining the Relevant Market in the Pearl Jam – Ticketmaster Controversy”. The article was published in the Commlaw Conspectus, Journal of Communications Law and Policy, Winter 1996 Edition.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Ryen was a law clerk at the United States Department of the Interior National Indian Gaming Commission, the body that regulates gaming on Indian lands. He assisted attorneys in their review and approval of casino management contracts and tribal gaming law.
“When I started at Lacy Katzen in 1975 I was 5 years old and enjoyed coming into the office on Saturdays with my father, Lou Ryen to assist him with copying or stapling papers. In later years I worked as a courier, data processor and law clerk at Lacy Katzen. Needless to say, I am honored to take on my new role as partner and look forward to the challenges ahead.”
New Addition to the Litigation Department
Lacy Katzen LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Dusty Tinsley to our Litigation Department. She brings a varied background of experience in the areas of environmental and insurance coverage litigation, product liability, litigation management and general civil litigation. She was previously associated with the Toledo, Ohio law firm of Cooper & Walinski working in the areas of environmental and product liability as well as general corporate matters. Ms. Tinsley also has experience as an Environmental Specialist II with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in the Division of Hazardous Waste Management.
A Rochester native, she is a graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School in Greece where she played varsity field hockey, basketball, volleyball and track. Ms. Tinsley received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Geology from the University of Rochester in 1992, where she was a member of the women’s field hockey team. She was awarded a second Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Environmental Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1994. She received her law degree and graduated cum laude from the University of Toledo College in 2000 where she was the Managing Editor of the Law Review. She is also licensed to practice law in Ohio and Michigan. “I am excited to continue my legal practice at Lacy Katzen, a firm concentrating in sophisticated legal matters with an emphasis on client service.”
Observe Caution at Holiday Time
The holidays are here and along with them, the social gatherings of family, friends and co-workers. Food, fun and holiday cheer are flowing, therefore it is critical to remember to drive responsibly and never drink and drive. This is the season of the designated driver and it is our hope that you will think ahead and plan for the journey home. Our attorneys have prosecuted civil claims for damages against drunk drivers who have caused injuries and against taverns who sell alcohol to intoxicated persons who then drive drunk and cause injury.
We encourage you to drive sensibly, to wear a seatbelt and follow the rules of the road. However, should you be involved in an auto accident at any time, we offer this advice:
- Get immediate medical attention. Be sure to tell the doctor you were in an auto accident as your auto insurance will be responsible for the medical bills even if you have health insurance.
- Cooperate with the police but do not speak with anyone else
- Obtain the name and address of the other driver and any witnesses. Do not assume the police will gather this information
- Promptly contact your insurance carrier. You have an obligation to provide your insurance company with any information they request, often within limited time periods.
- DO NOT speak to any representative of the other driver’s insurance company
- Call Lacy Katzen LLP
The firm has handled thousands of personal injury cases throughout the years and because the laws are so complex, experience in this area is increasingly important to clients. If you have been injured in an accident, contact partners Peter Rodgers or Jacqueline Thomas who focus their practice in the areas of personal injury law, wrongful death, automobile accidents and professional negligence. Call Mr. Rodgers at 324-5707 or Ms. Thomas at 324-5717.
Drinking and driving is a hazardous combination that carries both a human and financial toll. Any amount of drinking may affect your judgment and coordination. During this holiday season, please use common sense and don’t drink and drive.
If you are stopped for a DWI, there are several steps you must take:
- Stay calm and cooperate with the police; it is their opinion of your behavior that may determine whether or not you are charged. The police must have probable cause to detain you; without it there is no conviction.
- Proactively present your license, registration and insurance card to the officer. Don’t wait to be asked.
- You have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself.
- Consult with Kevin Morabito, an experienced criminal defense attorney who focuses on DWI defense. You must understand your legal rights should you be charged. Kevin Morabito has over 15 years experience in handling criminal matters and was a former DWI prosecutor. Call him on his direct line at 324-5725.
New Year's Resolutions for Our Clients
As we approach the end of 2005 and anticipate the new year, it is an appropriate time to organize our thoughts and resolve to contact attorneys regarding matters that need to be attended to annually.
For our corporate clients, this is a good time to review the past year and plan for 2006. Corporate attorney, Jennifer Chadwick has provided this list of questions businesses should ask themselves as the end of the year approaches.
- Have you had your annual meeting to elect officers and directors?
- Have you updated your corporate book to reflect any changes in your business?
- Do you have an employee handbook? If so, has it been reviewed or revised as needed?
- Do you have a shareholder’s agreement and has it been updated?
- Do you need to work on any transfer of your business assets in or prior to the coming year?
- Do you need to look into bank financing to expand your business?
- Have you thought of succession planning for your business?
It has been a busy year in real estate, and for our clients who have either purchased or sold a home this year, it is important to get your paperwork in order. Here is a checklist to help you prepare:
- Contact your tax advisor to discuss how the transaction may affect your tax liability for 2005
- If you purchased a home, you may be eligible for a School Property Tax Savings (STAR) exemption
- Contact the tax assessor in the municipality where the property is located to ensure that you will receive any exemption you may entitled to
- If you paid off a mortgage you should have received a satisfaction or discharge of mortgage from your lender verifying receipt of the payoff amount. If you are holding the original satisfaction or discharge please make sure that the document has been recorded in the County Clerk’s office where the property is located. If you have any questions please contact our real estate department for assistance.
Your new year’s resolutions should also include Estate Planning. Use this checklist as a guide:
- Do you have a will? If so, has it been updated recently?
- Are all beneficiary designations on your life insurance policies and qualified IRA or 401K accounts consistent with your will?
- Do you have a health care proxy? Do you know where it is?
- Have you named a durable power of attorney?
If you need help or have questions in any of these areas please contact us. We at Lacy Katzen are committed to providing all of our clients with the counsel they need to be prepared in both their personal and professional lives. We welcome the opportunity to be of service to you.
Yes, Bankruptcy is Still Alive
In April of this year, President Bush signed a new bankruptcy bill with many reforms. Observers feel this law includes changes that will make it more difficult for consumers to clear their debts by declaring bankruptcy. The major provisions of the new law have already taken effect.
How will these reforms affect you should you need to declare personal bankruptcy?
Individuals filing for bankruptcy usually do so under Chapter 7 or under Chapter 13 of the law. Regardless of which Chapter is selected, all of the filer’s assets including residence, household goods, vehicles, business tools, and bank accounts are impacted in some fashion. However, certain of those assets are subject to various exemptions which provide protection to the filer so the asset is retained and not subject to liquidation for the benefit of creditors.
The decision of whether to use Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is unique to each individual. Under the new law, there are several tests that have to be considered in making that choice. Before choosing, the filer must first participate in a brief credit counseling session with a certified agency who will then issue a certificate permitting the filing of the bankruptcy petition.
The first of the new tests is concerned with the amount of family income and living expenses compared to a specific set of standards dependent upon the size of the family and the county of residence. Generally, a family of four persons residing in Monroe County with an income of less than $60,000 annually might not be affected by this test. The individual monthly expenses are always subject to review and objection by the court process. Therefore, reliance on this general statement is always at issue. The second test centers upon analyzing the amount of excess or disposable income in the reviewed budget and determining what percent of the debt could be paid over a period of three to five years. If it would pay 25% or more, it would be necessary to file Chapter 13 and the term of the payment plan would be five years unless the debt could be paid sooner. If the excess income would provide minimal payment of only 5%, a Chapter 7 might be used with no payback requirement.
There are other factors to consider when choosing the correct Chapter for you. If the objective is to stop a foreclosure sale, Chapter 13 is the perfect tool as it would give up to five years to repay the mortgage arrears and in that way allow the retention of the property. Also, Chapter 13 would be helpful if the value of a vehicle exceeded the exemption and the desire was to keep the vehicle instead of surrendering it to the court appointed trustee. Under Chapter 13, a plan could be proposed with payment of the excess value over a term and retain the vehicle. If there was a large unexpected debt such as a major medical expense or business failure, the choice for relief might very well be a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
As you can see there are many new benefits to the application of the bankruptcy law, and more than can be explained here, but it is a complex issue and not an area an inexperienced person should travel alone.
We at Lacy Katzen LLP are experienced in handling all bankruptcy matters and available for a free initial consultation to discuss what measures are most appropriate for you. Contact our office (Cindy at 324-5756) and request a questionnaire so that all pertinent information is available to initiate the process.
How will these reforms affect your business should you be a creditor?
The new bankruptcy law was enacted to combat abuse by debtors in bankruptcy. Thus, the new law provides creditors with several new sources of recovery in bankruptcy cases. Debtors filing for relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code will be forced to reaffirm their secured loans or risk surrendering the collateral. The change now allows creditors to obtain the collateral without motioning the court if the debtor does not meet certain criteria within a stringent time frame. Moreover, in Chapter 13 cases, creditors will obtain higher values for their secured property.
Most significantly however, is the opportunity for creditors to proceed against debtors who have acted in bad faith. If debtors have in any way committed a fraud, either in obtaining or using credit, the change in the law provides new opportunities for recovery by creditors. For example, if a debtor failed to disclose assets or liabilities in connection with obtaining credit, the creditor may challenge the bankruptcy. The new law will enhance the opportunity for creditors to question abuse in Chapter 7 cases by the filing of actions to obtain nondischargability of their debts. In Chapter 13 cases, creditors will have a greater opportunity to force debtors into contributing more funds into their Chapter 13 plans, which will result in a greater recovery.
The key to a successful bankruptcy recovery is to act quickly and aggressively. In many instances, creditors tend to believe that all is lost if faced with a bankruptcy. This clearly is not the case, as the new bankruptcy law affords many opportunities to enhance recovery.
The New York State Bar Association invited Peter Rodgers to speak at a seminar entitled “Ethics and Professionalism”. This program presents 15 hypothetical situations involving the practice of law which raises issues of ethical conduct of attorneys such as confidentiality, conflict of interest, dual representation, etc. Peter discussed two hypothetical situations that touch upon the Code of Professional Responsibility governing a lawyer’s conduct.
Mollie Katzen, daughter of founder Leon Katzen, and Dr. Walter Willet, chair of the Harvard Board Public Nutrition, have co-authored a book on nutrition. The book, entitled Eat, Drink and Weigh Less will be in bookstores in April, 2006. Mollie is a member of the Public Nutrition Board, and has also written the very popular Moosewood Cookbook.
Karen Schaefer presented a seminar to attorneys regarding the Trusts and Estates section of the New York State Bar Association on the topic of “Will and Trust Drafting and Other Estate Planning Issues”. She also recently addressed “Business Succession Planning” as a hot topic for the Financial Planning Association of Upstate New York. Finally, Karen spoke to a local church congregation on “Charitable Giving Techniques”.
Lisa Arrington was invited to speak to the United University Professions Active Retirees of Western New York on the topic of Eldercare Legal Issues. Patricia Baker, secretary of the organization, praised Lisa saying that “the law firm was fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and accessible person as part of their team”.
The annual food drive at Lacy Katzen, organized by Jennifer Chadwick, was a complete success. Staff participated enthusiastically, donating five boxes of food in addition to nearly a dozen turkeys. For the second consecutive year, food was delivered the Monday before Thanksgiving to the Rochester Family Mission on Tremont Street. It is our wish that clients of Lacy Katzen will be charitable and remember the less fortunate at this and all other times of the year.
Jennifer Mereau, new associate in our litigation department, has been invited to speak at a two day January seminar on the Family Medical Leave Act. She regularly counsels clients on employment and workplace issues. If you are interested in attending the seminar or receiving more information, feel free to contact Ms. Mereau directly at 324-5710.
Kevin Morabito has joined the firm’s real estate practice group. Mr. Morabito, a former Special United States Attorney and Senior County Assistant District Attorney, will also continue his criminal defense practice.