Gebhardt & Kiefer Family Blog http://www.gklegal.com/blog/ recent posts en-us Sat, 20 Jan 2018 09:02:28 -0600 Employers: How Recent Sexual Harassment Scandals May Affect Your Workplace http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-how-recent-sexual-harassment-scandals-may-affect-your-workplace/ In response to the highly-publicized sexual misconduct and harassment scandals in the workplace that have dominated the headlines in recent months, legislators have acted to address what has surfaced as a matter of grave concern.  Employers should be cognizant of the following proposed legislation, which, if passed, will require proactive steps by employers in order to protect employees and employers alike.

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2018-01-16 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-how-recent-sexual-harassment-scandals-may-affect-your-workplace/
Can a Judge Enter a Restraining Order If There is No Domestic Violence? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/can-a-judge-enter-a-restraining-order-if-there-is-no-domestic-violence/ Clients sometimes ask if a judge has the equitable power to enter a restraining order in the absence of domestic violence.  The short answer is “no,” however, further exploration of the question is helpful to understand how restraining orders work and the limitations the law currently places upon the court. 

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2018-01-11 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/can-a-judge-enter-a-restraining-order-if-there-is-no-domestic-violence/
Five Mistakes Commonly Made by Parents in Custody and Divorce Cases http://www.gklegal.com/blog/five-mistakes-commonly-made-by-parents-in-custody-and-divorce-cases/ Custody & parenting time disputes are often the costliest, emotionally and financially.  Unlike an asset, which has a specific value (or a discernible value, even if you cannot agree), children are priceless.   It is nearly impossible for anyone to tell you that your child is not worth the cost of pursuing what you believe to be in his/her best interest.  However, there are a number of common mistakes that you, as a parent, should avoid.  Otherwise, you may end up spending even more money doing damage control.  Avoiding these mistakes is not hard or complicated, and may save you thousands of dollars in fees and a lot of emotional anguish.  These mistakes include:

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2017-12-08 11:03:55 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/five-mistakes-commonly-made-by-parents-in-custody-and-divorce-cases/
Tax Court Upholds Assessment Where Plaintiff’s Appraiser Fails to Verify Comparable Sales Data http://www.gklegal.com/blog/tax-court-upholds-assessment-where-plaintiff-s-appraiser-fails-to-verify-comparable-sales-data/ The Tax Court recently held that an appraiser must verify the data associated with comparable sales used in an appraisal report in order to provide reliable evidence of fair market value of a property in a tax appeal.

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2017-12-06 09:23:25 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/tax-court-upholds-assessment-where-plaintiff-s-appraiser-fails-to-verify-comparable-sales-data/
Gebhardt & Kiefer Successfully Defends Privacy Interests of Municipal Employee in OPRA Payroll Records Lawsuit http://www.gklegal.com/blog/gebhardt-kiefer-successfully-defends-privacy-interests-of-municipal-employee-in-opra-payroll-records-lawsuit/ On November 17, 2017, the Appellate Division issued its decision in favor of Gebhardt & Kiefer’s client, the Borough of Washington.  Tara St. Angelo, Esq. argued the appeal on behalf of Gebhardt & Kiefer, PC.

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2017-12-05 11:40:39 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/gebhardt-kiefer-successfully-defends-privacy-interests-of-municipal-employee-in-opra-payroll-records-lawsuit/
The Risks of Withdrawing a Conditional Offer of Employment Based on Medical Reasons http://www.gklegal.com/blog/the-risks-of-withdrawing-a-conditional-offer-of-employment-based-on-medical-reasons/ The recent unpublished Appellate Division decision of Philip Marchesani v. J.B. Hunt Transportation, Inc., et al., Appellate Division, Docket No. A-4751-15T2 (decided October 31, 2017), illustrates the challenges faced by employers who issue a conditional offer of employment. 

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2017-11-13 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/the-risks-of-withdrawing-a-conditional-offer-of-employment-based-on-medical-reasons/
Military Pensions: How the “Frozen Benefit Rule” Applies in Divorce Cases http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-the-frozen-benefit-rule-applies-in-divorce-cases/ On December 23, 2016, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2017) was signed into law.  This new rule, sometimes referred to as the “Frozen Benefit Rule,” affects the law on military pensions for almost everyone, and also affects equitable distribution of military pensions in divorce cases.  This applies to those still serving who divorce after December 23, 2016. 

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2017-11-10 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-the-frozen-benefit-rule-applies-in-divorce-cases/
Volunteer Firemen May Not Pursue a Whistleblower Claim Under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act http://www.gklegal.com/blog/volunteer-firemen-may-not-pursue-a-whistleblower-claim-under-the-conscientious-employee-protection-act/ Judge Accurso of the Appellate Division recently ruled in the case of Jeffrey Sauter v. Colts Neck Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 that volunteer firemen are not entitled to the protection of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), N.J.S.A. 34:19-1, et seq., because a volunteer firefighter is not an employee of the fire company, even though such volunteers may receive Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) benefits and other remuneration.

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2017-10-26 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/volunteer-firemen-may-not-pursue-a-whistleblower-claim-under-the-conscientious-employee-protection-act/
Employers: Avoid Comments About Employees’ Religions or Religious Practices http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-avoid-comments-about-employees-religions-or-religious-practices/ To steer clear of potential issues, employers should follow this plain and simple rule: don’t permit comments about employees’ religions or religious practices in the workplace.

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2017-10-23 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-avoid-comments-about-employees-religions-or-religious-practices/
How Childhood Lessons Are Relevant in a Divorce Case http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-childhood-lessons-are-relevant-in-a-divorce-case/ Anyone who has a child (or once was a child) knows the values and virtues that parents try to instill in their children.  These common values and virtues are typically reinforced by schools, teachers, and religious educators.  Many of these same teachings that we learn in our childhood are applicable for people going through a divorce.  Here are a few examples (in no particular order), based on my experience handing numerous divorce cases:

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2017-10-11 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-childhood-lessons-are-relevant-in-a-divorce-case/
Ten Things You Should Never Post on Social Media When Going Through a Divorce http://www.gklegal.com/blog/ten-things-you-should-never-post-on-social-media-when-going-through-a-divorce/ The way you conduct yourself on social media websites can often hurt your divorce case.  As a general rule, staying off of social media before, during or after your divorce is a best practice, but if you cannot achieve total abstinence, consider the following tips and things you should never do:

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2017-09-26 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/ten-things-you-should-never-post-on-social-media-when-going-through-a-divorce/
Are Municipal Fire Companies Subject to the Open Public Records Act? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/are-municipal-fire-companies-subject-to-the-open-public-records-act/ Background For a number of years, there have been vexing questions as to whether volunteer fire companies are considered public entities or simply a group of volunteers who get together to fight fires.  The uncertainty arises from the fact that fire companies consist of a group of self-governing individuals who volunteer to fight fires without significant oversight from municipal officials.  Volunteer firemen often raise significant funds for their operation; they independently elect officers, provide for their own training and often purchase significant amounts of their own equipment.  On the other hand, the municipality in which they are located must permit their operation, often makes significant financial contributions, and frequently approves membership.  Many municipalities have ordinances establishing the creation or recognition of volunteer fire departments and those ordinances exercise various levels of control.  In addition, municipalities fund large capital expenditures for heavy fire equipment and make Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) contributions.  Furthermore, while volunteer fire companies agree to fill the municipal function of firefighting, they also operate as social or fraternal organizations that provide recreational, educational and other benefits to members.

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2017-08-30 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/are-municipal-fire-companies-subject-to-the-open-public-records-act/
Out-of-State Relocation Standard in Divorce Cases Changed to “Best Interest” Analysis http://www.gklegal.com/blog/out-of-state-relocation-standard-in-divorce-cases-changed-to-best-interest-analysis/ In New Jersey, the statute N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 allows a parent to relocate out of state with the parties’ children if the other parent agrees or if the court issues an order allowing the move.  In cases where there is a true shared custody arrangement or equal parenting time, the court would apply a “best interest” analysis, similar to the analysis in deciding custody of children in a divorce case.  In cases where there is a parent who has primary residential custody (parent who has the majority of overnight parenting time), the standard the court applied for the last sixteen years in these relocation cases is set forth in Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91 (2001).

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2017-08-17 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/out-of-state-relocation-standard-in-divorce-cases-changed-to-best-interest-analysis/
Name Change of a Minor in the Twenty-First Century http://www.gklegal.com/blog/name-change-of-a-minor-in-the-twenty-first-century/ In June 2017, the trial court published an opinion addressing a matter of first impression in the State of New Jersey[i].   Plainitff, the mother of the 16-year-old child, petitioned the Court to allow the parties’ transgendered child to change his name from Veronica to Trevor.

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2017-08-11 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/name-change-of-a-minor-in-the-twenty-first-century/
Court Rules Against Employer for Not Accommodating Employee’s Religious Belief of “Mark of the Beast” http://www.gklegal.com/blog/court-rules-against-employer-for-not-accommodating-employee-s-religious-belief-of-mark-of-the-beast/ Recently, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a near $600,000 award against an employer for failing to accommodate an employee’s religious belief after a biometric hand scanner was installed in the workplace (EEOC v. Consol Energy). The employee claimed that the scanner would label him with the “Mark of the Beast,” contrary to his evangelical Christian religious beliefs.

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2017-06-28 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/court-rules-against-employer-for-not-accommodating-employee-s-religious-belief-of-mark-of-the-beast/
What Happens If Your Divorce Case Goes to Trial? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-happens-if-your-divorce-case-goes-to-trial/ The goal of every person getting divorced should be to settle the case as quickly, painlessly and inexpensively as possible.  There are many ways to settle a divorce case, including through the collaborative divorce process and mediation.  There are also certain events within the court system that are designed to help settle a case that is in the litigation process.  Although rare, unfortunately there are some cases that require a trial.  If you find yourself in that situation, what can you expect and how can you prepare for a trial as a divorce litigant?

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2017-06-23 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-happens-if-your-divorce-case-goes-to-trial/
What Happens When You Don’t Have an Estate Plan? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-happens-when-you-don-t-have-an-estate-plan/ 2017-06-16 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-happens-when-you-don-t-have-an-estate-plan/ Should I File a Motion in the Midst of a Divorce Settlement? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/should-i-file-a-motion-in-the-midst-of-a-divorce-settlement/ One of the most frequently asked questions in a divorce, custody, or support proceeding is “when and how do I get before the judge to have him/her decide my case/issue?”  Unfortunately, it is a somewhat complicated, multifaceted answer.

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2017-06-15 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/should-i-file-a-motion-in-the-midst-of-a-divorce-settlement/
City’s Delay in Abating Dangerous Condition Deemed Not Unreasonable http://www.gklegal.com/blog/city-s-delay-in-abating-dangerous-condition-deemed-not-unreasonable/ The Appellate Division recently held that a delay of more than one year in abating a “dangerous condition” was not “palpably unreasonable” because the municipality was required to publicly bid a contract for such repairs.

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2017-05-23 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/city-s-delay-in-abating-dangerous-condition-deemed-not-unreasonable/
Court Finds That Uncooperative OPRA Litigant is Not Entitled to Attorney’s Fees http://www.gklegal.com/blog/court-finds-that-uncooperative-opra-litigant-is-not-entitled-to-attorney-s-fees/ Typically, a prevailing party in a lawsuit seeking disclosure of records under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) is entitled to attorney’s fees.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6.  However, the Court held in Grieco v. Borough of Haddon Heights, No. L-2876-15 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. Oct. 19, 2015) that an uncooperative litigant who rushed into Court instead of alerting the municipality to an obvious mistake in its production of documents was not entitled to attorney’s fees.

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2017-05-22 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/court-finds-that-uncooperative-opra-litigant-is-not-entitled-to-attorney-s-fees/
The Right of First Refusal for Parenting Time…a Blessing or a Curse? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/the-right-of-first-refusal-for-parenting-time-a-blessing-or-a-curse/ Many parents want to include a right of first refusal provision in their custody and parenting time or marital settlement agreements.  Such a clause requires a parent to contact the other parent if they are going to be unavailable to the children for a certain period.  This requires the parent to do so before contacting a third party to watch the children. 

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2017-04-24 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/the-right-of-first-refusal-for-parenting-time-a-blessing-or-a-curse/
Appellate Division Confirms that Personal Information on OPRA Requests Is Protected from Public Disclosure http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-confirms-that-personal-information-on-opra-requests-is-protected-from-public-disclosure/ The Appellate Division recently upheld a trial court’s determination that telephone numbers, home addresses, and email addresses of OPRA (Open Public Records Act) requestors could be redacted in response to a request for public documents.  Wolosky v. Somerset Cty., et al., Docket No. A-1024-15T4 (March 30, 2107).

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2017-04-07 09:24:35 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-confirms-that-personal-information-on-opra-requests-is-protected-from-public-disclosure/
Seventh Circuit Rules Civil Rights Law Covers LGBT Bias http://www.gklegal.com/blog/seventh-circuit-rules-civil-rights-law-covers-lgbt-bias/ In a long-awaited decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, an eight to three ruling was rendered on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 that workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

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2017-04-07 09:14:30 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/seventh-circuit-rules-civil-rights-law-covers-lgbt-bias/
Why Is Divorce So Painful? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/why-is-divorce-so-painful/ In our society, there is a great emphasis on relationships.  This includes relationships with friends, with family, and romantic relationships with significant others.  Most of us like to spend time with other people, whether it be seeing a movie, eating a meal, going to a concert, attending a sporting event, or just socializing.  Even many forms of entertainment are based on relationships.  Think about the TV shows we watch, the movies we see, the music we listen to, and even many of the sporting events we watch…they are popular because of the way the characters interact with one another, and/or the way the stories connect with us. 

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2017-03-24 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/why-is-divorce-so-painful/
Premarital Agreements For People Over 50 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/premarital-agreements-for-people-over-50/ The rate of divorce for first marriages is approximately 40-50%[i]; that number jumps to an estimated 73% for second marriages[ii].  Now consider that the majority of New Jerseyans divorcing are over the age of 50[iii].  If you are over age 50 and considering a second (or third) marriage, how can you adequately protect yourself and your family?

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2017-03-13 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/premarital-agreements-for-people-over-50/