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News & Events > January - June 2014 Archives

Tara St. Angelo volunteered at the Somerset County Bar Foundation’s second annual Bikes4Kids Program on June 14 at Bound Brook High School.  She assisted in giving away one hundred bicycles, along with locks and helmets, to children-in-need in Somerset County.

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Tara St. Angelo was recently appointed as a Trustee of the Somerset County Bar Foundation.  The Foundation is a charitable organization that offers programs, services and funding to the community. 

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Gebhardt & Kiefer will be one of many exhibitors at Hunterdon County’s Community Day on Saturday, June 21 at the county fairgrounds, beginning at noon.  Attorneys Richard Cushing, William Rudnik, Leslie Parikh, and Diana Fredericks will represent the firm.

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In celebration of our 130th anniversary, Gebhardt & Kiefer recently donated 130 children’s books to the Hunterdon County Family Success Center for its after-school reading program.  On behalf of the firm, attorney Lori MacWilliam presented the books to Penni Trionfo, Resource & Volunteer Coordinator at the Family Success Center.

The Family Success Center strives to be a safe and welcoming neighborhood-based gathering place where county residents can find family support, information and services.  The center places particular emphasis on maintaining the integrity of the family; enriching children’s lives by making families and the community stronger; and strengthening families and empowering individuals to acquire knowledge and skills to raise healthy and happy children.

Gebhardt & Kiefer will continue to donate items in quantities of 130 to various Hunterdon County charities throughout its anniversary year.  In April, the firm donated 130 toys and games to Safe Harbor Child Access Center in Flemington, as well as 130 sugar maple trees to Hunterdon County for its Arbor Day tree planting. 

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Diana Fredericks, an alumna of the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce’s “Leadership Hunterdon” program, attended the graduation of the 2014 class on June 19 at Copper Hill Country Club.

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John Manfreda gave a seminar on Estate Planning to the Lebanon Seniors Club on May 15.  The focus of the presentation was general estate and gift tax planning with an emphasis on Medicaid issues, long-term care, and nursing home issues for seniors.

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The next meeting of a men’s discussion group focusing on divorce will be held on June 17, 2014 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the United Way, located at 4 Walter E. Foran Blvd, Suite 401 in Flemington.  The group is for men who are separated or divorced, or who are going through a divorce.  This is a unique opportunity for men to hear from other men, and to provide their own perspectives to other men who are dealing with these issues.  The program will be moderated by local family law attorney William Rudnik of Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C. and certified financial planner Craig Hyldahl of R.I.C.H. Planning Group, LLC.  Future meetings will include other local professional moderators.  Food and beverages will be provided.  Any questions should be directed to William Rudnik at 908-735-5161 or Brudnik@gklegal.com.  Although not required, please RSVP to Mr. Rudnik so proper arrangements can be made for food and beverages.

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On May 15, 2014, John Manfreda made a two-hour estate planning presentation to a large audience gathered at the North County Branch of the Hunterdon County Public Library. The title of the program was “The Legal and Tax Aspects of Estate Planning in 2014”.  He covered topics such as the probate process, the use of Wills and Trusts to minimize payment of estate taxes, gift tax planning tips, the use of General Durable Powers of Attorney and Living Wills, and other important estate planning issues involving Medicaid planning for long-term care and the various options available to retirees under the Social Security Act.  Mr. Manfreda and Daniel Makoski are available by appointment to discuss these and many other sophisticated estate planning issues. Check this website for upcoming free presentations to be made by these and other Gebhardt & Kiefer attorneys.

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Diana Fredericks, an alumna of the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce’s “Leadership Hunterdon” program, hosted a reception of past and present Leadership Hunterdon participants at the Gebhardt & Kiefer offices on May 20, 2014.

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The next meeting of a men's discussion group focusing on divorce will be held on May 20, 2014 from 6:30 pm until 8 pm at the United Way, located at 4 Walter E. Foran Blvd, Suite 401 in Flemington. The group is for men who are separated or divorced, or who are going through a divorce. This is a unique opportunity for men to hear from other men, and to provide their own perspectives to other men who are dealing with these issues. The program will be moderated by local family law attorney William Rudnik of Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C. and certified financial planner Craig Hyldahl of R.I.C.H. Planning Group, LLC. Future meetings will include other local professional moderators. Food and beverages will be provided. Any questions should be directed to William Rudnik at 908-735-5161 or Brudnik@gklegal.com. Although not required, please RSVP to Mr. Rudnik so proper arrangements can be made for food and beverages.

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Gebhardt & Kiefer is pleased to announce that attorney Daniel Makoski has joined the firm. His areas of practice include tax planning, tax controversy, transactional business matters, wills, trusts, and estate planning.

Makoski has extensive experience advising clients on personal income tax matters, including tax-efficient methods of acquiring and distributing assets, as well as negotiating with tax authorities to minimize or eliminate tax deficiencies, appearing in the U.S. Tax Court, and handling IRS appeals. He also drafts estate plans, living wills, health care proxies, and powers of attorney. In addition, Makoski has significant expertise counseling business clients on business formation, acquisition, restructuring, governance, and dissolution.

"Mr. Makoski has a proven ability to develop effective problem-solving strategies and solutions," says Senior Partner John Manfreda. "His level of sophistication and depth of knowledge will be tremendous assets to our clients and our firm."

Makoski is a graduate of Widener University School of Law, and also holds a Masters of Laws (L.L.M.) in Taxation from New York Law School. He received a dual Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Political Science and Literature from Ramapo College.

Prior to joining Gebhardt & Kiefer, Makoski was employed by a New York law firm, where he handled tax planning, tax controversy, estate planning, corporate governance, and commercial litigation.

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In celebration of our 130th anniversary, Gebhardt & Kiefer donated 130 sugar maple trees to Hunterdon County for the County’s Arbor Day tree planting on April 25. Leslie Parikh and Jacob Papay Jr. represented the firm at the tree planting ceremony, which was attended by Hunterdon County Freeholders, members of the Shade Tree Commission, members of the Hunterdon County Tricentennial Committee, and the general public. 

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On April 9, Gebhardt & Kiefer's family law team donated 130 toys and games, along with a storage chest, to Safe Harbor in Flemington. William GoodwinWilliam Rudnik, and Diana Fredericks presented the items to Safe Harbor's site director Carol Dvoor. (Photo)

According to Fredericks, "Carol told us that the children were in need of activities, games and toys to use during their visitation time with family members at Safe Harbor. Gebhardt & Kiefer is thrilled to be able to assist Safe Harbor in meeting this need." The family visitations are part of Safe Harbor's mission to provide services to separating, divorcing, and divorced families to assure that children have continuing contact with both parents and other family members. The center allows for parenting time/visitation in potentially high-risk situations, and allows for reintroduction of a parent or other family member. Safe Harbor aims to provide these services in a safe, courteous and child-friendly environment. 

This donation is the first in a series of 130-item donations that Gebhardt & Kiefer will make to various Hunterdon County charities in celebration of its 130th anniversary this year. "Our firm has been part of Hunterdon County since our founding in 1884," says senior partner Richard Cushing. "We want to give back to a community that has enabled us to sustain and grow our business for 130 years."

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On April 9, Mark Chazin presented a public seminar on Personal Estate Planning at the Mountain View Chalet. Topics included wills and trusts; NJ inheritance tax and estate tax; federal estate and gift tax; joint and survivorship ownership; estate planning for second marriages; choosing executors, trustees and guardians; living wills; powers of attorney; and Medicaid planning. 

Mr. Chazin is designated as a 2014 "Five Star Certified Estate Planning Attorney", a select group representing less than 5% of estate planning attorneys in the NJ area. The designation was awarded by Five Star Professional and New Jersey Monthly magazine. He also received the NJ Super Lawyers designation for three years in a row. And he has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubble, which is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. 

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On April 4, Deborah Rosenthal presented a seminar to employees in the Town of Hammonton on employment discrimination, harassment, FMLA municipal ethics. She also gave a seminar on April 7 and 10 to Teaneck Township supervisors regarding supervisory responsibilities in protecting against employment harassment and discrimination claims.

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The next meeting of a men's discussion group focusing on divorce will be held on April 15, 2014 from 6:30 pm until 8 pm at the Hunterdon Prevention Resources, located at 4 Walter E. Foran Blvd, Suite 410 in Flemington. The group is for men who are separated or divorced, or who are going through a divorce. This is a unique opportunity for men to hear from other men, and to provide their own perspectives to other men who are dealing with these issues. The program will be moderated by family law attorney William Rudnik of Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C., and certified financial planner Craig Hyldahl of R.I.C.H. Planning Group, LLC. Future meetings will include other local professional moderators. Food and beverages will be provided. Any questions should be directed to William Rudnik at 908-735-5161 or brudnik@gklegal.com. Although not required, please RSVP to Mr. Rudnik so proper arrangements can be made for food and beverages.

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Gebhardt & Kiefer was pleased to be a sponsor of Hunterdon County's Tricentennial Gala on March 29 at the Grand Colonial. The firm contributed toward the cocktail hour and the musical entertainment at this very special evening celebrating the County's heritage.

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William Rudnik attended the New Jersey State Bar Association's Family Law Section retreat in Austin, TX on March 26-30.

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On Sat., March 22, Hunterdon County will celebrate its tricentennial with a parade on Main Street in Flemington, beginning at 4 PM. Afterward, birthday cake and hot chocolate will be served in the Court Street Park, followed by fireworks at dusk. Gebhardt & Kiefer has contributed 300 aluminum water bottles for distribution to event participants.

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A seminar entitled "Everything You Wanted To Know About Long-Term Care Insurance...But Were Afraid To Ask!", will be hosted by William Rudnik of Gebhardt & Kiefer on March 13 from 12 - 1:30 pm. The featured speaker will be Rochelle Forster, CFP®, CDFATM, a certified financial planner and long-term care specialist. Ms. Forster will guide attendees through the "maze" known as long-term care insurance; clarifying what it is and isn't, how long-term care insurance can be strategically implemented by business owners and divorcing couples, and how/why long-term care insurance is an important consideration for personal protection. The session, which will be held at the Gebhardt & Kiefer offices at 1318 Route 31 North in Annandale, is open to the public. Registration is $13.00.

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The next meeting of a men's discussion group focusing on divorce will be held on March 18, 2014 from 6:30 pm until 8 pm at the Hunterdon Prevention Resources, located at 4 Walter E. Foran Blvd, Suite 410 in Flemington. The group is for men who are separated or divorced, or who are going through a divorce. This is a unique opportunity for men to hear from other men, and to provide their own perspectives to other men who are dealing with these issues. The program will be moderated by family law attorney William Rudnik of Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C., and certified financial planner Craig Hyldahl of R.I.C.H. Planning Group, LLC. Future meetings will include other local professional moderators. Food and beverages will be provided. Any questions should be directed to William Rudnik at 908-735-5161 or brudnik@gklegal.com. Although not required, please RSVP to Mr. Rudnik so proper arrangements can be made for food and beverages.

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The features and benefits of Collaborative Divorce was the topic of a March meeting between local clergy in Clinton and three collaboratively trained professionals, including family law attorney William Rudnik. Collaborative divorce is sometimes referred to as a "kinder, gentler divorce", and is becoming a favored alternative to traditional litigated divorce.

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William GoodwinWilliam Rudnik and Diana Fredericks attended two family law seminars sponsored by the Hunterdon County Bar Association in March. One focused on substance abuse evaluations and expert reports, and the other examined the psychological effects of domestic violence and the impact of those effects on family matters outside the Final Restraining Order hearing.

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William Goodwin and Diana Fredericks attended the 2014 Vicinage XIII dinner for Hunterdon, Somerset, and Warren Counties on Feb. 26. The featured speaker was retired NJ Supreme Court Justice Helen Hoens, who spoke about "Pathways to Success: Navigating Your Case To and Through the NJ Supreme Court."

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Family law attorneys William Goodwin and Diana Fredericks co-authored an article on "Cohabitation" that was published in New Jersey Family Lawyer magazine in February 2014.

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Tara St. Angelo was recently appointed to the Somerville Environmental Commission. The Commission addresses matters relating to the environment, including reviewing site plans submitted to the Planning Board and providing comments as appropriate.

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On Jan. 29 and Feb. 11, Deborah Rosenthal presented seminars to supervisors from various public entities in Sussex County entitled "Day-to- Day Interactions of Supervisors Under Harassment and Discrimination Law". During the 2-hour seminars, Ms. Rosenthal discussed special issues of concern for managers and department heads regarding harassment and discrimination, including but not limited to socializing with employees outside of work, social media, and heightened duties of preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

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Mark Chazin attended the Raritan Valley Community College Foundation's Estate Planning Advisory Committee on Feb. 11. This committee comprises a small group of attorneys, accountants and financial planners who are assisting the College in its planned giving program. Mr. Chazin also serves on the College's Accounting Advisory Committee, and has been a member of that committee for a number of years.

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Tara St. Angelo is co-chairing the Somerset County Bar Foundation's Annual Scholarship & Community Awards Dinner and Basket Raffle. This is the premier event for the Foundation to raise funds to provide scholarships to deserving local law students and to support local non-profits. The event will be held on March 24 from 6 - 9 pm at Neshanic Valley Golf Club. For sponsorship, advertising or basket donations, please contact the Somerset County Bar Foundation at 908-685-2323 or cawinder@somersetbar.com.

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The next meeting of a men's discussion group focusing on divorce will be held on Feb. 18, 2014 from 6:30 pm until 8 pm at the Hunterdon Prevention Resources, located at 4 Walter E. Foran Blvd, Suite 410 in Flemington. The group is for men who are separated or divorced, or who are going through a divorce. This is a unique opportunity for men to hear from other men, and to provide their own perspectives to other men who are dealing with these issues. The program will be moderated by family law attorney William Rudnik of Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C., and certified financial planner Craig Hyldahl of R.I.C.H. Planning Group, LLC. Future meetings will include other local professional moderators. Food and beverages will be provided. Any questions should be directed to William Rudnik at 908-735-5161 or brudnik@gklegal.com. Although not required, please RSVP to Mr. Rudnik so proper arrangements can be made for food and beverages.

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Diana Fredericks, a member of the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce's "Young Professionals of Hunterdon County", has helped to organize a night of bowling and networking on Feb. 12 at 5:30 PM at Oakwood Lanes, located at 234 Route 31 North in Washington. The cost is $12 per person which includes unlimited games and shoe rental. Register at http://web.hunterdon-chamber.org/events/eventdetail.aspx?EventID=915

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Judith A. Kopen, an attorney experienced in property tax appeal, will be a special guest on Hunterdon Chamber Radio's "What's Going On in Real Estate" show on Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. Hosts Tony Page and Joe Eggert, who are licenses real estate agents, will discuss with Kopen the tax appeal process. (Formal tax appeals are due April 1.) The hosts encourage listeners to call in at 908-237-0410 on the day of the show or send an email with questions in advance. Email addresses can be found under the "Show Host" tab on the Hunterdon Chamber Radio's website. "What's Going On in Real Estate" airs every Wednesday at 5 p.m. with hosts Tony Page and Joe Eggert, licensed Real Estate Agents. The Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce is the only Chamber in the world with a 24-hour all news and information internet radio station. Hunterdon Chamber Radio can be accessed at hunterdonchamberradio.com.

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Diana Fredericks has received an AVVO rating of 10.0, which is the highest possible rating from the organization. The rating is calculated using a mathematical model that considers a lawyer's years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

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William GoodwinWilliam Rudnik, and Diana Fredericks attended the annual NJ Family Law Symposium on Jan. 25. Sponsored by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE) in cooperation with the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Family Law Section, the annual event was attended by hundreds of family law attorneys, judges, paralegals and other related professionals. During the symposium, the state's leading family law experts presented thought-provoking and insightful presentations examining today's cutting-edge issues and complex problems that arise in matrimonial practice.

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John Manfreda will present a program entitled "Estate and Long Term Health Care Planning, Nursing Home Care and Medicaid" at the Clinton branch of the Hunterdon County Library on Thurs., Feb. 27, 2014 from 7pm to 9pm. All are welcome to attend free of charge.

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Diana Fredericks became a Partner at Gebhardt & Kiefer in January. She has been with the firm since 2008, and practices in the area of family law. Ms. Fredericks handles divorce and related matters, such as custody and parenting time, alimony and child support, and division of assets, as well as domestic partnerships, civil unions, pre-marital agreements, and domestic violence cases. She is an active member of the NJ State Bar Association, the Hunterdon County Bar Association (HCBA) and the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Fredericks currently serves as the treasurer for HCBA and is an alumna of the Chamber's "Leadership Hunterdon 2013" program. She is also a Board member of the Chamber's Women in Business Forum. In addition, Fredericks is a frequent author of the Gebhardt & Kiefer Family Law Blog (http://gkfamilylawblog.blogspot.com).

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William Rudnik acted as a judge in 2014 New Jersey State Bar Foundation Mock Trial competition on Jan. 18, along with several other Hunterdon County attorneys and actual sitting judges from the Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren vicinages.. Teams from Hunterdon Central, North Hunterdon and Voorhees High Schools faced one another in round-robin "trials" of a criminal case. Students from each team prepared both plaintiff and defendant cases, wrote lawyers' statements, gave opening remarks, conducted direct examination and cross examination, and gave closing remarks. During the trials, other students on each school's team served as the defendant and witnesses. State finals are March 24 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick.

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On Jan. 17, John Manfreda hosted an estate planning program on the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce's internet radio show called "It's the Law". The topic was "The Top Ten Estate Planning Mistakes People Make". The program is archived on the Chamber's radio website at www.hunterdonchamberradio.com.

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Mark Chazin participated in the quarterly Board of Directors Meeting of the Somerset County Business Partnership on Jan. 16. Mr. Chazin has been a member of that board for over 25 years, and is a prior Chairman of the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce, the predecessor organization. The Board meeting was held at the NJ Center of Excellence on Route 202/206 in Bridgewater at the former office and research complex of Sanofi. That site is being "reinvented" as a mixed use office, research, retail, commercial and residential site. This project can be used as a model for similar redevelopment through Somerset County and New Jersey. At the meeting, there was also a presentation by the Somerset County Planning Board on a program to identify and support priority growth investment areas in Somerset County, where governmental resources are available to assist in the development of industries and businesses. Somerset County is the first county in New Jersey with this investment framework, and has been recognized as a model for other counties to follow. There was also a presentation about the new and enhanced Workforce Investment Board, which seeks to make Somerset County's workforce delivery system more responsive to employer needs. These programs are part of the public-private partnership efforts of the Somerset County Business Partnership, to facilitate and promote the co-operation between the business community and local and county governments and educational organizations.

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William Rudnik attended the Family Law Executive Committee meeting for the NJ State Bar Association on Jan. 14.

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The next meeting of a men's discussion group focusing on divorce will be held on January 21, 2014 from 6:30 pm until 8 pm at Hunterdon Prevention Resources, located at 4 Walter E. Foran Blvd, Suite 410 in Flemington. The group is for men who are separated or divorced, or who are going through a divorce. This is a unique opportunity for men to hear from other men, and to provide you're their own perspectives to other men who are dealing with these issues. The program will be co-moderated by family law attorney William Rudnik of Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C. and certified financial planner Craig Hyldahl of R.I.C.H. Planning Group, LLC. Any questions should be directed to Mr. Rudnik at 908-735-5161 or BRudnik@gklegal.com. Although not required, please RSVP to Mr. Rudnik so proper arrangements can be made for food and beverages.

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Mark Chazin has been designated as a 2014 "Five Star Certified Estate Planning Attorney", a select group representing less than 5% of estate planning attorneys in the NJ area. The designation was awarded by Five Star Professional and New Jersey Monthly magazine. Some of the criteria used in selecting designees included: years of experience, percent of practice focused on estate planning, number of clients served, favorable regulatory and complaint history reviews, industry and board certifications, education and professional designations, and pro bono activities.

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