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News & Events > July - December 2014 Archives

In December, as the latest in a series of charitable donations to celebrate the firm’s 130th anniversary, Gebhardt & Kiefer donated 130 ShopRite gift cards to the Hunterdon County Educational Services Commission (ESC).  On behalf of Gebhardt & Kiefer, senior partner John Manfreda and associate Dan Makoski presented the gift cards to Marsha Atkinson, a social worker in the Workforce unit at ESC.  According to Atkinson, the gift cards will be used as incentives for clients in ESC’s Workforce job search program.  The program provides classes in interviewing, resumes, nutrition, job search, mental health services, etc.  Those who have perfect attendance in the classes, or who find a job and keep it for more than 90 days, will receive a gift card. ESC’s Continuing Education unit provides adult basic education, high school equivalency (GED), English for speakers of foreign languages, workforce education & job search skills, and customer service/sales certification courses.  ESC also offers co-operative purchasing for school districts, as well as teaching aids for elementary school systems.  In addition, ESC has campuses in Tewksbury and West Amwell offering alternative and special education programs. 

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Gebhardt & Kiefer participated in the Career Fair at Hunterdon Central High School on Dec. 11 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM.  Attorney Daniel Makoski represented Gebhardt & Kiefer.

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Gebhardt & Kiefer was pleased to be a sponsor of the annual Clinton Christmas Parade on Dec. 5, 2014.

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In November, as the latest in a series of charitable donations to celebrate the firm’s 130th anniversary, Gebhardt & Kiefer donated 130 frozen turkeys to the Flemington Area Food Pantry.  On behalf of Gebhardt & Kiefer, senior partners Richard Cushing and Mark Chazin presented the turkeys to Food Pantry Executive Director Maryann Isham.  The Flemington Area Food Pantry is a volunteer organization that provides food and personal care items to Hunterdon County families in need.   According to Ms. Isham, the turkeys will be included in the Food Pantry’s holiday meal packages, along with fresh carrots and potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and mixers for corn muffins, stuffing and pumpkin cake.  “As a nonprofit organization serving over 1,290 Hunterdon County families, this generous gift of 130 turkeys is so very much appreciated,” said Ms. Isham. “With the rising cost of food, our families are struggling to provide daily meals. A Thanksgiving dinner is often beyond their means. On behalf of the Pantry, I extend a heartfelt thank you to Gebhardt & Kiefer for helping to make the holiday season special for our client families.”

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In October, Diana Fredericks became a Family Law Mediator by successfully completing a 40-hour course sponsored by the NJ Institute of Continuing Legal Education.  The course consisted of a series of lectures, demonstrations, exercises, and role plays led by a distinguished panel of highly experienced mediators.  Ms. Fredericks and other participants gained the knowledge needed to effectively manage conflict, enhance communication and negotiation skills, and develop strategies for dealing with problems that often arise when mediating family law cases.

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In October, as the latest in a series of charitable donations to celebrate the firm’s 130th anniversary, the employees of Gebhardt & Kiefer purchased and donated 130 music CDs to the Hunterdon Developmental Center (HDC) residents in Union Township. Cindy Bartman, president of the Association for Hunterdon Developmental Center, accepted the CDs on behalf of the residents.  “We are very thankful to the staff of Gebhardt & Kiefer for this donation,” said Ms. Bartman.  “This vast selection of music will enable many of our residents to transcend the boundaries imposed by their physical and cognitive limitations.  The CDs will be distributed to the residential cottages and medical wards for everybody’s listening pleasure.”  Hunterdon Developmental Center cares for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and provides a wide spectrum of behavioral, medical and habilitation services and support.

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Tara St. Angelo and her colleagues from the Leadership Somerset Class of 2014 recently planted a rain garden at Exchange Field in Somerville. The group planted the garden in response to a challenge to design and implement a project that would address a community need.

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William Rudnik will be one of six presenters at the “Hot Tips in Family Law” seminar sponsored by the Vicinage XIII Family Practice Committees on Oct. 22.  Mr. Rudnik's topic will be "Contributions to Undergraduate College Costs". Attorneys who attend this seminar can earn Continuing Legal Education credits.

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The next meeting of a men's discussion group focusing on divorce will be held on Tues., Oct. 21 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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John Manfreda will give two free, informative presentations on Estate Planning on Oct. 29 at Lambertville City Hall.  The first, entitled “Estate Planning Made Easy!”, will take place from 3 - 4:30 PM.  The second, entitled “Estate Planning for the Modern Family”, will take place from 6 - 8 PM. In both sessions, Mr. Manfreda will explain estate planning, wills, trusts, the probate process, and choice of fiduciaries.  He will also discuss joint ownership, living trusts, estate planning for blended families, powers of attorney, and living wills.  In the first session, Mr. Manfreda will also cover Medicaid issues and long-term care issues. In the second session, he will discuss estate planning for same-sex couples, marital deductions, unified credit, death taxes, NJ inheritance and estate tax planning, matrimonial issues and the new alimony rules. He will be joined by William Goodwin in addressing the family law issues that affect estate planning.

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John Manfreda will give two free, informative presentations on Estate and Gift Tax Planning in October at the North County Branch Library in Clinton:  Oct. 17 at 1 PM and Oct. 30 at 7 PM.  The seminars will include a special emphasis on planning for blended families, and how such planning can be affected by the new alimony rules recently adopted in New Jersey.  Mr. Manfreda will discuss probate practice, estate and gift tax planning, the use of tax shelter trusts, and more.  Joining him to discuss the new Alimony statute will be family law attorney Diana Fredericks.          

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Gebhardt & Kiefer was pleased to be a sponsor of the Lebanon Township 2014 “Day in the Park” on Oct. 11 at the Lebanon Township Memorial Park.

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Gebhardt & Kiefer was pleased to be a Tee & Green Sponsor for the 6th Annual 200 Club of Hunterdon and Hunterdon County Police Chiefs Association Golf Tournament on Oct. 10.

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Gebhardt & Kiefer was pleased to be a sponsor of the Oct. 10 Jersey Shore Golf Challenge, which benefits the Fighting Children’s Cancer Foundation.

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Leslie Parikh is one of ten Hunterdon County professionals invited to participate in the  Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce’s “Leadership Hunterdon” program for 2015.  The Investiture Dinner for the Class of 2015 was held on Sept. 25.  Leadership Hunterdon was established in 2011 by the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce to develop trustees of our communities and leadership resources to work for the betterment of Hunterdon County. Once a month, from September through June, participants attend sessions targeted to specific aspects of the county, such as business, education, tourism, environmental issues, agriculture, real estate, health care, and government. Participants meet with leaders in Hunterdon County to gain in-depth knowledge of these key community areas, as well as their own leadership success. The class concludes the program by working in teams on a White Paper that researches and focuses on a key issue in Hunterdon County, typically involving economic development as it impacts the creation of jobs, wealth and the improvement of quality of life.

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Congratulations to Diana Fredericks, who received the "10 Best Under 40" Client Satisfaction Award for 2014 from the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys.

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In celebration of the firm's 130th anniversary, Gebhardt & Kiefer donated 130 kitchen items to the Center for Educational Advancement (CEA) in Flemington. The donated items, including a double-well soup warmer and an assortment of plates, mugs, and tablecloths, will be used as part of CEA’s Food Service training program, which trains individuals for a variety of positions in the food service industry. Individuals with mental, emotional, and physical challenges have successfully used this program to prepare for competitive employment.  On behalf of the firm, attorneys Leslie Parikh and Deborah Rosenthal presented the items to CEA Development Director Tracey Costanzo and CEA Food Service Training Director Pat Napolitan on Sept. 18.

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Gebhardt & Kiefer was pleased to be a sponsor of the 2nd annual Clinton Canoe Races on Sept. 21.  The event was coordinated by the Town of Clinton Recreation Commission.

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Don't miss the latest postings on the Gebhardt & Kiefer Family Law Blog:  NJ Family Collaborative Law Act and NJ Alimony Statute Modified.

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Diana Fredericks was installed as Vice President of the Executive Board of the Hunterdon County Bar Association at the organization’s Installation Dinner on Sept. 16.  This is Ms. Frederick’s third year on the Board.  She previously served as Secretary and Treasurer, and is slated to be President in 2016.  

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On Sept. 13, 2014, Diana Fredericks completed a Collaborative Family Law training program and received a certificate in compliance with the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). Ms. Fredericks can now accept Collaborative Divorce cases, and is a member of the NJ Council of Collaborative Practice Groups.  Collaborative Divorce is a voluntary dispute resolution process in which parties settle without resort to litigation.

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The next meeting of a men's discussion group focusing on divorce will be held on Sept. 16, 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 was pleased to be a sponsor of the Skylands Triathalon on Sept. 7.  Organized by the North Hunterdon Rotary Club, the annual Triathalon raises funds for charitable organizations and activities within the community.  This year, some of the funds will go toward the Special Olympics of Hunterdon County and Operation Chillout, which helps homeless veterans in New Jersey. Representing Gebhardt & Kiefer at the event was Mark Chazin, who has been a Rotarian for more than 25 years, and who organized the volunteers responsible for parking and traffic control for this year's event.

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Mark Chazin, Richard Cushing, John Manfreda, Diana Fredericks, and Dan Makoski attended the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce’s summer networking event on Sept. 3 at the Red Mill Museum in Clinton.  The event was co-sponsored by the Hunterdon County Bar Association.  Gebhardt & Kiefer’s attorneys are long-standing active members of both organizations.

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Tracy Bussel recently obtained dismissal through summary judgment on a matter filed by a lawyer Plaintiff prosecuting his own case for false arrest, negligence, malicious prosecution and abuse of process.  The matter was heard in Monmouth County Superior Court, at which time the Judge granted dismissal in favor of the defendants on all counts of the Complaint, issuing a very comprehensive and lengthy decision.  The outcome of this motion avoids defendants’ lengthy and expensive depositions.

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Diana Fredericks was selected by the Supreme Court of New Jersey for membership and service on the District Ethics Committee.  She will serve a four-year term beginning on September 1, 2014.  The Committee’s role is to ensure that the goals of the attorney disciplinary system are met.

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In celebration of its 130th anniversary, Gebhardt & Kiefer donated 130 cases of pet food to Animal Alliance in Lambertville.  On behalf of the firm, attorneys Tracy Bussel and Tara St. Angelo presented the food to Annie Trinkle, Executive Director at Animal Alliance.

“Animal Alliance profoundly appreciates this donation,” said Ms. Trinkle. “This kind gift will greatly assist us in our work to rescue animals in desperate situations and take excellent care of them as they await adoption.”

Animal Alliance is a non-profit, volunteer-run animal welfare organization that operates a shelter, pet adoption program, and low-cost spay/neuter clinic for cats and dogs.  Every animal at Animal Alliance comes from a perilous situation.  Many are victims of cruelty and neglect, and arrive injured, ill, or emaciated. And many have been removed from shelters where their "time was up", meaning the holding period had elapsed and they were facing euthanasia due to shelter overcrowding.

Gebhardt & Kiefer will continue to donate items in quantities of 130 to various Hunterdon County charities throughout its anniversary year.  In March, the firm donated 130 water bottles to Hunterdon County for distribution at its anniversary parade.  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.  In June, the firm donated 130 children’s books and a bookshelf to the Family Success Center in Flemington for its after-school reading program.

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On Aug. 6, William Goodwin and Diana Fredericks participated in the webinar “What Family Lawyers Can Learn from Personal Tax Returns”, sponsored by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

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Mark Chazin presented public seminars on Personal Estate Planning at Fiddlers Elbow on July 29 and the Mountain View Chalet on July 31. 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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The next meeting of a men's discussion group focusing on divorce will be held on August 19, 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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After a recent custody trial, William Rudnik obtained the court’s decision in favor of his client, enabling the client to retain primary custody of the parties’ two children.  Both the client and Mr. Rudnik were very pleased with the decision.  Mr. Rudnik stated that the court clearly focused on the children’s best interest.  

Mr. Rudnik is a certified matrimonial law attorney, a designation granted by the NJ Supreme Court to attorneys who demonstrate certain levels of experience, education, knowledge, and skill in matrimonial law practice.  Only about 2% of all active lawyers in New Jersey are certified by the NJ Supreme Court.

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Mark Chazin participated in the quarterly Board of Directors Meeting of the Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) on July 17, 2014. 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 Steeplechase Cancer Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Somerville.  Presentations included a look at the SCBP’s upcoming “Smart Future Conference” (scheduled for Oct. 17), which is intended to demonstrate technology innovation in Somerset County, as well as the SCBP’s planned conference on sustainability, scheduled for November in partnership with Duke Farms.

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Diana Fredericks has been selected as one of the 2014 “Top 10 Under 40” Family Law Attorneys in New Jersey by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys (NAFLA).  

According to NAFLA, the few attorneys (less than 1%) who make this list have demonstrated an extraordinary amount of knowledge, skill, experience, expertise and success in their practice of family law.  These attorneys are selected following a rigorous selection process that begins with peer nominations and continues through a careful review by the Academy's selection committee, to final selection by its Board of Governors.  Criteria for selection include client and peer reviews, time spent practicing family law, case outcomes, trial experience and outcomes, published books or scholarly articles, education, formal family law training, family law teaching experience, and legal awards. 

“Diana very much deserves this honor,” says William Goodwin, senior partner  and chair of Gebhardt & Kiefer's Family Law Department.  “She has proven that she possesses not only outstanding legal proficiency, but also the right balance of resolve, determination, compassion and sensitivity necessary to successfully represent family law clients during very emotional times in their lives.”

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The next meeting of a men’s discussion group focusing on divorce will be held on July 15, 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 Rudnikof 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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"Alimony Reform...and Other Changes" is the latest posting by Diana Fredericks on the Gebhardt & Kiefer Family Law Blog.

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