Children and COVID-19—To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate
The decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate often encompasses factors that are not based solely upon medical science. Instead, these decisions may be based upon religion, moral and even political beliefs. Read More… Commentary: by Julie A Auerbach The following commentary was featured on January 6, 2022 on Law.com https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/2022/01/06/children-and-covid-19-to-vaccinate-or-not-to-vaccinate/?cmp=share_email While there has always been some controversy regarding mandatory vaccinations for children, the COVID vaccine has encountered an unprecedented level of skepticism among the public. A significant portion of the population do not want to get the vaccine for either themselves or their children, irrespective of the CDC guidelines and many medical organizations endorsing the vaccine. The decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate often encompasses factors that are not based solely upon medical science. Instead, these decisions may be based upon religion, moral and even political beliefs. The 50 states and the federal government have not imposed blanket COVID vaccine mandates for all adults and children. Each individual and parent is permitted to make their own determination as to whether or not to get vaccinated and to vaccinate their children. With no blanket mandates in place, when parents disagree over vaccinating their children, the dispute often lands in the courts. While the vaccination issue extends only to the child at issue in the particular case, family law courts are being called upon to decide whether or not a child can be vaccinated over the objection of a parent when neither the federal or any state government has been willing to impose such a law on parents and children in this country. Addressing vaccination disputes is not a new role for the family law courts. These courts are routinely called upon to decide medical and mental health issues for children when their parents cannot agree. But what is different here is that we are in the middle of a pandemic, the vaccine has become a hot button issue, there are no vaccine mandates for children, and COVID policies and the development of the vaccine have caused large segments of the population to question the reliability of our government, the CDC and the vaccine itself. The family court’s main focus by law must always be the best interests of the child. But family courts cannot ignore the skepticism of many regarding the trustworthiness of the COVID vaccine, the CDC, and the federal and state governments. The few reported cases regarding vaccination of children demonstrates that courts are looking for more than just the CDC guidelines to assist them when deciding a parental dispute as to whether or not a child should be vaccinated. Courts may be inclined to require expert testimony from medical professionals. This could be problematic as not many parents can afford to pay a medical expert for reports and testimony to support their position for or against the COVID vaccines for children. In the matter of A.C.G., a Chester County Orphans Court case decided on Oct. 5, 2021, addressed two parents’ disagreement over whether to vaccinate their adult incapacitated 31-year-old daughter. Though the case involves an adult child, it is still instructive. In a three-day hearing before Judge Mark Tunnell, both the mother and the father presented medical testimony. The father’s reasons for wanting his daughter to be vaccinated were because she had various health issues and lived in a group setting. If she contracted COVID-19, she would be at significant risk for complications from COVID. Further, she would be putting others in her group home at risk. The mother argued that she acquired numerous videos, articles by doctors, medicine inserts and other papers raising concerns with the vaccine. She believed that there was not enough data on the vaccine, that the vaccine may cause dangerous side effects and the emergency approval of the vaccine was too fast. The mother had religious objections as well as she is a born-again Christian. Both the mother and the father introduced medical testimony. Whether or not such testimony was required from by the court is not evident from the opinion. The court found that the testimony of the father’s medical experts was more credible than the testimony of the mother’s medical experts. The mother’s first medical expert opined that giving the vaccine to the daughter would be more harmful than not and that COVID can be treated holistically with diet, supplements and vitamins. The doctor did not wear a mask in court because she did not believe in its efficacy. The mother’s second medical expert testified that the daughter’s risk from exposure to COVID was very low and that she was really already vaccinated by being exposed in her environment. The doctor testified that the root cause of COVID-19 is not the virus, it is a poor immune function. He was distrustful of the vaccine because there are so many “unclear things from leadership.” As an ironic aside, the mother was unable to attend the hearing as she had COVID at the time, had been hospitalized and was recovering at home. In deciding in favor of the vaccine, the Judge relied upon the scientific evidence presented to the court by the father’s four experts, including the daughter’s primary care physician, her cardiologist, her neurologist and an infectious disease doctor. Tunnell stated at the end of his opinion “The science is clear and as [the father’s infectious disease expert] has said “this is not a difficult call, vaccination against COVID-19 saves lives. This court agrees and so finds. Yet, the fight goes on.” In stating that the fight goes on, the court was recognizing that large segments of the population do not trust the vaccine, irrespective of the scientific evidence showing the efficacy of it. In a recent New York case, J.F. v. D.F., 2021 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 6142, 2021 NY Slip Op 21327, decided Dec. 3, 2021, the mother sought a court order compelling vaccination of an 11-year-old child, which the father opposed. The father, a professor at an elite university, challenged the science behind the CDC recommendations for vaccination, while acknowledging that the child’s pediatrician recommend the vaccination. The father’s arguments against vaccination were as follows: the vaccine has not been subject to long-term trials for side effects, COVID was benign to a child of his daughter’s age, there was no vaccine mandate for children, there was potential for complications and there could be short-term side effects. In essence, he did not trust the safety of the vaccine. The mother argued that as the father did not dispute the pediatrician’s recommendation there was no need for the pediatrician to testify. However, the court concluded that it should hear from the pediatrician. The pediatrician testified via conference call. The attorney for the child interviewed the child to get her position and the child indicated that she did wish to be vaccinated. The court ultimately ordered that the child could be vaccinated in light of the CDC guidelines, the recommendation of the pediatrician and the child’s wishes. It may be that federal and state governments never mandate COVID vaccines for all adults and children. As a result, family law courts are authorizing one parent to vaccinate a child over the objection of the other parent. As we know, this is an issue not only facing American courts. Around the world, to date only three countries have nationwide vaccination mandates—Indonesia, Micronesia and Turkmenistan. Austria is imposing a vaccine mandate in February, and will be the first European country to do so. The tide of public opinion, not just medical science, continues to determine how effectively the world combats COVID. Given the distrust in medical science by large segments of the population around the world, in the words of Tunnell, “the fight goes on.” Julie A. Auerbach is a partner at Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel. Her practice is focused in the area of family law. She practices in the counties of Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Bucks, and has written and lectured extensively on the subject of family law. Contact her at JAuerbach@astorweiss.com.
Julie Auerbach to Present at Second Saturday Divorce Workshop
Topic: Second Saturday Divorce Workshop Time: Jul 28, 2021 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Here is the registration link. http://www.rogersjr.com/events/second-saturday-divorce-workshop-copy-copy-copy
The National Trial Lawyers Announces David Woloshin as One of Its Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in Pennsylvania
For Immediate Release The National Trial Lawyers is pleased to announce that David Woloshin of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP has been selected for inclusion into its Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in Pennsylvania, an honor given to only a select group of lawyers for their superior skills and qualifications in the field. Membership in this exclusive organization is by invitation only and is limited to the top 100 attorneys in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers in either civil plaintiff or criminal defense law. The National Trial Lawyers is a professional organization comprised of the premier trial lawyers from across the country who have demonstrated exceptional qualifications in criminal defense or civil plaintiff law. The National Trial Lawyers provides accreditation to these distinguished attorneys, and provides essential legal news, information, and continuing education to trial lawyers across the United States. With the selection of David Woloshin by The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100, he has shown that he exemplifies superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a trial lawyer. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third party research. As The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an essential source of networking and information for trial attorneys throughout the nation, the final result of the selection process is a credible and comprehensive list of the most outstanding trial lawyers chosen to represent their state or region. To learn more about The National Trial Lawyers, please visit: http://thenationaltriallawyers.org/.
Julie Auerbach to Speak at Event
Julie Auerbach will speak at the Second Saturday Divorce Workshop . Below is a description of the event. The date has been set for 3/24 from 6-8pm. Below is the registration link to pass on to prospects, peers, and anyone else. The attendees will receive the zoom link once they register. Contemplating or Going Through a Divorce? What You Need to Know Divorce is a whirlwind, but it doesn’t have to capsize your life! The Second Saturday Divorce workshop is designed to equip you with the legal, financial, and emotional information you need to make the right decision for your marriage and your life. REGISTER
Dave Woloshin presenting the annual Counsel on Brain Injury (CoBI)
Dave Woloshin presenting the annual Counsel on Brain Injury (CoBI) Award to Susan Connors, who is the President and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of America. Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel was a main sponsor for the event. For more on the story, click here
Superior Court Cracks Open the Door for Discovery of Mental Health Records
The Pennsylvania Superior Court has carved out an exception to the discovery of mental health records in C.L. v. M.P., Pa. Super., decided July 8, 2020. In the majority opinion authored by retired President Judge Emeritus F. Correale Stevens, the court held that a parent’s mental health records could be reviewed by the guardian ad litem appointed to the child despite the confidentiality provisions of the Mental Health Procedures Act. Judge Deborah A. Kunselman filed a dissenting opinion. Link to the full article: https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/2020/08/13/superior-court-cracks-open-the-door-for-discovery-of-mental-health-records/?cmp=share_email&slreturn=20200714165405
Family Law Gets Complicated in a Crisis
David Gutin and Julie Auerbach quoted in article: Link to article: https://www.jewishexponent.com/2020/08/13/family-law-gets-complicated-in-a-crisis/ Stephanie Winegrad has gotten a lot of calls about divorce during the pandemic. “Generally, I found there was an increase in people who wanted to get divorced and also people who were in the middle of divorce who said, ‘I want this done. I want it over,’” said Winegrad, a partner at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP. Spending more time at home has pushed some relationships to the breaking point, but many Jewish family lawyers say increased interest in separation has not yet translated to a higher divorce rate. Get Jewish Exponent’s Newsletter by email and never miss our top storiesWe do not share data with third party vendors.FREE SIGN UP In the five-county area, court closures have made divorce, custody and other aspects of family law a lot more complicated. David Ladov, chair of the Family Law Department at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP| Courtesy of David Ladov “Nothing was open for months,” said David Ladov, partner and chair of the Family Law Department at Obermayer Rebmann. The instability of the economic and public health crises also has made clients hesitant to act. “There’s been an uptick in phone calls with people looking for information, but I’m not sure people want to do anything right now because there’s so much uncertainty,” said David Gutin, partner at Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP. “For people who are together, barring domestic violence, it’s safer not to rock the boat.” For people who were already in the process of getting divorced when the pandemic hit, court meetings have gone virtual. Cynthia Weiss Stein, partner at Shemtob Draganosky Taylor, P.C. | Courtesy of Cynthia Weiss Stein “We’re having a lot of pretrial conferences that used to be done in person often being done by appointment on the telephone,” said Cynthia Weiss Stein, partner at Shemtob Draganosky Taylor, P.C. Many of the county courts are now in the reopening process after spring shutdowns. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered courts to close to the public on March 18, but each county court is allowed to determine its own reopening schedule. “The logistics are very different county to county because of the physical aspects of the courthouse. So, I mean, for example, Philadelphia Family Court is basically like a high-rise city building. And so elevators present a real challenge,” Stein said. As a result, some courts are more open for in-person proceedings than others. “Chester County and Bucks County have been open for about two months. But the other counties are not as open. You can’t just walk in the ]Philadelphia Family Court],” Ladov said. Even when most courts were shut down in March and April, one notable exception to remote activity was domestic abuse. “The courts have remained open for domestic abuse cases,” Ladov said. “There was probably a month or so where those weren’t heard, but most of the courts heard them as quickly as they could.” Shana Weiner is the founder of Dinah, an organization that provides legal services to Jewish survivors of domestic abuse in the Greater Philadelphia area. She said domestic abuse has increased during the pandemic, according to data from Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Increased time at home and the closure of public spaces has made it more difficult for victims to seek help. “People can’t actually get help because survivors don’t have the same opportunities to be out of the house that they would otherwise have,” she said. Weiner said that Dinah has always operated remotely, but is struggling to find enough pro bono attorneys to volunteer during the economic crisis. “That’s actually where we’ve been hit the hardest is that attorneys right now, who would otherwise be very eager to volunteer and recognize what an important service and mitzvah we’re doing for the Jewish community, they’ve been hit on their own and can’t necessarily afford to spend the time to take on a volunteer case,” she said. Concerns about the virus have changed the way couples who are already separated think about custody agreements. “We had a number of situations where one of the parents was a health care worker and the other parent was taking advantage of the situation, and basically said, ‘You’re not seeing the kids,’” Ladov said. According to Julie Auerbach, partner at Astor Weiss, most county courts did not accept potential exposure to COVID-19 or stay-at-home orders as an excuse to alter custody agreements, and Gov. Tom Wolf designated custodyexchanges essential. “Courts didn’t penalize health care workers on the front lines trying to save lives,” she said. Winegrad said the pandemic has led some of her clients to be more flexible about their time with their kids, especially if one is an essential worker who can’t provide child care during the week. “The couples who have worked together seem to be creative and doing what’s best for the children in this current situation. They are coming up with schedules that work for their family.” firstname.lastname@example.org; 215-832-8917
“You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling”
Now how do you sever your financial ties. by Julie A. Auerbach, as published in The Philadelphia Lawyer, Summer 2020 Edition Broken hearts may not be the only fallout from the breakup of an unmarried couple. The severing of these romantic ties may also have financial consequences. Untangling jointly held assets, such as real estate and bank accounts, are common byproducts of failed relationships. If there is a broken engagement, disputes may arise over who keeps the engagement ring. Payment of credit card debts and sharing of pets are other concerns that may become areas of disputes. And what about palimony, is it still a thing? Read the entire article
Our Office is Now Open!
ASTOR WEISS KAPLAN & MANDEL LLP WE ARE HERE FOR YOU AS THE WORLD RETURNS TO THE NEW NORMAL WE ARE HERE FOR YOU As Pennsylvania and Philadelphia gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP continues to implement steps to protect the health and safety of our employees and clients as well as our ability to continue to provide effective and responsive client services. Our offices are now open. Our attorneys and staff are now working both in our offices and remotely in a staggered schedule to promote social distancing and safety. Our professionals are ready and able to continue to serve all of our clients’ needs by both in person or if preferred, through our remote, secure digital environment. Our professionals will continue to be accessible via e-mail, our main number (215-790-0100) or their direct dial numbers, just as they are normally. In challenging times like these we want to assure our clients and friends that we will be as available and responsive as ever. We are here to provide rapid, effective service and support to help our clients meet the new challenges they face in their businesses and personal lives, especially now. We hope that you, your families, and organizations remain healthy and safe. We are always here for you.
Pennsylvania Super Lawyers recognizes 9 Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP attorneys from the Philadelphia office.
Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is pleased to announce that 9 attorneys from the firm’s Philadelphia office were recently selected for inclusion in the 2020 edition of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters. The complete list of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel attorneys recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars and the categories for which they were honored follows below. Ronald B. Glazer – Real Estate David Gutin – Family Law David S. Mandel – Real Estate Dina Ronsayro – Family Law Judy Springer – Family Law David L. Woloshin – Personal Injury General: Plaintiff David S. Workman – Estate Planning and Probate Jordan S. Schlossberg – Personal Injury General: Plaintiff (Rising Star) Grady Lowman – Personal Injury, General: Plaintiff
CONGRESS APPROVES ADDITIONAL $310 BILLION OF FUNDING TO REPLENISH PAYCHECK PROTECTION PLAN LOAN PROGRAM
On April 24, 2020, Congress passed, and President signed, an additional $310 Billion of funding to replenish the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) after the initial $350 billion of the program’s funding was exhausted. Applications for new funding will be accepted on April 27, 2020. While the PPP program was lauded by businesses and the public at large, the roll out of the program has been criticized as providing PPP funding to large well capitalized businesses with access to the financial resources to keep them afloat during COVID-19 shutdown. The programs rules were lax enough to permit PPP loans to be issued to publicly traded companies with excess cash on hand, including to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse ($20 million PPP loan), Shake Shack ($10 million PPP loan) and Potbelly ($10 million PPP loan). Within the initial thirteen days of accepting applications, PPP funds were exhausted without providing the small businesses with the funding that was intended to help those businesses survive COVID 19 shutdowns and stay at home orders. In order to correct the criticism of the allocation PPP funds, the second round of funding for the PPP has targeted small businesses as beneficiaries by setting aside $30 billion of funds for community development, financial institutions, banks and credit unions with less than $10 billion in assets, and an additional $30 billion banks and credit unions with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion in assets. As an additional protective measure, businesses applying for PPP loans must now certify that the loans are necessary and that do not have access other sources of funding to continue to make payroll and pay other business expenses during the COVID shut down. In addition to the $310 billion allocated to the PPP, an additional $60 billion has been allocated to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Grant program, of which $50 billion will be directed to EIDL Loans and the remaining $10 billion will go towards EIDL Grants. For more information regarding the PPP Loans and EIDL Loans and Grants for small businesses please see this link: https://astorweisskapl.wpengine.com/covid-19-financial-relief-available-to-small-businesses-2/ The attorneys at Astor Weiss’ Business Law Practice Group are here to help your company with any questions you may have about federal loan programs to get your business through these difficult times. Anyone with questions about how their business may benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, or any other federal or state business assistance programs should contact one of the attorneys in this group, whose contact information is listed below: David Mandel, Managing PartnerTherese Allison, AssociateOffice: (215) 790-0100Office: (215) 790-0100Direct: (215) 893-4959Direct: (215) 893-4971Direct Fax: (215) 400-2255Direct Fax: (215) 400-2241Email: email@example.comEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org Stephen Green, Of Counsel Office: (215) 790-0100 Direct: (215) 751-1920 Fax: (215) 790-0509
JULIE A. AUERBACH NAMED FELLOW OF AMERICAN ACADEMY OF MATRIMONIAL LAWYERS
ASTOR WEISS KAPLAN & MANDEL, LLP is pleased to announce that Julie A. Auerbach has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Comprised of the top matrimonial attorneys throughout the nation, AAML members are recognized as preeminent family law practitioners with the highest levels of knowledge, skill, and integrity. In order to be elected, each Fellow must successfully complete a rigorous selection process that includes interviews, examinations, and professional and judicial evaluations. Julie A. Auerbach has been practicing primarily in the area of family law since she graduated from Rutgers School of Law – Camden in 1992. She has written extensively and lectured on a variety of family law related topics throughout her career. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association – Family Law Section and the Delaware County Bar Association. ASTOR WEISS KAPLAN & MANDEL LLP was founded over 60 years ago and as a mid-sized firm it maintains personalized relationships with its clients. ASTOR WEISS KAPLAN & MANDEL offers client services in the areas of family law, personal injury, banking, real estate, shopping centers, business and estates.
STATUS OF MORTGAGE FORECLOSURES IN PENNSYLVANIA AND IMPACT OF THE CARES [COVID-19] ACT
Despite Court Orders and the just passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), in Pennsylvania lenders on mortgages that are not “Federally Backed” may still file and serve mortgage foreclosure complaints, default judgments and writs of execution so that properties are ready for Sheriff’s sale when Sheriffs reopen to sell properties. The CARES Act provides that through May 17, 2020 there is a moratorium on foreclosure actions on “Federally Backed” Mortgage Loans and on service of non-judicial notice of intent to foreclose. Also, a borrower who affirms financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency shall be granted a forbearance of up to 360 days. I. The CARES Act’s prohibitions only apply to Federally Backed Mortgage Loans Mortgage foreclosures are dealt with in the CARES Act in TITLE IV, Subtitle A, Sections 4022 (1 to 4 families) and 4023 (more than 4 families). This report deals with Section 4022 and not Section 4023. CARES Act Section 4022 applies only to federally backed mortgage loans. Under the CARES Act, a “federally backed mortgage loan” is secured by a lien on real property with 1-4 families insured, guaranteed, made, purchased or securitized by the FHA, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or the Federal National Mortgage Association or other federal agencies (“Federally Backed Mortgage Loan”). II. For Federally Backed Mortgage Loans, there is a Moratorium through May 17, 2020 on Foreclosure Actions and Notices of Intent to Foreclose The CARES Act Section 4022 (c)(2) provides that a servicer of a Federally Backed Mortgage Loan may not initiate “any judicial or non-judicial foreclosure process,” move for a foreclosure judgment, sale order or eviction through May 17, 2020. That stays Foreclosure actions and service of Notices of Intent to Foreclose. A Notice of Intent is required in Pennsylvania before a mortgage foreclosure complaint can be filed. It is a step in the process of mortgage foreclosure and therefore forbidden through May 17, 2020. III. The CARES Act Provides Forbearance for Borrowers who Affirm Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19 It is not difficult for a borrower to receive forbearance from a mortgage servicer. A borrower may submit a request to the servicer for forbearance for financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID–19 emergency. The CARES Act Section 4022 (c)(1) provides that a servicer upon receiving a request for forbearance “shall with no additional documentation required other than the borrower’s attestation to a financial hardship caused by the COVID–19 emergency and with no fees, penalties, or interest…provide the forbearance for up to 180 days.” (Emphasis added). That may be extended for up to an additional180 days at the request of the borrower. IV. Mortgage Foreclosure in Pennsylvania State Courts Today April 1, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended the closure to the public of all Pennsylvania state courts through April 30, 2020. The state courts, however, are accepting filing of complaints and process servers are open for business and serving complaints on defendants. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court orders do not prohibit mortgage foreclosure complaints, default judgments and writs of execution requesting placement on a Sheriff’s sale list. The Court ordered the following restrictions during the “emergency period:” no officer, official, or other person employed by the Pennsylvania Judiciary at any level shall effectuate an eviction, ejectment, or other displacement from a residence based upon the failure to make a rent, loan, or other similar payment. Nothing herein is intended to preclude requests for orders of possession resulting from judgments entered in landlord-tenant actions to be filed by mail. However, any execution on an order of possession is stayed to a date on or after April 3, 2020, subject to further orders. The limitations apply to acts that remove a person from residence and not acts prior to the actual eviction. The clause specifically allows for filing a request for order of possession and the stay only applies to the final act of the court executing the order of possession. The acts of filing a complaint, taking a default judgment (which occurs often) and filing a writ of execution to place the property on Sheriff’s sale list do not remove a person from a residence. Those acts are not forbidden. At this time a property cannot be sold at a Sheriff’s sale because Sheriff’s sales have been postponed. Lenders, however, at this time may accomplish the prerequisites for such sales and the property will be placed on the Sheriff’s sale list once those sales start again. Note that in the Court of Pleas of Philadelphia there is an additional step that cannot be accomplished now because required conciliation conferences between lender and borrower have been postponed. I. Mortgage Foreclosure in Pennsylvania Federal Courts In Pennsylvania, usually foreclosure actions are filed in state court and not federal court. State courts and Sheriffs have more experience handling mortgage foreclosure sales than federal courts and federal Marshalls. To file in federal court the lender has to prove jurisdiction- either diversity (plaintiff(s) and defendant(s) are citizens of different states) or the case involves a question of federal law (not present in standard foreclosure case). The additional step of litigating jurisdictional issues may delay the case and the sale of the property. Generally, filing in state court remains the best option. If at some point it turns out that the COVID-19 pandemic causes more severe delays in the state courts than the federal courts, filing in federal court should be considered in cases where it is clear that the court would have jurisdiction. Download the White Paper WMM 4/1/2020
WHEN CAN CONTRACT DUTIES BE SUSPENDED OR TERMINATED BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted the ability of businesses to perform contractual duties. Governments around the world, including the United States and U.S. states, have imposed prohibitions on going to work, leaving home, meetings, travel, eat-in restaurants, and other limitations. This paper discusses when a party may have a legal defense if it elects to not perform contract obligations. The defenses of Force Majeure, frustration and impracticability are explored. Force Majeure A Force Majeure clause (French for “superior force”) is a contract provision that allows a party to suspend or terminate the performance of duties under a contract. The scope of protection and remedies are established by the language of the contract. This is an example of a Force Majeure clause: Force Majeure. A party shall not be liable for any failure of or delay in the performance of this agreement for the period that such failure or delay is due to any strike, lockout, civil commotion, war like operation, invasion, rebellion, hostilities, military or usurped power, sabotage, governmental regulations or control, or through act of God (“FORCE MAJEURE”). Performance is not excused if performance resulted from general economic conditions. As examples, other triggering events in a Force Majeure clause could be fire, flood, hurricane, typhoon, earthquake, lightning and explosion or pandemic. A Force Majeure clause may provide that a party must take steps to mitigate the impact. When it first becomes known that a party will rely on Force Majeure, that party should send a formal written declaration of Force Majeure to the other parties to the contract. Under Pennsylvania law, the event alleged as an excuse must have been beyond the party’s control and not due to any fault or negligence by the non-performing party. Martin v. Commonwealth, 548 A.2d 675, 678 (Pa. Commw. 1988). The non-performing party must show that they took action to attempt to perform the contract regardless of the Force Majeure event. Gulf Oil Corp. v. Fed.Energy Regulatory Comm’n, 706 F.2d 444, 452 (3d Cir. 1983). Many Force Majeure clauses in effect today do not list pandemic, epidemic or disease. Without that language at first blush it may appear that the Force Majeure defense does not apply to performance impacted by COVID-19. A defense may be available, however, if the clause covers governmental regulations and those regulations had a serious negative impact on performance. Further, the world-wide recognition of the need to control COVID-19 and government’s “stay at home” orders may result in courts being more liberal in approving a Force Majeure defense. Impracticability or Frustration If there is no Force Majeure clause in a contract or if the clause does not provide protection, a party to avoid performance may rely on the common law doctrines of “frustration” or “impracticability.” In Pennsylvania it is difficult to meet the requirements for those defenses. As a general principle, a party assumes the risk of incapacity to perform its contractual duties. Craig Coal Mining v. Romani, 513 A.2d 437 (Pa. Super. 1986). To use frustration or impracticability as a defense for non-performance, the cost of performance must become so excessive and unreasonable that the failure to excuse performance would result in “grave injustice.” Gulf Oil Corp. v. Federal Power Commission, 563 F.2d 588, 599 (3rd Cir.1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 1062 (1977). As soon as it is known, a formal written declaration of frustration or impracticability should be sent to the other parties to the contract. In Dorn v. Stanhope Steel, Inc., 534 A.2d 798, 811-812 (Pa. Super 1987), appeal denied, 544 A.2d 1342 (1988), the court said performance may be considered “impracticable” and excused because of extreme and unreasonable difficulty, expense, injury, or loss, such as severe shortage of raw materials or of supplies due to war, embargo, local crop failure or unforeseen shutdowns; or performance will involve a risk of injury to person or to property. Increases in costs unless well beyond the normal range, do not amount to impracticability. Id. citing Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 261. A party must establish that the act contemplated is incapable of being performed, rather than the fact that he or she is incapable of performing it. Luber v. Luber, 614 A.2d 771, 774 (Pa. Super.1992), appeal denied, 631 A.2d 1008 (Pa. 1993). The doctrine of frustration provides that the duty to perform is discharged when a party’s principal purpose is substantially frustrated without his fault and there is a violation of a basic assumption on which the contract was made. Stanhope Steel, supra at 811-812, citing Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 265. The doctrine applies if events occur that result in a situation radically different from the contemplation of the parties when the contract was made. Courts typically require proof of “impossibility” of performance in order to allow the defense of frustration. In Stanhope Steel, supra, defendant was losing vast amounts of money for 4 years, defendant’s largest creditor would no longer advance funds and defendant did not have enough money to pay its operating expenses and payroll costs. The court held that the defenses were not established because defendant failed to show a change in the business environment that was well beyond the normal range. Although the standard is high, courts have provided relief under defenses of impracticability and frustration. In Aluminum Co. of Am. v. Essex Grp., Inc., 499 F. Supp. 53 (W.D. Pa. 1980), a federal district court in Pennsylvania, held that under Indiana’s doctrines of impracticability and frustration of purpose, seller was entitled to reformation of a long-term contract where seller’s production costs rose greatly beyond the foreseeable risk and where, without judicial relief, seller stood to lose in excess of $60 million out of pocket during remaining term of contract. In Riger v. Maloney, 2014 WL 10919548, at *3 (Pa. Super. 2014)(not precedential), the court ruled performance of transferring a 401(k) account was suspended because a necessary document was located in a file with Superior Court and the duty of transferring the funds could not be carried out. In Murray v. Willistown Twp., 169 A.3d 84, 92-93 (Pa. Super. 2017), the court cited impracticability of performance and applied a reformation of a contract after certain insurance coverage required in the contract became unavailable. Parties will be urging courts to hold that the unique obstacles caused by COVID-19 support a defense of impracticality or frustration. Given the unprecented impact of the disease, courts may feel compelled to allow those defenses. Moving Forward Any decision on whether to declare Force Majeure, frustration or impracticability requires a detailed analysis based on the particular facts faced by a company and the applicable law. As an example, a company should evaluate whether their counterparties to contracts may declare justifiable release from performance. Some companies will be on both sides of this issue, as the performing party in some cases and the receiving party in others. Companies should look at both possibilities before taking a formal position on whether to declare Force Majeure, frustration or impracticability. Download the White Paper W. Mark Mullineaux, Esq. 610-291-3850 email@example.com
COVID 19 FINANCIAL RELIEF AVAILABLE TO SMALL BUSINESSES
UPDATED PER SBA GUIDANCE ISSUED APRIL 3RD 2020 by Therese Allison Over the last month businesses and their employees have questioned how they will survive the recent economic downturn. As of April 1, 2020, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 85% of the population in the United States is under state or local orders to stay at home, and the majority of states have closed schools and businesses that do not provide life sustaining services. More recently, some states especially hard hit by COVID-19 have received designations as major disaster areas. While there is no clear time frame when this halt to our economic, educational and social engine will end, the massive toll that these closures will have on businesses and on individual employment is predictable. Fortunately, the federal and state governments are taking action to assist businesses and their employees survive in these uncertain times. The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program In light of the anticipated and unprecedented toll on the welfare of this country Congress has approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) to provide financial relief to individuals and businesses. Small businesses can benefit from the $349 million dollars allocated through the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (the PPP). The program, enacted to help businesses retain their employees and meet their business expense obligations during this economic downturn, provides federally guaranteed low interest SBA loans that do not require collateral or guarantees from the borrower, and that may be forgiven if businesses use loan proceeds for permitted purposes and maintain their payroll through June 30, 2020. Paycheck Protection Loan Eligibility Requirements The PPP, enacted as part of Title I to the CARES Act, is intended to protect small businesses from interruption due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. PPP loans are currently available to small businesses that were in operation before February 15, 2020, to assist in payment of employee payroll and other businesses expenses incurred during this period of business closures and stay at home orders. PPP loans have a two-year term, a fixed interest rate of 1%, no pre-payment penalties, and no personal guaranty or collateral requirements. Further, payments will be deferred for a period of six months from the loan origination date. Businesses qualify as a “small business” under the Act if they have fewer than 500 employees (whether those employees are full time, part time or any other employment status); qualify as a small business under the SBA’s size standards; or operate as a sole proprietor, independent contractor or self-employed business. In addition, the Act applies the 500 employee limitation on a per location basis for businesses in the food services and accommodation sector (any NAICS Code beginning with 72). Amount of Loan and Permitted Use of Proceeds Qualifying small businesses are eligible for loans up to 2.5 times the borrower’s average monthly payroll costs incurred over the twelve month period prior to the loan application, up to a maximum amount of $10 Million, the funds of which may be applied to expenses incurred by the borrower during any time period between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. “Payroll Costs” are defined as all employees’ salary, wages, tips, commissions, or similar compensation, but excluding the portion of any employee’s salary that exceeds $100,000; payment for vacation, family, medical, or sick leave; compensation for separation or dismissal; payment for employee benefits including group healthcare including insurance premiums and retirement; and payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees. The funds from a PPP loan may only be used for payment of Payroll Costs, interest payment on mortgage obligations, rent payments, interest on other debt obligations, and utility payments (the “Permitted Purposes”). Loan Forgiveness Up to 100% of Paycheck Protection loans are eligible for forgiveness where the funds are used for Permitted Purposes. PPP loan forgiveness is contingent upon the borrower maintaining its payroll. If employees are laid off during the period between loan origination and June 30, 2020, the portion of the forgiveness available to the borrower will be reduced by the percentage decrease in the number of employees. Further, if the borrower’s total payroll expense for workers earning less than $100,000 is reduced by more than 25% the forgiveness will be reduced by that same amount. However, if employees previously laid off are rehired by June 30, 2020, full forgiveness may be available to the borrower. Where the loan is used for both Permitted Purposes and other purposes, only the portion of the funds used for Permitted Purposes are eligible for forgiveness. Applying for a PPP Loan Applications for PPP loans will be accepted by SBA lenders for the period beginning on April 3, 2020 and ending on June 30, 2020 and the $349 Billion of funds are available on a first come first serve basis. Applications must be made through an SBA qualified lender. Small business interested in PPP loans should contact their regular bank to inquire whether they are accepting such applications. The SBA has published a sample PPP loan application and SBA lenders are using the SBA’s form to create their own PPP Loan application form to be used by small business borrowers. A link to the sample SBA application can be found here: (https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/PPP%20Borrower%20Application%20Form.pdf). This sample application should allow you to prepare the documentation you will need to submit with the application. Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Under the CARES Act As illnesses mount and pressure on society to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus increases, states have begun applying to the federal government for declaration as major disaster areas. Disaster designations, such as the designation declared in Pennsylvania on March 30, 2020, make federal funding available to state and local governments and allow businesses to obtain assistance such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (the “EIDL”). The CARES Act created a new grant program to provide quick relief to businesses under the EIDL program where borrowers can receive up to $10,000 in the form of an EIDL grant to cover immediate payroll, mortgage, rent and additional expenses. The EIDL grant does not have to be repaid to the SBA. The traditional EIDL loan program, administered by the SBA, provides loan proceeds up to $2 Million to businesses located in federally designated disaster areas that incur economic losses as a result of such disasters. EIDL loans remain available to small businesses and may be an alternative to PPP loans. These loans are offered at an interest rate of 3.75% with a repayment term of up to 30 years. The proceeds of these loans may be used to pay fixed debt, payroll, accounts payable and other obligations that a business may be unable to meet as a result of the impact of the disaster. The SBA’s April 3, 2020 guidance clarified that borrowers that received an EIDL loan between January 1, 2020 and April 3, 2020 and used the EIDL funds to pay for payroll costs must refinance its EIDL into the PPP loan. The recent guidance did not clarify whether a borrower with a pending application for an EIDL loan will be eligible to receive a PPP loan. It is clear, however, that EIDL grants issued to small business borrowers will be deducted from PPP funds that are forgiven. Small business borrowers should consult with their SBA lender before submitting any loan or grant application. The attorneys at Astor Weiss’ Business Law Practice Group are here to help your company with any questions you may have about federal loan programs to get your business through these difficult times. Anyone with questions about how their business may benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, or any other federal or state business assistance programs should contact one of the attorneys in this group, whose contact information is listed below: David Mandel, Managing Partner Office: (215) 790-0100 Direct: (215) 893-4959 Direct Fax: (215) 400-2255 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Therese Allison, AssociateOffice: (215) 790-0100Direct: (215) 893-4971Fax: (215) 400-2241Email: email@example.com Stephen Green, Of CounselOffice: (215) 790-0100Direct: (215) 751-1920Fax: (215) 790-0509Email: SGreen@astorweiss.com
COVID 19 FINANCIAL RELIEF AVAILABLE TO SMALL BUSINESSES
Author: Therese Allison Over the last month businesses and their employees have questioned how they will survive the recent economic downturn. As of April 1, 2020 approximately 85% of the population in the United States is under state or local orders to stay at home, and the majority of states have closed schools and businesses that do not provide life sustaining services in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, some states especially hard hit by COVID-19 have received designations as major disaster areas. While there is no clear time frame when this halt to our economic, educational and social engine will end, the massive toll that these closures will have on businesses and on individual employment is predictable. Fortunately the federal and state governments are taking action to assist businesses and their employees survive in these uncertain. The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program In light of the anticipated and unprecedented toll on the welfare of this country Congress has approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) to provide financial relief to individuals and businesses. Small businesses can benefit from the $349 Billion dollars allocated through the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (the PPP). The program, enacted to help businesses retain their employees and meet their business expense obligations during this economic downturn, provides federally guaranteed low interest SBA loans that do not require collateral or guarantees from the borrower, and that may be forgiven if businesses use loan proceeds for permitted purposes and maintain their payroll through the end of June, 2020. Paycheck Protection Loan Eligibility Requirements The PPP, enacted as part of Title I to the CARES Act, is intended to protect small businesses from interruption due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. PPP loans are available to small businesses that were in operation before February 15, 2020 to assist businesses in maintaining employees on their payroll and paying other businesses expenses incurred during this period of business closures and stay at home orders. PPP loan terms will be two years and with a fixed interest rate of 0.5%, will have no pre-payment penalties Also, loan payments will be deferred for a period of six months from the loan origination date. A business will qualify as a “small business” under the Act if it has fewer than 500 employees (whether those employees are full time, part time or any other employment status); qualifies as a small business under the SBA’s size standards; or operates as a sole proprietor, independent contractor or self-employed business. In addition, the Act applies the 500 employee limitation on a per location basis for businesses in the food services and accommodation sector (any NAICS Code beginning with 72). Amount of Loan and Permitted Use of Proceeds Qualifying small businesses are eligible for loans up to 2.25 times the borrower’s average monthly payroll costs incurred over the twelve month period prior to the loan application, up to a maximum amount of $10 Million, the funds of which may be applied to expenses incurred by the borrower during any time period between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. In calculating payroll costs, any employee whose salary exceeds $100,000 annually, must be capped at that number. The funds from the loan may only be applied to payroll costs, excluding prorated costs of salaries over $100,000 per year for any individual, costs related to the continuation of health care benefits, employee salary and commissions, interest payment on mortgage obligations, rent payments, interest on other debt obligations, and utility payments (the “Permitted Purposes”). Loan Forgiveness Up to 100% of Paycheck Protection loans are eligible for forgiveness where the funds are used for Permitted Purposes. PPP loan forgiveness is contingent upon the borrower maintaining its payroll. If employees are laid off during the period between loan origination and June 30, 2020, the portion of the forgiveness available to the borrower will be reduced by the percentage decrease in the number of employees. Further, if the borrower’s total payroll expense for workers earning less than $100,000 is reduced by more than 25% the forgiveness will be reduced by that same amount. However, if employees previously laid off are rehired by June 30, 2020, full forgiveness may be available to the borrower. Where the loan is used for both Permitted Purposes and other purposes, only the portion of the funds used for Permitted Purposes are eligible for forgiveness. Applying for a PPP Loan It is presently anticipated that applications for PPP loans will be available on April 3, 2020. Applications must be made through an SBA qualified lender. You should contact your regular bank to see if they are accepting such applications. While the final form of application has not been published yet, SBA has published a preliminary form and it is expected that the final form will be very similar, if not identical. Here is a link to that application. This should allow you to prepare the documentation you will need to submit with the application. Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Under the CARES Act As illnesses mount and pressure on society to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus increases, states have begun applying to the federal government for declaration as major disaster areas. Disaster designations, such as the designation declared in Pennsylvania on March 30, 2020, make federal funding available to state and local governments and allow businesses to obtain assistance such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (the “EIDL”). The CARES Act created a new grant program to provide quick relief to businesses under the EIDL program where borrowers can receive up to $10,000 to cover immediate payroll, mortgage, rent and additional expenses. The EIDL grant does not have to be repaid to the SBA. The traditional EIDL loan program, administered by the SBA, provides loan proceeds up to $2 Million to businesses located in federally designated disaster areas that incur economic losses as a result of such disasters. EIDL loans remain available to small businesses, and may be an alternative to PPP loans. These loans are offered at an interest rate of 3.75% with a repayment term of up to 30 years. The proceeds of these loans may be used to pay fixed debt, payroll, accounts payable and other business obligations that a businesses in unable to meet as a result of the impact of the disaster. The current EIDL and PPP regulation guidance is unclear as to whether borrowers will receive a PPP loan if an application for an EIDL loan or grant is pending. In the event that EIDL grants are permitted upon the issuance of a PPP loan the amount of any EIDL grant issued will be deducted from the amount forgiven under the PPP loan. If an EIDL loan is issued prior to a PPP loan, a borrower may be able to refinance the EIDL loan into the PPP loan program. However, small business borrowers should consult with their SBA lender before submitting any loan application. The attorneys at Astor Weiss’ Business Law Practice Group are here to help your company with any questions you may have about federal loan programs to get your business through these difficult times. Anyone with questions about how their business may benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, or any other federal or state business assistance programs should contact one of the attorneys in this group, whose contact information is listed below: David Mandel, Managing Partner Office: (215) 790-0100 Direct: (215) 893-4959 Direct Fax: (215) 400-2255 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Therese Allison, Associate Office: (215) 790-0100 Direct: (215) 893-4971 Direct Fax: (215) 400-2241 Email: email@example.com Stephen Green, Of Counsel Office: (215) 790-0100 Direct: (215) 751-1920 Fax: (215) 790-0509 Email: SGreen@astorweiss.com
Julie Auerbach a presenter at PA Bar Assoc. Winter Meeting
Julie Auerbach was a presenter at the “ART of Baby making in the 21st Century” at the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section Winter Meeting, where she discussed new developments in the law regarding Assisted Reproductive Technology.
2019 Organization CoBI Award Winner – The Jazz Sanctuary
The 2019 Council on Brain Injury Award, sponsored by Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP, is proud to recognize The Jazz Sanctuary as the Organization Winner. Led by Alan Segal, this non-profit has taken on the mission of bringing joy and the lessons of jazz music to the brain injury community. Mr. Segal sustained a brain injury in 2006. Not only did he learn to walk and talk again, he was inspired to give back to the community who helped in his recovery. He created The Jazz Sanctuary, a group of accomplished jazz musicians who regularly perform throughout the area. For the past several years, the Jazz Sanctuary has performed at a variety of brain injury events which include Camp Cranium, ReDiscoverU, the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania’s annual conference and the Council on Brain Injury’s annual golf tournament, David’s Drive. The hope of the Jazz Sanctuary is to bring the joy of music and the message of jazz to the brain injury community.
2019 Individual CoBI Award Winner
The 2019 Council on Brain Injury Award, sponsored by Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP, is proud to recognize Dr. Drew Nagele as the individual winner in recognition of his long history of service to individuals with brain injuries and their families through clinical leadership, advocacy, support, and research. Dr. Nagale Dr. Nagele has been a tireless advocate and supporter of the brain injury community who has promoted access to services and clinical excellence throughout his career. Trained as a neuropsychologist, Dr. Nagele has served as a member of the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors, the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists Board of Governors, co-chairs the National Collaborative on Children’s Brain Injury, and co-chairs the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Pediatric and Adolescent Task Force. He is also a clinical professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and frequently speaks on brain injury prevention and rehabilitation around the world.
AWKM Attorneys Honored with ‘Super Lawyer’ Designation
Here is a list of our attorneys who have been honored with the “Super Lawyer” designation this year: Ron Glazer David Gutin David Mandel Dina Ronsayro Judy Springer David Woloshin David Workman In addition, Jordan Schlossberg received special recognition as a “Rising Star”. Neil Hurowitz was also designated as a “Super Lawyer” but unfortunately, at the present time, due to medical issues, Neil is not practicing. We are proud of the number of honorees our Firm has achieved. We are a small firm and to have so many our attorneys recognized for their professional achievements is a tremendous honor. I think we can all agree that we are proud of all of them as well as all of our attorneys who contribute to the Firm’s continued success!
Judy Springer has been appointed as the co-editor of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Family Law Quarterly.
Judy Springer has been appointed as the co-editor of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Family Law Quarterly. Judy McIntire Springer, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP Judy McIntire Springer has served as a Child Advocates Volunteer Attorney since 2003 and has represented 13 children and youth from 3 families. A partner at Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, Judy’s practice encompasses family law and domestic relations. Judy is a leader in the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section and is active in her firm’s pro bono activities. As a volunteer, Judy is known to build great rapport with the children, their caregivers, and the other professionals on her cases. She demonstrates sensitivity to the various forms of trauma her clients have experienced. This past year, (2018) Judy was named among the “Best Lawyers in America” for Family Law.
Alan H. Molod is the recipient of the seventh annual Pennsylvania Bar Association W. Edward Sell Business Lawyer Award.
By Victoria Hudgins| October 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM Honored Philadelphia lawyer Alan H. Molod is the recipient of the seventh annual Pennsylvania Bar Association W. Edward Sell Business Lawyer Award, which is set to be presented at the2018 Business Law Institute in Philadelphia, Nov. 7-8. Molod is being recognized for his contributions to the practice of business law in Pennsylvania. Molod is of counsel to Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, where he focuses on business transactions. Prior to that, he practiced corporate and LLC law, securities regulation and mergers and acquisitions at Wolf Block for 35 years. A longtime member of the Title 15/business associations committee of the PBA business law section, Molod assisted in drafting the statutes governing the organization and operation of corporations, partnerships, LLCs, LLPs and other business entities, and is the author and editor of the three-volume “Pennsylvania Limited Liability Company Forms and Practice Manual,” for which he prepares annual supplements. He is a contributor to “Pennsylvania Corporate Practice and Forms” and is a contributing editor to McGraw-Hill’s “The Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook.” Source: https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/2018/10/11/people-in-the-news-oct-11-2018-astor-weiss-kaplan-mandel/
Judy Springer Receives “Distinguished Advocate for Children” Award
At Change the Story, an Evening for Child Advocacy, Judy Springer received an award from the Support Center for Child Advocates for being a “Distinguished Advocate for Children.” The event was held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at the Crystal Tea Room. Judy McIntire Springer, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP Volunteer Attorney Judy McIntire Springer has served as a Child Advocates Volunteer Attorney since 2003 and has represented 13 children and youth from 3 families. A partner at Fox Rothschild, Judy’s practice encompasses family law and domestic relations. Judy is a leader in the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section and is active in her firm’s pro bono activities. As a volunteer, Judy is known to build great rapport with the children, their caregivers, and the other professionals on her cases. She demonstrates sensitivity to the various forms of trauma her clients have experienced. This past year, Judy was named among the “Best Lawyers in America” for Family Law.
Gutin becomes President of Jewish Senior Services
David Gutin recently was installed as President of Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare Services, Inc., the agency that oversees the Lions Gate CCRC in Voorhees, NJ as well as three government subsidized low income senior housing buildings in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Schlossberg chosen to serve as Judge Pro Tem
Jordan Schlossberg has been selected by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to serve as a Judge Pro Tem. Congratulations Jordan!
Pennsylvania Super Lawyers recognizes 10 Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP attorneys from the Philadelphia office.
Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is pleased to announce that 10 attorneys from the firm’s Philadelphia office were recently selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters. The complete list of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel attorneys recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars and the categories for which they were honored follows below. Ronald B. Glazer – Real Estate David Gutin – Family Law Neil Hurowitz – Family Law Daniel R. Levine – Estate Planning and Probate (Rising Star) David S. Mandel – Real Estate Dina Ronsayro – Family Law Jordan S. Schlossberg – Personal Injury General: Plaintiff (Rising Star) Barbara Silver – Family Law David L. Woloshin – Personal Injury General: Plaintiff David S. Workman – Estate Planning and Probate
AWKM Named General Counsel for The Women’s Film Festival
Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is proud to have been named general counsel for The Women’s Film Festival. This year’s event was held March 16th – 19th at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, Perelman Theater. “There’s a need for a festival that affords women of any background the chance to be showcased in a truly empowering light.” In 2014, two strangers chatted about film in the bathroom of a West Philly restaurant. Phuong Nguyen, a veteran of the Asian American Film Festival, and Layne Marie Williams, a University of the Arts grad, exchanged business cards and went their separate ways. The rest, as they say, is history. Over the course of the following months, Nguyen and Williams constructed a powerhouse team of pioneering women and front-footed male allies. Thus, the Women’s Film Project was born. We aim to create artistic platforms for the presentation of work by and about women, our marquee event being the annual Women’s Film Festival in Philadelphia, PA. The festival draws audience members from all over the region, as well as filmmakers, poets, activists, inventors, actors, designers, and artists of every discipline who embrace the power of female expression. The Women’s Film Project encourages and supports women of all backgrounds to embrace leading roles in front of and behind the camera.
Presentation by Schorr
On February 2, Gerald Schorr gave a presentation to the Nicholas A. Cipriani Inn of Courts on the implications of the recently enacted amendment to section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code. Jerry’s talk focused on how the reduction in the waiting period for living separate and apart for establishing grounds for divorce from two years to one could affect pre-divorce spousal support, pre-divorce health insurance coverage and, in general, how the amendment potentially favors financially independent spouses and works to the disadvantage of financially dependent spouses.
Changes affecting Commercial Powers of Attorney in Pennsylvania
On October 4, 2016, Governor Wolf signed into law House Bill 665 (Act 103 of 2016) which clarified certain sections of the Pennsylvania power of attorney law that went in effect on January 2, 2015 (Act 95 of 2014). The changes were aimed at correcting issues with commercial powers of attorney. All changes in Act 103 took effect on October 4, 2016 and apply retroactively to January 2, 2015 (i.e., the effective date of Act 95). 1. Commercial Powers of Attorney are not Subject to the Notarization or Acknowledgement Requirement Under Act 95, all powers of attorney executed after January 1, 2015 had to be witnessed by two individuals and be notarized or acknowledged. While commercial powers of attorney were not required to obtain two witnesses, they were subject to the notarization or acknowledgement requirement. The notarization/acknowledgement requirement was a cumbersome requirement in the commercial setting. Act 103 now excludes commercial powers of attorney from the notarization or acknowledgement requirement (unless the document is being recorded). 2. Agent Duties not Applicable to Commercial Powers of Attorney Act 95 made agents of all powers of attorney subject to certain duties. One of those duties required the agent to act in the best interest of the principal. This requirement was difficult for agents under commercial powers of attorney where the agent was authorized to enforce a security agreement or execute a confession of judgment against the principal, particularly in a loan or lease situation. In order to comply with the law, banks and attorneys inserted lengthy waiver language into the documents. Act 103 now exempts agents under commercial powers of attorney from the standard agent duties. 3. Expanded Definition of Commercial Powers of Attorney Under Act 95, the only powers of attorney for entities (i.e., corporations, LLCs, partnerships, etc.) that were exempt from certain statutory requirements were powers of attorney that were “contained in the governing documents” of an entity or powers of attorney in a voting proxy. This definition was limiting and not in-line with other states. Act 103 expands the definition of commercial powers of attorney that are exempt from the statutory requirements to also include any power of attorney that is “authorized by the law that governs the internal affairs of a legal entity” or “which a director, shareholder, partner, member or manager authorizes others to do things on behalf of the entity.” 4. Attorneys may Acknowledge Powers of Attorney Under Act 95 it was not clear if an attorney could acknowledge a power of attorney. Act 103 confirms that an attorney may acknowledge the execution of a power of attorney provided the attorney was not a witness to the power of attorney and such acknowledgement was in a manner that is authorized by law. Conclusion The changes in Act 103 correct the issues that Act 95 created for powers of attorney used in commercial transactions and provide some much needed clarity for attorneys and commercial institutions. If you have questions or would like additional information regarding the impact of Act 103 on commercial powers of attorney, please contact David Workman, David Mandel or Daniel Levine.
How and Why we practice law
As the only attorney who sits on the Board of Directors of the Brain Association of Pennsylvania (BIAPA), I get a lot of referrals from both attorneys and medical professionals who treat patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s). Most of the cases that make it to my desk involve individuals and their families who have suffered great losses because of the catastrophic nature of the injury. With many of the “cases” it is difficult to assess what actually happened or how the injury occurred. I write about a case involving an 18 year old female who sustained a profound and permanent TBI because of a car crash. The case was referred to me by a rehabilitation nurse who was assigned to Jill’s care. Jill’s parents were at a loss thinking about Jill’s future, especially on how to pay the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars for Jill’s future care and treatment. Jill was driving her car at the time of the crash. It was, by all accounts, a one-car crash. Jill was on a winding road in upstate Pennsylvania. From the police accident report, it looked like Jill lost control of the car and careened off of an embankment, flipping several times before finally hitting a tree….it sounded like a scene out of a movie. It was roughly a month after the crash and after Jill was admitted to a very well-known brain injury facility in Philadelphia before her parents consider exploring legal action or even speaking with a lawyer. They spoke to their family lawyer who advised them that there was no other vehicle so it appeared to be no case. The family lawyer nevertheless referred Jill’s parents to a lawyer who deals specifically with personal injury cases. This lawyer also echoed what the family lawyer said and advised that there was no case. Frustrated, Jill’s parents sought the counsel of two other personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia who also advised there was no case. They were rejected by four lawyers because the case, if any, was not clear cut. So why is Astor Weiss different? When the situation was brought to our attention by the rehab nurse and after she explained the rejection and frustration that Jill’s parents experienced we agreed to investigate the crash in a more advanced manner….we began thinking out of the box. Clearly there wasn’t another vehicle to pursue which was apparently the thought process of the other four lawyers who reviewed and rejected the case. Jill had no recollection of what happened, which is not uncommon for individuals who sustained a TBI. We had our work cut out for us. We elected to make the investment, both in time and money. We weren’t sure what, if anything we would find. We did exhaustive research, we dispatched private investigators to speak with the investigating police officers, surveyed the scene and investigated other prior crashes on this section of the roadway, we hired an accident reconstructionist and put together forensic evidence to help us assemble a working theory of the crash, we obtained possession of Jill’s vehicle and then had it examined for its crashworthiness, we had the tires and brakes examined and tested by experts. Four other lawyers before us did not do any of this. While doing our investigating, we closely monitored Jill’s physical and mental condition, visiting her in the hospital and when she was discharged making frequent visits to her home to keep her and her parents closely apprised of what we were doing. The case was settled shortly before the trial for enough money to give the family some sense of ease that Jill would be financially cared for the rest of her life. Jill is showing slight signs of improvement but will nevertheless endure a lifetime of suffering which Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel made just a little bit more bearable. This is how and why we practice law. David Woloshin Chairman, Personal Injury and Litigation Department Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel
Chris Yaracs presents at Philadelphia Bar Conference
Chris Yaracs moderated a continuing legal education seminar at the Philadelphia Bar Association’s annual Bench-Bar Conference. Chris’ seminar, titled Drafting to Avoid Litigation and What to Do When it Happens, discussed some of the most common legal issues faced by small businesses and start-ups, and suggested methods lawyers can use to help these clients avoid damaging and expensive litigation. Chris organized the seminar on behalf of the bar association’s Young Lawyers Division and collaborated with other young practitioners to design the seminar’s content which was presented to a group of lawyers and judges.
Council on Brain Injury Announce the 10th Annual CoBI Award Celebration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 20, 2016. Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP and the Council on Brain Injury Announce the 10th Annual CoBI Award Celebration to Honor Olympic Soccer Goalie Briana Scurry and Congressman Bill Pascrell and his Congressional Staff and Team Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is pleased to present the 2016 Council on Brain Injury Individual and Community Organization Awards at the 10th annual CoBI Award Celebration and Dinner on September 27, 2016 at Penn Oaks Golf Club following the David’s Drive Golf Tournament. Briana Scurry, Olympian, Gold Medalist, World Cup Champion will receive the Individual Award and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. and his Congressional Staff and Team will be honored with the Community Organization Award. Briana Scurry is widely recognized as one of the world’s most talented and influential goalkeepers. Her 173 international appearances as one of the first African-American professional female soccer players helped significantly diversify the sport. Named starting goalkeeper for the United States Women’s National Team in 1994, she led the team on an illustrious run that included two Olympic gold medals. In the 1999 FIFA World Cup Championship – which represented one of the most seminal events in American athletic history – Briana made the iconic shootout save that carried the United States to victory. Briana pioneered the first paid professional women’s soccer league as a founding player in 2001. As captain of the Atlanta Beat, she competed in two WUSA Championships. In 2010, Briana suffered a debilitating concussion that led to her retirement. Since then, Briana has repurposed her visibility to become one of the nation’s foremost thought leaders on traumatic brain injuries. Through her immeasurable impact on the landscape of women’s soccer and American sports culture, Briana received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Sam Lacy Award, inclusion in the United States Women’s National Team’s All-Time Best XI, and a permanent feature as the Title IX exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. As one of the first African American and openly LGBT professional female soccer players, Briana Scurry has championed diversity and equality throughout her legendary career. The epitome of a team player with a palpable love of the game, Briana draws on her resiliency to advocate for equality, traumatic brain injury awareness, and the development of women’s soccer. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. founded the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force (CBITF) in 2001 to further provide education and awareness of brain injury (incidence, prevalence, prevention and treatment) and support funding for basic and applied research on brain injury rehabilitation and development of a cure. Injuries that cause brain injuries could be caused by anything from being a car accident or injury at work. If you or your loved ones find themselves in a situation that results in brain injuries, you may want to seek help from a law firm similar to Valiente Mott to help you get compensation. Since then, Congressman Pascrell and his Congressional Staff and Team have been raising awareness of traumatic brain injury dangers and treatments. The Task Force is bipartisan and made up of over 100 members of Congress. Once a year, the CBITF sponsors a day-long event to promote brain injury awareness on Capitol Hill which includes a fair, a briefing and a reception. The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators joins other key stakeholders in supporting this event so that brain injury advocates have an opportunity to learn about cutting edge issues with regard to research, prevention and practice. The awards will be presented on September 27, 2014 at the Council on Brain Injury’s annual award dinner at Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, PA. The dinner immediately follows CoBI’s golf fundraising event, David’s Drive.
Jury Awards $3.1 M in Fatal Motorcycle Crash
By Lizzy Mclellan, The Legal Intelligencer February 12, 2016 A Philadelphia jury has handed up an award of $3.1 million in wrongful death and survival act damages to the estate of a motorcycle driver who died after a 2013 collision. After a five-day trial, an eight-member jury in Partlow v. Gray found defendant Kahlile Gray negligently caused the death of Calvin M. Wilson Jr., 27. It awarded $1.85 million in survival act damages and $1.25 million in wrongful death damages to his estate. Thanks to the settlements that the family of Mr Wilson Jr have been given, it will go a long way in being able to help his family survive without him. Many other families have been in a similar situation to this and it is important for them to know that, even though it can’t bring your family members back, there is help on hand to be able to give you what you deserve. Those in need of legal services in wrongful death cases in Los Angeles could seek a wrongful death lawyer like West Coast Trial Lawyers. “The verdict was a fair verdict and it was a verdict that American Independent Insurance Co. should have anticipated two and a half years ago,” David L. Woloshin of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel said. Woloshin tried the case with Dina Ronsayro and Jordan Schlossberg of the same firm. Woloshin said they plan to file a bad faith claim against American Independent Insurance Co., Gray’s insurer, for not settling the case earlier. According to the plaintiff’s pre-trial memorandum, Wilson was driving his motorcycle straight through a green light on Belmont Avenue in Philadelphia on April 4, 2013, when Gray made a left turn against traffic and struck Wilson. The collision threw Wilson from his motorcycle, the memo said. He was transported to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, and pronounced dead shortly afterward. According to the plaintiff’s memo, Gray had open alcoholic beverage containers in his sport utility vehicle, and he was found to have a blood alcohol level above the legal limit when the crash occurred. Details such as this are why it is important to hire respectable injury attorneys to handle the case. The defense alleged that Wilson was driving his motorcycle aggressively before the crash. Gray’s attorneys alleged that Wilson was negligent and contributed to the cause of the accident, but the jury disagreed, finding Gray was 100 percent negligent. Daniel T. Lewbart and Kevin R. McNulty of Gerolamo, McNulty, Divis & Lewbart represented Gray. Lewbart did not return a call seeking comment. Those involved in motorcycle accidents who sustain injuries in New Mexico may wish to enlist the help of someone like the personal injury lawyers in Alburquerque from the law firm of Parnall Law.
Ronald Glazer Listed in the 2016 Greater Philadelphia Best Lawyers Survey Results for Real Estate Law
Ronald B. Glazer practices real estate law, and has won numerous awards and been recognized by his peers for his dedication to his clients and success in the legal field. PRESS RELEASE Philadelphia, PA – December 2015 – Ronald Glazer, real estate attorney with Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP, was listed in survey results as a 2016 Greater Philadelphia Best Lawyer. This latest recognition, which appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The News Journal, and The Wall Street Journal, is just one of the many awards Mr. Glazer has received throughout his career. Other awards include: More than 30 years of inclusion in Best Lawyers of America Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Whose Who in America, American Law, and Real Estate Chambers USA Ronald B Glazer is of counsel to Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP as a firm, and is a member of the real estate, business, and financing groups. Concentrating his areas of practice to development and investment in real estate, he has published several articles within his field, chaired multiple discussion panels, and lectured for multiple organizations. The aforementioned experience has earned him the reputation as a national authority in his legal fields of practice. Mr. Ronald Glazer is just one of the many talented and dedicated attorneys at Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP. In addition to real estate law, they also provide services in the areas of: Banking Commercial litigation and corporate law Estate planning and administration Family law and personal injury About Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP: Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP, founded in 1954, takes great pride in providing timely and cost effective legal services to their community, both for businesses and individuals. This includes a strong commitment to public service, civic, charitable, and cultural organizations. The lawyers at Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP believe, “The strength of the firm has always been its talented, dedicated, and experienced attorneys who will assure that this tradition endures.” Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP is a Philadelphia law firm with some of the best attorneys in the United States. For more information, please visit: https://astorweisskapl.wpengine.com/ or call one of our family lawyers in Philadelphia at 215-790-0100.
David Woloshin: Motor Vehicle Settlement Reported As Largest in Philadelphia for 2014
Philadelphia, PA – September 8, 2015 – Each year, the American Law Media reports the top verdicts and settlements for that year. In 2014, it was reported that one of the motor vehicle cases handled by David Woloshin, the Chairman of the Litigation and Personal Injury Department at Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, was the largest in Philadelphia. (more…)
David Woloshin, Joins Brain Injury Counsel Board
Philadelphia, PA – September 18, 2015 – Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is pleased to announce that the Chairman of its Litigation and Personal Injury Department, David L. Woloshin, has been selected to join the Board of Directors of the Counsel on Brain Injury (CoBI). CoBI is an affiliated organization with ReMed, a neurological rehabilitation and supported living service primarily for individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injury. CoBI’s Board of Directors along with its community partners are developing long-range plans, which specifically focuses on initiatives that are aimed at the prevention of brain injury as well as improving life at home and in the community at large for individuals affected by brain injury and their families. (more…)
Neil Hurowitz Named One of the Best Lawyers in America
Philadelphia, PA – A competent matrimonial lawyer thinks on his feet and is resourceful, while at the same time is sensitive to the needs of his clients. Each year, the Best Lawyers in America uses an exhaustive peer-review process to select a few lawyers to receive the title of “Best Lawyer.” This year Neil Hurowitz was again named as one of the best family law lawyers in America. Neil has won this award every year since the inception of the Best Lawyers publication in 1983. (more…)
Ronald B. Glazer Recognized by His Peers as One of the Best Real Estate Attorneys in America
Philadelphia, PA – Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is proud to announce that real estate attorney, Ronald B. Glazer has been included in the 22nd edition of Best Lawyers in America. Not only has Ron won this award this year, but he has also been included in the publication for over 30 years! In addition to this prestigious title, Ron has also won multiple other awards including: (more…)
Julie A. Auerbach, Esquire, speaks at the PICPA Divorce Conference
Philadelphia, PA – Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is excited to announce that our family law lawyer, Julie Auerbach will be discussing divorce planning tactics at the PICPA Divorce Conference on October 26th, 2015 which is being held in King of Prussia, PA. In addition to her participation in the upcoming PICPA Divorce Conference, Julie Auerbach has written many articles and frequently lectured on a variety of family law related topics. (more…)
Alan Molod serves on faculty of PBI – PA Association Transactions Act
Philadelphia, PA-based law firm, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP recently announced that one of their leading team members, Alan Molod, served on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s CLE program on the new Pennsylvania Association Transactions Act and its new Entity Transactions Law. The program, which was held in Philadelphia on May 11, brought together business attorneys from across the legal field to discuss the impact that the new law will have on future business transactions. (more…)
Alan Molod Honored at Annual Vision and Values Celebration of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – June 25, 2015 – On June 2, 2015, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP’s Philadelphia lawyer Alan Molod was honored at the annual Vision and Values Celebration of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, which this year honored the agency’s past presidents. (more…)
Ronald Glazer and Neil Hurowitz, Family Lawyers in Philadelphia of Astor, Weiss, Kaplan & Mandel LLP, Recognized as Best Lawyers in America
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – June 25, 2015 – Ronald Glazer and Neil Hurowitz, both Family Lawyers in Philadelphia of Astor, Weiss, Kaplan & Mandel, LLP, were recently included in the list of “The Best Lawyers in America”. While Neil Hurowitz has been named every year since 1983, Ronald Glazer has made his way on the list. Mr. Hurowitz has been cited in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers every years since its inception and cited as one of the Pennsylvania’s 100 Top Lawyers. (more…)
Jordan Schlossberg and Daniel Levine selected by Super Lawyers as 2015 Pennsylvania Rising Stars
Philadelphia, PA- Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is proud to announce that Jordan Schlossberg, an associate in the Personal Injury practice group, and Daniel Levine, an associate in the Wills, Trusts and Estates practice group, have been named ‘Rising Stars’ by Super Lawyers. To be eligible for this prestigious distinction, a lawyer must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice 10 years or less. Super Lawyers evaluates nominees using a patented process evaluating 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. No more that 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Pennsylvania are named ‘Rising Stars’. (more…)
Ronald Glazer Ranked in Chambers, USA
Philadelphia real estate lawyer, Ronald Glazer of Astor Weiss, Kaplan & Mandel has been ranked within the Chambers, USA listings. Chambers, USA ranks the world’s best lawyers and law firms. Their team of 150 researchers has recently highlighted the work of Ronald Glazer in bringing success to clients across the marketplace. This recent commendation for his work follows Ronald Glazer’s placement in the Best Lawyers in America list, in which he has now been included for the past 35 years. (more…)
AWKM lawyers Rebuild with the Jewish Federation and Habitat for Humanity
Philadelphia, PA – On March 22, 2015, Jordan Schlossberg, and Daniel Levine, attended Ren Rebuild Day to volunteer alongside Habitat for Humanity and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Renaissance Group. This annual event is organized to weatherize and repair homes for elderly homeowners in need who are located in the Rhawnhurst Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (“NORC”). (more…)
AWKM Recognized for Pro Bono Services by Philadelphia VIP
Philadelphia, PA – Every year Philadelphia VIP, an organization that advocates equal legal justice for lower income clients, honors law firms and lawyers who have volunteered to offer pro bono work. For their altruism, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP was recognized as a 2014 Awards Night Small Firm Finalist. (more…)
Julie Auerbach Discusses Divorce Issues at Women’s Resource Center Event – Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP Family Lawyers
Wayne, PA – On Thursday March 26, 2015, Julie Auerbach, along with other keynote speakers, spoke at an informational event through the Women’s Resource Center for women going through a divorce. The presentation provided women with information on the divorce process, what to look for when hiring a lawyer and what the legal process can and cannot do for them. From key financial planning considerations to court room proceedings, many divorce, support and custody related topics were presented. (more…)
Julie Auerbach Appears on America Law Journal’s High Tech: Raising the Kids with Today’s Thorny Custody Issues
Philadelphia, PA – On March 23, 2015, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP’s Julie Auerbach joined other guest family law attorneys and panelists on the CNN-News affiliate WFMZ-TV “The American Law Journal.” The topic of discussion, entitled: “High Tech: Raising the Kids with Today’s Thorny Custody Issues,” explored the many new challenges children of divorce face in today’s age that they never had to face before. (more…)
David Gutin – Chairman for Mid-Atlantic District of the USCJ
Philadelphia, PA – On January 1st, 2015, David Gutin, a partner at Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP, became the chairman for the Mid-Atlantic District of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ). USCJ is the umbrella organization for over 600 congregations of Conservative Judaism in North America. The Mid-Atlantic District comprises over 100 congregations across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. As Chairman for the USCJ Mid-Atlantic District, David Gutin serves on the USCJ’s Board of Directors. Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP’s David Gutin specializes in many facets of family law including divorce, child custody, support, adoption and prenuptial agreements. He is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Gutin won the Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Community Service Award in 1982, the Philadelphia Federation’s Young Leadership Award in 1977, and was a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer from 2005 to 2015. When looking for reliable and experienced law firms, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is one of the most trusted choices with attorneys who serve the greater Philadelphia area. Many of the attorneys belong to multiple organizations, have received multiple awards, and are licensed in multiple locations. To learn more about David Gutin and his qualifications or about his work with the USCJ, contact Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP by visiting their website at https://astorweisskapl.wpengine.com. About Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP Founded by Paul C. Astor in 1954, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is dedicated to serving clients and offering legal services in Philadelphia and in the neighboring areas of Wayne and Montgomery County. From the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, some of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP’s lawyers have gone on to become members of these esteemed judicial and legislative branches. Moreover, not only does the firm guarantee talent and experience from all of their lawyers, Philadelphia’s Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is also strongly committed to charitable, civic and cultural organizations. Serving clients with various legal needs and doing so in multiple locations for client convenience is important to us. As one of the leading law firms, Wayne, Philadelphia, and BalaCynwyd offices are located in Pennsylvania and the firm also has an office in Haddonfield, New Jersey. To learn more about the attorneys, visit: https://astorweisskapl.wpengine.com/attorneys.
AWKM Celebrates 60th Anniversary
Philadelphia, PA – At the end of 2014, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP celebrated its 60th anniversary. Since its founding, the firm’s lawyers have provided legal services to many clients in the greater Philadelphia area and Southern New Jersey. Founded in 1954 by Paul C. Astor, over the course of these 60 years AWKM has been providing a broad spectrum of legal services to individuals, non-profit organizations and private as well as public companies, including family law, corporate law, commercial and estate litigation, personal injury, real estate, shopping center/retail development, and estate planning and tax needs. There are many reasons that clients keep coming back to Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP. Many of the firm’s lawyers have been recognized in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Pennsylvania Rising Stars, Who=s Who in America and Main Line Today for their outstanding skills. The firm has an ethic of community involvement and public service, reflected in our attorneys’ memberships and active participation in such organizations as the Spruce Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Brain Injury Association of PA, Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, the Anti-Defamation League, Philadelphia Bar Association, Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project and Mission Kids.Many of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP’s former lawyers went on to become members of the judicial and legislative branches of both state and federal government. To find out more information about Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP lawyers, Philadelphia area and South Jersey residents are encouraged to visit their website at https://astorweisskapl.wpengine.com. About Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is a law firm founded by Paul C. Astor in 1954, dedicated to serving clients in the city of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley, including Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks and Chester Counties. The firm also offers services in the neighboring areas in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Moreover, not only does the firm guarantee talent and experience from all of their lawyers, Philadelphia=s Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is also strongly committed to charitable, civic and cultural organizations. To learn more about the firm or to schedule a consultation with one of the experienced attorneys, call 215-790-0100.
Sara Slocum and Julie Auerbach volunteer at Women’s Resource Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – February 4, 2015,Wayne family lawyer, Sara Slocum (formerly Sara McGeever), of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP law firm volunteered at the Women’s Resource Center in Wayne, Delaware County, Pennsylvania during their Legal Night. Legal Night is offered in Wayne three times per month. Julie Auerbach is also a frequent Legal Night volunteer throughout the year. The Women’s Resource Center offers various low cost, confidential legal consultations to women that are in need of advice on family related issues. Lawyers like Sara Slocum and Julie Auerbach volunteer their services during Legal Night and provide free legal advice to women that were in need of Wayne family lawyers, but who could not afford to pay usual rates for legal services. These consultations cost only $10 to the client. More information on the Women’s Resource Center can be found here: http://womensresourcecenter.net/programs/legal-services/ For many women in Wayne, legal consultation on family law matters can be a costly undertaking.During difficult times, this cost can render many without legal support. Sara Slocum and Julie Auerbach are committed to providing volunteer services representing the compassion and support that Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP has for women in Delaware County and their commitment to ensuring that women in need are not without legal consultations. In addition to volunteering for Legal Night, Julie Auerbach is part of the Attorney Affiliate Program of the Women’s Resource Center.Attorney Affiliates are trusted and pre-screened attorneys that provide initial consultations at a reduced rate of $50. Delaware County residents in need of family law consultations should visit the Women’s Resource Center located in Wayne or the organization’s website for more information. About Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP For the last 60 years, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP has been providing their passionate legal services to residents of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. Sara Slocum and Julie Auerbach’s services at the Women’s Resource Center are an example of their commitment to service their community and ensure that residents of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties have access to proper legal services regardless of their income or present situation. For more information about Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP and their services please call 215-790-0100 or visit https://astorweisskapl.wpengine.com/.
Neil Hurowitz Selected as One of the Best Lawyers in Family Law
Philadelphia, PA – This year Neil Hurowitz, an attorney from Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP has been listed in the Philadelphia Inquirer as one of the Best Lawyers in family law. Although this is a coveted title by many lawyers, this is not Mr. Hurowitz’s first time receiving this honor. He has been recognized in the Best Lawyers in America every year since its inception in 1983 and as one of Philadelphia’s Best Lawyers from 2009-2015. According to Best Lawyers, they function in order to produce, “lists in over 65 countries to help lawyers and clients connect worldwide.” Through a 5-fold process that involves nomination, peer review, analysis of feedback, an eligibility check, and a final release of the results, those chosen Best Lawyers are only the most highly qualified and professional lawyers in their respective areas. In addition to the above, Mr. Hurowitz has also been included in “Top 100 Super Lawyers of Pennsylvania” and “Top 100 Philadelphia Super Lawyers”. Mr. Hurowitz was presented the annual Eric Turner Memorial Award in recognition of his contribution to Pennsylvania Family Law and the education of attorneys practicing Family Law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association on July 13, 2013 Mr. Hurowitz is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and past President of the Pennsylvania Chapter. He has written seven books and numerous articles for lawyers and the lay public. Mr. Hurowitz has maintained an AV Preeminent® Peer Review rating by Martindale-Hubbell® for over 25 years. Many of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP’s lawyers have been listed as Super Lawyers and received countless other awards for their top notch expertise. Visit the Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP website at https://astorweisskapl.wpengine.com to learn more. About Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is a law firm founded by Paul C. Astor in 1954, dedicated to serving clients in Philadelphia, also offering services in the neighboring areas of Wayne and in Montgomery County. Many of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP’s lawyers in Philadelphia have gone on to become members of judicial and legislative branches. Over the years, the firm has seen one former partner go on to become the first woman to be elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court while yet another became judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Moreover, not only does the firm guarantee talent and experience from all of their family lawyers, Philadelphia’s Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP is also strongly committed to charitable, civic and cultural organizations.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia Astor, Weiss, Kaplan & Mandel Help Clients in Bus Crash Case Settle for $5.7 Million
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – December 23, 2014 – Philadelphia-based law firm Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel made significant progress in their Hill v BBC Liberty bus crash case, where a dozen bus passengers received a $4.3 million settlement against multiple defendants. This is in addition to the settlement of $1.4 million that was resolved approximately one year ago with two additional defendants, exemplifying the skills of their personal injury in Philadelphia. (more…)
Daniel Levine of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP Selected to Sit on Renaissance Group's Board of Directors
Philadelphia, PA – Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP, continues to have a commitment to public service in the greater Philadelphia area and is proud to announce that Daniel R. Levine, an associate in the Wills, Trusts, Estates and Taxes practice group, has been selected to sit on the Board of the Renaissance Group of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. The Renaissance Group is an affinity group of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. It is comprised of dedicated and passionate Jewish men and women, among the ages of 22-45, who seek to make a difference in their community. As a Co-chair of the Mitzvah Programs with Leah Howard, Daniel will be working hand-in-hand to plan and organize volunteer programs that give back to the less fortunate. Each event affords members the opportunity to inspire real change by helping those in need in Jewish communities across Philadelphia. Volunteers who attend organized events provide a wide range of public services including (but not limited to): working with children; helping elderly individuals live independently and with dignity; repairing and weatherizing the homes of low-income seniors; providing food to those individuals and families in need in the Northeast region of the city; and fundraising or supporting the Jewish community in a myriad of other ways. If you, or any of your friends, family members, or associates, are interested in volunteer opportunities and wish to know more about events and programs created by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Renaissance Group please visit their website at: www.jewishphilly.org/ren About Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP was founded by Paul C. Astor in 1954. The firm provides legal services, in a diverse range of practice areas, for clients across Philadelphia and in the neighboring areas of Wayne and Montgomery County. With over 60 years of collective experience, the attorneys at Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP work diligently to solve clients’ legal issues with the utmost care and efficiency. If you require am estate attorney, real estate attorney, divorce attorney, family law attorney, or a law expert in another area of practice, call and schedule your personalized consultation with us at 215-790-0100 or visit: https://astorweisskapl.wpengine.com/.
Ronald Glazer Named to the List of Best Lawyers in America
Philadelphia, PA – This year, Ronald B. Glazer, an attorney from Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP, was selected by his peers to be included in the 21st Edition of Best Lawyers in America for real estate law. Although this is a great honor, it was almost expected that Ronald Glazer would receive the title this year. Ronald Glazer has been aiding clients with superior legal services in the areas of real estate and real estate finance as evidenced by the fact that he has been listed as Best Lawyer for over 30 years. According to the Best Lawyers website, “The Best Lawyers Board of Advisors includes legal luminaries from almost every single major world economy as well as general counsel from global companies with business on every continent. This very distinguished group of professionals contributes to our knowledge of an ever-changing legal marketplace to ensure that all of our initiatives are responsive to both the concerns of the legal profession and the needs of the clients.” As a dedicated real estate attorney, Philadelphia’s Ronald B. Glazer has worked hard to achieve his success as one of the highlighted individuals in the one of the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed publications in the legal industry time and time again. The process to becoming named one of the Best Lawyers in America is five-fold and begins with nomination from their peers. Next, currently listed lawyers offer peer review on the nominated lawyer’s work. Once the analysis of this feedback is calculated, the Best Lawyers publication checks to ensure the lawyer is in good standing with their Bar Association. Finally, the results are released and selected lawyers are sent a congratulatory email outlining their success. To learn more about The Best Lawyers of America visit their online website at https://www.bestlawyers.com. To learn more about the lawyers at Astor Weiss and their growing list of accomplishments visit their website at https://astorweisskapl.wpengine.com/. About Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP, is a law firm founded by Paul C. Astor in 1954, dedicated to serving clients in Philadelphia, also offering services in the neighbouring areas of Wayne and Montgomery County. Many of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP’s lawyers in Philadelphia have gone on to become members of judicial and legislative branches. Madam Justice Sandra Schultz Newman was the first woman to be elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the Honourable Berle M. Schiller now sits as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Moreover, not only does the firm guarantee talent and experience from each real estate attorney, Philadelphia’s Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP is also strongly committed to charitable, civic, and cultural organizations.
Family lawyers Astor, Weiss, Kaplan & Mandel Enabling Amicable Divorce Resolutions
Philadelphia-based experts on Pennsylvania and New Jersey family law, Astor, Weiss, Kaplan & Mandel are helping clients in Philadelphia and all surrounding counties protect their rights in divorce cases while assuring swift resolution of no fault divorce complaints. As leading family lawyers in Philadelphia, the firm has the requisite expertise to help clients handle complex issues while empowering expert-level responses to requests from their spouse’s attorneys. It is the level of legal expertise all divorcees require to ensure the rights and assets of client’s are protected during each case. Those seeking family law services in Canada may want to contact lawyers at diamondlaw.ca. (more…)
Mark Mullineaux Wins Jury Verdict In Copyright Case
Mark Mullineaux, Esquire of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP continues to actively litigate Intellectual Property Cases involving patents, trademarks and copyrights. In December of 2013 Mr. Mullineaux obtained a jury verdict of copyright infringement in favor of his client, the Plaintiff, in a case before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The jury found that the Defendants committed “willful infringement” of Plaintiff’s copyright. The Plaintiff has a copyright in photographs used on Defendant Philly Pretzel Factory’s massive advertising campaign in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware of more than 50 billboards, on a website, on SEPTA buses, and in stores. The jury awarded Plaintiff monetary damage to compensate him for Philly Pretzel Factory’s use of the photographs taken by him. (more…)
Ronald B. Glazer, of Astor Weiss Kaplan and Mandel LLP, Continues to Grow a Reputation as One of the Best Lawyers in America
It is difficult enough to earn the title of being one of the best lawyers in Philadelphia. It is even harder to maintain that title for several years. Ronald B. Glazer, an extraordinarily talented and dedicated lawyer, practicing real estate and real estate finance law at Astor Weiss Kaplan and Mandel LLP, managed to do all of these things and more. Ronald B. Glazer has recently been honored by being listed in “The Best Lawyers in America.” Moreover, this is not the first time Ronald Glazer has achieved this feat; he has been listed as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” for over 30 years! (more…)
AWKM Recognizes its Super Lawyers
Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP, a prestigious law firm, announced today that several of their lawyers in Philadelphia have been honored as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. Super Lawyer winners are talented individuals that possess a high-level of peer recognition and professional achievement. According to the Super Lawyers website, “Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a patented multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis.” Once a lawyer is nominated by one of his or her peers, the Super Lawyers selection process is performed for the purpose of creating a clear and diverse resource listing of talented lawyers within each state. Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP’s Super Lawyers this year include: Ronald B. Glazer; David Gutin; Neil Hurowitz David S. Mandel; Dina S. Ronsayro; Barbara Oak Silver; David L. Woloshin; and David S. Workman. In addition to the Supper Lawyers, Jordan Schlossberg was recognized as a Rising Star. Like the Super Lawyers selections process, the Rising Star selection process uses the same patented multiphase process. However, in addition to the Super Lawyers criteria, the eligible candidates for the Rising Star list must also be 40 years old or younger or in legal practice for 10 years or less. Additionally, while only 5% of all lawyers in a state are named to Super Lawyers, only 2.5% are named Rising Stars. About Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP, is a law firm founded by Paul C. Astor in 1954, dedicated to serving clients in various legal areas. Many of Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP’s lawyers in Philadelphia have gone on to become members of judicial and legislative branches. Furthermore, Madam Justice Sandra Schultz Newman was the first woman to be elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the Honourable Berle M. Schiller now sits as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, not only does the firm guarantee talent and experience from each one of their lawyers in Philadelphia, they are also strongly committed to charitable, civic, and cultural organizations.
Trusted Family Lawyers at Astor Weiss Kaplan and Mandel, LLP Helping Clients Resolve Difficult Divorce Challenges
Divorces can occur for a number of reasons. It could be a mutual decision with both parties realizing that it just wasn’t working anymore or something could have happened that triggered one person in the relationship to split. Usually, this major event that breaks up the relationship is infidelity with the person who was cheated on realizing they just can’t trust their partner anymore. These types of divorces are always more challenging because it’s such a sensitive topic. Evidence that proves adultery took place can come in the form of cheating text messages or even dna testing Gulfport MS on the children. Of course, dealing with such a complex topic that involves matters like child custody, property rights, and pensions usually requires legal assistance. Philadelphia, PA-based law firm Astor Weiss Kaplan and Mandel, LLP is now offering the benefit of their 150 years’ combined family law experience to provide clients formidable legal counsel in challenging divorce cases. The firm’s family lawyers have the legal experience, the comforting expert understanding and the compassion to help clients achieve their case objectives and ensure their family is protected for the long-term. One of the worries that people experience in divorce cases is the fear that their inexperience with the law could leave them with no access to their children and with little financial support to move forward with their lives. This is why in another state, people speak to a family law attorney in jacksonville fl to get help in this kind of event, as such cases are tremendously difficult for all parties involved. And it is for this reason that Philadelphia couples going through the divorce process require the legal assistance of family lawyers who understand the law and take a personalized approach to divorce proceedings. Now, many are turning to the experts at the law offices of Astor Weiss Kaplan and Mandel, LLP. The family law team at Astor Weiss Kaplan and Mandel, LLP offer s a great range of experience in resolving family law matters with expertise and understanding. They often meet with clients who are not yet in a position to divorce but wish to ensure that they are in the best position possible should a divorce occur. The firm’s expert services comprise all facets of the divorce filing process, including filing and defending fault and no-fault complaints, equitable distribution, and alimony/spousal support. The experts at Astor Weiss Kaplan and Mandel, LLP are experts in the field of drafting property settlement agreements and resolving issues relating to child custody and support. It is the firm’s legal expertise that could prove invaluable for all clients going through complex divorce cases. Complex divorce cases can take its toll on all parties involved, however, sometimes there can be an uncontested divorce case and that can be easier on families, but may still need a lawyer just to go over the agreement to cover any and all eventualities that may come up. To arrange a consultation with the experienced family lawyers at Astor Weiss Kaplan and Mandel, LLP, please contact the firm directly or visit its website at www.astorweiss.com.