ARTICLES

Attorney Spotlight: Donghoo Sohn

Melvin & Melvin, PLLC just celebrated its 100-year anniversary! In celebration, we want to share the talented and hardworking individuals that make Melvin & Melvin one of Syracuse’s most trusted law firms. Donghoo Sohn is an associate with Melvin & Melvin with specialties in real estate transactions and corporate law. Donghoo’s passion is working with refugee communities in Upstate New York providing legal consulting to local immigrant communities.   Where did you go to law school? Syracuse University College of Law. I’m the one of the first LLM (Master of Laws) graduates at  SU and the first one who passed…

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All Time Involved in Delivering Aggregate Materials Is Now Subject to Prevailing Wages

On December 31, 2021, the Governor signed legislation amending Section 220 of the Labor Law relating to prevailing wages.  The legislation is intended to close a loophole in the prevailing wage law.  The amendment states that prevailing wages are to be paid for any work involving the delivery to, or hauling from, a public works project of aggregate supply construction materials.  This includes any return hauls, whether empty or loaded, and any time spent loading or unloading. This change takes effect immediately, but shall only apply to contracts entered into on or after December 31, 2021.  It does not apply…

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The Interest Rate on Consumer Debt Drops to 2% on April 30, 2022

On April 30, 2022, the interest rate on money judgments for consumer debt will be reduced from the standard judgment interest rate of 9% to 2%.  This reduced interest rate will apply to all new money judgments on consumer debt that are entered after that date.  It will also apply to any future interest that is due on any unpaid money judgments for consumer debt that have not been paid in full as of April 30, 2022. The reduction in interest rate does not, however, retroactively reduce the interest rate on any unpaid judgment, nor does it entitle any judgment…

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Big Changes to Consumer Credit Actions

The Consumer Credit Fairness Act Makes Big Changes to Consumer Credit Actions On November 8, 2021, New York enacted the “Consumer Credit Fairness Act.”  This Act makes numerous changes to lawsuits by creditors in consumer credit transactions.  A consumer credit transaction is “a transaction wherein credit is extended to an individual and the money, property, or service which is the subject of the transaction is primarily for personal, family or household purposes.”  CPLR 105(e).  The key provisions of the Act that creditors need to know about relate to the statute of limitations and actions brought by debt buyers.  The remaining…

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Attorney Spotlight: Erin M. Tyreman

Melvin & Melvin, PLLC is celebrating its 100-year anniversary! In celebration, we want to share the talented and hardworking individuals that make Melvin & Melvin one of Syracuse’s most trusted law firms. Erin M. Tyreman is one of Melvin’s civil litigation associates specializing in employment/labor law and real property disputes. Erin says that the most challenging part of her job, but also the most exciting, is that the law and legal practice are continually evolving and changing. To be a competent and successful attorney, it is critical to keep up with and stay ahead of changes, particularly in a practice…

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FEMA Funeral Assistance for COVID-Related Deaths

The Federal Disaster Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that it will provide up to $7,000 in funeral assistance for those whose loved ones have died due to COVID.  Currently, this program is available for those who died from COVID if their funerals took place between January 20, 2020 and December 31, 2020.  It is anticipated that this program will eventually be expanded to include 2021. Eligible expenses are any uninsured expenses related to: Cost of a casket Mortuary services Transportation of the deceased and/or up to two family members into the area to identity the decedent (if required by state/local…

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COVID-19 PAID SICK LEAVE FOR EMPLOYEES

 In March 2020, Congress signed into the law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which had provided paid sick leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act as well as the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. In exchange for having to provide the paid sick leave, employers were eligible for a payroll tax credit. However, Congress did not renew or extend the paid leave laws and they expired as of December 31, 2020. Employers are still eligible for the payroll tax credit through March 31, 2021.   Employees must therefore rely upon state law. Below is a brief…

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ADDITIONAL PROTECTION FOR TENANTS UNDER NEW LAW

On December 28, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed into law the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 (“EEFPA”). How does this law affect the rights of tenants and landlords in the midst of a global pandemic? Hardship Declaration Notice The EEFPA has introduced and defined a “Hardship Declaration” which is a statement of notice that must be served upon the tenant in 14-point font. The Hardship Declaration notice can be found on the New York Courts website. Essentially, the notice advises the tenant that if they have lost income or had increased costs during the COVID-19 pandemic, or…

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Filing for Divorce and Bankruptcy – Which to file first

Divorce and Bankruptcy: Financial stress and marital difficulties very often tend to be related.  Divorce can be financially devastating and ultimately can lead to the need to file for bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy can also be one of the causes of a divorce.  Regardless of which option comes first, it is important for individuals to be aware of the different options when it comes to filing for both divorce and bankruptcy, and to understand the implications of the order in which the matters are handled.   Divorce and bankruptcy both concern the distribution of property.  Both divorce and bankruptcy also attempt to…

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Dealing with Lack of Childcare

Options to Employees Dealing with Lack of Childcare While New York State businesses have been re-opening in accordance with Governor Cuomo’s New York Forward Plan, employers and workers alike face many unanswered questions. Though New York State has done a remarkable job flattening the curve and significantly reducing the new number of COVID-19 cases, the pandemic continues to have a pervasive effect upon employers large and small, and particularly employees who are being asked to return to work. For close to a four-month period, many employers closed their doors, forcing them to conduct business operations from home where possible. Those…

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