In this issue:
Special meeting of Municipal Court Section NJ State Bar Association permitted to attend Monday, April 26
Speaker- NJSBA President Karol Corbin Walker
Topic: Meetings with Supreme Court and pending Legislation
Time: 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Location: NJ Law Center One Constitution Square New Brunswick, NJ
Members of NJ State Bar Association NJSBA permitted to attend
1. NUTS & BOLTS OF ELDER LAW 2004
2. POWER OF ATTORNEY
3. LIVING WILLS
4. LIVING TRUSTS
5. TAX CONCERNS
6. ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES
7. MEDICAID PLANNING
8. CONTESTED PROBATE
9. LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE/ ASSET PROTECTION
Martin A. Spigner, Esq.
Kenneth A. Vercammen, Esq.:
Authors: "Answers to Questions About Probate"
Thomas Begley, Jr.
Kathleen Browning, Esq.
Kathleen Burns, Esq
Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2004
5-9 P.M. Mt. Laurel
Recommended for Attorneys, Accountants, Life Insurance Agents, Financial Planners and Elder Law Professionals
Sponsored by New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education & NJ State Bar Assoc. 732-214-8500
Tuition includes dinner and 300 plus page Book
For fees and registration, Call ICLE 732-214-8500
Elder law continues to offer the legal profession a booming opportunity for growth. As your current clients continue to grow older, you need to position yourself to be able to offer them and their families the legal services required by the elderly in today’s society. Or, you may be looking for lucrative areas in which to expand your current practice.
This practical program is designed to provide the nuts and bolts of elder law A highly authoritative and experienced panel of elder law attorneys will share proven techniques and experience it would take you years to gather on your own.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ELDER LAW, INCLUDING...
• Why Have a Will?
Gathering information; standard provisions; designation of fiduciaries; protective clauses; sample forms
• Powers of Attorney
Types of POAs; what should be included; why clients need them; POAs and Living Wills; sample forms
• Living Trusts (Revocable/Irrevocable) as an Estate Planning Tool
Why it should be used; disadvantages; revocable vs. irrevocable; Insurance Trusts; sample forms
• Basic Tax Considerations Jointly-held property;
“I love you” Will; no Will at all; insurance owned by client; unlimited marital deduction; estate planning in the testamentary document; sample forms/letters
• Estate Administration
Probate process; duties of executor/fiduciary; gathering of assets; tax returns; tax waivers; access to property; sample forms/checklists
• Medicaid Planning
Countable assets of Medicaid applicant; income cap/Medical needy standard; look-back period; transfers of property; personal residence; Medicaid estate recovery rules
• Contested Probate
• Long Term Care Insurance/Asset Protection
Limitations on coverage; exclusions; premium costs; inflation riders; pre-existing conditions; alternatives to nursing home care
Registration fees range between $85-120
Contact New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education ICLE ®
One Constitution Square, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1520
Phone: (732)214-8500 Fax: (732)249-0383 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
COOPERATING & WORKING WITH YOUR ATTORNEY
When do I need a lawyer?
This really depends on your situation. Generally, you should think about obtaining legal advice regarding:
* Serious accidents
* Business transactions
* Starting or terminating a business
* Being accused of a crime
* When someone sues you
* Planning for distribution of your property and/or care of your young children after your death
* Writing a will
* Retirement planning
* Appearances, applications or appeals to courts
If a problem like one of these faces you, call my office as soon as you can. Many simple problems get more complicated as time passes.
When in doubt, talk with me. A brief consultation can help you decide if a lawyer’s assistance is needed.
When I get a lawyer, what can I expect?
In most cases, my representation follows a careful step-by-step process that may include:
* Conferring with you, the client to pinpoint the situation and determine what you wish to accomplish
* Gathering and analyzing all available facts and information
* Interviewing everyone involved with the case
* Studying laws and previous decisions that may apply to your situation
* Offering advice and preparing contracts or other appropriate documents (such as wills, incorporation papers).
* Preparing legal arguments for contested matters, and representing you in any negotiations for settlement and court appearances.
Don’t Try To Cut Corners When Facing Crucial Issues in Your Life.
It might be dangerous for you to choose a lawyer purely on an estimate of fees. “Shopping around" for the "cheapest " lawyer may not be the best approach because that lawyer may not be the most qualified to handle the case. You also want to be certain an attorney is doing most of the work, rather than an inexperienced new lawyer or legal secretaries or clerks.
What Should I Do at my First Meeting Concerning Legal Advice?
* Be prepared to give a brief explanation of your legal problem — and what ultimate result you would like the lawyer to help you achieve.
* Bring copies of any written records that explain your problem.
*Write down questions you want the lawyer to answer.
How Do I Insure a Good Lawyer-Client Relationship?
Remember, good legal assistance is not a one-way street. You have to cooperate with my office if you really want to be helped.
The attorney-client relationship is confidential except, according to the Rules of Professional Conduct, if it is necessary for the lawyer to disclose information to the proper authorities in order to prevent a client from committing a criminal, illegal or fraudulent act likely to perpetrate a fraud upon a tribunal. Here are some important tips to follow:
* Please provide me with an objective statement of all the facts. According to the Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer may “counsel or assist a client in a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.” However, an attorney is not permitted to “counsel or assist in conduct that the lawyer knows is illegal, criminal or fraudulent, or in the preparation of a written instrument containing terms the lawyer knows are expressly prohibited by law.”
* Don’t look for simple, quick answers to complex questions. Lawyers are justifiably cautious in drawing conclusions or answering questions about complicated legal problems. Attorneys and judges know that cases are rarely “open and shut.”
* Let the law office know about any new developments in your case.
* Don’t hesitate to ask questions about any matter relevant to your case. Remember, though, I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, marriage counselor or financial advisor.
* Work with my office. If you don’t understand why something should be done or have doubts about some action recommended, ask questions and get an explanation.
* Be patient - Don’t look for instant results. Trust my office and I to follow through on the case but don’t hesitate to ask for progress reports from time to time.
About Legal Fees, What Can I Expect?
The time, study, experience and attention your attorney gives your problem all determines the legal fees. I have invested tens of thousands of dollars on such things as education, staff, books, journals, rent, office equipment, and insurance. Consequently, a lawyer must set a charge for his services that is both reasonable and adequate to cover his own investment and expenses.
Because no two legal matters are exactly the same, fees vary widely. Some factors involved are:
* The amount of time and labor spent on your problem and the complexity of your case. To a lawyer, time is money. Most lawyers keep very careful records of the time they and their staff spend on your case. Many attorneys will charge specific fees for meetings, research, courtroom appearances, telephone conversations, etc. This amount of time your lawyer may be required to spend will vary according to the case involved.
* The emergency nature of the case or the likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer. If the lawyer has to “drop everything” to handle your matter, the fee may be higher.
* Nature and length of the professional relationship with the client. In a matrimonial matter there must be a written retainer agreement.
* Whether the fee is fixed or contingent. The results obtained often are considered in setting the fee (except for matters in which contingent fees are prohibited by law and the Rules of Professional Conduct). Of course, unless my office takes your case on a contingent fee basis, we except to be paid, no matter what the outcome. (Results can never be guaranteed.)
* If you are suing for compensation for injuries caused by another person’s negligence, my office may be willing to represent you for a contingent fee. Under this arrangement, I will receive no fee if there is no recovery. (However, you must still pay certain costs directly related to your lawsuit.) A contingent fee agreement must be in writing and must state the method by which the fee is determined, including the percentage accruing to the attorney in the event of settlement, trial, or appeal, litigation and other expenses to be deducted before or after the contingent fee matter, I will provide you with a written statement of the outcome of the matter, and if there is recovery showing the remittance to the client and its method of determination. Under this fee arrangement, I must invest my own time, effort and office expenses without advance payment. This plan permits any injured person, regardless of their financial resources, to be represented by my effort in cases of this type.
FREE INFORMATION BOOKLETS FOR CLIENTS AND FRIENDS
1. WHAT TO DO IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT.
2. WILLS - Protecting Loved Ones.
3. MUNICIPAL COURT.
4. PERSONAL INJURY CASES.
5. COOPERATING & WORKING WITH YOUR ATTORNEY.
Please call our office or stop in . We provide speakers to groups and organizations on the above topics free of charge.
This publication has been issued to inform and not to advise. It is based on New Jersey law. The statements are general, and individual facts in a given case may alter their application or involve other laws not referred to here. For specific legal advice, contact an attorney.
On DWI Appeal, Law Division Must Make Independent Findings and Beyond Reasonable Doubt State v. Bruskin. A-14-2-5287 (App. Div. December 8, 2003). [Unreported] The Law Division judge misapprehended his role in the de novo trial as that of an appellate court, as evidenced by his express conclusion that he was satisfied that the decision of the municipal court judge was based on a fair analysis of the evidence and was sound; in addition, the judge imported the wrong burden of proof when he described the trial evidence as "sufficient." As the trier of fact, he never found defendant guilty of the driving-while-intoxicated offense beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a constitutional requirement; therefore, a remand is required. There was at least some credible evidence that the diabetic defendant's "symptoms" and aggressiveness after the accident could have been caused by hypoglycemia, and not the two prescription drugs found in his system; the trial judge must apply the correct burden of proof on remand to the evidence, and make appropriate findings and conclusions. [Unreported] Source: 174 NJLJ 1002 Municipal Ordinance Not Pre-empted By State or Federal Law. State v. Stafford ___ NJ Super. ___ A-1564-02T3 (App. Div. December 15, 2003). The municipality’s public health nuisance regulations regarding the feeding of geese and other migratory waterfowl were not unconstitutionally vague, and the provisions were not preempted under the Supremacy Clause by federal statutes or by a related executive order.
In his appeal from two convictions of violating municipal nuisance ordinances prohibiting the feeding of migratory wildfowl, the Law Division judge correctly found that there was sufficient evidence to sustain the convictions beyond a reasonable doubt, but the practice mandated in N.J.S.A. 2C:1-8a(4)-- that a conviction under a statute that prohibits a kind of conduct generally should be merged with a conviction for a specific instance of such conduct-- should be followed in cases involving violations of a municipal code, and defendant’s conviction is affirmed as modified by merger of the offenses; the ordinance under which defendant was convicted is not unconstitutionally vague since it unambiguously declares and defines the nuisance addressed (Guidi v. City of Atl. City and State v. Golin are distinguished); nor is the ordinance preempted under the Supremacy Clause by federal wildlife protection statutes or a related executive order, since they give no indication that Congress intended pre-empt State or municipal public health laws aimed at correcting conditions detrimental to public health. Source: 12 NJL 21
Upcoming Charity Running Races:
4/30/2004 Friday Night @ the races # 3 5k, 6:30pm Highland Park, NJ 732-698-9718
5/1/2004 Cardinals-Cedarbrook Park 5k,9:30, Plainfield, NJ 908-222-2125
5/2/2004 2003 Sunrise Run-Bike-Run 3 Mi Run, 16mi Bi, 3 Mi Run, 8am Long Branch, NJ 732-542-1642
5/8/2004 Metuchen 5k Run for Berringer House 5k, run/walk, 8:30am Metuchen, NJ 732-549-9440
5/15/2004 Edison Family Day 5k 5k, 9:30am, Lollipop Run, 11am Edison, NJ 732-248-7361
5/29 Spring Lake 5
5/31/2004 Forty Forty, PA 5 Mile (First Leg of Pennsylvania Wyoming Valley Temple Crown) 570-675-4400
June 5 Catch Your Breath 5K
National Guard Armory, Cape May Court House NJ
6/12/2004 YMCA 4th Annual Run 5k, 9am Freehold, NJ 732-462-0464 x 54
June 16, 2004 Trenton Waterfront 5K for Habitat for Humanity -
Start time 6:45 PM; 5:00-6:30 PM Registration
KatManDu Waterfront Grille - 50 Riverview Executive Park (Route 29) Trenton , NJ
Ken Vercammen is putting together a team. We would like to get 10 runners.
Brief Description: Rain or shine -- Relatively flat course with water stops; Food, refreshments, music and party. Awards to age-category and group team winners 1, 2, 3 place; ; USATF certified course and sanctioned race; USATF-NJ Grand Prix event-500 points
Fees: Pre-Registration: $17; Race Day Registration: $20; FOR USATF members: Pre-registration $15, Race Day $18
Thank you for reading our newsletter! God Bless America USA #1
Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
NEW PHONE 732-572-0500
New (Fax) 732-572-0030
Editor's Note and Disclaimer: All materials Copyright 2003-2004. You may pass along the information on the NJ Laws Newsletter and website, provided the name and address of the Law Office is included.
Always schedule an office appointment with an experienced attorney when you have a legal matter. The Rules of Court limit an attorney's ability to discuss matters over the phone. If you have legal questions, you should schedule an in- office consultation.
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