Monthly Archives: February 2011

Creditor Beware – Preferences in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy not only stops collection efforts against the bankrupt party, but it can effectively “avoid” payments made in the past.  An “avoidance” of a payment essentially orders the creditor to repay the debtor.  The Bankruptcy Code gives the debtor and/or the bankruptcy trustee several devices… Continue reading

Latin Lovers 2010

What happens if you provide goods or services for someone without a clear agreement on the precise terms of the arrangement?  Most of the time you would be unable to collect if you cannot prove the existence of a contract, either written or oral.  However,… Continue reading

Your Right to Know

In 2008, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a new “Right-to-Know Law,”making significant changes to prior law relating to the public’s right to obtain and review government records.   The old law consisted of only four sections.  The new law is lengthy and complex.  Among other changes,… Continue reading

Woodman, Spare that Tree!

The pyrrhic victory, where you win but lose at the same time, is not common at law, but when it happens the “winning” party (and his or her counsel) can be understandably perplexed and usually baffled.  (King Pyrrhus of Epirus, won a number of battles… Continue reading

Do’s and Don’ts when Ponzi Knocks

Few negative connotations can match that of Charles Ponzi; the “Ponzi Scheme” is indelibly etched into our consciousness as a colossal swindle. Ponzi in 1920 placed an advertisement in newspapers promising a 50% return on investments in 45 days and 100% return in 90.  It… Continue reading

The New Law on Home Improvements

While the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”) has been in effect since July 1, 2009, it appears that not all contractors who perform home improvements have complied with the Act and that not all homeowners are aware of the new law.  This… Continue reading

PA Lawmakers Help Developers by Extending Permit Deadlines

In July 2010, the Pennsylvania legislature adopted a law that extends until 2013 the expiration date of all building permits and other authorizations or decisions allowing a development or construction project. Permits, authorizations and decisions in effect as of January 1, 2009 or after are… Continue reading

The Roth IRA Conversion Window – for You?

The Roth IRA is a retirement account created under the Internal Revenue Code.  It has some of the very desirable attributes of and differs significantly from the “traditional” IRA.  The Roth IRA is funded with after-tax dollars (as opposed to pre-tax dollars which fund the… Continue reading

Unemployment Compensation – The Basics

In difficult economic times, the Pennsylvania program for Unemployment Compensation becomes a lifeline to persons who lose their jobs. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry maintains an Office of Unemployment Compensation Benefits to supervise the unemployment compensation safety net.   Essentially and basically, the program… Continue reading

Presume At-Will Employment with Exceptions

Pennsylvania is an “employment-at-will” state. The employment-at-will doctrine provides that, unless certain exceptions apply, the employer or the employee may terminate the employment relationship for any reason or for no reason at any time. Generally, no cause of action will exist for wrongful discharge for… Continue reading