Yearly Archives: 2012

Queen’s English – Misplaced Modifiers

A constant grammatical problem is that of misplaced modifiers; the misplacement of a word in a sentence can alter its meaning and lead to unintended messages. The following quotations are all from various news sources (the modifiers are in italics):       “Richard Zanuck, the once-spurned son of… Continue reading

Looking Back from Issue No. 100

It was late 1995 when my then secretary Lisa suggested to me that we should consider writing a serious newsletter for our clients.  I liked the idea, but, as many of my friends and clients know I can be technologically disinclined – computers, smart-phones, GPS, instant… Continue reading

Where to Invest Your Money?

It’s no joke – there are few investment choices in today’s economy that offer any significant return without taking on significant risks.  As an example, interest rates on 5-year  certificates of deposit are below 2%.  Interest on your checking account?  Forget it.  The stock market… Continue reading

Union Labor and Mechanics Lien; New Risks for Now

  In a case of first impression that is widely viewed as a departure from established law, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has held that the trustee of a union benefit fund has a right to assert a mechanics’ lien for unpaid union benefits owed by… Continue reading

Latin Lovers

De novo is a Latin phrase meaning “anew” or “afresh.”  In legal circles it is used to describe a matter or a decision that is to be decided a second time with no regard given to the first decision.  For example, in a hearing de… Continue reading

New Annual Property Tax Appeal Deadline

  Over the past few years, the number of appeals by property owners from their real estate assessments has increased significantly as a result of the decline in values in the real estate market.  Property owners who wish to file appeals from their assessments are… Continue reading

Be Careful How You Sign Documents

  Sometimes we learn the simplest things last. Not doing those simple things can be costly.  One of the simplest rules of owning and operating a corporation or a limited liability company is to clearly sign papers and contracts as a representative of the business… Continue reading

Requirements Contracts

In the commercial setting, one type of contract that requires particular attention and input from the client is the so-called “requirements contract,” under which a supplier obligates itself to produce all of a particular buyer’s requirements for a given product during the term of the… Continue reading

Paternity by Estoppel?

In a legal proceeding involving the paternity of a child, one of the strongest presumptions at law is that, absent some irrefutable and clear evidence to the contrary, the child will be deemed to be the natural child of the husband.  Until recently in applying… Continue reading

Nonconformity and Abandonment in Zoning (Don’t Abandon Your Nonconforming Grandfather!)

While it seems like they have been with us forever, zoning ordinances are relatively recent in origin.  Many local municipalities began to adopt zoning ordinances in the middle of the twentieth century, typically in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Prior to that time there was little… Continue reading