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Exclusivity and Restrictive Use Clauses a Commercial Lease

If you operate a brick and mortar business, the physical space in which you operate is likely one of the most important aspects of your business. There is much more to a commercial lease agreement than deciding on the length of the lease and the rent – landlords often include exclusivity and restrictive use clauses in their commercial leases in order to limit what tenants may and may not do, while also establishing preferential treatment for their largest tenants. Below is some information about both of these kinds of clauses and what to look for in a commercial lease. For more information, call our office today.

Exclusivity Clauses

An exclusivity clause is a clause in a commercial lease that grants a tenant the exclusive right to engage in a certain type of activity at that location. These clauses can grant an exclusive right to carry on a certain type of business, carry a certain product, or establish other rights related to the way a commercial space is used.  Generally speaking, exclusivity clauses are granted to large and lucrative tenants, often referred to as “anchor” tenants. For examples, think of a shopping center built around a large supermarket or a mall that has one large department store.

Restrictive Use Clauses

Restrictive use clauses are often used with respect to other tenants when one tenant has an exclusivity clause but can also be used alone. If they are used as an extension of an exclusivity clause, they generally restrict tenants from engaging in conduct that would violate the exclusivity granted to the other tenant. They can, however, simply restrict tenants from engaging in certain business activity that the landlord may prohibit, such as selling edible goods or subletting unused space to another tenant.

Importantly, restrictive clauses can be imposed upon landlords as well. Say, for example, you are operating a childcare facility that would like to rent space in a particular building – it is unlikely that you would want an adult bookstore next door. You may be able to negotiate a clause that restricts your landlord from renting to adult-themed businesses.

Contact a New Jersey Real Estate Law Firm Today for More Information

If you are considering entering into a commercial lease, you should have an experienced attorney review the terms of your agreement before signing any documents. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, please call Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. today at 732-422-100 or send us an email through our online contact form.

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Medical Malpractice: A Serious Issue that can Ruin Lives

Medical malpractice occurs on a daily basis throughout the United States, sometimes with disastrous results. In many cases, innocent victims who were simply seeking medical attention for an illness or injury end up in worse shape than they were when they went in for help.

Medical malpractice is a form of professional negligence that occurs when a medical provider fails to conduct himself or herself with the degree of care that would ordinarily be exercised by a member of the profession.  Fortunately for victims, New Jersey law allows people injured by medical malpractice to recover for their injuries, so anyone who believes that they have been hurt by medical malpractice should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

Common Forms of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can take a variety of forms. Some of the more common are detailed below.

Failure to Diagnose – Failure to diagnose cases can occur in a number of ways, including when a physician fails to order tests or simply overlooks a diagnosis that they would normally follow based on a patient’s symptoms.  In cases where a doctor misses a diagnosis, a patient can fail to start treatment in a timely manner and suffer injury as a result.

Medication Errors – Medication errors are an extremely dangerous form of medical malpractice. They can involve giving a patient the wrong dosage of medication, two or more medications that should not be taken together, or even the wrong medication entirely. In the most innocuous cases, victims of medication errors will fail to receive appropriate treatment – in more serious cases, they can have adverse reactions or even take toxic dosages of dangerous medications.

Mistakes during the Birthing Process

Birth injuries are a common result of medical negligence during pregnancy or labor. Specific examples of medical malpractice that can cause birth injuries include the following:

  • Misuse of medical equipment like forceps of vacuums
  • Failure to diagnose a condition in the mother or newborn
  • Failure to recognize fetal distress
  • Failure to take emergency action when necessary

Call a New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorney Today for More Information

If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of a medical professional, you should contact an attorney immediately. To schedule a consultation with one of the medical malpractice attorneys of Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C., call our office today at 732-422-1000 or send us an email through our online contact form.

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Buying or Selling Real Estate: Why You Need an Attorney

Real estate transactions can involve hundreds of thousands of even millions of dollars. For many people, the purchase or sale of a home will be the largest financial transaction into which he or she will even enter. For this reason, if you are considering buying or selling a home is advisable to retain a real estate lawyer to represent your interests and assist you in the process. There are many ways that a lawyer can help both buyers and sellers, some of which are discussed below.

An Attorney Will Review your Purchase Agreement

Every real estate transaction will involve a contract that describes the transaction as well as the rights and responsibilities of both the buyer and the seller. While standard real estate purchase agreements are available online, these will rarely, if ever, adequately address all of the issues involved with the purchase or sale of a particular parcel of real estate. Any issues with the purchase agreement could be financially disastrous for either buyers or sellers, so it is important to a have an attorney review your purchase agreement before you sign it.

Your Lawyer Can Uncover and Explain any Issues with the Property

Many pieces of real estate are subject to encumbrances such as easements or restrictive covenants. These can significantly affect the value of the property and may come as a significant surprise to buyers at a later date if you are not aware of their existence before the sale. An attorney will evaluate the property for the existence of such issues and advise you as to what they mean and how they may affect your use of your property and its value.

An Attorney Will Represent Your Interests

Perhaps the simplest and most important reason to retain an attorney when you are engaging in the purchase or sale of a home is that a lawyer will represent your interests. A real estate transaction often involves significant conflicts of interest between the buyer, the seller, and even the professionals that are involved in the transaction. An attorney will ensure that your rights are protected and that you are fully aware of the nature of the transaction into which you are considering entering.

Call 732-422-1000 today for a consultation.

If you are considering putting your home on the market or are looking to buy, you should speak with a New Jersey real estate attorney as soon as possible. With over 50 years of experience, the lawyers of Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, PC are qualified to represent both buyers in sellers in all types of real estate transactions. For a case evaluation, call us today at 732-422-1000 or send us an email through our online contact form.

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Learning more about Zoning & Development Laws

When you purchase real estate, you may believe that you have the right to use the land and/or building for whatever you like. However, lawmakers in New Jersey would disagree and there are a number of laws on the books in NJ that specifically limit the way you can use or develop your land.

Zoning Laws

Zoning laws dictate how property in certain areas can be used. Specifically, these laws dictate which areas are commercial, residential, or industrial. You would not want a company to purchase land in your residential neighborhood and build a manufacturing plant right by your home. Similarly, it would be odd for a family to create a residence in a space in a commercial district. For this reason, zoning laws aim to separate out these various land uses into specific zones.

Development Restrictions

Similar to zoning laws, development ordinances regulate how developers can construct new subdivisions, complexes, or commercial developments. Regulations can involve street plans, limitations on the size of homes or buildings, the type of additional structures that can be included on a property, or parking regulations.

Challenging These Laws

The government can only restrict how you use your property if the restrictions are reasonable, not arbitrary, and serve a purpose for the public good. If zoning laws are seemingly random, discriminatory, do not serve a valid purpose, or too restrictive, you can fight against these restrictions to use your land as you want. You can also ask for an exception to a zoning or development law, which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by a zoning board in your municipality. Examples of possible exceptions are if you want to bake goods for commercial sale out of your kitchen (provided you have the licenses to do so) or if you want to operate a hair salon in your home. You should always have a skilled real estate attorney helping you with any zoning or development challenges.

Call 732-422-1000 today for a consultation.

Land use laws regarding zoning and development in New Jersey can be very confusing and can have serious implications for your business or family. If you need any type of assistance deciphering the laws in your municipality or challenging a zoning or development law, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced New Jersey land use and zoning attorneys at Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. We can assist with a wide range of real estate law matters, so please call today to discuss your situation.

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The Basics: Social Security Disability Benefits

If you become disabled and are unable to earn a sufficient living to support yourself, you may be able to qualify for monthly benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits can be difficult to obtain, however, and the system can be confusing. If you have any questions about your eligibility for benefits or need help applying, you should discuss your situation with a Social Security Disability lawyer as soon as possible. In the meantime, the following are some of the basics of these benefits.

Types of Benefits

There are two different types of benefits for which you may qualify if you have a disability that prevents you from working, which are as follows:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – If you have worked for some time and have contributed to Social Security from your paychecks, you may qualify for SSDI if you suddenly become disabled.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – If you have not contributed to Social Security or even if you have never worked, you may qualify for SSI if you are disabled and if you demonstrate your financial need. For example, your income and assets must stay below a certain amount to receive SSI.

Requirements for Eligibility

The first and foremost requirement for either type of disability benefits is that you are determined to be disabled under the definition used by the SSA. Specifically, the SSA has a list of impairments that will qualify you as disabled. However, even if you do not meet the exact definition of any of the impairments listed by the SSA, you can still apply for benefits if you prove that your individual impairments prevent you from earning enough income.

This does not only mean that you are unable to perform at your previous job. Instead, the SSA will consider whether there are any other types of jobs you can perform with your disability while considering your education, skill, and experience levels. If the SSA believes you can earn a living in any type of job, you may have your application denied.

Call 732-422-1000 today to schedule a consultation.

Applying for SSI or SSDI benefits can be complicated, as can be appealing a denial of benefits. If you are disabled and want information on obtaining benefits, you should contact a New Jersey attorney at Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. as soon as possible. We will help you through the process and protect your rights to the benefits you deserve.

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FAQ about the Verbal Threshold in New Jersey Car Insurance

When most people shop for car insurance, their main concern is price. After all, car insurance is never something you want to use, and at the time you are buying insurance, you are not expecting to be involved in a serious accident.  As a result, many drivers choose the cheapest options available in their policy, including selecting a “verbal threshold” policy over a “no threshold” policy without fully understanding what that means. Unfortunately, saving a few dollars on your monthly premium by choosing a verbal threshold policy can mean significant losses later. Below we have answered some of the more frequently asked questions regarding verbal threshold and no threshold policies.

What is the Difference?

If you have a no threshold policy, there is no restriction on your right to file a lawsuit after an accident. You can pursue non-economic (personal injury) damages such as physical and emotional pain and suffering. If, on the other hand, you have a verbal threshold policy, your ability to sue after an accident is limited – in order to file a lawsuit for non-economic damages, your injuries must fall into certain categories, including permanent injury, amputation, significant disfigurement, or a displaced fracture.

Non-economic damages can be significant, so whether or not you select the verbal threshold or the non-verbal threshold can make a significant difference in your ability to recover compensation.

Why does this Distinction Exist?

Before the enactment of the law establishing the verbal threshold and no threshold insurance policies, a dollar-amount limit determined whether a driver could sue after an accident. As a result, accident victims were incentivized to seek additional (and sometimes unnecessary) medical treatment in order to get their medical bills above the limit so that they could pursue non-economic damages.  By changing the monetary threshold to a verbal threshold (verbal, due to the reliance on the description of the injuries), the legislature eliminated the incentive for accident victims to seek additional treatment.

Call Today for More Information!

If you have been injured in a car accident, you should explore your legal options with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients recover the compensation they are owed. To schedule a consultation regarding your case, call attorneys, Esq. or Steven L. Fox, Esq. at Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. today at 732-422-1000 or send us an email through our online contact form.

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Employment Restrictive Covenants

Employment contracts can have various clauses regarding salary, benefits, length of employment, expectations, and more. When you are about to sign a contract, however, you may not realize there may be terms that limit your activities even after your employment relationship has ended. Many employers try to include restrictive covenants in their contracts and these clauses may be harmful to you after your employment is over. You should always have an experienced employment law attorney review your contract for such clauses before you sign anything.

What is a Restrictive Covenant?

Any clause that limits the way you can act after your termination can be considered to be a restrictive covenant. The following are some of the most common restrictive covenants in employment contracts:

  • Confidentiality clauses — This clause prevents former employees from sharing confidential company information, confidential information about customers, trade secrets, or unique processes or services provided by the company.
  • Non-compete clauses — This type of clause prohibits former employees from working for the company’s competitors and from starting your own business that would compete with the company.
  • Non-solicitation clauses — This clause prohibits former employees from soliciting clients from the company to do business with your new employment.
  • Non-recruitment clauses — Also commonly known as an “anti-raiding” clause, these clauses limit former employees’ ability to recruit or hire your former coworkers to come work with you instead of your former employer.

Are These Clauses Valid?

Not all restrictive covenants are enforceable and courts put strict limitations on these clauses. In order to be enforceable, a clause must not be overly broad or restrictive, for too long of a period of time, or create undue hardship for the former employee. For example, if you were a salesperson in New Jersey and your former company is trying to keep you from selling similar products in Florida, it may be overly broad. In addition, non-solicitation clauses are generally not applied to clients with whom you had a prior relationship. Our attorneys can help challenge unfair restrictive covenants.

Discuss your Contract with a New Jersey Employment Law Attorney Today

The firm of Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl has represented many clients in matters involving unfair employment contracts and specifically regarding restrictive covenants. Whether you would like to have a contract reviewed or have already signed a contract, we can help challenge unfair or unenforceable clauses. Call Steven L. Fox, Esq. at our office today at 732-422-1000 for more information about how we can help with your employment contract or any other employment issues.

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Custody Issues Non-Traditional Families may Face

Today, most families in our society don’t fit into a typical mold. There was a time when a family was a father, mother, and children. But, this simple definition of a family has evolved with the assistance of Alternate Reproductive Technology (ART) and the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage, surrogacy, and unwed relationships. There are no longer just biological parents, but tri-parents, surrogate mothers, and psychological parents. While modern times have allowed couples to start a family in non-traditional ways, it creates complex legal issues.

When a relationship dissolves and children are involved, custody decisions are often the most difficult and emotional aspect of the breakup. Non-traditional families face additional challenges when it comes to deciding custody, child support, visitation, other legal issues regarding a parent’s right to their child.

Upon divorce or separation, New Jersey requires legal and physical custody to be determined based on the best interests of the child. But, this is not so simple when there is tri-parenting or when an unmarried couple, whether heterosexual or same sex, raise children together and only one of them is the legal parent. Without concrete guidance from state laws, non-traditional families are forced to resolve custody disputes and other legal issues in family law court.

While the laws and court’s decisions regarding these legal issues vary tremendously throughout the country, there is an increasing trend recognizing that maintaining a relationship between a non-legal parent and a child can often be in the best interest of the child.

A non-legal parent can be considered a psychological parent if they have bonded with a child and acted as a parent by assuming the responsibilities and duties of parenthood, with the consent of the legal parent. After a separation, this parent can receive parental rights, based on the theory that continuing the role of a parent is in the child’s best interest. A psychological parent will often be involved in custody arrangements. They can be granted custody, visitation rights and even be required to pay child support.

The legal requirements for psychological parent status in New Jersey are:

(1) That the biological or adoptive parent consented to, and fostered, the petitioner’s formation and establishment of a parent-like relationship with the child; the legal parent must have fostered the formation of the parental relationship between the third party and the child;

(2) That the petitioner and the child lived together in the same household;

(3) That the petitioner assumed the obligations of parenthood by taking significant responsibility for the child’s care, education and development, including contributing toward the child’s support, without expectation of financial compensation [a petitioner’s contribution to a child’s support need not be monetary]; and

(4) That the petitioner has been in a parental role for a length of time sufficient to have established with the child a bonded, dependent relationship parental in nature.

In a non-traditional family, non-legal parents can be just as much a parent to a child as a legal parent. attorneys is an experienced divorce and matrimonial law attorney who will protect your interests. With over 25 years of family law experience, attorneys can help you settle your divorce or separation through a variety of methods, personalized to your needs. Call today for a consultation at 732-422-1000.

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6 Red Flags your Relationship may be Heading Towards Divorce

Red Flag #1: Your spouse is secretive with their cell phone.

In a relationship, it is very important to trust your partner. But, if your partner has recently become secure and extra sensitive with their phone, this may be a sign of trouble. There may be something on the phone your partner doesn’t want you to see. Keeping phone secrets, or any secrets, indicates a lack of trust and respect in a marriage.

Red Flag #2: Your partner is reconnecting with an ex.

If your partner has been communicating with an ex-lover or “old friend,” it may be a sign that they are feeling left out and looking for support and attention from someone else. Occasional contact with an ex-lover shouldn’t pose any real danger to your relationship. But, contact on a regular basis can become troublesome. If the partner hides their communication with an ex from the other partner or communication with the ex is substituted for communication with the spouse, the marriage may be heading in the direction of divorce.

 Red Flag #3: Your spouse isn’t contributing around the house. 

Are you doing dishes and vacuuming all the time while your spouse sits in front of the TV? It may sound trivial, but if your partner is now lying around all day while you take care of all the household chores, without any sense of guilt, it can strain the relationship. A marriage is all about give and take. Each partner needs to contribute to his or her fair share of chores. Failing to recognize this responsibility indicates a lack of respect in a marriage, which can create resentment by the other spouse.

Red Flag #4: Your partner makes you report everything you buy.

If your spouse insists that you write down everything you spend money on, this is a sign of a controlling spouse. Control should never be used as a weapon in marriage.

Red Flag #5: Your spouse is spending more time engaged in activities than with you.

If your partner is choosing time on the tennis court, shopping, or friends over you, then your relationship may be heading towards separation. It can be easy to become absorbed in activities of everyday life, but in order for a marriage to work, each spouse much put the relationship first. It is vital for every relationship to find time on a daily basis to connect with one another.

Red Flag #6: Your partner is going out with friends and not inviting you.

If your spouse has been indulging in the “singles scene” without you, this should raise an immediate red flag. The status of your relationship may be questionable, if your spouse is constantly going out drinking without you or always meeting up with a “friend” for drinks after work.

attorneys is an experienced divorce and matrimonial law attorney who will protect your interests. The emotional upheaval of divorce does not last forever, but the legal ramifications could. With over 25 years of family law experience, let attorneys help you negotiate your settlement using a variety of procedures, ranging from mediation and arbitration to litigation in court. Call for a consultation today at 732-422-1000.

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Estate Planning? Top Mistakes to Avoid

Working on your estate planning can be a draining process, not in the least because of the high emotions involved in preparing for end of life processes. When you’re putting together a will, it’s important to be aware of these top common traps that individuals can fall into if they’re not careful, which could leave some of their assets up to question, or worse- invalidate the entire document. Read on to prepare yourself for willful success.

  1. State of Your State. Each state has its own laws, and those about your estate planning are certainly included. If you have lived in multiple states, and written one will in one location, it won’t necessarily be valid in another. It’s important to know the differences you may encounter before it’s too late.
  2. A Place for Everything. While you may feel inclined to list all of your possessions for distribution, there is no need for certain elements of your wishes to be included in this particular legal document. This includes your wishes for a funeral, life insurance, or joint property, among many others.
  3. Base on Your Business. If you have spent years of your life building up a successful business, it should be important to you to ensure its continued success. If you plan to keep a family company in the family, or if you are a sole proprietor, it is important to explicitly spell out these wishes.
  4. Holes in the Holographs. Writing a will by hand is one technically legal way to state your end of life wishes, but it’s not always the most reliable route. This is known as a ‘holographic will’, and it means that they have specific legal limitations to what can be included, revision rules, and their ability to be verified by witnesses.
  5. Include your life! A living will is just as important as the one which cares for your assets after death. This document is somewhat different, and lays out your wishes for end of life care, including resuscitation and specific treatments. This also can include designating a trusted family member with the power of attorney.
  6. Revise and Renew. Like all important documents, a will should not be a one and done proposition. Revise this document after important periods in your life, including marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or other major financial changes. Regularly work to ensure that your estate planning is up to date.
  7. No Time Like the Present. While it’s not always the most positive conversation to have, it’s important to not wait too long to begin your estate planning. Dying without a will can cause difficulties for your beneficiaries and your assets won’t always go to whom you would have intended.
  8. Give While Alive. There’s nothing saying you need to die destitute, but since you can’t take it with you, you can avoid having your beneficiaries be hit with steep taxes for gifts given after death if you instead give while you are living. You are permitted to give up to $13,000 in gifts untaxed each year.
  9. Death and Taxes. They say nothing’s certain in life except death and taxes, and in the case of wills, both can come at your dependents at the same time. Understanding complicated estate tax laws are vital to making sure all is done properly, especially with gifts as mentioned above.
  10. Don’t Go Alone. For the best services in estate planning, enlist a trusted and experienced attorney. For a consultation with us at Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman and Stahl, PC, give us a call today at 732-422-1000.
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