Publications and News

Construction on a Home Even if Rented Out? Don’t Get STUNG

Under local laws, any work to convert, alter, modernize or repair a residence (single family or condominium) is a “home improvement” – with all the laws, licensing requirements and regulations getting triggered as a “home improvement.” Additionally, it doesn’t matter who owns the property, nor does it matter if it is rented out or owned as an investment property. There are regulations that permit an owner a three-day to rescind, certain disclosures and notices, and registration/licen...

Read More

Maryland Construction General Contractors Watch Out! You Are Soon to be Liable for Subcontractors’ Wage and Hour Violations

Beginning October 1, 2018, Maryland’s already stiff wage and hour penalties will be extended to cover construction general contractors whose subcontractors are found in violation of Maryland wage and hour laws, making the general contractor jointly and severally liable for all violations by both direct subcontractors and indirect, lower-tiered subcontractors. Any project that involves “construction services” in Maryland is an area of risk – meaning any “building, reconstructing, improv...

Read More

A Changing Landscape: How Tax Reform Has Modified the 1031 Exchange Process

Are you selling a piece of real property and looking for a way to defer the capital gains taxes owed on your investment? Due to the recent 2018 tax reform and the resulting changes made to Section 1031 of the tax code, new issues have arisen that smart sellers and buyers must take into account before deciding that a “1031 Exchange” is wise decision. To put it simply, a 1031 Exchange allows an investor to “defer” paying capital gains taxes on a property when it is sold, as long anothe...

Read More

WARNING: Your Employees May Become Your Competitors

Employers who fail to plan properly will find out that former employees can quickly become their direct competitors. Unless you have in place “non-competition/non-solicitation agreements”, your ex-employees will be free to poach your customers or clients – and you will be powerless to prevent it. Take the case of Allan M. Dworkin, D.D.S. v. Blumenthal, 77 Md. App. 774 (1989): A dentist hires a young dentist to work for him at his practice. The young dentist leaves and takes the cli...

Read More

New Survey Standards – Don’t Just Rely On Certifications!

February 23, 2016 was an important date for the real estate industry when the new 2016 ALTA/NSPS* Survey Standards went into effect – long and short, this 8 th revision of the survey standards mean that owners and lenders should no long assume that a “recertified survey” is just as good as a new survey! Every few years, the industry clarifies and updates standards. Standards change and title insurance coverage changes. If the owner or lender want to be assured that the survey exception ...

Read More

Why Form Your LLC In Delaware?

Often, we are asked why you should form a limited liability company (LLC) in Delaware rather than somewhere else. Although there are duplicative annual filing fees and registered agents fees (add another $500 – $800 per year), there are some important and beneficial reasons why the decision should be made to form the LLC in Delaware. Consider the following: REASON #1 – BUSINESS EXPERIENCE. For many decades, Delaware has been the go-to venue for business; courts routinely deal with busi...

Read More

“Discretion” Matters in Leases – Mandate Arbitration

Commercial leases call for the landlord’s discretion in many instances; three of these instances are very important to all tenants: Any changes to the premises The “use” clause for the premises Any change in the makeup of the tenant(s) All of these require a quick and efficient answer without the tenant spending time, money, and other resources waiting for a court to determine if the landlord was reasonable or acting properly under the lease. Too often, attorneys overlook these pro...

Read More

Federal and State Overtime Rules – Don’t Get Snagged!

Federal and local law regulates overtime pay and hourly wage minimums of certain classes of employees; other laws require employees paid either twice per month or every two weeks. There are severe penalties for not following these laws. Do you comply? Are you exempt from overtime laws based upon the status of the employee? If you pay employees hourly, the employees must be paid overtime. Even if you have employees on a salary basis, their classification as “managerial” or “overtime-exemp...

Read More

Legal Tools all Employers Should Consider: Importance of Employment Releases and Arbitration Clauses

Quite some time ago, the young attorney mentioned to his mentor that “the laws must have been so much easier on business when you were young.” Replied his mentor, “sure, that’s what I said to my mentor!” For employers, the law keeps moving away from the employer to the employee. However, there are still a few tools left that all employers should consider. These tools are the employment release forms and carefully-drawn employment handbooks containing mandatory arbitration clauses. ...

Read More

Lawsuits and the Statutes of Limitations – How Long to Sue?

Real estate developers, contractors, and those in business regularly enter into agreements all the time – leases, contracts, promissory notes, deeds of trust, assignments, etc. A breach of any of those agreements can subject one to a lawsuit. Plaintiffs have a limited period of time within which to sue – that is called the statute of limitations. What is the typical statute of limitation during which one may be sued or one may sue? In some states, it is typically 3 years (District of Columbi...

Read More