In re NYC Real Estate and eating rich people

My job is to represent potential purchasers and sellers in Real Estate closings in New York City.  It’s pretty cut and dry.   I have no idea where the market is going (although clients always ask me, as does my family).  No idea if people are going to make or lose money.  But, with this gig, you get a front row seat of what’s going on in the marketplace.  Here’s what I see:   1.  Mortgage Contingencies, the “Reset” button in real estate closings in New York, where you can get your money back if a bank won’t lend to … Read more

Using the cloud to revolutionize Real Estate Closings in NYC

I’ve been a huge fan of Basecamp and Trello for a while.  Our law offices uses it all the time for our back office needs, specifically for Real Estate closings in NYC.     Recently, I had an idea to cut through the inefficiency that is the real estate closing process in New York.  Typically, it takes days if not weeks to get a Contract signed, when, realistically, that could be done in as little as 24 hours (if you’re able to do the due diligence.)  This led us to Basecamp and Trello.  What if we could upload the Contracts to … Read more

In Re: Wiping your ass with Branding Experts

Whilst trolling the Clio Cloud Conference the other day, I intervened in a Twitter conversation between Monseiur Brian Tannebaum, a successful criminal defense attorney in Miami, and Vincent Depalma, a self described “tech expert” and believer of “branding” for lawyers (LOL) over at where he describes himself as “an all around stand up guy”.  If I described myself as an all around stand up guy, you should perhaps think twice about hiring me, as it’s quite odd to declare such things as objective fact.   Brian, Vince and myself got around to talking about branding for lawyers and whether or not … Read more

Lawyers, we’re f**king doing it wrong…

On Saturday morning, I read an absolutely wonderful story in the NY Times by Michael Beschloss, one of the best Presidential historians of our time.   It was about President Truman and how he played Poker within the backdrop of the Cold War.  I follow Michael on Twitter as well.  I do this because his commentary is captivating.  He has great content.  You learn something when you read what he writes (and he writes quite well.)  Lawyers should take note of this when someone is selling them on “tech” and “building an online presence.” Much of my practice is devoted … Read more

What will the Trustee ask me at the Meeting of the Creditors

I love doing podcasts over at Gershburg Law, P.C. because my voice somehow sounds semi-sexy (very different in real life).  In any case, my most recent podcast surrounds the Meeting of the Creditors in New York City, also known as the “341 Meeting.”  This is where the Chapter 7 Trustee will ask a number of questions surrounding your Bankruptcy petition.  “Do you own a car?”  ” Do you own a home?”  The problem is many people that have filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New York City don’t know the questions that are coming their way.  Their attorney doesn’t prepare them … Read more

Keeping your car and filing Bankruptcy in New York City

  You’re filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New York City and you want to keep your car, but can you?       Yes, under certain circumstances.   1.  If you’re using the Federal Exemptions (typically when you don’t own a home in New York, or, if you do own a home in New York and it has less than $150,000 in equity) you have $3,425 as an equity exemption to protect it.   How do you determine equity of a vehicle in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? You take the amount you have left to pay on your note for the … Read more

NYC Chapter 7 Trustees and Abuse

  The New York Law Journal recently posted a story where two per diem attorneys in New York City filed complaints against Chapter 7 Trustees for abuse of debtors.  One of the debtors, the story alleges, is Spanish and was essentially verbally harassed and abused because he needed to use a translation service when he testified at the Meeting of the Creditors.  Before I go further, let me make a few disclosures:   One of the Trustees named in this story is Robert Geltzer.  I previously worked as an Of Counsel to Mr. Geltzer in several cases, wherein we attempted … Read more

NYC Real Estate is Ready for an innovator

The New York Observer has an amazing post pointing out that the housing bubble we are currently experiencing in New York City simply doesn’t account for the housing needs of most New Yorkers.  It’s not hyperbole to describe this as a watershed moment for New York real estate and an absolutely critical moment to “disrupt” the typical way of renting/selling real estate here.  Huge change are afoot, and the market is all but begging for it.   Let’s begin with the current housing stats.  Residential construction in New York City soared by 50% in 2013.  On the face of it, that’s … Read more

Do not ever discount your legal fees. Ever.

This is more of a practice management post:   Never discount your legal fees.  Ever.  I don’t care who the client is.   People have told me this for years and for years I would nod and for years I would discount fees, and it is a horrific, horrific mistake (that I’ve made previously). Why do most people do it?   The promise of future business. Potential client says “If we do this one at ‘x’, I will have no problem paying ‘y’ on the next. Potential client says “I will refer all of my friends to you” Potential client … Read more