New foreclosure law benefits Long Island homeowners

In May 2010, Hallie Maggi received notice from her mortgage company that it was foreclosing on her family’s home in Hauppauge.

Nearly 13 years later, she is optimistic that she and her husband Steven will soon be able to put the case behind them and will own their home free and clear. 

That’s because a new law could help the family win a legal fight with their mortgage holder over their house’s title as it shifts the balance of power in foreclosure cases toward borrowers and away from banks. While it may benefit the Maggis and others like them, there is debate about whether the law will help resolve foreclosure cases more quickly.  

 

WHAT TO KNOW

  • A new foreclosure law has shifted power toward borrowers and away from lenders, according to local attorneys.
  • The law addresses the statute of limitations for filing foreclosure cases and strips lenders of flexibility they were granted through a 2021 decision by the state Court of Appeals.
  • The law could help Long Island homeowners who have been involved in lengthy foreclosure cases.

On Dec. 30, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act, a law designed to limit the ways mortgage lenders can extend the six-year statute of limitations for judicial foreclosure cases. The law is intended to overrule a 2021 decision by the Court of Appeals, Freedom Mortgage Corp. v. Engel, that gave lenders greater flexibility to stop and start foreclosure cases.

Under that decision, it was possible for lenders to voluntarily discontinue a case against a mortgage borrower and then later refile the case, resetting the six-year statute of limitations.

The decision led to a “flurry of motions” from mortgage lenders and servicers seeking to re-open cases,   according to a memo written by the bill’s lead sponsor in the State Senate, Sen.

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New managing partner at Okanagan’s largest law firm – Kelowna News

A new managing partner

Pushor Mitchell LLP has a new managing partner.

Joni Metherell, who started with the Kelowna law firm as an articling student in 1994, has agreed to a three-year term as managing partner. Her role will be to work closely with the other partners and associates to guide the firm’s strategic direction.

Metherell is taking over the role from Andrew Brunton.

“I am proud to be part of such an upstanding firm with a team of dedicated lawyers and staff that not only provide excellent service to our clients but also care deeply about our community,” Metherell said in a press release.

“I want to acknowledge and thank our previous managing partner, Andrew Brunton, for his years in the role, especially with the challenges of the pandemic. And I am particularly excited to take on this role in the start of Pushor Mitchell’s 50th anniversary year.”

Metherell, who has given back to her community throughout her legal career, is currently on the Central Okanagan Hospice Association board. As a lawyer she specializes in wills, trusts and estate litigation as well as property and easement disputes.

Pushor Mitchell is B.C.’s largest law firm outside of the Lower Mainland, with 36 lawyers in more than 25 areas of practice.

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Attorney Seeking $10 Million In Civil Suit From Alex Murdaugh Was Told He Was Broke, According To Testimony

An attorney seeking $10 million from Alex Murdaugh in a wrongful death suit connected to his son’s role in a fatal boat crash, testified Thursday that he was told Murdaugh was broke and would have to struggle to come up with even $1 million.

Mark Tinsley’s testimony came Thursday as prosecutors continue to paint a portrait of a man who was in dire financial straits the night Murdaugh’s wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, were shot to death at the family’s Colleton County hunting compound.

Prosecutors believe Murdaugh, a once prominent attorney, killed his wife and son on June 7, 2021 in an attempt to gain sympathy and more time to try to conceal a series of alleged financial crimes about to come to light.

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Tinsley filed the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, according to NBC News.

Beach was killed in February 2019 when a boat—which allegedly had Murdaugh’s son Paul at the helm—crashed into a bridge pylon and sent her flying into the water.

Paul was facing criminal charges of boating while intoxicated at the time of his death. Beach’s family was also pursuing the civil suit.

Alex Murdaugh listens to his friend Chris Wilson testify

Alex Murdaugh listens to his friend Chris Wilson testify

Alex Murdaugh listens to his friend Chris Wilson testify during his double murder trial at the Colleton County Courthouse on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. Photo: AP

Prosecutors said a hearing for the civil suit, which had the potential to force Murdaugh to reveal his financial activities, was scheduled for just three days after the double homicide, according to CNN.

On Thursday, Tinsley testified that he was seeking $10 million in the lawsuit, but was told Murdaugh was broke and would

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Legal Brief: Barred for Life

This article originally appeared in the February 2023 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.

Imagine you are a kid planning your tenth birthday party. You want to invite Tommy, Bobby, Susie and Jenny, but you are not so sure about Frank and Betty, who were mean to you in gym class. So, Frank and Betty are excluded and cannot go to your jumpy castle party.

Now, imagine you are 60 and a billionaire. Instead of planning jumpy castle birthday parties, you own the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and a variety of other venues and restaurants. You have forgiven Frank and Betty, but you have made a few new enemies (and perceived enemies). Just like you barred Frank and Betty when you were 10, you now have barred dozens, if not hundreds, of people (most of whom you do not even know) from attending events at your venues, including Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall.

To be sure these barred people do not slip past security, you deploy an advanced facial recognition system that compares known images of these people against a scan of their face.

In truth, this is not you. It is billionaire James Dolan.

Selective Bans

Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSG), owned by Mr. Dolan, has been using facial recognition technology for years to manage security risks, such as fans with a history of unruly behavior or others who may be disruptive. Anyone who enters the venue is subject to scanning.

Now, the company is taking its use of this technology to whole new level, by recently enacting a policy forbidding anyone in active litigation against the company and its affiliates from

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New York Law Firm Shearman & Sterling Lays off Lawyers and Staff

(Reuters) – New York-founded law firm Shearman & Sterling said Wednesday it has laid off attorneys and business professionals, citing a need to “align our capacity levels with existing client demands.”

Shearman cut 12 associates and 26 business services professionals in the United States, in what a firm spokesperson described as a response to “continuing and growing economic headwinds and market conditions.”

The layoffs follow similar moves by a handful of other large U.S. law firms amid cooling client demand for legal services, especially for work involving corporate deals.

The cuts at Shearman, which has about 850 lawyers globally, “focused mainly on transactional practice areas most affected by current and projected market conditions,” the firm said.

Seattle-founded law firm Davis Wright Tremaine laid off 21 professional staff this week in areas the firm “either had excess capacity or redundancy and misalignment,” according to a Tuesday statement from its managing partner Scott MacCormack. The cuts there did not include any lawyers, a spokesperson said.

Other law firms that have trimmed their lawyer and professional ranks in recent months also cited staffing levels that outmatched demand, including Goodwin Procter, Cooley and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

Law firms surveyed by Wells Fargo’s Legal Specialty Group reported a 1.9% drop in demand in 2022. Lawyer headcount was up 4.5% after firms kept on most of the attorneys they hired in 2021 and early 2022 to handle surging M&A work at the time, the report said.

Shearman has recently seen some partner exits to rival firms, including the departure this week of London-based lawyer Phil Cheveley, who was head firm‘s M&A practice for EMEA and Asia. A seven-lawyer team left last month in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and a group in France including Sami Toutounji, head of Shearman’s European governance and

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GIVING BACK: Odessa attorneys help out students

For lawyer Israel Medina and his law firm, it means a lot to give back to the community.

This year, they were able to do that again.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Medina Law Firm gave out free backpacks to students going into grades Pre-K through 12 Friday outside the law firm on 2651 Kermit Highway.

This year, 500 total backpacks that were filled with supplies were given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

“It’s just our way of giving back to the community,” Medina said. “Every year, it’s gotten bigger and bigger. The backpacks go faster and faster.”

Backpacks loaded with school supplies lined up and waiting to be donated by the Medina Law Firm on Friday morning. (Photo Courtesy of Bobby Joe Smith)

While the backpacks were gone in about 30 minutes this year, Medina said they had fewer backpacks this year compared to previous years.

“Sometimes we have more,” Medina said. “We got off to a late start this year. We organized all of this in a week. Last week, my staff organized everything and every year it changes just based on our needs and what we can do on a short amount of time. We lost track of time this year and ordered last minute.”

Last year, about 800 backpacks were given away at the Medina Law Firm.

“We were going to give a thousand this year,” Paralegal at the Medina Law Firm Teresa Rodriguez said. “We didn’t have the manpower this year.”

Still, for Medina and the rest of his staff, it means a lot to be able to help the community in any way they can.

“We had some tough times growing up,” Medina said. “When you’re able to give back and make a difference in somebody’s life, that’s great.”

The supplies

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One Phone Call Away From A Super Lawyer

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With less than a month to go until Disney+ & Marvel Studios’ Tatiana Maslany-starring She-Hulk: Attorney at Law gets ready to smash its way onto our screens, the fine folks at the streamer and studio have come up with some “meta” fun to help get viewers in the mood for what’s to come. If you haven’t checked it out yet on social media (or if you’re actually attending the event), then the backstory is that there are posters for the streaming series circulating like they’re ads for Jen’s law firm. But if you call 1-877-SHE-HULK, you will be treated to… well, you know what? We’ll avoid the spoilers (but it’s worth the call). But just in case…

she-hulk
Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

If you don’t want to have a little fun on a Friday, here’s a listen to the recording that social media was kind enough to provide:

During a recent interview with Empire, Maslany shared why Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk was the right kind of comic book character for her to play on a relatable basis. “She really is the antithesis of most superhero narratives. There’s this great element of denial in her that’s relatable. For me, it was about rejecting what’s happened for as long as I could, as that’s what causes the fun tension between Jennifer and She- Hulk,” Maslany explained. But there’s also the matter of how Walters’ new “superheroing” will add to the all-too-real tensions she’s already feeling at her law firm. “She’s in a career that’s male-dominated and incredibly vicious and hierarchal,” Maslany explains. “When she’s heading this superhuman firm, that’s where we get some really fun characters that she’s either defending or in opposition of.

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How legal finance capital facilities power law firm growth and innovation

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Law firms are cash businesses. When cash flow and liquidity are critical, portfolio financing presents a ready source of capital for firms to manage expenses and mitigate the risk of affirmative litigation.

Corporate clients want increasing their law firms to work on some form of results-based engagement, in which whether, how much and when a law firm is paid tie directly to the ultimate success of the particular engagement. For some firms, this fee model aligns perfectly with their business model of working on high value affirmative commercial litigation and arbitration on a contingency model in exchange for a portion of the often significant upside of a big judgment or award. For other firms, affirmative litigation carries the concomitant unpredictability of cash flow timing, and of course, managing cash flow is fundamental to law firm operations and profitability. Legal finance portfolio facilities provide the working capital necessary for law firms to win new clients, invest in firm growth and manage partner compensation so that litigation lawyers can work on multiyear contingency matters.

Firms that serve clients on contingency encounter two challenges. First, plaintiff-side litigators don’t get paid if the client’s case doesn’t win. Second, even when the client does prevail, the unpredictable timing of cash flow to the law firm impedes that firm’s ability to take on new business and grow. Other law firms—typically bigger, more full-service firms—are frequently unwilling or unable to take on any meaningful risk and prefer to continue to be paid using the standard billable hour model. These firms risk losing work to litigation boutiques and other firms that are willing to take contingent risk. Legal finance can help both types of firms evolve to give clients the results-based engagements they are

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Best Law Firm Types For Different Young Lawyers

Working at a law firm is a great start for young lawyers to gain experience and work their way up to a partnership. Still, this track isn’t always the best fit for every lawyer. Some lawyers will do better on their own as solo practitioners and others will be better served in small or large firms. There are several tracks available to lawyers and it’s important to understand each to make the best decision for their career.

What Is It Like to Work at a Law Firm?

There’s no simple answer to this question. The experience depends on the size and reputation of the firm, the practice area, and other factors. No matter the size of the firm, the legal industry is known for being stressful and often includes long hours that seep into a lawyer’s personal time.

The benefits of working at a law firm include getting training from more experienced lawyers, a guaranteed salary, and experts in different departments to handle specific areas of the law firm’s business like invoicing and billing. Lawyers at law firms simply get to practice law without worrying about running a business, handling their own marketing or accounting, or other hassles. That said, the experienced lawyers will have in a small law firm can vary widely, as can the experience in large firms. Some firms may seek out any case they can, while others may focus solely on class action lawsuits followed by layoffs until the next case comes around.

Mid-sized firms are a good in-between that offer less competition and more stability overall, but they can have their downsides. At the right firm, a young lawyer can learn and grow, eventually becoming a vital part of the team.

The big established law firms offer career opportunities, but they can be the most

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Mid-Year Law Firm Best Practices to Boost ROI

While the middle of a calendar year brings summer, children out of school, family vacations, and often slower court schedules, it also provides a halfway point for law firms to review and reflect. By now, your law firm’s marketing strategy should have two fiscal quarters’ worth of data with which to evaluate how its marketing campaigns are going.

Each type of marketing endeavor will get different data – social media metrics revolve around reach, engagement, and clicks, for example, while Google Ads campaigns focus on top of page rate, impression share, and of course conversions.

No matter what type of marketing your law firm is doing – whether paid or unpaid – now is the time to take a hard look at what you’ve done so far this year and see what’s working well, what could use improvement, and what should be discontinued.

How To Evaluate Your Law Firm’s Marketing Effectiveness and Make Adjustments

If you haven’t been tracking the return on investment (ROI) of each marketing effort and/or expenditure as accurately as possible, now is the time to immediately rectify that so you have better data with which to evaluate the effectiveness of moving forward. This means using dedicated call tracking numbers and tracking URLs for every single effort, whether a billboard, print advertisement or email marketing piece.

If you use the same phone number and the same website on all of your ads and channels, you will never be able to accurately identify what leads came from which source and therefore which campaigns are performing best. You must also have Google Analytics and Google Search Console set up and functioning in order to take full advantage of the free metricsdata, and error reporting these tools offer.

If your law firm already has the best possible tracking set

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