Legal Talk

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Podcast by Legal Talk


  • The Hoarding Police

    The Hoarding Police

    09/09/2014 Duração: 04min

    The Hoarding Police by Legal Talk

  • When People Use Their Power

    When People Use Their Power

    26/08/2014 Duração: 05min

    If you think your board of directors is not paying attention to what the ordinary joe apartment owner thinks is important, it’s time to get their attention. There are lots of ways to do that, and organizing a special meeting is one of them. Marc Schneider of Schneider Mitola and Elliott Meisel of Brill & Meisel offer some down-to-earth advice on this powerful option.

  • Flip Facts

    Flip Facts

    11/08/2014 Duração: 05min

    Selling an apartment is a huge undertaking, and lots of money changes hands. One hand that is often outstretched is that of the co-op being left. Depending on what a co-op’s governing documents say, a transfer or flip tax might be collected. For the seller, now flush with cash, that fee provides welcome revenue to a co-op’s coffers. But for the co-op corporation that doesn’t have a flip tax, it’s a missed opportunity. Listen as Norman Himmelfarb, of Himmelfarb & Sher, and Andrew Brucker, of Schechter and Brucker, lay out what’s needed to make the flip happen. Featuring the song “Jazz’n’Out” from the album Jazzafari Bea Tape Vol. 1, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

  • The Gray Zone

    The Gray Zone

    28/07/2014 Duração: 07min

    Boards make all kinds of decisions, and most of the time it’s pretty clear what is legal and what is not. But some activities cross into the gray zone – not really illegal, but not a good place to be, either. Dennis Greenstein of Seyfarth Shaw and Marc Landis of Phillips Nizer mark the boundaries of this zone and come up with the ultimate solution to avoiding it.

  • Can The Super Fix My Leak?

    Can The Super Fix My Leak?

    14/07/2014 Duração: 05min

    In every co-op or condo, there is a go-to guy. He’s the super. These men, and yes, they are mostly men, work for your building, are covered by your building’s insurance policy, and are on your building's payroll. They take care of everything in your building. The one thing they are not paid to do, though, is to fix stuff in your apartment. But they do. And for co-ops and condos, that can be a problem. Dean Roberts of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, and Phyllis Weisberg of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, offer advice on what to do. Featuring the song “Lose the Box” from the album Swing Soiree by Ménage Quad, licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0.

  • Bylaw Facelift

    Bylaw Facelift

    30/06/2014 Duração: 07min

    Mark Gauthier’s ten unit co-op is steeped in history. It’s in the Jackson Heights’ historic district, it was built in 1922, and it still uses the original set of bylaws. That’s right. Their bylaws are 92 years old. Seems like it’s time for an update. Listen as David Berkey, partner at Gallet Dreyer and Berkey, and Joel Miller, of the law firm Miller and Miller, lay out the what’s needed and why, and what it might cost. Featuring the song “History Repeats” from the album The Simple Life by Josh Woodward, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

  • Whiner


    16/06/2014 Duração: 05min

    Okay, let’s be honest: some people are born to whine and complain. And sure enough, some of these people end up buying apartments and they morph into complaining neighbors. If you’re a board member on the other side of this complaint litany, you can just go crazy. Don’t do that. Instead, listen to Habitat’s legal experts calmly, and clearly, tell you what to do. Listen as Matthew Leeds, partner at Ganfer & Shore, and Pierre Debbas of Romer Debbas offer advice to weary board directors dealing with squeaky wheels. Featuring the song “Failure” from the album netBloc Vol. 41: Brought to you by the numerals 4 and 1 by Derek Clegg, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

  • Lets Slap A Pair Of Cuffs On Him

    Let's Slap A Pair Of Cuffs On Him

    02/06/2014 Duração: 07min

    What happens when someone on your board is governing for personal gain? Lots, that’s what. Sometimes money gets spent when it shouldn’t; decisions are made that are wonky; and those who suspect something's up get intimidated. Listen as Ken Jacobs, partner at Smith, Buss and Jacobs, and Stuart Halper of Stuart Halper & Associates offer advice to a former board director on steps to take when something smells. Featuring the song “Bad Scene” from the album Grit by Podington Bear licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

  • My Big Fat Access Problem

    My Big Fat Access Problem

    19/05/2014 Duração: 07min

    In Brooklyn, there is a 16-unit condominium with an access problem. The cable box for the entire building is in the back of the condo, and to get to it you have to go through one of the two ground-floor apartments. Problem is, when there’s cable trouble, there’s no super and no doorman. And the ground-floor owner isn’t always around to open the door for the repairman so he can get to the cable box. Listen as Seth Sahr, partner at Novitt, Sahr & Snow, and Robert Tierman, partner at Litwin & Tierman, help this board president figure out what to do. Featuring the song “Banging on My Door,” by Waylon Thornton, from the album Paranormal High School licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US.

  • The Parking Problem

    The Parking Problem

    05/05/2014 Duração: 08min

    This is a saga of too few parking spaces, a co-op board vote to raise the monthly garage fees, a president who ignored the vote and a board member who resigned over the whole affair. Listen as Stuart Saft, partner at Holland & Knight, and Scott Greenspun, partner at Braverman Greenspun, discuss where is the right, and where is the wrong. Featuring the song “Parking Lots And Strip Malls,” by David Rovics, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

  • Let My People Go

    Let My People Go

    22/04/2014 Duração: 10min

    In the beginning, the corporation that we know as a co-op or condo was created by a sponsor. And the sponsor said, let there be community life. He saw all that he made, he saw that it was very good, and he decided - well, he decided that maybe he would stick around. At least he did at Rhona Magilowitz’s co-op in Forest Hills, Queens. Listen as Eric Goidel, partner at Borah, Goldstein, Altschuler, Nahins & Goidel, and Lewis Montana, partner at Levine & Montana, offer some advice on how to work the situation. Music by Les Petits Chanteurs de Montigny, Creative Commons license.

  • Who Will Help Us?

    Who Will Help Us?

    07/04/2014 Duração: 05min

    There is a group of shareholders out in Queens that is fed up with its board. In fact, it is trying to organize a coup. But because the shareholders are basically law-abiding citizens, they’re not taking to the hallways - they’re calling their co-op’s attorney. They want to find out what they should do to get elected at the upcoming annual meeting. Listen as Theresa Racht, partner at Racht & Taffae, and Dale Degenshein, special counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, give them some unexpected advice.

  • Pick Your Poison, But Be Reasonable About It

    Pick Your Poison, But Be Reasonable About It

    24/03/2014 Duração: 08min

    You’ve got a lot of decisions to make as a board director, and any one of them could be your downfall. Out in Queens, a condo board president is trying to figure out his next step. He’s juggling years of leaks, an engineering report calling for half a million dollars’ worth of work, a reserve fund that is almost empty, a small group of thirty unit-owners to foot the bill, and a whole lot of dissension. Listen as Ron Gold, partner at Kagan Lubic Lepper Finkelstein & Gold, and Michael Manzi, partner at Balber Pickard Maldonado & Van Der Tuin, offer advice.

  • It’s Our Dime And Time

    It’s Our Dime And Time

    10/03/2014 Duração: 07min

    Talk about trust gone awry. There’s a large co-op on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that woke up to a huge problem. Seems their full-time super, under the instruction of their property management company, was working at several other properties - but on their dime and time! The board is furious and ready to - well, ready to what? Listen as attorneys Steven Sladkus, a partner at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, and Stewart Wurtzel, partner at Tane Waterman & Wurtzel, offer strategic next steps.

  • Getting A Board To Limit The Light - Up

    Getting A Board To Limit The Light - Up

    25/02/2014 Duração: 07min

    How do you get your board to tackle the issue of smoking? Persistence, with a dose of shareholder muscle, that’s how. Phil Konigsburg, a long-time board director in Queens, faces this problem. He’s surveyed the residents, brought the matter up with his board colleagues, but so far - nada. Listen as attorneys Steven Wagner, principal at Porzio, Bromberg and Newman, and Steve Lasser, partner at Barton LLP, advise Phil on how to effectively organize shareholders and move the board to action.

  • Access Agreements

    Access Agreements

    10/02/2014 Duração: 08min

    Chances are that your neighborhood will change, and new buildings will rise. So what else is knew? Well, if it takes place next door to your co-op or condo, there’s stuff you need to do - and quick. Listen as two attorneys, C. Jaye Berger and Richard Klein, both solo practitioners in their eponymous New York law firms, advise a Brooklyn board president on steps to take when the adjacent parking lot is no longer for parking, but is awaiting construction.

  • Shareholder Ennui

    Shareholder Ennui

    27/01/2014 Duração: 07min

    The economic life in most co-op buildings ticks along in a pretty ho-hum manner. That is, until the board of directors wants to do something out of the ordinary. Such is the case in Tom Bettridge’s Brooklyn co-op, where the board wants to morph their current administrative fee into a real flip tax. But can they muster enough votes to do so? Listen as Bruce Cholst, a partner in Rosen Livingston and Cholst, and Arthur Weinstein, a solo practitioner in New York, advise Tom on ways to overcome shareholder apathy and how to come to terms with that fundamental democratic issue of whose ox is being gored.

  • When Roommates Are Objectionable

    When Roommates Are Objectionable

    18/09/2013 Duração: 08min

    What do you do when a roommate is making others uncomfortable? That is what’s going on at 75 West 238th Street in the Bronx, and Kennita Anderson, the property manager from Robert E. Hill who oversees the co-op, is asking for advice. Listen as Robert Braverman, a partner in Braverman Greenspun, and Dale Degenshein, special counsel in the real estate department of Stroock Stroock & Lavan, help Ms Anderson figure out who the real culprit is and how to deal with the problem.

  • Subletting As Mini - Business

    Subletting As Mini - Business

    04/09/2013 Duração: 09min

    Norma Bellino’s board at a 420-unit Manhattan co-op is dealing with a crafty serial subletter. It has fined the shareholder, but it seems his subletting business is too good to be thwarted by a monetary slap. What should the board do next? Phyllis Weisberg, a partner in Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, and Seth Sahr, a partner in Novitt, Sahr & Snow, team up to offer some strategies to undercut the subletter’s mini-business, ending it once and for all.

  • Condo Arrears: Cutting Them Off At The Amenity Pass

    Condo Arrears: Cutting Them Off At The Amenity Pass

    20/08/2013 Duração: 09min

    Condo amenities are great – there are gyms, pools, tennis courts, playrooms, and roof decks, and they all add to the value of apartments. But there’s a dark underbelly to all this glitz: when owners fall behind on monthly common charges, they stand to lose access to these goodies. That is the case at a Long Island condo, and the board is wondering if it can cut off the delinquents at the amenity pass. Listen as Theresa Racht, partner at Racht & Taffae, and Steve Wagner, principal at Porzio, Bromberg and Newman, untangle the problem for the managers.

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