Recent Publications


New York Insurance Coverage Law Update
February 28, 2024 | Insurance Coverage

New York’s Highest Court Holds That Restaurants’ Business Losses from Coronavirus Not Covered

The insured, Consolidated Restaurant Operations, a company that owns and operates dozens of restaurants, obtained a commercial property policy from Westport Insurance Company. Subject to certain exclusions, the policy covered “all risks of direct physical loss or damage to insured property” and

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Insurance Update
February 23, 2024 | Insurance Coverage

In this month’s insurance update, we address:

  • Whether opioid suits allege an occurrence
  • Whether the recurring presence of wild turkeys is “infestation”
  • Whether improper copying of an industry publication was in the performance of professional services
  • Whether wildfire dust is a “pollutant”
  • Whether an aircraft exclusion applies to a partially disassembled plane
  • And whether
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COVID Biz Interruption Coverage Denied by NY Court of Appeals
February 20, 2024 | Insurance Coverage

On February 15, 2024, the New York Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the Appellate Division, First Department decision affirming dismissal of restaurant operator Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc.’s (CRO) complaint against Westport Insurance Corp. seeking COVID-19 business interruption coverage.

The Court’s affirmance continues New York’s well-settled approach to contract interpretation, which demands that all contracts –

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Plan Now for Sunsetting Estate & Gift Tax Exemption
February 12, 2024 | Trusts & Estates | Tax

As we’ve previously discussed, portability is an important feature of an estate plan. Portability allows the surviving spouse to die to “save” any of their predeceased spouse’s unused federal estate and gift exemption amount. A federal tax of 40% is imposed on each dollar that exceeds a decedent’s federal estate and gift exemption amount.

The

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Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts: A Way to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
February 1, 2024 | Trusts & Estates | Tax

You may have heard of Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLATS) lately, especially if you have been thinking about using your federal estate and gift tax exemption before the current higher exemption amount of $13.61 million is automatically reduced to about $7 million on January 1, 2026, assuming Congress takes no action. (See my column from last

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New York Insurance Coverage Law Update
January 30, 2024 | Insurance Coverage

Second Circuit Holds That Malpractice Insurer Has No Duty to Defend or to Indemnify Lawyer Because Of Business Enterprise Exclusion

 Associated Industries Insurance Company sued its insureds, a lawyer, and his former law firm, seeking a declaration that it had no duty to defend or to indemnify an underlying lawsuit brought by their former client.

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New York Insurance Coverage Law Update — Compilation 2023
January 30, 2024 | Insurance Coverage

Please click the link below to view the New York Insurance Coverage Law Update – Compilation 2023.

New York

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Wendy and Jen Wreck the Movies: ‘Willy Wonka’ (1971) or You Got Your Kid in My Chocolate
January 30, 2024 | Compliance, Investigations & White Collar | Corporate | Employment & Labor | Immigration

What Happened

Come on, you know what happened, right?

For those denied the joy of Roald Dahl and his take on bad parents, here is an overview.

Willy Wonka, the owner of Wonka’s Chocolates, is a unique and secretive chocolatier. Wonka’s Chocolates has one factory. Unlike other factories, no workers or visitors are seen entering

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Not-for-Profits and the CTA
January 29, 2024 | Corporate

Recently, there has been extensive reporting about the federal Corporate Transparency Act, or the “CTA,” the stated objective of which is to enhance transparency in entity structure and ownership in order to combat money laundering, tax fraud, and misconduct through business structures. The CTA, which became effective as of January 1, 2024, requires certain

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The Impact of the CCAM on Trust Decanting in New York
January 26, 2024 | Trusts & Estates

On Dec. 29, 2023, the Office of the Chief Counsel (the Chief Counsel) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Chief Counsel Advice Memorandum 202352018 (the CCAM).

Although some have commented on the CCAM’s impact on trust modifications, a further question is what impact, if any, will the CCAM have on trust decantings in New

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Insurance Update
January 23, 2024 | Insurance Coverage

In our January insurance update, we include three state cases addressing some less common situations.

It’s not often that a pollution exclusion is interpreted in the context of an auto policy.  But the South Dakota Supreme Court considered whether the exclusion barred a claim arising from a contaminated wheat delivery.

Village officials made it very

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The Importance of Estate Planning
January 19, 2024 | Trusts & Estates

When we think about making plans to secure our future, generally the discussions revolve around education, career, family, and finances. Creating a comprehensive estate plan, including effective advanced directives, can elude even the most organized and diligent people. A survey by Caring.com noted that 1 in 5 people who died during the 2020 pandemic did

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LIBN Op-Ed — Sewers: Good for the Environment, Good for the Economy
January 19, 2024 | Environmental

On January 18, Long Island Business News published Chris Murray’s opinion piece, “Sewers: Good for the Environment, Good for the Economy.”

Here is the full text.

Not often is a policy initiative good for both the environment and business. Sewer expansion is one of those initiatives. The development of sewer systems in Suffolk County would not

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Title Reporter Published in Real Estate Finance Journal
January 18, 2024 | Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use

Michael Heller’s, Matthew Spero’s and Lawrence Han’s Fall issue of the Title Reporter was published in the Real Estate Finance Journal.

This article discusses the following court rulings and other title insurance-related developments, among others:

  • “Deed Theft: Recent New York Developments” explains that New York State prosecutors, and the New York State legislature, have
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Consider Making Large Gifts before the 2026 Exemption Reduction Kicks In
January 18, 2024 | Trusts & Estates | Tax

The current combined federal estate and gift tax exemption amount of $13.61 million per person ($27.22 million per married couple) is scheduled to “sunset” automatically on January 1, 2026, and revert to $5 million indexed for inflation (guesstimated at $7 million), unless Congress takes action. This exemption amount applies to the total taxable gifts made

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