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On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision determining that closely-held corporations have a protected right to exercise religious freedoms in how they conduct their business, including in how they provide health-care coverage for their employees. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court determined that regulations promulgated by the…

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On Monday, June 30, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals issued a decision upholding the ability of an individual New York State municipality to utilize its zoning power to ban oil and gas production activities, including hydrofracking, within its own municipal boundaries. The Court of Appeals upheld the prior determination of the Third Department…

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Purchasing or renting either a residential or commercial property can be an exciting and joyful time in a person’s life. However, if the real estate venture fails to come to fruition, or if there is a dispute over the commission owed to a broker on the deal, the matter can quickly spiral into heated litigation….

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In December 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its decision in Kwan v. The Andalex Group, LLC, 737 F.3d 834. Under federal and New York State law, an employee may be terminated for any reason or no reason, so long as it is not a discriminatory reason. This is known…

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The Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed the dismissal of a New York case alleging veterinary malpractice and violation of consumer protection laws against a Pennsylvania university and veterinary hospital, finding the case would be more conveniently adjudicated in Pennsylvania. [Wild v University of Pa., 2014 NY Slip Op 02038] The plaintiff, a New York resident,…

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Over the course of the last couple of weeks, two interesting pieces of information came across my desk which further demonstrate the failure of most Hudson Valley municipalities to provide diverse housing opportunities for all facets of our community. On April 11, 2014, the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development released its 2013 Rental…

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If your next door neighbor obtains approval to enlarge his business or home can you challenge the approval in court? It depends. Generally, a party has “standing” to commence a judicial challenge to overturn a land use decision only if the party can prove that it will suffer a direct injury as a result of…

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The Appellate Division, Third Department has decided that a not-for-profit religious corporation that owns a three-acre parcel of real property in the Town of Catskill, Greene County, carried its burden of demonstrating that it uses the property primarily for its religious and charitable purposes, and therefore qualifies for a real estate tax exemption under New…

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Palma v. National Labor Relations Board, Docket No. 12-1199 (2013), recently held that the Congressional intent in the Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986 (“IRCA”) prevents an award of back-pay to undocumented workers in a labor dispute. The Second Circuit in making its ruling…

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Jacobowitz and Gubits Counselors at Law