BLOG / 02.08.21 /Randi F. Plevy

The Pitfalls Involved in Disposing or Mortgaging Real Property Owned by Religious Corporations

The pastor of a small church in Manhattan contacted me several years ago asking for help. The congregation had outgrown its space and was seeking to sell its building and move to a larger building in the Bronx. In fact, the church was already under contract to sell the building to a developer, but the …

BLOG / 02.08.21 /Nancy Durand

New York Appellate Court Recognizes Private Right of Action for Nonprofit Employees Against Employers who Violate Whistleblower Protections Under Section 715-b of the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law

Section 715-b of the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the “NPCL”) requires nonprofits with 20 or more employees and annual revenues in excess of one million dollars to adopt an explicit whistleblower policy to protect from retaliation persons who report suspected improper conduct. Nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees or with annual revenues lower than $1,000,000 do …

BLOG / 11.10.20 /Jacob E. Amir

Thinking about the “When” . . . when drafting a dispute resolution provision in construction agreements

The importance of the dispute resolution provision in a construction contract should not be overlooked. This means addressing not only how the parties will resolve disputes between them (e.g., mediation, arbitration or litigation) but also answering the “when?” of that process. New York State’s suspension of filing deadlines in civil cases is coming to an …

BLOG / 10.28.20 /Jacob E. Amir

Owner questions for a mechanic’s lien filed against their property

Watch Jacob Amir, Partner at Smith Buss & Jacobs, LLP talk about questions an owner might ask if a mechanic’s lien is filed against their property.

BLOG / 10.13.20 /Nancy Durand

Board Governance Series – Part I of V

How to Build an Effective Board of Directors Part I: Know Your Role Congratulations, you are a new member of the board of directors. Now what? Often directors are thrown into the proverbial hot [board] seat without an understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Misunderstanding the board’s role or directors’ duties produces a dysfunctional board, …

BLOG / 10.06.20 /Nancy Durand

Board Governance Series How to Build an Effective Board of Directors

Being a board member of a nonprofit entity is an awesome responsibility undertaken by volunteers (often with other full-time commitments) who are driven by a desire to contribute meaningfully to their community, industry, or society at large. Whether you serve on the board of a nonprofit corporation, foundation, or housing entity, you are a fiduciary …

BLOG / 09.14.20 /Mark L. Manewitz

The New Discussion About Remediation — What is Really “CLEAN”?

The phrase “How clean is clean?” used to dominate all environmental remediation. Responsible parties, or as they are often called, “Potentially Responsible Parties (PRP’s) asked, “What are we going to do about the contamination in the soil or water once we test if its toxicity value exceeds the standards set by either the Federal Government …

BLOG / 08.26.20 /Jacob E. Amir

Contractor’s delay in bringing legal action proves very costly

by Jacob E. Amir May owners and general contractors agree to shorten New York’s legal time period for bringing legal action to recover contract damages? Yes. And if that time period runs from the date of “construction completion” but a formal notice of completion is never issued, will a contractor be barred from suing under …

BLOG / 07.03.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Jeffrey D. Buss,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro


NEW LAWS REGARDING EVICTIONS AND FORECLOSURES; PPP PROGRAM EXTENDED; Q&A ON REOPENING ISSUES MORATORIUM ON RESIDENTIAL NON-PAYMENT EVICTIONS EXTENDED INDEFINITELY.  Last night Governor Cuomo signed the “Tenant Safe Harbor Act”, which bans issuance of a warrant of eviction against a residential tenant or other lawful occupant who has suffered a “financial hardship” during the “COVID-19 …

BLOG / 06.22.20 /Jacob E. Amir

Remember Lien Law 3A Payment Obligations with the Shutdown Fading and Construction Projects Resuming

With the nearly three-month construction work stoppage now in the rear view mirror, owners and contractors need to refocus on funding and payment issues under suspended contracts. A recent article in Construction Dive, a trade publication, noted a 40% increase nationwide in the number of mechanic’s lien filings, suggesting that some parties are resorting to …

BLOG / 05.28.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Jeffrey D. Buss,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

COVID-19: Guidelines for Reopening Buildings

Guidelines for Reopening Buildings The pressure to relax the guidelines for access to condominium and cooperative buildings, including their common facilities, has been growing. Boards need to develop a plan for handling the increased risks that come with increased traffic within the premises and social interaction among owners. The following assumes that you have guidelines …

BLOG / 05.26.20 /Jacob E. AmirandKenneth R. Jacobs

COVID-19: Reopening Guidance for Property Owners on Construction Projects; New NYS Small Business Loan Assistance

REOPENING GUIDANCE FOR PROPERTY OWNERS RESTARTING CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS NEW NYS SMALL BUSINESS LOAN ASSISTANCE MID-HUDSON REGION REOPENS MAY 26, 2020; LONG ISLAND TO FOLLOW MAY 27, 2020. The Mid-Hudson Region reopens for Phase One today, and Long Island reopens with Phase 1 tomorrow. Phase 1 means that contractors in these Regions can resume non-essential construction …

BLOG / 05.19.20 /Jacob E. Amir

COVID-19: Contractors . . . Get Ready to Get Back to Work

Construction is at the top of the list of the group of industries scheduled to reopen first under Governor Cuomo’s four-phase plan. That is good news for contractors, developers and owners. To enable a smooth transition back to work, interested parties should consider how an ongoing project may have been affected by the shutdown, and …

BLOG / 05.18.20 /Jacob E. Amir

COVID-19: State Authorizes Phased-in Reopening of Businesses. When Will New York City, LI and Westchester Qualify? Some Reopening Considerations.

New York State has implemented a four-phase plan to reopen businesses across the state based on seven benchmarks. The state is divided into ten regions: New York City and Long Island are each separate regions, and Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess and Putnam counties are part of the “Mid-Hudson Region.” As of now, none of these …

BLOG / 04.13.20 /Jacob E. AmirandKenneth R. Jacobs


Although not given as much attention as the Payroll Protection Program, the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act also provides new tax credit, deferral and net operating loss deductions which may be beneficial for your business. Section 2301 Employee Retention Credit Section 2301 gives eligible employers a tax credit against the 6.2% …

BLOG / 04.03.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro


PPP applications were made available on Tuesday night. By Wednesday, approved SBA lenders were overwhelmed with requests for assistance. This morning, Treasury issued new application forms that are completely different from the old ones! [CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION] Meanwhile, we are getting the following feedback from lenders and asset managers: 1. They will give first …

BLOG / 04.01.20 /Kenneth R. Jacobs

Coronavirus: Paycheck Protection Program Application Form Out!

PPP APPLICATION FORM OUT! The Treasury Department has just issued the form of Application for Paycheck Protection Program applications. The form of application is attached to this E-Mail, together with guidance from Treasury for prospective Borrowers. Who to Believe? The Borrower’s Guidance accompanying the application states that loans will have a maturity of two years …

BLOG / 03.18.20 /Jack Malley

What Penalties Can Employers Suffer for Denying Coronavirus-Based Paid Sick Leave Requests?

Many of our clients have been consulting us regarding paid leave requests they anticipate related to the coronavirus. Employers should be aware of the penalties for an unlawful denial of such requests under paid sick leave laws enacted by Westchester County and NYC. The penalties include fines, back pay, job reinstatement and the payment of …

BLOG / 10.29.19 /Nancy Durand

The Johnson Amendment Finds Refuge Under New York Law

On October 23, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that restricts the ability of certain nonprofit corporations to participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or against a candidate for public office. The new legislation codifies the federal Johnson Amendment, which is a provision in the U.S. tax code that prohibits all 501(c)(3) …

BLOG / 08.22.19 /Jacob E. Amir

Subcontractors, Prevailing Wages and the Construction Fair Play Act

Jacob Amir contributed an article in Cornerstone, the semi-annual publication of the Associated General Contractors, New York State, a leading trade association representing contractors and related companies in the building and highway construction industry.