Josh Bauchner speaks to ABC news about the Galloway Case

Posted on August 12th, 2015

Last week the Josh Bauchner, an attorney in Ansell Grimm & Aaron’s Woodland Park office, spoke with Philadelphia’s ABC Action News (Video) regarding Earl Galloway and his suit against Stafford Township and township officials. Bauchner represents Galloway who contends Stafford Township and township officials have tried to intimidate him and violated his First Amendment rights because he spoke out about Mayor John Spodofora’s misrepresentation of his military service.

 

Gaye family wins latest round in “Blurred Lines” battle

Posted on August 4th, 2015

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have been denied a new trial in their battle with the family of late singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye over their 2013 hit “Blurred Lines”. Earlier this year a jury awarded Gaye’s children $7.4 million in compensation and damages for copyright infringement of Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up”.

Thicke and Williams argued that while the songs were written in the same style, they were musically distinct enough that the copyright of the previous song was not violated. In March, a Los Angeles jury disagreed and that decision was appealed. In the most recent decision the $7.4 million award was reduced to $5.3 million and the parties held responsible for the infringement have been expanded from Thicke and Williams to include rapper TI (Clifford Harris Jr.), who collaborated on the song, and the record labels involved in the distribution of the song, UMG Recordings, Interscope and Star Trak Entertainment.

Also as part of the decision, Gaye’s family will receive an ongoing royalty rate of 50% of songwriter and publishing revenues however their request for an injunction was denied.

This latest decision, rendered by United States District Court Judge John A. Kronstadt, is expected to be appealed and perhaps further clarity will be gained as to the difference between musical inspiration and infringement of a copyright.

The most recent decision in the case, Pharrell Williams, et al. v. Bridgeport Music, Inc., et al, can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/271609045/Blurred-Lines-Post-Trial-Order

 

AG&A handles the consultation on and registration of copyrights for further information, contact Pamela A. Mulligan, Esquire .

The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein. (more)

 

Getting Ready for some football

Posted on July 30th, 2015

Jets standout left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson takes a moment to greet members of Ansell Grimm & Aaron PC's community association practice group , Hub International, Rezkom Enterprises, Wilkin & Guttenplan, PC and Professional Restoration at a night with the Jets earlier this month.

On July 13, 2015 Ansell Grimm, & Aaron, PC teamed up with HUB International, along with Rezkom Enterprises, Wilkin & Guttenplan, PC and Professional Restoration for a night with the Jets at the Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Our attendees were able to do drills on the Jets training field, as it was a gorgeous night, enjoy appetizers, dinner, refreshments and cocktails, and meet, talk to and toss the ball with one of the New York Jets’ premiere players, D’Brickashaw Ferguson. What a great night! Thanks to HUB, our co-sponsors, the New York Jets and especially all of our attendees!

Ansell Representing Plaintiff in Civil Rights Case

Posted on July 13th, 2015

Michael H. Ansell, Esq., an associate with Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C., along with Josh Bauchner, a partner at the firm, is representing Earl Galloway in his suit against Stafford Township and township officials for trying to intimidate him and violating his First Amendment rights. On Friday June 10, State Superior Court Judge Arnold Goldman ruled that the matter qualified as a Civil Rights case and therefore does not need to meet the requirements of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. To read more on the subject, please visit the Asbury Park Press website.

The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein.

 

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New Jersey Court Rescues Associations Plagued with Construction Defects &/or a Contractor’s Faulty Work

Posted on July 9th, 2015

Mark Wiechnik, Esq. and Breanne DeRaps, Esq. of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C. secured a resounding victory for condominium associations and homeowners across New Jersey today.

In a published (and precedential) decision the New Jersey Appellate Division found that construction defects and faulty workmanship that cause damage to other property is a covered event under the General Contractor’s general liability insurance policies. The decision in Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, LLC., et al., confirmed that associations plagued by defective roofs, brick, siding and other defects which allow water to intrude and cause damage now have a source of recovery from the General Contractor’s insurance. Prior to this decision, there had been no determination by any appellate court in New Jersey on this issue. In fact, the only reported relevant case until now often killed a community’s or building’s attempt to cure construction defects and/or faulty workmanship, because it found that a General Contractor’s policy could not be triggered by any damage to the building/common elements in question. Mark and Breanne successfully convinced this court to soundly reject that position.

It is common in New Jersey that General Contractors form single-purpose entities that have little or no assets or means to pay a judgment. Thus, absent insurance coverage for the General Contractor, an association is often left without a way to recover the funds necessary to fix construction defects and/or faulty workmanship. The confirmation that insurance coverage exists represents a significant step forward in protecting the rights of associations and homeowners when they are faced with construction defects and faulty workmanship. We are extremely proud of this victory for our clients.

Mark, Breanne and the rest of Ansell’s Community Association Group represent many associations and homeowners suffering from the consequences of defective construction and faulty workmanship.  Feel free to contact us at mmw@ansellgrimm.com or bmd@ansellgrimm.com if you have questions regarding your home or association. We should be able to assist you.

 

The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein.

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New Case Law Effecting Chapter 13 Plans and the Priority of Lenders/Condominium Association Assessments

Posted on July 9th, 2015

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey recently recognized that a condominium association’s lien is entitled to a limited six-month priority over a first mortgage.  The Court held in the matter, In re: Mark and Ronda Rones (Case No. 14-35899-CMG) that a condominium lien is not a statutory lien but rather a “consensual lien” since it arises from the condominium association’s master deed and bylaws.  The Rones Court determined that the act of purchasing the unit and voluntarily accepting and recording the unit deed  subjects the unit and the unit’s owners to the master deed and bylaws and gives rise to the lien.

The Rones Court also held that the New Jersey Condominium Act (the “Act”) provides a condominium association lien security for the six-month priority window.  However, the Act does not secure the lien beyond that. If the amount due on the first mortgage exceeds the value of the unit, the condominium lien becomes wholly unsecured and in a Chapter 13 Plan may be stripped off.  Therefore, where the first mortgage exceeds the value of the unit, a debtor’s Chapter 13 Plan can strip off the condominium lien and deem the portion of the lien subject to the six-month priority as secured and the remainder as unsecured.

Lenders, condominium associations and individual bankruptcy filers alike should all be aware of this new case law.

 – Pamela A. Mulligan

The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein.

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Bauchner Representing Plaintiff in Civil Rights Case

Posted on July 1st, 2015

Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq., a partner of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C., is representing Earl Galloway in his suit against Stafford Township and township officials for trying to intimidate him and violating his First Amendment rights. To read more on the subject, please visit the Asbury Park Press website.

 

The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein.

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Law Governing Association Elections & Board Member Removal Advances in New Jersey Assembly

Posted on June 30th, 2015

The New Jersey Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee recently favorably reported its Bill No. 3069. If adopted by the full Legislature, and signed by the Governor, New Jersey’s Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act (PREDFDA) would be amended to further regulate the elections, and board of trustee service, of condominiums and homeowners’ associations.

More specifically, the boards of associations with less than 11 homes would be limited to only three (3) members. The boards of all other associations must have five (5) members unless that association’s bylaws provide otherwise. The law would mandate certain election-related procedures, including anonymous owner voting. It would also create a rather specific process by which member of an association’s board could be removed therefrom. The existing board would have certain powers to remove a board member, following the request of a small portion of the owners.

Further, regardless of the provision(s) set forth in an association’s bylaws, 10% of the owners could force the association to have a special owners meeting for the purpose of board member(s) removal. Not unexpectedly, this law would enlarge the existing regulatory powers of New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs, empowering it to oversee associations’ compliance. If you have any questions about this pending law, about any other pending law and/or an existing law, relating to New Jersey’s community associations, please contact us.”

 – David Bryne

 The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein.

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Court Validates Condominium Board’s Refusal to File Insurance Claim In Connection with a “Unit”

Posted on June 30th, 2015

Because of a faulty thermostat, John and Nancy Buchler unknowingly constantly ran the heat in their condominium unit at a very high temperature. The continuous heat resulted in ‘cracks in the dry wall, damage to the ceilings and woodwork, and damage to the furniture and floors’, as well as damage to the unit’s other thermostat.  The master deed includes within its definition of “Units” the following: “appliances …interior partitions, and other improvements located within or appurtenant to the UNIT on the interior side of all walls within the unit.’  It defines ‘common elements’ as ‘all land and all portions of the property not located within any UNIT’.

This condominium maintained insurance coverage ONLY to the extent required by New Jersey’s Condominium Act (the “Act”), its master deed and its bylaws. Since those documents mandate only coverage to include ‘all areas of the building not owned by UNIT OWNERS’, and the Act mandates only coverage for ‘all common elements and all structural portions of the condominium property,’ this condominium purchased a commercial property insurance policy covering only the condominium’s ‘common elements’.   The policy’s endorsement further clarified the scope of the condominium’s coverage, ensuring that there was/is no coverage for any portion of the condominium that is ‘reserved for’ a unit ‘owner’s exclusive use or occupancy.’

As is far too often the case, the Buchlers did not have personal insurance covering their unit.  The condominium refused to file a claim with its carrier with respect to the Buchlers’ interior damage.  The Buchlers sued the condominium arguing that it was obligated to file an insurance claim.  The court eventually dismissed the Buchlers’ complaint against the condominium. The court found that the condominium maintained insurance coverage to the extent it was/is required to maintain, and that said insurance provided coverage for only ‘common elements’ and those areas of the condominium not ‘reserved for’ an ‘owner’s exclusive use or occupancy’.

Since the Buchlers’ damage was limited to those things set forth above, the court found that there was/is no common element damage.  The court found the condominium’s refusal to make an insurance claim proper.

The court’s decision in John Buchler, et al v. Club Regatta Condo Association, et al, provides support to those condominiums seeking to manage insurance-related costs by limiting the scope of its insurance coverage to only that which is expressly mandated by the Act and the particular condominium’s master deed and bylaws.  It provides support as well to those condominium boards hoping to limit the nature, amount and scope of insurance claims that actually are filed by that condominium.

 — David Byrne

The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein.

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Supreme Court strikes down prohibitions on same sex marriage

Posted on June 26th, 2015

“Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations.”

From Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion in OBERGEFELL v. HODGES

In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment requires states to license a marriage between people of the same sex, and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.

“The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs,” Kennedy wrote. “When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.”

Kennedy cited as precedent Loving v. Virginia, in which the court invalidated bans on interracial unions, and Turner v. Safley which held that prisoners could not be denied the right to marry.

Concurring with the opinion delivered by Kennedy were justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Dissenting opinions were filed by Chief Justice John G Roberts Jr., and justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Anthony Alito Jr.

A PDF of the opinion can be found on the Supreme Court’s website.

 

The information provided on ansellgrimm.com and any of its subpages, including but not limited to the information contained in the blog or News sections (the “Website”), is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be legal advice or advertising for the Firm. Please speak directly with an attorney prior to relying on any information contained herein.

 

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