IRYNA LOMAGA CAREY, ESQ., JOINS KURZMAN EISENBERG CORBIN & LEVER, LLP AS A PARTNER IN ITS REAL ESTATE PRACTICE
(White Plains, NY)… Iryna Lomaga Carey, an expert in commercial real estate law with an extensive background in shopping center leasing and acquisitions, has joined the real estate department of Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP, as partner. Ms. Carey will continue to focus her practice on commercial real estate transactions, such as commercial sales and acquisitions, joint ventures, commercial leasing, and commercial finance.
“We welcome our new partner and her wealth of experience and knowledge in executing commercial real estate contracts, leasing, and financing,” said Joel S. Lever, a founding partner of Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP. “Her expertise and skills in managing complex multimillion dollar real estate transactions only adds to our existing ability to provide sophisticated legal services to the commercial real estate industry.”
Ms. Carey notes that she is pleased to join the strong real estate practice at Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP, and says the firm’s size – 30 lawyers – gives it the agility to quickly respond to clients. “We are all attorneys with years of experience, easily accessible to each other,” she says. “We can provide answers to a client’s questions swiftly and with authority.”
In nearly 25 years of practice, Ms. Carey has handled numerous large-scale transactions. She has coordinated due diligence for the acquisition of more than 40 shopping centers across the country, which involved title reviews, surveys, operating agreements, easements, leases, and development and construction issues. She also negotiated and closed the acquisition of 10 operating supermarkets by a supermarket operator from a major, competitive supermarket chain.
A frequently sought-after speaker and author, Ms. Carey has participated in many professional panel discussions on real estate due diligence, commercial leasing, broker protection, and risk mitigation strategies for landlords and tenants. Her articles have appeared in the New Jersey Law Journal, and she is frequently quoted in The Record, northern New Jersey’s daily newspaper.
Prior to joining Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP, Ms. Carey was a partner at Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard, PA. She is admitted to the bar in New York and New Jersey and belongs to a number of professional organizations, including the International Council of Shopping Centers and the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties, where she serves on both the Education Committee and the Community Affairs Committee.
Ms. Carey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and economics from the University of Vermont, and a juris doctorate cum laude from Seton Hall University School of Law. A resident of Glen Ridge, N.J., Ms. Carey serves her community as a trustee for the Phoenix Center and the Glen Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Squad. She also is a council member of the Glen Ridge Congregational Church, where she chairs the Ministry of Outreach & Mission.
NEIL S. MAXWELL, ESQ., JOINS KURZMAN EISENBERG CORBIN & LEVER, LLP AS A NEW PARTNER IN ITS HEALTHCARE PRACTICE
(White Plains, NY)… Neil S. Maxwell, an expert in healthcare regulatory and statutory matters as well as corporate transactions, has joined Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP as a partner. In his new position, Mr. Maxwell will continue to advise healthcare practices and professionals in New York City and the greater metropolitan area.
“The regulations for forming, managing, and selling medical practices are unique and intricate,” explains Joel S. Lever, a founding partner of Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP. “Neil’s knowledge and experience in these matters brings additional regulatory and transactional expertise to the services we offer healthcare practitioners.”
In turn, Mr. Maxwell’s new position gives his clients access to a broad range of services from a law firm with considerable experience in managing the affairs of healthcare providers, business owners, and high-net-worth individuals. “The firm offers my clients superior and sophisticated legal services and personal attention in trusts and estates planning, family law, real estate transactions, business planning, commercial litigation, and many other matters,” explains Mr. Maxwell.
Mr. Maxwell represents and counsels a large and diverse number of healthcare practitioners, ranging from physicians, dentists, and psychologists, to podiatrists, chiropractors, and physical therapists, as well as medical spas. He serves in the role of general counsel to many clients, providing sound corporate and business advice on day-to-day operations.
A resident of Pound Ridge, Mr. Maxwell is admitted to the bar in New York State and Massachusetts. Most recently, he was a partner at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Einiger, LLP in Manhattan. He previously was with the law firm of McLaughlin & Stern, LLP, also in Manhattan. He received a B.S. in political science from Brandeis University, and his J.D. from Boston University School of Law. He is a lover of all sports, and an avid tennis player and golfer.
DAVID Y. CHOI PROMOTED TO TRUSTS AND ESTATES PARTNER AT KURZMAN EISENBERG CORBIN & LEVER, LLP
(White Plains, NY) … David Y. Choi, a veteran Trusts and Estates attorney, has become a partner at Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP. Admitted to the bar in both New York and Connecticut, Mr. Choi, a member of the Trusts and Estates department, provides sophisticated legal advice to personal clients and family-owned businesses. Mr. Choi is versed in both estate administration and estate planning, including asset management strategies, business succession planning and inter-generational wealth transfer.
"David is a brilliant lawyer who understands the intricacies of the Internal Revenue Code," said Jessica Galligan Goldsmith, chair of the Trusts and Estates department at Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP. "He is particularly skilled in tax research, and excels in sophisticated planning transactions as well as very large, complex estate administrations."
Mr. Choi said that he relishes the challenge of his field “because of the sheer volume of knowledge you need at your fingertips. Being a Trusts and Estates attorney requires knowledge in the areas of real estate, tax, family law, corporate and securities law, as well as litigation.” Mr. Choi noted that one of the advantages of working at Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP is that he is able to draw on the specialized expertise of the firm’s other partners if matters arise in real estate, corporate or litigation that need to be addressed in depth.
Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Mr. Choi worked at the international law firm of Withers Worldwide LLP in its New Haven, CT office and at Day Pitney LLP in its Stamford, CT office. Mr. Choi brings to the partnership stellar academic credentials, earning his B.A. from Harvard University and his J.D. at Cornell University Law School. A member of the Connecticut, New York and Westchester County Bar Associations, Mr. Choi resides in Stamford, CT with his wife and three children.
KURZMAN EISENBERG CORBIN & LEVER, LLP NAMED ONE OF NEW YORK AREA’S TOP RANKED LAW FIRMS® BY LEXISNEXIS® MARTINDALE-HUBBELL®
It’s An Exclusive Club: Only 283 Firms Meet the Criterion in the New York Metropolitan Area
(White Plains, NY)…In the legal profession, the AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingTM is bestowed only on lawyers rated as preeminent attorneys by their peers, based on professional ability and ethical standards. When 25 percent or more of attorneys are rated AV at any one law firm, the firm is designated as a Top Ranked Law Firm. Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP, has been selected as one of 2012 New York Area’s Top Ranked Law Firms based on the number of AV Preeminent ratings among its attorneys, Joel S. Lever, a founding partner of the firm, announced today.
Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP joins an elite group of just 283 firms that qualified for the list in the tri-state area, and will be among the firms featured in New York Magazine, which will publish a special New York Area’s Top Ranked Law Firms special section in its May 21st issue.
“We are pleased that the quality of our professionals and excellence of our legal services has been recognized by the most-trusted peer-evaluation review organization in our field,” said Mr. Lever. “Our selection as a New York Area Top Ranked Law Firm reflects the current nature of the practice of law, which has changed dramatically with the rise of the virtual world. Our firm does not have to be physically located in Manhattan, where a significant number of our clients are based, to serve them. From our office in White Plains, we are able to maintain a broad-based legal practice of national and international transactions on behalf of a geographically diverse and sophisticated client base.”
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are considered to be the “Gold Standard” for recognizing professional excellence in the legal field. They are an objective gauge of a lawyer’s professional acumen and integrity because ratings are based primarily on evaluations of their ability and character by lawyers and members of the judiciary who work with or have professional knowledge of the lawyers they review.
RICHARD L. CHADAKOFF JOINS KURZMAN EISENBERG CORBIN & LEVER, LLP AS A PARTNER IN ITS REAL ESTATE PRACTICE
(White Plains, NY)…Richard L. Chadakoff’s career in real estate law has taken a new and exciting turn. After serving as a partner at a number of large, international law firms, he is joining the real estate practice at Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP. In his new position, he will specialize in commercial real estate transactions of all sizes.
(Over his long and distinguished legal career, Mr. Chadakoff has been awarded the highest distinctions in his profession. He has been selected as a New York Metro Super Lawyer every year since 2006, and has been repeatedly included in “Who’s Who Legal-Real Estate”; “New York Area’s Best Lawyers”; “Best Lawyers in America”; “Legal 500”; and Chambers USA-“America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.”
(“We are proud to welcome Richard to our firm,” explains Joel S. Lever, a founding partner of Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP, which represents national and local clients, as well as high-net-worth individuals, in matters across the country and throughout the world. “Richard has represented developers in many landmark and ‘trophy’ real estate developments and financings, and has worked on behalf of major national institutional investors, leading lenders, and family-owned companies. He prides himself on providing superior and sophisticated legal services in the most cost-effective manner, which is an attitude shared by all of our 25 attorneys.”
(Mr. Chadakoff notes that his new firm’s real estate practice experience closely mirrors his own, which includes real estate finance, development, joint ventures, leasing, workout/restructuring and related transactions. “The attorneys who practice in the real estate commercial transaction/real estate litigation group are excellent problem solvers and experienced,” he says. “It’s a perfect fit.”
(A resident of New Rochelle, Mr. Chadakoff holds an M.B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center. His earned his B.A. from Syracuse University.
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About Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP
Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP was founded in 1985 to provide superior, sophisticated and cost-effective legal services to a broad range of individuals and corporate clients. The firm’s size and expertise in a variety of disciplines allows its lawyers to handle complex legal matters. The firm provides a full range of legal services in various practice areas, including corporate, litigation, real estate, tax and trusts and estates. The firm’s attorneys have impressive backgrounds and an extraordinary commitment to client service. For more information, visit www.kelaw.com.
THREE PARTNERS AT KURZMAN EISENBERG CORBIN & LEVER, LLP ARE DESIGNATED NEW YORK METRO 'SUPER LAWYERS' – AGAIN!
Robert G. Kurzman, Jessica Galligan Goldsmith, and Susan Slater-Jansen Are Recognized for Outstanding Work in Estate Planning and Other Areas of the Law
These White Plains Super Lawyers Equal Manhattan’s Best
(White Plains, NY) ... Want a New York Metro Super Lawyer to plan your estate? You’ll find three of them in just one firm – and you won’t have to leave Westchester. Robert G. Kurzman, Jessica Galligan Goldsmith, and Susan Slater-Jansen of Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP, have once again been selected as New York Metro Super Lawyers. The three partners have been named to the 2011 edition of New York Metro Super Lawyers, a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas, who have attained the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in the New York Metropolitan area. Each year, only five per cent of lawyers in New York State receive this honor.
"Super Lawyers are selected, in part, based on peer recognition. For years, the legal community has respected our ability to handle the most complex trusts and estates issues, and the sophisticated solutions we craft on behalf of our corporate and individual clients" said Joel S. Lever, a founding partner of the firm which is based in White Plains. “We represent clients throughout the New York Metropolitan area and Connecticut, as well as clients across the country and throughout the world.”
This is the fifth year in a row that Mr. Kurzman has been named as a Super Lawyer in the field of estate planning, estate administration and estate litigation. A founding partner of Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever and a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney, Mr. Kurzman has represented clients in a number of highly publicized cases, and argued cases in the appellate courts as well as before the United States Supreme Court. A former adjunct professor of law at New York University who also served on the Advisory Board of the Southern Methodist University Law School Estate Planning Institute, he has lectured extensively at leading universities and professional symposiums throughout the United States. In practice for more than 45 years, Mr. Kurzman is a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel. Mr. Kurzman received both a B.A. and J.D. from Cornell University as well as a B.A. from Hofstra University. He is a resident of Scarsdale, N.Y.
Ms. Goldsmith was first named a Super Lawyer in 2009 and also was named as both a Super Lawyer and one of the top 25 attorneys in Westchester in 2010. AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, Ms. Goldsmith advises clients in the areas of estate and gift planning, charitable planning, estate administration and planning for closely held businesses. Ms. Goldsmith also advises clients in related personal client services. Throughout her 25-year career, Ms. Goldsmith has employed sophisticated estate and gift tax planning techniques, and has developed creative solutions to meet each client's personal and financial objectives. A member of the exclusive Estate Planning Council of Westchester County Inc., Ms. Goldsmith is admitted to the Bar in both New York and Connecticut. She obtained her J.D. at Harvard University and her B.A., cum laude, at Bryn Mawr College. Ms. Goldsmith lives in Armonk, N.Y.
Ms. Slater-Jansen is a nationally known expert in trusts and estates law who previously was named a Super Lawyer in 2006, 2009, and 2010. She is respected for her knowledge of pension law, and has been recognized for her work in the fields of estate planning, probate and family law. Ms. Slater-Jansen is AV rated in Martindale-Hubbell, is a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel, a member of the Estate Planning Council of Westchester County, the New York State Bar Association, the Westchester Bar Association and the Westchester Women’s Bar Association. She works closely with a broad spectrum of individuals and families with modest to very substantial wealth, and is a frequent writer and lecturer on estate planning and administration issues. Ms. Slater-Jansen was educated in a Law Clerkship Pursuant to Section 520.50 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York for admission of Attorneys and Counselors-at-Law. She received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Queens College of the City University of New York. Ms. Slater-Jansen is a resident of Somers, N.Y.# # #
About Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP was founded in 1985 with the idea of providing superior, sophisticated and cost-effective legal services to a broad range of individuals and corporate clients. The firm’s size and multi-discipline expertise allows its lawyers to handle complex legal matters and provide a full range of legal services in various practice areas, including corporate, litigation, real estate, tax and trust and estates. The firm’s attorneys have impressive backgrounds and an extraordinary commitment to client service. For more information, visit www.kelaw.com.
A New Twist to Elder Abuse: Secret Deathbed Marriages to Caregivers. As a Surviving 'Spouse,' a Caregiver Can Claim a Share of the Elderly Person’s Estate
(White Plains, NY)… When arranging care for their frail and infirm parents, adult children seek loving and attentive caregivers. But the situation can turn to grief if the caregiver secretly arranges to marry the elderly parent in hopes of inheriting the spousal share of the estate. While no one knows how many deathbed weddings occur between unknowing elders and scheming caregiver “spouses,” the phenomenon is evident in the growing number of lawsuits being brought before the courts, according to Susan B. Slater-Jansen, Esq., a trusts and estates attorney with Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever in White Plains. “Throughout history, younger men and women have married older spouses for money, but in a new twist, we’re finding caregivers are taking advantage of their mentally incapacitated charges, who have no idea of what’s going on, and convincing them to get married,” she explains.
These sham deathbed marriages are almost impossible to prevent, notes Ms. Slater-Jansen. “If a caregiver is determined to take advantage of an older person’s infirmity to get rich, there is little you can do, short of installing ‘nanny-cams’ throughout the home,” she explains. “The best thing to do is to go to court immediately if you discover a secret marriage or any other scam.” She also recommends that adult children seek trusts and estates legal advice as their parents age and begin to lose their mental faculties. “With proper planning, you can reduce the risk that a caregiver can easily profit from her defenseless charge,” she says.
In New York State, adult children have legal recourse to void a secret marriage and protect the parent’s estate before the parent’s death. But current law makes it difficult to protect the estate after the parent dies. The New York State Estates Powers and Trusts Law allows the surviving “spouse” to claim a share of the estate -- even if the marriage is voided after the parent’s death, according to Ms. Slater-Jansen. “With examples of elder abuse increasing on a daily basis, it would seem that the legislature’s previous aim of protecting a surviving spouse from being cut out of a decedent’s estate by unhappy relatives needs to be adjusted to take into account the new reality.”
The good news for rightful heirs who suffer from these scams is that in two recent cases, New York’s Appellate Division has found a way to set things right. In both cases, the surviving “spouse” was found to have taken advantage of her mentally incompetent charge. Since New York law prohibits individuals from profiting by their own fraudulent acts, the caregivers’ claims to the deceased parents’ estates were denied.
These two cases show the depth of deception undertaken by the caregivers. In the case of Campbell v Thomas, while the daughter and primary caregiver for Howard Nolan Thomas, age 72, took a week’s vacation, care was provided by Nidia Colon, age 62, a friend of the father. Thomas was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and terinal cancer. In one week’s time, Colon married the father, began to transfer assets, sold land owned by Thomas, and named herself sole beneficiary of his retirement account. Later, when confronted by his children, Thomas had no recollection of any marriage, saying, “What are you talking about?...I’m not married…Are you crazy?”
In the Matter of Berk, a live-in housekeeper secretly married 99-year-old Irving Berk, who suffered from severe dementia. At the time, Berk’s physician had deemed that the man was incapable of entering into binding contracts or managing his social affairs. Berk died a year later. Berk’s “wife” only informed Berk’s heirs of the marriage the day before the funeral. Even though the housekeeper was not named in Berk’s will, as a surviving “spouse” she was entitled to a third of the estate.
Although these Appellate decisions will make it easier in the future to fight such elder abuse in court, Ms. Slater-Jansen warns, “The problem remains that without legislative action, there is no statutory framework to stop this type of abuse. Until the law is amended, it will continue to be an emotional and financial drain on families to pursue this through the courts.”
Three Partners at Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP Named New York Metro 'Super Lawyers' for 2010
Two Also Selected for List of Top 25 Attorneys in Westchester
Mr. Kurzman and Ms. Goldsmith also were named to Super Lawyers’ 2010 Top 25 Attorneys in Westchester.
Selections for this highly regarded list are made by the research team at Super Lawyers, which is a service of the Thomson Reuters legal division based in Minnesota. Each year, the research team at Super Lawyers undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check.
This is the fourth year in a row that Mr. Kurzman has been named as a Super Lawyer in the field of estate planning and probate. A founding partner of Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever and a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney, Mr. Kurzman has represented clients in a number of highly publicized cases, and argued cases in the appellate courts as well as before the United States Supreme Court. A former adjunct professor of law at New York University who also served on the Advisory Board of the Southern Methodist University Law School Estate Planning Institute, he has lectured extensively at leading universities and professional symposiums throughout the United States. In practice for more than 45 years, Mr. Kurzman is a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel and an active participant in American Bar Association and New York State Bar Association programs. Mr. Kurzman received both a B.A. and J.D. from Cornell University as well as a B.A. from Hofstra University. He is a resident of Scarsdale, N.Y.
Ms. Goldsmith, who was first named a Super Lawyer in 2009, was honored for her work in the fields of estate planning, probate, tax, and closely held business succession planning. AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, Ms. Goldsmith advises clients in the areas of estate and gift planning; estate administration; planning for closely held businesses and charitable planning and administration; and assists in related personal client services. Throughout her 25-year career, she has employed sophisticated estate and gift tax planning techniques, and has developed creative solutions to meet each client's personal and financial objectives. Ms. Goldsmith obtained her J.D. at Harvard University and her B.A., cum laude, at Bryn Mawr College. She lives in Armonk, N.Y.
Ms. Slater-Jansen is a nationally known expert in trusts and estates law who previously was named a Super Lawyer in 2006 and 2009. She is respected for her knowledge of pension law, and has been recognized for her work in the fields of estate planning, probate, employee benefits/ERISA, and family law. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel, an invitation-only organization of elite T&E lawyers. She works closely with a broad spectrum of individuals and families with modest to very substantial wealth. She is a frequent writer and lecturer on estate planning issues. Ms. Slater-Jansen was educated in a Law Clerkship Pursuant to Section 520.50 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York for admission of Attorneys and Counselors-at-Law. She received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Queens College of the City University of New York. Ms. Slater-Jansen is a resident of Somers, N.Y.
Business Valuation Lawsuits are Likely to Become More Complex and Costly in New York State
Recent New York State Appellate Court Decision Alters the Framework for Determining 'Fair Value'
(White Plains, NY)…When majority shareholders buy out minority shareholders in a privately held company, buyers and sellers often can’t agree on the value of the shares. Without a public market to set a price for the company’s shares, the value is open to interpretation, and frequently the matter ends up in court. But a recent New York State appellate decision has provided a clearer framework for determining fair value, and now future court cases are likely to be more complex and costly, according to Fred D. Weinstein, a partner at Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP, attorneys at law.
“While recent decisions have not established a so-called ‘bright line rule’ to follow in future valuation lawsuits, they do show the courts are going to dig deeper to determine what the majority shareholders intend to do in the future,” notes Weinstein, a corporate litigator and specialist in business valuation cases. “In certain cases, that will be good news for minority shareholders.”
Mr. Weinstein adds, “The bottom line is that lawsuits are likely to become more expensive because first, lawyers will have to use the discovery process – something that requires the permission of the court which is not routinely given in business valuation cases – to find out what a company intends to do with its assets in the future, and secondly, lawyers will have to rely more on their expert witnesses to support their arguments.”
In its June 1, 2010 decision Murphy v. United States Dredging Corp, the Appellate Division, Second Department addressed two thorny issues that arise in many business valuation cases: built-in capital gains; and marketability discounts. In both insistences, the court chose paths that were at variance with some other judicial precedents in the valuation area. Here’s what you need to know:
• Built-In Capital Gains Can Be Calculated at Present Value Companies contend that the price for the purchase of the shares of departing shareholders should be lower to reflect a prospective liability for unrealized capital gains (commonly referred to as built-in capital gains or BIG) if the assets of the company are sold. “That’s an issue only if the assets of the company are subject to the tax upon sale as they are in the case of “ corporations,” notes Mr. Weinstein. “But the practice of tax courts in valuing companies for estate tax purposes and a recent appellate court in a matrimonial case has been increasingly to deduct 100 percent of a future BIG liability at the time value is determined. In Murphy, it was determined that the potential sale of the company’s real estate assets would not occur for 19 years. The appellate court agreed with the lower court ruling that the BIG liability discount should be limited to only its present value, which is much lower.” (A present value calculation is a way to determine how much a future dollar amount is actually worth today.)
From now on, court cases will look closely at management’s intention to sell assets and the likely timing of that sale, according to Mr. Weinstein. A BIG liability is more likely to be calculated at present value.
• Marketability Discounts Can Apply to All Assets Shares of privately held companies are discounted in value because there is no ready public market to buy the shares if offered for sale. This is known as a marketability discount. The question is whether it should apply to the value of both tangible assets (such as real estate and equipment) and to the intangible goodwill of a business. (Goodwill refers to intangible assets such as a company’s reputation, which cannot be sold apart from tangible assets.) Mr. Weinstein explains, ‘Previously, the Second Department [which covers Westchester, Orange, Dutchess, Rockland, Putnam, Queens, Brooklyn, Richmond, Nassau and Suffolk Counties] had applied the marketability discount only to goodwill since tangible assets are liquid and can be sold for their full value. But in Murphy, the appellate court found that there was no factual or legal basis to limit the marketability discount to goodwill since it is based on the illiquidity of the company’s shares, not its assets. However, the court did not rule out the possibility of limiting the discount to only goodwill in the future in unspecified circumstances.”
Mr. Weinstein notes this decision may pave the way for companies, which are the buyers of the shares, to argue for lower share prices, but the court left the door open to determining marketability discounts on a case-by-case basis. “What this means is that both sides in a lawsuit will have to rely more on their experts – both legal and financial -- to support their arguments, which will lead to more expensive lawsuits,” he says.
But concern over legal bills should not deter people who can make a strong case for their point of view, Mr. Weinstein adds. He notes that in a recent case in which he represented minority shareholders, Jamaica Acquisition v. Shea, the judge found that the majority shareholders set a share value far lower than their true fair value. As a result, the minority shareholders were able to recover half of their legal and expert fees.
"Companies need to bear in the mind that they now face a greater chance of being taken to court, and if they set a value that is materially less than it should be, they may be at risk for paying attorney and expert fees," Mr. Weinstein says. "We expect to see some feisty fights over valuation in the future."
Joel S. Lever of Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP to Speak on Law Partner Compensation at New York State Bar Association Seminar
'Paying Partners What They’re Worth,' a Telephone Seminar, to Take Place April 22, 2010 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
(White Plains., NY)…Joel S. Lever, Esq., a partner with Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, LLP, will be a featured speaker in a New York State Bar Association telephone seminar, “Paying Partners What They’re Worth: Alternatives for Law Firms,” on April 22, 2010, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Among the issues he will discuss are setting production benchmarks for partners and associates, as well as providing incentives to transition clients from senior partners to other firm members. Additionally, he will discuss compensation strategies that have led to Kurzman Eisenberg’s strong growth since it was founded in 1985.
"A well developed partner compensation plan should be structured to achieve multiple goals," explains Mr. Lever. “Not only does it enhance the firm’s ability to attract quality partners, but, if carefully drawn, a compensation plan complements the firm’s ability to attract new clients by allowing the firm to offer quality legal services at attractive rates. “
The telephone seminar offers 2.0 MCLE Credits in Law Practice Management. To register, call 800-582-2452.
About Joel S. Lever, Esq. Mr. Lever’s practice concentrates on transactional corporate and commercial matters for middle market entities, as well as health care and real estate law. He has planned and developed a variety of ventures for institutional and individual clients to accomplish the acquisition, sale, restructure and reorganization of their businesses and assets. He also devotes a significant part of his practice to art and entertainment law, representing visual artists, art publishers, entertainment, and advertising executives. He is counsel to the Fine Art Publishers Association.
Mr. Lever received his Bachelor of Arts degree, Cum Laude, from Syracuse University and his Juris Doctor degree from Boston University Law School. He is a resident of Scarsdale, New York.