Legal/Advocacy

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

December 2017

I entitled my December column last year, “Blink of an Eye,” and it certainly does feel like the years go by more and more quickly. However, I must confess that from a political stand point, it seems like about four years of politics were jammed into 2017 instead of just one. In many respects it’s…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: An Update on Dual Compensation

November 2017

Prior to Jan. 4, 2017, there was a portion of the New York State license law, which specifically dealt with brokers receiving compensation from both principals to a transaction. That regulation, 19 NYCRR § 175.25, used to read: “A real estate broker shall make it clear for which party he is acting and he shall…

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House Passes Tax Reform Bill; Fight Now Goes to Senate

November 2017

WASHINGTON—As expected, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the controversial Republican tax reform plan—“Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”—on Thursday by a 227-205 margin. The battle over tax reform now switches to the U.S. Senate where the GOP holds a razor thin two-seat majority over Democrats, who have all lined up against the House and Senate…

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New York Congressional Delegation's Views on Tax Reform

November 2017

ALBANY—The New York State Association of Realtors reports that all Democratic New York Congressional representatives, including local Congressional representatives Sean Patrick Maloney, Nita Lowey and Eliot Engel, have come out against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” proposal also known as the GOP tax reform plan released on Nov. 2. Also, New York’s two Democratic…

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Gov. Cuomo Says GOP Tax Plan has ‘Diabolical Dimension’

November 2017

ALBANY—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined a chorus of business and political leaders to voice his opposition to the GOP tax reform plan released on Thursday by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee. In a statement released to the press, the governor did not mince words saying the tax cut plan by the GOP…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Unlucky Number 13

October 2017

Realtors are in the business of listing and selling homes. They cannot and should not dispense legal advice. To my non-lawyer readers, this is not meant as a personal affront. With Friday the 13th in the eerie month of October no less, perhaps it is appropriate to address Article 13 of the Realtor Code of…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Realtors as Marketplace Participants

September 2017

Realtors just like all real estate licensees are participants themselves in the real estate marketplace, either as landlords, sellers, buyers or tenants. When acting in these capacities, Realtors should be aware that the Code of Ethics still applies. If a Realtor is interested in either selling or renting their property, they are obviously free to…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program Now

August 2017

The National Flood Insurance Program expires in September of this year. It is imperative that Congress vote to reauthorize it. If Congress does not act in a timely manner, thousands of transactions across the country will be stalled for homes requiring flood insurance. The bill would extend current provisions for 5 years which must be…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Wired for Safety From Fraud

August 2017

In the fall of 2015, National Association of Realtors’ General Counsel Katie Johnson solicited a show of hands at the Idea Exchange Council for Brokers as to who in attendance had experienced wire fraud. Surprisingly, more than one-third of the audience acknowledged they had been victimized by this type of felony. Most often this occurs…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Crisis Exposes Staggering Pension Costs

August 2017

Repairs on the MTA rail system have not been made because of a supposed lack of a revenue stream. This is simply false according to Nicole Gelinas, a senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Gelinas, who is also a columnist with the New York Post,…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: The Real Estate Broker’s Lien

July 2017

In New York, when a licensed real estate broker finds a “ready, willing and able” tenant for their landlord client, a commission is due. This is true of both residential and commercial transactions. However, specific to commercial deals is the allowance for a broker to file a lien against real property of their client—if that…

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