Legal Analysts

Thursday, November 30, 2023

FOX 5 NY: Attorney Andrew Lieb Talks About NYC Mayor Eric Adams Being Accused Of Sexual Assault

This Interview on FOX 5 NY discusses a lawsuit filed against New York City Mayor Eric Adams accusing him of sexually assaulting a woman in 1993 while they both worked for the city. Attorney Andrew Lieb provides context on the legal process, explaining that the initial filing only included a summons with notice to meet the deadline under the Adult Survivors Act, which is now expired - but, this case also involves the NYC Gender Motivated Violence Act, which extends the statute of limitations on old cases, like this, until March 1, 2025. 

Lieb at Law Represents Class Action Hearing Impair Tenants in Landmark NYC Disability Discrimination Case

In a significant development in a case that underscores the ongoing challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in accessing suitable housing, Lieb at Law is representing a hearing-impaired tenant in a discrimination lawsuit against the City of New York and other entities. The case, as reported by Law360, highlights crucial issues regarding the responsibilities of property owners and the rights of tenants with disabilities.

Background of the Case

Elewood Torres, the plaintiff, filed a class-action lawsuit in 2022, challenging the failure of his Lower Manhattan apartment building's owners to provide necessary services for tenants with hearing disabilities. Despite the building at 174-184 Forsyth St. being funded to provide accessible housing, critical safety improvements have been lacking.

Key Issues at Stake

The lawsuit points to the absence of essential features such as video cameras in elevators, smoke alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers, and security staff proficient in American Sign Language. These deficiencies not only violate the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the NYS / NYC Human Rights Laws, but also pose a significant risk to the safety and well-being of the residents.

The City's Position and Plaintiff's Response

The city contends that it no longer owns the property and that the ADA does not apply to private residential complexes. However, Torres disputes this claim, highlighting that the ownership of the building reverted to the city due to breaches in the sale agreements. This aspect is crucial in determining the applicability of the ADA and the city's responsibilities.

Lieb at Law's Stance

Representing Torres, Lieb at Law's Associate Attorney, Richard Hermer-Fried, emphasized the gravity of the situation: "To this day, defendants have not provided bed rockers to wake tenants in case of a fire. It's utterly egregious that nothing's been done to protect these individuals." The firm's commitment to advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities is evident in its vigorous pursuit of this case.

What's Next in the Case

With a preliminary injunction requested by Torres to compel the defendants to install the necessary improvements, and the court ordering documentation of such improvements, the case is poised for critical developments. Lieb at Law remains steadfast in its pursuit of justice for Elewood Torres and other similarly situated tenants.

*Attorney Advertising

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

NY Has a New Law Protecting Freelancers (independent contractors)

Governor Hochul enacted significant legislation this week marking a pivotal moment for freelancer workers across New York State by signing BillA06040, known as the "Freelance Isn't Free Act".

Before the introduction of this law (Labor Law 191-d), problems for freelancers included:

  1. Delayed or Non-Payment: Without legal mandates, there was little to no consequence for payment terms leaving freelancers financially vulnerable.
  2. Lack of Written Contracts: Many freelance engagements proceeded without formal written contracts, leading to misunderstandings and disputes about work scope, payment terms, deadlines, and other essential aspects of the work arrangement.
  3. Limited Recourse for Contract Violations: Prior to this law, there was no straightforward legal recourse if an agreement was violated. Pursuing legal action was often costly and time-consuming, making it an impractical option.
  4. Absence of Standardized Contract Terms: With no standardization of contract terms, freelancers often agreed to unfair or exploitative conditions due to lack of industry standards or fear of losing work.
  5. Retaliation: Freelancers often hesitated to assert their rights or demand fair treatment due to the fear of being blacklisted or losing future work opportunities
  6. Administrative Burdens: Freelancers were often burdened with the responsibility of chasing payments and resolving disputes on their own

The goal of the Freelance Isn't Free Act law is to ensure that all laborers get the right to fair and timely pay. Freelancers who are denied rights can claim liquidated damages plus attorneys fees making it easier to pursue a claim against the hiring party (previously, the economics of a lawsuit often effectively eliminated the option for freelancers to enforce their rights to get paid; now that is changed). 

Monday, November 27, 2023

Newsmax: Attorney Andrew Lieb Talks About Sony Facing An $8B Lawsuit For Overcharging Playstation Customers.

National Report court is back in session on Newsmax to discuss a $7.9 billion lawsuit against Sony over claims that the PlayStation maker abused its dominant position in the gaming console market, leading to unfair prices for customers. Attorney Andrew Lieb argues the case on behalf of PlayStation customers.

Statewide 'Freelance Isn't Free Act' Enacted - Real Estate Brokers, Pay Attention

On November 22, 2023 Governor Hochul signed Bill A06040 into law thereby creating Labor Law 191-d, the "freelance isn't free act." 

This law will replicate, in large part, the labor rights of freelance workers in NYC throughout state. The Governor's statement on the Bill can be found here

This new law defines which Freelance Workers are protected and then requires that Hiring Parties provide timely payments, a right to a written contract with specific terms, a private right action for violations, a right to no retaliation, a public awareness outreach campaign, a reporting requirement and more. In lawsuits buy Freelance Workers, freelancers who are denied rights can claim liquidated damages plus attorneys fees. 

NYS DOL will provide model contracts as well as a non-judicial, administrative process for resolving disputes between Hiring Parties and Freelance Workers.

The goal of this new law is to ensure that all laborers get the right to fair and timely pay. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Scripps News: UN Report Highlights Discrimination Against LGBTQ Community - Attorney Andrew Lieb Explains

In this interview on Scripps News, Discrimination Attorney Andrew Lieb discusses a new report from the UN Human Rights Committee that spotlights ongoing discrimination faced by the LGBTQ community in the United States. Lieb analyzes the committee's concerns about discriminatory laws targeting transgender people at the state level. He also addresses issues around employment discrimination, suicide rates in the LGBTQ community, and whether legal protections for LGBTQ individuals have expanded in recent years. This important conversation provides insight into the challenges that still exist and the ongoing fight for equality.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Common Area Cameras Illegal at Residential Buildings

Starting on 11/17/2023, security devices are prohibited on entries to residential buildings without express authorization.

Specifically, new GBL 390-e states that "any keyless security device used to control and secure access to the common areas of any residential building without the express written consent of the owner, board of managers, board of directors, or authorized party of such property" is prohibited.

Protecting Survivors: NYS Bill Prohibits Financial Penalties in Nondisclosure Agreements

On November 17, 2023, Governor Hochul signed Bill A00581, amending NYS' General Obligations Law to prohibit settlements, or other resolution, of sexual harassment claims or any other form of unlawful discrimination from including any term or condition that requires the survivor to pay the defendant liquidated damages if the complainant violates a non-disclosure agreement.

Survivors of sexual harassment and discrimination are often required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) as a condition for receiving compensation for their horror. NDAs frequently include provisions requiring survivors to pay liquidated damages (predetermined damages) if they violate the agreement and these damages can be devastating. 

As a result, survivors, who later change their minds or those who were coerced into signing an NDA, face financial hardships for speaking out about their experience. This new law will protect survivors by no longer allowing financial penalties against them for sharing their stories about experiencing harassment and discrimination.

This Bill takes effect immediately and will apply to agreements entered on or after its effectiveness Agreements can no longer require the survivor to forfeit part or all of the consideration for violating an NDA. Additionally, defendants can no longer require survivors to sign an affirmative statement, assertion, or disclaimer stating that they were not subject to discrimination or retaliation.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Terminating a Lease of a Decedent as an Executor / Administrator

If someone dies who is a tenant and if the estate wants to terminate the lease, all they have to do is notice the landlord by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. 

That is the new law, Real Property Law 236-a. 

Don't worry landlords, this law doesn't relieve tenants for past due rent, damage, or expenses.

While this law doesn't apply to cooperative units, it sure seems to apply to commercial property, which is insane (all the more reason to have tenants lease as entities, not individuals). 

This law is effective February 15, 2024. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

New Law for Foreclosures / Evictions with Deed Theft

On November 14, 2023, Governor Hochul enacted A06656, amending Section 756-a of New York State's Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law. This amendment is designed to safeguard real property owners from the threat of not resolving claims of potential deed theft fast enough while an eviction or foreclosure is pending. 

This amendment permits a stay of any proceeding to recover possession of or resoling title disputes concerning residential properties when there are underlying issues of deed theft or title disputes. This provision applies specifically when there is a pending good faith investigation into the theft or fraud in the title to, or the financing of, the premises that is the subject of any proceeding for eviction or foreclosure.

This measure will serve as a safeguard, mitigating the risk of homeowners who may, unknowingly, lose their residences.

If an individual is convicted of a criminal offense related to deed theft or fraudulent transactions involving real property, this conviction gives rise to a rebuttable presumption of fraud in the deed transfer, so filing charges needs to be part of a strategic litigation strategy moving forward. In fact, if you file, the District Attorney or Attorney General is then entitled to seek the nullification of the deed transfer. The implicated individual must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the deed was not procured through fraudulent means.

This amendment goes into effect December 14, 2023.