DRI of Northeastern New York to host Judge David Krogmann at Spring Luncheon

Christopher Guetti, President of the Defense Research Institute of Northeastern New York, invites local attorneys and claims professionals to the annual spring luncheon.

This year’s speaker will be Judge David Krogmann, former justice of the Warren County Supreme Court. The judge has graciously agreed to speak to members and guests about tales from the bench, as well as discuss “standards and goals” associated with litigating civil matters.

The luncheon will be held at the Century House in Latham, NY on April 26, 2017.

For additional information and reservations, a copy of the invitation can be found here.

Maswick and Brodie Obtain Dismissal of Criminal Case for a Northern New York Client

James Maswick, an attorney in our Lake Placid office, and James Brodie, an attorney in our Albany office, were recently able to secure dismissal of a charge faced by a client in the North Country.  Having been retained by the client, Maswick soon mailed in the notice of appearance on behalf of the client.  A court appearance was adjourned, though not at the behest of the defendant, and a new appearance date was set for weeks in the future.

 Maswick, realizing that many days had passed, worked with James Brodie to draft a CPL 30.30 motion, also known as a speedy trial motion.  Upon filing the motion to the Court and serving a copy of the motion on the District Attorney’s Office, the prosecutor wrote the Court to indicate that the District Attorney’s Office would not oppose our motion to dismiss, since our office was correct on the law. The Court granted the motion to dismiss the charge and the prosecution of the defendant was concluded with the dismissal.

 As an aside, the way the prosecutor handled the case was exemplary and is an example of how District Attorneys are supposed to handle their cases; they are charged with seeking justice and following the law.  Prosecutors are not supposed to fight defense attorneys as every turn when the prosecutor has a weak case or facts which reflect otherwise on guilt.

 If you or someone you know is charged with a crime, please do not hesitate to contact our firm to discuss.

Ed Flink to Attend Atlantic Claims Executives Association Meeting

Ed Flink is attending the Atlantic Claims Executives Association (ACEA) meeting in Palm Coast, Florida from April 2-4, 2017, a meeting which features education and networking for ACEA’s members.  The ACEA, formerly known as the Southeastern Claims Executives Association, was created to provide a form for matters of general interest to insurance claims professionals could be discussed, ideas vetted and knowledge shared.  The ACEA is comprised of claims executives from property and casualty insurance companies, self-insured employers who manager or oversee their own claim operations, third-party administrators and claim reinsurers who operated in the eastern part of the country.

 Objectives of the ACEA include to promote a high standard of ethics in insurance claims handling, to discourage false or fraudulent claims and to promote harmony, cooperation and cordial business relations in the industry.

 Ed has previously been invited to speak at the ACEA Meeting, presenting “The Top Ten Things Every Claims Executive Should Know About New York” and has attended for the last few years.

Flink Smith Pairs with Client Solutions Network to Give Back To Ronald McDonald House

Client Solutions Newtwork Photo. Ronald McDonald

 

The Ronald McDonald House in Albany, as with those around the United States, provides housing , meals, and other services to many families who reside outside the Albany County area, sometimes even outside the country, and whom have love ones that are receiving medical treatment in area hospitals, such as Albany Medical Center. The charity allows families that could not otherwise afford it to remain together and close at a time when those families are most stressed, both financially and emotionally. Whole families are able to stay, free of charge, and such stays can even last years, depending on the circumstances.

 Although identified with the name of the very familiar restaurant chain, the reality is that Ronald McDonald House receives very little funding directly from that major corporation. Instead, it relies heavily on the donations of individuals and local businesses of time, money and goods. 

Christopher A Guetti of Flink Smith, got together with other members of the Client Solutions Network group, leaders of various local area small businesses, to donate their time to shop and prepare dinner for residents.

 Thanks to Chris and the Client Solutions Network for donating their time to assist those in need.

Flink Smith Attends DRI of NENY Holiday Dinner and Christopher Guetti Elected to Second Term as President of DRI of NENY

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The Defense Research Institute of Northeastern New York held its annual Holiday Dinner this year at the Century House in Latham, New York. Insurance company representatives, investigators, and defense counsel ranging from areas in the North Country down to Poughkeepsie, New York, were in attendance.

Presenting at the dinner, Professor Michael Hutter, a faculty member at Albany Law School of Union University since 1976, Special Counsel to an Albany area law firm, and a member of the Commission on Judicial Nomination, which selects a list of nominees from which the Governor must choose appointments to the Court of Appeals, reviewed Court of Appeals decisions from the past year, as well as provided his insights into the workings of New York’s highest Court.

In addition, in what appears to be an unprecedented event for the DRI of NENY, Christopher Guetti was elected President of the group for a second term.

Thank you Professor Hutter and congratulations Chris!

James Brodie Speaks at Hackett Middle School Career Day to Aspiring Lawyers

On October 21, 2016, James Brodie of Flink Smith Law LLC attended Career Day at Hackett Middle School to speak with middle school students who had expressed interest in becoming an attorney. During the event, Mr. Brodie discussed the academic requirements and day-to-day realities of becoming a practicing attorney.

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Mr. Brodie is a native of the Capital District and currently lives in the City of Albany. He has been practicing in a variety of areas of the law, including matrimonial/family matters, insurance defense, labor and traffic matters. If you have any questions in these areas of the law, please consider contacting Flink Smith Law LLC to set up an appointment.

DRI of Northeastern New York to Hold Annual Holiday Dinner

Christopher Guetti, this year’s president of the DRI of Northeastern New York, an organization bringing together various representatives associated with the defense bar, wants to extend an invitation to its annual holiday dinner to the readership.  This year, the event is set to be held on December 12, 2016, at the Century House in Latham, New York.

The annual holiday dinner has become one of the DRI’s most well attended events, certainly due in large measure to the participation of the esteemed Professor Michael Hutter, who will again be presenting, this year providing his insights on recent Court of Appeals rulings.

Although the DRI focuses on issues concerning defense attorneys, adjusters, and investigators, etc., all are welcome to attend in this social event.  If you have any interest, please see the invitation to the event, which has meal and further contact information, attached here.

Jennifer and Christopher Headline at HB National Lead Paint Litigation Conference

 Jennifer Dominelli and Christopher Guetti have again attended the HB’s lead litigation conference, this year held in Naples, Florida.  The conference is a yearly event held to educate attorneys and others involved in litigation associated with this specialized area of the law.

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 Both Jennifer and Christopher have been representing parties in litigated lead paint matters through trial, if necessary, for many years, and have attended the conference not only as participants, but as speakers.  This year, Jennifer represented Flink Smith as a co-chair of the conference, while Christopher presented for the second year in a row, this year discussing issues and recent developments in New York State ethics.

 We congratulate Jennifer and Christopher on their accomplishments in this area of the law. If you have questions concerning liability associated with lead paint in homes, please consider contacting Flink Smith LLC to set up an appointment.

Flink Smith Participates In Southern Saratoga County Chamber Angels Program

 As this is the season of giving, Christopher Guetti from Flink Smith, in conjunction with Christopher’s membership in the Breakfast Club, a group representing an association of local business professionals, participated in some community outreach through The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County “Chamber Angels” program. The Chamber Angels program seeks to assist some 2000 children enduring financial hardships that make the extra expense of the holidays a cause for stress and unhappiness in what should be a season of joy. It is made possible through collaboration with the Southern Saratoga YMCA, Franklin Community Center, Mechanicville Area Community Services Center and CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services. Children are identified by school districts and county agencies that then pass on the children’s ages and wish lists to the Southern Saratoga County Chamber Angel. More information on the program can be found here: Southern Saratoga County Chamber Angel

This year, the Breakfast Club sponsored two families from the program, and the members’ families purchased both needed clothes and much desired awesome toys for a boy and a girl in need.

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Thanks to the Southern Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, Flink Smith, and the Breakfast Club for helping those in need this holiday season.

White House Plans to Overhaul Child Support Payment Rules for Prisoners

 By Christopher Guetti

In New York, statutes concerning the granting of child support originally prohibited modification on the grounds related to incarceration, as this was determined to be the result of a voluntary act. It was treated similarly to the situation in which someone who was working prior to a support proceeding either quits that employment, or intentionally seeks a lower paying position, simply to reduce their income in order to avoid paying higher amount of child support. In those instances, the Courts were allowed to look back at the person’s income in the years prior to the proceeding and impute that income on the parent for purposes of awarding support.

That changed in 2010, when the state enacted changes to the New York Family Court Act and Domestic Relations Law, which allows for incarceration to be considered as a substantial change in circumstances, and allowing for the modification of a support order so long as the incarceration was not for the nonpayment of child support, or the incarceration was is based on an offense against the custodial parent or child.

Some, but not all, states have similarly enacted such changes so as to prevent the accumulation of uncollectible arrears. Nationally, the average incarcerated parent enters a state prison with $10,000 in arrears and leaves with $20,000 in arrears. A 2010 White House administration survey found that of the 51,000 federal prisoners that had child support orders, 29,000 were behind on payments, and they had an average of $24,000 in arrears. Those amounts are not only unlikely to ever to be collected, but the arrears simultaneously add to the barriers formally incarcerated parents face when reentering communities, potentially interfering with the parent’s ability to obtain housing and/or employment, which could otherwise be used to support their child. Those parents are also likely to enter the “underground economy” further preventing the identification of a parent’s income and collection of support. A parent released from incarceration with realistic child support arrears, on the other hand, would be more likely be in a position to do what is necessary to pay off that debt. Of course, this concept is not without its detractors.

 The White House is now in the process of concluding the preparation of regulatory changes that would require the states to allow prisoners to lower child support payments while in prison. Although the specifics of the changes are not currently known, the regulations would both require all states to allow prisoners to modify child support court orders, while requiring the state courts to set orders based on prisoners’ “actual” income.

 It is expected that the new regulations will be in place before President Obama leaves office. It is not clear what the proposed changes will have on the child support scheme here in New York.