Elder Law Seminar Featuring PK Law Attorneys Kevin Bress and Kim Battaglia

July 3, 2014

We know you have questions.
We want to help you find answers.

The law firm of Pessin, Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law) presents monthly seminars in
their Towson office seminar room located at 901 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204. The seminars are designed to help families understand the legal issues
involved with long term care in nursing homes. The seminars are conducted by
Kevin F. Bress and Kimberly L. Battaglia, PK Law elder law attorneys with
years of experience helping people with these issues.
There is no fee for this seminar. Simply reserve a spot at least one week in
advance. The seminars are held on the first Thursday of each month, begin at
10:00 a.m. and last approximately one hour. Your questions will be answered
and informational materials will be given out.

You will learn how to:

  • Protect assets from being spent down at a nursing home.
  • Strategically transfer assets during the 5-year look back.
  • Protect virtually all assets for your spouse.
  • Qualify for Medicaid on your first attempt.
  • Insulate your house and property from Medicaid spend own.
  • Retain funds even after a loved one enters a nursing home.

Get your questions answered:

Feel free to bring copies of any of the following documents with you.
The attorney will review them and answer any of your questions.

  • Power of Attorney
  • Deed to Real Estate
  • List of Assets

To make a reservation contact:

Rhonda King at rking@pklaw.com or 410.938.8800
at least one week in advance of the next scheduled seminar. To learn more
about our Elder Law Services visit our website at pklaw.com.

BANKRUPTCY: It’s not a Dirty Word (Webinar)

BANKRUPTCY: It’s not a Dirty Word (Webinar)

Join us for a live webinar on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00PM EDT            

PK Law attorney Tiffany S. Franc, Esq. will present an informative Webinar on everything the average person needs to know about bankruptcy.

The topics covered will include:

■ Bankruptcy basics
■ Discussion of various chapters of bankruptcy
■ Assets retained during bankruptcy process
■ How to take advantage of “Order of Discharge”
■ Discussion of bankruptcy alternatives
■ Debt restructuring and rehabilitation

Click the link below to register now!
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2583530527119551745

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

View System Requirements 

About Pessin Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law)

PK Law is the tenth largest law firm in the Baltimore area firm with more than 60 attorneys, paralegals and law clerks. The firm’s main office is located in Towson, Maryland with offices in Columbia and Bel Air. PK Law’s core practice areas include Corporate and Business Services, Education Law, Employment Law, Litigation and Estate Planning and Elder Law. www.pklaw.com

                        

What is a teaming arrangement?

By:  James R. Benjamin Jr., Esquire                                     jbenjamin@pklaw.com

A teaming arrangement is a form of business arrangement that involves two or more companies coming together and combining resources for a specific purpose.  Companies sometimes utilize teaming arrangements when bidding for contracts awarded by the Federal Government.  Each company in a teaming arrangement has a specific set of responsibilities, with one company generally serving as the prime contractor and one or more companies serving as subcontractors.  Such arrangement may be desirable for businesses looking to complement each other’s capabilities.

Businesses should use care when structuring a teaming arrangement, particularly if they wish to maintain their autonomy and be viewed as separate entities.  Otherwise, the teaming arrangement could be viewed as a joint venture, with participants to the arrangement considered affiliated, or a single entity for size determination purposes. 

Affiliation occurs when one participant to the teaming arrangement is dependent on another for business to such a degree that its economic viability would be in jeopardy without such business.  Factors considered in determining affiliation include who will manage the contract; which participants possess background and expertise for contract performance; the degree of collaboration in preparing and submitting competitive proposals; whether there are discrete tasks to be performed by each participant or commingling of personnel and resources; and the amount and type of work to be performed by each participant.

When a teaming arrangement is deemed affiliated, smaller participants could be at risk for not qualifying as a “small business” under the Small Business Act (“SBA”) and lose the benefits associated with such designation. Consultation with legal counsel is therefore recommended for businesses desiring to enter into a teaming arrangement to ensure the arrangement is properly structured.  

 

It’s A Dog’s Life

By:  Joan Cerniglia-Lowensen, Esquire                jclowensen@pklaw.com

Governor O’Malley has signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 247 which many pit bull owners, and the Humane Society, have hailed for doing away with the Maryland Court of Appeals’ decision in Tracey v. Solesky, 427 Md. 627 (2012).  Tracey imposed strict liability upon the breed’s owners for damages resulting from pit bull attacks.  SB 247 is Emergency Legislation that became effective immediately upon the Governor’s signature.  It only applies to future cases.

The new law is a compromise. The law does away with specific reference to attacks by pit bulls, and includes language that applies to all dog owners. 

The law makes the following points regarding injuries to others as to all dog owners:

  • There must be evidence that the dog in question caused the personal injury or death on which a lawsuit is based.
  • Once that evidence is produced, a “rebuttable presumption” is created that the owner “knew or should have known that the dog had vicious or dangerous propensities”.
  • If the case is before a jury, rather than a judge, the judge cannot rule that the presumption has been rebutted BEFORE the jury returns a verdict.
  • With several exceptions, including the victim’s teasing or taunting the dog, the owner is liable for death or injury caused by the dog “while it is running at large”.

As to non-owners, such as landlords, the case law that existed on April 1, 2012 applies to determine their liability and the law is clear that it is not to affect any other cause of action that may be available to an injured party or any defense or immunity that might be available to the defendant(s) in a lawsuit.

Before the Court of Appeals made its 2012 ruling, Maryland followed the “one bite” rule relating to a dog owner’s liability for injury to another.  Generally speaking, an owner would not be held liable for a dog’s actions until it displayed vicious propensities known to the owner, usually by having bitten someone once before with the owner’s knowledge.  However, knowledge of a dangerous dog on the part of an owner could be shown circumstantially as set forth in Bachman v. Clark, 128 Md. 245 (1916) which highlighted the owner’s keeping the dog in an enclosure, the dog’s jumping on people entering the enclosure, the dog’s excitable nature, and the dog’s growling at others.

The new law changes the landscape.  First, once it is proven that the dog caused injury, its owner must then rebut a “presumption” that the owner knew of the dog’s “vicious or dangerous propensities”.  No longer must the plaintiff show knowledge on the part of the owner either directly or circumstantially.  That knowledge is presumed until rebutted by the owner.  Second, it is unlikely that a plaintiff will ask that a judge rule on the case rather than a jury because once the case starts, the jury must return a verdict before a judge can rule on whether the presumption mentioned above was rebutted by the owner.  This will mean that an owner will have to go to the expense of a full jury trial and verdict before the owner can learn whether it has successfully rebutted the presumption.  As a result, the cost of providing a defense to a dog owner by an insurer will most likely be reflected in heightened insurance premiums, if not to the uninsured or under insured owner.  Third, an owner will be liable for injury or death to another “while the dog is running at large”.  The law does not define the phrase “running at large” but one may surmise from the language that the dog is to be in an enclosure (and even then it might have to be leashed if in a public place such as an enclosed “dog park”) or on a leash.  (Baltimore County, for instance, mandates by ordinance that when off the owner’s property, all dogs and cats must be walked on a leash.  The effect of the statute on this ordinance, and others similar to it, is unclear.)

As to landlords, they are required to “exercise ordinary care and diligence to maintain [the areas under their control] in a reasonably safe condition”.  Violations of statutes or ordinances pertaining to those areas may be the basis for suing a landlord.  What can be said as to landlord liability is that because of the new law, landlords will not be held strictly liable for having pit bulls on the leased premises.  Whether landlords feel comfortable enough with the new law to permit dog owners to maintain their pets or watchdogs on the leased premises is yet to be resolved.  Also yet to be resolved, is the impact of the legislation on insurance rates.

If you are a dog owner or a landlord faced with a lawsuit from a dog attack, it is recommended you contact an attorney who has experience handling these matters.  PK Law’s Animal Law Attorneys can assist.

 

This information is provided for general information only.  None of the information provided herein should be construed as providing legal advice or a separate attorney client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney of your choice about your particular situation. While PK Law has taken reasonable efforts to insure the accuracy of this material, the accuracy cannot be guaranteed and PK Law makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy.