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New York City civil litigation lawyerWhen you are involved in any type of civil lawsuit, including a breach of contract matter, employment dispute, or a wrongful death action, there are a few ways to resolve your case. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to reach a resolution through direct negotiations, but if negotiations fail to produce results, your case will be put on a track toward trial. Before going to trial, however, filing certain motions could help your case. If you believe a pretrial motion is appropriate in your case, you should work with a skilled civil litigation attorney who can help you file the motion.

Different motions serve different purposes, and either side of a dispute can initiate one. It is essential to know what kind of motion might apply in your case. Once you and your attorney determine what type of motion is needed, there are a few steps that are necessary to properly file the motion, and it is important to follow them carefully. Some of the most common pretrial motions include:

Motion to Dismiss

If the defendant in a civil suit does not believe that case should proceed to trial, a motion to dismiss may be appropriate. A plaintiff can also file a motion to dismiss if proceeding with the case becomes unnecessary. A plaintiff’s motion to dismiss will almost always be granted, but a defendant’s motion will typically require the court’s careful attention. The basis for a motion to dismiss could be the facts of the case or a procedural issue such as bad service of documents, plaintiffs standing to file suit, or the court’s jurisdiction over the matter. If the motion is granted and the case is dismissed without prejudice means that the case can be refiled, while a dismissal with prejudice prevents the case from being refiled.

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NYC civil litigation lawyersThe Earned Safe and Sick Time Act was enacted in New York City in 2018, and it is designed to extend the benefits of paid time off to help protect vulnerable workers. Now, you can use these paid safe and sick days to take the time you need if you or a family member are the victims of sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, and more. If you are not sure if you are eligible to take time off work or your employer is denying you your rights, meet with a civil litigation attorney to develop a plan moving forward.

There is a great deal of fine print in this law, and it is worth summarizing so that you know exactly how this law can protect you.

Do You Have Paid Safe and Sick Time?

The Act created a law that gas become known as the Paid Safe and Sick Time Law, and it applies to employees who work for employers with five or more employees. Those who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement may be exempt from the law’s provisions. If you work for a company with fewer than five employees, you are entitled to unpaid safe and sick time instead of paid time off. 

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NYC civil service job defense attorneysSo you have made it through several rounds of interviewing and you really hit it off with a prospective employer. You receive a job offer. Human Resources says if you pass the background check and drug screening, you will start working there within a few weeks. No problem: You do not do drugs and you have no criminal history. This should be a routine pass, right? But you do have one skeleton in your closet: a terrible credit report. The employer gets back to you and says the company cannot hire you because you did not pass the background check. You suspect it is due to your credit report, but are they even allowed to deny employment on the basis of poor credit? Actually, this scenario is against the law in New York, with some exceptions.

NYC Human Rights Law: Giving You the Credit You Deserve

Your credit report does not define you. You may have fallen on hard times—anything from dealing with an expensive, debilitating illness to managing extreme reductions in income or long-term unemployment— and failed to pay your bills. Or, you might have been married to someone who dragged your credit through the mud. You might have even had your identity stolen, and it has not been restored yet. The point is, any number of extenuating circumstances could have caused you to amass a disastrous credit report. That does not make you any lesser of a person. It does not mean that you are a horrible worker. It does not mean that you are untrustworthy. You could still do the job you are hired to do—maybe even better than most, regardless of your credit report. And that is why employers cannot consider it when making hiring, firing, and promoting decisions in New York.

The NYC Human Rights Law offers this legal protection. Specifically, the law states that:

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NYC breach of contract attorneysNo matter what your line of work is, when your business entails the creation and signing of a contract to document a service agreement, it is important to do everything in your power to avoid a potential breach of contract. Many individuals and entities will not hesitate to sue for what they believe to be a breach of contract, and in many cases, these claims are embellished or in some cases entirely fabricated, depending on the plaintiff’s motives. Such allegations are usually a big source of anxiety for business owners, as these claims can not only affect their livelihood and income but also their reputation in the community, as well.

Are You at Risk for Being Accused of Breach of Contract?

Whatever service you agree to provide a paying client, you are technically at risk for being sued for breach of contract if you fail in any way to perform the service as promised or fail to adhere to any specific standards or criteria required as stated in the terms of your contract. 

Here are three common breach of contract scenarios business owners may encounter:

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Manhattan contract law attorneysContracts are an inevitable part of life for most people, and business owners, in particular.  Contracts also take many different forms, from express written commitments such as a signed lease to unwritten but enforceable oral contracts. Examples of oral contracts include when you call a plumber to fix a problem in your home, and he or she does, but you do not have this in writing. You cannot, in such a case, refuse to pay because the contract was not in writing. Whether a contract is in writing or oral, if you fail to perform as agreed, you can be sued for breach of contract.

Breach of Contract in New York

For someone to sue you in New York for breach of contract, he or she must show that you committed a “material breach” of the contract terms. A material breach is generally deemed to be doing or not doing something that significantly frustrates or altogether defeats the purpose of the contract. In addition to the breach, the person suing you must show that he or she suffered a monetary loss as a result of the breach.

For example, assume you are a window replacement contractor, and you are hired to replace ten windows in someone’s home at a price of $1,000 per window. The homeowner paid you $5,000 before you did any work, and you sent your workers to start the project. However, due to unavoidable circumstances, you discover that your team will not be able to complete all ten windows. At the time you realize this, your workers have only been able to replace only two windows.

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