Dibble & Miller works hard to keep our clients informed on new laws and current legal topics.  With this goal in mind, the firm produces monthly Newsletters that explain important legal issues that affect your life.  You can search these Newsletters by area of law using the buttons to the left or by date produced in the “Archives” section, with previous Newsletters being added as they become internet ready.  These Newsletters are for informational purposes only and to assist you when you contact your attorney and are not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.  This information is not intended to create, and use of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship or the rendering of legal advice. (Version IA03a)

Newsletter Areas

  Business       Criminal  
  Debtor Rights   Estates  
  Family Law   Real Estate  


Date  Title
July 2014 If You Owe Money and Are Not Making Payments, Read This
Reforms governing consumer credit collection practices in New York State’s city courts are expected to take effect soon.  These reforms will require creditors to comply with certain procedural requirements before they can obtain default judgments against debtors.  The reforms provide protection for debtors that we, as defense counsel, have long sought on behalf of our clients.  This article discusses these new rules and how they will help prevent unjustified default judgments against debtors. 
June 2014 Always Remember Your Right to Remain Silent 
This article discusses your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent throughout the process of an investigation, not just at a trial, and the importance of understanding when and how to invoke this right.  If the “Miranda Warnings” are read to you (letting you know of your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney), a charge of some kind is, in all likelihood, going to be filed against you.  At this point you need to clearly state that you want an attorney and that you will not answer questions without one.  But it is equally important to know that you do not have to incriminate yourself at any point, including during an investigation.  For your own protection, make sure to take advantage of your right to remain silent at the earliest moment. 
May 2014  Spousal Rights in Estate Proceedings 
Our previous article dealt with the various ways in which property can transfer upon the death of a family member or loved one.  This article continues the discussion of estate issues.  Here, we review the rights which are specific to the spouse of a decedent when a decedent dies without a will, and also when a decedent dies with a will which excludes his or her spouse.  In addition, we discuss a surviving spouse’s rights to certain property belonging to the decedent regardless of whether or not the decedent died with a will. 
April 2014 Property Transfers Upon Death 
In estate planning or when dealing with the death of a loved one or family member, it is important to understand the various ways by which property can transfer upon death.  This article discusses this important topic, including matters such as: (a) when is court intervention necessary for property transfer upon death and when is court intervention not necessary; (b) what happens when an individual dies without a will; and (c) what is probate? 
March 2014 Touching or Holding a Phone or GPS While Driving May Result in Loss of Drivers License 
Our March newsletter covers recent New York State legislation concerning use of “portable electronic devices” (PED) while driving.  Simply holding a PED or a mobile phone in your hand while driving your car can result in an arrest and conviction.  We have seen reports of drivers convicted for adjusting the volume on a GPS or looking at a mobile phone to see the time.  Use of a PED and use of a hand-held mobile phone while operating a vehicle are now both five point violations.  A five point violation can potentially trigger a review of your lifetime driving record to determine your driving worthiness.  This newsletter features important and timely information for any driver with a cellphone or GPS device in the car. 
February 2014   Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements – Why They Are Important
With more couples marrying later in life or marrying for a second time, there is often a need for a prenuptial agreement in order to protect and preserve assets (e.g. a small business, restaurant, rental property, etc.) even if these assets are very modest.  This article explains (1) the difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements; (2) why they are not do-it-yourself documents or forms to be copied from an internet site; (3) when it is important to consider drawing such an agreement; (4) what constitutes a valid and enforceable agreement; and (5) the sense in which marriage is, among other things, a business arrangement. 
January 2014 Happy Holidays and a New Year’s Reminder 
Our January newsletter gives a brief introduction to our dedicated attorneys and staff members.  In addition, we provide a friendly reminder that an annual review of important documents such as your will, power of attorney, living will and health care proxy, and other estate planning documents is always prudent. 
November 2013  Not Paying NYS Taxes, Lose Your License! (Update) 
As part of Dibble & Miller’s commitment to keep clients and the community informed, we have continued to gather information about the implementation of New York State’s recent law authorizing the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) to direct the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend the driver licenses of delinquent taxpayers.  Our November 2013 article provides the latest update on the implementation of this law.  Dibble & Miller, P.C. continues to research new tax laws and help clients resolve their tax issues with extensive experience in tax defense. 
October 2013 Not Paying NYS Taxes, Lose Your License! 
A recently enacted law is being implemented which allows New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) to direct the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend the driver licenses of delinquent taxpayers.  The program targets taxpayers who owe state taxes of $10,000 or more and do not have an approved resolution in place with the DTF.  Our October 2013 newsletter provides information about this program and its implementation.  Dibble & Miller, P.C. has an extensive tax defense department dedicated to helping clients resolve both State and Federal tax issues.
September 2013 Assault Weapons and the SAFE Act 
The September newsletter continues our overview of the SAFE Act from the August newsletter.  The Act was passed to prevent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing firearms, to prevent the possession of automatic assault weapons, and to provide for the registration of certain semi-automatic weapons.  This article reviews some of the characteristics of what is now classified as assault weapons, including helpful pictures.  More information about the SAFE Act, including information about firearms that may require registration, firearms that are prohibited, and an individual’s rights or responsibilities, is available by contacting Dibble & Miller, P.C. 
August 2013 The SAFE Act
New York State’s legislative response to the December 14, 2012 shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut was the passage of the New York State Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (SAFE Act). The bill, which became law on January 14, 2013, has drawn criticism for the lack of consideration given to the effect of some of its provisions. Our August newsletter is a brief overview of some of the provisions of the SAFE Act, as well as some of the reactions to the Act. 
July 2013 When a Loved One Dies—You May Not Be Able to Control the Burial
People frequently fail to leave clear instructions regarding how they wish their remains to be disposed of when they die.  This can lead to family members arguing over the right to control the disposition of the decedent’s remains.  Our July newsletter discusses the New York State law that provides a hierarchical list of persons who are empowered to make decisions regarding the “care, disposal, transportation, burial, cremation, or embalming of the body” of a deceased person.  Also, learn in this newsletter how appointing an individual to carry out your wishes can eliminate most problems associated with funeral arrangements and control of the disposition of one’s body. 
June 2013  Is Bankruptcy An Option to Discharge Taxes Due? 
There is a common misconception that taxes due to the IRS or NY State Department of Taxation and Finance cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.  Although the rules for how taxes are handled in a bankruptcy are very complex, nevertheless, in the proper circumstances, a bankruptcy filing may work to discharge both taxes and penalties due to federal and state taxing authorities.  You can learn more about this option and whether or not it is right for you in our helpful and informative June newsletter. 
May 2013 Beware: Possession of Dangerous Porn 
Not only is pornography widespread on the internet, but child pornography (“CP”) is rampant on the internet as well.  This month’s newsletter features an in-depth discussion on what constitutes CP under federal law, and what some of the penalties for CP crimes are.  This newsletter also discusses some of the long-term consequences after convictions and initial penalties are imposed.  If you have any questions about an individual’s rights or responsibilities under the laws governing CP or any other criminal activity, please contact Dibble & Miller, P.C. for assistance. 
April 2013 “Gray” Divorce 
Our April newsletter covers some of the issues facing divorcing couples over age 50.  According to a study recently cited in The Wall Street Journal, among people ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has doubled over the last twenty years.  The term “gray” divorce refers to divorces among older couples in marriages of long duration.  Dibble & Miller, P.C. has ample experience in successfully resolving matrimonial cases between spouses in marriages of long duration. 
March 2013 Real Estate Document Fraud – A Growing Problem! 
Technological advances in communication, banking, printing, and information storage and retrieval may have improved efficiency, but these advances have also presented the unscrupulous with new opportunities for fraud and theft in the real estate business.  Thus, there is a need for increased vigilance by all who are involved in real estate transactions.  Our March newsletter reviews some of the ways fraud can occur, including examples of direct fraud, indirect fraud, and “social engineering” scams, and includes advice for how to protect yourself. The Dibble and Miller, P.C. real estate department is alert to the growing problem of fraud and takes specific steps to ensure that client funds are fully protected in all real estate transactions. 
February 2013  Executing Your Will – Failing to Sign a Will Properly Can Cause it Not to Be Followed   
A last will and testament is a simple and inexpensive way to make your wishes known when you can no longer do so personally, to ensure that your assets are used and according to your wishes.  There are strict requirements in New York State regarding what will be accepted by the Court as a valid will.  Our February, 2013 newsletter is filled with helpful, plain English definitions and explanations of terms and procedures related to executing a valid Last Will and Testament and valuable details of what does, and what does not, constitute a valid will. 

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