Welcome to the Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont & Associates's Legal & Business Blog. The firm is a top-rated and nationally recognized business and litigation law firm with offices in New Jersey, New York, Colorado, & Puerto Rico. The firm also has affiliated offices throughout the U.S. & Canada.

Monday, December 8, 2014

UTLRadio.com Peter Lamont talks with Matt Roloff About Business Success





UTLRadio Presents Understanding Business
On this week's show, host and business attorney Peter J. Lamont talks with actor, author, farmer, business entrepreneur, and motivational speaker, MattRoloff.
Matt is also one of the stars of the TLC reality television program, Little People, Big World.  We will be discussing: overcoming adversity in life and business; how to develop your dream into a sucessful business; self-motivation; the importance of big picture thinking; moving beyond mistakes and challenges; building a strong brand & customer base; staying true to yourself.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Join UTLRadio.com Thurs. 12/4 at 10 AM as Host & Business Attorney Peter Lamont talks with Matt Roloff about Business Success, Big-Picture Thinking & More

On this week's show, host and business attorney Peter J. Lamont talks with actor, author, farmer, business entrepreneur, and motivational speaker, MattRoloff.  Matt is also one of the stars of the TLC reality television program, Little People, Big World.  We will be discussing: overcoming adversity in life and business; how to develop your dream into a sucessful business; self-motivation; the importance of big picture thinking; moving beyond mistakes and challenges; building a strong brand & customer base; staying true to yourself.
The program is hosted by nationally recognized business attorney Peter Lamont and is a service of the Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont and Associates.  As always, we welcome input and feedback from you the listener and we encourage you to join in the conversation by calling the live program at (347) 855-8831 or by contacting us via our social media sites. Links to our various sites are listed on our main website, UTLRadio.com
Please note that this broadcast does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship with any of our listeners. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

UTLRadio.com Thanksgiving Week Special: Host & Attorney Peter Lamont Talks with Marie Reger Executive Director of Eva's Village


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, join us for this Wednesday's special broadcast.  Host Peter Lamont will be speaking with the Executive Director of Eva's Village about the organization, the importance of charitable giving, how you can help those in need and more. As we get ready to sit down to our Thanksgiving dinners, let's keep in mind all of the people who are less fortunate and then let's do something about it.

Eva’s Village is a non-profit, comprehensive, social service organization.  Our mission is to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, treat the addicted and provide medical and dental care to the poor with respect for the human dignity of each individual.

At Eva's Village holiday and end of year donations account for more than 40% of our yearly donations.  Starting with #Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season, donations to charitable organizations increase dramatically compared to the rest of the year.  Many people want to show appreciation during the holiday season and as the year comes to a close.  "It is a time of year when people feel particularly generous and caring and making charitable donations is ever-present in many people’s minds; the holidays simply bring out the best in us" says Marie Reger, Executive Director at Eva’s Village.

To support Eva’s Village visit http://evasvillage.org/donate.shtml


For more information click HERE
To Listen to the LIVE Broadcast click HERE

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Holiday Shopping Season Guide to Protecting Your Credit Card

Credit.com By Christine DiGangi

Last year, during the height of the holiday shopping season, hackers stole more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers when they breached Target's payments system. More data breaches followed, including a six-month cyberattack on Home Depot, which compromised 56 million payment cards.

So, who's excited to use their credit cards this holiday season?

What You Need to Know About Shopping & Data Breaches

Several retailers were in the news in the past few months for data breaches, but that doesn't make those places more or less safe to shop (though a recent survey by Annalect, a market research firm, says 12% of people said they stopped shopping at retailers who have been breached). The truth is you're at risk of becoming a data breach or identity theft victim no matter where you shop, unless you never shop online, use only cash and share no personal information (name, address, phone number, email address) with retailers.

Avoiding certain stores isn't a strategy for data safety, but there are plenty of choices you can make to better protect yourself from breach-related fraud and identity theft.

Choose Your Payment Method Wisely

There are risks to every payment method, so your choice depends on what makes you comfortable:

Cash

Pro: If any retailers you shop at are hit with a payment systems data breach, your money isn't at risk.
Con: If someone steals your wallet, you're never getting that money back.
Pro: You're far less likely to overspend when using cash, because you're limited to spending what you're carrying.
Con: If you run out of cash, you may need to run to an ATM and risk incurring expensive ATM fees.
Credit Cards

Pro: You can only be held liable for up to $50 of fraudulent purchases ($0 if the card wasn't present when used fraudulently i.e. online shopping).
Con: Credit cards are more likely to be fraudulently used than debit cards. It's easy for someone to make purchases or manufacture a new card with your card number, expiration date and security codes.

Pro: If you have a rewards card, you have an opportunity to earn rewards for purchases made during the holiday shopping season.
Con: Not everyone has credit cards. If you have one, you could be tempted to run up a balance, and it can take a while to pay off credit card debt.
Debit Cards

Pro: There are consumer protections against unauthorized activity.
Con: You can be held liable for $50, $500 or the whole amount of fraudulent purchases, depending on how quickly you report the theft.

Pro: These offer the convenience of plastic as well as the spending limits of cash.
Con: If your card or data is stolen and used, you may not have access to money you're counting on having in your checking account, even if you'll eventually get some or all of it back.
If one of your payment cards has chip-and-PIN technology, consider using that card this shopping season. They can still be compromised, but many experts consider them much more secure than cards with only magnetic stripe technology.

Check Your Account Activity

If you prefer to use a credit or debit card, you should closely follow the transactions as they hit your account. You can easily review your account activity each day by spending a few minutes in your online accounts or on your financial service provider's mobile application. If you're doing this regularly, you'll immediately spot an unauthorized transaction, so you can cut off the thief and prevent further damage.

Other ways to watch out for fraud include setting up transactional alerts through your bank or credit card issuer, that way you don't have to log into your account every day, you just receive texts or emails whenever your card is used or when a transaction above a certain dollar amount hits your account. You can also check your credit scores for a sudden drop, which may indicate someone is using your credit card or identity to run up balances in your name. You can get two of your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com.

Keep Track of Your Cards

Thieves are sneaky. People are also careless. Together, that's a recipe for theft. Don't leave your cards lying around in your car or in transparent bags. Don't make a purchase over the phone within earshot of someone else. Don't leave your card on the counter as you punch in your PIN at the checkstand, inviting someone to look over your shoulder and copy the information.

If you're planning on opening new cards to use during the holidays or if you have cards you only use this time of year, make sure you're checking those statements and keeping them in a secure spot, like a safe, when they're not in use. Whether you've applied for a new card or are expecting a replacement soon, pay attention to the mail, so someone doesn't intercept it without you noticing.

Don't let data security worry you this holiday season, but make sure you're making smart choices. Data breaches are likely to happen, and you only have control over how you handle it. As long as you're paying attention, you should be able to protect yourself from financial damage in the event your payment information is compromised.

If you would like more information about this topic or have general legal questions, please feel free to contact me at (973)949-3770 or via email at plamont@peterlamontesq.com We answer legal questions on a daily basis and would be happy to discuss any issues or questions that you have with you.  Offices in: New Jersey New York, Colorado & Puerto Rico.  Affiliated throughout the country.


© 2014, Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between the firm and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Tips to Keep the Lawsuit Grinch Away from Your Office Holiday Parties

T'is the season for company parties--and the decision whether to throw them. Well-intentioned employers want to encourage the good morale of employees, but fear the perfect storm of alcohol-fueled behavior and our litigious culture. Our clients often ask us what can be done to avoid getting sued.

All company-sponsored events pose some degree of unavoidable risk, but if we flatly refuse to accept all avoidable risk, we'd live incredibly boring lives. Thus, we offer the following wisdom, with the hope that employers can sanction a good time while avoiding potential pitfalls:

 1) Problems usually stem from immoderate alcohol consumption. Alcohol generally lowers everyone's' inhibitions. Reliably tactful employees can stumble into embarrassing and offensive situations under the influence. Not surprisingly, many employers have responded by opting for catered events without alcohol (which can still be fun). It is a simple way to avoid most issues. However, for those employers opting to serve alcohol, there are still plenty of ways to mitigate the risks involved.

 2) The easiest way to enforce responsible drinking is to serve alcohol in a supervised, accountable way. Hire a bartender! A properly trained one can gauge the consumption of his or her patrons, and know when "enough is enough". Avoid using employees as bartenders because there is a temptation to flout the rules and serve under-age employees. There is also the ever-present risk of vicarious liability for employee-sanctioned actions. Absolutely avoid open bars where employees can drink as much as they want.

 3) Consider limiting the types of beverages being served at the bar. Beer and wine will satisfy employee tastes while being less alcoholic alternative to mixed drinks and cocktails. Beer and wine are more filling beverages and might dissuade some individuals from drinking too much. Additionally, broaden the selection of drinks with non-alcoholic alternatives.

 4) Always serve food, or at least heavy hors d'œuvres that will slow down drinking and lessen the affects of alcohol consumption.

 5) Get your supervisors and managers do their natural job of supervising employees! If supervisors are on watch, they can keep an eye on employee activity. Remind your employees that they are being watched--intoxication is never an excuse for inappropriate or unlawful behavior. Also, make sure your supervisors don't get themselves drunk.

 6) Invite the spouses and guests of employees. While the camaraderie of co-workers will enliven employees' spirits, more often than not, the presence of spouses and guests will mellow them out. At the end of the night, it is comforting to know when employees make it home safely. You cannot afford to lose key employees to recklessness. Unfortunately, thousands of people are killed each year by drunk drivers. Even if no one is injured or killed, the authorities come down harshly upon intoxicated drivers. There are many ways to keep your employees out of trouble on the way home:

 7) Offer caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea. Even sober drivers may become overwhelmed and tired by the busy evening. Falling asleep at the wheel has the same effect as driving intoxicated. Encourage employees to bring designated drivers. For those employees who cannot rely on another driver, pay for a taxi-service so they stay off the road. If all else fails, consider paying for hotel rooms.

The "takeaway" is that the potential liabilities can be averted through careful, common-sense planning. If your company chooses to throw a party, it should be reasonably easy to maintain happy and healthy holiday without sacrificing too much of the fun.

If you would like more information about this topic or have general legal questions, please feel free to contact me at (973)949-3770 or via email at plamont@peterlamontesq.com We answer legal questions on a daily basis and would be happy to discuss any issues or questions that you have with you.  Offices in: New Jersey New York, Colorado & Puerto Rico.  Affiliated throughout the country.

© 2014, Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between the firm and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank You Veterans!


Please take a moment to remember the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have valiantly fought to make America the greatest nation on Earth.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Stay Out of Holiday Debt By Establishing a Budget Now



By: Peter J. Lamont, Esq.
New Jersey Business  Attorney
Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont & Associates
With the holidays fast upon us, now is the time to set down a budget for this year's celebrations. And as hard as it may be - it is imperative provisions be made to ensure the budget is adhered to.
A little forethought now will result in a much happier spring and summer, when traditionally bankruptcy filings are at their peak. Typically the bulk of debt being discharged is credit card debt - much of it accumulated over the holiday period when goodwill, high emotions and cost-be damned attitudes run rampant. While these feelings may lead to the immediate gratification so desired in these tough times; it must be remembered there are consequences, too often forgotten or disregarded in the fervor of the season.
While a budget foremost in a shopper's mind will not ensure compliance, a little accountability may. Getting a friend or family member to provide oversight prior to shopping will help. The shopper may even want to bring this overseer along on shopping trips. As well, make arrangements to report to the "budget cop" on the progress of the shopping.
Be inclusive in the budgeting. Include all reasonably foreseeable expenses - gifts, food, decorations and travel expenses.
Emotional detachment is essential in this process. Talk to family and friends who are typically recipients and explain the situation. If necessary, set spending limits with such people. It is of paramount importance to detach when considering a gift for children and other loved ones; too often fear of disappointing or hurting someone will lead to overspending.
Budget your shopping time as well. No last minute shopping as it is too easy to disregard spending limits, particularly when shopping the night before a gift is to be given.
Plan ahead, trying to have in mind what purchases will be made. Attempt to foresee all the expenses that will be encountered but do budget money for unforeseen items. Set these emergency funds aside to remove the temptation to spend it elsewhere. If an emergency does arise, talk to your overseer and brainstorm ideas to minimize the impact of the expense. Often a well thought out solution is a less expensive alternative to a knee-jerk reaction and can be easily missed if you are under pressure to resolve an emergency.
If at all possible, leave the credit cards at home and try to buy with cash. If this is not realistic, consider getting a loan from a bank where interest rates are much lower and repayment terms are flexible.
If credit cards are used, pay them off as quickly as you comfortably can, making payments larger than the required minimum.
Keep records of spending and review them regularly with your budget cop regularly. This will help in keeping you on track.
A little thought and planning will go a long way to provide for a wonderful holiday season.
If you would like more information about this topic or have general legal questions, please feel free to contact me at (973)949-3770 or via email at plamont@peterlamontesq.com We answer legal questions on a daily basis and would be happy to discuss any issues or questions that you have with you.  Offices in: New Jersey New York, Colorado & Puerto Rico.  Affiliated throughout the country.

© 2014, Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between the firm and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Common Fair Debt Collecting Practices Act (“FDCPA”) Violations

A debt collector may only contact you over the telephone, by mail, in person, or by fax. The debt collector cannot call you at unreasonable times or places. Typically, this means that they should not call you before 8:00 a.m. in the morning or after 9:00 p.m. at night unless you agree to let them call you at those hours. 


Debt collectors can call you and request that you pay the debt. However, they cannot harass you or abuse you. These are the types of things that they should not do:

  • Use obscene or profane language;
  • Make repeated frequent calls to annoy you;
  • Telephone you without identifying themselves;
  • Use threats of violence or harm against you;
  • Threaten to arrest you if you do not pay the debt; or
  • Threaten to take action such as lawsuits, garnishments, or taking your property unless the collector intends to do so and it is legal. (Creditors must usually take you to court and get a court "judgment" against you before they are able to garnish your wages.)
Debt collectors cannot make false statements about themselves or the debts. They cannot misrepresent:
  • they are government officials or work for the "credit bureau";
  • that you have committed a crime;
  • that the papers you received are legal summonses or legal papers;
  • the amount of your debt; or
  • that there is an attorney involved, if there is not.
Debt collectors are also prohibited from:
  • depositing a post-dated check before it is due;
  • threatening to take your property (unless it is legal to do so); and 
  • contacting you by postcard.
 They cannot misrepresent:
  • they are government officials or work for the "credit bureau";
  • that you have committed a crime;
  • that the papers you received are legal summonses or legal papers;
  • the amount of your debt; or
  • that there is an attorney involved, if there is not.
Debt collectors are also prohibited from:
  • depositing a post-dated check before it is due;
  • threatening to take your property (unless it is legal to do so); and 
  • contacting you by postcard.

If you would like more information about this topic or have general legal questions, please feel free to contact me at (973)949-3770 or via email at plamont@peterlamontesq.com We answer legal questions on a daily basis and would be happy to discuss any issues or questions that you have with you.  Offices in: New Jersey New York, Colorado & Puerto Rico.  Affiliated throughout the country.

© 2014, Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between the firm and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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