Departments

Young Lawyers Network: Seven Ways to Develop Your Book of Business as a Young Lawyer

The greatest compliment a client can give you is to refer a new client. Perhaps the best way to provide service as a lawyer is to be responsive. If a client contacts you about his legal matter, be sure to respond within 24 hours. In the days of old, you may have been able to get away with returning a call after a few days. Not so in the age of instant communication. A timely response will go a long way toward keeping the client happy. If you give the client deadlines for updates on a matter, adhere to them. In addition, always be sure your advice is accurate. Clients will not expressly ask for this—it is implied in whatever advice you dispense.

Pennsylvania Practice Pointer: Lis Pendens

A lis pendens is a valuable tool to protect property rights when a dispute arises about property ownership. Literally meaning “suit pending,” a lis pendens is public notice that a lawsuit relating to the ownership of a particular piece of property has been initiated. In Pennsylvania, a lis pendens may be both filed with the court and recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds of the county where the property is located. The filing and recording may occur simultaneously with the initiation of a lawsuit, so long as the outcome of the litigation will affect title to the property.

The Last Word: Panic of Emojis

It was bound to happen—an Israeli judge has found prospective residential tenants liable to an apartment owner for $2,200 based on emojis sent to the landlord that caused the landlord to take the apartment off the market. See Eric Goldman, Emojis and the Law, 93 Wash. L. Rev. 1227, 1266-70 (2018) (discussing decision of Israeli small claims court). In the case, a couple seeking the landlord’s apartment texted him a smiley face, a comet, a champagne bottle with a popping cork, dancing women with bunny ears, and a chipmunk. Id. at 1268. The court held that these emojis constituted bad faith negotiations that caused the landlord to rely to his detriment on the tenants’ seeming agreement to lease the apartment. Id. at 1267.

Features

Staying on Track with Trains and Title Issues: Ownership and Use of American Railroad Rights-of-Way

Real Estate

Staying on Track with Trains and Title Issues: Ownership and Use of American Railroad Rights-of-Way

This article addresses the classification of property interests in railroad rights of way and summarizes the effect of such classifications on the use of abandoned rights of way for recreational trails, the process of closing railroad crossings, and the attempts at establishing an American high-speed rail network. Topics in this article include real property, railroads, easements, and rights of way.

First the Earth Quakes, then the Law Suits

Real Estate

First the Earth Quakes, then the Law Suits

Older steel-frame buildings built between about 1960 and 1994 pose a very high collapse risk in earthquakes, owing to unexpectedly brittle welds; owners, lessors, employers, management agencies, and even government officials could face serious civil or criminal legal liability if they fail to act on the threat. Topics covered in this article include real estate, commercial buildings, earthquakes, construction, and liability.

When Is an Execution Error Harmless?

Trusts & Estates

When Is an Execution Error Harmless?

A minority of jurisdictions have adopted the harmless error doctrine, but more states may want to consider the benefits the doctrine provides. The advantage of adopting a harmless error statute rather than relaxing execution requirements directly or authorizing holographic wills is that a court will oversee the determination of whether a document should be admitted to probate as a will. This article topics include estate planning, wills, harmless error, holographic wills, electronic wills

How to Avoid Securities Pitfalls in the Opportunity Zone Program

Real Estate

How to Avoid Securities Pitfalls in the Opportunity Zone Program

The new Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) offers great opportunities for both taxpayers and distressed communities, but participants should ensure that transactions comply with several federal and state securities laws to avoid securities pitfalls that may result in SEC enforcement actions and private lawsuits. Topics in this article include Opportunity Zone Fund, Opportunity Zones, securities law, securities regulation, securities and implications.