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Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper

New York Noncompete, Trade Secret & School Negligence Blog

This blog by the six-time published author Jonathan Cooper, is intended to educate the general public about issues of interest, particularly innovations and changes in the law, in the areas of non-compete agreements, breach of contract matters, school negligence (and/or negligent supervision), construction accidentsslip and/or trip and fall accidentsauto accidents, and, of course, defective or dangerous products

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Jonathan Cooper
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Although the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, with its allowances for larger credits and write-offs for research-based expenditures, and reducing the amortization period for deducting the expense of rental space improvements are certainly welcome news for small business owners, these provisions, as correctly noted in yesterday’s New York Times article, do little, if any, good for many small companies that made little or no money against which these deductions would theoretically be applied.

Some small business owners are facing a different problem: those who made a moderate sum of money in 2008, but now, due to the recession, cannot afford to pay their taxes. While a spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service stated publicly that the IRS was willing to work with small commercial business owners to ease the burden of paying their tax bills in full, little specifics on how the mechanics of this process will work have been provided.

One provision in the new proposed stimulus plan is somewhat promising: it permits businesses that lost money in 2008 to offset the loss against the surplus that the business had in the five previous years. In that fashion, these businesses could recover, in the form of a tax refund, some of the losses that they experienced in 2008.

While many pundits have postulated that additional help for small businesses are in the works, the proof will be in what makes it (and doesn’t make it) into the legislation that is due to be signed shortly. Time will tell.

Category: General

Jonathan Cooper
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In a case from Orange County in California that was reported yesterday, a jury held the local municipality liable for causing the collision between a car and the teenage boy’s bike, as a result of which the boy sustained serious personal injuries, including the loss of one leg below the knee.  From the news report, it seems fairly clear that the government intends to appeal the jury’s $8 million plus verdict, because from their vantage point, it is manifestly unfair to cast the lion’s share of liability on the municipality when they had no direct role in the bike and car crash; they did not own or operate either the car or the bike.  While, at first blush, the municipality’s argument seems meritorious, if you think a bit more critically, you will realize that their argument contravenes what we know from our everyday, real-world experience.

There are some intersections and streets that have had such a disproportionately high number of tragic car accidents and fatalities over the last several years (such as Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills and Rego Park in Queens County, New York, which the local papers have dubbed the “Boulevard of Death”) that it is clear to all that these roadways are defectively and dangerously designed.  Consequently, the better public policy is to hold the municipalities and states liable for these conditions; otherwise, these governmental entities will have far less incentive to assure the safety of their roads.

For additional information as to whether governmental or municipal authorities are liable for the dangerous conditions of intersections and roadways under New York law, you can read our article here.

Category: Car Accidents