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Jeffrey R. Lalama
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Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 Business Interruptions Is Unclear in Pennsylvania

Business closures and restricted operations during the coronavirus pandemic have played havoc with bottom lines, spurring business owners to look to their business-interruption insurance policies to make up the losses. However, many insurers have denied coverage, citing various exclusionary clauses in policies. In Pennsylvania, this has prompted a bevy of appeals that so far have Read More

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Debt Collection During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has caused a statewide emergency in Pennsylvania that has markedly affected many judicial functions. In March, the state Supreme Court authorized local courts to impose emergency restrictions on their operations, including those relating to debt collection. Some of these local orders put a hold on efforts of creditors to recover debts through Read More

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When Is an Oral Contract Enforceable?

While it’s always best to have a written contract, business moves at such a rapid pace that reducing a contract to writing is often impractical. However, only certain types of contracts need to be written to be enforceable. In Pennsylvania, these include contracts involving purchase and sale of an interest in real estate or of Read More

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Understanding How COVID-19 May Have Affected the Value of Your Estate

The economic and personal upheaval triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to warrant a review of your estate plan, no matter how thorough you think it is. As Americans cope with health fears and financial volatility, it’s worthwhile to determine whether a will, trust, advance medical directive or other legal instrument needs to be Read More

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Who Gets the Stimulus Check When Spouses Are Separated or Divorcing?

Going through a divorce is stressful enough, but the coronavirus pandemic spreading throughout the United States presents additional complications for spouses who have decided to split. In addition to changes that might need to be made regarding custody and visitation arrangements while travel is restricted, negotiations over property division need to address any new economic Read More

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How Will Coronavirus Affect Contractual Relationships and Obligations?

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted practically every aspect of American life. Whether closed by government order or by concerns about public safety, millions of businesses around the country have seen their operations come to a halt. Despite the overwhelming effect of COVID-19, it is not a certainty that an “Act of God” clause in a Read More

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Do I Have to Pay a Salaried Employee Overtime?

In Pennsylvania as elsewhere in the U.S., employees must be paid 1.5 times their regular rate for working beyond 40 hours in a single week unless they are exempt from overtime laws. This is a simple and straightforward calculation for workers who are paid hourly. But how does it apply to salaried workers and those Read More

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Is a Business-to-Business Noncompete Agreement Enforceable?

When your key employees have access to valuable and sensitive business information, you can feel safer if you require them to sign a noncompete agreement. In essence, this prohibits executives, managers and others with access to your proprietary data from using it to compete with you, whether by starting their own business or by moving Read More

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Can I Be Sued for Firing an At-Will Employee?

In Pennsylvania, all workers not under contract are considered to be at-will employees. This means that an organization has the right to dismiss any employee at any time for any legal reason. But the key word is “legal.” State and federal laws prohibit employment actions that have a discriminatory intent or effect based on race, Read More

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When Can a Former Employee Safely Break a Noncompete Agreement?

In January 2019, a retired executive of Koppers — a global manufacturer company based in one of the most recognizable buildings in the Pittsburgh skyline — found himself sued for serving as an advisor to another company in violation of a covenant not to compete. Robert Wombles, who had been Koppers R&D vice president for Read More

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