Lauletta Birnbaum in the News

Robert McKinley Named Top 100 High Stakes Litigator

Monday  //  Aug 20  //  2018

Lauletta Birnbaum partner Robert McKinley was selected as one of the nation’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators this year. For initial consideration, attorneys must have litigated (for either plaintiff or defendant) a matter (1) with at least $2,000,000 in alleged damages at stake or (2) with the fate of a business worth at least $2,000,000 at stake (i.e. bet-the-company litigation valued in excess of $2,000,000). Once a candidate has been identified, they are carefully screened to determine that they meet the minimum requirements as a “High Stakes Litigator” through third-party research and analysis. Finally, candidates who are still eligible are further assessed using proprietary algorithms and multiple criteria including the attorney’s lifetime legal achievements, professional experience, significant case results and/or verdicts, peer reputation, and client satisfaction, to name a few. Congratulations to Rob on this prestigious achievement.

Click here to view the entire Selection Methodology.


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Eric Schoenborn Named Top Securities Attorney by SJ Magazine

Thursday  //  Aug 2  //  2018

 

Lauletta Birnbaum’s Eric Schoenborn was selected as one of SJ Magazine’s top attorneys in Securities Law. The annual list is drawn from nominations by other attorneys in the region.

Eric provides practical and strategic advice to private and publicly held companies on a broad array of business and legal matters, including: business transactions, capital raising, general corporate matters and corporate and securities regulatory compliance.

The full list of peer-nominated attorneys can be found here.


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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 Provides Potential Tax Breaks to Real Estate Investors

Thursday  //  Jul 26  //  2018

 

By: Frank Lauletta

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was enacted on December 22, 2017.  The Act included Internal Revenue Code §1400Z, which provides tax incentives for investments in qualified Opportunity Zones through investment vehicles called Qualified Opportunity Funds. These funds are designed to encourage investments into low-income communities, which are designated by the state as Qualified Opportunity Zones.

The number of Qualified Opportunity Zones may equal up to 25 percent of the number of low-income communities within that state. However, if there are less than 100 low income communities, then a total of 25 tracts may be designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones. Up to five percent of the tracts designated in a State may be non-low-income communities if the tract is both contiguous with the low-income community and the median family income of the tract does not exceed 125 percent of the median family income of the low-income community. In New Jersey, there are 169 opportunity zones, which in southern New Jersey include Camden, Deptford, Woodbury, Lindenwold, Pine Hill, Carneys Point, Egg Harbor City, Glassboro, Salem, Vineland, Egg Harbor Township, Bridgeton, Millville, Pleasantville, Atlantic City, Somers Point, Lower Township and Wildwood.[1]

If an investor realizes a gain from a sale or exchange of a capital asset from an unrelated party, the investor may defer realization and taxation if, within 180 days from the date of such sale or exchange, the investor reinvests the gain amount with a cash investment into a Qualified Opportunity Fund. A Qualified Opportunity Fund is an investment vehicle that must hold at least 90 percent of its assets in designated Qualified Opportunity Zone properties. Opportunity zone property means property which is an opportunity zone stock, an opportunity zone partnership interest, or an opportunity zone business property.  A qualified opportunity zone business property means tangible property used in a trade or business if (i) such property is acquired after December 31, 2017, (ii) the fund substantially improves [2] the property, and (iii) substantially all of the use of the property is in a Qualified Opportunity Zone.

The tax advantages are three-fold.  First, the tax that would otherwise be payable in connection with the sale of the prior capital asset is deferred until either the date the opportunity investment is sold or exchanged or December 31, 2026, whichever date comes first. As part of the deferral, the basis assigned to the replacement Qualified Opportunity Zone property starts at $0.  However, the second advantage allows this basis to increase based upon the duration of the investment in the Qualified Opportunity Fund. If the investment is held for at least 5 years, the basis will increase by 10 percent of the amount of gain deferred. If the investment is held for at least 7 years, the basis will increase an additional 5 percent or 15 percent of the deferred amount in total.

The amount to be included will be the lesser of the deferred amount or the fair market value (if a “loss” is taken) minus the taxpayer’s basis, shown above. The applicable taxes due on the deferred investment will be due no later than December 31, 2026. This date is a hard deadline and is essential for investors to take full advantage of the tax break. Therefore, to be awarded the full 10 percent break, the investment must be paid into the fund by 2021. Respectively for the additional 5 percent, the investment must be in the fund by 2019.

The third tax advantage is realized if the taxpayer holds Opportunity Zone Property in the Opportunity Fund for at least 10 years.  If this is the case, then the basis of the Opportunity Zone Property will be the fair market value on the date it is sold. This means that no additional capital gains tax, beyond what is due on December 31, 2026, will be due when the taxpayer sells the Opportunity Zone Property.

Example:
Deferral of Gain Invested in Opportunity Zone Property  = $1,000
Fair Market Value of Opportunity Zone Property   = $2,500


Restrictions to be Aware of:
  • This rule applies to an amount up to, but not exceeding, the amount of the capital gain. For example, if the capital gain is $1 million but the investor invests a total of $2 million in a Qualified Opportunity Fund, he or she may only defer up to $1 million
  • Investors can take advantage of the tax deferral only once for any given unrelated investment. Using the same example above, if an investor has a capital gain of $1 million, he or she could invest $500,000 in a Qualified Opportunity Fund and defer that amount but could not invest and defer the remaining $500,000 at a later time
  • Investments must be made within 180 days of the sale or exchange that produced the capital gain.
  • The sale or exchange that produced the capital gain must be with an unrelated party
  • Investments in Opportunity Zone Property must be made before December 31, 2026

For more information about this new law, call Frank Lauletta or Lloyd Birnbaum at 856-232-1600.


[1] The following link contains a map of the New Jersey Designated Opportunity Zones:

https://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/lps/pdf/Statewide_Designated_Opportunity_Zones_Map.pdf

[2] “Substantially improves” means that the investor must invest an amount equal to or greater than the cost to initially acquire the property. In other words, at least 50% of the total investment amount must be used toward improving the property.


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Lauletta Birnbaum Participates in Annual Fishing Tournament

Monday  //  Jul 23  //  2018

 

Members of the Lauletta Birnbaum Family had fun casting for a cause over the weekend at The Ike Foundation’s Celebrity Pro-Am Bass Fishing Tournament. The Ike Foundation was founded by Mike Iaconelli of Professional Edge Fishing, a client of the firm. The organization aims to get kids involved with fishing at while they are young. By “hooking ‘em early”, The Ike Foundation hopes to promote a positive hobby and appreciation for the outdoors. The firm is proud to sponsor the foundation, which assists civic organizations, existing youth fishing organizations, and other charitable organizations in sponsoring events and functions which promote fishing to both inner-city and rural youth.


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Lauletta Birnbaum to Expand Incutate Co-Working Facility

Wednesday  //  Jul 11  //  2018

Lauletta Birnbaum’s co-working facility, Incutate, LLC is expanding its Southern New Jersey Headquarters to better serve the needs of start-up and emerging growth companies. Read the full press release here.


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Lauletta Birnbaum Reflects on Success of Apprenticeship Program

Tuesday  //  Jul 10  //  2018

 

SEWELL, NJ and PHILADELPHIA, PA – While big law firms compete to pay the highest salary to first year lawyers, Lauletta Birnbaum reflects on a different path it took over eight years ago, when it accepted its first young lawyer into its 2-year Commercial Law Apprenticeship Program.

Partners Frank Lauletta and Lloyd Birnbaum, founders of business boutique firm Lauletta Birnbaum, LLC, both came from large national law firms.  Although they still value the training and experience they received in the large law firm model, they knew that their firm’s middle market clients could not and would not pay the billable rates that large law firms charge for inexperienced attorneys.

“Big law firms compete to secure the best and brightest law school graduates with higher compensation; this means higher billable rates for young associates, which means higher legal fees for clients,” said Frank Lauletta. “If you’re one of the few graduates lucky enough to land one of those high-paying jobs, then take it. The compensation plus the Big Law experience makes it worth it.”

“However,” Lauletta continued, “there are great young applicants that just miss the large law firm cut and their main concern is – or at least it should be – to gain quality experience and training to help propel them into a long and successful legal career.”

Frank and Lloyd recognized a problem for hard-working recent graduates: despite being at the top of their class, they could not land a Big Law position because the competition is so stiff. At the same time, middle-market businesses – lacking the deep pockets of major corporations – were struggling to find the high-quality legal representation they demand.  The Apprenticeship Program was a response to these two problems. Instead of promising top compensation, the Firm promises to focus on training – not only in the law, but also in the business of law. The Firm doesn’t want associates in the Program to worry about billable hours or how much revenue they generate. Instead, said Lauletta, “we want them to focus on learning what makes clients happy, such as lightning fast response times, setting reasonable expectations, delivering what we say we are going to deliver on time, and of course quality work product.  As young attorneys in our Program begin to develop these qualities, they start to work directly with clients to hone their communication skills.”

The Program is a win-win for both attorneys and clients.  The Firm bills its first-year associates in the Program at $155/hour, well below even paralegal rates at most large Philadelphia firms.

Since its inception in 2010, ten attorneys have completed the Program; six of those ten attorneys still work for Lauletta Birnbaum, and one recently made partner. As for the participants who left the Firm, Lloyd Birnbaum said: “we are extremely proud that they have used our platform to propel themselves into top-notch positions around the country.” Indeed, they have been quite successful; among them is a general counsel of a large corporation, an attorney at an international law firm, a Judge Advocate for the U.S. Army, and an attorney at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Concluded Birnbaum, “It’s really exciting to see all of our participants thriving because it confirms the success of the vision we had over eight years ago.”


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Lauletta Birnbaum Adds New Attorney

Wednesday  //  Apr 11  //  2018

 

Sewell, NJ – Lauletta Birnbaum, LLC is proud to announce the addition of Guido A. Babore, an attorney concentrating on construction litigation and land-use, to its headquarters in Sewell, New Jersey.

“We are excited to announce Guido’s addition to our ever-growing practice,” said Frank A. Lauletta, co-founding member. “His real-world business experience and unparalleled legal experience strengthens our team of highly-accomplished attorneys,” added Lloyd C. Birnbaum, co-founding member.

Prior to joining the Firm, Babore was the general counsel and co-owner of an engineering firm that focused on land use and land use-related issues in the New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania markets. As general counsel of the company for over fifteen years, Babore gained extensive experience analyzing, structuring, manning and monitoring complex construction projects. As a practicing attorney, he focuses on construction litigation and construction-related claims including contract disputes, construction delays, lien matters and bonding issues.

Babore is a strong addition to Lauletta Birnbaum’s Real Estate and Litigation teams, two of the firm’s fastest-growing practice areas.


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The Future Is Sooner Than You Think

Tuesday  //  Apr 10  //  2018

 

When will there be 1 million electric vehicles registered in New Jersey? Some industry analysts predict it could happen as soon as 2025.

Lloyd Birnbaum and his son, Benjamin Birnbaum, explore the future of electric cars in the Southern New Jersey Development Council’s magazine. Read the article here.


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iPipeline Acquires AlphaTrust

Friday  //  Apr 6  //  2018

 

Exton, PA – Lauletta Birnbaum represented iPipeline® in their recent acquisition of AlphaTrust, an expert and global leader in electronic signature process automation solutions. In an increasingly paperless world, eSignature technology is an integral solution for the life insurance and financial services companies that iPipeline serves.

iPipeline’s CEO Tim Wallace expects to make AlphaTrust’s PRONTOSign™ — a next-generation eSignature and document process automation platform – “the industry standard within the next year.”

Click here to read more about the deal.


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Daniel L. Blanchard named one of SNJBP’s “40 Under 40”

Wednesday  //  Feb 28  //  2018

 

Southern New Jersey Business People named Lauletta Birnbaum’s Daniel L. Blanchard one of their “40 Under 40” – an annual list which recognizes young professionals for their contributions to the South Jersey community and business world at large. Members of the LB team celebrated with Blanchard at the Awards Reception at Lucien’s Manor last night; the Firm was also a Gold Sponsor of the event. SNJ Business People, South Jersey’s award winning monthly news publication, is dedicated to business owners and decision makers.


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