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Antheil Maslow & MacMinn attorney Michael Klimpl has been appointed County Solicitor for Bucks County.  He has served as Acting Solicitor since the announced retirement of County Solicitor Glenn D.  Hains on January 3rd.  Michael has served as Assistant Solicitor for the County since 1984 and will now head Bucks' legal team of five government lawyers.

The Bucks County Solicitor’s Office serves as general counsel for the County of Bucks and  represents the Commissioners and all divisions and departments under the direction of the Commissioners.  The Solicitor’s Office defends lawsuits against the County, and initiates lawsuits brought by the County.  These include civil rights litigation and suits involving construction matters.

Solicitors prepare, review and/or supervise contractual obligations within the County. They handle state and federal compliance issues relating to the County, human resource/employee issues, real estate transactions from agreement through settlement, ADA observance and general employment law. The Solicitors advise on open space and agriculture preservation programs by evaluating properties, determining the scope and extent of easements, and reviewing appraisals.

The Office also coordinates and supervises all outside counsel and the activities of individual department solicitors.

John D. Trainer, Of Counsel for the Firm, has again been tapped to teach a five-week seminar on Estate Planning & Administration at Delaware Valley College’s Center for Learning in Retirement (“CLR”), beginning March 22, 2012 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  Trainer’s annual class provides presentations and discussions focusing on what criteria are considered necessary to prepare estate documents, in order to minimize federal and state death taxes.  Also covered are: recent repeal of the Federal Estate Tax and how this will impact estate planning; powers of attorney; the benefits of living wills; and processes involved in the administration of a decedent’s estate.  Timothy M. White, Esquire and Paralegal Sheila Kyle, also of Antheil Maslow and MacMinn, LLP, will instruct during the course.


Trainer, Of Counsel for Antheil Maslow & MacMinn, LLP, concentrates his practice in estate planning, estate administration, and elder law, and is a member and past president of the Bucks County Bar Association, a former member of the Disciplinary Board and Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates, and serves on the Bucks County Estate Planning Committee.  He received a Bachelor of Arts from Bucknell University, and his Law Degree from Villanova Law School.

Tim White, a member of the Bucks County, American and Pennsylvania Bar Associations, an Associate with Antheil Maslow & MacMinn, LLP will teach one session dealing with Pennsylvania Inhertance Tax and Federal Estate Taxes.  Tim specializing in the areas of taxation, estate planning and administration, estate and trust litigation, family wealth preservation, business succession planning.  He received a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University, and his Law Degree and LL.M. Taxation from Temple University School of Law.   

Celebrating 20 years in business, Antheil Maslow & MacMinn, LLP is a full-service law firm with practice areas in Business & Finance; Death & Serious Injury;  Estates & Trusts; Health Care; Labor & Employment; Litigation; Nonprofits; Real Estate & Land Use; and Tax.  The Firm works with high net worth individuals, small to mid-sized, privately-held companies, nonprofits and heath care organizations in the Greater Philadelphia and New Jersey areas.  Antheil Maslow & MacMinn, LLP is headquartered in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

We are celebrating our 20th Anniversary year!  It has been our great privilege to provide high quality legal services to clients over a broad spectrum of practice areas.  Founded on March 1, 1992, the Firm has been active in the Central Bucks County community by sponsoring charitable activities and other programs.  The Firm's attorneys serve on the boards of several local nonprofits and participate in a number of local organizations.  AMM has grown along with the community, and our practice has broadened over the years with the addition of a highly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable professional staff.

Please take a moment to view our 20th Anniversary video in celebration of this important Milestone.

AMM are proud sponsors of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County Bowl for Kids Sake Fundraising events happening throughout the county.  This is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County’s premier fundraising event, where people get together with friends, family, and co-workers and have a fun time bowling in support of our mentoring programs in our community. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County works to help broaden children’s perspectives and help them learn how to make good choices. 

We want to encourage others to join the effort, whether you start a team, become a corporate sponsor or make a donation, its a great organization and a great feeling to help local youth on the path to fulfilling their potential and succeeding in school and life.

 

 

AMM attorney Michael Klimpl has been appointed acting County Solicitor for Bucks County following the announced retirement of the current  Bucks County Solicitor Glenn D.  Hains on January 3rd.  Michael has served as Assistant Solicitor for the County since 1984 and will serve while the County Commissioners conduct a search for Hains’ successor.

The Bucks County Solicitor’s Office serves as general counsel for the County of Bucks and  represents the Commissioners and all divisions and departments under the direction of the Commissioners.  The Solicitor’s Office defends lawsuits against the County, and initiates lawsuits brought by the County.  These include civil rights litigation and suits involving construction matters.

Solicitors prepare, review and/or supervise contractual obligations within the County. They handle state and federal compliance issues relating to the County, human resource/employee issues, real estate transactions from agreement through settlement, ADA observance and general employment law. The Solicitors advise on open space and agriculture preservation programs by evaluating properties, determining the scope and extent of easements, and reviewing appraisals.

The Office also coordinates and supervises all outside counsel and the activities of individual department solicitors. 

 

Although many employers would prefer not to spend time and energy on completing periodic written employee reviews, a recent case from federal court illustrates the importance of this process.

In a recent case, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (covering Philadelphia and its suburbs), ruled that a discharged employee failed to prove that he was terminated because of his race – African-American.

The plaintiff in this case was hired by a pharmaceutical company as a sales representative.  His performance was reviewed on a monthly and bi-annual basis.  The monthly reviews were completed by a manager and consisted of a rating from one (lowest) to four (highest) on a variety of categories.

Based on generally unsatisfactory performance ratings, plaintiff was placed on a Performance Management Plan and was given 90 days to improve in various specified areas.  With continued unsatisfactory ratings, plaintiff was terminated 73 days into the performance management plan.

Plaintiff thereupon brought a claim under federal and state law for unlawful employment discrimination.

The Court set forth the initial requirements for a plaintiff attempting to establish race discrimination (or other unlawful discrimination).  Specifically, a plaintiff must demonstrate:

(1) is a member of a protected class; (2) was qualified for his position; (3) suffered an adverse employment action; and (4) suffered the adverse action under circumstances that give rise to an inference of discrimination.

In this case, the fourth element was at issue:  whether plaintiff’s termination gave rise to an inference of discrimination on account of his race. 

The Court, after analyzing plaintiff’s performance ratings, concluded that plaintiff could not demonstrate an inference of race discrimination.  Plaintiff’s comparisons to Caucasian co-workers did not convince the Court, as these documented performance issues and employment history differed from plaintiff’s.

The Court also rejected plaintiff’s claims based on plaintiff’s beliefs that his manager spoke to him in a demeaning way.  A subjective belief of racial discrimination is insufficient, the Court held, to establish an inference of discrimination.

Although not necessary for its ruling, the Court also found that the company had a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for terminating plaintiff:  failure to successfully complete the terms of the performance management plan and uncorrected sales deficiencies identified by his managers.

Lesson learned:  the company’s continuous and contemporaneous documentation of plaintiff’s performance was the critical factor in the Court’s dismissal of this case.

Anything short of these performance reviews would have caused the case to be sent to a jury – with results only to be guessed at!

December 1, 2012:  Antheil Maslow & MacMinn, LLP is happy to announce that we have added a legal blog to our website, www.ammlaw.com. Dealing with a broad spectrum of legal issues, our four content area blogs deal with Business, Consumer Product Safety, Trusts & Estates and Equine Law.  We developed the Blog as a tool to help you keep up to date on current legal developments over the broad spectrum of our practice areas and as a source for us to receive valuable feedback from clients, colleagues and the community.  We welcome your comments and suggestions to create a dynamic forum that will be of interest to readers and participants.  We hope you will visit our Blogs and feel free to respond with comments or questions.

Antheil Maslow & MacMinn are proud to support the Bucks County Opportunity Council's 15th Annual Economic Self-Sufficiency Graduation and Achievement Awards Ceremony and Dinner on October 12, 2011 and encourage others to support this wonderful local organization which accomplishes real positive change in the lives of individuals, and our community.

The mission of Bucks County Opportunity Council, Inc. is to empower low-income people in Bucks County to achieve their goals for sustainable improvement in economic self-sufficiency by a personalized case management approach founded on education and partnership with the community.

The Economic Self-Sufficiency Achievement Awards and Graduation is held annually to celebrate the success of hard-working, motivated Economic Self-Sufficiency Program participants who have surpassed all of the benchmarks in the Opportunity Council's unique, research-based self-sufficiency standard. The event also inspires Economic Self-Sufficiency Program participants on the path toward graduation and pays tribute to the supporters, donors, volunteers and staff that contribute to the success of the program.

To learn more about this wonderful program, visit the BCOC website: http://bcoc.org/about/ 


 

 

 As you may be aware, the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010”, which passed on December 17, 2010, raised the Federal estate and gift tax exemption for 2011 and 2012 to $5 Million dollars per person ($10 Million for gift splitting spouses) and reduced the top tax rate to 35%. Since then, Antheil Maslow & MacMinn has been advising clients to consider taking advantage of those provisions by using estate planning techniques which involve making lifetime gifts. According to the Act, on January 1, 2013, the estate and gift tax exemptions are scheduled to revert to $1 Million per person, and the top tax rate will rise to 55%. Additionally, there is growing speculation that the Super Committee's report (due on November 23rd), or the resulting legislation, will shorten the time to act, making it important to plan now. Those who choose not to take advantage of the current legislation could pay up to $2.2 Million more in Federal estate and gift tax.

For clients who could have Federal estate tax exposure, the present uncertainty provides an additional incentive to take advantage of the current $5 Million exemption by planning now rather than risk losing the benefit. In addition to the favorable current estate and gift tax laws, low interest rates and depressed asset values (real estate in particular) have made a lifetime gifting strategy even more appealing.

We do not know who may become subject to a Federal Estate Tax in the future. It is possible that will include a single person with a net worth above $1,000,000 or a couple above $2,000,000, but taking advantage of the current $5 Million lifetime exemption before it expires offers an unprecedented opportunity. If you have not considered making gifts this year, or have decided to give but have not implemented your plan, you are encouraged to contact your regular AMM attorney, or either Alan G. Wandalowski, Esq. or Timothy M. White, Esq., from our estate planning department, to discuss how implementing gifting strategies in 2011 may enhance your estate plan.

 

 

Alan Wandalowski, Esquire is participating in the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce Leader Advancement Program, designed for entrepreneurs, business and non-profit professionals. This dynamic nine-month, thirteen session program offers a select group of Chamber members rare, in-depth access to Central Bucks County’s most influential non-profit, corporate and government leaders.

Participants engage in interactive panel discussions featuring top leaders in a variety of fields, and gain an expanded knowledge of Central Buck’s County’s history, quality of life, cultural benefits, and issues facing today’s leaders.

Alan is really enjoying the program, and comments: “I feel very fortunate to participate in such a rich and comprehensive program. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of the culture, government, history and community of Bucks County. I am confident that the experiences and relationships I gain from my participation will allow me to do this and in turn, enrich my professional life significantly.”

Visit Alan’s Linkedin Profile for updates on the special events Alan participates in during the course of the program, at: btn_liprofile_blue_80x15