Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

Location, location, location…

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Bintel Brief readers in The Forward gave us another great question to answer this week, and this time the subject’s Manhattan real estate, a subject near and dear to Robin’s cold, cold heart.

Here’s the Q and for the A, click below…

Dear Bintel Brief:

My husband and I live in New York City and are getting ready to buy our first apartment. We realize that a home purchase is a sizable financial commitment, and we are preparing to take the plunge.

Adding to what is already a tremendously stressful decision-making process, we are considering buying a building with friends that we would then split into separate apartments. A decent amount of actual livable square footage is hard to come by in a large city when working within a budget, and we feel this would be a smart way to each get more square feet for our hard-earned dollars. I’ve been told we could essentially condo the building or turn it into a cooperative so that each family is only liable for their own apartment. What contractual precautions should we take to ensure everyone is protected? Is this as good an idea as it sounds? Or, are we entering into a minefield that could potentially blow up our friendships?

Click here for the answer to: MIXING REAL ESTATE WITH FRIENDSHIP

AMY on CNN at 10:30 AM!

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Tune in momentarily and catch Amy on CNN LIVE at 10:30!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tricks and Treats

Friday, October 30th, 2009

halloweenyAs one half of Team “Jackass” was still trying to figure out her costume for tomorrow night’s festivities, Amy was all over the radio this AM — the Metro Networks, The Wall Street Journal Radio Network and CBS Radio Networks – talking about the various legal pitfalls associated with the holiday we call “gay Christmas” here in New York.

Here are some of the highlights:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk drivers kill more than three times as many people during Halloween than on New Year’s Eve. Are you liable if your costumed guests drink too much and then get into a car accident? (In a word: YES!)

Emily, your eight-year-old neighbor cuts across your front lawn and trips – maybe on leaves, your plastic skeleton or her own feet.  It’s unclear, but she falls and breaks her arm. Are trick or treaters trespassers or are you liable if a child hurts him/herself on your property?  (You betcha!)

You didn’t realize that some of the candy in your trick or treat dish contained peanuts and a child has a severe allergic reaction, requiring hospitalization. Are you liable? (Not so much, but you’ll probably feel really bad.)

Costumes these days are often crossing the lines in terms of poor taste and indecency. Can you be sued for indecent exposure or costumes that might offend people on racial, moral or ethical grounds? (You can’t be sued, but you could potentially be fired – Happy Halloween!)

Your child plans a Halloween ding, dong, ditch trick on an aging neighbor and jumps out to scare them, resulting in a heart attack. Is your child liable? (No, but remember the Edgar Allen Poe story, “The Telltale Heart”?… The cost of the kid’s therapy is likely going to be greater than any summary judgment.)

Are you liable for your kids’ mischief on mischief night? (You could be! Isn’t parenting fun?!)

Happy Halloweeeeeeeen!

Amy Curses Balloon Dad on TV…

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

(And check out that Sarah Palin impression — now that’s rogue, baby!)

(Old) Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Monday, October 19th, 2009
She's bringing sexy back

She's pinning sexy back

Looks like Lady Madonna’s at it again: in a story being reported by the AP, one of Madonna’s NYC neighbors filed a lawsuit against her co-op board on Friday citing Madge’s “unreasonably high-decibel, amplified music and vibrations pouring through walls, ceilings and radiators.” The lawsuit, filed by Karen George, says  the Material Girl’s daily shenanigans caused neighbors to endure “blaring music, stomping and shaking walls,” for up to three hours each day.

As an apartment dweller myself who has, in the past, had the pleasure and displeasure of listening to neighborly shenanigans at various times during the day and night (and, in the case of one neighbor, at 11 AM every Sunday morning–seriously every Sunday morning at 11 AM!), I feel Ms. George’s pain.

BUT, in response to a noise complaint, is a lawsuit her best option?

Our opinion here at SO SUE ME, JACKASS is “no.” As we write in the book, when faced with obnoxiously loud neighbors, know that virtually every municipality prohibits unreasonable noise nuisance. (You can check to see what noise ordinances are for your city.) If a neighbor violates these rules you are more than entitled to call the police and register a complaint — or, if you live in NYC, call 311 and tell them your quality of life is being infringed and that will not stand!

You see despite what our book title might suggest at first blush, we here at SO SUE ME view lawsuits as the measure of last resort. But if asking Madonna to turn down her tunes and to stop screwing her young stud so loudly proves ineffective–and calling the po-po bears no fruit neither–then by all means, Ms. George, we think you’re well within your rights to get litigious on her ass and go after that Material Girl.

Shogun Style

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
Live by the sword...

Live by the sword...

Remember that terrible story a few years ago when a Japanese exchange student was shot to death after he accidentally entered the wrong home on his way to a Halloween party in Louisiana? Well, in a bizarre twist, in an AP story out of Baltimore, MD, a Johns Hopkins student killed an intruder with a samurai sword (a samurai sword!) outside his off-campus home on Tuesday.

Apparently the student’s place had been burglarized hours before, and a robber had made off with 2 laptops and a PlayStation. But it was not known if the intruder, who lunged at the student when confronted, was indeed the person who’d robbed the place earlier. Still, the freaked student wasn’t taking any chances: out came the samurai sword. “The intruder’s left hand was nearly severed, and he also suffered a severe cut to the upper body. The man, whom police described as a habitual offender, died at the scene.”

In the Louisiana case, the man who killed Yoshihio Hattori, Rodney Peairs, was not initially charged with the crime because police said, “Peairs had been within his rights in shooting the trespasser.” Not surprisingly, that set off a shitstorm of bad press, and after the LA governor protested, he was charged with manslaughter.

The verdict in Peairs’s trial, which last for seven days, came back in 3 1/4 hours… he was acquitted. Why? Because Louisiana has a statute charmingly called, “Kill the Burglar.”

No charges have been filed against the Hopkins student at this point, and it seems unlikely that they will. On the Dallas Morning News Site where I saw this story posted, one commenter wrote: “What a great story! It made my day. I am just upset that the kid was detained for several hours for defending himself. He should have gotten a pat on the back, a police commendation for his crime prevention efforts and a few beers from his buddies.”

Not exactly my response to the events, but we’re curious to hear your thoughts… comment away!