Picking up The Pieces after Hurricane Harvey – Legal Advice to Let You Restart Your Life

Karen DesotoHurricane Harvey has devastated a major part of Southeastern Texas. Once the waters go down and you are able to go back to your home, you will need to take stock of your losses and find ways to execute a recovery plan. In addition to dealing with loss of property, you may also have to deal with loss of important documents that would otherwise make your life less burdensome. Here are a few things as recommended by legal expert Karen DeSoto, that you want to consider –

  • Get in touch with your insurance company to understand what’s covered, and what the process would be to assess damage to your properties.
  • Be wary of people promising immediate clean-up of your property and removal of debris. Many may charge exorbitant prices or may not have the licences or legal permits to do the job.
  • Don’t pay up for any temporary or long-term rental property before you confirm all the details; scammers list properties that they don’t have the rights to, or that do not exist at all.
  • Before giving out personal information, make sure you know the people you are dealing with. Ask for their identification and credentials before you share your bank account numbers, social security information or other private data.

Often in the aftermath of extreme hurricanes, including floods, your documents may be lost. Make a checklist and start replacing your documents, and then change all passwords, pins, etc.



The IDR Is Giving New Hopes to NJ in the Realm of International Business

Karen DesotoThere are only ten states in the U.S.A. that have in place international mediation laws. New Jersey became one of them this year.  Is one of them. Long a popular location for international businesses die to its close proximity to New York City, it is now more attractive than ever before.

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, recently said, “Our geographic location is really advantageous. We’re in proximity to the biggest media market in the world, huge financial services. If you’re going to have a global footprint, you’re going to have a presence generally in Manhattan. What we’ve tried to do over the past couple years is kind of make it a seamless transition from our waterfront all the way to Manhattan and we’ve attracted some really great corporations moving from elsewhere here.”

Karen Desoto - Legal Analyst

With the passing of the International Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation Act on February 7, 2017, the state has raised its profile by providing international businesses the means to avoid lengthy legal battles through mediation. This law was proposed to the state Legislature by the Institute for Dispute Resolution (a department of the business school at NJCU), raising its profile as well.

The Institute was co-founded and is co-directed by David Weiss and Karen DeSoto. With news-making events they’ve co-hosted, their students winning awards in international mediation competitions, and now the contributions they have made (through their applied research department) that aided into this new mediation law making New Jersey more competitive in attracting international businesses, the Institute for Dispute Resolution has made an impact in it’s short lifespan. We expect to see more from them.