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Hackensack Business and Commercial Law Blog

Hackers face prosecution, but who exactly is the victim?

The federal government confirmed this week that North Korea was behind the Sony Pictures Entertainment cyber attack. Officials admit they are still a little fuzzy on the actual mechanics of the Nov. 24 attack, but they are confident that North Korea ordered it.

The hackers looted the company's system the way the Yankees looted Tara: They took everything. Confidential documents, unreleased movies, employee data -- they absconded with terabytes of computer files and then wiped everyone's computers clean.

But they weren't done.

Lawmakers look to commercial development to help Atlantic City

For several decades, tourists and gambling aficionados from across the nation flocked to Atlantic City to their spend time -- and money -- at one of the area's several major hotels and casinos. Flash forward to 2014, however, and the picture is much different and much bleaker for the resort city.

Indeed, the last year alone has seen four of Atlantic City's 12 largest casinos shutter operations. As if this wasn't bad enough, this number will soon increase to five, as Donald Trump's famed Taj Mahal is scheduled to close for good in just a few weeks.

In terms of the total cost to the city of these hotels and casinos closing, consider statistics show that as many as 8,000 casino workers have lost their jobs. This is not to mention, of course, the millions of dollars in tax revenue the city will also lose.

While things might be looking somewhat grim for the "AC," hope may be on the horizon thanks to the recent efforts of state lawmakers.

Revel sheds Brookfield deal to gamble on 'eccentric' developer

In a "You can't fire me! I quit!" move, Revel has asked the bankruptcy court to cancel the sale of the bankrupt casino to Brookfield US Holdings LLC and award the property instead to Florida developer Glenn Straub. The decision follows days of negotiations between Brookfield, the winning bidder at the September auction. We were just discussing Brookfield's misgivings about the deal in yesterday's post.

Brookfield currently operates two casinos, one in Las Vegas and the other in the Bahamas. The company had planned to operate Revel as a casino hotel. With Straub's Polo North Country Club Inc. as owner, the property will de-emphasize the focus on gaming and adopt a different attitude.

Revel sale: The deal is dead, long live the deal?

Lawyers involved with negotiations say the sale of Revel casino in Atlantic City to Brookfield US Holdings LLC may still go through. Beyond that, no one has said anything.

As we discussed in our Nov. 24 post, developer Glenn Straub had challenged the sale in court filings almost as soon as the deal was announced. Straub may have lost that battle, but he remains the first runner-up among the bidders. The process works the same way the Miss America Pageant so familiar to Altantic City works: If the winner is unable to fulfill its duties regarding the sale, the first runner-up will take its place.

Low-wage protests may be a touchy subject for franchisees

Opening a franchise business has appeal for a lot of people. It's not a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination, but there can be advantages to launching a business with an established brand and the marketing support of a large, established organization.

Regardless of the attraction, such endeavors should not be taken on lightly. There can be a lot of nuances related to running a franchise business that need to be fully studied, comprehended and respected. And, in the end, there are multiple factors that will have an effect on the business' bottom line and the operator's hopes for financial success. To be sure all bases are covered, an attorney with solid franchise law experience should be consulted.

Facing financing challenges? It pays to know credit card options

When you start a business, there are a few things that you can't do without. First, you need a plan and it should be in writing. The plan should include details of the service or product being sold. You then have to identify a channel or channels through which to sell your wares. Perhaps most important of all, you have to have sufficient financial footing to sustain operations until your business becomes profitable.

All of these issues are things that may have legal components. And in many instances, the issues can be particularly unique. That's why we regularly make the point that to understand your legal needs, you should be working with a law office with particular experience in the small business environment.

Small business owners in unique situations when starting off

When it comes to starting a business in New Jersey, there are certain steps owners will need to take. From planning around structuring to addressing issues involving employment, business owners need to have a solid plan when first starting off. 

At Schiffman, Abraham, Kaufman & Ritter, P.C., our legal team focuses on the legal needs of business owners. And while our firm provides advice and assistance for all types of businesses, our team understands the often times unique needs many small business owners face.

Atlantic City and Meadowlands have a little something in common

It is hard to read about Atlantic City's Revel casino and not think about American Dream Meadowlands. Both projects were plagued by setbacks during development, from construction issues to money problems to lawsuits filed by neighboring property owners. This week, NJ Spotlight reported that construction on American Dream has resumed. And this week, papers all over New Jersey were reporting that the purchaser of bankrupt Revel has pulled out of the deal.

Revel opened in April 2012 with such high hopes. It never realized anyone's expectations -- unless you count the critics. The casino's revenue kept it solidly behind the rest of Atlantic City's casinos. After struggling for 10 months, Revel filed for bankruptcy protection; a month later, in May 2013, it would exit bankruptcy court with restructured financing.

Is your business living dangerously by underestimating cyber risks?

In our Nov. 7 post, we promised to explain why New Jersey businesses should be interested in a lawsuit filed by P.F. Chang's Chinese Bistro Inc. against its commercial general liability insurance carrier, Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut. The lesson is simple: This could happen to you. Are you prepared?

The Association for Financial Professionals surveyed 970 finance and banking executives about the risk of a cyber breach, and the results were a little surprising. First, 70 percent of the respondents said cyber risk was the highest or a very high priority for their companies. Next, 60 percent said their companies had been subject to a cyber attack or an attempted cyber attack.

20-percent rise in construction predicted over next 2 years in NJ

A construction boom is on the way in the Garden State. Or at least that is the prediction from leaders of private and public organizations represented at the recent construction forecast seminar in Edison, New Jersey.

The gathering has been held every year for 30 years by the New Jersey Alliance for Action. According to seminar attendees, who included representatives from The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), the Turnpike Authority, NJ Transit and the Port Authority, construction in New Jersey is expected to increase by 20 percent in 2015 and 2016, representing about $39.8 billion in work.

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