Rubin & Bernstein PLLC – An Update

March 18, 2020

Rubin & Bernstein PLLC – An Update

R&B update

Mark Rubin

I’m embarrassed! Rubin & Bernstein PLLC celebrates – can we celebrate anything, other than a youngster’s birthday, in these times? – our second anniversary on May 1, six weeks from now. Still, we don’t have a working website for the firm we treasure. So, here at my Leftie site aka the place where I provide The Word, I’m providing an update.

In theory, I sent myself home more than a week ago. I heard what seemed like a directive to be home if you’re 60+. I was an early adapter, but Life Happens and today, Wednesday, March 18, was really my first day away from the office. (A foolish grocery store

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The Equal Rights Amendment: Torn

January 15, 2020

The Equal Rights Amendment: Torn

equal rights amendment

Mark Rubin

On January 15, 2020, the Virginia legislature ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. Both legislative bodies passed it. (Candidly, I can’t figure out whether Governor Ralph Northam has any role in the ratification process. I think not, but I’m not sure.)

Congress passed the ERA when the Senate approved it on March 22, 1972. (I was 14 and now I’m 62, for whatever that’s worth.) The amendment gave the states seven years to ratify it. Later, Congress passed an extension of the deadline from March 22, 1979 to June 30, 1982. By June 30, 1982, 37 states had ratified the ERA; however, by the same deadline, five states from among the 37 revoked their

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Due on Sale / Transfer Provisions

September 24, 2019

Due on Sale / Transfer Provisions

due on sale / transfer

Mark Rubin

Many among us owe money to a lender, secured by real estate. Think about buying a home and obtaining a mortgage or getting a HELOC (home equity line of credit). The property represents collateral, which the lender can acquire by foreclosure to repay the loan.

The lender has certain rights. These rights are set out in: (a) the promissory note, which is the document that contains the promise to repay the borrowed amount, with interest; and (b) the deed of trust or mortgage, the document which deals with the lender’s foreclosure rights.

Deed of trust v. mortgage? The instruments have different structures, and the deed of trust gives the lender a speedier

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Mark Rubin and The Best Lawyers in America©

August 16, 2019

Mark Rubin and The Best Lawyers in America©

best lawyers

Mark Rubin

I’m as pleased as Punch because I’m listed in the 26th edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Per Best Lawyers®, it recognizes roughly 60,000 U.S. lawyers, from among more than 1.3 million active lawyers. One in 20 or so!

Best Lawyers® listed me for my Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law practice. Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, aka the Law of Lawyering, represents a small part of my practice—which focuses most heavily on business, real estate, elder law, and fiduciary work—but it’s a part of my practice I’m very proud of. (For more on what this area of law is all about, read Ethics Law

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(More) Complete Estate Planning

April 3, 2019

(More) Complete Estate Planning

estate planning

Mark Rubin

Four years ago I wrote Complete Estate Planning. I focused on some of what needs to be done, over and above having a lawyer prepare a fancy-dancy set of documents. Now, I’m back with fresh thoughts on the nuts and bolts of truly planning for what happens when you’re gone.

We learn from our experiences and our errors. The past can help us avoid bad outcomes.

Older people often have annuities or life insurance. These products can serve useful purposes although, in too many cases, annuities purchased later in life offer more benefits for the selling agent than the purchaser. That issue aside, we see plenty of situations in which the policy owner

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Affordable Care Act … Redux -dux -dux -dux

December 15, 2018

Affordable Care Act … Redux -dux -dux -dux

affordable care act
Mark Rubin

Just when you thought it was safe …” it’s not! Late on Friday, December 14,2018, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued a 55-page Memorandum Opinion and Order in Texas v. United States, Case No. 4:18-cv-00167-O, filed in the District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Texas, along with 19 other states, sought a finding that, with the elimination of the penalty for failing to purchase health insurance, the ACA aka Obamacare violates the U.S. Constitution. The argument? Here it is:

  • In NFIB v. Sebelius, Nos. 11-393, -398, and -400, a bare majority of the U.S.Supreme Court held that because the ACA regulated inactivity—the decision to not
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The Ninth Circuit: A Tiresome Trope

November 28, 2018

The Ninth Circuit: A Tiresome Trope

the ninth circuit

Mark Rubin

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit exists. For real! But it’s also a tiresome trope, and just the sort of stand-in you’d expect from Tiresome Trump our president, Donald J. Trump.

Last week’s rant was just that: a rant. POTUS didn’t like a decision from a U.S. District Court judge from California, one of the states which comprise the Ninth Circuit. So, “Obama judge” and this gem, from a 5:21 a.m. tweet on Thanksgiving Day:

Justice Roberts can say what he wants, but the 9th Circuit is a complete & total disaster. It is out of control, has a horrible reputation, is overturned more than any Circuit in

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Ethics Law aka The Law of Lawyering

November 25, 2018

Ethics Law aka The Law of Lawyering

ethics law

Mark Rubin

In part my law practice involves ethics law. The term fairly describes the practice area, but Law of Lawyering more completely defines it. Simply, I focus on issues which arise for lawyers as they practice law.*

The Rules of Professional Conduct govern lawyer conduct. The American Bar Association published Model Rules of Professional Conduct in the 1980s, to replace its Code of Professional Responsibility. Arizona had adopted the Code in 1970 and replaced it with its version of the ABA Model Rules in 1985. (For an excellent history of lawyer ethics in Arizona read The Short History of Arizona Legal Ethics by Keith Swisher.)

In 2003 Arizona adopted a rewritten version

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Slow Counting ≠ Fraud

November 9, 2018

Slow Counting ≠ Fraud

slow counting

Mark Rubin

Waiting

Here we are, waiting on final election results. Arizona, California, Georgia and Florida provide the headlines, but the issue presents itself in any state—50, at last count—which accepts any ballots by mail.

Voting live on Election Day? Some machines let you walk away when you’re done, and the machine has already tallied your selections. In other instances, you fill in bubbles on a paper ballot, and place your ballot in a secure box. Box emptied. Reader software reads and tallies.

Voting by mail? Ballot counting requires extra steps. Opening envelopes. Signature checking. Then, reader software … .

If the ballot gets mailed in promptly, elections personnel handle it early. Signatures get verified day

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The Big Four

October 15, 2018

The Big Four

big four

Mark Rubin

I wrote Estate Planning for Smart People two years ago, and updated it recently. Complete Estate Planning, written three-and-a-half years ago, focuses on practical issues. One practical issue no one should ignore: selecting the right bank to hold your money.

The Big Four

The four largest banks in America are Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank. How big are they? Chase holds total assets of $2,530,000,000,000. That’s trillion! The 15th largest bank in America, HSBC, has assets which equal 8% of Chase’s asset base.

So what? Big bothers me not at all, if the bank services its customers. Unfortunately, not so much with the Big Four in my workaday world.

Bad

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