We Practice Law for Your Peace of Mind

Beware of Scams During Tax Season

April 9th, 2014

Heading into April, tax season is now in full swing.  With the April 15th “Tax Day” due date quickly approaching, Americans filing their income taxes should be aware of increasingly-sophisticated scams.  Geared towards taxpayers eager to secure a large refund, the scammers employ a wide range of tricks to prey on individuals.  One practice that accounts for a significant portion of tax fraud incidence is identity theft.  A crook will use stolen social security numbers to file fake tax returns for the refunds; this usually occurs early on in the season before people have time to file themselves.  The IRS also warns taxpayers to use caution in regards to phone calls and emails from people claiming to be from the IRS or promising large refunds.  Another scam to watch out for is return preparer fraud; tax preparers may claim inflated expenses, claim fake deductions, inflate deductions, or manipulate income figures.  They, in turn, profit from the inflated returns.  If a tax preparer encourages you to exaggerate figures or sign a blank return, he or she should most likely be avoided.  Being informed about these tricks, in addition to using a trustworthy preparer, is the best defense against tax scam!

Fare Free Mass Transit in WNY – Is it possible?

Author: Corey Hogan

March 7th, 2012

The current economic difficulty facing the NFTA provides the WNY area with an unique opportunity to offer to its citizens a community wide benefit provided in few other locations in the world. It also may be a kick start to a change in attitude that our community sorely needs, where we can become a region that is looked on by others as a place where its citizens are progressive, economically smart and world class leaders.

In reviewing the NFTA’s operating budget it appears that its total operating cost is 250 million dollars. The revenue it generates from its passengers is about 60 million dollars, or 24%. The other 76% of the cost is paid for primarily from various governmental subsidies (41%), capital contributions (17%), other sources of income (14%), and what seem to be annual deficits (4%). Nationally, the average subsidy to US public transit expenses approximates 75%, so this seems to be the norm, and clamoring for the NFTA to do more with what it has seems like a no win proposition.

Let’s now imagine a system without fare boxes on its buses and light rail cars, where passengers freely board these mass transit vehicles to go to work, school, or shopping (nationally these three categories comprise 75% of all mass transit rides). Further imagine the same system safely transporting our aging population, encouraging increased urbanization, reducing traffic congestion, avoiding the need for roadway expansion costs, parking lots, and also providing increased health and environmental benefits.

The Legal on Going Green

Author: Hogan Willig

January 3rd, 2011

HoganWillig PLLC works to improve and sustain our environment in a number of ways, as demonstrated by our annual highway clean-up, increasingly paperless office, and occupancy of one of Buffalo’s “green” buildings, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) registered office building located at 2410 North Forest Road. These are among our more public efforts, but within the office we serve a number of clients in their pursuit, adoption and acquisition of renewable energy or other “green” technologies and the requisite legal and industry expertise that is incidental to these activities.


Author: Hogan Willig

February 25th, 2010



WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – Iskalo Development Corp. today announced the completion of 2410 North Forest, the company’s newly constructed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Registered, Class A office building located on North Forest Road at the intersection with John James Audubon Parkway in Amherst. Iskalo Development also announced that anchor tenant HoganWillig Attorneys at Law have taken occupancy of the entire third floor, leaving approximately 50,000 square feet of office space available for lease.

Located at the entrance to the University at Buffalo North Campus, the three-story, 80,000 square-foot office building is one of the first multi-tenant LEED Registered buildings in Western New York, providing an ideal opportunity for companies that lease space to participate in the LEED program. Some of the ‘Green’ amenities the building features include floor-to-ceiling glass to maximize daylighting, automated light sensors to reduce energy usage, and an underfloor air distribution system to provide the highest quality indoor air available.

“We’re excited to see the completion of 2410 North Forest and to welcome our first tenant to the building,” Paul B. Iskalo, president and CEO, Iskalo Development Corp., said. “2410 represents a significant planning effort on our part and reinforces our belief that office space should be viewed as a ‘tool’ for business and not just a place to house one. 2410 North Forest will be of interest to those progressive businesses that understand that the quality of their corporate facilities play a critical role in maximizing the productivity of their employees.”

A recent landmark study completed by the University of San Diego and commercial real estate broker, CB Richard Ellis, revealed that ‘Green’ buildings like 2410 North Forest increase employee productivity while decreasing turnover and absenteeism. Additional case studies have shown examples of companies in ‘Green’ buildings achieving increases in productivity as high as 16%, with each 1% gain in productivity equating to about $3.00 per square foot savings in occupancy costs over traditional buildings. The financial benefits from reduced absenteeism and turnover, as well as increased productivity, substantially outweigh all other fiscal considerations. 

HoganWillig chose 2410 North Forest as an ideal location to consolidate its operations from multiple locations and bring more than 100 employees together under one roof. The new office space will also provide room for their growing practice and demonstrate the law firm’s commitment to being environmentally responsible.

“Though one doesn’t necessarily associate a law firm with environmental leadership, it is a principle we embrace at HoganWillig whole-heartedly and was an important factor in our choosing of 2410 North Forest for our new home,” Corey Hogan, founder of HoganWillig said. 

HoganWillig is a full-service law firm with conveniently located offices in Erie and Niagara Counties. As the largest suburban general practice in Buffalo, they have a skilled team of 39 attorneys, including a physician-attorney, as well as two on-staff Registered Nurses and an extensive support staff to serve their clientele.

Iskalo Development is a full-service real estate development company headquartered in Williamsville, NY, and specializing in corporate and medical office, light industrial, retail and mixed use projects located throughout Western New York. The company prides itself on finding well located, underutilized buildings and repositioning them as signature properties in the marketplace. For more information, visit www.iskalo.com.

If You Wouldn’t Say It, Don’t Write It

Author: Geff Gismondi

February 1st, 2010

This is the year 2010, and I encourage lawyers to get out of the habit of using static, outdated words and phrases in their writing. There are so many articles and books about “Plain English” which recite all these subjective guideposts for effective legal writing. I can break them all down into one general rule, which is: If you wouldn’t Say It, don’t Write It.

Hypothetically, if a lawyer is asked by her client, “where is my settlement check?,” I doubt the lawyer would respond by saying, “it is enclosed herewith.” Similarly, if the client asks her lawyer, “what’s going on with my case,” the lawyer probably wouldn’t begin the response with the phrase, “Please be advised…” So, why do we use these words and phrases in our legal writing?

In spite of all the suggestions for great legal writing, too many archaic words and phrases are still in use today. Instead of all the articles about how to revise legal writing, maybe the question should be, why are lawyers so wedded to legalese and why won’t they change. Is it for Formality; Exclusivity; or because of Precedent? Once we answer that question, hopefully we can begin to move away from the herewiths and heretofores and arguendos.


We Practice Law for Your Peace of Mind