Blog Posts

Eliminating Personal Income Taxes Through Bankruptcy

November 15, 2023

Many Americans have faced the grim reality of owing unpaid income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  For some, these taxes are large and one unpaid year can lead to another until the taxpayer owes several years of income taxes.  The taxpayer can be stupefied by both the amount and the possibility that the tax bills may never go away. But….is that true? Not exactly. A taxpayer may use the bankruptcy process to eliminate certain kinds of income debts, either partially, or in full. Dischargeable Taxes in Bankruptcy The Bankruptcy Code does not have a list of what taxes are dischargeable; it only says what is not dischargeable.  First, figure out what is not dischargeable – meaning you cannot eliminate them through bankruptcy. Anything outside of what is not dischargeable is– dischargeable.  If the pre-petition tax is dischargeable, it follows that any related penalties and interest are also dischargeable. Examples of non-dischargeable taxes: The Third Circuit, in In re Giacchi 856 F.3d 244 (3rd Cir. 2017) held that the late filed 1040 did not constitute filed returns that could otherwise be dischargeable if they otherwise complied with Section 507. The Third Circuit focused on the language of § 523(a)(1)(B),…

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MMDC is excited to welcome our newest attorney, Dimitri L. Karapelou!

October 13, 2023

Dimitri L. Karapelou is Of-Counsel at the Firm.  Dimitri brings to Musi, Merkins, Daubenberger & Clark a 28-year background representing debtors, creditors, trustees and other interested parties in bankruptcy, business transactions and commercial disputes. His range of experience offers a balanced perspective to any matter.  Some of Dimitri’s work has included the following engagements: Dimitri’s private practice experience is complimented by his qualifications as a Certified Fraud Examiner, Panel Arbitrator for FINRA , and Panel Arbitrator for Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.  Dimitri is noted by his peers and clients as a top lawyer by his AV Rating with Martindale-Hubble and testimonials of commendable service. As a solo lawyer, Dimitri had the unique distinction of being featured in a Law360 article  for his accomplishment as a trial lawyer and authored an article about the life of a solo published in Philadelphia Lawyer Magazine.  He routinely presents as a course speaker/author at legal seminars attended by lawyers, judges, and bankruptcy/industry professionals. Dimitri loves all that is Delaware County and could not be happier to call Media his home, along with his wife and two kids.

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DUI and the Right to Refuse Blood Testing for BAC

August 3, 2023

You’ve been pulled over by the police, and you know that you were drinking earlier in the day. You waited several hours to drive, and you think you should be below the legal limit, but what if you are not? What are you rights if the police ask you to conduct a field sobriety test, or give blood to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC)? In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you have every right to refuse a field sobriety test and to refuse to submit to blood alcohol testing. However, the result of these refusals can have very serious consequences. Below is what you can expect, should you refuse to consent to one or both. What is a Field Sobriety Test? We have all seen videos, movies, and depictions of a roadside field sobriety test. You can expect to be asked to walk a straight line, to follow an officer’s pen as he moves it across your field of vision, and to stand on one leg. The official names are “horizontalgaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test, and the one leg stand test.” These tests are done by police officers when it is suspected that you are under the…

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Superior Court of Pennsylvania Overrules Commonwealth v. Chichkin

July 6, 2023

A recent Pennsylvania Superior Court decision overruled the prior precedent of Commonwealth v. Chichkin regarding DUI sentencing. This ruling will change the meaning of a prior ARD acceptance as it relates to DUI sentencing, impacting future DUI cases greatly. The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program provides first-time offenders with the possibility of having their charges dismissed and expunged upon completion of the program. When a defendant participates in ARD, they are not pleading guilty to the criminal charges but agreeing to accept alternate supervision from the court. The idea is to find good candidates for rehabilitation and treatment in order to speed up the process rather than have the case go through the criminal justice system and unnecessarily spend state resources. The details and precise requirements of the program vary for each individual but typically includes a period of supervision by the probation department, completion of counseling classes and programs, payment of program costs and fees, and community service. Failure to comply with the requirements of ARD is likely to result in the original charge resuming and the individual being prosecuted by the Commonwealth. Under 75 Pa. C.S. § 3806, ARD acceptance in a DUI case counts as a prior…

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MMDC is excited to welcome our newest attorney, Robyn E. Musi!

May 1, 2023

Robyn is a skilled attorney with extensive experience in Family Law. Robyn specializes in pre-nuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, divorce, equitable distribution, alimony, child custody, and support.  In recent years, Robyn has focused her family practice on negotiation and settlement helping many clients amicably resolve their matters out of the courtroom.  She specializes in all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – mediation, arbitration and collaborative law.  Prior to joining MMDC, Robyn worked at the law firm of Raffaele and Puppio as a family law associate and was Partner of Civil Solutions, a practice offering ARD services. Robyn is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and Delaware County Bar Association. She is also a certified family law mediator, a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, and the Pennsylvania Council for Mediators.  Robyn has served as an arbitrator for the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County.  She is also a collaboratively trained attorney and member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.  Robyn has been named a Super Lawyer Rising Star each year since 2017 and was named by the Delaware County Times as…

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