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Thomas Brett Duffy

Thomas Brett Duffy

  • Business Law, Tax Law, Probate ...
  • New Jersey, Pennsylvania
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Mr. Duffy works mostly with entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. In addition to his J.D. from Rutgers Law School, he holds a Dual LL.M. (Master of Laws) Degree in Tax and in Securities & Financial Regulation from Georgetown Law School where he also earned a Certificate in Pensions & Benefits (part of Tax LL.M.) and was an Olin Scholar in Law & Economics. Since many of his clients are internet entrepreneurs or businesses, he is accomplished in internet law, especially CDA Section 230. Marketing is important on the Internet (and pretty much everywhere else too) that Mr. Duffy returned to the University of Pennsylvania (undergrad school) to pursue a Certificate in Marketing from Penn's Wharton School of Business (also studied management), which he completed in 2012. Having filled in "gaps" in his advanced education in Marketing and Management, Mr. Duffy has more credit hours in Business Disciplines, such as Tax, Finance, Venture Capital, Accounting, Marketing & Management, than nearly all MBAs. Business owners frequently need Estate Planning advice: a topic in which Mr. Duffy has excellent Training, Credentials & Experience. However, many of Mr. Duffy's Estate Planning clients do not own businesses because nearly all families need advice at some point about Medicaid, Elder Law, IRAs, Pensions and Finances. In short, you don't need to own a business or be wealthy to consult with Mr. Duffy. Families of modest means are often exposed to taxation and Medicaid rules that were originally meant for the wealthy but, due to inflation, now apply to almost anyone with a house or a few tens of thousands of dollars in a bank or stock account. When clients pass on, we provide extensive probate services to have the loved one's property transferred as quickly as possible. Once again, however, you do not need to be an estate planning client to engage the Law Group for probate services. We also offers probate contest services when the validity of a Wil

Practice Areas
Business Law
Business Contracts, Business Dissolution, Business Finance, Business Formation, Business Litigation, Franchising, Mergers & Acquisitions, Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Tax Law
Business Taxes, Criminal Tax Litigation, Estate Tax Planning, Income Taxes, International Taxes, Payroll Taxes, Property Taxes, Sales Taxes, Tax Appeals, Tax Audits, Tax Planning
Probate Administration, Probate Litigation, Will Contests
Estate Planning
Guardianship & Conservatorship Estate Administration, Health Care Directives, Trusts, Wills
Securities Law
Elder Law
Additional Practice Area
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (nearly all pro bono)
  • Free Consultation
    Free 15 minute consultation on tax, financial, business and estate planning issues. Fees are typically about $250/hour. That $250/hr is an average or blended rate of the following fees: Staff are $150/hr, Associates are $250/hr and Mr. Duffy charges $400/hr. Time, and fees, are based on the time an undisturbed worker would use while focusing solely on the given task.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Visa, MasterCard via PayPal
  • Contingent Fees
    In appropriate circumstances, including fraud, consumer fraud, any financial recovery & estate contests, cases can be litigated on a contingent basis. For Probate Estates, fees are typically collected after there is access to the decedent's assets. Usually a large portion of the fees are paid on the closing of the Estate (final distribution).
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Since we work with entrepreneurs and businesses which are either start-ups or "going through a rough patch," we are experts at working out deferred fee arrangements that are beneficial to both the clients and the Firm.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
New Jersey
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3rd Circuit
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IRS & U.S. Tax Court (can practice in every state)
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U.S. Supreme Court
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  • French: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Duffy Law Group
- Current
University of Pennsylvania
Certificate in Marketing (2012) | Marketing, Management & Product Development
Honors: Summa Cum Laude
Activities: Entrepreneur Club, Judge in Wharton Business Plan Competition
University of Pennsylvania Logo
Georgetown University Law Center
LL.M. (1993) | Dual LL.M. in Tax and in Securities & Financial Regulation
Honors: Olin Scholar in Law & Economics
Georgetown University Law Center Logo
Rutgers School of Law-Camden
J.D. (1991) | Tax, Securities & Business Law
Honors: Tax Honors, Law Journal & Enviornmental Moot Court Team
Rutgers School of Law-Camden Logo
University of Pennsylvania
B.A. | Economics, Statistics, Computer Sci in Econometrics
University of Pennsylvania Logo
Olin Scholar in Law & Economics
Georgetown University Law Center
Fellowship to study Securities and Financial Regulation for second LL.M. after completing first LL.M. in Tax.
Professional Associations
New Jersey State Bar  # 040201991
- Current
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Articles & Publications
Jill Wyman v. J&B Investments in New Jersey, Inc.
Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey
Speaking Engagements
EXPERT IN RESIDENCE at U of PENN WHARTON ENTREPRENEURSHIP, 2-4 times per year offering advice to U of Penn Startups, U of Penn Campus - Startup-Entrepreneurship Office at 40th & Locust Sts.
U of Penn Wharton Startup Challenge (formerly Business Plan Competition)
Mr. Duffy gives advice to startups about legal compliance in tax, finance, venture capital, securities & trade marks. Mr. Duffy also give marketing, operational and salary advice, if needed.
Financial Careers for Wharton Business Degree Graduates, Wharton Undergrad Career Club, Huntsman Hall, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Campus
Wharton Undergrad Activities Department
Mr. Dufyy was on a panel with two other gentlemen who had MBA degrees. One worked in finance at a company; the other on Wall Street. The three of us answered many, very intelligent questions relating to finance careers, graduate school, working for startups and many other topics. The audience and the three speakers were really enjoying the experience so much that it ran over for a half hour after the formal ending of the panel discussion. All three speakers spent another half hour answering questions to a particular panelist in small groups. The career event was very enjoyable and informative experience for all involved.
Certificate in Pension & Benefit Law
Georgetown University Law Center
Certificate In Marketing (2012)
Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
1 Questions Answered
Q. How can I get a Will Validated, or deemed not valid in New Jersey
A: First, I am sorry to learn your dad passed away. It's not a simple situation anytime.

As to your question, I'd need to know a lot more about the particulars. I take it he was a resident of NJ and died in PR on vacation, visiting relatives, wintering, etc. This happens a lot in our practice but the other jurisdiction is usually FL (NJ Res. wintering) or CA (just from the sheer fact that it has 27% of the US population live there, such as execs and beneficiaries, and it is also a popular vacation or wintering location). I don't think PR would be much different. (It may be a "civil code" jurisdiction but probate is always code or rules driven.)

What is the reason for having the Will invalidated? He was incapacitated when he made it? He was under undue influence? Most commonly, the decedent leaves everything to his/her caretaker. When it's a family member, it's not as easy; but when it the person's non-relative nurse -- those cases almost always settle in favor of the family.

I can tell you this: if PR says you need a NJ Ruling, you are going to have to do what they say or you'll get nowhere. Other jurisdictions frequently make "wacko" requests, that I think are incorrect. I do what they say and all goes well. Dealing with two (or more) jurisdictions is always challenging and you are almost certainly going to have to hire an NJ lawyer. Ideally, it would probably help if the lawyer were also admitted in PR but it's not a necessity.

It seems you are the executor without a lawyer in PR, yes? (If you had a PR lawyer, s/he would already have hired a NJ lawyer.) That's fine with us. With our firm, execs can do as much or as little work as they wish. Many handle the life insurance, bank and other simpler matters with some advice. We usually handle stock accounts, some home sales and, of course, court challenges. (For house sales, we use Zillow and a low-cost MLS service and our bill is almost always much less than the 2%-3% the seller would usually pay to a RE agent; if the buyer has a RE agent, we make it clear “upfront” their fee will be limited to 2%)

Your matter is almost certainly a Will Challenge. Even when "unopposed," they are still highly technical and the Courts will still demand a good reason to invalidate a Will (usually involves medical records showing that the person has Alzheimer's, dementia, etc.).

Our firm can help you no matter which NJ County has venue but any competent probate lawyer can probably handle the matter. Your situation sounds very unique which will limit the lawyers who'd be willing to take it on. We deal with the most complex cases frequently because, as stated above, if the Exec can do the work him or herself, we just provide minimal guidance and advice. This leaves us to handle the difficult issues -- which is what your matter seems to be.

Know that in NJ, our Rules mandate the Estate pays the lawyer(s). If you are the sole heir, that still means, in the end, you are paying. However, with multiple heirs and beneficiaries, it means everyone pays their “fair share” of the fees. We usually only ask for a modest retainer, usually $1500 to $2500, but your case is more complicated so $3500 might be more appropriate. We are paid when the Estate "closes." We do this mainly to make sure the Exec or Beneficiary, as the case may be, has some “skin in the game” and isn’t telling us a “story” where they want us to work for free so they can “take a shot.” (The lawyer will still be paid but we don’t want to risk our good reputation with the Surrogate, so this helps assure we file only meritorious cases.)

As I stated, any lawyer, including me, would need to know a lot more before s/he could help you. As a result, the above is not legal advice; it's merely some general ideas about an obviously complex case with multiple issues. You can note how much the above is just questions and possibilities because I don't know enough.

Good luck. I hope you don't need it -- but get a lawyer.
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Contact & Map
Duffy Law Group
739 Bayview Drive
Absecon, NJ 08201
Telephone: (609) 457-6700
Monday: 9 AM - 10 PM
Tuesday: Closed (Today)
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: Closed
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
Notice: Long Hours due to having clients all over the World and in CA, NV, etc. Just Call! If I miss your call (infrequent), leave a message. For Video: Facetime (609-457-6700), Skype (TBDuffy) & Webex/Cisco (