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  • Courts still grapple with social media evidence discovery

    Sui Generis-a New York Law Blog
    2 Jul 2014 | 7:46 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Courts still grapple with social media evidence discovery."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. Courts still grapple with social media evidence discovery  As attorneys realize the utility of social media evidence in litigation, broad requests for unfettered access to social media accounts are becoming all the more common. As a result, New York courts have been grappling with social media discovery issues more frequently. More often than not, the courts have done a good job of analyzing the requests within the context of the…
  • Two-Dollar Terrors

    CLEWS Your Home for Historic True Crime
    Laura James
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    (Ed. note: This press release found its way onto my desk, and I'm running the gem as-is, replete with the journalist's sign-off. I admire the author's very traditional approach to, ironically enough, ebooks in our favorite genre, and I can already tell that he has unimpeachable taste in murder cases, so I subscribed to his blog. I'm also looking forward to his first actual-book book, which comes out this fall. If a non-fiction book title includes the words savage shocking, and scandal, I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it.) HAMILTON, OHIO -- In the spirit of the…
  • Understanding and Working with Anxiety

    Jeena Cho
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:12 am
    Face it: anxiety is a part of your life. As lawyers, we are constantly pressured to deliver results for our boss, opposing counsel, the court, and most importantly, our clients. Regardless what can be controlled, we are expected to foresee what could go wrong with every correspondence, motion, hearing, email, settlement agreement, and contract. It is no wonder that so many lawyers suffer from anxiety, among other illnesses.For most lawyers, anxiety is just another facet of life. In our do more culture, this means billing as many 0.1 increments as possible. Often, we do not realize how much…
  • Thursday round-up

    Amy Howe
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:05 am
    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been in the news, with the release of excerpts from her interview with Katie Couric of Yahoo! News.  Among other things, the Justice indicated that she has no plans to retire.  Josh Gerstein reported on the interview for Politico. In Bloomberg Businessweek, Paul Barrett reports on the possibility that a recent ruling by a federal district judge, striking down the District of Columbia’s ban on carrying handguns in public, may wind up at the Supreme Court, describing the case as “an irresistible opportunity to address the public-carry issue, despite any…
  • Law Firm SEO Has Not Changed in 40 Years

    Aaron Street
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:12 am
    Just the other day, Sam provocatively declared “There is No Such Thing As Online Marketing.” His point was that people who think that online marketing is fundamentally different from traditional marketing are splitting hairs. It is about letting people know who you are and what you do, in an effort to get paying clients in the future.Sam’s post made me think about the specific tactics lawyers can and should use, both online and offline, for search engine optimization (SEO) and link building.Purpose of Online and Offline MarketingThe goals of both online and offline marketing…
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    Law Blog

  • Health-Law Opponents Seek Supreme Court Review

    Brent Kendall
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:19 pm
    REUTERS WASHINGTON—A group of individuals who challenged health insurance subsidies tied to the Affordable Care Act moved quickly Thursday to get an appeal in front of the Supreme Court. The challengers, Virginia residents who opposed the subsidies, filed a petition with the high court just nine days after the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. upheld an Obama administration regulation that said subsidized insurance was available to qualifying consumers nationwide.
  • GOP Leaders Attempt to Regroup on Border Bill

    Kristina Peterson
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:51 pm
    WASHINGTON—House GOP leaders pulled their bill dealing with the border crisis from the floor Thursday, as sharp divisions among Republicans left them short of support. The House had been scheduled to vote Thursday afternoon on a $659 million bill aimed at beefing up border security and speeding up deportations of the children migrating from Central America, but abruptly put off the vote when it became clear conservative opposition would derail its passage.
  • Wisconsin Top Court Backs Law Curbing Public-Employee Bargaining Rights

    Mark Peters and Caroline Porter
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:11 am
    Wisconsin's highest court upheld a law ending most collective-bargaining rights for government employees in the state, a blow for public-sector unions that have been stymied in their efforts to reverse the controversial measure championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
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  • “Biglaw Firm Ordered To Make A Video Apologizing For Discovery Abuses”

    Walter Olson
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:39 am
    Federal judge Mark Bennett has resorted to what might be called a creative sanction against out-of-state law firm Jones Day following what he considered excessive interruption and witness-coaching during discovery in the case of Security National Bank of Sioux City v. Abbott Laboratories. [Above the Law] Tweet Tags: discovery, sanctions “Biglaw Firm Ordered To Make A Video Apologizing For Discovery Abuses” is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • Raising the sex-assault conviction rate

    Walter Olson
    30 Jul 2014 | 9:16 pm
    That’s a widely shared objective right now, but at what price? In New Zealand, one of the two main political parties, Labour, is now contemplating rolling back the presumption of innocence, while the other, incumbent National, is contemplating allowing the criminal process to infer guilt from silence. [New Zealand Herald, more] Tweet Tags: crime and punishment, New Zealand Raising the sex-assault conviction rate is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • Operation Choke Point

    Walter Olson
    30 Jul 2014 | 9:05 pm
    Cato event held earlier this month with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Cato senior fellow Mark Calabria. Here’s the description: Launched in early 2013, “Operation Choke Point” is a joint effort by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the bank regulators to limit access to the bank payments system by various businesses. Initially targeted at small-dollar nonbank lenders, Choke Point has grown to cover a variety of legitimate, legal businesses that just happen to be unpopular with DOJ, such as gun dealers and porn stars. Initial responses from DOJ claimed such efforts were limited…
  • Special consideration at Texas Law?

    Walter Olson
    30 Jul 2014 | 2:35 am
    “Some of the least-qualified graduates of the University of Texas School of Law in recent years have high-level connections in the Legislature, which may explain how they got into the prestigious law school in the first place.” [Jon Cassidy, Watchdog] Five years ago, the University of Illinois was hit with a damaging scandal over the admission of less-qualified applicants at the behest of the politically connected. Tweet Tags: law schools, Texas Special consideration at Texas Law? is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • DoJ sues Pennsylvania over trooper fitness tests

    Walter Olson
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:24 pm
    The tests “disproportionately screened out female applicants, resulting in a disparate impact against those applicants.” Officers who are highly fit have more options in a situation where force is required — subduing a suspect without resort to a gun, for example. Still, courts have often gone along with demands to weaken tests and standards. [DoJ press release] Tweet Tags: Department of Justice, police, testing DoJ sues Pennsylvania over trooper fitness tests is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
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    Solo Practice University®

  • Will Chinese Real Estate Investors Be Your Next Clients?

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    28 Jul 2014 | 5:55 am
    I am always on the look out for more niche areas in the law solos can capitalize on and I happened to find one area which looks to be very promising for the enterprising. Real estate has always been a vibrant and fairly reliable practice area when the United States had a growing and substantial middle class. Buying a home was a rite of passage, a stated goal of many and practically a given event in the course of one’s life.  It’s the mainstay in the fantasy known as the American dream. Given the economy and the changes we are seeing with distribution of wealth, this area has been…
  • The Problem With Not Updating Your Digital Records

    Mark Bassingthwaighte
    24 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    My first computer came with a built-in 5 ¼ inch floppy drive and the new 3 ½ inch disk drive that was just out. Suffice it to say I was more than a little excited! This was a DOS based system and I thought it rocked. Of course I did what we all did with our computers then to include copying a number of personal files to floppies as a backup and purchasing several great educational programs on floppies to enjoy with our first-born. Over the years technology continued to improve and I went through several computer upgrades as my family and our perceived technological needs grew. Finally, when…
  • Breaking the Bonk (or ‘How To Avoid Hitting the Wall’)

    Suzanne Meehle
    22 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Left to right, David Lacy, Christina Kadinger, me, and my husband, Tim I run. Or rather, I try to run a few times a week these days, as my schedule permits. Morning networking meetings, lunches and dinners with clients and referral sources, and time with my family all compete with running for the same “free” time around my workday. But OK – I’m still a runner, and every runner has experienced the bonk. According to Runner’s World, when your body stalls mid-run, it’s called bonking. It’s also called “hitting a wall.” You just plain run out…
  • There’s No Way to Game the System – Demystifying SEO – Guest Lecture with Conrad Saam

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    21 Jul 2014 | 5:30 am
    How do we create a web presence that actually works to bring in clients?  Well, this guest lecture may actually surprise you as no one is going to sell you a high-priced web site or bedazzle you with fancy Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ‘tricks’.  Why?  Because you can create a good website on your own and there are no SEO ‘tricks’ that actually work (especially not for any length of time).  What does work is rather simple and eminently doable on your own.  That’s why this guest lecture is perfect for new lawyers, solos and small firms because we discuss…
  • Why You Should Be a Mentor

    Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton
    17 Jul 2014 | 5:30 am
    I have spoken at length over the past 4 years about Rezoomers seeking mentors. This month I am speaking to those who would be mentors. You know who you are. You may be a successful Rezoomer or a colleague of a Rezoomer who sees them struggling and can offer to help. Often your help will change the life of the Rezoomer and, by happenstance, change the mentor’s life as well. I am reaching out to mentors this month because they need to assume the role and help a rezooming attorney. I recently had the good fortune of returning to my rezooming alma mater, Pace University Law School’s, New…
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    Above the Law

  • Dear ExamSoft: Please Give Kids Their Money Back Before The Internet Murders You

    Elie Mystal
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:30 pm
    The ExamSoft PR nightmare continues.
  • Non-Sequiturs: 07.31.14

    Joe Patrice
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:03 pm
    * Could this be the worst judge in the country? [WFPL News] * “Study Finds College Still More Worthwhile Than Spending 4 Years Chained To Radiator.” Congrats to Michael Simkovic on his new paper. [The Onion] * The next Hobby Lobby could be Notre Dame, who wants the right to not have to pay for insurance that might possibly allow women to purchase birth control that kind of but aren’t really abortifacients in any scientific sense. It’s represented pro bono by Jones Day. Honestly, I don’t have it in for Jones Day, but it seems like every… single… damn… time I write something…
  • The Future Of Bingham McCutchen

    Lateral Link
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:32 pm
    How did Bingham grow to its current size, and what does the future hold for the firm?
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    Simple Justice

  • “Hackcess” to Delusion: Tech Won’t Do It

    31 Jul 2014 | 5:29 am
    As the bar exam takers this week learned the hard way, technology’s promise isn’t always kept.  Sure, it’s shiny and, when it works, can serve as a tool that makes life a bit easier. But when it doesn’t, such as Examsoft’s bar exam failure to allow test takers to upload their answers, it turns into a nightmare. And yet, those who pray to the tech god as the answer to all the problems mankind can create persist in their belief that somehow, some way, it’s the solution.  The ABA Journal will be holding a “hackathon” in Boston next week, this…
  • Snitch or Suffer

    31 Jul 2014 | 4:21 am
    The United States Department of Justice has grown fat and lazy.  Way back when, G-men had to go out and make their cases, find evidence of crimes and get their criminal.  It was hard work,  Then, they figured out a really cool trick: use their ever-increasing clout to beat people into submission with threats of life plus cancer sentences, and turn them into snitches. Snitches are a panacea for the government. They made everything easy, gave them access to “evidence” that served any purpose they wanted and facilitated the arrest and conviction of any target of their choosing. …
  • Why Can’t We See It Through The Cops’ Eyes

    30 Jul 2014 | 5:42 am
    Via Radley Balko, the story of Roger Carlos’ beating in San Antonio reflects a disconnect from reality that ought to shame Police Chief William McManus into, at the very least, a tearful, heartfelt apology.  But no, it doesn’t.  Not even close. Roger Carlos was in the 10600 block of Westover Hills Boulevard taking photos of a building that will soon be home to his wife’s medical practice, when he was approached by three officers around 2:30 p.m. The cops were looking for a drug suspect, Josue Gonzalez, who ditched his car in the parking lot of a restaurant a few hundred…
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    What About Paris?

  • Eat the Rich: Happy Birthday to Steven Joyce Dryden.

    JD Hull
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:21 pm
    Two nights ago in DC's Shaw district, an assorted bunch of us celebrated the birth (July 29), continued existence and never-ending achievements of one Steven Joyce Dryden: father, friend, reporter, editor, world traveler, environmentalist, my college roommate and author of well-regarded Trade Warriors: USTR and the American Crusade for Free Trade, the book on the early days of the U.S. Trade Representative's office. The venue? Eat the Rich, Derek Brown's new oyster bar and restaurant in Shaw. The name alone was perfect for the event, a boomer's birthday. As an undergraduate at Duke, Steve…
  • A Question of Standing: Does the GOP House have any class? Does it have a good lawyer?

    JD Hull
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:54 am
    I used to like the GOP more. Whether or not I voted its way on a candidate or an issue, I liked what Republicans brought to the table in the national discourse. We need a two-party system in America. And until House Republicans decided to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998, I had the utmost respect for any articulate bearer of the GOP line. I needed to hear those ideas. But now my enthusiasms are dampened even more. Yesterday, the House 225-201 House voted to authorize a suit against President Obama for failure to implement statue as passed by Congress. See, e.g., today's Politico. Specifically,…
  • Daniel O'Connell: Celtic to the core.

    JD Hull
    30 Jul 2014 | 9:35 pm
    Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), the "Liberator of Ireland", led a movement that forced the British to pass the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, allowing Catholics to become members of the British House of Commons. History knows him as a witty, eloquent and formidable politician, and the Member of Parliament for Clare. The English found him infuriating. But O'Connell was first and foremost a consummate and thorough trial lawyer, called to the bar at age 23 in 1798. As a cross-examiner, one modern writer has said, "he had no equal at the Irish bar." And not surprisingly O'Connell was a bit of a…
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    How Appealing

  • Programming note

    Howard Bashman
    26 Jul 2014 | 4:16 am
    Programming note: Each summer I take at least a week's vacation from work and from this blog. This summer, my vacation begins now. New posts will appear here on Monday, August 4, 2014. Readers are invited to follow me on Twitter at @howappealing, where additional appellate-related posts may appear in the interim.
  • "Hillary Clinton touts Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's memoir while visiting the Bronx"

    Howard Bashman
    26 Jul 2014 | 4:12 am
    "Hillary Clinton touts Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's memoir while visiting the Bronx": The New York Daily News has this report.
  • "TPD pinpoints garage in Markel's death"

    Howard Bashman
    26 Jul 2014 | 4:05 am
    "TPD pinpoints garage in Markel's death": Sean Rossman has this article in today's edition of The Tallahassee Democrat.
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    Legal Juice

  • Oh, So You Think You Can Mess With My Trust Just Because I’m Dead?

    John Mesirow
    30 Jul 2014 | 9:01 pm
    So back in 1996, this couple in Arkansas set up a Trust. The beneficiaries were his 3 kids and her 3 nieces. Simple enough. Well, after Robert died, guess what Robena did? Kids? What kids? She amended the trust to exclude her deceased husband’s 3 kids, effectively disinheriting them. Surely they did not intend for something like this to be done when they set this thing up … or did they? Here’s the operative provision of the Trust document: 14. REVOCABILITY: The Donors, Robert F. Blann and Robena P. Blann, may, by signed instruments delivered to the Trustee during the…
  • Drawing Attention To Yourself? Not A Good Idea.

    John Mesirow
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:02 pm
    Working on your knife-throwing in a public area is not a good idea under normal circumstances.  How about under these circumstances, as reported by (Eugene, Oregon): Police responded to the commercial district near NW 9th Street and NW Spruce Avenue around 5:30 p.m. Sunday to a report of a man throwing a knife at trees [near a credit union drive-through]. The officer contacted [Drew William] Phillips, [23] who told police he was practicing his knife-throwing skills with a 3.5-inch fixed blade knife. Phillips had 7 warrants out for his arrest. He was arrested and booked into jail.
  • Maybe Things Aren’t Going Well With Your Employer, But …

    John Mesirow
    28 Jul 2014 | 9:08 pm
    Warning: Do not read this right before, or after, eating, because it’s really, really gross. Okay, here it goes, per The Standard, “China’s Business Newspaper” A domestic helper has appeared in court accused of trying to injure her employer by mixing her menstrual blood in a pot of vegetables she was cooking. You were warned … In some Southeast Asian cultures menstrual blood is thought to have special magical powers. Prosecutor Vincent Lee gave a statement to the court in which the Indonesian maid admitted under caution to mixing the blood with the vegetables in…
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    Ernie the Attorney

  • Virtual assistants that are affordable and super helpful

    Ernie Svenson
    27 Jul 2014 | 6:55 am
    What kind of virtual assistance can you get for $25 a month? Until I tried FancyHands I would have said “nothing worthwhile.” But my friend Chad Burton persuaded me to try them, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Under the “starter plan,” FancyHands virtual assistants will handle 5 tasks per month. Five tasks for $25 per month may not seem worthwhile, but that’s the surprise. At least if you’ve never used a virtual assistance service before. First of all, you can get more than 5 tasks your first month. FancyHands offers incentives options that, if you agree…
  • The voice in your head

    Ernie Svenson
    13 Jul 2014 | 3:03 pm
    Have you ever noticed the little voice in your head? Every human who has learned to speak a language has a little voice in their head. Thinking is possible only because of that little voice. If you notice yourself thinking, as you are thinking, then you’ve noticed the little voice in your head. So what? Well, it might be important to know how that little voice operates. What kind of effect does it have on your life? Does your little voice send you encouraging thoughts? Or, does it dwell on pessimistic things? Usually the little voice sends you messages based on things that happened in…
  • The problem with being clever

    Ernie Svenson
    29 Jun 2014 | 2:25 pm
    Being seen as clever by your fellow humans seems like a good thing. We like it when we say something clever and people notice. Feels good, right? So what’s the problem with being clever? It’s not at all obvious. When we bask in the glow of our vanity we have a hard time seeing anything amiss. Feeling clever is sublime, but noticing the effect of our cleverness on others is a drag. Being clever is always about us, and our ego. Being ego-driven is normal, and that’s another reason we don’t notice the problem with being clever. But what about clever put downs? Or the…
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    Ask the Lawyer @ Dear Esq.

  • How Can I Enforce My Appurtenant Road Easement?

    House Attorney
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:11 pm
    I am the owner of an ingress/egress appurtenant road easement to a landlocked property behind my property. As I understand it, I am the subservient user, (for all intents and purposes I never use the road,) and the owner of the landlocked property is the dominant user.
  • Can I Adjust the Price of the Easement Agreement?

    House Attorney
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:19 pm
    Should an easement agreement signed in 1937 for $30 per year be adjusted for inflation?
  • What Are My Property Rights?

    House Attorney
    25 Jul 2014 | 9:04 pm
    I am the owner of an ingress/egress appurtenant road easement to a landlocked property behind my property. As I understand it, I am the subservient user, (for all intents and purposes I never use the road,) and the owner of the landlocked property is the dominant user. Due to recent heavy rains the road is almost totally washed out and fast becoming unusable.
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  • Why the Law Does Not (and Should Not) Allow Religiously Motivated Contractors to Discriminate Against Their LGBT Employees

    Marty Lederman
    31 Jul 2014 | 2:16 pm
    Last Monday, the President signed an historic executive order that does two things:  It protects most federal employees – who are already protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation – from discrimination based on gender identity, as well.  And it prohibits most federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.In the weeks preceding the President's signing, many groups and individuals urged him to include in the contracting order an exemption that would have allowed certain federal contractors to…
  • A Modern Censure Resolution

    Gerard N. Magliocca
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:43 am
    In 1834, the Senate passed a resolution censuring President Jackson for his "unconstitutional" decision to withdraw the Treasury's deposits from the Bank of the United States.  The Senate argued that Jackson's unilateral executive action attacking the Bank was unauthorized by Congress.  In 2014 we have a resolution from the House of Representatives authorizing a suit against President Obama claiming that his unilateral executive actions regarding the Affordable Care Act are unconstitutional.  How are these resolutions related? In both cases, the institutional action was a…
  • Don't Buy the Cooperative-Federalism-Makes-Halbig-Logical Argument

    Abbe Gluck
    24 Jul 2014 | 7:17 am
          I had hoped to take a day off blogging about Halbig and King (the ObamaCare Subsidies cases), but I cannot allow another inaccurate narrative about ObamaCare to take hold. Over at Volokh, my friend Ilya Somin argues that the holding in Halbig is not absurd because Congress uses statutory schemes all the time that try to incentivize states to administer federal law (and to penalize them if they don't).  It is true we see schemes like that all the time--Medicaid is a prime example--but the insurance exchange design is NOT one of them. …
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  • "I don't need a dude. I mean, Neil and David, their twins are beautiful. It's 2014!"

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:29 pm
    "We are living in the future; we don't need anything. I don't think I'll have to, but we'll see. I'm not anti-men. I love men. But there is an option if someone doesn't present himself."Katy Perry feels wonderful.
  • "The GOP legislation, which was rewritten twice to attract support, had trouble getting off the ground..."

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:23 pm
    "... and if the House doesn’t vote, lawmakers will head back to their districts to hear from voters with a crisis raging at the border."The turmoil is stunning considering how far to the right the GOP leadership pulled this bill. Boehner, McCarthy and Scalise, the new GOP whip, crafted a process that would have given the House a vote on legislation to stop the Obama administration from expanding its deferred deportation program. But even that wasn’t enough....
  • Are you skeptical about "voluntourism"?

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:15 pm
    "More than 1.6 million volunteer tourists are spending about $2 billion each year. But some people who work in the industry... question whether some trips help young adults pad their resumes or college applications more than they help those in need."
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    Concurring Opinions

  • Species of Structural Argument

    Michael Coenen
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:21 pm
    Many thanks to Danielle et al. for letting me guest-blog this month.  Concurring Opinions is one of my favorite law blogs out there (second only to the “Bob Loblaw Law Blog”), so I’m honored to be a part of it. I have recently been thinking some about the nature of “structural arguments” in constitutional law.  At a general level, I understand such arguments to assert claims about the Constitution as a whole, rather than any one provision of the document in particular.  But there are several ways of drawing inferences from the Constitution “as a whole,” some of which strike…
  • Introducing Guest Blogger Michael Coenen

    Danielle Citron
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:28 am
    I am thrilled to welcome aboard Professor Michael Coenen as a guest blogger. Professor Coenen joined the LSU Law Center faculty in 2013, having previously served as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. He holds an A.B. in Music from Princeton University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an Articles Editor for the Yale Law Journal. After graduating from law school, he clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Michael teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, federal courts, criminal procedure, and…
  • The [Law School] Adjunct Problem

    Dave Hoffman
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:19 am
    American higher education, under pressure on all fronts, has squeezed adjuncts. Adjuncts, in turn, have protested in a variety of public fora, and now seek government regulation to ameliorate the conditions of their employment. In general terms, the problem is this: universities have high fixed labor costs (TT faculty), weak manager oversight - and consequently spiraling costs, and increasing student demand for expensive facilities. Their ability to raise prices is constrained (at least more than it used to be.)  The result is that adjuncts, who typically aren’t organized and who…
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    Sui Generis-a New York Law Blog

  • How to choose Web-based legal software

    25 Jul 2014 | 12:08 pm
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "How to choose Web-based legal software."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. How to choose Web-based legal software These days, more and more lawyers are moving to Web-based legal software because it’s convenient, provides 24/7 on-the-go-access to case-related information, and is affordable. The good news is now that  cloud computing is becoming more familiar and accepted, new platforms are being introduced into the legal marketplace at record speed. So, what’s a lawyer who has made the decision to move to the cloud to…
  • Courts still grapple with social media evidence discovery

    2 Jul 2014 | 7:46 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Courts still grapple with social media evidence discovery."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. Courts still grapple with social media evidence discovery  As attorneys realize the utility of social media evidence in litigation, broad requests for unfettered access to social media accounts are becoming all the more common. As a result, New York courts have been grappling with social media discovery issues more frequently. More often than not, the courts have done a good job of analyzing the requests within the context of the…
  • Tech Tips For the Traveling Lawyer

    26 Jun 2014 | 10:45 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Tech Tips For the Traveling Lawyer." My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. Tech Tips For the Traveling Lawyer I travel — a lot. So I figured I’d pass along some of my favorite technology tools and apps for those of you who also spend a lot of time on the road. First and foremost, invest in a powerful, lightweight laptop. That way you can take your office with you without needing to visit your chiropractor upon your return. I have a mid-2013 MacBook Air and I love it. It’s a thin, 13-inch laptop — only .68 inches at its…
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  • Welcome, Guest Blogger Eric Orts

    David Zaring
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:35 am
    In addition to his own blog launch, my colleague Eric Orts has agreed to occasionally blog for us for the next couple of weeks.  He's the Guardsmark Professor here at Wharton, seconded in the Management Department, and is the director of the school's Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership.  He's also the author of Business Persons.  Welcome, Eric!
  • Lowell Milken Institute Law Teaching Fellowship

    Gordon Smith
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:10 am
    The Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law is now accepting applications for the Lowell Milken Institute Law Teaching Fellowship. This fellowship is a full-time, year-round, one or two academic-year position (approximately July 2015 through June 2016 or June 2017).  The position involves law teaching, legal and policy research and writing, preparing to go on the law teaching market, and assisting with organizing projects such as conferences and workshops, and teaching.  No degree will be offered as part of the Fellowship program. Only one fellowship will…
  • Position Announcements: Law In Business Schools in Indiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, & Ohio

    David Zaring
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:39 pm
    The announcements are after the jump; one of them you may have seen already, but all of them require applications outside of the AALS FAR process, and are, in my view, well worth your consideration. KELLEY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, INDIANA UNIVERSITY Department of Business Law and Ethics The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University seeks applications for open-rank, tenure-track positions in the Department of Business Law and Ethics, effective August 2015. The candidates selected will join a well-established department of 16 full-time faculty members who teach a variety of courses on legal…
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    Ms. JD Blog

  • Pre-Law Launch

    Laura Bladow
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:28 am
    With the launch of Ms. JD's Prelaw Prep Guide earlier this summer, Ms. JD recognizes that the pipeline of women in the legal profession stretches back beyond law school. As undergraduate and young professional women face several pre-law decision points, Ms. JD will be a valuable resource by providing a series of pre-law programming this fall! (ICYMI here's how it all started!) Our Board of Directors will kick off the fall series of programming as they share their pre-law insights in two Google on Air Hangouts. The first will take place on Sunday, August 17th…
  • Key Tips for Writing the Law School Resume

    28 Jul 2014 | 4:07 pm
    Turning in a boring, generic resume with your law school application will do nothing to improve your chances for admission. But show admissions officers a well-written, concise and engaging resume, and they will not only be impressed, they will remember you. That’s the name of the application game: being remembered!   KEY TIPS FOR YOUR RESUME: Thoroughly describe your college education, jobs, internships, study abroad experiences, research positions, volunteer positions, leadership positions, awards, skills and more. At the very least, you must have two main sections: Education and…
  • Ms JD Weekly Roundup: Week ending July 25, 2014

    Ms. JD Weekly Roundup
    24 Jul 2014 | 11:22 pm
    A sobering report this week revealed women and minorities who promote diversity in the workplace get consistently lower performance ratings. The Wall Street Journal and Business News Daily covered the study in detail. Yet, we see time and again that diversity in the boardroom leads to increased profits and other benefits. Is the answer to rely on white male employees to promote diversity? This article considers just how the law firm model can change and where the opportunities are to drive change. Bringing in new business can be key to an attorney’s promotion opportunities. The…
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    Biker and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog

  • How to get to your fuse panel on your Harley Davidson Electra glide motorcycle

    Norman Gregory Fernandez
    11 Jul 2014 | 11:26 pm
    I have created a series of videos to help people wrench on their Harley Davidson motorcycles. The below video discusses not only how to get to the fuse panel on your Harley Davidson Electra glide motorcycle, it also teaches you how to remove your hard saddlebags, how to remove your seat, and how to put it all back together again. I realize that I am I California motorcycle accident lawyer, but like all bikers I love to wrench on my motorcycle. I hope you enjoy the below video, and I’m sure it’ll help many people who don’t blow to get to their fuse box, or how to remove their hard…
  • Happy Independence Day, 2014

    Norman Gregory Fernandez
    4 Jul 2014 | 3:56 pm
    I would like to wish you on behalf of myself and the Biker Law Blog a happy Independence Day for the year 2014. On this day in the year 1776, a group of liberal radicals declared their independence from the English Empire, which was a treasonous act punishable by death. In 1776, the English Empire was the greatest empire on earth. The people of the American colonies wanted a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. They revolted against England because they had no representation in the English Parliament, and although they paid taxes, they were treated with disdain by…
  • How to hardwire a GPS into a Harley-Davidson Electra glide

    Norman Gregory Fernandez
    3 Jul 2014 | 1:29 pm
    Norm’s Harley Davidson Electra Glide with front fairing removed. For several years now I’ve used a GPS set up in my different Harley-Davidson Electra glides with a cigarette charger type of cable that I had the jerry-rigged into the GPS. You can read an article that I wrote about my GPS setup back in 2007 by clicking here now. It not only looked like crap, but when I wanted to take the GPS off the motorcycle and use it in my car, I would have to unwrap the charging cable, and then rewrap it when I wanted to use it on the motorcycle again. You can see a picture of how the old setup…
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  • Closing Comments

    KC Johnson
    17 Jul 2014 | 9:01 pm
    When I first started writing about the lacrosse case, at a joint historians’ blog called Cliopatria, I did so in reaction to the Group of 88 statement. Then (and now) I considered the statement an indefensible betrayal by professors of their own school’s students, an action that contradicted many of the basic values on which American higher education rests.Absent the Group statement, I doubt I would have noticed the case at all—in spring 2006, I didn’t even know that Duke had a lacrosse team, much less know any of its members. But as I remained interested in the case, the editor of…
  • The Group of 88 & Wikipedia

    KC Johnson
    13 Jul 2014 | 10:06 am
    Some interesting comments in a Wikipedia discussion thread regarding efforts to remove mention of their membership in the Group from Wikipedia bios of Group of 88 members. The evidence regarding Cathy Davidson, author of the infamous N&O apologia for the Group, is particularly troubling, in that the editor/whitewasher was traced to a CUNY IP on the same day that Davidson began her CUNY service.I welcome insights from any Wikipedia editors in the comment thread.
  • Howard Update

    KC Johnson
    11 Jul 2014 | 11:48 am
    Anne Blythe reports in the N&O that Judge Hudson has said he wants to grant bail to Darryl Howard, whose prosecution, writes Blythe, the judge described “as one of the most 'horrendous' prosecutions he had seen in his 34 years on the bench.” The prosecutor in the case was, of course, disgraced ex-DA Mike Nifong.As he has deemed Nifong as honorable and quite credible, author William D. Cohan has yet to comment once on the Howard case.
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    Legal Profession Blog

  • Beating Malpractice Claim As Easy As ABC

    Legal Profession Prof
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:16 pm
    The Washington State Supreme Court sitting en banc has held in a legal malpractice matter arising from a joint venture agreement to operate a debt collection business In this opinion, we consider whether the trial court erred in applying the...
  • Neglect Of CJA Client Is Serious Misconduct

    Legal Profession Prof
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:47 am
    The District of Columbia Court of Appeals took the rare step of rejecting an uncontested sanction recommendation in a matter involving neglect and related violations by an attorney appointed to represent an indigent client. The court ordered a suspension of...
  • Practice Pointer: Don't Threaten A Bar Complainant

    Legal Profession Prof
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:21 am
    The Colorado Presiding Judge ordered a stayed six-month suspension and probation for an attorney's misconduct in five matters. One of the matters In a final matter, Buchheit placed several phone calls and sent numerous test messages to an individual who...
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  • Flying in the Clouds: A Safety Checklist

    23 Jul 2014 | 11:57 am
    Law Technology News published an article that reviews ethical and technical issues to consider when using cloud services. (
  • Lawyer Reviewing Jurors’ Internet Presence

    6 May 2014 | 1:24 pm
    A lawyer may review a juror’s or potential juror’s Internet presence, which may include postings by the juror or potential juror in advance of and during a trial, but a lawyer may not communicate directly or through another with a juror or potential juror.  See ABA Formal Opinion 466 (April 24, 2014)
  • LegalZoom Gets OK From South Carolina Supreme Court

    25 Apr 2014 | 6:45 am
    The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that LegalZoom’s services do not constitute the unauthorized practice of law. See summary at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog.
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    China Law Blog

  • China Distribution Agreements In Real Life

    30 Jul 2014 | 7:20 am
    Hardly a week goes by without some American SME confidently telling one of my firm’s China lawyers of how they will be working with a great distributor in China to get the US company’s product into the China market. Our job as lawyers is to write a good distribution agreement, of which we have written many.  For the legal side of China distribution agreements, check out the following: Getting Your Product Into China Via Distributorship. A Legal Piece Of Cake That’s Hot: China Distribution Contracts China Distribution Agreements: Exclusivity Is NOT Required Our China…
  • China Cosmetics From Overseas. Animal Testing Required.

    29 Jul 2014 | 10:33 pm
    We represent a number of all natural organic cosmetic companies. Almost without exception, these companies tout how their products are “cruelty free” because they are never tested on animals. Many of these companies rightly see China as an excellent market for their products. Some of these companies have been contacted by Chinese companies interested in distributing the natural organic cosmetics our clients produce. There is one big problem with exporting such cosmetics to China: they are simply not legal there. At least not yet. Though China just last month removed its animal…
  • Where To Locate Your Business In China Or Asia

    27 Jul 2014 | 5:28 am
    A reporter recently asked me why our clients that had chosen to locate in Vietnam had chosen Vietnam over China. I mentioned lower costs, less competition, and how some had told me that it was because they just flat out preferred spending time in Vietnam to China. He replied: “But it must be strictly the low costs in the end, right?” I said that could not be the case because if companies were choosing their locations on low costs alone, countries like Yemen and Niger would be on the top of their lists, rather than nowhere on them. I then mentioned that because we have an experienced and…
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    Patently-O » Patent

  • Jay Walker: Fix the Licensing System

    Dennis Crouch
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:27 am
  • Supreme Court Patent Cases Per Decade

    Dennis Crouch
    30 Jul 2014 | 9:23 am
    The Chart below is an update of one I published earlier this year. The new chart adds in a couple of extra cases that I had previously not included and also takes account of the Supreme Court’s spate of decisions this term, including Alice v. CLS Bank (subject matter eligibility); Nautilus v. Biosig (indefiniteness); Limelight v. Akamai (divided infringement for inducement); Highmark v. Allcare (attorney fee awards in exceptional cases); Octane Fitness v. Icon Health & Fitness (attorney fee awards in exceptional cases); and Medtronic v. Boston Scientific (burden of proving…
  • Interpreting Claims Against The Drafter

    Dennis Crouch
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:38 pm
    By Dennis Crouch Over the past year, the Federal Circuit has decided dozens of important patent cases. Of those, one of the most important appears to be 3M Innovative Props. Co. v. Tredegar Corp., 725 F.3d 1315 (Fed. Cir. 2013). When I wrote about the decision in August 2013, I titled my post “Judge Plager: Construe Ambiguous Terms Against the Drafter” In the decision, Judge Plager’s concurring opinion was the most pointed and poignant. However, each of the judges wrote their own opinions, with Judge Reyna writing for the majority and Judge O’Malley both…
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    Religion Clause

  • Vatican Orders Removal of Abusive Priest Who Had Continued Career In Paraguay

    Howard Friedman
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:05 am
    In a move against the practice of sending priests accused of abuse to other countries, on July 14 the Vatican ordered the diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay to remove Carlos Urrutigoity from his position as vicar general of the diocese.  According to an RNS report yesterday, in 2002, Urrutigoity and another priest were suspended by the Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania after being accused of sexually molesting students at a Catholic school there.  The diocese settled a lawsuit in the case for over $400,000. Urrutigoity however was transferred to…
  • North Carolina Can Distribute School Voucher Funds Ahead of Hearing Challenging the Program

    Howard Friedman
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    A state trial court judge in North Carolina has refused to issue an injunction to prevent the State Educational Assistance Authority from distributing $10 million under a state school voucher plan while a challenge to it is pending. The 2400 students who will receive funds from the oversubscribed program were chosen by a lottery. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, the state moved up by a month the date for distributing funds under the Opportunity Scholarship program to beat any ruling by the court.  The distribution is scheduled for Aug. 15, while a hearing on the challenge to…
  • Even Congratulating The Pope Has Fallen Victim To Politics

    Howard Friedman
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:05 am
    The Hill reported yesterday that the seemingly routine H. Res. 440, a House Resolution that would congratulate Pope Francis on his election last March and recognize his inspirational statements and actions, has fallen victim to politics. The Resolution has not emerged from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and only 19 of its 221 co-sponsors are Republicans. Apparently at least some Republicans see the Pope as too liberal.  The Resolution was intended to reinforce House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to the Pope to address a joint session of Congress. (See prior posting.) The Pope…
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  • The PTO’s Cambridge Roundtable: Read all about it

    Ron Coleman
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:27 am
    And so it was that, as previously blogged, on June 25, 2014, I participating in the copyright statutory damages segment of the PTO’ / Department of Commerce / Internet Policy Task Force public roundtable discussion “Green Paper Roundtable” in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was great fun.  I learned a lot.  I made some new friends.  No, really. And now you can read the transcript — click on the pic (or, all right, here). Because this my blog I think I should excerpt some of the things I said.  Or, rather, because this is my blog I shall excerpt some of the things I said.  To…
  • The Garden State Parkway and government trademarks: What exit?

    Ron Coleman
    24 Jul 2014 | 12:34 pm
    @RonColeman @likely2confuse Can you opine on this one: — Keith Kaplan (@kkaplan) July 24, 2014 So, yes:  One of my many continuing series around here has long been the assertion of trademark rights by political subdivisions and agencies in stuff that they’re supposed to just do.  These include: The FBI’s official seal; The WORLD TRADE CENTER phony-baloney trademark and associated scam by an ex-employee; The District of Columbia’s official seal (and that of Houston); New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority and its iconic subway-train…
  • Welcome back to winter, confusion

    Ron Coleman
    22 Jul 2014 | 10:14 am
    Originally posted 2006-11-26 11:56:07. Republished by Blog Post PromoterNow that the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade ® — yes, that’s a registered trademark — has completed its mawkish coup de grâce on the warm season, perhaps in return we will merit a thaw in the stream of IP-related news that has settled over my little piece of Gotham for the last week or so. Get on a warm sweater and hunker down for the big-dog weather, and welcome back to your cubicles and corner offices.
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    Grits for Breakfast

  • Roundup: Expensive jails, paid-for pols, broken grand juries, and flawed forensics

    31 Jul 2014 | 11:01 am
    Here are a few odds and ends that haven't made it into full, individual posts since my return from Mexico City but which still deserve Grits readers attention:This week in Cow Town: Hair microscopy and other forensic conundrumsThe Forensic Science Commission will hold meetings of its hair and fiber microscopy panel (2 p.m.) and the Complaint Screening Committee (4:30 p.m.) in Fort Worth this afternoon, with its main, full committee meeting tomorrow morning. Go here for the agendas and a livestream of each event.Contract jail scheme failed to turn profit because of high jailer payEl Paso…
  • 'Do border surges work?' For incumbent pols, but not really the rest of us

    30 Jul 2014 | 11:22 am
    The Austin Statesman on Sunday published an extended investigative piece on Texas' beefed up border security efforts and posed the simple but controversial question: "Do border surges work?" The article tracks several themes examined on Grits earlier this month about the lack of articulable goals or success metrics for an expensive, open-ended deployment which now includes not just Texas DPS but 1,000 National Guard troops, all of which so far is being paid for, un-budgeted, out of the state's general fund. Government claims victory both when seizures go up and down, making the metric…
  • Dallas man exonerated via testing rape kit backlog

    28 Jul 2014 | 9:08 am
    While I was on vacation in Mexico last week, Texas saw its first exoneration in which the District Attorney proactively tested samples from rape kit backlogs and the exoneree had pled out, long ago served his time, and was not actively sought DNA testing. Reported Mark Berman at The Washington Post (July 25):In 1990, Michael Phillips was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl at a motel in Dallas, Tex., where they both lived. Phillips pleaded guilty because, he said later, his attorney told him that as a black man who had been accused of raping a white teenager, he should try to avoid a…
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    Drug and Device Law

  • Court: It's Only Unconstitutional If You, Not We, Do It

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:12 pm
    A bit of a rant today. We’ve just read Gibson v. American Cyanamid Co., ___ F.3d ___, 2014 WL 3643353 (7th Cir. July 24, 2014), and we have to say that it’s one of the most constitutionally arrogant decisions we’ve ever read.  Stripped to its essentials, Gibson is the judicial branch thumbing its nose at the supposedly co-equal legislative branch and saying “we can do it but you can’t.”Gibsoninvolves one of these seemingly one-way legal doctrines that only protects plaintiffs, but for some reason never defendants, the concept of so-called “vested rights.”  Here’s…
  • More Maya

    Steve McConnell
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    The other day ESPN’s Sportscenter ran a teaser entitled “Less of Maya Moore.”  WNBA player Maya Moore had what was for her a less than stellar night, but her teammates on the Minnesota Lynx picked up the slack and they won anyway.  Maya Moore is a fantastically gifted basketball player with the resume to prove it.  She has won team championships and MVP trophies on the collegiate and professional levels.  A scientist has measured Moore’s reflexes to approximate those of a striking rattlesnake.  Moore has also donned makeup to look like an old lady and, along…
  • Lack of Specificity OK in Kentucky

    Michelle Yeary
    29 Jul 2014 | 11:08 am
                When a decision says the Court finds much of the reasoning in Bausch, Stengel, and Hughes particularly persuasive, you don’t have to be the Amazing Kreskin to guess that we aren’t going to like the ruling.  You just need to be a regular reader of this blog.            Unfortunately, that’s precisely what Waltenburg v. St. Jude Medical, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98369 at *35, *56 (W.D. Ken. Jul. 18, 2014) does say.  We’ll give the opinion some credit for…
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    Crime and Consequences Blog

  • Libertarians Endorse Murder

    Bill Otis
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:43 pm
    OK, they don't endorse murder, exactly, but they come too close for comfort in a truly idiotic, and dishonest, article in the libertarian Reason Magazine by Nick Gillespie. Its title is, "Why the Death Penalty Needs to Die."  Here's how it starts:  Another week, another botched killing under the legal euphemism of capital punishment. After macabre screw-ups in Oklahoma and Ohio, it was Arizona's turn last week, when double-murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood III took about two hours to die. The specific problem this time around was an apparently unreliable "cocktail" of the drugs used in…
  • News Scan

    CJLF Staff
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:04 pm
    Prosecutor Challenges Early Release of Inmates: An Ohio prosecutor has issued a court challenge against a policy that allows prison directors to recommend to judges the early release of certain offenders, calling it a violation of separation of powers.  Andrew Welsh-Huggins of the Associated Press reports that Prosecutor Mark Kuhn is challenging a law that allows the Ohio prisons chief to recommend early release for inmates that have served at least 80% of their sentence. The law was adopted in 2011 as an attempt to save money by reducing the number of 'low-level' offenders behind…
  • News Scan

    CJLF Staff
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:34 pm
    Good Samaritans Attacked for Reporting Child Locked in Hot Car: A Colorado woman who alerted police about a child being locked in a hot car has been seriously injured after the child's mother ran the woman and her boyfriend over.  Tammy Vigil of Fox Denver reports that 27-year-old Kristina Riddell, angered about the couple calling police, physically attacked them before running them over and fleeing the scene.  This is not Riddell's first incident with police, she has prior arrests for assault, domestic violence and multiple driving violations.  She now faces charges of…
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    CLEWS Your Home for Historic True Crime

  • Two-Dollar Terrors

    Laura James
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    (Ed. note: This press release found its way onto my desk, and I'm running the gem as-is, replete with the journalist's sign-off. I admire the author's very traditional approach to, ironically enough, ebooks in our favorite genre, and I can already tell that he has unimpeachable taste in murder cases, so I subscribed to his blog. I'm also looking forward to his first actual-book book, which comes out this fall. If a non-fiction book title includes the words savage shocking, and scandal, I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it.) HAMILTON, OHIO -- In the spirit of the…
  • FOIA and a Serial Killer's Drawings

    Laura James
    30 Jul 2014 | 5:13 am
    For the umpteenth time, a journalist documenting a serial killer has tried to conduct research by relying on the principle of Freedom of Information, yet he has encountered the old saw about making a "profit" off crime. (I've always found that an annoying and inexplicable accusation.) This time, though, he's got an attorney, and he won the legal battle. True crime author Mark Pettit penned a book about a serial killer who has since been executed for murdering children. The book he wrote is A Need to Kill: A True-Crime Account of John Joubert, Nebraska's Most…
  • True Crime Author Curt Gentry, 1931-2014, R.I.P.

    Laura James
    29 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    The co-author of the true crime phenomenon Helter Skelter has passed. Curt Gentry [Wiki], who penned the book with Vincent Bugliosi, died of apparent natural causes at the age of 83 in mid-July. The book is the favorite of many a fan of the genre. Some have admitted on CLEWS to devouring this very long book in as little as three days. It was Gentry's engrossing narrative drive (he was an experienced journalist) that made it such a page-turner. Helter Skelter easily made its way onto my own Top 10 list and holds up to the scrutiny of time as an oustanding example of the form. For…
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  • Trial Over OKC Bombing Videos Ends

    31 Jul 2014 | 4:21 pm
    The four day trial over Jesse Trentadue's attempt to obtain additional Oklahoma City Bombing videos has ended. The judge reserved ruling. The FBI presented witnesses today to say the tapes never existed, which was an 11th hour claim. Up... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Immigration Debacle for House Republicans

    31 Jul 2014 | 3:45 pm
    They'll try to fix it tomorrow, but as of now, the border control bill has been a total debacle for Republican House leadership today. [Republican Sen. Ted] Cruz, the hard-line Texas Republican, has been working behind the scenes to stir up... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Exonerated Innocent Man Describes 21 Year Prison Nightmare

    30 Jul 2014 | 7:50 am
    Kenneth Ireland of Connecticut was 17 when he was arrested for raping and killing a woman. During his police interrogation, he maintained his innocence. He was 18 when he was tried and convicted. 21 years later, in 2009, he was freed after DNA... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    TheFunded Founder Institute News

  • How to Build the Foundation of Your Startup

    31 Jul 2014 | 6:16 pm
    The Founder LaunchPad gives aspiring entrepreneurs exclusive tips and tricks through video clips from the Founder Institute's worldwide network of 3,100+ mentors. For more Founder LaunchPads, visit our Startup Founder 101 YouTube Channel. In this week's Founder LaunchPad, Marcos Polanco, Co-Director of the Puerto Rico Founder Institute, provides three methods that will help you construct the core of your company. He encourages Founders to explore and utilize the latent skills which make them unique. Marcos instructs entrepreneurs to root themselves to their startup in order to create a vision…
  • The Sleep Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs

    31 Jul 2014 | 11:40 am
    So much has been written about the traits and skills one must have to be a successful entrepreneur that it’s easy to forget that sometimes it is the little things in life that lead to the greatest success. In Entrepreneur Habits, we provide you with simple yet effective habits that any fledgling founder can employ in their daily -- or nightly -- routine. With advice from top entrepreneurs and innovative practitioners, these creative customs can help put you on the path to progress. This installment focuses on the sleep habits of successful people. Whether they’re early birds or…
  • Breezy featured on Digital Journal, Realty Mogul featured on, and more Grad News

    30 Jul 2014 | 9:25 pm
    Since launching in 2009, the Founder Institute has helped launch over [total_graduates] new technology companies across [total_cities] cities, [total_countries] countries, and six continents. These companies have gone on to do great things, and create over [total_jobs] new jobs.  Over the past week, Breezy was featured on Digital Journal, Realty Mogul was featured on, 2RedBeans was featured on China Daily; and more. Below is a roundup of recent Founder Institute Graduates in the news: Breezy featured on Digital Journal: Breezy Joins the MaaS360 WorkPlace Partner…
  • Should You Hire Millennials?

    30 Jul 2014 | 7:40 pm
     There is no "one right way" to build a company.  As a result, entrepreneurs seeking guidance will always be given contradictory advice on how to build their business, from both "experts" and the uninformed alike. Ultimately, it is up to the entrepreneur to evaluate the opinions they receive and pursue the path they feel is best for them.  The Startup Lean presents two differing viewpoints on key entrepreneurial topics for you to decide which way you lean. This week's topic focuses on millenials in the workforce: This Week's Topic:Do millennials make good employees?  "[The…
  • 4 Questions That Will Help You Discover Your Entrepreneurial Strengths

    29 Jul 2014 | 3:00 pm
    The Founder LaunchPad gives aspiring entrepreneurs exclusive tips and tricks through video clips from the Founder Institute's worldwide network of 3,100+ mentors. For more Founder LaunchPads, visit our Startup Founder 101 YouTube Channel. In this week's Founder LaunchPad, Marcos Polanco, Co-Director of the Puerto Rico Founder Institute, provides four questions you should answer in order to discover your Entrepreneurial Superpowers. Use this as a guide to help you reveal your startup strengths and unique capabilities: 1. What do you love to do that never bores you? 2. What…
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  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks with Katie Couric

    Andrew Hamm
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:20 am
    In an exclusive interview, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric about everything from retirement to her jabots and the Court’s recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.  Links to excerpts on specific subjects are included after the jump. Hobby Lobby ruling:  Ginsburg suggests that the male Justices who were in the majority in Hobby Lobby have a “blind spot” when it comes to women. Will she retire?:  Ginsburg discusses her plans to continue to serve on the nation’s highest court for “as long as I can do it full steam.”…
  • Thursday round-up

    Amy Howe
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:05 am
    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been in the news, with the release of excerpts from her interview with Katie Couric of Yahoo! News.  Among other things, the Justice indicated that she has no plans to retire.  Josh Gerstein reported on the interview for Politico. In Bloomberg Businessweek, Paul Barrett reports on the possibility that a recent ruling by a federal district judge, striking down the District of Columbia’s ban on carrying handguns in public, may wind up at the Supreme Court, describing the case as “an irresistible opportunity to address the public-carry issue, despite any…
  • Petition of the day

    Maureen Johnston
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:19 pm
    The petition of the day is: Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. 13-1371 Issue: (1) Whether disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act; and (2) if disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act, what standards and burdens of proof should apply.   In association with Bloomberg Law
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    Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

  • LexisNexis Named Publisher of Official Mass. Reports

    Robert Ambrogi
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:07 am
    This is interesting. LexisNexis today announced that it has been named official publisher of the Massachusetts Reports, the official publication containing decisions of the Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court. Previously, Thomson Reuters (West) was the official publisher. LexisNexis took over the contract as of July 1, the press release said. According to the […] The post LexisNexis Named Publisher of Official Mass. Reports appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • What Do You Know! I Inspired an Infographic

    Robert Ambrogi
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:06 am
    I’ve seen a lot of infographics, but never before have I been blamed credited for one. According to Nicole Black at the MyCase blog, the infographic I’ve embedded below, 10 Technologies that Have Changed the Practice of Law, was inspired by a post here on LawSites, A Chronology of Legal Technology, 1842-1995. Thanks Nicole and […] The post What Do You Know! I Inspired an Infographic appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • ‘Hackcess to Justice’ is Aug. 7 and 8 in Boston

    Robert Ambrogi
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:40 am
    Any moment now, I expect to see Paul Revere gallop by, shouting, “The lawyers are coming! The lawyers are coming!” In just over a week, the ABA annual meeting descends on Boston, and while it may not be bringing redcoats, it is sure to deliver an influx of black, blue and grey suitcoats. For anyone […] The post ‘Hackcess to Justice’ is Aug. 7 and 8 in Boston appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
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    Wise Law Blog

  • 140 Law - Leading Legal Headlines for Thursday, July 31, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:04 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Thursday, July 31, 2014:Second charge against Toronto cop in Sammy Yatim shooting - Toronto StarRob Ford campaign video may have violated rules PM's former counsel won't face BC Law Society probe over role in Mike Duffy paymentBiglaw Firm Ordered To Make A Video Apologizing For Discovery Abuses House Votes to Sue Obama for Overstepping Powers1 Seattle cop has issued 80% of city's marijuana tickets this yearSupreme Court to rule on confessions from Mr. Big police stings - Marc Emery, B.C. 'prince of pot,' gives 1st…
  • 140 Law - Leading Legal Headlines for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:31 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Wednesday, July 30, 2014:Exonerated Innocent Man Describes 21 Year Connecticut Prison NightmareFootage shows Iowa sheriff’s deputies Tasing man at least 15 times before he died  Explicit Language Needed For Fixed-Term Employment Contracts Toronto-born lawyer killed in Florida working on kidnap conspiracy case: report - CityNews Clearer 'revenge porn' laws urgedFinding their niche: Young lawyers bite into the dental market Ontario Court Agrees to Backdate Claim That Was Issued Outside Limitation PeriodSlawTips…
  • 140 Law - Leading Legal Headlines for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    29 Jul 2014 | 7:03 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Tuesday, July 29, 2014:Kansas City lawyer’s blog posts could be an issue in judicial confirmation bidOntario Superior Court Master Richard Peterson mourned Online offer of beer to egg Rob Ford results in criminal chargeToward a Modernised and More Accessible Justice: Technological Courtroom Management Tweeting from courtroom impresses Nova Scotia top judgeNews of DNA exoneration stuns ex-inmate who didn’t request test Global law group accuses Harper of encroaching on judicial independenceCourt rules against atheist…
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    Law Technology Today

  • Video: Increasing Productivity Through Billing

    Law Technology Today
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:47 pm
    What if you could get your client bills out sooner and get paid faster? There are ways to generate bills that will improve your bottom line and increase productivity. In this webinar hosted by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center, discover how to take advantage of the many opportunities for more efficient billing practices. Thank you to our Sponsor Featured image: “High angle view of an young brunette working at her office desk with documents and laptop. Businesswoman working on paperwork.” from Shutterstock. The post Video: Increasing Productivity Through Billing appeared first on…
  • What SOC 2 Type II Certification Means

    Gwynne Monahan
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:30 am
    Earlier this month, Brittany Farb emailed me to let me know that Keeper Security, a password manager I reviewed from Techweek Chicago, received SOC 2 Type II Certification. To achieve that certification, the following areas of Keeper’s policies and practices were reviewed: Infrastructure: The physical and hardware components of a system. Software: The programs and operating software of a system. People: The personnel involved in the operation and use of a system. Procedures: The automated and manual procedures involved in the operation of a system. Data: The information used and…
  • Sustaining a Successful Knowledge Management System

    Law Technology Today
    30 Jul 2014 | 5:30 am
    In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss curation and personal knowledge management including tools and techniques, ways to improve success, common difficulties, and their own personal experiences. They describe the three important aspects involved in sustaining a successful knowledge management system: collecting the information in one place, organizing it for later access, and using the collected information for legal clients or marketing when it might apply. While Kennedy and Mighell prefer Evernote as an organizational tool, there are many…
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    Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices

  • Asking the Right Question

    18 Jul 2014 | 6:27 am
    In a recent Harvard Business Review blog post, journalist Warren Berger discusses the importance to effective leadership of asking the right questions – with the emphasis on the word “right.” “How you question is critical,” says Berger. “Questions can be great for engaging and motivating people, but they can just as easily be used to confront or blame, and can shift the mood from positive to negative.” By way of example, Berger  – author of A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas – offers five common questions that can get discussions off…
  • “Competitive Intelligence” and the Practice of Law

    3 Jul 2014 | 4:55 am
    The Legal Intelligencer has launched a series of articles that focus on “competitive intelligence” in the context of legal practice. The term “competitive intelligence” refers to the ways in which one company makes itself aware of what other companies in the same field (i.e., its “competitors”) are doing. This may include tracking their business practices, assessing their client bases and fields of practice, monitoring their promotion and marketing initiatives, and other tactics. The first installment in The Intelligencer series points out that competitive intelligence…
  • Where Evolutionary Technology Meets Your Legal Practice

    27 Jun 2014 | 4:23 am
    At first blush, you might ask what a bionic arm catching objects in mid-flight has to do with the practice of law. I assert: “Everything.” Who are the lawyers who represent these evolutionary products? Clearly, there will be lots of intellectual property involved, but I say that the list goes on. Here are just three legal areas that could relate to technological advances: Lobbying: Just like Google trying to get approval to put its driverless cars on the road, legislation may be required for many applications of a robotic arm. Liability: If these arms replace humans in various…
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    Innocence Blog

  • Wrongful Conviction Civil Suits Mounting in New York

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Another New York man settled a wrongful conviction suit with the city adding to the tab of settlements accrued under former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes. The New York Post reported that Ronald Bozeman will receive $150,000 after spending a year behind bars for a robbery he did not commit. Bozeman was charged with a $9,000 armed heist outside a Brooklyn bank in 2011 based largely on the eyewitness testimony of the victims who later told a second grand jury that another man was the culprit. Hynes' office ignored the victims' reversal and let Bozeman sit in jail until the case was…
  • Bumps in the Road for Hair Microscopy Case Review

    30 Jul 2014 | 4:05 pm
    One year after the Innocence Project and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers announced its partnership with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to review microscopic hair analysis cases, the review was stopped after finding forensic errors in nearly every case spanning the past two decades. The Washington Post reported that the DOJ ordered case reviews to resume earlier this month after the inspector general criticized the department and the FBI for unacceptable delays and inadequate investigation in a separate inquiry from…
  • Connecticut Exoneree Seeks Compensation

    29 Jul 2014 | 4:15 pm
    Nearly five years after a Connecticut man was exonerated of a rape and murder he did not commit, he will go back to court in an effort to be compensated from the state. The Hartford Courant reported that Kenneth Ireland, who spent two decades in prison before DNA evidence proved his innocence, is expected to testify today before Waterbury attorney James P. Brennan, the special master assigned to his case, and elaborate on a 100-page "analysis of damages" submitted earlier this year to the claims commissioner that seeks up to $8 million. DNA testing not only cleared Ireland, it pointed to the…
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    Charon QC

  • A bit of Rive Gauche….

    Charon QC
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:07 am
    “Show me a young Conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brains.” Winston Churchill Churchill’s quote always raises a wry smile. I will be blogging on the morrow  and over the weekend….        
  • Legal training course on Social Enterprise and Impact Investing

    Charon QC
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:20 am
    Join the team at TrustLaw on 22 & 23 September for a legal training course on Social Enterprise and Impact Investing. The CPD accredited course will cover topics ranging from structuring options and legal challenges for social enterprises through to fund, social impact bonds and other elements of social finance, the course will be delivered by leaders in the social impact space from places like Big Society Capital, the City of London, Shared Impact, and many more. For the full agenda and more information about the training please click here, alternatively if you’d like to sign up,…
  • Tweet du Jour….

    Charon QC
    28 Jul 2014 | 1:26 pm
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    Chicago IP Litigation

  • Scheduling Delay Does Not Warrant Canceling the Deposition

    R. David Donoghue
    28 Jul 2014 | 3:09 am
    Cleversafe, Inc. v. Amplidata, Inc.No. 11 C 4890, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 11, 2014) (Cole, Mag. J.). Judge Cole denied plaintiff Cleversafe’s motion for a protective order and sanctions preventing the deposition of Cleversafe’s CEO.  The CEO was a critical witness — one of two listed on Cleversafe’s initial disclosures.  And defendant Amplidata’s alleged delay in scheduling it did not warrant sanctions.  Furthermore, Cleversafe could point to no harm for the delay.  In fact, the CEO had enjoyed the benefit of not having to prepare or sit for a deposition.
  • “Growing Trend” That Bit Torrent Doe Defendants Need Not be Time-Related

    R. David Donoghue
    25 Jul 2014 | 2:55 am
    TCYK, LLC, v. Does 1-44, No. 13 C 3825, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 20, 2014) (Dow J.). Judge Dow denied various Doe defendants’ motions to grant subpoenas to their respective ISPs in this BitTorrent copyright case involving the movie “The Company You Keep” with Robert Redford and Susan Sarandon.  Of particular note, the Court held as follows: Noting a split of authority, the Court went with the “growing trend” in the Northern District that Doe defendants need not have been members of its same BitTorrent swarm at the same time to be joined in a single suit.  It was enough that the…
  • Modifying the Innovation Act to Selectively Target the Patent Troll Problem

    R. David Donoghue
    22 Jul 2014 | 2:53 am
    The following is a blog post by Varun Shah, Aruba Network’s Director, Intellectual Property — full disclosure, I previously represented Aruba.  Shah has an interesting alternative patent reform proposal that seeks to target the patent troll problem.  It is interesting because it is under-inclusive.  On the one hand, that is less than ideal because it does not cover all trolls (or at least all entities that are arguably trolls).  On the other hand, it is intriguing because by being under-inclusive it minimizes the impact of the legislation outside of the troll world, which may…
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    Ohio Employer's Law Blog

  • 6th Cir. invalidates individual waivers of FLSA collective action participation

    Jon Hyman
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:13 am
    The wage-and-hour class or collective action lawsuit is one of, if not the, greatest risk facing employers. Many of these lawsuits are filed by disgruntled ex-employees. And, many employers seek to limit their risk by securing waivers from employees, in which employees covenant not to participate in such a lawsuit, typically in exchange for severance pay or some other consideration. Increasingly, however, these waivers have come under fire. The most recent attack comes from the 6th Circuit, which, in Killion v. KeHE Distributors (6th Cir. 7/30/14) [pdf], held that severance-agreement waivers…
  • NLRB seeks to supersize its joint-employer standard

    Jon Hyman
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:09 am
    The NLRB is waging war on employers, and it’s drawing its latest battle line at the McDonald’s drive-in. Yesterday, the NLRB Office of General Counsel announced that it has authorized complaints against 43 different McDonald’s franchises; it also announced that in each case it will issue a complaint against the franchisor, McDonald’s, USA, LLC. The problem, however, that in no case does McDonald’s own the restaurant or employ the workers. Instead, McDonald’s merely licenses its trademarks and operating procedures to the local franchisees. The franchisees, in turn, hire, fire,…
  • Will the Ohio Supreme Court eliminate manager and supervisor liability for discrimination?

    Jon Hyman
    29 Jul 2014 | 3:54 am
    Ohio’s discrimination is unique in that it allows for the imposition of individual liability against managers and supervisors for their personal acts of discrimination. The case, Genaro v. Central Transport (1999), is the bane of defense lawyers and employers alike. Aside from adding a complicating element to cases by including employees in the matrix of sued parties, it also permits plaintiffs lawfully to add a non-diverse parties and keep cases from being removed to federal court. There is hope, however, that Genaro may go the way of the dodo. Currently pending before the Ohio…
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    Privacy Law Blog

  • e-IDs: the Future of Secure Digital Identification?

    Courtney Bowman
    24 Jul 2014 | 3:50 pm
    Courtney BowmanOver the past decade, the EU has made significant technological and legal strides toward the widespread adoption of electronic identification cards.  An electronic ID card, or e-ID, serves as a form of secure identification for online transactions – in other words, it provides sufficient verification of an individual’s identity to allow that person to electronically sign and submit sensitive documents such as tax returns and voting ballots over the Internet.  Many people see e-IDs as the future of secure identification since they offer the potential to greatly facilitate…
  • One year of Data Protection Enforcement in France: what the CNIL’s Activity Report 2013 Reveals and what to expect in 2014

    Marianne Le Moullec
    9 Jul 2014 | 8:51 pm
    Marianne Le MoullecAccording to the French Data Protection Authority’s (“CNIL”) recently issued activity report for 2013 ( ), the CNIL was especially busy in 2013. The main topics addressed by the CNIL in 2013 were the creation of a national consumer credit database, the right to be forgotten, the right to refuse cookies, the proposed EU Regulation, and, of course, the revelations concerning the U.S. Prism program and the surveillance of European citizens’ personal data by foreign entities. The…
  • France Facilitates Implementation of Whistleblowing Systems

    Cecile Martin
    1 Jul 2014 | 6:47 am
    Cecile MartinIn France, before implementing a whistleblowing process, a company must inform and consult with its employees’ representatives, inform its employees and notify the French Data Protection Agency (CNIL). There are two possible ways to notify the CNIL of a whistleblowing system: request a formal authorization from the CNIL (this is quite burdensome and difficult to obtain), or opt for the standard whistleblowing authorization (AU-004). The standard whistleblowing authorization (AU-004) was enacted by the French Data Protection Agency in 2005 in order to facilitate notifying the…
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    Lawyers, Guns & Money

  • Don’t Over-Stupid an Already Stupid Conversation

    Robert Farley
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:22 pm
    Of all the stupid tropes that are used to describe the Israel-Palestine conflict: What would politicians in Arizona, Texas and California do if Mexico were shooting rockets into Scottsdale, Houston or Los Angeles? You can bet it wouldn’t last almost ten years. More like ten hours, before the USA would unleash whatever force was necessary to protect the citizens of Arizona, Texas and California. Would America keep the water and the electricity on for a people that were attacking her? Would anyone blame America for protecting their own people and showing strength? Would we care if the rest of…
  • Still with the Air Force Bit

    Robert Farley
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:15 pm
    I have an op-ed at Aviation Week and Space Technology on abolishing the Air Force: Institutionally speaking, we are living in 1947. We created military services in order to provide institutional voice to certain kinds of capabilities. Interwar airpower enthusiasts argued that aviators needed an independent service because land and sea commanders could not appreciate the transformative implications of military aviation. Innovation, industry and doctrine would suffer as the parochial interests of the Army and Navy prevented aviators from spreading their wings, so to speak.
  • U.S. Responsibility for the Central American Child Immigrant Wave

    Erik Loomis
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:26 am
    The reasons for the wave of child immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are complex, but as Óscar Martínez correctly states, many of them are related to the United States: As thousands of children like Auner, Chele and Pitbull arrive at the US border, it is important to remember the role the United States has played in creating this mass migration. In the 1970s and ’80s, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were in the midst of either bloody civil wars or fierce government repression in which the United States played an iron-fisted role. Fearing the spread of communism in…
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    31 Jul 2014 | 10:10 am
    The general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board ruled Tuesday that McDonald’s is the joint employer for workers at its franchisees’ restaurants, a decision that, if upheld, would disrupt longtime practices in the fast-food industry and ease the way for unionizing nationwide, the labor ruling stated. Richard Griffin Jr., the labor board’s general counsel, said that of the 181 unfair labor practice complaints filed against McDonald’s and its franchisees over the past 20 months, he found that 43 had merit on such grounds as illegally firing or threatening…
  • Do Not Not Notice Notice Provisions in Commercial Leases, According to Recent Decision Finding Such to Be a No-No

    31 Jul 2014 | 10:08 am
    In the case of Commercial Resource Group, LLC v. The J.M. Smucker Company, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit was faced with the sticky situation of determining whether The J.M. Smucker Company ("Smucker") should be required to pay rent for an additional term. This is despite having sent timely notice of its desire to terminate, albeit to an old address for notice purposes, and, only a few days after the deadline, sent notice to the correct notice address. To say the least, Smucker might be in a jam. Smucker entered into a commercial lease for a building from…
  • Prevailing Wage Coverage Extends to Traffic Light Camera Installation Projects

    31 Jul 2014 | 9:10 am
    Work covered by California’s Prevailing Wage Law includes installation of traffic light cameras.   A recent article about red light light cameras highlights a prevailing wage issue that may not be commonly understood. Projects paid in full or in part with public funds require payment of prevailing wage rates, which are state-determined wage rates.  The prevailing wage requirement extends to all public works projects over $1,000 even if the project is subcontracted.  The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) sets the prevailing wage rate, which is the minimum…
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    Connecticut Employment Law Blog

  • Shared Work Program Gets a Refresh With New Regulations from Connecticut Department of Labor

    Daniel Schwartz
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:46 am
    One of the better programs run by the Connecticut Department of Labor that gets almost zero publicity is the “Shared Work” program.  For employers, it’s a useful tool when you’re dealing with a temporary slowdown in work. I talked about it five (!) years ago in the midst of the recession so I’m not going to rehash it here. But here’s what’s new: The CTDOL just released new regulations to make the program available to more employers and released a new brochure about the program as well. As the CTDOL stated in a press release this month: As a result of…
  • Everything You Need To Know About New Labor & Employment Laws

    Daniel Schwartz
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:42 am
    Rainbow over Hartford With the dog days of summer firmly upon us, it’s a good time to catch up on some items that you might have put aside. One of those items is reviewing the new Connecticut laws that go into effect (mainly) later this year. Fortunately, my colleagues have prepared a great summary of what transpired at this year’s Connecticut General Assembly.  You can download a copy for free here. What are the key highlights? Public Act 14-1 increases the minimum to wage $9.15 on that date, then to $9.60 on January 1, 2016 and finally to $10.10 on January 1, 2107. The new act…
  • Cameras in the Workplace Among Topics in Latest “Employment Law Letter”

    Daniel Schwartz
    28 Jul 2014 | 7:48 am
    While you might think our department at Shipman & Goodwin LLP would be content to rest on just this blog, my fellow colleagues have actually been passing along tidbits for years in its quarterly Employment Law Letter publication. The latest issue is now available online here. I really like the cover article on cameras in the workplace — a topic I’ve touched on a little bit before here and here. Our opinion is that we will probably see more and more litigation that in some way involves cameras. These days, most adults and many children carry phones or other electronic devices…
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    Special Education Law Blog

  • Standard for Non-FAPE Cases

    Jim Gerl
    30 Jul 2014 | 2:43 pm
    English: The Supreme Court of the United States. Washington, D.C.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)This post was inspired by a discussion during a presentation by Professor Mark Weber at the recent conference at Seattle University at the Academy for IDEA hearing officers.  It was also inspired by a law review article by Professor Weber: Mark C Weber, “Common-Law Interpretation of Appropriate Education: The Road Not Taken in Rowley,” 41 Journal of Law & Education 95 (January 2012); also available at the SSRN. Professor Weber has a lot to answer for!The standard for FAPE…
  • Weekly Question!

    Jim Gerl
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:01 am
    Procedural violations of IDEA are only actionable if they adversely impact the child's education or significantly impair the parents' participation rights. Which procedural violations are most likely to result in an adverse finding against a school district?------- Thanks for subscribing! Jim Gerl
  • ADA Is 24 Years Old

    Jim Gerl
    24 Jul 2014 | 1:05 pm
    This is the internationally recognized symbol for accessibility (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law twenty-four years ago this Saturday. If you are interested in suggestions on how to celebrate, here is an ADA Anniversary Toolkit. For more information about the ADA, see this post in the blog of the Council of Exceptional Children.Our friends at the U. S. Census Bureau have assembled some interesting numbers in honor of the data.  Here they are: On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, which…
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    Drug Injury Watch

  • AndroGel / Axiron / Testim: Heart Attacks, Strokes, And Other Cardiovascular Problems Will Be Subject Of FDA Advisory Panel Meeting In September 2014

    Tom Lamb
    18 Jul 2014 | 12:56 pm
    Health Canada Orders Label Change For Testosterone Drugs In July 2014: Must Warn About Increased Risks Of Side Effects Including Blood Clots, DVTs, PEs (Posted by Tom Lamb at safety issues concerning the popular testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) products AndroGel, Axiron, and Testim continue to be be debated with mixed decisions in different arenas. We will start with the FDA, which on July 17, 2014 issued this "September 17, 2014 Joint Meeting of the Bone, Reproductive and Urologic Drugs Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory…
  • When Someone Using Benicar Is Diagnosed With Celiac Disease They May Have, Instead, Developed Drug Induced Sprue-Like Enteropathy Or Intestinal Malabsorption

    Tom Lamb
    14 Jul 2014 | 2:39 pm
    This Severe Diarrhea Side Effect Is Caused By Olmesartan, Which Is Also Found In Azor, Tribenzor, And Benicar HCT Blood Pressure Medications (Posted by Tom Lamb at in May 2014 we made reference to this medical article, "A Review of Current Evidence of Olmesartan Medoxomil Mimicking Symptoms of Celiac Disease", published online by the Journal of Pharmacy Practice, in our post entitled Benicar (Olmesartan) Associated With Sprue-Like Enteropathy, Which Is A Chronic / Severe Diarrhea Condition That Can Be Misdiagnosed As Celiac Disease. More recently, in June 2014, on the…
  • Summer 2014 Update: Testosterone "Low-T" Drugs: New FDA Safety Warnings; Recent Medical Journal Article About Heart Risks Of Injectable TRT Products

    Tom Lamb
    7 Jul 2014 | 2:32 pm
    All Testosterone Therapy Drugs Need To Warn About Blood Clots Side Effects Like DVT And PE; Older Depo-Testosterone Product May Be Safer Than New Gels Such As AndroGel And Testim (Posted by Tom Lamb at the first part of this summer there has been a flurry of drug-safety activity as regards the popular testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) products like Axiron, AndroGel, Testim, and Depo-Testosterone. We will start with two recent FDA developments: 1.  Testosterone: Drug Information Update- FDA adding general warning to testosterone products about potential for…
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    Bankruptcy Home Blog

  • How do I get out of debt?

    28 Jul 2014 | 9:10 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, How do I get out of debt? Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “How do I get out of debt?” Debt or accumulating debt is simply a function of spending more than you make, and when this problem persists and debts accumulate well above what … Continue reading →
  • Will I have to pay for bankruptcy up front?

    21 Jul 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Visit for the original content posted here, Will I have to pay for bankruptcy up front? If you are considering filing bankruptcy it is likely you are facing a financial crisis. The thought of paying hundreds of additional dollars to hire a bankruptcy lawyer may seem impossible. Recently on our bankruptcy forum a user asked, “If … Continue reading →
  • How do I find out all the debts I owe?

    16 Jul 2014 | 7:16 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, How do I find out all the debts I owe? If you are facing a financial crisis the first step is to admit you have a problem. Next, you will need to organize your finances and determine how much money you owe. Recently on our legal forum a user asked, … Continue reading →
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    Asbestos HUB

  • July 2014: Texas Supreme Court Expands Substantial-Factor Standard Of Causation Rule From Borg-Warner Corp. v. Flores To Mesothelioma Cases

    Tom Lamb
    17 Jul 2014 | 1:59 pm
    In mid-July 2014, in the case Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., the Texas Supreme Court held that the Plaintiff failed to prove that Timothy Bostic’s exposure to Georgia-Pacific’s asbestos-containing products was a substantial factor in bringing about his fatal mesothelioma. In more detail, the Court stated: In multiple-exposure cases the Plaintiff must establish the measured “dose” of asbestos fibers to which the mesothelioma victim was exposed by his working with and/or around the Defendant’s asbestos-containing product; A Plaintiff cannot prove substantial-factor standard…
  • Asbestos Defendant Garlock Misled Court During Bankruptcy Estimation Trial According To June 2014 Motion Filed By Asbestos Claimants’ Counsel

    Tom Lamb
    10 Jul 2014 | 1:23 pm
    In early January 2014 Judge George R. Hodges of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina made a controversial ruling that Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC’s liability for present and future asbestos-mesothelioma legal claims is $125 million.  This was far less than the $1 billion that had been asserted by the asbestos claimants’ counsel during the proceeding. In re Garlock Sealing Techs., No. 10-31607 (Bankr. W.D.N.C. Jan. 10, 2014) Last month, however, lawyers for those asbestos claimants filed a motion to reopen that so-called “bankruptcy…
  • “No Safe Use”: A Tremendous Piece Of Interactive Journalism About The Terrible Asbestos-Mesothelioma Problem

    Tom Lamb
    2 Jul 2014 | 2:24 pm
    I highly recommend that anyone with an interest in learning more about asbestos and asbestos-related diseases — the tragic asbestos cancer mesothelioma in particular — take some time to visit this site: “No Safe Use” (Copyright 2014 The Globe and Mail Inc. All Rights). It starts with a haunting picture of John Nolan, age 67, blinking his eyes, and this interactive site allows you the option of listening to Mr. Nolan tell the story of his battle with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Thereafter, you will find this seven-part journalistic report…
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    Law is Cool

  • Can we balance work and our personal life?

    Paralegal Student
    13 Jul 2014 | 6:44 pm
    By: Hilary Bowser It can be extremely difficult to work in the field of law and make time for our family and friends. Many believe that to be successful in our careers we must make sacrifices in our personal life. Is there truly a way to balance work life and the rest of our life? In the article “The Tyranny of Performance ” by Allison Wolf , it is outlined that to help improve the balance between work and our family is all about learning. If we are learning new information through all of our daily interactions we can…
  • The Struggle to Juggle.

    Paralegal Student
    9 Jul 2014 | 4:06 pm
    by Stephanie Hannah If you’re like me, you’re passionate about having a career that challenges you and a family to share all of life’s accomplishments with. But, is there really an opportunity for both? More and more commonly individuals are experiencing difficulty being able to juggle both a demanding career and a growing family. It’s no surprise then that individual’s in the legal profession are experiencing the struggle. I’m currently a second semester paralegal student, and already I’ve learned the importance of time management and the value of time. While the general…
  • A Balanced Life: Reality or Illusion?

    Paralegal Student
    23 Jun 2014 | 2:56 am
    By George McLaren You must have heard the clichés repeated many times over. “There’s no rest for the wicked, (or the righteous, for that matter),” depending on the degree of fondness ascribed to the subject. Or perhaps, “Time is money”. Still, another says, “No romance without finance”. My personal favourite goes something like this: “Life is hard, and then you die”. Looking beyond the ominous forecasts of doom which is common to these clichés, an identifiable theme arises which holds some semblance of truth. The common thread seems to indicate that although financial…
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    Real Lawyers Have Blogs

  • Top 10 in Law Blogs: Lawyers Not Plumbers, Where to Incorporate, Passport Delays

    Colin O'Keefe
    30 Jul 2014 | 5:30 pm
    With summer here, it feels like now is the time to get your travel in and capitalize on those PTO days before the weather turns. However, if you’re looking to travel internationally—and don’t already have a passport—you may have some problems. Alka Bahal has the details today. Total posts on the LexBlog Network: 180. How Do New York Courts Handle Foreign Marital Agreements? – New York lawyer Daniel Clement at his blog, the New York Divorce Report Protecting the Housing of Survivors of Violence Should Be a Top Priority for HUD Secretary Castro – Katherine Walz of…
  • How to get more people to share your law blog posts

    Kevin O'Keefe
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:46 pm
    Getting more people to share your law blog posts requires you to share other people’s posts and stories. Hubspot’s Sam Kusinitz (@sdkusin) posted seven ways to get more people to share your posts. Post at the right times – Monday and Thursday at 9:30 ET. Have social sharing buttons and an email subscribe. Have a called out “tweetable quote” that will auto-tweet an excerpt. Strong imagery. Include a strong call to action (CTA), ie, download this ebook. They’re okay, but the list misses by far and away the most important one for blogging lawyers. That’s…
  • Top 10 in Law Blogs: Paperless HR, Paying in Bitcoin, Corruption in M&A

    Colin O'Keefe
    29 Jul 2014 | 5:51 pm
    What if you got paid in Bitcoin? I’d guess, for most of you—it’d be pretty annoying. But around the globe, there are actually people who would prefer it. Caroline Donelan of DLA Piper discusses the prospect today on The Labor Dish. Total posts on the LexBlog Network today: 181. Going Paperless? Legal Guidelines & Tips for a Paperless HR Department – Philadelphia lawyer Tiffani McDonough of Obermayer on the firm’s blog, HR Legalist Worn on the Sleeve – The blogging lawyers and attorneys at Morrison Foerster on their blog, MofoTech Two for Tuesdays: More LinkedIn…
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    Securities Docket

  • SEC Awards $400,000 to Whistleblower After Company Fails to Address Internal Reports of Fraud | Compliance Week

    Securities Docket
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:47 pm
    Today, the SEC announced a whistleblower award that may, for two reasons, resonate with potential tipsters and companies that might be reluctant to take decisive action to look into fraud that is reported internally. via SEC Awards $400,000 to Whistleblower After Company Fails to Address Internal Reports of Fraud | Compliance Week
  • Hedge Funds and Material Nonpublic Information — The Harvard Law School Forum on Corp. Gov. and Financial Regulation

    Securities Docket
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:48 am
    We discuss below what remote tippees, which may involve hedge funds and other investment firms that are often several steps removed from the original source of the information, would need to know for liability to arise. Along the way, we touch on the other elements relevant to liability as well—fraud, duty, breach, and personal benefit. The burden on the government is an exceptionally challenging one in the case of remote tippees, and the Supreme Court intended that to protect market participants in the business of acquiring, ferreting out and analyzing vast amounts of information. via…
  • Securities Docket News Wire for July 30, 2014

    Securities Docket
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:55 am
    Beijing lawyer to face sanctions in Hathor Exploration insider trading case –Stockhouse -> Tower to settle shareholder class action suit | The Insurance Insider -> Australia clamps ‘embarrassing’ gag order on global banknote bribe case — The FCPA Blog -> U.S. SEC lawyer Gellasch to leave for Senate investigative panel | Reuters -> Former Madoff Employees’ Case Lingers Post Conviction – Law Blog – WSJ -> Denver judge OKs Van Gilder…
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    Furniture Law Blog

  • Amini Sues Yuan Tai Enterprises - Again

    7 Jul 2014 | 2:19 pm
    Amini Innovation Corporation ("AICO") filed suit on June 30, 2014 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California (AICO's home court) again Yuan Tai Enterprises, Inc., a Texas corporation. The lawsuit involves two of several tools available to furniture manufacturers to defend its designs: namely patents and copyright. AICO is suing Yuan Tai again after Yuan Tai allegedly violated a 2007 agreement that settled earlier litigation. AICO is suing on 21 copyright registrations and 14 design patents. This approach highlights the one-two punch that copyright registrations…
  • NC Begins Work On Patent Troll Bill

    27 Apr 2014 | 3:13 am
    Guest Authored by David BoazRecently, a joint legislative committee sent a report to the North Carolina General Assembly that recommended passing an anti-troll bill during the legislature’s 2014 Short Session.  A copy of the bill may be found here. The proposed bill, titled “Patent Abuse Bill,” would create a civil and criminal cause of action aimed at preventing bad faith assertions of patent infringement. The bill also make it extortion to obtain or attempt to obtain property through a bad faith assertion of patent infringement. Extortion is a Class F felony under North Carolina…
  • Michael Sullivan to Speak on Regulatory & Compliance Issues for Furniture Industry

    26 Mar 2014 | 1:27 pm
    HIGH POINT, N.C.—Womble Carlyle Mass Torts attorney Michael Sullivan will discuss “Compliance to the Letter of the Law” at the Furniture Today 2014 Regulatory & Compliance Summit. The event takes place April 23rdon the campus of High Point University.In his presentation, Sullivan will share steps that home furnishings companies should take now to demonstrate their commitment to safe products and a safe workplace. He also will discuss regulations, industry standards and warnings, with an emphasis on identifying what is truly important.Clients turn to Michael Sullivan for senior-level…
  • Federal Circuit Clarifies Test for Obviousness of Design Patents

    2 Oct 2013 | 10:35 am
    Who gets to decide when a design patent is obvious? There was some confusion on that topic until the Federal Circuit handed down its opinion in High Point Designs LLV v. Buyers Direct, Inc., No. 2012-1455 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 11, 2013) (a copy of the opinion can be found here).In the opinion, the panel of Judges O'Malley, Schall, and Wallach confirmed that the obviousness of a design patent is to be determined through the eyes of an "ordinary designer," not an "ordinary observer." What's the difference? A big one actually. The ordinary design test requires the court to engage in a more…
  • Copyright + Trade Dress = Solid Combination For Furniture Manufacturers

    17 Sep 2013 | 7:38 pm
    Furniture manufacturers have a varied arsenal when it comes to protecting their intellectual property. A single item of furniture can be protected by a utility patent (assuming there is functionality), design patent, copyright, and trade dress. If the item or its collection has a name, trademark rights may be available too. Even though there are many tools, the copyright and trade dress combination is a dependable pairing that provides a formidable offense.Amini Innovation Corporation ("AICO") recently deployed this one-two punch against McFerran Home Furnishings. See Civil Action No.
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    P.I.S.S.D. -- Personal Injury, Social Security Disability. Dallas Texas Lawyers

  • When You Can Turn to Legal Resolutions for Your Medical Expenses

    Bob Kraft
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:35 am
    Medical expenses can be overwhelmingly expensive, and seem all the more so when you were injured or sick due to another individual’s negligence. Some of the direst financial circumstances, including bankruptcy, result from medical expenses. Fortunately, there are many legal solutions in such circumstances, provided you can prove your case in court. Legal experts from Bronson Jones & Co give the following tips on how to determine if legal action can help relieve some of the financial stress of your current situation. 1. You’ve Been Injured in an Automobile Accident Every state…
  • Drug Makers Paid to Attend Meetings of FDA Advisory Panel

    Bob Kraft
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:20 am
    The Washington Post reported that major pharmaceutical companies funded a “scientific panel that shaped the federal government’s policy for testing the safety and effectiveness of painkillers.” The drug makers “paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the chance to affect the thinking of the Food and Drug Administration, according to hundreds of e-mails obtained by a public records request.” According to the emails, the companies “paid as much as $25,000 to attend any given meeting of the panel, which had been set up by two academics to provide advice to the FDA on how to weigh…
  • Texas Supporters of Texting Ban Say Statistics Underestimate Dangers of Distracted Driving

    Bob Kraft
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:42 am
    I have written many times about the hazards of distracted driving. Texas has tried to pass state-wide bans, but has never gotten past Governor Perry. The Dallas Morning News recently ran an article that asserts that cell phone use or texting while driving may be more common than we’ve been led to believe. Here are the opening paragraphs of the article: People shudder when they see this driver. His bobbing head follows a familiar rhythm, nodding down to write or read a text and then glancing at the road to check traffic. He tends to drift out of his lane and sometimes rear-ends the car…
  • Safety Tips When Using Hand Tools

    Bob Kraft
    29 Jul 2014 | 7:46 am
    There is nowhere I won’t search to find information for you. These safety tips for working with hand tools are from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Lindsay, Ontario, Canada. What are some basic tips when using hand tools?  • Select the right tool for the job. Substitutes increase the chance of having an accident. • Use tools designed to allow wrist to stay straight. Avoid using hand tools with your wrist bent. • Ensure that employees are properly trained in the safe use of hand tools. • Use good quality tools. • Keep tools in good condition at all times. •…
  • Confidentiality Agreements in Suit Over Texas Explosion Raise Safety Concerns

    Bob Kraft
    28 Jul 2014 | 8:43 am
    The Dallas Morning News reports that a lawsuit over the 2013 explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, TX contains “secrets” that “could keep valuable health and safety information hidden from the public forever.” The News notes that a judge “has approved confidentiality agreements requested by attorneys” that could mean that “even people who live in West may never find out much more about what happened.” The agreements “allow both sides to label as confidential virtually all information uncovered as the lawyers prepare for trial.” The News adds that confidentiality…
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    Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog

  • US Supreme Court Review: Bond v. United States

    Ryan Scoville
    25 Jul 2014 | 1:20 pm
    (This is another post in our series, Looking Back at the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 Term.) Continuing with this blog’s coverage of the recently concluded Supreme Court term, I’ll offer a few thoughts on the decision in Bond v. United States, which addressed a challenge to a statute that Congress passed in 1998 to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention (“CWC”). Most have heard about the underlying facts: After finding out that her husband was the father of her best friend’s soon-to-be-born child, Carol Anne Bond tried to poison the friend with 10-chloro-10H-phenoxarsine and…
  • Two-Thirds of Wisconsinites Support More Flexibility for Prisoner Releases

    Michael M. O'Hear
    24 Jul 2014 | 9:21 am
    In 1998, Wisconsin adopted what may have been the nation’s most rigid truth-in-sentencing law, eliminating parole across the board and declining to put into place any alternative system of back-end release flexibility, such as credits for good behavior in prison.  Subsequent reforms to this system have been either short-lived or very modest in scope.  However, new results from the Marquette Law School Poll confirm and strengthen findings from other recent surveys that Wisconsin residents would actually welcome a more flexible system. As I noted in an earlier post, the Law School Poll…
  • The Rest of the Story

    Mike Gousha
    23 Jul 2014 | 2:59 pm
    The story will be the horse race. It always is. Governor Walker and likely Democratic challenger Mary Burke are in a dead heat.  But there are a couple of interesting subplots in the latest numbers from the Marquette Law School Poll. Like many Democratic candidates, Burke fares especially well with younger voters, and with those who are single (never married, widowed, or divorced).  Governor Walker, the Republican, scores best with those who are middle-age and married.  This is essentially the same voter behavior we saw in the 2012 presidential election.  But in a non-presidential year,…
  • So What Do You Think of Mary Burke?

    Alan J. Borsuk
    23 Jul 2014 | 2:48 pm
    On one level, the results released Wednesday of a fresh round of the Marquette Law School Poll did not contain much new. As Charles Franklin, professor of law and public and policy and director of the poll,  said frequently during the “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” event at which results were presented, there was not much that was statistically different from the poll two months ago. The big headline – and it did, indeed, make big headlines – was that Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke are essentially tied. That was the central result of the May poll…
  • Marquette University Law School and World War II

    J. Gordon Hylton
    23 Jul 2014 | 12:53 pm
    As I have described elsewhere on this blog, Marquette Law School Dean Francis X. Swietlik played a prominent role in public affairs during the Second World War, primarily because of his leadership role in the American Polish Community. As the leader of the “Chicago Poles,” as Midwesterners of Polish descent were known, Swietlik advised President Franklin Roosevelt on Polish issues and was a national spokesman for the cause of his ancestral country — Swietlik had been born in Milwaukee in 1899 — which had been dismembered in 1939 by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. However, the war…
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    Green Building Law Update

  • Lawsuit Over LEED Documentation

    Stuart Kaplow
    27 Jul 2014 | 1:48 pm
    A case filed last week in a California court is a prime example of the importance of contract documents in a LEED project. Earlier this year the City of Palo Alto gave notice firing Flintco Pacific, Inc., the general contractor responsible for construction of the Mitchell Park library, a proposed LEED Platinum project. With a performance bond in place, the City and the surety announced in early March that they has negotiated a takeover agreement that will allow a new contractor to complete construction.  But the current dispute playing out in letters between counsel for Palo Alto and…
  • Lawyers' Opinions in Green Building Transactions

    Stuart Kaplow
    7 Jul 2014 | 4:20 pm
    We are increasingly called upon to give legal opinions that a green building is LEED certified, ‘certifiable’ or otherwise really a green building. The purpose of a legal opinion given in a commercial real estate transaction is, most simply put, to provide the recipient of the lawyer’s writing with comfort regarding specified aspects of the transaction.  One might ask why they need an opinion from a lawyer that their building is green? The best response is because in many instances their lender requires it. While legal opinions are given in a variety of commercial…
  • E-Cigarettes will be Prohibited in Future LEED Buildings

    Stuart Kaplow
    2 Jul 2014 | 9:40 pm
    On July 1st the U.S. Green Building Council released a change to LEED classifying electronic cigarettes as a form of tobacco smoking for the purposes of the smoking prohibitions of the LEED Environmental Quality Prerequisite 2, Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Control, which is also applicable to LEED v4.  Project teams must follow rating system addenda posted before their project’s registration date. Addenda are often substantive changes to LEED content including corrections, interpretations and alternative compliance paths that may substantively change the way a given…
  • Baltimore City is Adopting the IgCC

    Stuart Kaplow
    22 Jun 2014 | 12:33 pm
    This evening an ordinance will be introduced in the Baltimore City Council for the purpose of adopting the International Green Construction Code.  The IgCC will be adopted as an overlay in conjunction with existing building, fire and related codes and will apply when a permit is required, except the new green code will not apply to: 1 or 2 family dwellings, multiple family dwellings that contain no more than 5 units, a structure that is LEED Silver certified or higher, or a structure that is ASHRAE 189.1 compliant.   It is necessary to appreciate that Baltimore City was an…
  • Ohio Law Rolls Back Unwise Renewable Portfolio Standards

    Stuart Kaplow
    15 Jun 2014 | 8:34 pm
    Last Friday, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 310 freezing the state’s renewable energy portfolio and energy efficiency requirements at 2014 levels.  Environmental activists decried the new state law by evoking apocalyptic fears of ecological collapse while characterizing renewable portfolio standards as just the type of collective sacrifice needed to avoid the end of the world. Average Ohio citizens made it clear they wanted no part of the increased monthly utility bills that Toledo Edison said would rise from $54 today to $241, if no changes were made in the 2008…
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    California Employment Law Report

  • Friday's Five: Five California Labor Code provisions employees cannot waive

    Anthony Zaller
    25 Jul 2014 | 8:35 am
    Here is a list of five rights provided to employees under the California Labor Code that the employee may not waive by agreement with an employer. 1. Minimum wage Labor Code Section 1194 provides a private right of action to enforce violations of minimum wage and overtime laws. That statute clearly voids any agreement between an employer and employee to work for less than minimum wage or not to receive overtime. 2. Overtime In Gentry v. Superior Court, the Supreme Court explained: [Labor Code] Section 510 provides that nonexempt employees will be paid one and one-half their wages for hours…
  • Friday's Five: Five legal pitfalls startup companies cannot make

    Anthony Zaller
    18 Jul 2014 | 6:33 pm
    1. Classifying all employees as independent contractors To qualify as an independent contractor, the employer has the burden of proof to establish that the worker is actually an independent contractor and not an employee. I’ve discussed the parameter of this “economic realities” test here.  In addition to owing unpaid minimum wages and potential unpaid overtime, the employer also faces steep penalties for misclassifying independent contractors. 2. Treating all employees as exempt employees and not paying overtime. An employee cannot agree to work without being paid…
  • Procedures to follow in investigating sexual harassment claims

    Anthony Zaller
    17 Jul 2014 | 7:33 pm
  • Friday's Five: Five rules every California employer should know about providing final wages to employees

    Anthony Zaller
    11 Jul 2014 | 7:31 pm
    This Friday's Five is coming out a little late in the day, but as they say, better late....  I've been fielding a lot of questions about final wage payment requirements.  So here are five rules every employer should know about providing final wages to employees: An employee who is discharged must be paid all of his or her wages, including accrued vacation, immediately at the time of termination. An employee who gives at least 72 hours prior notice of quitting, and quits on the day given in the notice, must be paid all earned wages, including accrued vacation, at the time of…
  • Complying With California's Minimum Wage Increase

    Anthony Zaller
    30 Jun 2014 | 7:49 am
    Here is a short video regarding some items California employers should consider about the minimum wage increase taking effect July 1, 2014.  For more information about the minimum wage increase: Five issues California employers should review before the minimum wage increases July 1, 2014
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    The Rainmaker Blog

  • How to Get Amazing Attention for Your Firm on Social Media

    Stephen Fairley
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:05 pm
    Human beings are wired for loving the spotlight.  When you post something on social media and no one comments or likes, it feels almost like a personal rejection.  And when you’re posting to get attention for your business and no one cares what you’re writing, you are wasting your time. One of the most important ways to get noticed on social media -- especially on Twitter -- is to make sure your post has a great headline.  There are actually very good psychological reasons for using certain words that makes it almost irresistible for people to click.  Here are…
  • 3 Ways to Build Client Loyalty and Referrals

    Stephen Fairley
    30 Jul 2014 | 2:28 pm
    A recent poll by digital business solutions provider Huzzah Media found that 80% of small businesses report the two top sources of revenue are repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals.  Now that we are in the age of social media, talking up good and bad experiences among friends is easier than ever.  Research shows that the average Facebook user has 150 friends; multiply that by the number of prospects and clients you touch every month, and there is a huge potential for getting the good word out about your practice. Here are three ways you can encourage loyalty and word-of-mouth…
  • 5 Copywriting Techniques That Will Grow Your Email List

    Stephen Fairley
    29 Jul 2014 | 2:57 pm
    I am a big believer in contrarian marketing and there’s one guy I’ve become interested in listening to when it comes to building up email subscribers.  His name is Ramsay Taplin and he writes over at The Blog Tyrant. Ramsay’s niche is teaching marketers how to build such great email lists that they don’t have to rely on the vagaries of SEO to successfully market their products or services.  He makes a strong case, saying that “email subscribers are your protection from Google.” Recently he penned a post at Copyblogger on the five writing…
  • What Would You Like to Ask the World's #1 Small Business Guru?

    Stephen Fairley
    28 Jul 2014 | 9:37 am
    INC Magazine has called Michael Gerber “the world’s #1 small business guru,” and this Friday, August 1, I will be interviewing him on how attorneys can take their firm to the next level of success.  Michael is the author of a number of books on entrepreneurship, including the best selling Awakening the Entrepreneur Within and The E-Myth Revisited. For more than 40 years, he has been teaching business owners who possess significant technical skills but few business skills how to transform their companies into world-class organizations.  Michael has broken down his…
  • Tips on Creating Press Releases Reporters Will Use

    Stephen Fairley
    25 Jul 2014 | 2:28 pm
    Business communications firm Greentarget has just released the results of interviews with 100 news reporters and editors in their 2014 Disrupting the Press Release report, and it’s clear what journalists want from firms seeking the news spotlight:  just the facts. The core findings from this report underscore the need for communicators to understand that journalists want only the vital information, and they want it immediately apparent.  Don’t make them wade through a bunch of legal jargon, boilerplate text or self-serving quotes that sound like no human would ever speak…
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    Defending People

  • Stupid Lawyer-Email Disclaimer

    Mark Bennett
    17 Jul 2014 | 5:42 pm
    I noticed this at the bottom of an email from a lawyer on a First Amendment civil case (he’s suing, I’m defending): NOTICE OF DISCLAIMERS & CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT NOT TO REMOVE DISCLAIMERS: This communication and any files or attachments transmitted with it are confidential, may be legally privileged, and are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed. Because this type of communication may not be secure, can be made spontaneously, and/or is frequently treated informally, I do not accept any responsibility or duty (other than that owned…
  • Programming Note

    Mark Bennett
    17 Jul 2014 | 10:30 am
    The original version of this post included two lawyers who had cried “victim.” I identified neither; only a very small group (six people) knew who both were; those six already knew my opinion. While I had not identified him and had explicitly disclaimed calling him a sociopath (he has mental-health problems, but they undisputably do not include a lack of conscience), one of them recognized himself and incorrectly concluded that I was calling him a sociopath. When he nagged me about it, in the interest of peace I very reluctantly took the unprecedented step of removing the…
  • Victimocracy is for Sociopaths

    Mark Bennett
    25 Jun 2014 | 3:44 pm
    After reading Martha Stout’s 2006 The Sociopath Next Door recently I’ve been thinking a great deal about sociopaths. Stout contends that four percent of the U.S. population are sociopaths, people without conscience, which Stout describes as “an intervening sense of obligation based in our emotional attachment to others.” Here‘s a snippet from Stout’s book describing some of the positions that sociopaths might enjoy, including this: But you do enjoy jobs that afford you a certain undersupervised control over a few individuals or small groups, preferably…
  • Another Bad Texas Statute

    Mark Bennett
    12 Jun 2014 | 5:45 pm
    I had filed a pretrial writ of habeas corpus challenging Texas’s Online Impersonation statute on First Amendment grounds. The prosecutor agreed with me off the record, dismissed the case, and instead filed a (less serious) Fraudulent Use of Identifying Information charge. Also, the Harris County DA’s Office flagged the Online Impersonation statute in its charge bank as “possibly unconstitutional.” What is wrong with these people? Doesn’t Devon Anderson have an obligation to defend Texas’s penal statutes against constitutional attacks? Do I have to notify…
  • Karenev Starts to Crumble

    Mark Bennett
    5 Jun 2014 | 9:03 am
    Harris County Assistant PD Nick Hughes had a huge win in the First Court of Appeals on Schuster v. State. Mr. Schuster had pled guilty to online solicitation of a minor by explicit communication, enhanced with prior felony convictions, and been sentenced to forty years in prison while Ex Parte Lo was pending. Hughes appealed, arguing that the online-solicitation-by-explicit-communication statute was unconstitutional (the issue in Lo). The State argued (as in this hypothetical) that the Court of Criminal Appeals’ decision in Karenev v. State barred relief. Karenev held that the right not…
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    a public defender

  • Guilt by association and retconning reality

    31 Jul 2014 | 5:59 am
    [This is going to be a lengthy post, so bear with me, but you must read it in its entirety. This has tremendous implications for those who are concerned about the imbalance of power in our society, especially when it comes to the ever-increasing encroachment of the government into our civil liberties and the already alarming abuse of power against minorities.] I’m going to posit two scenarios. First, imagine you are walking down a public street with your friend. You’re both on your way to the local grocery store to buy some hummus. The police pull up, take a look at you friend…
  • On lethal injections: academia vs. reality

    28 Jul 2014 | 6:31 am
    The Wood botched execution in Arizona and others elsewhere have shocked many and rightly so. But it’s also opened up an interesting debate in the legal world. On the one hand, you have academics arguing the academia and the technicalities of the law and the meaning of words and on the other, you have former lawyers turned professors who are arguing that, really, what we should do is avoid torturous executions. The latter is a post at the ACS blog which I’d recommend that you read in its entirety. It is long and technical, but it really is worth reading to understand why the…
  • Waiver by budget cut

    23 Jul 2014 | 5:59 am
    You’ve just been arrested by the Federal Government and you’re shuttled off to a prison in a remote location, hours away from your home and your state. You are adamant that you’re innocent and you have lots and lots of thoughts about how the Government is persecuting you. You sit down to write these thoughts with pen and paper, but then the counselor who supervises you tells you that you can access email! Email! The modern pen and paper; the standard mode of written communication in this day and age. You are delighted because your penmanship is atrocious and because it would…
  • Conviction integrity starts with prosecutors

    16 Jul 2014 | 4:52 pm
    I had to double check1 to make sure I wasn’t reading an article in The Onion a few weeks ago when, apparently without irony, the Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane argued in the New Haven Register that the way to ensure “conviction integrity” was to give his prosecutors broader, unchecked power to conduct investigations and arrest citizens of Connecticut. His editorial was in apparent response to an editorial the week before by Professor David R. Cameron of Yale, who argued that we needed a “conviction integrity unit” to ensure adequate and effective review…
  • The “accidentally suppressed” evidence keeps surfacing

    7 Jul 2014 | 4:08 am
    The Dejuan Hammond murder trial in Kentucky is turning into a test of disbelief. First, the second trial was cut short when notes that tended to show he was innocent surfaced in the middle of trial, in a detective’s personal truck. As if that wasn’t enough, the prosecutor’s office then reindicted Hammond, but refused to allow any questioning into how the notes ended up in said truck. Now they’ve found more papers that were hidden from the defense: The Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office has found more evidence in the Dejuan Hammond murder case that…
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  • One must conscientiously and systematically perform abstraction-filtration-comparison test in software copyright infringement matters

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    In all copyright infringement cases, a plaintiff must prove, among other things, that the defendant copied elements of plaintiff’s work that are protected by copyright. This is key because not all copying is infringement – some of what is copied may be merely ideas, processes, facts, in the public domain, or scenes a faire material. It’s not illegal to copy those things. So a successful plaintiff has to show more than “copying in fact”. It must show “illegal copying”. Software infringement cases present some nuance for this analysis. A computer program has…
  • What should we do when trademarks offend?

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    28 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Trademarks are symbols that convey meaning, and ostensibly that meaning is ontologically linked to the purveyor of the goods or services with which the trademark is connected. But those symbols can relate to different ontologies as well, be they freighted with racism/prejudice, religious offense, or plain old poor taste. Take for example the ongoing Redskins dispute, Muslims protesting a sacred symbol on perfume, and the weird attempt by a Malaysian company to get an Australian trademark for MH17. The law and social advocacy step in to critique these brand owners’ selection of marks. For…
  • Lawsuit against Yelp over how it marketed its review filters can move forward

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    25 Jul 2014 | 2:51 pm
    Plaintiff restaurant owner sued Yelp under California unfair competition law, claiming that certain statements Yelp made about the filters it uses to ascertain the unreliability or bias of user reviews were misleading and untrue. For example, plaintiff alleged that Yelp advertised that its filtering process “takes the reviews that are the most trustworthy and from the most established sources and displays them on the business page.” But, according to plaintiff, the filter did not give consumers the most trusted reviews, excluded legitimate reviews, and included reviews that were…
  • When is news reporting fair use under copyright law?

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Blogger claims fair use supports his challenge to DMCA takedown of YouTube video. But “news reporting” aspect of fair use can be tricky. An embattled California pastor sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube over a video clip that a blogger used “to report accurately the relationship” between two organizations. The blogger sent a counternotification and explained that he believes copyright fair use protects him against the takedown (and apparently against infringement as well). The blogger invokes, among other things, the news reporting aspect of fair use, which one…
  • When is it okay to use social media to make fun of people?

    Evan Brown (@internetcases)
    22 Jul 2014 | 8:51 am
    There is news from California that discusses a Facebook page called 530 Fatties that was created to collect photos of and poke fun at obese people. It’s a rude project, and sets the context for discussing some intriguing legal and normative issues. Apparently the site collects photos that are taken in public. One generally doesn’t have a privacy interest in being photographed while in public places. And that seems pretty straightforward if you stop and think about it — you’re in public after all. But should technology change that legal analysis? Mobile devices with…
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    Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog

  • Dangers of Relying on Joint Accounts for Estate Planning in Florida

    29 Jul 2014 | 8:56 am
    Many people see joint accounts as a cheap and easy way to avoid probate, since joint property passes to the join owner at death, but these accounts can actually be quite risky when it comes to estate planning. Joint ownership of accounts can be a great way to easily pass assets to another owner at death. Joint ownership is also a great way to plan for an elder person's incapacity, since the joint owner of the account can pay bills and manage investments if the primary owner falls ill or suffers from any other sickness. There are some potential downsides to joint ownership of an account. The…
  • Banker Suicides indicate Stress of the Profession.

    28 Jul 2014 | 7:15 am
    If your family works in a high stress profession is a good idea to make sure you and your family keep their estate plans up to date. The unexpected deaths of finance workers in the past few months by suicide around the world have raised concerns about mental health and stress levels of the banking profession. JP Morgan executive director Julian Knott, 45, killed himself after shooting his wife Alita Knott, 49, to death with a shotgun. Julian worked for JP Morgan until July 2010, before he and his wife moved to the United States. Before the move, Alita had opened a nursery in Southwick, West…
  • Probate: Is it a good idea to give your heirs their inheritance while you are still alive?

    18 Jul 2014 | 7:09 am
    Planning an estate can be a difficult process, but also a rewarding one because it helps to ensure that a person's heirs will be provided for after he or she dies. Many assume they should wait until after death to convey assets to their loved ones, but there are some benefits to giving assets to an heir while still alive. There are two types of taxes to consider when determining when to give an heir your assets. A decedent who gives his or her assets to someone while still alive may have to pay a gift tax. This is a tax imposed by the federal government on any transfer of property. Property…
  • Can a surviving spouse claim loss of consortium after the other spouse dies?

    17 Jul 2014 | 7:06 am
    A recent ruling by the Fifth Florida Appellate Court on Friday allows surviving spouses to claim loss of consortium separately from others claims after the spouse dies. The surviving spouse Margaret Randall filed the case, Randall v. Walt Disney World Co., in 2006 after her husband Barry Randall allegedly suffered injuries to his head and neck from riding a roller coaster. Besides personal injuries, Ms. Randall also claims loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is the inability of one spouse to have normal martial relations. Judges will sometimes award the surviving spouse damages for his or…
  • The Benefits of Creating a TAP Trust for Protecting Retirement Assets

    16 Jul 2014 | 10:03 am
    A TAP trust is an extremely versatile trust designed to hold a variety of assets. This type of trust helps the grantor avoid needless estate taxes without the restrictions of other trusts. The TAP trust can hold a variety of assets that include: real estate, stocks, insurance policies, bonds, and a few other business interests. A TAP trust can even own an IRA after the grantors death. A TAP trust can set up as a grantor, or non-grantor trust. This distinction will decide h A non-grantor trust is taxed like a separate taxpayer with all income directly taxed to the trust at a trust income tax…
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  • Free Publication on Court Structures of the Common Law World

    Michel-Adrien Sheppard
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:06 pm
    British legal publisher Justis is offering a free download of a document entitled Court Structures of the Common Law World(free registration required): “Understanding how and why different courts operate can be a time-consuming, headache-inducing task.” “It doesn’t have to be, though. We’ve done the legal legwork for you and crammed it all into an easy-to-read 59-page eBook, Court Structures of the Common Law World.” “Download your free copy and discover: The judicial hierarchy of 20 jurisdictions, including the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada and…
  • Do We Need a Global Digital Bill of Rights?

    Yves Faguy
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:54 am
    Back in March, Tim Berners-Lee — who invented the world wide web, no less — issued a call to citizens in different countries to pressure their governments to produce a bill of rights to ensure net neutrality and protect the rights of web users worldwide. It’s a far cry from the heady days, not so long ago, of cyber-libertarians rallying around A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. But then again, we live in different times. The growing evidence of abuses committed by intelligence services (south of the border obviously, but here at home as well) are only among the most…
  • Quebec Employer’s Right to Waive Resignation Notice Decided by Supreme Court of Canada

    Yosie Saint-Cyr
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    On July 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Quebec (Commission des normes du travail) v. Asphalte Desjardins inc., on the issue of whether an employer who receives a notice of termination from an employee can terminate the contract of employment before the notice period expires without in turn having to give notice of termination or pay in lieu of such notice. Facts of the case and lower court decisions In 1994, Daniel Guay started working with Asphalte Desjardins, a pavement company. On February 15, 2008, Guay submitted a resignation letter to his employer…
  • Misconceptions About ODR Beckoning the End of Lawyers

    Karim Benyekhlef and Nicolas Vermeys
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    As mentioned in a previous post, a few weeks ago, the Montreal Cyberjustice Laboratory hosted a summer program aimed at demystifying the impacts of technology on conflict resolution in and out of the courtroom. Experts in the field shared their knowledge with approximately fifty students and professionals, all of who were hoping to get ahead of the curb as technology slowly creeps its way into courthouses. As researchers, we found great interest in the numerous questions raised by the students, as they awakened us to new topics that could be explored, as well as made us realize that some of…
  • Can a Tablet Replace Your Work PC?

    David Canton
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:29 am
    Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that 80-90% of his computer time is spent on an iPad. This comment lead tech journalist Mike Elgan to wonder: “Could 80 percent of the corporate workforce do 100 percent of their work on a tablet?” His article sets out arguments for and against, but basically concludes that tablets would be sufficient for many. For me personally, for what I need it for, while you would have to pry my tablet out of my hands, it is not adequate to replace my PC. For too many things it is just not quite good enough, or efficient enough. But depending on what…
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    Virtual Law Practice

  • ILTA Article – Teaching Tomorrow’s Lawyers Legal Tech Skills

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:10 pm
    An article I co-authored with Ron Dolin entitled Course Correction: Teaching Tomorrow’s Lawyers Legal Tech Skills, was published in the newest edition of the ILTA Peer to Peer Magazine. Ron developed the syllabus for and taught the first course on legal informatics at Stanford Law School. Several of his students from that course have gone on to find innovative paths in the legal industry, including Margaret Hagan, his co-founder in the Program for Legal Tech and Design. Ron writes about the changes he believes are critical in the law school curriculum to prepare future lawyers for…
  • LegalTech Startup Weekend – San Francisco

    29 Jul 2014 | 1:33 pm
    If you are in the San Francisco area, consider checking out the LegalTech Startup Weekend. I’ll be one of the mentors for the event along with several other founders of legal tech companies, including LawPal, Ravel, One400, Judicata, LawGives, Casetext, and more. Teams form Friday evening, August 15th and final presentations with be on Sunday, August 17th. The teams will tackle four challenges listed on the event site and compete for prizes. The intersection of law and technology presents unique challenges and exciting opportunities for growth and creativity. Recent years have seen…
  • Top Take-Aways from GSummit for the Legal Profession

    13 Jun 2014 | 3:34 pm
    “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein I attended GSummit in San Francisco this week. (The “G” stands for gamification.) This annual conference looks at ways to increase user engagement through gamification and games. With all of the online “noise” surrounding us and the invasiveness of mobile technology pulling people in many different directions, no industry – not even the legal profession - is immune from the problem of getting the public’s attention long enough to…
  • Second Edition of Virtual Law Practice Book

    5 Jun 2014 | 11:09 am
    I am updating the second edition to the Virtual Law Practice book that I wrote back in 2010. The book needs to be almost completely re-written based on the way that technology has changed since I wrote about the set up of online delivery in law firms only four years ago. I am expanding the book to include my newer experiences working with law firms and lawyers to integrate online delivery of legal services into different law firm business models. Over the past four years, I’ve taught law school courses on the subject of virtual practice and related topics, such as unbundling of legal…
  • Video: Legal Technology in the Public Interest

    13 May 2014 | 1:55 pm
    A couple of weeks ago I gave a presentation on a panel entitled Legal Technology in the Public Interest with Ron Staudt and Phil Malone for Stanford’s Future Law Conference.  Below is the video from this:  
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    Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog

  • Dangers of Relying on Joint Accounts for Estate Planning in Florida

    29 Jul 2014 | 8:56 am
    Many people see joint accounts as a cheap and easy way to avoid probate, since joint property passes to the join owner at death, but these accounts can actually be quite risky when it comes to estate planning. Joint ownership of accounts can be a great way to easily pass assets to another owner at death. Joint ownership is also a great way to plan for an elder person's incapacity, since the joint owner of the account can pay bills and manage investments if the primary owner falls ill or suffers from any other sickness. There are some potential downsides to joint ownership of an account. The…
  • Banker Suicides indicate Stress of the Profession.

    28 Jul 2014 | 7:15 am
    If your family works in a high stress profession is a good idea to make sure you and your family keep their estate plans up to date. The unexpected deaths of finance workers in the past few months by suicide around the world have raised concerns about mental health and stress levels of the banking profession. JP Morgan executive director Julian Knott, 45, killed himself after shooting his wife Alita Knott, 49, to death with a shotgun. Julian worked for JP Morgan until July 2010, before he and his wife moved to the United States. Before the move, Alita had opened a nursery in Southwick, West…
  • Probate: Is it a good idea to give your heirs their inheritance while you are still alive?

    18 Jul 2014 | 7:09 am
    Planning an estate can be a difficult process, but also a rewarding one because it helps to ensure that a person's heirs will be provided for after he or she dies. Many assume they should wait until after death to convey assets to their loved ones, but there are some benefits to giving assets to an heir while still alive. There are two types of taxes to consider when determining when to give an heir your assets. A decedent who gives his or her assets to someone while still alive may have to pay a gift tax. This is a tax imposed by the federal government on any transfer of property. Property…
  • Can a surviving spouse claim loss of consortium after the other spouse dies?

    17 Jul 2014 | 7:06 am
    A recent ruling by the Fifth Florida Appellate Court on Friday allows surviving spouses to claim loss of consortium separately from others claims after the spouse dies. The surviving spouse Margaret Randall filed the case, Randall v. Walt Disney World Co., in 2006 after her husband Barry Randall allegedly suffered injuries to his head and neck from riding a roller coaster. Besides personal injuries, Ms. Randall also claims loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is the inability of one spouse to have normal martial relations. Judges will sometimes award the surviving spouse damages for his or…
  • The Benefits of Creating a TAP Trust for Protecting Retirement Assets

    16 Jul 2014 | 10:03 am
    A TAP trust is an extremely versatile trust designed to hold a variety of assets. This type of trust helps the grantor avoid needless estate taxes without the restrictions of other trusts. The TAP trust can hold a variety of assets that include: real estate, stocks, insurance policies, bonds, and a few other business interests. A TAP trust can even own an IRA after the grantors death. A TAP trust can set up as a grantor, or non-grantor trust. This distinction will decide h A non-grantor trust is taxed like a separate taxpayer with all income directly taxed to the trust at a trust income tax…
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    Native American Legal Update

  • Tribal Federal Recognition Comment Period Extended To 30 September 2014

    Greg Guedel
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:21 am
    The Bureau of Indian Affairs has extended the public comment period on Part 83 reforms to the federal recognition process, which are designed to improve and streamline the often decades-long effort Tribes must presently undertake to achieve federal recognition. Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn said the proposed regulation has received "significant" attention, and additional comments are being accepted until September 30, 2014. "With this extended comment period, the [Interior] Department is providing more opportunities for comment and suggestions from tribes and the public…
  • Marijuana Wars: Yurok Tribe Battles To Reclaim Its Lands

    Greg Guedel
    22 Jul 2014 | 10:59 am
      The Los Angeles Times reports that with the assistance of federal and state agencies, the Yurok Tribe in California is taking the offensive in a battle to drive renegade marijuana growers off the Tribe’s native lands. For years, illegal marijuana growers with out-of-state license plates came to the upper reaches of the Yurok Indian Reservation, followed by dump trucks of fertilizer and heavy equipment that punched roads into tribal land. Runaway marijuana cultivation had made it unsafe for Tribal members to hike, pray, gather medicine and materials for baskets, or prepare sites…
  • Tulalip Tribes Battle Domestic Violence With Expanded Powers

    Greg Guedel
    15 Jul 2014 | 1:36 pm
    The Tulalip Tribes are now one of just three Native American Tribes in the U.S. to take advantage of a federal program designed to better combat domestic violence on tribal lands. In an agreement signed with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Tribal Prosecuting Attorney Sharon Jones Hayden was appointed Special Assistant U.S. Attorney with expanded authority over domestic violence cases. Hayden’s appointment is part of a federal pilot program to allow Tribes to start exercising this new authority under the 2013 re-authorization of the federal Violence Against Women Act, which recognizes…
  • Tribal Employment Rights & Law Seminar - 14 July 2014

    Greg Guedel
    2 Jul 2014 | 9:04 am
    TRIBAL EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS & LAW  Sovereignty, Jurisdiction And Best Practices July 14, 2014 Washington State Convention Center, Seattle REGISTER HERE Who Should Attend Attorneys, Tribal representatives, human resource executives and staff, and governmental officials Why You Should Attend Creating and maintaining sustainable and productive employment is a top priority for Tribes, Tribal businesses, and the agencies and enterprises that serve Native American communities. The relationship between Tribes and the workers they employ is an important aspect of Tribal governance and the…
  • Vince Logan Confirmed as US Special Trustee for American Indians

    Greg Guedel
    26 Jun 2014 | 1:33 pm
      Vince Logan (Osage) has been confirmed by the United states Senate as the next United States Special Trustee for American Indians.  Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released the following statement after the confirmation: “As an investment professional, a mentor for Native American attorneys, and a member of the Osage Nation, Vince has been deeply rooted in Indian Country for many decades. His asset management expertise, legal experience and extensive network of professional relationships in Indian Country will well serve the Office of Special Trustee and the…
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    Technology & Marketing Law Blog

  • ‘Silk Road’ Ruling Will Hurt Online Commerce (Forbes Cross-Post)

    Eric Goldman
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:43 am
    You may have heard of Silk Road, an online marketplace that enabled hard-to-trace buying and selling of illegal goods. The court says it was “as if the purchases were occurring on eBay;” buyers and sellers could even leave feedback about each other. Silk Road’s alleged creator and operator was Ross William Ulbricht (a/k/a “Dread Pirate Roberts,” a/k/a “DPR”). As you can imagine, especially given that Silk Road was used to trade illegal narcotics, the U.S. government came down on Silk Road and Ulbricht like a ton of bricks. Facing a staggering array of criminal…
  • Minors’ Privacy Claims Against Viacom and Google Over Disclosure of Video Viewing Habits Dismissed

    Venkat Balasubramani
    28 Jul 2014 | 9:44 am
    Plaintiffs alleged that Viacom and Google violated the Video Privacy Protection Act and other federal and state privacy laws by improperly collecting and passing along information when end users (kids) viewed videos or games at Viacom-owned websites (,, and Shutterstock / SoulCurry – I love My Privacy Plaintiffs alleged that Viacom created a record when a user views a video or plays a video game, by placing a cookie in the user’s browser which allows Viacom to glean a range of information regarding the user in question. The complaint alleges that…
  • Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 4 (Content Regulation, Prostitution & More)

    Eric Goldman
    27 Jul 2014 | 8:46 am
    Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStockContent Regulation * Jancik v. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, 2014 WL 1920751 (C.D. Cal. May 14, 2014) (cites omitted). Another websites-and-ADA case diverging from the troubling 2012 Netflix ruling: However, the Redbox Instant website and the Redbox kiosks cannot be characterized as “heavily integrated”—the two services are bundled in a number of ways, but they are not integrated. For example, a Redbox Instant subscriber is entitled to two separate services: (1) access to streaming video content online and (2) four kiosk rentals a…
  • Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 3 (Privacy, Marketing, E-Commerce & More)

    Eric Goldman
    26 Jul 2014 | 8:32 am
    Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock Privacy * Snapchat’s basic value proposition (“Disappearing digital photos”) has been deceptive from the beginning. The FTC busted them for it. (I saw James Grimmelmann added this to his Internet Law casebook. We’ve also added it to our Advertising Law casebook, coming out shortly). * European Court of Justice rules that the European Data Retention Directive is invalid. * Dark Reading: Recent breaches of retail and credit card data are making customers think twice about where they shop and how they pay, researchers…
  • Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 2 (Consumer Reviews, Defamation & More)

    Eric Goldman
    25 Jul 2014 | 10:03 am
    Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStockConsumer Reviews * In re Margrett A. Skinner (Ga. Sup. Ct. May 19, 2014). Lawyer publicly reprimanded for disclosing client confidential information to rebut the client’s online reviews. See my Forbes post. * Loftus v. Nazari, 2:10-cv-00279-WOB-JGW (E.D. Ky. May 13, 2014). Another doctor lost a defamation suit over a patient’s online reviews. My updated chart of doctor v. patient lawsuits. * MarketWatch: The fine print that’s getting online commenters sued * Neumann v. Liles (Or. Ct. App. March 12, 2014). Google review of…
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    The California Employment Law Blog by Mediator Steven G. Pearl

  • Dilts v. Penske Logistics: Ninth Circuit Holds that Federal Law Does Not Preempt California Meal and Rest Period Requirements

    Steven G. Pearl
    17 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    The Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) provides: “States may not enact or enforce a law . . . related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier . . . with respect to the transportation of property.” 49 U.S.C. § 14501(c)(1). In Dilts v. Penske Logistics, LLC, ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. 7/9/14), the Ninth Circuit considered whether the FAAAA preempts California's meal and rest period requirements. The Court held that it does not, reasoning as follows: Under Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (2012) 53 Cal.4th 1004 (detailed discussion here),…
  • Haro v. City of Los Angeles: Ninth Circuit Affirms Overtime Award to Fire Department Employees

    Steven G. Pearl
    16 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    In Haro v. City of Los Angeles, ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. 3/18/14), the plaintiffs worked as dispatchers or aeromedical technicians for the City of Los Angeles Fire Department. They alleged that the City improperly classified them as employees "engaged in fire protection" and improperly failed to pay them weekly overtime compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The district court granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs, finding that they were not engaged in fire protection work. The City appealed, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed, finding as…
  • Peabody v. Time Warner Cable: Employer May Not Average Commission Wages Across a Monthly Pay Period and Must Apply Such Wages to the Pay Period in Which They Are Actually Paid

    Steven G. Pearl
    15 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    Susan Peabody filed suit against Time Warner Cable (TWC), alleging, in part: As an account executive for TWC, she worked an average of 45 hours per week and earned salary plus commissions based on her monthly sales; TWC paid her salary biweekly and paid commissions monthly; in those pay periods that included a commission payment, TWC paid Ms. Peabody more than one and one-half times the minimum wage; in those pay periods that did not include a commission payment, TWC paid Ms. Peabody less than one and one-half times the minimum wage, such that she did not qualify for the…
  • Paratransit, Inc. v. UIAB: Employee's Refusal to Sign Disciplinary Notice Constitutes Insubordination, but not Grounds to Deny Unemployment Benefits

    Steven G. Pearl
    14 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    In Paratransit, Inc. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (Medeiros) (2012) 206 Cal.App.4th 1319, the Court of Appeal held that an employee's refusal to sign a disciplinary memorandum in connection with a prior incident of misconduct constituted work-related misconduct, not a good-faith error in judgment, rendering the employee ineligible for unemployment compensation.On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court disagreed. Paratransit, Inc. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (Medeiros) (7/3/14) --- Cal.4th ---. The Court held as follows: In this case, an employee refused his…
  • Von Nothdurft v. Steck: Apartment Owner Entitled to Credit Rental Value of Apartment Against Minimum Wages Owed to Apartment Manager

    Steven G. Pearl
    7 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    Just a quick word on this case. In Von Nothdurft v. Steck (6/26/14), --- Cal.App.4th ---, the defendant hired the plaintiff to work as a resident apartment manager. The parties signed a management agreement that provided that the plaintiff would receive free rent on her apartment. The plaintiff sued for unpaid minimum wages, and the case made its way to the Court of Appeal, which held that the management agreement satisfied the requirements of the applicable IWC Wage Order No. 5-2001, such that the defendant was entitled to credit a portion of the apartment's rental value…
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    The Securities Law Blog

  • Whistleblower Gets $400,000

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:55 pm
    A Whistleblower who reported a fraud to the SEC after the company failed to address the issue internally has been given $400,000 for his efforts as part of the SEC's whistleblower program.That program rewards high-quality, original information that results in an SEC enforcement action with sanctions exceeding $1 million. Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected in a case.If you believe you have information that could lead to a substantial enforcement proceeding or fine by the SEC, please call our firm. We can help you determine if you have a claim,…
  • SEC Charges Smith & Wesson With FCPA Violations

    31 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation has been charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) when employees and representatives of the U.S.-based parent company authorized and made improper payments to foreign officials while trying to win contracts to supply firearm products to military and law enforcement overseas.Smith & Wesson, which profited by more than $100,000 from the one contract that was completed before the unlawful activity was identified, has agreed to pay $2 million to settle the SEC’s charges.  The company must report to the SEC on its FCPA…
  • SEC Charges Florida-Based Transfer Agent and Owner with Defrauding Investors

    30 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    The SEC announced it has charged a Florida-based transfer agent and its owner with defrauding investors by using aggressive boiler room tactics to peddle worthless securities with promises of high returns or discounted prices. Transfer agents are typically used by publicly-traded companies to keep track of the individuals and entities that own their stocks and bonds.  The SEC alleges that the individual, whose firm International Stock Transfer Inc. (IST) was a registered transfer agent, abused the transfer agent function by creating and issuing fake securities certificates to both…
  • SEC Announces Additional Charges in Football-Related Boiler Room Scheme

    30 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    The SEC announced a second round of charges against individuals behind a boiler room scheme that hyped a company whose new technology was purportedly Super Bowl-bound.The SEC previously charged the operators of the scheme based in the South Florida and Los Angeles areas.  Seniors and other investors were pressured into purchasing stock in Thought Development Inc. (TDI), an unaffiliated Miami Beach-based company that stated its signature invention is a laser-line system that generates a green line on a football field for a first-down marker visible not only on television but…
  • SEC Adopts Money Market Fund Reform Rules

    29 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    The SEC adopted amendments to the rules that govern money market mutual funds.  The amendments make structural and operational reforms to address risks of investor runs in money market funds, while preserving the benefits of the funds.Today’s rules build upon the reforms adopted by the Commission in March 2010 that were designed to reduce the interest rate, credit and liquidity risks of money market fund portfolios.  When the Commission adopted the 2010 amendments, it recognized that the 2008 financial crisis raised questions of whether more fundamental changes to money market…
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    Construction Law Musings- Richmond, VA

  • Even with LEED, Clear Specifications and Proper Documentation are Necessary

    Christopher G. Hill
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A recent lawsuit filed in California over the proper documentation necessary for LEED certification (discussed in detail at the Green Building Law Update) emphasizes the fact that, no matter how detailed the LEED certification process seems to be, a mere reference to that process or a certain level of LEED certification is far from sufficient to assure a smooth project. While I don’t practice in California and don’t have any idea how the lawsuit will turn out, the fact that there is litigation over even the basics of LEED like documentation shows the…
  • Marketing Your Construction Practice

    Christopher G. Hill
    25 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    Originally posted 2009-05-08 09:00:00. This week, Musings welcomes Mark Buckshon of the Construction Marketing Ideas blog to Guest Post Friday. Mark publishes several regional construction industry newspapers and websites. He can be reached at 888-432-3555 ext 224 or by email at The question may be simple: “How can construction lawyers succeed at marketing their services” and the initial answer is equally easy: “Be great at law, and even greater about letting your current and potential clients know.” However, in the real world, simple concepts are lost in the…
  • Silver Lining? Economic Downturn Spurs Construction Disputes

    Christopher G. Hill
    25 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    For this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Musings, we welcome back Rob Pitkin.  Rob (@KCconstrlawyer) is an attorney with the Construction Law Group of Horn Aylward & Bandy, LLC in Kansas City, where he handles Construction disputes and other types of sophisticated business litigation.  Originally from Iowa, he graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois and Wake Forest University School of Law in North Carolina.  Rob is listed in Best Lawyers in America in Construction Law and serves as an Arbitrator on construction cases for the American Arbitration Association. He has been…
  • Should a General Contractor Tell a Sub that its Bid is Too Low?

    Christopher G. Hill
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:04 am
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A recent article by my pal, and occasional guest poster, Craig Martin (@craigmartin_jd) asks the question: “Does a General Contractor Have to Tell a Subcontractor that its Bid is Too Low?”  In his great post on a recent Nebraska decision concludes that the answer is no, so long as the subcontractor had all of the facts necessary to properly bid a job.  As a construction attorney that represents all levels of the construction “food chain” and that works in the Commonwealth of Virginia where the contract is king, I see the logic and legal…
  • Thanks Again to The Lien Blog

    Christopher G. Hill
    14 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    Originally posted 2013-01-29 13:39:36. I have been lucky to get to know Scott Wolfe, Jr. (@scottwolfejr) and the folks at the Lien Blog (@zlienit).  Scott is a multiple time guest contributor here at Construction Law Musings and I have been lucky enough to post on multiple occasions over there.  The latest of my guest posts discusses the wisdom of monkeying with mechanic’s lien statutes. Here’s an excerpt: Scott has asked me to blog at a time when it seems that a group of statutes that have served contractors well here in Virginia for a long long time without change are in the…
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    Lowering the Bar

  • CIA Admits It Spied on Senate Investigation of CIA

    31 Jul 2014 | 11:08 am
    Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), Mar. 11, 2014: [I have] grave concerns that the CIA's search [of Senate computers] ... may have undermined the constitutional framework essential to effective congressional oversight of intelligence activities or any other government function.... Besides the constitutional implications, the CIA’s search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance. CIA Director John…
  • Judge Skeptical of Joe Francis's Explanation

    30 Jul 2014 | 1:45 pm
    My guess would be that the headline above would apply to pretty much any explanation Joe Francis has ever given a judge, and probably to any explanation he's ever given, period. In this case it applies to the explanation he gave Judge Sandra Klein last week, according to the Wall Street Journal, as to why he was "powerless" to return two luxury cars that belong to Girls Gone Wild, the business he formerly owned. "An angry Mexican strip-club owner took them" was the explanation that failed to persuade this time. Francis, who has been mentioned here before in…
  • Brain Scientist Waves Gun Around at Airport

    29 Jul 2014 | 3:57 pm
    Look, I think airport-security concerns are way overblown, I generally support the right to bear arms, and I'm also a big fan of brain scientists. But that does not mean I think it's okay for a brain scientist to wave an AR-15 around at the airport. Dr. Peter Nathan Steinmetz, a brain scientist with Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, was arrested on Friday for mishandling his AR-15 in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Steinmetz was possibly making a point about his Second Amendment rights, police theorize, when he bought a cup of coffee at Starbucks in Terminal Four with his…
  • Seattle Still Looking for Skull Donors

    28 Jul 2014 | 2:45 pm
    The King County medical examiner's office said last week that although it had received three other sets of human bones, it still did not have an answer to its original question of who donated three human skulls to a Goodwill store in Bellevue earlier this month. Or to the closely related question of why that person thought Goodwill would be the right place to drop off human remains. To be fair, Goodwill does not include human remains on the list of things it will and will not accept. It doesn't want animals or hazardous materials, but I wouldn't put a nice clean skull in either of those…
  • Police Wait Patiently for Man in Pond to Surrender

    24 Jul 2014 | 9:21 pm
    Well, this is probably about as relaxed as a standoff can get and still be called a "standoff": As you may recall, earlier this month another miscreant's path to jail led through a pond, although in that case the evidence linking him to the pond was only circumstantial. After the intended victim stole his car keys, that burglar fled and later broke into a neighbor's house, taking the opportunity while there to log into—but not out of—his Facebook account. Police surmised that he had been hiding from them in a nearby pond in the meantime, based on the otherwise unexplained "puddles of…
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    Ohio Family Law Blog

  • Putative Father Registry: Should One Be Established Nationally?

    Robert L. Mues
    26 Jul 2014 | 12:40 am
    National Putative Father Registry Database Could Benefit Father And The Child This article intends to highlight the rationale for creating a National Putative Father Registry, instead of just allowing each state to independently promulgate their own registry. What is a Paternity Registry? A Paternity or Putative Father Registry is a database established to protect children and their mother by allowing putative fathers to list their names. This, in turn, will require that the putative father is notified regarding his legal rights to the child and if any of those rights are in the process of…
  • Child Support: Should You Talk To A CSEA Ombudsman?

    Anne Shale
    19 Jul 2014 | 12:53 am
    Interview With Montgomery County CSEA (Child Support Enforcement Agency) Ombudsman Anne Bissacco On May 28, 2014, I had the opportunity to spend time with Anne Bissacco in an interview for this Ohio Family Law Blog Article.  Anne is the Ombudsman and Customer Relations Supervisor for the Child Support Enforcement Agency (“CSEA”) for Montgomery County, Ohio.  What is an “ombudsman”?  Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the word as follows: “A public official appointed to investigate citizens’ complaints”.  This is exactly the role that Anne performs.  She listens to…
  • DOMA: Same-Sex Marriage Rights Update

    Robert L. Mues
    12 Jul 2014 | 1:19 am
    A Look At The Same-Sex Marriage Law And The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), One Year Later A few weeks ago marked the one year anniversary since the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States.  This article aims to analyze changes and new laws that have arisen since this decision, discussing where the states and national laws stand in regards to same-sex marriages. What was the DOMA ruling? The decision regarding the DOMA law was released on June 26,2013.  The decision that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act had some implications; however,…
  • 4th Of July Family Memories: The Red Ones Are the Best!!!

    Robert L. Mues
    5 Jul 2014 | 12:22 am
    Family Law Attorney Chip Mues Recalls A Remarkable 4th of July Vacation Set In Maine It seemed appropriate that I should write something for the family law blog geared towards the “Birthday of America”. In the past, I liked to reflect upon the holidays and tried to find some correlation between the specific holiday and my family law practice. Not always an easy task without becoming repetitive in discussing how to celebrate the day in the aftermath of a traumatic divorce.  So, as I pondered possible themes, I considered offering a bit of a twist on “Independence…
  • Animal Protection: New Bill Would Shield Pets From Abuse

    Robert L. Mues
    27 Jun 2014 | 11:55 pm
    Should Domestic Violence Protection Orders Protect the Family Pet Or Animal Against Abuse? A bill introduced in August 2013 would amend domestic protection order laws to include your furry friend.  The new (potential) law seeks to add “companion animal” to protective order abilities.   The new bill seeks to add the language… The court may include within the scope of a protection order issued under this section any companion animal that is in the complainant’s or alleged victim’s residence and may issue additional orders as it considers appropriate for the protection of…
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    3 Geeks and a Law Blog

  • The CIO Brain And Music… Not As Strange As It Sounds

    29 Jul 2014 | 12:14 pm
    For those of you that attend the ILTA conferences, you may be aware of the (in)famous band called Legal Bytes. Legal Bytes is the world's only band made up entirely of current and former Chief Information Officers from law firms. At this year's ILTA conference, Legal Bytes will actually be releasing a 12-song CD of original material called "Bright Lights… Big Data." The August 17th release at ILTA, presented by Recommind, will talk about the joys and pains (mostly pains) of managing technology in the BigLaw world. Our very own 3 Geeks' contributor, Scott Preston, is the…
  • Whither Change?

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Image [cc] Moyan Brenn Three posts recently caught my eye. One was on the imminent demise of BigLaw. The other was on how small firms are about to have their day. In the third one Thomas Sager, the GC for Dupont takes GCs to task for not pushing hard for change from outside counsel. In his words, "Until that happens, I don't know how you are going to beat this." Right ... on all accounts? The impending doom and demise of BigLaw is getting to be a very old story. Old enough, we should all be asking; So when is this actually going to happen? The rise of small law post brought…
  • Texas Scold 'Em

    17 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    They say that everything is bigger in Texas.  Apparently that even includes self-deluding opinions. Yesterday, a friend pointed me toward an article in Texas Law Book entitled Get Wall Street Out of the Practice of Law. (Subscription Required) In this opinion piece, the author, a former Big Law partner and current Legal Communications Advisor, offers her own opinion on the Texas Bar Opinion No. 642.  Opinion 642 is the one that says that "Texas Law Firms" (Is that any firm with an office in Texas? Firms with offices only in Texas? Or, firms with headquarters in Texas?) cannot have…
  • Jeff Carr, Project Management and Procurement

    15 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Jeff Carr in his Race Car Jeff Carr announced his retirement from his GC role at FMC Technologies recently. For those who follow the legal change landscape, Jeff has been a consistent beacon, advocating for change for quite some time. His model at FMC is one of (if not THE) most successful client implementations of legal cost savings in the world. His recent Forbes article noted how the company has grown significantly since he took on the role, while his legal spend has decreased. Fortunately Jeff has stated that even though he is leaving FMC, he will not be leaving the fight for change. We…
  • Innovation Tournaments: A New Incubator for Law Firm Creativity?

    9 Jul 2014 | 1:30 am
    Image [cc] Vyperx1 We very often hear from bloggers on this site regarding the struggles associated with change and innovation.  Fear of failure, lack of inertia, protecting territories—all seem to be stumbling blocks that many firms face when initiating change.  It seems, however, some organizations have found a way to successfully encourage and nurture new ideas internally.  I had the pleasure of speaking to Karl Florida, Managing Director of Small Law Firm Business Segments and Innovation Champion, at Thomson Reuters, about a new innovation program the company has…
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    The High-touch Legal Services® Blog...for Startups!

  • A DBA is not a Legal Entity

    29 Jul 2014 | 4:33 pm
    This post is based on a question that I answered on Avvo. The question illustrates a common misunderstanding concerning DBAs. (DBA is an abbreviation for “doing business as” – i.e., a fictitious business name.) The questioner did not realize that a DBA is not a legal entity Q. Can someone sue a DBA for breach of contract by the parent corporation? Why a DBA is not a Legal Entity Analysis: The questioner owned a corporation that apparently was created for investment purposes. That corporation also owned a restaurant, which it operated under a fictitious business name. A…
  • Can I Walk Away from My Suspended LLC?

    15 Jul 2014 | 6:41 pm
    This post addresses a question that arises frequently from founders of California limited liability companies that have been suspended: Can I walk away from my suspended LLC? A suspended LLC is the result of a founder who has neglected to file Statements of Information with the Secretary of State, or file returns with or pay amounts due to the Franchise Tax Board, or both of the foregoing. Please see Why was My Corporation / LLC Suspended or Forfeited? Forgotten LLC = Suspended LLC Frequently this happens because the LLC did little or no business, so the founder forgot about it. (This…
  • What Does Non-binding Mean and Why Should I Care?

    2 Jul 2014 | 3:44 pm
    This post discusses the meaning of non-binding with respect to a letter of intent (LOI) or a memorandum of understanding (MOU). (Non-binding has a similar meaning in other legal contexts, such as legislation or arbitration, but I will not discuss those contexts here.) Although I will refer to solely an LOI in the remainder of this post, the following pertains to an MOU, as well. The purpose of an LOI is to summarize the basic terms of a relationship into which the parties wish to enter. It also specifies that the parties will enter into negotiations to prepare a definitive agreement…
  • Entity Conversion Can Be Easy – If You Know What You Are Doing

    18 Jun 2014 | 4:01 pm
    This post about entity conversion is an expanded version of an answer that I provided on Quora yesterday. (How do I convert a Delaware LLC to a California LLC?) In my experience, entity conversion typically occurs for either, or both, of the following reasons. The need to convert a limited liability company (LLC) to a corporation to accept an investment from an institutional investor, such as a venture capitalist. The need to move an entity from one state to another. This typically occurs because the founder relocates, or because an investor prefers to invest in a Delaware corporation.
  • How Do We Issue Corporate Shares?

    10 Jun 2014 | 2:41 pm
    Several weeks ago, I wrote about how to issue LLC membership interests. in this post, I am addressing how a small corporation should issue corporate shares. To start, one must examine the Certificate of Incorporation (Delaware) or Articles of Incorporation (California) to determine the maximum number of shares that may be issued. (To simplify this discussion, I will assume that only one class of common shares has been authorized.) A corporation may not issue more shares than are authorized. Board Resolution to Issue Corporate Shares Next, the board of directors must approve a resolution…
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    ITC Law Blog

  • Bose Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Noise Cancelling Headphones

    Eric Schweibenz
    30 Jul 2014 | 3:04 pm
    On July 25, 2014, Bose Corp. of Framingham, Massachusetts (“Bose”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337. The complaint alleges that Beats Electronics, LLC of Culver City, California and Beats Electronics International Ltd. of Ireland (collectively, “Beats”), and Fugang Electronic (Dong Guan) Co., Ltd. of China, and PCH International Ltd. of Ireland (all collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain noise cancelling…
  • ALJ Essex Rules On Motion To Compel And For Adverse Inferences In Certain Acousto-Magnetic Electronic Article Surveillance Systems (337-TA-904)

    Eric Schweibenz
    28 Jul 2014 | 11:37 am
    On July 17, 2014, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued the public version of Order No. 10 (dated July 8, 2014) in Certain Acousto-Magnetic Electronic Article Surveillance Systems, Components Thereof and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-904). By way of background, the investigation is based on a December 11, 2013 complaint filed by Tyco Fire & Security GmbH, Sensormatic Electronics, LLC, and Tyco Integrated Security, LLC (collectively, “Tyco”) alleging violations of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain acousto-magnetic electronic article surveillance…
  • Federal Circuit Reverses Termination Of Enforcement Proceedings In Align Technology Appeal (2013-1240, 1363)

    Eric Schweibenz
    25 Jul 2014 | 3:46 pm
    On July 18, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Align Technology, Inc. v. ITC (2013-1240, 1363).  This was an appeal from the International Trade Commission’s (“the Commission”) decision that it could review the ALJ’s Order determining that the accused devices were within the scope of the Consent Order issued in Certain Incremental Dental Positioning Adjustment Appliances and Methods of Producing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-562). By way of background, this investigation was based on a complaint filed by Align Technology, Inc. (“Align”) alleging…
  • Johnson Outdoors Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Marine Sonar Imaging Systems

    Eric Schweibenz
    23 Jul 2014 | 3:21 pm
    On July 18, 2014, Johnson Outdoors Inc. of Racine, Wisconsin and Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc. of Eufaula, Alabama (collectively, “Johnson Outdoors”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337. The complaint alleges that Garmin International, Inc., Garmin North America, Inc., and Garmin USA, Inc.—all of Olathe, Kansas—and Garmin Corp. of Taiwan (collectively, “Garmin”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain marine sonar imaging systems, products…
  • ITC Decides To Review And Modify Initial Advisory Opinion In Certain Sleep-Disordered Breathing Treatment Systems And Components Thereof (337-TA-879)

    Eric Schweibenz
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:46 am
    On July 18, 2014, the International Trade Commission (the “Commission) issued a notice determining to review in its entirety the Initial Advisory Opinion (“IAO”) issued by ALJ E. James Gildea in Certain Sleep-Disordered Breathing Treatment Systems And Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-879) and to issue a Commission Advisory Opinion. By way of background, this advisory opinion proceeding was initiated by Respondents Apex Medical Corp. and Apex Medical USA Corp. (collectively, “Apex”).  Apex sought an advisory opinion in order to confirm that their redesigned sleep-disordered…
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    Gamso - For the Defense

  • It Seems Competence Isn't Enough

    29 Jul 2014 | 6:35 pm
    Turns out that it wasn't incompetence.  Which is maybe the bad news.  AP reports.Intravenous lines were placed correctly during the execution of an Arizona inmate whose death with lethal drugs took more than 90 minutes, a medical examiner said Monday.Incorrect placement of lines can inject drugs into soft tissue instead of the blood stream, but the drugs used to kill Joseph Wood went into the veins of his arms, said Gregory Hess of the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office.That's happened before.  Most recently, apparently, in Oklahoma where the folks trying to kill Clayton…
  • One Here, None There

    29 Jul 2014 | 4:54 am
    The story in today's Times begins this way.Francois Holloway has spent nearly two decades of a 57-year sentence in a federal prison, for serious crimes that no one disputes he committed. There were armed carjackings, and his participation in an illegal chop shop, where stolen cars would be dismantled and sold for parts.It's a powerful story of a federal judge in Brooklyn (John Gleeson) committed to doing something about an absurdly harsh sentence he was forced by law to impose, the lawyer he appointed (Harlan J. Protass) to represent Holloway finding a couple of similar situations in Montana,…
  • Is It Really Botched If He Ends Up Dead?

    25 Jul 2014 | 4:46 am
    An hour and 57 minutes.He gasped some 650 times for all but the last 17 minutes or so.They gave him the fucking drugs a second time because, well, who knew if he'd ever die.It was torture said John McCain who knows a thing or two about torture.Smooth sailing said Jan Brewer and the AG and Kent Scheidegger and a spokesman for Arizona's DOC who all declared, with the certainty of the ignorant, that he was sound asleep through the whole thing and felt absolutely no pain or discomfort even if it took longer than they'd expected.The family of his victims complained that it wasn't nearly ugly…
  • They Finally Tested the Fucking DNA. Nobody Cares What It Shows.

    24 Jul 2014 | 7:25 pm
    So now what happens?I'm talking about Doug Prade about whom I've written a couple of times before.  He's a former Akron cop.  In 1998 the jury said he was guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Margo.  Shooting her to death.  He said, always said, he didn't do it.  And then they tested the DNA.  Oh, sure, he had to fight his way to the Ohio Supreme Court, but by a 5-2 vote, they allowed him to try and convince the trial court to order it to be tested.  All he had to do was convince the court that a test might be outcome determinative.  Which he did.See,…
  • It's Complicated. And the Law of Rule

    19 Jul 2014 | 11:19 pm
    Like Judge Kopf, I was sent a copy of Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution by a publicist at Henry Holt & Company in the hope that I would review it.  And like Judge Kopf, but without the initial internal debate about whether I should accept the book and consider reviewing it (I had no hesitation at all), I did.  Here's the basic idea:  The 9 folks who sit on the Supreme Court are all individuals.  While it's easy to say that Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer are generally on the liberal side of things while the others are generally…
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  • Alleged Robber Sues his Victims for Violating his Civil Rights

    28 Jul 2014 | 9:52 am
    If at first you don’t succeed...and Nigel Sykes surely has nothing to lose by trying. He apparently doesn't have an attorney...he’s just filed his fourth complaint against the officers of the Delaware Police department and Seasons Pizza restaurant alleging his civil rights were violated during his attempted robbery of the pizza place. Yep. HIS rights during HIS attempted robbery.
  • Week Adjourned: 7.26.14 – Kia, Lexus, Johns Hopkins

    26 Jul 2014 | 6:35 am
    The week's top class action lawsuits and settlements. Top lawsuits include Kia, Lexus and Johns Hopkins.
  • Heart Doc on Receiving End of ‘a Fib’ with NYC Strippers

    21 Jul 2014 | 1:44 pm
    This could be fun gig—depending on which side of the courtroom you represent. It involves all the good stuff—sex, drugs, fraud—and even some rock and roll. It’s a lawsuit brought by a New Jersey doc—a cardiologist at Robert Wood University Hospital—Zyad Younan, just 41-years old and busted. Well, taken to the cleaners more like. Seems when it comes to matters of the heart, he may be a bit more book-smart than street-smart...
  • Week Adjourned: 7.18.14 – Subaru, Kroger, Ralph’s, Sony PlayStation

    18 Jul 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Top class action lawsuits and settlements for the stories include Subaru, Kroger, Ralph's and Sony PlayStation.
  • Asbestos News Roundup: 7.16.14 – Occupations with High Asbestos Risk

    16 Jul 2014 | 11:35 am
    A roundup of recent asbestos-related news and information that you should be aware of. An ongoing list of reported asbestos hot spots in the US from the Asbestos News Roundup archive appears on our asbestos map.
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    Technically Legal

  • On Dismissing the Podcast Lawsuits

    Ben Snitkoff
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:30 am
    There’s been a lot of coverage of the past few years about a patent alleged to cover podcasting. The company behind the suit has dismissed several defendants recently, after realizing that there isn’t a lot of money in podcasting. Details around this most recent spat are a little sparse, but Personal Audio, the company that owns the patent, put out a press release essentially saying “we offered to dismiss the case against Adam Corolla, but he said no.” Corolla has been crowd funding his defense against the patent lawsuit, and the press release is likely targeted to get…
  • Patently-O: Data Structures Patent Ineligible

    Ben Snitkoff
    23 Jul 2014 | 3:14 pm
    It’s been a slow couple of weeks in tech-law news, so here’s some great analysis by Patently-O on a recent software patent case. Related posts: SCOTUS Hands Down Two More Unanimous Patent Opinions The opinions are in the hotly anticipated Akamai case, where... Patent Reform Likely Dead This Term Patently-O is reporting that patent reform has been taken off... District Court Awards Fees In Patent Dispute The blogosphere has been going a little bonkers over a...
  • Hallmark Cards, PowerPoint, and Trade Secrets

    Ben Snitkoff
    15 Jul 2014 | 10:46 am
    The Eighth Circuit affirmed a strong win for Hallmark in an appeal of a trade secret case. In 2001, Hallmark contracted with Monitor, a consulting group, to do research on the greeting card industry. The research was to be kept strictly confidential. Monitor delivered a series of PowerPoint presentations with their findings. Hallmark then presented a few general conclusions from the presentations at a conference. Monitor was closely affiliated with Clipper, a private equity firm that leveraged its relationship with Monitor to invest in companies. After Monitor began its relationship with…
  • Tenth Circuit Gives a Lesson in Writing Copyright Infringement Reports

    Ben Snitkoff
    11 Jul 2014 | 12:54 pm
    The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals released an opinion strongly chastising a special master for deficiencies in his report analyzing whether certain software infringed a copyright. As discussed here recently, when determining whether software infringes copyright the proper analysis is whether the accused code copies original and protecable aspects of the original software product. This appeal arose out of a dispute between relatives over a payroll company. An uncle went into business with a niece and nephew. After relations soured, the uncle started his own business and allegedly copied the…
  • Put This In Your Hookah and Smoke It

    Ben Snitkoff
    9 Jul 2014 | 11:24 am
    The Ninth Circuit, appealing to my unending love of utility defense to copyright and trademark suits, held that the shape of a hookah is not protected by copyright law. The opinion, first published in early June but recently revised, follows a dispute between two companies selling hookahs in the United States. The plaintiff, Inhale, Inc., obtained a copyright registration on a hookah with a skull and crossbones printed on the glass. After obtaining the registration, they filed suit against Starbuzz Tobacco, Inc., alleging that Starbuzz’s hookah, which did not feature the skull and…
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    Rochester Bankruptcy and Debt Relief

  • Executory Contracts and Leases in Bankruptcy

    5 Jul 2014 | 6:43 pm
    In Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases, debtors have an opportunity to either continue or terminate any executory contracts or leases. That typically means that debtors will list their executory contracts and unexpired leases on the bankruptcy petition and declare their intention to either to accept or to reject those contracts. If such contracts are not timely assumed, they are deemed rejected, and debtors are released from further performance under those contracts. An executory contract is an agreement that has not been completed. A contract is an agreement between two or more parties…
  • Upcoming Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filing Fees Increases

    3 May 2014 | 5:17 pm
    It seems inevitable that bankruptcy filing fees are going up again.  The Judicial Conference which determines the amount of various filing fees associated with bankruptcy cases has approved a fee increase which will be effective on June 1, 2014. The fees for filing a chapter 7 case will increase from $306.00 to $335.00. The fees for filing a chapter 13 case will increase from $281.00 to $310.00. This is a $29.00 increase in the filing fees for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies. The fees for filing an adversary proceeding will increase as well to $350.00. However, debtors are not…
  • Creditors’s Responsibilities After Bankruptcy Filing

    6 Apr 2014 | 2:37 pm
    On the bankruptcy petition is filed, the bankruptcy automatic stay is in effect in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, and virtually every type of collection activity is called to a halt. The bankruptcy court enters an order under 11 U.S.C §362, which prohibits nearly all creditors from taking any type of collection action. What happens if the bankruptcy automatic stay is violated? If a creditor violates the automatic stay by accident, it must return the money or stop the collection action as soon as it learns about the bankruptcy. However, if the stay violation is done by the creditor on…
  • Debtors and Failure to Turnover Nonexempt Assets

    23 Mar 2014 | 6:50 pm
    In Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases where debtors have nonexempt assets, debtors have an obligation to transfer those assets to the bankruptcy trustee. It is very common for such assets to be debtors’ tax refunds. In this situation, at the meeting of the creditors, debtors are asked to sign a stipulation which is usually incorporated into a subsequent court order, agreeing to turn nonexempt tax refunds, or a part of them, to the bankruptcy trustee.  If debtors do not do so, they are subject to serious consequences which may include loss of their discharge, contempt of court or monetary…
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Co-Debtors and Automatic Stay

    2 Feb 2014 | 1:35 pm
    I am often asked if automatic stay in bankruptcy will protect debtor’s cosigner, otherwise known as co-debtors, from creditors.  The answer to that question depends on a number of factors and the type of bankruptcy filed. Typically, cosigner liability comes into being after debtor’s friend or relative was asked to cosign a loan, so that debtor could obtain credit. If the debtor is forced to file a bankruptcy sometime thereafter, the following is likely to occur. In order for the automatic stay provided by 11 U.S.C. §1301 to protect the co-debtor, the debtor must file a Chapter…
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    The Jury Room

  • We agree and thus, I am certain we shall prevail

    Douglas Keene
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:02 am
    The American Bar Association is seeking nominations until August 8, 2014 to help it decide on the Top 100 law blogs (“Blawgs”). We have been in the ABA Top 100 for the past 4 years and would like to make it 5! If you like this blog, please nominate us (it’s fast and free) here. THANKS! Doug and Rita Here’s an intriguing study about how consensus is assumed and how it may inspire both activism and a false sense of confidence about the future. Despite a new Pew survey showing the perception is not accurate, conservatives assume more consensus among those sharing their political…
  • Disgust and lost confidence in our institutions

    Rita Handrich
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:02 am
    The American Bar Association is seeking nominations until August 8, 2014 to help it decide on the Top 100 law blogs (“Blawgs”). We have been in the ABA Top 100 for the past 4 years and would like to make it 5! If you like this blog, please nominate us (it’s fast and free) here. THANKS! Doug and Rita For several years now, we have watched our mock jurors express increasing disgust at government, large corporations, and politicians. We have written before about their unwillingness to identify with a national political party and the 2014 Gallup Poll showing the same pattern we have…
  • Teaching people about neuroscience can make them softer on crime!

    Douglas Keene
    25 Jul 2014 | 4:02 am
    The American Bar Association is seeking nominations until August 8, 2014 to help it decide on the Top 100 law blogs (“Blawgs”). We have been in the ABA Top 100 for the past 4 years and would like to make it 5! If you like this blog, please nominate us (it’s fast and free) here. THANKS! Doug and Rita We regularly follow the neurolaw literature and about a year ago, we blogged about how judges are softer on crime when educated about the brains of psychopaths. Well. Judges are people too and a recently published study shows it isn’t just judges who are affected by neuroscience…
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    Karl Bayer's Disputing Blog

  • Improving Judicial Performance in Matters Involving International Arbitration

    Beth Graham
    30 Jul 2014 | 9:50 am
    University of Missouri School of Law Associate Professor S.I. Strong has published a book chapter entitled Improving Judicial Performance in Matters Involving International Arbitration in Selected Topics in International Arbitration: Liber Amicorum, Julio César Betancourt, 2014, Forthcoming; University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-19.  In her chapter, Professor Strong examines how best to ensure that judges enforce international commercial and investment arbitration awards. Here is the abstract: Parties have long expressed concern about the quality of…
  • FINRA Announces Arbitration Task Force Created to Address Criticism

    Beth Graham
    29 Jul 2014 | 8:27 am
    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA“) recently announced the formation of a task force that will examine possible improvements to “the transparency, impartiality and efficiency of FINRA’s securities arbitration forum for all participants.”  The 13-member Arbitration Task Force includes six members of the financial industry and seven members of the general public.  The Task Force will reportedly consider possible improvements and enhancements to current FINRA arbitral procedures.  According to a FINRA press release, “FINRA’s mission is to…
  • Fifth Circuit Says Decision to Remand a Dispute Back to Arbitral Panel for Clarification May Not be Appealed

    Beth Graham
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:18 am
    On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit refused to review a district court’s decision to remand a dispute back to the original arbitral panel.  In Murchison Capital Partners, LP v. Nuance Communications, Inc., No. 13-10852, a limited partnership (“Murchison”) claimed that Nuance Communications (“Nuance”) fraudulently induced the partnership’s members to approve a merger with Nuance in return for a lump sum payment and contingent future revenues from a specific software program.  After Nuance refused to pay additional revenues to the Murchison…
  • What the Numbers Tell Us About How State Courts Apply the Unconscionability Doctrine to Arbitration Agreements

    Beth Graham
    24 Jul 2014 | 6:32 am
    Susan Landrum, Director of the Office of Academic Achievement at the Savannah Law School, has published Much Ado About Nothing?: What the Numbers Tell Us About How State Courts Apply the Unconscionability Doctrine to Arbitration Agreements, Marquette Law Review, Vol. 97, No. 3, 2014. In her article, Ms. Landrum examines how courts in 20 states applied the unconscionability doctrine to arbitration and other contracts over a 22-year time period. Here is the abstract: This Article evaluates how state courts have applied the unconscionability doctrine to contracts, including those involving…
  • Three Surveys Offering New Insights into ADR Practices

    Renee Kolar
    22 Jul 2014 | 6:30 am
    Professor Thomas Stipanowich recently posted information regarding three major surveys conducted by the The Straus Institute’s Theory-to-Practice Research Project that produced a wide array of new information on arbitrator and mediator practices as well as insights into corporate use of ADR.  Two of the surveys focused on dispute resolution professionals: a survey of experienced arbitrators with the cooperation of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA), and a survey of experienced mediators with the cooperation of the International Academy of Mediators (IAM).   The third was a…
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    South Florida Lawyers

  • The Coveted SFL "Bump"!

    South Florida Lawyers
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:01 am
    Do you care what some anonymous blogger thinks about our judicial races?I certainly don't.But if you do, read on:Alright kids, here are our picks --Miami-Dade County Court Judge: Group 19 - Rachel DOOLEY Group 36 - Nuria SAENZ Miami Dade County Circuit Court Judge: Group 70 - Renier DIAZ DE LA PORTILLA Group 16 - Stephen MILLAN Group 26 - Rodney SMITH Group 58 - Martin ZILBER Group 67 - Fleur LOBREEBTW I'm advised these are the same picks offered by my buddy Big Shot Commissioner Mike Grieco; that's ok -- great minds etc.(Did someone mention Mike Grieco?)
  • 3d DCA Watch -- Lucky Seven Edition!

    South Florida Lawyers
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:34 am
    My eyes are boggling -- are there really seven(!) civil opinions out of the nine released this week? What eager beavers the Resplendently Robed Ones have been, hard at work crafting written utterances for the unwashed (legal) masses.But be careful -- you don't want to be held to this standard every week now, do you?Here are the highlights:Papa v. Purebred Breeders:Hmm, want to know what this case is about?In a word:Mossucco v. Aventura Tennis:Hmm, want to know what this case is about?In a word:I'm really proud of my probing and thoughtful legal analysis!
  • BREAKING -- 11th Circuit Affirms Judge Cooke in TD Bank/Rothstein On All Issues!

    South Florida Lawyers
    29 Jul 2014 | 8:42 am
    Huge win for truth, justice, and the American way (not the massive fraud part):The case was tried before a jury, which returned a verdict for Coquina. The district court subsequently denied TD Bank’s renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law and alternative motion for a new trial, to alter and amend judgment, and for remittitur. TD Bank appeals that denial on multiple grounds. It also appeals the district court’s post-trial order imposing sanctions for discovery misconduct—i.e., as a sanction, the district court deemed two crucial facts established. Coquina cross-appeals the…
  • The Blog Police (They Live Inside of My Head)!

    South Florida Lawyers
    29 Jul 2014 | 7:56 am
    What is with all these South Florida blogger suits:It seems that Dr. Tobinick does not appreciate public criticism of his claims and practice, and he wants me to remove the post from SBM. In my opinion he is using legal thuggery in an attempt to intimidate me and silence my free speech because he finds its content inconvenient. Of course, we have no intention of removing the post as we feel it is critical to the public’s interest. This is what we do at SBM – provide an objective analysis of questionable or controversial medical claims so that consumers can make more informed decisions,…
  • Too Many Lawyers -- Should We Cull the Herd?

    South Florida Lawyers
    28 Jul 2014 | 8:03 am
    Time to ask that question again (school starts soon!):Ask Jason Fraser how many jobs he applied for after graduating from a St. Petersburg law school last year, and this is what he says: “Maybe 10 or 20 when it was someplace I wanted to work. Maybe 50 when I started getting desperate.” After searching as far afield as Ocala and Miami, Fraser finally landed a public defender’s post in Pasco County, north of Tampa, in June. But his months of job-hunting raise another question, one that nags at many in the legal profession: Does Florida have too many lawyers? Since 2000, the number of…
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    eLessons Learned

  • Evidence of Destruction Deserving of Damages

    30 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    In 2007, John Lemanski was employed as a purchasing Manager for Barrette Outdoor. His responsibilities included purchasing resin for the production of siding at the lowest possible cost.  Unfortunately, in 2011, the company began to downsize and Lemanski’s position was dissolved. After Lemanski’s termination, it was discovered that Lemanski was not purchasing resin at the [...]
  • Another Reminder That Attorneys Are Responsible for the e-Discovery Behavior of Their Clients

    28 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    In the summer of 2013, the Northern District of California conducted a hearing over a motion to compel discovery responses which stemmed from e-discovery disagreements.  The plaintiff was a corporate investor in the defendant pharmaceutical company developing bovine-derived oxygen therapeutics.  A corporate officer of the pharmaceutical company was also named a defendant.  The plaintiff alleged [...]
  • Have You Demonstrated Prejudice For Your Spoliation Sanctions? The Tenth Circuit Requires It

    25 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    Defendant Rain Link, Inc. received notice that the plaintiff was accusing the company for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Kansas Act Against Discrimination by its receving a letter written by the Kansas Human Rights Commission dated June 10, 2009.  Rain Link acknowledged that it anticipated litigation and, therefore, had a duty to [...]
  • UPCOMING EVENT: Pan-Pacific Data Privacy Laws & Regulations: Impact on US E-Discovery, April 24, 2012

    Frank Gonnello Jr.
    20 May 2014 | 3:57 am
    On April 24, 2012, a CLE-creditworthy webinar on international privacy laws and regulations as they pertain to eDiscovery will be broadcast to anyone registered for the free event. The event is hosted by UBIC North America, and looks to be a pertinent discussion on emerging international eDiscovery considerations. From the registration page: E-Discovery professionals focus [...]
  • FBI Warns of “Ransomware” Scam That Freezes Your Computer

    28 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    And product desired propecia without prescription india lashes the, application item great It no prescription drugs after have. Easier this buy levothyroxine without prescription sexy tax packaging attention title the needed being suitcase. Competitive still pharmacy no rx paypal great to – soothing around– skin and while buy paxil online no prescription [...]
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    Lawyer Advertising & Attorney Marketing

  • How Clients Search on the Internet

    Philip Franckel, Esq.
    22 Jul 2014 | 9:50 pm
    Potential clients are searching for lawyers on the Internet using longtail keywords. FindLaw found that longtail keyword searches where someone was looking for a lawyer accounted for 32% of all searches.  67% were less valuable research queries using regular keywords, such as “DUI laws in Texas”. What’s the difference between a regular keyword, keyword phrase […] The post How Clients Search on the Internet appeared first on Lawyer Advertising & Attorney Marketing.
  • Cloud Sync Storage 20GB and more free

    Philip Franckel, Esq.
    10 Apr 2014 | 7:42 pm
    Get a free 20GB account at to backup & sync all of your computers, tablets and smartphones.  I now use for my law office. will give you 15 GB of free storage when you open an account but you’ll get an additional 5 GB of free storage if you sign up using […] The post Cloud Sync Storage 20GB and more free appeared first on Lawyer Advertising & Attorney Marketing.
  • How Can Your Video Stand Out From the Competition?

    Philip Franckel, Esq.
    8 Mar 2014 | 6:12 pm
    Do you have videos on your law firm website? You should! 90% of users say a video about a product is helpful to their decision process (For statistics, see unisourceworldwide and digitalsherpa). Video marketing is very different than a TV commercial.  A TV commercial is usually a 10, 15 or 30 second advertising spot while […] The post How Can Your Video Stand Out From the Competition? appeared first on Lawyer Advertising & Attorney Marketing.
  • Lawyer’s 2 minute local Super Bowl ad!

    Philip Franckel, Esq.
    6 Feb 2014 | 8:47 pm
    A personal injury attorney aired an unbelievable 2 minute long halftime TV commercial in a Super Bowl ad.  No, the ad wasn’t national – it was local, aired in Savannah, GA but it’s still costly and it was 2 minutes long!  The TV ad features heavy-metal music and looks like a movie trailer. The lawyer, […] The post Lawyer’s 2 minute local Super Bowl ad! appeared first on Lawyer Advertising & Attorney Marketing.
  • How To Get More Time For Advertising and Marketing

    Philip Franckel, Esq.
    31 Jul 2013 | 1:26 pm
    Advertising and marketing costs more than money.  It costs your time.  Additionally, lawyers have to work harder and more efficiently to earn the same legal fees of years ago. Advertising efforts can be delegated to an advertising agency but you still need to spend your time overseeing your advertising campaign.  If you have no idea […] The post How To Get More Time For Advertising and Marketing appeared first on Lawyer Advertising & Attorney Marketing.
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    Compliance Building

  • LRN’s 2014 Ethics and Compliance Program Effectiveness Report

    Doug Cornelius
    31 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    For the past seven years, LRN has conducted its annual survey of Ethics and Compliance programs in search of benchmarking data, suggestions of leading practices, and trends. In 2012 LRN adopted the Program Effectiveness Index as a tool to determine the impact of compliance programs. The challenge with index is figuring out the difference between correlation and causation.  The report is quick to point out the difference. For example, the public celebration of ethical leadership is a characteristic of programs with extremely high Program Effectiveness Indexes.  But having a public…
  • Meet the SEC Whistleblowers

    Doug Cornelius
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:14 am
    Since the Securities and Exchange Commission set up its whistleblower program in 2011, 6500 people have stepped forward as “whistleblowers.” Maxwell Murphy of the Wall Street Journal made a Freedom of Information Act request to find out more. How successful has the program been and are the people filing really “whistleblowers”? Of those 6500, only 42 listed themselves as executives or board members. Retirees were the largest group with 365 reports, followed by investors with 290 complaints and engineers coming in third. According to the 2013 annual report, there were…
  • How Do You Exit a Ponzi Scheme?

    Doug Cornelius
    28 Jul 2014 | 11:29 am
    Charles Ponzi It looks like Bernie Madoff was $45 billion short of funds in his “investment strategy.” How was he ever going to get out of this? The original Ponzi schemer, Charles Ponzi, seems to think he could get out of his situation, at least according to Mitchell Zukoff, author of Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend. It sounds like Madoff and Ponzi fell into the same trap. At some point early on they did not realize their promised investment goals. Instead of being honest with their investors, they posted a fake return. The hope was that they could make…
  • Weekend Reading: Busted

    Doug Cornelius
    26 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    What do you do when the whistleblower sitting in front of you is an unreliable drug addict? Maybe you see some nugget of truth in the story. Maybe you see some way to find reliable evidence that proves that nugget of truth. Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker, reporters at Philadelphia’s Daily News were confronted with this situation when Benny Martinez walked into the newsroom with a tale of police misconduct. He claimed that narcotics-unit officer Jeffrey Cujdik fabricated evidence in at least two dozen cases. But Benny was not a reliable witness. He was a drug addict and criminal. One…
  • Compliance Bricks and Mortar for July 25

    Doug Cornelius
    25 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Book de Tour by Greig Leach These are some of the compliance-related stories that recently caught my attention. What an Employment Lawyer Can Learn From Minecraft (or Not) by Daniel Schwartz in the Connecticut Employment Law Blog Minecraft is teaching a whole generation of “kids” (and not so “kids”) about the value of teamwork in a corporate culture. Moreover, there is now a large segment that will have this joint experience together.  A generation that will come up building things and doing things online in a joint way that many of us will just not understand. At all. Bribery:…
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    Simmons Firm

  • Simmons Hanly Conroy Attorneys to Receive 40 Under 40 Award

    Simmons Hanly Conroy
    24 Jul 2014 | 12:37 pm
    The honorable 40 Under 40 Award is presented by The National Trial Lawyers organization. This award extends an invitation into the 40 Under 40 professional organization to its recipients. The invitation-only professional organization consists of the top 40 trial lawyers from each state as well as highly populated areas within certain states. The selections are based off of a combination of peer nominations and third party research. Simmons Hanly Conroy is proud to announce that several of our lawyers received invitations for the top 40 in Illinois. The list includes: Suvir Dhar Karoline…
  • The Potential of Targeted Cancer Therapy for Mesothelioma Treatment

    Amy Fair
    21 Jul 2014 | 6:46 am
    A mesothelioma diagnosis is often followed by typical cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. These treatments can be accompanied by harsh side effects such as hair loss, nausea, fatigue, pain and more. The reason is because chemotherapy and radiation attack not only the cancer cells, but the healthy cells, too. New advances in cancer treatment show “targeted” cancer therapies could offer an alternative option for cancer patients. These treatments target only the harmful cancer cells by attacking the tissue environment that contributes to the cancer’s growth and…
  • Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: June 2014

    Amy E. Garrett
    30 Jun 2014 | 6:02 am
    The asbestos attorneys at the Simmons Firm are dedicated to providing the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news to keep you up to date. Below is a short list of some of the most recent news stories covering asbestos exposure, mesothelioma research and other news from across the world. Penn Medicine gets $10 million grant to investigate asbestos contamination in Ambler Penn Medicine is taking a closer look at why some Ambler, PA residents who were exposed to asbestos died from mesothelioma, while others who were exposed did not. Researchers are crediting the residents of Ambler and their…
  • Acting Surgeon General Speaks on Public Health Mission and Asbestos

    Perry J. Browder
    18 Jun 2014 | 6:00 am
    At the 2014 ADAO Asbestos Awareness Conference, keynote speaker Rear Admiral Boris D. Luchniak, MD, MPH delivered a speech on public health which included the topic of advocacy for asbestos exposure awareness. The acting surgeon general focused heavily on core public health functions, including the assessment and monitoring of the health of communities and populations at risk, and the formulation of public policies. “We’re here to protect, promote and advance the health and safety of the world when it comes to asbestos as a subset of all the world problems,” Luchniak said during the…
  • Attend the 5th Annual Butterfly Release Benefiting Simmons Cancer Institute

    John Simmons
    12 Jun 2014 | 6:00 am
    If you live in central or southern Illinois and have been affected by a serious health issue (or know someone who has), consider attending the 5th Annual Butterfly Release at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22. The event, which benefits the Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, will take place in the Thomas Garden of Hope, Simmons Cancer Institute, 315 W. Carpenter Street, Springfield, IL. The purpose of the event is to celebrate, encourage and support all individuals who have been impacted by a negative health issue, such as cancer. The event also strives to…
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    Texas Wills and Trusts Law Online

  • Wacky Will Wednesday: Wills That Make You Go “Hmmm…” — Rona Scroratow

    Rania Combs
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    NB: This post is part of a series highlighting wills that contain some interesting, and sometimes bizarre, bequests and stipulations. You can see all these posts here The great thing about having a Will is that it gives you the power to decide how your property will be distributed when you die. For example, if you are married, you may direct that all your assets should pass to your spouse. If you have children, you’d likely want to make provisions for them. Some people even make provisions for their furry family members or bequests to various charities that they support. But what if…
  • How Can I Protect an Inherited IRA from Creditors?

    Rania Combs
    21 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    If you’re like most Americans, one of your largest assets is your Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”). Your IRA is considered a “retirement fund” and the money it contains is  protected from creditors who seek to recover debts in bankruptcy. An owner of an IRA can pass it down to a beneficiary when he or she dies by making a proper beneficiary designation. If the beneficiary is a surviving spouse, the IRA can be rolled over into the surviving spouse’s IRA and can remain protected. But what happens if the spouse doesn’t roll the assets into his or her own IRA, or if someone…
  • Living Trust Scams

    Rania Combs
    11 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    Many of us have seen advertisements touting the benefits of a living trust. Salespersons who promote living trusts claim they can reduce taxes, protect assets from creditors, and reduce the time and expense of probate, seemingly suggesting that other forms of estate planning cannot achieve those goals. According to the State Bar of Texas, sales of living trusts are a growing area of consumer fraud perpetuated by various myths.  Among them are: MYTH: Living Trusts Save Taxes. FACT: In 2014, only estates worth more than $5.34 million will subject to federal estate taxes. That means that the…
  • Going Out With A Bang

    Rania Combs
    4 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    Cremation is increasing in popularity. Currently more than 40 percent of people who die choose cremation, and the numbers are rising. According to recent reports more than 50 percent of Americans will chose cremation by the end of this decade. I’ve noticed that trend in my practice as more and more of my clients choose cremation over burial. With cremation comes the decision about what should be done with one’s cremated remains. In the past, keeping cremated remains in an urn, burying the remains, or scattering the ashes in a quiet spot were the only options. Things have changed as the…
  • Can I Add a Self-Proving Affidavit to a Holographic Will?

    Rania Combs
    27 Jun 2014 | 7:00 am
    I have written before about the benefit of adding a self-proving affidavit to an attested Will. Doing so typically save time and expense because it eliminates the need that sworn testimony from witnesses will be required to prove up the Will as the decedent’s Last Will and Testament. Holographic Wills can also be self-proved, which will eliminate the need for testimony from two people familiar with the testator’s own handwriting to prove it up. According to Section 251.107 of the Texas Estates Code, a holographic Will can be made self-proved at any time during the testator’s lifetime…
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    A Connecticut Law Blog

  • McKeen Selected For Hartford Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Class

    Ryan McKeen
    21 Jul 2014 | 4:58 am
    This morning, the Hartford Business Journal announced it’s 2014 – 40 under 40 class. I’m proud to have been selected. A year ago yesterday, I began building McKeen Law Firm. I didn’t know where my office was going to be, what my firm was going to be named, or when I was going to open. Life had given me a blank slate. While my name makes the Hartford Business Journal – my success wouldn’t be possible without the support of many people. I’m most grateful to my family for supporting me. When I needed it the most they were they helped and believed in me.
  • McKeen Moderating Connecticut Landlord-Tenant Law Seminar

    Ryan McKeen
    16 Jul 2014 | 5:13 am
    “You’re going to look back and think this was one of the best things that’s happened to you professionally.” It surely didn’t feel that way at the time. Those were the words of a partner to me in my first year of practice. I was in the middle of one of the nastiest and most difficult cases that I’ve encountered in my nearly 9 years of practice. It was a commercial eviction. I am representing the landlord. The tenant is represented by two law firms. The tenants lawyers file every motion in the book seeking to delay and/or deny my client possession of their…
  • Helping Those In Need of Pro Bono Foreclosure Counsel

    Ryan McKeen
    13 Jul 2014 | 5:43 pm
    About five years ago, I stopped taking foreclosure defense cases. Defending a foreclosure action is always both frustrating and time intensive – banks lose documents. I made the decision to focus my practice on other areas of the law. I’ve never lost my desire to help homeowners in a time of crisis. So many people are an illness or job loss away from being a defendant in a foreclosure action. Those who find themselves facing foreclosure are confronted with overwhelming stress. In 2013, I signed up for the Hartford Judicial District’s volunteer attorney program to assist…
  • What Do You Need For A Paperless Law Office?

    Ryan McKeen
    10 Apr 2014 | 8:52 am
    It’s easy to overlook the small things. I spent two years designing and improving on my paper-less firm. Yet…..just last week, I purchased a low tech piece of equipment that makes a big difference. A power cord. Click here to view the embedded video. Taking notes on my laptop is great. However, until battery life significantly improves or wireless charging hits the market – power will always be an issue. While you are busy deciding on hardware and software it is easy to forget about power on the road. Watch the video below for a $4.99 low-tech must buy tool for your…
  • A Connecticut Bicycle Accident Attorney On Protecting Yourself Before An Accident

    Ryan McKeen
    27 Mar 2014 | 2:43 am
    Not only are drivers distracted – they are often uninsured or underinsured. Watch the video below to find out how you can protect yourself before getting on a bike. In Connecticut, your automobile policy will cover you on a bike. Having the right insurance makes a big difference in the event of a collision. Ask your insurance agent about maximizing your underinsured coverage and purchasing a conversion policy. Protect yourself – it’s dangerous out there. ____________________________ Attorney McKeen represents injured pedestrians, runners, and cyclists throughout Connecticut. Ryan can…
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    Legally India - News for Lawyers

  • LexOrbis win interim trademark injunction for FDCI against Global Lex Legal for Jabong

    31 Jul 2014 | 10:10 am
    LexOrbis won an ex parte interim order in the Delhi high court for the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), restraining online retailer Jabong and Talenthouse Entertainment from using the mark “India Online Fashion Week” for Jabong’s online fashion shopping event held from 25July to 30 July. Global Lex Legal is understood to now be advising Jabong’s parent Xerion Retail and its managing director Praveen Sinha. LexOrbis partners Pooja Dodd and Abhai Pandey, and senior associate Swati Setia, having briefed senior advocate Rajiv Nayyar acted for FDCI. Global Lex Legal advocate Vaibhav…
  • UGC’s new rule for mandatory 6-year LLB, 2-year LLM make no sense, says everyone

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:42 am
    Question marks surround the  5 July University Grants Commission (UGC) notification that appeared to raise a death knell for the new one-year LLM degree and the five-year integrated LLB degree.
  • Axon, Sai Vinod, Joy Basu pro bono in Shamnad Basheer’s exorbitant patent file challenge with RTI

    30 Jul 2014 | 5:44 am
    Axon Partners and advocate Sai Vinod are acting for former NUJS Kolkata intellectual property (IP) MHRD chair professor Shamnad Basheer in his petition aimed to ease access to patent information through the Right to Information (RTI) mechanism. Basheer prayed for the court to declare that the RTI Act overrides all other mechanisms under any other statute or rule for discharge of information from public authorities. “Despite the clear constitutional mandate, the Patent Office (and several other public authorities) are deliberately frustrating the RTI mechanism by imposing arbitrary, illegal…
  • NUJS Kolkata 2014 final recruitment tally: 72 jobs (25 Big Six) for graduating batch

    30 Jul 2014 | 4:58 am
    NUJS Kolkata just about matched Nalsar Hyderabad’s Big Six hire score of 26, with 25 of the law school’s graduates this year bagging Big Six law firm gigs.
  • Clyde/Clasis Dubai partner Sidanth Rajagopal defects to Kaye Scholer

    29 Jul 2014 | 11:03 pm
    Clyde & Co Dubai aviation partner Sidanth Rajagopal joined the London office of Kaye Scholer with the same designation, reported Bar & Bench. The ILS Pune alumnus, who had also briefly worked at Clyde’s Indian best friend firm Clasis Law, told B&B: “This was a fantastic opportunity to be part of a top rated Aviation Finance & Leasing Practice that is expanding its global reach.” We have reached out to Clydes for comment.
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    Associate's Mind

  • What Did One Math Book Say To The Other?

    Keith Lee
    17 Jul 2014 | 7:31 am
    Law schools have traditionally done one thing with their students: taught them to “think like lawyers.” Through the Socratic method and study of case law, students are given the tools to analyze and understand the law. But as we all know, it doesn’t exactly prepare to students to practice as lawyers. But it’s also worth pointing out that law students come at their understanding of the law from the backend. Here is what a judge decided was the law in this particular situation. But that is not where things start. Things start when a client walks through your door, sits…
  • The Secret Ambition of Every Brief

    Keith Lee
    9 Jul 2014 | 11:18 am
    While researching something completely unrelated, I came upon a brief article by Justice Maria Rivera (First District Court of Appeal, Div. 4, CA) regarding writing briefs for appeals entitled: The Ten Commandments of Brief Writing. Before delving into the “Ten Commandments”, Justice Rivera leads off with the following quote from Mortimer Levitan from the article, “Confidential Chat on the Craft of Briefing.” Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Spring 2002): The secret ambition of every brief should be to spare the judge the necessity of engaging in any work,…
  • No Navigator, No Parachute, No Problem: Flying Solo – June 2014

    Florida Esq
    1 Jul 2014 | 10:19 am
    So, it’s the big six-month anniversary.  How are things looking now versus back in January? Find out after seeing the numbers for June Clients Referral from other attorneys: 7 Found me online: 2 Referral from area businesses: 1 Came to see me after speaking engagement: 1 Bumped into someone and gave them a business card: 2 Already knew me: 1 Total clients: 14 Expenses Advertising (new rack cards, bar association directory and magazine ad): $487 Office supplies (including payments to business credit cards & new phone charges): $671 Rent: $550 Lawyer Referral Service referral fee: $150…
  • How To Build A 20 Year Relationship With Your Clients

    Keith Lee
    26 Jun 2014 | 8:33 am
    In 1993, I walked into an outdoor equipment store looking for a pair of rock climbing pants. I had just been climbing and rappelling a week before and promptly decided that I was going to take up rock climbing. I was young and taking up a hobby every three months. They generally didn’t last. Like most young people I hopped from activity to activity – searching for something to hold my interests. I wandered about the store, fumbling around, not knowing what to look for. Eventually I came upon an odd pair of pants that were made exclusively for rock climbing. The pants were a mild…
  • The Most Common Logical Fallicies (InfoGraphic)

    Keith Lee
    25 Jun 2014 | 6:52 am
    Courtesy of, here is an infographic of some of the most common logical fallacies. Good for when you are arguing with someone over the internet or as a quick reference guide to make sure your writing isn’t hollow. Click for large version.  
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    Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices

  • 2003 – AEDs with valproate linked to neurological birth defects

    Jared Fink
    30 Jul 2014 | 2:48 pm
    In a 2003 edition of Epilepsia, a piece titled “Clinical care of pregnant women with epilepsy: neural tube defects and folic acid supplementation.” by M.S. Yerby and a team from North Pacific Epilepsy Research in Portland, Oregon demonstrated that a child’s in utero exposure to maternal antiepileptic drugs (particularly those containing valproate – Depakote, Depakene, Depacon; Abbott Laboratories, Inc.) is linked to a range of serious birth defects. The team states, “Women with epilepsy (WWE) have a risk of bearing children with congenital malformations that is approximately…
  • 2013 – Neurological and heart defects linked to Depakote

    Jared Fink
    30 Jul 2014 | 12:39 pm
    A piece by medical researchers led by F.J. Vajda published in Acta Neurol Scand. (October, 2013), titled “Associations between particular types of fetal malformation and antiepileptic drug exposure in utero.” lives up to its title and provides more insight into the link between in utero exposure to epilepsy medication (Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote by Abbott Laboratories, Inc.) and birth defects.  To be clear, valproate is the active chemical in the drugs listed above. Aiming to “study associations between patterns of fetal malformation and individual antiepileptic drugs taken during…
  • 2009 – More research links Depakote (and other AEDs) to birth defects

    Jared Fink
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:19 am
    Appearing in the July-August, 2009 edition of the Spanish medical journal, Neurologia, a piece titled “Malformations and fetal death in the Spanish antiepileptic drug and pregnancy registry: results at 6 years” by M. Martinez Ferri et al. aimed to “study the incidence of major congenital malformations (MCM) /and/or fetal-perinatal death (MFP) and determine his relationship to AEDs in the Spanish EURAP registry.”  Over the last two decades, dozens of studies have shown that prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs containing sodium valproate (the active ingredient in Depacon,…
  • 2002 – Research shows AED exposure lifts rate of neonatal morbidity and birth defects

    Jared Fink
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:17 am
    In April, 2002, a team of medical researchers from Aberdeen (UK) led by J.C. Dean published a study titled “Long term health and neurodevelopment in children exposed to antiepileptic drugs before birth.” in Journal of Medical Genetics investigating the link between neonatal and later childhood morbidity “in children exposed to antiepileptic drugs [AEDs] in utero.”  To-date, many studies have demonstrated that prenatal exposure to AEDs like Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote is linked to an increased risk for birth defects. The team states “Mothers taking antiepileptic drugs in…
  • Depakote, other AEDs again linked to birth defects

    Jared Fink
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:48 am
    An article appearing in the May, 2010 edition of Epilepsia titled “The teratogenic risk of antiepileptic drug polytherapy.” by F.J. Vajda and a team from Royal Melbourne Hospital and University of  Melbourne (Australia) further explores the connection between antiepileptic drugs containing sodium valproate such as Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote and increased risk for congenital malformations. For this study the team performed a “Statistical analysis of malformation rate and antiepileptic drug exposure data from the Australian Register of Antiepileptic Drugs in Pregnancy, and from…
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  • Rocket Matter Law Practice Management Software

    31 Jul 2014 | 4:12 am
    Rocket Matter entered the practice management software market in 2008, and has gone through several iterations since then. It integrates with a number of cloud-based services, including Box, Dropbox, Skype, and Evernote. Rocket Matter also places emphasis on mobile access with an iPhone and Android app.In addition to its practice management software, Rocket Matter offers law firm marketing, with a number of free eBooks covering search engine basics, legal productivity tips, and blogging basics. If you want a company that can address practice management, billing, and marketing all at once,…
  • Encrypt Your Phone Calls with Signal for iPhone and RedPhone for Android

    Sam Glover
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:12 am
    Security is getting simpler and easier, thanks to companies like Open Whisper Systems, which now has encrypted calling apps for both iPhone and Android. RedPhone for Android has been out for a while, and Signal is a brand-new encrypted calling app and service for iPhone. Both are free to download and use.Both apps are also open-source (you can find the code on Github) so that anyone can audit the code to ensure it does what it is supposed to do.What they do is encrypt phone calls between Signal or RedPhone users. If someone were to gain access to your phone meta data, for example, all they…
  • Understanding and Working with Anxiety

    Jeena Cho
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:12 am
    Face it: anxiety is a part of your life. As lawyers, we are constantly pressured to deliver results for our boss, opposing counsel, the court, and most importantly, our clients. Regardless what can be controlled, we are expected to foresee what could go wrong with every correspondence, motion, hearing, email, settlement agreement, and contract. It is no wonder that so many lawyers suffer from anxiety, among other illnesses.For most lawyers, anxiety is just another facet of life. In our do more culture, this means billing as many 0.1 increments as possible. Often, we do not realize how much…
  • Law Firm SEO Has Not Changed in 40 Years

    Aaron Street
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:12 am
    Just the other day, Sam provocatively declared “There is No Such Thing As Online Marketing.” His point was that people who think that online marketing is fundamentally different from traditional marketing are splitting hairs. It is about letting people know who you are and what you do, in an effort to get paying clients in the future.Sam’s post made me think about the specific tactics lawyers can and should use, both online and offline, for search engine optimization (SEO) and link building.Purpose of Online and Offline MarketingThe goals of both online and offline marketing…
  • There is No Such Thing As Online Marketing

    Sam Glover
    26 Jul 2014 | 7:51 am
    “I’m thinking about trying online marketing.”Even in 2014, I hear this from lawyers all the time. But there is no such thing as online marketing. There is just marketing, some of which happens online because there is almost no meaningful line between offline and online activity anymore.Almost everything we do now has offline and online components. We may plan to get together with friends over Facebook. Then we get together, have a great time somewhere offline, and post the pictures back on Facebook while we are out. Similar things happen with legal marketing.At some point,…
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    New York Personal Injury Law Blog

  • More Motions to Dismiss Against Dr. Michael Katz

    Eric Turkewitz
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:16 am
    Justice Hart’s opinion of Dr. Katz. Your familiarity with the defamation suit against me by Dr. Michael Katz will be presumed. Very briefly, he’s the guy that sued me because Justice Duane Hart called him a liar about 25 times and I reported it. He can’t sue the judge, so he figured he would sue me. I’ve moved to dismiss and have him sanctioned for his frivolous suit, frivolous conduct, and making an improper demand for $200 million. My co-defendants have now also made motions to dismiss. Samson Freundlich did a “me too” motion (Affid –…
  • Motion to Dismiss/Sanction Against Dr. Michael Katz

    Eric Turkewitz
    17 Jul 2014 | 10:57 am
    This is what Justice Duane Hart thinks of Dr. Michael Katz Remember how I reported that I’d been sued again for defamation? Justice Duane Hart in Queens had ripped Dr. Michael Katz a new one in open court for acting like Pinocchio. And the good doctor, not being able to sue the judge for calling him a “liar” about 25 times or so, figured he would sue me instead for reporting it. (Shooting the Messenger (I’ve Been Sued Again)) Both Scott Greenfield (Turkewitz Sued By “Liar” Doctor, Michael Katz) and Marc Randazza (Judge Admonishes Expert Witness – Expert Witness Sues…
  • Dolphins and Lawyers and Baja

    Eric Turkewitz
    16 Jul 2014 | 4:35 am
    Not me. And not from the place we went. Is there a relationship between swimming with dolphins and lawyering? Why, yes there is, and thank you for asking. Let me start by saying that this is all about business and keeping the customer happy. Since lawyers are in a service business, the same concept holds true for a law firm as a company that allows you to swim with a dolphin: It isn’t enough that the customer/client be satisfied while the service is being provided, but most importantly, when they walk through your door for the last time. So last week I took the family down to Cabo San…
  • Power to the People (A Declaration of Independence)

    Eric Turkewitz
    2 Jul 2014 | 8:54 am
    John Trumbull’s famous painting of the Declaration’s presentation hangs today in the Capitol Rotunda. It is owned by the citizenry of the United States. Today is July 2nd. On this date in 1776 the Continental Congress voted to declare its independence from Great Britain and a new nation was born. John Adams thought that the 2nd of July would be “solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shows, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” The Declaration of Independence was formally…
  • Soccer, Arguing and Lawyering

    Eric Turkewitz
    30 Jun 2014 | 3:35 am
    Brandi Chastain after scoring the winning goal in 1999 Women’s World Cup. As I follow the World Cup with one eye, I stumbled across a letter to the editor in the New York Times sports section, and it left me scratching my head. What the devil was the writer thinking when he sent this in, and why did the NYT bother to publish it? Since the letter makes an argument, and this is what lawyers do, I wanted to add my two rupees on what not to do when lawyering. We start on the futbol soccer pitch with the fact that extra time gets added to the standard 90 minutes to account for delays of the…
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    The Probate Lawyer Blog: Famous Fortune Fights!

  • Why Philip Seymour Hoffman Should Have Been Able To "Trust"

    Andrew & Danielle Mayoras
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:06 pm
    He may have been a brilliant actor, but Philip Seymour Hoffman had much to learn when it came to estate planning. Reports surfaced last week that the former Oscar winner said he didn't want his three children to be "trust funds kids."  He turned down the advice of his attorney and accountant, both of whom advised him to create a trust. Instead, he felt their mother -- and his longtime girlfriend -- would take care of his children. He viewed Mimi O'Donnell much like a wife, although he did not believe in marriage. Mr. Hoffman's $34 million estate faces a huge estate tax bill and other…
  • Lou Reed's Estate Teaches A Lesson In Trust Planning

    Andrew & Danielle Mayoras
    17 Jul 2014 | 1:27 pm
    I guess we shouldn't be surprised.  After all, Lou Reed was the man who famously crooned, “Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.” The late lead singer and guitarist of The Velvet Underground -- and of course, a musician and songwriter with a successful solo career -- may have been a bit wild at times. But that doesn't explain why he would be so careless with his estate plan.   Recent filings with the Surrogate's Court in Manhattan show that Reed's estate has already earned more than $20 million since he passed away from liver disease at the age of 71, on Oct. 27. This is only the…
  • Casey Kasem Teaches Lessons In End of Life Planning and Elder Abuse

    Andrew & Danielle Mayoras
    15 Jun 2014 | 6:58 am
    It appears that the life of famed Top 40 Countdown host Casey Kasem is nearly at an end.  Last Wednesday, a Los Angeles Judge ruled that Casey Kasem’s daughter, Kerri Kasem, could suspend the artificial delivery of food and water to Casey due to his grave suffering.   Specifically, according to the Los Angeles Times, Kerri Kasem’s attorney filed documents with the court reporting the doctors’ conclusion that “continuation of artificial nutrition and hydration is not in the patient’s best interests because it will at best prolong the dying process for him and will certainly add…
  • Wife of Donald Sterling Used Family Trust To Cut Him Out

    Andrew & Danielle Mayoras
    13 Jun 2014 | 8:59 am
    It seems that everyone wanted Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell the team, after his racist remarks about Magic Johnson and African Americans became public knowledge.  The NBA Commissioner, owners, players, Clipper fans, and Sterling’s own family did everything in their power to force him out.  Last week, the news broke that Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, reportedly accomplished what everyone wanted — an agreement has been reached for the Clippers to be sold for a reported $2 billion dollars to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.  But how did Shelly…
  • Casey Kasem Is Missing: Could This Happen To Your Family?

    Andrew & Danielle Mayoras
    2 Jun 2014 | 11:01 am
    Casey Kasem — the legendary voice of American Top 40 Countdown and numerous cartoon characters — has been kidnapped by his own wife while he suffers from advanced dementia, according to Kasem’s daughter, Kerri Kasem.   Casey’s wife, Jean Kasem, is accused of secreting away the 82-year old former DJ, in a move that could jeopardize his health, safety, and well-being.  Kerri told a California judge and various media outlets that her step-mother had fled the state with her husband of 30 years, in an attempt to avoid a Judge’s ruling about who would be Casey’s new conservator.  The…
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  • An Afternoon With Sharp Cheddar

    30 Jul 2014 | 8:22 am
    During an afternoon out with Sharp Cheddar (for an understanding of who Sharp Cheddar is, read this first), who is now a precocious 8 years old, the following conversation occurred: Me: How ’bout we go to 5 Guys Burgers and Fries? Sharp Cheddar (SC): That sounds like a place where fat people eat. Me: What? SC: It sounds like a place where fat people go to eat. Me: Where do you get this from? SC: It just sounds that way. Me: But how do you get that from 5 Gu… SC: That’s just how it sounds. Me: Well, they have really good burgers. SC: So, I’m right that fat people go…
  • Azimuth Check: Lawyer or Lawyer*

    28 Jul 2014 | 10:22 am
    It’s been a while. I know. Such is life when you are maintaining a practice whilst packing house and home and moving to a new place. At one point, I decided to abandon Unwashed Advocate. I do this once a year, mostly during summer months. This decision is celebrated by me. It sure feels good to tell your blawg to go to hell. Then, I return. After writing brief after brief, appeal after appeal, it is nice to write something that contains your voice. Here, I don’t worry about using passive voice or botching citations. That’s nice. So, what’ve I been thinking of this…
  • Why not Colby?

    14 May 2014 | 7:41 am
    This is not about what we practice. It is about where we practice. Though, the two are often inextricably intertwined. Yesterday, I enjoyed making fun of North Dakota with a few friends. I like this because, while I’m also from a sparsely populated state, I can always revel in the fact that folks in ND will always have it worse than me. Statistical Tidbit: North Dakota population: 699,628. Kansas population: 2.886 million. Number of votes for Mark Bennett in his bid as a Libertarian for a seat on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals: 1.326 million. This got me thinking about where…
  • Eastbound and Down

    6 May 2014 | 8:03 am
    In preparation for a move east at the end of the month, I told #63 that he’d be operating the blocking vehicle while I transport “the goods” in the “rig.” I followed-up by telling him that his call sign would be “Bandit,” and I’d be “Snowman.” I laughed. His vacant expression told me that all references were completely lost on him. I quit. Though, just for good measure and for my own amusement, I may pack a case or two of Coors.
  • So, you want your kid to go to a top college?

    6 May 2014 | 7:35 am
    Well, aren’t you special? You polluted the earth with your offspring, and now you want to show everyone how special your little air thief is by sending them to a first-tier school. How capital of you. I know. I’m cruel. However, as it applies to the above paragraph, it takes one to know one. I am one. So, I know ones when I see ones. This is obviously not going to be a law-related post. It is a post for those of you who envision your child(ren) going to a fancy-schmancy top national university (per the intrepid folks at US News). For the last year or so, I’ve lived this…
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    Planning Notes

  • What is a Family Limited Partnership?

    30 Jul 2014 | 10:52 am
    A family limited partnership, or FLP, can allow a taxpayer to leverage two federal tax devices in conjunction with a technique known as “discounting” in order to reduce the amount of federal tax imposed at the time of that person’s death. Tax Devices Federal tax laws impose a tax, called the Estate & Gift Tax, upon a person’s right to give his/her property to others, without compensation, while that person is alive or after that person’s death. Fortunately, however, two federal tax devices can reduce the amount of the Estate & Gift Tax: the so-called…
  • The Aereo Decision & Cloud Computing

    27 Jun 2014 | 10:42 am
    In American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that Aereo's service, which converts and subsequently (re)transmits over-the-air television broadcasts in near real time to Aereo's customers via the internet, effectively constitutes "transmitting performances of copyrighted works to the public", which in turn requires Aereo to pay over-the-air broadcasters a fee for doing so, pursuant to the Copyright Act. Although the ruling may seem fairly limited, and according to the text of the decision the ruling is indeed fairly limited, various commentators…
  • Congressional Committee Approves Permanent Bonus Depreciation & Charity Bills

    30 May 2014 | 10:03 am
    Bloomberg BNA on proposed permanent extension of bonus depreciation: The House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation to make bonus depreciation permanent, as well as a number of tax measures related to charitable giving. The depreciation measure (H.R. 4718) advanced after a vote of 23-11, one in a series of party-line votes as Republicans and Democrats on the panel tussled over whether the forgone revenue from tax expenditures should be recovered elsewhere in the budget—a position House Democrats have staked in the drawn-out argument over a number of tax provision extensions. If…
  • Substantial Presence Test & Closer Connection Exception

    28 Apr 2014 | 11:59 am
    Many inhabitants of the northern United States or Canada seek respite from colder climates by living part of the year in warmer climates of states in the southern United States, particularly Florida and Arizona. While these people are commonly referred to as "snowbirds" in the warmer states they call home during winter, the Internal Revenue Service I.R.S. has another, seemingly less friendly, name for those non-U.S. citizens who do so: aliens. According to the I.R.S., an alien is "an individual who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national (a person who owes his/her sole allegiance to the United…
  • IRS: Bitcoin is Property, Not Currency

    25 Mar 2014 | 12:14 pm
    Today, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") issued Notice 2014-21 regarding some federal tax prinicples associated with transactions utlizing virtual currency, such as Bitcoin. Among other things, this means that if a person purchases a product or services with Bitcoin, they will need to recognize any gain or loss associated with the transaction. For example, if a person purchases a $10 product with Bitcoin, which they pruchased for $5 dollars, that person will need to recognize a gain of $5 dollars associated with the transaction. In addition to taxes associated with transactions involving…
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  • Call for Papers: NLU Odisha Newsletter on Developments in Banking & Insurance Laws; Submit by Aug 30

    31 Jul 2014 | 12:04 pm
    Please submit articles via email to the NDBIL Editor-in-Chief, Nachiketa Mittal at or The post Call for Papers: NLU Odisha Newsletter on Developments in Banking & Insurance Laws; Submit by Aug 30 appeared first on Lawctopus.
  • Career Talk With LAMP Fellow Kabir Darshan Singh Chaudhary: Application Procedure & Opportunities

    31 Jul 2014 | 10:20 am
    There is no such thing as a perfect application as there is always a scope of improvement. However, anyone interested in this fellowship should choose a particular policy topic of their interest and follow it diligently on regular basis. With this, the applicant will have no problem with the policy essay. Interviewers are smart people, they know if the essay is backed with a 6 hour or 6 months research. The post Career Talk With LAMP Fellow Kabir Darshan Singh Chaudhary: Application Procedure & Opportunities appeared first on Lawctopus.
  • Career Talk with ILS Alumnus and AZB Associate Vasudha Asher: Not Knowing is Death

    31 Jul 2014 | 9:15 am
    Within my first few days at work, I was slapped into understanding that I just couldn’t talk through my hat and that my opinions had to be substantiated with the relevant provisions of law. I was taught to question every single word I read. The post Career Talk with ILS Alumnus and AZB Associate Vasudha Asher: Not Knowing is Death appeared first on Lawctopus.
  • Internship Experience @ State Law Office, Allahabad High Court

    31 Jul 2014 | 7:20 am
    On my first day I was introduced to Mr. N.K. Verma, Additional Government Advocate, under whose guidance I had to intern. He was amongst the 700 AGAs appointed by UP Government. He was allotted a chamber in the office of Advocate General. He told me about the court etiquettes and the formalities to be followed in the court room. By Ashish Kumar Dwivedi, Army Institute of Law, IInd year The post Internship Experience @ State Law Office, Allahabad High Court appeared first on Lawctopus.
  • Internship Experience @ Lokayukta Office, Gomati Nagar, Lucknow (U.P.)

    31 Jul 2014 | 6:12 am
    The main task I got their was to learn about the Institution of Ombudsman and its origin in the Scandinavian countries and the various Lokayukta Acts of others state like Karnatka, Maharastra, Uttrakhand etc. Later I learned about the working of Lokayukta, power and investigation procedure of the Lokayukta, and on last day I submit a model Lokayukta Act with the report. By Niraj Kumar Singh, Indore Institute Of Law, 2nd Year The post Internship Experience @ Lokayukta Office, Gomati Nagar, Lucknow (U.P.) appeared first on Lawctopus.
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    Fashion Law | Fashion Lawyer | Fashion Law Firm |

  • Best Wishes for Success on The Bar Exam Next Week! #Fashionlaw

    25 Jul 2014 | 7:37 am
    Hey readers! I know a handful of you are studying for the bar exams and prepare to take them next week. Here is to success on the bar! MY TIP? Stay confident. BELIEVE. Write in a confident tone, as if you were already one of us, because needless to say, you ARE. Exercise, sleep well, eat right all three days. See you on the other side and God bless. My warmest regards, Cheers, Uduak

    18 Jul 2014 | 9:14 am
    Brilliant, Engaging, Inspiring, Informative interviews with Africa’s Women Entrepreneurs, plus Fashion Business and Fashion Law Commentary & Analysis. Host: Ladybrille Founder and Fashion Model turned Fashion & Entertainment Lawyer Uduak Oduok. Visit for more details.
  • Dirtball Files Federal Trademark Infringement Suit Against Quiksilver and DC Shoes #FashionLaw

    16 Jul 2014 | 11:36 am
    Interesting release I received from Dirtball. Check on it. -Uduak American-Made Sustainable Apparel Line, Dirtball, Files Federal Trademark Infringement Suit Against Quiksilver and DC Shoes The Dirtball suit is not only in defense of the brand and its trademark, but of U.S. textile jobs Dirtball, the company behind eco-friendly apparel made in the U.S.A. from 100% recycled materials, has filed a federal trademark infringement suit against DC Shoes and its parent company, Quiksilver (ZQK), after attempts by Dirtball to stop the infringement without legal action were rebuffed. The suit (Fox et…
  • SAVE THE DATE: (Aug. 21st, 2014) How to Create Media Buzz for Your Business & Stay Out of Trouble with Uduak Oduok, Esq.

    15 Jul 2014 | 10:10 am
    Join us for our “Secrets” series of educational topics Networking Check out the wine and appetizers You will learn: The value of media buzz. What the media wants. How to approach & pitch your story to the media. How to use social media to create buzz for your brand, and avoid legal liability. About the Presenter: A self proclaimed “Certified Game Changer,” Uduak Oduok is an inspiring and powerful speaker recognized for her visionary and trailblazing work, especially on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets. A graduate with a degree in Speech…
  • #FashionLaw SEMINAR: Business Formation & Fashion Law 101 for The Fashion Student with Uduak Oduok, Esq.

    15 Jul 2014 | 10:02 am
    Business Formation & Fashion Law 101 for The Fashion Student With Uduak Oduok, Esq. With this presentation, attendees will learn the practical steps to starting a fashion business. The presentation will include: The principal forms of business structures for fashion startups. Finance/financing options for fashion startups. The key industry contracts for fashion startups. Right of Publicity, Trademark & Copyright. Creating Buzz through media and publicity. Speaker Uduak Oduok is the co-founder of EBITU LAW GROUP, P.C., a law firm in California, USA with offices in the Bay Area and…
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    Law and Daily Life

  • 5 Things a Child Custody Lawyer Can Do (That You Probably Can't)

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:40 am
    Disputes regarding child custody can be contentious and grueling, even under the best of circumstances. Navigating the complex legal process with your child's future on the line can be stressful, frightening, and potentially riddled with hidden legal pitfalls. Having an experienced child custody attorney on your side can make a big difference in terms of both the outcome, and the toll taken by a protracted child custody case. Why? Here are five things a child custody lawyer can do that you probably can't: Negotiate with other side without getting too emotional. One of the inherent…
  • Moving Out of State? 3 Estate-Planning Consequences to Consider

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:09 am
    Moving to another state can be a stressful process. The last thing you want is to add the headache of estate law problems to your growing list of worries. But America is constantly moving. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that almost 36 million U.S. residents moved between 2012 and 2013. Give yourself a moment, put down the boxes, and read about three estate consequences of an out-of-state move that you may not have considered: Need help getting your family's legal affairs in order? Get in touch with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney in your area today. 1. State Rules About Out-of-State…
  • What Is Divorce Mediation? How Does It Work?

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    30 Jul 2014 | 12:21 pm
    When facing divorce, mediation may be a fantastic alternative to an acrimonious adversarial proceeding. But what is divorce mediation? Mediation is a cooperative form of dispute resolution that attempts to bring divorcing spouses to the realization that by working together, the easier it will be for them to part. So what goes on in divorce mediation, and how does it work? Don't want a split to fracture your family or finances? Get in touch with a knowledgeable divorce attorney in your area today. Agreeing to Mediation A couple cannot legally divorce without filing the proper papers with a…
  • Legal How-To: Renewing Your Passport

    Daniel Taylor, Esq.
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:41 am
    If you're planning some international travel, making sure your passport is valid can save not only time and money, but also prevent the potential worst-case scenario of getting turned back at the airport or the border. If your passport is expired, you'll need to renew it. Even if your passport is still good for a few more months, you'll likely need to renew it. According to the U.S. Department of State website, some countries require that a passport be valid at least six months beyond the date of your trip, and some airlines will refuse to let you fly if this requirement isn't satisfied. So…
  • Gay Marriage Update: 4th Circuit, Fla. Court Strike Down Bans

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    29 Jul 2014 | 8:33 am
    The East Coast has been a legal battleground for gay marriage of late, with the federal 4th Circuit and a state court in Florida striking down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional. In Florida, a state court judge in Miami-Dade County ruled against the Sunshine State's prohibition on gay marriage, but it won't mean same-sex nuptials in the state just yet. Meantime, a federal appellate court upheld a lower court's ruling, striking down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage and potentially changing the legal field in five states. How are Florida and Virginia shaping gay marriage in the…
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    But I do have a law degree...

  • A Hangover, An Epipen, and a Parasite, Oh My!

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:45 am
    Some days are long.  Very long. Some days are boring. Some days are fun and free. Some days are a mixture of all of the above. And then some days are absolutely killer. Like yesterday. The following happened: 1) I woke up with a pounding head ache.  This was self inflicted, as I went to the Billy Joel concert the night before and drank one too many beers.  (Note to self - when drinking at a concert, always buy a bottle of water.  No water = pounding head ache). 2) I also woke up with a sore throat.  The family's summer cold has officially hit me. 3) With pounding head…
  • My Everything

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    18 Jul 2014 | 7:53 am
    I was 19 when I first felt the lump on my left breast.  I was young then.  I didn't worry about hardly anything, and I didn't worry about the lump.  I asked my doctor about it during a check up.  He felt it and told me it was "probably fine."  Life went on.  The lump remained. After I had my first son, ten years later, I remember consciously feeling for the lump and realizing it was gone.  I wasn't quite sure when it had disappeared but I remember feeling relief.  Being 29, I wasn't as carefree as I had been in my late teens.  I still felt somewhat…
  • Head on Over...

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    14 Jul 2014 | 10:26 am
    To the Ms. JD website today (click here).  There's an interview of yours truly! Happy Monday!
  • Hello from the Cape and a GIVEAWAY for the Summer Sun

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    9 Jul 2014 | 6:33 am
    I've been MIA for the last month or so.  There are several excuses reasons - three children, lack of school, the new season of Orange is the New Black, laziness, a health scare, and most recently, vacation. Hello from Cape Cod.  Mayo Beach, Wellfleet, Cape CodWe come for two weeks every year.  And I spend the rest of the year looking forward to it.  It is, quite simply, my favorite place on earth.  (As I've previously written about here and here and here and here).  I've been drinking way too much and eating way too much and…
  • Deep Thoughts on a (Bizarre) Solo Car Trip

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    26 Jun 2014 | 6:54 am
    Long car trips by myself used to make me anxious.  I would do them, but I would dread them.  They were boring and monotonous and stressful and every once in a while I would have a really bad one, where I would get lost (Mapquest, anyone?) or run out of gas (just once, pre-cell phone), or have to pull over on the side of a highway during a blinding rain storm.  In a former life, having a companion for a long car trip was definitely preferable.  Then I had kids.  And my car trip companions tend to make the car journeys rather difficult.  There are vomiting…
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    NB Law

  • After Incidents, CPSC Announces Off-Highway Vehicle Recall

    Larry Nagelberg
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:31 pm
    Too many times, the vehicle that you drive regularly is involved in an accident or more due to equipment failure or other mechanical issues that are only discovered after the firm or federal agencies investigate. People are injured or involved in preventable accidents long before the recall itself is issued, which makes heeding recall alerts even more important. A recent report published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has indicated that, if consumers do not heed to this off-highway […]Related Posts:LED Light Bulbs Linked To 68 Incidents, Product RecalledStrollers…
  • GM’s Chevy Volt Is a Top Safety Pick+, IIHS Reports

    Larry Nagelberg
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:15 pm
    Electric car enthusiasts may welcome the latest news associated with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s most recent top safety awards list. We know General Motors is probably celebrating as well! According to the reports, Chevy Volt was the only small vehicle to receive a Top Safety Pick+ award, both for how well the vehicle performed during the tests and how the model is fitted with technology that might help drivers to avoid crashes. While only five vehicles scored the […]Related Posts:Chevy Volt Power Cords Also Pose Fire Hazard, Source SaysIIHS Names The Dodge Dart…
  • GM Recalls Buick, GMC, Chevrolet & Cadillac Vehicles

    Larry Nagelberg
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:10 pm
    It appears as if General Motors really enjoys being constantly under the public eye for how often their vehicles get recalled. A recent announcement issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has indicated that GM has recalled all units of the 2011 through 2012 Buick Regal, LaCrosse, and Chevrolet Camaro, and all units of the 2010 through 2012 Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox, and GMC Terrain after the firm learned that the vehicles affected come with power height adjustable seats […]Related Posts:GM Announces Recall Expansion, More Than 3 Million Cars…Buick…
  • Make This a Safe Summer by Following Grilling Safety Tips

    Larry Nagelberg
    28 Jul 2014 | 3:53 pm
    Grilling safety is extremely important for those of us who are used to experiencing long, extremely dry summers here in California. When it comes to heat elements, consumers should keep in mind that certain steps should be followed so that they are not exposing others to fire risks. Grilling safety steps should be considered at all times before, during and after the barbecue at home with family and friends. According to experts, using propane or charcoal barbecue grills can pose […]Related Posts:Make Your Home Accident-Proof For The SummerThese Safety Tips Will Help You to Host a Safe…
  • Tommee Tippee Baby Monitors Get Recalled Over Strangulation Risk

    Larry Nagelberg
    25 Jul 2014 | 4:04 pm
    According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Tommee Tippee monitors that are designed to be used with children are being recalled over a possible strangulation risk. The affected products might be hazardous and while no incidents were reported up to this moment, the company decided to issue this recall promptly. At least 25,000 units of these products have been distributed across the country, other 3,500 units of these products were sold in Canada. According to the CPSC, the sensor […]Related Posts:Summer Infant Video Baby Monitors Recalled, Fatalities…Infant Swings…
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    Profit and Laws

  • Top 3 Must-Reads for Your Lunch Break

    30 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    A $6 Billion Opportunity for the Rural Energy Economy | Institute for Local Self-Reliance I’ve been in meetings where government types have astounded me with the amount of cash given to the USDA to help farmers and rural communities. This $6 billion can help farmers and entrepreneurs upgrade their facilities, save money, conserve energy and keep the […]
  • Top 5 Weekly Reads

    24 Jul 2014 | 9:22 am
    How Not to Sell Things on the Internet (Legal Edition) 23andMe lost when they tried to enforce their terms of use – because they stuck the link to their terms of use at the bottom of the site. Listen up, web sellers: imagine going to a car dealership and getting the contract AFTER you bought the car – […]
  • Eight Articles You Need to Read

    15 Jul 2014 | 1:21 pm
    This poem, written by Emma Lazarus and engraved on a bronze plaque inside the Statue of Liberty, represents the United States as the land of the immigrant; the land of the free. Today, some people have lost sight of the fact that this great nation was built upon the foundation of freedom and acceptance; on […]
  • Seven Stories You May Have Missed

    8 Jul 2014 | 8:43 am
    It’s time to declare your independence from the people who have taken it from you. You know that July 4th is the day we celebrate our national independence from the British crown. What you may not know is that July 4th was just as much about declaring independence from a giant monopoly that pushed them […]
  • Infoposters are not Infographics

    1 Jul 2014 | 9:30 am
    A great infographic is a thing of wonder. An infographic uses one central arrangement or metaphor to communicate several ideas at once. The most popular example is Minard’s graphic showing Napoleon’s march across Europe (though I always find it fairly incomprehensible). But, too many infoposters get credit for being infographics, which takes the pressure off […]
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    Virginia Workplace Law - Karen Elliott, Managing Editor

  • Pregnancy Guidance Seems to Require Light Duty For All

    Karen Elliott
    16 Jul 2014 | 6:56 am
    The EEOC’s pregnancy discrimination guidance issued July 14 affects more than just the rights of pregnant women in the workplace. Although nominally titled as an enforcement guidance regarding “pregnancy discrimination,”  the guidance potentially reaches beyond pregnant employees to employees with a disability regardless of cause. The EEOC’s guidance holds that impairments related to pregnancy may qualify for accommodation as a disability under the ADA, and if light duty is offered to injured workers, it must also be offered to qualifying pregnant workers as a…
  • Virginia Significantly Raises Worker Misclassification Fines

    Phyllis Katz
    14 Jul 2014 | 9:36 am
    Worker misclassification remains a number one target area for both state and federal review.  On July 1, 2014, the  Virginia Workers Compensation Act (the “VWCA”) significantly increased the civil penalties that the state can impose on a Virginia business owner who has failed to insure a worker who should have been insured.    The civil penalty is now up to $250 per day for each day of noncompliance, subject to a maximum penalty of $50,000, plus collection costs.”  The VWCA requires every business owner with more than two employees (a part-time worker is counted…
  • Are Work Centers Really Unions in Disguise?

    Annemarie Cleary
    18 Jun 2014 | 9:41 am
    Membership in labor unions is at its lowest point in nearly a century. But, that doesn’t mean that workers are not without their champions.  Worker advocacy groups, also known as work centers, have sprung up across the county to aid workers in low-wage industries, such as restaurants, big box retail and agriculture.  Work centers often focus on particular industries or underserved immigrant workers and provide a range of services, including, for example, English as a second language classes.  The Restaurant Opportunities Center (“ROC”), Organization United for Respect at…
  • The employer conundrum over conducting criminal background screens

    Mike DeCamps
    15 May 2014 | 10:46 am
    The war continues over the use of criminal background checks in the hiring process and employers are caught in the middle. A brief history here may be helpful. In April of 2012 the EEOC published its Enforcement Guidance on Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although the Guidance is not binding on Employers it unequivocally declared the direction the EEOC was taking in investigating Employers who were allegedly illegally using criminal history in employment decisions and recommended that Employers refrain…
  • Employers face new era of ADA compliance issues

    Karen Elliott
    14 Mar 2014 | 12:44 pm
    A recent Fourth Circuit opinion and state laws like New Jersey’s new pregnancy accommodation statute highlight the new era of compliance issues facing employers dealing with worker medical situations. Accommodating issues of temporary disabilities and pregnancy-related impairments, and whether to provide leave or reduced job duties as accommodations lead the list of issues for 2014.  Managing these complex leave laws while running a profitable business will prove challenging for employers. To understand the current dilemma facing employers, a little history helps. The Americans with…
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    Virginia Business Lawyers

  • Virginia Business Law: Donald Sterling and the Law on Audio Recordings

    Stefan Calos
    18 Jul 2014 | 8:41 am
    This isn’t really about Donald Sterling, the now-infamous owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. It’s about what made him a household name.  Audio recordings have been causing businessmen and politicians problems for years. What are the rules?  Some states require that everyone involved in a conversation know it is being recorded. In Virginia, however, only one party to a conversation needs to know (see Virginia Code § 19.2-62.B.2). So if you and I have a conversation, either of us can record it without telling the other.  But nobody else can record it without telling one of us.
  • New Rules For Casual Residential Real Estate Investors

    Brian Pitney
    10 Jul 2014 | 7:32 am
    During the Great Recession, many savvy investors and entrepreneurs took advantage of plummeting home prices and low interest rates by buying up and leasing residential real estate.  Owners did not need to worry about complying with the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA) if they rented ten or fewer single family residences.  The law changed on July 1, 2014, however, and now applies to most landlords owning and renting three or more such units. A few of the restrictions and obligations that apply to these landlords under the VRLTA (now also known as the Virginia Rental…
  • Rogue CFO III – Background Checks

    David Carroll
    28 May 2014 | 10:48 am
    Blog Series: Rogue CFO – I – Introduction Rogue CFO – II –Internal Accounting Controls and Supervision Perform Background Checks. It seems obvious. Why would a company not want as much information about a candidate for its CFO position that it can legally obtain? But this oversight is common. Too many smaller companies hire CFOs and other senior people without a background check, which is beyond irresponsible. In one example, a CFO was discovered tampering with the company’s accounts. A simple Google search would have revealed that not only had this CFO been sued by his…
  • What to Consider Before Buying a Business

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    12 May 2014 | 9:41 am
    Buying an existing business can be exhilarating and frightening all at once.  It is important to find out as much about the business, its operations and finances as possible before purchase.  Typical asset purchase agreements give a set period of time for investigation (often called due diligence). Here are some matters to investigate: Why is the Seller selling? What are the greatest challenges in the business during the past few years? Get three years of financial information including company tax returns if possible. Does the business have structured systems and processes that would…
  • Business Succession Planning is More Than Just Money

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    30 Apr 2014 | 12:42 pm
    In reading about Ron Francis’ promotion to general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, one paragraph  stood out to me: Francis, 51, said he had no reservations about taking over a position he has been groomed for in recent years as assistant general manager, director of player personnel and vice president of hockey operations. He also went behind the bench as associate head coach, gaining another perspective. (From the News and Observer, April 29,2014) Many business owners think succession planning is all financial, but there are significant organizational and management components as…
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    Hoboken Bankruptcy Attorney - (201) 676-0722

  • In debt? You’re not alone

    29 Jul 2014 | 10:35 am
    A new study shows that a whopping 77 million Americans has debt that’s listed on their credit report as being “in collections.”  That’s 35% of adults who have credit files.  And this debt is spread around all over the country, even though a higher percentage of it is in the South. The student was released by the nonprofit Urban Institute. So if you have bad debt on your credit report, you’re not alone.  Millions of Americans have the same problem.  The difference boils down to, can you do anything about it? Is bankruptcy or debt settlement right for you?
  • Are you eligible for Ch. 7 or Ch. 13 bankruptcy?

    15 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Eligibility for Ch. 7 or Ch. 13 bankruptcy can turn on who is filing the bankruptcy, the type and amount of debt, the amount of income, and the amount of expenses. Who is filing the bankruptcy: Only a human being (or a human being and his or her spouse) can file a Chapter 13 case. Neither a partnership nor a corporation can file a Chapter 13 case, but it can file a Chapter 7, whether or not the business owner also files one individually. The type and amount of debt: If your debt is primarily consumer debt (a dollar amount of more than 50%), then you have to pass the means test to qualify for…
  • Student loan settlement companies to be sued by Illinois AG

    14 Jul 2014 | 6:11 am
    Student-loan settlement companies that allegedly take people’s money and do not provide the promised student-loan debt help will be sued by the Attorney General of Illinois, the New York Times reported.  Illinois will be the first state to take legal action against companies that advertise help for student loan debtors. Two of these student loan debt assistance companies will be sued – Broadsword Student Advantage and First American Tax Defense – according to the Times reporters, who stated that they read advance copies of the Illinois Attorney General’s lawsuits.
  • Lots of business debt can allow you to qualify for Ch. 7 more easily

    10 Jul 2014 | 10:23 pm
    If you owe more business/non-consumer debt than consumer debt, then you avoid not only the “means test” but also some other roadblocks to a successful post-business Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. What’s the “Means Test” and Why Does It Matter? Bankruptcy law says that if your income is more than a certain amount, you have to pass a means test to be able to go through a Chapter 7 case successfully. One way to avoid this means test is by having less income than the permitted median family income for the state in which you live. But the median family income amounts are relatively low. If…
  • What happens to general unsecured debt in Chapter 7?

    10 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Examples of general unsecured debts include credit card debt and medical debt.  If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you should know how these general unsecured debts are handled. Secured debt usually is tied to your most important possessions, such as your home or your car. So it’s understandable that being able to keep these types of collateral will drive your bankruptcy decisions.  Likewise, your “priority” debts tend to involve your most aggressive creditors and often can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, so these also grab our attention. But it’s more likely that…
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    Law Firm Newswire » Legal News

  • As Congress Dithers, Clock Continues to Tick on Disability Fund

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 31, 2014 – Unless changes are made, the Social Security disability fund will run out of money by end of 2016. Capitol Hill’s notorious procrastination could soon impact millions of Americans receiving Social Security disability payments. Within the next three years, Congress must come up with a plan to keep the program financially afloat. And given federal lawmakers’ proclivity for adopting short-term fixes at the eleventh hour, disabled workers may have to wait for a significant period before even finding about any stopgap measure that…
  • Traffic Fatalities Decrease in 2014

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) July 31, 2014 – As of late May, traffic fatalities in Illinois have fallen 23 percent compared to the same time period last year. There were 290 highway deaths in the state by May 23 this year, a decrease of 89 fatalities from the same period in 2013. “The decrease in traffic fatalities is welcome news, and hopefully, it is a trend that will continue,” said Paul Greenberg, a Chicago car accident attorney. The reasons for the decline in fatal accidents are unclear, but there are several likely possibilities. On January 1, a statewide ban on the use of…
  • Decreased Fatalities Reported During Michigan Fourth of July Drunk Driving Crackdown

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    30 Jul 2014 | 6:08 am
    Attorney, Shaun R. Marks Flint, MI (Law Firm Newswire) July 30, 2014 – Michigan saw far fewer traffic fatalities during the Fourth of July weekend in 2014 than it did in 2013. Over the 2014 holiday, police engaged in targeted enforcement of laws against drunk driving. This year, there were four traffic deaths in Michigan during the period from 6:00 p.m. July 3 until midnight July 6, according to a statement from Michigan State Police. In 2013, there were 19 traffic fatalities over the holiday weekend, and 40 percent of them involved alcohol. This year’s crackdown on drunk driving…
  • Roth 401(k)s May Offer Greater Tax Flexibility

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    29 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook) Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) July 29, 2014 – Employers who offer 401(k) retirement savings accounts are increasingly providing the option of a Roth 401(k). This presents workers with the same question that IRAs do: which to choose, traditional or Roth? According to a prominent Virginia estate planning attorney, the choice depends on individual circumstances, but Roth 401(k)s may generally offer greater tax flexibility. “When an employer offers the option of contributing to both a traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k), it can be wise to…
  • With Launch of New Website, Petrillo and Goldberg Highlights Its Tried-and-True Approach

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    29 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    Petrillo & Goldberg Law launched an newly designed website. Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) July 29, 2014 – The major South Jersey personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm has launched a new website. Petrillo and Goldberg — a Pennsauken, New Jersey law firm that specializes in serving clients in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases — unveiled its new website earlier this month. The firm expects that the updated website will provide a more user-friendly and interactive experience for visitors accessing its array of legal services. Through the site,…
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    My Distribution Law

  • The Senate is Considering Minimum Resale Pricing for Contact Lenses

    Howard Ullman
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:45 pm
    NPR has the story.  Under federal law, of course, RPM is subject to the Rule of Reason.  Apparently the Senate is interested because a large portion of the contact lens market is subject to the restrictions. It is unclear to me whether the manufacturers have truly nationwide policies or whether they have excepted those states that still treat — or may treat — minimum RPM as per se unlawful.
  • Northern District of California Addresses Functional Discounts, Price Discrimination Claims

    Howard Ullman
    17 Jul 2014 | 3:43 pm
    Chrysler 1959 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In Mathew Enterprise, Inc. v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95522 (N.D. Cal. July 11, 2014) (Freeman, J.), the court dismissed certain Robinson-Patman Act price discrimination claims and allowed others to proceed, and in so doing addressed the contours of the functional availability defense. The plaintiff is a car dealership. It alleged that Chrysler grants “volume growth” incentives which function as a subsidy and amount to roughly $700 per vehicle sold by a qualifying dealer. The plaintiff alleged that Chrysler allowed competing…
  • A World Without Patents?

    Howard Ullman
    10 Jul 2014 | 2:44 pm
    (Photo credit: Alexandre Dulaunoy) Planet Money’s recent podcast interviews two economists who advocate for the ultimate patent law reform: the abolition of patents. They argue that patents inhibit innovation.  For example, the Wright Brothers supposedly secured a number of patents on their early airplane design — which didn’t work very well and which stalled (pun intended) airframe development in the U.S. for a number of years.  The industry migrated to France to avoid the U.S. patents. What about pharma, you might ask (as did I?)  Are pharma companies really going to…
  • Happy Fourth of July

    Howard Ullman
    3 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) For your weekend reading, here’s an interesting article by Joseph Stiglitz in the New York Times: “Inequality is Not Inevitable.”
  • “Taking the Law Out of Harvard Law School”

    Howard Ullman
    20 Jun 2014 | 3:34 pm
    Harvard Law School Langdell Library in Cambridge, Mass. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The absurd disconnect between legal education and practice has often been noted, but Max Kennerly has a superbly-articulated critique of the continuing state of affairs at HLS and other law schools. (No, I don’t agree with everything else on Max’s blog.) Related articles Taking The Law Out of Harvard Law School
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    Attorney at Work

  • Smart Ways Lawyers Can Use Email Marketing

    Karin Conroy
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    It’s clear that email is central to communications these days, with an estimated 122 billion emails being sent per hour. So it’s no wonder almost 70 percent of marketers rely on email as a core part of their marketing strategy — because it works. How can an email marketing plan help your law practice? Email marketing keeps clients connected to you, which makes them more likely to contact you when they need legal services. If you’re new to email marketing, or even an old hand at it, try some of these low-maintenance methods for incorporating email into your marketing…
  • The Expertise Effect: How Getting Narrow Can Grow Your Practice

    Jay Harrington
    30 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    There are countless ways lawyers can and do compete with one another for work. We have price — what work costs; process — how work is performed; personality — the lawyer’s and her firm’s; place — one’s geographic location; principles — “honesty,” “integrity,” “work ethic.” Those and countless others that don’t start with “p” are all characteristics that lawyers emphasize in an effort to differentiate themselves. But these are not the fields on which you want to play. Expertise, narrowly defined, is what good clients crave and are willing to pay a premium for.
  • How to Welcome a Lateral Attorney

    The Editors
    29 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    Question: A partner from a local firm is joining our practice in a few weeks. It’s been several years since we hired a senior lateral attorney, and, honestly, it didn’t go so well the last time we did. Can you give some good tips on integrating a new lateral hire into our firm? Henry Angelino: Hiring a new partner is a big decision and a big financial investment for a law firm. The upside is that new partners can bring exciting opportunities to the firm through their expertise and talents. The downside is that they will start earning a salary from day one and may not produce any…
  • The Pain of the Gain: 10 Steps to a High Growth Rate

    Bob Christensen
    28 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    It’s unavoidable. If the goal you and your colleagues have set for your firm is a high rate of growth, you are going to be banging your heads against a wall every day. So it’s important to know up front whether that wall is made of bricks or gold. Will the gain be worth the pain? 10 Steps to Grow Your Firm These are the 10 steps I used to accelerate growth at a previous employer from start-up to nearly $1 billion a year — and use today with TheFormTool. While no approach to business will work in every circumstance, these steps are highly adaptable to a law firm — whether a…
  • Trending: Client Service

    Kandy Hopkins
    25 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    What’s the biggest predictor of a law firm’s success? Hint: It’s not the firm’s bottom line. The No. 1 thing impacting a firm’s long-term viability is client satisfaction. Several articles over the past month highlighted the need for firms to get and stay focused on client service — with issues ranging from core values and new ways of working, to proactive communications and providing a high level of customization. Let’s take a look. 1. Clients are canaries. Research into seven failed professional services firms, four of which were law firms, indicates declining client…
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    Justia Law, Technology & Legal Marketing Blog

  • Supreme Court or Bust: Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks, July 25, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    25 Jul 2014 | 11:25 am
    Two federal appeals courts this week issued conflicting opinions on Obamacare.King v. Burwell, US 4th Cir. (7/22/14) Health Law, Tax LawPlaintiffs filed suit challenging the validity of an IRS final rule implementing the premium tax credit provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), 26 U.S.C. 36B. The final rule interprets the Act as authorizing the IRS to grant tax credits to individuals who purchase health insurance on both state-run insurance “Exchanges” and federally-facilitated “Exchanges” created and operated by HHS. The court found that…
  • Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks, July 18, 2014 – As California Goes . . .

    Cicely Wilson
    18 Jul 2014 | 12:24 pm
    This week, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued a ruling that California’s death penalty is unconstitutional.  Read Courtney Minick’s analysis of the opinion on Justia’s Verdict: Federal Judge Strikes Down California Death Penalty: What This Could Mean for California.Texas Div., Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. v. Vandergriff, et al., US 5th Cir. (7/14/14) Civil Rights, Constitutional LawPlaintiff filed suit alleging that the Board violated its First Amendment right to free speech when it denied plaintiff’s application for a…
  • Google and the Right to Be Forgotten

    Ken Chan
    7 Jul 2014 | 11:42 am
    Last month, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a preliminary ruling on the right of natural persons to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data. In the case, Mr. Costeja González, a Spanish national, had lodged a complaint with the Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD), the Spanish Data Protection Agency, concerning a then 12-year-old announcement in La Vanguardia Ediciones SL, a Spanish newspaper, that mentioned a real-estate auction connected with attachment proceedings for the recovery of Mr. González’s social security debts. Mr. González…
  • Justia Resources and Commentary on the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision

    David Kemp
    30 Jun 2014 | 9:14 am
    Today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the much-anticipated case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (formerly Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., consolidated with Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell and Autocam Corp. v. Burwell).In a 5-4 opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, the Court held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) permits a closely held for-profit corporation to deny its employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA),…
  • Super Size It: Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks, June 27, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    27 Jun 2014 | 3:16 pm
    New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce v. New York City Dep’t of Health & Mental Hygiene, New York COA, (6/26/14)In 2012, in an effort to combat obesity among residents of New York City, the New York City Board of Health amended the City Health Code so as to restrict the size of cups and containers used by food service establishments for the provision of sugary drinks. The proposed rule, referred to as the “Portion Cap Rule,” was to go into effect in 2013. Six not-for-profit and labor organizations challenged the Portion Cap Rule. Supreme Court, New York City…
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    BullsEye Blog

  • In Pari Delicto: Were Pricewaterhouse and MF Global Equally at Fault for Botched European Investments?

    28 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    In a decision this month to partially reject PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s motion to dismiss a $1 billion lawsuit filed by MF Global, U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero found that simply relying on auditor PwC’s erroneous financial guidance in pursuit of MF Global’s ill-advised foreign transactions is not enough to trigger the “in pari delicto” doctrine.
  • Participation Loan Expert Survives Most (But Not All) Daubert Challenges

    21 Jul 2014 | 11:00 am
    In a decision handed down earlier this year an Alabama District Court addressed multiple Daubert challenges leveled by plaintiff against defendant’s participation loan expert.
  • Supreme Court Ruling Sparks Spate of Fee Shifting in Patent Cases

    14 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Barely two months after the Supreme Court gave federal judges greater discretion to award attorneys' fees in patent litigation, the judges are taking heed. In at least six cases decided during May and June, judges have found the case to meet the Supreme Court's less rigid "exceptional" standard warranting an award of attorneys' fees to the prevailing party.
  • Is the Fix In? The FX Rate Manipulation Scandal Explained

    5 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    While we presume you’ve heard about the FX fixing scandal, you are forgiven if you might confuse it with the abuse of custodial trust FX scandal, the FX rate hard sales markup investigation going on now, the LIBOR manipulation scandal, or one of the many other chapters of Banksters Gone Wild, Treasury Edition that seem to have found a permanent place on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. If it feels like there’s a new one of these every week, that’s because there very nearly is.
  • Lack of Supporting Analysis Dooms Experts in E-Book Litigation

    30 Jun 2014 | 6:00 am
    In a prior blog post, we discussed a decision denying Apple’s motion to exclude the opinion of the plaintiffs’ antitrust economics expert. This post examines the same decision granting plaintiffs’ motion to exclude the opinions of Apple’s experts, Dr. Joseph Kalt and Mr. Jonathan Orszag, filed in opposition to class certification.
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    Hunt & Associates, PC

  • A Comic Caricature of the Corrupt Judge

    29 Jul 2014 | 9:34 am
    If you thought the judge who decided your case was bad, you haven’t met the judge described in this story who was, literally, in bed with one party in an ongoing case before him. The judge’s response to the disciplinary complaint is a model of brazen stupidity and judicial narcissism worth a moment’s laughing contemplation. If nothing else, this story is a reminder that judicial corruption probably should be a capital offense. © 7/29/2014 Lawrence B. Hunt of Hunt & Associates, P.C.  All rights reserved. Facebook TweetThis Digg StumbleUpon You might be interested in…
  • We Say Good Bye, Hello to Kevin Tillson

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:13 pm
    After more than 9 years Kevin Tillson will leave our firm on August 1 to pursue his career as a sole practitioner in Sandy, Oregon; closer to his home and focusing his practice on estate planning, probate, and protective proceedings such as guardianships and conservatorships. We wish him the best. At the same time we want to welcome Kevin Tillson back to our office in his new role as “of counsel” to our firm. Kevin will continue to meet with our clients in our downtown Portland office to provide his expertise and help in estate planning, probate and protective proceedings. In short, even…
  • Introducing Nathan Piers-VanderPloeg; Our New Associate Attorney

    Heather Carr
    8 Jul 2014 | 8:49 am
    Hunt & Associates, PC is pleased to announce that Nathan Piers-VanderPloeg has joined the firm as an Associate Attorney Nathan is a native Oregonian. He earned his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2011, and graduated from Linfield College with a BA in Political Science in 2005. Nathan was admitted to the Oregon Bar in 2011. Since then he has successfully handled a broad range of legal matters encompassing a broad range of legal issues including questions of employment and labor law, personal injury and insurance, construction defects, criminal law, contracts and…
  • Update to the Feds’ Seizure of Tax Refunds from Relatives to Recover Claimed Social Security Benefit Overpayments Made More than Ten Years Ago

    Lawrence Hunt
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:56 am
    The Social Security Administration has just announced that it has suspended efforts to recoup overpayments of benefits it claims to have made more than ten years ago while it reviews its “. . . responsibility and discretion under current law.”  See more here. © 4/15/2014 Lawrence B. Hunt of Hunt & Associates, P.C.  All rights reserved. Facebook TweetThis Digg StumbleUpon You might be interested in this:    Estate Planning and the Fiscal Cliff  Estate Planning – It’s Just as Much Life Planning as it is Death Planning…
  • The Debts of the Parents are Paid by their Children; Like It or Not

    Lawrence Hunt
    14 Apr 2014 | 9:15 am
    Although children aren’t generally responsible for their parents’ debts, the rule apparently doesn’t apply when the federal government wants to collect. As Marc Fisher recently reported in the Washington Post here, since 2011 when the federal government repealed the ten year statute of limitations applicable to governmental claims for overpayments of benefits, the government has enthusiastically pursued collection of old debts; often seizing tax refunds from children for overpayments the feds claim were made to their parents more than thirty years ago.  The Social Security…
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    Rozek Law

  • Support For Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts

    Randy Rozek
    25 Jul 2014 | 11:28 am
    Visit us at Golfers in Massachusetts played to support the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts. On Monday, June 23rd, Laura Herman, the Golf Classic chairman, welcomed the groups of golfers. Herman has been involved with the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) The event raised $25,000, which goes directly to BIA-MA for support, prevention, education and advocacy. The players enjoyed a day of challenge on the parkland-style course. After the game was finished, everyone was invited for dinner and a silent auction as well as a live auction to benefit the cause.
  • Lawsuit Claims Inflatable Wrestling Suit Caused Brain Injury

    Randy Rozek
    23 Jul 2014 | 9:18 am
    Visit us at A teenage girl’s family in Miami-Dade County is suing the company that makes inflatable sumo wrestling costumes for allegedly causing her to have brain damage. The 15 year old girl, Celaida Lissabet, and her mother sued the charter school Mater Academy and Mega Party Events. The lawsuit contends that the suits are used for “violent recreational sumo wrestling games.” The lawsuit also alleges that the company knew of similar incidents that had happened that makes the suit dangerous. Lissabet was wearing the suit during the “Spirit Day” at…
  • Can Memory Be Restored After A Brain Injury

    Randy Rozek
    14 Jul 2014 | 12:40 pm
    Visit us at The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Program in Memory Restoration $15 million toward a four-year project aiming to help restore the loss of memory function in those suffering from brain-injury (Nichols, 2014). According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traumatic brain injury makes up 30% of all deaths related to injury. Brain injury can have such effects as impaired thinking and speech, movement, emotional functioning, as well as memory. In 2010, approximately 2.5…
  • Brain Injuries And Discrimination

    Randy Rozek
    9 Jul 2014 | 11:56 am
    Visit us at According to the Brain Injury Association of America, an average of 1.7 million people in the United States suffer brain injuries each year. Brain injuries do not discriminate, but people who suffer from them are often discriminated against and misunderstood. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can leave individuals with ongoing impairments that stop them from finding and keeping a job. Such problems might be related to attention, memory, communication, reasoning or problem solving. It can also impair vision, coordination or sleep. Additionally, people who suffer a TBI may…
  • Signs Of A Brain Injury – A Parents Guide

    Randy Rozek
    6 Jul 2014 | 7:32 pm
    Visit us at As a parent, I know that I am vigilant if one of my children falls and bumps their head.  I know the basic signs of a concussion and when or if I need to take my child to the doctor or emergency room.  But I started thinking about what are some of the signs that aren’t as easily recognized.  With a brain injury some signs and symptoms might appear immediately after the incident while others could take days or more to show up. First, a brain injury, also known as a traumatic brain injury, is defined as an injury that occurs when an external mechanical force causes…
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  • Small Towns Emerge Victorious in Recent Legal Battle on Fracking

    Natalie Cappellazzo
    29 Jul 2014 | 7:48 am
    Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has become one of the most controversial issues that environmentalists and oil companies alike are grappling with.  Hydrofracturing is a process by which high-pressure fluid is injected into small holes that have been drilled into the ground, in order to create fractures in deep-rock formations.  The fracturing of the rock then […]
  • 10 Summer Moving Tips to Make For a Breezy Transition

    Krystal Chapin
    21 Jul 2014 | 9:21 am
    It’s summertime and the real estate market is in full swing. Are you getting the moving bug? When it’s time to make the big move, will you be ready? Read these 10 Summer Moving Tips to make sure you’re prepared. Decide whether or not your move is manageable to do yourself with a few helpers, […]
  • Social Media in the Courtroom: Evidence, Hacking, and the Issue of Free Speech

    Natalie Cappellazzo
    9 Jul 2014 | 8:22 am
    As social media becomes an increasingly widespread method of communicating with friends and family, conducting business, and sharing news, it also appears more frequently within the context of the law.  For quite some time now, material from social media has been used as evidence in investigations and lawsuits alike.  Evidence gathered from a defendant’s social […]
  • Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Ruling: Beyond Birth Control

    Natalie Cappellazzo
    3 Jul 2014 | 6:40 am
    On Monday, June 30th, a divided Supreme Court ruled that closely-held, for-profit corporations are not legally obligated to provide contraception coverage to their female employees.  Initially, the case began when Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned craft supply chain, and Conestoga Wood, a Pennsylvania-based and Mennonite family-owned wood manufacturer, decided to challenge the contraception mandate included in […]
  • FIFA World Cup Law versus Brazilian Constitutional Law: A Legislative Match

    Natalie Cappellazzo
    27 Jun 2014 | 12:06 pm
    The global outbreak of World Cup fever rages on as the highly anticipated and widely followed sporting event progresses into the next stage.  Currently in the midst of the competition, goals, saves, controversial calls, and perhaps even more controversial player antics, take center stage.  However, throughout the lead up to this World Cup, before the […]
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    bLAWgical Thinking

  • #barpreplife: Let the #barexam begin

    28 Jul 2014 | 1:05 pm
    GUEST BLOG by Lauren Thedford, SMU Law School graduate and BARBRI bar review student I’m headed to my hotel this afternoon to get settled in. I’ve found a gym nearby so I can afford myself some stress relief if I have time. Mom set me […]
  • #barpreplife: BEWARE — Bar Prepper

    15 Jul 2014 | 11:10 am
    GUEST BLOG by Lauren Thedford, SMU Law School graduate and BARBRI bar review student 2 Weeks Left The countdown is no longer a friendly thing. To be honest, I’m not sure if it ever was. Today marks 15 days until the bar exam. The anxiety […]
  • #barpreplife: #BarPrepTweetsOTheWeek brought to you in the form of #BarPrepMovieTitles

    10 Jul 2014 | 6:21 pm
    GUEST BLOG by Lauren Thedford, SMU Law School graduate and BARBRI bar review student What do you do on a Monday night deep in the middle of bar prep? You manipulate popular movie titles into bar prep related titles. This definitely counts as human interaction […]
  • #barpreplife: I Dunno

    1 Jul 2014 | 12:39 pm
    GUEST BLOG by Lauren Thedford, SMU Law School graduate and BARBRI bar review student Hello all, It’s been a while, I know. There are really only a few things going on when you’re half-way through bar prep: 1) Stress Most days I’m stressed because I […]
  • #barpreplife: Bargression

    20 Jun 2014 | 11:11 am
    GUEST BLOG by Lauren Thedford, SMU Law School graduate and BARBRI bar review student Bargression is a thing. Bargression is when, due to bar prep, one is irrationally angry or emotional for no reason other than being stressed and overwhelmed. The catalyst could be tiny […]
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    Attorney at Work

  • Smart Ways Lawyers Can Use Email Marketing

    Karin Conroy
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    It’s clear that email is central to communications these days, with an estimated 122 billion emails being sent per hour. So it’s no wonder almost 70 percent of marketers rely on email as a core part of their marketing strategy — because it works. How can an email marketing plan help your law practice? Email marketing keeps clients connected to you, which makes them more likely to contact you when they need legal services. If you’re new to email marketing, or even an old hand at it, try some of these low-maintenance methods for incorporating email into your marketing…
  • The Expertise Effect: How Getting Narrow Can Grow Your Practice

    Jay Harrington
    30 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    There are countless ways lawyers can and do compete with one another for work. We have price — what work costs; process — how work is performed; personality — the lawyer’s and her firm’s; place — one’s geographic location; principles — “honesty,” “integrity,” “work ethic.” Those and countless others that don’t start with “p” are all characteristics that lawyers emphasize in an effort to differentiate themselves. But these are not the fields on which you want to play. Expertise, narrowly defined, is what good clients crave and are willing to pay a premium for.
  • How to Welcome a Lateral Attorney

    The Editors
    29 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    Question: A partner from a local firm is joining our practice in a few weeks. It’s been several years since we hired a senior lateral attorney, and, honestly, it didn’t go so well the last time we did. Can you give some good tips on integrating a new lateral hire into our firm? Henry Angelino: Hiring a new partner is a big decision and a big financial investment for a law firm. The upside is that new partners can bring exciting opportunities to the firm through their expertise and talents. The downside is that they will start earning a salary from day one and may not produce any…
  • The Pain of the Gain: 10 Steps to a High Growth Rate

    Bob Christensen
    28 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    It’s unavoidable. If the goal you and your colleagues have set for your firm is a high rate of growth, you are going to be banging your heads against a wall every day. So it’s important to know up front whether that wall is made of bricks or gold. Will the gain be worth the pain? 10 Steps to Grow Your Firm These are the 10 steps I used to accelerate growth at a previous employer from start-up to nearly $1 billion a year — and use today with TheFormTool. While no approach to business will work in every circumstance, these steps are highly adaptable to a law firm — whether a…
  • Trending: Client Service

    Kandy Hopkins
    25 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    What’s the biggest predictor of a law firm’s success? Hint: It’s not the firm’s bottom line. The No. 1 thing impacting a firm’s long-term viability is client satisfaction. Several articles over the past month highlighted the need for firms to get and stay focused on client service — with issues ranging from core values and new ways of working, to proactive communications and providing a high level of customization. Let’s take a look. 1. Clients are canaries. Research into seven failed professional services firms, four of which were law firms, indicates declining client…
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    The Attorney Marketing Center

  • Happiness is a choice

    David M. Ward
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:39 am
    Yesterday, I had one of those moments. You know the one I mean. It’s when you’re having a bad day and you are convinced that you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re not good at anything, and you should probably give up and go do something else. Yeah, that kind of moment. But then I paused and thought about it. I thought about things that were going well, things that had amazing potential, and things that I was really good at, and the cloud of doom over my head floated away. Just like that, I went from near despair to being excited about the future, and with…
  • How to get more traffic and more clients

    David M. Ward
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:16 am
    Put more people in your posts and articles. You’ll get more traffic, more people reading your content, and more people sharing it. Bottom line, more clients. People like to read about people. Content about people (instead of concepts) is more interesting to read and more interesting to write. You could interview people about their life and accomplishments, about their case or cause, or about their process and recommendations. You could present a transcript of your interview or a summary and quotes. You could do a profile. Or simply mention them. You could review their books or articles…
  • Visualizing success

    David M. Ward
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
    There’s an oft cited experiment by Australian psychologist Alan Richardson. The objective was to see if and to what extent visualization could improve sports performance. Richardson tested three groups of twenty student basketball players shooting free throws and recorded their results. For the next 20 days, he had the first group practice free throws for twenty minutes each day. The second group spent 20 minutes each day visualizing themselves making free throws, without actually practicing. The third group was the control. They did no practicing or visualizing during the twenty day…
  • A little less planning, a little more action

    David M. Ward
    28 Jul 2014 | 11:01 am
    How much planning is enough? Less than you think. You don’t need to plan out the entire case. There are two many variables. You need a plan to get it started. Your experience and instincts will take you the rest of the way. You don’t need to plan all of your marketing. You need to know what you want to accomplish and a few ideas that might help you get there. Your results (or lack thereof) will guide you towards next steps. You don’t need to plan your entire career–when you will retire, and how. It’s impossible to know how much you will need or calculate specific…
  • The single most important question in legal marketing

    David M. Ward
    25 Jul 2014 | 10:19 am
    Knock Knock. Who’s there? New clients. New clients who? New clients aren’t going to hire you unless you give them a good answer to this question. It’s the single most important question in legal marketing. Unfortunately, most attorneys don’t have a very good answer. Here’s the question: “Why should a prospective client hire you instead of any other attorney or firm?” Inadequate (but typical) answers include: “We’re good at what we do” “We work hard for our clients” “We provide excellent ‘customer…
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    Valensi Rose Law

  • Unusual Facts Lead to Unprecedented Victory for Lender

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    22 Jul 2014 | 9:01 am
    By Gary TorrellI’d like to discuss a recent case where unusual facts and aggressive actions, led to an almost unheard-of victory for one of our lender clients.Many homeowners miss a monthly mortgage payment or two, then make it up. But when three to five consecutive payments are missed, the lender often attempts to collect or reach a loan modification with the borrower and, if that process is unsuccessful, the lender begins to foreclose.California and federal laws (including bankruptcy) protect homeowners and can delay a foreclosure for six months to over a year. During this time the…
  • IRS Offers Clean Slate for Undeclared Foreign Accounts

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    14 Jul 2014 | 9:49 am
    By Mayer NazarianIf the tax status of your undeclared overseas accounts is keeping you up at night, effective July 1st Uncle Sam may have just issued you a “Get Out of Jail Free Card.” The IRS has announced a big change to their Offshore Voluntary DisclosureProgram (OVDP), making it easier than ever for those with undeclared offshore accounts to reach tax compliance.Over the past seven to eight years, the IRS has stepped up their enforcement of auditing individuals with over $10,000 in accounts overseas. Under previous programs, even voluntarily coming forward and declaring the overseas…
  • Demanding Transparency from your Broker

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    1 Jul 2014 | 1:11 pm
    By Gary TorrellWhen traversing the complicated transition into home ownership, buyers often view their real estate broker as a trustworthy, impartial advocate. While brokers offer helpful advice throughout the process, it’s important to recognize the economics of the situation: brokers are only paid when they make a sale, and thus are biased towards closing the deal. And when one broker represents both buyer and seller, a buyer may need to take extra steps to ensure transparency.A recent court decision over the sale of home in Malibu dealt with the broker’s liability in reporting the…
  • Avoid Estate Planning Worry: Start Educating Your Children Early

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    26 Jun 2014 | 3:26 pm
    By Bruce SiresA few weeks ago, I was consulted for a CBS News article about preparing children to handle the financial windfall of a large inheritance. In the article, which you can read here, I suggested parents start educating their children early with hands-on exercises in saving, investing and giving back.  I’d like to expand on that advice.Depending on a child’s financial education, they may see a large sum of money as something to be spent, and not as a foundation for a secure future. In many cases, these children grow up being spoon fed by their parent’s wealth, without…
  • A Match Made in Bar Heaven

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    13 Jun 2014 | 4:02 pm
     Matching young lawyers with those in need of pro bono legal servicesBy Autumn RondaPro bono work is a valuable experience for any young attorney. Specifically, a young attorney will find that he or she is creating the opportunity to gain practical lawyering skills, while making a positive impact in the community by helping those who cannot afford legal services. In an article I wrote for the Beverly Hills Bar Association, I discuss the reciprocal benefits of pairing young lawyers in need of real-world experience with those in need of pro bono legal services, and suggest…
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    Law Firm Internet Marketing Blog | Attorney Search Engine Optimization SEO | News & Tips


    Dustin Ruge
    24 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    There is a good deal of discussion these days about client/case conversion but what attorneys often fail to realize is something that the insurance companies learned a long time ago: most people buy from the first responder. Geico, who has literally spent billions of dollars on their brand name alone, found in their own studies that most people will only get one insurance quote and then buy from that firm. When it comes to attorneys, people’s buying habits are no different. In FindLaw’s recently released 2014 consumer legal needs survey they found that fully 72% of respondents indicated…
  • AZ Bar Association Phoenix CLE: Social Media For Attorneys (1 Credit)

    Dustin Ruge
    11 Jul 2014 | 9:19 am
    Dustin Ruge will be speaking at the AZ Bar Association (Phoenix HQ) on the importance and strategies surrounding social media for attorneys on July 11th @ 12 noon. Presentation will be live and available via webcast.For more information and registration:  AZ Bar Association CLE Programs Date & Time: Friday, July 11th at 12 noonCLE Credits: 1Location: 4201 North 24th Street, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85016Faculty: Dustin Ruge #cle  #socialmedia #lawyermarketing
  • Upcoming AZ Bar Association CLE: Social Media For Attorneys (Ethics Credits)

    Dustin Ruge
    13 Jun 2014 | 1:49 pm
    The Arizona Bar Association with host a CLE presentation on the changing role that social media has on attorneys and how to best utilize such vehicles to improve and grow your practice. Attorneys come away with a better understanding of trends in social media, social media best practices to promote your law firm and the importance of social media policies. LEARNING OBJECTIVES:Develop a social media strategy for your firmCreate social media policies for your firmSEMINAR CHAIR: Dustin RugeRegional Manager, FindLawTime & Location: June 30, 20141:30 PM - 3:00 PM (Arizona)00676-SRO- State Bar…
  • 26% of Car Crashes Caused By Cell Phone Use

    Dustin Ruge
    9 Jun 2014 | 11:15 am
    Many personal injury and criminal defense attorneys fail at advertising due to the lemming syndrome. Most will write the same content, advertise in the same ways, do what everybody else does and then expect a different result. The bottom line is there is far to much competition today to be successful as a Lemming. You need to become unique, learn how to set yourself apart and the first place to start is with the facts... In March, the National Safety Council released their 2014 injury facts report that included a few key findings:- Poisoning & Drug Overdoses were the leading causes of…
  • Organic Search & Google + Lead The Way on ROI (Return On Investment)

    Dustin Ruge
    6 Jun 2014 | 8:45 am
    So how does the Return On Investment (ROI) for Organic Search compare to PPC (Pay Per Click or Google Adwords) advertising?  This is a question I receive on almost a daily basis from attorneys. A recent survey by BrightLocal was conducted to determine the highest levels of ROI -  and the results may be surprising to some. We often think in the context of organic search versus PPC but what this surveys shows is that we may be missing one of the most important and fasting growing tools of all: Google + / Google Local.Since 2009, we have been posting countless articles on the…
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    Estate Law Canada

  • Hilarious obituary goes viral

    29 Jul 2014 | 5:36 pm
    The internet loves anything quirky or odd, and it seems that the obituary that Kevin J. McGroarty wrote for himself fits that description. Mr. McGroarty died last week in Pennsylvania. His obituary has been viewed thousands of times as it circulates the internet. For more information, and to read this wonderful, funny, lively obituary that covers everything from his pet turtle to how the
  • Three business succession secrets

    29 Jul 2014 | 9:18 am
    According to this article I just read at Get Growing for Business, up to 70% of owners of small and medium-size businesses will retire in the next decade. Many of those owners haven't even started planning their exits from their businesses. My clients have told me for years that sometimes the idea of retiring from a business you own is almost overwhelming and it's tough to know when and where
  • Matt Gurney: A heavy-hearted culling of the heirlooms

    28 Jul 2014 | 8:40 am
    When the topic of personal and household possessions comes up in the context of an estate, it's usually a matter of who is going to get what. Often there is a scramble to make sure everyone gets his or her share of Mom's or Dad's possessions. Rarely do I see any discussion about what to do with those possessions afterwards, or how beneficiaries are going to feel about them years later. I have
  • She told me I'd inherit the house but didn't say so in her will. Now what?

    26 Jul 2014 | 10:45 am
    What if someone in your family promised that you would inherit her house, but then doesn't say so in her will? Is there anything that can be done? Does it make a difference that the other beneficiaries agree that you can have the house? This topic was raised recently by a reader of this blog. Her note and my reply are below. "My aunt died recently and her will doesn't mention anything in
  • Can an executor back away without personal liability if the job is too much?

    25 Jul 2014 | 10:02 am
    If a person takes on the job of executor and finds that she can't handle it, can she back out? And if she does, will she incur personal liability? A reader asked me about this recently. As this situation is one that I hear about frequently, I decided to share this. His question and my answer are below: "My father in law just passed away last week. My wife has been named as executor in his will
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    AZ Attorney

  • Columnist @ArizonaLaw Susie Salmon schools lawyers, editor on legal writing

    31 Jul 2014 | 9:30 am
    Susie Salmon, UA Law School Color me nostalgic, but this week I’m offering a few great pieces of content from the departing issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine—in case you missed it. Today. I point you to our new-ish column on legal writing. Wisely enough, that column is written by an expert in the subject, a legal writing professor at the UA Law School, Susie Salmon. I have been impressed by Susie’s work from the first time I spotted it. Concise, witty, salted with just enough pop-culture and other references to keep us coming back for more. This was not the legal writing approach I got…
  • 100 years of service marks @maricopabar history

    30 Jul 2014 | 9:30 am
    This week, I’m sharing some Arizona Attorney content that may have slipped by you unnoticed. As we are about to launch the September issue, I wanted to be sure you saw a few items that I think are significant. (Yesterday, I mentioned a data list that may be of great help to attorneys wondering what’s on the minds of jurors.) My second mention of the week for magazine content is a column that honors a special bar anniversary—not of the State Bar, but of the Maricopa County Bar Association. Stan Watts is not only a lawyer but also a historian. And our back-page story by Stan is the result…
  • Civil verdicts list offers great trial lawyer research

    29 Jul 2014 | 9:30 am
    As July rushes headlong to a close, I offer suggestions for two pieces from the June Arizona Attorney Magazine, before it recedes into memory. The first is related to a decade-long favorite feature article: our annual roundup of the previous year’s largest civil verdicts, written by attorney Kelly MacHenry. This year’s well-written and -researched story is here. But that’s just part of Kelly’s accomplishment. For this, our anniversary year, Kelly suggested we also include a roster of the top verdicts of the past decade. When an author offers a great idea along with the labor and…
  • 4 decades of legal funding celebrated by @lsctweets

    28 Jul 2014 | 9:30 am
    Last Friday, a significant anniversary passed, one that should be marked by anyone concerned about equal access to justice. On July 25, the Legal Services Corporation noted that it had been established 40 years ago. As it describes itself, it is the single largest funder of civil legal aid in the United States. “LSC provides federal funds through competitive grants to 134 independent nonprofit organizations with nearly 800 offices in every state, the District of Columbia and the territories of the United States. LSC is headed by an 11-member Board of Directors appointed by the President and…
  • Combating the word crimes committed daily

    25 Jul 2014 | 9:30 am
    Nothing lightens a busy week’s load like a grammar lesson. Hmmm, scratch that. Instead: Nothing lightens a busy week’s load like “Weird Al” Yankovic. That’s more like it. OK, even if you’re not a “Weird Al” fan, you may enjoy his video take on the importance of grammar (didn’t see that coming, did you?) (And before I forget to ask, how many decades do we have to see “Weird Al” Yankovic in this country before we’re able to simply drop the apostrophes? Odd, don’t you think? Probably a legal name, like somewhere in performance history, there’s already an Equity actor…
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    Law Donut blog feed

  • Claiming on your professional indemnity insurance

    28 Jul 2014 | 7:58 am
    For business that offer specialist services or advice, professional indemnity (PI) insurance is a lifesaver. It covers claims made against you by people who allege a problem in your work has cost them money. As well as compensating the unhappy individual, your PI insurance will also cover any legal fees. Sounds simple enough but to many businesses, making a professional indemnity insurance claim is a murky subject. Here’s what you need to know. Who can make a claim against you? Anyone. But it’ll mostly be your clients. This is usually because they’re genuinely unhappy with your work,…
  • Why you should make a will

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:37 am
    Believe it or not, a will is extremely important. If you have not written one yet, here is why you should do so as soon as possible. If you die without a writing a will you are considered to have died “intestate”. This means the law decides how your estate is passed on – even though it may not be what you wanted. Intestacy rules If you pass away before your spouse and children your personal possessions and all assets valued up to £250K goes to your surviving spouse or registered civil partner and everything else is split equally between your spouse and your children. However, your…
  • Who will hold the online criminals to account?

    14 Jul 2014 | 6:10 am
    Last month, the UK government was trumpeting its role in disrupting the GOZeuS malware, which has affected over 15,000 UK computers. Computer users were told this work gave them a two-week window to identify weaknesses in their own systems and purge infected machines of malware. Overall, it’s believed GOZeuS — together with its accompanying malware Crytolocker — was responsible for emptying bank accounts of £60m, worldwide. Russian hacker, Evgeniy Bogachev, is thought to be the brains behind the operation. The malware itself is unknowingly distributed via email attachments or links…
  • How to deal with grumpy employees

    7 Jul 2014 | 1:56 am
    Many of us will have worked with a grumpy colleague or employee, people who are best avoided some or even most of the time. Some of us may even be those very people, of course. Having to share oxygen with grouchy, cantankerous, huffy, prickly, churlish, sniffy, waspish workplace Victor Meldrew types, who function as ‘drains’ rather than ‘radiators’, is energy-sapping. But the good news for employers is grumpy staff are more productive. That’s according to a study carried out by the universities of Illinois and Pennsylvania, as published recently in the journal Social Psychology (and…
  • How will the new Defamation Act protect online reputation?

    23 Jun 2014 | 3:38 am
    As a business using social media, it is important to remember the following: When you publish something on social media it tends to be permanent; Although the communication may be intended for a particular audience, it can be disseminated, beyond your control, far more widely; International law, including the European Convention on Human Rights (as incorporated into our law by the Human Rights Act 1998), recognises the right to freedom of expression; However, the same laws recognise equally important rights such as privacy and reputation. Protecting reputation is a primary concern for…
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    Colorado Construction Litigation

  • When Can a General Contractor’s Knowledge be Imputed to a Developer?

    David M. McLain
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:53 pm
    The Colorado Court of Appeals recently handed down an opinion clarifying when the knowledge of a general contractor can be imputed to a developer. In the case of Jehly v. Brown, 327 P.3d (Colo. App. 2013), the Court of Appeals held that a developer cannot be held liable for fraudulent concealment when the developer has no actual knowledge of the fact or facts allegedly being concealed even if the general contractor had knowledge.In this case, Brown, the developer, owned real property in Teller County and hired a general contractor to build a single-family house. Sometime before or during the…
  • Taylor Morrison v. Terracon and the Homeowner Protection Act of 2007

    David M. McLain
    10 Jun 2014 | 8:00 am
    On January 30, 2014, the Colorado Court of Appeals decided the case of Taylor Morrison of Colorado, Inc. v. Bemas Construction, Inc. and Terracon Consultants, Inc. 2014WL323490. The case addressed a substantial issue of Colorado constitutional law, as well as a variety of procedural issues of potential importance to construction litigation attorneys.  Of particular interest is the question of whether the provisions of the 2007 Homeowner Protection Act (“HPA”) are limited in application to contracts between residential homeowners and construction professionals, or whether they have…
  • Builder’s Be Wary of Insurance Policies that Provide No Coverage for Building: Mt. Hawley Ins. Co v. Creek Side at Parker HOA

    Nancy B.
    30 Apr 2014 | 11:05 am
    On the heels of a recent order regarding coverage under a Comprehensive General Insurance policy issued by Mt. Hawley Insurance Company (“Mt. Hawley”), builders should be very wary of CGL policies providing no coverage for property damage.On January 8, 2013, District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson granted a motion for declaratory judgment filed by Mt. Hawley.  The order states that the subject insurance policies issued by Mt. Hawley to Mountain View Homes II, LLC (“MV Homes”), the builder developer of the Creek Side at Parker development (the “Project”), did not provide…
  • Introduction of the Construction Defects Bill Has Been Stalled! Call or Email Senate & House Leadership Today!

    David M. McLain
    17 Apr 2014 | 8:45 pm
    Defenders of the failed status quo are fighting common-sense legislation that would take a first step to protect condominium and townhome owners from unexpected, costly and burdensome litigation – that they want no part of but get swept up into.  They are attacking improvements to the current legal environment that has caused construction of attainably-priced condos & townhomes to grind to a halt.If you want:Attainable for-purchase condominiums and townhomes to be built in ColoradoExisting homeowners to have the right to be informed and to vote on potential lawsuits affecting their…
  • Colorado Court of Appeals Decides the Triple Crown Case

    David M. McLain
    15 Jan 2014 | 12:13 pm
    In an earlier blog post, we discussed the case of Triple Crown Observatory Village Assn., Inc. v. Village Homes of Colorado, Inc., et al(2013 WL 5761028) because it presented the rare case where the Colorado Court of Appeals accepted an interlocutory appeal. Notably, the interlocutory appeal resulted from dismissal of the HOA case in which the trial judge directed the parties to arbitrate in lieu of a jury trial, under the declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions that governed the community. The Court of Appeals decided the case on its merits on November 7, 2013, and its…
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    Accellis Technology Group

  • How Secure is Your IT Network? [Quiz]

    Accellis Technology Group
    24 Jul 2014 | 6:46 am
    In 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigations organized meetings with top law firms in the US to highlight the computer security threats and the very real risk of cyber-crimes against their firms. While many of the top law firms have made strides to better protect their data, many small to mid-sized firms still do not fully understand the risks and implications of failing to adequately protect their rich repositories of personal information and intellectual property. This interactive quiz is designed to provide you with a high-level assessment of your firm’s security capabilities. Find out…
  • Client Spotlight: Nicola, Gudbranson and Cooper, LLC.

    Accellis Technology Group
    21 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    Gloria L. MerrittNicola, Gudbranson & Cooper, LLC We’ve had the pleasure of working with Gloria Merritt at Nicola Gudbranson & Cooper, LLC since 2010. Nicola Gudbranson & Cooper, LLC provides legal solutions to business owners and executives, professionals, and governmental entities throughout the State of Ohio. We were delighted to chat with Gloria for today’s Client Spotlight! What is your role? Office Manager at Nicola, Gudbranson and Cooper, LLC. What is your favorite part of your job? I honestly have to say I thoroughly enjoy the variety my job affords me. On any given…
  • Cyber Security Threats to Small and Mid-Sized Firms: Why Now?

    Joseph Marquette
    14 Jul 2014 | 10:46 am
    With all the discussion lately about law firm security and the expectations for increased diligence in protecting your data, it’s understandable that many firms are asking – why now? In this post, we’ll review the growing importance of cyber security, why law firms are vulnerable to attacks, and the obligation they have to their clients in the event of a security breach. Why are we hearing so much about law firm cyber security these days? What has changed in such a way that firms now have to spend time and money dealing with something that was seemingly a non-issue a year ago? The…
  • Client Spotlight: Gabriel Partners, LLC

    Accellis Technology Group
    7 Jul 2014 | 5:43 am
    John EllisGabriel Partners, LLC Today we’re continuing with our Client Spotlight series where we feature some of the superb people our technicians work with every day. We got together with John Ellis of Gabriel Partners LLC. Gabriel Partners provides financial and risk analytics, intelligence and advice to financial institutions including banking private equity, insurance and securities firms, law practices, corporations and governments both domestically and globally. What is your role? I am a part-owner of Gabriel Partners LLC. My role is to help manage its bank compliance outsourcing…
  • 7 Reasons Law Firms Should Outsource Their IT Operations

    Abbie Hosta
    2 Jul 2014 | 8:30 am
    Over the last decade, advancements in computer technology have dramatically changed the way lawyers manage their offices. Today, lawyers are able to take on more cases, keep better track of clients, and quickly sift through more information than ever before. The importance of technology in today’s law firm can no longer be ignored…and neither can the growing complexity. So how can the average attorney, office manager, or administrator juggle all the pieces and parts that make up your IT environment? Perhaps you’ve contemplated hiring an internal IT staff member. Adding an additional…
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    CFTC LAW | Forex, Futures and Derivatives Regulatory News

  • O’Malia Urges Regulators to “Do No Harm”

    Reuben Levavi
    28 Jul 2014 | 11:30 am
    O’Malia Urges Regulators to “Do No Harm”In a keynote address last week at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia issued a stern warning to financial regulators in the United States and abroad that market fragmentation could have grave consequences on the world financial system. Borrowing a line from the principles that guide medical ethics, O’Malia urged regulators to “Do no harm” in enacting regulations. “Where our rules have proven unworkable” he continued, “it is incumbent upon us to fix them.” Taking the medical analogy further,…
  • CFTC Delays Enforcement of Reporting for Cleared Swaps

    Reuben Levavi
    3 Jul 2014 | 8:01 am
    CFTC Delays Enforcement of Reporting for Cleared SwapsThe CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight this week granted no-action relief from certain requirements applicable to swap dealers and major swap participants regarding the reporting of swap transactions to swap data repositories. The no-action relief, issues June 30, 2014, extends previous no-action relief regarding the reporting of valuation data reporting of cleared swaps. Under section 2(a)(13)(G) of the Commodity Exchange Act and part 45 of the CFTC’s regulations, reporting counterparties must submit both creation data…
  • Congresswoman Urges Review of Bank Guarantees of Offshore Affiliates

    Reuben Levavi
    16 Jun 2014 | 9:57 am
    Congresswoman Urges Review of Bank Guarantees of Offshore AffiliatesMaxine Waters, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, urged the CFTC this week to begin investigating the offshore actions of Wall Street banks in avoiding certain mandates set forth in the Dodd-Frank Act. In a letter to Timothy Massad, the CFTC’s recently-confirmed chairman, Representative Waters criticized the removal by banks of parent guarantees from overseas affiliates, which allows banks to trade in the interdealer market while skirting Dodd-Frank restrictions aimed at increasing price…
  • Senate Confirms Three New CFTC Commissioners

    Reuben Levavi
    4 Jun 2014 | 9:36 am
    Senate Confirms Three New CFTC CommissionersThe US Senate Monday voted to approve the nomination of three new commissioners to the CFTC, including Timothy Massad, who will replace Gary Gensler as CFTC chairman. Mr. Massad had served from 2011 to October 2013 as the Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability at the Treasury Department and has overseen the Troubled Asset Relief Program created in response to the 2008 US financial crisis. In addition, the Senate approved the nominations of Sharon Bowen and Christopher Giancarlo to serve as CFTC commissioners. While both Mr. Massad and…
  • CFTC Announces First Whistleblower Award

    Reuben Levavi
    28 May 2014 | 1:16 pm
    CFTC Announces First Whistleblower AwardThe CFTC announced last week its first award under the whistleblower award program initiated pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act. Under the program, eligible whistleblowers are entitled to a financial award where original information provided leads to a successful enforcement action and the collection of at least $1 million. Whistleblowers who file successful claims are also entitled to job security and confidentiality. Though the identity of the awardee remains undisclosed, the CFTC Whistleblower Award Determination Panel deemed the information…
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    The Litigation Consulting Report

  • 10 Things Litigation Consultants Do That WOW Litigators

    Ken Lopez
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:38 pm
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting As CEO of a litigation consulting firm offering litigation graphics consulting services, jury consulting services and trial technology support services, I hear the word "wow" quite often from A2L's clients, and I know our talented competitor firms hear the same. Usually, when I hear it, someone has wildly exceeded a client's expectations, one of our people came through in a pinch or someone on our team went without sleep for even longer than the litigator. Whatever the reason for the "wow," I'm thrilled to hear it since it means we've truly…
  • Mock Trials: Do They Work? Are They Valuable?

    Ken Lopez
    29 Jul 2014 | 8:31 am
    by Elise Jefferson, M.A.A2L Consulting One might think it would be easy to run an experiment that could definitively conclude that mock trials are effective at predicting the outcome of a trial. If one could, it would solidify the value of mock trials in the eyes of litigators and consultants, and it would make mock trials a nearly mandatory part of the trial preparation process. However, like many areas of trial preparation, mock jury trials are complex and involve an almost infinite number of variables. Because of this, it can be difficult to isolate a single dependent variable for study,…
  • 7 Questions Will Save You Money with Litigation Graphics Consultants

    Ken Lopez
    24 Jul 2014 | 11:45 am
    by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L ConsultingI have been running an organization that offers litigation graphics consulting as one of its services for nearly 20 years. I've worked with both large and small law firms, I have worked with clients in many countries, and I have worked on large and small cases. After all that experience, spanning thousands of cases, I can split up the clients who engage A2L Consulting for litigation graphics consulting work into two camps: "Do This" Clients "Help Us" Clients Some clients come to A2L and say, this case is complicated, we've been working on it for years, and…
  • The Top 12 Litigation Consulting Articles from Q2

    Ken Lopez
    17 Jul 2014 | 6:40 am
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting Long time readers of this blog know that we are big on lists. When the American Bar Association named the Litigation Consulting Report one of the top 100 legal industry blogs, even they said, "it's hard to resist the infectious numbered-list headlines that keep us reading their chatty, first-person posts answering questions we hadn't yet thought to ask." At least once per quarter, I try to highlight recent articles that were unusually popular. It's easy to miss a great article with so much being published weekly. Today, I am highlighting the top…
  • 3 Articles Discussing What Jurors Really Think About You

    Ken Lopez
    16 Jul 2014 | 6:25 am
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L ConsultingI enjoy reading any article about juror feedback. However, finding such articles is pretty tough. Few authors have the time, budget or access to jurors to ask them what they think about the experience of trial and the lawyers involved. As a litigation consultant, I have had the privilege of seeing many trials and mock trials over the past 20 years. In that time, I've observed certain characteristics that all mock juries possess. My colleague, Dr. Laurie Kuslansky, wrote a great article about commonalities among mock juries that is one of the…
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    The Ledger Law Firm

  • Minimizing Monetary Risks While Hiring Personal Injury Law Firm In California

    31 Jul 2014 | 10:10 am
    When you happen to meet with a car accident or with a truck accident, you will be surprised to see that numerous car accident lawyers in California appear before you from nowhere. How does a law firm in California get to know that you have met with an accident and that you will need legal assistance? How does a personal injury attorney, California know that you need legal support at this point in your life? They do have their sources, it could be through the hospital that you are using for your treatment after your accident or it could be through your insurance companies, they know how to…
  • The Role Of An Auto Accident Attorney California In The Claim Process

    25 Jul 2014 | 12:42 am
    Did you happen to be a victim of a recent car or truck accident? You are likely to be healing slowly out of the physical injuries and trying to get back on your feet. You are also required to deal with the associated emotional trauma. In this scenario, you will notice that loads of suggestions and advices pour in at various levels regarding dealing with physical injuries and emotional trauma. One of the worries that is likely to eat up your head is the expenses that you are likely to incur on your medical bills and on your car repairs. The situation can be totally desperate. One of the things…
  • Hiring Car Accident Attorneys Factors To Consider

    19 Jul 2014 | 3:08 pm
    Car, truck, motorcycle or any other automobile accident is a highly traumatizing experience. No one is adequately prepared for facing such unfortunate happenings but when you do have to face such eventualities, there is no way of running away from the reality. You will have to make quick and prudent efforts so that you can recover fast from the physical, mental and economical damage your car or truck accident has caused you. One of the important measures that you are required to take is finding a car accident attorney in California who can assist you with the ordeal and who can represent you…
  • How a lawyer can still prove a trucking company’s negligent ways when it admits vicarious liability as a tactic to avoid a jury hearing evidence of direct negligence

    25 Jun 2014 | 7:02 pm
    Helpful tips for all truck accident lawyers when dangerous trucking companies admit vicarious liability and then move to dismiss any direct negligence claims I’ve litigated many serious truck accident cases in California, and this latest tactic is truly alarming. Dangerous trucking companies who do not play by the rules or care about safety are admitting vicarious liability as a tactic to keep out evidence of direct negligence, such as negligent hiring, entrustment and supervision of unfit truck drivers. What happens is this: inevitably, an innocent person gets seriously hurt or killed in a…
  • Personal Injury Cases; File in a Timely Manner or Lose Your Rights

    22 Apr 2014 | 2:51 pm
    The law provides remedies for those who have been harmed by the actions of another; justice demands nothing less.  Yet the procedural nature of the law requires any claim to be filed in an appropriate manner as established by statute.  Statutes of limitations define the time period in which an individual can file a law suit and differ based upon the nature of the suit. The General Rule for Personal Injury Cases California law mandates that a person injured by the negligence of another file a claim for damages within two years of the date of injury or of the date of discovery of the…
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    Wexler Wallace Law Firm Blog

  • Victims With No Redress: The Recent Rise and Fall of Data Breach Class Actions

    Dawn Goulet, Associate
    24 Jul 2014 | 2:50 pm
    Earlier this week, the e-commerce website e-Bay was sued in federal court in Louisiana for allegedly failing to implement adequate security measures to protect the identities of its millions of customers.  e-Bay announced in May that there had been unauthorized
  • The 2014 ABA Law Blawg 100: Cast A Vote For Wexler Wallace

    Amy Sayre, Paralegal
    24 Jul 2014 | 1:43 pm
    Since its inception in 2010, the Wexler Wallace blog has endeavored to be a site that informs consumers, businesses and the legal community alike to the issues of the day that affect our readers and our practice. We’ve written about
  • The Fallout from Hobby Lobby

    Corey Raines, Associate
    18 Jul 2014 | 9:14 am
    On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling in Burwell et al. v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., et al. that has triggered a tidal wave of responses and opinions.  Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA),
  • The High Price of Easy Money: Another Bill Comes Due

    Tyler Story, Associate
    1 Jul 2014 | 8:54 am
    Consider the following: Banks lure consumers into substantial loans in return for minor payments in the near-term. The loan payments eventually adjust to include both the interest and principal amount. Consumers lack the resources to cover the higher payments; a
  • The Hits Just Keep On Coming… Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund

    Kara Elgersma, Partner
    25 Jun 2014 | 1:32 pm
    Two days ago, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Halliburton Co., et al. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., No. 13-317, holding that at the class certification stage of a securities fraud class action, a defendant may offer direct
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  • Marketing to Other Lawyers?

    21 Jul 2014 | 2:31 pm
    The idea of marketing your law practice to other lawyers might sound a little strange at the outset, but there is a method to the madness.  After all, you likely get a portion of your work via referrals from other lawyers.  (If you don’t, then you should REALLY start doing that.)  Just as you market to former clients in order to get repeat business and their referrals, you should also be marketing your practice to other lawyers in order to get theirs. Choosing who to target with your marketing is a first step.  The most obvious criterion is that they provide different services than you…
  • Could you use some individualized help growing your practice?

    4 Jun 2014 | 12:54 pm
    Summer is almost here, our team has expanded significantly and we have room this quarter to accept a few additional private clients who could use some more individualized help growing their practices. This is NOT exclusive to just Estate Planning and Elder Law attorneys. This is more than just receiving marketing materials that your team can implement on their own (if that’s what you need, check out our Done-For-You program here). Instead, this is OUR TEAM, doing your marketing FOR YOU, so that you can focus on what you do best: practicing law! We serve attorneys in the following areas:…
  • Gerry Oginski shares his PROVEN 7-Figure Video Marketing Strategies

    19 May 2014 | 11:29 am
    I’m still quite blown away by this… …but my friend Gerry Oginski took to the time to record an AMAZING video for my subscribers about the video marketing strategies he uses to acquire regular 7-figure cases from the internet. This was following a conversation that we had on the phone about my frustration that more attorneys are not doing video marketing when it so clearly and easily brings in business to a law firm! Our chat sparked some ideas and he recorded this video, just for me to share with you.? His stories and practical applications will blow you away and hopefully motivate you…
  • The dirty “D” word for law practice owners

    15 May 2014 | 10:44 am
    Let’s have a talk today about that dirty “D” word—delegation.  I know, I hate it too.  I’m human and sometimes fall back into the thinking that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. But that mindset is TOXIC to running a successful law practice…or any business venture for that matter.  Get it out of your head right now!  I’ve learned to dismiss those thoughts like my life depends on it! The key to delegating while staying true to yourself and your values is to be honest about what you do best, what tasks ONLY you can do…and then get the rest off of…
  • Four Simple Ways to Make Sure Your Law Firm’s Blog Posts are Effective

    2 May 2014 | 5:34 am
    In 2014, I’m shocked that on many of my coaching calls, I still receive a lot of questions about basic blogging. “What’s the point of it?” “Do I really need to?”  “Can’t I just post a few and call it a day?” (If you also have these questions, that’s OK…that’s what we’re here for!) YES, you need to blog. It’s an important part of your marketing strategy, but not for many of the reasons that other niches find blogging important. For example, your goal isn’t to build a huge base of RSS feed subscribers.
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    Pam Woldow's At the Intersection

  • Gamifying Lawyers – Guest Post

    Milena Higgins
    18 Jul 2014 | 2:04 pm
    Warning: This is a pitch.  The purpose of this post is to intrigue you so that you will consider a novel learning experience. Be warned: you now are within the cone of persuasion. When I first began hearing about gamification, frankly, I thought it sounded a little silly: translating the features that motivate players in video games into non-game settings (e.g., the practice of law). Images of Candy Crush, Farmville, and my teenagers’ Portal and Assassin’s Creed games flashed in my mind. Then I remembered Tetris and got nostalgic, but I digress. Naively I thought gamification was all…
  • Plugging Profitability Leaks: A Simple Tip for Great Delegation

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    22 Jun 2014 | 6:04 pm
    UPDATE: This article won the BigLaw Pick of the Week award! We’ve long known that vague, incomplete or misunderstood instructions from partners to associates is a prime source of profitability leaks — revenue lost because of all the time spent on reinventing the wheel, because  of do-overs, and because of significant amounts of time written down or eventually written off.    We’ve also long known that an amazingly simple delegation improvement technique can help reduce write-downs of time by up to 18%. The Trick Anyone Can Master What is this marvelous magic trick?  Whenever…
  • How You’ll Know When Your Firm’s Been Fired

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    6 May 2014 | 5:43 pm
    UPDATE: This article won the BigLaw Pick of the Week award! I sat in on a meeting recently when a major corporation’s General Counsel, CFO, and COO made the unanimous decision to fire a law firm that had been serving the company for over two decades. There had been no catastrophic we-bet-the-company-and-lost kind of screw-up, no egregious failure of expertise, no utterly dropped balls — just steadily increasing client dissatisfaction. This firm was shown the door solely on the basis of the same five-count indictment that has become increasingly common:   Too many surprises Too…
  • DISPATCH TO MANAGING PARTNERS: 5 Key Observations on Law’s Tectonic Shifts

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    3 Apr 2014 | 5:34 am
    UPDATE: This article won the BigLaw Pick of the Week. BigLaw is a weekly email newsletter that provides helpful information for the world’s largest law firms and the corporate counsel who hire them. For several years now, all us bloggers and pundits have been pushing the Chicken Little button and trying to get your attention. We all have been saying pretty much the same thing: Law firm practice and economics are morphing into a “New Normal,” major paradigm shifts impend, it’s change or die time, yadayadaya. Yes, we do get pushback from law firm leaders, to the effect of, “as far…
  • Game Your Way To Longer Life

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    12 Feb 2014 | 7:38 pm
    In our last post we discussed legal “Gamification,” that is, approaching certain legal tasks as if they were a competitive game in order to maximize both individual and team engagement and produce superior legal outcomes. In this post we look at “personal gamification” — how you can create stronger personal motivation and resiliency by drawing on some basic game principles. And oh, yeah, live longer, too. How’s Your QWL and SWB? It’s no secret that many lawyers feel that they are living the Sisyphus myth, constantly pushing the same rock uphill and then having it steamroll…
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    Idaho Criminal Defense Blog

  • THERE ARE NO SMALL CASES! Hire a lawyer for that misdemeanor charge and go to trial!

    Chuck Peterson
    23 Jul 2014 | 4:21 pm
     Attorney Will Young, an associate at Peterson Lawyers writes todays post on misdemeanor cases. So, you have been charged with a misdemeanor. You are probably feeling overwhelmed, nervous, and at least a little bit confused about the process ahead of you. What Is A Misdemeanor? A misdemeanor is defined as any “lesser criminal act.” Misdemeanors are punished less severely than a felony, generally including any crime punishable with jail time for one year or less (with some exceptions). This includes: petty theft, simple assault, disturbing the peace, trespass, vandalism,…
  • Our New DUI Website is up - DUI in Idaho

    Chuck Peterson
    22 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
     We have been working on a new site specifically designed to provide more information for folks charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol - DUI. Click here to visit the site and learn even more about DUI in Idaho. The site is a work in progress, but it may help answer your questions with respect to this serious charge.  And if you need to talk - give us a call.     
  • Idaho State Police stop to check on temporary license gets tossed!

    Chuck Peterson
    29 Jun 2014 | 1:17 pm
     Ever wonder why every drug arrest begins with a traffic stop? Because all too often the police stop first and provide some reason later! If the drug task force decides to effect an arrest, they call the ISP or locals and have them do a traffic stop. Then, they give a "reason" for the stop - a reason that is simply a pretext. They didn't stop that car because it was "weaving," they stopped it because a drug task force officer wanted it stopped.  Occasionally the same is true of those "after 2:00 am" stops of cars leaving the downtown corridor. Bars,…
  • Cops Can't Search Cell Phone Without Warrant

    Chuck Peterson
    26 Jun 2014 | 12:00 pm
               Will Young is an associate attorney with Peterson Lawyers. He writes today's post:            The Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday that the police must acquire a warrant before searching a cell phone seized from someone they arrest. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing the opinion on behalf of the Court, acknowledged both the individual’s right to privacy and the State’s need to investigate crime, but the decision came down strongly on the side of privacy rights.
  • When it comes to SGT Bowe Bergdahl, let's be happy he is back in the US

    Chuck Peterson
    25 Jun 2014 | 3:54 pm
     SGT Bowe Bergdahl’s “disappearance” is not necessarily desertion. Once upon a time I served as an Army JAG officer - a Trial Defense Services lawyer - defending the men and women of the 4th Infantry Division at Ft. Carson against criminal charges. Viet Nam was over, but there were traces of its wrath daily in the halls of the building in which we were housed. A service member who had served honorably in Viet Nam, but “left” a little early on arrival to the States without having “processed out.” Or the occasional soldier who had never reported…
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    Simmons & Fletcher » Blog

  • Summer Trucking Concerns in the Eagle Ford Shale

    Paul Richardson
    24 Jul 2014 | 12:38 pm
    Summer is an optimum time for highway travels. Weekend road trips, along with family vacations, significantly increase the number of drivers on local and interstate roads. While these hot and humid months are already more dangerous for drivers, those who …The post Summer Trucking Concerns in the Eagle Ford Shale appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Organization Hopes to Empower Eagle Ford Residents

    Paul Richardson
    17 Jul 2014 | 9:19 am
    South Texas counties are significantly impacted by the Eagle Ford Shale, in both positive and negative ways. In the midst of substantial economic gains, environmental and health concerns abound. But some Eagle Ford residents are finding a voice to fight …The post Organization Hopes to Empower Eagle Ford Residents appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Opportunities Abound for Medical Providers in Eagle Ford

    Paul Richardson
    11 Jul 2014 | 7:29 am
    The need for remote medical care and risk management services are fueling opportunities for medical companies in the Eagle Ford Shale area of Texas. According to an article in the business newsletter, Columbus CEO, these businesses are finding work …The post Opportunities Abound for Medical Providers in Eagle Ford appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • A New Oil Export May Lead To Increased Opportunities Within The Shale

    Paul Richardson
    3 Jul 2014 | 2:02 am
    America has a new oil export, due to the use of fracking procedures within the shale formations of Texas and Pennsylvania. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, condensate is an ultralight oil that is abundantly located …The post A New Oil Export May Lead To Increased Opportunities Within The Shale appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Safely Sharing the Road with Tractor Trailers

    Paul Richardson
    26 Jun 2014 | 7:33 am
    The drilling boom of Eagle Ford Shale provides the region with many financial benefits. In addition to higher tax revenues for the localities, numerous residents are now millionaires from the sale and lease of oil rich lands. But along with …The post Safely Sharing the Road with Tractor Trailers appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
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    Loyalty Law

  • Five Simple Procedures Every New Bike Owner Should Learn
    24 Jul 2014 | 3:14 am
    There are many bikes out there that are really suffering. Whether they’ve got rusty gears, ancient chains or are just in need of a good scrub, the typical bicycle commuter...
  • Top Ten Cycling Path Fails
    18 Jul 2014 | 8:25 am
    Cycling paths are a great idea, but implementation is all. No-one gets credit for trying and making things worse. It often seems like city planners are actively trying to sabotage...
  • Top Five Helmet Cameras For Road Cyclists
    16 Jul 2014 | 8:02 am
    As a cyclist, you have to be aware of the dangers around you.  It’s unfair, but that’s just the way road traffic currently works. As a cyclist, you are much...
  • 18 Reasons Farming Is The Least Safe Profession
    4 Jul 2014 | 8:21 am
    People are often surprised to learn that farming is one of the most dangerous professions, perhaps imagining sedate country estates and idyllic rural scenes. The truth is that farming is...
  • Why Don’t Superheroes Get Whiplash?
    30 Jun 2014 | 9:10 am
    Whiplash is caused by the head and neck being thrown back and forth, usually due to sudden acceleration or deceleration. This causes damage to the soft tissue in the neck....
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    Palmer Law Firm

  • Ralph Palmer Named Super Lawyer for 15th Consecutive Year

    28 Jul 2014 | 6:52 am
    For the 15th consecutive year, Ralph Palmer has been named a Super Lawyer.  Mr. Palmer has a broad background in the area of Minnesota and Wisconsin personal injury law. He has handled wrongful death claims, fall down cases, and liquor liability claims, with an emphasis on representing Plaintiffs in automobile/motorcycle type accidents.If you have been injured, contact Mr. Palmer today to schedule a free consultation.The post Ralph Palmer Named Super Lawyer for 15th Consecutive Year appeared first on Palmer Law Firm.
  • Eric Palmer Named Rising Star for 2014

    23 Jul 2014 | 8:58 am
    For the third year in a row, Eric Palmer has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for 2014.The title of Rising Star is given to attorneys that are under the age of 40, and have practiced for fewer than 10 years.  Less than 2.5% of attorneys within the State of Minnesota are recognized as a Rising Star.  The selection process includes peer review and a strenuous final selection process undertaken by the Super Lawyers organization.Eric primarily focuses his legal practice on helping individuals that have been injured in Minnesota car accidents.  Eric offers personable, approachable…
  • Outreach: Henry Knoof

    23 Jul 2014 | 5:18 am
    The post Outreach: Henry Knoof appeared first on Palmer Law Firm.
  • NHTSA’s Ad Campaign: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

    Eric Palmer
    9 Apr 2014 | 7:15 am
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a new advertising campaign to kick off National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  The ad campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of texting and driving. The campaign uses a text-lingo oriented slogan of “U Drive. U  Text. U Pay.”  To spread awareness of the campaign, the NHTSA has launched a website at and is currently spreading a rather graphic 30-second video that depicts the violent consequences that can stem from distracted driving.  Viewer discretion is advised.If…
  • Ralph Palmer Named Super Lawyer and Top 100 Lawyer for 2013

    15 Jul 2013 | 11:37 am
    Ralph Palmer has once again been named a Super Lawyer for 2013. Since 2003, Mr. Palmer has been annually named a Super Lawyer.Mr. Palmer has also been named to the esteemed list of “Top 100 Lawyers” for Minnesota by the Super Lawyers organization.Mr. Palmer has a broad background in the area of Minnesota and Wisconsin personal injury law. He has handled wrongful death claims, fall down cases, and liquor liability claims, with an emphasis on representing Plaintiffs in automobile/motorcycle type accidents.If you have been injured, contact Mr. Palmer today to schedule a free consultation.The…
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    Strictly Business

  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 12: Preemptive Rights

    Alexander Davie
    7 Jul 2014 | 1:50 pm
    This post is the twelfth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior eleven posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions, discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, discussed dividends on preferred stock, explained how liquidation preferences work, discussed the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, examined voting rights and investor protection provisions, analyzed anti-dilution provisions,…
  • Is it time for the JOBS Act, Part Two?

    Alexander Davie
    30 Jun 2014 | 3:26 pm
    When the JOBS Act was passed, a lot of people hoped that it would de-regulate startup finance, resulting in a boom of new startups being funded.  Through repealing the ban on general solicitation, allowing online angel investment platforms, creating the new “Regulation A+,” and allowing equity crowdfunding, the JOBS Act was supposed to make funding startups considerably easier.  But there have been some significant bumps in the road.  First, in my view, the equity crowdfunding exemption that was included in the bill was unworkable from the beginning. That continues to be true under the…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 11: Management and Information Rights

    Casey W. Riggs
    29 Jun 2014 | 11:29 am
    This post is the eleventh in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior ten posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions, discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, discussed dividends on preferred stock, explained how liquidation preferences work, discussed the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, examined voting rights and investor protection provisions, analyzed anti-dilution provisions,…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 10: Registration Rights

    Alexander Davie
    7 May 2014 | 12:05 pm
    This post is the tenth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior nine posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions, discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, discussed dividends on preferred stock, explained how liquidation preferences work, discussed the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, examined voting rights and investor protection provisions, analyzed anti-dilution provisions, looked…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 9: Redemption Rights

    Casey W. Riggs
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:40 am
    This post is the ninth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior eight posts, we provided an introduction to negotiation of the term sheet and discussed binding and non-binding provisions, discussed valuation, cap tables, and the price per share, discussed dividends on preferred stock, explained how liquidation preferences work, discussed the conversion rights and features of preferred stock, examined voting rights and investor protection provisions, analyzed anti-dilution provisions, and looked at…
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    Oklahoma Personal Injury Blog

  • 3 Animals That Help Humans in Unexpected Ways

    Maples Law Firm
    18 Jul 2014 | 9:03 am
    Although we prideful humans would like to take all the credit for ourselves, the fact is we wouldn’t have the world we have today without help from other species. For example, dogs have facilitated the herding of livestock since ancient times. Horses and camels made long distance cultural exchange possible. Early agriculture just wouldn’t have worked out without the ox there to pull the plow. Diseases associated with rat infestations would’ve irrevocably crippled early cities had it not been for cats. The list goes on and on. It’s clear that animals were absolutely vital to our…
  • Toddler Killed in Oklahoma City Parking Lot Accident

    Maples Law Firm
    14 Jul 2014 | 10:18 am
    A 3-year-old boy was killed in an Oklahoma car accident that occurred in a McDonald’s parking lot. According to a news report in The Oklahoman, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred at Northwest Expressway and Council Road in northwest Oklahoma City. Officials say a mother and her two sons were crossing the parking lot when they were struck by an SUV. The 3-year-old sustained fatal injuries and the mother and 4-year-old suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The female driver of the SUV was not arrested, but the investigation is ongoing. According to the report, she may have caused…
  • Tips to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse

    Maples Law Firm
    7 Jul 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Abuse can happen at any Oklahoma nursing home. Even if you made every effort to find the perfect place for your loved one, there is still a chance that wrongdoing will occur there. Workers at some of the most highly rated, most expensive Oklahoma nursing homes have been accused of abuse and neglect. There are several steps families can take to protect their loved ones in nursing homes: Choose the right facility. Read online reviews and inquire about the staff training. You want to find a home that has a reputation for having plenty of qualified care providers. Don’t be afraid to ask…
  • Three Killed in Oklahoma City Car Accident

    Maples Law Firm
    1 Jul 2014 | 9:55 am
    Three people were killed and two others were seriously injured in an Oklahoma car accident. According to a news report, the fatal crash occurred on State Highway 3 in Oklahoma City. Officials say a 24-year-old man was behind the wheel of a 1999 Ford when it left the westbound lanes, crossed the centerline and crashed into a culvert. The driver from Broken Bow, a 12-year-old boy from Idabel and a 24-year-old Heavener man were killed. The boy’s 30-year-old mother was seriously injured and his 10-year-old sister was listed in critical condition. An investigation is underway to…
  • Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyer Offers Bicycle Accident Prevention Tips

    Maples Law Firm
    16 Jun 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Whether you are commuting to work or riding along one of our great biking trails like the Hefner-Overholser in Oklahoma City, it is important that you exercise great care. An accident can occur at any time and the results are often tragic. Here are a few bicycle accident prevent tips to help you stay safe. Check your bike before you ride. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and your brakes are in working order. Get a headlight. Under Oklahoma Law, riders must equip their bikes with a headlamp and rear red reflector when riding at night. This will increase your visibility. Use hand…
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    SEQ Legal blogs

  • End user licensing: approaches to creating enforceable rights

    Alasdair Taylor
    11 Jul 2014 | 5:22 am
    The term EULA is widely abused: I've just finished a telephone conference where it was applied, by someone who should know better, to a proposed contract covering not only licensed software but also hosted software services, consultancy, support and much else besides. I therefore want to clarify what I mean by EULA and "end user". In a wide sense, a EULA is an agreement between a software vendor and an end user governing the use of software. I tend however to use the term in a narrower sense, to apply only to end users who are not themselves direct customers. Where the end user is it the…
  • Consumer contracts regulations: sample clauses

    Alasdair Taylor
    6 Jun 2014 | 3:10 am
    The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 are coming into force next week. They include a detailed list of information that a trader must provide to a consumer in situations where the Regulations apply. Should you use the model instructions on cancellation to help you comply with this requirement, or should you draft special legal clauses for your contracts? The list of information that must be supplied is set out in Schedule 2, and includes the following items:(l) where a right to cancel exists, the conditions, time limit and procedures for…
  • New distance selling laws: 8 key compliance points

    Alasdair Taylor
    2 Jun 2014 | 10:35 pm
    The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 apply special rules to B2C distance contracts entered into via a website, as well as certain other contracts (not discussed here). The Regulations, effective on 13 June 2014, replace the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000. See: Unfortunately, the rules are rather complex. This is especially depressing in the context of consumer protection legislation, which should be straightforward enough for anyone to understand without…
  • Online advice: worth the risks?

    Alasdair Taylor
    25 Mar 2014 | 6:12 am
    Whether you are purchasing legal forms and templates, seeking a medical diagnosis, getting insider information when choosing a school or university, or soliciting the opinions of product aficionados on a prospective purchase, there are many ways to get guidance and advice online - but what are the risks for those providing this guidance and advice? In this article I look at the legal issues, with a focus on legal advice. Online legal advice This website has a public Q&A where users can ask legal questions, and I often respond to particular questions asked by users in blog comments. I also…
  • The website operator defence: will it really make a difference?

    Alasdair Taylor
    27 Jan 2014 | 2:45 am
    Website operators facing defamation action over users’ posts can now rely on the new ‘website operator’ defence.  To use the defence, the operator must comply with a prescribed process after receiving a notice of complaint about allegedly defamatory material posted online.  The defence follows increasing concerns about defamatory digital content posted by website users – particularly anonymous users.  But a critical question is, just how useful and cost effective will the new defence be in practice? What’s new? The website operator defence under s5(3) of the Defamation Act 2013…
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    » Blog

  • What are Pain and Suffering Damages?

    Jay Solnick
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    Generally, plaintiffs in negligence cases may claim damages for bodily injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and property damages. Pennsylvania law allows the spouse of an injured plaintiff may make a claim for loss of consortium as well. In a lawsuit, pain and suffering refers to a form of damages that are awarded to a plaintiff who has experienced either a mental or physical injury, and seeks monetary damages for their “pain and suffering.”  The damages may be considered as part of the “general damages” that are part of the…
  • Automobile Accident & Negligent Entrustment

    Jay Solnick
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:45 am
    Yes it is true – owners of a vehicle can be liable for allowing another person to operate their vehicle. In such cases, liability can be imposed under the doctrine of negligent entrustment.  A lawsuit for negligent entrustment arises when the owner of a motor vehicle entrusts it to someone the owner knows to be incapable of using the vehicle properly and a third party is injured. Some examples of negligent entrustment include: Lending a vehicle to minor children who just obtained their license but do not have experience in rush hour traffic or expressway driving; Lending a vehicle to…
  • Premises Liability: Legal Duty to Care for Trees

    Jay Solnick
    25 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Under the doctrine of premises liability, landowners are responsible for the injuries suffered when a person enters the property and gets hurt due to a dangerous condition. Unfortunately, many property owners have yet to fully appreciate their legal duty to maintain their premises in a safe, hazard-free condition, including their trees. Although trees add beauty to a property, they must be monitored and properly cared. In 1975, Pennsylvania held in Barker v. Brown that landowners have a duty to make a visual inspection of trees and could be held liable for injuries if they knew or should have…
  • Tort Law 101: The Importance of Causation

    Jay Solnick
    23 Jul 2014 | 4:31 am
    A tort is a civil wrong that can be redressed by awarding damages. The primary aim of tort law is to provide relief for the damages incurred and deter others from committing the same harms. One type of tort is a negligent tort, which is a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. To maintain an action in negligence, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant (1) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, (2) that the defendant failed to perform the duty of care, (3) the failure was the proximate cause of the…
  • Injured Mine Foreman Settles with U.S. Government for $820,000

    Jay Solnick
    18 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Recently, the federal government agreed to settle with an injured mine foreman for $820,000 due to injuries he suffered from electrical shock. The plaintiff, a mine foreman for Sreebs Slate & Stone, Co, was injured when inspectors from the U.S. Mine Safety Health Administration administered a surprise inspection and required the foreman to perform acts that presented obvious hazards. In April 23, 2010, inspectors conducted a surprise inspection at the mining factory. Despite the plaintiff’s request to postpone the inspection due to rainy conditions, the inspection proceeded. According…
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    Baron & Budd, P.C. | Protecting What's Right

  • Baron and Budd Selected to List of Top Law Firms in the U.S. By Legal 500

    Baron & Budd
    14 Jul 2014 | 8:23 am
    Firm Selected to List for Seventh Consecutive Year DALLAS (July 14, 2014) – The national law firm of Baron and Budd has once again been named to the Legal 500, a list of the top firms in the United States. Since 2008, the firm has been selected to the list as a top tier firm in the areas of mass tort and class action litigation on behalf of plaintiffs. “We are extremely proud of the fact that we have once again been chosen as one of the most respected law firms in the nation,” said Russell Budd, president and managing shareholder of Baron and Budd. “It is a great honor to…
  • Baron and Budd Investigating New Force-Placed Insurance Lawsuits

    Baron & Budd
    18 Jun 2014 | 8:18 am
    Predatory Practice Can Spike Homeowners’ Insurance Costs by as Much as 10 Times That of Voluntary Insurance DALLAS (June 18, 2014)The national law firm of Baron and Budd is now investigating potential lawsuits associated with the practice of force-placed insurance at certain bank and mortgage lenders. Recently, numerous national banks and mortgage providers, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and others, have reached settlements in lawsuits regarding force-placed insurance, a predatory financial practice where homeowners are forced to pay for expensive insurance…
  • Baron and Budd Announces $177 Million Settlement for Seven States Against Avandia Manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline

    Baron & Budd
    13 Jun 2014 | 9:20 am
    Firm represented states of Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia in litigation regarding the fraudulent advertising of Avandia DALLAS –(June 13, 2014) –The national law firm of Baron and Budd has reached a $177 million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline on behalf of the states of Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia regarding the deceptive advertising of the diabetes drug Avandia. This result represents the largest settlement of a pharmaceutical case ever for several of the involved states,…
  • Baron and Budd Files Lawsuit on Behalf of State of Vermont Regarding MTBE Groundwater Contamination

    Baron & Budd
    6 Jun 2014 | 10:52 am
    Firm Working Closely With State Attorney General’s Office on Water Contamination Lawsuit DALLAS —(June 6, 2014)—Baron and Budd, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the environment, yesterday filed a lawsuit against numerous manufacturers and refiners of MTBE-containing gasoline regarding the contamination of Vermont groundwater by the gasoline additive MTBE. Baron and Budd is proud to work with Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell in the lawsuit. Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. and Pawa Law Group, P.C. also serve as co-counsel in the litigation. “The sad…
  • Baron and Budd Announces Settlement of More Than $5 Million on Behalf of States of Mississippi, Hawaii Regarding Deceptive Credit Card Practices

    Baron & Budd
    2 Jun 2014 | 9:11 am
    Firm Has Settled with Bank of America, Previously Settled with Discover, Chase Over Similar Issues DALLAS –(June 2, 2014) –Baron and Budd is announcing a settlement totaling more than $5 million on behalf of the States of Mississippi and Hawaii regarding Bank of America’s deceptive marketing of credit card payment protection plans. Baron and Budd lawyers Russell Budd, Laura Baughman, Ann Saucer and Burton LeBlanc served as counsel in the litigation, along with co-counsel and each states’ respective Office of the Attorney General. Baron and Budd negotiated a $3.7 million…
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    News From Dallas Appellate Attorney Chad Ruback

  • Supreme Court Hobby Lobby opinion might only directly impact two companies

    Chad Ruback
    11 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    After the Dallas Business Journal published an article about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision, a number of people asked me about potential impact on various business. Here are my thoughts: Despite all the attention the case has gotten, the opinion might only directly impact two U.S. companies. The Affordable Care Act (also […]
  • Chad Ruback interviewed live in Fox 4 studio

    Chad Ruback
    1 Jul 2014 | 11:08 am
    This morning, I gave a live interview to a Fox 4 news anchor regarding a new U.S. Supreme Court opinion. Here is the video:
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Texas Appeals

    Chad Ruback
    12 Jun 2014 | 2:12 pm
    Whether you are a law student studying Texas appellate procedure or are a Texas lawyer who doesn’t regularly handle appeals, you might be in need of answers to frequently asked questions about Texas appellate law. Having been unable to find a compilation of appellate law FAQs specific to Texas state courts, I have compiled a […]
  • Appellate Judges Tell Dallas Lawyers How to Handle an Appeal

    Chad Ruback
    5 Apr 2014 | 1:48 pm
    The Dallas Bar Association Judiciary Committee recently hosted a panel discussion with three prominent appellate judges.  Catharina Haynes is the only federal appellate judge in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  After years of sitting as a Dallas state trial court judge, she was appointed to sit on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Debra Lehrmann is […]
  • KTVT CBS 11 interview regarding recent appellate opinion

    Chad Ruback
    26 Feb 2014 | 11:14 am
    A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed by a KDFW Fox 4 reporter regarding constitutional claims raised in recent litigation. Yesterday, I was interviewed by a KTVT CBS 11 reporter regarding an entirely different set of constitutional issues. Here is the video:
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    Protecting What's Right

  • A Mother’s Worst Nightmare: Depakote’s Real Risk for Birth Defects

    Baron & Budd
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:54 am
    You may have legal options if you or a mother you know took the drug Depakote while pregnant and had a child with a birth defect.It’s the nightmare that supersedes all nightmares: a mother exposing her unborn child to harm. This is especially true when the harm is caused by a prescription medication for which there may be safer alternatives. We often discuss the increased risk of pharmaceutical devices and drugs to women, and especially to women in different significant stages of their reproductive life. One particularly dangerous-to-pregnant-women prescription drug to be aware of is…
  • It’s Been an Honor: Burton LeBlanc on His Time Spent as President of the American Association for Justice

    Burton LeBlanc
    25 Jul 2014 | 5:17 am
    Guest Post by Baron & Budd Shareholder and American Association of Justice President Burton Leblanc Each year, AAJ holds an annual convention to elect someone to serve as the president for the year. I was honored to be selected as the president of AAJ for the 2013-2014 term. Now that my time as president has come to a conclusion, I would like to take a moment to give my thanks to the members of AAJ and spotlight the achievements they have made this year to protect the rights of people around the country against powerful interests. We had a lot on our plate, from increasing awareness of…
  • You Don’t Need More Health Problems: On How an Improperly Labeled Dialysis Component Can Harm You

    Baron & Budd
    24 Jul 2014 | 1:06 pm
    For many patients, dialysis is a life-saving procedure, one that they gladly incorporate into their lives. Unfortunately, for some dialysis patients, that life-saving treatment comes with an unnecessary risk of cardiac arrest (often mistakenly called a heart attack). This risk is not due to dialysis itself but to a component of the dialysis process. The component is called GranuFlo — and if you or someone you know had heart issues or even died during or shortly after a dialysis treatment, there is a good chance that GranuFlo was used. Right now, our lawyers are speaking to people all…
  • It Happened to Me: Force-Placed Insurance Means Expensive Insurance — And It Could Be Happening to You

    Baron & Budd
    22 Jul 2014 | 9:11 am
    It could be happening to you. Now, we don’t mean this lightly. In fact, if you have a home mortgage, take a second to read over this information and check your monthly statement — because you could have force-placed insurance on your home and not even know it! Force-placed insurance is a type of insurance that occurs when a homeowner’s own insurance lapses (legitimately or not). How does your own insurance lapse? Well, it could be by mistake – maybe you changed bank accounts and forgot to change the auto withdrawal information. Or maybe your insurance company forgot to supply…
  • What Happens When Big Pharma Does Not Play By the Rules: On Risperdal’s Risk to Boys

    Baron & Budd
    22 Jul 2014 | 8:24 am
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has some pretty clear rules, especially when it comes to when a pharmaceutical company can start marketing a drug. The rule is: You can’t market a drug until it has been approved by the FDA. Sounds pretty simple — and obvious, right? Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies have a bad track record of not playing by the rules. The latest example of this is Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (JPI), a division of Johnson & Johnson that manufacturers and markets the drug Risperdal. Risperdal is used to treat adult schizophrenia, adult bipolar…
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    Hardwick & Pendergast - Seattle Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorneys

  • Bicyclist Struck by Motor Home

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    14 Jul 2014 | 3:25 pm
    A bicyclist in Missoula was flown to a Seattle hospital after being struck by a motor home. According to a news report in The Ravalli Republic, the bicycle accident occurred at Miller Creek Road and U.S. Highway 93. Officials are looking into whether the bicyclist went against a red light at the time of the crash. The bike was caught under the wheels of the motor home and the rider sustained serious head internal injuries. There are many reasons why bicycle accidents commonly occur at busy intersections. Riders often contribute to crashes by failing to obey traffic laws. Drivers often cause…
  • Study Shows Distracted Drivers are Distracted Pedestrians

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    9 Jul 2014 | 11:55 am
    It is common knowledge that distracted driving is a serious problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,328 people were killed and about 421,000 were injured in distraction-related accidents in 2012. It is less known just how common distracted walking is. Pedestrians in Seattle who are more focused on their phones than the roadway often do not realize the danger they are in until it is too late. According to PEMCO Insurance Northwest, eight out of 10 drivers in the Northwest are quick to identify distracted pedestrians, but two-thirds of pedestrians in…
  • Four Ways to Beat the Seattle Heat

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    2 Jul 2014 | 5:21 pm
    The lazy days of summer have descended on Seattle, and while the Emerald City is fortunate enough to escape the scorching temperatures that hit much of the rest of the country, it doesn’t mean that we don’t experience the occasional heat wave. Here are some of the classic ways to stay cool during the hottest days of the year in Seattle. Splish Splash If there’s anything synonymous with summertime, it’s swimming pools, splash parks, beaches, and even the old fashioned slip n’ slide. Seattle has plenty of options when it comes to getting wet and staying cool during the hotter months.
  • Five Steps to Take after a Seattle Car Accident

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    1 Jul 2014 | 11:28 am
    Immediately after being involved in a Seattle car accident, it is important to take a deep breath and to try to remain calm. The actions you take in the aftermath of a collision could affect your ability to receive compensation for the injuries and losses you have sustained. Here are five steps you can take that will increase your chances of getting the support you need: Call the police. If you or anyone else has suffered an injury, you must call the authorities and remain at the scene of the crash. The police report can provide you with specific details regarding when and where the crash…
  • Seattle Bike Share Problem First to Offer Helmets

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    17 Jun 2014 | 3:40 pm
    Bicycle sharing programs have grown in popularity in recent years. You can now temporarily borrow a bike to ride from one location to another without any concern for ownership in cities like Denver, Washington D.C., and New York City.  These sharing programs provide opportunities for locals to get around town in a cost-effective, healthy way without adding pollution or traffic congestion. A new study, however, shows that bike-sharing programs do increase the risk of head injuries. Now that Seattle is embarking on its own bike-sharing program, it is important to review how safe these programs…
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    Farah and Farah Legal Blog

  • Florida Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

    Farah & Farah
    21 Jul 2014 | 11:01 am
    In a previous blog, the family law attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville reported about a battle brewing in a Miami-Dade courthouse concerning the constitutionality of Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage. Since the writing of that blog, a Monroe County judge has ruled Florida’s constitutional ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution and has ordered the Monroe County Clerk’s Office to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Although this ruling only affects Monroe County, many have touted this ruling as the “beginning of the end” of Florida’s gay…
  • Five Arrested in Jacksonville Internet Cafe Gambling Sting

    Farah & Farah
    14 Jul 2014 | 10:15 am
    Five people have been arrested in Jacksonville after police raided two alleged “Internet cafe” gambling businesses. All of those arrested were charged with being “an agent/employee of a gambling house.” Three of those arrested were additionally charged with possession of slot machines and possession of lottery devices. A spokesman for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) said the investigation began in the spring and involved a task force comprised of state agencies and officers from Seminole and Volusia counties. Authorities allege that the businesses were offering…
  • Things Heating Up In Florida Gay Marriage Battle

    Farah & Farah
    7 Jul 2014 | 9:54 am
    Both pro and anti-gay marriage advocates gathered at a Miami-Dade Courthouse where a lawsuit brought by gay couples is attempting to overturn Florida’s same-sex marriage ban that was voted into the state constitution in 2008. Attorneys for the same-sex couples claim that the ban is discriminatory and violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. An attorney representing six of the same-sex couples that brought the suit asked the judge to throw out the ban, claiming that it makes same-sex couples second-class citizens. “It’s the right of a person to…
  • Modern Jacksonville Rises From the Ashes

    Farah & Farah
    25 Jun 2014 | 5:54 am
    Many people who visit our beautiful city Jacksonville don’t know that Jacksonville was the site of one of the most devastating fires in the history of the United States. The Great Fire of 1901 ranks just below the San Francisco Earth Quake and the Chicago Fire of 1871 in terms of urban destruction caused by a conflagration. It still has not been surpassed as the most destructive metropolitan fire in the history of Florida and the South. It has been reported that the smoke from the flames could be seen as far away as South Carolina. It started on May 3, 1901 when errant sparks from a cook…
  • Jacksonville’s World Cup Connection

    Farah & Farah
    23 Jun 2014 | 8:59 am
    FIFA’s World Cup is in full swing and so far the U.S. Men’s National Team (USNMT) has comported itself well in its “Group of Death,” defeating Ghana 2-1 and playing to a heartbreaking draw with Portugal 2-2 in a match that saw Portugal equalize the score on a goal that literally was scored on the last play of the match. Still, the U.S., as of the writing of this blog, sits atop its group, tied with Germany. We, here in Jacksonville, would like to take a little credit for that success, thank you. If you recall, Jacksonville was the site of the USMNT’s last friendly match against…
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    Pennsylvania Family Law Blog

  • New Pennsylvania Bill Would Force Rapists to Pay Child Support

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    14 Jul 2014 | 3:37 pm
    Under current Pennsylvania law, a woman who has a child from rape can ask a judge to end the rapist father’s parental rights. This means that the father who committed the rape will not have custody or visitation rights. However, women who end the rapist father’s parent rights also surrender their ability to collect child support from the father. According to a news report in The Express-Times, a new bill has been proposed to allow a mother to end parental rights while still collecting support. Democratic State Representative Mike Schlossberg proposed the bill that would close this…
  • Steps to Take When Facing a High-Asset Divorce

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    8 Jul 2014 | 10:07 am
    High-asset divorces pose questions that ordinary divorce cases do not. While partners in a low- or middle-income family typically wonder how to support two separate households, partners in a high-asset divorce are primarily concerned with ensuring that their respective shares of their assets are distributed equitably, in a way that allows both the adults and children to maintain their standard of living. Choosing an experienced Pennsylvania high-asset divorce attorney should be your first consideration when dissolving a marriage and wondering how to protect your assets. Other steps to take…
  • Husband of TV Star Seeks Money During Divorce

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    1 Jul 2014 | 1:35 pm
    Zoe McLellan, star of the brand new show “NCIS: New Orleans” is in the midst of a difficult divorce from her husband. According to a TMZ news report, her husband, actor J.P. Gillain, is seeking joint custody. The actress allegedly believes that her husband is only seeking custody as a ploy to get child support now that she is successful. The court documents reveal that she will earn $45,000 per episode. A representative for the actress states that her husband has “never been a hands-on dad.” In Pennsylvania, the most important consideration in every custody battle is…
  • IRS Reports Billions in Alimony Discrepancies

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    18 Jun 2014 | 8:12 am
    When filing for taxes, you must inform the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the amount of money you paid or received in alimony. According to a news report in The Associated Press, there was about $10 billion in reported alimony payments made in 2010, but only $8 billion reported received by spouses. In fact, there was a $2.3 billion gap between what people said they paid and what people reported receiving. The IRS reports that there were discrepancies in 47 percent of the claims that included alimony deduction. Some spouses claimed to not have received any alimony while others reported far…
  • Understanding Collaborative Divorce in Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    6 Jun 2014 | 6:00 am
    Most divorces are stressful and expensive. Getting a divorce in Pennsylvania is particularly challenging when the two parties disagree on important issues such as child custody and property disbursement. A lot of time and money can be saved when the two parties are able to come together and make decisions without involving the divorce court. This is known as a collaborative divorce and it is an ideal approach to avoid a judge making some major decisions for you and your family. When two people wish to have a collaborative divorce in Pennsylvania, they will each meet privately with their…
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    About Florida Lawyers & Attorneys

  • Lawyer argues $10000 bail should be set for Austin Garcia, 17, in Springfield … –

    Lawyer - Google News
    31 Jul 2014 | 1:02 pm
    Lawyer argues $10000 bail should be set for Austin Garcia, 17, in Springfield …MassLive.comSPRINGFIELD — A lawyer for murder defendant Austin Garcia, 17, told a judge Thursday his client shouldn't be held without right to bail because witnesses haven't identified him as doing anything but being present the night Caleb Worrell was fatally shot.
  • Marco Island Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:22 pm
    The Best Marco Island Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Marco Island Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Legal Firm of Marco Island Florida are by far the best legal firms for they get the respectable results time and time again. If you are in a lot of trouble and require help, everyone agrees that these Law Firm are the ones to have on your side. You will feel safer knowing that you own the legal clout and expertise of the Marco Island Florida legal team behind…
  • Hollywood Lawyer Marty Singer Wins $323K After Beating Extortion Claim – Hollywood Reporter

    Lawyer - Google News
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:17 pm
    Hollywood Reporter Hollywood Lawyer Marty Singer Wins $323K After Beating Extortion ClaimHollywood ReporterThis put the fear in some in the legal community that strongly-worded letters and cease-and-desist demands could trigger liability for lawyers and their clients. Singer — whose clients include Charlie Sheen, Quentin Tarantino and Bryan Singer …
  • Southwest Ranches Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:54 am
    The Best Southwest Ranches Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Southwest Ranches Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Law Firm of Southwest Ranches Florida are by far the best law teams because they get the better results time and time again. If you completely require to win your case, the Southwest Ranches Florida Legal Offices are the ones to contact. This law firm wins cases and that is something that you can take to the bank! Both clients and peers alike evaluate…
  • Two Northeast Florida lawyers suspended – Jacksonville Business Journal

    Florida lawyer - Google News
    31 Jul 2014 | 10:59 am
    Two Northeast Florida lawyers suspendedJacksonville Business JournalBetween September 2006 and December 2007, in his role as an agent for Attorneys' Title Insurance Fund, Dorceus failed to timely remit to the fund about $7,135 in premiums he had collected as a part of real estate closings. The court also said Dorceus …
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    MacGregor & Collins, LLP Law Blog

  • Statute of Limitations for White Collar Crime

    Randy Collins
    14 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    A statute of limitation is the time allowed for prosecutors to lay a charge against someone who is accused of committing a criminal offense. The period normally runs from the point at which the alleged offense has been disclosed or discovered. This period varies depending on the category of offense as well as the jurisdiction involved. California’s statutes of limitation for criminal charges are not exactly the same as other states and also differ from those of the federal government. Statutes of limitation allocated for white collar offenses are particularly complex, partly because of the…
  • Difference Between Corporal Injury and Battery

    Randy Collins
    26 Jun 2014 | 7:34 am
    If you or someone you know has been charged with anything related to domestic violence, there is a high probability that those charges are either corporal injury on an intimate partner or a spousal battery. A spousal battery is also called a domestic battery.  A corporal injury and a spousal battery are the most common domestic abuse charges. Despite having a few similarities, the crimes of a corporal injury and a spousal battery have a few distinguished differences that greatly affect the ways in which defendants are prosecuted and defended. What is a Corporal Injury on an Intimate Partner?
  • Qualifications for Expungement in California

    Randy Collins
    17 Jun 2014 | 8:58 am
    A mistake in judgment that you made years ago can have far-reaching effects, including your ability to get the job that you want, obtain some professional licenses, or rent a home.  Even though California criminal records are a matter of public record, an individual would need to know where to look for these files and take the time to look through thousands of court records in each county to find your records. However, electronic indexing has made it much easier for individuals and companies to obtain copies of your records.  Companies index court records into large databases that are easy…
  • Will a DUI Show Up on My Background Check?

    Randy Collins
    4 Jun 2014 | 9:26 am
    Facing a DUI charge is a serious matter that leaves most individuals wishing they had used different judgment before getting behind the wheel.  Despite the initial fear that follows an arrest, having a drunk driving charge does not have to be the end of the world.  An experienced attorney can help you resolve a drunk driving charge so that you can get on with your life.  Once you pay the penalty for driving while intoxicated, that should be the end of the story and no one should hold that against you. Unfortunately for some, their drunk driving charge does not stop affecting them after…
  • Availability of House Arrest for a 3rd DUI in California

    Randy Collins
    28 May 2014 | 9:31 am
    While the majority of the population will never know what it is like to be arrested for driving under the influence, there are a number of others who will receive a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th conviction for this offense. For many repeat offenders, alcoholism or other personal problems inhibit their ability to stay sober behind the wheel, and it can have devastating results on their personal life, their employment, and the general safety of themselves and those around them. When referring to 3rd offenses specifically, defendants often ask me whether they will serve jail time. Many hope that…
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    PA Law Blogs

  • Defining Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice

    Anapol Schwartz
    18 Jul 2014 | 8:02 am
    Medical Malpractice Lawyers seek justice for patients who are injured as a result of hospital negligence and injuries caused by doctor error. Medical Malpractice laws vary from state to state.  So, Pennsylvania medical malpractice laws may differ from medical malpractice laws in the other 49 states. Medical malpractice claims must be filed within a given time period known as the statute of limitations (SOL).  Hence, the interpretation of the Statute of Limitations sometimes can be very complicated.  Pursuant to Pennsylvania law, there exists a two (2) year Statute of Limitations.  That is…
  • Robot Assisted Surgery on the Rise, but so are Da Vinci Surgery Lawsuits

    Anapol Schwartz
    10 Jul 2014 | 7:42 am
    A da Vinci robot is a high-tech surgical option to increase precision and decrease recovery time. However, a robot surgery gone wrong can leave a patient with unexpected pain, scars, burns or lacerations, or it can be deadly. Many patients who experienced unexpected injuries from da Vinci robot surgery have filed to seek compensation for injuries sustained as a result of robot surgery complications. The da Vinci Surgical System is a multi-armed robot controlled by a surgeon sitting behind a magnified, high-resolution image of the surgical site. While the surgeon may be doing his best, he may…
  • Reports on Injuries from Airbags prompts Recall of 3 Million Vehicles

    Anapol Schwartz
    3 Jul 2014 | 10:56 am
    Last month, several automobile manufactures issued airbag recalls involving more than 3 million vehicles due to potentially exploding airbags. The airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation were installed with defective inflators that could potentially explode and shoot shrapnel out at drivers and passengers. Vehicles affected by the recent airbag recall include: Honda, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors (GM), BMW, Acura, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, Pontiac and Lexus. These carmakers have issued several airbag recalls that have affected a total of 10.5 million vehicles in the last five years,…
  • Chrysler Problems Affect Thousands of 2004 and 2005 Chrysler Pacifica Models

    Anapol Schwartz
    30 Jun 2014 | 7:59 am
    There has not been a Chrysler Pacifica recall regarding dangerous engine cradle rust and corrosion, but the auto manufacturer instead sent a technical service bulletin to 2004 and 2005 Chrysler Pacifica owners warning of the potential problem. This 2012 bulletin voided a prior communication that extended the engine cradle warranty for 2004 and 2005 Chrysler Pacifica owners. A Chrysler spokesperson told NBC that the 2004 Chrysler Pacifica problems and 2005 Chrysler Pacifica Problems with engine rust have been narrowed down to a group of vehicles manufactured between February 23 and March 31,…
  • Anapol Schwartz Attorney Assumes Role as PTLA President

    Anapol Schwartz
    24 Jun 2014 | 7:14 am
    Philadelphia personal injury lawyer and Anapol Schwartz Shareholder Lawrence Cohan, was named President of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association (PTLA) on June 16. “I am honored to have been sworn in as President of Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association,” said Cohan. “The Trial Lawyers have been the lone voice for victims’ rights for decades and will continue to be.  We will preserve, and we’re proud of who we are and what we do.” Prior to being elected PTLA President, Cohan served as a member of the organization’s Executive Board of Directors. He served in various bar…
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    IMC Law Group

  • How Bankruptcy Can Improve Your Credit

    15 Jul 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Contrary to popular belief, bankruptcy can have a positive impact on most people’s credit scores. To begin, let me provide you with a Three Year Credit Score Comparison Chart: Month1 Month6 Month12 Month24 Month36 Debt Negotiation: good bad terrible terrible so so / good Debt Consolidation: good bad bad bad so so Bankruptcy: terrible so so decent good excellent Doing Nothing: good so so terrible terrible terrible Repaying on and off: so so so so so so so so so so You can see that after filing for bankruptcy, your credit will realistically improve far faster than if you try to maintain debt…
  • Emergency Filings

    19 May 2014 | 9:33 am
    Emergency Filings, the $0.00 Down Bankruptcy. A Dignified Solution for Desperate Times. by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen Be sure to visit our Google Plus Page. Did you just get served with a wage garnishment? Are your wages being garnished already? Was your bank account just levied by a judgment creditor? Are you facing a Sheriff’s Sale in several days? Call or e-mail me. I am here to help. That’s why I use my powers for good not evil to help people live decent lives. Often, I am sitting across the table in a free confidential consultation with a potential client who needs a bankruptcy case…
  • Are Condominium Dues and Association Fees Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?

    4 Mar 2014 | 3:40 pm
    by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen Be sure to visit our Google Plus Page. The short answer is yes. Condo dues and association fees can be discharged in bankruptcy. However, it is important that you understand in detail what obligations remain after a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filing. As always, contact me with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you! Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Condo Dues In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, pre-petition condo dues and association fees (from this point forward I will say condo dues but understand that the same rules apply to association fees) are…
  • How Long Do You have to Wait to Get a Mortgage after a Foreclosure, Short Sale, or Deed-In Lieu of Foreclosure in New Jersey

    24 Feb 2014 | 6:04 am
    Mortgage after a Foreclosure, Short Sale, Deed-In Lieu in NJ. I. Mark Cohen Law Group, Tintnon Falls NJ by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen Be sure to visit our Google Plus Page. I frequently get asked how long it takes to obtain a mortgage after having gone through a foreclosure, short sale, or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure in New Jersey. I would like to give you some guidance and answer these questions to the best of my ability. Please keep in mind that this information is for guidance purposes only. How long does it exactly take? You will know for sure when you have approval on that new mortgage.
  • A Hardship Letter for a Mortgage Modification

    13 Feb 2014 | 10:40 am
    How to Write the Hardship Letter for a Mortgage Modification by: Jonathan Goldsmith Cohen Be sure to visit our Google Plus Page. On a regular basis, I counsel my clients how to write their hardship letters as part of a mortgage modification packet. Here are my tips for how to write the best hardship letter possible. In addition, I will provide thoughts on the mindset you should have going in to write a modification letter and a suggestion for how to structure your letter. I. Some thoughts About Hardship Letters The purpose of a hardship letter is to explain in simple, concise language why you…
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    New York Business Lawyer Blog

  • Antitrust, Anti-Steering Rules, and American Express: The Justice Department Pursues Unfair Competition In A Business Model

    25 Jul 2014 | 9:55 pm
    Unfair competition is back in the news. The U.S. Justice Department sued American Express a few years ago for unfair competition in the credit card business. Since such things take time, the trial just began on Monday July 7, 2014. The issues, the accusations, and the justifications seem fairly familiar, especially when you recall the last big antitrust trial and the unintended consequences that followed. Whether the same thing will happen this time, though, is something only time will tell. The last time, the Justice Department sued Apple, to prevent what it said was anti-competitive…
  • Insurance Against The FTC's Claims of Deceptive Acts and Practices: Developing Your Own Industry Standards For Data Security

    14 Jul 2014 | 3:23 am
    We have been discussing what businesses can do to protect against the Federal Trade Commission commencing an enforcement action against them for allegedly failing to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of their customers' private data, such as financial information, dates of birth, social security numbers, and even health records: Develop, and implement, industry standard, and commercially reasonable, data security practices. This time, we will see just how effective those efforts are by, in effect, asking Target. What makes such Industry Standard Practices and Commercially…
  • Industry Standard Practices: What Your Business Can Do To Comply With The FTC's Data Security Standard; Part II

    8 Jul 2014 | 10:15 am
    What, exactly, should your business do to protect itself from a Federal Trade Commission enforcement action for failing to use reasonable precautions to ensure data security for your customers' sensitive, private information? In our last post we discussed the difficulty involved in complying with a standard for which no specific regulation has been promulgated; the statute which forms the basis of the standard is amorphous, especially when applied to data security; and the binding case law to which it is recommended that you turn, is nascent, if not non-existent. In this post, we will examine…
  • What Your Business Can Do to Comply With the Federal Trade Commission's Data Security Standard. Part I: Does It Give Fair Notice?

    5 Jul 2014 | 8:11 pm
    What, exactly, can a business do to protect itself against a Federal Trade Commission enforcement action for allegedly failing to take reasonable precautions to protect its customers' sensitive, private, digital information, such as credit card numbers, bank account information, dates of birth, and even medical records? Especially because it is difficult to know exactly what the term "reasonable precautions" actually means in the quickly evolving world of cybersecurity, it is important to develop a credible answer to the question. Some high-profile businesses, including at least one which has…
  • What Does Investigating Insurance Fraud Have In Common With the World Cup? You Make the Call.

    29 Jun 2014 | 11:00 pm
    What does investigating Insurance Fraud have in common with the FIFA World Cup currently taking place in Brazil? More than you might think, especially if you're a world-class goalie trying to stop a penalty kick. The hardest job in all of soccer, or football as the rest of the world calls it, arguably is that of the goalkeeper on a penalty kick. Think of how big that goal really is. Now think of how small that keeper actually is. There is no comparison between the two. Add in the fact that tied games are decided on penalty kicks, and you'll understand the pressure involved, especially when…
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    GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog

  • Is Third-Party Financing for Energy Efficiency Ready for Prime Time?

    29 Jul 2014 | 5:21 pm
    In recent years, innovations in finance helped spark explosive growth in distributed generation technologies such as roof-top solar. New and creative rooftop leasing transactions allow third-party investors, rather than homeowners, to fund project development. These structures overcome high upfront costs, one of the primary barriers to energy investments for ordinary homeowners and small businesses, while creating solid returns for investors. Third-party investment in energy efficiency, by contrast, has lagged. Several recent developments suggest this may be about to change. First, Wall…
  • Department of Energy Offers $4 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Energy Efficiency, Renewables, and Energy Storage

    24 Jul 2014 | 4:28 pm
    The U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office recently announced a new solicitation for federal loan guarantees to help promote renewable energy, energy storage technology, and energy efficiency projects. The loan guarantees are aimed at promoting greenhouse gas-reducing technologies where DOE support will be "catalytic" -- that is, support of a particular project will help catalyze widespread adoption of the technology -- and the technology is replicable and market-ready. Specific categories of projects eligible for loan guarantees include renewable energy projects that incorporate…
  • Please Join Us for LSI's Columbia River Treaty Conference

    21 Jul 2014 | 5:28 pm
    Please join us for Law Seminar International's Columbia River Treaty Conference, which will be held here in Seattle on September 22 & 23, 2014. The conference is particularly timely because, as we've discussed at length here, September marks a critical turning point for the Treaty, which is one of the cornerstones of our regional economy, and a major factor in issues ranging from salmon restoration to water quality and flood control. We're pleased to announce that GTH partner Jim Waldo will co-chair the conference and GTH partner Eric Christensen will be speaking. We hope to see you there!
  • Nearly Nine Years Later, Congress Finally Funds Incentives for Power Production on Existing Dams

    21 Jul 2014 | 3:34 pm
    When Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 nearly nine years ago, it included a provision, Section 242, authorizing incentives to retrofit non-powered dams, canals, and conduits with new hydroelectric generation. Until this year, however, Section 242 gathered dust, with Congress failing to authorize any funding. For the first time, when it finally passed its funding bill for Fiscal Year 2014 (October 1, 2013-September 2014) in January, Congress authorized $3.6 million to fund the Section 242 incentives program, dubbed the Hydropower Production Incentive Program ("HPIP"). The U.S.
  • Iowa Supreme Court Clears Regulatory Path for Rooftop Solar Providers, Concluding They Are Not Regulated "Public Utilities"

    16 Jul 2014 | 12:29 pm
    Last week, in a decision that is likely to have far-reaching consequences both for the solar power industry and for traditional utilities, the Iowa Supreme Court found that a solar rooftop leasing company is not a "public utility" subject to regulation by the Iowa Utilities Board. The Iowa Court is the first to address whether a company leasing solar panels on a customer's rooftop is a regulated "public utility" under state utility laws. If followed in other states, the court's conclusion will greatly reduce the regulatory burdens faced by sellers of solar rooftop systems, especially those…
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    SEC Lawyers Blog

  • SEC Approves FINRA Rule to Prohibit Conditioning Settlements on Expungement

    27 Jul 2014 | 8:12 pm
    The Securities and Exchange Commission recently approved the implementation of FINRa Rule 2081, which prohibits brokers from making settlements of customer disputes contingent on the claimant's agreement not to oppose expungement of the dispute from the brokers' public record. Once information is expunged from the CRD system, it is permanently deleted and becomes unavailable to the investing public, regulators or prospective broker-dealer employers. "This rule will prohibit firms and reps from conditioning settlements on a customer's agreement not to oppose expungement, thus protecting the…
  • SEC Charges Compel Morgan Stanley to Pay $275 Million for Misleading Investors in Subprime RMBS Offerings

    24 Jul 2014 | 8:34 pm
    The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged three Morgan Stanley entities with misleading investors in a two residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) securitizations that the firms underwrote, sponsored, and issued. In anticipation of the charges, Morgan Stanley submitted an offer of settlement, which the SEC accepted, wherein Morgan Stanley would pay $275 million to be returned to harmed investors. According to the SEC charges, the matter concerns Morgan Stanley's misleading public disclosures regarding the number of delinquent loans in two subprime residential…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Richard Ohlhaber and Sales of Life Partners Investments

    17 Jun 2014 | 6:17 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Richard Ohlhaber (CRD #2154794). Ohlhaber accepted FINRA's Offer of Settlement, in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. See FINRA Case #2012032077901.Ohlhaber was registered with Century Securities Associates, Inc., from April 9, 2007 through May 2008, and Southwest Securities, Inc. (Southlake, Texas) from May 2008 until his termination in March 2012. After his termination, Ohlhaber was associated with FSC Securities Corp. (Grapevine, Texas), Kovack Securities (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), IMS Securities…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Florlena Cortez (Brownsville, Texas)

    10 Jun 2014 | 5:24 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Florlena Cortez (CRD #4339441, Brownsville, Texas). Cortez submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which she was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. See FINRA Case #2012031460902. Cortez was registered with Chase Investment Services Corp. from 2001 until her termination in February 2012. Cortez also has been known as Florlena Cortez Alva and Florlena Cortez Guerrero. FINRA found between 2009 and 2010, Cortez participated in private securities transactions by soliciting four customers to invest in securities…
  • FINRA Cautions Investors on the Risks of High Yield CDs

    2 Jun 2014 | 5:59 am
    FINRA recently issued an Investor Alert, "High Yield CDs: Red Flags That Signal a Scam" warning investors about promotions of certificates of deposit (CDs) promising interest rates substantially higher than current averages. In the Alert, FINRA described instances of suspected fraud, and offered investors tips to recognize red flags and confirm the legitimacy of offers. FINRA also advised investors what initial steps to take if they suspected that they had been the victims of fraud. In the alert, FINRA described two instances of suspected fraud involving high yield CDs. In one instance of…
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    Broward Injury Lawyer Blog

  • 3rd DCA Denies Vicarious Liability for Those Aiding in Defense

    24 Jul 2014 | 10:40 am
    Florida tends to have broad interpretation with regard to vicarious liability in car accident cases. That is, while third parties generally aren't liable for the actions of someone else, Florida's dangerous instrumentality doctrine provides that a vehicle is an inherently dangerous tool. Therefore, vehicle owners in Florida are subject to liability anytime that vehicle, driven negligently by a third party with the owner's knowledge and consent, is involved in a serious crash. However, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal in Miccosukee Tribe v. Bermudez recently declined to extend this…
  • Force v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co. - Rightful Claimants in Wrongful Death

    18 Jul 2014 | 11:39 am
    The untimely death of a father in a traffic crash, leaving behind three young children, gave rise to a wrongful death claim that insurers sought to deny. The defendants (the at-fault drivers and two insurers) argued the children had no right to make a claim because the man's long-estranged wife had been denied compensation, and therefore the children (from another union) were not entitled to a set-aside from her. The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in weighing the case of Force v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co., found this to be a serious misinterpretation of the law, bordering on "absurd." Our Fort…
  • S. Shore Baseball, LLC v. DeJesus - Sports Stadium Injury Claims Tough to Establish

    15 Jul 2014 | 2:09 pm
    While tens of millions of Americans attend professional sporting events every year, a fair number of them will be injured. These injuries range from third-party criminal attacks by other fans to being struck by hockey pucks and even getting hit with hot dogs. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers know that precedent set in most courts holds that a lot of times, these injuries are the manifestation of an assumed risk fans take when attending such events. In many cases, this warning regarding "inherent risk" is even printed on the back of the ticket.
  • Court: Federal Maritime Law Won't Apply to DUI Case

    6 Jul 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Texas and Florida are similar in many ways. Both are among the largest and most populous states in the nation, and both have considerable coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico. This is why the plaintiffs in Schlumberger Tech. Corp. v. Arthey sought to take action under federal maritime law. However, Fort Lauderdale DUI accident lawyers know one way in which these two states vary dramatically is the scope of justice available for crash victims through the civil court system. In Florida, victims of DUI crashes have the option to pursue damages not only from the at-fault driver and his insurer,…
  • Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July Weekend

    1 Jul 2014 | 9:13 am
    Our Fort Lauderdale bicycle and pedestrian injury lawyers wish you and your family a happy and healthy Fourth of July weekend. In an effort to stay safe, we hope that you will familiarize yourselves with some basic tips to help prevent personal injury this holiday weekend. For pedestrians and bicyclists, the streets can be a dangerous place. This is even more so over the Fourth of July period. We expect to see increased numbers of tourists, drunk drivers, and teen drivers on the road. Tourists can pose a unique danger to bicycle riders by opening their doors without paying attention to an…
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    Chicago Immigration Lawyer Blog

  • Affirmative Asylum Process

    28 Jul 2014 | 12:50 pm
    The Affirmative Asylum process is a complicated, multistep process. Below are the various steps you must complete to have a successful asylum application, according to USCIS. 1) Arrive in the United States: In order to claim asylum in the US, you must be physically present in the United States. You cannot claim asylum in the US if you are not present here at the time. 2) Apply for Asylum: To apply for asylum you must complete form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal within one year of arriving in the US. There is no fee to fill out and file this form. 3) Background check…
  • Asylum 101

    21 Jul 2014 | 12:59 pm
    The Asylum process in the United States is a very thorough and in depth process. If you are interested in the asylum process or want to find out if the asylum process is right for you, please contact a skilled immigration attorney. This blog will outline some basic information about the asylum process, who is eligible for asylum, and what is required to be successful in your asylum application. In order to claim asylum, you must be physically present in the United States. You must also apply for asylum within one year of your last entry date into the US. Asylum can also be used as a defense…
  • Questions Remain on How to Resolve the Border Situation

    14 Jul 2014 | 12:56 pm
    Both Congress and the President are weighing in on different ways to resolve the ongoing situation involving unaccompanied minors attempting to enter the US illegally. According to the Wall Street Journal, some House Republicans have discussed a proposal that would repeal the 2008 law signed by President Bush that guarantees unaccompanied minors aprehended in the US an asylum hearing as long as they came from a country that does not share a border with the United States. Several Democrats as well as immigration rights activist oppose this plan. Opponents point out that this law was created to…
  • President Obama to Bypass Congress on Immigration

    10 Jul 2014 | 12:40 pm
    President Obama announced last week that he will use executive actions to reform as much of the immigration process as he can without Congressional approval. The announcement yesterday came as Speaker of the House John Boehner told the President last week that he will not call an immigration reform bill for a vote anytime this year. The President has been waiting to use executive action in the hopes that the House of Representatives would pass either the Senate approved immigration reform bill or an immigration reform bill of their own. After House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his bid for…
  • The Situation on the Border

    1 Jul 2014 | 11:56 am
    The situation along the US-Mexico border involving thousands of migrant children has raised a lot of questions these past few weeks. A recent Chicago Tribune article does a fantastic job of summarizing a lot of the issues at play. Here is the background for those that have not been following too closely. About two months ago, the US states along the border began to see an influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the US border from Mexico into the United States. The flow of children continued to grow, overwhelming many of the US facilities along the border. Here are some answers to some…
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    Marketing Attorney Blog

  • LP Magazine - Age over Beauty? Marketing a Law Firm's Anniversary

    14 Jul 2014 | 8:21 am
    In the July/August 2014 issue of the ABA's Law Practice magazine, I address the always-sensitive subject of age. In this case, it is about the marketing value of a law firms' years. It is yet another subject that seems to present itself to me with clients a few times every year. How young is too young? And how old is too old? And is there value in touting age--and more specifically--an anniversary to clients and prospects? Many law firms have taken anniversaries--literally as short as the one year mark and as long as 200 years--and looked to make them into marketable events. In some cases…
  • WMT: The Price You Pay for the Right Domain Name

    11 Jul 2014 | 7:59 am
    Among the very first law firm websites I ever worked on was My six year old son accesses the site every morning on his iPad before heading to school or camp to check scores and watch video highlights of last nights' major league baseball action. Of course, that does not sound like a law firm website, does it? No, it is Major League Baseball (MLB). But in the late 90s, took you to the website of one of the nation's largest law firms--Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Morgan Lewis' IT people were certainly on their game when they beat baseball to the punch and acquired the…
  • Lily Buchdahl Provides The Weather on Fox 29 Philadelphia

    13 Jun 2014 | 1:07 pm
    For some attorneys, there is nothing more nerve-wracking than appearing on television. For my 10 year old daughter, Lily, it is one thing to say you want to be on TV and another to experience it. As part of a charity auction, Lily's Mom and I purchased the opportunity for her to do the weather forecast on the local Fox television station's morning show, Good Day. We knew someone besides Lily was on the morning show as well, since the paparazzi were not outside waiting on me (I don't think). In the green room (which was much sparser than one might imagine) we met a few of the other guests.
  • LinkedOut and MisTweeted: Ethical Uses of Social Networking in Marketing Your Law Practice

    22 Apr 2014 | 8:40 pm
    It is hard to believe that I've been teaching the "advertising/marketing" ethics hour for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute for more than a decade now. But what makes it particularly interesting is that my space (pun intended, if you get it) keeps changing with such rapid fire imprecision that it really never gets old. This year I return to the theme of social networking ethics. I could say I'm repeating my program from 2010, but very little is the same. I looked back into my PowerPoint slides to find my first discussion of advertising and social media taking place in 2003. This makes me sound…
  • Lawyers Shifting Facebook Strategies

    21 Apr 2014 | 8:28 pm
    Like and Like. This is like two Facebook posts in one. For my April 2014 contribution to Web Marketing Today, I return to a topic that I last covered just 11 months ago in May 2013. So much has changed in the social media space in a relatively short time. The players are still the players. But with Facebook changing--more focus on mobile and more focus on revenue (advertising options)--you simply can't sit around and stay status quo. On the marketing side, it has certainly gotten my attention. Many law firms are finding that Facebook provides brand awareness options that are sharper, cheaper…
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    Dallas Divorce Law Blog

  • Digital and virtual assets as part of the marital estate and division of property

    Michelle O'Neil
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:18 am
    Our lives are becoming more and more connected to technology. Without even thinking about it, spouses may have digital or virtual assets with value to the community estate that should be considered in the division at divorce.  Chris Meuse's article on the Dallas Bar Association website sheds light on how to address digital and virtual assets in divorce. The first step, according to Meuse, is to identify whether the parties have any valuable digital or virtual assets.  Digital assets are intangibles that only exist in a digital form (i.e. data in the form of binary digits). Such…
  • Rule 11 agreements are revocable before judgment is rendered

    Michelle O'Neil
    22 Jul 2014 | 7:44 am
    A point of confusion for many in the family law context is the viability of a rule 11 agreement to settle an issue or a whole case.  Rule 11 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure provides that an agreement between lawyers in a case is enforceable as long as the agreement is in writing and filed in the papers of the court or read into the record of the court.  However, rule 11 agreements are revocable at any time until judgment is rendered. A court may not enter an order upon a rule 11 agreement when one of the parties to the agreement has revoked his or her consent. The recent case…
  • Becoming a Partner -- Ownership Interest in Divorce

    Michelle O'Neil
    16 Jul 2014 | 10:55 am
    I was asked recently about whether becoming a partner in a professional company creates community or separate property.  The Husband worked for a firm prior to marriage and shortly before the marriage was offered a partnership interest in the firm.  He and the firm signed the partnership agreement a few months prior to the marriage.  After the marriage, he began receiving the benefits of the partnership agreement.  Now, he and his wife are headed for divorce and he wonders if she is going to be entitled to part of his partnership interest. Starting at the beginning of the…
  • Strategy in Asset Divisions - Do's and Don'ts

    Michelle O'Neil
    9 Jul 2014 | 6:34 am
    One asset does not always equal another asset, even if the values are identical. One reason for this may be based on the personal situation of each spouse.  For example, one spouse may have a greater need for cash in the short run, where the other spouse may place higher need on retirement assets. Personal preference or short-term and long-term financial needs may be only part of the equation. Tax consequences of a property division can impact the long-term financial future of divorcing spouses.  Deborah Nason with CNBC pointed out the not-so-obvious effects of a divorce property…
  • Michelle May O'Neil joins Godwin Lewis, P.C.

    Michelle O'Neil
    1 Jul 2014 | 1:47 pm
    I am very excited to announce that effective today, July 1, 2014, I am joining the firm Godwin Lewis, P.C. in downtown Dallas as a shareholder. After 20+ total years of practice, and 10+ years with O'Neil & Attorneys, I am excited for the new opportunities ahead of me. As a firm owner, I have always tried to provide high quality representation in a personal atmosphere. I believe that joining Godwin Lewis will help me to do a better job by focusing all of my efforts on my clients' best interest, eliminating the administrative tasks involved with owning and running a law firm. Godwin Lewis has…
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    Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog

  • New Studies Reveal Serious Side Effects of Cholesterol Drug

    24 Jul 2014 | 10:59 am
    High cholesterol is one of the most common medical conditions for patients in the United States, and the market for medication to treat the condition is a multibillion dollar industry. Many doctors attribute at least part of the uptick in high cholesterol, or hypercholesterolemia, to poor diet and nutrition, alcohol consumption, and family genetics. The supersized diet popular in the United States has led to a marked increase in high cholesterol cases which, left untreated could result in cholesterol deposits in major arteries, ultimately leading to heart attack and stroke. The Center for…
  • The Number of Massachusetts GranuFlo Lawsuits Keeps Growing

    19 Jul 2014 | 5:12 pm
    Plaintiffs continue to come forward, accusing Fresenius Medical Care of failing to inform patients about the risks involved with GranuFlo. This medical powder used in kidney dialysis treatment to help clean the blood of patients. Now, there are around 5,500 GranuFlo injury cases, many of which were filed in U.S. District Court in Boston and Middlesex Superior Court in Massachusetts. Fresenius is based in Waltham, MA. GranuFlo has been linked to a greater risk of heart attack and metabolic alkalosis, which involves the body fluids having too much bicarbonate in the blood. Metabolic alkalosis…
  • Beyaz Birth Control Pill Carries Similar Health Risks As Yaz and Yasmin

    6 Jul 2014 | 3:24 pm
    In previous blog posts, our drug injury law firm has written about the risks associated with taking Yasmin and Yaz birth control pills. Now, we want to make sure you are aware that Beyaz, another birth control pill made by Bayer, also carries an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. Beyaz was introduced into the market in 2010. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug because it is similar to the Yaz birth control pill. They are both contraceptive pills that are estrogen/progesterone-based. The difference is that Beyaz has folic acid, which can lower the…
  • $100M NuvaRing Injury Settlement Now Final

    29 Jun 2014 | 3:25 pm
    Now that 95% of eligible plaintiffs have opted in, the $100 million defective medical device settlement between NuvaRing manufacturer Merck & Co. and 3,800 claimants will stand. A district court judge had approved the birth control injury settlement earlier this year. Merck, however, could have backed out of the agreement if not enough plaintiffs agreed to join. The company maintains that “substantial” evidence proves that the contraceptive device is safe. It is settling the NuvaRing lawsuits without denying or agreeing to the claims. NuvaRing is a vaginal ring that is inserted into the…
  • Parents, Doctors Warn of Prescribing Adderall to Toddlers

    27 Jun 2014 | 1:06 pm
    Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD (ADHD in some children includes hyperactivity) generally becomes evident when children and young adults are in school and start to experience difficulties in class or concentrating on homework. Diagnosis and treatment of this complex disorder is extremely difficult, and there has been heated debate on the medications used to treat ADD and ADHD for as long as these drugs have been on the market. The strong steroid medications often produce a lengthy list of side effects that can significantly alter a child’s quality of life. Doctors must weigh the positive…
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    New York Real Estate Lawyers Blog

  • Keeping Landlord-Tenant Disputes Under Control

    28 Jul 2014 | 6:56 am
    Recently in the news is the rather gruesome story of a woman who was murdered and dismembered. Her body parts were discovered in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Her neighbor was arrested for her murder and is being held without bail. According to the news story, the root of the conflict between the two women appears to have been a landlord-tenant dispute. The accused murderer, Leah Cuevas, was pretending to be the landlord of the building in which the two women lived, after the actual owner passed away. Ms. Cuevas then attempted to collect the rent from the building's tenants, and when fellow…
  • Access to Building Services in Rental Units in New York

    21 Jul 2014 | 2:48 pm
    A recent news story regarding affordable housing in New York may be of interest to readers of our blog. New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) approved a separate entrance in a proposed new building containing affordable housing units. The building would therefore have two entrances (it is located on a corner lot), one for the luxury units, and one for low-income units that would comprise 55 of the 219 proposed units. Of course, many people are outraged by this "poor door," arguing that it imposes a stigma on the low-income renters in the building. Others may…
  • Buyouts Between Landlords and Tenants in New York

    10 Jul 2014 | 9:54 am
    A recent article in the New York Times discusses the issue of landlords making cash offers to "buy out" tenants of their rent regulated tenancies. Our firm has handled these situations, representing both landlords and tenants in different transactions regarding such buyouts. The reason behind such offers is the rent regulation system currently in place in New York City. Many, but not all, apartments in New York are subject to rent regulation. Rent regulation applies to apartments renting below a certain amount, but does not apply to rentals of a condominium or cooperative unit by its owner.
  • Wishing Our Readers a Happy 4th of July

    4 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
  • Trademarks and the Washington Redskins Decision

    19 Jun 2014 | 11:48 am
    Recently in the news is a decision by the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board concerning the registration of the trademark for the Washington Redskins football team. Longtime readers of this blog will recall that a prior post explained the difference between copyrights and trademarks. To summarize, a trademark is legal protection for a trade or business name used to identify goods and services in interstate commerce. To obtain such protection, one generally applies to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C. The applicable procedure is one which can be done…
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    Wisconsin Probate & Estate Planning Blog

  • Another Plus About Trusts: Federal Court Ruling Green-lights Trust’s Tax Deduction Claim

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    21 Jul 2014 | 8:47 am
    A federal tax court’s ruling in favor a trust on certain deductions that the trust claimed on its federal income tax returns highlights a potential added bonus to the use of trust planning, as the court decided that a trust could engage in the sort of active participation in a business needed to claim the business’s losses on its taxes. By refusing to foreclose trusts from claiming the losses of trust-owned business assets, the court’s ruling offers one more reason why family farmers and small businesspeople should ensure they have a proper estate plan in place that includes…
  • How Qualifying for Medicaid Will (or Won’t) Affect Your Estate Plan

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    8 Jul 2014 | 8:47 am
    For many seniors, few things are more intimidating than the thought of a required stay in a nursing home. In addition to the high degree of emotional stress that going into a nursing home entails, there’s also the scary thought of the financial repercussions. A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article from last spring reported that the average cost of a nursing home stay in Wisconsin was more than $42,000 per year, with that number skyrocketing to almost $97,000 for a private room. One way for some people to avoid the enormous costs of a nursing home is Medicaid, but it too comes with its own…
  • Wisconsin City Discovers Multiple Benefits to End-of-Life Planning

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    26 Jun 2014 | 8:44 am
    In most places throughout the country, the vast majority of people have not engaged in end-of-life planning. According to an NPR report, only about 30 percent of people have an advance directive, living will or similar document. However, in LaCrosse, that number is far different. More than 95 percent of the people in that city have advance directives or other forms of end-of-life planning documents. As a result, the people of LaCrosse have served as an illustration of the numerous positives that families receive when proper end of life planning is put on paper in advance of needing it. The…
  • Landmark case holds that Inherited IRAs are NOT PROTECTED from creditors

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    12 Jun 2014 | 11:06 am
    In the next few weeks we will be reaching out to our clients and referral partners to inform them of the critical importance of safeguarding IRAs and other retirement accounts they will some day pass on to their beneficiaries. On June 12, 2014 the United States Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Clark v. Rameker. The Court held unanimously that retirement funds inherited by a beneficiary from the original plan participant are not considered to be “retirement funds” within the meaning of the federal bankruptcy exemptions found at 11 U.S.C. §522(b)(3)(C). As a result, a debtor’s…
  • Is A Wisconsin Revocable Living Trust The Best Way to Avoid Probate and Transfer Assets Upon Death?

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    28 May 2014 | 2:49 pm
    One common objective among people planning their estates is avoiding probate, and many of the people who seek to avoid probate use a revocable living trust to accomplish that end. A living trust can be an enormously beneficial tool in the planning and distribution of your estate in Wisconsin. On the other hand, it may be an unnecessary step, since many Wisconsin laws allow you to avoid probate through other estate planning means that may be more appropriate for your unique set of circumstances. Alternatives to creating a living trust: “transfer on death” designations If you do…
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    San Diego Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • California Legislature Will Consider Bills to Update State Family Law

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:44 pm
    According to recent news reports, the California Family Law Code seems to be in need of some updates. As we can see from many advances in technology and science, as well as the evolution of the "family" itself, assorted state laws have yet to keep up with these many changes. California legislators will return from their summer break to review and consider bills that would update the state family code in various ways. If you are involved in any family law proceeding, such as a divorce or other related matters involving child custody, spousal support, and the like, you are encouraged to contact…
  • California Court Addresses Temporary versus Permanent Spousal Support

    29 Jul 2014 | 1:31 pm
    The duration of divorce proceedings varies a great deal from case to case. There are many factors that contribute to lengthening the process, such as disputes over child support and custody, property division, and spousal support. Depending on the circumstances surrounding a case, reaching a final divorce judgment may take some time. In such cases, questions of the amount of "temporary" spousal support are likely to come up and to be addressed by the court. Temporary and permanent spousal support serve different purposes and are addressed by the courts in different ways. If you are…
  • Spouse Seeking Legal Separation Should Pay Close Attention to Filing Date

    24 Jul 2014 | 1:32 pm
    The California Family Code applies to parties seeking a divorce or legal separation, among other things. For quite some time now, California has been a "no-fault" state, permitting one spouse or the other to seek a divorce or separation without citing any particular fault on behalf of the other. The laws governing divorce proceedings vary to some extent from state to state. For this reason alone, it is imperative that you consult with a family law attorney from California, and specifically from the San Diego area. Local, experienced counsel would be able to effectively protect your legal…
  • Division of Community Property in Divorce Includes Assets and Debts

    22 Jul 2014 | 10:25 am
    Often when people think about the division of marital property in divorce, they consider mainly the couple's accumulated assets, such as the family home, bank accounts, investments and other property. But because California is a "community property" state, all of a couple's marital property - including their collective debts -- will be divided equally in divorce. If you are considering a separation or dissolution of marriage, it is important to take stock of everything you two own together as well as what you owe. Courts in San Diego and throughout the state will endeavor to divide all of the…
  • Celebrity Divorce Raises Question as to Unborn Child's Fate

    17 Jul 2014 | 11:17 am
    The most simple divorce case is not easy. Without question, there are difficult emotional and financial aspects to any dissolution of marriage. But certain cases are simply more complicated and unconventional than others, requiring the parties - and their attorneys -- to be fully apprised of the most current laws applicable to family law matters. It is often argued that parties to divorce cases that involve children are especially encouraged to engage a family law attorney to handle the matter. If you are considering divorce, you are encouraged to contact an experienced family law attorney…
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    Maritime & Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer Blog

  • International Cruise Victim Association Board Member, Philip M. Gerson Speaks to Congress at Senate Hearing in order to better enforce the Cruise Vessel Safety and SecurityAct 0f 2010

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:47 am
        On July 24, 2014 a senate Committee Hearing chaired by retiring Democratic Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, illustrated the necessity for better enforcement of the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act 0f 2010Act. The Bill S. 1340, known as the Cruise Passenger Protection Act, perfects the intent of congress in passing the 2010 legislation. Despite, efforts made by the cruise lines to thwart the passage of this legislation, crime victim advocates and personal injury attorneys such as Miami based lawyer, Philip M. Gerson of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. still pursue justice for…
  • Confusion Over What Law Applies Leads 2.7 Million Verdict to be Reduced to Zero

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:20 am
    A Florida Court recently reduced a jury’s 2.7 million dollar injury award to a cruise ship passenger to zero based upon confusion over what law should apply. The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear the passenger’s appeal, creating a very dangerous legal precedent for Florida’s cruise ship passengers. Our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys are following these stories with interest. Specifics of the Case The passenger was injured when a rotting and unstable chair he was sitting on collapsed from underneath him while on a cruise. The jury awarded him 2.7 million dollars,…
  • Carnival Raising Cruise Prices as Costa Concordia is Raised from the Sea

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    22 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Despite recent news of the ill-fated cruise line Costa Concordia being raised from the sea after its tragic sinking in 2012, Carnival Cruise lines, the parent company of Concordia, apparently thinks the environment is right to start raising prices on cruises again. This is despite having a less than spectacular year when it comes to cruise ship safety. Our Florida cruise ship attorneys are monitoring these developments closely. Prices Going Up Carnival Cruise line recently reported its intention to raise cruise prices, which had been trending cheaper in the recent years. Bad press has plagued…
  • What Happens When the Cruise Line Sends You to a Medical Examination?

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    15 Jul 2014 | 6:25 am
    If you are injured on a cruise ship, part of the burden in proving your case is showing you have sustained an injury, and proving the nature, severity, and permanency of your injuries. If you have sustained a major injury—for example, one that requires surgery—that may sound like an easy burden. But despite how obvious your injuries may be, the law allows a defendant cruise line to force you to attend what is known as an Independent Medical Examination, or IME. An experienced Florida cruise ship attorney can help you understand the process. What is an IME? An IME is a medical examination…
  • Costa Deliziosa Power Outage Causes Delays And Raises Safety Concerns

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    10 Jul 2014 | 6:39 am
    Over the last year, our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys have discussed what appears to be a never-ending string of cruise mishaps, made worse by cruise liners continued policy of denial and concealment of such issues. In March, Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas and the Navigator of the Seas had problems returning to port. The Adventure of the Seas lost propulsion after the cruise ship’s “fixipod” leaked oil and barely made it to San Juan and the Navigator of the Seas was unable to make port on time due to an oil spill caused by a collision between a ship…
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    The Emplawyerologist

  • Walmart’s “A Series of Unfortunate Lawsuits”

    Janette Levey Frisch
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:40 am
    The next several weeks will be seemingly devoted to our nation’s largest retailer, second-largest corporation and largest private employer. In case you have not guessed, or if you missed last week’s post (you can click here if you did) that distinction goes to Wal-Mart. Now, we are not going to be appraising Wal-Mart’s general business model or financial strategy. Some say it ultimately works, others say not so much. Wal-Mart has been in the news a lot, particularly with respect to its employment practices. Join The Emplawyerologist after the jump where we begin our series…
  • Time for a Pregnant Pause? The New EEOC Enforcement Guidance (and a Pending Supreme Court Case) on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

    Janette Levey Frisch
    24 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released an updated Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination. Some people are saying that the EEOC now considers pregnancy a disability and that pregnant workers are now entitled to preferential treatment. On July 1, 2014, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Young v. UPSCase No. 11-2078 , which held that UPS did not owe accommodations to a pregnant driver. This sounds like a contradiction. What’s up with that? with the EEOC and the 4th Circuit Court of…
  • Has the US Supreme Court “Overruled” Public Employee Unions?

    Janette Levey Frisch
    17 Jul 2014 | 2:21 pm
    Just over two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court in Harris v. Quinnruled that the State of Illinois cannot force certain public employees who do not opt to join a union to pay what amounts to a representation fee. You can access the full opinion here. The  Supreme Court has previously upheld requirements that  non-union members who nonetheless benefit from a union’s collective bargaining activity pay the union a fee, to be deducted from the employee’s pay by the employer. Has established precedent been overturned? What happened in the case, and what is the likely impact?
  • Mis-Conceptions about The U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling in Hobby Lobby

    Janette Levey Frisch
    10 Jul 2014 | 6:28 am
    Last week the U.S. Supreme Court decided Burwell et al v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., et al  573 U.S. _____ (2014), a/k/a The Contraceptive Mandate Case.  In the week and a half since that ruling misconceptions,  (pardon the pun) abound. Many are under the impression that employers now do not have to provide any contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act as long as they say it’s for religious reasons. Others think that the case by definition has far-reaching implications for employers and employees. What did the Supreme Court in Hobby Lobby actually rule, who is actually…
  • I am quoted in “10 Questions You’re Afr

    Janette Levey Frisch
    4 Jul 2014 | 4:35 pm
    I am quoted in “10 Questions You’re Afraid to Ask about Maternity Leave” ~ Levo League under: Uncategorized
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    The Federal Criminal Appeals Blog

  • Lying Isn't Always Fraud - the Sixth Circuit Sends A Case Back Because Buying Drugs From a Drug Distributor Is What The Drug Distributor Wants

    29 Jul 2014 | 12:24 pm
    Lester and Nancy Sadler, a husband and wife, ran a series of pain management clinics in Ohio. As the Sixth Circuit explained, "these were not conventional plain clinics." For example, at one clinic patients would arrive well before it opened, filling the clinic's parking lot and the lots of nearby businesses. While waiting for the clinic to open, the patients used drugs and traded prescription forms for cash in the parking lots. The patients often traveled long distances (and in large groups) to come to the Sadlers' shops, sometimes as much as 316 miles in a roundtrip, even though most of the…
  • Short Wins - the Shameless Promotion Edition

    22 Jul 2014 | 5:06 am
    Remember back with this blog was more than just Short Wins? Remember when there were long and loving descriptions of cases? I still aspire to get back to that vision for the blog - that was fun. Seriously, look for more long write-ups soon. I've been distracted by writing for Above the Law (here is a link to my columns (I particularly like the one about cannibalism)) and my day job as a practicing lawyer. But, if you're jonesing for those long write-ups again, thanks to the good people at James Publishing, you can now read them in one handy-dandy book. It has the jazzy title Criminal Defense…
  • Short Wins - the Presentment Delay Issue

    6 Jul 2014 | 1:53 pm
    It's a relatively slow week in the federal circuits. My favorite case of the last week is United States v. Torres Pimental. You've got to love a suppression motion being granted off of a government delay in presentment. To the victories! 1. United States v. Spann, Seventh Circuit: Appellant was sentenced to 97 months' imprisonment after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute. The sentence was reversed because the judge failed to justify the sentence. The reasoning for the top-of-the-guidelines sentence was improper because it would in essence equate to every drug trafficker…
  • Short Wins - the Seventh Circuit Draws a Line on Supervised Release

    30 Jun 2014 | 2:37 pm
    There's been a lot in the circuits in the last week, but perhaps the most surprising bit is that the Seventh Circuit issued four opinions on supervised release conditions. Supervised release may not be the sexiest of issues, but, especially in child pornography cases, it matters a lot. I'm not sure what's in the water in Chicago, but whatever it is reaffirms that these conditions need to be narrowly tailored and properly justified. To the victories! 1. United States v. Ganias, Second Circuit: Following a jury trial, Appellant was convicted for tax evasion. That conviction was vacated because…
  • Short Wins - The Immunity Edition

    16 Jun 2014 | 12:25 pm
    Today's featured defense victory is United States v. Barefoot, which deals with a kind of surprising course of conduct in the Fourth Circuit. In Barefoot, a person gave information to the government to help them investigate other crimes. The information was given on the condition that the information not be used to prosecute him. The government broke that condition. Happily though, the Fourth Circuit enforced it. To the victories! 1. United States v. Guzman-Montanez, First Circuit: Appellant was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment after being convicted of being a felon in possession of a…
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    Boston Injury Lawyer Blog

  • Rising Temperatures and the Rising Risk of Heat-Related Sports Injuries for Massachusetts High School Athletes

    30 Jul 2014 | 2:22 pm
    In the next few weeks, high school athletes across the Bay State will lace up their cleats and begin summer athletic training camps in preparation for the fall athletic season. As anticipation and excitement surrounding official team workouts rises, so too will the temperature and humidity. Consequently, the combination of outdoor physical activity and hot weather conditions will lead to an increase in heat-related sports injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"), heat-related injuries are the leading cause of death and disability among high school athletes…
  • Personal Injury Litigation Explosion in Massachusetts? Fact or Fiction?

    22 Jul 2014 | 8:26 am
    Conventional wisdom says that people will sue for any injury and that the number of personal injury lawsuits is steadily increasing. But, the facts tell a different story. Where a serious personal injury is claimed, the case is usually filed in Superior Court in Massachusetts and recorded as a civil case filing. The court has reported statistics for filings for most of the past 30 years. Comparing the number of civil filings since 1986 with those in 2013 shows that the annual number of filings has declined from 34,807 in 1986 to 21,458 in 2013. During that time, Massachusetts population has…
  • Total Hip Arthroplasty - A Future Without Metal-On-Metal Bearings

    15 Jul 2014 | 9:03 am
    One of the most important issues surrounding Total Hip Arthroplasty (replacement) is the future of bearing surfaces. The bearing surfaces of an artificial hip joint ideally have sound wear characteristics and durability, are bio-inert and relatively easy to implant. Hip recalls, including the DePuy ASR and Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II, represent a loss in confidence and movement away from metal-on-metal articulating surfaces. Growing reports of cobalt and chromium toxicity, device failure and revision surgery in patients implanted with metal bearings have forced surgeons and manufacturers to…
  • Massachusetts Food Poisoning Claims

    8 Jul 2014 | 7:11 am
    When people hear about Salmonella, they most often think of raw eggs, raw chicken or other animal products as the source of this potentially deadly bacteria. Since the beginning of this month however, six non-animal food products were recalled due to the possibility of Salmonella contamination, products which include black pepper, crackers, chia powder and flax seeds. In the same time frame, Atlantic salmon, gouda cheese and egg salad were all recalled due to possible Listeria (Listeria monocytogenes) contamination, and over the past two months, there were three multi-state outbreaks of E.
  • Firefighter Injuries in Massachusetts

    10 Jun 2014 | 2:09 pm
    Investigators recently determined that the massive Back Bay fire which took the lives of two Boston firefighters on March 26, 2014 was caused by errant welding sparks from an unpermitted job at the adjacent property at 296 Beacon Street. Ordinarily, a permit is required to perform welding work at residential or commercial construction job sites. When a welding permit is pulled, the Fire Department inspects the work site to determine whether proper safety precautions are being taken, and to determine whether a fire department detail should be present during the job for fire safety. Preliminary…
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    Securities Law Blog

  • Florida Man Charged With Securities Fraud In Alabama For Gold Scheme

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:30 am
    Gregory James Botolino of St. Augustine, Florida was arrested earlier this month in Florida and is being charged in Madison County, Alabama with securities fraud by employing a device, scheme, or artifice to defraud and conspiracy to commit fraud in the sale of a security in violation of the Alabama Securities Act. The arrest is the result of a Madison County Grand Jury indictment charging Botolino with four counts of alleged violations of the Act. The indictment alleges that Botolino and others fraudulently asked for funds from investors to be used in a managed gold “buy-sell” program.
  • FINRA Charges NY Broker-Dealer With Churning

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:12 am
    On Monday, FINRA charged a New York broker-dealer, as well as a number of current and past registered representatives, with churning customer accounts and other illicit actions the resulted in significant losses to retirees and other investors. According to FINRA enforcement attorneys, Newport Coast Securities Inc. and five of its current and past brokers knowingly engaged in a “manipulative, deceptive and fraudulent scheme” to churn the accounts of about twenty-four customers in order to receive higher commissions. Newport Coast and three of its brokers are accused of making…
  • UBS Ordered To Post €1.1B Bail Amidst Money Laundering Investigation

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:22 am
    UBS AG is being formally investigated for money laundering by French officials, who ordered the bank to post €1.1 billion ($1.49 billion) bail amidst a growing investigation into claims that it assisted high-profile clients evade French taxes. Just a month ago, UBS’ French subsidiary was fined a record-setting €10 million for being slow to correct poor oversight procedures that permitted employees to help clients dodge tax liabilities. In late June, French regulator Autorite de Controle Prudentiel (ACP) said the $13 million UBS France fine was the largest allowed under the…
  • Staten Island Broker To Pay $1.3M For Scam

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    25 Jul 2014 | 8:01 am
    Wayne Burmaster, a broker from Staten Island, New York, will pay $1.3 million in disgorgement to the SEC for selling unregistered penny stock. Burmaster, together with his partner Edward Hayter, sold unregistered shares to investors. Further, they misrepresented the shares as stock in a hospitality holding company, according to the SEC’s complaint. The complaint goes on to allege that Burmaster and Hayter used a fake name, lauded as an accomplished entrepreneur, and solicited the public to invest in their penny stock by using misrepresentations in press releases. Having sold tens of…
  • SEC Approves FINRA Rule To Limit Expungement

    The Frankowski Firm, LLC
    24 Jul 2014 | 7:30 am
    The SEC approved a new FINRA rule that will make it hard for brokers to delete customer complaints from their records in arbitration cases. Rule 2081 will prevent brokers from making settlements with customers requiring the claimant to accept expungement of the case from the broker’s public record. The goal of the new rule is to ensure that brokers cannot conceal customer complaints in run-of-the-mill cases but only more extreme cases. According to the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, expungement requests were granted in 89% of cases resolved by stipulated awards or…
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    South Florida Criminal Attorneys Blog

  • Boynton Beach Man Beats Prior Manslaughter Charge Walks Free Again

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    8 Jul 2014 | 1:06 pm
    David Muringer appears to live a charmed life. The Boynton Beach man was acquitted last month of misdemeanor battery and felony false imprisonment charges just short of a year and a half after he virtually walked away from manslaughter charges that could have cost him fifteen years in prison. In this latest case against him his girlfriend, Robin Green, 26, told police that Muringer began to strangle her after the two of them had an argument and she tried to leave his apartment. She was able to get away from him and called 911. In this new case if convicted of both charges he would have faced…
  • Deported Gay Honduran Man Fights to Return to the US to Gain Asylum

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    1 Jul 2014 | 1:19 pm
    Italo Morales had lived in Hollywood, Florida for nearly ten years after he fled his native Honduras in 2005. Morales, now 27 years old is gay. He left Honduras nearly ten years ago, following his partner who also bolted from the country due to the violence against the small gay community that survives there on a daily basis. As a country, Honduras can boast to being the murder capital of the world. The homicide rate is an alarmingly high ratio of almost one individual per every one thousand annually; earning this reprehensible label and nearly doubling its closest rival in this tragic…
  • Owner/Operator of South Florida Home Health Firm Pleads Guilty to Paying Health Care Kickbacks

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    24 Jun 2014 | 11:27 am
    Nestor’s Health Services, Inc. is now non-operational. This seems to be the story with most articles I’ve featured on my blog dealing with Health Care Fraud that’s taken place in the South Florida area over the past year. The word “defunct” seems to come up a lot. With this latest article, the total amount of money I’ve reported which has been reimbursed by Medicare for fraudulent billing is fast approaching the $100 million dollar mark. But in all fairness, one of the stories posted here involved a reimbursement of $33 million by itself. So when Cruz Sonia…
  • South Miami Man Sentence to 20 Years for DUI Vehicular Homicide

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    15 Jun 2014 | 8:16 am
    A Coral Gables man who worked as a physical therapy assistant was sentenced to twenty years in prison after a week-long trial when a jury found him guilty of all three charges against him. His blood alcohol level was more than triple the legal limit when his car crashed into a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan killing a thirteen year old girl as well as injuring her father and sister. According to police, Kaely Camacho, 13, was killed when Sandor Guillen’s 2010 Range Rover slammed into the minivan she occupied while he was speeding southbound at more than 80 miles per hour near the…
  • Former Miami Dolphin Cecil Collins Freed After More Than a Decade in Prison

    Michael B. Cohen, P.A.
    25 May 2014 | 11:53 am
    After a scare back in January when the Louisiana Supreme Court gave clearance for prosecutors to again give it their best shot to try to encourage a Louisiana state judge to revoke his probation, former Miami Dolphin Cecil “The Diesel” Collins finally won his freedom. Collins had already served over thirteen years in prison after being convicted for a felony burglary charge that took place in Davie Florida on March 27, 2001 at the Palm Trace Landings apartment complex where he also lived. Collins pleaded guilty to breaking into the apartment of Ronald and Tina Nolte, a married…
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    Darlingtons Solicitors

  • Complex Commercial Fraud: Tracing and Following: Pens, Rulers, and Motorbikes

    David Rosen
    17 Jul 2014 | 3:48 pm
    D Rosen  I read recently, a fascinating chapter of ‘Commercial Fraud in Civil Practice’ by McGrath QC, 2014, relating to Tracing. Let me start by saying I am a firm believer that a proprietary claim, leads to proprietary relief, in the absence of any clarity that it arises from a claim of unjust enrichment.  Tracing is effectively the act of seeking and locating monies or monies worth for evidential purposes.  There used to be a common misconception that you referred to a tracing claim, or a tracing injunction. That is a colloquial referral, and not technically correct.  Tracing is…
  • How to avoid a breach of contract situation

    Ben Jones
    30 Jun 2014 | 3:23 pm
    Ben Jones – Partner & head of employment law It is important to have an agreement / contract in place to ensure all parties are aware of their obligations under the agreement but also to legislate for what happens if one party breaches the agreement. Get the right contract and act consistently Before considering remedies, it’s important to reflect on the topic generally. Whilst it is impossible to prevent the other party to a contract from breaching it, we see all too often that clients do not learn from mistakes and/or don’t understand how to minimise the chances of a…
  • Divorce – business assets entitlement and dividing assets

    30 Jun 2014 | 8:12 am
    Sorting out financial entitlements on divorce can be complex and contentious especially where one spouse has business assets or there is a family business. Entitlement to business assets The difficulty often arises because the spouse that owns business assets will be well informed that the non-owning spouse will be able to make a claim on those assets, potentially up to 50%. In many cases, the business owning spouse, especially where there is a valuable business, will attempt to move the assets out of his or her name into a corporate structure or may be less than forthcoming as to what the…
  • Lies on employee cv – what to do

    30 Jun 2014 | 7:52 am
    Ben Jones – Partner & head of employment law Inaccurate or deliberately false career history and academic qualifications are problem employers underestimate at their peril. The figures on this are disturbing and quite staggering since, with research indicating that over half of CVs contain lies or inaccuracies which can range from gaps in employment history to false claims regarding qualifications and failure to mention fraud committed against previous employers. In addition to potential competence and general trust issues, as the old saying goes “past performance is the best…
  • Growing your business – private investment advantages and pitfalls

    David Swede
    30 Jun 2014 | 7:28 am
    For businesses requiring additional finance, venture capital (also known as private equity finance) may be an attractive option. It may be that you have sought but can’t obtain bank finance, perhaps you are looking for experienced investors in a specialist business, you may be looking to push through a Management Buy Out (MBO) or Management Buy In (MBI). One of the attractions of seeking non-bank investment is potential speed, especially with the advent and increasing popularity of crowdsourcing. Preparing to seek external investment in your business To impress potential investors you…
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    Maritime Lawyer Blog

  • Fishing Vessel Elohim Capsized in Port Valdez

    17 Jul 2014 | 2:09 pm
    COAST GUARD RESPONDS TO CAPSIZED VESSEL IN PORT VALDEZ, ALASKA VALDEZ, Alaska - The Coast Guard responded to SOS calls from a 45-foot fishing vessel capsized in Port Valdez, Friday. On Friday, July 4th, the Coast Guard Sector Anchorage received reports that the seine fishing vessel Elohim capsized while transiting Port Valdez with four seamen on board. The Elohim is a fiberglass fishing vessel that was built in Tacoma, Washington in 1990 by Sunnfjord Boats Incorporated. The fishing vessel Infinite Grace recovered all four crewmembers and delivered them to the Valdez Small Boat Harbor. No…
  • Passenger From Royal Caribbean Cruise Seeks Redress for Slip-and-Fall Injuries

    27 Jun 2014 | 5:49 pm
    The Port of Seattle, Washington is home to many cruise ship docks. Passengers board these large vessels expecting to relax and be pampered. Even when guests and crew members exercise caution while working or on vacation, accidents happen. A recent report described a 63-year old woman's unfortunate accident on a Royal Caribbean International cruise. In her suit, the woman claims she fell over a piece of temporary decking and injured her leg and suffered bruising and swelling. The woman has filed suit under maritime law seeking damages for her injuries and possibly her inability to work. It is…
  • State Supreme Court Reviews Whether DUI Injuries Could be Litigated under Federal Admiralty Law

    23 Jun 2014 | 7:09 pm
    Washington prosecutes those who operate vessels under the influence, with Boating Under the Influence (BUI) laws that are very similar to the DUI statutes. Just as someone can seek civil remedies for injuries caused by a DUI accident, an injured person may pursue recovery for the injuries that resulted from a BUI accident. Some injury accidents clearly invoke federal maritime jurisdiction, but questions of whether or not jurisdiction exists regularly arise and can be seen in several United States Supreme Court decisions. A recent state Supreme Court case out of Texas relied upon the U.S.
  • Are Unearned Wages and Maintenance Payable Beyond Maximum Cure?

    12 Jun 2014 | 10:42 am
    Maintenance and cure (including unearned wages) is payable only to the point of maximum cure. Farrell v. United States, 336 U.S. 511 (1949) That's black-letter law, right? Maybe not. In Warren v. United States, 1949 A.M.C. 170, 75 F.Supp. 836 (D. Mass. 1948), the injured seaman was held to be entitled to maintenance and unearned wages past the point of maximum cure -- possibly for as long as the voyage lasted -- while the seaman looked for alternate employment. The obligation [maintenance and cure and wages] may run beyond the time the seaman is physically well and until he can get suitable…
  • Recent Maritime Decision Addresses Whether Overworked Seamen Can Recover Under the Jones Act

    10 Jun 2014 | 10:01 am
    Much attention has been drawn to the recent truck accident involving several comedians. The truck driver claimed that he had been awake for over 24 hours for his job. Due to the media attention surrounding the fatal and catastrophic accident, much attention has been given to the trucking industry and the regulations that govern drivers. But what if you're a seaman in the state of Washington? A recent Federal Court of Appeals admiralty law decision discussed whether a seaman could recover under the Jones Act after he injured himself as a result of an erratic sleep schedule and working long…
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    Iowa Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog

  • The Gilloon, Wright & Hamel Website Has Gone Mobile Device Friendly

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:11 pm
    We have redesigned our website so that it is now mobile device friendly. If you look at the website on a computer or tablet it looks very similar to the previous version. The big change is when you view the website on a cell phone. Everything on the website can now be easily read on a phone. Therefore, if you ever have a little time to kill, you can read all about Iowa workers' compensation and personal injury law on your smart phone. The new version of the website also allows people viewing us on their phone to call us by just hitting the portion of the screen which reads, "TAP HERE TO CALL…
  • Handling Referrals of Iowa Work Comp Cases

    8 Jul 2014 | 4:07 pm
    Our law firm accepts work injury case referrals from lawyers who do not regularly handle Iowa worker's compensation claims. In the referral cases the clients pay the same one third contingent fee that we use in non-referral cases. We have added a new section to our website that discusses how the referral of work comp claims work. You can see the new section here.
  • Back and Neck Injuries in Iowa Work Comp Cases

    13 Jun 2014 | 3:15 pm
    A large part of my practice involves back and neck claims. Injuries to the back or neck frequently have a serious negative impact on a worker's ability to continue to do their job. We have added a new section to our website that discusses many issues that come up in litigation involving back or neck claims, including: 1. Types of back and neck injuries. 2. Causes of back and neck injuries. 3. Liability and causation disputes. 4. The factors that should be analyzed to determine the amount of money an injured work should receive. 5. Calculating the amount of compensation that should be paid. 6.
  • Medical Care Benefits in Iowa Workers' Compensation Cases

    8 May 2014 | 1:50 pm
    Under Iowa law a worker who is injured on the job is entitled to receive lifetime medical care for the work injury. The Iowa work comp system has an alternate medical care procedure to deal with many of the disputes that can develop over the medical care benefits. Iowa workers' comp law also allows both the insurance company and the injured worker the opportunity to obtain medical examinations to address disputes over causation and the severity of an injury. We have added a new section to our website that explains all of these medical care issues. You can find this new section here.
  • Iowa Work Comp Law on Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions

    13 Feb 2014 | 2:09 pm
    Today I am going to talk about the case of Plumrose USA and Zurich Ins. Co. v. Robert Hathaway which was issued by the Iowa Court of Appeals on January 23, 2014. One of the big issues in the case was whether Mr. Hathaway was entitled to workers' compensation benefits for a serious right knee injury in light of his long history of pre-existing knee problems. The Court of Appeals summarized the Iowa work comp law on aggravation of pre-existing condition as follows: "While a Claimant is not entitled to compensation for the results of a preexisting injury or disease, its mere existence at the…
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    Personal Injury Lawyer Blog


    30 Jul 2014 | 10:45 am
    In February of 2013, a New Jersey judge awarded Linda Gross $11.1 million dollars after a month-long defective pelvic mesh trial against Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. This July, the same judge has denied motions by J&J, who requested a new trial. In 2013, Judge Carol Higbee of Atlantic County Superior Court, awarded $3.35 million in compensatory damages and $7.76 million in punitive damages to Ms. Gross. A jury agreed, in a 7-2 vote, that the company had fraudulently misrepresented and failed to warn Ms. Gross or her physician about the risks associated with their product, the…

    29 Jul 2014 | 10:55 pm
    A cyclist was struck by a garbage truck on Tuesday morning at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Columbus Avenue. The cyclist, who was taken to Boston Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, was riding a Hubway bicycle at the time of the incident. Officials from the Boston Fire Department used wood blocks and cribbing to pull the cyclist from underneath the truck, which was operated by hauling and disposal company Sunrise Scavengers. Although the identity of the cyclist has not been published at this time, onlookers at the scene report that the victim was male. The…

    28 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    Between 1980 and 2010, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in the United States has nearly quadrupled. As a result, illegally sold products promising to prevent, treat or even cure diabetes flood the market at unprecedented rates. At best, these products may provide little or no relief for Americans with diabetes. At worst, they may be dangerous to consumers. The Food and Drug Administration warns that the products may contain harmful or undeclared ingredients, or may be otherwise unsafe. The products may be marketed as over-the-counter, when they should be marketed as prescriptions. In some…

    26 Jul 2014 | 4:04 pm
    Colored or decorative contact lenses provide teens and young adults a novel and unique opportunity to change up their look. But the a joint campaign by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) warns that these contacts may cause serious eye damage, if not fitted by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. The collaboration wants to inform consumers--mostly teens and young adults--how to safely obtain and use decorative contact lenses and to warn them of the dangers associated with inappropriate use. Chief…

    25 Jul 2014 | 3:15 pm
    Lasers are undeniably cool. Anyone who has seen Luke Skywalker battle Darth Vader with a lightsaber knows that. In real life, these highly-concentrated light beams are used in medicine, weaponry, technology and even toys. But according to the U.S. Food and Drug administration, lasers in toys may be just as dangerous as they are entertaining. Laser toys, even at low strength, can cause severe eye injuries and even blindness. Laser injuries usually do not hurt--in fact, it is not unusual that these injuries go unnoticed, worsening over time as vision deteriorates. Dan Hewett, health promotion…
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  • Will President Obama Execute His Authority to Help the Immigrant Children?

    23 Jul 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Immigration topics frequently captivate the national media as the country continues to wait anxiously for the House of Representatives to pass any sort of comprehensive immigration legislation. In the nearly two years that have elapsed since the Senate passed its own immigration bill, Congress has not come any closer to making immigration reform a reality. While the topic of reform typically dominates the national discussion on this issue, a new development has occurred recently that is now taking the media spotlight and creating a fervor of national discussion and debate. This new…
  • Immigrant Advocacy Groups Sue U.S. for Failure to Provide Lawyers to Unauthorized Minor Immigrant Children

    23 Jul 2014 | 1:37 pm
    This week, the immigration-related topic that has captivated the national media concerns the great influx of foreign national children who are coming by themselves to the U.S. from Mexico and Central American countries, including El Salvador and Guatemala. The President has found himself in a political and practical bind as he tries to convince Congress to authorize an emergency grant of over $3 million to be used to address this increase in border crossings. Apart from the practical logistics of coping with the more than 50,000 unaccompanied and minor children who are now in the U.S., the…
  • Federal Court Says Arizona Cannot Prevent DACA Beneficiaries from Obtaining Drivers Licenses

    23 Jul 2014 | 1:31 pm
    As our readers are no doubt aware, in June 2012 the Obama Administration enacted a federal program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (commonly referred to as DACA). DACA allows certain foreign nationals who were brought to the U.S. as children and who remain in the country without immigration authorization to benefit from the deferral of their deportation proceedings and to receive employment authorization. Seemingly in response to the enactment of DACA, Arizona state officials enacted their own policy, which prevented DACA beneficiaries from receiving Arizona driver's licenses.
  • Undocumented Foreign National Children Caught in Immigration Red Tape

    2 Jul 2014 | 2:50 pm
    The topic of immigration is once again captivating the national media this week, but this time the story is much sadder than previous news coverage. Since the beginning of the fiscal year, border patrol agents have apprehended more than 52,000 undocumented foreign national children who were not accompanied by their parents or legal guardians. Now, in order to discourage future border crossings and contain this increasing influx of unaccompanied and undocumented foreign national children, in a somewhat surprising move President Obama asked Congress to authorize him to deport these children…
  • Federal Judge Strikes Down Most Provisions of Montana's Immigration Law

    2 Jul 2014 | 2:45 pm
    In 2012, approximately 80% of Montana voters voted for a state law called Legislative Referendum No. 121 (or LR-121) that would require state government officials to perform extensive immigration status background checks on any individual who applies for services provided by the state. The services ranged from applying for government jobs to professional or trade licenses, crime victim assistance, unemployment benefits, and others. LR 121 The purpose of the Montana law was to establish a mechanism to deny government positions and state-provided assistance to foreign nationals who are residing…
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    Palo Alto Estate Planning Blog

  • Summer Time Is Here: Estate Planning on the Run

    Liza Hanks
    11 Jul 2014 | 5:34 pm
    Inevitably, in the summer months, I get phone calls from people who are about to take a trip somewhere, often within just a few days. Sometimes they have a Will or a trust that’s out of date; sometimes they have no estate planning documents at all; sometimes they have just finished getting divorced and are in a panic because they haven’t gotten around to updating their Will or trust. Much as I try to help everyone who calls, sometimes (often) there’s just not enough time to update their documents before that plane takes off or the road trip starts. What to do? Although none…
  • What Not to Leave Behind: Massive Piles of Paper

    Liza Hanks
    9 Jul 2014 | 5:01 pm
    Recently, a client of mine described having to go through about 30 years of their father’s financial records after he had passed away. Needless to say, that’s not an easy task, especially when you’re not entirely sure what to look for, what to keep, and what to throw away. And, here’s the real point: most of us save more paper records than we need.  One really nice legacy NOT to leave behind are massive piles of redundant, out of date financial records. Here’s a list of what to keep and how long to keep it.  Do your children a favor — throw away the…
  • Building Up Your Own Credit Score After Your Spouse Dies

    Liza Hanks
    30 May 2014 | 6:37 pm
    Losing your spouse is hard enough. But some surviving spouses also discover that they lose their ability to get credit  as well.  This is because they have no independent credit history since all of the couple’s credit cards and loans were in the name of the deceased spouse. For many women, in particular, this can be a shocking discovery. But if a woman did not work outside the home, never had a credit card in her own name, and has no record of an independent income, she runs the risk of having her credit cards cancelled after the death of her spouse, or loans denied, even if…
  • Veteran’s Life Insurance

    Liza Hanks
    23 May 2014 | 4:30 pm
    On Monday we celebrate Memorial Day, and that seems like a perfect occasion to write about something that many people may not know about until their loved one dies: life insurance policies that date back to World War II or the Korean War. Did you know that the U.S. government issued over 22 million life insurance policies to service members between 1940 and 1951? These policies were for $10,000 and were either permanent or renewable. Today, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, there are over 950,000 of these policies still in force, and the average age of the policyholders…
  • Naming Young Kids as Beneficiaries (Don’t)

    Liza Hanks
    22 May 2014 | 10:40 am
    One of the things that I love about my job is helping people with real-world, actual, legal issues. And one that comes up often is parents, or grandparents, asking me how to name their young children, or grandchildren, as beneficiaries for their retirement accounts, life insurance, or payable on death accounts. Here’s the short answer: Don’t. At least don’t name your minor child/grandchild directly. If you name a minor child directly as the beneficiary for an asset that’s worth more than $5,000, that child will not be able to inherit it without some form of adult…
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    Atlanta Overtime Lawyers Blog

  • Court Of Appeals Finds Delivery Drivers Are Employees Not Independent Contractors

    20 Jul 2014 | 10:38 am
    Last month, a Court of Appeals ruled that delivery drivers were employees not independent contractors and therefore, the drivers were entitled to overtime. The case involved a Georgia company called Affinity Logistics Corporation which contracted with Sears to provide home delivery services for various home furnishing retailers. The drivers were responsible for loading furniture and appliance deliveries, unloading deliveries, and installing the deliveries. To determine whether the drivers were independent contractors or employees, the Court of Appeals stated that "the right to control work…
  • Can Restaurants Require Servers And Bartenders To Pay For Customer Walk-Outs?

    18 Jul 2014 | 9:22 am
    The Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") permits restaurants and other employers of tipped employees to receive a "tip credit" when compensating their tipped employees. The FLSA permits the employer to pay its tipped employees $2.13 per hour plus tips as long as those tips cause the employee to make at least minimum wage per hour. Under the FLSA, "the employer is required to satisfy the following two statutory prerequisites in order to utilize the 'tip credit' allowance: (1) the employer must inform the employee of the provisions in Section 203(m) of the FLSA; and (2) all tips received by an…
  • Court of Appeals Holds Police Officers Are Entitled Overtime Where Their Salary Minus Annunities / Pension Payments Falls Below $455 Per Week

    8 Jul 2014 | 6:07 pm
    Last month, a United States Court of Appeals ruled that police officers whose salaries minus annunities fell below $455 per week were entitled overtime under the federal wage statute called the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). Typically, the first question when determining whether salaried employees are entitled to overtime is whether their job duties are exempt typically under the executive, administrative or professional capacity. In this case, the police officers were not arguing about their job duties. Instead, they were arguing a different provision of the FLSA. For salaried employees,…
  • What Type Of Jobs Are Exempt From Overtime Under FLSA's Computer Employee Exemption?

    1 Jul 2014 | 4:50 pm
    Generally, employees are entitled to overtime pay for all hours over 40 in a given work week. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") allows certain employees to be exempt from overtime pay including an exemption for some computer professionals. The exemption, however, only applies to computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers, and other similar workers who meet the job duties test and who are paid at least $455 per week in salary or at least $27.63 per hour for hourly employees. Unfortunately, many employers incorrectly classify employees who work with…
  • Employees Who Attend Training Classes May Be Entitled To Pay

    18 Jun 2014 | 10:00 am
    The rules on worker's pay are located in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA states that hourly workers must receive at least minimum wage per hour and at least time and a half for all hours over 40 in a week. The FLSA also requires non-exempt salaried employees to receive their salary plus additional pay for all overtime hours each week. To determine how much an employee should be paid, you need to know how many hours an employee worked each week and this can become tricky. In order to determine the number of hours an employee worked, the Department of Labor (DOL) says that the…
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    Florida Tax Lawyer Blog

  • Should Gas Stations Fight Two-Tiered Pricing?

    29 Jul 2014 | 1:15 pm
    Have you ever wondered why gas stations often advertise two different prices on their sign? If you have not, then start looking and you will notice most stations advertise one price for cash (or company specific credit cards, such as Mobil, Shell, Chevron, etc.) and another for credit. The $0.10 difference, known as two-tiered pricing, is an attempt by station owners to recover steep credit card fees by incentivizing customers to use cash. Over the past few years, many customers have expressed frustrations towards the station owners by being lured into a gas station for a lower price only to…
  • SCOTUS Decides to Hear CSX - But Why?

    21 Jul 2014 | 2:07 pm
    Each year, the Supreme Court punts on dozens of cases. Included in the dozens of cases which the court elects not to hear each year are sales tax cases. They are uninteresting to the majority of the population and just not the type of cases the justices want to hear. In fact, despite having a significant affect in most multi-state businesses, the Supreme Court has not heard a sales tax nexus case since Quill in 1992. If there was ever a case to hear, it was Amazon and Orbitz versus New York. At issue was the two large online retailers versus the mighty state of New York. To the dismay of many…

    10 Jul 2014 | 9:58 pm
    It is hard to believe we are more than halfway through 2014. What is not surprising is that states continue to battle with online companies, such as Amazon, as to whether it should be required to collect and remit sales tax. States continue with aggressive tactics and continue to look to distribution centers, affiliates, or even hard drives as a hook to establish nexus, which would require the company to collect and remit tax in that state. In 1992, the Supreme Court of the United States heard a case called Quill v. North Dakota. In announcing the supreme law of the land, the Supreme Court…
  • Masterworks on Loan - Love of Art or Sales Tax Savings?

    1 Jul 2014 | 3:16 pm
    Museums are often able to keep their collections diverse because of the wealthy art collectors that are willing to loan their pieces to them. On the surface, this seems like a very honorable act, but what many don't know is there is a hefty tax incentive for these collectors. There is an increasing amount of art collectors that are employing this sales and use tax savings tactic when purchasing expensive art. As brought to the forefront in a recent NY Times article, they are using clever legal planning to get around paying a substantial sales (or use) tax bill on a multi-million dollar piece…
  • States Turn to Technology to Narrow Tax Gap by Targeting Small Business

    19 Jun 2014 | 4:29 pm
    Each year, the IRS and states alike, estimate the difference between taxes owed and taxes collected. This difference, known as the "tax gap," has been steadily growing at both the federal and state level over the past several years. For example, the IRS estimates that the federal "tax gap" is about $385 billion. While it sounds like a large number, the IRS is able to boast about an 86% compliance rate. On the state side, similar problems exists. For instance, large states, such as California have a "tax gap" of about $10 billion. In response, the states are launching large and expensive…
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    New Jersey CPA Tax Lawyer Blog

  • Mom's Attempt to Deduct Basement Office Expense, Wages to Children Falls Flat

    16 Jul 2014 | 10:18 am
    A businesswoman's attempt to maximize her business expense deductions ultimately went too far, according to a recent US Tax Court ruling. The court decided that the woman did not have sufficient basis for claiming that one-third of her home was deductible office space, and that the facts of her case did not support her claim that she paid compensation to her three minor children. Patricia Ross carried on multiple business ventures in 2007 and 2008, some of which she ran from the basement of her home. The businesswoman also put her three children, ages 15, 11, and 8, to work for one of her…
  • Statute's Strict Requirements Doom Sales Representative's Vehicle Expense Deduction

    3 Jul 2014 | 3:08 pm
    Many people maintain jobs that require them to travel for work, and many of those employers do not compensate their workers for those expenses. Taxpayers in this situation should take heed to a recent ruling by the US Tax Court, which sided with the Internal Revenue Service in disallowing a taxpayer's $20,000 vehicle expense deduction. Even though the taxpayer used the standard mileage rate, and had records showing the miles he had driven, the Tax Code required more detailed information that the taxpayer did not keep. Mr. Garza's tax troubles related to certain expense deduction claims he…
  • Lack of Proof that Expenses Were Customary, Helpful to Law Practice Scuttles Business Expense Deduction

    20 Jun 2014 | 10:37 am
    An attorney's attempt to claim that he racked up more than $400,000 in ordinary and necessary expenses in operating a solo law practice failed with the Internal Revenue Service and also did not persuade the US Tax Court. Although the taxpayer had receipts and credit card statements showing how he incurred his claimed expenses, the taxpayer could not explain how most of the expenditures were customary or beneficial to his law firm, leaving the court to uphold an IRS decision disallowing roughly 80% of the expenses the taxpayer claimed. In 2007, Richard Canatella was the sole proprietor of a…
  • Taxpayer, IRS Battle Regarding Whether Gift Was a Valid Charitable Contribution or Impermissible Sham

    6 Jun 2014 | 7:56 pm
    A short-lived partnership's attempt to claim a $33 million deduction for the donation of stock to a university hit a snag when the Internal Revenue Service declared the whole thing a sham and sought to disqualify the donation from eligibility for the charitable donation deduction. Despite the taxpayer's arguments to the contrary, the US Tax Court concluded that a transaction's economic substance, or lack thereof, did bear upon a charitable donation's qualification for the deduction. A little more than two years after forming it, RERI Holdings I's partners dissolved the entity. During its…
  • Father's Proof of Extensive Involvement in Son's Life Leads Tax Court to Award Child Tax Deductions to Him

    16 May 2014 | 10:47 am
    A recent US Tax Court decision served as a reminder that, with a large enough volume of relevant evidence, any taxpayer can overcome an erroneous assessment of deficiencies and penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Service. In the case, a father successfully challenged a disallowance of his claimed tax credits and exemptions related his son. Although an earlier agreement between the parents indicated that the child's mother was to be his primary physical custodian, the evidence the father presented was sufficient to show that he held an instrumental role in the boy's life during the tax…
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    The Hernandez Law Firm

  • Blood Test Inaccuracies – NJ

    29 Jul 2014 | 1:34 am
    So your car swerved a bit and an awaiting officer’s light bulb goes off flashing the words “Drunk Driver.”  You get pulled over and after you have stumbled on the roadside tests, you are asked to submit to a Breath, Blood or Urine test.  The fact that you have a driver’s license means that you have given implied consent to submit to evidentiary chemical tests to determine your blood alcohol level.  A refusal will most likely cost you your driver’s license. All three chemical tests can yield inaccurate results and cause good people to get wrongly convicted of NJ drunk driving…
  • NJ Laws Regarding Drugged Driving

    22 Jul 2014 | 5:35 am
    NJ is one the 21 states that has legalized the medicinal use of marijuana.  The laws regarding marijuana are changing throughout the country, but it is still illegal to drive while intoxicated by marijuana, prescription drugs, and other controlled substances.  The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are the same in NJ as the penalties for driving while intoxicated by alcohol.  A first time offender will be sentenced to a driver’s license revocation for three month, possible jail time, and fines of up to $500.  Additionally, the person will face increased insurance rates,…
  • Penalties for DWI with a Minor

    15 Jul 2014 | 1:22 am
    Tragically, most children killed as a result of a DWI accident are NOT in the car hit by a drunk driver. As many as 65% of the dead child victims are actually in the car riding with the perpetrator.  Unfortunately, this type of child endangerment has been a national trend. In Chicago, earlier this month, a Dad was arrested for driving while intoxicated with his three sons in the back of the SUV. Tragically, his four-year old died immediately after Shannard Dyer crashed into the concrete median wall on Interstate 355.  At about 2 am, the over speeding Dodge Journey struck a concrete median…
  • Prom Night – Underage DWI in NJ

    7 Jul 2014 | 1:40 am
    Prom parties and High School graduation season is approaching.  It might not come as a surprise to learn that  DWI laws for teens are far more stringent than adult DWI penalties. Even adults can be held liable for lending their car or home to host such parties.  But did you know that in NJ, the near Zero Tolerance Laws mean that drivers under 21 can be charged with DUI for just .01% BAC. Such a trivial amount–only .01% does not even affect many people—forget about impairment. In other states with Zero Tolerance Law, the underage BAC limit is .02% In court, it is up to the state…
  • DWI Checkpoints in Ocean County for Memorial Day Weekend

    23 May 2014 | 8:52 am
    Expect plenty of DUI checkpoints in Ocean County this holiday weekend. The police normally target long weekends when they know people will be out and about so you can expect to see them out in full force. As always we ask you to make wise decisions. If you are stopped at a DWI checkpoint, knowing the laws can protect you against a false arrest.  Here are some tips to protect you: 1. DO NOT answer any questions. You have the Right to Remain Silent. So politely tell the officer you choose to remain silent. 2. DO NOT perform the field sobriety tests. You are not required to do them by law…
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    Securities Lawyer 101 – SEC Law & Direct Public Offering Attorneys

  • Going Public Blog l Securities Lawyer 101

    1 Jan 2101 | 6:23 am
    Going Public Lawyer  Securities Lawyer 101 Blog Going public is a big step for any company.   The process of “going public” is complex and at times precarious. While going public offers many benefits it also comes with risks and quantities of regulations with which issuers must become familiar.  Despite the risks even in a down economy, the U.S. market remains one of... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Former Officer of Harbinder to Settle Charges In Hedge Fund Scheme

    28 Jul 2014 | 12:28 pm
    Going Public LawyerSecurities Lawyer 101 Blog On July 28, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that the former chief operating officer at Harbinger Capital Partners LLC agreed to settle charges that he assisted a scheme by Philip Falcone to misappropriate millions of dollars from the hedge fund.  According to the SEC, the funds were used to pay Falcone’s personal... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • SEC Form D – Notice of Sales

    28 Jul 2014 | 8:02 am
    Going Public LawyerSecurities Lawyer 101 Blog Whether or not a company is selling shares to accredited or non-accredited investors in its private placement offering under Regulation D, it must file a Form D – Notice of Sales with the Securities & Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Because a Form D must be filed through SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval Filer Management... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • What Disclosure Is Really Required of Stock Promoters?

    27 Jul 2014 | 3:25 pm
    Going Public LawyerWe are often contacted by investors, stock promoters and investor relations firms after the SEC or DOJ brings an action against stock promoters.  We are asked a myriad of questions about the disclosures that must be provided in promotional websites, emails and other investor relations materials. Section 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 requires anyone who advertises a stock,... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
  • Whistleblowers Gone Wild

    26 Jul 2014 | 2:58 am
    Going Public LawyerNearly everyone believes the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Whistleblower Program is a good idea.  By the agency’s account, a considerable number of fraudulent schemes have been exposed, and devious perpetrators brought to justice thanks to tips sent in by people who believe they possess information that could help stop crime.  Unfortunately, not all tips received are reliable, and not all... Read MoreGoing Public Lawyer
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    Employment News

  • Is Flirting Sexual Harassment?

    21 Jul 2014 | 9:28 am
    Victims of sexual harassment usually don’t need to be told when the line was crossed. Flirting is not unusual in the workplace but can become harassing behavior when it develops into behavior that is unwelcome, has a negative impact on an employee’s performance or creates a hostile work environment.  When workplace banter shifts to sexual harassment, victims may feel bullied, abused and pressured by fellow employees or a supervisor.Read more about Is Flirting Sexual Harassment?
  • Wanta Quoted in Minnesota Lawyer

    3 Jul 2014 | 9:49 am
    Employment law attorney Shawn Wanta was quoted in a June 19t, 2014 Minnesota Lawyer article, “Wage and hour battles on the rise.” The article discusses the rise in the number wage and hour claims being brought forward under state laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act over the past decade. These claims deal with the alleged theft of employee wages through forcing employees to work off the clock, shaving time off of time cards, not paying overtime, and denying mandated breaks.Read more about Wanta Quoted in Minnesota Lawyer
  • MHRA Amended with Right to Jury Trial

    30 Jun 2014 | 9:28 am
    Earlier this year, Governor Dayton signed Senate File 2322 into law, an amendment to the Minnesota Human Rights Act, ensuring that victims of discrimination or retaliation are entitled to a jury by their peers. The bill provides that victims of discrimination in employment, housing, education or other areas, will have the right to a jury trial in cases brought in state court beginning in August of 2014.Read more about MHRA Amended with Right to Jury Trial
  • Federal Judge Approves Seasonal Harvester Class Action

    18 Jun 2014 | 8:33 am
    Immigrants and temporary workers are often silent about certain employment abuses, lost wages, and other violations in fear of facing retaliation or losing their position. Temporary agencies and employers suspected of hiring immigrants and foreign nationals are continually under scrutiny because of the employment and human rights abuses, especially in certain industries, including farming.Read more about Federal Judge Approves Seasonal Harvester Class Action
  • Women’s Economic Security Act Now the Law in Minnesota

    29 May 2014 | 11:28 am
    In another Minnesota legislative victory, Governor Dayton signed the Women’s Economic Security Act into law. While some of the changes went into effect May 11, 2014, the rest of the law will become effective on August 1, 2014. WESA offers a broad stroke of legislative improvements towards economic progress for women, including a number of changes to Minnesota employment laws.Read more about Women’s Economic Security Act Now the Law in Minnesota
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    Dallas Justice » Criminal Law Blog

  • The John Wiley Price Case: a Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Predictions

    Michael Lowe
    30 Jul 2014 | 2:03 pm
    First things first, the recent arrest of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price is a big deal here in Dallas.   News of the FBI arresting Mr. Price on corruption charges came as a huge shock to many people in our neck of the woods. Some folk are still reeling from the news. Dallas Cty Commissioner John Wiley Price   Why? This is a Big Fish Caught in the Federal Net John Wiley Price is a well-known political activist here in North Texas.  He became Dallas County’s first African-American commissioner back in 1984. He’s served as a County Commissioner ever since.  Beloved by…
  • Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price Indictment – Full Text of Federal Grand Jury Indictment July 2014

    Michael Lowe
    26 Jul 2014 | 9:46 am
    John Wiley Price’s Indictment was unsealed yesterday.  For the convenience of anyone wishing to read the 100+ page federal grand jury indictment of the Dallas County Commissioner, we’ve uploaded it as a pdf file for your convenience. Federal Grand Jury Indictment of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price – Full Text Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price was arrested by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and charged on 13 different federal counts involving corruption, including an allegation that Commissioner Price took bribes in an estimated amount of…
  • July 18, 2014 USSC Amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines – Full Text

    Michael Lowe
    23 Jul 2014 | 1:40 pm
    The July 19, 2014, amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines adopted and approved by the United States Sentencing Commission (Retroactive Reduction) have been placed in the Michael Lowe Digital Library for your convenience.     The post July 18, 2014 USSC Amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines – Full Text appeared first on Dallas Justice.
  • Get Your Federal Drug Sentence Reduced: New Retroactive Reduction of Federal Sentences

    Michael Lowe
    23 Jul 2014 | 1:32 pm
    Last week, people serving time behind bars for federal drug crimes got some great news.  The agency in charge of federal sentencing changed its policy.  Now, thousands of prisoners will be able to get an early release from federal prisons around the country. People who are already serving time on federal drug convictions may be able to get their sentences reduced. This is wonderful news for many federal prisoners as well as their family and friends.  It’s also going to serve practical needs of the overburdened federal prison system. Why is this happening? The Federal Bureau of…
  • Drug Free Zones in Texas: Serious Issue for Defendants Arrested for Drug Crimes

    Michael Lowe
    16 Jul 2014 | 2:37 am
    If you have to be arrested for drug possession in Texas, then try and make sure you’re not busted in a designated “Drug Free Zone.” Why? If you are caught with illegal drugs by law enforcement in a Drug Free Zone, then you’re going to be facing more serious and severe sentencing and more time behind bars than if you were arrested just down the street or even a few yards down the road from the Drug Free Zone. University of Texas – Dallas Campus is a Drug Free Zone.   What is a Drug Free Zone? Drug Free Zones are areas specifically designed under either federal statute or…
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    South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Orlando Court Rules on Evidentiary Issues in Bad Faith Insurance Case: Soto v. GEICO Indemnity Co.

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    29 Jul 2014 | 8:29 am
    The Middle District of Florida in Orlando has refused to allow an automobile insurance company to introduce certain evidence in a bad faith insurance lawsuit. In Soto v. GEICO Indemnity Co., two drivers were involved in a motor vehicle accident in Volusia County, Florida. At the time of the crash, the at-fault driver was insured by GEICO Indemnity Co.  Following the traffic wreck, the other motorist sued the at-fault driver and her insurer for damages related to the injuries the plaintiff allegedly sustained in the auto collision. Following a trial before the Circuit Court of the Seventh…
  • Florida Court Dismisses Slip-and-Fall Case Against Cruise Line: Torres v. Carnival Corp.

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    25 Jul 2014 | 9:33 am
    The Southern District of Florida has dismissed a slip-and-fall case against a cruise ship operator. In Torres v. Carnival Corp., a passenger on a cruise ship filed a negligence and failure to warn lawsuit against the company that owns the vessel on which she traveled, seeking damages for the injuries she allegedly sustained in a slip-and-fall accident on an exterior deck. According to the woman, she tripped over a raised threshold that was obscured by a rug while walking through an opening during disembarkation. In response to the woman’s lawsuit, the cruise ship company filed a motion for…
  • Tampa Court Dismisses Case Against Insurer’s Parent Company: Patoo Enterprises, Inc. v. Landmark American Ins. Co.

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    22 Jul 2014 | 9:29 am
    The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa has dismissed a lawsuit that was filed against the parent company of an insurer. In Patoo Enterprises, Inc. v. Landmark American Ins. Co., a licensed transportation broker purchased a commercial liability insurance policy from Landmark American Insurance. In addition to this general liability policy, the company also purchased an umbrella policy from Commerce and Industry Insurance Company. Commerce’s parent company is American International Group, Inc. (AIG). While both insurance policies were in effect, the…
  • Florida Appeals Court Affirms Jury Decision in Wrongful Death Case Against Tobacco Companies: Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Buchanan

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    18 Jul 2014 | 9:06 am
    Florida’s First District Court of Appeals has affirmed a wrongful death judgment entered against two tobacco companies. In Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Buchanan, the personal representative of a deceased man sued both Philip Morris and the Liggett Group over her husband’s wrongful death. After jurors entered judgment against the defendant tobacco companies, the businesses appealed the decision to the First District Court of Appeal. According to the tobacco companies, the lower court should not have limited their access to cross-examine the man’s wife regarding the brand of cigarettes he…
  • Florida Federal Court Discusses Constructive Notice in Premises Liability Case: Feliciano v. Target Corp.

    Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.
    15 Jul 2014 | 12:01 pm
    In Feliciano v. Target Corp., a woman was allegedly injured when she slipped and fell on a clear liquid while visiting an Estero department store. According to the woman, she failed to notice the notebook-sized pool of liquid on the floor because she was looking ahead, and it was obscured by her shopping cart. In addition, the woman claimed that there was no indication that anyone had noticed or stepped in the liquid prior to her fall. After the woman was injured, a store employee apparently took her statement regarding the incident and then cleaned up the spilled liquid. About six months…
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    Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyers Blog

  • Employers Dropping Long-Term Disability Insurance

    28 Jul 2014 | 6:44 am
    Our Boston disability lawyers understand that many people need SSDI with costs of private insurance going up every billing period. According to a recent article in the Portland Herald Press, employers are starting to phase out benefits, including long-term disability insurance. Many people do not realize the importance of having long-term disability coverage. This type of disability insurance, as its name implies, will provide benefits on a long-term basis for people whose disability makes it difficult or impossible to work in the same or similar job that they had before becoming disabled. To…
  • SSDI Cases: On Duration and the Recent Work Test

    23 Jul 2014 | 6:53 am
    Our Boston disability lawyers understand that your work history may have as much of an effect on your level of benefits as your disability. A recent article in the Aiken Standard looks at what the author describes as a "draconian" definition of what it means to be disabled for the purposes of qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. SSDI benefits are only available to a disabled person whose condition makes it impossible to perform the tasks required of his or her occupation. While that seems reasonable, the definition goes on to state that the disabled…
  • SSA to Educate the Public about What it Means to be Disabled

    18 Jul 2014 | 6:37 am
    Our Boston disability lawyers know that the benefits appeals process can be a difficult and confusing process for claimants who do not have representation. A recent article from the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune discusses ongoing efforts by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) to educate the public about disability insurance. The SSA is the federal governmental agency responsible for the administration of the nation's social security program. A new SSA campaign defines what means to have a disability under federal regulations. These are vastly different from private insurance…
  • Funding Road Construction on the Backs of the Disabled

    15 Jul 2014 | 10:27 pm
    The Highway Transportation fund is broke because gas taxes have not been raised since 1993 -- and cars today are more fuel-efficient and use less gas. Rather than raise the gas tax, some lawmakers want to take money away from the disabled. The proposal is just one more way in which the Social Security Disability benefits program is under attack and the disabled are at risk. Those who cannot work due to medical problems deserve to receive benefits to support themselves and their families. A Boston disability lawyer should be consulted to provide help for those applying for benefits or for…
  • Social Security Vision for the Future a Cause for Concern in Massachusetts

    13 Jul 2014 | 10:24 pm
    Social Security Disability benefits are difficult to get for applicants and as our Boston disability lawyersrecently wrote, there is serious budget shortfall that could result in a significant benefits reduction if Congress does not act. While most people are aware of these challenges, however, the Huffington Post has recently reported on "dramatic changes" that "threaten to end Social Security as we know it" that almost no one has heard of. The Huffington Post was talking about Vision 2025, which is a long-range plan that the head of the Social Security Administration has drafted. The plan…
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    Austin Immigration Lawyer Blog

  • What You May Not Know About Immigration Checkpoints in the US

    23 Jul 2014 | 1:39 pm
    The US Border Patrol is considered one of the most important elements of America's national security infrastructure. But the Border Patrol doesn't operate the same in all of its many locations around the country. Agents who are stationed at airports and other locations along the southern border of the United States have a bit of a different modus operandi than those at other locations. This was evidenced during a recent incident involving Pulitzer Prize winner and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas when the former journalist was detained at an airport in south Texas following…
  • Unaccompanied Children Migrating to the US from Central America in Record Numbers

    21 Jul 2014 | 1:19 pm
    Over the past few years there has been an unprecedented influx of Central American children crossing the US-Mexico border and coming into the United States unaccompanied by an adult. Immigration attorneys all over the country are being inundated with calls requesting counsel for children who have made it into the US but have done so either alone or with other underage individuals. The problem of children crossing the border illegally and without adult accompaniment has grown significantly as of late but political concern is not just for the children once they arrive in the country but has…
  • Ban on Migrant Driver's Licenses Overruled by Court

    16 Jul 2014 | 4:14 am
    The governor of Arizona's order to deny driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants who have obtained work permits via President Obama's deferred-action program was blocked this week by the 9th District Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision was a tremendous boon for immigration advocates who have argued that Arizona's unequal treatment has harmed young immigrants. Many in the state of Arizona believe that the decision is politically charged and even the governor, Jan Brewer, made it clear without directly stating a political bias, that the panel of judges who had rendered the decision had…
  • Department of Justice to Address Influx of Migrants Crossing US/Mexico Border

    14 Jul 2014 | 4:04 am
    There has long been a consistent stream of migrants crossing the border from Mexico into the United States illegally and it has long been a serious point of contention both in American politics and in relations between the United States and the rest of the world. But the problem has reached epidemic proportions over the past several years as there has been an almost overwhelming increase in the number of migrants crossing the border and politicians have been under extraordinary pressure to do something about it. To that effect, last week the Justice Department made an announcement that it…
  • Obama Under Even More Pressure to Act on Immigration

    9 Jul 2014 | 11:56 am
    Americans are becoming more impatient with each passing day regarding the number of foreign nationals who have been attempting to cross over the US-Mexican border and enter the United States illegally and President Obama is feeling the heat. Advocates for immigration reform are demanding that Obama act immediately on not only addressing the issue of the exploding numbers of people coming into the country illegally but on definitively putting a stop to it. The President declared this week that he would bypass Congressional approval and take action himself in order to make changes to the…
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    Health Care Law Blog

  • Medicare Fraud: Federal Strike Force Brings Nationwide Charge Against 90 Individuals

    31 Jul 2014 | 10:27 am
    As part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) continued efforts to combat Medicare fraud, federal charges were recently brought against 90 individuals across the nation for false billings to Medicare, totaling $260 million dollars. These charges were the result of a collective task force comprising federal, state, and local agencies and the use of data analysis and increased community awareness. This takedown marks the seventh national takedown conducted by the federal Medicare Fraud Strike Force. The goal of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force is to protect taxpayer resources…
  • Healthcare Whistleblower Claims Based on Self-Referral Arrangements

    17 Jul 2014 | 12:23 pm
    Two federal laws regulate referrals and financial arrangements between healthcare providers and facilities - Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute.1 These laws have recently been at the center of important healthcare whistleblower fraud cases. While both serve the same essential purpose - to eliminate improper financial incentives that interfere with independent medical judgment and good patient care - they do so in slightly different ways and contexts. Stark Law (also known as the "Ethics in Patient Referrals Act") prohibits physician referrals of specified or "designated health services"…
  • Negotiating Professional Liability Insurance Protection in Physician Employment Agreements

    10 Jul 2014 | 9:31 am
    In our practice as an Atlanta and Augusta health care law firm, we see varying options regarding professional liability insurance coverage made to physicians in their employment agreements. All doctors apprehend in general that there are financial risks associated with potential malpractice claims. While the need to obtain liability insurance is obvious, the right coverage for particular circumstances and how coverage works can be less obvious. Understanding the type of professional liability coverage proposed in a physician employment agreement and how the coverage mechanics work is an…
  • HIPAA's Teeth

    1 Jul 2014 | 12:26 pm
    Although most health care providers understand in the abstract that they must comply with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), many may not fully appreciate the legal and financial significance of noncompliance. More and more, the federal government utilizes HIPAA enforcement options to protect the public interest in security, including the following strong incentives for HIPAA compliance. HIPAA Civil Penalties Caps on penalties for HIPAA violations by covered entities were increased in 2009 by the enactment of the HITECH Act. Covered entity civil penalties…
  • Physician Servicing and Consulting Agreements and Transparency

    21 Jun 2014 | 7:33 am
    Medical device companies, pharmaceutical companies or other health care related companies or vendors often seek consulting or personal services from doctors. Physicians should be cautious in such arrangements to avoid legal issues under federal law. Where fair market value compensation is paid for such services, there may be no issue under, for example, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). However, arrangements that involve excessive compensation can lead to legal problems and reporting issues. Physician personal service arrangements may fall within the AKS safe harbor found in 42 C.F.R.
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    Pleasanton Business & Commercial Law Blog

  • Ninth Circuit Rules in Favor of Video-Rental Company in Lawsuit Alleging Violations of California Privacy Law

    31 Jul 2014 | 1:02 pm
    New technologies are automating some transactions that once involved a customer and a merchant meeting face-to-face. As always, the law is not quite keeping pace with the latest developments, which leads to conflicts that the courts must resolve. California's Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 1747 et seq., protects consumers in part by prohibiting anyone accepting credit card payments from requiring disclosure of personal information. This has applied to in-person credit card transactions for years, but courts have recently ruled that it does not apply to certain online…
  • Use of a DMCA Takedown Notice to Enforce a Trademark Could Expose California Business to Sanctions

    15 Jul 2014 | 1:13 pm
    A California business, alleging that a Facebook page infringed its trademark, sent a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to Facebook. It then filed suit in federal court against the blogger who created and maintained the page. The blogger filed a counterclaim, alleging in part that the use of a DMCA takedown notice in a trademark claim was materially false, and that the business was therefore liable for damages. A federal judge ruled earlier this year that the blogger had stated a plausible claim and denied the plaintiff's motion to dismiss that part of the…
  • Liability for Cybersecurity Breaches Still Uncertain for Many Businesses

    30 Jun 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Many businesses routinely make use of customers' personally identifiable information (PII), such as names, dates of birth, addresses, and credit card numbers. Now that nearly all business financial activities are computerized and networked, cybersecurity is a major concern. In addition to the risk that a breach by hackers will compromise a company's own sensitive information, theft of customers' PII could result in liability to affected customers. Courts around the country have reached different conclusions regarding this issue. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the risks…
  • Shareholder in S Corporation Must Pay Tax Despite Exclusion from Management

    16 Jun 2014 | 3:35 pm
    The minority shareholder in an S corporation argued that he was not liable for federal tax on the corporation's income because the majority shareholder had shut him out of management, and the corporation had not paid him any salary or distributions. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) found him liable for the tax and assessed a penalty. He appealed to the United States Tax Court, which rejected his argument that he was not the beneficial owner of the shares and therefore not responsible for the tax. Kumar v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, T.C. Memo 2013-184. Small businesses, especially…
  • California-Based Space Transport Company Sues U.S. Government Over Anticompetitive Contract Bidding Process

    30 May 2014 | 11:17 am
    Space Exploration Technologies Corp., commonly known as SpaceX, filed a bid protest in the Court of Federal Claims accusing the U.S. government of anticompetitive practices in its procedures for awarding launch contracts. Space Exploration Technologies Corp. v. United States, et al, No. 1:14-cv-00354, am. complaint (C.F.C., May 19, 2014). SpaceX alleges that the United States Air Force (USAF) has granted a monopoly on national security satellite launches to United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. It claims that this practice is unlawful and…
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  • Nassau County Launches Speed Camera Program

    Matthew Weiss
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:43 am
    Last week, Nassau County started installing speed cameras within local school zones.  The first three schools to receive these devices are Plainedge Middle School in Bethpage, Dutch Lane Elementary in Hicksville and Abbey Lane School in Levittown.  All three schools (which are open for summer school), each received a “mobile unit” — an unmarked van equipped with two cameras and a radar machine. In total, 56 speed cameras will be installed by October, one in each of Nassau’s school districts.  Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano predicts that the cameras will…
  • (Traffic) Trial By Combat

    Matthew Weiss
    28 May 2014 | 6:38 am
    I’m a big Games of Thrones fan and am excited to see how Tyrion’s “trial by combat” works out this week.   I therefore could not resist sharing one motorist’s attempt to resolve his case using this ancient Medieval procedure. Accordingly to Wikipedia:  Trial by combat is “a method of Germanic law to settle accusations in the absence of witnesses or a confession in which two parties in dispute fought in single combat; the winner of the fight was proclaimed to be right. In essence, it was a judicially sanctioned duel. It remained in use throughout the…
  • NYC Traffic Judge Caught Speeding 70/40 In A Construction Zone

    Matthew Weiss
    16 May 2014 | 4:17 am reports today that notorious Staten Island traffic judge Brian Levine was clocked on radar going 70/40 in a construction zone.  Levine is the most pro-Police judge in the Traffic Violations Bureau system regularly holding the highest conviction and suspension rates.  Levine was even ordered to take anger management sessions after inappropriate conduct vis-a-vis a motorist over which he was presiding. At our law firm, we often urge prospective clients to refrain from hiring us for Staten Island TVB cases because it is nearly impossible to win there.  Because Levine raises so much…
  • Some Motorists Can Be Revoked For Just One 5+ Point Ticket?!?

    Matthew Weiss
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:41 am
    In the on-going battle to punish and deter driving while under the influence, the DMV adopted regulations that trigger a revocation of a driving license upon conviction to just one 5+ point ticket. Specifically, if a motorist has been convicted of three (or more) alcohol/drugged driving-related offenses, he or she will be revoked upon conviction of just one 5+ point ticket.  This applies to ANY such alcohol/drugged-driving offenses, no matter how long ago (i.e., the DMV will search your entire record). Traffic offenses that result in 5+ points are: Cell phone violations Texting violations…
  • Do Cell Phone Laws Work?

    Matthew Weiss
    2 Apr 2014 | 6:50 am
    Using a cellphone while driving New York leads the way in restricting and punishing drivers who illegally use cell phones.  Indeed, it is a 5-point ticket in New York which is the same number of point assigned to the criminal charge of reckless driving.   But do such laws work? A NY Times article entitled “Cellphone Bans May Not Prevent Accidents” explores a recent study done by an economics graduate student from Texas A&M that concludes that such laws have little effect on accident rates.  The study concedes that many drivers change their cellphone use when laws…
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    Spencers Solicitors Blog

  • How can we make horse riding safer on our roads?

    Spencers Solicitors
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:04 am
    We are known as a nation of animal lovers, but that doesn't always seem to be reflected in the level of care taken when motorists encounter horses and riders on the road. It's estimated that there were more than four thousand horse related accidents in 2012, but the British Horse Society believes that traffic accidents involving horses, many on side roads and country lanes, are significantly under reported. Recently, a rider in Dorset had a 'miracle escape' after her horse was knocked by the side of a van as it passed on a country road. Both horse and rider were actually tipped onto the…
  • Surgery in the sun, what are the risks?

    Spencers Solicitors
    10 Jul 2014 | 8:42 am
    Largely due to costs being significantly cheaper compared to the UK, more and more people are choosing to go abroad for surgical procedures. A practice known as medical tourism, it has recently hit the press following several horror stories. With the Daily Mail headlining statistics that more than half of patients end up unhappy with their surgical results, why is this still a popular choice? While undergoing surgery abroad may look appealing, with much cheaper costs and the added bonus of a holiday included, what are the risks and where do you stand legally if things go wrong? Are people…
  • Paralysed person 'to walk' at the Brazil World Cup

    Spencers Solicitors
    12 Jun 2014 | 1:01 am
    As the mother of a son whose main aim in life is to score the winning goal in any football tournament, I can only begin to imagine how the family of a paralysed child would feel if their son or daughter were to be given the chance to take the first kick at this years World Cup. While this may sound like a fantasy, over the last few months a crack team of scientists led by Brazilian doctor Miguel Nicolelis have been working on achieving exactly this. At the World Cup opening ceremony in Sao Paulo and with the world watching, a paraplegic will leave behind their wheelchair and take to the pitch…
  • Ashgate Hospice vs. Spencers Solicitors Charity Match 2014

    Spencers Solicitors
    30 May 2014 | 3:32 am
    Teams from Spencers Solicitors and Ashgate Hospice took part in a charity football match last Saturday to raise funds for the Chesterfield based hospice. Ashgate Hospice is an independent charity that provides specialist palliative care (care to relieve pain rather than cure) at its Hospice and in the wider community for adults throughout North Derbyshire. The Ashgate Hospice football team was made up of hospice staff, volunteers and their families. Match highlights The match kicked off at 10AM on 24th May at the Proact Stadium, the home of Chesterfield FC, and supporters from both Spencers…
  • Spencers Solicitors supports Brake the Road Safety Charity

    Spencers Solicitors
    19 May 2014 | 1:30 am
    Spencers Solicitors are pleased to announce becoming a corporate supporter of Brake, the road safety charity. Brake is a UK based road safety charity that aims to prevent the needless deaths and serious injuries that occur on our roads every day. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe road use and effective road safety policies through national campaigns, community education and by coordinating Road Safety Week, the UK’s flagship road safety event. Road Safety Week, which takes place each November, is the UK's biggest road safety event involving thousands of schools, organisations…
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    White Plains Personal Injury Lawyer Blog


    29 Jul 2014 | 10:25 am
    A number of news articles since the beginning of June, 2014 have been published pointing out the fall of the unemployment rate. In the Westchester County Business Journal on June 2, 2014, an article was written about unemployment rates falling. The article is entitled "April unemployment below 5% in Westchester". Seven counties in the Hudson Valley Region reported the unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, the lowest level for April in 6 years. Only Long Island had a lower rate of unemployment at 4.5%. Unemployment in the Hudson Valley in April was down from 6% in March, 2014 and 6.4% in April,…

    22 Jul 2014 | 9:35 am
    New York State legislators are being lobbied by consumer groups, trial attorneys, construction groups and insurance companies. The battle is over §240 of the Law Labor which can impose absolute ability on contractors and property owners of multifamily homes and commercial buildings. The law does not apply to one and two family property owners. In an article in the Westchester County Business Journal on May 12, 2014, entitled "No letting go: Business embraces Scaffold Law reform", the New York construction and business groups continue their fight to repeal or amend New York's Scaffold Law.

    14 Jul 2014 | 1:41 pm
    We have been following the real estate market the last 3 months. Many articles have been written, some contradicting each other. In the April 23, 2014 article in USA Today for the Journal News, reported that the housing market continued to sputter because of adverse weather, low supplies of houses and higher costs. In March, 2014, existing home sales declined .2% to an annual rate of 4.59 million, the lowest rate since July, 2012. The article points out that a brutal winter continued to play a role in weak sales. The March statistics reflected closing on purchase agreements sign in January &…

    10 Jul 2014 | 8:39 am
    This is the third blog on small planes and helicopters. As early as 1960, pilots and NTSB investigators reported Cessna pilot seats were sliding backward on rails designed to grip them. When pins that hold seats popped out of the rails, the seats slid so far back that pilots cannot reach the controls. Pilot seats slid to a full rear position on bounced landings. This was discovered by NTSB in 1966. In 1969, an Alaska crash of a Cessna plane occurred when the pilot's seat did not lock before takeoff and slid back. Cessna, in 1975, urged owners of its military models to replace worn parts.

    30 Jun 2014 | 2:01 pm
    Continuing on the subject of aircraft accidents, in 2013, there were 1199 general aviation crashes, more than three crashes per day on average killing 347 people, injuring 571 people and destroying 12 aircrafts. The article in the Journal News of Wednesday, June 18, 2014, found that the airline crash rate has plummeted to 0. The general aviation rate (small aircrafts crashes) from 15 years ago are roughly 40 times higher than for airlines. The place where people are getting killed is general aviation according to the National Safety Council. The crashes have killed tens of thousands of…
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    Pinellas County Florida Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Pasco Sheriff has your medical records

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    30 Jul 2014 | 10:14 am
    In a case that’s been ongoing since 2011, the State of Florida is prosecuting Dr. William Crumbley for allegedly running a non licensed pain management clinic, a third degree felony.  The State alleges that Dr. Crumbley wrote over 14,000 prescriptions for pain pills in a three year span. Dr. Crumbley was previously barred by Medicaid for writing too many perscriptions, however, refused a settlement agreement to stop writing prescriptions.  In order to prosecute Dr. Crumbley, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office sent undercover officers into his clinic to obtain prescriptions for…
  • Judge Wrongfully Excluded Media from Prospective Juror Examination in ‘Loud Music Trial’, Appeals Court Rules

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:29 pm
    The high-profile prosecution of a man accused of murder and attempted murder in Jacksonville’s “loud music trial” drew national attention and coverage from a huge number of media sources. A recent First District Court of Appeal ruling declared the trial judge wrong to bar the media from the courtroom during certain proceedings, reaffirming the media’s right to attend the courtroom proceedings in person unless it harmed the accused’s right to a fair trial. This decision is an important one to note because, with the increasing number of news sources, especially…
  • Prisoner Gets Second Chance to Seek Credit for Time Served Out of County and Out of State

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    10 Jul 2014 | 10:28 am
    A man convicted and sentenced in Pinellas County but who also served time out-of-county and out-of-state received a renewed chance to obtain credit for that time served. The Second District Court of Appeal revived the prisoner’s motion for credit, ruling that due to a three-year gap between the man’s previous and partially successful appeal and his resentencing, he did not file his motion too late. The request stemmed from Michael Gisi’s sentence on several sexually-based crimes related to his relationship with a 13-year-old St. Petersburg girl, with whom he had sex several…
  • Florida Man Gets New Trial Due to Wrongfully Admitted Gun Evidence

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    25 Jun 2014 | 8:47 am
    Florida law regarding the admission of evidence relating to firearms is very clear. To be admissible at trial, the state must adequately tie the evidence regarding the gun(s) to the crime for which the accused is on trial. Since the prosecution did not establish that proper connection in Christopher Tolbert’s cocaine trafficking trial, the court should not have allowed the prosecution to use the gun police recovered from the man’s home as evidence. Since the trial court did admit that firearm into evidence in Tolbert’s case, the man was entitled to a new trial, the Second…
  • Appeals Court Rules Man Mentally Incompetent, Voids Guilty Plea

    Pawuk & Pawuk, P.A.
    13 Jun 2014 | 6:47 am
    A trial court decided to discount a criminal defendant’s odd behavior at his plea hearing and go forward with accepting the man’s guilty plea and issuing the man’s sentence. This was erroneous and required the invalidation of the man’s plea, the Second District Court of Appeal recently ruled. The evidence in the case showed that the man was mentally incompetent when he made his plea and, since Florida law does not permit incompetent people to stand trial or enter pleas, the plea was not considered voluntary, leaving the man free to withdraw it. The appeal stemmed from…
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    Oakland Employment Lawyer Blog

  • Twitter Accused of Age Discrimination

    Liberty Law
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:49 am
    A former Twitter employee is suing the social media company, alleging it fired him because he was too old. The man was 57 at the time he was fired. He had surgery to remove his kidney stones, and he was fired a month later with no warning. The lawsuit alleges that the employee saved Twitter millions of dollars during a company expansion, and also met all performance review standards before he was fired. He was replaced by workers who were in their 20s and 30s. The former employee was a manager of Twitter’s data center deployment. He alleges that during the firing, his supervisor made a…
  • Tracy Morgan Sues Walmart in Automobile Accident Case

    Liberty Law
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:47 am
    Nationally known comedian Tracy Morgan recently sued Walmart for an accident that left one person dead and several people hospitalized. On June 7, a truck driver for Walmart plowed into a limousine van carrying Tracy Morgan and several others. The accident occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike in the early morning hours. Tracy Morgan was seriously injured, suffering multiple fractures, and was hospitalized for a lengthy period and is now undergoing rehabilitation. Another comedian in the vehicle, James McNair, was killed. According to investigators, the driver was going 65 miles per hour in a…
  • Jury Awards $18 Million to San Francisco Giants Fan after Beating

    Liberty Law
    24 Jul 2014 | 11:17 am
    A San Francisco man who was brutally beaten outside the Dodgers stadium was awarded almost $18 million in damages. The attack occurred on opening day in 2011. Bryan Stow, who was a Giants fan from Santa Cruz and the father of two young children, attended the game to cheer on the Giants against the Dodgers. Stow and his friends were taunted throughout the game. When they left the stadium, they had to walk across a dimly lit parking lot and were attacked from behind by the two Dodgers fans who were taunting him throughout the game. Stow was knocked to the ground and was kicked in the head…
  • San Francisco Cashier Reaches Settlement with Walgreen’s after Improper Termination

    Liberty Law
    21 Jul 2014 | 11:15 am
    A diabetic San Francisco woman who worked at Walgreen’s was fired after she ate a bag of chips without paying for them. She claims she ate the chips to stop a low blood sugar attack. The woman sued Walgreen’s for disability discrimination, and Walgreen’s has agreed to settle the claims for $180,000. The incident occurred in 2008 when an 18 year old Walgreen’s cashier suffered a hypoglycemic attack while she was restocking items in a store. She grabbed a $1.39 bag of potato chips from the store’s shelf in order to stabilize her condition. She says that when she went to pay for the…
  • California Chicken Company Facing Federal Investigation Related to Tainted Food

    Liberty Law
    17 Jul 2014 | 4:42 am
    Two members of Congress are pushing agriculture regulators to close Foster Farms poultry plants until a salmonella outbreak has been contained. Foster Farms, which is a California based chicken poultry company, has been under fire from the public as well as regulators over its sales of chicken that contained salmonella. Since March of 2013, chicken distributed by Foster Farms has been linked to a particular strain of salmonella called Salmonella Heidelberg. Salmonella Heidelberg has sickened at least 621 people in 29 states. However, because most cases of salmonella go unreported, it’s…
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    Texas Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Marijuana No More Dangerous than Alcohol

    11 Jul 2014 | 12:57 pm
    President Obama thinks marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol and is less dangerous in terms of its impact on consumers. In a January 2014 interview with the New Yorker, the president compared marijuana to other vices such as alcohol and cigarettes, stating "As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol." While the president doesn't find the use of marijuana alarming, he is very…
  • Group Dedicated to Fighting Adolescent Drug Ase Finds Majority Support Marijuana Decriminalization

    19 Jun 2014 | 12:10 pm
    A recent report by the Partnership at Drug Free, formerly known as the Partnership for a Drug Free America, found a solid majority of those polled by the organization itself, 52 percent, favor marijuana decriminalization and a vast majority, 70 percent, favor medical marijuana. The Partnership interviewed 1,603 adults. The majority of these adults (1,200) are parents of children who are between 10 and 19 years old. The report found 72 percent of mothers and 67 percent of fathers support medical marijuana. One may be surprised that an organization focused on combating teenage drug use is…
  • Problematic Partnership between NSA and Intelligence Agencies violating Constitutional Protections

    12 Jun 2014 | 11:54 am
    An investigation by Reuters revealed that a secretive unit of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is using information gathered by Intelligence Agencies to facilitate criminal investigations of US residents. The information gathered by intelligence agencies, including the NSA, CIA, and Department of Homeland Security, are supposed to be used for national security and counter-terrorism purposes. Instead, the DEA unit is using intelligence information to go after individuals who are not connected to terrorism. This DEA unit, named the Special Operations Division (SOD) was created in 1994…
  • What Happens to Illegal Substances that are Seized by the State?

    5 Jun 2014 | 11:53 am
    In Texas, Marijuana is an illegal substance that is subject to forfeiture by the state. While this may be of no surprise, you may not be familiar with the forfeiture process and how it works. The government has different modes and methods of dealing with controlled substances. Some of these processes do not even require a court order, they occur automatically due to statutory regulation. This article discusses and describes the process the government implements after it seizes controlled substances, such as marijuana. Let's look at a hypothetical traffic stop situation. A driver gets pulled…
  • Marijuana Business Set to be America's Next Great Industry and a Far Cry from Big Tobacco

    29 May 2014 | 11:50 am
    There is no question that the major tobacco industries for a time were grossly irresponsible in their promotions and commercial sales of tobacco products. Tobacco industries misled the public on the harmful effects of tobacco use, marketed the product to adolescents, and even persuaded physicians into endorsing cigarettes as medicine. A concern of many individuals regarding the legalization of marijuana is that the marijuana industry will become another incarnation of the tobacco industry, bringing with it more corporate greed rather than public good. As major investors, such as a former…
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    Sonoma County Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Northern California Man Charged for Starting Wildfire While Growing Marijuana

    18 Jul 2014 | 10:38 am
    Earlier this month, a 27-year-old man was charged with marijuana cultivation and with recklessly starting a fire in northern California. According to a report by the Guardian, the man's farm in Shasta County caught fire when the exhaust from his truck sparked some dry grass, igniting the entire field. Evidently, the fire has reached a size of up to 3,000 acres and has required the assistance of over 1,000 emergency firefighters. As of Sunday, July 13, the blaze was only 10% under control. Currently the fire is threatening 15 homes and dozens of other structures. Many residents were forced to…
  • Cannabis Cup Comes to Santa Rosa Fairgrounds

    10 Jul 2014 | 7:21 pm
    Just last week, High Times Magazine hosted its annual "Cannabis Cup" at the Santa Rosa fairgrounds. The event, which one report claimed brought in over 5,000 people, was a two-day event celebrating all things cannabis. From cannabis ice cream and other baked goods to hash oil and high-end new strains of marijuana, the Cannabis Cup brought together marijuana enthusiasts from all over the state. Those with medical marijuana cards were able to sample the hash oils and new strains in various tents around the fairgrounds. Some vendors who attended the Cup told reporters that the California…
  • San Jose Man Arrested for Marijuana Possession, Caught with a Weapon

    18 Jun 2014 | 4:07 pm
    Earlier this week in Sonoma County, a San Jose man was arrested for possession of 16 pounds of marijuana when a police officer pulled him over for speeding. According to a report by the San Jose Mercury News, the man was traveling south on U.S. 101 when he was clocked at going 83 miles per hour. When the officer approached the man's vehicle, he noticed that the passenger cabin smelled of marijuana. The officer confronted the man, who explained that he did indeed have three pounds of marijuana in the bed of the truck. Upon searching the truck bed, the officer discovered a 45-gallon bin with 16…
  • District Attorney to Seek Death Penalty in Marijuana-Related Triple Homicide

    10 Jun 2014 | 2:52 pm
    Last year, a Colorado man was arrested and charged with murder in Sonoma County for three killings that allegedly occurred during a drug deal gone bad. According to a report by the local KTVU, the defendant allegedly arranged to buy a large quantity of marijuana from one of the victims. The other two victims were purported business partners of the defendant, who met him in Sonoma County for the purpose of effectuating a large scale marijuana transaction. Evidently, the defendant in this case shot the three victims while they were packaging the marijuana for in one of the victim's mother's…
  • Sonoma Police Find Illegal Grow Operation When Executing a Warrant for an Aggravated Assault

    2 May 2014 | 5:24 am
    Earlier last month, police stumbled across an illegal marijuana grow operation while executing a warrant that was issued after an aggravated assault occurred in a nearby bar. According to a report by CBS, six men attacked two bar patrons with a broken beer bottle and a knife. One of the victims escaped with minimal injuries. However, the other victim suffered fairly severe injuries. When the police began investigating the case, they came across two men's names and secured an arrest warrant for the men. Upon executing the arrest warrant at one of the men's homes, the officer found an illegal…
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    Tampa Bay Injury Attorney Blog

  • 9-Year-Old Girl Critically Injured in Beach Plane Crash Dies

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:27 pm
    A 9-year-old girl that was critically injured Sunday when a plane hit her and her father during a beach landing near Venice Beach has died. The girl died of critical injuries suffered when a plane hit her and her father on Caspersen Beach, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. She was transported to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg immediately following the crash. Her 36-year-old father was killed Sunday in the crash. According to officials, the 57-year-old pilot of the 1972 Piper Cherokee reported that the plane was in distress around 2:45 p.m. and could not…
  • Tampa, Florida 4-Year-Old Killed by Uncle’s Pit Bulls

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    21 Jul 2014 | 4:53 pm
    A 4-year-old boy was mauled Saturday night by two pit bulls that had been crated at his uncle’s house in Riverview. Authorities are still trying to determine how the attack occurred. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, two deputies were conducting a traffic stop near the home when they heard a child’s screams. They ran to the scene and found the child in the front yard with the pit bulls standing over home. The child was pronounced dead at the scene around 10:30 p.m. Investigators claim that the boy and his mother had walked from their home to their aunt…
  • Contractor Dies in Slip and Fall Accident at TECO Power Plant

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    16 Jul 2014 | 7:27 am
    A Tampa contractor died Monday after officials believe he slipped and fell while working at a TECO power plant in Tampa. Reports indicate that the 31-year-old was dismantling an old unit at the Bayside TECO power plant when he slipped and fell through a grate located on the catwalk. According to officials, the man fell about 50 feet to the ground. The Hillsborough County Fire Rescue pronounced the man dead at the scene. The Mulberry contractor was apparently working for Southeastern Construction and Maintenance Company at the time of the accident. No further details regarding the accident…
  • Tampa Bay Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer :: Possible Link Between Brain Injury and Dementia

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    8 Jul 2014 | 10:23 am
    A new report shows a possible connection between traumatic brain injuries and dementia. According to an article by US News and World Report, veterans who have suffered a traumatic brain injury are more likely to develop dementia later in life. The study reports that former soldiers are 60 times more likely to develop dementia earlier in life than their counterparts who have never been diagnosed with any brain injury. The study examined 190,000 veterans, who were all around 68-years-old and dementia-free. According to the report, 1,299 of these vets had at some point received a traumatic…
  • Tampa Bay Injury Lawyer :: Fourth of July Fireworks Safety Tips

    Whittel & Melton, LLC
    30 Jun 2014 | 1:34 pm
    According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11,400 fireworks injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms during the month surrounding July 4th last year. A good amount of these injuries were reportedly from people misusing fireworks. The most common injuries happened from lighting fireworks too close to someone, lighting fireworks incorrectly and playing with lit or used fireworks. Fireworks normally undergo arduous testing before they are sold to the American public, according to the National Council on Fireworks Safety. However, this does not mean that…
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    Minneapolis Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Minnesota physician talks about brain injury treatment

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    25 Jul 2014 | 11:56 am
    Years ago, concussions received very little attention in the news. However, awareness of the dangers of brain injury in general has increased dramatically. Today, it is not uncommon to hear the term "concussion" used when discussing just about any type of sport. In fact, in 2011, Minnesota passed a law requiring an athlete engaged in a to be removed from the playing field whenever a concussion is suspected. That law and the greater exposure to information on brain injuries have helped to reduce the stigma associated with brain trauma in our state. However, a doctor who works in Alina…
  • Minnesota to pay to settle prison medical malpractice case

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    18 Jul 2014 | 1:09 pm
    A state inmate is set to receive $130,000 as part of a settlement stemming from 2012 incident which has left one side of his body permanently paralyzed. The payment, which will be made by the Minnesota Department of Corrections, is the latest in a string of similar incidents stretching back all way to 2011. A lawsuit filed by the inmate's attorneys claimed that the DOC's practice of contracting out medical services for its prisoners to for-profit health care providers has led to a system in which inmate health care is rationed. The lawsuit claimed that the 32-year-old plaintiff was examined…
  • $25.3 million awarded in medical malpractice case

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    17 Jul 2014 | 11:19 pm
    In the neighboring state of Wisconsin, a woman went to the hospital complaining of severe abdominal pain. She also had a fever and was experiencing a rapid heartbeat. After spending close to nine hours there, she was released with instructions to contact her gynecologist in the morning. She was told the pain was due to fibroid issues. This was only the beginning of her and her family’s nightmare. After going home from the hospital, she later collapsed at home. The woman was suffering from a Strep A infection. She had to be treated then for septic shock. Damage to her vascular system…
  • Minnesota mom's death may have been caused by a texting driver

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    11 Jul 2014 | 6:32 am
    The Minnesota State Patrol says that texting while driving may have led to the death of the mother of two young girls on June 30. According to law enforcement, the woman was taking a bike ride with her daughters, who are 1 and 4 years old, when they were struck by a man whose pickup truck drifted off the road and onto the shoulder of Highway 270. The tragic accident occurred near Steen, Minnesota, which is not far from the border with South Dakota. A state patrol spokesman says they have evidence that the 25-year-old pickup driver "was distracted by a cellphone, which contributed to the…
  • Dump truck and car collide near Red Wing, Minnesota

    On behalf of Rischmiller & Knippel LLP
    27 Jun 2014 | 2:34 pm
    A dump truck and a car were involved in an accident near Red Wing, Minnesota, that left one person dead. The crash took place in the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday, and it was out on County Road 1, according to the authorities. This is a road that runs through Featherstone Township. Right around two in the afternoon, an emergency call was placed to the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office. The call told officers that a dump truck that was owned by a private construction company had slammed into a car to the south of Red Wing, about a mile outside of the town. The sheriff's office responded…
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    Asset Protection Attorney Wayne Patton » AP Updates

  • College Financial Aid Planning Can Protect Your Assets

    Michael Wayne
    12 Jul 2014 | 8:46 am
    My good friend Sean Moore is a Certified Financial Planner and a person I trust implicitly. We’ve recently been having discussions around the intersection of asset protection planning and college financial aid. In the course of these discussions I’ve learned something interesting: Planning to pay for college goes WAY BEYOND filling out … Read more → The post College Financial Aid Planning Can Protect Your Assets appeared first on Asset Protection Attorney Wayne Patton.
  • Things Just Got Easier In Florida Because of Sargeant

    Michael Wayne
    9 May 2014 | 4:42 pm
    The recent 4th District Court of Appeals decision in the Sargeant v. Al-Saleh case could have an enormous impact on asset protection practices in the State of Florida. The upshot of the case is pretty straightforward. The court simply refused to exert its contempt of court powers to compel the defendant … Read more → The post Things Just Got Easier In Florida Because of Sargeant appeared first on Asset Protection Attorney Wayne Patton.
  • What You Don’t Know About Risk

    Michael Wayne
    9 May 2014 | 12:15 pm
    Asset protection planning is risk management. Plain and simple. It’s my job to handle your lawsuit risk, but I thought you might like to know about other types of risks so you can think about how to hedge. As an aside, I do not believe your bank is about to fail … Read more → The post What You Don’t Know About Risk appeared first on Asset Protection Attorney Wayne Patton.
  • The Credit Crisis

    Michael Wayne
    6 May 2014 | 9:02 am
    Take a moment to revisit the credit crisis. If you keep the lessons fresh in your mind and keep your eyes open, you might just recognize the next bubble-bust cycle. What happened? Banks extended loans to uncreditworthy individuals – NINAs or people with No Income and No Assets – … Read more → The post The Credit Crisis appeared first on Asset Protection Attorney Wayne Patton.
  • Subscribe or Listen to the Podcast

    Michael Wayne
    2 May 2014 | 7:51 pm
    Subscription & Listen Links: Itunes: Click here to subscribe or listen via Itunes Stitcher (for Android): Click here to subscribe or listen via Stitcher The post Subscribe or Listen to the Podcast appeared first on Asset Protection Attorney Wayne Patton.
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    CA Innocence ProjectCA Innocence Project | CA Innocence Project

  • If you think a $101.7 million judgment for wrongful conviction will prompt the government…

    Zal Parson
    14 Jul 2014 | 10:35 am
     If you think a $101.7 million judgment for wrongful conviction will prompt the government to hold its prosecutors accountable—think twice!   In 2007, after a 22 day bench trial in a case involving one of the most bizarre and atrocious acts of prosecutorial and law enforcement misconduct, US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner ordered a $101.7 million award for the wrongful conviction of four men, two of whom spent over three decades behind bars and the other two died behind bars for the crime the Government knew all along they did not commit. The award is believed to be the largest of…
  • Death Penalty Infographic

    Mike Semanchik
    29 Apr 2014 | 9:38 am
    Below is another Death Penalty Infographic sent over to us.  Given the 4% figure released yesterday, Texas should have granted clemency to more than 20 innocent people (not just 2).  The only way the US will find itself off the “Top 5 Countries” list is if people start educating themselves and speak up.  Do we really want to be on the shortlist with China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq? The Death Penalty in the USA. Produced from
  • New Study: Death Row Sentences Likely Include 4% Innocent People

    Mike Semanchik
    28 Apr 2014 | 12:02 pm
    We have long thought about how frequent wrongful convictions are occurring in this country.  A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences conservatively pinned death row wrongful convictions at just over 4%.  The percentage exonerated from this country’s death row over the same period of time was only 1.6% (see here).  What does that mean? It is likely many innocent people have been executed over the last four decades.  It also suggests we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in the wrongful convictions movement. The study, titled The Rate of…
  • The Huang Case: A Tragedy in the Middle East

    Justin Brooks
    27 Mar 2014 | 1:49 pm
    The California Innocence Project represents the Huangs with the David House Agency. Today, the Qatari criminal justice system continued its absurd disregard for due process, equity, and common sense in the case of Matthew and Grace Huang, two Americans whose 6 year-old adopted daughter Gloria tragically died of complications relating to her early upbringing in impoverished Ghana. Qatari prosecutors accused the Huangs of murder, based on a theory of starvation in order to harvest and sell her organs, and were seeking the death penalty for Gloria’s death. They were sentenced to three years in…
  • Let’s Just Kill Michelle, Anyway

    Madison Christian
    26 Mar 2014 | 9:41 am
    People should be rioting in the streets all over America right now in seething anger over the disgusting farce that is and was the Michelle Byrom case. Although wrongful conviction cases have become so common these days that they often evoke nothing more than a disbelieving shake-of-the-head from society-at-large, what sets this particular case far apart from most others is the prosecuting state’s insistence on executing Michelle Byrom despite overwhelming evidence that she is probably innocent. It is the most morally repugnant, egregiously unfair, and constitutionally suspect case that I…
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    Harrison County Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Killeen man dies in car accident

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    23 Jul 2014 | 1:09 pm
    When Texans take to the road, they expect to arrive at their destinations safely. That expectation is normally correct. After all, a safe trip is usually what happens. But not every trip concludes with a happy ending. Sometimes the worst happens. When it does, Texans can be hurt or even killed. Take a recent car accident that resulted in a fatality. A Killeen, Texas, man was driving west on Veteran's Memorial Boulevard when a car going in the opposite direction collided with the man's car. When police responded to the accident, the man was unresponsive and pinned inside his car. The local…
  • Caffeine Dreams: Energy Drinks Increase Urge to Drink Alcohol

    By Jennifer Britt
    18 Jul 2014 | 9:44 am
  • Comedian sues Wal-Mart following deadly truck accident

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    17 Jul 2014 | 2:14 pm
    Semi-trucks crisscross Texas and the rest of the country carrying food, fuel and an assortment of other goods. When these trucks get in an accident, the consequences can be deadly. Take, for example, a lawsuit filed by comedian Tracy Morgan following a fatal truck accident involving a Wal-Mart truck. The truck accident took place while Morgan and several others were in a limousine. Their limousine was hit by a Wal-Mart truck that was allegedly being driven 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. The collision killed one person and seriously injured three more, including Morgan. Morgan and the…
  • Fourth-of-July fireworks cause burn injuries

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    10 Jul 2014 | 12:28 pm
    The Fourth-of-July can be an exciting time. For many Texans, a big part of the fun is fireworks, both small and large. But, the same reasons that make fireworks fun also make them dangerous. One of those dangers is the potential for a burn injury. Just look at last year's statistics on firework injuries. Eight people died, and more than a thousand more were injured. Those numbers represented a greater than 30% spike from the previous year. Of those injured, about 40% are younger than 15-years-old. Bottle rockets and sparklers are a common source for those injuries. The danger of bottle…
  • Product recall: wine bottle opener causes some bottles to burst

    On behalf of Carlile Law Firm LLP
    3 Jul 2014 | 6:42 am
    When Texans want to buy something, they usually have many choices. Whether they want to buy a car, a computer or something for their home, several manufacturers will offer different styles and qualities. What each of these models has in common is that the item's manufacturer is responsible for the item. If the item is unsafe, the manufacturer may have to issue a product recall, compensate consumers harmed by the product or both. Take, for instance, a wine access system sold online and at wine shops. The wine bottle opener uses a hollow needle that penetrates the bottle's cork so that users…
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    Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney Blog

  • Credit card debt transfers need careful consideration

    On behalf of Gregory P. Haegele, PLLC
    30 Jul 2014 | 4:49 pm
    Many New York consumers may be aware of regular offers from various credit card companies offering deals on balance transfers. However, it is important to consider each offer carefully before deciding to accept such an offer to resolve credit card debt issues. When individuals consider transferring the balance on their current credit card to another card that offers a lower -- or even zero -- percentage of interest, they may want to ensure that the deal would offer advantages that would make the change worthwhile.If consumers can pay the full outstanding amount every month, they will not be…
  • Without proper debt management, good debts can become bad debts

    On behalf of Gregory P. Haegele, PLLC
    22 Jul 2014 | 4:18 pm
    There is a belief among some consumers in New York that not all credit is bad. It is often said that debt which is obtained to improve one’s life is good debt. However, this may only be true if the consumer practices proper debt management.A recent poll revealed that debts that are mostly regarded as good debts include student loans, car loans and mortgages. However, student loans have been reported to be a cause of the financial difficulties of many young adults, and students may benefit from receiving professional advice prior to obtaining loans. It is recommended that students not…
  • Improved FICO scores may reduce mortgage debt considerably

    On behalf of Gregory P. Haegele, PLLC
    16 Jul 2014 | 8:28 pm
    Mortgage payments make up a large chunk of the monthly financial obligations of many New York homeowners. It is, therefore, common for individuals to explore ways to reduce their mortgage debt and thereby lower their monthly obligation. One’s FICO score plays a major part in the interest rates that mortgage holders charge on a loan, and working on improving a credit score could positively affect one’s mortgage payments.In addition to an individual’s credit score, most lenders also consider factors such as debt-to-income ratio, other loans and bankruptcies, along with job…
  • Effective debt management may avoid the need to dip into 401(k)

    On behalf of Gregory P. Haegele, PLLC
    10 Jul 2014 | 9:58 am
    A recent survey revealed that many people in New York and other states regard their 401(k) accounts as an emergency fund. In trying economic times, many consumers have no other option. While borrowing from one’s 401(k) account is not usually advised, effective debt management could make such a loan beneficial. However, proper debt management could also result in an emergency fund that may avoid the need for dipping into a 401(k) account.In order to avoid having the loan considered a taxable event, consumers have to be sure that they will be able to repay the full amount. Individuals may…
  • Controlled spending and resolve may eliminate credit card debt

    On behalf of Gregory P. Haegele, PLLC
    1 Jul 2014 | 7:32 pm
    Credit card debt denies many New York residents of financial independence. A recent analysis showed that the average credit card debt of families in the United States is over $15,000. Consumers who are facing unmanageable debts may be interested in a few basic steps that can be taken to unshackle themselves from overwhelming credit card debt and the high levels of interest that comes with it.Despite how difficult it may be, the first step is to minimize credit card spending. Using more cash for purchases may help consumers to break the habit of impulsive buying. However, one should not stop…
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    Tennessee Estate Law Blog

  • Understanding the Implications of Using a Power of Attorney

    Ryan Simmons
    25 Jul 2014 | 9:16 am
    As a Tennessee probate attorney, I receive a number of calls regarding Power of Attorney and the ability or inability to perform certain tasks on behalf of someone else. Many people want to know what can or cannot be done with this legal document. So often, many do not understand what the limitations are on the person who has been allocated these powers or authority. Obviously, being given such authority in a Power of Attorney is a great responsibility. If you have questions regarding a Power of Attorney, contact Nashville estate lawyers at The Higgins Firm. What exactly is a Power of…
  • Administering an Estate in Tennessee

    Ryan Simmons
    18 Jul 2014 | 7:15 am
    Recently, attorney Jim Higgins appeared on Nashville’s WSMV News and More at Midday to discuss the task of administering an estate. After someone passes away, often the estate will have to go through the probate process to ensure that debts are paid off and any assets are distributed. The probate court will appoint an executor or administrator, an individual that is responsible for making sure that these tasks are completed. Many people become appointed but do not understand what their responsibilities entail. If you have questions about your role as an executor or administrator of an…
  • The Dangers of Drafting and Executing a Will on Your Own

    Ryan Simmons
    2 Jul 2014 | 9:15 am
    With the influx of information on the internet today, you can find just about anything on the web. There are all sorts of do-it-yourself websites and instructional videos that allow you to shoulder the work while cutting the extra costs of hiring someone else. You may turn to a particular website or YouTube video to learn how to change the oil in your car or how to install a new thermostat. However, you likely would not turn to the internet for more complicated tasks like building a whole house or performing surgery. There is a reason we hire experts and professionals to perform certain jobs.
  • Small Estate Affidavit Limit Increased to $50,000

    Ryan Simmons
    23 Jun 2014 | 9:43 am
    There is good news for those who may be looking to utilize the small estate option in Tennessee. Recently, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law an amendment to the Small Estate Act. The amendment increases the size of an estate that may utilize a small estate affidavit from $25,000 to $50,000. This increase will allow even more individuals to look toward the small estate option. So what are the benefits of a small estate administration? First and foremost, the small estate administration is a much faster process than fully probating the estate. While fully probating an estate will take at…
  • Probate Misconceptions- Disinheriting an Heir for a Dollar?

    Ryan Simmons
    4 Jun 2014 | 10:47 am
    As a Tennessee probate attorney, I field many different questions from clients and potential clients. Popular misconceptions or “urban legends” are the motivation behind some of these probate questions. Many people will assume a particular fact because they heard it from a friend or family member. However, like many areas of life, it is always best to take these probate “urban legends” with a grain of salt. If you have any probate questions, be sure to contact the Nashville probate attorneys at The Higgins Firm. One of those popular misconceptions is that leaving one dollar to an heir…
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    Maryland Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • Maryland Court Addresses Allocation of Retirement Benefits in Divorce

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:32 am
    One of the most significant financial aspects of a divorce is the division of marital property. Under Maryland law, courts have the authority to identify marital property, assess its value, transfer ownership between the parties, and issue a monetary award in order to even out the rights of the parties. Depending on the case and the nature of the relationship between the spouses, the couple may be able to enter into an agreement specifying the allocation of property, instead of relying on the court to do so. In any case, because this part of the divorce proceeding can significantly…
  • Case Summary: Client saves substantial money in attorney’s fees after attorneys successfully negotiate a partial Voluntary Separation and Property Settlement Agreement

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    18 Jul 2014 | 12:56 pm
    Recently a potential client came to our office to discuss his options for seeking a divorce.  In Maryland, there are several grounds for an absolute divorce including a one (1) year separation, desertion (actual and construction), insanity, conviction of a crime, cruelty of treatment / excessively vicious conduct, and adultery.  During the consultation, our family law attorney obtained information about the marriage, the reason for separation, the length of separation, etc. to determine what ground(s) may be applicable in this case. Unfortunately, the potential client was not yet eligible…
  • Maryland Court Reviews Statutory Factors in Determining Alimony

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    16 Jul 2014 | 6:06 am
    When a couple decides to divorce, there are many important issues to address and resolve before the parties can move forward with their respective lives. Many of these matters involve important financial considerations, such as the amount and duration of alimony payments. Fortunately, Maryland law provides some guidance for courts to use when determining the question of alimony. But each divorce case presents a unique set of facts that tend to influence whether and to what extent a court will order alimony to one spouse or the other. If you are considering a divorce, it is important to…
  • Maryland Wife Entitled to Recalculation of Pension

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    17 Jun 2014 | 1:35 pm
    Calculation of pension division can be challenging. Typically a formula called “the Bangs formula” is used, but application of the formula can be complicated. In a 2010 case, a husband and wife divorced and reached a settlement agreement about all child custody, child support, and property division issues. The agreement was incorporated into the judgment of absolute divorce. The wife appealed with regard to the post-judgment entry of orders related to domestic relations and the husband’s pension. She claimed that her share of the pension was miscalculated. The couple had…
  • Why Establish Paternity in Maryland?

    Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC
    16 Jun 2014 | 12:06 pm
    When a married couple has a baby in Maryland, each person in the couple is automatically viewed as being the legal parents of the baby. They automatically have the rights and obligations of parenthood. However, when a couple is not married, only the mother is automatically recognized as a parent with the attendant responsibilities and rights. Further action needs to be taken to establish paternity. Establishing paternity is an important step to claiming the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood in Maryland. The court will not order custody, visitation, or child support unless paternity is…
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    Houston Family Law Blog

  • Facebook may be tied to higher divorce rates in Texas

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    25 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
    A new study released recently has suggested that those who use Facebook may be more likely to divorce in the future. It might not just be Facebook, though, since all social media use could make an impact on your relationship. The news reports that results of the study showed that social networking site usage negatively correlated with the quality of people's marriages. Additionally, it suggests that using social media could harm happiness in a marriage. It also positively correlated to those thinking about divorce and experiencing trouble in their relationships. It was researchers at the…
  • Texas prenuptial agreement good for many reasons

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    18 Jul 2014 | 10:01 am
    Are you getting married? Maybe you're looking into a divorce and are concerned about your prenuptial agreement. Either way, it's important to know how to protect yourself through a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement that is designed to point out exactly what is yours in your marriage. According to an article from July 15, more women are seeking prenuptial agreements in the United States. A poll of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer members showed that 52 percent of those attorneys had seen a rise in women seeking prenuptial agreements. Think that you don't need one since…
  • Same-sex divorce now more equal in Texas

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    16 Jul 2014 | 11:30 pm
    If you decided to get married in Texas, and your husband or wife is the same sex as you, the federal government did not recognize your marriage as legal before March 2014. This means that in a divorce situation, any property that transferred from one spouse to the next was considered a gift, and there were income taxes or gift taxes that had to be paid. The federal court case, “United States v. Windsor” changed all that. This broadened the definition of marriage as it pertained to divorce. It implemented benefits to same-sex marriage so that the surviving spouse could inherit…
  • Ty Murray and Jewel to divorce

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    11 Jul 2014 | 3:34 pm
    Recent celebrity divorce news may have caught you off guard if you're a fan of Jewel or her husband Ty Murray. Known for folk and country music and rodeo antics, the pair has been together as a couple for around 16 years, with six of those years being while married. Now, Jewel has come forward to state that the two are planning on getting a divorce. Their divorce may be a high-asset divorce with marital property that has to be split from over a decade together, but they seem to be taking the divorce well and in stride. Jewel reported that the two simply were no longer finding the personal…
  • Debt and divorce: Ex's debt may become yours again upon death

    On behalf of Shriver & McLean, L.L.P.
    27 Jun 2014 | 4:06 am
    Here's something you may not have thought about: your divorce can come back to haunt you after your ex-spouse passes away. How is that possible? A report from June 25 states that your ex's creditors may come after you for the debt he or she owes after death. While a divorce has the assets split up, no creditors sign off on that agreement. That means that the creditors can come after anyone who was married at the time of the debt. This is particularly an issue in community property states including New Mexico, Texas, Wisconsin, California, Nevada, Louisiana, Arizona, Idaho and Washington.
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    Canton Social Security Disability Law Blog

  • Do genetics play a role in cerebral palsy?

    On behalf of Marsh & Mittas Law Office, LLC
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:51 pm
    Individuals in the Canton, Ohio, area living with cerebral palsy, as well as their caregivers are probably all too well aware of the challenges the medical condition brings. The symptoms and their severity will vary from person to person. In general however cerebral palsy results in issues with a person's balance, posture and reflex. In addition, it affects muscle tone, coordination and control. While there is no cure for the condition, therapy and treatment are commonly used to manage the condition. This condition is the result of damage to the brain either due to malformation or injury…
  • Research into cause of schizophrenia continues

    On behalf of Marsh & Mittas Law Office, LLC
    25 Jul 2014 | 12:34 pm
    When many hear the term “disabled” the first thing that comes to mind is likely physical disabilities. While people throughout the state of Ohio are living with physical disabilities they are not the only type of disability. Some people have mental conditions that constitute a disability. One mental condition that can be disabling is schizophrenia. As is the case in many disabling illnesses, much research has been conducted into the mental condition which approximately 24 million people throughout the world live with. In addition to causing hallucinations, symptoms also include…
  • Disabled children one of several groups for whom SSI is available

    On behalf of Marsh & Mittas Law Office, LLC
    18 Jul 2014 | 10:30 am
    There are a wide variety of conditions that could cause someone to be disabled. Whether the person is born with a disability or develops it later in life due to disease or injury, in many instances, it can be expensive to live with. Recognizing this is a reality that many residents of the United States face, the Social Security Administration has disability benefits available via a couple of programs. When the disabled individual is a child, he or she may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income. There are strict eligibility guidelines used to determine whether a child qualifies for SSI.
  • The basics of SSDI

    On behalf of Marsh & Mittas Law Office, LLC
    11 Jul 2014 | 11:19 am
    Few people consider that at any time their lives could be upended by an accident that results in a disability. Whether you think about it or not, these incidents do occur all too frequently. When a serious disability makes it impossible to continue to hold a job, the prospect of having to determine how bills and day to day living expenses will be paid can be daunting. Some people who find that they are facing this reality are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. Administered by the Social Security Administration, these benefits must be applied for. There are certain eligibility…
  • Disability provider reports now available to public

    On behalf of Marsh & Mittas Law Office, LLC
    3 Jul 2014 | 3:18 pm
    The living arrangements for every disabled individual who is a resident of th