• Most Topular Stories

  • Lawyers’ definitions of virtual practice vary, but not when it comes to finding success

    ABA Journal Magazine Stories
    1 Apr 2014 | 3:30 am
  • Can I Modify My Child Custody Order?

    Ask the Lawyer @ Dear Esq.
    House Attorney
    21 Apr 2014 | 1:15 pm
    I wanted to ask what my options are or what I can do regarding my children's current situation. I pay child support and owe arrears (paying consistently for over two years).
  • Oscar Winners Teach Five Lessons On Estate Planning

    The Probate Lawyer Blog: Famous Fortune Fights!
    Andrew & Danielle Mayoras
    5 Mar 2014 | 12:12 pm
    The 2014 Oscars are complete.  Trial & Heirs looks back at past Oscar winners like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, Heath Ledger, Frank Sinatra, and Marlon Brando.  Their estates illustrate important estate planning lessons that everyone can benefit from — even those who aren’t walking the red carpet at the Oscars.   1. Philip Seymour Hoffman Estate Planning Lesson:  You Can Be Creative With Your Will or Trust There were many mistakes and pitfalls with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s estate (including no estate tax planning and his failure to use a revocable living trust,…
  • Addicted To Walmart?

    Legal Juice
    John Mesirow
    20 Apr 2014 | 10:03 pm
    Maybe it’s not an addiction. A fetish? Whatever the reason, this gent is flat out not allowed to go to this Walmart, but he can’t help himself. As reported by The Northwest Florida Daily News: A man went into a local discount store to buy lightbulbs. He paid for them and left the store. No problem, right? Actually, it was a problem. And why was that? The man had been ordered on Jan. 28, 2013, to stay out of Walmart. The Niceville Police Department arrest report didn’t say why. Banned from Walmart? Hmm. There’s got to be a story there. So how was he caught? He was spotted…
  • Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, Why Would They Do This?

    Simple Justice
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:25 am
    Cops conducted an illegal search of a house. So far, nothing new here. Cops found nothing. Still, nothing new. Cops decide to plant meth in the house. Interesting, but nearly impossible to prove. Cops get caught on their own dashcam talking about it. Bingo! From Courthouse News: A police car dash cam captured Santa Clara deputies plotting to plant drugs in a woman’s home after their first illegal search turned up nothing, the woman claims in court. Allison Ross, who was arrested after the second search of her home, sued the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, its crime lab,…
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  • NLRB Strikes Down Selective Enforcement of Work Email Policy

    Elijah Yip
    21 Apr 2014 | 4:20 pm
    Birth announcements. Girl Scout cookies fundraisers. Leftovers in the company lounge. We’ve all probably received an email at work on these or similar subjects. It’s uncommon for an employee be disciplined for sending an email of such nature. But would that limit a company’s ability to act when employees circulate emails on more controversial topics? This question was raised in a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision involving the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) affiliated with NASA.  In re California Inst. of Tech. Jet Propulsion Lab, 360 NLRB 63 (Mar. 12, 2014). Based…
  • Hawaii Judiciary Proposes to Address E-Discovery With Rule Amendments

    Elijah Yip
    11 Apr 2014 | 3:45 pm
    The Hawaii Judiciary is proposing amendments to the Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure (HRCP) to address e-discovery issues.  The deadline for submitting comments is April 17, 2014.  The proposed amendments are available here. Some of the more notable changes being proposed are: The addition of references to “electronically stored information” (ESI) to Rule 26 (general discovery provisions), Rule 30 (depositions), Rule 33 (interrogatories), Rule 34 (document requests), Rule 37 (discovery sanctions and motions to compel), and Rule 45 (subpoenas) Amended Rule 26 expressly permits…
  • Lawsuit filed by creator of Facebook news site warns public employers to beware the First Amendment when disciplining employees for their social media conduct

    Elijah Yip
    20 Mar 2014 | 7:09 pm
    “It’s my First Amendment right to say what I want!”  The First Amendment is commonly invoked to justify personal expression.  But did you know that the First Amendment applies only when the government is involved?  For example, the First Amendment wouldn’t prevent a private company from firing an employee for making offensive comments about the governor.  If the same employee worked for a government office, then the First Amendment might apply.  As a lawsuit recently filed against the County of Maui illustrates, the First Amendment adds a layer of complexity for public employers…
  • Are You Prepared For E-Discovery of Data on Your Employees’ Personal Devices?

    Elijah Yip
    24 Feb 2014 | 3:36 pm
    Suppose an email from your company’s in-house attorney instructs you to preserve all documents relating to an ex-employee who is threatening to sue for wrongful termination.  In the days before smartphones and cloud storage, this would have been a relatively limited exercise: paper documents would be set aside and files on the company server would be backed up.  But work-related data can be stored in many places today, including personal devices of employees.  Is a company required to preserve such data? Costco Wholesale recently faced that issue in an employment discrimination and…
  • Hawaii Legislature 2014 — Summary of Proposed Computer Tech Legislation

    Elijah Yip
    31 Jan 2014 | 4:27 pm
    It’s time to roundup the bills related to computer technology that the Hawai‘i legislature is considering in its 2014 regular session.  Click here for a chart summarizing the proposed legislation.  Here are the highlights: Social Media and Internet Account Passwords:  Several bills to prohibit improper requests for access to personal social media accounts of employees and students were introduced in the 2013 session.  None of the them passed.  This year, HB2415 renews the effort to outlaw improper social media password requests. Internet Sales Tax:  HB1651 would require online…
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  • On a computer case

    Walter Olson
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:15 pm
    An amusing guarantee/waiver, via @fourgreenis on Twitter. Tweet Tags: wacky warnings On a computer case is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system
  • Schuette v. Coalition, in tweets

    Walter Olson
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:05 pm
    Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court, over two dissents, ruled that the voters of Michigan were within their rights under the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause to enact an amendment to the state constitution barring racial preference in public university admissions. (Earlier here, here, etc.) Justice Kennedy wrote a plurality opinion for three Justices, while Justice Scalia, joined by Justice Thomas, Justice Breyer, and Chief Justice Roberts wrote separate concurring opinions. Justice Sotomayor dissented, joined by Justice Ginsburg, and Justice Kagan was recused. Both sides maintained…
  • Radley Balko on structuring/”smurfing” laws

    Walter Olson
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:33 am
    I’m a little late in getting to this, but last month Radley Balko wrote the definitive blog post on the appalling state of federal bank structuring law, which makes it a felony to arrange bank transactions in quantities of less than $10,000 so as to avoid reporting requirements that kick in at that threshold. He hits virtually every point we’ve made in this space over the past couple of years, including the trend toward “freestanding” structuring prosecutions not arising from any underlying criminal activity, the close connection to forfeiture law, the enlistment of…
  • Schools roundup

    Walter Olson
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:39 am
    Excellent Mark Oppenheimer column cites new Cornell study: students deprived of whole milk and chocolate milk as choices “drank less milk, threw more milk away, and bought fewer school lunches over all” [New York Times] “The process of tying curricular standards to federal money actually helps create the ‘ideological circus’ that [David] Brooks decries.” [Rick Hills, Prawfsblawg on Common Core] School choice lawsuits and legislation news updates from Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and elsewhere [Jason Bedrick, Cato] More…
  • Allergic to vetoes?

    Walter Olson
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:15 pm
    President Obama has signed a bill he deems unconstitutional — it purports to (very slightly) restrict presidential authority to receive certain foreign ambassadors on U.S. territory — while issuing a signing statement calling the measure “advisory” [Josh Blackman] If Congress tries to get away with something unconstitutional, isn’t it more consistent with the President’s oath to defend the Constitution for him to veto it rather than sign-and-ignore? One might sympathize (if not necessarily agree) with a President who gave up and signed a 400-page omnibus…
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    Solo Practice University®

  • A Law Firm in Every Stop & Shop? (I Mean, Walmart)

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:00 pm
    UPDATE : 4/23/14:  It’s finally happening.  $99 wills in Walmart. (This post was originally published almost five years ago. While the thrust of the referenced articles is high end retailers being permitted to sell legal services in their big box outlets, I’m attempting to remove non-lawyers/shareholders from the equation and just wondering about the value of setting up shop in big boxes.) Some of those in the legal profession will see the ability to set up kiosks selling legal services in a venue as ‘pedestrian’ as a supermarket the beginning of the end of law as we…
  • Everything I Need to Know About Solo Practice I Learned From “The Walking Dead”

    Suzanne Meehle
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    See this woman to the right with the samurai sword over her shoulder?  That’s Michone, my favorite character from AMC’s “The Walking Dead”. The other night, while catching up on the Season Finale of “The Walking Dead,” I realized that Michone also embodies the kind of lawyer I want to be. No really! Everything you need to know about being a solo practice lawyer you can learn from “The Walking Dead.” In fact, you can get it all from this one episode. SPOILER ALERT: you’ve been warned! Lesson 1: You do what you have to do to survive. The…
  • If You Had To Do It All Over Again, Would You Go To Law School?

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    21 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    Let me preface this post with the following:  we have an amazing group of students attending Solo Practice University ranging from 3Ls to twenty year veteran professionals. It is also not our practice to share conversations outside our walls.  However, within one of our favorite groups, The Student Lounge, I posed the following question: “If you had to do it all over again, would you go to law school?’ With permission I’m sharing the answer from new SPU student, James Blount Griffin, and I hope you appreciate the sentiment. “I went to law school later in life and got…
  • Yes, Ask the Client!

    Mark Bassingthwaighte
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    Last Fall I posted a piece entitled “Where’s the Beef” that discussed the value of peer review as a quality control process within the law firm setting. In this month’s post I would like to carry that discussion a bit further. Unfortunately, seasoned partners, if they are open to running with peer review at all, tend to want to view the peer review process as more of an educational tool for associates and they’ll leave it at that. Personally, I find that a bit short sighted because a good percentage of reported claims are the result of a partner’s misstep, not an associate’s.
  • When Do You Need A Therapist To Help With Life?

    Susan Cartier Liebel
    14 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    Here we go, again, talking about that taboo subject:  Being a lawyer and admitting you need help.  You don’t have to necessarily be depressed or even anxious.  But sometimes you just need an objective set of ears to listen and guide, help you sort through stumbling blocks, identify patterns of behavior or just validate your feelings and your goals. We are so pleased to welcome back Mayanne Downs for this special guest lecture because after her interview in the Orlando Magazine so many lawyers contacted her and thanked her for being so open (and nonchalant) about the fact she has…
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    Above the Law

  • Predicting The New Area Of Growth For Document Review

    Alex Rich
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:09 am
    What questionable business practice will lead to tomorrow's doc review boom?
  • Morning Docket: 04.23.14

    Joe Patrice
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:11 am
    * Duck Season! Rabbit Season! Duck Season! Human Season! $275,000 lawsuit filed after duck attack. [KATU] * Following Moody’s downgrade of Vermont Law School, three other law schools see their credit join the ranks of junk bonds. [Tax Prof Blog] * Lobbying firms are making money again. Well, except for down-on-their- luck merger candidate Patton Boggs. [Washington Post] * Prosecution called off after the police lost the 100 Oxycodone pills in evidence. Sure. “Lost.” [The Journal News] * Much like the Raiderettes before them, a group of former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders are suing over…
  • The Decision: The Conservative Choice

    Elie Mystal
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:14 pm
    How much of a discount would you need from Duke to turn down Chicago?
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    Simple Justice

  • A Simple Rule, Slip-Slided Away

    23 Apr 2014 | 4:18 am
    Until yesterday, we had a relatively clear rule for police to follow: an anonymous tip must be corroborated before it rises to the level necessary to seize a person.  Then the Supreme Court decided Navarette v. California.  Interestingly, the 5-4 majority opinion was written by Clarence Thomas, with the dissent penned by Nino Scalia. Now I realize that people think I’m loopy for not hating Nino as much as I should, but it’s cases like this that should remind us of why he’s so much fun on the Court. The majority held that an anon tip, of the sort that once needed…
  • Soft Money Loves An Easy Target

    23 Apr 2014 | 3:33 am
    A recurring question is why criminal defense lawyers are underrepresented in government positions, whether judicial, legislative or executive. The easy answer is that we’re easy targets, having spent our careers as gladiators, defenders of the Constitution and, as the NACDL slogan goes, Liberty’s Last Champions. Actually, we don’t sound half bad when you put it that way. But then, nobody puts it that way.  This is more the way we’re described: Not only does it pander to ignorance and prejudice, but it’s awfully effective in smearing a candidate for office. …
  • Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, Why Would They Do This?

    22 Apr 2014 | 4:25 am
    Cops conducted an illegal search of a house. So far, nothing new here. Cops found nothing. Still, nothing new. Cops decide to plant meth in the house. Interesting, but nearly impossible to prove. Cops get caught on their own dashcam talking about it. Bingo! From Courthouse News: A police car dash cam captured Santa Clara deputies plotting to plant drugs in a woman’s home after their first illegal search turned up nothing, the woman claims in court. Allison Ross, who was arrested after the second search of her home, sued the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, its crime lab,…
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    Law and Magic Blog

  • War, Warriors, Magic, and Religion

    10 Apr 2014 | 10:15 am
    Of interest: a series of articles on war magic and warrior religion in the journal Social Analysis (vol. 58, Spring 2014), in an issue called  War Magic and Warrior Religion: Sorcery, Cognition, and Embodiment. Here's the list. Farrer, D. S., Cross-Cultural Articulations of War Magic and Warrior Religion, 58 Social Analysis 1 (Spring 2014). Chan, Margaret, Tangki War Magic: The Virtuality of Spirit Warfare and the Actuality of Peace, at p. 25. de Grace, Jean-Marc, Javanese Kanuragan Ritual Initiation: A Means to Socialize by Acquiring Invulnerability, Authority, and Spiritual…
  • Harry Potter and Economics

    1 Apr 2014 | 10:41 am
    Here's a paper on Harry Potter and economics. Not exactly law and magic, but there is a link between economics and law, since governments attempt to regulate the market to a greater or lesser extent. Darwyyn Deyo, George Mason University, Department of Economics, and Marta Podemska-Mikluch, Beloit College, It's Just Like Magic: The Economics of Harry Potter. Here is the abstract. Do the laws of economics apply in the magical world of Harry Potter? Even though J.K Rowling placed her characters in a world of magic, wizards remain subject to the implications of scarcity. As a result,…
  • Bloomberg Law Covers Teller Lawsuit

    27 Mar 2014 | 8:03 am
    More coverage of the Teller lawsuit ruling here from Bloomberg Law, with a succinct discussion of the court's analysis.
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    What About Paris?

  • Happy 450th, Mr. Shakespeare.

    JD Hull
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:45 am
  • Earth Day's Founders: Gaylord Nelson and Denis Hayes.

    JD Hull
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:36 pm
    The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. It was founded by the late U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.), and Denis Hayes, the National Coordinator for the 1970 Earth Day. Nelson was a lawyer, outdoorsman, true Wisconsin character, ex-governor and hardworking legislator. To get an idea of him, see my 2005 remembrance of "The Earth Day Senator", which appeared in Environmental Protection Magazine after Nelson's death in July of 2005. An excerpt: In his first speech as a senator in March of 1963, he declared the erosion of the nation's air and water quality to be a pressing national issue.
  • England's most famous Etonian suffers a lapse in class.

    JD Hull
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:59 pm
    Did the British PM blow a few "dog-whistles" at cranky devout Christian voters last week? Though almost a week old, this story has legs--in and beyond Old Blighty--because it's so, well, appalling. It is also cringe-worthy for any American, with or without an understanding of English constitutional law, who stayed awake during high school civics back in Indiana. David Cameron, Britain's Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party, apparently decided to tap the ever-dwindling Church of England "cultural" vote. The Guardian was one of the first to report it in "Prime Minister David…
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    How Appealing

  • Access online today's rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court in argued cases

    Howard Bashman
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:06 am
    Access online today's rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court in argued cases: The Court today issued rulings in two argued cases. 1. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court in Paroline v. United States, No. 12-8561. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas joined. And Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a dissenting opinion. You can access the oral argument via this link. 2. And Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court in White v. Woodall, No. 12-794. Justice Stephen G. Breyer issued a dissenting…
  • "Telecommuting May Be Reasonable For Ford Worker: 6th Circ."

    Howard Bashman
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:14 am
    "Telecommuting May Be Reasonable For Ford Worker: 6th Circ." has this report (subscription required for full access) on the ruling that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued yesterday. Eugene Scalia argued the appeal on behalf of appellee Ford Motor Co.
  • "Court: Ohio man must pay $489,000 for false call."

    Howard Bashman
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:08 am
    "Court: Ohio man must pay $489,000 for false call." The Associated Press has this report on the ruling that a partially divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued yesterday.
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    Legal Juice

  • So They Were Shooting A Gun In The Woods. What’s The Big Deal?

    John Mesirow
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:06 pm
    So this couple was shooting a gun in the woods. What’s the big deal? Well, there are all kinds of woods. As reported by The Bradenton Herald: A man and a woman have been charged with getting drunk and shooting at a tree at G.T. Bray Park in Bradenton, according to police. About 11:10 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to reports of gunfire at the park, 5502 33rd Ave. Drive W. They were in a public park! Doh! As [the police] arrived, officers stopped a car as it was leaving the park. Inside, they found that the driver, identified as Ian Tucker, 29, was drunk and openly carrying a gun,…
  • Everything Sticks To Duct Tape, Including DNA

    John Mesirow
    21 Apr 2014 | 10:08 pm
    So maybe it’s not CSI, but it’s damn impressive nevertheless. As reported by out of Miami,Florida: An Akron man who pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and robbery will spend six years in prison. 40-year-old Charles Smallwood was also sentenced to an additional four years on two other pending cases for a total ten year sentence. About the duct tape … The victim, who was 91-years-old at the time of the offense, was awakened around 2:30 a.m. on August 5 when two men broke into his house. The burglars put duct tape on one of the windows so there would not be…
  • Addicted To Walmart?

    John Mesirow
    20 Apr 2014 | 10:03 pm
    Maybe it’s not an addiction. A fetish? Whatever the reason, this gent is flat out not allowed to go to this Walmart, but he can’t help himself. As reported by The Northwest Florida Daily News: A man went into a local discount store to buy lightbulbs. He paid for them and left the store. No problem, right? Actually, it was a problem. And why was that? The man had been ordered on Jan. 28, 2013, to stay out of Walmart. The Niceville Police Department arrest report didn’t say why. Banned from Walmart? Hmm. There’s got to be a story there. So how was he caught? He was spotted…
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    Ernie the Attorney

  • Are you a good speaker?

    Ernie Svenson
    11 Apr 2014 | 8:32 am
    You probably think you’re being perfectly clear when you give a presentation. But you don’t really know what the audience believes, do you? Not only that, you don’t even bother to ask. If you did, you’d be surprised how often you’re misunderstood. I was surprised. I found out because I give a lot of presentations. Well, that’s not exactly true. What I should say is: I give a lot of presentations, and I survey attendees myself immediately after the presentation. That’s how I found out what my audiences really believe. But just asking for feedback isn’t enough. You have to do it…
  • ABA Tech Show 2014

    Ernie Svenson
    25 Mar 2014 | 4:00 am
    The ABA Techshow is a great place to meet interesting small firm lawyers, and also the folks who help us figure out how to make use of technology as opposed being frustrated by it. Today, I’m catching a train to head to Chicago for this year’s ABA tech show (officially designated as ABA TECHSHOW). Pictures don’t do justice to how much fun TechShow is, and besides the fun there is everything else. Two and a half days filled with: Outstanding speakers who can explain legal technology well Practical topics for lawyers, and legal professionals An Expo Hall where you can easily…
  • The ‘Is It Worth It’ Factor

    Ernie Svenson
    1 Mar 2014 | 5:08 am
    My friend has this way of evaluating things, which she calls the “Is It Worth It Factor.” For example, many men cheat on their spouses or girlfriends. But some of those men figure out that, in the long run, the volcanic drama that eventually ensues isn’t worth it. The “Is It Worth It Factor” is not limited to the male propensity towards infidelity. It’s about cultivating heightened awareness, based on experience. What we call wisdom might just be a skill. Maybe the key skill for wisdom is being always ready to evaluate the endless stream of impulses,…
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  • The Loyal Opposition

    Heather K. Gerken
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:03 am
    For the symposium, Federalism as the New Nationalism          This Balkinization symposium grows out of a Yale Law Journal Featureentitled “Federalism as the New Nationalism.”  My contribution to that symposium uses the term loyal opposition as a loose, interpretive frame for thinking about the relationship between minority rights and federalism.The term loyal opposition is not often used in American debates because (we think) we lack an institutional structure for allowing minorities to take part in governance. On this view, we’ve found…
  • Schuette v. Bamn

    Gerard N. Magliocca
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:37 am
    The opinions are out, and they are extremely interesting.  (One gets the impression that some of this material was drafted last year for Fischer and left on the cutting room floor.)The most eye-catching part to me is Justice Scalia's dismissal of Footnote Four of Carolene Products.  In his concurrence, he says the following (internal citations omitted):"The dissent trots out the old saw, derived from dictum in a footnote, that legislation motivated by 'prejudice against discrete and insular minorities' merits 'more exacting judicial scrutiny.'  I say derived from that dictum…
  • Federalism by the Grace of Congress—and the Doctrines Needed to Protect the State Sovereign Acts it Generates

    Abbe Gluck
    21 Apr 2014 | 6:38 am
    For the symposium, Federalism as the New NationalismMy contribution to this symposium, Our [National] Federalism, is about modern federalism’s source, its domain, and its doctrines.  My main argument, which relates to the “nationalism” highlighted by the symposium, is that federalism now primarily comes from federal statutes—that Congress generates the modern era’s most significant federalism opportunities when Congress invites states to play leading roles in federal statutory schemes.  Distinct from the traditional conception, this “National Federalism” is…
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  • Lots of HBO coming to Amazon Prime video streaming.

    23 Apr 2014 | 7:53 am
    Unlimited access all of "The Sopranos," "The Wire," "Deadwood," "Rome," "Six Feet Under,""Eastbound & Down," "Enlightened,"and "Flight of the Conchords," lots of comedy specials and miniseries (e.g., "Band of Brothers" and "John Adams") and much more.If you don't already have Amazon Prime let me recommend using this Amazon Prime link. Like other Amazon links I put up, it let's you make a contribution to this blog without paying more for something you want to buy anyway. I'm genuinely encouraged by the appreciation for this blog readers have shown by using these links. Thanks to everyone.
  • How does Sonia Sotomayor really feel about affirmative action?

    23 Apr 2014 | 6:50 am
    Instapundit calls attention to Sonia Sotomayor's dissent in yesterday's Schuette case. He links to James Taranto's "First Among Equals: An Orwellian dissent from a muddled ruling" and to my post "The way to get a concurring opinion out of Chief Justice Roberts is to rewrite his famous aphorism." I'd counted 11 repetitions of the phrase "race matters" within a short segment (4 paragraphs) of Sotomayor's very long dissent, and Instapundit quips: "She also repeats the phrase 'race matters' a lot. But then, it does. It’s how she got her job."You might think, as I initially did, it's wrong to…
  • "Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD. It may be featured on our Facebook."

    23 Apr 2014 | 5:50 am
    Tweeted the New York Police Department, apparently not foreseeing that this bid for good PR would bring responses like this:Dear @NYPDnews. We don't and we won't forget. #myNYPD— Dustin Slaughter (@DustinSlaughter) April 22, 2014
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    Concurring Opinions

  • FAN 11.5 (First Amendment News) — Oral Arguments in the Susan B. Anthony Case: Is it Ripe?

    Ronald K.L. Collins
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:06 pm
    Today the Court heard oral arguments in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, the “false speech”/ “campaign lies” case. Judging from the oral arguments in the case (see below), it seems unlikely that the Court will reach the substantive First Amendment claims raised by the Petitioners. Facts Susan B. Anthony List is a pro-life group. It released a billboard political attack ad critical of then Congressman Steve Driehaus’s vote in favor of the federal health care bill: “Shame on Steve Driehaus! Driehaus voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion.” Pursuant to Ohio Revised…
  • Justice Breyer’s Concurrence in Schuette

    Gerard Magliocca
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:48 am
    Fascinating opinion, in that Breyer clearly does not care for Michigan’s prohibition on racial preferences in university admissions but felt bound by the principle that local and state governments ought to be free to experiment on this issue.
  • “Yes, Prime Minister” on Ukraine

    Gerard Magliocca
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:23 am
    THE PRIME MINISTER:  “Britain should not support law and justice?” SIR HUMPHREY APPLEBY:  “Of course we should.  We just shouldn’t let it affect our foreign policy, that’s all.” THE PRIME MINISTER:  “We should always fight for the weak against the strong.” SIR HUMPHREY APPLEBY:  “Well, then why don’t we send troops to Afghanistan to fight the Russians?” THE PRIME MINISTER:  “The Russians are too strong.”
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    The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog

  • Eric Posner on Russia and US Bank Sanctions

    21 Apr 2014 | 2:31 pm
    On his blog, Posner gets input from a colleague on whether Russia can oppose U.S. bank sanctions through the WTO.
  • End-of-Week Blog Roundup

    18 Apr 2014 | 1:54 pm
    Eric Posner discusses dignity as a value in cost-benefit analysis and recent Russian stock prices; Brian Leiter discusses a dispute over faculty pay at Oregon; and Will Baude has two posts on the credibility of law enforcement officials and one on Hugo Black's dissent in the case of George Anastaplo '51.
  • Monday/Tuesday Blog Roundup

    15 Apr 2014 | 12:22 pm
    Eric Posner posts on Russia's invocation of 'civil war' in Ukraine and shares a response to his post on social security overpayments; Will Baude looks at a recent case in which police were caught lying; and Richard Epstein discusses "the problems with 'equal pay.'"
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    Sui Generis-a New York Law Blog

  • Tips on standing out in a competitive market

    8 Apr 2014 | 8:05 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Tips on standing out in a competitive market." My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here. Tips on standing out in a competitive market   I’m often asked — by lawyers and non-lawyers alike — for tips on how to stand out in today’s competitive job market. People are often referred to me because of the way I’ve used my online presence to leverage my connections and reach to find a niche and job that I enjoy immensely.As a result, I often find myself talking to young lawyers, lawyers seeking to change their current job…
  • How to reach legal consumers using online video

    2 Apr 2014 | 5:45 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled "How to reach legal consumers using online video." My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here How to reach legal consumers using online video By now, most lawyers understand the power of online marketing, but many are still unsure how to go about using online tools to effectively and affordably reach potential clients. Oftentimes, lawyers struggle to find the proper balance between promoting their practices and creating content that is discoverable by search engines while simultaneously providing information that is both interesting and…
  • Browser add-ons to simplify, secure your online life

    20 Mar 2014 | 8:35 am
    This week's Daily Record column is entitled " Browser add-ons to simplify, secure your online life." My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here Browser add-ons to simplify, secure your online life  Since we all spend so much time these days using the Internet, both during work hours and during our free time, I’m going to focus on browser add-ons today. With the right browser extensions, your Web surfing can be far less aggravating—and safer. It’s been a while since I shared my latest technology tips and tricks to help streamline and secure your online experience, so I…
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  • Welcome Guest Blogger Robert Miller

    Gordon Smith
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:11 pm
    After a delay caused by the well-publicized attack on Typepad, Robert Miller is poised to begin guest blogging. Robert is Professor of Law and F. Arnold Daum Fellow in Corporate Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, where he teaches Mergers and Acquisitions, Law and Economics, Corporate Finance, Business Associations, Antitrust, and Contracts. He is an experienced and insightful transactional lawyer, and we are grateful to have him for the next couple of weeks at the Glom. Welcome, Robert!
  • Marc Andreessen on Valuation

    Gordon Smith
    17 Apr 2014 | 10:07 pm
    Dealbook has reprinted a series of tweets by Marc Andreessen explaining the sometimes lofty valuations of acquisitions in the tech sector. The key idea is "attach rate," which Andreessen describes as follows: "acquirer Y can attach company X's product to Y's sales engine." We used to have another word for this idea: synergy. Just because it's not new doesn't mean it's not real. But Andreessen rightly cautions: "Of course, for the deal to be good, I have to deliver that attach rate. But when it works, and it often does, it's magical & worth doing." I am probably more skeptical -- "often"…
  • Welcome To The Blogosphere, Law & Economics Prof!

    David Zaring
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:18 am
    Up and running in the Caron blog empire is the new Law and Economics Prof blog, featuring a pretty long array of contributors, including Brian Galle, Murat Mungan, David Gamage, Eric Rasmussen, Ben Depoorter, Gerrit de Geest, Shi-Ling Hsu, Manuel Utset, and Yuval Feldman, with others on the way to join, I have it on good authority.  An interesting read so far, so do check it out.
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  • Cohan & Mangum's Credibility

    KC Johnson
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    William D. Cohan’s book tour has featured a full-throated defense of prosecutorial misconduct. The prosecutor who withheld exculpatory evidence in violation of North Carolina law is, instead, “honorable.” The district attorney who lied in open court to a judge is, instead, “quite credible.”But another, less-noticed aspect of the publicity tour has been Cohan’s deeming credible convicted murder Crystal Mangum. (After citing Mangum’s belief that a crime occurred, Cohan proclaimed, “And I believe something happened in that bathroom,” at 3.05.) Cohan now appears to…
  • Cohan Does C-SPAN

    KC Johnson
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Sunday evening, author William D. Cohan made the longest appearance (a full hour) of his book publicity tour, on C-SPAN’s Q&A. Cohan continued his aggressive defense of the book’s twin theses: (1) that “something happened” of a nature of justify a trial; and (2) that Mike Nifong was unfairly targeted/prosecuted for his ethical misdeeds.Lots of what he said in the exchange mirrored his earlier public statements, or was simply redundant. Nonetheless, the appearance was worth a fisking, given the fact-challenged nature of many of Cohan’s statements. Excerpts from relevant portions…
  • New Evidence from Karen R. Long?

    KC Johnson
    20 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    In his (excellent) review of William D. Cohan’s Nifong apologia, Stuart Taylor commented on an oddity of the book’s roll-out—the “amazing succession of puff-piece reviews” that have appeared in some reputable (and some not-so-reputable) publications. Until very recently, not a single one of these reviews have endorsed either of Cohan’s two principal theses (that “something happened” in the bathroom and that Mike Nifong was unfairly punished). Yet these “puff-piece reviews” of which Taylor spoke have featured glowing, largely content-free praise for Cohan’s work.My…
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    Legal Profession Blog

  • Desire To Adopt Leads To Lengthy Suspension

    Legal Profession Prof
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:47 am
    A Colorado Hearing Panel has ordered a three-year suspension in a rather unusual case involving false statements [The attorney] engaged in misconduct in the course of seeking to adopt her second cousin’s baby. She circumvented proper channels for the adoption...
  • Domestic Violence Draws Probation

    Legal Profession Prof
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:39 am
    More from Colorado In February 2013, [attorney] Gillum and his girlfriend got into an argument after drinking together, and Gillum’s girlfriend decided to try to find a cab. Gillum drove after her in his car. He pushed her down, grabbed...
  • From Attorney General To Suspended Attorney

    Legal Profession Prof
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:35 am
    A disciplinary summary from the web page of the Colorado Supreme Court The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved the parties’ conditional admission of misconduct and suspended Edward T. Buckingham III (Attorney Registration Number 08218) for eighteen months. The suspension takes effect...
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    China Law Blog

  • China’s New WFOE Minimum Capital Requirements. Waiting For The Dust To Settle.

    Dan Harris
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:14 am
    China (nationally) recently changed its minimum capital requirements to zero. Many commentators have written on this change but none as far as I can tell have written on what it really means in concrete terms for foreign companies seeking to form a WFOE in China. We have received a number of reader emails asking us about the significance of the change, including the following one yesterday: I am hearing a lot recently about China’s new company laws released at the end of last year and implemented this year in March. As I am hearing, the most significant change is the elimination of…
  • The FCPA And China. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

    Dan Harris
    20 Apr 2014 | 7:29 am
    The FCPA Blog recently did a post, China dominates the corporate investigations list, in which it listed out the number of ongoing FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) investigations by country. This list appears to have been compiled using company disclosures so there are no doubt a number of investigations not reflected by it. Nonetheless, it is a very useful list and what stands out (but is not the least bit surprising) is China’s dominance. The top five countries by number of ongoing FCPA investigations is as follows: China 37 Russia 7 Brazil 7 Libya 6 Poland 6 The post explains…
  • China Anti-Spam Laws

    Dan Harris
    19 Apr 2014 | 6:40 pm
    If you have a China mobile number, you are no doubt getting at least one spam text a day. If your website is in Chinese or if you have a Chinese domain name, you are no doubt getting at least one spam email a day as well. So what I am about to tell you will probably come as a surprise to you, but China has (on the books anyway) some pretty tough anti-spam laws. I was reminded of this when reading the post, Email Marketing and China’s Anti-Spam Laws, on the China Marketing Tips Blog.  The post points out the following regarding China’s anti-spam laws: Here is the brief summary of the…
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    Patently-O » Patent

  • Court Expands Doctrine of Obviousness Type Double Patenting

    Dennis Crouch
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:51 am
    By Dennis Crouch Gilead Sciences v. Natco Pharma (Fed. Cir. 2014) Gilead’s two virus inhibition patents at issue in this case are quite similar to one another, although there is no priority claim creating an official family relationship between the patents. Patent Nos. 5,763,483 and 5,952,375. In a not-uncommon fashion, the application resulting in the ’375 patent was filed first, but, because of a variety of prosecution delays, was the last to issue. The ’375 patent is also set to be the first-to-expire. Note, after the ’483 patent issued, Gilead filed a one-way…
  • Proving Obvious with Post-Filing Evidence?: Yes

    Dennis Crouch
    21 Apr 2014 | 2:03 pm
    Sanofi-Aventis v. Glenmark (Fed. Cir. 2014) In a post on the Patent Ethics site, Professor Hricik highlights this case with the following headline: CAFC Affirms Adverse Inference Instruction Due to Spoliation. Post Filing Recognition of Synergy: For patent prosecutors, an important headline from the case would also be: “Synergy” of patented combination that was only recognized after the application filing can still be used to prove non-obviousness. Here, that principle was applied by the appellate panel in affirming the jury’s decision that Glenmark had failed to prove…
  • Searching for a Lien on a Patent

    Dennis Crouch
    18 Apr 2014 | 8:36 am
    Does someone have a checklist that they could share with me on the due diligence that you may go through in the process of purchasing a patent? In particular, I’m thinking about the title search to ensure that the seller is in fact the owner and that there are no liens on the patent – e.g., that the patent is not currently being used as a security interest. How do you go about doing those searches? – Dennis
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    Religion Clause

  • Georgia Lawsuit Is Latest To Challenge Same-Sex Marriage Ban

    Howard Friedman
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:10 am
    Lambda Legal announced yesterday that it has filed suit in federal district court in Georgia on behalf of three same-sex couples and a widow challenging Georgia's statutory and state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. The complaint (full text) in Inniss v. Aderhold, (ND GA, filed 4/22/2014) was filed as a class action and challenges both the ban on same-sex marriage and the non-recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. According to a Washington Post compilation, with the filing of this lawsuit, only four states-- Alaska, Montana, North Dakota and South…
  • Suit Charges Student Not Admitted To Community College Program Because of His Expression of Religious Beliefs

    Howard Friedman
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    ACLJ announced yesterday that it has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of student Brandon Jenkins against The Community College of Baltimore County Maryland for denying Jenkins admission to the school's radiation therapy program in part because of Jenkins' expression of his religious beliefs. The complaint (full text) in Jenkins v. Kurtinitis, (D MD, filed 4/21/2014) alleges that the program director explained Jenkins' rejection in part as follows:I understand that religion is a major part of your life and that was evident in your recommendation letters, however, this field is not the…
  • Brunei Postpones Phase-In of Sharia Criminal Code

    Howard Friedman
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:30 pm
    The small southeast Asian nation of Burnei has postponed implementation of a new sharia criminal code that had been scheduled to take effect today. According to AFP, no new date has been given for implementing the phase-in of sharia penalties that eventually will include flogging, severing of limbs and death by stoning. AFP says:Burnei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah — the driving force behind sharia — is visiting Singapore, and the government is believed to be waiting for the all-powerful Islamic monarch to return before introducing the sensitive legal code.But the delay could feed…
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  • THE SLANTS — Federal Circuit brief

    Ron Coleman
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:57 pm
  • Explicitly yours

    Ron Coleman
    10 Apr 2014 | 12:10 pm
    Tomorrow I will be on a panel called “Warning, the Following Material May Be Explicit: Addressing the Efficacy of §2(a) of the Lanham Act” as part of American University Law Review’s annual Federal Circuit Symposium. It’s being held at Arent Fox, whose web page promoting the event says: The American University Law Review’s Volume 63 Federal Circuit Symposium will assess the Lanham Act’s section 2(a) bars to registration for immoral, scandalous, and disparaging marks. Prominent legal academics, practitioners, and a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board judge will discuss…
  • I enjoy being a trademark lawyer

    Ron Coleman
    9 Apr 2014 | 4:50 am
    Originally posted 2009-03-27 17:28:28. Republished by Blog Post PromoterJohn Welch at the TTABlog® has up what even he acknowledges is an “excit[ing]” post, in which he both imagines himself a woman and quotes this lively Trademark Trial and Appeals Board opinion excerpt concerning the resolution of the Chippendale’s dancer-boy trademark appeal I discussed a while back: The TTAB appeal was a washout Judge David Bucher . . . asked “what purpose is served by prosecuting this application in light of applicant’s [incontestable] registration,” particularly in…
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    Sentencing Law and Policy

  • SCOTUS splits the difference for child porn restitution awards in Paroline

    Douglas A. Berman
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:27 am
    The Supreme Court handed down two criminal law opinions this morning, and the big one for sentencing fans is Paroline v. US, No. No. 12-8561 (Apr. 23, 2014) (available here). Intriguingly, Justice Kennedy authored opinion of the Court with Justices...
  • "Are female sex offenders treated differently?"

    Douglas A. Berman
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:09 am
    The title of this post is the headline of of this new Salon article which carries this subheadline: "A light sentence for a teacher suggests courts still don't get it about women predators." Here is how the piece begins: It’s...
  • President Bartlet urges Congress to pass the Smarter Sentencing Act

    Douglas A. Berman
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:45 am
    I am pleased and intrigued to learn via this Mother Jones piece, headlined "Martin Sheen Reprises His 'West Wing' Role — for a Sentencing Reform PSA," that a high-profile celebrity is making the case for federal sentencing reform. Here are...
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    Grits for Breakfast

  • Radio news questions Perry PREA stance in light of consultant report

    22 Apr 2014 | 12:08 pm
    On Texas Public Radio, LBJ School instructor Michele Deitch and TDCJ guard union president Lance Lowry were interviewed yesterday on the subject of Gov. Rick Perry's declaration that Texas won't comply with new Prison Rape Elimination Act standards, honing in on contradictions between Perry's characterization of PREA requirements and the actual consultant's recommendations first discovered by this blog via open request.They also discussed ongoing litigation over excessive heat in Texas prisons and today's House committee hearing on mental health and the justice system. Give it a listen.See…
  • Report: 'Deadly Heat in Texas Prisons'

    22 Apr 2014 | 11:28 am
    A new report (pdf) titled "Deadly Heat in Texas Prison" from the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law argues that, "The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is currently violating the human and constitutional rights of inmates in Texas by exposing them to dangerously high temperatures and extreme heat conditions." Citing recent court precedent, they argue that:The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has recognized time and again that extreme heat in prisons can constitute a violation of inmates’ Eighth Amendment rights. In a 2012 case, a 63…
  • Innocence lauded, justice delayed, violence declining, mercy contemplated

    22 Apr 2014 | 6:57 am
    Here are a few odds and ends that haven't made it into individual Grits posts but deserve readers' attention:Innocence Project of Texas in the newsMy employers at the Innocence Project of Texas received some good press in the New York Times and Texas Monthly where Maurice Chammah had a piece (April 19) describing a suggestion "to have all of the state’s innocence clinics adopt a single, centralized intake system for letters, with a single process for identifying viable cases." Currently, the state's four law-school-based innocence clinics suffer from a great deal of redundancy as inmates…
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    Blonde Justice

  • Meeting the Best People

    Blonde Justice
    20 Apr 2014 | 7:37 pm
    One thing I really like is meeting other public defenders.  As my clinic teacher used to say, "Public defenders are the best people in the world." If not the "best," they're at least usually like-minded.  And in a world where our chosen profession is often misunderstood, that is no small thing.If you are a public defender having some doubts, or experiencing "burn out," I would suggest going to a PD conference, maybe even in another state, and making some new friends.  It helps to realize there are people going through the same (or worse) challenges, and people you can swap war…
  • Self-Care for Public Defenders

    Blonde Justice
    13 Apr 2014 | 3:25 pm
    Self-care is a social worker and therapist idea, basically, wherein the practitioner makes an effort to care for himself and his own mental wellbeing as a way of staying healthy and being able to persevere, successfully, in the field. In the social work field, it is taught as a "survival skill," as the University of Buffalo Social Work school noted on its website Self-Care Starter Kit, which has a lot of great resources for social work students and practitioners.When I started out as a public defender, many years ago, I was surprised how little attention was paid to the attorneys' well-being.
  • Why, Yes, I Do

    Blonde Justice
    9 Dec 2013 | 12:31 pm
    I went out for drinks for a friend's birthday last weekend, and got to meet a bunch of her friends. I joined the festivities late, so I was a couple of drinks behind the rest of the crowd.Meeting my friend's friend, the first thing he asked was, "So, I heard you were a public defender?""Yes...." I replied, preparing myself for the worst."I bet you know a lot of really dirty jokes."
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    Drug and Device Law

  • Off Label Use Does Not Establish a False Claim

    Steve McConnell
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:30 am
    Part of what makes holidays special is telling and listening to the same stories over and over.  The things in the stories that dazzled us when we were young fade or lose their impact, but then other nuances in the stories strike our more mature selves as pertinent or poignant.  As a lawyer, it’s hard not to be struck by Pontius Pilate’s question of “What is truth?”  Is the question a mere sneer?  Is it an admission that the trial of Jesus was unfair?  Is it an exhibition of the  contrast between sophistry and faith?  Whichever of those possibilities…
  • Pom Wonderful Is Now Submitted, and Courts Continue to Follow It

    John J. Sullivan
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:58 am
    Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral argument on the Pom Wonderful case.  One thing we’ve learned is that Justice Kennedy doesn’t seem to like Coke’s label for its juice: JUSTICE KENNEDY:  Is it part of Coke's narrow position that national uniformity consists of labels that cheat the consumers like this one did?MS. SULLIVAN:  Justice Kennedy, you have perhaps succumbed to Mr. Waxman's attempts to argue his jury argument here.  We're on a motion to dismiss.  There is no record.  We've put in a brief.­­JUSTICE KENNEDY:  I think it's important for us…
  • Just Add Water . . . Clinic Isn’t a Manufacturer

    Michelle Yeary
    21 Apr 2014 | 12:23 pm
                Today’s case got us thinking about all of the consumer products available that require the purchaser to add water to turn the purchased product into its usable or desired form.   Start with Jell-O.  You add hot and cold water to turn powder in a wiggly, jiggly, sweet snack.  There’s always room for Jell-O.  Or, how about all of the powdered drink mixes that have been around since the 1930s:   Kool Aid; Tang; Crystal Light.  And, what about the always popular sea monkeys (enjoy these…
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    Crime and Consequences Blog

  • Win in White v. Woodall

    Kent Scheidegger
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:12 am
    The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed the Sixth Circuit in White v. Woodall, reinstating the death sentence of Robert Woodall for the murder of 16-year-old Sarah Hansen in Kentucky.  The vote was 6-3, opinion by Justice Scalia.  We will have more later.The Court also decided the child porn restitution case, Paroline v. United States, admitting its "approach is not without difficulties."  Yep.
  • Refusing to See What's in Front of Your Face

    Bill Otis
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:23 pm
    Chicago, Illinois has among the most restrictive gun laws in the county, and no death penalty.  Capital punishment was abolished in Illinois three years ago.With more enlightened punishment certain to increase public respect for the fairness of the law (as we are ceaselessly told), and with stringent regulation of guns making the streets safer, Chicago must be on the way to setting an example for the nation.And, in truth and in fact, it is setting an example --  exactly the example you'd expect when thugs see that the rest of us are losing our nerve.
  • News Scan

    CJLF Staff
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:32 pm
    Murder Suspect Accused of Shooting Witness While on Bail: An Alabama man free on bail for a murder charge has been arrested and his bail revoked after authorities say he robbed and shot a witness that was set to testify against him.  Scott Johnson of the Montgomery Advertiser reports that 24-year-old Satarus Smith was charged with murder in December 2013, but was released after posting a $75,000 bond, police say he shot a witness to the December killing in the face earlier this month, leaving that man with a broken jaw.  Smith now faces additional charges of assault, robbery, and…
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  • Tuesday Night Open Thread

    22 Apr 2014 | 8:07 pm
    It's time for El Capo. How will he escape the guerrillas in Colombia? This is an open thread, all topics welcome. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • President of Colombia: War on Drugs a Failure

    22 Apr 2014 | 8:04 pm
    Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says the War on Drugs has failed and we need a new approach to drug trafficking. In an interview on Monday with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Santos noted a softening of hard-line antidrug policies both in... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Supreme Court Upholds Michigan Ban on Affirmative Action

    22 Apr 2014 | 6:54 pm
    In a 6-2 vote, the Supreme Court has upheld Michigan's ban on affirmative action in college admissions. The full opinion in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action is here. The opinion holds that Michigan voters had the right to... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    TheFunded Founder Institute News

  • High-Level Revenue Concepts Made Easy by Munjal Shah

    23 Apr 2014 | 4:30 am
    Inside FI gives you exclusive access to a full training session of the Founder Institute. To get updates when we release new videos, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our weekly newsletter here. In the video below, Munjal explains the differences between symmetric versus asymmetic revenue models and breaks down the concept of simplifying the "steps to revenue". Munjal Shah is the Co-Founder & CEO of (which was acquired by Google to create Google Shopping) and a Charter Member of TiE Bangalore.  If you have a startup idea and want to pitch directly to Munjal, please…
  • Ask Cashtivity CEO Marissa Di Pasquale Anything on This Week's Twitter #AskaFounder

    23 Apr 2014 | 1:00 am
    Curious about what it's like to walk in a CEO's shoes? Wonder what obstacles or achievements regularly happen for a startup founder? Or perhaps you've just always wanted to know about an entrpereneur's personal journey? Then you will not want to miss the special "Ask a Founder" Twitter event featuring Marissa Di Pasquale, Founder and CEO of Cashtivity and a graduate of the Sydney Founder Institute. During this event, which takes place on Thursday, April 24 at 5:00pm PDT (see your local time here), you can log on to Twitter and Tweet any questions you might have for Marissa. How to…
  • Top Four Tips on How To Develop a Good Startup Idea, According to Matthew MacFarlane

    22 Apr 2014 | 8:25 pm
    Budding founders on the path of entrepreneurship are more likely to create successful startups if they keep a few key ideas in mind, according to Matthew MacFarlane, investment director of Yuuwa Venture Capital. Matthew MacFarlane will speak at the forthcoming Perth Founder Institute event, Startup Funding 101: How to Work With an Investor. Below are MacFarlane’s four tips on how entrepreneurs can develop good startup ideas, as described by Rose Powell in an article on StartupSmart titled Top four tips from a venture capitalist on how to develop a good start-up…
  • Founder Tip: How to Get Free Hosting for Your Startup

    22 Apr 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Of the long list of variables entrepreneurs have to deal with, budget, funding and finances sit at the top. Therefore, as Greg Solovyev says, "If you are a founder of a technology startup and you are trying to save money on everything, free hosting can be part of your funding strategy." Greg Solovyev is the Founder and CEO of CityBot, a travel guide that allows visitors to create personalized itineraries for those both new and familiar to a city. Greg and CityBot are Graduates of the San Diego Founder Institute. The blog post, "How to get 3 years of free hosting for your startup", originally…
  • Founder Institute Officially Launches in Hong Kong to Help Build Global Startups

    21 Apr 2014 | 9:15 pm
    The Founder Institute, the world’s largest startup launch program with over 1,000 graduate companies, announced today that it will be officially launching its first chapter in Hong Kong. With plans to run two semesters annually, the program aims to launch over 15 meaningful and enduring companies per year in the city. Anyone interested in launching an innovative company is welcome to apply to the Hong Kong Founder Institute today at  The Silicon Valley-based Founder Institute decided to officially launch in Hong Kong after a successful trial period…
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  • Breaking News

    Andrew Hamm
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:16 am
    The opinion in Paroline v. United States is here. The opinion in White v. Woodall is here. In association with Bloomberg Law
  • Live blog of opinions (Sponsored by Bloomberg Law) (Updated: Completed)

    Kali Borkoski
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:44 am
    We are live blogging this morning as opinions are issued. Please click this link to be taken to the live blog page. In association with Bloomberg Law
  • Divided Court upholds Michigan’s ban on affirmative action: In Plain English

    Amy Howe
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:23 am
    Yesterday, the nine Justices of the Supreme Court convened in a packed courtroom to hear oral arguments in two high-profile cases.  But the real drama came before the oral arguments even started, when Chief Justice John Roberts announced that Justice Anthony Kennedy would deliver the Court’s decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, the challenge to an amendment to the Michigan constitution that bans the use of affirmative action by public universities there.  (My earlier Plain English coverage of the case is available here.) Justice Kennedy began by explaining what…
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    Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

  • Back Up Your Cloud with ‘Backupify’

    Robert Ambrogi
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:14 am
    Have you ever thought about whether you should back up your law firm’s cloud? If your cloud service goes down or loses files, where will that leave you? A recent report from Forrester Research cautions that businesses should back up their critical cloud data before it’s too late. Now, a Massachusetts-based company, Backupify, is offering […] The post Back Up Your Cloud with ‘Backupify’ appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • First Look: Sony Digital Paper for Taking Notes, Reading and Annotating Docs

    Robert Ambrogi
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:23 am
    Just after ABA Techshow, I published a post listing my picks for the top 10 product announcements at the show. My #2 pick was Sony’s Digital Paper, a remarkably thin (.26 inches) and light (12.6 oz.) tablet-like device with a 13.3 inch, high-contrast E Ink display. You can use it to take handwritten notes or to read […] The post First Look: Sony Digital Paper for Taking Notes, Reading and Annotating Docs appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
  • We Test WordRake’s Beta Version 2.0 on ‘McCutcheon’

    Robert Ambrogi
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:36 am
    When WordRake , the editing program for lawyers, was first released in 2012, I put it to the test against two of the most eloquent writers on the Supreme Court, Justices Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan. If WordRake could improve on Scalia and Kagan, I reasoned, imagine what it could do for the rest of us. […] The post We Test WordRake’s Beta Version 2.0 on ‘McCutcheon’ appeared first on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites.
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    Wise Law Blog

  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:47 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Wednesday, April 23, 2014: The Legal Status Of Lab RatsForced Arbitration Is Cuckoo For Cocoa Puffs  Unfortunately named Spanish town of ‘Kill Jews’ to vote on name changeSCC rejects feds' cap on custody credit  FEDERAL JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS ANNOUNCEDHurricane Carter Dies, but His Message against Wrongful Convictions Lives GM asks bankruptcy court for protection from ignition claims - Toronto Star Some emails in Duffy spending affair reportedly deleted despite orders At Stake in the Aereo Case Is How We…
  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:30 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Happy Earth Day!:Cheerios maker General Mills scraps plan to bar consumers from suing if they engage with it online Pa. lawyer pleads guilty to charges he smuggled drugs to jailed client  Nullification, The Bundy Ranch And Right-Wing Lawlessness Obama Names White House Counsel  People looking for a lawyer are turning to the Internet first, survey findsDo You Have What It Takes to Be a Sole Practitioner? Canadian Law Firm Brand Index 2014 From AcritasWalmart shoppers can now get $99…
  • 140 Law - Legal Headlines for Monday, April 21, 2014

    Rachel, Law Clerk
    21 Apr 2014 | 6:23 am
    Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Monday, April 21, 2014:Does Quebec Charter of French language prevent use of trade-marks in languages other than French?Daughter of lawyer who defended anti-gay Prop 8 comes out, getting married  Supreme Court of Canada to hear appeals in human smuggling cases - Ottawa Citizen Iowa Supreme Court: Mother needed court approval of vasectomy for mentally disabled son  Drake sued for $4.8M over fight at Muzik nightclub | CityNewsOntario inmates get 'inadequate' food in court, lawyers say  General Mills Reverses…
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    Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices

  • Rethinking the Definition of “Law Firm”

    Gerry Riskin
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:49 am
    Last fall, a 150-year-old British corporate services provider and legal publishing company transformed itself into a licensed law firm thanks to permissive UK legislation. Jordan’s Ltd. successfully applied for an Alternative Business Structure license from the Solicitors Regulation Authority, allowing the company to add a corporate law division to its ongoing range of services in support of UK businesses. Jordan’s Corporate Law launched with seven lawyers in addition to the company’s existing corporate governance staff. In an article in the U.K. publication Legal Futures, Debbie…
  • Management Meets Engagement: Putting Your Strategies to Work

    Gerry Riskin
    30 Jan 2014 | 7:29 am
    Doug Sundheim recently published an article in The Harvard Business Review on a subject of relevance to anyone involved in organizational management – whether in the field of law or any other discipline. His focus is “the chasm between strategy and execution.” Sundheim points out a truth familiar to anyone who has ever tried to implement a plan that involves actual human beings: strategizing is “elegant,” a “clean and sophisticated process,” while “execution is a minefield.” When the two operations are carried out by separate branches of the same organization, even the…
  • Should You Ban PowerPoint from your Meetings?

    Gerry Riskin
    30 Jan 2014 | 7:09 am
    According to a recent article in Philanthropy Daily, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has banished PowerPoint presentations from meetings of his staff. Instead he requires speakers to prepare six-page summaries of what they want to say. His meetings begin with quiet periods, during which other meeting attendees read the summaries. In a 2012 interview with Charlie Rose, Bezos explained his position by saying, “When you have to write your ideas out in complete sentences and complete paragraphs, it forces a deeper clarity of thinking.” The author of the…
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    LawBiz® Blog

  • Funded Jobs

    Ed Poll
    21 Apr 2014 | 10:16 am
    In today’s newspaper, Don J. DeBenedictis, staff writer for the Journal, discusses law schools’ new approach to help law school graduates find jobs. This idea is one of several being discussed to match the supply and demand of legal services. It is clear that there is a greater demand for legal services than is now being fulfilled. However, many contend there is an oversupply of lawyers. Some writers suggest, I believe correctly, that there is not an oversupply, but rather a mismatch between the two. One reason for the mismatch is that most lawyers seek to work for the smaller…
  • LawBiz® Legal Pad: Selling Your Practice in the Internet Age, Part 2

    Ed Poll
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Ed continues his discussion of the issues involved in selling a law practice.
  • LawBiz® Legal Pad: Selling Your Practice in the Internet Age

    Ed Poll
    11 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Ed discusses the issues in selling a law practice.
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    the [non]billable hour by Matthew Homann

  • Best of NBH: Name Your Ten Most Wanted

    Matt Homann
    21 Apr 2014 | 6:59 am
    Here’s another favorite idea from 2012: Identify Your Top Ten “Most Wanted” Clients.  Here’s the post: A simple idea from Jorge Barba at Game Changer:  Create a 10 Most Wanted Client List.  Who’s on your list, and do they know you want to serve them? I’ve been doing this for Kendeo and have found it works wonders in focusing your business development and marketing efforts.  Give it a try! Matthew Homann delivers meaningful, practice-changing experiences to lawyers -- both as an "innovational" speaker and a creative facilitator.  His…
  • Best of NBH: Quarantine Your Best Ideas

    Matt Homann
    18 Apr 2014 | 7:19 am
    Do you have Shiny Shiny Syndrome?  I do.  Here’s a post from January 2012 about a technique I still use: Many of the attorneys I work with suffer from the same thing I do: Shiny Shiny Syndrome.  You suffer from S3 when you regularly give in to an overwhelming urge to start working on something new and better, instead of wrapping up your current projects. Shiny Shiny Syndrome isn’t (usually) fatal, but the cumulative results of constantly starting projects at the expense of finishing others can have a debilitating impact upon your practice and your staff. To combat my case of…
  • Best of NBH: Stop Fixing Your Own Tech

    Matt Homann
    17 Apr 2014 | 7:07 am
    Here’s a tech-related tip from this post: How many times has a quick technology fix turned into a day of un-billable time?  Trust me on this one, no matter how much (or little) work you have, your time is better spent building your business and serving your clients than it is crawling around on the floor underneath your desk repairing your computers or troubleshooting your network. Need help remembering this resolution?  Try this simple trick: Everywhere in your office where you have technology (on the copier, on the network switch or router, and on every computer) tape a label that…
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    Innocence Blog

  • Rethinking the Value of Eyewitness Identification

    22 Apr 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Despite decades of research disproving the reliability of eyewitness identification, the courts still rely on the practice to win convictions. The Associated Press reported that as a response to the errors of misidentification, a small group of police chiefs, courts and lawmakers are working toward passing tougher laws governing the handling of eyewitnesses and their accounts of crimes. As states across the country are seeking legislation that overhauls eyewitness identification procedures, like Maryland did last week, prosecutors are still pushing back. According to Scott Burns, executive…
  • In Memoriam of Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter

    21 Apr 2014 | 10:10 am
    Photo: Rubin Carter enjoys himself at the Innocence Project's 2012 Celebration of Freedom & Justice. Innocence Project Executive Director Maddy deLone talks with Cornelius Dupree in the background. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who served nearly 20 years in New Jersey prisons before he was cleared based on evidence of his innocence, died on Sunday in his adopted home of Toronto, Canada, from prostate cancer. Carter and co-defendant John Artis were wrongly convicted by an all-white jury of a triple murder in a Paterson, New Jersey, restaurant in 1966 despite a lack of physical evidence. Carter…
  • Innocence Network Journalism Award Winner Talks Wrongful Convictions

    21 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    Andrew Cohen, this year's Innocence Network Journalism Award Winner, wrote about innocence advocacy efforts in his Exoneration Nation column, Friday. Cohen was given the award at the Innocence Network Conference in Portland, OR, which was attended by more than 100 wrongly convicted men and women and as well as Innocence Network staffers. Cohen, who is a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law and a national correspondent and contributing editor for legal affairs for The Atlantic, was honored for his four part series "A Ghost of Mississippi," which…
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    Charon QC

  • Getting back to blogging very soon

    Charon QC
    21 Apr 2014 | 7:23 am
    Getting back to blogging very soon !
  • Guest Post: Is Your Divorce Case Going No Where in Court?

    Charon QC
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:05 am
    Is Your Divorce Case Going No Where in Court? Sometimes divorce proceedings can become stalled. It mostly happens when two parties just cannot seem to see eye-to-eye on things and come to a decision. Two stubborn minded people have difficulties compromising. Divorce proceedings can take months when this occurs. There are several measures that can be taken to prevent this from happening. One or both of you may not wish to back down, but sometimes it is the only way to move forward. Going through a divorce is a difficult time for both parties. One party may be happy about the freedom they are…
  • Guest Post: The Legacy of Nigel Savage

    Charon QC
    14 Apr 2014 | 12:53 pm
    The Legacy of Nigel Savage Richard Ridyard is a DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford, having previously studied there for a BCL. Nigel Savage is an inescapable presence in the legal education sector. Later this month he will retire as president of the University of Law (ULaw) after an 18 year tenure at what has become the biggest law school in Europe. He has had, as ULaw chairman Alan Bowkett said in a recent statement “a transformational impact”. This is no exaggeration. Under Savage’s stewardship, university status was attained with relative ease before the former charity was…
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    UNDERDOG - Fairfax Criminal/DWI Attorney - Northern Virginia.

  • Engaging with clients in the place where they are, even if on a roller coaster.

    17 Apr 2014 | 9:00 pm
    By Jon Katz, a criminal defense and DWI defense lawyer advocating in Fairfax County/Northern Virginia and beyond for the best possible results in drug, sex, DWI, felony and misdemeanor cases.http://katzjustice.comOne of my favorite clients and I were debriefing about his case, and talking and joking a lot just as regular people -- not as lawyer to client -- in a courthouse conference room, after we scheduled the next proceeding in his case. This man who has seen overseas combat before and is fully willing to do so again, exclaimed that he does not know how I handle the constant challenges and…
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    The Legal Satyricon

  • This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps

    23 Apr 2014 | 7:21 am
    This is a pretty familiar story line. A businessman wants to open a strip club. Some members of the local community decide that they do not want that kind of thing in their town. The resistance is usually faith-based (which is where the wheels really come off). I fail to understand how anyone can believe […]
  • Breaking news(?) Babies intentionally cockblock

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:40 pm
    Babies cry to make sure their moms aren’t getting any. Yep… little tiny cockblockers. (source) Couldn’t we just assure them that we’re using birth control?Filed under: misc
  • Judge Admonishes Expert Witness – Expert Witness Sues Blogger Who Reported On It

    17 Apr 2014 | 10:44 am
    By Marc J. Randazza When a New York Supreme Court Judge told Dr. Michael Katz, the medical expert for the defense in a personal injury case, that he was lying about the medical examination he conducted, Dr. Katz knew the judge was wrong. So, of course, Dr. Katz responded as any aggrieved professional would – […]
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    Ohio Employer's Law Blog

  • 6th Circuit recognizes telecommuting as an ADA reasonable accommodation

    Jon Hyman
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:42 am
    In Core v. Champaign County Board of County Commissioners, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio opined that telecommuting (i.e., work-from-home) might be an ADA reasonable accommodation under the right circumstances, but that case did not present those circumstances. The Core court specifically noted that the 6th Circuit does not “allow disabled workers to work at home, where their productivity inevitably would be greatly reduced,” except “in the unusual case where an employee can effectively perform all work-related duties at home.” Yesterday, in EEOC v. Ford…
  • When an employee can’t return to work after an FMLA leave

    Jon Hyman
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:45 am
    The plaintiff in Demyanovich v. Cadon Plating & Coatings (6th Cir. Mar. 28, 2014) suffered from congestive heart failure. He returned from his latest FMLA leave in 2009 with a no-overtime medical restriction. The employer, however, ignored the restriction, kept assigning overtime hours, and denied an early-2010 FMLA request. Demyanovich’s doctor advised him to quit his job and apply for social security benefits. Shortly thereafter, the company terminated him for excessive absenteeism. In the subsequent FMLA lawsuit, the employer claimed that Demyanovich could not prove him…
  • Would you rather hire a liar or a criminal?

    Jon Hyman
    21 Apr 2014 | 3:09 am
    According to a recent survey conducted by background-screening company EmployeeScreenIQ, resume lies are more of a deal breaker for employers than past crimes. Of the 600 HR professionals surveyed 45 percent said that they routinely ding candidates with a criminal history on their resume, while a whopping 90 percent refuse to hire some for whom a resume lie is discovered. Two years ago, when the EEOC announced its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records, I expressed reservations over regulatory guidance that limited the ability of employers to use…
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  • Naked truth and bare facts often don't get invited into the mind: Stories are greeted readily

    20 Apr 2014 | 6:21 pm
    Have you heard the parable about truths and facts trying to get heard and being ignored? In the second part of the tale, story comes along: she takes the same information, wraps it in a narrative and is heard. There are many versions of this story, but in all of them story shows fact how to become interesting and welcomed. Click to listen to one version. Read other versions here and here.Perhaps you have experienced not being able to get your point across no matter how important and accurate. There's a good chance that using a story may increase the chances people will listen. In…
  • Life after law: Humor consultant

    16 Apr 2014 | 8:07 am
    The job of this non-practicing lawyer includes writing comebacks to lawyer jokes! Read all about Malcolm Kushner's current career in this article from California Lawyer.
  • Play as meditation, mediation, and mindfulness enhancer: A seminar for you

    15 Apr 2014 | 10:57 am
    If you believe as I do that a mindful mediator is a more effective mediator—both because of his or her adept ability to utilize conflict resolution skills but more importantly because of the direct effect he or she has on the parties' affect (i.e., mood)—then I have a suggested program for you below. We know that a better mood positively influences the processes of communication, negotiation and decision-making* so wouldn't a mediator want to be an influence on the mood of the dispute resolution via a reflective perspective and demeanor?Maybe not. Some mediators are functioning…
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    CKA Mediation and Arbitration Blog

  • I’ve Joined Miles Mediation!

    Christopher Annunziata
    22 Apr 2014 | 8:12 am
    I am pleased to announce that effective On March 31, 2014 I joined Miles Mediation as a member of Team Murphey. I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Atlanta’s preeminent mediation firm and look forward to continuing to serve you and your clients with the same commitment, diligence and hard work I have always put into settling your cases. If you would like to schedule a mediation with me or any other member of Team Murphey, you can use the online scheduling app or contact Mariam at (678) 320-9118 or Please feel free to contact me with any…
  • Don’t Forget to Ask “Why?”

    Christopher Annunziata
    31 May 2013 | 7:14 am
    A mother walks in on her two children raising a ruckus in the kitchen. “What is going on?” she asks. Simultaneously, both children say, “I want the last orange.” The mother, unable to choose favorites, instinctively reaches for a knife and cuts the orange in half thinking this is the best way to placate both. But is it? The story continues that one child takes her half, squeezes the juice into a glass, and pitches the rind. The other child uses the rind of her half to make zest for a recipe and tosses the pulp. Even though both children got some of what they wanted, they missed out on…
  • Is Your Client’s Facebook Page Discoverable?

    Christopher Annunziata
    24 May 2013 | 7:09 am
    From a practical perspective, it would be naïve to assume that opposing counsel hasn’t already “Googled” your client looking for incriminating information, particularly on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. But many Facebook and Twitter users consider their information “private” and use the available privacy settings to limit those who have access. If information is not readily available to persons other than “followers” or “friends”, can your client be forced to produce their Facebook or Twitter account information? While it does not appear that this…
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    Lawyers, Guns & Money

  • That’s O. Henry, Professional Oracle, to you sir

    23 Apr 2014 | 6:35 am
    Call it a modern day version of “The Ransom of Red Chief,” if you must. Fox News and its resident God-botherers would have you believe that it was the fact that the child sang a spiritual that led to his release, but just listen to that boy sing. It ain’t his angelic voice that earned him his freedom.
  • Matt BRUENIG discovers secret motivation for criticisms of his insights

    Paul Campos
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:07 am
    Here. I apologize for the initially dyslexic spelling of Bruenig’s name. (FWIW, my objection to his piece had nothing to do with his law school reform proposals, which might be worthwhile on grounds other than the ones he gave, since the ones he gave were based on empirical assertions about the employment prospects for law graduates that bear no relationship whatever to reality. How a brand new graduate of a sub-elite law school managed to miss this would be interesting to know).
  • Crowdsourcing WWI

    Robert Farley
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:19 pm
    This is an interesting project: One hundred years after the beginning of World War I, the British National Archive has launched an ambitious project to sift through and classify its vast trove of records from that world-spanning conflict. It’s asking everyday people to help. Operation War Diary is a collaboration between the Archive, the Imperial War Museum and crowdsourcing Website Zooniverse. The effort aims to mobilize an army of amateur historians…. The problem is, there are far too many documents for War Museum agents or other physical visitors to the Archive to have any…
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  • FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management: The Declination of Laughter

    21 Apr 2014 | 4:02 am
    Does lack of laughter signify anything?  If a person was known to laugh a lot, then one day comes in with nary a chuckle, is it significant at all?  Is it the reverberation from the throat, or the eyes which reveal an underlying sadness, which tells the true tale of a person's state of mind?  Can a person be in so much pain that he laughs out loud?  Why is it that there is such a thin and almost invisible line between laughter, insanity, and loss of control?  For the often contentious circumstances which surround and infiltrate the context and content of a Federal or…
  • FERS & CSRS Federal Disability Retirement from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management: The Knowledge of Others

    21 Nov 2012 | 4:44 am
    It is often the spouse, or even the unnamed "friend", who comes to recognize the need -- even before the Federal or Postal employee.  Whether because of the distance between the person and the medical condition, or out of pure empathy, the "other person" knows that it is time to file for Federal Disability Retirement.  When that knowledge is conveyed to the person who actually suffers from the medical condition itself, then it is beyond the point of filing; it is, indeed, time to file.  In preparing, formulating, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement…
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    Connecticut Employment Law Blog

  • “Wage Theft”: The Trendy Phrase That May Not Mean What You Think It Means

    Daniel Schwartz
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:24 am
    Over the last few weeks, I’ve been seeing more tweets from human resources types and mainstream reporters using the phrase “wage theft”.  Two recent examples? William Tincup (who runs the popular online DriveThruHR show that I appeared on a while ago) recently tweeted: RT Wage Theft Another Assault on Workers’ Compensation @jongelman — William Tincup, SPHR (@williamtincup) April 23, 2014 And The New York Times labor reporter, Steven Greenhouse yesterday tweeted: NYT Editorial: Wage Theft Across the Board–Sorry to say, wage theft hits…
  • Ten (+4 More) People to Follow on Twitter for Labor and Employment Law

    Daniel Schwartz
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:34 am
    Since the last time I published a list of labor & employment law lawyers to follow back in 2012, there are just a bunch of you out there now using Twitter. (And I presume you’re already following me @danielschwartz, right?) So, it’s probably time to update my list of labor & employment law-related people to follow on Twitter. But I’m going to cheat, a little. Photo Courtesy Library of Congress Frankly, in looking over my lists from 2009 and 2012, I have a lot of repeats.  So, it should be obvious that some of those should be followed regardless of whether they are…
  • Could Telecommuting Be Deemed a “Reasonable Accommodation” Under the ADA?

    Daniel Schwartz
    14 Apr 2014 | 4:46 am
    My colleague, Gabe Jiran, (go read his impressive background here, I’ll wait) recently gave a presentation on telecommuting and I asked Gabe to share his thoughts on a notable topic that came up for discussion there.  Thus, in this post, Gabe discusses whether telecommuting could be a “reasonable accommodation.” With today’s technology, employees seem to be able to work anywhere and at any time. Often, the employee is simply trying to get work done whenever possible and to fit work into a busy schedule. However, when does an employer have to allow an employee to work at…
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    JD Supra Hot Docs - Newsworthy Legal Filings From the Source

  • Matter of Sanderson, objector v Brady, et al: Verified Petition

    Steven Getman
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:21 pm
    Case Name: Matter of Sanderson, objector v Brady, et al Document Name: Verified Petition Post Date: 04/22/2014 Filing Date: 04/18/2014 Document Summary: SUPREME COURT: STATE OF NEW YORKCOUNTY OF SENECA_____________________________________________In the Matter of the ObjectionsVERIFIED PETITION-of-Index No. 48263CHAD SANDERSON, Objector, to the Petition Purporting toRequest the Taking of a Referendum VoteUpon a certain resolution ofthe Town of Seneca Falls, New York, entitled “RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TOWN OF SENECA FALLS TO EXPENDFUNDS FROM THE TOWN FACILITIES CAPITAL RESERVE FUND OF THE…
  • In re: Simon Shiao Tam (THE SLANTS): Brief on Behalf of Appellant - Appeal from the TTAB Refusal to Register the Trademark THE SLANTS

    Ronald Coleman
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:54 pm
    Case Name: In re: Simon Shiao Tam (THE SLANTS) Document Name: Brief on Behalf of Appellant - Appeal from the TTAB Refusal to Register the Trademark THE SLANTS Post Date: 04/22/2014 Filing Date: 04/21/2014 Document Summary: Appeal from the refusal of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the USPTO's refusal to register the mark THE SLANTS on the ground that it is derogatory, i.e., an ethnic slur prohibited under §2(a) of the Lanham Act. From the introductory section:Contrary to the repeated mischaracterizations offered by the Board and the Examiner, this appeal is not premised on a…
  • Carlos Mota v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A. et al: Adversary Complaint against Wells Fargo Bank due to its Fabrication of Documents and for its Unauthorized Rubber Stamping of Endorsements

    Barry Fagan
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:51 am
    Case Name: Carlos Mota v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A. et al Document Name: Adversary Complaint against Wells Fargo Bank due to its Fabrication of Documents and for its Unauthorized Rubber Stamping of Endorsements Post Date: 04/22/2014 Filing Date: 04/22/2014 Document Summary: This Complaint focuses on the improper accounting of escrow, fees, charges andmisapplication of payments by Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, NA, the purported servicer to Defendant HSBC Bank USA National Association As Trustee For WellsFargo Asset Securities Corporation, Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Series 2006-8in the proof…
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    Special Education Law Blog

  • Blog Issues on Google Chrome??? Tech stuff.

    Jim Gerl
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:45 pm
    When I view this blog on my Google Chrome browser, the settings are off.  Funny ads that I have not approved are in the banner under the name of the blog and on the lefthand side of the blog.  Also it does not let me sign in or otherwise manage the blog.Oddly, these aberrations do not appear on other browsers, specifically Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.  Any ideas on how to fix this techies?While I am on the topic of technology, please check out our LinkedIn Special Education Law Blog.  There are now close to 14,000 members and the discussions can be very…
  • Weekly Question!

    Jim Gerl
    21 Apr 2014 | 6:01 am
    Dispute Resolution is at the heart of the Procedural safeguards provided by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. Which dispute resolution methods under IDEA have you had the most success with? Leave your story in the comments.------- Thanks for subscribing! Jim Gerl
  • Sometimes My Job Is Pretty Cool

    Jim Gerl
    15 Apr 2014 | 9:02 pm
    Write text here...Related articlesSometime My Job is Very Cool!Sometimes My Job Is Very Cool - Part IISometimes My Job Is Pretty CoolWe're Famous (Almost) Again!------- Thanks for subscribing! Jim Gerl
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    Bankruptcy Home Blog

  • AMR cannot terminate benefits for retirees

    21 Apr 2014 | 10:35 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, AMR cannot terminate benefits for retireesAMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc. and AMR Eagle Holding Corporation, filed bankruptcy in November of 2011.  The company claimed the goal of the bankruptcy filing was to “achieve a cost and debt structure that is industry … Continue reading →
  • Underwater homes declining for the first quarter

    17 Apr 2014 | 10:16 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, Underwater homes declining for the first quarterCNN reports home prices are on the rise, helping almost two million American homeowners get back “above water.” According to RealtyTrac, in the first quarter of this year there were an estimated 17% or nine million homeowners whose mortgage debt … Continue reading →
  • Tax fraud costs taxpayers $4 billion per year

    14 Apr 2014 | 10:17 am
    Visit for the original content posted here, Tax fraud costs taxpayers $4 billion per yearHere’s something else the Federal Government’s not good at stopping: tax fraud. In fact, according to a new report from the associated press, the Internal Revenue Service refunded over $4 billion in fraudulent tax returns over the last several years … Continue reading →
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    Asbestos HUB

  • Well-Known Mesothelioma Medical Doctor David Sugarbaker Moving From Brigham And Women’s Hospital To Lung Disease Center At Baylor College Of Medicine

    Tom Lamb
    21 Apr 2014 | 1:46 pm
    A leader in the care of pleural mesothelioma, Dr. David Sugarbaker, will direct the mesothelioma clinical and research program at the Lung Institute, a new comprehensive lung disease center at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. From a March 24, 2014 news report about Dr. Sugarbaker going to Baylor that was posted on BioNews Texas: Sugarbaker comes to Baylor from Boston, where he served as professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and chief of thoracic surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He will join the Baylor faculty this July and lead the new Lung Institute, multi-specialty…
  • 2014 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma: Presentations From Recent Conference Now Online

    Tom Lamb
    8 Apr 2014 | 1:08 pm
    The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (aka “Meso Foundation”) has made available videos of sessions and presentations from its 11th International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, which was convened March 5-7, 2014 in Alexandria, Virginia. From their March 30, 2014 press release, “Presentations from Mesothelioma Conference Now Available Online”: Some of the available topics include discussions specific to mesothelioma on: •chemo brain •post-surgical recovery •radiation oncology •becoming an empowered patient •mesothelioma survivorship…
  • A Few New Immunotherapy Mesothelioma Treatment Options Were Discussed At The European Lung Cancer Conference 2014

    Tom Lamb
    28 Mar 2014 | 1:45 pm
    Some investigational immunotherapy drugs that act on the programmed cell death pathway in lung cancer patients are now being considered as a new treatment means for patients with mesothelioma. Several presentations at the recent European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) 2014 in Zurich about these possible new mesothelioma treatments were set forth in the March 27, 2014 article, “Could Immunotherapy Work in Mesothelioma?”, published online by Medscape. As regards the first study, from this March 2014 article: Sarcomatoid mesothelioma has the worst prognosis, and is generally…
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    Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog

  • Dallas Police Sobriety Testing Training Problems- What you need to know

    Robert Guest
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:03 pm
    Here’s a story from WFAA about problems with the DPD field sobriety testing program. Apparently too many officers were failing, and it’s taken on a racial angle of sorts. Dallas police sobriety testing training practices called into question | Dallas – Fort Worth. Here’s what you to know. 1. Standard Field Sobriety Tests are junk science and you don’t have to believe in them. These tests were invented by NHTSA in 70′s as a way to increase DWI convictions. They have never been peer reviewed or been subject to a study with a control group. Really,…
  • State Jail Felony Drug Possession Cases

    Robert Guest
    18 Apr 2014 | 9:40 am
    Have you been arrested for a State Jail felony drug possession in case in Dallas, Rockwall, or Kaufman County? Are you currently a recreational meth, coke or heroin user?  Here is what you need to know.Possession of small amounts (less than one gram) of street drugs (coke, meth, heroin but not weed or some pills) is a State Jail felony in Texas. What is a State Jail felony? Good question. Let’s start with that. State Jail felonies are the lowest degree of felony in Texas, but it can still leave you as a convicted felon which has life altering consequences. The range of punishment for…
  • What’s the law on kidnapping in Texas?

    Robert Guest
    3 Apr 2014 | 6:58 pm
    The Dallas Court of Appeals recently upheld a Rockwall County kidnapping conviction. Let’s look at the laws regarding kidnapping in Texas, and discuss the facts that led to the courts decision. Here’s the case- Wilson vs. State of Texas-  I usually go through all the facts of the case, but this one has a really weird fact pattern, and I think that’s why the defendant got probation. It just not what you think of when you think of a kidnapping. So I’m going to skip it so we can cover some other areas. First, what’s the law on kidnapping in Texas?  Good…
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    Real Lawyers Have Blogs

  • Your new Twitter profile is available and waiting

    Kevin O'Keefe
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:37 pm
    Logging into Twitter on your desktop you’ll be prompted to begin using the new Twitter profile. Twitter has been rolling the new profiles to select users over the last month plus. Today, the new web profile experience is being rolling out to all users. What’s new about the profile? With an assist from Kevan Lee at Buffer and David Bellona at Twitter: Larger profile photos. These photos are now 400 pixels by 400 pixels, the same aspect ratio as before but with larger dimensions. Customizable header image. This main image spans the browser, and users are encouraged to upload a…
  • Top 10 in Law Blogs: Sustainable Manufacturing, Affirmative Action at SCOTUS, Mistrials

    Colin O'Keefe
    22 Apr 2014 | 5:31 pm
    It was a big day for Supreme Court commentary on the LexBlog Network, with a couple pieces on rulings in today’s Top 10. Also, over on LXBN, we’ve been hitting the Aereo oral arguments hard. Total posts on the LexBlog Network today: 191. Two for Tuesdays: Thought Leaders to Follow -Legal marketing expert Lindsay Griffiths of International Lawyers Network on Zen & The Art of Legal Networking The Lawyer, the Liar – New Jersey lawyer Eric Solotoff of Fox Rothschild on the firm’s NJ Family Legal Blog Ten Things You Should Know About the SEC’s New Cybersecurity…
  • Trust is expensive and trust is worth it

    Kevin O'Keefe
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:08 pm
    That’s the word this morning from leading marketer, author, and speaker, Seth Godin. Brands are based on trust. The two key choices a brand makes to be trusted in the long run, per Godin: You will postpone profit-taking. There are always shortcuts available to you, always ways to make money sooner rather than later, plenty of chances to do a little less or charge a little more. You will do things that are difficult. We know it’s not easy or convenient for you to keep every promise, especially the little ones. That it’s expensive or a hassle or emotionally risky for you to extend…
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    Digital Media Law

  • New Website --

    20 Apr 2014 | 11:13 am
    My new website is up at It tells everything you always wanted to know (and more!) about my background and entertainment/technology law practice. Give it a look!Check out “The New Zealand Hobbit Crisis,” available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle and audiobook. Visit my website (, follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you work in tech, take a look at my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets. 
  • Aereo to Face Uphill Battle in Supreme Court Next Week, Experts Say (analysis)

    15 Apr 2014 | 9:36 am
    Next week’s Supreme Court argument will be difficult for cable-competitor Aereo, legal experts agree, as the company faces off against not just broadcasters but also the influential U.S. Solicitor General’s office and the Copyright Office. While it will be a tough fight for the company, the case is so complex and the copyright and communications statutes so intricate that one advocate said the decision could end up as lopsided as 7-1 – in either direction.The only expert willing to offer a prediction, Akin Gump’s Pratik Shah, said “I think a majority of the Court will be skeptical…
  • Joan Rivers Faces Potential Fine, Expulsion in WGA East Trial (Analysis)

    15 Jul 2013 | 11:01 am
    The penalties could be severe – but Rivers may have some unexpected defenses.With the WGA East sending Joan Rivers off to a trial board for alleged violations related to Fashion Police, the star will be facing what’s likely to be a tough tribunal – and a fine that could be as high as all the money she’s made on the hit show in the last year, plus expulsion from the union.What’s more, she may have to face her accusers without an attorney present. The WGAE rules say that a member at a trial board “may be represented by a Current member in good standing,” but there’s no provision…
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    Securities Docket

  • Securities Docket News Wire for April 22, 2014

    Securities Docket
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:55 am
    Appeals Court Raises Doubts About Government's Insider Trading Case — -> SECFAIL? Not This Time, as Toby Scammell Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading – Compliance Week -> Institutional investors step off sidelines to sue BP for fraud — Alison Frankel, On the Case -> Prosecutors’ Long Winning Streak on Insider Trading Could Soon Be Over – Businessweek ->
  • Joseph Boryshansky Joins Akin Gump in New York

    Securities Docket
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:50 am
    Joseph Boryshansky has rejoined Akin Gump as a partner in its New York office. The firm announced yesterday that Boryshansky has joined its white collar defense and government investigations practice. Boryshansky is rejoining Akin Gump after serving for six years at the SEC, where he was a senior trial counsel in the agency’s Enforcement Division. Previously, Boryshansky was a counsel in Akin Gump’s litigation practice.
  • Advisen Releases First Quarter 2014 Corporate and Securities Litigation Report — The D&O Diary

    Securities Docket
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:38 am
    Overall Filings of corporate and securities lawsuits during the first quarter of 2014 were at their lowest levels since before the financial crisis, according to the latest report from Advisen, the insurance information firm…. via Advisen Releases First Quarter 2014 Corporate and Securities Litigation Report — The D&O Diary
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  • Mailing [Ct. App.]

    David M. Gottlieb
    3 Apr 2014 | 7:01 am
    Preferred Mut. Ins. Co. v Donnelly, 111 AD3d 1242 [4th Dept 2013] was affirmed in Preferred Mut. Ins. Co. v Donnelly, 2014 NY Slip Op 02328 [2014]
  • Non-Party Subpoenas [Ct. App.]

    David M. Gottlieb
    3 Apr 2014 | 6:54 am
    CPLR 3119 CPLR 3101 CPLR 2304 CPLR 3103 Matter of Kapon v Koch, 2014 NY Slip Op 02327 [2014] The Second and Third Departments, while acknowledging that the "special circumstances" requirement no longer applies, nonetheless require the party seeking discovery to meet the "material and necessary" standard and more. Specifically, in those departments, a motion to quash a subpoena will be granted if "the party issuing the subpoena has failed to show that the disclosure sought cannot be obtained from sources other than the nonparty, and properly denied when the party has…
  • Cant't hide investigation behind attorney client privilege

    David M. Gottlieb
    25 Feb 2014 | 11:40 am
    CPLR 3101 National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v TransCanada Energy USA, Inc., 2014 NY Slip Op 01283 [1st Dept. 2014]  The motion court properly found that the majority of the documents sought to be withheld are not protected by the attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine or as materials prepared in anticipation of litigation. The record shows that the insurance companies retained counsel to provide a coverage opinion, i.e. an opinion as to whether the insurance companies should pay or deny the claims. Documents prepared in the ordinary course of an insurer's…
  • Two Crim Law cases from the Court of Appeals

    David M. Gottlieb
    20 Feb 2014 | 7:30 am
    Not related to the CPLR, but worth reading. People v Thomas, 2014 NY Slip Op 01208 [2014] People v Thompson, 2014 NY Slip Op 01205 [2014]
  • CPLR 2104

    David M. Gottlieb
    18 Feb 2014 | 10:47 am
    CPLR 2104 Tavolacci v Tavolacci, 2014 NY Slip Op 00986 [2nd Dept. 2014] Contrary to the plaintiff's contentions, the record demonstrates that the parties validly entered into a comprehensive open-court stipulation (see CPLR 2104; Pretterhofer v Pretterhofer, 37 AD3d at 446; Borghoff v Borghoff, 8 AD3d 519) by which the plaintiff unequivocally, knowingly, and voluntarily agreed to be bound (see Pretterhofer v Pretterhofer, 37 AD3d at 446). Accordingly, the Supreme Court properly denied the plaintiff's motion, in effect, to vacate the stipulation of settlement and properly granted…
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    HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog

  • HIPAA Marketing Rule Guidance: Better Than Nothing

    David Harlow
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:26 pm
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  • HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance: Should You Care?

    David Harlow
    10 Apr 2014 | 7:07 am
    We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us.
  • FDASIA Health IT Report Issued; Comments Welcomed on Three-Agency Approach

    David Harlow
    7 Apr 2014 | 6:09 pm
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  • Unlocking the Power of Health Data

    David Harlow
    27 Mar 2014 | 8:46 am
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  • Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts: Is the Application Process Broken?

    David Harlow
    13 Mar 2014 | 8:05 am
    We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us.
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  • Who Controls Your Likeness? Balancing Right of Publicity and Free Speech

    Tamera Bennett
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:24 am
    Originally Published in TEXAS LAWYER* Sharing photos has never been easier. From checking out Ellen Degeneres’ selfies at the Oscars to uploading family vacation pictures, even lawyers don’t always think through how third parties might use their likenesses. But two pending court cases might change that. Imagine that a photographer allows an engaged couple to post engagement photos online. Then, a political mailer features—without the couple’s permission—a photo of them kissing, superimposed on a new background with the prominent text “State Sen. [XYZ]‘s idea…
  • BMG Rights Management Buys Hal David Song Catalog

    Tamera Bennett
    1 Mar 2014 | 2:37 pm
    As reported by BILLBOARD, BMG Rights Management acquired Hal David’s music publishing catalog at an estimated $42 million.  Net publisher’s share is in the range of $3. 5 to $3.8 million and it is anticipated a multiplier of 11-13 times NPS was used to reach the purchase price. Read more here on how Net Publisher’s Share is calculated.
  • Kind Sues Cliff For Trade Dress Infringement

    Tamera Bennett
    24 Feb 2014 | 10:18 am
    Kind, LLC thinks new product packaging from competitor Cliff Bar & Company is an infringement on the KIND brand trade dress shown above. Currently Cliff Bar & Company packages their MOJO bar with a half-moon transparent opening. The proposed new packaging for the MOJO bar has a transparent cover separated by a non-transparent stripe. Kind says the change in packaging is just too close and consumers will be confused. Click here for a visual of the transformation of MOJO packaging. Trade dress for product packing and product design may be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark…
  • Drake Claims An Owl Design Is Not Protected by Copyright

    Tamera Bennett
    20 Feb 2014 | 9:19 am
    Recording artist Drake was sued for copyright infringement for replicating a 3-dimensional “owl design” necklace. While no one person could ever claim exclusive rights to an owl on a piece of jewelry, the very nature of copyright allows the same idea to be expressed in many different ways.  And, the copyright owner has the exclusive right to duplicate, or grant others the right to duplicate, their work. Even if Drake specially ordered the Owl Necklace, if there was no written document assigning the copyright from the jewelry designer that created the design to Drake, the jewelry…
  • Venom v. Venom in the Trademark World

    Tamera Bennett
    19 Feb 2014 | 2:10 pm
    NIKE, Inc. might end up in a choke hold in its trademark infringement battle against mixed martial arts clothing brand VENOM. NIKE has used the trademark VENOM for athletic equipment and apparel since 2002.  And, NIKE has a U.S. trademark registration issued in 2003 for softball bats. NIKE claims common law trademark rights for apparel. Defendant,  Dragon Bleu SARL, a French company, has a U.S. trademark registration issued in 2011 for VENUM with a snake design for “Martial arts and boxing clothes, namely, martial arts uniforms, shorts, kimonos; Sport shoes, especially for the…
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    Political GPS: Womble Carlyle Political Law

  • Supreme Court Opens New Political Contribution Opportunities for Big Donors

    Womble Carlyle Team
    2 Apr 2014 | 2:00 pm
    In a divided 5-4 ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court today struck down the federal election law’s long-standing “biennial limit” – the aggregate amount that a person can give to federal candidates and other committees in a two-year election cycle. Prior to the Court’s ruling, an individual could contribute no more than $123,200 during 2013 and 2014, with a maximum of $48,600 for candidates and $74,600 to party committees and PACs. Now, individuals are free to contribute to as many candidates and other committees as they please, so long as each…
  • Corporate Political Law Compliance: Top 5 Tips for the 2014 Election Year

    Womble Carlyle Team
    3 Mar 2014 | 10:41 am
    For many companies engagement with public officials can be critical to achieving business objectives. At the same time, corporate political activities are governed by a complex set of federal, state and local laws, and missteps can have significant legal and reputational consequences. These risks are magnified in an election year when corporations and their leaders are inundated with requests to support candidates and political parties.  Jim Kahl addresses the Top 5 corporate political law compliance tips in a new Client Alert.Click here to read the Top Five Corporate Politlcal Law…
  • Treasury and IRS Provide Thanksgiving Surprise: Proposed 501(c)(4) Political Activity Rules

    Womble Carlyle Team
    2 Dec 2013 | 1:51 pm
    As most of America travelled over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Treasury Department and the IRS delivered their own holiday gift.  On Tuesday, November 26, they released proposed guidance aimed at clarifying which conduct by tax-exempt social welfare organizations – 501(c)(4) entities – qualifies as political campaign activity.Under existing IRS regulations, the promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate.  Over the…
  • Pilfered Funds & The FCC’s Online Political Public File Rule: The Law Of Unintended Consequences

    Womble Carlyle Team
    14 Mar 2013 | 12:30 pm
    In recent months, a number of media buyers have had funds stolen from their bank accounts. Even after repeatedly opening and closing accounts to stop the theft, tens of thousands of dollars have been diverted to accounts across the country and across the world. Unfortunately, it would appear that the thieves are obtaining the media buyers’ account information from none other than the U.S. government through the FCC’s on-line political files. While we understand that the FCC may soon address this problem, there are steps that broadcasters and media buyers can take to minimize these…
  • Think Globally, Contribute Legally

    Womble Carlyle Team
    6 Mar 2013 | 1:04 pm
    In today’s globalized world, U.S. subsidiaries of foreign corporations play a significant role in the U.S. economy. And it is common for foreign nationals to have lead roles in both U.S. corporations and the domestic subsidiaries of foreign entities. Companies whose business success requires engagement with federal, state and local lawmakers must understand the restrictions on political activity that apply to foreign national persons and entities. Missteps in this arena can lead to civil and criminal sanctions and damage to your organization’s reputation.Federal law prohibits foreign…
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    Furniture Law Blog

  • 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.
  • Stop Infringement At The Border

    5 Jun 2013 | 6:31 am
    In today's home furnishings marketplace, the importation of goods is a reality that every manufacturer deals with whether they import or not. The importers are often blamed for bringing infringing goods into this country (a reputation that is not altogether undeserved). For manufacturers or importers, it is important to remember that proceedings before the International Trade Commission ("ITC") are an important tool to stopping infringing items from ever entering this country.ITC proceedings are instigated in Washington, D.C. by the holder of intellectual property rights. The ITC has…
  • When Is A Couch, Just A ... Sofa

    7 Mar 2013 | 7:09 pm
    The New York Times recently ran article focusing on couch style and quality. The article, written by Steven Kurtz, may be found here. Kurtz does a superb job of explaining the of what's "under the hood" on a couch and what separates a $13,000 sofa from $599 couch. Included is a great graphic on sofa construction. While Kurtz doesn't expressly address legal issues, the article's discussion of the work and effort put into high-end sofas explains why high-end manufacturers protect their product. The protection may take the form of design patents as well as policing the marketplace for any…
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    Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog

  • Why Isn’t Aereo a Cable System?

    Bruce E. Boyden
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:17 pm
    The Aereo case was argued this morning, and before Paul Clement could even get rolling on his introduction on behalf of the broadcaster plaintiffs, Justice Sotomayor hit him with this: JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Why aren’t [companies like Aereo] cable companies? MR. CLEMENT: They’re not ­­– JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: I’m looking at the — everybody’s been arguing this case as if for sure they’re not. But I look at the definition of a cable company, and it seems to fit. I’ve been wondering this too. The question presented in Aereo is whether Aereo is engaged in…
  • Thoughts on the Navy / Fukushima Litigation

    Ryan Scoville
    21 Apr 2014 | 8:54 am
    There’s an important lawsuit currently pending in federal court in San Diego. In this post, I’ll provide a brief summary and then highlight an intriguing legal question that the parties haven’t addressed. First the summary: Two months ago, a class of U.S. Navy sailors filed an amended complaint against Tokyo Electric Power Company (“TEPCO”), the operator of the nuclear reactors in Fukushima that melted down after an earthquake-induced tsunami destroyed their power systems in March 2011. Within days of the earthquake, the U.S. Navy sent the USS Ronald Reagan to provide humanitarian…
  • Violence in the Heartland, Part VI: Cities Within the City

    Michael M. O'Hear
    19 Apr 2014 | 10:23 am
    My most recent posts in this series have compared violent crime data from different cities. However, focusing on a single crime-rate number from a city may mask wide neighborhood-to-neighborhood variations within the city. Consider Milwaukee. A helpful on-line data tool permits interesting comparisons among the city’s seven police districts. The data reveal that rates of violent crime vary within the city by about as much as they do across cities. Here, for instance, are the homicides per 100,000 district residents since 2010: District 5, encompassing the north-central portion of the city,…
  • Even More Commonly Confused Words

    Lisa A. Mazzie
    17 Apr 2014 | 6:19 am
    Below are just a few more commonly confused words, with those post adding to this one and this one on the same topic. Although/while – A former student recently asked me about this combination. There isn’t, as far as I can tell, a hard and fast rule on when to use each of these terms, but there may be preferred usage, and that’s what I’ll explain here.  “Although” tends to mean “in spite of the fact that.” According to Mignon Fogarty, also known as Grammar Girl, “although” is called a concessive conjunction, which means that it expresses a concession. For example,…
  • Sounding Like a Candidate, Clarke Asks, Where’s the Plan for Milwaukee?

    Alan J. Borsuk
    10 Apr 2014 | 12:17 pm
    He said hardly anything about running the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department or the controversies he is involved in within county government. The policy area he talked about the most was education. And he spoke a lot about the Milwaukee of his childhood and the Milwaukee of the future. No, David A. Clarke Jr. is not a stick-to-my-own-business law enforcement agency head. Milwaukee’s sheriff since 2002 didn’t say he was going to run for mayor during an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program Thursday at Eckstein Hall, but he sure sounded like a candidate. “What’s the vision…
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    Green Building Law Update

  • Zoning Laws Stop Wind

    Stuart Kaplow
    22 Apr 2014 | 8:51 am
    The application of zoning laws, many of which date to the 1920s are bringing alternative energy projects to a halt in 2014. In a recent New York case, the Town of Allegany issued a special use permit to a landowner on July 11, 2011, allowing it to construct a wind farm. The Town notified the landowner that its permit would “expire if construction has not commenced within a year of approval.” On June 11, 2012, the Town extended the deadline “until the earlier of” one year or 90 days after the “conclusion of the” lawsuit commenced against the Town by a…
  • Why You Care About the Revision to OMB Circular A-119?

    Stuart Kaplow
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:41 pm
    The U.S. Office of Management and Budget is seeking comments, no later than May 12, 2014, on proposed revisions to Circular A-119, “Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities.” “Green Globes and LEED are voluntary, consensus based standards” according to Kevin Kampschroer, director of the office of federal high-performance green buildings at the U.S. General Services Administration, referring to the March 2012 U.S. Department of Energy, Green Building Certification System Review.   That…
  • The Single Most Significant Change in LEED

    Stuart Kaplow
    9 Apr 2014 | 7:53 pm
    By Jacqueline Lusk and Stuart Kaplow The newest version of LEED, with the designation LEED v4 is not simply another step in the continuous improvement of the third party verified green building rating system, and while not paradigm shift equal to a Neil Armstrong “giant leap for mankind,” LEED v4 is an all but an entirely new green building certification program. Among the many modifications from the previous version, LEED 2009, there is a single change that is the most significant, bar none. The change is buried deep within the LEED Operations and Maintenance Existing Buildings…
  • LEED Reaches 3 Billion Certified Square Feet

    Stuart Kaplow
    1 Apr 2014 | 6:56 pm
    The U.S. Green Building Council is about to announce that there are more than 3 Billion square feet of LEED certified commercial and institutional building. Three Billion! That is a three followed by nine zeros or three thousand millions. In a sense of scale, the Earth is only 4.67 Billion years old. The distance to the moon and back is less than 3 Billion feet (actually 2.66 Billion feet at apogee). It is very hard to comprehend how many 3 Billion is. The word Billion may not be as unfathomable as it once was, but 3 Billion square feet of LEED building is nothing less than a market…
  • LEED Law Intersects Miracle on 34th Street

    Stuart Kaplow
    23 Mar 2014 | 3:33 pm
    On March 18th the Tomkins County legislature enacted a new local law providing for up to a 10 year property tax abatement for construction achieving LEED certification. Tomkins County, New York which includes the Ithaca area, was named for Daniel Tomkins. Tompkins may be best known because he was mentioned by Kris Kringle in the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street. The onscreen line was incorrect, however, in that Kringle said Tompkins served as Vice President of the United States under John Quincy Adams when in fact he was elected on the ticket with James Monroe in 1816 (.. but you knew…
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    California Employment Law Report

  • Are electronic signatures valid in the employment setting?

    Anthony Zaller
    14 Apr 2014 | 4:08 pm
    Generally, yes, and surprisingly this is one area that legislation is well ahead of the general adoption of the technical capabilities available in the marketplace. For example, in 1999 the California Legislature enacted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (the “UETA”), Civ. Code, §§ 1633.1 et seq., which provides that when a law requires a record to be in writing or requires a signature, an electronic record or signature satisfies the law. The law requires that any contract entered into between two parties may not be denied legal enforceability simply because of the…
  • Interviewed for KTLA news story about employers' use of social media in the workplace

    Anthony Zaller
    26 Feb 2014 | 11:10 am
    I was interviewed for a news story that aired on KTLA here in Los Angeles about employer’s use of social media in evaluating applicants and employees. I’ve been writing and speaking about this topic for at least five years now, but given the pervasiveness of social media, the topic is only becoming more relevant with the increased use of social media today.  Employers need to remember to keep a few items in mind regarding social media and the workplace. California passed a law, Labor Code section 980, effective January 1, 2013 that prohibits employers from “requiring or…
  • Are on-duty meal periods valid in California?

    Anthony Zaller
    6 Feb 2014 | 7:58 am
    As many California employers know, ignoring or failing to comply with the requirements of providing meal and rest breaks in California can create huge liability for companies. California law does allow for “on-duty” meal periods, whereby the employee takes a meal break, but while still working. Employers sometimes view this exception as an easy alternative to having employees clock out and leave the company’s premises for meal breaks. However, the on-duty meal break exception has been interpreted to apply only in a very limited set of circumstances, and needs to be carefully…
  • Top Five Items California Employers Need To Know About Tips

    Anthony Zaller
    20 Jan 2014 | 3:25 pm
    1) Who owns a tip? California law is clear that voluntary tips left for an employee for goods sold or services performed belong to the employee, not the employer. Labor Code section 351 provides, “No Employer or agent shall collect, take or receive any gratuity or a part thereof that is paid, given to, or left for an employee by a patron…. Every gratuity is hereby declared to be the sole property of the employee or employees to whom it was paid, given, or left for.” 2) Is employer mandated tip pooling legal? Yes. In the seminal 1990 case on tip-pooling, Leighton v. Old…
  • Can employers use employee's posts to social media as basis for employment decisions or would this violate an employee's right to privacy?

    Anthony Zaller
    5 Jan 2014 | 8:50 pm
    Generally, employees have a privacy expectation in their personnel files, contact information, and work related information. However, this expectation of privacy is not limitless, especially when the employee publically airs his or her work experiences on social media sites for the public to see. Courts have held that employees can waive this right to privacy once they make disclosures in public for everyone else to read via social media networks. For example, in a case not in the employment context, a California court reviewed the issue of whether an author who posts an article on…
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    Social Security Disability Lawyer

  • ECT and Social Security disability

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:01 am
    Severe depression is a basis for Social Security disability. Depression is analyzed under listed impairment 12.04. Sometimes a patient's depression is so deep, and/or so unnresponsive to medication, that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is prescribed. It is not a procedure to undertake lightly, because the risks and potential side effects can be significant. Having representing several Social Security disability clients who have undergone ECT, I have found that ECT can make an important difference in your disability case. For one, it tends to validate the severity of your depressive…
  • Get your doctor's opinion

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    16 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    When the SSA reviews your initial disability claim, it obtains your medical records, and determines your residual functional capacity after analyzing those records. The problem with this approach is that the SSA does not obtain your doctor's opinion about your limitations. Rather, the SSA reviews your medical records and makes its own determination. However, a doctor's treatment notes are intended to manage a patient's medical care, not to establish the functional limitations that Social Security uses to evaluate a claimant's ability to work. As a result, the method used…
  • Social Security Statement available online

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    8 Apr 2014 | 4:15 am
    Until a few years ago, we all used to receive a Social Security statement in the mail each year. The statement contains a record of the earnings upon which you have paid Social Security taxes over the years, and an estimate of the benefits you may earn as a result. To save money, these statements are now longer mailed. However, they are available online at Anyone considering a disability claim should go online to obtain a copy of the statement.  The statement will show your estimated disability benefit should you become disabled, as well as the family maximum for benefits, should…
  • Winning at Reconsideration

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    2 Apr 2014 | 3:05 am
    Many clients make first contact with me after receiving a denial letter for an initial application for Social Security disability benefits. It is crucial to appeal the denial of your benefits right away. After an appeal, the next step in most states (including Maine) is Reconsideration (in New Hampshire, however, disability claims go directly from an initial denial to the hearing level - there is no Reconsideration step in New Hampshire). At Reconsideration the claim goes back to DDS, but gets assigned to a different disability examiner and medical team. They review the claim, consider any…
  • ALJ hearing: preparing your testimony

    Maine Social Security attorney Gordon Gates
    26 Mar 2014 | 3:00 am
    I have a whole booklet about preparing your case for a Social Security disability hearing (you can download a pdf of the booklet for free). This post concerns preparing your testimony for the disability hearing. You should expect to testify at your hearing, and that testimony can be critically important to your claim. One of the tasks of a disability lawyer is to prepare you to testify. That does not mean telling you what to say at your hearing. But preparation does often include things you should not say. Here are two examples: The answer to the question "Why can't you…
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    The Rainmaker Blog

  • 5 Tips to Help Attorneys Generate Leads Through Speaking Engagements

    Stephen Fairley
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:57 pm
    I am a big believer in public speaking as a lead generation tool.  I do lots of it, and have gotten some great clients from it.  And you can, too, if you follow these five tips: Make an offer they can’t refuse.  Don’t charge a fee or honorarium for your speaking services.  Instead, ask the sponsoring organization for a copy of the attendee list or request permission to add a few comments about your firm’s services and capabilities during your talk. Provide great content.  Put some real meat on the bones of your presentation. Even if you feel like you…
  • The Solo and Small Firm Perspective on the Goal of Social Media

    Stephen Fairley
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:23 am
    Last week Kevin O’Keefe (@kevinokeefe) and I had an interesting discussion on Twitter about the goal of social media for law firms. Nancy Myrland (@NancyMyrland) and Jabez LeBret (@jabezlebret) graciously joined in. Then Kevin posted a good article summarizing our discussion and explaining his perspective that the ultimate goal of social media for lawyers should be to build relationships. I disagree with this perspective.   Since it's a little difficult to fully articulate one’s thinking on any topic in 140 characters, I thought a follow up post was in order. Kevin’s…
  • Happy Easter to You & Your Peeps!

    Stephen Fairley
    20 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
  • Learn to Increase Your Online Exposure at April 24 Free Webinar

    Stephen Fairley
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    You probably already know that content marketing is a top strategy to attracting and building relationships with new leads. Consumers are turning to the Internet like never before to research answers to legal questions BEFORE they even consider calling an attorney or scheduling a consultation. Hundreds of top law firms write new blog content every month, but most of their posts are never read by their top prospects!  What can you do so prospects want to continually read your blog posts? On Thursday, April 24, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway will…
  • The 6 Keys to Effective Legal Marketing

    Stephen Fairley
    18 Apr 2014 | 3:39 pm
    Successful legal marketing programs can be boiled down to six key components; maximizing your expertise at each of these will enable you to build the law firm you’ve always wanted and one that will enable you to lead the kind of life you want.  Here are those six keys: Expert Positioning: Media and Market Specialization. To differentiate yourself from your competitors, you should develop an expertise and begin positioning yourself as that recognized expert, by using the media (online and offline) and by targeting a specific practice niche. Create Your Success…
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    Defending People

  • Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure

    Mark Bennett
    31 Mar 2014 | 6:51 pm
    I couldn’t find the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure online in HTML format—only in PDF format—so I created them. You’re welcome. Copyright © 2013 Houston criminal-defense lawyer Mark Bennett. This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, the page you are viewing infringes the copyright. (Digital Fingerprint: 9fddc86334d71f22cfdb4b70fe23bb0e ( .)
  • Harris County Criminal-Defense Residency

    Mark Bennett
    26 Mar 2014 | 11:39 am
    From Scott Ehlers at the Harris County Public Defender’s Office: The Harris County Public Defender’s Office received a grant from the Department of Justice to establish the Future Appointed Counsel Training Program (FACT) for new lawyers committed to representing indigent defendants in Harris County. The training includes a 14-day “boot camp” this summer , and 2 weekend follow-up trainings next year, all provided by Gideon’s Promise (online at: The grant covers expenses for travel, lodging, meals, the 14-day “boot camp,” and the 2 follow-up…
  • The Ethics of Decolletage

    Mark Bennett
    25 Mar 2014 | 2:11 pm
    My Three Commandments of Criminal-Defense Ethics: I. Thou shalt not break the law. II. Thou shalt put thine client’s interests above all else. III. There will be times when (I) and (II) seem to clash; at those times thou shalt consult ethics counsel. From Judge Richard Kopf, who has recommenced blogging at Hercules and the Umpire, in regard to lawyers wearing short skirts and low-cut blouses in court: I have three rules that young women lawyers should follow when considering how to dress for court: 1. You can’t win. Men are both pigs and prudes. Get over it. 2. It is not about you.
  • Dirty-Talk Statute Dead in Texas, and a Misquote

    Mark Bennett
    19 Mar 2014 | 8:46 am
    This morning the Court of Criminal Appeals denied the State’s Motion for Rehearing (PDF) in my case invalidating Section 33.021(b) of the Texas Penal Code. The court pointedly ignored the Attorney General’s effort to intervene, and found that Section 402.010 of the Texas Government Code was also unconstitutional, in violation of the Separation of Powers provision of the Texas Constitution. In related news, I’m pretty sure this purported quote in Mitch Mitchell’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the case… “It’s OK for adults to talk dirty to children,”…
  • True Believers Redux

    Mark Bennett
    23 Feb 2014 | 5:03 pm
    Six and a half years ago Scott Greenfield wrote The Fallacy of True Believers, about the danger of true believers: But Bill [Kunstler] was a scary guy.  Bill was a true believer in the cause, not that I was ever quite clear what the cause was because abject liberalism is an ever changing line.  Bill existed for the cause, not the client.  If the cause demanded that the client burn, so be it.  He took a long range view of the world, and the cause was far more important than any individual, with their petty problems.  So us stupid kids who found ourselves in his orbit learned quickly that…
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    a public defender

  • When everyone is a criminal, you don’t need the Fourth Amendment

    23 Apr 2014 | 7:30 am
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. By now, it should be painfully obvious that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to anyone, because there are no more “people” left in the United States, only criminals and potential…
  • The story so far

    23 Apr 2014 | 6:19 am
    It seems that not everyone was aware that since the beginning of March, I’ve been writing a semi-regular column in the Connecticut Law Tribune, a weekly legal newspaper. I’ve collected links to the extant articles in this post and all future posts will be tagged with the category “ct law tribune”. Thanks for reading. Gideon debuts at the Law Tribune. Gideon writes about judges and prosecutorial misconduct. Gideon writes about cellphones and the Fourth Amendment. Gideon writes about the peon-ification of Connecticut appellate jurisprudence.  
  • The Unexamined Trial

    18 Apr 2014 | 4:15 am
    A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate. So wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1774, foreshadowing his more famous quote about the “inherent and inalienable rights” of men, in the Declaration of Independence. To me, what Jefferson meant by that is that we, as humans and citizens of a great free democracy have certain inherent rights that are ours by the very nature of our existence and these rights are not dependent upon the charity of ministers, politicians and judges. Yet, for the most part, the realm of…
  • Yet another prosecutor “accidentally” suppresses exculpatory evidence

    17 Apr 2014 | 4:10 am
    No, of course violations of Brady v. Maryland aren’t a problem; no, of course, no prosecutor ever would intentionally hide evidence that tended to show that the person accused may not be guilty; no, of course, the system that we have is great. And yet. Yet again. Say hello to Dejuan Hammond, who was 5 days into a trial accused of murder. Hammond had just finished sitting through the testimony of his ex-girlfriend, Princess Bolin, who gave two interviews to police implicating him. Or did she? [Defense attorney] Shouse was cross-examining Princess Bolin then and mentioned the two…
  • Maybe now it’s clear that prisons aren’t the place for teenagers

    17 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    I suppose it takes a blatant misstep by a governmental agency to draw attention to any injustice and so it seems is the case with Jane Doe, the transgender self-identifying girl who has been transferred from DCF1 custody to the adult women’s prison by way of the men’s young-adult prison. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that this attention is being paid to the state of our juvenile detention facilities, our prisons and their inadequacy in meeting the needs of troubled teenagers, but just remember as you read about Jane Doe and her predicament that there is probably no…
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    Federal Employment Law Articles

  • Reversal of Nearly 1B Award and 20-year Injunction Illuminates the Importance of Maintaining the Confidentiality of Trade Secrets

    21 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Companies seeking to protect their trade secrets should take note of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s decision to vacate a $920 million dollar jury verdict and 20-year non-compete injunction awarded to the plaintiff DuPont Company in E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. v. Kolon Industries, Inc. No. 12-1260 (4th Cir. Apr. 3, 2014). The Fourth Circuit held that the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, “abused its discretion and acted arbitrarily” when it excluded evidence defendant Kolon Industries sought to introduce at trial to defend against allegations that…
  • NLRB Considers Radical Changes to Decades-Long Precedent on Deferral to Arbitration

    21 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    In yet another attempt to expand protection for employees under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is considering a new standard for deferral to labor arbitration that, if adopted, would significantly undermine the finality of arbitration in cases involving allegations arising under Sections 8(a)(1) and (3) of the Act. This proposed change follows recent guidelines issued by the General Counsel instructing NLRB regional offices not to defer unfair labor practice charges unless the issues can be resolved through grievance and arbitration…
  • Federal Court's Practical Approach to Enforcement of a Restrictive Covenant Provides Business-Friendly Decision

    21 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    On April 11th, a North Carolina federal court granted an insurance business’s motion for preliminary injunction against six of its former independent insurance agents and enjoined further violations of a restrictive covenant. In Superior Performers, Inc. v. Meaike, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50302 (M.D.N.C. Apr. 11, 2014), the court took on a number of discreet legal issues related to the drafting of employee restrictive covenants in North Carolina and, in a refreshingly practical manner that prioritized substance over form, reached several employer-friendly conclusions.
  • Sixth Circuit Upholds Dismissal of EEOC Suit Against Employer Screening Applicants Based on Credit History Information

    21 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    In April 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its updated enforcement guidance concerning how, in its view, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) restricts an employer’s discretion to consider criminal records relative to employment decisions.1 The EEOC was scheduled to release at the same time its updated guidance concerning the use of credit history information, but at the last minute decided (without explanation) not to do so. Even before April 2012, however, the EEOC filed lawsuits against a handful of employers, including Kaplan Higher…
  • Administrative Professionals Are The Key To The Universe

    21 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    In honor of Administrative Professionals Week, ManpowerGroup is releasing a brand-new survey and handy infographic to help employers better understand one of the most critical roles on the planet.
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  • Rocking the (Bencher) Vote

    Karen Dyck
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:18 am
    Voting is now underway for the Law Society of Manitoba’s 2014 Bencher election and will continue until May 6 at 5:00 p.m. As has been the case for the past several elections, voting takes place electronically. It’s a good system in that it works effectively and efficiently, at least from this voter’s perspective. The Benchers function as the board of directors of the Law Society of Manitoba. The composition of this board is set out in s. 5 of The Legal Profession Act as follows: 10 practising lawyers elected for the City of Winnipeg Electoral District; 2 practising lawyers elected for…
  • The Perpetuation of Problems in the Public Perception of Legal Professionals: an Analysis of the Erroneous ‘Mitigating Factors’ in Law Society of Upper Canada v. Hunter

    Guest Blogger
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    For Ontario’s self-governing legal profession, strong rules are a positive step towards public legitimacy, but that legitimacy evaporates if those rules go unenforced. Amidst the debate over whether the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) should continue to govern itself, the LSUC’s duty to protect the public interest requires attention. Law Society of Upper Canada v Hunter, 2007 ONLSHP 27 [Hunter] is pivotal in this conversation because it shows the governing body neglecting its duty to protect the public interest. In Hunter,the panel fails to sufficiently respond to the conflict of…
  • Administrative Justice and Earth Day: The Path to “Green” Fairness

    Ian Mackenzie
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Yesterday was Earth Day — an opportunity to reflect on the impact of administrative justice on our environment and how tribunals can balance fairness, efficiency and environmentally-friendly practices. It’s obvious that the environment is an inter-related system that needs to be looked at holistically. However, the administrative justice system is rarely looked at holistically. The actions of a tribunal have an impact on all the users of a tribunal services (parties and representatives). A tribunal’s rules and procedures create its own “ecosystem” that has the…
  • Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

    23 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about. For this last week: Doerr v. Sterling Paralegal 2014 ONSC 2335 [37] But how was Ms Doerr’s action against her paralegal advisor, (effectively for breach of contract and/or negligence in relation to execution of the paralegal’s duties under the retainer relationship), an abuse of process? [38] Counsel for the respondent/defendant suggested that Ms Doerr’s action was found to be an abuse of process…
  • Student to Lawyer: 20 Tips for a Smooth Transition

    Dan Pinnington
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:56 pm
    This is an abridged version of the LAWPRO article: “20 tips for a successful transition” – a guide for law students through the transition from student life to legal practice. See for the full article. Honestly assess your strengths and preferences to identify what makes sense for you in terms of the type of firm and area of law you want to practice. Consider all the options: big firm, small firm, solo practice, government, in-house. Don’t just pursue the opportunities everyone else is pursuing – reflect on what is the best fit for you. Create and prioritize a…
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    Virtual Law Practice

  • Article in Legal IT Today: The Engagement Game

    1 Apr 2014 | 12:22 pm
    I wrote an article about the use of games for legal services in the March issue of Legal IT Today, an online legal tech publication. You can read the full article starting on page 31 of the publication. A couple of quotes from the article: Most people seek out assistance only after they suspect they have a legal problem, but what if we could provide increased legal awareness to the public at large through educational games for legal services? Because of the psychology behind gaming that supports positive engagement, games could be used to educate the public as well as provide a way for the…
  • Slides: Class from Law Practice Tech & Management Course

    26 Mar 2014 | 1:00 am
    I’ve been co-teaching a law school course this semester with Richard Granat called Law Practice Technology and Management for the Center for Law Practice Technology. The bulk of the class is online where we have the materials, such as recorded lectures, articles, videos and podcasts, for the students to go through in module format. Once a week, we hold a live session of the class where we go more in-depth into the topic in that week’s module or where we will expand off into something related to the topic, such as a demo of a technology tool or a virtual law firm simulation. The…
  • ABA Journal Article on Virtual Practice

    25 Mar 2014 | 10:42 am
    The ABA Journal published an article entitled “Lawyers’ definitions of virtual practice vary, but not when it comes to finding success“.  The article runs through the different definitions of virtual law practice and the wide variety of ways that lawyers are choosing to deliver legal services online. The debate over the definition of the term (which the online legal community hashed out in multiple debates over the past eight years) does not matter as much as the use of the technology to serve clients, increase access to legal services, and provide lawyers with flexibility…
  • Starting a Fellowship at Stanford Law

    24 Mar 2014 | 2:58 pm
    I am very excited to announce that I will be starting a fellowship at Stanford Law School in June. The fellowship will be with the Center on the Legal Profession. I am putting together a plan for the work I want to accomplish while I have this fellowship and access to the awesome resources at Stanford. Online delivery of legal services and increasing access to justice with technology will continue to be the focus of my work, but I have some more exploring and thinking to do before nailing down the goals I want to achieve while working there. Last year, I wrote a post about exploring…
  • Video – Disruptive Innovation in Legal Services at Harvard

    13 Mar 2014 | 7:12 am
    Last week I attended a conference hosted by Harvard Law School’s Program on the Legal Profession, entitled “Disruptive Innovation in the Market for Legal Services.” My primary reason for attending was to hear Clayton Christensen, a Professor at Harvard’s Business School and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, speak about disruption in the legal profession. Unfortunately, he admitted to not really having analyzed our profession from the perspective of disruptive innovation so his talk was a bit of a rehash of both Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovative…
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    Native American Legal Update

  • Cobell Lawyers Issue Statement On Late Payments

    Greg Guedel
    21 Apr 2014 | 10:56 am
    The attorneys responsible for administering the Cobell settlement have issued the following statement regarding the status of payments.  PLEASE NOTE: This website and Foster Pepper PLLC are not involved in the Cobell settlement process - this information is simply provided as a service to our readers.  Contact information for the Cobell settlement attorneys is listed at the bottom of the statement below, thank you. A Letter from Class Counsel Concerns have recently been expressed that the second payments under the Cobell settlement – the Trust Administration payments –…
  • Federal Trust Responsibility Seminar - October 3 in Seattle

    Greg Guedel
    4 Apr 2014 | 11:30 am
    The Seattle University Center for Indian Law and Policy and the Intertribal Timber Council are sponsoring a Symposium on Reform of the Federal Trust Responsibility on October 3, 2014 in Seattle. The Symposium will explore opportunities to significantly improve the benefits that Tribal communities can gain from their natural resource heritage. The U.S. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn will be a panelist, as will practitioners and scholars from around the nation along with House and Senate staff. Seattle University Professor Eric Eberhard summarized the program’s…
  • BIA Tribal Court Advocacy Training Sessions: March-June 2014

    Greg Guedel
    19 Mar 2014 | 12:05 pm
      The Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services is offering the following Tribal Court advocacy training sessions, which are open to all professionals working in Tribal Court systems: March 31 – April 3   Denver, Colorado:     Illegal Narcotics Trafficking May 19 – 22  Helena, Montana:    Domestic Violence June 23 - 26    Albuquerque, New Mexico:   DUI – Writing Skills  The sessions will also include a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Round Table Discussion (1/2 day - 1-5 pm) If you have questions regarding…
  • "Bertha" Tunnel Machine Confronts Native History In Seattle

    Greg Guedel
    18 Mar 2014 | 11:45 am
      The world’s largest tunnel boring machine, nicknamed “Bertha”, has been stalled for weeks due to mechanical issues. Before it can be restarted, “new” cultural issues must also be resolved. Ancient Native American artifacts could lie in the shaft contractors need to dig to repair the broken machine that is digging the highway tunnel under the waterfront area of downtown Seattle. The Washington State Department of Transportation's cultural resources manager says workers have started using exploratory probes to determine if archaeological work is needed. The…
  • Oglala Sioux Launch New Cryptocurrency

    Greg Guedel
    7 Mar 2014 | 2:27 pm
    On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, one of the most impoverished areas in the US, the Oglala Sioux Tribe has just become the first Native American nation to launch their very own cryptocurrency, the MazaCoin. The currency’s originator Payu Harris wants to use the tribal nation’s sovereignty to set its own rules on cryptocurrencies. “I think cryptocurrencies could be the new buffalo,” Harris says. “Once, it was everything for our survival. We used it for food, for clothes, for everything. It was our economy. I think MazaCoin could serve the same purpose.”…
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    Technology & Marketing Law Blog

  • Minnesota Supreme Court Reverses Conviction for Assisting Suicide Online

    Venkat Balasubramani
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:32 am
    This is a case involving some dark behavior by William Francis Melchert-Dinkel, who visited forums frequented by suicidal individuals and encouraged at least two people to commit suicide. In one case, a 32 year old from England hanged himself sometime after exchanges with Melchert-Dinkel, who posed as a purportedly compassionate and caring nurse, providing advice regarding an effective technique for hanging one’s self. Shutterstock / Chris Harvey – skeleton doctor Another woman from Ottawa, a 19 year old, drowned herself in a frozen river (she jumped while wearing ice skates), also…
  • Q1 2014 Quick Links, Part 2

    Eric Goldman
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:20 am
    Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock Social Media * Collins v. Louisiana State Police, No. 13-412 (La. Ct. App. Oct. 23, 2013): a person’s online life depicted in social media is commonly not intended to reflect reality as much as it is intended to engender discourse. Therefore, courts should give serious consideration as to what probative value, if any, should to be given to such “evidence.” * Oddee: 10 Outrageous Tweets That Got People Fired * In re Thundervision, LLC, No. 09-11145 (E.D. La. Feb. 5, 2014): Social media is also an important marketing…
  • Q1 2014 Quick Links, Part 1 (IP)

    Eric Goldman
    21 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock Copyright * Perfect 10, Inc. v. Giganews, Inc., No. 11-7098 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 29, 2014). Upholding Giganews’ policy of terminating repeat infringers. The ruling also is critical of Perfect 10′s method of sending takedown notices, saying that Perfect 10 may have had to identify each Message-ID for allegedly infringing USENET posts. Prior blog post. * Swatch Group v. Bloomberg: Republishing a recording of an analyst call is protected by fair use. * Dow Jones v. Ransquawk complaint. Dow Jones asserts hot news claims against…
  • Ripoff Report’s Latest Section 230 Win–Seldon v. Magedson

    Eric Goldman
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:37 am
    It’s been a while since I blogged a Ripoff Report case. I’m sure you’ve missed hearing about them, but their litigation docket has calmed down somewhat since their heyday. This pro se lawsuit, rehashing tired arguments that have failed repeatedly over the past decade, adds nothing to the canon. On the claim of defamation based on third party reports submitted to Ripoff Report, Seldon alleges: that third parties submitted defamatory information about him to the website, and that Xcentric participated in the defamation by creating the file heading “philip-seldon | Ripoff…
  • Some Thoughts On General Mills’ Move To Mandate Arbitration And Waive Class Actions

    Eric Goldman
    18 Apr 2014 | 12:32 pm
    I sent the following email to a reporter covering the fallout from General Mills’ amended legal terms to mandate arbitration and the The New York Times’ coverage, When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue (and see the murky follow-up): ____ Class action waivers are undergoing a renaissance following the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Wal-Mart v. Dukes and AT&T v. Concepcion. With the green light from the Supreme Court, more companies are adopting class action waivers in a wider range of circumstances. Say hello to trans-fats, say goodbye to your…
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    The California Employment Law Blog by Mediator Steven G. Pearl

  • Williams v. Superior Court: Court of Appeal Reverses Decertification Order In Off-the-Clock Class Action

    Steven G. Pearl
    9 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    Williams v. Superior Court (Allstate Insurance Company) (12/6/13, mod. 12/24/13) 221 Cal.App.4th 1353, concerns facts very similar to those in Jones, which I discussed recently. The plaintiff sued his employer, Allstate, alleging that he and other insurance adjusters worked off the clock, performing tasks such as logging onto their work computers, but that they “hesitated to request overtime because they did not want to be perceived as ‘bad’ employees.” Slip op. at 3. The trial court originally certified an “off-the-clock” class, but granted Allstate’s motion for…
  • Jones v. Farmers Insurance Exchange: Court of Appeal Reverses Denial of Class Certification in Off-the-Clock Class Action

    Steven G. Pearl
    8 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    In Jones v. Farmers Insurance Exchange (10/28/13, mod. and pub. 11/26/13) 221 Cal.App.4th 986, the plaintiff worked as an adjuster for Farmers. He sued, alleging that Farmers should have paid him for "computer sync time" work performed before beginning his scheduled shifts.  The plaintiff filed for class certification, and Farmers opposed, arguing that it had no uniform policy requiring unpaid pre-shift work and that individual issues thus predominated. The trial court denied certification, and the Court of Appeal reversed, finding as follows: Under Brinker and Sav-On the…
  • Martinez v. Joe's Crab Shack: Court Reverses Certification Denial in Misclassification Class Action

    Steven G. Pearl
    7 Apr 2014 | 8:27 am
    In Martinez v. Joe's Crab Shack (11/12/13, pub. 12/4/13) 221 Cal.App.4th 1148, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants misclassified them and other salaried management employees as exempt from California’s overtime requirements. The trial court denied certification, and the Court of Appeal reversed, holding as follows: The plaintiffs adequately represented the class because any antagonism to the case voiced by putative class members did not go “to the very subject matter of the litigation” and could be managed by creating subclasses. Slip op. at 10-12. The…
  • Palagin v. Paniagua Construction: Undertaking in Labor Commissioner Appeal Is Jurisdictional

    Steven G. Pearl
    13 Mar 2014 | 8:00 am
    Just a quick word on this case. In Palagin v. Paniagua Construction, Inc. (12/16/13) --- Cal.App.4th ---, the Court of Appeal held that the statutory deadline for an employer to post an undertaking "as a condition to filing an appeal" of a Labor Commissioner award is a jurisdictional deadline that the trial court cannot extend. Under Labor Code section 98.2(b), where the employer fails to post the undertaking within the statutory period, the trial court must dismiss the appeal. Cf. Progressive Concrete, Inc. v. Parker (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 540, 552-553 (the undertaking requirement in an…
  • Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers: California Supreme Court Calendars Oral Argument in Independent Contractor Class Action

    Steven G. Pearl
    12 Mar 2014 | 8:00 am
    In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc. (9/19/12, pub. 10/17/12) 210 Cal.App.4th 77 (discussed here), the plaintiffs sought to certify a class of newspaper home delivery carriers, alleging that AVP improperly classified them as independent contractors rather than employees. The trial court held that individual issues predominated because of numerous variations in how the carriers performed their jobs. The Court of Appeal reversed in part, holding that such variations did not preclude class certification under S.G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial…
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    The Securities Law Blog

  • Honolulu Woman Charged with Fraud Through Social Media

    23 Apr 2014 | 3:28 am
    According to the SEC, its investigation found that Keiko Kawamura engaged in two separate fraudulent schemes to raise money from investors while casting herself as an investment and hedge fund expert when in fact she had virtually no prior trading experience. In one scheme, she sought investors for her self-described hedge fund and posted on Twitter some screenshots of brokerage account statements suggesting she was personally obtaining incredible investment returns. However, the account statements were not hers. And instead of investing the money she raised from investors, she spent it on…
  • SEC Charges Brokerage Firm Executives in Kickback Scheme to Secure Business of Venezuelan Bank

    21 Apr 2014 | 3:11 am
    The Securities and Exchange Commission announced another round of charges in its ongoing case against several individuals involved in a massive kickback scheme to secure the bond trading business of a state-owned Venezuelan bank.The SEC alleges that two executives at New York City-based brokerage firm Direct Access Partners (DAP) were integral participants in the wide-ranging fraud. Benito Chinea, who was a co-founder and CEO of the firm, and Joseph DeMeneses, who was DAP's managing partner of global strategy, devised and facilitated sham arrangements to conceal multi-million dollar kickback…
  • Lessons About Handling Money

    20 Apr 2014 | 7:00 pm
    I have represented a few professional athletes over the years. Unfortunately, it is after they have lost their wealth, or failed to plan for the end of their professional sports careers. They have either lost their money, or spent it, and are forced to sue their former advisors, or to create new business has a story based on an interview conducted by NerdWallet  with Eric Sogard, the bespectacled second baseman for the Oakland A’s (where his nickname is “Nerd Power”) and runner-up in an online poll of fans for the #FaceofMLB. Sogard spoke…
  • General Mills Reverses Itself - No Mandatory Arbitration

    20 Apr 2014 | 6:30 am
    Reversing a policy that was an abuse of arbitration policy. legally unenforceable and a complete public relations disaster, General Mills has changed its mind, removed its silly mandatory arbitration policy, and has gone back to its original legal terms, without mandatory arbitration.“Because our concerns and intentions were widely misunderstood, causing concerns among our consumers, we’ve decided to change them back to what they were,” Mike Siemienas, a company spokesman, wrote in the email. “As a result, the recently updated legal terms are being removed from our websites, and we…
  • FINRA is Looking to Hire Compliance Examiners

    19 Apr 2014 | 6:02 am
    From their job posting - FINRA is seeking a well qualified individual for our Compliance Examiner opening in Membership Application Program (MAP) of the Member Regulation Department in New York, NY.  To be considered for this position, please submit your resume through our careers site.    Job Summary:  MAP Examiners review or investigate, in the context of new and continuing membership applications, risk areas of broker-dealers and allegations of wrong-doing or other non-compliant conduct to protect investors and ensure the integrity of the…
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    New Jersey Attorney Law Review Blog

  • New Limited Liability Company Statute Takes Effect on Existing LLCs Filed in New Jersey

    Glenn R. Reiser
    30 Mar 2014 | 11:15 am
      Effective April 1, 2014, all limited liability companies (“LLCs”) formed in New Jersey will be governed by the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, N.J.S.A. 42:2C-1 through N.J.S.A. 42:2C-17 (the “Revised Act”). The Revised Act became effective as to newly formed LLCs on March 18, 2013. Starting on April 1, 2014, the Revised Act applies to all previously existing LLCs filed in New Jersey.The Revised LLC Act differs from the predecessor limited liability company Act in several substantial respects, of which current operating LLCs and those individuals deciding whether…
  • Disqualification of Attorneys in Litigation Matters Pursuant to the Attorney-Witness Rule - RPC 3.7

    Glenn R. Reiser
    12 Mar 2014 | 2:03 pm
    In this post I examine the attorney witness rule incorporated in New Jersey Rule of Professional Conduct (“RPC”) 3.7, and how the Rule can be used to disqualify a lawyer representing a party in litigation when the lawyer possesses factual knowledge of contested issues that go to the heart of the case.  Because courts generally are reluctant to disqualify a party’s choice of counsel, a motion brought pursuant to RPC 3.7 requires the moving party to bear the burden of proof by demonstrating that the attorney’s continued representation would violate the Rule. J.G. Ries & Sons,…
  • Are a Litigant's Income Tax Returns Fair Game in Pretrial Discovery in Civil Cases?

    Glenn R. Reiser
    20 Dec 2013 | 12:28 pm
    Depending upon the claims and defenses raised in the context of a particular civil lawsuit, the information contained in a party’s business or personal income tax return may be a relevant area of inquiry for pretrial discovery. However, most taxpayers will not voluntarily surrender their tax returns simply because the information is being sought by the other side’s lawyer. To the contrary, a demand for production of income tax returns is often met with resistance. Thus, before seeking the production of an adversary litigant’s income tax returns as part of pretrial discovery demands,…
  • Voiding a New Jersey Real Estate Tax Foreclosure Judgment Due to Defective Service of Legal Process

    Glenn R. Reiser
    18 Nov 2013 | 7:22 am
    In New Jersey, a homeowner can lose his or her home for failure to pay real estate taxes to the town/city where the property is located.   Unlike mortgage foreclosure cases where the property is required to go to a judicial sale and the homeowner is given one final shot to save the home by “redeeming” or paying off the judgment within 10 days from the sale date, in tax foreclosure cases there is no judicial sale and the opportunity to redeem is thus lost once the final judgment is entered.  In other words, the entry of a final judgment in real estate tax foreclosure cases…
  • Home Improvement Contracts: The Nuts and Bolts of New Jersey's Regulatory Requirements

    Glenn R. Reiser
    23 May 2013 | 12:39 pm
    New Jersey has strict rules when it comes to home improvement contracts in excess of $500, the overriding purpose of which is to protect consumers from unscrupulous contractors.  The New Jersey Administrative Code § 13:45A-16.2(12)(i)-(vi) sets forth the requirements necessary in a home improvement contract.  A violation of these written requirements is a violation of the statute.N.J.A.C. 13:45A-16.2(12) states in pertinent part: All home improvement contracts for a purchase price in excess of $500, and all changes in the terms and conditions thereof shall be in…
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    Construction Law Musings- Richmond, VA

  • New Lien Rights on Mississippi Construction Projects

    Christopher G. Hill
    18 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    For this weeks Guest Post Friday here at Construction Law Musings, we welcome Adam Stone and Kaytie Pickett for the first time.  Adam and Kaytie  practice construction and commercial law with Jones Walker, LLP, a full-service law firm with offices spanning the Gulf Coast states.  Adam has twenty years’ experience drafting construction contracts and successfully litigating and arbitrating construction disputes for owners, sureties, contractors, design professionals, subcontractors, and material suppliers.  He is LEED certified and has published on Green Building Development and on state…
  • Construction Law Musings Hits the Beach

    Christopher G. Hill
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Construction Law Musings will be taking a break this week. Don’t worry, I’ll be back refreshed and ready to go after a nice relaxing beachfront vacation.  In the meantime, please check out the Guest Post Fridays, and explore the various pages of this blog. To all of you that read and subscribe to this corner of the internet, thanks for your continued readership.  I look forward to hearing from you on my return. As always, I welcome your comments below.  Please subscribe to keep up with this and other Construction Law Musings. Image via stock.xchng. © Construction Law…
  • Contractor Side Deals Can Waive Rights

    Christopher G. Hill
    9 Apr 2014 | 1:16 pm
    Originally posted 2010-03-22 09:00:00. Here at Construction Law Musings, we are quite fond of the Federal Miller Act and it’s Virginia counterpart, the “Little” Miller Act.  Both of these statutes allow a subcontractor or supplier on a government construction project the security to perform their work with the knowledge that a bonding company will back their claim for payment.  These acts are necessary because a construction company cannot file a mechanic’s lien on a government owned piece of property. As a general rule the Miller Acts impose almost strict liability on a contractor…
  • Some Construction Contract Basics- Necessities and Pitfalls

    Christopher G. Hill
    9 Apr 2014 | 1:16 pm
    Construction Work (Photo credit: gullevek) Recently, I’ve been on an “advising” kick here at Construction Law Musings.  My last two posts have been about communication and trusting your gut when it comes to a smooth construction project.  This post will be the third in the trilogy (and who knows maybe I’ll have a 4th and 5th like the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy”). While all construction contractors should use their communication skills and instincts to assure a smooth and hopefully profitable project, all of the gut following and great…
  • Trust Your Gut When Deciding Whether to Sign a Construction Contract

    Christopher G. Hill
    31 Mar 2014 | 6:00 am
    Construction Work (Photo credit: gullevek) Last week’s Construction Law Musings were about the need to communicate before, during and after a construction project.  This week, I continue my thoughts on some business practices that make my life as a construction attorney and adviser (not to mention your lives as construction professionals) easier and less stressful.  This week’s musing is a bit less legal and a bit more practical, namely, trust your instincts when deciding whether you want to work for the company or owner presenting you with a job or contract. I know, those of…
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    CAFA Law Blog

  • The Supreme Court’s Knowles Ruling Is Not “Other Paper” Within the Meaning of 28 U.S.C. 1446(b)(3) (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    8 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Henry v. Michaels Stores, Inc., 2013 WL 2208070 (N.D. Ohio May 20, 2013). The District Court held that the Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, 133 S. Ct. 1345 (2013), is not an “other paper,” which could make a previously un-removable case removable under 28 U.S.C §1446(b)(3). The plaintiff alleged that, although the defendant advertised that its products were discounted, the defendant never actually gave the discount. The plaintiff claimed this was a violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, Ohio Revised Code, breach of contract, unjust…
  • Is A Continuing Tort An “Event Or Occurence” Under CAFA’s Mass Action Provisions? (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    18 Mar 2014 | 12:40 pm
    Eleanor Abraham, et al v. St. Croix Renaissance, Group, L.L.L.P., 719 F.3d 270 (3d Cir. 2013). In this appeal, the Third Circuit held that CAFA’s phrase “an event or occurrence,” as it appears in the mass-action exclusion, is not limited to something that happened at a particular moment in time.  The plaintiffs, more than 500 Virgin Island residents, brought suit in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, asserting claims for abnormally dangerous condition, public nuisance, private nuisance, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and…
  • Citizenship, not Residency bring cases to Federal Court (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    17 Mar 2014 | 3:00 am
    Villa v. United Site Servs. of California, Inc., 2013 WL 2436605 (N.D. Cal. June 4, 2013). District Judge Jon S. Tigar, writing for the Northern District of California remanded an action for failure to establish minimal diversity, holding that the relevant inquiry for determining whether minimal diversity exists is the citizenship of the parties, which was not proven by the defendant. The plaintiff brought an action alleging failure to provide rest breaks, to pay wages at the time of discharge, and to pay rest period premiums in violation of the California Labor Code.  The plaintiff sought…
  • Amount in Controversy adequately supported by Defendant’s Affidavit (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    14 Mar 2014 | 3:00 am
    Turnage v. Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc, 2013 WL 2950836 (N.D. Cal. June 14, 2013). The plaintiff, truck driver, brought a wage and hour action in violation of California Labor Code, and Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders.  The plaintiff also brought a representative claim under the Private Attorney General Act, and a cause of action for unlawful, deceptive, and unfair business practices under California Business & Professions Code § 17200.  The plaintiff alleged failure to provide meal and rest periods, to pay minimum wages, to pay wages in a timely manner, to provide…
  • Individual Claims are Immaterial because CAFA Aggregates the Class Claims (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC)
    13 Mar 2014 | 3:00 am
    Stella v. Hertz Corp, 2013 WL 2456042 (S.D. Cal. June 5, 2013). Establishing that the named plaintiff’s individual claims exceeds $75,000 is immaterial to CAFA jurisdiction.  What is important under CAFA is that the claim of the class should exceed $5 million.  Because the defendant here did not establish CAFA requirements, a District Court in California remanded the action to state court.   The plaintiff, former non-exempt employee, brought an action in Alameda Superior Court, alleging failure to provide timely off-duty meal period to the defendant’s California non-exempt employees…
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    Lowering the Bar

  • Sorry for the Down Time

    21 Apr 2014 | 10:56 am
    Well, it looks like TypePad has dug itself out from under the DDoS attack that started last week. Somebody was attacking it and demanding a payment to stop, also known as extortion. As far as I know, TypePad didn't pay, which is good. Obviously, the blog is back up and running, at least for now. Thanks to all those who let me know that the blog was down (whether I already knew or not), and/or that they cared about the blog being down. Much appreciated. Of course, another good way to ensure that the future will have Lowering the Bar in it is to buy my book, but the good wishes are also…
  • Fish Waved in Parliament

    19 Apr 2014 | 1:02 pm
    The parliament was Italy's, and the fish was reportedly a sea bass:   If you want to know why he was waving it, here's the story, but I really think this is one where the waving of the fish (which starts at :29) is more important than why it was waved. The lawmaker was ejected from the chamber after he refused to stop waving the sea bass, although it seems to me he should have a right to do that if he wants to. Nobody complained when someone brought a penguin to the Kentucky Senate, at least not until it pooped on the floor.
  • TSA Turns Away Mute Stroke Victim

    17 Apr 2014 | 10:44 am
    KABC in Los Angeles reported on April 5 that our heroes in the TSA had successfully prevented another innocent disabled person from flying. This time it was a stroke victim in a wheelchair who couldn't answer questions about her expired driver's license because—also due to the stroke—she is mute. Sherry Wright said she was with her sister Heidi and tried to explain for her, having brought along her sister's Social Security card and papers from the DMV (and possibly also a state ID card). She said that not only did the agent reject her explanation, he or she rudely insisted on hearing it…
  • Judge Posner Blasts Banana Lady

    15 Apr 2014 | 3:37 pm
    I'm a big fan of using images in briefs and opinions when that is appropriate, and it's hard to think of a more appropriate case than one involving a lady in a banana suit. The specific case I'm thinking of (in case there are more than one) is Conrad v. AM Community Credit Union, decided on April 14 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Chicago Tribune; thanks, Tom). Those of you who know something about that circuit won't be too surprised to know the opinion was written by Judge Richard Posner, one of the nation's best legal writers and a man not afraid to stick a…
  • Abnormal Use Reviews My Book; Crayons Involved Again

    15 Apr 2014 | 11:45 am
    Thanks to Jim Dedman and the others at the award-winning products-liability blog Abnormal Use for reviewing The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance, with a special thanks to Batten Farrar for his expert rendition of the cover. This is the second time crayons have been used to recreate it, and that seems entirely appropriate. Also appropriate is the review's focus on the laws of the Carolinas, where their firm (Gallivan, White & Boyd) is located and which provided lots of material for the book. North Carolina's rattlesnake-milking tax was actually considered for the title spot,…
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    Ohio Family Law Blog

  • Military: Immigration Citizenship Laws for Family Members

    Robert L. Mues
    19 Apr 2014 | 1:36 pm
    Obama Policy Memo Outlines How Illegal Immigrants Can Obtain ‘legal Status’ If They Are Family Members Of A U.S. Military Service Member. Memo Could Affect 65,000 Military Immigrants A memo released by the Obama administration outlines how and when the administration can legally permit relatives of U.S. service military members who are here illegally to stay in the country on a “parole in place” status.  This will essentially give illegal immigrants “legal status” as long as they don’t have a criminal record and are family members of a U.S. military service member.
  • Divorce: Addressing High Conflict Cases – Tips and Strategies

    Anne Shale
    12 Apr 2014 | 3:02 am
    High Conflict Divorce Tied With High Conflict Personalities According To Therapists On March 24th, 2014, I traveled from Dayton, Ohio to Mason, Ohio to interview Brenda Patton, Therapist, Parenting Coordinator, and Mediator for The Counseling and Cooperative Parenting Center of Ohio, LLC, also known as “CCPC – Ohio”.  Initially, I was interested in interviewing a spokesperson of this Parenting Center as they were a “private” entity providing supervised visitation or supervised parenting time for families in Montgomery, Warren, and Hamilton Counties. When I learned that the…
  • Custody Issues: How To Avoid International Child Abduction

    Guest Contributor, Judianne Cochran
    5 Apr 2014 | 2:38 am
    Important Custody Steps to Take to Avoid Child Abduction Overseas Strong Custody Prevention Key In Avoiding International Child Abduction Our guest contributor this week is Judianne Cochran a nationally recognized expert/consultant in the following disciplines: sex offender profiling; interstate and international parental abduction; interstate custody and parental alienation. She has testified in numerous Courts throughout Ohio and the country. Judi presently resides in Columbus, Ohio. This is a follow-up article to Parental Abduction: Prevention and Remedies posted by Judi on October 31,…
  • Supervised Visitation and the Role of Human Service Departments

    Guest Contributor, Daniel Pollack
    29 Mar 2014 | 12:43 am
    What Are The Basic Types And Goals Of Supervised Visitation? Supervised child visitation can be indicated in cases involving custody; shared parenting; grandparent custody or visitation; divorce; legal separation; post-decree matters; emergency custody situations; abuse/neglect/dependency cases; concerns about parental abduction; and, reintroduction of a parent after a long absence. Child visitation can be restricted or denied if a court finds that allowing regular visitation would endanger a child’s physical or emotional health.  In numerous situations, courts may order child…
  • Custody Case Change – The Requirements

    Robert L. Mues
    22 Mar 2014 | 1:16 am
    What Legal Requirements Must Be Established For A Custody Case Change In Ohio? This is a follow-up article to guest contributor Judianne Cochran’s post of March 1, 2014 titled “Custody Issues: Post-Decree Modification in Ohio”. In that article Judi focused primarily on the importance of hiring a seasoned family law lawyer that frequently litigates post-decree custody matters.  In this article I want to discuss the legal requirements that must be provided to be successful in a change of custody case. If you are looking to modify your divorce decree, one of the first major obstacles you…
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    3 Geeks and a Law Blog

  • LegalZoom Gets Nod From South Carolina Supreme Court

    22 Apr 2014 | 9:54 am
    Image [cc] Rusty Tanton The term "Access to Justice" (A2J) is tossed around a lot in the legal world, but as the old saying goes, talk is cheap. It is common for state bar associations to step up and use another phrase to shoot down A2J projects or non-lawyers' attempt to fill a gap in the legal process that is underserved. In most cases, it is seen as a ploy to protect the Bar Association's members… at the expense of those needing help with a complicated legal system. One of the most contentious issues is on basic legal forms. Companies like LegalZoom have stepped in to create forms…
  • Glass First Impressions: The Bad, the Ugly, and the Good

    21 Apr 2014 | 1:00 am
    OK. I've had a couple of days to experiment with Google's Glass technology. It's still very early days, and I haven't come to any firm conclusions yet, but I'm ready to give my first impressions. First, the bad. Glass is definitely not yet ready for Prime Time. To be fair, Google has never claimed otherwise. I am pretty sure they are doing this ridiculous expensive and slow roll out, because they don't want your average consumer to purchase a Glass thinking it should be something more than it actually is.  At $1500 only developers, or Google Fans, or die-hard geeks, will be likely to…
  • Getting Google Glass All Wrong

    17 Apr 2014 | 12:36 pm
    Image [cc] - Tedeytan Last year it seemed everyone was gaga for Google Glass. "Ooooooh, it's a computer for your face!  It's got a camera and can give you directions! It's just like your phone was permanently positioned 3 feet in front of your right eye! Woo hoo! I can't wait to get one!" I wasn't so sure. I didn't jump on board. I just didn't see the utility. Yes, it's a cool concept, but the functionality wasn't there. Maybe in a few years it would become something functional and interesting, but I certainly wasn't going to waste my money on something that was little more than a…
  • So, What Is Wrong With Law Firm Libraries Today?

    15 Apr 2014 | 10:27 am
    There was an interesting question asked on Twitter this morning by Patrick DiDomenico (apparently preparing for an ITLA presentation on the topic.) At first blush, it seemed to be phrased a bit on the negative side, but it really is something that those of us in law firm libraries do need to ask from time to time. "Tell me what's wrong with law firm libraries today." This isn't about bashing Patrick for asking the question, quite the opposite actually. It is a legitimate question to ask. This is more about addressing what is wrong, while also addressing what is right in law firm…
  • Six New Geeks!

    1 Apr 2014 | 1:00 am
    Before reading this post, please take note of the date it was published. :-) You have probably noticed that for the last several years, the 3 Geeks have actually been 4 regular geeks and a slew of occasional contributors.  When Ryan came on as a regular geek, we briefly considered changing the name of the site to 4 Geeks and a Law Blog, or maybe just The Geek Law Blog. One of us, and I'm not naming names, lobbied pretty hard for Toby Brown and the 3 Geeks Blog.  Needless to say, we decided that 3 Geeks was a successful brand on its own and we would keep the name no matter how many…
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    The High-touch Legal Services® Blog...for Startups!

  • RBS Posts Ridiculous Article + Disclaimer

    21 Apr 2014 | 12:31 pm
    A friend recently showed me a ridiculous article that RBS posted on its website last year. (Please see The five trends shaping Germany to 2030.) That post isn’t ridiculous because of the article’s content. It is ridiculous because the disclaimer RBS provided following that article, at 994 words, is almost twice as long as the article, itself! RBS Disclaimer Details Furthermore, if one reads the mind-numbing disclaimer word-by-word, one finds some interesting content. For example: Several times, RBS notes that its proprietary interests may conflict with the reader’s…
  • Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement – Two Sides of the Same Coin

    17 Apr 2014 | 8:15 pm
    This post compares plagiarism and copyright infringement. It is prompted by a Quora question that I answered several months ago. (See Have your ideas or works ever been plagiarized? What happened?) Plagiarism Defined Plagiarism is the wrongful appropriate on another’s work and presenting it as one’s own. One typically thinks of plagiarism occurring in academia or journalism. However, as discussed below, it can occur in other professions, too. Copyright Infringement Defined The holder of the copyright in a work has certain exclusive rights with respect to that work. These include…
  • Kickstarter Rejects Foreign Entrepreneurs

    14 Apr 2014 | 4:24 pm
    Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Recently, I have seen a surge of interest among foreign companies wishing to set up Kickstarter projects in the US. This post discusses the challenges those companies will face. Kickstarter Creator Requirements Kickstarter has the following creator requirements in the US: You are 18 years of age or older. You are a permanent US resident with a Social Security Number (or EIN). You have a US address, US bank account, and US state-issued ID (driver’s license). You have a major credit or debit card. Requirement #1 (the creator must be an…
  • Must a Corporation Issue All Authorized Shares?

    1 Apr 2014 | 5:58 pm
    Sample Stock Transfer Ledger This post is based on a conversation I had with a foreign client recently. Q. Must a corporation issue all authorized shares? A. No, a corporate may, but it does not need to, issue all authorized shares. Foreign Parent Audit This question arose because my foreign client was being audited. The auditors thought that they had uncovered a problem. In my client’s home country, the equivalent of a corporation must issue all authorized shares. As a result, the auditors – thus my client’s CFO – assumed there was a problem because the client’s…
  • Virtual Office Choices when You Need a Physical Address

    27 Mar 2014 | 11:14 am
    Many of my startup clients begin with a virtual office, rather than a physical facility. They do this for convenience and to save money – or because the client is located outside the U.S. Sometimes, however, a physical address is required. This post discusses commonly-used physical address alternatives. Definition of Virtual Office The term virtual office can have different meanings in different contexts. For this post, I am using the definition of virtual office provided by Investopedia: A business location that exists only in cyberspace. Need for a Physical Address While a Postal…
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    ITC Law Blog

  • ALJ Bullock Sets 16-Month Target Date In Certain Hemostatic Products (337-TA-913)

    Eric Schweibenz
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:46 pm
    On April 22, 2014, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued Order No. 4 in Certain Hemostatic Products and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-913). By way of background, the investigation is based on a February 28, 2014 complaint filed by Baxter International Inc., Baxter Healthcare Corp., and Baxter Healthcare SA of Switzerland alleging violation of Section 337 by Johnson & Johnson Inc., Ethicon, Inc., Ferrosan Medical Devices A/S, and Packaging Coordinators, Inc. in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain hemostatic products and components thereof that infringe one or more claims…
  • ALJ Shaw Rules On Motion To Strike In Certain Point-To-Point Network Communication Devices (337-TA-892)

    Eric Schweibenz
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:26 pm
    On April 15, 2014, ALJ David P. Shaw issued Order No. 29 in Certain Point-to-Point Network Communication Devices and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-892).  In the Order, ALJ Shaw granted-in-part and denied-in-part Respondents AmTRAN Logistics, Inc., AmTRAN Technology Co., Ltd., LG Electronics Inc., LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc., Panasonic Corp., Panasonic Corp. of North America, Sony Corp., Sony Corp. of America, Sony Electronics Inc., Sony Mobile Communications AB, Sony Mobile Communications (USA) Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.,…
  • ALJ Gildea Denies Motion For Summary Determination Of Invalidity For Lack Of Written Description In Certain Consumer Electronics With Display And Processing Capabilities (337-TA-884)

    Eric Schweibenz
    21 Apr 2014 | 4:33 pm
    On April 15, 2014, ALJ E. James Gildea issued Order No. 77 in Certain Consumer Electronics With Display and Processing Capabilities (Inv. No. 337-TA-884).  In the Order, ALJ Gildea denied Respondents Toshiba Corp., Toshiba America, Inc., Toshiba American Information Systems, Inc., and Vizio, Inc.’s (collectively, “Respondents”) motion for summary determination that certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,144,158 (the ‘158 patent) are invalid for lack of written description. Respondents argued that the claim terms “scan converter” and “scan convert data” in the ‘158 patent…
  • ALJ Gildea Denies Motion To Compel Expert Deposition In Certain Microphone Packages (337-TA-888)

    Eric Schweibenz
    21 Apr 2014 | 10:52 am
    On April 17, 2014, ALJ E. James Gildea issued the public version of Order No. 33 (dated April 11, 2014) denying Complainant’s Motion to Compel Expert Deposition in Certain Silicon Microphone Packages and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-888). By way of background, the Commission instituted this investigation on July 23, 2013 based on a complaint filed by Knowles Electronics, LLC (“Knowles”) alleging a violation of Section 337 by Respondents GoerTek, Inc. and GoerTek Electronics, Inc. (collectively, “GoerTek”) in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain silicon…
  • ViXS Files New 337 Complaint Regarding Certain Set-Top Boxes, Gateways, Bridges And Adapters

    Eric Schweibenz
    18 Apr 2014 | 3:12 pm
    On April 17, 2014, ViXS Systems, Inc. of Canada and ViXS USA, Inc. of Austin, Texas (collectively, “ViXS”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337. The complaint alleges that Entropic Communications, Inc. of San Diego, California, DirecTV, LLC of El Segundo, California, Wistron Corp. of Taiwan, Wistron NeWeb Corp. of Taiwan, and Cybertan of Taiwan (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain set-top boxes, gateways, bridges and…
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    Gamso - For the Defense

  • Even When It’s Hard – Maybe Especially Then

    18 Apr 2014 | 12:34 pm
    I need to tell you a story today, illustrated with real photographs.It’s about this woman.  Her name is Maryam Hosseinzadeh.  But no.  I cannot tell you about her yet. You must first meet Koukab.  Here she is. She is crying because she has just been told that the next day, her son, Balal Because he killed Abdollah Hosseinzadeh (whose picture I don’t have), stabbed him to death in a street fight (about which I know nothing else).  Abdollah was 17.  Balal was 19.  Abdollah’s parents, Maryam (yes, it’s back to her, now) and Abdulghani Hosseinzadeh were,…
  • And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Kings

    16 Apr 2014 | 10:52 pm
    Shakespeare's Richard II, feeling sorry for himself, recognizing that his situation is hopeless and he will shortly be deposed:For God's sake, let us sit upon the groundAnd tell sad stories of the death of kings;How some have been deposed; some slain in war,Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;Some poison'd by their wives: some sleeping kill'd;All murder'd: for within the hollow crownThat rounds the mortal temples of a kingKeeps Death his court and there the antic sits,Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,Allowing him a breath, a little scene,To monarchize, be fear'd and kill…
  • What We Do Is Who We Are

    11 Apr 2014 | 9:46 pm
    If you read this blog with anything even close to regularity, you know that I'm an atheist and also that I'm a serious believer in mercy and grace.  And you also know that I marvel at forgiveness.  Perhaps it's that combination of things that drew me to this column by Giles Fraser in the Guardian. Fraser is, the Guardian tells us, "priest-in-charge at St Mary's Newington in south London and the former canon chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral."  But really, I don't care about his titles or his job. What I'm intrigued by is the idea.  We think about forgiveness wrong.We…
  • It's Not Just a Procedure, It's Due Process

    10 Apr 2014 | 10:58 pm
    Not long after I moved to Toledo from Texas, I was talking with a judge in his chambers.  He'd been a judge for a long time, I was new to town.  Neither of us knew much of anything about the other.  We'd just met and were feeling each other out.  Are you, he asked, more in the due process camp or the finality camp?I'm a criminal defense lawyer.  We're congenitally opposed to finality.  Judges, though, are different. They have different views, approach things each in her own way.This judge knew all of that perfectly well.  He wasn't really asking where I fell…
  • Stoping 'Em Before They Violate the Constitution

    9 Apr 2014 | 6:19 am
    There you were, driving down the street, minding your own business when you see the disco lights in your rear-view mirror. Shit.You pull over, hand the cop your license and registration.  Give proof of insurance.  He explains that you were violating some provision or other of the traffic code.  And, oh, do you happen to have any illegal drugs in the car?Next thing you know there's a dog wandering around your car, then your stuff is being piled up on the side of the highway, a couple of high fives between the cop who stopped you and the one who came by with the dog, and…
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    Virtual Marketing Officer

  • Breakthrough Secret Exposed: Use these five steps to increase blog ROI

    Jayne Navarre
    15 Apr 2014 | 4:41 pm
    While teaching at Purdue University in the 1930s, professor Alan H. Monroe developed a handy way to organize sales presentations. It was so handy that the approach was eventually coined “The Monroe Motivated Sequence.” Widely used over the years, his sequence provides a proven outline for action and intent—one that any blogger, but especially law bloggers looking for ROI, will find beneficial. If you are like many blawgers (attorneys blogging about the law) that I speak to, you are probably feeling that the drag between the time invested in writing posts and realizing any return is…
  • Gamify Your Web Analytics: A Low Calorie Program For Law Firm Marketers | Part I

    Jayne Navarre
    14 Mar 2014 | 2:17 pm
    2013 will be remembered for many things but for those of us tethered to a sedentary routine—sitting in front of a computer—2013 may be remembered as the year of the “fitness tracker.” In a nutshell—or a fob, wrist band or wearable disc—high-tech fitness trackers measure everything from overall movement and exercise to diet and even sleep patterns. Fashionable or sporty, these futuristic devices can be worn on your waist, dropped in your pocket, clipped to a lapel, or strapped to your wrist or ankle. They work with smart phone apps and websites to help you set goals, then motivate…
  • Blogs Are Social Media. (Law) Bloggers Should Be More Social.

    Jayne Navarre
    16 Jan 2014 | 2:34 pm
    Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a slacker. In 2013, I added only 10 posts to my blog. But I have lots of entertaining excuses (see below). Surprising to me, despite my slacker status the traffic to my blog has remained respectable. Not surprisingly, that statistic is meaningless. I have lost a valuable connection with readers—I stopped being social. And that is all that is really important. Exactly the reason why I needed to reboot. (1) A blogger without social connection is simply a writer with a public, online article database/archive. My Perfect Storm It all began sometime in early…
  • Discovering Client Service

    Jayne Navarre
    30 Sep 2013 | 9:56 am
    Why do law firms struggle with client satisfaction? Perhaps it is because often times the work a lawyer does has such terribly high stakes—results can make or break businesses, personal lives, or financial well-being—and thus make or break client satisfaction? Or, it probably doesn’t help much that the profession’s reputation precedes them—as a whole they are known for over-priced services and low client satisfaction. (Value is in the eye of the beholder!) But law firms have tried to fix things. To satisfy clients they create new offerings, concoct unique features, switch up…
  • The College of Law Practice Management Futures Conference

    Jayne Navarre
    20 Sep 2013 | 8:07 am
    For Immediate Release The College of Law Practice Management Futures Conference Adopts a TED Talk Format Chicago, Illinois – August 19, 2013 – College of Law Practice Management conference organizers have released the agenda for the upcoming Futures Conference.  Held in Chicago at the Chicago-Kent College of Law (a co-presenter of the program) campus on October 4-5, 2013, this highly interactive conference on the future of law will feature keynote speaker Stephen Mayson, Director and Professor of Strategy, Legal Services Institute, London. Other highlighted TED legal industry…
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  • Testosterone: Mojo for Hire or in Bed with a Liar?

    Hunter West
    21 Apr 2014 | 1:46 pm
    A funny thing happened on the way to the fountain of youth: the road was littered with lotions and potions, Botox and fillers, false claims and false tits—and of course facelifts. Even vaginal rejuvenation. Everything a gal could want for trying to hold onto what nature will ultimately take away—regardless of whether a false veneer of youth is gotten and paid for, or not. But left in dust behind every woman of the desperately-clutching-to-twenty-nine set was someone who did not have such readily available magic...such opportunity: the common, and aging, man (well, Bruce Jenner and David…
  • Week Adjourned: 4.18.14 – Prime Healthcare, Wells Fargo, Compass Health

    18 Apr 2014 | 2:55 pm
    The week's top class action lawsuits and settlements. Top stories from Prime Healthcare, Wells Fargo and Compass Health.
  • Asbestos News Roundup: 4.16.14 – Asbestos and Navy Vets

    16 Apr 2014 | 1:26 pm
    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.
  • Who’s gotten that Chrysler Dodge Ram Recall Notice?

    15 Apr 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Did you ever receive one of these Chrysler Dodge Ram recalls for defective steering-system tie rods that may have been misaligned during assembly or steering-system service? Did you bring your truck in to have the part replaced? What's your experience?
  • Totally Tortelicious: Is this Man Adam Sandler’s ‘Anger Management’ Successor?

    15 Apr 2014 | 10:45 am
    Where the hell is Jack Nicholson when you need him? It's the latest edition of Totally Tortelicious and this time we're talking about profuse profanity and one perturbed plaintiff who's apparently looking for a mail order bride.
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    Internet Television Law Blog

  • News Roundup - March 2014

    31 Mar 2014 | 5:49 pm
    General blocking orders to discourage copyright infringing content allowed but ISPs can choose how to comply, rules CJEUUK copyright law changes brought before parliamentUK cops: Keep yer golden doubloons, ad folk. Yon websites belong ta PIRATES“Pirates Are The Movie Industry’s Most Valuable Customers”
  • News Roundup - February 2014

    28 Feb 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Linking to freely accessible copyrighted content without permission not an act of infringement, rules CJEUTV viewing figures show Brits prefer traditional sets over smartphonesScary UFC Copyright Propaganda Matters to EveryoneMost Europeans Download and Stream Pirated Movies Australian Government Signals Online Piracy Crackdown Nintendo Wants to Block Pirate Websites and Punish Game PiratesGoogle Refuses to Remove Links to Tarantino’s Leaked Script
  • News Roundup - January 2014

    31 Jan 2014 | 7:25 pm
    'Netflix bitch': CEO of vid-streaming site taunts HBO chief over resultsChina cuffs 60,000 pirates in 2013 crackdownGoogle, Netflix ready next weapon in net neutrality battle: The fury of millionsThe internet is 'a gift from God' says Pope FrancisA BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs toldAnti-copyright infringement measures do not prevent the sale of ‘circumvention’ devices that have significant alternative uses, says top EU courtIn Britain and especially abroad, ebooks are boomingUK Considers Throwing Persistent Internet Pirates in JailMystery as HarperCollins Hits Apple With…
  • News Roundup - December 2013

    31 Dec 2013 | 6:36 pm
    Pirate Bay Uploads Surge 50% in a Year, Despite Anti-Piracy EffortsAdvertising bodies commit to measures designed to stop placement of ads next to illegal contentUK copyright reforms to take effect in April 2014Copyright Monopoly Disintegration Inevitable As It Only Takes A Single Country
  • News Roundup - November 2013

    30 Nov 2013 | 5:07 pm's web filtering mission creep: Now it plans to block 'extremist' websitesGoogle in Dutch: Privacy changes BREAK data law, says NetherlandsLooks like Google may ask you to PAY for YouTube music - reportWhat Piracy? Removing DRM Boosts Music Sales by 10 Percent MPAA Banned From Using Piracy and Theft Terms in Hotfile Trial Court Orders Google, Microsoft & Yahoo to Make Pirate Sites DisappearLinking to infringing material may not on its own be an act of copyright infringement, says UK judgeIOC Demands 2014 Olympics Piracy Takedowns & Blocks “Within Minutes”How to…
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    Bitter Lawyer

  • Lawyer Receives Prestigious Award for Tweeting Excellence

    Gregory Luce
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:28 am
    An Alabama lawyer has received a top legal award for professional excellence because of his extensive tweeting, a bar association trade magazine reported Wednesday. Carl Malmquist, who tweets under the handle “AlaAtty4u,” provides off-color legal commentary about ERISA law and legal tech. He also live-tweets dramatic re-readings of historic U.S. Supreme Court opinions. His live-tweeting of the Toledo ERISA Law Conference earlier in the year was widely praised for its accuracy, wit, and social media vision. “We felt Mr. Malmquist really humanized all lawyers, especially ERISA lawyers,…
  • 5 Obsolete Legal Technologies that Shouldn’t Be Obsolete

    C. Hank Peters
    27 Mar 2014 | 8:36 am
    Lawyerist, which happens to be live-blogging some nerd confab in Illinois at the moment, recently admitted it doesn’t use quill pens or mimeographs anymore. More disappointingly, it came up with a somewhat blasphemous list of six legal technologies that should go the way of the Dodo bird, like the copier, fax machine, Dictaphone, and typewriter. Whatever. Except for the copier (which is too complicated for my liking), I use each one of these—and others, like the paperweight—in my practice and advise lawyers to do do the same. Why? We’ve moved far away from our…
  • Top Lawyer Ads & Stuff on Flickr

    Gregory Luce
    25 Mar 2014 | 8:52 am
    Where else can you find a multitasking lighter and beer opener than in Vegas? If Nevada lawyer and Half Price founder Adam Stokes has his way, you should see Half Price Lawyers franchises, lighters, and bottler openers not only in Vegas but also just down the street from you. Maybe you’ve already seen the billboards? As the ABA Journal earlier reported about Stokes’s discount law firm model: On any given day more than a dozen experienced lawyers, both staff and contract, help churn cases through Half Price Lawyers’ doors in a fashion Stokes proudly likens to a factory production…
  • Are Tattoos Replacing Lawyer Business Cards?

    Gregory Luce
    5 Mar 2014 | 11:42 am
    As a practical legal futurist, I’m paid a paltry sum to predict things. But I typically do better than the schleps over at legal marketing and technology blog Lawyerist, who posed this question a while back: Lawyers, Is It Time to Toss Your Business Cards? First of all, the answer is yes. Just yes—most competent lawyers already knew this. But, unlike the novitiates over at Lawyerist, it’s not because of AOL, Quora, and other more passe social media like Twitter and Bitcoiner. It’s because of a recent shift in focusing on “uber” social media, which combines…
  • Bitter Lawyer’s Quick Guide to Bitters

    The Boozy Beggar
    27 Feb 2014 | 6:14 am
    Once upon a time, to ask for a cocktail meant to ask for a spirit of your choice, mixed with water, sugar, and bitters. All three worked to balance and enhance the spirit lying underneath, awakening and taming it’s flavor, showing off it’s strengths, hiding its weaknesses. Now we just call this an Old-Fashioned, as in the old way of making cocktails, but bitters still play an essential role. Too sweet, too boozy, too bitter, too dry, and no one wants a second—or to finish the glass. Bitters are a main component in finding the balance. Their use slowly faded away until finally it…
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    Rochester Bankruptcy and Debt Relief

  • 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…
  • Fraudulent Conveyances and Bankruptcy

    26 Oct 2013 | 8:02 pm
    One of the issues that represents a significant problems for bankruptcy attorneys is that of fraudulent conveyances.  Generally, a fraudulent conveyance is a transfer of money or property from a debtor to someone or something else when either (1) the debtor intends to defraud creditors, or (2) the debtor received less than a reasonably equivalent value in exchange for the transfer, and made it while insolvent. For example, if a husband transfers his house out of his name to the wife so his creditors wouldn’t get it, the transfer is a fraudulent conveyance. Such transfers can create quite a…
  • Homestead Exemption and Multi-Family Residences in New York

    2 Sep 2013 | 6:59 pm
    Once in a while, I represent debtors who own a multi-family properties. In the past, the local Rochester rule has been to allocate the homestead exemption solely to the portion of the property that is used as the debtor’s residence. However, in In re McCarthy; W.D.N.Y. Bk #11-31499, Syracuse Bankruptcy Court Judge Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz has ruled that a bankruptcy debtor can claim a homestead exemption in Chapter 7 bankruptcy on an entire parcel or residential property, even if the debtor only resides in part of the property. In McCarthy, the debtor owned property containing a two…
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    The Jury Room

  • How can I convince them this wasn’t racist? Just keep talking…

    Douglas Keene
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:02 am
    We just can’t keep up with all the research on racism. So today, instead of a single article, we’re going to cite 3 of them! They are all disturbing examples that racism is alive, well, and measurable.  Was s/he a good professor? We’ve all sat through disorganized and incoherent lectures at some point in our lives but students now often look at websites akin to to raise their chances of identifying good instructors. According to new research, however, when you look at a site like that, “the very best instructors were more likely to be White, whereas the very…
  • What do wrongful termination and sexual abuse by a priest have in common?

    Rita Handrich
    21 Apr 2014 | 4:02 am
    We can’t think of a single thing. Except last week we were listening to mock jurors hearing a wrongful termination case and their comments sounded very familiar. It was odd. It wasn’t another employment case that was ringing the memory bell for us. It wasn’t even a contract case. Instead it was pretrial research on allegations of sexual abuse by a priest (who had been convicted and sentenced for the sexual abuse of children). The mock juror comments from these two cases were almost interchangeable. And it was all about fraudulent claims.  Jurors in the earlier sex abuse research…
  • Hey, trial lawyers! The FDA is watching you!

    Douglas Keene
    18 Apr 2014 | 4:02 am
    And they want you to stop abusing their Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). We’ve worked a number of cases recently where FDA warnings were used as evidence at trial and were very interested to see this article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. And the answer to the skeptic’s question is “no”. No, we don’t accept that a medical journal, clearly an outlet for industry points of view, is blind to their own interests. The author uses the example of the drug, Isotretinoin (also known as Accutane). The FDA and Hoffman La Roche issued warnings of a “possible causal…
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    Karl Bayer's Disputing Blog

  • Fifth Circuit Refuses to Reconsider D.R. Horton v. NLRB Decision

    Beth Graham
    21 Apr 2014 | 5:39 am
    Last Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit refused to reconsider its December opinion in which the court stated a mandatory arbitration agreement that bars a group of employees from engaging in class arbitration does not violate federal labor law.  In D.R. Horton v. NLRB, No. 12-60031 (5th Cir. Dec. 3, 2013), a divided appeals court reversed the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision that the compulsory agreement violated the workers’ right to collective action.  Instead, the Fifth Circuit held that class arbitration “is not a substantive…
  • Contractual Waivers of Investment Arbitration: Wa(I)ve of the Future?

    Beth Graham
    19 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Professor S.I. Strong, Associate Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law has published Contractual Waivers of Investment Arbitration: Wa(I)ve of the Future?, 29 ICSID Review-Foreign Investment Law Journal 2014, Forthcoming; University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-13.  In her article, Professor Strong analyzes whether a contractual waiver of investment arbitration may be enforceable. Here is the abstract: In late 2013, the Republic of Colombia made legal headlines by including a contractual waiver of investment arbitration in a draft concession…
  • Online Dispute Resolution: An Amorphous Concept, Yet An Effective Tool Part V

    Renee Kolar
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
     Online Dispute Resolution: An Amorphous Concept, Yet An Effective Tool Part V  Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV By: Burkley Wombwell V. Pros and Cons of ODR; Current Issues and Perspectives The rise of Online Dispute Resolution has lead to some debate over its effectiveness and the benefits of its use. According to some scholars, computer-mediated communication (CMC), which is inextricably linked with ODR, facilitates the interaction process through the use of computers; however, with e-negotiation, for example, it is also believed that [CMC] can undercut the effectiveness of…
  • Online Dispute Resolution: An Amorphous Concept, Yet An Effective Tool Part IV

    Renee Kolar
    15 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    Online Dispute Resolution: An Amorphous Concept, Yet An Effective Tool Part IV Part I | Part II | Part III | Part V By: Burkley Wombwell IV. ODR in the International Context While ODR has its roots in North America,[1] the process is taking off internationally. Scholars have written articles on the expansion of ODR in Europe, Australia, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.[2] A big draw for ODR is its ability to solve disputes despite vast geographical distances, making it a prime candidate for the resolution of international disputes. Much of the focus devoted to ODR by providers has been on…
  • Online Dispute Resolution: An Amorphous Concept, Yet An Effective Tool Part III

    Renee Kolar
    14 Apr 2014 | 5:30 am
    Online Dispute Resolution: An Amorphous Concept, Yet An Effective Tool Part III  Part I | Part II | Part IV | Part V By: Burkley Wombwell III. Providers of Online Dispute Resolution Online Dispute Resolution, naturally, exists online. Attempting a general Internet search for ODR providers will provide a potentially overwhelming amount of results. Currently, over 60 academically recognized ORD providers exist.[1] Fair consideration cannot be given to each provider of online dispute resolution, but an examination of a few examples reveals how the process operates. Major Arbitration Providers…
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    South Florida Lawyers

  • It's About Time for a Good 11th Circuit Forum Non Opinion!

    South Florida Lawyers
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:05 pm
    This one involves Judge Zloch, the beautiful country of Belize, the newly important significance of a forum-selection clause in conducting a forum non analysis, and sadly -- so sadly -- does not in any way involve Venetian Salami even tangentially:Thus, a district court now must consider an enforceable forum-selection clause in the forum non conveniens analysis. A binding forum-selection clause requires the court to find that the forum non conveniens private factors entirely favor the selected forum. . . .In this case, the district court dismissed for forum non conveniens without addressing…
  • Gay Marriage Paradise

    22 Apr 2014 | 12:05 pm
    I haven't written on the subject lately and that isn't because there is nothing going on, rather just the opposite. When the walls fall down it seems they come crashing all at once. For example:There is this wonderful step father.  The lawyer who defended California’s ban on gay marriage in front of theSupreme Court is now helping his daughter plan her wedding to another woman. Attorney Charles Cooper said that he found out that his stepdaughter is gay while handling the case for Last year, he argued before the Supreme Court to that gay unions could…
  • Should Bar Focus on Black/Hispanic Judicial Disparity?

    South Florida Lawyers
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:02 am
    Kudos to our new Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis, who has decided to make this a focus of his Presidency:The Florida Bar Association says there are only 26 blacks and 58 Hispanics among the state’s 594 circuit court judges. Of the 319 county court judges, only 32 are blacks and 26 are Hispanics. Also, only six blacks are currently among the 61 judges on the five district courts of appeal, along with only two Hispanics.  Such statistics have led Eugene Pettis, the Florida Bar’s first black leader, to establish the President’s Task Force to Study the Enhancement of Diversity on…
  • seX-Men

    19 Apr 2014 | 6:43 am
    What is going on with Bryan Singer?As X-Men director Bryan Singer is gearing up for his defense case, which he will have to make in court and in the media, the sexual abuse allegations against him have sent the Days of Future Past marketing campaign into a tailspin. 20th Century Fox and ABC are scrambling to save the promotional campaigns for several of the director/producer’s projects. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Singer has already cancelled an appearance at a comic book convention this weekend, where he was supposed to promote Days of Future Past and an MPAA-sponsored conference…
  • SFL Friday: Peace to All.

    Guest Blogger
    18 Apr 2014 | 8:05 am
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    eLessons Learned

  • Defendant’s Shortcomings in Discovery Result in Sanctions

    31 Mar 2014 | 8:00 am
    The plaintiff, Tony B. Clay, brought claims for employment discrimination and retaliation based on race under Title VII against Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company (“Consol”). The electronically stored information (ESI) in question are emails that specifically mentioned Clay. These emails discussed his employment, termination, and the allegedly racist remarks made about Clay, which are at the [...]
  • Court Hesitant to Impose Discovery Sanctions Despite Defendant’s Delay and Non-Compliance With Court Order

    28 Mar 2014 | 8:00 am
    If I told you that your company delayed for nearly seven months to produce electronic documents critical to a pending lawsuit, you would think the judge presiding over your case may be a bit perturbed, right? What if I also told you that you promised the judge you would rectify the situation by producing the [...]
  • Cop Out? Government Can’t Withhold Metadata of a Police Report When it Relates to the Prior Conduct of an Arresting Officer in a Criminal Case

    26 Mar 2014 | 8:00 am
    Arresting officers that have a history of alleged misconduct (e.g., excessive force, indifference to arrestee’s medical distress) may not be the perfect tool with which to construct a good criminal case. This is particularly true if a significant part of the case Another sagging going away containers propecia 1 mg the notoriously… not whose [...]
  • Want ESI? Be specific.

    14 Mar 2014 | 8:00 am
    A meaty battle: American Home Insurance and Cargill Meat Solutions (“Cargill”) sued Greater Omaha Packing (GOPAC) for allegedly selling contaminated beef—a dispute that quickly turned into a discovery royale. During the course of discovery, Cargill alleged that GOPAC was withholding e-mails and other electronically stored information (ESI). Despite such allegations, Cargill did not specify which [...]
  • No Sanctions for Spoliation?

    12 Mar 2014 | 8:00 am
    For all of you bosses, managers, or CEOs out there: Are you thinking about firing that one employee? You know, the one that is always late, slacks on his work, and makes mistake after mistake? You may think that cutting him loose means he is out of your life forever. Well, guess again. In a [...]
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    Lawyer Advertising & Attorney Marketing

  • In the Cloud Sync Storage 20GB and more free

    Philip Franckel, Esq.
    10 Apr 2014 | 7:42 pm
    I was using Dropbox for my law office, but I just found this company (like Dropbox) which has a limited time offer for a free account with 15 GB of storage in the cloud which can sync with all of your computers, tablets and smartphones. If you sign up using the link below, download the […] The post In the 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
    Video marketing is very different than a TV commercial.  A TV commercial is usually a 10, 15 or 30 second advertising spot while video marketing is a longer video commonly used for marketing on a website and social networks like Youtube, Facebook and Linkedin. Videos made for marketing have entirely different goals, messages and lengths. […] 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.
  • Will lawyers soon stream advertising into your head?

    Philip Franckel, Esq.
    4 Jul 2013 | 6:12 pm
    Will lawyers soon stream advertising into your head?  It’s now possible. Sky Deutschland developed technology for advertising which was previously designed for the military called bone conduction.  Bone conduction transmits sound to the inner ear through the bones of the skull by converting electrical signals to vibration. Often seen in movies worn by military special […] The post Will lawyers soon stream advertising into your head? appeared first on Lawyer Advertising & Attorney Marketing.
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    RainmakerLawyer Blog

  • Wow. That Was Fast.

    Dave Lorenzo
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:28 am
    “Are you serious about taking control of your future?” This was the question being posed to me by the guy across the table. “Yes” I answered timidly. “Then you need to learn how to get tings done quickly.  It doesn’t matter if you feel comfortable or not, the person who makes things happen is always going to be successful.  Even if you are wrong and you make a big mistake, if you act quickly, most of the time you can correct a mistake before it does damage.” He continued: “When people see you take an idea and turn it into to a money-making business, you want them to stop…
  • Rainmaker Lawyer is Now A Registered Trademark

    Dave Lorenzo
    30 Jan 2014 | 8:20 am
    It is with pride that I announce the registration of Rainmaker Lawyer as a Trademark on the Principal Register with the United States of America. Continue Reading...
  • Thankful for Second Chances

    Dave Lorenzo
    27 Nov 2013 | 2:11 am
    I use this forum to discuss things that can help you make a great living and live a great life ®. Typically these things involve business and leadership strategy and/or a marketing tactic. This is not one of those occasions. A few times each year, like the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States or a date that has importance only to me, I express the emotion I feel. I do this because we have that kind of relationship. This is typically a time of year when we express gratitude. We take stock of the blessings we have received and we pause and reflect. We acknowledge the…
  • May I Speak to You?

    Dave Lorenzo
    20 Nov 2013 | 6:57 am
    As you probably know, I spend a good deal of time giving talks to audiences of lawyers all over the United States. Typically, the organizer of the event pays me to speak and pays my travel expenses. During the first half of 2014, I’m offering you the opportunity to invite me to speak to your group of lawyers without investing a dime. You read that correctly. I will conduct an education session for your group of lawyers, bar association or large law firm, at no expense to you. I am partnering with a sponsor who will cover my fee, my travel and all the materials included with my education…
  • Four Minute Fixation 11: A Letter A Day Helps Lawyers Get Clients

    Dave Lorenzo
    15 Nov 2013 | 3:03 am
    If you’re interested in investing four minutes in a great legal marketing idea, this is the article and video for you. Traditional mail (sometimes called snail mail) is highly effective in attracting clients. Yes. You read that correctly. The postal service can actually help you get new clients for your law firm. Follow this two step process and you will develop relationships with direct mail. Step one: Research the Targets Identify one target for each day of the upcoming month. That target can be a prospective client, a potential referral source or a former client. Note: When considering…
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    Compliance Building

  • Cleaning Up An Oil Spill Is Insider Trading

    Doug Cornelius
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:00 pm
    Keith A. Seilhan was 20-year employee of BP and a senior responder during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Seilhan directed BP’s oil skimming operations and its efforts to contain the expansion of the oil spill. What he saw scared him so he sold his entire portfolio of BP stock. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged him with insider trading. The SEC’s view was that he had confidential information about the magnitude of the disaster. BP was telling the public that the spill was only 5,000 barrels of oil per day. Seilhan obtained information that the magnitude of the oil…
  • Happy Patriots’ Day

    Doug Cornelius
    21 Apr 2014 | 5:11 am
    The Redcoats are coming! The Redcoats are coming! Patriots’ Day is a Massachusetts state holiday commemorating the opening battles of the American Revolutionary War in Lexington and Concord in April, 1775.  The more modern day event is the running of the Boston Marathon, starting in Hopkinton and ending 26.2 miles later in Copley Square. Last year’s marathon was horribly marred by two homicidal psychopaths. This marathon is being taken back this year. In the morning there is a battle reenactment on the Lexington Green of the early-morning engagement between the town’s militia and…
  • Compliance Bricks and Mortar for April 18

    Doug Cornelius
    18 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    These are some of the compliance-related stories that recently caught my attention. Quantity does not equal quality: Expanding ‘disclosure events’ on BrokerCheck a bad idea: Brokerage industry is only one in which professionals as deemed guilty until proven innocent by S. Lawrence Polk in Investment News Under the current version of Form U4, brokers and their firms are required to disclose any written customer complaint, no matter how frivolous, as long as it somehow relates to a sales practice issue, even if the broker is not named in the complaint. The broker that is the subject…
  • Best Practices Under the FCPA and Bribery Act

    Doug Cornelius
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Tom Fox is prolific writer on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He publishes the excellent FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog. One of the downsides to a blog is that it’s a running commentary and not a narrative guide. Blogs are great for sharing ideas among practitioners. But a blog does not come together as a nuts and bolts tool. Tom took action and organized some of his best posts into Best Practices Under the FCPA and Bribery Act. Now you can pull a comprehensive collection off your shelf to help you create and manage a world class compliance program for bribery and corruption. The…
  • The SEC Expresses Its Displeasure on Fund Fees

    Doug Cornelius
    16 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    A few days ago, Bloomberg published a story that the Securities and Exchange Commission has examined about 400 private equity firms and found that more than half charged “unjustified fees and expenses without notifying investors”. The SEC followed through with that story and recently charged Total Wealth Management with improperly disclosing fee revenue. Total Wealth sponsored a series of private funds that invested in other funds. Total Wealth had revenue sharing arrangements in place with several of the funds in which it invested, paying Total Wealth a fee when it placed client…
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    Simmons Firm

  • Faces of Mesothelioma: LaTanyta Manuel’s Story

    John Simmons
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    “They did a lot of testing and they did a biopsy – they found out it was mesothelioma.” One afternoon, LaTanyta Manuel’s husband Andrew became ill. LaTanyta arrived home to find Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at her home tending to her husband. Soon after, doctors performed tests and officially diagnosed Andrew with pleural mesothelioma. It was 2002. Exposure to Asbestos Andrew Manuel was first exposed to asbestos as a child living in New Orleans. His father worked as a pipeline distributor and Andrew would often play on the pipes with his brother. The two boys would also play with…
  • What to Know about Well Water Contamination This Spring

    Jo Anna Pollock
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:45 am
    The Department of Natural Resources is warning owners of private wells to be aware of the potential for water contamination this spring. As warmer weather hits and snow melts, clean drinking water can become a concern. When the ground is still frozen, water that may contain pollutants cannot penetrate the soil, causing it to flow over wells. Record snowfalls in many states across the country have increased this risk of water contamination among private wells. Low lying areas or areas with lower wells are especially at risk. “If water should come up over the top of the well, then you get…
  • Global Asbestos Awareness Week Begins Today

    Simmons Firm
    1 Apr 2014 | 12:33 pm
    Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution designating April 1-7, 2014 as Global Asbestos Awareness Week. This week is an opportunity to spread awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure and educate the public that asbestos, a recognized human carcinogen by multiple health agencies, has not been fully banned in the United States. Linda Reinstein, President of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, kicked off the week by sharing her own story and an info graphic that details the history of asbestos in the United States. In 2003, Linda’s husband Alan was diagnosed with…
  • Simmons Firm Investigates Legal Rights of Car Owners Impacted by GM Recall

    Derek Y. Brandt
    31 Mar 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Illinois and Missouri residents who have owned or leased one of the vehicles related to the recall of General Motor cars with ignition problems may be able to hold the automaker accountable for their defective vehicles. The Simmons Firm is currently investigating the legal rights of consumers who have been impacted by the GM recall. In February and March, GM issued three recalls, the most recent on March 28, for a combined 2.6 million vehicles with possible ignition switch defects. Specifically, the faulty ignition switches slipped from the “run” to “accessory” position while the…
  • Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: March 2014

    Jack R. Daugherty
    31 Mar 2014 | 6:00 am
    At the Simmons Firm, our mesothelioma lawyers are committed to providing you with 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 throughout the United States and the world. Novel Cancer Vaccine Holds Promise Against Certain Cancers Including Mesothelioma Researchers are looking to a new approach to cancer immunotherapy for a new and cost-effective weapon against some of the most deadly tumors, including ovarian cancer, mesothelioma and…
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    Texas Wills and Trusts Law Online

  • The Importance of Estate Planning in Non-Traditional Families

    Rania Combs
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    I got a heartbreaking call this week from a woman whose fiancé had recently died. They had been a couple for many years, and were the parents of an infant son, but they had never gotten around to getting married. Her fiancé had a well-paying job with benefits, and was the sole income earner in the family.  However, he didn’t have a Will. Although he had an insurance policy, retirement account, and savings account, the insurance was purchased and accounts opened years before he was engaged, and he never got around to naming his fiancé as his beneficiary. So when he died suddenly and…
  • The Cost of a Do-It-Yourself Will

    Rania Combs
    9 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    I have written before about the risks of do-it-yourself estate planning and explained how people who use do-it-yourself solutions end up with a false sense of security. They create documents that they believe will address their needs but wind up being ineffective and ultimately more costly than what an attorney would have charged to draft a simple Will. Unfortunately, people who use do-it-yourself solutions are unlikely to discover their mistakes because the mistakes will not become evident until after they die. And the people left to deal with the mistakes are usually the people the…
  • What Is An Estate?

    Rania Combs
    26 Mar 2014 | 7:30 am
    Many years ago, a neighbor’s teenaged daughter asked me what type of law I practiced. When I told her I focused on estate planning, she looked at me bewildered. “You mean, like mansions?” she asked. It was clear she was envisioning something like the image above. She’s not the only one confused. I got an email last week from someone inquiring about a Will. She listed all her assets, which included vehicles, bank accounts, and retirement accounts and added that “the only estate…is a very small lot” which was deeded to her. Lawyers use the term “estate planning” assuming that…
  • What is a Lady Bird Deed?

    Rania Combs
    17 Mar 2014 | 7:00 am
    A “Lady Bird Deed” is another name for an enhanced life estate deed, which allows a property owner to transfer property at death without the necessity of probate. It is nicknamed “Lady Bird” because many people think that President Lyndon B. Johnson conveyed some land to his wife using this type of deed, although there is no evidence that actually happened. How Does It Work? An enhanced life estate deed allows a property owner to transfer a remainder interest in a home to the ultimate beneficiaries, but reserve a life estate (a right to occupy and use the property…
  • What To Do When Someone Dies In Texas

    Rania Combs
    5 Mar 2014 | 6:00 am
    I get phone calls and emails each week from people who are grieving the death of a family member. They’re often confused and overwhelmed about what to do next. The Texas Young Lawyers Association has an informative guide about probate, which answers many questions about just that. The first section of the guide explains the importance of estate planning and the disadvantages of dying without a Will. The second section deals with probate and discusses: What to do after someone has passed away; How property is divided if there is no Will; What probate is and the situations when it is…
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    A Connecticut Law Blog

  • 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…
  • Buying or selling a home in Connecticut? Three Things You Need To Know.

    Ryan McKeen
    26 Mar 2014 | 9:35 am
    In many cases, a brief conversation with a client prior to signing a real estate contract can prevent problems. At the very least, attorney review of a contract provides a client with a clear understanding of the terms and conditions. Click here to view the embedded video. Contact Attorney Ryan McKeen at McKeen Law Firm or (860) 560-8163. We review contracts with clients within 24 hours. We work weekends. You can read more about our Connecticut Real Estate Law Practice.
  • How Many Years For Adverse Possession In CT?

    Ryan McKeen
    24 Mar 2014 | 10:12 am
    Connecticut recognizes tacking. If you believe you have a claim for adverse possession in Connecticut please contact Attorney Ryan McKeen at (860) 560-8163 or for a free consultation.
  • How Much Is Connecticut’s Divorce Filing Fee?

    Ryan McKeen
    23 Mar 2014 | 3:58 pm
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    Associate's Mind

  • What Do Firms Look For When Hiring New Lawyers?

    Keith Lee
    21 Apr 2014 | 1:55 pm
    This morning I saw on the Legal Skills Prof Blog that a new paper was released on SSRN by Professor Neil W. Hamilton entitled Changing Markets Create Opportunities: Emphasizing the Competencies Legal Employers Use in Hiring New Lawyers (Including Professional Formation/Professionalism). I thought it sounded interesting and gave it a read.From the abstract: To guide legal educators and law students in responding to challenging markets both for entry-level employment and for applications to law schools, this article analyzes empirical research on the competencies that legal employers, the…
  • The Great Conversation: Battle/Debate(Life) Strategy–Adaptability

    David L. Smith
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:06 am
    In the long period since my last post, I’ve thought a lot about the applicability of recounting these battles to you all. I first entitled this series “…Battle/Debate Strategy” because I thought the “Debate” part would appeal to you lawyer-types. But the truth is that a working knowledge of these crucial historical moments informs the knower and equips him/her for a much broader spectrum of challenges than debate. In my life, when I encounter a problem that I don’t know how to approach (much less solve), appealing to the small bit of wisdom gained…
  • Site News: Miscellaneous Edition

    Keith Lee
    11 Apr 2014 | 12:46 pm
    Friday, end of the week, time to relax! Or just continue working over the weekend (which is what I’ll be doing for part of it). Anyway, a few odds and ends that I wanted to mention. Above The Law Column FYI, any writing that I do on Fridays is almost always going to appear in my column over at Above The Law. So if you absolutely want to read every single thing I write, you should look over there on Friday afternoons. Here is a link to today’s column. Travel I’ll be in Colorado Springs, CO to participate in the IAALS/Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers’ Foundations For…
  • Book Review: Maritime Letters Of Indeminity

    Alan Duke
    10 Apr 2014 | 9:26 am
    In all honesty, Maritime Letters of Indemnity is not the title of a book I would normally consider reading. I am glad, however, that I was able to have the opportunity to read this book. I preface my review on the fact that I am not well versed in maritime law. While this title has certainly expanded my knowledge level, I can affirmatively say that I have no interest in making the move to the maritime practice area.  But If I did, I would buy this book for future reference. If you practice within the realm of international maritime, and specifically for those who routinely provide…
  • Book Review: Point Made 2nd Edition

    Keith Lee
    9 Apr 2014 | 11:14 am
    I’m always looking for ways to improve my own writing – legal or otherwise. I think my writing is pretty good (I was number one in legal writing in my class for what it’s worth), but I know I have a long way to go to get it to “great.” Therefore I follow a number of legal (and non-legal) writing blogs look for advice, tips, and deconstruction of good writing. I also regularly consume books on legal writing and general guides on how to become a better lawyer. As such, I was quite pleased when I received a review copy of Ross Guberman’s Point Made: How to Write Like the…
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    Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices

  • 2014 – Statins raise risk for diabetes by 9% to 43%

    Jared Fink
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:35 pm
    In 2014, an article published by Kwok Leung Ong et al. titled “Cardiovascular drugs that increase the risk of new-onset diabetes” in Curriculum in Cardiology aimed to further elucidate the connection between statin drugs and new-onset diabetes.  Statin drugs are a popular type of cholesterol-lowering medications including Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, and many others.  Other classes of cholesterol-lowering medications include “niacin, thiazide diuretics, and ß-blockers,” all of which, including statins, have been found to increase the risk for developing diabetes by “9% to 43%”. The…
  • 2011 – Lipitor, other statins linked to increased risk for diabetes

    Jared Fink
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:32 pm
    Published in a 2011 edition of Atherosclerosis, a study titled “Differential metabolic effects of distinct statins.” by K.K. Koh et al. aimed to determine how statin drugs affect the body.  Statins are a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs including Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, and others. These researchers write “Reciprocal relationships between endothelial dysfunction and insulin resistance suggest that therapies improving endothelial dysfunction will simultaneously improve insulin sensitivity and other metabolic parameters. However, previous studies with some statins either did not…
  • 2010 – Four times as many adverse cardiac events in AndroGel users vs. placebo

    Jared Fink
    11 Apr 2014 | 12:40 pm
    In 2010, a study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine titled “Adverse events associated with testosterone administration.” by S. Basaria and a team of researchers, aiming to further clarify adverse events associated with testosterone therapy.  Currently, testosterone therapy is provided in the treatment of “Low-T” and other ailments, many in the medical field believe that testosterone is overprescribed.  Further, studies have shown that testosterone is associated with an increased risk for cardiac arrest, stroke, and death, especially in older men. Studying a group…
  • 2013 – Independent studies show two-fold increased risk for adverse cardiac events with testosterone therapy

    Jared Fink
    11 Apr 2014 | 12:37 pm
    In the April, 2013 edition of BMC Medicine, L. Xu et al. published the results of a study titled “Testosterone therapy and cardiovascular events among men: a systematic review and meta-analysis of placebo-controlled randomized trials.”.  This study sought to assess the relative safety of testosterone therapy with respect to adverse cardiac events.  The research team writes “Testosterone therapy is increasingly promoted” and notes “No randomized placebo-controlled trial has been implemented to assess the effect of testosterone therapy on cardiovascular events, although very high…
  • Proposed Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Manufacturer & Distributor of OxyElite Pro

    Brittany Deane
    9 Apr 2014 | 10:36 am
    A man by the name of Sandeep Barot has filed a proposed consumer protection class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer and distributor of dietary supplements that allegedly cause liver damage. See Barot v. USPLabs LLC et al., No. 1:14-cv-00562, complaint filed (D.N.J. Feb. 3, 2014). The defendant companies are USPLabs, LLC (“USPLabs”) and General Nutrition Center Holdings Inc. (“GNC”). USPLabs sells a variety of energy and weight loss dietary supplements under the brand name of OxyElite Pro through GNC. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New…
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  • The Best And The Worst Onscreen Cross Examinations

    Lisa Needham
    22 Apr 2014 | 8:56 pm
    All lawyers groan knowingly and nod sagely at the TV while watching courtroom dramas because we know there will always going to be something ridiculous. No witness will spontaneously confess. No judge will look kindly on you if you come up with last-minute evidence.However, we won’t be deterred from watching by something as minor as histrionics and absurdity. And, to be fair, television and movie courtroom escapades have often favorably shaped the ways other people think of our profession. Certainly your friends and neighbors think you lead a much more dramatic life than you actually…
  • NeatConnect Cloud Scanner Review

    Sam Glover
    21 Apr 2014 | 2:40 pm
    The NeatConnect “cloud scanner” from Neat is built for the “post-PC era.” In other words, you don’t even need a PC to use the NeatConnect — though it works just fine if you do have one.Over the years, we have heaped accolades on Fujitsu’s excellent line of ScanSnap document scanners. And they deserve every bit of it. But none of the ScanSnaps have enabled users to cut the cord and go all-cloud, all the time. That’s the promise, at least, of the NeatConnect.What is a “Cloud Scanner?”Neat calls the NeatConnect a “cloud…
  • Why Capping Hourly Fees is Usually a Bad Idea

    Sam Glover
    19 Apr 2014 | 2:06 pm
    As flat fees become more popular, one of the ways lawyers often “try out” flat fees is by offering to cap their hourly fees. For example, a lawyer might offer to bill $200 per hour for a small lawsuit, but no more than $10,000, total. This is a rookie mistake. If the lawyer bills 50 or fewer hours, he will merely be paid for his work the same as if there were no cap on fees. But if he bills more than 50 hours, he gets the short end of the stick.Contrast this with a true flat fee where the lawyer charges $10,000 whether she spends 10, 50 or 100 hours on the representation. If she…
  • Passwords: a User Guide for Lawyers and Law Firms

    18 Apr 2014 | 9:34 am
    Passwords are often the weak link in data security. You can build the most secure system in the world, but as soon as someone sets their password to 12345, you might as well leave the front door open.Good passwords are essential to data security, and this article has everything you need to know about creating and keeping track of good passwords.IndexWhy Are Password Important?What Makes a Good PasswordExtra SecurityScramble Your UsernameMulti-Factor AuthenticationBiometricsPassword ManagersThe Future of AuthenticationWhy Are Password Important?First, why are good passwords important? In 2013,…
  • Dropbox for Lawyers and Law Firms: the User Guide

    15 Apr 2014 | 8:22 pm
    Dropbox is popular with lawyers. According to the ABA’s most-recent technology survey, 58% of lawyers use Dropbox, making it the most popular online file storage option among lawyers. Here is everything you need to know about Dropbox, from how to install it to securing your client files.IndexInstalling DropboxFeatures, Add-Ons, and PricingSyncing, File Versions, and PackratSharingCamera UploadExtra StorageBusiness PlansUsing DropboxSecurityTerms of ServiceWho Should Use DropboxInstalling DropboxInstalling Dropbox on your computer is simple and easy. Just download the installer to your…
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    New York Personal Injury Law Blog

  • Shooting the Messenger (I’ve Been Sued Again)

    Eric Turkewitz
    21 Apr 2014 | 4:07 am
    Michael J. Katz Last year a judge eviscerated an orthopedic expert in open court for being a liar. A legal blogger reported it. And now that expert has taken his wrath out on the blogger by suing him for defamation. And it turns out that I’m the blogger that reported it, and last week suit was filed against me to the tune of $40 million. This is the story. You remember Dr. Michael Katz, don’t you? He’s the defense expert I wrote about last year that was subjected to the deeply lacerating comments of Justice Duane Hart, who called him a liar from the bench. And when I say he…
  • Passover and the Boston Marathon Bombing

    Eric Turkewitz
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:38 am
    Exterior, Kings County Supreme Court (Brooklyn) — Photo credit, me. Once again, a confluence of two seemingly unrelated events. On the one hand, today is the first day of Passover. On the other, it is the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Passover celebrates breaking away from tyranny and bondage and the establishment of freedom and the rule of law. While celebrated by Jews, we recognize its universal symbolism. So too do others, as we see the Ten Commandments displayed in courthouses around the country as an example of one of the first descriptions of written law.
  • A $9 Billion Punitive Damages Verdict in Actos Drug Trial (How much is too much?)

    Eric Turkewitz
    9 Apr 2014 | 12:33 pm
    We once again see a whopping punitive damages verdict and need to discuss: Just how much is too much? For the reasons that follow, I think that a ratio of punitive:compensatory damages of 100:1 or greater are sustainable based on current opinions from the Supreme Court. At issue for the moment is a $9 Billion punitive damage award against Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical and Eli Lilly this week. The case concerned the diabetes drug Actos, and the manufacturer’s failure to warn that it increases the chances of bladder cancer. There was also a $1.5M compensatory damage award. The…
  • New York Central Mutual Slammed in Bad Faith (And What it means for you)

    Eric Turkewitz
    8 Apr 2014 | 3:56 am
    Helene Blank Her name is Helene Blank and she last appeared on this page ripping into the City’s Corporation Counsel for his incredible hypocrisy in calling our courts inefficient. She isn’t just a top trial lawyer here in New York, and a frequent lecturer to others. No, she is also something else. She’s pissed. Again. And she’s got a damn good reason…so without further ado, Helene Blank as guest blogger… ——– It’s a tale of corporate greed, in all its ugly manifestations, which starts with grave human suffering. And thanks to a federal…
  • Ribbeck Law Bench Slapped Over Malaysian Aircraft Disappearance; Threatened with Sanctions

    Eric Turkewitz
    1 Apr 2014 | 7:56 am
    Chicago based Ribbeck Law was sharply bench slapped yesterday and threatened with sanctions by Cook County Judge Kathy Flanagan over the motion it filed regarding missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. The motion had allegedly been made to identify parties to a potential lawsuit that it intends to file in the United States. Noting that similar Ribbeck motions had been rejected previously regarding air crashes in San Francisco and Laos, Judge Flanagan was not kind to Ribbeck. Via the Chicago Tribune: “Despite these orders, the same law firm has proceeded, yet again, with the filing of the…
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    The Probate Lawyer Blog: Famous Fortune Fights!

  • Mickey Rooney's Estate Finds Peace, But Will It Last?

    Andrew & Danielle Mayoras
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:56 am
    A mere five days after the Hollywood acting legend passed away in his sleep at the age of 93, the family of Mickey Rooney was set to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom to fight over where he should be buried. Just hours before the court hearing, the estate reached a settlement — hopefully putting an end to the troubling feud that surrounded Rooney’s family the last few years.  On one hand, Rooney’s family fight should not be viewed as surprising. What else would be expected when a Hollywood icon dies with a new will disinheriting all nine of his children (from eight different…
  • Whitney Houston's Family Is Fighting - Is Estate Money To Blame?

    Andrew & Danielle Mayoras
    2 Apr 2014 | 12:03 pm
    Whitney Houston’s family has been through its share of disagreements since the pop diva passed away on February 11, 2012.  Early on, there was trouble at the funeral, sparking concerns of a feud with Bobby Brown.  Recently, however, the trouble has centered around Nick Gordon.  Gordon was raised and treated like a son by Whitney Houston, from the time he was 12 years old. Rather than looking at Whitney Houston's Daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, as a sister, Gordon (now age 24) and Bobbi Kristina (who just turned 21) have recently gotten married.  The tabloids are having fun with that…
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman's Will Highlights Four Planning Pitfalls

    Andrew & Danielle Mayoras
    5 Mar 2014 | 12:20 pm
    Oscar-winning actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, died on February 2nd from a drug overdose.  Recently, his long-time girlfriend and mother of his three children, Marianne O’Donnell, filed to open Philip Seymour Hoffman’s estate and to probate his will.  While there are many lessons that can be drawn from his will, there are four main estate planning pitfalls that serve as important lessons:   1.  Philip Seymour Hoffman Should Have Created A Revocable Living Trust. The reason that Hoffman’s will is public and available for anyone to read (you can click here to read it for yourself), is…
  • Oscar Winners Teach Five Lessons On Estate Planning

    Andrew & Danielle Mayoras
    5 Mar 2014 | 12:12 pm
    The 2014 Oscars are complete.  Trial & Heirs looks back at past Oscar winners like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, Heath Ledger, Frank Sinatra, and Marlon Brando.  Their estates illustrate important estate planning lessons that everyone can benefit from — even those who aren’t walking the red carpet at the Oscars.   1. Philip Seymour Hoffman Estate Planning Lesson:  You Can Be Creative With Your Will or Trust There were many mistakes and pitfalls with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s estate (including no estate tax planning and his failure to use a revocable living trust,…
  • Five Estate Planning Lessons From The Paul Walker Estate

    Andrew & Danielle Mayoras
    12 Feb 2014 | 8:14 am
    Paul William Walker IV was the star of the Fast & Furious movies, until his unfortunate -- and ironic -- death in a high-speed car accident on November 30, 2013.  The car, in which Walker was a passenger, was found to have been doing at least 100 mph.  Walker was 40 years old when he died, survived by his parents and his 15-year old daughter, Meadow Rain Walker.  Recently, Paul Walker's father filed to open the estate, including Walker's Last Will and Testament, which you can read here: Read Paul Walker's Will.  It sheds some interesting information about the Paul Walker Estate and…
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  • And the Judge yelled, yelled, yelled, yelled until she died in prison

    22 Apr 2014 | 7:44 am
    As I’ve said time and time again, you’d better hope that the judge doesn’t fillet pike and muskie with the same type of knife you used to kill someone. Click here for the video. Sorry, can’t embed it. If you find yourself in a case like this, take my advice. Find a judge who doesn’t fish. Or, if they all fish, find one with an even-keel temper who doesn’t act like he takes the case personally. In the judge’s defense, perhaps he is up for reelection. That’s the only quasi-logical excuse for this behavior from the bench.
  • A Serious Request for Assistance – Ft. Myers, Florida

    18 Apr 2014 | 10:01 am
    In a complete departure from this blog’s usual MO. I have a serious request. This is akin to the “Popehat Signal.” Although, I’m not feeling terribly creative today and can’t think of anything catchy to call this request, and I am decidedly more small-time than the Popehatters. What I am doing. I am assisting a homeless Navy veteran who has fallen on extremely hard times. He is located in Ft. Myers, Florida and lives in a tent near Gladiolus Drive. This man regularly communicates with me via a computer terminal at Lakes Regional Library. He pays for occasional…
  • Senior Skip Day

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:12 pm
    If you grew-up like me, it was tradition for the high school senior class to take a “senior skip day” prior to graduation. Tomorrow is #63′s day. In due course, he asked that I inform the school that he is “sick.” Well, I’m certainly not going to lie for him. After all, I’m an officer of the court. My integrity is vitally important to my professional status. So, I was honest. See for yourself. __________________________________________ Dear Dr. (Principal): My son will not be attending school today. He is mentally unable to perform to the minimum…
  • The New Niche: Giving You Something To Think About

    17 Apr 2014 | 8:55 am
    Every lawyer in private practice has conducted this call within 5 minutes of hanging a shingle. Lawyer (L): Hello? Potential Client (Not Really) (PCNR): Yes, are you a lawyer? L: Yes! I am! (stated with oodles of nauseating enthusiasm) PCNR: I’ve got this situation. (explains situation in gory, irrelevant detail) L: Wow. OK, well, the way I see it… (lawyer proceeds to give away all his knowledge in an in-depth analysis of all gory, irrelevant details) PCNR: OK, so… (asks question after question after question after question (ad nauseum)) L: (Answers questions, because wants…
  • The most awesome thing in the history of ever

    19 Mar 2014 | 7:16 pm
    You’re alive at the most awesome, amazing, inspiring time in the history of the universe. Ever. How do you know? Consider… Toilet paper roll holder, plus iPad stand, plus bidet. Mankind has finally done it. We’re there. Pat yourselves on the back. Then, buy your Biffy BUTTLER here for the low price of $119.95.
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  • GNLU’s Conference on “Economic Implications of National Food Security Act” [Aug 9]: Submit Papers by May 25

    23 Apr 2014 | 7:38 am
    The GNLU Centre for Food Security and Agro Economy (GCFSAE) at Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar has planned to organize One-day Conference on “Economic Implications of National Food Security Act” on August 9, 2014 at its campus from 10:00 am onwards. The Conference would spread out in three disparate themes sessions, namely “Economic analysis of the WTO Bali round decision”, “Economic implications of National Food Security Act” and “India’s tryst with WTO with special reference to agricultural subsidies”. Sessions: 1. Economic…
  • IPAN-DAAD Scholarship for US-German Summer School in International and Comparative Law: Grant of 1500 Euros; Apply by April 30

    23 Apr 2014 | 7:14 am
    IPAN in association with the German funding agency, DAAD announces a scholarship to fund one student’s participation in the US-German Summer School in International and Comparative Law 2014. What is this Summer School? Jointly offered by the Marquette University – Law School, the University of Wisconsin – Law School and the Justus Liebig University Giessen – Law School since 2009, the U.S.-German Summer School in International and Comparative Law has earned a global reputation for excellence. The Summer School is the flagship of law programs in international high-quality…
  • Your Fests Were Sad! @ Symfiesta of Symbiosis Noida and @ Vibes, Nirma University

    20 Apr 2014 | 8:55 pm
    In a haste to organize a fest the colleges miss out on quality, accountability, exposure, experience and (the most important) fun. They just end up leaving the participants in distress. By Harshad Kapoor The post Your Fests Were Sad! @ Symfiesta of Symbiosis Noida and @ Vibes, Nirma University appeared first on Lawctopus.
  • Modern Day Untouchability: How Law Firms Treat the Students of Non-Elite Law Schools

    Akanksha Sharma
    20 Apr 2014 | 8:26 pm
    The first question that any associate asks you at the law firms is your college. I doubt if anyone has ever asked me my name. But yes once they know your law school they pretty much decide the work you will get. The post Modern Day Untouchability: How Law Firms Treat the Students of Non-Elite Law Schools appeared first on Lawctopus.
  • 3 Silver Linings: The Future of Indian Law Schools

    Subhro Sengupta
    20 Apr 2014 | 8:22 pm
    The NLU’s, the newer ones especially need to understand that to stand a chance in a demand and supply based economy, we need to be academically sound. Moot wins and pseudo sounding conferences, and journals do not do the trick, until there is true material behind it. So stop chasing a PD, MUN and Moot infused dream. By Subhro Sengupta The post 3 Silver Linings: The Future of Indian Law Schools appeared first on Lawctopus.
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    Fashion Law | Fashion Lawyer | Fashion Law Firm |

  • Video |Fashion, Drugs, and Music: How Does Law Affect Innovation? #Fashionlaw

    27 Mar 2014 | 8:54 am
    Professor Terry Fisher, Wilmer Hale Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Harvard Law School speaks on Fashion, Drugs, and Music: How Does Law Affect Innovation?
  • Brand Dilution? Kanye West & Kim K: Who Would Have Thought a Convicted Criminal and his Alleged “Porn Star” Would Make the Cover of Vogue? #Fashionlaw

    21 Mar 2014 | 8:39 pm
    In 2007, Kim Kardashian became an instant celebrity when a pornographic video of her and singer Ray-J, Brandy’s little brother, was released online. Kim claimed the video was a leak and a result of revenge porn, and that she tried to pursue legal action. Let’s just say nothing came out of the legal action, not even court filings, at least by all accounts. Instead, Kim was offered a reality television show and before you know it, became a regular staple and reality tv diet for millions of Americans. Since the release of that sex tape, Kim has kept everyone on their toes, from her…
  • “You Have to Adapt to Survive,” Getty Images Makes 35 MILLION PHOTOS FREE FOR USE! #Entlaw #fashionlaw

    7 Mar 2014 | 3:55 am
    Coming off my recent discussion at UC Hastings College of the Law on a Panel titled ‘Social Media and Fair Use’ and of course knowing the current state of anxiousness with respect to digital media and copyright issues for creative business owners  across music, fashion and the film industries, I find this recent story and move by Getty Images quite interesting. They say if you can’t beat them, join them. Getty says, “look, people are already pirating and infringing on our copyright work. The cost of litigation would be exorbitant to go after them, plus there is this…
  • Join the Loyola Law School Fashion Law Project for its First Annual Fashion Law Symposium, March 22, 2014 #Fashionlaw

    6 Mar 2014 | 7:31 am
    Folks, I wanted to remind you all about Loyola’s First Fashion Law Annual Symposium. For practicing attorneys and future lawyers wanting to learn more about the field of fashion law, it is an event worth checking out. Cheers, Uduak Join the Loyola Law School Fashion Law Project for its first-annual symposium, March 22, 2014. The Fashion Law Project is a comprehensive academic center at Loyola Law School focused on the unique and all-encompassing legal issues affecting the fashion industry in the U.S. and internationally. Its multifaceted design provides programming for several audiences…
  • PHOTOS: The First Ever West Coast Fashion Law Symposium Produced by Hastings Fashion, Art & Design Law Society #Fashionlaw #Fashionlawsymposium

    3 Mar 2014 | 6:46 am
    Happy New Week folks. I wish you all a highly productive and positive week ahead. If you missed my review over the weekend of the awesome first ever fashion law symposium ‘Growth in the Fashion Industry: A New Approach to Protection?’ be sure to click here to read it. Also, don’t take my word for how awesome it was. Check out some of the fun, fashionable photos from the event courtesy Jaclyn Fang for U.C Hastings Fashion, Art & Design Law Society. Have a great week. Warmest of regards, Uduak The Lawyers & Non-Lawyer Speakers with Ashli Weiss| L-R: Paolo Beconcini,…
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    Law and Daily Life

  • If a Student Loan Co-Signer Dies, What Happens?

    Jenny Tsay, Esq.
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:39 am
    If a student loan co-signer dies or declares bankruptcy before the loan is repaid, the loan may go into default and wreak havoc on the borrower's credit, a new report finds. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published the report which found that many private lenders will make the balance of a loan due if a parent, grandparent, or other co-signer becomes unable to share the responsibility of the loan, Reuters reports. Why does this happen, and what can borrowers do? The Report's Findings The CFPB accepts consumer complaints about private student loans and compiled the data for its…
  • Powdered Alcohol's Approval Rescinded by TTB

    Jenny Tsay, Esq.
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:58 am
    Looks like the party's over before it even began. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has rescinded its label approvals for Palcohol, a powdered alcohol product. The TTB stated that the label approvals were somehow issued in error. Apparently, the labels were unclear as to how much powder was in a bag of Palcohol, according to The Associated Press. At this time, Palcohol has the option of revising and resubmitting its labels, but it should also consider potential legal issues. Approval Granted... Then Rescinded The TTB is the government agency that's responsible for approving new…
  • Mich. Affirmative Action Decision: 5 Takeaways

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:02 am
    Michigan's ban on affirmative action has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, making the practice illegal for public employment, government contracts, and admission to Michigan's public universities. In a 6-2 ruling issued Tuesday, the High Court determined that Michigan's Proposal 2 did not violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection, leaving the federal courts no authority to strike down the law, Reuters reports. The fight over affirmative action in schools is far from over, but here are five takeaways from today's decision on Michigan's affirmative action ban: 1. States…
  • Legal How-To: Fighting a School Suspension

    Jenny Tsay, Esq.
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:41 am
    A high school student who was suspended after he asked Miss America to the prom has raised issues about fighting school suspensions. Patrick Farves' Pennsylvania high school knew he was going to ask Miss America to prom during an assembly, but warned the 18-year-old not to do it. However, Farves went ahead and asked her during a school sponsored Q&A and was given a three-day in-school suspension, according to New York's WNYW-TV. So if you're a parent, here are some legal tips on how to fight a school suspension: Find out exactly why your child was suspended. When your child gets…
  • Supreme Court Calendar: 5 Cases to Watch in April

    Brett Snider, Esq.
    21 Apr 2014 | 8:06 am
    The U.S. Supreme Court may not have much of April left, but there are some big cases still to be argued and decided. With six days of oral arguments remaining, here are five Supreme Court cases you should be watching in April: 1. ABC v. Aereo: Streaming Live TV (Tuesday, April 22). Streaming video fans should pay very close attention to ABC v. Aereo, which goes before the High Court on Tuesday. This case is set to determine whether streaming services like Aereo will be allowed to essentially rebroadcast live broadcast TV on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. For many of the same reasons a…
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    Pennsylvania Physicians' Lawyer

  • Optimize WordPress

    5 Apr 2014 | 12:30 pm
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  • Metro Design Style

    5 Apr 2014 | 12:30 pm
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  • Responsive WordPress Theme

    5 Apr 2014 | 12:30 pm
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    William Carleton, Counselor @ Law

  • A Simple Act of Congress to Make Things Better for Startups

    William Carleton
    14 Apr 2014 | 6:14 pm
    My friend Joe Wallin had an idea earlier today, which was, “how can Congress pass a single, simple law, to tell federal agencies to back off the rulemaking?” His idea is borne of the frustration we all feel when Congress passes a reform intended to make life easier for startups, entrepreneurs, and the angel investors and VCs who support them, only to see that new law languish – or, worse yet, backfire – through rulemaking to implement the Congressional reform. Here’s a simple bill we’ve come up with. With respect, we believe this bill, by itself, might help curtail the problem…
  • Another Car2Go story

    William Carleton
    9 Apr 2014 | 3:32 pm
    I love this service. A lot of people in Seattle are talking about the politics of ride sharing services. But Car2Go is more like a self-service. Or the loan of hardware, I guess you could say. Because you find a car, passkey yourself in, and drive yourself to where you want to go. Latest episode of ad hoc transportation delight: I left my downtown office midmorning yesterday, running for my car to make a meeting with a client in Fremont. When I got to the garage, I found I didn't have my keys on me. I started to trudge back to the office, thinking of the alternatives: be a half hour…
  • Non-accredited crowdfunding: a license to pillage the vulnerable, or democracy in action?

    William Carleton
    2 Apr 2014 | 7:31 am
    Monday, a friend sent me a link to a weekend New York Times editorial which strongly condemned the SEC's proposed rules under Title III of the JOBS Act. However, unlike the criticism coming from those in the nascent non-accredited crowdfunding industry, the NYT editorial board faults the SEC's proposed rules, not for being unworkable, but for not being restrictive enough. I'll leave aside the Times' misconception that the faults lie in the agency's rulemaking rather than the legislation itself. In this regard, the editorial board makes the same mistake that…
  • Cherry blossoms

    William Carleton
    1 Apr 2014 | 7:44 am
    The Angel Capital Association 2014 Summit took me to Washington DC at the end of last week. I stayed over Saturday, mostly to take the opportunity to see Eddie Johnson play for the DC United football club at RFK Stadium, but also in the hope of seeing cherry blossoms at the Tidle Basin. The cherry trees in DC were not in bloom. But they are in full bloom back in my neighborhood in Seattle.
  • SEC official to angel community: go ahead, develop your own verification methods!

    William Carleton
    30 Mar 2014 | 8:06 am
    Keith Higgins, the relatively new Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, delivered a speech at the closing session of the 2014 Angel Capital Association Summit - and was it a doozy! A huge issue for angel investors is the "reasonable steps to verify" accredited status that is part of new Rule 506(c), which permits issuers to engage in "general solicitation." The issue was a focus of at least two breakout sessions at the Summit, including one Thursday moderated by ACA policy chair Mike Eckert that I participated in with the gifted lawyers Peter Rosenblum and Rob…
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    But I do have a law degree...

  • Appreciating the Moment Isn't All it's Cracked Up to Be

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    21 Apr 2014 | 7:18 am
    Last week I found myself organizing photos.  I am old school when it comes to photos - I still have every single one printed out, and placed in a hard copy album.  I just don't like the idea of all of my memories floating around in cyberspace somewhere.  I like to be able to hold a tangible picture. I've been a little busy lately, with a new baby and all, so I have been a bit delinquent with my photo upkeep.  Thus, last week's photo organization centered around last summer and early fall - eating lobster in Cape Cod, frolicking at the beach at…
  • Still Not an Expert, the Third Time Around

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    15 Apr 2014 | 2:02 pm
    I have found that since having my third child, I have been asked a lot of baby advice.  I am happy to share any expertise, but let me tell you, I don't remember much.  So when people ask me what a six month old's schedule should look like, my answer is usually:  "I have no idea.  Ask me when my baby turns six months!"It's amazing how much we forget, and how little we know.Case in point:  Our family recently took Colin on his first flight, to Disney World.  We packed all of the necessary items for our carry on (or so we thought).  Diapers?  Check.
  • Getting to Know my Dad, Pre-me

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    10 Apr 2014 | 5:39 pm
    When we were in Disney World a couple of weeks ago, my oldest son fell in love with the Peter Pan ride.  His favorite part was flying over the city of London in the pirate ship.  Thus began his obsession with London. "Is London real?  IT IS???  Where is it?  When can we go?"I told him that we were probably going to go next year (true), and that I am very familiar with London, as I lived there for two years when I was in my early twenties.  "You LIVED in London?  When?  Where was I?"Trying to explain to a child that they did not exist is more…
  • Boobs and Breastfeeding at Disney World

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    3 Apr 2014 | 7:11 am
    We just got back from a four day trip to Disney World.  If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you'll know I'm a huge Disney fan.  We've been twice in one year.  Yes, we're those people. It's fake and it's commercial and it's a complete rip off but I love it.  It holds great memories for me, is super kid friendly (obviously), and I have the whole fast pass, line bypassing thing down to a science.  (Perhaps a topic for another post, I seriously think I should start a business planning Magic Kingdom itineraries for tourists.  Not to toot my own…
  • Pollen is (Almost) Upon Us

    But I Do Have a Law Degree
    31 Mar 2014 | 5:57 pm
    It's spring.  And it snowed yesterday.  (I'm going to leave it at that, as I have a contract with myself to never blog about the weather.)But the fact is spring is coming (well, it's technically here).  And that means so are the allergies.  I'm one of those allergy-free people who thought for a long time the whole allergy thing was a farce. I mean come on, runny nose?  Watery eyes?  It's a cold!  My husband is not one of those allergy-free people, and for years I have made fun of his "fake allergies" (to nuts and pollen and apples that have not been…
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    Denver Employment Law Attorney Blog

  • Retaliation after FMLA leave part of employee's claims in lawsuit

    On behalf of Berumen Law Firm
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:52 am
    Many American employees, including thousands in Colorado, fall under the protections of the Family Medical Leave Act. For those who do, knowing that there are legal protections available in the unfortunate event that they need to take a leave of absence from their job is comforting. However, the reality is that many employees are subjected to discrimination when they return from a leave taken under the protections of the FMLA, in the form of retaliation from their employer. These are some of the circumstances that one employee alleged in a case that recently settled for a reported $125,000…
  • Alleged violations of ADA leads to lawsuit

    On behalf of Berumen Law Firm
    9 Apr 2014 | 10:30 am
    Discrimination in the workplace remains an unfortunate reality throughout the country, despite efforts by millions of employers to increase awareness of sensitive issues among their employees. While our Colorado readers are probably used to seeing news coverage about racial and sexual discrimination, some may not realize that disability discrimination remains a problematic issue as well. A recent report highlighted one particular scenario in which an employee has alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act by his employer. The employee, who suffers from an undisclosed…
  • Employee fired after reporting unwanted sexual advances

    On behalf of Berumen Law Firm
    2 Apr 2014 | 2:30 pm
    Any Colorado employee who has had to endure unwanted sexual advances or offensive sexual comments in the workplace knows how difficult it can be to go to a hostile working environment like that on a day-to-day basis. Having to put up with this type of behavior, whether it is from co-workers or supervisors, can make an employee dread going to work every day. However, sometimes the more fearful aspect of this kind of sexual harassment can be the threat of what could happen if the victim of harassment files an official complaint. For example, a recent report detailed how a female employee of a…
  • Wrongful dismissal is at the heart of Colorado employee's case

    On behalf of Berumen Law Firm
    26 Mar 2014 | 9:43 am
    Many of our Colorado readers are familiar with the concept of at-will employment. For those who aren't, the gist of the concept is that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason - and the employee can do the same. However, there are many employees throughout Colorado and the nation who work under the terms of an employment contract. In order for those individuals to be fired, oftentimes their contract will specify that the termination needs to be for a valid reason. According to a recent report, one Colorado employee is challenging the termination of his employment…
  • New mother claims violation of FMLA in termination of employment

    On behalf of Berumen Law Firm
    21 Mar 2014 | 6:38 am
    For many women in Colorado, becoming a new mother is usually one of the happiest times in life. The anticipation during the pregnancy - and all of the struggles - pays off when a woman gets to hold their new baby at the hospital. However, this joyous time can be interrupted for a working mother when her employee rights are violated. This appears to have been the case for one woman who was employed as an adult probation officer when she got pregnant. According to a recent report, the woman, who has filed a civil lawsuit against her former employer alleging a violation of the Family Medical…
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    NB Law

  • Mazda Has Announced a Recall Over a Possible Accident Risk

    Larry Nagelberg
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:46 pm
    Many major automakers have been issuing recalls lately that affect vehicles that may expose drivers, passengers and others to deadly risks. According to a series of news reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that Mazda North American Operations will be launching an official recall campaign in order to ensure that all potentially defective vehicles the company manufactured between May 22, 2000 and December 19, 2013 are repaired. The recall announcement involves all units of the 2001 through […]Related Posts:Mazda Recalls Tribute Vehicles Over Possible…
  • After Consumers Sustained Cuts, Stainless Steel Tool Chests Get Recalled

    Larry Nagelberg
    21 Apr 2014 | 7:31 am
    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has indicated that Whalen has issued a recall for all units of its stainless steel tool chests over a possible laceration hazard. While this recall may not seem as alarming, the company decided to issue it as soon as possible after it learned that at least 11 reports of injuries were announced. The incidents all involved consumers who were injured while handling the door of the chests. The reports show that the metal stopper […]Related Posts:Fire Risk Prompts Recall Of Residential Gas Wall OvenSkilSaw Miter Saws Recalled by BoschSchool Buses…
  • Child Restraints by Baby Trend Subject to Recall

    Larry Nagelberg
    18 Apr 2014 | 11:39 am
    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Baby Trend has announced that it is recalling all units of the 2011 and 2012 TrendZ Fastback 3-in-1 child restraints after the company learned that the buckles in these car seats might fail to come detached when it’s time to release the child from the seat. The report shows that Baby Trend believes that the main issue is related to the harness buckle that won’t come detached when the user depresses the […]Related Posts:Child Restraints Recalled By Dorel Juvenile GroupYucca Valley Mother Jailed After Leaving…
  • Volvo Launches New Car Safety Seat Concept

    Larry Nagelberg
    17 Apr 2014 | 7:42 am
    Bulky car seats continue to be a problem for parents who have a lifestyle that keeps them constantly on the go. They often look for the latest technology when it comes to car safety seats because they want to find the lightest, most reliable and easy to install and pack. Thinking of what some parents have been looking for in car safety seats, Volvo decided to look into the changes in design they should focus on developing so that consumers […]Related Posts:Child Safety Seat Designed To Offer 360 Degrees of…Volvo Makes The Safest Cars, Study ShowsVolkswagen Launched iBeetle…
  • 1.4 Million Crashes In New Jersey Related to Distracted Driving

    Larry Nagelberg
    16 Apr 2014 | 10:09 am
    Distracted driving is an issue for drivers everywhere in the country. A recent review of data regarding car crashes and their causes has indicated that in New Jersey between 2004 and 2013, nearly 1.4 million auto accidents were linked to distractions. The State Attorney General has reported that within the same period, 1,600 people were fatally injured in car accidents that had as a main factor the driver’s inattention or lack of focus on the road ahead. The statistics indicate […]Related Posts:Safety Advocates Ponder on How Distracted Driving Can Be…Distracted Driving…
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    North Carolina Law Life

  • ‘S Wonderful, ‘S Marvelous, ‘S Unreasonable

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    7 Apr 2014 | 7:20 am
    One of the reasons to choose an S-Corp instead of an LLC is tax savings.  An S-corp does not pay any taxes at the corporate level, but instead all income is passed through to the shareholders, who are responsible for a number of taxes on both salary and dividends (return on investment). The IRS and Department of Labor are cooperating to investigate companies that misclassify employees as independent contractors to try to avoid paying taxes.  The heightened scrutiny on payroll withholdings could make S-Corporations more likely to be audited. (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013) With the S-Corp…
  • I Am Not Rich So I Don’t Need a Will and Other Estate Planning Myths

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    24 Mar 2014 | 7:37 am
    Many people draw up complicated estate plans to minimize the taxes they have to pay on their assets when they die. But people who are nowhere near the $5 million+ floor for estate taxes have very valuable reasons for having wills and trusts. Myth 1: My spouse automatically gets everything when I die. Actually, in North Carolina, without a will, the spouse gets only ½ of everything if you have one child, and only 1/3 of everything if you have two or more children. If you have no children, your spouse gets ½ and your surviving parent(s) get the other half. It gets even more complicated if the…
  • Striking the Right Balance in a North Carolina Non-Compete Can Be Tricky

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    17 Mar 2014 | 6:29 am
    North Carolina companies who rely on non-compete agreements to protect their trade secrets and proprietary information may want to review their agreements in light of two recent court decisions. Agreements in restraint of trade, including some non-compete agreements are unenforceable as unfair trade practices in North Carolina.  Our courts do not like to restrict people from working, but will allow these agreements on a case-by-case basis.  Courts understand that employers have a legitimate need to protect their investments in training employees, trade secrets and proprietary information.
  • North Carolina’s New LLC Statute: Do We Need to Revise Our Operating Agreement?

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    10 Mar 2014 | 7:02 am
    North Carolina updated its Limited Liability Act effective January 1, 2014. One of the benefits of the limited liability company has been its flexibility. It is a creature of contract, allowing much more flexibility than the centralized corporation. The revised Act highlights this flexibility. The most notable changes that may encourage your company to review its operating agreement are summarized below: Signed Operating Agreements are No Longer Required. The revised act specifically provides that the company’s operating agreement will control the rights and duties of the owners, except…
  • Significant Changes to the North Carolina Limited Liability Act

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    4 Mar 2014 | 8:28 am
    On January 1, 2014, the North Carolina Limited Liability Act was significantly overhauled.  Existing Chapter 57C was repealed and 57D was passed in its place.  Many of the substantive changes are highlighted below. One of the most notable changes is in the way owners of a company could override the provisions in the Limited Liability Company (LLC) Act. Previously, any change from the Act had to be adopted in writing.  Now the parties can change the default rules set forth in the Act by verbal agreements, writings that are not formal contracts but express the owners’ thinking on…
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    Virginia Local Government Law

  • Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: April 17, 2014

    Andrew McRoberts
    17 Apr 2014 | 1:54 pm
    The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning.  After last term issuing no opinions significantly affecting Virginia Local Government Law (at least not in this author’s judgment), this term’s opinions are a virtual feast.  Issues involving BZA discretion, nonconforming signs, FOIA, Fraud Against Taxpayer’s Act and more.  Some are cases involving Virginia local governments, others are cases without local governments as parties, but still involve issues affecting Virginia local governments.  As always, congratulations to the winners! The case summaries are taken…
  • Nervous Time for Localities: The General Assembly Is In Session

    Andrew McRoberts
    25 Feb 2014 | 1:02 pm
    It happens in January, every year.  The General Assembly convenes and considers all manner of bills that localities support or oppose.  And localities get nervous.  More nervous than most Assembly-watchers, I say. Why would that be? While the General Assembly adopts legislation every year that affects Virginians, arguably it has more of an effect on localities.  Given the Dillon Rule and its strong limitation on the powers of localities, a series of bills are filed every year reducing or controlling how localities do their business.  Some succeed, and many fail.  No matter the merit of…
  • Moody’s Revises Rating Criteria for Local Governments

    Jesse Bausch
    24 Jan 2014 | 11:51 am
    On January 15 of this year, Moody’s announced a revised methodology for its evaluation of local government general obligation credits. Moody’s overall methodology is to evaluate each locality seeking/maintaining a rating over four categories: (1) economy/tax base of the area, (2) finances of the locality (fund balance), (3) management of the locality and (4) debt/pensions. Their revised methodology decreases the weight given to economy/tax base factors and increases the weight given to debt/pension load by a similar percentage. They have also announced a scorecard to make more…
  • Caution: Payments to Volunteers Can Lead to Trouble

    Phyllis Katz
    15 Jan 2014 | 12:33 pm
    Nonprofit organizations and governmental entities are permitted to use volunteer labor.  In many instances, the work performed mirrors that performed by paid staff.  Employers may want to recognize the time and efforts of the volunteers through cash payments.  There is much danger in providing such financial rewards in that you may convert the volunteer into an employee. The City of Gibraltar, Michigan was sued by a discharged employee, Paul Mendel, for violating his Family and Medical Leave Act rights.  The City had fewer than 50 employees and argued that its employees were not eligible…
  • Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law January 10, 2014

    Andrew McRoberts
    10 Jan 2014 | 11:43 am
    The Virginia Supreme Court issued new opinions this morning, some of which affect local government law.  Here they are (summaries taken from the Virginia Supreme Court website, click on the Record Number to read opinion): 130210 Board of Supervisors v. Windmill Meadows, LLC 01/10/2014 In interpreting provisions relating to per-unit cash proffers in certain zoning proceedings under Code § 15.2-2303.1:1, on cross-motions for summary judgment in a declaratory judgment action, the circuit court did not err in concluding that subsection (A) of the statute applies to all payments of cash…
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    Virginia Business Lawyers

  • Rogue CFO II – Internal Accounting Controls and Supervision

    David Carroll
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:49 am
    Our second article in the series, “Rogue CFO,” covers some common sense processes that all too often are missing in smaller businesses – workable controls and verification. Internal controls start with a corporate culture and an attitude – “we pay attention to what our employees are doing and we check and recheck. It’s nothing personal. It’s just the way we need to do business.” Written procedures are the most effective way to establish internal standards because they are not ad hoc or variable and don’t depend on who is involved at any particular…
  • Rogue CFO I- Introduction

    David Carroll
    9 Apr 2014 | 4:06 pm
    Small, privately owned corporations deal with all types of challenges: competition, government regulations, recessions, rising cost of benefits for employees —the list is long. But one area that seems to be a persistent problem for small businesses is the area of fraud, in particular economic crimes and financial negligence. Increasingly the kinds of fraud and negligence that are being reported in the financial press originates with the most senior level employees, in particular, in the role of Chief Financial Officer. We are picking on CFOs because the problems seem to be originating from…
  • ‘S Wonderful, ‘S Marvelous, ‘S Unreasonable

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    7 Apr 2014 | 11:31 am
    One of the reasons to choose an S-Corp instead of an LLC is tax savings.  An S-corp does not pay any taxes at the corporate level, but instead all income is passed through to the shareholders, who are responsible for a number of taxes on both salary and dividends (return on investment). The IRS and Department of Labor are cooperating to investigate companies that misclassify employees as independent contractors to try to avoid paying taxes.  The heightened scrutiny on payroll withholdings could make S-Corporations more likely to be audited. (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013) With the S-Corp…
  • In Virginia and NC, Consumers Can Dispute Debts Verbally

    Donna Ray Berkelhammer
    4 Mar 2014 | 12:00 pm
    If you routinely collect debts from consumers, you are probably familiar with the requirements of the federal Fair Debt Collections Act (FDCPA). Under this act, consumers who disputed a debt had thirty days after receiving a debt collection notice to notify the creditor or debt collector in writing that the debt was not valid. Until now. This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (which covers North Carolina and Virginia) ruled in Clark v. Absolute Collection Service, Incorporated that the FDCPA does not require a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt in writing. If you…
  • Transfer on Death Deed

    Stefan Calos
    5 Sep 2013 | 8:10 am
    Here is an estate planning note that will help those who are using living trusts — consider using a transfer on death deed. Kudos to the Virginia General Assembly for recently enacting legislation allowing for the “transfer on death” deed. This legislation helps get rid of a pesky unintended consequence related to the ever-popular living trust. One reason that some people prefer a living trust over a traditional will is to maintain privacy by “avoiding probate.” Before the availability of the transfer on death deed, a person would deed his house and other real…
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    Advocate's Studio

  • Microsoft Office for iPad – It’s About Freaking Time

    Martha Sperry
    28 Mar 2014 | 10:38 am
    Yep, it’s finally here. After lots of promises and years of delay, Microsoft has finally released a true Office for iPad suite (no more emulations from third parties). Maybe this move is to counter Apple’s semi-recent decision to bundle its iLife apps (Pages, Numbers  and Keynote) for free. Maybe they just finally got around to it. Who knows? But here it is, so I figured I should check out exactly what Microsoft is offering to Apple users. As expected, Office for iPad is a collection of three apps  - Word, Excel and Powerpoint, of course, in addition to the previously available…
  • Dropbox Tips

    Martha Sperry
    1 Feb 2014 | 6:07 am
    Despite all the concerns and discussion out there over cloud usage by legal professionals, Dropbox still remains one of the most popular applications among lawyers. I am not going to discourse on whether or not that should be the case – the internet is rife with the opinions of very capable commenters on the subject – just remember that there are Bar rules out there about lawyers employing reasonable measures to ensure security when using the cloud. My personal use, however, takes into account the potential risks as well as rewards of using this free and cheap multi-user,…
  • Foogi – A Cross-Platform Calendar & Scheduling App

    Martha Sperry
    21 Jan 2014 | 5:19 pm
    In Outlook in my enterprise, I can easily and quickly check to see who is available for a meeting at a given time. Definitely an efficiency booster. But what if you are trying to coordinate times and attendees outside of the organization, using different platforms? Yes, of course there is an app for that. Foogi promises to match up invitees’ calendars to find the free / available times in which you can schedule your meeting. Foogi is not a calendar replacement. Instead, depending on how much information users share within Foogi, it will compare schedules and offer times within the…
  • Free Law Project Is Now Even Bigger, Ergo Better

    Martha Sperry
    15 Jan 2014 | 10:40 am
    I wrote about the Free Law Project here in the Studio back a few months ago. Why wouldn’t I? The Project is all about making public information freely available to the public. You can research and download material from state and federal courts for zip, nada, zilch. More recently, I got an email from Michael Lissner, one of Free Law Project’s founders. He tipped me off to a massive influx of new material at the Project – LawBox made a huge data donation of 1.5 million opinions, opening up 350 new jurisdictions. You can grab it from FLP’s bulk download page, and see…
  • oTranscribe: Free, Open Source, Easy Transcription Web Tool

    Martha Sperry
    15 Jan 2014 | 10:25 am
    Recording your thoughts, lectures, or other audio sources is all well and good, but maybe you want to memorialize those sounds in written word. There are plenty of tools out there to accomplish this, but thought I would mention here one that recently came to my attention. oTranscribe, developed by journalist Elliot Bentley, is a web app that allows you to import an audio file, open a word processor and type while the audio plays. It will play whatever formats your particular browser can process and has a built-in file converter. Controls are found on your keyboard, which makes it easier to…
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    The Complex Litigator

  • Episode 10 of the Class Re-Action podcast is now available

    H. Scott Leviant
    21 Apr 2014 | 2:06 pm
    After a month off from recording, the Class Re-Action podcast is back with a new episode. Episode 10 is now available to stream directly or download through your preferred podcasting service.The shows have been listened to over 1,500 times, so thanks for taking the time to check it out. If I keep practicing, eventually I'll get it right.After getting through the first year of this experiment, I'd like to take moment out to note a number of the firms and organizations that have been represented in podcast episodes:Blood, Hurst & O'reardonCohelan, Khoury & SingerSheppard…
  • Arbitration agreement that arguably applied California law on the issue of enforceability is, ironically, unenforceable

    H. Scott Leviant
    8 Apr 2014 | 4:53 pm
    It's been a while since I have posted here.  It's not for lack of interest in finding something appropriate to address, but the interesting decisions have been few and far between.  Plus this "start your own firm" thing tends to eat up a lot of time in the early days.  Of course, with several big decisions likely to drop from the California Supreme Court any day, this may have been the calm before the storm.  While we wait for those fireworks, here's a fascinating arbitration decision.  In Imburgia v. DirecTV, Inc. (April 7, 2014), the Court of Appeal (Second…
  • You can look at maps on your cellphone in California

    H. Scott Leviant
    27 Feb 2014 | 2:43 pm
    As a victim (who later prevailed at trial) of law enforcement over-reach regarding the various Vehicle Code provisions relating to cell phones, it is nice to see some common sense out there (it is rare these days).  In People v. Spriggs (Feb. 27,  2014), the Court of Appeal (Fifth Appellate District) held, after weighty deliberation, that a statute about talking on a cell phone really doesn't apply to looking at a map on the phone (seeing as how the "talking" part isn't implicated).  Offered for informational purposes and your entertainment only.
  • Episode 9 of the Class Re-Action podcast is now available

    H. Scott Leviant
    23 Feb 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Episode 9 of the Class Re-Action podcast is now published (a bit earlier in the day than usual).  Episode 9 guests are Jennifer Zargarof of Sidley and Eric B. Kingsley of Kingsley & Kingsley.  Show topics include discussions of Concepcion v. Amscan Holdings, Inc. (Feb. 18, 2014), Martinez v. Joe's Crab Shack Holdings (now held for Duran), and Williams v. Superior Court (Allstate Ins. Co.), 221 Cal. App. 4th 1353 (Dec. 6, 2013). As a reminder, the first four episodes now qualify for MCLE credit if you need that, and it shouldn't be long before all shows are eligible for MCLE…
  • Additional MCLE credits finally available

    H. Scott Leviant
    20 Feb 2014 | 7:18 pm
    So I finally got off my duff and obtained MCLE credit approval from the California State Bar for more episodes of the Class Re-Action podcast.  You can now purchase credit, in one-hour blocks, for episodes 1 through 4.  They are now all priced to be highly affordable.  They aren't intended to be a profit-center, just an offset to hardware costs for each episode.  Now you can be entertained (I hope) and score some credit for California MCLE at the same time.  I will get the rest of the episodes up for credit as soon as I can.Since I need to capture bar numbers as a…
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    Law Firm Newswire » Legal News

  • Sharp Turns On Highways May Increase Trucking Accidents Indicates Austin Injury Lawyer

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 23, 2014 – Truckers are not always at fault in an accident. Road designs may contribute to collisions. “A recent accident at the Interstate 45 interchange with Loop 610 South was the scene of a fiery explosion that killed a trucker. Police could not determine if the cause was another driver, the trucker speeding or some other factor,” indicates Bobby Lee, an Austin trucking attorney with Lee, Gober & Reyna. “The only thing left when the flames were finally damped out was the skeleton of the truck containing the driver’s remains.” The main…
  • Cook County Jury Awards $6.65 Million in Air Base Death

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) April 23, 2014 – After a 10-day trial, a Cook County jury awarded $6.65 million to the family of a man who died from a fall at a Kuwait air base. The award in the wrongful death case against CAV International Inc., a government contractor, came over four years after the death of John Bruce, a Chicago-area resident. “When negligence is involved, a wrongful death lawsuit is often appropriate to gain compensation for the family of the victim after a horrible accident like this,” says Paul Greenberg, a Chicago…
  • Tarrant Regional Water District Audit Finding: Chesapeake Underpaid Royalties By More Than

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Austin Oil and Gas Attorney, Gregory D. Jordan Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 23, 2014 – A Texas water district’s audit discovered that an oil company had underpaid royalties to the district. In 2012, Tarrant Regional Water District hired Martindale Consultants, Inc. to determine whether the district had received all the royalties it was due from mineral leases it had signed with Chesapeake Energy. The istrict paid Martindale $35,118 for the audit, and the company found $1,786,769 in underpayments for a period from January 2008 through October 2011. Subsequently, Chesapeake…
  • Expunging Or Sealing A Criminal Record Must Be Done By An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 22, 2014 – Being arrested for a crime may impact on the ability to get a job. “While you may have been arrested for committing a crime, it does not mean you committed that crime. However, if it generates an arrest record, this may affect your ability to get a job and ruin your reputation with your workers, friends and neighbors. There are options open to you to deal with this record, expungement or sealing. I can explain both and which may best suit your circumstances,” says Thomas Grajek, a Lakeland criminal defense attorney. A criminal…
  • Veterans Attorney at Hook Law Center Praises Expedited Social Security Claims Processing for Disabled Veterans

    LFN Editor 102KS31
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook) Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 22, 2014 – The Social Security Administration recently announced an expedited approval process for disability claims filed by disabled veterans. The new process was announced in a statement from Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin. It applies to veterans with a disability compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent & Total (P&T) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These veterans’ applications for Social Security Disability Insurance will be treated as…
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    The L•E•Jer

  • Canadian Toyota Employees to Undertake Potentially Historic Vote

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    2 Apr 2014 | 10:10 am
    By Brittany Uslaner Next week, the workers of Toyota Motor Corporation’s Canadian plants will vote whether on whether to unionize.  This vote is potentially significant because if a majority of workers vote to unionize then it will be the first time North American plants fully owned by Toyota unionize.[1]  Toyota’s more than 6,500 autoworkers are […]
  • Supreme Court Rules Severance Payouts are Taxable

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    1 Apr 2014 | 8:29 am
    By: Caitlin Esposito Last Tuesday, the Court published its opinion in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc.  The unanimous opinion by Justice Kennedy held that severance payments to employees involuntarily terminated are taxable wages under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).[1]  Prior to filing for bankruptcy in 2001, Quality Stores terminated thousands of its employees.[2]  […]
  • Hofstra Law Hobby Lobby Panel

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    25 Mar 2014 | 8:28 am
    By: Michael Engle On Monday, March 24, 2014, an all-star panel of Hofstra Law faculty members assembled for a panel discussion about the forthcoming Hobby Lobby oral arguments and decision.  Professor Robin Charlow, Professor Daniel Greenwood, Dean Ronald Colombo, and Professor Grant Hayden all lent their respective expertises and insights, drawing from fundamental constitutional law, […]
  • McDonald’s Employees: Not Lovin’ It

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    25 Mar 2014 | 7:10 am
    By: Victoria Stubbolo McDonalds, one of the worlds biggest and most popular restaurant chains, has come under fire yet again.  The corporation, which by virtue of its worldwide notoriety is no stranger to controversy, is finding itself in the hot-seat again.  Workers all over the country are bringing suit against McDonalds for being idled without […]
  • Obamacare Battle 2.0: Hobby Lobby and Freedom of Religion for Corporations

    Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal
    23 Mar 2014 | 8:15 am
    By: Julia Elmaleh-Sachs This Tuesday March 25th, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on two highly controversial appeals: Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius.  In both cases, the Court will review provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require for-profit employers of a certain size to offer insurance […]
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    My Distribution Law

  • Digital Content Producers (Still) Lack Antitrust Standing to Sue Wireless Carriers Over MMS

    Howard Ullman
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:46 am
    In a prior post, I covered the district court’s decision in Davis v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc.  There, the Central District of California dismissed antitrust claims against various wireless telephone companies and other defendants brought by a purported class of commercial producers of multimedia content. Plaintiffs claimed that when the wireless carriers created the Multimedia Messaging Service standard for sending multimedia data files, they agreed not to implement digital rights management measures that would have protected materials copyrighted by third parties. Allegedly,…
  • On the Difficulty of Dauberting Antitrust Economists

    Howard Ullman
    8 Apr 2014 | 1:12 pm
    It’s difficult.  Despite a valiant effort, the defendants in In re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 47181 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 4, 2014) (Koh, J.), failed to exclude the expert testimony of plaintiffs’ economist, who has opined on the purported wage impact of the defendants’ alleged bilateral agreements not to cold call each other’s employees. I won’t cover the complex statistics and econometrics here, but if you’re interested, I’m attaching a copy of the decision (click the link). In re High-Tech Employee Antitrust…
  • UC Hastings — Antitrust and IP

    Howard Ullman
    31 Mar 2014 | 9:02 pm
    I’m pleased to have spoken today to a group of law students at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law on the intersection of antitrust and IP law.  It was nice to see an almost-full lecture hall — lots of interest in the topic.
  • Book Review: Louis Kaplow’s Competition Policy and Price Fixing

    Howard Ullman
    18 Mar 2014 | 5:00 am
    Competition Policy and Price Fixing Undoubtedly you’ve seen television commercials by a well-known insurance company where one character turns to another and says: “you can save 15% or more in 15 minutes.” The other character then replies: “everyone knows that, but did you know . . . .” In antitrust, everyone knows that horizontal price-fixing agreements are per se illegal, while oligopolistic pricing is not. But did you know that there is an argument against this dichotomy? In a recent and thought-provoking book entitled Competition Policy and Price Fixing (Princeton University…
  • U.S. Supreme Court to Decide When Professional Licensing Bodies Have Antitrust Immunity

    Howard Ullman
    4 Mar 2014 | 10:47 am
    teeth whitening (Photo credit: torbakhopper) The state action immunity doctrine shields private actors from antitrust liability if their activities are actively supervised by a state. But arms of the state itself generally don’t have to satisfy the actively-supervised requirement to enjoy the immunity. What about a state agency that consists of professionals who are regulating their own profession?  Is such an agency an arm of the state, or is it more like a private actor that must meet the actively-supervised requirement to enjoy antitrust immunity? That’s the issue the…
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    Kangaroo Court of Australia

  • Former NSW Premier Neville Wran dies and takes a lot of knowledge of judicial corruption with him

    Shane Dowling
    20 Apr 2014 | 7:49 am
    Neville Wran is the former NSW premier who sold out the former Chief Magistrate for NSW Murray Farquhar in the 1980′s and let him be sentenced to 4 years jail. But it is said by some that Farquhar’s conviction is what ultimately forced Neville Wran to resign both the premiership and his seat in Parliament on the 4th of […]
  • Kerry Stokes has suppression order put on defamation proceedings against KCA publisher

    Shane Dowling
    15 Apr 2014 | 4:58 pm
    Seven West Media Chairman Kerry Strokes has instructed a judge of the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Harrison, to put a suppression order on defamation proceedings that Kerry Stokes has instituted against me, Shane Dowling, and this website, Kangaroo Court of Australia. The matter is listed for court again on Thursday (17/4/14) at 12pm at the Law Courts Building in Sydney. The […]
  • Royal Commission into unions. There ain’t no heroes

    Shane Dowling
    12 Apr 2014 | 6:29 am
    A good gage of whether the Royal Commission into unions has done its job is if we end up with a long list of heroes who saved the day when the Royal Commission hands its report to the government. If the Royal Commission does write up people as being heroes or implied heroes then it is almost guaranteed that the Royal Commission […]
  • Arthur Sinodinos says it is up to Bill Shorten to answer questions regarding police investigation

    Shane Dowling
    4 Apr 2014 | 7:01 pm
    I was at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hearings on Thursday to watch senator Arthur Sinodinos give evidence. Mr Sinodinos had a bad day in the witness box to put it mildly and said little as he was leaving except a short 20 to 30 second statement. But I did manage to put one […]
  • Judgement day for corrupt officials is here. Michael Williamson gets 7 1/2 years jail

    Shane Dowling
    29 Mar 2014 | 6:23 am
    Former Labor Party President and HSU President Michael Williamson was sentenced to 7 1/2 years jail (minimum 5 years) on Friday (28-3-14) which sends a loud signal to all corrupt officials that you are not untouchable. Mr Williamson’s jailing would have sent a shiver up the spine of many corrupt politicians, government employees and other […]
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    Attorney at Work

  • The Local Search Game

    The Editors
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Let’s say you’re an average Joe who needs to find a local lawyer. Finding the right one can certainly be a difficult quest. Where do you start? Many might think a person’s automatic first step would be to ask a few friends if they’ve used a lawyer they can recommend. But according to a new FindLaw survey, consumers are more likely to head straight to the Internet. Thirty-eight percent of people in the 2014 FindLaw survey said they would use the Internet to find a lawyer, compared to 28% who said they’d ask a relative or friend. That’s a big shift from a…
  • Winning at Local Search Launch

    The Editors
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:53 pm
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  • Announcing Winning at Local Search

    The Editors
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:37 pm
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  • The Money-Making Proposition

    Merrilyn Astin Tarlton
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    It’s simple math, actually. You can fiddle around with yearly billables expectations, “pieces of the pie” and annual hourly rate adjustments — and even stop stocking free coffee in the break room. But your ability to build a legal business that thrives — one that makes money — is going to require a more systemic approach. You’ll need to do more than “tweak” to make things work to your satisfaction in today’s environment. Let’s look at the money-making proposition that is your legal practice: R + P + M = C Yeah, you remember this. It’s algebra! (Yawn.) But this time,…
  • Cure Bad Speech Habits: “It’s, Like, Y’know, Amazing!”

    Theda C. Snyder
    21 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    If I hear an awards show red-carpet doyenne say “Your gown is amazing” one more time, I think I will puke on my tray-table. How about “terrific” or “magnificent” or “stunning”? How about getting a thesaurus? Your vocabulary is probably better than the average reality-show star, but if, you know, you are addicted to “amazing,” or find yourself, like, okay, wanting to, like, break some of your, uhm, bad speech habits, this post is for you. Maybe you think you have no annoying speech habits. Put that to the test by asking friendly folks you live, work or hang out with if that…
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    Justia Law, Technology & Legal Marketing Blog

  • All Creatures Great & Small – Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks April 18, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    18 Apr 2014 | 3:47 pm
    State v. DeMarco, Connecticut Supreme Court (4/22/14) Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal LawUpon following up on complaints from Defendant’s neighbor relating to Defendant’s keeping of animals in his residence, a police officer concluded that a “welfare check” was necessary and made a warrantless entry into Defendant’s home. Defendant subsequently entered a plea of nolo contendere to two counts of cruelty to animals. Defendant appealed the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress on the ground that the warrantless entry was justified under the emergency exception to…
  • Jackpot!! Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – April 4, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    4 Apr 2014 | 9:45 am
    McCutcheon v. Fed. Election Comm’n, United States Supreme Court (4/2/14) Civil Rights, Communications Law, Constitutional Law, Election LawThe Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, impose base limits, restricting how much money a donor may contribute to a particular candidate or committee, and aggregate limits, restricting how much money a donor may contribute in total to all candidates or committees, 2 U.S.C. 441a. In the 2011–2012 election cycle, McCutcheon contributed to 16 federal candidates, complying with all base limits. He alleges…
  • Tommy Flanagan for the Defense, Your Honor – Justia’s Weekly Writers’ Picks 3/28/14

    Cicely Wilson
    28 Mar 2014 | 1:10 pm
    United States v. Bergman, US 10th Cir. (3/28/14) Constitutional Law, Criminal LawDefendant-appellant Gwen Bergman was arrested when the hit-man she thought she hired to kill her husband was in fact an undercover police officer. After trial, it emerged that defendant’s lawyer was not a lawyer-in-fact, but a con man. Defendant applied for habeas relief on the ground that she received ineffective assistance of counsel. The district court agreed with her: the court vacated her conviction, and discharged her from supervised release (she had finished her prison term). Assuming the…
  • Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – March 21, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    21 Mar 2014 | 3:38 pm
    Bray v. Planned Parenthood Columbia-Willamette, Inc., US 6th Cir. (3/21/14) Civil Procedure, Communications Law, Constitutional LawBray is an antiabortion activist and wrote a book, A Time to Kill. In 1985, Bray was convicted for a felony relating to physical damage to abortion centers. He spent four years in prison. Planned Parenthood (PPCW) was a plaintiff in a 1995 suit against antiabortion activists (including Bray) for intimidation by threat of force under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, 18 U.S.C. 248. In 2005, PPCW sought to collect its $850,000 judgment and obtained a…
  • Rails-to-No-Trails – Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – March 14, 2014

    Cicely Wilson
    14 Mar 2014 | 3:20 pm
    Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, United States Supreme Court (3/10/14) Real Estate & Property Law, Transportation Law, Zoning, Planning & Land UseThe General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 provides railroad companies “right[s] of way through the public lands of the United States,” 43 U.S.C. 934. One such right of way, created in 1908, crosses land that the government conveyed to the Brandt family in a 1976 land patent. That patent stated that the land was granted subject to the right of way, but it did not specify what would occur if the railroad relinquished…
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    BullsEye Blog

  • EEOC Failed Court’s Science Test

    22 Apr 2014 | 6:16 am
    In an unidentified room, perhaps in the middle of Pennsylvania somewhere, five academics gather to conduct a test. One has an advanced degree in cultural anthropology, another has an advanced degree in human development, and the others have advanced degrees in education, psychology and economics, respectively. All have experience with “multicultural, multiracial, treatment outcome research” but what exactly is “multicultural, multiracial, treatment outcome research?”  No one seems to know.   The task at hand is simple, though, despite the fact that none of…
  • Daubert: Expert Testimony Based on Experience

    15 Apr 2014 | 6:19 am
    The Supreme Court’s decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993) requires trial courts to ensure that expert testimony admitted is reliable. Perhaps one of the trickier contexts in which courts must apply this standard is expert testimony based on experience.  To be sure, the Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence recognize that...
  • Do You Need An Expert To Sue An Expert?

    4 Apr 2014 | 8:31 am
    Editor’s Note:  The expert referenced in this article is not affiliated with IMS ExpertServices.   If you sue an expert witness for malpractice, do you need expert testimony to prove your case?   The question may sound circular, but it was one of first impression when it was decided earlier this month by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The court's answer, while definitive, was also narrow.
  • Dilbert Versus Daubert - Which Standard Controls in Patent Design Cases?

    1 Apr 2014 | 6:21 am
    In a groundbreaking decision, the Ninth Circuit in Dilbert v. Apple Computer, Inc., 401 F.3d 2014 (9th Cir., February 31, 2014), has announced a new standard for admissibility of...
  • What The #!$% Is Bitcoin?

    25 Mar 2014 | 2:30 am
    In wake of the world’s second largest heist, a Japanese bitcoin exchange company filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. this month. Facing multimillion-dollar lawsuits in federal court, Mt. Gox, a company originally created to trade Magic role-playing game cards, has thrust the mysterious world of bitcoins and crypto-currencies into the mainstream spotlight.   Now, many lawyers, judges and legal experts are asking themselves the same question: “What the #!$% is a bitcoin?”
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    Hunt & Associates, PC

  • 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:    Selecting a Beneficiary: Who, What, When  Out of State Resident Owning Property in Oregon: Will Your Estate Have to Pay an…
  • 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…
  • The Oregon Probate Process: Getting Started

    Kevin Tillson
    19 Mar 2014 | 3:37 pm
    In my estate planning practice and in my estate administration practice I am asked the same questions: “What is probate?” and, “Why does it have to take so long?” Usually when people tell me they want to avoid probate, they mean that they want to avoid having their estate administered through a court process, whether or not the person has a will.  The exact definition of probate is not that important.  Essentially, the administration of a probate estate (if there is a will) or intestate estate (if there is not a will) is the legal process for gathering a deceased individual’s…
  • Selecting a Beneficiary: Who, What, When

    Kevin Tillson
    20 Feb 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Now that you have decided which estate planning instrument (a will or a trust) you will be using and you have selected your trustee or personal representative, who do you want to leave your property to? What property do you want to leave to each beneficiary?  When should each beneficiary receive your property?  The answers to these questions may seem easy – leave everything to your children in equal shares and let them figure out the details.  However, these questions require further analysis to make sure your property passes to who you want it to pass to, when you want it to pass, and…
  • The National Labor Relations Act and the Rights of Non-Union Employees

    Lawrence Hunt
    20 Feb 2014 | 9:00 am
    In recent years the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has begun applying provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), to non-union employers.  In particular, the NLRB has successfully applied Sections 7 and 8 of the NLRA to compel the reinstatement with back pay of employees who have criticized their employer on social media and to invalidate employer policies which would “reasonably tend to chill employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights” to engage in concerted action. James Moss has a good summary in the Federal Lawyer here.  As his article points…
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    Recent Blog Posts

  • Tesla Fights Back Against First Lemon Law Suit

    18 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    Tesla is fighting back against a recently filed lemon law suit in Wisconsin, the first lemon law suit filed against the company in America. The case, which has garnered national attention for claims regarding Tesla's customer sales agreements, generated even more controversy after Tesla denied many of the allegations made in the lawsuit. Lemon law statutes are designed to protect customers who purchase vehicles that need to continually be brought in for the same repair. Customers who file lawsuits under a state's lemon law can be compensated through purchase reimbursement or vehicle…
  • Responsibility and Maintenance that Comes with Purchase

    1 Apr 2014 | 10:30 am
    At Norman Taylor & Associates, we are passionate about helping others. Recently, our team has encountered a number of cases involving high-end vehicles and engine blowouts. In these cases, clients purchased vehicles that came with a maintenance package as part of the purchase price. Their vehicles suffered from a blown engine and their warranty for engine repair was denied, even though a blown engine happening within the period of one's warranty is normally covered. Why were these claims denied? The first thing any dealership (on behalf of the manufacturer) will look at is your…
  • The Worst Cars & Car Problems of 2013

    23 Jan 2014 | 3:20 pm
    At Norman Taylor & Associates, we know that just because a car is new does not mean that it will be problem-free. Every year, consumers find themselves in a predicament when their newest-model vehicle starts acting up. gathers information, complaints, and reports about car models from every year in order to inform consumers of potential problems that any model year may have. We have condensed the information from their lists of 2013 "Worst Vehicles from the 2013 Model Year" and 2013 "Top Vehicle Complaints" below for your benefit! Worst Vehicles from…
  • Quality And The Lemon Automobile

    30 Sep 2013 | 1:15 pm
    "It costs a lot to build bad products." Norman Augustine�"Augustine's 12th Law" In America we salute quantity and pay lip service to quality. When manufacturers want to brag, they cite numbers of units produced, tons of ore mined, miles of cable laid, or millions of books sold. People involved in high production get gold-plated plaques, vacations in Las Vegas and outrageous bonuses. Where is quality management while this is happening? Fighting with production supervisors to maintain standards, trying to get budget to buy inspection tools, trying to get people to…
  • Chrysler Agrees to NHTSA's Recall Request

    25 Jun 2013 | 8:20 pm
    Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requested that Chrysler issue a recall to correct the risk of a fuel spill resulting from rear end collisions. Chrysler declined to issue the voluntary recall that would affect 2.7 million model years 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and model years 2002-2007Jeep Liberty owners. After some back and forth, Chrysler finally agreed to issue a voluntary recall to correct the issue by installing a tow hitch to these vehicles in an effort to increase the structural stability of the rear end and better manage the crash force in low…
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    Rozek Law

  • Brain Injuries and What’s Next

    Randy Rozek
    18 Apr 2014 | 3:15 pm
    Visit us at Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) is caused by anything that shakes or jars the brain, causing tearing, bruising or or swelling of brain tissue. The result can be as mild and simple as a concussion or it can be more serious with long-lasting consequences. Most people recover with rest but a few are left with disabilities in movement, speech or learning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 5.3 million Americans are living with disabilities resulting from brain injury. Of these, approximately two-thirds of people undergoing rehabilitation from a…
  • Long Term Effects Of A Head Injury

    Randy Rozek
    11 Apr 2014 | 6:15 am
    Visit us at The Mayo Clinic defines a head injury as a traumatic brain injury that occurs when an external force causes brain dysfunction. Those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries usually suffer these injuries due to involvement in serious car accidents, athletic events, incidents of violence or other accidents. Vegetative State of Being Brain injury victims may end up in a vegetative state after the accident. The Mayo Clinic states that widespread brain cell damage can cause a person to suffer from the inability to respond to his or her external environment. One may be…
  • Dealing with a Traumatic Brain Injury

    Randy Rozek
    7 Apr 2014 | 8:28 am
    Visit us at One of the worst things to experience is a brain injury. Because the brain is the most complex organ in the body, it is also more susceptible to damage. In the United States alone, over 1.4 million individuals suffer from brain injuries each year, with a good percentage of these injuries resulting in death. Such an injury can occur as a result of a car accident, medical malpractice and even slips and falls. Unfortunately, brain injuries are usually not easily recognizable and symptoms frequently manifest some time after a person has experienced an accident. Symptoms…
  • The Many Effects of a Brain Injury

    Randy Rozek
    25 Mar 2014 | 5:00 am
    Visit us at The brain can best be described as the “control center” of a human being and, understandably, an injury to it can have immense effects on the functioning of the body. Known medically as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the condition is often consequential to a fall, a vehicular accident, an act of violence or the participation in contact sports. A TBI can stem from an external blow or a penetrating injury to the head, or a sudden acceleration or deceleration that jars the brain within the skull. The primary effects usually consist of the tearing, stretching…
  • 3 Things to Remember If You’ve Experienced A Head Injury

    Randy Rozek
    24 Mar 2014 | 10:56 am
    Visit us at Seek Medical Attention Anyone experiencing a head injury should seek immediate medical attention at a hospital emergency room, or call paramedics to the scene of an accident. This type of medical trauma is a common occurrence for adults or children during a vehicle collision, work accident or while playing contact sports. Each day numerous children, teenagers and adults receive head traumas requiring medical treatment that may last days, weeks or years. Medical facilities use diagnostic imaging to determine if a patient has damage such as internal bleeding to the…
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  • Benefitting Service Members, Number of VA Loans Continues to Rise

    Natalie Cappellazzo
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:33 am
    The number of VA-guaranteed loans reached a record high in the year 2013, with no signs of slowing down.  The steady increase represents an upward trajectory since the collapse of the housing market.  The Department of Veterans Affairs guaranteed approximately 630,000 mortgage loans in fiscal year 2013, about half of which were borrowed with the […]
  • 2014 National Healthcare Decisions Day

    Linda Grear
    12 Apr 2014 | 6:09 am
    The 2014 National Healthcare Decisions Day is Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Over 100 million American adults have not designated an agent to make medical decisions nor documented the type of medical care they desire. Although it is a difficult issue to address, it is important for all adults to consider who is best-suited to make […]
  • Beware of Scams During Tax Season

    Natalie Cappellazzo
    9 Apr 2014 | 6:31 am
    Heading into April, tax season is now in full swing.  With the April 15th “Tax Day” due date quickly approaching, Americans filing their income taxes should be aware of increasingly-sophisticated scams.  Geared towards taxpayers eager to secure a large refund, the scammers employ a wide range of tricks to prey on individuals.  One practice that […]
  • New NYS Estate Tax Law

    Linda Grear
    3 Apr 2014 | 7:59 am
    On March 29, 2014, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders announced an agreement on New York State’s 2014-2015 budget which included several tax law changes. As of April 1, 2014, the legislation made significant changes to the estate and gift tax law. First, there is an increase of the New York State estate tax […]
  • CVS Lawsuit could Pose Major Changes to Tight Severance Contracts

    Natalie Cappellazzo
    29 Mar 2014 | 7:00 am
    When companies downsize, they rely on severance agreements to shield themselves from the threat of lawsuits.  Among other legal components, severance contracts typically include a general release of claims, a non disparagement clause, and a covenant not to sue.  By agreeing not to sue their former employer, the departing individual receives money and/or other benefits. […]
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    Melody Glatz
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:56 pm
    By Christie Weidemann, Esq., BARBRI Manager of Legal Education and Legal Education Advisor So you are finally wrapping up your 2L year that, if you are like most students, was so busy you did not really have time to stop and think. Not to worry – that is what your 3L year is for. You finally have this law school thing down and now it’s on to the rest of your life. In the midst of finishing up your classwork, 3L year is about figuring out where you want to live, where you want to work and, perhaps most importantly, where you can find a job. START SOON ON THE BAR EXAM APPLICATION You’re…

    Melody Glatz
    8 Apr 2014 | 11:13 am
    By Chris Nikitas, Esq., BARBRI Legal Education Advisor Alright, you don’t have a summer job. Whether you’re a 1L or 2L student, this is a rather scary position. First thing’s first. In the words of Douglas Adams, “don’t panic.” Especially in your first year of law school, having a legal job during the summer isn’t an end-of-the-world scenario. I hosted bar exam trivia during my 1L summer. A prominent scholar I know – who shall remain anonymous – taught tennis lessons. The fact is, you can make up for not having a job in a number of ways and here are a few ideas. DON’T…

    Melody Glatz
    4 Mar 2014 | 2:08 pm
    By Chris Nikitas, Esq., BARBRI Legal Education Advisor BARBRI offers bar review courses for all 50 state bar exams and the District of Columbia. We have the knowledge, quality and experience you need to get through whichever bar exam you need to take. BAR REVIEW IN CLASS – AND ONLINE. All the BARBRI bar review course lecture material is available online. You’ll have access to the same content available in the course’s print materials, as well as the same questions. You’ll be able to submit essays for grading, keep in touch with your Legal Education Advisor and submit substantive…

    Laura Smith
    18 Feb 2014 | 2:01 pm
    By Sam Farkas, Esq., BARBRI Product Development Manager 1) BECOME AN EFFICIENT PROBLEM SOLVER Law school may have taught you the framework and skills to solve legal problems, but it did not teach you how to solve them efficiently. Successful attorneys are acquainted with two basic principles: The Pareto Principle that states 80 percent of the effects stem from 20% of the causes and Parkinson’s Law that states work expands into the time allotted for its completion. Focus on investing time on the 20% of your work that brings the most value and reduce the time to complete the remaining work by…

    Melody Glatz
    11 Feb 2014 | 1:07 pm
    By Stefan Borst-Censullo, Esq. To begin off I want to apologize to you, the good reader, for my contribution to this over stuffed cannon of “hey so you’re about to take the bar, here’s some tips.” However you have obviously decided to read this post, so you are either very bored or beyond desperate. In any case I hope this will help you realize either that ALL HOPE IS NOT LOST or alternatively assist in further procrastination before you dive headfirst into the eight hours of MBE’s. The main lesson that I, an underemployed, heavily indebted, but FULLY LICENSED ATTORNEY can impart on…
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    Attorney at Work

  • The Local Search Game

    The Editors
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Let’s say you’re an average Joe who needs to find a local lawyer. Finding the right one can certainly be a difficult quest. Where do you start? Many might think a person’s automatic first step would be to ask a few friends if they’ve used a lawyer they can recommend. But according to a new FindLaw survey, consumers are more likely to head straight to the Internet. Thirty-eight percent of people in the 2014 FindLaw survey said they would use the Internet to find a lawyer, compared to 28% who said they’d ask a relative or friend. That’s a big shift from a…
  • Winning at Local Search Launch

    The Editors
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:53 pm
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  • Announcing Winning at Local Search

    The Editors
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:37 pm
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  • The Money-Making Proposition

    Merrilyn Astin Tarlton
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    It’s simple math, actually. You can fiddle around with yearly billables expectations, “pieces of the pie” and annual hourly rate adjustments — and even stop stocking free coffee in the break room. But your ability to build a legal business that thrives — one that makes money — is going to require a more systemic approach. You’ll need to do more than “tweak” to make things work to your satisfaction in today’s environment. Let’s look at the money-making proposition that is your legal practice: R + P + M = C Yeah, you remember this. It’s algebra! (Yawn.) But this time,…
  • Cure Bad Speech Habits: “It’s, Like, Y’know, Amazing!”

    Theda C. Snyder
    21 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    If I hear an awards show red-carpet doyenne say “Your gown is amazing” one more time, I think I will puke on my tray-table. How about “terrific” or “magnificent” or “stunning”? How about getting a thesaurus? Your vocabulary is probably better than the average reality-show star, but if, you know, you are addicted to “amazing,” or find yourself, like, okay, wanting to, like, break some of your, uhm, bad speech habits, this post is for you. Maybe you think you have no annoying speech habits. Put that to the test by asking friendly folks you live, work or hang out with if that…
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    Pretrial, Trial, Appellate & Evidence Blog


    Ronald H. Clark
    10 Apr 2014 | 10:21 am
    If you are unprepared to argue a motion, it shows. This was the take away that a significant number of my Seattle University law students noted in their reports on watching motions arguments in both state and federal court. I require that my Comprehensive Pretrial students attend a motion hearing and then write a report about what they observed. While they are free to write about whatever takes their fancy, this semester’s predominant theme was the importance of being prepared. Motion preparation is discussed at length in Pretrial Advocacy: Planning, Analysisand Strategy, 4th…

    Ronald H. Clark
    7 Apr 2014 | 4:08 pm
    When teaching pretrial or trial advocacy, it is important to get the law students out of the classroom to experience the real life of a trial lawyer. For my Comprehensive Pretrial Advocacy course, the students have a minimum of three experiences outside the classroom. First, we go to the scene – the Garage tavern (the class picture taken during the recent visit) where the shooting took place, which led to both criminal murder charges and the complaint for wrongful death. We use the cases in the Pretrial Advocacy book throughout the course.The go-to-the-scene outing focuses on two teaching…

    Ronald H. Clark
    24 Mar 2014 | 9:54 am
    Advancing JusticeFor the past week, I have been in Pristina, Kosovo teaching trial advocacy. The U.S. Department of Justice offered this advocacy training as part of Kosovo’s effort to implement the rule of law. Kosovo is the world’s newest nation, having declared its independence in 2008. The population of Kosovo is approximately 1.8 million. The people of Kosovo have great affection for Americans, and they were unfailingly gracious to us.  The U.S. involvement in bringing an end to the Kosovo war is a reason for this attitude, and their appreciation is evident with a statue of…

    Ronald H. Clark
    20 Feb 2014 | 3:15 pm
    The Engaging Direct ExaminationA poorly executed direct examination can lose the jury or bore them to snores. There are many ways to disengage the jury from your direct. Use the windshield wiper method (“What happened next?” “What happened next?”  And then what happened?”). While this may elicit the information, it can be as mind-numbing as watching your windshield wiper go back and forth. Call an expert who constantly speaks in technical terms that jurors can’t understand. Allow a dull, monotone voiced witness to drone on, thus sucking the oxygen out of the courtroom. Have…

    Ronald H. Clark
    17 Feb 2014 | 3:21 pm
    Seattle University launches Advanced Trial Advocacy InstituteMarilyn Berger and I have developed and chair this week-long June 2-6, 2014) Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute. The Institute offers a proven conceptual approach to trial practice combined with premier trial principles and strategies for every phase of trial from preparation through closing argument. During the course the best of the best trial lawyers and faculty will provide lectures and demonstrations of successful trial skills.Above all, course attendees will prepare and try a case, including conducting jury selection,…
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    Law & Industry Daily

  • Cameras at the Supreme Court: They ought to be in pictures

    The Economist
    29 Mar 2014 | 12:23 am
    C-SPAN marked its 35th anniversary last week. The channel has been airing gavel-to-gavel proceedings of the House of Representatives since 1979; it ventured to the floor of the Senate in 1986 and has added committee hearings, interviews and coverage… ... Continue Reading.
  • Money Talks

    The Economist
    25 Mar 2014 | 5:49 am
    This week: the impact of sanctions on Russia, stress testing banks in the United States and planning for retirement in Britain. ... Continue Reading.
  • Obamacare back at SCOTUS

    25 Mar 2014 | 5:40 am
    John King, Juana Summers & Peter Hamby discuss the upcoming Supreme Court case on contraceptive coverage under the ACA. ... Continue Reading.
  • Ten states critical to administration’s efforts to enroll 6 million in new health plans

    PBS Newshour
    25 Mar 2014 | 5:35 am
    This KHN story was produced in collaboration with USA Today. Ten states — seven of them controlled by Republicans — hold the key to whether the Obama administration succeeds at signing up 6 million people for health care under the Affordable Care… ... Continue Reading.
  • Report: California is Prime Target for Global Cybercrime

    25 Mar 2014 | 5:25 am
    The success and high profile of businesses in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and elsewhere have made California the specific target of international gangs of online criminals, according to a report released today by the office of the Attorney General of… ... Continue Reading.
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    The Attorney Marketing Center

  • Remember presentations better by structuring your content

    David M. Ward
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:48 am
    Matt Abrams is an expert on public speaking and a lecturer at Stanford. In a recent article, he says you will be better able to remember presentations by “structuring your content,” rather than presenting it randomly. He explains: “Having a structure helps you remember what to say because even if you forget the specifics, you can use the general framework to stay on track. For example, when using the Problem-Solution-Benefit structure–which is good for persuading and motivating people–you first lay out a specific problem (or opportunity), then detail a solution…
  • The Fortune is in the Follow-up

    David M. Ward
    21 Apr 2014 | 12:39 pm
    One of the most important aspects of marketing any business or professional practice is follow-up. For many, it’s also one of the most challenging. Because they must, most attorneys have a process for communicating with existing clients. This process is driven by the demands of the case or legal matter. Copies are mailed, calls are made to discuss strategy, progress reports are sent on a pre-determined schedule. Once the case is settled or the matter is completed, however, follow-up is often done haphazardly and too often, not at all. And then there’s everyone else. Prospective…
  • How to get your work done on time

    David M. Ward
    18 Apr 2014 | 12:50 pm
    The statute runs on the ninth, so we get the complaint filed by the eighth. We have to, so we do. What about things that don’t have a deadline? We put them off. We procrastinate. Especially if it’s something we don’t want to do. But we know this is a bad habit and we want to overcome it. So we make up a deadline. A firm date when we will have the work done. We put it on our calendar. It’s in writing. We see the due date coming up. We’re determined to beat the deadline. But we don’t. The day comes and goes and we don’t do the work. We were probably…
  • Getting more bang for your content marketing buck

    David M. Ward
    17 Apr 2014 | 11:15 am
    If you have a website or blog, write a newsletter, or post anything on social media, you are engaging in content marketing. I just read an excellent article about the value of evergreen content for bringing a steady stream of traffic, in contrast to, well, non-evergreen content. I’ve always been inclined towards writing evergreen content because I’m lazy smart. If you write about technology, as soon as it’s posted, it’s out of date. The same is true of many other timely and news-oriented topics. If you write evergreen content, however, it will bring traffic today and…
  • The case against having too many business contacts

    David M. Ward
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:23 am
    Most business professionals seek to connect with as many people as possible. They equate quantity with effective marketing. In truth, quality is paramount. One high quality contact who is willing to help you is worth thousands of average contacts. High quality business contacts are influential in your target market. They know the people you want to know and can introduce you to them. They can solve problems for you with one phone call. They can give you money-saving and time-saving advice that can help you take giant leaps in the growth of your practice. High quality contacts are also open to…
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    Valensi Rose Law

  • Can You Enforce The Arbitration Clause In A Trust Against A Beneficiary Who Is Challenging The Trust? A Recent California Court Of Appeal Case Says No.

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    7 Apr 2014 | 12:04 pm
    By Linda ChungLynda ChungOver the years some arbitration clauses in different contracts have withstood the litigants’ challenges.  Some arbitration clauses have not.   In a recent California Court of Appeal cases, McArthur v. McArthur (2014) 2014 S.O.S. A137133, the trustee attempted to enforce the arbitration clause in the amended trust document (the “Amended Trust”) created by her mother against the beneficiary who was the trustee’s sister.  The Amended Trust required mediation, and if necessary, arbitration of “any claim or dispute arising from or related to…
  • Lenders Must Enforce Remedies "By the Book" or Suffer the Consequences

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    1 Apr 2014 | 10:24 am
    By Gary F. TorrellGary F. TorrellIn a new California appellate court decision published this week called Bank of New York Mellon v. Preciado, the bank foreclosed on the borrower's home pledged as security for the loan and then sought to evict the former owners.  According to the decision, the bank made several mistakes along the way, including: (1) failure to provide proof the trustee who conducted the foreclosure sale had been properly substituted in place of the trustee named in the deed of trust; (2) the unlawful detainer complaint and judgment for possession incorrectly described the…
  • Who Needs a Mentor?

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    10 Mar 2014 | 1:24 pm
    By Autumn Ronda, President Beverly Hills Bar Association Barristers Autumn RondaEveryone! The importance of mentorship cannot be understated. Oftentimes it can mean the difference between a budding professional’s determination to succeed, and their tangible success. Though a mentor relationship can exist in many forms, it always guides the mentee to the most clear and advantageous path to attaining their goals and the mentor will find the experience equally enriching. I am fortunate to have maintained mentorship relationships with both attorneys and non-legal professionals…
  • Bruce Sires Quoted in Investor's Business Daily on Inheritance Transfer

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    4 Mar 2014 | 2:57 pm
    Click HERE to view full article: Contact: Bruce Sires
  • Think Your Employee's Bluffing About Coming Back To Work? Be Prepared To Call, And To Show Your Cards.

    About Valensi Rose, PLC
    14 Feb 2014 | 3:39 pm
    By David KrolDavid KrolKelley v. California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (Feb. 10, 2014, B244098) __ Cal.App.4th __, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 128, is a good example of what an employer should do – or rather, shouldn't do – when considering whether to terminate an employee who's scheduled to return to work after a leave of absence.In April, 2010, Stephanie Kelley filed a complaint with California's Division of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging that her employer, Merle Norman Cosmetics ("Merle") was retaliating against her for reporting ongoing sexual harassment.  One month…
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    Law Firm Internet Marketing Blog | Attorney Search Engine Optimization SEO | News & Tips

  • One Out Of Every Three Reviews On Yelp Could Potentially Hurt Your Law Firm #lawyermarketing

    Dustin Ruge
    2 Apr 2014 | 7:30 pm
    Today a story was released in the WSJ about a lawsuit filed against sites that host and manage customer reviews of their companies online. One of the most prominent review sites, Yelp, is at the center of the story. According to one carpet cleaning business owner, his business was negatively impacted by as much as 30% following a rash of negative reviews on Yelp.As we have previously posted, user reviews are critical when it comes to brand management for attorneys. I recently visited with an attorney who had two reviews on Yelp - one of which was highly negative. When I showed her a search of…
  • Maricopa County Bar CLE: LinkedIn Marketing March 25th

    Dustin Ruge
    24 Mar 2014 | 9:23 pm
    Dustin Ruge will be presenting a 1 hour CLE on LinkedIn Marketing For Attorneys at the Maricopa County Bar Association on Tuesday, March 25th at 12noon. Topics covered include: Creating and Updating LinkedIn Attorney Profiles and Pages · Building Referral Networks LinkedIn and Frequency Marketing Using LinkedIn to Better Promote Your BrandFor more information and/or to register:  #CLE  #lawyermarketing #LinkedIn
  • New Attorney CLE's March 20th & 21st - Social Media & Attorney Marketing Online #CLE

    Dustin Ruge
    13 Mar 2014 | 8:58 pm
    Dustin Ruge will be presenting two Southern California CLE's next week on Social Media for Attorneys and Attorney Marketing Online. If you are interested in attending either of these events, please see below for details...ATTORNEY MARKETING ON THE INTERNETDATE/TIME:  Thursday  March 20th @  12:00 noonLOCATION:   The Old Spaghetti Factory  (111 N. Twin Oaks Valley Road; San Marcos, CA)SPONSOR:  North County Bar Association INFO:  Vik Chaudhry - (858) 519-7333 MCLE CREDIT HOURS: 1.0 GeneralMORE DETAILS:…
  • 5 Things Attorneys Need To Know About Mobile Advertising

    Dustin Ruge
    10 Mar 2014 | 4:12 pm
    There is nothing new about mobile search unless you are the average attorney. With the fastest consumer technology adoption rates in the history of marketing, mobile is hard to keep up with and more importantly, it is hard for many attorneys to know how this impacts their marketing spending relative to effectiveness. Here are a few things to keep in mind…1.) Fish where the fish are Of all of the ways you can market your law firm practice, there is one channel that is growing at a record pace and that is through mobile. It is hard to not see people with smart phones and tablets anymore both…
  • Building An Effective Frequency Marketing Plan For Your Law Firm #lawyermarketing

    Dustin Ruge
    17 Feb 2014 | 1:16 pm
    One of the biggest mistakes I commonly see lawyers make is in creating ineffective marketing plans. The actions I frequently see are sporadic mailings, setup and infrequent use (or no use at all) of social media, and one-time media buys. My favorite comments from attorneys are when they will start a social media / media / mailing strategy and then stop it saying that they “didn’t see any results” and/or they “are not getting new cases” in continuing these efforts. The genesis of this problem typically emanates from too much focus on the “what” of marketing while lacking a true…
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    Estate Law Canada

  • Most Canadians are not aware of the tax benefits of charitable giving in their wills

    22 Apr 2014 | 3:41 pm
    I saw a Scotiabank news release today that contains some interesting facts. One in five people with a written will plan to leave some portion of their estate to charity. I find that number to be higher than I experienced in my own law practice, but perhaps it includes people who direct funds to charity if an individual beneficiary does not live to accept the inheritance. Only about 40% of
  • Eyes wide open - should you accept that executor appointment?

    18 Apr 2014 | 8:53 pm
    I'm attaching a link to a post by Ontario lawyer Corina Weigl, who blogs at In her article, Ms. Weigl talks about the fact that many executors and court-appointed administrators take on the assigned role without even thinking about what they are getting into. It's an interesting read, and should remind all of us that acting as an executor is a bigger job than most people
  • Beneficiaries got nothing when executor used the house for security - and lost it

    18 Apr 2014 | 8:40 pm
    There is a new case from the Ontario Court of Appeal this month that I believe holds a really valuable lesson for beneficiaries. It's the case of DiMichele v. DiMichele. The facts, briefly, are that Mrs. DiMichele died in 1996, leaving her son,  Antonio, as her executor. She left her estate among her three children. One of Mrs. DiMichele's other kids, Roberto, lived in the house after his
  • Executor is charging the beneficiaries to live in the house they inherited

    13 Apr 2014 | 7:31 am
    Does your will contain trusts that affect your children? Are those trusts complete and clear enough to avoid problems? Have you really thought through how it's all supposed to work after you're gone? I received a note from two young people whose parents passed away, and who are now dealing with the executor on their own. Their question and my response are below. Parents, think about whether
  • Resource for executors trying to locate a life insurance policy

    7 Apr 2014 | 7:53 pm
    I'm always in favour of any tools that make an executor's job easier or better. There is a new tool available as of this month: MIB Solutions Inc has a policy locator service that identifies life insurance application information from 450 insurance companies in Canada and the USA. Though the service itself is not new, they now have an online form that can be used, making it much easier to
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    AZ Attorney

  • Writing about controversial topics in a member magazine

    22 Apr 2014 | 9:30 am
    In March, I had the opportunity to present at the American Bar Association on the topic of association presidents’ messages—typically magazine or newsletter columns penned by the attorney who helms the bar association for a year. Since then, however, I’ve come across a message that I wish I could have shared in Chicago. It was drafted by Whitney Cunningham, the State Bar of Arizona President. Whitney Cunnigham is an attorney at Aspey, Watkins & Diesel in Flagstaff, and I had the privilege of writing a profile of him last summer. So here was Whitney’s challenge in the April issue…
  • Human trafficking event offers lawyer training, credit

    21 Apr 2014 | 9:30 am
    A unique opportunity presents itself to attorneys this Friday and Saturday—the free chance to learn about human trafficking and perhaps to get some credit doing it. The April 25-26 event will be staged by Project Always, a nonprofit law firm. Here is how they describe themselves: “Project ALWAYS is a nonprofit law firm committed to providing free legal services and system reform advocacy to empower homeless children and youth and survivors of sex trafficking. Working through referrals from our social service partners, we help clients lift the legal barriers that stand in the way of…
  • Volunteer attorneys aid family law consumers at @AZStateBar program

    18 Apr 2014 | 9:30 am
    Volunteer attorneys participate in the Lawyers on Call phone program, April 8, 2014, on the topic of family law. Here is a follow-up to a State Bar event, by my colleague Alberto Rodriguez: The State Bar of Arizona, and 12 News hosted the Lawyers on Call public service program on Tuesday, April 8. The following is a recap of the program, which focused on family law—divorce, child support, and paternity issues The volunteer attorneys were: Christa Banfield, Michael Clancy, Tali Collins, Michael Cordrey, DeeAn Gillespie Strub, Wendy Hernandez, Kris Leonhardt, Nancy Khiel, Londa…
  • Lawyers who blog make an impression, report @NHBAR @KysaCrusco

    17 Apr 2014 | 9:30 am
    Attorneys looking for a strategic edge in a tough economy should take a few minutes to read how some New Hampshire lawyers are enhancing their practices and raising their profile. Their solution? Blogging. And the lawyers interviewed by the talented Dan Wise of the New Hampshire Bar Association share the reasons that a law blog makes the difference. Here’s part of the story opening: “‘I thought [blogging] was a great idea, but I figured other people must already be doing it,’” says [attorney Kysa] Crusco. ‘When I went home and did a web search, it turned out that there weren’t…
  • ASU lecture on race relations features attorney Lani Guinier tonight

    16 Apr 2014 | 9:30 am
    civil rights attorney and Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier speaks at ASU on Wednesday, April 16. In year 19, ASU continues to invite great people to deliver its A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations. Tonight’s offering, by civil rights attorney and Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier, promises to keep in that tradition. The event is free, open to the public, and requires no RSVP. But seats are often at a premium. Guinier’s remarks are titled “Rethinking Race and Class.” She will speak tonight at 7:00 pm, in the Carson Ballroom of Old Main on the Tempe campus. As ASU says,…
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    Law Donut blog feed

  • What is 'distraint' and how could it affect your company?

    23 Apr 2014 | 5:36 am
    “Distraint” is where a landlord or HMRC can recover debt by auctioning off a company’s assets. An official visits the company’s premises and issues the director(s) or “responsible person” with a distraint notice and records all valuable assets. Once these have been recorded, there will be an option to agree to “walking possession”, which is where the HMRC official “walks away”, but holds possession of the goods. If the debt has not been paid after five days, HMRC can auction off the assets. If you don’t agree to a walking possession, HMRC can take away the assets…
  • Effective absence management for people with disabilities

    31 Mar 2014 | 2:54 am
    Employers should tread with caution when managing disability-related sickness and leave. So what are the key areas to consider? When is a sick employee disabled? For discrimination law purposes, a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This definition is contained in section 6(1) of the Equality Act 2010. In some cases, it may be obvious to a manager whether the employee is disabled, in other cases it may be necessary to obtain a medical report to consider…
  • Important information from HSE about the workplace health and safety law poster

    24 Mar 2014 | 4:31 am
    If you employ anyone, you must display the health and safety law poster or provide each employee with a copy of the equivalent pocket-sized card. The poster must be displayed in a place where your workers can easily read it. The poster explains health and safety laws and employer obligations. Details of employee safety representatives or health and safety contacts can be added. The current version of the health and safety law poster was published in 2009. You can continue to display earlier versions until 5 April 2014, as long as they are readable and contain up-to-date contact details. After…
  • How to deal with long-term employee sickness

    17 Mar 2014 | 3:59 am
    As a small-business owner, every employee will be absolutely vital to your success. Any kind of absence can become a problem, especially when staff members miss work through long-term illness. In these circumstances, it is important that you handle matters in a delicate and legally compliant manner. So what should you do? 1 Assess whether a temporary replacement is needed If another member of staff cannot reasonably cover the absent employee’s responsibilities, and resources allow, you may need to appoint a temporary replacement. This can prevent other staff members from becoming…
  • Protecting your business from the possible consequences of divorce

    12 Mar 2014 | 5:05 am
    Nearly half of all marriages now end in divorce and the starting point for a division of marital assets is an equal sharing between the couple (depending on individual cases). Those assets can include your business or interest in a business. Thinking about your marriage breaking down can be difficult, but it is important to consider what steps you can take now to protect your business interests in the event of a divorce. Enter into a nuptial agreement This is a written agreement signed by a couple setting out what they want to happen in respect of their financial affairs if their marriage…
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    Colorado Construction Litigation

  • 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, I 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 decision…
  • The Economic Loss Rule and the Disclosure of Latent Defects: In re the Estate of Carol S. Gattis

    David M. McLain
    8 Jan 2014 | 10:00 pm
    In a recent case of first impression, the Colorado Court of Appeals determined that the economic loss rule does not bar a nondisclosure tort claim against a seller of a home, built on expansive soils which caused damage to the house after the sale.  The case of In re the Estate of Carol S. Gattis represents a new decision regarding the economic loss rule.  Because it is a case of first impression, we must wait to see whether the Colorado Supreme Court grants a petition for certiorari.Until then, we will analyze the decision handed down on November 7, 2013.  The sellers of the…
  • A Bill for an Act Concerning Workers’ Compensation – 2014 Edition

    David M. McLain
    3 Jan 2014 | 11:54 am
    Workers’ compensation (“WC”) costs are a significant portion of the labor costs experienced by construction companies.  These costs have typically risen over time due to the “experience modification factor.” This term means the amortized cost of past claims recovered through future premiums charged by an insurer to an employer. As a company’s claims go up in both number of claims and total expense of claims over time, the experience modifier increases as a multiplier of the base WC premium.  As with other general medical costs, the question is not whether the cost of…
  • The Need to Be Specific and Precise in Drafting Settling Agreements

    David M. McLain
    18 Dec 2013 | 10:27 am
    The case of Bituminous Casualty Corp. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Corp., 2013 WL 452374 (D. Colo. February 6, 2013) is instructive as an example of both the confusion and resulting escalation of litigation that can result from a lack of clarity in settlement negotiations. This is particularly true where parties settle outside of their insurance coverage, and/or without notifying their insurer(s), which have denied coverage. The case involved coverage litigation following settlement of a multi-party construction defect case involving the Rivergate multi-family residential development in…
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    Accellis Technology Group

  • Amicus Attorney for Estate Planning Law Firms

    Colleen Heine
    14 Apr 2014 | 7:57 am
    Law offices working with sensitive information including wills and estates require a practice management system that stands out from the pack and supports the many needs of their practice area. When engaging with clients, personal information such as the deed to their house or private banking details are brought to your office demonstrating trust and respect from your client. Estate planning attorneys must have a solution in place that nurtures their practice of law in order to continue to build that trust and confidence. While Amicus Attorney Premium Edition is designed to work with firms of…
  • What You Should Know About The Heartbleed Bug

    Accellis Technology Group
    10 Apr 2014 | 7:49 am
    Yesterday, researches announced a security flaw in OpenSSL, an encryption tool used to transmit secure data over the Internet. Simply put, they found a loophole that makes it possible for hackers to intercept encrypted data including usernames, passwords,  uploaded content and even credit card data. This flaw has been in place for over two years, however, it wasn’t discovered until very recently. What does this mean? Cracking SSL does not necessarily expose all of your passwords. It means that a hacker could intercept your communications (e.g. from a public Starbucks or Wi-Fi hot spot)…
  • Review of ABA TECHSHOW 2014 (A Vendor’s Perspective)

    Abbie Hosta
    2 Apr 2014 | 12:03 pm
    Accellis Technology Group attended the ABA TECHSHOW 2014 last week in Chicago. While most exhibitors attend primarily to promote their product and sign a few clients, this really wasn’t our main goal. For us, it’s a great way to stay current on new trends and products, as well as to ensure we understand the technology needs of today’s lawyers. It’s also one of the few times throughout the year we get to speak face-to-face with our partners. Computers, no matter how valuable, cannot replace the intimacy of a face-to-face conversation. With that being said, below are a few takeaways…
  • Accellis Recognized as a Top Managed Service Provider

    Accellis Technology Group
    24 Mar 2014 | 12:48 pm
    Cleveland, OH (PRWEB) March 10, 2014 – Accellis Technology Group has landed on the MSPmentor 501 Global Edition list, a distinguished report identifying the world’s top managed service providers (MSPs). The MSPmentor Top 501 defines Accellis as a leading managed services provider in the IT industry. Accellis has experienced solid growth since 2001 and maintains a foundation of more than 1500 end-users across the nation, primarily composed of law firms and professional service organizations. Accellis has also been recognized by the Weatherhead School of Management and Inside Business…
  • Accellis Exhibiting at the 2014 ABA TECHSHOW

    Accellis Technology Group
    23 Mar 2014 | 9:20 am
    Accellis Technology Group will be an exhibitor at the ABA TECHSHOW® 2014 on March 27 & 28 Chicago. If you’re going, stop by booth 409 and say hi! (Don’t worry, we don’t bite.) The ABA TECHSHOW is the leading national technology conference for lawyers. It brings together the best and brightest in legal technology. Whether you’re reviewing new products that improve efficiency and make day-to-day activities easier, or examining technology requirements for firms of all sizes, the ABA TECHSHOW is an event that brings lawyers and technology together in a format that appeals to both…
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    The Legal Resource Network

  • Mixing Legal Specialties

    31 Mar 2014 | 4:35 pm
    When hiring a lawyer, many people look for specific types–real estate lawyers, personal injury lawyers, etc. They think about lawyers as fitting into neat categories. However, often reality is more complicated than that, and individual lawyers will work in a variety of related fields. This week, we want to find out more about mixing specialties, and how lawyers mix and match to find the areas of law that are best matched to them. Why we’re asking: Like most professions, there is a lot more to a legal career than meets the eye, and the average layman doesn’t realize how wide…
  • Resources for Adoptive Families

    18 Mar 2014 | 11:00 am
    When it comes time to build a family, there are a lot of different options. For many, adoption is the way to go, because it gives a home to a child who needs it and might not otherwise get it. However, many people are hesitant about adopting children because there are a lot of complications that can arise, both in terms of financial care, and legally. This week, we’re turning to our legal professionals to find out what kinds of resources are out there to help adoptive families after the adoption has gone through. Why we’re asking: Adopted children are just as loved and cared for…
  • What is a title company?

    14 Mar 2014 | 2:42 am
    The process of buying real estate can get confusing very quickly, which is why real estate professionals and lawyers exist. They are there to help homeowners–especially first-time homeowners–navigate the pitfalls and complications of the real estate business. Unfortunately, sometimes even figuring out what kind of help you need can be confusing. The average homeowner might not know the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate lawyer, much less what more specialty organizations like title companies are. We turned to our real estate professionals to help answer the…
  • Realtors and Title Companies

    3 Mar 2014 | 3:32 pm
    When buying property for the first time, there’s a lot that the average future homeowner doesn’t know, and many different industries they’re going to be dealing with for the first time. Some homeowners don’t understand the process well enough to even ask the right questions. To help out, we’ve decided to tackle a question that many people looking to buy property don’t know enough to ask: how does a title company factor into my home buying plans? Why we’re asking: The average home-buyer in the United States is probably familiar with realtors and real…
  • How do you decide between public or private work?

    28 Feb 2014 | 1:05 am
    There are many different aspects of a legal career, and figuring out what specific niche you want to work in is one of the main challenges facing a young, aspiring attorney. Narrowing down specialties is difficult enough, but you also have to consider who you want to work for–yourself, or a public firm? There are many advantages and disadvantages to both, which is why we turned to our experienced attorneys to find out what kind of advice they have. Below, we’ve collected the main points our legal professionals think new attorneys should take into consideration, and listed the pros…
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    CFTC LAW | Forex, Futures and Derivatives Regulatory News

  • TeraExchange Announces First Bitcoin Derivative

    Felix Shipkevich
    28 Mar 2014 | 9:28 am
    TeraExchange Announces First Bitcoin DerivativeTeraExchange has recently announced that it has created a swap involving the average exchange rate of bitcoin and plans to list it on its Swap Execution Facility. This bitcoin derivative was created on behalf of two clients as a bilateral swap, and while neither party has acted upon the agreement, they are expected to soon, according to Reuters. This agreement marks the first time a bitcoin derivative will be traded, and as such, it will be the first time the digital currency will come under regulation from the Commodity Futures Trading…
  • CFTC Public Utilities No-Action Letter Is Welcome Relief

    Felix Shipkevich
    27 Mar 2014 | 9:35 am
    CFTC Public Utilities No-Action Letter Is Welcome ReliefThe Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released a no-action letter recently, offering relief to public utilities that were having trouble finding market participants willing to work with them for hedging purposes. The public utilities no-action letter should clear up an issue with the definition of the word “swap dealer” that has been negatively affecting public utilities since 2012. Under normal circumstances, any trader dealing swaps at a total notional volume of less than $8 billion dollars would be exempt from having to…
  • CFTC Struggling to Utilize Current Swap Market Data

    Felix Shipkevich
    26 Mar 2014 | 8:20 am
    CFTC Struggling to Utilize Current Swap Market DataAfter a year of swap data reporting, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is yet to be able to make any sort of headway on the swap market data it has been collecting, leaving the nearly $700 trillion dollar industry no safer than it was before the 2008 financial crisis. Among a list of reasons for this given by CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia during an event, O’Malia mentioned inconsistent reporting and technological issues as major pain points. As it stands right now, the CFTC receives its swaps market data from several…
  • CFTC Criticized Over Suspending Outside Research By Internal Regulator

    Felix Shipkevich
    25 Mar 2014 | 10:18 am
    CFTC Criticized Over Suspending Outside Research By Internal RegulatorThe Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s internal regulator has determined that the CFTC may have been in violation of a federal law that requires the Commission to maintain a research program after suspending outside research from being published. The claim comes from the CFTC’s reaction to a complaint filed by CME Group back in December 2012. According to CME Group, the Commission was illegally allowing outside researchers access to proprietary market data. In its claim, CME Group pointed to a paper published by…
  • CFTC Extends Overseas Trade Rules Deadline

    Felix Shipkevich
    24 Mar 2014 | 12:22 pm
    CFTC Extends Overseas Trade Rules DeadlineThe Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a no-action letter on Friday stating that the Commission will be extending its overseas trading rules deadline, giving overseas traders more time to comply with the CFTC’s rules. The CFTC and European regulators came to an agreement in February over how both regulators would handle overseas trading rules, where the CFTC agreed to allow US traders to use overseas trading platforms, as long as those platforms were following comparable rules to US platforms. It was expected that European traders would be…
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    The Litigation Consulting Report

  • A Clash of Two Communication Worlds: Lawyers vs. Jurors

    Laurie Kuslansky
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:30 am
      by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D."ESTJ"Managing Director, Trial & Jury ConsultingA2L Consulting Traits descriptive of many lawyers are at cross purposes with traits of the general public serving on juries, worsened by decreased trust in lawyers and their clients. Introversion and Intuition vs. Extroversion and Sensing Extensive research has shown that the majority of lawyers prefer Introversion and Intuition vs. the majority of non-lawyer adults, who prefer Extroversion and Sensing (explained more fully below), and that lawyers tend not to be as interpersonally oriented as the general…
  • The Top 14 Litigation Consulting Articles You Loved from Q1-2014

    Ken Lopez
    18 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L ConsultingSince we publish articles a few times per week, it's easy to miss some of the great content posted at A2L's Litigation Consulting Report blog. Also, with so much valuable content, we know it's hard to read it all. That's why we publish four quarterly best-of articles, an annual best-of article and a best-of article every time we publish an additional 100 articles. The list included here covers our very top articles of the first quarter of 2014, as measured by the number of times these articles were read. The first quarter saw our highest…
  • 7 Tips to Take “Dire” out of Voir Dire

    Laurie Kuslansky
    15 Apr 2014 | 8:31 am
    by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D.Managing Director, Jury & Trial ConsultingA2L Consulting Jury selection certainly can have dire consequences. A case can be won or lost in voir dire. All you need is one or two strident enemy jurors to pull you down. The truth, typically, is that extremists are removed through cause or peremptory challenges. Who remains tends to be mildly favorable or unfavorable, saddled next to ones who hardly care. The key in voir dire is to identify extremists and understand what it will take to satisfy those who are left.  How can you do that? 1. Invite doubters to…
  • What Can Lawyers Learn From The Presentation Style of Top Educators?

    Ken Lopez
    14 Apr 2014 | 8:30 am
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting I sit on the board of a university, and I am passionate about delivering high-quality advice and guidance to the institution. To improve the quality of my work and our board's work, board members are afforded the opportunity to attend a conference focused on how higher education can best be managed and delivered. At this three-day conference, a mix of keynote speeches and a series of small-group sessions creates an environment for learning about topics like effective university marketing, managing a university in an era of tight budgets, the value…
  • Webinar - Integrating Argument and Expert Evidence in Complex Cases

    Ken Lopez
    11 Apr 2014 | 4:15 am
      by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L ConsultingOver the past six months, we have conducted three litigation-focused webinars at A2L that have been extremely popular. Thousands of legal industry professionals attended those events live or have since watched the recorded versions we've made available. These popular webinars are listed below and can be watched at your convenience at no charge. PowerPoint Litigation Graphics - Winning by Design Storytelling as a Persuasion Tool at Trial Patent Litigation Visual Persuasion Techniques Today, I am pleased to announce a new live webinar, How Can…
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    New Jersey Injury Attorney Blog

  • Construction Workers Injured in New Jersey Parking Structure Collapse

    15 Apr 2014 | 11:43 am
    Two construction workers were hospitalized after being injured by the partial collapse of a parking garage. According to a news report in The Republic, the construction accident occurred at New Jersey's William Paterson University in Wayne. Officials have not released information regarding how the parking garage collapsed, and inspectors are trying to determine if work can resume at the 1,000-space, five-level garage. The two injured construction workers were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Inspecting construction sites for potential dangers is an important part of keeping a…
  • Gearing Up for Springtime in New Jersey

    26 Mar 2014 | 2:02 pm
    The calendar may say that the spring season has officially arrived, but the winter weather continues to hold out in New Jersey as snowstorms continue to pass overhead. Despite the chilly temperatures and seemingly inescapable snowfall, at Lependorf & Silverstein, we can’t help looking forward to the warmer days of spring that are sure to arrive. It might just be a little later than expected. In anticipation of that day, here are just a few of the top activities and destinations to enjoy this spring in New Jersey. Down the Shore There’s nothing better in the springtime than heading down…
  • Five Tips to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident

    20 Mar 2014 | 1:21 pm
    Riding a motorcycle in New Jersey can be risky due to dangerous roadway conditions and negligent drivers who may not pay attention to motorcyclists. It is important for all riders to protect themselves by practicing safe riding habits. For example, riders should avoid speeding or lane splitting. It is also advisable for motorcycle riders in New Jersey to take a riding safety course, to always wear a helmet, and to make sure that their motorcycle is in good condition. Here are five tips from the motorcycle accident lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein to help you avoid suffering a serious injury…
  • Fighting Off Cabin Fever during New Jersey’s Freezing Winter Months

    18 Feb 2014 | 4:47 pm
    As New Jersey is blanketed by yet another inch of snow, residents across the state find themselves trapped indoors, watching for signs of spring. While the “polar vortex” may have caused work and school to be canceled for many, that’s little consolation for the restlessness and general unease of spending another day cooped up at home. Here are a few tips to help you get through the seemingly unending winter chill. A Change of Scenery – While it may seem like it’s too simple to be effective, rearranging the furniture throughout your home will make each room feel fresh. Purge items…
  • The Danger of Supersport Motorcycles

    10 Feb 2014 | 2:36 pm
    Between 1996 and 2006, motorcycle fatalities more than doubled in the United States. Motorcyclist deaths have been on the rise even as the number of overall traffic deaths has decreased. Motorcycles simply do not provide enough protection to keep riders safe in the event of a crash. With no airbag, seatbelt, or steel frame to protect them, riders are vulnerable to the elements. Some motorcycles, however, are more dangerous than others. Perhaps the most dangerous type of motorcycle you can buy is a supersport bike. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that supersport bike…
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    The Ledger Law Firm

  • 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 CasesCalifornia 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 injury. …
  • Personal Injury Cases; File in a Timely Manner or Lose Your Rights

    15 Apr 2014 | 7:36 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 CasesCalifornia 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 injury.

    17 Feb 2014 | 12:08 pm
    No one expects to go through a personal injury law suit in their lifetime. In fact, taking preventative measures to avoid a law suit is usually a good rule of thumb.Circumstances can change in an instance. Through no fault of your own you may find yourself knee deep in the muck and mire of conflict ill equipped to manage the task at hand.To make matters worse, sustaining an injury that threatens your family, livelihood, and life as you know it may create a level of pressure that is very difficult to bear. Securing an exceptional personal injury attorney to help navigate the legal waters of…
  • Help, I was in a motorcycle accident! Now what?

    6 Jan 2014 | 4:33 pm
    A traumatic motorcycle accident can shake up even the strongest rider. Unfortunately, part of what makes riding motorcycles so enjoyable – the freedom of the wide, open sky and clear road in front of you – also means you don’t have the protection someone in a car does when an accident occurs. Luckily, as experienced motorcycle accident attorneys here at The Ledger Law Firm –with a few avid riders on our team as well – we will spell out exactly what you need to do. We understand the last thing you can think about right after a motorcycle accident is the logistics. We are here to…
  • The Attorneys At The Ledger Law Firm Offer Free Legal Advice

    30 Oct 2013 | 9:47 am
    Post accident, get a detailed case evaluation fast & free by calling 800-300-0001.
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    Alabama Workers Comp Blawg

  • Alabama Court Considers Facts Necessary to Remove Injury from Schedule

    12 Apr 2014 | 6:32 am
    The Court of Appeals recently reversed a trial court’s decision awarding benefits outside of the statutory schedule in American Cast Iron Pipe Company v. Sharon Blackmon. The Court also reversed the trial court’s decision to grant the employee an additional authorized treating physician after she had already chosen a doctor from a panel of 4. Blackmon worked as a pipe processor for ACIPCO, and sustained injuries to her wrist in 2008 and to her ankle in 2010. There was no dispute that the injuries were compensable, but there was disagreement over whether Blackmon’s injuries…
  • Alabama Court Considers Temporary Flare up of a Preexisting Condition

    12 Apr 2014 | 6:27 am
    The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals recently released an opinion wherein it considered the difference between a temporary flare versus a permanent aggravation of a preexisting condition. In Madison Academy v. Hanvey, the plaintiff, worked as a janitor on the defendant’s campus. In May and June 2011, Hanvey was exposed to chemicals at work which aggravated her respiratory system. The symptoms continued to get worse over the next few months. It was not until September 2011 that Hanvey was finally diagnosed with a rare disease known as myesthenia gravis (MG). Her doctors treated the…
  • The Alabama Exclusivity Provision Applied to a Breach of Contract Claim Against Employer

    27 Mar 2014 | 8:04 am
    Sheila W. Austin, as admin. of the estate of Rose W. McMillan v. Providence Hosp. and Sedgwick Claim Management. Services, Inc.   Released March 21, 2014 The deceased employee’s representative appealed Summary Judgment entered by the Mobile Circuit Court in favor of the employer and its claims administrator. The underlying case was based on a breach of contract claim filed by the estate against the employer and administrator. The alleged breach of contract was based on an agreement to settle future medical benefits. On October 27, 2011, the parties agreed to settle McMillan’s…
  • 1099 Not the Only Factor to be Considered When Determining Whether Alabama Contractor Qualifies as Employee

    27 Mar 2014 | 7:57 am
    On March 14, 2014, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals released its opinion in the case of Michael Brown v. Dixie Contracting Company and Salter’s Exterminating Company, Inc. In that case, Brown sued Dixie and Salter’s for injuries he allegedly suffered in an automobile accident while working for them. The vehicle that Brown was driving at the time of the accident was owned by the owner of Dixie. Dixie and Salter’s are related companies, as the owner of Dixie was a majority shareholder in Salter’s. The two companies operated out of the same building, and they shared a…
  • Alabama Car Accident Probably Handled Differently in New Jersey

    27 Feb 2014 | 6:50 am
    St. Louis attorney, J. Bradley Young, recently posted an interesting blog article entitled This Story Shows Why Employers are Frustrated with Workers Comp Judges. In the article, he reported on a New Jersey case in which the claimant was involved in a car accident while driving off of her employer’s property. She was actually in the process of turning out of the employer’s property at the time of the collision. The Coming and Going Rule would have been an excellent defense except for the fact that it was established that the rear bumper of the car was still hanging over the…
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    Wexler Wallace Law Firm Blog

  • Trix Aren’t Just for Kids: How Companies Want to Take Away Your Right to a Jury Trial

    Amy Keller, Associate
    21 Apr 2014 | 8:18 am
    In a bold move that challenged the basic tenets of contract formation, General Mills quietly updated its Privacy Policy on April 2 to include a mandatory, binding arbitration clause and class action waiver.  And while simple updates to Internet privacy
  • Another One Bites the Dust: Dropbox Adds Arbitration Clause

    Amy Sayre, Paralegal
    7 Mar 2014 | 5:00 am
    It is difficult to be a consumer these days without being subjected to arbitration agreements. Most banks, cell phone companies, cable providers and major corporations include an arbitration agreement in their terms of service. Dropbox is one of the more
  • The Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger: A Cause for Concern

    Bethany Turke, Associate
    3 Mar 2014 | 6:00 am
    On February 13, Comcast Corporation announced its agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45.2 billion stock-for-stock transaction.  The merger of the nation’s two largest cable companies and the first and third largest Internet service providers would create a
  • Important Considerations For Student Loan Co-Signers

    Amy Keller, Associate
    3 Feb 2014 | 8:07 am
    American consumers owe more than $150 billion in outstanding private student loan debt.  For some fortunate enough to have a family member with a solid credit history to co-sign on those loans, they may be able to save a bit
  • Wexler Wallace Volunteers at Albany Park Community Center

    Amy Sayre, Paralegal
    23 Dec 2013 | 2:07 pm
    As has been tradition at Wexler Wallace for several years, the office was closed last week for half the day while the attorneys and staff took time to volunteer. In the past, the firm has volunteered at homeless shelters, food
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  • Quitting Facebook!

    26 Mar 2014 | 10:01 am
    The days of free advertising on Facebook are over. Many firms are up in arms after recent changes to Facebook’s Algorithm, Edgerank, that have altered the way fan page posts are showing up in other people’s newsfeeds. According to this article in Time Magazine , most companies are reporting a reach of less than HALF of what they are used to seeing.  And eventually, Facebook plans to dial that reach down to 1-2% of fans. Nerd translation:  Unless you are advertising with the social media giant, the fans of your firm’s page will rarely see your content when Facebook ultimately has its…
  • 9 Signs You Need A Website Overhaul

    24 Feb 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Spring is just around the corner (thank God!) and now is the perfect time to do a quick audit of your website. The design and functionality of your website is critically important. A website that motivates clients to call the office must be clear, easy to navigate and built to rank well in the search engines. This is your first impression—and you must make it a good one if you expect phone calls from the internet. Here are a few areas to “audit” as we head into spring: 1. Is your contact information displayed prominently on the site? You would be surprised at how many websites we audit…
  • Get First Page Google Rankings In 5 Days Or Less (…Yes, Really)

    28 Jan 2014 | 12:41 pm
    Imagine for a moment if your best prospect found you sitting on the first page of Google, anytime they came looking for your services… They type in their relevant keyword or question, and boom, there you are representing yourself and your law firm.  Best part…they click on your link and land on your website. Pretty cool right? I’m sure you’ve heard it all before.  Get on page 1 of Google, and your lead generation / traffic problems will be solved. But it’s usually never that straight-forward.  There are plenty of companies out there promising to get you on…
  • Secrets Behind Our Last High-Publicity Generating Campaign (+ Goodies For You!)

    19 Nov 2013 | 12:15 pm
    Third-party credibility is absolutely critical for lawyers.  Public skepticism is at all-time highs, which is why you must be positioning yourself as the trusted expert in your community to run a successful law firm.  We’ve written a plethora of articles on our blog about how you can do that. But today we want to point out one way that is much easier than you think.  Having just come off a wildly successful media campaign for our clients,  we wanted to share with you a few tips to get yourself showcased on TV,  radio, newspapers and other publications. Getting exposure through…
  • Ten Simple Affordable Marketing Strategies for Lawyers

    24 Oct 2013 | 10:51 am
    Just like with any other type of small business, a lot of today’s marketing for lawyers should focus on the Internet: web sites, banner ads, blogging, Facebook and Twitter, etc. But you don’t have to take my word for it… According to a survey by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), 3 out of 4 consumers seeking an attorney over the last year used online resources at some point in the process. Since most people are spending a great deal of time online these days, it just makes good sense to invest your focus there as well. Time, effort, and money should absolutely be devoted to…
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    Pam Woldow's At the Intersection

  • 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…
  • It’s All in the Game: Managing Partners Come to Grips with “Gamification”

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    19 Jan 2014 | 9:53 am
    Many managing partners tell us they are struggling to get their arms around new tools and techniques for driving more efficiency and cost-effectiveness into legal service delivery. Firms are seeing more and more RFPsin which clients make increasingly draconian demands for better management and control of legal work. AFAs (alternative fee arrangements) are reshaping not just pricing and profitability, but the whole way in which matters are staffed and billed. LPM (legal project management) and LPI (legal process improvement) map out prescriptive approaches for scoping, budgeting, performing…
  • Video Interview: Discussing Legal Project Management with LXBN TV

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    12 Jan 2014 | 4:24 pm
    Earlier today, I had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding legal project management. In the brief interview, I explain why it’s a game-changer for law firms and combat many of the reasons I hear from firms for not employing the tactic.
  • Notes On The New Year – 2014

    Pam Woldow & Doug Richardson
    31 Dec 2013 | 8:40 am
    A young American follower of Shinryu Suzuki, the famed founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, was bewildered by the Master’s abstruse, fractured-English lectures. He finally asked Suzuki if he could summarize the essence of Zen Buddhism in a single paragraph. After pausing for thought, Suzuki smiled at his student.  “Everything changes,” he said. Welcome to the Land of Change in 2014…and Beyond Followers of this blog know that I have tended to focus on the continuing evolution of Legal Project Management (LPM), a discipline reshaping the face of legal service delivery. 2014 will…
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    New Jersey Injury Attorney Blog

  • Construction Workers Injured in New Jersey Parking Structure Collapse

    15 Apr 2014 | 11:43 am
    Two construction workers were hospitalized after being injured by the partial collapse of a parking garage. According to a news report in The Republic, the construction accident occurred at New Jersey's William Paterson University in Wayne. Officials have not released information regarding how the parking garage collapsed, and inspectors are trying to determine if work can resume at the 1,000-space, five-level garage. The two injured construction workers were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Inspecting construction sites for potential dangers is an important part of keeping a…
  • Gearing Up for Springtime in New Jersey

    26 Mar 2014 | 2:02 pm
    The calendar may say that the spring season has officially arrived, but the winter weather continues to hold out in New Jersey as snowstorms continue to pass overhead. Despite the chilly temperatures and seemingly inescapable snowfall, at Lependorf & Silverstein, we can’t help looking forward to the warmer days of spring that are sure to arrive. It might just be a little later than expected. In anticipation of that day, here are just a few of the top activities and destinations to enjoy this spring in New Jersey. Down the Shore There’s nothing better in the springtime than heading down…
  • Five Tips to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident

    20 Mar 2014 | 1:21 pm
    Riding a motorcycle in New Jersey can be risky due to dangerous roadway conditions and negligent drivers who may not pay attention to motorcyclists. It is important for all riders to protect themselves by practicing safe riding habits. For example, riders should avoid speeding or lane splitting. It is also advisable for motorcycle riders in New Jersey to take a riding safety course, to always wear a helmet, and to make sure that their motorcycle is in good condition. Here are five tips from the motorcycle accident lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein to help you avoid suffering a serious injury…
  • Fighting Off Cabin Fever during New Jersey’s Freezing Winter Months

    18 Feb 2014 | 4:47 pm
    As New Jersey is blanketed by yet another inch of snow, residents across the state find themselves trapped indoors, watching for signs of spring. While the “polar vortex” may have caused work and school to be canceled for many, that’s little consolation for the restlessness and general unease of spending another day cooped up at home. Here are a few tips to help you get through the seemingly unending winter chill. A Change of Scenery – While it may seem like it’s too simple to be effective, rearranging the furniture throughout your home will make each room feel fresh. Purge items…
  • The Danger of Supersport Motorcycles

    10 Feb 2014 | 2:36 pm
    Between 1996 and 2006, motorcycle fatalities more than doubled in the United States. Motorcyclist deaths have been on the rise even as the number of overall traffic deaths has decreased. Motorcycles simply do not provide enough protection to keep riders safe in the event of a crash. With no airbag, seatbelt, or steel frame to protect them, riders are vulnerable to the elements. Some motorcycles, however, are more dangerous than others. Perhaps the most dangerous type of motorcycle you can buy is a supersport bike. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that supersport bike…
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    Simmons & Fletcher » Blog

  • South Texas Eagle Ford Fracking Regulations Protect Industry More than Residents

    Paul Cannon
    4 Apr 2014 | 12:06 pm
    Should South Texas residents fear the air they breathe? Texas air quality is monitored and regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which is headed by three governor-appointed officials. The advocacy organization TruthOut recently published a revealing article…The post South Texas Eagle Ford Fracking Regulations Protect Industry More than Residents appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Breaking News: Massive Apartment Complex Fire Near Downtown Houston/Montrose

    Paul Cannon
    25 Mar 2014 | 11:15 am
    An apartment complex that was being built is burning near Downtown Houston, Texas today as firefighters work furiously to control the blaze.  The blaze began between noon and 1:00 p.m. today.  This construction site is located in the Historic Montrose …The post Breaking News: Massive Apartment Complex Fire Near Downtown Houston/Montrose appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • 2 Million Toyotas Recalled: Now Sudden Deceleration, Not Acceleration Danger

    Paul Cannon
    13 Feb 2014 | 8:38 am
    Toyota recalled close to 1.9 million vehicles in February of 2014 because of a glitch in the software that controls advanced breaking and acceleration features in late Prius, Tacoma, Rav 4, and Lexus models. The recall comes just two months …The post 2 Million Toyotas Recalled: Now Sudden Deceleration, Not Acceleration Danger appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • Breaking News Houston-Overturned Truck Spilling Fuel on Heights Blvd at I-10

    10 Feb 2014 | 10:18 am
    An overturned oil tanker crashed while heading east on I-10 east in westbound lane at Heights Blvd. near downtown Houston. Emergency personnel are on the scene trying to clear the area as safety concerns continue to escalate. HPD, the Houston …The post Breaking News Houston-Overturned Truck Spilling Fuel on Heights Blvd at I-10 appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
  • The Myth That Rear-End Accidents Are Automatically the Fault of The Rear Vehicle in Texas

    Paul Cannon
    1 Jan 2014 | 3:36 pm
    There is an erroneous belief held by many that if you rear-end someone in Texas, you are automatically at fault for the accident. This statement is far from the truth and demonstrates a misunderstanding of how Texas personal injury law …The post The Myth That Rear-End Accidents Are Automatically the Fault of The Rear Vehicle in Texas appeared first on Simmons & Fletcher.
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    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…
  • Eric Palmer Named Rising Star by Super Lawyers for 2013

    Eric Palmer
    10 Jul 2013 | 12:10 pm
    For the second year in a row, Eric Palmer has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for 2013. 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.Mr. Palmer’s legal practice primarily focuses on representing individuals that have been injured in Minnesota car accidents and other types of injury…
  • Minnesota Law on Texting and Driving (Minn. Stat. 169.475)

    Eric Palmer
    15 Jan 2013 | 11:45 am
    Pursuant to Minnesota State Law (Minn. Stat. 169.475 (2008)), a driver cannot use a cellular phone to “compose, read, or send” an “electronic message.” The official definition of an “electronic message” includes, but is not limited to:e-mails;text messages;instant messages;a command or request to access a website (i.e. browsing the internet).An “electronic message” does not include:voice or other data transmitted as a result of making a phone call;or data transmitted automatically by a wireless communications device without direct initiation by…
  • The Dangers of Texting and Driving Featured on NBC’s Rock Center

    Eric Palmer
    15 Jan 2013 | 7:30 am
    The dangers and repercussions of texting and driving were recently featured front and center on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.  The segment featured a variety of impactful stories of the car accident victims and their families.From the context of criminal consequences, the charges and sentences for texting and driving are relatively slim.  According to Paul Atchley, Ph.D of the University of Kansas, texting while driving is about 6 to 8 times more dangerous than driving while drunk.  The story calls for harsher criminal penalties for those that text while driving.The…
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    Strictly Business

  • 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…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 8: Carve-Outs to Anti-Dilution Provisions and “Pay to Play” Provisions

    Alexander Davie
    13 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    This post is the eighth in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior seven 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, and analyzed anti-dilution provisions. This post…
  • SEC’s Reg. A+ Proposal Has the Potential to Actually Be Useful

    Alexander Davie
    16 Mar 2014 | 2:23 pm
    On December 13, 2013, the SEC issued a proposed rule, which contains a draft of the long-awaited regulations implementing Section 401 of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act), creating a new securities registration exemption commonly known as “Reg. A+.” The rule is actually a revision to an existing exemption called Regulation A.  Reg. A currently exempts small public offerings of up to $5 million in one year from federal securities registration requirements. To make use of the exemption, issuers must file an offering statement, which is a simpler version of the prospectus…
  • Venture Capital Term Sheet Negotiation — Part 7: Anti-dilution Provisions

    Casey W. Riggs
    8 Mar 2014 | 7:15 am
    This post is the seventh in a series giving practical advice to startups with respect to understanding and negotiating a venture capital term sheet. In the prior six 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, and examined voting rights and investor protection provisions. This post will discuss anti-dilution…
  • SEC Provides Exemption from Broker-Dealer Registration Requirements for M&A Brokers

    Alexander Davie
    2 Mar 2014 | 12:39 pm
    On January 31, 2014 (revised February 4, 2014), the SEC issued a no-action letter to a group of attorneys who requested assurance on an issue that has long been on the minds of securities lawyers: are people who facilitate the sale of a controlling interest in a business involving a transfer of stock — which the Supreme Court has held to be a sale of securities under federal securities laws — required to register as broker-dealers under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, with all of the attendant expenses and obligations? Who is Affected The attorneys requesting the no-action letter…
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    Oklahoma Personal Injury Blog

  • 15 Signs You’re a True Oklahoman

    Maples Law Firm
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:37 am
    With a nation as large and diverse as the United States, you’re bound to come across all kinds of people, each with their own behavioral quirks, habits, and customs tied to their home state. Oklahoma is one such state in which its residents hold a lot of pride, and for good reason. The Sooner State is certainly fascinating with its diverse natural regions and dense cultural history. But what about the people in the state? What are Oklahomans all about? Well, if you relate to the following list, you’re definitely a true Oklahoman. You can properly pronounce the following words all in the…
  • Report Shows Oklahoma Should Do More to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents

    Maples Law Firm
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:50 am
    A recent survey showed that 33 states are actively promoting biking and walking and have set goals to reduce the number of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. Oklahoma is not one of those states. In fact, Oklahoma does not have any plans to promote walking and biking or to reduce the number of pedestrian and bicycling accidents statewide. According to an Alliance for Biking & Walking survey, there has been a steady increase in the number of people walking and biking to work nationwide. The survey found that people tend to bike and walk more in cities that have advocacy programs. This is a…
  • Woman Killed in Tulsa Construction Zone Hit-and-Run Crash

    Maples Law Firm
    10 Apr 2014 | 1:47 am
    A 33-year-old woman was killed in an Oklahoma car accident involving a hit-and-run driver. According to a KTUL news report, the fatal hit-and-run crash occurred on 61st Street between Memorial and Mingo in Tulsa. Officials say the woman was walking with a man in a construction zone when a black or dark gray mid 2000s Chevy truck struck them. Both victims were taken to Saint Francis Hospital, where the woman succumbed to her injuries. Later, a 23-year-old man believed to have caused the crash was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident. Under Oklahoma law, all…
  • Maples Law Firm Wins $3 Million Verdict in Fatal Nursing Home Neglect Case

    Maples Law Firm
    8 Apr 2014 | 8:17 am
    The nursing home abuse attorneys at Maples Law Firm recently won a three million dollar verdict for the wrongful death of a patient who was taken to a nursing home facility for physical therapy following a successful colostomy procedure at a local hospital. According to the plaintiffs, the patient underwent a colostomy and was hospitalized at the Chicksaw Nation Medical Center (CNMC) from July 10, 2010 to August 16, 2010. During her treatment at CNMC, the patient was in good physical health with functional independence. She was then transferred to Ballard Nursing Center (BNC) for continued…
  • New Oklahoma Nursing Home Background Check Law Begins Now

    Maples Law Firm
    31 Mar 2014 | 2:33 pm
    When you choose a nursing home for your loved one, you expect a certain level of professionalism from the care providers. There are some Oklahoma nursing homes, however, that hire potentially dangerous care providers who have criminal records. A new state law that went into effect in Oklahoma on March 1 addresses this problem. The Oklahoma Long Term Care Security Act was designed to cut down on abuse and neglect in our nursing home facilities and adult day care centers. Under the law, all new employees must now undergo fingerprint-based background checks. According to a KOCO news report, all…
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    » Blog

  • Hundreds Missing after Korean Ferry Boat Accident

    Jay Solnick
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Sadly, there have been numerous unfortunate accidents involving cruise line accidents – but none as tragic as the sinking of the South Korean ferry that was carrying hundreds of passenger. There are many details as to the cause of the tragedy, but over 200 hundred people are still missing. A Devastating Accident The ferry capsized on April 16, 2014 off the coast of South Korea. It was headed to Jeju Island, the country’s biggest island. Jeju Island is South Korea’s most popular holiday island, attracting 10 million visitors annually. Authorities believe over 470 people were on board,…
  • April is National Distracted Driver Awareness Month

    Jay Solnick
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:45 am
    Technology plays an increasing role in enhancing our quality of life, yet such use behind the wheel can have devastating consequences. Distracted driving is an epidemic on America’s highways, and the federal government and many states are committed to ending it. Texting and cellphone use behind the wheel significantly increases a driver’s risk of crashing. Even a single, momentary distraction while driving can cause a lifetime of pain. Driver inattention places other drivers and pedestrians in grave danger. Currently, 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico ban texting while…
  • Deadly Accidents and Pennsylvania Common Carrier Law

    Jay Solnick
    15 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Public transportation, including rails, trolleys, buses and cabs, is an essential part of many people lives. As patrons, we essentially put our lives into the hands of those transporting us to our destination. We want to believe we will arrive safely because safe transit systems are important to us all. However, accidents happen. And, unfortunately, they happen too often. There are still many questions pertaining to the investigation of the train derailment at O’Hare International Airport. Similarly, authorities still investigate the cause of the crash involving a SEPTA bus injuring two…
  • Pennsylvania Lawyers’ Advice on PA Motorcycle Laws

    Jay Solnick
    10 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    There have been numerous motorcycle accidents in the area over the past week, including a cyclist killed in a motorcycle-bus accident. In Newark, Delaware a motorcyclist died when he was thrown from his motorcycle and struck by oncoming traffic. Two pedestrians were seriously injured when they were struck by a motorcyclist, who then was thrown from the bike. In November 2013, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that highway deaths increased to 33,561 in 2012, which is 1,082 more fatalities than 2011. The majority of the increase in deaths involved motorcyclists and…
  • Parental Responsibility Laws for Minor’s Actions While Driving

    Jay Solnick
    8 Apr 2014 | 12:19 am
    Almost every state has some sort of parental responsibility law that holds parents or legal guardians responsible for property damage, personal injury, theft, shoplifting, and/or vandalism resulting from intentional or willful acts of their unemancipated children. There has been an increasing number of horrific incidents of school violence due to bullying. These events have greatly affected students’ academic performance as well as physical and psychological personalities. School districts face impounding legal risks when they fail to adequately remedy bullying. But what about the parents?
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    Baron & Budd, P.C. | Protecting What's Right

  • Baron and Budd, Co-Counsel, First to Challenge GM, Push for Expedited Discovery in GM Faulty Ignition Recall Lawsuit

    Baron & Budd
    9 Apr 2014 | 12:02 pm
    Firm Claims Recall May Not Be Sufficient for Public Safety LOS ANGELES –(April 9, 2014) –The national law firm of Baron and Budd, along with co-counsel, requested expedited discovery yesterday in the GM faulty ignition recall lawsuit. The firm, which was one of the first to file a lawsuit against GM regarding the faulty ignition switches, prompting a wider recall, is now investigating the efficacy of the recall in light of other public safety concerns. According to information uncovered in the lawsuit, the location of the ignition switch in the recalled vehicles is still problematic…
  • Transvaginal Mesh Patient Awarded $1.2 Million in Ethicon Mesh Lawsuit, Announces Baron and Budd

    Baron & Budd
    4 Apr 2014 | 8:12 am
    Trial Helps Set Precedent for Future Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits Dallas (April 4, 2014) — Yesterday, a Dallas jury found transvaginal mesh manufacturer Ethicon and its parent company Johnson & Johnson liable for defects associated with the company’s TVT-O transvaginal mesh sling. The mesh patient, Linda Batiste, was awarded $1.2 million for suffering serious health issues from her transvaginal mesh implant. The trial lasted more than two weeks, and is another notable verdict in the transvaginal mesh litigation. The transvaginal mesh lawyers at Baron and Budd support the verdict…
  • Baron and Budd Investigating Injuries Associated With GM Faulty Ignition Recall Problems

    Baron & Budd
    31 Mar 2014 | 3:08 pm
    GM Expands Faulty Ignition Recall By More Than 900,000 Vehicles, Now Targeted By Government Inquiry and Criminal Investigation LOS ANGELES –(March 31, 2014) –On March 28, 2014, GM expanded its already massive recall to include an additional 900,000 GM vehicles. According to reports from The New York Times, at least 12 deaths have been linked to faulty ignition switches in GM vehicles, as well as numerous crashes. The attorneys at Baron and Budd are currently investigating additional accidents, injuries and even deaths that may be related to the GM faulty ignition recall. On March 24,…
  • Baron and Budd Files Lawsuit Against GM Regarding Recent Faulty Ignition Recall

    Baron & Budd
    25 Mar 2014 | 5:49 am
    Recall May Affect More Than 1.6 Million GM Vehicles, Linked to 12 Deaths SAN FRANCISCO –(March 25, 2014) –Baron and Budd, along with co-counsel, has filed a lawsuit against automobile manufacturer GM regarding the company’s recent recall of more than 1.6 million vehicles that are believed to have faulty ignitions. According to news reports, the faulty ignitions may cause certain GM vehicles to stall or suddenly turn off, or even cause the air bag system to fail during an accident. The faulty ignitions have already been linked to 12 deaths, according to reports…
  • Baron and Budd Celebrates Women’s History Month

    Baron & Budd
    13 Mar 2014 | 1:40 pm
    National Law Firm Continues to Advocate for Women Harmed by the Negligence of Pharmaceutical Companies DALLAS (March 13, 2014) – March is Women’s History Month, and the national law firm of Baron and Budd would like to recognize the incredible contributions women have made to this country. Our firm is committed to fighting for the rights of women who have been harmed due to dangerous pharmaceutical products. The Women’s Health Team at Baron and Budd works passionately to provide valuable resources to women who have been harmed and to assist these women in taking legal action…
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    News From Dallas Appellate Attorney Chad Ruback

  • 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:
  • KDFW Fox 4 interview regarding constitutional claims

    Chad Ruback
    13 Feb 2014 | 1:06 pm
    I was interviewed by a KDFW Fox 4 reporter regarding constitutional claims raised in recent litigation. Here is the video:
  • Dallas Lawyers on Twitter

    Chad Ruback
    11 Oct 2013 | 6:38 am
    I have compiled the following list of Dallas-area lawyers on Twitter and their respective Twitter handles.  The list does not include lawyers west of the Dallas-Tarrant county line.  The list does not include law firms, but does include lawyers who work for law firms. The list includes lawyers who are not currently practicing law (e.g., […]
  • Nathan Hecht Sworn-In as Chief Justice of Texas Supreme Court

    Chad Ruback
    2 Oct 2013 | 7:43 am
    Yesterday, Nathan Hecht was sworn-in as chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.  The Texas Lawbook published an article I co-authored about Chief Justice Hecht’s tenure on the Supreme Court.  
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    Protecting What's Right

  • This Earth Day We Pledge to Make a Difference With You

    Baron & Budd
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:44 am
    Sometimes it may feel like there is nothing that can be done — at least not for all of us individual people, struggling with our daily lives, our jobs and taking care of our families. But then scientific news comes out, the latest study, We have X many years to fix our carbon emissions; We have to reduce the greenhouse gases by X, the global temperature cannot budge from X degrees!! We get it. We understand. But what can we actually do? Turns out there is more than you might think. And we are not just talking turning off the lights when you leave the room, not running the faucet…
  • Thanks To Public Pressure, General Mills Reverses Dangerous New Legal Terms

    Burton LeBlanc
    21 Apr 2014 | 4:21 pm
    Guest Post by Baron & Budd Shareholder and American Association of Justice President Burton Leblanc Consider your child has a peanut allergy. You give them a Nature Valley bar with trace amounts of peanuts — however, there was no mention of nuts on the packaging. Consider your parent who eats Cheerios every morning, thinking it will help them lower their cholesterol. Only, this morning, the Cheerios contain salmonella. Consider your monthly neighborhood gathering. You brought some bags of corn chips and jars of the Old El Paso salsa. Unfortunately, there was a not so welcome ingredient…
  • The Little Part That Could: Why Did GM Choose to Not Repair the Faulty Part?

    Baron & Budd
    18 Apr 2014 | 8:13 am
    Let’s talk a little bit about GM’s “little part that could” — the faulty ignition replacement part — and why this part was not widely offered to repair the faulty GM ignition’s sooner. First we need to look at 2002, when the supplier of the faulty ignition switch, Michigan-based Delphi, told GM that their switches were not up to company specifications. Despite the warning, GM still accepted the switches. (During the GM hearing last week, GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said there was a difference between being up to code versus being faulty. We’ll…
  • After the Recent $1.2 Million Ethicon Lawsuit, What Comes Next?

    Baron & Budd
    17 Apr 2014 | 11:04 am
    Our Women’s Health Team at Baron and Budd is committed to helping women who have suffered serious health complications and injuries from transvaginal mesh products. Today we would like to update everyone on what is happening with the transvaginal mesh lawsuits, on where the transvaginal mesh lawsuits may be headed and about what you can do to file a transvaginal mesh lawsuit if you or a loved one was injured by transvaginal mesh. In Dallas this month, a jury found that both a manufacturer of transvaginal mesh, Ethicon, and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, were liable for the…
  • You Know It’s Bad — But How Bad? Think: Group 1 Human Carcinogen as Classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer-Bad

    Baron & Budd
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:00 pm
    We have this way of dealing with dangerous things today. Perhaps it’s because the world we live in is so dangerous. The inner “Warning!” reminder goes off multiple times a day — an hour, even. We’ve got the pollution to worry about, all those “I-can’t-even-pronounce-these ingredients!” in our go-to foods, the dangerous kids toys, dangerous cleaning supplies, dangers medications — you name it, it’s probably dangerous and off-limits in some other country. And there are some dangers that we can’t do anything about — right? Think…
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    Hardwick & Pendergast - Seattle Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorneys

  • Puyallup Car Dealership Employee Killed in Suspected DUI Crash

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    22 Apr 2014 | 8:19 am
    A male car dealership employee was crossing the street when an impaired driver in a 2002 Lexus ran a red light and fatally struck him. According to The Associated Press, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred in front of a car dealership in Puyallup. Officials say the 64-year-old male driver of the Lexus ran a red light, struck the victim in a crosswalk, jumped the curb, and struck a sign and several vehicles in the dealership’s parking lot. The fatally injured pedestrian was not immediately identified. The driver, who officials believe was under the influence of drugs, was arrested on…
  • Washington Police Join National Crackdown on Distracted Driving

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    18 Apr 2014 | 8:37 am
    Across the county, law enforcement officers are on the lookout for distracted drivers as part of the month-long “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign. According to a King 5 news report, Washington State has joined the crackdown with high visibility enforcement. They are specifically looking for drivers who are not paying attention to the road while using their cell phones. This includes drivers who are staring at their screen, who are holding their phone in front of their wheel, and those whose faces are lit by their phones while driving. It is important to deter this type of…
  • Motorcyclist Killed by Drunk Driver in King County

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:36 pm
    A 40-year-old Tukwila man was killed when a driver who officials say may have been impaired crashed into his motorcycle. According to a news report in The Seattle Times, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred in the 400 block of Southwest 156th Street in Burien. Officials have not released information on how the motorcycle and car collided. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The car’s driver was treated for minor injuries before being booked for vehicular homicide. A second motorcyclist sustained minor injuries trying to avoid the collision. Drunk driving continues to be…
  • April is National Humor Month: What is the Point of Laughter?

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    7 Apr 2014 | 8:45 am
    This April marks not only the 38th Annual National Humor Month, but also Stress Awareness Month. Coincidence? Probably. But in 1976, comedian and author Larry Wilde, Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor, dedicated the fourth month of every year to spreading awareness for the many benefits of laughter – one of which being its ability to significantly reduce stress. In support of National Humor Month, the legal team at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. in Seattle would like to highlight the following facts about humor and laughter. Remember, it’s okay to take time out of your day to…
  • Importance of Preserving the Evidence after a Car Accident

    Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
    1 Apr 2014 | 1:48 pm
    Proving the cause of a car accident is an important part of the claim process. Having the evidence necessary to establish that you were the victim of a negligent driver can make the difference between getting fair compensation for your losses and having your claim denied. Therefore, securing and preserving evidence can help bolster your case. Preserving evidence and documenting your injuries is a great way to increase your chances of getting the help, support, and financial compensation you need. If you have been involved in a Seattle car accident, make sure you: Collect information at the…
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    Farah and Farah Legal Blog

  • Same Sex Couple’s Divorce May Challenge Florida’s Ban on Gay Marriage

    Farah & Farah
    21 Apr 2014 | 8:21 am
    The divorce attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville have been following an interesting story concerning a same-sex couple’s attempt to get a divorce in Florida — a case that has the potential to upend Florida’s current constitutional ban on gay marriage. Some background: the lesbian couple was married in Massachusetts in 2010, where gay marriage is legal, and then moved to Florida, where same sex marriage is not recognized. The couple is now seeking a divorce in Florida, which raises some very interesting questions. How can the state of Florida grant the divorce to the couple…
  • The 5 Worst Easter Candies

    Farah & Farah
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:26 am
    When it comes to candy celebrations, Easter is only second to Halloween. Every year, kids (and plenty of adults) celebrate with not just colored eggs, but candy and chocolate. Lots of chocolate. And while chocolate bunnies and various egg-shaped goodies are delicious staples of the spring holiday, there are far too many terrible treats, as well. So, for your consideration, here are terrible Easter candies you may have encountered in your many years of holiday celebrations. Easter Candy Corn – It doesn’t matter if it’s orange, white, and black at Halloween or pastel-colored at Easter,…
  • How Do Florida Judges Determine Sole Child Custody?

    Farah & Farah
    7 Apr 2014 | 10:11 am
    In Florida, the law generally recognizes that children will benefit from contact with both parents after a divorce and judges will generally approve a parenting plan in which both parents are responsible for making decisions concerning the child’s education, physical needs, healthcare and emotional well-being. However, in certain instances, it may not be in a child’s best interests to have both parents involved in his or her life after a divorce. A judge may consider if there has been a history of domestic violence within the family, for instance, and award sole parental responsibility to…
  • Governor Scott Rejects Trooper Bonuses Linked to Traffic Citations

    Farah & Farah
    1 Apr 2014 | 5:25 am
    Addressing a controversy that had many Floridians up in arms, Governor Rick Scott said that any thought of linking proposed bonuses for Florida Highway Patrol troopers to the number of traffic tickets they may issue should be considered dead in the water. “The idea that FHP would tie officer bonuses to the number of tickets they write is absolutely outrageous and wrong,” Scott said in a statement. “All state worker bonuses should be based on better — not worse — outcomes for the people of Florida who pay the taxes to fund state government.” The statement from the governor’s…
  • 10 Ways Florida is Unlike Any Other State

    Farah & Farah
    31 Mar 2014 | 5:14 am
    Florida is known for many things: great beaches, amusement parks galore, countless retirement destinations, and a culture that can only be found here. Whether you are a lifelong Floridian or simply want to know more about our state, you may not know the many different things that make our state unique. Here at Farah & Farah, we are always happy to show some Florida pride. Here are 10 ways that The Sunshine State is unlike any other in the nation. We have the most popular amusement park destination in the entire United States: Orlando. The city is home to the Walt Disney Resort and its six…
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    Pennsylvania Family Law Blog

  • What Happens to Marital Property in a Pennsylvania Divorce?

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    2 Apr 2014 | 11:05 am
    During any divorce in Pennsylvania, the spouses must decide what will happen to their “marital property.”  Marital property includes nearly every item that either of the two spouses acquired during the marriage.  Often, it does not matter whose name is on the title to the property. Marital property includes items like real estate, bank accounts, pensions, investment tools (like stocks and bonds), automobiles, and furniture.  The increase in value of any of these items during the marriage is also considered “marital property.” Pennsylvania law requires an “equitable…
  • How Do I Choose a Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyer?

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    3 Mar 2014 | 3:57 pm
    If you’re looking for an experienced divorce attorney in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, you may feel that you have more questions than answers.  Divorces impose stress on those who face them, and finding an attorney who will protect your interests and those of your children can feel overwhelming. When looking for a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer, consider several factors: the attorney’s experience, his or her explanations and advice, and your comfort level when it comes to talking to and understanding a particular lawyer. Consider the following tips: Does the attorney specialize in…
  • Types of Divorce Available in Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    3 Feb 2014 | 3:01 pm
    Pennsylvania law recognizes two types of divorce: “no-fault” and “fault-based” divorce.  Divorcing spouses may each work with an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney of their choice when seeking either type of divorce.  In most situations, it is wisest to get the advice and assistance of an attorney to protect your legal rights. Most divorces in Pennsylvania are no-fault divorces.  If both spouses agree that it is time to divorce, they may seek an “uncontested” no-fault divorce.  One spouse files for this divorce, and after 90 days, each spouse may file an Affidavit of…
  • Understanding the Divorce Judge’s Perspective

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    23 Jan 2014 | 3:47 pm
    Nowadays, divorcing couples have several options for ending their marriage without having to face a judge in the court room. Arbitration, collaborative divorce, and mediation allow couples to work out a plan for dividing possessions, debts, and child support that fits their specific situation. While the alternatives to court can be effective for many, there are still numerous circumstances in which divorce court is the best choice. In cases where a couple cannot resolve their differences, it may be necessary to bring in a judge to make a final ruling. If one or both spouses are combative,…
  • Avoiding the Holiday Burnout as a Divorced Parent

    Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
    5 Dec 2013 | 2:43 pm
    The holidays are an already emotionally charged time of year, but as a single parent, you may be fighting off the blues in the wake of a divorce.  On top of an already hectic schedule, you get to juggle decorating, cooking, finding the perfect gifts, and attending family events in an effort to meet everyone’s holiday expectations. It’s not surprising, then, that the Christmas season is a time of overwhelming stress for many divorced parents, which can quickly lead to burnout. Burnout is the physical, emotional, and psychological toll of trying to accomplish too many things at once only…
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    About Florida Lawyers & Attorneys

  • Oak Hill Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:28 am
    The Best Oak Hill Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best Oak Hill Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Law Offices of Oak Hill Florida are by far the best legal offices for they get the most outstanding results time and time again. When you are in trouble and want a high caliber Law team to be behind you, then the Legal Offices of Oak Hill Florida are the ones you should contact. These attorneys have a extreme track record of wins under their belt and are certain to…
  • Ex-lawyer is on a mission to keep schools fair – Los Angeles Times

    Lawyer - Google News
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:01 am
    Ex-lawyer is on a mission to keep schools fairLos Angeles TimesWith the persistence of a gadfly, the zeal of a civil rights activist and the know-how of a lawyer, Smith has made it her mission to challenge the San Diego public school system and many others across California that require students to foot the bill …
  • St. Lucie Village Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Florida's Top Rated Attorney
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:17 am
    The Best St. Lucie Village Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting The Best St. Lucie Village Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida can be found by visiting If you are searching for the Best law firm in St. Lucie Village, FL that will bestow you the most unbelievable service then search no more than the Law Firm of St. Lucie Village Florida. If you are in crisis and require a high caliber Law team to be behind you, then the Law Firm of St. Lucie Village Florida are the ones you must phone. These lawyers have…
  • Fla. detective guilty in credit fraud, ID theft – WTXL ABC 27

    Florida Jury - Google News
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:06 am
    Fla. detective guilty in credit fraud, ID theftWTXL ABC 27MIAMI, FL (AP) — A South Florida police detective is facing federal prison time after a jury convicted him in an identity theft and credit card fraud case. William Garcia of the Sweetwater Police Department was convicted Monday of conspiracy, use of a …and more »
  • Jury finds Florida detective guilty in credit card fraud, ID theft case – The Tribune

    Florida Jury - Google News
    23 Apr 2014 | 12:47 am
    Jury finds Florida detective guilty in credit card fraud, ID theft caseThe TribuneMIAMI — A South Florida police detective is facing federal prison time after a jury convicted him in an identity theft and credit card fraud case. William Garcia of the Sweetwater Police Department was convicted Monday of conspiracy, use of a …and more »
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    MacGregor & Collins, LLP Law Blog

  • Criminal Law Attorney Explained

    Randy Collins
    17 Apr 2014 | 8:05 am
    For some, the question what is a criminal law attorney may seem to have a simple answer, but as is the case with almost anything having to do with law, the in-depth answer is different depending upon a number of different circumstances. The obvious answer is that a criminal law lawyer is the same as a criminal defense lawyer, at least in most cases. The term itself is not one that is used in court documents, nor would you be likely to hear it spoken in a court, but is a commonly used phrase by the general public. Although different lawyers will provide you with completely different services…
  • Newport Beach Mechanic Found Guilty Of Sexual Assault and Burglary in the OC

    Randy Collins
    1 Apr 2014 | 1:03 pm
    Travis Dewayne Batten, a 31-year-old mechanic employed by Newport Beach Fletcher Jones, was recently convicted for multiple counts of sexual assault. An Orange County Jury found him guilty of kidnapping to commit a sexual offense, sexual penetration by a foreign object by force, assault with the intention of committing a sexual offense during the course of a burglary, as well as sodomy by force. Batten’s sentencing is scheduled for May 23rd, 2014. If the court so chooses, he could be ordered to serve 120 years to life in a California state prison. He was convicted for his actions arising…
  • How Jail Informants and Snitches Are Used in Orange County

    Randy Collins
    6 Mar 2014 | 7:50 am
    For better or worse, jail informants are an important part of California’s criminal justice system. Countless cases have been solved and numerous murderers have gone to prison for life with the use of informant testimony being the basis for establishing guilt. Although criminal defense attorneys have been condemning the informant process for years, recent events have placed a spotlight upon prosecutors and county officials over how, and in what manner, cell mate snitches are to be used during the evidence gathering process. What Is Snitching? A jailhouse snitch is a person that gives…
  • Best MacGregor Collins Criminal Defense Blogs of 2013

    Randy Collins
    3 Feb 2014 | 7:48 am
    2013 was a great year for us: we had a variety of different impressive criminal defense trial wins, we assisted more clients than we ever had before, and we managed to produce several useful online resources that have been picked up by companies and individuals all over the globe. Our popularity amongst Orange County locals has been growing for years, but we attribute much of our new-found success to our revitalized internet marketing efforts. Having always placed the needs of our clients first, we made a conscious decision last year to provide those looking for assistance with online…
  • Consequences for Methamphetamine Sales in California

    Randy Collins
    22 Jan 2014 | 8:25 am
    Methamphetamine sales in California and throughout the United States have been a constant for several years. Law enforcement has gone to great lengths to try and curb the use and distribution of crystal meth, but few could have predicted the resilience of those addicted. Whether dealers are using over-the-counter drug smurfs to make their meth at home, or they are smuggling in product from other areas, the ability to distribute methamphetamine is available to anyone with enough resilience to jump through hoops. Unfortunately, the hoops are very very small, and you have to have an enormous…
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    PA Law Blogs

  • Gynecomastia and Other Side Effects of Risperdal

    PA Law Blogs
    14 Apr 2014 | 11:45 am
    Atypical antipsychotic drug Risperdal may increase a child or adolescent’s risk of developing gynecomastia, an embarrassing condition that causes males to grow breasts. Risperdal is FDA-approved to treat schizophrenia, acute manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, and irritability linked to autism. The drug can significantly elevate the hormone prolactin — associated with the production of milk in breastfeeding mothers — in children and teens who take the drug, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2006. Boys…
  • GM Should Tell Customers to Stop Driving Recalled Cars, Legal Motion Argues

    PA Law Blogs
    25 Mar 2014 | 6:59 am
    Two General Motors (GM) customers asked a federal judge on Monday to compel the automaker to tell owners of the 1.6 million recalled GM cars to stop driving them until they have been repaired. The couple owns a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and is suing GM for allegedly concealing the ignition defect for more than a decade. The defect, they argue, caused their vehicle and more than a million others to lose resale value. They filed an emergency motion in Texas on Monday and asked a judge to order GM to issue a warning customers not to drive the recalled vehicles. “Any and every driver that is…
  • $7.25 Million Mesothelioma Verdict in PA

    PA Law Blogs
    18 Mar 2014 | 6:48 am
    Anapol Schwartz attorneys Lawrence Cohan and David Carney have obtained a $7.25 million verdict in a mesothelioma case against nine asbestos manufacturers. Carney and Cohan The victim was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2010 and died six months later. Edward Merwitz’s exposure to asbestos-containing products — including gaskets, packing, pumps, electric motors, turbines, control boxes and electric wire — occurred in warships at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in the late 1960s. There were no warnings of dangers, and Merwitz was not provided any protection from asbestos.
  • Legal Investigations into GM Ignition Defect

    Anapol Schwartz
    17 Mar 2014 | 9:10 am
    What began as a recall of 800,000 General Motors (GM) cars turned into a massive withdrawal of about 1.6 million total when the company expanded the recall of Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 to include even more models with the same product defect. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating GM’s timing of the recall, two congressional committees plan to hold hearings, and the FBI and attorneys are also investigating the situation. The cars’ ignition switches can unexpectedly move out of the run-position and cut off electrical power if jolted…
  • Why Hire a Testosterone Lawyer?

    PA Law Blogs
    14 Mar 2014 | 7:26 am
    You’ve probably heard about the recent studies linking prescription testosterone and heart attack, stroke and even sudden death. Just a few days after the study in JAMA was published, the Internet was flooded with information about these dangers and advice about what to do if you suspect you’re a victim. It’s important to understand the benefit of contacting a testosterone lawyer immediately if you suffered a cardiovascular injury while using testosterone. You have legal rights, and you deserve justice. Drug manufacturers sometimes fail to warn physicians and patients of…
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    New York Business Lawyer Blog

  • Reasonable Precautions in Cybersecurity: How Vulnerable Businesses Really Are

    21 Apr 2014 | 10:51 am
    Just in case anyone thinks that cybersecurity is nothing more than an esoteric exercise for computer geeks and technicians, of no importance to the average person or business, the Heartbleed bug has come along to show us all how wrong that is. It was only just discovered two weeks ago and its impact was felt around the world almost immediately. According to an article in the April 9, 2014 Daily Mail, the Heartbleed bug bypasses the normal safety features of websites. It can affect many of those sites that you might have noticed, which begin with an "https://" in front of their internet…
  • Recent Developments In Cybersecurity: What The Federal Trade Commission, Encryption Schemes, and Creative Thinking Have to Do With Your Business

    9 Apr 2014 | 9:34 am
    There are a few recent developments in the field of cybersecurity that businesses, individuals, and fraud investigators alike should take note of. One is a recent case which, if followed, could expand a business' liability for security breaches and the others are new tools businesses possibly could use to protect against that same liability. Digital information, including how to protect it and prevent fraud, is always a fascinating topic. New advances in digital security go hand in hand with ingenuous ways to steal digital information. It is fun to follow, in the same way it is fun to watch…
  • How To Vacate A Default Judgement In New York: Start At The Beginning

    1 Apr 2014 | 5:23 pm
    How to vacate a default judgement in New York is something every potential litigant should know. It is a topic filled with cautionary tales of second chances, heartache and redemption, as we have talked about in the past. It also demonstrates the importance of thinking outside the box when you try to solve an otherwise intractable problem. Normally, when a Defendant comes to you for help vacating a default, he is in a state of panic; the only question is how much. Bad things can happen if the default stands; a defendant might have to pay a judgement on a claim that it could have been able to…
  • Adverse Possession in New York: When Do The New Rules Apply?

    26 Mar 2014 | 10:23 am
    Disputes involving adverse possession of property, or boundary line disputes, in New York always are contentious. As we have previously written, most people take umbrage when someone tries to take their property; property that they paid for, pay taxes on, and have a deed that says belongs to them. Similarly, most people who claim title to land through adverse possession truly believe it belongs to them and only bring claim to it when they find out someone else actually holds legal title to it. Adverse Possession law in New York has been so contentious that major changes were enacted to it in…
  • How Do You Know What To Look For In A Fraud Investigation? Utilize The Right Tools And The Right People

    14 Mar 2014 | 4:59 pm
    Insurance fraud, how it's committed and how it's solved, always is an interesting topic. It's like a crime drama. Whether it's Castle, The Mentalist, or NCIS, you get to see the end result and then figure out how it happened; and you inevitably learn about a couple of mistakes that help it along and a few more that eventually bring it to an end. Real-life examples are not always as compelling as highly-rated TV shows but they do illustrate the problem and show what investigators should, and should not, do to bring it to an end. The ones we will be talking about in this post are Rental Car…
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    GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog

  • Complicating "Coal By Wires" Regulation, Minnesota Court Strikes Down Greenhouse Gas Regulation

    21 Apr 2014 | 7:09 pm
    In a ruling with potentially far-reaching consequences for state-level attempts to regulate greenhouse gases, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on April 18 issued a ruling striking down key elements of Minnesota's Next Generation Energy Act ("NGEA"). For the Pacific Northwest, in particular, the ruling could complicate efforts by Washington, Oregon, and California to limit "coal by wires" -- the importation of coal-generated electricity from plants located in states like Montana and Arizona. State of North Dakota et al. v. Heydinger et al., No. 11-cv-3232 (SRN/SER) (issued…
  • Pot, Power & Pollution: The Overlooked Impacts of Marijuana Legalization on Utilities and the Environment

    17 Apr 2014 | 3:10 pm
    Last month, Washington issued its first license for a legal marijuana grow operation under Initiative 502 ("I-502"), the marijuana legalization measure adopted by Washington voters in November 2012. A wave of additional operations will follow, as about 2,800 producers have applied for licenses to grow marijuana. While the implications of I-502 for the criminal justice system, land use, taxation and many other issues have been widely debated, the potentially significant changes in electricity and water use that are likely to follow from I-502's implementation have received almost no scrutiny.
  • I-937 Updates: New Legislation and New Administrative Rules May Alter Washington's Renewable Portfolio Standard

    7 Apr 2014 | 10:35 am
    As a result of both legislative and administrative action, several notable changes to Washington's Initiative 937 ("I-937", also known as the Washington Energy Independence Act) are on the horizon. While rejecting large-scale reform, the legislature made significant course corrections related to treatment of conservation and conduit hydro projects under the initiative. Those changes, and possibly several others, will be addressed in ongoing rulemaking proceedings at the Washington Department of Commerce and Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission ("UTC"). Two changes to I-937 were…
  • Texas Supreme Court Blows Away Wind Generator Claims, Finds Contracts Assigned Risk of Transmission Congestion to Generators

    2 Apr 2014 | 10:12 am
    Transmission congestion between the wind-rich plans of western Texas and population centers to the east frequently force curtailment of deliveries of electricity from Texas wind farms. In a contract dispute worth tens of millions of dollars, the Supreme Court of Texas recently concluded that wind energy producer FPL Energy assumed the risk of transmission curtailments and therefore must pay contractual damages for delivery failures caused in large part by transmission curtailments. The decision, which turns on specific language addressing transmission curtailments in a contractual…
  • Please Join Us for "Clean Water and Stormwater" Conference

    25 Mar 2014 | 10:39 am
    We're pleased to announce that Eric Christensen will be speaking at Law Seminars International's 14th Annual Comprehensive Conference on Clean Water and Stormwater. Eric will be participating in a panel discussing renewal of the Columbia River Treaty and how this may affect water flows and water quality in the Columbia. We hope to see you there!
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    SEC Lawyers Blog

  • Sample Practices that Create Firm Liability for Customer Investment Losses

    19 Apr 2014 | 8:31 am
    Securities firms and brokers can't always "blame it on the market" when it comes to investor losses. In addition to state and federal securities laws, FINRA rules impose obligations upon securities firms and brokers. In particular, FINRA rules require that brokers observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. The FINRA rules also prohibit any manipulative, deceptive, or fraudulent actions (FINRA Rules 2010 and 2020, formerly NASD Rules 2110 and 2120). Further, securities firms are responsible for training and supervising their brokers, investigating…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving William Bradford Coolidge (Cordova, Tennessee)

    17 Apr 2014 | 6:06 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding William Bradford Coolidge (CRD #1636957, Cordova, Tennessee), also known as Brad Coolidge and William B. Coolidge. Coolidge recently submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. See FINRA Case #2012032916701. Coolidge was registered with was registered with Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc. from March 2008 until his termination in June 2012. Coolidge previously was registered with Wachovia Securities, LLC. Without admitting or denying FINRA's findings, Coolidge…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Stefani Ann Bennett (Salmon, Idaho)

    15 Apr 2014 | 6:09 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Stefani Ann Bennett (CRD #5890347, Salmon, Idaho). Bennett recently 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 #2014039668101. Bennett was registered with was registered with U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. from August 2011 until her termination in December 2013. Bennett had also been employed with U.S. Bancorp's affiliate, U.S. Bank, since March 2005. Without admitting or denying FINRA's findings, Bennett consented to the permanent bar and to the…
  • Sonn|Erez Investigating Claims Involving Florlena Cortez (El Paso, Texas)

    12 Apr 2014 | 6:04 am
    Sonn|Erez is investigating claims regarding Florlena Cortez (CRD #4339441, El Paso, Texas), also known as Florlena Cortez Alva and Florlena Cortez Guerrero. Cortez recently 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 was registered with Chase Investment Services, Corp. in Brownsville, Texas, from May 2002 until her termination in January 2012. Without admitting or denying FINRA's findings, Cortez consented to the permanent bar and to the entry of…
  • Sonn|Erez and Aldarondo & Lopéz Bras File Claim Against UBS For Retiree With Approximately $4.2 Million in Losses Related to Puerto Rican Debt, Leveraged Investment Strategy Recommended by Ramon "Cholo" Almonte and Ricardo Eboli

    10 Apr 2014 | 8:05 am
    Sonn|Erez and Aldarondo & Lopéz Bras recently filed a claim against UBS Financial Services, Inc. and UBS Financial Services Inc. of Puerto Rico on behalf of a retired man who suffered approximately $4.2 million in losses stemming from closed-end funds invested in Puerto Rico debt ("CEFs"). The retiree was a client of Ramon "Cholo" Almonte and Ricardo Eboli, to whom he entrusted virtually all of his irreplaceable retirement savings. Almonte and Eboli recommended a dangerous and unsuitable concentration of high risk Puerto Rico debt and Puerto Rico-focused UBS funds, according to the Statement…
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    New York & New Jersey Consumer Law Blog

  • Commercial Collections: The "Book Account" & Collection of Accounts Receivable

    12 Apr 2014 | 9:09 am
    Companies with on-going customer relationships often provide merchandise or services on regular basis. Invoices for services are sent to the customers while service continues. Ideally, each invoice is paid in full, but reality creeps in. Sometimes, customers let balances accrue and make slowly decreasing payments until payments cease. The company is left unpaid and outstanding invoices sit in accounts receivable. When legal collection on these accounts receivable is necessary, the law provides a range of causes of action. The "book account" is a simple and direct method of commercial…
  • Notice Eviction Cases & the "No Discovery" Rule: Landlord Notices Must Be Specific

    5 Feb 2014 | 2:25 pm
    New Jersey landlord-tenant actions (a/k/a "summary dispossession actions") are designed to be quick, efficient methods of disposing of landlord-tenant disputes. The efficiency of a landlord-tenant case lies in the prohibition of responsive pleadings and the "No Discovery" rule. NJ Court Rule 6:4-3 provides that interrogatories and other discovery methods are applicable in all actions except "summary landlord and tenant actions for recovery of the premises." The "No Discovery" rule poses a problem for landlords alleging wrongful conduct (for example, damage to the apartment or violation of…
  • Illegal Apartments & Contractual Consideration: Is a Tenant Entitled to Refund of Rent Paid?

    4 Feb 2014 | 9:43 am
    New Jersey landlord-tenant relationships are controlled by applicable statutes (the Anti-Eviction Act, NJSA 2A:18-61.1 et. seq., or NJSA 2A:18-53) and the terms of the lease. Lease terms are interpreted by typical contractual principles. The most basic contractual principle requires that agreements be supported by consideration (a legal term for something of value given to support a contract). In a landlord-tenant context, the tenant's payment of rent is consideration for the landlord providing a habitable apartment. For tenants living in illegal apartments, the analysis could be much…
  • Watch the Clock: NJ Security Deposit Law Requires Strict Compliance

    15 Oct 2013 | 5:00 am
    New Jersey's Security Deposit Law, N.J.S.A. 46:8-21.1, requires strict compliance by Landlords. The law's most rigid requirement is the timing of the return of the deposit. As soon as a tenancy ends, a landlord should be prepared to follow the precise letter of the law. Even an honest mistake can lead to an award of double the security deposit and attorney's fee's against the landlord.
  • Better to Be Safe Than Sorry: Deductions from NJ Residential Security Deposits

    7 Oct 2013 | 4:35 am
    New Jersey's Security Deposit Law (NJSA 46:8-19) is one of the more tenant-friendly security deposit laws in the US. The Law requires strict compliance (almost to the letter) with each of its parts. Failing to follow the law, in detail, can expose a Landlord to a penalty of double the security deposit and attorney's fees. Landlords and Tenants should be aware of the most common area of noncompliance: Unauthorized deductions.
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    Broward Injury Lawyer Blog

  • Fort Lauderdale DUI Accident Prevention: Daily Breath Tests

    21 Apr 2014 | 5:15 am
    If a person is arrested for a DUI in Florida, judges have the authority to impose the use of ignition interlock devices. If a driver has more than one DUI already on his record, the devices are mandatory. Still, they aren't required for first-time offenders, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving and vendors of the devices have recently renewed the legislative push to make ignition-interlock devices required for all DUI offenders. Now, our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers have learned that a new approach is being proposed. While the ignition-interlock device requires the user to blow into a…
  • Fort Lauderdale Animal Bites and Owner Liability

    14 Apr 2014 | 2:19 pm
    Any animal owner whose pet inflicts harm on another person, through a bite or some other form of attack, can be held liable. Florida, Statute 767.04 holds that a dog owner can be held liable for bites inflicted by their animal to anyone in a public place or lawfully in a private place - regardless of whether the canine previously displayed any signs of viciousness. Our Fort Lauderdale dog bite lawyers work with animal bite victims to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. In some cases, victims can pursue a claim with the owner's homeowner insurance policy.
  • South Florida Weatherman Dies in Bicycle Accident

    8 Apr 2014 | 1:40 pm
    Anyone who had an eye on weather in Southwest Florida had also at some point had an eye on television meteorologist Jim Reif, who over the course of more than 30 years in South Florida gained a reputation as an expert on hurricane formations and an advocate for storm preparedness. Sadly, it was reported by his employer, the NBC affiliate in Fort Myers, that the weatherman was killed in bicycle accident on a recent Sunday afternoon. Officials are still investigating the sequence of events that led to the crash, but it appears the 61-year-old ran into a sign before falling to the ground and…
  • Fort Lauderdale DUI Crashes Remain Spring Break Hazard

    25 Mar 2014 | 8:10 am
    Separate crashes in Florida involving spring-break revelers reportedly involved drivers who had been drinking excessively before getting behind the wheel. Every year it seems we are confronted with the darker side of these mid-term celebrations, most often in the form of injuries sustained or lives lost as a result of drunk driving. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers are committed to fighting for justice for victims and their families. Often, these cases are lengthy, not only because they are complex, but because where criminal charges are pending, civil matters must wait.
  • Florida Cyclist, Pedestrian Problem Reflected Throughout the South

    21 Mar 2014 | 7:31 am
    It's been well-established that Florida is the most dangerous state in the country for bicyclists. Where Floridians account for six percent of the nation's population, about 1 in 5 bicyclist deaths occur here. What a recent report in The Atlantic reveals is that similar trends are reflected throughout the Southern U.S., a combination of a growing number of cyclists, poor infrastructure design and a lack of dollars dedicated to addressing the issue. Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident attorneys know that pending the initiation of "Complete Streets" projects (which may soon become mandatory for…
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    Chicago Immigration Lawyer Blog

  • Immigration Reform: National Day of Action

    15 Apr 2014 | 2:08 pm
    Last Thursday, I joined hundreds of other attorneys in Washington, D.C. to lobby for immigration reform as part of AILA's National Day of Action 2014: Taking on the House. I am so glad I had the opportunity to be part of such an important movement because America simply cannot push immigration reform off to the side any longer. The Department of Homeland Security already deports almost 400,000 people each year, leaving behind broken families and communities. In addition, the U.S. misses out on numerous economic opportunities and over $5 billion in additional tax revenues because of the broken…
  • Criminal Convictions

    1 Apr 2014 | 8:44 am
  • Fraud or Misrepresentation

    28 Feb 2014 | 2:13 pm
    There are many grounds of inadmissibility that can prevent someone from being granted a visa, green card or entry to the United States. This post examines one of the four most common grounds of inadmissibility - fraud or misrepresentation. Under INA § 212(a)(6)(C)(i), any person who fraudulently or willfully misrepresents a material fact when they apply for a visa, green card or other type of document to enter the United States is inadmissible. The US Attorney General has the discretion to waive inadmissibility due to misrepresentation or fraud if the immigrant is the immediate relative of a…
  • Unlawful Presence

    7 Feb 2014 | 11:41 am
    There are many grounds of inadmissibility that can prevent someone from being granted a visa, green card or entry to the United States. The four most common grounds of inadmissibility are unlawful presence, fraud, criminal convictions and prior orders of deportation. This post examines the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility. I-601A provisional waivers allow certain spouses, parents and minor children of U.S. citizens to waive the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility if they are physically present in the U.S. and remain in the country while applying for the waiver to become a…
  • House Republicans Propose a Path to Citizenship

    28 Jan 2014 | 11:45 am
    The U.S. may move closer to immigration reform this week when House Republicans meet for a three-day GOP retreat to consider various matters including immigration. At the top of the list is an immigration proposal that would involve a narrow pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants who are currently in the U.S. The House Republicans have proposed a path to citizenship that differs from the Senate's plan in many ways. Most importantly, the House Republicans are likely to require that immigrants gain legal status and apply for citizenship through the existing legal…
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    South Florida Criminal Lawyers Blog


    18 Apr 2014 | 10:34 am
    This past week saw another addition to the never-ending story of school administrators making incredibly stupid disciplinary decisions. Awhile back, a Pennsylvania educator responded to an incident of bullying by contacting a law enforcement officer to assist in investigating the incident. That alone wasn't necessarily objectionable. Surely, some cases of bullying are so extreme as to justify the involvement of the police. However, did the school contact law enforcement to investigate the bullies? No, of course not! They wanted to investigate the victim! The victim's alleged crime? The…

    9 Apr 2014 | 1:24 pm
    On November 17, 2013, twenty-year-old Kayla Mendoza (now aged 21) allegedly drove a car down the wrong way on Broward County's Sawgrass Expressway, causing a fatal collision that took the lives of two young women: Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio, both 21 years of age. According to reports, Ms. Mendoza's blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legally permissible limit for a driver: 0.15 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. After months of investigation, the Florida Highway Patrol has finally arrested Ms. Mendoza, recommending charges of D.U.I. Manslaughter, Vehicular Homicide,…

    23 Jan 2014 | 11:43 am
    Apparently, Justin Bieber has spent the morning in the custody of the Miami Beach Police Department. His alleged crimes? Spending the day smoking pot, popping pills, drinking alcohol at a nightclub, and drag-racing a Lamborghini at 4 o'clock in the morning in a residential neighborhood. Or, as the 19-year-old Justin Bieber might say: a typical Wednesday night. Of course, in today's social-media universe, there's already video of the traffic stop online. Apparently, a gaggle of shrilly "Beliebers" were also out at 4 o'clock in the morning, following their favorite troubled teen icon through…
  • I Am Altering the Deal, Pray I Don't Alter it Any Further

    15 Nov 2013 | 9:51 am
    Although this blog is dedicated to the field of criminal law, I cannot help but write about the precipitous decline that the Rule of Law has suffered in this country. Yesterday, the President announced a "fix" to the so-called "problem" of Obamacare, in which millions of Americans have lost their health insurance coverage as a result of the law's mandatory, minimum coverage requirements. Of course, calling this feature of the law a "problem" is absurd. Obamacare was specifically designed to impose minimum, mandatory coverage requirements for health insurance plans. No matter how many times…

    20 Aug 2013 | 11:01 am
    Earlier this month, a Miami man allegedly killed his wife and photographed her body, before posting the photograph on Facebook. Advertising the alleged crime, the man posted to his Facebook account: "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife love you guys miss you guys take care Facebook people you will see me in the news my wife was punching me and I am not going to stand anymore with the abuse so I did what I did I hope u understand me." Fascination with the ghoulish photo has generated national interest in the case. The defendant, Derek Mendina, will now forever be known as…
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    South Florida Car Accident Law Blog

  • Florida Court Takes on Insurer's Stalling Tactics in Uninsured Motorist Case - Safeco Insurance Company v. Rader

    26 Mar 2014 | 9:37 am
    Despite what they may tell you, auto insurance companies don't always have your best interests in mind. In fact, many will go to great lengths to try to avoid or limit claims that are perfectly reasonable and clearly covered under the applicable policy. That includes clogging up the legal process with a wide variety of stalling tactics, technical disputes and appeals. In Safeco Insurance Company v. Rader, Florida's First District Court of Appeals takes a look at one insurer's attempt to limit liability by trying to force an insured driver to file claims for uninsured motorist (UM) benefits…
  • Court OKs Florida Car Accident Claim against Auto Lender - Walters v. Flag Credit Union

    19 Mar 2014 | 8:33 am
    In Florida car accident cases, much of the finger pointing is inevitably directed at the drivers involved. But there is a wide range of third parties who may also be liable in the event of a crash, including passengers, auto manufacturers and insurance companies. Liability may even extend to a car finance company, as the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida recently noted in Walters v. Flag Credit Union. The case stemmed from a Florida car accident in which Mr. Walters' vehicle was totaled. Walters had purchased the vehicle with a loan from Flag Credit Union. He also…
  • Suing Florida Auto Insurance Companies for Breach of Contract - Arnold v. Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company

    12 Mar 2014 | 6:35 am
    It's an unfortunate reality that auto insurers don't always have their clients' best interests in mind. There are a number of ways in which these companies look to limit coverage payouts after an accident, including the so-called "rejection" of coverage at issue in Arnold v. Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company. Mr. Arnold filed a claim with Wausau seeking uninsured motorist coverage following an October 2011 car accident that occurred while Arnold was working as a "Road Ranger" for Roy Jorgensen Associates. RJA held an auto insurance policy with Wausau, which originally included $1 million…
  • Florida Bad Faith Insurance Claims Require Detail, Facts - Rodriguez v. Integon

    5 Mar 2014 | 6:23 am
    Florida law generally requires auto insurance companies to act in "good faith" when handling claims against the people they insure. Failure to do so can result in a lawsuit, either by the insured individual or family or by those with claims against them. In Rodriguez v. Integon, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida explains the basics of a bad faith claims and reminds us that a complaint must provide sufficient allegations for a court to determine whether those claims are viable. Alex Rodriguez was injured in an October 2010 car accident in which the car he was driving…
  • Jurisdiction Over Third Parties in Florida Car Accident Cases - Marina Dodge v. Quinn

    27 Feb 2014 | 10:27 am
    When a car accident happens, most of the finger pointing that follows goes on between the drivers of the vehicles involved (and their insurance companies). There is a wide variety of third parties, however, who may also be responsible for a crash. In Marina Dodge v. Quinn, Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeals explains that injured persons who go after one or more of those third parties better be sure they're doing so in the right state. Ms. Quinn purchased her car in New York from two local companies, Marina Dodge and Webster Auto Brokers. She was living in Florida when she was later…
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    Marketing Attorney Blog

  • 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…
  • Marketing for Law Firms: Priorities, Purpose, and Pay Grades

    16 Apr 2014 | 8:30 am
    In today's The Legal Intelligencer, reporter Gina Passarella writes about the trend toward sticking "business development" into the titles of many Philadelphia law firm lead marketers. She could have changed the title to "Philly Law Marketers should not let the revolving door hit them on the way out." The latest step (or misstep) for many of these firms is to add or change the CMO title to lead or include "business development" in it. Somehow, law firm management thinks this will make it all better. The irony is that most of the hires and candidates have the same set of credentials as their…
  • WMT: Is there commonality in marketing a law firm and a restaurant?

    21 Mar 2014 | 8:48 am
    In my monthly contribution to Web Marketing Today, I go off the reservation a bit (pun intended) in discussing Open Table, restaurants and customer service compared to professional services, law firms and client service. In Using Customer Reviews to Drive Sales, I discuss positive (and negative) customer service experiences and how the same concepts and data drive similar patterns for a law practice. Fine dining is a centerpiece in the health and well-being of my marriage. Every Saturday night is date night, come hell or high water, and with it one of many great restaurants in the…
  • The Marketing Value of Work-Family Balance

    14 Mar 2014 | 2:55 pm
    Perhaps this post is just an excuse to brag about my wife, Ivy Brown, who was recently honored as a Working Mother of the Year in the advertising industry by Working Mothers Magazine and the Advertising Women of New York. The event itself was pretty remarkable. There were more than 750 attendees in the grand ballroom of the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The tables were a who's-who of leadership from blue chip companies--from Johnson & Johnson and Comcast to Facebook and Sony. The commissioner of the National Basketball Association was at the NBA table, honoring a working mom from his…
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    Dallas Divorce Law Blog

  • Which court is the right court?

    Michelle O'Neil
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:40 am
    In a county versus county venue dispute, Husband filed in County A in Texas and, one month later, Wife filed in County B in Texas.  When cases involving the same subject matter are filed in different counties, the first filed suit has dominant jurisdiction. Normally, the second court would abate in favor of the first-filed proceeding.  However, this can be waived based on the conduct of the parties.  Even if a party files a plea in abatement in County B, but he continues to participate in the litigation in County B, even to the point of reaching a settlement agreement and…
  • What if we aren't getting married - can we still agree on stuff?

    Michelle O'Neil
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:12 am
    Even if you aren’t getting married, couples can still reach agreements about their relationship or joint property in Texas. When two people live together but are not married, a cohabitation agreement can define the parameters of their financial relationship. For example, a cohabitating couple could agree as to how their money will be held jointly and separately, as well as who pays which of the household bills.  If an unmarried couple plans to purchase a house together, a cohabitation agreement can address each party’s ownership interest, how the mortgage will be paid, and…
  • April 15th Is an Important Deadline for Primary Conservators

    Katie Lewis
    15 Apr 2014 | 10:46 am
    Not only is April 15th an important deadline for every American when it comes to filing their annual taxes, in Texas April 15th is a deadline for primary conservators to designate their summer weekend possession time with the children. In a Texas Standard Possession Order, the non-primary parent is awarded the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of the summer months as well as 30 days extended summer possession. The primary parent in turn gets to pick one weekend, which occurs during the non-primary parent’s 30 day extended summer possession, to have the children. This election must be made in…
  • After the divorce, what else do I need to take care of?

    Michelle O'Neil
    8 Apr 2014 | 8:05 am
    I found Christie Gammill’s article in this winter’s Texas Family Law Section newsletter interesting in reminding attorneys that the divorce only ends the litigation but doesn’t end the “to-do” list for the client. Here is the list of action items that a divorced party may still need to address once the decree is entered. Ms. Gammill points out that a person doesn’t need to face this list alone.  He or she can employ professionals to accomplish many of these tasks.
  • Is "Conscious Uncoupling" Really Possible?

    Katie Lewis
    7 Apr 2014 | 10:04 am
    Thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, “Conscious Uncoupling” has been front and center in the headlines. I discussed this trending phrase in my blog last week. Psychotherapist Katherine Woodward Thomas, the creator of the concept “conscious uncoupling,” describes it as “a break up that is characterized by good will, generosity and respect and a process that leaves both parties feeling valued and appreciated for what they shared. It is a process where two people are striving to minimize the damage that they do to themselves and their…
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    Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Certain Spinal Implants May be Linked to Paralysis

    18 Apr 2014 | 7:56 pm
    According to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal, over 100 patients have developed partial or permanent paralysis in recent years after receiving spinal-cord stimulator implants in their backs. A number of defective medical devices have been filed as a result. A lot of the cases involved patients with spinal cords that were compressed or punctured by stimulator electrodes. These are usually inserted in the spine’s epidural space. The spinal stimulators that were involved came from different manufacturers, including Boston Scientific Corp. and Medtronic. About 50,000 people in the US a…
  • Lawsuit Claims Bayer Failed to Warn Patients of Yaz/Yasmin Blot Clot Risk

    15 Apr 2014 | 12:38 pm
    A California woman claims to have suffered a painful blood clot after taking Yaz/Yazmin oral contraceptive. She is suing the drug manufacturer, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for allegedly ignoring the warning signals raised by numerous injuries and deaths related to the drug early on in its distribution. The lawsuit states that, “Bayer marketed the pills as safer than older generation oral contraceptives, despite early reports of at least 50 deaths linked to blood clot complications. Plaintiff Tatiana Barnes is hardly alone in her criticism and legal action against the…
  • Multibillion-Dollar Lawsuits Adding up for Takeda Pharmaceuticals

    10 Apr 2014 | 2:36 pm
    A multibillion-dollar trial involving the drug Actos, manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, resumes today in a Las Vegas court. Actos is a single-ingredient drug used in conjunction with diet and exercise to help manage blood sugar levels in patients with type-2 diabetes. In the lawsuit, Bertha Triana, 80, and Delores Cipriano, 81 claim that taking Actos led to bladder cancer in both women. According to an article published by Drugwatch, “their attorneys are expected to call experts who will testify about the number of warnings Takeda officials ignored or hid that indicated the drug could…
  • Jury Issues $3M Topamax Injury Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson Unit

    2 Apr 2014 | 3:19 pm
    A jury says that Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson unit, must pay $3 million for not warning a woman that using Topamax during pregnancy could cause birth defects. The plaintiffs contend that 5-year-old Payton Anderson was born with a cleft lip because her mother was prescribed the drug for migraines during the first trimester of pregnancy. Already, she has had several operations and will need more surgeries as she grows older. Janssen disagrees with the Topamax injury verdict. A spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company said that Mrs. Anderson was cautions by four physicians…
  • Accutane Lawsuit Retrial Results in $1.5M Drug Defect Verdict

    20 Mar 2014 | 3:49 pm
    Jurors in a state court have awarded Kamie Kendall Rees $1,587,928 in her Accutane injury lawsuit against drug maker Hoffman La Roche Inc. The ruling comes in a retrial after an appeals court threw out the original verdict of $10.5 million on the grounds that a judge was improper in deciding to bar the manufacturer from presenting evidence about use of the drug. Rees claimed that the manufacturer never warned consumers and healthcare providers about the health risks involved. Like a lot of Accutane patients, she started taking the medication when she was young to treat her acne. She developed…
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    New York Real Estate Lawyers Blog

  • Defending Reverse Mortgage Foreclosures

    28 Mar 2014 | 6:20 am
    A recent article in the New York Times discusses the pitfalls of reverse mortgages, including the effect such a mortgage may have on the heirs of the borrowers in question. A recent blog post also examined the possible negative legal ramifications of reverse mortgages on seniors and their surviving spouses. This article will discuss possible legal defenses when a reverse mortgage is being foreclosed, or threatened to be foreclosed, by a lending institution. The first person to be impacted by a reverse mortgage default is usually the surviving spouse of the borrower. This situation can occur…
  • Marital Rights in a New York Estate

    21 Mar 2014 | 8:44 am
    Our clients have inquired as to the consequences of the termination of a martial relationship upon rights in a New York estate. The resolution to this issue depends upon whether the relationship was legally terminated through a divorce and whether the estate is being conducted as an administration or a probate proceeding. Many of us are familiar with those whose relationships end, but who do not legally end the relationship by applying for and obtaining a legally binding divorce decree. In some cases, one of the partners relocates and is estranged to such a degree that they are unable to be…
  • Every Hoarder Needs a Clutter Reduction Program

    12 Mar 2014 | 9:32 am
    Our readers may have read a recent article in The New York Times concerning a compulsive hoarder (or "collector") and his struggle to clean out his rent-stabilized apartment in order to avoid eviction. While this situation is so notorious that it even became the subject of an episode of the television series "Hoarders", unfortunately the issue is not uncommon. This blog post will discuss hoarding in the context of a cooperative or condominium building and the legal remedies that the cooperative or condominium board has to preserve the standard of living of the building's residents. Hoarding…
  • Relgious Land Use Act as Applied in Westchester County, New York

    26 Feb 2014 | 7:24 am
    In 1999, the Town Board of Greenburgh, located in Westchester County, New York, reviewed an application of the Fortress Bible Church to build a church and school on land that it owned within the Town borders. After review by the Town Board, the Board rejected the application, claiming that there were safety concerns regarding inadequate stopping distance from the main road to the Church entrance, as well as general safety issues related to traffic entering and exiting the Church site. After this refusal, the Church filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District…
  • Who Gets My Stuff?

    6 Feb 2014 | 10:47 am
    The Associated Press recently reported about a controversy concerning treasured possessions belonging to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King's daughter Bernice King is currently in possession of his Nobel Peace Prize Medal and personal Bible. Her brothers, who control the Estate, have been attempting to seize these items, so that the Estate can allegedly sell them. There may be a written agreement to which Dr. King's daughter may be subject where she previously agreed to deliver these items to those controlling the Estate. While most of us do not possess such historically important and…
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    Wisconsin Probate & Estate Planning Blog

  • Online and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Estate Planning

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    11 Apr 2014 | 12:07 pm
    Online and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Estate Planning With the number of online and do-it-yourself (DIY) legal providers continuing to grow, some of individuals may be wondering if they could do their estate planning themselves. The advertising is seductive: attorneys use similar forms, the cost is significantly less than hiring an attorney, and many of these websites and kits are created by attorneys. In addition, most people think their estates are not complicated, and many think they are just as smart as (or smarter than) professionals. Most professionals know that DIY estate planning can be…
  • Another Added Benefit: Using Your Estate Plan to Protect You From Unwanted Guardianships

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    7 Apr 2014 | 11:10 pm
    In recent years, many studies and reports have discussed the problem of the abuse of the legal procedures of guardianship and conservatorship. In an unfortunately large number of cases, people have used their positions as guardians or conservators as opportunities to grab control of the (often substantial) assets of seniors and other vulnerable adults. While lawmakers in many states have passed legislation to minimize some of the potential for abuse, the risk remains. One way to protect yourself and your family is through estate planning. Earlier this year, The AARP Bulletin reported on the…
  • Carrying on a Family Tradition: Passing the Family Farm to Future Generations

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    20 Mar 2014 | 2:20 pm
    Attendees at a farm show in neighboring Minnesota heard important information about the special types of estate planning available for farmers to facilitate transferring family farms to future generations in the most advantageous way possible. Family farm owners here in Wisconsin face very similar concerns and challenges. Proper estate planning can provide key benefits not only to allow you to transfer your family farm to your loved ones, but also place them in the best position to keep the farm in the family for many generations to come. One of the primary challenges faced by family farmers…
  • Who’s in Your Corner: Your Estate Planner, Your Estate Plan and You

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    6 Mar 2014 | 2:35 pm
    The Attorney General for Minnesota, Lori Swanson, has recently opened a new chapter in an ongoing battle waged by her office: specifically, taking on so-called “trust mills,” the Owatonna People’s Press reported. Swanson’s ongoing pursuit highlights the importance, for anyone considering creating an estate plan, of ensuring the partner you select to help you can provide all the service you need to achieve success in your planning. According to the Minnesota authorities, Heritage Partners, located just outside Minneapolis, convened seminars in area restaurants, where…
  • Celebrity Cautionary Tale #243: Late Movie Star’s Will Demonstrates the Peril of Poor Estate Planning

    Attorney Daniel Krause
    27 Feb 2014 | 12:49 am
    The death of acclaimed, Academy award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at the age of 46 was a great tragedy to his family, friends and fans. Making the circumstance even worse, estate planning experts concluded that Hoffman’s estate plan was a “mess,” falling prey to many common estate planning mistakes. The sad situation highlights that bad estate planning can happen to anyone, and that each person who cares about his/her estate should be vigilant to avoid the types of errors that befell Hoffman and others. First, Hoffman failed to engage in proper estate plan…
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    San Diego Divorce Lawyer Blog

  • California Court May Remove Child From Custody of Parent to "Avert Danger"

    15 Apr 2014 | 1:28 pm
    A child custody order issued by a court has the force and effect of the law. Under California law, a child may not be taken from the custody of a parent with whom he or she resides, unless the court finds there would be a substantial danger to the health, safety, protection or physical or emotional well being of the minor. A juvenile court must find that there is "clear and convincing evidence" of such danger. Further, the evidence need not show that the child has been actually harmed before the court will order the removal. In fact, the focus of the pertinent state law is on averting danger…
  • In Protracted Child Custody Litigation, Court Denies Mother's Request for Evidentiary Hearing

    8 Apr 2014 | 1:10 pm
    Everyone involved in a child custody case fares better when the matter is handled as quickly and competently as possible - especially the children. Often, these kinds of cases can elicit intense emotions and less than amicable exchanges between the parents. But the parties must keep in mind that the children are at the center of their dispute. And while there are certainly complicated custody cases that will take some time to sort through, parents and their attorneys must always prioritize what is in the best interests of the child - every step of the way. If you are facing a child custody…
  • California Parents Plead Not Guilty to Felony Kidnapping Charges

    1 Apr 2014 | 3:44 pm
    While no child custody case is "routine," some cases are more controversial than others. Most family court custody matters in San Diego involve disputes as to where the children will live (and with whom) and which parent (or both) will be authorized to make important decisions concerning the children's health, education and general welfare. These are issues of a civil nature to be decided by a family court judge. Because of the potentially contentious and heated nature of custody battles, there are some cases that wind up in criminal court, for various reasons. Parents hoping to resolve their…
  • California Court Reviews Factors in Determining the Best Interests of the Child in a Custody Case

    25 Mar 2014 | 11:38 am
    In child custody proceedings arising in San Diego and throughout California, the court must make a determination of what is in the best interests of the child. The state Family Code identifies factors for the court to consider in making the determination. According to the state Legislature, the primary consideration under the statute is the health, safety, and welfare of the child. The court must also consider any history of abuse by one parent against the child or the other parent, the nature and amount of contact with the parents and any substance abuse by either parent. If you are facing a…
  • California Court Upholds Emergency Jurisdiction Under Child Custody Law

    18 Mar 2014 | 2:01 pm
    Parents in San Diego who are engaged in child custody disputes are typically arguing over many of the fine details of legal and physical custody. That is, each parent usually wants to play a significant role in the child's life after a divorce or separation, either by having primary or sole physical custody of the child and/or by being the person with the authority to make important decision about the child's heath, education and general welfare. But family law cases can present many more complicated issues, such as the court's jurisdiction over the custody dispute in the first instance. If…
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    Maritime & Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer Blog

  • Cruise Line Accused Of Subjecting Crew To “Slave-like” Working Conditions

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Our Florida Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys have dedicated their decades of experience to representing cruise ship passengers that are injured by the acts or omissions of the cruise ship industry and its employees. However, as this blog has mentioned recently, it is sometimes a cruise ship’s crew that is injured by the negligence of a cruise company. Late last week, the BBC published a report proclaiming that Brazilian law enforcement authorities had boarded a ship belonging to MSC Crociere as it was docked at the city of Salvador, as part of a month-long investigation into allegations of…
  • Gastrointestinal Disease Strikes Royal Caribbean Cruise Out Of Baltimore

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    14 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Saturday, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Grandeur of the Seas returned to Baltimore from a seven day journey during which a number of passengers suffered from a gastrointestinal illness causing symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) officially issued a cruise ship illness outbreak alert for the ship, on which  111 of 2122 (5.23%) passengers, and 6 of 790 (0.76%) crew, reported falling ill with symptoms of vomiting and/or diarrhea. The CDC still has not officially announced the cause of the illness, but our Florida maritime accident…
  • Royal Caribbean Encounters More Difficulties As Two Ships Suffer Problems Returning To Port

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    3 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Over the weekend Royal Caribbean’s was struck another blow when two of its ships, the Adventure of the Seas and the Navigator of the Seas, had problems returning to port. The Adventure of the Seas lost propulsion Saturday night after the cruise ship leaked oil and barely made it to San Juan on Sunday. Navigator of the Seas was unable to make port on time due to an oil spill caused by a collision between a ship and a barge. Although the ships were delayed for different reasons, the handling of the incidents by Royal Caribbean is causing the company huge headaches. It would appear that…
  • National Transportation Safety Board Holds Forum To Address Cruise Ship Safety

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    1 Apr 2014 | 5:57 am
    Yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) commenced a forum in Washington D.C. to address a number of issues related to the cruise ship industry. The meeting will be attended by NTSB representatives, Coast Guard officials, representatives of the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”), and members of the Cruise Line International Association (“CLIA”), the organizer of the meeting. Our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys have been monitoring the forum for any developments. According to a NTSB spokesman, the agency regularly holds forums addressing safety…
  • New Legislation Threatens Ability of Cruise Ship Employees to Receive Compensation for Workplace Injuries

    Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
    19 Mar 2014 | 6:22 am
    Our Florida Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys have dedicated their decades of experience to representing cruise ship passengers that are injured by the acts or omissions of the cruise ship industry and its employees. However, as this blog discussed last month, on occasion, it is one of the cruise ship’s crew that is injured by the negligence of a cruise company. Generally, cruise ship crew members who are injured on the job are protected by the provisions of the “Jones Act,” as long as they fall under the legal definition of “seamen.” The Jones Act provides that a…
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    Brian M. Mekdsy Legal Services, Massachusetts

  • Winter’s Finally Over: Your Paperwork Needs a Good Spring Cleaning

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    28 Mar 2014 | 6:41 am
    I don’t know about you, but after the winter we’ve just been through here in the Northeast, the arrival of spring is a welcome event – to say the least. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to opening the windows and filling the house with the fresh air of spring, and the [...]Related Posts:5 Items for your Estate Planning “To Do” List…Password Protection Software Can Be A LifesaverA Social Media Will Is No Longer OptionalProtecting Your Digital Assets With Google’s Inactive…8 Questions To Ask When Setting Up A Power Of AttorneyBrian M.
  • Is the US Treasury Worthy of your ‘Charitable Bequest’?

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    28 Feb 2014 | 8:54 am
    As I was going through some of my subscriptions in my feedly tab recently, a headline on the Wills, Trusts & Estate Prof Blog caught my eye: “Loner Makes Mysterious Bequest.” Intrigued, I clicked through the link to get to the full story. The headline from the original Buffalo News article had me even more [...]Related Posts:Sick of Washington’s Games? Start a NonprofitBeware The Fiscal Cliff: Even Middle Class Estate Plans…Series On The Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code: Part 2Series On The Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code: Part 1A Memorial Day Expression Of…
  • 5 Items for your Estate Planning “To Do” List this Year

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    25 Jan 2014 | 12:01 pm
    I’ve never really understood the lure of making “New Year’s resolutions.” If you truly need to change some important aspect of your life, why not start tomorrow? Why wait until the start of a new calendar year to implement a major life change? But I suppose the beginning of the year is as good a [...]Related Posts:A Social Media Will Is No Longer OptionalNational Estate Planning Awareness WeekWinter’s Finally Over: Your Paperwork Needs a Good…5 Things You Can’t Accomplish In Your Will8 Questions To Ask When Setting Up A Power Of AttorneyBrian M. Mekdsy Brian M.
  • Is Your Social Media Privacy Under Attack?

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    10 Dec 2013 | 9:14 am
    Over the past couple of years, social media privacy laws have been cropping up around the country in response to stories about companies and government agencies asking job applicants for the “keys” to their social media accounts. On December 1, New Jersey became the latest state to implement such a law. And for those keeping [...]Related Posts:A Social Media Will Is No Longer OptionalWhat Happens To Your Social Media Accounts After You Die?Protecting Your Digital Assets With Google’s Inactive…How to Plan for a Social Media Afterlife: Tools for ZombiesPassword Protection…
  • Sick of Washington’s Games? Start a Nonprofit

    Brian M. Mekdsy
    2 Nov 2013 | 8:55 am
    I recently completed a blog post for the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce where I outlined some of the benefits and disadvantages of starting a non-profit (or charitable) organization. For someone passionate about a particular cause, non-profit companies are a great way to give back to the community. In many ways, the not-for-profit sector is [...]Related Posts:Is the US Treasury Worthy of your ‘Charitable…Why You Should Read The Declaration Of Independence This 4thBeware The Fiscal Cliff: Even Middle Class Estate Plans…Series On The Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code:…
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    The Emplawyerologist

  • Is Your Code of Conduct Unlawful? Ask the NLRB

    Janette Levey Frisch
    17 Apr 2014 | 8:26 am
    Suppose you have been struggling with low morale and lack of cooperation among your employees, low client satisfaction, and high employee turnover. Your company culture needs an instantaneous makeover, and you are not sure if even that is fast enough. What do you do? Using the policies of similar companies as your model, you set up employee teams to address some of the more troublesome issues. You decide that your first goal is to develop a Statement of Values and Standards. The employee team charged with this task comes up with a draft and then distributes it to all employees for review and…
  • Can Your Employees Form a Union?

    Janette Levey Frisch
    10 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Do you have a unionized workforce? Alternatively, are you worried that your employees, might unionize? Why do many employers shiver or grimace at the thought of unions on their premises? Many employers simply fear losing control over a major segment of their employment and business practices. Unions may have the power to force employers to pay higher wages,  delay work in the event of a strike, and generally damage company’s bottom line.  Can yourworkers unionize (assuming they aren’t already unionized)? Can you stop them from forming a union? Can you refuse to recognize a…
  • Does Having Employment Practices Liability Insurance Mean No More Worries About Employment Laws?

    Janette Levey Frisch
    3 Apr 2014 | 7:50 am
    Suppose after reading last week’s post (click here if you missed it) you decide to purchase Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). While your EPLI may go a long way toward providing you some peace of mind in this area, are you now free to ignore all employment-related laws?  EPLI is certainly one tool that you as an employer may find a worthwhile addition to your risk management portfolio, but is it a cure-all?  What gaps might  you be left with even after you might purchase EPLI? What other risk management steps do you need to take? Let’s see if we can address…
  • Do You Have Employment Practices Liability Insurance?

    Janette Levey Frisch
    27 Mar 2014 | 7:21 am
    Many of you may have heard about Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI).  A good number of you may even have it.  Nonetheless, its emergence into the insurance market and the employment law arena is relatively new, so it’s worth poking around to see what we can learn. What is EPLI? How does it work? Is it a viable, effective risk management tool for employers? Is it simply another gimmick that insurers use to divert money away from unsuspecting employers in order to line the insurance companies’ pockets (more)? Let’s start investigating after the jump… What…
  • Three Tips to Avoid Gender Discrimination Allegations in Recruiting and Hiring

    Janette Levey Frisch
    20 Mar 2014 | 4:00 am
    This week we have a guest blogger.  Her name is Rebecca Gray. Rebecca is a full-time blogger and an information security specialist from Her writing focuses on helping consumers keep their private information safe. She also endorses each person’s right to access public information through background checks. Though she writes often about issues involving tech, security, and criminal justice, Rebecca also enjoys writing fiction—usually in the vein of popular thrillers and mysteries. After the jump, Rebecca will be sharing with us some tips on avoiding gender…
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    The Federal Criminal Appeals Blog

  • Short Wins - The "the victims a person is convicted of defrauding have to be the same ones as the ones he was indicted for defrauding" edition

    7 Apr 2014 | 1:37 pm
    Last week was a busy week in the federal circuits. There's a lot there to be interested in, especially if you have a case at the intersection of mental health issues and the law. If, however, your interests are a bit more prosaic, you might want to read United States v. Ward. There, the person accused was convicted of defrauding different people than the indictment alleged he defrauded. Amazing stuff. To the victories! 1. Davis v. Humphreys, Seventh Circuit: The Seventh Circuit indicated that mental incompetence can justify tolling the statute of limitations for a motion under 28 U.S.C.
  • Short Wins - The Forfeiture Order Gets Reversed Version

    1 Apr 2014 | 4:16 pm
    There were a handful of good wins in the federal circuits last week. Notably, United States v. Annabi, pushed back on a government forfeiture because the language in the indictment was inadequate. Forfeiture is a huge issue in criminal cases in federal court these days - it's good to see the home team winning in this area. Also of note is In re Joannie Plaza-Martinez dealing with a sanction of an AFPD. It's sad to see a criminal defense lawyer sanctioned, especially an AFPD. So it's nice to see that sanction reversed. To the victories! 1. In re Joannie Plaza-Martinez, First Circuit: Appellant…
  • Short Wins - The Smurfing Edition

    28 Mar 2014 | 8:45 am
    The big news in this edition of Short Wins is United States v. Abair - a simply crazy Seventh Circuit. I already wrote about it for a general legal audience on Above the Law (Inspector Javert Goes Smurfing in Indiana) - for our purposes, the legal issue is whether she was appropriately crossed on statements in her tax returns or student loan applications. I had a case years ago where the AUSA and I litigated whether he could use similar statements in cross if my client testified. We lost. Happily, we weren't able to appeal the decision, but it's freakin' insane the way this stuff comes in…
  • Short Wins - The Money Laundering Leadership Edition

    18 Mar 2014 | 4:05 pm
    It's a good week for sentencing remands in the federal circuits. To my mind, the most interesting case is United States v. Salgado, where the Eleventh Circuit reversed a district court for considering the person who was being sentenced's role in the underlying offense that money was laundered in connection with, when the person was sentenced for money laundering. When you're figuring out the guidelines, the Eleventh Circuit said you can't do that. Mr. Salgado was a leader in the drug operation in the case, but he wasn't a leader in the money laundering. It turns out there's an application…
  • Short Wins - The Aggravated Identity Theft, 18 U.S.C. § 1028A, and Stacking Edition

    12 Mar 2014 | 9:58 am
    Aggravated identity theft - charged under 1028A - seems like it's getting more and more popular among federal prosecutors. It does come with massive leverage in plea negotiations; a conviction for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A carries a mandatory 2 years in prison, consecutive to any other count of conviction. I'm starting to see these in cases beyond the garden variety identity fraud gift card cases - like tax and health care fraud. The statute says that for subsequent 1028A convictions, a district court has discretion whether to stack them. And United States v. Chibuko addresses exactly…
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    Boston Injury Lawyer Blog

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Requires Rear Visibility Technology on All New Vehicles by 2018

    22 Apr 2014 | 1:32 pm
    Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a rule which would require rearview cameras to be installed in all new "light vehicles" by May 1, 2018. Light vehicles includes all cars, trucks, vans and SUVs under 10,000 pounds - a vast majority of vehicles on the road today. The safety regulation, which was first introduced as a requirement of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007, amends the NHTSA's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) on rearview mirrors, FMVSS No. 111. Though first introduced in 2010, the regulation's rollout…
  • Abuse by Insurers in Personal Injury Cases Highlighted by Recent Case

    11 Apr 2014 | 9:06 am
    The insurance industry is constantly bombarding the media and consumers with the idea that frivolous lawsuits are raising rates and taxing the court system. Experienced plaintiff lawyers who litigate and try cases know first-hand that these claims are largely false. A recently decided case in Middlesex County puts a dirty little secret of the industry on display. It is often insurers--loathe to pay claims and engaging in scorched earth tactics against injured people--that are costing the public trust and money. In a case called Anderson v AIG, a Superior Court judge in Middlesex County found…
  • Journal of the American Medical Association Study Shows Testosterone Therapy Substantially Increases the Risk of Heart Attacks

    10 Apr 2014 | 9:55 am
    The March 26, 2014 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) contains an update on a clinical trial relating to the risk of heart attack (myocardial infarctions) in men treated with testosterone therapies such as the popular products AndroGel and Axiron. In recent years, drug manufacturers have increasingly marketed these drugs to be used in men with low testosterone levels, a normal part of the aging process. The update refers to the results of a clinical trial published in PloS One in January, 2014. That clinical trial found that men aged 65 and older experienced a two-fold…
  • Texas Jury Awards $1.2 Million to Woman Implanted with Transvaginal Mesh

    7 Apr 2014 | 7:51 am
    In another in the series of ongoing bellwether cases, a Texas jury returned a verdict against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon in a case involving defectively designed transvaginal mesh. The jurors decided that the design of an Ethicon TVT-O mesh sling was defective and was the cause of the plaintiff's ongoing pain and pelvic symptoms. The jury, however, rejected the plaintiff's claim that Ethicon failed to properly warn about the risks of the mesh and did not award punitive damages. While Johnson & Johnson has ceased selling various transvaginal mesh products and bladder slings,…
  • FDA Launches Investigation into Testosterone Replacement Therapies and Treatment of "Low T"

    1 Apr 2014 | 2:34 pm
    On January 31, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is launching an investigation into whether FDA-approved testosterone products are causing strokes, heart attacks and even death. These testosterone replacement therapy products, heavily marketed and prescribed to older men for a dubious medical condition labeled "Low T", have become the subject of increased scrutiny in the medical field. New research calls into question whether the products have any medical value for the majority of patients they are being prescribed to and details how the use of these drugs…
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    Securities Law Blog

  • SEC Charges San Diego Investment Adviser

    21 Apr 2014 | 1:12 pm
    Last week, the SEC filed charges against a San Diego investment advisory firm called Total Wealth Management, its Chief Executive Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and an investment adviser representative for misleading investors and breaching their fiduciary duties to their clients. The SEC alleges that Total Wealth, its owner, and CEO made secret revenue sharing agreements through which they paid themselves kickbacks and neglected to inform clients of the conflicts of interests created by such agreements. Additionally, Total Wealth and CEO, Jacob Cooper, materially misrepresented the…
  • Agent Sentenced To Five Years In Southern California For Ponzi Scheme

    18 Apr 2014 | 9:17 am
    Michael Zuno Zuniga of Fullerton, California was sentenced to five years in Los Angeles County jail and ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution for his part in a Ponzi scheme that preyed on senior citizens in the Los Angeles area. The attorney general's office filed a complaint alleging 57 counts against Zuniga, including securities fraud, grand theft, elder abuse, burglary, and conspiracy. The complaint further alleged that Zuniga defrauded senior citizens of about $1.5 million through his extremely organized and complex Ponzi scheme. Zuniga's conduct is alarming as he used his position…
  • Ruling Upcoming On Fiduciary Duty For Brokers

    16 Apr 2014 | 2:34 pm
    Should brokers be required to act in the best interest of their clients when providing personalized investment advice, including recommendations about securities, to retail investors? The answer to that question is close to a resolution. Financial advisers registered with the SEC are already held to this fiduciary duty known as the "best interest" standard. Brokers, however, are held instead to a standard of "suitability," which means that they must reasonably believe that their investment recommendations are suitable for the investor's objectives, means and age. The 2010 Dodd-Frank act…
  • Bitcoin Entrepreneurs Urge For More Regulation

    15 Apr 2014 | 3:27 pm
    Last month, the IRS declared that it would consider bitcoins as property and not currency for tax reasons. This came to the pleasant surprise of many Bitcoin proponents who have longed for more federal regulation and would like to see more of it. It is no secret that the lack of regulatory certainty is a crucial factor stifling Bitcoin. In most cases, entrepreneurs shy away from regulation, but Bitcoin is unusual in that regard. For Bitcoin, there is generally a recognition that a new form of digital money will need to conform to existing financial rules. Fed regulators, as well as state and…
  • According To The SEC, More Than 200 Private-Equity Firms Have Imposed Bogus Fees

    14 Apr 2014 | 3:00 pm
    The SEC has announced that over half of the private-equity firms it has investigated have charged unjustified expenses and fees to investors without their knowledge. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act gave the SEC more power in overseeing money managers and allowed the SEC to examine some firms for the first time. At the close of 2012, the SEC's examiners had found that particular advisers were wrongfully collecting money from companies included in their portfolio, improperly calculating fees, and using assets from the funds to pay for their own expenses. Bloomberg has reported that some of these issues…
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    Darlingtons Solicitors

  • David Rosen published in Archbold

    David Rosen
    9 Apr 2014 | 2:03 am
    Visitors to this blog will know that Professor David Rosen writes prolifically on all aspects of fraud and latest trends and developments in fraud law. David’s latest thoughts and comments on trends in private prosecutions of fraud have recently been published in Archbold, one of the leading criminal law publications in the UK. You can read the relevant article and David’s comments, in conjunction with Adam Gersch, Barrister, here.
  • Less unfair dismissal claims = less settlement agreements ?

    Ben Jones
    8 Apr 2014 | 3:53 am
    Do the 2 things necessarily follow ? Many employers have historically used settlement agreements (previously compromise agreements) regularly  based on the fact that more and more employees were starting Tribunal Claims, leaving the employer in a  no win situation. Spend money on legal fees defending a claim, even if weak or unfounded, or pay off the employee early and avoid the aggravation. So, less claims in the Tribunal (last quarter the number of claims started in the Tribunal fell off the cliff) means no need for settlement agreements right ? Maybe so, maybe not. As with all legal…
  • Why small businesses need lawyers more than big businesses

    Ben Jones
    8 Apr 2014 | 3:01 am
    Isn’t life just full of ironies …. it’s a fact that a very significant proportion of small businesses don’t regularly use solicitors, generally due to the cost and an approach based on perceiving other priorities as more important. But it’s also correct that the smallest businesses probably benefit more from having the right contracts and advice than the biggest. Why is this ? Fundamentally, it’s because, having a  contract is ultimately just a piece of paper – it’s the underlying position and leverage behind any legal document that matters…
  • Establishing business and legal risks and objectives with clients

    David Swede
    8 Apr 2014 | 2:30 am
    David Swede – head of commercial law department Lots of lawyers and legal websites harp on about being “commercial”, but what does this mean in reality ? It can mean understanding that legal advice is not just about law, it also includes good business advice. It also tends to mean that costs should be proportionate to the business and legal risk perceived by the client and the necessity to get a contract or a transaction completed as soon as possible, not getting overly bogged down in minutiae. Perhaps it’s even simpler than that ? At a first meeting, whether prompted…
  • Someone is stealing in my office: What do I do? Part I: Informing

    David Rosen
    8 Apr 2014 | 12:51 am
    D Rosen This is Part I of a series of what to do, and what options you have. The options are a non-exhaustive list. There are many options to consider, depending upon the size of the business, and politics within that business, the characters involved, and the size and extent of the stealing. Who are you? What is your position in the business? If you are a fellow colleague: Tell your line manager. Don’t keep it to yourself. What if you are the only other person who knew about it, and you said nothing? When this later comes out, you may get caught up, as part of the problem, and by…
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    Maritime Lawyer Blog

  • Another Outbreak of Norovirus Flows Through Princess Cruise Lines

    11 Apr 2014 | 10:35 am
    Princess Cruise Line advised the public of an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness on the Crown Princess. The outbreak is suspected to be the Norovirus. 23 crew members and 94 passengers have fallen ill, and official statements from the the cruise line indicate that several measures have been taken to sanitize the ship and limit the spread of infection. This outbreak follows a recent one in January, where the Caribbean Princess death with an outbreak that affected 165 passengers. The Norovirus is a serious gastrointestinal illness, easily contacted in close quarters, and can lead to…
  • Vehicle Carrier Strikes Fishing Trawler, Killing Three Fishermen

    2 Apr 2014 | 9:30 am
    April started off with a tragedy in the maritime community as a fishing trawler, the Mar de Marin, was struck and sunk by a 541 foot vehicle carrier, the Baltic Breeze. Three fishermen died as a result of the collision and two were missing. The five surviving members were rescued after boarding a life raft and sent home. The accident occurred off the coast of Spain, and the details of the cause of the collision were unknown at the time of the initial reports. As a coastal state, Washington and its many ports sees many types of vessels that navigate in narrow waterways and less-than-ideal…
  • National Transportation Safety Board Holds Forum to Improve Cruise Line Safety Practices

    28 Mar 2014 | 9:39 pm
    This week the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) met for two days to discuss the safety measures in the cruise industry. Following the disastrous Costa Concordia accident in Italy in 2012, the cruise line industry incorporated safety policies that went over and above the current government regulations. The senior vice president for technical and regulatory affairs at the Cruise Lines International Association informed the audience during the forum. The CLIA vice president cited the statistic that 27 passengers have died from 2002 to 2012. The two day forum focused on the cruise line…
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirm Seaman's Status Under the Jones Act

    20 Mar 2014 | 10:14 pm
    The Port of Seattle sees many types of vessels, including different types of lift boats and marine cranes. A recent maritime law decision out of the Fifth Circuit affirmed a verdict in favor of an injured vessel repair supervisor who sought damages from his employer under the Jones Act. In this case the injured worked aboard the lift-boats while they were moored, jacked up, or docked in the employer's shipyard canal. The injured inspected for repairs, cleaned vessels, painted vessels, replaced defective or damaged parts, repaired engines, went on test runs, secured equipment, and operated the…
  • Injured Crew Member Medevaced from Fishing Vessel

    14 Mar 2014 | 1:59 pm
    A crew member was injured aboard the Seattle based fishing vessel SHIRLEY R while located 30 miles off the coast of Gray Harbor, Washington when he fell on-board and injured his head. The Coast Guard was summoned to help transport the injured crew member via helicopter and then ambulance to a Grays Harbor Community Hospital to treat his head injuries. The last report listed the crew member in stable condition. This aid from the Pacific Northwest section of the Coast Guard arrived soon after two rescues were called off in Ketchikan and Unimak Island, Alaska. The missing man from Unimak Island,…
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    Tampa Criminal Lawyer Blog

  • Florida Woman Poops on Courthouse Elevator. Breach of Bathroom Peace?

    8 Apr 2014 | 8:18 am
    Meet Patricia Ann Jamison. Ms. Jamison was recently accused of the odd act of pooping in a courthouse elevator and subsequently arrested for the same event. According to a Huffington Post story, on March 7, 2013 security staff at the St. Lucie County Courthouse was notified that there was a mysterious pile of poop located in the corner area of a public elevator. When Security investigated this crime scene, to their dismay lay a steaming pile of pew poo thought to be left by a human animal. Security staff consulted security video of individuals coming in and out of the elevator in question and…
  • Is Your March Madness Tournament Pool Legal?

    17 Mar 2014 | 11:03 am
    Many believe this week is the greatest week in all of sports. Work efficiency goes in the can, attention is diverted, and more than 50 million red blooded Americans will be living and dying on whether the sophomore shooting guard from Dingleberry Tech can finish the back half of his two free throws to knock out a national power like Duke or Michigan State. Hopes that are so high in the opening round are often crushed like an egg in round two or three. This, my friends is March Madness. The thrill of not only watching your team play for it all, but also having the chance to win a little cash…
  • Tampa Teacher's Aide Arrested For DUI. Pantless DUI.

    27 Feb 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Teacher's Aide by day, pantless driver by night? That's what Pasco County deputies claim after pulling over Kristi Steuber earlier this week. According to a police report, Steuber was pulled over in Pasco County for speeding when deputies detected an odor of alcohol on her breath after making contact. Deputies claim Steuber attempted to explain where she had been and what she was doing but simply mumbled when asked. As is standard protocol when an officer has reasonable suspicion of DUI, Steuben was asked to exit the vehicle to perform field sobriety exercises. This is when things went…

    26 Feb 2014 | 7:00 am
    The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled last week that one suspected of driving under the influence can still be arrested in spite of passing field sobriety tests, a decision overruling a case from 2012 that ruled when a motorist passed six field sobriety tests that he could NOT be arrested. As most assume, field sobriety tests can be the deciding factor as to whether a motorist goes to jail for DUI or whether they go home. While this is generally correct, probable cause for a DUI arrest is generally established by observation of both field sobriety tests and other signs of impairment. As with any…
  • Video of Pasco County Movie Theater Shooting Death to be Shown in Open Court

    5 Feb 2014 | 12:24 pm
    Video of former Tampa Police Captain Curtis Reeves, Jr. shooting and killing local man Chad Oulson will be viewed in open Court according to Pasco County Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa. Reeves Jr. has been charged with second-degree murder for his actions. Several media outlets have requested footage of the video. Pasco County Prosecutors sought a Judicial order prior to turning over footage of the alleged second degree murder citing Florida Statute 406.136, a statute that makes it a third degree felony to turn over footage of a "killing of a person" to a third party not enumerated within the…
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    Baltimore Auto Accident Attorneys Blog

  • General Assembly Takes Aim at Distracted Driving, "Move Over" Law

    7 Apr 2014 | 12:59 pm
    Stiffer penalties for distracted driving and an expansion of Maryland's little known "move over" law have already seen action by Maryland lawmakers. "Jakes' Law," legislation named after a five-year-old boy who was killed in an accident involving a texting driver, has been approved by both houses of the Maryland legislature but is presently in a conference committee where differences between the two bills are being worked out. Under the new law, drivers would be assessed 12 points against their driver's license, would be guilty of a misdemeanor and could be subject to imprisonment for up to…
  • Court Tackles Question of Future Wages and Medical Expenses for Undocumented Aliens Involved in Auto Accident

    6 Jan 2014 | 12:07 pm
    The Maryland Court of Special Appeals in Ayala v. Lee has addressed a long-standing question over whether a plaintiff's illegal immigration status can be raised by defense counsel at a trial involving claims for personal injury where future lost wages and future medical expenses are claimed by a plaintiff. The court ruled that in certain limited circumstances, one's illegal status may be relevant and admissible, but that the trial judge must first weigh the potential prejudice of the line of questioning proposed against the probative value of allowing a jury to hear such evidence. The…
  • Court Keeps Rule That Denial of a Request to Change Venue Can Not Be Immediately Appealed

    24 Dec 2013 | 9:11 am
    Deciding the best place to try a case - forum selection - is important in many ways to a lawsuit. How long it takes for a case to conclude, the likelihood of victory and the amount of damages awarded by a judge or jury can be vastly different, depending on the county where the case is heard. As a result, lawyers on both sides of the case carefully scrutinize the places where a lawsuit can be filed so as to determine the best location for handling the case. The fact that venue is important means that lawyers often maneuver for the best judicial forum for their clients even before the trial…
  • Maryland's "Move Over" Law: It's Not New; But It's Not Understood

    13 Dec 2013 | 8:44 am
    Maryland motorists are being reminded by overhead traffic alert displays of Maryland's "Move Over" law. The law requires motorists traveling in the lane next to an emergency vehicle to move over one lane to make it safer for the responders. The law is also designed to make drivers more aware of the dangers confronting those who are stopped on the shoulder or in a travel lane due to an emergency. The problem with the law is that it's not understood and, thus, not obeyed in many instances. Drivers see the signs advising of the "new law" but don't know when they need to move, particularly during…
  • Insurance Company Gets Out of Paying Underinsured Motorist Benefits Because of Workers' Compensation Lien

    6 Dec 2013 | 9:35 am
    When a workers' compensation lien exceeds the amount of a judgment resulting from an automobile accident, an insurer does not have to pay underinsured motorist benefits. The ruling stems from a lawsuit over an auto accident involving both workers' compensation and uninsured motorist claims. David Ross was involved in a rear-end collision caused by John Agurs that occurred while Ross was driving within the scope of his employment with Shelton Transportation. Ross' left knee and lower back were injured. Shelton had a workers' compensation policy through the Injured Workers Insurance Fund (IWIF)…
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    Personal Injury Lawyer Blog


    21 Apr 2014 | 7:59 am
    Japan-based auto manufacturer Toyota has agreed to pay a staggering $1.2 billion to avoid prosecution for covering up severe safety problems with "unintended acceleration," according to court documents, and continuing to produce cars with parts the FBI said Toyota "knew were deadly." A deferred prosecution agreement, filed today, forced Toyota to "admit" that it "misled U.S. consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements about two safety related issues affecting its vehicles, each of which caused a type of unintended acceleration." Toyota had lost its values and "put sales over…

    11 Apr 2014 | 9:36 am
    In Hoover v. New Holland North America, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that the seller, Niagara Frontier Equipment Sales, Inc., and distributor, CNH America LLC, of a tractor-driven post hole digger were liable for an accident that tore off the arm of a teenage girl back in 2004. The girl, Jessica Bowers, 16, of Niagara County, was dragged into the rotating driveline of the digger being operated by her stepfather, who had borrowed the digger from a friend, Peter Smith. Smith admitted to previously removing a plastic safety shield from the digger because years of…

    7 Apr 2014 | 8:08 am
    There is increasing concern over a link between the drug Risperdal and gynecomastia, the development of breasts in males. Gynecomastia can affect boys and young men that are prescribed the drug as an anti-psychotic for bi-polar or other disorders. Risperdal has other serious side effects, including Risperdal diabetes and Risperdal stroke. A recent study found that Risperdal (risperidone) and an active metabolite in risperidone Invega (paliperidone) increases a risk for gynecomastia by 69 percent. This study is significant because until now, many lawsuits alleging a connection between…

    1 Apr 2014 | 9:32 am
    Being admitted to the hospital is not something most of us look forward to. If we have to be admitted we expect to be in a safe place capable of diagnosing and hopefully treating our ailment. However, an alarming number of people actually become sicker as a direct result of their medical care. Hospitals are breeding grounds for infections. It is where people suffering from illnesses at all ends of the spectrum come for help. When these people are treated and discharged, they leave behind viruses and bacteria that then spread to other patients. It is where needles and other medical devices are…

    19 Mar 2014 | 8:39 am
    The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention at the Children's Hospital in Waltham initiated a workout program that helps youth both before and after suffering concussions. A concussion is "any head injury that temporarily affects normal brain functions" ranging from minor to very severe, according to medical dictionaries. Contact sports are a leading cause of concussions in the United States, and almost half of reported concussions each year in the U.S. are sports related. Concussions can cause immediate symptoms including: dizziness, headaches, ear pain, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting…
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  • Additional Options for Those Who Miss the H-1B Cap

    18 Apr 2014 | 12:12 pm
    As explained in previous posts and widely discussed in the press and on the Internet, every year only 65,000 foreign workers (and additional 20,000 workers who have earned U.S. Master's degrees) will receive H-1B visas. This limitation is called the H-1B cap or H-1B quota and is congressionally mandated (though there are a number of foreign workers and institutions that are cap-exempt and therefore are not counted towards the quota). The H-1B cap presents unique challenges for foreign workers and U.S. employers alike as every year thousands of businesses file H-1B petitions…
  • How H-1B Visas Help the U.S. Economy and Specifically the Tech Industry

    15 Apr 2014 | 2:45 pm
    Many of the readers are aware that the H-1B visa - which is critical to allowing U.S. companies to employ talented foreign workers - comes with multiple obstacles, the most obvious obstacle being the "H-1B cap." Congress has allotted a yearly maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas (with an additional 20,000 visas reserved for foreign workers who obtained a Master's degree at a U.S. university). Nearly every year the demand for H-1B visas far exceeds the supply. In 2014 alone, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is the government agency that reviews and approves…
  • Will the Supreme Court Hear an Immigration Case this Summer?

    4 Apr 2014 | 12:11 pm
    The Supreme Court of the United States (also referred to as SCOTUS) is the highest court in the nation. Once the Supreme Court makes a decision on a case, the case is closed - there is no possibility of another court rehearing the case and coming to a different decision. Therefore, in many ways, any decision made by the Supreme Court justices is final. Because the Supreme Court is the court of last resort, and its justices are the ultimate decision makers, the Court usually only consents to hear cases that hold very important outcomes for the entire country, such as the case involving the…
  • German Family Granted Immigration Relief to Stay in the United States

    26 Mar 2014 | 7:06 am
    U.S. immigration law offers foreign nationals many different opportunities for qualifying for U.S. permanent residence (a green card). For example, a U.S. employer may sponsor a foreign worker for a permanent job position or a U.S. citizen or green card holder may sponsor certain family members. In addition to these employment-based and family-based opportunities, U.S. law also allows foreign nationals to apply for asylum in this country. Asylum will be granted to foreign nationals if returning to their home country would place them in danger of persecution. Foreign nationals may qualify for…
  • State Legislatures Introduce Bills to Reduce Detention Rates of Nonviolent Undocumented Offenders

    14 Mar 2014 | 1:22 pm
    As comprehensive immigration reform has been spotlighted in the media for the past several months, one issue that is continually discussed is what the government can do to reduce the population of undocumented foreign nationals who are currently held in local jails. In recent weeks, Maryland joined the ranks of other states including California and Connecticut when its state legislature proposed a bill that would decrease the undocumented population being held in Maryland state jails. The bill would accomplish this goal by allowing state jail administrators to circumvent certain provisions of…
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    Boston Business Litigation Lawyer Blog

  • Proposed Legislation Threatens the Future Enforceability of Non-Compete Agreements

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:36 pm
    In the past, Massachusetts legislators have proposed legislation that would ban the enforcement of non-competition agreements in Massachusetts, but no such law has yet passed. Last week, Governor Deval Patrick announced that he would propose similar legislation as part of an economic growth bill, in an effort to remove the barriers that non-compete agreements create for workers in high-tech companies who wish to open their own competing business. As we have previously discussed, Massachusetts law presently views non-competition agreements as valid and enforceable, if they are reasonable in…
  • Business Disputes in Automotive Industry Can Present Unique Issues

    10 Apr 2014 | 4:40 pm
    A recent decision from the United States District Court in Massachusetts illustrates how business disputes in the automotive industry may be subject to specific laws that can have an effect on substantive claims as well as the enforcement of arbitration agreements to resolve such disputes. In Aston Martin Lagonda of North America, Inc. v. Lotus Motorsports, Inc., laws specific to automotive business disputes led the federal court to dismiss various claims brought by dealership franchisee Lotus Motorsports, Inc. (Lotus) against franchisor Aston Martin Lagonda of North America, Inc. (Aston…
  • Bonus Payment Excluded from Wage Act Claim

    27 Mar 2014 | 11:20 am
    The Suffolk County Superior Court recently analyzed the Massachusetts Wage Act in a case involving the compensation package of a company's departing president. The case was complicated by the multiple and inconsistent compensation agreements the plaintiff and defendant company signed. At bottom, the court decided the issue of whether annual bonuses and vacation pay may be considered wages under the Wage Act. The court found that annual bonuses may not be considered wages under the Wage Act, but that vacation pay may be wages, provided that certain criteria are be met. In Boesel v. Swaptree,…
  • No Breach of Fiduciary Duty by Corporate Shareholder Who Opened Similar Business

    20 Mar 2014 | 10:48 am
    In Ricci Consultants, Inc. v. Bournival, a case recently tried in the Norfolk Superior Court, it was determined that a defendant did not breach a fiduciary duty when she left employment with Ricci Consultants, Inc. (RCI), an actuarial consulting firm in which she was a shareholder with a one-third interest, to start her own actuarial consulting firm, KMS Actuaries, Inc. (KMS). Although both firms provided actuarial consulting services for clients, the types of clients each firm serviced differed: RCI specialized in private sector work, while KMS focused on the public sector. Following the…
  • General Contractor Who Delayed Project Held to Have Breached Contract with Subcontractor

    13 Mar 2014 | 3:43 pm
    A Massachusetts Superior Court recently ruled on a case involving a construction contract between a subcontractor and a general contractor, where the contract included a provision that prohibited the subcontractor from recovering damages from the contractor for a delay in the project. The court held that the "no damages for delay" clause did not prevent the plaintiff-subcontractor from recovering damages from the contractor, as the contractor denied the subcontractor of its only available remedy under the contract. In Central Ceilings, Inc. v. Suffolk Construction Company, Inc., et al.,…
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    Florida Tax Lawyer Blog

  • Is Paying Sales Tax Online Avoidable

    31 Mar 2014 | 7:30 pm
    It is difficult these days to read an article about sales tax without coming across issues with online companies such as Amazon. For those of you that do not spend most of your day hunting down interesting sales tax articles, please just take my word for it. In fact, before Congress right now is an attempt to nationalize sales tax collection by passing a law known as the Marketplace Fairness Act. This law would essentially cause most online retailers, like Amazon, to collect tax in every jurisdiction to which they sell. Not surprisingly, and despite the literally thousands of articles…
  • Form Over Substance - Go For Two

    11 Mar 2014 | 3:45 pm
    On a regular basis, our firm receives questions from taxpayers and their CPA's alike regarding businesses that provide both services and tangible personal property. In most states, tangible personal property is subject to sales tax while the sales of services is not. Alternatively, a similar question comes in with real property improvement contractors that sell some tangible personal property, some installation, and some real property contracts with installation. The question is even more pressing in the case in which the taxpayer is a real property improvement company that has significant…
  • Are Shifts in Business Trends Sales Tax Driven?

    17 Feb 2014 | 8:56 pm
    In mid-January 2014, I stumbled across an article in the Wall Street Journal discussing shopping trends over the holiday season. According to the Journal's article, As Shoppers Skip the Mall, Stores Search for Fresh Lures, the shift to online shopping and away from the traditional brick-and-mortar was heavily price driven. Of course, other factors contributed such as convenience of shopping online and having a more defined mission when going to the store due to online research. However, the article suggested a "permanent" shift away from store showrooms and more to that of an online…
  • Miami Hookah Takes On Florida

    13 Feb 2014 | 2:49 pm
    Most Florida tobacco distributors are familiar with Micjo which was decided on February 1, 2012. Micjo would change the alcohol and beverage tax world in Florida forever. At issue was whether the taxpayer had to pay Florida tobacco tax on all of the invoice components, including shipping charges and federal excise tax or if the tax should only apply to the tobacco product itself, not the federal excise tax and transportation charges. For example, Micjo (or any tobacco distributor) gets an invoice from its supplier that says tobacco $100, federal excise tax $60, transportation charges $40,…
  • North Carolina Benefits from Amazon Sales Tax Collection

    11 Feb 2014 | 6:47 pm
    As many know, Amazon has been clashing with many states whether it should be required to charge, collect, and remit sales tax. Many states have taken position that Amazon's affiliates and distribution centers created the dreaded "nexus." If an online retailer (or any company) has so-called "nexus" it is required to charge, collect, and remit tax in that state. With millions of dollars at stake, Amazon threatened to pull its affiliate programs in those states which, in turn, would cut tens of thousands of jobs. Fearful of huge job cuts in a struggling economy, many states allowed Amazon a…
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    New Jersey CPA Tax Lawyer Blog

  • Tax Court: Trusts Can Meet Material Participation Requirements, Avoid Passive Activity Rules

    18 Apr 2014 | 11:53 am
    In a highly anticipated recent ruling, the US Tax Court shot down an Internal Revenue Service argument that trusts are by definition incapable of materially participating in the business assets they own and ineligible to utilize the net operating loss rules when those assets lose money. The court decided that trusts could avoid the "passive activity" tag, and its negative tax consequences, if their trustees were individuals who met the material participation rules of the tax code. The ruling represented an important win for the trustees of one family trust, and potentially many more in the…
  • Aftershocks of Tax Court's IRS Rollover Decision Ripple Throughout Retirement Planning Community

    4 Apr 2014 | 4:54 pm
    Just a few weeks ago, this blog discussed the US Tax Court's decision in Bobrow v. Commissioner, a case involving multiple retirement account rollovers occurring in quick succession within the same year. The court's opinion ruling in favor of the Internal Revenue Service created a significant stir within many retirement planning circles, as the court declared that taxpayers could perform only one rollover per year in order to qualify for tax-free status. Some analysts have declared the ruling in direct conflict with IRS guidance documents, while others have pointed out that options exist to…
  • Taxpayer's Multiple Retirement Account Transactions Run Afoul of Rollover Restrictions, Fail to Qualify as Non-taxable

    21 Mar 2014 | 8:59 am
    A couple seeking to move money between several individual retirement accounts found themselves pinched by the law's strict limits for transactions that may qualify as a rollover contribution and avoid constituting taxable income. The rules' cap on the number of rollover transactions and the time period for completing a rollover resulted in most of the couple's transactions failing to qualify and therefore amounting to taxable income. Alvan Bobrow had two IRAs at Fidelity Investments in 2008, and his wife had one. During that year, the couple took several distributions from their accounts and…
  • 401(k) Participation Wipes Out Taxpayer's Deduction for IRA Contribution

    7 Mar 2014 | 9:57 am
    An employee's contribution of a little less than $1,400 to a 401(k) offered through her employer proved costly, as that contribution made the employee qualify as an active plan participant for tax purposes and that status, along with the size of her income, made her ineligible to claim a deduction for the $5,000 she also contributed to an IRA during that same year. In 2008, Rebecca Smackey Hurd worked for two employers. Hurd was not covered by an employee retirement plan at the first job, but was covered at the second job, where she contributed $1,373 to a 401(k). During that same year, Hurd…
  • Real Estate Sales Venture in Its 'Developmental' Stage Fails to Qualify for Business Deduction

    21 Feb 2014 | 7:02 am
    The business expense deduction encompassed within Section 162 of the Tax Code permits taxpayers to claim a substantial range of expenses. One essential key, however, is that the expenses incurred must relate to an existing, active, ongoing business. If the expenses you're incurring simply lay the groundwork for a future business, they do not qualify for the deduction, as a taxpayer couple seeking to sell lots on their upstate New York parcel of property found out in Chen v. Commissioner. Albert Chen and Nai-Fen Chen purchased land in Greenville, NY in 1980. In 2003, the couple formulated a…
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    Securities Lawyer 101 l Hamilton & Associates | Going Public Attorneys l Registration Statement Lawyers

  • Going Public Blog l Securities Lawyer 101

    1 Jan 2101 | 6:23 am
      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 More
  • Direct Public Offering Toolbox l By: Brenda Hamilton Attorney

    22 Apr 2014 | 11:40 am
    Securities Lawyer 101 Blog For companies that have a reasonable time schedule for going public, a direct public offering provides an appealing option.  In direct public offering, a company’s shares are sold directly to investors by management, rather than through an underwriter.   A direct public offering dramatically reduces the costs and risks associated with a reverse merger.  Companies using a direct public... Read More
  • SEC Charges Hedge Fund Manager l Brenda Hamilton Attorney

    21 Apr 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Securities Lawyer 101 Blog On April 4, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit in United States District Court in Dallas, Texas, alleging that, from October 2009 to June 2012, Matthew D. Sample of San Diego, California used his hedge fund to raise almost $1 million from five investors based on representations that he would use their money to... Read More
  • SEC Charges Dr. Loretta Itri with Insider Trading of Gentri

    21 Apr 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Posted by Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney On April 21, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) charged a former biopharmaceutical company executive and two others with insider trading on confidential information about the company’s key developmental drug.  The company’s stock price fell sharply when it announced clinical trial results for the drug. Dr. Loretta Itri, president of pharmaceutical development... Read More
  • SEC Issues Guidance on Rule 147 Intrastate Offerings & Crowdfunding l Brenda Hamilton Attorney

    21 Apr 2014 | 9:00 pm
    On April 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued a revised compliance and disclosure interpretation (“C&DIs”) and provided two new questions concerning  crowdfunding under the JOBS Act and the intrastate exemption provided by Rule 147 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act provides an exemption from the... Read More
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    Dallas Justice » Criminal Law Blog

  • Navarette v. California: Supreme Court Okays Anonymous Tip for Traffic Stop — We’ve All Lost Something Today

    Michael Lowe
    22 Apr 2014 | 6:05 pm
    Back in January, we warned about what happened today: the United States Supreme Court has okayed police pulling people over to search their vehicles based upon an anonymous tip in the case of Navarette v. California. In February, we were still reeling from the SCOTUS decision in Fernandez, where they found it legally permissible and constitutionally okay for police to search your home without a search warrant if one of the occupants agrees to allow the police to enter even if the other occupant does not – and, little surprise, it’s this refusing occupant who ends up arrested. Now, things…
  • What is the Texas Driver’s Responsibility Surcharge for DWI Cases and Why (Hopefully) Its Days may be Numbered

    Michael Lowe
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:57 am
    This week down in Austin, some Texas legislators gave us all hope that something may be done sometime in this decade about the Texas Driver’s Responsiblity Surcharge Program. Fingers crossed. We’ve been discussing the unfairness of the Texas Driver Responsibility Surcharges for years now; check out our prior posts for a history of this state program and various reasons it’s just not working and hasn’t been for several years: Texas Driver Responsibility Surcharge Nightmare: DPS Isn’t Following the New Law Another Law to Fix Driver Responsibility Surcharges: Prove You’re Indigent,…
  • Marijuana Laws In Texas Today — A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Perspective on the Eve of the 2014 DFW Marijuana March

    Michael Lowe
    9 Apr 2014 | 2:31 pm
    Marijuana laws here in Texas are tough. Over the years I’ve seen many clients come through our doors who haven’t been that mixed up with marijuana or grass or pot or weed but they’ve still faced some pretty stiff sentences under either Texas statutes or federal law. Marijuana cases can mean a real defense fight here in Texas courts. (For more on marijuana defense in Texas, go here.) There may be different ballgame for Texas marijuana defense soon, though. These days, we’re seeing state marijuana laws changing all over the place and there are lots of people who’d like to see Texas…
  • Protecting Privacy of Criminal Lawyer and Client Communications: Article by Michael Lowe added to Online Digital Library

    Michael Lowe
    4 Apr 2014 | 11:08 am
    Click on the image to visit the Michael Lowe Digital Library to read or download this InDepth Article as well as other documents collected by Michael Lowe online. The post Protecting Privacy of Criminal Lawyer and Client Communications: Article by Michael Lowe added to Online Digital Library appeared first on Dallas Justice.

    Michael Lowe
    3 Apr 2014 | 11:34 am
    Criminal records can follow you the rest of your life, and while many will assert that’s how it should be, there are many instances where wiping someone’s slate clean is the fair thing to do — it’s not sneaky or wrong. In fact, expungement of criminal records has been approved and provided for by the Texas legislature and the Texas courts. It’s legal in Texas to clear or erase or seal your past criminal record in many situations and it’s not that hard to do. Thing is: it costs money to do it, more often than not, because a lawyer is usually hired to handle the process of…
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    South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

  • Burden of Proof and Nursing Home Agreements

    21 Apr 2014 | 8:37 am
    In a recent case, a woman appealed an order that granted a retirement home's motion to compel arbitration. These motions are fairly common in nursing home abuse or nursing home negligence cases. Often a nursing home requires incoming residents to sign an arbitration agreement before being admitted and this agreement requires the resident to submit any dispute to a particular arbitrator and set of arbitration rules. Issues arise when the arbitration agreement requires a resident to subscribe to rules that impact their ability to recover for serious losses under Florida law. In Florida, an…
  • Florida Court Takes on Bahamian Food Poisoning Case - Howard v. Kerzner

    17 Apr 2014 | 10:57 am
    As our society becomes increasingly mobile, it's likely that courts will be tasked more frequently to resolve legal disputes among parties in different states. The decision on which state's laws apply to a given case is an important one. As the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida explains in Howard v. Kerzner, it can even make or break the case. Ms. Howard, who lives in North Carolina, sued Kerzner International Limited, alleging that she suffered food poisoning while dining at the Mesa Grill during her stay at Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
  • Discovery of Adverse Medical Incidents in Florida

    14 Apr 2014 | 10:16 am
    For years, public policy in Florida allowed doctors unfettered authority. In 2004, voters approved Amendment 7, which created a constitutional right for patients to know about a health care facility or provider's adverse medical incidents, including medical malpractice. This right is important, but it is not total, and it remains important for plaintiffs to tailor their discovery requests appropriately. In a 2013 case a medical center sought review of an order that it produce specific documents in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The case arose when the plaintiff sued the medical center and…
  • Unanticipated Seizure and Florida Car Accidents

    10 Apr 2014 | 6:59 am
    Foreseeability plays a part in analyzing whether a defendant is responsible and should be held accountable for a plaintiff's injuries. In a recent case, Jordan Marcum, her employer and her liability insurer appealed an adverse judgment arising from a car accident that caused personal injuries to Angela Hayward. The case arose because Marcum had lost consciousness while driving during a seizure. She was assistant manager of a poll company and driving the company vehicle in the course and scope of her employment. Her coworker was riding in the passenger seat. The woman later testified that she…
  • Florida Supreme Court Reviews Tomahawk Case

    7 Apr 2014 | 11:20 am
    In a recent Florida Supreme Court case, the Court reviewed an appellate opinion previously covered on this blog. In the case a man (Dennis Dorsey) brought a personal injury lawsuit for injuries after a bar fight against the man he was with at a neighborhood bar (Robert Reider). The fight arose while Dorsey, Reider and Reider's friend Noordhoek were drunk over the legal limit. Reider said he wanted to fight everyone and Dorsey told him off before walking out of the bar. Rider and Noordhoek followed him and trapped him between a truck and an adjacent car. Noordhoek took a tomahawk used for work…
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    Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyers Blog

  • Expedited Process for Veterans and Benefits for PTSD

    17 Apr 2014 | 7:24 am
    In addition to having to reintegrate after deployment, many veterans will return with catastrophic injuries, including amputation, paralysis, burns, and other disabilities. For some, the damage will be psychological, resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Social Security Administration (SSA) has created an expedited process to help veterans recover benefits quickly and effectively. In addition to proving benefits to veterans who have suffered a physical injury, the SSA has also begun providing compensation to victims PTSD sufferers. The benefits may be necessary for…
  • Advocates Urge Congress to Pass ABLE Act to Help the Disabled

    13 Apr 2014 | 8:51 pm
    In February of 2013, Congress introduced the ABLE act. ABLE stands for The Achieve a Better Life Experience Act. The Act had more than 400 co-sponsors in the House and the Senate, and disability advocates spoke out in favor of it. Unfortunately, the Congressional session ended last year before the bill could be considered. Disability advocates are now urging Congress to act this year and move forward with the legislation. According to CNN, more than 230,000 people have signed a petition urging Congress to take action. The bill was also discussed at an annual event at Capitol Hill hosted by…
  • Longer Waits Expected for Disability Hearings

    7 Apr 2014 | 8:47 pm
    When an application for disability benefits is denied, there are several different stages of appeal for which a Boston disability benefits attorney can apply. The first step is to put in a request for reconsideration and have your claim reviewed again. Unfortunately, if this is unsuccessful, you will need to move on to a disability benefits hearing. You can expect a long wait for this hearing to occur and new information indicates that the wait for a hearing is likely to be even longer in 2014.
  • Disability Benefits Use Differs By County

    6 Apr 2014 | 8:41 pm
    In 2012, nine million disabled individuals in the United States received around $120 billion in federal disability benefits through Social Security Disability (SSD). The large expenditures have led to calls for reform of the SSD system, but it is important to realize that spending was not uniform across the United States. As the Washington Post notes, certain counties have much higher rates of disabled individuals obtaining benefits than others and this geographic difference may be the key to improving the system. Disability benefits are notoriously difficult to qualify for throughout the…
  • Video Hearings Help Deal with SSD Backlog

    1 Apr 2014 | 11:09 pm
    Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be a complicated process because more than half of all claims are initially denied. This leaves workers going through a four stage appeals process, which begins with a request for review and then progresses to a disability benefits hearing. Appealing a benefits denial is often your best choice for getting the benefits that you need. A Social Security Disability lawyer in Massachusetts can help with the appeals process so you can make a compelling argument to convince the administrative law judge (ALJ) to award you benefits. However,…
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    Austin Immigration Lawyer Blog

  • New Figures Challenge Obama's 'Deporter in Chief' Moniker

    23 Apr 2014 | 2:42 am
    The Obama Administration's policies regarding deportation have earned the President the title "Deporter in Chief" among many who would like to see him take a softer stance. One of the arguments in support of such a moniker is that the President has dramatically increased the number of illegal immigrants being deported as compared to his predecessor, George W. Bush. Many believe that he has also increased deportations in the years since his presidency began as well. But, a new report is shedding additional light on President Obama's immigration policies, and calling into question whether or…
  • Massachusetts to Exploit Immigration Loophole

    21 Apr 2014 | 2:12 am
    The nation's immigration policy challenges are causing leaders across the country to devise increasingly creative methods to find the solutions they need. One such initiative was announced just weeks ago when the CEOs of some of the country's largest technology companies banded together to press for a restructuring of the nation's H1-B visa program. Now, a political leader leader, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, is also proposing his own immigration stopgap measure. In mid-April Governor Patrick announced his Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GER) Program. Under the program foreign…
  • Obama Administration's Claims About Deportation Data Not Entirely True

    16 Apr 2014 | 6:46 am
    Deportation has long been one of the most controversial subtopics within the already controversial topic of immigration. The Obama administration has made claims that it is only targeting "criminals, gang bangers, [and] people who are hurting the community" as opposed to students and people who "are just here because they are trying to figure out how to feed their families. Recently, however, two independent sources - the Syracuse University Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse and the New York Times - confirmed that the Obama administration is actually capturing and deporting, by the…
  • Updated DACA Renewal Process Expected Soon

    14 Apr 2014 | 6:37 am
    The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) program has been updated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in the form of a change in the renewal process for the roughly half-million immigrants involved in the program. Though the changes have not yet been implemented, the update offers valuable insight into what DACA recipients have to look forward to. According to the update which was posted on the USCIS website recently, revisions to the DACA application form will be made in late spring of this year and will restrict renewal requests only to those individuals…
  • Accounting Changes Responsible for Obama's Tough Immigration Reputation

    9 Apr 2014 | 7:55 am
    President Obama has been called one of the toughest recent presidents as it relates to deporting immigrants who are in the country illegally. Despite the fact that he has implemented such programs as the DACA program, which allows a significant number of younger illegal immigrants to stay in the country, Obama has nevertheless gained the moniker "deporter in chief" as a result of his administration's immigration policies. But not everyone is in agreement that such a title is warranted. One of the primary arguments among those who would like to brand president Obama as being deportation happy,…
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    Cincinnati Injury Attorney - Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney - Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyer

  • Why Do I Need To See A Doctor About The Scar From My Accident When I’m Just Going To Live With It?

    William Strubbe
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Two Reasons. The jury cannot conclude the scar is permanent without a doctor’s opinion. And the jury – or the insurance company – needs to know how much it would cost to try to fix the scar. You are not exactly the same as you were before the accident. You have a scar that wasn’t there before, because someone else screwed up. The right doctor can tell you – and the insurance company – whether the scar will heal on its own, and how much it will cost to fix the scar. Let’s say that instead of talking about your body, you are talking about an old car you own. The car is a 2001…
  • Do You Believe In Every Lawsuit You File?

    William Strubbe
    14 Apr 2014 | 10:24 am
    Yes. People don’t become my clients unless I believe them. Am I always right? No – I sign people up, and then sometimes I learn something that makes me not believe them. And then I stop representing them. But that hardly ever happens. I might stop representing someone for other reasons, too – the case might turn out to be too expensive in terms of costs or time, relative to the amount I think we will win. But that doesn’t happen very often, or I wouldn’t sign them up in the first place. Do juries – or the insurance company on the other side – always believe me, or believe my…
  • How Can You Avoid Delays In Settling My Lawsuit?

    William Strubbe
    7 Apr 2014 | 7:36 pm
    I figure out where the delays are most likely to be, then try to fix them. Delays usually come because the other side doesn’t know something that I do. Usually, it’s medical records that establish that my client wasn’t hurt before the accident, or that establish the severity of the injury. So I get the medical records. If there is a large wage loss claim, I send the other side my client’s employment records and paycheck stubs, and I try to get them copies of the work excuses. If there is a dispute about liability, it means there is a fight over what happened. In other words, who is…
  • Why Are Adjusters And Adjusters So Protective Of The Insurance Company? Don’t They Just Want To Do The Right Thing?

    William Strubbe
    2 Apr 2014 | 7:16 am
    They do want to do the right thing. But “the right thing” means something different to them than to you. And they are paid to protect the insurance company. To an insurance adjuster or attorney, “doing the right thing” means protecting the insurance company against false claims, and lawyers who want too much. And if they screw up, not doing this version of “the right thing” – in the sense of protecting the insurance company – means getting fired. I have had at least one lawsuit where I filed a lawsuit knowing that the lawsuit was almost…
  • Why Does My Lawyer Have To Pay People I Owe Money To Out Of My Settlement?

    William Strubbe
    1 Apr 2014 | 7:38 am
    Sometimes, it’s required by law, or the other driver’s insurance company. Other times, it’s not required, but it’s just good sense. Nearly always, your own health or auto insurance company requires that it be reimbursed for the cost of your treatment out of settlement funds. This is in their contract or policy. And the other driver’s insurance company usually requires that your health or auto insurance company be repaid out of the settlement, to the point of having a separate check issued out of the settlement proceeds payable to the health or auto insurance…
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    Health Care Law Blog

  • STARK Whistleblowing Case Leads To Record $85 Million False Claims Act Settlement Between Florida Hospital System And The Government

    22 Apr 2014 | 8:34 am
    Halifax Hospital Medical Center and Halifax Staffing, Inc. (Halifax), on the day of jury selection, agreed to pay $85 million and made other concessions as part of a settlement with the federal government to resolve allegations that Halifax violated STARK prohibitions and the False Claims Act (FCA). The settlement amount is the largest STARK sanction to date against a hospital system for STARK law violations. The case is styled United States ex rel v. Halifax Hospital Medical Center, et al., No. 09-cv-1002 (M.D. Fla). The government's allegations stemmed from Halifax's financial relationships…
  • Possible Delay of the Affordable Care Act's Individual Mandate

    12 Mar 2014 | 12:43 pm
    House Republicans gained the support of 27 Democrats and passed The Suspending the Individual Mandate Penalty Law Equals Simple (SIMPLE) Fairness Act (H.R. 4118), a bill that would delay for one year the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate penalty tax for those failing to buy health insurance before the deadline this month. As reported recently in the Washington Post, while destined to fail in the Democratic-controlled Senate, this Bill nonetheless underscores mounting pressure upon the Administration and Democrats in an election year, as the troubled healthcare law struggles to get…
  • Navigating Troubled Waters: Five Tips for Physician Practice Breakups and Departures

    24 Feb 2014 | 8:31 am
    Medical practice breakups and physician departures are inevitable. Some are the result of professional or personal disputes, and others are simply the result of practical or economic realities or life events (disability, death, retirement, etc.). Whatever the circumstances, failing to carefully execute a plan for the breakup can quickly result in financial, legal, and emotional complications. All physicians and physician practices should anticipate the inevitable conclusion of any professional relationship. 1. Have a Good Contract When a business relationship fails or otherwise ends, not…
  • Medical Practice Compliance 101

    18 Feb 2014 | 11:05 am
    Patients tend to see physicians only as providers of care -- meeting their medical needs. The reality is that a physician's efforts to stay compliant with regulations and laws may consume as much or more time than actually rendering care. With consequences for regulatory violations ranging from financial to criminal, compliance is a subject of the utmost importance for any physician practice. The best way to avoid penalties is to have a serious compliance program in place to prevent, detect, and respond to any possible violation. With regulations always changing on both a federal and state…
  • An Ounce of Prevention: Identify and Mitigate HIPAA Compliance Issues to Avoid Costly HIPAA Penalties

    31 Dec 2013 | 6:55 am
    An unencrypted thumb drive cost a dermatology practice $150,000. On December 26, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced a settlement with Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, P.C. of Concord, Massachusetts (APD) of alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). APD, a "covered entity" for HIPAA purposes, has offices in Concord, Westford, Marlborough, and Ayer, Massachusetts, and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The thumb drive contained unsecured electronic protected health information (ePHI) relating to the performance of Mohs…
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    Delaware Environmental Law Blog

  • Changes to the Delaware Brownfields Program Affecting Timing of Liability Protection

    4 Apr 2014 | 9:14 am
    Sometime this past month, a significant shift happened in the way DNREC SIRS treats entrants into the Delaware Brownfields Program and it's a shift that you need to be aware of if you plan to do Brownfields redevelopment in Delaware. For the past decade or so, if you wanted to redevelop a Brownfields property, you would send in the Brownfields Certification Application and, upon submitting your application (assuming that you are not otherwise a "potentially responsible party" under HSCA), you would receive environmental liability protection from the hazardous substances existing on the…
  • The Very Curious Case of New Castle County v. Pike Creek Recreational Services

    5 Mar 2014 | 10:25 am
    What can one say about a Delaware Chancery Court opinion in a consolidated New Castle County action to enforce private restrictive covenants and developer's action to compel county review of development plans that was issued one day, corrected the next, then withdrawn and re-issued with clarifications three and a half months later by a specially-appointed Vice Chancellor? A case that involves fifty-year-old and forty-six-year-old "private master plans," the current Unified Development Code "restrictive change statute" (§40.31.130), a plethora of successively-revised record development plans,…
  • More Changes to the Brownfields Grant Policy to Be Discussed at Next HSCA Advisory Committee Meeting

    26 Feb 2014 | 2:00 pm
    In a previous article, I mentioned that the DNREC Brownfields program has experienced an excess of funding at the end of the grant year and, as a result, the folks running the program are looking at ways to make more funding available for certain qualified projects. This comes after a few years of belt tightening that saw a reduction in reimbursement for things that rightfully should have been reduced (like a cap on subcontractor mark-ups and lab costs) to other things that probably could have been left alone (like a reduction in the amount of funding available to a for-profit developer from…
  • Delaware's Commercial Real Estate Broker's Liens Act - Six Months and Counting

    16 Feb 2014 | 10:00 pm
    It has now been over six months since the Delaware Commercial Real Estate Broker's Lien Act became effective on August 1, 2013. This new law gives brokers the ability to quickly place a lien on real estate for commissions - previously brokers had to sue for payment and obtain a judgment first. The new Act still has not been tested, as no such lien has yet been filed (as the proponents of the legislation intended - the threat of the potential lien is what Delaware brokers really wanted). The Delaware Commercial Real Estate Broker's Lien Act, Del. Code Ann. tit. 25, §2601, pertains to both…
  • Can A Release of A Guarantor Inadvertently Satisfy a Mortgage? Delaware's Talbot Bank v. Albertson

    11 Feb 2014 | 11:24 am
    The Talbot case pending before Judge Young in Kent County, Delaware Superior Court shows how careful a bank must be in releasing a co-obligor of a loan. Talbot Bank of Easton, Md. v. Albertson, C.A. No. 10L-06-011 RBY, 2014 Del. Super. LEXIS 8 (Jan. 9, 2014). Though this action brought by the bank to foreclose a second mortgage is far from over (the recently-released opinion is a ruling on the mortgagor's motion for partial summary judgment), regardless of the ultimate outcome this proceeding is a reminder of a basic tenant of surety law and how important it is for a bank to document a…
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    Pleasanton Business & Commercial Law Blog

  • San Francisco Enacts "Ban the Box" Law Prohibiting Employers from Asking About Criminal History in Job Applications

    15 Apr 2014 | 11:17 am
    San Francisco became the latest city to enact a "ban the box" law, which prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant's criminal history during the job application process, in February 2014. Numerous cities and states prohibit such inquiries by public employers and private contractors, but San Francisco's law applies to many private employers as well. Still more jurisdictions have placed strict limits on the duration and scope of criminal background checks. Federal anti-discrimination law also plays a role in how an applicant's criminal history might affect a hiring decision. The San…
  • Supreme Court Limits Jurisdiction of U.S. Courts over Foreign Corporations with Domestic Subsidiaries

    28 Mar 2014 | 11:36 am
    The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an argument that a U.S. district court in California could exercise jurisdiction over a German corporation in a lawsuit based on events that occurred outside of the United States. Daimler Ag v. Bauman, 571 U.S. ____, No. 11-965, slip op. (Jan. 14, 2014). The lawsuit asserted vicarious liability against the defendant for alleged actions by an Argentinean subsidiary, and the plaintiffs based their jurisdictional choice on the the claim that the defendant's U.S.-based subsidiary could act as its agent for claims brought against it anywhere in the world. The…
  • Ninth Circuit Grants Preliminary Injunction in Copyright Suit Against Google, YouTube

    17 Mar 2014 | 1:13 pm
    The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently granted a preliminary injunction that could have far-reaching implications for California businesses. The plaintiff, who is an actress, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit alleging that a filmmaker used footage of her in a movie without her permission. Garcia v. Google, Inc., et al (Garcia I), No. 2:12-cv-08315, complaint (C.D. Cal., Sep. 26, 2012). She sought a preliminary injunction requiring Google and YouTube to remove the movie from its servers. The Ninth Circuit found that she met the legal requirements for an injunction and reversed the…
  • FTC Announces $3.5 Million Settlement, One of the Largest Ever, in FCRA Lawsuit

    26 Feb 2014 | 10:16 am
    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced that it had settled a lawsuit, United States v. TeleCheck Services, Inc., et al, No. 1:14-cv-00062 (D.D.C., Jan. 16, 2014), involving alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for $3.5 million. This amount reportedly equals the second-largest settlement in the history of FCRA claims. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants, a Houston, Texas-based consumer reporting agency and its affiliated debt-collection business, failed to follow procedures required by the FCRA to ensure the accuracy of consumer credit information. In…
  • New California LLC Statute Took Effect at the Beginning of 2014

    12 Feb 2014 | 12:22 pm
    A new statute governing limited liability companies (LLCs) took effect in California on January 1, 2014. The California Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (RULLCA) replaced the Beverly-Killea Limited Liability Company Act. The new law has several important changes for both existing and new LLCs, and the California Secretary of State (SOS) has revised its regulations to reflect the changes to the law. Existing LLCs, to name just one change, may find that they need to modify their operating agreements and other internal governing documents to comply with the new law. New LLCs filers…
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  • 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…
  • Motorists To Be More Exposed

    Matthew Weiss
    6 Mar 2014 | 9:07 am
    More information about the driving history of motorists will soon be available to prosecutors.  In particular, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week that, in addition to convictions, prosecutors will now be able to see the original charges that were brought over the past 10 years as long as they entailed (1) point-bearing violations, (2) a drug- or alcohol-related offense, or (3) if the charges included aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Prosecutors currently only have access to the conviction history (and therefore can only guess whether this conviction started out as a…
  • The Importance Of Perception

    Matthew Weiss
    26 Feb 2014 | 6:45 am
    I just watched a terrific TEDx talk given by Rory Sutherland. Sutherland convincingly contends that reality alone is not a good guide to human happiness, and that the importance of perception is often ignored by designers, planners, branders and other economists. Case in point: He argues that red traffic lights leads to frustration and road rage because motorists do not know how long they have to wait.  He points to a “countdown” red light deployed in South Korea that cut down the accident rates.  The light has an outer circle that allows the motorist to know how much longer he…
  • Can An Out-Of-State Motorist Take New York’s Driver Safety Class (And Receive Its Benefits)?

    Matthew Weiss
    19 Feb 2014 | 6:58 am
    A non-New York license holder can take the New York Driver Safety Class to reduce points from their New York driving record. New York’s Driver Safety Class is a 6-hour class that removes up to 4 points from a NY driver’s license and can save 10% off of his or her insurance rates. For an out-of-state motorist, New York affords a privilege to drive with that “foreign” license. That privilege can be lost for the same reasons that a New Yorker’s license might be suspended or revoked. New York, therefore, allows out-of-staters to take the same class to reduce their…