Category: LAW RELATED ARTICLES

What Goes Into a Patent Application?
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What Goes Into a Patent Application? | Pat Werschulz

Many people are under the impression that drafting a patent application is just a matter of filling out forms, like any type of government application, and perhaps submitting a picture, as you do when you’re applying for a passport. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, preparing a patent application is a complex legal process. The United States Supreme Court has even said that drafting a patent application is the most complicated legal writing in the profession. A patent application has three main parts: the written specification, the drawings, and the claims. This is true of any type of patent applications, whether it’s for a utility application, a design application, or even (in those rare instances) a plant patent application.

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Divorce and 401(k)s and IRAs – Part 4
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Divorce and 401(k)s and IRAs – Part 4 | Ada Hasloecher

{4:30 minutes to read} In the preceding 3 articles, we have covered the subjects of retirement funding, comparing 401(k)s and IRAs, and dividing a 401(k) plan. As you will see, IRA plans almost never require a QDRO. However, many of them do have detailed paperwork which can look similar in scope to the language in a QDRO document. Typically, the plan will want to see a copy of the section of the Settlement Agreement (Separation Agreement) that spells out how the parties agreed to split the IRA along with their paperwork. It’s always wise to prepare the paperwork well in advance of the judgement of divorce as there can be a lag time with the paperwork.

Click here to read Ada Hasloecher's full article...

the greek chorus revisited
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the greek chorus revisited | Jennifer Safian

{3:06 minutes to read} A few years ago, I wrote an article called “The Greek Chorus.” The article centered around all the well meaning people who think they know what you are going through and want to dispense advice on your situation. The effects of “friendly advice” continue to be a problem with many of my clients, so I thought that it might be helpful to take another look at this topic. Divorce is a very scary proposition, and when we are scared, many of us tend to gravitate towards others for answers and support.

Click here to read Jennifer Safian's full article...

Breitbart’s Biggest Enemy is the Truth…Including Todd Bigelow’s Copyright
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Breitbart’s Biggest Enemy is the Truth…Including Todd Bigelow’s Copyright | Mark Kaufman

A lawsuit was recently filed in the Southern District of New York that isn’t exactly fascinating for its merits, but it does speak to the perennial issue of intellectual property rights: the erroneous but popular idea, even among commercial users, that “if it’s on the internet, it’s free to use!” In Bigelow v. Breitbart News Network, LLC, photographer Todd Bigelow is suing Breitbart News over its use of one of his photographs without his permission. In addition to garden-variety copyright infringement, Bigelow also sued under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, because Breitbart had removed the identification of the artist and its copyright from the image.

Click here to read Mark Kaufman's full article...

Success Story: How Weltman & Moskowitz Bridged the Gap Between Mortgage Foreclosure and Chapter 13 to Successfully Protect Its Client’s Interests
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Success Story: How Weltman & Moskowitz Bridged the Gap Between Mortgage Foreclosure and Chapter 13 to Successfully Protect Its Client’s Interests | Michael L. Moskowitz

By Michael L. Moskowitz and Michele K. Jaspan

Our firm was tasked by one of our lender clients to file a residential mortgage foreclosure case in New Jersey after borrower’s failure to make mortgage payments. Borrower, assisted by a purported residential foreclosure defense expert, sought to place numerous roadblocks to the foreclosure action, including the filing of an answer containing the usual boilerplate meritless “defenses.” Ultimately, after extensive discovery and unnecessary litigation caused by borrower’s “scorched-earth” tactics, final judgment of foreclosure was rendered in favor of lender. Of course, this is not the end of the story, only the beginning.

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3 Crucial Estate Planning Documents
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Authored by , re: Asset Management, Elder Care, Miscellaneous, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
3 Crucial Estate Planning Documents | Peter Gordon

{4:40 minutes to read} Why should you have a living will, healthcare proxy, and power of attorney? People are living longer and enjoying fuller lives. However, it is possible that because of a sudden illness or injury, you may be unable to talk to a doctor to make decisions about your treatment or direct your financial decisions. To plan in advance, it is important to prepare a few simple legal forms.

Click here to read Peter Gordon's full article..

What is the Best Legal Structure for Your Start-Up?
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What is the Best Legal Structure for Your Start-Up? | Bettina Eckerle

Some of the questions I get asked by my start-up clients are perennial in nature, with the most common being: Do I have to form a legal entity, and if so, what kind and why? Entrepreneurs have a number of legal structures available when seeking to capitalize on a million-dollar idea. Each type of entity has distinct advantages and disadvantages that I discuss below, and the decision should be tailored to your individual situation. The choice will impact the amount of tax you pay, the amount of paperwork you are required to do, the personal liability you face, and your fundraising activities. While there are a number of different kinds of entities, I am focusing here on the most common—the sole proprietorship, the LLC, the S-Corporation and the C-Corporation.

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Continuing Education for Mediation
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Continuing Education for Mediation | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Mediation is gaining in popularity, so much so that there are a proliferation of people advertising that they do mediation. Some of them are attorneys, some of them are not. Many of them have had absolutely no training in mediation, yet will sit down with a couple and “mediate.” New York has no licensure for mediators, so it is difficult for the consumer to determine whether a person claiming to be a mediator is actually trained in the process or just trying to help facilitate a compromise. One can even get a mediation certificate online.

Click here to read Deborah E. Kaminetzy's full article...

A Letter from China: International Collaboration with Mental Health and Divorce Professionals
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A Letter from China: International Collaboration with Mental Health and Divorce Professionals | Lauren Behrman

{Read in 3:30 minutes} Dear Colleagues: We’re sending this blog from Wuhan, China, where we are enjoying a few days of sightseeing and absorbing Chinese hospitality, history and culture from our wonderful colleagues and their graduate students.

Jeff is the current president of The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy,(SAP) Division 29 of the American Psychological Association (APA). The division has been working on increasing its international presence, and in 2016, SAP formalized an affiliation with Oriental Insight—a similar organization in China Normal University School of Psychology which was founded by Professor Jiang Guangrong, a leading psychologist at Central China. Professor Jiang is one of the leaders in the field of Counseling Psychotherapy and Mental Health on the Chinese mainland.

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Copyright and Trademark: Titles, Words & Short Phrases
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .

{4:12 minutes to read} It is a truism among intellectual property lawyers that no matter how often one may encounter discussion of a “copyrighted word” or a “copyrighted phrase”—and this notion appears frequently in media—copyright law generally does not protect titles, words, slogans or phrases.[1]

Click to read Joshua Graubart's full article...

Odd Evidence: Plan for Time, Cost & Effort in Appellate Court
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Odd Evidence: Plan for Time, Cost & Effort in Appellate Court | Liza Bobo

{2:00 minutes to read} Attorneys should expect to have cases that require crucial, out-of-the-ordinary pieces of evidence (i.e., color photos or oversized maps). Once the evidence is filed in the court of original incidence, the appellate court expects to see a precise duplicate of the original piece of evidence. In every stage and each new setting, the courts want to see like for like. If you stipulate to the color photo or use the appendix method, you can physically exclude it.

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“Throuple”: A Case of Polyamorous Custody
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .

An interesting decision out of Suffolk County recently established custodial rights of a non-biological parent who was part of a polyamorous relationship. In Dawn M. v. Michael M., the court essentially affirmed the validity of a non-traditional family composed of two women and one man. Though their names have been revealed in the media, for our purposes we will call the family members Mom 1, Mom 2, Dad, and Child. Mom 1 and Dad were a married couple who had attempted to conceive with great difficulty. They utilized in vitro fertilization, but unfortunately Mom 1 miscarried.

Click here to read Andrea Vacca's full article...

National Health Care Decisions Week is April 16th to 22nd
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Authored by , re: Healthcare Management, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
National Health Care Decisions Week is April 16th to 22nd | Dana Heitz

Who: You, your clients What: National Healthcare Decisions Week When: April 16-22, 2017 Why: Everyone dies How: See an attorney or fill out a DIY Healthcare Proxy form {2:20 minutes to read} I recently worked on a case that resulted from the unexpected death of a 28-year-old. The nearness of death hit home after that—as did the consequences of being unprepared for this inevitability. Then a couple weeks ago, I had minor wrist surgery. During the intake, I was asked if I’d chosen whom I wanted to appoint as decision-maker if I became unable to communicate.

Click here to read Dana E. Heitz's full article...

Mediating a Divorce After a Long-Term Marriage
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Mediating a Divorce After a Long-Term Marriage | Don Sinkov

{2:30 minutes to read} I am often pleasantly surprised when couples who have been married for 20, 30, 40 years or more are able to come to mediation to be divorced. Sometimes I wonder whether I could have done that; whether I could sit next to my soon-to-be ex-spouse and say out loud, “I want to divorce you and move on with my life. I want to live alone and not be married to you anymore.” How incredibly difficult would that be in a private setting, but here we are, saying this in front of the mediator, a stranger whom we just met.

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What is a Revocable Trust and is it Appropriate for Me?
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
What is a Revocable Trust and is it Appropriate for Me? | Tom Sciacca

{Read in: 3:30 minutes} What is a Trust, and more specifically, what is a Revocable Trust? Creating a Revocable Trust is like creating a new legal entity. This Trust is created by a Grantor and managed by several people known as Trustees. In its simplest form, a Revocable Trust is a Will substitute that avoids probate.

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5Pointz: The Intersection of Intellectual and Real Property
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5Pointz: The Intersection of Intellectual and Real Property | Mark Kaufman

Anyone who has had the pleasure of riding outbound LIRR trains from New York’s Penn Station over the years probably remembers a memorable sight: the 5Pointz graffiti artist showcase emblazoned on the exterior walls of some aging factory buildings in Long Island City. Having reached at least a tacit deal with the owner of the buildings, the space provided a venue for graffiti artists to produce photo-realistic murals of hip-hop legends as well as the familiar practice of “tagging,” which consists of writing the artist’s nom-de-guerre with highly imaginative and stylized lettering.

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Do You Engage in Good Business Habits?
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Do You Engage in Good Business Habits? | Aimee B. Davis

{4:24 minutes to read} Although Q1 2017 is in the history books, it’s never too late to re-evaluate your business habits and consider how they may be improved. Transitioning from an employee of BIG LAW to a solo practitioner was challenging, but figuring out how to organize my time has always come easy to me. When I launched Aimee B. Davis Law P.C., people who knew I worked from home commended my self-discipline and ability to stay motivated.

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Divorce and 401(k)s and IRAs – Part 3
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, Financial Planning & Insurance, MEDIATION, on .
 Divorce and 401(k)s and IRAs – Part 3 | Ada Hasloecher

{4:54 minutes to read} In Part 1 and Part 2 of BJ Mann’s article on retirement plans and divorce, we talked about retirement funds in general and the differences between 401(k)s and IRAs. Now to the topic of dividing the plans. No matter how these plans are divided (equally or some other sharing arrangement), the math must be done first.

Click here to read Ada Hasloecher's full article...

 

family dispute? ask a question
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
family dispute? ask a question | Jennifer Safian

{1:36 minutes to read} With our aging population and the growth of multi-generation families, the need for family mediation is increasing as conflicts arise. These conflicts come in all shapes and sizes:

  • Disputes between siblings over the care of aging parents
  • Squabbles regarding distribution of assets in inheritances
  • Disagreements regarding the sharing of family vacation homes
  • Resentments of elder parents feeling that they don’t get the attention they need from their children
  • Money disputes
And many others. Click here to read Jennifer Safian's full article...

What is a Trust?
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
What is a Trust? | Tom Sciacca

{Read in 6 minutes} A lot of people talk about Trusts these days. You may hear about them on the radio or see financial experts talking about them on television. Sometimes clients come in and advise me that they want me to write a Trust for them. But when I inquire as to why someone sitting across the table from me would like a Trust, I find that few people know very much about them. In this post I will address the following questions: What is a Trust? What are some of the different types of Trusts? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of Trusts?

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Avoiding the Adversarial/Difficult Client [1]
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Avoiding the Adversarial/Difficult Client [1] | Chris McDonough

By: Chris McDonough & Omid Zareh Recently, we gave a lecture regarding dealing with the adversarial client. At the conclusion of the lecture, a number of participants came up to share some rather amusing client experiences. Difficulties with clients seemed to be a common theme. However, while these instances seemed funny in retrospect, at the time they were sources of much aggravation, costing quite a bit of the lawyer’s time—which as we all know is precious.[2] Equally costly is the energy and emotion required to deal with these clients.

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Parallel Parenting: Making the Best of a Bad Situation
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Parallel Parenting: Making the Best of a Bad Situation | Bob Bordett

I very much appreciate working on divorce cases with a team, as it has so much value for clients. Mental health professionals can bring much needed clarity to very difficult situations. The following article, written by Howard Dructman, PhD and Marsha Schechtman, LCSW, Atlanta Behavioral Consultants, explains how the concept of parallel parenting works: A literature search of peer-reviewed professional journal articles yields very few articles that contain references to parallel parenting.

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Consulting or Review Attorneys in Mediation – Part 1
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Consulting or Review Attorneys in Mediation – Part 1 | Katherine Miller

{6:00 minutes to read} It’s a really good idea for a divorcing couple in mediation to have a consulting or review attorney to act as a matrimonial medium.  What is the role of attorneys in a mediation? Sometimes parties believe that lawyers are a threat to the mediation process itself. In other mediations, it is assumed that lawyers are the main players. In commercial mediations, it is almost exclusively the case that lawyers are in the room and playing a big role.

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There Is a Person Behind Every Label: Watch Out for the Diagnosis Trap
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
There Is a Person Behind Every Label: Watch Out for the Diagnosis Trap | Jeff Zimmerman

{4 minutes to read} In any context, a mental health diagnosis is a serious, meaningful term that should not be taken lightly, and should only be made by a mental health professional who has personally assessed the client and is trained to diagnose the condition at hand. Although diagnoses are often casually offered colloquially as labels, careful assessment and expertise are truly required in order to make an official diagnosis.

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Another Reason to Keep Your Custody Dispute Out of Court: It’s a Black Hole
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Kafkaesque: of, relating to, or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings; especially: having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality, as in Kafkaesque bureaucratic delays. (Miriam-Webster online dictionary) As ProPublica recently revealed in detail, Kafka’s dystopian vision is a terrifying reality for many New Yorkers who have had judges appoint forensic psychologists in their custody dispute cases. In Joaquin Sapien’s thorough (and thoroughly disturbing) article, For New York Families in Custody Fights, a ‘Black Hole’ of Oversight, he reports on the story of a mother separated from her son as a result of an error-filled and incomplete analysis made by a court-appointed forensic psychologist.

Click here to read Andrea Vacca's full article...

Intellectual Property: Are You Set Up For Success?
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Authored by , re: Business Law, Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Intellectual Property: Are You Set Up For Success? | Bettina Eckerle

One of my mantras when advising clients is to pay particular attention to their intellectual property when thinking about building value in their companies. This requires a comprehensive IP strategy that covers IP creation and protection. It is best started from the get-go, but it is never too late. You’ll need it to build and protect your IP assets to help you to monetize what you have built.

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SCOTUS ALERT: Supreme Court Holds That Bankruptcy Courts Lack Power to Utilize Structured Dismissals in Violation of Priority Rules
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SCOTUS ALERT: Supreme Court Holds That Bankruptcy Courts Lack Power to Utilize Structured Dismissals in Violation of Priority Rules | Michael L. Moskowitz

By Michael L. Moskowitz and Melissa A. Guseynov

On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court held that bankruptcy courts lack the power to dismiss chapter 11 cases by structured dismissal if they provide for distributions that do not adhere to the Bankruptcy Code’s priority rules without the consent of the affected creditors. Czyzewski et al. v. Jevic Holding Corp. et al. (Case No. 15-649) (Sup. Ct.).

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No Trademark? No Problem
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No Trademark? No Problem | Mark Kaufman

An interesting case was recently decided in the Southern District of New York called Charisma World Wide Corp v. Avon Products. It appears to be a case over intellectual property rights, but decided without relying on intellectual property law. The case was over a technical analysis as to whether the court had subject matter jurisdiction to even listen to the complaint. It hinged on the court’s analyzing whether the conduct that the plaintiff was complaining about had a substantial effect on domestic (that is, U.S.) commerce. Charisma World Wide Corp. (Charisma) is a Panamanian company that sells “renowned products” in Panama under the trademark “Charisma.” America’s own Avon, of door-to-door sales, fame, had been selling similar products in Panama, also called “Charisma.” Both products are cosmetics and, to a casual observer, seem like exactly the same thing.

Click here to read Mark Kaufman's full article...