Category: LAW RELATED ARTICLES

“UL” is Not in the Public Domain. Don’t Mess with Certification Marks!
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
“UL” is Not in the Public Domain. Don’t Mess with Certification Marks! | Mark Kaufman

What two words are worth $500,000 each? In the case of HOVERBOARD (R) re-seller The Space Chariot, those two word are “UL Certified.” (Yes, HOVERBOARD is a federally registered trademark; while it appears to be on the road to becoming generic, that’s a topic for another day.) Why they are called HOVERBOARDs is beyond me. They clearly have wheels that touch the ground, but if kids (or those “young at heart” who prefer not to use their own horsepower) want to use their imagination, far be it for me to intervene. Most people have seen these devices on the street and have figured out that operating them relies on tilting them with your body weight, much like a Segway scooter. But unlike the Segway, these inventions have a history of bursting into flames at the most inconvenient of locations, which is why so many airlines have banned them from flights.

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

what happens to assets accumulated after separation?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
what happens to assets accumulated after separation? | Jennifer Safian

{2:42 minutes to read} Bob and Jean were married for twelve years, but had been living separately, with no formal separation agreement, for the last 5 years. They came to mediation to work out the terms of their divorce. The big question that came up for them was, “What happens to the money accumulated since their separation? Is it marital property or is it separate property?”

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Creditor Alert: Bankruptcy Judge Holds That Claim Filing Deadline Applies to Secured Creditors in Chapter 13 Cases
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Authored by , re: Bankruptcy & Credit, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
`Creditor Alert: Bankruptcy Judge Holds That Claim Filing Deadline Applies to Secured Creditors in Chapter 13 Cases | Michael L. Moskowitz

By Michael L. Moskowitz and Melissa A. Guseynov

In an opinion dated February 6, 2017, the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio disallowed a mortgage servicer’s untimely proof of claim in a Chapter 13 case, holding that secured creditors are subject to the same 90-day deadline for filing proofs of claim as unsecured creditors. In re Dumbuya, 2017 WL 486917 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio Feb. 6, 2017). Read the full opinion here.

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Heads Up: Those Beneficiary Designation Forms for Life Insurance and Retirement Accounts Can Make a BIG Difference!
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Heads Up: Those Beneficiary Designation Forms for Life Insurance and Retirement Accounts Can Make a BIG Difference! | Tom Sciacca

{Read in 10 minutes} A lot of people don’t realize that when they die, the distribution of their assets may be controlled by other documents besides their Will. Most commonly, people have life insurance or retirement accounts that they’ve either acquired themselves or through an employer. When acquiring such assets, clients very often are presented with a beneficiary designation form to complete. Unlike assets that do not name a beneficiary and are subject to Probate, any asset that names a beneficiary passes automatically to that named beneficiary, regardless of the terms of the Will. Therefore, it’s really important to make the proper choices as part of your overall estate planning when completing these forms.

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A Personal Story: My Path to Becoming a Patent Attorney (Part 2)
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
A Personal Story: My Path to Becoming a Patent Attorney (Part 2) | Pat Werschulz

Last time, I explained the circumstances that led me to start law school after I “retired” from chemistry. Now the rest of the story. It’s very different to start law school when you’re…I’ll be kind to myself and use the word…”mature.” I was the second oldest student in my class, and I was the oldest woman. There literally were classmates who had been classmates of my sons. They would come up to me and ask if we were related, and I’d answer, “Yes, okay, I’m his mother.” So, I was thrown into competing with the younger generation.

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When Is an Owner Liable for Defective Equipment on the Worksite?
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When Is an Owner Liable for Defective Equipment on the Worksite? | Dana Heitz

{5:04 minutes to read} Let’s say a worker on a job site is injured because of defective equipment. And let’s say there’s a statute that imposes a duty to provide a safe workplace. Is the site’s owner liable for the injury under this statute? In a pair of cases decided a week apart, the Second Department clarified when an owner’s acts can give rise to a claim under a statute just like this one—Labor Law § 200. (These decisions were issued in 2008, but they’re still good law and both lawyers and courts cite them frequently.)

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

Agreeing to Agree
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Agreeing to Agree | Clare Piro

{4:00 minutes to read} I often caution clients against including language in their agreement which is basically just an agreement to agree: anything that begins with “The parties will agree upon...” or “The parties agree to review...” But it depends on the issue and on the couple. Sometimes it makes sense not to spend an enormous amount of time either on something that is not all that contentious or something not likely to happen. Other times, though, leaving big decisions for the future is just putting off an inevitable conflict that should be addressed now. Here are some examples of terms that may or may not need to be spelled out completely, depending on the term and the couple.

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What to Expect at Our Divorce Consultation
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
What to Expect at Our Divorce Consultation | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Many potential clients come to us when they are in the planning stage of a divorce. No one has served any papers, sometimes they are not even sure they want to file for divorce, they are just thinking about it. When we have a consultation for a divorce, we ask that the potential client come prepared with a lot of documents.

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

AILA Lobby Day 2017
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Authored by , re: Immigration law, on .
AILA Lobby Day 2017 | Laraine Swartz

It was with a heavy heart that I had to miss the annual American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) Lobby Day this year. Having attended for two years in a row, I know the impact my colleagues at AILA have when meeting with representatives and senators—and how fulfilling the day can be to all the participants. With the new administration has come new enforcement policies that have captured the attention of the world. But while Americans with foreign ties were grappling to understand the hastily put together travel ban and its successor, the problem of unaccompanied minors, or unaccompanied alien children (UAC) as referred to by Immigration, continues to grow.

Click here to read Laraine Schwartz's full article...

Mediating Family Business Disputes
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, MEDIATION, on .
Mediating Family Business Disputes | Gary Shaffer

{3:42 minutes to read} In my previous blog post on this topic, I described some of the general issues that arise during a mediation involving an intra-family commercial dispute. These included:

  • Resentments built up slowly over time;
  • Allies and enemies;
  • Divergent recollections; and
  • Emerging “alternate truths.”
The first reported case involving these kinds of matters goes back a long way. It’s found in the book of Genesis, in the paradigmatic dysfunctional family story of Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, and Esau.

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Termination Rights Update: The (British) Empire Strikes Back
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .

{7:12 minutes to read} OK, the U.K. isn’t the British Empire of yore, but I couldn’t resist the title. In a prior post, we discussed a perennial problem faced by copyright legislators. Creators often have little bargaining power at the outset of their careers, and neither creators nor production companies (here meaning the industry gatekeepers: publishers, production companies, record companies, etc.) have a reliable method for measuring the commercial success of a work before it’s published. Consequently, if copyright legislation allows irrevocable transfer of the copyright in a work, creators will inevitably grant to production companies for a pittance masterpieces with massive commercial upsides, in which they rarely share.

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

How Is Mediation Different From Therapy?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
How Is Mediation Different From Therapy? | Susan Ingram

{3:24 minutes to read} Both mediators and therapists play important roles in helping couples who are experiencing difficulties in their marriage. When couples come to me for divorce mediation, I find that at least half of them have spent time, recently or in the past, working together with a therapist to try to save their marriage. I certainly view this as a positive sign. At least the couple has tried to work through the issues in their marriage, even if it didn’t ultimately work out.

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Elder Care Mediation
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Elder Care Mediation | Bob Bordett

I recently attended a conference for The Academy of Professional Family Mediators in Memphis, Tennessee. One of the workshops I participated in was on elder care mediation, which gave some fascinating insights. A 2001 study, done by Debra B. Gentry, showed nearly 40% of adult children providing care for their parents reported serious conflict with siblings, usually related to a lack of sufficient help from those siblings. This study was part of an article entitled Resolving Middle Age Sibling Conflict Regarding Parent Care.

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Medicare Observation Status
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Medicare Observation Status | Ronald A. Fatoullah

By Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. and Stacey Meshnick, Esq.

{4:17 minutes to read} On February 8, 2017, a U.S. district court in Alexander v. Cochran held that the plaintiffs, a class of Medicare beneficiaries, were able to continue their class-action suit challenging their placement as “observation status,” rather than being admitted as “inpatients” to the hospital. The class action suit concerns the rights of these Medicare beneficiaries who were admitted in observation status and therefore did not qualify for coverage of post-hospital skilled nursing care.

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Coping with a Computer Crash? Let it Go! Let it Go!
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Miscellaneous, on .
Coping with a Computer Crash? Let it Go! Let it Go! | Aimee B. Davis

{3:30 minutes to read} In February, I experienced every computer user’s worst nightmare. My computer crashed, and unless I was willing to pay $3,000 to a forensic expert (a/k/a a professional hacker), nothing was retrievable from the hard drive. For several weeks prior to the crash, whenever I turned my computer on, it sounded like a plane about to take off. So, the crash was not entirely unexpected. In anticipation of the inevitable, I purchased a new computer, but unfortunately, my hardware died before I had a chance to set up the new system and transfer the data.

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David’s Divorce Dictionary: Hamilton
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, MEDIATION, on .
David’s Divorce Dictionary: Hamilton | David Kellem

David’s Divorce Dictionary: H is for Hamilton Definition: a smash hit Broadway show that proves fighting for emotional justice is most often a fool’s errand. Hamilton: I’m not throwing away my shot. No! I’m not throwing away my shot! Kellem: Your best shot at a livable divorce outcome is by negotiation and settlement. Hamilton: But I have been insulted and my legacy tarnished! Kellem: You can go to New Jersey to duel with Burr. But someone is going to get hurt badly and    permanently. Probably both of you. Chorus: So Kellem, please tell ‘em – what’s Ham’s best shot in his divorce? Kellem: Mediation, Collaboration, Negotiation, Arbitration! Chorus: Explanation?

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A Personal Story: My Path to Becoming a Patent Attorney (Part 1)
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
A Personal Story: My Path to Becoming a Patent Attorney (Part 1) | Pat Werschulz

When I meet new clients, they don’t realize at first that being a patent lawyer is actually a second career for me. Since a lot of people find how I got to where I am today an interesting story, I’ve decided to share it with you, my readers. When I was in high school, I was captain of the debate team, and I seriously considered going into law. But back in the sixties, there weren’t many women who were going into law, and the ones who did were exceptional, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Legislative Changes Affect New York’s Employers
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Authored by , re: Employment, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Legislative Changes Affect New York’s Employers | Harlan Levine

{4:30 minutes to read} Numerous employment laws have been enacted that will significantly affect New York businesses. Employers are well advised to ensure that their hiring, payroll, and employment practices are, or will be, in compliance with applicable laws. Among the laws that should be closely examined are those relating to:

  • Minimum Wage;
  • Paid Family Leave & Military Leave; and
  • Hiring Practices

Click here to read Harlan Levine's full article...

Take the Gig, But Lose the Content?
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Authored by , re: Business Law, Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Take the Gig, But Lose the Content? | Mark Kaufman

Parties, events, and weddings are the lifeblood of working musicians. It’s money in the hand, as opposed to what might come out of royalties down the road. This incentive is what led a client to reach out to me recently; he had a great gig booked, was looking forward to it…and then the contract came. The event is being hosted by a large and well known corporation, at a third-party venue, and the pay is good enough to warrant calling an attorney. The contract not only requires each performer to waive their rights of publicity/privacy (in their name and likeness, so photos posted on the internet won’t garner a lawsuit), but also provides, in essence, that “you allow us to record your performance, and you grant us an irrevocable worldwide in perpetuity license to use your performance.”

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“Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright”…Or Is It?
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
“Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright”…Or Is It? | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Bob Marley, the singer famous for the song Three Little Birds, whose chorus was:

“Don’t worry about a thing ‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright”

passed away on May 11th,1981, without a will, with a fortune, and with at least eleven children from several different mothers, one of whom was his wife. The court battle was long and complicated.

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

Sciacca Law Celebrates 10 Years Helping New Yorkers
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Sciacca Law Celebrates 10 Years Helping New Yorkers | Tom Sciacca

{3 minutes to read} May 2017 marks ten years since I opened the doors to my law practice. At 30 years old, opening my practice was both exciting and terrifying. I was up to my eyeballs in student loan debt, yet I had just left a position with a midtown firm with steady work and a steady paycheck. But I was in the greatest city in the world and had some dreams to chase.

Click here to read Tom Sciacca's full article...

What Happens When the Rejected Becomes the Rejector?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
What Happens When the Rejected Becomes the Rejector? | Ada Hasloecher

{4:06 minutes to read} No matter which spouse wants out of the marriage, there invariably comes a time when there may be some second guessing. This is not to say that there is going to be a reconciliation, but the fact of the matter is that, as with all big decisions, the actual reality may not be as clean and clear as it was when we originally conceived it.Case in point: I worked with a couple where the wife was definitely the initiator of the separation. I’m pretty sure that she already had a significant other in her life when they came to see me. The husband looked like someone had shot him out of a cannon. He was despondent and morose and seemed lost to the point of despair.

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

perception and reality in divorce mediation
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
perception and reality in divorce mediation | Jennifer Safuan

{3:06 minutes to read} I met with Jayne* and Will* for a consultation to explain the mediation process and give them the opportunity to ask questions before actually committing to this process. Jayne immediately said that she and Will disagreed on absolutely everything! Will piped up with “I disagree with that!” This was obviously an indication of the difficulties I would encounter with their case.

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

Court Is Like a Box of Chocolates…
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Court Is Like a Box of Chocolates… | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

What is an “attorney for the child” and what does it mean for my case? Often when parents who are divorcing are already in court and do not agree on custody, the court will assign an “attorney for the child.” This is an attorney who will interview both parents and the child or children. The attorney for the child will ask the child what their position is and if the child is seven years of age or older, they will advocate that child’s position to the court.

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Disclosure is Not Optional
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Disclosure is Not Optional | Clare Piro

{3:36 minutes to read} I recently attended a panel discussion on how to determine income in a matrimonial mediation. The panel consisted of a litigator, a mediator and a financial professional. The idea was to show the different approaches each would take in cases where income was hard to determine, such as self-employed parties, cash income, other complicated financial situations, or when a party just refuses to disclose relevant information. That got me to thinking about disclosure in general and how it can evolve in mediation.

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Can a Mediator be Omnipartial?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
Can a Mediator be Omnipartial? | Susan Ingram

{1:00 minute to read} I explained in my last article that I would be reposting two earlier blogs on the subject of mediator impartiality, since this topic is of great interest to clients and professionals alike. The second blog was entitled “Can Mediators be Impartial and Address an Imbalance of Power?I describe my role of mediator as being omnipartial toward all of the parties.

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Data Privacy and Security: An Introduction for In-house and Outside Counsel
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Authored by , re: Employment, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Data Privacy and Security: An Introduction for In-house and Outside Counsel | Richard Friedman

As is widely recognized, the attorney-client privilege is one of the most important fundamental principles in the legal profession. Every attorney has an obligation to protect his or her clients’ information and to keep attorney-client communications confidential. Of course, this principle applies to in-house counsel as well as outside counsel. Accordingly, it is crucial for both corporate legal departments and law firms to adopt and implement safeguards in order to protect client information. Although all lawyers presumably know that they have a duty to protect privileged client communications and information, many do not know how to do so.

Click here to read Richard Friedman's full article...

Oversight of Financial Planners: Proposed Rules Delayed
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Oversight of Financial Planners: Proposed Rules Delayed | Ronald A. Fatoullah

By Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. and Debby Rosenfeld, Esq.

{3:08 minutes to read} Many individuals with assets rely heavily on financial advisors to provide advice or guidance regarding their portfolios. Financial advisers can provide many different services, such as investment management, income tax preparation, and estate planning. The expectation is always that a financial advisor has his/her client’s best interest in mind, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes, financial advisors will earn higher commissions if they recommend certain retirement investments with high fees and low returns to their clients.  

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Don’t Write Like a Lawyer
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Don’t Write Like a Lawyer | Dana Heitz

Of principle importance to the duteous legal practitioner is the abstention from granting preference to esoteric terminology at the expense of concise transmission of the perceived reality. In other words, lawyers shouldn’t let their choice of words get in the way of their arguments. Year after year, this issue confronts law school grads entering the real world and flexing their legal muscles. Baby lawyers—and many seasoned ones—view their degrees as a license, if not an imperative, to churn out hollow chestnuts such as "here and before," "heretofore,” and “notwithstanding,” like it’s their job—as it frequently is.

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American Immigration Lawyers Association — National Day of Action 2017
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Authored by , re: Immigration law, on .
American Immigration Lawyers Association — National Day of Action 2017 | Mitchell Zwaik

{4:18 minutes to read} On April 6th, I was in Washington DC as part of a contingent of immigration lawyers from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). This was our National Day of Action, the purpose of which is to meet with members of the House and the Senate, in order to work with or at least discuss the issues in immigration law that we feel are most important. Attendance this year numbered over 550 members, which is far and away the largest group that's ever appeared for the National Day of Action.

Click here to read Michael Zwaik's full article...