Category: LAW RELATED ARTICLES

Hanging Out the Mediator Shingle Does Not Make You a Qualified Mediator
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Hanging Out the Mediator Shingle Does Not Make You a Qualified Mediator | Clare Piro

{4:18 minutes to read} I’ve heard many complaints regarding divorce mediation:

  • “It might be okay for simple matters but not for anything complicated.”
  • “It’s too touch-feely.”
  • “You give up all of your rights when you mediate.”
These types of complaints are easily dismissed as biased and uninformed; however, there are some complaints I’ve heard which I agree should be taken seriously.

Click here to read Clare Piro's full article...

Divorce On Your Mind? Fruit for Thought: Ripe vs. Unripe
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Divorce On Your Mind? Fruit for Thought: Ripe vs. Unripe | David Kellem

{Time to Read: 4 minutes} David’s Divorce Dictionary: R is for Ripeness Definition: As Shakespeare wrote in King Lear: Ripeness is all. In legal parlance, if a case is not “Ripe for Review” a court will decline to decide it—more facts need development or more preliminary procedures need to play out before the dispute is ready for judicial resolution.

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divorce and co-parenting during the summer
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divorce and co-parenting during the summer | Jennifer Safian

{2:48 minutes to read} Separation and divorce often walk hand in hand with disruption and chaos, not to mention fear, anger and a lot of sadness. In the midst of dealing with all of these emotions, when there are children, parents have to give much thought to where the children will live, how much time they will get to spend with them, and how to help them manage their own emotions. We have written other articles about parenting plans, but in this article, I wanted to specifically address summer vacation and how parents may need to be more flexible with each other and the children.

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

Embracing the Change of Season
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Embracing the Change of Season | Aimee B. Davis

{3:36 minutes to read} As Oprah is to bread, I love summer! I love basking in the sun and watching the waves crash on the beach. I love socializing with friends, cooking and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. I also love the playfulness of the summer season, so accepting the transition from summer into fall is always a challenge for me. Why is it important to embrace the season you are in?

Click here to read Aimee B. Davis' full article...

Another Aspect of Design: Trade Dress
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Another Aspect of Design: Trade Dress | Joshua Graubart

{4:30 minutes to read} In my last post, I discussed the design patent, a form of protection available under the Patent Act to protect designs that are “primarily ornamental” rather than those which – like most inventions one normally thinks of in connection with the Patent Act – are “primarily functional.” Design patent protection can coexist simultaneously with copyright protection for the design as a graphic or sculptural work. In addition to patent and copyright law, non-functional designs can also be protected under the federal Trademark Act (also known as the Lanham Act), and under state trademark and unfair competition law. As discussed previously on this blog (see “What is Intellectual Property?”), trademark law serves to protect non-functional features of a product which identify to consumers the product’s source, and distinguish the product from similar products supplied by competitors. Marks are frequently words (e.g., “Nike”) or logos (e.g., the Nike “swoosh”); in certain circumstances, even colors and scents have been registered as marks by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.[1] (More on these sorts of outré marks in a future post.)

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

Do You Inherit Debt?
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Do You Inherit Debt? | Tom Sciacca

{Read in 7 minutes} While we all could think of famous people with famous names who have died leaving millions of dollars, this is not the case for most average Americans. While many people are thrilled to be able to leave something to those people or charities that they care most about, there are some people who simply leave nothing behind but their debts. As a Trusts & Estates attorney, people frequently ask me if they are responsible for the debts of their loved ones. Let’s take a look.

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The RAISE Act: Misleading and Bad for America
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The RAISE Act: Misleading and Bad for America | Laraine Burks

In August, President Trump promoted the RAISE Act. The Republican-sponsored Act would cut the number of green cards by 50%, adversely affect families presently in the US, and limit refugee status to 50,000 people.

The bill faced united opposition from the Democrats. It was officially doomed when seven Republican senators opposed it, making passage even by a simple majority unattainable.

Even though the Act is considered dead for 2017, I think it is worthwhile to examine some of the false claims made by its sponsors (Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia), the president, and other supporters.

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

A Few Tips When Filing (and Opposing) a Preliminary Injunction Motion to Protect Trade Secrets
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A Few Tips When Filing (and Opposing) a Preliminary Injunction Motion to Protect Trade Secrets | Richard Friedman

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the “DTSA”) is a federal statutory vehicle that companies can use to try to protect their most valuable assets (along with their employees, hopefully) — their trade secrets. Since the DTSA is only slightly more than a year old, there have been relatively few federal court decisions addressing the scope and breadth of the statute. One such case decided this summer in the Northern District of Illinois, Cortz, Inc. v. Doheny Enterprises, Inc., 2017 WL 2958071 (N.D. Ill. 2017), sheds light on the type of information afforded protection under the DTSA.

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

What About Us? Divorcing Couples Who Don’t Have Children – Part 1
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 What About Us? Divorcing Couples Who Don’t Have Children – Part 1 | Ada Hasloecher

{3:12 minutes to read}  I recently received an email from a former client of mine who reached out to me asking the following question: “I was wondering if you could publish some articles about couples without children who would use mediation. I haven’t seen a lot of articles on mediation sites regarding couples without children who are looking to divorce. I have had several friends who don’t have children or have children that are grownups and no child support would be necessary should they divorce.”

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

CPR for Parents: Communication Skills – Part 1
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
CPR for Parents: Communication Skills - Part 1 | Jeff Zimmerman

Divorced parents benefit from modeling their communication pattern after business etiquette—it should be Civil, Polite, and Respectful (CPR). The idea is for each parent to take responsibility for their individual communication styles and focus on implementing CPR communication, regardless of what the other parent is doing (or not doing). When both parents commit to setting the standard for the best communication possible, then generally one parent will be communicating well even if the other slips occasionally.

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Top Divorce Questions: Who Pays The Legal Fees?
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Top Divorce Questions: Who Pays The Legal Fees? | Jason Isaacson

{2:40 minutes to read} Almost every new client that consults with our firm for a divorce proceeding asks one of two questions:

  1. Does my spouse have to pay for my lawyer? OR

  2. Do I have to pay for my spouse’s lawyer?

The answer comes as a surprise to most. The Domestic Relations Law has a rebuttable presumption that the “monied” spouse will pay the “non-monied” spouse's attorney's fees. The idea behind the law is to try and level the playing field when there is a big discrepancy between the incomes of the divorcing parties. After all, the law doesn't want the person with less money to be at a disadvantage.

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Want a Trademark? Make Sure It Doesn’t Already Exist
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Want a Trademark? Make Sure It Doesn’t Already Exist | Pat Werschulz

{Read in 4:40 minutes} So often I am asked, “How do I get a trademark?” There’s a very simple answer. First, you pick what you want as your trademark, and second, use it. Wait a minute. That sounds way too simple. Well, getting rights in a trademark is actually pretty simple. The tough part is actually picking what your trademark is going to be. Whether it’s a name, or what we call a word mark, or design, picking that is very critical. You need to be sure that you can actually use it and that you will not be using somebody else’s trademark.

Click here to read Pat Werschulz' full article...

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff | Mark Kaufman

In this post, names and circumstances have been changed to obscure the guilty. Let’s say that my client makes plain sweatshirts, and on the back of some of these blank sweatshirts, someone else had printed Alamo-related text and imagery and was selling them. They were doing this on behalf of a local community baseball team that incorporated the word “Alamo” in its design. And let’s say that a plaintiff named Pat files and owns a registration for the trademark in “Remember the Alamo.” Somewhere along the way, Pat catches sight of these sweatshirts and thinks, “Ah, I’ve got them now. They’re a great big sweatshirt company, and I’ll sue them for trademark infringement as well as copyright infringement, because I have a distinctive way that I present the word ‘Alamo’!” (Interesting note: Pat, who represented himself, only provided extremely low-quality pictures of his design in his complaint. I still don’t think anyone knows what his design looks like.)

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

The Profession Needs to Do More to Help Our Members Suffering From Depression and Substance Abuse
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The Profession Needs to Do More to Help Our Members Suffering From Depression and Substance Abuse | Chris McDonough

Last year I posted a blog article[1] about alcohol abuse in the legal profession, in response to a study that appeared in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.[2] The lead author was Patrick Krill, who is an attorney and Board Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and is the Director of the Legal Professionals Program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. That study revealed that between 21% and 36% of U.S. lawyers drink at levels consistent with an alcohol abuse disorder. Those figures are roughly 3 to 5 times higher than the forecast for the general population in the United States.

Click here to read Chris McDonough's full article...

Disney v. VidAngel Part 2: The Revenge of the Ninth Circuit
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Disney v. VidAngel Part 2: The Revenge of the Ninth Circuit | Mark Kaufman

In late August, the 9th Circuit in California delivered a blow to a legal argument that was questionable to begin with, and was doomed by the defendant’s eagerness to share it. In Disney v. VidAngel, the culture war served as the background of a battle between content goliaths — Disney, LucasFilm, Twentieth Century Fox, and Warner Brothers — and “David,” a streaming service called VidAngel. VidAngel is no ordinary streaming service; its main selling point is that it removes “objectionable” material from Hollywood feature films in order to make them more suitable for younger viewers, as well as those adults who wish to spare their eyes and ears from certain aspects of the human experience. It should be noted that none of the edits to the movies were made with the permission of the movie studios.

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

Blame – Divorce’s Unfriendly Bedfellow Uncovered
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Blame – Divorce’s Unfriendly Bedfellow Uncovered | Rachel Alexander

{5:06 minutes to read} Let’s lift the blind on blame. If blame had a whistle blower, what would he say?

BLAME – What is it really about? I get aggravated when a news story breaks and the first minutes concern themselves with who is to blame rather than what happened and what’s being done in response.

Click here to read Rachel Alexander's full article...

No Whining on the Yacht
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No Whining on the Yacht | Clare Piro

{4:00 minutes to read} I recently heard an interview of Connie Shultz, the spouse of Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. She shared that since 2007, the motto of her life has been "no whining on the yacht." It began after her husband had just been elected Senator. She was publishing her second book, and life was good. At one point, she complained to her editor about the deletion of a litany of stories detailing the wrongs she felt occurred in the senate race. Her editor insisted the sections remain out and said “no whining on the yacht.” She reminded Connie how much in her life was going well, and that she really didn’t need to focus on every slight when she was in such a good place.

Click here to read Clare Piro's full article...

Divergent Perspectives Converge in Mediation
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Divergent Perspectives Converge in Mediation | Bart Eagle

{3:40 minutes to read} The parties have been at it for a while, without coming to an agreement. When is the mediation “over”? In any mediation, the parties and the mediator may view the give and take differently. From the parties’ standpoint, they may think it’s over as soon as they receive the first demand or offer from the other side. If that demand or offer is significantly higher or lower than they expected, they may immediately feel that they are too far away for the mediation to be successful—and may want to end it right there. Scenarios like this are not unusual.

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Unrealistic Demands
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Unrealistic Demands | Jennifer Safian

{3:42 minutes to read} Working in mediation with couples going through divorce, I am at times concerned about some of the demands they have as they separate their lives and their assets. Rather than working out an agreement that is equitable and fair, some people are driven by revenge, anger, and a need to punish their soon-to-be ex for the “pain that is being inflicted on me.” They think that if they receive more assets than their spouse, they will be vindicated and walk away feeling better than when they walked in. Although they may derive some immediate satisfaction from having more tangible assets, in the long run, these “things” will most likely not provide the inner peace they seek.

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

H-2B Visas: Too Little, Too Late?
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H-2B Visas: Too Little, Too Late? | Mitchell Zwaik

{2:54 minutes to read} The administration finally issued its regulations regarding the process for allocating additional H-2B visas during the late summer and early fall. H-2B visas are visas for seasonal or peak workers in the New York metropolitan area. They're most commonly used on Long Island and the East End for hotels or pool companies, for example, that do all or most of their business during the summer months. These workers come up, usually from the Caribbean or Central South America, work for up to 10 months, and then go back once the season is over. It's a win-win. The employers fill a need during the busy season and the workers are legal, paying taxes, and return home when the season is over.

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

I Hear You
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I Hear You | Joy Rosenthal

“I hear you.” Listening is a very simple act. It’s a subtle act. It is something that we do naturally with the people we love, and when things are going smoothly. Yet one of the most powerful statements that we can ever make is to say honestly, “I hear you. I recognize what you’re going through.” What is listening? Being open to hearing not only the words the speaker is saying, but also to her tone of voice, to read her body language, and to be open to the emotions she is displaying. Sometimes it means being aware of what she is NOT saying. It can mean listening to the particular choice of words – how general are they? How specific? How much is this person answering a question or how much is she avoiding answering?

Click here to read Joy Rosenthal's full article...

The Interplay Between Medicare and Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage
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The Interplay Between Medicare and Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage | Ronald A. Fatoullah

By Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. and Stacey Meshnick, Esq. {2:59 minutes to read} Medicare benefits start at age 65, but many people continue working past that age, either by choice or by necessity. It is important to understand how Medicare and employer health coverage work together. Depending upon one’s circumstances, Medicare is either the primary or secondary insurer. The primary insurer pays any medical bills first, up to the limits of its coverage. The secondary payer covers costs which the primary insurer does not cover (although it may not cover all costs).

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Warning! Don’t Violate the Child Contingency Rule!
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Warning! Don’t Violate the Child Contingency Rule! | Bob Bordett

In a divorce decree, if any amount of specified money becomes reduced:

A. Upon the happening of any contingency related to the child or

B. At a time that can be clearly associated with a contingency related to the child, then the amount of the reduction will be treated as child support, rather than alimony.

Code Sec. 71(c)(2). Reg. §1.71-1T(c)

What is a contingency? A contingency is an event related to a child, regardless of whether the event is likely to occur.

Click here to read Robert Bordett's full article... 

Drawing On My Family’s Painful Divorce Experience to Help My Clients Avoid The Same
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Why did you choose to be a divorce lawyer? This is a common question people ask me, and the answer I commonly give is that I initially wanted to work in an area where I could litigate and work with people — as opposed to working with corporations or parcels of land. Family law seemed like a good fit for that. I eventually realized that litigation wasn’t the right path for me or my clients. I’m not so much a fighter as I am an advocate. And that’s why I left litigation behind and moved to collaborative law and mediation. That’s the short answer.

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

Going Through a Divorce? Don’t Forget to Take a Vacation!
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Going Through a Divorce? Don’t Forget to Take a Vacation! | Fabienne Swartz

{2:15 minutes to read} There is a mistaken belief that if you are going through a divorce, your life should immediately change for the worse. This is simply not realistic — or very humane, if you ask me. People going through divorce are human beings with needs, including the need to vacation. The break from the pressure, anxiety, and stress that vacations offer is often a powerful antidote to the stress of divorce.

Click here to read Fabienne Swartz's full article...

Thwarting Distraction
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Thwarting Distraction | Dana Heitz

“If you can write an elegant algorithm, write a legal brief, write a thousand words of prose, look at a sea of unambiguous data—If you can do these types of activities to produce outcomes that are rare and valuable, people will find you—regardless of how many Instagram followers you have.” —Cal Newport

{3:08 minutes to read} An environment that’s deep-work-friendly—that allows us to fully tap into our cognitive capabilities—is crucial for thoughtful, quality work. But distractions such as needy clients or occasional social media binges often interfere with this kind of work space.

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

Is There Such a Thing as a Simple Will?
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Is There Such a Thing as a Simple Will? | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Many clients say that “they just want a simple will.” When deciding how to word bequests in a will, we lawyers have to bring up some uncomfortable topics with our clients. Aside from the fact that our client needs to contemplate their own death, they also need to think about and decide what to do with their legacy if other contingencies come into play, such as if their child passes away before them?

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

Trademarks 101: It’s All About the Brand
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Trademarks 101: It’s All About the Brand | Pat Werschulz

Trademarks are so much a part of our culture that we really don’t think about them too much. They’re ubiquitous. If I say a trademark is a brand, everybody knows immediately what I’m talking about, because it’s all about the brand, what the brand stands for, and the message that each brand is trying to convey to the consumer. Technically, a trademark identifies the source of goods or services to the consumer. A trademark can be some words. It could be some sounds. It can be:

  • Words;
  • Sounds;

Click here to read Pat Werschulz' full article...