What Does a 21st Century Law Firm Look Like?
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Authored by , re: Commercial Real Estate, on .
What Does a 21st Century Law Firm Look Like? | Ruth Colp-Haber

Given the economic pressures facing the legal industry, many law firms are either downsizing, folding outright or moving to new—more efficient—office spaces.

Accordingly, there is a lot of activity in the law firm office space sector.

Along with the above commercial forces at work,  law firm layouts are changing. There is less need for secretarial space, and law libraries (with hard copy books) have been significantly reduced—if not eliminated. However, the old law firm spaces can easily be re-configured by a landlord to meet the needs of the 21st century law firm.

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Did You Remember to Account for your Pets in Your Estate Plan?
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Did You Remember to Account for your Pets in Your Estate Plan? | Tom Sciacca

{Read in 6 minutes} Many of us are fortunate enough to have wonderful pets in our lives that we love as if they were our own family members (because they are!). When writing a Will, clients often focus more on their monetary assets and are less focused on what will happen to their pet upon their death. This is not a reflection of their love or devotion to the animal(s) — it’s just not something that comes to mind as an estate issue. However, any Will that doesn’t fully address a client’s needs is certainly a pet peeve of mine (if my readers will excuse the pun).

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Our Intention to Create Group Wisdom in Collaborative Practice: Let’s Brainstorm this Idea Together!
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Our Intention to Create Group Wisdom in Collaborative Practice: Let’s Brainstorm this Idea Together! | Lauren Behrman

As I sat in a recent five-day workshop on how to design and lead a transformational workshop, I had a “Eureka!” moment. My intention in attending the workshop was to develop transformational workshops for people who were recovering from divorce or facing transitions in their lives.

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Enforceability of Non-Compete Provisions in NY When Involuntary Termination Is Without Cause
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Authored by , re: Employment, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Enforceability of Non-Compete Provisions in NY When Involuntary Termination Is Without Cause | Richard Friedman

A question that is or should be important to employers and employees alike is whether non-compete provisions in an employment agreement can be enforced in New York when the employee is terminated involuntarily without cause. As is well known, the law regarding restrictive covenant provisions such as non-competes is a matter of state law. Although disfavored in the typical employment context under New York law on the grounds that they interfere with a person’s right to earn a living, non-compete provisions are enforced if the terms are:

  1. no greater than required to protect an employer’s legitimate protectable interests and
  2. reasonable in temporal and geographic scope.

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

How Well Do You Listen?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
How Well Do You Listen? | Jennifer Safian

{3:00 minutes to read} Did you know that the words, listen and silent have the exact same letters? Let’s think about this for a moment: SILENT and LISTEN. How else are they connected? Do you ever find that you are not getting anywhere when trying to resolve an issue with someone? One of the reasons could be that you have not been heard or you have not heard what the other person has to say. How can you resolve something when you don’t have a clear understanding of what is involved?

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Does an Agreement Have to be in Writing to be Enforceable?
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Does an Agreement Have to be in Writing to be Enforceable? | Bart Eagle

{5:45 minutes to read} Must your agreement be in writing to be enforceable? The answer is: Yes. Or no. In the world we live in, we make agreements with other people, with companies, and with other businesses. Sometimes they’re formal and in writing, but other times (in the real world), they are not. Can that agreement be enforceable if it’s not in writing? It could be. If it is in writing, is it foolproof? First, written agreements obviously are preferred. In a perfect world, all agreements would be in writing. How foolproof are they? To the extent that they clearly state the intentions of the parties, the parties should be able to rely on that agreement to enforce its terms. Clarity is what is important. Parties should try and make sure, and have their lawyers make sure, that their written agreements state very clearly what they’ve agreed upon.

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Does Your Bio Inspire Prospects to Want to Work With You?
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Authored by , re: Business Development, on .
Does Your Bio Inspire Prospects to Want to Work With You? | Mark Bullock

{2:00 minutes to read} A professional bio is a critical component for business owners and entrepreneurs—especially those in professional services. Prospects, COIs, and referrals are Googling you, and it’s important to share your credentials, experience, and achievements via a concise format, i.e., your professional bio. A basic bio is standard, but you can enhance your brand by expanding your bio into a “creation story.” When people are considering enlisting you and your services to resolve their issues, they often want to get to know who you are and how you came to be.

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The Dirt Dictionary: ‘T’ is for Tenant Improvement Allowance
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Authored by , re: Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate, on .

Yes, you know this, but this column is a dictionary (of sorts), so let’s define a TIA—tenant improvement allowance—as the amount of money a landlord will give toward preparing a space for occupancy and delve into it.

Typically, a TIA is stated either as a per-square-foot amount or a fixed sum. Any overage is borne by the tenant. The rationale for giving the TIA is to attract quality tenants (especially useful in a soft market). This is also used to finance the overhaul of outdated spaces. The amount is totally negotiable, so tenants are well advised to rely on their savvy local brokers to guide them.

Click here to read Jeff Margolis's full article...

Hashtag Science!
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Hashtag Science! | Dana Heitz

This is making me batty. I’m fretting over citation format while supermassive black holes are churning away throughout the universe, and meanwhile, there are tube worms in the Gulf of Mexico older than the United States. What am I even doing?

{3:39 minutes to read} This excerpt of my typical thought process is brought to you by Science Daily, a blog I use to cleanse the old intellectual palate in between legal projects. Why would I want to take my focus from an appeal to aquatic locomotion in a plesiosaur? Because keeping an eye on “the big picture” is enormously helpful, both as a legal writer and a human being.

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The Power of Truth & Honesty
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Wellness, on .
The Power of Truth & Honesty | Christine Spence

{4:06 minutes to read} Have you ever felt alone? Not because there is no one around, but rather because you feel no one knows the real you. Why is that? Because you’re not being honest with yourself and others. You’re not being truthful with those around you about what you feel, what you think, what you want or need. But, you are not alone!

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How Can a Professional Organizer Ease Anxiety & Reduce Stress?
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Authored by , re: Healthcare Management, on .
How Can a Professional Organizer Ease Anxiety & Reduce Stress? | Cheryl Stein

While in search of rubber bands at his friend Andrea’s house, Tom opened a bureau drawer to find it completely filled with light bulbs and soap. In anyone else’s house, he might have been confused, but this combination was only one of the unconventional organizing methods employed in Andrea’s house.

Andrea has social anxiety, trouble using conventional organization methods, and is prone to memory lapses, which make her reluctant to discard old belongings.

Click here to read Rebecca Eddy's full article...

Equality Schmality
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Equality Schmality | Cheryl Stein

Men often voice that they feel they get the raw end of the stick during divorce, without a larger understanding of their situation.

Generally, women are perceived as victims and sympathetic characters in divorce, both in the monetary and parenting realms.

People often ask me if I am a female- or male-oriented attorney and which sex I predominantly represent. I represent both equally, and each case is fact specific. At any given moment, I represent mirror image situations—for example, a female client who would like to impose that her ex keep to a very time specific visitation schedule, and a male client lamenting that his wife is overly rigid in demanding that his visitation must take place within very precise time frames.

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How is Mediation Like a Jigsaw Puzzle or Launching a Ship?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
How is Mediation Like a Jigsaw Puzzle or Launching a Ship? | Ada Hasloecher

{3:54 minutes to read} During my initial consultation, when I meet a couple for the first time, I think it’s important to put some context to the mediation process before they decide whether mediation is appropriate for them. So in addition to describing the process, distinguishing mediation from litigation and laying out the general topics and issues we will be working on together, I often offer two analogies to illustrate a way of thinking about how we will be accomplishing our goals.

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The Supreme Court Allows a Limited Portion of the President’s Travel Ban
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Authored by , re: Immigration law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
The Supreme Court Allows a Limited Portion of the President’s Travel Ban | Mitchell Zwaik

{2:24 minutes to read} The Supreme Court recently allowed certain parts of the President's travel ban to go into effect. That travel ban had been halted or stayed by lower federal courts that claimed it was discriminatory and unconstitutional. What the Supreme Court has said in effect is that they will deal with that issue in the fall, but over the summer, they are going to let a small part of the travel ban go into effect.

The Court didn't permit the entire executive order to be implemented.

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

The Satisfying Life of a Mediator
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
The Satisfying Life of a Mediator | Clare Piro

{3:54 minutes to read} I just returned from the annual gathering of the NYS Conference on Divorce Mediation. This is my 12th conference, and I was as excited to go to this one as I was to my first. While the focus is on education with plenaries and workshops on various aspects of family law and mediation theory, there is undeniably another element that plays a very big part. Whether we do it full time or not, are experienced mediators or just starting out, we all feel that we are doing something that is fulfilling and gives us satisfaction. And we all want to share our knowledge and experiences with our colleagues and support each other in a way that I have never found in other professional organizations.

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Budgeting Basics: Part I
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, Asset Management, Business Development, Financial Planning & Insurance, on .
Budgeting Basics: Part I | Sallie Mullins Thompson

Many small business owners seek resources and information for both business and personal budgets. I am pleased to share guidelines and best practices for both types of budgets. Below, I discuss the development of household/family budgets; in Part II, I will discuss business budgets. Why is it important to have a budget? Here are a few common reasons:

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Pass Go & Collect: How to Patent Board Games
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Pass Go & Collect: How to Patent Board Games | Pat Werschulz

The Story of Monopoly… A patent is a limited monopoly that the government grants for an invention. The government granted inventor Charles Darrow a patent US2026082A on the board game Monopoly in 1935. There’s some controversy about the 1935 patent: Darrow learned about another game called “The Landlords’ Game” that was patented in 1904 by a woman named Elizabeth Phillips. That game was created as an educational tool about monopolies in the landlord/tenant context. Darrow first played The Landlord’s Game in 1933; he changed the game enough to earn a patent on his version, Monopoly, two years later. Monopoly was one of many board games that became popular in the post-Depression 1930s, when people couldn’t afford to go out much.

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Copyright and Patents
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .

{3:06 minutes to read} As discussed previously, in the United States, copyright and patent law are explicitly anticipated in Article I, section 8, clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which accords to Congress the power “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” It is worth pointing out that the words “science” and “useful arts” were understood somewhat differently in the 18th Century than they might be today. “Science,” in the parlance of the era, had a meaning closer to “knowledge”[1]; the “useful arts” were what we might now call “technology.”[2] Accordingly, the references to “science” and “writings” underpin the present copyright law; the references to “useful arts” and “discoveries” underpin the present patent law.

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

What’s in a Name?
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Authored by , re: Business Development, on .

It's one of those things that you know, but it's rarely front of mind. You never think about it, but you're bombarded by it daily. A NAME embodies a whole effort.

When you reference your efforts in business--whether for profit or non-profit--at a certain time you use a name, or a symbol, or a sound or something else to identify those efforts (i.e., a "NAME"). Unilever does. UNICEF does, too.

You see, that NAME may tell people your professional association certifies a product, it may tell folks you made a product or you offer a service, or it may be a way for you to communicate to others what your values are. The NAME identifies the technology, function, design, lifestyle, and sociocultural substance of your effort and resulting goods and services. For better or worse.

Click here to read William R. Samuels' full article...

Do Your Clients Consider You to Be a Trusted Advisor or a Scribe?
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Do Your Clients Consider You to Be a Trusted Advisor or a Scribe? | Aimee B. Davis

{4:00 minutes to read} As a solo, my role has shifted over time from acting principally as a legal scribe to more of a trusted advisor to many clients. Occasionally, a client makes it clear they prefer me to stay in my legal lane and not offer business advice. I find this tension exists for other professionals as well, so I interviewed Larry Cohen, Partner-in-Charge, Business Management Hospitality Group Leader at Marks Paneth LLP, to gain his sage perspective.

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So You’ve Decided to Die? It’s Not as if You Had a Say In It …
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
So You’ve Decided to Die? It’s Not as if You Had a Say In It … | Tom Sciacca

{7 minutes to read} Newsflash…you’re going to die. Don’t take it personally. Your kids are going to die, too, and your parents, and your spouse—and me, right? Death happens to all of us. Many of the questions that I get as a Trusts and Estates attorney are questions about funerals. What are the choices, and do your wishes belong in your Will or not?

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Training a New Generation of Collaborative Professionals
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Training a New Generation of Collaborative Professionals | Lauren Behrman

Early in May, I had the opportunity to be a trainer in NYACP’s Basic Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce Training. My training team consists of two attorneys, MaryEllen Linnehan and Deb Wayne, and a financial neutral, Marty Blaustein, and myself as the mental health professional. Even though we’ve offered this training many times before, our team worked for a year and a half to reinvigorate it—making it more user-friendly and accessible.

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Family Disputes: Selling The Family Home
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Family Disputes: Selling The Family Home | Gary Shaffer

{3:54 minutes to read} Our mental attics can store lots of emotional content when it comes to a family home. For many families, selling that home may be sad, but not otherwise a source of contention. It can even be a relief. But for others, selling the home can create conflict. While there can be an almost infinite source of such conflicts, mediation can provide a way to ease or even resolve them. Money and emotion are almost always intertwined in a dispute over the family home, and any attempt at resolution must address both. Ideally, the issue is addressed before a dispute arises...

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If You Don’t Succeed, Endure
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .

{4:07 minutes to read} As a legal writer and researcher, I'd like to think there is no precedent I can’t pluck, no citation I can’t unearth. And in my career, this serves me well. But upon venturing outdoors the universe has a way of reminding one that there’s still a lot to learn. A few weeks ago I undertook my fourth half-Ironman triathlon and wound up taking a master class in setbacks. The pretty, but notoriously hilly, Connecticut course seemed like the perfect setting to invite my parents to come watch me compete.

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

Relax and Enjoy the Summer! There Will Always be Storms to Weather
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Authored by , re: Asset Management, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .
Relax and Enjoy the Summer! There Will Always be Storms to Weather | Jeff Holland

The market, like almost everything in life, has cycles and seasons. But unlike weather patterns, the market’s seasons are not predictable. Snow laden terrain and short days can be depressing; but, as long as we know that spring is on the horizon, the winter’s challenges are more easily accepted. The same is true for the market—expecting the market’s cycles and seasons will help you to manage your counterproductive emotions, particularly anxiety.

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Did You Forget About Your Own Career During Your Marriage?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Did You Forget About Your Own Career During Your Marriage? | Fabienne Swartz

{3:15 minutes to read} Every divorce is unique. On one end of town, there may be a family struggling to make ends meet, who literally can’t afford to start the divorce process. On “the other side of the tracks,” there may be another family worth millions, thanks to the husband’s brilliant career, which was only made possible by the wife’s sacrifices. Unfortunately, the comfort that she enjoys is more like getting renovations done on a house that she’s renting; it may be nice while she lives there, but in the case of a divorce, she would have to move out and the landlord (her husband) will enjoy the spoils of her toils.

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