McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: This Week in Washington — July 19, 2013

This week, Senate Democrats and a group of Senate Republicans reached a deal that would avoid Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) using the so-called “nuclear option” to change the rules regarding the use of the filibuster as it relates to cabinet appointments.

Reid had charged Republicans with abusing the filibuster to hold up several of President Obama’s cabinet picks – a charge Republicans once leveled at Democrats when President George W. Bush was in the White House. Reid said last week that he had the 51 votes necessary to change the filibuster rules as it related to cabinet appointments. 

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Calling All Travelers: Advertising Cities as Brands

We’ve all dreamed of traveling to exotic locales, living like locals halfway around the world, or taking that long-discussed epic road trip across the good ol’ U.S.A.  When it comes down to it, travel is a luxury, and in the recent economic downturn, budget-friendly trips have been the ones most frequented.  As the economy picks up and a new generation of eager travelers matures, we’re noticing a revived investment in local business growth initiatives and tourism advertising and marketing budgets for cities across the country and around the world.

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Nauris Grigals and Madara Melkerte on the insolvency of a legal entity, "Dienas Bizness", "Saldo"

Nauris GrigalsMadara Melkerte

In the article “Once again shortly on the insolvency of a legal entity” published in the 10 July 2013 special edition “Saldo” of the business newspaper “Dienas Bizness” Nauris Grigals, senior associate, and Madara Melkerte, associate, both from law office TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE, provide insight into the key principles of solutions of limited insolvency and insolvency issues of a legal entity.

Click here to read the article (available in Latvian).

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Court Rules That Bikers Can Operate Strip Joints

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently considered whether being a member of a motorcycle club that is recognized as a criminal organization, is sufficient to disentitle a person from holding a liquor licence in Ontario.

Robert Barletta is a “full patch” member of the Hells Angels.  He is a founding member of the London, Ontario chapter of the Hells Angels and was its President for at least 5 years.  Mr. Barletta has no record of criminal convictions or infractions of the Liquor Licence Act (“Act“).   Since 2001 he has owned and operated a well known strip joint in London called Famous Flesh Gordon’s and has done so since 2001. 

In 2010, the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (“Commission“) applied to the Board of the Commission to revoke Mr. Barletta’s liquor licence for Flesh Gordon’s.  The sole issue before the Board was whether Mr. Barletta’s membership in the Hells Angels was in itself sufficient to strip him of the privilege of holding a liquor licence. The Hells Angels meet the definition of a “criminal organization” under the Criminal Code.

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How much probate fees do you have to pay?

Generally, probate fees in British Columbia are assessed on the value of all of the deceased’s property situated in British Columbia that passes to the personal representative of the deceased.  In addition, if the deceased was ordinarily resident in British Columbia immediately before the date of death, then the intangible personal property of the deceased, wherever situated, that passes to the personal representative at the time of the death, is also included in the calculation of probate fees.

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ILN Today Post


The St. Louis office of Lewis, Rice & Fingersh, L.C. is pleased to announce that Grant D. Wiens has joined the Litigation Department as a member practicing in the areas of education, labor and employment and municipal law. Mr. Wiens was formerly associated with the law firm Porter Foster Rorick LLP in Seattle, Washington.

Before joining Lewis Rice, Mr. Wiens represented more than 70 public school districts and municipal entities throughout the state of Washington. He provided general counsel in most phases of school operations, with an emphasis on labor relations, personnel matters, school administration, student civil rights, special education, and business services. In his work with municipal corporations, Mr. Wiens assisted with governance and personnel issues, development and enforcement of municipal codes, public records requests and state sunshine regulations, and served as a local prosecutor. Mr. Wiens is also an experienced litigator who advises clients in a variety of labor and employment contexts: leading collective bargaining negotiations; addressing union grievances; investigating employee misconduct; coordinating discipline and termination decisions; drafting employee policies and handbooks; and responding to state and federal discrimination complaints. More…

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Study into child maintenance arrangements and benefits

The Nuffield Foundation has recently published the results of a study that looked at the child maintenance arrangements of single parents who are also in receipt of benefits.

The study is the first to look in depth at this matter since the removal of the requirement to use the CSA to determine child maintenance, and the abolition of the policy to reduce benefits to account for the amount of maintenance received.

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Multistate Tax Update — July 18, 2013

In an effort to prevent tax evasion, the State of Texas enacted S.B. 529 which criminalizes the knowing sale, purchase, transfer, use, or possession of software that alters sales data. Nicknamed “zappers,” this type of software is uploaded onto USB drives or other devices capable of plugging into a cash register and modifying sales data. Since most point of sale systems are otherwise unalterable, some retailers use this software to falsify transaction data, enabling them to evade sales and income taxes by underreporting sales.

Typically, a retailer using a “zapper” first makes a sale and collects sales tax on the full sales price. Next, the retailer inserts a zapper into the cash register and accesses the transaction data recorded on the register. The software then either alters or completely erases sales data, resulting in a lower tax liability for the retailer. Afterwards, the retailer pulls the zapper out of the cash register, leaving no sign of tampering.

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McDonald Hopkins attorney, Manju Gupta, named to Lawyers of Color Hot List

Cleveland, Ohio (July 18, 2013) – Lawyers of Color (LOC) recently named 100 early- to mid-career minority attorneys under 40 from the Midwest Region to its inaugural Hot List. McDonald Hopkins is very pleased to announce that Manju Gupta has been named to this exceptional group.

Quarles & Brady’s Chicago office is hosting a reception and photo shoot for the honorees, who will also be profiled in Lawyers of Color’s inaugural Hot List Special Issue (July 2013).

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Charles Pautsch quoted in Law360 on payroll debit cards

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Charles Pautsch

Charles Pautsch

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Charles W. Pautsch was recently quoted in Law360’s July article “NY AG’s Payroll Card Inquiry Makes Way for Nationwide Suits.” The article explains the recent request for compensation practice information by the New York attorney general, from stores such as Walmart and Home Depot, regarding the issued payroll debit cards that have caused employees to incur bank fee charges. Mr. Pautsch discusses the effects of employers compensating their employees with a payroll card, the problems that can arise between employees and bank card companies from eliminating other payment options, and the possibility a wave of lawsuits resulting from the matter.

To read the article in full, please click here.

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