Monthly Archives: July 2014

ILN Today Post

McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies: This Week in Washington — August 1, 2014

What was once considered must pass legislation – to deal with the crisis on the border with Mexico – is now in disarray in both chambers. In the House, Republican leaders are hoping to take a second whack at passing an emergency border-funding package, after they suddenly backed off a planned vote Thursday afternoon amid discontent within their own ranks.

The legislation had been unlikely to advance in the Senate, and already had been ticketed for a presidential veto. But the decision to pull the $659 million measure represented a major embarrassment for Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team—especially for Rep. Steve Scalise. He does not officially become majority whip until Friday, but he and his new whip team had made this the first bill in which they had become actively engaged in vote-gathering.

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State of the Creative Series: Interview with Chief Creative Officer at Weber Shandwick

As mentioned last week, we got to wondering, what does it mean to be a creative in today’s world? How many “legs” does an idea have to have when advertisers and marketers are targeting various demographics, each using multiple media devices and social media platforms? And does having all that data mean you or anyone else knows how to use it?

We posed these questions to Chief Creative Officers at some of the world’s leading ad agencies and will be posting their responses here over the next few weeks. Together, they should give us an interesting take on the state of advertising creative today.

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Carry On Giving: how to manage the CGT bill on gifts

With asset values on the rise, many of my clients’ thoughts are turning to Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning.  That can sometimes lead to thoughts about giving away assets to children in lifetime in the hope of surviving seven years.  However, it seems even the best laid IHT mitigation plans can come unstuck when Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is factored in. 

Unfortunately, gifts still count as disposals at market value for CGT purposes so, unless a relief (such as private residence relief) applies, gifts can trigger CGT and the giver may need to find extra, liquid funds, above and beyond the gift itself, to pay the resulting CGT bill. 
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ILN Today Post

Multistate Tax Update — July 31, 2014

Last month, the Minnesota Tax Court issued a decision in Johnson v. Commissioner of Revenue, No. 8544–R, 2014 WL 2965410 (Minn. T.C. June 20, 2014), with respect to taxpayers’ exchange of unimproved land for a two-bedroom condominium. Johnson is a ruling of significance for taxpayers hoping to take advantage of Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 1031”) as it may apply to their state taxes. 

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Notice of resignation or immediate termination

Today, your employee notifies you that he will be leaving in three weeks. Not too happy with this, you reply that you no longer require his services and that he is therefore terminated immediately. In such circumstances, are you released from the obligation to pay an indemnity in lieu of a notice of termination? The answer is no.

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Bill Introduced in House Would Create Federal Private Right of Action for Trade Secret Theft

On July 29, 2014, a bipartisan group of members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill that would create a federal private right of action for trade secret theft. The Trade Secrets Protection Act (H.R. 5233) is a House version of the Senate’s Defend Trade Secrets Act (S. 2267), a bill introduced earlier this year.

As we discussed in a previous blog post, in the last couple of years, numerous legislators in Washington have made efforts to amend the Economic Espionage Act, 18 U.S.C. §1831 et seq. (which currently allows only prosecutors to pursue trade secret thieves), to empower companies and individuals who have been victimized by trade secret misappropriation to pursue their own remedies in federal court. If successful, these efforts would give aggrieved persons a more standard and straightforward path to sue violators than is currently available in the patchwork of state laws dealing with trade secrets.

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BIG MAC ATTACK : NLRB General Counsel Argues Franchisees and McDonald’s Are Joint Employers

NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin announced on Tuesday July 29th   that he has authorized issuance of Unfair Labor Practice Complaints based on 43 of 181 charges pending against McDonald’s, USA, LLC and various of its franchisees, in which the Board will allege that the company and its franchisees are joint-employers. If the General Counsel prevails on his theory that McDonalds is a joint employer with its franchisees, the result would be not only a finding of shared responsibility for unfair labor practices, but could also mean that the franchisor would share in the responsibilities of collective bargaining if unions are successful in organizing franchisors’ workers.  The news, which comes as Fast Food Forward, which is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”) wraps up its convention in Illinois.

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ILN Today Post

McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: Breaking News on Highway Trust Fund

This week, the Senate easily passed a patch to the soon to be broke Highway Trust Fund. The Senate’s actions, however, don’t end the Highway Drama because the chamber made two critical changes to the legislation passed by the House.

First, by a vote of 71 to 26, the Senate voted for the Wyden-Hatch amendment that substitutes the pay-fors, swapping some of the money raised through pension smoothing for tax compliance instead. Second, and probably most problematic, the Senate voted 66 to 31 to adopt the Carper-Corker-Boxer amendment to only patch the Trust Fund up until December. This would set up another bite at the apple for proponents of a long-term fix in a potential lame duck session after the mid-term elections.

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ILN Today Post

Court Upholds Effective Disinheritence

The British Columbia Supreme Court recently refused to vary a mother’s Will that left only a token $10,000 to an estranged son.  In Brown v. Pearce Estate, the challenged Will read in part:

“I wish to leave no more than the $10,000 referred to above to my estranged son…Although I have sacrificed for him and I have supported him over the years, he has refused any contact with me, and…he has made it clear that he wants no further relationship with me.”

The son asked the Court to vary the Will, claiming that the mother owed him a moral duty to provide more than the $10,000 gift.  The Court considered the facts carefully, and declined to order a variation. 

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ILN Today Post

Two for Tuesdays: More LinkedIn

The weather is finally beautiful here on this Two for Tuesdays – low humidity and low heat, just the way I like it!

Another thing I like, as you may know, is LinkedIn. Our first Two for Tuesdays post offered two tips for LinkedIn, and there’s so much to gain from it that I’m back to bring you two more! The first post focused mostly on what changes you could make to your profile, while today, we’ll look at what you should be doing in terms of your usage of LinkedIn.

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