Monthly Archives: February 2015

Managing digital assets – Preserving your social media legacy

In our 2013 article “Dealing with Digital Assets in an Estate”, we discussed the importance of identifying, cataloguing, and planning for your digital assets, an often overlooked aspect of estate planning. In broad terms, “digital assets” include all of the electronic possessions an individual may have. A recent survey conducted by McAfee revealed that the average Canadian values his or her digital assets at more than $32,000! Such digital assets include music downloads, e-books, text messages, videos, emails and social media accounts, such as Facebook. The latter is the focus of this article.

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Supreme Court of Canada Permits Physican-Assisted Suicide

In a landmark ruling, The Supreme Court of Canada overturned its decision from 22 years earlier and found in favour of a dying person’s right to die with dignity.
 
The issue of physician-assisted suicide first came before the Supreme Court of Canada in 1993.  At that time, Sue  Rodriguez, a 42 year old woman suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) applied to the Supreme Court of British Columbia for the right to “die with dignity” and to permit a physician to help her end her life.  The matter was eventually appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada which held in a close 5 – 4 decision that the section of the Criminal Code of Canada (“Criminal Code”) which prohibited giving assistance to commit suicide was constitutional.  At that time, the Supreme Court held that the principles of “fundamental justice” in section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (“Charter”), requires that a fair balance be struck between the interests of the state and those of the individual. 
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Superbowl Commercials: The Ugly of 2015

And here we are, at the last of my Superbowl Commercials posts. We’re talking about the worst of the worst of this year’s Superbowl Commercials and while there are only a couple for a change, they are really doozies.

I’ll start with the least terrible of the two, to ease you into the cringing. 

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EU Trusts Register – update

In my 13 March 2014 blog on ‘Trusts and the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive’, I highlighted the EU Parliament’s plans to introduce a register of settlors, trustees and beneficiaries of trusts, as set out in the draft of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.  The Directive has now been finalised and, whilst it looks as though the register will still go ahead, the number of trusts affected will be reduced and trust information will not be placed on a publicly available register.
Article 30 of the Directive provides that EU Member States must oblige trustees of any trust governed by the laws of an EU Member State to hold accurate and current information on the beneficial ownership of the trust.  This includes the identity of the settlor, trustees, a protector if one is appointed, the beneficiaries or class of beneficiaries and any natural person exercising effective control over the trust.  Trusts implied by law, such as constructive trusts, are not included.
The above information will need to be given to any entity obliged to carry out money laundering checks with whom the trustees establish a business relationship.  Only when the trust ‘generates tax consequences’ (not defined but presumably meaning, for the UK, only if a trust tax return has to be filed) must the above information appear in a central register.  However, under the latest version of the Directive, only competent authorities and Financial Intelligence Units in the Member State and, if requested, other Member States, can access the information, along with entities needing to carry out money laundering identification checks.  
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Multistate Tax Update — February 19, 2015

The Marketplace Fairness Act, the federal bill requiring states to collect and remit sales and use taxes for remote sales, has been floating around in Congress in various iterations for 20 years, according to Bloomberg/BNA (Bloomberg). The Senate passed the most recent version in May 2013, but the bill went no further.

States are losing millions of tax revenue dollars, as we have pointed out in recent articles. For example, Colorado lost $352.6 million in sales and use taxes that went uncollected from customers of online and catalog retailers in 2012, while Indiana estimates that it lost e-commerce related sales taxes in the range of $39.6 million to $114.3 million for fiscal year 2012.

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Clark Wilson assists VCH with sale of 25 acre site at Cambie & 57th

As reported in the Vancouver Sun, Clark Wilson client Vancouver Coastal Health has agreed to sell the Dogwood Lodge, George Pearson Centre and surrounding lands to Vancouver-based developer, Onni. Darren Donnelly worked with VCH’s negotiating team to settle the agreement terms. Our Commercial Real Estate Group continues legal work to faciltate VCH and Onni’s collaboration to rezone and develop the lands for over 3 million square feet of new construction, including residential buildings, 20% social housing, a new park, a contribution to the construction of the 57th Avenue Canada Line station, other amenities and replacement facilities to ultimately be returned to VCH.

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ILN Today Post

CONDO COMMENTARY

GREEN LOANS AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY UPGRADES FOR CONDOS Co-written by Lou Natale , LL.B. and Paul Pittana, Equitable Bank There is a trend happening in the condo industry centered on energy cost savings and conservation. We’ve heard buzz words such as, “Green Loans” and “Energy Retrofit Financing” being bounced around, but what is the difference between these terms? How does a developer-initiated Green Loan work? How does a Condo Board go about paying for energy efficiency upgrades? This article will provide a high-level overview of financing green energy initiatives in both new and existing condos. More…

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ILN Today Post

Six Stradling Attorneys Named to 2015 Super Lawyers

Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, P.C. is pleased to announce six of its lawyers have been named to the 2015 Southern California Super Lawyers list. Super Lawyers magazine names attorneys in each state (5%) who received the highest point totals, as chosen by their peers and through independent research. Shareholders Jason de Bretteville, Paul R. Glassman, Karla Kraft, James D. RichmanMarc J. Schneider and Mark L. Skaist were all named to the list. For more on this story, read here. More…

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ILN Today Post

Legal Rights and Economic Realities: The Uncertain State of Public Pensions After Stockton

Once an irregular occurrence, municipal bankruptcies have been at the forefront of bankruptcy headlines in recent years. A key economic factor in chapter 9 cases is the need for municipalities to restructure compensation obligations to their employees, most notably future pension obligations. But while the ability of municipalities to reject collective-bargaining agreements with public employees has been tested,1 the ability of municipalities to impair future pension obligation has not — at least, not explicitly. More…

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ILN Today Post

Shutts & Bowen ranked among top 25 most diverse South Florida law firms

Shutts & Bowen was ranked 16th among South Florida’s “25 most diverse law firms in South Florida” in the Daily Business Review’s annual Diversity Scorecard.

The DBR sent surveys to 200 law firms with offices in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Shutts & Bowen has steadily grown more diverse throughout its ranks, with women and minorities ascending into senior positions. Of five lateral partners joining in 2014, 14 were minorities. More…

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