Monthly Archives: April 2016

ILN Today Post

Eye to the future: Shutts & Bowen’s history mirrors Miami’s

A recent Miami Herald article highlighted Shutts & Bowen’s continued growth in Miami and across the state, delving into the firm’s latest practice areas – including hospitality, intellectual property and Cuba – as well as its plans to expand to new offices in Jacksonville.

Bowman Brown, chairman of the firm’s Executive Committee, describes new legal opportunities brought to South Florida by the relocation of domestic hedge funds and private equity funds. Frank Rodriguez, Managing Partner for the Miami office and the Latin America practice group leader, states that Miami is “in the top 20 to 25 cities for high-net-worth individuals and international investors,” which creates more opportunities for the firm, especially in the areas of financial services, real estate, litigation and tax-planning.

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ILN Today Post

Palm Beach Legal Aid to Honor Shutts & Bowen and others during Annual Pro Bono Recognition Evening

The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County will honor nine attorneys, a private investigator, a community volunteer and Shutts & Bowen during its Annual Pro Bono Recognition Evening on May 7th at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach.

The honorees have supported causes within the last year for domestic violence survivors; abused, abandoned and neglected children; exploited seniors; foster children; and housing and employment discrimination victims.

 

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What happens to your digital self after death?

photo-1417733403748-83bbc7c05140Florida Grants Fiduciaries Access to Digital Information

For anyone who has dealt with the death or incapacity of a loved one in recent years, one of the most perplexing and fraught questions has been how to access their electronic or digital records. Whether we realize it or not, most of us own digital assets. These could be photographs or videos on your smartphone, documents in the cloud, iTunes music collections, email accounts, social media accounts, banking records, online shopping or travel memberships, stock trading accounts – anything that can be created, transmitted, accessed or stored on any electronic or digital medium.

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Multistate Tax Update — April 27, 2016

In fiscal year 2013-14, corporate income taxes contributed about 8 percent to California’s General Fund, or $8.5 billion, and were the third largest source of revenue. The first and second largest revenue sources were personal income taxes, at about 65 percent, or $66.2 billion, and sales and use taxes, at about 22 percent, or $22.2 billion, respectively.

The California State Auditor released its findings last week, in response to a request by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (Committee) to assess the benefits and cost-effectiveness of certain corporate tax breaks. In its April 2016 Corporate Income Tax Expenditures (Report), the Auditor found that regular evaluation of corporate income tax expenditures would improve their efficiency and effectiveness. These tax expenditures, which are defined as tax benefits for qualifying corporations, consist of tax exemptions, deductions, credits, and exclusions, and cost the state more than $5 billion in forgone revenues for fiscal year 2012-13.

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Natural Gas Claims and Litigation Association Annual Meeting

Mike Snyder, Co-Chair, Energy Team, is presenting at The Natural Gas Claims and Litigation Association Annual Meeting at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort, April 27 at Noon. At the Association’s annual meeting, more than 85 people from more than 50 organizations attend. Presentations include gas incident case histories, the impact of the World Trade Center attack on the local utility’s operations, and property damage recovery techniques.

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DOJ Launches New Online Resource Regarding Accessible Technology Issues

While many continue to wait with growing impatience for the U.S. Department of Justice to finally issue regulations governing website accessibility for businesses under Title III of the ADA, DOJ has just launched a new online resource for those interested in staying abreast of developments in the overall area of accessible technology.

This new site is meant to provide further guidance and information to employers, state/local governments, businesses and non-profits, and individuals with disabilities by serving as a “one stop” source for DOJ’s technical assistance and guidance about accessible technology (e.g., website accessibility, e-readers, point-of-sale devices), as well as providing up to date information about DOJ’s enforcement efforts, regulatory/rulemaking endeavors, and other related initiatives in this sphere. 

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Constitutional court has confirmed the gap in the regulation of timelines for dispute resolution in Chamber for Patent Disputes

Recently upon the Intellectual property court’s (hereinafter – the IP Court) request the Constitutional court of Russia has considered the case on constitutionality of several provisions of the Civil Code.

The reason for submitting this request was the plaintiff’s motion in another case that is pending before the IP Court. The plaintiff has filed a suit against the Rospatent due to its omission. Under the merits of the case, in early March, 2015 the plaintiff filed an application to the Rospatent for patent invalidation, while the hearing was appointed on the March, 2016.

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Two Ways to Make Social Media Work for You

photo-1416453072034-c8dbfa2856b5Although social media has been around for a while (and isn’t going anywhere), there’s still this idea in the legal industry and even among many legal marketers that it’s a game, or a waste of time.

But social media, when used strategically and correctly, can actually be about relationship-building and business development.

I could go into a long diatribe about why this is true, what the statistics say to support it, or even start a series about the various tips and tricks you could be using in your own practices for better use of social media – but I won’t.

I will say that, like any other marketing tactic, it’s not for everyone. It’s a tool to be considered and used as part of your overall arsenal, if and when it meets with the goals that you’ve set out and the strategy that you’ve developed. Just as importantly though, don’t discount it as being “for kids” simply because it’s something that you’ve seen your own children using, or you think it’s only big with celebrities, or you’ve heard that it’s somewhere that people can waste hours.

No one embraced the telephone right away either, and now you keep one in your pocket.

(And if people are determined to waste time somewhere, they’ll find a way to do it, whether it’s on Facebook, or on personal calls, or playing games on a non-internet connected device).

All of that being said, this week, I’d like to talk about two concrete ways that social media can work for you – specifically and successfully.

Tip One: Blogging as a Relationship Builder

Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog has long espoused blogging as more than just a platform for putting your thoughts down on paper, so to speak. If used strategically, it’s actually a way to meet the people that you want to meet. Let’s look at an example – in January, I blogged about Two Tools to Turn Trends into Topics, which was based off of a blog post written by Ann Smarty over at the Content Marketing Institute. I often look to CMI for inspiration when I’m blogging, and it’s the second time I’ve referenced Ann in a post that I’ve written for Zen – she writes good stuff.

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Another CITES case

Further to my last post about importing ivory, a recent judgment on a similar case caught my eye. 

In Juliet Forster-Copperi v Director of Border Revenue [2016] UKFTT 0157 (TC), UK Border Force had seized a whalebone sculpture at Felixstowe Docks in September 2014, and that was challenged by an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. 
 

The appellant was the creator and owner of the sculpture.  She was a British born artist and sculptress, now in her 80s, who had lived in South Africa and decided to return to the UK.  She had been wrongly told by her shippers that no licence was needed to export the sculpture from South Africa, and she did not even think about whether a licence was needed to import into the UK.  Whales and their derivatives are protected by CITES and hence the seizure.  The bone was very old and had been gathered from the seashore.  Ironically, in the current circumstances, the appellant told the tribunal that the sculpture was part of a series she had been working on which “make a strong statement on man’s destruction of the environment, flora, birds and creatures of the sea”. The tribunal accepted that and that it was “a serious work of art”. 

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The NLRB Slams a Non-Union Financial Services Employer Over Its Commonplace Employee Manual Rules

Jonathan L. ShapiroLauri F. RasnickIn a recent decision, a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) ruled that Quicken Loans’s (the “Company”) Detroit, Michigan branch (along with five related entities) violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) by using and disseminating an employee manual in its non-union workplace that the ALJ concluded interfered with employees’ rights under the NLRA.  This was yet another case in which the NLRB took aim against Quicken Loans for adopting work rules and/or policies that an ALJ found would “chill” non-unionized employees in the exercise of their rights under the NLRA.  As we previously discussed in another blog post, in March 2016, the NLRB found that the Company’s branch in Scottsdale, Arizona violated the NLRA by implementing unlawful work rules after one of its bankers used profanity and complained about a client in an office restroom.

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