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In a few days it will Thanksgiving in one of the oddest years most of us will have ever experienced. In thinking about writing about being thankful or gratitude, I thought back to posts from the last few Novembers. I can’t say it better, so here is my annual blog for the week of Thanksgiving. This is a good time of year to think of gratitude generally and what you’re thankful for specifically. At the same time, it’s a great time of year to spread good feelings, which you can do by letting others know when you appreciate something they…
During this time of the year, I often have business clients ask what should and should not occur at work.  Specifically, what should happen at work-sponsored social events to celebrate the Holidays and a successful end of the year. These concerns have increased in light of recent news headlines where parties and out-of-work interactions have been a source of allegations of improper conduct and claims of harassment.  I can understand a business leader’s concern. It is often a balancing act between a company wanting to reward their employees and increase morale, but (at the same time) avoiding a situation where…
Family-owned businesses are the backbone of the American economy.  Family-owned businesses account for 64 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, generate 62 percent of the country’s employment, comprise 90 percent of all business enterprises in North America and account for 78 percent of all new job creation.1 Your family-owned business supports your family and is an integral part of the United States economy so, how will you plan for the succession of your business? Have you considered which of the following might trigger your retirement: age, an interested and involved younger generation, personal financial benchmark or perhaps a company financial…
Back in July, we noted that the number of people arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving during the Independence Day holiday was down sharply compared with 2019. At the time, the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported just 193 DUI arrests over the holiday weekend. In 2019, law enforcement made 512 arrests. We suggested then (https://www.scottsdale-duilawyer.com/blog/2020/07/arizona-dui-arrests-were-dramatically-down-over-july-4th-weekend/) that the COVID-19 pandemic was a big factor in reducing arrests. With fewer people out celebrating, there were fewer allegedly drunk drivers for police and state troopers to pull over. New Holiday, the Same Story Now, the next major holiday weekend has…
With stare decisis imbuing law and legal study with a sense of tradition, you might hesitate to deviate from the well worn strategies to prepare for your finals. But the law is a dynamic beast, and if something isn’t working for you, it’s up to you to make a change. Study aids are increasingly catering to the vast diversity of learning methods that suit different law students best, from visual aids such as flow charts to practice questions to audio and visual resources. MAKE YOUR OWN FLOWCHARTS Flowcharts guide you through a legal issue, asking questions about the…
Bill Froehlich (deputy director of Ohio State’s Divided Community Project) asked me to share this post… Ohio State’s Divided Community Project was privileged to develop Ohio State’s Education for Citizenship Post-Election Dialogue Series in partnership with Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson. We just completed the first two events in this series: 1. “Unpacking the 2020 Presidential Election – How we got here and what lies ahead” featured DCP Co-Director Carl Smallwood and Ohio State Election Law Colleagues (Ned Foley, Steve Huefner, Teri Enns, and Peter Shane). The recording is available at https://go.osu.edu/dcppostelection1. 2. “Unpacking the 2020 Presidential…
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on contracts and commercial  leases, preventing or slowing performance and upending the expectations of contracting parties. In many cases both parties have suffered losses. There are many pathways to settlement in these matters which can be resolved by applying principles in the doctrines of force majeure, impossibility, impracticability, commercial frustration of purpose, and material adverse change or effect clauses. A PDF copy of this article can be found at this link and attached: https://buff.ly/2Uq1bvt   Frank Burke, Esq. Mediator | ArbitratorADR Services, Inc. – Your Partner in Resolution[email protected]Scheduling: 415-772-0900 |…
One of the most obvious changes in the medical landscape over the last 15 years has been the proliferation of urgent care clinics.  You can’t drive down almost any street in a major metropolitan area without passing at least a couple of urgent care centers.  These centers have become common because many people do not have health insurance or do not have a primary care physician.  When they get sick, they need somewhere to go.  Urgent care centers offer convenience and, in today’s world, convenience sells. When you become sick or injure yourself and decide to seek medical care, you…
Any ranking system contains elements of subjectivity and arbitrariness, and this is unquestionably true when attempting to rank the current justices on the United States Supreme Court. And it should go without saying that every justice on the Court is an incredibly accomplished and well-respected jurist, and among the brightest minds in the legal profession. Notwithstanding, based on each justice’s jurisprudence, one can gain a general sense of their effectiveness, influence, and impact on the Court and the rule of law. The following rankings, which are admittedly subjective and unscientific, are predicated on the following factors: (1) the influence, if…
Earlier this year, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued an opinion addressing at length “whether the requirement that the use be ‘adverse’ in the adverse possession context is coextensive with adverse use in the prescriptive easement context.”  See Woodbridge Condo. Ass’n, Inc. v. Lo Viento Blanco, LLC, 2020 COA 34 (Woodbridge II), ¶ 2, cert. granted, No. 20SC292, 2020 WL 5405376 (Colo. Sept. 8, 2020).  As detailed below, the Woodbridge II court concluded that the meanings of “adverse” in these two contexts are not coextensive—while “hostility” in the adverse possession context requires a claim of exclusive ownership of the property,…
Much of law school involves looking ahead: I am in a professional school and want to make connections and do the right things academically to get my dream job. Unfortunately, it also involves looking behind: did you spot that issue in the Torts final? Visualizing our ultimate success can help make it so! But some of the best advice you’ll get in law school is to quietly leave it in the past after you turn in an exam. Post-exam celebrations (be safe) with friends can be fun, not stressful re-enactments. Be here now. You will be able to save so…
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is a statue that essentially grants immunity from liability to websites, social media platforms, and search engines for what users post. This law was created back in 1996, before platforms like Facebook and Twitter became as influential on how we consume information as they are today. It’s no secret that misinformation and defamatory content are huge issues online.  Now, the Department of Justice and the Trump Administration are looking to reform the law in order to promote transparency and open discourse and address illicit activity online. You could probably guess that tech CEOs…
From TFOI Leah Wing: The 22nd annual international ADR Cyberweek will run from November 1 to November 6, 2020. Hosted by the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution this free virtual conference will include panel presentations, webinars, online dispute resolution simulations, discussion forums, platform demos, interviews, and time to just hang out and bond with your fellow attendees in a social hour. With courts and alternative dispute resolution practitioners worldwide all now online, come explore the world of online dispute resolution as it responds to the challenges of 2020! Leah Wing Co-director, National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution…
Ohio State Professor Deborah Jones Merritt and Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System Research Director Logan Cornett just published an important report, Building a Better Bar: The Twelve Building Blocks of Minimum Competence, based on insights from 50 focus groups. They found that minimum competence consists of 12 interlocking “building blocks,” including the ability to interact effectively with clients, communicate as a lawyer, and see the “big picture” of client matters. They propose 10 recommendations that courts, law schools, bar associations, bar examiners, and other stakeholders should consider in their efforts to move towards better, evidence-based…
The Internal Revenue Service has an online wizard that allows people to apply for and receive an employer identification number (EIN) for a company in a 5 – 10 minute data entry session. Companies need an EIN to open a bank account and file federal tax returns.  See our EIN online wizard video that shows how to complete the online application. Usually the online EIN wizard works great and people can quickly get an EIN for a newly formed company.  Unfortunately the online wizard sometimes rejects an EIN application because of “Reference Number 101,” which usually means the company’s name…
Sometime starting next year, your opposing counsel might not be a lawyer. And yet that person may be able to do pretty much everything you can do, such as negotiate, file motions, conduct discovery, appear in court, maybe handle appeals, but might not even have a bachelor’s degree, let alone a JD, and didn’t have to pass the bar exam. If you haven’t already done so, this is a good time to wrap your head around the fact that in 2021, qualified non-lawyers will be able to represent clients in family law and relatively low-level civil and criminal matters. Get…