Fake Trademark Application for “Fake News?”

What does “fake news” mean to you? The first thing that usually comes to mind is President Donald Trump, right?  His opponents say this term only comes out when he is the subject of an unflattering news story.  No matter what side of the political aisle you stand, we can all agree there is an inordinate amount of over-hyped and inaccurate information disseminated across social media and news outlets. One Canadian advertising agency, Wax Partnership (WP), along with the Florida Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) are working to bring this issue into the forefront. The WP ad...

Think estate planning is only for the super rich?

Estate planning is for everyone, regardless of your financial situation.  Even someone who has only minimal possessions like a car and/or checking account, needs advance planning.  What is estate planning? Estate planning is most simply a plan for who gets your stuff, how much of they get, and when they get it.  There are many other considerations, especially if you have minor children, namely identifying a guardian and a financial manager on their behalf.  Estate planning also encompasses life insurance and businesses.   A will only provides instructions for what happens to your possessions and money.  Your will still must...

Will Florida Fall Back?

Sunday, November 3 at 2am marks the end of daylight saving time for much of the United States. Will Florida be joining in on the switch? Daylight saving time was originally adopted in 1918 during World War I as an effort to save energy. Forty-eight years later, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the day and time of the switch for all states that participated. The act also allows states to opt out of daylight saving time. Arizona, Hawaii, and other territories have done so. According to Florida’s Sunshine Protection Act of 2018, Florida joined these states, but in...

Reptile Strategy Awareness

See It Coming, Before It Bites You. Don’t worry, it’s not a new horror movie, it’s just the attorneys in the courtroom practicing the Reptile theory of litigation.  In 2009, David Ball, former theatrical director and jury consultant, and Don Keenan, a plaintiff’s attorney, published Reptile:  The 2009 Manual of the Plaintiff’s Revolution.  They posit that successful attorneys will unlock the primitive side of the juror’s brain with this method. Neuroscientists named the part of the brain which controls basic life functions and essential survival instincts (fight or flight) the reptilian brain.  By tapping into this reptile side of humans,...

Get out there and vote! But first, get out there and register!

Today, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will recognizes the 7th annual National Voter Registration Day. Now a national holiday, National Voter Registration Day was first observed in 2012 and occurs annually on the fourth Tuesday in September. Largely supported by volunteers, this event will register and re-register voters in all 50 states. Who can vote? Each state has specific requirements for age at the time of election or age at registration.  Some require the voter to be 18 years of age on or before election day in order to register; some allow registration or preregistration at age 16.  Depending on...

Florida Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate refers to a building or land designed to generate profit from capital gain or rental income, such as a storefront, apartment complex, office building, mall, etc. Commercial real estate transactions can be must more complicated than residential real estate transactions. Hiring a Florida commercial real estate attorney is essential. Always have a commercial real estate attorney review a commercial lease agreement BEFORE you sign it. Remember, a lease agreement is a contract which can run up to 75 pages long! We have received many calls from people attempting to get out of a bad commercial lease agreement,...

In God we trust and all others pay cash?

Under the current rules of the EB-5 Visa program (aka the Immigrant Investor Visa Program), eligible immigrant investors may become permanent residents with a ‘green card’ by investing cold hard cash.  Designed to stimulate the U.S. economy, this program became law in 1990. Currently, the required investment is $1 million in standard areas, or $500,000 in rural or areas with high unemployment.   Effective November 21, 2019, the necessary cash rises to $900,000 in targeted employment areas (TEAs) and $1.8 million in standard areas.  TEAs are defined as ‘only cities and towns with a population of 20,000 or more outside of...

Seniors Got Swag

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln It is important to live our lives to the fullest and to embrace all that life has to offer. This is true for any age at any time. Tomorrow is National Senior Citizens Day. It’s a day to celebrate and appreciate senior citizens for all of their achievements throughout their lives. If you are a senior citizen, here are some ways you can celebrate and truly add, as Lincoln said, some “life in your years.” 1. Stay Connected!Humans are social...

No Pants Required!

Remote Notarization Coming to Florida If you enjoy working from home in the comfort of your pajamas, add notary service and real estate transactions to the list of tasks that can now be accomplished remotely, via video conference, without putting on your pants. Florida has now joined many other states in allowing the user of remote online notarization (RON) transactions.  In June, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 409 into law, which will become effective January 1, 2020. RON allows for the use of audio and video communication between a signer and a notary public for notarization of the signer’s...

Litigation Avoidance

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of… attorney fees. Litigation is costly in terms of both money, time, and reputation.  Even if a case never makes it to trial, there may be negotiations, mediation, or settlements.  The best offense is a good defense when it comes to avoiding litigation. If you are a business owner, consider these tips to help avoid lawsuits: Thorough review of contracts Properly train employees Provide regular management updates Review ongoing projects Ensure your company has a written risk management strategy and follows industry ‘best practices’ Learn from past mistakes Stay abreast of technological...