Legal Blog And Client Alerts

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February 22, 2021

On January 1, 2021, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The act is centered on authorizing appropriations for military spending, but within the bill was another act that will have larger ramifications for small business owners.

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January 29, 2021

My employee posted _______________  on Facebook, can I fire them for that?

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January 26, 2021

Even the simple act of scheduling a shareholder meeting has been turned upside down in the wake of COVID-19.

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January 21, 2021

If you have faced an injury or medical condition that has rendered you unable to work, it can be a scary time. The uncertainty of your own health, compounded by wondering if you will be able to pay your bills, can be overwhelming.

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January 11, 2021

The battle continues to trademark the iconic descriptor of Buffalo Bills fans

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January 11, 2021

When we first looked at the Buffalo Bills LLC’s (“Bills”) applications to register the trademark “BILLS MAFIA” (SN 90248260 and 90248264) at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”), we found a significant hurdle in the way.

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January 8, 2021

“My tenants haven’t paid their rent in months. What are my options?”

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January 6, 2021

The new year brings new paid leave requirements to New York employers. New York State established additional rights to paid leave for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers on April 3, 2020.

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December 21, 2020

Changes to Power of Attorney rules in New York take effect in June

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December 9, 2020

Employers planning to hold virtual celebrations may want to consider the potential liability before raising a Zoom cocktail with employees

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November 11, 2020

We need to consider our futures more than ever before. Estate planning helps protect your assets and relieve some of the stress felt by those who will carry out your wishes.

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November 3, 2020

Though 2020 is coming to an end, there is still time left to make charitable contributions that qualify as a tax deduction on your 2020 federal income tax return.

Thanks to the passage of the CARES Act, there is an opportunity for additional giving at a time when the demand for services is up, and the donations are down at many non-profits.

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October 28, 2020

It has, for a long time, been common to discourage employees from discussing their compensation in the workplace. Some organizations discourage it, while others attempt to ban it outright under the threat of disciplinary action. In both cases, it is the wrong approach to what is admittedly, a tricky subject to navigate.

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October 19, 2020

The Buffalo Bills LLC's recent applications to register the trademark "BILLS MAFIA" at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in standard characters and stylized form in a clothing classification may encounter several hurdles.
 
First, there is already a pending application at the USPTO made by an individual named Karina Lopez to register the mark "BILLSMAFIA" in standard characters for a service described as "creating an on-line community of registered users to talk about Buffalo New York sports" (SN90051257) The Lopez application was made on July 14, 2020 and has not yet been reviewed by a USPTO examiner; a process that may take another month.

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October 19, 2020

The Bills are second in line to file a trademark for BILLS MAFIA. How will the process play out and who might ultimately end up with control of this valuable piece of intellectual property? 

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October 13, 2020

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 was developed and implemented as a vehicle to allows states to create tax-advantaged savings programs for certain people who have disabilities which are present before age 26. The ABLE initiative allows for any individual to make annual contributions up to the annual gift-tax amount (currently $15,000) with a maximum allowed balance of $100,000.  The earnings and distributions are tax-exempt, provided the funds are used to pay for qualified disability expenses of the designated beneficiary. Some examples of qualified disability expenses include education, housing, transportation, employment training, financial management, and health. 

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September 29, 2020

In 2019, Wal-Mart was ordered to pay $6 million to a class of plaintiffs after a lawsuit (Hamilton et al. v. Wal-Mart) alleged the retail giant engaged in unlawful tactics to discourage employees from leaving the building during their state-mandated break and meal periods.   

Though that case is currently being appealed, it sheds light on an area of labor and employment law where it can be common for an employer to be unknowingly in violation.

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September 23, 2020

Though most people dread receiving mail from the Internal Revenue Service, those letters often provide important information to taxpayers who may be delinquent on their payments. Failure to open and respond in a timely fashion to IRS notices can lead to late fees, fines and a host of other troubles.

Last month, the IRS made a highly unusual announcement. Due to shutdowns during COVID-19, the agency has been buried in a mountain of unopened mail. That includes mail from taxpayers including checks to make tax payments. With those checks unprocessed, taxpayers may receive a notice of non-payment that could lead to understandable confusion and panic.

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September 16, 2020

In an effort to ostensibly put more money in the pockets of American workers, the IRS, under the direction of President Trump, issued Notice 2020-65, giving employers the option to suspend the withholding of Social Security payroll taxes beginning September 1 and running through December 31, 2020.

On the surface, this sounds like a solid plan – workers immediately have more cash available to pay bills during this difficult time. But both employers and employees need to be wary –this tax holiday poses a few potential bumps in the road to prepare for.

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September 15, 2020

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign a bill enacting new posthumous protections against the unauthorized use of a deceased person’s name, voice, likeness or performance for advertising or commercial purposes.

The bill, establishing a New York “Right of Publicity,” has long been advocated for by actors groups including SAG to protect the likenesses of deceased persons of notoriety.

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September 15, 2020

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign a bill enacting new posthumous protections against the unauthorized use of a deceased person’s name, voice, likeness or performance for advertising or commercial purposes.

The bill, establishing a New York “Right of Publicity,” has long been advocated for by actors groups including SAG to protect the likenesses of deceased persons of notoriety.

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