Tag: miami business litigation

President Trump Calls for Protection of Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is an asset that is extremely valuable to a company and something that is very important to protect with the help of a business litigation law firm.

During his first State of the Union speech last month, President Donald Trump said he would protect American intellectual property. Although his administration has in the past accused China of trade abuses, President Trump did not directly mention the country in his speech, CNBC said.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, more than 45 percent of all U.S. businesses have reported losses due to intellectual property theft, and the cost to companies is estimated at $250 billion a year.

The business litigation attorneys at PPK Law Firm in Miami counsel clients in domestic and worldwide protection and intellectual property risk management matters, including copyright, trademark, service marks, trade dress, trade secret, and internet-related issues.

President Trump said in his speech that “fair and reciprocal” trade was necessary, and that America would work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.

“We will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules,” he said.

In addition to chastising China for their unfair trade practices, President Trump has criticized trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico (NAFTA) and the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and South Korea.

Since President Trump was inaugurated last year, he has imposed tariffs on imported goods such as solar panels and washing machines and is considering new quotas on steel and aluminum.

In November 2017, President Trump told world business leaders at a forum in Vietnam, “We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore.

“I am always going to put America first, the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first,” he said.

At the same meeting, President Xi Jinping of China called for globalization and more open relations among countries.

Greeting With a Kiss Not Recommended in Business

You would probably expect your business lawyer from your Miami law firm to greet you with a cordial handshake if you’re getting together for a business meeting.

But the Miami Herald found that there are a variety of greetings business people use when meeting each other, dependent on their culture and the industry they work in.

In Miami, you are just as likely to kiss your client on the cheek as shaking hands when you meet, per the Herald. You might even kiss both cheeks, or do an air kiss.

A local etiquette expert said business is done a little bit differently in Miami than in other parts of the country. It is not uncommon for people to greet someone they just met and may never see again with a kiss.

Unlike in most of the rest of the country, it’s considered good manners, said Yvonne Salas, the director and co-founder of Etiqueta Excellence.

She said business etiquette often begins with introductions, and usually, people are told to shake hands, not get too close, and respect the other person’s personal space. But things are done differently in South Florida, she said.

Claudia Ahrens-Hernandez of The Etiquette and Social Advantage Institute and host of Univision’s “Cafe Con Claudia” said it’s the Latin influence that has made the Miami business culture more open with their gestures.

“Even in a business environment, among a group of Latinos, a kiss is something you do and you don’t even think about,” she said. Experts also said personal space is not a concept in Latin culture.

However, Judith Martin, also known Miss Manners, cautions against kissing and hugging in a business setting to prevent the recipient from misunderstanding the gesture and feeling harassed.

Salas tells her business etiquette students not to embrace or kiss a person the first time they meet, but suggests that in social situations they follow the lead of their  host and hostess.

American Bar Association focuses on wellness

Many people make New Year’s resolutions that include making lifestyle adjustments that improve their mental and physical health. The American Bar Association has announced that in 2018, it plans to promote policies that help its members improve their health, the Daily Business Review reported.

American Bar Association President Hilarie Bass announced that a key project for the organization in 2018 will be promoting wellness initiatives at law firms, where employees often work long hours under stressful conditions.

A 2016 ABA study showed that substance abuse and mental health problems were widespread in the legal profession, and that the legal profession must change to address these problems. Bass, together with the ABA board of governors, created a well-being working group called the Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession to help law firms develop wellness initiatives.

The group hopes to develop a plan to send to the ABA’s house of delegates by mid-2018. The  House of Delegates will have the final say on the policy resolutions.

“Too many lawyers and law students experience chronic stress, high rates of depression and substance use,” Bass said. “This is not compatible with a sustainable legal profession.”

She said law firm policies should eliminate any policies that make lawyers feel they will face a stigma if they come forward seeking help with substance abuse or mental health issues.

They need to be able to come forward confidentially and without repercussions, Bass said.

She also suggested that law schools train students and that law firms instruct young associates about the importance of well-being. Law firms also should discuss eliminating alcohol from events, Bass said.

She said she is confident that the working group will develop useful recommendations that law firms will be easily able to integrate into their culture.

The Miami law firm Pollack, Pollack & Kogans LLC represents clients in all areas of business law. The business litigation firm acts as local counsel for out-of-state and foreign attorneys, in the fields of complex civil and commercial litigation, probate litigation, injunctive relief, judgment and debt collection, contract litigation, landlord- tenant disputes, legal ethics dilemmas, securities arbitrations, and all business concerns and disputes.

Florida tax law favors athletes

Tax law changes in Florida may make the state more attractive to athletes who are free agents, Tucson.com reported.

New tax laws set to take effect January 1 cap deductions for state and local taxes for married couples filing jointly at $10,000, which is an obvious advantage for highly-paid athletes.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said he doubted the tax law advantage, which is also available in Texas, Nevada and Washington state, would have much effect on where athletes decide to play. Players are more likely to consider playing time, winning and what’s best for their families as deciding factors.

But teams in tax-free states with a higher percentage of take-home pay might use the tax law advantage as a negotiation tactic.

“The state with no income tax would always win the ties,” said sports agent Joseph Linta.

The top tax rate has been lowered to 37 percent for single filers earning more than $500,000 and married couples filing jointly earning more than $600,000. That is down from 39.6 percent for single filers earning more than $418,400 and married couples filing jointly earning more than $470,700, per Tucson.com.

California had the highest state tax in 2017, a 13.3 percent rate, followed by New York with a top tax rate of 8.82 percent. New York City has a maximum rate of 3.876 percent for a total of 12.696 percent.

A player with an offseason residence in Florida, Alaska, South Dakota and Wyoming would benefit by having more of his money paid in a signing bonus rather than salary.

The Miami law firm Pollack, Pollack & Kogans LLC represents clients in all areas of business law. The business litigation firm acts as local counsel for out-of-state and foreign attorneys, in the fields of complex civil and commercial litigation, probate litigation, injunctive relief, judgment and debt collection, contract litigation, landlord- tenant disputes, legal ethics dilemmas, securities arbitrations, and all business concerns and disputes.

Benefit corporations attract millennials

The Wisconsin legislature has passed new legislation allowing Wisconsin businesses to incorporate as benefit corporations, which focus not only on shareholder profits but also on their impact on the environment, the community and society.

Tax law treats benefit corporations and C Corps equally, but a benefit corporation requires its corporate directors and officers to consider all stakeholder interests when making decisions.

Incorporating as a benefit corporation may give companies a leg up in the competition to attract top talent. Studies show that millennials want to work for a company that shares their values, and are willing to accept a pay cut to do so, Forbes reported. They’re also more willing to buy products from socially responsible brands.

Some colleges, such as Princeton, even forgive or reduce student loans for graduates working at a benefit corporation, per Forbes.   

Millennials want their work to be meaningful, and to have a positive impact on the world through their work, Business Insider reported. Workers who feel they are making a difference through their work will stay with a company longer and be willing to work more hours.

They feel working for a company that shares their values is more important than a higher salary or flexible hours, per Business Insider, and only slightly less important than the chance to work with talented people, which they deemed most important.

Forbes reported there are more than 5,500 benefit corporations in the United States, and that 34 U.S. states have passed the benefit corporation legislation.

The Miami law firm Pollack, Pollack & Kogans LLC represents clients in all areas of business law. The business litigation firm acts as local counsel for out-of-state and foreign attorneys, in the fields of complex civil and commercial litigation, probate litigation, injunctive relief, judgment and debt collection, contract litigation, landlord- tenant disputes, legal ethics dilemmas, securities arbitrations, and all business concerns and disputes.

Florida is among best states in which to do business

Florida has ranked within the top 10 states in which to do business in a list compiled by Forbes magazine.

Florida ranked number seven and North Carolina first in the Forbes best states for business in 2017 list, based on seven criteria and published by the magazine last month.

North Carolina ranked second lowest in business costs, high in offering incentives, and boasted a young, educated workforce. Rates of people moving into the state are high, and the state is the only one to rank among the top five for 12 straight years.

Texas, with the second largest economy in the United States after California, came in second. The state has strong employment, and 10 percent of the 1,000 largest public and private companies in the United States are based in the state.

Utah, formerly first, came in third this year because of rising labor costs and a weaker economic forecast.

Nebraska and Virginia round out the top five on the list. Nebraska has a low unemployment rate of 2.9 percent, which is among the lowest in the United States. Virginia offers strong incentives and government policies that are friendly to businesses.

Florida followed Georgia on the list. Rounding out the top 10 were Colorado, North Dakota and Indiana.

West Virginia ranked as the worst state on the list for the third year in a row. Also low-ranking were New Mexico, Vermont and Alaska.

The rankings were based on business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects, quality of life and population.

The Miami law firm Pollack, Pollack & Kogans LLC represents clients in all areas of business law. The business litigation firm acts as local counsel for out-of-state and foreign attorneys, in the fields of complex civil and commercial litigation, probate litigation, injunctive relief, judgment and debt collection, contract litigation, landlord- tenant disputes, legal ethics dilemmas, securities arbitrations, and all business concerns and disputes.

Follow these etiquette guidelines for your office party

Nearly 70 percent of employers say they’ll have a holiday party this year, according to a CareerBuilder survey. But office parties can be dangerous to navigate for both employees and employers.

A holiday party should be a voluntary event and employees should be assured that their attendance is not mandatory. But if you do decide to attend and  want to have fun yet still want have a job come Monday morning, consider these guidelines developed by Business Insider:

  • Make an effort to show up at the office holiday party. It shows your commitment to your job and company. But if you’re an employer, don’t retaliate against employees who don’t attend; they may have a legitimate reason.
  • Don’t be the first person to leave. It makes it look like you have better things to do and never wanted to be there in the first place.
  • Dress appropriately.  Just because the party is after work hours, that doesn’t mean you should wear something that’s not work appropriate.
  • Make sure your significant other knows what kind of attire is expected and if there are any topics they should avoid discussing.  Their behavior will reflect on you.
  • Don’t be antisocial. Talk to people you don’t know and use the party as an opportunity to meet new people.
  • Don’t get drunk. Set a limit for yourself before going to the party. Make sure you eat something to lessen the effects of alcohol..
  • Keep your conversation positive. Don’t complain about your job or company. You never know who’s listening.
  • Don’t talk about work. This is social time. Read about current events or topics from professional journals ahead of time so you have some conversation starters ready.
  • Don’t flirt. You don’t need a sexual harassment claim against you.
  • Don’t make a fool of yourself. You don’t know who’s taking video or where it will wind up. Likewise, avoid posting negative comments and inappropriate photos of others to social media.
  • And finally, make sure you say thank you to the host or party organizers.

For questions about how business law might apply to planning your office holiday party, contact the Miami office of PPK Law firm.

hurricane irma what you need to know

What Do You Need To Know About Hurricane Irma?

Hurricane Irma is set to cause havoc across Florida and potential the Carolina’s in the next few days, and is being hailed as one of the most powerful storms in recent history, with some even calling for new classifications for Category 6 and 7 designations. So what should you know about this historic storm? “Irma has quickly become one of the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricanes ever recorded, with wind speeds of 185 miles per hour. As this monster churns through the Caribbean and heads toward Florida, here is the lowdown…” [ Read more here ]

An Intellectual Property Guide For Entrepreneurs

How are you protecting your business assets and intellectual property rights – the backbone of your business? The team at Miami Business Litigation has you covered, and check out these guidelines for the basics behind filing property protections and how it impacts your rights…

“Intellectual property is any invention or piece of original work you’ve personally developed, such as your business’s name, logo, products, marketing materials and designs. Protecting your intellectual property helps prevent others from using or copying it, and if someone does copy it, you have recourse…” [ Read more here ]