Inauguration of the 45th President

“I do solemnly swear (of affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

At 9:00 A.M. Pacific time today, President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence will take their oaths of office.  The official proceedings take place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and will conclude with the new President’s inaugural address to the nation.

Tickets to the inauguration are actually free if you’re on the list of your Senator or Representative and were distributed on January 10.  But, if you want to stay dry, and watch from the warmth of your home, then click here.

Winnie The Pooh Day

Winnie the Pooh turned 90 in 2016, and to celebrate a new character has been added, Penguin.  Penguin makes his first appearance in the book series anniversary sequel, “Winnie the Pooh: The Best Bear in All the World”.

The new sequel released by Egmont Publishing, which jointly owns the rights to Winnie the Pooh with Disney, will include four new tales each set against a season throughout the year.

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The inspiration for Penguin was drawn by current British author Brian Sibley, from this photo of original author, A.A. Milne and his son, the real Christopher Robin. Catch the entire story, and then hop on and purchase this all new Pooh for your children and grandchildren.

Avoid An FLSA Lawsuit

– Avoid a “Fair Labor Standards Act” (FLSA) Lawsuit

The Department of Labor issued its Final Rule updating the regulations governing white collar exemptions from the minimum wage and overtime pay protections of the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). This rule went into effect on December 1, 2016, so if you’re not completely solid on what this means, please click here. Future automatic updates to these thresholds will occur every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020.

This is also a good time to:

  • Update Your Employee Handbook
  • Display Federal Posters
  • Review Recordkeeping Practices
  • Determine if Your Overtime Rate is Accurate
  • Consider Misclassification
  • Consider Deductions

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”  Benjamin Franklin

 

Remembering Dr. King

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial stands between the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, in Washington, D.C. According to Washington.org, “The 30-foot statue of Dr. King featuring his likeness carved into the Stone of Hope, which emerges powerfully from two large boulders, known as the Mountain of Despair. Together, they represent soul-stirring words from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech”.

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The steps to honor Dr. King began shortly after his assassination April 4, 1968, but it wasn’t until 1983 when then President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, made Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday.  Most states adopted the day immediately, some did not. New Hampshire was the last to adopt the holiday in 1999. Today it is a Federal Holiday, and many offices also choose to close their doors, to remember this great man.

What Have They Got To Lose

“Terms and Conditions”, how many times do you actually read them when you’re signing up for another online anything, probably not often. When you consider the amount of time spent on social media platforms and the internet in general wouldn’t it be great if all those “Terms and Conditions” paragraphs were 1. Large enough to read and 2. Written in plain English.  Instagram agreed, well kind of, as they make them understandable even for a teenager.

Jenny Afia, a privacy lawyer and partner at Schillings law firm in London recently “translated” just what Instagram users are agreeing to. Prompted by her recent experience as a task force group member for “Growing Up Digital” convened by the Children’s Commissioner for England. Click this link to continue reading about the task force, and what they learned, such as one-third of Internet users are under 18 years old.

Instagram’s Terms of Use (in plain English)

You are responsible for any activity that occurs through your account and you agree you will not sell, transfer, license or assign your account, followers, username, or any account rights. With the exception of people or businesses that are expressly authorized to create accounts on behalf of their employers or clients, Instagram prohibits the creation of and you agree that you will not create an account for anyone other than yourself. You also represent that all information you provide or provided to Instagram upon registration and at all other times will be true, accurate, current and complete and you agree to update your information as necessary to maintain its truth and accuracy.

First Female Lawyers From U.S.

There’s a great deal I could say about woman and the bar, in court as attorneys and judges.  Just like their male counterparts, some good, some are not.  But what fascinated me was the chasm between when the first woman who acted as an attorney in the U.S. (1638 A.D. in what was then the Colony of Maryland) and when the rest of states allowed women into the profession. For example, North Dakota was as late as 1925, and Alaska 1934, but Alaska might get a pass since they didn’t even become a state until 1959. Read the list of first female attorneys, first African-American female attorneys, Japanese, deaf and more!!

Today I choose to focus on Mercedes Deiz, the first African-American female to become an attorney  in the state of Oregon. Deiz went on to become the first black woman to serve as a district court judge and the first to be elected to the County Circuit Court as judge. This amazing woman started out in life, the oldest of ten children and the rest of her story and fetes in her community and to the legal profession are inspiring.  Just look at that smile!

Peculiar People Day – History of Attorney’s

In the beginning, a court consisted of judges and the guilty had to “plead” their own case.  Along the way, someone decided that their very well-spoken friend might do a better job of communicating their plight. That appears to be the beginning of the practice of law.  And by the way, when that occurred, the well-spoken “friend” or “orator” as they began to be called, was not allowed to collect a fee for their services.

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The ban on fees was abolished by Emperor Claudius sometime around 40 A.D., but he also placed a fee ceiling of 10,000 sesterces, which wasn’t much money.  The advocates, as they were known complained and then the real establishment begun as “rhetoric” began being replaced by actual law. If you are interested in knowing how things changed through the Middle Ages, Dark Ages and how the Roman Catholic church weighs in on this profession, then continue reading here.

Happy Birthday Jimmy Page

Happy Birthday Jimmy Page!  Yes, he’s still alive, guitarist and leader of the mega-famous band “Led Zeppelin” turns 72 years old today.

24th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony - Press Room

Jimmy Page was recently in court with his friend and former band mate Robert Plant over copyright infringements of the introduction to the 1971 hit “Stairway to Heaven”. A quick read through the reported proceedings from the day in court show that Page & Plant are still rock n rollers through and through.

It’s a bit difficult to consider the impact Page, Plant and the rest of Led Zeppelin had on music, their signature song “Stairway to Heaven” is estimated to be worth over $550 million alone.  Been a while since you listened?  Here it is performed by the band live at Madison Square Garden, New York in 1974.

Happy Birthday To The King!!!

No stranger to lawsuits, Elvis Presley’s estate litigation went on for over 2 years alone. The more interesting note is the number of lawsuits that have come out of Graceland since Elvis’s death against others.

brewdog-founders

The latest is BrewDog brewery and Graceland’s legal entanglement influenced the BrewDog Co founders to legally change their names to “Elvis”. Get the story here .

Happy Birthday Elvis!

Old Rock Day

What is rock and roll without a lawsuit, afterall, lawsuits are just part of doing business.  In addition to some great music from the time; check out this YouTube clip of the Top 50 Classic Rock Songs of All Time.  Let’s take a look at the Top 10 Infamous Rock Lawsuits of all time.

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The list gets started with a suit of copyright infringement between Bright Tunes, who owns the rights to The Chiffons hit, “He’s So Fine” and George Harrison for the song “My Sweet Lord”.  Before “My Sweet Lord” even completed its run up to it’s eventual #1, Bright Tunes filed suit.  A judge did indeed find for Bright Tunes and ordered Harrison to pay out ¾ of the royalties he had received from “My Sweet Lord”. Read on for more details about this, and others including  John Fogerty, Neil Young, Pink Floyd and more.