News, Events and Publications

P E O P L E  I N  T H E  N E W S  

         Manya Perel, Holocaust survivor and author, visited Spector Gadon & Rosen.  She came to thank attorney Bruce Bellingham who had helped her secure the copyright to her book, "Six Years Forever Lost," about her experiences as a death camp inmate during the war.  She spoke to a group of firm employees about her life and her gratitude for the pro bono help she received to resolve a copyright dispute with the writer who helped her turn her memories into a published work.  Pictured, from left, are Meredith Foreman, Betty Spolan, Stanley Jaskiewicz, Bellingham, Perel, Stephanie Shreibman, Nancy Abrams, Rise' Newman, Johan Kian and David Picker.

 

LONG TERM CARE PLANNING

Family Limited Partnerships (“FLP”) have been a great estate planning tool for many years. FLP's can enable a family to shift significant assets and income to children or grandchildren at a very high discount. The discount can range from 25% to 50% depending upon the type of assets in the partnership. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the IRS dislikes FLPs and sometimes examines very carefully the valuations used for gifts and in estates.

When the IRS finds an FLP that looks abusive, it will do its best to attack the tax planning used by the family. The IRS found such a partnership in Holliday V. Comm'r, a 2016 tax court case. In the Holliday case, the IRS was successful in bringing the entire partnership back into a parent's taxable estate as if the FLP did not exist. In Holliday, this meant that the decedent's 89.9% interest in the FLP was ignored and she was treated as owning 100% of the FLP at her death. Also, the 40% discount the estate took on the value of the FLP on her estate tax return was eliminated. Instead 100% of the value of the FLP's assets were subject to federal estate tax.

Some of the mistakes this family made were (i) the formation of the FLP, funding of the FLP, the transfer of the general partner interests to the decedent's children and the gifts of limited partnership interests were all made on the same day, (ii) the partners never held partners' meetings, (iii) the general partner was not paid for managing the FLP, (iv) the FLP made only one distribution instead of regular annual distributions, (v) the court could find no "non -tax reason" for the FLP, (vi) the court was convinced there was a deal to hold the money in the FLP for the parent just in case she needed it during her lifetime and (vii) the FLP was formed by the son using a power of attorney after his mother (the decedent) went into a nursing home. This combination of bad facts resulted in a FLP being disregarded and brought back in the parent's estate when she died.

 What to do if you have a FLP and want to preserve the value for your family? The following is a partial list: (i) have annual meetings of the partners, (ii) pay some modest compensation to the general partner, (iii) make annual distributions to all of the partners, (iv) wait at least 6 months after formation of the FLP to transfer any portion of the parent's interest to children or trusts and (v) don’t wait until the parent is in a nursing home. And just because you made gifts of FLP interests and filed a gift tax return, you still need to follow these guidelines. Otherwise there is a risk of the FLP being brought back into one's taxable estate and the loss of substantial discounts on the assets. It is an excellent idea to have an annual checkup of your FLP to see how it complies with the tests that the IRS now is using to evaluate FLPs. Please give us a call to review your FLP or to help you take advantage of a fine estate planning tool when used right.

Please feel free to contact Alan Mittelman 215-241-8912 or amitt@lawsgr.com if you have any questions.

NEW OVERTIME RULES GO INTO EFFECT DECEMBER 1

 

          The new rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor that will greatly increase the minimum salary requirement for employees to be considered exempt from overtime under the executive, administrative or professional exemptions have been adopted and will go into effect on December 1, 2016.  The new rules key the minimum salary requirement to what the DOL determines is the 40th percentile of the salaries for all full-time salaried employees, currently $913 per week or $47,476 annually.  Nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) may be used to satisfy up to 10 percent of the required minimum salary.

          While this increase is less than what was originally proposed ($921 per week), it is still more than double the current $455 weekly salary threshold.  Under the final rules, the minimum annual salary will not increase each year, but will be reviewed and could be increased every three (3) years as the annual salaries of full-time salaried employees increase.  The threshold annual salary for the “highly compensated” exemption will be raised to $134,004.

          In the interim, the House and Senate bills that would block the new overtime rules, Senate Bill 2707 and House Bill 4773 are still in committee.

          All employers need to review their compensation structure and determine whether or not the employees they are treating as exempt under the administrative, executive or professional exemptions will meet the new minimum salary threshold, and either adjust employee salaries or prepare to treat employees whose salaries fall under the new threshold as non-exempt for overtime purposes.

          If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Nancy Abrams at nabrams@lawsgr.com or 215-241-8894.

 

 

 

New Federal Law For Trade Secret Misappropriation

 

President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 ("DTSA") last week which provides a federal cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets. Prior to its enactment, trade secret misappropriation claims were generally governed by state laws. Companies who are victims of misappropriation will now have the opportunity to litigate trade secret misappropriation claims in federal court. Notably, the DTSA does not preempt the state laws governing misappropriation so trade secret litigation can still be pursued in state court.

 

The substantive rights under the DTSA are largely the same as those rights provided under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act ("UTSA") which has been adopted by most states. However, unlike the UTSA, the DTSA permits ex parte seizure of the misappropriated material under extraordinary circumstances. The DTSA also forecloses the possibility of obtaining injunctions based upon the "inevitable disclosure doctrine". In other words, there must be evidence of a threatened misappropriation to obtain injunctive relief and injunctions cannot be based on simply on the fact that the information is known to the former employee.

 

 Most significantly, the DTSA permits whistleblowers and individuals bringing retaliation claims to disclose trade secrets to their counsel and law enforcement officials for purposes of reporting violations of law without civil or criminal liability. The DTSA also permits the disclosure of trade secret information in court documents filed by a whistleblower or retaliation claimant as long as the documents are filed under seal. Employers are required to provide written notice of this available immunity under the DTSA in any non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality agreements and/or any other policies or manuals that govern disclosure of trade secret information. Employers who do not provide this notice will be foreclosed from recovering exemplary damages and attorney's fees available under the DTSA. Accordingly, employers seeking to take advantage of recovering exemplary damages and fees should update their agreements and policies used with employees and contractors.

 

If you require assistance updating policies and agreements regarding confidentiality and non-disclosure of trade secrets or have any questions regarding the DTSA, please contact Jennifer Myers Chalal at jchalal@lawsgr.com or (215) 241-8817.

 

 

Estate Planning Without An Estate Tax

 

By Alan J. Mittelman, Esq.  

It seems like only yesterday that estate planners were concerned that the $5 Million Federal estate tax (the "FET") exemption was going to expire and that the exemption would return to $1 Million. It actually was over three years ago, way back in December 2012. At that time, many planners were recommending that clients make large gifts before the then-existing FET law expired and the $5 Million exemption possibly lost forever. 

This concept was very appealing since the loss of $4 Million of exemption ($8 Million for a married couple) could result in about $1.6 Million is addition federal estate taxes ($3.2 Million for a married couple). There was a frenzy to do last minute planning to save estate taxes as the clock ran down on the FET law.

Alas, Congress saved the day (as it often does at the very last minute and even after the last minute as they did in 2010). In January 2013 Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act which made the $5 Million exemption permanent and indexed for future years. It also passed the portable exemption for surviving spouses. No longer do we have a system of "use it or lose it" for the exemption. If the first spouse to die does not use his/her entire exemption, then the surviving spouse (subject to certain limitations discussed below) gets the benefit of the "unused exemption" of the first spouse. The unused exemption can be used either during the surviving spouse's lifetime by making taxable gifts or at death as part of the surviving spouse's estate tax exemption. 

These estate and gift tax law changes turned the estate planning world on its head. For the first time, many clients do not need to do any FET planning. After indexing the exemption now is almost $11 Million for a married couple ($5.45 Million per spouse in 2016)(For purposes of this Article, the exemption is assumed to be $5 Million.). Furthermore, due to recent changes in marriage law, same sex couples now are permitted to marry and now can benefit from the portable exemption and the unlimited marital deduction, too. Talk about a seismic change. 

What is Estate Planning? 

Estate planning is the same as it always ways. It is just a matter of degree. For high net worth clients, FET saving plans still are very meaningful. The main difference is the new definition of "high net worth." A person who used to need FET planning typically had a net worth of $2 Million and up. Now, people with $10 Million of assets may not think they need FET planning, and in many cases they may be right. 

But estate planning always has been more than tax planning. Tax planning received most of the attention. But there always was and still is much more to estate planning than the "tax plan." First, our clients are living longer than ever. The probability that our clients will need nursing care or become incapacitated in later years keeps increasing. Therefore, it is paramount that all of our clients have well-conceived plans to manage their affairs when the need arises. Everyone should have a Durable General Power of Attorney, a Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will. Choosing trustworthy and reliable people to appoint as Agent. Having a plan for old age is critical. We need to be part of this planning. 

Also, Living Trusts (aka Revocable Trusts) are just as meaningful as before the new tax law, maybe even more so. A Living Trust can help an estate avoid probate. But is also can serve as a management device, either substituting for or supplementing a Durable General Power of Attorney. More and more of our clients are purchasing second and third homes in different states. A Living Trust to manage these assets and also to avoid probate administration in other states can save considerable money as well as time. 

Then when one dies, the same choices still exist: (i) leave one's assets outright to the surviving spouse or other beneficiaries or (ii) leave assets in trust for one or more beneficiaries. With the very high exemption, many people are now tempted to leave their estate outright to their beneficiaries. They just want a simple Will or at least think that is all they need until we provide better guidance. 

For example, if a client is married and has a $10 Million estate, the entire estate can be left to the surviving spouse without any FET or any Pennsylvania inheritance tax. Then when the surviving spouse dies, he/she will have his or her own $5 Million plus exemption plus the unused exemption of the first spouse to die. If the estate grows even to $11 Million, there is not likely to be any FET at the second spouse's death since the exemption is now indexed. There may even be a temptation to put all of one's assets in joint name with the spouse so that the assets pass automatically to the surviving spouse without any probate. [The other key asset of most people besides jointly owned real estate, jointly owned bank account and brokerage accounts is a retirement plan which typically is payable to the surviving spouse as beneficiary.] However, choosing this simple path may be a major error. 

Problems Leaving All Assets Outright to Surviving Spouse 

First, outright gifts are entirely under the control of the surviving spouse. This may be perfectly okay if the surviving spouse does not remarry. Remarriage may result in loss of the portable exemption (the "unused exemption" of the first spouse to die. The law provides that the portable exemption available to one's surviving spouse is the unused exemption of the last spouse to die of all the spouse's the surviving spouse was married to during his/her lifetime. What a mouthful! What this means is that if the surviving spouse remarries and his/her new spouse dies before our surviving spouse, then the new spouse's unused exemption becomes the new portable exemption. And let's just say that the new spouse had used his/her exemption during lifetime or used it to make bequests at death to his/her children. It such a case there may not be any "unused exemption." The unused exemption of the surviving spouse will be lost! 

This is a potential problem which must be discussed with each family that has significant assets even if the net worth is under the federal exemption. 

Second, the surviving spouse may get remarried and decide to change the family estate plan. The older the couple, the less likely it is that the surviving spouse will change the estate plan. But, this always is a risk. 

In both cases, leaving some or all of the estate of the first spouse to die in trust may provide a better solution. Or for families that still prefer to leave all the assets outright for the surviving spouse, a written "Marital Agreement" (rather than an informal promise between the spouses) to determine what must happen to the family assets at the second spouse's death may solve this dilemma. 

Problems with Leaving Assets Outright to Children or Grandchildren  

Many planners use trusts for children only if the children are young (e.g., under the age of 35) or if a child is a "special needs child." However, this can be a mistake. Clearly, a trust still is needed to protect young children and a "Special Needs Trust" always should be used for special needs children. However, all children and grandchildren can benefit from receiving their inheritance in trust. A "Spendthrift Trust" still can protect an inheritance from creditors' claims. With rare exception, the inheritance is safe from future events, a very appealing concept for parents. In most cases, a Spendthrift Trust is protected from equitable division in divorce and alimony claims. 

Just in the past year, we witnessed the benefit of a Spendthrift Trust for a 98 year old widow. This person, still driving at 98, was the cause of an auto accident in which the other driver (also 98) died. Our client only had a $250,000 auto liability policy. She had assets of about $1 Million and a trust fund created for her by her husband under the old FET regime. All of her assets were totally at risk while the trust was totally protected. Fortunately the case was settled for the insurance amount, but if the person who died in the crash was a young person with a family, our client would have lost all of her assets. Only the trust would have been protected. So for the client who tells you that his family doesn't have creditor problems, the real answer is that one never knows who ones creditors will be until the very end. 

No Generation Skipping Portable Exemption 

For those of our client who want to use trusts to leave an inheritance for children and then have the trusts continue for the lifetimes of their grandchildren, there still may a tax problem. Our tax system has an FET, a gift tax and a generation skipping transfer tax. Just like the estate and gift tax system which has a "unified" $5 Million indexed exemption and then a 40% federal estate or gift tax, so too is there an exemption for gifts to grandchildren and then a 40% generation skipping transfer tax (the "GSTT"). However, unlike portable exemption of estate and gift tax, there is no portable GSTT exemption. This means that if the GSTT exemption is not used at the first spouse's death, then it is lost. The use it or lose it problem remains for the GSTT. 

Therefore, if a husband and wife want to leave significant assets to their grandchildren (either directly when they die or as remainder beneficiaries of trusts after their children eventually die), the estate planner needs to advise the clients of the risk of incurring the GSTT if a trust is not used at the first spouse's death. For example, if the total estate is $10 Million and all is left to the surviving spouse, then the survivor's estate will be $10 Million when he/she dies. The portable exemption will shield the $10 Million from FET but only $5 Million will be sheltered from the GSTT. If instead the first spouse to die leaves $5 Million in trust for the benefit of the surviving spouse, then the $5 Million exemption for both FET and GSTT is used. When the surviving spouse later dies, his/her estate will be $5 Million and his/her exemption for both federal estate and GSTT tax will be $5 Million, too. The net result will be that the entire $10 Million estate is able to avoid the FET and the GSTT. 

Use of Disclaimer Trust 

Many estate planners have fallen in love with Disclaimer Trusts as the answer to planning an estate which might have FET problems or GSTT problems. The concept essentially is to leave all the assets to the surviving spouse. Then the surviving spouse can decide (with our guidance) whether to accept all the assets or make a disclaimer. If the spouse makes a disclaimer, then some or all of the inheritance will pass to a typical Non-Marital Trust which pays benefits to the surviving spouse for his/ her lifetime and then passes to the children or grandchildren after the surviving spouse later dies. 

In theory, this is a great plan. However, experience has shown that it is problematic at best to assume that the surviving spouse will make a rational decision when the first spouse dies. First, the surviving spouse may feel insecure and not want his/her money held in trust. The spouse may just not understand what all this "disclaimer" stuff is about. Second, the spouse may not have the capacity to make a disclaimer. Now, the Agent under the Durable Power of Attorney must make the decision. And the Agent may view the decision much differently that his/her parent. Children often don't realize the benefit of a trust when they have been dreaming of their inheritance for many years. 

Irrevocable Insurance Trusts 

Many of our clients have set up Irrevocable Trusts to own life insurance ("ILIT"). ILIT's have been used for first-to-die life insurance and for second-to-die insurance. These trusts usually were set up to keep the insurance death benefit exempt from the FET and sometimes to avoid the GSTT. In many cases these trusts no longer are necessary, especially if they were set up solely to pay estate taxes. However, many trusts own insurance which was needed by the beneficiaries for something other than taxes and the need still exists. In such cases, it may make sense to retain the trust. In other cases, it might be better to terminate the trust and distribute the policy to the primary beneficiary or maybe even terminate the insurance. Each case stands on its own and should be reviewed with counsel. Of course, for large estates that still will have a FET to pay even with the enhanced exemption, ILITs still serve the purpose for which they were intended. 

If the trust will be retained, worrying about Crummey powers may not be as important as it once was. The annual exclusion is now less meaningful than it once was for estates that will be under the exemption. 

State Decoupling 

An on-going estate tax problem for clients that live in states that have decoupled from the federal estate tax regime (e.g., New Jersey and New York) is the state estate tax. In these states, one needs to balance the amount left to a Non-Marital Trust vs. the acceleration of state estate taxes at the first spouse's death. There is no simple answer to this problem except moving out of the state. In some cases it may be best to leave only the state "exemption" to the Non-Marital Trust and then have the surviving spouse make a large taxable gift to children or trusts to children in order consume the unused exemption of the first spouse to die. 

Same Sex Marriages 

Since the Supreme Court ruled that same sex couples have a right to marry in the United States, all of the federal benefits enjoyed by married couples under the FET law now apply to all married couples regardless of their sex. Therefore, estate planners now need to consider the effects of marriage on their LGBT clients. 

Planning for Large Estates 

So what is a large estate now? For some families, an estate under $10 Million will be a small estate. However, we have seen how a $10 Million estate with generation skipping gifts can benefit from "traditional estate planning." Certainly a $20 Million estate is a large estate. Even with indexing, it seems likely that a $20 Million estate will have an estate tax bill to pay at the end. Therefore, traditional FET planning techniques still are appropriate to consider. 

Tools that can result in a discount when calculating the fair market value of a lifetime gift or gift at death will continue to be used if the IRS and Congress does not outlaw such discounts. For the present, family limited partnerships or family LLCs, GRATs and sales to grantor trusts remain excellent planning tools, as do insurance trusts and 2nd to die insurance. However, discussing these tools in detail is beyond the scope of this article. 

In summary, many of the same tools which one used prior to the new FET regime are necessary today. What estate planners need to do is take a fresh look at the how estate planning is discussed with their clients. The old approach was pretty simple. Look how much the FET will be. We have to use trusts to minimize the taxes. It was a pretty easy sell. Now, the explanation is different but in many respects the story still is the same.

 

How Much Does It Cost When You Don't Call Your Lawyer?

Business owners often won't pick up the phone to ask their attorney a question. They don't want a big bill.

Yet one firm recently learned that it can be much, much more expensive not to call.  

In Fangio v. DivLend Equipment Leasing, LLC (In re Ajax Integrated, LLC) (http://www.nynb.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions/Davis/14-50012%20Fangio%20v.%20DivLend%20Equipment%20Leasing,%20LLC_0.pdf), a federal bankruptcy court considered whether an equipment lessor lost its lien on 30 vehicles, that secured a $1.1 million loan.  

The lender had funded the loan in May 2013, before it had determined the legal steps required to protect its collateral interest in the vehicles - in legal jargon, "how to perfect its security interest".  

The lender then inexplicably took another month to learn that it had to file "Notice of Lien" forms with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles - not the familiar UCC-1, because the collateral consisted of vehicles governed by a separate "Certificate of Title" procedure.    

Next, the borrower simply didn't sign or return the forms it received from the lender in July, 2013 (although it made the first 7 of 36 monthly payments).  

Presumably the lender could have declared a default when it did not promptly get the signed Notices of Lien - but it did not.  

By the time it finally hired a lawyer to collect the debt, it was too late - the lessee had an involuntary bankruptcy petition filed against it in March, 2014. The vehicles were sold by order of the bankruptcy court before the lessor could act.  

In a fight over the right to proceeds of that sale (which had been placed in escrow), the court agreed with the lender that it should have a lien due to the lessee's refusal to sign the required form. But that didn't help - the court correctly held that any lien held by the equipment lessor was unperfected (without the Notice of Lien filings), and therefore behind the claim of the bankruptcy trustee. 

The court also rejected the lessor's request for a trust on the escrowed proceeds of the sale of the vehicles. 

The court found that the lessor could easily have protected its interest in the vehicles by requiring the Notice of Lien filings prior to funding the equipment purchase - which it would have known had it not wasted a month learning what form it had to file, and where.  

Even after that, the lessor could still have declared a default, accelerated the remaining payments and repossessed the vehicles - but it did not.  

For want of what likely would have been a brief call with counsel (or even a legal assistant) familiar with secured lending, the collateral - and any chance of repayment - was lost. Saving at most a few hundred dollars by not asking for legal help with the loan at the start cost the lessor the outstanding balance of its loan, plus all the legal fees incurred along the way. 

For information about how to create and protect liens on personal property, whether in a loan or lease - which often are treated identically by courts - please contact Stanley P. Jaskiewicz, Esquire, at 215-241-8866 or sjaskiewicz@lawsgr.com. Not only will he take your call, but he won't charge you until you agree on how he and Spector Gadon & Rosen, PC, can try to help you.

 

 

 

Leslie Beth Baskin, chair of the firm’s creditors rights and bankruptcy department has been elected to the Steering Committee of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Conference. She had previously served as its Chair.

 

 

 

LANDLORDS BEWARE: Dangers of Terminating a Lease Prior to Tenant Bankruptcy

 In what will be perceived as an extremely unpopular ruling for landlords in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, on March 11, 2016, the Court ruled in Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors v. T.D. Investors I. LLP (In Re: Great Lakes Quick Lube LP) that if a landlord terminates a lease prior to its tenant filing for bankruptcy relief, it will be held liable for damages to the bankruptcy estate for the value of the terminated lease. By way of background, Great Lakes terminated two (2) leased oil-change stores fifty-two (52) days prior to its filing for Chapter 11 relief. The Creditors Committee ("Committee") in the Chapter 11 contended that the terminations were pre-petition "fraudulent transfers and/or preferential transfers" and that the value of the terminated leases should accrue to the benefit of the bankruptcy estate (the value of the two leases was believed to be approximately $450,000). The Bankruptcy Court rebuked this argument and certified the Committee's request for a direct appeal to the Seventh Circuit.

 

Under 11 USC Section 548 (a)(1)(B), a "fraudulent transfer" is one which is made by an insolvent debtor to anyone within two (2) years prior to the bankruptcy filing that was for insufficient value. The Bankruptcy Court found that the terminations were not "transfers", an element required to prove fraudulent transfers and therefore their value not recoverable. The Bankruptcy Court ruled in favor of the landlords since the issue was governed under the Bankruptcy Code ("Code") provisions which allows a trustee ( Chapter 11 debtor here) to assume or assign an unexpired lease for commercial property that has been terminated under non-bankruptcy law before the bankruptcy filing, and were not "transfers" under the Code.

 

In the Seventh Circuit's reversal, it found that the terminations constituted "transfers" under the broad definition of transfers in the Code at 11 USC Section 101(54)(D). It believed that the Bankruptcy Court's reliance on the assumption/assignment theory was misplaced. Further, and most importantly, the Seventh Circuit noted that the Committee was not seeking to recover the leases back into the Estate, but rather the "value of the leases".

 

The Court's decision in Quick Lube is a departure from prior cases that have held that the termination of a lease does not constitute a transfer subject to avoidance in bankruptcy, nor did it consider the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act which states that a transfer is not voidable if it results from the termination of a lease upon default of a debtor when the termination is pursuant to the lease and applicable law.

 

In determining whether to terminate a lease with a tenant, Landlords should consider the impact of Quick Lube and that they may have exposure for the value of lease in a subsequent bankruptcy of the tenant.

 

To discuss this issue or any questions regarding creditors' rights and bankruptcy, please contact Leslie Beth Baskin at 215-241-8926 or lbaskin@lawsgr.com.

  

 

What if You Got Harper Lee to Come to Philly — But Couldn’t Tell Anyone About It?

Read more at

http://www.phillymag.com/news/2016/03/06/harper-lee-philadelphia/#0SZfUY4kDUPT1sxe.99

 

 

Leslie Baskin was just re-elected as Vice-Chair of the Greater Philadelphia network of the International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation ("IWIRC"), a global organization for women in the involvency and restructuring profession which provides education, mentoring and networking opportunities.  Members include over 1000 women, including attorneys, bankers, corporate turnaround professionals, financial advisors and consultants.  Ms. Baskin was a founding member of the Greater Philadelphia chapter.  For more information, visit www.IWIRC.org.

 

Bruce Bellingham and Peter McCall participated in a webinar on the topic “You’ve Been Infringed, What Now?” for the American Society of Media Photographers’ Business as unusual series.  Their presentation outlines the remedies available to photographers whose work has been infringed and the best practices to maximize the artist’s chances of a successful resolution.

https://vimeo.com/153457379

 

Honored

Stanley Jaskiewicz, a lawyer with Spector Gadon & Rosen, was named by the North Penn United Way as a 2016 Superhero for Kids.

Jaskiewicz and the other honorees are set to be recognized at a gala dinner and auction April 29 at PineCrest Country Club in Lansdale.

Jaskiewicz was honored for his work with the Horsham Challenger Little League for players with disabilities and with Boy Scout Troop 303, and advocacy for people with disabilities.

Jaskiewicz, a member in Spector Gadon's corporate law department, assists and advises privately held and family-held businesses on a range of legal matters.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:5P5lxD3s9OUJ:www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id%3D1202745859849/People-in-the-NewsDec-29-2015Stradley-Ronon-Welcomes-Six-New-Associates+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

 

Is Group Copyright Registration of Photos Worth It | The Legal Intelligencer

Bruce Bellingham and Peter McCall, The Legal Intelligencer

December 17, 2015

An important part of a professional photographer's life, and that of a photographer's attorney, is protecting the intellectual property produced by that photographer. A photographer may take thousands of photos over just a few days as part of covering an emerging news story, doing a magazine cover's photo shoot or providing their services for a wedding. Many photographers properly compile the photographs from unrelated sources and register the photographs in an effort to protect their property rights in the images. Group registration of those images has enabled a much more efficient registration process, but does registration provide the statutory damage protections one might easily assume should be available?

The Copyright Act of 1976 permits the register of copyrights to issue rules for registering multiple works. Group registrations of photographs were permitted starting in August 2001, by rules set forth at 37 C.F.R. Section 202.3(b)(10). Previously, the U.S. Copyright Office noted when it suggested the rules that "few photographers have registered their works" due to cost and administrative burden. Photographers may take hundreds of images in a short period of time. All of those images are protectable under the Copyright Act. However, registering each one was impractical to the point of being impossible. As registration is usually required to bring an infringement action under 17 U.S.C. Section 411(a), and pre-infringement registration is necessary for an award of statutory damages, photographers complained that they had a right but not an effective infringement remedy.

Today, group registration of photographs allows a claimant to use one form and one filing fee to register up to 750 images if taken by the same photographer, published within the same calendar year, and claimed by the same copyright owner. In fact, more than 750 images can be registered for one fee under special arrangements, according to the Copyright Office. "Publication" means public sale or offering to distribute copies to others for purposes of further distribution or display. The photographs need not otherwise relate to each other, unlike the requirement to register a "compilation" of pre-existing materials grouped together to form a new work. The regulations differentiate "registration as a single work" of otherwise selfcontained works that are included in "a single unit of publication" or collection (i.e., a compilation) from "group registrations" including of photographs.

While registration fee savings and convenience matter, a potential benefit of group registration is the right to recover more than one statutory damage award. The Copyright Act provides that a copyright owner is entitled to damages "for all infringements involved in the action, with respect to any one work." The act does not define the term "work," but that "for the purposes of this subsection, all the parts of a compilation or derivative work constitute one work." If 30 related images are compiled as a single collective work, then the photographer is entitled to one award of statutory damages if an infringer copies one image. If the infringer copies all 30 images, the photographer is still entitled to one award of statutory damages. Does this mean that packaging unrelated images in a group registration is a trap for the unwary that may cost a photographer damages he or she would otherwise have available by admitting that the works are part of a collective work? Or, on the contrary, does group registration of "works" (plural) entitle a photographer to treat each item as a separate work for damages purposes precisely because the regulations differentiate it from a compilation? The law is remarkably confused, but the most likely answer is that the procedure of group registration is of little consequence compared to the substance of the works themselves: otherwise unrelated works in a group registration by one author do not become parts of a compilation; but related works in the same registration are likely to be considered a single work for purposes of damages just as if they were registered as a compilation.

The danger that group registration will create one work is suggested by related law that works registered as a collection or compilation form a single work for statutory damages purposes. (See Lee Middleton Original Dolls v. Seymour Mann., 299 F. Supp. 2d 892 (E.D. Wis. 2004) (separately copyrighted head, hand and foot sculpts for a doll constituted one single work where the works were registered as a collection); and Masterfile v. Country Cycling & Hiking Tours by Brooks, No. 06 Civ. 6363 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 4, 2008) (multiple pictures copyrighted as a compilation were one infringed work when multiple photographs were later posted on defendant's one website).)

The majority rule in the collective works cases is that a photographer's own treatment of her images may determine whether they stand individually or as parts of a whole. (See e.g. Yellow Pages Photos v. Ziplocal, 795 F.3d 1255, 1278 (11th Cir. 2015) (where plaintiff "chose to create, market, deliver, register, and describe the photos as collections, not as individual photos," the court would treat each collection as a single work).) The subject of the photographs themselves is also an important factor in determining whether photographs may stand individually as separate works or whether they will jointly be considered a single work. (See Coogan v. Avnet, No. CV040621 PHXSRB (D.Ariz. Oct. 24, 2005) (finding that a group of photographs all taken by the same photographer, at the same photoshoot, of the same subject and the subject of a single license agreement constituted "one work" for purposes of statutory damages).) The point is that one would never register works as parts of a collective work unless they were components of such work. But that is not true of photographs registered as a group subject only to three requirements (same photographer, claimant, and year of publication). Putting unrelated images in a group registration is not evidence that the photographer treated them as parts of a collective work. A notable outlier holds that each image that has its own "independent economic value" is a separate work even if it is part of a compilation. (See Playboy Enterprises v. Sanfilippo, No. 97–0670–IEG) (S.D.Cal. Mar. 25, 1998) (7,475 images from 27 issues of Playboy magazine were 7,475 works).) Regrettably for photographers victimized by massive and systematic infringement by pirate Internet sites, subsequent courts have assiduously distinguished that case on its facts, some of them imaginary. In Yellow Pages, the court observed that Playboy's images "were copyrighted and marketed individually," though Playboy does not state the first point, if it means the images were registered individually, and the only basis for the second point was that Playboy could individually license separate images that were in fact monetized primarily by sale of magazine issues.

Whether a photographer has registered his or her photographs individually, or as part of a group registration, is a red herring. Inquiry focuses on the subject matter of the photographs (the same setting or models?), the process of production (a single shoot or expedition?), and the actions of the plaintiff in marketing or selling the photographs as a group or otherwise. These factors are not exhaustive or even especially clear. If three photographers acting in common each shoot the same subject, on separate days, and each registers their works as a group separately (as they must), and each markets the works both jointly and separately, it will be impossible to confidently predict the number or "works" eligible for statutory damages if the images are stolen. What is clear is that the Copyright Office's group registration procedures will have no independent effect on the determination.

Bruce Bellingham is a senior litigation associate at Spector Gadon & Rosen. He can be contacted at bbellingham@lawsgr.com or 215-241-8916 . Peter McCall is a litigation associate at the firm. He can be contacted at pmccall@lawsgr.com or 215-241-8899 .

 

North Penn United Way Honors Spector Gadon & Rosen, PC Attorney

Stanley Jaskiewicz named a 2016 North Penn United Way Superhero for Kids

Stanley Jaskiewicz, a business lawyer with Spector Gadon & Rosen, PC (www.lawsgr.com), was recently named by the North Penn United Way as a 2016 Superhero for Kids.

Jaskiewicz and the other Superheroes will be recognized at a gala dinner and auction on April 29, 2016, at PineCrest Country Club.

Jaskiewicz was honored for his work with Horsham Challenger Little League for players with disabilities since 2005, and with Boy Scout Troop 303, and advocacy for persons with disabilities.  He also serves as a board member of Manna on Main Street, and sits on several boards at Corpus Christi Parish.  The Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Inc., awarded him its Strut Your Stuff Award in 2007 for his support since the 1990’s, and the Horsham Rotary Club recognized him in 2009 with its Community Service Award.

 

2015 Horsham Miracle Field

EVERY CHILD DESERVES THE CHANCE TO PLAY BASEBALL

SPECTOR GADON & ROSEN ATTORNEY SPONSORS 2015 HATBORO HORSHAM GRADUATE’S TOURNAMENT TO BUILD MIRACLE FIELD FOR PLAYERS WITH DISABILITIES

Stanley Jaskiewicz, a Towamencin resident and business lawyer with Spector Gadon & Rosen, PC (www.lawsgr.com), sponsored the 2015 Miracle Field Tournament created by Campbell University baseball recruit Kevin Barron.  The tournament raised funds to build a Miracle League baseball field for Horsham Challenger Little League players with disabilities. (http://www.miracleleague.com/)  

Jaskiewicz and Barron are pictured with two long time Challenger athletes. 

Barron began the tournament and other events as his high school graduation project, after he saw the difficulties players with disabilities faced on an uneven dirt infield.  (A Miracle League field is a flat, rubberized surface.)  Since June, 2014, Barron has raised over $47,000.00 for the field.  Jaskiewicz labels Barron’s effort “a truly remarkable achievement for a high school student”.

This year’s tournament received support from dozens of sponsors and volunteers.  Mark Moser, a volunteer umpire, said that he drove from Danville, Virginia, after he saw Kevin's request for help on Facebook, because “It's for the kids, and I have pleasure doing it.”

Barron commented, "It's very cool to see the community come together to help me run the event.  I watched the community back me up, with high school and middle school kids helping Challenger families." Barron has already recruited Hatboro Horsham students to continue the tournament next year.

In 2015, Horsham Challenger Little League had 45 regular participants in games from April to mid-June.  The league is run by over 50 youth and adult Buddies, and parents of players. 

Sponsorships of the field are still available to help turn Kevin's dream into a reality. Please contact Kevin directly at kpbarron96@gmail.com for information, or donate by sending your check payable to "Horsham Baseball" to P.O. Box 214, Horsham, PA 19044, or donating online at http://www.gofundme.com/ks7nwphk

Barron is a 2015 graduate of Hatboro Horsham High School, who will attend Campbell University in North Carolina to study to become a teacher, and to play baseball.  Jaskiewicz began coaching Horsham Challenger Little League in 2005, after his son was diagnosed with autism, and has run the league since 2007.  

Spector Gadon & Rosen, PC (www.lawsgr.com), represents business and commercial law clients on a national and international level from offices in Philadelphia, New York, Tampa Bay and Moorestown.

 

US Supreme Court Rules That a Chapter 7 Debtor Cannot Void an Undersecured Second Mortgage when First Mortgage Lienholder Claim Exceeds Value Of The Property

 On June 1, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that a Chapter 7 Debtor cannot void or "strip off" a junior lien when the debt owed to the senior lienholder exceeds the value of the property. In this significant and unanimous decision in the consolidated cases of Bank of America v. Caulkett and Bank of America v. Toledo Cardona, 575 U.S. _____ (2015), the Supreme Court was asked to rule whether a consumer Chapter 7 Debtor may void a junior mortgage under 11 U.S.C. 506(d) when the debt owed to the junior lienholder was partially (and NOT wholly) underwater. With this ruling, the Supreme Court reversed the judgments of the Ninth Circuit and answered NO.

 This is an extremely important case for consumers who are contemplating the filing of a bankruptcy, as they will now have to decide if they will discharge all of their general unsecured debt (i.e.- credit card debts, doctors' bills, etc.) and not undersecured liens in their homes in a Chapter 7, or opt for a Chapter 13 consumer reorganization to strip off the unsecured portion of a mortgage, at the cost of having to pay their unsecured debt (credit cards, etc.) over a 5 year period in a Chapter 13 plan.

 The Debtors in these cases had two liens on each of their residences. Bank of America, in each case, held a second mortgage on each property and were totally underwater on their liens since the value of the property was less than the value of the first lien on the properties. This decision rested upon what the Supreme Court defined as a "secured claim" under the Bankruptcy Code. In its prior decision in Dewsnup v. Timm, 502 U.S. 410 (1992), the Supreme Court held that if the junior lien was a claim supported by a security interest in the property regardless of the value of the underlying property, its lien would survive whether there was any value in the property to protect its lien. In the instant cases, the Supreme Court held that since the Bank of America claims were both secured liens and allowed under 11 U.S.C. 502 regardless of the fact that there was not enough value in the property to cover their second lien, they cannot be voided.

 For example, if a Property has a value of $50,000, and a senior lien held by Bank A has a value of $58,000, this Supreme Court ruling would now dictate the conclusion that Bank A's deficiency claim of $8,000 is still secured and a junior lien holder on the Property is also secured. Significant for the Supreme Court, it is not a property valuation issue, but an issue as to whether the second lienholder asserted a valid lien on the property regardless of the property value. The Supreme Court took into consideration the constantly shifting value of real estate and felt that this was not a fair consideration for the Banks who loaned the money.

 Although time will tell, this case will have a significant impact on Borrowers in their decision as to whether they should file for a Chapter 7. If they are like the over- 700,000 people who elected to file for Chapter 7 relief last year, the Supreme Court has confirmed that they will NOT be able to strip the lien/mortgage of a lienholder if they are underwater, whereas a Chapter 13 filing would still allow for a lien stripping of an unsecured junior lien (and, in turn, would require a Chapter 13 Debtor to treat the unsecured junior lienholder on a pro rata basis with other unsecured creditors). It would be wise for a            Borrower to consult with a good bankruptcy practitioner if faced with this issue to see if they even qualify for the filing of a Chapter 13, based upon the statutory debt limits.

To discuss this issue or any other creditors rights and bankruptcy issues, please contact Leslie Beth Baskin, Esquire at 215-241-8926 or at lbaskin@lawsgr.com

  

Estate of Elkins, Jr. v. Comm’r – Great News for Art Collectors?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit just turned the art world upside down with its recent decision in the Elkins case (Estate of Elkins, Jr. v. Comm’r, 767 F.3d 443 (5th Cir., 2014)). In this case, the estate appealed a tax court decision which awarded a 10% discount for fractional shares of art bequeathed to the decedent’s children. The estate had claimed that there should be a 44.75% discount on tenant-in-common interests in a number of art works owned by the decedent and the IRS had argued for zero discount. The appellate court did sided with the estate and determined that the discounts should be about 50%, even more than the estate had originally requested.

This result is unheard of in art planning. For nearly 50 years since Rev. Rul. 57-293, the IRS has taken the position that there was no discount of fractional share gifts of art to museums. This has been a boon for art collectors willing to make gifts of their art to museums. The collector could give a partial interest (e.g., 10% tenant-in-common interest) in the art to a museum and take a deduction for 10% of the fair market value of the work of art without any discount being applied.

The "no discount" approach for valuing gifts of art is entirely different than nearly any other form of fractional share ownership interest. For example a tenant-in-common gift of real estate can be discounted by 15% to 40% depending upon the facts and circumstances. And gifts of limited partnerships interests and gifts of minority interests or non-voting interests in businesses commonly are heavily discounted with the amount of the discount depending primarily on the underlying assets of the entity. Discounts of gifts of ownership interests in entities that own real estate tend to be greater than gifts in entities that own mostly marketable securities. Even as the IRS has continued to challenge the amount of discount that is appropriate for a gift of a fractional share of an asset or a limited partnership interest, a "safe harbor" of sorts exists for discounts that are the equivalent to the discount for tenant-in-common interests.

In fact, one can state that the discounts for fractional share gifts are the backbone of many of the most important estate planning concepts used today. Such discounts are key to strategies that use QPRTs (qualified personal residence trusts), gifts of family limited partnership or family LLC interests, sales to grantor trusts and tenant-in-common ownership with children. But until now, the kinds of discounts used with these estate planning techniques were not available for gifts of art within one’s family. So what happened?

First, let’s look at a little history. In the Stone case (Stone v. U.S, 103 A.F.T.R.2d 2009-1379 (9th Cir. 2009)) the 9th Circuit court of appeals held that the decedent only was entitled to a 5% discount on a 50% interest in an art collection. The estate had claimed a 44% discount. The IRS being ever consistent, countered that there is no discount for a fractional interest in art. In this case, the taxpayer was not able to present any evidence to

show there ever were discounts for purchases of partial interests in art. However, the court did acknowledge that there might some attorneys’ fees and selling costs to sell or partition the art.

This is exactly where things stood until the Elkins case. In Elkins, the tax court basically agreed with the Stone court when it ruled that the estate only should have a 10% discount on the partial interest it owned in its art collection. The estate had requested a 44.75% discount on fractional interests in art and the IRS, had denied any discount. The estate appealed and as noted above, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the estate should be entitled to an even higher discount of nearly 50%. A resounding victory for the estate and a huge loss for the IRS.

Let’s review some of the facts to see what the Elkins estate did correctly and try to understand this case’s impact on planning for art collectors.

Elkins Facts – Mr. and Mrs. Elkins owned a substantial art collection. During their lifetimes in 1990, Mr. and Mrs. Elkins each created grantor retained income trusts (GRITs) that would last for 10 years. They funded their respective trusts with 50% undivided interests (tenant-in-common interests) in three valuable works of art. The retained right of each grantor was the "use" of the transferred art (instead of a dollar payment as is typical of GRITs and GRATs). At the end of the GRIT term, the art would pass in equal shares to their three children. Mr. and Mrs. Elkins held all of their other art collection as tenants-in-common.

The GRITS - Mrs. Elkins died before the 10 year GRIT term expired and in accordance with the terms of her GRIT, the three paintings passed to Mr. Elkins. Mr. Elkins outlived his GRIT and the art from his GRIT passed to his three children. After his GRIT ended, Mr. Elkins owned 50% of each artwork and his children each owned 16.67% of each artwork.

Then Mr. Elkins arranged for the children to lease back to him their 50% combined interests in two of the paintings. The lease was a year-to-year lease that would renew automatically unless terminated by Mr. Elkins. As part of the lease, Mr. Elkins and his children agreed not to separately sell or assign their partial interests in the art.

The Tenant-in-Common Art – Mr. and Mrs. Elkins also owned a substantial amount of other art. They owned this art as tenants-in-common. When Mrs. Elkins died, her will left this part of the collection outright to Mr. Elkins. However, instead of accepting his wife’s entire 50% interest, Mr. Elkins disclaimed a 26.945% interest in each of the artworks (The disclaimer was to take advantage of Mrs. Elkins unused estate tax exemption at her death). The net result of the disclaimer was that Mr. Elkins now owned 73.055% of each of the other artworks and each child owned 8.98167% of each of the other artworks. Then Mr. Elkins and the children executed a co-tenancy agreement under which each owner had the right to possess and control each of the artworks for the total

number of days each year equal to his or her percentage ownership. Furthermore, the artworks only could be sold with the unanimous consent of all the co-tenants.

And this is how things remained for ALL of the artwork until Mr. Elkins died.

At his death, Mr. Elkins left his undivided fractional ownership interest in his art to his children, in equal shares. His estate valued his entire art collection at about $12 Million. The value was determined by obtaining appraisals from Sotheby’s and then applying a 44.75% combined fractional interest discount for lack of control and lack of marketability to the appraised values. This is the common method of valuing fractional shares of real estate and business interests. The IRS contended that the estate was not entitled to any discount. The value according to the IRS was about $23 Million.

In the appeals court the estate experts testified that an even higher discount was appropriate and the IRS reiterated its position that there was no discount. The IRS did not offer any evidence on valuation. The IRS experts gave no ground on any rational basis for giving a discount off the value of art no matter how it was titled.

The appeals court disagreed with the IRS, beginning its analysis by stating that there should be a discount for a fractional interest in art. And since the IRS offered no evidence regarding the magnitude of the discounts and the estate was the only party that submitted any evidence on this issue, the 5th Circuit held that the IRS was barred from challenging the sufficiency or weight of the evidence on appeal. The Court held that the estate should get a 50% discount on its undivided interest in the art.

What Does It All Mean? There are a number of conclusions one can draw from the Elkins case. First, this result is now the law in the 5th Circuit. In that Circuit (Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) taxpayers should now have many more planning opportunities to pass art to their families. There will be able to get substantial discounts when valuing fractional shares of art for lifetime gifts or at death. Some of the standard estate planning tools which often rely upon discounts to work may now work for art planning. Family partnerships or family LLCs that own art may now be used. New possibilities may now exist for the sales to grantor trusts. Estate planners can now get very creative when planning how to pass art from one generation to the next. And certainly tenant-in-common ownership with restrictions on sale will work.

However, it is not clear that taxpayers living in other tax circuits will fare equally as well. Taxpayers living in the 9th Circuit (California and the western states) presumably are still controlled by the holding in the 9th Circuit holding in the Stone case- a 5% discount of fractional interests in art. And taxpayers in all other jurisdictions may still find the IRS still taking the position that there is no discount for fractional interests in art. Pennsylvania and New Jersey are in the 3rd Circuit.

Second, the IRS lost so badly in the Elkins, because it submitted no evidence of how much discount there should be for a fractional interest in art. If the IRS had submitted any evidence at all and their experts testified that there should be some discount (e.g., 15% or 20%), it is very possible the 5th Circuit court would have agreed with the IRS and not the estate.

Third, taxpayers who have been making fractional share gifts of art to museums may wind up getting lower tax deductions for their gifts if the IRS agrees with the 5th 4when valuing fractional share gifts of art to a museum. If the IRS decides that the 5th Circuit was correct and that fractional interests in art should be discounted, then taxpayers may lose a substantial portion of the tax deduction in the future. If the Elkins result is applied to fractions interest gifts of art to museums, then such donors will lose 50% of their tax deductions. IRS §170(o) which deals with fractional gifts of art to charities already was onerous. One of the unintended results of Elkins could be the end of fractional share gifts of art to charities. That would be a pity.

As a result of Elkins, there is now a state of confusion for estate planning for art collections. One hopes that the IRS will issue a ruling on the question to clear up some uncertainty. One would expect that there will be a number of new tax cases as a result of the Elkins case. Overall, it is an excellent result for taxpayers.

Alan J. Mittelman, Esq. is a member of and Chair of the Trusts and Estates Dept. of Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C. in Philadelphia and Florida. His practice concentration is estate planning, trusts, estate administration, charitable giving, family partnerships and closely-held businesses. 

SPECTOR GADON & ROSEN ATTORNEY ADDRESSES HORSHAM ROTARY ON NEEDS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

On April 30, 2015, Stanley Jaskiewicz spoke to the Rotary Club of Horsham, PA (http://www.horshamrotary.org/), about the Challenger Little League baseball program it sponsors, and the needs of persons with disabilities in the community. 

While updating the Rotarians on the highlights of the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Mr. Jaskiewicz explained how Challenger baseball can promote inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community.  He also complimented Horsham Challenger Baseball’s many youth volunteers, and highlighted that Challenger players need jobs as they mature and leave school.  Jaskiewicz concluded with stories about Challenger players – and volunteers - who have grown and helped each other through their involvement in the league.

Mr. Jaskiewicz, a member of the Corporate Department of Spector Gadon & Rosen, PC, advises businesses on a wide range of legal matters.  He devotes countless hours to community service and sits on several non-profit boards.  Mr. Jaskiewicz has coached Challenger baseball since 2005, and run Horsham Challenger Little League since 2007.

Mergers & Acquisitions Client Alert: "When Is A "Non-Binding" Agreement Binding?" By: Peter Cripps & Milton Cross  Non Binding Agreement.pdf 

BYOD: A presentation by Stanley Jaskiewicz, May 21, 2014 BYOD_Presentation_Stanley_Jaskiewicz.pdf

Little League 'Challenders' gain accolades

Little_League_Challengers_gain_accolades032714-105238.pdf

House, Senate honor Horsham Little League's Challenger Division

House_Senate_honor_Horsham_Challenger_Div032714-105326.pdf

MANNA ON MAIN STREET

Stanley Jaskiewicz is the Secretary and Board member of Manna on Main Street, a nonprofit.  Manna on Main Street was featured in an article in the Sunday December 22 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer in which Stanley is quoted: 20131222_Helping_the_poor_a_year_round_task.pdf

HORSHAM ROTARY CLUB

On October 17, 2013, Stanley Jaskiewicz spoke to the Rotary Club of Horsham, PA (http://www.horshamrotary.org/), about the Challenger Little League baseball program it sponsors, and the needs of persons with disabilities in the community.  Mr. Jaskiewicz has coached Challenger baseball since 2005, and run Horsham Challenger Little League since 2007.

Mr. Jaskiewicz, a member of the Corporate Department of Spector Gadon & Rosen, advises businesses on a wide range of legal matters.  He devots countless hours to community service and sits on several non-profit boards.

  • Stanley Jaskiewicz published two articles in the September, 2013, issue of "Be Prepared for Life", the annual magazine of the Cradle of Liberty Council of Boy Scouts of America.  The articles discussed his son's success as Boy Scout with autism in overcoming challenges at summer camp, and his son's Troop's participation in a flag retirement ceremony at the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia.
  • SPECTOR GADON & ROSEN, P.C. FULFILLS HOLIDAY WISHES.  Spector Gadon & Rosen fulfilled the holiday wishes of the children served by Manna on Main Street through their participation in Manna’s Angel Tree project.  The children’s gifts were donated by the firm’s staff and distributed at a holiday party for the children.

    "On behalf of the board of directors, the staff and, most importantly, the clients we serve at Manna on Main Street, I would like to extend a heart felt thanks to the folks at Spector Gadon & Rosen for the kind and generous donations to the Manna gift tree program this year. It is with this wonderful support that makes this program so successful and one that will reach many young hearts through the North Penn region,” said Kareem Afzal, Manna on Main Street Board Chair.

    Manna on Main Street, a non-profit agency serving the working poor and the homeless, is committed to ending hunger in the central Montgomery County, Pennsylvania area by providing food, fulfilling social service needs and conducting community education.  It accomplishes these goals through its soup kitchen, food pantry, emergency financial aid, counseling and community outreach.  Last year more than 21,000 meals were served and 90 tons of food provided to those living in the community.

    Stanley Jaskiewicz, Manna’s Board Secretary and a member of the Spector Gadon & Rosen Corporate Department, encouraged the firm to support Manna this year.  “Just as the entire North Penn community supports Manna on Main Street with donations of their time, talent and treasure, I was gratified that all levels of employees at Spector Gadon & Rosen donated gifts in support of Manna’s Angel Tree program.”

    “While the mission is feeding the hungry twelve months a year, in December we also try to help the children of the families we serve in a special way by distributing gifts donated by participating businesses,” said Susan Neiger Gould, Executive Director of Manna. 

    Mr. Jaskiewicz advises businesses on a wide range of legal matters.  He devotes countless hours to community service and sits on several non-profit boards.

    For more information about Mr. Jaskiewicz, please click on his profile.

    For more information on Manna on Main Street, visit www.mannaonmain.org.

  • JONATHAN J. GREYSTONE RECOGNIZED AS TOP INTERNATIONAL LAWYER.  Jonathan Greystone was recently selected as one of the Top Rated Lawyers in International Law & International Trade by Martindale-Hubbell, based on his AV preeminent rating of 5.0.  This peer review rating reflects both highest ethical standards and professional ability.  Mr. Greystone focuses his international practice on Northeast Asian and East European business ventures.  For more information about Mr. Greystone, please click on his profile.  The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory provides background information on lawyers and law firms while their peer ratings provide reviews of lawyers and law firms for consumers and professionals. 


MILTON CROSS RECOGNIZED FOR PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS.  We are pleased to announce the Milton Cross has been selected as one of the TOP RATED LAWYERS IN MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS by American Lawyer media, who has teamed with Martindale-Hubbell to highlight "Top Rated Lawyers" in their publication The American Lawyer and Corporate CounselAmerican Lawyer Media is a leading provider of news and information to the legal industry.   For over 30 years, Mr. Cross has represented buyers and sellers of businesses and real estate as well as buyers, lenders and borrowers in connection with commercial loan transactions.  He has published numerous articles on financial and banking-related matters, business, and real estate.  For additional information about Mr. Cross, please click on his biography.

 

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