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Happy Thanksgiving

Here we are in 2020, the year of a worldwide pandemic, living life in a “new normal”. This year’s Thanksgiving will still have delicious food, and hopefully football, but will be shared with just our immediate family and perhaps a limited number of guests. Celebrating Thanksgiving in the “new normal” will not prevent us for being thankful for all the things that are important to us.

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COVID-19: Legalities of Reopening Businesses

After a few months, the governors of various states have relaxed their stay-at-home orders in the wake of perceived hopeful trends in the numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to the coronavirus. In Arizona Governor Ducey’s order was rescinded effective May 16, 2020, and businesses have begun to reopen subject to certain guidelines. But the risk of infection still remains, and as businesses restart their operations they face several legal challenges.

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I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts

Not sure if you’ve heard but there is a new Ghostbusters movie coming out this summer. In the film, ghosts haunt a rural house. “Why don’t they just sell the house and move,” you may ask? Well, believe it or not, in Arizona they could and would not have to disclose the issue. Arizona has the stigmatized home protection law, A.R.S. Section 32-2156

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Goal Setting and The Bucket List

More than seven and a half years ago I set a goal to complete a cycle of study of the 2,711 double-sided pages of the Babylonian Talmud, a compendium of Jewish law and lore capturing a tradition dating back to Moses at Sinai. Written in terse Hebrew and Aramaic, it is best not studied alone, even with the help of English translations. So I joined fellow learners in the Daf Yomi program (Daf = page; Yomi – daily).

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Fantasy Football: Life Lessons

I, like many of you I am sure, participate in Fantasy Football. I look forward to the draft every year where I get to see old friends (25 year league) and catch up on life as we talk passionately about one of our favorite pastimes……….Football!

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Avoiding Issues With Contractors

I recently read a news article about a woman who paid a $400 cash deposit to a handyman for some work to be done on her house. The handyman took the money but never did any work. She had no written contract with him and no way to make him pay, except to try to get a news station to pick up the story to shame the handyman into paying. He still didn’t pay her.

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New USPTO Rules for Federal Trademark Filings

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced several new rules that change the process for trademark registrations. The first applies to foreign trademark applicants, registrants or parties to trademark proceedings. The second requires all trademark applications, submissions and relevant documents to be filed electronically through the USPTO’s online Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

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Litigation and the Dangers of Social Media

These days social media use is an integral part of everyday life for so many people. We connect and interact with others in the cyber world by sharing our ideas, discussing our interests, and posting photos revealing where we are and what we are doing several times throughout each day. But, how many social media users actually pause to consider the consequences of disclosing so much information on-line?

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No Estate Plan or Will – A Horror Beyond Prince

Many of us are familiar with the ongoing battles over the estate of the late pop singer Prince, who died without an estate plan. People came out of the woodwork claiming to be a relative or child. The matter will be tied up in the courts for years draining the estate of much of its worth.

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New Legislation Impacts Tax Lien Certificates

Arizona recently introduced legislation that modifies the expiration of tax lien certificates. A.R.S. § 42-18127 now specifies that the original tax lien and all subsequent liens on a property have a 10-year statutory limit based on the date that the original lien was acquired.

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The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement

The residential real estate market in Phoenix and nationwide is typically the busiest in the spring and early summer. If you are in the market to either buy or sell your home, be prepared to review and sign a large number of important documents during the process. One important document that the seller typically completes as part of a residential sale is the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement or SPDS.

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Age Discrimination On the Rise

A number of major U.S. companies, including IBM and IKEA, have been named in recent lawsuits claiming discrimination against older workers. The most recent lawsuit against IBM follows a ProPublica story published last March that exposed a companywide strategy aimed at “correcting seniority mix.” For Ikea, this is the fifth age discrimination lawsuit filed against the company in just over a year. Discrimination against “older workers” is clearly an increasing problem.

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Internet Libel

Think you can post anything you want on the Internet or on social media? Well, think again! The internet is not a safe haven for offensive speech, particularly when it defames and harms the reputation of a business or an individual. Individuals often try to escape exposure for defamation and libel by shielding themselves with a cloak of anonymity the Internet seems to provide.

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Lost and Found – Kindness

I was working at my desk one afternoon, recently, when I received a peculiar telephone call. Our receptionist told me that the caller was from Israel and announced that I did not know him but he asked to speak to me. I have family in Israel and a daughter studying there this year; so, I thought it could be related to either and I took the call.

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