Assouline & Berlowe’s Litigation Department Selected as Top 19 of 116 for Miami

Assouline & Berlowe is pleased to announce that Expertise has selected Assouline & Berlowe’s attorneys as the top 16 law firm for litigation, out of 119 selected.

Expertise published on its website that it based its results on the following criteria when choosing its top 19 selections:

  • Reputation: A history of satisfied customers giving excellent recommendations
  • Credibility: Established in their industry with licensing, accreditations, and awards
  • Experience: Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education
  • Engagement: Approachable and responsive to clients and available for new business
  • Professionalism: Dedicated to providing consistent quality work and impeccable customer service

The Expertise website also stated the following information:

The selection process is performed annually across business categories and geographies. Minor updates may be made throughout the course of the calendar year.

Hand-Picking the Best

Our team conducts a manual review to verify the accuracy of the selections. We then write unique and detailed business descriptions for each hand-picked businesses.

Coming off the heels of already winning the Daily Business Review’s Litigation Department of the Year for Real Estate and Other Litigation (for Small Firms of 69 attorneys or less), the firm management is humbled by this award.

 

ERIC N. ASSOULINE, ESQ.

PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW MIAMI ADDRESS

Miami Tower, 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 3105, Miami, Florida 33131

 Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law,  Real Estate, International Dispute Resolution, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Bankruptcy

Miami · Ft. Lauderdale · Boca Raton

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Filed under Awards, Business Litigation, commercial litigation, IP Litigation, Litigation, Uncategorized

Copyright Law – Supreme Court to Address Recoverable Costs

The Supreme Court of the United States has granted a petition for certiorari in the case styled as Rimini Street, Inc. v. Oracle USA Inc. in order to address split between the circuits as to the types of “costs” that may be recovered under the Copyright Act. 

As framed by the briefs in the case, Question Presented by the petitioner is: Whether the Copyright Act’s allowance of “full costs,” 17 U.S.C. § 505, to a prevailing party, is limited to taxable costs under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1920 and 1821, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 8th and 11th Circuits, have held, or whether the Act also authorizes non-taxable costs, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held.

Currently, there are three (out of twelve) federal circuit courts of appeal which allow certain costs to be recovered.  Those circuits are the First, the Sixth, and the Ninth.  The federal circuit courts of appeal that do not allow recovery of these costs are the eighth and the eleventh (which controls all cases filed in Florida). 

The result of this decision may change the law in the Eleventh Circuit, as to what costs are recoverable under the Copyright Act.

 

ERIC N. ASSOULINE, ESQ.

PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW MIAMI ADDRESS

Miami Tower, 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 3105, Miami, Florida 33131

 Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law,  Real Estate, International Dispute Resolution, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Bankruptcy

Miami · Ft. Lauderdale · Boca Raton

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Filed under Copyright, Intellectual Property, IP Litigation, Uncategorized

SCOTUS ALERT: Trademarks and Bankruptcy

On Friday, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) granted a petition for certiorari in the case called Mission Product v. Tempnology, in order to hear a case involving trademark law and bankruptcy law.  The issue that is to be heard relates to what happens to a trademark license when the owner of the brand files for bankruptcy.

Currently, the different Circuit Courts of Appeal are not all in agreement as to what should happen.  In certain particular Circuit Courts of Appeal, the licensor that files bankruptcy can use a particular bankruptcy code provision, identified as Section 363 under the Bankruptcy Code, in order to cancel the right of a licensee to use the bankrupt company’s trademark.  However, in certain other Circuit Court’s of Appeal, the courts have been allowing the trademark licensee the right to continue using the bankrupt’s trademark.

The issue is as much a question of trademark law as it is bankruptcy law.  Under the Bankruptcy Code, the law allows a bankrupt the right to accept or reject a contract, wherein both sides still have obligations.  This is known as an executory contract.  However, Section 363 contains an exemption for certain forms of intellectual property, but it currently does not include trademarks.

The two most well-recognized opinions where the courts’ position diverge is the Seventh Circuit and the First Circuit, which is where the Mission Product case is pending.  In essence, the Mission Product appellate court has held that courts should not impose upon a bankrupt the obligation to continue to monitor how its trademark was being used, which goes to the essence and policy of bankruptcy law.

Never a dull moment in intellectual property and bankruptcy law.

 

ERIC N. ASSOULINE, ESQ.

PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW MIAMI ADDRESS

Miami Tower, 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 3105, Miami, Florida 33131

 Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law,  Real Estate, International Dispute Resolution, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Bankruptcy

Miami · Ft. Lauderdale · Boca Raton

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JUDGMENT INTEREST RATES – PARTY LIKE IT IS 2009!

As we have been updating on this blog over the past several years, Florida’s Interest Rates on Judgments is announced every quarter.  Over the past several quarters, interest rates have little by little steadily climbed.  Every quarter they are updated, either up, down, or they may remain the same.

 

As of this past Monday, October 1st, 2018, the new interest rate on judgments is now 6.09%.  This is the highest interest rate we have seen in Florida since December 31st, 2009, at which time rates were at 8%, and they steadily went down.

 

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

Assouline & Berlowe, P.A.

www.assoulineberlowe.com

Miami – Ft. Lauderdale – Boca Raton

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Florida Foreclosure Surplus: Supreme Court Clarifies Deadline to Make a Claim

foreclosure surplus

On September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of Florida, reconciled a conflict that existed between the appellate district courts of the state, as to when was the trigger date for filing a claim to a surplus from a foreclosure sale.  In the case styled as the Bank of New York Mellon v. Glenville, a dispute arose between the former owners of certain real property at foreclosure and a junior lienholder over who was entitled to a portion of surplus funds resulting from a judicial foreclosure sale of the property formerly owned by the former owner.  In Glenville, Florida’s high court held that the requirement, which is governed by the Florida Statute, which states that a claim to payment of any surplus funds from a foreclosure sale must be filed with the clerk of the court within sixty days after the sale begins upon the clerk’s issuance of the certificate of disbursements.  Two Florida district courts of appeals’ positions were vacated and/or quashed as a result of the Glenville decision, which now clarifies the deadline statewide.

ERIC N. ASSOULINE, ESQ.

PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW MIAMI ADDRESS

Miami Tower, 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 3105, Miami, Florida 33131

 Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law,  Real Estate, International Dispute Resolution, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Bankruptcy

Miami · Ft. Lauderdale · Boca Raton

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A QUEEN, A KING AND PRINCE WALK INTO A BAR…

trusts and estates

Estate planning is not a joke and, as discussed in Jason’s last blog post, is something that the majority of Americans fail to do.  In this post, I am going to discuss the Queen of Soul, the King of Pop, Prince and Tim Conway (♪♫♪♫ one of these ones is not like the other) and how a proper estate plan would have helped in each of their cases.

In an ideal estate plan, a person is creating several documents that will assist their fiduciaries not only in the event of that person’s death, but also in the event that said person were to become incapacitated.

The Queen

Aretha Franklin, known to many as “the Queen of Soul” died this month. Similar to Prince who passed away in 2016, according to court documents filed by her sons, Aretha Franklin died intestate.  This means that she died without having prepared a Will or a Trust and it is now up to the Probate Court and laws of the State in which she resided to determine who her ultimate beneficiaries are, not to mention who the Personal Representative (executor) will be.  This will likely expose her estate to a long and expensive battle to settle her estate, which would more than likely have been avoided had Aretha shown some R-E-S-P-E-C-T to her entertainment attorney, who was allegedly after her to prepare her estate plan for a number of years.

The Prince

The estate of Prince (was unmarried and had no children at the time of his death) has been embroiled in those long and costly legal battles over his estate, as multiple people claiming to be his heirs came forward before a Court determination. Those heirs have apparently not been able to agree about certain business decisions, complicating an already complex process and resulting in litigation as the estate has worked to capitalize on the Prince’s work and holdings subsequent to his death.  Again, these issues that are now being litigated and will be for years to come would likely have been avoidable with a proper estate plan. (See the Estate of soul legend, Ike Turner, which has been litigated for over 11 years and is still going!)

The King

We have discussed the Queen and Prince, but what about the King?  When Michael Jackson died unexpectedly on June 25, 2009, he left behind three minor children.  This requires a Guardianship to be established on behalf of the minor children.  Fortunately, the “King of Pop” created an estate plan including a Last Will and Testament and a Revocable Living Trust.

An integral part of an estate plan includes making provisions for who is going to be the Guardian of and thus responsible for the care of minor children. Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, is designated in his Will to serve as the guardian for his minor children.  While this is fine on paper, because Debbie Rowe, who is the natural parent of two of Jackson’s three children, was still alive, absent court intervention, she would be the presumptive guardian of those two children. Ultimately, Rowe and Katherine Jackson reached a settlement that allowed Katherine Jackson to serve as the guardian for all three of the children, and she still serves as their guardian today.

The Jester

In addition to Guardianships created for minor children, it is often necessary to create Guardianships for incapacitated adults.  Adult Guardianships are usually costly proceedings, which are mostly avoidable by creating a Trust, which includes plans for what should occur in the event of a person’s incapacity and designates a Successor Trustee to you to act on your behalf. According to the internet (which is never wrong…), comedian Tim Conway is battling dementia and his wife and daughter (from a prior marriage) are at odds over his medical treatment, resulting in his daughter petitioning the Court to be appointed Guardian of the 84 year old former star of the Carol Burnett Show.  In her Petition to the Court Conway’s daughter states that Conway cannot “properly provide for his personal needs for physical health, food, and clothing” and is “almost entirely unresponsive.”

As mentioned earlier in this post, the creation of a Trust hopefully eliminates the need for the appointment of a Guardian.  However, that is not always the case.  Sometimes Guardianship is unavoidable.  In Florida, a good estate plan will include a “Declaration Naming Preneed Guardian”. In the event that a Guardianship is necessary, this document allows you to tell the Court who you want to be your Guardian. If  such a document were prepared by Tim Conway, this would have likely eliminated the upcoming fight between his wife and daughter over who will be his Guardian as the Court would already have indication as to his preference.

Royal Conclusion

As you can see, this “Royal Family” could have avoided numerous pitfalls with a little advance estate planning.  If you need a Last Will and Testament, Revocable Living Trust, Declaration Naming Preneed Guardian or any other document, which will help you avoid these situations, contact me to set up a conference to discuss your estate planning needs.

 

Jason Steinman, Esq.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

213 East Sheridan Street, Suite 3

Dania Beach, Florida  33004

Main: 954.929.1899

Fax: 954.922.6662

Email: JLS@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

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Bankruptcy Update: 11th Circuit Strikes the “Remain Unpaid” Element from the New Value Defense to Preference Action

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On August 14, 2018, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (which controls all Florida bankruptcy courts), ruled that certain language in a prior ruling from 1988 was dicta and not binding, and established a new landscape for defending against a preferential transfer claim through a “new value” defense.

In the past, under the authority of Charisma Investment Company, N.V. v. Airport Systems, Inc. (In re Jet Florida System, Inc.), 841 F.2d 1082 (11th Cir. 1988), the Eleventh Circuit was believed to be of the opinion that an offset against preference liability, for new value provided to a debtor, which were made within the preference period, could only be asserted to the extent that any new value extended to the debtor “remained unpaid” as of the date the bankruptcy petition was filed.

However, under the new Blue Bell decision, the Eleventh Circuit held that the language in Charisma was only dicta, not binding, and not accurate.  Therefore, going forward, new value need not remain unpaid as of the time of the bankruptcy petition.

This decision is important because it will eliminate the disincentive that creditors may have in extending credit to a struggling debtor, which was mentioned in the Blue Bell decision.

ERIC N. ASSOULINE, ESQ.

PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW MIAMI ADDRESS

Miami Tower, 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 3105, Miami, Florida 33131

 Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law,  Real Estate, International Dispute Resolution, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Bankruptcy

Miami · Ft. Lauderdale · Boca Raton

 

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Filed under Bankruptcy, BK, Uncategorized