Category Archives: Litigation

APRIL FOOL’S DAY? – NOT FOR LANDLORDS

As the enormity of the Coronavirus pandemic takes hold of the business community, the economic stranglehold on tenant’s ability to pay the rent due the first of the month is coming to bear. 

Today, April 1st, is the first due date for monthly rent since the March 11th apocalyptic change to the business environment.  The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on March 11 that the Coronavirus was a pandemic, an Oil Price War began, and President Donald Trump announced travel restrictions from Europe to the United States.  This was the beginning of the new era, which will mark when things changed. 

Tenants nationwide have announced that they will not be making today’s rent payment.  This will cause major pressure on landlords on how to deal with their own obligations to their lenders, to pay real estate taxes, as well as utilities that continue to be provided to the real property (even if they are getting less use), etc. Landlords need to take a good look at the rental environment and figure out their best strategy, especially in light of the fact that no one right now knows how long they are going to have to wait out this crisis. 

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

Business Litigation Partner

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

Miami Tower

100 SE 2nd St., Suite 3105

Miami, FL 33131

Telephone: 305-567-5576

Email: ena@assoulineberlowe.com

www.assoulineberlowe.com

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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“Brand” New Trademark Rules Starting 2/15/2020

TMThe United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not issue a federal trademark registration without the applicant first proving the mark (brand) being protected is actually being used in commerce.  Whether the proof is submitted with the initial application (for actual use applications) or later in the application process (for intent to use applications), the applicant will need to submit specimen of use for the  brand.  The types of evidence varies depending on the type of class associated with the brand.  For products, the specimen must be on the product itself, the packaging, or manuals.  While service based classes can use marketing materials, such a flyers, websites, and signage.

On February 15, 2020, the USPTO is updating the rules of specimen that are submitted to prove use in commerce.  The rules are becoming stricter.  For goods, the goods themselves must be included with the packaging, labels, or displays.  For apparel, hang tags or labels must actually be connected to the apparel, not merely next to the products.

Screen shots of websites showing the mark and detailing the services provided have been relatively standard as specimen over the years.  Under the new rules, any such screenshots will now require the URL and a date of the screen print.

The purpose behind the new rules is to prevent the submission of fraudulent specimen for marks that actually are not in use.  This is why digital images and mock ups of marketing materials are often rejected by the USPTO.

While the purpose of the rules is to help thwart fraud, one of the rule updates requires the inclusion of an applicant’s email address, not only the attorney’s email address.  This was optional in the past.  There is a known issue with companies mining the USPTO public records for applicant physical addresses and mailing official looking invoices that mislead applicants to pay fees that provide little to no value.

While the intent of the USPTO to require applicant email addresses is to help communication channels between the USPTO and applicants, the result will be greater access to applicants to those companies that mine USPTO databases trying to mislead applicants directly.  As a result of significant push back from practitioners and the public at large, the USPTO is presently looking at ways to “mask” the applicant’s email addresses from public viewing.

For any questions about the new trademark rules or to look into protecting your brands, contact Greg Popowitz.

Greg M. Popowitz, Esq.

Registered Patent Attorney / Partner

Intellectual Property Litigation

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

213 East Sheridan Street, Suite 3

Dania Beach, Florida  33004

Main: 954.929.1899

Fax: 954.922.6662

Email: GMP@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

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HAPPY 17th ANNIVERSARY to ASSOULINE & BERLOWE!

MIAMI – Assouline & Berlowe, P.A., The Business Law Firm, is pleased to announce that today it is celebrating its 17th Anniversary.

Started on February 10, 2003, through humble beginnings, in a small subleased space in Coral Gables, Assouline & Berlowe has weathered the many business climate changes and challenges of the past two decades.

Assouline & Berlowe is proud of its contributions to its communities in the tri-county area, as part of its presence with offices in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale/Dania Beach, and Boca Raton.  Assouline & Berlowe regularly supports both its legal community and numerous charitable organizations alike.

Assouline & Berlowe is strategically positioned to continue its expansion as a strong player in South Florida’s international business environment.

To all those that we have worked with in the past and to those we hope to work with in the future, we say thank you.

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INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION / BANKRUPTCY PANEL DISCUSSION – October 23, 2019 at the University of Miami

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ONLY 7 DAYS LEFT.

The International Arbitration Society at the University of Miami School of Law is presenting a panel discussion on the conflict between International Arbitration and Domestic Insolvency.

Date : October 23, 2019

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

The discussion will be followed by a networking social.

Students, professionals and practitioners are invited to attend and participate.

Please RSVP here: https://lnkd.in/eAT24JM

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PARALEGAL SEMINAR – OCT. 19, 2019 – South Florida Paralegal Association

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Assouline & Berlowe Litigation Partner Peter E. Berlowe is one of the guest speakers at this year’s Annual Fall Seminar for the the South Florida Paralegal Association. 

On October 19, 2019 at the Florida International University – College of Law

Located at Rafael Diaz Balart Hall (RDB) Room 2008, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199

Offering 6.5 Credits

Including 1  Ethics Credit and 0.5 Technology Credit

With Keynote Speaker

Mercedes M. Prieto, Esq., Clerk of the Third District Court of Appeal on Introduction to Legal Research and Legal Memoranda Writing

and guest speakers


 Peter E. Berlowe, Esq. of Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. on Analysis of an Injurious Falsehood Case and the Paralegal’s Role

 Marc Hurwitz of Crossroads Investigations on A Former CIA Officer’s Guide to Investigations for the Divorce Process

Bianca Moreiras of Bianca Moreiras & Associates on Time Management, Goal Setting and Taking Action

 Felice Solomon of Solomon Search Group on How Paralegals Can Deal With Seven Personality Types in the Workplace

and

 Valencia N. Poitier, Esq. of American Integrity Insurance of Florida, Inc. on HIPPA: Accountability, Ethics and Evidence – Avoiding the Pitfalls of Suppression and Lack of Foundation

The cost to attend the event is:

Students: $25 

Member & Affiliate Members: $55

Non-Members: $65

Continental breakfast & hot lunch will be provided Your Savory Fare

For more information regarding the event, please contact SFPA Vice-President Summer Marshall by email at smarshallfrp@gmail.com


For more information on how to sponsor this event, please contact

Sadena Blatt Miropol by email at sb0929@gmail.com

This seminar meets the requirements of the NALA Certifying Board for Paralegals for continuing legal education credit required to maintain the CP (Certified Paralegal) credential.

To recap:

The South Florida Paralegal Association is proud to present its 2019 Annual Fall Seminar on October 19, 2019 at the Florida International University – College of Law, located at Rafael Diaz Balart Hall (RDB), RDB 2008, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199

Celebrating 40 Years of Commitment to the Legal Community

Offering 6.5 Credits (including .5 Ethics Credit and 1 Technology Credit)

With keynote speaker:
Mercedes M. Prieto, Esq., Clerk of the Third District Court of Appeal

And guest speakers:
Peter E. Berlowe, Esq. of Assouline & Berlowe, P.A.,
Marc Hurwitz of Crossroads Investigations,
Felice Solomon of Solomon Search Group,
Valencia N Poitier, Esq. of American Integrity Insurance of Florida, Inc., and
Bianca Moreiras of Bianca Moreiras & Associates

The cost to attend the event is:
Students: $25
Member & Affiliate Members: $55
Non-Members: $65

Continental breakfast & hot lunch will be provided Your Savory Fare

For more information regarding the event, please contact SFPA Vice-President Summer Marshall by email at smarshallfrp@gmail.com

For more information on how to sponsor this event, please contact Sadena Blatt Miropol by email at sb0929@gmail.com

This seminar meets the requirements of the NALA Certifying Board for Paralegals for continuing legal education credit required to maintain the CP (Certified Paralegal) credential.

All content © SFPA 2019.

South Florida Paralegal Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization. 123 S.E. 3rd Avenue, #367, Miami, Florida 33131.

http://sfpa.info/event-3565682

 

 

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LABOR LAW UPDATE – Exempt Employee Thresholds

Business Law Firm - Hard Rock Guitar Assouline

It is Finally Here!

Over the years, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has attempted to change certain rules applicable to implementation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and increase the salary threshold for exempt employees from $455 per week (the level it has been at since 2004).

Many may recall that a rule to increase the salary thresholds for exemptions was first enjoined and subsequently invalidated by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in 2016.   A year later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has held the appeal in abeyance pending further DOL rulemaking regarding a revised salary threshold.  In other words, the DOL has consistently enforced the 2004 salary level for the last 15 years.

However, the DOL has now finally announced a final rule which is expected to make 1.3 million American workers eligible for overtime pay under the FLSA.  In a nutshell, this rule, which will go into effect on January 1, 2020, accomplishes three primary objectives:

First, the rule updates the earnings thresholds – from $455 to $684 per week – necessary to exempt certain white collar positions, i.e., executive, administrative and professional employees, from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.

Second, the new rule will allow employers to meet up to 10% of the new salary level from nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions).

Third, the rule will increase the salary requirements for the “highly compensated employees (HCE)” exemption from $100,000 to $107,432 per year.

Again, please note that the final rule will be effective on January 1, 2020.

Additional information about the final rule is available at www.dol.gov/whd/overtime2019.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Ellen M. Leibovitch, Head of Labor & Employment Practice – Boca Raton Office and can be reached by email at eml@assoulineberlowe.com or by Telephone: 561-361-6566.

 

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NEW BANKRUPTCY JUDGE – Scott M. Grossman has been Appointed as a Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Florida

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MIAMI – Welcome to Scott M. Grossman, to the bench!  Scott M. Grossman is the first bankruptcy judge appointed to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, Fort Lauderdale Division, since February 2006, when Judge John Olsen joined the Court.

Judge Grossman was appointed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which controls all the federal and bankruptcy courts in the State of Florida.  Judge Grossman was appointed as a Bankruptcy Judge for a fourteen-year term, effective today, October 2, 2019.  [Press Release to the announcement from the Chief Judge is available through this link: General Order 2019-03 re: Assignment of New Cases and Adversary Proceedings, and Reassignment of Pending Cases Upon Appointment of Bankruptcy Judge Scott M. Grossman.

Assouline & Berlowe SuperLawyers 2019

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Eric N. Assouline, Esq. – Commercial Litigation and Bankruptcy Litigation Partner

 

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EMPLOYERS: Department of Labor Issued its Final Rule on Overtime Pay under FLSA – EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2020

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Board Certified Labor & Employment Partner Ellen Leibovitch and Litigation Partner Eric Assouline, of Assouline & Berlowe

Human Resource Departments should take note, the overtime rules have now been clarified by the Department of Labor.

Over the years, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has attempted to change certain rules applicable to implementation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and increase the salary threshold for exempt employees from $455 per week (the level it has been at since 2004).

Many may recall that a rule to increase the salary thresholds for exemptions was first enjoined and subsequently invalidated by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in 2016.

A year later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held the appeal in abeyance pending further DOL rulemaking regarding a revised salary threshold.  In other words, the DOL has consistently enforced the 2004 salary level for the last 15 years.

The DOL has now announced a final rule which is expected to make 1.3 million American workers eligible for overtime pay under the FLSA.

In a nutshell, the rule, which goes into effect on January 1, 2020, accomplishes three primary objectives:

First, the rule updates the earnings thresholds – from $455 to $684 per week – necessary to exempt certain white collar positions, i.e., executive, administrative and professional employees, from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.

Second, the new rule will allow employers to meet up to 10% of the new salary level from nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions).

Third, the rule will increase the salary requirements for the “highly compensated employees (HCE)” exemption from $100,000 to $107,432 per year.

Again, please note that the final rule will be effective on January 1, 2020.

Additional information about the final rule is available at www.dol.gov/whd/overtime2019.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Ellen M. Leibovitch

Board Certified Labor & Employment Lawyer

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

2300 Glades Road

East Tower – Suite 135

Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Main: 561-361-6566

Direct: 561-948-2479

Assouline & Berlowe SuperLawyers 2019

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THANK YOU – To All Legal Administrators!

Assouline Berlowe - Eric Assouline and Ana Hesny at FAWL Meeting (00269526xA4579)

Thank you to all the administrative assistants at Assouline & Berlowe who help make the firm a success.  Ana Hesny has been working with the Assouline & Berlowe team for over 10 years and her hard work and dedication has been a strong part of keeping clients happy making sure that the “trains run on time”.

Every year, the Broward County Women Lawyers Association hold its Administrative Professionals Day Luncheon at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and it is never missed.  At this annual event the administrative assistants of prominent lawyers and judges in the community are recognized and rewarded with gifts and celebration.

Thank you to the Broward County Women Lawyers Association for putting on this very special annual event.

Assouline & Berlowe SuperLawyers 2019

Eric N. Assouline, Esq., Managing Partner, Head of Litigation.

Miami Tower, 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 3105, Miami, Florida 33133

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BROWARD COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION: Member of the Week – Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

The Broward County Bar Association Featured Assouline & Berlowe Litigation Partner as the “Member of the Week”.

Eric N. Assouline, is a co-founder of Assouline & Berlowe, P.A., a business litigation and transactional boutique law firm.  Eric credits his personal and professional success to hard work, a strong work ethic inspired by his parents, and good Jewish values.

Eric is a first-generation American.  Eric was raised in Queens, New York, by immigrant French Moroccan parents, with few resources.

Started in 2003, Assouline & Berlowe’s main practice areas are pat­ent and intellectual property law; commercial litigation and appeals; real estate; labor and employment; international law and arbitration; creditors’ rights and bankruptcy; and as of 2018 the law firm added an additional practice area – Trust, Estates, and Guardianship.  The firm has three South Florida offices, and has served as counsel of record on many complex cases outside of Florida.

Eric N. Assouline is a litigation partner in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale offices, and the head of the business litigation practice group.  Eric’s prac­tice focuses on complex business litigation, intellectual property and real estate litigation, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights.  Eric en­joys a complicated business litigation dispute, analyzing the risks and benefits of the strategy to employ, and then implementing the plan.  Eric takes pride in taking a case from inception to conclusion for the client, which often includes trips into the appellate and bankruptcy courts.

As the business world continues its international expansion, Assouline & Berlowe guides its clients through their legal challenges.  As a French speaking attorney, Eric has been hired by many clients from France and they are always shocked at the expense involved in litigating a case in the United States.  Eric does his best to bridge his clients between differing legal environments.  With the assistance of his partner, Daniel Vielleville, who was an attorney in Venezuela before becoming an attorney in the United States, they bridge the gap with the firm’s Latin American clientele.  Corporate Partner Carl Perdue plays a similar role with corporate matters from his extensive experience with complex Middle East corporate finance.

Assouline & Berlowe’s management predicts growth in the areas of technology, real estate, intellectual property, and trust and estate issues.  “We’re more than just another boutique law firm. We take great pride in the high quality legal work that we do every day. I believe our extensive network of attorneys that refer their clients to our firm, including many referrals from former opposing counsel, is a testament to how we honor our craft,” Eric Assouline has been quoted as saying.

In the Beginning

Eric Assouline and Peter Berlowe first served together as mem­bers of the University of Miami Law Review.

After law school, they worked together in the Miami office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, where they trained as litigators on nationally recognized cases. While there, Eric Assouline served as the court appointed receiver’s lead litigation attorney charged with recovery actions in a high-profile global Ponzi scheme.

When Assouline & Berlowe first opened its doors 0n February 10, 2003, in Coral Gables, its office was sublet from Peter Berlowe’s father.  Eric has been quoted as saying “Our first office had thick shag carpet, old fash­ioned wood paneling, and had not been renovated in decades. The furnishings were comprised of mis-­matched furniture and left over construction mate­rials that we used to build a new countertop for the receptionist area,” From those humble beginnings, Assouline & Berlowe expanded with an of­fice in Broward in July 2004, and later another office in Boca Raton in 2008.

As part of its flagship intellectual property practice, the firm has two registered patent attorneys, includ­ing Peter Koziol, who is the head of the IP Litigation Group and Greg Popowitz, who has been with the firm for over 5 years.

Ellen Leibovitch, who is board certified in the areas of labor and employment, heads the firm’s Boca Raton office.

Eric Assouline has been quoted as saying that “Through our 10 attorneys we now have several hundred years of collective business law ex­perience, much of it gained in practice at large, presti­gious law firms.”

Eric Assouline has also been quoted as saying: “As the managing partner of the firm, I need to know what everyone is doing. I have an ethical obliga­tion to protect all of the firm’s clients and to be there to pick up the pieces if anything were to happen to any particular attorney at the firm. But I do not tell attor­neys how to do their job. The attorneys at my firm are exceptionally qualified and know their craft. My job is to make it as easy as possible for them to get their work done and keep the firm’s clients satisfied.”

Eric Assouline believes that his firm has the talent and experience to compete with any firm in the area of business law.  “As it re­lates to regional boutique business firms, because we are smaller, we can offer more flexibility without com­promising on service.” Eric stresses the fact that clients regularly interact with the firm’s attorneys through multi-office video conferencing. “This not only gives us what I believe is a significant competitive edge, but it helps keep clients in close contact, which is important to our client relationships.”

Giving Back

As individual professionals and as a firm, the attorneys of Assouline & Berlowe believe in sharing and they have backed that belief from the beginning. “We’ve long been involved in giving back to the community, in time, money and energy, to support numerous worthy causes and those who are less fortunate,” Eric Assouline has been quoted as saying.

Just some examples include: a mayoral debate for Miami-Dade County; a fundraising program for the Cystic Fibrosis Founda­tion; and a charity golf tournament in Boca Raton and a Walk-a-Thon in Sunrise, both in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  “In 2008, as the economy struggled, we did not feel it was appropriate to have a year-end holiday staff party. So, instead we made donations to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood and to the Miami Children’s Hospital,” Eric Assouline has been quoted as saying.

Eric Assouline currently serves on the board of directors of: the B’nai Brith Justice Unit; the Jewish Na­tional Fund; Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach Counties; the University of Miami Law Alumni Association; and the Florida Alumni of Arizona State University.

Eric Assouline has been a regular guest speaker at St. Thomas Univer­sity School of Law, where his wife, Iris Rogatinsky, is a law pro­fessor.  During his talks, Eric Assouline has mentored law students seeking his advice and insight on the practice of law, and he has conducted lectures on litigation and deposition skills for Pincus Professional Edu­cation. He also regularly volunteers to judge law school moot court and mock trial competitions at the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern Law School.

“I feel fortunate that I have been given this opportunity and I do my best to instill the same strong work ethic and uncompromising moral values upon my children with the help of my amazing wife.” She also worked with both Eric Assouilne him Peter Berlowe at Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Eric Assouline’s rise from humble beginnings to prominence in the legal community has colored his view of the world, the com­munity, and his firm. Eric Assouline and the attorneys of Assouline & Berlowe recognize their fortuity. Eric Assouline has been quoted as saying: “You will not hear me complain about my life. I find it very unbecoming to complain about triv­ial matters. No one is perfect and no situation is perfect forever. I like to say that I don’t look at the glass half full. I am grateful I even have a glass to drink. And as far as I am concerned, my glass always runneth over.”

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

Business Litigation Partner

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

Miami Tower

100 SE 2nd St., Suite 3105

Miami, FL 33131

Telephone: 305-567-5576

Email: ena@assoulineberlowe.com

www.assoulineberlowe.com

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

Miami · Ft. Lauderdale · Boca Raton

Assouline & Berlowe SuperLawyers 2019

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