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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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Former U.S. Ambassador Discusses Technology & Miami as Global City

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Assouline & Berlowe Partner Peter E. Berlowe had the privilege of listening to firm friend Former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Hon. Kirk Wagar speak last week at Pipeline Workspaces. Ambassador Wagar spoke about opportunities in South and Southeast Asia and how Miami can grow in to a truly global city.  In part, Ambassador Wagar discussed how driverless vehicles and related technology will begin to have far reaching implications for worldwide employment and economics over the next five to ten years.  Ambassador Wagar reflected upon the United States as the true world power, in part because of U.S. private business’ continued respect for business formalities and intellectual properties of the other countries in which they invest.  Pictured are Peter E. Berlowe, Hon. Kirk Wagar, and WLRN V.P. of News Tom Hudson.

For more information about the speech or related issues, please contact Mr. Berlowe at:

Peter E. Berlowe, Esq.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

3250 Mary Street, Suite 100

Miami, Florida 33133

Main:  (305) 567-5576

Fax: (305) 567-9343

Email: PEB@AssoulineBerlowe.com

http://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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Wouldn’t You Want Benefits Paid in U.S. dollars?

Assouline & Berlowe

Attorneys Peter Berlowe, Daniel Vielleville, and Cristina Vicens successfully defended a motion dismiss brought by Cargill, Inc. regarding Cargill’s payment of Adela Ortega’s employment benefits .  Ortega, a 19 year employee of Cargill, was primed to be a top executive after her assignment in the United States.  After her position was terminated, Ortega sought benefits due to her as severance.  Cargill wanted to pay Ortega based in Venezuelan bolivars while Ortega wanted be paid in U.S. dollars, a major difference in value.

In a recent article in the Daily Business Review (click here for the article), Peter Berlowe stated:  “We’re very happy we survived the motion to dismiss, because it shows that this case is not about politics or international law.  It’s really an issue of contract. The company claims their guiding principles are keeping and honoring contracts they enter into and doing right by their employees. They ignored both these principles in dealing with our client.”

At one point “Cargill and its Venezuelan affiliate started pointing fingers at each other” when trying to deal with Ortega’s benefits’ claims, stated Daniel Vielleville.

For a detailed review of the case, read the article featured in the Daily Business Review.

Please contact Peter Berlowe or Daniel Vielleville for any questions about the article and for any business litigation and international law concerns.

Peter E. Berlowe, Esq.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

3250 Mary Street, Suite 100

Miami, Florida 33133

Main:  (305) 567-5576

Fax: (305) 567-9343

Email: PEB@AssoulineBerlowe.com

http://www.AssoulineBerlowe.com/

Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law, Bankruptcy, Commercial Litigation, and Corporate Law

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

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Learn How to Protect Your Clients’ Valuable Intellectual Property

Assouline & Berlowe

Assouline & Berlowe patent attorneys Peter Koziol and Greg Popowitz will be speaking at a webinar focusing on Intellectual Property for the Non-IP Attorney.  The Pincus Professional Education webinar will take place on August 06, 2015 at 3 p.m. EST

To view the full announcement and register for the event, click here.

An overview of the Intellectual Property Topics that will be discussed are highlighted below.

IP is a complicated area, even for IP attorneys. For the rest of us, the nitty gritty rules are sometimes a mystery.  Listen in on this IP for the Non-IP attorney webinar so you can understand how to best protect your client and their assets. You will learn:

Origins of Intellectual Property (IP) in the United States and Internationally

  • The USPTO is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce (Patents and Trademarks)
  • WIPO covers International IP rights
How a non-IP lawyer can identify IP to Protect their Clients and Generate Value for the Business (Emphasis on Patents)
  • Patents (patent process, patentability opinions, freedom to operate opinions; limited time)
    • Design, Utility, Plant Patents
  • Trademarks (common law, state, federal rights; rights continue with use)
    • Strategy of using intent to use application vs. actual use application
  • Copyrights, and
  • Trade Secrets
What Does IP Protection Provide?
  • IP creates value to the business (it is an asset owned by the business)
  • Protects inventions, brands, etc. of the business, which can provide a marketing and sales edge over competitors
  • Patents – generate new business opportunities since a patent gives you an exclusive right
  • Licensing and sales opportunities
  • Access to Financing
  • Leverage in Litigation (damage calculations and discovery access)
  • Leverage in Business (assets and monopoly like rights)
How to Secure International Protection
  • Work with international: IP counsel, companies and connections, and markets
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
  • Madrid Protocol (trademarks)
  • Industrial Designs Treaty
  • Berne Convention
General Considerations for IP
  • Coordinate with transactional and litigation counsel, insurance providers, venture capital, and tax counsel
  • Bankruptcy and creditor rights impact
  • Receiver/trustee
  • Estate planning
Common Mistakes and Misconceptions
  • Poor man’s copyright
  • Statutory Bar Date (Loss of Rights)
    • Public Use/Disclosure (trade shows, publications, offers to sell)
    • Social Media Posts
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Priority of Use

For questions about the webinar or any Intellectual Property matters, contact Peter Koziol or Greg Popowitz below.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

213 East Sheridan Street, Suite 3

Dania Beach, Florida  33004

Main: 954.929.1899

Fax: 954.922.6662

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, Corporate & Finance, Real Estate, International Law

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

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Update: Federal Trade Commission Prosecutes It’s First Crowdfunding Case

Federal Trade Commission

In a recent blog post on this subject, Assouline & Berlowe outlined pertinent provisions of Florida’s Intrastate Crowdfunding legislation. The new law is aimed at assisting venture entrepreneurs and smaller businesses raise investment capital through general solicitation and without the usual high transaction costs. By utilizing an intermediary online platform, individuals and businesses can reach a vast number of potential investors; usually those who have limited amounts to invest. As with all searches for “The Next Big Thing,” Caveat Emptor!

On June 11, 2015, in its first crowdfunding case, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced legal action against a promoter who used the online intermediary platform Kickstarter.com to solicit funds to produce The Doom That Came to Atlantic City; a board game. Parenthetically, Kickstarter.com successfully raised over $1 billion since its inception. Crowdfunding online platforms raised approximately 2.7 billion in 2012, and approximately $5.1 billion in 2013.

The FTC files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the FTC that a proceeding is in the public interest. Stipulated orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge. This case is part of the FTC’s consumer protection program related to FinTech; the use of new and emerging financial technology

The FTC and the promoter reached a case settlement. The promoter is

  • prohibited from making any deceptive representations in any future crowdfunding campaign;
  • required to honor any stated refund policy;  and
  • barred from disclosing or benefiting from customers’ personal information, and failing to dispose of such information properly

A $111,793.71 judgment was also imposed against the promoter; but was suspended because of his inability to pay. If it is found that he misrepresented his financial condition, it will be reinstated.

In its announcement, Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said:

“Many consumers enjoy the opportunity to take part in the development of a product or service through crowdfunding, and they generally know there’s some uncertainty involved in helping start something new. But consumers should be able to trust their money will actually be spent on the project they funded.”

According to the FTC, the promoter, doing business as , Co., raised $35,000, promising certain rewards. He raised more than $122,000 from 1,246 backers, most of whom pledged $75 or more.  After 14 months, the promoter cancelled the project promising to return the funds. Neither the funds nor the promised rewards were provided to the investors. The FTC’s complaint alleged that the promoter “spent most of the money on unrelated personal expenses and for a different project.”

The FTC’s Complaint outlined the Kickstarter.com “campaign:”

To initiate a Kickstarter “campaign,” the project creator develops a “homepage” that provides information (usually including a video and multiple pictures) about the product, service, or content that will be created with the raised funds. This homepage serves as the launch point for the entire project. In addition to information about the final product, the homepage provides information about the total amount of money needed for the project and the number of days left to fund it. Project creators can choose the length of the fundraising period, but Kickstarter limits the maximum time period to 60 days.

Kickstarter is structured for “all or nothing” funding. If the creator does not raise sufficient funds to meet the original fundraising goal within the time period agreed to, the creator does not receive any money and no backer is charged.

Kickstarter’s Terms of Use stated that Kickstarter funds must be used on a project with a “clear goal” that “produces” a deliverable.

Every project’s homepage offers multiple “pledge” options. Each tier promises specific deliverables or, in Kickstarter parlance, “rewards.” Usually, the higher the amount pledged, the greater the rewards promised to the consumer.

To become a project “backer” on Kickstarter, a consumer must first locate that project’s homepage by searching for the project by its name or by browsing the various categories and subcategories within Kickstarter’s main page. A consumer has the option of searching for a project by category (e.g., dance, food, games, etc.) or location (e.g., city or state). Kickstarter’s main homepage also features “staff picks” or “popular projects that appear as soon as you arrive at the website. Clicking on the title of the project takes the consumers to its homepage.

From the project homepage, consumers can select the amount they wish to pay.

Kickstarter will prompt the consumer for his credit card information. The consumer will not be charged until the fundraising period is complete and the project reaches its funding goal. Once the project reaches its funding goal, Kickstarter charges the consumer’s credit card and transmits the money to the project creator. In the event that a project reaches its funding goal but is unable to provide rewards to its backers, Kickstarter’s Terms of Use (as existing in the current case) stated that the project creator must refund the consumers the amount pledged.

Crowdfunding is becoming an important fund raising tool. Initially developed from philanthropic campaigns, the process allows small investors greater participation in free enterprise. For the entrepreneur closed to traditional capital sourced, it can provide the “seed money” to take a concept to IPO. With all financial products, due diligence is important and skepticism critical!

To view the see the full FTC release, click here.

For more information on Crowdfunding or other Venture Capital or Private Equity matters, please contact:

Carl H. Perdue, JD, LLM
Senior Counsel and Partner
Business and Finance

The above material is for information purposes only; and is not to be considered legal or financial advice.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

1801 N. Military Trail, Suite 160

Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Main:  (561) 361-6566

Fax: (561) 361-6466

Email: CHP@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

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$6.4 Million Judgment Against Daddy Yankee in the Daily Business Review!

Miami Intellectual Property and Business Law Firm Assouline & BerloweAssouline & Berlowe congratulates Attorneys Peter Berlowe, Daniel Vielleville, and Andrew Riccio and the team at Winston & Strawn on their recent $6.4 million judgment against reggaeton star Ramon Luis Ayala Rodriguez, more popularly known as Daddy Yankee.  Today’s Daily Business Review (DBR) has a feature article on the lawsuit surrounding the singer’s canceled concert tour in Argentina.

Five Live Entertainment and promoter Diego Hernan De Iraola sued Daddy Yankee, his recording company, and his manager for breach of contract, defamation and injurious falsehood.  The jury found that Daddy Yankee, through his agent Edgar Baldiri, had published false and defamatory statements regarding Mr. De Iraola and Five Live Entertainment.  These statements negatively impacted Mr. De Iraola’s event production company.

The DBR article discusses the case and how the attorneys are now focused on the timing of the $6.4 million judgment.  To read the entire article, please look at today’s print version of the Daily Business Review to find Attorneys Peter Berlowe, Daniel Vielleville, and Andrew Riccio pictured on the top fold.  To view the article online, visit the link below (requires subscriber access).

http://m.dailybusinessreview.com/module/alm/app/dbr.do#!/article/1405406917

Please contact the team at Assouline & Berlowe to discuss your legal and business needs.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

3250 Mary Street, Suite 100

Miami, Florida 33133

Main:  (305) 567-5576

Fax: (305) 567-9343

Email: info@assoulineberlowe.com

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com/

Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law, Bankruptcy, Commercial Litigation, and Corporate Law

Miami • Ft. Lauderdale • Boca Raton

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