Legal Insights | Winter 2011-2012 | Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Legal Insights, a newsletter we plan to fill with timely, down-to-earth, practical legal information that we hope you can use in your professional and personal pursuits. Please contact your attorney at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper if you have any questions or comments or if you would like to suggest topics of interest for future issues.
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financially troubled customers
Strategies for dealing with financially troubled customers
Leading economists say it's true, but many in business will have a hard time believing the recent recession ended in June 2009. Managing receivables is challenging in the best of times, and these challenges have been made even more difficult by the prolonged economic doldrums that still affect many businesses. There are, however, several steps your company can take to strengthen its collection efforts.
Read the full article.
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Independent contractor or employee?
Take care with IRS amnesty offer
Good news may have arrived recently for employers who have struggled with whether workers employed as independent contractors should really be classified as employees. On Sept. 21, the IRS began an amnesty program called the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP), which allows employers who have been misclassifying their workers as . . .
Read the full article.
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Do you still need a trust?
The portable $5 million gift and estate tax exclusion and the broken suitcase
Remember when the Bush era tax cuts were extended (temporarily) in December 2010? Part of that deal involved raising the amount that could be excluded from federal gift and estate taxes to $5 million per person. A new feature made the exclusion "portable" between spouses so that, for example, a couple could pass along $10 million, free of federal estate taxes, to their children.
Read the full article.
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A primer on mechanic's liens
Nothing seems to cause contractors and property owners more confusion than mechanic's liens.

Despite what many people seem to think, a mechanic's lien is not a court order that the owner must pay the contractor. It is probably best to think of it as being like a mortgage. A mechanic's lien serves as security that a contractor will get paid. The lien attaches to the real property on which the work was done.
Read the full article.
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Spotlight
article divider Lawyers in Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper's employment law practice offer significant experience and cost-effective services in the full spectrum of employment-related matters. For small and medium-size businesses, our services include a Help Desk, which provides ready access to legal advice and answers to employment questions.
Read about our employment law practice.
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Firm News
article divider Jim Juliano comments on the erosion of public trust in the sports industry in a profile posted recently on the Ohio State Bar Association website. Juliano represents businesses in a number of industries, including sports, as well as public sector and institutional clients.
Firm News
Crain's Cleveland Business turned to James H. Grove, a litigator who concentrates on employment law at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper, to help explain to its readers the potential pitfalls of an amnesty offer by the IRS. The program is for employers who have inappropriately classified workers as independent contractors and thereby avoided payroll taxes. Writer Michelle Park quoted Grove extensively in her story. Read more on the topic in the article Grove wrote in this issue of Legal Insights.
Firm News
Juliano, a regular speaker at the Baseball Winter Meetings, discussed amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), liability for crowd control and ballpark railing heights Dec. 7 during the annual event in Dallas. Juliano's talk was to the board of directors of Minor League Baseball's Northwest League.
Firm News
Grove and Nicholas J. Dertouzos successfully persuaded a federal judge in Cincinnati to dismiss a Fair Credit Reporting Act case against USAA Federal Savings Bank (Boggio v. USAA Federal Savings Bank).The case involved a divorced man who claimed his former wife forged his name for a car loan, alleging the bank wrongly put a blemish on his credit rating when she defaulted on the loan. The ruling noted that the bank had conducted a reasonable investigation before reporting the default to credit agencies.
Firm News
Timothy L. McGarry spoke on insurance issues facing design professionals and on mechanic's liens at Air Control Products Inc.'s 2011 Innovation Expo Oct. 5 and Oct. 6. The company reports more than 300 visitors attended the expo, held at its offices in Broadview Heights.
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Copyright 2012 by Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC

This newsletter contains general information that should not be considered legal advice or legal opinion concerning individual situations.
Legal counsel should be consulted for specific advice.