Legal Insights | Winter 2012-2013 | Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC
Legal Insights is a newsletter of timely and 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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estate plan
What the "fiscal cliff" deal means for your estate plan

For more than 10 years, we lived with uncertainty over what would happen to the federal estate tax law. Finally, in early January, Congress and the president brought some certainty to this area as part of the "fiscal cliff" agreement. While laws obviously can change, we now have a federal estate tax law that does not have automatic expirations or changes. We can now plan our estates without having to worry about an ever-changing tax law. Whew!

What does this mean for you? Generally, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 made permanent the federal estate tax law as it existed in 2012, with a few differences. Following are some questions and answers on the estate provisions of the new law:
Read the full article.

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Ohio liberalizes sealing of convictions
At some point, everyone makes a mistake. Unfortunately, a mistake can sometimes result in a criminal conviction. And while the sentence might be long over, the collateral consequences of a conviction can linger—continuing to affect educational and employment opportunities.

With the enactment of Ohio Senate Bill 337, more individuals are eligible to have their convictions sealed.
Read the full article.

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Simple steps to detect and deter employee theft and fraud
Many small businesses share a common characteristic—an exposure to loss caused by employee theft and fraud. An employee theft can be a devastating loss to a small business. The business not only sustains the monetary loss associated with the misappropriation but also often loses a key employee or employees. In addition, it incurs substantial legal and accounting fees investigating and cleaning up the mess.
Read the full article.

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When is weaving not weaving?
Weaving in traffic? It depends on which county you're in.

In Cuyahoga County, the prevailing standard was set in State v. Grigoryan, when the 8th District Court of Appeals (Ohio) held that weaving within one's own lane of travel is not considered a legal justification for a traffic stop and investigation.
Read the full article.
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Spotlight
article divider Lawyers at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper (NGC) offer a combined total of more than 75 years' experience in public sector law in Northeast Ohio. Members of our team have served as law director, prosecutor, assistant law director and assistant prosecutor for a number of Greater Cleveland municipalities and as legal adviser for municipalities, self-insurance pools, multi-community councils of government, a school district and a foreign government.
Read about our public sector law practice.
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Firm News
article divider Richard G. Witkowski discusses risks in standard arbitration clauses and how businesses can protect themselves in a Jan. 24 Crain's Cleveland Business "Small Business Guest Blog" post. Witkowski's article first appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of Legal Insights.
Firm News
Mike Bertsch moderated a panel of experts as they examined a workers' compensation case from claim to hearing at a meeting Dec. 14 hosted by the Lake County Safety Council. Panelists included Kathy Gee, who, like Bertsch, handles workers' compensation defense at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper. The event was at the LaMalfa Conference Centre in Mentor.
Firm News
Developments in drunken driving prosecution and recent changes in search and seizure and traffic laws were among the topics that Michael E. Cicero lectured about Nov. 7–8 at a seminar for police officers from more than a dozen departments in the Valley Enforcement Group. The professional development seminar was at the Orange Village police department.
Firm News
Matthew T. Fitzsimmons and
R. Christopher Yingling won the dismissal of a discrimination lawsuit with a federal court ruling that sets forth the applicable law for age and national origin discrimination claims within the context of a companywide reduction in force. For more information, read the opinion and order in Mathur v. Meriam Process Technologies and the magistrate judge's report and recommendation on which it was based.
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Fitzsimmons spoke Oct. 10 at a lunch marking the 45th anniversary of Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services Inc. (NEON), a federally qualified community health center that serves 45,000 patients in Cleveland and East Cleveland. Fitzsimmons, chairman of NEON's board of trustees, was interviewed afterward by local television stations on the role community health centers will play under the Affordable Care Act. The event was at Windows On The River.
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Copyright 2013 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.