Legal Insights | Winter 2014-2015 | 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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Ohio revises durable power of attorney for health care law
6 ways to get the jump on 2015

What you do now can help establish solid footing, financial and otherwise, in 2015 for you and/or your company. Here are six recommendations from lawyers at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper that could cut the tax bills, help increase revenues, respond to the markets and limit employment liability, among other things. Use that holiday down time to ease pressures later on.

Read the full article.
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Beware the shell company
Scams can go unnoticed

Shell companies, which are legal vehicles for certain types of legitimate business activity, can also be convenient mechanisms to conceal large-scale financial fraud, and should be a concern for all individuals, non-profits and businesses. They can be set up by employees, vendors and customers to conceal garden-variety frauds in your company's accounts payable and billing functions. Here are some ways in which they work, and steps for preventing losses.

Read the full article.
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Liability doesn't take a holiday
Responsible steps for company festivities

The company holiday party—or any company-sponsored social event—can become a company nightmare unless properly planned. It's not just alcohol and mistletoe that can get a business in trouble. The sober truth is that a well-meaning company can get into legal difficulties beyond loose behavior by a tipsy employee, such as with wage and hour laws. Here are some guidelines that will help avoid falling into legal liability traps. Some of them may not be obvious to most employers.

Read the full article.
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Helping aging parents manage financial affairs

Discussing critical estate planning issues with aging parents can be daunting, which is probably why such discussions often never take place. One survey showed that 70% of adult children 25 and over had not had an in-depth discussion with their parents about key issues such as wills, health directives and estate plans.

Certainly these are difficult topics, but they can be tackled and resolved with a non-threatening, step-by-step approach, according to Arthur L. (Tim) Clements III, who handles trust and estate planning, probate and trust administration and trust and probate litigation at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC.

Read the full article.
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Spotlight
article divider Mediation and/or arbitration have increasingly become preferred means for businesses to resolve commercial disputes. However, not all alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provisions are equal. Attorneys at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper have extensive experience negotiating fair and effective ADR provisions for their clients. And, when a dispute subject to an ADR provision arises, our attorneys have the know- how to manage the process for their clients effectively and efficiently.
Read about our alternative dispute resolution practice.
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Firm News
article divider Arthur L. (Tim) Clements III has been elected president of the Yale Alumni Association of Cleveland.
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Jim Juliano served as a panelist at the Legal Round Table of the Mid America Conference of the American Federation of Musicians. In his spare time, Juliano is a keyboard artist who performs occasionally at Cleveland area jazz clubs.
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Juliano was quoted in Crain's Cleveland Business, "City is applying admissions tax to sellers who make profits on Flash Seats" (subscription required).
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The city of Cleveland Heights has appointed Juliano as its law director. He has been the suburb's assistant law director since 1997.
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Matthew T. Fitzsimmons has been promoted to full adjunct professor of law at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University. Fitzsimmons has taught mediation at the law school since 2008.
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Fitzsimmons obtained an $800,000 reduction in the market value of an Ohio Bell Telephone Company property in Columbus, cutting the original valuation almost in half. The Ohio Board of Tax Appeals affirmed the reduction, from $1,650,000 to $850,000. As a result, Ohio Bell received a significant tax refund.
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Fitzsimmons, who chairs the NorthEast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services Inc. (NEON), was joined by 300 other supporters, including Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, at a dinner this fall celebrating NEON's 47 years of providing primary medical and dental care to the medically underserved.
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Richard G. Witkowski served as a presenter at two "Risk Management and Ethics Boot Camp for Accountants" programs sponsored by the Hanover Insurance Group. One was held in Minneapolis and the other in Oklahoma City.
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Witkowski also was a panelist discussing ethical issues for CPAs in a national webinar, "Stuck in the Middle: Avoiding Conflicts of Interest." It was part of CNA Insurance Companies' School of Risk Control Excellence.
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Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC
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Cleveland, Ohio 44115

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Copyright 2014 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.