Blog — Topical News

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

As part of a recent series, I wrote an article about various issues involved with making sure beneficiary designations on such matters as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 401(k) accounts, life insurance policies and other similar retirement benefit accounts. Since writing the original article, I have encountered at least three different situations with respect to new clients where the beneficiary designations that were made by an individual during his/her lifetime were not changed after a significant event like the death of a spouse or a divorce, which eventually led to an unintended consequence of individuals receiving proceeds as a beneficiary who the descendant would not have...

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits the creation of a hostile work environment based on the prohibited forms of discrimination, such as discrimination based on sex or race. To hold an employer liable for the harassment, the plaintiff must show that the work environment was so pervaded by discrimination that the terms of employment were altered. Isolated or trivial occurrences are not likely to be sufficient.

Recently, the Supreme Court clarified the issue of when a harassing fellow worker is a “supervisor” and not merely a co-worker for purposes of making the employer entity liable for that harassment.

Conduct of Co-Workers

If the...

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It is an honor to introduce my friend and colleague Dr. Tim Irwin’s latest book, Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything.

Dr. Irwin and I have worked together on behalf of common clients and collaborated on many projects together. Tim is one of the smartest people I know and has developed keen insights into the subject of leadership through his 25 years of experience and work with leaders of global companies.

Working for more than 25 years as an organizational psychologist and management consultant, Tim has worked with thousands of leaders and well-known global companies. He knows most leaders work for recognition and advancement, and that they want more...

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Friday, February 7, 2014

One of the biggest challenges in managing a family-owned business is firing an underperforming family member. Ideally, all of the family members working in the business recognize and agree to the need for firing a family member. I have found in these situations that it is difficult to engage in a process that can be accomplished in a way that relationships are maintained and where everyone can still attend family functions in the future with no underlying ill will or bitterness remaining between family members. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that rarely is everyone emotionally and capable of getting to a place where terminating a family member is accepted and doesn’t negatively...

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Under most states’ premises liability laws, a landowner owes duty to use reasonable care to protect individuals from unreasonable risks of harm posed by dangerous conditions on the owner’s land. This duty is breached when the owner knows or should know of a dangerous condition on the premises of which the third party is unaware and failed to fix the defect, guard against the defect or warn the third party of the defect.

The “Status” of a Third-Party Visitor to the Premises Dictates the Landowner’s Duty

There are three classifications of third-party visitors that impact the landowner’s duty, and the landowner’s duty is different with respect to each of the...

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