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11/09/2015 11:00 PM
Law Firm Marketing Magazine, BLF, Talks About Switching to Mac and Getting Client Reviews

San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) November 9, 2015 - The latest issue of Bigger Law Firm magazine features an article about attorneys making the switch from Windows to Mac and Linux. Ryan Conley explains that Mac and Linux offer alternative operating systems that are viable for attorneys. He shares the many solutions that allow Windows software to run on Mac OS or Linux, and gives examples of cloud software that can be operated on any web browser.

Conley further describes the distinct advantages that Mac and Linux have over Windows. Each provides ease of use, security and privacy. Moreover, another advantage of Linux is that one can install and run the system from a USB flash drive, thereby eliminating the need to purchase another computer.

In her article, Dipal Parmar discusses the ways in which lawyers can use video advertising to promote their practice and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Parmar further explains the importance of ensuring that one creates quality video ads, which should be engaging and appealing so as to capture viewers’ attention.

Brendan Conley highlights the importance of developing an effective strategy for online marketing, including press releases, blog posts, webpages, FAQs, social media content and videos. He also states that in creating a content strategy, one must determine the target audience and provide relevant content including common areas of interest or concern to one’s potential clients. One can then assess the effectiveness of the strategy by using such tools as Google Analytics.

Roxanne Minott illustrates the importance of developing a client feedback program for an attorney to find out whether their clients are pleased with their work, and whether any changes should be implemented to improve upon the services provided. She further describes the various types of client feedback programs and the ways in which they can be used as marketing tools.

Kristen Friend offers insight into the use of pay-per-click Bing ads as part of a firm’s marketing efforts, and discusses the advantages it has over Google Adwords, including its lower cost. Some features offered by Bing include Ads Intelligence, which helps with research and suggestions of keywords, and group-level control, which allows one to make changes to a schedule for groups within a campaign.

Kerrie Spencer describes a new product called Capture.it that helps lawyers recover billable hours by tracking their activities and making time entries. Spencer highlights the benefits of using Capture.it, including its one-click capture, web portal access and compliance with the ABA Model Rules that stipulate a duty to ensure that the client is informed, as well as to maintain accurate records of client activity.

Download the latest issue of Bigger Law Firm Magazine "The Switch: How do Mac and Linux Stack up for Attorneys"

Download the latest issue of Bigger Law Firm Magazine "The Switch: How do Mac and Linux Stack up for Attorneys"

To learn more about how to build a Bigger Law Firm, visit http://www.biggerlawfirm.com

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11/09/2015 04:34 PM
Judges' Trips Reflect Gray Area in Ethics Rules

Federal appeals judges routinely travel across the country to speak and teach, and their hosts pay the cost. Rarely do judges visit legal advocacy groups that appear often in court, according to a National Law Journal review of judges' annual financial reports.

         

11/09/2015 04:33 PM
NewsFlash! No Movement in DF Chart in Dec 2015 Visa Bulletin

This afternoon, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the December 2015 Visa Bulletin. There is no movement in the dates for filing (DF) chart for any of the employment-based or family-based categories. As for the final action (FA) chart, the only major movement is in the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category for those born in India. EB2 India moves ahead nearly a full year, to June 1, 2007. EB2 China, on the other hand, sees no movement at all. There is very little movement in the employment-based, third preference (EB3) category in the FA chart. EB3 India moves ahead by only a couple of weeks, to April 22, 2004. EB3 China fares a bit better, advancing to April 15, 2012.

More details on the December 2015 Visa Bulletin will be provided in the coming days on MurthyDotCom. Subscribe to the free MurthyBulletin to stay informed on visa bulletin developments and other immigration law matters.

Copyright © 2015, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved


11/09/2015 04:33 PM
Diwali: Keeping the Darkness at Bay

As we approached the new millennium more than fifteen years ago, there was reason to hope we were entering an enlightened age - one that was leaving the old prejudices behind. Today? There appears to be a growing intolerance in the world. There are more and more clashes between people with shared histories, but with different perspectives from which they see. Colleagues, neighbors, even friends are told by zealots that they should not mix with "others."

But try imagining yourself in the shoes of a Syrian refugee, who has survived to escape war at home, only to reach a country where no one wants you; or of a young AfricanAmerican who sees police only as hostile, and never as protecting or serving anyone you know; or of a grandmother in Northern Ireland, able to bring up her children in peace, now fearing a resurgence of old hostilities in the time her grandchildren.

Diwali, or Deepavali, is the Hindu festival of lights. Many religions around the world have festivals that seek to bring light when the days are shorter and colder. Whatever our faiths or beliefs, may we be aware of our own inner light, as it pushes aside ignorance and arrogance, to make room for understanding and enlightenment. Trying to walk in the shoes of another brings us closer to understanding, and it is only by striving to understand that we can move toward peace - peace within our communities, and peace within ourselves.

Copyright © 2015, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved


11/09/2015 09:19 AM
IT Positions Lead H1B Occupations in FY2015

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has released data on labor conditions applications (LCA) filed in connection with H1B petitions during fiscal year 2015 (FY15). The information reflects the number of LCA filings, as well as the most common occupations, the locations of employment, and the largest employer-sponsors of H1B workers.

Background: Labor Condition Application

An LCA must be approved by the DOL before a corresponding H1B petition may be filed. LCAs are also required for cases filed in the less common H1B1 and E-3 categories. LCAs are intended to protect the U.S. labor market, and contain employer attestations related to the position. The FY15 statistics cover the period from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

Almost 600,000 LCAs Received in FY15

The DOL received nearly 600,000 LCAs during FY15. By far, the busiest quarter for LCA filings was the second quarter (i.e., January 1 to March 31, 2015), which included the months leading up to the April 1, 2015 initial filing date for fiscal year 2016 H1B cap cases. The 295,541 filings during the second quarter accounted for approximately half of the annual filings. The lowest quarter for filings was the first quarter (i.e., October 1 to December 31, 2014).

It should be noted that it is common for employers, especially those in the tech industry, to file multiple LCAs for a single worker. This can occur in various circumstances, such as changes in work location or job duties.

LCAs are Routinely Approved, Unlike PERMs for GC

It is relatively rare for an LCA to be denied, as the DOL is reviewing for completeness, rather than for more substantive issues. The seven-day LCA process results in roughly a 98 percent approval rate. This should not be confused with the far more rigorous PERM labor certification process, which is required in many employment-based, permanent residence (commonly referred to as "green card") cases.

H1B Occupations Include IT Industry

As would be expected, the top H1B/LCA occupations fell within the information technology (IT) category. Computer systems analysts accounted for 28 percent of the LCA positions. Software developers (applications) and computer programmers each accounted for 12 percent of the LCA positions. The generic category of "computer occupations / all other" had nine percent of the filings, followed closely by software developers (systems software) at six percent.

It is worth noting that H1Bs are not only used for IT positions. There are many varied occupations that fall within the H1B category, including doctors, engineers, researchers, and teachers. Positions such as these made up about 21 percent of the LCAs filed.

Leading H1B Usage Among States

As has been the longstanding trend, the states of California, Texas, New York, and New Jersey topped the list of work locations indicated in LCAs. These states have large populations and are home to many of the country's major businesses. Also in the top ten states were: Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Washington, Florida, and North Carolina.

Leading H1B Employers

The top filers of employer LCAs in 2015 were, in order: Deloitte Consulting, LLP; Cognizant Technology Solutions; Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd; Wipro Limited; iGate Technologies; Infosys Limited; Mindtree Limited; Syntel Consulting, Inc.; Deloitte & Touche, LLP; and Accenture, LLP.

Conclusion

This data provided by the DOL reinforces the fact that there is a clear need for skilled workers in the United States, especially in the IT industry. MurthyDotCom will continue to update readers on trends in H1B filing and other important immigration topics.

Copyright © 2015, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved


11/09/2015 06:01 AM
Car Accidents Deadliest Threat to Florida Teens
Chalik & Chalik Law Offices

Chalik & Chalik Law Offices

Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 9, 2015 – Parents of teenagers may worry more about alcohol, drugs or bullying, but the greatest threat to the safety of teens is the automobile.

According to government statistics, 71 Florida teenagers were killed in car accidents last year. The National Safety Council said that the first year of driving and first thousand miles driven are the deadliest time in the life of a teenager.

“Teenage drivers are inexperienced and may not have a proper understanding of the dangers they face when they are behind the wheel,” said Jason Chalik, a Florida car accident attorney with Chalik & Chalik Law Offices. “It is very important for parents to teach teens the rules of safe driving.”

Florida Students Against Destructive Decisions and the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition teamed up to declare National Teen Driver Safety Week recently. According to the coalition, there was a 25 percent increase in the number of Florida teenagers killed in car crashes between 2013 and 2014.

The theme of the safety week is “5 to Drive,” which reminds teen drivers of five important safety tips:
· Avoid multiple passengers in the vehicle
· Buckle your seat belt
· Do not drive at excessive speeds
· Do not drink and drive
· Avoid cell phone use while driving

Unfortunately, teenage drivers often ignore these rules, which can lead to deadly consequences, according to the National Safety Council. There were nearly 1 million high school students who drove while impaired in 2011, the safety council said. Distraction was a factor in about 58 percent of teen car crashes, with 12 percent involving the use of cell phones.

Learn more at http://www.chaliklaw.com/.

Chalik & Chalik Law Offices
28 W Flagler St, #1000
Miami, FL 33130
Phone: (305) 944-2035

Chalik & Chalik Law Offices Blog

11/09/2015 06:01 AM
Inheritance Guidelines: When a Younger Spouse Inherits an IRA
Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 6, 2015 – When a younger spouse inherits an IRA, it may be in the best interest of the spouse to continue being a beneficiary of the IRA.

A beneficiary is not required to pay the 10 percent early distribution penalty on funds taken out of the IRA. The spouse would only have to pay income taxes on the amounts withdrawn from the account. But if the spouse were to move the inherited account into his or her own name, then the spouse would have to pay the penalty, unless an exception applied.

In addition, there are no required minimum distributions (RMDs) for a spouse beneficiary until such time as when the deceased spouse would have turned 70 ½. If the spouse beneficiary does not need to withdraw any funds from the IRA, they can remain in the tax-deferred account. Upon reaching age 59 ½, the spouse beneficiary will not be required to pay the 10 percent early distribution penalty on amounts in his or her own IRA, and thus, the spouse could then transfer the inherited IRA into one in his or her name.

“It is important to be aware of one’s options concerning an inherited IRA in the event of a spouse’s death,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia estate planning attorney with Hook Law Center, with offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. “With proper planning and sound advice, a spouse beneficiary of an IRA can make informed decisions.”

It is important to note that the spouse beneficiary must transfer the funds into his or her own account prior to the year in which the deceased spouse would have turned 70 ½. As a beneficiary, one is required to use the Single Life Table for making calculations of the RMDs from the IRA. If the spouse beneficiary owned the IRA, the RMDs would be calculated using the Uniform Lifetime Table, and would be less than the RMDs as a beneficiary. Therefore, as a beneficiary, the spouse would be paying higher amounts of income tax every year, and exhausting the account far more rapidly than if the spouse owned the account.

Furthermore, the beneficiaries of the spouse beneficiary would be unable to use their life expectancies at the time of the spouse’s death. They would be required to use the spouse’s life expectancy, and they would be considered successor beneficiaries. Thus, the yearly distribution would be larger, the beneficiaries would have to pay higher amounts of income tax every year, and the account would be diminished more quickly.

Another option is to roll over the assets into a new IRA, and convert the assets into a Roth IRA. In a Roth IRA, one cannot deduct taxes from the contributions, but withdrawals of funds are not subject to tax, as long as certain criteria are met. However, one will be required to pay taxes on the amount of funds converted from a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA.

One may instead wish to disclaim the IRA assets, which would then go to the contingent beneficiaries of the deceased spouse. This could be a wise decision if inclusion of the IRA assets would cause one’s entire estate to be greater than the estate tax exemption limit for married individuals.

Learn more at http://www.hooklawcenter.com/

Hook Law Center
295 Bendix Road, Suite 170
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452-1294
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267

SUFFOLK
5806 Harbour View Blvd.
Suite 203
Suffolk VA 23435
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267
http://www.hooklawcenter.com/


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11/09/2015 06:01 AM
Special Education Law Firm – Barger & Gaines Is Proud To Announce Addition of Attorney, Consultant, & Motivational Speaker, Robert M. Tudisco to its Irvington, New York Office

Irvington, NY (Law Firm Newswire) November 6, 2015 - In its continued goal to serve as a resource to families, law firm Barger & Gaines is announcing the addition of Attorney, Consultant, & Motivational Speaker, Robert M. Tudisco to its Irvington office.

Mr. Tudisco will focus his practice on special education, education and criminal matters, and will join a firm focused on special education law and advocacy, special needs planning, estate planning, guardianship, and general education matters. Robert M. Tudisco is a nationally recognized author, motivational speaker, and non-profit management consultant in addition to being an attorney diagnosed with ADHD.

Currently committed to end the stigma associated with ADHD, Robert is spearheading CHADD’s “one of 15 million” campaign. He is the former executive director of the Edge Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides specialized coaching for students with ADHD and Executive Functioning Impairment; past member of the National Board of Directors of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD), and former Vice President of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA). Robert writes extensively on special education law and disability advocacy. He has been published in ATTENTION® Magazine and was a legal expert columnist for ADDitude Magazine.

Robert received his Juris Doctor at Fordham University School of Law in 1989. He served four years as Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County, NY. For the last twenty five years, Robert has specialized in the areas of education law, disability advocacy and criminal law.

“Our firm strives to not only provide legal assistance and advocacy to families, but also to offer guidance and education to assist families in navigating the system with confidence,” said Paul Barger, Managing Partner. “We feel very fortunate to have Robert as part of our team. He is an outstanding resource for families. Robert gives a great deal of himself, and is a passionate advocate for children and adults with special needs.”

“I’m very excited to be a part of the team at B&G, where it is clear that the focus extends past their cases to the larger issues that impact the disability community”, said Attorney Tudisco.

For more information about the entire Barger & Gaines team and its unique practice please visit www.bargergaines.com

Contact:

Isabel Hershkowitz
Barger & Gaines
Isabel@bargergaines.com

New York | (914) 902-5918
30 South Broadway
Irvington, NY 10533

New Jersey | 908-242-3635
555 Route 1 South, Suite 340
Iselin, NJ 08830


11/09/2015 12:49 AM
Special Report: Judicial Transparency

Judicial ethics rules encourage judges to get out and mingle with the bar and the public. At the same time, those rules place restrictions on judges' relationships off the bench to minimize conflicts of interest—real or perceived.

         

11/07/2015 03:05 PM
Judges' Trips Reflect Gray Area in Ethics Rules

Federal appeals judges routinely travel across the country to speak and teach, and their hosts pay the cost. Rarely do judges visit legal advocacy groups that appear often in court, according to a National Law Journal review of judges' annual financial reports.