The Beggs & Lane Blog
By: Terrie L. Didier If counsel failed to make an argument prior to entry of judgment, Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.530 can be a lifeline to preserve the issue for review on appeal. Lack of preservation will be excused only in very limited circumstances, i.e., denial of due process or the court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. Rule 1.530 is also available to address a deficient order or judgment. If the matter was tried before a judge without a jury, a motion for rehearing to challenge the findings as not supported by competent, substantial evidence is not necessary. However, when a [...]
When choosing a brand name or slogan, an often-overlooked consideration is the strength of potential trademark protection. Whether a fresh-faced entrepreneur starting a new business or a seasoned marketing expert, anyone who creates a brand must contemplate the degree of protection afforded to that mark. To obtain protection under U.S. trademark laws, marks must be “distinctive” with respect to the goods or services for which they issue. Protectable and enforceable marks are either inherently distinctive or have acquired distinctiveness through secondary meaning. Below is the “spectrum of distinctiveness,” or levels of strength under U.S. trademark law, from strongest to weakest [...]
Federal law enforcement agents have tremendous power to investigate a wide variety of cases. Whether from the FBI, DEA, IRS, or SEC, these agents use many different tools to gather information. A commonly-used tool by these agents is an unscheduled, surprise visit to a person’s home or work. This is commonly known as an “ambush interview.” The general rationale behind this type of interview is that a person will be sufficiently startled and unprepared such that they will immediately speak to the agent without any conditions or restraints. If this happens to you, there are three things to keep in [...]
Traveling Out of the Country? Be Prepared to Allow CBP to Inspect the Contents of Your Electronic Devices Upon Returning Home.
By: Charles T. Wiggins The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has the right to inspect the contents of your electronic devices—iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc.—upon entry to the United States. Even if you are a U.S. citizen. That means that CBP has a right to look at every e-mail, text, or photo you have on your phone. And CBP doesn’t have to obtain a warrant to do so. Does this seem overly intrusive? Certainly. But CBP says: “As a constitutional matter, border search authority is premised in part on a reduced expectation of privacy associated with international travel.” CBP Directive [...]
By: Kevin M. Helmich, Esq. Naming a trust as a beneficiary of an IRA is quite complicated. If you do it wrong, you can trigger total distribution of the retirement account within 5 years of the date of death. This would accelerate the recognition of income on the retirement account. With larger retirement accounts, such acceleration of income tax liability can be significant. There are two different types of trusts that can meet the rules regarding qualified beneficiaries of a retirement account. One type of trust is an “Accumulation Trust”. The other is a “Conduit Trust”. With an Accumulation Trust, the [...]
By Amy P. Slaman Probate is necessary when assets are titled in the deceased person’s name and the asset is one that does not automatically transfer on death through a beneficiary or pay-on-death designation. Many people think having a Last Will & Testament (or a “Will”) means probate court will be avoided. However, a Last Will & Testament does not function as a beneficiary or pay-on-death designation for the purpose of automatically distributing assets out of your name and to your intended beneficiaries. The purpose of a Will is to allow you to decide how you wish your assets to [...]