– Est. –
1927

Death of the Death Tax?

On January 10, 2017, Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) introduced H.R. 631, the “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017.” While this bill resembles a similar bill that failed to become law in 2015, with the 2016 elections, the political landscape in Washington has changed considerably.

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Blachly & Costantino Speaking at Women Living a Richer Life Summit

Join SYK’s Victoria Blachly and Chris Costantino on March 23rd for an empowering day of coaching, connections, and conversation at Brighton Jones Women Living a Richer Life Summit.

The duo have been selected to speak at the event. Blachly and Costantino will be among the 10 exceptionally amazing women to chosen to take part in the summit.

The event will begin with Michelle Williams sharing her inspiration and vision for the Women Living a Richer Life Summit. Following the kick-off, be ready to engage in an interactive Q&A and to spend the day listening and learning. Attendees are encouraged to stay after, to celebrate the day together and share a toast at the cocktail hour. It’s a great opportunity to talk with speakers, and learn more about one another.

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Tenant Landlord

Portland “Relocation Assistance” Ordinance Requires Landlords Pay

On the evening of February 2, 2017, the Portland City Council passed an ordinance that will require landlords to pay for relocation assistance to their tenants. The ordinance will enable tenants to be paid for moving costs when their landlord has either raised the rent by 10% or more or has served a “no cause” termination notice on the tenant.

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Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher: Some Early Thoughts on Her Estate

May the Force be with you Carrie – you were one of the brightest stars.

The entertainment world lost an iconic legend today. Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars films, passed away this morning after suffering a heart attack on December 23, 2016, while on a flight from London to Los Angeles. In addition to her Star Wars role, Ms. Fisher starred in many other films, and also authored several books, plays, and screen plays. She recently published her autobiography, The Princess Diarist.

From a legal perspective, it is far too early to analyze Ms. Fisher’s estate to any degree. However, one can make a number of observations.

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Victoria Blachly: SYK Attorney

Blachly Appointed to Oregon Commission on Uniform State Laws

Congratulations to SYK attorney Victoria Blachly, who has been appointed by Governor Kate Brown to the Oregon Commission on Uniform State Laws. The Oregon Commission drafts uniform state laws in all states, for various fields of law. The members of the Commission appear before legislators, where they must explain and promote the passage of those laws. Blachly said, “It is an honor to be appointed, and I look forward to working with the bright and diligent Commissioners that works so hard to make the law easier to navigate.” Her term will run until 2020.

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“Not So Fast” – Federal Judge Grants Injunction Against Overtime Regulation

On Tuesday, November 22, a Federal District Court Judge in Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against an Obama administration regulation, which sought to expand the eligibility of millions of workers for overtime pay.

The regulation was ruled by Judge Mazzat to have likely exceeded the authority of the Obama administration because it nearly doubled the overtime salary threshold. The regulation would raise the minimum annual salary amount from $23,660 to $47,476. It would automatically qualify workers for overtime pay, so long as their annual salary was below the new $47,476 threshold.

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Banks Receives 2016 Distinguished Service Award from PIABA

Last week at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association in San Diego, attorney Bob Banks was honored with PIABA’s Distinguished Service Award. The award is given “in recognition of outstanding, long-term and sustained service to promote the interests of the public investor in securities and commodities arbitration.”

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Construction Liens Explained

Today, Van White will be presenting at the Building Materials Dealer’s Association (BMDA) Washington and Oregon Lien Law Seminar. The presentation includes information on preliminary notices, perfecting lien claims, bond claims, post lien requirements, and licensing requirements. This begs the question – what are Construction Liens? Van explains.

Construction Liens (also known as Mechanics Liens) are a charge against or interest in privately owned real property to secure payment of a debt obligation. They are granted by statute to persons who have provided labor, materials, or certain services, which are incorporated into, consumed in, or contributing to the improvement of real property.

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Van White to Present at BMDA Lien Law Seminar

SYK attorney Van White will be this year’s guest speaker for the Building Material Dealer’s Association (BMDA) Washington and Oregon Lien Law Seminar. White’s presentation will include information on: preliminary notices, perfecting lien claims, bond claims, post lien requirements, and licensing requirements.

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Stephen Kantor and Victoria Blachly

Chambers Recognizes Kantor and Blachly as “Notable Practitioners”

Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) Guide by Chambers and Partners has been released for 2016. This year’s publication recognizes not only Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP as a firm, but also includes two of our attorneys. Stephen Kantor and Victoria Blachly were listed among the publications “Notable Practitioners”.

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Victory – Vindicated By The California Court of Appeals

“The victory benefits investors everywhere by making clear that basic rules of due process do apply in FINRA arbitration”. In August, 2014, I represented Sandra Liebhaber in a FINRA hearing requested by Royal Alliance Associates and its one time financial advisor, Kathleen Tarr. This was an expungement hearing in which Royal Alliance and Tarr asked FINRA to erase any trace of the claim that my client had filed and settled with Royal Alliance. To grant that extraordinary remedy, the FINRA three-person panel had to find essentially that Ms. Liebhaber had filed a false claim. Ms. Liebhaber did not and would not file a false claim, and when I found out about the request, Darlene Pasieczny and I agreed to represent her without charge at the hearing to oppose the expungement. At the hearing, the arbitrators allowed Ms. Tarr to testify that she was a minister’s daughter and had done nothing wrong.

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Tenant Landlord

Unwanted Occupants – a Trap for the Unsuspecting Fiduciary

Personal Representatives, Trustees and Conservators hold positions of tremendous responsibility. Frequently these fiduciaries are faced with challenges caused or exacerbated by relatives, or even acquaintances, of the protected person, decedent, or primary beneficiary. One challenge that frequently arises is when the fiduciary needs to sell a primary residence to generate liquid funds for the Estate or Trust and a family member or acquaintance tenant or other occupant is residing in the residence. Some buyers are willing to purchase a home occupied by a tenant, but such willingness dissipates rapidly when the tenant or occupant is not paying rent.

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Real Estate

So You Want to Sell Your Own Home

For Sale by Owner or FSBO are attractive in a seller’s market. Weekly solicitations from eager Buyers are common. Technology has put selling your home yourself a few clicks away. Websites like Zillow allow you to post a listing. Pinterest and Google can give you pointers on how to stage your home. A brochure may be easily made using a word processor (or get a technologically savvy friend to do it).

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Aequitas investors go on attack

Banks Talks Aequitas in New Oregonian Article

Samuels Yoelin Kantor attorney Bob Banks was featured again in the Oregonian this Sunday. The article, by Jeff Manning, focuses on the the ongoing Aequitas debacle. Also highlighted in the piece is latest case that Banks filed in Seattle last week for a group of investors who lost $11 million.

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Olympic Gold

Win Olympic Gold – And Pay for It

Every time the Olympics come around, there’s dozens of articles and posts about how Olympic medals are subject to income tax. The IRS considers all prize winnings, such as gambling or game show prizes, to be income and thus taxable. Olympic medals get lumped into this group (as do the cash bonuses they come with). Luckily for the athletes, their medals are valued at the time they are earned, essentially the value of the materials. A gold medal from Rio is estimated to be worth $564, a silver medal is estimated at $305, and a bronze medal has little intrinsic value. Since Olympic medalists generally treat their sport as a profession the value of the medal and related bonuses are likely to be offset with a deduction for the significant expenses that most athletes incur.

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Is bitcoin money?

Bitcoin – Is It Really Money?

Recently, a Florida judge dismissed a money laundering charge against a man who sold $2,000 worth of bitcoin to an undercover agent who claimed he was using the bitcoin to purchase stolen credit card numbers. The judge held that bitcoin is not money and therefore it does not fall within Florida’s money laundering statute. While leaving the door wide open for the Florida legislature to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currency, the judge says that trying to regulate bitcoin using a statutory scheme regulating money is “like fitting a square peg in a round hole.”

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Magna Carta

The Magna Carta: A Sabbatical in England

To end this series of sabbatical articles, I return to the beginning: That is, the beginning of the rule of law enjoyed by both England and America.

The year was 1215. King John was the reigning monarch of England, and it was not going well for him. Born on Christmas Eve, 1167, he has been called a lecherous traitor, a depraved tyrant and a hopeless leader in war. It is no wonder that his subjects rose up against him.

Like his predecessors, King John ruled using the principle of “force and will,” making executive and sometimes arbitrary decisions on the basis that the King was above the law.

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DTSA

No Sharing: Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA)

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the popular Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which gives employers a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. One of the key features is that the DTSA allows employers to obtain equitable remedies, actual damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees as well as remedies available under state law.

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