Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tips for getting the most out the INTA annual meeting.

Its spring! Must be time for the INTA Annual Meeting

10,000 black and blue suits, with nametags, in your city’s downtown?

Must be INTA AM. 


As I work out my schedule for INTA AM in Dallas, Texas May 5 - 8, 2013, I offer some tips on getting the most out the annual meeting.

Location, Location, Location

One of the first decisions you will have to make regarding attending the INTA AM is where you will stay. INTA provides a bunch of conference hotels but before you can book into one of these you must be a registered attendee. There are many reasons to put off registering but if you do, be forewarned your hotel choices will be severely limited.

If you find that the conference hotels are all booked or you don’t like being at a conference hotel, in some cities, it is remarkably easy to find accommodation. Just hit the google trail, armed with a city map and a public transportation map. However, from my attempts, I don’t think Dallas is one of those cities so I’m giving up and sticking with the conference hotel.

This is the little Inn I found in Washington DC last year.
There are many advantages to staying at a conference hotel. Usually they are close to the conference centre and if they are not, there will be shuttles going back and forth. The shuttles usually run very frequently but can often get stuck in downtown congestion. Be prepared to use alternative modes of transportation: taxis, subway, and yes, feet (those boots were made for walking). By the way, INTA attendees are notorious taxi users so be prepared to wait awhile.

The Early Bird gets …

The Conference officially begins with the Opening Reception on Sunday evening. However, there are receptions throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday as well as the INTA Gala (a rather stuffy black tie dinner and dancing affair - best avoided imho) so arriving on Saturday is the norm. When I am in INTA town on Saturday night I’ve always found myself a dinner party to attend.

You may also want to arrive early to do a little sightseeing or shopping or catch a sporting activity.

This year, INTA has arranged for attendees to have exclusive shopping at Neiman Marcus (Downtown Dallas 1618 Main St.) on Sunday, May 5 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

In May baseball has started and basketball and hockey are just wrapping up. There is usually at least one team with a home game during the week of INTA AM.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's spring! Time for the International Trademark Association’s Annual Meeting

10,000 black and blue suits, with nametags, in your city’s downtown? 

Must be INTA AM.

Every year I go to the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Annual Meeting (AM). The Association bills the AM as the premier trademark event for networking, continuing legal education, and committee and client meetings and provides two social events: the Opening Reception and the Finale. The Opening Reception is generally at the Convention Centre and fairly lame. The Finale is usually at a museum and, depending on the museum, can be very good.

Here I am at the Meissner Bolte reception in Berlin in 2008. 


My Ladies – you know who you are

INTA AM is a chance for me to get together with all the lawyers I work with on a regular basis who are scattered throughout the world.  I have been meeting with some of them for more than 20 years. Me and my lady friends meet for breakfast or lunch and eat, drink, talk some shop but mostly, as one of them once said, bitch about our husbands (JK honey!) and laugh, or cry, about the antics of our kids.

Oh yeah, there’s some Continuing Legal Education

There are three days of educational programming but it’s hard to fit that in between the two hour breakfasts, quickie mid-morning meetings with unknown but potential new contacts, two hour lunches and reception hopping that starts around 4pm and goes on into the wee hours of the morning.

At the Wax Museum, Washington DC, 2012

Lawyers gone wild

The highlight of the Annual Meeting is the receptions that private law firms and some service providers throw. Since there are many receptions going on simultaneously, my attendance at any given reception is based on 1) venue, 2) host or 3) location. There are certain receptions I always attend because a friend is a host and I want to support them; location and venue are irrelevant. Otherwise, I generally will forego a reception in a hotel to attend one at a restaurant, museum, art gallery, sports venue or other interesting spot.

It's all in the details

As I work out my schedule for INTA AM in Dallas, Texas May 5 - 8, 2013, I plan to offer some tips on getting the most out the annual meeting.   I hope you'll enjoy the blogs and find them helpful.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Elements Of A Good Estate Plan (Part 4)

Estate Planning

Proper estate planning should, at a minimum include: a Will, a Power of Attorney for Property, and a Power of Attorney for Personal Care. But good estate planning doesn’t end there. Preparing your affairs for the inevitable now will help make your Executor or Estate Trustee’s difficult job an easier one.

Organize Your Relevant Documents

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article on this very topic: “The 25 Documents You Need Before You Die”. The article springs from the fact that many insurers do not pay insurance if it is not claimed and that billions of dollars in bank accounts remain unclaimed. The reason for this: the Estate Trustee cannot make claims against things he doesn’t know exist.

The solution: organize your relevant documents and make sure your heirs and/or Estate Trustee are aware of where all your documents can be found.

The Relevant Documents

Here is a list of the kinds of documents:

Powers of Attorney
Proofs of ownership of real property, cemetery plot, vehicles;
Stock certificates, savings bonds and brokerage accounts;
Proof of loans made or debts owed;
Tax returns
Divorce documents
Death Certificates
List of bank accounts, user names, passwords;
List of safety deposit boxes
Life insurance policies
Details of RRSPs
Pension documents
Annuity contracts

Need Help with your Estate Planning?

If you need help with your estate planning contact myself or any Wills and Estates Lawyer. My goal is to deliver personalized high quality Wills and Estate Planning services in a direct, approachable and cost effective way. I implement the efficient use of technology to reduce or eliminate bottom line costs to my clients.

For more information visit my website at www.hunt-law.ca

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wills, Estate Planning and Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey -- Property Law can be fun

In my tweeter feed I came upon “3 retirement lessons from ‘Downton Abbey"  http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2013/03/04/3-retirement-lessons-from-downton-abbey/

I was a little disappointed in it because I expected a discourse on how and why Matthew, a middle class lawyer from Manchester, is the heir to the estate and would, eventually, be the 6th Earl of Grantham.

The facts

So back in Series 1, we learned that Cora, an American heiress, had married Robert, a titled but likely impoverished British aristocrat. Cora came with a huge dowry (this was, after all, back in the 1800’s in England). We also learned that the property is “entailed” and that Robert’s father had, somehow, managed to tie up the dowry funds so that they pass along with the title and the estate only to male heirs.

The law

Back in the day, an entail or fee tail was a pretty common way to make certain that the land stayed "in the family". A property held in fee tail cannot be sold, given by Will or in any way passed to others except to the heir. So it was impossible for the family to lose the land. However it left many individuals wealthy in land but still heavily in debt. It also meant that if there was a “failure of issue”, the property could pass to a far distant relative.

"Good facts make bad law" but great TV

As is the case in Downton Abbey where there is, of course, a huge dearth of males on the family tree; Robert and Cora only have daughters. So with the deaths of a couple of male relations on the Titanic, a third cousin, Matthew Crawley, is destined to be the next Earl and owner of Downton Abbey. Fortunately, he’s a handsome young man so marrying the eldest daughter to him is not a terribly disagreeable way to keep it all in the family (as opposed to poor Elizabeth’s predicament in Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice). Cue years of troubled on again off again romance between the two.

Want to totally control your heirs? Do it right, ask a lawyer for help.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Taking on Copyright Infringers on Social Media

Just because you can copy the image doesn't mean you should

We’ve had a little copyright excitement here in Ottawa over the weekend. Seems a radio station used a photograph it had no rights in and the owner found out. Yes, a radio station. They used the photo in a print presentation looking for sponsorship of a contest. The owner of the photograph asked for compensation and the radio station believing the requested amount was outrageously high decided not to pay.

Taking it to the Streets

The owner of the photograph decided to take to the airwaves herself – the Tweeter and Facebook airwaves that is.

The radio station then posted its version of the story on its Facebook page using words like “extortion”. The comments weren’t all in favour of the photographer’s rights but enough were that the post has now been removed.

However the post is still available on the Web, here, http://www.phototips.biz/2013/03/radio-station-steal-photographers-image.html

What do I think?

This came to my attention on Saturday when my daughter -- bored silly traveling to Toronto by bus and scouring her Facebook feed for entertainment I have to presume -- asked me what I thought of it. I gave her a quick lesson in copyright infringement. Sometimes it’s so blatant it’s easy.

“Clearly copyright infringement and she is within her rights to demand whatever compensation she likes. They should have had her permission in the first place. Offering to pay a “fair price” after the fact isn’t good enough. It doesn’t teach them a lesson. It just encourages them to do it again and hope the photographer is less vigilant.”

Seriously people, lawyer up!

My final thoughts on the subject were that the radio station might regret its actions. Not only should it not have used the photo in the first place, it surely should not have posted the emails where it admitted doing it!  They should have called a lawyer -- like this wise owl lady lawyer.