U.S. Supreme Court – Warrant Required for Cellphone Search

U.S. Supreme Court – Warrant Required for Cellphone Search
Although we don't practice criminal law, as a technologist and engineer as well as an attorney and proponent of privacy rights, I feel strongly that the everyone needs to be aware of the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous decision requiring warrants for searches of smart phones seized during arrests. Today's cellphones, tablets, phablets, and their kin store entire histories of our lives. Pictures and photos, passwords, bank accounts, financial records, social security numbers, not to mention our calendars, notes, phone numbers and online data via Evernote, Facebook, and Dropbox. Our "smart" devices are a…continue reading →

Your Stationery Store Will May Cost Your Executor

When Johannes Gutenberg invented the modern printing press he spent his days mass producing Bibles for the populace.  I'm willing to bet he made side-money kicking out fill-in forms for Wills on the side. Your inexpensive Will may cost your executor and estate a small bucket of money The purpose of a store-bought form Will is to save money.  There's nothing new about legal forms.  Templates are as old as paper.  They probably included a disclaimer in hieroglypics that said "No warranty - use at your own risk".  Without the proper clauses, however, your penny saved could cost your Estate and…continue reading →

Word Soup – Settlor, Grantor, or Trustor

Word Soup – Settlor, Grantor, or Trustor
This is the first in a new series of articles titled "Word Soup", dedicated to the Hon. Patrick T. Meyers, Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. In my opinion a fine judge and also a lexophile - someone with an interest in the meaning and origins of words. Judge Meyers and his court reporter had the unenviable luck to to draw a libel case a few years ago. The case involved some very horrible social media statements made by old fraternity brothers on a public alumni forum. The challenge involved deciphering at…continue reading →

Creating Your First Policies and Procedures Manual

Every business is made up of processes.  Service oriented as well as product based businesses can each be broken down into various tasks that need to be done whether every day or infrequently. Receiving mail, responding to client or customer inquiries, paying bills, even taking phone messages. New employees need to be trained. Existing employees need to perform tasks with the same level of quality each time. Updating business practices to comply with changed laws need to be communicated and all employees need to be trained on the changes. What is a Policy and What is…continue reading →

Weekender – Your Newlywed Go-Bag

Weekender – Your Newlywed Go-Bag
I know it seems odd to hear marriage advice from a lawyer. What the hell, it's the first of our Weekender Series where I get to take a break and share more fun stuff. Go-Bags are supposed to be backpacks you fill with emergency supplies you might need in a pinch.  I think that you should fill different bags with everything you need for whatever you're doing. A Go-Bag For The Newlywed 1. Food - Learn how to cook at least two dishes well.  Barbecue, spaghetti, meatloaf, your choice.  You will look like a hero being able…continue reading →