A Startup Sabbatical: What I learned from 11 months in politics

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By Matthew Pelkey

In the beginning of 2016 my wife came to me with a proposition—she wanted to run for New York State Senate.

Against an incumbent. With a lot more money. And she wanted my help. At the time I had been immersed in the upstate startup ecosystem. That was all about to change.

We had always been a team in nearly everything we did, so by no means did this come as a surprise. A decade earlier I had spent some time in government myself so it wasn’t completely foreign to me. And of course, I had regularly attended a mélange of political activities with my wife over the years. “Why not?”, I thought to myself.

Be Prepared: Planning Ahead for Retirement

Written by Colligan Law on . Posted in News

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Joe Saeli will speak at a continuing legal education program sponsored by the New York County Lawyers Association.  Joe’s discussion topic is the Sale or Merger of a Law Practice – Transitioning to Retirement.

 

 

Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location: New York County Lawyers Assocaition, 14 Vesey Street, 2nd Floor Auditorium, New York, NY

Register online at www.nycla.cog.

A Fresh Start for Farmers in Distress

Written by Colligan Law on . Posted in Articles, News

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By Frederick Gawronski

Farms come in all shapes and sizes. They are operated by publicly traded companies, closely held organizations and individuals. They share many of the same successes and problems, including the booms and busts directly related to external circumstances. Weather, tariffs, trade and politics are just a few of the factors outside the day to day control of a farming operation which impact the bottom line.

Exempt Salary Rule Invalidated

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By Joseph F. Saeli, Jr.

Today a Federal Court Judge in Texas struck down the Obama administration’s rule which would have increased the salary minimums for exempt employees, greatly expanding the number of employees entitled to receive overtime pay.

The Judge ruled that the Department of Labor exceeded its statutory authority in adopting the rule.  The Judge explained his analysis as follows:

“The department has exceeded its authority and gone too far with the final rule.  The department creates a final rule that makes overtime status depend predominately on a minimum salary level, thereby supplanting an analysis of an employee’s job duties. Because the final rule would exclude so many employees who perform exempt duties, the department fails to carry out Congress’s unambiguous intent.”

Be aware that this ruling will have no effect on the New York State rules for exempt employees.  Effective 12/31/17 the minimum salary for exempt employees in upstate New York increases to $780.00 per week.

New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law—Coming Soon

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By Joseph F. Saeli, Jr.

New York’s Paid Family Leave Benefits Law takes effect on January 1, 2018.   Most non-government employers in New York will have to comply with this law.  It is not too early to begin preparing for it.

Employees will be eligible for Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) for up to eight weeks within a fifty-two-week period.  PFL includes compensation, continued health insurance, and job protection.

PFL can be used for one of three reasons:

  1. To care for a close relative with a serious health condition.
  2. To bond with a newborn, newly adopted, or newly placed child within the first twelve months after birth, adoption or foster placement.
  3. When a spouse, child, domestic partner or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty, as provided under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).

Unlike the FMLA, PFL benefits are not available for an employee’s own health condition.

Racial Disparagement? The U.S. Supreme Court Rules on “The Slants” Trademark Refusal

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By Erin Gormley

Summer is often a season for music, when music lovers listen to their favorite artists at concerts, in their backyards, and in their cars with the windows down. This summer, a U.S. Supreme Court case has caused music to become a place where freedom of speech and trademark law intersect.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the rock band “The Slants,” made up of Asian-American musicians, cannot be barred from using that name, regardless of the potential of disparagement to Asian and Asian-American individuals. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”) initially prohibited the band from registering the name “The Slants” as a trademark in classification 041 for “entertainment in the nature of live performances by a musical band” on the grounds that “the applied-for mark consists of or includes matter which may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols.”

How Community Capital Models Can Regenerate Upstate NY

Written by Colligan Law on . Posted in Articles, News

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By Matthew Pelkey

If you’ve spent any time in Upstate New York you have no doubt experienced an unfortunate yet common site: a row of empty storefronts lining a street which once upon a time was a bustling town center. Community capital models could be the answer we’ve been looking for to revitalize neighborhoods victim to the rust belt economy.

As Upstate NY’s economy changed, many of these storefronts became boarded up relics—scars on our neighborhoods serving as a reminder of a time since past. It is important to acknowledge that there has recently been significant progress in many upstate communities, but a brisk stroll through Saranac Lake, or Watertown, or even Main Street in Buffalo leaves these scars difficult to ignore. What exactly to do about them, however, is a difficult question.

Catching up on emerging legal practices.

Written by Colligan Law on . Posted in Articles, News

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By Matthew K. Pelkey

At Colligan Law we believe that high growth companies should have access to a broad network across the globe which can be leveraged to assist our clients no matter what comes up, or more importantly—no matter where it comes up.

As a member of Lawyers Associated Worldwide (“LAW” because lawyers have a terrible sense of humor), we are able to do exactly that. For those unfamiliar with it, LAW is a global association of nearly 100 independent law firms located in more than 50 countries. With access to more than 4000 lawyers worldwide, LAW allows firms such as ours to service the legal needs of clients that are expanding their operations and relationships into new domestic and foreign markets.

LAW also allows us to gain a global perspective on emerging industries and how legal services may be impacted. Here are some of the latest practice areas that are emerging among our LAW network:

Colligan Law LLP Sponsors Entrepreneur Expo

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Bright Buffalo Niagara to feature local venture-backed CEOs

Today Colligan Law LLP announced that it will sponsor the Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo 2017 on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at the Hotel Henry Urban Resort and Conference Center. Special guest Frans Johansson, renowned innovator and diversity expert, will keynote the event.

25 companies will pitch to a live audience, with the top five pitching for the chance to win a $20,000 grand prize, an automatic pass into the 43North Year 4 Semifinals Round, acceptance into the Critical Path Lie Sciences Program and Companies, or the opportunity to pitch at an upcoming UVANY event. 20 companies will pitch for the chance to win a $5,000 People’s Choice Award.