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What is the most common legal mistake that attorneys see laypeople make?

Editor’s note: A Quora user recently asked, “What is the most common legal mistake that attorneys see laypeople make?” This great answer was written by Adam Nyhan, business attorney for Opticliff Law in Portland, ME, and is reposted here with his permission.

I’m a business lawyer, so my answer will reflect the types of mistakes that clients of mine make.

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The post What is the most common legal mistake that attorneys see laypeople make? appeared first on The Gust Blog.

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Editor’s note: A Quora user recently asked, “What is the most common legal mistake that attorneys see laypeople make?” This great answer was written by Adam Nyhan, business attorney for Opticliff Law in Portland, ME, and is reposted here with his permission.

I’m a business lawyer, so my answer will reflect the types of mistakes that clients of mine make. I work mainly with software companies and various small businesses, from lawn care companies to graphic designers. Common mistakes:

1. Two people start doing business together without writing up a clear agreement that spells out their understanding of what they’re doing together, and what that means for who gets paid what, and when, and who owns any intellectual property that the project might create and who has what rights to make decisions about it. Bottom line: if you’re working with somebody else, write up a detailed written agreement that explains all of this. Ideally use a lawyer. If you can’t afford one, do your best, and do it in writing. Not just so you have “proof” later, but (a) because the process of writing it down will help you make sure to address the key terms of the deal and (b) so you both will remember a few years later what you agreed to today. It’s not actually that common for one person to just lie later about what the agreement was; much more common are failures of memory and failures to address the key terms up front. For example, Susan and Joe might agree they will be cofounders of a company, but they don’t discuss what happens when (not “if”) one of them quits later to take a new job. Will the departing co-founder get a cash buyout? By what valuation method? Who pays for the outside expert to do analyze the company’s value? Far better to agree on this today than argue about it when a co-founder gives notice.

2. A company does not research trademarks before sinking time and money into marketing the company or one of its products, and then gets a cease-and-desist letter from the owner of a similar company or product name. As a result, the company now needs to re-brand and start building their reputation again largely from scratch. Not too bad if you’re a service company, but if you’ve already paid to stamp your logo on a few thousand t-shirts or stickers or already shipped out physical products to customers, it’s a huge loss. Bottom line: when your budget permits, ask a trademark lawyer for a search to determine whether your name is going to buy you trouble. This is less important if you sell a product or service only locally, but if you sell anything online, it’s key.

3. One person/company hires another to create something (software, a website, a graphic design) and they don’t have a clear written agreement that says who owns the resulting work and/or who has a license to it. Bottom line: the person who created the work generally owns it unless she and the person who hired her signed a fairly specific written agreement that transfers the ownership to the client. Which means if you hired that graphic designer and didn’t have that agreement with her, then you don’t actually own that cool design she made – you just have a license that she can revoke at any time, which is the least useful type of license to have. Have a lawyer write an agreement for you—ask one for a “work for hire” or “I.P. assignment” agreement. It will cost you a fraction of what the designer will charge you for the design itself and is the only way to make sure you just bought what you meant to buy.

4. Company A sells products or services, but rather than having its own standard template contract that it uses to sell them, it always agrees to sign contracts drafted by the companies that want to buy those services. As a result, Company A signs a clause that, to its surprise, gave away rights it couldn’t afford to lose. Maybe A accidentally gave away ownership of its software rather than a mere non-exclusive license. Maybe A agreed to subject itself to the jurisdiction of courts in Grand Cayman or Kansas in the event of a dispute. Bottom line: have a lawyer draft a standard agreement for whatever you sell, and use that agreement wherever possible. When you start selling to larger companies, they’ll insist that you sign their agreement, but that’s fine. Often they claim they can’t deviate from their standard terms, but if you make some reasonable suggestions for edits, they’ll agree to them after all. Your lawyer can help you “sell” those changes to the lawyer for the other side.

5. A company hires a freelancer to do some specific type of work for them, and they don’t realize that a state labor or tax agency may later look at that relationship and determine it’s an employment relationship and not a freelancer relationship. As a result, the company now may owe back taxes, health care benefits, unemployment benefits or overtime pay. States are increasingly cracking down on these arrangements, and there are usually pretty easy ways to avoid this situation —they may include insisting that the freelancer create her own single-member LLC to do her business through, and they may include language in the contract clarifying that she may work for your competitors. This depends on state law. But it’s no joke. I realize people in these situations are not deliberately trying to “take advantage” of anybody —they just are not aware of how the law works and don’t realize they should take steps to reduce these risks. Bottom line: if you hire a freelancer, talk to a lawyer in your state about how to set up the relationship between the two of you. Most business lawyers have a simple independent contractor agreement that they can tailor to your situation for a few hundred bucks. Well worth the risk reduction that it brings.

(No tags for this post.) Source: http://blog.gust.com/common-legal-mistake-attorneys-see-laypeople-make/

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Bitcoin hits 15 month high and is just the beginning of renewed strength

Earlier today, we wrote about PayPal after the payments company announced it has joined the cryptocurrency market, and allowing customers to buy, sell, shop, and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its network. This is good news for cryptocurrencies and especially for […]

The post Bitcoin hits 15 month high and is just the beginning of renewed strength appeared first on Tech News | Startups News.

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Earlier today, we wrote about PayPal after the payments company announced it has joined the cryptocurrency market, and allowing customers to buy, sell, shop, and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its network. This is good news for cryptocurrencies and especially for Bitcoin.

Bitcoin soared immediately after the news. The price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency reached a two-month high of $12,734.80 on Wednesday, taking month-to-date gain to over 13%. Constantin Kogan, Managing Director at Wave Financial Group, chime on the news and provides a quick brief and analysis of recent strength in Bitcoin. Below is what he said.

“There are multiple factors driving the price of Bitcoin higher, with the main one being the announcement from PayPal that they will allow cryptocurrency buying, selling, and shopping on its network supporting a number of the major cryptocurrencies.

This is arguably the biggest news of the year for the industry and will drive the adoption of digital assets even further. With 346 million users, 26 million merchants, and being the 20th largest “bank” by deposits, this move by PayPal will open a new gateway for people to use cryptocurrencies in their everyday transactions. It will no doubt spark renewed interest from both consumers and banks alike, just as the news that Facebook was launching its own cryptocurrency called Libra did back in mid-2019.

It’s not just the consumer-facing behemoths such as PayPal and Facebook that are looking to bring crypto to the mainstream, but more financial institutions are buying Bitcoin and other digital assets as a move to diversify their portfolios.

2020 is fast becoming the year of crypto acceptance and we see 2021 as the year of mainstream adoption. All of this is bullish for the price of Bitcoin and it’s safe to assume that BTC will remain a strong bullish trend. We believe a year-end price beyond $14,000 is easily achievable as the market hasn’t fully absorbed all the positive news.”

Wave Financial LLC (Wave) is a Los Angeles and London based investment management company that provides institutional digital asset fund products. Led by a team of highly experienced financial services professionals, Wave provides investable funds via their diverse investment strategies applied to digital assets and tokenized real assets. Wave also offers managed accounts for HNWIs and family offices seeking tailored digital asset exposure, treasury management services, and early-stage venture capital and strategic consultation to the digital asset ecosystem.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/10/21/bitcoin-hits-15-month-high-just-beginning-renewed-strength/

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Kool Kanya: building a better future for the women of tomorrow

Kool Kanya: A women-oriented community  In India, roughly three-quarters of employment is non-regular, either self-employed or casual jobs, and most of them have lost their job recently. The coronavirus epidemic has affected women around the globe financially. But, the situation in India is more precarious for them than almost anywhere else. Women are still suffering […]

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Kool Kanya: A women-oriented community 

In India, roughly three-quarters of employment is non-regular, either self-employed or casual jobs, and most of them have lost their job recently. The coronavirus epidemic has affected women around the globe financially. But, the situation in India is more precarious for them than almost anywhere else. Women are still suffering from a large gender gap in jobs, salaries, and education in India. Vanshika Goenka’s Kool Kanya is a platform designed to create a platform to help Indian women develop careers they enjoy.

In 2019, Kool Kanya (1) was developed by Vanshika Goenka to recognize gender inequality at work. At present, Kool Kanya has crossed over one million, providing women with a safe space for professional networking, exchanging opportunities, sharing thoughts, and asking questions. As the COVID-19 pandemic has generated financial uncertainty and economic difficulties for many, Kool Kanya is a fresh breath of air to help and support women who face job loss and seek support, guidance, and community.

Kool Kanya is a mixture of focused communities for online and offline women that help thousands of women, both emotionally and mentally. This platform’s main goal is to provide women with career advice, mentorship, and opportunities to develop careers that they enjoy and want to pursue. An initiative to help women searching for jobs called GetWork 2020, which is an online recruiting event for the Community, was introduced during this pandemic.

The Founder of Kool Kanya 

The CEO & Founder of Kool Kanya is Vanshika Goenka, who wanted to create a women’s online career group where they can be part of an ecosystem of mutual support. She hoped that this platform would enable women to learn from each other and develop in their careers. Vanshika graduated with Magna Cum Laude, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Pi beta Kapha from Brown University-Bachelors in Political Science in 2016. At a tech start-up that worked on developing an augmented reality textile doll, Vanshika began her career. She was working for a sanitary pad company when she discovered the workplace imbalance between men and women. She decided to come up with a product specifically for women to recognize the gender gap at work, and so she created Kool Kanya in 2019. 

Kool Kanya
Vanshika Goenka, the founder of Kool Kanya

Trust, a safe place, performance, and guidance are the terms she strongly identifies the platform with. The vision of Vanshika is to create a one-stop destination for everything related to the career of a woman. She wanted to create a forum that women find genuinely helpful. This could also provide them with the required tools, resources, and encouragement to succeed. 

In her opinion, as women are increasingly looking to take up freelance and work from home opportunities. Vanshika foresees the platform to expand and support more women in the future. As a role model, Vanshika looks up to her mother and has always sought her guidance and support. Vanshika likes to read autobiographies and biographies, dance, work out. She also loves to unwind with a book and a cup of tea by curling up. She is very excited about travelling, likes to get out of her comfort zone, and enjoys discovering new cultures.

The much-needed guidance

Kool Kanya offers a safe environment where a woman can ask questions, get and give career advice, exchange experiences. You can also find common ground in your field with other female professionals. Anonymously, if so desired by women. The job advice they give ranges from how to network to regular work advice and financial management. It encourages gradual discussions on related issues and focuses on offering advice on matters. The women receive experience in upskilling, freelancing, entrepreneurship, financial planning, and mental health. 

Kool Kanya has seen a reach of over 1 million users successfully over the past year and is looking to launch its marketplace soon. The problems that Kool Kanya aims to help address include providing a place to ask questions. It encourages interactions with individuals in similar fields. It also provides them access to resources to help deal with legal and financial aspects, seeking mentors, and seeking collaborative opportunities. 

Approximately 5.2 million women are searching for work in India, according to Kool Kanya’s observations. Though more women turn to freelance as a career choice, many of them are uncertain about how to start. They find it difficult to deal with legal and financial complexities, or run an independent company, which is where Kool Kanya comes in. In India, women-based platforms and communities have evolved significantly. They are growing to help women achieve their goals and invoke sisterhood feelings among themselves. From then on, these communities have played a critical role, serving as women’s career support structures. And Kool Kanya is planning to take account of the evolving economic scenarios arising from the pandemic. They aim to help women have greater and easier access to credible resources and initiatives that pay for them.

Initiatives by Kool Kanya

Kool Kanya is on the track to provide a one-stop destination for all things related to the career of a woman. You can gain anything from mentorship and upskilling to starting careers and receiving an opportunity to find jobs. They present a nurturing and mutually supportive environment where women build up with each other. This platform has carried out impressive events and surveys for mentors in the Kool Kanya community. Some of these are the “Women in the Workplace,” celebrating women achievers nominated by other women, and a Gamechangers Networking event. 

They have also done a # Unblocked series of events on Business Funding and Development and Networking for freelance authors. Currently, via webinars, masterclasses, interactive boot camps, and recruiting activities, they offer their community members continuous online support. Kool Kanya also curates events for women online and offline that encourage them to network and engage in meaningful dialogue. Through a fully vetted and validated online marketplace, they can also find job opportunities, particularly designed to bring together passionate and skilled women with trustworthy buyers of products and services.

Kool Kanya has also carried out various services during the pandemic and resultant loss of jobs. They dispatched an online occasion property called ‘GetWork’ to assist ladies with looking for some employment. The enterprise later led the second version of ‘GetWork’ and saw more than 200 occupation postings and more than 1500 applications in only four days. It was during the pandemic that they fundamentally developed the network and dispatched a commercial center for autonomous experts. Kool Kanya currently has a powerful network of 100,000 women, and is able to reach over 6 million individuals consistently. 

Nidhia Sebastian is an English literature graduate who looks forward to a career that complements her passion. Her never-ending love for language has brought her to creative writing. Having an open heart to knowledge is what leaves her with a thirst to explore the world. She believes in living life to the fullest and hopes to convey the same enthusiasm through her words.

Source: https://timesnext.com/kool-kanya-startup/

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Brazil volunteer in Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine trial has died, Brazilian health authority reports

Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has died, stating it had received data from an investigation into the matter, according to a […]

The post Brazil volunteer in Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine trial has died, Brazilian health authority reports appeared first on Tech News | Startups News.

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Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has died, stating it had received data from an investigation into the matter, according to a report from Reuters

The regulator said testing of the vaccine would continue after the volunteer’s death. It provided no further details, citing medical confidentiality of those involved in trials.

The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping coordinate phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil, separately said that the volunteer was Brazilian but did not say where the person lived.

AstraZeneca shares turned negative and were down 1.7%.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/10/21/breaking-brazil-volunteer-astrazeneca-coronavirus-vaccine-trial-died-reuters-reports/

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