Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Is it Legal to Photograph the Eiffel Tower at Night?

Originally published by Peggy Keene.

While many readers of this blog generally understand the federal copyright laws of the United States, some of the European Union’s copyright laws may come […]

The post Is it Legal to Photograph the Eiffel Tower at Night? appeared first on Klemchuk LLP.

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Rebranding 4.0: Why authenticity matters to socially-aware consumers, and how to convey it

Originally published by Georgina Hey (AU).

Increasingly affordable renewables, coupled with consumers’ sensitivity to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, are driving a profound shift in energy markets worldwide. Nowhere is this more apparent than in brand equity, and the trust levels displayed by the public towards traditional energy businesses versus green, dynamic start-ups.

Rebranding is a powerful tool to close this gap, as long as it relies on increasing authenticity in communications, and bringing new, green corporate values to the forefront of corporate communications. As consumers grow more receptive to corporations which promote renewable energies and modern ethical policies, the corporate desire to adopt branding which will convey a more modern sense of green, ethical ambitions continues to grow.

How do you rebrand successfully, and convey an authentic message to audiences in the age of post-truth? Well, it takes time and preparation from brand creation, through clearance for use across multiple platforms, to protection and maintenance of the new brand and any legacy goodwill. The first step is to design and/or select your new branding. There are a number of factors which feed into which brand is right for your company.

Here are five key considerations to bear in mind when creating your refreshed branding.

1. Start with your company’s chosen direction and corporate vision

Your new brand must reflect your vision and philosophy so it is important that you have settled the company’s approach before beginning the re-branding process. Consider the company’s direction, goals and vision. How does the business want the brand to be perceived and how does the business want the brand to develop and grow? Only once you have settled the business philosophy can you move on to consider what branding will suitably reflect your company.

2. What connections and associations do you want your consumers to make with the company?

Consumers are more aware and receptive than ever. A growing number of consumers take account of a company’s attitude to social responsibility, the environment, community and ethics when making purchasing decisions. Consider what it is that you want consumers to associate with your company and your products and services. For instance, do you want your brand to convey the company’s dedication to its social responsibility, or is the priority to relay that your products and services are forward thinking, innovative or environmentally sustainable? You should also continue to keep the same thoughts in mind when considering brand ambassadors and business partners.

3. Is your brand sustainable?

You may be taking steps to ensure your products or services are sustainable from an environment and ethical point of view, but is your brand sustainable? In this fast-paced consumer driven market your new brand should be suitable for use across numerous platforms and materials and adaptable in the event of the emergence of any new platforms.

4. Regulatory requirements

Many countries have regulations about the use of words such as “green” and “sustainable”, which aim to protect consumers from the misuse of such words by companies and in advertising. You should ensure that you are familiar with such regulatory requirements when contemplating your new brand options.

5. Makings of a successful brand?

Eventually, the business should get to a stage where it has a few options to choose from. The final consideration in narrowing down to the short list is whether each of the options has the makings of a successful brand? You should consider whether the re-brand options are distinctive, original and memorable. Our earlier article on picking the right brand name is available here.

Once you have chosen a brand or a short list of options, the heavy lifting begins. Rebranding can be a delicate exercise involving a number of challenges which, if not carefully managed, can cause irreversible damage to both the new and incumbent brands. For our thoughts on these challenges and how to properly address them, please refer to our previous post in the ‘Rebranding in the energy market’ series, available here.


Rebranding is no longer an exceptional instance; it has become a natural step in the development of an organisation, and a key contributor to its long-term growth. The amount of research and preparation to support a successful rebrand should not be underestimated. But hard work often reaps reward – if done correctly, a rebrand can enhance and clarify your corporate strategy, refresh your company identity and create unity across your organisation.

If you are considering or are already involved in a corporate rebranding, speak to a member of our IP Team to discuss  our Corporate Rebranding Checklist which is designed to help companies navigate the myriad of issues and timelines that will arise, from brand creation and clearance for use across multiple platforms, to protection and maintenance, and how these can be managed, in the context of your own timeframe to launch.

The post Rebranding 4.0: Why authenticity matters to socially-aware consumers, and how to convey it appeared first on The Brand Protection Blog.

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Unsent Text Message OK As Valid Will

Originally published by Gerry W. Beyer.

A 55-year-old Australian man drafted a text for his brother just before taking his life. The text message included a terse disposition of real property, but it was never sent. The Supreme Court in Brisbane held the draft to be…

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Stories of Recovery: ‘Half the man I used to be and twice the man I ever was’

Originally published by Guest Blogger.

I am supposed to be dead! I weighed over 350 pounds, had high blood pressure, borderline high cholesterol, borderline high blood sugar, atrial fibrillation, and was taking a daily blood thinner.

For God’s sake, I was a 53-year-old lawyer with over 25 years’ experience negotiating multimillion-dollar transactions, supervising major litigation. I should be able to figure out how to lose weight! Research? I needed to do more research! Surely there was an answer!

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Why Divorce Litigation is Sometimes Inevitable

Originally published by Family and Criminal Law Blog.

What circumstances will generally give rise to divorce litigation?

Most divorce cases will end up settling out of court.  Settling your divorce case can save money and time, but in some cases litigation is simply the only option.  Our Midland Texas divorce lawyers at Navarrete and Schwartz, P.C., review some common divorce scenarios in which litigation is often inevitable.

  1.  Domestic violence: If domestic violence occurred during the marriage, it can render negotiations impossible.  When one spouse fears the other or has taken out a restraining order against the abusive spouse, they may physically be unable to be present in the same room in order to discuss divorce issues.
  2. Hotly contested divorce issues:  At times, spouses will attempt to reach an agreement on central divorce issues like child custody, division of assets, maintenance, and more, but find themselves at an impasse.  When an agreement cannot be reached on a key divorce issue, then the only alternative is to let the courts decide.
  3. One spouse does not want the divorce:  Often, divorce is unilateral in nature. If one spouse wants the divorce and the other does not, it can create an emotionally charged atmosphere that is simply not conducive to out of court negotiations.
  4. Substance abuse:  If one spouse has a substance abuse problem, whether it be alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication, they will not be of sound mind to negotiate a divorce.  Court involvement may be the only option to reach a fair divorce decree.
  5. Child abuse: Where child abuse or parental alienation occurred during the marriage, the court will need to step in.  Child abuse is a serious allegation that must be dealt with carefully.  Court involvement will ensure the allegations are investigated and handled in the appropriate manner.
  6. Power imbalance:  When one spouse controls the majority of the finances, the other spouse may be at too much of a disadvantage to reasonably negotiate for a fair divorce settlement.  Court involvement can ensure the power imbalance is corrected so that a fair divorce is reached.

Anyone considering filing for divorce in Texas should contact a divorce attorney as soon as possible.  Your lawyer will help you to determine based on the facts surrounding your marriage and impending divorce whether litigation is your best option.

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New Medicaid Transfer Penalty Divisor Announced

Originally published by Michael Cohen.

Effective September 1, 2017, the “transfer of assets divisor” in Texas increased to $172.65 per day from $162.41. The increased figure applies to long-term care Medicaid applications in Texas submitted on or after September 1, 2017. 

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Houstonians Still Struggling With Hurricane Harvey Claims

Originally published by Blizzard & Nabers Blog.

It’s been a month and a half since Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast, but many home and business owners are still grappling with the storm’s destruction. Recovery has been slow or impossible for some victims.

Homeowners and business owners are filing insurance claims for the damages caused by the storm, and discovering many insurance companies are less than fair when adjusting claims. Because Hurricane Harvey caused such widespread damage, many insurance companies are looking at millions of dollars in claims. Unfortunately, many insurers are using bad faith tactics to avoid paying out.

Homeowners in Houston and all along the Texas coast are dealing with insurance companies misrepresenting policies in an attempt to get out of paying claims. For example, many insurance companies will wrongfully claim certain damage is not covered, when in fact it is.

Unfortunately, not only are homeowners struggling with their insurance companies, but many properties flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey were also exposed to toxic chemicals. There are 13 Superfund toxic waste sites in Houston that were flooded by the storm. Floodwaters have carried the toxins from these locations for miles, contaminating property and affecting the health of residents.

For thousands of residents whose homes were flooded by the Addicks and Barker reservoir releases, the process of cleaning up only started a few weeks ago. Moving forward is very difficult because the flood damage has made the homes uninhabitable and unsalvageable.

Residents of Crosby have yet to receive answers from Arkema after its chemical plant flooded, lost electricity, and suffered massive explosions. Residents likely won’t have any answers soon as Arkema has hired a legal team to fight lawsuits filed against the company in the aftermath of the explosions.

A Long Road To Recovery

For Texans who were not affected by Hurricane Harvey, the storm has long since left their minds. But for homeowners and business owners with severe property damage, it is a daily struggle to put their lives together again. The law firm of Blizzard & Nabers understands that for Harvey victims, the road to recovery is a long one. It will take months or even years to completely rebuild. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping victims long after the storm has passed. If you are facing difficulties rebuilding after Harvey, contact us for a free consultation. We can analyze your situation and help you understand your legal rights.

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