Friday, December 26, 2014

Special Needs Trusts

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM to hear Michele Conti discuss the ABC’s and 123’s of Special Needs Trusts.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What Duty of Loyalty is Owed to the Client?

What Duty of Loyalty is Owed to the Client? 

Since 2011, the SEC has advocated for a uniform fiduciary standard in order to clear up the confusion in the minds of many investors regarding the scope of the duties owed to them by their advisors.

Brian J. Sommer
Currently, the law in many jurisdictions makes a distinction between the extent of the duty of loyalty owed by investment advisors and financial advisors employed by broker dealers. Generally speaking, investment advisors owe their clients an ongoing duty of loyalty whereas financial advisors do not. The problem is that most investors believe that they are owed an ongoing duty of loyalty regardless of whether they are dealing with an investment advisor or financial advisor. Consequently, the SEC is advocating for clearer guidance regarding the duty of loyalty and its ongoing nature.

But until such time as Congress accepts the SEC’s recommendations, it is best practice for advisors to clearly spell out in their client agreements the scope of their obligations to their clients so as to avoid confusion and in order to make clear the boundaries of the services offered.

Such guidance is welcome because Pennsylvania law on the matter is actually unclear and perhaps even contradictory.  For starters, under Pennsylvania law, the advisor is the agent of the client and as such the relationship is a fiduciary one. Consequently, the advisor is subject to a duty of loyalty to act only for the client’s benefit.  See Basile v. HR Block, 761 A2d 1115, 1120 (Pa. 2000). Unless otherwise agreed, this duty of loyalty subjects the advisor not to act or agree to act during the period of their agency for other parties whose interests conflict with those of their client in matters in which the advisor is employed. See Restatement (Second) of Agency, §394. Consequently, given the ongoing nature of advisor-client relationships, the duty of loyalty arguably remains even after the transaction or transactions are completed.

Interestingly, the duty of loyalty is defined to include, but is not limited to, the duty to disclose to the client all relevant information. Basile, 761 A2d at 1120. This, however, is where the ongoing nature of the duty owed becomes muddled. Within the specific context of the securities industry, courts have stated that this duty to provide clients information includes but may not be limited to information which is relevant to the affairs entrusted to the advisor, which the advisor has notice of, which the client would desire to have, and which can be communicated without violating a superior duty to a third person. Merrill Lynch v. Perrelle, 514 A2d 552, 561 (Pa. Super. 1986). Thus, Perrelle suggests that these duties are limited to each transaction and end thereafter which arguably contradicts the more general standard under which, as discussed above, the duty of loyalty is ongoing throughout the client-advisor relationship.

This tension illustrates the need for a uniform fiduciary standard as proposed by the SEC. Indeed, currently, without a clear showing of the parties’ intent, much is left open for interpretation by a tribunal as to the ongoing nature of the duty of loyalty owed to a client. Thus, and until such time as Congress adopts the SEC’s proposed uniform fiduciary standard, it is prudent for client agreements to be reviewed in order to determine whether or not there are any limits on the duty of loyalty.

Brian Sommer is an attorney at Pittsburgh-based law firm Meyer, Unkovic & Scott. His practice is focused on commercial litigation, particularly securities litigation, intellectual property disputes, Marcellus Shale litigation, and shareholder rights. Brian can be reached at or 412.456.2887.

This material is for informational purposes only. It is not and should not be solely relied on as legal advice in dealing with any specific situation.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Radio Show - Succession Planning

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM to hear Michele Conti discuss the importance of regular succession planning for small, family owned businesses since the market and family situations change.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Our Next Radio Show

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM to hear Michele Conti discuss the “Top 10” things to consider and plan for to make your loved ones lives easier upon your passing.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Alternative Option for Expunging CRD Records

It is incorrect for financial advisors to assume that the expunging of disclosure events from their Central Registration Depository ("CRD") records can only happen at the conclusion of an arbitration and only if the panel finds (a) that the customer's claims, allegations, or information is factually impossible or clearly erroneous, (b) that the advisors were not involved in the alleged misconduct, and/or (c) that the claim, allegation, or information is false. To the contrary, an alternative and independent route exists through the courts. Moreover, with a standard developing that courts can use when determining whether or not to grant expungement, courts are particularly well suited for expunging disclosure events (a) that are years, sometimes decades, old or (b) in situations where an arbitration panel has not made any findings of falsity or non-involvement as mentioned above.

Such a standard for the courts is necessary because FINRA's Rule 2080 governing expungements is surprisingly silent on how courts should go about determining whether or not to grant an expungement. See Reinking v. FINRA, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5611 (W.D. Tx. 2011) and Bridge v. E*Trade, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110693 (N.D. Ca. 2012). Indeed, as the Reinking court observed, the majority of Rule 2080's focus is on the standard to be used when determining whether or not FINRA may waive the obligation to be named as a party to the court proceedings. Reinking at *9. This is not, as Reinking observes, the standard courts are to use, or should use, when deciding to grant expungement as it is too exacting for a merits determination, since its purpose is to govern when FINRA will oppose an expungement not whether expungement should ultimately be granted. Reinking at *12.

Consequently, Reinking looked for guidance from the SEC's commentary on Rule 2080's predecessor, NASD Rule 2130. That commentary emphasizes striking the appropriate balance between the ability to remove information from the CRD that holds no regulatory value, while simultaneously preserving information in CRD that is valuable to investors and regulators. Reinking at *11. Accordingly, Reinking held that it too should weigh the regulatory value of the information to be expunged when weighing whether or not to grant expungement.

This Reinking standard, subsequently adopted and endorsed by Bridge, is also in keeping with other existing legal tenets that balance an individual's rights against society's interests, such as those governing the expungement of a criminal record wherein the harm to the individual must be balanced against the government's interest in preserving such records. cfn. Com. v. Wexler, 431 A2d 877 (Pa. 1981).

Practically speaking, and unlike the balance of Rule 2080, it allows a court to decide in a fair and balanced manner the oftentimes critical question - how long is too long for an event to remain an advisor's CRD report when the value of a prior event for investors and regulators arguably diminishes with each additional year. Accordingly, the Reinking standard allows a court to properly weigh an advisor's desire to remove a disclosure event that is behind them and to which they have responded with positive changes in practice against the regulatory value of keeping that same event in the CRD.

Consequently, expungement through the courts is possible thanks to Reinking's guidance.

This material is for informational purposes only. It is not and should not be solely relied on as legal advice in dealing with any specific situation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Welcome to Katie Kenyon & Michael Monyok

Welcome to Katie Kenyon & Michael Monyok!

Katie joins the firm as a partner in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Employment Law & Benefits Groups. Here is the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette announcement.

Michael is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property, Corporate & Business Law, and Litigation & Dispute Resolution Groups. Here is the Pittsburgh Business Times announcement.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Next Radio Show

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM to hear Michele Conti discuss the importance of planning ahead, both financially and legally speaking, and the major pitfalls that await if you don’t.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Affordable Care Act FAQs

Jason Mettley
On Friday, November 7, 2014,  Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) issued new FAQs regarding the Affordable Care Act.

Most noteworthy, the Departments state that if an employer has an arrangement with its employees whereby the employer reimburses employees for the cost of an individual health insurance policy, that arrangement constitutes a "group health plan" for purposes of ERISA and the Code.  As a group health plan, the arrangement would not comply with the market reforms under the ACA thereby triggering penalties and excise taxes.  According to the Departments, the arrangement is a group health plan.  This would mean that the arrangement is also subject to all of the applicable requirements of ERISA (e.g., the need to have a written instrument, the need to file annual returns, etc.).

Employers should consult with their lawyer before eliminating any group health insurance policy.  It is critical to review the reasons for eliminating any existing policies and understand what the employer intends to do to replace the group health insurance.  There could be ramifications to the employer, including  fines and penalties, depending on what the employer is intending to do moving forward.

You can read the FAQs issued here.  Please contact Jason Mettley or any other Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP attorney with whom you have worked to discuss any questions you may have on the Affordable Care Act.

This material is for informational purposes only. It is not and should not be solely relied on as legal advice in dealing with any specific situation.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

2015 Best Lawyers in America

Best Lawyers in America has named 21 Meyer, Unkovic & Scott attorneys as among the best lawyers in their practice areas across the country. You can read this article, "2015 Best Lawyers in America", to see which attorneys were named as Best Lawyers.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Your Personal Estate Plan

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM. Michele Conti will continue the discussion about why it is so important to have an open dialogue with your family about your personal estate plan documents and wishes. Her guest on the show will be Julia Kramer who is a Financial Literacy Educator and Financial Coach.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Amendments To Pennsylvania Mechanics' Lien Law

James R. Mall
On October 14, 2014, Governor Corbett signed into law a bill amending the Pennsylvania Mechanics' Lien Law which is designed to provide additional protections to commercial and residential property owners when general contractors fail to pay their subcontractors.

The new law will create a centralized construction notice registry in Pennsylvania known as the State Construction Notices Directory ("Directory"). The Directory will be an internet-based database providing extensive details of each registered construction project. The Directory is to be maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services and provides that the DGS is to have this website operational by December 31, 2016. An owner would then have the option of registering a project by filing a "Notice of Commencement" on the Directory website and posting a copy at the site of the project prior to the start of physical construction. This Notice must be filed before any labor, work or materials are furnished on the project. Further, this Notice gives any subcontractor who wishes to be protected against non-payment by a general contractor, the opportunity to let the property owner know that he or she is performing work on the project. This subcontractor accomplishes this by filing a "Notice of Furnishing" with the Directory within 45 days after first supplying labor or materials at the project site. This enables the property owner to ensure all subcontractors are paid before the owner makes final payment to the general contractor. The Act provides a form for completing the Notice of Furnishing and provides that the subcontractor must comply with the statutory notice requirements or lose its lien rights. Once a party files a Notice with the Directory, it will receive future notices of any subsequent filings on that particular project.

The new law places a duty on the subcontractor to vigilantly monitor notices of commencement and file timely notices of furnishing before starting work to avoid forfeiting lien claim rights. The law makes it unlawful for a general contractor to require a subcontractor to refrain from filing a Notice of Furnishing as a condition to entering into a contract to furnish labor or materials on a particular project. Criminal sanctions are also provided for under the statute, as well as providing subcontractors the right to file a civil suit to recover actual damages, plus costs and attorneys' fees, against anyone dissuading a subcontractor from not filing a Notice of Furnishing in order to secure work on a project. Lien rights are also preserved should this unlawful activity occur by a general contractor.

The Notice Requirements of the Act only apply to projects commenced on or after the operational date of the Directory which is currently set at December 31, 2016. While the Notice Requirements will significantly impact current lien filing procedures, its purpose is to provide owners with the identity of the universe of subcontractors working on a project. It is designed to enable a general contractor to make sure that all subcontractors have been paid in full before making final payment on the project, as well as protecting property owners from having to pay subcontractors twice for the same work.

Questions concerning the new statute can be directed to James R. Mall at or 412-456-2832.

This material is for informational purposes only. It is not and should not be solely relied on as legal advice in dealing with any specific situation.

Monday, November 3, 2014

What's In Your Client Agreements?

Why Financial Planners Need to Effectively
Communicate, in Writing, to Clients, and How to Do it.

When working with clients, it is often easy to overlook some simple, yet very important, standards that every financial planner should follow. CFP and FINRA rules protect financial planners from liability to clients who find themselves dissatisfied for a number of reasons, including because they closely follow the relevant legal standards. Accordingly, complying with them should be considered standard practice when communicating with clients both at the outset and when necessary during the client-advisor relationship. Taking the time to review your practices involving client communications is an important step towards protecting yourself from potential lawsuits. When doing so, there are some points to consider:

1. Advisors are Fiduciaries under the law.

  • But the duties owed to the client depend on the nature of the client relationship;
  • At a minimum, advisors owe a duty to give the client information which is relevant to the affairs entrusted to the advisor;
  • Which the advisor has notice of;
  • Which the client would desire to have; and
  • Which can be communicated without violating a superior duty to a third person.

2. Under some circumstances, and with some clients, follow-up communications may be necessary. 

  • First, doing so creates a clear written record that the risks of the investment were disclosed to the client.
  • Second, the clearer the record of disclosure, the easier it is to argue that the client ratified the transaction and/or is estopped from arguing that it is not suitable.
  • Third, clear disclosures trigger the client's duty to mitigate their damages, since the test is whether a client's actions and inactions are reasonable considering all the facts and circumstances.
  • Fourth, commentary to FINRA Rule 2111 allows for the use of a risk-based approach. However, the more complex an investment is in structure, performance, and risks involved, the greater the need to document suitability on a transactional basis.
  • Finally, regardless of whether or not advisors have an on-going duty to advise the client, they may nevertheless need to provide subsequent corrective advice about an earlier recommendation.

3. Final Thoughts. 

  • Clear and unambiguous communication with clients is key to avoiding being sued.
  • The written communication is your best ally because it memorializes and preserves the record.
  • While it is necessary to communicate, in writing, with all clients about the scope of work you will perform at the outset of the relationship, with some clients it is best to send them written communications throughout the relationship in order to avoid confusion on their part about their investments, especially the risks. This will help you to create and preserve a clear written record if needed later in time.

While it may seem that communications with clients are only important during the original engagement in order to the scope of engagement, there are times, clients, and circumstances that makes it essential to document clear communication set forth at other points throughout the relationship. Clear and concise communications will not only protect you from any potential future claim a client may make, but also leave a clear record of all activities you have performed and the intent of your actions. Armed with this documented and chronicled information, you can protect yourself from aggravating and potentially damaging legal repercussions.

This material is for informational purposes only. It is not and should not be solely relied on as legal advice in dealing with any specific situation.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Personal Estate Plan Documents & Wishes

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM. Michele Conti will discuss why it is so important to have an open dialogue with your family about your personal estate plan documents and wishes. Michele's guest on the show will be Julia Kramer who is a Financial Literacy Educator and Financial Coach.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Medicaid Eligibility

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM. Michele Conti will answer questions relating to Medicaid eligibility and disinheriting a spouse who is in a nursing home collecting benefits. She will also discuss Medicaid eligibility when making gifts to a disabled child.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pro Bono Rocks, the Karaoke Edition!

Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP is pleased to be the Opening Act Sponsor of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation Pro Bono Rocks – The Karaoke Edition event.

Date: Thursday, October 23
Time: 5:30-9:00 p.m.
Location: Olive or Twist

For more information, please visit Pro Bono Rocks.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Introduction To Real Estate Practice

Matthew Lasek will be presenting tomorrow as part of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Skills Training for Lawyers program. His CLE session is titled “Introduction To Real Estate Practice: Residential Sale Transaction Part II - Documents”. You can use this link for more information.

Radio Show - Pittsburgh Legal Issues

Tune this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM. Michele Conti will discuss recent changes in the law regarding your financial power of attorney, the Supreme Court's ruling on the validity of same sex marriage in Pennsylvania and the importance of updating your estate plan.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Waypoints For New Litigators In The Allegheny County Court Of Common Pleas

This Saturday, October 18, Tony Thompson will participate in a panel discussion on “Waypoints For New Litigators In The Allegheny County Court Of Common Pleas,” as part of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Skills Training for Lawyers program. You can use this link for more information.

Monday, October 6, 2014

3 Rivers Venture Fair Video

We're looking forward to 3 Rivers Venture Fair tomorrow and Wednesday. Here is a video about the event from the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. It features 3RVF co-chair, David Oberdick, of Meyer, Unkovic & Scott sharing what is new with the event this year. The video also includes two of the participating entrepreneurial companies, kWantera & PHRQL, talking about growing in the Pittsburgh region and benefiting from the resources available.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Drafting a Comprehensive Estate Plan

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM. Michele Conti will discuss the importance of drafting a comprehensive estate plan to ensure your wishes are understood and enforced. Her guests from Charles Schwab will review the key steps needed in syncing your financial plan successfully with your estate plan.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Prenuptial & Postnuptial Marriage Agreements

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM. Michele Conti will discuss the pros and cons of prenuptial and postnuptial marriage agreements. She will also review estate planning decisions to consider for a second marriage.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

2014 Organization Pro Bono Achievement Award

The Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA) honored Meyer, Unkovic & Scott with the 2014 Organization Pro Bono Achievement award last week at the annual Fellows Grand Reception & Dinner.

The firm’s associate attorneys led the development and launch of the Landlord Tenant Project, a program operated in conjunction with Neighborhood Legal Services and the Allegheny County Bar Foundation. The Project provides free representation to individuals who have been denied Section 8 or public housing. In addition, the Project represents those who need assistance to appeal a judgment of possession at an arbitration hearing. The volunteer attorneys also staff the Landlord Tenant Pro Se Assistance Project, which provides advice to low-income tenants. Antoinette Oliver, associate at Meyer, Unkovic & Scott and the firm’s representative to the Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership, is the Manager of the Project.

“We are extremely proud of the attorneys in our firm for their work on the Landlord-Tenant Project,” said Patricia Dodge, managing partner of Meyer, Unkovic & Scott. “Our firm is committed to giving back to the community and we greatly appreciate the ACBA for recognizing us for our pro bono efforts.”

The Allegheny County Bar Foundation established the Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership in 2005 with the goal of increasing pro bono legal services provided to low-income individuals. The Partnership collaborates with local law firms, legal departments and nonprofit organizations to connect people who are looking for legal advice to attorneys and to provide resources to lawyers who volunteer their time.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Medicaid Requirements and Application

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM. Michele Conti will discuss Medicaid requirements and applying for benefits. You’ll learn how to determine if you are eligible as an individual or as a married couple.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage Update

On May 20, 2014, a federal Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued an opinion effectively lifting the state's ban on same sex marriage. The plaintiffs in Whitewood v. Wolf challenged the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's marriage laws, claiming these laws denied them Due Process and Equal Protection rights guaranteed by the Constitution. In describing PA's marriage laws and previous laws that discriminated against people based on their gender or race, Judge John E. Jones, III stated in his opinion that, "[w]e are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history." This ruling is in line with a series of similar decisions that have occurred in the wake of the Supreme Court's United States v. Windsor decision. Windsor struck down Section 3 of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA"), which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman for federal law purposes.

What impact does this decision have on employers? While there are no federal laws that protect employees against discrimination for their sexual orientation, twenty-one states do have such laws. Pennsylvania currently does not protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation on the state level. However, 34 municipalities in the state have passed laws protecting employees from this type of discrimination. In addition, employers may face sex discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") if they treat employees with same sex spouses in a disparate manner. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") enforces the ban against discrimination based on sex through Title VII, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. While these laws do not cover sex discrimination based on sexual orientation, they do cover sex discrimination based on sex stereotyping. Recent rulings by the EEOC have determined that an employee can file a claim for sex discrimination based on sexual orientation because it is a form of sex stereotyping. In addition, President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation. For employers, this presents a number of issues. Employers who discriminate against employees in the workplace who have same sex spouses could find themselves facing claims under Title VII or, depending where the employment is located, a state law or a local ordinance. Furthermore, employers could face claims of sex discrimination if they provide certain employee benefits to opposite sex spouses while excluding same sex spouses.
Employers who sponsor a qualified retirement plan will want to ensure that the plan treats same sex spouses in the same manner that opposite sex spouses are treated. After Windsor, survivor benefits offered to opposite sex spouses will now have to be offered to same sex spouses. Likewise after the Whitewood decision, if a same sex marriage ends in a divorce in Pennsylvania, a Qualified Domestic Release Order ("QDRO") issued for a same sex spouse will need to be treated as if issued for an opposite sex spouse.
Employers that sponsor welfare plans will have to consider offering spousal coverage to same sex spouses if their plan currently covers opposite sex spouses. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") and under the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"), welfare plans are not required to offer spousal coverage. However, if the plan does offer spousal coverage but limits the coverage only to opposite sex spouses, the sponsoring employer may face a sex discrimination claim. Similarly, if an employer is required to contribute to a multiemployer welfare plan as part of a collective bargaining agreement, the employer could face the same risk of a sex discrimination claim if that plan offers spousal coverage only to opposite sex spouses.

For more information about the lift of the state's ban on same sex marriage and other employment law matters, please contact Joseph A. Vater, Jr. or Stephen A. Chesney.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Selected Hot Topics in Intellectual Property Law 2014

We are proud to sponsor the upcoming Pittsburgh Roundtable for the American Bar Association Intellectual Property Litigation Section. These quarterly meetings allow IP litigation practitioners to network with other attorneys and discuss topics of interest.

Date: Thursday, October 2
Time: 12:00 noon
Location: Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP - 12th Floor
Price: Admission is complimentary
RSVP: Send email to by September 25. Lunch will be provided.

Practicing attorneys interested in intellectual property matters are welcome to attend. You do not need to be a member of the ABA IP Litigation Section to attend.

The program will be moderated by David Oberdick, Chair of the Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP Intellectual Property Group.

Estate Planning Myths

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM. Michele Conti will discuss the many myths people have about estate planning. Listen and learn so that you too can develop the best plan for your individual situation.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hot Topics in Employment Law: Tips to Stay In Compliance

Hosted by: Employment Law and Employee Benefits Group

Date: Tuesday, September 30
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 am
Location: The Rivers Club
Price: Admission is complimentary
RSVP: Send email to by September 24

This seminar will discuss the following "hot topics" and recent changes in employment law that you and your company will need to know to remain in compliance with employment law matters:
  • Same-Sex Marriage Issues and Implications - With the recent same-sex marriage ruling in Pennsylvania, we will discuss how HR Departments should be evaluating policies and benefit plans so they comply with the ruling.
  • EEOC Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination - Understand the EEOC's guidance on how employers must deal with pregnancy-related issues as compared to accommodations provided to other employees.
  • NLRB McDonald's Franchise Ruling - Learn how joint liability corporations, far removed from day-to-day personnel decisions made by franchisees and contractors, may be exposed to new legal risks.
  • Pennsylvania Non-Competes Update - The recent court ruling serves as a warning to all employers of the difficulty of enforcing non-compete agreements in Pennsylvania.
  • FMLA Notices to Employees - With the recent court ruling, employers and third-party administrators responsible for sending FMLA and other employee notices need to review their current procedures for notification to employees.
Please join us to learn the various tips necessary to protect yourself and your company from employment law related disputes.

Here is the full invitation:

Monday, September 8, 2014

Financial "Four"um Event

Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP is a Gold Sponsor of the 2014 Financial “Four”um. Event details below:

Date: Thursday, October 16
Time: 8 AM – 5 PM
Location: Hilton Garden Inn Southpointe
Registration: Use this link to register.

Brian Sommer will be discussing "What’s in Your Client Agreements?" during one of the breakout sessions. The presentation will address CFP Rules of Conduct and FINRA Rules 2090 and 2011, how those rules track the relevant legal standards, and how to comply with them. He will also discusses the how, why, and when of subsequent written communications to clients regarding their investments.

View the full event agenda.

1 PA insurance credit approved, 1 CFP credit granted, and CPE, CLE pending

Seven Deadly Sins Of Joint Ventures

Business operators who commit just one of the “Seven Deadly Sins of Joint Ventures” are sure to join the swelling ranks of entrepreneurs whose joint ventures have failed to reach their goals.

In this recent article for Entrepreneur Magazine, Patricia Farrell walks entrepreneurs through the big mistakes they may be tempted to make during the planning phases of a joint venture and offers suggestions for avoiding them.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Estate Planning Answers

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM. Michele Conti will provide answers to the most commonly asked Estate Planning questions – from disinheriting a child to leaving everything to your pets. You may be surprised by some of the answers.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Art of Investing in America

From the hassle of securing U.S. government approval of the transaction to the minutiae of labor, employment and immigration laws, the complex set of laws that regulate foreign investments into the United States is enough to deter many Chinese investors from putting their money into American businesses.

But according to Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP international business attorney Dennis Unkovic, the opportunity for Chinese investors to invest in American businesses is too good to pass up right now. American businesses are more interested now in doing business with Chinese companies than at any time in the past, and the strong potential for profit typically outweighs the legal risks. In this article for international business magazine Industry Today, Dennis discusses the specific laws and regulations that threaten Chinese direct investment in the U.S., and gives advice on how create a legal strategy that overcomes those hurdles.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

3 Rivers Venture Fair Registration

We are a proud sponsor of the upcoming 3 Rivers Venture Fair. It will be hosted on October 7 and 8 at Heinz Field. If you’re a company looking for funding or an investor looking for new opportunities you can use this link to register. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar

Andrea Geraghty will serve as the Moderator for the upcoming Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) seminar entitled The Supreme Court’s Decision in Robinson Township and the Future of Zoning in the Commonwealth - What Municipal and Land Use Lawyers Need to Know! 

The seminar takes place on Monday, September 15 at the PBI Professional Development Conference Center located in the Heinz 57 Center, 339 Sixth Ave., 7th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA from 9:00 AM – 12:15 PM.

To register, visit this PBI page.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Transferring Real Estate To Your Children

Tune in this Saturday to hear Michele Conti discuss transferring real estate to your children. Michele will explain the Capital Gains Tax rules along with considerations when transferring other assets to your children The broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m. on 101.5 WORD-FM.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Employing Foreign Workers: What US Companies and Counsel Need to Know

Joel Pfeffer will be presenting “Employing Foreign Workers: What US Companies and Counsel Need to Know” for members of the Association of Corporate Counsel. The webcast is scheduled for Thursday, September 11 at 3:00 pm. More info below:

While Congress continues to debate immigration reform, there are three key issues that US companies employing foreign nationals need to know about and recommendations on how to address them.

  • The H-1b Visa: This highly sought after visa is critical to US companies employing foreign professionals, such as engineers, business managers and analysts, or software professionals.  Employers need to work with counsel to develop generously detailed explanations about why the employee qualifies for this visa.
  • The L-1b Program: This program permits multi-national companies to transfer executives, managers or certain employees with specialized knowledge of the company's operations to the US.  The Department of Homeland Security carefully examines every petition in this visa category and employers must be aware of the issues that are important to DHS immigration officers.
  • Green Card Quotas: Companies employing foreign nationals need to understand the interplay between green card availability and employee retention. Learn how to  work with outside counsel to best complete the applications, understand the pros and of each, and steps to take when applications are challenged to ensure business runs smoothly.

Use this link to RSVP.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014