Friday, February 27, 2015

Estate Planning For Blended Families

Tune in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to 101.5 WORD-FM to hear Michele Conti discuss the various estate planning options that may be used for a blended family. Understand what you need to plan for when multiple families are involved.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Estate Planning For Pet Owners

Tune in tomorrow to hear Michele Conti discuss the estate planning techniques available to pet owners.  She will discuss what arrangements a pet owner can make upon their death or incapacity to ensure that the beloved pet will be cared for by someone the owner has chosen.  The broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m. on 101.5 WORD-FM.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Four Partners Named 2015 Lawyer of the Year

Congratulations to Andrea Geraghty, Richard Kotarba, Kevin McKeegan and David Oberdick on being name 2015 "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers®.

These four lawyers are joined by sixteen of their colleagues in the firm who have been named to the 2015 Edition of Best Lawyers®, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.  Best Lawyers® has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals.

Use this link to see the full article.

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.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dennis Unkovic To Appear On Our Region’s Business

Don’t miss Our Region’s Business on WPXI-TV Sundays at 11 a.m. The show airing this Sunday, February 15 focuses on China – the big challenges facing the world's second biggest economy and what you need to know about doing business there. Dennis Unkovic, partner with Meyer, Unkovic and Scott, and Daniel Joseph, foreign business strategist and author of " The China Learning Curve," join us to offer their takes.

Now in its 11th year and hosted by our own Bill Flanagan, the 30-minute program is co-produced by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and WPXI-TV. Interviews from previous shows can be found here. The program is rebroadcast on PCNC-TV at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays, and at 3:30 p.m. Mondays.

Friday, February 6, 2015

H-1B Visas - Be Prepared To Submit Applications on April 1

Do not delay in preparing your H-1B visa applications as the demand is great, and it is likely that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will receive more applications than there are available during the first week of April 2015.  There is an annual cap on the number of H-1B visas available: 65,000 for those applicants holding the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's degree and an additional 20,000 visas available for foreign nationals with a U.S. Master's degree or higher.  In the past several years, the USCIS has conducted a lottery to determine which applicants would be eligible for an H-1B visa due to the great demand.

It is recommended that employers file on or about April 1, 2015 to secure a slot for employment beginning on the fiscal year 2016 that begins on October 1, 2015.  Employers can file H1-B applications no earlier than six months in advance of the anticipated start date, and therefore April 1, marks the beginning of the race for obtaining an H1-B Visa.  The last two fiscal years have seen the cap be filled within the first week of the filing period, resulting in USCIS conducting a lottery on April 10, 2014 and April 7, 2013.  Companies employing students on Optional Practical Training (OPT) with work visas expiring in the months between April and September 2015, may have the opportunity to extend the work of students until October 1 with a timely filed H-1B visa application.

In addition, every H-1B application requires a Labor Condition Application (LCA) certified by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).  The DOL takes approximately one week to certify an LCA.  If an employer has not previously filed an LCA with the DOL, it may take an additional week for the DOL to verify the employer's Federal Employer Identification Number.

It is important for companies to carefully prepare their applications as the USCIS has increased its scrutiny and regularly requests additional evidence from employers.  Employers need to work with counsel to develop detailed explanations as to why the employee qualifies for this visa. 

For more information about H-1B visas and other immigration matters, please contact Joel PfefferElaina Smiley, or Gary M. Sanderson.  
Joel Pfeffer
Elaina Smiley
Gary M. Sanderson