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Posts from May 2013.
Posted in Estate Planning

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 clarified the federal estate tax rules, prompting new questions for many people.

Posted in Government

A heavily debated bill that would have criminalized a wide variety of activities commonly used by average citizens to expose allegedly improper or unsavory business practices failed in the final days of Indiana’s 2013 legislative session.

Senate Bill 373 would have made it a misdemeanor offense for anyone without a contractual interest in the property of another person to enter ...

Due to lobbying efforts initiated by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Indiana recently enacted new legislation that will save aircraft owners thousands of dollars per year in aviation-related taxes. The legislation is aimed at reviving Indiana’s aircraft industry in order to enhance the state’s competitiveness.

Posted in Litigation

The law governing fee agreements in Indiana is complex and seemingly ever-changing. Recently, the Indiana Supreme Court provided additional guidance on the permissibility and use of non-refundable flat fee agreements in a case defended by Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP.

In this case, the respondent was hired by a client to represent him on a Class A felony charge of dealing in ...

In a recent (and unanimous) decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Bowman v. Monsanto, an Indiana farmer was found to have infringed upon Monsanto's patent rights for Roundup Ready soybeans. The essence of the farmer's scheme was to avoid paying the extra cost of buying the Roundup Ready soybeans from Monsanto by saving a portion of the farmer's Roundup Ready soybean crop and replanting this portion of the crop in another season. Since soybeans are themselves seeds, saving the crop is the same as saving the seeds.

Posted in Tax and Finance

How are medical device manufacturers weathering the new medical device excise tax storm? As medical device companies are aware, effective January 1 of this year, there is a tax equal to 2.3 percent imposed on the sales price of certain medical devices which must be paid by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of such device. The medical device excise tax is one of the more significant ...

Generally speaking, employers are not permitted to terminate employees for off-duty “lawful activity” like consuming alcohol, carrying a firearm or gambling, even when that conduct may be prohibited in the workplace itself. Over a dozen states, including Indiana and Kentucky, have specific statutes that protect off-duty tobacco use or the use of lawful products. Other ...

A recent Supreme Court decision reaffirms the right of patent owners to control self-replicating technology.

Monsanto Co. owns patents on RoundUp Ready® transgenic seeds. Monsanto licenses its technology to seed producers, who sublicense it to farmers. Under the license agreement, a farmer is limited to planting seeds in a single season. Monsanto claims that farmers who harvest ...

Posted in General

On April 8, 2013, the Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP Women’s Forum prepared an apartment for a family in need at Coburn Place Safe Haven in Indianapolis. Coburn Place provides women who have suffered from domestic violence and their children a chance at a fresh start by providing safe, affordable housing for up to two years. The Women’s Forum was honored to make this apartment a home for a ...

Posted in Litigation

One attorney’s “creative” approach to defending his criminal client’s methamphetamine possession charges resulted in a nine-month suspension without automatic reinstatement. In an attempt to prove that an informant was a drug dealer himself, the attorney arranged for two individuals to purchase marijuana from the informant. The attorney informed the individuals that ...

Posted in Tax and Finance

The Internal Revenue Service recently released a much-anticipated final report on its compliance study of colleges and universities, which may have implications for other nonprofits. The final report pinpoints several areas of noncompliance that could affect many tax-exempt organizations. Specifically, in its audit of over 30 schools as part of this report, the IRS identified ...

Posted in Tax and Finance

Each owner of real property in Kentucky has the opportunity to reduce their real property tax assessment by challenging the local county Property Valuation Administrator’s tax assessment value of each parcel. This can be done starting on (and sometimes before) May 7th.

If an owner thinks that their tax assessment is not correct because the property’s value is overstated, then the ...

I recently had the opportunity to appear on ProBoat Radio, a weekly radio program sponsored by the Professional BoatBuilder Magazine and The International BoatBuilders Exposition & Conference (IBEX), to talk about my upcoming Comprehensive Immigration Reform seminar and workshop that will be held at IBEX on September 17, 2013. Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), if signed ...

Posted in Tax and Finance

On April 25, the IRS released a much-anticipated final report on its compliance study of colleges and universities. The study was initiated in October 2008, when the IRS sent questionnaires to 400 randomly-selected public and private colleges and universities. In May 2010, the IRS issued an interim report (available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/cucp_interimrpt_052010.pdf), which presented summary data on the preliminary feedback from 344 institutions—177 private and 167 public colleges and universities. Out of the 400 colleges and universities receiving questionnaires, the IRS selected 34 schools (both public and private) for examination because their questionnaire responses and Form 990 reporting indicated potential noncompliance in the areas of unrelated business income (“UBI”) and executive compensation. As of the release date of the final report, 31 of the 34 audits have been closed and “the overwhelming majority of examinations closed with adjustments to returns.” The audits primarily covered the tax years from 2006 to 2008. Based on public statements and releases, the schools examined by the IRS include Cornell University, Harvard University, Suffolk University, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Lamar University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, the University of Georgia, the University of North Carolina, the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and Yeshiva University.

Posted in Litigation

At a recent CLE seminar, Executive Secretary of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission Mike Witte noted some common ethical pitfalls that tend to ensnare Indiana lawyers. One in particular struck me, both because of its pervasiveness and seeming obviousness: the prohibition on commingling client funds. According to Mr. Witte, many Indiana attorneys simply do not ...

To increase efficiency, reduce operating costs and streamline the admission process of foreign nationals into the U.S., U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") began on April 26, 2013, automating CBP Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Form I-94 is the Arrival/Departure Record issued to foreign nationals who are admitted to the U.S.

As first appeared in the May 2013 Louisville Bar Association Bar Briefs.

After over a decade of constantly changing rules and uncertainty surrounding the future of the federal estate and gift tax laws, Congress and President Obama finally provided clarity with the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was actually enacted on Jan. 2, 2013. The changes the Act put in place are effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2012.

Posted in Real Estate

Bingham Greenebaum Doll client LOR Corporation recently unveiled plans to construct a new mixed-use building at 1002 Broad Ripple Avenue in Indianapolis, situated between Winthrop Avenue and the Monon Trail. LOR Corporation owns and manages commercial properties, ranging from a single user building of 2,400 square feet to neighborhood retail centers with over 90,000 square feet.

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