Law Is Stranger Than Fiction | Episode 13 Outsider

 

good afternoon and welcome to another

00:08

edition of law is stranger than fiction

00:10

I’m one of your co-hosts Steven Bergman

00:12

and I’m your other co-host Barry Shoal

00:15

and we are shareholders at the law firm

00:16

of Richard’s Brant Miller Nelson today’s

00:19

episode takes us back into the realm of

00:21

trademark law where there’s another

00:23

battle brewing over the use of what

00:25

would seem to be a common word Berry yes

00:28

indeed there is a battle brewing over

00:29

the term Outsider utah-based apparel

00:32

company Cool has obtained a trademark in

00:36

the term outsider for certain apparel

00:38

items it has sued industry giant LL Bean

00:43

for its advertising campaign be an

00:46

outsider let me stop you for a

00:49

second so Cool obtained a trademark on

00:52

the word outsider yes for particular

00:55

items of apparel okay so they don’t have

00:57

a general right to the word outsider

00:59

they have it too for example describing

01:01

one of their products for a line of

01:04

outdoor wear yes okay so cool is suing

01:08

LL Bean for trademark infringement

01:10

notwithstanding the fact that LL Bean

01:13

does not carry products manufactured by

01:16

Cool in its stores and they’re suing

01:18

them for using the word outsider yes

01:20

even though they’re not are they

01:23

describing any of their own products as

01:25

outsider products I believe this is more

01:28

of a general campaign encouraging

01:30

consumers to be an outsider by attiring

01:35

themselves in outdoor ware from LL Bean

01:39

Cool is claiming that they might suffer

01:42

financial damage if consumers are

01:44

confused about the source of the

01:45

products based on the outsider campaign

01:47

so Cool is claiming that because LL Bean

01:51

is promoting the use of its outdoor wear

01:55

by saying be an outsider that people

01:57

will be confused as to where to buy

01:59

Cools outsider brand of products and

02:03

that cool owns all rights in the term

02:05

outsider with regard to outdoor apparel

02:07

but now has LL Bean actually used

02:10

the word outsider to describe any of their

02:13

products only I believe in its in-store

02:15

displays okay so in other words wear

02:18

this and

02:18

go outside type of thing wear this so

02:20

you can be an outsider but they’re not

02:22

saying for example buy LL Bean’s outsider

02:25

pants or outsider shirts or

02:26

anything like that correct

02:27

okay and when was this lawsuit filed in

02:31

October of last year and does this

02:35

lawsuit have anything to do with the fact

02:36

that LL Bean is planning to open its

02:38

first store in the state of Utah well

02:40

one wonders only because the

02:43

inaugural LL Bean store will be located

02:46

right down the street from Cool’s

02:48

flagship store in Park City okay

02:50

does Cool have any kind of history of

02:52

aggressively protecting its trademarks

02:55

as a matter of fact yes it’s sued Yeager

02:57

over the use of an advertising campaign

03:00

that urged its consumers to have a Cool

03:05

spot cool as you might know is German

03:08

for the word cool or neat so cool

03:15

the clothing manufacturer is claiming

03:17

that there may be consumer confusion

03:20

resulting from Yeager’s advertising

03:23

campaign as well okay and it’s my

03:25

understanding in trademark law and I

03:27

know you do a lot more trademark law

03:28

than I do that you have to be aggressive

03:31

in protecting your trademarks or trade

03:33

names otherwise you’re at risk of losing

03:35

them is that right that’s correct so one

03:37

could say that in this instance Cool is

03:39

simply protecting its rights by being so

03:41

aggressive couldn’t they one could say

03:43

that okay

03:45

well that’s it for today’s story as I

03:47

mentioned that Barry is an expert in

03:49

trademark and copyright law if you have

03:51

any issues concerning those areas please

03:54

contact Barry or if you have a litigation matter

03:56

concerning trademarks of copyrights

03:58

please contact me and for now this is

04:00

another edition of law is stranger than

04:03

fiction

Law Is Stranger Than Fiction | Episode 12 Big Brother

good afternoon and welcome to today’s

00:08

episode of law is stranger than fiction

00:10

I’m one of your co-hosts Barry shoal

00:12

I’m your other co-host Steven Bergman we

00:15

are shareholders in the Salt Lake City

00:16

law firm of Richards brandt miller

00:18

nelson in today’s episode of law is

00:20

stranger than fiction involves a

00:22

situation where big brother is always

00:24

watching even if it turns out your big

00:27

brother Barry that’s right Steven

00:29

today’s story involves a former Utah

00:31

policeman who was charged with theft by

00:34

extortion after threatening to reveal

00:36

incriminating photos of his ex-wife to

00:40

discourage her from pursuing his pension

00:43

as part of a divorce proceeding now I’m

00:46

assuming this had something to do with

00:47

him being caught on camera making these

00:49

threats yes on his own police camera was

00:54

it like his dashboard camera that you

00:56

see or is it on his body there was a

00:58

body cam and what was he

01:02

doing that the body cam caught him

01:04

confessing to extorting his soon-to-be

01:07

ex-wife well he was responding to a

01:10

domestic violence complaint and talking

01:13

to the suspect sort of on the job therapy

01:17

as it were wait stop for a

01:20

second he was talking to the suspect yes

01:23

let’s see if I get this straight

01:24

so on the job police officer is called

01:27

to a domestic violence scene

01:29

presumably he separates the two parties

01:32

and he’s talking to the suspect the

01:34

person who he might be arresting for

01:36

committing domestic violence that about

01:39

sums it up and he starts confessing to

01:42

him about his own actions towards his

01:45

ex-wife that’s right he confessed to

01:49

this domestic violence suspect that it

01:52

sucks you got to play dirty games like

01:53

that but that he had incriminating

01:56

photos of his ex-wife that she didn’t

01:58

want revealed and that he had used those

02:00

photos or the threat of revealing those

02:02

photos to discourage her from pursuing

02:06

his pension did he like later try to

02:08

explain himself to superiors by saying I

02:10

was trying to establish rapport with the

02:12

suspect so he’d admit what he was doing

02:14

no okay

02:17

and so what happened to this police

02:19

officer well he was charged with theft

02:21

by extortion and later resigned from the

02:25

police force I’m assuming he didn’t turn

02:29

his own camera in and say hey look what

02:31

I said on camera how did this get

02:33

discovered I believe it was just part of a

02:34

standard review of footage from body

02:39

cams and it was discovered there and

02:41

then reported by one of his peers and

02:43

did he give any explanation for why he

02:47

was making a confession of a crime

02:49

knowing he was recording himself none at

02:51

all so the officer had texted his

02:54

soon-to-be ex-wife a copy of the photo

02:57

and threatened to reveal and share the

03:00

photo she said she was embarrassed and

03:03

didn’t want family members to be exposed

03:05

to the photo and investigators

03:10

interviewed her she admitted the the

03:12

circumstances and subsequently

03:16

investigators went through his ex-wife’s

03:18

phone and through text messages and

03:20

confirmed several dates when the photo

03:22

was used to threaten his ex-wife so not

03:25

only did this guy record himself

03:28

confessing to committing a crime he sent

03:31

incriminating evidence by text message

03:33

to the target and created his own

03:37

evidentiary trail his ex-wife the target

03:40

yes some quality police work right there

03:42

anyway how much was this over $5,000

03:46

okay so he essentially risked his career

03:48

trying to prevent splitting $5,000 with

03:52

his ex-wife that’s correct

03:55

this is an example of probably a

03:57

divorce getting a little too down and

03:58

dirty if you are going through a divorce

04:01

or you need help in a family law

04:03

situation please contact the attorneys

04:05

at Richard’s Brandt Miller Nelson we

04:07

have a number of family law attorneys

04:08

who can assist you and for now this is

04:11

law is stranger than fiction

Law Is Stranger Than Fiction | Episode 11 Fatberg

Steven: Good Afternoon, my name is Steven Bergman

Barry: And my name is Barry Scholl.

Steven: We are shareholders at the law firm of Richards Brant Miller Nelson in Salt Lake City and this is another episode of Law is Stranger Than Fiction.

Barry: In today’s episode we’re gonna talk about what is lurking under the city streets. Steven…

Steven: Well according to an opinion from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia that was issued late to 2017. “Lurking beneath the city streets lies a purported scourge of our sewer system—non-woven disposable wipes. While unwitting consumers might blithely flush baby or facial wipes down the toilet, little do they know these wipes may bind together in the subterranean realm, creating plumbing clogs of substantial proportions.

Barry: Is there a name for these plumbing clogs of substantial proportions?

Steven: There is… they’re referred to, rather unceremoniously, as Fatberg’s and when they say substantial proportions, they mean it.

Barry: So, I understand that this is a worldwide problem not a problem limited to the United States.

Steven: That is true. There have been large Fatberg’s discovered in Baltimore, London and other eastern cities. They tend to form unwittingly, you know, and then you have a sewer blockage. You then have a sewer spill and all sudden the sewer workers get down there they find these fatbergs, which are for lack of a better term, these wipes full of grease, fat— just kind of congealed into a massive concrete-like ball.

Barry: So, when you say massive I understand that the most recent fatberg in London was a hundred and fifty tons, the weight of a blue whale ,and the size of the playing field at Wembley Stadium. Is that correct?

Steven: That’s what the news story said about it. It took them several weeks to jackhammer the thing out. Now the reason we’re talking about this story and the reason there was a lawsuit where we had a discussion about fatbergs… Back in 2016 the District of Columbia tried to prevent this problem happening in their sewer system. It actually passed a law for labeling on disposable wipes and Kimberly-Clark sued saying that the law targeted them and that their wipes, in fact, did dissolve, etc. This is how we ended up with a judicial opinion describing the scoured line beneath our city streets.

Barry: And so what our municipality is doing to prevent the formation of these massive balls of waste products?

Steven: Well the District of Columbia, as I said, tried to pass a law to not ban disposable wipes but to put labeling on there, that these are not biodegradable, these do not disintegrate in water, do not flush them down the toilet. That didn’t work out very well because Kimberly-Clark actually was successful at getting an injunction against the enactment of this statute. But what they are doing (like in DC), they have a ‘protect your pipes’ campaign, encouraging consumers not to flush things down the toilet that don’t belong down there. Things like that because obviously when there are spills you have these large backups, like they had in Baltimore a few years ago. which they attributed to about 20-tons of fatberg discovered under the city streets of Baltimore.

Barry: And I understand London has done something similar to DC in creating a “Bin It Don’t Block It” campaign,

Steven: Exactly and that’s what you’ll see more and more as cities try to deal with these problems. So now this does raise some issues that might be of interest to our viewers other than the kind of morbid curiosity aspect of it. Cities, states, local municipalities are constantly passing regulations and if you feel a regulation is somehow unconstitutionally harming your industry or your business, please contact the attorneys at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson and for now this is Law is Stranger than Fiction.

 

Law Is Stranger Than Fiction | Episode 10 Pooping Jogger

Barry: Good afternoon and welcome to this week’s episode of Law is Stranger Than Fiction I’m Barry Sholl one of your co-hosts and a shareholder at the law firm of Richard’s Brant Miller Nelson in Salt Lake City.

Steven: I’m Steven Bergman your other co-host also a shareholder Richard’s Brant Miller Nelson.

Barry: And we are joined today by a very special guest Kendall Moriarty, an associate here at the firm who has a running story that she’d like to share.

Steven: Kendall?

Kendall: It’s a story out of Colorado. A woman would go out on jogs and every week she would stop on the same lawn and go to the bathroom.

Steven: And when you say stop and go to the bathroom… What are we talking about?

Kendall: Number two.

Steven: Okay and you said the same lawn every time?

Kendall: The same lawn.

Steven: So, there’s some regularity going on here?

Kendall: Yes.

Steven: Was she caught doing this by anybody?

Kendall: She was. Actually the children of the homeowner saw her for the first time and reported it to their mother. Who then saw the woman and was able to take photos of her.

Barry: And did the mother have any conversation with the jogger?

Kendall: There may have been a report that she confronted her at one time and the jogger said sorry and ran away.

Steven: Now speaking of this report, did the jogger just stop and squat or did she, you know, have wipes with her or anything like that?

Kendall: I think it was just a stop and squat.

Steven: Okay, was there a restroom nearby that she could have used?

Kendall: So the neighborhood did have a common area with a publicrestroom that this woman was not using. The homeowner left a sign on the property asking her to stop but instead the jogger just varied the times that she jogged in order to not get caught.

Barry: And was she jogging during the day or was she under the cover of darkness?

Kendall: During the day.

Steven: And how long did this go on for?

Kendall: I’m not quite sure but it seemed to happen regularly for several weeks.

Steven: And what kind of legal issues does this particular running case create?

Kendall: Well definitely trespass, probably some nuisance.

Barry: And you mentioned that the children reported this action. It’s possible some indecent exposure?

Kendall: Yes, the police were involved. The homeowner did report the incidents to the police, but the police have been unable to locate to identify the woman and bring any charges.

Steven: Okay has there been any further story or any discussion about why she was doing this?

Kendall: So, after the story hit the news someone went on YouTube and claimed to be a relative and provided possible explanations for whythis woman was jogging and going to the bathroom in public. And one of the reasons was mental illness or something else, and so, but it came out later that that person didn’t actually know the jogger.

Steven: Okay and has there been any further reports of this woman’s activities since the story first came out?

Kendall: So, since November it seems that the jogging and the incidents have stopped.

Steven: Okay.

Barry: Now Steven you practice a lot of real estate law… what issues might a homeowner encounter– one would hope not involving a jogger.

Steven: Hopefully, you know, you as a property owner don’t have to encounter joggers using your property as a restroom, but other issues that are a little bit more common would be things like boundary disputes with your neighbors or access issues when you know neighbor’s property prevents you from accessing your property or vice versa or questions of easements– things like that and myself and other attorneys here at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson are very experienced in, those kind of real estate law issues. And if you do have such an issue please give us a call. For now, Kendall, thank you for coming in and sharing this running story with us. We appreciate that. I’m Steven Bergman.

Barry: And I’m Barry Scholl and this is…

Together: Law is Stranger Than Fiction

Law Is Stranger Than Fiction | Episode 9 Pet Leasing

Barry: Good afternoon and welcome to this week’s edition of Law is Stranger than Fiction I’m Barry Scholl, one of the co-hosts and a shareholder at the law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson in Salt Lake City.

Steven: I’m your other co-host Steven Bergman. I’m also a shareholder at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson.

Barry: And today Steven’s gonna introduce us to a somewhat alarming concept that was new to both of us, known as Pet leasing. Steven take it away.

Steven: Thank you. It’s new to a lot of people actually. I learned about this from a Federal Trade Commission consumer warning to be very careful when purchasing a pet if you’re not buying the pet outright for cash at the time read very carefully the contract that the pet store gives to you. Because unfortunately a number of people have ended up, what they think was buying a pet, and ended up instead actually signing a lease agreement on a pet.

Barry: So, wait a minute, you’re telling me that it’s possible to lease a dog, a cat, a ferret, a parrot, whatever it might be, in the same way that you might lease a wide screen TV?

Steven: Well for these stores that were doing it, pretty much yeah that’s what was going on. You know, instead of paying, you know, the say $1,000 or $1,300 whatever the animal in question might cost, they were agreeing to make payments typically, over a two year period. The payments would come out to far greater than he purchase price would have been at the time. And the contract that these people sign probably not reading very carefully, because they’re so enamored with whatever animal they’re trying to take home, specifically says if you miss a payment the animal can be repossessed, if something happens to the animal you’re still on the hook for the payments, things like that.

Barry: So, wait a minute, let me interrupt you here, so if Fluffy gets out of the house and runs into the street and is inadvertently involved in a fatal accident such that Fluffy crosses the “Rainbow Bridge,” does that mean that the consumer is still on the hook to make the remaining payment?

Steven: Unfortunately, that’s what it does mean in these contracts, which are you know quite unfavorable for the people buying the pets. They are bound to make the payments whether or not they still have the dog or cat in question, or parrot, or ferret, or whatever it might be.

Barry: So this really is like leasing a car?

Steven: Sadly it is. You know I mean people get attached to cars but I think they get a little bit more attached to their pets and so you know f you’re looking to buy a pet be very careful. If you see an offer of like you can pay for the pet over time.

Barry: Now this seems at the very least like a controversial concept, are state’s stepping in to do anything about this?

Steven: Fortunately the answer is yes. Recently both the state of California and the state of Nevada have passed bills that make it illegal to sign contracts for pet leasing. Basically in California it says a contract for the purchase of a dog or cat with payments over time is void and is against public policy. So, now Barry you do a lot of contract law. What kind of things would you advise somebody if they were looking at a contract?

Barry: Well first understand the contract and if you don’t understand the contract invest a little bit in consulting with a qualified lawyer to be sure that you’re not inadvertently leasing a pet, instead of purchasing the pet on an installment plan. The other is to make sure you read the contract. I would imagine that some of these consumers were so enamored with Fido that they just signed where the pet store owner indicated and scooped up the pet and happily left the store, completely unaware that they were leasing a pet.

Steven: That is very true. Some of the stories about this talked about how people had no idea that they had signed a lease agreement for their animal, which is a really sad thing when you think about it.

Barry: Very much so.

Steven: So well that’s it for today’s episode my name is Steven Bergman.

Barry: And my name is Barry Scholl

Together: And Law is Stranger than Fiction.

Law is Stranger than Fiction | Episode 8 Mark of the Beast

Steven: Good afternoon and welcome to Law is Stranger than Fiction. I’m one of your co-hosts Steven Bergman a shareholder in the Salt Lake City law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson.
Barry: And I’m your other co-host, Barry Scholl, also a shareholder at the firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson.
Steven: And today’s episode takes us back into the realm of employment law. Specifically, in this case we’re talking about a former law school professor who claims that he was retaliated against by the law school. And the way that they retaliated against him was by giving him a raise of $666 dollars and thereby humiliating him by giving him a raise that was the signifier of the “Mark of the Beast,” in religious circles.
Barry: Did he bring litigation into all of this?
Steven: He did. He filed a law suit in Federal Court over it actually and made a number of claims, including the retaliation claim for getting a $666 dollar raise.
Barry: And what was the outcome?
Steven: At the trial court level, not surprisingly, not very good for the law professor. He lost, the District Court found that he had not established that he was retaliated against and he’d not established that the raise of $666 was unlawful retaliation.
Barry: And was that the end of the matter?
Steven: No, he actually appealed the case and took it to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Barry: So, wait a minute, he was arguing that he was retaliated against because he received araise of 666 dollars and he took this to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals?
Steven: I don’t think he chose the Sixth Circuit. It just happens to be that this case took place in Ohio and that Ohio is part of the Sixth Circuit. But you think if there’s any circuit that might be somewhat sympathetic to a claim based on the 666 dollar raise, it might be the sixth circuit.
Barry: Okay and what was his argument?
Steven: On appeal, again, he raised the retaliation claim he had been trying to unionize some of the law professors at the school and claimed that his First Amendment rights were being infringed because they retaliated against him by only giving him this 666 dollar raise.
Barry: Now I understand that originally the raise was slightly more 727 dollars, a figure that was far as we know has no religious significance. How did the school arrive at the figure of 666 dollars?
Steven: Well in question the Dean of the School explained that in that particular year they had broken the professors at the school into three tiers. And a top tier got $5,000 raised the second tier got a $3,000 raise, the third tier split what was left over. Because of the size of the pool and the number of professors who ended up in the third tier, it ended up being 666 dollars when they divided it.
Barry: And is that professor, still having lost on appeal, is he still presumably teaching law?
Steven: He is not. He actually retired a couple years prior to this case being decided and his wife was also teaching school and who had also received a 666 dollar raise was laid off because the school is actually experiencing declining enrollment.
Barry: Okay, now I know you practice employment law. Presumably employers won’t see a case involving the “Mark of the Beast.” What are some issues they might encounter?
Steven: Well, obviously if you’ve got an employee who is taking advantage of the First Amendment right, trying to organize, trying to unionize, you can’t retaliate against that employee. You have to treat them equally– the way you treat all the other employees. And that’s what ultimately protected the school in this case. They could demonstrate that while the raise several anti-union professors also got the same raise because it was decided not by an arbitrary number meant to embarrass the professor but by simply dividing the raised pool among the number of professors involved. So now, if you’re an employer and you have an employee that’s trying to unionize or trying to engage in activities that you think might be questionable and you don’t know what to do, contact the attorneys of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson. We’re here to help and we look forward to doing so. For now, I’m Steven Bergman.
Barry: And I’m Barry Scholl and this is…
Together: Law is Stranger than Fiction

Law Is Stranger Than Fiction | Episode 7 Immigration Dating

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT6JLB0fV5Q&feature=youtu.be

Good afternoon and welcome to Law is Stranger than Fiction. I’m Steven Bergman.

Barry: And I’m Barry Scholl. We’re shareholders at the Salt Lake City law firm of Richard Brandt Miller Nelson and today our special guest is Barbara Melendez,head of our immigration law department, who’s gonna answer the question, what do you do when the US government puts a damper on your love connection? Barbara?

Barbara: Well thank you. There is a way that the US government can put a damper on your love connection, specifically if you’re online dating and you happen to fall in love with a foreign.

Steven: And okay, so when you mean your online dating, lots of people do online dating.

Barbara: Yes they do, 40 million Americans.

Steven: Okay so is it any online dating site?

Barbara: It’s any online dating site where you pay a nominal fee whether it’s for the app or whether it’s for access on a monthly basis to potential matches that fall into this law called IMBRA which is the international marriage brokers Regulation Act.

Barry: Now I understand from anecdotally that this is really a growth industry all ages in same-sex couples and heterosexual couples is that right.

Barbara: Absolutely we’ve seen a 10 percent growth annually in all ages of young adults to older adults who are having or accessing online dating whether it’s through their phone or through their computer to meet their significant other.

Steven: Well how many marriages what percentage of marriages we’re talking about are a result of online dating?

Barbara: 7% of all marriages in 2015 were the result of online dating and 20% of all couples who are currently in committed relationships met through online.

Steven: So a fairly significant number of people. That’s a hunk of love.

Barbara: That’s a lot of people.

Steven: Okay so you go on to one of these websites, you meet the love of your life, he or she is from Europe or Asia or wherever it might be, and you want to get married. So you’re gonna run into this problem with IMBRA. What do you do?

Barbara: First you file what would be a fiancee visa and then as you’re processing the fiancee visa through immigration, that’s where IMBRA steps in because the government requires you to discuss how the two of you met, what your plans are, and the moment you discuss that you met through an online, wait up, dating website or ape. The issue of IMBRA steps in, did you pay a fee? If so, how much? Was it a monthly? Was it an app fee? And that falls into the category of, was this, in fact, a marriage broker site?

Steven: So simply meeting somebody online can get you into immigration trouble?

Barbara: Falling in love with somebody and filing for the fiancee visa is the one that triggers IMBRA to step into your life.

Steven: Okay and how do you prove the site isn’t an international marriage broker site.

Barbara: Huh, well it’s up to you to prove it because remember the burden falls on you to prove to the government that this is not a site. The first thing you have to prove somehow is this was just a nominal fee. That you didn’t really go on this site just to meet foreign nationals and you have to show them through a series of documentation that this, in fact, is not an international marriage broker site.

Steven: This is fascinating. So if you find yourself falling in love with somebody from overseas that you met through a dating web site you might want to contact an attorney, such as the attorneys at Richard Brent Miller Nelson in Salt Lake City and for now this is…

Together: Law is Stranger than Fiction

Law Is Stranger Than Fiction | Episode 5 Squirrel

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=Hnn-993eIxc

Steven: Good afternoon. I’m Steven Bergman, one of your hosts of Law is Stranger than Fiction.

Barry: And I’m Barry Scholl, the other host.

Steven: We are shareholders in the Salt Lake City law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson and today’s story is rankly just plain nuts. Barry?

Barry: Yes this, ironically enough, is a story that comes out of gun barrel Colorado in rural Boulder County.

Steven: Does it involve a weapon?

Barry: It does involve a weapon and it also involves squirrels.

Steven: Does it involve a weapon being used on the squirrels?

Barry: Not on the squirrels. It involves a weapon being used in an altercation over the feeding of squirrels.

Steven: Okay what were these squirrels being fed?

Barry: Pounds of peanuts, according to news reports.

Steven: Okay so what… tell me a little bit more about the story.

Barry: The defendant had been a habit of leaving several pounds of peanuts around the neighborhood to feed area squirrels. Do you want to know why he was feeding area squirrels?

Steven: Well I actually am kind of more concerned about the several pounds of peanuts being left around the neighborhood given the number of kids today with peanut allergies. But, sure, why was he feeding the squirrels?

Barry: Well according to his reports he was feeding squirrels because it made him feel closer to his deceased parents

Steven: Of course, I mean that seems so obvious- we should have thought of that.

Barry: Yeah, yeah.

Steven: Okay so he’s planting or dropping off pounds of peanuts throughout the area. Was he doing anything else?

Barry: Well he was leaving flyers around the neighborhood, as well. Asking his neighbors not to remove the peanuts and signing them the squirrel guy.

Steven: Okay, so he’s contributing to both litter and potential allergic reactions throughout the neighborhood. What else?

Barry: Well, according to his neighbors, they objected to the squirrels leaving husks around the neighborhood and was involved in a dispute with some of his neighbors over whether or not it was proper to be feeding the squirrels.

Steven: Okay so what happened that led to the altercation in Gun Barrel?

Barry: Well one of his neighbors removed a flyer. Evidently this was one of the neighbors who had been vocal in his criticism of the practice of feeding squirrels. The two became involved in a dispute and the defendant shot his neighbor in the buttock.

Steven: Okay, so now, from what I understand, after he shot his neighbor he then turned himself in, right?

Barry: That is correct.

Steven: Okay and so he gets charged?

Barry: Yes.

Steven: They actually went through a trial. Right, no plea bargain here?

Barry: No plea bargain. Tried in Boulder County Colorado.

Steven: What was his defense?

Barry: His defense was self defense.

Steven: Okay so he was protecting his non-existent right to drop off peanuts in the area to feed squirrels.

Barry Apparently yes.

Steven: So how did that self-defense claim work out for the defendant?

Barry: Not so well. The jury convicted him and a judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison for a second degree attempted murder and first degree assault.

Steven: That’s just plain nuts. Okay so I guess he’s cooling his heels somewhere as a guest in the state of Colorado at this point.

Barry: I believe that is correct and I think the judge summed things up when she noted that this was all precipitated by a “petty petty petty dispute over the feeding of squirrels that quite frankly is just so unfortunate.”

Steven: So three petty’s? Three petty’s, thats seriously petty.

Barry: Yeah, very petty.

Steven: More than a NASCAR race.

Barry: She added that even if the neighbors were mean to the defendant that certainly didn’t give him license to shoot an unarmed man in the back. Actually we believe that was in the buttock.

Steven: Okay so the moral of this story is if you’re going to feed the squirrels maybe leave the weapons at home.

Barry: Yes.

Steven: You don’t want to get to angry there. Hopefully your life does not involve armed altercations in public areas over the feeding of squirrels, but if strange things happen to you and you need an attorney please give the attorneys of Richard Brent Miller Nelson a call and for now this is…

Together: Law is Stranger than Fiction

Good News for Small Nonprofits…Easy 501(c)(3) Filing Under 1023EZ

501(c)(3)

July 2014

IRS Announces Simplified Application for Small Charities Applying for 501(c)(3)

Starting July 1, 2014, small charities may be eligible to apply for tax exempt status by filing the
Internal Revenue Service’s new Form 1023-EZ.

Until recently, all non-profit organizations seeking tax-exempt status under 501(c)(3) were required to: pay the $850 filing fee; complete the 26 page IRS Form 1023; and provide the IRS with a detail summary of charitable activities, governing documents and financials.

Now the Internal Revenue Service has simplified the application for small charities. Most organizations that have assets valued less than $250,000 and annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less will qualify to use the new Form 1023-EZ. That form is only 3 pages and the application fee is $400. The new Form 1023-EZ must be filed online.

If you are planning formation a non-profit charity, you may want to consider filing the new Form 1023-EZ. The eligibility requirement are contained in the new Form1023-EZ’s instructions.

INSTRUCTIONSIRS Form 1023EZ
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1023ez.pdf

NEW APPLICATION FORM
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1023ez.pdf

This is good news for tax planning for family foundations, athletic clubs, and charitable groups. Call Greg Steed, Chair of the Trusts and Estates Practice Group at RBMN, at 801.531.2000 if you have any questions.

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