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Employment Law Alert: Sick Time Law Update 05/19/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Employment, Immigration, Legal Developments, New Resources.
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Recently, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has announced a transition policy under which employers who offer sufficient sick leave or paid time off to workers now have a six-month transition period in which to bring their policies into compliance with the new Massachusetts paid sick leave law. In order to qualify for this safe harbor, an employer’s policy must be in effect as of May 1, 2015, and follow guidelines provided.

To learn more about the transition policy, please see our Employment Law blog.

MBBP Clients Among BBJ’s Honorees – “Best Places to Work of 2015″ 05/04/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Computer Software & Hardware, Events, Industries, Internet and E-Commerce, Public Companies.
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2015-04-30_15-23-12On Thursday, April 30th, the Boston Business Journal announced the 80 honorees for its annual Best Places to Work of 2015 program. This year’s employers were divided among five different categories based on company size, and were selected based on survey responses provided by employees. The BBJ will recognize this year’s honorees on June 18th at the Citi Performing Arts Center.

Among the 80 nominees, are several MBBP clients:

Congratulations to all! View the full list of “Best Places to Work of 2015“.

Employment Law Update: Proposed Sick Leave Regulations 04/30/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Corporate, Employment, Legal Developments, New Resources, Public Companies.
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As we previously advised clients, on November 4 Massachusetts voters approved a ballot measure entitling employees to earned sick leave, which goes into effect on July 1, 2015. The Massachusetts Attorney General recently issued proposed regulations on the application and enforcement of the new law.

To learn more about the MA Sick Leave Law or the proposed regulations, please visit our Employment Law blog.

MBBP to Sponsor Upcoming TiE Startup Con 04/28/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Events, M&A, MBBP news, Nonprofit, Public Companies, Telecommunications & Networking, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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2015-04-23_9-30-48MBBP is proud to sponsor TiE Startup Con, taking place at the Cambridge Marriott on Friday, May 1st. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is a non-profit, global community supporting entrepreneurs all over the world by offering education, mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities. TiE’s upcoming conference seeks to help early-stage entrepreneurs along their journey to launch and build their own companies. It will provide several companies with the opportunity to negotiate with some of Boston’s top angel investors for access to valuable capital. With upwards of 600 annual attendees, the conference boasts three tracks focusing on the “Entrepreneur’s Journey”, “Tales from the Start-up Trenches”, along with traditional insight into “What’s Hot in Tech and Pharma in 2015″.

Find out what all the excitement is about, learn more and register for TiE Startup Con!

MBBP Attorney to Present at Upcoming MCLE Program – Primer on Preparing Massachusetts & Delaware LLC Documents 04/20/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, Legal Developments, Taxation.
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Corporate and Tax Attorney Charles Wry, Jr. MBBP Attorney Charles A. Wry, Jr. will be among faculty presenting at MCLE New England’s upcoming program “Primer on Preparing Massachusetts & Delaware LLC Documents” on Tuesday, May 5th from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

The panel will debate the pros and cons of LLCs and corporations, discuss basic tax and business issues presented by LLCs, identify specific advantages and disadvantages of LLCs, and report on common mistakes and traps for the unwary in forming and advising LLCs—with special emphasis on drafting LLC agreements. Panelists will also discuss single member LLCs, combinations of LLCs with other business entities, “employee equity participation” for LLCs, “piercing the veil” of an LLC, dissolution of LLCs, and the differences between the Delaware and Massachusetts LLC statutes.

To register for this event, please visit MCLE.

For more information regarding this topic, please feel free to contact Charles A. Wry, Jr. directly.

Employment Tip of the Month 04/14/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Employment, Legal Developments, New Resources.
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Last month’s Tip of the Month reminded employers that communicating and maintaining an overtime policy can minimize liability for unauthorized overtime hours. This month, we focus on a second way employers can protect against wage and hour liability: the inclusion of a payroll deductions policy to take advantage of the “safe harbor” protection against liability for misclassification of employees based on the failure to pay employees on a salary basis.

To read our full Tip of the Month, please visit our Massachusetts Employment Law blog.

Team Wine or Team Tequila? Upcoming TUGG 9th Annual Tech Charity Wine and Tequila Party 04/13/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Clean Tech, Events, Industries, Life Sciences, MBBP news, Nonprofit, Public Companies, Telecommunications & Networking, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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2015-04-13_8-13-29On Thursday, April 16th, MBBP will be sponsoring the TUGG 9th Annual Wine and Tequila Party. Join 1,500+ of Boston tech’s entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and philanthropists as we raise $400K+ to support six local nonprofits, while enjoying top-shelf wine and tequila. The non profits at this year’s party will consist of three returning favorites from the TUGG portfolio, and three new and promising ones. Meet and mingle with representatives from these nonprofits and hear their stories during the event. Then cast your votes for your favorite returning and your favorite new nonprofit. The winning non profit will be awarded up to $50,000. 

 

Don’s miss out! Learn more and register for the TUGG 9th Annual Wine and Tequila Party.

MBBP Clients Named 2015 MITX Awards Finalists 04/09/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Clean Tech, Client News, Events, Internet and E-Commerce, Public Companies, Publishing & Media, Telecommunications & Networking.
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2015-04-09_13-16-10On Wednesday, April 8th, the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange announced the finalists for the 2015 MITX Awards. The MITX Awards is the largest and most prestigious annual awards competition in the country for digital marketing and technology innovation, bringing together 1,200 of the best and brightest minds in the digital media, marketing and technology industry. The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 14th, 2015 at the Marriott Copley.

Among this year’s finalists, are several MBBP clients:

Forge Worldwide
Yottaa
Mullen Advertising, Inc.
LogMeIn
Nanigans
Interactions, Corp.

Congratulations to all! To see the full list of finalists, please visit MITX.

MBBP Attorney to Present Upcoming myLawCLE Program 04/09/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, Legal Developments, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, M&A, MBBP news, Public Companies.
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Corporate Attorney Mark TaralloOn Monday, April 13th, MBBP Attorney Mark Tarallo will be presenting myLawCLE’s “Basic LCCs 101″. The goal of the program is to provide course participants with a basic understanding of limited liability companies.

The course will discuss a wide range of information regarding limited liabilities companies, including:

  • What is an LLC?
  • Comparison of LLCs with other entities-Liability, Taxes, and Other Issues
  • Formation of the LLC
  • When to Use and Avoid the LLC
  • Drafting the Operating Agreement-Key Provisions
  • Ethical Issues in Representing the LLC

Any questions regarding this topic, please feel free to contact Attorney Mark Tarallo directly.

To register for this event, please see the myLawCLE events page.

Tap into the Power of Games With the MIT Enterprise Forum 04/09/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Games & Interactive Entertainment.
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Today billions of people around the world play games, and not just for fun.  Many people are now playing games to stimulate their minds, improve their health, and change their behavior, as companies beyond those traditionally thought of as game companies incorporate game mechanics and business models into their offerings. On April 13, 2015 The MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge will host a half-day conference, The Big Game Theory: Gaming Beyond Gamers. This conference will focus on topics of interest to companies seeking to adopt game elements, including Universal Best Practices, Gaming in Healthcare, Driving Engagement and much more!

MBBP partner Mike Cavaretta is the founder, former chair, and current steering committee member of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge’s Games and Interactive Entertainment Community Circle, which played a key role in organizing the conference.

The agenda and registration can be found here.

MBBP Clients Named SBANE New England Innovation Awards Finalists 04/07/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Clean Tech, Client News, Events, Industries, Manufacturing, Retail & Service, Nonprofit, Publishing & Media, Telecommunications & Networking.
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2015-04-07_11-01-36The Smaller Business Association of New England recently announced this year’s Innovation Awards Finalists. MBBP would like to congratulate clients OYO Sports and Comark on advancing to the final stage of this prestigious competition. Innovation is at the heart of economic prosperity and SBANE continues to recognize those companies and organizations that have transformed their innovative ideas into a product or service that delivers proven value to customers. Former winners come from varying fields such as technology, manufacturing, service (both for profit and not for profit), and retail / distribution. Winners and Finalists will be honored at the “Evening of Innovation” Gala Dinner on May 6, 2015 at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA.

To learn more about all of the Finalists of the 2015 Innovation Awards via SBANE.

Newest Issue of VC Spotlight Highlights 2013 & 2014 First Institutional Rounds Data 04/02/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Legal Developments, New Resources, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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Each quarter, MBBP compiles a comprehensive database of venture capital transactions that have closed within New England, New York and New Jersey. In our most recent VC Spotlight, MBBP presents the 2013 & 2014 First Institutional Rounds Deal Terms – as seen below.

2015-04-01_11-26-14

 

Further data analysis, as well as featured articles, can be found in this quarter’s VC Spotlight Newsletter.

NLRB Says It’s Unlawful for Employers to Prohibit Defamatory or Inappropriate Comments by Employees 03/31/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Employment, New Resources, Public Companies.
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2015-01-05_8-57-41On March 18th, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released some valuable guidance on language employers should and should not consider including in their employee handbooks. Given the broad reach of the recent handbook rulings, and the many policies to which these decisions may apply, all employers should review their handbooks and relevant policies for compliance with the NLRA.

Please see this month’s Employment Law Alert to learn more.

Feel free to contact any member of our Employment Law Group with any questions.

Employers Should Maintain and Enforce Overtime Policies to Minimize Potential Liability 03/31/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News.
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Massachusetts and Federal law requires that employers pay overtime to non-exempt employee’s that work more than 40 hours a week. Which means employers can be liable for overtime even if the hours were not authorized.

To minimize the liability employers should establish a policy that requires non-exempt employee to request overtime.

To learn more about this law read our Employment Law Blog.

Infringement v. Homage: Pharrell Williams, et al. v. Bridgeport Music Inc., et. al. 03/30/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, Publishing & Media.
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By: Callie L. Pioli

Callie L. PioliThe music industry did not get far into 2015 before delivering a blockbuster copyright case. Pharrell Williams’ and Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit Blurred Lines was in fact only 50% their hit, according to a jury verdict in mid-March that found in favor of Marvin Gaye’s children.  As co-owners of his original 1977 hit, Got to Give it Up, Gaye’s children successfully argued that Williams and Thicke had copied numerous aspects of their father’s song and had infringed the copyright in the 1977 hit. The jury accepted the Gaye family’s contention that if Got to Give It Up had been properly licensed, the family would have received royalties of 50% of the $8 million in Blurred Lines revenue. Additionally, Williams and Thicke were forced to surrender $3.4 million of their earned profits from Blurred Lines sales.

Ironically, the lawsuit was commenced by Williams and Thicke themselves, who originally sought a preemptive ruling that Blurred Lines “shared no similarities”[1] with Got to Give It Up after receiving complaints from members of the Gaye family. The Gayes, as defendants, successfully litigated a counter-claim, arguing that the songs were substantially similar and that they were owed $25 million in royalties, profits, and statutory damages. Williams and Thicke lived up to their reputations as performers while on the stand, doing their best to persuade the jury to re-interpret copyright law as excluding the “feel” or “sound”[2] of music, and taking the opportunity to sing to the jury.

While much has been made of the spotlight on Thicke’s admitted drug use in the studio, the blatantly inconsistent statements regarding exactly how much influence Gaye had on Williams and Thicke during the writing process, and the whopping total award of $7.3 million to the Gaye family, the suit also illustrated the importance of both copyright compliance and honoring fiduciary duties. Continue reading…

Any interested “ordinary observers” can listen to a direct comparison of Blurred Lines and Got to Give it Up online.

For more information on copyright law and intellectual property licensing, please contact Callie Pioli or any member of our copyright group.

[1] Complaint for Declaratory Relief at ¶ 1, Pharrell Williams, et al. v. Bridgeport Music Inc., et. al., No. 13-06004 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 15, 2013).

[2] Id. at ¶ 2.

Patients as Customers: Primary Care Practice Taking a Starbucks Approach 03/27/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News.
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IroaMBBP client Iora Health has announced an innovative plan to keep you out of the hospital and still make money. There’s no shortage of personal stories stating the classic case of healthcare complications and costs standing in the way of getting (and staying) healthy. The misalignment of financial incentives is a huge problem for patients, who often can’t get the care they need. Iora thinks it may be able to solve both problems and make money doing so. Its business model is meant to keep patients out of the hospital by improving service while earning a dividend on the expensive care it was able to avoid.

What’s so innovative about this? The plan offers the possibility of mass replication of quality care in a franchise-like style. Few health care innovators now expand beyond their original location, but Iora’s ultimate goal is hundreds of practices across the country, a kind of Starbucks for health care.

Read more, including one patient’s story here.

Help Scout Raises $6M Led by Foundry Group 03/25/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News.
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Help Scout.fwMBBP client Brightwurks (dba Help Scout), a Boston based start-up recently announced that they are ready to evolve.  Help Scout has been providing Web-based help desks to thousands of customers with only $800,000 in funding, which is a small sum for any tech startup.   After closing a $6 million Series A round recently, Help Scout plans to expand its business, including doubling the size of its team, which is already operating from four countries and 11 states.

Read here for more details on this exciting announcement.

MBBP Managing Partner Lisa Warren Panelist at MassBio Annual Meeting 03/20/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Life Sciences, MBBP news.
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M0164549On Thursday, March 26th MBBP Managing Partner Lisa Warren will sit as part of a panel at The MassBio Annual Meeting.  The discussion will be on the topic of Externalizing Pharma R&D.

The MassBio Annual Meeting is a two day event that focuses on the most timely and critical challenges facing the Massachusetts biotechnology industry. As MassBio’s largest event, drawing close to 400 industry leaders, the meeting program is compiled by a Steering Committee and includes keynote presentations, plenary discussions, two panel tracks (Better Business and Trends in Science), and extensive networking opportunities.

For more information contact MassBio.

Tax Alert: Massachusetts 2015 Limited Tax Amnesty Program 03/20/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Taxation.
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Tax Attorney Robert FinkelTaxpayers who have received a Tax Amnesty Notice from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) may be eligible to participate in a 60-day Amnesty Program. Under the Amnesty Program, the DOR will waive certain penalties (and penalty interest) if an “eligible” taxpayer makes full payment of all tax and interest due for the taxes and tax periods listed on the Tax Amnesty Notice.

In addition to paying tax and interest in full, participants must agree to waive both the possibility of receiving any refund Tax Attorney Diana Espanolaand also the possibility of contesting liability for amounts paid pursuant to the Amnesty Program.

The Amnesty Program ends on May 15, 2015.

Read our full Tax Alert to learn more about the Amnesty Program. To learn how our Tax team can assist you, please contact Robert Finkel or Diana Española.

MBBP Attorneys Invited to Speak at Upcoming swissnex Boston Seminar 03/13/2015

Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Events, New Resources.
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2015-03-12_14-28-53Next Wednesday, March 18th MBBP Attorneys Scott Bleier, Stan Chalvire, Grant Godfrey, Maura Malone and Callie L. Pioli will present to Swiss MBA students at  swissnex Boston, the consulate of Switzerland. The presentation will discuss legal perspectives on conducting business in the U.S., with focus on topics such as corporate, intellectual property, employment and immigration law.

For more information regarding this seminar, please feel free to contact Grant Godfrey directly.

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