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Newsletter of the ABA Business Law Section
  Young Lawyer Committee
July 2012

Message from the Chair

Featured Articles
  Reasonable Compensation: Legally Saving Employment Taxes With S Corporations
  It's a Win-Win: Increase Productivity and Enhance Client Satisfaction While Saving Money
  Tips for a Successful "Crowdfunding" Offering

Practice Tips for Being Your Best
Column by Vincent Roldan

ABA Connections
  Global Forums: A Potential Resource for Young Lawyers' Domestic Practice

Subcommittee Feature
  Pro Bono and Public Service Subcommittee

Editorial Board:

Ian C. Larson
    Co-Editor
    Trenam Kemker
    ILarson@trenam.com


Amy R. Rigdon
    Co-Editor
    Holland & Knight LLP
    Amy.Rigdon@hklaw.com


  Message from the Chair
 
Mac R. McCoy, Committee Chair Mac R. McCoy
Carlton Fields
Tampa, FL

Leadership Transition:

As the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago approaches, I want to take the opportunity to thank Sherwin Simmons, the outgoing Chair of the Young Lawyer Committee (YLC), for his exceptional leadership over the past three years. Under Sherwin's conscientious stewardship, the Committee has continued to expand its reputation, membership, and strategic vision. Most importantly, we have made tremendous strides in advancing the YLC's ultimate mission of supporting young lawyer involvement in the Business Law Section by providing meaningful opportunities for education, training, public service, professional networking, socializing, leadership, and business development. Thank you, Sherwin, for creating a legacy that we can all be proud to carry into the future.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank two other members of the YLC executive committee, Stephanie Cohen and Richik Sarkar, for their extraordinary contributions and dedication to the YLC over the past six years. Stephanie and Richik have both played integral roles in shaping the future of the YLC through their tireless commitment to innovation and their advocacy on behalf of young lawyers within the Section.

ABA Annual Meeting:

If you plan to attend the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, please refer to the separate email communication you received on July 24 highlighting the various programs, meetings, and other activities of interest for young lawyers in the Business Law Section. Additionally, the YLC will be offering a free pre-Annual Meeting webinar on July 26th designed to help young lawyers and law students navigate and make the most of their attendance at the Annual Meeting. The time and registration information for this free webinar has been distributed to the YLC membership by a separate email.

Leadership Opportunities:

The YLC is comprised of seven subcommittees: Diversity, Communications & Technology, International Young Lawyers, Law Students, Membership, Pro Bono & Public Service, and Programming. Each subcommittee is led by one or more chairpersons and one or more vice chairpersons. There are currently four vacant leadership positions for which the YLC is seeking applicants: Vice Chair of Diversity, Vice Chair of International Young Lawyers, Vice Chair of Pro Bono & Public Service, Co-Vice Chair of Communications & Technology. Each of these appointments would be for a three-year term (2012-2015). To apply for an appointment or for more information, please contact me at mmccoy@carltonfields.com.


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  Featured Articles
   
Reasonable Compensation: Legally Saving Employment Taxes With S Corporations
By Drew A. Cummings, Scott, Quinlan, Willard, Barnes, & Keeshan

In recent years, Congress has considered eliminating a perceived loophole that saves many professionals considerable amounts in employment taxes. Using this mechanism, Newt Gingrich has saved $50,000 in employment taxes, while John Edwards has saved over $500,000. This perceived loophole involves S corporations splitting up their earnings between wage and non-wage distributions. S corporation shareholder-employees often attempt to minimize employment taxes by electing to receive non-wage distributions instead of earning wages. Congress is concerned with non-wage distributions because it greatly affects tax revenue. The Government Accountability Office estimated that in 2003 and 2004 alone, S corporations skirted paying employment taxes on $24 billion of earnings by underpaying their shareholders. This revenue-depleting loophole persists despite repeated congressional attempts to close it over the past several years. In light of this attention, this article examines how the S corporation rule operates, how the IRS audits these types of returns, and finally, recent bills that attempt to close the S corporation loophole.


More...

It's a Win-Win: Increase Productivity and Enhance Client Satisfaction While Saving Money
By Richard A. Heyeck and Nia M. Jenkins, American National Red Cross

Many attorneys find it challenging to utilize their paralegals effectively in the in-house environment. Attorneys may find themselves thinking: "I like to do everything myself so that it is completed correctly" or "Paralegals just slow me down." However, paralegals are proven assets to in-house legal departments. Paralegals assist in juggling large workloads and managing tight budgets. As an in-house attorney and paralegal, we will provide our perspective on how we work together as a team to increase productivity, enhance the experiences of our clients, and create opportunities for professional development. We have learned that working together to establish our expectations and goals in the areas of (1) workflow/client interaction, (2) professional development, and (3) overall in-house legal department benefits has led to a successful team.


More...

Tips for a Successful "Crowdfunding" Offering
By Rob Ricca, Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP

Crowd-sourced funding or "crowdfunding" is a means for entrepreneurs to raise capital by pooling large numbers of people who each contribute relatively small amounts of money. Potential investors are typically solicited online, which enables the entrepreneur to target people with common interests who might be willing to contribute to a venture.

While crowdfunding is frequently used by private companies to raise money through loans or donations, companies generally do not use crowdfunding to sell stock since such offerings inevitably require registration under the Securities Act of 1933. This is about to change. On April 5, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the "JOBS Act"). The JOBS Act provides a new exemption from securities registration requirements for crowdfunding.


More...

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  Practice Tips for Being Your Best
 

By Vincent Roldan, Vandenberg & Feliu LLP

This column will offer a different practice tip each issue to help young lawyers navigate the practice of law and be the best young lawyer.

Networking Tips For Young Lawyers

Law students are typically trained to analyze facts, research applicable law, figure out options and advise clients accordingly. They graduate and become young lawyers where they apply what they learned and hone their skills in whatever specialty they choose. As the practice of law has become more of a business, however, it has become critical for lawyers to build relationships and develop good contacts. To stand out and advance, it is no longer sufficient to simply be competent. Young lawyers are expected to bring in business, or at least show the potential to do so. I have compiled some tips and reminders that I have learned over the years that will help young attorneys build those relationships early on.

  1. You Make Your Money With Relationships.
    A former boss once told me, "We make our money with words." That is partially true - we also make our money with relationships and the trust that builds the relationship. Clients give work to attorneys they trust. Attorneys refer work to attorneys they trust. Partners give work to associates they trust. Law firms hire associates they trust. You get the idea. So, where do you meet all these people with whom to start a long relationship? Think of yourself as your own business. In order to survive, you will need to attract customers and sell your services to somebody. Just like a business needs to devote resources to marketing, you will need to devote resources to marketing your services as well.
More...

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  ABA Connections
   
Global Forums: A Potential Resource for Young Lawyers' Domestic Practice
By Danute Debney Shaw, Life Resource Consulting, LLC

In the fall of 2011, I had the opportunity to attend the ABA sponsored "Global Business Law Forum" in London. Attendees from twenty countries gathered to listen to forum panels from Great Britain, Canada and the United States present overviews on a range of topics affecting cross border issues confronting Business and Financial Services law firms. There was something to enlighten or provide a broadened perspective for everyone.

Surprisingly, a number of U.S. attorneys attending were from law firms involved in business law, but not necessarily international practice areas, and a good number were young lawyers. One visionary law school from Oklahoma sponsored a third-year law student's attendance. Upon returning home, I was asked about the benefits from the experience and whether I would recommend attorneys not directly involved in "international" business law practice or perhaps young in their practice to attend such events. I enthusiastically responded, "Yes!" for the following reasons.


More...

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  Subcommittee Feature
   
Pro Bono and Public Service Subcommittee
By Victoria Newman, Co-Chair, Holland & Knight, LLP

On Thursday, August 2nd, from 3:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. prior to the start of the Business Law Section's meetings at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, the Pro Bono and Public Service Subcommittee, along with the Business Law Section's Young Lawyer Committee, will partner with Junior Achievement of Chicago for "Ask an Expert Day." The volunteer team will meet with students from local high schools to discuss their career paths and education. The program is intended to assist students in understanding the relationship between obtaining an education and the working world. We are seeking volunteers for this effort. If you have any questions about this year's volunteer opportunity, the plans for 2012 or would like to volunteer, contact Kristin Gore at kgore@carltonfields.com or Victoria Newman at victoria.newman@hklaw.com.

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