January 2013 Archives

Call Recorder for Skype

Install Call Recorder and you'll instantly see recording controls in Skype. Use the Record and Stop buttons, or activate Call Recorder's automatic recording feature. The recorded files are saved into a folder on your Mac, neatly named with the caller's name and the date. 

Use Call Recorder to record your video sessions exactly as you see them or in unique side-by-side and split-screen modes. Camera shy? There's even an option to just record the remote video.

 Download the free demo version and try it out for 7 days. Purchase only if you like what you see. 

US $19.95 for the app.  

System Requirements:
Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Quicktime 7 or later
Skype for Mac 2.5 or later

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Access to Court Opinions Expands | United States Courts

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A pilot project giving the public free, text-searchable, online-access to court opinions now is available to all federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts.

The Judicial Conference, the policy-making body of the Federal court system, approved national implementation of the project with the Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System (FDsys), which provides free access to publications from all three branches of federal government via the Internet. The pilot project pulls opinions nightly from courts' Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) systems and sends them to the GPO, where they are processed and posted on the FDsys website. The functionality to transfer opinions to FDsys is included in the latest release of CM/ECF which is now available to all courts. Twenty-nine courts participated in the original pilot, and now, all courts may opt to participate in the program.

Access to judicial opinions through FDsys allows the Judiciary to make its work more easily available to the public. Collections are divided into appellate, district or bankruptcy court opinions and are text-searchable across opinions and across courts. FDsys also permits embedded animation and audio.

Presently, more than 600,000 opinions dating back to 2004 are available. Opinions from the pilot are already one of the most heavily used collections on FDsys, with millions of retrievals each month.

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Formal Opinion 2103-1

TOPIC: Duties to Prospective Clients

DIGEST: Rule 1.18 codifies the established principle that New York lawyers owe duties to prospective clients even when no lawyer-client relationship ensues. These duties are determined by the nature of the information received from the prospective client and may restrict the lawyer‟s ability to use or reveal the information or to represent adverse parties in the same or a substantially related matter. While these duties may be significant, they are less restrictive than the comparable duties owed to former and current clients and permit the use of ethical screens to take on adverse representations.

The New York State Appellate Division, Second Department recently addressed the appropriate valuation methodology for land with established mineral deposits In the Matter of Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Washed Aggregate Resources, Inc.), 2013 NY Slip Op 00212 (January 16, 2013).

While recognizing "enhancement value" attributed to the presence of mineral resources, the Court failed to compensate owners of permitted mining operations for profits lost as a result of the taking of land containing mineral resources.
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7 New Social Security Rules for 2013 - Yahoo! Finance

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The Social Security Administration has implemented a variety of new rules and features for 2013. The two-year payroll tax cut has officially ended, and paper Social Security checks will soon cease to be printed. A growing number of Social Security services will also be online this year. Courtesy of Yahoo! Finance, here's a look at some of the recent Social Security changes that go into effect this year:
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You don't have to pay for ebooks on your mobile device or your Mac: your local library will lend you ebooks, digital magazine and audiobooks. Here's a quick guide from  to getting set up.

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Here are FAQ intended to help gun owners in New York understand and comply with the NY SAFE Act enacted on January 15, 2013. If your question is not answered here, please continue to check back, as this list will be updated regularly.
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Treasury and IRS Issue Final Regulations to Combat Offshore Tax Evasion

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1.  Treasury and IRS Issue Final Regulations to Combat Offshore Tax Evasion

Treasury Advances Efforts to Secure International Participation, Streamline Compliance, and Prepare for Implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
Press release

2.  TD 9610 Final Regulations

TD 9610 Final Regulations (Regulations Relating to Information Reporting by Foreign Financial Institutions and Withholding on Certain Payments to Foreign Financial Institutions and Other Foreign Entities) are now live on the Federal Register website.
The filing date is Jan. 17 and the publication date is Jan. 28, 2013.

TD 9610 Final Regulations

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Your Practice is Doing Better Than You Think-Randall Ryder

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One of the toughest parts of running a solo practice is that you are own worst critic.

Chances are, you are your only critic. Living in that bubble can de difficult and downright deceptive when analyzing the financial success of your solo practice. When you find yourself wondering if your solo practice is successful, here are three things from Randall Ryder to remember. (Read further at Lawyerist)

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Governor Cuomo Signs NYSAFE Act

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed into law the NY SAFE Act (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act) that will give New York State the toughest gun laws in the nation. The legislation includes provisions to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons and potentially dangerous mental health patients, and ban high capacity magazines and assault weapons.


Under the legislation, New York will be the first state in the nation to ban any magazine that can hold more than seven rounds and run instant background checks on all ammunition purchases at the time of sale. The legislation will allow authorities to track ammunition purchases in real time to alert law enforcement to high volume buys, and will include a statewide standard requiring recertification of pistol permits every five years. The legislation also closes a private sale loophole to ensure all gun purchases are subject to a background check, and toughens criminal penalties on those who use illegal guns.


"The new law will limit gun violence through common sense, reasonable reforms that include addressing the risks posed by mentally ill people who have access to guns and banning high capacity magazines and lethal assault weapons," Governor Cuomo said. "This legislation is not about hunters, sportsmen, or legal owners who use their guns appropriately. It is about reducing gun violence and making New York a safer place to live. I thank leadership of both the Assembly and Senate for their action on this important legislation."


Key provisions of the NY SAFE Act

Signing Ceremony (audio)

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Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Desktop Scanner for PC and Mac

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Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Desktop Scanner for PC and Mac. (Video)

Equipped with a dual-core CPU-mounted "GI" processor, the iX500 is the next generation of desktop scanning. It performs intelligent image functions dramatically faster for blazing new scanning speed. And with a Wi-Fi connection, you can scan directly to an iOS or Android mobile device, without even turning on the computer.

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Scanning Straight to Your Mobile Device with the iX500 - YouTube

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Read Nicole Black's short, practical, pithy article on how to use social media to get clients.

Sure, having fans on your Facebook page is wonderful, but it won't help you get clients TODAY! If that is your goal, as it should be for any solo or small firm, the aspect of social media you want to focus on is the PPC advertising. Set up a campaign with a tight budget and that is specifically targeted. Give it a try and make social media work to your advantage!

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How I Went Completely Paperless in Two Days-lifehacker

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Adam Dachis describes a system he uses for his "paperless" office.  It uses:

  • Doxie One or Doxie Go ($149-199): The Doxie One is the cheaper of the two scanners, but the Doxie Go comes with a battery so you can scan on the go. Personally, I use the Doxie Go so I can more easily scan away from my computer (and watch TV during those big scanning jobs) but either model will do the job just fine.
  • Evernote: You'll use Evernote to store and organize your new digital paper. Download the app and sign up for an account (if you don't have one already).
  • Eye-Fi X2 Card (Optional, $30): When you put an Eye-Fi card in Doxie, it'll transfer scans over Wi-Fi back to your computer. While it requires a little extra setup, Doxie works much better this way. All you have to do is scan and check your computer moments later to find the file(s).
Read the entire article...just click below:

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TED Radio Hour : NPR

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TED Radio Hour


If you enjoy TED talks, you'll find the TED Radio Hour most compelling. Each show is dedicated to a different theme, such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections. The episodes are co-produced by NPR and TED and visitors to the site can make their way through over a dozen programs. Some of the offerings here include "Africa: The Next Chapter," "The Future of Cities," and "Where Ideas Come From." The programs feature guest speakers and commentators from around the world, and could easily be used in any number of settings, including book groups, classrooms, and so on.

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2013. https://www.scout.wisc.edu/

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FAQs About Electronic Filing ID Numbers (EFIN), Including Compromised EFINs

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IRS has posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help Authorized IRS e-file Providers (Providers) understand the correct usage of Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs).  Providers must ensure that they are using their correct EFIN.

When a Provider is doing business with another Provider, you must check to see that the other Provider also has a valid EFIN.

How do I know if my EFIN has been compromised?

Check the EFIN status of your application at http://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/e-services---Online-Tools-for-Tax-Professionals to make sure the summary of the volume of returns e-filed in the last two years matches your records. If it does not match, your EFIN may have been compromised. Call the e-help desk at 866-255-0654 (6:30 AM to 8:00 PM Central) to report a possible compromised EFIN. 

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"Fiscal Cliff" Averted: Congress Passes Tax Reform - Pinni Bohm

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In the waning evening hours of January 1, 2013, Congress approved all-encompassing legislation that averted what some had described as the "fiscal cliff." The new law provides greater certainty for businesses and individuals when structuring transactions, and defers the automatic spending cuts for two months.

Some of the notable income tax changes in the bill include:
  • The top ordinary income tax bracket increases to 39.6% for those earning over $400,000 (or $450,000 for those that file jointly) per year;
  • Dividends and capital gains tax rate increases to 20% for those earning over $400,000 (or $450,000 for those that file jointly) per year;
  • Most itemized tax deductions were eliminated or restricted for those that earn more than $250,000 (or $300,000 for those that file jointly) per year;
  • Phase outs of personal exemptions returned for those that earn more than $250,000 (or $300,00 for joint filers); and
  • An inflation-indexed exemption for the the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was retroactively increased to $50,600 (or $78,750 for those filing jointly) for the 2012 tax year.

This bill also permanently codifies the inflation-indexed $5 million estate and gift tax exemption put in place in 2010 after a similar high-risk negotiation. This exemption might actually increase to $5.25 million this year! The reform also indefinitely extends the popular portability provision, which permits a spouse to pass on the balance of their exemption to their widow/widower for later use. The top transfer tax bracket is now 40%.

Of course, there is still much undetermined, and much can still change. But the bill's major modifications should remain untouched.

For a more a detailed review of how this bill affects the transfer tax system, Deborah Jacobs of Forbes Magazine wrote an excellent article. You may also read a more comprehensive article from the Wall Street Journal.

Pinni Bohm, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), is a tax and estate planning attorney with the Bohm Law Firm.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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