Monday, August 31, 2015

Welcome to Successful Negotiation! (The Coursera's course)

We all negotiate on a daily basis. On a personal level, we negotiate with friends, family, landlords, car sellers and employers, among others. Negotiation is also the key to business success. No business can survive without profitable contracts. Within a company, negotiation skills can lead to your career advancement.
Go to the course
In this course, you’ll learn about and practice the four steps to a successful negotiation, with one module for each step: (1) Prepare: Plan Your Negotiation Strategy (2) Negotiate: Use Key Tactics for Success (3) Close: Create a Contract (4) Perform and Evaluate: The End Game To successfully complete this course and improve your ability to negotiate, you’ll need to complete the following three steps:

Amending My Return (Tax Tips)

Russia’s truncheon

WHEN VLADIMIR Putin first became Russian president, a decade and a half ago, he promised to bring about what he called “dictatorship of the law.” It is an awkward phrase, but the meaning was clear: to bring order out of the tumultuous decade of the 1990s, for the law to reign supreme.

Mr. Putin supervised the rewriting and modernization of many obsolete laws from the Soviet years. But as he turned more authoritarian, the law became just a tool. Mr. Putin followed a long line of predecessors in the Kremlin who have used the police and courts to punish their enemies and stifle dissenting views.

Today, this is one of the profound failings of Mr. Putin’s rule — establishing the rule of law is a distant dream.

The latest example was the sentencing in a Russian military court on Aug. 25 of Oleg Sentsov, a 39-year-old filmmaker, to 20 years in a prison camp after conviction on charges of terrorism in the Crimean Peninsula. Mr. Sentsov was active in protests against Viktor Yanukovych , the Russian-backed president of Ukraine, who abandoned his office in the face of widespread demonstrations last year. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine soon after.

Can Ashley Madison ‘Victims’ Sue? Here Are Their Legal Options

Andrew Kloster

On July 15, an online hacking group calling themselves “The Impact Team” gained unauthorized access to a website known as Ashley Madison, and on Aug. 18, the group made publicly available the customer data they had stolen, the names and other identifying information of 37 million users.
Ashley Madison is a for-profit website that facilitates extramarital affairs (cheating) among its married customer base. Its motto is “Life is short. Have an affair.”
In the wake of the hacking affair, commentators have asked what legal recourse the “victims” have. And the lawsuits have begun.
Two Canadian law firms have filed a Canadian-$760-million (USD $576 million) class action suit against the website, claiming that it failed to protect user information.

How to identify and protect key information known as trade secrets

by Sadaf Nakhaei 

Trade secrets are identified as information that is unique and valuable to a business and not known or easily ascertainable to individuals outside the business.

 The question in any trade secret dispute is the exactly what the secret is. The following information has been recognised as trade secrets:   practices, formulas, designs, instruments, patterns, commercial methods and compilations of information. 
Arguably, the most valuable trade secret in the world is the Coca-Cola formula. Popular accounts state that the Coca-Cola formula is only known by a handful of people in the company and the formula is kept in a vault for safe keeping.
Although the Coca-Cola formula may be easily identified as a trade secret, other companies not enjoying the same fame as The Coca-Cola Company may find it difficult to identify what constitutes a trade secret and whether the information is actually subject to intellectual property protection. The details and boundaries of other forms of asserted intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks, copyrights and industrial designs, are often recognised through registration with the Patent and Industrial Design Office/Trademark and Copyright Office. In contrast, trade secrets often fall in a category of Intellectual Property Rights which are overlooked, since there is no formal application or registration process for trade secrets. As such, it can be often difficult to identify what constitutes trade secrets and ascertain the boundaries of protection. In a nutshell, trade secrets are often developed and protected through practice and the company’s labelling of such information as a “trade secret”. 

Ukraine terminated the agreement with Russia on defense enterprises

Cabinet terminated the agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the Russian Federation on production and scientific-technical cooperation between enterprises of the defense industry.

This is stated in the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers № 632 dated August 26, 2015.

"Terminate the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the Russian Federation on production and scientific-technical cooperation between enterprises of the defense industry, signed November 18, 1993 in Moscow", - says the decision.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed to inform the Government of the Russian Federation on the termination of the agreement.


Government of Ukraine managed to stabilize economy and receive non-monetary sources to accelerate growth of social benefits

"Due to the vigorous efforts, the Government has managed to stabilize the economic and financial situation in Ukraine and to obtain non-monetary sources to accelerate an increase of social payments", stressed Minister of Finance of Ukraine Natalie Jaresko at a briefing at the Government House, commenting on the declared by the Prime Minister Government’s decision to submit to the Parliament a bill on increase of the social standards since September 1, instead of December 1 as had been previously planned.

According to her, improvement of social protection will affect 12 million Ukrainian citizens.

The Finance Minister noted that according to the recent data, there has been fixed reduction an inflation rate, slowing down of the economic slump, preserving stable exchange rate during six months, increasing the reserves of the National Bank and more optimistic indicators of implementation of the state and local budgets than expected. In addition, for the first time in last few years, the Government manages to fully and timely finance all planned public expenditures. She also assessed the successful cooperation with the IMF, which resulted into granting financial assistance to our country worth US $ 17.5 billion, of which the sum worth US $ 6.7 billion has already been received.

Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the vote on constitutional amendments by the Parliament of Ukraine

The vote today in the Verkhovna Rada on the constitutional amendments related to decentralisation is an important step that paves the way towards a substantial devolution of powers from the central level to regions and communities, increasing in parallel the accountability of territorial self-governments to their constituencies. The amendments will also facilitate the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

The EU looks forward to adoption of these amendments in final reading later this year, as well as to continued work on the judiciary-related constitutional amendments, taking into account the Venice Commission's recommendations.
This process shouldn't be jeopardised by violence; today's events are very worrying. 

We offer our condolences to the family of the deceased law enforcement officer and our deepest sympathy to those injured in the explosion during the demonstration in front of the Verkhovna Rada.

Statement by Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk

First of all, I would like to express condolences to the family of Ihor Debrin, who was killed by mobs, I emphasize – by mobs – in clashes near the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

All the wounded will receive both moneyed and medical assistance: all our soldiers, all law enforcement officers, the National Guard officers and persons who have suffered as a result of a crime committed by certain political forces.

These political forces haven’t come to defend the Constitution, but to rape the Constitution and Ukraine. And, actually, they are worse than Russian gangsters and terrorists in the East. Those don't hide that they are at war with Ukraine. However, these hiding behind the slogans of patriotism and love for Ukraine are destroying Ukrainian statehood.

The recent crime committed under the flags of different political forces, including under the flags of the Freedom political party must be investigated and punished.

Vladimir Poutine doit cesser de plonger son pays dans l’hystérie

Par Charles Urjewicz

Après la rencontre de Berlin, lundi 24 août, qui avait rassemblé Angela Merkel et François Hollande autour du président ukrainien Piotr Porochenko – mais non Vladimir Poutine, qui n’y avait pas été convié –, un quotidien moscovite notait : « Les craintes du Kremlin ne se sont pas confirmées. »

De fait, le mini-sommet qui, tant à Moscou que dans les capitales occidentales, avait été perçu comme un avertissement à une Russie accusée de jeter de l’huile sur le feu qui consume les régions orientales de l’Ukraine, a débouché sur une autre proclamation de la nécessité de mener à son terme le processus de Minsk. 

Lancé par le couple franco-allemand, avec l’appui formel de la Russie, ce mécanisme avait tracé les lignes d’un règlement pacifique du conflit qui a plongé le Donbass dans une guerre meurtrière.

La veille, à l’occasion de la Journée de l’indépendance, le président ukrainien avait dénoncé une nouvelle fois « l’agression russe », concluant : « Nous sommes pour la paix, mais nous ne sommes pas pacifistes ! »

Guardsman killed in protests as Ukraine MPs back more autonomy for rebel regions


A national guardsman was killed and nearly 90 others protecting Ukraine's parliament were wounded by grenades hurled by protesters on Monday, the Interior Ministry said, as deputies backed reforms to give more autonomy to rebel-held areas.

The violence, which Interior Minister Arsen Avakov blamed on the main nationalist party, and division in the pro-Western camp in parliament suggested President Petro Poroshenko faces an uphill battle to push through key parts of a faltering peace agreement reached in February for eastern Ukraine.

Poroshenko's spokesman said the president would address the nation later on Monday following the clashes outside parliament, where deputies loyal to him managed to push through a first reading of a "decentralization" draft law - but only in the face of strong criticism from some of his political allies.

Some 100 law enforcement officers injured near Rada building – Kyiv police chief

Some 100 law enforcement officers were injured in clashes near the Verkhovna Rada building on Monday, Oleksandr Tereschuk, the head of the Kyiv police, told reporters.
"Some 100 people have been injured, one person's feet were torn off, no protesters have been hurt," Tereschuk told reporters.
At the same time, he could not say what explosive device was thrown at the police. "I don't know if it was a combat grenade. The explosion tore a man's feet off, it was probably a homemade one," Tereschuk said.
He also said a criminal case has been opened based on the events that have occurred in front of the Rada building.

Rada paves way for decentralization

The Verkhovna Rada has approved in first reading the president-proposed Constitutional amendments regarding decentralization of power.

265 of the 320 MPs registered in the session hall supported bill No.2217a.
Members of Parliament gathered for an extraordinary meeting to consider the draft law on amendments to the Constitution regarding decentralization of power. The meeting was supposed to start at 11 o'clock, but 50 deputies blocked the rostrum and presidium of parliament, protesting against the adoption of this bill. Subsequently, the First Vice-Speaker Andriy Parubiy announced that the meeting would start at 12.00. At 12:00 Lyiv time Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Groisman managed to open the meeting.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Warmer relations with Russia will backfire on the U.S.


This weekend in Alaska, U.S. President Barack Obama will host a number of countries with interests in the Arctic. The event – called GLACIER (Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Co-operation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience) – brings together the eight members of the Arctic Council and other countries, such as China and Japan, that have interests in the Arctic region.

The meeting creates a very interesting dilemma for Canada.

The Americans, and particularly U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, have been very explicit that they see this meeting as a means of improving relations with the Russians in the Arctic. They see a necessity to delink Russian military action in Ukraine from their actions in the Arctic region.

The dilemma for Canada is that while it is in its Arctic interests to ensure that all states – Russia included – play by the rules of the game in the region, it is not in Canada’s larger security interests to see Russian actions in Ukraine validated as a fait accompli as the Americans and other Western states move on to other issues on which there is agreement.

Ukraine's forces held up by red tape

Jack Losh

“Of course we want to listen to the radio and hear the news from Kiev,” said Bardan, a Ukrainian infantryman based in a devastated neighbourhood on the northern fringes of Donetsk. “Out here, though, we just tend to pick up stations from Russia and Novorossiya Rock FM.”

He stood smoking in a gutted building in Pesky, one of the war’s deadliest stretches of the frontline in the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels. The scant choice of Ukrainian radio programmes may seem trivial. But it highlights the gulf between frontline fighters and their superiors, and signals a wider breakdown in communication occurring on the restive nation’s far eastern limits.

Red tape is stifling Ukraine’s war effort, they say, as military commanders allegedly delay and even ban soldiers from responding to artillery attacks from pro-Russian rebels.

The minimum wage and a living wage will be increased from September 1

The Government of Ukraine introduced a bill to increase social standards for the nearly 12 million Ukrainian citizens. This was stated by Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

He reminded that Ukraine together with foreign creditors agreed to write off 20% of commercial debt: "This amount - nearly $ 4 billion."

In addition, the Government succeeded in transfer payments to the body of the loan for another four years.

With these steps, stressed Yatsenyuk, was it possible to increase social standards, "We are together with the President agreed on the need to increase social standards."

Минимальная зарплата и прожиточный минимум будут повышены уже с 1 сентября

Правительство Украины вносит в Парламент законопроект об увеличении социальных стандартов для почти 12 миллионов украинских граждан. Об этом заявил в “10 минутах” Премьер-министр Украины АрсенийЯценюк.

Он напомнил, что Украина вместе с иностранными кредиторами договорилась о списании 20% коммерческого долга: “Эта сумма – почти 4 миллиарда долларов США”.

Кроме того, Правительству удалось добиться переноса выплат по телу кредита еще на четыре года.

“Мы списали 4 миллиарда долларов США и перенесли выплаты по кредитам, которые не мы брали, но нам надо было решать, на четыре года. Это дает возможность далее формировать подушку экономической устойчивости и привлекать новые инвестиции в страну”, - подчеркнул он.

Combating Unauthorized Sales: How to Deal with Unauthorized Resellers

Companies often struggle with how much time and effort to put into curbing unauthorized sales.  For some, the problem seems so widespread that the fight can seem fruitless.  After all, selling products online is easy and many websites that allow others to list products for sale—such as Amazon and eBay—are popular and easy to use.

But does this mean a company should throw in the towel and stop efforts to control unauthorized sales?  If not, how does a company decide where to expend its resources?  The key to making progress is to develop a plan and keep chipping away.

Identifying Unauthorized Resellers

The first step is to identify the problem and find out where unauthorized sales are taking place.  For many companies, Amazon and eBay pose the greatest problem and threat.  For others, it may be a few individual e-commerce websites that are most relevant.  A few searches on the major e-commerce websites and internet search engines should give a company a good sense of the problem.

Decentralization: The Wrong Solution to the Wrong Problem?

An off-the-peg decentralization solution to the complex problem of development without effective physical and institutional infrastructure can do Ukraine more harm than good

In the wake of the annexation of Crimea and the continuing conflict in Donbas the government of Ukraine has embarked on a radical decentralisation of power in Ukraine based broadly on the model of local and regional government reorganisation in Poland in the pre-accession period. The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has already approved the first stage, which is to be enacted by the autumn of 2015, and has established a constitutional commission to bring forward proposals for changes will ultimately affect every level of administration. Reform of this kind has been under discussion ever since independence in 1991, but this is the first time such bold proposals seem likely to be passed into law. Apart from its domestic objectives, the reform is intended to give the European Union a signal that Ukraine is serious in its wish to harmonise its system of government with what it understands to be good practice in the EU. This article provides a brief summary of the current proposals, set against the background of previous attempts to introduce decentralisation reforms.

Суд оформил развод Suzuki и Volkswagen

Алена Миклашевская

Международный арбитраж суд вынес решение о расторжении альянса производителей

Арбитражный суд Международной торговой палаты подтвердил факт прекращения альянса между Suzuki Motor и Volkswagen и обязал немецкую компанию продать ее 19,9-процентную долю в Suzuki Motor. Разрыв, фактически наступивший еще в 2012 году, удовлетворил обе компании, которые и года не смогли прожить без споров и взаимных обвинений. 

О решении арбитражного суда Международной торговой палаты сообщили оба участника конфликта на своих сайтах. При этом руководство Volkswagen заявило, что довольно той ясностью, которую вносит это решение. Председатель совета директоров Suzuki Motor Осаму Судзуки также выразил удовлетворение решением арбитражного суда, отметив, что компания смогла добиться своей главной цели — расторгнуть альянс с немецкой компанией. «Как будто у меня из горла извлекли застрявшую крошечную кость. Я ощущаю приток сил»,— заявил он на пресс-конференции в Токио.

A long hot Autumn/Winter – Ukraine

If the summer has not been hot enough, both by way of weather and political, diplomatic, economic and military engagement, the Autumn is likely to get far hotter even as the summer sun fades.

31st August will see the constitutional amendments relating to “decentralisation” strong-armed through the Rada, delivering nothing like the outcome The Kremlin envisaged.  It’s interpretation of what Minsk II required of Ukraine being roundly rejected by Ukraine, the USA and the Europeans alike.

The current up-tick in fighting on the Donbas front line, the most visible and widely reported of the numerous “hot fronts” being employed to display Kremlin displeasure.  Whilst it may be able to console itself that the “separate law” the constitutional amendments mention with regard the Donbas is still in some way to play for, if a strong Ukraine emerges over the next 5 years or so, legislatively it is far easier to repeal the “separate law” than it is to change the constitution again to remove any detailed constitutional status for the Donbas.

The decentralization reform: Ukraine will become much stronger as a state

President discussed decentralization reform with territorial communities' representatives: Ukraine will become much stronger as a state

President Petro Poroshenko discussed constitutional amendments on decentralization with representatives of territorial communities. The Head of State emphasized that Ukraine will become much stronger as a result of the given reform.

"Despite the fact that the President delegates a part of his powers, I, as President, will be stronger, because I will be able to rely on territorial communities and local self-government and ensure a firm union that will prevent internal destabilization of the country. The Government, ministers, territorial communities and the entire people of Ukraine will be stronger and more powerful. That's why we must go this way," the President stressed.

Investors still in the dark as cyber threat grows


Investors are being poorly served by a haphazard approach from fund managers to the growing threat of cyber crime damaging the companies in which they invest, with a lack of clarity from the businesses themselves compounding the problem.

Banks have led the way in developing cyber defenses and some top fund managers have ramped up pressure on companies to do more, but the broader picture is less encouraging.

"I don't see any visible stand asset managers are taking, like they do on other social responsibility items," said Malcolm Harkins, information security chief at U.S. cyber security start-up Cylance Inc.

The soft underbelly of companies outside the banking sector was exposed again this month when hackers leaked details of nearly 37 million clients of Ashley Madison. The infidelity website had to postpone its stock market listing and now faces a $750 million lawsuit.

Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar

Jamie Merrill

The Spanish government has been accused of further provocative behaviour over the contested British territory of Gibraltar after it allowed a Russian submarine to refuel at one of its ports just 19 miles from the Rock.

Security sources now fear that the state-of-the-art Novorossiysk, which passed through the English Channel last week, may now operate from a Russian naval base on the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, The Independent can reveal.

Conservative backbenchers and defence experts have been quick to condemn the three-day visit by the Russian hunter-killer submarine to the port of Ceuta, a contested Spanish enclave on the Moroccan coast.

Ceuta is often described as Spain’s Gibraltar and is just 19 miles across the water from the British Overseas Territory, prompting a Conservative MP to label the visit a “clear provocation” by Spain designed to “intimidate the Gibraltarian people”.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Redeem Mutilated Currency

What Do We Mean By Mutilated Currency?

Mutilated currency is currency which has been damaged to the extent that:

·         Its condition is such that its value is questionable and the currency must be forwarded to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for examination by trained experts before any redemption is made. One example of mutilated currency may be bills missing relevant security features.

Currency can become mutilated in any number of ways. The most common causes are: fire, water, chemicals, and explosives; animal, insect, or rodent damage; and petrification or deterioration by burying.

Free Public Service

The BEP redeems mutilated currency as a free public service.  Lawful holders of mutilated currency may receive a redemption at full value when:

Entretien téléphonique du Président de la République avec la Chancelière MERKEL et le Président POUTINE

Le Président de la République et la Chancelière MERKEL se sont entretenus ce jour avec le Président POUTINE afin de faire un point sur l’état de mise en œuvre des mesures adoptées à Minsk.
Ils ont réaffirmé leur attachement au Format Normandie et au processus qui n’avait été rendu possible que par les contacts réguliers dans ce cadre.
Ils ont fortement soutenu l’appel lancé en faveur d’un cessez-le-feu complet à partir du 1er septembre à l’occasion de la semaine de la rentrée scolaire. Ils ont souligné que le respect durable de ce cessez-le-feu est une nécessité au regard de la situation des populations civiles à l’est de l’Ukraine autant qu’un engagement prévu par les accords de Minsk.

Kyiv to forward legal offer on debt restructuring to holders of Russian bonds simultaneously with other creditors

After the final approval and formalization of an offer on the restructuring of Ukraine's sovereign and sovereign-guaranteed eurobonds, the Ukrainian government will forward it simultaneously to all of their holders, including the holders of the so-called Russian two-year eurobonds worth $3 billion issued in December 2013, Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said.

"We have just signed the indicative terms. The Cabinet of Ministers has approved all this, and now we are submitting the legislation to the Verkhovna Rada next week so as to legalize all this. As soon as we pass this legislation and the president signs it, then we will make a so-called legal offer through the custodian system," Jaresko said on Hromadske TV on Friday evening.

Jaresko said she could not make an official offer on debt restructuring to Russia before this procedure is completed.

"I need to have these legal instruments. Then the same terms are to be legally offered simultaneously to all. They all are [equal] creditors and can either agree or not," she said.

New Dubai law to foster public-private partnerships for infrastructure funding

Dubai has passed a new law to encourage public-private partnerships to fund new infrastructure projects.

The law aims “to encourage the private sector to participate in development projects, and increase investment”, according to a government statement.

This is in an effort to reduce the financing demands on the government, facilitate the transfer of knowledge between the public and private sectors, and “to serve the economic and social development” of Dubai by boosting investment in the emirate.

Infrastructure investment in Dubai has usually involved direct government spending, or spending by government-related entities (GREs).

Dubai’s government has a slew of infrastructure mega-projects lined up, including about US$40 billion in investment in airports between now and 2022.

10% українського агроекспорту до ЄС йде в Італію

За підсумками 2014 року українські аграрії експортували в Італію товарів на $667 млн, що становить 10% від усього українського аграрного експорту в ЄС.

Google finally responds to Europe's antitrust charges

EVER since Europe’s competition commissioner filed formal antitrust charges against Google’s shopping service on April 15th, it had been clear to observers that Google would not back down without a fight. After being granted an extension that nearly doubled the standard amount of time given to companies to reply, Google today issued its response to the commission. It is not subtle: “We believe that the [commission’s] preliminary conclusions are wrong as a matter of fact, law and economics,” writes Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel. (Disclosure: Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, sits on the board of The Economist's parent company.)  

Start with fact. Google says its online-shopping service has not damaged competitors, quite the reverse: web traffic (excluding paid referrals) to other price-comparison sites has increased by 227% over the past decade. However, it did not say by how much its own traffic, or internet traffic in general, increased during the same period. As for law, Google argues that the commission's proposed remedies, which include obliging its website to display ads "sourced and ranked" by rival companies, would only have a legal basis if it were a monopoly provider of essential supplies such as gas or electricity. And as regards economics, Google says the commission fails to grasp how the market works. "Economic data spanning more than a decade, an array of documents, and statements from complainants all confirm that product search is robustly competitive," it says. 

Slow Out of the Gate

Tax reforms are still under construction in Ukraine. As planned, they should come to fruition with the institution of a fundamentally new tax system starting January 1, 2016. Prior to that, the planned reforms will also have to get a green light from the Verkhovna Rada, which is supposed to get the necessary bill to debate and vote on by the end of autumn. At this time, key elements of this new system are being discussed in expert circles. And although the press is receiving precious little information about the changes to the tax system, tax specialists have already worked up quite a few elements. From them, we can begin to piece together an outline of Ukraine’s future tax system.

The change-It Team
Tax reform is one of the key factors to improving the investment climate, whose potential impact on economic growth in Ukraine is hard to exaggerate. Without any doubt, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, who has been put in charge of this transformation, understands this very well. She is currently in charge of the Tax Reform Task Force, which is collecting all propositions for changes coming from civil society, analyzing best practice in other countries, adapting them to the circumstances in Ukraine, and working up a model that will work best for this country.

Marijuana Odor in Oregon: The Courts Weigh In

Posted in Business Basics, Oregon
Like many recent court cases involving marijuana, last week’s Oregon Court of Appeals decisiongot folks talking. Most headlines read something like “Oregon court rules that the odor of marijuana smoke is not legally offensive.” This is accurate but incomplete, and sort of misleading. A complete description of the court’s holding would read something like “Subject to appeal, Oregon court rules that an affidavit which fails to describe the intensity and persistence of a marijuana smoke odor, cannot, as a matter of law, satisfy the probable cause standard required for search warrant issuance.”

Such a headline would be unwieldy, but it is important to note that this was a criminal case construing a criminal statute. The law at issue, ORS 166.025, provides that a person who “creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition” commits the crime of “disorderly conduct in the second degree.” Though the court’s ruling (if it stands) may constitute a helpful precedent for civil nuisance complaints, the odor of marijuana has not been adjudicated as powder fresh. Instead, the court’s ruling seems to imply that if a smell were intense and persistent, it could be “physically offensive” enough for a magistrate to issue a search warrant under the statute.

Tips for Lawyers Who Want Good Results

By John Lande 

I recently retired as the Isidor Loeb Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, which inspired me to write My Last Lecture: More Unsolicited Advice for Future and Current Lawyers. Some of the guidance in that article is specifically for law students, but most of it is about good lawyering. Here are some highlights.

Understand Your Clients’ Interests. Lawyers often assume that they know what their clients want: to get as much money or pay as little money as possible. While clients usually are concerned about their bottom line, they often have additional interests. In virtually any kind of case, parties may want to be treated respectfully and fairly, minimize the cost and length of the process, free up time to focus on other matters, reduce the emotional wear and tear caused by continued disputing, and protect privacy and reputations. Plaintiffs may have interests such as obtaining favorable tax consequences, getting non-monetary opportunities, and receiving explanations or apologies. Defendants may have interests such as receiving acknowledgments about the charges’ lack of merit, making payments in kind, stretching payments over time, sharing liability with other defendants, preventing ancillary harm, receiving favorable tax consequences, obtaining nondisclosure agreements, and avoiding future lawsuits. If you satisfy your clients’ interests, they are more likely to pay your bills, hire you again, and refer other clients to you.

Legal Technology Never Sounded So Good

Curious about technology in law? We have a podcast for you! Twice a month, legal technologists Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell review the latest in legal tech and best practices. Whether you’re wondering about Windows, on a quest for apps, or purging towards paperless, Dennis and Tom bring simple talk to complex issues. Per the tradition, Dennis plays conventional to Tom’s contrarian. Are they feuding? Do they agree? Nobody really knows. Don’t forget to check out their ‘Parting Shots’, that one tip, website, or observation in every podcast that you can use the second the episode ends.

In this episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis and Tom discuss the variety of ways that people read today. They compare books and tablets plus analyze how listening enhances the overall experience. 

Украина — несостоявшееся государство?

Гжегош Гил (Grzegorz Gil)

После коллапса режима Виктора Януковича в начале 2014 года и появления поддерживаемого Россией сепаратизма на востоке страны, социально-экономические показатели Украины резко упали. Новое правительство в Киеве боролось за получение нового кредита и поддержку для того, чтобы удержать экономику на плаву, и одновременно не спеша реформировало её чрезмерно раздутый, коррумпированный государственный сектор с целью сделать его более динамичным и открытым для конкуренции. Результат, однако, оказался жестким. Всего за один год гривна, украинская валюта, потеряла 60% своей стоимости по отношению к доллару; при этом валовой внутренний продукт (ВВП) сократился на семь процентов. Инфляция выросла на 34% всего за 12 месяцев, плюс украинцы получили за тот же период времени увеличение цен на газ на 285% и 50-процентное увеличение расходов на электроэнергию. На политическом уровне наблюдается растущий уровень разочарования в обществе. Люди все больше и больше склоняются к мнению, что правительство делает недостаточно для реализации столь необходимых реформ с целью остановить широко распространенную коррупцию в то время, как война на востоке страны нанесла тяжелый урон как экономике Украины, так и её общественному благосостоянию.

DOUBLETAKE: Is Ukraine a Failed State?

Written by Grzegorz Gil

Since the collapse of the Viktor Yanukovych regime in early 2014 and the onset of Russian-supported separatism in the east of the country, Ukraine’s socio-economic indicators have plummeted. The new government in Kyiv has scrambled to secure new credit and support to keep the economy afloat while slowly reforming its over-bloated, corrupted public sector in order to become more dynamic and open to competition. The result however, has been drastic. In just one year, the hryvnia, Ukraine’s currency, has lost 60 per cent of its value against the dollar; while its gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by seven per cent. Inflation has risen at a dramatic rate of 34 per cent in only 12 months and Ukrainians now face a 285 per cent increase in gas prices and a 50 per cent increase in electricity costs over the same period of time. On the political level, there appears to be a growing level of frustration within the society. The people are more and more of the opinion that the government is not doing enough to enact much needed reforms to stop widespread corruption, while the war in the east of the country has taken a significant toll on the both Ukraine’s economic and social well-being.

All of these facts have pushed many people to ask the much dreaded question – is Ukraine a failed state? As expected, some answer this question with a definite “yes” not seeing much hope for the future of Ukrainian statehood, while others are more convinced that the current difficulties are a temporary obstacle and not a long-term impediment that would affect Ukraine’s political system. In light of this, we asked a Polish scholar and researcher on failed states, Grzegorz Gil, to closely examine certain assertions about Ukraine as well as the definition of “failed state” in the current context, which may help us get closer to find our own answer.