During this time of year our thoughts turn gratefully to our relationships and to all those who have helped enrich our lives personally and helped make our business progress and professional growth possible.  To all my family and friends, loved ones, colleagues, connections and contacts, the holidays and new year seem like perfect times for me to say ‘thank you’ and express appreciation to each of you.

There are so many things we can be thankful for and among them I count your friendship and support, as well as your contributions to my growth as a person and professional – in short, our relationship, whether near or far, close or casual, constant or sporadic.

In the year ahead, I look forward to being better at staying in touch with many of you whose time and schedules have not intersected with mine as often as I might like;  to facing challenges together and in the process, learning and growing; to listen more to those who mean well, to ignore those who don’t and to try and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Most of all to appreciate the countless blessings around us every day that we far too often take for granted. Thank you!

I wish each of you a new year filled with health, happiness and prosperity.

Best wishes,

Joe Rosenbaum

Random Acts of Kindness

It was raining when a man driving down a rural road saw an old woman stranded up ahead. He slowed his car and noticed she was hunched over the back of her Mercedes. The car was slightly tilted and the woman looked troubled. He realized she probably had a flat tire and so the man decided to pull over and help.
The old woman, who was very wealthy and wary of strangers, was concerned about the man approaching her. Was he going to hurt her? Why would someone, a complete stranger, be so ready to come to her aid on a rainy, dreary day in the middle of nowhere? But she knew she couldn’t fix the flat tire by herself and was stranded, so having little choice she thought she would let him take a look at it.
“Please don’t worry ma’am, I’m here to help you,” the man said. “My name is Bryan Anderson and I live not too far from here” and before the elderly woman knew it, he was getting the spare tire from her trunk and switching it out in record time. The old lady thanked the man and offered to pay him. Of course, he never considered taking any money and instead simply smiled at her and said, “All I ask is that you just think of me the next time you see someone in need. Just remember me and pay the kindness forward.” The man waited only a brief moment to be sure she could start the car and then he was gone down the road. The old lady was so astounded and impressed with the man’s generosity she almost felt dizzy. She drove her Mercedes half a mile up the road, saw a diner and decided to stop and freshen up a bit having been out in the rain and perhaps grab something to eat before continuing onward.
As she entered, she was greeted by a lovely smiling face. The waitress welcomed her in and even offered her a towel to dry her hair, which had gotten wet from the rain. At that point, the old lady noticed the waitress seemed to be about eight months pregnant. Though she must have been tired and weary at the end of what must have been a very long day for her, the waitress looked to be the most pleasant person on Earth.
The old lady ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and some lemonade and as she sat at the counter, noticing the waitress smiling and helpful to everyone, she remembered what Bryan Anderson had said to her. She had previously thought perhaps to look him up and reward his kindness – he said he didn’t live far away, but then she had a better idea. So she got the check, paid it quietly and left. When the waitress went to retrieve the check, she saw a $100 bill. She looked everywhere for the old lady, sure that she had probably made a mistake – she was wet and tired. But the old lady was gone – she had already driven off.
As the waitress cleared the table she saw four more $100 bills inside the napkin and it was only then, when the waitress turned the napkin over, that she noticed a handwritten note scribbled on the back. It said simply, “I have been where you are and someone very kind once helped me the way I’m helping you now and he asked me to remember his kindness. So all I’m asking you is to also remember to pay the love forward.” The waitress’s head was spinning. With the baby coming next month, it would be a tight few weeks and the money would certainly help. She folded the bills, put them in her pocket, and finished her shift.
Hours later, the waitress finally made it home after her long day. She climbed into bed and told her husband, who was half asleep beside her, the story of this kind old lady. Thinking of how lucky they truly were, she leaned over and kissed his forehead, and said simply, “I love you, Bryan Anderson.”

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Although amended twice (September 13th and October 11th of 2018) after its initial passage by the California State Legislature and being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in June of 2018, the California Consumer Privacy Act (California Civil Code Section 1798.100) (“CCPA”) becomes effective with the new year (January 1, 2020).

Although it is intended to protect and afford California residents with certain rights (in some areas, greater or somewhat different than the European Union’s General Data Protection Directive 2016/679), it affects non-profit entities that do business in California, and that collect personal information of consumers and either has annual gross revenues over $25 million OR buys or sells personal data of 50,000 or more consumers/households OR earns over half its annual revenue from selling consumer personal information.

If your organization fits into any of those categories, you are required to establish, put into place and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices to protect consumer data and to afford California residents the right to know what personal data is being collected about them; to know whether and to whom the consumer’s personal data is sold or disclosed; to refuse to permit the sale of their personal data; to access their personal information; and to ask you to delete personal information collected from them.  The law also prohibits discrimination against any consumer for exercising any of their privacy rights under the CCPA.

While many business have been busily amending their agreements with suppliers, service providers and likely have been presented updated and revised contracts with “CCPA” amendments in order to ensure those in the chain of collection, storage, handling, distribution and use are in compliance, if you do any business in or with California residents, don’t forget to update your privacy policies and any terms of use that apply to your websites, e-commerce and online/mobile presence generally.  Those sites, even those that do not require any registration or input directly from consumers, almost certainly will be collecting information that is covered by the broad definition of “personal information” under the CCPA.

If you would like to know more about the CCPA or have any questions about this post, don’t hesitate to contact me Joe Rosenbaum, or any of the Rimon lawyers with whom you regularly work.

 

25th Anniversary Edition: Best of the Best USA Expert Guide

I am honored at having been notified I will be listed in the 2019 Best of the Best USA Expert Guide, as one of the Top 30 Media Practitioners in the USA.

Over the course of a quarter of a century, Euromoney’s Legal Media Group has researched the world’s legal markets. Based on extensive review, with legal peers and in-house counsel, they identify the world’s leading lawyers, advisers and legal practitioners.

Over these past 25 years, the Expert Guides have become a valuable reference tool and trusted resource for international buyers of legal services.

This is their 25th Anniversary Edition and although I have been listed in previous editions of the Guide to the World’s Leading Technology, Media and Telecommunications Lawyers, each time I receive such a notice, it reminds me of the professional relationships I have enjoyed over the last 40 years and the great privilege I have been afforded of serving and working with clients and colleagues, not only in the USA, but around the world.   Thank you!

Joe Rosenbaum

 

Rimon’s Complimentary 2019 CLE Webinar Series: Coming in January

Enrollment for the 2019 Rimon Law CLE Webinar Series being held in January is now open, so don’t wait too long to register!

Don’t miss the chance to register, to learn and to earn CLE credits.

This January (2019) we will be offering the following programs:

  • State and Local Taxation: Headline News and Trends, conducted by David Fruchtman;
  • Corporate Governance Issues Related to Mergers and Acquisitions of Delaware Corporations, conducted by Frank Vargas and Michael Vargas;
  • It All Ads Up: Advertising, Promotions & Celebrity Endorsements in a Digital, Mobile, Social & Augmented World, conducted by Joseph I. Rosenbaum;
  • Copyright and Trademark Law: The Uncomfortable Interface, conducted by Mark S. Lee; and
  •  Law and Behavior: Ethics in Deception before the PTO, AIA Proceedings and Enforcement Presentations, conducted by Maxim Waldbaum.

To get dates, times and more information and to register for any or all of them go to 2019 Rimon Law CLE Webinar Series.

Seasons Greetings

Thank you for reading and visiting Legal Bytes. Each year, at this time of year, I try to post messages in the spirit of the season and often some of my own reflections at the end of one calendar year, looking forward to a new year ahead.  This year I’ve chosen a story about Franz Kafka.  When I recall reading Kafka (forced by required reading in school), I think of the “The Metamorphosis” and  a giant cockroach or works that exude alienation and hopelessness or surreal worlds filled with bureaucracy and despair. Not, as I recall, filled with compassion, love or kindness.  But having started reading books again and publishing Light Byte quotes for my blog, I came across both a quote and a story that surprised me.

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”  Yes, this is a quotation from Kafka. It surprised me.  But there was also a story – perhaps only a legend – about Franz Kafka in the last year of his life – Kafka died in June of 1924.  There appear to be multiple versions and variations to this story and many claim to have gleaned details from Kafka’s last wife, Dora Diamant.  She would have been the only one who would have possibly known most, if not all of it, if true.  We may never know if any version is true , but whether fact or fiction, the story, like all of Kafka’s writing, is complex, nuanced and meaningful on so many levels and for so many reasons, permit me to share it with you:

Franz Kafka, a literary genius widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th Century literature, was a young man suffering from tuberculosis and dying – he was never to see his 41st birthday.  He had recently fallen in love with Dora Diamant, a young girl of nineteen or twenty who ran away from her Hasidic family in Poland and now, as a married couple, they were living in Berlin.  Most afternoons Kafka would go for a walk in Steglitz Park, often accompanied by Dora, and one day, Kafka came upon a little girl in the park, immersed in tears and sobbing her heart out.

Kafka inquired what was troubling her, and she told him she had lost her doll and was heartbroken. Trying to make her feel better, he offers to help look for the doll, but fearing the worst, he decides to tell her the doll has gone away, but has written her a letter. When she asked to see it, he told her since he didn’t know he would meet her in the park that day, he had left it at home, but would bring it to her the next day. Now if this story has any truth to it, I’m guessing this little girl was probably more than just a little suspicious at that point. But Kafka promises to return the next day with the letter from the doll – a letter he then goes home to compose.

The next day Kafka returns to the park with the letter and finds the little girl waiting. She is too young to read so he reads the letter to her. He tells her the doll is sorry, but had gotten bored and needed to get out, see the world, do new things and make new friends.  Of course, she still loves and misses the little girl very much, but her dreams of new adventures and of seeing new things has made her decide to go away for a while to do just that. But, as Kafka told the little girl, the doll promised to write her every day so she can follow her activities and know she is thinking of her.

According to the story, from that day and every day for at least the next three weeks, Franz Kafka – one of the most brilliant, talented writers in literary history – goes home to write letters from the lost doll.  Every day, in the last year of his life, knowing his remaining days on earth are dwindling, he composes these imaginary letters from a lost doll. Every day he returns to the park to read them to the little girl – a stranger he didn’t know, had never met before and whom he had run into by accident one afternoon in the park.

According to reports from Dora, he would sit down at his desk, composing letters about the doll’s adventures that were detailed, funny and captivating.  According to accounts of the story, when writing these letters Kafka dedicated himself with the same seriousness as he had when composing his own towering literary works. Fictional letters from a lost doll, intended to replace a little girls sadness with believable joy. So every day, Kafka returned to the park to read another letter to the little girl.  As the weeks went by, knowing all to well his time on earth was nearing an end, Kafka must have also been struggling with how to end this story – the moment when the letters must inevitably stop and he could no longer return to the park to read them to her.

Here is where versions of the story diverge. In one version, the doll grows up, goes to school, gets to know other people, falls in love, has a wonderful wedding and goes off to live happily ever after, somewhere in the countryside with the doll’s new husband. In this version, she bids farewell to the little girl, knowing everyone will live happily ever after.  In another version, Kafka presents the little girl with a doll – which clearly looks different than the original – which he notes, in the doll’s words: “my travels have changed me…”

We never learn what the little girl may have thought at the time, but as the story is told, many years later that little girl, now all grown up, reportedly finds the cherished doll given to her by Franz Kafka to replace the one she lost.  Stuffed somewhere in a previously unnoticed spot was a final letter from the doll, which ended with the words “every thing that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”

Wishing you, your family, friends, colleagues and all those you hold dear, a joyful and meaningful holiday season, a prosperous and healthy new year filled with peace, and most of all and in all its forms . . love.

Practical Law: Sweepstakes in New York

I had the privilege of working as a contributor and contributing editor to a recently published Practice Note from Practical Law, a Thomson Reuters company, entitled Complying with New York Sweepstakes Law.  Although focused on New York law, there are references to Federal law and regulation that apply throughout the United States.

If you are not already a subscriber to Practical Law, you can read the Practice Note and download a copy for your personal use and reference here: Complying with New York Sweepstakes Law.  As always, if you need further information about the publication or you have questions relating to sweepstakes, contests, promotions, advertising or marketing anywhere in the world, feel free to reach out to me, Joe Rosenbaum, Partner or to any of the lawyers with whom you regularly work at Rimon Law.  If you wish, you can also review my biography JIR Bio.

Thank you for being a loyal Legal Bytes reader.