Matthews Bark Criminal Defense – “Judge: It’s Always Been Legal To Fly Commercial Drones In The U.S.”

Source       : Tech. Fortune
By                : Clay Dillow
Category  : Attorney Matthews Bark of OrlandoMatthews Bark Criminal Defense

Drones In U.S.
Drones In U.S.

For years now a huge cross section of businesses — enterprises ranging from utility operators to civil engineers to real estate brokers to wedding photographers — has been waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to clear unmanned aerial systems (UAS), more commonly known as “drones,” for commercial use. It turns out they need not have waited at all. A federal judge has decided that the FAA’s commercial drone prohibition is not actually federal law and that the FAA has no authority over small unmanned aircraft, a ruling that immediately opens U.S. skies to at least some kinds of commercial drone use. Judge Patrick Geraghty of the National Transportation Safety Board has dismissed a case in which the FAA sought to fine drone operator Raphael Pirker $10,000 for using a lightweight, remotely-piloted styrofoam aircraft to capture aerial footage of the University of Virginia as part of an advertisement for the university’s medical school. Pirker and attorney Brendan Schulman appealed the fine to the NTSB, and late last week Geraghty handed down a decision siding with Pirker.

The grounds: The FAA has prohibited the use of drones for commercial purposes since issuing a policy statement back in 2007, but it failed to go through the proper channels to codify that policy into federal law. Further, the decision reads, the FAA has never before defined small model airplanes like the one used by Pirker and most drone hobbyists as “aircraft” subject to broader FAA oversight, and therefore FAA rules and regulations that apply to “aircraft” don’t, by rule, apply to these small model aircraft. “In plain language it says that there’s no federal aviation regulation concerning model aircraft, or what are now more commonly referred to as ‘drones,’ and that those devices are not considered to be ‘aircraft’ for purposes of the FAA’s rules and regulations,” Schulman, a special counsel at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel in New York City. “In reaching that conclusion it also says that the 2007 policy statement from the FAA that implemented a ban on the commercial use of drones is not enforceable as a regulation.”

The FAA’s blanket prohibition on using drones for commercial purposes may no longer be valid, Schulman says, but that doesn’t necessarily mean companies can now take to the sky with UAS and do anything and everything they want to do. There are state and local laws that come into play, as well as privacy issues and matters of insurance and liability that have yet to be hashed out. Nonetheless, it does open up the skies to commercial drone users who can abide by the letter of state and local laws already in place. And it firmly takes the operation of such aircraft out from under the purview of the FAA, at least for the time being. That’s a welcome development for a large swath of businesses large and small that have been waiting a decade or more for the FAA to issue guidelines and regulations allowing them to leverage UAS technologies to their advantage. The legal use of commercial drones is expected to have an economic impact between $80 and $90 billion in the first decade after the aircraft are cleared to fly, as everyone from Big Agriculture to small aerial photography businesses takes advantage of the cost savings and enhanced capabilities that UAS offer. Oil and gas companies want to use UAS to inspect flare stacks and pipelines, engineers want eyes in the sky over construction projects, utilities want to use drones to keep an eye on their infrastructure, and even mom-and-pop real estate shops want to use them to take better imagery of their properties.

Then there’s the drone hardware business itself. Big aerospace players like Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Boeing (BA) and have significant interests in the commercial UAS industry, and several dedicated small UAS makers like Monrovia, Calif.-based Aerovironment, Canada’s Aeryon, and Flyterra, and Hong Kong-based DJI all see significant upside in relaxed restrictions on U.S. domestic drone use as businesses large and small either purchase their own UAS or enlist the services of drone engineers and operators (remember Amazon’s “drone delivery” stunt late last year?). The FAA could appeal the decision, though it’s unclear if it will or even if it’s in the agency’s best interests. A set of proposed rules governing UAS flight is already expected from the FAA later this year, and following a period of commentary from industry and government a finalized set of regulations for domestic drone use will follow (likely in 2015 or 2016). Fighting the court’s decision now might not lead to any meaningful decision before the proposed FAA rules come out later this year, and a decision that goes against the agency might further tie its hands during the rule-making process.

All that means that — for the time being at least — commercial drones are now free to fly in U.S. airspace, though, as Schulman points out, just because a business can fly a drone doesn’t necessarily mean that it should. “The decision indicates that there’s no federal regulation that directly addresses the commercial operation of drones, and as a general proposition in the United States if there’s no regulation prohibiting conduct then as American citizens we’re free to engage in that conduct,” Schulman says. “But that’s still subject to standards of negligence and tort law that might apply in the event that someone actually gets hurt or property is damaged. It’s not a free license to do anything you want.”

SOURCE : tech.fortune.cnn.com/2014/03/10/commercial-drones-faa/

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Attorney Matthews Bark of Orlando – “California Law Enforcement Secretly Collecting Cellphone Data”

Source       : Daily Toreador
By                : Amy Cunningham
Category  : Attorney Matthews Bark of OrlandoMatthews Bark Criminal Defense

California-Law-Enforcement-Secretly-Collecting-Cellphone-Data
California Law Enforcement Secretly Collecting Cellphone Data

The Texas Tech School of Law’s Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal will host its 2014 Continuing Legal Education and Expo on Friday. Beginning at 7:30 a.m. in the Lanier Professional Development Center, estate planning professionals and professors will speak to attendees, according to a law school news release.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network with legal practitioners and others in their prospective field of work. Speaker topics will include trust decanting, 2013 estate planning legislation and same-sex estate planning, according to the journal’s website.Participants will receive 6.75 CLE or Continuing Professional Education hours in addition to 1.25 ethics hours, according to the release. The event will conclude with a banquet starting at 4:20 p.m., according to the journal’s website.

SOURCE : dailytoreador.com/news/article_b9c5563c-a42d-11e3-a303-0017a43b2370.html

Matthews R Bark – “Apple Is Trying To Squeeze Even More Money From Samsung In Patent Suit”

Source     – BGR
By            – Brad Reed
Category – Matthews Bark Criminal Defense, Matthews R Bark

Apple - Samsung Patent Wars
Apple – Samsung Patent Wars

Sorry, Samsung: It looks like that additional $290 million still isn’t enough for Apple. FOSS Patents notes that Apple filed a motion this week asking Samsung to pay an additional $15.7 million to help cover Apple’s legal expenses, which the company says totaled more than $60 million over the duration of the patent trial. Samsung is already on the hook for more than $929 million in its patent dispute with Apple so from that perspective another $15 million doesn’t seem like all that much.

Having losing parties pay for their opponents’ legal expenses in patent cases isn’t the norm in the United States right now, although that could change if the Innovation Act that passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday becomes law. In that legislation, losing patent plaintiffs will be made to pay for defendants’ legal fees so that non-infringing companies don’t have to waste untold amounts of money to defend themselves from constant suits.

Source : bgr.com/2013/12/06/apple-samsung-patent-trial-legal-expenses/

Matthews Bark Criminal Defense |”American Law Firm Grows Opportunities In Myanmar”

Source    : Forbes
By              : Joseph Straw
Category : Matthews Bark Criminal DefenseMatthews Bark

Matthews-Bark Criminal Defense Attorney
Matthews-Bark Criminal Defense Attorney

The law firm of Herzfeld, Rubin, Meyer & Rose Limited (HRMR) announced itself as the first 100% American owned law firm in Myanmar on July 29, 2013. While the United States has reduced the number of sanctions it has against the former nation of Burma in the past year, there are many U.S. sanctions still on the books that make it more difficult for American companies to do business in Myanmar than companies of any other country. I had a series of conversations with Eric Rose of HRMR about his parent law firm’s global brand, its specialty in emerging and frontier markets and why it has chosen Romania and Myanmar as its two outposts in these markets.

In the interview below, Mr. Rose candidly speaks about the opportunities and risks in Myanmar where he expects GDP to at least triple in the coming 20 years. While representing his law firm, his answers provide a clear view of investing opportunities, business prospects, sanction situations, Myanmar’s history, current stability and international relations. Jon Springer: During your legal career, you have done a lot of work in emerging and frontier markets both in private practice and as an in-house lawyer for corporations. When did you first work in Myanmar? Eric Rose: I set up the strategy for American Standard, the kitchen and bath goods manufacturer, in Myanmar in the mid-1990s. At that time, U.S. sanctions were limited. Major sanctions came in 2003. JS: Was this experience part of why HRMR decided to open an office in Myanmar?

ER: Our firm specializes in emerging and frontier markets. We chose both Romania and Myanmar for similar reasons. Both countries at the time we arrived were newly open to American business. They both have large, literate populations. In both cases they were or are countries starting with a low GDP basis, a high need for infrastructure development, an incredible wealth of natural resources and a strong relatively cheap workforce. JS: When you say your firm specializes in emerging and frontier markets, what is the range of countries your firm’s attorneys have worked in and range of services provided?

ER: A law firm is only as good as the attorneys it has. Our attorneys have lead transactions in over fifty countries on five continents, the majority of which were then, and some still are, emerging or frontier markets. For example, in the early 1990s, I guided companies like John Deere and Tyco Toys in countries of the former Soviet Union, South Africa and China. In the middle ’90s, I lead American Standard’s and Trane’s entrance in Vietnam, Burma, Egypt and Eastern Europe. Later, I helped Wabco Automotive and Diasorin penetrate India and China. More recently, I steered Cybertel and Perry Equipment transactions in Latin America and Eastern Europe. The firm has over 200 practitioners in six affiliated offices on three continents, and offers a full range of legal services to its clients, which range from individuals to Fortune 500 companies the world over. JS: Specifically looking at Myanmar, it has been touted as early as 1885 as the greatest place to invest in the world in Archibald Colquhoun’s Burma and the Burmans: Or, “The best unopened market in the world”. What is different now?

ER: In the first half of the 20th century, Burma was the richest country in Southeast Asia, the largest producer of rice in the world and the number one producer of beans and pulses. Rangoon, at the time, had the best universities and was the hub airport for travel throughout Asia and beyond. Today, Myanmar is the poorest country in Southeast Asia, 75% of its population does not have access to electricity, and only 10% have access to cell phones. What has changed is that, for the first time since Myanmar’s independence, all of its citizens from all ethnic groups, as well as the government and the army, are sharing the same goals. JS: Thus, the case is that the communism and dictatorship the country experienced after British colonial rule ended in 1948 led to the current malaise and the country is now democratic and primed for capitalist success?

ER: Not quite! Myanmar has experienced civil war since its inception. It is now on the threshold of nationwide peace, it had free by-elections last year, it has freed almost all of its political prisoners, has adopted freedom of the press and association legislation and ended press censorship and it has passed a number of laws and regulations which have opened up most of the country to foreign investment. At the same time, much of industry is still controlled by companies associated with the military and cronies of the former government, land rights are in doubt or disputed, rule of law is still in its infancy, and the country is still rated very low on the corruption index of Transparency International. The effect of the sanctions can still be felt everywhere. For example, in 2002, the Myanmar garment industry exported 75% of its product to the United States. After 2003, when the major U.S. sanctions began, 300 factories closed and 80,000 people were laid off. Assuming on average that those factory workers, most of whom were women and the breadwinners for the average family of 5, the sanctions in that industry alone directly impacted 400,000 people. Now that the U.S. has lifted import restrictions, being able to export garments to the U.S. will, by itself, substantially help grow the economy. For example, in nearby Cambodia, once restrictions were lifted in 1997, exports of garments grew from $175 million to over $2.5 billion during the next dozen years. The same applies to the U.S., once again, granting Myanmar the GSP status, which it lost in 1989. GSP would cover a large percentage of agricultural products, minerals, plastics and rubber products, as well as wood products. All other developed countries have granted GSP to Myanmar, it is the U.S. alone which has not. Generally speaking, the U.S. today – while the GSP program has lapsed – is collecting $2 million/day in duties from the poorest countries on earth, Myanmar included [The U.S. Congress did not renew GSP legislation prior to its expiration July 31, 2013. The legislation to renew it is still pending]. In the first six months since the U.S. import ban against Myanmar has been lifted earlier this year, Myanmar’s exports to the U.S. amounted to only $14 million. Yet, over $8 million were GSP-eligible products, with an average duty of 4.2% when they would be paying zero under GSP.

JS: Could you briefly elucidate the U.S. sanctions currently in place and what is needed to remove them? ER: Currently, the U.S. sanctions regime against Myanmar is still in place, five laws and at least five executive orders. Most of the sanctions have been suspended by the president, but can be re-instated on short notice. No other country continues to have sanctions against Myanmar, except as to its military. By itself, the simple existence of such laws and executive orders hampers the ability of American business to invest in Myanmar, with little, if any, discernable current positive effect on the people of Myanmar. In addition to the bar on deals with the Tatmadaw (the Myanmar military), or its controlled business entities, there continues to be a bar on transactions with Myanmar entities and individuals listed on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals list, and on the importation of certain jewels. Furthermore, American companies and individuals alone have to annually report on their investments exceeding $500,000, certain payments to the government, dealings with the national oil and gas company, and a plethora of other requirements. Although large corporations are well equipped to deal with these reporting requirements, small and medium and enterprises (SMEs) are not. Thus, these reporting requirements put a disproportionate burden on SMEs investing in Myanmar.

Source : forbes.com/sites/jonspringer/2013/12/16/american-law-firm-grows-opportunities-in-myanmar/2/

Matthews Bark Criminal Defense | “SKorea Court: Apple Didn’t Violate Samsung Patents”

Source     : businessweek
By      : Youkyung Lee
Category : Matthews Bark Criminal DefenseMatthews Bark

Matthews R Bark- Criminal-Defense-Attorney
Matthews R Bark- Criminal-Defense-Attorney

A Seoul court rejected Samsung’s claim that iPhone and iPad models violated three of its patents, another setback for the South Korean electronics giant in a global battle with Apple over rights to technologies that power smartphones and tablets. A Seoul Central District Court judge ruled Thursday that Apple did not violate Samsung’s intellectual property rights. The technology in two of Samsung’s patents could easily be independently developed by others, Judge Shim Woo-yong said, making it unlikely they were copied. He said one patent was not used in the iPad.

“We are glad the Korean court joined others around the world in standing up for real innovation and rejecting Samsung’s ridiculous claims,” Apple Inc. spokesman Steve Park said. Samsung Electronics Co. sued Apple in March 2012, accusing the iPhone maker of illegally using three patented technologies related to short message services in smartphones and tablet computers. The maker of Galaxy smartphones sought 100 million won ($95,000) in initial compensation and a ban on sales of six iPhone and iPad models, which included models still available in the market, such as those with Retina display.

The judge said Samsung’s patent for a multitasking technology that prevents incomplete messages being lost when switching to another application was not violated by the existence of a similar technology. Another technology that enables users to touch a notification box to access a message can be invented easily, he said. A third Samsung patent for how mobile devices display short messages from the same sender together was not used in Apple’s iPad, which instead has Apple’s iMessage application, Shim said. The ruling is the latest legal blow to Samsung, which owes Apple $930 million from two jury verdicts in Silicon Valley. Samsung is seeking to appeal both. The world’s top two smartphone makers have waged legal battles over mobile devices since 2011. Samsung said it was disappointed by the ruling and will decide whether to appeal this decision after a thorough review. “As Apple has continued to infringe our patented mobile technologies, we will continue to take the measures necessary to protect our intellectual property rights,” it said in a statement. So far, two verdicts in Silicon Valley have been the most damaging to the South Korean company. Last month, a Silicon Valley jury added another $290 million to the damages Samsung Electronics owes Apple. A previous jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion, which was later reduced by a judge to $640 million.

But the size of the award is small compared with the size of Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of mobile devices, TVs and memory chips. The South Korean firm reported it had $47 billion in cash at the end of September and $247.5 billion in 2012 revenue.

Source : businessweek.com/ap/2013-12-11/court-says-apple-did-not-violate-samsung-patents

Matthews Bark Criminal Defense | “Supreme Court Refuses Challenge By Online Retailers To N.Y. Tax Law”

Source      : LA Times
By               : Jim Puzzanghera and David G. Savage
Category : Matthews Bark Criminal DefenseMatthews Bark

Matthews-Bark-Criminal-Defense
Matthews Bark Criminal Defense

The Supreme Court’s decision is expected to accelerate the move by states to try to capture the taxes due on online purchases made by their residents. Amazon.com Inc. and other online retailers suffered a legal setback on Cyber Monday as the Supreme Court turned away their challenge to a New York law that requires Internet companies to collect sales taxes. Delivered on one of the year’s busiest online shopping days, the court’s decision is expected to accelerate the move by states to try to capture the taxes due on online purchases made by their residents. The court’s refusal to take up the issue also increases pressure on Congress to settle the long-standing dispute between online and conventional bricks-and-mortar retailers and to enact legislation standardizing online sales tax collection.

“We have a patchwork of out-of-date laws,” said David C. Blum, a Chicago tax attorney uninvolved in the case but who has represented online retailers. “They may have made sense in the era before the Internet, but not now.” The pioneering New York statute has become a model for efforts by California and other states to capture tax revenue. Today, 34 states by law or administrative process require at least major online retailers to collect sales taxes. States said they lose more than $23 billion a year in revenue when people buy products online and fail to pay the required sales tax. Conventional retailers complain that they are at a competitive disadvantage because they must collect those taxes on each sale.

Some states have been passing laws that stretch their ability to force online retailers to collect sales taxes. The pressure of those laws helped California and Texas strike deals with major Internet retailers such as Amazon to collect sales taxes so they could locate distribution centers and other facilities there. New York’s 2008 statute requires out-of-state Internet retailers to collect sales taxes if they used affiliates in the state to direct business to their websites, such as a museum website that directed people to Amazon to buy books.

The law treated these Web affiliates as though they were a sales force within the state. The U.S. Constitution always has allowed states to collect taxes from out-of-state companies if they have employees or offices — a nexus — physically located within a state. Amazon and Overstock.com Inc. appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the New York law was unconstitutional. The companies cited a 1992 Supreme Court decision involving mail-order catalogs. In that case, the court said states could collect sales taxes from retailers only when they have a physical presence in the state. Lawyers for Amazon and Overstock had argued that their dealings with other Web affiliates in New York did not constitute having a physical presence there. Citing similar laws in California, Connecticut, Illinois and North Carolina, the companies also said the New York law has “provided a road map for other state legislatures to enact similarly burdensome legislation.”

In Monday’s brief order, the high court turned down the appeals of Amazon and Overstock without comment, a decision that has the effect of upholding New York’s law. “Bricks-and-mortar [stores] won,” said Bill Dombrowski, president of the California Retailers Assn. “The court has decided that states have the right to pass what New York passed.” But even if the New York law had been overturned, California’s statute would have remained largely in force, experts said. Like New York, California established nexus for making out-of-state retailers collect sales taxes. But California also created a basis for sales tax collection if a company had even a minor physical presence in the state.

Amazon, based in Seattle, not only has affiliates in California, but operates a research facility for its Kindle e-reader and has a subsidiary, the Independent Movie Database, located in the Golden State. Since passage of California’s law in 2011, Amazon’s physical presence in California has ballooned as part of an agreement the company made with Gov. Jerry Brown. Amazon now operates three giant distribution centers — in San Bernardino, Tracy and Patterson — and probably will open more facilities as it moves toward same-day delivery service statewide. California tax collectors recently reported that the new law generated $263.4 million in new revenue for the state treasury and local governments for the fiscal year ended June 30. Retailers and state officials now are expected to ramp up efforts to get Congress to adopt a nationwide rule for online sales taxes. The National Conference of State Legislatures said it would send about 200 legislators, in town for an annual forum, to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to lobby for legislation.

Source : latimes.com/business/la-fi-internet-sales-tax-20131203,0,7894297.story#ixzz2mNm737X6

Matthews Bark | “HIV-Disclosure Law Sparks Unique Legal Battle In Florida”

Source     : Miami Herald
By           : DAVID OVALLE
Category : Matthews Bark , Contact DUI Lawyer

Florida Supreme Court
Florida Supreme Court

So prosecutors thought they had a solid case when they charged a Manatee County woman who failed to tell her female partner that she was HIV-positive. A Tampa appeals court, however, threw out the case, ruling that “sexual intercourse” could take place only with a penis and a vagina — in other words, between a man and a woman. But last month, a South Florida appeals court issued a conflicting opinion, upholding charges against a Key West man whom police had accused of lying about being HIV-positive to his male partner. The ruling more broadly defined intercourse, finding that it did not require opposite genders or specific body parts.The Florida Supreme Court is likely to end up resolving the clashing opinions, which are being closely monitored by gay-rights advocates.

On the one hand, they support legal rulings that convey equal status to same-sex relations — but they also oppose the HIV disclosure law, arguing that the long-controversial statute stigmatizes people infected with the virus. “It’s a progressive ruling, but the law itself is draconian,” said Norm Kent, a South Florida activist and criminal-defense lawyer who publishes the South Florida Gay News. Scott Schoettes, the HIV Project Director for the gay-rights group Lambda Legal, said it was hard to see “a silver lining” in a disclosure law he called unjust.

“It’s nice to have courts recognize relations between two men,” he said. “But it would be nice to recognize granting us our rights in an affirmative sense, not just when it comes to criminalizing our sex lives.” In Florida, it is a third-degree felony — punishable by up to five years in prison — for a person who knows he or she is HIV-positive to have sex with someone else without informing them. The law came into effect as part of the “Control of Sexually Transmissible Disease Act” that Florida lawmakers passed in 1986 as fears about HIV, which can lead to AIDS, were growing nationwide. The disclosure law also covers other sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia — but HIV is the only one that carries a felony charge. Thirty-four U.S. states and territories have passed similar laws. Detractors are widespread. In February, President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS issued a resolution calling criminalization of HIV an “unjust, bad public health policy” that “is fueling the epidemic rather than reducing it.”

The council pushed for states to repeal or revise the laws. Critics say the laws ignore scientific data that show HIV is rarely transmitted through oral sex or digital penetration, and that the risk is often considerably low even in cases of vaginal or anal sex. “All of these laws are just based upon misconceptions about how easy it is to transmit HIV. It’s not that easy,” said Schoettes, a lawyer who believes the laws should be altered to include proving “intent” and that a victim actually contracted the virus.The law came under scrutiny in 2010, when the Second District Court of Appeal in Tampa took up the case of an HIV-positive Manatee County woman charged with having oral and digital-penetration sex with another woman.

Read more : miamiherald.com/2013/11/18/3763310/hiv-disclosure-law-sparks-unique.html#storylink=cpy