The Corporate Transparency Act: What Business Owners Need to Know

In an effort to combat the proliferation of anonymous shell companies used for criminal purposes in the United States, Congress enacted the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”), which requires Reporting Companies to report personal identifying information about the Beneficial Owners and Company Applicants to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), which will maintain the personal identifying information in a secure database for use by governmental authorities and certain financial institutions.

What is a Reporting Company?

Reporting Companies include domestic corporations, limited liability companies, or other entities created by filing with a secretary of state or similar office under the laws of a state or an Indian tribe and corporations, limited liability companies, or other entities formed under the laws of a foreign country that has registered to do business in the United States. Continue reading

WEBINAR: 3 Key Issues for Maryland Business Owners in 2024

Complimentary Webinar for Maryland Business Owners: Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 10:00 – 10:45 a.m.

Maryland companies face new and evolving obligations in 2024. Prepare your business now by understanding the issues most likely to affect your organization’s financial and legal positions.

Join us for this complimentary webinar on three key developments that business owners should be thinking about in 2024. We will provide an overview of:

  • MarylandSaves, a new retirement program created by the state of Maryland
  • Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), which was passed to enhance transparency in entity structures and ownership to combat illicit activities
  • Maryland Family Paid Leave, which guarantees workers the right to up to 12 weeks of paid, job-protected leave to attend to family matters

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Kaitlin Corey Joins Board of Discovery Center at Water’s Edge

Kaitlin Corey - Business and intellectual property lawyer at Goodell DeVries

Kaitlin Corey – Business and intellectual property lawyer at Goodell DeVries

Intellectual property lawyer Kaitlin Corey has been appointed to the Board of the Discovery Center at Water’s Edge (DCWE).

DCWE is a trailblazing educational institution dedicated to nurturing a lifelong love of learning and exploration in STEM. Its mission is to create an inclusive environment where people of all ages can engage with interactive science exhibits, attend enriching workshops, see new technology, learn about the local science heritage, and discover the fascinating world of STEM. Continue reading

Trademark Law and ‘Trump Too Small’

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard argument in a third trademark case in which a denied registrant sought to overturn a provision of the Lanham Act on First Amendment grounds.

The mark at issue is “Trump Too Small.” First there was Tam in which the court held “The Slants” must be registered for a musical band even if it allegedly disparaged Asian-Americans. Next was Brunetti where the court required the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register “Fuct” for a clothing line, a salacious term if ever there was one. The Lanham Act’s bans on registration of salacious and disparaging marks were held to violate First Amendment rights because they were expressive speech. Continue reading

Taking Aim at Press Freedoms

Don Blankenship was convicted of conspiracy related to a deadly mine explosion. He was sentenced to one year in prison, a day less than a felony sentence. He served his sentence in a prison where he was the only inmate in for a misdemeanor.

A rich man, Don ran for the U.S. Senate when he got out of prison. Numerous media, in error, reported he was a convicted felon. Blankenship sued the media for defamation claiming his reputation was irreparably damaged. The lower courts dismissed his suit on the basis of New York Times v. Sullivan.

Blankenship petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to hear his case and toss or modify Sullivan, asserting that Sullivan, “grant[s] the press a license to publish defamatory falsehoods that misinform[s] voters … and incite[s] unrest.” Maybe, but the requirement for that license under Sullivan is strenuous.

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Why Hunter Biden Wins His Gun Case

There is a special brand of irony that Hunter Biden, son of anti-gun President Joe Biden, will use last year’s Supreme Court decision in N.Y.S. Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen to challenge his indictment for being a drug addict in possession of a gun and lying under oath to buy that gun.

The president himself issued a statement following the Bruen decision, “I am deeply disappointed by (the court’s) ruling in (Bruen) … I urge states to continue to enact and enforce commonsense laws to make their citizens safer from gun violence.”

Yes, gun violence is an epidemic in this country, and Bruen makes it far harder for government to enforce laws aimed at reducing gun violence.

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Illinois’ Problematic Gun Law

I enjoy disparate interests. I teach Second Amendment law, and teach and write a treatise on advertising law. I was surprised that two of my legal interests coincided when Illinois House Bill 218 was signed into law by the Illinois Gov, J.B. Pritzker.

H.B. 218 is an omnibus gun safety law, and one of its prohibitions is the advertising of a gun in a way that may support, recommend or encourage a person under 18 to unlawfully purchase, possess or use a firearm in Illinois. In addition to the vagueness of this criminal statute, it has First Amendment problems. Maybe Second Amendment issues, too.

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