In November of 1971, Led Zeppelin released its iconic song, “Stairway to Heaven.” Since it made its debut, there have been lots of claims about the song: it has been played on the radio 2.8 million times; it is one of the greatest songs of all time; if you play it backward, you will hear a hidden Satanic message; and, perhaps most interestingly, that the famous intro was plagiarized.

Plagiarism claims and a history of litigation

The plagiarism claim linked the intro’s origins to a lesser-known 70s rock band, Taurus, and their song, “Spirit.” Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the estate of Randy California, the guitarist for and composer of Taurus, brought a lawsuit in 2014 alleging that Zeppelin stole the guitar intro for “Stairway” from Spirit. The lawsuit alleges that the two bands toured together in the late 1960s, and therefore, Zeppelin had “access” to Spirit’s songs.

Continue Reading Sometimes Words Have Two Meanings: Court Rules Stairway to Heaven’s Troubled Copyright History

In an ironic bankruptcy twist, the COVID-19 outbreak is thwarting Modell’s Sporting Goods’ ability to liquidate. Modell’s filed its bankruptcy case on March 11th and announced that it was closing all 134 of its stores. The chain was founded by Morris A. Modell in 1889, with a single store on Cortlandt Street in Manhattan. Modell’s followed in the footsteps of The Sports Authority, Gander Mountain, Eastern Mountain Sports, and other sporting goods retailers who have struggled mightily in recent years, and have landed in Chapter 11. Modell’s intention was to complete all liquidation sales by the end of April. The budgets filed with the bankruptcy court reveal no line item for lease expenses starting in May.

Continue Reading COVID-19 Forces Modell’s to “Mothball” Chapter 11 Efforts

Unfortunately bad actors are leveraging the current Coronavirus epidemic for malicious intent. It has escalated so quickly that the United States Secret Service issued a press release.

As you might imagine, the phishing attacks exploit our concerns regarding COVID-19.

One widespread campaign includes a poisoned PDF document labelled “CoronaVirusSafetyMeasures_pdf“ which, if opened, can give full administrative control of your computer to the attacker.

Continue Reading Possible Security Risks of Working from Home

As a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus public health crisis, on March 19, 2020, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an order extending the filing deadline for local property tax appeals from April 1st to at least May 1st.

Pursuant to the terms of the order, the filing deadline was extended to May 1, 2020 or 30 days following a determination by the governor that the State of Emergency declared under Executive Order No. 103 has ended.

Continue Reading New Jersey Property Tax Appeal Filing Deadline Extended to May 1st

How things have changed since I published my Employer’s Guide to COVID-19 less than a week ago. While the guidance, recommendations, and issue-spotting set forth in that article have not changed, the legal landscape concerning the novel coronavirus has. State governors have issued emergency orders. New laws have taken, or will take, effect. Non-essential business have been instructed to close their doors and convert to remote work arrangements, if possible. People have been advised to stay home. Here’s an update on what’s changed and how it impacts you, your business, and your employees.

Continue Reading Updated Resource & Guide to COVID-19: Emergency Orders, State Lockdowns, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 20, 2020, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the due date for the filing of income tax returns will now be July 15 instead of the usual April 15. Secretary Mnuchin announced this on Twitter. As of 12:30 pm EDT, the Internal Revenue Service had not posted anything on their website.

Notice 2020-17, issued by the Internal Revenue Service earlier in the week, had extended the payment date to July 15, but not the filing deadline.

Secretary Mnuchin also encouraged those taxpayers who expect a refund to file quickly, so they can receive their refund once the return is processed.

Click here to read the prior update from March 19, 2020.

As part of the President’s emergency declaration, the Secretary of the Treasury was instructed “to provide relief from tax deadlines to Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency.” With that direction, the Internal Revenue Service has issued Notice 2020-17, which extends the due date for the payment of Federal income taxes from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. This includes tax payments that would be due for the 2019 tax year, as well as quarterly estimated income tax payments that would be due April 15, 2020, for the 2020 tax year. The total tax amount that can be deferred is a maximum of $10 million for each Subchapter C corporation, and $1 million for all other taxpayers.

Continue Reading Tax Relief Because of COVID-19

Contract law offers contracting parties a defense against performing under a contract where the fulfillment becomes impossible due to unforeseen events outside the parties control. These unforeseen events are often called “force majeure” or “acts of god.” With each passing day, the government, in response to COVID-19, is imposing more restrictive containment measures. These measures are likely to affect the parties’ workforce and supplies needed to perform the contract.

Continue Reading Will the Coronavirus Be Deemed a Force Majeure Event and If So, How Will That Effect You?

As workplaces across the country look to adapt to the pressing need to slow the transmission of the COVID-19 outbreak, many employers are turning to remote work to keep their businesses afloat while reducing the possibility of transmission.

Many large tech employers such as Google and Amazon are already prepared for the needs of a remote workforce, but for others, the wide scale adoption of remote working comes with some real challenges. In the scramble to ensure the safety of others, it’s important that businesses don’t overlook the need to ensure cybersecurity as well.

Continue Reading Employee Remote Working: Cybersecurity Concerns

While county recording offices are shutting down or limiting access across New Jersey, parties to real estate and loan transactions are wondering the impact the shut downs will have on the transaction. While this is a fluid situation that is changing daily, or even hourly, the facilitators of closings, including attorneys, title companies, and lenders are making every effort to see that transactions are not delayed.

Continue Reading Impact of Coronavirus on Commercial Real Estate Transactions – Remote Notarization and County Recording Office Closures