Business Startup

iVLG Tacoma Office Now Open, Serving the Greater Tacoma Business Community

We are excited to announce that iVLG will now be serving the Tacoma business community. In an effort to expand the territory we cover and the businesses we able to serve, we have opened an office in Tacoma. Our Tacoma office will offer the same quality services as our current inVigor Law Group offices, as well as the same transparent flat fees and accessible attorneys. Tacoma clients will work primarily with Ryan Hogaboam, who is Of Counsel to inVigor Law Group. Want to get to know Ryan a little better? Stay tuned for our Q & A with Ryan.

In the meantime, check out the new Tacoma website and spread the word that iVLG has expanded its reach to the Tacoma...

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Business Startup

Will Immigration Reform Promote Growth in the Tech Industry?

President Obama spoke in Nevada today about the need for widespread immigration reform. Many of the proposals President Obama mentioned, which are weaving their way through Congress, would increase the number of highly skilled immigrant workers allowed in the U.S. By “highly skilled,” we are referring mainly to highly skilled workers in the technology sector. Currently, 65,000 highly skilled workers are allowed to enter the U.S. to work each year under the H1-B visa—the H1-B visa is a specific visa to allow companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in a specialty occupation. It is thought that this may increase to as many as 300,000 per year.

What does this mean for the Seattle business community? An increase in the number of highly skilled...

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Business Startup

Legislative Definitions of Social Media for Employment Law Purposes

Six states have now prohibited employers from requesting social media passwords during the hiring process. Bill Carleton, at his blog Counselor @ Law, had a number of attorneys (including myself) grade the various legislative attempts to statutorily define employment law. Take a few minutes to check out Bill’s post, which you can find here.

Thanks to Bill for first compiling the definitions and links in a single document and then compiling the opinions and posting the results on his blog!

Here are the full grades and comments I sent to Bill:

California

As used in this chapter, “social media” means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages,...

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Business Startup

Staying Lean and Saving Green in a Down Economy

I recently read an article detailing the impact of the market downturn on U.S. law firms. Relying heavily on data presented by the Hildebrandt/Citi Private Bank 2012 Client Advisory, the article discussed the steady—if not drastic—decline in revenue, demand, and “realization” since September 2008. One of the most alarming statistics was the decline in the collected realization rate against the standard, i.e. the percentage of work performed at a particular firm’s standard rates that is actually collected from clients. It reveals that U.S. law firms are collecting less than 85 cents on the dollar, essentially an industry-wide client discount of 15% on every transaction. The effects of this decline include downsizing, lack of hiring, and significant pricing pressures.

So what can we...

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Business Startup

Slower Than Expected: A Look Into the Timeline for Implementing the JOBS Act

Flashback to April 5, 2012: President Obama puts pen to paper and signs the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the JOBS Act). The President declares that startups and small businesses will “now have access to a big new pool of American investors—namely the American people.” Entrepreneurs rejoice as the potential impacts of this bill could be huge for startups and small businesses. The bill provided a framework and the SEC was handed the reins to draft rules that would govern much of new legislation. The SEC was given a 90-day deadline to implement the JOBS Act.

Flash forward more than 9 months (roughly 270 days later) to January 9, 2013: The SEC has yet to finalize the rules governing the JOBS...

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Business Startup

Empowering the Small(er) Investor and Business: The Potential Impacts of Equity Crowdfunding

In early April 2012, President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. The goal behind the JOBS Act was to ease federal regulations in order to make it easier for smaller companies to obtain funding. Recently, there’s been a rising interest in the impact of the JOBS Act, focused mainly on “crowdfunding”—which, at least for purposes of this article, refers to the funding of a company by selling small amounts of equity to many investors through online intermediaries.

Title III of the JOBS Act (the crowdfunding portion) allows for companies to raise funds online from a variety of investors, including non-accredited investors. Industry professionals can’t seem to agree on what the impact of crowdfunding is going to be. Today’s post lays...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 52: Acquisitions; Antitrust Chief Confirmed; Gates Gets Richer

Mergers and Acquisitions

Avis Purchasing Zipcar for $500 Million The Avis Budget Group announced Wednesday that it will purchase Zipcar for $500 million cash. The deal signals a new direction for Avis. The car rental industry has become more and more competitive with Hertz recently purchasing Dollar Thrifty, and several car rental companies jumping on the hourly rental bandwagon.

Avis is seeking to attract a younger, progressive market with its recent acquisition of Zipcar, as Zipcar members tend to be younger, more urban  individuals as opposed to the traditional business or tourist market that Avis currently targets. Zipcar currently has over 760,000 members in 20 metropolitan areas in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, many of which are located near college campuses. Avis offered...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 51: Nook’s New Shareholder; Porsche Case Dismissed; HomeStreet Bank Off the Hook; Etc.

International News

British Publisher to Purchase Share in Nook Pearson, a British publisher and education company, made public its $89.5 million investment in Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet. In exchange, Pearson will receive a 5% stake in the business. Barnes & Noble recently warned its shareholders that its e-reader business would fall short of its annual projections and that holiday sales are lower than expected.

In April, Microsoft invested $300 million in Nook. Together with Pearson’s investment, the Nook business is valued at $1.8 billion (more than Barnes & Noble’s entire market value of $913 million).

National News

Porsche Wins Appeal; Hedge Fund ‘Short Squeeze’ Lawsuit Dismissed In the long-running legal battle regarding Porsche’s takeover of Volkswagen, there is finally a bit of clarity. A New...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 50: UBS Settles; Knight Capital Merges; Amazon Buys; Instagram Frustrates; NYSE Sells

Securities Regulation

UBS Settles for $1.5 Billion We reported last week about the Swiss banking giant’s proposed settlement with global authorities. Well, the settlement is now final. UBS agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines to settle claims against it for a multi-year scheme to manipulate interest rates, so called “rate-rigging.”

This settlement is the largest to date related to rate-rigging. The fine is one of the biggest sanctions ever levied by both American and British authorities, falling just below the $1.9 billion settlement levied against HSBC last week over money laundering claims.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Knight Capital and Getco Announce Merger Plan Knight Capital nearly collapsed last summer after a $440 million trading glitch. Getco, a major shareholder of Knight, was one of the many...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 49: UBS Fraud, Sprint Acquisition, Nordstrom Sells, Best Buy Delays

Mergers and Acquisitions

Sprint Offers $2.1 Billion for Clearwire The mobile giant Sprint Nextel Corp. offered $2.1 billion to purchase the remaining 50 percent of Bellevue-based Clearwire Corp. Who owns the other 50 percent? Sprint.

Sprint is offering $2.90 per share to buy the 700 million outstanding shares, according to the SEC filing. As a result, Clearwire’s shares jumped during early trading, up 35 cents to $3.10. This offer comes just months after Sprint purchased Clearwire’s co-founder, Craig McCaw’s shares.

Best Buy Gives Founders More Time to Bid The electronics retailer, Best Buy, announced that it plans to give its founder, Richard Shulze, until February 28 to make a takeover bid for the company. Schulze and his private equity partners will have the chance to...

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