Erie Business Law - May 2020

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May 2020

We Will Either Find a Way or Make One The Unwavering Support From My Mother

Mother’s Day is coming up. Don’t forget. My mom was a true cheerleader, both figuratively and literally. She always did everything she could for the family by supporting us no matter what we were doing. Mom was also one of the loudest when it came to cheering us on — I could hear her over everyone else in the stands during my hockey games as a kid. I knew my mom had my back, and having that support shaped my life in a lot of ways. When I was a kid, my mom was really involved in the family business, and I learned a lot of the essential skills I have today by watching how much time, effort, and care she put into it. I still remember the conversations I had with both of my parents during the 2001 economic downturn. While the rest of the world was panicking, shutting down, and forfeiting the game, my parents were looking for the opportunities. That mindset carried me into the COVID-19 crisis. While the rest of the world was panicking, shutting down, and forfeiting the game, I searched for the opportunity. Within a week of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passing, the first federal law related to the pandemic to be passed, we wrote “The Business Owner’s Guide to Surviving COVID-19.” Two weeks later, as I write this, we’ve distributed that guide to over 1,200 business owners. When I was in the fourth grade, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. It was a scary thing for a kid to hear, but she fought through it and came out a stronger and better person than she was before. Her entire outlook on life genuinely helped a lot of people who found themselves in similar situations. My mom always wanted to help other people, whether it was her own family or a complete stranger. This inspired my “I knew my mom had my back, and having that support shaped my life in a lot of ways.”

My mom and daughter

desire to help people too. It helped that my dad was there to support her through the whole ordeal. Fighting together is easier.

Now, it’s time for business owners to fight. Of those 1,200 businesses that read our guide, many have reached out for legal advice, input on the various loan programs, and assistance with getting federal stimulus dollars. We are here to help. Fighting together is easier. Growing up, we had a plaque hanging in the house that read, “We will either find a way or make one.”This phrase comes from Hannibal, a Carthaginian commander who crossed the Alps into Italy riding on elephants around 218 B.C. while others said it couldn’t be done. I’ll never forget what my mom taught me and what she continues to do for me today. It feels great to have a similar impact for others.

–Adam Williams

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THE PROS AND CONS OF BUYING A HOME IN A 55-PLUS COMMUNITY

Depending on your wants and needs, buying a home in a 55-plus community might be a financially savvy way to set yourself up for retirement. But is it the right decision for you? Here are a few financial pros and cons associated with moving into one of these neighborhoods. PRO: THE HOMES ARE IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. Oftentimes, 55-plus communities provide maintenance services, including housekeeping and landscaping. Also, it’s likely that only a handful of people have occupied the home since it was built, so buying in a 55-plus community means you’ll get a property in excellent condition with less wear and tear. CON: YOU’LL HAVE TO PAY A MONTHLY FEE. Unfortunately, all the great stuff doesn’t come free. Usually, you’ll have to pay an extra monthly bill, similar to a homeowners association fee, to live in a 55-plus community. Some communities include all maintenance and amenities in the monthly rent or mortgage (some even cover utility bills), but make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered before you sign a contract! PRO: AMENITIES ARE INCLUDED. Most 55-plus communities include amenities like exercise classes and educational programs for their residents. They also invite community

organizations and leaders to speak about local issues or upcoming elections. Some even have a clubhouse or dining hall for social gatherings. Save money by taking advantage of these programs instead of paying for a gymmembership or a course at the local community college. CON: IT’S A LIMITED BUYER’S AND RENTER’S MARKET. Most people who buy in a 55-plus community plan to retire there. If this is your original intention but your plans change down the road, you might have a harder time selling your home here than you would in a community that is open to people of all ages. Make sure to budget for those potential holding costs and plan accordingly.

Regardless of where you decide to buy, be sure to consult an experienced real estate agent and a financial planner. Here’s to living out your golden years in comfort and convenience! THE $60,000 HEISTYOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF Crimeless Theft in Cyberspace

In 2017, sometime between Sept. 11 and 12, a total of $60,000 worth of digital assets were stolen from people around the world. The conspirators didn’t hide their identities, and they faced no criminal charges. As it turns out, there are no laws against stealing spaceships in a video game — even if they’re worth thousands of real-world dollars. EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) that was launched in 2003, and it was on this game that the theft occurred. This science-fiction game is all about spacefaring, but one notable feature of the game is that it allows players to purchase in-game assets with real money. This attracts players who can spend large sums on the game, with some of the game’s largest spaceships costing $9,000. But one thing to note in EVE Online is that no matter how much you pay, once you lose an asset, it’s gone forever.

Because of the risk-reward nature of the game, many players unite in huge factions for safety and to pool their resources. One of these groups, Circle of Two or CO2, was the target of the 2017 attack. Within a matter of hours, CO2’s bank accounts were drained and the space stations holding their fleets of ships were sold to their enemies. It was clear from the beginning: This was an inside job. The thief was CO2’s own head diplomat, a player called “The Judge.” For years he’d worked his way through the alliance’s ranks, only to use the access he eventually gained to rob it blind. But greed may not have been his only motivation. He’d had public disagreements with CO2’s leader called Gigx, and a rival faction was able to capitalize on this internal conflict. During an in-person EVE Online summit held in Iceland, representatives from The GoonSwarm Federation convinced The Judge to leave CO2 and commit the single largest robbery in gaming history on his way out. In the real world, The Judge’s actions were completely legal — currently, international law doesn’t treat such virtual objects as personal property. But this perception may be changing. As in-game purchases become more widespread in video games, legal lines have blurred, causing an increasing number of lawmakers to rethink what constitutes “ownership” in the digital age. But, for now at least, it seems like a good time to be a space pirate.

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TAKE A BREAK

When cats are orphaned as kittens, they don’t get the chance to develop all the skills needed to become successful cats. Just like human children, kittens need older role models too. The most famous cat role model had a rough start in life but became an inspiration for kittens and humans alike. His name was Grandpa Mason, and during the last years of his life, he stepped up and gave love, care, and guidance to the orphaned kittens that lived with him. The Canadian animal rescue group TinyKittens rescued Grandpa Mason in 2016 from a property that was scheduled to be bulldozed. The poor feral tabby was suffering from many health problems, including severe dental issues, a badly injured paw, and advanced kidney disease. Since TinyKittens is a no-kill rescue organization, euthanization was out of the question. Given his health conditions, veterinarians predicted the battle- scarred Grandpa Mason didn’t have long to live, so TinyKittens’ founder, Shelly Roche, took him in and provided him with a comfortable place to sleep, plenty of food, and time to relax in the last months of his life. Grandpa Mason had a hard time adjusting to domestic life and would often shy away from being petted. In an interview with The Dodo, Roche described him as “an elderly gentleman [who] lived his whole life a certain way, and then, all of a sudden, [was] forced to live completely differently.” After Grandpa Mason grew accustomed to his home, Roche took in several foster kittens, and those new roommates completely altered Grandpa Mason’s behavior. Roche expected him to hiss, swat, or growl at the kittens when they invaded his space, but he didn’t. Instead, he allowed them to crawl all over him and appeared to enjoy it when they licked his ear. Suddenly a playful, affectionate, and gentle personality came out of Grandpa Mason as he played with, bathed, taught, and cared for the orphaned kittens that Roche welcomed into her home. Potentially due to the kittens’ influence, Grandpa Mason surpassed his prognosis by more than two years. During the last few years of his life, Grandpa Mason passed on important lessons and good manners to the kittens he looked after and adored, as a true grandfather should. He passed last September, but he spent his last night in his ultimate happy place: snuggling in his bed surrounded by kittens. THE STORY OF GRANDPA MASON How a Feral Cat Came to Care for Orphaned Kittens

STICKY AND SWEET PORK ‘RIBS’

Inspired by Bon Appétit

Whether you’re celebrating your mom or those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, there’s no better recipe to grill up than these delectable country-style pork ribs.

Ingredients

2 heads garlic, cloves separated

1/2 cup chili oil

3 thumbs ginger, chopped

1/3 cup oyster sauce

1 cup hoisin sauce

1/3 cup toasted sesame oil

3/4 cup fish sauce

5 lbs boneless pork shoulder, flattened

2/3 cup honey

3/4 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup rice wine

1 tbsp molasses

Directions

1. In a blender, purée garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, honey, rice wine, chili oil, oyster sauce, and toasted sesame oil until smooth. 2. Reserve and chill 1 1/2 cups for later use. 3. In a bag, add the remaining mixture and pork shoulder. Marinate for at least 8 hours. 4. Using a convection plate on the grill, cook pork until the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 140–145 F. 5. In a large saucepan, simmer brown sugar, molasses, and reserved marinade for 6–8 minutes. 6. Baste the pork with the brown sugar glaze for 2 minutes before serving.

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

814-315-9255 www.ErieBusinessLaw.com 425 West 10th St. Erie, PA 16502 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

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The Person Who Inspired Me

Is a 55-Plus Community Right for You? A $60,000 Robbery With No Jail Time

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Sticky and Sweet Pork ‘Ribs’ The Best Grandfather a Kitten Could Have

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Technology Saves the Day

HOW TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHILE FOLLOWING SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES

SPRUCE UP EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are encouraging communities across the U.S. to practice social distancing. While this will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, it also means that social interactions will be minimal. In addition to impeding many industries and businesses, this has significant impacts on families and friends who can no longer visit each other in person. Luckily, the technology we have today allows us to stay in touch while still practicing social responsibility.

parents to set up virtual play dates over video chats for your kids. They can even watch a movie or TV show together.

Hopping on the phone or your laptop to video chat is a great way to reach out and catch up with loved ones. While folding laundry or doing other mundane chores, give a friend or your parents a call to idly chat; it can make your tedious tasks much more enjoyable. Video calls are also beneficial if, for example, you’re missing out on your daily workouts with a friend. Hop on a video chat to practice yoga, cardio, or other simple exercise routines together.

HOST A MOVIE NIGHT.

Speaking of movies, Netflix developed a unique way for people to watch movies and shows together: Netflix Party. If you have a desktop or laptop with a Chrome browser, visit NetflixParty. com to download the application. Once downloaded, open the movie or TV series you’d like to watch, create or join a “party,” then relax and enjoy the show while chatting with friends. These are only a few examples of how we can stay in touch during these concerning times. Talk with your family and friends and see what other creative ideas you can come up with together. Even though you may be apart from loved ones right now, virtual communication has never been easier or more plentiful.

LET YOUR KIDS CHAT WITH FRIENDS.

Kids can benefit from video chatting by staying in touch with their friends while school and other activities are canceled. Letting your kids connect to social media is a pretty big step, so consider signing them up for Yoursphere or Kidzworld, kid-friendly networks that let them keep in touch with their friends while you can monitor their activity. Get in touch with other

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