The Soto Law Group October 2019

October 2019 Soto’s Chronicles

DeDe Soto

Protecting your most valuable asset — your family


DeDe Soto

Happy October! Which means happy fall!

Although we don’t have a change of colors here in California, hopefully, we will have a change of weather! Change is coming. I once read you are always either preparing to go through change, going through change, or coming out of change! With so much change that happens in one’s lifetime, I do hope your estate plan will be updated and change with you. Some changes include the following: having a baby, your child getting married, getting a divorce, getting married, a loved one passing, or your child having marital issues or even mental health issues. There are ways to protect your children and family with a little bit of planning. I love this saying: “Plan for what is difficult while it is easy. Do what is great while it is small.”With that, I hope to hear from you soon, and I hope you will pass this along to your family and friends who need to review and plan their estates.

5 MONSTERS DESTROYING YOUR COMPANY CULTURE H ow to D odge the B usiness B oogeymen T his H alloween

When Halloween rolls around, it’s easy to become so preoccupied with the monsters stalking the sidewalks and TV screens that you forget about the everyday boogeymen plaguing your office year-round. While the pillagers of workplace culture don’t wear fake fur, excessive makeup, or rubber masks, they can be just as terrifying as their fictional counterparts. Here’s a list of monsters to watch for, just in time for collecting candy.

Until next time, many blessings.


Though it often creeps up quietly, few monsters are more damaging to workplace culture than the boredom mummy. If excessive routine has made your office yawn-inducing or has mummified your employees at their desks, a crisis is likely nearby. One CNN article postulated that boredom is “the new stress,” and bored employees are more likely to be unhappy and seek new positions, even if they’re still effective. To keep boredom levels in check, try to automate repetitive tasks, offer new challenges, and encourage communication.

Stay up to date on all of our workshops at


Gossip is like a werewolf. It doesn’t show up every day, but, when it does, it wreaks havoc. Rumors quickly destroy morale, erode relationships, and ramp up workplace tension. Worse, they can cause even the most dedicated employees to quit due to what’s often labeled as a “toxic” office culture. Inc. Magazine claims that zero-tolerance policies, regular meetings to air

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expectations well. To keep your managers from causing shrieks and scurries every time they pop in on their charges, ensure they maintain good, consistent relationships with staff and spend regular hours in the office. That way, employees will be more likely to run to them rather than from them.

grievances, and one-on-one discussions with loose-lipped personnel are good strategies to keep the werewolf in check.


While some employees can handle packed schedules and extra work, overloading your entire team or office can be as ambition-sucking as the


thirstiest vampire. Too many tasks can throw off your team’s work-life balance, keeping your employees up all night and inviting angst, sleepiness, and inefficiency. To stake the vampire, encourage your employees to share concerns about their workloads, embrace flextime, and set a good example by keeping reasonable hours yourself.

Like the scientist Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s tale, it’s all too common for businesses to begin projects with the best of intentions, only to create monsters instead of successes. A project that stems from a good idea but lacks realism or follow-through can turn into a money pit for your company and a time-suck for your employees, rearing its ugly head again and again like Frankenstein’s Monster — and perhaps even bringing your company down. Try preventing the monster’s rise by investigating all eventualities and assigning specific roles to team members before you put the final stitch in a new initiative.


An absentee manager can terrorize an office just as effectively as an unhappy ghost. If a manager is there one minute and gone the next, their presence can cause stress for employees, who won’t know them or their

REIGNITE YOUR PASSION Lessons in Innovation From Henry Ford

both. He looked at how cars were actually made and found that, if he could build more cars within a certain time frame, he could pay less per car, per worker. Thus, the moving assembly line was born. When looking for ways to innovate in your industry, rethinking even the smallest, simplest details can make a huge difference for your business. You may not be able to reinvent the wheel, but who said you couldn’t reinvent the brake pads? Henry Ford may have changed the automobile industry forever, but you don’t have to go to such lengths to innovate in your own. The next time you find yourself uninspired or stagnant, look to those who made your industry what it is today. You might just find the inspiration you’ve been searching for.

and, if you apply them to your own journey, you could gain a new perspective and be inspired to create and innovate in your industry.

As entrepreneurs scale their businesses, there is a lot to focus on: hiring the right staff, creating the most effective marketing strategies, and setting up efficient operations. With so much to do, it’s easy to lose sight of your initial vision for your company. If you’re stuck in a rut, know that you’re not alone. Plenty of the most successful entrepreneurs have endured the same struggles and, with a little ambition and a lot of creativity, came out on top. Take Henry Ford, for example. Henry Ford made the automobile accessible and appealing for the common citizen. This ignited interest in the market from consumers and manufacturers alike, which led to innovations like air conditioning and other appliances we can’t imagine living without today. There were some key factors that played into his success,

CONSUMER-FOCUSED Ford realized cars were unreliable and

unaffordable to most and set out to change that. After developing the first moving assembly line, Ford lowered the price of cars and made them accessible for people outside the upper class for the first time. As long as you keep the consumer and their needs in mind, you’ll find ways to make their experience better and increase your success. SMALL CHANGES, BIG IMPACT Unlike many companies today who sacrifice quality for quantity, Ford found ways to focus on

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A Grave Legal Matter

Halloween decorations, but these tombstones displayed a special message for the neighbors. Each headstone was inscribed with a sarcastic message and house number, implying the occupants’ death dates. These messages soon caught the neighbors’ attention. “Bettewasn’t ready, but here she lies, ever since that night she died. Twelve feet deep in this trench, still wasn’t deep enough for that stench! 1690.” Insulted and a little afraid, Purtell’s neighbors called the police to have the headstones removed. After a couple of visits, Officer Bruce Mason arrived and threatened to arrest Purtell if he didn’t take the tombstones down. Purtell obliged, but the matter wasn’t put to rest.

We’ve all played a harmless trick or two, but sometimes, Halloween shenanigans get out of hand. They can lead to hurt feelings, outraged neighbors, and, in the case of Purtell v. Mason, a lawsuit. In the days leading up to Halloween, all was not quiet in the village of Bloomingdale. Previously parked in a storage unit, Jeff and Vicki Purtell’s 38-foot RV was now parked in front of their house. In protest, neighbors petitioned to town officials, wanting an ordinance put in place to prohibit RV parking on residential property. While the ordinance was under consideration, Jeff Purtell took matters into his own hands. He erected six wooden tombstones in his front yard. They seemed to be innocuous

THE VERDICT Purtell sued Officer Mason on the grounds of violating his rights to free speech, and the case made it all the way to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Sykes ruled that the tombstones did not constitute fighting words and were protected under the First Amendment. However, she also ruled that Officer Mason was entitled to qualified immunity, as any reasonable officer would act the same under the circumstances. The bigger question might be how this case made it all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals. As Judge Sykes wrote in her opinion,“Lawsuits like this one cast the legal profession in a bad light and contribute to the impression that Americans are an overlawyered and excessively litigious people.”

Take a Break!

HOW TO ASSEMBLE A VEGGIE SKELETON Thosewho eat paleomay struggle to find aHalloween treat suitable to their diet. But nomatter what your dietary restrictions are, everyone can enjoy some rawveggies with a healthy dip. Here are some tips for constructing your very own veggie skeleton—a spooky twist on a time-tested treat. For the Head Your favorite paleo-friendly dip makes a great canvas for a face. Pour it into a bowl and build features on top using different veggies. For the Ribcage Sliced cucumbers make for great vertebrae, and bell pepper slivers can be used to simulate ribs. Alternate between the two to give your skeleton some backbone. For the Arms and Legs Any long and straight vegetable will do the trick here. If you want to be anatomically accurate, consider using some spherical vegetables for joints.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and wacky with your veggie skeleton. The whole point, after all, is to have some fun and give people a reason to smile.

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The Soto Law Group 1101 Dove Street Suite 200 Newport Beach, CA 92660



INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of DeDe PAGE 1 5 Monsters Destroying Your Company Culture PAGE 1 How Henry Ford Innovated His Industry PAGE 2 Grave Matters of the Law PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 How to Assemble a Veggie Skeleton PAGE 3 How FaceApp’s Privacy Policy Is Changing PAGE 4

Changing (and Saving) Face: How FaceApp’s Privacy Policy Is Aging

Ever since its inception in January 2017, the phone application FaceApp has given users a glimpse into how they would look as the opposite sex, howmany wrinkles they’ll have when they’re 80, and how chubby their baby cheeks might have been when they were young. It’s a technological phenomenon, but recently, the app has come under fire, not for its face- swapping action but rather its privacy policy. FaceApp’s privacy policy loosely states that any person using FaceApp will “grant the application a license to use, reproduce, modify, and display user content, all without compensation to the user.”At first glance, the policy seems scary, but before you delete the app from all your devices, take a look at the type of data FaceApp will collect and what that means for you as a user. INFORMATION COLLECTED There is a plethora of information the app collects when you use it, and the most popular method used to collect that data utilizes cookies. Cookies find trends in aggregated data, like web pages visited and items looked up on search engines. Log file information is collected when the content of an app is downloaded to your device. Log files record data like your IP address, browser type, number of clicks on an app, exit pages, and other pieces of information. Data identifiers uniquely identify your device. These will tell FaceApp what you do while in the app. These are used primarily to determine how consumers use the app and to provide personalized ads.

USE OF INFORMATION FaceApp will utilize the information for internal uses such as app updates, bug issues, demographics, and traffic patterns. However, this does not grant the FaceApp developers the right to rent or sell your information to any company outside of FaceApp, whichmay not be the case for other social media platforms. WHO ELSE HAS ACCESS FaceApp does share your information with“affiliate”companies and service providers. Affiliate companies will use your data to improve their own products. Service providers only use your data as much as necessary to provide their varied services and are under strict confidentiality agreements. HOWYOUR DATA IS STORED Your data is transferred and stored in locations across the world where FaceApp and their affiliates or service providers maintain locations. FaceApp and all related companies adhere to the data protection laws of the countries where the data is transferred to, not necessarily where the data originates from. However, many first-world countries have data protection laws that are heavily enforced and keep your information safe. FaceAppmay be relatively safe in terms of data collection, but you should still always be wary when using any phone app, regardless of its origin. When it comes to social media, skepticism and careful browsing is always a good idea. Be sure to research the privacy policy for any social media app you want to use before downloading it.

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