Erie Business Law - November 2020

Take a look at our November newsletter! 814-315-9255

November 2020

How to Shop This Holiday Season Support Local and Small Businesses

November has my two favorite holidays: Thanksgiving and Small Business Saturday. How different will these two holidays look from years past? Thanksgiving is my favorite because you can spend time with your family, there are no expectations to give or receive gifts, and you get to eat great food. It’s the perfect holiday. I look forward to it every year, but the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations are disheartening. The CDC suggests that everyone keep their Thanksgiving dinner small and only celebrate the holiday with the people they live with. I don’t plan on cooking any less, so we will have lots of leftovers. Then, there’s Small Business Saturday. Traditionally, it’s a time for people to support local and small businesses, but this year, people might be unwilling to shop at brick-and-mortar establishments. This year, it is important to do whatever we can to support them. It’s crucial to support small and local businesses. More and more, people understand their importance. Most families are supported by small businesses, just as most jobs are created by them. To see people recognizing how important that is — it’s wonderful. I think American Express came up with the idea for Small Business Saturday, and I give them a lot of credit for bringing more awareness to it. When the pandemic first hit and businesses began to shut down, I vowed to become a one-man cash mob. We started supporting every local business and restaurant we could, and we’ve kept at it for the last eight months. My #NeverCookAgain hashtag hasn’t caught on like I thought it would, but we’ve had some great meals from local restaurants.

I suggest you treat every day like it’s Small Business Saturday. Avoid the crowds that come with the holidays. If you care about people, you should focus on shopping locally rather than purchasing from the big retailers. This mindset is essential this year: People’s livelihoods are at stake in a big way. More than anyone else, these small-business owners are still feeling the economic effects of the pandemic. They are struggling to keep their businesses open. They have their own families to support and children to buy gifts for this holiday season. We can help them by choosing to shop in their stores. I believe that this year and in the future, people should, whenever possible, shop small, shop local, and do it as much as possible.

Continuing that support is especially important leading into the holidays. Big businesses have Black Friday and internet businesses

have Cyber Monday, days that many local businesses won’t benefit from. Yet, I know many local businesses

that are preparing for the holidays. They’re doing what they can to fulfill any online or fill-in orders for what’s going to be a truly different holiday season. They’re still stocking up on inventory.

I hope you enjoy your revised Thanksgiving this year. Be mindful and give small business owners something to be thankful for!

–Adam Williams | 1

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ICE, ICE, LAWSUIT Woman Sues Starbucks Over ‘Too Much Ice’

Sometimes, there is such a thing as “too much ice.” You’re sipping your cold beverage when suddenly, it’s gone far quicker than you expected. All you’re left with is a cup full of ice. It’s disappointing, for sure, but is it so disappointing that you would want to file a lawsuit against the company that supplied the beverage? That’s exactly what Stacy Pincus did in 2016. She ordered an iced coffee from Starbucks, only to find “too much ice” in her drink. The lawsuit, filed in Chicago, alleged that the drink was advertised as a 24-ounce beverage, but once the ice was factored in, Pincus and her lawyers claimed the drink was really only “14 fluid ounces.”

“Starbucks’ advertising practices are clearly meant to mislead consumers when combined with the standard practice of filling a cold drink cup with far less liquid than the cup can hold,” the suit claimed. NBC News reported that Pincus sought damages to the tune of $5 million against the coffee chain. “The plaintiff would not have paid as much,” her lawyers stated in a court document, “if anything, for the cold drinks had she known that they contained less, and in many cases, nearly half as many, fluid ounces than claimed by Starbucks. As a result, the plaintiff suffered injury in fact and lost money or property.” Starbucks’ response: “Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any ‘iced’ beverage. If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it.” The company also reaffirmed that you can order any iced beverage with “light ice” and receive half the ice normally included. Interestingly, a second lawsuit against Starbucks popped up in Los Angeles a few months later, but both cases were thrown out. Pincus never saw a cent of that $5 million, nor did she recoup her attorneys’ fees. The case went on to be called “one of the most frivolous lawsuits of 2016.”

Election! The Presidential Election of 1828 Turned Politics Personal

It’s election season! But don’t worry, we’re not here to talk about this election season, a season full of emotion, strong feelings, and plenty of mudslinging. Rather, this is a look back at one presidential election that upset an entire country — an election that makes 2020 look tame!

always been polarizing, but in 1828, things really heated up.

Jackson had already lost to Adams in 1824. That election ended with no candidate winning the majority of the electoral vote. As a result, Speaker of the House Henry Clay had to cast a tie-breaking vote. (Clay had also been a candidate for president in the 1824 election.) Clay sided with Adams. And then Adams appointed Clay his secretary of state. Naturally, Jackson was not happy and accused the two of corrupt bargaining. Even Thomas Jefferson remarked on the events of 1824, writing that he was disappointed in the results. (He had supported William H. Crawford.) Even though Jefferson died in 1826, the Jackson and Adams campaigns used Jefferson’s words both to attack one other and praise themselves in the 1828 election.

it personal. They started going after one another’s wives and families, which the newspapers at the time loved. The Cincinnati Gazette called Jackson’s wife, Rachel, a “convicted adulteress.” She was in the process of getting a divorce when she married Jackson; however, the divorce had not been finalized when the marriage took place in 1794. This became a talking point for the opposition. It got to the point where Jackson gave up on talking about the issues and moved personal attacks to center stage. Adams tried to stick to the issues, more or less. However, the public sided with Jackson and Adams lost. But the drama didn’t end there. Days after the election, Rachel Jackson died. President-elect Jackson blamed her death on the mudslingers, saying, “May God Almighty forgive her murderers as I know she forgave them. I never can.”

1828: Andrew Jackson vs. John Quincy Adams (Incumbent)

Two new political parties entered the scene: the Democratic Party and the National Republican Party. These parties were established following the dissolution of the Federalist Party and the Democratic- Republican Party just a few years prior. Both Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams were formerly of the Democratic- Republican Party. However, Jackson joined the new Democratic Party, while Adams Joined the National Republicans. After the split, historians note a newfound level of polarization in national politics. Politics had

Mudslinging defined the 1828 election with both Jackson and Adams making

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MEDITATION ALTERNATIVES For People Who Don’t Like to Meditate

Meditation is lauded for its health benefits and is often suggested as an effective way to clear the mind, organize thoughts, and reduce stress. Realistically, however, it’s not for everyone. In fact, some people don’t experience any benefits at all from meditating. In a recent study published in New Scientist about the effectiveness of meditation, researchers confirmed that some people do not benefit from meditation and that about 8% of people who try meditation experience an “unwanted effect,” such as an increase in anxiety. If you’re not interested in meditation, or it just doesn’t work for you, here are some alternative ways to clear your mind and reduce stress. Get serious about physical activity. Aerobic exercises — like walking, jogging, running, cycling, and swimming — are great for clearing your mind and getting your body moving. Really, any exercise that gets the heart pumping and increases your respiratory rate will do. Research supports that aerobic exercise is a great alternative to meditation that yields many of the same benefits. Exercising outdoors or in nature — especially in new places — enhances these benefits. Because your surroundings are going to be unfamiliar, your mind is more focused, which can help if you’re searching for clarity. Stay mentally engaged. Many people achieve clarity, focus, and stress reduction through simple but engaging tasks, such as immersing themselves in an adult coloring book, doing brain teasers, or assembling LEGO sets, which proves they can be effective therapeutic tools or alternatives to meditation. The LEGO Company has actually been developing more products for adults with this sort of research in mind. But why LEGO products specifically? In addition to being objects you touch and push together, LEGO products come with clear, step-by-step instructions, which make them easy to put together and allow you to focus more on the task at hand. Even if you don’t complete the piece in one sitting, working on a project a few minutes a day can be a beneficial way to find a little clarity.


Inspired by

These candied sweet potatoes will make your family beg for more!


• 4 lbs orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces, then cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed

• 1 tbsp kosher salt • 1/4 tsp ground cloves • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed • 4 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. Place sweet potato wedges in a 4-quart baking dish. 3. Sprinkle sugar, salt, and cloves over sweet potatoes.

4. Dot with butter and place cinnamon sticks around sweet potatoes. 5. Bake, turning every 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender and the liquid is syrupy, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. 6. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. 7. Discard cinnamon sticks and serve. | 3

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


Support Local and Small Businesses

Woman Sues Starbucks Over ‘Too Much Ice’ A Presidential Election That Turned Up the Heat


Cinnamon-Spiced Candied Sweet Potatoes Clear Your Mind in a Different Way



A Number of Importance

THE 11TH HOUR OF THE 11TH DAY OF THE 11TH MONTH Why Veterans Day and the Number 11 Go Hand in Hand

Veterans Day comes every Nov. 11. It’s a national holiday that recognizes veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces and honors those both living and deceased. Historically, the day marks Armistice Day and the end of the Great War: World War I. But what is the significance of the number 11? The armistice was signed at 5:45 a.m. in France, but it took effect at 11 a.m. that same morning — which happened to be Nov. 11, 1918. The armistice originally lasted 36 days but was extended month after month. This led to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, when peace was officially declared. Later that year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that Nov. 11 would be known as Armistice Day to honor those who fought in the Great War. This lasted until 1954, when President Dwight Eisenhower

signed a proclamation turning Armistice Day into Veterans Day.

The change was made in order to recognize all veterans who had honorably served their country. By 1954, the U.S. had fought in more wars — specifically World War II and the Korean War — and hundreds of thousands more Americans had served. Unsurprisingly, there was some political drama surrounding the day. In 1968, Congress made Veterans Day a federal holiday under the Uniform Holiday Bill. The idea was to increase the number of three-day weekends in the year. Veterans Day became a holiday that would fall on the fourth Monday of October, a far cry from Nov. 11. However, in 1978, Veterans Day was restored to its original Nov. 11 date. But why?

The answer is simple. It’s a number that sticks with you. When the clock strikes 11:11, you always take notice. By that same notion, we all remember the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Because of this, we’ll never forget the end of the Great War, nor will we forget those who served.

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