As a member of ALFA International, Burch, Porter & Johnson has the ability to provide our clients with a global network of attorneys, as well as relevant resources and educational opportunities.

BPJ attorneys Doug Halijan and Molly Glover have given presentations at recent ALFA conferences.

Doug Halijan spoke on Combatting Counterfeits and Gray Market Sales at ALFA International’s annual Products Liability conference in Tucson, Arizona in September. Subjects included the use of trademark and copyright remedies to fight counterfeit sales, educating clients on problems posed by “gray market” sales outside of authorized distribution channels, and mitigation tactics that companies can employ. The presentation also involved a panel of in-house counsel and private firm lawyers who shared their experiences in litigating trademark counterfeiting and gray market cases. Halijan is a Member of the firm whose practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and intellectual property matters, with a particular emphasis on trade secret, trademark, copyright, information technology, and franchise-related issues. He is listed in Best Lawyers® in America in the areas of Intellectual Property, Commercial Litigation, and Bet-the-Company Litigation, and was named 2017 Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” for Bet-the-Company Litigation in Tennessee. He also serves as an adjunct professor of Intellectual Property Law at the University of Memphis School of Law.

Molly Glover used the date of her ALFA presentation – May 4, Star Wars Day (“may the force/4th be with you”) – to frame the plenary session she led at the ALFA International Insurance Roundtable in Nashville. They discussed how the legal landscape has changed for insurance companies, specifically new case law that permits plaintiffs to sue insurance adjusters directly for bad faith, referring to Keodahlah v. Allstate Insurance (2018). The Star Wars metaphor seemed to fit: Long ago, in a galaxy far away, insurance adjusters had no personal liability. How insurance companies should respond to this new challenge was the theme of the panel. Glover is a Senior Attorney, and has significant experience in defense litigation, including toxic tort, pollution coverage and asbestos claims, and often provides counsel to medical, legal and insurance professionals.

ALFA International is a global legal network of independent law firms; BPJ is the only ALFA member in Memphis.

When The Best Lawyers in America© publication announces the “Lawyer of the Year” in each practice area, it’s an honor bestowed on only one lawyer in a designated metropolitan area. That’s why we’re especially proud to say that TWO BPJ lawyers were recognized for this honor this year.

By Beth Bradley

The primary objective of most estate planning clients is determining how to ensure that their assets pass most efficiently to their intended beneficiaries. By contrast, in the past, attorneys advising such clients were often more concerned with avoiding the payment of death-related taxes. With the new tax laws currently in effect, however, the focus of estate planning has shifted from saving taxes to facilitating the transfer of assets. Tennessee has adopted legislation to assist clients with transferring assets, including stock, to beneficiaries upon their death. Securities, whether held in certificate form or in an account, may be registered in “beneficiary form.” This allows the owner to designate a beneficiary to take ownership of the stock at the death of the owner and is generally evidenced by the words “transfer on death” or the abbreviation “TOD,” or by the words “pay on death” or the abbreviation “POD” after the name of the owner and before the name of the beneficiary. Such designations are more commonly used on checking and savings accounts and brokerage accounts but can also be used to facilitate the transfer of stock without the need to go to court.

There are many other potential tips to ensure that your assets will be transferred in the most efficient and economical manner after your death. I’d be glad to meet with you to determine if your estate has been structured to take full advantage of these cost-effective techniques.