Do Philadelphia’s Real Estate Tax Abatements Benefit The City?

Since 2000, tax abatements on Philadelphia real estate have been available to owners or developers of commercial or residential real estate who make improvements to real property in Philadelphia. Many abatements permit an applicant to exempt the tax otherwise due on the improvements for up to ten years. When an abatement is in place, the […]

Making the most of your “knowledge web”

Everyone has business or legal questions they can’t answer – even lawyers (especially lawyers). Which is why I’ve focused in part on creating a “knowledge web*,” a network not only of trusted friends and colleagues, but also people with expertise in areas of the law where I don’t practice. My knowledge web helps me, but […]

Debt collection: the Wild West (or worse)

It’s estimated that there are around 9,600 debt collection agencies in the United States, all trying to make money off consumer debt. Some are legitimate, but many aren’t. For those that are above-board, there’s no issue: the company buys the debt from the original holder, like a credit card company, and does its best to […]

The trouble with law firm mergers

On Monday, November 24, Philadelphia-based Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP absorbed Boston-based Bingham McCutcheon LLP. When the merger is complete, Morgan will have nearly 2,000 lawyers in 28 offices worldwide, and will be the tenth-largest law firm in the world. Is there an advantage to the merger? Let’s put it this way: in their shoes, […]

How can I perfect my great idea when I have to spend so much time managing my business?

A small business starts out with a great idea – a product, a service, or a particular expertise – and a driven organizer.  However, having a great idea is very different from running a business, and an organizer might find himself spending more time running the business than executing his idea.  It can be very […]

Did I really agree to anything when I clicked “I AGREE?”

If you use online or device-based software, you almost certainly clicked “I AGREE” to the terms and conditions in order to purchase or use it.  And if you’re like most people, you probably didn’t read all of the terms and conditions before you clicked.  So if you didn’t read it, did you really agree to […]

Certifying as a Woman-Owned or Minority-Owned Business Enterprise

Becoming a woman-owned business enterprise (WBE), minority-owned business enterprise (MBE), or other type of disadvantaged business enterprise (collectively, DBE) is a very attractive option for some businesses, particularly companies in the construction industry that want to obtain government contracts. Construction projects receiving Federal, state, or sometimes city funding have DBE participation goals, and general contractors use […]