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Below are collections of articles and blog posts we have written that provide valuable information on various legal topics such as immigration, marriage, business practices and more. Follow us to receive notifications when new articles or blog posts are released.

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USCIS Publishes Provisional Waiver Rule to Allow Faster immigration
January 3, 2013

Obama administration officials unveiled a new provisional unlawful presence waiver rule, ("provisional waiver") on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 that will make it easier for undocumented immigrants who are immediate family members of U.S. citizens to obtain legal permanent residence. The benefit of this rule change is that it will allow the American citizen relatives to avoid long separations from immediate family members, reduce hardship, and ensure family unity.

USCIS Initiative Demonstrates Support for Immigrant Entrepreneurs
December 17, 2012

Now is a great time to be an immigrant entrepreneur in America. Immigrants are natural entrepreneurs and USCIS is hoping to encourage and harness their energy by creating a new initiative that will increase the job creation potential of employment-based and high-skilled visa categories. They have dubbed this program Entrepreneurs in Residence ("EIR"), which is an initiative that uses policy efforts within the framework of existing immigration laws to promote and help grow the U.S. economy and American jobs. The new USCIS outlook on this valuable group may lead to new laws that fix the ill-fitting organization of current Federal laws and policies across the agency.

Where is the Provisional Waiver?
November 13, 2012

One of the most popular immigration avenues available right now is for family members to petition for their immediate relatives. Unfortunately, often they are turned away because their immediate relatives are inadmissible to the United States for entering the United States without inspection ("EWI"). The main avenue around this currently is a hardship waiver that must be applied for outside the U.S. For families this means months apart outside the United States with the possibility of a denial hanging over the entire process. USCIS finally sought to make this process easier and announced a proposed rule at the beginning of the year. The proposed rule would allow for waivers to be filed and approved before the relative leaves the country, but after almost a year we are still waiting.

Tax Court Upholds Use of Gift Tax Annual Exclusion
November 12, 2012

Recently, the Tax Court held that gifts of limited partnership interests made by a decedent during his life were gifts of present interests that qualified for the annual exclusion, currently $13,000.00 per person per donee. Estate of George H. Wimmer, TC Memo 2012-157. Internal Revenue Code Section 2503(b) provides that the first $13,000.00 of gifts made to any person are free of gift tax if they are not gifts of future interest in property. Under regulations, a present interest is an unrestricted right to immediate use, possession, or enjoyment of property or the income from property. Treas. Reg. § 25.2503-3(b).

COURT HOLDS EXECUTOR PERSONALLY LIABLE FOR FAILING TO HONOR IRS LEVY
November 7, 2012

A federal District Court in New York recently determined that an executor of an estate was personally liable for an IRS levy when he distributed funds to a beneficiary after being notified of the levy. U.S. v. Michel, (2012 D.C.N.Y.) 110 AFTR 2d 2012-5117. Liability attached even though the executor's attorney advised him that the levy had been satisfied. The court determined that the attorney was not a necessary party in order to determine whether the IRS could prevail against the executor. The court determined that even if the executor had acted in good faith, the absence of intentional or negligent conduct was not relevant to his liability under Internal Revenue Code Section 6332 for failing to satisfy the levy.

H. Wayne  Grant
Author:
David Higney Again Recognized by The International Who's Who
October 26, 2012

Chattanooga (October 25, 2012) -- Chattanooga attorney David Higney again is listed as one of the leading environmental law counselors by The International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers 2012. In 2011, Mr. Higney was the only attorney not located in Nashville and one of only four environmental attorneys in Tennessee to be honored and, again in 2012, of the four Tennessee lawyers selected Mr. Higney is the only Tennessee environmental attorney selected outside of Nashville.

Voting is Just One of the Many Benefits of Citizenship
October 26, 2012

With the Presidential election only weeks away, it reminds us all of one of the largest benefits of being a U.S. Citizen, voting. Only U.S. citizens can vote in Federal elections and most states also restrict voting to U.S. citizens. Aliens cannot run for many elected offices, meaning that they are restricted from having their views heard and being able to represent immigrants like them.

Jim K. Petty
Author:
New Deferred Action Relief for DREAMers
October 25, 2012

New Deferred Action Relief for DREAMers

H. Wayne  Grant
Author:
US and Tennessee Announce Clean Water Act Agreement
July 18, 2012

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General announced today a comprehensive Clean Water Act settlement with the city of Chattanooga, Tenn. Chattanooga has agreed to pay a $476,400 civil penalty and make improvements to its sewer systems, estimated by the city at $250 million, to eliminate unauthorized overflows of untreated raw sewage. Chattanooga also has agreed to implement a green infrastructure plan and perform an $800,000 stream restoration project.

NEW PROCESS ON HARDSHIP WAIVER APPLICATIONS
April 24, 2012

On January 9, 2012, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("CIS") announced a proposed rule, Provisional Waivers of Inadmissibility for Certain Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens. The proposed rule would streamline the adjudication process of waivers of inadmissibility for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens by allowing aliens to file waiver applications and wait for adjudication in the U.S. This could be beneficial to tens of thousands of families with an immediate relative that entered the U.S. illegally; whereas the alien previously would have had to leave the U.S. for an extended period in order to get a green card, the alien can now wait in the U.S. for preliminary approval and have a much shortened wait abroad.

Grant Konvalinka & Harrison, P.C., serves clients in Tennessee cities such as Chattanooga, Cleveland, East Ridge, Red Bank, Jasper, Collegedale, Athens, Decatur, Altamont, McMinnville, Manchester, Dunlap, Winchester, Fayetteville, Soddy-Daisy, Etowah, Dayton, Charleston, Tullahoma, Fort Oglethorpe, Dalton, Chatsworth, Calhoun, Summerville, Lafayette, Ringgold, Chattanooga Valley, Chickamauga, Tunnel Hill and Trenton.

Counties: Hamilton County, Bradley County, McMinn County, Sequatchie County, Grundy County, Franklin County, Coffee County, Warren County, Dade County, Catoosa County.

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