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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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IC-DISC's--Still a Great Option Even with Benefits Diminished in 2013
March 7, 2013

Congress extended the IC-DISC benefits, although changes in tax rates beginning January 1, 2013 have somewhat diminished the tax savings.

COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
February 25, 2013

Recent developments regarding comprehensive immigration reform in our nation's capitol are intriguing, but the plans are still in infancy and vague. On January 28, 2013 eight U.S. Senators, led by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), unveiled the outlines of an immigration plan. The statement of principles is rather broad. It sets out "four basic pillars": 1) a "tough but fair path to citizenship . . . contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country as required"; 2) reform our legal immigration system with a greater eye toward our economic needs; 3) workplace verification; and 4) setting up a system for admitting future workers. In essence, the eight senators acknowledge that the U.S. cannot deport the 11 million (or any substantial fraction thereof) undocumented immigrants. The outline can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/bfksdrp. The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on immigration reform in February, and some expect a bill in March 2013.

STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER - SOCIAL MEDIA IN LITIGATION
February 12, 2013

In today's information age, it is not new advice that content posted on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Linkedin and other online forums is generally open to the world to see. In an October, 2012 blog post, Facebook claimed to have one billion users. Postings on these social media websites, many of which are updated on a daily if not hourly basis, are a modern, electronic form of communication in a highly public forum. Social media is proving to be a hot source for evidence in litigation. When these communications become relevant in litigation, they are, to the consternation of users, discoverable regardless of the privacy policy of the social media website. Even more importantly, these communications are discoverable even though the user or poster believed that the posting would be confined to the private social media page or account. These postings contain a wealth of personal information, and litigators can use these resources to find evidence helpful to prosecute or defend a claim, to impeach a witness, or even to assist in the selection of a juror.

Is Child Support in Tennessee Fair?
January 8, 2013

Lately, as an almost exclusive domestic law attorney, I hear questions as to whether child support is "fair". In this law firm, you will often times hear that the only thing fair in life is "fair skin, fair skies and the place you put your prized pig". It did not take long to figure out in this business that although the intentions of the law are to be fair to the parties, ultimately, it is rare, absent an agreement, that the parties feel they got a fair deal. Child support is one of those categories. With the divorce rate and children born out of wedlock rate, many people at least know of someone who has to deal with a child support issue, and/or are dealing with one of their own. Unfortunately, this knowledge typically influences new clients to feel like they know what is "fair".

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.

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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