Aereo Loses at Supreme Court

24/07/14 11:54 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:


In April, I wrote a blog discussing the case of American Broadcasting Companies, Inc v. Aereo, Inc. The case had just been argued in front of the Supreme Court, so a decision was a couple of months off. On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court finally issued its ruling with a 6-3 decision in favor of the broadcasting companies.

The majority’s decision found that Aereo did violate copyright law (I believe more specifically the 1976 Copyright Act). The Court also found that Aereo is basically a cable company, but didn’t necessarily call it a cable company in the ruling. What the six-justice majority didn’t buy into was Aereo’s arguments that they were simply renting equipment to customers instead of re-transmitting copyrighted material. Aereo’s use of thousands of tiny antennas each receiving an over-the-air signal did not sway the court.

The three-justice dissent was very skeptical of the majority’s decision (I guess this is often the case). Written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the opinion scoffed at the “looks-like-cable-TV” standard the majority used and accused the majority of putting together a “totality-of-the-circumstances test (which is not a test at all but merely assertion of an intent to perform test-free, ad hoc, case-by-case evaluation).” Justice Scalia basically argues that the Court is in a sense creating law: “It is not the role of this Court to identify and plug loopholes…[it is] the role of Congress to eliminate them if it wishes.”

The ruling effectively put Aereo out of business, or at least has them pausing their operations temporarily. However, Aereo does see some hope in the Supreme Court’s decision. Since Aereo is basically being called a cable company by the Court, maybe they should be treated the same as one and be allowed to keep operating if they pay the proper fees. Aereo did try its luck with the US Copyright Office and didn’t receive the warm response it was hoping for, but this argument is still to be heard in front of the court as the Supreme Court’s decision remanded the case back to a lower court. For now, all we can do is wait and see what will happen. My hope is Aereo is able to continue in some fashion so that we can see continued innovation and shake up in the traditional broadcast delivery methods.



Thinking About an IRA Rollover? You’re Running out of Time!

17/07/14 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:


Are you thinking about rolling your Traditional IRAs from one financial institution to another? Or maybe you need a temporary loan for less than 60 days. Whatever the reason may be, beware, the rules have changed.

You have 60 days after the day on which you receive your distribution to complete a rollover of your traditional IRA to another IRA. The entire amount of distribution from your IRA is taxable at your ordinary income tax rate if the rollover is not completed timely. In addition, if you are under the age of 59 ½ when the distribution is made, the amount is subject to the 10% penalty.

There’s a one-year waiting rule for rollovers. Until December 31, 2014, you are permitted to make one nontaxable rollover in any 1-year period for each IRA account, meaning that after you distribute assets from your IRA and rollover any part of that amount, you cannot make another rollover from the IRA to another (or the same) IRA within one year.

For example, you have two IRAs – IRA1 and IRA 2 – and you make a tax-free rollover from IRA1 into a new IRA (IRA3). You cannot make another tax-tree rollover from IRA1 or from IRA3 into another IRA within one year. You could, however, roll IRA2 into any other IRA because you did not roll money in to or out of that account.

A late February 2014 Tax Court case (Bobrow, T.C. Memo, 2014-21) changed the one-year rule. The Tax Court ruled that the limit of one rollover per year applies on an aggregate basis not on an IRA-by IRA basis. The Internal Revenue Server announced that the new rule will not apply to any rollover that involves a distribution that occurs before January 1, 2015.


The Wolf Pack Fast Break Golf Challenge – Golf with the Wolf Pack Basketball Players and Coaches

09/07/14 2:20 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:


Coach Carter’s Second Annual Fast Break Golf Challenge is one of the most fun preseason events! Last year the efforts of our Host Committee made this a great event with Wolf Pack boosters getting a chance to play golf with the basketball players and coaches. What a great way to get to know these kids and their coaches! This year we are again extending a unique opportunity for Wolf Pack basketball fans to get to know the players and coaches up close and personal by participating side by side with the players and coaches in the Golf Challenge. This will be a blast. Ask anyone who participated last year.

We are inviting a limited number of boosters to play with the players and coaches in the annual Fast Break Golf Challenge. We will not take our golf play too seriously. Each foursome working as a team will get to have bragging rights and will have a bond with these great kids that will translate into enthusiasm for following their player over the season.

We are raising funds for the team. We need to be competitive in the Mountain West, a conference rich in talented basketball teams. The event will be $250 per player. Space will be limited, first come first served. And the boosters entering the tournament this year will have the first chance to participate next year.

The Tournament will be held at Lakeridge August 28, 2014, 1:30 tee off time. Box lunch provided. Barbeque after. The Duncan Family has been gracious enough to host this event at their great new golf club. Golf shirts, barbeque at 5:30 and sunshine. What could be better?

Register by: Friday, August 15 Call: 775-682-6965 for info



Reno is Artown

02/07/14 11:02 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:


Barnard Vogler & Co. is celebrating its 45 Anniversary this year and during all of those 45 years, the firm has chosen to locate our offices in the downtown Reno area. Further, as one of the owners of our “locally-owned” firm, I have chosen to make my home in the downtown Reno neighborhood known as old southwest Reno and specifically the Newlands Manor area. My selection of this area more than 10 years ago was based partly on my hopes that Reno would continue to improve its downtown core area near the Truckee River. I am pleased with the progress that has been made over the years to the downtown area and recognize that there are many improvements that lie ahead as we strive to bring to fruition a vital year-round thriving downtown core area.

July 1st of each year marks the beginning of one of my favorite local events in our area. Artown is a month-long festival celebrating the arts and culture in Reno and northern Nevada. Artown’s mission is “to strengthen Reno’s arts industry, enhance our civic identity and national image, thereby creating a climate for the cultural and economic rebirth of our region.” I often find myself meeting people who have moved to Reno from other areas of the country and, if they are unfamiliar with our area, providing them with a list of “must-see” things to do. Artown is on that list and it cannot be adequately described in words…Artown must be experienced! I have had the pleasure of taking several people to their first Artown event and it has always been a successful outing. People become hooked and next thing you know, they are seeking out other types of events and venues. Artown is one of the many attractions of the northern Nevada area that makes me proud to call Reno my home.

If there are any people reading this blog in our area that have not experienced Artown firsthand, I say do it! I think you will be happy you did. My particular favorite events are the events that occur at Wingfield Park partly because of its proximity to my home but mostly because they are terrific entertainment. There are events nearly every weekday in the park and best of all they are free. The 2014 park events are as follows:

  • Monday Night-Family Series – 7/7, 14, 21 and 28 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday-Dancing in the Park – 7/8, 15, 22 and 29 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday-World Music – 7/2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday – Rollin on the River Music 7/4,11,18, 25 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday – Movies in the Park 7/11, 18, 25 – 9:00 p.m.

A complete Artown calendar is available here

Please celebrate July, the spectacular evenings and the arts at our very special and unique festival Artown.


Hiring for Potential

26/06/14 2:28 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:


What’s more important: experience or potential? In an accounting firm, experience can sometimes be the focus of a hiring decision. However, potential really is a smart hire. High performing potentials…that’s a win.

In Claudio Fernandez-Araoz’s article 21st Century Talent Spotting in the June 2014 Harvard Business Review, he points out that employers must focus on potential versus experience.

Managers must learn to assess current and prospective employees on five key indicators:

  1. Motivation
  2. Curiosity
  3. Insight
  4. Engagement
  5. Determination
  • Motivation: a fierce commitment to excel in the pursuit of unselfish goals
  • Curiosity: a penchant for seeking out new experiences, knowledge, and candid feedback and an openness to learning and change
  • Insight: the ability to gather and make sense of information that suggests new possibilities
  • Engagement: a knack for using emotion and logic to communicate a persuasive vision and connect with people
  • Determination: the wherewithal to fight for difficult goals despite challenges and to bounce back from adversity

Who wouldn’t want to hire someone with these key attributes? They have the ability to form their own career path and design their future.

Our jobs as employers is to make sure they have opportunities that push them out of their comfort zone…stretch development. We should always be growing and learning at all levels of our organizations.

The CEO of Zoetis prepared for the top job.  He put together a development plan. The first step was identifying a mentor, an experienced CEO from outside of his organization. The next step was to find a communication expert to work with. The audience for an IPO road show is quite different and it requires the skill to communicate your company’s strategy to the outside world. Another step he took was to develop the skills to manage a board.


It all starts with potential.


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