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Social Media Dictionary: Basic Blogging Terms You Should Know

April 22, 2014

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In preparation for my talk in DC on Thursday, I was asked to compile this list of blog terminology.  Here you go:

Archives: Blogs can be sorted into a date or theme-based archive so readers can find older information easily.

Authors: The people who write the blog posts. There can be one or more authors for a single blog. A blogger can also invite guest authors.

Blog: Web Log. A journal that is on the internet that is chronologically ordered.

Blogroll: A list of related blogs that a blogger is promoting on his or her blog that he or she finds interesting or useful. Blogrolls promote reciprocity and increased readership.

Categories: The subjects into which blogposts can be categorized. Readers can then focus on topics that most interest them.

Comments: Short text messages in response to blog posts, left by readers. Comments encourage interaction and conversation.

Header: Graphic at the top of the blog that displays the name of the blog, often includes a logo or other visual element. Is visible on every page of the blog.

Permalinks: Short for “permanent link”. Each time a blogger adds a post to his or her blog, that post typically appears on the blog’s home page. At the same time, blog software creates a permalink page to contain only that blog post and its comments. Permalink pages are why blogs do so well with search engines. Every post adds a new page to your blog website and provides another opportunity for your blog to come up as a search result.

Post or entry: Each time a blogger updates the blog, he or she creates a blog post or entry, which is added to the blog.

RSS Feed Link: RSS is Really Simple Syndication. Readers can use RSS to subscribe to your blog by using a newsreader, like Google Reader. From a newsreader phone app or website, he or she can read the latest updates from several blogs in one place, without having to visit each and every blog every day.

Sidebar: Most blogs are laid out into two or three columns, with the middle column being the largest and containing the blog posts themselves. The other columns or sidebars can contain peripheral information, latest tweets, most popular posts, author pictures, archives, blogrolls, search windows, share buttons, and links to Twitter account, Facebook page, and/or firm website.

SOURCE: Blogging for Dummies, Bair, Amy Lupold & Gardner, Susannah (2014 5th edition)

 

 

Mamma Mia! Sbarro LLC Turns to Bankruptcy Once Again

April 22, 2014

0310-sbarro_full_600          The well-known pizza chain Sbarro LLC, and its numerous related entities (“debtors,” collectively), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on March 10, 2014.  A motion filed by debtors for joint administration of the cases was granted on March 12, and the case has been assigned to the Honorable Martin Glenn.

Both assets and liabilities in the case are listed to be between $100 million and $500 million. Between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors are estimated to exist, with various lease obligations constituting the bulk of debtors’ unsecured debt. However, Vistar Corporation, a trade creditor, holds the largest unsecured claim at approximately $540,000.

According to debtors’ pre-packaged reorganization plan, debtors propose to classify claims in the following manner: (1) Other Priority Claims; (2) Other Secured Claims; (3) Prepetition Secured Lender Claims; (4) General Unsecured Claims; (5) Intercompany Claims; (6) Equity Interests in Sbarro Holdings, Inc.; and (7) Intercompany Interests. The pre-packaged plan stipulates that classes (1), (2), and (7) will be “unimpaired.”  Impaired creditors are those whose legal rights against the company are being changed by the reorganization plan. Usually, this means the plan calls for paying them less, and usually far less, than what they’re owed.  Unimpaired creditors are those whose legal rights against the company aren’t changed by the plan

 

This is not the first time the debtors have turned to bankruptcy for relief. In April 2011, the rocketing prices of raw materials and declines in mall traffic (where many of debtors’ stores are located) forced debtors to file Chapter 11. Debtors’ emerged from bankruptcy having slashed debts from approximately $400 million to $130 million.

Debtors are represented by Nicole Greenblatt of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.

Thinking About Starting a Blog? : Be Inspired by the 9 Main Purposes of This Blog

April 13, 2014

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For my presentation in Washington, DC, in two weeks for the International Women’s Insolvency Confederation Spring Meeting, “IWIRC Talks Social Media” panel, I have taken a look back at the posts I (together with my law clerks) have written for my two blogs.  Here is what I have discovered about my writing.  Hopefully, this post will inspire you to blog about your craft, passion, favorite subject matter.  Let your enthusiasm be contagious.

The purposes of a blog can be many fold.  I have found that I write mostly for the following purposes:

Humanize Myself: I want to humanize myself as a lawyer/business. I am real person, not just a headshot.  I eat and breathe.  I have a family and a life, in addition to my legal work. Here are some such posts:

 

Evidence Industry expertise:  As a person whose livelihood depends on rainmaking, I have always known that developing an expertise in a specific industry is important. For me, my niches include fashion, technology, media, real estate.  I wish I were even more laser-focused, but with bankruptcy work, the cases cut across many industries.

Add value/inform: My lawyer coach Cordell Parvin has taught me that marketing should be “pull marketing” not “push marketing”. He says to create content that makes people want to be pulled toward you because you add value to them.  Writing this content comes easily to me because I always wanted to be a journalist and a professor.  Sitting at a Starbucks writing a blog post is down time for me.  Most of my posts over the last four years are of this nature.   I was ramping up my law firm and wanted to share was I was learning.  Here is a sampling:

Inform public and clients about local resources: When I consult my clients, I am obligated to let them know about the vast resources out there for entrepreneurs. Instead of giving them a flyer, we email them blog post links.  Here is a sample:

Chatham University Center for Women Entrepreneurship: Assisting Women Sine 2005

Need to Start a Business in Western PA: Read About Bridgeway Capital

  • Inform and promote community interests: Ever since I opened up shop in my hometown, I have also written more posts about events or concerns that impact the community.  I write things about which I authentically care. Authenticity is important.

WV’s 2014 Economic Outlook: Town Meeting with Attorney General’s Office

  • Promote outside events: A blog is a good way to SPREAD the word about external events, firm events, and about cool things your clients are doing.

Intellectual Capitol Presents: Where to Start: An A to Z Presentation for Entrepreneurs

  • Promote firm events:

2013 Holiday Fair Celebrating Women Swimming in the Stream of Commerce

Did you ever have a Grand Opening for your Business-Should you Re-Open your Business?

  • Customer profiling:

Coffee Talk with Stan Muschweck of Standout Marketing

What are Bloggers Saying About your Product or Service? Lessons Learned From Maniac Magazine’s Megaphone Marketing

Blue Tomato Design Firm: Salene’s Business of the Month

  • Evidence legal expertise: I do write about legal topics, but not that much. The posts take more time to put together.  I should repurpose more of my legal writings; I had to research/write them anyway for various engagements.  In April of 2013, upon Cordell’s insistence, I decided to spin off into another blog www.steelvalleybankruptcy.wordpress.com focused on business bankruptcy (my niche).  That is where I post more technical posts.  The audience for that blog is different than the audience for this one.

-New Developments:

Freedom Industries Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Following Historic WV Chemical Spill

Dragon Fire Inc. Running Out of Breath as it Files it’s Chapter 11

Dance Moms Instructor Abby Lee Miller Filed for Chapter 11 Protection: Public Disclosure of Private Facts

Fat Lady May Sing for the Last Time: The New York City Opera Files Chapter 11

-Technical:

The Company You Own Files Bankruptcy: Can Creditors Still Come After You?

Inside the Trenches of a Chapter 11: The Firehose of the First 30 Days

Chapter 7 or Chapter11: Which Bankruptcy Option is Best For My Business?

What the Heck is a Preference Action? Paying Off Favorite Creditors As a Business Tanks

Corporate Bankruptcy or Business Wind Down: Pros and Cons of a Chapter 7

Inside the trenches of a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Preparing the Initial Filing

What are the 5 Cs of Business Lending: Getting Financing in Today’s Environment

Call or email me if you want to talk more about getting your own blog started.   I will share my slides from my IWIRC panel as soon as we are finished!

 

 

 

 

 

Consumer Bankruptcy FAQ: Do Not Forget Forms of identification For Your 341 Meeting

April 13, 2014

ssncard     FAQ:  My 341 meeting of creditors is approaching.  What forms of identification do I need to bring with me to the meeting?  What if I don’t have a drivers’ licenses or social security card?

      Most people bring a drivers license or passport and a social security card.  Do not forget to bring these.  The Chapter 7 Trustee will adjourn the hearing if you do not have proper ID.  This will mean more lawyers fees for you and possibly having to ask for another day off of work.   ORDER a duplicate SOCIAL SECURITY CARD if you have lost yours.   A W-2 works too as long as it has your social security number on it.  See entire list of acceptable id at this link.

 

 

 

FAQ- Do I need a Federal Employment Identification Number?

April 13, 2014

I am in the process of incorporating an LLC for a client.

I am running across some basic information that people frequently ask me.  Here is one of the first questions:

Do I need an EIN?

You need an EIN if you:

Started a new business
Hired or will hire employees, including household employees
Opened a bank account that requires an EIN for banking purposes
Changed the legal character or ownership of your organization (for example, you incorporate a sole proprietorship or form a partnership)
Purchased a going business
Created a trust
Created a pension plan as a plan administrator
Are a foreign person and need an EIN to comply with IRS withholding regulations
Are a withholding agent for taxes on non-wage income paid to an alien (such as an individual, a corporation, or a partnership)
Are a state or local agency
Are a federal government unit or agency
Formed a corporation
Formed a partnership
Administer an estate formed as a result of a person’s death
Represent an estate that operates a business after the owner’s death.

SOURCE:  SEE ALSO http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Do-You-Need-a-New-EIN

 

Cooper-Booth Management Co. files for Chapter 11

April 13, 2014

By: Katie Imler, Law Clerk

 

On May 21, 2013, Cooper-Booth Management Company, Inc. a full-line, full-service wholesale distributor for retailers and convenience stores, filed for a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Case No. 2:13-bk-14522). The company began in 1865 as Booth Tobacco Company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Being family owned and operated for three generations, Cooper-Booth has been recognized as one of the Top 20 leading convenience store wholesales in the country. Murton Margolis is Emeritus and Barry Margolis is President.

 

Cooper-Booth, located at 200 Lincoln West Drive, Mountville, PA 17554 listed assets of $500,000-$1 million and liabilities of $10-$50 million enumerating over 200 creditors . See summary of the docket here. Schedules are due June 4, 2013. The Debtor is represented by Aris J. Karalis and Robert W. Seitzer of Maschmeyer Karalis P.C., 1900 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Cooper-Booth’s largest creditors include Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury-Alcohol & Tobacco Tax $7,438,500.00, PA Department of Revenue $3,330,768.00, New York State Department of Tax & Finance Division of Treasury $3,140,324.74, Delaware Division of Revenue $1,563,285.93.

 

CooperBooth Product OfferingThe federal government has frozen the Debtor’s bank accounts while an investigation is pending to determine if one of the Debtor’s customers has been illegally smuggling untaxed cigarettes into New York. Basel Ramadan and his brother, Samer Ramadan, bought cigarettes from the Debtor Cooper Booth Wholesale Inc. using business fronts in Virginia allowing them to pay the $0.30/pack Virginia cigarette tax instead of the $4.35/pack cigarette tax in New York.

The two moved 20,000 cigarettes a week to the New York City area without paying the New York taxes, which cost the state approximately $80 million in taxes. See more on the story here.

 

The Debtor’s case was initially assigned to the Honorable Judge Eric L. Frank, but was reassigned to the Honorable Judge Magdeline D. Coleman. On May 22, 2013 Judge Coleman issued an order demanding timely filing of all Schedules. Judge Coleman also entered an order directing the joint administration of Debtors’ Chapter 11 Cases 13-14522 and 13-14521 pursuant to Bankruptcy Code § 1015(b), determining 13-14519 as the lead case. The Debtor’s second voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy was for Cooper-Booth Transportation Company, LP (Case No. 2:13-bk-14521), which listed $1-$10 million in both assets and liabilities. Most of the liabilities are for state and federal taxes.

 

The University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence Celebrates 20 Years of Empowering Local Entrepreneurs!

April 13, 2014

By:  Justin A. SaporitoMAZURKRAEMER Law Clerk

Founded in 1993 and run out of the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE) began with a $300,000 grant and the mission of being the “innovative leader of economic renewal and growth serving enterprising people and businesses in the region.”  In pursuit of this mission the IEE utilizes a dynamic approach of programs and services including monthly workshops, customized consulting, social initiatives, educational programs, professionally-led peer forums, and social events.

Institute-for-Entrepren.-Excellence

This dynamic program has led the IEE to grow to $3 million in annual revenue and the annual serving of hundreds of businesses through its seminars, customized consulting, and millions of dollars in raised capital and revenue.  Last year alone the IEE served 824 businesses, helped create 39 startups, raised $10.7 million in capital, increased $14.4 million in revenue for clients, and educated more than 1,400 business leaders through 56 programs and seminars. (according to its 2012 Community Impact Report)

The IEE provides its services through its 8 institute centers and programs.  These centers/programs consist of Agricultural Entrepreneurship, a 12-month Entrepreneurial Fellows Program, the Family Enterprise Center, the Information Technology Program, PantherlabWorks, the Small Business Development Center, Student Entrepreneurship program in conjunction with Katz School of Business, and the Urban Entrepreneurship Program.  For more information about these programs please click here.  To take advantage of one or more of these programs an individual or firm must become an IEE member.  Membership includes benefits in addition to participation in IEE programs.  For more information about membership please see the IEE’s membership brochure or contact the IEE’s membership director Shelley Taylor.

For more information about the IEE please visit their website at http://www.entrepreneur.pitt.edu.

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