Probate abuse clips from (11/15/15)

November 11, 2015


A ceremony was held for the reveal of a new home in New Fairfield for a World War II veteran, who said his court-appointed conservator took advantage of him.

United States Army Veteran Lou Russo said he was disillusioned after learning how a conservator was spending his life savings. But, countless volunteers pulled together to rebuild his home after it fell into total disrepair.


Canfield must return some estate tax money to state (OH)

Youngstown Vindicator

November 11, 2015

Fiscal officer Carmen Heasley gave bad news about a big receipt from 2014: Canfield Township has to return $11,033 of the more than $700,000 it received in state funds last year.

The estate-tax money came from the estate of Joseph M. Schwebel, but attorneys are seeking additional expenditures of $11,033 from the state, Heasley said.


Santa Claus Will Leave The Building In 2016 — Author’s Heirs Prevail Over EMI

JD Supra (press release)

November 11, 2015

In Baldwin, et al. v. EMI Feist Catalog, Inc., the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was tasked with determining when and how the rights to the song “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” (the “Song”) would properly terminate.  The heirs to one of the Song’s co-authors challenged the assertions of the copyright holder, EMI Feist Catalog, Inc. (“EMI”).  Relying on bedrock principles of contract law, the Second Circuit ruled in Plaintiffs’ favor, concluding that EMI’s current rights to the Song were the result of an agreement executed in 1981 (the “1981 Agreement”), and that a 2007 Termination Notice would terminate that agreement in 2016.

In 1934, the Song’s original authors, J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie, transferred the copyright to the Song to EMI’s predecessor (“Feist”) by agreement (the “1934 Agreement”). The 1934 Agreement provided that Feist would publish the Song within one year.  Additional agreements were signed over the years, including agreements in 1951 (the “1951 Agreement”) and 1981 (the “1981 Agreement”).  Under these additional agreements and various acts of Congress, the rights to the Song were ultimately extended such that they would not expire until December 31, 2029.