First Time Entrepreneur Workshop

Join us on September 24th for our next First Time Entrepreneur workshop with the LA Venture Association (LAVA)!

At this workshop you will learn how to:

  • Determine the value of your company
  • Put together a capitalization table
  • Understand how Venture Capitalists screen potential investments
  • Understand the differences between trademarks, copyrights and patents and when you need each of them
  • Choose co-founders
  • Network at startup events — the right way

Date:     Saturday, September 24, 2016

Time:     10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: Crowley Corporate Legal Strategy 15840 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 311, Encino, CA 91436

For more information and how to register, please click here: First Time Entrepreneur Workshop

New Book! ‘Winning the Game’

I am thrilled to announce that I just published my second book!

Winning the Game:  How to Successfully Sell Your Business” is the companion to my first book on venture capital for first time entrepreneurs.

By reading Winning the Game, you’ll learn how to successfully sell your business using the advice of a corporate lawyer with $6+ billion in merger & acquisition experience. This book breaks down the lessons that a business owner needs to learn to have a successful exit. Each chapter is geared toward explaining in simple terms what a business owner needs to know about finding buyers and getting to a deal. The book guides the reader through challenging concepts like earnouts and indemnification in an easy-to understand format. The author shares life lessons from other business owners to help the reader avoid pitfalls.


Winning the Game is live on Amazon now and is currently listed as the #1 New Release in Consolidation & Merger!

Winning - book cover2.JPG

University of Notre Dame

Last month I had the opportunity to speak briefly to a group of Notre Dame students and some of my fellow alumni about entrepreneurship. I informed them of the workshops that our firm participates in, particularly through the LA Venture Association (LAVA) and other services that are available to entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles area.

Go Irish!


Downtown Women’s Center: Cooking Club

We had a wonderful time cooking with clients, colleagues, and friends at the Downtown Women’s Center cooking club last week. We made soy sauce chicken, cilantro rice, Asian salad, and fruit salad for the women to enjoy for lunch the next day.

Thanks to all who volunteered with us!


You can find out more information about the DWC and volunteer opportunities at:



Non-Compete Agreements and Sandwiches

We recently read with amusement that Jimmy John’s finally agreed to stop making their sandwich-maker employees sign non-compete agreements. Jimmy John’s operates in a number of states where employees can be required to sign non-compete agreements as part of their employment. New York, however, had to tell Jimmy John’s the obvious – asking these folks to sign these agreements was unreasonable.

California is very protective of employees’ right to work and will not allow employers to require such non-compete agreements from their employees. The only time California allows such agreements to be enforced is if the agreement is required from an employee/owner of a business as part of a sale transaction.

For further reading, here are the full statements from New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman regarding this issue:

1. A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlement With Major Legal News Website Law360 To Stop Using Non-Compete Agreements For Its Reporters

2. A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlement With Jimmy John’s To Stop Including Non-Compete Agreements In Hiring Packets

Last Call: First Time Entrepreneur Workshop

This is the last call for our First Time Entrepreneur workshop on Saturday June 18th!

The program is open to entrepreneurs that are starting companies in areas that are likely to draw venture capital investment. The program is not open to service providers.

During our five hour program, you will learn how to:

  • Determine the value of your company
  • Put together a capitalization table
  • Understand how VCs screen potential investments
  • Understand the differences between trademarks, copyrights and patents and when you need them
  • Choose co-founders
  • Network at startup events — the right way

Saturday June 18, 2016 (10am-3pm)

Santa Monica Place Mall – EXPERT DOJO ,(The Old Redwood Grill, Next to the Cheesecake Factory)
395 Santa Monica Place
The Community Room – 3rd Floor
Santa Monica, California  90401

For more information and how to register, please click here:


Trademark correspondence from non-USPTO sources


Trademark applicants are in a unique position of receiving unsolicited e-mails and letters regarding their trademarks – some of which can sound intimidating and can cause unwarranted stress. Two such unsolicited communications that we have recently encountered are: (1) an email notifying a client of an office action on its trademark application with an offer to help with the response and (2) a notice of publication of a trademark application for opposition and a request for a wire of over $1,600 to a foreign company to list the trademark in their publication.

Why does this happen?

When submitting a trademark application through the USPTO website, it is important for clients to remember that the information submitted is accessible to the public. Not only is the original application searchable on the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), but every correspondence that occurs throughout the process is posted on TESS, including office action notices, responses, publication details, and refusal notices!

While neither of the notices that our clients received had any official USPTO insignia on them, they both arrived soon after they received the official USPTO notices and related to the exact topic at hand from those official notices. This shows us that people and companies are monitoring the USPTO website for any and all updates, and they are contacting applicants as soon as there is a new document posted on TESS. It is important to read though all documents and notices carefully and remember that most of these are not official USPTO communications! If you ever have any questions about correspondence that you’ve received, the USPTO is always available to answer your questions. They can usually tell you when the last official notice was sent and what the current status is, to help you figure out whether the correspondence you received is official.

And as always, we’re also here to help you decipher those notices.