Salem Solo

'It's All About Me'

Bon Jovi and Rebecca Black: Neither One Is In the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame…yet

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Hey since I’ve got my own Blog,  I’m going to take this opportunity to add my (non-singing) voice to those who criticize the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame…The HOF was created in 1983, eventually found a home in Cleveland, Ohio and currently, for performers, has inducted almost a hundred (92) groups, and almost two hundred (196) individual performing artists. You can find them all on the Hall’s website: www.rockhall.com. Yup, there’s plenty of deserving members in the Rock & Roll HOF and this post has nothing to do with them. The problem is that there’s so many deserving  artists who are not in the HOF… As stated on the HOF website, the criteria used for eligibility and admission is the following: 

“To be eligible for induction as an artist (as a performer,  composer, or musician) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the artist must have released a record, in the generally accepted sense of that phrase, at least 25 years prior to the year of induction; and have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence. 

We shall consider factors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.”

The Hall also considers “…the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll”.

By that criteria, it took artists like Bob Seger and Neil Diamond (who was eligible, but not inducted, for 20 years) much too long to get in…But, at least, they’re “in”. When you think of musical excellence, body of work, and songs you still hear (or wish you still did), there are many artists that come to mind. Many of them had their best days in the 1980s – the Greatest Decade in Rock & Roll History (Sorry 1970s, but we have to ‘deduct points’  for disco…). Many have had lengthy careers, some continuing to this day, and their music will play on forever. So, crank up your iPod and consider all of these great artists that are not in the Rock HOF:

Chicago (top 40 hits spanning 4 decades), Hall & Oates (seven #1 hits); Pat Benatar (19 top 40 hits, she had the 2nd video ever played on MTV); KISS (Musical icons with over 100 million albums sold); ELO (27 top 40 hits); Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (Joan was also a member of the 1st ‘all girl’ rock band: the Runaways), Chubby Checker (the only artist to reach #1 twice – with the same song: ‘The Twist’), Def Leppard (Hey, Taylor Swift is a big fan, and, c’mon, their drummer has the use of only one arm!).

ABBA has been inducted and included in the HOF (OK they’ve sold as many albums, worldwide, as the Beatles and, yes, they’re a ‘guilty pleasure’) but how ’bout these talented, influential Artists that are still not in the Hall:

Heart, the Moody Blues, 3 Dog Night, Journey, Rush,  Foreigner, Bad Company, the Guess Who, the Turtles, Tommy James, Carole King, Deep Purple, the Cars, Jimmy Buffett, Tina Turner (without Ike) and yes (why not?), even Tom Jones…and any other potential candidate you may want to sing the praises of, or maybe just thought of while reading this (partial) list…

It’s time for the HOF to throw its doors wide open and let the musical celebration truly begin. They only induct  5 to 7 artists every year… why place an artificial limit on the process? Maybe the Hall should form a “veterans committee” to look into catching up with some of these, and other, deserving artists before it’s too late…

The cable music channel VH1 loves to count down the top songs in a variety of categories. Well, they’ve counted down the Top 100 songs of the 1980s. Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ was voted the #1 song of the entire decade…Jon Bon Jovi, along with bandmate Richie Sambora, have each been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, the group has sold over 130 million albums, and they still play to sold out arenas,  playing to over 1.5 million fans in 2010. Bon Jovi has been eligible for induction into the Rock & Roll HOF since 2008…but they still haven’t made it…By my calculation, Rebecca Black (the 13-year-old who became an internet sensation with her ‘hit’ video “Friday”) will be eligible for the Hall in the year 2036 (at age 38). Here’s hoping the Hall gets its musical act together, and adds all of the great performers from the ‘Glory Days’ of Rock & Roll, to its HOF soundtrack, well before then…

Pet Smart: It is estimated that one-third of households in Massachusetts have either a dog or a cat. If you add in parrots, goldfish, and hamsters, I’m sure the numbers are even higher. Well, as of April 7, 2011,  a new law allows Massachusetts residents, like those in over 40 other states, to create and fund ‘pet trusts’ for the care of the owner’s pets, during or after the owner’s lifetime. Now you can take care of your furry or feathered family members by establishing a pet trust, for the care of all of your pets, in the event of your disability or death. Yes, the trust can be created in your Will. And the ‘pet trust’ is intended to continue through the lifetime of the pet (or the last of all named pets). The pet trust should name a trustee for the trust and a caretaker for the pet. Be aware that if you leave a million dollars to your pet chihuahua,”Tippy” a “court may reduce the amount of property held by the trust if…(the) amount exceeds the amount required for the intended use and…there will be no substantial adverse impact in the care, maintenance, health or appearance of the animal or animals.” That means no matter how much you love little Tippy, chances are she’s not getting your mansion, with butlers, maids and chefs…so, she may not lead the life of a Rock Star, but at least she can now be taken care of once you are no longer able to do so, or after you are gone. See Massachusetts General Laws ch. 203, sec. 3C.

Home Sweet Home: The new Massachusetts Homestead Law went into effect on March 16, 2011. If you already have a Declaration of Homestead, recorded at the Registry of Deeds, there is no need to re-file for homestead protection due to any statutory changes. The new Homestead Law creates the opportunity, for homeowners with their title in a trust, for you to now also be able to obtain Homestead protection. A trustee can execute a Declaration of Homestead on behalf of the trust’s beneficiaries, provided that each named beneficiary occupies or intends to occupy the home as their primary residence. I hope to be attending a seminar covering this legal topic (among others) in the near future. If I do, I will report back to the class in my next blogpost. Until then, for additional information, you can see the website for the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office (it has a section on Homesteads). See also Massachusetts General Laws ch. 188, secs. 1 – 8.  

Going, going, gone: I will be debuting a ‘new & improved’ website, for my law office, on (or after) May 1, 2011. If you are reading this before that date, please check out my (then) current website for the ‘before’, and after that date check out my (then) current website for the ‘after’. In either case, the website address is: www.rpattersonlaw.com

Disclaimer: This Blog site is designed to provide general information and should not be construed as legal advise, or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. This Blog site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer-client relationship.

Written by Richard B Patterson, Jr.

April 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Law

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iCame, iSaw, iPhoned, iTweeted

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I’m a big fan of my iPhone. Sometimes I think I’m hooked up to it like an I-V. Photos, music and an App for almost anything. I’ve got everything from the Bible to the U.S. Constitution to the Massachusetts General Laws stuffed in there. TV and radio stations, stores and banks, a couple of games and even noises (yup, my vuvuzela). Hey, you could even use your iPhone to write your blog. And yes, there’s an App for Salem! All right there on my iPhone, and just about all of it for absolutely no charge.

And then there’s Twitter…

I love my Twitter Apps (I’ve got four different ones…). I don’t use Twitter to communicate back and forth with any one individual or ‘follower’ (text me), it hasn’t been useful (so far) in marketing (even though there are lots of people selling lots of stuff on Twitter), and it’s not very effective for networking (try Facebook or LinkedIn instead). It seems most people either don’t like Twitter or just don’t bother with it. Facebook, sure…Twitter, no thanks… But there’s a growing trend of internet users, like me, who use Twitter for another reason. I’m now one of the many who use Twitter as my primary source for world-wide news and information. And boy does the news and information come streaming in! I tell people that, with Twitter, if there’s a bus accident in Thailand, I know about it 10 minutes later…I’m only half-joking… On Twitter, I subscribe to (‘follow’) a variety of ‘breaking news’ services. There’s also plenty of mainstream news organizations and newspapers on Twitter. Pick and choose your favorites, local or national, they’re all on Twitter. Follow them and, chances are, they’ll follow you too. And the news stories are updated continuously, as they’re happening. Hey, by the time I get to the 10:oo or 11:oo news on TV, it’s already ‘old’ news. If you ‘follow’, they will lead. And their tweets usually come with links to the actual (full length) news story or article. Once I get it, I can ‘retweet’ it to you, and everyone else on Twitter who is following me. But my tweet also goes out to anyone out there in Twitterland, out in the public domain. That’s right, unlike your posts on Facebook, your tweets are out there for public consumption. So grab your iPhone (or favorite electronic device) and jump into the Twitter stream. And ‘breaking news’ doesn’t have to be the only fish in your ‘stream’…. for me, I follow:

a young lady battling cancer (she’s doing OK…);

odd (legal) news (yup, they’re ‘lowering the bar’, sorta speak);

inspirational quotes (good for the mind & soul…);

funny one-liners (good for a giggle…);

the Mayor of Salem, the City of Salem, and just about anything else Salem-related (hey, I’m all about Salem);

iPhone news, iPhocus, and iPhone App news (one’s in German, I don’t care…);

a ‘California girl’ who’s a model and a law student (wow);

the New England Patriots and the NFL (I’m a big football fan);

‘Lady Gaga Watch’ (ya, all the latest Gaga news) and ‘Cheetahwood’ (poor Tiger…);

I even follow ‘Facebook’, a ‘Facebook Geek’, and ‘Twitter’ (yup, they’re all on…Twitter);

I’ve sprinkled in some law sites and legal publications (hey, it’s what I do), along with celebrity news, gossip, and pop culture sites…

Fascinating and informative…Someday, maybe the marketing and networking will work out for me on Twitter. But in the meantime, if you’re looking for a customized news and information flow, there’s nothing else like Twitter. And, it’s all there on your smartphone of choice. Yup, you’ve got the whole world, in your hand… Hey, by the way, did I tell you about the article I saw about the next generation iPhone…or the one about Lady Gaga’s new album… or how about the link to my latest blog-post. Whoa, wait a minute, that almost sounds like marketing (or is it networking?)…on Twitter? OK, fine… just don’t get in the way of Lady Gaga…

Speaking of Twitter: You can ‘follow’ me on Twitter by using the link located in the right hand margin of this page…

Speaking of the iPhone: The internet buzz is that the next generation iPhone (the ‘iPhone 5′- coming soon!) will include 4G network capability, more carriers (more than just AT&T), longer battery life, improved 3D graphics, and the ability to use it as a credit card (will that be cash, charge or iPhone?). Wow, I’m in…

Legal Briefs: On September 30, 2010, Massachusetts became one of the more than 30 states that outlaw texting while driving. It is now against the law to compose, send or read electronic messages while operating a motor vehicle in Massachusetts. Nationally, in 2008, there were approximately 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries attributed to ‘distracted driving’. And most of the distractions involved cell phone use. It is my understanding that this new law is a point of emphasis for police throughout the Commonwealth. They’re saying “Don’t text and drive” and you’ll: “Save a life and your cash” (it’s punishable by a fine). But hey, you already knew better…     

Disclaimer: This Blog site is designed to provide general information and should not be construed as legal advise, or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. This Blog site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer-client relationship.

Written by Richard B Patterson, Jr.

December 29, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Posted in Law

Hey, Don’t I Know You From Facebook?

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Facebook is my connection to the outside world. I really like Twitter (more on that later, in a future post), but more as a supplement, not as a replacement, to Facebook. On Facebook, I’m reaching out to (or listening in on) hundreds of ‘friends’. Some I went to high school with, some I grew up with, and some I may actually meet some day. Ya, some ‘friends’ I’ve ‘met’ first on Facebook, then, literally, ‘in person’ at a later date. I am now friends with a ton of musicians, and a bunch of photographers. Hey, I think it’s called ‘networking’. I’m reaching out to, and shaking hands with, the outside world. And Facebook is one of my platforms. It’s probably my favorite platform. So, ya, it’s nice to meet you. It’s just me. The one and only. Both at home and in the office. I live alone and, as an attorney, I also work alone. A solo practitioner. No office staff, not even a secretary. All here in beautiful Salem, Massachusetts. So, I’m thinkin’: let’s call this Blog: ‘Salem Solo’, and…now you know why…

Facebook is my employee cafeteria, local coffee shop, high school reunion, and family get-together all rolled into one. And, as a lawyer in Salem, I’m networking. And marketing. Almost every day. If I don’t, who will? Potential clients won’t find me without some help. So even if it’s just handing out a business card or three, adding my Website to another directory, or posting something on Twitter (with the occasional link to my Website), I am always doing something …anything…to market my law office. God I love it when someone finds me on-line. Ya, as a Solo practitioner, it doesn’t take much to make my boss happy. The Website is low maintenance. Business cards are cheap. Sign up for Twitter: It’s free! And there is no charge (at least not yet) to join Facebook, with your own potential personal audience of 5,000! On Facebook, ‘it’s all about me’ – it’s my Facebook page, not a ‘Law Firm’ Fan Page. I see ‘em, but I just don’t know if it’s a good fit for Facebook (‘My lawyer can beat up your lawyer!’). The practice of law can be too subjective. Your case (divorce!) may be too emotional. And we’re considered too expensive (attorneys, not Fan Pages). Leave the Fan Pages to bars and restaurants (and musicians and photographers). But I do enjoy Facebook. And with a Facebook ‘stadium’ that can seat up to 5,000 friends (granted only a dozen or so may actually show up on a regular basis), Facebook is my community outreach. I think it’s also a subtle form of law office marketing. There, on Facebook, on my Info/Profile page, you can find a section which provides a summary about my law firm, along with links to my website, my LinkedIn profile, and my Twitter page. And now, a link to this Blog! ‘Friend’ or not, anyone can click onto my Website or Twitter account through Facebook. I’m not shy about that. Those privacy controls are ‘off’. And I know you’re out there. So, let’s connect! Other than that, when I’m on Facebook, I talk about me, without talking to myself. I may ‘talk’ football or anything that has to do with Salem. There may be an occasional law-related reference (Hey, I’m going to the Salem Bar Association Christmas party!). And if you happen to have a legal question, ‘friends’ have sent private messages (I can’t solve your problems that way, but it might be a start…). I’ll post (what I think are) interesting or humorous ‘slice of life’ stories, sometimes with a law-related or Facebook angle. I’ve also re-connected with long-lost relatives and people I graduated with from High School. Many of those ‘friends’ I would have never ‘seen’ again in my lifetime. My buddy’s kid in Florida will often hit me up on ‘Chat’ if she sees me on Facebook. I probably wouldn’t talk to Angela otherwise. She’s over a thousand miles away. And she’s 9 years old…I stay away from discussing politics or religion (with Angela or anyone else) on Facebook. I’m not looking for an argument (I’ll save that for Court). I’m at least enjoying myself, and keeping up with the latest chatter (photos included!) I may not be making a name for myself, but I think I just may be getting my name out there…and having a good time doing it. Hey, I don’t want to take the ‘social’ out of ‘social networking’. All the while this just might be some form of low-key marketing… or networking…for an hour or so… everyday… and you really didn’t even notice. Or maybe, at a minimum, you’ll keep me in mind for future reference. And for me it’s a lot more fun than ‘posting’ business cards on the wall of the laundromat across the street…Well, I suppose I could always write a blog…Ya, right…

Legal Briefs: Effective August 5, 2010, Massachusetts increased the maximum limit for Small Claims cases to $7,000.00 (and that amount does not include any possible double or triple damages). The prior damages limit was $2,000.oo. Filing fees also increased (graduated scale, up to a maximum filing fee of $150.00). Small claims cases are usually, initially heard by Clerk-Magistrates in District Court. This new increased limit will no doubt further burden an already over burdened system. It will also allow many more civil litigants to ‘go it alone’, and take advantage of the informal Small Claims procedure, without the benefit of an attorney. I would point out that an attorney may now be more affordable in that we may be able to resolve your ‘small claims’ case (up to $7,000.00) with one Court appearance, without the necessity of going through the formal (and time-consuming) procedure involved in a typical civil action in regular District Court…

Welcome: This is the first edition in what I hope will be a series of ‘Salem Solo’ blog posts – each post will have a law-related and/or Salem theme, or, then again, maybe not…I am also not on any set posting schedule (my boss doesn’t care). Follow me on Twitter for announcements of future blog posts, and, of course, you can also find me on Facebook. Thanks for checking out ‘Salem Solo’ (stop by anytime).

Disclaimer: This Blog site is designed to provide general information and should not be construed as legal advise, or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. This Blog site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer-client relationship.

Written by Richard B Patterson, Jr.

September 26, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Posted in Law

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