Black Lives Matter

Today, Delain Law Office, PLLC joins the world in mourning the loss of George Floyd. We pray for his family and friends as they lay him to rest, and we pray for every family who has lost a loved one at the hands of violence … especially police violence. We pray for their strength and for their healing. And we pray that they forgive us all for failing them so completely.
It has been more than one hundred and fifty years since Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, more than 10 years since we elected our first African American president. Many, many lives have been lost. Still, there is still no justice under the law for African Americans. It is still not safe to be Black in this country.
We live in a nation divided by race. African Americans have glaringly different outcomes than do those of European descent when it comes to nearly every system that has been erected in this country. Racism negatively impacts employment, housing, health, safety, and financial wellbeing.
We at Delain Law Office are shocked and saddened by the actions of the officers who callously and needlessly took Mr. Floyd from his family. That his six-year-old daughter can see that her daddy changed the world is amazing … and tragic. The world should already have undergone this change. We find it reprehensible that it so clearly has not.
I am a white woman, and I recognize that I sadly hold a privilege in our society based solely on the color of my skin. That privilege rings truly hollow when it comes at the price of innocent lives, regardless of the color of that life’s skin. Today, and every day, I stand in solidarity with the Black community. I stand ready to listen and to serve.

Traveling Through the Age of Novel Coronavirus

In case you’ve missed it, we’re looking at a new and contagious epidemic virus. Novel coronavirus (COVID 19) is burning through the human population. It started in snakes and jumped over to humans in China and Iran (and people who have recently been to China and Iran are not welcome to cross US borders at this time … yes, even citizens coming back from those countries have sit in quarantine for two weeks before they’re allowed into contact with other humans in the USA), and Italy is now on the US State Department’s travel advisory list (postpone that trip you’ve got planned). It’s already here in New York State. Estimates from credible sources indicate that the virus will be widespread in the USA by mid-March or early April. That’s … like … now.

This virus is new (hence its name of NOVEL coronavirus). We have never been exposed to it. We have no immune exposure to it. Our immune systems do not know what to do with this new thing. Cure is not available, though symptomatic support is.

So what’s a human to do?

First, if you’re sick … even if you just think you have a cold, if you’re “just coughing,” or “just sneezing” … STAY AWAY FROM OTHER HUMANS. Stay home. Governor Cuomo has, and has indicated that he will exercise, quarantine powers. Don’t make him exercise those powers. Quarantine yourself. If you’re my client and you’re sick, even with just a cold, contact me to postpone your appointment until you feel better. I will do the same for you.

Don’t shake hands. With ANYONE. This virus is evidently transmitted through water droplets entering the nose and mouth. Water droplets bearing coronavirus can live on the hands of the person whose hand you shake. You then pass it along to the next person you shake hands with.

Wipe surfaces with germicidal wipes. Grocery carts, bathroom doors, elevator buttons (use only your knuckle to press an elevator button). Lysol® Is Your New Best Friend.

Wash your hands often like you’ve just cut up a jalapeño pepper and you have to take out a contact lens. By “often,” I mean anytime you come in contact with anything another human may have touched. Seems extreme, but so does pneumonia from coronavirus.

Don’t touch your nose or mouth. That’s how this bug gets into your system. Wear a bandana and eyeglasses if you must to remind yourself to keep your hands off your face. But don’t buy face masks; let the health care workers have those.

I spent all of $0.99 on to get an e-book with a formula for homemade hand sanitizer. It may be the best $0.99 I ever spent since the public panic will lead to a dearth of commercially available hand sanitizer.

Coronavirus is an emergent epidemic. As such, it is a public health issue that is likely to have significant legal ramifications. Quarantine is a significant infringement of individual rights … think “imprisonment.” Denying citizens reentry into their country without quarantine is a significant infringement of individual rights (think “can’t go home”). At the same time, individuals must, in such a time, give way to public safety issues. Quarantine keeps the public safe; so does denying immediate entry, pending quarantine results, to people coming in from infected areas. It’s a balancing act, and, like all balancing acts, we may get it wrong to begin with. But me, I’d rather err on the side of caution when dealing with a new virus. I’ll give up my right to leave my house if it keeps even my pissy next-door neighbors safe from an infection I may have contracted.

There Will Be Lawsuits. It’s going to be a litigious mess. However, if we all proactively act to prevent catching it and spreading it ourselves, those ramifications will be lessened. If we don’t, they won’t.

We’re in for a siege. Get ready for it.

Handy Widget for Converting Currencies

I’m going to England in December. Because of this fact, I’m interested in converting pounds sterling to dollars and vice versa. I found this handy-dandy widget that does just that.

While this has absolutely nothing to do with intellectual property, I put it here as a service to my IP clients (and others) who travel internationally.