Joe Cocker Masters Generating Value From Covers

By Jill StarbuckPellegrino & Associates

For most musicians, singing cover songs takes them to local bars, coffee shops, and other small venues. Rarely do musicians make it big unless they write their own music or at least sing originals from a paid writer. Joe Cocker was an exception. While he spent nearly a decade in local bars before he became famous, he defied the odds with his popular renditions of classic covers from some of the biggest musicians in the world. Cocker did write some of his own songs, but it was his cover renditions that helped him gain fame.

According to Celebrity Worth, Cocker was worth $60 million at the time of his death—no small amount for a cover singer. How did he do it? Cocker didn’t just sing cover songs; he made them his own. They had a completely different feel with often just a hint of the original sounds. But perhaps more importantly, Cocker became a phenomenon for the way he sang those songs. No other singer in the world compared to Cocker’s singing antics. He was one of a kind. His wildly spastic performances, along with his raspy, bluesy voice made him stand out. In the music world, he was a genius for taking other people’s songs and making them his own with voice and motion. By doing so, he created a brand for himself.

While all celebrities create their own brand in some way, Cocker’s brand was especially unique because he based much of his brand off other people’s work. Typically, a celebrity finds fame by bringing something original to the industry. Yet, Cocker seemingly tackled the impossible—and won. But not without a struggle. The fame, pressure, and constant touring took a toll on Cocker, leading him down a path of depression and alcoholism for a while. Luckily, he persevered and overcame addiction.

Through is perseverance, Cocker brought one of the most memorable voices to the music industry. His raspy voice made each performance seem like an incredible effort. But it was his hoarse voice that lent credence to his talent and endurance. Over the span of his career, Cocker’s antics and singing ability provided fodder for comedians, landed him in the musical Across the Universe, and made him world famous. He released more than 40 live, studio, and compilation albums and enjoyed nearly 70 singles. In 2011, the Queen of England awarded him an Order of the British Empire for his contributions to the music industry. He also won many other awards including Grammy awards and Golden Camera awards.

Based on his accolades, it is obvious that the world recognized Cocker both visually and lyrically, which is important to his brand. A person’s brand presents the most value when it is in demand. In order to be in demand, a brand must be recognizable. While his music fell into the mainstream as he aged, he continued to perform and release albums. Both imply that demand still existed. And with any brand, constant exposure provides more recognition and value. Cocker’s refusal to give up, his ability to reinvent songs, his signature moves, and one of the raspiest voices in music history all helped make him a master of cover songs. He goes down in history as one of the most recognized in the music industry.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Intellectual Property Blog0 Comments

Trial Court Within Discretion Adopting Value from Testifying CPA

Case: Brian Weigel v. April Weigel 
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: Trial court acted within its discretion when it adopted a value for Husband’s business that was presented by a testifying CPA, even though the CPA did not make an affirmative effort to determine what portion of that value, if any, might be attributable to Husband’s personal goodwill.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
Husband is the owner of a hoof trimming business. At the final hearing for the parties’ dissolution of marriage, Wife called a CPA who had prepared a valuation of Husband’s business. The CPA testified that, under an income approach, Husband’s business was worth $184,000, and under a market approach, it was worth $45,300. The CPA testified that either approach could include enterprise goodwill, personal goodwill, or both. However, he did testify as to any breakdown in his specific valuation of Husband’s business.

Husband offered no evidence of his own as to the value of his business, other than his own testimony that it had a negative value.

In its Decree, the trial court adopted the CPA’s lower $45,300 value for Husband’s business, from which Husband appealed.

In its opinion, the Court of Appeals rejected Husband’s argument that the trial court’s value on his business erroneously included personal goodwill. There was no evidence presented by either party that any portion of the $45,300 value constituted personal goodwill; instead, the CPA had merely testified that the valuation method he used could include goodwill in its product.

The trial court’s conclusion of value on Husband’s business was affirmed.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: Brian Weigel v. April Weigel

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James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Family Law Case Review0 Comments

Words of Negotiation Wisdom, Part 2

Notes on Negotiations
By Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

Recently, I shared the most effective negotiation strategies ever used – “pearls of wisdom” – by three of the six panel members from the legal and business worlds in a seminar I recently led.

Here are the remaining three.

Danny Ortega, Board Chair, National Council of La Raza and Partner, Ortega & Associates Law Firm. There’s great value in passionately feeling and believing in your negotiating positions.

Don’t underestimate the impact of how you personally come across in a negotiation. Does your counterpart perceive you really believe what you’re saying – or that it’s just a made up position meant to obtain a strategic advantage?

Your passion and belief can make a huge difference.

Of course, it must be credible. Plus, it will be even more powerful when balanced with analysis and logic.

Two caveats here. One, this doesn’t mean you pound the table and use over-the-top rhetoric. Each person has their own style and method of communicating the strengths of their beliefs. Stay in your comfort zone.

But don’t be afraid to stretch a little, either.

And two, this may involve a bit of acting for those who negotiate on behalf of others in a representative capacity, like lawyers, investment bankers or consultants.

After all, we don’t always fully agree with every single one of our clients’ positions, although hopefully this is more the exception than the rule.

Nancy White, Partner, Steptoe and Johnson. There are many ways to obtain crucial information in negotiations – and master information-gatherers invariably achieve great success.

White shared a particularly compelling example of this from early in her legal career, which involves many international deals.

There, she recalled sitting at the table while her counterparts across the table conversed with each other in Spanish regarding some sensitive strategies and issues. They obviously felt Nancy – a white woman – did not understand Spanish.

She did. Unbeknownst to them, Nancy had lived in South America for a time and was completely fluent in Spanish.

You don’t have to wonder who got more information – and thus achieved success – in that situation.

White also noted how empathy can be powerfully used in many negotiations to both gather information and create rapport between parties.

Paul Eckstein, Partner, Perkins Coie. Keep your ego in your back pocket and focus on your real goal.

Eckstein prosecuted Gov. Evan Mecham in his impeachment trial in 1988 and recalled how Mecham refused to testify unless guaranteed that no lawyers, including Eckstein, could ask him any questions.

Eckstein said fine, knowing: 1) it would be hard to impeach Mecham without his testimony, 2) the questioners were less important than the actual questions asked, and 3) he (Eckstein) didn’t need the spotlight as a questioner.

The goal, of course, was conviction due to Mecham’s previous behavior.

Eckstein and his colleagues then drafted all the questions to be posed to Mecham and prepared the non-lawyer questioners to ask them.

Mecham then proceeded to do exactly what Eckstein anticipated – and his answers to the questions proved a big part of his conviction.

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Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or Latz@ExpertNegotiator.com

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Negotiation/Mediation Blog0 Comments

Court of Appeals Rules Grandparents Yearly 79 Days of Visitation is Excessive

Case: In Re the Visitation of L-A.D.W; R.W. v. M.D. and W.D.
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: Trial court’s grandparent visitation order was affirmed where evidence was presented that Father intended to deny grandparent visitation absent a court order.

HELD: However, the grandparent visitation scheduled issued by the trial court, which would have allowed Grandparents 79 days of visitation per year, was excessive and too similar to the amount of time that would be allowed to a non-custodial parent, so the specific schedule was reversed and remanded to be scaled back.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
It was uncontroverted that Mother’s parents (“Grandparents”) had been closely involved in Child’s life from birth, even providing many primary caretaking functions as Mother opened a new pediatric dentistry practice and Father completed a medical school residency.

In 2010, when Child was five years old, Mother was diagnosed with cancer, and she subsequently died. Shortly after Mother’s death, Grandparents filed a petition for Grandparent visitation.

After a hearing, the trial court issued an order that followed the four In re: K.I. requirements of a grandparent visitation order analysis. Following that analysis, the trial court issued a grandparent visitation order, based primarily upon evidence that Father would terminate the Grandparents’ opportunity to visit with Child. The trial court issued a specific order that provided Grandparents with 79 days of visitation per year. Father appealed.

The Court of Appeals reviewed each of the four In re: K.I. factors, as analyzed by the trial court, and determined that, as to each, Father was asking the Court of Appeals to reweigh the evidence and that the trial court had not abused its discretion. Thus, the conclusion that a grandparent visitation order was appropriate was affirmed.

However, the Court of Appeals found that the specific visitation schedule issued in this case was excessive. The Court held in previous cases that a schedule that approximates a visitation schedule for a non-custodial parent (the IPTG provides for 98 overnights of parenting time) is improper in the grandparent visitation context. Here, Grandparents were given a schedule with 79 days of visitation. The Court of Appeals remanded the schedule to be scaled back to “occasional, temporary visitation that does not substantially infringe on” Father’s rights.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: In Re the Visitation of L-A.D.W; R.W. v. M.D. and W.D.

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James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Family Law Case Review0 Comments