10 Most Popular Lorman Courses in 2020
Posted on 06/30/20 By Lorman Team
Lorman's library of resources is ever-growing with more than 100 live training sessions each month and a collection of over 13,000 on-demand courses developed by noted industry experts and professionals.
Needless to say, our team is always working hard to add valuable content to our extensive library. As we enter the second half of the year, we wanted to reflect on some of the most popular courses of 2020 — so far!
Here are the top 10 most popular Lorman courses in 2020:
10. Legal Writing: Editing and Proofreading Essentials
Credit: NALA, NFPA, Paralegals
Faculty: Lauritta Sowa
Writing is one of the most important skills in the legal profession. Emails, summary memorandums, and research documentation are essential. Writing well creates a clear vision, positive imprint, and successful career. Words are the author’s power tools; editing and proofreading create the distinguished and noteworthy work of art.
Become the expert by learning the best strategies for legal writing. Recognize the significance of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Know why typographical errors are devastating to your career and reputation; and acknowledge how editing transforms an average document into an exceptional document by uncovering what to do, how to do it, and by identifying common mistakes.
9. ADA Compliant Curb Ramps: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Faculty: Doug Anderson; John H. (Jack) Catlin, FAIA
Curb ramps are one of the most misunderstood accessibility design elements throughout the United States. They can also be the most dangerous, as the most mishaps occur on the public right-of-way where curb ramps are not correctly designed and constructed. Topography, which is different for every city or town, can be a complicating factor.
The material explains the applicable regulations for curb ramps - the 2010 ADA Standards as well as the U.S. Access Board proposed guidelines - and provides guidance on proper design and construction. The information discusses solutions for challenging geographic conditions and addresses common design and construction errors. Failing to properly design curb ramps puts citizens at risk of serious injury and can create legal and financial risks for municipalities. Understand the importance of accessible design so features constructed in the public way are made usable and accessible.
8. Cell Tower Leasing for Commercial Landlords, Developers and Real Estate Investors
Credit: CLE, AICP
Faculty: Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq.; John W. Pestle, Esq.
This program covers entering into a lease, renewing a lease and selling a lease while emphasizing rents, sales prices, terms and avoiding provisions which harm property values and the future use of the property. This material will help property owners and attorneys who only occasionally deal with cell leases be better able to negotiate with wireless industry personnel who work on leases every day.
The program starts by covering key business issues in cell site leases, including lease rates, who gets the revenues from additional antennas or carriers being co-located at a site, the rent increases possible at renewals, avoiding clauses that interfere with the normal use of the property, and why 5G service should have little impact on the preceding.
After covering more conventional lease terms the program addresses the sale of cell leases and future leasing rights; including typical sale prices (often around 200 times monthly rents), when to sell and when not to sell, and how to get the best price and terms in a sale. This program is particularly important for commercial landlords, developers and the like, who often own very attractive sites for cell leases, but are most at risk from poor lease or sales terms harming the value of the property with the lease.
7. Segregation of Duties in Accounting
Faculty: Karen McMurray, CPA, CFE, CICA, CGMA
Many companies do not have sound policies and procedures. Even those who do, do not always look for controls in those procedures, or understand the link between sound, workable internal controls and deterring fraud. Companies should have a written internal control policy. In many cases, it is written, approved and put on a shelf and not effectively used.
An effective internal control policy should become a mindset that every employee is aware of its importance. Fraud can occur in the best of organizations, but those with effective controls should be able to detect it in a timely manner. Effective policies do help to deter fraud. There are red flags that employers and auditors can look for to help detect fraud.
6. Form 1099-NEC: Replacing 1099-MISC Box 7
Faculty: T. Scott Tufts, Esq.
In July, 2019, the IRS issued a release draft of a new Form 1099 for use commencing in the 2020 tax year (i.e., in 2021), a Form 1099-NEC to replace the Form 1099-MISC, Box 7 and Box 9 for reporting direct sales of $5,000 or more. This new Form 1099-NEC is being implemented in response to problems created by the PATH Act of 2015, when the due date for Form 1099-MISC, Box 7 items were moved to January 31, as compared to other 1099 items, which remained due March 31.
In this topic, we will focus on the new Form 1099-NEC, and how to fill it out properly, as well as focus on issues specific to non-employee compensation that were previously the focus of Box 7 of the Form 1099-MISC. Learn what reconfiguration may be needed of your accounting systems, and ensure that you identify vendors that will now require the two different forms (for e.g., rents and lawn maintenance) and what training and communication will be needed to prevent confusion once the new forms are due to be issued by January 31, 2021.
By this date issuers of Form 1099-MISC will need to issue a new Form 1099-NEC that will replace IRS Form 1099-MISC (Box 7) specific to the reporting of non-employee compensation. The IRS has issued two separate forms, a Form 1099-MISC and a Form 1099-NEC, to allow for the due date of the Form 1099-NEC (January 31) to stand separate from the due date for the Form 1099-MISC (March 31).
Issuers need to plan now on how to reconfigure their accounting systems, train and communicate with vendors, using best practices. Those best practices need to include Form W-9 preparation, and addressing backup withholding, and how to avoid penalties. There are hot spots that also need to be addressed, such as how to distinguish employee compensation from non-employee compensation, addressing Section 530 issues, and spotting when fraudulent forms 1099 are issued implicating Section 7434 claims.
5. Families First Act of 2020
Credit: CLE, SHRM, HR Certification Institute
Faculty: Sharon Jutila
Understand who is eligible to take leave under the new Families First Act and how to calculate the pay owed to employees while they are on leave.
During this unprecedented time in history, Congress has passed two federally mandated paid leave laws. It is important to understand if you are obligated as an employer to comply with these laws and how they interact with other paid leave your employees have available.
We will discuss the two specifics of these two laws and how they work. At the end of the topic, you should be able to understand who is eligible to take leave under the laws, how to calculate the pay owed to employees while they are on leave, and best practices for recording the leave time taken by employees to ensure it is properly reported in order to receive the provided tax credit under the law.
4. Construction Industry Issues Caused by COVID-19
Faculty: Adrian D'Arcy; Andrew G. Vicknair
With the COVID-19 crisis, many contractors are experiencing problems and issues they have never experienced before and may not be prepared how to handle these issues and how to best protect their rights in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. The construction industry finds itself dealing with pressing issues facing them in the current environment including suspension or termination of work, required notice, force majeure applicability, emergencies, responses to government orders, handling employee issues and more.
This topic helps the persons involved in the construction industry handle issues that have arisen in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and will address common issues experienced by contractors during these troubling times. This information is critical for construction industry professionals facing tough decisions in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and will provide an analysis of those issues using the AIA contracts, in standard public work contracts as well as an analysis of possible bonding issues.
Learn how to handle issues that may affect your construction projects due to the COVID-19 crisis.
3. Mitigating IT Agreement Terms
Credit: CLE, ISM
Faculty: David W. Tollen
Software licenses and cloud computing agreements have taken center stage in world commerce, yet few attorneys really understand their terms. The result is weeks spent negotiating the wrong issues and contracts that don't address the right ones.
This information will cover important, yet least understood, clauses and problems in IT contracts, giving lawyers the tools to draft and negotiate better and faster. Those clauses include the dreaded indemnity, the subject both of endless contract negotiations and of mis-drafted terms, leading to unpleasant surprises. This material will cover much more and is appropriate for anyone who drafts or negotiates contracts about software, software-as-a-service (SaaS), other forms of cloud computing, or IT professional services.
2. Estate Planning Before 2026 (and Beyond) for Married Couples
Faculty: Johnathan G. Blattmachr; Teresa L. Bush, Esq.
This topic will cover the fundamentals and fine points of estate tax planning for married couples, whether a first or subsequent marriage. We will discuss traditional estate tax planning strategies, as well as planning in light of the current large transfer tax exemptions, and then turn to planning for the scheduled reduction in those exemptions in 2026.
The information will discuss ways to use the temporary large exemptions before 2026, without having to die and without losing access to the property. We will review a new form of asset protection trust (the SPAT Trust), which is ideal for married couples (and others). Finally, we will consider income tax issues, such as the benefits of grantor status and how to obtain a step-up in basis for the property of both spouses when the first spouse dies without moving to a community property state. After this topic, you should be able to better advise clients on planning for 2026, and beyond.
1. Payroll and IRS Form 941 Update
Credit: CPE, AIPB, SHRM, NASBA, HR Certification Institute
Faculty: Dayna J. Reum, CPP, FPC
Learn about the updates to consider with IRS Form 941, essential in payroll for your employees. Form 941 is an essential form for all employers that pay employees and withhold federal and FICA (social security and Medicare) taxation. In recent years several changes to Form 941 has made it difficult to understand.
The importance of reconciliation and completing not only the Form 941 but Schedule B is becoming increasingly important for employers to avoid costly disputes with the IRS resulting in penalty and interest. This topic will explain proper withholding taxation so you understand the importance of withholding and reporting so that Form 941 is always accurate.