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Becky Hummer’s Blog on Business Communication

Becky Hummer’s blog is a must read for business owners and managers on improving performance using common sense communication techniques.  Check out her blog here…


Butterfield Schechter Receives Ranking in 2017 Edition of “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News

Butterfield Schechter Receives Ranking in 2017 Edition of “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News is pleased to congratulate Butterfield Schechter LLP on receiving a San Diego Tier 1 ranking in the 2017 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” in the area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law practice.

The professional excellence of the firms listed is recognized by favorable ratings from both clients and peers. Butterfield Schechter has been included in “The Best Law Firms in America©” since 2015.

The “Best Law Firms” rankings – which indicate a combination of quality practice and legal expertise in firms ranked – feature the top firms as recognized by clients and peers for delivering professional excellence and high-quality ratings.

About Butterfield Schechter LLP

Butterfield Schechter LLP is San Diego County’s largest firm focusing its law practice primarily on employee benefit plan matters. Butterfield Schechter LLP was founded in 1998 by Robert K. Butterfield and Marc S. Schechter. The attorneys at Butterfield Schechter LLP are dedicated to providing top-quality legal service tailored to clients’ needs. With a broad-based clientele, including corporations, individuals, partnerships, limited liability companies, joint ventures, qualified retirement plans, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Our commitment to excellent service and our combined experience fosters positive and efficient solutions for clients. The firm’s persistent effort to prevent legal problems from occurring encourages the development of long-term client relationships. At Butterfield Schechter LLP, we take pride in offering comprehensive legal assistance in the areas of estate planning, employee benefits, tax and corporate law, and ERISA litigation.

For more information, visit


Marc S. Schechter Named 2017 Super Lawyer for Fifth Year is pleased to congratulate Butterfield Schechter LLP partner Marc S. Schechter. He has been featured in the 2017 San Diego Super Lawyers list for a fifth year. This is a significant honor and a recognition of his consistent professionalism.

Mr. Schechter, who specializes in employee benefits, ERISA, and business matters, with special emphasis on ESOP transactions, is admitted to practice before the courts of California and New Jersey; the United States District Court for the Southern and Central Districts of California; the United States Tax Court; the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals; and the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the Employee Benefits-Taxation Section, State Bar of California; Taxation Section, San Diego County Bar Association; and a former member of the Legislative and Regulatory Advisory Committee, ESOP Association of America.

About Super Lawyers
Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The multi-phased selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.


Four Tips for Better ESOP Communications in 2017

Successful leaders know that effective communications are a competitive advantage.  As you begin 2017, make a resolution to evaluate the health of your employee communications. Are business goals and actions aligned? Do employees understand priorities and do they have a way to participate and share ideas?

Everyone talks about the importance of communications, but it’s just lip service without an actionable plan.   Here are four ways to achieve better communications in your ESOP in  2017.

1) Map out your communications calendar right now—Begin with a “Welcome to 2017” message. Schedule dates for the entire year now to ensure it remains a priority. Keep the content fresh with a mix of performance results, customer and employee stories, and encouragement.  We all need more of that.

2) Articulate the vision— If a customer asks an employee what your business was about, what would they say? Everyone on your team should use the same headline.  When people can connect their work to big goals, they are more engaged.  Leaders who communicate the vision and values, then put those values into action, see performance climb.

3) Use stories to make an impact—Think back to the most recent story that struck a chord with you.  Was it complicated or overstuffed with facts?  Simple stories make an emotional connection with the audience and hold their attention.  Use your own experiences to make a point.   Leaders who share a little of themselves in communications are viewed as credible and human.

4) Get visual—Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text.  If you rely on email as your primary form of communication, there is a better way. In 2016, there were 4.6 billion cell phone users in the world and most phones have video or photo capability. Your team members are viewing or creating visual media every day. Use photos and video as frequently as you use memos. Video is an excellent way to improve message retention, connect with remote workers, and engage senior leadership with teams.  The best part is you don’t have to have a large budget or be an on-camera pro.  If you’re sincere, it will be memorable.


Chris Kramer is speaking at the 2015 Vegas ESOP Conference

Chris Kramer will join Philip J. Carstens, Jr. of K&L Gates LLP and Ted M. Becker of Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP, in a Panel discussion of “Surviving a DOL InvestigationFriday, November 13, 2015 @ 3p PST.

What if you receive a letter that says “The Department of Labor has commenced an investigation of [your] ESOP.” Typical responses by the recipient are “Why are they investigating us? What do we do now? How long will it take? What can happen? How does it end?”  Mr. Kramer’s program will address the investigation process from commencement through closing, and provide insight into the DOL’s goals and priorities, as revealed by the positions the Department has taken as a party in litigation, in amicus briefs, in settlements, in its Fiduciary Process Agreement, and in press releases and other public statements.