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Jim Chester

CJLLP Hosts Fall Ethics CLE

By Blog

The Dallas-based business and innovation law firm Chester & Jeter LLP is a sponsor of the DFW-STCL Alumni Network’s Fall CLE event, titled: “WHO IS MY CLIENT?  And Other Ethical Quandries”

Here is the event flyer:

The event has been approved by the State Bar of Texas for 1.5 hours of participatory ethics credit.

The co-sponsors of the event are Frost Bank and US Legal Support.

The September 9th event, offered at no cost to STCL alumni, will be held at 6301 Gaston Avenue, Conference Center, Lower Plaza Level, Dallas, Texas 75214 (about 3 miles northeast of downtown Dallas) from 5:30 – 7:00pm, with registration and networking happy hour starting at 5pm.  Snacks and drinks will be provided.

The event is free to STCL alumni, but registration is required and will be limited to the first 50 registrants.

The September 9th CLE is the next in a series of planned CLE events organized by DFW-STCL Alumni Network, an independent non-profit group of Dallas area alumni of South Texas College of Law.  The next CLE date is:

  • Tuesday, January 13, 2015 –  “Make it Rain:  Tips for Implementing a Networking/Marketing plan

Washington Resdkins Trademark Registrations Canceled by USPTO

By Blog, Intellectual Property, International Business

In a recent decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the administrative appellate body of the United State Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), the USPTO cancelled the registrations of a handful of trademarks owned by the NFL’s Washington Redskins.

The ruling held the name “R\redskins” to be disparaging, with the TTAB stating:
“. . . petitioners have shown by a preponderance of the evidence that a substantial composite of Native Americans found the term REDSKINS to be disparaging in connection with respondent’s services during the relevant time frame of 1967-1990. Accordingly, the six registrations must be cancelled as required under Sections 2(a) and 14(3) of the Trademark Act.”

The USPTO’s ruling means that the Redskins, whose team name has been the subject of controversy over the years, will no longer enjoy some of the rights and privileges afforded to owners of USPTO-registered marks.

This decision does not require the football club to change its name, although the TTAB decision certainly looks like a “win” (at least for now) for the small but vocal current movement to try to persuade (or force) the club to change its name.

That said, the Washington Redskins retain their common law rights to their names and logos, which are well-recognized throughout the US (and many foreign countries) as marks owned by the club.



Ttab Order

USPTO TTAB Order – (as posted on web by Washington Post)

Independent Contractor or Employee?

By Employment

I am asked all the time, “I 1099ed that person, she is a contractor. Right?” For some reason lots of decision makers believe that a 1099 and calling someone an independent contractor makes a person a contractor.

The truth is . . . nope.  Whenever I talk to folks about this issue, I try to get them to think about trades people; a plumber is the classic example of a contractor, unless you are running a plumbing business.  But for this discussion we aren’t.

When we hire a plumber, he comes to where we want the work done, drives his own truck, brings his own tools, pays his own expenses, and he does the work using his own experience; we don’t give him any direction as to how the job should be done.

The plumber’s work has no bearing on the work of our businesses.  Once the plumber is done, we pay him and he moves on to the next job.

Now, with that example in mind, take a look at your current workforce.  Do your contractors look like the plumber or do they look like employees. They may be employees if:

They have been working for you for an extended period of time;
They work in the same business as your business;
You provide them with direction in the means and manner of their job;
You pay them like your employees; or
They only work for you.

I could go on, but if you answered yes to any of these questions, your contractors might be employees.

The Texas Work Force, the IRS, the Department of Labor, and Texas Courts use multi-factor tests to determine if an independent contractor is truly an employee.  So, if you are relying on a 1099, to justify calling someone an employee, you might have some issues. You may need to reclassify them as employees and that is where it gets tricky.
Post by: Michael Melder

Drug Testing Employee Candidates: Medicinal Use of Marijuana in the Great State of Texas

By Employment

Just the facts Ma’am:

Candidate lives in California and obtains a prescription for marijuana.  We are going to assume that she used the prescription as prescribed. Wink!

She then moves to Texas and applies for a job.  But wait, the employer performs drug testing.

What is the employer’s obligation?  Could it refuse to hire the candidate, despite the candidate’s “legal” use of marijuana?

My advice was for the candidate and you might be shocked at what it was, but I digress.

What is the employer’s obligation if the candidate’s test is positive?  The candidate has legally used marijuana.

The short answer:  The employer can elect not to hire the candidate.

But the candidate was using marijuana legally!  Not according to Texas and federal criminal statutes.  The stuff is still illegal in most states and federally.

Many states are flexing their statehood muscle and passing laws that fly in the face of federal laws.  Decriminalizing the use of certain drugs is just one example of states exercising their rights.

Although California has elected to legalize the use of medicinal marijuana, Texas still considers the possession and use of it illegal and so does the United States of America.

If you are thinking that this might be an ADA issue, think again.  Illegal drug use is specifically excluded from the definition of a “qualified individual with a disability.”  However, the use of the illegal drugs must be the reason for the decision not to hire an otherwise qualified individual with a disability.

So a Texas employer confronted with an issue like this should first look to its policy on drug testing.  Follow the policy and apply it consistently.
Post by: Michael Melder

Dutch Fokker to pay $10.5 Million Export Penalty

By Export, International Business

Dutch Company Agrees to Pay $10.5 Million Civil Penalty to Settle Commerce Department Charges Involving Illegal Exports and Reexports to Iran and Sudan

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Office of Export Enforcement (OEE), recently announced that Fokker Services B.V. (“Fokker Services”), a Netherlands-based aerospace services provider, has agreed to a $10.5 million civil settlement agreement in connection with the illegal export and re-export of aircraft parts, technology, and services to Iran and Sudan, both of which are subject to U.S. sanctions, including BIS licensing requirements. The settlement was reached as part of a global settlement involving the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

“The scope of today’s global settlement with Fokker Services highlights the egregious nature of the violations and points to the commitment of OEE to pursue and prosecute those responsible no matter where they are located,” said Under Secretary of Commerce Eric L. Hirschhorn. “OEE and our partner law enforcement colleagues will continue to use all means available to ensure that U.S. technology does not fall into the wrong hands.”

The $10.5 million settlement with BIS also in part resolves the OFAC allegations. Under a deferred prosecution agreement entered into with the Department of Justice, the company is forfeiting an additional $10.5 million.

BIS has charged Fokker Services with 253 separate violations of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), including for the export or reexport of items controlled for national security, missile technology and antiterrorism purposes. The charges include transactions involving Iranian military end users and violations of the terms of a temporary denial order in force at the time against Iran Air. The charges result from an investigation by OEE, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and Homeland Security Investigations, that uncovered numerous violations that occurred between 2005 and 2010. The investigation found that Fokker Services systematically engaged in activity to avoid detection by U.S. investigators by taking steps to conceal the ultimate destination of the transactions.

Fokker Services is based in the Netherlands and is a subsidiary of Fokker Technologies Holding B.V., a manufacturing and technical services company also based in the Netherlands. Fokker Services had three subsidiaries: Fokker Aircraft Services, B.V., based in the Netherlands; Fokker Services Asia Pte. Ltd., based in Singapore; and Fokker Services, Inc., based in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 2010, Fokker Services has ceased all business with sanctioned countries and has implemented a new compliance program. Under the settlement, Fokker Services accepts and acknowledges responsibility for its conduct and that of its employees. The settlement is subject to final review and approval by the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement.

BIS controls exports and reexports of commodities, technology, and software for reasons of national security, missile technology, nuclear non-proliferation, chemical and biological weapons non-proliferation, crime control, regional stability, foreign policy and anti-terrorism. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of the Export Administration Regulations. For more information, please visit


New Regulations Remove Most Satellites from ITAR Controls

By Export, International Business, News

US Commerce Department to License Export of Satellites; Move is Key Component of Export Control Reform Initiative

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) recently published regulations that will fundamentally change the nature of U.S. export controls on most commercial, scientific, and civil satellites and their parts and components. Together with a companion rule issued by the Department of State, the action moves the items from Category XV of the State Department’s U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the Commerce Control List (CCL).

Items on the USML are governed by the hyper-strict International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and supervised by the State Department.  Most less-sensitive commercial exports on the CCL are governed by BIS, which has significantly fewer restrictions and controls than ITAR.  Thus, this move opens the door to a much broader export market for these items.

“[This] action reflects the cooperation that has made the President’s Export Control Reform Initiative such an extraordinary success story,” said Under Secretary of Commerce Eric L. Hirschhorn. “For the many American businesses that compete in this key technology sector, it means a stronger United States defense industrial base, the ability to focus the government’s limited resources on the technologies and destinations of greatest concern, an increase in the competitiveness of the U.S. satellite industry, and a reduction in the licensing burden on U.S. exporters.”

The items moving to Commerce jurisdiction include communications satellites that do not contain classified components, certain remote sensing satellites, spacecraft parts, components, accessories, attachments, equipment, or systems that are not specifically identified in the revised category, and all radiation-hardened microelectronic microcircuits.

In many instances, the updated regulations also allow the commercial, scientific and civil satellites transferred to Commerce jurisdiction to incorporate parts and components listed on the USML and remain under Commerce licensing authority.

The changes to the controls on radiation-hardened microelectronic microcircuits take effect 45 days after publication of the rule, while the remainder of the changes take effect 180 days after publication.


IP Guide: Protecting Software

By Blog, Intellectual Property, News, White Papers

Dallas-based business & innovation law firm Chester & Jeter LLP has recently posted a new white paper on its website.

The paper, titled “Protecting Software – Alternatives to Patents” discusses some of the concerns and limitations with using patents to protect rights in and to software, and provides some alternative tools and strategies that software owners can employ.

This free guide, along with other informative IP and business-related legal guides, is available  Here.

Chester named Chair of EDCC’s “Entrepreneur & Innovation Committee”

By Blog, Community, Innovation, News

The Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce (EDCC) has formed a new  Entrepreneur and Innovation Committee (E&I).

The new committee was recently created to reach a broader audience within the East Dallas community and meet the growing networking and information-sharing needs of the community’s entrepreneurs in the IT/technical and creative industries.

Chamber member Jim Chester, a Lakewood area attorney and founder of Chester & Jeter LLP, was named the founding chairman of the new E&I Committee.

“I was thrilled when Jim came to me with his ideas,” said Chamber Chair Darlene Ellison. “His vision includes tapping into the growing population of entrepreneurs in the Greater East Dallas community who are in the technology and creative industries, and providing networking to increase  business opportunity synergies amongst the members. JimJFC pic 2013 is the perfect Chamber member to lead the charge.”

The Entrepreneur and Innovation (E&I) Committee was formed to announce to the local and regional business community that East Dallas is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship by spotlighting area start-ups and emerging companies, as well as innovation-based companies and resources.  By “Innovation”, the Committee intends to encompass two distinct yet interrelated areas: technical (IT, ecommerce, computers, software, etc.) as well as creative (PR, advertising, graphic design, web design, photographers, fashion, writers, etc.) innovators.

Of the new E&I Committee, Chester states:  “I am excited to be a part of this initiative of the Chamber.  There are already a number of entrepreneurs and innovative companies located in (or with ties to) East Dallas, so one of our primary roles will be to provide opportunities and places for these folks to gather, network, share ideas, and get assistance, resources and support.  Once folks see what the Chamber has to offer entrepreneurs and innovators like themselves, I expect that many will not only want to join the Chamber, but will get involved in the E&I Committee and its projects, as well as other Chamber activities – bringing new ideas and energy along with them.”

“As an additional benefit,” adds Chester, “we hope that, by showcasing East Dallas as a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, we will encourage more companies to start or relocate their operations to the area.

“As the E&I Committee grows and evolves, we expect to implement a number of  initiatives over the next few years,” Chester declared.  “But our present focus is to start with a couple of core projects, build some momentum, and then go from there.”

The E&I Committee is off to a fast start:  it has already launched a mentor program in coordination with the Chamber’s Young Professionals group to match emerging innovators and entrepreneurs with more experienced business professionals.

In addition, the E&I Committee is currently promoting its inaugural “E&I”-centric happy hour networking event on May 28th at Times 10 Cellars.  Also in May, the E&I Committee is providing the an entrepreneur-oriented speaker and topic for the EDCC’s Brown Bag Lunch Series at C.C. Young on May 16th.  Similar additional events are planned later in 2014.

Some proposed projects include The Entrepreneur And Start-Up Training Development Sessions  (or “E.A.S.T.”) which will provide training for start-up businesses to go from “idea to enterprise” to include entity formation, tax issues, banking/accounting etc. A second, more advanced level of training would help people manage growth and handle “next stage” development issues such as office space, employees, branding, IT, etc.

Future plans include more ambitious projects such as partnerships with area schools in the promotion of the entrepreneurship and innovative careers, annual EDCC awards for area innovators and entrepreneurs, and even the establishment of an East Dallas innovation-oriented business incubator.


About the EDCC.  The Greater East Dallas Chamber works to promote the civic, cultural, business and educational interests in the East Dallas area. For more information

About Chester & Jeter LLP.  Chester & Jeter LLP is a Dallas, Texas law firm providing comprehensive legal services to innovation-based companies doing business in the US, around the world, and on the web.  Its mission (and passion) is helping entrepreneurs and emerging companies solve problems and protect their interests. Chester & Jeter LLP delivers value by providing business-savvy, cost-effective solutions to legal challenges.  The firm offers a wide array of business legal solutions, such as business entity formation (LLCs, corporations, etc.), trademarks and other intellectual property, technology transactions, contracts, ecommerce, employment law and dispute resolution.  Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at


Jim Chester Named to D Magazine “Best Lawyers in Dallas” List

By Innovation, Intellectual Property, News

Jim Chester Named to D Magazine “Best Lawyers in Dallas” List


J. F. (Jim) Chester, founding partner in the Dallas-based business & innovation law firm of Chester & Jeter LLP has been selected for inclusion in D Magazine’s 2014 list of “Best Lawyers in Dallas.”

Chester will be listed in the computer and technology law practice section, although his practice also covers a broad range of intellectual property, business, technology and international transactional matters.

Chester stated, “There are a number of lists and awards out there, but this one is of special significance because it is based on recommendations from colleagues in the Dallas legal community.  To be recognized by such an esteemed group of legal professionals in my own city is truly an honor.”


About Chester & Jeter LLP

Chester & Jeter LLP is a Dallas, Texas law firm providing comprehensive legal services to innovation-based companies doing business in the US, around the world, and on the web.  Its mission (and passion) is helping entrepreneurs and emerging companies solve problems and protect their interests. Chester & Jeter LLP delivers value by providing business-savvy, cost-effective solutions to legal challenges.  The firm offers a wide array of business legal solutions, such as business entity formation (LLCs, corporations, etc.), trademarks and other intellectual property, technology transactions, contracts, ecommerce, employment law and dispute resolution.  Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at