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Blog & News

December 7, 2009

Ask the Attorney-December 2009

Filed under: Columns from Our Towne Magazine, General — Paul Czech & Associates @ 4:05 pm

So the holidays are here once again.  And once again, I’m not prepared for them.  No matter how much energy I put into being ready for the holiday season, it always seem to sneak up from behind and sucker punch me while I’m not looking.  Didn’t summer just end?  Wasn’t it just July and we were all complaining about plans that were spoiled because of the rain?  I’ve barely finished cutting my lawn and tending to my landscaping and now I’m getting my snow blower ready and hunkering down for the snows of winter.  I hope you all had your heating systems checked and got your oil tanks filled.

And soon it will be 2010.  Can you believe it?  We’re coming upon the beginning of the end of the first decade of the 21st century.  Wow, did that ten years slip by fast.  It seems like just yesterday that we were all being scared into thinking that planes were going to fall from the sky and rogue computers were going to destroy the entire planet simply because they were not programmed to work past 1999.  I had a relatively uneventful New Years Eve the night we all witnessed the dawning of the new millennium.  I was in a club in Philadelphia watching one of the rock bands I was then managing.  My band was the headliner that New Years Eve and they politicked and maneuvered to ensure that they were on stage playing  when the clock struck midnight.  And all of their manipulations backfired on them.  As it got closer to midnight, the audience started to leave.  And they continued to leave until everyone in the club was gone.  And I mean everyone.  The band was perplexed but it seemed that everyone was more interested in watching the fireworks on the nearby Delaware River that night.  About a half an hour later, after the fireworks were through, everyone trickled back into the club and the band, once again, took the stage and finished their set.  The millennium was here and all I got from it was an evening with some rockers with bruised egos to soothe.  So much for doomsday.

Given that everyone once believed that it would kill us, it’s interesting that technology played such an interesting role in my life this past year.  Since I started my Facebook account in March (I was forced to – a conference I attend required that each attendee get a page on Facebook to communicate with each other), I have re-connected with a whole host of people from my past.  Honestly, I didn’t think anyone I went to high school with even knew I existed.  I moved to Goshen, New York from Queens when I was in middle school and I was always kind of awkward with the folks in my new community.  I was a tough, street kid who was taken out of Queens because things were going bad.  I was a thug.  And I looked the part – I dressed like I was from one of the boroughs so I stood out like a fish out of water.  So imagine my surprise when I got “friend” requests from 20 or more of my former high school classmates.  I have now spoken with some of these folks more via Facebook then I ever did while we were all struggling to get through Regents Exams together.  Time truly does change everyone and everything.

But there’s one particular re-connection that I am most pleased with.  It came from a friend of mine that I knew from elementary school.  When I was in 4th grade I had a broken leg and was on crutches for most of the year so I couldn’t join the other kids during lunch or recesses outside.  Jimmy was doing poorly with spelling and vocabulary – I was not – so our 4th grade teacher arranged for me to tutor him while the others were out in the schoolyard.  And, of course, we became friends.  He was closer to me than any of my brothers or sisters and that’s saying a lot given that I had five of them who were all older than me.  Jimmy and I became bad together, not because we were bad really, but because there was nothing else to do in Queens but get into trouble.  We stayed friends after I moved to Goshen – he’d come and visit and get a taste of life in the “country”.   After high school, I was lost for a while with no plans to go to college and  not a lot of job opportunities in the part of Orange County where I lived.  So I moved to Philadelphia and stayed there for the next 25 years leaving virtually everyone I knew in New York behind.

And now I’m in touch with Jimmy once again.  Technology is great.  Friends are great.  And the holidays are here once again.  Oh..and regarding that sucker punch they bring with them, I’m just happy that I’m here to be hit by it.  The New Year can only bring more life to experience which, I hope, will only remind me of more stories to tell.  If I’m lucky, that is.  

-Paul Czech,Esq.

December Edition of Rensselaer ‘Our Towne’ magazine

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December 1, 2009

Paul A. Czech invited to Speak at MIDEM

Filed under: General — Paul Czech & Associates @ 10:49 am

Paul A. Czech was again invited by the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers to speak at the annual MIDEM music conference.  Last year Mr. Czech conducted a workshop on Licensing together with Mr. Louis Buchman of France.  Mr. Czech and Mr. Buchman have been asked to repeat this workshop as it was so well attended and in demand in 2009.

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