Since our last publication of Perspectives – a relatively short period of time – our world, our country and our state have all undergone tremendous changes, political and economic.  Change presents our personal and business lives with challenges, but also opportunities.  In this, our first Perspectives edition of 2009, we present several articles which address some of these challenges and opportunities. In Silver Linings in Dark Clouds, Steve Anderson describes the opportunities that the current economic environment presents for intergenerational estate planning. In Implementing Smart Alternatives to Lay-Offs Under California Law, Valerie Menager outlines what choices businesses have in managing their workforces while weathering the economic storm that is whirling around them. Kendall Patton’s article, The Non-Binding Letter of Intent, addresses another challenge of our times, the increasing complexity of business transaction documents.  Kendall prescribes clear guidelines for reducing the complexity of these transactions by focusing first on fundamentals. And finally, Brendan Lund, of our tax group, and Jeremy Burns, of our litigation group, provide advice regarding new tax limitations on the sale of personal residences and how Carr, McClellan lawyers can use their judgment and experience to help resolve financial conflicts short of litigation.  Although the uncertainties of our economy will undoubtedly remain with us for longer than we would like, please know that our 38 attorneys will remain focused on providing cost effective, practical solutions to both the challenges and opportunities that you will face.  Our solid tradition built over the last 65 years has helped us guide our clients through many ups and downs during many economic cycles.  While it is unfortunate that many of our colleagues in larger firms have seen layoffs, dislocations and even evaporations of their partnerships causing severe disruptions for clients, we at Carr, McClellan are quietly confident that we will be here to provide the first rate service and expertise that we always have.  We are well aware that now, more than ever, our clients and their other advisors are seeking solutions to their legal issues that need the judgment and experience of value focused professionals.  Lawyers in our business, real estate, intellectual property, creditors’ rights, litigation and estate and trusts groups are ready to assist our clients and the clients of our colleagues in other professions deal with the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities our economic times present.