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    Legality of offshore investments

     

    Copyright 2006 Ronald Hudkins Having an offshore banking account, corporation or trust are common themes in legal thrillers, spy novels and eastern European politics. There is a reason to be concerned about the legality of such accounts, for although many people would like to include them in their estate planning, a legal misstep regarding the use of any of these asset management tools could result in thousands of dollars lost in back tax payments and legal problems with none other than the IRS in addition to the possibility of spending time in prison. With that in mind, it is not surprising that many Americans shy away from offshore banking altogether. As any good tax attorney will be able to explain to you there is a difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Tax avoidance is the use of legally employable strategies to reduce the amount of tax one has to pay. Tax evasion, on the other hand, is the use of illegal means to do the same thing. So the goal of any transaction that you would like to undertake offshore is to make certain that you are a tax avoider and not a tax evader. A lawyer will never be a willing party to tax evasion, if that lawyer is behaving within the cannon of professional ethics as well as the accepted norms of safeguarding their client’s best interest. To begin with it is illegal to have a secret bank account in another country that you don’t tell the IRS about. It is also illegal to move unreported cash even if it is your money. The penalty for either of these offenses makes bank robbery look like a more attractive option. However, with our own country continuing to advance the goal of globalization, of course it is legal to invest in, and to interact with, foreign markets and there are some tremendous incentives to do so. The key to taking advantage of these opportunities is to start modestly and remember that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true. Secondly, it is your duty as an American citizen to report your financial activities to the IRS. So divest yourself of notions of secrecy in the absolute and think in terms of tax savings rather than not paying taxes. If someone tells you that they can help you avoid paying any tax whatsoever, they are offering to help you engage in a criminal enterprise. And if you already are a criminal of some sort then perhaps you should look into the matter, but for the vast majority of those reading this article, don’t endanger a life spent being a law abiding citizen by buying into an outrageous scheme. As I said before, U. S. citizens and permanent residents are required to disclose their banking accounts abroad, where they are located and what the account numbers are, on a form called a TDF 90-22.1. However, there are exceptions to having to file this report and taxpayers are confused about the definition of these exceptions as well as the meaning of key terms within the document. One excellent way to begin to understand what must be reported, and when, is to look to the Jacobs Report. The Jacobs report which can be found at finance. groups. yahoo/group/jacobsreport/ and it is an extensive document filled with the applicable law and IRS instructions as well as the accumulated wisdom of many web sites and foreign bank reports. Remember, the cardinal rule when beginning your inquiry into offshore banking is to find out about these matters in detail. You need to check into things yourself and keep in mind that if a deal sounds too good to be true then it is. In addition, keep in mind the fact that you want to be a tax avoider not a tax evader. Consult your estate planner and a tax specialist because the laws in many of the nations that provide tax havens have changed somewhat since the beginning of the War with Afghanistan and Iraq, because the U. S. is looking for hidden terrorist cash reserves and that has changed the way discretion is handled in many tax haven nations that are friendly with our government.

         
    Legalizing crime

     

    "Those who have the command of the arms in a country are masters of the state, and have it in their power to make what revolutions they please. [Thus,] there is no end to observations on the difference between the measures likely to be pursued by a minister backed by a standing army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people." Aristotle (384-322 BC), Greek philosopher The state has a monopoly on behaviour usually deemed criminal. It murders, kidnaps, and locks up people. Sovereignty has come to be identified with the unbridled - and exclusive - exercise of violence. The emergence of modern international law has narrowed the field of permissible conduct. A sovereign can no longer commit genocide or ethnic cleansing with impunity, for instance. Many acts - such as the waging of aggressive war, the mistreatment of minorities, the suppression of the freedom of association - hitherto sovereign privilege, have thankfully been criminalized. Many politicians, hitherto immune to international prosecution, are no longer so. Consider Yugoslavia's Milosevic and Chile's Pinochet. But, the irony is that a similar trend of criminalization - within national legal systems - allows governments to oppress their citizenry to an extent previously unknown. Hitherto civil torts, permissible acts, and common behaviour patterns are routinely criminalized by legislators and regulators. Precious few are decriminalized. Consider, for instance, the criminalization in the Economic Espionage Act (1996) of the misappropriation of trade secrets and the criminalization of the violation of copyrights in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (2000) – both in the USA. These used to be civil torts. They still are in many countries. Drug use, common behaviour in England only 50 years ago – is now criminal. The list goes on. Criminal laws pertaining to property have malignantly proliferated and pervaded every economic and private interaction. The result is a bewildering multitude of laws, regulations statutes, and acts. The average Babylonian could have memorizes and assimilated the Hammurabic code 37 centuries ago - it was short, simple, and intuitively just. English criminal law - partly applicable in many of its former colonies, such as India, Pakistan, Canada, and Australia - is a mishmash of overlapping and contradictory statutes - some of these hundreds of years old - and court decisions, collectively known as "case law". Despite the publishing of a Model Penal Code in 1962 by the American Law Institute, the criminal provisions of various states within the USA often conflict. The typical American can't hope to get acquainted with even a negligible fraction of his country's fiendishly complex and hopelessly brobdignagian criminal code. Such inevitable ignorance breeds criminal behaviour - sometimes inadvertently - and transforms many upright citizens into delinquents. In the land of the free - the USA - close to 2 million adults are behind bars and another 4.5 million are on probation, most of them on drug charges. The costs of criminalization - both financial and social - are mind boggling. According to "The Economist", America's prison system cost it $54 billion a year - disregarding the price tag of law enforcement, the judiciary, lost product, and rehabilitation. What constitutes a crime? A clear and consistent definition has yet to transpire. There are five types of criminal behaviour: crimes against oneself, or "victimless crimes" (such as suicide, abortion, and the consumption of drugs), crimes against others (such as murder or mugging), crimes among consenting adults (such as incest, and in certain countries, homosexuality and euthanasia), crimes against collectives (such as treason, genocide, or ethnic cleansing), and crimes against the international community and world order (such as executing prisoners of war). The last two categories often overlap. The Encyclopaedia Britannica provides this definition of a crime: "The intentional commission of an act usually deemed socially harmful or dangerous and specifically defined, prohibited, and punishable under the criminal law." But who decides what is socially harmful? What about acts committed unintentionally (known as "strict liability offences" in the parlance)? How can we establish intention - "mens rea", or the "guilty mind" - beyond a reasonable doubt? A much tighter definition would be: "The commission of an act punishable under the criminal law." A crime is what the law - state law, kinship law, religious law, or any other widely accepted law - says is a crime. Legal systems and texts often conflict. Murderous blood feuds are legitimate according to the 15th century "Qanoon", still applicable in large parts of Albania. Killing one's infant daughters and old relatives is socially condoned - though illegal - in India, China, Alaska, and parts of Africa. Genocide may have been legally sanctioned in Germany and Rwanda - but is strictly forbidden under international law. Laws being the outcomes of compromises and power plays, there is only a tenuous connection between justice and morality. Some "crimes" are categorical imperatives. Helping the Jews in Nazi Germany was a criminal act - yet a highly moral one. The ethical nature of some crimes depends on circumstances, timing, and cultural context. Murder is a vile deed - but assassinating Saddam Hussein may be morally commendable. Killing an embryo is a crime in some countries - but not so killing a fetus. A "status offence" is not a criminal act if committed by an adult. Mutilating the body of a live baby is heinous - but this is the essence of Jewish circumcision. In some societies, criminal guilt is collective. All Americans are held blameworthy by the Arab street for the choices and actions of their leaders. All Jews are accomplices in the "crimes" of the "Zionists". In all societies, crime is a growth industry. Millions of professionals - judges, police officers, criminologists, psychologists, journalists, publishers, prosecutors, lawyers, social workers, probation officers, wardens, sociologists, non-governmental-organizations, weapons manufacturers, laboratory technicians, graphologists, and private detectives - derive their livelihood, parasitically, from crime. They often perpetuate models of punishment and retribution that lead to recidivism rather than to to the reintegration of criminals in society and their rehabilitation. Organized in vocal interest groups and lobbies, they harp on the insecurities and phobias of the alienated urbanites. They consume ever growing budgets and rejoice with every new behaviour criminalized by exasperated lawmakers. In the majority of countries, the justice system is a dismal failure and law enforcement agencies are part of the problem, not its solution. The sad truth is that many types of crime are considered by people to be normative and common behaviours and, thus, go unreported. Victim surveys and self-report studies conducted by criminologists reveal that most crimes go unreported. The protracted fad of criminalization has rendered criminal many perfectly acceptable and recurring behaviours and acts. Homosexuality, abortion, gambling, prostitution, pornography, and suicide have all been criminal offences at one time or another. But the quintessential example of over-criminalization is drug abuse. There is scant medical evidence that soft drugs such as cannabis or MDMA ("Ecstasy") - and even cocaine - have an irreversible effect on brain chemistry or functioning. Last month an almighty row erupted in Britain when Jon Cole, an addiction researcher at Liverpool University, claimed, to quote "The Economist" quoting the "Psychologist", that: "Experimental evidence suggesting a link between Ecstasy use and problems such as nerve damage and brain impairment is flawed ... using this ill-substantiated cause-and-effect to tell the 'chemical generation' that they are brain damaged when they are not creates public health problems of its own." Moreover, it is commonly accepted that alcohol abuse and nicotine abuse can be at least as harmful as the abuse of marijuana, for instance. Yet, though somewhat curbed, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are legal. In contrast, users of cocaine - only a century ago recommended by doctors as tranquilizer - face life in jail in many countries, death in others. Almost everywhere pot smokers are confronted with prison terms. The "war on drugs" - one of the most expensive and protracted in history - has failed abysmally. Drugs are more abundant and cheaper than ever. The social costs have been staggering: the emergence of violent crime where none existed before, the destabilization of drug-producing countries, the collusion of drug traffickers with terrorists, and the death of millions - law enforcement agents, criminals, and users. Few doubt that legalizing most drugs would have a beneficial effect. Crime empires would crumble overnight, users would be assured of the quality of the products they consume, and the addicted few would not be incarcerated or stigmatized - but rather treated and rehabilitated. That soft, largely harmless, drugs continue to be illicit is the outcome of compounded political and economic pressures by lobby and interest groups of manufacturers of legal drugs, law enforcement agencies, the judicial system, and the aforementioned long list of those who benefit from the status quo. Only a popular movement can lead to the decriminalization of the more innocuous drugs. But such a crusade should be part of a larger campaign to reverse the overall tide of criminalization. Many "crimes" should revert to their erstwhile status as civil torts. Others should be wiped off the statute books altogether. Hundreds of thousands should be pardoned and allowed to reintegrate in society, unencumbered by a past of transgressions against an inane and inflationary penal code. This, admittedly, will reduce the leverage the state has today against its citizens and its ability to intrude on their lives, preferences, privacy, and leisure. Bureaucrats and politicians may find this abhorrent. Freedom loving people should rejoice. APPENDIX - Should Drugs be Legalized? The decriminalization of drugs is a tangled issue involving many separate moral/ethical and practical strands which can, probably, be summarized thus: (a) Whose body is it anyway? Where do I start and the government begins? What gives the state the right to intervene in decisions pertaining only to my self and contravene them? PRACTICAL: The government exercises similar "rights" in other cases (abortion, military conscription, sex) (b) Is the government the optimal moral agent, the best or the right arbiter, as far as drug abuse is concerned? PRACTICAL: For instance, governments collaborate with the illicit drug trade when it fits their realpolitik purposes. (c) Is substance abuse a personal or a social choice? Can one limit the implications, repercussions and outcomes of one's choices in general and of the choice to abuse drugs, in particular? If the drug abuser in effect makes decisions for others, too - does it justify the intervention of the state? Is the state the agent of society, is it the only agent of society and is it the right agent of society in the case of drug abuse? (d) What is the difference (in rigorous philosophical principle) between legal and illegal substances? Is it something in the nature of the substances? In the usage and what follows? In the structure of society? Is it a moral fashion? PRACTICAL: Does scientific research support or refute common myths and ethos regarding drugs and their abuse? Is scientific research influenced by the current anti-drugs crusade and hype? Are certain facts suppressed and certain subjects left unexplored? (e) Should drugs be decriminalized for certain purposes (e. g., marijuana and glaucoma)? If so, where should the line be drawn and by whom? PRACTICAL: Recreational drugs sometimes alleviate depression. Should this use be permitted?

         
    Lemon law lawyer could be useful

     

    Since the first lemon law was passed in 1982, all fifty states have enacted some form of consumer protection for owners of defective automobiles. The laws vary greatly from state to state, but the premise is the same - people who buy new, defective vehicles are entitled to receive a replacement or a refund. This works well on paper, but in practice, the process can be rather time consuming and complicated. Some states have rather straightforward requirements for which vehicles qualify; others are far more complicated. Some states allow the owner to sue the manufacturer directly; others require that the owner submit to manufacturer or state sponsored arbitration procedures first. Since lemon law claims are complicated and are not the sort of thing that most consumers handle more than once, there is some advantage to hiring an attorney to help. In many cases, hiring a lawyer isn't necessary, as the system was designed to let the consumer handle the case without legal assistance. But there are many unexpected circumstances that can turn up in these cases, and most people could benefit from the help of an experienced attorney. Here are some examples of how an attorney can help: Speed up the process - Manufacturers are notorious for finding excuses not to pay on a claim. They may be more likely to be cooperative if the consumer has hired legal representation, especially if you have hired one with a proven record of success in lemon law cases. Arbitration help - Arbitration programs tend to favor the manufacturer. They fund the programs, and many arbitrators are on their payroll, given them ample reason to rule against the consumer. While most states do not regard arbitration decisions as binding, many consumers who handle the cases themselves give up after losing an arbitration decision. The presence of an attorney can help. Advice in a poor case - Some states require the consumer to pay the manufacturer's legal costs in the event that the consumer should lose his or her case. These costs can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. If your case is a weak one, an experienced lawyer could save you this money by letting you know ahead of time that you shouldn't pursue it in court. In most states, consumers who win their cases are entitled to compensation for attorney's fees. That being the case, there is a strong argument for at least discussing your defective automobile with a lawyer before you seek a refund or replacement for your defective vehicle.

         
    Licensing your copyrighted works

     

    If you’ve taken the necessary steps to register your copyrighted works, you inevitably will have an opportunity to royalties off of them. To take advantage of the opportunity, you will need to be familiar with copyright license agreements. Copyright License Agreement A copyright license agreement sets for the terms under which a third party can use your content. In legal language, you will the “licensor” with the other party being the “licensee.” The purpose of the agreement is to set forth the terms under which you, the licensor, will grant the third party, licensee, the right to use, publish or reuse your copyrighted work in exchange for a royalty. Let’s take a closer look at key components of the licensing agreement. Specific Rights Granted This may sound obvious, but the agreement needs to detail exactly what copyrighted material can be used. If you have copyrighted articles, are you granting a right to use all of the articles or only certain ones? It is highly recommended that the agreement contain a detailed description of the exact materials being covered. Once you agree upon the exact materials, you need to determine any restrictions on how the material can be used. Can the material be used on the Internet or will it be restricted to a certain niche’ such as manuals or collections of materials? An extremely important issue is whether the agreement grants exclusive or non-exclusive rights. In English, this simply defines whether the licensor can grant similar rights to other parties. The grant of exclusive licenses should require a much larger royalty rate since you are essentially betting the third party will be successful. Licensing Royalties In exchange for your copyrighted work, the third party is going to make royalty payments to you. The particular amount of the royalty is dependent upon the nature of your work. Issues to consider include: 1) Will you be paid a flat amount or percentage of sales? 2) If a percentage, will it be figured from gross revenues or something less? 3) How often will you be paid? 4) What rights will you have to audit the books of the third party to determine you are getting the full royalty? In some situations, you may decide to forgo a royalty payment. This usually occurs when the third party will use the materials in manner that produces massive publicity for you. For example, many professionals seek to right columns for publications as a marketing tool. Often, they will not charge the publication for the material because the resulting publicity carries enough of a benefit. In Closing If you are considering licensing copyrighted content, keep the above in mind. Since such agreements are difficult to break, hiring an attorney is worth the expense.

         
    Litigation funding a financial lifeline

     

    Pursuing a lawsuit can put a strain on your finances. But litigation funding can provide a feasible financial lifeline to support your case and living expenses. If your personal funds are running out, and your case still hasn’t made it to court, consider litigation funding. It bridges the gap from your accident date to the settlement date. Litigation funding can provide you with cash advances for the duration of your case. Lawsuit financing is not a loan. The funding company buys a piece of the future settlement proceeds of your lawsuit, contingent upon the future outcome of the case. Essentially, you receive cash today in exchange for a specific amount of any settlement or judgment received from the litigation. Most often, lawsuit funding is used to cover medical and immediate living expenses. Litigation funding is available for all types of cases, including personal injury, medical malpractice, employment discrimination and wrongful death cases. Understanding Lawsuit Financing Technically, llitigation funding is a practice in which individuals who are plaintiffs in lawsuits receive money from a lawsuit loan company who takes a lien on the proceeds of the suit in return for cash now. Funding is provided on a non-recourse basis. This means any money you receive is yours to keep even if the results of the case have a negative outcome. Companies generally will provide litigation funding to individuals who have a strong case. For them, the cash advance is an investment. If you win, they receive a portion of the monetary award granted to you by the court. If you lose, they get nothing. In essence, litigation funding poses no risk on your part. You never have to repay the funding company if your case is unsuccessful in court. But if your case wins, you’ll probably end up with significantly more money than you would have if you settled early. That’s even after you present the funding company with its portion of the settlement. The Need for Litigation Funding Litigation is an expensive process. For most people with personal injury claims, a lawyer is hired on a contingent fee basis, meaning there is no attorney fee unless the case is successful. Then, any attorney fee that’s required is a percentage of the money recovered. The law firm advances money for the cost of litigation until the case is resolved. (For ethical reasons, lawyers cannot lend money to their clients.) However, for individuals paying legal fees “out of pocket”, the need for litigation funding can be critical. Here’s why: People who have been severely injured in accidents due to the negligence of others can be financially devastated during the process. Many are put out of work for weeks or months, leaving them with no income to provide for their dependents while they recover. Unfortunately, these victims often lack the proper income or credit history to qualify for a traditional loan. Even if they could, conventional loans require monthly payments which can be a further burden to their situation. Litigation funding is a viable option for cash-poor plaintiffs. It can help them meet their living expenses, pay for medical care and cover other personal costs. This can keep plaintiffs from having to sell their valuables or borrow money from family and friends to keep their lives on track. Lawsuit financing enables individuals to pursue justice without having to put their life on hold by sacrificing other necessary financial responsibilities. Instead of worrying about finances, they can focus on recovering from their injuries while they await a trial verdict or settlement. Working with a Funding Firm There are a growing number of companies offering litigation financing. Pursuing funding from these sources is fairly straightforward. You simply contact the provider for a free consultation. The company will follow up with your attorney, evaluate your case material and let you know—often within 48 hours—if you are eligible for lawsuit funding. Typically, no application fee, credit check or employment verification is required. If approved for lawsuit funding, your attorneys will retain complete control over your case. The funding provider will not get involved with your case strategy and or receive payment until after the case is settled. When choosing a funding firm, asking questions about the practices, fees and conditions involved. The American Litigation Finance Association (ALFA) offers some useful tips to help you locate suitable lawsuit financing: • Deal with a company that is investing for its own portfolio. Otherwise, you could wind up paying a great deal more than necessary. • Don’t supply information that is not otherwise discoverable. Privileged information should only be shared with your attorney—not a third party. • Don’t make multiple applications with different funding companies. You have no way of knowing if that company is going to try to sell your deal to one of the others to which you have applied (which will not sit very well with the real funding source). Besides, multiple applications create a hassle for your attorney since he or she will have to complete many requests for information. Your best approach is to make an informed choice and work with that company. • Check with your attorney. Never sign a complex contract such as a lawsuit funding agreement without consulting with your attorney first.

         
    Marines on trial for raping filipino woman

     

    It happened back in November in the Philippines. A woman, called by the pseudonym “Nicole,” was allegedly raped by four U. S. Marines. The trial for this incident is now six weeks long, and Nicole has taken the stand. The defendants are Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, Lance Cpl. Dominic Duplantis, Lance Cpl. Keith Silkwood and Staff Sgt. Chad Carpentier. It is alleged that Smith raped Nicole while the other three U. S. Marines watched and cheered. The events that led up to the alleged rape started back in November. One night the 22-year-old Nicole was drinking with the four U. S. Marines. According to eye witnesses, Nicole was eventually carried out of the bar on the back of Smith. Later, according to witnesses, the Marines took Nicole’s half-naked body out of their van and dumped her on the sidewalk—like garbage. According to Dr. Rolando Ortiz II, Nicole had bruises on her arms, legs and genital area, which were consistent with sexual assault. Nicole’s stepsister also testified that a Filipino man offered them money not to pursue the case. The man did not state whom he represented. Even though the Marines are confined to the U. S. Embassy in Manila, they still managed to get on TV. Staff Sergeant Chad Carpentier told a Philippine TV station that Nicole was “being manipulated to accuse the servicemen.” He also said that “she’s a victim, but not a victim of us, she’s a victim of some of the people surrounding her.” Currently the U. S. embassy has custody of the Marines. As part of the treaty, the men must be tried—and proceedings concluded—within on year. Apparently, the ages and hometowns of the men in question have not yet been released. What is known is this. The men were part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Force that was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. While the case fueled anti-American protests, these protests are nothing new for the area. It’s been reported that Nicole broke down in tears when she took the stand. In fact, the judge ordered a break—she was not even up to the rape part of the testimony. It’s worth noting that the Marines did not enter a plea. They remained silent. As such, the judge was forced to enter a plea of innocence on their behalf. Apparently, the charge carries a prison sentence of up to 40 years. The defense is not denying that Nicole and Smith had sex, rather they are claiming that it was consensual. This still does not explain the eye witness testimony of the Marines dumping her half-naked body on the sidewalk. The defendants were in the county for counterterrorism training. If found guilty, they will be in the Philippines for an extended stay.

         
    Marketing on the internet legal rules of the road

     

    The Internet is connecting advertisers and marketers to customers from Boston to Bali. If you're thinking about advertising on the Internet, remember that many of the same rules that apply to other forms of advertising apply to electronic marketing. The Federal Trade Commission Act allows the FTC to act in the interest of all consumers to prevent deceptive and unfair acts or practices. The FTC has determined that a representation, omission or practice is deceptive if it is likely to: 1. Mislead consumers and 2. Affect consumers' behavior or decisions about the product or service. In addition, an act or practice is unfair if the injury it causes is: 1. Substantial 2. Not outweighed by other benefits and 3. Not reasonably avoidable. The FTC prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising in any medium. That is, advertising must tell the truth and not mislead consumers. A claim can be misleading if relevant information is left out or if the claim implies something that's not true. For example, a lease advertisement for an automobile that promotes "$0 Down" may be misleading if significant and undisclosed charges are due at lease signing. In addition, claims must be substantiated, especially when they concern health, safety, or performance. The type of evidence may depend on the product, the claims, and what experts believe necessary. If your ad specifies a certain level of support for a claim - "tests show X" - you must have at least that level of support. Other points to consider: Disclaimers and disclosures must be clear and conspicuous. That is, consumers must be able to notice, read or hear, and understand the information. Still, a disclaimer or disclosure alone usually is not enough to remedy a false or deceptive claim. Testimonials and endorsements must reflect the typical experiences of consumers, unless the ad clearly and conspicuously states otherwise. A statement that not all consumers will get the same results is not enough to qualify a claim. Testimonials and endorsements can't be used to make a claim that the advertiser itself cannot substantiate. If your ad uses phrases like "satisfaction guaranteed" or "money-back guarantee," you must be willing to give full refunds for any reason. You also must tell the consumer the terms of the offer. Non-Compliance If you fail to follow these rules, you run the risk of being prosecuted by the FTC. Successful prosecutions typically result in injunctions against your site and damages awarded in the amount of $11,000 PER VIOLATION.

         
    Medical malpractice and legal matters

     

    : Medical Malpractice is a serious issue. Every day people get improper treatment resulting in numerous negative outcomes. The medical society has sworn an oath to provide the best medical care to their patients. Unfortunately, we all are human and mistakes are made. This is a seriously concerning issue due to the fact that we trust our lives to individuals that may be either not properly trained, inexperienced, neglectful, overly exhausted or just plain unfit to perform medical practices. Now it is the nature of the beast, in the medical profession, to undergo long hours without rest. This may be looked at as an error in society because no one can predict always when an injury or emergency will happen. What happens when a doctor creates a much more serious issue to an already existing problem? This term could be considered medical malpractice. Now, in regards to those that protect us every day and help keep us healthy, many complications that result from medical treatment are not medical malpractice, they are simply complications. The human being is a biological product and like anything biological we have tendencies to reject certain treatments that we may undergo. Doctors and Medical Professionals help us daily overcome numerous illnesses and medical emergencies. These good Samaritans give their heart and soul to their work. We should hope they do so! The problem lies when someone falls victim to an incident that could have easily been prevented with a little more attention to detail. The patient can be left with much less than he or she was willing to gamble. Its horrible to think about, but it is a truth in our society that gets dealt with on a daily basis. When someone falls victim to such acts such as medical neglect, it may be in their best interest to seek legal action. If legal action is found necessary. It may mean compensation for the injured and neglected. Sometimes it gets no where close to filling the void that may have been left from the incident, however it does spread awareness. In order to help prevent legal matters to take place it is important to do your homework. When doing research on a physician or doctor it is extremely important to look at their credentials. Then you are not working on blind faith alone. When taking legal action, it is important to take down every little bit of detail possible. Record every date, every happening, and every little thing you can think about relating to the incident at hand. Its important to take names, addresses, phone numbers, dates and numerous specific details about everything that took place. Understanding your options and knowing your situation inside and out is the number one key to success if legal action is necessary. It is quite an unfortunate even, when something such as medical malpractice occurs, but it does happen and one should realize the risks before hand. Medical Malpractice Attorny

         
    Mississippi child support laws the magnolia state

     

    : Mississippi Child Support Laws The child support enforcement office is able to assist custodial parents in locating a non-custodial parent, enforcing child support, establish paternity, and any other assistance the custodial parents may need. When applying for Mississippi child support services, the first step you need to take is to call or visit your local county child support office. Custodial parents who are on programs such as TANF or any other state or federal assistance will be referred to a child support office for services. Parents who are not on these programs can apply for child support services through their local county office. A one-time application fee of $25.00 will be charged for parents who are not receiving federal or state assistance. When determining the amount of child support that will be paid, the laws will go by the child support guidelines. These guidelines will determine the amount of child support by calculating a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s gross income. This percentages is also calculated by the number of children, and the needs of the children. Mississippi Child Support Enforcement Some parents fall behind or just will not pay child support. We label these people as dead beat parents. In the state of Mississippi, there are methods to collecting unpaid child support. Theses methods include income withholding, tax offset interception, unemployment compensation interception, contempt actions, etc. These action were created for the purpose to enforce child support payments. Establishing Paternity If a child is born out of wedlock, the custodial parents must first establish paternity in order for the courts to establish a child support order. By establishing paternity, the child will know who his or her parents and their medical history. Paternity can be established when both parents sign an acknowledgement of paternity form and return it to a hospital staff member when the child is born. There will not be a fee for this method. Another method to establish paternity, is to have a genetic test performed on the other parent to see if he is the father of the child/children. Establishing paternity is very important when applying for child support. It is also important to locate and make sure you have proof that the alleged father is the real father of you child/children. For more information on Mississippi child support laws click the links below

         
    Misuse of law could be toxic to farmers

     

    How would you like it if your home were suddenly declared a toxic waste site? Sound like something out of Ripley's "Believe it or Not!"? Yet in today's topsy-turvy world, that is exactly what some people are proposing. If you have any land with horses, cattle, chickens or other livestock on it, you have reason to be concerned. The proposal-being pushed by some of the nation's biggest environmental organizations-would bring all such farm and country property under the so-called Superfund law for cleaning up industrial waste sites. How come? They argue that animal waste-manure-is a "hazardous substance" and therefore every property with animals on it should be labeled and treated just like industrial waste sites. The costs imposed on our farmers could be enormous. Thousands could be driven off their land. They are rightfully worried. The ridiculous thing is that Congress never intended the 1980 Superfund law to apply to farmers-or to animal waste. It was meant to clean up industrial sites like Love Canal. But because farms were not specifically excluded, environmental groups are claiming the law applies to them, too. And farmers are already being sued. As a result, the nation's major farming organizations have asked Congress to clarify-as a matter of urgency-that it never intended farms to be branded as Superfund toxic waste sites. All it would take is a simple amendment. But again-believe it or not-environmental groups, trial lawyers and some state attorneys general have now mounted a campaign urging Congress NOT to clarify the law! They actually want it to remain confusing, so they can sue farmers and force them to settle. "If the activists succeed, farmers could face penalties of many millions of dollars and thousands of small farmers could be forced off their land," wrote columnist Steve Milloy, publisher of JunkScience. "The domestic livestock industry would be driven from this country, the grain industry would be crippled, and farm families and communities would be devastated," warns Oklahoma Farm Bureau chief Steve Kouplen. Adds Missouri cattleman Mike John, president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, "If animal manure is legally declared a hazardous substance, virtually every farm or ranch in the United States could be written off as a Toxic Superfund site." This is clearly not what Congress intended. The question now is whether members of Congress will be willing to stand up to the activists and lawyers who are urging them to do nothing to fix the problem.

         
    Money laundering in a changed world

     

    If you shop with a major bank, chances are that all the transactions in your account are scrutinized by AML (Anti Money Laundering) software. Billions of dollars are being invested in these applications. They are supposed to track suspicious transfers, deposits, and withdrawals based on overall statistical patterns. Bank directors, exposed, under the Patriot Act, to personal liability for money laundering in their establishments, swear by it as a legal shield and the holy grail of the on-going war against financial crime and the finances of terrorism. Quoted in Wired, Neil Katkov of Celent Communications, pegs future investments in compliance-related activities and products by American banks alone at close to $15 billion in the next 3 years (2005-2008). The United State's Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (finCEN) received c. 15 million reports in each of the years 2003 and 2004. But this is a drop in the seething ocean of illicit financial transactions, sometimes egged on and abetted even by the very Western governments ostensibly dead set against them. Israel has always turned a blind eye to the origin of funds deposited by Jews from South Africa to Russia. In Britain it is perfectly legal to hide the true ownership of a company. Underpaid Asian bank clerks on immigrant work permits in the Gulf states rarely require identity documents from the mysterious and well-connected owners of multi-million dollar deposits. Hawaladars continue plying their paperless and trust-based trade - the transfer of billions of US dollars around the world. American and Swiss banks collaborate with dubious correspondent banks in off shore centres. Multinationals shift money through tax free territories in what is euphemistically known as "tax planning". Internet gambling outfits and casinos serve as fronts for narco-dollars. British Bureaux de Change launder up to 2.6 billion British pounds annually. The 500 Euro note makes it much easier to smuggle cash out of Europe. A French parliamentary committee accused the City of London of being a money laundering haven in a 400 page report. Intelligence services cover the tracks of covert operations by opening accounts in obscure tax havens, from Cyprus to Nauru. Money laundering, its venues and techniques, are an integral part of the economic fabric of the world. Business as usual? Not really. In retrospect, as far as money laundering goes, September 11 may be perceived as a watershed as important as the precipitous collapse of communism in 1989. Both events have forever altered the patterns of the global flows of illicit capital. What is Money Laundering? Strictly speaking, money laundering is the age-old process of disguising the illegal origin and criminal nature of funds (obtained in sanctions-busting arms sales, smuggling, trafficking in humans, organized crime, drug trafficking, prostitution rings, embezzlement, insider trading, bribery, and computer fraud) by moving them untraceably and investing them in legitimate businesses, securities, or bank deposits. But this narrow definition masks the fact that the bulk of money laundered is the result of tax evasion, tax avoidance, and outright tax fraud, such as the "VAT carousel scheme" in the EU (moving goods among businesses in various jurisdictions to capitalize on differences in VAT rates). Tax-related laundering nets between 10-20 billion US dollars annually from France and Russia alone. The confluence of criminal and tax averse funds in money laundering networks serves to obscure the sources of both. The Scale of the Problem According to a 1996 IMF estimate, money laundered annually amounts to 2-5% of world GDP (between 800 billion and 2 trillion US dollars in today's terms). The lower figure is considerably larger than an average European economy, such as Spain's. The System It is important to realize that money laundering takes place within the banking system. Big amounts of cash are spread among numerous accounts (sometimes in free economic zones, financial off shore centers, and tax havens), converted to bearer financial instruments (money orders, bonds), or placed with trusts and charities. The money is then transferred to other locations, sometimes as bogus payments for "goods and services" against fake or inflated invoices issued by holding companies owned by lawyers or accountants on behalf of unnamed beneficiaries. The transferred funds are re-assembled in their destination and often "shipped" back to the point of origin under a new identity. The laundered funds are then invested in the legitimate economy. It is a simple procedure - yet an effective one. It results in either no paper trail - or too much of it. The accounts are invariably liquidated and all traces erased. Why is It a Problem? Criminal and tax evading funds are idle and non-productive. Their injection, however surreptitiously, into the economy transforms them into a productive (and cheap) source of capital. Why is this negative? Because it corrupts government officials, banks and their officers, contaminates legal sectors of the economy, crowds out legitimate and foreign capital, makes money supply unpredictable and uncontrollable, and increases cross-border capital movements, thereby enhancing the volatility of exchange rates. A multilateral, co-ordinated, effort (exchange of information, uniform laws, extra-territorial legal powers) is required to counter the international dimensions of money laundering. Many countries opt in because money laundering has also become a domestic political and economic concern. The United Nations, the Bank for International Settlements, the OECD's FATF (Financial Action Task Force), the EU, the Council of Europe, the Organisation of American States, all published anti-money laundering standards. Regional groupings were formed (or are being established) in the Caribbean, Asia, Europe, southern Africa, western Africa, and Latin America. Money Laundering in the Wake of the September 11 Attacks Regulation The least important trend is the tightening of financial regulations and the establishment or enhancement of compulsory (as opposed to industry or voluntary) regulatory and enforcement agencies. New legislation in the US which amounts to extending the powers of the CIA domestically and of the DOJ extra-territorially, was rather xenophobically described by a DOJ official, Michael Chertoff, as intended to "make sure the American banking system does not become a haven for foreign corrupt leaders or other kinds of foreign organized criminals." Privacy and bank secrecy laws have been watered down. Collaboration with off shore "shell" banks has been banned. Business with clients of correspondent banks was curtailed. Banks were effectively transformed into law enforcement agencies, responsible to verify both the identities of their (foreign) clients and the source and origin of their funds. Cash transactions were partly criminalized. And the securities and currency trading industry, insurance companies, and money transfer services are subjected to growing scrutiny as a conduit for "dirty cash". Still, such legislation is highly ineffective. The American Bankers' Association puts the cost of compliance with the laxer anti-money-laundering laws in force in 1998 at 10 billion US dollars - or more than 10 million US dollars per obtained conviction. Even when the system does work, critical alerts drown in the torrent of reports mandated by the regulations. One bank actually reported a suspicious transaction in the account of one of the September 11 hijackers - only to be ignored. The Treasury Department established Operation Green Quest, an investigative team charged with monitoring charities, NGO's, credit card fraud, cash smuggling, counterfeiting, and the Hawala networks. This is not without precedent. Previous teams tackled drug money, the biggest money laundering venue ever, BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International), and ... Al Capone. The more veteran, New-York based, El-Dorado anti money laundering Task Force (established in 1992) will lend a hand and share information. More than 150 countries promised to co-operate with the US in its fight against the financing of terrorism - 81 of which (including the Bahamas, Argentina, Kuwait, Indonesia, Pakistan, Switzerland, and the EU) actually froze assets of suspicious individuals, suspected charities, and dubious firms, or passed new anti money laundering laws and stricter regulations (the Philippines, the UK, Germany). A EU directive now forces lawyers to disclose incriminating information about their clients' money laundering activities. Pakistan initiated a "loyalty scheme", awarding expatriates who prefer official bank channels to the much maligned (but cheaper and more efficient) Hawala, with extra baggage allowance and special treatment in airports. The magnitude of this international collaboration is unprecedented. But this burst of solidarity may yet fade. China, for instance, refuses to chime in. As a result, the statement issued by APEC in November 2001 on measures to stem the finances of terrorism was lukewarm at best. And, protestations of close collaboration to the contrary, Saudi Arabia has done nothing to combat money laundering "Islamic charities" (of which it is proud) on its territory. Still, a universal code is emerging, based on the work of the OECD's FATF (Financial Action Task Force) since 1989 (its famous "40 recommendations") and on the relevant UN conventions. All countries are expected by the West, on pain of possible sanctions, to adopt a uniform legal platform (including reporting on suspicious transactions and freezing assets) and to apply it to all types of financial intermediaries, not only to banks. This is likely to result in... The Decline of off Shore Financial Centres and Tax Havens By far the most important outcome of this new-fangled juridical homogeneity is the acceleration of the decline of off shore financial and banking centres and tax havens. The distinction between off-shore and on-shore will vanish. Of the FATF's "name and shame" blacklist of 19 "black holes" (poorly regulated territories, including Israel, Indonesia, and Russia) - 11 have substantially revamped their banking laws and financial regulators. Coupled with the tightening of US, UK, and EU laws and the wider interpretation of money laundering to include political corruption, bribery, and embezzlement - this would make life a lot more difficult for venal politicians and major tax evaders. The likes of Sani Abacha (late President of Nigeria), Ferdinand Marcos (late President of the Philippines), Vladimiro Montesinos (former, now standing trial, chief of the intelligence services of Peru), or Raul Salinas (the brother of Mexico's President) - would have found it impossible to loot their countries to the same disgraceful extent in today's financial environment. And Osama bin Laden would not have been able to wire funds to US accounts from the Sudanese Al Shamal Bank, the "correspondent" of 33 American banks. Quo Vadis, Money Laundering? Crime is resilient and fast adapting to new realities. Organized crime is in the process of establishing an alternative banking system, only tangentially connected to the West's, in the fringes, and by proxy. This is done by purchasing defunct banks or banking licences in territories with lax regulation, cash economies, corrupt politicians, no tax collection, but reasonable infrastructure. The countries of Eastern Europe - Yugoslavia (Montenegro and Serbia), Macedonia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Albania, to mention a few - are natural targets. In some cases, organized crime is so all-pervasive and local politicians so corrupt that the distinction between criminal and politician is spurious. Gradually, money laundering rings move their operations to these new, accommodating territories. The laundered funds are used to purchase assets in intentionally botched privatizations, real estate, existing businesses, and to finance trading operations. The wasteland that is Eastern Europe craves private capital and no questions are asked by investor and recipient alike. The next frontier is cyberspace. Internet banking, Internet gambling, day trading, foreign exchange cyber transactions, e-cash, e-commerce, fictitious invoicing of the launderer's genuine credit cards - hold the promise of the future. Impossible to track and monitor, ex-territorial, totally digital, amenable to identity theft and fake identities - this is the ideal vehicle for money launderers. This nascent platform is way too small to accommodate the enormous amounts of cash laundered daily - but in ten years time, it may. The problem is likely to be exacerbated by the introduction of smart cards, electronic purses, and payment-enabled mobile phones. In its "Report on Money Laundering Typologies" (February 2001) the FATF was able to document concrete and suspected abuses of online banking, Internet casinos, and web-based financial services. It is difficult to identify a customer and to get to know it in cyberspace, was the alarming conclusion. It is equally complicated to establish jurisdiction. Many capable professionals - stockbrokers, lawyers, accountants, traders, insurance brokers, real estate agents, sellers of high value items such as gold, diamonds, and art - are employed or co-opted by money laundering operations. Money launderers are likely to make increased use of global, around the clock, trading in foreign currencies and derivatives. These provide instantaneous transfer of funds and no audit trail. The underlying securities involved are susceptible to market manipulation and fraudplex insurance policies (with the "wrong" beneficiaries), and the securitization of receivables, leasing contracts, mortgages, and low grade bonds are already used in money laundering schemes. In general, money laundering goes well with risk arbitraging financial instruments. Trust-based, globe-spanning, money transfer systems based on authentication codes and generations of commercial relationships cemented in honour and blood - are another wave of the future. The Hawala and Chinese networks in Asia, the Black Market Peso Exchange (BMPE) in Latin America, other evolving courier systems in Eastern Europe (mainly in Russia, Ukraine, and Albania) and in Western Europe (mainly in France and Spain). In conjunction with encrypted e-mail and web anonymizers, these networks are virtually impenetrable. As emigration increases, diasporas established, and transport and telecommunications become ubiquitous, "ethnic banking" along the tradition of the Lombards and the Jews in medieval Europe may become the the preferred venue of money laundering. September 11 may have retarded world civilization in more than one way.

         
    Montana child support the treasure state

     

    : Montana Child Support
    How do you know if you qualify for child support? Child support is available to all single parents in need of financial assistance from the non-custodial parent. In order to receive child support services, you must first fill out an application with the state of Montana. When apply for child support, there will be a non-refundable application fee. The state will then locate and notify the non-custodial parent. If the allege father denies any claims of the child, you are able to have a paternity test performed. If you or the non-custodial parent do not reside in the state of Montana, you may still qualify for assistance. There are several different services that are available when applying for Montana child support. For Instance, you have financial support and medical support available to you when applying for child support services. In the state of Montana, child support cases must be modified every several years. The reason for the modifications is to keep up with the non-custodial parent’s pay. If the parent receives a raise or any promotions, the Montana child support must modify to see if the child support payments need to be raised. The opposite happens when the non-custodial parent takes a cut in pay or loses their job. When applying for child support, you will also receive medical coverage for your child/children from the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is required to provide medical assistance and is factored in to the amount of child support that is paid. Montana child support enforcement ensures that a non-custodial parent pays child support on a regular basis. There are many methods to enforcing child support, here are a few of those methods: seizure of cash assets, passport denials, and tax refund interceptions. There are many more methods that will be enforced if the non-custodial parent refuses to pay child support. In today’s time there many children who are raised with only one parent. Assistance from the non-custodial parents must be provided in order for the child/children to live a decent life. As a parent you must located and establish paternity so that the courts can order child support from the other parent. Because with support from the other parent, you will be sure that your child will live a life that they deserve. For more information on Montana child support please click the links below.

         
    Motor insurers bureau compensation claims

     

    It's a fairly common practice, claiming compensation from the another driver’s insurance company in the event of a road traffic incident. However, if the driver whom you had the accident with had left the scene and subsequently cannot be trace - then what? Also, what can you do if the other driver doesn't have insurance? Well thankfully, you may still be able to make a claim compensation from the UK Motor Insurers Bureau. Claims going through theUK Motor Insurers Bureau is similar to making a normal claim. Your case will be reviewed by the ruling judge and a decision is then made in regards to liability and how much compensation you should be awarded which will be paid by the UK Motor Insurers Bureau. MIB was established in 1946 as a private company limited by guarantee for the purpose of entering into Agreements with the Government to compensate the victims of negligent uninsured and untraced motorists. Every insurer underwriting compulsory motor insurance is obliged, by virtue of the Road Traffic Act 1988, to be a member of MIB and to contribute to its funding The MIB can give compensation to someone who is involved in a motor accident caused by an uninsured driver or untraced driver. If the driver was uninsured, the MIB can pay compensation for personal injury or death and/or damage to property. If the driver has not been traced, the MIB will consider claims for damage to personal property providing the vehicle can be identified. Normally, the UK Motor Insurers Bureau will make a payment for both your vehicle and any personal injury suffered by yourself. This may also cover loss of earnings and medical expenses, pain, distress and suffering - all covered by the UK Motor Insurers Bureau At Claims Master Group claiming from the UK Motor Insurers Bureau is handled by our team of legal professionals. We work on a no win no fee basis, so the solicitor who will be working with the UK Motor Insurers Bureau to award your compensation is free of charge to yourself. ********************************************************************* If you need advice or would just like to speak to someone, please don’t hesitate to give Claims Master Group a call on 08000 71 22 71. The Personal Injury, Accident Claim, No Win No Fee, Motor Insurers Bureau specialists.

         
    Nebraska child support the cornhusker state

     

    : Child support plays an important role when it comes to caring for children in need. Child support is provided for single parents to make sure their child/children lives a comfortable life style. Child support laws in Nebraska will provide services to help the custodial and non-custodial parent provide for their children. Applying for child support
    Custodial and non-custodial parents can apply for child support through the Nebraska child support Enforcement Center. There are three options a parent can apply for child support: applying by phone is one option, online, or in person. Applying for child support in Nebraska is only the beginning. For example, in order to establish child support, you must first locate the non-custodial parent and establish paternity. The child support laws in Nebraska will provide assistance on locating the non-custodial parents. There are several methods used for tracking down the non-custodial parents in order to establish child support. These methods are: calling the non-custodial parent’s family, sending address verification letters to the Postmaster, and checking with credit reporting agencies. If the missing parents are currently working, then they will be located and summoned to court to pay child support if they are the legal parent. When the missing parent is located, you must establish paternity to make them the legal parent. By making them the legal parent, you then can establish a child support order. If the non-custodial parent acknowledges the child, then they will have to fill out a voluntary paternity acknowledgement form that is provided at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth. On the other hand, if the non-custodial parent denies claim of the child, then you would need to have a genetic test done to see if they are the biological parent. Once the procedures above are done and the non-custodial parent is found to be the biological parent, you can establish a court order for Nebraska child support. Child support laws vary in information in each state in America. For contact information on Nebraska child support laws, click the links below.

         
    Nevada child support the silver state

     

    No matter what state a non-custodial parent may reside, they are still responsible for making timely child support payments. The Nevada child support office will help assist a custodial parent in locating a missing parent. “This must be done first in order to establish child support!” The child support office in the state of Nevada would like for the custodial parent to establish paternity for their children once the non-custodial parent is located. Sometimes a mother will not know who the biological father may be, therefore, a genetic test can be performed to prove the true father of the child. Once the test results are in, and they are positive, the child support office will establish child support. When establishing child support, the child support office will determine the amount of money that will be paid by the non-custodial parent. The amount of child support that will be paid will depend on the amount of Income made by the non-custodial parent. Income such as wages from a pay check, unemployment benefits, lottery winnings, rental income, and many other source that the non-custodial parent may have. Once Nevada child support has been ordered, payments will last until the child emancipates, or when the child becomes eighteen years of age, nineteen if they are still in school full time. Many non-custodial parents who are ordered to pay child support may not abide by the child support laws. In any case, the Nevada child support offices has several methods in enforcing child support payments. A non-custodial parent who fails to make timely child support payments may have their income withheld, reported to the Credit Bureau, have liens placed on any personal properties, suspension of licenses or permits and criminal enforcement. For more information on child support laws in the state of Nevada , please click the links below.

         
     
         
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