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Legal-Ease for Mediators Symposium - Construction Syllabus

Provided by: MPGroup
Sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bar Association Dispute Resolution Service DRS Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA) CONSTRUCTION SYLLABUS March 7, 2009
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What Are Construction Defects? - An ICBO Symposium

Provided by: MPGroup
A Syllabus for the Orange Empire Training Academy 1997 Training Matrix, Sponsored by the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) Orange Empire Chapter Symposium on September 3, 1997.

What Are Construction Defects?

Provided by: MPGroup
Since the "Building Boom" of the 1980's and the advent of the ten year cycle ( California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 337.15 ) for "LATENT DEFECTS" ( A latent defect is one that a property owner does not know about and would not be expected to discover through the exercise of reasonable care. ) construction defects claims and subsequent litigation has exploded into horrific proportions.

Construction Defects: Defending Against The Claims

Provided by: MPGroup
The following article has been written, in part, by a Lawyer, Mr. Thomas M. Condas, with Attorneys and Insurance Professionals in mind and, therefore, contains case law citations. The information contained herein, is intended to be highly useful for all persons interested in its subject matter.

IRS to Audit Sea Nine VEBA Participating Employers

The IRS may be auditing many more participating employers in the coming months.

Protecting Clients from Fraud Incompetence and Scams

Over the past decade business owners have been overwhelmed by a plethora of choices designed to reduce the cost of providing employee benefits while increasing their own retirement savings. The solutions range from traditional pension and profit sharing plans to more advanced strategies.

How MAP-21 Relates to PBGC Reporting Requirements

Pension funding stabilization for single-employer defined benefit pension plans is the goal of special rules issued by the IRS in Notice 2012-61 dated September 11, 2012. The IRS guidelines relate to amendments to the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) made by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Pub. L. No.112-141. MAP-21 was enacted July 6, 2012, and contains a number of pension provisions in Division D (Finance).

How 'Rules of Thumb' and Formulaic Software Models are Dangerous for Damage Calculations

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Plaintiffs often desire short cuts to damage measurements. Given the cost of using experts employing proper methods and data, the temptation is obvious.

Potential Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions

412(i) plans and employers under audit for "potential abusive tax avoidance transactions" have asserted claims against insurance companies and their agents to recover money paid for insurance policies and for IRS assessed interest and penalties. Most are or will be audited by IRS for not properly filing under IRS code 6707a and will also lose the lawsuits for failing to mitigate the damages etc.

Abusive Insurance and Retirement Plans

Single-employer section 419 welfare benefit plans are the latest incarnation in insurance deductions the IRS deems abusive.

Litigation Involving Private Money, Hard Money, Commercial Lenders, and Alternative Lenders

Provided by: Don Coker
The author explains some of the important issues that arise in litigation involving private lenders and credit companies.

Abusive Tax Shelters

As an expert witness on 419 412i and abusive tax shelters my side has never lost a case. Many insurance agents that sold, and were sued, for selling those plans are now selling captive insurance and section 79 plans. The IRS is now looking at these plans. I have also received calls from people who are being audited by the IRS.

Standards for Establishing Business Interruption Economic Damages Claims for Litigation

Provided by: Don Coker
The author explains some of the important nuances of establishing business interruption economic damages for an insurance claim or for litigation.

Class Action Challenges Propriety of 412(e)(3) Annuities

On August 1, 2012, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in the District of Connecticut challenging the propriety of certain insurance contracts used to fund defined benefit plans described in section 412(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. U.S. Telemanagement, Inc. v. Fidelity Security Life Insurance Co. et al., No. 3:12-cv-1110 JBA (D. Conn.).

Property & Casualty Insurance Procurement & Litigation (10 of 10 Reoccurring Themes Every Lawyer Should Know)

Business Interruption, Income, Extra Expense and other time element coverages are unique to business entities and are seldom purchased correctly.

Property & Casualty Insurance Procurement & Litigation (9 of 10 Reoccurring Themes Every Lawyer Should Know)

Coinsurance is one of the most common insurance purchase misunderstandings. The coinsurance clause/penalty is a stated understanding and agreement within most property policies that requires the property owner to purchase insurance for a certain percentage of the full value of the property.

Property & Casualty Insurance Procurement & Litigation (8 of 10 Reoccurring Themes Every Lawyer Should Know)

Property values matter and vary based on the purpose of the valuation. Although this issue seems easy, there is more contention at the time of a property claim on this issue than practically any other issue.

Property & Casualty Insurance Procurement & Litigation (7 of 10 Reoccurring Themes Every Lawyer Should Know)

Understand Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage before it is needed.

Property & Casualty Insurance Procurement & Litigation (6 of 10 Reoccurring Themes Every Lawyer Should Know)

Accuracy is necessary and important!

Property & Casualty Insurance Procurement & Litigation (5 of 10 Reoccurring Themes Every Lawyer Should Know)

Agent's have a duty to their client.

Property & Casualty Insurance Procurement & Litigation (4 of 10 Reoccurring Themes Every Lawyer Should Know)

Experience Matters!

Property & Casualty Insurance Procurement & Litigation (3 of 10 Reoccurring Themes Every Lawyer Should Know)

An insurance contract must be understood by the buyer.

Property & Casualty Insurance Procurement & Litigation (2 of 10 Reoccurring Themes Every Lawyer Should Know)

The first trigger to an insurance contract - Premium Payment

Property & Casualty Insurance Procurement & Litigation (1 of 10 Reoccurring Themes Every Lawyer Should Know)

There are ten recurring themes that often lead to litigation. Attorneys either dealing in insurance procurement litigation issues or with clients who purchase insurance may want to consider these ten themes. Just like poor legal advice, poor understanding of insurance procurement issues can be very expensive for your client. Theme 1 - Roles and responsibilities in the insurance buying process are important and different.

Expert Advice on Loan Quality and Management Considerations in FDIC Directors and Officers Litigation

Provided by: Don Coker
Renowned nationwide banking expert witness for plaintiffs and defendants in 525 cases - including 8 regulatory Directors and Officers Liability cases - former high-level banking executive, high-level banking regulator, and banking consultant to over 90 banks, Don Coker, explains some of the important nuances of loan quality and institutional management issues important in litigation involving nationwide banking and savings institution industry standard policies, practices and procedures.

Preparing for Swiftwater Rescue Incidents

This article discusses the need for Fire, Rescue, EMS, and Law Enforcement agencies to PLAN for, TRAIN for, and acquire the RESOURCES required to safely and effectively MANAGE incidents in, on and around the water. In February 2004, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) published NFPA 1670: Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue (SAR) Incidents.

Prevention and Management of Torso Reflex

Torso Reflex, also known as Gasp Reflex , Inhalation Response, or Cold Water Shock, is caused by sudden immersion into water colder than 70 degrees F. Sudden immersion into cold water triggers an involuntary reflexive torso gasp that can cause the person to aspirate water into his/her airway and lungs, which can lead to laryngospasm, disorientation, panic, and the loss of any physical ability to swim or remain afloat.

In the Rhythm of Saving Lives

Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart stops suddenly and is caused by life threatening arrhythmias in the heart’s electrical system. The only effective treatment for ventricular fibrillation is defibrillation—the delivery of a shock to the heart that stops VF and allows a normal heart rhythm to resume.

Escape and Rescue from Submerged Vehicles

Each year, there are approximately 1,500 incidents and 600 deaths involving vehicles that have gone off the road and plummeted into water. The public needs to plan for these types of emergencies, and the government needs to implement appropriate safety protocols and equipment to assist occupants in escaping from submerged vehicle incidents.

Issues With Potential Criminal Charges: Voluntary Disclosure - FBAR-OVDI

From the IRS website: New Filing Compliance Procedures for Non-Resident U.S. Taxpayers - The IRS is aware that some U.S. taxpayers living abroad have failed to timely file U.S. federal income tax returns or Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs), Form TD F 90-22.1.

FBAR OVDI Offshore Tax Issues

In 2012 the IRS announced another offshore voluntary disclosure program (the 2012 OVDI). These programs offer reduced penalties in exchange for taxpayers’ voluntarily coming into compliance before the IRS is aware of their prior tax indiscretions.

OVDI FBAR Use It or Lose It

The IRS has announced a reopening of its 2011 offshore voluntary disclosure initiative (“OVDI”). This program will have essentially the same terms as the 2011 OVDI, but with a penalty rate of 27.5 percent (rather than 25 percent) of the highest account balance during the period covered by the initiative.

The Bank Secrecy Act Requires a Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)

U.S. persons to avoid taxes by hiding money offshore. The FBAR covers a calendar year and must be filed no later than June 30th of the following year and includes any interest a U.S. person has. The Bank Secrecy Act requires that a Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), be filed if the aggregate balances of such foreign accounts exceed $10,000 at any time during the year.

Fbar Ovdi Want to Go to Jail? Offshore Tax

The Federal government is aggressively pursuing taxpayers with undisclosed foreign accounts and unreported foreign income using information furnished by the foreign banks and other sources. If you have not yet applied for the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, Recent convictions involving UBS Clients:

Abusive 412(i) Tax Shelter Litigation

Parties: Typically, these transactions will include an Insurance company, accountant, tax attorney, and a promoter (someone with an insurance background, perhaps an actuary, who knows how to structure the policy itself). These groups will use insurance brokerages and sub-agents (licensed in the various states) to sell the policies themselves.

How to Make Indie Filmmaking Profitable in the Age of Tentpole Franchises

Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
To some, indie filmmaking is an art form, to others a dream of of seeing their story come to life on the big screen, however, it is meant to be a profitable business. Investors put money into a film, and expect to get their money back and receive a decent return on their investment. Cindy Nelson-Mullen, Co-CEO of MonteCristo International, an international sales agent/production company, and discusses with her the elements it takes to make a profitable film.

The Sales Agent Perspective on Indie Film Financing

Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
In the first installment of our interview with Michele Taverna of MonteCristo Entertainment, "The New Core of the Film Industry," we discussed your position as sales agent being the “natural first stop” on the road to producing films. Let’s take a look at how you go about making the all important decisions on which films to produce and how to get them financed.

The New Core of the Film Industry - The Sales Agent

Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
The film financing and distribution arena is constantly changing, and with that so does the epicenter of action. It is a well-known fact that talent drives movie making. Since the advent of CAA in the late 80’s the gatekeeper to those stars has been the agent, and still is. However a new power-broker in film financing has surfaced in the last couple of years…and that player is the International Sales Agent.

Getting Real with Indie Film Finance and Distribution...Part 2

Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
In Part I, we talked with Financier/Producer Michael Mendelsohn about Hedge funds and what they are looking for in terms of financing films. They prefer slates, which create a portfolio effect with which they can amortize the risk across a variety of film, genres and budgets. If that’s the game Hedges funds are playing, what are equity/wealthy individuals looking for?

Getting Real with Indie Film Finance - Part 1

Provided by: Kathryn Arnold
Seeking to get an inside look from a former banker now producer, I asked Michael Mendelsohn, Chairman and CEO of Patriot Pictures, what is really going on with film finance in today’s market. The following is his down to earth and “genuine” perspective on the indie film biz.

Why Mutual Funds Are Not a Good Investment

Taxes take a large bite out of taxable mutual funds. Recent tax-break laws will end in 2010 and it would be smart for taxable mutual fund investors to keep an eye on one of the main drags on their performance: taxes. One key reason why mutual funds paid out such hefty taxable distributions in recent years is because they can no longer carry forward the steep losses incurred during the 2000-2002 bear market, which had been used to offset gains in recent years.

Rethinking Investing in Mutual Funds

Taxes take a large bite out of taxable mutual funds. Recent tax-break laws will end in 2010 and it would be smart for taxable mutual fund investors to keep an eye on one of the main drags on their performance: taxes. One key reason why mutual funds paid out such hefty taxable distributions in recent years is because they can no longer carry forward the steep losses incurred during the 2000-2002 bear market, which had been used to offset gains in recent years.

Abusive Insurance Plans Get Red Flag

Tax Briefs - The IRS in Notice 2007-83 identified as listed transactions certain trust arrangements involving cash value life insurance policies. Revenue Ruling 2007-65, issued simultaneously, addressed situations where the tax deduction has been disallowed, in part or in whole, for premiums paid on such cash-value life insurance policies.

How to Get Fined $100,000 by the IRS and Lose Your License

Over the past decade, business owners have been overwhelmed by a plethora of arrangements designed to reduce the cost of providing employee benefits and taxes, while simultaneously increasing their own retirement savings. The solutions ranged from traditional pension and profit sharing plans to more advanced strategies.

How to Get Audited

The government needs money. Hopefully, after you read this article, they will not get any more of yours. The IRS has learned that small businesses give them the best results on audits with the least effort on their part. The IRS has decided to go where they think the cheating is taking place. Unfortunately, they think that you and your small business are not paying your fair share.

FBAR Information

The willful failure to file the FBAR report or retain records of your foreign accounts can potentially lead to a ten-year prison sentence and fines of up to $500,000. This criminal penalty applies to all US citizens pursuant to 31U.S.C Section S322B and 31 C.F.R. Section 103.S.9.C It may also apply to persons living in the United States who are not citizens.

How to Avoid IRS Fines for You and Your Clients

Beware: The IRS is cracking down on small-business owners who participate in tax-reduction insurance plans sold by insurance agents, including defined benefit retirement plans, IRAs, and even 401(k) plans with life insurance. In these cases, the business owner is motivated by a large tax deduction; the insurance agent is motivated by a substantial commission.

The Effectiveness of Your Expert Witness Could Win or Lose a Case for You

Benefits companies occasionally get sued and sue others. To defend the lawsuit, you need to hire an attorney. Normally the attorney needs an expert witness to bolster the case. In my experience, I have found that many attorneys are terrible at selecting expert witnesses. This is unfortunate because selecting the right expert witness can be critical to the outcome of the case.

Bad Broker or Bad Luck?

You've lost money in the market – maybe a substantial amount. Money you thought was going to plan for your future, maybe put your kids through school is now gone. You're hurt and you're angry and we understand. Can you sue your broker, fund manager or financial adviser? It depends. The Big Question: Were You a Victim of Fraud or the Market? The big question is whether your broker did anything illegal.

Business Owners and Accountants Face Huge IRS Fines

The IRS is attacking people in retirement plans and so-called 419 plans that contain life insurance, and the consequences are very bad. The IRS has collected millions by calling various types of retirement plans, more specifically 412(i), plans listed transactions or similar to. They have also attacked all types of 419 plans.


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