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Tax Proposal would Mean the Practical End of the Most Popular Estate Planning Trust

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
A Senate bill would allow the unused portion of the first-to-die’s estate tax exemption to be used by the second-to-die spouse. This eliminates the primary reason for most estate planning trusts. The bill makes other important estate planning changes, and makes permanent many of the existing rates and tax benefits outside of the estate planning area that are scheduled to sunset. As expected, outside of the estate planning changes, those making more than $171,550 will not get these tax goodies.

Post-Judgment Royalty Rates in Patent Infringement Cases Increase

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
As part of the fallout from the Supreme Court’s eBay decision, trial courts must make separate non-jury findings regarding post-verdict damages when a permanent injunction is not granted. Under this recent case, all other things being equal, the royalty rate will always be higher than what the jury found.

Understanding and Calculating the Cost of Turnover

A brief look at how one determines their turnover rate. Another article details the causes of turnover and how to reduce it's impact on your organization.

Reasons for Turnover!

Resolving turnover issues is not too difficult if one is committed to taking the appropriate actions.

How to Conduct an Effective Interview

Far too many managers approach an interview as something they have to do rather than looking at it as an opportunity. Being prepared to interview enhances the possibility of hiring the right person for the right position. Lack of preparation almost ensures you get another warm body needing a job!

M&A Accounting for Lawsuit Contingencies Revoked

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
An accounting pronouncement highly criticized by the legal profession was formally revoked this month, putting back in place rules that the lawyers have known for years. The requirement of disclosing in the financial statement footnotes the range of expected outcomes for a recognized contingency at the acquisition date is similarly eliminated.

Central District of California Case Poses New Requirements for Internal Investigations

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
In a recent Central District of California case, the judge suppressed evidence and referred the lawyers involved to the state bar for disciplinary action. The Court concluded that a written conflict waiver was needed before the results of an interview of the chief financial officer could be used/shared. A written waiver is not the current standard when performing internal investigations, which causes the case to have broad interest and concern.

Employers Should Disable Internet Explorer 8 Inprivate Browsing

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Microsoft recently launched Internet Explorer 8. This Internet browser controls around two-thirds of the market, and will be automatically updated through Microsoft’s updates. The most important feature of the new program is what the press called “porn mode”, or the ability to have Internet usage kept private. All other Internet browsers either have or soon will have a similar feature. This causes legal and human resource issues that are best addressed by turning this feature off.

Legal Work Explodes During A Troubled Company Restructuring

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
These complex deals require a host of legal efforts, even if a bankruptcy does not occur. We provide a graphical and summary explanation of the major efforts that should be occurring in the non-legal areas, and the timing of each.

The Prestigious American College Of Trial Lawyers Proposes Dramatic Litigation Changes

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
The very specific recommendations largely affect discovery. The entire process would be changed, and new strict limitations would exist. These proposals would change the economics of litigation, both for the clients and the litigators serving those clients.

RIF Statistical Audits Reduce Discrimination Risks

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Employers contemplating a reduction in force (RIF) can reduce exposure to discrimination claims through relatively inexpensive pre-RIF statistical testing. When compared to the cost of litigation, testing before final conclusions are reached is an inexpensive check. We review recent disparate impact cases, and provide best practices for avoiding litigation.

Case Report: False Positive Opiate Test – Orange County, NC

Mr. Stephen Cappannari contacted me at my office in and around the end of March 2009 with a complaint that he was going to held accountable for a morphine positive drug test in the Orange County Drug Court in Chapel Hill. The detection limit utilized by Orange County Drug Court is reportedly 75ng/ml, while some others may use a higher limit such as 300ng/ml or even 2000ng/ml.

Instability of Cocaine and Derivatives that have been Mixed with Analgesics and Menthol

A review of case number GH-03-0133, exhibit number 30, corresponding to Smith Texas Laboratory number 190609, determined there was a defined and remarkable reduction in weight on the proposed crack cocaine product submitted nearly two years previously, from the original weight documented by the Smith Texas Laboratory.

The General Aggregate and Long Tail Claims - A Historical Perspective on Claims For Increased Limits

Since 1985 the Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy has had a General Aggregate Limit. Prior to that time there was no aggregate for premises bodily injury and there were four separate aggregates for property damage. This article explains why and how the aggregate limit developed over time.

Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) Ensures that Railroad Workers are Protected when Injured on the Job

The law firm of Gordon & Elias, LLP and lawyers have championed the causes of injured railroad employees that have been injured on the job, denied retirement benefits or refused disability benefits since 1995.

Injured Offshore Workers Need More than Just the Jones Act to Protect Them

Legal firm Gordon & Eias, LLP specializes in representing employees of the maritime industry that have fallen victim to injuries due to the negligence of their employer, because of a fellow employee or because of a faulty piece of equipment in the course of work.

Enforce the Jones Act and Stop Letting Foreign Vessels Work in the Gulf

You would think that in these days and times when Americans are suffering with economic difficulties and Government is spending money faster than they can print it, that the U.S. Government would be doing everything it could do to keep jobs for its citizens from letting jobs fly out the door to foreign concerns. You would think that, if there were jobs right here in the United States, the Government would at least try to keep those jobs from going to foreigners.

What to Buy When the Market Crashes?

Opportunities are abundant in a market crash, but what are the best choices?

Lessons Learned Trading Star Wars Cards

Provided by: Chatham Financial
I have realized that everything I needed to know about the current mark-to-market debate, I had learned as an 8 year old. Back then, my friends collected baseball cards – but I invested in Star Wars cards.

Computational Model Upper Generations Respiratory Tract

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies of airflow in a digital reference model of the 17-generation airway (bronchial tree) were accomplished using the FLUENT® computational code, based on the anatomical model by Schmidt et al. (2004). The lung model consists of 6.744•106 unstructured tetrahedral computational cells. A steady-state airflow rate of 28.3 L/min was used to simulate the transient turbulent flow regime using a Large Eddy Simulation (LES) turbulence model.

Limited Time Remains for Valuation Discounts with Family Entities

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Several important changes are expected in estate & gift taxes. A common planning tool involves creating family-owned entities and then valuing the transferred interests at a discount. In all likelihood, this tool will end. As long as the current proposal is not changed to become retroactive, estate planners should accelerate these plans. We describe expected changes in the estate & gift tax, and the likelihood of passage.

History Lesson for Stocks: Time to Buy?

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
With the major indexes hitting valuations not seen for more than a decade, one might understandably believe that stocks are a poor place to have one’s money. Regardless of whether you suffered from the recent stock carnage or were smart enough to exit before the decline, the question at this time (or any time) is what will be happening to future prices? Our interactive model calculates historical returns. We then provide the lessons to be learned for today’s market.

Left Without Being Seen

Patients who leave without being seen and how to reduce risks with follow-up programs.

More Resources Will be Allocated to Financial Fraud Initiatives

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Government resources are usually allocated based on the political sentiment of the day. Currently, white collar financial crimes associated with the recession are in favor. We summarize statistics released by the FBI and Treasury department. White collar defense lawyers face improving business conditions.

Major (And Expensive) Tax Changes in Stimulus Bill Explained

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 makes over 300 changes to the Internal Revenue Code. Most changes are retroactive only to January 1, 2009, and affect primarily individual (vs. business) taxpayers. Practically none of the cuts benefit higher-income taxpayers. We explain who benefits, how much, and when.

First Law Signed by Obama will Increase Employment Discrimination Litigation

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
By reversing a Supreme Court the statute of limitations ruling, employees are now able to pursue discrimination cases that otherwise would not have been viable. Statistical analysis in these cases will likely be a tool used by both sides.

New SEC Chairperson is Likely to Bring Big Changes

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Mary Shapiro is now the first permanent female SEC chairperson. She is almost certain to change numerous positions taken by her predecessor.

Argument for Accuracy in Hair Drug Testing

Hair is a poor medium for determining drug usage particularly when searching for cocaine metabolites.

The Role of the Expert in the Courtroom, Choosing the Right Expert

It is absolutely necessary that the forensic expert is an impartial evaluator. The outcome of a case is not relevant to the forensic expert; it is not his or her job to win or lose cases. The job of the expert witness is to reach an impartial opinion and then defend that opinion within an adversarial context. If new information is provided that changes the weight of the evidence in such a way as to change the expert's opinion then the expert must be prepared to do so.

When Therapists Aren't Experts

The therapist as expert witness: reasons the treating psychotherapist should not be the expert witness.

DNA Actual Case Story

Armed Robbery and DNA Evidence - the face value of evidence is not always what it appears. A good investigative forensic chemist can make a difference.

GAO Issues Report on Regulatory Changes – A Great History Lesson, but Most Ideas Come up Short

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
The GAO just issued a report that will likely to assist the Obama administration’s changes to the U.S. financial regulatory system. We summarize the GAO’s description of the regulatory problem, and their ideas of what to do about these problems. Although the report is correct on many fronts, the good ideas are lost in other Pollyannaish, obvious, and banal thoughts that are not worth the ink spilled.

SEC Finally Updates Oil & Gas Reserve Reporting

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Reserves are the most important asset for most energy companies. Surprisingly, this publicly-reported data is based on 30-year old technologies and measurement approaches. Last week, the SEC voted to allow important changes that will give the public much-needed information.

Largest-Ever Ponzie Scheme should have been Obvious to Anyone who Looked Seriously

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
$50 billion was duped from wealthy and otherwise sophisticated investors who could have avoided their losses if they followed some easy rules. We summarize the Madoff scandal, and explain how ponzie schemes and other financial frauds can be avoided.

How to Reduce Pediatric Medical Legal Risk in Your Emergency Department or Practice

When it comes to medical legal liability, we all know the system is broken. Risk in the emergency department, of concern both to practicing physicians and administration, is no exception. Add emergency care for children into the mix, and the level of concern increases even more.

Is There Evidence for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury? A Case for the Expert Neuropsychologist

Traumatic brain injury occurs in many forms, ranging from a fall or blow to the head resulting in concussive injury, gun shot or other penetrating wounds or classic automobile or motorcycle impact. When there is impact to the head, the scalp, skull, the covering of the brain (meninges), and the brain itself are affected to some degree and respond to the insult differently. The manner, in which these various parts react, depends on many factors.

A Study of Malpractice and Safety Comparing PAs to Physicians and APNs

Nationwide Physician Assistant Malpractice Demonstrates Lower Malpractice Incidence and Average Payment Amounts over a 17 Year Period Compared to MDs and Advance Practice Nurses

No Relief Likely for Huge Pension Underfunding

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
With the end of the year just weeks away, many companies having traditional pension plans face a significant problem with woefully underfunded pension plans. Because of falling stock market values, lower investment (interest) returns, and changes in pension funding from a 2006 law, most employers with these plans will need to make significant additional contributions. Appeals for legislative change will not occur under the Bush administration.

Volcker Is a Fascinating Choice for Obama’s Economic Advisor

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
President-elect Obama announced the formation of the "President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board". The board will be chaired by 81-year-old Paul Volker, who served as the chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Carter and Reagan. Volcker is out-of-line with current government actions which are dramatically increasing the money supply. However, in the long-term, Volcker may be exactly the advisor Obama needs the most.

Using Expert Witnesses: Get Your Money’s Worth!

Insurance attorneys are busy! No two cases are the same! Attorneys face weekly tight schedules for legal filings, depositions and court deadlines. Not to mention phone calls and client counsel sessions on a daily basis. As insurance expert witnesses we find this true of both plaintiff and defense trial lawyers who retain us. No secrets here.

Speaking English is Key to Construction Sites Safety

Every general contractor knows the truth but few dare to openly express it: the more non-English speaking workers employed on site, the greater the risk of errors and accidents.

Are You at Risk?

How prepared are you to defend your premise from litigation stemming from a charge of negligent or inadequate security? Looking back on the incident, we realize it would have been far less expensive if we would have hardened our defenses in the first place. Many times it is not that we neglected to install a security or safety feature, only that we didn’t make sure it worked or was installed correctly or was still working.

Can You Really Afford Low Price Security Guards?

Do you really believe the low cost bid will provide you with an effective security guard? Many organizations hire security guards because they “have to” or in order to compete for business or employees, or to make customers feel more safe. Many of them choose to have “warm bodies” demanding the lowest cost possible.

Credit Union Robbery Prevention - A Review of Best Practices for Prevention and Employee Safety

The robbery of a credit union is a traumatic event no matter if it is by passing a note (note passer) or a more violent robbery like a take-over or morning glory robbery. Robbery prevention should be a priority for each credit union office. Many robberies can be prevented by following accepted best practices and adherence to proven countermeasures.

Perfect Storm: The Science behind Subrogating Catastrophic Flood Losses

Subrogating flood losses remains a complicated issue which requires the diligence of subrogation professionals and their interaction with subrogation counsel and hydrology experts. Recognition of subrogation potential remains the biggest obstacle in successful subrogation of flood losses. Potential subrogation usually cannot be recognized unless you understand and speak the language of hydrology, and are willing to invest the time and resources necessary to flush out third party liability.

Deciphering the NHTSA Vehicle Black Box Ruling

Event Data Recorders (vehicle black boxes) have been installed in most motor vehicles for years, but it was not until recently that NHTSA decided to standardize the technology. This article is intended to explain the NHTSA Event Data Recorder Ruling.

Top Ten Legal Questions about Vehicle Black Boxes

Litigation involving Event Data Recorders (vehicle black boxes) is becoming increasingly more common. This article is intended to answer basic legal questions about the capabilities of event data recorders.

Licensing and Royalty Audits Deserve Greater Attention

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Companies can improve performance by (i) licensing technology or other intellectual property, and (ii) more assertively performing audits of existing licensees. Both of these areas generate the need for legal assistance. Legal counsel wishing to add value to client services (and who isn’t during challenging economic times?) should inquire about client practices in these areas.

What You Should Be Doing for Taxes Before Year-End

Provided by: Fulcrum Inquiry
Less than a month remains for planning transactions that will reduce your overall taxes. This year is considerably more complicated (yet important) because of expected changes under the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress. This article focuses on higher-income earners.

E-Discovery: Small Steps That Can Yield Great Savings

Over the past few years, e-discovery has grown from a little mentioned, often avoided aspect of litigation into a core component that can make or break a case. It first gained widespread attention in the Zubulake and Morgan Stanley cases, and was thrust into the spotlight late in 2006 by changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that specifically targeted discovery of electronically stored information (ESI).

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