December 2012 archive

Same-Sex Couples Should File Protective Refund Tax Claims

On December 7, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the case United States vs. Windsor. In the case, both the trial court in the Southern District of New York, and the Second Circuit found that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, as it defines the term marriage as “a legal union …

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Northern District of California ESI Guidelines should be duplicated elsewhere

The Northern District of California recently issued guidelines for e-discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). The guidelines and links to related resources are summarized here. The resources include:             An ESI checklist to assist in the ESI meet and confer process A Model Stipulated Order re: ESI discovery A standing …

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Business Treasury function will be more complicated in 2013

The Transaction Account Guarantee Program provided for a temporary full FDIC guarantee for funds held at FDIC-insured depository institutions in noninterest-bearing transaction accounts above $250,000. This coverage began on October 14, 2008, during the height of the financial crisis, and has been extended in steps through December 31, 2012. Last week, the Senate failed to …

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Supreme Court Brings California Closer To The Federal Expert Witness Admissibility Standard

In a unanimous opinion, the California Supreme Court clarified that trial courts may use either California Evidence Code Sections 801(b) or 802 to admit or exclude the expert’s testimony. Potentially, the Opinion widens California judicial authority to exclude expert testimony by placing California closer to the federal Daubert standard and the majority of other states …

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Closely-held corporations need reasonable compensation analysis

Reasonable compensation questions affect millions of closely-held corporations whose owners actively participate in the business. The issue involves how much payroll taxes are due from the earnings of the business. Amounts not characterized as salary are reported as S-corporation income on the shareholder’s personal tax return, where it is not subject to payroll taxes. In …

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Where have all the Californians gone?

California ranks #49 in domestic migration, edging out only New York, according to data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of people from other states moving to California (468,428) falls far short of the number of people leaving the state (562,343), extending a multi-year trend. Last year, the most popular destination for departing …

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The decline in California’s exodus fizzles out

The good news for California is that not as many of its residents are leaving the state now as they were six or seven years ago. The bad news is that the exodus continues to march onward, together with its domestic migration gap, which has remained steady over the past several years. 2006 saw the …

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“Hollywood Accounting” Attack Upheld By The Ninth Circuit

“Who Wants to be a Millionaire” is an American game show that is based on the UK program of the same name. When ABC contracted for the show in North America, the program and concept were already successful. The showed aired on Disney’s ABC in primetime for three years, and has been in syndication for …

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Rules of Thumb & Formulaic Software Models Are Dangerous for Damage Calculations

Plaintiffs often desire short cuts to damage measurements. Given the cost of using experts employing proper methods and data, the temptation is obvious. For example, business valuation programs are commonly available that will spit out a result once the user inputs a few financial statistics for the subject company. Why pay thousands of dollars for …

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DOJ & SEC Issue Guidance on Foreign Corrupt Practice Act

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) jointly published a much anticipated guidance on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Entitled “A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act”, the “Guide” is 120 pages long, and is significantly more comprehensive than its predecessor, the “Lay Person’s Guide to …

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