Monthly Archive: November 2013

Nov 30

Most SEC Whistleblowers are Waiting, Probably for Good Reason

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In a report required by Dodd-Frank, the Securities Exchange Commission issued its 2013 (fiscal year ended September 30) annual report. This is second full year report, thus allowing easy comparisons. A post on last year’s report appears here. The SEC continues to receive large numbers of complaints from a wide range of geographies and involving …

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Nov 29

Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers must file their complaint with the SEC

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In a disappointing ruling, the Fifth Circuit concluded in Asadi v. G.E. Energy (No. 12-20522) that a whistleblower who does not file a complaint with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is not a “whistleblower” under Dodd-Frank, and thus does not have standing to obtain the protections under this law. As directly acknowledged in the Opinion, …

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Nov 27

Artificial Intelligence Solves the Perennial Whodunit of Unsigned Judicial Opinions

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An academic article published this year by the Stanford Technology Law Review demonstrates how machine learning and natural language processing techniques can provide new insights within the study of law. Machine learning, a technique developed in the field of artificial intelligence, typically uses computer algorithms to identify (i.e. “learn”) patterns in large datasets. In many …

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Nov 26

Award of expert fees to prevailing party upheld without common limitations

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In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs. Peoplemark, Inc., Case. No. 11-2582 (6th Cir. October 7, 2013), the Sixth Circuit reviewed the award of legal and expert fees. The matter is particularly interesting regarding the expert fees awarded, and the explanation for doing so. The Sixth Circuit’s Opinion included the following case facts: “Defendant-appellee Peoplemark is …

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Nov 24

Are you ready for the Bear Market?

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“Don’t confuse brains with a bull market.” Humphrey B. Neill (1895 – 1977) Stock author; focused on contrary investment concepts   It is time to assess your stock investment risk tolerance. I believe the stock market is in trouble, even though the vast majority of the stock market commentators do not know (or at least …

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Nov 23

Federal Tax Relief for California Short Sales

Many people in California continue to short sell their homes.  A short sale is when the home is sold for less than the outstanding loan balance.  In California, borrowers are generally protected from owing the deficiency resulting from a short sale.  However, the debt that is forgiven is taxable at both the state and federal …

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Nov 22

Get the Court’s Daubert Rationale on the Record

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A recent ruling encourages any litigator sponsoring expert testimony to ensure that the Court memorializes its critique of the Court’s gatekeeping function of expert testimony. The ruling also reversed two inherently speculative damage claims claims that  are not that uncommon. In Smith v. Jenkins, F.3d (1st Cir. Oct. 15, 2013) (Nos. 11–2349, 11–2378, 11–2389), the Appellate Court …

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Nov 20

Can Amazon.com Save the USPS

Anyone following the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) recently has heard that the organization is losing money.  There have been many plans floating around on how to decrease cost and increase revenues.  Once such plan earlier this year was to eliminate Saturday delivery.  A recent USA Today article states, The postal service expects to deliver …

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Nov 18

Most S-Corporations should pay greater attention to shareholder/employee compensation

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The IRS continues to pursue S-Corporations that do not pay employment/payroll taxes on what the IRS considers to be reasonable compensation. Following other cases on this subject, in Sean Mcalary Ltd, Inc., vs. Commissioner Of Internal Revenue, T.C. Summary Opinion 2013-62 (August 12, 2013), the Tax Court generally ruled in favor of the IRS. The …

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Nov 16

What Buyers Don’t Want

When you own your home, most people have a never ending to-do list of home renovations they would like to accomplish.  Home improvements can be expensive.  For most upgrades, you do not get a dollar-for-dollar increase in the value of your home.  However, most people still choose to carry out the renovation for personal enjoyment. …

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