January 2015 archive

There’s Nothing Extraordinary About Your GAAP Based Financial Statements

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) has issued its first accounting standards update of 2015.  Simply put, FASB wishes to inform preparers of financial statements that there is nothing special about the results they are reporting, i.e., the end of the concept of “Extraordinary Items” on Income Statements. Accounting Standards Update No. 2015-01, Income Statement—Extraordinary and Unusual …

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$1.5 Billion Clerical Error: Appellate Ruling Finds That Authorization Trumps Intent, Reverses Bankruptcy Court’s Opinion

In the recent matter of re: Motors Liquidation Co., et al. the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the “Appellate Court”) ruled that a clerical error which unintentionally rendered $1.5 billion of debt unsecured due to the inclusion of an improper financial statement, was in fact authorized and thus enforceable. The Appellate Court determined …

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Defense Asks Court to Let the Witness Speak!

In a recent patent infringement case, a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition (of the person most knowledgeable or “PMK” of a corporation on defined topics) included over 300 objections by plaintiff’s lawyer.  The defense subsequently argued for additional time to re-depose the PMK, claiming that the large number of objections effectively “ran down the clock” and prevented …

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Mathematical Rule Uncovers Several Hundred Thousand Dollar Fraud

An article recently published in the Wall Street Journal details how “the law of first digits”, also known as Benford’s Law, can uncover fraud. Benford’s Law, named after a 20th century American physicist, states that in nearly all real-world distributions of numbers the frequency of ones, twos, threes, and so on, in the first digit …

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The Alarming Results of the First Independent Review of the G20’s Whistleblower Policies

The Australian division of Transparency International recently released a report assessing the adequacy of the G20’s whistleblower laws, regulations, and protections. The assessment was done in preparation for this past November’s G20 Summit, hosted in Australia, during which corporate and public fraud were top agenda topics. These nefarious activities have a substantial negative impact on …

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The Usual Suspect: Greece Again On the Verge of Instigating More Economic Turmoil in Europe

Greece, the problem child of the European Union (“EU”), is living up to its reputation. The EU continues to falter economically, with the peripheral members in various states of recession and with the central and northern nations stagnating or experiencing only minor growth. Overall, as of the beginning of 2015, Europe has not experienced anything …

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National Taxpayer Advocate Reports Grim Conditions Faced by US Filers Seeking Customer Service

With tax season just around the corner, the annual report from the National Taxpayer Advocate Service (“TAS”) is making headlines – for all the wrong reasons. This federally appointed office within the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) is responsible for assisting American taxpayers who are in burdensome, complex, and/or financially strenuous disputes with the IRS. In …

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Don’t Leave a Hole in Your Damages Timeline

The difficulty when calculating damages caused by production cutoffs was aptly demonstrated in TransPerfect Global, Inc. (“TransPerfect”) v. MotionPoint (“MotionPoint Corporation”), a recent case involving language translation patents. The fact that the jury award did not clearly describe the damage measurement adopted or period covered likely left significant damages on the table. During discovery, MotionPoint …

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How Hollywood Sees “The Accountant”

As recently reported by Variety, a new Warner Brothers film will put a face to the role of average mild mannered accountant.  Apparently, he looks like Ben Affleck. Of course, this particular accountant also moonlights as an assassin.  As one might.  And presumably hangs out with Anna Kendrick (role undefined) and Cynthia Addai-Robinson (your run …

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Specialized Judges to Handle Complex Business / Commercial and Construction Litigation

Effective Jan. 1, 2015, the NJ Judiciary will be utilizing a Complex Business Litigation Program to address complex business, commercial and construction cases with damage calculations exceeding $200,000.  Cases with smaller damage calculations may otherwise qualify based on the complexity of legal or factual issues a large number of parties complex discovery issues, including large volumes of documents …

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