Archive for the ‘Business Entities’ Category

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WHAT HAPPENED:  To help convey this generally procedural issue, let’s treat this like a professional wrestling event.

(Best Jim Ross Impersonation)

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!  IN THIS CORNER, PLAINTIFF LAROE!  A MAN WHO WANTS TO DEVELOP HIS PROPERTY AND IS BEING STYMED BY GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS!  WHAT AN UNDERDOG! THIS FANCIES TO BE A REAL SLOBBERKNOCKER!

AND IN THIS CORNER!  TOWN OF CHESTER!  A MUNICIPALITY THAT DOESN’T LIKE LAROE AND HAS PASSED ZONING REGULATIONS TO GET IN HIS WAY!  WHAT AN EVIL CHAMPION THAT LOOKS TO RETAIN ITS DOMINANCE OVER LAND USE!  THE CROWD REALLY HATES THEM!

THE MATCH HAS STARTED AND WE ARE READY TO……WHAT A MINUTE, WHATS THAT SOUND???  THAT’S LAROE ESTATE’S MUSIC!  WHAT ARE THEY DOING HERE?!?  LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A THREE-WAY BATTLE!

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT:  In legal speak, Laroe Estates wants to intervene in a lawsuit between the landowner and the township, which procedurally means you want to get involved in a case that is ongoing because you have an interest at stake.  Laroe was denied intervention because the Court held that Laroe lacked “standing”, which is the requirement that you are harmed in the underlying litigation and that the litigation will be able to solve that harm.  This is a weird ruling, because standing is usually presumed if you can meet the other requirements of intervention.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS:  Although one could argue that this case could help shape the requirements for intervention going forward, it seems more likely that the Court is just going to remand this decision back to the Lower Court so that they can come up with a clearer way to deny intervention that doesn’t require the Court to address a weird loophole in the rules.  Ultimately, this is not that common of a problem, as most people who meet the elements of intervention inherently have standing, so although this seems like a big deal, my guess is the Court will just be asking the Lower Court to use the elements to deny intervention, if denial is that important.

ROOT FOR TOWN OF CHESTER IF:  WE NEED TO SETTLE THIS CASE IN A STEEL CAGE, BROTHER!!

ROOT FOR LAROE ESTATES IF:  AND HERE COMES THE STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!  LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A ROYAL RUMBLE!!

PREDICTION:  Laroe Estates 7-1

 

 

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WHAT HAPPENED – Plaintiff was injured at work and sued the Defendant employer for damages under a Federal Workman’s Comp statute in the State of Montana.  Seems easy, right?

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT – The Employer argues that since the accident did not occur in Montana, and since the Employer is not based out of Montana, the case should have been filed elsewhere, which in legal speak is saying that the forum for the lawsuit does not have personal jurisdiction over the Employer.  Personal jurisdiction requires that any lawsuit against a party be filed in a State that is inherently “fair” for the defendant.  This commonly considers the defendant’s contacts with the State and the interests of the State in hearing the case.  This may all seem easy, but hold on to you butts because here comes the weird part.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS – A few years ago the Supreme Court heard a case determining whether a car manufacturer could be sued in California for participating in wide-spread Argentinian government-sponsored torture (Actually downplaying this, not exaggerating).  Within that case, Ginsburg and Sotomayor had a judge fight (exchanging doomsday scenarios based on the other’s reasoning), in which the Court made a rule saying that a corporation had to “be at home” to be sued somewhere.  The issue here is whether or not (a) this Corporation is “at home” in the forum, and (b) whether or not a Federal Statute could override this contentious rule, which again was loosely based on the plot of a James Bond movie.

ROOT FOR BNSF RAILWAY IF: Fairness to corporations is high on your priorities list.

ROOT FOR TYRELL IF: You’re still mad about Hobby Lobby and want to screw all corporations.

PREDICTION:  Tyrell 8-1

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This post was triggered by a few recent articles noting the power of large companies. But first, out of fear that some may dismiss these words as some commie fringe commentary, I should clarify immediately that I’m talking about a small handful of truly enormous business entities. And I use the generic term (business entity) because although some may be corporations, there are a legion of types of such entities. Repeating this for emphasis: I’m not talking about the extraordinary majority of businesses entities, which are small and absolutely healthy endeavors. On to the meat of the post.

I assume that most have heard of the row between Apple, Ireland, the European Union and the United States tax agencies, which I will not go into here. But it was contemporaneous to this bit of news from Austria, where entities such as Starbucks and Amazon pay less in taxes than businesses that are, by comparison, microscopic. These news are hardly surprising, given that most of these policies are written by or for those very companies. This goes even farther than pro-business legislation: some companies, such as Samsung, have grown so big that they are practically sovereign countries. To the point that the bulk of carbon emissions can be traced down to fewer than 100 companies worldwide. The point I’m making here is illustrated by this quote from that last link:

I, as a consumer bear some responsibility for my own car, etcetera. But we’re living an illusion if we think we’re making choices, because the infrastructure pretty much makes those choices for us.

As another example, in the face of catastrophic climate predictions under the best information we have, the pinnacle of worldwide environmental regulatory response (because it’s a planetary issue at this point), is a demand that countries to state their goals, explain whether they meet them and why not. With basically no enforcement power. And that was really the most feasible deal we could achieve, given the point I’m making here.

These matters would not be quite so troubling if open-market economic systems did not have an irrefutable tendency to concentrate wealth in the hands of few, basically turning into monopolies. Worse, under the current business scheme, it’s very difficult to trace the root decision makers of problems, so liability shielding has achieved unprecedented levels. Worse, the ongoing increase in our automation abilities (which I favor) is eroding the income and purchasing power of a large fraction of the consumer population, which is the main motor that keeps economies going.

I try to keep my alarmism to a minimum, but it might be time to consider panicking.

Deutsche Bank’s $10-Billion Scandal

Posted: August 27, 2016 by Nazim in Business Entities

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The Panama Papers gave some press coverage to a large-scale problem with business entities. From tax avoidance, to money laundering, to simply concealing the true owners of assets, there are plenty of legitimate complaints about them, and the army of financial service providers that facilitate them (including attorneys). The New Yorker digs deep into how Deutsche Bank facilitated $10,000,000,000 – that’s billions with a “B”, equivalent to the GDP of Malta or Madagascar – in money laundering for criminal organizations. And this behavior isn’t limited to exotic places like Panama or Switzerland. Here’s an excerpt:

In any national economy, the authors explained, there are capital flows that do not appear on what is called “the balance of payments.” Errors and accidental omissions should be random, and therefore reveal no pattern. The authors found that in the United Kingdom the pattern was anything but random. Britain had “large positive net errors” that suggested significant “unrecorded capital inflows.” Analyzing data from other countries, Harvey and Winkler deduced where the vast majority of unrecorded capital flowing into the U.K. was coming from. Since 2010, they wrote, about a billion and a half dollars had arrived, unrecorded, in London every month; “a good chunk” of it was from Russia. “At its most extreme,” the authors explained, the unrecorded capital flight from Moscow included “criminal activity such as tax evasion and money laundering.