General Law and Lawsuits

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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#251

Post by raison de arizona »



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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#252

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/ ... ississippi
Mississippi sues NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre over misspent welfare dollars
Quarterback was paid for speeches he did not make
Favre has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing


The Mississippi Department of Human Services on Monday sued retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre, three former pro wrestlers and several other people and businesses to try to recover millions of misspent welfare dollars that were intended to help some of the poorest people in the United States.

The lawsuit says the defendants “squandered” more than $20m in money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families anti-poverty program.

The suit was filed less than two weeks after a mother and son who ran a nonprofit group and an education company in Mississippi pleaded guilty to state criminal charges tied to the misspending. Nancy New, 69, and Zachary New, 39, agreed to testify against others in what state auditor Shad White has called Mississippi’s largest public corruption case in the past two decades.

In early 2020, Nancy and Zachary New, former Mississippi Department of Human Services executive director John Davis and three other people were charged in state court, with prosecutors saying welfare money had been misspent on items such as drug rehabilitation in Malibu, California, for former pro wrestler Brett DiBiase.



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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#253

Post by raison de arizona »

This would be...huge? No?
► Show Spoiler
https://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/p ... 07-CV0.pdf


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#254

Post by RTH10260 »

I guess this could trigger a tsunami. The judge finds that the Congress did set up the SEC in a legally faulty manner. Sounds to this IANAL that there may be tens, hundreds, thousands of cases up to review.


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#255

Post by KickahaOta »

Here's an interesting tax case from the Ninth Circuit that falls into both the "SERIOUS TAX BUSINESS" and "Wait, is that petitioner who I think it is?" buckets.

From the Ninth Circuit docket, we have Seaview Trading, LLC, AGK Investments, LLC, Tax Matters Partner v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Despite the boring name, it's a good read if, well, if you're the sort of person who finds "Exactly what constitutes 'filing' a federal tax return?" to be the stuff that good reads are made of. (And if you're a fan of sovcit hijinks with the IRS, this is an issue that comes up frequently there.) Treat yourself to a 25-page majority opinion and a 53-page dissent from Judge Bade.

First, the opinion's description of the petitioner:
Seaview Trading, LLC, a California-based limited liability company, is classified as a partnership for federal tax purposes. In 2001, Robert Kotick was Seaview’s majority partner, owning over 99% of the company. Robert’s father, Charles, was the minority partner.
It took about fifteen seconds for the back of my brain to call out 'Wait up. Robert Kotick? Bobby Kotick? The Activision-running, Call-of-Duty-relentless-annualizing, workplace-abuse-ignoring, assistant-threatening Bobby Kotick?' I can't say with certainty that this Robert Kotick and that Bobby Kotick are one and the same; but that Bobby Kotick's father is named Charles, and the two of them do appear to have been jointly involved in some companies around that time.

Setting the Kotick Kwestion aside...
  • The basic facts:
    • Seaview's tax return for the 2001 tax year claimed a $35 million loss from a tax-shelter transaction. The IRS would ultimately take a Highly Dim View of that transaction.
    • The IRS typically has three years to assess taxes for a given year. But If the taxpayer's return for that year isn't filed on time, then three-year clock doesn't start until the return is filed.
    • Seaview claimed that, in 2002, it mailed that 2001 tax return to the IRS Fun Center in Ogden, Utah. They even got a certified mail receipt when they sent it. If the IRS received it, then that would be a filing, and that would start the clock. But the IRS claimed that it never received the return, and Seaview ultimately conceded that it couldn't prove otherwise. So, no filing, and the clock doesn't start here.
    • In 2005, an IRS agent sent Seaview a letter: 'Hey, we don't have a 2001 tax return for you. Did you ever file one? If so, then send us copies of the return and of any proof of mailing that you have.' Seaview responded by faxing the agent a signed copy of the return, and a copy of the certified mail receipt, just as the agent requested.
    • In 2006 and 2007, the IRS interviewed Seaview's attorney and Kotick. For both interviews, the interview notes acknowledged that the IRS already had the 2001 return. And in 2007, Seaview's counsel sent another signed copy of the 2001 return to an IRS attorney.
    • In late 2010, the IRS finally sent Seaview a tax assessment, formalizing the previously-foreshadowed Highly Dim View. The assessment reduced that $35 million loss to zero, and demanded millions in back taxes and penalties.
  • Seaview proceeded to Tax Court.
    • Seaview's argument was simple: Remember back in 2005, when an IRS agent asked us for a copy of our return, and we provided it exactly as requested? That there's a filin'. Therefore, the clock ran out in 2008. See Snooze v. Lose.
    • The IRS's counterargument was equally simple: The regulations say that a return for a California LLC is only filed once it's received by the IRS Fun Center in Ogden. That copy sent to that IRS agent was definitely not sent to the IRS Fun Center in Ogden. Therefore, the clock never started. Pay up.
    • The Tax Court ruled that the IRS was right; a return not received by the IRS Fun Center is not "filed", no matter who else in the IRS gets hold of it.
  • Two judges on the Ninth Circuit panel disagreed and reversed.
    • The Internal Revenue Code itself doesn't define what's a proper "filing"; it leaves that issue to the regulations.
    • The regulations provide a definition of what it means for a return to be 'filed': it has to be received at the right place (in this case the Fun Center), and at the right time (before the deadline).
    • But if this is the only definition of 'filing', then it's impossible to 'file' a return belatedly: a return not received on time is not filed at all. And that would blow up all sorts of other parts of the law -- including the law that imposes the three-year clock itself -- that explicitly deal with what happens to a belatedly-filed return.
    • Furthermore, that right-time, right-place definition never actually says that it's the only way to file a return. And there are a number of IRS internal publications that say that, not only can an IRS examiner “advise the taxpayer of the requirement to file all delinquent returns” and “[a]dvise the taxpayer to deliver the returns promptly to the examiner” (rather than sending them to the Fun Center), but that “it is generally in the taxpayer’s best interest[] to file the delinquent return directly with the revenue officer instead of mailing it to the appropriate Fun Center.”
  • The dissent spends over 50 pages saying 'No, nope, nuh-uh' in a very precise legal manner.


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#256

Post by humblescribe »

Yeah, it is peculiar that the SOL for tax returns is three years, but can be expanded to six years for a 20% understatement of income/overstatement of loss. There is no SOL for fraud.

These additional SOL for underpaid taxes only apply to returns that actually pay tax. Generally, forms 1040, 1120, and 1041. Partnerships (or LLCs that elect the partnership rules) do not pay taxes; the various items of income, loss, deduction, and credit flow through to the partners and are reported on their returns. Hence, there is no extension of the SOL for form 1065, because no tax is ever due with that return.

I am not in the legal business, but have prepared and filed lotsa returns of all stripes over the decades. I do not understand why their individual returns would not fall under the six-year statute at the minimum, and perhaps the unlimited statute for fraud, if indeed, their position was fraudulent.

Guess that's why those justices make the big bucks. :bag:


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#257

Post by KickahaOta »

humblescribe wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 2:33 pm Yeah, it is peculiar that the SOL for tax returns is three years, but can be expanded to six years for a 20% understatement of income/overstatement of loss. There is no SOL for fraud.

These additional SOL for underpaid taxes only apply to returns that actually pay tax. Generally, forms 1040, 1120, and 1041. Partnerships (or LLCs that elect the partnership rules) do not pay taxes; the various items of income, loss, deduction, and credit flow through to the partners and are reported on their returns. Hence, there is no extension of the SOL for form 1065, because no tax is ever due with that return.

I am not in the legal business, but have prepared and filed lotsa returns of all stripes over the decades. I do not understand why their individual returns would not fall under the six-year statute at the minimum, and perhaps the unlimited statute for fraud, if indeed, their position was fraudulent.

Guess that's why those justices make the big bucks. :bag:
Yep, the rules are strange.

I was curious enough to go looking for the Tax Court records. They weren't publicly available from the Tax Court itself; but several hundred pages' worth of the Tax Court proceedings are publicly available in the Ninth Circuit's docket for the appeal. I put them up on Scribd.

Quick takes from glancing through them:
  • The Kotick Kwestion is put to rest, since there's a deposition of Robert Kotick in the file, and they warm up by asking about his background. This is quite definitely Activision's own Bobby Kotick.
  • The FPAA (Final Partnership Administrative Assessment) lists several of the usual grounds for disregarding a tax-shelter transaction -- lack of economic substance, lack of real risk, circular flows of funds, etc. It disallows all the claimed losses and assesses penalties for underpayment of tax. But it never claims that the transaction was fraudulent, or assesses fraud penalties. Which is presumably why the IRS didn't claim in the Tax Court or 9th Circuit proceedings that the three-year clock doesn't apply due to fraud.


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#258

Post by Dave from down under »

A judge has said he intends to declare Salim Mehajer a "vexatious litigant" after the former Auburn deputy mayor tried to sue old business associates for up to $52 million.

Key points:

Salim Mehajer had sued in relation to dealings over a Lidcombe development project
The court was shown 10 previous lawsuits which failed or were abandoned
Justice Geoff Lindsay says the current case was an "abuse of process"
If ratified at a hearing on Thursday, that would ban Mr Mehajer from taking civil action in any court in NSW, after the judge agreed he had started a series of cases without reasonable grounds.

Justice Geoff Lindsay last week proposed to make orders prohibiting Mr Mehajer from "instituting any proceedings, other than procedural applications in criminal proceedings ... either in his own name or in the name any other person or company".

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-06-01/ ... /101118430

UPDATE
Former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer has been banned from launching civil proceedings in any court in NSW until further notice, after he was officially labelled a vexatious litigant.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-06-02/ ... /101119858

"It is uncommon for vexatious litigant orders to be made, with data obtained by the ABC in 2019 showing only 173 such cases in the country.

The High Court has only made those orders four times in its history."


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#259

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/posta ... ar-AAXZIWY
Postal Service sued for seizing Black Lives Matter masks during 2020 protests


WASHINGTON — A California screen printer is suing the U.S. Postal Service for seizing shipments of Black Lives Matter masks intended to protect demonstrators from Covid-19 during protests following the May 2020 murder of George Floyd.
The cloth masks, with slogans like "Stop killing Black people" and "Defund police," were purchased by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and were meant to be shipped to D.C., St. Louis, New York City and Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed by a police officer. But four boxes containing about 500 masks each were marked as "Seized by law enforcement" and their shipment was delayed more than 24 hours.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday and shared first with NBC News, accuses U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service officials of violating constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment by improperly seizing the boxes without probable cause, a warrant, or even reasonable suspicion. The lawsuit also raises the possibility that officials violated the First Amendment by seizing the masks because of their political messaging.

Movement Ink owner René Quiñonez, who owns the screen-printing business in Oakland, California, that manufactured the masks, told NBC News that his small family business had been impacted by the seizure.


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#260

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainmen ... 20468/?amp
Mariah Carey Being Sued Over Holiday Hit ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You'
The lawsuit has been brought by songwriter Andy Stone who alleges he co-wrote a song with the same title five years earlier


A complaint filed Friday in New Orleans federal court shows that Stone, who lives in Mississippi, is seeking at least $20 million in damages for copyright infringement and misappropriation, among other claims, from Carey and her co-writer Walter Afanasieff as well as from Sony Corporation of America and its subsidiary Sony Music Entertainment.

Stone, artistically known Vince Vance of the New Orleans country-pop band Vince Vance & the Valiants, co-wrote and recorded his version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” in 1989, according to the complaint. The song then received "extensive airplay" during the 1993 Christmas season and "began making appearances on the Billboard Music Charts."

Carey’s version was released in 1994 as part of her “Merry Christmas” album. The tune has long received widespread play on the radio and on streaming services, particularly during the holiday season, essentially turning the song into the ultimate Christmas anthem.



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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#261

Post by Slim Cognito »

Aren't there lots of songs* (and books and movies and...) with the same title? It doesn't appear to insinuate she stole his song, just used the same title.

*Jump: Van Halen
Jump: Pointer Sisters

I know there have been lots of successful lawsuits where one artist stole the music from another song, such as George Harrison's My Sweet Lord (The Chiffon's He's so fine) and Ray Parker Jr's Ghostbusters theme (Huey Lewis' I Want A New Drug).


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#262

Post by raison de arizona »

Slim Cognito wrote: Sun Jun 05, 2022 10:59 am Aren't there lots of songs* (and books and movies and...) with the same title? It doesn't appear to insinuate she stole his song, just used the same title.

*Jump: Van Halen
Jump: Pointer Sisters

I know there have been lots of successful lawsuits where one artist stole the music from another song, such as George Harrison's My Sweet Lord (The Chiffon's He's so fine) and Ray Parker Jr's Ghostbusters theme (Huey Lewis' I Want A New Drug).
While both songs share the same title, they have different lyrics and melodies.

However, the lawsuit argues that Carey and the other defendants “never sought or obtained permission” to use, reproduce or distribute Stone's song which was a "copyrightable subject matter" prior Carey's 1994 release.
https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/pop ... -rcna31996

:confuzzled: Christmas is a “copyrightable subject matter?”


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#263

Post by sugar magnolia »

Tiredretiredlawyer wrote: Sun Jun 05, 2022 10:47 am https://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainmen ... 20468/?amp
Mariah Carey Being Sued Over Holiday Hit ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You'
The lawsuit has been brought by songwriter Andy Stone who alleges he co-wrote a song with the same title five years earlier


A complaint filed Friday in New Orleans federal court shows that Stone, who lives in Mississippi, is seeking at least $20 million in damages for copyright infringement and misappropriation, among other claims, from Carey and her co-writer Walter Afanasieff as well as from Sony Corporation of America and its subsidiary Sony Music Entertainment.

Stone, artistically known Vince Vance of the New Orleans country-pop band Vince Vance & the Valiants, co-wrote and recorded his version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” in 1989, according to the complaint. The song then received "extensive airplay" during the 1993 Christmas season and "began making appearances on the Billboard Music Charts."

Carey’s version was released in 1994 as part of her “Merry Christmas” album. The tune has long received widespread play on the radio and on streaming services, particularly during the holiday season, essentially turning the song into the ultimate Christmas anthem.

Maybe Mike Dunford will check in on the details, but under US copyright law a song title can't be copyrighted and the lyrics of the two songs are different, so I'm not sure what he's suing for.

I freaking HATE that song and hearing it a thousand times every Christmas turns me into a Grinch. On the other hand, Vince Vance was practically a local band here and I prefer their music to hers, but that doesn't make his lawsuit make any more sense.


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#264

Post by bill_g »

Except for the title, Vince Vance's version is very different, and Mariah's is one of my favs. Total brain worm for me at that time of year. We'll just have to let the court sort this one out.


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

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“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.” ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

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“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.” ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

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“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.” ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#268

Post by Volkonski »



“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.” ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#269

Post by raison de arizona »

I don’t know anything about this case in Australia against Google, but I started reading it and it is pretty interesting.


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#270

Post by Dave from down under »

a useful article

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-06-06/ ... /101128344

Former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro has been awarded $715,000 in defamation damages over two YouTube videos.

Key points:
A Federal Court judge accepts Mr Barilaro was "traumatised" by the videos
The videos constituted a "relentless and vicious campaign", the court hears
Comedian Jordan Shanks settled a parallel case with Mr Barilaro last year

The judge found the tech giant failed to apply its own policies designed to prevent hate speech, cyberbullying and harassment.

It failed to explain why it left the "many racist attacks" on YouTube once Mr Barilaro's staff had complained in late 2020.

In December last year, a further video published from Mr Shanks referred "pointedly" to Mr Barilaro's solicitor and the judge said they made allegations "without factual or intelligible basis" attacking the professional integrity of his legal team.

Justice Rares said this was a "splenetic and vindictive attack ... calculated to bring improper pressure to intimidate each of them from continuing to act for Mr Barilaro".

The judge referred the conduct of Mr Shanks and Google to the Principal Registrar of the court to consider proceedings against them for "what appear to be serious contempts of court".

also
https://www.comcourts.gov.au/file/Feder ... 21/actions


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#271

Post by Dave from down under »

and then there is this...

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-06-06/ ... /101128430

Landmark battle over $1.5 million dollars worth of allegedly stolen cattle may be heard in NT Supreme Court

A 71-year-old man who allegedly stole hundreds of head of cattle and profited off their offspring over a number of years may have his case heard in the Northern Territory Supreme Court.

Key points:
Nicolas Kostowski fronted a judge for the first time today facing theft and deception charges
DNA evidence allegedly uncovered hundreds of calves on a property with parental linkages to the original stolen cattle

The case may be heard in the NT Supreme Court

Nicolas Kostowski is facing theft and deception charges after he was arrested in April, following a 10-month police investigation by Taskforce Starlight — a special stock squad established last year in the wake of a rise in livestock theft.

Police allege Mr Kostowski stole about 435 cattle from a property on the Sturt Plateau, south of Katherine.

However, after detectives last year in June executed a search warrant on the man's property to recover alleged evidence of cattle sales, and to compare the DNA of the calves on the station, police alleged the theft was much larger.


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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#272

Post by Foggy »

Off Topic
On my second to last day at the Free Beach (on the Russian River in California, the nude beach where I lived with my two dogs in the summer of 1973), as I was getting ready to hitchhike down to San Francisco to pick up my unemployment check, some guys were planning a BBQ.

One of the guys had recently gotten a settlement check from a car accident and he bought a pickup truck and a pound of weed. So far, good investments. But then, in the wee hours of the morning, he and a small group rustled a cow from a nearby farm, and had a couple hundred pounds of meat in the back of the truck. :blackeye:

I left, and didn't come back for a few days. The first night I spent with friends in The City, but I was invited to a party in Oakland, so the next day I crossed the Bay and went there. At the party, someone said, "Did you hear about the BBQ at the Free Beach? The Hells Angels showed up, and they killed Silent Steve and threw him in the river."



So I left the party and hitchhiked back up to Russian River, but it was the middle of the night and my tent was undisturbed, so I slept. When I woke up - this was my last day - I was told that the Sheriff had finally persuaded the landowner to get rid of the hippies and the nude beach (with hundreds of people on weekends driving from Berserkeley and The City), and so we had until noon to clear out.

They told me the Sheriff had asked about me (they saw my tent) and they left me a card with instructions to call. I looked at the card and beneath the name of the officer it said "Livestock and Cattle Theft Division". They were more interested in the stolen cow than the crazy dead hippie who never spoke to anyone, so nobody cared when he ended up with his throat cut and dumped in a river.

Anyway, we saddled up, IIRC, twenty people and 21 dogs in a caravan, whereupon we relocated to the beach at the place where the Russian River dumps into the Pacific Ocean, and we camped there for the night.

Sadly, we didn't have a Santa or any livestreamers in 1973, and we didn't have a leader of any kind, and there was a lot of talk about some gigantic Gathering of the Tribes in Idaho (that you can't remember because it never happened), so I realized that 1) we couldn't stay where we were because we'd be rousted by the cops, and 2) staying with the group was a dead end.

So I hitchhiked back to The City and took up residence in the Divisadero.

Here endeth the discussion about rustling cattle. Further affiant sayeth naught.


In my defense, I was left unsupervised.
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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#273

Post by pjhimself »



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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#274

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Re: General Law and Lawsuits

#275

Post by Dave from down under »

Worms are Fish in NSW..

(2) In this Act, fish includes—
(a) oysters and other aquatic molluscs, and
(b) crustaceans, and
(c) echinoderms, and
(d) beachworms and other aquatic polychaetes.


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