Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Reduction of Alimony

On Tuesday, the Mississippi Court of Appeals decided Plummer v. Plummer located here.  One of the issues in the case was the termination of alimony based on the recipient's increase in earning ability.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the chancellor reducing the alimony as the ex-wife was making more.  There was a lot of ideas floating around that only a decrease or change in the payor could justify a reduction.  This case says otherwise and is good to file away.       

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Time and the Rules



Got this info today and thought it was useful from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  It deals with how "Next Day” is defined in FRCP 6(a)(5).


If your deadline is thirty days after an event (i.e. 20 days after a complaint is filed), and that date ends up on a weekend or holiday, your due date is the next business day counting forward (Monday, for example, if a weekend).


HOWEVER, if the deadline is thirty days before an event (i.e. thirty days prior to trial), you count backwards from the event and, if that date ends up on a weekend or holiday, your date is the next business day COUNTING BACKWARDS (that’s a Friday).

Monday, July 10, 2017

CFPB Rule Bans Using Arbitration Clauses To Bar Class Actions

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday issued a final rule banning companies from using arbitration clauses to bar consumers from filing class action lawsuits, setting up a fight with banks, credit card and other companies and potentially the Trump administration.

The CFPB said that mandatory arbitration clauses with class action litigation bans serve as a break on consumers recovering on small dollar disputes with credit card companies and other lenders. As a result, many consumers think they are unable to pursue small-dollar disputes or do not think that the ultimate payout would be worth the trouble, allowing companies to wrong consumers with little consequence, the CFPB said.

To address that problem, the CFPB said that companies would no longer be allowed to put such class action bans in their arbitration clauses, allowing consumers to band together in group lawsuits when they have suffered similar problems.

“Arbitration clauses in contracts for products like bank accounts and credit cards make it nearly impossible for people to take companies to court when things go wrong," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. "These clauses allow companies to avoid accountability by blocking group lawsuits and forcing people to go it alone or give up.”

However, the rule does not ban arbitration clauses, which allow companies to take consumers into binding legal settlements with arbitrators paid for by the company. Consumer advocates had hoped the CFPB would take that step.

However, the rule does make changes to the arbitration process for individuals by forcing companies to submit information about individual cases to the bureau that would be published on the CFPB’s website. Included in the list of items companies will have to disclose are initial claims and counterclaims, answers to these claims and counterclaims, and awards issued in arbitration.

The information will be posted beginning in July 2019.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Keyboard of Interest

Found a cool keyboard online that may give a try out.  Apparently, there are computer keyboards designed for lawyers now.  They can be purchased here.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Bankrutpcy and Taxes


There is a common misconception that income taxes are never dischargeable in bankruptcy. In fact, you can discharge some back federal, state, and local income taxes in Chapter 7Chapter 13, and Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Moreover, the penalties and interest attached to these taxes are dischargeable as well. Determining which back taxes are dischargeable can be a complex process. Nonetheless, it is possible to discharge significant income tax debt in bankruptcy, if your tax debt fits within certain rules.

THE 3 YEARS, 2 YEARS, AND 240 DAY RULES

The Bankruptcy Code sets out specific time periods that determine if you can discharge your taxes, commonly called the 3-year, 2-year, and 240-day rules (the “3-2-240 rules”). Under these rules, you can discharge income taxes that came due three years before you file for bankruptcy, as long as it has been at least two years since you filed the tax forms and 240 days since the taxes were assessed. There are some exceptions, and these rules do not apply to other types of taxes, such as property taxes.

To discharge back income taxes, be aware that you must meet the requirements of all three rules.

1. The 3-Year Rule. This rule states that to discharge your back income taxes, they must become due at least three years before you file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy Code §507(a)(8)(A)(i). Typically, your federal and most state income taxes become due on or around April 15th of each year. In most cases, it is simply a matter of adding three years to this due date to determine the earliest date you can file for bankruptcy and still discharge your taxes.

2. The 2-Year Rule. Under the 2-year rule, your income tax returns must have been filed at least two years before you file your bankruptcy petition. This requirement allows you to discharge your taxes even if you file your tax forms late, as long as you file the forms at least two years before filing for bankruptcy. §523(a)(1)(b)(ii).

3. The 240-Day Rule. Taxes must have been assessed by the taxing agency at least 240 days before you file for bankruptcy under this rule or not assessed at all. As a practical matter, the original date of assessment is typically on or near the date you file your income tax form (assuming the IRS or other taxing agency agree on the amount of taxes owed).

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Book of Interest

Over the weekend, I got Electronic Evidence for Family Law Attorneys by Timothy J. Conlon and Aaron Hughes in the mail.  It is a fairly short read but has some extremely useful information on electronic evidence such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. along with how to get it.  It can be purchased here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Guardian Ad Litem Fee Reporting Requirements

The Mississippi Legislature has passed Senate Bill 2673 located here.  Guardian ad litems are now required to report the amount of fees they charge in a contested proceeding when the amount exceeds $1,000.00 to the Chancery Clerk.