Friday, April 22, 2011

Municipal M&A: Budget Woes May Force Cities Like Detroit, Hamtramck To Combine

Local officials in Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, California and other states are considering municipal mergers, which some see as the only way to preserve services amid a historic economic downturn. Zionsville, Ind., combined with two townships last year, and political and economic pressures are pushing other communities in that direction. In California, some cities are outsourcing services to their counties. In Michigan, politicians in Detroit and neighboring Hamtramck say merging the two governments might save the dollars needed to stay afloat.

Libel per se

I love generating comments, but if you don't see your comment getting published, perhaps it is because I think it is libelous. I keep having to delete comments that are obviously libelous, and I wish people would give some thought to this before sending them. There is something called "libel per se," which means statements that are automatically considered libel without any evidence of their damaging effect on the person's reputation needed. The law just presumes that they were injurious. There are four main categories of libel per se:

1. Accusing somebody of committing a crime.
2. Claiming they have an infections, contagious, or "loathsome" disease.
3. Injuring the person in his or her profession, trade or business, by saying they are unqualified to practice, or otherwise saying things that would tend to hurt their profits (this is called "trade libel").
4. Accusing somebody of being of an "unchaste" character.

I haven't had to delete any accusations about disease or lack of chastity yet, but I get many comments that accuse particular people of crime and that are intended to besmirch their professional reputations by calling them unethical or something similar. I delete these comments, of course, because I don't want to expose myself to the risk of a libel suit for publishing them. In nearly every case, the person who wants me to post their comments is anonymous. They want to make their libelous statements, have me publish them, and remain safely concealed behind a veil of anonymity. No, thanks.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lee Farkas Convicted In $3 Billion Mortgage Fraud Case

Lee Farkas Convicted In $3 Billion Mortgage Fraud Case: "ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A jury has convicted the majority owner of what had been one of the nation's largest mortgage companies on all 14 counts in a $3 billion fraud trial that officials have said is one of the most significant prosecutions to arise from the nation's financial crisis."
And on it goes. Large institutions just screwing the middle class. The banksters, the mortgage companies, the oil companies, the insurance companies, the lawyers...and it seems that neither political party has much interest in doing anything about it. In the meantime, the public gets angrier by the day. The 2012 election outcome will favor whichever party is best able to channel this incoherent, unfocused rage. The Republicans will try to blame government and the Democrats will try to blame corporate America. The problem with that choice? Both parties are right.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Attorneys say new evidence shows fraud by Righthaven

"Defense attorneys in at least two Righthaven LLC copyright infringement lawsuits filed motions to dismiss over the weekend, citing new evidence they say shows Righthaven has perpetrated a fraud on the federal court in Nevada. The evidence cited is the newly-unsealed Strategic Alliance agreement covering copyright assignments from Stephens Media LLC, owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, to Righthaven. In motions filed Sunday, attorneys with Randazza Legal Group said this contract shows Righthaven’s lawsuits are based on "sham’’ copyright claims since Stephens Media maintains control of the material covered by the copyrights."
You may recall that the Las Vegas Review Journal set up an arrangement with the copyright trolls at Righthaven to sue bloggers for quoting or reproducing LVRJ articles. Righthaven claimed to have been assigned the copyright to the articles in question and filed 264 lawsuits without warning. Now some of the defendants claim that Righthaven doesn't really own the copyrights after all, and that the assignment was "a transparent sham."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Texas homeowners call for state AG investigation of community association industry

Austin – As Incidences of possible attorney malfeasance and hostile actions by property management associations are being reported almost daily, the need for more than legislative change is clear.

Home Owners for Better Building will be asking the House Business and Industry committee as well as other lawmakers to request Attorney General Greg Abbott to investigate Home Owners Associations (HOA’s), the property management industry and its attorneys.

As HOA foreclosures rise substantially and the economy worsens, the property management industry seeks to further enrich themselves during this session on the backs of homeowners with clever legislative lobbying ideas that expand unearned transfer fees, processing fees, and mandatory contributions to developer foundations, etc

This is a shot across the bow of Privatopia in the Lone Star State that could gain momentum on anti-corporate and lawyer sentiment.