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Domestic violence continues to be one of the highest crimes in America that goes unreported. Women who are battered by a significant other rarely go to the police.In most cases, the courts aren't made aware until significant damage is done, or worse, death occurs. In New York, a new legislation was passed that will toughen the regulations surrounding domestic violence. For starters, domestic violence is no longer considered to be a misdemeanor – it is a felony.

The new legislation also requires judges to reassess the dangers that the defendant faces before selecting a bail amount. It was common for perpetrators to get a low bail, allowing them to get out and cause more harm to the defendant before the trial date. The law has diminished the rights of a husband to control the remains of a spouse he battered. Instead, the court will have control. Then if someone convicted of domestic assault commits another offense (even if it’s low-level) within a five-year period, he or she can be prosecuted again. A domestic violence court will be created for parolees who’ve been convicted.

All police departments in New York will have an internet-based training class that will teach how to handle domestic violence cases.

Domestic Violence is legally defined as cruelty or aggression that is present within an intimate relationship between two persons. A short-term restraining order can be obtained to receive protection for the victims and any children involved. Criminal charges can also be filed against the abuser if the victim chooses to. By law, the abused is allowed to legally fight back.


11-22-2012




Lawyers are here to safeguard our riches, but in this case, Topeka Lawyer Robert M. Telthorst admitted to stealing over $460,000 from his clients’ trust funds. Telthorst, 52, is on trial for multiple counts of fraud. So far, he has pleaded guilty for fraud and money laundering to Judge Julie Robinson. An 18-page plea agreement was drafted that summarizes that between 2005 and 2011, Telthorst ran a Ponzi scheme where he took money from his clients (over $757,000) and used it to cover his tracks of theft from the trust funds of his clients.

Telthorst is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. on February 19th, 2013. He will be spending five years behind bars, after which he will have a supervised release for three years. If he would have been found guilty on every charge he faced, he could have obtained a max sentence of 20 years in prison. Telthorst also agreed to pay $460,542 in restitution, to allow forfeiture and seizure of the funds and his property. He is also no longer allowed to be employed in the banking industry and will have to give up his law license forever.

The Kansas Board for the Discipline of Attorneys conducted an investigation that showed Telthorst transferring hundreds of thousands to bank accounts he controlled. He would then set up living trusts for his clients and opened accounts for deposits from his clients’ accounts. Bank records were shown that proved he would transfer funds from one client’s account to another client’s in order to cover shortage of funds.

Here is a list of the money he stole from his clients:

•    $22,000 from a client’s two daughters. The first daughter is to receive a lump sum of the $463,344 that he is required to pay. He diminished the account from $22,000 down to $150.
•    $30,000 from three granddaughters of a client, bringing the account from $10,000 each to less than $350.
•    $80,000 from a client’s charitable account, bringing it to less than $1,750.


11-15-2012




There’s nothing like generosity in a time when millions of people are in need. In the wake of Sandy’s treacherous storm, Am lawyers throughout the devastated Tri-State area are donating their legal services. Citizens of New Jersey and New York are still picking up the pieces of what’s left of their homes, and many others are still living without electricity. Firms like Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Greenberg Traurig; and McDermott Will & Emery, are contacting legal associations throughout the areas, offering their assistance.
 
Attorneys are providing legal help through NYLAG and New York City bar organizations. Some of the work Am lawyers are receiving includes filing for benefits through the disaster relief organizations like Federal Emergency Management Agency, and pursuing appeals on behalf of victims who the relief organizations denied. Counseling is also being offered to storm victims and advice is being given about submitting insurance claims. Others are providing answers to legal questions through a special hotline.

"In all my years at the firm I've never seen a response of this dimension. Everyone is pitching in, from the senior-most partner to the junior-most secretary,” said Brad Karp from Paul Weiss firm.

Attorneys from Jones Day are assisting Jonathan Goren (finance associate) and Steven Koppel (real estate partner) with helping small businesses throughout the city to document a $10 million emergency loan that’s been awarded by Goldman Sachs.

Space has also been provided by Mayer Brown to 14 NYLAG pro bono attorneys, who have been displaced due to the storm. Skadden did the same for legal organizations who’ve been effected by the storm.

Other than offering free legal services to Sandy’s victims, there are attorneys also donating funds between $25,000 and $250,000 to Red Cross.



11-07-2012




“Superstorm” Sandy blasted the east coast this week, causing billions of dollars (around $50 billion) in damage and killing dozens of people. Millions are still without power today and it could be weeks before everyone is back with electricity. There’s flooding, snow and fires that damaged properties throughout New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, among others. There are six days left until Election Day and Romney’s campaign hasn’t been phased by Sandy one bit. In fact, he used his campaigning as a way to raise money for the disaster.

On the other end, Obama returned to presidential duties and abandoned his post as a campaigner. On Wednesday, Mitt Romney traveled through Florida, making three stops along the way to Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa. So far, he has a slight lead in the state. Here’s what he had to say while in Tampa:

"This (election) should be a turning point," Romney said. "Twenty three million Americans are still struggling to find a job. ... This hasn't happened in American history."

Obama does have an advantage because of Sandy, allowing him to showcase his presidential abilities to act accordingly. If he plays things smart, he could end up with more votes on Election Day from the storm-hit states. Thursday is when he plans to continue his campaigning, where he will go to Colorado, Wisconsin and Nevada. He may also be heading over to Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Romney will be focusing on 11 states for the next six days, which includes Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Hampshire. So far Romney has an advantage in North Carolina and is in a tight battle with Obama for Nevada, Virginia, Florida, New Hampshire, Colorado and is trying to overtake Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, Bill Clinton rallied at the University of Minnesota, which has ten electoral votes.

"Barack Obama's policies work better," Clinton declared at the Minnesota rally.

As of now, the polls tie the two candidates at 49%.  



10-31-2012




We’ve heard politicians state their cases regarding abortion and rape, but not many can agree with the views of Republican Richard Mourdock. Apparently, from his “heart-felt”, almost teary-eyed speech, he made a statement that gave the Democratic Party the gun powder to shoot bullets right at him. First, let’s look at what Mourdock had to say for himself:

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said. “And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Now, it’s easy to see why anyone could easily believe that Richard Mourdock was implementing that God ‘shines grace’ upon rape and the babies created through rape (even if it’s incest). However, the only time he believes that abortion is necessary is if the mother’s life depends on it. Here is what the Democrats had to say about his point of view:

“The God I believe in and the God I know most Hoosiers believe in, does not intend for rape to happen — ever,” said Mourdock’s opponent, Rep. Joe Donnelly (D). “What Mr. Mourdock said is shocking, and it is stunning that he would be so disrespectful to survivors of rape.”

In order to clear himself, Richard stated:

“God creates life, and that was my point,” Mourdock said. “God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.”

There are a lot of people who are against abortion, but many agree that it’s acceptable in the case of incest and rape. As one could imagine, the republican’s chances of winning over Missouri in the Senate race dropped tremendously after Republican Todd Akin said that “legitimate rape” didn’t usually cause a woman to get pregnant. This was stated back in August and since then, he apologized, but things still aren’t looking well for his fundraising.



10-23-2012


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