Feb 20, 2017

Oaths and Oath Breaking

Barack Obama Oath“When a man takes an oath, he’s holding his own self in his own hands like water, and if he opens his fingers then, he needn’t  hope to find himself again.”

 Paul Scofield, as Sir Thomas More, in A Man for All Seasons (1966)

Once upon a time, an oath taken by a public official meant something, consequences notwithstanding, as dramatized in the Hollywood classic movie of more than 50 years ago, A Man for Read more

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Feb 14, 2017

What Happens When Dad Gives Your Inheritance to His New Girlfriend?

InheritanceMost folks will acknowledge that an adult of sound mind is free to give his money and property to whomever he pleases, both during his lifetime and after death, as directed by his estate plan.  Such an acknowledgement, however, is subject to qualification, particularly when the soundness of the giver’s mind is called into question.  This can arise in a variety of scenarios, often when the giver makes someone new the object of his affections … Read more

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Feb 9, 2017

Mandated Exceptions to Confidentiality Provisions in Employee Agreements; The Government’s Campaign to Promote the Snitch

Confidential fileEmployers often insist that their employees sign written agreements promising not to disclose confidential information concerning their employer to anyone during and following their employment.  Of course such agreements frustrate governmental agencies which want to encourage employees to complain to them.

Thus, federal agencies are now invalidating and refusing to recognize employee confidentiality agreements which do not explicitly acknowledge and alert the employee of their right to file a charge or complaint against the employer … Read more

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Feb 7, 2017

Will the Federal Estate Tax Be Repealed this Year? If So, Will Anyone Notice?

House of RepresentativesCompanion bills have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Senate to repeal the federal estate tax.  On January 24, 2017, Representative Noem introduced H.R. 631 which was referred to the House’s Ways and Means Committee for consideration.   The same day, Senator Thune introduced comparable legislation in the Senate.  If enacted by Congress and signed by President Trump, no federal estate tax would be assessed against estates of decedents dying thereafter.… Read more

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It’s How That Old Joke Goes

EthicsA tax professor, an IRS ethics advisor, and a meth dealer all walk into a bar. Except it’s just one guy.

An adjunct professor at Georgetown Law who also worked in the Office of Professional Responsibility for the Internal Revenue Service was recently charged with selling large quantities of methamphetamines.

If one is considering a similar career path, better to work for Pfizer where the governmental red tape is significantly lessened.

Charges are not … Read more

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Jan 31, 2017

What Becomes Of Fido When You Are No Longer There?

OllieWhen most people think of estate planning, I would venture a guess that their thoughts don’t usually include making provision for their pets in the event of their own untimely passing.  That is not surprising given that most of us assume, correctly, that we will outlive our beloved four-legged companions.  However, experience shows that such is not always the case.  So, as you look deeply into the eyes of your faithful and devoted canine/feline, ask … Read more

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Jan 24, 2017

Photo Radar – A Case Even a Law Professor Can Win

Traffic cameraIn a recent amusing post Adam MacLeod tells the story of his encounter with the burgeoning photo radar system in his local court which caused him “to go over the top”.

After winning his trial he still had to fight to get back the money the court had made him pay in order to get his trial.  As Orin Kerr points out here, many of his more pretentious constitutional  arguments are not legally sound, … Read more

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Jan 23, 2017

The New Year Brings Some Changes to Estate Planning

Tax - 012317With the change of the calendar to a new year, there are some changes in the law which might be of interest to you and even impact your estate plan.  For example:

  • In the State of Washington, the “applicable exclusion amount” has increased from $2,079,000.00 to $2,129,000.00. By statute, the change in the exclusion tax is calculated by reference to the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton metropolitan area October consumer price index (CPI).  So, a Washington resident who dies
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The Crime of the Wild – Know Your Endangered Species

vintage-1830208_1920Although our schools do not equip us to distinguish between the almost 1500 different bugs, lizards, birds, rodents, fish, etc. that the government labels “endangered”, it is now being argued that to take or kill even one of these creatures should be criminal regardless of how innocent or inadvertent the act.  Even an endangered splat on your car’s windshield might render you a criminal and send you to jail.

The Overlawyered story itself has a … Read more

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Jan 20, 2017

Giving False Testimony to a Grand Jury is a Privilege

CourtroomTestimony before grand juries is serious. It generally results in the issuance of felony charges and a warrant authorizing the arrest of the person charged.  Testifying falsely before a grand jury so that an innocent person is indicted and arrested can really ruin the victim’s day.  However, a recent 6th Circuit Court case eloquently demonstrates that you can’t recover damages for malicious prosecution or for violation of your civil rights under 42 U.S.C. §1983 … Read more

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