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Teenage Drivers at High Risk of Head Injuries in Accidents

Saturday, March 31, 2012

California personal injury lawyers have noted a new study that shows, a significant number of teenage drivers who are involved in accidents suffer head injuries. According to the study, approximately 30% of all teenage motorists involved in serious car accidents suffer from head injuries, including skull fractures, concussions as well as traumatic brain injuries.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance. The researchers looked at approximately 55,000 teenage car drivers and passengers who were involved in accidents in 2009 and 2010.

The results of the study are extremely concerning, because significant head injuries like traumatic injury can have long-term effects. The injury can severely impact concentration abilities, cognitive skills, and lead to memory loss. These deficiencies can impact a teenage motorist’s quality of life, making it harder for him to concentrate on school. These students may find it more difficult to gain a foothold during the college admissions process, and this could impact their chances of good employment.

That's why it’s so important to prevent serious head injuries in accidents involving teenage motorists. The researchers suggest that states can help protect teenage motorists by closing the gaps in graduated driver’s licensing programs. For instance, the minimum age for a provisional license must be reduced to 16, and nighttime driving and teenage passenger restrictions must be strengthened in order to reduce the risk of accidents.

Additionally, more teenage lives can be saved in car accidents and catastrophic injuries can be prevented, if teens buckle up while driving. Safety seat belt use among teenage motorists is alarmingly low. Parents also have a big role to play in teen safety. Parents must discuss safe driving practices like speed control and detection of driving hazards, with their teenage children.

Judge Dismisses Investor Lawsuit against Bank of America

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In a victory for Bank of America, a judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by investors who wanted the bank to buy back mortgage loans underlying securities of more than $1 billion. The case Walnut Place LLC versus Countrywide Home Loans Inc. had been filed in New York State Supreme Court.

The case involves home loans by Countrywide Financial Corp. Bank Of America brought out Countrywide Financial Corp. in 2008. Investors suing under the name Walnut Place filed a lawsuit in 2011 on behalf of a trust which held 6,531 loans.

According to the lawsuit, Countrywide Financial Corp. made several false representations on nearly 66% of the more than 2,000 mortgage loans that the investors investigated. When Walnut Place demanded that Bank of America buy back the bad loans, the bank refused. The lawsuit also alleges that Bank Of New York Mellon, a trustee of Countrywide Financial Corp. who was also named as a defendant, failed to get the banks to buy back the loans.

According to the New York judge, who delivered his verdict, Bank of New York Mellon acted on the investors’ demand, by telling Walnut Place that it needed more time to investigate the matter. Countrywide Financial Corp. offered investors an $8.5 million settlement. According to the New York Judge, this settlement offer did indicate that the trustee had taken action. However, Walnut Place found the $8.5 million settlement too low.

California securities dispute lawyers are often called upon to represent clients in different types of investment litigation. Typically, investors may sue a company because it fails to follow guidelines set by the Securities Exchange Commission, or violates federal and state laws. Most of these violations include broker fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, insider trading and misrepresentation of probability.

Arizona Ranks 2nd for Mortgage Fraud Risks in 2011

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Arizona features at number 2 in a list of the 50 states ranked according to mortgage fraud risks in 2011. The numbers show little change from the previous year, and the same 6 states that featured at the top in 2010, also ranked at the same spots in 2011.

Nevada has the highest mortgage fraud risk in the country, with a risk index value of 245. That is 99 points higher than the national mortgage risk index value of 146. Arizona comes close behind with a risk index value of 236. These 2 states are followed by Florida, California and Colorado.

When it comes to metropolitan areas, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area ranks at number 5 with a mortgage fraud risk index of 251 in 2011. The Lake Havasu City-Kingman Metropolitan Area had a mortgage fraud risk index of 247 and the Yuma Metropolitan Area had a fraud risk index of 216. Arizona currently also has a foreclosure rate of 4.14%.

Mortgage fraud refers to the intentional misrepresentation or omission of material facts in order to obtain a better deal on a mortgage. Arizona mortgage fraud attorneys are often called upon to defend a number of types of cases that include property flipping or the use of dummy companies and industry insiders to purchase properties and artificially boost their value. Other cases including fraudulent appraisals, and equity skimming which involves the use of shell companies and bankruptcy/foreclosure threats are used to mislead homeowners and investors.

More simple types of mortgage fraud cases include the presentation of false statements like misrepresentation of income and employment status. Persons who opt for multiple loans on the same property, or obtain a much lower interest rate by misrepresenting the nature of the investment property, can also be charged with mortgage fraud.

Jet Maker Hawker Beechcraft Contemplating Bankruptcy

Friday, March 30, 2012

Corporate jet manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft is allegedly considering filing for bankruptcy.

According to some reports, the Kansas-based company has already prepared bankruptcy papers. Last week, the company announced that it has obtained a $120 million loan to buy some more time to fix its financial problems. Lenders have also agreed to give some relief to the company in the form of a deference of some interest payments.

California bankruptcy attorneys have found some indication that Hawker Beechcraft is considering filing a Chapter 11 filing, which has the consent of its lenders. These lenders include private equity companies like Goldman Sachs and Onex Partners, a California-based private equity firm.

The company was set up to satisfy a burgeoning demand for corporate jets. Goldman Sachs and Onex Partners, invested millions of dollars in the new company. The two companies purchased Raytheon’s jet facility, for $3.3 billion, and it looked like Hawker Beechcraft was all set to take off.

Then the recession happened, and demands for corporate jets plummeted. Many companies began seeing private jets as unnecessary expenses, and Hawker Beechcraft found itself floundering.

The company faced more losses as companies began canceling billions of dollars worth of orders. Since the recession began, the company has laid off more than 2,500 employees.

As of September 2011, the company had more than $2 billion in long-term debt. It also had just over $146 million in cash and short-term assets. The company has already hired a bankruptcy law firm, and investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners in order to help deal with this transition period. However, the company faces huge challenges because of its heavy debt load.

How to Avoid IRS Audits

Friday, March 30, 2012

It's one of the most distressing pieces of mail that you can get. For most Americans, receiving a letter from the Internal Revenue Service informing them that they have been invited for an audit is enough to trigger anxiety. However, there are some things that you can do reduce your chances of being called for an IRS audit in the first place.

CBS recently posted a list of the top 5 ways to prevent IRS audits, and the list contained several recommendations that a California tax lawyer would agree with.

First off, take basic steps to reduce your chances of an audit. Report your income and taxes correctly on your tax forms. Note that the Internal Revenue Service uses a Document Matching Program to compare documents with Forms W2 and 1099 received. Any mismatches can show up easily on the agency’s radar.

The Internal Revenue Service is also more likely to conduct audits of individuals who have reported total income of $100,000 or more from self-employment on Schedule C. The Internal Revenue Service has conducted some studies, which show that people who file under Schedule C are much more likely to under report income.

If you claim deductions that are unusual and are disproportionate in relation to your income, it sets off red flags at the Internal Revenue Service, and makes you more likely to be audited. If you are married, and file separately, but claim the same kind of deductions, you're much more likely to be eligible for an audit.

It does not seem fair, but the Internal Revenue Service also targets people in certain industries and occupations that have a higher rate of noncompliance. For instance, taxi operators, air service operators, auto dealers and even attorneys, have been found to have higher rates of noncompliance, and therefore may be at a higher risk of audits.

Antibiotic Found to Be Effective in Treating C. Diff Infections

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Scientists have experimented successfully with a new antibiotic that they believe is effective in treating deadly infections caused by the bacteria Clostridium Difficile. According to the scientists, this drug is particularly effective, because it not only treats the infections, but also prevents relapses.

The researchers believe that the antibiotic fidaxomicin works just as well at treating these infections as the current popular treatment, vancomycin. However, when compared to vancomycin, fidaxomicin has a much lower relapse rate. In fact, relapse rates with the use of fidaxomicin are practically half of that with the use of vancomycin.

The results of the study have been published in The Lancet. The trials were led by researchers from the University Hospital Cologne in Germany. The study included 509 patients, some of who were given vancomycin while the others were given fidaxomicin.

The researchers found that only 13% of the patients who had been treated with fidaxomicin suffered a relapse of the deadly infection, within 28 days. However, among the patients who were treated with vancomycin, the relapse rate was about 27%.

The researchers are calling this a major development in efforts to treat and prevent recurrent C. diff infections. According to the researchers, fidaxomicin is more effective in preventing C. diff relapses, because it kills the bacteria, and doesn't just stop it from developing. Additionally, fidaxomicin does not strip the intestines of essential bacteria, unlike other antibiotics do. It preserves the healthy and essential bacteria, and this can mean a huge difference in the treatment of elderly patients, who suffer from severe diarrhea from the use of normal antibiotics.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that there had been an increase in the number of C. diff infections reported from around the country. Arizona medical malpractice lawyers have been particularly worried about the spike in the number of infections that are being reported from doctor's offices, and outpatient settings.

Police Try to Locate Dog in UC Davis Attacks

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Officers with the Yolo County Sheriff's Office are trying to locate a dog they believe was involved in a dog bite attack on a University of California Davis student over the weekend.

The dog is believed to be a 50-pound terrier. He was apparently tied up on campus, at the time of the attack. The student went over to pet the dog, and the dog bit her.

The animal has since gone missing, and Sheriff's Officers are trying to locate the dog. According to Animal Services, it’s important to locate the animal to determine whether the dog has rabies. There is no information on how the dog got loose after the attack.

With just a few weeks to go for summer, Los Angeles dog bite lawyers expect more numbers of dog bites in California. More people will be out enjoying the weather, and that only puts them in proximity to dogs.

Additionally, dogs that are outside are likely to get hotter in the warm weather. According to experts, when the temperature rises, the body temperature of some dogs increases, and they overheat, and become more sensitive and irritable. A perfectly happy dog may become more aggressive than usual during summer.

According to one study by the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, children are at an especially high risk of dog bites during summer. In fact, a child's risk of being involved in a dog attack increases to its highest levels during this period of time. Children may not understand the need to keep away from strange animals, especially during summer, when dogs are likely to come across more human beings every time they are out for a walk. The risks are even greater with a dog that hasn't been socialized.

Man Wins Back Access to Daughter after Accidentally Downloading Child Porn

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It is not a situation that is completely unfamiliar to California criminal Defense lawyers. However, that doesn't change the fact that when you accidentally download child porn, you can still be charged with sex crimes and face similar repercussions. That's what happened to a man in the United Kingdom, who accidentally downloaded images of child porn when he was downloading a music file from a file sharing network.

When the man opened the folder, he was shocked to find several child porn images. He was disgusted, and immediately informed the local police. The police took his laptop to perform an examination.

What happened next was something that the man was not prepared for. Child protection officers in that country informed him that he would not be allowed to spend unsupervised time with his 8-year-old daughter, until the laptop was completely examined. The man didn’t have a problem with that, till authorities told him that it would take at least a year for the laptop to be examined and for him to be cleared to spend unsupervised time with his daughter.

Fortunately, better sense has prevailed. The case received a lot of media attention across the world, speeding up the wheels of justice in the United Kingdom. The laptop was quickly examined, and cleared. The ban against the man spending time with his daughter has been lifted.

However, nothing can take away from the fact that this man has been through a nightmare, even though he was a law-abiding citizen who informed the police when he found the downloaded images on his computer.

When you accidentally download images that contain child pornography, inform local law-enforcement immediately. Such accidental downloading is quite possible, especially when you download files from a file sharing network, or open an e-mail from an unknown sender, and download attached files without knowing what they are.

IRS Forms Special Team to Get Tough on Transfer Pricing

Monday, March 26, 2012

The US Internal Revenue Service is forming a special team of experts, in order to crack down on companies that use a special technique to lower the taxes payable to the US government.

The technique is called Transfer Pricing. Companies that want to lower the taxes that are due to the government, shift their earnings from one country to another. Many of the companies that indulge in these techniques include multinational corporations, which frequently move properties and resources between subsidiaries that are located in different countries.

The Internal Revenue Service has been aware of these techniques for years now, but has not been able to act, because its hands were tied. The agency did not have the kind of resources, and the kind of expert professionals needed for enforcement in this particular area.

Now, the Internal Revenue Service has hired some of the biggest audit firms in the country, including Ernst & Young LLP. Samuel Maruca who has been given the newly coined designation of ‘transfer pricing director’ will head the team.

According to Maruca, the Internal Revenue Service earlier had trouble sourcing, attracting and retaining the kind of talent that is necessary for a crackdown on these transactions. Tax specialists in this area tend to prefer private positions where the pay is significantly higher. However, since the recession, the agency has been able to attract high-quality talent.

However, California tax lawyers are a little skeptical about how successful the agency will be in cracking down on these kinds of sophisticated practices, even with the new team. After all, the agency struggles with meager resources. Currently, there are 90,000 officers working with the Internal Revenue Service, and the agency recently suffered a 2.5% funding cut by Congress. With these significantly depleted resources, the agency is likely to have its hands tied.

Increase in Genital Injuries in Combat

Sunday, March 25, 2012

An increasing number of young male veterans, who are catastrophically injured during combat and survive, are finding that there are few medical advancements to treat genital injuries. Worse, many of these veterans are also now finding their prospects for a family life destroyed, because they failed to store their sperm before they left for active-duty.

Combat in 2012 is a different prospect from a few decades ago. In past wars, California veterans benefits lawyers found that most catastrophic injuries involved mortar and shrapnel wounds that affected the upper body. With advancements in military technology, most veterans now have better protection that minimizes the risk of being killed in an attack, but the lower torso, including the genitals, remains unprotected.

Insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq have targeted this vulnerability, using IED devices. The result has been an increase in the number of veterans returning from combat with severely damaged genitals. According to estimates, since 2005, more than 1,500 soldiers have suffered genital injuries, and those numbers simply accelerated after the surge of the late 2009.

Genital injuries are even more challenging for doctors to treat, not just because there has been little research in this field, but also because of the emotional and psychological issues involved. Losing a penis or testicles in combat is not the same as losing a leg or an arm. For many young men, the prospect of returning home to a life that might not be so easy to share with a spouse, or partner, is severely depressing.

Most genital injuries occur in blast wounds that also cause amputations and other serious injuries. Persons who suffer from genital injuries may be unable to have children. They may be unable to return to their sex life as it was before the injury. Not surprisingly, many military spouses find the strain of life after a genital injury hard to bear.

What makes the experience worse for veterans like this is that there is no coverage for procedures like IVF, that could possibly help these people fulfill their dreams of having a family after the injury.

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