Monster Beats Kopfhorerde Fri, 23 Sep 2022 23:33:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Monster Beats Kopfhorerde 32 32 What prevails, the business judgment rule or donor intent? | woodruff sawyer Fri, 23 Sep 2022 23:33:48 +0000

Paul Newman established the foundation to donate all royalty rights to the sale of Newman’s Own products, focusing on supporting children and their families. According to the foundation, it has distributed more than $570 million since 1982.

In the lawsuit, his daughters allege the foundation disregarded their late father’s wishes, including his desire that they direct their own funds to donations. This is an interesting case with many angles, and the complaint raises several fiduciary issues, including whether donor intent or the business judgment rule is more important.

Two Key Changes to Distributions

Among other things, the complaint alleges that Mr. Newman deliberately created the financial structure of Newman’s Own, in which he licensed his intellectual property rights in exchange for a royalty payment that would fund Newman’s Own Foundation donations. This structure provided a guaranteed revenue stream and created significant tax savings for the corporation. However, due to a change in the excess holdings rule in 2018, the foundation seemed compelled to change the structure to distributions of a percentage of net income, as opposed to the original royalty rights.

Additionally, Mr. Newman appeared to have wanted his daughters to be involved in philanthropic activities. However, the structure of the distributions also changed a few months before her death, changing from “girls’ foundation rules” to “grant recommendation”.

Trustees and their fiduciary duty

While there are other issues in the Complaint, the above two items opened the discussion about trustees, their decision-making latitude and their fiduciary duty. One of the defenses available to trustees is the business judgment rule. The business judgment rule gives the board discretion to make corporate decisions for the benefit of all stakeholders. The board of directors of a not-for-profit corporation is generally protected from liability, so long as the decisions or actions were taken in good faith, after proper investigation, and with the rational belief that they were in the best interests of the society.

The Trustees of the Newman’s Own Foundation make decisions about the operations of the foundation, and the Board of Trustees makes decisions about the organization of Newman’s Own. The board was required to make the appropriate decisions regarding the excess business holdings rule.

Communication can help prevent disputes

Whatever the final decision in the Newman’s Own case, the principles of fiduciary risk management are evident in this case: Communication and the relationship with beneficiaries are of the utmost importance. Almost all trustee disputes stem from misunderstandings.

Trustees have a legal obligation to communicate and document this communication with beneficiaries. This communication can take many forms, such as annual or quarterly written documentation, or through formal or informal meetings. Trustees should be available to answer any questions from beneficiaries regarding the decisions they have made. This is where the strength of the relationship can impact the alliance with the recipient.

When there is open communication and mutual respect between trustees and beneficiaries, problem-solving mechanisms are usually in place to avoid disputes. However, disputes often arise when there is a gap in trust and communication.

In the Newman’s Own case, we have no way of knowing how decisions were made or what was communicated to Paul Newman’s daughters. However, open communication and problem-solving strategies may have helped avoid disputes.

In this case, the claims against the trustees of Newman’s Own Foundation are likely arguable based on the latitude afforded by the business judgment rule. In most cases, if trustees act diligently and make decisions that are in the best interests of all stakeholders and free of conflict of interest, the business judgment rule should prevail over donor intent.

Ensure adequate liability coverage

This lawsuit highlights not only how critical it is for trustees and beneficiaries to communicate well, but also how important it is to choose the right trustee. This can be one of the most difficult parts of creating an estate plan. When choosing a trustee, make sure the person or company:

  • Will act in the best interests of the trust
  • Has the versatility to adapt to the changing legal, tax, financial and business climate
  • Understands asset complexity
  • Is ready to take on the tasks and responsibilities associated with achieving your goals

At the same time, it highlights the need for trustees to have adequate indemnification agreements, training, and insurance coverage for lawsuits. There are risks in being a fiduciary, as they are held to the highest standard of law – fiduciary duty – and may be personally liable.

Directors and Officers (D&O) and Errors and Omissions (E&O) policies provide valuable protection for trustees – they are complementary, but different policies. D&O insurance is the policy that responds when corporate directors, officers and trustees are sued in their capacity as directors, officers and trustees. It can be considered as malpractice insurance for the management of an entity. Errors and omissions insurance protects management and employees against errors made in the performance of their professional duties. Trustees should continually assess their liability risks as family needs and dynamics change over time.

What is Cloud on Title? Fri, 23 Sep 2022 18:30:23 +0000

In any transaction involving a home, the title is an integral part of the process. The title deed serves to verify who is the legal owner of the house. Although you can also be listed on the deed, the title is what matters most in determining ownership and your right to act with the home, whether you want to sell later, borrow against it, or leave it to rest. your heirs. .

The title comes into play in particular when buying a house. Before the transaction can be concluded, the current owner must prove that he legally owns the house and has the right to sell (or rent) it. If the seller has unresolved title issues – specifically, what is known as a title cloud – the closing can get messy; it could hamper your ability to buy the house.

A title cloud, also known as a title defect, defective title, or cloudy title, is anything that interferes with a person or entity transferring title to another party. This means there is an unresolved issue with the property that casts doubt on the current owner’s ability to sell it. It can be anything from unpaid property taxes to claiming an heir.

Typically, you discover an existing title cloud during a title search, which is usually done as a condition of a home sale. Essentially, the title search gives you a way to make sure there are no defects in title so that when it passes to you, you have full, unencumbered ownership of the property.

The scrambled title could be caused by anything that would question the ownership of the property. More often than not, you’ll see a cloud on the title due to overdue or underpayments on a mortgage. In this case, the mortgage lender puts a lien on the property. The seller (or buyer, in some cases) will need to arrange to update the loan in order to obtain release of the mortgage lien.

Discount rate overview

Technically speaking, any outstanding mortgage is a lien and gives the lender an interest in a property. But as long as payments are up to date, a mortgage doesn’t really obscure a title — or prevent a home from being sold (since the assumption is that the seller will repay the loan at closing).

Although a mortgage lien is a common cause, it is not the only way a title can be obscured.

For example, the cloud can be caused by the current owner owing money to someone else: an unpaid debt to a tax authority, general contractor, or other third party. When debts are not paid, some entities have the ability to put a lien on the property. This essentially forces the current owner to pay what they owe to sell the property – or find a buyer willing to shoulder that financial burden to get the title released freely and clearly.

The second common cause of title clouds can stem from paperwork issues. If a married couple bought the property together and then divorced, the ex-spouse’s name may still be on the deed. This could leave the spouse who still currently lives in the house without the full legal right to sell it. No matter how many solutions are available in your state to solve this problem, it can still significantly complicate the sales process.

You may also experience title flaws due to writing issues. With an unpublished trust deed, the proper land registration authority has not been notified that a mortgage has been paid off in full. In other words, you could experience a mortgage lien cloud simply because the proper paperwork has not been filed to show that the loan is no longer outstanding.

You may see a cloud on the title due to:

  • A mortgage lien
  • A tax privilege
  • Property Foreclosure Proceedings
  • Administrative issues, such as an unpublished trust deed
  • Boundary issues, including encroachments and easements
  • Probate issues, if the property was inherited or passed on as part of an estate
  • A mechanic’s lien, placed by the contractor on the property because the owner was unable to pay for something involved in building or renovating the home (usually building materials or labor -work)
  • Fraud, which can occur if a forged deed has been recorded (for example, putting the title in another person’s name)

A title defect does not necessarily mean that the sale of the house fails, but it does require action. Although the available options may vary by state, the current title holder generally has a few options:

  • Arrange for the lien to be lifted by repaying the unpaid debt. If the cloud is from a mortgage lien, mechanic’s lien, or other unpaid debt, you can usually clear the title by paying off the debt and ensuring the proper paperwork is filed to clear the default. title. In some cases, such as with a tax lien, the seller can clear the title by using a portion of the sale proceeds to pay the unpaid tax bill. Depending on the buyer’s level of interest, repayment of the outstanding debt(s) may be part of the sale negotiation.
  • Erase the lien or charge. If the default stems from a clerical issue such as an unpublished trust deed, filing the appropriate documents to clarify what is causing the cloud may be the only remedy needed.
  • Adjust the selling price. If the above steps are not options, the potential buyer may decide to cancel the sale. Buying a home with a cloudy title can make it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain title insurance, and mortgage lenders generally do not offer financing for a cloudy titled property. As a seller, you can offer a lower price to entice a buyer to close the sale and take responsibility for resolving the cloud issue on title issues themselves.

If there is a cloud on the title of a property you are considering buying and you wish to clear it before buying, you have a few options, although most require action from the seller/ current holder.

  • Lien payment: As a buyer, repaying the lien and filing the correct paperwork to clear the lien is an option if you are truly motivated to purchase a property. As noted above, you may be able to negotiate a lower sale price to help cover your personal financing to clear the title yourself. Many real estate investors and home buyers use this strategy to acquire properties from overwhelmed owners.
  • Deeds of retrocession: If the title has a lien but the debt has been paid, the lender/tax authority can usually execute a retrocession deed to show that the debt has been paid. If the seller is unable (or unwilling) to act on this option, you may be able to facilitate the process instead to ensure the sale can proceed.
  • Waivers: Quitclaims, which transfer legal rights to a property, allow you to eliminate the defect on a title (usually relatively simple defects, such as a misspelling or an unwanted easement). While this may erase title, it also offers the lowest level of buyer protection of any type of deed.
  • Silent title action: This is a petition you file in court which, if granted, makes the seller responsible for all liens on the property while transferring title to the buyer, giving them full and unencumbered rights to the property. Essentially, this “calms down” the cloud on the title. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to file a discreet title action to pay off any outstanding debt to clear the title.

Each of these steps requires additional work on the part of either the seller or the buyer and, regardless of the options chosen, it may be best for either or both parties to consult a lawyer before proceeding. to chase.

To further protect you as a buyer, you can also consider title insurance. This can ensure that even if clouds of title defects appear down the road, once your purchase is complete – and they might – you don’t have a financial obligation to rectify them.

New federal anti-SLAPP legislation would protect activists and whistleblowers from frivolous lawsuits Fri, 23 Sep 2022 15:27:58 +0000

Federal legislation introduced last week would help human rights defenders, environmental activists and ordinary people fight baseless lawsuits designed to drain them of their resources. Strategic Public Participation Lawsuits, or SLAPPs, seek to silence critics of companies or individuals by subjecting them to lengthy and costly litigation. The goal is not to win, but to deter unflattering reviews.

The SLAPP Protection Act of 2022, introduced last Thursday by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), would create a pathway for a judge to quickly dismiss a lawsuit if he finds the allegations amount to protected speech by the First Amendment. It would also give judges the power to force those who are behind SLAPP lawsuits to repay the money their targets have spent on lawyers.

“This legislation is super powerful,” said Greenpeace General Counsel Deepa Padmanabha, who is facing two multimillion-dollar lawsuits brought by companies against the environmental organization. “SLAPPs are a desperate attempt to silence resistance, to silence exposure, to silence the public watchdogs of exposing the fossil fuel industry for what it is.”

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The new legislation is part of a renewed effort to advance anti-SLAPP laws after environmental organizations and individual land and water defenders faced massive federal lawsuits under of the RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), a law designed to eliminate the mafia. In 2018, a coalition called Protect the Protest was launched to push back against RICO cases and advancing anti-protest laws in more than a dozen states. The coalition has helped energize the longstanding efforts of groups like the Public Participation Project to advance federal and state anti-SLAPP laws.

Wealthy Pollsters drive a significant share of SLAPP-style suits. A report released last week by non-profit organization EarthRights International identified 93 lawsuits filed by fossil fuel industry players over the past decade that had the qualities of a SLAPP by targeting, for example , an activity protected by the First Amendment, by making disproportionate damage claims or dragging out of the case. They were aimed at industry critics ranging from international environmental organizations to fracking protesters to TV host John Oliver.

However, opponents of the oil and gas industry are not the only SLAPP targets. “With the MeToo movement, you’ve seen countless survivors (of sexual harassment and assault) face frivolous lawsuits for speaking out about their experiences,” said Evan Mascagni, policy director of the Public Participation Project. The lawsuits he reviewed involved Yelp reviewers leaving negative reviews, community members criticizing developers at local town meetings, and journalists writing unflattering reports about wealthy men.

For Padmanabha, the stakes are high. “We have 10 years to act on the climate crisis — probably even less than that,” she said, noting that SLAPP suits divert time, money and dialogue from bigger issues. “While protecting our right to express ourselves, to organize is critically important to the fight against climate change, this money can and should be spent on tackling the climate crisis that lies ahead.”

The first state anti-SLAPP law was passed in Washington in the 1980s. Since then, 32 states and the District of Columbia have put such laws on the books. However, their strength varies considerably. In 2020, the Uniform Law Commission, a nonpartisan group made up of government-appointed representatives from each state, attempted to change that by introducing model anti-SLAPP legislation, which has since been passed in three states.

Yet plaintiffs can easily avoid the regulations by suing in one of the 18 states without SLAPP protections or in federal court.

In 2016, logging company Resolute Forest Products filed a $300 million RICO lawsuit against Greenpeace in federal court, alleging that Greenpeace and its allies constituted a criminal enterprise and disseminated defamatory information about Resolute. “Maximizing donations, not saving the environment, is Greenpeace’s true goal,” the lawsuit asserted.

A year later, a judge ruled that Resolute’s action was a SLAPP suit under California law and forced the company to reimburse Greenpeace for $816,000 in legal fees associated with the state-level allegations. . However, the suit’s federal claims were not affected by the decision. Although the majority was ultimately dismissed, Greenpeace was unable to recoup the costs of fighting these claims. According to Padmanabha, the federal bill would likely have ensured that Resolute also covered the environmental organization’s costs for federal claims.

Something similar happened in 2017 when Energy Transfer, the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, hired the same law firm as Resolute to sue Greenpeace for $900 million under RICO. The lawsuit claimed that Greenpeace conspired with others to frame the Native-led Standing Rock movement as a fundraising stunt. Eventually, a judge dismissed the lawsuit, but, without a federal anti-SLAPP law, Greenpeace had no way to recoup its legal costs.

A federal law would not have solved everything. Six years later, Greenpeace is still challenging two of the logging company’s claims in court. As for Energy Transfer, the pipeline company quickly filed a version of its lawsuit in North Dakota, where there is no anti-SLAPP law. Padmanabha said the energy transfer suits cost the organization millions of dollars.

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, an international NGO focused on promoting human rights in business, places SLAPPs within a broader range of attacks used internationally by the industry to silence the opponents. According to a report by the organization, these tactics include arbitrary detention, trumped up charges and abusive subpoenas that compel human rights defenders to divulge personal information.

“In the United States, thankfully, we don’t see assassinations happening,” said Kirk Herbertson, senior policy adviser for EarthRights International. “The militarization of the justice system is the tactic that seems to be the thing here.” The report released last week by EarthRights identified 152 cases of legal harassment in the United States by the fossil fuel industry over the past decade, including 93 SLAPP lawsuits.

Herbertson helped launch the Protect the Protest coalition in 2018 in response to the Greenpeace lawsuits. “For a number of organizations, this posed an existential threat to our work,” Herbertson said. “The idea was that if you come for one of us, you come for all of us.”

The group has submitted amicus briefs in SLAPP lawsuits, collaborated on litigation communications, and advanced policies to protect the targets of those lawsuits.

Protect the Protest has also lobbied against a slew of so-called critical infrastructure bills advancing in the US since 2017, which increase charges for fossil fuel protesters who encroach on private property, and sometimes include penalties. for organizations that “conspire” with intruders.

The new federal bill is narrower than the toughest state anti-SLAPP laws, giving plaintiffs the ability to avoid paying defendants’ legal fees by arguing they didn’t know they were filing a lawsuit. frivolous. This is due in part to federal rules that state that the civil litigation process should favor neither plaintiffs nor defendants.

It is also the result of years of organizing after the failure of a 2015 federal anti-SLAPP bill. In a hearing on SLAPPs at the time, a legal scholar testified that this version of the legislation would constitute barriers to public interest litigation. Mascagni said he and others have worked hard since then to ensure the new bill could gain broad support.

Still, he argues that the exceptions in the bill could be more limited. “If you’re a competent plaintiff’s attorney and have a legitimate cause of action, you don’t have to worry about anti-SLAPP laws,” he said.

ExxonMobil recently tried to use Massachusetts’ anti-SLAPP law to convince a judge to dismiss the state’s attorney general’s lawsuit alleging the company misled investors and consumers about the connection between fossil fuels and the crisis. climatic. The judge denied the request.

During a hearing before the House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties last Wednesday, Daren Bakst, senior researcher for environmental policy and regulation at the Heritage Foundation, argued that these are the people who lean left politically who most often try to silence those who lean on energy issues. Presenting arguments that align with industry talking points, he highlighted claims by individuals that fossil fuel industry CEOs should go to jail and the Biden administration encouraging social media companies to limit the spread of climate misinformation. He did not respond to requests for comment.

Mascagni hopes the bill will garner bipartisan support, as anti-SLAPP bills have in many states. He pointed out that even the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization linked to the billionaire fossil fuel brothers Koch that is made up of right-wing lobbyists and lawmakers, released a model anti-SLAPP bill, apparently after being asked by Yelp. A 2020 op-ed by Bill Easley, a senior policy analyst at the Koch-linked political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, went so far as to call Energy Transfer’s lawsuit against Greenpeace a SLAPP suit and called for better protections.

Without national protections, Padmanabha said businesses and individuals with deep pockets could pay for censorship. “There must be a mechanism in place to remove the price of free speech,” she said.

School librarian recalls ‘surreal’ police visits to books months before new Missouri law | KCUR 89.3 Fri, 23 Sep 2022 07:00:00 +0000

Last fall, at school board meetings across the country, parents upset about COVID-19 precautions began talking about another grievance — school library books. In the St. Louis area, groups of parents went to board meetings to read aloud passages they said were sexually explicit, calling the books “criminal.”

St. Louis Public Radio has now confirmed it is also calling police and at a local high school in the Wentzville School District, after receiving angry voicemails, a police officer responded. He went to the library to tell the librarian about the books in his collection after callers accused her of giving pornography to children. This happened not once, but twice during the 2021-22 school year.

Although the visits did not result in any action against the librarian or removal of materials from the collection, the police officer’s presence highlights potential issues under a new Missouri law that makes it a crime to give sexually explicit material to minors. The law is a new tool for parents who want the support of law enforcement in their fight to force schools to teach what they deem appropriate. In the Wentzville district alone, the law resulted in the removal of more than 200 books from shelves for review.

The encounters between the librarian and the officer also illustrate how police and prosecutors can be ill-equipped or unwilling to respond to complaints about what amounts to subjective law, and how that means the law’s impact will reverberate. on individual situations.

Two police visits

O’Fallon Police Department shift commander Jeffrey Cook said Officer Scott Young, who worked at Liberty High School, went to speak to the librarian in separate incidents months apart after he received voicemails from parents complaining about books in the library.

“His follow-up with the school librarian was for his own understanding of what the books were that the parents were complaining about,” Cook told St. Louis Public Radio in an email. “This was not a police matter at the time and it is not a matter our department intends to get involved in.”

Wentzville School District spokeswoman Brynne Cramer described the visits as “informal conversations” between two colleagues. Young is a resource officer employed by both the O’Fallon Police Department and the Wentzville School District.

But the librarian felt the encounters differently. She didn’t want to be named for this story because she’s worried about her safety. Throughout the past school year, angry parents have shown up at board meetings, filed formal demands challenging books and records, and done what they can to force the district to follow through. their wishes.

The librarian told St. Louis Public Radio that while discussions with Young were casual, it was ‘frightening’ and ‘surreal’ for a police officer to enter her library because someone accused her of giving away pornography. to children.

The O’Fallon Police Department took no further action and did not file a report. The department said that going forward, the school district will handle complaints about library books.

Cook also sent a statement from St. Charles District Attorney Tim Lohmar, who said, “Law enforcement and prosecutors are unlikely to become involved in cases that touch on this issue, primarily because the issue is subjective in nature, and we are not in the business of suing school districts.

When asked about this quote, Lohmar’s office said it was shared without permission.

Instead, the public information officer in Lohmar’s office sent out a statement suggesting he could review the cases under this new law. The spokesperson said the office would review a case individually if law enforcement brings one.

“As with any alleged violation of criminal law, we can only respond to cases that are formally brought to us by the appropriate law enforcement agency,” the statement said. “When this happens, we look at each case on its own merits. It is almost impossible to establish clear internal policies and rules until we look at the facts of each case and apply those facts to the laws in question.

Brian Munoz


St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri State Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Missouri’s New Law

The New Missouri the law makes it illegal provide students with visual representations of things considered sexually explicit, including genitalia and sex acts. The law came into effect nearly a year after the officer’s first visit. Teachers, librarians or other school officials found guilty of violating it could face up to a year in prison or a $2,000 fine.

There was already a Missouri law prohibiting providing pornography to minors, but this law specifically criminalizes this issue in schools.

Since the law was approved, librarians in Missouri have been going through books page by page, looking for anything that could get them in trouble. In the St. Louis area this school year, at least seven school districts have cut nearly 40 titles so far. The majority are graphic novels or comics, as the law is all about visuals.

Other school districts said they are still evaluating the law to see if anything should be removed from library shelves. In the Wentzville School District, an internal listing shows more than 200 books have been temporarily removed for further review due to the new law.

Some titles have been removed in several districts, including graphic novel versions of “The Handmaid’s Tale”, “Gender Queer”, “Flamer”, and “Watchmen”. The Rockwood School District has removed 22 pounds, plus than any other district that reported the materials that were removed.

While many districts received formal requests to remove books last year, most districts ultimately did not remove any records. Some local school boards have gone further by voting to keep the books on library shelves.

But the Wentzville School District removed several titles last year, either temporarily or permanently. It was enough for the ACLU of Missouri to sue the neighborhood on behalf of students about the book deletions, claiming they violated students’ First Amendment rights. A judge recently declined a request to temporarily suspend Wentzville’s book removal policy.

In a statement, the ACLU of Missouri said school districts should not preemptively remove the books due to Missouri’s new law.

“The new law narrowly defines ‘explicit sexual material’ and includes broad exceptions that require the materials to be considered as a whole,” wrote Tom Bastian, deputy director of communications for the ACLU of Missouri. “Furthermore, it does not criminalize materials that are currently in school libraries because school districts already follow well-established national standards for selecting appropriate materials.”

Librarians said they still feel confused about what materials are covered by the law and worried about its implications, according to Melissa Corey, president of the Missouri Association of School Librarians.

“We stand for intellectual freedom,” Corey said. “We defend the freedom to read.”

The law exempts scientific or anthropological depictions of sex-related material. And not all school districts have used book raffles. Maplewood Richmond Heights School District and St. Louis Public Schools said they did not pull any books.

“We’re not censoring anything at this point,” Maplewood Richmond Heights Superintendent Bonita Jamison said. “We don’t change what we do for children because we know what they need. They come out in a diverse society.

Corey said school librarians receive training to ensure their collections offer age-appropriate and relevant books that represent diverse viewpoints.

“Reading is the single most important way to develop empathy for others,” Corey said. “We have books published by individuals that would not have been published 20 or 30 years ago.”

Brian Munoz


St. Louis Public Radio

identity books

According to an analysis of titles, books about or written by LGBTQ people or people of color make up more than half of the books school districts have pulled from shelves. Many are about people coming to terms with their identity. Proponents of the new law denied that their movement was targeting specific groups.

“I don’t care about gender identity or sexual orientation,” Andy Wells said. “For me, that’s not a factor.”

Wells is president of the Missouri chapter of No Left Turn in Education, a national group that has a grading system for books it deems inappropriate.

State Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, said he proposed the legislation because “we definitely saw the need to protect the innocence of children.”

Brattin said parents were furious about the issue and it led them to support “school choice,” the political movement to divert funding from public schools to other school options.

“That’s why you see such a movement of parents who want school choice and want to allow them to be able to take their money that they pay in taxes so they can go somewhere else when this kind of nonsense happens in the school system. public.” Brattin said. “…I think the best way to raise the bar is to have a mass exodus of people leaving these school districts that are doing this stuff.”

Wells spoke with Brattin about the new law before it was passed. Next, he wants the Missouri legislature to go beyond just visuals, with a law against written text that he thinks is self-explanatory.

“This is the first, I hope, of new legislation that will take graphic information out of the hands of children,” Wells said.

Follow Kate on Twitter: @KGrumke

This article was produced in partnership with the Midwest Newsroom, an investigative journalism collaboration including St. Louis Public RadioKCUR, Iowa Public Radio, Nebraska Public Media and NPR.

Copyright 2022 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

SF’s historic Huntington Hotel goes into default Fri, 23 Sep 2022 00:10:12 +0000


The Huntington Hotel, one of the famous “Big Four” hotels atop San Francisco’s Nob Hill, could be subject to foreclosure after defaulting on a loan, according to a report.

Documents filed with the city show a $56.2 million loan in default and a tax lien on the property, according to Bay Area News Group. Los Angeles-based Woodbridge Capital acquired the 136-room hotel in 2018 for $51.9 million. Its lender, Deutsche Bank, is seeking to foreclose on the loan.

First built in 1924, the twelve-story Georgian-style hotel, along with its restaurant and spa, is closed until further notice according to its website. A request for comment was not immediately returned.

Hotels and office buildings in San Francisco have struggled with a sharp drop in the number of travelers and commuters, raising the risk of collapsing property values, mortgage defaults and vacant buildings.

See also

The city’s tax office is seeing a flood of tax reassessment requests from commercial landlords who argue their property values ​​have dropped.
This includes the owners of some of San Francisco’s most iconic buildings: the Transamerica Pyramid, Uber’s headquarters in Mission Bay, and the Westin St. Francis, among others.


Research: Rating Action: Moody’s downgrades New Jersey City University (NJ) to Ba2; negative outlook Wed, 21 Sep 2022 23:13:40 +0000

New York, September 21, 2022 — Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the issuer and revenue bond ratings of New Jersey City University (NJ) from Ba2 to Ba1. The bonds were issued through the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority (NJEFA). Total debt outstanding for fiscal year 2021 was $148 million. The outlook has been revised to negative based on the ratings under review. This concludes our rating review which began on July 15, 2022.


The issuer’s rating downgrade reflects New Jersey City University’s (NJCU’s) current and projected significant structural financial imbalance, which risks depleting unrestricted liquidity in fiscal year 2023 unless action is taken. compensatory budgets. Preliminary unaudited information for fiscal year 2022 shows a significant operating deficit leading to a reduction in cash to less than 30 days of cash. Management has declared a financial emergency and is taking action under its fiscal year 2023 budget to adjust spending. Returning to financial stability in the near term will prove difficult given the size of the projected deficit, projected continued declines in enrollment, an inflationary environment and labor constraints. The university focuses on obtaining additional support from the state and other external sources; the negative outlook reflects that the outcome of these efforts is still very uncertain. Without a timely injection of cash, the university’s credit quality is likely to deteriorate further.

Governance considerations are a key driver of this rating action. An aggressive financial strategy and poor risk management contributed to the financial crisis facing the university. With the very recent turnover in senior management, as well as changes in other key administrative positions, the current management team has not yet had time to establish a balance sheet to fully address the significant financial challenges of the company. university or implement improved risk management practices. However, current leaders are keenly focused on resizing operations to align with long-term macroeconomic demographics, as evidenced by the recent implementation of increased conservative and transparent budgeting practices.

The Ba2 rating is currently supported by the university’s role as a public university and Hispanic Service Institution (HSI) for the State of New Jersey (A2 stable), playing an important access role for a student population diverse undergraduate and graduate courses. With its mission and position as the only public university in Hudson County, we expect the state to take steps to ensure the viability of the university, although the scale, timing and form of such action are speculative and uncertain.

Ba2 revenue bond ratings incorporate university issuer-level credit characteristics and general obligation to pay, with a pledge of first lien on tuition and fee revenue.


The negative outlook reflects the severity of further cash flow and liquidity losses for FY2023 absent significant spending cuts and external financial support. There is also an increased risk of a one day free cash breach of a commitment that begins on June 30, 2023.


– Substantial and lasting improvement in operational performance, which could likely occur through a combination of budget cuts, increased student-generated revenue, and increased state support

– Significant increase in cash, with more than enough headroom for financial commitments – Improved brand and strategic positioning reflected in stronger listing patterns and revenue growth – Over time, deleveraging for a more sustainable debt profile


– Lack of sufficient and timely additional external support, including from the state

– Inability to quickly implement a financial restructuring leading to an improvement in financial performance – Further decline in available reserves; non-compliance with financial covenants


Revenue Bonds are general unsecured obligations of NJCU. Concurrent with the issuance of the Series 2021A and 2021B bonds, the pledges were changed on the new parity bonds to include a first lien on tuition and fee income. In addition, two covenants were added: (1) a covenant requiring the university to set tuition at a price sufficient to cover operating costs and debt service; (2) a liquidity clause that requires the university to maintain 35 days of cash (as defined by the lease agreement) from June 30, 2023. In addition, there is a reserve fund for the service of the debt on the Series 2021 Bonds which shall be maintained at the maximum annual debt service provided, however, the amount shall not exceed the lesser of (i) ten percent (10%) of the original principal amount of the Bonds or (ii ) 125% of the average annual debt service requirement on the bonds. Series 2007F, 2010G, 2015A and 2016D bonds do not have a debt service reserve fund.

If cash days fall below 35 days, NJCU is required to retain the services of a consultant to make recommendations to bring the university into compliance with the undertaking. Events of default under the Master Indenture include non-payment of debt service when due. EODs under the lease agreement with NJEFA include non-payment of lease payments when due; incorrect material representations; failure to comply with required covenants unless all reasonable steps are taken to remedy the breach; and an event of default under the Trust Deed.


New Jersey City University is a public four-year, undergraduate and graduate-level university with multiple locations in Jersey City, NJ, near New York City. The university has approximately 5,900 students, more than 80% of whom are undergraduates, with operating revenue of approximately $162 million in fiscal year 2021.


The main methodology used in these ratings was the Higher Education Methodology published in August 2021 and available at Otherwise, please see the Scoring Methodologies page on for a copy of this methodology.


For details on key rating assumptions and Moody’s sensitivity analysis, see the Methodological Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions sections in the Disclosure Form. Moody’s rating symbols and definitions can be found at

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The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued without modification as a result of such disclosure.

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At least one ESG consideration was material to the announced credit rating metric(s) described above.

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Judge Aileen Cannon channels her inner Kavanaugh Wed, 21 Sep 2022 15:54:52 +0000

Remember when John Roberts chastised then-President Donald Trump for calling a federal lawyer “Judge Obama”? The Chief Justice said, “We don’t have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.”

It wasn’t characteristic of Roberts to be so outspoken, but the right thing to say at the time, in 2018. His remarks now sound awfully quaint.

If there is any doubt, there are Trump judges and everyone, Aileen Cannon should settle it.

Earlier this month, Judge Cannon, who was nominated by the former president to a federal district court seat in the Southern District of Florida, granted Trump’s request for a special master to review government records seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Although this decision was roundly criticized, it has since doubled down, denying the Justice Department’s request to exempt 103 classified documents from the special master’s review in order to continue its criminal investigation.

There are many reasons to be alarmed by Cannon’s decision – an extreme deference to Trump juxtaposed with a dismissive attitude towards the government’s concerns over classified information – but what immediately jumped out at me was its sheer clumsiness.

“Plaintiff has had no significant ability to materialize its position regarding the seized materials,” she wrote, siding with Trump. An eighth-grade English teacher could have a field day with that one sentence.

Overall, her decision was so poorly argued, so inelegant in the extreme, that it borders on garishness – as if Cannon wanted to show just how far she can go off the rails.

“It’s hard to write clearly if the reasoning is muddled,” said Stephen Saltzburg, a law professor at George Washington University who currently serves as special counsel in cases involving Iraq and Iran. Cannon’s appointment of a special master is “either redundant or meaningless,” he added.

“If I am in a SCIF [sensitive compartmented information facility]- and I’ve been there several times – and I see a document that has classified marks, I have to assume it’s classified.

“The opinion is legally inconsistent,” said Peter Shane, fellow in residence at NYU Law School and author of Democracy’s Chief Executive. “As someone who studies executive power, I think she’s either oblivious to or indifferent to the legal framework surrounding executive privilege.”

“Deeply Imperfect”

Contrary to critics who suggest she’s no match for the job of a federal judge, I think Cannon knows exactly what she’s doing. The only question is whether his bet will pay off.

Before Cannon became a pig for Trump, did anyone even know who she was? Confirmed in November 2020 after Trump lost in the election, she was not a controversial candidate. Twelve Democratic senators even voted for her.

She had the credentials that made her an acceptable, if undistinguished, choice for the federal bench.

A 2007 graduate with honors from the University of Michigan Law School and a member of the Federalist Society (naturally), she worked for Federal Court of Appeals Judge Steven Colloton, worked three years at Gibson’s office , Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, then joined the US Attorney’s office in South Florida.

Although Cannon has the right notches on her belt, there is no indication that she was a star in any of these ventures.

But the obscure Cannon is no more. Since making her decision, she has been in the spotlight, facing an onslaught of criticism from all quarters.

On Fox News, former Attorney General Bill Barr called the decision “wrong” and “deeply flawed in several respects.” He also told The New York Times exactly how he felt about the appointment of a special master: “I think it’s crap.”

Even ultra-conservative scholar John Yoo, author of the “torture memos” that justified harsh interrogation techniques during the presidency of George W. Bush, seems perplexed by Cannon’s reasoning.

“It’s not about whether Trump broke the law. He did,” Yoo said in an interview at the National Conference on Conservatism. “It’s not about whether the government had legal grounds for the search warrant. It does. The question really is whether he could be charged.

But the more Cannon is attacked for siding with the former president, the more her stock will grow with Trump — and that could be her plan.

Like Brett Kavanaugh who raged in front of the cameras during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings amid speculation the former president could withdraw his nomination after Christine Blasey’s sexual assault charges. Ford, Cannon struts for her man Trump.

Familiar playbook

Now it’s a familiar playbook. If you want to soar in Trumpland, you have to play it to the end. What better way for an ambitious young justice, perhaps with Supreme Court aspirations, to get a head start?

And whether or not Trump returns to power, the 41-year-old Colombian-born jurist has carved out a role for herself as a Trumpian conservative.

For now, all eyes are on Special Master Raymond Dearie, a judge for the Eastern District of New York. “I think he will finish the job by the end of October,” Salzburg said. “It is not up to him to determine whether a document should be classified. I mean it when I say it should be a pretty easy job.

Indeed, Dearie seems determined to act quickly, and Trump lawyers balk. Already they are protesting Dearie’s proposal that the two sides finish reviewing the documents by Oct. 7.

“We respectfully suggest that all timelines may be extended to allow for a more realistic and comprehensive assessment of the areas of disagreement,” Trump’s attorneys responded to the special master.

They are also protesting Dearie’s request to submit details about the declassification of the records, arguing that it will compromise their client’s defense.

During his first hearing on the matter on Tuesday, Dearie expressed skepticism about some of Team Trump’s arguments.

So what if Dearie, who was nominated by the Trump team, rejects the former president’s arguments? Rest assured, Cannon has thought of that. She wrote in her decision: “The Court reserves the right to withdraw the Special Master.

Moreover, she is not obliged to follow his decision. “She may disagree with the special master, but I don’t think she will,” Salzburg said.

Shane added that it would be unseemly for Cannon to fire Dearie or disregard her decision, as “Dearie has more credibility – more boats – than her”.

This places a lot of hope that credibility still matters when it comes to impressing the King of Mar-a-Lago.

IRS Weekly Recap September 12-16, 2022 Tue, 20 Sep 2022 07:09:20 +0000

Below is our summary of important Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of September 12, 2022 through September 16, 2022.

September 12, 2022: The IRS released Internal revenue bulletin 2022-37which highlights the following:

  • Treasury Decision 9965: These regulations establish certain requirements regarding the implementation of the balance billing protections provided by the No Surprise Act.
  • Notice 2022-37: These tips help taxpayers comply with the final regulations under section 871(m). The United States Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the IRS intend to amend the regulations in Section 871(m), which will delay the effective date of certain rules in the final regulations and extend the transition period provided for in Notice 2020-2 during two years.

September 12, 2022: The IRS released COVID Tax Advice 2022-139reminding taxpayers of the recent issuance Notice 2022-36, which provides penalty relief for certain failure to file penalties in the 2019 and 2020 tax years. The corresponding penalties will be waived, reduced, refunded or credited. The relief is designed to help struggling taxpayers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to allow the IRS to focus its resources on processing pending tax returns and taxpayer correspondence.

September 12, 2022: The General Inspectorate of the Treasury of the Tax Administration (TIGTA) has made public the Fiscal Year 2022 Statutory Review of Compliance with Due Process Procedures for Filing Notice of Federal Tax Lien. TIGTA is required to determine annually whether lien notices issued by the IRS comply with the legal requirements set forth in the Internal Revenue Code. TIGTA recommended that the Director of Collections Policy for the Small Business/Self-Employed Division (1) reinforce the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) guidelines to ensure taxpayer representatives are informed of notice filings federal tax lien and (2) correct an IRM reference on Written Communication to a Taxpayer’s Authorized Representative. The IRS agreed.

September 12, 2022: TIGTA released its report titled, The reliance on self-certifications has led federal agencies to award contracts and grants to entities with outstanding federal taxes; However, the IRS is making progress in setting up the federal contractor tax audit system. TIGTA conducted this audit because in calendar years 2015 and 2016, federal contracts were awarded to thousands of contractors whose unpaid taxes were most likely in arrears. Between October 2018 and December 2019, the federal government awarded 2.1 million federal contracts to more than 83,000 winners. More than 3,000 contractors who received contracts had $621.8 million in federal taxes owing, and 938 recipients received $22.7 billion in federal grants while possessing $269.2 million in federal taxes owing. suffering.

September 12, 2022: Theirs Published minor fixes to Treasury Decision 9964originally published August 16, 2022. The regulations provide guidance for states regarding the process by which they may obtain or inspect certain statements and return information for the purpose of administering state laws governing certain exempt organizations. tax and their activities.

September 13, 2022: The IRS issued Notice 2022-39providing rules related to the Cut Inflation Act 2022. Applicants must follow these guidelines in order to make a single application for the authorized credit and payment for alternative fuels sold or used during the first, second and third calendar quarters of 2022.

September 13, 2022: Theirs reminded taxpayers who have not yet filed a 2021 tax return to file them electronically and avoid common errors.

September 13, 2022: TIGTA released the Fiscal Year 2022 Statutory Review of Potential Violations of Fair Tax Collection Practices. TIGTA has identified 25 potential violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and one potential violation of Fair Tax Collection Practices (FTCP) by employees of private collection agencies. TIGTA recommended that the IRS (1) review miscoded cases to ensure that proper analysis of the FTCP violation is performed and the correct problem code is applied; (2) issue a memorandum to collection managers reinforcing the procedures to be used when handling taxpayer complaints regarding IRS employee misconduct; and (3) reminding group managers of their annual compliance review obligation. IRS management accepted all three recommendations.

September 13, 2022: Theirs offers regulations that would expand access to its Independent Appeals Office (IRS Appeals). The proposed rules would set out how to handle cases that don’t require litigation, as well as guidance for requesting a referral to IRS appeals after a notice of insufficiency is issued. Comments must be received no later than November 14, 2022.

September 14, 2022: The IRS released Tax procedure 2022-36providing the domestic asset/liability percentages and domestic investment returns needed by foreign life insurers and foreign property and casualty insurers to calculate their minimum effectively tied net investment income under Section 842 (b) for taxation years beginning in 2021.

September 14, 2022: The IRS released Tax Advice 2022-151advising taxpayers of next steps if they receive a notice or letter from the IRS.

September 15, 2022: Theirs announcement the opening of the application period of the Compliance Assurance Process (CAP) program for 2023. The objective of the CAP is to use real-time problem solving with transparent and cooperative interaction between taxpayers and the IRS, resolving issues before a tax return is filed. Applicants must have assets of $10 million or more and be a publicly traded US company. The IRS will notify applicants in February 2023 if they are accepted into the program.

September 15, 2022: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke at the IRS facility in New Carrollton, Maryland. Secretary Yellen toured the technology facility and called it “a model of IT modernization that the IRS has long needed.” She also added that new IRS funding from the Cut Inflation Act will make these types of investments possible.

September 15, 2022: Theirs reminded taxpayers that IRS Free File is available until the tax filing extension deadline of October 17, 2022, but don’t wait until the last minute.

September 16, 2022: The IRS issued Notice 2022-42, proposing to amend the regulations under Section 901, with respect to the application of the non-compulsory payment regulations to certain amended Puerto Rico tax orders. Comments must be received no later than January 9, 2023.

September 16, 2022: The IRS has released its weekly list of written determinations (for examplePrivate Letter Rules, Technical Advice Memorandums and Chief Counsel Advice).

Events to come:

  • A webinar to discuss Help for innocent spouses is scheduled for September 20, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. (CDT). The program will discuss the Innocent Spouse Redress Provision, Deficit Allocation (also known as Separation of Liabilities) and Equitable Redress.
  • The IRS will hold a closed Meet of the Art Advisory Committee on September 22, 2022. The agenda for the meeting includes reviewing and evaluating the acceptability of fair market value assessments involved in federal income, estate and of donation. The meeting is not open to the public.
  • The following Taxpayer Defense Panel committees are scheduled to meet in October:

Special thanks to Sarah Raben from our Chicago office for this week’s roundup.

New York Estate Planning Attorney Kristine M. Carranceja-Gurski Explains the Role of an Estate Planning Lawyer Mon, 19 Sep 2022 16:25:22 +0000

New York Estate Planning Attorney Kristine M. Carranceja-Gurski of Matus Law Group publishes a new article ( explaining the work of a New York estate planning attorney. The lawyer mentions that it takes a lot of effort and hard work to accumulate wealth and assets. In estate planning, an individual essentially plans for their future and ensures that their estate will be distributed according to their wishes in the event of their death.

“Estate planning is more than just a set of legal guidelines and forms governed by law. It is the heart and soul of the culmination of lifelong projects. At The Matus Law Group, we treat it as such. Regardless of the complexities of legal planning, we understand the critical responsibility you have entrusted to us in designing and planning a tailored estate plan,” says the New York City Estate Planning Attorney.

According to the lawyer, estate planning includes planning for the future of a child with special needs and care through trusts. The trust can help to legally protect the estate and ensure that the child has access to all public benefits. They will be eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits once the child turns 18.

Estate planning attorney Kristine M. Carranceja-Gurski says that in New York, estate planning requires the creation of a will. This document outlines a person’s wishes regarding the management of their estate after their death. The probate process will be long and complicated without a legal will.

Attorney Carranceja-Gurski also says a will is an essential tool for estate planning. A will allows a person to bequeath their real estate and financial assets to people of their choice. A will can also be used to designate who will be the legal guardian of young children left behind.

Lawyer Carranceja-Gurski also explains that a will is a great first step, but sometimes a trust can be a better option. Trusts will provide asset and estate protection and tax benefits. These features may not be available in a will. According to the attorney, “a trust forms a separate, third-party legal entity that can hold assets and an estate in the name of a beneficiary, which can be useful for estate planning and tax benefits.”

Finally, the Estate Planning Lawyer stresses the importance of having an experienced estate planning lawyer. An experienced attorney can help clients understand their rights and responsibilities, as well as guide them in making the right decisions.

About Matus Lawyers Group
The Matus Law Group has a team of estate planning attorneys committed to helping families and individuals with real estate transactions in New Jersey and New York. Using a team approach, they work hard to help their clients with their estate planning needs. Call the Matus Law Group today at (929) 412-1808

Matus Lawyers Group

222 Broadway FL 22, New York, NY 10038, USA

(929) 412-1808


For more information about Matus Law Group – New York City, contact the company here:

Matus Law Group – New York
Christine Matus
(929) 412 1808
[email protected]222 Broadway Suite A1,
New York, NY 10038

Greenpeace takes legal action against EU ‘green’ label for gas and nuclear Mon, 19 Sep 2022 08:36:00 +0000

European Union flags fly in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 17, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Herman

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BRUSSELS, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Greenpeace and other environmental activists have launched legal challenges against the European Commission over its decision to include natural gas and nuclear power in the list of “green” investments in the EU. EU.

They argue the European Union violated its own climate laws by doing this, citing greenhouse gas emissions produced by gas-fired power plants, and say the move risks diverting investment to fossil fuels. instead of renewable energy.

Greenpeace said it called for an internal review of the Commission’s decision to label gas and nuclear power as green. Four other environmental groups – WWF, Friends of the Earth Germany, Transport & Environment and ClientEarth – focused on gas.

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The Commission said it would respond to requests in due course.

The focus is on the European Union’s ‘taxonomy’, a rulebook defining which investments can be labeled as climate-friendly and designed to guide investors towards green projects that will help meet emissions reduction targets of the block.

The Commission has until February to respond. If the Commission does not withdraw the rules, the groups have said they will take their cases to the European Court of Justice.

“Gas is one of the main causes of climate and economic chaos, while there is still no solution to the problem of radioactive nuclear waste and the risk of nuclear accidents is far too great to ignore” said Greenpeace activist Ariadna Rodrigo.

The Commission had excluded gas-fired power stations from its initial taxonomy proposal, but added them later, amid a fierce political debate between EU countries – which disagree on the issue of whether the fuel deserves a “green” label.

Brussels said it added “strict conditions” to the final rules for gasworks, including an emissions limit and an obligation to switch to low-carbon gases by 2035.

Representatives of five non-profit groups quit their roles advising the Commission on the taxonomy last week, citing the EU’s handling of gas and nuclear rules. Read more

Separately, Luxembourg and Austria, which both oppose nuclear power and have warned against labeling gas as green, are preparing a legal challenge to the EU rules.

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Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Susan Fenton

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