Are Attorneys Above The Law

If you have ever been in the regrettable situation where you need the assistance of a good attorney, then you know how much of a blessing they can be. It is possible that your marriage is falling to pieces, and you have children that your visitation rights you need resolved; or maybe you have been injured in an accident, and need to make assistance making a claim against the party that is at fault. No matter what your need, the right attorney can help make the entire procedure much easier.

Nevertheless, regardless of all the good work many attorneys do, there are a large number of attorneys who operate on the other side of the fence. These are the ones who will rip their clients off, ignore and break the law themselves in order to enrich their own lives.

These same attorneys will use suspicious moral practices to get questionable results, all of which directly affects you.
“Quis Custodes Ipsos Custodiet”, by the poet Juvenal, which means “Who Shall Watch The Watchers Themselves”, is an old Latin saying that sums up this situation perfectly – It is extremely apt in these situations, for if we cannot trust our protectors to actually protect us, what can we do? Who punishes the attorneys when they break the law?

Terrifying Statistics

Even though you may believe that attorneys who break the law are in the minority, the number of incidents that have been brought to the public’s notice is on the rise. Some of the most recent examples of this are:

o In 2001, a total of ELEVEN attorneys in Tennessee were still practicing law, even though there was a list of charges against them which included bank fraud, perjury, and even one attorney who was to blame for his failure to deliver evidence, which caused an innocent man to be kept in prison for four years on a rape charge.

o This year in Warren, Ohio an attorney was charged with fraud, including deceiving an elderly woman out of over $80,000

o Also this year, two attorneys in Boise, Idaho, were convicted of shocking financial dealings relating to real estate purchases at University Place

Yet, in spite of these findings, and the guilty parties acknowledging their criminal behavior, they are still permitted to work and practice law. Why is this, and what can you do about it if it affects you?

The Censure Debacle

While a child is growing up, and if they do something wrong, we as parents would punish them – this is how we have all learned right from wrong. The same in goes in our adult life – we all know that if we break the law, we will get punished. Depending on what it is we have done wrong or accused of, the punishment can vary – from an official warning for something minor, to losing your driving license for a road traffic offense, to spending time in jail embezzlement or something even more serious. There are even times when someone has spent time incarcerated when actually innocent.

However, the same set of laws do not seem to apply to attorneys. When they do something unlawful, as a rule, it does not look as if it affects their job too much, because they are still permitted to practice law. Still yet, if they are punished in a more serious manner, you can bet your bottom dollar it will not be anywhere near as severe as how we would be dealt with for the same crime.

The rationale for this is something attorneys love to fall back on, and that something is censure, a convenient scheme of publicly scolding someone without really doing anything official. Sure, when you hear that an attorney has been “publicly censured”, it might look and sound good on paper, but in fact it is anything but. The only thing that happens is that a public official, or if someone of prominence does receive a warning, it is like being a slapped on the wrist, and told not to be naughty again. Not exactly inductive to making someone alter his or her ways. However, it is not just this that is at fault here.

The Old School Tie Network

When any kind of law is broken, if it goes to court then it is normally attorneys who will work to see that the correct type of penalty is laid down out by the judges. However, if it is an attorney who is on trial (although this in itself can be hard to achieve, thanks to the censure procedure), then you can just about ensure that an old friend or colleague from law school will take their case.

As if that is not bad enough, you will find that the attorney is probably a friend of the judge that is hearing the case, which does not provoke confidence that the case is going to be heard fairly or with impunity. It is this kind of “all for one, one for all” attitude that has seen public faith in attorneys lapse to an unprecedented low, which is a particular embarrassment for the good attorneys that do their job well and look out for the people that matter – their clients.

If you have been a victim of malpractice by an attorney, there are ways that you can bring them to justice, and not just leave them to go the normal route of censure and favors from friends getting them off the hook.

Taking The Law Into Your Hands

One avenue that you can take to see the offending attorney brought to justice is by way of the state governing boards that are supposed to be responsible for attorneys being able to operate in a particular state or county. Unfortunately, this can be a tremendously costly and is usually a very long-drawn out process, which is not always successful, because the attorney can appeal it and generally the accuser is unaware and unable to speak out against them again. While the appeal is going on, they are allowed to continue to practice law…ergo the attorney gets away with it.

Another way you might consider is to use another attorney, which may sound bizarre as you are bringing a case against another attorney. However, just like any job and vocation, there are some exceptional attorneys who would like nothing better than to successfully charge and prosecute someone who is blighting their business and good name in such a negative manner.

If you are unsure of where you should start, there is usually a lawyer referral service in your town or you can go online and do a search with Google, Yahoo or MSN where you will find lists of firms in your city that would be more than willing to take this type of case on.

Another option is to go to the local and national press. People hate to think of those intended to protect our rights as operating in an criminal manner, and they like it even less when it is an attorney who is using the law to further enrich their own way of life. For that reason, you should take all your facts and dates to the press, who would love to chase these lawbreaking attorneys down for you.

No matter what you decide to do, please do not just sit and hope that the attorney will be found out without your help – that is why there are so many bad ones on the loose in the first place.

Fraud Schemes – 6 Main Types Of Occupational Fraud

Occupational Fraud: The use of one’s occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of the employing organization’s resources or assets.
-The key to occupational fraud is that the activity:

a. Is clandestine

b. Violates the employee’s fiduciary duties to the organization

c. Is committed for the purpose of direct or indirect financial benefit to the employee

1. Employee Embezzlement

-Most common type of occupational fraud (more than 80% of frauds)

-Employees deceive their employer by taking company assets.

-Cash most targeted asset, taken 90% of the time

Occupational Fraud can be either direct or indirect

-Direct Fraud: employee steals company cash, inventory, tools, supplies, or other assets, or establishes dummy companies and have employers pay for goods that are not actually delivered Does not use a 3rd party, the money goes straight to perpetrator’s pockets.

-Indirect Fraud: employees take bribes or kickbacks from vendors, customers, or others outside the company to allow for lower sales prices, higher purchase prices, nondelivery of goods, or the delivery of inferior goods. Usually payment to employees is made by organizations that deal with the perpetrator’s employer, not the employer itself.

2. Management Fraud

-Usually fraud by top management’s deceptive manipulation of financial statements

3. Investment Fraud

-Closely related to management fraud

-Fraudulent and usually worthless investments are sold to unsuspecting investors.

-Charles Ponzi is father of investment scams

-In 2000, more than $5 billion lost from telemarketing fraud

-Recent mutual fund frauds were investment scams using market timing and late trading

-Illegal market timing is an investment technique that involves short term in-and-out trading of mutual fund shares. This technique has caused losses to long term mutual fund investors of approximately $5 billion per year.

-Late trading allowed selected investors to purchase mutual funds after 4 pm using that days Net Asset Value (NAV) rather than the next day’s NAV that is required under law. Investors would capitalize on positive earnings news and then were allowed to immediately reap the benefit of the stocks upward movement the following day.

4. Vendor Fraud – 2 types

a. Fraud perpetrated by vendors acting alone

b. Fraud perpetrated through collusion between buyers and vendors

Usually results in either overcharge for purchased goods,
shipment of inferior goods, or nonshipment of goods even though
payment is made

5. Customer Fraud

-Customers either do not pay full price for goods purchased, they get something for nothing, or they deceive organizations into giving them something they should not have.

6. Miscellaneous Fraud

-Fraud that doesn’t fit into first five types and may have been committed for reasons other than financial gain

Law Enforcers and Public Records

Aside from being public servants who are tasked to protect the general public, did you also know that the police departments can likewise be a good source of a lot of useful information? Yes, they could be. If you will visit the local law enforcement offices in your area, you can actually access a lot of public records from them that you could use in many situations.

For example, let’s say that you are someone who has a new business and you are looking forward to dealing with a lot of people for future expansion. You will surely need to encounter a lot of different individuals to do that such as employees, clients, suppliers and even prospective business partners. In order for you to determine the reliability and trustworthiness of people you deal with, you should use public records for your references too.

There are actually a lot of records that you can use. For example, you can check court records, arrest records and criminal records to see if any person in consideration really has an unquestionable character. You could check the mentioned public records so you could be aware of any wrong doings that a person may have done in the past. This isn’t about being suspicious all the time and being paranoid about the people that you will need to deal with but this activity is being done by many people so they could make wise decisions.

You would surely not want to do business dealings with someone who has been arrested in the past for embezzlement charges. That could really be risky for you. Aside from that, you surely wouldn’t want to be being close to someone, much less work with a person who is a registered sex offender. You and those other people would constantly be in danger and you will feel nervous about it all the time. Through those public records, it will be possible to that have criminal records.

These days, you wouldn’t have to go to the actual police department offices when you want to obtain access to those documents. You can actually go to the online websites that offer people with access to the records you need. What you will need to do is to look for public records sites since there are a lot of them out there. You might even choose between free sites and paid providers.

White-Collar Laws Are Best Understood by White-Collar Criminal Attorneys

White-collar laws and crimes differ a lot from any other laws or crimes which you may face. White-collar crimes are not violent and are usually performed by people who have a public office. This kind of crime can also be performed by a business which is using deception to commit the crime. The victim of such crimes might may not be able to understand what has happened even after the case, never mind getting justice for. In such cases it is best to hire a white-collar attorney.

There’s no violence. There is no weapons.

Generally speaking the crimes which we call white collar crimes do not involve using a weapon of any sort and are usually performed without exercising any violence. This makes the evidence to be a lot harder to obtain, it also takes a lot of time to determine if such a crime has actually been performed. People who are put under investigation for white-collar crimes have to make sure that they hire a very good white-collar criminal attorney.

The first thing that a white-collar criminal attorney is going to do is he is going to inform his client about their rights and privileges that the client has. He will also present all the necessary options which the client has to be aware of. Because of the fact that the criminal process for such a crime is very complicated and complex, it is important for the white-collar criminal attorney to actually understand all the ends and the outs of this specific kind of law.

The white-collar criminal attorney will be well informed as to the different kinds of the crimes that are performed. Be it bribery or embezzlement, or any other white-collar crime, the best thing you can do is you can hire a good white-collar criminal attorney to represent you and deal with your case. Anything you want to know and to get done which pertains to white-collar law, or white-collar crime, his best executed by professional white-collar attorneys.

It really does depend which law a specific person is broken, that information has to be clearly presented to the judges before they can decide on the actual punishment that the person is going to have to face. It may be that the person guilty of the crime will have to serve time in jail, maybe they are going to have to face huge fines which will in turn ruin them financially. Maybe those people will have to face dealing with restitution. When such circumstances are at stake, you really want to have a good white-collar attorney that will be able to present your case favorably to the judges so that you don’t have to deal with the consequences of one mistake which you have done in your life for the rest of her life.

A special kind of lawyer called DUI will have to be higher if you are charged with driving your car while being drunk. Many of such attorneys are ready to represent you and your case. It is not all that hard to find them, all you have to do is find a correct person for a correct kind of job.

Criminal Defense Facts and Information – Know Your Rights

Surprisingly, compared to civil law, criminal law comprises a much smaller portion of the legal system. This means that finding a qualified criminal attorney can be more difficult than one may imagine. From traffic tickets to DUI’s many people feel that they are the mercy of the court system and are fighting a losing battle when trying to defend their record unless they hire an experienced attorney.

There are many more television shows about criminal law than civil law. This is because what is most at stake, a person’s liberty and freedom, is much more dramatic.

Determining a person’s guilt or innocence and subjecting him or her to jail time is a huge responsibility upon judges and juries. This is why criminal law has a much higher burden of proof than civil law. While individuals may be able to recoup the financial losses of civil litigation, a person may never regain the time they have spent inside the walls of a prison or repair the damage caused by a criminal record.

“Proof beyond a reasonable doubt” and “innocent until proven guilty” are terms that most people have heard before but the full gravity of these words isn’t felt unless they have faced trouble with the law. Failing to hire an experienced criminal law attorney could jeopardize your innocence and ability to present an effective defense in court.

“Criminal law” is refers to crimes that fall under the classifications of felonies and misdemeanors, summary offenses. Manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, burglary, arson, embezzlement, perjury, conspiracy, solicitation, forgery, assault, and murder are a few felonies. A felony is a crime in which the punishment is more than a year of incarceration. Most criminal law cases end in plea bargains where the defendant will plead to a much lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence.