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Bank of America starts overdraft rebate outreach
Law Firm Business | 2011/08/09 16:28
If you had a Bank of America account with a debit card between January 2001 and May of this year, you may be due some cash.

The nation's largest bank has started contacting customers who may be entitled to a refund. It recently reached a class-action settlement over the way it charged overdraft fees. Most of the other suits are continuing to work their way through federal court in Florida.

Bank of America agreed to set up a $410 million fund to settle the lawsuit. The money will be used to pay back customers who were charged overdraft fees as a result of the company's policy of processing debit card transactions based on the size of the transaction, rather than when the purchases occurred.

The bank is one of about three dozen named in a series of class-action lawsuits over the practice of "reordering." A policy that became widespread in the 2000s, reordering involves deducting purchases from an account starting with the largest dollar amount first. That means a customer may end up paying additional overdraft fees.

For instance, someone with an account balance of $95 and who made three purchases in one day, the first for $5, the next for $25 and the last for $75, would be charged two overdraft fees, rather than one.

The suits claim that reordering was done to intentionally increase the number of overdraft fees collected. Banks took in about $39 billion in overdraft fees annually before the Federal Reserve put new rules in place last year. Now banks are required to obtain a customer's written permission before providing overdraft protection.

To inform customers that they may be eligible for a refund of some overdraft fees, Bank of America is sending postcards to customers with a brief explanation of the settlement and the address of a website where more information is available.


Ryan & Maniskas, LLP Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Ebix, Inc.
Law Firm Business | 2011/07/16 05:21
Ryan & Maniskas, LLP (www.rmclasslaw.com/cases/ebix) announces that it has filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of Ebix, Inc. ("Ebix" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: EBIX) between May 6, 2009 through June 30, 2011, inclusive (the "Class Period").

For more information regarding this class action suit, please contact Ryan & Maniskas, LLP (Richard A. Maniskas, Esquire) toll-free at (877) 316-3218 or by email at rmaniskas@rmclasslaw.com or visit: www.rmclasslaw.com/cases/ebix.

Ebix supplies software and electronic commerce solutions to the insurance industry. The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Defendants issued a series of materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company's business and financial results. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) the Company's tax provisions did not conform to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles; (2) the Company overstated its account receivables; (3) the Company consistently failed to tie customer payments to specific invoices; (4) the Company lacked adequate internal and financial controls; and (5) as a result of the foregoing, the Company's statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On March 24, 2011, Seeking Alpha published a report ("Report”) accusing the Company of engaging in a number of accounting manipulations, including: (a) manipulating stated organic growth; (b) overstating profit margins; (c) overstating its accounts receivables; (d) manipulating tax liabilities; and (e) inflating cash flows. The Report concluded that the Company’s "problems run deeper than accounting. The EBIX story also comes with multiple auditor resignations, governance abuses, misrepresented organic growth, questionable cash flow and a contentious CEO.” On this news, the Company’s shares plummeted $7.20 per share, or nearly 24%, to close on March 24, 2011, at $22.52 per share, on unusually heavy trading volume.
On June 30, 2011, the media reported that the shareholders of Peak Performance Solutions, Inc. ("Peak”), who sold their business to Ebix, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, claiming that Ebix was consistently unable to bill customers properly, tie customer payments to invoices, and provide basic financial data or calculate revenues for Peak. On this news, the Company's shares declined an additional $1.30 or more than 6% and closed at $19.05.

If you are a member of the class, you may, no later than September 12, 2011, request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff of the class. A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member's claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as "lead plaintiff." Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. You may retain Ryan & Maniskas, LLP or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.

For more information about the case or to participate online, please visit: www.rmclasslaw.com/cases/ebix or contact Richard A. Maniskas, Esquire toll-free at (877) 316-3218, or by e-mail at rmaniskas@rmclasslaw.com. For more information about class action cases in general or to learn more about Ryan & Maniskas, LLP, please visit our website: www.rmclasslaw.com.

Ryan & Maniskas, LLP is a national shareholder litigation firm. Ryan & Maniskas, LLP is devoted to protecting the interests of individual and institutional investors in shareholder actions in state and federal courts nationwide.


More psych evaluation in castration killing case
Law Firm Business | 2011/05/02 16:23
A doctor will pay a second visit to a Portuguese model accused of castrating and killing a TV journalist in a Times Square hotel before his lawyer decides whether to pursue a psychiatric defense in the attack.

A psychiatrist visited Renato Seabra this month but needs a second evaluation of the 21-year-old model, defense attorney David Touger said Friday. Seabra was transferred two weeks ago from Bellevue Hospital to jail at Rikers Island, Touger said.

"He is medicated because he has a psychiatric illness. He is doing well under the circumstances that he is under," Touger said after a short pretrial hearing in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Seabra, a former contestant on a Portuguese talent-search show, has pleaded not guilty to murder in Carlos Castro's Jan. 7 death. Castro, a 65-year-old Portuguese TV personality and writer, was found dead, naked and bloodied in a room they were sharing.


Lynberg & Watkins
Law Firm Business | 2010/09/03 14:18
Since its inception, Lynberg & Watkins has grown to represent clients on a local, regional and national basis. The firm maintains two California offices: one in the center of the Los Angeles financial district and one in the heart of Orange County.

The firm has experienced continued growth since its founding in 1971 allowing it to actively practice in many diverse areas of the law. The firm's representation is substantially on behalf of defendants, insurance companies and their insureds, public entities and self-insuring organizations.

We are structured into teams providing clients with the benefits of collective experience and knowledge.  Senior members of the firm have the responsibility for supervising a team comprised of associate attorneys, paralegals and support personnel.  Each client matter is assigned to one senior member of the firm who bears the ultimate responsibility for its handling from inception through trial. The senior member and associates are at all times readily accessible and available to the client.

The firm includes attorneys who are long-standing members of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, The Defense Research Institute, The International Association of Defense Counsel and California SuperLawyers.  Our trial attorneys have tried literally hundreds of cases to verdict, both simple and highly complex, in state and federal courts throughout the country.  We are able to provide our clients with a level of trial experience rarely found in most firms, regardless of size.

http://www.lynberg.com/about-us


Estate Planning - Lifetime Planning
Law Firm Business | 2010/09/03 14:17
Marathon Legal LLC

Estate planning is a gift to yourself and to the people you love.  Even those of modest wealth should plan their estates, because modern estate planning means more than distributing property and avoiding taxes.  At its core, fine estate planning reaches beyond tax and distribution concerns by including written expressions of your values as they pertain to the relationships you have with other people and the wishes you have for your own care should self-care become impossible.  Fine estate planning minimizes family acrimony and mitigates the burden which poor planning transfers to the people you love when you pass away or become incapacitated.

As these comments suggest, estate planning can address a wide variety of concerns.  Although two estate plans are rarely identical, Wisconsin law has developed reliable ways to address most common concerns.  What follows are brief descriptions of the most common estate planning concerns and the corresponding legal mechanisms which are best designed to address them.

Avoiding Probate
The length and cost of probate should be of special concern to Wisconsin residents with estates whose monetary value exceeds $50,000.  Avoiding these pitfalls of probate normally involves ensuring that one’s assets are properly titled and beneficiaries properly designated.  Sometimes trusts are the most practical way to save your family the expense and burden of probate.

Providing for Minor Children

Planning your estate affords you the opportunity to speak on behalf of your minor children should you pass away or become disabled.  Rather than having a court decide who will care for them, your estate plan allows you to name appropriate guardians of your choice.  Your plan can also address how you wish to provide for your children’s support.

Incapacity Planning

As life expectancies lengthen, planning for incapacity or disability becomes increasingly important.  Powers of attorney, advance directives, and other documented instructions enable the people you trust to manage your finances and healthcare when you cannot do these things for yourself.  These aspects of your plan minimize the time and hassle others may encounter when trying to act on your behalf.

Minimizing Estate Taxes

Large estates should be concerned about laws which tax the transfer of wealth from older to younger generations.  Fortunately, these laws also reward those who plan ahead.  With proper planning, it is not uncommon for large estates to save tens-of-thousands of dollars in estate taxes – far more than the cost of most well-drafted plans.


Lynberg & Watkins - Careers
Law Firm Business | 2010/08/17 14:22
http://www.lynberg.com/careers

At Lynberg & Watkins, we let our principles guide us, and our commitment to these principles is evident in the opportunities we provide our team members. We successfully blend a supportive, collegial work environment with extensive knowledge and resources to represent our clients’ interests completely. Our success in all of our practice areas gives us the stability and courtroom credibility which ensures our continued success.  

We are first and foremost a litigation firm which focuses on attorney talent and development.  Our dedication to cultivating outstanding leadership and excellence provides ample opportunity for our lawyers to thrive. We are constantly working to maintain Lynberg & Watkins’ strong reputation in the legal community through our development programs, which are as varied as the work we do.

To ensure the success of our attorneys, we routinely assess and implement innovative strategies to enhance both the professional and personal experience of practicing law at Lynberg & Watkins.  This empowers our attorneys to reach their maximum potential.  Attorneys at Lynberg & Watkins experience ongoing collaboration with firm partners as well as advisory committees comprised of representatives from every career level.

While Lynberg & Watkins continues to experience considerable success in the legal arena, we know that our strength and ongoing success starts with our summer associate program.   Our summer associate program allows second and third year law students to work alongside and under the direct supervision of partners and senior associates.  Our summer associates are given a variety of legal assignments designed to complement their legal education while giving them a practical view of life as a practicing attorney and a Lynberg & Watkins associate.   

If you are interested in pursuing a career, or summer


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