How Money Laundering Works

By Julia Layton

In October 2005, U.S. congressman Tom DeLay was indicted on money laundering charges, forcing him to step down as House Majority Leader. Money laundering is a serious charge — in 2001, U.S. prosecutors obtained almost 900 money-laundering convictions with an average prison sentence of six years. The rise of global financial markets makes money laundering easier than ever — countries with bank-secrecy laws are directly connected to countries with bank-reporting laws, making it possible to anonymously deposit “dirty” money in ­one country and then have it transferred to any other country for use. ­

Money lau­ndering happens in almost every country in the world, and a single scheme typically involves transferring money through several countries in order to obscure its origins. In this article, we’ll learn exactly what money laundering is and why it’s necessary, who launders money and how they do it and what steps the authorities are taking to try to foil money-laundering operations. Continue reading

New Laws – New York State 2014

Business Tax Cuts, Family Tax Relief, Health Care Measures Among New Laws Taking Effect

Hundreds of thousands of small businesses and manufacturers in New York will see a reduction in their state taxes as a result of new tax cuts that take effect on January 1, 2014. In addition, tax relief for hardworking, middle class families, new health care protections, and the START-UP NY economic development program are among the new state laws that take effect on New Year’s Day. Continue reading

California DMV Reminds Motorists of New 2014 Laws

SACRAMENTO — With 2014 just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is reminding motorists of some of the new laws that will become effective in the new year. The following laws go into effect on January 1, 2014, unless otherwise noted.

Bicycles: Passing Distance. AB 1371 (Bradford), known as the Three Feet for Safety Act, will require a motor vehicle driver passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction to pass with no less than 3 feet between any part of the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or driver. When three feet is not possible, the motor vehicle must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed and only pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist. Failing to do so can incur a fine, regardless of a collision or not.This law will take effect September 16, 2014. Continue reading

Five Things You Didn’t Know about Arbitration

By Jams

Arbitration is by no means a new option for resolving disputes. Yet, parties and their counsel may not be aware of everything that this ADR method brings to the table. Here are five things you may not know about arbitration.

1. A successful arbitration begins with the initial contract

Parties must set the stage for a successful arbitration when working on contractual terms and everyone is getting along.

“If you want to have an efficient, speedy and economical arbitration, start talking when the underlying contracts are being negotiated,” says Judge Fern M. Smith (Ret.), a San Francisco-based JAMS arbitrator. “Arbitrators are controlled in great part by the wording of the arbitration clause in the underlying contract between the disputing parties.”

This wording, says Judge Smith, can cover a variety of issues such as choice of law and venue, the amount of discovery and the procedural or administrative rules that will apply to the arbitration.

“Although the arbitration clause may be modified by stipulation, that’s much harder to accomplish once a dispute has dissolved into a demand,” says Judge Smith. Continue reading