Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
If you are business-minded and believe you can be successful at multi-level marketing (MLM) ,even during these difficult economic times, you must know that you are going to be considered a business person in Southern Nevada. This means you must have a business license. Failure to have a business license when conducting a business is punishable by a fine and up to six months in jail. Along with the business license, you are going to have to pay local taxes, including Nevada sales taxes. You must operate this business like any other business, which means a course in business management and accounting is advisable. If you need assistance in acquiring a business license, contact The Wright Law Offices.
If the multi-level marketer that recruited you told you that you do not require a license to operate the business, this is wrong advice and amounts to practicing law. A person is not exempt from a business license just because the business is operated out of his or her home.
It is advisable that any new business person consult with and hire, on retainer, an attorney and an accountant (or bookkeeper). Successful businesses build relationships with professionals that can answer questions and assist through difficult periods that all businesses face.
Multi-level marketing is a difficult, but potentially rewarding scheme for business. It requires salesmanship, hard work, diligence, and determination. If you are beginning to be successful, you will want to ensure that all your business basics are covered. Failure to protect yourself puts everything you have worked hard for at risk. Once you have failed, your credibility could be irreparably harmed.
This article is not intended to endorse MLM.
If you have not yet signed up for an MLM type venture, it is recommended you read this: http://www.mlmwatch.org/01General/10lies.html
Monday, September 21, 2009
Pet cats benefit society in many ways. They provide companionship. They reduce stress and actually contribute in some ways to better health. Their products sold at departments stores contribute to the economy. They hunt rodents and insects in homes during the night while their humans are sleeping and oblivious to the poisonous insect that could bite them. They alert you to dangers in the home, such as fires.
What do we humans do in return to the love and attention these little pets give us? We allow them to overpopulate so that we are forced to kill kittens. Every day, thousands of garbage cans across the United States are stuffed full of the carcasses of cats and kittens that have been euthanized.
The solution to this unnecessary killing is simple and not very expensive. People only have to care enough to spay and neuter the cats that come into their lives. If you see a stray and start feeding it, take it to a vet and make sure it has been altered. If it costs too much at one place, try another, or find a charitable organization that accepts donations.
What you should not do is feel that it is someone else’s problem. When a cat enters your life, you ought to be thankful that someone cares enough about you to visit you and you can reciprocate by making sure the cat’s basics are met, namely that it has been altered, has its vaccinations, and is fed and watered. Very simple, very inexpensive.
If, however, you believe it should be someone else’s problem and you bring a litter of kittens into a "no kill " cat rescue expecting that the rescue volunteers will be nice to you, do not kid yourself. Volunteers at cat rescues love cats, but they begin to despise humans fairly quickly because more humans dump cats off without donating any time, money, or other resources. Too few are willing to sacrifice even a little for cats and kittens, and those few are overextended. Do not expect volunteers who are already going above and beyond to assist you if you are not even willing to sacrifice a tiny bit.
Next time you are in a PetsMart, or see a cat rescue volunteer, the kindest thing you can do is thank them and hand them $5.00 (or more) to help defray the costs of the medical bills. And remember, if you plan to adopt a cat from a rescue, the cost you pay for the adoption fee is not a sales price for the priceless cat, but simply a reimbursement of the cost that the rescue incurred to have the animal altered and vaccinated. The love and attention of the volunteers and even food that has fed the cat while the cat is at the rescue really is not even included in the adoption fee. That is all from voluntary donations.
If you are in Las Vegas and can foster a cat, Purrfect Friends really needs your help. Because of the downturn in the economy and the collapse in the real estate market, people have abandoned their homes and their cats. Right now, a spare bathroom or bedroom in your house could help save up to three cats. Fostering means that you would care for the cat(s) for as long as you can or until someone adopts.
Remember, that little cat that you help save, could help save your life or some total stranger’s life one day, and you’ll never even know.
Copyright: September 21, 2009
By: Anthony M. Wright
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Are we heading this way as a nation?
In Nevada, criminal courts do not allow defense attorney to force victims of rape to discuss their sexual history. Defense attorneys would love the opportunity to attack the victims of rape. If a victim has had a lot of sex with a lot of people, well then, maybe the victim was not really raped. Maybe the victim was not the victim. Maybe the accused rapist is the victim. This is the logic that Defense attorneys would love to argue in criminal cases to get their clients off.
Nevada law won’t allow it. We Nevadans believe that victims of rape should not again be traumatized on the witness stand in criminal court. Heck, victims of rape may not even come forward if they know that a jury, and their parents will learn about their sexual history. In other words, the criminal defendant does not get the right to attack the victim’s sexual morality—all the while the Defendant’s sexual morality is called into question. We call this a “rape shield” law. Seem fair to you?
However, the Nevada Supreme Court has just clarified that the rape shield law does not apply to civil cases. So, if a rape victim decides to sue the rapist for damages, for instance for emotional distress, well—in that case the victim’s sexual morality can be called into question. Seem fair to you?
Let me see if I understand the distinction. We don’t allow a criminal defendant who is looking at years of imprisonment to provide evidence in court that says, “But she was leading me on—she had a reputation of sleeping with guys like me. In fact, three of my buddies just had sex with her the night before and they said that I would be next.”
However, a civil defendant being sued for rape, where only money is the punishment, and not imprisonment, CAN provide such evidence in court.
Do we really care more about money than we do about liberty? Should the “rape shield law” exist? If so, should it be used in all cases, not just criminal.
Well, the Supreme Court did think a little about these questions because it stated that, even though rape shield does not apply in civil cases, “[n]onetheless, we conclude that if necessary the district court may limit the discovery of an alleged victim’s sexual history under NRCP 26 to protect the victim’s interests.”
So, if you want to read this opinion, it is called SONIA F., AS PARENT AND GUARDIAN AD LITEM OF J.M., vs. THE EIGHTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT OF THE STATE OF NEVADA, IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF CLARK, AND THE HONORABLE ELISSA F. CADISH, DISTRICT JUDGE and is located at: http://www.nevadajudiciary.us/index.php/advanced-opinions/492-sonia-f-v-dist-ct-.html
By: Anthony M. Wright, JD
Friday, September 18, 2009
CIVIL: Condominium HOAs have just been given the Go-Ahead by the NV Supreme Court to Sue Builders for Construction Defects as Class Actions
Real estate has long been considered unique property under the law. This means that no parcels of land are the same. They are different in space, terrain, foliage, etc. For the longest time, lawyers felt that homeowners could sue independently or join together to sue home builders if the construction was defective, but it was considered a stretch, by many, for homeowners’ associations (HOAs) to sue on behalf of the owners for construction defects in the individual (unique) units. This would have amounted to class action-like suits, which did not make sense for disputes over real property. Class actions are generally related to product defects. You know, like some part on your car has been found to be defective so Plaintiffs band together to form a class which sues on behalf of all owners of that car, forcing the car manufacturers to recall the cars, or parts, and/or pay a settlement which amounts to a few dollars in each class member’s pocket but millions in the Plaintiffs’ lawyers’ pockets.
Even though there was no clear guidance about whether HOAs could sue on behalf of condo owners for unit specific defects, HOAs could clearly, sue for defects of construction in common areas, such as the clubhouse, or even parts of the units that were shared by multiple condo owners, such as roofs or even plumbing. But, say the windows in some of the units were defective, but not in all, should the HOA represent all condo owners as a class to sue for the defective windows even though those windows are attached to real estate which is supposed to be unique and outside the purview of class action suits.
Well, Nancy Quon and some other Las Vegas Plaintiff construction defect lawyers, wanted to treat condos as mere personalty instead of real property. They wanted class action status. The reason? More money to the plaintiffs’ lawyers and less costs in having to sign up hundred of owners, all you needed was the HOA board. Incidentally, Nancy Quon was under investigation by the FBI, I’m not sure what is going on there.
Well, Builder DR Horton is a Texas maverick that decided not to settle or accept the Plaintiff’s view of things. It fought the First Light HOA all the way to the Supreme Court of Nevada on the issue of whether condos HOA boards could represent all condo owners to file suit against builders. They lost, and the Nancy Quon’s of the legal world won a significant victory. Now, construction defect litigation will continue for the foreseeable future, especially since so many apartments were converted into condominiums over the last two decades.
The question now is whether regular houses could be subjected to class action status. That would be a disaster for homeowners. Imagine you are in an HOA and some of your neighbors have decided that they bought too much house for them to afford, so they convince the HOA to sue the builder. If the HOA board can represent all homeowners, then your house will be the subject of a class action construction defect, unless you opt out. Construction defect lawsuits on houses devalue the houses and potentially make them unsellable. Real estate agents have a duty to disclose to buyers whether a home has been in a construction defect suit.
However, you probably will only have to worry about this if you are a condo owner, at least for the time being. The Supreme Court Justices have ruled that the District Court judges will have to analyze each construction defect claim on a case by case or even claim by claim basis to determine whether it ought to be a class action or not. They have to follow the guidelines in the class action code, which is NRCP 23.
If you want to read the boring case, D.R. Horton v. Dist. Ct., you may at: http://www.nevadajudiciary.us/index.php/advanced-opinions/483-dr-horton-v-dist-ct.html
Copyright: September 18, 2009
By: Anthony M. Wright, JD
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
GENERAL: Secret to Courage in the Face of Adversity or Authority----Being Brave When All Men Doubt You
You see a learned judge who is going to scrutinize you, and you blanch. The glare of authority makes you feel small, weak, insecure, and, worst of all, the fact finder will think you are untrustworthy--dishonest looking. A judge (or jury) represents a branch of government and can take away livelihood in one form or another, including money, freedom, and access to family.
Then you turn and see the suave opposing attorney and the smug opposing party who want to win, no matter what, and at your expense. The tension is thick; something of value will be exchanged once the judge or jury has passed judgment. It is a gamble and the stakes are high for you.
Your attorney tries to reassure you. Your attorney is there to help shoulder some of the burden, to reduce your stress because he knows what must be done. The attorney is your shield. If you lose, you don’t share all the blame for the loss, your attorney may bear some responsibility. Likewise, if you win, your attorney is responsible. You become a little more relaxed because someone speaks for you.
But, there may be a time when you must speak for yourself. You may have to take the witness stand, or, you may not be able to afford an attorney and must represent yourself. How do you deal with the fear?
You use it to your advantage.
Realize that you are not the only one afraid, but you can do your best to act the least afraid. The suave lawyer who opposes you may appear suave. He may not even have the twinge of adrenalin that some feel when they must speak in public. After all, he has done it a lot. However, he still may fear losing because his reputation and money are at stake. He is afraid, but of something different. You are afraid now, in the moment--opposing counsel’s fear is shelved and can be dealt with later.
Likewise, the smug opposing party may also fear losing. Perhaps they are smug because they are overconfident. Perhaps the suave attorney made promises which will not be delivered. Be not afraid, that smug look may be intended to make you uncomfortable, but the judge and jury are scrutinizing the opponent as much as they are you, and may not appreciate the expression.
The judge looks down at you—high and mighty. He holds a wicked looking hammer and scowls, but speaks cordially—neutrally. Still, at some point he may take sides. He has to determine who is speaking the truth. He may decide to put you in prison, make you part with a lot of your money, or take your children from you. He is afraid too. He has a high sense of duty and wants to do the right thing, which is not always easy to figure out.
As you sit there, waiting to speak, consider that all in the room are mortal. Death will take each one. In mere decades, everyone present will have ceased. If you suffered the loss of a loved one, you know what grief is. That grief, that heart-wrenching pain, gives you power now to assert yourself with more confidence than you realize. Think of the dearly departed and how horrible you felt upon their passing. No matter what any of those present in court will do to you, nothing compares to the pain you have already suffered. Their authority over you diminishes when you realize that they too will suffer loss and will one day be the cause of suffering when they pass (if they were good and loved people in life).
You have nothing to fear. You may feel a twinge of adrenalin, this is natural. This is your flight or fight response. But, your brain can reason you through this feeling that makes you want to disappear, which makes you stutter and sound unsure of yourself. Think about the true pain in your life. In court, you are merely speaking and others are listening. This is nowhere near as painful as the moments of tragedy you suffered.
Think of your departed loved ones. They no longer suffer. All too soon you too will pass into a stage of senselessness where you will no longer suffer. In the meantime, you are alive and should know that suffering is a part of life, but your courtroom experience does not have to cause you to suffer.
There is dignity in your past suffering…a dignity that should allow you to stand straight and speak with authority in any setting. You speak from your pain and it will conquer your nervous fear. Some present may not have suffered as you have. If that is so, you have survived more than they have and are stronger than they for it. Also, those present will not be thinking about their prior suffering, so they may be rude or sound mean, but if they knew what you have been through, they might act differently. They do not know, but you do, and you should draw strength from it so that you will fight and impress those present with your honesty, rather than flee and leave doubts in the minds of those that judge you.
Say to yourself, “Judge, opposing counsel, jury, you do not scare me. You are not better than me. You have suffered and will die, just as I. We are equal on this planet. Judge, you wear the mantel of authority and have an advanced education, and life experiences, but that does not make you better. My experiences and education are different from yours, not lesser. Your authority is imagined. It is a fiction developed to help order society and I contribute to this fiction, but I will not allow a title to cause me to be afraid. You are blood, tissue, and bones, as am I. We had slightly different paths that led us to be in this room together today—and that is all it really is, a room. I will speak the truth and I will honor the memory of my loved ones in so doing, and I needn’t fear any of you.”
Then, when you must speak, if you are given the opportunity to speak freely, say something like this, “Judge, jury, please excuse me. This experience is new to me and I am nervous. If I falter or stutter, I hope you do not think that I am being untruthful, it is just that I am unused to the attention and the public speaking. Surely you can understand. I am not afraid of what I will say because I know it is true, but I fear that my shaky voice, or my tone, may cause you to disbelieve me, please don’t.”
In saying that, you have just let them know your fear and made them empathize with you. They will think about how they would feel in your shoes. Your knowledge that they know this, will help calm you quickly—coupled with your thoughts that none present are better than you—only slightly different.
You were brave to admit your fear; many present will acknowledge this even if they will not acknowledge that they too are afraid. You must then keep your cool as you are questioned. Be calm and courteous, but do not be afraid to show true emotion if it warrants—so long as it is reasonable emotion. A question might be offensive, let them know you find it offensive. Tell the opposing counsel that you know they are doing their job, but the question is offensive and hurtful. You will still have to answer, but you are again allowing those present to empathize.
You don’t want sympathy in court if you can get empathy instead. Sympathy does not always win. A jury may feel sorry that you have to pay one million dollars, or that you will have to go to prison, or that your kid will be taken away, but that will not stop them from voting for exactly that. But, if you can make them feel like you are one of them and they could be in your same situation, then they will take their decision much more seriously. You are not guaranteed a jury of your peers, but you can make the jury feel like your peers by being so reasonable that they, or anyone, could see how they could end up in the situation you are in and that you did the best you could and you still got to this spot.
Rudyard Kipling once wrote a poem “If” which deals a lot with courage, suffering, adversary, and authority. Although he addressed it to his son, I do not see why women cannot find the words useful too. Read the poem before you go to court, have a copy of it in your pocket. Try to understand how your situation in court fits in the poem and how you can still win no matter what the outcome in court is. If you have prepared yourself for loss, you may be less nervous, but do not resign yourself to having lost because the jury will sense that you are a loser and will agree with you. Mr. Kipling reminds that you may still lose, despite everything, but you can retain self-respect which may be all you have left:
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!