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Securities Fraud

PTSD Happens in the Workplace as Well as on the Battlefield

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not just for soldiers. When people are seriously hurt in on-the-job injuries, it can leave mental as well as physical scars, and the mental trauma can be just as tough to deal with. Other workers who knew the victim, or witnessed a serious or fatal incident, can also experience symptoms of traumatic stress. After such an event, people may have difficulty concentrating, show signs of irritability, become hyper-alert to danger, have an exaggerated, startled response, or feel edgy. This is a normal reaction following a traumatic event. However, if these symptoms continue beyond 30 days,...

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State And Local Governments Get New Securities Protection

State and local governments issuing bonds will now receive more information regarding the risks involved with complex financial transactions along with potential conflicts of interest from municipal securities underwriters. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) has set down new regulations for underwriters designed to make sure state and local governments have the necessary information to make good decisions with securities transactions. Underwriters for negotiated offerings of municipal securities must now disclose to clients that are state and local governments the risks of complex financial transactions, along with potential conflicts of interest and compensation received from third-party derivatives and investments providers. The new rules,...

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How Do I Know if Investment Offers in Gold Stocks are Legit?

When the price of gold bullion goes up, so does interest in gold investments. A flood of marketing is unleashed throughout social media sites and the Internet in general about gold and gold stocks. But some of the golden opportunities being hailed actually have little value, and others are simply frauds. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has brought legal action against various precious metals firms engaged in schemes involving gold, silver and other precious metals, including a Florida firm that bilked investors out of more than $23 million. Clearly, there are prudent and not-so-prudent ways of taking advantage of gold investments....

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Truck Driver Fatigue Can Be Fatal

Most trucking accidents are caused by the error of truck driver who is impaired in some way, whether by alcohol, prescription drugs or, most commonly, driver fatigue. Although truck drivers have required rest periods as part of the Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service rules, economic factors cause many drivers to ignore such rest breaks and drive well beyond their limits. Most drivers are paid by the mile rather than with a steady salary, which causes them to rush deliveries and put as many miles as they can under their belts and ignore safety in order to improve their financial payoff. The...

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Court Case Helps Stall SEC Move to Increase Fiduciary Standard for Stockbrokers

Court Case Helps Stall SEC Move to Increase Fiduciary Standard for Stockbrokers The push to make stockbrokers adhere to same fiduciary standard as financial advisers has been held up by court and broker challenges. Consumer advocates wanting to hold stockbrokers to the same client-first standard of care as investment advisers appeared to be successful last summer after a study by the Securities and Exchange Commission called for new rules along those lines. Stockbrokers, however, objected, saying providing advice was just one part of their business model and that they shouldn’t have the same degree of accountability for the client’s best interest in...

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Do You Know Whose Side Your Real Estate Agent Is On?

A survey by the National Association Realtors indicates that many homebuyers don’t know who the real estate agent they are working with actually represents. In some cases, the agents may actually be working against the buyer’s best interest. Laws in most states require agents to disclose, usually at the first meeting, their fiduciary relationship. But often agents fail to disclose this and buyers don’t know the agent’s efforts are on behalf of the seller, or has no duty to either buyer or seller. The NAR’s survey revealed that perhaps a third of all buyers were not told whom the agent represented. The...

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Do Bankers Have a Fiduciary Duty to Their Customers?

If a banker loans a bunch of money to a borrower for a deal that goes bad, does the borrower have any recourse by contending that the bank did not adequately vet the loan or counsel the borrower? Does the bank have a fiduciary duty to the borrower? The short answer from a recent case is no. The case of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Vandorn, 2012 NCBC 6 is a situation where Wells Fargo sued two individuals and an LLC formed by them to collect on a defaulted loan made to the LLC to buy a lot for a resort...

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How does a Securities Class Action with Accounting Allegations Differ from other Securities Actions?

A securities class action suit with accounting allegations means the company did not comply with standard methods of accounting when its financial statements were released.  Throughout 2005 to 2010, the largest settlements made in 19 out of 20 securities class action cases involved accounting. Increased public awareness about accounting practices, along with a recent change in the accounting regulatory system, may explain these large settlements. Being more complex, accounting cases take more time to resolve and are less likely to be dismissed. The end result is typically a larger settlement amount. By the end of 2010, only 36% of accounting cases...

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What are the Indiana State and Federal laws that govern truck drivers?

Trucking companies must follow the following federal regulations found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSA): Truck drivers are required to keep a driver's log. Federal regulations require a commercial driver's license for certain vehicles to reduce or prevent truck accidents, serious injuries, and death. Federal regulations require commercial trucks to have specific insurance coverage depending upon the type of load transported. The Commercial Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program requires that States and certain jurisdictions develop, support, and implement safety programs that establish and improve safer transportation of goods. Common provisions used in accident litigation 9 C.F.R. § 391 - Qualification...

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Construction Site Accidents – Who Will Pay For My Lost Wages?

Under Indiana Workers Compensation laws, construction site victims will be provided not only medical care, but also compensation for lost wages if they are unable to return to work.  The Indiana Compensation Act offers three types of benefits to injured workers: Medical care for work-related injuries Wage replacement due to injuries Payment for any permanent impairment Wage replacement is paid weekly after the employee misses more than 7 days of work due to injuries.  Benefits are paid at 2/3 of the injured worker’s weekly wage, which is based upon wages from the previous year. Compensation is also paid for a permanent impairment...

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