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Taxpayers need to keep a careful eye on their IRS Notices. Many IRS Notices, many with statutory deadlines were dated during the IRS shut-down due to COVID-19, but not immediately mailed. Consequently, there are many IRS Notices with expired action dates. The TaxpAyer Advocate stated that during the shutdown, the IRS generated more than 20 million notices, many of which were not mailed.  As a result, the notices bear dates that now have passed, some by several months and some of the notices require taxpayers to respond by deadlines that have also passed. This IRS mishandling creates a false entry…
Hearsay Rule Defined Under Arizona Rules of Evidence 801 and 802, hearsay is inadmissible unless an exception applies.  Rule 801(c) defines hearsay as a statement that: (1) the declarant does not make while testifying at the current trial or hearing and (2) a party offers in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement. (Emphasis added.) Although relatively clear, to further define the rule, a “statement” is a “person’s oral assertion, written assertion, or nonverbal conduct, if the person intended it as an assertion.” Ariz. R. Evid. 801(a).  A “declarant” is “the person who made the…
QUESTION:     HOW CAN REMOTE ONLINE NOTARIZATION WORK? ANSWER:        MANY STEPS ARE REQUIRED TO ASSURE THE ACCURACY AND INTEGRITY OF THE NOTARIZATION AND SIGNING PROCESSES. How could remote online notarization go awry? During my career I have been able to prove at least two fraudulent notarizations when the rules required pen and paper signatures in the physical presence of notaries.  I probably also dealt with a few fraudulent notarizations that I suspected, but could not prove.  The most blatant fraud was the time the notary’s certificate expiration stamp indicated that the notary’s certification had expired prior to the purported date of…
So what if I owe past-due taxes. Can the IRS take my $1,200 Economic Impact Payment? Generally, the answer is no. The exception is if the taxpayer owes child support arrearages. Under the CARES Act guidelines and subsequent direction, Economic Impact Payments/recovery rebates/stimulus checks cannot be offset to pay any debt except child support.   However, “normal” federal tax refunds remain fair game in the absence of an Offset Bypass Refund (OBR) request. NOTE: OBRs may be slightly easier to come by in these coronavirus times. If you will have a refund on your 2019 return, but owe past due…
Over at the Constructive Conflict Initiative Blog, friend of Indisputably the incomparable Carrie Menkel-Meadow (UC-Irvine) has written an interesting post about the words that can we can all use moving forward to get past the difficulty of politicization of words. It’s long and completely worth your time to check out. In our complicated times of COVID-19 and increased activism around racial injustice, it might be important to step back and consider how slogans both help and hurt us and to think about how we, as conflict resolution professionals, might “reframe” and recraft some words for concepts that are more likely…
According to an excellent piece which recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the coronavirus pandemic has upset the way in which hospitals have arranged their businesses. In hard hit areas, ICU’s have filled up and other departments in the hospital have been forced to adapt to care for patients sickened by the illness. Emergency departments have become jammed up with sick patients when there has been no place to put them. Non-Covid patients are staying away from emergency departments for fear of catching the disease. Elective procedures have been cancelled or postponed. All of this has seriously disrupted…
Many who drive in the Phoenix metro area and elsewhere around Arizona would have expected the state to be ranked at the top of a list of worst drivers. So there might be a small sense of relief that Arizona drivers were only ranked the sixth-worst in the nation, according to a recent study. Financial advising company SmartAsset used data from four metrics to rank drivers in each of 50 states. They analyzed the numbers in each state’s percentage of insured drivers, fatalities per 100 million miles driven, internet search trends and the number of drunk driving arrests per 1,000…
You likely remember the MGM Mandalay Bay mass shooting from a couple of years ago.  With approximately 4500 plaintiffs, the case was mediated by two former state court trial judges (one from Las Vegas and the other from Los Angeles) resulting in a structured settlement like many mass tort claims are. It turns out that the Mandalay Bay’s head of security the night of the shooting was . . .  (wait for it) . . .  the father of one of the mediators.  (!!!)  Jennifer Togliatti, the former Nevada trial judge now mediator, brought this conflict to the attention of…
Recently, the Seventh Circuit addressed an article that stirred up quite a bit of debate earlier this year. In March 2020, Harvard Law and Policy Review published an article by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman sharply criticizing the United States Supreme Court for, in his opinion, advancing the interests of the Republican party in siding with business interests over rights of the middle-class, poor, and minorities. To illustrate his position, Adelman relied on voting rights and campaign finance decisions, largely drawing from the dissents in those cases. The article began by claiming that it is now “a truism that Chief…
After fighting for years to gain a path to legalization, immigrant youth got a temporary solution through an administrative process called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012, under the direction of President Obama. But Trump, with his anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic views and a mission to destroy Obama’s legacy, issued an executive order in September 2017 to halt the program in spite of the extensive documentation that asserts the success of the program. Those actions brought the decision about the existence of the program all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The litigation produced incredible…
If you are injured in an automobile accident, you may find yourself at the Emergency Department. Maybe your injuries are minor enough that you can be discharged to home. Maybe they are more serious and you need to be admitted to the hospital. Either way, thank goodness, you have health insurance to pay for the hospital bills. After you have been home for a while, a letter comes in the mail. It is from the hospital or someone representing the hospital. It says, “This is not a bill,” and it is not. It is a lien on any recovery you…
In March, we had only hours to transition from in-person teaching and law practice to remote options.  As many internet memes show, that led to some memorable court appearances sans pants, from closets and bathrooms.  Recently, we’ve been able to step back and assess our remote experiences to see what we can use for better practice and teaching, even as we return to in-person work.  I’ve attended several excellent sessions on online teaching, and I send kudos to William & Mary Law for its fantastic two-day Conference for Excellence in Teaching Legal Research & Writing Online.  (If you could not…
There has been stories that nursing homes and other care facilities have been taking their resident’s/patient’s Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). If you have a loved-one in a nursing home or other care facility, check to see that the facility has not absconded with the EIP. If so, you may to hire an attorney to send a demand letter to recoup the EIP. Under the IRS guidelines, the EIPs belong to the recipients, not any organizations providing care for the recipients. Be aware and check on this as there has been stories that people and businesses may be taking advantage of…
Back in March of 2020, in a rare show of bipartisanship, the US House of Representatives put forward a bill that would make e-commerce companies such as Amazon legally liable for counterfeits sold on its platform, a much-awaited move to stem fake products coming from several countries.  The name of the bill is the Shop Safe Act. As a result of this no so subtle pressure, Amazon is stepping up the battle against counterfeits with the creation of a new team that will investigate fakes and will pursue criminal charges or lawsuits against companies. The new team is called Counterfeit
On Facebook the other day, I engaged in a conversation about masks. I know, I know, I seem bright enough. But, sometimes I’m not! Anyway, after a discussion with some moderately reasonable But Freedom types, one said: Well, what would you do? Stay tuned, I wrote, thinking I could never express myself adequately in a FB post. I suspect my inquisitor wanted something simple, which he could knock down quickly. (A few days ago, intemperately, I called out a new business group for kvelling about a kickoff event sans masks or distancing. “You are pathetic,” said one fellow. Blocked.) So,…
Here is a piece that a friend of mine sent me.  It appeared in a healthcare blog.  It recounts a probably fictional event in which a doctor saw a briefing paper intended for a hospital executive but accidentally left behind by a consultant.  The briefing paper described the steps the hospital administration could take to increase its control over the decision making of its medical staff.  Although written over five years ago, the trends it describes are even more pronounced today than they were then. I have written about conflicts of interest for doctors brought about by the increasing consolidation…