Compliments of Mark Anderson of Andertoons
Bid-for-Placement: what does it mean? Why do we need it?
A bid is a sum of money that a lawyer offers for the opportunity of talking to a client, to receive his contact information and discuss his case (the minimum amount you can bid on is 6 law dollars).
It’s important to remember that a lawyer’s bid on a case determines where in the list of competing, “bidding” lawyers their profile will be displayed to the clients, who posted the case. The profile with the highest bid will be displayed first and the lowest, respectively, the last.
On July 18, 2013, the City of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy making it the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history as measured by the amount of outstanding debt. Detroit is estimated to owe $18-$20 billion in debt over 10,000+ creditors, 100 discrete bond issuances and 50 labor bargaining units. Prior to the Detroit filing, Jefferson County, Alabama’s $4 billion filing in 2011 had been the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in the United States.
So where did things go so horribly wrong? The above video is the first in a three part series on the Detroit bankruptcy filing. Video #1 concentrates on The Economics of Failure. The video begins with an illustration of demographic trends for the following three major U.S. cities:
- Dallas – People are solidly moving into Dallas due to limited taxes; limited benefits and reduced regulation;
- Los Angeles – While the climate of Los Angeles still attracts people to the state, high state income tax and the most restrictive environment regulations in the country are driving many people out of the state of California;
- Detroit – There is a massive population exodus from Detroit with virtually no immigration due to the city drowning in debt from more than 50 years of democratic mayors running the city. The video cites cronyism, incompetence and crime as some of the major contributors.
Why should a lawyer bother to write an outstanding biography and why is it the most important part of the lawyer profile? It’s so simple!
A bio is a snapshot of a lawyer’s professional experience:
who they are,
what they do,
specialist expertise and
examples of client work.
A good biography “sells” their expertise to potential new clients.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
An “Elevator Pitch”, also known as an elevator speech or statement, is a short summary used to quickly define a person, product, profession or organization and its Value Proposition. The name “elevator pitch” conveys that the person who is delivering the message has about the same time that it takes the typical elevator to go from the ground floor the top floor to convince their audience about their proposal. A well designed elevator pitch should be between 30 and 60 seconds.
How to Write a Good Elevator Pitch
The “Elevator Pitch” on Legal Bistro is five lines (500 words maximum) of text that are displayed to potential clients in what we call the “Short Profile Preview”. This is the very first thing that a potential client will see about you and your law firm so you should give a lot of thought to what you would like to say.
Do you need a lawyer but are intimidated by the legal process? Are you concerned that professional legal services may be financially out of reach? Perhaps English is not your native language and you are having trouble finding a qualified attorney with whom you can effectively communicate. Don’t worry, if you answered yes to any of these questions you are not alone.
We built Legal Bistro because we were inspired by the contribution that Lending Tree made to the process for finding a mortgage lender. Lending Tree used the power of the Internet to bring online competition in the mortgage application process. Equally important is that Lending Tree’s website has helped consumers to better understand the process of applying for a home loan. We hope that Legal Bistro can achieve similar results in the legal services market.
When Lawyers Compete, You Win!
The single biggest reason why consumers love our service is because Legal Bistro facilitates lawyers competing online to serve the client. Our Company motto is that When Lawyers Compete, the Client Wins! Frankly, we believe that both lawyers and consumers win when the competitive playing field has been leveled.
Are you happy with the current Return on Investment (“ROI”) for your online legal services marketing dollars? Are you spending too much of your time qualifying leads? Do you know anything about the visitors to your law firm’s website besides their IP Address and the date and time of their visit? More specifically, are you being provided with case specific facts that will help you evaluate their legal needs?
If you have answered yes to some or all of these questions then perhaps you will appreciate why lawyers love Legal Bistro.
YOU ARE IN CONTROL
You decide what cases you see based on the Practice Groups, Case Types and Tag or Key Words used when defining your Areas of Practice.
If you feel that personal income taxes in the United States are too high, you might be interested to learn that more than 8,000 French households had their 2012 tax bills top 100% of their income.
CNBC, in an article written by Holly Ellyatt entitled: Thousands of French Households Taxed 100%, it was reported that an additional 12,000 households paid taxes that were worth more than 75 percent of their 2011 income and that a further 9,910 households were taxed at more than 85 percent of their income.
The French business newspaper, Les Echos, reported that the excessively high taxes were the result of a “one-off levy” that was imposed on the 2011 incomes of French households with assets of more than 1.3 million euros (approximately $1.67 million). The surcharge was introduced by socialist President Francois Hollande in an attempt to offset the cost of a rebate scheme and taxation cap that had been introduced by former President Nikolas Sarkozy.
In response to the personal income tax changes, the French Constitutional Council said that: “such a high income rate was unfair and could be viewed as confiscatory”. The Council went one step further suggesting that the government should shift the burden to French companies thereby causing a major uproar throughout the French business community.
Reuters reported today that Authorities Charge Swiss Banker, Attorney in Tax Probe. Federal authorities charged Stefan Buck and Edgar Paltzer with one count of conspiracy for allegedly helping American clients hide millions of dollars in offshore accounts in order to avoid paying taxes. The indictment was filed in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday.
The indictment stated that Stefan Buck is the Head of Private Banking at Swiss Bank No. 1 and is also a member of the bank’s executive board. Edgar Paltzer is a partner at a Swiss Law Firm and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1988. Further investigation by Reuters showed that Bank Frey lists Stefan Buck as its head of private banking and a member of its executive board on its website.
What’s really interesting about this case is why it drew the attention of the Federal Authorities.
In March 2009, Swiss bank UBS AG (UBSN.VX) agreed to pay $780 million to settle charges brought by the Justice Department. The oldest Swiss bank, Wegelin & Co, pleaded guilty in January to helping wealthy Americans evade taxes and was sentenced to pay nearly $58 million in penalties.
According to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office, which brought the charges, Niederer Kraft & Frey saw an increase of 300 percent in U.S. taxpayers as clients between the time of UBS’s settlement and Wegelin’s indictment in February 2012. Around $938 million, or 44 percent, of the bank’s $2.1 billion in managed assets as of September 2012 was held by U.S. taxpayers, prosecutors said. Buck and Paltzer opened and managed undeclared accounts for U.S. clients who had been informed by other Swiss banks that they had to close their accounts there.
So if you are planning to deposit some or all of your assets offshore in a Swiss Bank Account where client privacy has always been of paramount importance, you may wish to consider the significance of this case. It certainly seems that the Justice Department is becoming more successful in piercing the International Privacy Veil.
For the last three months to the end of September net income came in down at $340m. It used to be $6.2bn in the same period last year. The bank took a $1.6bn charge for litigation expenses.
The bank has already paid $2.4bn to settle a lawsuit that had been brought by shareholders who said they had been misled about the acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America. The acquisition occurred during the financial crisis.
Shareholders argued that Bank of America made misleading statements concerning the financial health of the two banks. However, Bank of America claims it did nothing wrong.
Bank of America warned that it would be hit by a pre-tax loss of $1.9bn and an additional $800m in charges due to changes in the UK corporate tax rate.
The information was taken from the BBC News website. If you like to get more info, please, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19979438