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.
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.
Forensic Linguistics is the study of the language of law and legal process. It also includes the language of 911 calls, the police and the courtroom, and the language that is used in trials as evidence.
LanguageAndLaw.org describes Forensic Linguistics as the methodology that solves crimes. It comprises many areas that relate to crime, both solving crime and absolving people wrongly accused of committing crimes. Some of these areas include:
- Voice identification (also called forensic phonetics)
- Author identification (analysis of the personal writing style; also called forensic stylistics)
- Discourse analysis (analysis of the structure of spoken or written utterance)
- Linguistic proficiency
- Language analysis (determining the suspect’s native language)
- “Linguistic veracity analysis” (determining whether a speaker or a writer was being truthful)
One of the best forensic linguists in the USA is Dr. Robert Leonard. He has a wide experience in his field of expertise. For instance, he has been retained by both defendants and prosecutors to consult and/or testify in criminal cases involving murder, espionage, and other felonies, and he has consulted and/or testified for both plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases involving trademarks, plagiarism, libel, malpractice, and the meaning of contracts.
The following video briefly describes Dr. Robert Leonard’s technique on how to implement the theoretical knowledge of Forensic Linguistics into practice, i.e. Sherlyn Hummert murder investigation.
The problems seem to be mounting for former KPMG Auditing Partner Scott London. On April 11, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a press release.
The SEC alleges that Scott London tipped Bryan Shaw with confidential details about five KPMG audit clients and enabled Shaw to make more than $1.2 million in illicit profits trading ahead of earnings or merger announcements. The two men had met at a country club several years earlier and became close friends and golfing partners. London has said that he provided the inside information about his clients to help Shaw overcome financial struggles after his family-run jewelry business began faltering in the economic downturn. In exchange for the illegal trading tips, Shaw paid London at least $50,000 in cash that was usually delivered in bags outside of his Encino, Calif. jewelry store. Shaw also gave London an expensive Rolex watch as well as other jewelry, meals, and tickets to entertainment events.
Further details can be found in the complete SEC Complaint.
Criminal charges for insider trading were then brought by the Federal Bureau of Investigation saying he gave a stock-trading friend inside information about his firm’s clients in exchange for cash, jewelry and expensive dinners. The prosecutors version of Mr. London’s activities conflicted significantly with London’s statement that the information he gave his buddy was sparse and that his involvement in the stock trades was minimal.
Mr. London was arraigned and is free on $150,000 bail. Harlan Braun, defense attorney for Scott London, has said that he expects his client to plead guilty at a hearing set for May 17th.
KPMG LLP Chairman and CEO John Veihmeyer issued the following statement upon reviewing the criminal complaint filed against former partner Scott London.
What’s particularly odd about this case is the fact that Scott London freely admitted sharing inside information for profit in his first interview with the FBI, SEC and U.S. Attorney General and the fact that immediately following his arraignment his attorney made a public statement that his client intends to plead guilty. Despite these unusual circumstances, Defense Counsel has also publicly stated that he does not expect his client to face any jail time?
So how is this possible? If convicted of all charges, Mr. London faces a prison term of as long as five years. The current environment is that federal prosecutors have been pushing hard for the past several years for white collar criminals to get hard time for insider trading. Having already admitted publicly to sharing inside information with his golf buddy, what leverage does Mr. London possibly have with the Feds to avoid spending several years in jail?
On Monday, December 17, 2012, Defense attorneys John R. Wing, Charles T. Spada and Jeannie Rose Rubin of Lankler Siffert & Wohl LLP filed a 44 page Sentencing Memorandum on behalf of their client Peter B. Madoff. The document was submitted to the Honorable Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York. Judge Swain is expected to sentence Mr. Madoff on Thursday, December 20, 2012.
Peter Madoff is the younger brother of Bernie Madoff who was sentenced on June 29, 2009 to 150 years in Federal Prison for masterminding one of the largest Ponzi Schemes in history. Principle losses to investors were nearly $20 Billion. Including recorded fictional investment gains, investors lost close to $65 billion.
The sentence imposed on Bernie Madoff by Federal District Judge Denny Chin was nearly three times longer than what had been recommended by the federal probation office and more than ten times longer than that requested by Mr. Madoff’s defense lawyers. At the time of sentencing, Judge Chin condemned Mr. Madoff’s crimes as being “extroadinarily evil”.
Now in what may very well be the final chapter in a painful saga that began on December 10, 2008 when Madoff’s sons told authorities that their father had confessed to them that the asset management unit of his firm was a massive Ponzi scheme, Peter Madoff will stand before Swain to learn his fate.
The question that needs to be answered by the sentenced that will be imposed on Thursday by Judge Swain is whether Peter Madoff is a victim or a villain. Keeping in mind that Peter Madoff has already pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate various federal statutes and one count of falsifying books and records of an investment adviser, the Sentencing Memorandum submitted by defense counsel portrays Peter Madoff as another victim who was duped by his older brother’s Ponzi Scheme. Under his Plea Agreement, Mr. Madoff has agreed to accept a minimum sentence of no less than ten years in federal prison.
In the Draft Sentencing Report, it was reported that Peter Madoff had only learned of his brother’s Ponzi Scheme on December 9, 2008, a few days before it had been disclosed to the world. Peter Madoff’s attorneys described him as being in shock and realizing that his world had been destroyed by the loss of his reputation and any future ability to support his family financially. They further reported that Peter Madoff had been reviled by strangers, as well as former friends who all assumed that he must have had full and complete knowledge of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme.
Peter is described by his attorneys as being someone who believed that his older brother was a brilliant securities trader. As a result, he encouraged his own family to invest millions of dollars into accounts that were managed by Bernie Madoff. The fraud committed by Bernie Madoff resulted in Peter’s wife losing millions of dollars in her Madoff account, as well as his daughter, granddaughter, sister and other relatives also suffering significant losses.
Mr. Madoff’s attorneys state: “Moreover, at the time of his plea this past June, Peter Madoff consented to a Draconian forfeiture order that in one stroke stripped him of all existing assets, his home, his pension, his savings, his personal property, etc. and all future assets and income should he even have the opportunity to earn any income after serving his prison sentence. After a lifetime of hard work, this man has been denied the ability to even collect social security”.
The facts, as presented in the Sentencing Memorandum, are as follows:
- On June 29, 2012, Peter Madoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy and falsifying records of an investment advisor.
- He has accepted responsibility for his conduct, which he knows was wrong, and is deeply ashamed of his conduct.
- Peter worked for his older brother’s business (Bernie was the sole owner) for 39 years.
- On several occasions, and at Bernie’s instigation, Bernie and Peter engaged in money transfers in ways specifically designed to avoid payment of taxes.
- At Peter’s request, his wife Marion was placed on the BLMIS payroll and for many years received compensation for what was essentially a “no-show” job.
- Peter pled guilty because he conspired with others to commit the following violations of law: (1) Attempts to interfere with the administration of internal revenue laws; (2) falsifying the books and records of an investment adviser; (3) false filings with the SEC; and (4) mail and securities fraud.
- Regarding the interference of internal revenue laws, Peter conspired with others to prevent the IRS from collecting proper revenue taxes in the following ways: (1) He received various fringe benefits from BLMIS, including meals, travel, leased cars, country club costs, apartment rentals, payment of household employees, and life insurance premiums which he failed to report on his income tax returns; (2) He placed his wife on the BLMIS payroll, although tax was paid on her income, he caused her to receive untaxed 401(k) contributions to which she was not entitled; (3) In 2005, Bernie gave Peter a substantial sum of money in the form of a completed securities transaction.
- In July of 2006, BLMIS Peter became the Chief Compliance Officer as the Company registered with the SEC as an investment adviser despite the fact that at this time Peter did not have any substantial knowledge or experience with the rules governing Investment Advisers.
- As the Chief Compliance Officer, Peter failed to implement any meaningful supervision of his brother’s management of the customer business and failed to test or confirm his brother’s representation that he was trading and managing the Investment Advisory accounts in compliance with the customers’ directions.
- In 2006 and 2007, Peter allowed Bernie to file false reports with the SEC.
The list of disclosures contained in the Sentencing Report goes on and on. It makes for very fascinating reading. It will be very interesting to see what kind of sentence Judge Swain will impose on Thursday. Will she take the same hard line position imposed by Judge Chin when older brother Bernie was sentenced or will she buy the fact that Peter was duped by his older brother? Stay tuned as Thursday is only a few days away.
After the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 (better known as the “Whistle Blower Act”), an article written by Chad Bray entitled: SEC Readying First Payment Under New Whistleblower Program reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission will pay out nearly $50,000 (30% of the funds collected by the SEC) to the whistleblower.
The word from the SEC is that they are receiving very high quality tips, as well as documents and information allowing cases to be prosecuted much more quickly, cost effectively and with a higher degree of success. Perhaps the new program will give new meaning to the old expression that crime does not pay!