Liquor lawAlcohol, whether we want it or not, has a big effect upon our lives. It is known as one of the main causes of all the legal contradictions. At least once in your life, you will encounter situations that will require specialized knowledge about Liquor Law.

Liquor law violations include control over serving, consuming, possession and sale of alcoholic beverages.

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Detroit – The Largest Municipal Bankruptcy Filing in U.S. History – What happened?

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.

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Law Firms Face Challenges in Growing Profits Reports Citi

In a recent Wall Street Journal Blog Article written by Jennifer Smith entitled: Citi: Lackluster 3rd Quarter Bodes Ill for Law Firm Profit Growth, it was reported that law firms will face significant challenges in trying to grow their profits. The folks at Citi Private Bank expect law firms will see even lower profit growth this year on an industry-wide basis than they did in 2011, when they notched a 3.5% gain (paltry by pre-recession standards).

Citi, a major law firm lender, reached that dismal conclusion after analyzing third-quarter performance among 182 mostly large firms. While the results aren’t public, the bank posted a summary over at AmLaw Daily.  Citi identified the following problems in their report:

  1. Law firms are wrestling with weak demand for their services
  2. Law firm expenses continue to grow faster than their revenue

Since the Citi Report only analyzes the performance of a small number of law firms (182 mostly large law firms and there are an estimated 50,000 law firms throughout the United States), the results are “industry averages” and do not reflect the success of those firms who continue to perform well.

What’s even more interesting is that there may very well be some shifting in the way that legal services are utilized.  Corporations may be in-sourcing more of their need for legal services.  Where work is still being outsourced, more of this work may be going to smaller law firms as companies are seeking to avoid the ever rising billable hourly rates of the larger firms.

We at Legal Bistro have our own views on the changes that are taking place in the market for legal services and will write our own article on this topic.