U.S. Personal Income Tax Rates – How Do They Compare Wiith the Rest of the World?

    

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%,French Symbol images 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.

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Assisted Suicide Bill Approved By Vermont Legislators

In a recent Reuter’s article written by Scott Malone entitled: Vermont set to become third U.S. state to allow assisted suicide, is reported that on Monday Vermont lawmakers approved a physician-assisted suicide bill to allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients who want to die.

The bill awaits to be signed into law by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin who has indicated support for the measure. He believes this is the right thing to do, which would offer Vermonters who face terminal illness at the end of life a choice to control their destiny and avoid unnecessary suffering.

Doctor-assisted suicide has been already legalized in Oregon and Washington in voter referendums.

The procedure of a doctor-assisted suicide has some safeguards. Two doctors, the patient’s primary physician and the consulting doctor, must make the medical determination that their patient is suffering from a terminal illness and is capable of making an informed decision to request death-inducing drugs. Under the bill the patient has to request the drugs twice, with 15 days separating the first and second requests. Moreover, the patients must apply the drugs to themselves only.

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12,000 Lawsuits over Yasmin and Yaz: Personal Injury, Product Liability cases

Yaz, Yasmin and Mirena are popular contraceptive pills that are produced by the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer. Besides their anti-fertility mechanism, they have been associated with serious medical side effects. Some of the common side effects are headaches, nausea, vomiting, fluid retention, swelling in the ankles or feet, breast tenderness, weight change and bloating.

Some of the other side effects are much more serious and potentially fatal. These include pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, stroke and heart attack.

The following info-graphic displays the most recent statistics and court cases for Americans who have been impacted by Yaz and Mirena.

Birth Control Litigation infographic
Infographic by LawyerLocator

According to LawyersandSettlements.com, as of February 2012, about 12,000 lawsuits were pending in the US against Bayer, on behalf of people who had suffered personal injuries, some fatal, as a result of using Yasmin and/or Yaz. Thousands of lawsuits that were brought against Bayer claimed that the fourth generation birth control pills had caused gallbladder problems.

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Your Profile Image Can Get You More Clients

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article your profile picture is very important, especially if you are building your own business. And being strategic in the art of creating an image is a key component to success.

The New York City-based Ms. Williams spent some her time among three social-media sites — Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Her research shows that a page with a profile picture is seven times as likely to be viewed as a page without one.

Even a small detail has a great role, for example, the way you are dressed. Imagine a client or an interviewing employee saying: “I don’t recognize you, you look different in reality.” In other words, the appearance should reflect the norms of your profession.

Another detail is to be caught in the moment so your energy in that moment is somehow captured. “If you’re sitting up straight, your shoulders are back, you’re smiling and you have open eyes, you’re non-verbally communicating that you’re confident, competent and have a curiosity about the world,” Ms. Williams says. She also suggests that it would be better if a friend takes a picture of you, because in a professional photograph you can sometimes feel uptight.

As concerns Facebook or other social-media websites the image on the main page has to be carefully selected and chosen. There shouldn’t also be too many photos of you uploaded as soon as you come back from a trip from Italy. Nobody is going to see them all, anyway.

No photos of you with food or drinks should be in your profile. “I don’t think anyone cares about what coffee I’m drinking in the morning, no matter how flavorful it is,” says Ms. Williams.

In addition, tagged photos can lead you to a problem, too. Everything can be ruined by a friend tagging you in a photo drinking wine on a Sunday afternoon. Here is what Ms. Williams says: “I have professional people on this network — I don’t want them seeing what I’m drinking on a Sunday night.” She was horrified when a relative tagged her in a picture showing her drinking wine at a family party.  She untagged herself.

More info. here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203388804576613561719372694.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

WHAT DO LAWYERS DO? AND WHERE?

All lawyers are not alike. They can work in various capacities such as legal and non-legal. Also, they specialize in private areas. Moreover, lawyers do not usually go to trial to win the case as you can watch in movies or on TV. Generally speaking, there are two areas where they usually specialize in:

1. Legal Specializations
Some lawyers specialize in a particular area, the other – in trial law (civil or criminal). They can also help clients who seek to reverse or to uphold lower court decisions, bankruptcy law, tax law, trusts and estates, corporate law, environmental law, intellectual property, communication law, elder law, employment and labor law, entertainment law, health care law, education law, international law, etc. The list of is almost endless.

2. Legal Settings
Lawyers also work in a variety of settings. Some of them are described below.
Private Practice:
The lawyers work in private practice as solo practitioners, in small or “boutique” law firms, in firms that have several hundred lawyers. As usual, they join firms as “associates” and work toward becoming “partners.” Life at a large law firm is influenced by “billable hours.”
In-House:
“In-house” work means that lawyers are employed by a single client or a large corporation. Large companies usually hire one or more lawyers to go through more specific issues. For example, one supervises litigation, another addresses the company’s employment issues, a third lawyer tries to influence legislation related to the company’s business. Also, if in-house lawyers represent only one client, they are not beholden to the “billable hour.”
Government:
The federal government also hire lawyers for different tasks. There are District attorneys, State Attorney Generals, and federal prosecutors who work at the Department of Justice here in D.C. and at U.S. Attorney’s Offices throughout the country and public defenders who represent those who cannot afford an attorney. All of the government representatives also work for the Office of Homeland Security the Environmental Protection Agency, the Security Exchange Commission, the Patent and Trademark Office, the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Similarly, the United States Congress offer many opportunities for lawyers to help pass legislation.
Academia:
Lawyers teach in law schools and colleges. Many of the lawyers get teaching experience first by working as a professor. At the same time they may also work elsewhere full time.

Only some of the legal settings were mentioned in this article. If you want to know more information on the topic, please, visit the link below:

http://www.nalp.org/what_do_lawyers_do