Thursday, July 31, 2014

Michigan State Bar annual meeting: Grand Rapids, September 18: Celebrate Diversity!

Get to know other members of the Michigan State Bar, network and socialize, and generally be awesome. Article here (via sbm blog).

This event also takes place during the Solo & Small Firm Institute continuing legal education seminar. More info here (via sbm blog). 

Can Congress sue the president? Update: Michigan lawmakers vote in favor of lawsuit

West Michigan Reps. Justin Amash and Bill Huizenga joined a majority of Republican colleagues in agreeing to authorize a lawsuit against President Barack Obama.

The measure, which passed the U.S. House by a 225-201 vote, gives Speaker John Boehner the authority to sue the president. They argue Obama's executive orders toward the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," and other policy matters are unconstitutional.

Article here (via mlive).

This is an update to this post, on whether the Congress can sue the President. It's an area of Constitutional law that hasn't been addressed before in the nation's history. 

A bar exam takers nightmare: the software crashed

New law graduates in many states experienced a technology snafu at the worst possible time Tuesday night: as they were attempting to upload bar examinations just before deadlines in their states. Many reported spending hours trying and failing to upload their answers. ExamSoft, a company that manages the bar test submission process in many states, acknowledged "slowness or difficulty" being experienced. . .

Article here (via taxprof blog).

I hand wrote my exams (all of them up to and including the bar exam) so I didn't have to worry about the software.

Michigan is one of the states that did have difficulty with uploading exams, The Board of Law Examiners extended the deadline to upload. (article here, sbm blog). 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Average household net worth down 36% since 2003

Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.
The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation.

 Article here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

When does working too much become unhealthy? Do you work too much?

The American economy generally operates on the assumption that the more hours you work, the better an employee you are. But increasingly, researchers and workers themselves are saying that working to the point of burnout can be unhealthy, unproductive, and even dangerous — and some are advocating for large-scale solutions that tackle the problem at its source.

Article here (via taxprof blog). 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tax Dos and Don'ts of hiring your child

Does your child work in your family business? Here's a tip: don't pay the wages in pizza if you want to pass muster with the IRS.

Article here. 

The story is based on a parent's attempt to deduct her children's wages as a business expense.

Employing your minor children is legal, as is deducting their pay as a business expense. But the judge found fault with the parent's method of paying her children, which was often not in cash. The decision says she used most of the children's wages to buy either meals, often of pizza, or tutoring services, things that a parent would
typically pay for.

This week in criminal (and Michigan) history: Hawley Crippen tries to escape murder charge in England

Hawley Crippen, a Michigan-born homeopath who became the first criminal caught using wireless telegraph, boarded a ship to escape the manhunt for him in England, on July 20, 1910.

He was accused of poisoning and dismembering his wife, a showgirl named Cora (a.k.a. Belle Elmore), then stuffing her down in the basement.
Article here.