Category Archives: General

8 must-know tax tips for your side hustle

As tax season gets into full swing and Americans everywhere gear up for that ever looming April 15th deadline, there is no shortage of information for business owners—or for traditional nine-to-fivers—about how best to handle their tax situations.

But what about for those individuals who fall somewhere in between—who have a traditional 9 to 5 job while also running a small business that generates income on the side?

Being a side-hustler comes with its own set of tax requirements and special considerations that may not be relevant for those who solely run their own business or those who solely work a traditional 9 to 5.

If you’re busy burning the candle at both ends as a side hustler, these eight must-know tax tips are for you:

1. Understand your business tax obligations

Whether you’re a freelancer or have a formally structured business such as an LLC or C-Corp, any person who brings in self-employment income not covered by a traditional employee W-2 is expected by the IRS to make regular estimated tax payments. These payments cover not only your standard income taxes but also self-employment and alternative minimum tax obligations.

To determine your estimated tax obligations for the current year, the IRS recommends using the estimated tax calculation worksheet within Form 1040-ES as a guide. This document will help you configure your expected gross income, deductions, and credits for the year to determine your tax liability.

From there—provided you expect to owe more than $1,000 in annual taxes on your self-employment income—you’ll need to make quarterly payments either online, by phone, or by mail to avoid a penalty for late payment.

2. Use a separate business bank account and credit card

You’ve likely heard it before, but the importance of using a separate business bank account and credit card for your business expenses can’t be overstated—especially when you have a side hustle.

When you’re working from home or on-the-go alongside your regular job, it is all too easy for the lines to become muddled between what is business and what is personal. And when you look back on your finances at the end of the year to prepare for tax season, it can be almost impossible to tell which is which.

To avoid any confusion, keep a separate business bank account and credit card under the name of your business and vow to use those accounts for business-related expenses. Any overlap will only create additional confusion—and it could make you more susceptible to a tax audit.

3. Maintain your bookkeeping monthly to avoid tax-time stress

When you have a side hustle in addition to regular income, tax time is already stressful enough. But if you haven’t been maintaining accurate books for your business throughout the year, that tax season stress can quickly escalate.

Ideally, you should be maintaining your business accounting through an online tool. But even if all you’re using is a simple spreadsheet, you should still take the time to reconcile your business revenue and expenses each and every month.

4. Automate putting aside your estimated tax payments

One of the hardest things about managing business cash flow as a side hustler is having to hold money in your account that is earned and freely available to you—but that needs to be set aside for paying estimated taxes. It can be hard to keep track of how much you owe to the government in the first place, and it takes discipline to continually keep that money set aside for taxes as opposed to taking a share of the profit or reinvesting in your business.

Avoid this unnecessary battle of wills and constant number crunching by creating a second business bank account into which you automatically transfer savings for estimated taxes.

As a starting point, most accountants will recommend saving around 25 percent of your gross profit for federal taxes, plus another 5 percent for state and local taxes if that applies in your location.

By automatically saving towards your tax payment either with every transaction you take in or on a weekly or monthly basis, you can keep track of exactly how much you need to save for estimated taxes and have a clear-cut policy to follow when opportunities arise that tempt you to dip into that extra cash on hand.

5. Consider increasing your employee tax withholdings

Does it take every ounce of your self-control to see estimated tax savings sit in your bank account when you could be reinvesting in your business? If you have traditional W-2 income in addition to your side hustle—or if you’re married and filing jointly with a spouse who files a W-2—there may be a better way.

By refiling your statement W-4 with your employer, you can actually choose to have additional taxes withheld (state and federal) from your regular employee paychecks. This additional withholding can cover the estimated taxes for your side hustle, eliminating the need to save for and pay quarterly estimated taxes within your business accounts.


6. Remember these often overlooked business deductions

With all of the time and energy that you put into your side hustle on top of a full-time job, even the most motivated and optimistic of entrepreneurs can easily be discouraged by the idea of setting aside a full 25 percent of the money you make for Uncle Sam.

But before you panic remember this: Your tax liability is calculated by using 25 percent of the gross profit of your business—not your business’s revenue. This means that any expense considered “ordinary and necessary” to the operation of your business can be deducted from the total amount that you’ll be taxed upon.

If you’re unsure what qualifies as “ordinary and necessary,” here are some common examples of deductible expenses that side hustlers often overlook:

Website Hosting, including domain registration, hosting services, and email

Professional Services, including graphic designers, consultants, accountants, business coaches, virtual assistants, and more

Apps and Software, including accounting software, project management apps, social media tools, and any other one-time or ongoing subscription costs

●  Equipment used for business, including technology, office supplies, or any tools required to make your product or perform your service

●  Supplies and Inventory, including costs of inventory you sell or raw materials used to create your product

Every business is different, so there’s a good chance you’ll have additional deductible expenses that aren’t listed here. Consult with a knowledgeable bookkeeper or accountant to ask about deductible expenses that may be specific to your business.

7. Deduct shared personal and business expenses by percentage used

In addition to these basic business expenses, most side-hustlers also incur expenses that live in a gray area between business and personal.

For example, have you purchased a personal computer that you also use for your business? Do you use your cell phone for business calls? What about your home internet, or even your car?

Applying the full cost of these expenses as a deduction for your side hustle would likely raise some red flags with the IRS. However, you can deduct a portion of the expenses according to the amount or frequency of their use for your business. For example, if a third of your time spent on the internet is doing work for your side hustle, you can qualify a third of your monthly internet bill as a deductible expense. As long as you’re willing and able to show justification for these calculations in the event of a tax audit, you can apply the same percentage calculation to any mixed-use expense.

8. When in doubt, work with a professional

Between keeping track of the correct IRS forms for each of your income streams, saving for and paying estimated taxes, and doing the math on percentages for your business and mixed-use expenses, navigating the tax code as a side hustler is downright complicated. If you’re at all in doubt about how to proceed, your best bet is to work with a professional accountant or tax lawyer.

Remember, the cost of hiring an accountant qualifies as a deductible business expense—and in most cases, a capable CPA can save you enough money on taxes to more than make up for their fee.

There’s no denying that dealing with taxes is one of the most stressful aspects of owning a small business. But with these tax tips in hand, you have everything you need to cross this year’s tax season off your to-do list and move right along with your business goals.

The post 8 must-know tax tips for your side hustle appeared first on Rocket Lawyer.

The Future of Legal Journalism is Here

The potential of legal journalism is here and future has arrived in the shape of, according to Bob Ambrogi, its Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, fixing a standing room only crowd of about hundred and fifty in Chicago last Thursday evening.

Over 22,000 legal bloggers at the @LexBlog network. By far the largest newsroom on the history of legal journalism.
— Ed Walters (@EJWalters) March 1, 2019

Ambrogi always wanted to become a journalist. The difficulty was that the year that he began journalism school was the exact identical season since Watergate — and Woodward and Bernstein. Everybody and his brother wanted to become a journalist.   To his surprise, Ambrogi’s application letters into the New York Times and the Washington Post went unanswered.

Future of legal journalismJust like other industries though, the Internet presented new avenues for reporting.

You can see the pride within this veteran journalist when he informed the audience there were already 22,000 legal bloggers leading to LexBlog – with a profile page for the site, blogger and business for everyone of them.

Other alternatives such as Lexology and JD Supra demand terrorists and publishers (the attorneys ) to cover to conduct and circulate their coverage. Distasteful into a reporter in mind such as Ambrogi, and preventing legal reporting for attorneys who do not have the money to pay for flow.

Even though Ambrogi practiced law for a couple of decades, he followed his passion for journalism to launch the book, Lawyers Weekly.

However there was no where pulled all of this content from law sites together. No where to find the sites, the bloggers and these own organizations.


How Law Firm Libraries Can Create New Value

Creating New Value in the Law Firm Library

Votes on simplicity show fine dispersion. In contrast, votes for worth show restricted dispersion together with options above the mid-way indicate. That all rated nicely indicates the list of options is a good one. A threat in voting when all of the options are good is this lack of dispersion. With more time, one could either iterate the vote to make dispersion or unite the vote using a driven value position.

The Voting Process. Voting was by show of hands on the audience of 100+ study + intelligence professionals. Kevin Klein, the Ark conference manager and that I eyeballed the series of hands and agreed on a score.

Another highlight was outsourcing. Yes, my day job is with LAC Group, which, among other solutions, provides managed services for law libraries. I work in which I think I can have impact so my views are actually held. I believe senior law company staff must add as much value as possible. For librarians, this usually means combining deep knowledge of their companies with market knowledge and research.

Outsourcing frees up time to concentrate on higher worth activity. And especially outsourcing the more routine aspects of research, or domain specific study, lets librarians concentrate on where they could add the most value. I had a lively debate on this stage with an audience member and we had to agree to admit.

A couple of weeks ago I introduced an interactive session on how law firm libraries can produce new value at the Ark seminar Best Practices & Management Plans for Law Business Library, Research & Information Services (aka Ark Library). In this informative article, I share my slides, some session highlights the voting results of the interactive portion, and a link to my live demonstration.

Two components of our discussion stood out to me. One was the difference between presenting research results as a collection of posts with minimal or no interpretation versus drawing insights and conclusions. I feel that customers of research want comprehension, not research dumps. Most audience members, however, appeared loath to do more than collect the information. I believes that will place librarians in a lousy position as time passes. As an example, in fourteen days prior to the seminar, I met two older friends who lead company management preparation for their big law firms. Both reported pity that the response to their complex research petition was a dump of articles. Both were unhappy with how much time they had to spend synthesizing insight and meaning.

Whether you agree with the nine options and also the voting outcomes, isn’t the main takeaway here. Instead, you should take from this the significance of systematic preparation and using a clear plan . Every library / research + intelligence center needs to have a clearly articulated strategy which aligns with the firm plan and that actively attempts to boost profits. Other approaches operate – exactly what I introduced is just one idea. Whatever approach you choose, though, a one-page result that you may easily and quickly introduce to management.

  • Boost cost recovery
  • Offer fee-based solutions directly to clients
  • Support winning more pitches
  • Identify opportunities, both ones and tendencies
  • Deliver more actionable insights and fewer study dumps
  • Support firm digital offerings
  • Rationalize research + intellect operations
  • Centralize company research
  • Negotiate better contracts (I know, everyone is focusing with this)
  1. Prompt wisdom and research professionals to consider ways they could align with business strategy and boost firm profits.
  2. Rank systematically those choices, specifically mapping them by relative value and ease.

Nine Ideas to Increase Contribution to Firm Profitability. I presented nine thoughts, enumerated below, for staff discussion and voting.

Rating Ideas on a 2×two Grid. For every idea, I realized the audience about two measurements: facilitate and worth . By laying out the thoughts on these rankings, one can quickly see which ideas would be most favorable using the 2×two grid below. As with 2×two grids, the scoring is designed to put the ideal choice in the upper right hemisphere and the lowest ones at the lower left.

Session Goals. I’ve discovered my slides below and you’ll be able to listen to my presentation synced to slides at YouTube, so that I won’t pay particulars of the content here. I designed the session with two main aims:


In the Louisiana SCOTUS case, maybe the best defense is a good offense

Maybe The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Chief Justice John Roberts surprised some observers when he joined his four liberal colleagues to grant a stay of this decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in June Medical Services v. Gee. The law requiring physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals of Louisiana was blocked by the stay. The petitioners contended that the distinctions drawn by the allure court between both nations’ legislation were unpersuasive. By voting to stay exactly the Louisiana law, was signaling a retreat from his position there? Does he accept that the court’s abortion jurisprudence?

Perhaps, but there is a simpler and likelier explanation. Roberts cares a great deal about the Supreme Court. When a state court or reduced court defies or evades the precedents of the court, the court’s authority is challenged by it. Accordingly, it is easy to imagine that the chief prosecution believes Whole Woman’s Health along with also the cases it implemented — such as Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey — should be overruled. However, he does not take to courts usurping his court’s prerogative of determining whether and when to overrule its own cases.

In case institutionalism better explains Roberts’ remain vote than does one change of heart to the merits, then the questions posed by this symposium — if the court grant certiorari and, in that case, how should it rule? — are debatable for citizens, lawyers and scholars who, like me, believe the court shouldn’t cut back on the constitutional abortion right.

To be slightly more precise, only the first question poses a problem. The next question is simple. As I claimed in an article to get a SCOTUSblog symposium on that situation, Casey did not displace that portion of the holding in Roe that prohibits the state from imposing obstacles to abortion simply by the pretense of promoting women’s health.
Additionally, Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion in Whole Woman’s Health helpfully clarified that which was already implicit in the idea of an undue weight — that whether a law regulating abortion is inherent is based on part on whether the burdens it imposes for women in fact promote well-being (or any other compelling government interest). It is unconstitutional — because an admitting-privileges requirement does not advance the state’s asserted health fascination in any way — at Louisiana or Texas.
If I could say with confidence that a majority of the existing Supreme Court would intentionally use its abortion jurisprudence, then I would recommend the court to grant the request for a writ of certiorari in June solely for the purpose of summarily reversing the 5th Circuit. I’m unsure what to advocate, because I lack that confidence.

Should the Supreme Court deny certiorari in June, its live order would dissolve by its terms. The end result would be to deny access to legal abortion into a terrific many women in Louisiana. But that’s not all. Allowing the Circuit ruling to go into effect will embolden that court to uphold other legislation from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. It would send exactly the same signal to other federal judges around the nation — a team that becomes much more hostile to abortion rights almost from the day, thanks to the laser-like focus on changing the judiciary of both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Trump administration.
Yet awful because a cert denial would be for abortion rights, so a cert grant poses the threat of an outright overruling of RoeCasey along with Whole Woman’s Health. More likely but perhaps equally dangerously, the Supreme Court could grant cert in June, put the case on its plenary docket, also, following briefing and argument, affirm the 5th Circuit’s judgment upholding the Louisiana law based on a unpersuasive distinction between the Texas and Louisiana legislation.
There is precedent for such a move. Although the court invoked some minor differences between the Nebraska and federal laws, the difference was at the court’s employees. In the meantime, Justice Samuel Alito replaced Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; flipping that the result was reversed by vote. As we have seen from Kavanaugh’s dissent in the stay order in June, he appears prepared to draw some rather nice distinctions to avoid invalidating the Louisiana diplomatic law.
That leaves Roberts as the one justice even potentially in play. By voting to grant the stay in June, he indicated that he does not believe the 5th Circuit persuasively celebrated the Texas and Louisiana legislation. Perhaps with more time he will discover some hitherto unknown distinction persuasive, but it’s also possible that he will vote to violate Whole Woman’s Health, dependent on reasoning like that in Alito’s dissent in that case, which Roberts combined. In Part III of the Whole Woman’s Health dissent, Alito claimed that the Texas law didn’t unduly burden the abortion because, among other items, dependent on one tendentious reading of this document, 95% of Texas women would need to travel”only” a distance of 150 kilometers or not to obtain an abortion provider.
It’s not easy to state whether abortion rights could be less secure if the Supreme Court at June were to feign to employ its pre-Whole Woman’s Health precedents while actually hollowing them out or were simply to overrule its abortion-rights precedents forthrightly. With the course, defenders of abortion rights could have a focus around which to rally from the governmental world.
Nevertheless, an individual should not spend much energy wondering if disingenuous program or blatant rejection of the abortion cases is worse. The Supreme Court under Roberts’ direction has tended to apply these moves in tandem, first weakening a legal doctrine or principle and discarding its empty husk.
Prior to the Court held the policy formula of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional in Shelby County v. Holder, it first supposed to duck the issue in Northwest Austin Municip. Dist. No. One particular Holder. Before the Roberts Court abandoned the Burger Court precedent upholding agency-shop arrangements against free speech challenges at Janus v. AFSCME, it contested but supposed to employ that Burger-era precedent at Knox v. SEIU, Local 1000. If, in June, the Roberts Court undercuts however, doesn’t officially depart the inherent right to abortion, and the decision ought to be known since the opening salvo in a longer competition.
On second consideration,”opening” is the wrong word. A Supreme Court ruling upholding the Louisiana legislation in June would be the near-culmination of a near-half-century effort. Through a mixture of luck, the Electoral College, and also what Professors Joseph Fishkin and David Pozen predict”asymmetrical constitutional hardball,” Republican presidents have termed 14 of 18 justices at the previous 50 years, despite losing the popular vote at the vast majority of presidential elections during this period. Given how fundamental overturning Roe is to the Republican coalition, it is hardly surprising that that the abortion right is precarious. The remarkable reality is that it stays on the books in any way.


By Michael C. Dorf (cross-posted on SCOTUSblog)

Damage to Democracy and Rule of Law in February 2019

Declaring a national emergency as an end-run around Congress

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Feb. 15 to gain the authority that Congress refused to give him to fund the construction of a wall on the southern border. It was a move intended to keep a campaign promise to his base, though that pledge had included forcing Mexico to pay for it.

At least 16 states and a host of organizations filed suit to stop the move, and Democrats in Congress passed a resolution to nullify the declaration, sending it to the Senate for a vote (Trump has vowed to veto the bill). At least 58 former U.S. national security officials from Democratic and Republican administrations signed a letter asserting that “no plausible assessment of the evidence” would justify the emergency declaration and that, in fact, it could undermine U.S. interests by diverting funding from necessary military expenditures and weakening America’s diplomacy. A poll conducted after the announcement found that more than 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of the emergency declaration, and almost that many don’t believe there is an emergency at the southern border and think Trump is abusing his presidential authority.

Earlier in the month, the Pentagon announced it would send 3,750 additional U.S. forces to the southern border for three months to support border agents, raising the total number of active-duty forces there to about 4,350. The rationale of the subsequent emergency declaration for using the military construction funding relies in part on the presence of military forces at the border.

Trump declares border national emergency to bipartisan skepticism by CNN’s Jeremy Diamond, Priscilla Alvarez and Kevin Liptak

Trump declares national emergency, then leaves for Mar-a-Lago by MSNBC

What You Need to Know about the “National Emergency Declaration” by Just Security authors

Military Construction Funds and Local Politics that Will Shape GOP’s Stance on Trump’s Emergency Declaration by Luke Hartig for Just Security

States File Suit Against Trump Administration Over Wall Emergency by the Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Davis O’Brien and Sadie Gurman

Will the courts let Donald Trump build his wall? from The Economist

Pentagon Sending 3,750 Extra Troops to Mexico Border by the Daily Beast

Poll: 6-In-10 Disapprove Of Trump’s Declaration Of A National Emergency by NPR’s Domenico Montanaro

More than 50 ex-national security officials tell Trump his national emergency is not justified by Julia Ainsley at NBC

House votes to block Trump emergency declaration by the Associated Press’ Alan Fram and Andrew Taylor in the Boston Globe

Former FBI Deputy Director McCabe echoes reports of internal 25th Amendment talk

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe alleged in an interview on the CBS program “60 Minutes” that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had considered wearing a wire to surreptitiously record Trump during a meeting, and that law enforcement officials informally discussed whether the president could be removed from office using the 25th Amendment. His account seemed to confirm a September New York Times story. But Rosenstein said both the Times story and McCabe’s account were “inaccurate and factually incorrect,” according to Reuters.

McCabe’s public comments in recent days about his dealings with Trump and his administration come in advance of today’s publication of McCabe’s new book “The Threat,” Isabel Dobrin reports at Politico.

Andrew McCabe: The full 60 Minutes interview by Scott Pelley at 60 Minutes

Rod Rosenstein Suggested Secretly Recording Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment by Adam Goldman and Michael S. Schmidt in September

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to step down in March – official by Sarah N. Lynch at Reuters

Trump calls out McCabe for ‘deranged’ story after ’60 Minutes’ interview by Isabel Dobrin at Politico

Rejecting a person’s American citizenship claim to bar her return from ISIS

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Feb. 20 that a woman who left Alabama to join ISIS in Syria when she was 20 years old is not a U.S. citizen and would not be allowed to return. Hoda Muthana had said she made a mistake in joining the group and now wants to return with her 18-month-old son. Pompeo claimed that Muthana has no “legal basis” to claim American citizenship, but gave no details on how the determination was made. News reports said the decision might have been based on the fact that her father had been a Yemeni diplomat posted at the United Nations when she was born. But a family representative told the New York Times that wasn’t a valid reason to deny her claim to citizenship because Muthana was born in New Jersey a month after her father had completed his term.

Hoda Muthana ‘deeply regrets’ joining Isis and wants to return home by The Guardian’s Martin Chulov and Bethan McKernan

Alabama Woman Who Joined ISIS Can’t Return Home, U.S. Says by Rukmini Callimachi and Alan Yuhas at the New York Times

Unpacking (Some of) the Legal Issues Surrounding Hoda Muthana by Steve Vladek at Just Security

This ISIS Citizenship Case Could Set a Terrifying Precedent by Krishnadev Calamur at The Atlantic

Judge grants expedited hearing for Alabama ISIS bride Hoda Muthana by Anna Beahm at Alabama’s

Persistent pattern of lying to the American people

Voters who support Trump often excuse even his most blatant lies by arguing that “all politicians lie.” But the Washington Post’s Fact Checker database by early November had catalogued 6,420 false or misleading claims by Trump over 649 days in office. In his Feb. 5 State of the Union (SOTU) address alone, he made nearly 30 statements containing “stretched facts and dubious figures,” according to the Post. CNN analysts John Kirby and Samantha Vinograd commented that Trump’s SOTU “indicated that he will continue to focus on manufactured emergencies that he ostensibly thinks play well politically, rather than on a prioritized set of threats to American national security.”

CNN anchor Jake Tapper produced a package exposing Trump’s lies during a rally in El Paso on one of the president’s favorite subjects of demagoguery — the alleged national security threat posed by migrants, a risk contradicted by the facts. Brian Klaas, a political scientist at University College London, said in a comment on Twitter, “Trump’s lies are not fibs or misleading statements. They are Orwellian in that they are complete inversions of the truth.”

Trump’s deceit isn’t always direct. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer, described his former boss’s modus operandi to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: “In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing,” Cohen said. “In his way, he was telling me to lie.”

President Trump has made 6,420 false or misleading claims over 649 days by By Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly at the Washington Post

Donald Trump’s File by PolitiFact

Jake Tapper Debunks ‘Lying’ Trump’s El Paso Border Wall Claims by David Barden at HuffPost

State of the Union Fact Check: What Trump Got Right and Wrong by the New York Times

Terrorists and the Southern Border: Myth and Reality by Nicholas Rasmussen for Just Security

Trump predicts all IS territory will be cleared next week by Matthew Lee at the Associated Press

Trump Declares ISIS ‘100%’ Defeated. That’s ‘100% Not True,’ Ground Reports Say. by Katie Rogers, Rukmini Callimachi and Helene Cooper

Fact-checking President Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address by the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly

Trump needs to think before he speaks by John Kirby and Samantha Vinograd for CNN

Testimony From Cohen Could Compound Legal Issues for Trump by Michael D. Shear at the New York Times

Blurring the line between criticism of an investigation and obstruction of justice

Trump’s vociferous public criticism of the Special Counsel and congressional investigations into possible coordination between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 elections has become familiar — “a witch hunt,” he calls it. An analysis at the New York Times counted more than 1,100 instances of condemnation from Trump’s Twitter page, official speeches, rallies, media interviews, and press events. He calls those who cooperate with the probes “rats.” The comments also reflect actions he has taken to pressure those who aid or fail to hinder the investigations or to install officials who he sees as potential loyalists into positions where they might be able to undermine the investigations.

Trump Has Publicly Attacked the Russia Investigation More Than 1,100 Times by Larry Buchanan and Karen Yourish at the New York Times.

Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him by Mark Mazzetti, Maggie Haberman, Nicholas Fandos and Michael S. Schmidt at the New York Times

Withdrawal from multilateral treaties: The INF Treaty may be next

The U.S. gave the required six-month notice to Russia on Feb. 1 that it intends to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The treaty dates to 1987 and the waning days of the Soviet Union. Withdrawal risks a domino effect of undermining other treaties. Germany is so concerned about a pattern of U.S. action, including the planned INF withdrawal, that it is reassessing its longstanding arrangement that puts Germany under the U.S. nuclear shield.

Trump says U.S. to leave key nuclear arms treaty with Russia by Josh Lederman, Abigail Williams and Elisha Fieldstadt at NBC News

U.S. Suspends Nuclear Arms Control Treaty With Russia by David E. Sanger and William J. Broad at the New York Times

The INF Treaty Is Dead. Is New START Next? by Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer and Lara Seligman

Select Reactions to the INF Treaty Crisis by Shervin Taheran at the Arms Control Association

In Germany, a Cold War Deal to Host U.S. Nuclear Weapons Is Now in Question by the Wall Street Journal’s Bojan Pancevski

Administration refuses to provide required report to Congress on the Saudi killing of Jamal Khashoggi

Trump defied Senator’s requests per the Global Magnitsky Act to provide Congress a determination and report that it had demanded for a Feb. 8 deadline, even as evidence continues to emerge that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The report was to outline the administration’s determination about whether Saudi leadership  was responsible for the death and what sanctions, if any, would be imposed. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) accused the Trump administration of “aiding in the cover up.” Numerous Republican members of Congress expressed anger, too. But Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch said he felt the administration had “been very forthcoming with us.”

Trump Defies Congressional Deadline on Khashoggi Report by Peter Baker and Eric Schmitt at the New York Times

Year Before Killing, Saudi Prince Told Aide He Would Use ‘a Bullet’ on Jamal Khashoggi by Mark Mazzetti at the New York Times

Evidence shows ‘brutal’ killing of Saudi journalist ‘planned and perpetrated’ by State officials: UN independent expert by the UN News Center

Pompeo: US will continue investigating Khashoggi murder by The Hill’s Michael Burke

Amid uproar, GOP chairman satisfied with probe into Khashoggi killing by Burgess Everett at Politico

Trump’s Invoking Obama Signing Statement as Reason Not to Report to Congress on Khashoggi Murder: A Roundup of Expert Views by Just Security’s Ryan Goodman

Acting Attorney General shows contempt for House Judiciary Committee members

In his first Hill testimony as acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker chided panel Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) at one point about running over his allotted time. “Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up,” Whitaker said. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) also had to rebuke Whitaker, saying, “Mr. Attorney General, we are not joking here … and your humor is not acceptable.” Whitaker and the Trump administration had taken particular umbrage at Nadler’s threat to hand the acting AG a subpoena from the dias should he claim executive privilege during the hearing. Nadler backed off the threat when DoJ said its boss wouldn’t testify unless the threat was rescinded.

Former senior FBI official calls Whitaker hearing ‘disgraceful’ by The Hill’s Tal Axelrod

Democrat to acting AG: ‘We are not joking here’ by Morgan Chalfant at The Hill

Trump administration supports foreign tyrants while denigrating domestic political opposition

Trump’s second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un broke up early when Kim demanded that the United States lift all sanctions in exchange for minimal concessions on his nuclear program. Despite the affront, Trump declared his friendship with Kim intact. “This wasn’t a walkaway like you get up and walk out,” Trump said, according to New York magazine. “No, this was very friendly. We shook hands … There’s a warmth that we have, and I hope that stays. I think it will.”

It was only one of many examples of Trump and his top administration officials currying favor with the world’s tyrants, even while excoriating political opponents at home, sometimes simultaneously. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for example, gave a speech on the Middle East and North Africa while in Egypt in January without mentioning the rampant human rights abuses meted out by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s regime or the gruesome murder by Saudi Arabia of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. But Pompeo did use the speech to castigate former U.S. President Barack Obama for what the diplomat asserted was an “age of self-inflicted American shame.”

Trump intensified his attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) this month, saying on Feb. 1, “She’s very bad for our country” and “doesn’t mind human trafficking” due to her opposition to his long-promised border wall. He took another swipe at her and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Jan. 10, declaring to reporters at the White House, “I find China, frankly, in many ways, to be far more honorable than Cryin’ Chuck and Nancy. I really do.”

In his State of the Union address, Trump lashed out against Democratic investigations into him and his administration, calling them “ridiculous” and “presidential harassment.” He went to far as to say “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way.” Pelosi, in turn, accused the president of delivering an “all-out threat” to lawmakers just carrying out their responsibility to provide a check and balance on his power.

Trump Cuts Short North Korea Summit, Returns Empty Handed by New York magazine’s Margaret Hartmann

Trump steps up attacks on Pelosi for opposing border wall funds by Steve Holland at Reuters

Trump lashes out as Democrats step up inquiries of president and administration by the Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis and Seung Min Kim

Trump derides ‘ridiculous partisan investigations’ in State of the Union by The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant

Trump: China is easier to deal with than Pelosi and Schumer by Matthew Choi at Politico in January

Pompeo Speech Lays Out Vision for Mideast, Taking Shots at Obama by Declan Walsh and David E. Sanger

Mike Pompeo goes to Egypt by The Economist


Pre Settlement Funding: Help When You Need It The Most

So you just heard about pre settlement funding? Surprisingly after nearly 20 years, many people are still unfamiliar with the concept of lawsuit funding. The simple fact is it’s an answer -albeit one you have to pay for – to the issues that arise immediately following an accident while you’re waiting for the outcome of a lawsuit.

It’s a common scenario: You have been involved in a car accident. You have had to take sick leave from work. You have insurance, but it barely covers loss in wages, let alone all the medical bills and extra utilities that are racking up while you convalesce.

The last thing you need when suffering an injury is monetary worries, and stress it proven to exacerbate such an issue. You need peace of mind in order to recover fully.

So what are the benefits of pre settlement funding? They are actually more straightforward than you may think. You might expect to have to wait for a certain period of time before you receive funding, yet this isn’t the case: your money is paid immediately after the agreement is made with a reputable pre settlement funding agency.

You can use this money to pay any bills outstanding, mortgage repayments, or to safeguard yourself should an emergency arise while you are in an injured state. It can pay your child’s college fees while you may otherwise not have been in a position to do so.


There will always be medical expenses where an injury is concerned, and we all are well aware that these can be astronomically expensive. A lump-sum payout will subsidize these costs or -as is often the case- pay them in full, leaving you to concentrate on recuperation.

The average US citizen is $8,000 in negative equity, not including mortgage repayments or home loans. How many of us ever consider what would happen if we weren’t able to meet these repayments? A debilitating accident could stop you in your tracks and leave the debt recovery agents knocking at your door. Settlement funding would prevent this from ever happening. Your credit cards would remain intact.

There are legal benefits to having a lump sum of money when fighting for a lawsuit. If you can afford to wait, you can push for full compensation whilst your attorney has the time to fight your corner.

There is always the possibility that you are financially stable, but simply want a little extra whilst a lawsuit is pending. pre settlement funding will allow you to indulge yourselves in whatever takes your fancy following the turmoil of an accident or injury.

When it comes down to the line, no-win, no-fee pre settlement funding has so many benefits and very little cash outlay.

It’s a good idea to research the facts. If you have suffered an injury or find yourself unable to support yourself while a lawsuit is pending, pick up the phone and consult a specialist. Settlement funding, pre settlement funding and lawsuit settlement funding have many benefits that often far outweigh the costs. Give us a call today at (877) 932-2628 or visit us at

5 Myths About Lawsuit Funding

5 Myths About Litigation Finance

If you’re not familiar with how litigation finance works, you should fix that — fast. Litigation finance is growing dramatically in popularity and importance, and both litigators and transactional attorneys need to understand it — and what it means …

5 Myths About Litigation Finance

Lawsuit lending gets a bad rap

As New York lawmakers debate a little-known but powerful part of it called consumer litigation finance, that’s a point we shouldn’t overlook. Last month I testified at a state Senate hearing on the practice, in which victims pursuing justice through the …

Lawsuit lending gets a bad rap

LexShares Launches Private Institutional Litigation Finance Exchange

BOSTON & NEW YORK–(Business Wire)–LexShares, the commercial litigation finance firm, has launched the LexShares Private Market, an exchange for secondary litigation finance transactions. Built exclusively for qualified institutions, the LexShares …

LexShares Launches Private Institutional Litigation Finance Exchange

The Litigation Finance Market: Other Ways To Invest

A week ago I covered Burford Capital (OTC:BRFRF) (OTC:BRFRY), a litigation funding company (link: “Burford Capital: Litigation Funding And Self-Disruption”). Burford is very interesting, but valuation concerns or idiosyncratic business risk might make …

The Litigation Finance Market: Other Ways To Invest

The Evolving Regulatory Landscape For Litigation Finance

Litigation finance is booming. And as lawyers well know, with great expansion comes great… regulation. At last week’s most interesting conference on litigation finance, hosted by IMN, I learned about the latest developments at a panel entitled …

The Evolving Regulatory Landscape For Litigation Finance

Wisconsin law requires all litigation funding arrangements to be disclosed

Legislation signed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker last week requires all third-party litigation funding deals to be disclosed—even if a discovery request has not been made for that information. Wisconsin Act 235 requires litigants “provide to the other …

Wisconsin law requires all litigation funding arrangements to be disclosed

Burford Capital: Litigation Funding And Self-Disruption

Burford Capital is a unique litigation funder and the only liquid public entity in the space. The litigation finance market is expanding rapidly and promises entirely uncorrelated returns. We look at the downside of market growth. Regulatory risk is a …

Burford Capital: Litigation Funding And Self-Disruption

Stans Energy Secures Litigation Funding Arrangment

Toronto, Ontario (FSCwire) – Stans Energy Corp. (“Stans” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a litigation finance agreement to obtain incremental funding of Stans’ legal costs, including related corporate overhead costs, to …

Stans Energy Secures Litigation Funding Arrangment

Litigation Finance: How Wall Street Invests in Justice

On Wall Street, money never sleeps. Money managers controlling trillions of dollars in assets devote their professional lives to finding the best opportunities to earn a return for the lowest amount of risk. In this environment, an obscure field called …

Litigation Finance: How Wall Street Invests in Justice

Judges keep shielding litigation funding agreements, despite demands for transparency

(Reuters) – For just about as long as the litigation funding industry has existed in a meaningful way in the U.S. – about a decade, give or take – defendants have been pushing to require plaintiffs to disclose details of their arrangements with outside …

Judges keep shielding litigation funding agreements, despite demands for transparency

Litigation Funding: 5 Things to Watch for in 2018

Litigation finance had a big year in 2017, one marked by expansion in the United States by major names like Vannin Capital and Woodsford Litigation Funding, eye-popping dollar figures, and large numbers of Big Law …

Litigation Funding: 5 Things to Watch for in 2018

Litigation Finance & Insurance: 5 Myths About Litigation Finance

This the the third article of a three-part series. In the previous articles, we provided top 5 tips for securing the best funding terms possible from the market and top 5 pitfalls for the uninitiated seeking litigation finance. In the last of this 3-part …

Litigation Finance & Insurance: 5 Myths About Litigation Finance


Another School Shooting and The Deception Rolls On

It’s frustrating; In shooting after shooting after shooting, everyone rages and cries and mourns and marches and protests and screams for change.

Everyone blames guns, Trump, the Republicans and the NRA. Anti-gun rallies lead the news, fights break out and nothing ever really seems to change.

In yet another predictable, albeit stereotypical, knee-jerk reaction to the latest tragic high-school shooting, liberals and their elected politicians from around the country have once again renewed their call for everything from outright gun bans for all guns, to all-out bans on so-called (and incorrectly-called) “assault weapons”, “bump stocks”, high capacity magazines, right down to renewed calls for a national gun registry and national gun confiscation. Not that any of that would have prevented this latest shooting in Florida or would actually help solve the problem in general, but none of that seems to matter to all the protesters.

School kids nationwide are protesting, staging walk-outs and mobilizing. Some students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida – the scene of the latest mass shooting – even made the trip to Washington DC to go and plead with their elected officials and lobby them for gun control.

The result? Predictably; nothing changed.

Why is it that there are only 2 sides to this discussion and no one is willing to look at, or present, other options or other ideas?

According to ‘the other side’, either you’re a Trump-loving, NRA-loving, gun-toting Republican right-wing nutjob where everyone is armed and everyone gets along primarily thru the concept of ‘peace thru superior firepower’, or you’re a triggering, tantrum-throwing liberal snowflake nutjob screaming for a utopian world where the strong no longer victimize the weak, people are no longer mean to each other and guns no longer exist because humanity has magically evolved into a higher plane of being that is completely void of violence, criminals, hostility and ill-will toward one’s fellow man.

I’m pretty sure that argument will go on, literally, forever. But why?

First and foremost; it’s comfortable. People, at their core, don’t like to change. Changing behavior is one thing, but changing opinions? That’s something else.

It’s comfortable for people to regurgitate the same tired things every time there is another shooting.

But more than that, it’s easier to argue and it’s really uncomfortable for most people to actually think. To think new thoughts, new ideas, new paradigms and new actions into being.

Maybe it’s time to start a new discussion that actually introduces some new thinking, new ideas and new, realistic, workable solutions to this seemingly ubiquitous problem.

I thought about it for a while, did a little research and came up with some interesting numbers to help illustrate in a new way to all the anti-gunners out there why they are getting so much pushback from the pro-gun crowd and why calling for gun bans will never gain any real traction.

In fact, practically zero gun owners support a gun ban; ZERO.

I’ll use the best, most recent statistics I could find to help illustrate and where there are no statistics that I could find, I’ll just use “best guess”.

So here we go.

I found this cool chart that someone tweeted out which shows gun violence statistics for the last 4 years. Conveniently, it even includes a category for “mass shooting” which, ironically, only accounts for six one-thousandths of one percent of the total number of gun-related injuries and deaths.

Since the “Total Number of Incidents Logged” does not match the number if you add up all the categories, one must surmise that there are thousands of “Incidents logged” that did not result in a death or injury.  So for accuracy, I’ll add up all the categories and use that total for my “total number of gun-related injures and deaths”. And since 2017 seems to have the highest number, we’ll use that for my comparison.

Here’s a comparison of End Of Year totals of gun violence in the United States from the past four years.

View image on Twitter

For 2017, the total number of gun-related injuries and deaths was 55,665. For simplicity, let’s round up and call it 56,000.

Gun ownership is a lot tougher thing to calculate accurately. The closest figure I could find stated that approximately 42% of households in the US had at least one gun. Not sure what constitutes a ‘household’, but if we calculate 42% against the population of the United States in 2016 which was just about 325 million people, we can assume that there are about 136.5 million gun owners in America. And of course, the vast majority of gun owners own more than a single gun.

If we divide the number of injured and dead in 2017 (56,000) by the number of gun owners (136.5 million) we get .00041, or about four ten-thousandths of one percent. And that’s just calculated against gun owners. Taken against the entire population of the United States, that number drops to .0002, or about two ten-thousandths of one percent.

So the anti-gun crowd’s entire justification for calling for an all-out gun ban and confiscation of all guns in America rests on the fact that two ten-thousandths of one percent of the population is impacted by gun violence.

Two ten-thousandths of one percent of the population; remember that number because I’ll come back to it in a minute.

The REAL Inconvenient Truth

It’s easy for some people to hate guns because to them, they are scary. But what about an even bigger threat? One that affects far more people, disrupts and destroys far more lives and costs exponentially more in financial damage.

What is it you ask? Drugs? Alcohol? DUI?

No. I’m talking about cell phones; texting while driving to be precise.

The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. And in 2013, nearly 424,000 injuries and deaths occurred from accidents caused by texting while driving. And get this: the NSC says that 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.

Of course, texting while driving only applies to drivers; presumably licensed drivers.

So check this out.

The number of people in the US with a driver’s license in 2016 was approximately 222 million.

Here is a great excerpt (I have bolded the really stunning parts) with some important statistics taken from this website:

at any given time throughout the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel of an automobile.

General Cell Phone Statistics

    • The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
    • Nearly 424,000 injuries occurred in 2013 accidents caused by texting while driving.
    • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
    • Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
    • 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
    • 74% of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.

Teen Driver Cell Phone Statistics

  • 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving.
  • 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.

2013 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics

  • About 424,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.

2012 National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors

  • Nearly half (48%) of drivers admit to answering their cell phones while driving.
  • Of those who answered their phones while driving, 58% of drivers continued to drive while talking on the phone.

So what does all this mean?

If we divide the number of injured and dead caused by texting while driving in 2013 (424,000) by the number of licensed drivers (222 million) we get .002, or two one-thousandths of one percent.

.0002 vs .002.

In real numbers that is 56,000 injured and dead per year vs. 424,000. And while ZERO gun owners support a gun ban, a whopping 94% of all licensed drivers support a texting while driving ban and an overwhelming majority of 74% support an outright ban on hand-held cell phone use altogether.

With such overwhelming support for a cell phone ban by such an overwhelming majority of drivers, why hasn’t the liberal politicians gotten behind a cell phone ban?

Could it be because liberal politicians don’t really care about people and are more concerned about leveraging human suffering to further their agenda? After all, wasn’t it Obama’s old Attorney General Rahm Emanuel who famously said “You never let a serious crisis go to waste”? 

So why aren’t cell phones banned? The anti-gun mob is calling for an all-out ban on guns based on 56,000 injuries and deaths per year but 424,000 injuries and deaths are completely acceptable when it comes to texting and driving?

Where are the protests? Where are the marches? Where are the anti-cell phone lobbyists?

Why hasn’t Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Oprah Winfrey or any of the other liberal talking heads championed this cause and called for an all-out ban and confiscation of all cell phones and mobile devices when they are clearly killing and maiming nearly EIGHT TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE?

The answer is simple. Because gun control isn’t about guns. It’s about control.

A Solution No One Is Talking About?

Why are schools such juicy targets? Gun-free zones. Bad guys like to go where they are the least likely to be met with armed resistance.

And while the anti-gun mob will never acknowledge it out loud, everyone knows that the only real, viable deterrent to bad guys with guns are good guys with guns.

Depending on the source you check, there are about 98,000 public schools in the United States and about 500,000 unemployed veterans scattered across the country.

Every single Vet has had, at a minimum, rudimentary weapons training. And a large majority of unemployed vets held combat-related positions in the military that did not translate into comparable civilian jobs, a large majority of unemployed vets have advanced weapons training, not to mention extensive combat experience.

500,000 vets divided by 98,000 schools = 5 vets per school on average.

As part of President Trump’s $1 trillion 2018 infrastructure bill, why not terminate the notion of “Gun Free Zones” at public schools and carve out a budget that allocates about $375,000 per school for initial security setup which would include $50,000 annual pay x 5 unemployed vets (i.e. the new armed security guards) plus $125,000 for tactical training and weapons certification for the guards and concealed carry training and certification for any teacher that passes a federal background check and wishes to become concealed-carry certified and be part of a “minuteman militia” that could augment the armed security guards in case of emergencies.

The end result? No more school shootings because would-be shooters would never even consider approaching a stronghold of armed combat vets. Plus an improved economy by taking a half million unemployed vets and giving them good-paying, gainful employment and an improved national conscience that we are finally taking care of our unemployed vets in a meaningful way and at the same time, converting every one of our public schools into an armed deterrent for would-be bad guys so they never have to fall victim again.

The Texas Church Shooting; What We Know

VA Secretary: Texas church shooter is no veteran to me

Kelley killed 26 people on Sunday and wounded 20 more during his mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

He later took his own life after being shot at and pursued by two local residents.

Many people, including President Trump, …

Full NY Post article

Texas Gunman Broke Child’s Skull, Assaulted Wife, in Troubled Life Devin P. Kelley entered a rural Texas church with a  rifle, killing at least 26 people on Sunday, he led a deeply troubled life in which few in his path escaped unscathed.

In 2012, while stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New …

Read the full NY Times report

Texas church shooting: Latest investigation developments are continuing to investigate the mass shooting that left 26 dead and 20 others wounded after a gunman opened fire inside a South Texas church.

Authorities believe the shooting suspect, Devin Patrick Kelley, died of a self-inflicted gunshot …

CBS News story

Death sweeps across 3 generations of a single family gathered at Texas church the morning stretched to afternoon and evening, friends and family members in South Texas posted on Facebook, asking whether anyone had heard from their loved ones.

Joe and Claryce Holcombe first heard about the shooting an hour after it happened,

Get the full report on Washington Post

Northern Michigan couple among the victims in Texas church shooting COUNTY, Mich.,
Two northern Michigan natives are among the victims who died in the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Robert Corrigan and Shani Corrigan from Harrison were killed in the shooting that left 26 dead in …

Full article

‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’ Family of ‘Emanuel 9’ reacts to Texas church shooting spoke about his mother’s death at Emanuel AME Church just one day after the tragic shooting at the downtown Charleston sanctuary in 2015.

Chris Singleton is now commenting publicly once again about a deadly shooting inside a church. Singleton …

Full ABC News story

DEVELOPING: Mass shooting on Las Vegas Strip

UPDATE: 59 Killed, 500+ Injured

In an update to our initial report moments after the mass shooting began in Las Vegas wherein we quoted 2 killed and 24 injured, 12 critically, although media reporting varies on the numbers, at least 58 have died and more than 500+ were injured.

Mass shooting on Las Vegas Strip of patrol vehicles descended on the Strip after authorities received reports of an active shooter near the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

Some officers took cover behind their vehicles while others carrying assault rifles ran into the Mandalay Bay …

Developing story

2 dead, at least 20 wounded after shooting near Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas least two people were killed and multiple others were injured in a shooting near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Sunday, police said.

The Las Vegas Police Department said that “one suspect is down,” but it did not say if there …

Developing story