Friday, March 20, 2009

Do you want to be a lawyer?

The National Conference of Bar Examiners has made the 2009 edition of Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements available for free download at

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

IRS guidance on recovering taxes on false Ponzi profits

The IRS has issued rules which offer some relief for victims of the Bernard Madoff swindle and other like schemes. Although full recovery of losses isn't expected, taxpayers will be able to claim money lost as "theft losses" rather than regular investment losses. The rules apply to cases where the authorities have alleged fraud. Taxpayers can deduct 95% of their net investment minus any recoveries made through the other sources.
According to the commissioner "the investor generally can claim a theft loss deduction not only for the net amount invested, but also for the so-called “fictitious income” that the promoter of the scheme credited to the investor’s account and on which the investor reported as income on his or her tax returns for years prior to discovery of the theft."
Taxpayes will not be able to amend prior tax returns.
The Commissioner's comments which are on the web summarize the the rules here. The revenue ruling is available as well as the revenue procedure.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Free Program for Probate and Family Court Litigants

Going to court for the first time can be a little overwhelming. Help is at hand for anyone with a case pending in the Norfolk County Probate and Family Court, or anyone who is contemplating such an action. The Probate and Family Court has announced a monthly program that will help litigants understand the process of maneuvering through the court. The next session is April 29, 2009. This is being billed as a pilot program so hopefully they will expand to other counties if this program is successful. Staff members from our Norfolk Law Library will be among the presenters. According to the press release,

"'Navigation Through the Probate and Family Court' is an educational program being presented by staff and others partnering with the Norfolk Probate and Family Court, including the Norfolk Law Library. Basic information regarding the Probate and Family Court process will be presented, followed by a general question and answer period. Topics will include, but not be limited to: court protocol, basic filing information, services available, resources, how and where to obtain legal assistance and the limitations of the court. The Program will take place the last Wednesday of each month beginning March 25, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. and should run approximately 1 ½ hours. The location for at least the first six (6) meetings will be Canton High School, 990 Washington Street, Canton MA."

Monday, March 09, 2009

Mass. AG Opinions 1832-1989 Available

The Massachusetts State Library has provided access to Attorney General Opinions and Reports 1832-1989 through the Internet Archive. Their State Documents Online lists many other collections of government documents available online. Our thanks to the state library for providing easy access to so much information!