Attorneys’ Fees in Class Action Lawsuits

Class-action lawsuits are created to protect consumers who were in some way defrauded out of money from some company that was providing products or services (or were believed to be).

A small team of lawyers stand in court representing the interests of thousands or millions of consumers to achieve a win in the millions of dollars, which of course is supposed to be distributed to all members of the class that brought the lawsuit.

After months or even years of billable hours working this case through, and the win is finally achieved, how do the attorneys get paid at the end?

Very well, it turns out.

A recent study found that attorneys get paid the lion’s share of class-action money, from as little as 85 percent of the amount to as much as more than 99 percent.

Yes, that’s right – for all the class-action cases that we hear about multi-million awards to those who were wronged, those who were wronged are actually paid very little if anything at all. The millions mentioned in the media end up in the pockets of the attorneys – on both sides of the case.

Very few cases ever go to trial, as it makes sense for lawyers to go ahead and settle since they will get most of the money anyway. And in some way lawyers on both sides get paid regardless if the case goes in favor of one side or the other, and a settlement will often account for payment of two sets of attorneys. Even if defendants lose the large majority of these kinds of cases, they never fail to get paid for their work.

Generally, most class-action gcases pay out attorney fees out of the compensation award given to the class is what is called a “common fund.” Judges presiding over a common-law case usually approve the compensatory amount, and it’s usually around 25-33 percent of the totoal award. However, the reason that class members don’t get to distribute 75 percent of the award is because that 25-percent fee applies to each attorney that represents the class. And not many class-action suits feature a single attorney.

There are instances, however, when a court will require the losing side to pay the attorney’s fees for the winning side, which does mitigate the costs that come out of the “common fund.” It is a good idea to find out how attorneys will be paid if you are considering being part of a class-action lawsuit. How payment will be made will likely determine how much compensation the class will actually get in relation to that which each member lost in the first place.

Many law firms make a living on class-action lawsuits. They can put in the work of one client and yet represent thousands or millions of class members, work out a multi-million-dollar award and likely never have to set foot in a trial proceeding.  Class-actions can be a lucrative way to make profit in a law practice, thought it would be best to ensure an ethical way of getting paid so the members of the class get the compensation due them – after all, without those class members, you wouldn’t have an award originally.


Do You Need An Estate Plan For Your Personal Injury Settlement?

Answering this question is complicated because it really depends on what is best for your personal situation and only you will know what’s best for you–with some guidance from a qualified legal expert of course. If you were the recipient of a sizable personal injury settlement and are not quite sure how to proceed when deciding on estate plan options, then call an experienced estate planning firm for help. That’s always the first step.

The reason one might ask whether an estate plan is necessary after receiving a personal injury settlement is simple enough: such an injection of cash can affect the assets you already have, and it can definitely impact how you might like to split them up in the event of your death.

If your estate is on the smaller end, you might find yourself exempt from state and federal taxes. If that estate exceeds $5.49 million (as of 2017), then you have to send away a fair portion to Uncle Sam’s Federal Treasury and require a plan. If your personal injury settlement pushes you beyond that exemption cap, then your financial situation has changed enough that you must update your estate plan to reflect the greater amount of money. Depending on the state in which you live, you might owe a little more on top of that. Such is the price of freedom.

Part of estate planning is knowing exactly what your assets are versus how your regular expenses affect those assets. If you were injured as the result of an accident and then compensated for that accident, then there is the likely possibility that your expenses (such as medical bills) have changed as a result. Your estate plan needs to be updated.

Of course, if you’ve acquired any amount of money for any reason, then you may want to change how you invest your current and future assets. The richer you are, the easier more wealth is to achieve (as they say). An estate planning expert can help explain the value of adjusting your finances in order to gain more and spend less.

After all is said and done, the reasons behind your personal injury settlement may affect the status of your estate as well. If you were permanently disabled, then perhaps someone else might be better suited to making decisions on your behalf. You may need to rethink your last will and testament, and power of attorney, among other things.

Some of these decisions are mandatory, and changes must be made to your estate plan as the result of your personal injury settlement. Other decisions are optional, and how best to proceed is entirely up to you. No matter what you decide, your assets will be in good hands with the help of proper legal counsel. Be sure that the ins and outs of estate planning have been properly explained to you before you decide on any course of action, and know that you can distribute your assets with confidence after that is done.

What Is Estate Tax Planning And Do I Need It?

Most people do not require the type of estate tax planning that wealthier folks must consider as they age, but everyone could stand to benefit in one way or another. Estate tax planning is the process of juggling assets to prepare oneself for the eventual division of those assets once the owner is deceased. Part of estate planning is drafting a last will and testament, deciding on power of attorney, keeping track of assets and expenditures in order to pay state and federal taxes, and also deciding who gets what when you pass away.

There are other matters that may need attending, but any legal expert you hire will provide you with insight into which matters are relevant to your estate. These are not always easy decisions, but that does not mean they have to be incredibly difficult. With the right plan and the right help, estate tax planning can be a walk in the park.

As with most everything related to taxation in the great United States of America, there are loopholes that can help you avoid paying more than you have to when it’s time to divide your assets. Normally, smaller estates are completely exempt from both state and federal estate taxes, and some states don’t have any estate taxes, to begin with. If your estate is valued under $5.49 million, then you likely do not owe anything. If your estate is worth more, there are a few things you can do.

An estate planning law firm will explain in greater detail, but for now, you should know that making gifts to a husband or wife can help alleviate eventual taxes. So can making similar gifts to other family members before your death, or even donating to charity. A sneaky life insurance policy can diminish the taxation as well. If all else fails, you can place some of your assets into a trust.

Then again, if you want to stiff Uncle Sam completely, you could just preplan the biggest funeral bash that anyone ever had. Funeral expenses are deducted from your gross estate, as are administration expenses, claims, or unpaid mortgages.

One of the biggest issues that arise from estate tax planning is how complex the tax code itself is–even the IRS has said as much. Yes, tax code, in general, is complex, but estate tax code is even more complex. That’s why finding a qualified estate planning expert is so important to the future of your assets. You might find yourself saving a considerable amount of cash down the line with a phone call or two.

Obviously, you make your own choices. If you fail to draft the documents made up as a result of estate planning, the government will swoop in and take all it can, leaving your friends and family with less than their fair share of inheritance while they curse your name. Whether you want that to happen is completely up to you.

Will I Need To File Income Taxes?

Believe it or not, not everyone has to file income taxes for each year. Generally speaking, if you have a total income for the year that does not exceed what the standard deduction is plus a single exemption, and you are not another taxpayer’s dependent, you are not obligated to file your federal income tax return. You should also know that the amount of income that you are able to earn before you need to file a return will also depend on your age, the kind of income, and what your filing status is.

Every taxpayer is eligible to claim what is known as the standard deduction. If they are not the dependent for another taxpayer, they will also be able to claim one exemption along with the. The amounts for the deduction and the exemptions are at a fixed rate set out by the federal government prior to the tax filing season, generally increasing for inflation purposes each year.

Someone who is at least 65 years of age or older and receiving social security during the year will be subject to the same requirements for filing as another taxpayer. the exception will be if you are married and filing a separate tax return than your spouse that you resided with during that year.

Any taxpayer that is claimed on someone else’s return as a dependent will be subject the filing, whether it be a child or adult. A dependent is not able to claim an exemption of their own, so a tax return will be necessary if they have earned income that is greater than the standard deduction of a single taxpayer.

If you have any questions as to whether or not you have to file income taxes for the upcoming year, you can consult an LA tax professional law office to give you some insight.

Do You Need To File Business Taxes?

If you have a business then yes you need to file taxes. This really depends on where you live and what you are doing as business but you usually do have to pay some form of taxes to operate in an area. Here is more on the matter.

You are going to have to file an annual tax return if you have a business. Any business is going to have to pay this kind of thing if they want to keep operating in an area. This really depends on where your company is located and where it operates out of. If you have any people that are working under you in the United States, for instance, then you need to pay taxes on your business and each employee is going to have to pay their share of taxes.

You need to hire a business tax expert if you want to make sure that you are paying everything on time in the right amount. If you are not smart about this than you may regret it later because you will have to pay more in fines than you owed in taxes. Plus you’ll have to pay what you have in back taxes back to the government. If your business is doing well then this may not be that big of a deal but if you’re not doing that well then you could lose all that you have invested in your business if you don’t pay your taxes on time or in the right amount.

Do you need to file business taxes? Now you know the answer to your question and you can get started with taxes if you have a company. It is important that you pay them on time and that you pay the right amount or else you could regret it later.

What’s The FDIC?

While plenty of people have heard of the FDIC, there are a lot of people that don’t know what it actually is. FDIC stands for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It’s a government-run organization that provides deposit insurance to the customers of US banks.

Why Was The FDIC Created?

After the Great Depression, a lot of people lost trust in American banks. The FDIC was created to restore the trust that was lost. Because of this organization, people knew that any money they deposited would be safe and secure.

How Does The Deposit Insurance The FDIC Provides Works?

If a bank is unable to give a customer their money, the FDIC can ensure that the customer receives the money that they are owed. That money comes from the Deposit Insurance Fund. The current balance is mandated to be 1.15% of the total insured deposits.

The FDIC is backed by the United States government. This means that both the deposit fund and government resources stand behind depositors. When you have insurance through the FDIC, your money is completely safe.

What Kinds Of Banks Can Receive FDIC Insurance?

Not every bank is eligible to receive FDIC insurance. Banks must classify as either well capitalized or adequately capitalized if they want to receive the benefits of this insurance. If a bank’s funds drop below a certain point, they will be place on a problem list. If a bank’s capitalization level reaches a critical point, the bank can be taken over by the FDIC.

If you’re going to be keeping your money in a bank, you will want to learn more about the FDIC and the insurance that it provides. After all, this deposit insurance is what will keep you safe if your bank becomes insolvent. The FDIC is great for banks and their customers. Check out their website.

What Is The SEC (Securities And Exchange Commission)?

The SEC, or U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is an independent agency within the federal government with a mission to protect American investors, to facilitate information on capital, and to make sure that the securities markets are being maintained in an orderly and fair fashion.

In the years following the October 1929 stock market crash, the public confidence in the U.S. markets was shattered. In order to shore up the economy, Congress passed the Securities Act of 1933, during the height of the Great Depression. Then in 1934 it passed the Securities Exchange Act, in the hope that this new regulatory agency, with its checks and balances, would restore the faith of the American people in the U.S. markets.

The SEC was the first federal regulator of the American securities markets. It protects investors against any kind of manipulation or fraud in the market, monitors corporate takeovers of U.S. companies, and encourages full disclosure to the public in securities market matters.

Any securities offered through the mail, through interstate commerce, or on the internet must be registered through the SEC first, before they can be offered to investors. Any financial services firms must register with the SEC as well, in order to conduct business. This includes any advisory firms, asset managers, broker-dealers, or the professional representatives of such entities.

Investors can gain access to periodic financial reports, registration statements, and many other securities forms through the SEC’s comprehensive database. If a citizen has knowledge of any kind of unfair or fraudulent market activities going on, they can report such activities to the SEC, which will then undertake an investigation regarding the allegations.

The SEC has many regulations and securities rules established, in order to maintain fair dealings within the securities markets and protect investors against fraud. By promoting the full disclosure of market-related information, the SEC hopes to curtail any potential fraud and help keep the investments of American citizens safe.

All About Banking And Finance Law

Today we will talk about what banking and finance laws are and how they impact us. The first thing we will cover is the banking side of things. These laws that are set in place in both state and federal laws are strict rules that dictate how the banks and other financial institutions must set rates and much more. These type of laws are responsible for the rate of interest you may acquire as well as the amount of debt you may acquire for money loaned.

The next part of business these types of laws are imposed on are the stock market and the rate of how much stocks are worth. For example, they set in place how much you may be allowed to invest for how much of a potential return. This is one of the ways they keep the corporations’ best interests in mind. They also help to keep the investments and other money secure. They have very strict laws in place to keep security at the highest level at all times, and at all levels. Some of the things they directly or indirectly influence are bankruptcy law, tax law, and others that deal with financial issues in general.

In conclusion, these laws are heavily enforced whether at the state or federal level. If you would like to learn more we suggest going online to see how the laws and rules may differ in your area. Due to the high level of security, they do differ from place to place. Many government websites have this information available as well as books that can be read to expand knowledge on these laws. We hope that this article helps and Randy’s website you to make an educated decision on any and all financial ventures you will be dealing with now or in the future.

What’s Wage And Hour Law?

Anyone that has a job needs to be aware of their rights. There are laws that exist to protect you. If you know what your rights are, you’ll be able to handle rights violations.

If you want to learn more, there are questions you’ll have to start asking yourself. What is wage and hour law? If you’re curious about these laws, you’ll find the answers you need below.

Wage Laws

Employers must follow federal minimum wage laws when paying their employees. They must also follow the wage laws in their state. At the time of writing, federal minimum wage is $7.25. Some states, like Washington and Oregon, have a higher minimum wage. In Washington, the minimum wage is set at $9.19.

There are some exceptions to wage laws. For example, if an employee receives tips, their employer may be able to pay them a lower hourly wage. With that said, their total hourly income must be equal to their state’s minimum wage. If an employee makes less than that, their employer must make up the difference.

Hour Laws

If an employee works more than 40 hours in a week, their employer will have to pay them overtime wages. In most states, overtime wages are set as time and a half. If an employee is normally paid $10 an hour, overtime wages would be set at $15 an hour.

In many states, employers also have to pay overtime wages if an employee is asked to work on a federal holiday. You should read up on the wage laws in your state.

It’s a good idea to learn more about federal wage and hour laws. You should also read up on the wage and hour laws in your state. If your employer is not paying you what you are entitled to, you should speak to a lawyer.

Why Do Traffic Tickets Have Surcharges?

Receiving a traffic ticket can be incredibly stressful. Seeing a surcharge on your ticket can make things even worse. Having to pay a traffic ticket is already frustrating. A surcharge will require you to pay even more.

Why do tickets have surcharges? Keep reading if you want to learn more about surcharges and why they exist.

Surcharges Are A Way To Earn Revenue

States, cities, and counties all need to bring in revenue. However, people usually respond negatively to an increase in taxes. That’s why officials often use traffic tickets to bring in the revenue that they need.

People are issued traffic tickets all the time. If a surcharge is added to the ticket, more revenue will be brought in.

Surcharges Can Be More Than The Ticket Cost

Are you shocked by the high surcharge on your ticket? Surcharges aren’t always small; they can be quite high. In some cases, the surcharge may actually be greater than the cost of the ticket. It’s typically to see surcharges of about $50 per ticket, in New York about $88. A surcharge like this can double the cost of a ticket.

Surcharges Have Nothing To Do With Your Behavior

A lot of people assume that the surcharge on their ticket is because of your behavior. However, these charges can appear on any traffic ticket. Surcharges are about your location, not about the way you behaved.

If an officer doesn’t like your tone of voice, they’re not going to add a surcharge to your ticket. Surcharges are about increasing revenue; they aren’t about punishing you for your behavior.

It’s not unusual to see a surcharge on a traffic ticket. These charges appear on traffic tickets in many areas. Now that you know more about surcharges, you’ll be fully prepared. Whether you’re going to fight your traffic ticket or pay it in full, you know what to expect.