When Virginians’ unpaid bills, family crises or disputes with neighbors land them in one of the state’s lowest courts, almost none of them has the help of a lawyer, a study of state records found.And when they face off against a lawyer on the other side, the odds are heavily stacked against them, the study found.“Our lower courts are awash with unrepresented litigants,” John Whitfield, executive director of Blue Ridge Legal Services, told a special session of the Virginia Supreme Court Wednesday.The result, he said, is “a dysfunctional system.”Whitfield, working with the National Center for State Courts, analyzed records of civil cases in general district courts across Virginia.He said the results show a disconnect between what the legal system assumes about what happens in courts, and the day-in, day-out experience of tens of thousands of low-income Virginians.The study found hardly anyone sued in general district court — the courts where … [Read more...] about Tough odds for defendants in Virginia’s lowest courts
Court fees small claims
Sports News Entertainment Opinion 72° Full Menu 72° eEdition Customer Service Customer Service About Us Contact Us FAQ Advertise Place Classified Ad Display Advertising Stay Connected Mobile & Apps Facebook Twitter E-mail RSS Feeds My Subscription Activate Digital Subscription Manage Account Newsletters News News Local Crime Weather Education Marijuana California Nation/World Databases Special Reports Obituaries Death Notices Sports Sports High Schools Outdoors Grizzlies MLB NBA NFL College Columnists David White Politics Politics Elections Political Notebook Fresno State Bulldogs Fresno State Bulldogs Football Basketball Entertainment Entertainment Calendar Movies Movie Times Music TV Theater & Arts Comics Puzzles & Games Dine Out Peoples Choice Blogs & Columnists Beehive Rory Appleton Joshua Tehee Living Living Food & Drink Calendar … [Read more...] about Civil racketeering case can go forward against two law firms over disability claims
Last Updated Nov 2, 2009 8:47 PM EST This morning, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Jones v. Harris Associates. It's a case that could either fundamentally alter the mutual fund industry or strongly reinforce the status quo. It has attracted quite a bit of attention, including pieces in the op-ed pages of both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Why is it so important and why should you care? Let's take a look. The case concerns mutual fund expenses: whether or not mutual fund boards of directors are doing a sufficient job in representing the interests of investors in negotiating fees with fund managers, and what recourse investors have if they feel their interests are not being served. If the lower court's ruling is upheld, the Supreme Court will essentially be endorsing the current system, and fund shareholders will have little -- and perhaps zero -- chance of seeking redress through the court system. If the lower court's ruling is overturned, however, it could … [Read more...] about Fund Fight: Will the Supreme Court Save You Money?
Some noteworthy cases the Supreme Court will hear in its new term that begins Monday: -Affirmative action: In a case being heard for the second time, a white Texan who was rejected by the University of Texas is challenging the school's use of race among a range of factors in filling roughly one-quarter of incoming freshman classes. (Most slots are given to Texans who graduate in the top 10 percent or so of their high-school classes.) -Union fees: Labor unions representing government workers square off with opponents over whether the unions can collect mandatory fees from those who choose not to join. Unions argue they should be able to collect fees since all workers benefit from collective bargaining between the unions and governments. -One person, one vote: Two cases explore how states draw legislative districts to comply with the constitutional requirement of equal representation. A Texas case tests whether states must count all people, or just eligible voters, in drawing electoral … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo The Supreme Court’s notable cases in new term
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- With Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort for Thanksgiving, it isn’t the first time a president-elect has used Palm Beach as his vacation refuge. John Kennedy’s family estate, known during his term as the Winter White House, is seven miles north at the other end of Ocean Drive. Like Kennedy’s visits, Trump’s trips to Palm Beach will bring increased attention, some unwanted, to this wealthy enclave of about 10,000 people, a number that triples in the winter. The new president’s stays will also bring road closures and heightened security when the caravan of Secret Service agents, political aides, journalists and medical personnel arrives and departs Palm Beach. The community sits on a long, thin barrier island with narrow streets and only three bridges to the mainland. In 1960, a would-be assassin planned to kill Kennedy there. But unlike with Kennedy, the government will not have to build Trump a bomb shelter. He already has three. A … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Trump trips focus attention on small, wealthy Palm Beach
Equifax is facing new legal trouble over its massive security breach. The city of San Francisco is suing the credit reporting agency over the hack that exposed the personal information of 143 million Americans. That news follows the sudden retirement of the company's chief executive on Tuesday. If you're a victim of the Equifax hack, you may be eligible to be part of a class-action lawsuit, but a startup in San Francisco says it has a better idea: it'll help you with your own claim by taking Equifax to small claims court, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner. Equifax data breach and credit freeze: Beware these 3 scams Equifax hack victim Devin McGahey is a legal assistant, but even so, says he found the idea of going to small claims court against Equifax a little intimidating -- until he found the company Legalist. McGahey filed court papers already filled out by the company which also paid his $90 filing fee. "I thought that it was unique, I thought it was bold. I … [Read more...] about How a legal startup wants to bury Equifax in small claims
NEW YORK - The Supreme Court dealt Internet startup Aereo a major setback on Wednesday in ruling that the television-over-the-Internet service operates much like a cable TV company. As a result, the service violates copyright law unless Aereo pays broadcasters licensing fees for offering TV stations to customers' tablets, phones and other gadgets. Aereo was still operating Wednesday afternoon without paying such fees, as the U.S. District Court in New York must still implement the Supreme Court's findings. But Aereo's options are limited. The ruling may also affect other Internet services, though the Supreme Court did try to limit the scope of its decision. Here's a closer look at the ruling and what it means for Aereo and Internet users: Q: What does the ruling say? A: Aereo streams television shows to customers in New York and 10 other markets. It has claimed that the service is legal because each customer is temporarily assigned an individual antenna about the size of a dime, so … [Read more...] about What’s next for Aereo after Supreme Court ruling?
WILMINGTON, Del. - After a contentious legal battle and more than three years in bankruptcy, Washington Mutual Inc. on Friday won court approval of a reorganization plan. "It took three and a half years, but I think the result is remarkable and well worth it," said Judge Mary Walrath, who had twice rejected reorganization plans filed by Washington Mutual before giving her blessing to a revised plan Washington Mutual submitted in December. "I'm happy to confirm this plan," the judge added. "I thank all the parties for not giving up." Tug of war at the Federal ReserveMoody's bank downgrade threat: Yawn!States, banks near $25B foreclosure pact As with its earlier proposals, Washington Mutual's plan is based on WMI, JPMorgan Chase and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. settling lawsuits they filed against one another after the collapse of Seattle-based Washington Mutual Bank in 2008 and the sale of its assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $1.9 billion. It was the largest bank failure in … [Read more...] about Court approves WaMu bankruptcy plan
Last Updated Sep 28, 2009 1:57 PM EDT When a little white postcard from Bank of America arrives for my son, I shudder because I know what it is without opening it: another $39 overdraft fee from Bank of America. So far this year, he's piled up probably five or six. He's a college student and lives on a shoestring. But, thanks to overdraft fees, the shoestring has become a thread. Don't tell me he should be more responsible and keep better track of spending. That goes without saying -- and his dad and I have said it to him over and over in rants that contain lots of bleep-worthy words. But even I can understand that when you're out doing errands, using a debit card, it's not always knowable when the last pizza or mocha latte sends you into O.D. territory. And, if you buy a batch of items on the same afternoon, say, shaving cream at Walgreen's (2.29), tube socks at Target ($10.99) and a notebook at Staples ($3.79) for a total of $17.07, you can wind up with overdraft charges of $117. … [Read more...] about How to Avoid Those Nasty Bank Overdraft Fees
To the casual observer, the difference seems almost trivial. Imagine two mutual funds, identical in almost every way. They have the same management team, use identical investment strategies and even own the same securities in the same proportions. The only difference between them is that the "retail" fund charges a touch more -- less than four-tenths of a percentage point more -- in fees than the "institutional" fund. That seemingly incidental difference recently caught the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court, and it could well mean hundreds of millions of dollars to American savers. The court recently agreed to review the case of Tibble vs. Edison International and will hear oral arguments in February. "This will affect billions of dollars in retirement assets," says Jerome Schlichter, a St. Louis, Mo., attorney representing savers in the case against Edison International. "This is a very important case for workers and retirees." To understand what's at stake requires a little … [Read more...] about High court to weigh impact of fund fees