Is A Roth IRA Conversion Right For You?

Seacoast Online:  “The Roth IRA, originally established as an attractive retirement savings vehicle for middle-income Americans, had been out of reach to high-income earners until now. As of 2010, investors of any income can convert retirement plans and IRAs to Roth IRAs. This means that even high earners who convert to Roth IRAs will benefit from the tax-free withdrawal benefits the Roth IRA offers.

There is ample reason to consider a Roth conversion and to discuss this notion with your own tax adviser. Roth IRAs present certain advantages to eligible investors. The Roth affords eligible investors tax-free withdrawals, tax-free growth, no minimum distribution requirements and estate planning benefits.

So now that anyone can convert, does it make sense to convert pre-tax retirement plans to a Roth IRA?

By |April 18th, 2012|Retirement Planning|0 Comments

Arizona’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law

Yuma Sun:  “If you think the kind of incident that resulted in the death of a Florida teen cannot happen here, you’re wrong.

Arizona adopted its own “stand your ground” law two years ago. And not a single legislator spoke out against it at that time.

In fact, the change in the law was tacked on at nearly the last minute to another unrelated measure dealing with guns. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee approved it after just a 20-second promotion from a gun-rights lobbyist.

Dave Kopp of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, who provided that explanation, said nothing more was needed.

He noted that existing law already spelled out that people have no duty to retreat when confronted in their homes or their own vehicles. That concept is known as the “castle doctrine.”

“We believe that anyplace you have a legal right to be, you should be able to defend yourself without having to run away first,” Kopp told lawmakers.”

By |April 18th, 2012|Arizona Law, Arizona Legislation, Current Events|0 Comments

9th Circuit Strikes Parts of Arizona Voter ID Law

Yuma Sun:  “Arizona is entitled to demand that people present identification before being allowed to cast a ballot, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.  In a split decision, the judges rejected arguments that mandating would-be voters show a driver’s license or other identification unfairly discriminates against Latino voters. Judge Sandra Ikuta, writing for the majority, said while challengers made that claim, they failed to present any credible evidence.  The court also brushed aside arguments that the requirement to provide identification, approved by voters in 2004, amounts to a poll tax.  But the judges said the state cannot strictly enforce another provision in that 2004 initiative that requires anyone who wants to register to vote to first provide acceptable proof of citizenship.”

By |April 18th, 2012|Arizona Law, Arizona Legislation, Arizona Litigation|0 Comments

An Analysis of SB 1070 Arguments Before the Supreme Court

ABA Journal:  “Oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court’s October Term 2011 will end April 25 with one of the most important and politically controversial cases of the year: Arizona v. United States. The issue before the court is whether key provisions of Arizona’s statute SB 1070—which calls on state and local law enforcement to aggressively enforce federal immigration laws—are preempted by federal law. The case poses basic questions about the allocation of power between federal and state governments and does so in a context that arouses deep emotion on both sides.

In 2010, Arizona adopted SB 1070, titled, “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.” It sought to use the resources of Arizona state and local governments to help control illegal immigration. Its preamble states that its purpose is to make “attrition [of undocumented aliens] through enforcement the public policy of all state and local governments in Arizona.””

By |April 18th, 2012|Arizona Law, US Law|0 Comments

Mark Zuckerberg Negotiated Instagram Deal Without Lawyers

ABA Journal:  “Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg feared Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom would be put off if he approached him through lawyers.

On April 5, Zuckerberg picked up the phone himself to call Systrom about buying the photo sharing service, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. In three days of meetings in Zuckerberg’s home, the two men agreed on a $1 billion price. Lawyers and Facebook board members were not part of the process, sources tell the newspaper.”

By |April 18th, 2012|Current Events|0 Comments

Phoenix Ranked 22nd out of 150 Cities For Online Fraud

Based on a sample of nearly one billion transactions selected by U.S.-based e-commerce merchants and a review of online activity for the first quarter of 2012, ThreatMetrix ranked Phoenix No.22 when it comes to online fraud.  Read more…

By |April 17th, 2012|Internet & Computer Law|0 Comments

Short Sales and Foreclosures Up in East Valley

According to new figures released by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service Inc., areas like Mesa and Scottsdale saw increased foreclosure and short sale activity in the month of March.

By |April 17th, 2012|General|0 Comments

Is The Global Housing Market Due For Correction?

According to Arizona based consultant Ben Jones, countries like China and Canada could be in for a housing market correction that could shake the globe.

By |April 17th, 2012|General|0 Comments

Low Income Housing Tax Credit May Be Facing The Axe

Budget cutting in Congress could lead to the elimination of the low income housing tax credit.

By |April 17th, 2012|General|0 Comments

No Criminal Charges Filed by Justice Department after $1.2 Billion Stolen from MF Global Investors, but It is Prosecuting Woman Who Alledgedly Harassed Whales

Did you know the Department of Justice has the whale police?  I didn’t until I read this story called “Corzine Steals Billions Sans Charges, Errant Whale Watcher Faces Prison.”  Instead of prosecuting the people who stole money from MF Global investors or the  people in the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol Firearms and Tobacco who approved and carried out the Fast & Furious plan to violate federal criminal law and sell guns to the Mexican drug cartels, the DOJ is wasting taxpayer dollars prosecuting a woman investigated for harassing whales.  Yes, really.

“marine biologist and whale watching ship captain Nancy Black faces 20 years in prison, not for ‘harassing’ whales (which believe it or not is a crime), but because she has been charged with lying to Justice Department prosecutors investing allegations that some of her crew members whistled at a whale to keep it hanging around their boats. . . . Section 1001 charges are both entirely discretionary and subsidiary to any primary charges, making every indictment an act of selective prosecution. In fact, Section 1001 prosecutions are so selective that primary charges are not even necessary, meaning you can go to jail even if there is no underlying crime. Ask Martha Stewart about that.”

Title 18, Section 1001(a) of the United States Code states:

“whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.”

The reference above to Martha Stewart refers to the fact she was investigated for possible insider trading, but was never charged with that crime.  Instead, she was charged and convicted of the felony of lying to federal agents.

By |April 17th, 2012|Loss of Freedom, You Can't Make This Up|0 Comments