Credit Debt Settlement Act – How New Federal Laws Help You Legally Eliminate Debt

Credit debt settlement act was announced for two reasons: the government did not want their efforts to fail and the government wanted to stabilize the economy with the help of liability settlement. Credit debt settlement act changed the entire environment of the industry. It did not only alter the illegal side; it also altered the legal area of the industry. The effects of this act are:

1. All the legal firms started facing losses as they were not able to continue with illegal work. Huge population of the illegal firms left the industry and those remaining are expected to leave soon.

2. The legal firms which were shadowed due to illegal firms have started to show up. The number of legal firms have increased and the competition to become the best and the most legitimate firm is intense. The consumers are spending less efforts and time on locating legitimate service providers; they are giving more time to look for the best firms in the business. Those who do not have the ability to hire the best are getting legal services.

3. The legal environment was very lazy and ineffective when the act was not passed. Now the legal firms have started working hard and they are producing efficient and effective results. They are trying to get the best deals and they are aware that if they do not work hard and obtain quality results then they will not be paid a penny. They have even started charging low fees in order to get more and more clients. The best in the business have lost their competitive advantage and are working hard. The number of people getting relaxation from liability has increased.

4. Due to changes in the legal environment; the economy and the creditors have benefits. The creditors are recovering money at good speed and they have increased the level of lending. They are making more profits and recovering losses faced due to insolvency.

5. As the lenders have started lending more; the investments in the country have even increased and new businesses have opened up and people are successfully getting employed. People now have a clear mind to make decisions and with their qualitative decisions they are helping the economy.

You should now stop ignoring your liability issues; get them solved by a liability negotiation program and help the country in achieving economic growth. You can aid a lot of people with your positive decisions.

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Bringing Legal Into Strategy Development – A New Blue Ocean?

Bringing legal expertise into business strategy development is the natural conclusion of the process which I have advocated of lawyers to becoming more nuanced and practical business advisors.

In fact, all three topics lie along a spectrum, beginning with practicing law better at one end, moving through those business models that deliver low-level legal services with minimal input from mainstream law firms, and arriving at a the other end of the spectrum where lawyers give high value, and value-creating, strategic advice about the direction of a business long before there are any problems to be resolved.

The keepers of the business strategy profession are largely found in the management consulting industry-firms like McKinsey, Bain, and Accenture. Some of these firms developed out of the accounting profession (moving up the value chain into high-level advisory businesses in the same way that I have suggested should apply to the legal profession), and in the world of modern management consulting the legal environment is merely part of the tableau upon which a business strategy is built.

However, there are many situations in which the legal environment is not static but variable, and wherever this is true then legal is a variable that can be managed just like any other business variable. For example, in any case where a firm is involved in litigation which is significant relative to the size of the firm (“bet-the-company” litigation), or in absolute terms, such as Microsoft’s battles with the EU Competition Tribunal, then the legal environment should be considered as part of a business’ overall strategy-how could such a firm development its strategy without talking about the elephant in the room?

Furthermore, there are many fields of law in which the legal environment is fundamental to the business environment of a company:

• Tax
• Contracts
• Intellectual Property-trade marks, patents, copyright
• Competition, including merger review (Anti-Trust in the United States)
• Securities
• Corporate Governance
• Bankruptcy and restructuring
• Consumer Protection, Privacy, and Data Protection
• Product Liability
• Sector-specific regulation-e.g. food, medical & drug, energy, telecoms, transportation, professional services
• Labour and Employment

This means that no business strategy development process can be complete without incorporating legal strategy. However, business schools generally teach very little about the law, and for reasons that we will try to explore in later articles, legal as a function in a company is mostly left out of the strategy development process; the McKinsey Quarterly for example studies neither legal as a function nor professional services as an industry, and a search for “legal strategy” reveals almost nothing.

This is a blue ocean topic that has the potential to create significant competitive advantage. In the world of business academia, it falls into the larger class of “non-market strategies”, and some business schools do now touch on legal strategy in this larger context. However there are very few references or studies available which are focused on the relationship between legal and business strategy. The only text which takes on the topic squarely is Wharton professor Richard Shell’s 2004 Make the Rules or Your Rivals Will, which is full of cases where legal strategy made an impact on business strategy, from the foundation of the Ford Motor Company to Bill Gates’ battles with American anti-trust regulators.

The books is somewhat litigation-centric and begins by roughly recasting Michael Porter’s famous Five Forces model of the competitive environment of business into a model that attempts to predict the result of major litigation by assessing:

(i) the merits of the case,
(ii) resources of the parties,
(iii) public legitimacy of the parties,
(iv) access to decision makers or home turf advantage, and
(v) the strategic position of the parties in the market.

This is fine for what it is, and Shell then goes on and organizes a wide array of the relevant stories he has collected into classes of business strategy moves such as blocking new entrants or locking in customers.

A key goal of this Journal is to develop an analytical framework for this topic which will help to identify which fields are most likely to reveal opportunities for business strategy innovation, when and why.

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The Legal Environments

Firms, as societal entities, operate in particular economic, political, and legal environments. The legal environment is a result of legislative intervention by the government (state) and the positive practices that are recognized and sanctioned by the positive law. Historically, the legal environment has usually been nationally defined, although scholars have tried to group legal systems into various groups, based on their similarities and dissimilarities.

A student of this topic would usually argue that there are two basic groups of legal systems, which traditionally have been opposed: the Anglo-Saxon (Anglo-American) model and the continental European law. However, although both main systems of law may have their distinctive features listed, in fact there are far too many convergences in recent times. In the past the common law (Anglo-Saxon) model would be predominantly based on the precedents, and the continental European law would be primarily based on the codifications.

But, there is ever-increasing legislative activity in the Anglo-Saxon countries, with a number of codifications taking place as judiciary may uphold the consistency of court practice. In either system, a judge may take a stance to create a precedent, but the sources of precedent would differ significantly. Growing empirical literature has attempted to prove the overall superiority of the Anglo-Saxon model. Although it is evident that economies of Anglo-Saxon countries may be doing comparatively better than the others in the long run, it is not empirically corroborated that the growth sustained over a period of time may be directly attributed to the features of the legal system (legal environment).

Legal systems, although they may be classified into larger groups, are basically heavily influenced by national colors and experiences of legal development, especially in revolutionary environments (when there is abrupt change in the development). Scholars studying legal environments would focus more, nowadays, on judiciary independence from the state and the politicians. It is believed that if the judiciary protects consistently property rights, even from the state, the results of development will be better, and in the case-law system, judges historically have been more prone to uphold the sanctity of private property rights.

Ex post judging is far better in responding to local information, rather than the application of abstract law, regulating the principles. However, increasingly the common law countries are resorting to promulgating laws and codices, in order to better capture different areas of law. In the United States, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is probably the best example. The growth in legislative activity may also be seen as a sign of upcoming struggle between judiciary and legislative power for predominant societal influence. Most recently the discussion on “political delegation” would suggest that it is necessary to subsume, at least formally, all institutions of the state to the highest democratically elected body in the country (assembly, parliament, etc.), although that body is controlled exclusively by the politicians.

The literature has also defined a common law system as one in which judges exercise discretion to decide cases in independent and/or adaptive lawmaking ways, while in continental European countries the state would control judicial outcomes and the content of law as well. The basic premise of change between the two wider legal groups has been the perception as to what extent the judicial practice may influence the future legal decision taken by the court. It is a fact that in Anglo-Saxon countries precedents are a source of law and they have to be regarded in the future when the act is required in a similar situation. However, although in the continental European legal system judiciary practice is not a formal source of law, judges take into consideration the prior practice in order to ensure consistency in acting in the court and the country.

In comparative law, the literature is quite often focused on a set of five parameters, like (1) judicial incentives; (2) exogenous legal human capital; (3) the processing of litigant information into judicial error-reducing legal human capital; (4) the cost of producing evidence and legal arguments; and (5) the penalties (damages) levied in adjudication. Judicial incentives may be influenced by the way their independence is defined. Often in the analysis judicial independence features highly, especially as it is believed to be an important feature of the Anglo-Saxon model, which contributed to its better results. In the U.S. model, over 80 percent of serving judges are subject to some kind of election, reelection, or recall voting.

But even in the United States the upper echelons of judiciary are dependent on politicians who decide on their promotion to the highest offices. Similarly, in the continental European countries, the government may have a strong say in appointment of judges, especially in the case of higher courts. However, the very path of professional progression differs between European (especially French) and U.S. judges. In Europe, judges are often career civil servants, who have opted for the judiciary profession almost immediately upon graduation from the university; in the United States, judges are appointed from among practicing lawyers who have had more than 10 years of professional experience.

Comparative analysis of independence has shown more than a puzzle-judges should be independent, but the question is from whom? And, if one is independent, does it mean that he or she is also unbiased (objective)? Often it is assumed that judges, if not appointed by the government directly, will be critical of the government and look at the breaking of law made by the government in an unbiased manner. However, empirical research does not corroborate this claim. Some judges are more independent and unbiased in the way they operate than others, but it cannot be generalized as to what contributes to that. Another important feature is the relationship between precedents and statutes.

Anglo-Saxon law is believed to be based on a set of more or less harmonious precedents (stare decisis), while the continental European legal practices are based on the interpretation of law and the application of the abstract legal (statutory) rule to a concrete situation. However, even in the latter case there is a high level of consistency in judiciary practices, as the higher courts have the right of cassation and therefore for the performance of judges it is important that their decisions not be annulled and/or modified by the higher court. Therefore, even in the continental European legal systems, court practices are consistent, that is, jurisprudence constante.

At the far end, the issue is primarily behavioral-whether the judges will be expansive or rather conservative (narrow) in their apprehension of laws. Some recent empirical research has clearly shown consistency of judicial behavior across various systems. However, de jure legal practice is not a formal source of law in continental European legal systems, but, as already pointed out, will be seriously considered in the process of application of law. In both systems the vast majority of judges will opt not to rock the boat.

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How The Legal Environment Can Affect Your Home Business

Legal environment simply means a set of rules and regulations that govern doing business in a given country. These rules and regulations vary from country to country. As home business owner, you need to know how the legal aspects that govern the type of business you are involved in affect you. They may positively or negatively affect your business. How knowledgeable are you about the legal aspects pertaining to starting and running a business in your country?

If you have never bothered to find out about the legal environment in which you operate and how it can impact on your business, it’s important that you try to know how the law affects your business at every stage of its development before it’s too late. And if you intend to start a business, some of the things to give first priority are the legalities involved in running a business in your marketplace. If you are finding it difficult, then I recommend you seek the services of an expert in this area to help you.

In this article, I would like to share with you some of the things to focus on under legal environment, which include the following:

1. The law of ownership

The law of ownership refers to who owns what type of business in a given country. If you want to start a business, you need to learn who owns what and what the law says on the type of business you want to start. The law affects the type of business you want to set up. For instance, in some developing countries particularly, there may be rules that necessitate the local people to own a certain percentage of a foreign business or its subsidiary.

2. Taxation laws

Understanding the legal environment in the area of taxation and how it affects your business is very important to you. Laws are used to encourage or discourage certain activities or businesses. For example, in most countries, there is no tax levied on people who earn income from online home businesses. But if an internet sales tax is introduced in your respective country, probably most affiliate marketers may pull out of business. If not, their earnings may be affected substantially, making it difficult to sustain their online businesses.

In another related example, if the amount of tax levied on, say, agricultural exports is reduced, you may be encouraged to export more products in other countries. Changes in taxation laws can either boost your business or discourage you in the business you are doing.

3. Use of trademarks, copyrights and patents

A trademark can be defined as the legal protection given to a product. It’s a word or set of words, a design which helps to recognize or identify the source of goods of one party from those of others. For instance, if you have been doing business under certain name and brand, you can claim trademark over that name and brand image by registering it. This enables you to prevent competitors from copying your product.

On the other hand, copyrights are meant to protect the intellectual property like writings, discoveries, designs, music and art to mention but a few. While copyrights protect expression of an idea, patents protect the idea itself. The owner of the copyright has exclusive rights to use his works in the way he wants. But ownership of copyrights can be transferred to other people.

Knowing how trademarks, copyrights and patents work is important so that you can legally protect your products and works from being copied. Secondly, it helps you to avoid falling prey to problems you may encounter when you violate these laws.

4. Understanding the minimum standards

As a business owner, you need to know some of the minimum technical standards you should meet when doing your business. For instance, flowers should be fresh before they are accepted where they are exported. That’s a minimum standard. Failure to meet the minimum standards may lead to failure to succeed in business. You should therefore try to find out the minimum stands required to remain in any business you intend to start or you are already doing.

Lastly, knowing the legal environment in which you operate is important and should be given primary attention if you really want to succeed in your business. Get to know what legal aspects affect your business and how to go about the legalities involved in doing business.

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