The New York Times recently ran a couple of articles that highlight current changes in the practice of law. One article discussed the use of analytical computer tools to simplify discovery in complex litigation. Rather than firms having to dispatch an auditorium full of young associates to wade through mountains of documents, firms can now set specific search parameters and isolate relevant documents and phrases more quickly and more cheaply. The other article noted that law school applications are down more than 12% from last year, with the number of people sitting for the LSAT down more than 16%. The article suggests that a dawning recognition that law school is not a quick path to riches accounts for this decline.

Continue Reading The Little Big Law Firms

One of the least-appreciated characteristics of legal work is that it is constantly changing. The rock-solid precedent that forms the foundation of an attorney’s finest argument can melt into air with the stroke of an appellate court’s pen. Less dramatically, courts constantly refine their precedent by issuing new opinions that take a new look at well-settled issues. And sometimes, the law simply outgrows the judicial box in which it is placed.

Continue Reading The End of Three-Days’ Grace?

Your Very Own Wikileaks Scandal

Prior to the tragic shooting in Arizona, the airwaves were dominated with the Wikileaks saga, and the brouhaha caused by the release of classified diplomatic cables. The real damage caused by the leaked cables does not appear to be the unmasking of top secret, cloak-and-dagger spy novel stuff. The damage, it appears, is that other nations suddenly became privvy to what our government and our diplomatic officers think about them.

Continue Reading Your Very Own Wikileaks Scandal

The Local Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Court of the Virgin Islands require that litigants exclude or redact "personal data identifiers from all documents filed with the Court, including exhibits[.]" LRCi 5.4(l)(1). The list of personal data identifiers to be redacted includes "financial account numbers." LRCi 5.4(l)(1)(D). The Rule is silent on whether redaction is necessary for information that has already been made public.

Continue Reading Does Redacting Public Documents Make Sense?

On December 1, 2010, the new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect. One recipient of the Advisory Committee’s ministrations was Rule 56, which received its most thorough overhaul since the rule was first drafted in 1938.

Continue Reading The Short, Happy Life of the 21-Day Period for Responding to Motions for Summary Judgment

One of the areas of practice for BoltNagi PC is commercial and residential mortgage foreclosure law.  Although the substantive law governing commercial and residential mortgage foreclosures is virtually identical, commercial borrowers have an important advantage over residential borrowers:  If a commercial borrower is facing foreclosure, it can seek out new investors or a “white knight” to get it out of trouble.  Residential borrowers don’t generally have that option.

Continue Reading “White Knights” for Residential Mortgage Workouts

A recent decision by the United States Supreme Court has resolved a long-standing ambiguity in the statutory requirements for determining the citizenship of a corporation for the purposes of invoking the diversity jurisdiction of the federal courts. 

In Hertz Corp. v. Friend 30 S. Ct. 1181, 175 L. Ed. 2d 1029 (2010), the Supreme Court identified two principal approaches to determining corporate citizenship for diversity purposes:  the locations of a corporation’s “business activities” versus a corporation’s “nerve center,” which might or might not overlap with the corporation’s nominal headquarters.  See id. at 1190-91.  But, despite the Court’s efforts, the shifting nature of the modern business place might reduce Hertz to a mere way-station on a longer journey.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Gives Direction on Corporate Citizenship

The first "opportunity for solution" that you have in preparing a U.S. Virgin Islands Individual Income Tax return is that your tax preparation software doesn’t have a state module for the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is not a problem. A U.S. Virgin Islands income tax return is prepared using the same Form 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return that is used throughout the United States. The major difference is the tax is paid to the U.S. Virgin Islands Treasury rather than the United States Treasury. This entry will cover some minor differences and practical tips which you may want to pass on to your tax preparer.

Continue Reading Preparing an Individual Income Tax Return with U.S. Virgin Islands Income