Bitcoin: The New Asset Protection Strategy in Divorce Cases

“Asset protection” has long been a strategy in divorce cases across the United States. The term “asset protection” refers to the use of a legal strategy in order to hide or shield assets from the Courts. Bitcoins, the relatively new internet currency, will most likely become the next frontier of asset protection.

In divorce cases, asset protection can take many forms. Sophisticated asset protection techniques involve transferring money to an overseas account, the formation of legal entities (trusts, corporations, limited liability companies) and other methods.

The most unsophisticated and simple form of asset protection, and perhaps the most common in divorce cases, is simply holding money in the form of cash (i.e., inside a home safe or in a bank safety deposit box). In this way, a person that is in the process of divorce believes that he can “protect” the cash from the divorce process. The divorcing spouse might keep the existence of the cash secret from his spouse, divorce lawyer and Court, in order to avoid being ordered to share the cash with his spouse. This strategy may or may not be successful, but it is surely not legal because it requires that the person misrepresent his assets to his spouse and to the Court.

A sophisticated divorce lawyer will know how to uncover hidden assets of this kind through the examination of financial records and other means of legal discovery. Bitcoin, however, has the potential to replace the hiding of cash as the most common form of asset protection in divorce cases. Given the structure of the bitcoin system and most divorce lawyers ignorance regarding bitcoins, it could become a significantly more successful method than hiding cash.

Bitcoin is the digital currency that was created in 2009 by the anonymous developer known the by pseudonym as Satoshi Nakamoto. It is a currency that exists only in digital form. All bitcoins and transactions are “registered” on the bitcoin block chain that is updated by bitcoin users rather than a centralized authority. The transactions, however, do not include names but rather the digital identification of each bitcoin. Bitcoin owners keep their bitcoins in a bitcoin wallet. The wallet is not necessarily a physical wallet, but rather various methods for storing the digital identification of the bitcoin. The wallet might be kept on a computer, the server of a bitcoin wallet website, or even a piece of paper.

While is theoretically possible to trace the transfer of a bitcoin by examining the block chain, one will only discover the public identification key of the bitcoin rather than the name of the owner. If the wallet is kept on a person’s computer or on a website (where a party to a divorce registered his name) it is possible to discovery the existence of the bitcoins. However, wallets do not have to be associated with a name. Furthermore, if a person uses a “brainwallet” tracing a bitcoin to a specific person becomes almost impossible through any conventional method. A brainwallet is the use of a memorized passphrase in order to store a bitcoin.

The methods for discovering hidden cash will be the first approach of any divorce lawyer for discovering a bitcoin asset protection plan. Unfortunately many, if not most, divorce lawyers and judges are unfamiliar with bitcoins and the fact that bitcoins can be used to hide assets. A divorce lawyer who doesn’t understand bitcoins cannot possibly be expected to uncover hidden bitcoin assets. If you have any suspicion that your spouse might be hiding assets, make sure your lawyer understands the bitcoin system and how to discover hidden bitcoin assets.

Reasons to Hire an Immigration Lawyer

In order to get into the United States, sometimes it’s necessary to hire an immigration lawyer. An immigration lawyer is an individual who specializes in immigration law and knows all the requirements and conditions to entering the United States as a legal, permanent resident.

It is entirely possible to go through the whole visa process without hiring an immigration attorney. They’re not formally required to be part of the process. But US immigration law can be difficult and confusing for someone to try to understand on their own. An immigration lawyer will know the ins and outs of US immigration law and will make sure you don’t make mistakes that could delay or prevent your application from being accepted. An immigration attorney can also prevent you from making costly mistakes.

Individuals who will most benefit from the services of an immigration attorney are those who have not gone through the system before, or know no one who has. There are people who have successfully made their way through the system without an immigration lawyer, but those people usually also have a strong support group (friends or relatives) who have been through the process.

If you don’t know where to find an immigration attorney, there are immigration resource centers and communities that can help you with this. There is a strategy to applying for an immigrant visa to increase your chances of having the visa approved. There are so many different types of visas available that sometimes it can be difficult to figure out which one you should get first. There are strategies that can be put into effect that will get you into the United States legally and faster.

For example, in some situations it might be a better idea to enter the country on a non-immigrant visa and then work your way towards an immigrant visa. An immigration attorney is your best option to find out which strategy would work best for you and your situation.

An immigration attorney is especially crucial when something goes wrong with a visa application. If the application was denied, for example, an immigration attorney is your best way of successfully appealing the decision. It’s possible to reduce the risk of being denied if you hire a lawyer to prepare your application to make sure you have everything there needs to be to increase your chances of the application being accepted.

Other cases where you would need an immigration lawyer for sure would be if you broke the law either seriously or with a misdemeanor arrest. Even a misdemeanor can get you sent back to your country and an immigration lawyer knows the system better than a criminal attorney and might be able to prevent this from happening.

If you’re an undocumented immigrant, you will need an immigrant lawyer to plead your case and fill out the paperwork. Some individuals have things on their application that might negatively impact their chances of the application being accepted. An immigration lawyer can advise so those items can be mitigated.

Why Social Media Can Help Lawyers Survive The Cull In Law Firm Numbers

The recent ‘The Future Of Legal Services’ conference that was held in Birmingham (UK) highlighted the challenges many lawyers face as they try to survive or grow. Many of these have been mentioned in various blogs and articles such as ‘Goodbye to all that’ by Jordan Furlong.

There were a couple of statements made at the conference which really stood out:

As institutional operators and larger practices move onto their patch, some traditional High Street firms will struggle to compete unless they adapt;
Law firms which use technology in the right way will have an edge going forward.

The business model used by many law firms will not help them survive the competitive forces they come against.

Jordan Furlong says lawyers should “…study the means by which you accomplish the work you sell to clients and determine whether and to what extent you can adopt new technologies and processes to be not just more efficient, but also more effective in terms of quality, relevance and responsiveness.”

This brings me to social media, and what lawyers should do about it.

As law firms start to use social media to gain mindshare, deliver better services and build relationships with prospects or clients, it is becoming more and more important for the majority of law firms to consider how they use this media platform within their marketing communications.

Differentiating oneself from competitors and improving the ability to engage with prospects or clients are benefits that result from having well thought-out social media strategies.

The key question lawyers need to ask themselves is “what channels do I need to use to differentiate myself and become the lawyer of choice for potential clients, and does this include social media?”

Basically, lawyers need to figure out what their strategic business goals are, and how they can then use social media or technology to help me achieve those goals.

Many lawyers that simply pick a social media tactic without integrating it into their lead generation or client nurturing programmes will get frustrated pretty quickly. It is not enough just setting up a Facebook page (which looks like the company website), a corporate Twitter handle and LinkedIn profile, or attracting 5,000 followers. Anyone can do this!

Lawyers have to make social media support overall business goals, which means integrating it tightly into measurable lead generation and conversion strategies. If social media does not make it easier for prospects to find you, stick to you because you point them towards content that they are actively looking for and, ultimately, select you for because you have articulated the benefits that result from working with you, then it is pointless!

And, if social media does not make it easier for lawyers to engage with clients more effectively, resulting them in having more time to focus on delivering high-quality services to target niches, then it is time for a re-think.

Social media technology platforms can have a very positive impact on the bottom line and, more importantly, help law firms build positions of authority in an increasingly competitive legal services marketplace.

But, it has to support overall business goals, and be measured in terms of new leads generated, sales made, increase in referrals made and improved client retention rates. It should also result in a marked improvement in the way lawyers handle any negative comments made about the services they deliver and the speed with which they resolve customer problems.

Eria Odhuba helps lawyers implement social media and new online business models to attract more clients to their practices, giving them the chance to be successful and enjoy the things they would like to do but can’t because they have no time or money.

Using Lawyers Effectively: 5 Good Legal Habits of Successful Businesses

Do you see your lawyer as a key member of your strategic business team?

Do you feel that you can sound them out about commercial and strategic issues, without fear of the cost?

Or, is your lawyer the last person that you call when a problem has got so bad that there is no alternative?

Successful businesses are well supported by specialists in all the management disciplines, such as production, operations, strategy, HR and finance as each specialist has expertise in generating growth or reducing risk.

Sadly, legal advice is not always taken in advance of strategic decisions in the same way that most businesses would consult with their accountant or HR manager. Consequently, problems can arise down the line, for example when a contract does not protect you in the way that you envisaged.

Successful businesses make the most of their legal adviser and typically display the following 5 good habits:

1. Choose a legal adviser that understands your business

When selecting a new legal adviser, consider how interested they are in the businesses and whether they understand the issues that your business faces. For example, a bio-tech business will need to ensure that their adviser is familiar with regulatory and intellectual property law relating to their sector.

Do they ask about your personal and business objectives? This is particularly important if you are thinking of an exit strategy in the future.

2. Include your lawyer as part of your strategic business team

Whilst lawyers can advise you on your regulatory obligations and compliance, a good commercial lawyer will advise you on the commercial implications of strategic decisions. Keep your lawyer in the loop. Keep them apprised of your business strategies so they can identify legal risks at an early stage of your strategy and give you proactive solutions.

A lawyer who understands your business can provide you with innovative business structures that help your business grow and protect your market position, as well as identifying risks.

3. Provide a clear brief and feedback

Provide clear instructions, agree budgets and provide any information promptly. Consistent communications are vital especially where there are critical deadlines. Provide feedback to your lawyer, especially if you feel that you are not getting the level of service that you require.

4. Invest in proper legal documentation processes

A successful business will have efficient systems for purchasing, quality control, accounts, and HR. Yet few businesses have efficient legal systems and this often causes problems as a deadline for contract renewal can be missed or it can cause unnecessary delays when preparing a business for sale. Without proper documentation, evidence can be difficult to find when disputes arise and oral evidence is only allowed in limited circumstances so the written word remains paramount.

5. Budget for legal advice

Budgeting for legal advice is no different than budgeting for accounting or HR costs. You may also be able to insure against certain legal costs.

The Best Times to Use Lawyer Coach Services

How would you grade your business development techniques right now? Are you getting as many clients as you thought you would be? If you are not, don’t be down on yourself. Every attorney has this problem from time to time. Think about it. Law school did not teach us how to develop or run our law firms.

So, how are we supposed to learn these things? By working in large law firms? In my own experience doing coaching for attorneys, I can say that is unlikely. This is why lawyer coach services are a great tool for lawyers wanting to branch out on their own or are in the process of developing their own practices.

Have you ever counted how many specific strategies are you doing to attract and retain clients? Which of these techniques is giving you the highest return on investment?

Companies that focus on lawyer coach services are a really good tool to get you on track. The really good thing is that they are generally made up of lawyer coaches who have practiced law and been in the trenches. These lawyer coaches teach you specific strategies and hold you accountable for implementation.

Using lawyer coach services is very different from reading a business development book or even attending a CLE or workshop. Reading and attending presentations is great for motivation and information. Yet, it doesn’t do much for creating the changes you need in yourself and your organization.

The coaching services that are most effective are those that include both the training aspect and the implementation aspect. Like the Success Roundtable Program, they are a hybrid of training for lawyers and lawyer coaching– A very powerful combination.

Know Your Rights – With Child Custody Strategy

There is nothing worse as a man or a woman than finding yourself locked in a nasty, ongoing custody battle over access to children from a failed marriage. An e-book written by Dr Barry Bricklin and Dr Gail Elliot, titled Child Custody Strategies 2009, is now available with a lot of good advice on how to deal with this dreadful dilemma.

The e-book contains tips on ways to make a stronger case for custody of your child when fronting a court judge who is hearing the case. This is done by getting the opinion of lawyers who deal with custody issues on a daily basis. They give important information on how they view these complex matters as professional lawyers.

All the details are included of the important issues you need to cover with your lawyer. By combining the knowledge of a number of experienced lawyers into the one e-book it gives the reader a very good source of information. The book also has the opinions of consultants and judges as well as family court lawyers.

While legal systems are obviously different from country to country, the benefit of this e-book is the advice is adaptable to any western style legal system. This is because it is presented in a sound tactical way and is not tailored to any one specific legal system.

The book is not cheap but the best way to consider it is as money well spent. You may find that you are better off paying for a book of this kind so you have the knowledge to save yourself higher legal fees down the track. An example of this is that people constantly visit their lawyer unprepared and without a list of questions covering issues of relevance when facing a custody battle. The result – they forget to ask certain questions that are essential if they want fewer visits to their lawyer. This will only be achievable by covering everything important in the minimum number of consultations possible with your lawyer.

I have witnessed friends go through hundreds of thousands of dollars in custody battles that could have been lessened or even avoided with better understanding of legal procedures. If you wish to avoid such a disaster, you first need to understand the best way of getting through the legal minefield of any family court.

This e-book will definitely help you save some of your money http://app-products-info.webs.com and sanity in order to get a better legal outcome if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of a child custody battle with an ex partner.

Know Your Rights – With Child Custody Strategy 2009

There is nothing worse as a man or a woman than finding yourself locked in a nasty, ongoing custody battle over access to children from a failed marriage. An e-book written by Dr Barry Bricklin and Dr Gail Elliot, titled Child Custody Strategies 2009, is now available with a lot of good advice on how to deal with this dreadful dilemma.

The e-book contains tips on ways to make a stronger case for custody of your child when fronting a court judge who is hearing the case. This is done by getting the opinion of lawyers who deal with custody issues on a daily basis. They give important information on how they view these complex matters as professional lawyers.

All the details are included of the important issues you need to cover with your lawyer. By combining the knowledge of a number of experienced lawyers into the one e-book it gives the reader a very good source of information. The book also has the opinions of consultants and judges as well as family court lawyers.

While legal systems are obviously different from country to country, the benefit of this e-book is the advice is adaptable to any western style legal system. This is because it is presented in a sound tactical way and is not tailored to any one specific legal system.

The book is not cheap but the best way to consider it is as money well spent. You may find that you are better off paying for a book of this kind so you have the knowledge to save yourself higher legal fees down the track. An example of this is that people constantly visit their lawyer unprepared and without a list of questions covering issues of relevance when facing a custody battle. The result – they forget to ask certain questions that are essential if they want fewer visits to their lawyer. This will only be achievable by covering everything important in the minimum number of consultations possible with your lawyer.

I have witnessed friends go through hundreds of thousands of dollars in custody battles that could have been lessened or even avoided with better understanding of legal procedures. If you wish to avoid such a disaster, you first need to understand the best way of getting through the legal minefield of any family court.

This e-book will definitely help you save some of your money http://app-products-info.webs.com and sanity in order to get a better legal outcome if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of a child custody battle with an ex partner.

Internet Marketing For Lawyers

Internet marketing for lawyers is so important in this day and age because they have so much competition! The internet is the best and fastest way to eliminate that. Read carefully.

Imagine using the internet to leverage all your marketing efforts and have it do all the heavy lifting for you. You would not have to hire employees to do anything for you and get those headaches or long hour days trying to figure out what your next marketing strategy is going to be because online you can dominate any strategy you like!

It can be making videos, or writing articles, or press releases, even blogging for a lawyer can be so effective!

So many other strategies can be implemented online to make yourself look different and unique. If you do not want to spend any time doing any of the strategies above you can leverage Google pay per click which can be automated! So much time saving and this will just take your business to the next level! Now how do you learn these internet marketing strategies since your just a lawyer and probably have not experienced marketing online?

These is an internet marketing education and training platform I am about to reveal to you which you can start learning from that has made lawyers multi-millionaires! Internet marketing can be learned quickly and implemented into your current marketing plan right away. What else do I have for you?

I want you to feel special right now because for a limited time I am going to be offering this platform to lawyers at a special price.

LA County Criminal Defense Lawyers – The Importance of Seeking Lawyers Advice

If you are a resident of LA County and you have been accused of a crime then is appropriate to consult a criminal defense lawyer immediately to make sure you are given the proper legal advice.

While there are federal laws to govern every crime committed, there are some states that implement their own criminal laws in addition to the federal laws on crimes. An LA county criminal defense lawyer would be in the best position to give legal advice on this matter.

A person seeking for a qualified LA county criminal defense lawyer should not worry because most LA county lawyers have their own websites from where they can get the information they want. Their websites do not only show useful contact information for criminal defense lawyers but they also offer free legal consultation to prospective clients. The person accused of a crime or his family can consult with the lawyer either personally or through the internet.

A person who has been accused of a crime should seek a criminal defense lawyer even if he believes he is innocent of the charges. There are legal procedures being followed by most states and this includes the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Even if the accused is innocent of the criminal charges a warrant can still be issued for his arrest and he can still be put to jail.

Not all people are aware of the legal procedures being followed by the courts so to make sure that the accused gets the best legal advice, he should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The criminal defense lawyer can advise the accused of his rights even before he is arrested as well as once arrested. And even if the accused has been arrested he can still apply for bail depending on the type of crime he has allegedly committed.

Some criminals lounging in jail are innocent but they failed to get the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney so their cases were not properly pleaded in court. There are legal principles that may absolve the accused form the crime charged but only the criminal defense lawyers can advise him of these principles.

It is important to get a lawyer from LA County because he is presumed to know the federal and state laws applicable to your case. Such lawyer would also be more knowledgeable about the courts and the strategies of the district attorneys in LA County and can thus provide the accused the best legal strategy for his case.

Being accused of a crime can mean losing your property, your friends, your job, even your life. Any person who wants to protect these things should make sure he is being given the best legal strategy that can help him win the case or make the sentence lighter and more bearable.

When choosing a criminal defense lawyer in LA County, the accused should make sure that he is getting the services of a reputable lawyer who has earned the respect of his colleagues as well as of the court officials. This would increase the chances of winning the defense as well as getting justice for the accused.

No matter what criminal case the accused is faced with, whether it is a common driving under the influence case or a bigger rape or murder case, the accused should always prioritize the services of a good criminal defense lawyer. This way he protects his rights and his life.

How to Make Sure Your IP Strategy Plan is Not Doomed to Failure

Smart business leaders understand today that IP Strategy should form a fundamental pillar of their value creation-directed business strategy. By taking a “business eye view” toward IP, forward-thinking corporate managers seek to capture the true value of their company, which today is increasingly measured in the form of intangible assets such as patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets.

If you have read this far, you no doubt realize that your company must develop and execute on an IP Strategy in order to maximize intangible asset value. But, IP Strategy is only one part of the process of generating and maximizing this asset value. Even the most robust business-directed IP Strategy is likely doomed to failure if your company does not also establish an IP Culture within your organization. Put simply, as a manager responsible for the execution of your company’s IP strategy, you must work to destroy the “IP Expert” silo that likely exists today in your company.

This silo consists of the designated “IP Experts” in your company who are typically R & D-oriented employees and your in-house IP lawyers. In developing IP rights in this typical corporate silo, an R & D employee will notify in-house IP lawyers that he has invented something, and the latter will validate the “inventiveness” of the idea. Together these designated “IP Experts” will decide whether the invention merits protection in a patent or whether it should remain a trade secret. The decision of whether to obtain a patent happens almost exclusively in this “IP Expert” silo. Moreover, if your business leaders are involved at all in this process, they are only involved with power to veto the previous “IP Expert” validation of the value of the invention. And, once the “IP Experts” start on the road to obtaining a patent, few business people are willing to overrule the previous “expert” decision to proceed.

By destroying this “IP Expert” silo in your company and replacing it with a business-oriented IP Strategy, you will enable those outside of your corporate R & D and Legal functional operations to generate IP that will more likely directly enhance your corporate intangible asset value. However, it takes more than just destroying your existing “IP Expert” silo to be successful in maximizing your company’s IP asset value.

Your company must also foster a community of involvement that will allow each and every employee to understand the value of IP to your company’s P & L. In short, your company must work to create an IP Culture throughout your organization. I have come up with this simple formula to demonstrate the relationship between IP Strategy and IP Culture in the realm of IP Value Creation:

IP Value Creation = (IP Strategy) x (IP Culture)
Using this formula, no matter how good your company’s IP Strategy may be (or how much money you spend on consultants to develop your IP Strategy), if your company does not establish and nurture an IP Culture (i.e., IP Culture = zero), IP Value Creation will end up being zero. Moreover, if a company short-changes the IP Culture aspect of the equation (i.e., IP Culture value is less than 1), IP Value Creation will be less-than-optimum. On the flip-side, if the organization has a high IP Culture rating, IP Value Creation can be achieved even when there is not a robust IP Strategy on which to execute.

How does your company create an IP Culture? The answer is quite simple: push responsibility for IP outside of the R & D and in-house Legal “IP Expert” silos to those who work at all areas of your company. This requires significant educational efforts because, in most companies, personnel outside of R & D and Legal are not generally able to recognize whether their efforts relate to protectable intellectual property or trade secrets. As a result, they typically do their jobs without awareness that their innovations, if captured and protected, could provide your company with valuable proprietary advantage over competitors.

Under the existing paradigm at your company, your employee’s ignorance about the value of her innovations to the organization means that those responsible for capturing and maximizing corporate asset value never find out about her innovation. And, in my view, if an innovation is not identified as having value, this innovation, in fact, has no value and, as an unrecognized asset has no corporate value.

The key to building an IP Culture is to educate your employees who work outside of the “IP Expert” silos of R & D and Legal to recognize protectable innovations and to appropriately notify their managers of their innovations. In short, your employees need to be as much a part of the IP Strategy process as your designated corporate “IP experts”.

One way to establish an IP Culture is to have your in-house IP staff serve as “IP Ambassadors” who go out into the company and engage in workshops. This approach has been very effective at IP Strategy and IP Value Creation thought-leaders such as BellSouth (now AT & T), Kimberly Clark and Proctor & Gamble. However, the success of an IP Ambassador program at your company depends on whether your IP experts can tackle a corporate-wide educational effort along with their existing responsibilities.

Another way to work to creating an IP Culture is to engage a consultant such as The Hutter Group to work with your organization. Use of a consultant to assist you in establishing an IP Culture allows your IP Experts to attend to their day-to-day tasks of protecting the IP that your company has already identified as being valuable. Additionally, use of a consultant to help you create an IP Culture within your organization has the additional benefit of allowing your company to bring best practices in IP Strategy and management that exist outside of your organization.

Regardless of whether your company seeks assistance from a consultant to assist you in developing an IP Culture in your organization, the reality is that you must do something in this regard to successfully create and maximize your IP Value. So, before your organization embarks on an expensive IP Strategy plan, make sure that you are not doomed to failure before you begin because you did not include in your plans development of an IP Culture.

Jackie Hutter is Principal of The Hutter Group, a leading provider of IP (“Intellectual Property”) business counseling and competitive analytics to forward-thinking organizations that seek to maximize firm asset value by capitallizing on the power of intellectual property. She has over 13 years experience counseling innovation-driven companies, universities and business development and investment professionals in maximizing their firm intellectual asset value.

Jackie was named a SuperLawyer(R) in Intellectual Property in Georgia in 2004, and she has been a frequent speaker on IP issues to her fellow lawyers. Jackie was formerly Senior Patent Counsel at a Georgia-Pacific LLC, where she had sole responsible for Dixie(R) patent matters and, later, the company’s Chemicals business. Prior to joining Georgia-Pacific, Jackie was a shareholder at the prestigious IP firm of Needle & Rosenberg, PC (now Ballard & Spahr), where she represented mulit-national companies, universities and innovators in protecting their IP to create maximum asset value. Jackie has also been a patent and IP litigator, which gives her a unique perspective in how to maximize firm IP value by avoiding litigation. Prior to attending law school on a full academic scholarship and where she graduated with honors, Jackie obtained her M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and she spent several years as practicing chemist at Helene Curtis (now Unilever). She is a named inventor on one U.S. patent. Jackie lives in Decatur, Georgia, in a groovy mid-Century modern house with her husband, 2 daughters and several pets.