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$444,000 Jury Verdict for Sexually Harassed Firefighter

 $444,000 Jury Verdict for Sexually Harassed Firefighter

The Florida city of New Smyrna Beach must pay a former firefighter nearly half a million dollars after a six day sexual harassment trial and unanimous jury verdict.

After enduring years of sex-based workplace hostility—hostility which culminated in being fired from her job—Melissa Smith first filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  When the Commission, which must choose cases carefully due to limited funding, rejected the case, she initiated a civil suit against the city of New Smyrna Beach using a private attorney.

This week, jurors awarded her $200,000 for emotional distress and $244,000 as compensation for back wages that she would have earned on the job if she had not been fired.  According to the terms of the verdict, Smith may also get her old job back or be awarded front pay by the judge.

According to Smith’s lawsuit, firefighters in New Smyrna Beach created a hostile work environment by subjecting her to repeated harassment and verbal abuse based on her sex.  One supervisor even told Smith that he wanted her to “get pregnant so I could have you as my new secretary instead of having you fight fires.”

The lawsuit also says that even the Fire Chief, Michael Coats, was involved in establishing the hostile workplace environment.  Smith says that she was told by the chief that women did not belong as firefighters, and that it would be up to her to prove otherwise.  At a later date, he said women should be “in the kitchen” rather than working for the fire department.

Smith also says that harassment from other coworkers included being sent naked photographs of a firefighter who also tried to invite her to strip clubs and made lewd advances.  Another lieutenant referred to working with two female personnel as “babysitting two girls.”  She was also told that she could be suspended for bringing tampons to work.

After making several complaints about staff members of the New Smyrna Beach Fire Department, Smith says that the department and the city began to retaliate against her.  She was denied training that male employees were given, and was suspended after using profanity—something she says that the rest of the department’s male employees did on a frequent basis.

The jury in Smith’s case ignored the city’s contention that Smith had been fired for other causes, choosing instead to believe Smith, who claimed the charges used to fire her had been trumped up as a result of her sexual harassment allegations.

Source: uscourts.gov

LLC vs. S Corporation

LLC vs. S Corporation

What is an S Corporation?

An S Corporation, based on the United States’ Federal Tax Law, is any corporation that makes a valid election to be taxed specifically under Subchapter S of Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code. As a result of this filing, the S corporation does not pay any federal income taxes; instead, the corporation’s net profits or losses are divided among and passed down to the company’s shareholders.
Following this process, the shareholders must then report the income or losses on their own individual income tax returns; this concept is regarded as single taxation. The S corporation therefore possesses a unique taxation model; the majority of these corporations are fairly small with relatively few shareholders. If the corporation is taxed as a regular corporation it would incur double taxation, where both the corporation’s profits and the shareholder’s dividends will be taxed. 
What is an LLC?
An LLC or limited liability company is a fairly lax form of enterprise that combines elements of corporate and partnership structures. An LLC is provides limited liability to its owners; the business is created as a hybrid entity that possesses certain characteristics of a sole proprietorship or partnership and a corporation. Although it is a type of business entity, an LLC is a form of unincorporated association and is not  defined as a type of corporation. The primary characteristic that is shared between an LLC and a corporation is limited liability, while the primary characteristic shared between an LLC and a partnership is the availability of pass-through income taxation. As a result of this hybrid status, the LLC formation is regarded as more flexible than a corporation and is typically beneficial for companies with one owner. 

LLC vs. S Corp in taxation: The LLC is given a choice of a taxation structure, between a partnership, S or C corporation, while the S corporation must choose to be taxed under Subchapter S of the IRS revenue code. 
LLC vs. S Corp in regards to shareholder meetings: The LLC rarely will have shareholder meetings while an S corporation is required to have regular board and shareholder meetings.
LLC vs. S Corp in regards to ownership: Members of the LLC are the owners while the Shareholders are owners of the S-Corp
LLC vs. S Corp in regards to Legal Definition: An LLC is a separate entity from its partners, but members are susceptible to liability for non-fiscal obligations. An s-corporation is a separate entity from shareholders (owners) and they are not liable for any fiscal obligations.

9/11 Memorial Sign is now Commonplace

9/11 Memorial Sign is now Commonplace

The New York Subway stations features branded cars and advertisements—it was only a matter of time before branded signs made their way on the mapping system’s signs.
 Instead of abiding by the long-established Metropolitan Transportation Authority design standards, dozens of directional signs for the September 11th Memorial and Museum have been installed in Lower Manhattan subway stations, featuring the memorial’s own registered trademark.
Obviously the signs—which help visitors find their way to the memorial—have faced no opposition, but the alteration seems to reverse a 45-year effort to impose an all-white Helvetica-type uniformity on the way-finding system.
Until recently, Helevetica’s supremacy was so assured that it became a part of the city’s subway system’s visual identity. The memorial, whose mark is set in blue and white Gotham print seemingly, changed the subway’s design standard.
The 9/11 Memorial formally requested the inclusion of the mark and the M.T.A adhered—given the national significance of the memorial–by incorporating the memorial’s brand

A Look at the Duties of a Prison Guard

A Look at the Duties of a Prison Guard

A correctional
office or prison guard is the person responsible for supervising correctional
facilities or prisons. Corrections officers must ensure that the environment is
suitable for human life, and safe for all prisoners within the correctional
center. A prison guard’s role is thus essential to the well being of our legal
system; without the enforcing abilities of corrections officers prisons would
run improperly and not aid in the rehabilitation of wrongdoers.

 A correctional officer is responsible for the custody, care, and control
of individuals who are awaiting trial or have been arrested. In essence, anyone
who serves time in jail or is held in a cell will be supervised by a prison
guard or correctional officer. In addition, the team is also responsible for
the safety and the security of the facility–without a team of corrections
officers the prisoners would be under no control, and free to not only harm
each other, but vandalize the actual structure of the facility. Most
correctional officers are employed by the government of the country in which
they work, though a small percentage are also employed by private companies.

Although the
duties of a correctional officer can vary, the general role of the prison guard
includes the various actions:

 A prison guard maintains
order and discipline within the correctional facility.

The prison guard enforces rules,
regulations, and applicable legislation to maintain a suitable environment.

A correctional officer conducts
routine searches of inmates to expel any contraband or weaponry that may be

The prison guard is responsible
for transporting inmates to courts and other correctional facilities.

In response of an assault, a fire,
medical emergency, or a riot the prison guard is responsible for maintaining order and providing first response action. 

What Is A Real Estate Agent

What Is A Real Estate Agent

What is a Real Estate Agent?
A real estate agent or a real estate broker is a colloquial term in the United States that describes an occupation, in which a party acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of real estate, specifically real property.
The acquisition of a home is often times the most significant transaction that a typical consumer will undergo. As a result of this seriousness, a seller or buyer of real property will invariably contact a real estate agent to expedite and streamline the transaction process.
In the United States, real estate agents and brokers assist sellers in marketing their respective properties. The real estate agent will construct a listing, effectively market it to a wide consumer base, and sell it for the highest possible price under the best available terms. The estate agent will develop and determine the coordinating asking price given the assessed value of the home.
When acting on the buyer’s side, a real estate agent will assist a prospective buyer by helping the consumer purchase property for the lowest possible price. Additionally, a real estate agent on the buyer’s side will physically take the prospective buyers to various properties within a desired area; the agent will then evaluate the different properties and construct a comparative analysis with the buyer’s wishes.
In addition to physically showing the properties, a real estate agent acts as the essential intermediary to exchange, administer and affirm necessary documentation concerning the purchase or sale of the home.
Legal Aspects of the Job:
In order to act as an intermediary in the real estate market, all estate agents must be licensed in the state in which they operate. Estate agents are formally trained professionals; in order to acquire a license the agent must enroll in classes and pass state-administered licensing examinations.
In addition to aiding customers with the sale or purchase of real property, estate agents may also manage property. Regardless of their role, all estate agents must work in accordance with the underlying state’s and jurisdiction’s property laws.

Ultimate Antitrust Outline

Ultimate Antitrust Outline

What is an Antitrust?
An Antitrust – orAntitrust Law – is terminology that is used within the legal spectrum of business and commercial law. Antitrust Law mandates jurisdiction over business and commercial endeavors existing within the United States in order to regulate fair business practices, upkeep free trade, protect the ethics within the commercial market, and avoid monopolies.
What is a Trust?
With regard to commercial and business law, Antitrust Law strictly prohibits the usage of ‘Trusts’ within a commercial market; a trust is defined as an operational process in which a larger corporation – or commercial entity – maintains agency over smaller commercial factions in order to retain profit and administration of those secondary corporations – this is allows for the primary corporation to maintain control of entities other than the primary corporation.
The primary corporation, which is sometimes called an ‘Umbrella Corporation’, employs the formation of smaller companies; as a result of the formation of a trust, the umbrella corporation can operate in an indirect fashion – although the umbrella corporation maintains ownership of the faction corporations, a direct connection of association is not prevalent.
Antitrust vs. Monopoly
Within the scope of Antitrust Law, there exists a variety of associated terminology that is pertinent with regard to the legal review latent within legal stipulations expressed by Antitrust Laws; perhaps the most prominent term accompanying the term ‘Antitrust’ is the term ‘Monopoly’:
Antitrust Law
Antitrust Law, which is also classified as competition law, addresses the regulatory statutes and preventative measures that have the potential to exist within commercial and business endeavors. As previously stated, one of the many circumstances in which Antitrust Law can be violated is through the use of a monopoly.
A Monopoly is a circumstance in which a single business entity has disallowed for commercial competition or businesses within a competing market. A monopoly typically takes place in the event that a single business – or a provider of products or services – has maintained exclusive control of commercial activity with regard to the provision of specific products or services; this can be undertaken within a variety of methodologies:
1. Price Gouging: The notion of price gouging is a common violation of Antitrust Law; price gouging takes place in the event that a business has become the sole provider of specific products or services, resulting in the patronizing of that specific business as the only avenue for a consumer to obtain those specific products or services. Once this has taken place, the business may take advantage of the market by implementing higher prices, which is considered to be a form of consumer abuse; due to the lack of competition, consumers are forced to patronize that particular business in order to obtain those products or services.
2. Exclusive Dealings: Within the realm of Antitrust Law, the usage of Exclusive dealings is expressly prohibited. Exclusive dealings are defined as two separate bodies of production – such as retailers and manufacturers – acting in concert in order to remove competing business within the commercial market; in accordance with Antitrust Law, exclusive dealings is illegal due to the fact that is creates a monopoly of the individual products and services provided.




What is a mediator?

A mediator is an individual, appointed by the parties to a legal conflict, whose sole job is to listen, evaluate and help those parties come to an amicable solution that will, hopefully, prevent litigation in a court of law.  Mediators are often, but need not be members of the legal system.  Some possess law degrees, and some are often former judges, where as others possess no more than a bachelor's degree and rely on their expertise in negotiation and problem solving to help parties on the verge of civil litigation to come to a compromise

There are few state laws that require a specific license in order to be a mediator but it is often found that a mediator will possess some background in mediation skills, whether it be in undergraduate classes in negotiation and alternate dispute resolution or a certificate of training. 

What are the advantages to having a mediator?

There are numerous advantages to having a mediator.  First, and foremost, is the cost.  Going to trial can be expensive.  Court costs and attorney's fees can quickly accumulate.  On the other hand, the process of mediation is comparably inexpensive and less time consuming.  Depending on the legal matter involved mediators can be supplied by the community or even a court for free.  In other matters mediators can charge between $1,000 or $2,000 per day for their services. 

A second benefit to having a mediator is that a mediator's decision is not binding on any of the parties.  The mediator's job is merely to evaluate the situation and help the parties come to a solution.  The mediator's determination is often viewed as a way of foreshadowing what might happen if a matter goes into the litigation stages.

How do I choose a mediator?

A mediator is not court appointed, in fact a court of law has nothing to do with mediation.  In many situations a mediator may be found through a roster maintained by the court.  Mediators can also be located through the private sector and the wealth of mediators available should result in the retention of one that has specific expertise in the area that your conflict arises out of. 

When searching for a mediator parties involved should keep certain things in mind.  First and foremost a mediator who is knowledgeable in the field is highly important.  It is pertinent that a mediator be found who can be neutral to the matter.  For example, it would be problematic for you to choose a mediator that, upon subsequent research, is the brother-in-law of the other party to the matter.   

Prisons Just For Women

Prisons Just For Women

Like the institution for men, a female prison houses those individuals found guilty of committing a crime or act that is regarded as unlawful and demonstrative towards society. Other than the gender of the population, there is no fundamental difference a female prison and a male correctional facility. To many a surprise, women represent the fastest growing population in the American prison system. 
Between 1980 and 1998 the female prison population increased at an overwhelming 313%. By the end of 2000, women account for approximately 7.5% of the total prison population. Women in prison are disproportionately of colors: African American women comprise roughly 46% of the female prison population, white women comprise 32%, and Hispanic Women comprise 22%.
The primary differences found between male prisons and female prisons arise simply due to the psychological and personalities of the two genders. Studies have shown that women in prison are more likely to participate in therapy groups or workshops that aid in solving their problems or to help with pinpointing the reasons for their actions. 
A female prison is typically comprised of poor women–the majority of women prisoners (55%) and women in jail (75%) were unemployed at the time of their incarceration. Furthermore, when a woman goes to prison her family, if she has one, becomes devastated. An estimated 75% of women incarcerated in state prisons have children under the age of 18 years old. 
Because there are so few women correctional facilities it is likely that an incarcerated woman is move farther away from her home than the average male prisoner. This increased distance further strains the family; the increased distance places a toll on the woman’s family during visitation days. In addition, women also experience worse medical care than men. 
Routine gynecological care, such as breast exams, pap smears, and mammograms are exceedingly rare in female prisons. The most common causes of female incarceration are domestic violence, narcotics use, narcotics possession, and burglary. 

2 Types of Solicitor

2 Types of Solicitor

What is a Solicitor?

Within a socioeconomic spectrum, an individual engaging in the act of Solicitation is typically classified as a Solicitor. The classification of an individual as a Solicitor is not expressly illegal in its colloquial definition; however, within a legal spectrum, the expressed nature of a Solicitor is typically illegal in both classification and qualification alike. A Solicitor can be classified as an individual who partakes in any of the following activities that are considered to be illegal, unlawful, and unethical in their construct.

Criminal Solicitor

A Criminal Solicitor, whom is classified as an individual participating in the solicitation of criminal activity, typically engages in the presentation of a prospective opportunity in which the participation of another individual – or individuals – will result in the facilitation of criminal activity.The classification of the behavior of a Solicitorcan be an ambiguous one; prosecutors trying cases that involve solicitation will be required to prove the presence of criminal intent displayed by the Solicitor. The following crimes are common within criminal solicitation:
•    Prostitution may be defined as an act of criminal solicitation, which involves the invitationof another individual to engage in sexual activity that typically results in a variety of socioeconomic gain; however, since a prostitute may be considered to be a criminal solicitor, the possibility exists for an individual apprehended to be charged with both solicitation, as well as prostitution
•    A Solicitor offering the prospective participation in Scams, rackets, and schemes of an illegal or unlawful nature typically do so with intent of the recruitment of participating individuals; as in the case of many schemes and scams of this nature, the recruitment of participants – both knowing and unknowing – may result in increased gain for solicitors
•    The recruitment of an individual – or individuals with regard to the participation of a criminal act may result in additional aiding and abetting charges 
Commercial Solicitor

Within the realm of presumed commercial solicitation, an ambiguitymay existwith regard to an aggressive, persistentsalesperson and a solicitor; however, the intent latent is far more noticeable with regard to classification of a criminal solicitor and a commercial solicitor – as a result, an attorney responsible for the prosecution of an alleged solicitor must illustrate that the intent to commit a crime was expressed within specific commercial activity – the following are some examples of criminal behavior common to commercial solicitors:
•    In the event of online commercial solicitation, Spam is defined as an illicit marketing activity that involves the mass-disbursement of unsolicited information; typically, the aim of Spam is to flood the as many eligible recipients with unsolicited correspondence in order to market a product or service – Email Spam is the mass-transmission of electronic correspondence to recipients whom have neither requested such information, while Networking Spamtakes place through digital, interpersonal communication or digital conversation
•    Commercial activity involving Illegal and unlawful sales or marketing resulting from unauthorized entry onto personal property or private domain undertaken by a solicitor may be classified as unlawful solicitation; in many cases, the frequency and severity latent within activity of this nature may result in trespassing charges, as well