Monthly Archives: June 2014

SCOTUS: Cellphone Searches Require Warrants

This week, the Supreme Court ruled on an area of law that had been unsettled throughout the country: whether police officers need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest. Some courts had held that the “search incident to arrest” doctrine, whereby officers can search arrestees and the area immediately surrounding them, meant that they didn’t. But Chief Justice Roberts…

Land Sale Gain Deemed Ordinary Income!

A California District Court recently held that a taxpayer sustained ordinary income, not long term capital gain income, from a land sale because the underlying facts showed an intent to develop the property, as opposed to holding it for long term investment gain.

The decision (Frederic Allen v. U.S. (DC CA 5/28/14) 113 AFTR 2d) reminds us that conclusions in matters of…

Overtime, Independent Contractor Status on Regulatory Agenda for Department of Labor

A couple of weeks ago, the federal Department of Labor announced its regulatory agenda for the immediate future. The DOL does this twice a year, and the announcement indicates what its rulemaking and enforcement priorities will be.

The Wage and Hour Division will be busy in the coming months. According to the agenda, the DOL is looking at amending the Family…

Do I Have to List a Debt to My Mom in My Bankruptcy?

Dear Leon,

I am getting ready to file bankruptcy and am getting conflicting advice about whether I have to list a debt I owe to my mother. Over the past six years I have borrowed a total of $50,000 from my mother. We never signed anything, but she expects to be paid back if I am ever able….

Jury (Predictably) Acquits Defendant in ‘Scenes of a Crime’ Retrial

In February, after the New York Court of Appeals overturned the second-degree-murder conviction of Adrian Thomas, I sarcastically wished the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office luck. The office was planning on retrying Thomas in a case popularized by filmmakers Grover Babcock and Blue Hadaegh’s Scenes of a Crime. That documentary dissected Thomas’s interrogation, which had produced a most questionable confession. And….