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Chad West

Charities and 501(c)(3) Requirements and Duties

It’s easy for a charitable organization to maintain its tax exempt status, but if the organization isn’t careful, it can be just as easy to lose it. An organization can lose its 501(c)(3) status for a number of reasons, including failing to submit an annual report. IRS Yearly Reporting Requirements While most organizations are required to submit annual reports to the IRS, small “tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less” are only required to submit the “e-Postcard,” a short, easy form that takes about five minutes to complete.

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Chad West

Second Tea Party Leader Opposes Federal Tort Reform

A second leader of a national and influential Tea Party group has joined the chorus of conservatives against any federal tort reform law. Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, posted on the website yesterday that the jury system is part of the free market, and to interfere with the jury system violates the 7th Amendment to the Constitution.

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Chad West

When Cops Lie...

Cops lie. Under oath, on the witness stand. “I saw him reach for a gun.” “I found the drugs in his pocket.” But what happens when juries refuse to believe their testimony? Do cops ever get in trouble for fabricating evidence or lying under oath? Do they ever get charged with perjury? The Los Angeles Times in a page-one story today named three LA sheriff’s deputies who jurors in a case in Compton, California, said had told “one lie after another” under oath. They said authorities should investigate the three. The case involved a 19-year-old man arrested at a party at a house in South Los Angeles. Deputies testified at a preliminary hearing that when they arrived at the party, they saw the man run and then toss a loaded revolver on the roof of a garage. They said they ordered him to stop, and that he walked back to them and they then arrested him. The defendant pleaded innocent and at his trial shouted, “Fingerprint the gun!” The gun was never fingerprinted.

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Chad West

Reminder about Facebook and Myspace Photos for Criminal issues!

Clients and friends, I get involved in cases all the time where attorneys have printed photos from an individual's Facebook and/or Myspace pages! For example, I recently observed a DWI case where a district attorney in Collin County used photographs from a woman's Facebook page where she was clearly intoxicated to suggest that she was drinking on the night of her birthday and frequented a particular bar. There are rules against allowing in such evidence, but depending on the court, photos of this nature will sometimes come in. And during the punishment portion of a trial, any type of information about a defendant's veracity, character, and general persona can be presented to the jury. Bottom line - if you get in trouble with law, comb through your online photos (and statements that you have written) and clean 'em up!

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