One of the essential distinctions in law practice is between court action and corporate or transactional law. Almost any attorney will make this distinction in law school or at the beginning of their career.
If you watch many tv-shows, you may assume lawyers negotiate deals one day and perhaps go to court the next for high-profile litigation. This is highly unusual in legal practice. Litigators and lawyers each deal with corporations, but in distinct manners.
The difference between corporate law and commercial litigation is concise. Corporate lawyers create transactions or deals, and lawyers intervene when those transactions fail. So, what exactly are corporate lawyers?
Corporate lawyers essentially advise companies on their legal responsibilities, rights, and duties. They are typically corporate generalists or lawyers who counsel businesses on their legal obligations, rights, and responsibilities, as well as provide guidance on company structures and evaluate legal endeavors. To meet their clients' refined requirements, corporate lawyers collaborate with other transactional attorneys in areas such as tax, ERISA, and real estate.
When defining practice areas, many companies use the phrases "transactional" and "corporate" synonymously. Corporate lawyers structure transactions, draft files, create deals, attend meetings, and make phone calls to accomplish these goals. A corporate lawyer strives to ensure the terms of agreements are transparent and straightforward, so it will not cause possible issues for their client.
Corporate lawyers also advise corporate officers, directors, and insiders on their responsibilities and obligations. Not all businesses classify the various types of corporate practice similarly. Some companies, for instance, may have distinct practice communities for antitrust or mergers and acquisitions. In contrast, others may incorporate them into their corporate department.
A corporate lawyer can assist a client in forming, organizing, or dissolving a business entity. Attorneys outline documents of incorporation, which document the company's creation and stipulate the leadership of internal affairs, to form a corporation.
Agreements, limited liability businesses, limited liability partnerships, and business trusts are also dealt with by corporate lawyers. Attorneys assist their clients in determining which legal forms are best suited for the type of business they want to operate, and the connections the leaders want to establish with one another.
Corporate lawyers may research employment law or environmental law, or communicate with another attorney specializing in those areas. Corporate attorneys also advise business executives on the obligations and rights of corporate directors.
Mergers and acquisitions are a large corporate practice area (M&A). A company may add a property, production facilities, or a trademark by acquiring or merging with another corporation. A merger or acquisition may also be used to eliminate a rival in the same industry.
M&A attorneys advise clients on proposed purchases. Mergers and acquisitions lawyers discuss options with their clients on these issues, and the attorney and client work together to establish who should accept current or forthcoming liabilities.
A corporate attorney team typically evaluates a company's critical assets and liabilities, such as income statements, work contracts, real estate holdings, intellectual property holdings, and any existing, awaiting, or likely litigation, to analyze a proposed venture. After that, lawyer(s) can assess the situation and discuss particular concerns with the client. This is known as due diligence.
As in any corporate law role relating to emerging companies, lawyers in venture capital assist in developing and expanding businesses. This means they assist new companies in raising money, organizing their operations, and maintaining their legal and business structures after formation.
A lawyer in a venture capital practice works on personal and public sources of funds as well as daily counseling services. Overall company work, such as drafting articles of incorporation and other papers, as well as technology licensing, financing, and mergers and acquisitions, may fall under their purview.
Some corporate attorneys focus on securities law. On a federal level, when it comes to the Securities Act of 1933, the act necessitates firms that sell securities to the general public to sign up with the federal government.
If a company's stock is traded on a public stock exchange, the company must file a detailed report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and distribute portions of those documents to shareholders. Based on the size of the company and the kind of investor, corporations must follow specific protocols for revealing information to shareholders and potential investors.
Corporate lawyers write reports for initial public offerings, annual and quarterly disclosures, and special filings if anything happens that could impact the value of the stock. This includes factors such as impending litigation, government investigation, or underwhelming net profits. Even if they do not focus on corporate securities law, the issuance of stock and the creation and dissemination of statistics are subject to a slew of rules corporate lawyers must understand.
Your appearance in court is your first impression of the judge and jury. Whether you are there as a defendant or plaintiff, your attire can significantly impact your case. Wearing proper clothes in a courtroom shows that you are respectful to the judge, jury, and other people in court. Here are some tips on how to dress when you go to court.
Many courtrooms in the U.S follow dress code requirements. If the court has an official website, it is worth visiting it to check if there is any instruction on what to wear. You can also consult with your attorney. According to a study by Loyola University School of Law, "clothing that distracts or offends" can undermine the professional atmosphere of a courtroom.
Even if the courtroom does not have a dress code, you must show professionalism. Dressing appropriately conveys the message to the judge and jury that you take your case seriously and respect the conventions of the court. For instance, in a case where you are accused of neglect and irresponsibility, showing up in court properly dressed can have a positive influence on the decision of the judge and jury.
The type of case can also be an important factor in your choice of clothing. For example, if you are defending against a case related to a financial matter, it is best to avoid expensive brands in clothing and accessories. The biggest risk of not dressing appropriately is that you risk being perceived by the jury or judge as dishonest.
Wearing a business casual suit and tie would be appropriate for most courtrooms. Men should also have their hair groomed to look neat.
Men have multiple choices for wearing casual business attire to the court, such as a sports coat, buttoned-up formal shirts, nice shoes, and accessories. Keeping it simple is easy and pleasant to the eyes. There are a few things you should completely avoid wearing, including the following:
Showing up in court wearing overwhelming patterns or flower-printed clothing might not offer you the best impression. You must appear serious and focused on the matter at hand inside a courtroom.
Women have a lot of choices when it comes to courtroom attire, but like everyone else appearing in court, it is best to stick to conservative and formal dressing. The hairstyle you wear to the court must be neat. If you have long hair, consider a professional-looking ponytail.
You can wear business casual attire such as dress pants and a buttoned-up shirt. Wearing a decent and conservative suit is appropriate for women in a courtroom. They should try to appear professional and respectful with formal clothing. There are a handful of things to avoid wearing when in a courtroom, including the following:
Do not wear anything too revealing or form-fitting, as most courtrooms strictly follow a conservative dress code. Being a defendant in court can require extra thought in matters of dressing, arriving, and body language. Arriving in court well-dressed can convey that you have respect for the criminal justice system and are a responsible individual. When you appear well-dressed, it gives you a good start in your case.
Here is an example of how you should dress for court in South Florida. Not all courtrooms have specific dressing requirements, which is why you must consult with your attorney before appearing in court. Experienced attorneys can guide their clients on what to wear in court and how to look professional. Attorneys represent your case, and if you dress appropriately, it benefits your case.
If you have a physical disability or a skin condition, discuss it with your attorney on what would be appropriate to wear to court in that condition. If you adhere to any religious dressing, inform your attorney and discuss how you can make your clothing appear more professional and suited for the courtroom. It is common for city courtrooms to have a more traditional attire than courtrooms in suburban or rural areas.
If you don’t have time to consult an attorney, it is a safe bet to keep it neutral by dressing in simple and fully covered clothing and not wearing any bright colors or distracting patterns.
Due to the conflict in Ukraine, the US has imposed numerous sanctions on Russia to discourage diplomatic disagreement. The sanctions were extensive and mainly targeted specific influential individuals in addition to having affected the economic stability of Russia. Even though the sanctions were designed to deescalate the war situation, they had an inflammatory result. Many sanctions have cut off Russia from the Western economy and created massive financial disturbances, reducing its ability to influence global economies. This has greatly diminished Russia’s influence and financial power, limiting their commerce and reducing their war efforts. Those that support Russia are also discouraged from working around these sanctions. Even so, Russia continues to fight in its invasion of Ukraine and continues to impose its own rules on western countries. Some of the current sanctions include the following:
The first round of sanctions was created to target transactions happening in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. These regions were recognized as separate from Ukraine by Russia and were sanctioned to control any foreign assets being exchanged throughout these areas.
Sanctions against Russian banks and sovereign debt cut it off from Western financing. It also was used to punish individuals who benefitted from corrupt policies. The sections prevent banks from raising money and acquiring new debt in the U.S. and European markets.
These sanctions were must broader and created restrictions on transactions dealing with large financial institutions and large export transfers. For example, mass-market hardware and software were limited. Restrictions were also placed on the export of oil refining equipment. High-tech imports were most significantly impacted by these restrictions.
There were sanctions issued against President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, the General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, The Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, and the First Deputy Minister of Defense.
Multiple Russian banks were removed from the SWIFT financial messaging system to prevent these banks from conducting basic commerce with countries worldwide. Seven banks were specifically removed and were chosen by the EU based on their connections to the state of Russia.
The Russian bank has been storing its assets in many countries around the world, many of which were frozen. All Russian state-owned assets were frozen in the US, and transactions with Russian accounts were prohibited.
Additional sanctions were created to prevent them from being avoided through Belarus. This also included crypto assets which were considered transferable securities. Any transactions with the Central Bank of Belarus were also barred. The selling of euro-denominated securities was prohibited to Belarusian clients.
The US began to ban the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal. This was done to reduce the collective dependence of the US on Russian energy and to put pressure on Putin. It limited their impact on global energy in an effort to protect Western economies.
Sanctions were placed on exporting, importing, re-export, and transferring any luxury goods to the Russian Federation and Belarus. This also targeted specifically oligarchs and other persons of influence around the world who have connections to the Russian state.
The sanctions imposed on Russia directly affect the economy and restrict their ability to receive goods. In addition to the US, currently, 30 countries have imposed sanctions on Russia. This also reduced Russia’s credit to a subpar level, resulting in a large shift from Russia’s private sector. The Russian stock market has been closed for the longest time in history, making the ruble weak compared to other global currencies. These actions put pressure on Russia to withdraw its war efforts.
Because of the war occurring overseas, the US continues to cut its ties with Russia and create additional barriers to prevent it from being able to participate in the global economy. The EU and other countries are coordinating their efforts together to further block Russian elites, families, and other persons of interest from profiting. In addition to sanctions on the financial system, any assets held in the US are prohibited. Additionally, Russian nationals are unable to travel to the US. This forces these families to let go of gains they have received by corrupt means.
At the start of the year, new laws were introduced to address social problems that had persisted the year before. These laws have come into effect to help improve and protect vulnerable people on a federal level. Many of them focus on issues with wages, animal welfare, abortion, internet access, and other dilemmas. These laws help protect the public from being taken advantage of and prevent low-income families from struggling unnecessarily. Some may argue that these new laws push Blue and Red states away from each other, for example, those regarding conceal and carry laws. However, it would appear that many of the laws passed because of the popular support and acceptance by voters. Here are just a few of the most notable laws that have been enacted or are still being voted on in 2022:
Across 21 states, the minimum wage has increased to buffer the rise in inflation that has been steadily growing. With each state allowing a different minimum wage increase, the change ranged from $458 to $3,120 for the full-time employee. This was done to help benefit workers with the ongoing challenge of dealing with job losses, the rising cost of expenses, and other side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in the minimum wage helped protect low-wage workers from being exploited; additionally, it helped increase the economy as the low-wage households spent the extra money they were paid.
The increase of internet users has tripled between 2015 to 2022, creating new opportunities for those with access to the web. With 7 to 8 billion active internet users, the use of mobile devices has increased internet activity. Despite this, there was a drastic reduction in internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating that not enough people have consistent internet. A new bill will increase the broadband service provided for low-income households. There will also be a grant program provided to deliver internet safety training. There will also be tax credits and other education costs to support this demographic. Additionally, there will be a provision for higher-income individuals to participate. The tax credit will not exceed $2,000 except in the case of a joint return in one household, which will allow the maximum to be $4,000.
Recently, the House of Representatives voted to legalize marijuana nationwide. The bill to federally legalize marijuana is headed to the Senate to be voted on before it can pass legalization. If it passes, it will reduce the barriers that allow marijuana research and increase access to dispensary products. In previous legislation, the Senate has passed cannabis science laws to allow the study of its effects. If voters approve the reform, this can help reduce the amount of criminal activity and deadly robberies that happen at dispensaries.
Animal protection laws have increased to protect pre-market farm animals from being abused. For example, some laws in Massachusetts and California don’t allow the sale of eggs if the hens are confined in cages. This will also apply to pigs held in veal and gestation crates. In Illinois, dogs and cats can only be adopted from animal shelters. This law prevents kitten and puppy mills from illegally selling any animals. The law helps protect animals from cruelty and neglect that occurs in pet shops and puppy or kitten mills. This also applies to the handling and transportation of domestic animals that the restrictions were placed on.
The No Surprises Act protects patients from unnecessary fees, surprise bills, and other expensive burdens. When patients get emergency services that go to out-of-network providers, these healthcare facilities often charge excessive fees instead of holding them liable for in-network cost-sharing fees. The No Surprises Act protects patients from this practice and will also help uninsured patients receive a good-faith estimate for emergency care as well.
Some states have taken additional measures to increase financial literacy to better prepare students for dealing with their finances as young adults and throughout their lifetime. In Florida, high schoolers are now required to take a financial literacy class before graduation. A one-semester financial literacy course is required for students who enter ninth grade from 2022 to 2023. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Nebraska, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia all currently have rules requiring financial literacy in schools. A new bill has been introduced, which will require all public, private, and parochial schools to have a personal financial literacy course between 2022 and 2023.
The original Information Practices Act of 1977 law protected genetic data from being shared without permission. In California specifically, whenever companies that held data had a breach, they had to disclose whenever this occurred. The new law has included genetic data such as samples sent to ancestral family companies. The new law will currently prevent commercial DNA testing from releasing genetic information to foreign entities or any other purpose. The new law is called the American Genetic Privacy Act of 2021. The new prohibition disallows the disclosing of genetic information to China and any entity under the ownership or control of the Chinese government. It also prohibits any unfair practices that violate genetic privacy.
Some agree, while others disagree over the new laws, especially on difficult and inflammatory issues such as anti-abortion laws. In general, many of the laws were welcomed as they provide ease and protection around particular issues that have been problematic in the past. With the economic unrest and current state of war, it is expected that additional laws may be introduced as the new generations acclimate to recent factors.