All Articles Tagged "lawyers"

The Iverson Saga Continues: Former Lawyer Says He Owes Big Time On A Bill

February 10th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"Allen Iverson pf"

Hopefully Allen Iverson has his umbrella because when it rains, it pours.

Jonathan Levine, Iverson’s former attorney in his divorce case, says the former NBA star owes him money for his services. He filed a lien against him in a Georgia court for all the money Iverson allegedly owes, according to TMZ.

Levine says the total is $61,098.86. Ouch.

Iverson was Levine’s client in 2012 when the divorce proceedings between he and his now ex-wife Tawanna first got started.  However, by the end of the year, Levine quit as his attorney stating that it was very difficult to communicate with Iverson. The divorced was just finalized last month by a new attorney who handled the settlement.

Levine says if he doesn’t get paid, he will go after Iverson’s assets.

This allegation only seems to lend to the rumors that Iverson is broke.  According to various reports, he spends a lot of money gambling and drinking. Most recently, he lost his mansion in Atlanta in a foreclosure auction after defaulting on his mortgage.  However, A.I. has always maintained that even though he’s led a lavish lifestyle since becoming an NBA star. He might actually be right: he still has plenty of money – he just won’t see any of it until he’s 45 years old and his NBA pension kicks in. He also allegedly has an account he doesn’t gain full access to until he’s 55 years old.

He also recently agreed to $3 million to his ex-wife in their divorce settlement.

Perhaps he’ll pay the lawyer what he allegedly owes and at least get one thing off his financial plate.

How To File For Bankruptcy: Avoid The Mistakes Toni Braxton May Have Made

October 30th, 2012 - By Ann Brown
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The latest financial controversy for Toni Braxton are accusations of bankruptcy fraud, alleging that she gave her estranged husband more than $50,000 to avoid paying creditors. (She’s also trending this morning on Twitter for her Behind the Music episode. Did you see it? We have to check that out.)

This could actually happen to anyone if they don’t know the rules or they try to do a runaround the laws. If you are filing, check the bankruptcy laws in your state. But first, assess whether or not it is time for you to declare bankruptcy. According to bankruptcy lawyer Bruce Weiner of Brooklyn-based Rosenberg, Musso & Weiner, LLP , bankruptcy is an option when “the amount of credit card debt is approaching annual income; you have had a drop or loss of income and are thinking of tapping into IRA or 401(k) to pay credit cards; or you stop answering phone because of collection calls.”

New York-based attorney Daniel Gershburg, agrees, adding that “one of the first signs that bankruptcy may be necessary is that you don’t have enough money to pay your credit card minimums. And once you begin to consistently transfer balances from one card to pay for the other, it’s time to file.”

Here’s how to file:

  • Go to a counselor: Attend a credit counseling course. “The course takes approximately 90 minutes and you learn about credit and budgeting,” says Gershburg.
  • Do the paperwork: “Fill out petition and schedules, preferably with an attorney who understands exemptions (what you can keep when filing), all the income tests and rules, and will ask the right questions about transfers or payments to relatives. [He/she] also will understand which debts will be discharged,” says Weiner.
  • Be organized: “File petitions, schedules, counseling certificates, and 60 days of pay stubs with court,” Weiner tells Madame Noire.
  • Follow up: “After trustee assigned to case, mail all papers to trustee together with last tax return,” Weiner explains.
  • Take a 341 Meeting a.k.a. the Meeting of the Creditors: About three weeks after you file for bankruptcy, you should meet with a trustee to go over the bankruptcy estate and other financial data, including the amount you’ve kept in your checking account, inheritances and other info, Gershburg explained to us.
  • Class in session: You will be required to go to another credit counseling class to get your discharge papers, which will be sent about 60 days after, Gershberg said. Keep your bankruptcy lawyer on hand.

If Braxton did transfer some of her money into her husband’s bank account, it’s something that could have been remedied by a bankruptcy trustee, Weiner points out. Federal bankruptcy law gives you two years to undo this action, and most states will give you six years.

“What this means is that if you transfer an asset to anyone for less than fair consideration at a time when you are in debt, the trustee will sue the transferee to avoid the transfer and bring the asset into the bankruptcy so he or she can sell it,” he says. “Another thing that gets people in trouble is repayment of loans to relatives within one year of filing. A trustee can recover that money as a preferential payment.”

If in doubt, check with an attorney. “Your relatives are no different, under bankruptcy laws, than Visa or American Express,” says Gershburg.  “Giving your relatives assets prior to bankruptcy means that the other creditors can’t get their own debts paid. It can either be classified as preferential payments and/or a fraudulent transfer. While, to you, paying your mother maybe more important than paying Discover, doing so can risk your entire bankruptcy case.”

He recommends that you always speak with an attorney before giving mom what you owe her.

WOMAN TO WOMAN: Intuition Or Insecurity?

March 31st, 2012 - By Rashana A. Hooks
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There is nothing more powerful than a woman’s intuition. You know that indescribable gut feeling we get when something is wrong, that tells us to research and react immediately. For many of us this gut wrenching gift has come in handy when uncovering things hidden from us in relationships. We’ve used this secret weapon to expose those who have wronged us without rhyme or reason.  Our only explanation is “something just told me so”. Also known as our “sixth sense”, we’ve grown to depend on this truth telling tale to have our backs when needed.

But sometimes it’s not our intuition that leads us to investigate a perceived problem, it’s our insecurities.  Yes, I said it – our insecurities and unaddressed issues can be easily masked or confused with a “woman’s intuition” and cause us to look for things that aren’t even there.  If we are lacking in the trust department or don’t think we are deserving of a monogamous and happy relationship than we can easily fall victim to believing that our man is up to no good and possibly ruin a perfectly fine relationship.

It’s important that we don’t get these two “feelings” twisted and drive ourselves crazy imagining things that don’t even exist. If you sense something is wrong in your relationship, check the conversation in your head and figure out if you have evidence to support it. If not, then it could be your insecurities getting the best of you.  I know it’s hard to admit that you may have insecurities but trust, we all have them and if you don’t manage them they can hold you back from having the fulfilling relationship you deserve. I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “seek and you shall find even if nothing is there”.  Remember, regardless if it’s our intuition or insecurity when we look for something wrong, we’ll most likely find it.

Woman to woman, our intuition is powerful, yet our insecurities are real, know the difference.


Want to talk to me Woman to Woman or have a topic you would like addressed? Email me at or you can follow me on twitter @rashanahooks


Kanye Launches Design Co., Names It After His Mother

January 5th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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If you think you have what it takes, or could actually stomach working for Kanye West, here’s your chance.

Last night the rapper/fashion designer/inventor? announced plans to launch a design company named DONDA to develop products and services that “marry our wants and needs.”

“DONDA is a design company which will galvanize amazing thinkers and put them in a creative space to bounce their dreams and ideas,” he wrote.

“I am assembling a team of architects, graphic designers, directors musicians, producers, AnRs, writers, publicist, social media experts, app guys, managers, car designers, clothing designers, DJs, video game designers, publishers, tech guys, lawyers, bankers, nutritionist, doctors, scientist, teachers.

“DONDA will be comprised of over 22 divisions with a goal to make products and experiences that people want and can afford,” he said. “We want to help simplify and aesthetically improve everything we see hear, touch, taste and feel. To dream of, create, advertise and produce products driven equally by emotional want and utilitarian need.”

Kanye’s passion for his new idea is undeniable and he’s also pretty proud of the company’s name.

“I’m so excited about the name…. it’s got the best name ever of all companies of all time!!!” he wrote. “The name of the company is DONDA.”

Just be warned. Kanye revealed the details of the new company amidst a three-hour twitter rant on missed opportunities, closed doors, and fronting his owm money to pursue his passions, so he’s still the same old Ye. Nevertheless it’s cool to see him thinking outside the box like this and honoring his mother’s memory at the same time. He also told anybody who wants in on the team to drop a line to

What do you think about Kanye’s idea? Can he pull it off?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

More on Madame Noire!

Matthew Knowles Refutes Claims He Stole Money From Beyoncé

July 12th, 2011 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Big papa Knowles, Beyoncé’s manager for most of her career, has allegedly come out to say why he was axed as B’s manager. And it’s a sticky situation thanks to money.

According to TMZ, Matthew says that the folks at Live Nation Entertainment told Beyoncé that he had taken funds from her that he was not entitled to during her most recent tour. After an audit was done by Beyoncé’s lawyers, it was allegedly found that the singer did indeed have money missing and all signs pointed back at Matthew. He says he was subsequently fired because of the claims.

Matthew now claims that as his replacement, Beyoncé hired an individual that used to be an executive at Live Nation Entertainment, and still has close ties with the powerhouse live entertainment company. So if you’re smelling what I’m smelling, Matthew’s thinking pots may have been stirred to help the folks at Live Nation get in where they fit in with the lucrative star. Matthew says all claims that he took money from his daughter are false, and he has filed legal papers to take depositions of a number of people at Live Nation to figure out how they came to the conclusion that he had taken money from her.

Beyoncé has been pretty mum (as she always is about everything) about the replacement of her father as manager, and though he’s not around her as much as he used to be, they still seem to have a decent relationship (see his part in the dedication to her for the Millennium Award given to her at the most recent Billboard Music Awards). We hope for the benefit of their relationship that this is all speculation. If he did take the money from her without her consent, well, that’s messed up. However, Matthew did help B get where she’s at (and not just in a parental support sense) and obtain those dollars, so would completely firing him for that reason really be the best option? Maybe there’s more to this story…

To read the whole story from the horse’s mouth, check out TMZ.

To Produce More Minority Lawyers, Program Focuses on Teenagers

July 5th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(AJC) — In a 12th-floor conference room of a Buckhead law firm the other day, a group of high school students took turns explaining the recent Supreme Court decision to block a class-action sex discrimination suit against giant retailer Walmart.  Girls dressed in modest skirts and blouses, the boys in shirts and ties, they easily looked the part. And their presentations were as reasoned and succinct as those of seasoned attorneys making opening arguments. Vesselina Kotzeva was poised and easily made eye contact with her audience. She managed even to make her case absent that singsong phrasing that is so common among teenage girls and that her young “colleagues” had become used to over the past week.

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Lawyers: Hourly Billing OK, Hourly Employment Not

June 15th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Wall Street Journal) — When he decided to become a lawyer, Jose Aponte followed a familiar path: He took the LSAT, spent more than $100,000 on law school, took a grueling bar exam and paid for continuing education.  But the work the 37-year-old New York lawyer, a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law, is getting is a far cry from the stable, lucrative type he originally envisioned.  Mr. Aponte is part of a growing field of itinerant “contract” attorneys who move from job to job, getting paid by the hour, largely to review documents for law firms and corporate clients. These short-term jobs, which can pay as little as $15 an hour, have increasingly become a fixture in the $100 billion global corporate legal industry as law firms and clients seek to lower their costs.  This new “third tier” of the legal world illustrates the commoditization of the legal profession, which once offered most new entrants access to prestige and power, as well as a professional lifestyle. It also shows how pos

Shortage of Lawyers to Handle Foreclosure Fallout

May 4th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Wall Street Journals) — Moves by banks to ditch law firms snared in the “robo-signing” mess are spreading delays and confusion to borrowers, while angering judges grappling with thousands of foreclosure cases now trapped in limbo.  The trouble began when U.S. banks and government-owned mortgage giants lost confidence in some law firms that handled a huge volume of foreclosures. After controversy erupted last fall over the shoddy review of loan documents known as robo-signing, banks dropped some law firms. Finding replacement lawyers who can pick up the slack quickly has been a struggle. While the resulting slowdown means that fewer houses are being seized, late fees are piling up for homeowners seeking a loan modifications. Investors who own bonds backed by those mortgages could face higher costs from the snags.  “It’s causing chaos because nobody knows who’s representing whom,” says Thomas Ice, a foreclosure defense lawyer in Royal Palm Beach, Fla.  The problems are particularly acute in Florida, one of 23 U.S. states where foreclosures must be processed through courts. Last fall, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac terminated their relationship with the Law Offices of David J. Stern. At its peak, the Plantation, Fla., firm handled nearly 20% of all foreclosures in the state.

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Law School Applications Down

March 17th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Wall Street Journal) — Student applications to law schools are down sharply this year, as college seniors grow leery of a degree that promises certain debt and uncertain job prospects.  The number of law-school applicants this year is down 11.5% from a year ago to 66,876, according to the Law School Admission Council Inc. The figure, which is a tally of applications for the fall 2011 class, is the lowest since 2001 at this stage of the process. The Council estimates that the application process is 86% complete, based on historical patterns.  Prospective law students increasingly are aware of the grim job market for lawyers and the challenges they would face in paying off law-school loans, college career advisers said. Corporate law firms, long the employer of choice for many graduates, have cut back on hiring in recent years, and most firms haven’t raised salaries for starting lawyers.

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Black-Owned Law Firms Weather the Storm

January 24th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Network Journal) — While many reports have documented that the African-American and Latino unemployment rate is approximately double that of the country, African-American attorneys and Black-owned law firms have not been an exception.  Diversity, Inc. the leading publication on diversity and business, the caliber of client stream is vitally important. When asked in one of the organization’s recent surveys how much work minority-owned firms obtain from Fortune 1000 companies, twelve percent noted that they receive more than 75 percent of their revenue from such sources, twenty-five percent received 50-75% of their revenue from Fortune 1000 companies while forty-six received no such work at all from such companies.

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