File this one under `Celebrities and Their Spouses Behaving Badly.' The charges have gotten ugly on both sides in former Dallas Cowboys star Deion Sanders’ breakup with second-wife Pilar Sanders, but the celebrity divorce filed in Dallas County also contains an interesting legal question.
In an effort to stiff-arm the prenup she signed that shields the bulk of Deion’s assets from her -- including their $21 million North Texas home -- Pilar is claiming that she is entitled to the assets because she signed the papers under duress. In this FOX Ch. 4 report, Dallas family law attorney Brad LaMorgese, of McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing, provides some analysis on the latest legal manueverings. See the video here.
We’ve all read about amnesty offered to individuals who turn in unwanted handguns and for deadbeat dads who are behind on child support payments.
Now, the IRS is offering its own sort of amnesty to employers who previously improperly classified workers as consultants or contractors, rather than as employees to avoid the costs associated with hiring them (such as unemployment, worker’s compensation and overtime).
As the San Francisco Chronicle writes:
Under the amnesty program, if an employer that is not already being audited voluntarily reclassifies its employees, it will pay a fraction of the employment taxes due for the most recent year, no interest or penalties and will not be subject to an IRS employment tax audit for past years. But it's not a get-out-of-jail-almost-free card. The employer could still be liable for unpaid state unemployment insurance and workers' compensation premiums. Workers who had been misclassified could sue to recover pay and benefits they might have been entitled to.
Reclassifying workers under the IRS program could even encourage state agencies and workers to pursue such claims…
Still, the IRS initiative has its upside, according to Todd Lowther of the Houston office of Thompson & Knight: “The program provides partial relief for eligible companies in allowing them to pay only 10 percent of the employment tax liability that would otherwise have been due in prior years. This essentially means that a business can ‘turn itself in’ to the IRS before being audited and eliminate the risk of IRS penalties for misclassifying employees.”
Lowther says, however, that companies need to consider any potential liability under state employment law before pursuing coverage under the IRS program.
Whether it’s best movies, worst fashion trends or stock market winners and losers, this time of year is loaded with Top 10 lists. With so many former journalists in our ranks here at Androvett Legal Media & Marketing, it only makes sense that we’d throw out our own roundup of the year’s top legal moments.
On the Houston and south Texas legal landscape, the big news included a contentious fight over Houston red-light cameras, allegations of district attorney misconduct in Harris County, a money laundering conviction for one of Texas’ highest profile politicians, and the confirmation of a new U.S. attorney. To see our resulting list for south Texas, click here
High-profile bankruptcies dominated the North Texas Top 10 list, including filings for American Airlines, Blockbuster and the Dallas Stars. Others standout cases include the politically charged corruption investigation of a longtime Dallas elected official and a multimillion-dollar verdict against one of North Texas’ top private school.
It seems like it would be hard for 2012 to match last year’s intense legal landscape, but Texas never seems to fall short of courthouse intrigue.