Tuesday May 30, 2023

Chapter Two in the Mark Shelnutt Drama

Many recall last year’s acquittal in a federal courtroom of Georgia lawyer Mark Shelnutt.  He was accused of and stood trial for several charges, including accepting drug money for legal fees.  Now, however, Shelnutt is facing state charges after video surfaced of his dealing drugs to a confidential informant.  Investigators obtained warrants and he was arrested late last week, says lawyer and LawCrossing.com founder A. Harrison Barnes.

Shelnutt’s fighting back and asking area residents to not judge him until the facts are known.  He insists it’s a set up as people are “rolling over” on him so that they can avoid jail time.  “Shelnutt was acquitted of thirty six charges in 2009”, says Barnes, “if it’s true he’s on video in this latest case, there’s a very good chance he won’t be so lucky again”.  He was arrested at the Columbus Government Center and charged with eight counts of distribution of a controlled substance.

Shelnutt is currently out on bond and says his law firm is continuing on, “business as usual”.  One police officer said, “That’s the problem”.

So what do these multiple arrests mean and is this a new trend?  A. Harrison Barnes says it’s a shame that a few black marks can taint the legal profession in its entirety.  “But the fact is, there are those in any profession that will make others take a deep breath and hope it passes soon”.

In early 2010, a Memphis attorney, J. Richard Rossie was indicted in a Tennessee courtroom after he was charged with stealing more than $100,000 over the years from a few of his clients.  His law partner was convicted two years earlier for those same charges.  This is indicative of yet another attorney in the legal profession who’s not only pushed the proverbial envelope once, but twice.  Rossie wasn’t indicted with his former partner, but he too was investigated during that trial. Currently, Rossie is awaiting trial and is out on bond.

The American Bar Association keeps statistics on attorneys from every state, including disciplinary actions.  The number of those who had sanctions filed against them or who were disbarred have dropped significantly in recent years.  This proves Barnes’ point.  “There will always be those who feel it’s their right to take things that don’t belong to them, whether they’re attorneys, nurses, iron workers or teachers.  It’s more about human nature than it is about any one profession” says the LawCrossing.com founder.

For now, Shelnutt is out on bond and reiterates to the press that he will continue to represent his clients and will maintain his same schedule.  He continues to tell anyone who will listen that he’s been set up and that those who are lying are trying to keep their children from being taken away or they’re attempting to prevent having to go to jail.  No date has been set, but it looks like he’ll be facing a judge sooner rather than later.

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The Legalities of Polygamy

Last week, a new television show aired on The Learning Channel (TLC).  Sister Wives is a reality show that follows a man, his three wives and their twelve children.  One of the wives is currently pregnant, which will bring the total number of children to 13 and the show promises to reveal the courtship and what looks like to be an eventual marriage to a fourth wife later in the season.

Sister Wives is built on the premise of revealing to all of America that polygamy isn’t perverted and in fact, it shouldn’t be illegal.  Attorneys, especially those in areas where polygamy is heavily practiced, have staunchly represented their clients in the past, usually not winning, however.  Polygamy is as much illegal today as it’s always been.  It’s just now a few practicing polygamists are stepping out of the shadows, in part due to the popularity of the HBO hit Big Love.

We asked A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and LawCrossing.com founder, if he felt a new trend was emerging that will be keeping lawyers busy as this practice attempts to push through the boundaries and land smack dab in the middle of mainstream America.  “As long as it’s illegal, there will be a veil, transparent as it is, but a veil nonetheless that will prevent it from hitting mainstream in that sense”, said Barnes.

Indeed, a quick search on any of the search engines covers the bases on everything from escaping these “cult-like unions” to those who insist it’s a legitimate way to live one’s life.  “Many people equate this practice to child brides and elderly men marrying ten year old girls”, says Barnes.  There are several “break away” groups that hide behind the traditional Mormon faith and anytime religion is involved, folks are treading on religious freedom rights.  It’s for these reasons the legal community struggles to keep that balance while effectively representing their clients.

Further adding fuel to the fire is what many say include burdening taxpaying Americans to support the often large number of offspring.  ABC News reported a few years ago that many women are forced to go on welfare to help provide for their children. In all fairness, and certainly it appears so in TLC’s new program, many families work hard to support their children and in the TLC project, all four adults are employed in professional positions, including one sister wife who is a psychologist and the husband, Kory, is employed as an advertising executive.

“It’s more likely the legalities, for this particular family anyway, will come in if and when the husband loses his job once his lifestyle is revealed”, said one Oklahoma attorney.

Many are predicting polygamy is the next red hot political topic, much the way same sex marriages are today, say several experts, including A. Harrison Barnes.  It will certainly provide for interesting debate as religion, freedom, politics and bigamy prepare to clash in courtrooms across the country, predicts the LawCrossing.com founder.

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CNA jobs in Manhattan, New York

The United States, a Certified Nursing Sister is defined as a person, who assists individuals, or atients, with their health care needs and provides bedside care, including basic nursing procedures. A nurse assistant is an important part of a health care team, in present day hospitals and extended care facilities.

Nurse assistants are needed to provide routine care, in order that nurses can perform the duties for which they are trained, as outlined by each state’s Nurse Practice Acts. The nurse assistant, must not only be highly skilled in the actual procedures being performed, but also be able to observe a patient’s condition and report back to the nurse. The nurse assistant is often referred to as the “eyes and ears” of the nurse.

There are manhattan new york jobs, New York and for qualified nurse assistants, it cold be worth while considering the concept of working independently? Your services and expertise are in demand in many areas. Your skilled occupation is the type that is listed by ShortTask; an online Global organisation, designed to connect professional and skilled job Seekers, with employers. The services of numerous skilled and professional people are continually in demand. They are therefore, able to negotiate well paid and beneficial packages.

You have worked hard, to attain your qualifications and experience as a nurse assistant and it could well be that working independently could benefit you financially. Your ability and exceptional skills could already be needed in many medical related facilities. Whilst CNA jobs in Manhattan, New York could be worth considering, as an independent worker, you would be able to choose where you would like to work, with whom and have guaranteed payment in American Dollars!

Some of the reasons for you trying this new and exciting online concept with ShortTask are as follows. For the employers or “Seekers”, it is cost effective, with a further incentive being that there are no advertising costs and a huge amount of skilled workers available to them. In addition, there can be large savings and benefits, in not having to take employees on a permanent basis! For the workers or “Solvers”, they retain their independence to make a choice of work from a large selection and have the benefit of working from home.

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Why the Small Business Administration is Your Biggest Ally

From designing training programs for new employees to gaining access to various loan products to grow your business, the Small Business Administration, or SBA, is your second stop after, of course, finding those new employees on Hound.com. There are countless programs that will ensure your business gets off to a healthy start and then flourish in even the toughest of economies, says A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and Hound.com founder. “Many business owners take advantage of the free online training courses in everything from business management to the various federal compliance issues that are applicable to any business, regardless of its size”, says Barnes.

The recession has changed the way companies hire new employees and the dynamics involved with the process as a whole. From health insurance to vacation days, everything’s shifted and it looks like these dynamics are going to be in play through at least 2012 if we’re to believe the latest information coming from the Obama Administration. The better prepared you are, the greater the odds of your business being a success.

Another important aspect of starting a new business is putting together a professional and all inclusive business plan. From start to finish, the resources to make that happen are on the SBA’s website. Need start up funds? Want to buy a franchise? Want to grow your small business and need to justify on paper how it will mean the addition of ten new employees? All these questions, plus many more, are answered here. A. Harrison Barnes says many businesses don’t consider the SBA as a viable tool because they’re not sure if they meet the definition of a small business. That’s unfortunate, since even if your company doesn’t qualify as a small business, you still have access to the many resources available on the site. It’s free and the information is accurate, well defined and also provides even more resources outside the confines of the agency.

One of the strongest pulls for the SBA is its financial assistance. While the SBA does not directly loan any monies, it does back those businesses that have strong business plans and can prove they offer a viable service or product in their communities. The small business owner then approaches his banker, with the power of the SBA serving as a partner and standing good for the loan.

Having these kinds of resources can often mean gaining the edge that will allow a business expand, increase its profits and bring on new employees to keep pace with the growth. This, of course, is the purpose of the administration. A. Harrison Barnes encourages businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the wealth of resources available to anyone who needs it. There are even target audiences that include sections devoted to veterans, women, young entrepreneurs and those businesses focusing on international trade.

With so much information stocked on this valuable website, why wouldn’t anyone take advantage of its one stop service?

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When Managers Can’t Please the New Worker

Every manager, at some point in his career, has experienced (or will experience) the new worker who was hired with high expectations, but who has failed miserably. Even worse, there’s not pleasing the new kid on the block. One manager of a Florida shoe store recalls the time she hired a woman in her early twenties because in her interview, it was clear she had a genuine interest in quality footwear. The manager believed she’d be a good fit with the other employees. Before the young woman finished her first (and last) day, she had complained about the stupidity of having the store’s front facing the west where the sun sets, the inventory methods used to keep the shoes straight in the stockroom and even became frustrated when she learned she wouldn’t receive a one hour lunch break for a five and a half hour work shift. The manager said it was like Jekyll and Hyde – the interview was flawless, her actual work ethic was a joke. Unfortunately, that’s not as uncommon as many would like to believe, says career coach and Hound.com founder A. Harrison Barnes.

“Too many times, a job candidate can swing the interview with perfect precision, yet be the biggest disappointment to the one who hired him”. This is likely due to the sheer volume of interviews a person like this encounters. Since they probably change jobs often, mastering the interview is an old hat to them. Ideally, the new employee will bail before putting you in the awkward position of letting them go after the first day. That’s not always the case, though, says the Hound.com founder. Often, these folks tend to be a bit narcissistic and have a sense of entitlement. They believe they’re actually doing you, as the hiring manager, a favor by gracing your business with their presence.

There are those times, too, when a new employee is really nervous and will level off to a far more pleasant person to be around; however, you likely only have a small window of opportunity to let someone go without cause in those few weeks and if you don’t have a clause as part of the employment offer, you should be drafting one right now. “Every employer needs the option of letting go of those employees who aren’t a good fit, no matter how good they were during the interview phase”.

There is one silver lining, though. Most narcissistic people don’t like to be reprimanded. That’s sometimes all it takes to see a flash rush by, headed towards the front door. Of course, they’ll tell everyone you’re a horrible manager to work for, but you’ll know different as will those employees who do have a better disposition and who take their responsibilities a bit more seriously. In the end, that’s what it boils down to. You have a business to run, and it’s not one that includes babysitting an adult.

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Class Action Lawsuits and the New iPhone

Few could have anticipated the events following the release of the new iPhone 4. Within days of its big release that had folks lining up outside retailers hours before it was slated to officially be sold, class action lawsuits began piling up. A. Harrison Barnes, lawyer and founder of LegalAuthority.com says there have been at least five classic action suits filed by the time July 1 rolled around. Apple currently is facing these suits in California, Texas and Maryland and resolves around the lack of reception in the devices cell coverage.

Apple is not the only big company in the crosshairs of career attorneys; AT&T has been named in at least one of those suits in California, says the LegalAuthority.com founder. When complaints began rolling in the same day of the unit’s release, one company official was quoted as saying, “Just don’t hold the phone like that and the calls won’t drop”. No doubt, loyal Apple followers were seeing red. One New Jersey lawyer says it’s his belief more of these suits will be filed in the coming weeks. With more than 1.7 million iPhones sold on the first day alone, it’s clear things are going to get a big iSticky with the iPod, iPhone and iPad makers.

So what are the claims based on? A. Harrison Barnes says these suits include accusations of fraud by concealment, breach of warranty, negligence, intentional and negligent misrepresentation and defective designs. One of the lawyers says defendants have three options, holding the phone in an uncomfortable position, return their phones and face a 10% restocking fee or purchase an Apple bumper case for $30. None are acceptable, especially considering customers are dropping several hundred dollars already.

It appears to get worse for both Steve Jobs and Apple, says the LegalAuthority.com founder. After one customer posted a video that showed how touching the phone in one certain area resulted in a dropped call, the company contacted the customer and asked him to not post any further videos and to not fall victim to “rumor hysteria”. Then the emails began. In what appears to be a very patronizing response to this customer’s complaints, the company now appears to be in a marketing crisis.

Most recently, it’s been announced the restocking fee has been waived for customers wishing to return their iPhones; however, this hasn’t been confirmed yet.

One thing’s for sure, lawyers across the country are watching this entire even unfold as more customers lose faith in their Apple products and the engineering team scrambles for a satisfactory fix before the company’s stock begins to drop faster than BP Oil’s stock in recent weeks. That may be something the two companies have in common – a nation of disheartened consumers who are now saying, “enough already”.

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Getting into Law School

Choosing your first, second and third choices in law schools is the easy part; getting acceptance into your first three choices, or, for that matter, you’re tenth, twentieth and beyond, is a bit more difficult. We asked A. Harrison Barnes, LegalAuthority.com founder, for his insight. Keep reading – you just might learn something new.

As with all things in life, says Barnes, you get back what you put into it. Your work to get into law school begins long before you even graduate high school. It’s all about studying and then studying more. Your LSATs and GPAs are probably the most important consideration college boards look at, but they’re certainly not the only factors that go into the equation. Also, says the LegalAuthority.com, this is no time for procrastination. You really should apply early. Don’t let rolling admissions weaken your resolve, especially if scholarships are part of the equation.

While the recession has few silver linings, one of them is a restructuring of financial options for those wishing to attend law school. Your good credit can easily serve as the bridge that covers the expense of getting your degree. The government has many opportunities that are flexible in repayment options. Even better is if you agree to contribute so many years to the public interest sector, you might qualify for having your debt eliminated in its entirety.

It’s crucial, says A. Harrison Barnes, to have a really good idea on which specialty you’ll pursue. Those that offer the best future income potential include financial law (including bankruptcies), regulatory and compliance (think BP and oil spill) areas and of course, environmental issues. Don’t choose your area of specialty for the income potential alone, cautions Barnes. Ideally, your choice will be one that you really want to make a difference in.

Remember to not get discouraged. Life is tough and according to some, law school is even tougher. Keep in mind too, just as with all careers, you have to make a name for yourself. You don’t start out making a million a year and if you set up shop in a small rural town, you’re not going to make as much as you would in say, Washington DC or New York City. According to the Bureau of Labor Stats, starting salaries are lower for those entering the job market in 2010 and 2011. Some say the percentages are as much as 5%.

Regardless of the hard work and the sacrifices law students make, it’s always worth it. Becoming a lawyer is a career many use as a catalyst to do good works for their communities and to make a difference. Never let the sacrifices stand in your way, says the LawCrossing.com founder. Make up your mind, take a step forward and then another. Before you know it, those steps will be made across an auditorium as your name is called out to received your degree.

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Gloomiest Legal Employment Climates in History

A report released by U.S. News and World Report in late June 2010 says law jobs are going to become increasingly difficult to secure.  This isn’t the kind of news law school graduates want to hear.  It gets worse, too.  It’s expected the class of 2010 will likely “have lower raw employment numbers than the class before it”.  This, from the executive director of the National Association for Law Placement, is definitely a letdown.  He goes on to say those looking to graduate in 2011 will join an already oversaturated job pool of those 2010 graduates who might still be looking for employment or at least, better opportunities than they currently have.  A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and LawCrossing.com founder, says one advantage every law student should be pursuing are those coveted summer internships.  The statistics agree.  In 2009, just 3% of law firms say they hired associates who were not a part of their summer internship programs.

Now, courtesy of the economy, it’s believed 25% of law firms won’t even offer internships this year and possibly next summer as well.  One law professor says he’s never seen a more difficult year for lawyers wishing to enter the legal arena.  It’s not entirely bad, though, says A. Harrison Barnes.  A full 33% of firms say they expect to begin hiring later in the summer, it’s just that they may bring on board more experienced attorneys. Because many legal firms had already made major cutbacks, there simply isn’t the support in place that allow the partners to invest a lot of time into inexperienced lawyers.  That said, only three percent say they won’t hire at all this year.  That’s an improvement over the past few years, says the LawCrossing.com founder.

So what does Barnes recommend for those seeking work in the legal field.  The first thing he emphasizes is that your resume should be flawless.  Triple check it or better yet, consider allowing a professional create it for you.  This will ensure you have an edge going into the process even before you meet the interviewer.  LawCrossing.com offers a resume service for those who need a dynamic legal resume.  There’s a reason this team of professionals has seen the competition come and go while they have remained stead: it’s all about the quality and attention to detail.   Another suggestion includes applying for internships early.  If you wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas, you’ve waited too long.  Now’s the time to start the process for next summer.

Finally, Barnes points out that downturns are to be expected, regardless of what anyone does for a living.  It’s just part of the cycle; it ebbs and flows and for now, the country is still digging out of one of those low points; this one just happened to be a bit deeper than other recessions in recent history.

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Now the World Knows!

A new Fox Business study reveals women are incredible small business owners.  There are those of us who have known this for years, now, however, the whole world knows too!  A. Harrison Barnes agrees, “Women have always been organized, detail oriented and on top of exactly what their business means not only to them on a personal level, but to their employees and their communities”.

The study says women business owner contribute $3 trillion dollars to the U.S. economy each year.  Further, these businesses employ 16% of the American workforce.  The research goes on to say that over the next eight years, another 5.5 million jobs will be created – all courtesy of the woman entrepreneur.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that’s more than half of the jobs expected to be created by all small businesses during this time frame.

So should job seekers be looking to those businesses that have women at the helm?  Maybe, says the Hound.com founder.  Barnes says women are more comfortable with the socializing aspect of running their businesses.  They’re more visible on the web, courtesy of social networking sites, and they’re more willing to take risks.  That’s not to say, Barnes points out, that they don’t carefully consider their risks before taking them; they do their homework and prepare for every calculated risk taken to grow their businesses.  A. Harrison Barnes takes it a step further, “Women business owners tend to believe in the potential of their employees and will work to ensure their workers’ strong points surface”.

And while it’s true women feel they must be more aggressive in their efforts, there is a trend that suggests women have grown tired of playing “the bad guy” and they’ve grown frustrated with some of the less than kind labels that accompany a successful woman.  Enter the more assertive, though less aggressive, woman of the 21st century.
Barnes says his job site, Hound.com, has many clients who are women and are running very successful businesses.  These are the ones that approach bringing new employees on board with an open mind – and an open heart.  For the first time in many years, women entrepreneurs aren’t apologizing for the softer sides of their business selves.  They thrive on collaborative efforts, they want to be respected but not feared.  They want their accomplishments acknowledged for what they truly are and not because it’s the politically correct thing to do.  In short, women are beginning to write their own rule books and isn’t it about time?

One reason we’re seeing more businesses owned by women is because they’ve thrown out the traditional play books and instead, are doing things their way and this new approach is paying off, as seen by these latest numbers and trends.  So as the company continues to recover from this latest recession, the new face of business is emerging – stronger and more confident than ever.

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Four Attributes Every Lawyer Must Have

Sure, the legal field is tough, competitive and not for the weak-minded. But if you had to list only three “must have” traits to become a successful attorney, what would they be? We asked A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and founder of LawCrossing.com for his four must-have traits. He came up with these in no time. See if yours match his:

Decisiveness – This is absolutely crucial for an attorney to possess, says the LawCrossing.com founder. Anything less than a decisive attitude jeopardizes the faith your law firm, your client and even the judge has in you. This isn’t a naturally acquired trait – so wise lawyers practice it until they feel it. The ability to arrive at a conclusion can put you under the gun, but your client’s relying on you to do just that.

Intelligence – Intelligence, while it’s also related to your education, is also about one’s ability to think fast and come to conclusions even as others haven’t even considered them. A good attorney thinks and works smartly, says A. Harrison Barnes. An intelligent attorney also is intelligent enough to maintain a realistic outlook if he’s to serve his clients. He knows when a client is wasting his time and money and he has the ethics to not allow him to continue to waste either.

Empathy – There comes a time in every lawyer’s career that he must learn to empathize with his client. He must feel the passion that allows him to want to make real change for others. Without this trait, a lawyer will never be as successful as he could be, says Barnes.

The ability to feel empathy keeps us human and keeps us connected. Even if you’ve never walked in another’s shoes, it’s important to empathize with his situation.

Confidence – This one’s as important as all the others. There is nothing that will drain one’s faith in his attorney that to see him not confident and full of self doubt. If you think about it, this applies to humans in general, says Barnes. This one can be tricky, though. Confidence is never synonymous with conceited. Confidence never has to show off and it never has to prove its existence – it just is what it is. No one likes the arrogant lawyer – and if you can’t differentiate between the two, you’re not confident.

While there are many other qualities and traits that attorneys should possess, these are the four A. Harrison Barnes believes must be present in order to define a good legal mind. So what are the traits you have as an attorney and do they flow over into your personal life? Those best attorneys know where the lines are drawn and know how to bring only their best foot forward – whether they’re meeting in a courtroom, a new client or his wife for dinner.

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