Potential Sibling Adoption in central Arkansas

Please all be praying for a set of three siblings aged 4-12.  These three kids need a good family to take them in and be there for them.  Please email me directly for more information if interested.  shane@shafirm.com

3 different criminal attorneys stabbed by client

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Defendant Loses Right to a Lawyer After Allegedly Stabbing 3 of Them with Pencils or Pens in Court

Posted Nov 2, 2011 5:55 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss

Updated: A man has been convicted of drug charges after a judge in Washington state declared that pencil-and-pen-packing defendant Joshua Monson forfeited his right to counsel because of three attacks on his lawyers during court hearings.

None of the lawyers was seriously hurt. In the first two incidents, which occurred less than a week apart, Monson was accused of stabbing two different lawyers with pencils he smuggled from jail, HeraldNet.comreports. On Tuesday, Monson grabbed the pen being used by his defense lawyer, Jesse Cantor of Everett, Wash., and stabbed Cantor in the head, witnesses said.

The attack occurred Tuesday as prosecutors gave opening statements in Monson’s felony drug trial in Snohomish County. Corrections officers set off an electric stun cuff on Monson’s leg as he lunged for the pen and then piled on top of him, the story says. The first person to reach Monson was a police officer seated at the prosecution table.

Judge David Kurtz said Monson would have to defend himself without a lawyer and would be strapped to a special chair for the rest of the trial. Kurtz advised jurors to ignore the incident, the restraints and the lawyer’s absence.

HeraldNet.com reported that Monson was convicted of drug possession Thursday while in the restraint chair. “A standby defense attorney from King County sat through the hearings to answer Monson’s legal questions,” HeraldNet.com wrote. Monson was not allowed to sign court documents with a pen or pencil.

HeraldNet.com also notes that Monson will be back in court again to face second-degree murder charges and, separately, two fourth-degree assault charges for the alleged attacks on his attorneys.

Updated Nov. 4 to report that Monson was convicted.

World’s Youngest Judge?

LAW IN POPULAR CULTURE

Indiana Lawyer Who Started His Legal Career as a 17-Year-Old Judge Gets the World Record

Posted Oct 31, 2011 4:30 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss

Indiana lawyer Marc Griffin has claimed the title once held by a Texas man: Guinness World Records has declared that Griffin holds the record for being the world’s youngest judge.

Griffin was an enterprising 17-year-old high school graduate in 1974 when he persuaded county commissioners to appoint him to fill a vacancy for justice of the peace. Griffin later won re-election to the job that included presiding over some civil and criminal cases, as well as performing weddings. “I was marrying people, throwing people in jail, and fining people,” he recalls.

Griffin managed to snag the job at such a young age because of his realization that his township had a long-time vacancy for a justice of the peace. The last justice of the peace had died some 50 years before, and the position was never filled. Cases for the township were being handled by other justices of the peace in the county.

“I discovered this justice of the peace thing,” Griffin recalled in an interview with the ABA Journal, “and I thought, ‘Wait a minute, we need another court and I’m qualified.’ ” He requested a meeting with the county’s three commissioners, and persuaded them to recommend his appointment. The state’s governor concurred and gave him his commission.

Griffin learned of the vacancy because of his interest in the law while still in high school. “I knew I wanted to be a lawyer,” Griffin says, “so I used to sit and read statutory law. Some people read novels, some people read sports magazines. I would just sit and read Indiana law.”

Speeding tickets were a big part of Griffin’s docket because the highway speed limit had recently dropped from 70 to 55 miles an hour. He held court at all hours of the night when police needed authority to lock up suspected domestic abusers. But it was the weddings he performed and an attorney general’s opinion that garnered national news coverage. Griffin was marrying people even though he was himself too young to marry without parental consent, a fact noted by critics.

The state attorney general opined that Griffin was too young to hold office. An Associated Press “fun-sy” story reporting on the decision questioned whether the people Griffin had married were “living in sin” because their weddings were illegal, Griffin says. The legal dispute was put to rest when a circuit court found Griffin qualified to hold office, paving the way for a short-lived judicial career.

The state eliminated justice of the peace courts a year or two later. Griffin finished his education and got a law degree from Indiana University School of Law. He has a niche practice representing banks and insurance companies that obtain liens on properties through tax sales.

Griffin contacted Guinness after he read an article at ABAJournal.com about a Texas man who held the record for winning election as a justice of the peace at the age of 18. Griffin supplied Guinness with evidence verifying his appointment at age 17, and learned last Thursday that he is the new world record holder. A press release dispatched to the ABA Journal the same day announced his achievement.

Griffin says in the press release that he contacted Guinness 37 years after the fact because he didn’t realize the publication covered judicial records. “I thought they were just records of stunts, like doing the most jumping jacks,” he says in the release.

Arkansas NonProfits and 501(c)3 Federal Form 990 Update

Form 990 Requires Diligence and
Thoroughness

 

The IRS has issued final regulations related to
the recently redesigned Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt From Income
Tax
), which is required for most tax-exempt entities. Not surprisingly, the
final regulations generally follow guidelines established by proposed
regulations in 2008. The sweeping changes approved by the final regulations take
effect on September 7, 2011, and generally apply to tax years beginning on or
after January 1, 2008.

 

New Form IRS 990 Digs Deep

The new Form 990 is designed to increase transparency
of tax-exempt organizations. It requires extensive reporting about governance
and management policies, as well as the organization’s
relationship with board members, officers and key employees.

Currently, the entire Form 990 must be filed for an
organization with gross receipts of $200,000 or more and total assets of
$500,000 or more. An organization that fails to file Form 990 for three
consecutive years will lose its tax-exempt status.

The information an organization must obtain from
board members, officers and key employees includes answers to these
questions:

  • Did any of their family members engage in
    business transactions with the organization?
  • Did they (or their families) own more than
    35 percent
    of entities and engage in business transactions with the
    organization?
  • Did they do business, other than as a member
    of the general public, with another board member, officer, or key employee? Or
    did they do business or with an entity of which another board member, officer,
    or key employee is a director, officer or more-than-35 percent
    owner?
  • Did they have a family relationship with any
    other director, officer or key employee of the organization?
  • Are they a director, officer, or greater than
    10 percent owner of an entity of which another of the organization’s
    directors, officers, or key employees is a director, officer or more-than-10
    percent
    owner?

 

 

 

Here are some of the key areas addressed by the new final
regulations (TD 9549), and how they compare with the earlier proposed
regulations:

 

Advance ruling process –
Previously, an organization seeking to be recognized by the IRS as a publicly
supported charity had to complete a two-step process. First, the organization
was required to declare that it expected to remain publicly-supported on a
consistent basis. Second, after five years had passed, the organization had to
file Form 8734 (Support Schedule for Advance Ruling Period) showing
that it had satisfied this test.

The proposed regulations treated an organization as a
publicly supported organization in its first five years if it could show on its
application that it reasonably expected to receive the required public support
during this period. Now the new final regulations follow suit. This effectively
eliminates the advance ruling requirement.

Public support test – This test requires an
organization to receive more than one-third of its support each tax year from
qualified gifts, grants, contributions or membership fees, or gross receipts
from activities that are not an unrelated trade or business.

The proposed regulations changed the period for determining
public support from the four years prior to the tax year being tested to the
five years ending with the tax year being tested.

Under the final regulations, an organization that fails the
public support test for two consecutive tax years will be treated as a private
foundation for limited tax purposes. The organization will be treated as a
private foundation for all tax purposes beginning on the first day of the third
consecutive tax year.

Accounting methods – One of the goals of
redesigned Form 990 is to provide consistent tax and financial reporting.
Accordingly, if an organization computes its public support and reports the
information on Schedule A (Public Charity and Public Support), the
proposed regulations required it to use the same accounting method to report the
information on Form 990. The final regulations continue this treatment.

Reliance – As with the proposed
regulations, the new final regulations allow donors to rely on an organization’s
determination letter that it is a public charity unless the donor was
responsible for, or aware of, any action resulting in the loss of the status.

The final regulations also restore language that was
inadvertently deleted from the proposed regulations giving limited grantor and
donor reliance based on a written statement from the organization.

 

Compliance with the new final regulations is essential for
tax-exempt groups. Filing Form 990 can be a complicated process and it requires
diligence and thoroughness. Your tax adviser can provide assistance and more
information about how the regulations affect your
organization.

 

facebook.com/ArkansasAttorneys

Be sure to add our business page to your profile so that you can stay up to date with trends in the law, news relevant to our practice areas, and the occasional piece of trivia!  facebook.com/ArkansasAttorneys

Conway Men’s Chorus Spring Concert 2011

The Conway Men’s Chorus will perform its Spring Concert 2011 at Reynolds Performance Hall on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m., May 3, 2011.

Free admission.  Everyone is welcome.

Conway Office – New Address!

The Conway office of SH&A has moved.  Our attorneys are now found at 335 Hogan Lane, Suite 100, in Conway, Arkansas. We have expanded our operations to provide better service to our clients.

We hope to see you soon.

The New L3C: Low-Profit Limited Liability Company.

The new “low-profit limited liability company” (L3C) is a cross between a nonprofit, charitable organization and a for-profit limited liability company. Unlike a regular limited liability company, an L3C’s primary purpose is to provide an important social benefit rather than to generate an economic profit. Unlike a nonprofit organization, however, an L3C is free to distribute profits, after taxes, to owners or investors of the company. The L3C is expected to revitalize certain businesses by attracting more investments from foundations and other philanthropic ventures.

28th Annual Arkansas Bean Fest

Please join us in Mountain View October 28th-30th for the 28th Annual Bean Fest and Championship Outhouse Race! The leaves are turning, and the weather will be beautiful! While you are in town, stop by our office at 102 E. Main near the historic court square. We’ll see you there!

Shane Henry & Associates sponsors Mrs. Arkansas, Tina Wilson, in Mrs. United States Pageant

Shane Henry & Associates is proud to sponsor Mrs. Arkansas 2010, Tina Lee Wilson, in the Mrs. United States pageant July 21st and July 22nd at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.  Tina’s platform this year is “Cure Autism Now.”   Tina has an autistic child and knows first hand about the daily struggles of families who deal with disabilities.  Her personal journey drives her to let the world know that we can no longer ignore this situation.  It has become a goal of hers to find a cure to help other children like her own.  She works with Arkansas Autism Resource and Outreach Center. They help parents when they get their child’s autism diagnosis.  This has also helped parents to learn the early signs of autism so that early intervention and treatment is possible.
The disability attorneys at Shane Henry & Associates helps families through the legal disability process, which can be a huge stress to a family with a disabled child or adult.  Whether thats through the Social Security Disability system, the Veteran’s Administration, or Disability Determination Services (just to name a few), SH&A is proud to serve your legal needs.
One of our Arkansas disability lawyers will gladly provide you with a free consultation.