Tag Archives: United States

Judge Blocks U.S. From Ending Protections for Some Immigrants

Posted by Brittany Howanice.

In the latest case with President Trump’s immigration policies the judges have used Trump’s comments to go against him. With the new immigration policy, Trump wants to end protections that allowed immigrants from countries to live and work legally in the United States. He also wants to separate families, and even children who were born in the U.S. may be faced with being separated from their family or having to move to a different country when all they know is here. Trump wants to end protections from the Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador. He also wants to ban people from some Muslim-majority countries. However, temporary protected status has been granted to about 300,000 people whose countries have been destroyed by natural disasters or war.

Jablon reported that “the ruling said the government failed to show the harm of continuing the 20 year old program and that the plaintiffs established how uprooting those immigrants could hurt the local and national economy.” Changing something that doesn’t need changing isn’t always a good thing and might end up causing more harm than good. The immigration policy is an example of this because most of the jobs that immigrants do are not taking away from the ones that we are trying to get. They usually have the construction or agriculture jobs, or work in a private household as a maid, gardener or nanny. Also, immigrants make up about 17% of the work force; and, if we change the immigration policy and ban those from working, it will definitely affect our economy. Also, most Americans will not want to work for the pay that immigrants get so that will also affect the economy.

Overall, ending protections that allow immigrants to live and work legally in the United States will have a negative effect on our economy. Also, by banning those from living here and separating them from their families may not be ethical. It is said that “more than 200,000 immigrants could face deportation because of the change, and they have more than 200,000 American children who risk being uprooted from their communities and schools, according to plaintiffs in the lawsuit.” The Trump administration has also ended the immigrant program for the four countries mentioned earlier. In conclusion, ending protections for immigrants will not only greatly affect them, but it will also affect the United States and the economy.

Brittany is pre-business at Seton Hall University, Class of 2021.

Source:

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/10/03/us/ap-us-immigration-temporary-status.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FSuits%20and%20Litigation&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=8&pgtype=collection

President Trump Blocks Broadcom-Qualcomm Merger

President Trump blocked the impending merger between Singapore-based, Broadcom, and U.S.-based, Qualcomm, over concerns that it would affect national security. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States investigated “the national security implications of the deal last week over concerns that it would hamper U.S. efforts to develop 5G wireless networks and other emerging technologies. CFIUS on Monday recommended that the president veto the deal.”

The President cited “‘credible'” evidence of risk to our national security. We would lose a company with the ingenuity and technology to build the next-generation of wireless networks.

 

 

 

iPhone Battery Controversy Leads to Global Backlash of Lawsuits Against Apple

Posted by Julian Toledo.

Known for its multiple smart phones and other electronic products, Apple has recently been accused around the globe of intentionally shortening the battery life of older iPhones to boost its profits. Consumer groups and government officials, primarily of the United States, South Korea, and France, have forced this technology company to undergo many lawsuits for unethical business behavior for almost two months. During late December of 2017, customers questioned whether Apple had adjusted the performance of its phones after a Reddit user shared online that his old iPhone had been functioning poorly until he replaced its battery with a new one. Consequently, other people with different iPhone versions began to post about their similar experiences. After quickly receiving huge backlash, Apple explained that it slowed down its phones with aging batteries, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, and iPhone SE, after introducing an iOS update last year to prevent these products from unexpectedly shutting down. In addition, the company claimed that it has “never—and would never—do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product.” Since the uproar, Apple has made battery replacement cheaper and said it will bring a new iOS update that will notify users about their phone’s battery health. Although some individuals believe that Apple acted responsibly for stopping phone shutdowns, others are still complaining that the company could have handled this issue better.

As of January 12, Apple is facing over thirty lawsuits around the United States, with the majority of them arguing about the company’s deliberate slowdown of older iPhones without advising users. Scott Grillo, a Californian citizen and the plaintiff of a recent lawsuit, criticized Apple for “unfair business practices” and “breach of implied contract.” He told the court that after updating his device from a software upgrade, his phone began to operate inefficiently. Furthermore, lawmakers have been accusing Apple for failing to properly communicate with customers and manage the widespread problem. One government official that has challenged the company in this way is Senator John Thune of South Dakota. Thune argued in his letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook that even if the company planned to slow down older models of the iPhone to ultimately prevent shutdowns, “there should have been better transparency with respect to these practices.”

Outside the United States, more than 120 members of the South Korean organization called Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty filed a civil suit against Apple on January 11. Led by head plaintiff Go Gye-hyun, the group is currently suing for the alleged destruction of property. For the damages, this consumer organization strives for two million win, or about $2,050, for each plaintiff. In addition, Apple’s recent controversy spread to France, where it is illegal to intentionally reduce the lifespan of goods to force buyers to purchase new ones. In fact, according to French lawyers, if executives are found engaging in this type of unethical business activity, they can be sentenced up to two years in prison and have their companies fined five percent of their sales revenue. In Paris, the public prosecutor’s office received complaints from another consumer group known as Stop Planned Obsolescence. Laetitia Vasseur, the cofounder of this organization, seeks to protect all consumers, especially because of how much more expensive Apple products are in Europe than in the United States. She stated, “At more than €1,200 per phone, these practices are unacceptable and cannot go unpunished. It is our mission to defend consumers and the environment.” This amount in euros translates to about $1,400, which demonstrates how problematic it is for individuals to replace their older, malfunctioning iPhones.

Despite its financial success, technological influence, and popularity across the world, Apple holds a big responsibility in terms of legal issues. As a multinational company, Apple is seeking to regain its trust with consumer groups and government executives. However, with these many lawsuits filed against the company within a two-month period, it is uncertain how long it could take Apple to fix its reputation. Overall, this recent controversy accurately shows how such a small business action can significantly backfire. If a company’s conduct does not truly satisfy consumer demands, it can result in legal consequences that can ultimately impact its performance and status in the market.

Julian Toledo is a business management major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2020.

 

Sources:

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/12/technology/apple-iphone-slow-battery-lawsuit/index.html

http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/apple-slow-iphone-backlash-1202647220/

 

 

SCOTUS Dismissal of a Case Can Also Vacate an Underlying Opinion

The United States Supreme Court dismissed cases involving President Trump’s executive order blocking people traveling to the United States from certain countries. A September order replaced the March order expanding the restrictions. Since the March order expired, the cases pending before the High Court were moot.

The Supreme Court also vacated the underlying Ninth Circuit opinion blocking the order.  The effect is now there is no precedent, which the district court in Hawaii relied upon to block the September order. The Justice Department will be asking the district court to revisit his ruling now that the Supreme Court has acted.

So The Innocent May Not Suffer . . .

In class, we discuss the American legal system’s doctrinal foundation of presumption of innocence, based on Blackstone’s formulation, and even deeper, its Biblical roots. A Kansas man was recently released from prison for a crime he did not commit. His brother confessed to killing his niece and then committed suicide.

Kansas has no law helping those who are released from prison.  Other states, such as Texas, would have given him $1.8 million, or $80,000 for every year lost, “not including a yearly compensation afterward.” Colorado would provide $70,000 for each year, and Alabama, $50,000 per year.

As a remedy, it is possible to sue state officials under federal law. Section 1983 of the code in part states, “Every person who … subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law.”

These cases are difficult, but not impossible, to prove. Police have “conditional immunity” from prosecution, and prosecutors have absolute immunity, where a case can go forward if there is evidence of intentional misconduct.

Supreme Court Considers US-Microsoft Email Case

Posted by Alexandra Prostamo.

On October 16, the Supreme Court agreed to consider Microsoft’s dispute over the government’s authority to be able to access emails and digital information sought in criminal investigations, but stored outside of the United States. According to the Trump administration and 33 states, the court’s decision is impeding investigations into terrorism, drug trafficking, fraud and child pornography just because the email information is stored in servers in Ireland. This is why they urged the court to take the case, U.S. v. Microsoft.

They believe the decision has implications not only for Microsoft, but also for other technology giants like Google and Yahoo, stating that “a private company has unfettered discretion to shield evidence of crime from law enforcement, simply by electronically sending that evidence out of jurisdiction.”  The issue rises from the fact that data companies have built servers around the world to keep up with customers’ demands for speed and access. This is why the court needs to confront whether the same rules can be applied to the emails of both an American citizen and a foreigner.

What Microsoft is trying to battle is the Stored Communications Act of 1986, which allowed a U.S. law enforcement agency to obtain stored e-mails with a warrant from a U.S. provider if those e-mails are stored abroad. Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith stated that “the current laws were written for the era of the floppy disk, not the world of the cloud”. Microsoft deeply advocates for the fact that Congress should pass a new legislation, however the result of the dispute could have significant global business and privacy implications.

Alexandra is a business management major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-to-consider-major-digital-privacy-case-on-microsoft-email-storage/2017/10/16/b1e74936-b278-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb_story.html?utm_term=.4863bf16975d

http://news.findlaw.com/apnews/fb9b07a2c14940b0977cb35ff01166ff

 

 

 

Major U.S. Companies Helped to Fund Terror During Iraq War

Posted by Gabrielle Vanadia.

Recently, there has been a lawsuit filed in federal court against three major American corporations for supposedly doing business with the Iraqi government during the Iraq War.  This lawsuit was filed by lawyers from a start-up firm led by Ryan Sparacino and the litigation firm of Kellogg Hansen, on behalf of members of the American military that were killed or injured in attacks during the Iraq War.  General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer are three of the major corporations being accused of providing free drugs and medical devices that funded the Shiite militia.  Other companies accused of contributing are the European drug makers AstraZeneca and Roche Holding A.G. The lawsuit filed provided contracts between these companies and Iraqi government, as well as “leaked diplomatic cables, press accounts, and the testimony of informants.”

The lawsuit claims that the companies knew that the Iraqi health ministry, who they were providing with drugs, had become a terrorist organization.  Upon knowledge of this information, the corporations should have terminated their contracts or changed them to prevent corruption, since it is illegal under United States law to knowingly fund terrorist groups.  However, a Pfizer spokeswoman said that the company “denies any wrongdoing” and that their mission was to “provide medicines to patients to help better their lives;” while Johnson & Johnson has completely declined to comment on this matter.

In my opinion, the actions of these companies are completely unacceptable.  They willingly and knowingly funded a terrorist group that was attacking United States soldiers.  American soldiers were in Iraq to help rebuild and regain the country for the Iraqis after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.  However, instead of American companies backing and funding their own troops, they helped the enemy.  The militia group that U.S. soldiers were fighting were commonly referred to as the “Pill Army” because their “fighters were often paid with prescription medicines and used hospitals… as staging areas for death squads.”  Many of these death squads funded by drugs from American companies killed American soldiers.  If I was an employee of one of the accused American corporations I would be embarrassed and ashamed of my company’s actions.

Gabrielle is a public relations major with a business administration minor at Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.

Source:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/17/us/johnson-ge-pfizer-terror-iraq.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness&action=click&contentCollection=business&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=13&pgtype=sectionfront

Accounting Group: Deloitte Hit with Cyber Attack

Posted by Michael Naoum.

Due to today’s technology, we have advanced into an era where information, computing, and interaction can all be done with a click of a button. A plethora of tasks can now be completed within a matter of seconds. Though this thought may sound great at first, there can also be many negatives associated with it. Unfortunately, the world that we live in is far from a utopia. As a result, many individuals use their knowledge in efforts to create evil rather than for the good of others. In her article, Madison Marriage explains how Deloitte was recently hit with a cyber-attack, the hardships the Big-Four company encountered while attempting to resolve the issue, and the lessons learned from the situation in order to prevent catastrophes like this from happening in the future.

To begin, it is important to understand the background of the company that experienced this cyber-attack. Deloitte is an incorporated multinational professional services firm with operational headquarters located in New York City in the United States. Deloitte is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms and possesses the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals. Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services with more than 263,900 professionals globally. As of 2016, Deloitte is classified as the sixth largest privately-owned organization in the United States. Based on this information, it can be concluded that Deloitte is a great target for hackers due to the value of information that the company carries within the firm. Unfortunately, earlier this year, they were contacted by governmental authorities in regards to a breach of information that was leaked, tarnishing the reputation of what is supposed to be a provider of excellent cyber security advice. Despite the irony of this, the attack was described by Deloitte as a “cyber incident” and was first reported by the Guardian newspaper, as a low blow due to the fact that security advice to large companies is one of Deloitte’s fastest-growing revenue streams.

In fact, in the month this took place, the accounting firm posted record global revenue of thirty-nine billion dollars saying that the cyberattack only affected a few clients. They also stated that the attack had “no disruption had occurred to client businesses, to Deloitte’s ability to continue to service clients, or to consumers”. Despite this, Deloitte had to act quickly and adapt to the situation. As a result, once the news was present, they mobilized a team of security and confidentiality experts inside and outside of Deloitte, contacting governmental authorities and immediately contacting all clients that were affected.

Overall, it is evident that companies as well as individuals who perform these tasks day in and day out are not safe from attacks. Unfortunately, Deloitte was a firm that had to learn this the hard way. Fortunately though, Deloitte had the manpower, knowledge, and funds to protect itself and was able to mend this issue before it spiraled out of control. In the future, I believe that Deloitte should have constant routine updates and checks-ins in order to prevent this type of data breach from occurring again. They should also have password changes every month or so in order to make it harder for hackers to get a hold of their private information. All in all, the firm had a statement that was released at the end of this fiasco to sum up the cyber-attack, “Deloitte remains deeply committed to ensuring that its cyber-security defenses are best in class, to investing heavily in protecting confidential information and continually reviewing and enhancing cyber security.”

Michael is an MBA student with a concentration in accounting at the Feliciano School of Business, Montclair State University, Class of 2017.

Marriage, Mary. “Subscribe to Read.” Financial Times, 25 Sept. 2017, www.ft.com/content/7c52fe88-

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United States v Buckner Brothers

Posted by Isabelle Roddy.

Two brothers, Thomas and John Buckner, founded a defense contractor in Pittsburgh, PA, known as Ibis Tek LLC, specializing in the expansion and improvement of transparent armor and miscellaneous gadgets for warfare vehicles. Specifically, Ibis Tek supplies and provides the United States Department of Defense with transparent armor, advanced lighting, and tactical vehicles and accessories. The founding brothers sold the company to new investors in February 2017.

While operating the company, the brothers executed numerous illicit activities, particularly through the “Michigan-based U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command or TACOM” (Mandak). They swindled TACOM by employing a cheaper Chinese firm to construct emergency window kit frames for only $20 and then selling them to TACOM for $60, thereby making a $40 profit on each frame. Additionally, the brothers “sold scrap aluminum relating to the manufacture of the frames” but retained the earnings (Mandak). Consequently, the individuals executed a “$6 million scheme to overcharge the U.S. Defense Department” (Mandak).

As a result, in May 2017, the brothers plead guilty “to charges of major fraud against the government and income tax evasion for filing returns that did not include the illegal income” (Mandak). The individuals were incarcerated and received monetary fines. Precisely, Thomas Buckner received a two and a half year sentence and a fine of $500,000. On the other hand, John Buckner only incurred a two-year sentence and a fine of $300,000. Thomas received the more severe penalty due to his day-to-day involvement in the company, prominently after retiring from the company’s management in 2007 (Mandak). Nevertheless, the brothers “have already repaid $6 million to the government, plus another $6 million to settle a lawsuit the government filed against them for the scheme,” and nearly $2 million in income tax losses and interest (Mandak). However, legal officials do not believe money damages are a sufficient form of punishment for the two given their affluence. Instead, they must provide more than mere monetary compensations.

Finally, the previous chief financial officer of the company, Harry Kramer, was charged as well due to his assistance in “filing false tax returns that understated Ibis Tek’s income in 2009 and 2010” (Mandak). He will be sentenced on October 18.

Isabelle is a marketing and finance major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2020.

Source:

http://news.findlaw.com/apnews/34ae2fdc684b45188d9bb4907ad66a8a

 

Spies vs. United States

Posted by Bader Alotaibi.

Murray R. Spies was found guilty of attempting to dodge income tax. The case turned on the determination of the exact sum of tax and how to collect and manage accounts and revenues.

“Petitioner admitted at the opening of the trial that he had sufficient income during the year in question to place him under a statutory duty to file a return and to pay a tax, and that he failed to do either.” The government sought to show Spies committed tax evasion. Petitioner testified as to his good personality, his illness at the period he filed his return and the lack of will, mainly because of mental disturbance, which signified something more than anxiety, but less than madness. At his trial, Spies asked for this instruction: “You cannot conclude that the Defendant is shamefaced of a considered attempt to defeat and avoid income tax if you discover that Murray R. Spies has not intentionally rendered taxable returns and has willingly unsuccessful to pay income taxes on that earnings.”

The Court reversed holding, “[W]e think a defendant is entitled to a charge which will point out the necessity for such an inference of willful attempt to defeat or evade tax from some proof in the case other than that necessary to make out the misdemeanors, and if the evidence fails to afford such an inference, the defendant should be acquitted.”

Bader is an MBA student at the Feliciano School of Business, Montclair State University.

Work cited

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/317/492/case.html