Entries Tagged as ''

Texas Appeals Court Says Trial Judge Lacked Jurisdiction to Order Same-Sex Divorce

Reversing a trial court, a Texas appellate panel has ruled that the judge lacked the power to divorce a same-sex couple who married in another state. Although same-sex marriages are prohibited in Texas, District Judge Tena Callahan found that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution required the state to grant a same-sex couple married elsewhere a divorce on equal protection grounds. However, the the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas said the state the lacked the jurisdiction to grant a divorce under such circumstances, reports the Dallas Morning News. Attorney Peter Schulte of Dallas represents one of the…more...

Historic Military Flag Tied to Tea Party Tests Limits of Ariz. Flag-Flying Law

A historic 'Don't Tread on Me' flag dates back to the American Revolution, but is now associated with the modern-day Tea Party movement. So an Arizona man is having a tough time convincing his homeowner association that he should be allowed to fly the historic military flag, reports the New York Times. An Arizona law allows unit owners to fly the American flag, the state flag, military flags and flags for Indian nations. However, it doesn't expressly include the Don't Tread on Me banner, which is known as the Gadsden flag. Hence, the Avalon Village Community Association is threatening to…more...

Torn & Glasser Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Peanuts Fancy, No Peanuts

Torn & Glasser of Rancho Dominguez, CA is recalling its 3.75lb (#10) cans of “Mixed Nuts Fancy, No Peanuts” marked with lot numbers 0980 and 1940 on the outer case label and bottom lid due to undeclared peanuts. People who have allergies to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. The recalled “Mixed Nuts Fancy, No Peanuts” were distributed in CA, WA and HI. This was distributed through a wholesale distribution outlet. The product comes in a sealed, 3.75lb #10 style can marked with lot numbers 0980 and 1940 on the outer case label and bottom lid. The UPC is 072488980761.more...

Paleta California Co. Announces Voluntary Recall of Frozen Mamey Paletas Because of Potential Contamination with Salmonella Typhi

In response to the voluntary recall by Goya Foods, Inc. of their frozen mamey pulp, Paleta California, Co. is voluntarily recalling its 4 oz. Mamey Supreme Cream Bar (frozen fruit bars also known as “paletas”) due to a potential health risk from Salmonella Typhi. Salmonella Typhi is a bacterium that causes a life-threatening illness called typhoid fever.more...

Morningland Dairy Conducting Nationwide Voluntary Recall of All Cheese Labeled as Morningland Dairy & Ozark Hills Farm Because of Possible Health Risk

Morningland Dairy of Mountain View, Missouri, is recalling 68,957 pounds of cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogene and also has the potential to be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus.Morningland Dairy’s raw milk cheese is sold in the lower 48 states via mail order, retail stores, crop sharing associations, and direct delivery. The cheese is packaged in vacuum-sealed plastic packages that are sold as random weight size retail packages. The specific varieties of cheese are sold under the following brand names and flavors:more...

Man in Custody re Death Threat to Judge; Courthouse Evacuated

A 22-year-old burglary suspect is in custody after threats to kill a judge led to the evacuation yesterday of the courthouse at which he was to be sentenced. Steven Martinez hasn't been charged in connection with the threats yesterday afternoon, but Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano says he expects related charges to be filed, reports the New Mexican. An individual called 911 at about 1:20 p.m. yesterday and threatened to kill an unspecified judge at the courthouse. Another call was placed about 20 minutes later to District Judge Michael Vigil, who is overseeing the burglary case against Martinez, and…more...

Explaining the Housing Bubble

Some self-promotion:  I've posted a new paper to SSRN, coauthored with Susan Wachter (Wharton).  It's entitled "Explaining the Housing Bubble."  Here's the abstract:

    There is little consensus as to the cause of the housing bubble that precipitated the financial crisis of 2008. Numerous explanations exist: misguided monetary policy; government policies encouraging affordable homeownership; irrational consumer expectations of rising housing prices; inelastic housing supply. None of these explanations, however, is capable of fully explaining the housing bubble, much less the parallel commercial real estate bubble.

    This Article posits a new explanation for the housing bubble. It demonstrates that the bubble was a supply-side phenomenon, attributable to an excess of mispriced mortgage finance: mortgage finance spreads declined and volume increased, even as risk increased, a confluence attributable only to an oversupply of mortgage finance.
    The mortgage finance supply glut occurred because markets failed to price risk correctly due to the complexity and heterogeneity of the private-label mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that began to dominate the market in 2004. The rise of private-label MBS exacerbated informational asymmetries between the financial institutions that intermediate mortgage finance and MBS investors. The result was overinvestment in MBS that boosted the financial intermediaries’ profits and enabled borrowers to bid up housing prices.
    Despite mortgage securitization’s inherent informational asymmetries, it is critical for the continued availability of the long-term fixed-rate mortgage, which has been the bedrock of American homeownership since the Depression. The benefits of securitization, therefore, must be reconciled with the need for economic stability. The Article proposes the standardization of MBS to reduce complexity and heterogeneity in order to rebuild a sustainable, stable housing finance market based around the long-term fixed-rate mortgage.
Direct-to-author (not posted) comments are most welcome.  

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Spoofers Use Kentucky Law Firm’s Phone Number in Credit Card Scam

Louisville, Ky., lawyer Scott Zoppoth started getting some strange phone calls last week. People from the area of Olympia, Wash., and the state of Maine were calling with a question: What’s the problem with my credit or debit card? The callers told Zoppoth, the managing partner and owner of The Zoppoth Law Firm, that they were receiving automated calls telling them of a problem and asking for credit or debit card information. When they looked at their caller ID, the phone number from Zoppoth’s firm showed up. Zoppoth called AT&T and learned that his phone number was apparently being used…more...

CLE on State Death Taxes

The American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law is sponsoring a 90-minute teleconference and live audio webcast entitled Pulling Back the Curtain: Dealing with Oft-Overlooked State Death Taxes on September 14, 2010. The program information is...more...

CPSC Makes Recall Data Available Electronically to Businesses, 3rd Party Developers

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is making its product safety information on all recalls available in an electronic data set for use by businesses and software and application developers.more...