Is The Justice Department Over Reaching On Fraud Enforcement in An Election Year?

It seems whenever there is a tough economy, there are more shysters who come out of the woodwork. This makes sense of course because if money is tight, and fewer people to get a job, it’s more difficult for these culprits to get a real job to use their cunning and intellectual abilities for positive purposes such as making a profit in their own small businesses. Okay so, I’d like to talk about this for a moment if I might.

You see, I’ve also noticed another trend. Whenever there is a major election going on, candidates claim that when they get into office they will stop the crime, scams, and fraud. It’s hard to say why they do this – perhaps they are redirecting attention away from themselves and their own political shenanigans. But I would suspect that’s not the only reason. It’s because negative events make better headlines, and if a politician can point at some negative event, and then claim they will fix it, all the suddenly more voters take interest.

In fact, I think a little bit of that is going on right now. There was an interesting piece recently on the FBI website which was of value to discuss, the title of the government press release was; “Attorney General Eric Holder Launches Consumer Protection Working Group to Combat Consumer Fraud Working Group Created Under President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force Brings Together Federal, State, and Local Partners,” and it appeared on their site on February 13, 2011.

The reality is – we already have the government bureaucracy to take care of some of these problems, not to mention lots of law enforcement agencies. So why is it now that the Obama Administration wants to jump on this right away, during an election year. How come they didn’t work on this problem in the last couple of years? It is not as if there was ever a shortage of dishonest people in the world, so why now?

Another comment that I would like to make, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, is that I guess my biggest question is; when will the FBI investigate the Obama Administration for abuse of law, violating the constitution, and other fraudulent activity (in my opinion)? Seriously, let’s talk about that and not just because it’s an election year, we can wait until after the election to seek justice and return things back to the rule of law.

If the Obama Administration is merely trying to secure their proposed budget by showing that they need more money to do the job, then the DOJ should have been doing it all along. As we look for things such as corporate malfeasance, how about government administrative and executive leadership malfeasance? Well, I dare to ask the question, yes even in an election year. Please consider all this and think on it.

Charlotte Laws Is an Agent of Change: An Astrological Perspective

The stars have spoken when it comes to TV star, Charlotte Laws, who was voted one of the 30 fiercest women in the world and has authored the memoir, Rebel in High Heels. In other words, Laws’ astrological chart explains why she was able to transform into a real life James Bond and aid victims of online harassment and cyber crime. A Google search will bring up hundreds of articles about Laws, who is known throughout the world as the “Erin Brockovich of revenge porn.”

Rebel in High Heels tells an intriguing story about overcoming life’s obstacles (i.e. Laws’ mother’s suicide, her brother’s death, widespread racism within her community) and bringing down the most notorious revenge porn website operator. I found this book to be exciting, funny, edgy, suspenseful, romantic and entertaining. But this is not a book review so much as an analysis of Laws’ chart since I have been a professional astrologer for the past 15 years.

Laws does more than fight to help victims of cyber harassment. She has assisted various oppressed groups: African Americans, members of the LGBTQ community and animals (a Google search will bring up articles about Laws on these topics). Laws was born on May 11, 1960. With her Mars square Jupiter, she has a natural propensity to fight (Mars) on behalf of justice (Jupiter), rooting for underdogs and those in less fortunate positions. She springs into action (Mars), especially when it comes to Jupiterian issues of ethics, morality and justice. She fights for the ethical treatment of animals, as well as for the justice of the people who have been victims of racism and revenge porn.

Laws is a natural agent of change due to her Sun square Uranus. Her vital self-expression and identity (Sun) hinges on creating change, breaking through, getting away from the old order, bringing in the new, being ahead of her time (Uranus). One of Laws’ main missions in life is to wake up humanity.

Laws is motivated to care for and protect women who have been traumatized or wounded in some way. This comes from her Moon (women, to care for, to protect) square to Pluto (violations, wounding, trauma). This speaks to assisting revenge porn victims. She has no qualms about going into the danger zone. Others might shrug their shoulders, be scared, and even walk away from that situation, but not Laws. She dives in with a vengeance to protect violated females.

Rebel in High Heels also details Laws’ amazing, three-year relationship with singer and sex symbol, Tom Jones, whom she wanted to date for a full ten years before she made it happen. With her Venus (intimacy, social relatedness, companionship) in opposition to Neptune (fantasy, dreams, idealization) Laws literally manifested her ideal romantic situation.

Laws also has Uranus quincunx Saturn. This means she may be motivated to develop a skill set in rebelling (Uranus) against the existing order (Saturn). Conformity, status quo and existing structures point to a problem that she needs to solve (quincunx). She brings in her radical ideas and enlightened viewpoint. She wants to free people from outmoded ways, liberate, progress, shock, shatter, rebel and agitate. She worries extensively about these things. However, this worry leads to her develop skills in order to be a reformer in these areas. With Uranus on her mid-heaven, the public may see her as radical and eccentric. She is focused on Uranian ideals of altruism and humanitarianism.

Laws also has Mercury square Uranus, which means she likes to shock (Uranus) people with her words (Mercury). This is something a reader of Rebel in High Heels may experience. She can shock people into thinking in a new way. She can destabilize people’s mental processes and free them from outmoded beliefs. Her objectives and revolutionary insights help open minds, bring about a broader viewpoint. Laws imparts the idea that everyone is part of the same global family, and that it is important to work together for the good of whole, including animals.

Despite the Uranian shocks that come from Laws’ communication, she is also Sun, Venus and Mercury all conjunct in Taurus. This makes her memoir a sensual pleasure (Taurus) to read (Mercury). She writes in a delicious and luxurious manner. It is soothing and satisfying to devour her words. It is inviting, earthy and comforting. Reading her book is like eating a bowl of ice cream.

Laws has Moon in Sagittarius. The Moon is how we care for others. Laws cares (Moon) by sharing her truth and wisdom (Sagittarius). She nurtures others by teaching them and advising them. She also has Scorpio rising, which manifests in her “smart talent,” which is essentially defined in her book as “out-of-the-box thinking.” “Smart talent” allows Laws to see around restrictive rules and make strides that others can only dream about.

Laws also has Neptune on her ascendant, which explains why she is a shape-shifter and able to meld into a crowd unnoticed. She has been able to crash hundreds of VIP events to meet with Presidents, movie stars and business moguls (as discussed in her book). Plus, Laws is listed as one of the 15 most notorious party crashers in the world, a fitting title for her, astrologically speaking. The rising sign is a person’s survival mechanism. Laws likes to watch, observe, penetrate into, and delve into situations (Scorpio), and this is especially evident in her initial actions and the image she projects (ascendant).

As for the future, I predict Laws will continue to fight for justice and protect those who have been wounded, violated and victimized. She will demonstrate competence when it comes to helping others break free of existing structures and orders. She will introduce society to more enlightened ways of being and continue to be an agent of change.

Law Firm Marketing: How a Bald Move Can Help You Stand Out From the Crowd

Recently, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer has been making waves in the blogosphere with a creative new law firm marketing campaign. The attorney, now – and perhaps forever- has become known as the “Bald Lawyer.” His billboard campaign has attracted attention not only in the ABA Journal, but also on a whole host of other sites, even showing up on the website of a major communications firm in the United Kingdom. With the amount of widespread positive attention he’s receiving, it seems clear that his creative advertising effort was a complete success.

Innovative Law Firm Marketing: Standing Out From Your Competitors

Law firm marketing has become ubiquitous, with a lawyer billboard on every corner and lawyers promising to get you a fast divorce or a big cash settlement during every commercial break. Because there is so much legal advertising going on, it can be very difficult to get potential clients to sit up and take notice.

Lawyers have a special challenge in getting customer’s to pay attention, since unlike selling a sleek and sexy new car or a cool new beverage, lawyer’s aren’t selling a lifestyle. Many of the lawyers who advertise offer aid to people who usually will become interested in their services only when something has gone wrong, and for everyone else, their ads will blend into the background.

Even when someone is seeking a lawyer, clients are going to have a hard time differentiating between one lawyer’s promise to “get justice” or “get results” and the similar promise made by countless others, often all standing in front of the same stock set of law books in the generic law office so popular in legal ads.

Not so for the Bald Lawyer. His eye-catching billboard features the slogan “Injured? Don’t Pull YOUR Hair out!” Below that is a big shot of the lawyer with his bald head, and the address for his website ‘MyBaldLawyer.com.”

What Makes The Bald Lawyer Ad Work

The Bald Lawyer ad works and stands out from other law firm marketing because it is different. It shatters the stereotype of the conservative, unapproachable and uptight lawyer by allowing the attorney to poke fun at himself… yet it does this without undermining the law or the legal profession.

The billboard also stands out because it attracts attention and because it gives the reader a memorable image. That image is accompanied by a website directly related to it, which fixes itself in the viewer’s mind right along with the image, becoming easy to remember.

Clients who see the bald lawyer ad will take more notice of it- even if just for a few seconds out of curiosity- than they would just another lawyer ad. This can translate into the ad staying in their minds, consciously or subconsciously. In turn, when they need a lawyer, they may just be tempted to visit the website they remember from the billboard where the client can learn about the services the bald lawyer offers.

Creating Your Own Innovative Ad

Other attorneys who wish to take their law firm marketing efforts to the next level can take a page out of the bald lawyer’s book. The ad is an important reminder that innovation is key in successful legal marketing, and that by offering clients some way to distinguish you from your competitors (preferably a memorable way), you can stand out from the rest.

When crafting your own marketing campaign, think of what makes you different. What aspects of your law practice management or law firm help you to stand out from the crowd and add value to your clients? If you can identify something that sets you apart and you can present that something in a new and creative way, your law firm marketing campaign is sure to be a great success.

Commercial Law – Trademark Infringement on Google AdWords

Whenever a business successfully builds a positive reputation in the marketplace and establishes a solid client base, there is always the potential for trademark infringement to become a problem. Competitors may attempt to use names, phrases, designs and colour schemes which are similar to your own in order to lure away your customers by causing them to mistakenly associate your positive reputation with the product or service which they are providing.

This is particularly the case in the online world, where branding is extremely important. Most people find what they are looking for online by typing a search term into a search engine’s web page and then following the links to relevant websites which the search engine returns. But how does the law of trademark infringement apply to the sponsored links, such as Google AdWords?

What is Google AdWords
AdWords is a service which Google offers under which business can pay to “sponsor” a word. When this word is typed into Google, links to businesses which have sponsored that word appear prominently on the right hand side of the web page. So for example, an electrical goods company might sponsor the phrase “Cheap TV” and whenever someone searches for this phrase the company’s advert will appear at the right hand side of the page. The contentious issue here is that Google will allow businesses to sponsor AdWords which are also the brand names or trade marks of competitors.

What is the law?
In July 2010 the European Court of Justice issued guidance on the circumstances in which one company may use a trademark of another company as an ad-word when delivering its judgment in the case of Portakabin Limited and Portakabin BV v Primakabin BV.

In this case Primakabin and Portakabin were rivals which manufactured the same line of products (portable accommodation/storage units). Primakabin had purchased the ad-word “portakabin” from Google, together with common mis-spellings of this word. This meant that whenever anyone typed “portakabin” into Google, they would see an advert for Primakabin’s products at the top-right of the screen. Portakabin sued, claiming that Primakabin were infringing on its trademark.

What about Google’s liability for trademark infringement?
The European Court of Justice decided that in cases where one company purchases an ad-word which is also a trademark of a competitor, there is not a trademark infringement as long as the advert makes it clear that there is no commercial connection between the company placing the advert and the company which owns the trademark. The issue which any court must consider is whether there is a likelihood that anyone who saw the advert after typing in a search term would be confused as to the origin of the goods or services which are advertised

The case also clarified that it is possible for a company to infringe on its competitors intellectual property rights by purchasing and using AdWords which are mis-spellings of the competitor’s trademark. In these cases the advertiser has the same duty to make it clear that it is not commercially connected with the company which owns the trademark.

What about Google’s liability for trademark infringement?
The issue of Google’s liability for trademark infringement by advertisers or service users who host content online has already been addressed by the European Court of Justice in the case of Google France v Louis Vuitton. The Court decided that Google is not liable for trademark infringements which are perpetrated by users of its services as long as it takes steps to remove any content which infringes on another party’s intellectual property rights as soon as is reasonably practicable after it has been informed of the infringement.

How to Get a Criminal Justice Scholarship

How to find Criminal Justice Scholarships?

Criminal justice is a broad field, encompassing many areas, from law and crime scene investigation to law enforcement and criminology. With a degree in criminal justice you will have many choices in front of you, many jobs and careers to consider. But education can be costly, we all know that. One way to mitigate this problem is to look into student loans as well as scholarships.

Criminal justice degree programs at various schools have their own bands of scholarships. Scholarships can be based on merit, exceptional scholarly achievement or outstanding financial need. Aside from particular schools, the American Criminal Justice Associations funds annual scholarships for students pursuing a degree in criminal justice.

If you are serious about a criminal justice degree, take the time to research scholarships available to you. Check with the school you plan to attend first. Contact the financial aid office and request materials regarding available scholarships. Aside from scholarships directly related to students in criminal justice, consider investigating general scholarships not intent for a particular major.

Examples of Criminal Justice Scholarships

1. Straightforward Media Law Enforcement Scholarship
2. Correctional Association of Massachusetts Scholarship
3. Monster Scholarship for Government and Public Service

Steps for Criminal Justice and General Scholarships Search

Step 1: Learn to surf

There is so much information about grants, scholarships, awards and aid out there – use it to your advantage. Look everywhere, from your parent’s employers, civic clubs, professional associations in you’re filed of interest to websites of your colleges of choice. Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (1-800-433-3243). Public libraries and bookstores have books that list scholarships, grants and awards. By utilizing all the free information that is out there on the internet you can find an impressive list of awards, grants, loans and scholarships to apply to.

Step 2: Get organized

There are so many scholarships and award out there; it is very hard to keep up to date and on top of all of them. To achieve this, make a calendar of scholarship/award applications and deadlines. Make copies of what you have already submitted and crate a pile of applications you still need to submit. This will ensure you don’t miss any deadlines and you don’t apply to the same program more then once. Streamline your work and start organizing.

Step 3: Start early

A large number of financial aid is offered on first- come, first- serve basis. Obtain your forms well ahead of the deadline time, fill them out and then be the first one to submit your application on the first day available. Having a calendar (step 2) will allow you to have all the deadlines at a glance. Plan out your application process carefully.

Step 4: Talk to your scholarship counselor

Utilize your scholarship counselor as they have much experience in this area. Your counselor will also have a running list of any new scholarships and awards that come out so check with your Guidance office often. You can have your guidance counselor assist you in your search for financial aid, help you in the application process and serve as a reference.