What are futures?
A futures exchange or futures market is a central financial exchange where people can trade standardized futures contracts; that is, a contract to buy specific quantities of a commodity or financial instrument at a specified price with delivery set at a specified time in the future.
What is the CFTC?
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is an independent agency of the US government created in 1974, that regulates futures and option markets.
The Commodities Exchange Act ("CEA"), 7 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., prohibits fraudulent conduct in the trading of futures contracts. The stated mission of the CFTC is to foster open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound markets, to avoid systemic risk, and to protect the market users and their funds, consumers, and the public from fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices related to derivatives and other products that are subject to the Commodity Exchange Act.
What is Dodd-Frank?
The Dodd-Frank Act (fully known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) is a United States federal law that places regulation of the financial industry in the hands of the government. The legislation, signed into federal law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010, passed as a response to the financial crisis of 2007–2008, created financial regulatory processes to limit risk by enforcing transparency and accountability.
What is the FLSA?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments.
What is Qui Tam?
(kwee tam) n. from Latin for "who as well." Qui tam lawsuits are a type of civil lawsuit whistleblowers bring under the False Claims Act, a law that rewards whistleblowers if their qui tam cases recover funds for the government.
What is a holding company?
A company created to buy and possess the shares of other companies, which it then controls.
What is LIBOR?
LIBOR or ICE LIBOR (previously BBA LIBOR) is a benchmark rate that some of the world’s leading banks charge each other for short-term loans. It stands for Intercontinental Exchange London Interbank Offered Rate and serves as the first step to calculating interest rates on various loans throughout the world.
It is calculated by taking the average of what a panel of leading banks estimate their borrowing costs would be from other lenders for different periods of time.
What is the CFPB?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an agency of the United States government responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector. CFPB jurisdiction includes banks, credit unions, securities firms, payday lenders, mortgage-servicing operations, foreclosure relief services, debt collectors and other financial companies operating in the United States. It writes and enforces rules for financial institutions, examines both bank and non-bank financial institutions, monitors and reports on markets, as well as collects and tracks consumer complaints. Furthermore, as required under Dodd–Frank and outlined in the 2013 CFPB–State Supervisory Coordination Framework, the CFPB works closely with state regulators in coordinating supervision and enforcement activities.
What is FERC?
1) The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects.
2) The United States federal agency that regulates the transmission and wholesale sale of electricity and natural gas in interstate commerce, and regulates the transportation of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce. FERC also reviews proposals to build interstate natural gas pipelines, natural gas storage projects, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, and FERC licenses non-federal hydropower projects.
- The top priorities of FERC include:
- promoting reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy for consumers;
- ensuring just and reasonable rates, terms, and conditions;
- promoting safe, reliable, secure, and efficient infrastructure; and
- enforcing compliance with FERC rules and federal law by detecting and deterring energy market manipulation.
What is a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE)?
A legal entity (AKA GOC = Government-Owned Corporation) that is created by the government in order to partake in commercial activities on the government's behalf. It can be either wholly or partially owned by a government and is typically earmarked to participate in commercial activities.
What is a 'Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE)?
A government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) consists of privately held corporations with public purposes created by the U.S. Congress to reduce the cost of capital for certain borrowing sectors of the economy. Members of these sectors include students, farmers and homeowners.
e.g. mortgage companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
What is a Whistleblower?
A whistleblower is anyone who has and reports insider knowledge of illegal activities occurring in an organization. Whistleblowers can be employees, suppliers, contractors, clients or any individual who somehow becomes aware of illegal activities taking place in a business either through witnessing the behavior or being told about it. Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation under various programs created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- dispute the truth, validity, or honesty of (a statement or motive); call into question."the father does not impugn her capacity as a good mother"synonyms:call into question, challenge, question, dispute, query, take issue with"are you impugning my judgment?"
What is a Derivative?
- A derivative is a security with a price that is dependent upon or derived from one or more underlying assets. The derivative itself is a contract between two or more parties based upon the asset or assets. Its value is determined by fluctuations in the underlying asset. The most common underlying assets include stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates and market indexes.
- Derivatives can either be traded over-the-counter (OTC) or on an exchange. OTC derivatives constitute the greater proportion of derivatives in existence and are unregulated, whereas derivatives traded on exchanges are standardized. OTC derivatives generally have greater risk for the counterparty than do standardized derivatives.
What is SIBOR?
SIBOR stands for Singapore Interbank Offered Rate and is a daily reference rate based on the interest rates at which banks offer to lend unsecured funds to other banks in the Singapore wholesale money market (or interbank market).
What is Class Action?
AKA class suit or representative action is a type of lawsuit where one of the parties is a group of people who are represented collectively by a member of that group. The class action originated in the United States and is still predominantly a U.S. phenomenon, but several European countries with civil law have made changes in recent years to allow consumer organizations to bring claims on behalf of consumers.
What is CFIUS?
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (commonly pronounced "sifius") is an inter-agency committee of the United States Government that reviews the national security implications of foreign investments in U.S. companies or operations by reviewing financial transactions to determine if they will result in a foreign person controlling a U.S. business. CFIUS specifically focuses on transactions where foreign control will result in a threat to national security. Chaired by the United States Secretary of the Treasury, CFIUS includes representatives from 16 U.S. departments and agencies, including the Defense, State and Commerce departments, as well as (most recently) the Department of Homeland Security. (Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which reviews foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies for national security risks. )
What is Certiorari?
A Latin word meaning "to be informed of, or to be made certain in regard to". It is also the name given to certain appellate proceedings for re-examination of actions of a trial court, or inferior appeals court. The U.S. Supreme Court still uses the term certiorari in the context of appeals.
What is a Petition for Writ of Certiorari?
Informally called "Cert Petition," it is a document which a losing party files with the Supreme Court asking the Supreme Court to review the decision of a lower court. It includes a list of the parties, a statement of the facts of the case, the legal questions presented for review, and arguments as to why the Court should grant the writ.
What is a respondent?
1. a defendant in a lawsuit, especially one in an appeals or divorce case.
2. a person who replies to something, especially one supplying information for a survey or questionnaire or responding to an advertisement.
1. in the position of defendant in a lawsuit. "the respondent defendant"
2. replying to something, especially a survey or questionnaire. "the respondent firms in the survey"
What is a writ?
A form of written command in the name of a court or other legal authority to act, or abstain from acting, in some way.synonyms:summons, subpoena, warrant, arraignment, indictment, citation, court order"they were served with a writ"
What is a Writ of Prohibition?
An order from a superior court to a lower court or tribunal directing the judge and the parties to cease the litigation because the lower court does not have proper jurisdiction to hear or determine the matters before it. A writ of prohibition is an extraordinary remedy that is rarely used.
What is a Writ of Mandamus?
- An order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.
- judicial writ issued as a command to an inferior court or ordering a person to perform a public or statutory duty.
What is a Writ of Certiorari ?
A type of writ, meant for rare use, by which an appellate court decides to review a case at its discretion. The word certiorari comes from Law Latin and means "to be more fully informed." A writ of certiorari orders a lower court to deliver its record in a case so that the higher court may review it.
What are industrials?
- The industrial goods sector is a category of stocks that relates to producing goods used in construction and manufacturing. This sector includes companies involved with aerospace and defense, industrial machinery, tools, lumber production, construction, waste management, manufactured housing, cement and metal fabrication. Performance in the industrial goods sector is largely driven by supply and demand for building construction, such as residential, commercial and industrial, as well as the demand for manufactured products. (per Investopedia)
- The Industrials economic sector consists of companies engaged in providing industrial and commercial supplies and services, diversified trading, distribution operations and transportation services. (per NY Times Business Day Markets)
What is FinCEN?
- The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions in order to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.
- The lead federal regulator with responsibility for enforcing the U.S. AML laws and regulations (check this second one)
What is Activist Investing?
An activist investor is an individual or group that purchases large numbers of a public company's shares and/or tries to obtain seats on the company's board with the goal of effecting a major change in the company. A company can become a target for activist investors if it is mismanaged, has excessive costs, could be run more profitably as a private company or has another problem that the activist investor believes it can fix to make the company more valuable.
What is a P3 project?
A public-private partnership (PPP or P3) is a contract between a public sector entity and a private sector entity that outlines the provision of assets and the delivery of services. ... It facilitates and, in some cases, manages partnerships on behalf of public sector agencies.
What are payment mechanisms?
There are two primary forms of payment mechanisms: availability and revenue-based. The choice of payment method is a form of risk transfer in the concession agreement because the payment mechanism allocates demand risk to the entity best able to manage it.
What it TIFIA?
The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program provides Federal credit assistance in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to finance surface transportation projects of national and regional significance.
What is 'Special Purpose Vehicle/Entity - SPV/SPE'?
A special purpose vehicle/entity (SPV/SPE) is a subsidiary company with an asset/liability structure and legal status that makes its obligations secure even if the parent company goes bankrupt. An SPV/SPE is also a subsidiary corporation designed to serve as a counterparty for swaps and other credit sensitive derivative instruments. Although the SPVs/SPEs are used to isolate financial risk, due to accounting loopholes, these vehicles may become a financially devastating way for CFOs to hide debt, as with the Enron bankruptcy.
Difference between Inc., LLC, Co. and Ltd.
Inc. is the abbreviation for incorporated. An incorporated company, or corporation, is a separate legal entity from the person or people forming it. Directors and officers purchase shares in the business and have responsibility for its operation. Incorporation limits an individual's liability in case of a lawsuit. The corporation, as a legal entity, is liable for its own debts and pays taxes on its earnings, and can also sell stock to raise money. A corporation is also able to continue as an entity after the death of a director or stock sale. A corporation is formed according to state law, through application to the secretary of state and filing articles of incorporation. Because corporations cost more to administer and are legally complex, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends that small businesses not incorporate unless they become established as a large company. In most states, corporations must add a corporate designation, such as Inc. after their business name.Ltd.
A limited company can be abbreviated to Ltd. This structure is used mostly in European countries and Canada. In a limited company, directors and shareholders have limited liability for the company's debt, as long as the business operates within the law. Its directors pay income tax and the company pays corporation tax on profits. Responsibility for company debt is usually limited to the amount a person has invested in the company. A limited company can be set up in four different ways. In some companies, a shareholder's liability is limited to specific predetermined amounts, drawn up in a memorandum. These businesses are known as "private company limited by guarantee," and shareholders are called guarantors. Charities and social enterprise groups frequently use this structure. In England, limited companies must also have a pay-as-you-earn system established for collecting income tax payments and National Insurance contributions from all employees.Co.
Co. is an abbreviation for company, a catchall phrase for an association of people working together in a commercial or industrial enterprise, such as in a sole proprietorship, limited liability company or corporation. The abbreviation Co., like the word company, does not carry meaning as a specific legal structure on its own.LLC
LLC stands for "limited liability company." An LLC brings together some features of both business partnerships and corporations, although it is more like a partnership. Owners, also called "members," are protected from liability, but the business's earnings and losses pass through to owners, who report them on their personal income taxes. This makes its structure less complex than that of a corporation, but like a corporation, LLCs must offer stock. Members share profits as they like. Members are considered self-employed and must pay self-employment tax. When a member of the LLC leaves, the business is dissolved and the remaining members decide if they want to start a new business. An LLC is also formed according to state law, through application to to the secretary of state and filing articles of incorporation. LLCs must also indicate in their names that they are an LLC or limited company.
To sign or give formal consent to (a treaty, contract, or agreement), making it officially valid. synonyms:confirm, approve, sanction, endorse, agree to, accept, uphold, authorize, formalize, validate, recognize; sign
What is the RICO Act?
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them in doing, closing a perceived loophole that allowed a person who instructed someone else to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because they did not actually commit the crime personally.
What is racketeering?
A racket is a planned or organized criminal act, usually in which the criminal act is a form of business or a way to regularly, or briefly but repeatedly, earn illegal or extorted money. A racket is often a repeated or continuous criminal operation.
Originally, and often still specifically, a racket was a criminal act in which the perpetrator or perpetrators offer a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a non-existent problem, or a service that will not be put into effect, or that would not otherwise exist if the racket did not exist. Conducting a racket is racketeering.
What are Amicus briefs?
Legal documents filed in appellate court cases by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter. The briefs advise the court of relevant, additional information or arguments that the court might wish to consider.
What is a nonlitigant?
One who is not a litigant.
1. a person involved in a lawsuit.
2. involved in a lawsuit."the parties litigant"
What is a tort?
A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a civil wrong that causes someone else to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act.
What is mass tort?
A mass tort is a civil action involving numerous plaintiffs against one or a few defendants in state or federal court. The lawsuits arise out of the defendants causing numerous injuries through the same or similar act of harm, for example, a prescription drug, a medical device, a defective product, a train accident, a plane crash, pollution, or a construction disaster.
What is an NOI?
(a notice that you will be sued) A note of issue is used to have the court's clerk enter a case upon the court calendar for trial as of the date of the filing of the note of issue. In at least one jurisdiction, the court must first verify that discovery is complete before a note of issue may be filed.
What is a Special Committee of the Board of Directors?
As contrasted to standing committees, such as the audit or compensation committees, corporate boards establish, on an ad hoc basis, special independent board committees, which fall into three separate categories:
(i) the special negotiation committee that is charged with the responsibility of considering and negotiating a proposed transaction involving a conflict of interest between the company and its directors, controlling shareholders, management or other fiduciaries,
(ii) the special litigation committee that is charged with the responsibility of deciding whether or not shareholder derivative litigation claims should be pursued, and
(iii) the special investigation committee that is charged with investigating and determining an appropriate response for alleged internal corporate wrongdoing.
Define Upstream (in regards to the O&G sector).
Having to do with the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. Geologic surveys and any information gathering used to locate specific areas where minerals are likely to be found is commonly called ‘exploration.’ The term ‘upstream’ also includes the steps involved in the actual drilling and bringing oil and natural gas resources to the surface, referred to as ‘production’.
Basically: ‘Upstream’ is about extracting oil and natural gas resources from the ground
Define Midstream (in regards to the O&G sector).
Anything required to transport and store crude oil and natural gas before they are refined and processed into fuels and key elements needed to make a very long list of products we use every day. Midstream includes pipelines and all the infrastructure needed to move these resources long distances, such as pumping stations, tank trucks, rail tank cars and transcontinental tankers.
Basically: ‘midstream’ is about safely moving oil and natural gas thousands resources of miles
Define Downstream (in regards to the O&G sector).
The final sector of the oil and natural gas industry is known as ‘downstream.’ This includes everything involved in turning crude oil and natural gas into thousands of finished products we depend on every day. Some of the more obvious products are fuels like gasoline, diesel, kerosene, jet fuels, heating oils and asphalt for building roads. But long-chain hydrocarbons found in both oil and natural gas are used to make far less obvious products like synthetic rubbers, fertilizers, preservatives, containers, and plastics for parts in countless products. Oil and natural gas products are even used to make artificial limbs, hearing aids and flame-retardant clothing to protect firefighters. In fact, paints, dyes, fibers and just about anything that is manufactured has some connection to oil and natural gas.
Basically: ‘downstream’ is converting oil and natural gas resources into the fuels and finished products we all depend on
What is an ATM Offering?
An at-the-market (ATM) offering is a type of follow-on offering of stock utilized by publicly traded companies in order to raise capital over time.
In an ATM offering, exchange-listed companies incrementally sell newly issued shares into the secondary trading marketthrough a designated broker-dealer at prevailing market prices. The broker-dealer sells the issuing company's shares in the open market and receives cash proceeds from the transaction. The broker-dealer then delivers the proceeds to the issuing company where the cash can be used for a variety of purposes. A higher stock price means a greater amount of money can be raised. The issuing company is able to raise this kind of capital on an as-needed basis with the option to refrain from offering shares if the available prices on a particular day are unsatisfactory. ATM offerings can be started and stopped at any point, and they can also become more aggressive by selling more shares and raising more money when there is an opportunity in the market or additional need by the issuing company. ATMs can be positioned in advance of an upcoming liquidity event or major milestone to take advantage of increased liquidity and a rising stock price.
What is SPA?
Sale and Purchase Agreement
What is MDL?
In the United States, multidistrict litigation (MDL) refers to a special federal legal procedure designed to speed the process of handling complex cases, such as air disaster litigation or complex product liability suits.
MDL cases occur when "civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts." In order to efficiently process cases that could involve hundreds (or thousands) of plaintiffs in dozens of different federal courts that all share common issues, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) decides whether cases should be consolidated under MDL, and if so, where the cases should be transferred. Cases subject to MDL are sent from one court, known as the transferor, to another, known as the transferee, for all pretrial proceedings and discovery. If a case is not settled or dismissed in the transferee court, it is remanded (that is, sent back) to the transferor court for trial.
Define Product Liability.
Product liability is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause. Although the word "product" has broad connotations, product liability as an area of law is traditionally limited to products in the form of tangible personal property.
What is Discovery?
iscovery, in the law of common law jurisdictions, is a pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit in which each party, through the law of civil procedure, can obtain evidence from the other party or parties by means of discovery devices such as a request for answers to interrogatories, request for production of documents, request for admissions and depositions. Discovery can be obtained from non-parties using subpoenas. When a discovery request is objected to, the requesting party may seek the assistance of the court by filing a motion to compel discovery.
What is the Eighth Amendment?
The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishments.
What is a 'White Paper'?
A white paper is an informational document, issued by a company or not-for-profit organization, to promote or highlight the features of a solution, product, or service. White papers are sales and marketing documents, used to entice or persuade potential customers to learn more about or purchase a particular product, service, technology or methodology. White papers are designed to be used as a marketing tool before a sale, and not as a user manual or other technical document developed to provide support to the user after making a purchase.
a government or other authoritative report giving information or proposals on an issue - informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body's philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.
What is a 'Green Field Investment'?
A green field investment is a type of foreign direct investment (FDI) where a parent company builds its operations in a foreign country from the ground up. In addition to the construction of new production facilities, these projects can also include the building of new distribution hubs, offices and living quarters.
What is FDI?
Foreign direct investment (FDI)- an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country. Generally, FDI takes place when an investor establishes foreign business operations or acquires foreign business assets, including establishing ownership or controlling interest in a foreign company. Foreign direct investments are distinguished from portfolio investments in which an investor merely purchases equities of foreign-based companies.
What is a 'C Corporation'?
A C corporation is a corporation in which the owners, or shareholders, are taxed separately from the entity. C corporations, the most prevalent of corporations, are also subject to corporate income taxation. The taxing of profits from the business is at both corporate and personal levels, creating a double taxation situation.
What is an MLP'?
Master Limited Partnership - a type of business venture that exists in the form of a publicly traded limited partnership. It combines the tax benefits of a partnership — profits are taxed only when investors actually receive distributions — with the liquidity of a public company.
What is a 'General Partner'?
An owner of a partnership who has unlimited liability. A general partner is also usually a managing partner and active in the day-to-day operations of the business. Because any partner in a general partnership can act on behalf of the entire business without the knowledge or permission of the other partners, being a general partner offers poor asset protection.If a general partner is ever required to meet the partnership's financial obligations, his or her personal assets may be subject to liquidation. In the case of a limited partnership, only one of the partners will be the general partner and have unlimited liability. The other partners will have limited liability as long as they do not take an active role in managing the business, so their personal assets will not be at risk.Next UpBREAKING DOWN 'General Partner'A partnership is a business entity formed when at least two or more people agree to go into business together. General partners typically create a partnership agreement to spell out the details of their partnership. Unlike other business entities such a corporation or a limited liability corporation (LLC), no state filing is required to form a partnership.
Define 'Delaware Corporation.'
A Delaware corporation is a company that is legally registered in the state of Delaware but may conduct business in any state. Delaware first began to adapt its laws in the late 19th century, making changes that would attract businesses away from other states such as New York. Over time, Delaware became a respected state in which to incorporate, even if the majority of a company's business was conducted outside
- The Delaware General Corporation Law (Title 8, Chapter 1 of the Delaware Code) is the statute governing corporate law in the U.S. state of Delaware. It has been the most important jurisdiction in United States corporate law since the early 20th century. Over 50% of publicly traded corporations in the United States and 60% of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in the state.
- Delaware acquired its status as a corporate haven in the early 20th century. Following the example of New Jersey, which enacted corporate-friendly laws at the end of the 19th century to attract businesses from New York, Delaware adopted on March 10, 1899, a general incorporation act aimed at attracting more businesses. The group that pushed for this legislation intended to establish a corporation that would sell services to other businesses incorporating in Delaware. Before the rise of general incorporation acts, forming a corporation required a special act of the state legislature. General incorporation allowed anyone to form a corporation by simply raising money and filing articles of incorporation with the state's Secretary of State.
What is 'OPEC'?
- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries - A group consisting of 12 of the world's major oil-exporting nations. OPEC was founded in 1960 to coordinate the petroleum policies of its members, and to provide member states with technical and economic aid. OPEC is a cartel that aims to manage the supply of oil in an effort to set the price of oil on the world market, in order to avoid fluctuations that might affect the economies of both producing and purchasing countries.
- Created in Baghdad in Sept. 1960 by its founding members: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
- Along with the five founding members, OPEC has 9 additional member countries, as of 2016. They are: Qatar, Indonesia , Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Nigeria, Ecuador, Gabon and Angola.
What are Economic Sanctions?
Commercial restrictions applied by the governments of one or more countries against a targeted country, group, or individual. They may include various forms of trade barriers, tariffs, and restrictions on financial transactions.
What are the five main areas of The Federal Court system?
1. The Supreme Court of the United States
2. U.S. Courts of Appeals
- 3. U.S. District Courts
- 4. U.S. Bankruptcy Courts
5. U.S. Courts of Special Jurisdiction
What is The Supreme Court of the United States?
Consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices. At its discretion, and within certain guidelines established by Congress, the Supreme Court each year hears a limited number of the cases it is asked to decide. Those cases may begin in the federal or state courts, and they usually involve important questions about the Constitution or federal law. For more information about the Supreme Court, visit the Supreme Court's official website.
What are the U.S. Courts of Appeals?
The 94 U.S. judicial districts are organized into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a United States court of appeals. A court of appeals hears appeals from the district courts located within its circuit, as well as appeals from decisions of federal administrative agencies. In addition, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has nationwide jurisdiction to hear appeals in specialized cases, such as those involving patent laws and cases decided by the Court of International Trade and the Court of Federal Claims.
- First Circuit, for Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico;
- Second Circuit, for Vermont, Connecticut, and New York;
- Third Circuit, for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the Virgin Islands;
- Fourth Circuit, for Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina;
- Fifth Circuit, for Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas;
- Sixth Circuit, for Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee;
- Seventh Circuit, for Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin;
- Eighth Circuit, for Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota;
- Ninth Circuit, for California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, and certain Pacific islands;
- Tenth Circuit, for Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas; and
- Eleventh Circuit, for Georgia, Florida, and Alabama;
- District of Columbia Circuit, for Washington, D.C.;
What are the U.S. District Court?
The United States district courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. Within limits set by Congress and the Constitution, the district courts have jurisdiction to hear nearly all categories of federal cases, including both civil and criminal matters. Every day hundreds of people across the nation are selected for jury duty and help decide some of these cases. There are 94 federal judicial districts, including at least one district in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Three territories of the United States--the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands--have district courts that hear federal cases, including bankruptcy cases.
What courts are included in the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts?
Each of the 94 federal judicial districts handles bankruptcy matters, and in almost all districts, bankruptcy cases are filed in the bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy cases cannot be filed in state court. Bankruptcy laws help people who can no longer pay their creditors get a fresh start by liquidating their assets to pay their debts, or by creating a repayment plan. Bankruptcy laws also protect troubled businesses and provide for orderly distributions to business creditors through reorganization or liquidation. These procedures are covered under Title 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code). The vast majority of cases are filed under the three main chapters of the Bankruptcy Code, which are Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13.
Describe the U.S. Courts of Special Jurisdiction.
These include the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
What is United States Antitrust law?
- A collection of federal and state government laws that regulates the conduct and organization of business corporations, generally to promote fair competition for the benefit of consumers. (The concept is called competition law in other English-speaking countries.) The main statutes are the Sherman Act of 1890, the Clayton Act of 1914 and the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914. These Acts, first, restrict the formation of cartels and prohibit other collusive practices regarded as being in restraint of trade. Second, they restrict the mergers and acquisitions of organizations that could substantially lessen competition. Third, they prohibit the creation of a monopoly and the abuse of monopoly power.
- Acts adopted by Congress to outlaw or restrict business practices considered to be monopolistic or which restrain interstate commerce. The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 declared illegal "every contract, combination…or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce" between states or foreign countries. The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, amended by the Robinson-Patman Act of 1936, prohibits discrimination among customers through pricing and disallows mergers, acquisitions or takeovers of one firm by another if the effect will "substantially lessen competition." Interstate commerce includes commerce within a state which affects the flow of that commerce, thus making it pretty broad. There are also some state laws against restraint of trade. The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice enforces for the federal government, but private lawsuits to halt antitrust activities have become increasingly popular, particularly since attorney's fees are awarded to the winning party. This is a legal specialty which has kept some industries relatively honest and made some lawyers wealthy.See also: price fixing restraint of trade
What is an Alternative Investment?
An alternative investment or alternative investment fund (AIF) is an investment in asset classes other than stocks, bonds, and cash. The term is a relatively loose one and includes tangible assets such as precious metals, art, wine, antiques, coins, or stamps and some financial assets such as real estate, commodities, private equity, distressed securities, hedge funds, carbon credits, venture capital, film production, financial derivatives, and cryptocurrencies. Investments in real estate, forestry and shipping are also often termed "alternative" despite the ancient use of such real assets to enhance and preserve wealth. In the last century, fancy color diamonds have emerged as an alternative investment class as well. Alternative investments are to be contrasted with traditional investments.
An alternative investment is an asset that is not one of the conventional investment types, such as stocks, bonds and cash. Most alternative investment assets are held by institutional investors or accredited, high-net-worth individuals because of the complex natures and limited regulations of the investments. Alternative investments include private equity, hedge funds, managed futures, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts.
A mini-trial, which may be for a lawsuit ready to go to trial, held in an attempt to avoid a court trial and conducted by a person or a panel of people who are not judges. The arbitration may be agreed to by the parties, may be required by a provision in a contract for settling disputes, or may be provided for under statute. To avoid clogged court calendars the parties often agree to have the matter determined by a panel such as one provided by the American Arbitration Association (which has a specific set of rules), a retired judge, some other respected lawyer, or some organization that provides these services. Usually contract-required arbitration may be converted into a legal judgment on petition to the court, unless some party has protested that there has been a gross injustice, collusion or fraud. Many states provide for mandatory arbitration of cases on a non-binding basis in the hope that these "mini-trials" (proceedings) conducted by experienced attorneys will give the parties a clearer picture of the probable result and lead to acceptance of the arbitrator's decision.
What is a 'Summary Judgement'?
A court order ruling that no factual issues remain to be tried and therefore a cause of action or all causes of action in a complaint can be decided upon certain facts without trial. A summary judgment is based upon a motion by one of the parties that contends that all necessary factual issues are settled or so one-sided they need not be tried. The motion is supported by declarations under oath, excerpts from depositions which are under oath, admissions of fact and other discovery, as well as a legal argument (points and authorities), that argue that there are no triable issues of fact and that the settled facts require a summary judgment for the moving party. The opposing party will respond by counter-declarations and legal arguments attempting to show that there are "triable issues of fact." If it is unclear whether there is a triable issue of fact in any cause of action, then summary judgment must be denied as to that cause of action. The theory behind the summary judgment process is to eliminate the need to try settled factual issues and to decide without trial one or more causes of action in the complaint. The pleading procedures are extremely technical and complicated and are particularly dangerous to the party against whom the motion is made.
What is the FTC?
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act.
- Its principal mission is the promotion of consumer protection and the elimination and prevention of anticompetitive business practices, such as coercive monopoly.
- It is a bipartisan federal agency with a unique dual mission to protect consumers and promote competition. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy.
What is a 'REIT'?
A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), is a company that owns, operates or finances income-producing real estate. For a company to qualify as a REIT, it must meet certain regulatory guidelines. REITs often trades on major exchanges like other securities and provide investors with a liquid stake in real estate.
REITs are not a new financial innovation. Established by Congress in 1960 as an amendment to the Cigar Excise Tax Extension of 1960, REITs operate in a manner comparable to mutual funds as they allow for individual investors to acquire ownership in commercial real estate portfolios that receive income from properties such as apartment complexes, hospitals, office buildings, timber land, warehouses, hotels and shopping malls.
Most REITs specialize in a specific real-estate sector – for example office REITs or healthcare REITs. Within this space, REITS must purchase and operate its holdings as a part of its portfolio. In most cases, REITs operate by leasing space and passing on collected rent payments to its investors in the form of dividends.
What are the types of REITs?
REITs are catagorized three ways:
- Equity REIT - Most REITs are equity REITs. Equity REITs invest in and own income-producing real estate properties and give investors the opportunity to invest in these portfolios. They must distribute at least 90% of the portfolio’s income to its shareholders in the form of dividends.
- Mortgage REIT -
- Mortgage REITs invest in and own property mortgages. These REITs loan money to real estate owners and operators not only for mortgages but also for different types of real estate loans or through purchasing mortgage-backed securities. Their earnings are generated primarily by the net interest margin, the spread between the interest they earn on mortgage loans and the cost of funding these loans. This model makes them potentially sensitive to interest rate increases.
- Hybrid REIT - Hybrid REITs invest in both properties and mortgages.
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What is a SPAC?
A Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) is a publicly-traded buyout company that raises collective investment funds in the form of blind pool money, through an initial public offering (IPO), for the purpose of completing an acquisition of an existing private company, sometimes in a specified target industry such as information technology.
The money raised through the IPO of a SPAC is put into a trust where it is held until the SPAC identifies a merger or acquisition opportunity to pursue with the invested funds. Shares of a SPAC are typically sold in relatively inexpensive units that include one share of common stock and a warrant conveying the right to purchase additional shares or partial shares.
What is it to dismiss "With Prejudice" and "Without Prejudice"?
With Prejudice - the case is dismissed permanently. A case dismissed with prejudice is over and done with, once and for all, and can't be brought back to court.
Without Prejudice- The case is not dismissed forever. The person whose case it is can try again.
What is the Delaware Court of Chancery?
A court of equity in the American state of Delaware. It is one of Delaware's three constitutional courts, along with the Supreme Court and Superior Court.
It is widely recognized as the nation's preeminent forum for the determination of disputes involving the internal affairs of the thousands upon thousands of Delaware corporations and other business entities through which a vast amount of the world's commercial affairs is conducted. Its unique competence in and exposure to issues of business law are unmatched.
Why Delaware? What is so special about Delaware Law?
Reason One: The bi-partisan political consensus in Delaware to keep the Delaware corporation statute modern and up-to-date, and to rely on Delaware’s corporate law specialists for advice in how to do this. As a result, law students at every law school in the United States study the Delaware corporation statute and the decisions of Delaware courts interpreting that law.
Corporations want to operate under modern laws that clearly spell out what they can and cannot do. But other states could enact such laws, or simply copy Delaware’s. So the Delaware corporation statute can’t by itself account for Delaware’s success in attracting corporate incorporations.
Reason Two: Corporations choose to incorporate in Delaware because of the quality of Delaware courts and judges. Delaware has a special court, the Court of Chancery, to rule on corporate law disputes without juries. Corporate cases do not get stuck on dockets behind the multitude of non-corporate cases. Instead, Delaware corporations can expect their legal disputes to be addressed promptly and expertly by judges who specialize in corporate law.
What is Cash basis accounting?
The cash basis of accounting recognizes revenues when cash is received, and expenses when they are paid. This method does not recognize accounts receivable or accounts payable.
The cash method is also beneficial in terms of tracking how much cash the business actually has at any given time; you can look at your bank balance and understand the exact resources at your disposal.
Also, since transactions aren’t recorded until the cash is received or paid, the business’s income isn’t taxed until it’s in the bank.
What is Accrual basis accounting?
Under the accrual basis, revenues and expenses are recorded when they are earned, regardless of when the money is actually received or paid. This method is more commonly used than the cash method.
The upside is that the accrual basis gives a more realistic idea of income and expenses during a period of time, therefore providing a long-term picture of the business that cash accounting can’t provide.
The downside is that accrual accounting doesn’t provide any awareness of cash flow; a business can appear to be very profitable while in reality it has empty bank accounts. Accrual basis accounting without careful monitoring of cash flow can have potentially devastating consequences.
What are the Big 4 Accounting Firms?
- Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, popularly known as just "Deloitte"
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
- Ernst & Young (E&Y)
- Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)