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Showing posts from January, 2013

Man Accused of Fraud for Taking Wife's Surname After Marriage

Legal news comes in various flavors.  This news story can be categorized under the "odd and unfortunate."  Mr. Lazaro Sopena, a Cuban-born immigrant, agreed to take his wife's surname of Dinh after they became married.  The reason was sweet, and dubbed an "act of love", as Mr. Sopena offered to take his wife, Hanh Dinh's, surname so that her family could perpetuate the name beyond the current generation.

After marriage, the new Mr. Dinh, like spouses of the opposite sex, obtained a new passport and social security card, changed his accounts, and then subsequently applied to update his drivers license, all with his new name.  Mr. Dinh's act of love, however, was cut off by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles.   One year after obtaining his license, the DMV wrote to inform Mr. Dinh that his acts were fraudulent.When he explained that he changed his name because of his marriage, he was told that the law only applies to spouses of the female gender.  M…

USGS Study Reveals No Evidence of Contamination from Fracking in Arkansas

Reuters has announced the results of a United States Geological Survey study of 127 shallow domestic wells located in Faulkner County, and Van Buren County, Arkansas.  The study of a sample of over four thousand existing wells revealed that there was no evidence of contamination from hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in these Arkansas counties.

Score one for proponents of the industry, and especially producers of gas in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas.  Although these are still relatively short term results, the study ought to calm the fears of those who believe that fracking poisons the water supply.

C. Michael Daily is an attorney with the long-established law firm of Daily & Woods, P.L.L.C.  Mr. Daily can be contacted by telephone at 479-242-3953, by email at mdaily@dailywoods.com, or by regular post at 58 South 6th Street, Fort Smith, Arkansas 72902.  You can follow Mr. Daily via social network using any of the social network links in the right hand column of the…

Perspective: US Oil and Gas Industry Would be the World's 16th Largest Economy

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study, entitled "Economic Impacts of the Oil and Natural Gas Industry on the US Economy in 2011" demonstrates how important the industry is to the US economy.  Based on this study, if the United States' oil and gas industry by itself was a standalone country, it would rank as the 16th largest economy in the world.  Just in 2011 alone, the United States' oil and gas industry accumulated 1.1 trillion dollars toward the US total gross domestic product.   
For the visual learners, see the Dr. Mark Perry's blog, along with a write-up on the study.  As you can see, the United States' oil and gas industry ranks close to the same size as the entire economy of Mexico and South Korea. 
With this study as a backdrop, how should the size of the United States' oil and gas industry affect energy policy?

C. Michael Daily is an attorney with the long-established law firm of Daily & Woods, P.L.L.C.  Mr. Daily can be contacted by telepho…

US Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Miller County Class Action Case

The United States Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in Standard Fire Insurance Co v. Knowles, U.S.Supreme Court, No. 11-1450, a breach of contract case out of Miller County, Arkansas.  Knowles involves an insurance companies' underpayment of an insured's hail damage claim.  Plaintiff sued Standard Fire on behalf of himself and those in Arkansas that were similarly situated.   The Plaintiff brought the case in state court, and along with his complaint, stipulated that the amount in controversy fell under $5,000,000, the minimum for federal jurisdiction under CAFA.  

Standard Fire removed the case to the Western District of Arkansas, and in opposing a motion for remand, argued that the $5,000,000 stipulation was not effective, and that the amount in controversy exceeded $5,000,000.  The district court disagreed and remanded the case based on the stipulation, holding that it was binding on class members.  The 8th Circuit agreed and affirmed the district court.

The issue of wh…