Category Archives: Law and legal matters

Why Does a Rich Chicago Law Firm Keep Suing Indian Tribes?

Why does a deep-pockets Chicago law firm keep targeting businesses run by Native American tribes?

In September, Daniel Edelman filed yet another lawsuit against a short-term, small-dollar lending business, this one owned by the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. They are a small band, fewer than 8,000 members, and their land – mostly covered in lakes and forests – is in Wisconsin’s remote northwest corner.

Attorney Daniel Edelman

Thanks to their federal tribal status, tribes can run and self-regulate businesses that are traditionally regulated by state officials, so long as they comply with federal laws. For some tribes, that has meant building casinos. For the Lac Court Oreilles and many other tribes, financial businesses like lending, which can be conducted online, are a better fit.

But now the Lac Courte Oreilles are in court, dragged in by Daniel Edelman and his law firm, Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin. The lawsuit they filed in September is just the latest in a series targeting Native American tribes across the U.S. for years. Recent instances include suits against tribes in WisconsinCaliforniaIllinois, and Indiana.

The economic impact of their lawsuits, tribal advocates say, has been devastating.

“There is a common perception that all tribal governments and tribal nations are operating successful casinos and therefore doing just fine economically,” said Kate Spilde, chair of the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming at San Diego State University. “Meanwhile, fewer than one-third of all tribes offer casino gaming, and many tribal gaming facilities are small, local properties that mainly provide jobs and entertainment. For these reasons, I am a huge proponent of tribal economic development online as a way for geographically remote tribes to participate in businesses beyond land-based opportunities.”

E-commerce activities are particularly attractive to tribes because the physical infrastructure for traditional commerce requires U.S. government leases, and their land is often quite out of the way. So, many tribes have branched into lending activities, where they are exempt from the rate caps that some state governments have placed on short-term, small-dollar loans.

Lending of that type is itself a tricky issue. While such lenders are often characterized as predatory, they are often lifesavers to the people who use them because they can’t access capital any other way. And there is a thriving short-term loan industry in America that tribes and their governments have a legitimate right to participate in, Spilde said.

“Under the Dodd-Frank Act, tribal governments have the legal right to offer and regulate financial services, and many of them now offer short-term installment loans and other financial products online,” Spilde noted. “When these tribal businesses are threatened by legal challenges, the impact on tribal economic and community development are immediate and profound since they affect employees and tribal programs that are dependent on that industry.”

Image credit: Marc Romanelli/Getty Images

Edelman’s firm makes no secret of the fact that it wants to drive Native American tribes out of the short-term lending business entirely.

In a post on their law blog, they brag about their litigation against the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe, another small group of 8,000 or so living on a massive reservation in rural South Dakota. “As should be expected by this time, payday lending in Indian country is creating bad law for tribal interests,” the post reads. “My initial recommendations to tribal leaders and counsel — shut down on-reservation-based payday lending operations operated privately immediately.”

Edelman’s argument is that the outside firms brought in to operate these financial businesses are merely using the tribes as fronts, collecting profits on high-interest rates tribes are allowed to charge that would be illegal under state regulations. Tribal advocates are insulted by what they see as a condescending view of Native Americans as unsophisticated and inept. They note many businesses hire outside experts and consultants, and arguing that American Indians do so out of incompetence or corruption borders on racism.

It’s also no secret that other financial players in the short-term loan business don’t like competing with tribal lenders. By suing the tribes, Edelman is advancing the interests of big financial corporations that collect profits from the industry.

And then there is the impact of Edelman’s actions on the local economies. Noting how vital tribal commerce is, Indian Country Today reporter Mark Trahant told NPR last year that tribes are themselves usually the largest employers in regions where they live.

“[A healthy tribal economy] just creates jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago,” Trahant said. “During the pandemic … a lot of the large tribal employers tried to keep people on as long as possible. Not everyone, of course, but in many cases, they tried to keep people working even when the casino operations were shut down, and I think that was really remarkable.”

If the federal government wants to end the short-term lending business, it has the power. And if the government is interested in being even-handed, it should apply to every business, including banks and credit unions, who also offer expensive credit in the form of overdrafts, not just those owned by Native American tribes.

“The fact is, short-term, small-dollar lending is an economic lifeline for many tribes, advancing tribal sovereignty, enabling economic development and better economic opportunity on reservations across the country,” said Steve Parker, a member of Montana’s Chippewa Cree Tribe and a fintech entrepreneur.

“You hurt tribal lending, you hurt American Indians.”

Note: This article originally appeared in InsideSources’ DC Journal:

Notary Stamps – The Legal Requirements

If you have a Notary Stamp, you must follow certain legal requirements when obtaining, using, and disposing of the stamp. These requirements may include the shape of the stamp, the color of the ink pad used to ink it, and the border of the stamp. In addition, if you use a serrated or milled edge stamp, you may be held liable for misdemeanors.

Photo by Stephen Goldberg on Unsplash

Ordering a notary stamp

When you order notary stamps Illinois, you must keep a few things in mind. You need to ensure that the stamp is accurate and meets your state’s requirements. For example, the round stamp must contain the proper ink color.

The notary stamp is important because it authenticates notarial services. This type of rubber stamp is available in various shapes and sizes. A good quality one will come with a built-in ink pad to re-stamp quickly and easily. It is also important to ensure the stamp has a good impression.

If you are not satisfied with your notary stamp, you can contact the notary association in your state to inquire about replacements. In addition to replacements, you can get a free e-notary guide to help you navigate the intricacies of online notarization.

Circular or Rectangular Shape

Notary stamps are available in circular or rectangular forms depending on the state’s laws. These stamps are used to notarize documents and ensure that the notary’s signature is authentic. In addition, they help prevent identity theft.

The notary stamp consists of the notary’s name and the name of the state in which they reside. It may also include the commission expiration date.

A notary public seal must contain the notary’s name and the word “notary public.” It may also include the county in which the notary resides.

In addition, a notary stamp must have a serrated or milled edge border. The notary seal is only considered official if it includes the required information.

Serrated or Milled Edge Border

If you are a notary public, you should know the notary stamp requirements in your state. Notary public certificates must have a notary seal that includes the name of the notary, their commission expiration date, and the names of the state and county where the notary’s oath and bond were filed.

Notary stamps should be round or rectangular. Each state’s law may regulate the type and shape of the notary seal. The minimum size for the stamp is one inch by two and a half inches.

The notary seal must be in a format that allows photographic reproduction. It must be legible. In addition, the notary must use indelible ink.

Indelible Ink Pad

The notary seal must be stamped with indelible ink. There are several types of ink pads to choose from. Some of them are designed to be permanent, and others are not. Generally, you’ll find that you need a pad that’s made for semi-porous surfaces.

You can get an ink pad with a raised surface if you’re inking a stamp larger than the standard stamp pad. For example, you may use a pad with a raised surface if you’re using a large wooden stamp.

Depending on the surface you’re inking, go with an oil-based ink. However, solvent ink is best if you’re not working with semi-porous material. It’s quick-drying and can be used with water-based coloring mediums.

Liability for Misdemeanors

When it comes to Notary Stamps and Liability, there are two main types of offenses a Notary can face, and these are categorized as misdemeanors and felonies. A Notary can be charged with misdemeanors for different reasons, including mishandling a document, failing to comply with a sworn order, executing a document without a certificate, or failing to follow a procedure. However, these same penalties are not always imposed. Sometimes, a Notary may face vicarious liability, and a Notary can be sued in civil court.

Numerous laws and regulations on the books govern the performance of notarial duties, but it’s still important to keep your wits about you. 

Disposing of a Notary Stamp

Disposing a notary stamp is a process that must be carried out according to local laws. A notary stamp is a device that notaries use to legalize the recording of instruments in the courtroom. Whenever a notary acts on behalf of a person, the notary public is legally required to use an official notary stamp. However, a notary may imprint a notary stamp on an electronic record.

A notary stamp should be a rectangular seal, at least 1-1/2 inches by 2-1/2 inches, with a serrated or milled edge border. The seal must be affixed with a rubber stamp or embosser.

Why Background Check Screening Is Essential When Hiring Employees?

To ensure that your employees are trustworthy and reliable, it is important to conduct background check screening. This way, you can prevent your employees from committing mistakes or misrepresentations. Also, this can help you keep your business running smoothly and profitably.

Prevent Employee Dishonesty

Employee dishonesty in the workplace is a serious problem. It has been estimated that 30 percent of all business failures are caused by employee dishonesty. There are a variety of ways to prevent employee dishonesty.

Aside from having good internal controls, a company must work closely with its human resources department to identify potential problems. This can include changes in the way employees interact with each other. It can also help to implement formalized performance reviews. According to a background screening company, educating your employees on the consequences of fraudulent behavior is a smart move. This can increase the organization’s overall productivity and can strengthen team cohesion. Conducting background checks on prospective employees can help you to find the right candidates. These background checks can also give you peace of mind when hiring new workers. You can contact previous employers to learn about their criminal histories.

Verify Identity

You must verify your identity if you’re looking to hire new employees. It may seem like a small thing, but it can greatly impact the hiring process. Identity verification can help ensure your company is not wasting money or time and protect you from fraudulent data. A candidate’s identity should be verified as soon as possible to reduce the risk of hiring someone with fake credentials or a fraudulent background. While there are many options for doing this, one of the best ways to avoid unnecessary risk is using automated ID checks. These checks are often integrated into the hiring process to streamline it. Not only does it speed up the screening process, but it also cuts out unnecessary data entry and eliminates the possibility of mistakes.

Avoid Regrettable Hiring Mistakes.

Hiring a new employee can represent a significant investment for the average businessperson. This is why it is important to do it right first. One way to reduce the risk is to perform a thorough background check before hiring. Luckily, there are several methods of conducting the same. The best way to ensure you are not duped is to maintain a list of background checks performed on prospective hires. It’s not uncommon for a company to make a bad hire. A recent study from Career Bright found that 2 out of every three workers were forced to quit their jobs within six months. To reduce this risk, it is imperative to identify candidates with a track record of misbehaving. Not only will the repercussions be negative, but they could result in an employee with a black mark on their record.

Keep Your Business Profitable And Productive.

If you are a small business, it’s important to know that you are putting your company at risk if you do not have a comprehensive screening program. The cost of hiring a poor hire can be more than just money; it can also derail your hard work. Small businesses are at a great disadvantage when dealing with bad hires. Even if you have a good background check screening policy in place, your company will suffer if you do not have the resources to recover from a bad employee. Screening programs can help you find more qualified employees, more time to focus on other aspects of your business and more resources to improve productivity. The US Small Business Administration estimates a return on investment of between $5 and 16 for every dollar spent on employment screening.