Showing posts with label lawyer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lawyer. Show all posts

Friday, July 14, 2023

The Lien: A Last Resort to Collect on a Debt - Guest Post by Attorney Kevin Casini, Esq.

Kevin Casini, Esq.

Top Connecticut attorney Kevin Casini, Esq. helps us understand the concept of a lien in the guest post below:

Judgment liens are the final step in collecting on a civil judgment. When a court issues a judgment, whether by a judge or verdict by a jury, it doesn't automatically force the debtor to pay. If the debtor doesn't pay, it is the responsibility of the creditor to enforce the judgment. Most enforcement happens when a creditor finds assets belonging to the debtor to be taken to satisfy the judgment. This begins with a judgment lien.

A judgment acts like a metaphorical cloud hovering over the debtor's personal property in the state. A judgment is unenforceable against personal property until it has been attached. The property can include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, vehicles, or other equipment.

Copyrights that are registered with the United States Copyright Office ("USCO") can be liened, through registration at the USCO of the lien. Unregistered copyrights cannot.
There are different types of liens: consensual, statutory, and judicial. Consensual liens include mortgages and car loans, while mechanic's liens and judgment liens are examples of statutory and judicial liens.  Once attached, they work similarly to consensual liens, allowing the creditor to seize the property to satisfy a judgment.

Some liens can be discharged too, depending on circumstances.  

  • Judgment liens: If there is no equity in the property to cover the lien, it may be discharged.  
A judgment lien typically extinguishes after 20 years.

To establish a lien on real estate, it must be recorded on the land records, but the process varies by state. If a judgment lien is attached to real estate, the judgment continues to accumulate interest at a higher statutory rate (e.g., 17.5% in the state of Connecticut in the United States) than market savings or mortgage rates, and the property's value usually increases over time. The lien is either satisfied through refinance, sale or the property to which it is attached, or by satisfaction. 

In some places, the order in which liens are recorded determines their priority. In other cases, certain creditors always have priority, and the government always has priority. The same principles apply to security interests in personal property. The creditor who perfects their security interest first usually has the highest priority. To perfect a judgment lien, it needs to be attached to property.

The way of attachment varies depending on the type of personal property. The way a judgment attaches to personal property is different from how a lien attaches to real estate. Real estate is immovable, and ownership is determined by land records. A judgment lien attaches as soon as it is recorded in the land records. Personal property, however, is movable, and there is usually no central registry for ownership except for automobiles.

Check with an attorney in your state to understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to judgment liens. 

About The Author
Kevin Casini Kevin is an attorney and consultant in New Haven where he’s been recognized by New England SuperLawyers™ for his work in civil litigation, copyright, and trademarks, and a music business consultant with his company Ecco Artist Services.

Kevin is VP of Business and Legal Affairs for RME, ( the digital-first, modern rights organization that enables fair and accurate payments for creators and rightsholders.

In practice, Kevin has boasted a talented client roster of award-winning, Grammy nominated, gold and platinum certified artists, writers, producers, & DJs, and he teaches copyrights, music law, and entertainment law at Quinnipiac University School of Law. 

He has been speaker, moderator, and panelist at conferences from Austin to Boston, and has advised companies, firms, and governmental agencies on case law, new legislation and proposed legislation, and best practices.

Kevin is a member of the Recording Academy, Copyright Alliance, the Americana Music Association and serves on the advisory board of SONA and on the nominating committee of the Boston Music Awards.

He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. 

Follow Kevin on Twitter @KCEsq

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Well Kept Secret of Powerful Attorneys

Attention attorneys:

Are you regarded as one of the most powerful attorneys in your field? For example, did the Hollywood Reporter feature you in its 2010 Power Lawyers list?

If you answered “no,” consider a well-kept-secret from many of the Hollywood Reporter’s 2010 Power Lawyers:

What do so many powerful attorneys have in common? They know that:
1. It isn’t enough to know everything about intellectual property law, or the be a suave litigator
2. To be a power attorney, you must build a reputation of getting your clients a bigger piece of the pie
3. The most powerful attorneys seek the most help - getting lots of clients a bigger piece of the pie is not something you can do alone
To whom do powerful attorneys turn to gain leverage? The well-kept secret is a trusted auditor.

I know, since I am the auditor trusted by attorneys on many a “Power" list, including The Hollywood Reporter's:

However, few attorneys besides the upper echelon understand the power of knowledge that an auditor can provide. Those attorneys who appreciate the value of a compliance inspection typically have no idea that the decision to advise a client to audit rests squarely on their shoulders. (Often, if an attorney does not suggest an audit, nobody will - not even a business manager, unless the business manager happens to do audits... which presents a conflict of interest, incidentally.) Finally, when an attorney does realize that the decision to audit is largely hers, she may hesitate to advise a client to audit due to a fear of the unknown – unknown costs, unknown impact on business relationships and unknown recoveries.

This is why, if you represent someone who receives contingent compensation, it is crucial that you find at least one auditor you trust, who will:
· Help you figure out which cases require audits and which do not
· Advise you during negotiations of accounting clauses and definitions
· Take the stand and testify in the event of a royalty dispute that enters a litigation phase
· Perform due diligence and valuations of intellectual property
· Consult on bankruptcy and divorce cases that involve intellectual property
· Prepare royalty statements
· Conduct audits to:
o Recover your client's unpaid royalties or profits
o Ascertain compliance with marketing restrictions
o Identify breaches of contract
o Gain leverage for negotiation purposes
Building your team of experts now will give you the power to secure your clients royalty and profit entitlements and lay the foundation for your rise to powerful deal making and victories. Don't delay!