October 23, 2007

Illinois Issues New Driver's Licenses to Deter Identity Theft

The State of Illinois has designed new driver's licenses and state identity cards to prevent identity theft and fraud. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois driver's licenses will now feature a second, smaller photo of the cardholder, duplication of the date of birth and microtext that requires a magnifying glass to read and is difficult to copy or duplicate electronically. The goal of the new features is to deter counterfeiters.

Victims of the growing problem of identity theft have legal duties of their own when dealing with the consequences of fraud, especially unauthorized transfers of funds. While credit card holders are protected by issuer rules that allow holders to refuse to pay fraudulent charges, "Regulation E," the FDIC's consumer protection rule governing electronic funds transfers and debit cards, states that consumers must report an electronic funds transfer problem within two days to protect themselves from liability for the unauthorized withdrawal. Consumers who report a problem within 2 days are liable for $50, while those who report the problem within 60 days have their liability capped at $500. People who wait report a problem may lose the protection of federal law, and be stuck with a total loss of the funds.

As noted by this MSNBC report, victims of identity theft often become the targets of banks and financial institutions looking to hold the victim liable for losses, especially when there has been a delay in reporting fraud. If you have suffered substantial losses due to identity theft, you may need to retain a lawyer if you want to get financial institutions to take responsibility for your losses.

Bookmark: Bookmark Illinois%20Issues%20New%20Driver%27s%20Licenses%20to%20Deter%20Identity%20Theft at del.icio.us Digg Illinois%20Issues%20New%20Driver%27s%20Licenses%20to%20Deter%20Identity%20Theft at Digg.com Bookmark Illinois%20Issues%20New%20Driver%27s%20Licenses%20to%20Deter%20Identity%20Theft at Spurl.net Bookmark Illinois%20Issues%20New%20Driver%27s%20Licenses%20to%20Deter%20Identity%20Theft at Simpy.com Bookmark Illinois%20Issues%20New%20Driver%27s%20Licenses%20to%20Deter%20Identity%20Theft at NewsVine Blink this Illinois%20Issues%20New%20Driver%27s%20Licenses%20to%20Deter%20Identity%20Theft at blinklist.com Bookmark Illinois%20Issues%20New%20Driver%27s%20Licenses%20to%20Deter%20Identity%20Theft at Furl.net Bookmark Illinois%20Issues%20New%20Driver%27s%20Licenses%20to%20Deter%20Identity%20Theft at reddit.com Fark Illinois%20Issues%20New%20Driver%27s%20Licenses%20to%20Deter%20Identity%20Theft at Fark.com Bookmark Illinois%20Issues%20New%20Driver%27s%20Licenses%20to%20Deter%20Identity%20Theft at Yahoo! MyWeb

October 22, 2007

Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Cases Revealed

The following story from Idaho provides an excellent example of why there should be no statute of limitations for sex abuse cases. Children fear telling the story, and as occurred in the Idaho case, there are forces in the community that try to blame the victims instead of the pedophile. As experienced trial lawyers we are not afraid to do the fighting so that the victims of sexual abuse can receive justice from the organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America, which failed to protect the victims from pedophiles employed or associated with that organization.

As reported in the Idaho Post Register:

Whispers in the courthouse about "missing cases" and a clandestine meeting at midnight started rookie reporter Peter Zuckerman of the Idaho Falls Post Register on an investigation that would lead him to expose the extraordinary story of a pedophile working within the local Boy Scouts, and a brave young scout who had the courage to speak up and stop him. What was hidden from the public -- concealed within those court records -- was the story of a Boy Scout leader named Brad Stowell, convicted in 1997 of molesting two children, who had admitted under oath in a court deposition in 1999 to molesting about two dozen children beginning as far back as 1988. Zuckerman, along with executive editor Dean Miller, fought successfully to unseal court records and then tracked down victims of abuse to reveal that Boy Scout leadership and at least one official in the Mormon Church -- which sponsors most of the Boy Scout Troops in Eastern Idaho -- missed opportunities to stop Stowell from working in close proximity to children.

The Post Register published the "Scouts' Honor" series in early 2005, and the paper immediately came under fire from some in the community. The fallout of the stories ended up being far more dramatic than anyone had anticipated. A prominent local company took out full-page ads in the paper challenging the reporting and claiming, "the Post Register's real intent was to smear the Scout's good name and take away what the Scouts value most, their honor." Additional victims came forward to tell their stories of abuse. And one father, motivated by his sons' accounts of abuse, dedicated himself full-time to changing Idaho's statute of limitations in cases involving the sexual abuse of minors.

You can read the original 6-part "Scouts' Honor" series published in late February/early March 2005 here, and also read the subsequent reporting in the Idaho Falls Post Register here.

Bookmark: Bookmark Boy%20Scouts%20Sexual%20Abuse%20Cases%20Revealed at del.icio.us Digg Boy%20Scouts%20Sexual%20Abuse%20Cases%20Revealed at Digg.com Bookmark Boy%20Scouts%20Sexual%20Abuse%20Cases%20Revealed at Spurl.net Bookmark Boy%20Scouts%20Sexual%20Abuse%20Cases%20Revealed at Simpy.com Bookmark Boy%20Scouts%20Sexual%20Abuse%20Cases%20Revealed at NewsVine Blink this Boy%20Scouts%20Sexual%20Abuse%20Cases%20Revealed at blinklist.com Bookmark Boy%20Scouts%20Sexual%20Abuse%20Cases%20Revealed at Furl.net Bookmark Boy%20Scouts%20Sexual%20Abuse%20Cases%20Revealed at reddit.com Fark Boy%20Scouts%20Sexual%20Abuse%20Cases%20Revealed at Fark.com Bookmark Boy%20Scouts%20Sexual%20Abuse%20Cases%20Revealed at Yahoo! MyWeb