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The National Association of Credit Managers (NACM) reported last week that its Credit Managers' Index (CMI) increased in November, demonstrating that the sharp drop in October's numbers was more likely to be a brief dip in the road than the start of a downward trend. The overall index, which tracks data from business credit managers in the service and manufacturing sectors, rose to 55.2 last month from 54.4 in October, putting the index near its average for the previous twelve months.
A hacker breached the South Carolina Department of Revenue's secure databases and stole tax records containing confidential information on hundreds of thousands of businesses and millions of individual taxpayers. Governor Nikki Haley delivered the final numbers in a press conference last week: in all, information concerning 3.8 million individuals, 699,900 businesses, 3.3 million bank accounts, and 5,000 expired credit cards was leaked.
If you review court records across multiple states, you know that state court structures vary widely across the country. Each state creates its own system of trial and appellate courts, which typically include three to five major courts and a host of smaller specialized courts like traffic courts and probate courts.
Even when courts have similar purposes, states often name them differently, which can make the system appear more complex than it is. The trial court of general jurisdiction is called the District Court in Oklahoma, the Superior Court in California, and the Circuit Court in Florida. In most states the court of last resort is the Supreme Court, but in Maryland it's the Court of Appeals, and in Texas there are two: one for civil cases and one for criminal.
On a lighter note, enjoy this brief Businessweek.com article chronicling a history of American clumsiness, in a highlight reel of business lawsuits going back three-quarters of a century.
It just goes to show that you never know what you'll find when you start researching a company's litigation history.
When deciding to buy a franchise it is important to research the franchisor's litigation history. AllBusiness.com offers advice on how the litigation history component of a Franchise Disclosure Document can warn you of trouble ahead:
Understanding the origins of the legal conflicts that arise between franchisors and franchisees is the first step toward learning about franchise lawsuits. Franchisors, for example, generally instigate litigation when a franchisee has not met contractual obligations. Franchisees, on the other hand, initiate legal action generally because they are unhappy with their business.
The National Association of Credit Management (NACM) reports that lower figures in its October 2012 Credit Managers' Index may indicate continued uncertainty in the business credit community.
With many traditional sources of small-business funding drying up in the wake of the financial crisis, Amazon is slowly, quietly stepping into the gap. The online retail giant has been offering loans to some of its small-business merchants since late 2011 through its Amazon Lending program, backed by Amazon Capital Services, Inc.
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