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How to File a Complaint Against a Panama Lawyer - PDF

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How to File a Complaint Against a Panama Lawyer - PDF Powered By Docstoc
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How to File a Complaint Against a Panama Lawyer By Aurelia Masterson

Bar Association - In Panama there is a bar association type organization. Problem is they do not license the lawyers and cannot suspend or revoke licenses regarding a complaint. Next problem is many of the lawyers do not belong to the bar association at all. It is optional. It might be worth complaining to them anyway. They run a website which has the names of lawyers that they consider to have done something they consider to be an ethics violation. Not sure if a lawyer needs to be a member before they will post negatively regarding them. Again worth a try. This is the website: http://www.cnapanama.com/cascorsup.htm Here is the email address for the operator of this site: info@cnapanama.com Here are their phones and fax: * (507) 225-6371 * (507) 225-7466 * (507) 227-8841 * Fax: (507) 225-0189 Criminal Fraud Complaint with Police - One avenue you have is to file a criminal complaint for fraud with the police in Panama if you feel a lawyer cheated you. You can come to Panama and do this in person. Generally a lawyer would not be needed to help with the complaint. Filing a false complaint is a crime. It would be best to bring any proof of transfers of funds or receipts with you along with any documents, corporations, etc that the law firm supplied you. Bring a copy of the receipt of your order, retainer agreement, contract, etc showing what you paid them for. Show what you received and what you did not receive. Be honest and direct. Do not try to conceal anything or flavor it a certain way. Be prepared to explain why you think you were frauded and for how much. If you paid for a corporation and bank account but only got a corporation you may have a complaint in that you did not get what you paid for. If the law firm cannot assist with the bank account opening in a
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reasonable amount of time then they should offer a refund. What is a reasonable amount of time? I would say 4 weeks is reasonable for sure, two months is not. It is arguable that without a bank account the corporation is of no value to you and you ordered both as a package. Thus a full refund is justifiable since you never received what you paid for. If you got the corporation and bank account but did not receive the online banking then again you have a claim for a refund since you did not get what you aid for. The bank account is not useable if you are living outside of Panama and do not have online banking. Again a refund can be indicated if the online banking is not opened up in a reasonable period of time. Arguing you received the goods and services in part is not correct. Sort of like getting a car but without the engine. Without the order fulfilled in full it is no good to you. The operative word is useless. There is an argument and a counter argument. If you paid money to be deposited into a bank account which was never opened this is a serious problem if these funds are not returned in a reasonable period of time or placed in your bank account that was opened. If you cannot come to Panama then you should hire a lawyer to handle your complaint. It can be done long distance. You may be able to recover your legal fees. You basically give the attorney a power of attorney and he or she will help you file the complaint. I would say $500 or $600 retainer should do the trick. You do not need a big law firm for this. It is fairly basic. The police will investigate the matter unless they think it is completely unfounded and not based in law. If your complaint involves the opening of a bank account see the next section below as a better resource for a complaint. You can also try both too. Problems With the Bank – If the bank is not answering your emails, not taking your phone calls, not turning on your online banking, not letting you know if a wire has been received you can threaten to complain about them to the Panama Banking Superintendent and of course so complain. You will get the attention of the bank and fast. Feel free to send them an email explaining the problem and their failure to resolve it. Do mention the law firm as a reference point so the bank will have a local contact to correspond with and include a cc to the panama-banking superintendent. Here is their email address: superbancos@superbancos.gob.pa I would suggest also list a cc to the law firm who is assisting you so they can see the complaint as well. This will probably get things at the bank resolved or at least one would hope so. If the law firm never got your bank account open or you never got online banking open then you can also complain to the Panama Banking Superintendent since a Panama Bank is somehow involved. If you know the name of the bank let them know you are complaining to the banking superintendent. This may get them motivated to correct any deficiencies. Written Demand For Refund - You should demand any refunds by phone, email and even make a written demand by FED EX as proof of the demand being made. I would save the FED EX until they have had a chance to do a refund or make it right. If you feel your refund request is not being handled seriously then send a demand for refund by Fed EX. If they refuse delivery, even better for your case since it shows behavior questionable for a law firm. Do not rely on email or phone calls. You do not want them to be able to say they did not get your request for a refund. Such a request should state where you want the refund to be sent. Cheapest Fastest Approach - Filing a criminal complaint is the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to possibly recover your funds. In our opinion if the police receive numerous complaints regarding a
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certain lawyer or law firm they will of course wish to see these complaints stop. This means putting pressure on the law firm to refund the money and make them scared to let things get to the point where clients complain to the police again. Of course threatening to file a criminal complaint may get the attention of the law firm as well and encourage a friendly settlement. Do give them a fair chance to make it right first. Slow Track - Another option is to file a civil complaint. The chances are the law firm will just answer the complaint and it will sit there for some years. Banking Superintendent - There is a third option. Of course one can always use all the options simultaneously. This would be to file a complaint with the Banking Superintendent for fraud on behalf of the law firm. The legal basis here is they were offering to open up a bank account in Panama for you. If this bank account was not opened you have grounds to complain to the Panama Banking Superintendent. The complaint basis would be fraud in that you never got what you paid for. If the online banking was never opened and you have no way to use the bank account being a foreigner then you never got what you paid for and a complaint can be filed if no refund is granted. You can also complain about the bank in same complaint. If you feel that the bank was working in collusion with the law firm to defraud you (most unlikely but anything is possible today) then you have a legal right to argue conspiracy to defraud and state the motive you think they had in this plot. If no bank account was ordered then there are no grounds to involve the Panama Banking Superintendent. The Panama Banking Superintendent is best contacted using this email address: superbancos@superbancos.gob.pa Their website is here but has no sections for complaints. http://www.superbancos.gob.pa/ Securities Exchange Commission - If you ordered a stockbroker account from a law firm with or without your corporation and it was never delivered you could complain to the securities exchange commission of Panama. If there are problems with the stockbroker or the account opening you can complain to this agency since they would be able to exert jurisdiction. They will explain the complaint process to you and be of assistance. Their web page is here: http://www.conaval.gob.pa Their email is as follows: info@conaval.gob.pa Their phones are as follows: * (507)501-1700 * Fax: (507)501-1709 We are not a Panama Law Firm and cannot represent you. None of this should be taken as legal advice, for this you need a living breathing Panama Lawyer, not a website. We can offer you the services we provide is all. Thank you. Aurelia Masterson is an associate of Panama Legal law firm (http://www.panamalaw.org). She has
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years of experience in the field and now shares her observations of current events, politics, and law with the Internet community. She can be contacted at: aurelia@panamalaw.org.

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Offshore Company Formation By Earnest Leibermanso

Forming an offshore company in Panama will offer you unparalleled investor confidentiality, a flexible corporate plan and the capacity to perform legal business in the international community. For the purpose of incorporation, you should have at least two people who are authorized to act as organizers for your company as well as a minimum of three directors, the names and addresses of whom will be kept on public record as directors of your Panama based corporation. The two people that will act as organizers should also appear in front of a Public Notary to have their identity documents authenticated. If you are a trifle apprehensive with the idea of having your name show up in the company's registered documentation, you would be well advised to employ the services of a Panama legal service that will be able to offer nominee directors with signed resignation letters on your behalf. Panama law also requires that corporations should have officers for the positions of President, Treasurer and Secretary. One individual is able to serve as both a President and Treasurer, but the same person cannot be a President and Secretary. These officers can be supplied by a Panamanian lawyer which in effect removes your name from the public registry in Panama. One of the advantages of establishing an offshore company in Panama is the fact that it is not compulsory to have paid-in capital. However, Panamanian corporations have a standard capitalization requirement of $10,000 for every offshore corporation established. All of your offshore company records will be filed in the mercantile registry in Panama. Although it is not obligatory to maintain any records of your accounts it may be a good idea to do so, especially if you are a citizen of the United States. There is also no requirement for the issue of financial statements for your company so long as all of the income for the company has been derived offshore from Panama. Shares can be made out anonymously in a bearer share format which in essence means that an individual who holds the actual physical share certificates also owns the company. Thus, ownership can easily be passed from one individual to another with no public record of the sale required. A non-resident Panama offshore corporation can take anything from four to six days to form but in some cases a twenty-four hour express service is available depending on which law firm or service you choose to utilize. When forming your offshore company it is highly recommended that you enlist the assistance of a Panama lawyer or law firm. A Panamanian legal firm can supply you with nominee officers and directors for your offshore company as well as perform the filing all of the necessary paperwork on your behalf. A lawyer will also physically go to register your company with the Panamanian public registry since only a lawyer can do this by Panamanian law. It is very possible though, to create a company in Panama without ever having to physically visit the country provided you work with a good firm. Copies of your identity documents will need to be notarized and apostilled and couriered to your lawyers office.

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For more information about offshore company formation or incorporating a Panama corporation please visit the author's website: http://www.offshorelegal.org/

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