Attacking A Law Firm With A Pickax

One of the glories of common law is the presumption of innocence. Even so, U.S. courts have long permitted the seizure of assets before trial to make sure any damages can ultimately be paid. In 1970, the federal racketeering act expanded the government's power to freeze the assets of businesses if it can convince a federal judge that the assets won't be around when it comes time to collect. The 1989 savings-and-loan bailout law gave thrift regulators this extraordinary power.

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