Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Asbestos Lawsuits in the US

By Masham Sheraz

Asbestos litigation is known to be the longest-running, most expensive mass tort in U.S. history, proof of which is the fact that it involves more than 8,000 defendants and 700,000 claimants. Legal claims for injuries from asbestos involve more plaintiffs, more defendants and higher costs than any other type of personal injury litigation. Some analysts have estimated that the total costs of asbestos litigation in the USA alone will eventually reach $200 to $275 billion in the years to come.

The main driving forces at the back of asbestos litigation are the diseases caused by exposure to asbestos; mesothelioma, asbestosis and cancer are just a few of these. There are no known cures for the cancers, and the seriousness of them has led plaintiffs to push for more information from current and former employers. Current trends indicate that the rate at which people are diagnosed with the disease will likely increase through the next decade.

Internet Freedom - Real Independence

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Newspapers reported that the IT Minister, Ms. Anusha Rahman, is working with experts to create software to block all objectionable material which would then allow the YouTube ban to be lifted. After 11 months, this is where we are at and we still have it all wrong.
I am the petitioner’s counsel in Bytes for all v. Federation of Pakistan etc before the Lahore High Court where the petitioner argues for unfettered net freedom and an unqualified end to censorship, filtering and regulation on the internet. As petitioner’s counsel I would like to re-state for the people the case we have made before the Honourable High Court in simple English language. It has been necessitated by a malicious defamatory campaign that has been undertaken by certain quarters within the power pro-censorship lobby in our government.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


The act of giving up an office, a power, the authority to act, or a right or trust.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


A system of government , such as that in the United States, by which sovereign power is divided between the national and state governments.

Monday, July 1, 2013


A certificate issued by the foreign department of a country to a consul or commercial agent of another country.It recognizes the official character of the consul or agent and authorizes him to fulfill his duties.


An order for the payment of money drawn by one person on another; a common term for a bill of exchange. Broadly speaking, the term " Draft " includes a bank cashier's check.

Draconian law

Especially severe law. The term has its origin in a harsh code of laws prepared by Draco, the celebrated  lawgiver of Athens in the seventh century B.C.

Down payment

Money that must be paid initially when an item is bought on credit and the balance is to be paid later in installments.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Class Action Lawsuit against Toyota Corolla.

Toyota Indus Motors Pakistan has been accused of collusive pricing and destroying competition. Consequently if you bought a Toyota Corolla in Pakistan over the last 2 years, you may have a cause of action.

If you or someone you know has bought a Toyota Corolla recently, you may be eligible for compensation.

Please contact us for details.

YLH&Co / Hamdani & Rana


Before, preceding, or already mentioned.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


An unlawful intrusion that interferes with someone else's possession of his property. A trespass gives the property owner a right to bring a civil lawsuit and collect money damages for the interference and for any harm caused. Usually a trespass is considered an intentional tort a civil wrongdoing, but some states have laws that have trespass a crime.and provide fines and imprisonment. Generally, a trespass is committed on real property, real estate or  land and everything that is attached to it, but a trespass can also be to personal property, all other forms of property as well.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day in court

A person has a day in court when he is given a date to appear before bench to be heard in his own behalf. In popular usage, the phrase refers to the opportunity to present one's claims or rights in a court hearing rather than the time appointed for a hearing.

Monday, June 10, 2013

US Supreme Court's decision in Horne v. Department of Agriculture aka Raisin growers case

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

The US Supreme Court's decision in Horne v. Department of Agriculture aka Raisin Growers Case is one which will be debated for a long time to come. It sets down that regulated industries don't have to pay fines unless the constitutionality of the fine is decided first.

Confusion of goods (Bailment)

A mixing together of the properties of different persons so that it is not possible to tell what belongs to whom. Ordinarily, if someone fraudulently mixes his goods with another's so they cannot distinguished, forfeits all his interest in the mixture to the other person . Oil is a common example of a substance to which the principle of confusion of goods might apply. 

confrontation (in a criminal trial)

In criminal law, placing a witness face-to-face defendant. Then the witness may identify the defendant or the defendant may may make any objection he has directly to the witness and cross-examine him.

apprehension (criminal law)

The seizure or taking talking of a person on a criminal charge. The word is applied only to criminal cases.The term arrest is used in both criminal cases and civil cases.

Anusha Rahman's Faux Pas: "We can ban google if ..."

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

If there was any hope or optimism that one had associated with this current Nawaz Sharif govt, Anusha Rahman's statement widely reported on Sunday ended it. Here is a corporate lawyer with telecom expertise making possibly the most ignorant and illogical statement yet. What then can one expect from the rest of the maja sajas who have come to power in the current regime?

PRISM - new cross border infringement on privacy


As someone who considers himself a great admirer of the US legal system, the American belief in constitutional rights and personal freedoms,  recent developments in the US vis a vis NSA's PRISM has saddened me greatly. I feel shattered, cheated - almost as if I have believed in a lie all these years.  One always suspected that there may be some surveillance but to think that it would be so widespread - worse than fiction (remember Enemy of the State?)- it is just mind blowing.  Remember we are talking of surveillance that goes beyond anything the former Soviet Union was guilty of.  What then of the leader of the free world?

Sunday, June 9, 2013


A copy or transcript of a document, such as a death certificate, taken from public records and authenticated by the seal of the official who has custody of the original.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cosigner (Banking and Corporate Law)

A person who signs a document along with an other person. Depending on state law and the circumstances of the agreement, the cosigner may be equally liable for the debt or he may have to pay the debt only if the other person does not.If the document concerns property, both the law and agreement between parties will determine whether the cosigner has any rights in the property.

capital asset

In tax tax law, almost all property that can be owned, other than what is ordinarily held  for sale.Examples include a company-owned building or trade-mark, land, jewelry  or stock owned by an individual.

canon law

Ecclesiastical law, the constitutional law of a church, rules and regulations that govern a church or some part of the church.

Pity of Twitterati: Dr. Ayesha Jalal, Manto, Jinnah and us

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

First the obvious question: Why is this on my law blog? Well because I am a lawyer.

Next. Here is a short story from Manto for our readers:
Khu, speak out immediately. Who are you?'
'I.... I....'
'Son of Satan, speak speak, speak! Are you an Indu (Hindu) or a Muslimeen (Muslim)?'
'Khu, who is your Prophet?'
'Mohammad Khan.'
'That's right, go.'
(Saadat Hassan Manto)

Sunday, June 2, 2013


One who determines or settles the amount of a claim or debt, an insurance agent who settles claims.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Congratulations Democratic Pakistan

Pakistan has completed today a peaceful transition from democratically elected government to another through constitutional means and in due course. It is also the second time a legislature has handed over the reins to another legislature, which means that Pakistan now has had 11 years of unbroken national legislature.

Things will only get better. One can only wish a demcoratic Pakistan the best of luck in the future.

Hasba Bill Reference Case. The Most Important Judgment on Privacy in Pakistan.

(Advisory Jurisdiction)
Mr.Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, CJ.
Mr.Justice Javed Iqbal
Mr.Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar
Mr.Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan
Mr.Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi
Mr.Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar
Mr.Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan
Mr.Justice M. Javed Buttar
Mr.Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad
Reference by the President of Pakistan
under Article 186 of the Constitution of
the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.
For the President : Mr. Makhdoom Ali Khan,
Attorney General for Pakistan.
Raja Muhammad Irshad, Dy. Att: Gen.
Mr. Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Dy. Att: Gen.
Ms. Nahida Mehboob Ellahi, Dy: Att: Gen.
Mr. Faisal H. Naqvi, Advocate.
Mr. Uzair Karamat Bhandari, Advocate.
Mr. Khurram M. Hashmi, Advocate.
Mr. M.S. Khattak, AOR.
For the Government of NWFP: Mr. Khalid Anwar, Sr. ASC.
Haji M.A. Qayyum Mazhar, AOR.
assisted by
Mr. Muneeb Akhtar, Advocate.
Mr. Bilal Shaukat, Advocate.
Mr. Younas Tanoli, AG NWFP.
Pir Liaqat Ali Shah, Addl: AG NWFP.
On Court notice : Mr. Aftab Iqbal Chaudhry,
Advocate General (Punjab).
Mrs. Afshan Ghazanfar Asstt: AG(Pb.)
Syed Sajjad Hussain Shah, Ass: AG (Pb).
Dr. Qazi Khalid Ali, Addl: AG Sindh.
Mr. Salah-ud-Din Mengal,
AG (Balochistan)
Dates of hearing : 1
st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th August, 2005.
Reference No.2/2005
The President
of Pakistan has referred the following questions of law for opinion of
this Court under Article 186 of the Constitution of the Islamic
Republic of Pakistan, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the
i) Whether the Hisba Bill or any of its provisions
would be constitutionally invalid if enacted?
ii) Whether the Hisba Bill or any of its provisions,
would, if enacted; be violative of the
fundamental rights guaranteed in Part-II,
Chapter 1 of the constitution, including but not
limited to Articles, 9, 14, 16 to 20, 22 and 25
iii) Whether the Hisba Bill or any of its provisions
would, if enacted, be violative of Articles 2A, 4,
203G, 212, 229 and 230 of the Constitution?
iv) Whether the enactment of the Hisba Bill would
encroach on an occupied field, violative of the
Constitution by creating a parallel judicial
system, undermine judicial independence and
deny citizens their right of access to justice?
v) Whether the enactment of the Hisba Bill would
violate the principle of separation of powers
enshrined in the Constitution?
vi) Whether the Hisba Bill, and in particular
Sections 10 and 23 thereof, is unconstitutionally
overbroad and vague and suffers from excessive
vii) If the answer to any one or more of the above
questions is in the affirmative, whether the
Governor, NWFP is obliged to sign into law the
Hisba Bill passed by the NWFP Assembly?”
2. Precisely stated, the circumstances which necessitated the
seeking of opinion from this Court by the President of Pakistan, are
that on 19
th June, 2003, a draft Bill titled “HISBA BILL” was
submitted under the N.W.F.P Rules of Business, 1985, to the
Governor of NWFP for his approval prior to its presentation before
the N.W.F.P Assembly. The Governor returned the draft bill to the
Reference No.2/2005

Laurence Tribe's New Book is coming out soon

Laurence Tribe the celebrated author on US Constitution and a Harvard Law professor is releasing his 16th book - "Uncertain Justice". This book is co-authored by Joshua Matz who is also a Harvard graduate and a law blogger. This book will aim to explain how the impact of politics on law can make the process of justice uncertain.

accidental-death benefit

An additional insurance benefit payable when a person dies as the result of an accident, usually the same thing as double indemnity .

Friday, May 31, 2013


A  claim  to  or  appropriation  of   something  without  having  any  right  to  it.


Consideration, deliberation .Case ''under advisement ''means the judge has heard the evidence but will delay a  decision while considering the matter .


A giving up, renouncing, or abandoning by an oath .

Thursday, May 30, 2013

M N Roy's concluding paragraph on Jinnah

M N Roy was a leading intellectual, political philosopher and activist from India.  This is how he saw Jinnah in an article written days after Jinnah's demise.
But few mortal men  can escape being prisoners of their creation. Pakistan was Jinnah’s creation, and he had to hold the baby. There was no competent nurse; at least that must have been his feeling. It would have been superhuman to act otherwise, and Jinnah was not an angel. But he was not the devil of the drama, as he was made out to be. He is no more with us. Let justice be done to his memory.
      Jinnah did not survive his triumph. He had been a sick man  for the last year of his life;  and grave anxiety  must have been the cause of the sickness. The establishment of the “largest Muslim State” meant leaving many millions of Muslims in the lurch. Having been fighters for Pakistan, the millions of Muslims left in the Indian Union are in the most difficult position. Most of them feel betrayed. Jinnah was fully conscious of that tragedy, which must have haunted his last days.   Indeed, the homeland for Indian Muslims was a Utopia; any territorial division was bound to leave many millions of them out, in a very delicate position of being regarded as aliens, suspected of disloyalty to the land they must live in. An intelligent man like Jinnah must have foreseen this tragic consequence of what he demanded. Therefore, I for one do not believe that he really wanted partition of the country. Like a gambler, over-confident of his wits, he staked high, believing that other party would compromise on his terms. That would have been for the best of all concerned. But the latter having taken up the attitude of all or nothing, Jinnah was driven to the bitter end –of gaining a victory he himself dreaded and which he did not survive.


Done with the intent to commit  a major crime,malicious,unlawful.

what is a felon

A person who commits a felony, which is a major crime, such as a robbery or murder.

what is an executive order

An order issued by the President of  the United states, or by the state governor, (or by Prime Minister in parliamentary democracies such as Pakistan, India and Great Britain) that has the force and effect of law.

English and Nordic Models of Secularism

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

My earliest understanding of secularism was rooted in the first amendment to the US Constitution while studying in the US. It is the most impressive dictum - a wall of separation between religion and state. The US never had a state church. Its tradition of separation of church and state went back to the founding of Rhode Island which was based on this principle. The Turkish model - especially after Kemal Ataturk's famous 6 day speech - which abolished state religion in 1928 (though initially the Turkish Republic defined Islam as the state religion at Ataturk's behest) also seemed to follow the American and more closely the French models of secularism. The difference between American and French (and Turkish) models was that the latter was an ideology of the state whereby religion was pushed out and not left alone.

Doctrine of Substantial Performance

A person's failure to comply strictly with the terms of a condition will not prevent him from getting his due if he has carried out a substantial part of his contract. This doctrine was developed by the courts as an instrument of justice to prevent forfeitures. However damages may be awarded for any injuries caused by the failure to give complete performance.

what is a promoter?

One who promotes a plan for a business, such as a person who takes the preliminary steps, as by soliciting stock subscriptions, to form a corporation.

What is the Sherman Act?

A federal law design protect against conspiracies to restrain trade or commerce and monopolies in trade or commerce. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Elections 2013 - the end of ANP's identity politics in KPK?

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

In 2008 ANP's victory in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its subsequent alliance with PPP at the center had mistakenly been seen as a victory for Pushtun Nationalism. That myth was burst in May 2013, just as the myth of MMA's Islamist politics had exploded earlier. The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pushtun and Non-Pushtun, religious or non-religious, have proved yet again that they are not swayed by emotional slogans. After all if identity politics was what it was all about the renaming of NWFP as KPK should have been considered a major feather in the cap of ANP. The people of KPK, while proud of their new name which was an important corrective in Pakistani history, voted PTI because ANP's government from 2008-2013 was a spectacular failure on every count.

CraigsList Lawsuit against 3Taps and Padmapper; trespass to chattels.


Last year CraigsList sued 3Taps and Padmapper  to ensure that it is not deintermediated by these two aggregators. The court has since maintained the suit despite legal challenge, on grounds of trespass to chattels.  It is important to bear in mind that this was rejected in California's decision in Intel Corp v. Hamidi. Internet is largely dependent on use of many computers and the trespass to chattels argument is a very dangerous one.

Google says it is subject only to US Law.

What is the "lex" of a computer transaction?

At the recently concluded Stockholm Internet Forum Google claimed that it was only subject to US Law.

Hogwash.  Any internet transaction or exchange of information that happens has three laws attracted to it:

1.  The laws of the countries of the two users.  that is 1 + 1 in most cases.

2. The laws of the country where the server is located.

Google's comments about being subject to only American laws is legally untenable and indicative of an arrogance that Google has acquired over the years. It is literally a global state now. It therefore can back its statement by sheer force and influence but not legal theory.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stockholm Internet Forum

Here is an update I wrote about the Stockholm Internet Forum:

Sooner or later, the entire world will have to accept access to the internet, freely and without fetters, as a human right. For us in Pakistan, we have to make a clear choice. The extremist minority that keeps us hostage to fear and bigotry will try and drag us backwards always. The answer, the road to progress and prosperity lies in ensuring that all our citizens are granted equal access to information freely and without any surveillance. Internet freedom is going to be the key indicator in human freedom and human rights. Let us not allow ourselves to be sold off or manipulated any longer by those conniving powers that be, which wish to exercise control over our thoughts and minds.

 Stockholm Internet Forum was a veritable gathering of the who's who of the internet. The objective was one: Free internet without any state or corporate fetters.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

YouTube Case Hearing 3.5.2013



                                                           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dr. Sania Nishtar, Minister of Science and Technology to appear today in the Lahore High Court in YouTube Case i.e. Bytes For All v. Federation of Pakistan
Yasser Latif Hamdani, Counsel for Petitioner organization Bytes For All, says that the YouTube ban takes away the right of Muslims to respond to scurrilous attacks on Islam and the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
LAHORE: Dr. Sania Nishtar will appear in the court of Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah at the Lahore High Court in reference to the ongoing YouTube Case i.e. Bytes For All v. Federation of Pakistan 958/2013 to explain the Ministry of Information Technology’s position on the banning of YouTube. The Counsel for the Petitioners is Yasser Latif Hamdani, Advocate High Court and a constitutional lawyer specializing in technology and internet related matters. The Petitioner has filed a writ petition challenging the internet curbs by the PTA, including but not limited to YouTube.
“The Petitioner’s point of view is that all internet curbs are counterproductive and deprive Pakistanis the right to access of information as well as the right to counter any propaganda against the country or against what they believe in strongly,” said Mr. Hamdani in a statement released here today.  He continued: “Taking away YouTube’s access is the modern equivalent of taking away the scholar’s pen.  Imagine if Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was not allowed to respond to scurrilous attacks on the Holy Prophet (PBUH)  in the 19th century.  Islam has a tradition of free speech, discourse and toleration that goes back 14 centuries and we should not abandon that tradition now when we need our best and the brightest to defend, counter and clarify the misconceptions about our great faith.”
Yasser Latif Hamdani also stated that while efforts are underway to find a middle ground between internet freedom and offensive materials, ultimately all curbs would hurt Pakistan more than it will hurt those who are engaging in scurrilous and offensive rhetoric.  “Our students, teachers and researchers have been deprived of a great resource of knowledge and information. It hurts the material progress of Pakistanis, a great majority of whom are Muslims,” declared Mr. Hamdani.  The PTA “made an incorrect submission when they declared that they could not ban individual URLs especially HTTPS URLs.  The recent ban on Beghairat Brigade’s video on vimeo shows that individual HTTPS URLs can be easily blocked,” he continued.  He was of the view that the across the board block on YouTube, therefore, was unjustified.
The Court has already begun exploring various ways in which Google, the parent organization of YouTube, can be given Intermediary Liability Protection, so that it may be allowed to come and introduce domain which would allow the reopening of YouTube. Google is set to appear in the court on May 17, 2013.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Existence of FinFisher Command and Control in Pakistan

Bytes For All, Pakistan, a Pakistan based NPO, has confirmed that FinFisher Software Command and Control Center exists in Pakistan and is being operated by PTCL.

Needless to say this violates Article 14 of the Constitution of Pakistan as it infringes on the privacy and security of Pakistani citizens.

Read Media Report on the issue here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Communications Decency Act (CDA) and Reno v. ACLU

Communications Decency Act (CDA)- a US law designed and enacted to protect minors from indecent and obscene communications - was addressed in Reno v. ACLU 521 US 844 (1997) when the US Supreme Court in a unanimous opinion declared CDA's anti-obscenity and anti-indecency provisions to be unconstitutional, as these affected the rights of adults in addition to curbing obscenity and indecency.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

YouTube Case Media Round up

The media reports on Lahore High Court's proceedings in the YouTube case:

International Case Law on Web/Internet Blocking


WP: 958/2013
Bytes for All
Federation of Pakistan etc

A Brief Overview of the Case Law Available On Blocking of Websites Internationally

Respectfully Sheweth:-

That Your Lordship had instructed me to collect existing case law internationally that pertains to our case. The following case law is instructive:-

1.      Yildrim v. Turkey (December 2012)
-        In this case European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided that a Court order blocking access to “Google Sites” in Turkey was a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR Law).
-        In 2009 the Denizli Criminal Court ordered the blocking of an Internet site whose owner had been accused of insulting the memory of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Modern Turkey. The order was issued as a preventive measure in the context of criminal proceedings against the site’s owner.
-        The blocking order was submitted for execution to the Telecommunications Directorate (“TİB”). Shortly afterwards, the TİB asked the court to extend the scope of the order by blocking access to Google Sites, which hosted not only the site in question but also the applicant’s site. The TİB stated that this was the only technical means of blocking the offending site, as its owner lived abroad.

Mr. Yasser Latif Hamdani at the Stockholm Internet Forum


Mr. Yasser Latif Hamdani, Advocate High Court,  the lead counsel in the YouTube Case i.e. Bytes For All v. Federation of Pakistan WP 958/2013 in the Lahore High Court Lahore in Pakistan, is scheduled to attend the Stockholm Internet forum from 21 May 2013 to 24 May 2013, on the invitation of Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the nomination of Bytes For All Pakistan. He is one of the five Pakistani delegates at the forum and shall be raising awareness about the latest legal developments vis a vis issues of law, internet, privacy and control as faced by the citizens of Pakistan.

The picture above is of the historic Town Hall in Stockholm. This is where the delegates will be received by the representatives of the Kingdom of Sweden on the 21st of May.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

YouTube Case : Bytes For All v. Federation of Pakistan. Lahore High Court Lahore. Update

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Update on Bytes For All v. Federation WP 958/2013 aka “Youtube Case” before Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court Lahore.  I shall refer to myself as “counsel” throughout.
26.4.2013 – today – was the 7th date of hearing in the Youtube Case.  The counsel arrived at the Court at 0830. Justice Mr. Shah addressed the counsel and informed him that the hearing was fixed for 1230.  The counsel returned to the Court at 1230. At this time the following Amicus Curiae were also present:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jinnah's Pakistan: Calling a spade a spade

This relates to Mr Yaqoob Bangash's historically inaccurate article in Express Tribune on the captioned matter.  

It is well known that Jinnah's Muslim League included Ismailis, Shias, Sunnis, Ahmadis etc and therefore the question of defining a Muslim did not arise. In fact Jinnah expressly ruled out the idea when he was pressurised on Ahmadi question. To Mr. Jinnah a Muslim was a person who professed to be a Muslim. Similarly Jinnah never declared Muslims outside the League to be Non-Muslim. His claim that Muslim League represented the Muslims was borne out of his desire to negotiate with the Congress at a level of parity. He never suggested people outside the League were non-Muslims. In fact it was Majlis-e-Ahrar and other Congress allies which declared Jinnah to be a Non-Muslim for being too secular, too westernised and soft on Ahmadis. A mere reading of the Munir Report will prove my point.  Similarly 11 August is not the only speech that Jinnah gave which gave an inclusive democratic vision. There were many others and these are easily searchable. This one speech mantra is historically inaccurate. Finally Jinnah's actions as Governor General were driven by the fact that on 22 August 1947, the Khan sb ministry enjoyed the support of only 16 members out of a house of 39. His action was completely constitutional. 

I do not know what Jinnah's Pakistan is but Jinnah the man was not born on 23 March 1940. He had spent 4 decades in politics most of which was dedicated to civil liberties, equality and religious freedom for all Indians. 

Mr. Bangash unfortunately has slandered the memory of the one man whose wise words we need to follow at this critical juncture in our history.  What private griefs they harbor, one cannot say, but distorting history is hardly the way to go about it.

Click here for my detailed rebuttal.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What is the 501(c)(3) status?

You may have heard the term 501(c)(3) being bandied about.

This refers to an organization that has applied for and obtained a tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For this an organization is required to be any of the following:

1. Formed for a charitable purpose.

2. Formed for a religious purpose.

3. Formed for an educational purpose.

4. Formed for a scientific purpose.

5. Formed for a literary purpose.

6. Formed to foster national or international amateur sports competition

7. Formed to prevent cruelty to children or animal.

An organization with 501(c)(3) status does not pay taxes related to nonprofit purposes and can also receive tax deductible contributions from donors and is eligible for private foundation grants. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Skeleton Argument 2 - Sample Plea in Mitigation - Example

Assault occasioning bodily harm.

Good Morning Sir, I appear before you on behalf of my client ___________who has been charged with assault occasioning bodily harm contrary to S.47 of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861, to make a plea in mitigation.
I put to you that there are some mitigating factors that ought to be considered prior to sentencing.
May I proceed Sir (ask permission)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Handling Divorces World Wide. Questions to ask yourself and your divorce lawyer.

Divorce is a horrible, horrible thing but can be a necessary evil.  However, more and more Americans and people all over the world are getting divorced. In this blog we will explain what you should look for when looking for a Divorce Lawyer or  Divorce Attorney.

1. First and foremost- you need to identify what it is that you need a divorce lawyer for? 

Ask yourself these questions:

a. Is your divorce contested or uncontested?

b. Have you amicably decided the asset division?

c. What law does your jurisdiction have?  Laws differ on the basis of jurisdiction. You would need an expert on the local law and someone - in certain cases- who is an expert in conflict of laws.

d. Was there a prenuptial agreement? Is there a post-nuptial agreement?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Supreme Court hears the Ahmadi Supplementary Lists Petition

The Supreme Court of Pakistan's Bench No. 1 comprising the Honourable Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Mr. Justice Gulzar Ahmad and Mr. Justice Azmat Saeed is hearing what is in this writer's opinion the most important case which covers the issue of citizenship rights as these interact with voting rights.

Where can you buy Jinnah:Myth and Reality online?

Well here are some locations:






Monday, March 11, 2013

Restraining Orders including temporary restraining orders and domestic violence restraining orders

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

This article will explain the process of getting a restraining order in the US:

What is a restraining order?

A restraining order is a court order - a civil order- designed to protect a party from someone who that party legitimately feels threatened by. In most cases this falls in the definition of Domestic Violence. The most obvious case where one party may seek a restraining order is a case of domestic violence.  If you are in an abusive relationship you may have a case against your partner for a restraining order.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ottoman Empire had de-criminalized homosexuality in 1858

Believe it or not, but it was not the Republic of Turkey that de-criminalised homosexuality in Turkey. Homosexuality was de-criminalised vide Ottoman Sultan's decree in 1858.  This was part of the Tanzimat-e-Fermani which were enacted through the Hatt-e-Seriff or the Imperial Edict. This pre-dated de-criminalization in most western countries- revolutionary for its time.

Now here is the interesting part. The Ottoman Sultan was also the Caliph of Islam and God's vicegerent on Earth.

I wonder what Hizbut-tahrir's geniuses have to say about that. After all they make a whole lot of hue and cry about the end of Khilafat in 1924.   Not exactly what they make it out to be is it?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Secular Pakistan as the only viable option

The secularism debate has taken off in recent days. An increasingly diverse group of people drawn from almost all walks of life have begun to agitate for a secular state. The violence against religious minorities as well as sectarian minorities has convinced many people that secularism in Pakistan is the only option left.

US Supreme Court and the Surveillance Law - questions Group's locus standi

Yesterday the US Supreme Court struck down a challenge from a group of lawyers, journalists and human rights researchers, including ACLU and Amnesty International, who had challenged the constitutionality of the law that allows US government to detect and track the messages of the suspected foreign terrorists.

The US Supreme Court said that the party complaining must have suffered the injury "actual or imminent" which is "fairly traceable" to the challenged action and where a favorable order would redress the damage done.

On these grounds the challenge was struck down.

US Supreme Court DNA Privacy v. Crime Solving- Update

US Supreme Court's Samuel A Alito called it the "most important criminal procedure case" in "decades".  The basic question is whether taking DNA swabs from arrested accused and matching them against a data base of unsolved crimes constitutional or not. As I said yesterday, it is likely to be constitutional.

The government's lawyers have come up with an interesting argument. They say having a DNA test can have a positive impact on how bails are decided by the courts. I think this argument holds a lot of water. As one of the lawyers for the government said  - this is the finger printing for the 21st century "only better".

Monday, February 25, 2013

US Supreme Court and the DNA civil rights issue

The US Supreme Court is finally hearing arguments on when or how taking DNA samples from a suspect can become constitutional.  Alonzo King's lawyers are arguing that DNA samples and linking them to other crimes on the data base without a warrant (as is the case under Maryland law) from suspects violate Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

The facts briefly are that Alonzo King arrested in 2009 for assault was subject to DNA testing that linked him to a 2003 rape.  The American Civil Liberties Union argues that this is a violation of privacy and that at the minimum a warrant should be required.

My comment:

I don't see how a swab test taken as a result of an arrest which comes out to be a DNA match with another unsolved outstanding claim would be considered a violation of privacy or due process. In fact it provides that perfect balance.  What my take is that taking a DNA test from a person arrested for an assault charge is neither an unreasonable search nor seizure. If x y z breaks the law and is then put on a database and matched with another crime, it is an exercise in state efficiency and not unreasonable search or seizure.

It would be unreasonable search or seizure if people were randomly tested and recorded. A person who breaks the law does so knowing that he or she would now be on a database and that database may be cross referenced and matched.

I expect the US Supreme Court to uphold the Maryland Law.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Memorandum of Understanding Sample

DRAFT: Memorandum of Understanding

This Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) has been entered into on this the ____ day of____________2013 (the “Effective Date”)

by and between

1.      ____________a company incorporated under the laws of  [name of the emirate/DAFZA/JAFZA/RAKIA] acting through its [Director] duly authorised in this behalf by a Board Resolution dated [ ] (“ABC”, which expression shall be deemed to mean and include its successors in interest and permitted assigns), of the first part.


2.      [ ], a company incorporated under the laws of the State of Singapore, having its principal place of business, acting through its [ ], Mr. ____________, duly authorised in this behalf by a Board Resolution dated [ ] (hereinafter referred to as ‘XYZ’ which expression shall unless repugnant to the context or meaning thereof shall mean and include its subsidiaries, successors and assigns), of the other part.

(ABC and XYZ are hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Parties,” and singularly as a “Party,” as the case may be).

Deed of Agreement


THIS AGREEMENT is made on _________________ day of ______________at[         ], ,  
 [ ] incorporated under the laws of Pakistan, with its head office  through its [], [Mr/Ms []] duly authorised vide [](here in after called the First Party which expression shall include  its representatives, successors in interest and assignees).
 [ ] incorporated under the laws of United Kingdom, with its head office situated at [] through its [], [Mr/Ms []] duly authorised vide [] (here in after called the Second Party which expression shall include  its representatives, successors in interest and assignees).
(Both the First Party and the Second Party are collectively referred to as the “Parties” where the context so permits).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Why are Fakhra Hassans and Nabihas of Pakistan unwilling to take on the Mullahs?

The only endorsement I need for the fact that I do not have a misogynist bone in my body (despite what appears to be my threatening masculinity) came a woman who is 100 times the feminist the three above named self styled feminists can ever be-  Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari, who happens to be - as a sheer coincidence- my wife.  I had imagined that given that marriages are between contracting counterparties,  Aisha would the last person who would publicly endorse me but she did and I must have done something right.  She wrote:
Never has control been an issue, nor has interference, neither power. I am free in the real sense of the word, to chart my own course in life and in the day. What I have to come home to is unconditional support and understanding.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Selling feminism for a living

Mullahs of all kinds have done it since time immemorial. Sell religion for their own petty gains. You have a property dispute, accuse your opponent of blasphemy. You want to become the Emperor of India, accuse Dara Shikoh of heresy... can't win electorally, declare a kafir-e-azam here, a kafiristan there. Maulana Maududi and Majlis-e-Ahrar did it unsuccessfully at first but then succeeded mightily after 1947.  Such is the nature of power politics in religious societies.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Imminence Doctrine, US Department of Justice and Extrajudicial Killing of US Citizens


For those of you who are stumped by the news that US Department of Justice has come up with the immence docrine to justify drone attacks against Al Qaeda and associated leaders with an American citizenship, I'll endeavor to explain the same briefly.

What the USDOJ memo purports to argue is simple:  If a US citizen is a leader of a terrorist group which posed an imminent threat to the US, he or she may be targetted. In doing so it is said to expand the definition of an imminent threat. Hogwash. Either a group is at war or it is not. If it is at war with the US, there is imminent threat to US' national security.  Therefore I disagree with those criticizing the USDOJ Memo.

Lord Tariq Ahmad and the Pakistani Media

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

So mainstream Pakistani media is reporting that His Excellency, President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari  was received by Lord Tariq Ahmed who is of Pakistani origin. The News especially seems to have made a big deal about the fact that it is the first time a peer of Pakistani origin has received a president on behalf of the Queen.

What our media omitted is that Lord Ahmed is an Ahmadi, a community that is terribly persecuted, abused and humiliated by the state and society in Pakistan. A diplomat once asked me if the discrimination against Ahmadis is a popular discrimination. It is a populist discrimination I told him. It is a denial of human rights and individual freedoms. You may amount to nothing in life, you may be a soulless and corrupt human being but so long as you are an officially sanctioned "Muslim" in Pakistan, you have a copyright on Islam and using that copyright you can justify anything done against Ahmadis.


Yasser Latif Hamdani on PTV Global

YLH&Co's Yasser Latif Hamdani will make an appearance on Fasi Zaka's PTV GLOBAL show at 6:05 Pakistan Time on 6 February, 2013.

Please tune in.

Court of Requests

Court of Requests was an equity court that existed in a formal manner during the 16th Century in England. The court itself is said to have been created by Richard III (yes that evil monarch so demonised by Shakespeare at the behest of his Tudor patrons). 

Originally it was conducted through Lord Privy Seal, but under the modernizing King Henry VIII, two Masters of Request Ordinary were appointed as judges to preside over this court.  The Court of Requests was a remarkable court in so much as it provided equitable relief to small landowners, tenants and yeomen against major landowners and feudal elite of the time.

The court was very effective in providing justice so much so that there was a major backlash against it by the Common Law Courts which began overruling its decisions and stopped it from imprisoning anyone.  Ultimately, after the English Civil War, the seal under which it existed became invalid and the Court of Requests was allowed to fade into memory and history.

Monday, February 4, 2013

David Bernick: The Devil's (Successful) Advocate

This is the stuff of the movies.

W R Grace, a giant corporation, was accused of contaminating a town in Montana with asbestos. It became one of the biggest cases of contamination by asbestos in US history.

In what looked like a sure loser of a case, W R Grace hired the services of David Bernick. This master litigator got them acquitted in 2009 after arguing that the EPA special investigator had a "special relationship" with one of the star witnesses.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What is corporate law?

What is corporate law? This is a question I get asked a lot. Corporate law and practice corporate law may refer to the following:

1. Corporate, company law compliance, including general mand board eetings, forms and elections of directors.

2. Transactional law:  Agreements, documentation, licenses, policies. A transactional lawyer may be involved in IPO offerings, floating bonds and securities etc.

3. Regulatory complaince: In specific fields of business - such as telecommunications- a corporate lawyer may undertake compliance with regulatory policies of that field.

4. Coporate commercial litigation: This can be litigation in the field of company law, competition law or banking law.

5. Legal advice: Legal opinions and advice in matters pertaining to the aforesaid.

Maria Zulfiqar Khan's Illegal and unconstitutional raid

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

It is a tragedy that seemingly reasonable young women in the media have taken to acting like vigilantes. I do not wish to comment on what compulsions there exist for these women to resort to such behavior, but I will comment on the patent illegality of TV Vigilantes.

First of all these actions of TV Vigilantes violate Article 14 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Privacy of a private premises is inviolable under the constitution as well as under Islam.  The Supreme Court of Pakistan had struck down on the Hasba Bill on the grounds that it violated human dignity, liberty and privacy. In what is a landmark judgment on privacy rights,  the Supreme Court ruled that an Islamic state has no mandate in infringing personal space, liberty and privacy. Maria Zulfiqar Khan not only violated the privacy of what was a private premises but enlisted the help of the state i.e. police officials in doing so.

Best Lawyer in America

The best lawyer in America in our opinion is David Boeis. For those of you who are old enough to remember the Recount saga of 2000's President Elections and Bush v. Gore would know the name. He is more famous however in the business world for his role on behalf of the US Department of Justice against Microsoft in the Microsoft anti-trust case.

Here is an excerpt from an interview from Wired about the Napster case in which he represented Napster.

The first issue is: Are Napster's users engaged in copyright infringement? If they are not, that's the end of the matter, because nobody alleges that Napster directly infringes any copyright. Napster's only alleged liability is for contributory or vicarious infringement. You cannot have contributory or vicarious infringement without having some underlying infringement. So when Napster's users engage in noncommercial sharing of music - noncommercial copying of music - is that activity copyright infringement?

Sample Will and Testament

This document is a very basic template of a will. Consult a lawyer to prepare a proper will.

1. This is my last Will and Testament, all other Wills and Testaments of mine stand cancelled.

2. I appoint [         ] as my executrix and executors and also my trustees.

3. All shares, stocks & securities and current accounts now standing in the name of my [                                ]are [              ]

4. I now hereby bequeath [ REAL PROPERTY  ]  as it stands absolutely and he/she can dispose of it in any manner she pleases by will, deed or otherwise.

5. I also direct my executors to pay [            ] over [         ]

6. I direct my executors to pay the following by way of gifts to the institutions/charities mentioned below:

7. Subject to above, all my residuary estate including the corpus that may fall after the lapse of life interests or otherwise to be [              ]


Attesting witnesses

You may also contact YLH&Co for a Will and Testament especially if you are unwilling to dole out heavy amounts to your Lawyers or Solicitors in the US or UK.