Lexa - Kanzlei für Wirtschaftsrecht

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“Playing” with a bank in Russia

14. August 2013

A 42-year-old Russian man won an interesting case against a Russian bank. This man received an unsolicited credit card offer from online bank Tinkoff Credit Systems. Unhappy with the credit card terms, the man scanned the term sheet, wrote in some new terms of his own, signed the document and send it back. The bank approved the contract without reading the new terms (this fact was only found out in court after the bank sued the customer). Funny: the interest rate for the card was o %, credit was unlimited and fees were “0″. In addition, there was a stipulation that the bank pays fines for changing or canceling the contract.

The man used the card for about 2 years. Then the bank canceled the card and sued because of outstanding fees, interest and late-payment fees. However, the man won gainst the bank! Now he sues the bank for $ 727.000,00 for not honoring the contract terms (the new ones written by himself, regading the stipulation that the bank has to pay a fine for canceling the contract). Let´s see what the result will be….

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The Reform of the Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz (attorney remuneration law = RVG) has been put into force since 1st August 2013

2. August 2013

From today, 1st August 2013, the RVG (attorney remuneration law) is put into force. The RVG has been existed since 1st July 2004 and superseded the Bundesrechtsanwaltgebührenordnung (federal code of lawyers’ fees = BRAGO). Most attorneys do their statement of charges on the basis of the regulations of the RVG. Every activity of an attorney is subject to the RVG unless there are other agreements concluded (this is standard for the Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Lexa which withdraws a statement of charges on the basis of RVG). It is interesting that the charges of an attorney hasn’t been raised since 1994 (!) (nor by introducing the RVG) which has been led to a loss of income because of the inflation in Germany. By reforming the RVG the charges has been raised by 7 to 14%. But this can’t compensate the currency devaluation of the last 20 Years.

 

The increase of charges of the attorneys is accompanied by other increases of charges. For example the charges of notaries because the legislator is carrying out a reform of the 2nd Kostenrechtmodernisierungsgesetz (refurbishment of the whole laws of costs = KostRMoG) (BT.-Drucks. 17/11471). Simultaneously the Prozesskosten- and Verfahrenskostenhilfe (legal aid = PKH) will be renewed by changing the Prozesskostenhilferecht (legal aid law) and the Beratungshilferecht (legal advice law).

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Internet is “essential” for modern life, according to a German court

28. January 2013

The Internet is an “essential” part of life, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe (Germany) ruled on Thursday, January 24th 2013. As a result, people have the right to claim compensation from service providers if their Internet access is disrupted.

The case was brought to the court by a man who couldn’t use his DSL connection, which also offered a telephone and fax line, for two months from late 2008 to early 2009.

The man had already received compensation for the cost of having to use a mobile phone. But he also wanted to be compensated for not having the possibilities to use the Internet. According to him, he suffered from the loss of something “essential”, and that “something essential” was the possibility to use the internet as such. Under German law the loss of use of essential material items can be compensated.

“The Internet plays a very important role today and affects the private life of an individual in very decisive ways.” a court spokeswoman told Germany’s ARD television. According to the court, the loss of use of the Internet is comparable to the loss of use of a car.

But high sums cannot be expected as compensation based on this ruling. For example if a car is damaged und must be repaired in a garage, the car owner can demand from the liable party approximately 40% of the cost for a rental car for the time period of the downtime. According to the court, such percentage of the monthly cost for the Internet connection must be taken as a basis for compensation if the Internet access is disrupted.

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