On December 13, 2017, the University of Louisville Athletics Association stated that Rick Pitino, the former mens basketball head coach, should cover the penalties issued by the NCAA against the school. The University of Louisville Athletics Association filed counterclaims against Pitino in his federal suit over his termination. The university received penalties from the NCAA panel because of allegations that a former operations director used strippers and escorts to attract potential players. However, once the FBI investigation was complete, there were only charges against an…

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With the recent wave of allegations concerning employment-related conduct, there may be in uptick of employers engaging outside firms to conduct internal investigations. While these can be kept in-house, high profile cases and social media often results in the publication of these reports to the public. Consider the NFLs investigation of the Miami Dolphins known as bullygate.

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On December 14, 2017, former New York Mets player Zachary Lutz requested the Pennsylvania federal court to keep his suit alive against Japanese baseball team owners. Rakuten Baseball Inc. moved to dismiss Lutzs case by citing to parallel proceedings in Japan. In August, Lutz initiated the lawsuit against Rakuten Inc., the owner of Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, for refusing to sign a contract with Lutz for the 2015 season after months negotiating, which left Lutz unable to find another team under similar terms. Lutz opposed…

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Effective January 1, 2018, the State minimum wage increases to $11.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $10.50 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees. Several California cities and counties have passed their own minimum wage ordinances with a more aggressive schedule of minimum wage increases. Local minimum wage increases that go into effect on January 1, 2018 include the following: Locality Minimum Wage Eff. 1/1/18 Cupertino $13.50 El Cerrito $13.60 Los Altos $13.50 Milpitas $12.00 Mountain View $15.00 Oakland $13.23 Palo Alto $13.50 Richmond $13.41 Santa Clara $13.00 San Jose $13.50 San Mateo…

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On December 11, 2017, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg refused Electronic Arts Inc.s (EA) request to be dismissed from a retired NFL players putative class action. The suit alleged that EA improperly used the retired players likenesses in Madden video games. The putative class action was filed in 2010 and claimed EA violated their publicity rights by including their likenesses in Madden games without obtaining permission from 2001 to 2009. Although the retired players names do not appear in the game, the players claim their…

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One of the most common questions we receive from Community Association clients is how do we preserve our lien for and recover delinquent assessments  The frustrating reality is that some owners in Community Associations fail to pay their assessments in a timely manner.  These delinquencies can create serious financial issues within the community.  There are a few ways for Community Associations to pursue delinquent assessments.  In part one of this series on collection remedies, we will discuss one method of collection, or rather, preservation, of a Community Association’s lien: the memorandum of lien. What is a memorandum of lien A…

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In a decision addressing the facts necessary to plead a breach of fiduciary duty claim against a broker, a California federal district court considered the difference between an ordinary broker-customer relationship, and one which rises to the level of a fiduciary relationship.

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Crowdfunding offers an option to startups and small businesses to raise capital, although it is a greatly misunderstood and misused term. It refers to the pooling of money from a crowd for the funding of a project or venture, whether utilizing a donation model, reward model, royalty model, debt model or equity model. Securities laws apply when equity or debt securities are offered. In regard to crowdfunding, Congress amended the Securities Act to allow for an exemption from the registration of such securities if the issuer complies with certain rules and restrictions. To implement this amendment, federal crowdfunding rules were…

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Labor and employment issues are frequently triggered in the entertainment space, particularly in California. Some of these issues are well-known by practitioners in both areas of practice, while others can be a bit more obscure. This article addresses one important area of overlap that is often the source of confusion for practitioners and their clients alike who, unbeknownst to them, have created employment relationships with their commissioned independent contractors, simply by including standard, boilerplate copyright language in their contracts. Under U.S. Copyright Law, only the author of a work can rightfully claim the copyright in that work. Obviously, when you…

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Included in the Fiscal Year 2018 authorization bill for the Department of Defense is a provision restoring the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) authority to require registration of all dronesboth commercial and recreational. The registration scheme, implemented originally at the end of 2016, encountered some turbulence when a federal court determined in May, 2017 that the […]

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Contributed by Kelly Haab-Tallitsch, December 7, 2017 With only 30-days to respond, employers should be watching their mail for Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate penalty letters (IRS Letter 226J), coming before the end of 2017. Recent updates to the Questions and Answers on Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions (ESRPs) Under the Affordable Care Act on […]

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You hire the jury consultant. You do the test. You learn a lot. Then, the consultant recommends a follow-up test. Your immediate reaction might be, Of course you think there should be multiple tests; youre the jury consultant. We get that. But lest you worry that were just pursuing our own self-interest on your dime, […] The post When is it Best to Conduct a Follow-Up Jury Research Project appeared first on Litigation Insights.

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In Rentschler v. Township of Melrose, No. 33633, the Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether an individual is entitled to a Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) even though the individual rented the residence for over 14 days in a year. Specifically the court addressed whether the provision of the Michigan Department of Treasury Guidelines for the Principal Resident Exemption program (PRE guidelines) relied on by the Tax Tribunal in denying the petitioner’s PRE was consistent with General Property Tax Act (“GPTA”). The Court of Appeals held it was not.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a final action declining to impose financial assurance regulations on the hardrock mining industry under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This proposal was directed at managing the financial cost of hardrock mining, particularly the cost of cleanup in situations where the … Continue reading "EPA Declines to Impose CERCLA Financial Assurance Regulations on Hardrock Mining" The post EPA Declines to Impose CERCLA Financial Assurance Regulations on Hardrock Mining appeared first on The Energy & Natural Resources Blog.

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The patient care and employee/employer behavior crossroads can be a perilous journey when a medical malpractice claim is filed. Now, the facilitys HR practices are placed under the microscope to determine if and what was known about the offending employee from the time of hire to the reported incident and steps taken by the employer to correct and more. Brian Inamine and Nancy Reynolds explored the interplay of employment issues for long term care facilities in a recent webinar – including abuse, medical diversion, med mal and more. Click here to view the recording of the complimentary one-hour webinar on…

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It is no secret that HR professionals and executives are the gatekeepers for so many workplace legal concerns. With long term care providers, the focus on patient care is always paramount; but mitigating risk goes hand in hand with your day-to-day staff operations. This patient care and employee/employer behavior reaches an immediate, pivotal crossroads when a medical malpractice claim is filed. Now, the facilitys HR practices are heavily scrutinized to determine if and what was known about the offending employee from the time of hire to the reported incident and steps taken by the employer to correct and more. Brian…

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On November 27, 2017, the Supreme Court denied review of the Ninth Circuits decision in Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water Dist., 849 F.3d 1262 (9th Cir. 2017). In that case, an Indian tribe brought an action against a California water district and desert water agency seeking a declaration that it … Continue reading "Supreme Court Declines Review of Ninth Circuit Agua Caliente Decision Reserved Tribal Water Rights Include Groundwater" The post Supreme Court Declines Review of Ninth Circuit Agua Caliente Decision Reserved Tribal Water Rights Include Groundwater appeared first on The Energy &…

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Its now been widely reported that the cause of the recent Equifax data breach, which compromised the personal data of perhaps as many as 143 million people, was the result of the companys alleged failure to apply a patch to fix a known security hole in some open source software (OSS), known as Apache Struts. But there is now some controversy about whether those reports are accurate or reliable, and some of the early reports have since been retracted. There is technical complexity about security holes in OSS and application of patches that have led to conflicting viewpoints on how…

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The fight is not over yet, but the insurance industry just had a significant victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The scenario is likely familiar to most. Youre invited to send a text and get something in returnmaybe news updates, maybe a chance to win concert tickets. In this case it was the promise of having your sent text posted at a basketball game. Someone sent a text hoping to see their message on a big screen at a Lakers game, and then shortly thereafter got a text back reading something along the lines…

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Contributed by Noah A. Frank, December 5, 2017 While marijuana use remains unlawful under federal law, 30 states and Washington D.C. have legalized some form of medical use. Eight states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana for adults. More cities, states, and counties have taken steps towards legalizing adult recreational use and increased tax […]

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Friendship has taken on new meaning in the age of social media. Old acquaintances, former classmates, co-workers, professional contacts, public figures, family, and close companions may all be similarly situated as a friend on social media, regardless of the level of personal interaction with each. Social media users therefore often apply more liberal standard when accepting new network friends than they would in their personal lives. Professionals, however, may need to be more cautious.

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Contributed by JT Charron, December 1, 2017 At this time last year, employers across the country were preparing for implementation of the DOL Final Overtime Rule, which would have more than doubled the minimum salary level for exempt employees. At the eleventh hour, employers were granted a reprieve when the Federal District Court for the […]

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December 2017 by Daniel J. Beck | The goal of an ALTA/NSPS Survey (2016 Standards) is to discover critical information that would not be revealed in a title report, which includes boundary line encroachments, unrecorded easements or other encumbrances, contiguity, access, and other matters. In addition to the standard survey request made by borrowers, Table... Read More The post ALTA/NSPS Survey: Understanding Table A appeared first on Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull.

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On October 16, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt released a directive that instructs the agency to follow new procedures related to the settlement of lawsuits against the agency. Specifically, the directive requires EPA to: Publish online any notices of intent to sue that it receives from potential litigants. Publish complaints and petitions in which it … Continue reading "EPA Directive Provides Additional Opportunities for Stakeholder Participation in Consent Decree Negotiations" The post EPA Directive Provides Additional Opportunities for Stakeholder Participation in Consent Decree Negotiations appeared first on The Energy & Natural Resources Blog.

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Last month, the judge presiding over the Deripaska v. Associated Press case granted the Associated Press Rule 12(b)(6) motion and dismissed the case. The Associated Press had filed a companion special motion to dismiss under the DC anti-SLAPP statute. The federal court issued a separate opinion, denying that motion. The federal district court agreed that, when the DC Court of Appeals has spoken clearly and unmistakably as to the current state of D.C. law, a federal court should follow that decision (e.g., Mann), even if it appears to be in conflict with a prior decision from the DC Circuit (e.g.,…

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Consider Adding Trademark Classes to Aid Enforcement of Brand Identity In trademark law, marks come in two distinct flavors: trademarks that are used to identify the source of tangible products, and service marks that identify the source of services. As one example, colleges are in the business of providing education and commonly obtain federal service … Continue reading "Could Your Service Mark Someday Appear on a Branded Product" The post Could Your Service Mark Someday Appear on a Branded Product appeared first on The Fashion Intellectual Property Blog.

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Supreme Court of the United States On November 27, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greenes Energy Group, LLC, a case examining the constitutionality of inter partes review proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). Specifically, the case addresses the question [w]hether inter … Continue reading "Supreme Court Case Could Have Huge Impact on Challenging Patents" The post Supreme Court Case Could Have Huge Impact on Challenging Patents appeared first on The Intellectual Property Blog.

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After the DC Court of Appeals essentially invited a party to file an anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss in a DC federal court diversitycase, it took seven months for the Associated Press to accept the invitation. That motion apparently opened the floodgates, as three more parties have now filed anti-SLAPP motions in separate DC federal court cases. In early August, Endeavor Robotics filed an anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss a complaint filed by Robo-Team. Robo-Teams complaint alleged that Endeavor, a Robo-Team competitor, together with Endeavors strategy/lobbying team (Sachem), circulated a memo on Capitol Hill that identified Robo-Team as a threat…

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After hearing mini-oral argument in Marik v. Marik, No. 154549, the Michigan Supreme Court vacated the Court of Appeals’ order and remanded to the trial court to reconsider whether a court’s postjudgment order denying a party’s request to change a minor child’s school enrollment is a “postjudgment order affecting the custody of a minor” and therefore a “final order” under MCR 7.202(6)(a)(iii).  We previously blogged about Marik here. 

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Governor Jerry Brown approved California Senate Bill 798 on October 13, 2017. One provision of this bill imposes penalties for failure to file required reports under Business and Professions Code Section 805.01. Beginning January 1, 2018, individuals and entities with reporting obligations under Section 805.01 are subject to fines of up to $100,000 per violation for willful failures to file a Section 805.01 report, and fines of up to $50,000 per violation for other failures to file a Section 805.01 report. Just like Business and Professions Code Section 805, Section 805.01 imposes an obligation on the chief of staff of…

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Long term care (LTC) facilities across the country are fortunate if they have not either received family requests to place cameras in their family members room or been presented with the results of video recordings. Currently, Texas, New Mexico, Washington, Oklahoma, Utah and Illinois are states with legislation on video cameras in resident rooms. The Departments of Health for Virginia and Maryland promulgated guidelines on camera use in resident rooms at the direction of their legislatures. In the past few months, two more states have joined the chorus. Over the summer of 2017, New Jerseys Division of Consumer Affairs expanded…

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Californians diverting water should take notice of new measurement and reporting requirements with quickly approaching deadlines. Water right holders diverting between 10 and 100 acre-feet per year have until January 1, 2018 to either (1) install and maintain a measurement device, (2) employ a measurement method capable of measuring the rate of diversion, or (3) submit an alternative compliance plan. The measurement device or method shall be capable of recording on a weekly basis the total volume of water diverted, flow rate, water velocity, or water elevation. In addition, these small-time diverters must include a measurement report with its next…

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For the second time in ten months, Superior Court Judge Steven Wellner has granted a special motion to dismiss under the DC anti-SLAPP statute. Heres the background of this case. Two brothers (Peter and John Gordon) inherited the family home after their mother passed away. They alleged that, after they listed the house for sale, neighbors became concerned that the new buyers would tear down the house in favor of a larger house. According to the complaint, one of the neighbors (Soloman) allegedly submitted a petition in the name of The Forest Hills Alliance to the DC Historic Preservation Review…

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Each year, we at Litigation Insights like to step back and reflect on all that we are grateful for. We think about the ways we have been able to help our favorite organizations improve our communities, and we brainstorm ways to give back in the future. Our family has worked together to volunteer time and […] The post Giving Thanks for Organizations We Care About appeared first on Litigation Insights.

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We encounter them almost every day—and we check the box and click “I Agree” without hesitation. But what does our “agreement” really mean  

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Companies have two choices for meeting the PCT patent application filing requirements when they have multiple pending provisional applications. We go through the pros and cons for each approach. A company engaged in research and development will often create multiple related inventions within a year, and file a separate provisional application for each invention within … Continue reading "A Decision Guide for Filing International Patent Applications for Multiple Inventions" The post A Decision Guide for Filing International Patent Applications for Multiple Inventions appeared first on The Intellectual Property Blog.

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Recently, news broke that British vacuum manufacturing giant Dyson is entering the automotive industry. The company synonymous with upscale vacuum cleaners announced that it was making a multi-billion dollar investment in an effort to develop an electric car by 2020.

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When our full Litigation Insights team walked through the doors atHarvesters Community Food Networkin Kansas City, we didnt know what to expect. It was 7:30am and already bustling with staff. As it turned out, we werent just here to fetch things or hand stuff out. They relied on volunteers to take a huge project […] The post 3 Benefits of Giving Back as a Company (You Might Not Have Expected) appeared first on Litigation Insights.

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The Michigan Supreme Court will consider whether, in a criminal sexual conduct case, evidence of a victim’s pregnancy, lack of prior sexual activity, and abortion is barred by the rape-shield statute as “[e]vidence of specific instances of the victim’s sexual conduct, opinion evidence of the victim’s sexual conduct, [or] reputation evidence of the victim’s sexual conduct...” MCL 750.520j(1). The parties in People v. Sharpe, Case Nos. 155747-8, also have been asked to address whether, if the evidence is covered by the rape-shield statute, it is nonetheless admissible under one of the statute’s exceptions.  Further, if the evidence is not barred…

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Steven W. Quattlebaum, Timothy W. Grooms, and John E. Tull III have been named to the inaugural edition of the Arkansas 200, a list of the people who are actively shaping business, policy, and quality of life decisions in the state of Arkansas. The result of a months-long research initiative, close to 700 of the... Read More The post Three QG&T Attorneys Named To The Arkansas 200 appeared first on Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull.

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The Seventh Circuit ruled that an employees extended medical leave request was categorically unreasonable under the ADA. However, what should an employer do when one of the Seventh circuit judges writes that prior decision is wrong and violates the ADA On September 20, 2017, in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, the Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of an employer that terminated an employee who requested a two to three month extended medical leave in addition to his 12 week FMLA leave. The Court applied a per se rule that an extended medical leave is categorically unreasonable as a matter…

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Twenty-one (21) attorneys from Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC were recently named to the Mid-South Super Lawyers or Mid-South Rising Stars lists for 2017 bySuper Lawyers. E. B. (Chip) Chiles IV,Joseph R. Falasco,Timothy W. Grooms, Michael B. Heister, Chad W. Pekron,Steven W. Quattlebaum, Michael N. Shannon, Geoffrey B. Treece, John E. Tull III, David B.... Read More The post Super Lawyers Recognizes 21 QG&T Attorneys appeared first on Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull.

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The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), among other things, provides a safe harbor from copyright infringement liability for online service providers and website owners that allow third parties to post content onto or through their websites or other online platforms. In order to qualify for safe harbor eligibility, a company must register an agent with … Continue reading "DMCA Amendment Affecting Designated Agent Requires Registration by December 31, 2017" The post DMCA Amendment Affecting Designated Agent Requires Registration by December 31, 2017 appeared first on The Intellectual Property Blog.

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In performing the likelihood of confusion analysis between a registered trademark and an applied for mark, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the Board) considers a range of factors known as the du Pont factors. One of the factors upon which a case can turn is the similarity of the two relevant marks. When comparing … Continue reading "Third-Party Registrations and Uses for Marks Similar to the Cited Registered Trademark Are Again Deemed Insufficient to Carry the Day" The post Third-Party Registrations and Uses for Marks Similar to the Cited Registered Trademark Are Again Deemed Insufficient to Carry the Day…

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As part of its mission to make America Great Again, President Trump has signed an executive order under which our nation will move faster, fly higher, and soar proudly toward the next great chapter of American aviation. In fact, the executive order aims to establish a pilot program that could have significant effects on the […]

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The National Park Service (NPS) has announced a proposal to increase entrance fees at 17 national parks. Currently, the fee for private vehicles is between $25 and $30, while the fee for motorcycles is $15-25 and $10-15 for pedestrians and bikers. Under the proposal, the fees would increase to $70 (in peak season from May … Continue reading "National Park Service Proposes Entrance Fee Increase for Several Popular Parks" The post National Park Service Proposes Entrance Fee Increase for Several Popular Parks appeared first on The Sports & Outdoor Recreation Blog.

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As a result of recent natural disasters and political uncertainties both in the United States and around the globe, companies throughout the automotive industry are experiencing disruptions in their supply chain. These disruptions have reinforced the importance of a carefully-drafted force majeure clause to protect against unpredictable and potentially devastating forces beyond the control of a company or its suppliers.

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That was the question the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the Board) sought to answer in the application proceedings of In re Don Calder. In this case, the trademark applicant sought to register the mark CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC (with CALIFORNIA disclaimed) for various clothing goods, including shoes, pants, jeans, shorts, hats, jackets, and belts in International … Continue reading "Does the Standard Word Mark CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC Create a Likelihood of Confusion with a Registered Mark Incorporating the Words “REPUBLIK of KALIFORNIA”" The post Does the Standard Word Mark CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC Create a Likelihood of Confusion with a Registered Mark Incorporating the…

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In its recent decision in AIX Specialty Ins. Co. v. H&W Tank Testing, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169787 (M.D. Ala. Oct. 12, 2017), the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama had occasion to consider the … Continue reading →

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Whether your passion is rock climbing, camping, skiing, yoga or scuba diving, starting a company that combines your passion with the opportunity to pay your bills can be exciting and overwhelming. Perhaps the scariest part of any such endeavor is that we simply cannot know what we dont know. One place where entrepreneurs struggle to … Continue reading "Making Your Passion Your Paycheck: Legal Issues for Entrepreneurs" The post Making Your Passion Your Paycheck: Legal Issues for Entrepreneurs appeared first on The Sports & Outdoor Recreation Blog.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced that it will block imports of goods that were produced with North Korean labor even though North Korean workers were employed outside of North Korea. The announcement was made after reports that Chinese-processed seafood Americans buy at Walmart, ALDI, and other stores has been produced with North … Continue reading "CBP to Ban Imports Made by North Korean Workers Regardless of Location" The post CBP to Ban Imports Made by North Korean Workers Regardless of Location appeared first on The Sports & Outdoor Recreation Blog.

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In its recent decision in Aaron Ambulance Med. Transp., Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149409 (D.N.J. Sept. 14, 2017), the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey had occasion to consider the … Continue reading →

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As we have previously posted, Senator Feinstein has proposed a bill that would clarify a key legal issue that has stirred up controversy among drone-law practitionersnamely the extent to which FAA regulations preempt efforts by local government to regulate drone use. Senator Feinsteins measure would free up local government to regulate drone use so long […]

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With the legalization of cannabis in California, cannabis businesses will need to address their real estate needs. As not many businesses can afford to buy a building outright, leases will need to be negotiated and executed. However, cannabis related real estate leases will need to be handled more carefully than a normal commercial lease.

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Have you ever read a brochure for a resort, college, or apartment complex and expected everything it said to be completely and totally accurate without any caveats In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a chain skilled nursing facility is under attack for representations it made in its marketing materials. In July of 2015, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by its Office of Attorney General (OAG), filed a Petition for Injunctive Relief against Golden Gate National Senior Care, LLCs Pennsylvania facilities (Golden Gate). The OAG asserted a claim under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), 73 Pa C.S.A. …

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In 1966, California voters decriminalized the medical use of marijuana by approving the California Compassionate Use Act. In 2015, the voters approved the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act ("MCRSA"), to regulate the medical marijuana industry. In 2016, California voters approved the Adult Use of Marijuana Act ("AUMA"), allowing (1) individual adults to possess, use, purchase, transport, or give away up to 28.5 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana; (2) them to grow up to 6 plants and possess the marijuana produced by the plants; and, (3) legally possess marijuana accessories.

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In its recent decision in Benjamin v. State Farm Ins. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131078 (D.N.J. Aug. 17, 2017), the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey had occasion to consider the scope of the pollution … Continue reading →

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A multi-unit franchise owner can structure its operations in a number of ways, but one approach in particular often makes a lot of sense: a developer entity that acts as the parent company for the individual franchise locations. First some background. Many franchisors seek out franchisees who want to open three or more units. One approach is to sign a development agreement in which the developer commits to open an agreed-upon number of franchise units in a defined territory over a specified period. In exchange, the franchisor agrees not to open a company-owned unit or to grant a franchise to…

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Walt Disney (Disney) suffered a loss last week in an adverse employment action based on its use of information in consumer reports as part of its employment screening process. The plaintiffs have alleged that they were injured when inaccurate credit reporting information, which they had no opportunity to challenge or correct, became a factor in … Continue reading Los Angeles Judge Elects Generalized Common Issue to Justify Class Certification →

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Texas governor Greg Abbott recently signed legislation designed to curb the states recent spate of hail litigation against homeowners insurers. The new legislation, House Bill 1774 (and its counterpart Senate Bill 10), will require Texas insureds to provide their property … Continue reading →

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by:Robert Wagner, intellectual property attorney at the Pittsburgh law firm ofPicadio Sneath Miller & Norton, P.C.(Robert Wagner on G+) We are pleased to announce that the Pit IP Tech Blog has been named one of the Top 100 IP blogs … Continue reading →

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Posted by: Henry M. Sneath, Esq. – Chair of the Intellectual Property Practice Group at Pittsburgh, Pa. law firm Picadio Sneath Miller & Norton, P.C. (PSMNand PSMNLaw).Mr. Sneath is also anAdjunct Professor of Law at the Duquesne University School of … Continue reading →

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A franchisor selling franchises in the U.S. must disclose its audited financial statements in Item 21 of the franchise disclosure document (FDD). Sometimes, parent company financials are used instead of the franchisors financials. This is easily done when the parent company is a public company that already has audited financials. But most franchisors are not public companies. They are not likely to have parent company audited financials and would prefer not to incur the added expense of auditing a group of companies rather than just the franchisor entity. Audits are expensive. The franchisor may also want to shield its parent…

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On November 11, 2016, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress promulgated the “Internet Security Law of the People ‘s Republic of China” commonly referred to as the “Cybersecurity Law of China.” Unlike the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which gave businesses two years to prepare, the new law becomes implemented June 1, … Continue reading China Enacts Data Privacy Law Under Guise of Cybersecurity →

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On March 17, 2017, the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) submitted Budget Trailer Bill 502. Budget Trailer Bill 502 would provide changes to the existing contractor registration requirements, as well as changes to the requirement for agencies to provide the DIR with notice of pending public works projects, as initially required by SB 854. SB… Continue Reading The post Budget Trailer Bill 502 would expand DIR fines and agency notice requirements appeared first on Infrastructure Law Blog.

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In recent months,bankruptcy lawyers have begun to bring strikingly similar FCRA lawsuits on behalf of former clients who went through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This post will discuss these cases and how defendants are responding to them by winning on the merits, then moving for sanctions. The first few paragraphs will set the stage by explaining […]

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In McGill v. Citibank, N.A.,No., S224086 (Cal. Apr. 6, 1017), the California Supreme Court recently held that pre-dispute arbitration agreements that purport to waive the remedy of injunctive relief under California consumer statutes that have the primary purpose and effect of prohibiting unlawful acts that threaten future injury to the public in any forum, are … Continue reading Court: Arbitration Agreements That Waive Injunctive Relief Under CA Consumer Statutes Are Unenforceable →

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By: Amber L. Reiner, associate at Picadio Sneath Miller and Norton, P.C. When someone mentions Play-Doh, what is the first thing you think ofIs it those flexible yellow containers Perhaps it is the smoothand squishy texture ofthe putty More likely … Continue reading →

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A new bill, AB 851, was introduced in the California legislature on February 16 that would expand the scope of the design-build authority currently available to local agencies. If adopted, AB 851 would amend Public Contract Code sections 22161 to expand the definition of special districts that can utilize the design-build authority under Public Contract… Continue Reading The post New bill would expand design-build authority for local agencies appeared first on Infrastructure Law Blog.

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Support Animals in the Workplace California employers are familiar with service dogs as a reasonable accommodation for employees and applicants with disabilities. But, what about support animals In 2013, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) required California employers to allow assistive animals in the workplace as a reasonable accommodation. Assistive animals include service dogs, but also support animals that provide emotional or other support to a person with a disability, including but not limited to, traumatic brain injuries or mental disabilities, such as major depression.

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One of the toughest challenges an aspiring franchisor may face is selling its first franchise. Who would take the risk of buying a franchise from a franchise company that has no franchisees For a few successful business owners, the idea of franchising may come from one or more customers who love the business concept and initiate the idea of buying a franchise even before the owner has taken the first step to prepare a franchise offering. But this rarely happens. Heres another suggestion: If the aspiring franchisor has a successful business unit (a store or a restaurant, for example) that…

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According to the United States Census Bureau, Canada is the USAs second largest trading partner, only slightly behind China, with over $500 billion in two-way trade goods annually. The industrial economies of Canada and the USA are highly integrated, with manufacturing plants in each country sending millions of components back and forth over the boarder […]

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This article by Griff Palmer in the NY Times Business Day section examines three P3 projects in the US, and compares the promises with some of the disappointments. The article provides a good overview of the significant issues that must be considered in order for a P3 to be successful for all concerned. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/24/business/dealbook/private-equity-water.htmlemc=edit_ta_20161224&nlid=51116999&ref=cta&_r=0  … Continue Reading The post Are P3s the answer to our infrastructure needs NYT article raises concerns. appeared first on Infrastructure Law Blog.

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The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey closed out 2016 with a declaration that the Products and Workmanship exclusions found in a manufacturers Building and Personal Property policy is ambiguous. In National Manufacturing Company v. Citizens … Continue reading →

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What happens when adult children still living at home refuse to leave As the boomer generation ages and look to downsize, check this is a question that more and more parents might have to consider. While it may sound unlikely, prescription this scenario has the potential to cause some headaches for parents in the years […]

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If there is one word that everyone in the residential rental market hates, purchase it is bedbugs. Over the past few years bedbug outbreaks have become more common as the pests are notoriously difficult to fully exterminate. Bedbugs can live for months, even up to a year, without food and they can hide in small […]

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In John Robert Sebo, etc. v. American Home Assurance Company, Inc., Supreme Court case number SC14-897, the Florida Supreme Court reversed a Second District Court opinion which found the efficient proximate cause doctrine applicable to cases involving multiple perils and … Continue reading →

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Last year, we followed the story of ballot efforts on a local level to preclude GMO crops from being grown in certain counties in Hawaii. The ballot initiatives, which banned GMO crops within the borders of the counties, passed by narrow margins, but were immediately struck down in court after a challenge from various agricultural companies. Local organizations filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit, seeking to overturn the District Court decision stating that the ballot initiatives were preempted by federal and state laws. The…

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On March 30, 2016, Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stripped MetLife of its designation as a nonbank systemically important financial institution (nonbank SIFI). She held that the designation was arbitrary and capricious as the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) failed to follow proper administrative procedures during the evaluation process. Just over a week later, FSOC walked down the hall of the U.S. Courthouse at 333 Constitution Avenue, NW and filed its

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On October 20, 2016, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals abandoned the long-used Dyas/Frye test to govern the admissibility of expert testimony in favor of the standards embodied in Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. The court issued its decision after the lower court permitted plaintiff expert opinions linking cell phone use to brain tumors under the then-existing Dyas/Frye standard. In the matter of Motorola Inc. v. Henry, plaintiffs in thirteen cases had sued numerous cell phone manufacturers, service providers…

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Ambiguity surrounding the term commencing led a court to deny an insurers motion seeking to dismiss an insureds property damage claim, despite the insureds inability to state when the property damage at issue first occurred. In a question of first impression, a federal district court in Illinois denied an insurers motion for summary judgment earlier this month, ruling that the term commencing during the policy period was ambiguous when applied to the circumstances of the case. Temperature Serv. Co. v.

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The Seventh Circuit recently affirmed a district court decision upholding payment under a life insurance policy purchased by a securities intermediary. The decision first addressed the common laws prohibition on wagering contracts, or stranger-originated life insurance, and the traditional remedy which invalidates any such policy of insurance. However, this case was subject to Wisconsin law, whose legislature places the risk on the insurer for issuing a policy to someone without an insurable interest by refusing to invalidate such contracts. Specifically,

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This month’s post will attempt to establish something that I’ve always vaguely known to be true, but never had occasion to fully research: the FCRA applies toconsumers who are trying to get personal credit, not credit for their business. Most courts treat this as a well-established point. See, e.g., Frydman v. Experian Info. Solutions, Inc., […]

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NancyBors, as administrator of the Estate of Maureen Milliken, brought this action against Imerys Talc America Inc. and Johnson and Johnson for claims in negligence for their design, development, manufacture, testing, packaging, promoting, marketing, distribution, labeling, and/or sale of Johnson and Johnson baby powder Milliken allegedly developed and died from ovarian cancer. Imerys moved to dismiss and argued that the court lacked jurisdiction or in the alternative for failure to state a claim. Specific to its argument, Imerys took the position that it had…

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Article courtesy of the Washington Legal Foundation, by John J. Jablonski The king is dead. Long live the king. European monarchies conveyed the immediate passage of sovereignty from a dead ruler to a new one with this proclamation. It works as well for the amendment of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) and 37(e), because in many ways an old governing rule on discovery passed away on December 1, 2015, when the amendments took effectbut the ghost of the old ruler still haunts both…

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The District of New Jersey just resolved twoFCRA cases that, in my view, combine all of the best (or worst) features of FCRA litigation: theyinvolve a confusing issue on a credit report; a threat of sanctions; ajudgethat didn’t get the facts sheneeded when sheneeded them; andparties and lawyers who had better things to do than […]

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Environmental groups recently filed a lawsuitin the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Fort Myers Division, seeking to challenge the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, and others, with respect tothe recent approval of seismic testing. Seismic testing is utilized to identify oil and gas. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that the testing threatens the Big Cypress national preserve: Big Cypress is an extraordinary and unique national treasure. It is an extension of the Everglades hydrologic system and provides…

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Recently the North Carolina Court of Appeals in In re: Ballard (N.C. Ct. App. COA15-475, March 15, 2016) held that a foreclosing lender in North Carolina was not under any duty to bid the same amountat aresale of foreclosed propertyas it did at the first sale of the same property when the last ... (More)

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It is with great pride and pleasure that Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger attorneys and staff members recently collected The post Firm Helps Nevada Army National Guard appeared first on Thorndal.

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On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Husky International Electronic, Inc. v. Ritz. The opinion is a favorable development for creditors because it expands the types of fraudulent conduct that can prevent a debtor from discharging debts in bankruptcy. Specifically, the court... (More)

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ANALYSIS/OPINION: The Little Sisters of the Poor and the government have filed their final briefs in the longstanding tussle over the administrations contraception mandate. The briefs respond to a highly unusual order from theSupreme Court, issued days after the oral arguments, which asks the parties to consider again whether the government can improve access to The post The threadbare case against Little Sisters of the Poor appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Religious Liberty Archive & Blog.

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The lawyers are looking at it. That, in so many words, has been the response given by Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House every time they have been pressed on whether the State Department will call the Islamic States war on religious minorities genocide. Kerry faces a congressionally mandated deadline on Thursday The post Call ISIL’s religious war what it is: Genocide appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Religious Liberty Archive & Blog.

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Christians across the Middle East are suffering and dying for their faith, and the United States government has called it a genocide. Here are four ways you, your family, and your church can help. [NOTE: This post originally appeared at the Mystery of Faith Blogand is reprinted here with permission. LRRC attorneys Martin Nussbaum and The post Genocide Against Christians (And How the Church Can Help) appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Religious Liberty Archive & Blog.

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In 2008, Congress passed legislation which extended the protection from foreclosure actions for active duty servicemembers up to 9 months after the end of the period of military service. In 2012, Congress extended that time to 12 months after the end of the military service. When the prior legisla... (More)

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After considerable debate, Pennsylvania is one step closer to approving new regulations for hydraulic fracturing. Specifically, on April 21, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC)held a lengthy hearing with respect to the new proposed regulations.The IRRCthen approved the new proposed regulations. Among other things, the new regulations (1) ban waste pits for unconventional gas drilling, (2) requires permits and water management plan for certain drillers, (3) requires vandal proofing of tanks, and (4) requires well site restoration within nine months of drilling…

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As of July 1, 2015, the Virginia Condominium Act provides that no condominium association may impose an assessment or charge against a unit owner unless such charge or assessment (a) is expressly authorized by the Condominium Act (see particularly Va. Code Sec. 55-79.83) and/or by the condominium instruments for the community, (b) represents a fee for service provided, or (c) is a fee for a resale certificate, as provided for in the Condominium Act. Va. Code Section 55-79.42:1. The Common Interest Community Board has the authority to assess a monetary penalty and/or issue a cease and desist order against an…

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Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger is happy to announce it recently completed a denim drive for a charitable recycling program, Blue Jeans Go Green. The drive collected more than 50 pairs of jeans that may have otherwise been sent to a landfill. Blue Jeans Go Green started in 2006 and strives to collects denim... Read more » The post Firm Helps Denim Recycling Charity appeared first on Thorndal.

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Since our last postings on the subject of disclosure packets, the General Assembly has adopted several minor Code changes to clarify existing provisions: Delivery by Overnight Carrier  The Code section providing for cancellation of the purchase agreement within a certain time period after receipt of the resale certificate / disclosure packet previously failed to mention when the purchaser could cancel if the resale certificate / disclosure packet were delivered by overnight delivery service. For both property owners’ associations (“POAs”) and condominium associations, whether self-managed or professionally managed, if the resale certificate / disclosure packet is delivered by commercial overnight delivery…

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Earlier today a Nevada federal judge granted summary judgment in a case against a resort company that sought to hold it liable for alleged negligence of its subsidiary in Aruba. A Canadian citizen traveled to a resort on Aruba owned by a subsidiary. While there she tripped, fell and asserted an injury. Rather than suing... Read more » The post Eisinger & Parks Win Subsidiary Liability Case appeared first on Thorndal.

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An Illinois appellate court has upheld a lower court’s denial of injunctive relief to certain landowners who sought to enjoin Illinois, via its regulatory body, from enforcing newly adopted hydraulic fracturing regulations in the state. Specifically, in Smith v. Dep’t of Resources, NO. 5-14-0583, 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 536 (Ill. 5th Dist. App. July 10, 2015), Plaintiffs commenced an action against the Illinois Department of Resources, among others, seeking a preliminary injunction tostop the state from implementing the regulations recently adopted by the state.…

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Consumers Insurance Company provided underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage to Bradford Charles. Charles was subsequently injured in a motor vehicle accident with Christina Ranum. Charles attorney subsequently made a UIM claim on the Consumers UIM policy. Initially, Consumers denied UIM coverage, but subsequently determined that there may be UIM coverage under its policy. After Consumers initial [...]

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On this blog weve explored the laws related to service animals and how the ADAs regulations extend their use far past traditional notions of seeing eye dogs. In Wisconsin (admit it, you assumed this blog post was going to have an Aussie connection), a woman is treading new territory by seeking legal recognition to use a kangaroo as a therapy animal. The woman, Diana Moyer, owns several kangaroos and also has a doctors note stating that one of the kangaroosJimmyis a therapy animal to assist her in dealing with cancer treatment and depression. In no way would we ever mock…

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When you think of Uber (or similar companies like Lyft and Sidecar) you probably think of a transportation company. You request a ride on the companys app and a driver (in his own vehicle) picks you up. The nature of the companys business is, however, the very thing at issue in a series of lawsuits brought against Uber under the ADA. In lawsuits filed in Arizona, California, and Texas, individuals and disability rights organizations have accused Uber of failing to comply with ADA requirements of offering accommodations for the disabled (including individuals who are visually and mobility impaired) in providing…

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On January 21, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced through the Federal Register a study that examined (1) whether Police Accident Reports provide sufficient, consistent, and reliable information to support crash weighting determinations, (2) whether a crash weighting determination process would offer an even stronger predictor of carrier crash risk than the [...]

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On December 30, 2014, Gov. Quinn signed SB 1342 into law as P.A. 98-1142 (720 ILCS 5/14-1 et seq.); the measure puts new eavesdropping restrictions into place after the Illinois Supreme Court threw out the previous eavesdropping law last March. As a result of the March court ruling, all Illinois residents had absolutely no expectation [...]

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The price of movie tickets could be going up soon. Under new proposed regulations issued by the Department of Justice, movie theaters with digital screens would be required to show films with options for closed captioning (for hearing impaired patrons) and audio descriptions (for visually impaired patrons). Movie theaters would not be required to create their own captioning or assistive aids. Rather, when a movie is available for distribution with closed captioning and audio description, the theater must purchase the version containing these accommodations. In some circumstances, a theater may show films without these accommodations if a compliant version is…

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Thank you to LegalHold Pro for its report on this decision. The original post can be seen here. The patent infringement and trademark case of Phillip M. Adams & Assoc. v. Dell Computer Corp.has been an ongoing saga with actions dating back to the 1990s. In recent years the case had been on hiatus, but that ended on March 18, 2013 when the Federal Circuit announced its ruling on four claims that had been challenged from the earlier District Court opinion. Of particular…

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Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) are generally straightforward documents and follow a consistent format. People often pull a form off the internet, fill in the blanks and send it off to the other side. Likewise, recipients of NDAs often skim and sign them. In general, thats OK. That being said, there are often subtle differences among form NDAs. Use the simple acronym below to confirm that you have the right kind of NDA and that youre adequately covered by it: M – Is it mutual or does it only protect the information of one party If both parties are swapping information, make…

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The definition of possession, custody, or control under FRCP 34(a) will be construed broadly and a party is not required to have physical possession of the documents to be in control of them. Therefore, companies that use independent agencies should be conscious of the requirements and provisions they place in agency contracts because they can be inferred to give rise to discovery obligations. To read ELLBlog’s analysis of Haskins v. First American Title Insurance Co., Civil No. 10-5044 (D.N.J. 2012)click here.…

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If you have started a company that needs outside investors, then you have run into someone who offered to raise money for you. [ CONTINUE READING → ]

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PPMs (Private Placement Memos for the uninitiated) look pretty complicated. They’re usually thick documents full of run-on sentences, some charts and a few paragraphs in all caps. A client asked me to describe a PPM’s structure. I drew a picture of a simple sandwich. So why are PPMs frequently so complicated Because they’re often based on legal requirements that never apply to private placements. Federal regulations state that if equity (e.g. stock) is sold to people that are so poor they must be incapable of making rational financial decisions (or as they’re known in the securities world, “nonaccredited investors”), then…

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Cohen v. Maricopa County (Ct. Appeals, Div. One, August 16, 2011)   A man was involuntarily held in a hospital because he was a danger to self due to depression and repeated drug overdose. After inpatient treatment was completed, he was discharged from the hospital to begin court-ordered outpatient treatment with ValueOptions, the company that contracts with the State. While undergoing outpatient treatment, the man was found passed out with the drug Soma in his pocket. The man was medically cleared at the scene, but taken to an urgent care facility run by Meta Services pursuant to a subcontract with…

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In the recent case of Kurach v. Truck Ins. Exchange (C.P. Philadelphia 2017), a Pennsylvania Court held that under Pennsylvania law, insurance companies are required to include general contractor overhead and profits in actual cash value payments for losses...

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Short Answer: Yes, but as with all non-compete provisions, proceed with caution and draft wisely. Like many states, Pennsylvania has long viewed restrictive covenants such as covenants not to compete with disfavor. Despite its preference against them, non-compete agreements are...

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Strict product liability generally focuses on the product itself, not the negligent conduct of the defendant, and as a result, defendants often are precluded from relying on certain negligence concepts in defending strict liability actions. A plaintiff's comparative fault or...

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Mark D. Zukowski was recently accepted into the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN).  NADN is a national association whose membership consists of mediators and arbitrators distinguished by their hands-on experience in the field of civil and commercial conflict resolution.  Mark is one of only 21 attorneys and former judges who have been recognized as Charter Members of the Arizona Chapter.  Parties can visit the Chapter website at www.NADN.org/arizona to schedule, at no administrative cost, mediations with Mark by having direct access to his availability calendar.

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Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC is pleased to announce Phillip Stanfields selection to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Stanfield is the ninth lawyer from JSH to receive this distinction.Mr. Stanfield joined Jones, Skelton & Hochuli in 1987, and has been a Partner since 2003. His practice is almost exclusively devoted to the defense of transportation clients.The general purposes of the American Board of Trial Advocates is to foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice in the field of advocacy to the end that individual litigants may receive more effective representation and the general public be…

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Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland v. Bondwriter Southwest (Ct. Appeals, Div. One, July 28, 2011)   Fidelity sued Bondwriter for breach of contract and negligence, after Bondwriter delivered unapproved bonds to a contractor. An agency agreement authorized Bondwriter to solicit applications for surety bonds on Fidelity's behalf. The agreement limited Bondwriter's authority to those transactions that Fidelity specifically authorized. In one transaction, Bondwriter mistakenly delivered a bond to a contractor before Fidelity had authorized the bond. When Bondwriter employees realized their mistake, they were unable to retrieve the original bond before the contractor made copies of the bond and…

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The Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA) has recently selected Don Myles for membership to their organization.Don Myles has been a Partner with Jones, Skelton & Hochuli since 1987, and concentrates his practice on insurance coverage, bad faith and professional liability. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Arizona as well as the Ninth and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court.Myles is the past President of the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel (AADC) and the USLAW Network. He is currently Senior Vice President for the Federation of Defense and Corporate…

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In a landmark decision, the California Supreme Court held today that a plaintiff cannot obtain medical expense damages based on his billed medical charges, because the plaintiff was not damaged in that amount.  Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. (Cal. Supreme Court, Aug. 18, 2011).  The Court held that the plaintiff could recover only the amount of medical expenses actually paid on her behalf.  The Court said:  We hold no such recovery is allowed, for the simple reason that the injured plaintiff did not suffer any economic loss in that amount."   Plaintiff Rebecca Howell was seriously injured in…

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