On December 20, 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), issued a Final Rule that requires federal contractors to follow new privacy training procedures with regard to handling and protecting "personally identifiable information" or "PII."  PII refers to any information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individuals identity, either alone or when combined with other information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual.  The rule went into effect on January 19, 2017. Applicability The training requirement applies to all contracts/subcontracts that require "access to…

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There are lots of Federal Contractor odds and ends to discuss since President Trump's inauguration.  Let's get caught up! Trump Signs Executive Order to Roll Back Regulations In late January 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order to eliminate two federal regulations for every one regulation enacted.  Given the numerous regulations and obligations added during the Obama administration related to federal contractors, this Executive Order has the potential to change the compliance landscape.  Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces Rule Is Dead On March 5, 2017, pursuant to the Congressional Review Act ("CRA"), the U.S. Senate passed a Joint Resolution disapproving…

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Peter Deppe, a former punter for Northern Illinois University (NIU), has filed a notice of appeal that challenges an Indiana Federal Courts dismissal of his antitrust claim regarding the NCAA rule forcing student-athletes who transfer universities to sit out for a year before returning to play for the new school. As background, Deppe was originally recruited as a walk-on punter by NIU in 2014. Deppes complaint alleged that he was redshirted and told by the coaches that he would receive a scholarship and become…

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A defendant who was accidentally released before serving all of her time may not receive consecutive sentences as though still incarcerated, said the Michigan Court of Appeals. In People v. Parker, No. 330898, the Department of Corrections “erroneously released defendant back into the community before she was finished serving either of her sentences.” As a result, when the defendant committed another crime in 2013, her record showed “in prison.” Pursuant to MCL 768.7a, the trial court ordered that the new sentence run consecutively to the sentences that she was already supposed to be serving.   

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Last October, I wrote about the Personal Care Products Councils interesting anti-SLAPP motion, filed in a DC Superior Court case. There, the plaintiff (Simpson) alleged that she developed ovarian cancer by using talcum powder. In addition to suing talc manufacturers and suppliers, she sued PCPC, alleging that it submitted information to governmental agencies about talcs safety that was biased and was part of a campaign to prevent the regulation of talc and to mislead the consuming public about the true hazards of talc. Earlier this year,the Superior Court granted PCPCs anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss in an oral ruling from…

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The University of Richmond announced that it will reinstate the five baseball players who were suspended this season for potential NCAA violations, as it now appears that the players wagered on sports gamesnot fantasy sportsas initially reported. NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from engaging in any sports wagering activities or provid[ing] information to individuals involved or associated with any types of sports wagering activities. This may include internet sports wagering and pay-to-play fantasy leagues. Student-athletes found in violation of these rules are ineligible from playing time…

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The five-day rule under the FDCPA, which requires a debt collector to provide the precise amount owed within five days of its initial communication with a borrower, often operates as a trap to debt collection firms. The lack of a statutory definition for initial communication means that courts are free to interpret what will qualify, leaving debt collection firms to make their own determinations as to what will sufficiently protect them from later lawsuits based on this section of the statute. Although pleadings are still a widely acknowledged exception, many states do not include pre-foreclosure notices.

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Contributed by Carlos Arvalo, April 27, 2017 Its that time of the year when college students will come knocking looking for a job or an internship.Depending on the nature of an organizations business, an unpaid intern might be a great idea.But before organizations start engaging summer intern help, they need to make sure that they […]

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In People v Walden, No. 330144, the Court of Appeals emphasized Lockridge’s holding that trial courts can depart from the minimum sentencing guidelines range without articulating substantial and compelling reasons for doing so.  Rather, the sentence must only be reasonable, which means that it must be proportionate to the seriousness of the circumstances surrounding the offense and the offender.

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On April 21, 2017, United States District Judge Sean Cox of the Eastern District of Michigan ordered that Volkswagen AG pay $2.8 billion in criminal fines stemming from the emissions scandal uncovered in 2015, which was discussed in a previous post. The scandal began after the automaker was accused of conspiring to defraud the government, commit wire fraud and violate the Clean Air Act in order to obtain necessary air quality emission certificates to sell certain vehicles in the United States.

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The Great Recession starting in 2007 hit many new housing developments hard – many having received all their discretionary entitlements (including tentative map approvals) did not proceed to construction, and remain on hold. After the recession hit, there arose a danger that a developer's previously approved subdivision map (tentative map) would expire before construction was started. As a result, the California Legislature took steps to automatically extend the life of approved tentative subdivision maps. The cumulative effect of these extensions led to an unprecedented subdivision map lifespan – the typical statutory life of tentative map subdivision approvals increased from two…

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According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, one in five US adults experiences mental illness in a given year. In a recent article authored by PL Matters contributor Dove A.E. Burns, the prevalence of these disorders has a significant impact upon the workplace and upon employers and their accommodation policies and procedures. The New York Law Journal article evaluates the EEOCs publication titled Depression, PTSD & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights. The article also considers what the EEOC's guidance means for employers navigating the ADA landscape.

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A standard $100 “probation supervision” fee that had been charged to juvenile offenders in Washtenaw County had no statutory basis and is therefore invalid, the Michigan Court of Appeals held in In re Taylor Anne Killich, No. 329941.  

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In its recent decision in Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am. v. USA Container Co., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6602 (3rd Cir. Apr. 18, 2017), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, applying New Jersey law, had … Continue reading →

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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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This morning, the Outdoor Industry Association released its latest Outdoor Recreation Economy Report in connection with its annual Capitol Summit in Washington D.C., and the numbers are HUGE: https://outdoorindustry.org/resource/2017-outdoor-recreation-economy-report/ The report estimates that the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in annual consumer spending, $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue and an additional $59.2 billion […] The post The Outdoor Recreation Economy appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Sports & Recreation Blog.

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Former NFL agent, Terry Watson, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of athlete-agent inducement for providing nearly $24,000 in cash to former UNC and current NFL players Robert Quinn, Marvin Austin, and Greg Little in 2010. Watson entered his plea deal on Monday, April 17, which concluded the more than three-year-old felony charges. The terms of his plea deal include 30 months of probation, a $5000 fine, and a suspended six to eight month jail sentence. A felony obstruction of justice charge for not providing records…

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Earlier this month, the New Mexico Court of Appeals issued a decision (Oakey v. May Maple Pharmacy, Inc.) that should be required reading for all lawyers involved in professional negligence cases. The lawsuit alleged that a pharmacy was negligent for … Continue reading →

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The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act requires states to negotiate in good faith with Indian tribes who seek to establish a gaming compact with the state, and sets forth procedures for the negotiation process, including mediation. Ultimately, if the parties are … Continue reading →

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I am reliably informed that the Tenth Circuit has denied the petition for rehearing en banc filed by a student who sued the University of New Mexico for First Amendment violations as a result of actions allegedly taken against her … Continue reading →

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Contributed by Beverly Alfon, April 24, 2017 When a change of ownership occurs for a business that employs individuals who are represented by an incumbent union, the new owner must be aware of the National Labor Relations Boards (NLRB) successor bar doctrine. It used to be that following a sale or a merger of a […]

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In Sentry Ins. v. Contl Cas. Co., 2017 IL App (1st) 161785, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District had occasion to consider whether a trial court properly entered a stay on an insurers declaratory judgment action when interpreting the … Continue reading →

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A recent Illinois case  highlights a dilemma that medical staffs often face when taking corrective action against peers, namely, whether and how to consider the physician's prior history as context for new concerns.  The case also reinforces the principle that the role of courts is typically limited to determining whether bylaws and due process are followed, rather than second guessing clinical judgments by peer review bodies. Briefly, Dr. Patrick Murphy was an interventional cardiologist who had held privileges at the hospital since 1994. His clinical privileges were summarily suspended following a discussion among peers earlier the same day regarding his…

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The importance of adding a visual component in the courtroom cannot be understated. Our research shows that comprehension and retention of trial themes is enhanced by the incorporation of effective visuals. Well-designed demonstratives can reinforce your case themes, reduce case ambiguities, and ensure consistency, coherence, and comprehension of your message. With so many variables, ideas, […] The post Trial Graphics: Top Six Ways to Get More Out of a Limited Budget appeared first on Litigation Insights.

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They say an elephant never forgets. The TTAB Perhaps not so much. At least when it comes to its prior findings of fame on the same marks in later proceedings. A finding of fame is an important factor when engaging in a likelihood of confusion analysis. As the TTAB has noted, [w]hen a prior users […] The post Fame is fleeting, especially for the TTAB. appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Fashion Blog.

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Contributed by Suzanne Newcomb, April 20, 2017 On April 13, 2017 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) set aside a vote defeating a union organizing campaign and ordered a new election because the workforce could have perceived managements statements as impermissible promises to provide benefits if they voted down the union (see full decision here). […]

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In November of 2016, the Federal Circuit upheld a district courts invalidation of Affinity Labs Patent No. 7,970,379 (the 379 Patent), which was directed to a method and system for streaming regional broadcast signals to cellular telephones located outside the region served by the regional broadcaster. Affinity had sued a variety of defendants, including DirecTV, […] The post Turns out: Alice is a Wonderland for Sports Fans and Digital Content Distributors.Go ALICE!!!! appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Sports & Recreation Blog.

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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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As though automotive suppliers haven’t seen their risk increase enough over the past few years, the introduction of driverless car tech threatens to add even more risk to the supplier plate for a number of reasons. 

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Posted by: Kelly A. Williams, shareholderat the Pittsburgh law firm of Picadio Sneath Miller & Norton, P.C. Ms. Williams may be contacted at kwilliams@psmn.com or 412-288-4005. Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, has said, You either know fashion or you … Continue reading →

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The standard of care governing every professional begins with the scope of the engagement. That may seem fairly obvious to those in the professional malpractice community but it is often misunderstood by laypeople. Isn't a CPA engaged to detect fraud Isn't a lawyer engaged to win my case One of the difficult aspects of defending a malpractice case is overcoming the lay perspective of the precise role of a professional. Often the defense of a professional can turn on whether the fact finder fully understands the distinct role of the professional in the limited context of the facts presented. Accordingly,…

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John E. Tull III, a Managing Member of Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC, was inducted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) at its 2017 Annual Meeting held in San Diego, California, April 5-9, 2017. The purpose of the IATL is to cultivate the science of jurisprudence, promote reforms in the... Read More The post John Tull Inducted Into International Academy of Trial Lawyers appeared first on Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull.

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Following the publication of "Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards" (April 2015), and The DOJ's report entitled "Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs" (February 2017), the HHS-OIG has issued a new publication: "Measuring Compliance Program Effectiveness: A Resource Guide." The Guide was published March 27, 2017, and is now posted on the OIG website.  The Guide was developed as part of a collaboration between OIG representatives and compliance officers convened at an HCCA-OIG Compliance Effectiveness Roundtable Meeting in January 2017. Although evaluating and measuring compliance program effectiveness is a long-standing expectation, there have been few regulatory resources to support evaluation…

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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+) On March 21, 2017, the US Supreme Court, in a 7-1 decision inSCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, … Continue reading →

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In Zahoruiko v. Fed. Ins. Co., No. 3:15-cv-474 (VLB), 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28204 (D. Conn. Feb. 28, 2017), the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut had occasion to consider whether an insureds late notice of a … Continue reading →

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As a corporate defendant, does it help or hurt to apologize for past conduct Does it show weakness Fault Honesty Sincerity Well, it all depends on the case. Just take a look at mock jurors very different reactions to two different defendants saying, Were sorry. Juror A: They have done nothing to address the problems […] The post Should My Client Say “I’m Sorry” appeared first on Litigation Insights.

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The long term care industry is known for high staff turnover, which can affect care. Often, staff separation can burden the available employees with extra duties or shifts. Residents bond with employees and mourn their separation. In response to this phenomenon, facilities and management companies have been encouraged to implement employee satisfaction surveys, which raise numerous red flags with employment law defense attorneys. Employers can use employee satisfaction surveys for a multitude of well-intentioned reasons: to make employees feel heard, to identify areas that need improvement, and to simply improve communication. A younger workforce that values their voice being heard,…

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Even with some economic uncertainty following the recent Presidential election, the United States (sometimes referred to herein as the "U.S.") remains an attractive candidate for foreign investment.  This is the first installment in a two-part series which provides a brief overview of some important considerations for foreign business people and foreign companies considering investment in the U.S. Formation of U.S. Limited Liability Entity Depending on the activities that your foreign company desires to undertake in the United States, the prudent course of action when considering foreign investment into the U.S. often involves organizing a U.S.-based subsidiary to house your business…

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Congress enacted new partnership audit rules as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the "Act").  As outlined further below, these new audit rules make it easier for the IRS to audit and assess tax on entities taxed as partnerships, including general partnerships, limited partnerships, and LLCs.  This article is the first of three articles describing the modified partnership audit rules.  The IRS issued proposed regulations implementing the provisions of the Act.  These proposed regulations were not published due to the regulatory freeze announced by the White House on January 20, 2017. Why the New Audit Rules for Partnerships…

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The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agenciesrecently published a notice regarding proposed changesto the Colorado Securities Act (the Proposal). This Proposal seeks to add two new rules to the Securities Act (Rule 51-4.8 and 51-4.14), each of which impose various cybersecurity requirements on broker-dealers and investment advisers, respectively. A redline showing the proposed amendments can be […] The post Colorado Proposes New Cybersecurity Regulations for Investment Advisors and Broker-Dealers appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Intellectual Property Blog.

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The Internet of Things (or IoT) is a hot topic in privacy circles, given its rapid expansion among everyday consumer products. Broadly referring to Internet-connected-devices, the IoT encompasses a variety of consumer goods, such as kitchen appliances (smart ovens and refrigerators), home security, window blinds, light bulbs, and lawn care equipment. Many personal devices are […] The post IoT Retailer Settles Privacy Class Action for $3.75M appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Intellectual Property Blog.

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As illustrated by a recent Federal Circuit Decision, the Courts may already be following the recent recommendations of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law (ABA), and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). A portion of the ABA March 25, 2017 recommendation states that with regard to Section 101, patent eligibility shall not […] The post The Federal Circuit Already Follows ABA and IPO Recommendations appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Intellectual Property Blog.

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E. B. (Chip) Chiles IV, a Managing Member of Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (AAAL) at the 2017 AAAL Spring Meeting held in Boston, Massachusetts, April 6-8, 2017. Since its founding in 1990, AAAL has committed itself to advancing the administration of justice... Read More The post Chip Chiles Inducted Into American Academy of Appellate Lawyers appeared first on Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull.

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College athletics, specifically the payment of student athletes and their right to control the exploitation of their likeness, has been the subject of significant debate over the last few years. On one side, you have the players who know that the colleges and leagues they play in make millions, if not billions in revenues off […] The post Copyright or Wrong: The Debate Over the Financial Benefits in Collegiate Sports is Not a Slam Dunk. appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Sports & Recreation Blog.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) were too slow in carrying out a corrective action plan agreed to as a part of the 2013 settlement in Jimmo v. Sebelius (now captioned Jimmo v. Price).  The defendant Department of Health and Human Services had agreed to conduct a nationwide educational campaign through CMS to communicate the correct maintenance coverage standard for skilled nursing facilities, home health and outpatient therapy services. As background, the plaintiffs in Jimmo alleged that the Department applied a standard by which claims were denied if the patient's condition was unlikely to improve, or in retrospect…

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Courtrooms new and old across the United States are being outfitted with some of the latest audiovisual equipment. Lots of time and money have been spent planning the best equipment to install, where to install it and how the judge will control it. With that said, the setup is often designed around the judges view […] The post Does Court-Provided Audiovisual Equipment Help or Hinder appeared first on Litigation Insights.

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In responding to rumors of his own demise, Mark Twain quipped, The report of my death was an exaggeration. While the 1897 rumors were premature, Mark Twain did eventually die on April 21, 1910. In similar fashion, the 2015 jury verdict of more than $79 million for an electric utilitys misuse of electric transmission line […] The post Appeals Court Throws-Out Utility Easement Damages Award For Now appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Energy Blog.

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Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC is pleased to welcome Kenneth N. Hallto the firms Northwest Arkansas office. Mr. Hall is Of Counsel to the firm and concentrates his practice on mergers and acquisitions, taxation, corporate transactions, estate planning, business formation, and real estate. In addition to providing tax and business planning advice in connection with... Read More The post Firm Welcomes Kenneth N. Hall to NWA Office appeared first on Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull.

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On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated opinion in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. At issue was whether the surface decorations on cheerleading uniforms are copyright eligible, even though the shape of the uniforms are useful articles, and not copyright eligible. This legal issue has particular significance to […] The post Fashion Faux Pas Copiers Beware! Supreme Court Strengthens Copyright Protection appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Fashion Blog.

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When startup founders get together to form a new company, one of the first steps after actually incorporating the entity is to issue the founders their initial equity in the company. This is commonly referred to as “founders stock.” Most initial cap tables target the issuance to founders of around 8 million shares, so that combined with a 2 million share option pool, the initial “fully diluted” capitalization is 10 million shares. That’s not a rule, but a common practice for a number of reasons that aren’t important for purposes of this article. What’s important is understanding that if two…

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On March 23, 2017, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from oil and natural gas production and storage facilities. The regulations, which focus on methane emissions, represent the most aggressive effort by any U.S. jurisdiction to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from oil and natural gas production. The regulations will apply to both new and existing oil and gas production facilities and are generally more stringent and broader than the federal requirements enacted by the outgoing Obama administration. Facilities covered by the rule will include: Oil and Gas Production, Processing, and Storage Gathering and…

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In an earlier post, we discussed the potential ownership models for autonomous vehicles, also known as driverless cars (AVs). Models range from true traditional ownership as we understand it today, to licensed-based models (vehicles owned by someone else but you can use them on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis), to service-based models (you do not own the vehicle, but you can call it when you want it, e.g. cab, Uber). In this post we will explore the data-intensiveness of autonomous vehicles, the impending data land grab, and who will own and control all of the data generated by AVs. An…

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The January 17, 2017 blog identified how the False Claims Act (FCA) can be used to secure significant recoveries by a statistical sampling method. Statistical sampling is applied when a whistleblower claims that Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement requests are fraudulent. The statistical sampling feature occurs when a few cases of reimbursements for either care not provided or care outside of the residents medical needs (the sampling) are applied to an entire skilled care chain. This method allows plaintiffs to avoid proving whether each case of fraudulent reimbursement is indeed fraudulent. Typically, the cases serving as the sample are the best…

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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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Good news for infrastructure, including mining projects! On March 21st, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources chaired by Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) held a hearing on infrastructure and discussed permitting timeline delays in the U.S. Notably, Gosar stated: Aggregates such as crushed stone, sand and gravel are the literal foundation of many of […] The post U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources Discusses Expedited Permitting for Mines appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Energy Blog.

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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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Californias Fourth Appellate District recently issued an interesting, but fact-specific, opinion regarding an arbitrators award in Emerald Aero, LLC v. Kaplan (2/28/17) 2017 DJDAR 1819. InEmerald Aero, the plaintiff investors sued the defendant for breach of fiduciary duty in connection with a self-storage investment gone awry. Plaintiffs sought compensatory damages and declaratory relief, but did … Continue reading CA Court Vacates Arbitration Decision Awarding Punitive Damages →

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Is your marketing department planning on hiring someone to take aerial photography using a drone There used to be no way to protect your business against the unknown risks of commercial drone use in an unregulated environment. That is no longer the case. There are a number of key contractual provisions that you should now […]

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The coming innovation of autonomous vehicles (i.e. self-driving cars) has been covered pretty widely in the news over the past 18-24 months. Not long ago, the reality of autonomous vehicles was unknown to most Americans. But it is now creeping into the consciousness of more and more Americans. As the certainty of this new technology approaches, it is becoming clearer that it will cause massive disruption in an area of American life that is intensely regulated at every level. If you think about it, the manufacture, distribution, sale, ownership, and operation of cars are all regulated by federal, state and…

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In the early days of commercial drone usesay two years agomost local government agencies took a prescriptive approach to done operation in their jurisdictions. Many cities and even State agencies adopted blanket prohibitions against drone useor at least against drone use in specified areas. Now agencies more and more are asking themselves whether such broad […]

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For just the second time in the past ten years, on December 14, 2016, the Federal Reserve increased its key interest rate by 0.25 percent, and it appears poised to do so several more times this year. Many are wondering if there are steps to be taken regarding their estate plans with respect to this and future increases in interest rates. Here are a few ways wealthy families can transfer money and take advantage of rates that are still historically low, while they last. Intrafamily loans.  When a parent loans money to his or her child, the tax code sets…

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Headline-grabbing cyber hacks of email accounts belonging to celebrities, corporations, government officials and political campaigns are becoming the norm. Cybersecurity intended to guard against these acts brings to mind high tech computer hardware and software fixes delivered by knowledgeable IT professionals, who are expected to prevent network intrusions, stolen passwords, viruses, ransomware attacks and other hacks. But the most recent notable cyber hacks were not caused by high tech espionage. Rather, they were the product of low tech social engineering the use of deception to manipulate users into divulging confidential passwords and other personal information. This kind of hack…

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A recent American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) report indicates that in 2015, wind surpassed hydroelectricity in U.S. installed capacity. The nations hydroelectric generating facilities had long been the largest source of renewable energy capacity. Thanks to the extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind generation resources through 2019 (with a gradual phase down […] The post Wind Reaches “High Water Mark” appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Energy Blog.

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Talent attraction and retention: it’s a concern that has kept auto execs up at night ever since the industry surged back from its crisis years. And with traditional automakers and new industry entrants from Silicon Valley battling for the cream of the crop in the technology and engineering spaces, the race to attract and retain talent has never been more important for the industry.  

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As the world knows, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch is being considered for the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Judge Gorsuch is a conservative jurist who has opined on federal agencies overstepping their mandates. That perspective may be very helpful to an over-regulated industry, such as long term care. In October 2016, the long term care industry saw the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) squeeze in a re-write of its regulations just before a change in administration. Some of those new regulations can be considered…

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California’s First District Court of Appeal issued an interesting new ruling that will affect contracts calling for another state’s laws to govern. In Rincon EV Realty LLC v. CP III Rincon Towers, Inc. (Cal. Ct. App., Jan. 31, 2017, No. A138463) 2017 WL 429267, the plaintiffs borrowed $110 million to finance the purchase of a … Continue reading CA Court Refuses To Enforce NY Choice-Of-Law Clause And Jury Waiver →

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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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As new Drone laws and regulations start coming into focus, the market for commercial drone insurance is also becoming more standardized and readily available. This is not surprisingand in some respects mirrors the development of auto insurance 125 years ago (the first auto insurance policies, written in the 1890s, were actually adaptation of horse-drawn vehicle […]

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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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Federal and state laws weave a complicated web of rules governing business calls to customers. The FCC's and FTC's broad interpretations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"), along with technological advances in telephone services, have led to increased litigation arising from autodialed calls and texts to wireless phones. The TCPA forbids using an automatic telephone dialing system ("ATDS") to call or text wireless phones unless the called party has given prior written consent. The FCC has adopted a broad definition for ATDS, potentially including any VoIP system or equipment that is connected to a computer. In fact, the FCC's…

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The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 ("DTSA") was signed into law and became effective May 11, 2016. The DTSA grants federal jurisdiction over private civil actions for the misappropriation of trade secrets and allows owners of trade secrets to choose either state courts under Nebraska common law or the Nebraska Trade Secrets Act, or in federal court under the DTSA. The DTSA is not retroactive and only applies to misappropriations that occur on or after May 11, 2016.  In general, in order to qualify as a "trade secret" the owner must have taken reasonable measures to keep such information…

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For H-1B nonimmigrant visas subject to the cap, April 1, 2016, is the first day on which the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept H-1B cap-subject petitions for foreign national professionals in specialty occupations. As April 1, 2017 is a Saturday, the first day of filing will be the following Monday. Cap-subject H-1B visas become available each year on October 1 and filings with USCIS can be made no sooner than six months in advance. For the last four years, the H-1B cap has been reached within the first few days of filing and numerous petitions have…

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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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For the third time in the past five years, a court has applied the DC anti-SLAPP statute to dismiss a defamation suit brought by a foreign official. First was the lawsuit filed by Yasser Abbas, the son of the Palestinian President, against Foreign Policy Group and one of its reporters, alleging that they defamed him by asking whether he was profiting from his fathers connections. After full briefing on the defendants anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss, the DC federal district court held that the defendants satisfied their burden of showing that the suit arose from an act in furtherance of…

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  A new set of requirements regarding contractor claims submitted on public works projects went in to effect on January 1, 2017. Public Contract Code section 9204 was adopted pursuant to AB 626, and will require most public agencies to revise their claims procedures. See the link below for a discussion of the new law.… Continue Reading The post New statute regarding public works claims appeared first on Infrastructure Law Blog.

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There have been numerous articles about thelong-awaited DC Court of Appeals opinion in Michael Manns libel suit against the National Review and Competitive Enterprise Institute, including in the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Inside Higher Education, andNational Review. While there is much to analyze, consider and discuss in the 105-page opinion, as it relates to the DC anti-SLAPP statute, there are three specific takeaways. First, the DC Court of Appeals held that the denial of an anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss is immediately appealable. As readers of this blog know, courts around the country have been wrestling with this issue. This part…

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Opposer, Fruit of the Loom, Inc., owns numerous trademark registrations for its FRUIT OF THE LOOM trademark for clothing, and specifically for underwear. Applicants filed a trademark application for BODY FRUIT for several clothing items, including undergarments. Opposer filed a Notice of Opposition and, not surprisingly, convinced the TTAB to sustain the opposition in […] The post FAME: Here today, not tomorrow. appeared first on Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie - Fashion Blog.

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Effective January 1, 2017, any franchisor that wants to offer SBA guaranteed financing for its franchisees will use a single, two-page form addendum. In a noticeissued just before Thanksgiving, the SBA announced that it will no longer review franchise agreements to determine whether affiliation exists between the franchisor and franchisee in any specific franchise system. Previously negotiated SBA addenda will no longer be accepted. SBA loans are only available to independent small businesses as defined in the SBA regulations. Some franchisors impose a level of control in the franchise agreements that the SBA considers to create affiliationbetween the franchisor and…

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The U.S. Copyright Office ("Office") has adopted an amendment to regulation 37 CFR 201 to modernize their system for registering designated copyright agents for notifications of claimed copyright infringement. As of December 1, 2016, the Office will no longer accept paper registrations, and electronic registrations will last three years. The good news: the fee has been significantly reduced from $105 to $6, and the new system should be easier and quicker to use than the current paper system. Registration is important because it gives "service providers" a safe harbor against liability for copyright infringement claims. Who Should RegisterCourts have…

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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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IntroductionSubrogation litigation is a very broad topic that encompasses many different practice areas. It is ultimately however a practice specialty unto itself. It includes innate complexities of subrogation law, but also requires the skills of a Plaintiffs attorney, and the knowledge of a specialist practicing in niche areas. These areas can range from fire litigation to workers compensation law. Complete mastery of subrogation requires the attorney to wear many hats, and requires the client seeking recoupment of their money to understand this dynamic. Subrogation BasicsAt its core, subrogation arises when a party who was obligated to a pay another party…

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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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From 1999 to 2008, a registered investment representative worked for Hantz Financial Services (Hantz). From 2000 to 2008, that same representative embezzled client funds. In March 2008, a client filed a FINRA arbitration demand against the representative and Hantz. The … 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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For Nevada brewers, the largest obstacle to profiting from their product is the frustrating inability to distribute it without the help of a commercial distributor. This frustration is compounded by the fact that it is counter-intuitive to the nature of brewing which often times can be a labor intensive and a grass-roots process. Many brewers would be more than willing to load up their trucks with kegs and sell the product themselves, but simply cannot in light of current Nevada law. Obtaining rights to a commercial distributor is not an easy answer either. It is a costly and often times…

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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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Whats a franchise Franchise registration and disclosure laws define a franchise more broadly than people generally realize. A company may be franchising without knowing it. The license agreement may have been drafted, for example, by an attorney who has limited knowledge about franchise law. Hence the popular topic (at least among franchise lawyers) of the inadvertent or accidental franchisor. A business owner who has run a successful test of licensing its business may decide that the next step is to set up a franchise system, not realizing that the test was already a franchise sold in violation of one or…

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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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Last month’s post was about Bailey v. FNMA, and the question of whether a mortgage company can pull a credit report on a mortgage borrower, even after the borrower has discharged his mortgage in bankruptcy. Soon after I wrote it, I heard from a lawyer in California who pointed out an issue that I hadn’t […]

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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 80 pounds/8 large boxes of various snacks, magazines, and personal hygiene items to be shipped to the firm’s long-time friend and vendor Sergeant Lee Fuller as a care package for him and his Nevada Army National Guard unit who were recently deployed to Kuwait. JoAnn Ozanic, an Administrative Assistant, who has worked closely with Lee over the course of her 26-year tenure with the firm, sought suggestions from Lee’s wife as to items most needed and appreciated by the troops.…

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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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Earlier today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") held a field hearing in Albuquerque, New Mexico on mandatory arbitration clauses found in the terms and conditions of several consumer financial products, including credits cards, bank accounts and prepaid cards. The CFPB released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM" or "Proposed Rule") on Arbitration clauses in advance of the Field Hearing, a copy of which can be found here. An initial review of the Proposed Rule reveals several provisions that will likely have a negative impact on the financial services industry. The Proposed Rule: Prohibits providers from using a pre-dispute arbitration…

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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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With the burst of transient occupancy arrangements, vacation rentals and renter occupied units/homes in common interest communities in recent years, community associations continue to scramble to figure out how best to handle them in light of their unique governing documents and communities . Add to that the increase in investor owned homes and condominium units and the residual effect of the prior economic downturn, the ever changing mortgage restrictions regarding percentage of owner-occupied condominium units in condominium communities, the “hang-over” from the proliferation of foreclosures in the past 7-8 years, and the lobbying efforts of the short-term occupancy proponents, and…

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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, . 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 to recycle it into natural cotton fiber, an environmentally-friendly insulation. In addition to helping the environment, the program claims the up cycled insulation has about a 30% better sound absorption than traditional fiberglass insulation. To date Blue Jean Go Green states it has recycled more than 600 tons…

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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 the subsidiary in Aruba, the guest returned home, and then filed suit in Nevada against the subsidiary’s parent company. She claimed the parent and subsidiary were alter egos, meaning the parent could be liable for the subsidiary’s negligence. and represented the resort parent company. They…

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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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Last month, the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in Bank of America v. Caulkett a case deciding whether homeowners can avoid underwater second mortgages through Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. The Court ultimately determined that a Chapter 7 debtor may not void a junior mortgage even when the debt owed on a senior mortgage exceeds the present value of the property. Section 506(d) of the Bankruptcy Code allows a debtor to void a lien on estate property to the extent it secures a claim against the debtor that is not "an allowed secured claim." In other words, …

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In another sign that the 2008 financial crisis is fading into memory, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has proposed changes likely to reduce deposit insurance premiums for most community banks. The FDICs proposal would revise the factors used to determine deposit insurance assessments so that banks with less than $10 billion in assets would pay higher premiums if they hold riskier assets than comparable banks. These contemplated improvements would allow assessments to better differentiate riskier banks from safer banks and allocate the costs of maintaining a strong Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) accordingly, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said in a…

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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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In Dolby v. Ziegler Tire & Supply Co., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 791 (Pa. Super. Feb. 28, 2017), a case that proceeded to trial solely on a strict-product-liability, failure-to-warn claim, the Superior Court recently affirmed an Allegheny County Court...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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April is National Safe Digging Month, reminding all contractors and homeowners to call 811 at least three business days before starting a digging project to ensure that all underground utility lines are properly marked and precautions are taken to...

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Jeffrey Ludwikowski on G+ Recently, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that a trial court's rationale for concluding that the wife of the property owner and a co-party to a construction contract is an indispensable party to a mechanics' lien...

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