On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun, thereby obscuring the sun from Earths view and creating a shadow on Earths surface below. While a partial solar eclipse … Continue reading "The Eclipse Will Test Utilities Solar Grid Integration" The post The Eclipse Will Test Utilities Solar Grid Integration appeared first on The Energy & Natural Resources Blog.

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On August 15, 2017, Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. filed a lawsuit against Easton Diamond Sports LLC arguing that Easton ripped off Rawlings popular 5150 brand of bats with a new S150 line that Easton planned to release pursuant to a recent equipment rule change. Starting January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball has banned the use of all 2 inch barrel baseball bats constructed with composite material in the barrel, unless approved. Little League bats will now be governed by the BBCOR bat standard…

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Opening a rock climbing gym can be a huge, but inspiring endeavor. Designing walls and flooring and engaging contractors to perform the build out. Selecting holds, ropes, shoes, belaying equipment, and crash pads, and then contracting with various manufacturers and industry players for this equipment. These are the many decisions and hurdles a climbing start-up … Continue reading "Know the Hurdles Before Building a Rock Climbing Gym or Other Facility" The post Know the Hurdles Before Building a Rock Climbing Gym or Other Facility appeared first on The Sports & Outdoor Recreation Blog.

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I regret to report that former Justice Daniel A. Sisk, who served on the New Mexico Supreme Court in 1970, has passed away. Mr. Sisk was also a “name” partner at my law firm. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity … Continue reading →

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Contributed by Beverly Alfon, August 17, 2017 Much has been written and discussed about the National Labor Relations Boards (NLRB) attack on handbook policies over the past several years. The NLRB has found what many consider to be run-of-the-mill, standard policies that have, for many years, raised no issues or controversy, to be violative of […]

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Last Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit revived a California man’s lawsuit accusing Spokeo, Inc. of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA regulates any consumer reporting agency that furnishes a consumer report, and those terms are broadly defined to include operators such as Spokeo. The lawsuit arose when … Continue reading "Court Breathes Life Into Lawsuit Over Inaccurate Online Data" The post Court Breathes Life Into Lawsuit Over Inaccurate Online Data appeared first on The Intellectual Property Blog.

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In July 2015, the Washington Wild Things (Frontier League) filed suit in U.S. District Court over MKE Sports and Entertainments lease at Kokomo Municipal Stadium for the Kokomo Jackrabbits (Prospect League) claiming damages over the loss of the market after months of negotiations. Wild Things owner, Stuart A. Williams, has claimed damages because the Prospect League, through allegedly unlawful actions by MKE Sports and Entertainment head Mike Zimmerman, landed Kokomo, thus denying a Frontier League franchise that would have generated $50,000 in expansion fees. They…

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Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC is pleased to announce that 16 lawyers have been included in the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America,universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in Americalist are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise and divided by geographic... Read More The post 16 QG&T Attorneys Named to 2018 Best Lawyers List appeared first on Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull.

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In its recent decision in Farbstein v. Westport Ins. Corp., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125990 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 9, 2017), the United States District Court for the District of Florida had occasion to consider the application of a prior knowledge … Continue reading →

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In February 2016, Solid Oak Sketches sued 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive Software claiming that it owned the copyrights to tattoos on several NBA stars, including Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Eric Beldsoe. The tattoo designers sought actual damages, statutory damages and attorneys fees, but in August 2016, a New York federal judge ruled out the latter two. U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain stated in order to obtain statutory damages and attorneys fees, a plaintiff must have registered its copyright prior to the alleged…

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Marijuana laws are evolving in the US. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and has no accepted medical use under federal law. However, 29 states and Washington, D.C. have passed laws that decriminalized medical or recreational marijuana use. Nonetheless, many employers have longstanding zero tolerance drug use policies. The question remains, how should employers reconcile their internal policies with the laws requiring employers to accommodate employees with certain medical conditions The answer is hazy.

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The United States Department of Justice (DOL) has made an about face and now takes the position that class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable. The change in position from the Trump Administrations DOJ has gained national headlines. The Courts of Appeal are split on the enforceability of these waivers, while the National Labor Relations Board maintains they are unenforceable. The Obama-era DOJ agreed with the National Labor Relations Boards position that such waivers are unenforceable because they infringe on employees collective bargaining rights. The current DOJ, acting in accordance with the executive branchs policy shift as a result…

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With the new Trump administration and Republican control of Congress, there has been a lot of discussion about eliminating the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a different set of rules. Legislation has passed the House but not the Senate, and it appears that legislative changes are going to be much slower than anticipated. However, there are many other changes to the ACA that do not require legislation. Here are a few of those changes: Rulemaking about coverage for contraception: There have been several lawsuits about the requirement to provide contraceptive coverage if the employer is a religious organization…

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A motor vehicle passenger lacked standing to challenge a search of his own backpack, said the Michigan Court of Appeals in People v Mead, No. 32788. When the driver consents to a search of the vehicle, that includes a container inside the vehicle.  It is irrelevant whether the officer reasonably believes the driver has common authority over the container in order to justify the search.

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Michigan’s Sentencing Guidelines are clear, said the Court of Appeals: defendants may do more time, even when acquitted of the crime. In People v. Jackson, No. 332307, the Michigan Court of Appeals reviewed the trial court’s scoring of Offense Variables (OV) 1, 2, and 13. First, a trial court should look at whether the underlying offense for an “attempt” conviction, in this case resisting and obstructing a police officer, is a felony to determine if defendant’s past attempt convictions were “felonious criminal activity” under OV 13.  Second, OVs 1 and 2 are properly scored for use of a weapon, even…

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Contributed by Michael Wong, August 10, 2017 The recent instances of violence in the workplace remind us of the complex task facingemployers. Employers must maintain a safe work environment for employees while operating within the parameters of the many federal and state laws that may protect certain employee conduct. More importantly, because an employer has […]

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The long-awaited day is finally at hand! On Monday, August 21, e-filing begins at the New Mexico Court of Appeals. It may be a coincidence that this is the date of the total solar eclipse, but then again, it may … Continue reading →

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The decision by Judge Gilstrap in the Eastern District of Texas, in Raytheon Company v. Cray, Inc., has generated much discussion and misleading commentary. Judge Gilstrap denied Crays Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue, as follows: The Federal Circuit resolved competing authorities on the issue of an established place of … Continue reading "Problematic or Prophetic" The post Problematic or Prophetic appeared first on The Intellectual Property Blog.

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Contributed by Peter Henry, August 8, 2017 The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have withdrawn the proposed rulemaking aimed at identifying and treating obstructive sleep apnea in workers in safety sensitive positions. The withdrawal, officially published on August 8, 2017, states that both agencies believe the programs currently […]

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Yes, you heard correctly!  Just when employers were getting used to the January 2017 version, the USCIS released another revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.  For now, employers may use this revised version or continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of November 14, 2016 through September 17, 2017.  However, starting on September 18, 2017, employers must use the new version, which a revision date of 7/17/17N.  In anticipation of the switch to the new version, the USCIS has removed the prior version from its website.  So what has changed  Very little The Form itself is essentially…

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The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an Iowa agricultural products company could not enforce a noncompete agreement against one of its independent contractors as it was unreasonable. Ag Spectrum Co. v. Elder, __ F.3d__,  2017 WL 3271303, at *1 (8th Cir. Aug. 2, 2017).   Vaughn Elder ("Elder") became a sales representative for Ag Spectrum, an Iowa business selling fertilizer, nutrients, and crop-management services.  Five years later, in 2005, he became an independent contractor of Ag Spectrum serving as an Area Manager. He committed to sell only Ag Spectrum product in exchange for a one percent "loyalty…

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A lot has happened (and in some cases, not happened) this summer related to the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, so let's get caught up! DOL Overtime Regulations Update: What We Know and What We Don't Since November, we've been waiting for final resolution regarding the DOL's revised white collar overtime regulations.  For those of you who have blocked this topic from your mind, the new rule, amongst other changes, more than doubled the required minimum salary level for employees exempt from overtime, from $455 per week to $913 (or $23,660 annually to $47,476).  If you recall, days…

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Many business deals begin with a handshake or a quiet conversation. Corporate America is filled with side deals and compromise and promises. Often, these arrangements are perfectly acceptable. But, the intersection between business and politics is a different animal; there are strict regulations regarding governmental contracts and bids and proposals. Transparency is key. Attorneys engaged by governmental contractors must be careful.The recent indictment of a Pennsylvania mayor and an outside attorney in what is being alleged as a pay-to-play scheme is a reminder of the fine line attorneys must walk. In addition to the target-attorney being named, the indictment is…

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Pursuant to the timelines set forth in Assembly Bill 405, NV Energy has recently filed new tariffs that affect Nevadas net metering (NEM) and full requirement customers. Passed by the Nevada Legislature in June 2017 and supported by the rooftop solar industry, Assembly Bill 405 is the latest manifestation of Nevadas policy to support rooftop … Continue reading "NV Energys Latest Net Metering Filing Offers a Cost-Based Solution to the Distributed Generation Industry" The post NV Energys Latest Net Metering Filing Offers a Cost-Based Solution to the Distributed Generation Industry appeared first on The Energy & Natural Resources Blog.

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Is a single racial slur by an employees supervisor enough to create a hostile work environment under 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 The answer is yes according to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Castleberry v. STI Group, No. 16-3131 (3d Cir. July 14, 2017). In Castleberry, two African American males were employed as general laborers. They claimed that while working on a fence-removal project, their supervisor threatened to fire them if they n[****]r-rigged the fence. The incident was confirmed by their coworkers and reported thereafter by the employees to a superior. Two weeks…

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Last June, I wrote about the non-party subpoena served on the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss the CEI filed in response. In that post, I mentioned an earlier case where subpoenas were served on two non-parties in the District of Columbia; they responded by filing anti-SLAPP motions to dismiss; the Superior Court denied those motions; and the movants appealed the denial to the Court of Appeals, which stayed the case until resolution of the then-pending Mann appeal. The Court of Appeals has now disposed of that appeal. First, a quick summary. In June 2014, two DC-based…

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California defamation law continues to evolve as the courts synthesize well-settled legal principles with ever-changing technological realities. On July 21, 2017, California’s First District Court of Appeal issued a published opinion in ZL Technologies v. Does 1-7 (July 21, 2017) 2017 DJ DAR 6999. In its opinion, the Court amplified existing defamation law as it relates to Internet postings and imposed new hurdles on the ability of parties to ascertain the identities of people who post defamatory statements on the Internet. It is unlawful for an individual to damage a company by saying or writing something about it that is materially false.…

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The sentencing guidelines statute indicates that offense variable 4 (“OV 4”) should be scored 10 points where “[s]erious psychological injury requiring professional treatment occurred to the victim.” MCL 777.34(1)(a). In People v Wellman, No. 332429, the Court of Appeals held that a score of 10 points under OV 4 may be appropriate whether or not the victim has undergone psychological treatment. A victim’s statements about psychological injury and other actions demonstrating psychological injury support a score of 10 points for OV 4.  

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In the May 23, 2017 decision in the case of Computer Support Services (d/b/a Cyzap) v. Vaccination Services (d/b/a TotalWellness), the Nebraska Court of Appeals considered whether a liquidated damages provision in a contract was enforceable.  In this case, an IT vendor called Cyzap had entered into an arrangement with TotalWellness to provide it with IT services.  At the beginning of the parties' relationship in 2000, there was no written contract between the parties.  In 2002, the parties entered into a more structured arrangement which included a partnership to develop a web-based online scheduling service, with Cyzap providing the IT…

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On July 13, 2017, CMS issued the 2018 Proposed Rules governing the outpatient prospective payment system and ambulatory surgery prospective payment system.  The Proposed Rules include a number of proposed policy changes which are subject to comment until September 11, 2017.  A final rule is expected to be published on or about November 1, 2017. In addition to the usual rate updates, the Proposed Rule includes: Supervision of OP Therapeutic Services A key policy proposal to reinstate non-enforcement of the direct supervision requirement for outpatient therapeutic services performed in critical access hospitals and small rural hospital having fewer than 100 beds.…

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Whenever a hospital medical staff makes a decision that adversely affects a member's privileges, it needs to determine whether to report the decision to the National Practitioner Data Bank ("NPDB").  Those decisions can be surprisingly complex, as a recent Federal case highlights, and may depend on the wording of the staff decision.  Careful drafting accordingly is an important element in managing the legal risks that arise from restriction or denial of a member's privileges. In Walker v. Memorial Health System of East Texas (E.D. Tex. 2017), the Court enjoined a hospital against reporting to the NPDB a limitation on a…

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Federal civil rights actions are somewhat unique in that they allow the prevailing party to be granted reasonable attorneys fees. An employer on the wrong side of a decision or verdict could leave it paying (a) damages; (b) its attorney's fees and (c) its adversary's attorney's fees. But what are reasonable attorney fees In Sommerfield v. City of Chicago, the Seventh Circuit shed some light on this important question.

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In my career, I have never seen jurors give a witness in a mock trial as low an evaluation score (1.3 out of 7) as one witness we encountered named Tim. In fact, one of my fellow consultants on the project confessed, I once worked on a case that involved [an accused] child molester. The […] The post What Should I Do When My Witness Wants to Outsmart Opposing Counsel appeared first on Litigation Insights.

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Medical Cannabis approvals in the City have been the subject of intense negotiations, hearings, and appeals in the last two months. First, our law firm assisted the Apothecarium - Sunset (an additional location in the Sunset District for the medical cannabis dispensary called The Apothecarium currently near the Castro), in obtaining an approval at the Planning Commission. The 5-1 approval followed the appearance of almost 700 opponents and a ten hour hearing that had some disturbances in which the Sheriff’s office had to intervene. The Board of Supervisors is likely to hear an appeal of that approval in early September. On July…

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Joseph R. Falasco, Michael B. Heister, Joseph W. Price II,Everett C. (Clarke) Tucker IV, and R. Ryan Youngerhave been named to the Benchmark Litigation 2017 Under 40 Hot List. The practitioners on the list, all aged 40 or younger, have been deemed by peers and clients to be the most promising emerging talent in their... Read More The post Five QG&T Attorneys named to Under 40 Hot List appeared first on Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull.

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This is the second of a three-part overview of the new partnership audit rules codified in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the "Act") that will take effect January 1, 2018.  In Part 1, we provided an overview of the new partnership audit rules. In this Part, we describe the mechanics of the single most important change imposed by the new partnership audit rulesthe ability of the IRS to assess and collect tax at the entity level rather than at the partner level.  We also describe a special election that the partnership can make to "push out" tax liability to…

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In its recent decision in National Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Town of Norwood, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116638 (D. Mass. July 26, 2017), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts had occasion to consider the scope … Continue reading →

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The Court of Appeals, in State v. Platero, has overturned a trial court order dismissing a vehicular homicide charge before trial because the State did not plan to offer any expert testimony that the rollover car crash at issue killed … Continue reading →

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We previously reported on recent efforts to rescind the Obama Administration’s rule amending the Clean Water Act’s “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) definition. This followed, as we also reported, the Sixth Circuit’s nationwide stay of the Obama Administration’s WOTUS rule. As an update on these efforts, the Supreme Court just announced it will hear oral argument on October 11, 2017 regarding the Sixth Circuit’s nationwide stay. On appeal is the issue of whether district or circuit courts have jurisdiction to hear challenges to WOTUS rulemaking. The WOTUS rule’s merits are not otherwise at issue. The matter is entitled National Association of Manufacturers v.…

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In its recent decision in Mt. Hawley Ins. Co. v. MESA Med. Grp., PLLC, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111949 (E.D. Ky. July 19, 2017), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky had occasion to address a … 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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July 2017 by Daniel J. Beck | After the passage of the “The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016,” I wrote an article in The Arkansas Banker that addressed the risks associated with providing banking services to marijuana related businesses (“MRBs”). Because of such risks, a majority of financial institutions will refuse to offer banking... Read More The post How to Bank Marijuana Related Businesses appeared first on Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull.

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While a variety of factors are up in the air duringtrial that can boost costs,that wont stop most clients from asking counsel to forecast their budgets. Its a reasonable request, but not always an easy one to fulfill. When it comes to outsidecosts, trial graphics and on-site trial support are two areas where budgets are […] The post 8 Tips For Preparing On-Site Trial Support Budgets appeared first on Litigation Insights.

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Earlier this year, Google subsidiary Waymo, LLC filed suit against Uber in federal court in California, alleging that Uber misappropriated trade secrets related to Waymo’s self-driving vehicle technology. The facts, as alleged by Waymo, are fairly juicy (as far as legal cases go) and they implicate a plethora of legal issues beyond just trade secret misappropriation. 

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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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In January, I wrote about the DC Court of Appeals then-recent Mann decision, and specifically about the Courts response to the DC Circuits Abbas decision, which held that the DC anti-SLAPP statute could not apply in a federal court diversity case: According to the Mann court, part of the Abbas courts reasoning was that the burden imposed by the DC anti-SLAPP statute was materially different from the burden imposed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. The Mann court now expressly holds that the burdens are the same, and then states that [t]his courts interpretation of the standard applicable to the…

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News over the weekend that a South Carolina prisoner who recently escaped from jail (and was just recaptured) managed his escape by way of a drone. Convicted kidnapper James Causey arranged for delivery of the tools he needed for his escape via drone–including guns, wirecutters, fake ID, and cash. The California legislature has twice tried […]

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According to The Denver Post, Colorado has succeeded in its efforts to capture the summer and winter Outdoor Retailer trade shows a huge boon to Denver, the host city of the trade shows starting in 2018, and underscoring the importance of the outdoor recreation economy overall and to Colorado in particular: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/05/outdoor-retailer-trade-shows-denver-confirmed/. The trade … Continue reading "Outdoor Retailer Announces Move to Denver" The post Outdoor Retailer Announces Move to Denver appeared first on The Sports & Outdoor Recreation Blog.

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Now more than ever, information is at our fingertips. While the benefits of this are many, one potential downside has become apparent in the legal system. The law assures defendants the right to an impartial jury. However, the sheer amount of information available through the rapidly expanding use of technology means that jurors are increasingly […] The post Bill Cosby and Jury Bias: Can Jurors Recognize Their Own Biases appeared first on Litigation Insights.

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On June 28, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017 (Act). The purpose is essentially to engage in federal tort reform to lower recoveries against health care providers. The Act applies to liability claims about diagnosis, assessment, prevention or treatments for disease or impairment rendered by health care providers and provided, in whole or in part, through federal programs, subsidies or tax benefits. The Act places no limits on the economic recovery (monetary losses) and limits noneconomic damages (pain, suffering, anguish, disfigurement, etc.) to $250,000, regardless of the number of parties or…

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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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The distribution of on-highway motorcycles and powersport vehicles, such as off-highway motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, and PWCs (Personal Water Craft) is regulated by various franchise state laws. These laws address a range of issue in the franchise relationship. For example, termination, cancellation, or nonrenewal of the dealership; relocations; and limitation on a dealers power to transfer … Continue reading "The Road Ahead: Recent Amendments to the Colorado Vehicle and Powersports Franchise Laws" The post The Road Ahead: Recent Amendments to the Colorado Vehicle and Powersports Franchise Laws appeared first on The Sports & Outdoor Recreation Blog.

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That is a question answered in the precedential trademark opposition proceeding of Boston Athletic Association v. Velocity, LLC. The Boston Athletic Association or (“BAA” for short) is the organizer and operator of the well-known Boston Marathon race, held every year on the third Monday in April since 1897. The BAA has organized the event every … Continue reading "How to run away with a trademark someone else has been using for 120 years." The post How to run away with a trademark someone else has been using for 120 years. appeared first on The Fashion Intellectual Property Blog.

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Impossible, simply impossible. A common and candid response to the question of whether we can go a day without checking our social media. This simple response embodies the world we live in and the power that social media has over our personal lives. Social media is equally important in the corporate world. Companies ranging from … Continue reading "Aim For Viral, But First, Legal" The post Aim For Viral, But First, Legal appeared first on The Intellectual Property Blog.

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After some time without any legislative action, two pieces of federal legislation are being floated.Most recently, on June 23, 2017 Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced legislation that, in addition to providing modest funding for a number of drone-related initiatives, would essentially overturn the recent court decision that held the FAA exceeded its statutory authority when […]

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Over the last several months, the United States Supreme Court has issued a number of opinions that have broad implications to the automotive industry, particularly on the eve of commercial launches of autonomous vehicles. These opinions cover obscure legal issues from forum shopping for the purpose of taking advantage of Texas “Rocket Docket” to whether accused patent infringers can assert a defense of laches.

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Nieves & Nieves LLC sought to register the word mark ROYAL KATE for a number of fashion products, including cosmetics, jewelry, handbags, bedding, and clothing. The application included a statement that the mark does not identify a particular living individual. In the precedential opinion in In re Nieves & Nieves LLC, the Trademark Trial and … Continue reading "A nickname for a celebrity can be as good as his/her real name, regardless of whether the celebrity uses the trademark themselves" The post A nickname for a celebrity can be as good as his/her real name, regardless of whether the celebrity…

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Anyone who follows this blog knows that I am an advocate for arbitration agreements because of the benefits they offer parties to a dispute. They can streamline dispute resolution, reduce costs of resolution, make the process more predictable because the parties control the terms, and allow for confidentiality, all while allowing the complainant to have his or her day in court. The availability of arbitration was initially jeopardized by the November 28, 2016 regulations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), with its eleventh hour attempt to pass regulations prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration agreements in the skilled care setting.…

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Owners, operators, pedestrians and even suppliers, beware! Tesla’s CEO recently announced that Tesla is going to skip traditional prototype testing and go straight to production in order to make a September deadline to provide “production vehicles” to the nearly 300,000 beta-testers (I mean, purchasers) of this new vehicle.  

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Last year, I noted that several judges around the country were expressing concern that state anti-SLAPP statutes were being applied to cases that did not appear intended to chill legitimate speech. For example, a Texas state appellate judge, in a section of his concurring opinion titled The Elephant In the Room, lamented the breadth of the Texas anti-SLAPP statute and that it was being used to dismiss suits that were not actual Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation: while the TCPA might indeed capture some legal actions that are truly SLAPPs as conventionally understood, the vastness of the range of legal…

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Wetlands in front of the Lincoln Memorial, 1917, before construction of the reflecting pool On February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order directing EPA to review the Waters of the United States Rule (the WOTUS Rule). Exec. Order No. 13778, 82 Fed. Reg. 12497 (Feb. 28, 2017). The order directed EPA and the … Continue reading "Trump Administration Working to Repeal and Replace the Clean Water Rule" The post Trump Administration Working to Repeal and Replace the Clean Water Rule appeared first on The Energy & Natural Resources Blog.

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This is the second 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 United States. Employees In connection with organizing your business structure in the U.S., U.S. Visa requirements should be a consideration early in the planning process.  Depending on whether your key employees will be U.S. or foreign nationals, this could affect the organization and structure of your U.S. Entity.   With respect to employees, it is advisable to have written employment contracts with key employees, such as executives, officers and other key…

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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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This third blog on the False Claims Act is a wakeup call to long term care facilities and management companies (LTCs) in their training and employment practices. It is well-known that LTCs have high employee turnover and difficulty finding applicants, especially for certified nursing assistants (CNAs). In response, many LTCs operate in-house training programs to cultivate a pool of qualified CNAs for hiring. Heres the rub: LTCs can be sued under the False Claims Act (FCA) for providing services through unqualified or underqualified employees and seeking reimbursement for those services. In the U.S. Supreme Courts Universal Health Services, Inc. v.…

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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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Since its original adoption in 1982, Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Regulation D, Rule 504 has been limited in amount to the issuance of no more than $1 million in securities in a 12-month period. Effective January 20, 2017, the SEC increased the maximum offering amount to $5 million in a 12-month period.  Rule 504 has been referred to by the SEC as the "seed capital" exemption, designed to aid small businesses raising their initial seed capital.  Rule 504 has been used, for example, by start-up companies in the company's initial round of "friends and family" capital raising, since it…

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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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According to the 2014 Census data, more than 4.4 million Americans work as drivers. Will autonomous vehicles kill most of these driver required jobs With the growth and advancement in autonomous vehicle technologies, many Americans are in danger of losing their job or taking significant cuts in their income because a new and convenient technology is taking their place. Autonomous vehicles are expected to reduce labor cost, fuel cost and accidents. The potential savings will outweigh the human cost, especially as companies fight for profit margins. While companies plot to save money in the future through using this new tech…

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These are two of the questions the TTAB sought to answer in the proceeding of Under Armour, Inc. v. Evade, LLC. In this proceeding, Under Armour sought to cancel Evades trademark registration to its word mark EVADE OFFSHORE ARMOR and oppose Evades trademark application for the word mark EVADE OUTDOOR ARMOR, with all accusations being … Continue reading "Can the marks EVADE OFFSHORE ARMOR and EVADE OUTDOOR ARMOR cause a likelihood of confusion with the mark ARMOUR" The post Can the marks EVADE OFFSHORE ARMOR and EVADE OUTDOOR ARMOR cause a likelihood of confusion with the mark ARMOUR appeared first…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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, 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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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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To prevail on a strict product liability claim under Pennsylvania law, a plaintiff must prove the product at issue is defective, the defect existed when the product left defendant's hands, and the defect caused the harm. A product may be...

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The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently affirmed an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County entering a judgment against American Honda Motor Co., Inc. ("Honda") on a jury verdict of $55,325,714 in a personal injury action. American...

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In a strict product liability claim, compliance with government regulations and industry standards can be powerful evidence for the defense. Such evidence traditionally has been inadmissible under Pennsylvania law based on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision in Lewis v....

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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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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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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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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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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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