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Eleventh Circuit Rejects Expert Challenge to Clinical Judgment Decision in Hospice False Claims Act Litigation
Dykema, September 2019

On September 9, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued an important decision for health care providers, especially those in the hospice industry. InU.S. v. AseraCare, Inc.,No.16-13004, Slip. Op. (11thCir. September 9, 2019), the Court held that a “reasonable disagreement between medical experts” about prognosis for a terminally ill patient, without more, cannot establish falsity. Slip. Op. at 3...

NLRB Issues New Decision Adopting 3 Part Test for Analyzing Bargaining Unit Scope Disputes
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

On Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its decision in The Boeing Company and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, adopting a three part test for determining whether a bargaining unit is appropriate under the analysis set forth in PCC Structurals, Inc., 365 NLRB 160 (2017)...

Court Upholds Plan Administrator's Interpretation in Recent ERISA Case
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

On August 16, 2019, the Ninth Circuit ruled in O'Rourke v. Northern California Electrical Workers Pension Plan, et al. that the board of trustees for an ERISA-covered multiemployer pension plan did not abuse its discretion by broadly interpreting the plan's ambiguous trade-based suspension of benefits provision to preclude a participant’s claim for early retirement benefits...

Recent Increase in IRS Enforcement of ACA Reporting Penalties
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

Recently, the IRS has intensified enforcement of information reporting compliance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Information reporting penalties apply in addition to any penalties assessed for failures to meet the employer shared responsibility provisions, known as the employer mandate...

Insurers Beware: California’s Notice-Prejudice Rule Is a “Fundamental Public Policy”
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

For those insurers that seek to circumvent California’s notice-prejudice rule, the California Supreme Court has just made that more difficult. In Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company, 845 F.3d 993 (9th Cir. 2017), the Ninth Circuit certified questions to the California Supreme Court, including: “Is California's common law notice-prejudice rule a fundamental public policy for the purpose of choice-of-law analysis?” (Pitzer College, 845 F.3d at 994...

Coping with COPA – New San Francisco Law Requires Owners of Certain Apartment Buildings to Offer to Sell to Nonprofits
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

The information in this article is based on new regulations issued by the City of San Francisco, and supersedes the article published in early June of this year.   San Francisco has recently enacted the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA), a law that provides San Francisco nonprofits with the right to purchase apartment buildings of three or more units before they are put on the market...

FMLA for School IEP Meetings
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

In an opinion letter issued Aug. 8, 2019, the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor (DOL) concluded an employee may take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to attend meetings to discuss the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) of the employee’s child with a qualifying serious health condition. BACKGROUND The employee has two children with qualifying serious health conditions under FMLA...

CalSavers State-Sponsored Retirement Plan Has Officially Launched
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

As of July 1, 2019, registration officially opened for CalSavers, California's new retirement savings program, formerly known as Secure Choice. CalSavers is a mandatory state-sponsored program for private sector and nonprofit workers whose employers do not offer a retirement plan. Under CalSavers, eligible employers with five or more employees must register with the California State Treasurer’s office as a participating employer in CalSavers...

New Regulations for Binding Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements with Long-Term Care Residents
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

In 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued regulations that prohibited long-term care facilities from entering into pre-dispute arbitration agreements with residents and their families. Shortly thereafter, those regulations were successfully challenged in federal court, and CMS has not attempted to enforce them. On July 18, 2019, CMS issued a final rule that will formally rescind the ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements with long-term care residents...

CalPERS Announces New Fees for Section 218 Agreements
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

CalPERS Announces New Administrative Fees for Section 218 Agreements The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), the California State Social Security Administrator (SSSA), announced in July that it will begin charging new administrative fees to public agencies for Section 218 Agreements to pay the cost of administering the SSSA program...

California Supreme Court Potentially Slows Down the Expansion of the Legal Cannabis Market
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

In Union of Medical Marijuana Patients v. City of San Diego, the California Supreme Court unanimously held that the City of San Diego failed to analyze the potential environmental impacts of its medical marijuana dispensary law. While the main issue in this case was the definition of a project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the ruling has important ramifications for the legal cannabis market as a whole...

Examining the ‘Good Faith’ Requirement of Light-Duty Job Offers
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, August 2019

The “good faith” requirement of a light-duty offer was just examined by the 10th District Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court with a somewhat surprising result.  Light-duty job offers can be a good way for employers to minimize the payment of temporary total disability compensation and bring injured workers back to the workforce.  However, these job offers must conform to very specific requirements under the Ohio Administrative Code...

USTR Announces List 4 Tariffs on $300B Imports from China While Continuing to Accept Exclusion Requests for List 3 Tariffs
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, August 2019

The U.S.-China trade dispute escalated yet again as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced a fourth round of tariffs of 10 percent on an estimated $300 billion of goods imported from China not already subject to Section 301 tariffs.  At the same time, the USTR continues to accept List 3 exclusion requests and is working to complete review of List 1 and List 2 exclusion requests. 1. USTR Announces Section 301 Tariffs on $300B of U.S...

NCUA Issues New Guidance to Credit Unions Which Permits Hemp Banking
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, August 2019

On August 19, 2019, the chairman of the National Credit Union Association issued a letter with guidance to all credit unions.  Prior to August 19, hemp businesses had difficulty locating banks or other entities that would permit them to conduct normal merchant banking activities. That issue has, in part, been addressed by this letter of guidance. Questions remain, however, regarding many merchant services and whether FinCEN will issue a similar guidance...

First False Claims Act Settlement Over Flawed Cybersecurity Could Be a Harbinger of the Future
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, August 2019

In what appears to be a first under the False Claims Act, a case based on flawed cybersecurity has been settled, for nearly $9 million. On July 31, 2019, the Attorney General of New York announced that, alongside the U.S. Department of Justice, New York, eighteen other states, and the District of Columbia have reached an $8.6 million settlement with Cisco Systems, Inc. (“Cisco”) over sales of surveillance video software allegedly vulnerable to hacking...

NLRB Addresses Several Issues Involving Mandatory Arbitration Agreements Following Supreme Court Opinion in Epic Systems
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, August 2019

On August 14, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its Supplemental Decision, Order, and Notice to Show Cause in Cordúa Restaurants, Inc. and Steven Ramirez Rogelio Morales and Shearone Lewis, 368 NLRB No. 43 (2019). The decision resolves several important issues of first impression involving mandatory arbitration agreements following the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 84 U.S. __, 138 S.Ct. 1612 (2018)...

New Timing Requirements for Certain California Eviction Actions Take Effect September 1
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

On September 1, 2019, AB2342 and its new timing requirements for issuing certain eviction notices and for answering eviction lawsuits go into effect in California. AB2343 amends California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 1161(2) and (3) regarding 3-day notices to pay or quit and 3-day notices based on neglect or failure to perform other conditions or covenants of the lease or agreement...

The IRS is Coming for Your Cryptocurrency
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

Over the summer of 2019, the IRS significantly increased its efforts to police the taxation of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other similar cryptocurrencies. On July 26, 2019, the IRS announced that it had begun sending letters to taxpayers who potentially failed to pay cryptocurrency taxes associated with digital currency transactions or failed to properly report those transactions. By the end of August, the IRS anticipates that it will have sent over 10,000 letters to taxpayers...

Bureau of Cannabis Control Publishes New Distributor Fact Sheets
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

The Bureau of Cannabis Control recently published two new fact sheets on its website as a resource for industry stakeholders, licensees, and the general public. The facts sheet help everyone better understand the different responsibilities of the cannabis distributor (Type 11) and the cannabis distributor transport only (Type 13) licensee by providing a list of required procedures and guidelines for various distribution activities...

New Illinois Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation Heavily Impacts Employer Procedures
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, August 2019

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed comprehensive legislation on Aug. 9 aimed to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. This omnibus legislation, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, imposes significant new responsibilities on employers. Workplace Transparency Act One of the new laws created in this legislation is the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA)...

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Enjoins EEOC Guidance on use of Criminal History in Employment Decisions
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, August 2019

On August 6, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a panel opinion in the case of Texas v. EEOC at al., Case No. 18-10638 (5th Cir. August 6, 2019), that looks to significantly impact the way employers may choose to treat employees or applicants with criminal backgrounds. Background In April 2012, the EEOC issued “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII” (Guidance)...

The QOZ Clock is Ticking
Dykema, August 2019

As the first of several deadlines under the Qualified Opportunity Zone (“QOZ”) program rapidly approaches, investors still on the sidelines are discovering that time is running out on the ability to take advantage of the full suite of tax benefits under the program. December 31, 2019 marks the last day in which investors may roll over capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Funds (“QOF”) and obtain a 15% reduction in the amount of the deferred gain...

Employers May Offer Two New Types of Health Reimbursement Arrangements in 2020
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2019

Under final rules issued last month, employers can offer two new types of health reimbursement arrangements or HRAs: individual coverage HRAs ("ICHRAs") and excepted benefit HRAs ("EBHRAs"). HRAs are self-funded, account based plans that reimburse employees for qualified medical expenses on a tax-free basis. The final rules apply for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2020. While the rules are complex, the new ICHRAs and EBHRAs offer new planning opportunities for employers...

Chicago Adopts “Fair Work Week Ordinance”
Dykema, July 2019

Expansive Law Aimed at Predictive Scheduling for Workers, Limiting Employers’ Ability to Unilaterally Change Work Hours On July 24, 2019, the City of Chicago enacted the “Fair Work Week Ordinance,” requiring that many businesses provide workers with up to two-weeks advance notice of their work hours and schedules...

Ohio Lawmakers Decriminalize Hemp, Hemp Products
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

Legislation Aligns State and Federal Laws On July 17, 2019, Ohio lawmakers passed Senate Bill (S.B.) No. 57, which decriminalizes hemp and creates licensure programs for those wanting to cultivate or process hemp and hemp byproducts.  Ohio was one of the few states that did not update its statutes to align with federal regulations following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp as a controlled substance at the federal level...

Now that Many States Have Legalized Hemp and/or Marijuana, How You Can Comply with Labeling and Packaging Requirements?
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

For nearly the last 20 years, states have been legalizing hemp growth, production, and products.[1]  While hemp remained illegal federally and was included in the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substance Act, numerous states began exploring the validity of hemp as a viable product.  Marijuana legislation was not far behind...

Illinois Municipalities Begin Debate on Recreational Cannabis Businesses
Dykema, July 2019

With the State of Illinois’ recent legalization of recreational cannabis, municipalities have started to debate whether to “opt in” to allow such businesses. While municipalities cannot prohibit the use of recreational cannabis, they can decide whether recreational cannabis businesses are allowed to operate within their boundaries. Local officials are just starting to consider the pros and cons of recreational cannabis businesses in their communities...

Lawsuit Filed to Stop August 1 Effective Date of San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Dykema, July 2019

UPDATE III: Judge Agrees to Delay San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance At a hearing this morning, Judge Sol Casseb entered the Agreed Order submitted by attorneys for the City and the businesses that filed suit regarding their agreement to delay the effective date of the PSL ordinance from August 1 to December 1...

Use It Or Lose It: Supreme Court of Ohio Delivers Victory to Construction Contractors by Declaring All Claims Subject to Statute of Repose
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

On July 17, 2019, the Ohio Supreme Court resolved any doubt regarding the scope of Ohio’s construction statute of repose (R.C. 2305.131) and with it, delivered a clear victory to construction contractors in Ohio. In New Riegel Local School District Board of Education vs. Buehrer Group Architecture and Engineering, Inc., et al...

Ohio Department of Commerce to Conduct Public Hearing on Proposed Amendments to Medical Marijuana Rules
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

On July 23, 2019, the Ohio Department of Commerce will conduct a public hearing regarding proposed amendments to several Medical Marijuana Control Program rules. The Medical Marijuana Control Program allows individuals with specified medical conditions, upon the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician, to purchase and use medical marijuana. The rules govern the activities of medical marijuana cultivators, processors, and testing laboratories...

USPTO to Require U.S. Counsel for Foreign-Domiciled Trademark Owners Effective Aug 3. Foreign Applicants & Registrants should take steps to ensure compliance.
Dykema, July 2019

On July 2, 2019, the PTO announced it will implement a rule requiring U.S. counsel for foreign-domiciled trademark applicants and registrants. The new rule is effective August 3, 2019, and applies to all trademark owners with a foreign address. We discussed the rule in ourFebruary Alert. For any new filings after the effective date, licensed U.S. counsel must be designated...

Lawsuit Filed to Stop August 1 Effective Date of San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Dykema, July 2019

Effective August 1, employers with more than five employees working in the City of San Antonio must provide to all such employees paid sick leave (“PSL”) of up to 64 hours per year (for employers with more than 15 employees) or 48 hours (for employers with 15 or fewer employees) for a variety of reasons related to themselves or family members; employers with five or fewer employees are not required to comply with the PSL ordinance until August 1, 2021...

California Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court and Confirms Insurer's Duty to Defend Additional-Insured General Contractor, Despite Seemingly Broad Exclusion
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2019

Last month, a California appellate court reversed the trial court and ruled that a subcontractor's insurer had a duty to defend an additional-insured general contractor in underlying construction-defect litigation. In McMillin Homes Construction, Inc. v. National Fire & Marine Insurance Company (2019) 35 Cal.App.5th 1042, a general contractor was an additional insured under a commercial general liability policy issued to its roofing subcontractor...

Governor Newsom Signs AB 97 to Extend Provisional Licenses and Add Enforcement and Organic Certification to California Cannabis Market
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2019

On July 1, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 97 with the intent to reduce the illicit cannabis market by bringing more people into the legal marketplace and to ensure that persons most harmed by cannabis criminalization be offered assistance to enter into the billion-dollar cannabis industry. Below is a summary of the most important aspects of AB 97...

Health Care Fraud and Abuse Enforcement Overview 2018
Waller, July 2019

--> The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently released the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program Annual Report. The 2018 Reporthighlighted key enforcement areas and policy considerations. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 established a national Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program (the Program) under the direction of the Attorney General and the Secretary of HHS...

California Expands Legal Definition of Beer
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

California Assembly Bill No. 205 was approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom on July 9, 2019. Assembly Member Tom Daly, who represents California’s 69th district of Orange County cities Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Garden Grove, introduced AB-205 to expand the definition of “beer” under Business & Professions Code §23006, which is part of the Alcohol Beverage Control Act. The new law is set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020...

What the Changes to CFIUS Mean for Foreign Investment
Lowenstein Sandler LLP, July 2019

CFIUS is a U.S. federal interagency committee (“Committee”). The Committee reviews and approves foreign direct investment in U.S.-based businesses. Investment is restricted if it impairs national security. Under the new Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA), what the Committee considers to be “national security” has recently changed to include emerging and critical technologies and sensitive personal data...

Two Bites at the Same Apple—Supreme Court Rules Defendants Can Be Prosecuted by Federal and State Governments for the Same Crime
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

On June 17, the Supreme Court declined to overturn the Dual Sovereign Doctrine, maintaining individuals may be prosecuted under both federal and state law for the same criminal conduct. The Court’s decision was a loss for Petitioner Terance Martez Gamble, who had been prosecuted twice for illegal possession of a firearm, first in state court and then in federal court. In 2008, Gamble pleaded guilty to felony robbery in the state of Alabama...

Protecting Your Brand and Trademarks in the Cannabis Space Following the 2018 Farm Bill
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

As seen on Law360: The 2018 Farm Bill[1] relaxed restrictions covering hemp-based cannabis products, and it is causing a shift in business strategies in the industry. Instead of a full prohibition of trademark registrations covering cannabis goods or services, a narrow range of filings is now permitted, so long as they conform to the requirements of the Farm Bill and the latest USPTO guidelines...

Uncertainty Abounds Despite Clean Water Act Update
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

Last month marked the 50-year anniversary of one of the more infamous and impactful environmental disasters to occur in the United States. On June 22, 1969, the Cuyahoga River, which runs through the heart of Cleveland before emptying into Lake Erie, caught fire for the 13th time. Time magazine ran a story that highlighted the river’s severe pollution...

SEC Clarifies Federal Fiduciary Duties of Investment Advisers
Lowenstein Sandler LLP, July 2019

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) recently sought to clarify its position on federal fiduciary duties of investment advisers with an interpretation.1The interpretation emphasized how client sophistication and the scope of an advisory relationship affect the fiduciary duties owed to particular clients.Determine Scope of RelationshipAll advisers owe fiduciary duties under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the Advisers Act)...

PA Board of Pharmacy Issues Compounding Regulations
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

After nine years of deliberation, the Pennsylvania Board of Pharmacy (Board) issued final regulations (effective June 22, 2019) setting new standards for pharmacist compounding of drug products.  While the final regulations are substantially less onerous than as originally proposed, the regulations represent the Board’s commitment to ensuring compounding is performed in a safe and reliable manner in Pennsylvania...

Supreme Court Rejects State Residency Requirements for Alcohol Retail Licenses
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

The Twenty-first Amendment—which repealed Prohibition—gives states broad authority to regulate alcohol within their borders. But can states impose residency requirements on alcohol retail licensees? The U.S. Supreme Court, by a vote of seven to two in Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Ass’n v. Thomas, answered no. As state alcohol regulators adjust their licensing processes to comply with the ruling, retailers and wholesalers may see changes in the alcohol market...

Kaestner: States Cannot Tax Trusts Based Solely on Residency of Beneficiaries
Dykema, July 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court recently released its opinion inNorth Carolina Department of Revenue v. Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust, largely vindicating the understanding of most estate planners: A state cannot tax the income of a trust where the only connection to the state is the presence of the trust’s discretionary beneficiary. Facts inKaestner The facts inKaestner, in brief, are as follows...

Skilled Nursing Facilities No Longer Permitted to Bill for Room and Board for Residents Receiving Hospice Care
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, June 2019

Beginning July 1, 2019, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) is requiring all Ohio managed care plans to make room and board payments directly to hospice providers when hospice services are provided to individuals residing at skilled nursing facilities (SNF)...

Michigan Opens the Door for Expanded Solar Development on Farmland
Dykema, June 2019

On Monday, June 3, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced MDARD’s decision to allow for commercial solar energy development on land currently enrolled in the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, commonly known as PA 116. PA 116 was established in 1975 and is designed to preserve farmland and open space in Michigan...

Do You Know What the Capital Gains Rate Will Be in 2026?
Dykema, June 2019

Among the many benefits of investing in a qualified opportunity fund (QOF) is the deferral of tax on current capital gains. Specifically, if an amount equivalent to a current capital gain is invested in a QOF within 180 days of the realization event, the tax generally will not come due until the earlier of the year in which the QOF investment is disposed of or 2026...

USTR Announces List 3 Exclusion Request Process and Other US-China Trade Developments
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, June 2019

There have been several significant U.S.-China trade developments in June.  Notably, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued procedures for seeking an exclusion for parties adversely affected by the increased 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion of goods imported from China that came into effect on May 10, 2019 (List 3).  The USTR also extended by two weeks the entry deadline to avoid this increased List 3 25 percent tariff...

Scandal in the Supreme Court: SCOTUS Rules Immorality No Bar to Trademark Registration
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, June 2019

Four years ago, trademark owners who sought to register brands considered “immoral,” “scandalous,” or “disparage[ing]” would have, under a prohibition in 15 U.S.C. §1052(a), received a firm rejection from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Under this regime, brand owners seeking to register, for example, holy figures in connection with alcohol or creatively named rooster-shaped lollipops, were out of luck. (See, e.g...

"Hanley vs Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment LLC Putting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act on Ice" by Kevin Brown in Sports Law Expert
Waller, June 2019

The sports world is under attack again for its text marketing tactics directed to consumers. This time the target is Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment, LLC, the owner of the National Hockey League team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. In a federal class action lawsuit filed in March 2019 (Bryan Hanley vs. Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment LLC, Case No. 8:19-CV-550-CEH-CPT (M.D...

 

 

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