Monthly Archives: August 2011

Florida Unemployment Compensation Law Has Become More “Employer Friendly”

Arnstein & Lehr attorney E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

On June 27, 2001, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new law implementing several significant reforms to the Florida Unemployment Compensation Program. The new law is meant to save the state money, reduce taxes on employers and help get Floridians back to work. Among other reforms, the definition of “misconduct” under the new law has been expanded making it easier for employers to successfully defend unemployment insurance benefit claims. Specifically, under the new law, misconduct is defined as “any action that demonstrates conscious disregard of an employer’s interests and is found to be a deliberate disregard or violation of reasonable standards of behavior” and may include activities that do not occur at the workplace or during working hours. Therefore, this broader definition not only extends misconduct to activities that occur outside of the workplace, it also includes such events such as chronic absenteeism and tardiness, which may not have been deemed misconduct under the old definition.

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Hanging

My property litigation partner, Alison Mould, has raised an interesting point. She tells me that permission may be required for attaching art to surfaces in premises that are let to the occupant.  Substantial works will require substantial hangings.  Anything more than the odd drawing pin may involve interacting with the fabric of the building and require a landlord’s licence to alter.  Licences can take two or three months to obtain and so, if anticipating an exhibition or gallery, this is something that will need to be factored into the timetable.
There’s good reason for landlords to be concerned.  One of our construction litigation partners, Frances Alderson, has a case where a building owner innocently hung several heavily framed paintings on a wall.  What he failed to check was whether the wall had been designed to take either the weight of the pictures or the movement in the wall caused by the weight.  In the event, the movement caused cracks, giving rise to a dispute as to who was to blame – the owner, the architect or the builders.
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Arnstein & Lehr’s Tampa team secures quick result for financial institution client

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Robin S. Trupp

Robin S. Trupp

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Brian R. Cummings

Brian R. Cummings

Arnstein & Lehr Tampa Partner Robin Trupp and Associate Brian Cummings secured a speedy result from Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal for Partner Ron Cohn’s financial institution client. A mere eight days after oral argument, the appellate court affirmed a Final Judgment of Foreclosure, which included the involuntary dismissal at trial of multiple lender-liability claims against the client that the trial court later deemed frivolous. Mr. Trupp handled oral argument while Mr. Cummings drafted the brief. They intend to employ the same division of labor in a second appeal spawned by the same case: review of a Final Judgment in favor of the Bank for $270,000 in attorney’s fees against both the borrowers and their attorneys. They hope to secure the same speedy result the second time around, providing finality for a client that endured four years of litigation and appeals after filing a garden-variety commercial foreclosure action.

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Cystic Fibrosis Foundation names Andrea Cox among the 40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers of Miami-Dade County

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Andrea Cox

Andrea Cox

Andrea Cox, a litigation partner in Arnstein & Lehr’s Miami office, has been named among the “40 Under 40″ outstanding lawyers of Miami-Dade County by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF).

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s “40 Under 40″ honors the rising stars of Miami-Dade County for their commitment to improving the community and for their dedication to providing outstanding legal service. Ms. Cox and the other recipients will be honored at the CFF benefit dinner on November 5.

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Randall Sidlosca interviewed for article on the Spanish-language Web site Terra on how September 11 has changed the U.S.

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Randall L. Sidlosca

Randall L. Sidlosca

Arnstein & Lehr Miami Partner Randall L. Sidlosca was recently interviewed for an article that appears on the Spanish-language Web site Terra. The article focuses on how U.S. citizens now view ourselves and also how the world views us post 9/11. It also discusses the inter-agency cooperation that has developed after 9/11 as well as the increased security at the airports and the border crossings. The author goes on to state that Americans for the first time in history feel vulnerable to terrorist attacks. The article then reviews how this vulnerability has impacted the way we view ourselves.

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HIPAA audits are coming: The time to prepare is now

Hospitals, physician practices, and other healthcare entities have long been subject to a variety of sometimes random audits. For example, IRS audits, payer audits by Medicare or private insurance companies, state Workers’ Compensation audits, federal Department of Labor audits can occur. To this list will shortly be added HIPAA audits. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that it has retained a contractor to begin doing random audits for HIPAA compliance in 2012. In June KPMG, LLP was awarded a $9.2 million contract to administer the audits. The audits are presently scheduled to commence prior to the end of 2011, with the first audit phase scheduled to end by December 31, 2012.

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HHS Publishes Health Insurance Premium Rate Review Final Rule Effective September 1st and List of States with Effective Rate Review Programs

EBG Introduces Interactive National Rate Review Scorecard

by Jesse M. Caplan and Lynn Shapiro Snyder

On May 23, 2011, the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its Final Rule implementing Section 2794 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA).  This Section requires HHS to establish a process for the review of “unreasonable” health insurance premium rate increases in the individual and small group markets.  The Final Rule remains largely unchanged from the Proposed Rule, with important exceptions.  The Final Rule, and the key changes, are summarized in this Client Alert.

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Arnstein & Lehr’s Chicago office welcomes Partner Paul Diamond

Arnstein & Lehr LLP is pleased to announce that Paul R. Diamond has joined our Chicago office as a partner practicing real estate, banking, business, and land use law. Prior to joining Arnstein & Lehr, Paul worked in the Chicago office of Wildman Harrold.

For more than twenty-five years, Mr. Diamond has concentrated his practice on corporate real estate representation, with an emphasis on handling all aspects of real estate holdings for U.S. and foreign-based multinational corporations. He has advised his clients on the development of industrial real estate, acquisitions, dispositions, leasing and subleasing, dispute resolution, and environmental remediation. In addition, he has significant experience representing clients in real estate-related aspects of mergers & acquisitions transactions and has negotiated a variety of national master services agreements for brokerage services and environmental remediation services. While Mr. Diamond typically serves as sole counsel for a client’s real estate matters, he is often introduced into problematic situations that local counsel find impossible to resolve, such as the disposition of environmentally contaminated properties.

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TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE represented Valeant in acquiring Sanitas AB

TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE represented Valeant in acquiring Sanitas AB

19.08.2011

Eugenija SutkienėMarius MatonisDeimantė KorsakaitėVidmantas DrizgaDr. Lina Darulienė

TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE represented the buyer Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. in acquiring Sanitas AB – the largest transaction in Lithuania this year.

TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE (attorneys at law Eugenija Sutkienė, Marius Matonis, Deimantė Korsakaitė and other lawyers) represented Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. in signing the agreement on the acquisition of 87.2% of shares in Sanitas AB, a branded generic pharmaceutical company. 

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NLRB GC outlines federal protections for employee social media activity

Report addresses what employers can and can’t do when an employee goes all @normarae

By George AsimouVictor Geraci and Todd Sarver

The Office of General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a sprawling Report of the General Counsel (“Report”) on the interaction of employee social media activity and the National Labor Relations Act yesterday.   The Report summarizes the Office of General Counsel’s findings in a wide array of cases submitted for its review and provides some useful guidance for employers grappling with employee social media activity.  As a reminder, the NLRB has jurisdiction over union and non-union workplaces.

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