Legal Updates

OIG’s Report Highlights Enforcement Successes in 2014

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently published its Semiannual Report to the U.S. Congress. This Report summarizes the OIG’s enforcement activities from March, 2013 to September, 2013. The Report highlights the OIG’s significant efforts in the enforcement of fraud and abuse laws.  For fiscal year (FY) 2013, the OIG is expecting total recoveries of […]
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How Environmental Lawyers Can Avoid Getting Sued For Legal Malpractice?

No matter how conscientious, environmental lawyers, like other attorneys, are regularly sued for legal malpractice.  It is not difficult to imagine some of the dicey situations where the environmental practitioner may fall prey to such claims:

(1) a municipality sues its lawyer after the municipality defaults on its bonds because of an unforeseen environmental problem that prevented the subject property from being developed. The lawyer is accused of not having described the risks inherent in the property’s development and for not conducting a proper environmental investigation;

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Appointment and Powers of Auditors

The recently enacted Companies Act, 2013 (yet to be notified) has imposed new requirements with regard to appointment of auditors and exercise of powers and compliances by the auditors. Some of the new requirements include:

Ø Tenure of appointment: 5 (five) years, subject to ratification at every annual general meeting.

Ø Existing auditors to continue tenure if no auditor appointment in annual general meeting.

Ø The Audit Committee, if any, of the company will make recommendations for appointment of auditors.

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How You Draft A Liability Disclaimer Really Matters

Contract negotiations involving limitations on liability and disclaimers of damages for breach of contract and tort claims can have significant ramifications for the contracting parties if the business relationship falls apart and litigation results. Under New York law, how the parties negotiate the allocation of risk of loss is enormously important.

This lesson was brought home in a noteworthy New York Court of Appeals decision in Abacus Federal Savings Bank v. ADT Security Services, Inc. et al., 18 N.Y.3d 675, 944 N.Y.S.2d 443 (N.Y. 2012). In that case, Abacus Federal Savings Bank (“Abacus”) brought an action against two firms that provide security services, ADT Security Services (“ADT”) and Diebold, Inc. (“Diebold”) to recover damages under tort and contract theories for losses incurred during a burglary at the bank.

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CPSC Regulatory Issues Often Impact Product Liability

Regulatory enforcement by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (“CPSC”) is on the upswing. As product liability litigation and regulatory activities often become entwined, it is all the more important to appreciate the interconnection between litigation and regulatory compliance.  In a personal injury action, defending a product that has been subjected to the harsh glare of regulatory scrutiny can be challenging.

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Healthcare Alert: Pennsylvania joins Florida in certain new prohibitions for laboratories

Pennsylvania recently enacted a new law, which, among other things, prohibits clinical laboratories, both in state and out-of-state, from leasing or renting space, shelves, equipment, or other services from healthcare providers in order to set up a collection station in the practitioner’s office. The new law also prohibits clinical laboratories from providing personnel to perform services in a Pennsylvania healthcare provider’s office for any reason. While the law does not expressly apply to anatomic laboratories, it is anticipated that based on the definition of a clinical laboratory, which refers to microscopical tests and the use of specialized apparatuses, it will equally apply to anatomic laboratories as well.

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Healthcare Alert: Pennsylvania joins Florida in certain new prohibitions for laboratories

Pennsylvania recently enacted a new law, which, among other things, prohibits clinical laboratories, both in state and out-of-state, from leasing or renting space, shelves, equipment, or other services from healthcare providers in order to set up a collection station in the practitioner’s office. The new law also prohibits clinical laboratories from providing personnel to perform services in a Pennsylvania healthcare provider’s office for any reason. While the law does not expressly apply to anatomic laboratories, it is anticipated that based on the definition of a clinical laboratory, which refers to microscopical tests and the use of specialized apparatuses, it will equally apply to anatomic laboratories as well.

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FTC Cracks Down On "Greenwashing"

Law 360 reported recently that that the FTC is taking decisive action against companies that make deceptive environmental marketing claims. “Greenwashing” involves misleading consumers concerning the environmental benefits of a product or service. In an earlier article, we discussed the “Six Sins of Greenwashing.”

If you do not have the time or inclination to review the FTC’s newly revised (October 2012) Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (the “Green Guides”), a review of the “Six Sins of Greenwashing” will tell you almost all you need to know to stay out of trouble with the FTC. 

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Not in My Backyard: Bringing Claims Against Employees In the Corporate HQ’s Home State May Not Be as Easy As You Think

By Nancy L. Gunzenhauser and Ian Carleton Schaefer

How can an employee of a national employer not “work” where her employer works?  How can such an employee not be subject to suit in the corporation’s backyard?

According to a recent New Jersey state court decision, a technology consultant for a New Jersey corporation who worked in Illinois and provided no services to New Jersey based clients could not be subject to suit in New Jersey. This decision is instructive for technology companies with a significant national workforce (particularly if they leverage remote/agile workers) in how to structure the employment relationship to gain home-field advantage in litigation.

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Stark Law Donation Exception Extended to 2021

Beating the deadline by mere days, CMS and the OIG released their final rules related to the Stark Law exception/Anti-Kickback safe harbor for EHR donation arrangements.  The new rules extend the donation arrangement exception until December 31, 2021. Specifically, this final rule extends the expiration date of the exception to December 31, 2021, excludes laboratory […]
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