Legal Updates

Rise of ‘DIY justice’ as funding cuts hit CPS

A version of this article was published in the Evening Standard.

Private prosecutions are again in the headlines. Recently a 20 year old university student went to extreme lengths by purchasing specially adapted sunglasses to record the actions of his harasser. Using the evidence gleaned, he then brought a private prosecution which resulted in the defendant pleading guilty and spending a day in jail. More…

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Commencement of KAFTA nears together with reductions in general TCF duty rates

There has been movement on a couple of different fronts which will deliver reductions in duty.

Commencement of KAFTA

Over time I have provided updates on the progress of the Korea – Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) including summaries of the KAFTA and the implications for industry in various CBFCA CPD presentations.  More recently I have been involved with submissions to the JSCOT review of KAFTA and 2 separate Senate Inquiries into the KAFTA, which also included appearing before a Hearing of one of those Inquiries. More…

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Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Deadline Extended to November 30, 2014

Still not able to meet meaningful use this year? CMS recently announced that it has reopened submission and extended the deadline for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to submit a hardship exception application for not demonstrating “Meaningful Use” of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). The CMS hardship application can be found here. Under the HITECH […]

The post Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Deadline Extended to November 30, 2014 appeared first on OMW Health Law.

For more information please visit or click on the headline above.

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McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: This Week in Washington — October 24, 2014

This week, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released a memo that highlights some of the House GOP’s agenda for 2015.

Not surprisingly, the memo focuses on House Republicans’ efforts to reign in what they see as an out of control federal government:

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Business Restructuring Alert: Don’t make the $1.5 billion mistake

In what is many times considered a ministerial task, the careful preparation and review of UCC-3 termination statements in transactions between debtors and lenders should not be taken lightly.  Secured creditors and their professionals would be wise to make sure that the identification of security interests to be terminated in any filing is completely accurate, and does not include security interests not intended to be released. Neglecting to carefully review UCC-3 termination statements could have a disastrous affect, as illustrated by the recent decision of the Delaware Supreme Court, which effectively converted a $1.5 billion dollar secured loan to an unsecured loan.

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Indberetning til SKAT om omstruktureringer

Digitaliseringen af dialog med forskellige offentlige myndigheder foregår i ”højeste gear”. Med virkning fra 1. november 2014 skal alle borgere sørge for, at det offentlige kan korrespondere med dem på digital måde, medmindre man særskilt har indgået anden aftale.

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Appeal Court Rejects Shoplifter’s Argument that Trial Lawyer was Incompetent

In a recent decision [Hordyski v. Her Majesty the Queen 2014 SKCA 102], the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from a convicted shoplifter who argued that his trial lawyer had been incompetent. 
The evidence against Mr. Hordyski was not complicated.  He had been observed on a CCTV camera by a store’s loss prevention officer shoplifting merchandise.  At the time, he was with his young son and a woman, Pearl Peters, who was the mother of his son, in the household goods area of the store.  Ms. Peters left her shopping basket with Mr. Hordyski and left the area. 
The CCTV camera footage showed Mr. Hordyski removing the price tag from a soft shell lunch bag and then transferring items from Ms. Peters’ shopping basket into the lunch bag.  Mr. Hordyski then picked up his son, concealed the lunch bag between the two of them and walked towards the store exit.  He paused by the cashiers to look around before walking past them and out of the store with the items.  The loss prevention officer confronted Mr. Hordyski outside the store where he was arrested for theft.  The value of the stolen items totalled approximately $220.
At trial, the Crown called the loss prevention officer and the investigating police officer.  Both witnesses were thoroughly cross-examined by Mr. Hordyski’s lawyer.  Mr. Hordyski was the only witness called for the defence.  His defence was that he did not have the necessary intent to commit the offence of theft under $5,000 because his reason for leaving the store was to look for Ms. Peters so she could take their son to the bathroom. 
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Need for Home Health Companies Pro-Active Advocacy with State Medicaid Agencies

By Clifford E. Barnes and Marshall E. Jackson, Jr.

Recent enforcements in home health fraud have highlighted the need for home health companies of every state to engage the State Medicaid payment agency in pro-active affirmative discussion to work together to identify issues related to fraud and abuse.  Such discussions will provide home health companies further insight regarding compliance with federal and state fraud and abuse laws. That being said, recent enforcement actions have shown that home health companies may be liable under fraud and abuse laws, despite efforts to comply with such laws.  

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Bare Trusts: are they the ‘next big thing’?

The third consultation on Inheritance Tax (IHT) charges for trusts assumes that every individual will have only one settlement nil rate band (SNRB) to put against the periodic charges to IHT of all trusts created in lifetime, or on death, by that individual.  (For more on the new SNRB, see my blog post of 19 June 2014.)
As the SNRB does not renew itself every seven years, the well advised will soon begin to realise that the SNRB is a precious commodity that needs to be preserved and carefully allocated.
The SNRB only needs to be allocated among ‘settlements’ though.  As it seems that Bare Trusts are not settlements for IHT purposes, if the SNRB does come into effect, there will be no need to allocate any SNRB to Bare Trusts.  So, are Bare Trusts about to become all the rage, if you have young children or grandchildren to plan for?  You can save your SNRB to allocate against your other trusts/will trusts instead! 
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Employee Benefits: The IRS announces new retirement plan limitations for 2015

On October 23, 2014, the IRS announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for the Tax Year 2015. Many of the limitations have changed from the limits that are in place for 2014.

Below are the 2015 plan limitations:

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