Week of December 2, 2013 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

Happy Friday!

We’re back to our routine here, after being away for the ILN’s Regional Meeting of the Americas in Miami, and then off for the US’s Thanksgiving holiday!

We’ve had some great content coming through ILNToday this week, so without further ado, here are this week’s top posts!

  • “First Kill All The Lawyers” – Obama’s Persuader Rules Target Employer’s Right to Counsel from Epstein Becker & Green: No, this is not a post about killing lawyers, but instead a focus on employment law – according to the introduction of the post, “The Proposed Rule is designed to give unions both an organizing and bargaining advantage by significantly restricting the right and ability of employers to obtain legal counsel and lawfully communicate with employees about labor matters.”
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DOL Announces that Whistleblower Complaints Can Be Filed On-Line

The Department of Labor (DOL) announced yesterday that whistleblowers covered by any one of 22 statutes administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – which includes whistleblower retaliation complaints under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) — can now file complaints online.  Section 806 of SOX affords protection to employees who have allegedly suffered an adverse action because they complained, externally or even just to their supervisor, that the company has committed a violation of various fraud statutes (frauds and swindles, wire fraud, bank fraud, securities and commodities fraud), or a violation of any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or any provision of Federal law relating to fraud against shareholders.   The online form, which is up and running, provides employees an additional and, for many, easier way to file a retaliation complaint to commence OSHA’s investigative process.   Previously, employees had to mail a complaint, or visit or call an OSHA office.  But the speed, efficiency and familiarity of the Internet creates the possibility that some employees who might not otherwise have filed complaints may now do so.  This new accessibility to the enforcement agency mirrors the ease with which employees can provide tips regarding wrongdoing and apply for bounty awards to the SEC or Commodity Futures Trading Commission under the Dodd-Frank Act, which can also be done on-line.

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ILN Today Post

HOMS News 2013

It is with great pleasure for me to introduce another issue of HOMS News. There is a lot happening and this issue will give you a flavour of that.

While the business environment is still extremely difficult it appears that the economy is improving. We see significant activity within the banking sector who are coming to terms with their difficulties. While this will cause pain for many it is essential to get the economy moving again. The pace of activity has picked up considerably in Dublin and there are hopes that the rest of the country will follow. More…

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ILN Today Post

Avoiding rates!

In the early 1990s recession we called a tenant “someone who paid the rates”. They clearly couldn’t afford the rent, but often met their rates liability. In the last few years rates, again, have become a key issue, particularly where premises become vacant following the termination of a lease via insolvency action or otherwise.

Liability for rates falls upon the person who is entitled to occupation. If a property is not let, then that is the owner. Landlords have, therefore, found themselves with substantial rates liabilities. More…

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ILN Today Post

Livin’ in a land down under

There has been a growing trend in London to construct basements as a means of extending properties. Bearing in mind that land values in the capital remain high (and are rising still higher), add to the mix the historic character of certain boroughs which limits the scope to extend houses above ground, it is understandable that the number of applications for basement extensions has soared in recent years. For instance, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea the number of planning applications with a basement element increased from 46 registered cases in 2001 to 307 last year.  More…

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ILN Today Post

The Eurozone – a new direction for rescue arrangements?

Over the past three years, the EU has sought to respond to the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis in a number of ways. In terms of financial support, it has established various funds, culminating in the European Stability Mechanism. It has also strengthened the Stability and Growth Pact, and Eurozone members have signed a Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance. It is fair to say that these measures have tended to follow the crisis, rather than to prevent it. More…

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The United Kingdom’s Take on Self-Regulation

They had the Beatles, we’ve got the Eagles. They have Big Ben, we have the Washington Monument. There are endless comparisons to make between British institutions and those born in the United States, and things are no different the advertising field. Today, we’re talking specifically about advertising industry self-regulation, which both the United States and United Kingdom got serious about in the latter half of the twentieth century. In 1962, the United Kingdom advertising industry established its Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which adjudicates claims of non-compliance with the British Code of Advertising Practice. Nine years later, the National Advertising Review Council – now known as the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) – was formed in the United States.

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Supreme Court gives ruling in international child custody case

The UK’s Supreme Court has recently given its ruling in a long-running international child custody dispute that has seen the child in question move back and forth between the USA and UK.

The case involved a child, K, who was born in 2006 in Texas and is a United States citizen. His father is also a US citizen; his mother came to the UK from Ghana as a very young child and she has indefinite leave to remain in the UK. They married in Texas in December 2005 and lived together there.

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McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: This Week in Washington — December 6, 2013

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who chair the budget super committee set up as a result of the deal to end the government shutdown, are optimistic a deal can be reached on spending levels through 2015.

While the long sought “grand bargain” appears to once again be out of reach, Murray and Ryan are close on a smaller deal, and even a smaller deal would be a positive step considering the gridlock in Washington these days.

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Ohio Statehouse Update: This Week in Ohio — December 6, 2013

Efforts to pass Senate Bill 58, controversial legislation to alter Ohio’s energy efficiency and renewable portfolio standards out of the Senate Public Utilities Committee, was delayed for a second time this week. Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), the bill’s sponsor and chair of the committee considering the bill, had scheduled acceptance of a substitute bill and a vote on the measure prior to announcing cancellation of the committee.

The committee has heard lengthy testimony for several months on the measure. Proponents of the bill, including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, argue the legislation is needed to prevent future hikes in electricity costs for businesses and consumers. Opponents claim the bill will effectively gut the current clean energy law and result in a hand out for utilities—the bill allows utilities to retain a greater percentage of savings resulting from energy efficiency programs than current practice permits.

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