D.C. Circuit: Private Settlement Unenforceable Because Plaintiffs Did Not Know They Were Entitled to Overtime

In Sarceno v. Choi, the defendants operated a supermarket in Washington D.C.  Three of the defendants had previously been sued by different employees in a proposed collective action (“the Munoz suit”) under the FLSA and other statutes.

The Munoz suit was resolved through settlement decrees approved by the District Court.

At approximately the same time they were settling the Munoz suit, the defendants presented five other employees (who performed activities similar to those of the Munoz plaintiffs) with “settlement agreements” purportedly releasing the defendants from any claims under the FLSA.  The agreements stated that a bona fide dispute existed between the parties with respect to the total hours worked and amounts due.

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Epstein Becker Green Enhances Its West Coast Health Care and Transactional Capabilities with the Addition of Paul A. Gomez

Epstein Becker Green is pleased to announce that Paul A. Gomez has joined as a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Corporate Service practices, in the Los Angeles office.  Paul’s arrival brings added strength to Epstein Becker Green’s health care practice, particularly its transactional work, on the West Coast.  His experience representing a wide array of providers complements the services that the firm provides in that area, from structuring mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic affiliations, to counseling on compliance with fraud and abuse laws, and advising on provider licensing and reimbursement matters. For further information please click here.

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Choosing trustees? Not so fast!

What is the key decision which repays very careful thought when setting up a trust or a will containing a trust?  Is it who can benefit from the trust (the beneficiaries)?  Of course, that is very important.  Or whether it is a fixed interest or a discretionary trust?  Absolutely, money in the right hands at the right time, naturally.  But I would argue that there is one matter that trumps even both of these.  No prizes for guessing (the clue is in the title!) – the No.1 spot has to go to choice of trustees.  Poor decision-making on this front can lead to big regrets all round as it is far from easy to force trustees to retire once they have accepted the position.  Read on if you require further persuasion.   
Some clients prefer to appoint family members as trustees and indeed in theory there is no problem if a trustee is also one of the beneficiaries of the trust.  The potential conflict of interest that this situation creates is tolerated under English law.  However, just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s good!  The skills and personalities of the family members must be honestly considered.  For example, if one child shows no interest in managing money or another likes to lord it over his siblings, trouble can ensue if parents appoint them as trustees.
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Multistate Tax Update — September 11, 2014

Taxing professional athletes presents unique issues and creates opportunities for revenue officials due to the visibility of professional sports. In Part I, we discussed taxing resident athletes, while Part II, focused on the issues surrounding taxing nonresident athletes. Taxation of the same income by a taxpayer’s resident state and non-resident states can lead to concerns about double taxation on the same income.

Fortunately, most states generally provide for a system of resident credits and reciprocity agreements to diminish the effects of taxing the same income earned in nonresident jurisdictions. By claiming state tax credits and deducting expenses, athletes are able to alleviate the impact of multistate tax. The athlete faces challenges in complying with his or her multistate tax burden. Mitigating the impact of multistate taxation is critical because many states place an emphasis on enforcement. While athletes are used as an example, this same issue applies to other taxpayers working in multiple states.

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Law Professors Object to New Trade Secrets Acts Proposed in Congress

As we have previously noted, Congress this year is actively considering two bills that would create a federal private right of action for trade secret theft: The Trade Secrets Protection Act (H.R. 5233) and the Defend Trade Secrets Act (S. 2267). These bills have been spurred in large part by increased foreign cyber-espionage affecting American companies.

Although the bills have enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress and in the business community, including from the National Association of Manufacturers, last month a group of dozens of law professors in the intellectual property and trade secret fields sounded a note of caution by publishing a Letter in opposition to the two bills. While acknowledging that the United States needs to increase protection against cyber-espionage, the professors argue that the bills should be rejected for several reasons, including:

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Ontario Court of Appeal Stays Securities Class Action

In a recent discussion (Kaynes v. BP, PLC 2014 ONCA 580), the Ontario Court of Appeal stayed a proposed class action against BP, PLC for secondary market misrepresentation on the principle of forum non conveniens.  The Court concluded that while Ontario Courts had jurisdiction to hear the class action, there was another forum that was clearly more appropriate for the adjudication of the plaintiff’s claim and of the claims of foreign exchange purchasers of BP’s securities.
The plaintiff’s claim rose out of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in April of 2010.  The plaintiff alleged that BP made certain misrepresentations in its public disclosures, before and after the spill, related to its operations, safety programs, and the accident that impacted the price of BP’s shares.  His claim was based on part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act which provides a statutory cause of action for secondary market misrepresentation.
The plaintiff, a resident of Ontario, purchased his shares over the New York Stock Exchange. The proposed class included all residents of Canada who acquired BP securities between relevant dates wherever those securities were purchased.
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Shared Parental Leave to Benefit Newly Expectant Couples

Couples who are now finding out they are expecting a baby may be able to take advantage of shared parental leave. The new system provides that a pregnant woman will continue to have access to 52 weeks of maternity leave and 39 weeks of maternity pay- as under the current rules.

However, where a child is born (or placed for adoption) on or after April 5 2015, working families will be given greater flexibility to share parental leave, which will allow parents the option to spend up to six months at home together following the birth of their child.

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Does the Public Guardian and Trustee Charge Fees?

The Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia (the “PGT”) plays many roles in administering and overseeing matters for individuals who lack the ability to do so.  For example, the PGT may act as the Committee of the Estate, managing the financial affairs of someone who is unable to do so himself.  The PGT also can manage the Estate of a missing person, review the accounts of private Committees, act as a Representative under the Representation Agreement Act, administer an Estate, and act as litigation guardian in any number of types of claims.

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General Counsel Corner: Clients Want a Partner

For this month’s installment of our General Counsel Corner, we are pleased to welcome Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Director of Internal Operations for Jacam Chemical Company, Jayson Macyda.

Mr. Macyda is not only a lawyer for Jacam, but also a general business manager. Because of his dual function, he is keenly aware of how legal decisions impact business operations, and vice versa. Jacam Chemical Company is a division of Canadian Energy Services, and provides chemical solutions to the oil and gas industry worldwide. 

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ILN Today Post


Continental Tire Americas, LLC (“CTA”) builds tires in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. The Mt. Vernon plant has a health services department that provides medical treatment to sick or injured employees. In April 2010, Jeff Phillips visited the health services department to report that his fingers went numb at work and to start a workers’ compensation claim. CTA required drug testing in certain situations: 1) Pre-employment testing; 2) Random testing for initial 12 months of employment; 3) For-cause testing; 4) OSHA recordable accident; 5) Transportable injury; 6) Serious equipment/property personal damage incident; and 7) Initiation of workers’ compensation claim. More…

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