North America

More Company Handbook Provisions Are Held Invalid According to the NLRB

E. Jason TremblayE. Jason Tremblay

As previously reported, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has taken a very aggressive approach against employers by requiring them to rescind employee handbook provisions that it deems to be unlawful pursuant to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In the most recent example of such an approach, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found in favor of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union against Macy’s Inc. and held that several Macy’s employee handbook provisions unlawfully restricted its employees’ right to communicate and complain about workplace conditions. A copy of the Macy’s Inc. decision is here.

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House Energy and Commerce Committee Proposes, then Drops, 340B Reform Language to 21st Century Cures Legislation

By Alan J. Arville, Constance A. Wilkinson and Selena M. Brady

The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee (“the Committee”) circulated draft language to include in its 21st Century Cures legislation earlier this week to reform the 340B drug discount program (the “340B Program”). Although the draft 340B language was pulled from the legislation yesterday, the language proposed provides insight into what future legislative reform may include. The draft language, if adopted, would have a substantial impact on all 340B Program stakeholders, including, covered entities, contract pharmacies, 340B technology vendors, and drug manufacturers.

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Supreme Court Confirms Test For Judicial Bias

The Supreme Court of Canada recently released a decision which established the test for determining bias in a trial judge.  In the case of Yukon Francophone School Board, Education Area #23 v. Yukon (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 25, the Supreme Court partially allowed an appeal from the Court of Appeal for the Yukon. 
 
In this case, the Yukon Francophone School Board (“School Board”) which had responsibility for one school, a French-language school founded in 1984, sued the Yukon government for what it claimed were deficiencies in the provision of minority language education.  The trial judge ruled in the School Board’s favour on most issues.
 
The Yukon government appealed to the Court of Appeal which concluded that there was a reasonable apprehension that the trial judge was biased based on a number of incidents during the trial as well as the trial judge’s involvement as a governor of a philanthropic francophone community organization in Alberta.  The Court of Appeal ordered a new trial. 
 
The School Board appealed the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada.  The Supreme Court partially allowed the appeal and agreed with the Court of Appeal’s conclusion that there was a reasonable apprehension of bias requiring a new trial.
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CHAMBERS USA RECOGNIZES BEIRNE, MAYNARD & PARSONS PARTNERS

Beirne, Maynard & Parsons partners Jeffrey Parsons and Patrick Johnson were re-selected as ranked lawyers in Chambers USA 2015 for Insurance (Texas, Band 4) and Bankruptcy/Restructuring law (Louisiana, Band 2) respectively.

Jeffrey Parsons is a founding partner of Beirne, Maynard & Parsons with more than 30 years of trial experience. He has counseled clients across multiple industries and practice areas with significant experience in complex insurance coverage disputes. More…

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THOMAS SARTWELLE CO-AUTHORS A CHAPTER ON CEREBRAL PALSY FOR THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LEGAL MEDICINE’S PUBLICATION “LEGAL MEDICINE AND MEDICAL ETHICS”

Legal Medicine and Medical Ethics, 9th Ed.

Beirne, Maynard & Parsons partner Thomas Sartwelle together with Dr. James C. Johnston M.D.,J.D. contributed a chapter “Cerebral Palsy Litigation: A Continuing 21st Century Epidemic” to the recently published American College of Legal Medicine textbook Legal Medicine and Medical Ethics. The American College of Legal Medicine is the official AMA organization authorized to examine and issue Board Certifications to physicians in the field of legal medicine. This book is the official study guide for physicians taking the legal medicine written examination for certification by the American Board of Legal Medicine. More…

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McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: This Week in Washington — May 22, 2015

Short-term transportation fix

Before leaving town for the Memorial Day recess, the House passed a short-term transportation patch – and the Senate is expected to do the same before they leave as well. The bill, which passed 387-35 in the House, will extend the program for two months. Without the patch, the highway trust fund would have expired.

President Barack Obama indicated that he will sign the short-term extension even if he would prefer a long-term solution.

The traditional source of transportation funding has been revenue from the 18.4-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax. The tax has not been increased since 1993, however, and improvements in auto fuel efficiency have sapped its purchasing power.

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Seven McDonald Hopkins Attorneys Recognized by Chambers USA 2015

CLEVELAND (May 22) – McDonald Hopkins is proud to announce that seven of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized as leaders in their respective practice areas by Chambers USA.

Two of the firm’s practice groups were also recognized in 2015.

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Media interviews David Austin

Various media outlets interviewed David Austin on the Lax Kw’alaams rejection of a $1.1-billion cash and land offer to support Petronas’ $11-billion LNG project in Prince Rupert. Should the project move forward against the First Nation’s wishes, “it would be a very complex case. Would an LNG developer be patient while it was winding its way through the courts, or would it seek alternatives in another part of the world?” asks David. Learn more about this “$36-billion question.” David also says “The devil is in the details, but risk is definitely being allocated to taxpayers,” in an article by The Globe and Mail.

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Does a Person with a Medical Condition Affecting His Mind Have the Mental Capacity to Make a Will?

One of the grounds for challenging the validity of a Will is that the person who made the Will did not have the mental capacity to understand his actions.  With an aging population and higher rates of medical conditions, such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, which may affect a person’s memory and other mental functions, questions about testamentary capacity arise more frequently.

In a recent case Bull Estate v. Bull, the Supreme Court of BC provided further guidance on the issue of testamentary capacity. In Bull Estate, the deceased made a Will in 2010 leaving more assets to her daughter than her son. The deceased died in September 2012. Her son challenged the Will on the basis that, amongst other things, the deceased’s progressive dementia made her incapable of making the Will.

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MARK MY WORDS: PROTECTION OF ATHLETES’ NICKNAMES & CATCHPHRASES IN THE U.S.

This article was first written for and published by LawInSport on 7 May 2015. View the original article.

During a pre-Super Bowl interview on January 27, Marshawn Lynch wore a hat featuring his “Beast Mode” logo. By the next day, the hats were completely sold out. In December, Anthony Davis’ trademark application for FEAR THE BROW® was granted registration. Ryan Lochte’s trademark application for JEAH™ has been approved for registration pending proof of use. It seems that nowadays, every JOHNNY FOOTBALL™ or Bill Rafferty runs, jumps, passes and kicks their way to the Trademark Office. More…

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