North America

Three Shutts Attorneys Recognized by DBR for Professional Excellence

The Daily Business Review recently recognized three Shutts & Bowen attorneys for their achievements in the legal profession. Partners Bowman Brown, Daniel Barsky and Daniel Benavides will be honored at the publication’s Professional Excellence awards event to be held on May 24 at the Rusty Pelican Miami.

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Supreme Court Rules That Former NLRB Acting General Counsel Served in Violation of Federal Law

On March 21, 2017, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the National Labor Relations Board’s former Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon served in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 3345, et seq. (“FVRA”) when he continued in that position after President Barack Obama nominated him for a full term as General Counsel.

By a 6 to 2 vote, the Justices affirmed an August 2015 decision by the D.C. Circuit, which found that Solomon improperly served as Acting General Counsel during the almost three-year period between January 2011 and late 2013 while his nomination for confirmation as  the Board’s General Counsel languished in the Republican-controlled Senate.  Ultimately, Obama withdrew Solomon’s nomination and put forward Richard F. Griffin, Jr., who was eventually confirmed on October 29, 2013.

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States and online retailers continue to battle over sales tax laws

SOUTH DAKOTA

Less than a year ago, we wrote about a taxing provision that South Dakota lawmakers passed in an effort to quell revenue losses attributable to out-of-state internet sellers who do not have enough of a connection, or nexus, with the state to be subject to sales tax collection and remittance obligations. That law, SB 106, effective May 1, 2016, set a threshold of $100,000 of in-state sales, or 200 separate transactions, above which an out-of-state retailer would be required to collect and remit sales taxes.
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Pennsylvania: Department of Revenue retracts controversial letter ruling

Earlier this month, we explained the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s (Department) February 9, 2017, Letter Ruling SUT-17-001, which clarified the Department’s interpretation of Act 84 of 2016 (the Act). Among other things, the Act broadened the definition of “tangible personal property” to expand the list of items subject to the state’s 6 percent sales and use tax. The Letter Ruling made it clear that the tax would apply to canned computer software and related maintenance and support services, along with books, applications, games, music and audio.

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Michigan: Detroit codifies jock tax that includes travel and practice time

“Detroit finds a way to collect more income tax from pro athletes playing here,” reads the headline from Detroit Headline Sports addressing the city’s new formula for collecting additional income taxes from professional athletes and others. Much is being made of the Motor City’s March 1, 2017, codification of the ordinance that increases the amount of income subject to the city’s income tax. The new formula, which takes the number of days that a player is in the city for game-related activities – “city days” – divided into a roster of “duty days,” now accounts for practice and travel days, not just the days on which games are played.
The article points out that while such jock taxes are widely used to generate extra revenue, some players will see a hefty increase, especially when the Detroit Pistons basketball team relocates to the new Little Caesars Arena, downtown. For example, Andre Drummond, the highest-paid Detroit Piston, who is projected to earn $23.8 million next season, would pay about $158,500 in Detroit city income taxes annually. Baseball player Miguel Cabrera, currently the first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, would pay an estimated city income tax of $152,899 each year.
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Florida: Governor vows to never stop fighting for Florida’s families

Last week, on the first day back to work for lawmakers, Gov. Rick Scott gave his state of the state address in which he promised debates over bills and policies, and a new perspective, gained from the state’s heartbreaks. Despite the tragic Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, the governor asserted that “the future of our state is even greater than our past accomplishments…” He “resolved to build a society where any child, no matter where they are from, has the opportunity to live their dreams.”
Recognizing the heroism and sacrifice that he witnessed in Orlando, the governor underscored his commitment to public safety, and spotlighted his $6 million recommendation for counterterrorism efforts this year. Gov. Scott next highlighted the state’s booming economy, touting the fact that lawmakers have cut taxes 55 times, “saving families $6.5 billion.” Pledging to do more, he will be “fighting to cut taxes by $618 million to cut costs for small businesses, students, veterans, teachers and families.”
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RSS increases its presence with the aviation and aerospace industry

March 20, 2017 — With the recent arrival of Nicolas Drolet, lawyer and airline pilot with extensive flying experience and knowledge of the industry, RSS is more than ever an ideal advisor to Quebec’s aviation sector. Airlines, engine and parts suppliers, shippers, drone operators, insurers, financial institutions and others will find at RSS a team of experienced and dynamic legal advisors.

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Third Circuit Holds Medical Residents May Bring Title IX Claims

In a decision with significant implications for private hospitals, on March 7, 2017 the Third Circuit held in Doe v. Mercy Catholic Medical Center that medical residents may bring private causes of action for sex discrimination under Title IX against private teaching hospitals operating residency programs, and are not limited to claims under Title VII.

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Even If A Trial Court Denies Your Injunction, If Your Request Is Well-Founded, Consider An Immediate Appeal

In non-compete matters, it is often said that trial judges dislike enjoining individuals and will go out of their way to avoid doing so. A recent decision by the Florida Court of Appeals, Allied Universal Corporation v. Jeffrey B. Given, may be a good example of such a situation – as well as an example of an employer that took an immediate appeal and got the relief it wanted.

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Top Five Takeaways from MedPAC’s Meeting on Medicare Issues and Policy Developments – March 2017

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (“MedPAC”) met in Washington, DC, on March 2-3, 2017. The purpose of this and other public meetings of MedPAC is for the commissioners to review the issues and challenges facing the Medicare program and then make policy recommendations to Congress. MedPAC issues these recommendations in two annual reports, one in March and another in June. MedPAC’s meetings can provide valuable insight into the state of Medicare, the direction of the program moving forward, and the content of MedPAC’s next report to Congress.

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