North America

Howard & Howard continues to expand Chicago office

Royal Oak, Michigan, July 20, 2017: Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Ariane M. Janz has joined the firm. She will practice out of the firm’s Chicago office.

Ariane M. Janz concentrates her practice in civil litigation with an emphasis on commercial disputes and business & corporate law.

Prior to joining Howard & Howard, Ms. Janz served as a law clerk for the Honorable C.J. Williams, Chief United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Iowa. As a law student, she gained extensive experience as a summer associate at an Am Law 100 firm, as an intern in the Economics Section of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, and as an intern at a German law firm specializing in business law in Cologne. Ms. Janz is a native German speaker.

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Implementation of Private Payer Parity Laws for Telehealth Services

Private payer parity laws generally require private insurers and health maintenance organizations to cover, and in some cases also reimburse, for the provision of telehealth services in the same manner and at the same level as comparable in-person services. These laws are enacted at the state level, creating a complicated framework within which insurers must operate. At this point, most states have implemented some form of private payer parity law, although the specifics of each state’s laws vary. One of the most common is a rule such as Montana’s, which requires insurers to offer coverage for health care services provided by a health care provider by means of telemedicine if the services are otherwise covered by the plan. Some states, like Iowa, only mandate parity within their Medicaid programs without extending the mandate to private payers. Other states only require parity for certain types of services, like mental health services in Alaska. Lastly, Illinois and Massachusetts, require parity only when insurers opt to provide telehealth services.

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Social Media Content Key for Non-Solicit Violations – Employment Law This Week

Featured on Employment Law This Week – An Illinois appellate court weighs in on social media and solicitation. The case involved a defendant who sent LinkedIn connection requests to three former coworkers, even though he had signed a non-solicit agreement. In considering whether social media activity violates non-solicitation agreements, other courts have drawn a distinction between passive social media activity and more active, direct activity. Though these requests were made directly to the former coworkers, the court in this case ruled that the content constituted passive activity because the defendant did not discuss his new job in any way, nor did he directly attempt to recruit his former coworkers. The court concluded that sending the connection requests did not violate the prohibition against inducing co-employees. Brian Spang, from Epstein Becker Green, has more:

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New York Federal Judge Declines to Enforce Employee Non-Solicit Clause

In a very thorough analysis following a 3 day Preliminary Injunction hearing Judge Jed Rakoff declined to issue injunctive relief to a former employer seeking to enjoin four former employees and their new employer from competing or from soliciting clients or employees. The decision is far ranging in the employee movement context touching upon inadvertent retention of confidential information, the propriety of new employers providing broad indemnifications and large signing bonuses to the recruits,  and the scope of allowable “preparatory conduct” in a one year non-compete period, among other issues presented in the context of a group of employees in the eDiscovery services space collectively on the move.

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China Home Buying and Pricing Increase Trend

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Ronald Fieldstone

Ronald R. Fieldstone

The phenomenon of escalating home buying and prices continues in China. According to recent publications, the real estate sector now accounts for one-third of China’s GDP compared to 10% just a decade ago. Household debt has increased significantly during the last decade (now 42%). However, since it is only as a share of new loans, it is still far less than the 78% factor encountered in the United States. Home prices have dramatically risen in the major cities in China compared to other major cities in the world. Intensified government restrictions have apparently created an accelerated effect on home buying. Sources indicate that at the end of 2016, real estate accounted for approximately 69% of household assets compared to less than 60% in the U.S.

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Handicapped Employees Can Use Medical Marijuana Off-Site Under Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination Law

On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) determined that Massachusetts law permits the off-site use of medical marijuana by handicapped employees, provided that this accommodation does not unduly burden the employer. THE FACTS Cristina Barbuto, the plaintiff, was hired by the defendant company, pending successfully passing a drug test mandated by company policy. The company fired Barbuto after she failed the company’s mandatory drug test due to the presence of marijuana. Barbuto explained that she used medical marijuana off-site at night to treat symptoms associated with Crohn’s Disease, to no avail.

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How was our first half of 2017?

By Herbert Z. Pinchuk, head of the Business Law Group at RSS.

July 14, 2017 — An overview of the wide variety of deals and cases that RSS handles each and every day. From helping startups and assisting individuals to working along major corporations, we provide the complete scope of legal services.

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House Committee Seeks to Force the NLRB to Jettison “Indirect Control” Standard in Determining Joint Employer Status

Since the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or the “Board”) 2015 decision in Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186, in which it adopted a new, far less stringent test for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”),  employers have been left wondering whether they may be held to be a joint employer of temporary or contract workers that they retain through staffing and temporary agencies.

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Arnstein & Lehr Partner Gary Brown Talks Construction Law

Arnstein & Lehr Fort Lauderdale Partner Gary L. Brown presented an informational webinar titled, “Construction Law: Ultimate Bootcamp.” The topics discussed were Key Contract Terms, Managing Risk, Design Deficiencies, Changes and Delays, and Remedies for Non-Payment.

The webinar was co-sponsored and hosted by the Palm Beach County Bar Association live on June 27, 2017, but the recorded version can be viewed here.

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Is Collaborative Law right for Your Family?

When a spouse files for divorce in court there are various paths the divorce process can follow.  The case can be litigated in court where neither party knows what the outcome will be and they leave their fate in the judge’s hands.  The parties can choose mediation and work with a mediator who listens to both spouses and attempts to reach settlement in one or two sessions, or;  the parties can choose to resolve their various issues using the Collaborative Law process.  In the Collaborative Law process the fate of the family is in the hands of those who know the family the best – the parents/spouses.

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