North America

RSS welcomes three new lawyers

December 16, 2014 — Three new lawyers recently joined RSS.

Benoît G. Bourgon, a very experienced litigator, has joined the insurance department, just like Gérald Kounadis, who was recently called to the Bar.

David Paradis, also a recent member of the Bar, will work with the litigation and labour groups.

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Royal Oak, Michigan, December 16, 2014:  Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Joseph W. Barber, Seaton J. Curran, Steven W. Hays, Jane S. Hahn, Michael J. Minna, Brandon J. Wilson, and Jacob P. Woolbright have all become shareholders in the firm.

            Joseph W. Barber concentrates his practice in intellectual property matters and complex commercial litigation. He represents his clients in all aspects of their intellectual property protection and enforcement.

            Seaton J. Curran concentrates his practice on intellectual property. He has experience preparing and prosecuting U.S. and foreign patent applications with a focus on mechanical, electrical and computer technologies.  More…

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By Leonard Bosschart, LL.B.
On November 7, 2014, in the late afternoon, the Ministry of Finance (Ontario) quietly posted draft regulations under the Estate Administration Tax Act (Ontario) (the “Act”) entitled “Information Required under Section 4.1 of the Act”. The draft regulations are open for consultation and so are not yet in final form. Moreover the forms referred to in the draft regulations have not been released. These are, apparently, still being drafted by the Ministry. Section 4.1 of the Act makes it the duty of every estate representative who makes an application for an estate certificate to give to the Minister of Revenue such information about the deceased as may be prescribed by the Minister of Finance. The draft regulations published on November 7 set out the information that the estate representative will be required to provide the Minister of Revenue and the time frame for doing so. As the draft regulations are subject to comment and, hopefully, revision before they take effect, here are a couple of highlights:  More…

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Martin Côté obtains a favourable decision in a cultural enterprise financing case

December 16, 2014 — Martin Côté successfully represented the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) in a case where it was seeking the repayment of the interim financing of a film production. The film producer had obtained a bank loan guaranty from the SODEC which had arrived at term and was not renewed mainly due to important delays in the film production. Mr. Côté filed a suit on behalf of his client before the Superior Court and obtained a favourable decision.

On December 10, 2014, the Court of Appeal upheld that decision.

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NLRB’s Expedited Election Rules Favor Labor, Not Employers

In our new Act Now Advisory, “NLRB Adopts Expedited Election Rules, Effective April 15, 2015,” we report on the National Labor Relations Board’s new rules for representation elections. These rules will substantially shorten the time between the point when a union files a petition for a vote and the timing of the vote, severely limit the right of employers to litigate important issues before an election is held, and are expected to result in more union wins in representation votes. We include steps that employers may want to consider taking in advance of April 2015, in order to adapt to the new reality of ambush elections.

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David Austin interviewed by Global TV

David Austin was interviewed for the Global TV News Hour on Wednesday, December 10th. In the report by Keith Baldrey, David discusses how declining demand for LNG could be a problem for BC, and the psychology behind it.

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Combating Counterfeit Products Act Receives Royal Assent

On December 9,2014 Royal Assent was given to Bill C-8, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act. The intention of Bill C-8 is to give the government and holders of trade-marks and copyrights new mechanisms for enforcement, along with substantial remedies, in order to combat counterfeit and black-market goods. Before the introduction of Bill C-8, Canada had been criticized for not having meaningful policies to combat the global problem of counterfeit trafficking which flowed across Canadian borders.

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Norman H. Zivin and Tonia A. Sayour Nominated “Legal Lions”

Cooper & Dunham attorneys Norman H. Zivin and Tonia A. Sayour, representing National Leisure Group, obtained a Federal Circuit decision invalidating a website patent applicable to the travel industry.  The Federal Circuit reversed a judgment, vacated damages awarded by a jury and sent the case back to Texas Federal Court.

As a result of this decision, Cooper & Dunham was characterized as a “Legal Lion” by Law360, a widely distributed intellectual property electronic newsletter. More…

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Fraud and Forensic Accounting Conference (Richik Sarkar)

Richik Sarkar will be a speaker at The Ohio Society of CPAs upcoming Fraud and Forensic Accounting Conference. He will speak about “Data Breach Preparedness and Response Management.”

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NLRB Rules That Employees Can Use Company Email for Union Organizing – Affects All Employers

Our colleague Steven Swirsky at Epstein Becker Green wrote an advisory on an NLRB ruling that affects all employers: “NLRB Holds That Employees Have the Right to Use Company Email Systems for Union Organizing – Union and Non-Union Employers Are All Affected.” Following is an excerpt:

In its Purple Communications, Inc., decision, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) has ruled that “employee use of email for statutorily protected communications on nonworking time must presumptively be permitted” by employers that provide employees with access to email at work.  While the majority in Purple Communications characterized the decision as “carefully limited,” in reality, it appears to be a major game changer.  This decision applies to all employers, not only those that have union-represented employees or that are in the midst of union organizing campaigns.

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