Arnstein & Lehr Tampa Partner Robin Trupp and Associate Brian Cummings, with co-counsel Brit Brown, Benjamin Escobar, and James Rogers from the Houston firm of Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, LLP, secured a jury verdict of no liability Friday in favor of Porsche A.G. and two Porsche subsidiaries after a week-long trial in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Monthly Archives: September 2011
Chicago Associate Robert A. McKenzie was a guest on the Wednesday, September 7, edition of First Business to discuss the IRS’ current offshore voluntary disclosure initiative which was extended to September 9. To watch the segment, please click here. The segment appears at 7:36 into the video. First Business is a Chicago-based nationally syndicated business news program covering the financial and economic markets.
The First Business Morning News airs before the stock market opens in almost 50 states, most US television markets and internationally. In Chicago it airs on WCIU, Channel 26. In Florida it airs on Tampa’s WFLA NBC 8 and WFLX Fox 29 in West Palm Beach.
Updated – HHS Publishes Health Insurance Premium Rate Review Final Rule, Amends Rule to Include Policies Sold Through Associations, and Lists States with Effective Rate Review Programs
EBG Introduces Interactive National Rate Review Scorecard
Shortly after the September 1st effective date for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Rate Review Regulations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published an Amendment to the Final Rule that revises the definitions of “Individual Market” and “Small Group Market” to include insurance policies sold to individuals and small groups through associations, whether or not the applicable state includes association coverage in its own definitions of the individual and small group markets. CMS also recently added two more states to the list of states with “effective rate review programs” covering both the individual and small group insurance markets.
NLRB Continues its Mission to Revamp Labor Law: Modifies standard for determining appropriate bargaining units in non-acute health care facilities
In our January 10, 2011 Alert, Inch by Inch, Row by Row–NLRB Looks to Facilitate Organizing in Non-Acute Health Care Facilities, we advised you that the National Labor Relations Board was re-evaluating how it determines an appropriate bargaining unit in non-acute health care facilities. In Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB No. 83 (Member Hayes dissenting…again), the Board found that Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) may comprise an appropriate bargaining unit without including other nonprofessional employees. In doing so, the Board overruled Park Manor Care Center, Inc., 305 NLRB 872, 875 (1991) as “obsolete.”
Illinois’ appellate courts are divided into five districts. Illinois’ lower (or trial) courts typically follow the decisions of the appellate district in which they are located. Unfortunately for employees and employers alike, those districts currently disagree about the appropriate standard for enforcing non-compete agreements. As a result, the enforceability of non-compete agreements in Illinois currently depends in part on where a lawsuit is filed.
The most recent appellate case that added to this confusion was the Illinois Court of Appeals for the Second District’s December 2010 opinion in Reliable Fire Equipment Company v. Arredondo, which we blogged about here. However, earlier this year, the Illinois Supreme Court granted leave to appeal in that case so that it could resolve the disagreement in the various appellate districts. Oral argument in that case has now been set for September 22, 2011. As a result, we may be one step closer to resolving the current confusion in Illinois non-compete law. Stay tuned.
Divide by three – APRA turns twelve prudential standards into four
By Greg Moss, Gadens Lawyers, Sydney
Following its December 2010 consultation package, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released four prudential standards, intended to consolidate 12 existing standards across the authorised deposit-taking, general insurance and life insurance industries. read more…
More than four years after lawsuits were filed against Fox Broadcasting, NBC, and other parties claiming that sweepstakes promoted on the TV shows “Deal Or No Deal” and “American Idol” were illegal under California and Massachusetts law, the parties have reached a tentative settlement.
The settlement, scheduled for a preliminary hearing in federal district court in California on September 19, provides that the defendants will:
1) refund all premium text message charges paid by class members – potentially millions of people – who submit valid claims,
For the full alert, please click here.
HEALTH REFORM: CMS Innovation Center Announces Four Models in Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative
On August 23, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) Innovation Center announced a new initiative to encourage health care providers to better coordinate patient care. The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative (“Bundled Payments Initiative”) seeks to align the financial incentives among hospitals, physicians, and non-physician practitioners through the use of a single negotiated payment for all services provided during an episode of care. The use of a bundled payment is expected to encourage hospitals, doctors, and other specialists to coordinate in treating a patient’s specific condition during a single hospital stay and recovery.
This is one of several new initiatives from the CMS Innovation Center intended to change the existing Medicare payment structure from one that pays for the quantity of care to one that pays for the quality of care. Participation in the Bundled Payments Initiative may serve as a first step for forming partnerships to improve care coordination and encourage participants to move into initiatives aimed at improving population health.
Lawyers Karl-Erich Trisberg and Tauno Tark commenced work at the Tallinn Office of TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE in early September. Both of them graduated from the University of Tartu with a B.A in law in 2010 and are planning to finish their masters’ studies next spring. Karl-Erich, who used to work as a lawyer in the corporate banking department of Nordea Bank Finland Plc Estonia branch, joined the banking and finance team while Tauno became a member of the firm’s dispute resolution practice group.
HEALTH REFORM: Updated – HHS Publishes Health Insurance Premium Rate Review Final Rule, Amends Rule to Include Policies Sold Through Associations, and Lists States with Effective Rate Review Programs
This Client Alert updates and replaces the Implementing Health and Insurance Reform alert issued on August 19, 2011, titled “HHS Publishes Health Insurance Premium Rate Review Final Rule Effective September 1st and List of States with Effective Rate Review Programs.”
On May 23, 2011, the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its Final Rule implementing Section 2794 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA). This Section requires HHS to establish a process for the review of “unreasonable” health insurance premium rate increases in the individual and small group markets. The Final Rule remains largely unchanged from the Proposed Rule, with important exceptions. The Final Rule and the key changes are summarized in this Client Alert.