Monthly Archives: September 2011

ILN Today Post

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

EBG Introduces Interactive National Rate Review Scorecard

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[1] remains largely unchanged from the Proposed Rule, with important exceptions.[2] The Final Rule and the key changes are summarized in this Client Alert.

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Immigration Alert: September 2011

DOL Temporarily Suspends Work on Prevailing Wage Determinations Required for PERM Labor Certification Applications

H-1B Nonimmigrant Classification Is Still Open for Fiscal Year 2012

Important Developments in H-1B Areas of “Benching,” Retaliation, “Bona Fide” Terminations, and Prevailing Wages

NLRB Rejects Back Pay Claims of Undocumented Workers

U.S. Supreme Court’s Whiting Decision Spurs State Immigration Legislation and Related Litigation

DOJ Takes New Immigration-Related, Anti-Discrimination Enforcement Actions

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ILN Today Post

Facebook Tutorials – Creating a Profile Part I

Now we are on to a new set of tutorials – Facebook!

You may be wondering why I would choose Facebook as the next social media tool to delve into – isn’t that for kids?

No!

Also, during our LinkedIn tutorial, you may remember that I posed a question in LinkedIn’s Answers feature to illustrate how to do it – and people answered.  My question was whether Facebook or Twitter was more valuable for lawyers.  Of course, the answer is – it depends.  But overwhelmingly, the responses of the group were “Facebook.”  So Facebook it is! 

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Practical Reminder: If You Want to Be Able to Toll Your Restrictive Covenants, It’s Best to Say So

Restrictive covenant agreements often contain “tolling” provisions which extend the duration of the covenants by the time of any violation. Sometimes, employers do not include tolling provisions in their restrictive covenant agreements, but nevertheless subsequently request that a court use its discretion to extend the duration of those covenants by the time of a violation anyways. A recent opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit highlights the danger in not including a tolling provision in a restrictive covenant agreement.

In EMC Corporation v. Arturi, __ F.3d __ (1st Cir. Aug. 26, 2011), EMC requested a preliminary injunction prohibiting its former employee from using its confidential information, from competing with EMC, and from soliciting EMC customers. The trial court issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the disclosure of confidential information. However, the trial court refused to issue an injunction prohibiting the former employee from competing or soliciting EMC’s customers because the one-year time periods in those restrictive covenants had already elapsed and there was no tolling provision to extend them. On appeal, the First Circuit affirmed the trial court’s refusal to extend the non-compete and non-solicit provisions absent a tolling provision. The court explained that under the governing Massachusetts law, “when the period of restraint has expired, even when the delay was substantially caused by the time consumed in legal appeals, specific relief is inappropriate and the injured party is left to his damages remedy.” The First Circuit also specifically pointed out that “EMC could have contracted…for tolling the term of the restriction during litigation, or for a period of restriction to commence upon preliminary finding of breach. But it did not.”

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Raymond J. Werner profiled in Smart Business article on law firm culture

Arnstein & Lehr Managing Partner Raymond J. Werner

Raymond J. Werner

Arnstein & Lehr Managing Partner Raymond J. Werner was interviewed for an article that recently appeared in Smart Business, a management journal providing insight, advice and strategy for C-level executives of fast-growth, middle-market and large companies. The article is entitled “Ray Werner avoids disagreements at firm by sticking to the facts.” In it he discusses his strategies for resolving conflict. To read the article, please click here.

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Immigration Update

By:  Robert S. Groban, Jr.

Many of our hospitality clients are revisiting immigration requirements to see if there are any advantages that they have overlooked. One overlooked advantage is the USCIS’s E-Verify system. Employers know that the IRCA requires them to satisfy the Form I-9 requirements.  Many have found this difficult to implement and have been the targets of worksite enforcement operations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) that are costly to defend and often result in significant fines. Traditionally, many hospitality employers have looked at the E-Verify system as something to be avoided due to the time required to learn how to use it and the number of potential employees that the system would prevent them from hiring. 

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ILN Today Post

Tax Alert: Overview of the proposed American Jobs Act

On Thursday, September 8, President Obama announced his proposal for a tax incentive-based program for creating more jobs — the American Jobs Act. This plan focuses on new and extended reductions in payroll taxes for both employees and employers, along with a separate credit for hiring the unemployed. The 100% write off for certain capital expenditures in effect for 2011 would also be extended through 2012 under this proposal. While no specific provisions were discussed with respect to how these benefits would be paid for, the President indicated that the revenue offsets would include tax increases for higher-income taxpayers and a repeal of other targeted corporate tax breaks.

Payroll taxes

The proposals relating to the reduction of payroll taxes were broad. Last year, a reduction in the employee portion of Social Security taxes from 6.2% to 4.2% was implemented for 2011. The President proposed extending this tax break through 2012, and reducing the employee’s portion even lower, to 3.1%. A similar reduction would likely apply to self-employment taxes.

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American Traffic Solutions v. City of Bellingham – Automated Traffic Safety Cameras

Division I of the Court of Appeals held on Tuesday that a proposed Bellingham initiative, which would prohibit the City from installing or using an automated traffic camera system unless approved by a majority of the city council and a majority of the voters, exceeded the lawful scope of the local initiative power.  An initiative […]

For more information please visit www.omwmunilaw.com.

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Lewis Rice Attorneys Named Best Lawyers

We are proud to announce that thirty St. Louis-based Lewis Rice attorneys have been named to the 2012 Best Lawyers in America® annual list: John C. Bodnar, Brian D. Bouquet, Jonathan F. Dalton, Steven C. Drapekin, Thomas C. Erb, William J. Falk, John M. Hessel, Frank B. Janoski, Rosemarie M. Karcher, Benjamin A. Lipman, Matthew J. Madsen, Joseph E. Martineau, Tracy Mathis, Marian V. Mehan, Jaime R. Mendez, Michael D. Mulligan, Larry E. Parres, Catherine R. Phillips, John K. Pruellage, Jacob W. Reby, John J. Riffle, Albert S. Rose, Andrew Rothschild, Barry A. Short, Gary M. Smith, Joseph J. Trad, Richard B. Walsh, Jr., Lawrence H. Weltman, Joseph H. Weyhrich and Tom W. Zook.

This marks the first year Joseph J. Trad has made the list, while William J. Falk, Tracy Mathis, Marian V. Mehan, Michael D. Mulligan and Lawrence H. Weltman have each been Best Lawyers for more than 15 years.

For the full article, please click here.

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Multistate Tax Alert: Invest Ohio: New Ohio tax credit enacted to encourage investment in Ohio

Ohio has enacted an Ohio income tax incentive for investing in certain approved Ohio small business entities where the investor makes the “qualifying investment,” holds the investment for the required holding period, and the approved investee small business entity makes a specified investment or expenditure that is at least as great as the investment made by the investor. The Invest Ohio program is to be administered by the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) or its successor entity. Prior to making an investment, the investor should ensure that the investee entity is a “small business enterprise” that will be approved by ODOD or its successor entity and should understand the required holding period for such investment.
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