Monthly Archives: December 2011

Senior associate Piret Luiga participated in a two-month internship programme at the Paris Bar Association

For years Paris Bar Assocation has been organising an international internship programme Stage International in the course of which French-speaking attorneys of other countries are offered an opportunity to spend 2 months in Paris and to get to know the legal system of France. This year senior associate Piret Luiga of TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE represented Estonia in the programme.

In October attorneys participating in the programme attended lectures at the School of the Paris Bar Association (Ecole de formation au barreau), International Chamber of Commerce and Paris Court of Commerce as well as visited other legal institutions of France in Paris and institutions of the European Union in Brussels.

In November Piret Luiga was on internship in Paris at a renowned law office De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés. Piret’s mentor was partner Julien Horn and she focused on intellectual property and information technology law – areas of expertise in which De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés holds an excellent position amongst law offices in Paris.

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Medicare Providers and Suppliers Continue in the Spotlight: Medicare Providers and Suppliers Continue in the Spotlight

Expansion of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program; Legislative Inquiry Related to Fraud and Abuse Enforcement Actions; and Automated Pre-Enrollment Provider Screening

by George B. Breen, Amy F. Lerman, Emily E. Bajcsi, Deepa B. Selvam

In order to be prepared for upcoming changes and to respond to new initiatives, providers and suppliers participating in Medicare must be aware of recent Congressional activity that would hold the federal government accountable for its intended enforcement efforts designed to curb health care fraud, waste, and abuse, as well as an effort by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to implement automated pre-enrollment provider and supplier screening in January 2012. One example of the pressures that providers and suppliers face in this enhanced regulatory and enforcement climate is the upcoming expansion of the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (“DMEPOS”) Competitive Bidding Program, which is targeted to launch in July 2013 and for which the Round 2 bidding timeline was announced on November 30, 2011.

Read the full alert here

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San Francisco Minimum Wage To Exceed $10 Effective January 1, 2012

By Michael Kun

On January 1, 2012, the minimum wage for employees working in San Francisco will rise to $10.24 per hour.

This is, to our knowledge, the first time the minimum wage in any U.S. city has ever exceeded $10 per hour.

Employers with employees in San Francisco will need to make sure that they make appropriate adjustments to their payroll systems and practices to account for the increase.

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ILN Today Post

More money for moots

Montreal law firm Robinson Sheppard Shapiro S.E.N.C.R.L. has donated more than $230,000 to the law faculties of McGill University and the Université de Montréal in honour of the firm’s 90th anniversary.

Each school will receive roughly $115,000 from the firm’s endowment fund, which will allocate a certain amount each year to help pay for moot competitions.

Daniel Jutras, dean of law at McGill, and Gilles Trudeau, dean of law at UdeM, say their schools are in need of additional funds to cover the costs for students to compete in these competitions.

For the full article, please click here.

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Arnstein & Lehr and select attorneys named to list of top firm, lawyers in South Florida

The South Florida Legal Guide recently announced its 2012 list of top lawyers in Broward, Dade and Palm Beach Counties. Eight Arnstein & Lehr partners received recognition. In Miami they are Ronald R. Fieldstone, Phillip M. Hudson, Martin I. Kalish and Jeffrey B. Shapiro; in Fort Lauderdale they are James C. Brady and Franklin L. Zemel; in West Palm Beach they are Steven L. Daniels and Joel B. Rothman. Attorneys were chosen for the guide based on a peer nomination procedure. Mr. Fieldstone has been recognized in the guide for each of its 12 years. Arnstein & Lehr was also recognized as one of the top law firms in South Florida. The South Florida Legal Guide is considered the region’s premier legal services publication, launched as a convenient, easily accessible print and online resource for the region’s professional community.
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The Discretion to Formulate Business Strategies Remains Critical to the Status of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

By:  Michael Thompson

In Ibanez v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued the latest ruling in the ongoing dispute over whether pharmaceutical sales representatives are exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA.

The plaintiff in Ibanez was a former sales representative for Abbott.  Among other things, the plaintiff helped create “business plans which tracked doctors by market share and potential.”  The plaintiff also developed “game plan[s] or strateg[ies] for individual calls with physicians.”  Thus, the District Court ruled that the plaintiff exercised significant independent discretion, and therefore fell within the Administrative exemption of the FLSA. 

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Ohio Supreme Court once more limits public policy wrongful discharge claims

Continuing its recent trend of limiting – rather than expanding – the availability of public policy wrongful discharge claims, the Ohio Supreme Court earlier this year clarified what the phrase “clear public policy” means.  Although the Court’s latest pronouncement on this topic may not stem the tide of public policy claims employers face, it nonetheless provides another means of defense against them.

In Dohme v. Eurand Am., Inc., the company’s facilities administrator sued the company claiming that the termination of his employment violated public policy.  The company, on the other hand, claimed that it terminated the facilities administrator’s employment due to his insubordination.  In particular, the company sent an e-mail to all employees in advance of an insurance adjuster’s inspection that alerted employees that the facility would be inspected and that only certain employees of the company were to have contact with the adjuster.  The facilities administrator was not one of the designated employees.  Nonetheless, the facilities administrator told the adjuster that “he might want to find out what happened with” a fire inspection report allegedly removed from the company’s computer system.  After learning of the facilities administrator’s communication with the adjuster, the company terminated the facility administrator’s employment.

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ILN Today Post

When is it safe to dismiss employees?

A string of recent unfair dismissal cases have seen employees reinstated to their former positions following dismissal for breaches of safety regulations and practices.  They have created a considerable grey area for practitioners and employers navigating the minefield of competing obligations under occupational health and safety (OHS) laws and the unfair dismissal provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009.  read more

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ILN Today Post

Update on OHS harmonisation

The process of moving towards a harmonised national occupational health and safety system continues to create controversy and uncertainty, with some states indicating their intent to delay the commencement of harmonised laws.  We set out below a summary of the status of the Model Work Health and Safety Act in each jurisdiction. read more

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HEALTH REFORM: HHS Announces First Insurance Premium Rate Review Determinations: Implications for Insurance Carriers and Future Rate Reviews

On November 21, 2011, the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (“CCIIO”), in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”),[1] announced its determination that a health insurance premium rate increase of 11.58 percent in the small group market in Pennsylvania represented an “unreasonable” rate increase, while an 11.10 percent increase in the individual market in Montana did not. These long-awaited determinations represent the first application of CMS’s rate review regulations under federal health reform.[2] This Implementing Health and Insurance Reform alert discusses these first federal rate review determinations, and their implications for insurance carriers and future insurance premium rate reviews.

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