Monthly Archives: April 2012

"Hair Wars: Transplant firm Bosley sues Ziering over defection," Steven Harris quoted

Member Steven Harris was quoted in the Crain’s Chicago Business article “Hair Wars: Transplant firm Bosley sues Ziering over defection.”

For full text of article, please click here.

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"Why should you get to know your litigator before the complaint hits your doorstep," Anne Owings Ford interviewed by Smart Business Magazine

If you operate a business, someday you will find yourself in a dispute, or even embroiled in litigation. Whether you receive a complaint from a disgruntled former employee or you find yourself looking for the best way to recover money that your business is owed, you need another player on your team.

“Many business people believe that the litigator, unlike the transactional adviser, is a lawyer to be avoided until the last possible minute, in order to save money,” says Anne Owings Ford, a member with McDonald Hopkins LLC. “My experience tells me that a different model is better.”

Smart Business spoke with Ford about how litigation attorneys can support business owners and improve the business’s bottom line. 

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Energy Alert: New Florida law encourages renewable energy production

The Florida Legislature recently passed House Bill 7117, which contains provisions on energy efficiency and conservation, renewable electric energy, and renewable and alternative fuels for motor vehicles. Effective July 1, 2012, this legislation changes Florida law governing renewable energy production by increasing the financial incentives for companies pursuing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Specifically, HB 7117 provides tax incentives for renewable energy production, provides cash incentives for property owners who make energy efficient improvements to their property, changes the renewable fuel portfolio by expanding the definition of “alternative fuel” and includes training requirements that provide opportunities for government contracting. Among its most important changes are the expansion of the definition of renewable fuels beyond ethanol and the extension of qualified targeted industry tax refund incentives to suppliers of alternative fuels, even if they supply alternative fuels to utilities, which historically have been excluded from the program. Both of these changes are a boon to Florida’s biofuel industry and are expected to make Florida more attractive to alternative fuel developers and providers. Other changes will reduce regulatory barriers to the provision of renewable energy sources, such as electric charging stations.

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Labor and Employment Alert: Is your business ready for summer interns?

With summer fast approaching, it’s a frequently asked question: “Do we have to pay an intern?” To determine the answer, employers must be sure to review the applicable wage and hour laws that govern the use of unpaid interns, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The FLSA defines the term “employ” very broadly as including to “suffer or permit to work.” Accordingly, individuals who are “suffered or permitted” to work must be compensated under the law for the services they perform for an employer. Thus, whether or not an internship in the “for-profit” private sector will require compensation, is determined by whether the intern is considered an “employee” under the FLSA. 

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Mergers & Aquisitions: Reverse triangular mergers may trigger certain….

Parties to a merger or acquisition transaction must frequently wrestle with the presence of anti-assignment provisions in the target company’s existing contracts. Depending on the specific language of the anti-assignment provisions and the manner in which the transaction is structured, these provisions may require the target company to obtain the consent of the other contract parties to the assignment (transfer) of the target company’s contracts to the acquiror in connection with the M&A transaction. Being forced to obtain these third party consents may delay the closing of the merger or acquisition transaction or, in rare instances, prevent it altogether. 

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Oil and Gas Alert: U.S. EPA issues first-ever fracking standards

On April 17, 2012 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its long awaited rules setting air emission standards for oil and gas hydraulic fracking operations. This standard is the first significant federal regulation imposed on fracking operations. The Federal EPA had been pushed to issue the standard in a lawsuit filed by several environmental groups (WildEarth Guardians v. EPA, d.d.c., no. 09-00089). The new fracking standard is part of a larger group of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that will cover new and modified oil and gas production, processing, transmission, and storage. The U.S. EPA is required by the Federal Clean Air Act to establish this standard as part of the National Emission Standards for Air Pollutants (NESAPs) program. 

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HEALTH REFORM: New York Health Benefit Exchange Established by Executive Order

On April 12, 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 42, titled “Establishing the New York Health Benefit Exchange” (“Order”). The purpose of the Order is to require the State of New York and its administrative agencies to take the steps necessary to establish an American Health Benefit Exchange and Small Business Health Options Program in New York (together, the “Health Benefit Exchange”). The Governor’s action was taken in response to the mandate contained in Section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) (“ACA”).

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ILN Today Post

Employment and Safety Update – April 2012

Mark Sant, Partner, Sydney
Stephanie Nicol, Partner, Sydney
John-Anthony Hodgens, Partner, Brisbane
Nicholas Linke, Partner, Adelaide


Child care costs payable as compensation for unfair dismissal
To sack or not to sack for taking a “sickie”?
JJ Richards and Sons – a lesson in how not to deal with Unions. More…

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ILN Today Post

Treasury releases amended NCCP Enhancements Bill

On 24 April 2012 Treasury has released proposed amendments to the Consumer Credit and Corporations Legislation Amendment (Enhancements) Bill 2011 (Cth) first presented to the Commonwealth Parliament on 21 September 2011.  The closing date for submissions is 7 May 2012.

The key features of the amended Bill are as follows. More…

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Attorney Avani Lodhavia joins the Chicago office of McDonald Hopkins law firm

Chicago, Illinois (April 30, 2012) – Avani Lodhavia has joined the Chicago office of McDonald Hopkins LLC as an Associate in the Intellectual Property Practice of the business advisory and advocacy law firm.

Lodhavia has both law firm and private industry experience in business and intellectual property law including branding and trademark issues, and intellectual property licensing and protection.

Lodhavia graduated from Northwestern University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and received her J.D. in 2007 from Boston University School of Law. She served on the executive board of the South Asian Bar Association and the Boston Chapter of the Northwestern University Alumni Association.

Avani Lodhavia can be reached at 312.642.4084 or

About McDonald Hopkins

McDonald Hopkins is a business advisory and advocacy law firm with offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Miami, and West Palm Beach. The firm’s comprehensive legal services are provided by teams of specialized attorneys and professionals in areas such as business law, litigation, business restructuring and bankruptcy, estate planning, government affairs, healthcare, intellectual property, labor  and employment, and mergers and acquisitions. The president of McDonald Hopkins is Carl J. Grassi. For more information about McDonaldHopkins, visit


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