Monthly Archives: August 2012

Government Efforts to Promote Telemedicine Continue to Sidestep Medicare

In the past few months, we’ve seen a number of federal agencies take important steps to promote telemedicine. In May, the Department of Agriculture began a $15 million grant and loan program that will provide funding to innovative rural telemedicine programs; the Veteran’s Administration, building on its already impressive telemedicine capabilities, reported in July that it will be testing a new telemedicine system designed to support rural primary care providers; and in May and June the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Center for Innovation awarded funding to a number of private sector initiatives that have a significant telehealth component.

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Georgia Court of Appeals Finds Circumstantial Evidence Of Trade Secret Misappropriation Insufficient To Overcome A Former Employee’s Denials

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently ruled that a company failed to present sufficient evidence that its former employee had misappropriated its trade secrets, where the former employee’s denials conflicted with circumstantial evidence of misconduct. In this case, Contract Furniture Refinishing & Maintenance Corp. of Georgia d/b/a The Refinishing Touch v. Remanufacturing & Design Group, The Refinishing Touch (“TRT”) alleged, among other things, that its former employee Scott Deutsch and his new firm Remanufacturing & Design Group (“RDG”) used “several thousand pages” of market and sales recap reports provided to Deutsch during his employment to secure jobs that TRT had previously bid on.

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ILN Today Post

NINTH CIRCUIT DRAWS LINE ON RED CARPET IN DETERMINING CONSENT IN RIGHT OF PUBLICITY CASES

The Ninth Circuit struck a blow to celebrities seeking to expand the protections provided under the right of publicity by holding that, under California law, consent to advertise a celebrity’s photo may be implied in certain contexts when the celebrity has consented to being photographed. In Jones v. Corbis, Shirley Jones, a former Partridge Family star, sued an online provider of photo image licensing for displaying her image to potential licensees without her consent.

The online provider, Corbis, posted ten pictures of Jones walking the red carpet at entertainment events. Jones did not dispute that it was customary in the entertainment industry for celebrities to walk down a red carpet, surrounded by professional photographers and video crews, before entering an event. Jones also admitted that she consented to her photo being taken during various events. In fact, like other celebrities,
Jones would pose and smile on the red carpet while her picture was being taken. But Jones objected to Corbis posting these images on its website to advertise them to potential licensees. Corbis entered into agreements with photographers who owned the photos to share the licensing fees. More…

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ILN Today Post

Company Law Reform (7.8.2012)

By George Kennedy, Solicitor, Corporate & Commercial Department

The first part of the draft Companies Bill (referred to as pillar A) was published in 2011. It is envisaged that the second part (pillar B) will be published in late 2012 or early 2013 and that the bill will be signed into law in 2013 or 2014. The intention of the draft Bill is to consolidate and modernise Irish company law which, to date, has been updated on a piecemeal…

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Judge Strikes OSHA’s Expansion of the PPE Standard — OSHA Ignores the Judge

By Eric J. Conn, Head of the OSHA Practice Group

The deadline passed last week for OSHA to appeal a recent decision by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) that struck down OSHA’s attempt to expand its Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) standard by way of an enforcement memorandum that mandated oil and gas employers ensure their employees don flame retardant clothing (“FRC”) during drilling operations (OSHA’s “FRC Memo”).  The Judge ruled that the FRC Memo constituted “improper rulemaking under the aegis of an enforcement standard.” See Sec’y of Labor v. Petro Hunt LLC, OSHRCJ, No. 11-0873 (June 2, 2012).  The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (“Review Commission”) also declined to independently take-up the decision for review, so the ALJ’s decision is now officially a Final Order of the Review Commission.

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ILN Today Post

Agency Bill Signed into Law (7.8.2012)

The Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act, 2012 was signed into law on 16th May 2012. The Act requires hiring employers to treat temporary agency workers no less favourably in relation to basic working and employment conditions than if they had been hired directly by the hiring company. The term “basic working and employment conditions” is defined in the Act and includes pay, annual leave working time and rest periods. T…

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ILN Today Post

Compulsory Retirement Age of 65 Upheld (7.8.2012)

In a recent High Court employment law case, the judge ruled on whether the directive establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation could prohibit the State from maintaining a retirement age of 65. A radiographer employed by the Health Service Executive wished to continue working past the age of 65, the generally accepted retirement age in that part of the HSE. The HSE made the worker retire upon reaching 65. Wh…

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Arnstein & Lehr Chicago office hosts annual Just the Beginning Foundation visit

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partners Jennifer Sarhaddi and Robert T. Cichocki co-hosted the annual Just the Beginning Foundation luncheon and visit to the firm’s Chicago office. Sixty-five of the JTBF’s Summer Legal Institute Scholars attended the lunch and were given an opportunity to ask several of the Chicago attorneys questions about the practice of law, such as what they found to be the most difficult about the profession, how time billing works, and personal hardships in entering the profession. The firm’s current JTBF intern, Roldy Michel, was a prior Legal Institute Scholar and joined the luncheon, providing an overview of his internship at Arnstein & Lehr and his exposure to the legal profession. In addition to Ms. Sarhaddi and Mr. Cichocki, Chicago Partners Michelle G. Novick, Toby Eveland, Robert E. McKenzie, Thomas F. McGuire, Of Counsel Attorney Theresia E. Wolf-McKenzie, and Chicago Associates Robert A. McKenzie and Elizabeth A. Thompson shared their words of wisdom regarding navigating a work-life balance, generating clients, and excelling in the profession. Chicago Paralegal Cathey Williams also joined and spoke to the students considering careers in law about her work as a paralegal. Department heads, including Human Resources, participated, as did Chief Operating Officer Ed O’Connell, who gave opening remarks. Following the pizza lunch and Q&A, the students were escorted through the firm and informed about the various departments. They especially enjoyed thoughts from those in accounting and office services. Accounting staff Becky Murphy, Julie Beland and Phyllis Jones did a great job fielding numerous questions. Additionally, Records Supervisor Akilah Scott gave an excellent overview about the records department. The students found the file department rather fascinating and were curious about the role of math and accounting in the practice of law. Chicago Secretaries Tesesa Montesinos and Jurate Medziak were very helpful in organizing the event and ensuring that everything ran smoothly.

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Illinois prohibits employers from seeking social networking passwords

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Jesse Dill

Jesse Dill

On August 1, 2012, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill that prohibits employers from requesting or requiring employees or prospective employees from providing “any password or other related account information” to gain access to the individual’s social networking account. Ill. Public Act 097-0875. By enacting the legislation, Illinois joins Maryland as states that prohibit employers from obtaining social media account password information. The law amends the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, 820 ILCS 55, and is effective January 1, 2013.

Illinois’ new social media legislation confirms that employers maintain the right to create lawful workplace policies that regulate the use of computer equipment, e-mail, and internet use. Moreover, the law also allows employers to monitor employee use of the employer’s electronic equipment and e-mail. Employers also may still obtain publicly available information concerning employees or prospective employees under the new law.

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Norman P. Jeddeloh and David S. Waxman quoted in Physician Risk Management on physician lawsuits

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Norman P. Jeddeloh

Norman P. Jeddeloh

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney David S. Waxman

David S. Waxman

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partners Norman P. Jeddeloh and David S. Waxman were quoted in an article in the July issue of Physician Risk Management titled “Blaming colleague? It may increase legal woes.” The article discusses actions physicians should take after being named in a lawsuit and why physicians should avoid placing blame on colleagues. Mr. Jeddeloh comments that a fact witness is not obligated to have an opinion so he advises physicians being deposed to not offer an opinion on the quality of care of other physicians. Mr. Waxman comments that if a colleague criticizes a physician’s care, rather than responding in kind, it is better to avoid causing problems for others named in the suit and to work with your lawyer about how to be truthful without necessarily making the situation worse.

To read the article in full, click here.

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