Monthly Archives: December 2012

Koch Rattles Wine Auction World: GBL § 350 "Game Changer"

To successfully assert a claim under New York General Business Law § 349 (h) or § 350, “a plaintiff must allege that a defendant has engaged in (1) consumer-oriented conduct that is (2) materially misleading and that (3) plaintiff suffered injury as a result of the allegedly deceptive act or practice”

A claim is brought under GBL § 349 to allege misleading and deceptive trade practices and under GBL § 350 to allege false advertising.  Typically, these two sections are pled in tandem, both in single plaintiff cases and in class action litigation seeking relief from consumer fraud.

In their NYLJ article (12/28/12) looking back at the significant New York State class action decisions that were handed down during 2012, authors Thomas A. Dickerson, Jeffrey A. Cohen (both Second Department judges) and Kenneth A. Manning devote special attention to the Court of Appeals decision in Koch v. Acker, Merrall & Condit, in which the court clarified that justifiable reliance is not an element of a GBL § 350 claim. Prior decisions had already done away with any reliance requirement on a GBL § 349 claim

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Business Restructuring Alert: New emergency manager bill passed by Michigan Legislature

Today (December 27, 2012), Governor Snyder signed into law the Local Financial Stability and Choice Act (LFSCA) just days after its introduction in the Michigan House of Representatives and passage by the Michigan Legislature. The LFSCA replaces Public Act 4, the 2011 emergency manager law repealed by voters on November 6, 2012. It provides additional tools to address the numerous municipal financial crises in the State of Michigan.

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Genetically Modified Food Can Feed The Planet

The publication of “Diet for a Small Planet” in 1971 by Francis Moore Lappé was a conscious-raising event for many Americans. The book makes the case that grain-fed meat production is wasteful and a contributor to global food scarcity. The author argues that eating a planet-centered diet means choosing what is best for the Earth and our bodies – a daily action that reminds us of our power to create a more rational world. The book’s most significant conclusion is that world hunger is not caused by a lack of food but by ineffective food policy. A vegetarian diet can  produce sufficient protein for one’s nutrition, according to the book.

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The First "Suitable Seating" Trial In California Results In A Victory For The Employer – And Guidance For Plaintiffs For Future Cases

By Michael Kun

As we have written before in this space,  the latest wave of class actions in California is one alleging that employers have not complied with obscure requirements requiring the provision of “suitable seating” to employees – and that employees are entitled to significant penalties as a result.

The “suitable seating” provisions are buried so deep in Wage Orders that most plaintiffs’ attorneys were not even aware of them until recently.  Importantly, they do not require all employers to provide seats to all employees.  Instead, they provide that employers shall provide “suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.” 

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OSHA Forecast: Developments to Watch For In 2013

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all of you, and Happy 1st Anniversary to the OSHA Law Update blog.  On December 20th, we celebrated our first full year of updates and articles (56 of them) about important OSHA Law topics here on the OSHA Law Update blog.  We would hardly have the energy or enthusiasm to keep the OSHA Law Update current if it were not for all of the incredibly positive feedback, comments, and questions that we have received over the year from all of you.  Thank you for that.

Just as we did last year, as the clock was winding down on a remarkable year of OSHA enforcement and other activity, it is time to take a look ahead to the new year, and offer our thoughts about what we can all expect from OSHA in 2013.  Here is a link to our post from December 2011 in which forecasted 5 important OSHA developments for 2012 (a pretty accurate forecast in retrospect), and here are three developments we expect from OSHA in 2013:

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Arnstein & Lehr partners with Iberia Bank for third annual Heartfelt Holiday Toy Drive; celebrates with finale at Palm Beach Zoo

The West Palm Beach office of Arnstein & Lehr and our client IBERIABANK partnered again for the “Heartfelt Holiday Toy Drive” to benefit children served by Achievement Centers for Children & Families. The toy drive was open for community participation and ran from November 26 through December 12.

This was the third year that IBERIABANK and Arnstein & Lehr sponsored the toy drive. The two worked in cooperation with the National Arts Institute’s Kids Rule! in the Arts. Kids Rule! is a vital community program designed by the National Arts Institute (NAI), providing a venue for local high school students in the arts to give back and invest in their communities.

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Tampa office makes community donations with help of Partner Vanessa N. Cohn

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Vanessa Cohn

Vanessa Cohn

Over the past three months, Arnstein & Lehr’s Tampa office provided financial support to the Akilah Institute for Women, Weinberg Village’s ‘Eight Over Eighty’ Awards, and Rotary Club of Tampa’s Gift of Life Gala. Partner Vanessa N. Cohn led the review committee process to select the recipients.

Akilah Institute for Women is an organization founded in Tampa to help women in Rwanda break the poverty cycle. Women in Akilah’s programs find meaningful employment or become entrepreneurs by gaining skills, knowledge and confidence. The Institute celebrated their inaugural commencement ceremony over the summer with 39 graduates and 100 percent job placement. Our donation will sponsor women working toward education goals this year.

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Lori Adelson selected as legal counsel for CREW board of directors

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Lori Adelson

Lori Adelson

Arnstein & Lehr Fort Lauderdale Partner Lori Adelsonwas recently selected as legal counsel for the Commercial Real Estate Women board of directors for 2013. CREW is a premier business networking organization dedicated to advancing the achievements of women in commercial real estate. The organization seeks to influence the success of the commercial real estate industry by focusing on business development, leadership development, industry research and career outreach.

To learn more about CREW, click here.

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Arthur L. Klein awarded title of Distinguished Counselor by the Illinois State Bar Association

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Arthur L. Klein

Arthur Klein

Arnstein & Lehr’s General Counsel Arthur L. Klein was awarded the title of Distinguished Counselor by the Illinois State Bar Association on December 12, a title conferred on attorneys who have practiced for 50 years, as noted in the certificate. The award is conferred yearly by the Association for all members of the Bar who have practiced for 50 years in their anniversary year.

To see the award, please click here.

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FINRA May Require Brokers to Disclose Recruiting Bonuses

FINRA is contemplating a new rule that would require brokers transferring firms to inform clients about their signing bonuses or other compensation they are receiving in connection with their moves.  The potential rule, which is now out for public comment, is being considered to protect customers.   By mandating disclosure of the money offered in connection with a move, the client can consider the true motivation behind the move and whether it is in the client’s best interest to transfer all of his or her business.  Indeed, many firms luring over brokers offer forgivable loans or signing bonuses that are contingent on hitting certain targets.  In order to hit such targets brokers may arguably be incentivized to perform more trades or shift business into particular funds.  With full knowledge of the “enhanced compensation” being provided or promised, the client will therefore be able to make a fully informed decision whether to follow the broker or not, or at least that is the theory behind the rule.  At this point, FINRA’s Board of Governors has given authority for FINRA to seek comment on the possible rule.

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