Monthly Archives: August 2013

Multistate Tax Update — August 8, 2013

On June 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Kentucky (the Supreme Court) issued its opinion in Dep’t of Revenue v. Cox Interior, Inc., 400 S.W.3d 240 (Ky. 2013). In Cox Interior, the Supreme Court considered the requirements a taxpayer must satisfy in seeking a refund of tangible personal property taxes under Kentucky law.

The dispute between Cox Interior, Inc. (Cox) and the Department of Revenue (the Department) arose out of an audit for tax years 2001 through 2004 where the Department determined that Cox owed roughly $152,000 in ad valorem taxes on tangible personal property. Cox paid in full without protest. Over a year after the completion of the audit, Cox filed a refund claim for a portion of its payment, alleging overpayment due to the Department’s improper classification of certain machinery. The Department denied the refund claim on the basis that Cox paid the amount without protest after the conclusion of the audit and, as a consequence, Cox did not follow the proper procedure for contesting the classification of the machinery. This case came to the Supreme Court after the Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals ruled in favor of Cox, and both the circuit court and court of appeals affirmed the ruling.

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McDonald Hopkins submits statement for the record to a congressional committee regarding state data breach notification laws

Cleveland, Ohio (August 8, 2013) –The national Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice at McDonald Hopkins has submitted a statement for the record to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade during its recent examination of state breach notification laws and potential federal preemption.

According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, more than 608,278,176 records have been reported compromised since 2005. This does not include the many more that have gone unreported. According to the Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report, 75 percent of the data breaches are of low or very low difficulty. Although the foreign hackings make the headlines, most data privacy incidents arise out of simply lost devices (laptops, USBs and smart phones). What is difficult for every organization, however, is attempting to comply with each of the 46 different state breach notification laws, as for most, they are confusing, therefore leading to under-reporting, failing to act or non-compliant notifications.

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Intellectual Property Law News: U.S. Constitution’s Patent and Copyright Clause

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney David L. Newman

David L. Newman

Arnstein & Lehr Partner David L. Newman authors “Standing on the Shoulders of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution’s Patent and Copyright Clause.” In the article Mr. Newman states:

Patent monetization is still the principle by which inventors are motivated and is the engine that drives innovation. Rapid disclosure and advancement of innovations allow the common man and woman to stand on the shoulders of giants and benefit from life-improving technologies. High rates of patent activity reflect a high rate of innovation and a vibrant economy. The framers of the Constitution envisioned a matching patent monetization system that could efficiently harness such patent activity by economically and fairly compensating all types of inventors. Under such a system, the framers would have been satisfied that the Patent and Copyright Clause was achieving its purpose if increasing levels of patent filings were properly managed and equal levels of patent monetization were provided for all inventors. Doing so would help to sustain patently “mad” economic growth.

To read the article in full, please click here.

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ILN Today Post

Briefing Note on Recent Developments in Cyprus – July 2013

Since the middle of March, there have been unprecedented developments in the Republic of Cyprus (“Cyprus”) following the application by the Cyprus government to the European Central Bank, the EU and the IMF (together, the “Troika”) for financial assistance.

A Memorandum of Understanding (the “MOU”) has been agreed between the Cyprus government and the Troika setting out the terms and conditions upon which the Troika will provide up to €10 billion of financial assistance to Cyprus for its budgetary requirements. The Eurogroup’s decision on 12 April 2013 agreeing to the terms of the MOU, puts an end to months of uncertainty regarding the framework within which Cyprus may continue to operate fully as an international corporate centre. More…

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OSHA Launches Ergonomics Campaign in Healthcare Industries

By Eric J. Conn, Head of Epstein Becker & Green’s OSHA Practice Group

OSHA recently announced a campaign to raise awareness about the hazards likely to cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among health care workers responsible for patient care.  Common MSDs suffered in the patient care industry include sprains, strains, soft tissue and back injuries.  These injuries are due in large part to over exertion related to manual patient handling activities, often involving heavy lifting associated with transferring and repositioning patients and working in awkward positions.

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Michael R. Pasko joins McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies as a Legislative Manager

Cleveland, Ohio (August 7, 2013) – Michael R. Pasko has joined McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies, a Washington-based subsidiary of McDonald Hopkins LLC, a business advisory and advocacy law firm. McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies, which provides strategic counsel at the federal government level, is led by former Congressman Steven LaTourette.

In his position as Legislative Manager, Pasko provides clients with strategic policy advice and analysis. He builds and maintains relationships with Members of Congress and their staff, as well as with trade and business associations, non-profits and other stakeholder organizations. Pasko helps clients solve problems they are having with the federal government and works to advance their legislative and policy agendas.

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Mark Spognardi authors article for Inside Counsel on Supreme Court’s recent clarification of supervisor definition in Title VII cases

Arnstein & Lehr

Mark Spognardi

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Mark A. Spognardi authored a column for Inside Counsel magazine’s website that was published on August 5. The article, titled “Labor: Supreme Court clarifies definition of supervisor for Title Vii discrimination and harassment cases” provides an overview of a recent clarification by the Supreme Court. On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court clarified what is considered a supervisor for liability purposes under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Mr. Spognardi also provides the implications this clarification has on employers.

To read the article in full, please click here.

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Samuel Levine contributes to Law360 article on distressed property assets

Arnstein & Lehr

Samuel Levine

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Samuel H. Levine recently authored his thoughts in a Law360 article titled “Distressed Property Assets Lure Yield-Hungry Investors” published on August 1. The article discusses the turnaround of the real estate market in regards to the large inventory of distressed property. Now that things are looking up for lenders, they are more comfortable taking potential hits when selling distressed assets, many of which are worth less than when banks first obtained them.

To read the article in full, please click here.

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Arnstein & Lehr adds litigator John Gekas to Chicago office

GekasJohnArnstein & Lehr LLP is proud to announce its newest partner, John Gekas, who joined the firm’s Litigation Practice on August 5.

Mr. Gekas is a trial lawyer with a wide array of experience in representing both publicly-traded and emerging businesses, as well as individuals across a diverse span of commercial litigation matters, including contract disputes, securities and investment fraud, class actions, and construction and real estate litigation. His practice includes acting as defense counsel opposing the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, arbitration before the National Futures Association, and trial courts in both federal and state courts across the country. Mr. Gekas also has experience before multiple U.S. Courts of Appeals, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Justin Weisberg appointed to committee for the American Society of Civil Engineers

Arnstein & Lehr

Justin Weisberg

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Justin L. Weisberg was recently appointed as a member to the Engineers Joint Contract Document Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). His term will run from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2017. The ASCE has approximately 140,000 members worldwide and it is America’s oldest national engineering society. Its mission is to provide essential value to their members and partners, advance civil engineering, and serve the public good.

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