Monthly Archives: September 2014

When are Couples Considered “Spouses”?

In estate litigation, the Court is often asked to determine whether or not a plaintiff was the “spouse” of the deceased.  We often refer to this as the “threshold question”, because being recognized as a “spouse” typically allows the plaintiff a greater claim on the estate.  While the status of a legally married spouse is usually easier to determine, WESA and other estate related law includes in the definition of “spouse” someone who has lived with the deceased in a “marriage-like relationship” for at least two years.

“Marriage-like relationships” come in many different forms.  Our Courts are clear that there is no set one set of criteria to be met, but rather, many possible indicators.  The bottom line is that each couple’s spousal status must be reviewed in the context of their own unique facts.

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Are there new Amendments coming to the Adult Guardianship Act?

In a previous post, we discussed amendments to the Patients Property Act that will come into effect on December 1 2014.  There are  also amendments to the Adult Guardianship Act that will come into effect on that date.

The amendments will:

  • affect the manner in which the Public Guardian and Trustee is appointed to manage the financial affairs of people determined to be incapable (called “adults” under the legislation”); and
  • increase the procedural protections of adults.  There are various mechanisms by which an adult can challenge a certification that he or she is incapable.
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Update on Immigration ~ Issues for Health Care

Epstein Becker Green colleagues Robert S. Groban, Jr. and Matthew S. Groban provide an update to the health care industry in the Immigration Alert: September 2014, including an update on the Sixth Circuit Expanding the Liability of Health Care Employers for Sponsorship Costs.

Based on the Kutty decision, health care employers can expect more aggressive enforcement activity in connection with their employment of foreign nationals (“FNs”) generally and foreign medical professionals sponsored for H-1B classification and J-1 waivers of the two-year foreign residence requirement that many J-1 residents face.  For the full client alert, click here.

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Let’s Get Networking!

It’s September, so you know what that means…it’s prime time to re-ignite your networking efforts! For many ILN members, they’ll have the chance to do that this week, as our European Regional Meeting kicks off in Oslo on Thursday.

While we’ve covered a lot of networking tips in the past, I’m always on the hunt for new ideas and advice to switch things up.  I recently came across this post that offers seven tips for networking success, Let’s look at a few of them, and how they apply to lawyers and law firms. 

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Healthcare Alert: It’s official: Feds acknowledge increased criminal review of civil healthcare cases

The Justice Department’s Criminal Division recently announced that it is committing more resources and “stepping up” its review of cases filed under the civil False Claims Act for potential criminal prosecutions. The announcement formalizes the government’s recent trend to open parallel criminal investigations for qui tam whistleblower lawsuits. Last year alone, approximately 750 qui tam lawsuits were filed by whistleblowers—more than two per day. The potential impact on businesses, particularly healthcare providers with ties to the government, cannot be overstated and emphasizes the need to have effective compliance programs in place.

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Illinois Court Holds That Meal Credit Program Is Valid

Our colleague Jeffrey H. Ruzal recently wrote an article entitled “Illinois Court Holds That Meal Credit Program Is Valid,” which appears in the September 2014 issue of Hospitality Law.

Following is an excerpt:

Providing an employee meal program may be a nice gesture, but requires companies that do so to maintain proper records in case their meal plans are challenged.  An Illinois appellate court recently affirmed a circuit court’s dismissal of plaintiff restaurant worker’s class action claim that defendant restaurant employer took improper deductions from plaintiff’s wages to fund a meal credit program.

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Our Managing Partner launches his blog

Our Managing Partner James Speakman has officially launched his blog: Read his first post about NAIOP Vancouver’s expert panel discussion on Vancouver real estate investment market trends.

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Week of September 15, 2014 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

It’s the end of another week here at the ILN, and it has been a BUSY one! I leave on Sunday, first for Budapest to visit with one of our member firms, and then on to Oslo for our European Regional Meeting! We’ve got some great blog posts coming up for you next week, including the latest edition of our General Counsel Corner, so make sure to stay tuned!

In the meantime, grab your coffee (I know I need more of that!) and take a look through this week’s top posts on ILNToday:


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New Laws Affecting California Employers: Anti-Harassment Protections for Unpaid Interns, Anti-Bullying Training for Managers, and Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

California has created additional protections for unpaid interns and created additional requirements for sexual harassment prevention training.  In addition, California has mandated a new requirement for most employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave.  This new sick-leave requirement will go into effect next summer on July 1, 2015. For a more detailed description of these changes, click here to review the Act Now Advisory written by our colleagues Jennifer L. Nutter and Marisa Ratinoff.

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NAIOP Panel Sets Out Current Investment Market Trends




At a crowded NAIOP breakfast at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel Thursday morning, members and guests listened to a panel of experts discuss Metro Vancouver real estate investment market trends. The informal discussion was led by the omnipresent Mark Renzoni, President and CEO of CBRE Limited. 

The panel, which included Jarvis Rouillard, Vice President – Investments, Triovest Realty Advisors; Steve Smith, Managing Director – Western Region, Manulife Real Estate; and Richard Weir, Vice President – Real Estate and Development, Bosa Developments, noted several trends over the past several quarters, not only in the Metro Vancouver market but also nationally:

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