Monthly Archives: March 2015

A Look at the European Advertising Landscape

UntitledEven if (or maybe because) your last exposure to European advertising was a heavy metal cough drop commercial from Finland, you may be wondering how things are going over there across the pond. In general, I think the answer is, “Things could be better, but they were a lot worse.”

Ad spending is a kind of economic indicator. When a business, or a sector, or an entire economy heads south, ad spending is one of the first things to get cut. The European Union (EU) has been slower out of the Great Recession than the United States and ad spending didn’t return to growth until 2013, and even then it only grew by only 2.3% in 2014, according to a report by eMarketer.

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Multistate Tax Update — March 26, 2015

Ohio’s Treasurer, Josh Mandel, had been promising to put Ohio’s checkbook online since at least 2013. That year, he said that the basic idea is to “allow citizen auditors to easily examine the state’s purchases, from paper clips and hotel rooms to consulting work. Ultimately, the checkbook would allow people to search, among other things, which vendors get the most money and how spending on certain services compares from one agency to another.”

Late last year, Mandel’s promise went live, as numerous outlets reported on Dec. 2, 2014. Describing OhioCheckbook.com, 10tv reported that the online checkbook shows 112 million transactions over the past seven years, and that it took a year and half to put together all the numbers. OhioCheckbook.com contains easy-to-read pie graphs revealing the various agencies’ and departments’ expenditures.

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ILN Today Post

Multistate Tax Update — March 26, 2015

Ohio’s Treasurer, Josh Mandel, had been promising to put Ohio’s checkbook online since at least 2013. That year, he said that the basic idea is to “allow citizen auditors to easily examine the state’s purchases, from paper clips and hotel rooms to consulting work. Ultimately, the checkbook would allow people to search, among other things, which vendors get the most money and how spending on certain services compares from one agency to another.”

Late last year, Mandel’s promise went live, as numerous outlets reported on Dec. 2, 2014. Describing OhioCheckbook.com, 10tv reported that the online checkbook shows 112 million transactions over the past seven years, and that it took a year and half to put together all the numbers. OhioCheckbook.com contains easy-to-read pie graphs revealing the various agencies’ and departments’ expenditures.

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Healthcare Alert: OIG issues negative laboratory advisory opinion

A laboratory that proposed to waive patient balances for out-of-network laboratory services has been told no. Specifically, the laboratory proposed to contract with physician practices to provide all laboratory services for practice patients, regardless of payor, and agree to waive all fees for patients who are enrollees of certain insurance plans that require them to use a different laboratory. However, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services posted a negative advisory opinion (Advisory Opinion 15-04) on March 25, 2015.

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EB-5 program status – observations on China’s project activity

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Ronald Fieldstone

Ronald R. Fieldstone

Summary of Conference and Business to Beijing, China

As a follow-up to my recent March 2015 trip to China, I have several observations concerning the status of the EB-5 program and, in particular, the reaction in China with respect to same.

The good news is that the market in China still seems very robust, even with retrogression estimated to take place in May or June. There seems to be a tremendous demand for the EB-5 green card program, notwithstanding the fact that the Chinese nationals are also migrating to other countries around the world that have a much easier entry policy than the United States.

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How employers can avoid costly mistakes

With industry salaries in such a strong place, according to the 2015 PRWeek Salary Survey, it is important PR firms ensure their employment practices minimize potentially costly mistakes. To that end, there are two key areas of current concern: First, keeping the “independence” in the independent contractor relationship. Second, the federal law governing background checks.

How free are freelancers?

More than ever, firms face increased risks of misclassifying workers as independent contractors when the law regards them to be employees. A company’s misclassification of its contractors increases the likelihood of Department of Labor audits and individual or class action lawsuits by workers claiming they are entitled to overtime and other employee benefits, even though they were paid as an independent contractor. More…

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Profits Not a Criteria for Denying Tax Exemptions to Educational Institutions – Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India has finally laid to rest doubts on availability of tax exemptions to charitable institutions under Section 10(23C) (iiiad) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (“IT Act, 1961”). In its recent judgement of March 16, 2015 in the matter of M/s. Queen’s Educational Society vs. Commissioner of Income Tax (Civil Appeal No.5167 of 2008), the Apex Court has set aside the judgement of the High Court of Uttarakhand, which had erroneously held that the exemptions granted under Section 10(23C) (iiiad) of the IT Act, 1961, would no longer be available to educational institutions making, “large profits”, even though it may plough such profits back into the purchase of assets for education. The net surplus of the educational institution of approximately Rs. 6.5 Lacs and Rs. 8 Lacs, for the financial years 2000-01 and 2001-02, was deemed enough by the High Court of Uttarakhand, to deny tax exemption under Section 10(23C) (iiiad) of the IT Act, 1961.

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RSS welcomes a new lawyer

March 25, 2015 — The firm is pleased to welcome Jordi Montblanch, who will focus his practice mainly on transportation and administrative law. Jordi was very recently called to the Quebec Bar, a few weeks after becoming a member of the Ontario Bar.

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Telemedicine, State Boards and the Supreme Court

Supreme CourtI have examined on this blog the various legal and regulatory issues implicated by telemedicine.  Many of those issues involve the practice of medicine and how state medical boards interpret state laws and regulations impacting telemedicine, and how those boards enforce those laws.  Believe it or not, a recent Supreme Court case may have an impact on how state boards do their business.

On February 25, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the North Carolina Dental Board (“Board”) was not insulated from federal antitrust liability under the so-called “state action” doctrine when it engaged in anticompetitive conduct to restrain non-dentists from performing teeth whitening services.  While the North Carolina case involved a dental board’s attempt to restrict activities of non-dentists, the Court’s opinion has broader implications for how states regulate and supervise professional boards—such as state medical boards.  Ultimately, the Supreme Court decision illustrates how an individual or entity, subject to perceived over-regulation by a professional board, might mount a defense by scrutinizing whether the board meets the “state action” requirements to be insulated from liability for anticompetitive regulatory actions.  Please click here to read the full EBG Client Alert.

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Amendments to Prospectus Exemptions and Additional Obligations for Issuers and Brokers

By Bernard Pinsky and Nafeesa Valli-Hasham

On May 5, 2015, changes to National Instrument 45-106 Prospectus and Registration Exemptions (“NI 45-106”) will come into force which will put additional responsibility on issuers and brokers to take “reasonable steps” to ensure investors who participate in a private placement and who represent themselves as accredited investor or friends and family are in fact eligible for those prospectus exemptions. In addition, the amendments include new documentation requirements for the accredited investor exemption and restrictions on the availability of the minimum amount exemption.

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