Monthly Archives: May 2017

ILN Today Post

Senator Grassley Prompting EB-5 Fraud Investigation

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Ronald Fieldstone

Ronald R. Fieldstone

A very interesting letter from Senator Grassley to the Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of Homeland Security indicates he is tackling the Kushner EB-5 project marketing approach. You can see the full letter by clicking here.

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Feeling charitable?

You don’t need $400 million dollars like Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest to make a difference!

A common misconception is that only wealthy people leave money to charity when they die. The reality is that the majority of charitable gifts are made by everyday Australians wanting to make a positive difference to their community after they have passed away.

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ILN Today Post

Thirteen Attorneys Ranked by Chambers & Partners

Thirteen attorneys at Shutts & Bowen LLP have been named top lawyers in their fields by Chambers & Partners in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers.

Bowman Brown, Chairman of the firm’s Executive Committee, was ranked as a “Star Individual” on banking and regulatory matters. Micky Grindstaff, the firm’s Managing Partner, was ranked as an “Eminent Practitioner.” Andrew Brumby and Arthur Menor received rankings for the first time.

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ILN Today Post

Company managers on the blacklist

Many people could be in for a nasty surprise when trying to set up a company: the company court refuses to register the majority owner or managing director on grounds that the person is subject to a ban. While the banned persons sometimes know that they have “been up to no good”, in other cases they are baffled as to the reasons for the ban. A lot is at stake: a person who is banned could end up on the “black list” for up to 7-8 years.

Anyone who is irresponsible, acts in bad faith or is negligent should not be a manager or majority shareholder of a company – this sums up the message of the laws on creating and maintaining blacklists. These rules, however, are somewhat multifarious, and it seems that they are sometimes stricter than is desirable. This can lead to some very unpleasant situations.

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Predictive Scheduling Finally Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple

On May 24, 2017, the New York City Council signed a bill banning retail employers in New York City from utilizing of “on-call scheduling.” Given the unpredictable fluctuations in customer flow associated with retail business operations, retail employers have historically utilized “on-call” schedules in an effort to manage labor costs associated with running their businesses. Rather than provide employees with fixed work schedules, many retail employers place employees “on-call,” requiring them to call in shortly before their work shift is to start to ascertain if they need to actually report to work.  The conflicting interests between retail employers and their employees posed by “on call” scheduling is obvious.  Retail employers favor the use of “on-call’ scheduling because it enables them to tailor their workforce to customer needs and avoid excessive labor costs.  Employees disfavor “on-call” scheduling for a variety of reasons. 

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No Delay to DOL Fiduciary Rule: June 9, 2017 Applicability Date Stands (For the Most Part)

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) previously announced the applicability date for the DOL’s fiduciary rule (the “Fiduciary Rule”) will be June 9, 2017.  On May 22, 2017, in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta disclosed that, despite the Administration’s agenda of deregulation, the regulators are required to following existing law and must enforce the Fiduciary Rule.  On the same date, the DOL announced, in Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-02 (“FAB 2017-2”), that during a transition period from June 9, 2017 until January 1, 2018, the DOL will not pursue claims against fiduciaries who are working diligently and in good faith to comply with the Fiduciary Rule and related exemptions or treat those fiduciaries as being in violation of the Fiduciary Rule and related exemptions.  The DOL explained that its general approach to implementation will emphasize assisting plans, plan fiduciaries, and financial institutions with compliance, rather than citing violations and imposing penalties on these parties.

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Prize-Giving to the Winners of the HOMS Solicitors ‘Fittest Company Challenge’

The 2017 winners of the ‘HOMS Fittest Company Challenge’ (Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run) were presented with their trophies at a prize-giving event on 24th May at HOMS Solicitors offices in Bishopsgate, Henry Street, Limerick.

HOMS have been sponsoring this part of the Great Limerick Run for the past four years. This is an opportunity for employees to become physically active and healthy while taking part in a fun and competitive activity. Part of the HOMS 2020 ‘Getting Ahead of the Curve’ strategic renewal plan is about staff wellbeing and making HOMS Solicitors a great place to work.

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When can discrimination be justified in a general protections claim?

A recent Federal Court case highlights the differences between how the ‘inherent requirements’ defence operates under the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), as compared to under anti-discrimination legislation.

In the case of Shizas v Commissioner of Police1, the Court found that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) had rejected a candidate’s job application on two occasions due to his arthritic condition.

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ILN Today Post

California: Infrastructure bill part of state budget revision

South Carolina is not the only state determined to do something about its crumbling infrastructure. California also recently passed a bill, SB 1, but in contrast to the Palmetto State’s situation, which we detailed last week, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown happily signed it. In a press release describing the measure, he declared that it will “provide $54 billion in new funding over the next decade, split evenly between state and local funding.”

According to the most recent analysis, $26.6 billion of that total amount would be dedicated for local expenditures and $25.8 billion for state purposes. By year, overall revenues are estimated at $2.78 billion in 2017-18, $4.55 billion in 2018-19, and $4.88 billion in 2019-20. After that, revenues are generally expected to rise annually, once all sources are fully implemented, and the specified adjustments are made each year by the California Consumer Price Index. Revenues are calculated to eventually reach approximately $6.5 billion by 2026-27.

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Debunked: Myths related to tax increases to fund infrastructure

A year ago, we described the American Sociological Review’s report, Millionaire Migration and Taxation of the Elite: Evidence from Administrative Data, which dispelled the myth that aggressive taxation of the wealthy will cause massive migration to states with more favorable tax rules. Instead, we wrote, “the report conclude[d] that millionaire tax flight is occurring, but only at the margins of statistical and socioeconomic significance. Indeed, the evidence for elite tax flight rests entirely on high migration rates into Florida, and not to any other low-tax state.”

The topic remains one of interest, particularly in states struggling to find ways to fund essentials like infrastructure, but reluctant to pass new taxes. Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts are three such jurisdictions considering millionaire taxes, as we detailed last month.

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