Monthly Archives: September 2017

Premium Processing Reinstated for FY 2018 Cap H-1B Petitions

As of September 18, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing service for H-1B petitions filed as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 cap quota, which includes 65,000 regular H-1B filings and 20,000 additional petitions for candidates holding a U.S. Master’s degree. Premium processing is not resumed for other types of H-1B filings, such as normal-course H-1B Extension of Status or Amendment filings. The H-1B nonimmigrant category allows for the U.S. employment of skilled workers in specialty occupations, such as information technology, academic research, and accounting, and requires candidates to hold a minimum of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent.

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Can you disinherit your children if you want to?

You may recall that, a couple of years ago, the English press was full of reports of the Will case of Ilott v Mitson.  (For some background on the case, see my 2015 and 2017 blogs about it.) 

The case was of interest to any testator who is considering cutting out children from their Will.  However the Ilott case has now been applied in the more recent case of Nahajec v Fowle [2017] EW Misc 11 (CC), in which another impecunious child applied to the court and was successful in obtaining provision from her father’s estate, contrary to her father’s express wish that she should receive nothing.  So what can the Nahajec case teach us about whether it is possible, even, for parents to successfully exclude adult children from receiving any inheritance from them?
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ACCC taking measures to protect small business against unfair contract terms

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken action against two companies in a bid to protect small Australian businesses from unfair contracts.

One of Australia’s largest, privately owned waste management companies is the first to be taken to task by the ACCC over alleged unfair contract terms with small businesses since changes to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) came into effect in November 2016.

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Anchors dropped! Safe harbour now open for directors

On 11 September 2017, the Commonweath Parliament passed the Treasury Law Amendments (2017 Enterprise Incentives No.2 Bill). The new legislation:

  • introduces a ‘safe harbour’ exclusion from civil liability for directors faced with insolvent trading claims and
  • makes unenforceable ipso facto clauses in certain contracts which allow a party to terminate the contract for the sole reason of an insolvency event.
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Top Five Takeaways from MedPAC’s Meeting on Medicare Issues and Policy Developments – September 2017

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (“MedPAC”) met in Washington, DC, on September 7-8, 2017. The purpose of this and other public meetings of MedPAC is for the commissioners to review the issues and challenges facing the Medicare program and then make policy recommendations to Congress. MedPAC issues these recommendations in two annual reports, one in March and another in June. MedPAC’s meetings can provide valuable insight into the state of Medicare, the direction of the program moving forward, and the content of MedPAC’s next report to Congress.

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5 Actionable Takeaways from LMASE17 to Make an Immediate Impact at Your Firm

Today, I’m excited to bring you a guest post from my friend, Jennifer Simpson Carr. Jenn joined Lowenstein Sandler as a Business Development Manager in 2013. With 10 years of experience working in law firms across the US, she has worked extensively to help firms and attorneys engage target audiences and win new business in competitive markets. She recently attended and presented at the Legal Marketing Association’s Southeast Conference, where she gained some excellent, actionable advice that firms can implement immediately. Below, you’ll see her five takeaways from the conference, which range from client service to analytics to succession, and her advice for what action firms can take to implement them.

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ILN Today Post

Howard & Howard congratulates our attorneys named to Michigan Super Lawyers and Michigan Rising Stars 2017

Chicago, Illinois, September 19, 2017: Twenty-nine of Howard & Howard’s attorneys were recently named to Michigan Super Lawyers®and Michigan Rising Stars 2017 as a result of a patented selection process. This process includes peer evaluation and independent research. Only five percent of the attorneys in Michigan were named to the Super Lawyers list and two and one half percent to Rising Stars.

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Trump’s Branding Problem

Donald Trump came to the White House with the lowest approval rating ever for an incoming president. From a branding perspective, things have not been getting better. On the 144th day of his presidency, Trump hit a 60% disapproval rating, giving him the dubious distinction of being the fastest to ever reach that mark (beating George H.W. Bush, who took 1,290 days to get there).

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Assisting at the Pieta 100 Cycle

We were delighted to once again support Pieta House in their recent Pieta 100 Cycle. Volunteers from HOMS Solicitors manned refreshment stations along the routes with Sarah Falvey, Mark Culhane and John Ringrose assisting at Highfield RFC, Cork. Robert Bourke, Maria Gleeson, Michelle Thompson and Siobháin Phayer handed out well earned refreshments in the carpark of Jack Quinn’s Pub, Trim. Rachael Shaughnessy and Nicola Hackett kept the cyclists going at the Limerick Brothers of Charity stand in Newcastle West, Limerick.

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Dispute resolution clauses: When the road to a binding determination is paved with non-binding options

The recent case of Contract Control Services v Department of Education and Training [2017] VSC 507 provides further clarification on what constitutes a ‘method of resolving disputes’ for the purpose of satisfying the requirement in section 10A of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Act). The case makes it clear that it is possible to mandate a process of dispute resolution that includes non-binding steps, so long as it culminates in a binding determination.

Contract Control Services (CCS) entered into a construction contract with the Department of Education and Training (DET) in 2013 for construction works and related goods and services for the construction of the Bendigo Senior Secondary College Theatre Project.

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