News

WILL IT BE A RESERVE OR AN ESTOPPEL WITH YOUR JUDGEMENT?

The issue of « estoppel » resulting from the contents of a reservation of rights letter addressed by the insurer to the insured has been the object of a fair number of judgements in recent years. Another judgement has been rendered recently that will be helpful in determining the extent of the insurer’s duty in that respect. That judgement was rendered on October 22nd, 2010 by the Honorable Manon Savard, SJC, in Nicholas Smith, ès qualité c. Solution Air Pro Inc. et al

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Lidings becomes strategic legal counsel in Russia to Chinese telecoms manufacturer ZTE Corporation

Lidings becomes strategic legal counsel in Russia to Chinese telecoms manufacturer ZTE Corporation

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Immigration Alert: January 2011

USCIS Issues Revised Form, I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, that Includes Questions Relating to Export Controls and “Deemed Exports”

USCIS Issues New M-274 Handbook for Form I-9 Compliance

ICE Touts 2010 Worksite Enforcement Efforts

DHS Issues Regulatory Agenda that Includes Plans for New Form I-9 Rules

ICE Announces Opening of Employment Compliance Inspection Center

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Whiting

DOS and CBP Implement Tougher Blanket L-1B Visa Application and Travel Requirements for L-1 Employees

CBP Expands Global Entry Pilot to Mexican Nationals

January 14, 2011 H-1B Cap Count

DOS Issues February 2011 Visa Bulletin

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Special Immigration Alert: H-1B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2011

On January 27, 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it had received a sufficient number of new H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year 2011 (October 1, 2010, through September 30, 2011), and that January 26, 2011, was the final receipt date for new H-1B petitions requesting an employment start date in fiscal year 2011. USCIS also indicated that the final receipt date would be the date on which it physically received the petition, not the date on which the petition was postmarked. The USCIS notice stated that the agency will reject any cap-subject H-1B petitions that arrive after January 26, 2011.

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Dodd-Frank Brings Diversity into Sharper Focus for Organizations Contracting with Federal Financial Agencies

Organizations contracting with federal financial agencies, and their contractors, will encounter new scrutiny of their diversity programs and accomplishments during 2011. A feature of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires each agency to adopt procedures prescribing that a contractor shall ensure, to the maximum extent possible, the fair inclusion of women and minorities in the workforce of the contractor and, as applicable, subcontractors.

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The National Labor Relations Board Signals Expanded Union Access to Physical Premises and Electronic Communications

In 2011, more is likely to be seen of organized labor, even as the number of employees belonging to unions in the private sector workforce hovers at approximately 7.1 million, or 6.9 percent. The impact of organized labor in the economy, the media, and political discussion may not fully take account of the fact that the percentage of union membership in the private sector during 2010 compares unfavorably to that in the public sector (7.6 million workers comprising 36.2 percent). Moreover, independent contractors (estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2005 at 10.3 million, or 7.4 percent of thetotal U.S. workforce) outnumber the private sector unionized workforce.

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Enforcement Themes for 2011 – A Deputized Workforce and Energized Agencies to Step Up and Refer Out

The 2011 landscape is a product of ground laid before the start of the year. The landmark financial reform legislation and U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) initiatives indicate a sampling of new considerations and challenges for employers.

While certain employee-protective legislation was not passed in significant respects, one “sound” from 2010 that is likely to resonate throughout the business community in 2011 relates to bounty awards and protections against retaliation for whistleblowing. The bounty awards introduced in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) in July 2010 received substantial, deserved attention. Dodd-Frank brings expanded employee protections against retaliation and the prospect of sharing 10 percent to 30 percent of certain sanctions imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”). For details, see The Sounds of New Whistleblower Awards and Protections under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (originally published byBloomberg Finance L.P.).

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Lidings announces the start of cooperation with Tetra Pak

Lidings announces the start of cooperation with Tetra Pak

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CMS Publishes Solicitation for Industry Comment on RAC Program Expansion to Medicare Part C and Part D: Plans and Their Contracted Providers Should Consider Submitting Comments by 2/25/11 Deadline

On Monday, December 27, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a solicitation for public comments (“Solicitation for Comments”) regarding the expected implementation of the Recovery Audit Contractor (“RAC”) program to the Medicare Part C and Part D programs. 75 Fed. Reg. 81278 (Dec. 27, 2010). RAC auditing has been underway in the Medicare fee-for-service (“Medicare FFS”) program. CMS is now expanding RAC audits beyond Medicare Parts A and B to include Parts C and D as well, as authorized by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” a/k/a “Health Reform”).[1] The Solicitation for Comments requests industry feedback on several key issues arising under the pending RAC program expansion. Comments are due by February 25, 2011. Managed care organizations (“MCOs”) that contract with CMS to operate Medicare Advantage (“MA”) and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug program lines of business – as well as their contracted providers and Part D pharmacies – are well-advised to submit comments to CMS to help inform the government as to the issues surrounding the expansion of the RAC audit program to the MA and Part D programs.

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Offshore Wind Future Development Event

Our John Cowan and Liana Di Ciacca attended the Offshore Wind Future Development event organised by The City of Edinburgh Council in partnership with Scottish Enterprise on 13th January 2011. It was a hugely informative event highlighting the imminent growth in the offshore wind industry. We would be happy to help advise any business involved in the industry, either directly or through logistics or other support services.
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