ILN Today Post

SOX Whistleblower Must Actually Believe Employer’s Conduct Was Illegal, Says Eleventh Circuit

[Ed. Note: We thank our colleague Richard D. Tuschman for this post, which was originally published on EBG’s Florida Employment & Immigration Law Blog]

An employee claiming Whistleblower protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act must have actually believed that his company’s conduct was illegal in order to state a claim under the Act, according to a recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Gale v. U.S. Department of Labor, Case No. 08-14232 11th Cir. June 25, 2010) (pdf).

The case arose when Michael Gale was terminated from his employment at World Financial Group (“WFG”). Gale filed a Whistleblower complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which enforces the SOX Whistleblower provisions. Gale alleged that he was terminated because he opposed decisions made by company officers relating to waste and misuse of corporate funds, and because he raised concerns regarding the alleged violation of SEC rules and regulations.

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ILN Today Post

Update: Bioenergy Phase 2 Call

Just a quick update on our previous post.  BC Hydro announced today that it received registrations from 14 proponents for 19 bioenergy projects in response to the May 31 Bioenergy Phase 2 Call request for proposals.  Names of the proponents or descriptions of the projects have not been released.

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Simple Limited Companies and Limited Stock Partnerships

Simple Limited Company

The Simple Limited Companies are those that exist under a trade name and are composed of one or several joint partners that respond in a subsidiary, limitless and shared manner for the social obligations, and one or several joint partners that only are obligated up to the payment of their contributions.
Particular Characteristics
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DAVIS MALM ATTORNEY MICHAEL D. WEISMAN MEMBER OF FACULTY FOR MCLE TRIAL ADVOCACY WORKSHOP

July 20, 2010 – Boston, MA
For more information contact: Jeanie Griggs
(617) 589-3895; jgriggs@davismalm.com

On July 20, 2010, Davis Malm attorney Michael D. Weisman was a faculty member at the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s Trial Advocacy Workshop. This annual workshop offered participants a unique opportunity to develop and enhance their trial skills under the scrutiny of and with the guidance from expert trial judges and lawyers. At the end of the 6-day workshop, each attendee participated in the full jury trial of a case.

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Bloomberg Law Video of Allen Roberts Interview on Whistleblower Rights and Protections in Wall Street Financial Reform Bill

We continue to follow developments on Wall Street financial reform legislation and the whistleblower rights and protections that will come with its enactment. Now recast as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the bill will be considered with its Conference Report (pdf).

A preview of the legislation is addressed in the interview of Allen Roberts by Bloomberg legal analyst Spencer Mazyck, now available in video, below:


 

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BC Hydro’s Bioenergy Phase 2 Call

From my new colleague, Jenny Kirkpatrick:

On May 31, 2010, BC Hydro issued a Request for Proposals in relation to the long term supply of clean or renewable biomass energy generated by new projects in British Columbia (the “Bioenergy Phase 2 Call”).  Those intending to submit a Proposal must first register with BC Hydro and the registration deadline is fast approaching – July 15, 2010 at 4pm.

With the recent announcement of the Clean Energy Act coming into force, it is worth noting that there is a direct effect on the Bioenergy Phase 2 Call insofar as the Utilities Commission Act (“UCA”) is concerned. It is anticipated that BC Hydro will post an Addendum and/or Notice(s) to the RFP website to address modifications to the RFP process required to accommodate all impacts of the Clean Energy Act, including exemptions from certain procedural requirements to which energy supply contracts in British Columbia are normally subject.

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Collecttive Name Societies and the New Company Law


Collective Name Societies


The Collective Name Society is that which exists under a trade name and in which all the partners have the quality of retailers and respond, in a subsidiary, limitless and shared way, for the social obligations.
Particular Characteristics
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Whistleblowing Takes New Turn with Mandated Reporting Imposed by PPACA’s Elder Justice Act

By: Allen B. Roberts, Victoria M. Sloan

The typical set of protections or awards featured in a familiar array of whistleblower statutes has a new entrant with the imposition of mandated reporting in the Elder Justice Act section of the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). In a notable departure from other laws, the Elder Justice Act provides that every individual employed by or associated with a long-term care facility as an owner, operator, agent or contractor has an independent obligation to report a “reasonable suspicion” of a crime affecting residents or recipients of care. Reports must be made directly to both the Secretary of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and one or more law enforcement entities in as little as two hours following the formation of the reasonable suspicion.

Although limited to reports of crimes against residents and recipients of services of long-term care facilities, the mandate of the Elder Justice Act sets a new standard of conduct – and backs it up with stiff penalties affecting long-term care facilities and those associated with them.

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CMS Issues Proposed Regulations Concerning Disclosure Requirements for Certain Imaging Services Under the Stark Law’s In-Office Ancillary Services Exception

On June 25, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued theProposed Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2011 (the “Proposed Rule”).[1] Significantly, among its revisions are the proposed regulations implementing Section 6003 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”)[2] concerning the physician self-referral provisions of Section 1877 of the Social Security Act, commonly known as the “Stark Law.”[3] Specifically, the Proposed Rule outlines a proposed disclosure requirement for certain imaging services (the “Disclosure Requirement”) provided under the umbrella of the In-Office Ancillary Services Exception to the Stark Law.[4] Suppliers and providers of imaging services should consider submitting comments on the Proposed Rule to CMS in either the specified areas requested by CMS or the other areas of concern related to this topic. The deadline to submit such comments is August 24, 2010. Also, as indicated in the Proposed Rule, the Disclosure Requirement will take effect on January 1, 2011—one year later than the potentially retroactive effective date of January 1, 2010, specified in PPACA. 

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DAVIS MALM ATTORNEY SAMUEL B. MOSKOWITZ APPOINTED CHAIR OF THE EQUAL JUSTICE COALITION OF MASSACHUSETTS

June 30, 2010 – Boston, MA
For more information contact: Jeanie Griggs
(617) 589-3895; jgriggs@davismalm.com

Davis Malm attorney Samuel B. (Sandy) Moskowitz has been appointed Chair of the Equal Justice Coalition of Massachusetts. The EJC is a collaboration created by the Massachusetts Bar Association, Boston Bar Association, and the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation committed to ensuring that low-income people in Massachusetts have access to the courts when they have a civil (non-criminal) legal problem. Every year, the EJC organizes the very successful “Walk to the Hill” to lobby the Massachusetts legislature for legal aid. For more information about the EJC, please visit www.equaljusticecoalition.org.

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