North America

Tariffs on Wine, Whisky, and Cheese Provide Extra Fright This Halloween

Halloween parties are an annual tradition for many Americans. But this year Halloween may be a little spookier than usual as some popular party items could become more expensive.

On Friday, October 18, new 25% tariffs went into effect on many food and drink imports from the European Union (“EU”). These tariffs were first proposed by the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) back in April as part of an ongoing World Trade Organization (“WTO”) dispute surrounding civil aircraft subsidies granted by the EU.[1] This month, the WTO finally ruled on the matter, siding in favor of the United States over the EU. As a result, the United States has placed $7.5 million worth of tariffs on European goods.[2]

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Connolly Gallagher Managing Partner, Chip Connolly Named to Irish Legal 100

Connolly Gallagher Managing partner Arthur G. (“Chip”) Connolly, III has been named to the Irish Legal 100. The 12th Annual celebration took place at the residence of the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, His Excellency, Daniel Mulhall in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 24, 2019.

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Recent Changes to Massachusetts Cannabis Regulations

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) recently released final revised recreational-use regulations, following a lengthy public hearing and comment review process.  The revised regulations (Revised Rules) will take effect after they are filed with the Secretary of State.  Key elements of the Revised Rules include:

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Gregory J. Weinig to Present at ACTEC Mid-Atlantic Fellows Institute

Connolly Gallagher Trusts & Estates partner Gregory J. Weinig will present on “Representing Fiduciaries” at the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”) Mid-Atlantic Fellows Institute in Philadelphia on November 7, 2019.

The Mid-Atlantic Fellows Institute was created to develop the  profession’s future leaders through a series of in-depth educational presentations led by outstanding subject matter experts in each field.  Upon completion participants are recognized as Graduates of the Institute.

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Bill Aimed at Removing Authority from NLRB Introduced in the Senate

On October 24, 2019, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Protecting American Jobs Act.  The bill, cosponsored by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), would significantly amend the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) by removing much of the authority currently held by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”).

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NYCCHR Issues Guidance on Discrimination Based on Immigration Status and National Origin

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (“the Commission”) published a legal enforcement guidance (“Guidance”) clarifying its standards with respect to discrimination based on actual or perceived immigration status and national origin. The Guidance applies to employers, housing providers, and providers of public accommodations.

As the Guidance explains, “[d]iscrimination based on immigration status often overlaps with discrimination based on national origin and/or religion.” Under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), employers with four or more employees are prohibited from discriminating on any of these bases against job applicants, employees, interns and independent contractors.

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Brigitte Garceau admitted as Fellow of the IAFL

October 30, 2019 — Brigitte Garceau, from our Family Law Practice Group, has been admitted as Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.

“IAFL is a worldwide association of practising lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries. The Academy was formed in 1986 […] to improve the practice of law and administration of justice in the area of divorce and family law throughout the world.” Membership is by invitation only: candidates must demonstrate their credentials and expertise to the Board of Admissions before being invited to join as Fellows.

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Howard & Howard Expands Las Vegas Office

ROYAL OAK, Mich., October 29, 2019 – Royal Oak-based Howard & Howard has expanded its Las Vegas, Nevada office with the addition of Alexandria von Mohr. She joins the Firm’s growing Business Litigation Practice.

“I use my global perspective to advocate for clients with a variety of legal needs.”

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Time is Money: A Quick Wage-Hour Tip on… Final Payment of Wages to Terminated Employees in California

California law has specific requirements regarding the payment of final wages to terminated employees. The failure to comply with those requirements can require an employer to pay an individual up to 30 days of pay – known as “waiting time” penalties. As “waiting time” claims are often pursued in the context of class actions, where plaintiffs seek up to 30 days of pay for each former employee, it is critical that employers understand when final wages must be paid. And that deadline is different depending up whether the company has terminated the employment or the employee has quit.

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CMS’s Request for Information Provides Additional Signal That AI Will Revolutionize Healthcare

On October 22, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) to obtain input on how CMS can utilize Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and other new technologies to improve its operations.  CMS’ objectives to leverage AI chiefly include identifying and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse.  The RFI specifically states CMS’ aim “to ensure proper claims payment, reduce provider burden, and overall, conduct program integrity activities in a more efficient manner.”  The RFI follows last month’s White House Summit on Artificial Intelligence in Government, where over 175 government leaders and industry experts gathered to discuss how the Federal government can adopt AI “to achieve its mission and improve services to the American people.”

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