North America

Considerations When Treating Natural Disaster Victims Through Telemental / Telebehavioral Health Programs

You need not spend much time reading the news to know that recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have disrupted the lives of tens of thousands of individuals, many of whom may already have behavioral health needs; however, the trauma caused by these recent natural disasters, and others, has created an immense need for additional behavioral and mental health services. For example, a 2012 study entitled “The Impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Mental and Physical Health of Low-Income Parents in New Orleans” reported elevated rates of incidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”), depression, and a need for mental health services for as much as 50 percent of the low-income population affected by Hurricane Katrina, which hit in August 2005. A Fortune Magazine article reported elevated incidences of PTSD, depression, and anxiety experienced by victims of Hurricane Sandy, which hit in October 2012. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, some telehealth providers have offered free telehealth services to hurricane victims and a few behavioral health providers have established specific programs focused on providing access to behavioral health services. However, additional services are still needed to treat the long-term mental health needs of these victims.

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50-State Survey on Telemental Health Laws in the United States 2017 Appendix Released

Epstein Becker Green released an Appendix to its “50-State Survey of Telemental/Telebehavioral Health (2016)” with new and updated analysis on the laws, regulations and regulatory policies affecting the practice of telemental/telebehavioral health in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since the Survey was released in 2016, states have been incredibly active in their legislative efforts with respect to the provision of telehealth services. As a result, EBG again conducted extensive research to share relevant changes with providers and consumers who are navigating this complex legal and regulatory landscape.

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23 Davis Malm Attorneys Recognized by Massachusetts Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas, who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

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Ohio: House passes measure to exempt optical aids from sales tax, saving consumers $29M

In a late September blog post, the Ohio House Majority Caucus announced that it had passed HB 116, which exempts optical aids from sales and use tax, beginning in July 2019. Optical aids include the following: eyeglasses, contact lenses, and “other instruments or devices that may aid or correct human vision and that have been prescribed by a physician or optometrist licensed by any state, country, or province.” Eyeglass lenses, and “frames into which lenses have been installed, if the lenses have been prescribed by a physician or optometrist licensed by any state, country, or province,” are also within the definition of exempted items.

In order to prevent tax evasion, the law will presume that sales tax applies “until the contrary is established.”

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Massachusetts: Coalition sues to stop the millionaire’s tax ballot initiative

At the end of the summer, we described the movement that is afoot to raise taxes on the wealthy in certain states. New York City‘s mayor had announced his plan for a “fair fix” tax on the “on [the] wealthiest New Yorkers to modernize subways and buses, [and] fund half-priced metrocards for low-income riders,” and Seattle’s 2.25 percent tax on the income of joint tax filers with income over $500,000, which passed in July, was taking fire in the form of three taxpayer lawsuits.

Also at the time, the effort in Massachusetts, known as the Fair Share Amendment, was well underway. It is scheduled to hit the ballot in 2018, and seeks voter approval for a new 4 percent tax on income over $1 million, which would be written into the state’s constitution.

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South Dakota: Online sales tax case in US Supreme Court’s hands

We posted an article not even a month ago describing South Dakota’s latest loss in the ongoing dispute between the state on one hand and several internet retailers on the other, over the permissibility of taxing online sales. After the oral arguments, which we also detailed, the South Dakota Supreme Court did not take long to reach its conclusion: that the state did not have the authority to impose sales and tax laws on the retailers, Wayfair, Overstock.Com, and Newegg, because they lack a physical location there. South Dakota vowed to take its next, and last possible step, to the United States Supreme Court.

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Injunction application against a CEGEP: RSS causes the institution’s decision to be enforced

October 16, 2017 — Last Friday, the Superior Court denied an application for an interlocutory injunction to force a CEGEP to reintegrate a student in a college programme. The student had been expelled after having failed or abandoned several courses.

Alexandra Kallos and Pierre Brossoit demonstrated that the student’s arguments were not convincing and did not justify such an exceptional measure as an interlocutory injunction.

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Sharon Druker hosts a workshop on commercial negotiation

October 16, 2017 — On Wednesday, October 11, the Bar of Montréal presented a continuing education program consisting of a simulation of a commercial negotiation.

Sharon G. Druker hosted and commented the activity which also involved half a dozen lawyers practising commercial law with various Montréal firms.

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Tamsin R. Kaplan Presents at 4th Annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition

On October 5, shareholder Tamsin R. Kaplan, presented the program, “Employment Challenges and Solutions for the Cannabis Industry,” at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition in Boston. This event made its debut in Boston after recently being hosted in the major markets of New York and Los Angeles. Ms. Kaplan discussed the legal and practical challenges faced by employers in the cannabis industry, and provided participants with guidance and insights into the Massachusetts employment laws that govern the industry, including wage law, equal opportunity employment, workplace policies, and workplace safety.

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Cyber Security: What attorneys can do to protect their jobs and their companies

It is becoming common knowledge that the barrage of data security breaches, including the recent Yahoo and Experian breaches, can cause severe disruptions, financial costs, and liabilities in the workplace. As Yahoo’s now ex-General Counsel and former top security officials from Experian could attest, heads can roll following a data security breach. In-house counsel—who regularly help their companies balance business realities and legal requirements—are at particular risk of being “scapegoated” for organizational failures that lead to major breaches. The best way to protect the company and preserve the counsel’s job security is to proactively help identify and address data protection and cyber security issues. Here are three action items to consider in assuming this data leadership role.

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