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Court Upholds Plan Administrator's Interpretation in Recent ERISA Case
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

On August 16, 2019, the Ninth Circuit ruled in O'Rourke v. Northern California Electrical Workers Pension Plan, et al. that the board of trustees for an ERISA-covered multiemployer pension plan did not abuse its discretion by broadly interpreting the plan's ambiguous trade-based suspension of benefits provision to preclude a participant’s claim for early retirement benefits...

Insurers Beware: California’s Notice-Prejudice Rule Is a “Fundamental Public Policy”
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2019

For those insurers that seek to circumvent California’s notice-prejudice rule, the California Supreme Court has just made that more difficult. In Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company, 845 F.3d 993 (9th Cir. 2017), the Ninth Circuit certified questions to the California Supreme Court, including: “Is California's common law notice-prejudice rule a fundamental public policy for the purpose of choice-of-law analysis?” (Pitzer College, 845 F.3d at 994...

New Regulations for Binding Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements with Long-Term Care Residents
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

In 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued regulations that prohibited long-term care facilities from entering into pre-dispute arbitration agreements with residents and their families. Shortly thereafter, those regulations were successfully challenged in federal court, and CMS has not attempted to enforce them. On July 18, 2019, CMS issued a final rule that will formally rescind the ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements with long-term care residents...

California Supreme Court Potentially Slows Down the Expansion of the Legal Cannabis Market
Hanson Bridgett LLP, August 2019

In Union of Medical Marijuana Patients v. City of San Diego, the California Supreme Court unanimously held that the City of San Diego failed to analyze the potential environmental impacts of its medical marijuana dispensary law. While the main issue in this case was the definition of a project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the ruling has important ramifications for the legal cannabis market as a whole...

Examining the ‘Good Faith’ Requirement of Light-Duty Job Offers
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, August 2019

The “good faith” requirement of a light-duty offer was just examined by the 10th District Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court with a somewhat surprising result.  Light-duty job offers can be a good way for employers to minimize the payment of temporary total disability compensation and bring injured workers back to the workforce.  However, these job offers must conform to very specific requirements under the Ohio Administrative Code...

First False Claims Act Settlement Over Flawed Cybersecurity Could Be a Harbinger of the Future
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, August 2019

In what appears to be a first under the False Claims Act, a case based on flawed cybersecurity has been settled, for nearly $9 million. On July 31, 2019, the Attorney General of New York announced that, alongside the U.S. Department of Justice, New York, eighteen other states, and the District of Columbia have reached an $8.6 million settlement with Cisco Systems, Inc. (“Cisco”) over sales of surveillance video software allegedly vulnerable to hacking...

NLRB Addresses Several Issues Involving Mandatory Arbitration Agreements Following Supreme Court Opinion in Epic Systems
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, August 2019

On August 14, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its Supplemental Decision, Order, and Notice to Show Cause in Cordúa Restaurants, Inc. and Steven Ramirez Rogelio Morales and Shearone Lewis, 368 NLRB No. 43 (2019). The decision resolves several important issues of first impression involving mandatory arbitration agreements following the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 84 U.S. __, 138 S.Ct. 1612 (2018)...

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Enjoins EEOC Guidance on use of Criminal History in Employment Decisions
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, August 2019

On August 6, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a panel opinion in the case of Texas v. EEOC at al., Case No. 18-10638 (5th Cir. August 6, 2019), that looks to significantly impact the way employers may choose to treat employees or applicants with criminal backgrounds. Background In April 2012, the EEOC issued “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII” (Guidance)...

Conventional Thinking
TSMP Law Corporation, August 2019

The Singapore Convention cements the Lion City’s reputation as a dispute resolution hub, making mediation easier to enforce globally. Clients who come to see me about commercial disputes often ask for the same thing: fast resolution. I tell them that there are two tried-and-tested ways to resolve financial claims. First, you can litigate in court and have a judge make a legal ruling on the dispute, in the full gaze of the public...

The Remedy Against Taking the Law Into Your Own Hands
ENSafrica, August 2019

  It is a well-established principle of South African law that you may not take the law into your own hands. The remedy formulated to enforce this principle is themandament van spolie.In its classic formulation, themandament, or spoliation action, protects against a deprivation of possession otherwise than through a legal process. All a plaintiff need prove is that it was in peaceful and undisturbed possession of property and was deprived of that possession...

The Supreme Court of Mauritius Sets Aside Award on Grounds of Breach of Domestic Public Policy
ENSafrica, August 2019

  In a judgment delivered on 31 May 2019, a bench of three Designated Judges of the Supreme Court constituted under section 42 of the Mauritian International Arbitration Act, 2008 (the “IAA”), set aside an arbitral award delivered under the Arbitration Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre...

International Arbitration and Financial Institutions - Current Status and the Path Ahead
Vouga Abogados, July 2019

 Eusebio Olindo López Samudio (*)  Traditionally financial institutions have preferred litigation over international arbitration. The reasons are many, but they are mainly related to the fact that arbitrators generally lack the power to render summary judgments, to grant interim measures, and that there is no precedent in international arbitration...

Use It Or Lose It: Supreme Court of Ohio Delivers Victory to Construction Contractors by Declaring All Claims Subject to Statute of Repose
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

On July 17, 2019, the Ohio Supreme Court resolved any doubt regarding the scope of Ohio’s construction statute of repose (R.C. 2305.131) and with it, delivered a clear victory to construction contractors in Ohio. In New Riegel Local School District Board of Education vs. Buehrer Group Architecture and Engineering, Inc., et al...

California Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court and Confirms Insurer's Duty to Defend Additional-Insured General Contractor, Despite Seemingly Broad Exclusion
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2019

Last month, a California appellate court reversed the trial court and ruled that a subcontractor's insurer had a duty to defend an additional-insured general contractor in underlying construction-defect litigation. In McMillin Homes Construction, Inc. v. National Fire & Marine Insurance Company (2019) 35 Cal.App.5th 1042, a general contractor was an additional insured under a commercial general liability policy issued to its roofing subcontractor...

Scope of Enquiry by the Court as to Existence of an Arbitration Agreement at the Pre-Arbital Stage: An Indian Arbitration Law Perspective
Kochhar & Co. Advocates & Legal Consultants, July 2019

BACKGROUND   In the past few years, the Indian Government has realised that its justice delivery system especially in respect of commercial disputes needs to keep pace with India’s economic growth. Though the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”) is based on the UNCITRAL principles, judicial decisions had virtually obliterated the original intent of the Act and gravely undermined its avowed objective of expeditious dispute resolution...

Using Inquiry Proceedings to Resolve Corporate Disputes
Van Doorne N.V., July 2019

Under Dutch corporate law it is possible for the Enterprise Section of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal to order an inquiry into the policies and affairs of a company and to interfere with the internal organization of such legal entity in order to settle corporate disputes between shareholders, the management and supervisory boards and the works council. The present article creates an overview of these legal proceedings. 1...

El Salvador: Elements of Arbitration Clauses in International contracts
Consortium Legal - El Salvador, July 2019

Dating back to the historical conquests of Alexander the Great in the years 300 B.C., which provided an unprecedented foundation for commercial exchanges between Macedonia, Persia and Egypt, along with the Mongolian Empire’s ambitious Silk Road that ensured, since 130 B.C...

Two Bites at the Same Apple—Supreme Court Rules Defendants Can Be Prosecuted by Federal and State Governments for the Same Crime
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

On June 17, the Supreme Court declined to overturn the Dual Sovereign Doctrine, maintaining individuals may be prosecuted under both federal and state law for the same criminal conduct. The Court’s decision was a loss for Petitioner Terance Martez Gamble, who had been prosecuted twice for illegal possession of a firearm, first in state court and then in federal court. In 2008, Gamble pleaded guilty to felony robbery in the state of Alabama...

Supreme Court Rejects State Residency Requirements for Alcohol Retail Licenses
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

The Twenty-first Amendment—which repealed Prohibition—gives states broad authority to regulate alcohol within their borders. But can states impose residency requirements on alcohol retail licensees? The U.S. Supreme Court, by a vote of seven to two in Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Ass’n v. Thomas, answered no. As state alcohol regulators adjust their licensing processes to comply with the ruling, retailers and wholesalers may see changes in the alcohol market...

DIFC Courts Pierce Veil of Incorporation in Employment/Marital Dispute
Afridi & Angell, July 2019

The DIFC Small Claims Tribunal (SCT), a branch of the DIFC Courts, has in a rare (if not first of its kind) judgement, pierced the corporate veil of a DIFC incorporated company to look into its shareholding and key individuals in the case of AS World Group Holding Ltd. Vs Anna Calkins [DIFC SCT 116/2019]. Overview of dispute AS World Group Holding Ltd (Claimant), filed proceedings against Ms...

Scandal in the Supreme Court: SCOTUS Rules Immorality No Bar to Trademark Registration
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, June 2019

Four years ago, trademark owners who sought to register brands considered “immoral,” “scandalous,” or “disparage[ing]” would have, under a prohibition in 15 U.S.C. §1052(a), received a firm rejection from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Under this regime, brand owners seeking to register, for example, holy figures in connection with alcohol or creatively named rooster-shaped lollipops, were out of luck. (See, e.g...

A Closer Look at Payment Orders under the UAE Civil Procedure Law
Afridi & Angell, June 2019

Several significant changes to the UAE Civil Procedure Law (Federal Law No. 11 of 1992 as amended) came into effect in February this year. An overview of these changes, brought about by Regulations promulgated pursuant to Decree by Law No 10 of 2017 and Cabinet Resolution No. 57 of 2018 (the Regulations) can be found in our inBrief of 12 February 2019...

Is Arbitration an Exceptional or Alternative Form of Dispute Resolution?
Afridi & Angell, May 2019

The enactment of the UAE’s first standalone arbitration law (Federal Law No. 6 of 2018; the Arbitration Law) introduced some important changes to arbitration in the UAE, such as recognising the enforceability of interim awards and significantly streamlining the enforcement of arbitral awards. However, the requirements for establishing a valid arbitration agreement (i.e...

Changes in Mauritian Court Jurisdiction and Costs
ENSafrica, May 2019

  Following the implementation of the new rules governing the jurisdictional threshold of the courts in Mauritius, District Courts will now hear claims of up to MUR250 000 (as opposed to MUR50 000 previously) and the Intermediate Court will hear claims of up to MUR2-million, whenever such claims do not fall with the District Court threshold. Claims higher than MUR2-million will continue to be lodged before the Supreme Court...

Supreme Court Exposes FCA Defendants To Decade-Old Relator Suits
Dykema, May 2019

When the Supreme Court accepted the cert petition to resolve a Circuit split regarding the False Claims Act’s statute of limitations when the government does not intervene, it created thepotential that the Court would extend the limitations periodfor private relators’ FCA actions. That is exactly what happened...

What the Dickens is Up With Audit Firms?
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2019

It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of incredulity. Blazing yellow sun. Lapping blue waves. Tanned beach bods and a palm tree’s silhouette swaying against an orange sky. Once ubiquitous, the California Fitness logo that hints at its fabulous lifestyle offering has vanished from Singapore. In its heyday “Cali”, as its legions of fans called it, was not merely a gym, it was a status symbol...

Supreme Court Delivers Blow to Class-Wide Arbitrations Absent Express Authorization in Arbitration Agreement
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, May 2019

On April 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in Lamps, et al. v. Varela, No 17-988 (April 24, 2019), holding class-wide arbitration cannot be compelled when the underlying arbitration agreement is ambiguous. In 2016, a hacker tricked a Lamps Plus employee into disclosing tax information of approximately 1,300 other employees. Not long after, a fraudulent tax return was filed in the name of respondent Frank Valera, a Lamps Plus employee...

Successor Employers Acquiring Unionized Workforces Benefit From NLRB Decision
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2019

In a recent case involving a health care facility, the NLRB issued a 3-1 decision that significantly changed a successor employer's bargaining obligations before imposing the initial terms and conditions of employment on a unionized workforce. While seemingly favorable to employers, the decision also serves as a reminder to companies that they should act cautiously and consult with counsel before they take over a business with a unionized workforce...

Parody and Abuse
ENSafrica, April 2019

A long-running legal dispute in the USA involving the brand Louis Vuitton is interesting. Not only does it deal with parody as a defence to trade mark infringement, but it also deals with trade mark bullying.What happened here was that Louis Vuitton sued a company called My Other Bag for selling cartoon-style tote bags bearing the name Louis Vuitton, claiming trade mark and copyright infringement. The case failed, with the alleged infringer successfully raising the defence of parody...

Soul Destroying - Perhaps Not!
ENSafrica, April 2019

South Africa’s East Coast Radio listeners recently got a great beginners’ class in trade mark law. It would be a shame if all the people who missed the broadcast lost out.The discussion dealt with a dispute involving the fast-food chain Chicken Licken and a small Durban vegan restaurant called Oh My Soul. It featured an interview with the couple who own the restuarant, Tallulah and Richard Duffin, as well as the attorney acting for Chicken Licken...

Get the Five W's and How: Negotiation Notes and Mediation Minutes
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

A key capability for a successful attorney is effective negotiation skills to resolve conflict and legal disputes. Negotiating over 1000 such disputes for clients and serving as a mediator in over 100 cases, has been a tremendous education on how to successfully resolve conflict...

Be Fully Prepared: Negotiation Notes and Mediation Minutes
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

“You can’t have confidence unless you are prepared. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” — Coach John Wooden Once you have developed the facts (who, what, when, where, why and how) and the law pertaining to your dispute or conflict, you need to prepare for your negotiation or mediation. Coach John Wooden stated “You can’t have confidence unless you are prepared. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail...

Mediating the Sexual Harassment Case
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

As part of the #MeToo movement, many new laws, regulations, and workplace policies regarding sexual harassment have been enacted. As a result, we are seeing an increased number of claims involving harassment. Courts and parties are favoring mediation more often with these claims because of the sensitivity of some situations and the desire for confidentiality and a quick resolution. This is especially so with claimants who are minors or who are victims of prior abuse...

The Mindset for Successful Mediation
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

The proverb is true – it does take two to tango. It is equally true in mediation.  For adversaries to reach a resolution, they need to come to terms on the merits. To maximize the chances of a successful resolution, they should also be of the correct mindset. I have found that one mindset maximizes the chances of success. “Win/Lose.” By definition, parties come to mediation with a dispute. Frequently, the parties are embroiled in litigation...

Personal Data: Comprehensive Right to Information of the Employee - A Threat to the Anonymity of Whistleblowers?
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, March 2019

The Regional Labor Court (LAG) of Baden-Württemberg, in its ruling of December 20, 2018 (Ref. 17 Sat 11/18), granted an employee a comprehensive right to information against his employer with regard to all personal data collected about his person. The right to information was explicitly confirmed in relation to personal data resulting from internal investigations and data from potential whistleblowers...

Hitachi Zosen Inova AG Ltd v John Sisk + Son Ltd – The Same Disputes, But Different?
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, March 2019

In a recent decision by the Technology and Construction Court (TCC), Judge Stewart-Smith has clarified the position when determining whether two adjudications are “the same or substantially the same” when a party challenges jurisdiction under Para 9(2) of the Scheme for Construction Contracts. He stated that thedecisionreached in the first adjudication must be considered as well as the disputesreferredto adjudication in each...

Ninth Circuit Decision on Santa Monica Short-Term Rental Ordinance is Win for Cities, Defeat for Airbnb
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2019

On March 13, the Ninth Circuit issued its highly anticipated opinion in HomeAway.com v. City of Santa Monica, upholding the City's ordinance restricting short-term home rentals on popular websites like Airbnb.com. Background In light of the severe housing crisis currently afflicting California, concerns have arisen over the impact of short-term home rentals on the supply of long-term housing...

Apples and Pears, Beers and Confusion
ENSafrica, March 2019

  Are the two trade marks confusingly similar? It’s the question that’s most commonly asked in trade mark law. The issue of confusion can arise in the context of registration: should the trade mark be registered in the face of the earlier trade mark? It can also arise in the context of use: does the trade mark that’s being used infringe the registered trade mark? The two cases that we will consider here both involve registration...

High Court Overturns Practice of Appointment of Arbitrators
ENSafrica, March 2019

  Every so often, a judgment is passed that upsets settled ways of doing business. When the hue and cry has hushed, upon closer and sober examination, it is often discovered that the old way of doing business was indeed wrong thus a new era is born.International Development Consultants Ltd -V- Jimmy Muyanja and others Misc. 133 of 2018is one such decision...

Precautionary Suspension: Do Employees Have the Right to Make Representations?
ENSafrica, March 2019

  If an employer suspects an employee of committing an act of misconduct, it is possible that the employer will want to place that employee on what is usually referred to as a “precautionary suspension”. The question that arises is whether the employer must give the employee a chance to make representations on why he or she should not to be suspended, prior to a decision being taken in this regard...

The Double Big Mac Attack
ENSafrica, March 2019

  TheBig Maccase has enjoyed considerable publicity – many publications have reported on it, includingWorld IP Review. The decision shines a spotlight on some important aspects of trade mark law. In this case, an Irish company called Supermac’s applied for the cancellation of the EU trade mark registration for Big Mac (belonging to McDonald’s) on the basis of non-use...

California Supreme Court Rules No Vested Right to Airtime Purchases; Leaves California Rule Intact
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2019

On March 4, 2019, the California Supreme Court ruled in Cal Fire Local 2881 et. al. v. California Public Employees' Retirement System that public retirement system members do not have a vested right to purchase "airtime" – nonqualified service credit unrelated to public service...

Legal Challenges to UK Public Bodies: A Quick Guide
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, February 2019

Public bodies in the UK (government departments, regulators, local authorities etc.) are legally accountable for the decisions that they make. But what does that mean in practical terms to someone looking to raise a legal challenge to a particular decision? This short blog post provides some very high level guidance in FAQ form. Q. If I think a decision is wrong, am I able to raise a legal challenge against it? A. Maybe...

California Court Rules That "Reporting Time Pay" Owed Even If Employees Are Not Required to Physically Report To Work
Hanson Bridgett LLP, February 2019

Employers in industries with fluctuating daily labor needs, such as retail services, often require employees to call in ahead of a scheduled shift to find out whether they are needed to work. According to a recently-published California Court of Appeal decision, employees who are required to use such a call-in procedure may be entitled to "reporting time pay" if they are told not to come to work that day—even if the employees do not physically report to work...

Significant Changes to Civil Procedure Code
Afridi & Angell, February 2019

Introduction Significant changes to Federal Law No 11 of 1992 (the Civil Procedure Code) will soon be coming into effect. These changes are introduced through regulations (the Regulations) issued under the Civil Procedure Code and will come into effect on 16 February 2019. The Regulations were promulgated pursuant to Decree by Law No 10 of 2017. These Regulations will amend the Civil Procedure Code where applicable...

Doggone It!
TSMP Law Corporation, February 2019

Pet owners do not get damages at law for the wrongful death of their pets, even when caused by fraudulent and unscrupulous profiteers. Should they? For many affluent “parents” of “furkids”, it is a familiar routine come Christmas or any other holiday season: stopping by at an expensive boarding facility on the way to the airport to drop off their precious pets, rather than leaving the cute critters home alone...

National Labor Relations Board Returns to Longstanding Independent Contractor Standard
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, January 2019

On January 25, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) returned to the common-law agency test for determining whether workers qualified as independent contractors. SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., 367 NLRB No. 75 (2019) The decision expressly overrules the Board’s decision in FedEx Home Delivery, 361 NLRB 610 (2014), enf. denied 849 F.3d 1123 (D.C. Cir. 2017)...

Mediation for Beginners – What You Need to Know
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, January 2019

Generally, mediation and its process are foreign to most litigants.  With the possible exception of the parties’ lawyers and insurance adjusters, often even the most sophisticated business clients have never been in mediation and do not fully understand the process or know what to expect. Frequently, as the mediator, in the early stages of the day I hear:  “It is not my fault...

Mediation for Beginners: What You Need to Know
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, January 2019

Generally, mediation and its process are foreign to most litigants.  With the possible exception of the parties’ lawyers and insurance adjusters, often even the most sophisticated business clients have never been in mediation and do not fully understand the process or know what to expect. Frequently, as the mediator, in the early stages of the day I hear:  “It is not my fault...

Can the Defence of Qualified Privilege be Invoked without Verification of Information Relied On?
Shearn Delamore & Co., January 2019

To raise the Reynolds privilege established in the landmark English House of Lords decision in Reynolds v Times Newspaper Ltd[1] in a defamation claim, a defendant is required to establish that the matter was one of public interest and that the defendant practised “responsible journalism” in publishing the impugned words...

 

 

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