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How to Boost Business - and Employee Morale - by Partnering with Your Law Firm
Dykema, October 2019

CHEAT SHEET Investment. Implementing a mentorship program between a corporation and a law firm does not require significant monetary investment, rather a considerable time investment. Diversify activities. After identifying and understanding the needs and profiles of participants, create activities that include trainings, CLEs, social events, and facility and firm visits. Benefits...

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Expert Challenge to Clinical Judgment Decision in Hospice False Claims Act Litigation
Dykema, September 2019

On September 9, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued an important decision for health care providers, especially those in the hospice industry. In U.S. v. AseraCare, Inc.,No.16-13004, Slip. Op. (11thCir. September 9, 2019), the Court held that a “reasonable disagreement between medical experts” about prognosis for a terminally ill patient, without more, cannot establish falsity. Slip. Op. at 3...

The QOZ Clock is Ticking
Dykema, August 2019

As the first of several deadlines under the Qualified Opportunity Zone (“QOZ”) program rapidly approaches, investors still on the sidelines are discovering that time is running out on the ability to take advantage of the full suite of tax benefits under the program. December 31, 2019 marks the last day in which investors may roll over capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Funds (“QOF”) and obtain a 15% reduction in the amount of the deferred gain...

Chicago Adopts “Fair Work Week Ordinance”
Dykema, July 2019

Expansive Law Aimed at Predictive Scheduling for Workers, Limiting Employers’ Ability to Unilaterally Change Work Hours On July 24, 2019, the City of Chicago enacted the “Fair Work Week Ordinance,” requiring that many businesses provide workers with up to two-weeks advance notice of their work hours and schedules...

Illinois Municipalities Begin Debate on Recreational Cannabis Businesses
Dykema, July 2019

With the State of Illinois’ recent legalization of recreational cannabis, municipalities have started to debate whether to “opt in” to allow such businesses. While municipalities cannot prohibit the use of recreational cannabis, they can decide whether recreational cannabis businesses are allowed to operate within their boundaries. Local officials are just starting to consider the pros and cons of recreational cannabis businesses in their communities...

Lawsuit Filed to Stop August 1 Effective Date of San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Dykema, July 2019

UPDATE III: Judge Agrees to Delay San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance At a hearing this morning, Judge Sol Casseb entered the Agreed Order submitted by attorneys for the City and the businesses that filed suit regarding their agreement to delay the effective date of the PSL ordinance from August 1 to December 1...

USPTO to Require U.S. Counsel for Foreign-Domiciled Trademark Owners Effective Aug 3. Foreign Applicants & Registrants should take steps to ensure compliance.
Dykema, July 2019

On July 2, 2019, the PTO announced it will implement a rule requiring U.S. counsel for foreign-domiciled trademark applicants and registrants. The new rule is effective August 3, 2019, and applies to all trademark owners with a foreign address. We discussed the rule in ourFebruary Alert. For any new filings after the effective date, licensed U.S. counsel must be designated...

Lawsuit Filed to Stop August 1 Effective Date of San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Dykema, July 2019

Effective August 1, employers with more than five employees working in the City of San Antonio must provide to all such employees paid sick leave (“PSL”) of up to 64 hours per year (for employers with more than 15 employees) or 48 hours (for employers with 15 or fewer employees) for a variety of reasons related to themselves or family members; employers with five or fewer employees are not required to comply with the PSL ordinance until August 1, 2021...

Kaestner: States Cannot Tax Trusts Based Solely on Residency of Beneficiaries
Dykema, July 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court recently released its opinion inNorth Carolina Department of Revenue v. Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust, largely vindicating the understanding of most estate planners: A state cannot tax the income of a trust where the only connection to the state is the presence of the trust’s discretionary beneficiary. Facts inKaestner The facts inKaestner, in brief, are as follows...

Michigan Opens the Door for Expanded Solar Development on Farmland
Dykema, June 2019

On Monday, June 3, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced MDARD’s decision to allow for commercial solar energy development on land currently enrolled in the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, commonly known as PA 116. PA 116 was established in 1975 and is designed to preserve farmland and open space in Michigan...

Do You Know What the Capital Gains Rate Will Be in 2026?
Dykema, June 2019

Among the many benefits of investing in a qualified opportunity fund (QOF) is the deferral of tax on current capital gains. Specifically, if an amount equivalent to a current capital gain is invested in a QOF within 180 days of the realization event, the tax generally will not come due until the earlier of the year in which the QOF investment is disposed of or 2026...

Illinois Tax Amnesty—A Limited Time Opportunity for Significant Benefits
Dykema, June 2019

The Illinois legislature has approved and Governor Pritzker has signed into law significant revisions to the Illinois Tax Delinquency Amnesty Act (35 ILCS 745/10). The new amnesty program is the first in Illinois since 2010 and is an important opportunity for noncompliant taxpayers to resolve both known and previously unknown Illinois tax obligations. The amnesty program will run from October 1, 2019, through November 15, 2019, and is generally open to all taxpayers...

Is Growing and Dispensing Cannabis a Sin?
Dykema, June 2019

In mid-May, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government of the Senate Appropriations Committee that cannabis businesses would not be eligible for Opportunity Zone (“OZ”) tax benefits...

DOJ’s New Civil Division Cooperation Guidelines For False Claims Act
Dykema, May 2019

On the heels of the DOJ Criminal Division’s revisions to itsCorporate Enforcement Policyto encourage cooperation, the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch has issued its owncooperation guidelinesthat identify a non-exhaustive list of types of cooperation that may entitle entities or individuals to cooperation credit...

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...

Does Your Corporate Compliance Program Meet the DOJ’s Expectations? New Guidance Serves as a Roadmap for Assessment.
Dykema, May 2019

The Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice recently issued an updated guidance document on theEvaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs. The new document, which significantly expands on the prior version issued in early 2017, largely follows the structure of its predecessor but provides much more detail than ever before. Indeed the new version is more than double the length of the prior version...

Court Limits Authority of DOJ to Dismiss Relator Claims
Dykema, April 2019

  Court Limits Authority of DOJ to Dismiss Relator Claims April 23, 2019 TheGranston Memoraised concerns that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) would employ its authority under 31 U.S.C. § 3730 tounderminequi tamrelator actions. Since the Memo was issued, the DOJ moved to dismiss 11 Anti-Kickback Statute cases brought by a professional relator, the National Health Care Analysis Group (“NHCAG”)...

DOL Proposes Another Major FLSA Rule Change: This Time on Calculating the “Regular Rate of Pay” for Overtime
Dykema, March 2019

Earlier this month, the DOL published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to increase the minimum salary level most exempt employees must be paid in order for them to be deemed exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements. For a summary of that proposal,click here. The comment period for the proposed changes will close in late May, and it is anticipated that the salary level rules will be finalized and implemented in early 2020...

Community Solar 101
Dykema, March 2019

Texas LawyerMarch 14, 2019By Rodrigo Figueroa According to ERCOT, the entity that oversees 90 percent of the State’s grid, as of January 2019 there was nearly 1,500 megawatts of installed utility-scale solar capacity in the ERCOT region, with that number expected to almost triple to 4,300 megawatts by the end of 2020 (one megawatt is enough to power about 200 homes in Texas during times of high-peak demand)...

DOL Finally Proposes New White Collar Exemption Regulations
Dykema, March 2019

The much awaited revised new regulations governing who qualifies for the FLSA white collar exemption has finally been revealed by the Department of Labor. It did so on March 8 by publishing anNPRM(“Notice of Proposed Rule Making”). In December of 2016, a Texas federal court entered a nationwide injunction halting the implementation of new regulations which would have dramatically increased the salary threshold for exempting most white collar employees from overtime...

All Stop: Ruling on the Applicability of Exclusion to BIPA Claims Delayed
Dykema, March 2019

The fallout from the Illinois Supreme Court’s January 25, 2019, opinion in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., 19 IL 12316, continues.Rosenbach settled the dispute of who qualifies as an “aggrieved person” under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), and in doing so opened the floodgates for this litigation to proliferate...

Biometrics and Search Warrants: The Intersection of Your iPhone and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments
Dykema, March 2019

On January 19, 2019, federal Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore of the Northern District of California denied the Government’s application for a search warrant that sought: “all digital devices” present at a California residence; (Order at 3), and “any individual present at the time of the search to press a finger (including thumb) or utilize other biometric features…for the purposes of unlocking the digital devices found in order to permit a search of

PTO Proposes U.S. Counsel Requirement for Foreign Domiciled Trademark Applicants And Registrants
Dykema, February 2019

Goal Is to Improve Accuracy and Reduce Potentially Invalid Registrations On February 14, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued aNotice of Proposed Rulemaking(“NPRM”) to require foreign domiciled trademark applicants and registrants to be represented by a licensed U.S. attorney at the PTO. The comment period on the NPRM is open until March 18, 2019...

The Supreme Court Remains Steadfast in Favor of Arbitration
Dykema, February 2019

Justice Kavanaugh’s first authored opinion as a Supreme Court Justice inHenry Schein, Inc. v. Archer and White Sales, Inc., No. 17-1272, 586 U.S. ____ (2019) further cements the Supreme Court’s stance on arbitration. Over the years, the Supreme Court has consistently held in favor of arbitration and rejected attempts by parties and the lower courts to ignore binding arbitration clauses. For instance, inAT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct...

Win Your Lender-Liability Lawsuit and Enforce Your Loan Documents with this 342-Year-Old Statute
Dykema, January 2019

Long before eMortgages, electronic signatures, and mobile apps hit the secured lending scene, Lord Nottingham proposed that the English Parliament pass An Act for Prevention of Frauds and Perjuries in 1677 to prevent nonexistent agreements from being “proved” through false testimony. That statute and its progeny remain an important resource in today’s financial services industry...

 

 

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