Lane Powell PC

ERISA: Winning Tactic on Summary Judgment to Prove Claimant Received the Policy: Get Key Evidence into the Administrative Record

You know that to apply an exclusion in a policy, the claims administrator must show that the claimant received the policy. But what happens when the claimant submits a declaration disputing your proof that she received the…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Health, Insurance

Ninth Circuit Says Ethics Policies Are “Inherently Aspirational,” and Violations Don’t Support Securities Fraud Claims, in Retail Wholesale v. Hewlett-Packard (January 19, 2017)

A senior officer’s violations of a corporation’s code of conduct do not give rise to a claim for violation of the federal securities laws—even where the corporation (including the officer himself) has touted the company’s high…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Securities Law

Fourth Circuit Holds Zone of Danger Test Does Not Apply to Award of LHWCA Benefits

In January, a panel of the Fourth Circuit considered whether the “zone of danger” test outlined by the U.S. Supreme Court in Consolidated Rail Corp. v. Gottshall, 512 U.S. 532 (1994) is applicable to a longshoreman’s claim for…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Maritime Law, Personal Injury, Transportation

ERISA: 7 Things to Know About Limited Discovery in ERISA Long Term Disability Cases

You already know that discovery in ERISA cases is generally limited because of the “significant ERISA policy interests of minimizing costs of claim disputes and ensuring prompt claims-resolution procedures.”…more
| Civil Procedure, Insurance, Labor & Employment Law

Be Careful What You Wish For, Part II: Would Companies Be Better Off Without the Fraud-on-the-Market Doctrine?

The villain in the fight against securities class actions is the fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1988 in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988). Without Basic, the…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Finance & Banking, Insurance, Securities Law

ERISA: Fibromyalgia – “[D]iagnosis is not the automatic equivalent to a finding of disability.”

Fibromyalgia cases often are difficult to assess in determining eligibility for benefits. But the mere diagnosis of a condition (like fibromyalgia) is not enough to qualify for disability benefits under most policy…more
| Civil Procedure, Health, Labor & Employment Law

Washington Supreme Court Restricts Claims Under the Insurance Fair Conduct Act

In a significant victory for insurers, the Washington Supreme Court interpreted the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA), RCW 48.30.015, for the first time and held that IFCA does not authorize an independent cause of action for…more
| Civil Procedure, Insurance

Be Careful What You Wish For, Part I: Does the Reform Act Need Reforming?

The history of securities and corporate governance litigation is full of wishes about the law that we later regret (or will), or are happy were not granted. Many of these are not obvious—and some will surprise people. From…more
| Civil Procedure, Securities Law

Executive Order on Immigration and Travel Restrictions – Suspended

UPDATE: In a landmark decision on February 9, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals halted the Executive Order travel ban imposed on persons from predominantly-Muslim countries. The Court upheld the temporary restraining…more
| Elections & Politics, Immigration Law

Washington Supreme Court Rejects Implied Federal Field Preemption of Aviation Product Liability Claim

In a unanimous decision, the Washington Supreme Court held that implied field preemption under federal law does not bar state-law product liability claims. The decision in Estate of Becker v. Avco Corporation (Jan. 26, 2017),…more
| Civil Procedure, Products Liability, Transportation

The Federal Railroad Safety Act — An Employer’s Nonretaliatory Reasons for Discharging an Employee Must Be Considered in Context of Employee’s Prima Facie Case on Causation

The Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) prohibits a rail carrier from retaliating against an employee because the employee engaged in certain activities protected by the statute, including the reporting of a workplace injury. To…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Personal Injury, Transportation

ERISA (7th Circuit): Four Ways To Inoculate Claims Denials From Allegations That a ‘Conflict of Interest’ Affected Your Decision

In the back and forth of the disability claims process, decisions on whether someone is disabled can change. Claims administrators are “entitled to seek and consider new information and, in appropriate cases, to change its…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law

ERISA: Happy New Year? 10 Things You Need to Know About the Newly Published Regulations Affecting Future ERISA Claims/Appeals

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration just published final regulations that change the ERISA disability claims and appeals process. Here are 10 things you should know about these new…more
| Labor & Employment Law

Copyright and Compliance for All: 10 Business Resolutions to Increase Copyright Success and Security in 2017

Does your business run and maintain a website? Does it create or license website or other content? Does it run and implement software? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, but haven’t yet considered the importance of…more
| Business Organizations, Intellectual Property

IP Alert: New Ruling Regarding DMCA Safe Harbor Protections

In Brief: The recent Second Circuit decision in EMI Christian Music, Inc. v. MP3tunes, LLC builds on BMG Rights Management et al v. Cox Communications, further emphasizing that courts expect online service providers and website…more
| Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology
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