Cozen O'Connor

1900 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103, United States

  • (215) 665-2000
  • (215) 665-2013

Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoffer, declared that no “presumption of prudence” applied to fiduciaries of “employee stock ownership plans” (ESOPs)…more

Corporate Counsel, Duty of Prudence, ERISA, ESOP, Fiduciary Duty

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California Court Holds An Adjuster May Be Personally Liable For Misrepresentations Made To The Insured

Earlier this month, an intermediate level California court rejected arguments that an insurance company’s adjuster owes no independent duty to the policyholders and cannot be liable even for “appalling” misconduct if he is…more

Claims Adjusters, Misrepresentation, Willful Misconduct

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Professional Services Exclusion Does Not Preclude Coverage for Deceptive Advertising Claim

Recently, in Rob Levine & Associates Ltd. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Co., No. 13-560-M, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15807 (D.R.I. Feb. 3, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island held that a legal services…more

D&O Insurance, False Advertising, Professional Liability

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Health Care Reform Implementation Update - July 2014

Last week the Senate debated a bill to reverse the Supreme Court’s contraception mandate decision, a group of House Republicans introduced a bill to replace Affordable Care Act (ACA) cuts to the Medicare home health benefit with…more

Affordable Care Act, CMS, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, HHS

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Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Enforcement of Agreement to Negotiate in Good Faith

In a recent case before the Delaware Supreme Court, SigaTechnologies v. PharmAthene, the court upheld a Delaware Chancery Court’s ruling that an express agreement between parties to negotiate in good faith, even if the subject…more

Breach of Contract, Contract Interpretation, Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Damages, Negotiations

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Oregon Supreme Court Declines to Apply $500,000 Cap on Non-Economic Damages to Birth Injuries Claim

In Klutschkowski v. Peacehealth, et al., No. 160615518 (Ore., Sept. 26, 2013), the Oregon State Supreme Court unanimously held that an Oregon statute capping non-economic damages at $500,000 was unconstitutional as applied to a…more

Birth Injuries, Damage Caps, Damages, Medical Liability, Medical Malpractice

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DOT Releases Passenger Protection Rulemaking #3; FAA Considers Commercial Drone Operations; Other Regulatory Issues

It has been a busy month at the Department of Transportation, with the DOT finally releasing its long-anticipated proposed rule on Transparency of Airline Ancillary Fees and Other Consumer Protection Issues, better known as…more

Aircraft, Department of Transportation, Drones, FAA, Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Can Employees be Disciplined for Using the Bathroom?

Employees at a Chicago plant are picketing over a new employer policy to time unscheduled bathroom breaks and discipline employees who exceed what the company deems as a reasonable amount of time. The company even went so far…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, Rest and Meal Break

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Supreme Court Issues Landmark Clean Air Act Ruling, Revives Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

On April 29, 2014, in a very significant 6-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR or the Rule), overturning a 2012 D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision invalidating the Rule…more

Air Pollution, Clean Air Act, Cross-State Air Pollution, EPA, EPA v EME Homer City

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In Iowa, Rain is What Gene Kelly Sang In – Not Water From a Burst Drain Pipe

Earlier this year, an Iowa court recognized that rain becomes rainwater once it has fallen, and it held that policy language excluding loss caused by “rain” – without more – will not operate to bar coverage for water from a…more

Policy Exclusions, Property Damage, Property Insurance

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The Washington Supreme Court Holds That in First-Party Bad Faith Litigation There Is a Presumption of No Attorney-Client Privilege

When an insured sues an insurer for bad faith, how much of the claims file maintained by the insurer is discoverable? In a 5-4 decision, the Washington Supreme Court recently weakened insurers’ ability to protect confidential…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Bad Faith, Civil Fraud Exception, Discovery, Fiduciary Duty

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ACOs And Pay for Value … About the Data

It has been over three years since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its proposed rule and guidance on the development and implementation of Accountable Care Organizations. About four million…more

ACOs, CMS, Healthcare, HIPAA, Medicaid

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Use-It-or-Lose-It Rule Modified for Health Care FSAs

The IRS has issued IRS Notice 2013-71, allowing limited carry-over of amounts in employees’ flex plan accounts to the following plan year. Under the guidance employers may permit participants to carry over up to $500 of unused…more

Carryover Basis, Flexible Spending Accounts, Healthcare, IRS

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Repairing The Parent Child Relationship When College Is An Issue

In New Jersey, a parent has an obligation to contribute to his or her child’s college education. There are a number of factors that a Court typically considers when determining the amount of the contribution. The primary…more

Colleges, Student Loans, Students

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Mortgagee Lacks Standing to Appeal

A panel of a Commonwealth Court held that a mortgagee is not an aggrieved party for purposes of standing to take an appeal of the assessment of real property. Mountain Manor Development Company LP v. Monroe County Board of…more

Appeals, Mortgagee, Tax Assessment

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The New York Court of Appeals Vacates its Decision and Rejects “Coverage by Estoppel”

The New York Court of Appeals rarely hears reargument of its decisions, let alone reverses itself. On February 18, 2014, the Court of Appeals did just that…more

Attorney Malpractice, Banks, Estoppel, K2 Investment Group, Mortgages

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The Next Generation of Data Breach Notice Law — Florida’s Information Protection Act of 2014

In a harbinger of data-breach-laws to come, the Florida State Legislature just passed a new Florida Information Protection Act, which establishes tough new notification requirements for businesses and governmental entities. With…more

Breach Notification Rule, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection, Information Governance

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Tenth Circuit Holds That Two-And-One-Half Years And Two-And-One-Half Million Dollars Do Not Constitute Prejudice

In BSC Holding, Inc. et al. v. Lexington Ins. Co., — Fed.Appx. –, 2014 WL 929194 (10th Cir., March 11, 2014), the Tenth Circuit recently underscored how difficult it can be for an insurer to demonstrate prejudice as a result of…more

Insurers, Late Notices, Prejudice, Property Insurance, Summary Judgment

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New Employment Protections for LGBT Employees of Federal Contractors, U.S. Government

Continuing to use executive authority to act in the absence of Congressional action, President Obama signed an Executive Order on July 21, 2014 that gave new protections against discrimination to lesbian, gay, bisexual and…more

Discrimination, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Gender Identity, LGBT

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Illinois Tightens Settlement Procedures

We have all experienced the frustration of having negotiated an acceptable settlement recovery after years of loss investigation and discovery, only to have the settling defendant drag its heels in terms of proffering a release…more

Settlement

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Using the Privilege: Fifth Amendment Fundamentals for Corporations

Most in-house lawyers, if they're fortunate, haven't bumped up against the Fifth Amendment and its related issues since the bar exam. After all, the so-called "nickel" typically arises solely in the criminal context, and…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Fifth Amendment, Officers, SEC, Securities Fraud

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Highlights of the Omnibus HIPAA/HITECH Final Rule

On January 25, 2013, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) published the long-awaited omnibus final regulation governing health data privacy, security and enforcement (Omnibus Rule)…more

Affirmative Defenses, Business Associates, Compliance, Data Breach, Enforcement

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Courts Continue to Split on Whether Defense Obligation Is a First Party Benefit Under Colorado Law, but Agree Duty to Defend Is a Joint and Several Obligation

In D.R. Horton, Inc.—Denver v. Mountain States Mutual Casualty Co., No. 12-cv-01080 (February 25, 2013), another U.S. District Court judge for the District of Colorado determined a liability insured seeking defense costs from…more

Attorney's Fees, Bad Faith, Breach of Contract, Construction Defects, Declaratory Relief

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Severance Payments Remain Taxable Wages for Purposes of FICA

In an eight to zero decision (with Justice Kagan recused), the U.S. Supreme Court held on March 25 in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. that severance payments made to involuntarily terminated employees are “wages” under the…more

FICA Taxes, Severance Pay

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IRS Issues Important Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Guidance

Background - On December 30, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service issued its long-awaited historic rehabilitation tax credit guidance in the form of a Revenue Procedure that outlines a safe harbor for allocations of the…more

Equity Investors, IRS, Rehabilitation Benefits, Safe Harbors, Tax Credits

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Here We Go Again: Primary Jurisdiction and Deference to FDA

We have been here before: in an attempt to capitalize on the ambiguities and uncertainties in product labeling, the plaintiffs’ bar focuses on phrases and ingredients for which there is little FDA guidance. Last year, the…more

Evaporated Cane Juice, FDA, Food Labeling, Food Safety, GMO

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Labor And Employment Observer - 2013/2014

In This Issue: Message from the Chair; Social Media and the Workplace: 2013 and Beyond; Unpaid Internships: Training Ground or Legal Landmine?; Supreme Court’s Nassar Decision Sets Higher Causation Standard for a Variety…more

Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Big Data, Causation, D.R. Horton

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Third Circuit Says No To Insured’s Request For Reserve Information

In a victory for insurers, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently rejected an insured’s discovery request for reserve information in a first-party bad faith action. In its April 29, 2014 decision in…more

Appeals, Bad Faith, Discovery, Insureds, Reserve Information

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The Hawaii Supreme Court Answers “Other Insurance” Provisions and the Duty to Defend

The Hawaii Supreme Court in Nautilus Ins. Co. v. Lexington Ins. Co., — P.3d —-, 2014 WL 560805 (2014), answers the following certified questions from the 9th Circuit on “other insurance” provisions and the duty to defend…more

Duty to Defend, Insurance Companies

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ESOPs’ Fables: On Winning Wars but Losing Battles

As the end of the Supreme Court term approached, decisions came down fast and furious. Last week’s big decisions, at least around our nerdish water cooler, were Halliburton and Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer. (Yes, we know…more

Cell Phones, Employee Benefits, ERISA, ESOP, FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer

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Washington Supreme Court: Insurers May Not Reserve the Right to Seek Reimbursement of Non-covered Defense Costs

The Washington Supreme Court joined a minority of jurisdictions that hold that insurers may not unilaterally reserve the right to seek reimbursement for defense costs paid in defending non-covered claims through a reservation of…more

Excess Policies, Insurers, Legal Costs, Medicare, Prejudice

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Labor And Employment Observer - 2013/2014

In This Issue: Message from the Chair; Social Media and the Workplace: 2013 and Beyond; Unpaid Internships: Training Ground or Legal Landmine?; Supreme Court’s Nassar Decision Sets Higher Causation Standard for a Variety…more

Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Big Data, Causation, D.R. Horton

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Use-It-or-Lose-It Rule Modified for Health Care FSAs

The IRS has issued IRS Notice 2013-71, allowing limited carry-over of amounts in employees’ flex plan accounts to the following plan year. Under the guidance employers may permit participants to carry over up to $500 of unused…more

Carryover Basis, Flexible Spending Accounts, Healthcare, IRS

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Washington Court of Appeals Holds No Duty to Defend: An Invitation to Initiate Cleanup Is Not A Suit

On June 2, 2014, the Washington State Court of Appeals issued a published opinion regarding what constitutes a “suit” in the context of environmental liability claims under the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). The court held…more

Contamination, Department of Toxic Substances Control, Duty to Defend, Toxic Exposure

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Finding Bad Faith in Kentucky Requires Evidence of Outrageous Conduct By Insurer

In its recent decision in Powell v. Cherokee Insurance Company, Case No.: 5:09-CV-00205, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky reaffirmed that in a third-party bad faith lawsuit alleging failure to timely…more

Bad Faith, Burden of Proof, Evidence, Insurers, Outrageous Conduct

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Court Invalidates Exception to Tolling Provision for Medical Malpractice Cases Brought by Minors

In Schroeder v. Weighall, 2014 WL 172665 (Wa., Jan. 16, 2014), the Washington Supreme Court invalidated another portion of Washington’s medical malpractice reform legislation. Specifically, the court invalidated RCW 4.16.190(2),…more

Healthcare, Medical Malpractice, Minors, Statute of Limitations, Tolling

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Pennsylvania Federal Court Precludes Testimony of Proposed Bad Faith Expert for the Second Time

In the recent decision of Schifino v. GEICO General Ins. Co. et al., 2013 WL 2404115 (W.D.Pa. 2013), and for the second time in less than a year, the district court for the Western District of Pennsylvania precluded a plaintiff…more

Bad Faith, Expert Testimony, Expert Witness, GEICO, Investigations

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State GMO Labeling Laws: Friend or Foe?

Despite Vermont’s passage of its GMO labeling law and other states’ consideration of similar statutes, food manufacturers continue to support uniform federal legislation over the hodgepodge state-by-state approach that is…more

FDA, Food Labeling, Food Safety, GMO, Popular

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Florida, Georgia And Texas Appraisal Update: Is Causation A Coverage Question For The Court Or A Damages Question For The Panel?

In most jurisdictions, underlying coverage issues must be resolved prior to invoking appraisal in a first-party property claim. The question of what constitutes a coverage issue (typically reserved for a court’s judicial…more

Appraisal, Causation, Damages, Homeowner's Insurance, Insurance Companies

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Facebook v. Typosquatters: Damages and Domains Awarded Under Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act

On April 30, 2013, Magistrate Judge Westmore recommended that the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California award Facebook $2.8 million in damages from typosquatters under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection…more

Consumer Protection Act, Cybersquatting, Damages, Domain Names, Facebook

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A Parent’s Right To College Records

For many parents, the financial support they provide to their children does not end after their children graduate from high school. For divorcing parents in particular, the payment of their children’s future college expenses is…more

Colleges, FERPA, Parental Rights, Student Records, Students

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HHS Releases a New Security Risk Assessment Tool

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a new security risk assessment (SRA) tool for small- to medium-sized health care providers. HIPAA requires covered entities to conduct periodic assessments of…more

HHS, HIPAA, Risk Assessment

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Supreme Court Issues Landmark Clean Air Act Ruling, Revives Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

On April 29, 2014, in a very significant 6-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR or the Rule), overturning a 2012 D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision invalidating the Rule…more

Air Pollution, Clean Air Act, Cross-State Air Pollution, EPA, EPA v EME Homer City

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PA Supreme Court Allows Certain Mesothelioma Claimants to Sue Their Employer

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued a ground-breaking decision that could potentially expose employers to a wave of new lawsuits by former employees suffering from mesothelioma. In its November 22, 2013 opinion in the…more

Employer Liability Issues, Mesothelioma, Workers' Compensation Defense

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Infrastructure Alert - July 2014

President Obama and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx have been urging Congress to fix the Highway Trust Fund before a projected funding depletion at the end of August. On July 1, Secretary Foxx sent letters to states…more

Department of Transportation, Highways, Infrastructure

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President Obama Wields His Executive Power Once Again to Target Federal Contractors on Pay Issues

On April 8, 2014, President Obama took two significant actions in the employee pay arena. He signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against their applicants and employees for inquiring about,…more

Barack Obama, Disclosure, DOL, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors

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Attorney-Client Privilege & Corporate Dissolution

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr.'s recent ruling in Red Vision Systems v. National Real Estate Information Services, No. 14-0411 (Comm. Pls. Feb. 26, 2014), that the attorney-client…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Corporate Dissolution, Disclosure, Dissolution, Insolvency

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Disclaimer Requirement of N.Y. Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2) Held Not to Apply to Property Damage Claims

The New York Court of Appeals recently confirmed that the heightened timeliness of disclaimer requirement in New York Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2) does not apply to claims arising from property damage, in KeySpan Gas East Corp. v…more

Disclaimers, Duty to Defend, Insurers, Property Damage

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Hospitals Prevail in Effort to Include Pennsylvania GA Days in the Medicare DSH Calculation

Two of Mercy Health System’s hospitals (Nazareth Hospital and the former St. Agnes Medical Center) successfully challenged, before Judge Ludwig of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Secretary…more

CMS, DSH, Eligibility, Healthcare, Hospitals

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Florida No-Fault Examination Under Oath Requirement – One of These Policies Is Not Like the Other

Due to changes effective January 1, 2013, the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law now codified the insured’s obligation to submit to an examination under oath (EUO). The newly amended statutory language explicitly states..…more

Auto Insurance, Car Accident, Examinations Under Oath, Insureds, Motor Vehicles

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Some Considerations when Preparing to Try a Property Damage Subrogation Case in the Age of CSI

Recent criminal trials turned national media events, such as the Trayvon Martin and Casey Anthony trials, have highlighted modern jurors’ expectations for forensic evidence. Commentators have termed jurors’ expectations for…more

Evidence, Forensic Examination, Jury Instructions, Jury Trial, Litigation Strategies

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A Supplemental Whitepaper Addressing Sandy’s Impact on Commercial and Residential Property Owners and Construction Companies

Superstorm Sandy, which made landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. on October 29, 2012, brought virtually unprecedented destruction to a large swath of the northeastern United States including, in particular, coastal New Jersey, New…more

Commercial Insurance Policies, Flood Insurance, Hurricane Sandy, Property Insurance

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Court Escalates a $4 million Covenant Judgment to a $20 million Bad Faith Judgment

Last week, the Washington Court of Appeals held that “in an insurance bad faith case, the amount of a reasonable covenant judgment sets a floor, not a ceiling, on the damages the jury may award.” Miller v. Safeco Ins. Co., No…more

Appeals, Auto Insurance, Bad Faith, Car Accident, Covenant Judgments

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“Fiscal Cliff” Bill Reinstates and Extends Business and Personal Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Residential Properties

On January 1, 2013, the U.S. Congress passed last minute legislation known as the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 to avoid automatic increases in income taxes for millions of Americans, as well as draconian cuts to the…more

Energy Efficiency, Energy-Efficiency Tax Credits, Fiscal Cliff, Tax Credits

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Congressional Questions on LNG Exports Could Impact the Jones Act

Last month, Congress began consideration of comprehensive legislation to reauthorize the Coast Guard and other maritime transportation programs. Consideration of such legislation is an annual occurrence and generally moves…more

Exports, Jones Act, Liquid Natural Gas, Maritime Transport, Natural Gas

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Limitations On Federal Court Jurisdiction: The Complexities Of Complete Diversity When Foreign Parties Are Involved And FSIA Removal

In the context of transnational litigation, diversity jurisdiction in a U.S. federal court can be difficult to demonstrate. This is because the typical parties in transnational litigation may include U.S. citizens, U.S…more

Citizens, Dual Citizenship, Expatriates, Federal Jurisdiction, Foreign Nationals

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Delaware LLC Act Amended to Confirm Fiduciary Duties Exist Absent Express Agreement to the Contrary

Effective August 1, 2013, Section 18-1104 of the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act (the Act) was amended to confirm that, absent a provision in the limited liability company agreement to the contrary, the managers and…more

Delaware Limited Liability Company Act, Fiduciary Duty, LLC, New Legislation

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Beware of Defendants Who Attempt to Push the Boundaries of the Economic Loss Rule (Texas)

In most jurisdictions today, to recover under a strict products liability theory, the Plaintiff must prove that a defect in the subject product was a producing cause of the Plaintiff’s damages. More importantly, in order to…more

Economic Damages, Economic Loss Doctrine

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PA Supreme Court Allows Certain Mesothelioma Claimants to Sue Their Employer

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued a ground-breaking decision that could potentially expose employers to a wave of new lawsuits by former employees suffering from mesothelioma. In its November 22, 2013 opinion in the…more

Employer Liability Issues, Mesothelioma, Workers' Compensation Defense

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PlayStation Problems: No Defense in Sony’s Cyberattack Suits

On February 21, 2014, a New York state trial court judge ruled that Zurich American Insurance Company has no duty to defend the Sony Corporation in lawsuits relating to a 2011 cyberattack on its PlayStation network. This…more

Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection, Sony

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Labor And Employment Observer - 2013/2014

In This Issue: Message from the Chair; Social Media and the Workplace: 2013 and Beyond; Unpaid Internships: Training Ground or Legal Landmine?; Supreme Court’s Nassar Decision Sets Higher Causation Standard for a Variety…more

Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Big Data, Causation, D.R. Horton

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DOT Releases Passenger Protection Rulemaking #3; FAA Considers Commercial Drone Operations; Other Regulatory Issues

It has been a busy month at the Department of Transportation, with the DOT finally releasing its long-anticipated proposed rule on Transparency of Airline Ancillary Fees and Other Consumer Protection Issues, better known as…more

Aircraft, Department of Transportation, Drones, FAA, Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Shutting Down a Capital City: How High Will Business Interruption Claims Go?

On Thursday, January 9, 2014, a major chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk Rivet cut off water to more than 300,000 people in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding nine counties. The chemical leak was from a facility owned by…more

Business Interruption, Chemicals, Discharge of Pollutants, Environmental Claims, Environmental Liability

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Data Breach Liability Exclusion – It’s Not Your Father’s CGL

No business is immune to data breach. Digital data in particular can be lost in innumerable ways, causing serious business interruptions and consumer injuries. After falling victim to a hack, virus, or cyber theft, companies…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Cyber Insurance, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Liability Insurance

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D&O Carrier Allowed to Recoup Defense and Indemnity Costs After Employees Plead Guilty to Misconduct

In Protection Strategies, Inc. v. Starr Indemnity & Liability Co., the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia allowed an insurer to recoup more than $670,000 in costs paid for the insured first to respond to…more

Bribery, Conspiracies, D&O Insurance, Fraud, Plea Agreements

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30 (b)(6) Corporate Designee Depositions - What You Need to Know

In a world where the overwhelming majority of cases never make it to trial, depositions take on outsized importance. They will almost certainly be the only in-person testimony either party has the opportunity to elicit and the…more

Corporate Designee, Depositions, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Litigation Strategies

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Financeable Ground Leases – They’re Not Just for Development Sites Anymore

In years past, ground leases were used primarily as vehicles for the development or redevelopment of “stand alone” real estate. The fee owner – typically an investment group that purchased an income property years ago and now…more

Land Developers, Leases, Lenders, Mortgages, Real Estate Development

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A Supplemental Whitepaper Addressing Sandy’s Impact on Commercial and Residential Property Owners and Construction Companies

Superstorm Sandy, which made landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. on October 29, 2012, brought virtually unprecedented destruction to a large swath of the northeastern United States including, in particular, coastal New Jersey, New…more

Commercial Insurance Policies, Flood Insurance, Hurricane Sandy, Property Insurance

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Labor and Employment Observer 2012/2013

In This Issue: - Message from the Chair - A Second Obama Administration’s Impact on Labor and Employment Issues - Will There be Comprehensive Immigration Legislation After the 2012 Presidential Election? -…more

Affordable Care Act, EEOC, FMLA, Hurricane Sandy, Immigration Reform

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Washington Appellate Court Holds That Below-Limits Settlement Fails to Trigger Excess Policies

On November 12, 2013, in Quellos Group LLC v. Federal Insurance Company, the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of two excess professional liability insurers because the excess policies “require[d]…more

Excess Policies, Policy Limits, Settlement

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Illinois Court Outlines Elements to Consider for Good Faith Analysis of Settlement Demand

To settle or not to settle: that is the question for liability insurers. If you are pondering whether you must accept a plaintiff’s settlement offer, read on. A recent Illinois case, Huang v. Brenson, 7 N.E.3d 729 (Ill. App. Ct…more

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U.S. Ukraine-Related Sanctions: Another List to Check and What It Means

On July 16, 2014 in response to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control announced that it was adding several individuals and entities to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. As with…more

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Labor And Employment Observer - 2013/2014

In This Issue: Message from the Chair; Social Media and the Workplace: 2013 and Beyond; Unpaid Internships: Training Ground or Legal Landmine?; Supreme Court’s Nassar Decision Sets Higher Causation Standard for a Variety…more

Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Big Data, Causation, D.R. Horton

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Facebook "Friends", 4th Amendment Privacy & Probable Cause

A recent court decision has added support to the idea that there is no privacy on the internet. In United States v. Meregildo, defendant Melvin Colon moved to suppress evidence seized from his Facebook account pursuant to a…more

Evidence, Evidence Suppression, Facebook, Facebook Friends, Fourth Amendment

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Court Invalidates Exception to Tolling Provision for Medical Malpractice Cases Brought by Minors

In Schroeder v. Weighall, 2014 WL 172665 (Wa., Jan. 16, 2014), the Washington Supreme Court invalidated another portion of Washington’s medical malpractice reform legislation. Specifically, the court invalidated RCW 4.16.190(2),…more

Healthcare, Medical Malpractice, Minors, Statute of Limitations, Tolling

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Cozen Comics, The Flame, Vol. 1, Chapters 1-4, The Subro Recovery

We have all seen the Herculean deeds of a superhero on television or in the movies. They knock over buildings, use buses as weapons and generally cause super-sized amounts of property damage. Have you ever wondered who pays for…more

Property Damage, Subrogation

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S.D.N.Y. Disqualifies Securities Class Action Plaintiffs’ Expert and Denies Class Certification

Recently, in IBEW Local 90 Pension Fund v. Deutsche Bank AG, No. 11-cv-4209, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155136 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 29, 2013), District Judge Katherine Forrest declined to certify a class of securities plaintiffs and…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Daubert Standards, Disqualification, Expert Witness

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Utilities Sector To Be a Focus of Executive Order Directing Development of Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Framework

Little more than a week after reports of cyber attacks targeted at the Department of Energy, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, President Obama declared in his State of the Union address that these forms of attacks…more

Critical Infrastructure Sectors, Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Framework, DHS

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Supreme Court Rejects Class Plaintiff’s Attempt To Avoid Federal Court By Stipulation Damages Will Be Less Than $5,000,000

In Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a class-action plaintiff may not avoid the effect of the federal Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) by “stipulating” he will not seek damages in excess of…more

Amount in Controversy, CAFA, Class Action, Class Certification, Damages

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Court Escalates a $4 million Covenant Judgment to a $20 million Bad Faith Judgment

Last week, the Washington Court of Appeals held that “in an insurance bad faith case, the amount of a reasonable covenant judgment sets a floor, not a ceiling, on the damages the jury may award.” Miller v. Safeco Ins. Co., No…more

Appeals, Auto Insurance, Bad Faith, Car Accident, Covenant Judgments

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Supreme Court: Reverse Payment Settlements Subject to Antitrust Scrutiny

On June 17, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision that addressed a “reverse payment” settlement agreement between a brand-name pharmaceutical company (plaintiff patent holder) and multiple generic drug companies…more

ANDA, Antitrust Litigation, FTC, FTC v Actavis, Generic Drugs

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Benefit Corporations – A New Type Of Corporation – Are Now Authorized In Pennsylvania

On January 23, 2013, the Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation Act (the Act) became effective. The Act authorizes a new type of for-profit business corporation known as a benefit corporation. Pennsylvania is now one of 12 states that…more

Benefit Corporations, Directors, Investors, Officers, Shareholders

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A New Era For Vessel Sharing Agreements – FMC Allows P3 and G6 Alliances To Go into Effect

On March 20, 2014, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced that by a vote of 4-1, it had decided to let the P3 Network Vessel Sharing Agreement, among CMA CGM S.A., A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S trading under the name of Maersk…more

Federal Maritime Commission, FMCSA, P3s, Shipping, Vessels

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Highlights of the Omnibus HIPAA/HITECH Final Rule

On January 25, 2013, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) published the long-awaited omnibus final regulation governing health data privacy, security and enforcement (Omnibus Rule)…more

Affirmative Defenses, Business Associates, Compliance, Data Breach, Enforcement

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New Jersey Creates Energy Resilience Bank to Develop and Harden Energy Assets of Critical Facilities

One of the most important and sobering lessons learned in the wake of Superstorm Sandy was how susceptible New Jersey’s critical facilities, such as water and wastewater treatment centers, transportation centers, emergency…more

Critical Infrastructure Sectors, Electricity, Emergency Generators, Emergency Management Plans, Energy

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Collectibility in Legal Malpractice Suits – A Required Element in Proving Damages: Schmidt v. Coogan

In Schmidt v. Coogan, No. 41279-9-II, 2012 WL 5331567 (October 30, 2012), the Washington Court of Appeals held that (1) collectibility is a required component in determining legal malpractice damages and (2) the failure to prove…more

Attorney Malpractice, Damages

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Benchmarking Begins for Owners of Large Commercial Buildings in Philadelphia

Last year, we notified you that the city of Philadelphia adopted new energy benchmarking requirements to track and assess energy and water consumption for large commercial buildings. The time has come for owners to comply with…more

Benchmarks, Commercial Leases, Commercial Property Owners, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Policies

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Significant Restrictions on Local Government Debt and Swaps Introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly

Legislation (Senate Bills No. 901, 902, 903 and 904 (SB 901, SB 902, SB 903 and SB 904)) has been introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly that, if passed, in whole or in part, could significantly affect certain types of…more

Economic Development, Funding, Legislative Agendas, Municipalities, Ultra Vires

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A Good Faith Review of 2013

With the arrival of the new year, many are applying the mantra “out with the old, in with the new.” Although this may be motivational for personal resolutions, it does not generally apply in the context of law as last year’s law…more

American Guarantee & Liability Ins. Co., Attorney-Client Privilege, Bad Faith, Confidential Information, D.R. Horton

See All Updates »

New York State Legislation Alert: April 2014

New York’s recently passed legislation, effective April 1, 2014, significantly changes its estate tax regime and income tax regime for certain trusts. This Alert discusses the implications of this legislation…more

Estate Tax, Income Taxes, State Budgets, State Taxes, Trusts

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Recent Notable Recalls

By now most subrogation professionals understand the importance of keeping current with the frequent Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notices. For this blog post we note the following recent notable recalls for the…more

CPSC, Product Recalls, Subrogation

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We Don’t Need No Intervention: Qui Tam Relator in Omnicare Wins Big Without DOJ

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced the settlement of two qui tam whistleblower lawsuits against Omnicare Inc., the largest nursing home pharmaceutical and pharmacy services vendor in the nation. The…more

DOJ, Nursing Homes, Omnicare, Qui Tam, Whistleblowers

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Connecticut High Court Clarifies Aggregate Limit and Number of SIRs Under Professional Liability Policy

On January 28, 2014, the Supreme Court of Connecticut, in Lexington Ins. Co. v. Lexington Healthcare Group, Inc., 311 Conn. 29, addressed three issues that define the extent of coverage available under a medical professional…more

Medical Liability, Occurrence, Professional Liability

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Significant Restrictions on Local Government Debt and Swaps Introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly

Legislation (Senate Bills No. 901, 902, 903 and 904 (SB 901, SB 902, SB 903 and SB 904)) has been introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly that, if passed, in whole or in part, could significantly affect certain types of…more

Economic Development, Funding, Legislative Agendas, Municipalities, Ultra Vires

See All Updates »

A Supplemental Whitepaper Addressing Sandy’s Impact on Commercial and Residential Property Owners and Construction Companies

Superstorm Sandy, which made landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. on October 29, 2012, brought virtually unprecedented destruction to a large swath of the northeastern United States including, in particular, coastal New Jersey, New…more

Commercial Insurance Policies, Flood Insurance, Hurricane Sandy, Property Insurance

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Facebook v. Typosquatters: Damages and Domains Awarded Under Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act

On April 30, 2013, Magistrate Judge Westmore recommended that the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California award Facebook $2.8 million in damages from typosquatters under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection…more

Consumer Protection Act, Cybersquatting, Damages, Domain Names, Facebook

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Supreme Court Cans Three Obama Recess Appointments to the National Labor Relations Board

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday released its much-anticipated opinion in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, holding that President Obama exceeded his authority in appointing Sharon Block, Richard Griffin, and…more

Barack Obama, Canning v NLRB, NLRB, Recess Appointments, SCOTUS

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Chen v. Howard-Anderson: A Study in the Standards of Review and of D&O Conduct in the Merger Context

Litigation over challenges to corporate mergers has swelled in recent years, exposing directors, officers and their D&O insurers to large amounts of defense costs and potentially great liability. The Delaware Chancery Court…more

Board of Directors, Corporate Officers, D&O Insurance, Disclosure, Exculpatory Clauses

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Supreme Court Willing to Reconsider Deference to Administrative Agencies

Most of the federal government's authority is exercised, on a day-to-day basis, through its administrative agencies. Central to the efficiency of those agencies — such as it is — is the judiciary's substantial deference to…more

Clean Water Act, EPA, Logging, Permits, SCOTUS

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Connecticut High Court Clarifies Aggregate Limit and Number of SIRs Under Professional Liability Policy

On January 28, 2014, the Supreme Court of Connecticut, in Lexington Ins. Co. v. Lexington Healthcare Group, Inc., 311 Conn. 29, addressed three issues that define the extent of coverage available under a medical professional…more

Medical Liability, Occurrence, Professional Liability

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Prohibiting Discovery of Attorney-Expert Communications

Are communications between attorneys and their retained experts discoverable? For now, the answer appears to be no, as a divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently affirmed a Superior Court decision “creat[ing] a bright-line…more

Appeals, Attorney-Client Privilege, Corporate Counsel, Discovery, Expert Witness

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Supreme Court’s Myriad Decision on Patenting Isolated DNA

The Supreme Court of the United States has now ruled on the patent eligibility of isolated DNA. On June 13, 2013, in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., the Court unanimously held that a “naturally…more

AMP v Myriad, DNA, Gene Patenting, Human Genes, Myriad

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Enforcing Confidential Mediation Settlements

It’s the morning of your big mediation and you are fully prepared to resolve your case without sacrificing key positions. You and your attorney have set your expectations as to what will happen, who will speak, what the mediator…more

Confidential Information, Enforcement, Mediation, Settlement

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Attorney Means “Attorney” – Lessons for Subrogation Professions From Recent Federal Court Decisions Clarifying the Disclosure Requirements for Expert Materials

The Amendments to Rule 26 - In 2010, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 was amended to provide new limitations on the discovery allowed for testifying experts in federal court cases. The most significant changes with…more

Discovery, Expert Witness, Rule 26, Subject Matter Experts, Subrogation

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Superstorm Sandy Is Causing New York and New Jersey Legislators to Reconsider Passing Legislation that Would Establish a Private Right of Action for Bad Faith Claim Handling

Policyholders in New York and New Jersey presently have no private right of action against insurance companies for alleged violations of each state’s respective statutory claim handling guidelines – New York’s Unfair Claim…more

Actual Malice, Attorney's Fees, Bad Faith, Damages, Hurricane Sandy

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Get the Insured to Sign a Subrogation Receipt

In Quebec civil law, the claim must be brought under the insurer’s name, and not under the insured’s name as in Ontario. Once the payment is made, the insurer is subrogated in the insured’s rights, and the right to bring a claim…more

Canada, Insureds, Insurers, Subrogation

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A Good Faith Review of 2013

With the arrival of the new year, many are applying the mantra “out with the old, in with the new.” Although this may be motivational for personal resolutions, it does not generally apply in the context of law as last year’s law…more

American Guarantee & Liability Ins. Co., Attorney-Client Privilege, Bad Faith, Confidential Information, D.R. Horton

See All Updates »

Pre-Emption of State-Law Design-Defect Claim Against Generic Drug Company

On June 24, 2013, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., Inc. v. Bartlett held that state-law design-defect claims based on the inadequacy of a generic drug’s labeled warnings are pre-empted by…more

Design Defects, FDA, Generic Drugs, Mutual Pharmaceuticals v Bartlett, Preemption

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Psychology In the Courtroom - Is Social Science "Common Sense" or a Tool to Correct Juror Misconceptions?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued two decisions regarding the use of social science experts in criminal cases. As noted by University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris, however, the opinions appear to “come…more

Juror, Testimony, Trials

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Labor And Employment Observer - 2013/2014

In This Issue: Message from the Chair; Social Media and the Workplace: 2013 and Beyond; Unpaid Internships: Training Ground or Legal Landmine?; Supreme Court’s Nassar Decision Sets Higher Causation Standard for a Variety…more

Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Big Data, Causation, D.R. Horton

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Labor And Employment Observer - 2013/2014

In This Issue: Message from the Chair; Social Media and the Workplace: 2013 and Beyond; Unpaid Internships: Training Ground or Legal Landmine?; Supreme Court’s Nassar Decision Sets Higher Causation Standard for a Variety…more

Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Big Data, Causation, D.R. Horton

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First and Ten: Will College Athletes Be the Next Wave of Unionization?

Everyone recognizes that college athletics are big business for the schools, but do they exploit the student athletes under the guise of amateurism? Thanks to a new decision out of the Chicago office of the National Labor…more

College Athletes, NLRB, Unions

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Halliburton Decided! World Does Not End

Yesterday, the Supreme Court released its highly-anticipated decision in Hallburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. As we (and, to be fair, others) predicted after the oral argument, the Court did not have the appetite to…more

Basic v Levinson, Class Action, Class Certification, Corporate Counsel, Fraud

See All Updates »

Pre-Emption of State-Law Design-Defect Claim Against Generic Drug Company

On June 24, 2013, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., Inc. v. Bartlett held that state-law design-defect claims based on the inadequacy of a generic drug’s labeled warnings are pre-empted by…more

Design Defects, FDA, Generic Drugs, Mutual Pharmaceuticals v Bartlett, Preemption

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Begin Preparing for Pennsylvania’s Enforcement of Act 122

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (“DOH”) Bureau of Laboratories (“Bureau”) recently announced that it will begin to phase-in enforcement of Act 122, which amended the Pennsylvania Clinical Laboratory Act (“Lab Act”), even…more

Clinical Laboratories, Healthcare, Healthcare Facilities, Physicians

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Carrier's Website Does Not Limit Liability Under Carmack Amendment

A recent decision in District Court in New Jersey may interest insurers subrogating transportation claims. In particular, it sets forth the legal argument to challenge target-carriers’ arguments about purported limitations of…more

Damages, Interstate Commerce, Limitation of Liability Clause, Subrogation

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Fiscal Cliff Deal and Healthcare: 3-Point Bulletin

On January 1, President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 into law to prevent the country from going over the proverbial “fiscal cliff.” The fiscal cliff deal prevents the scheduled 26.5% cut in reimbursement…more

Affordable Care Act, American Taxpayer Relief Act, CLASS Act, Co-Op, Fiscal Cliff

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Repetitive Water Heater Failure Claims – New Theories of Recovery

It can be frustrating when pursuit of a products liability case is not economically feasible due to the small dollar value of the claim. This is especially true with repetitive failure claims – when the same type of product…more

Boilers, Manufacturers, Manufacturing Defects, Recovery Laws

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Seller’s Invocation of Force Majeure Under NAESB Contract Rejected by NJ Appellate Division

In a case of first impression that interpreted the force majeure provisions of an industry contract form promulgated by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB), Cozen O’Connor prevailed on behalf of plaintiff when, on…more

Energy, Energy Policy, Force Majeure Clause, Natural Gas, Oil & Gas

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ACOs And Pay for Value … About the Data

It has been over three years since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its proposed rule and guidance on the development and implementation of Accountable Care Organizations. About four million…more

ACOs, CMS, Healthcare, HIPAA, Medicaid

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Additional California Rulings on Right to Repair Act Defense

In August 2013, we reported that Christmas had come early for the California subrogation community due to a recent decision from the Court of Appeals which found that the “Right to Repair Act” (SB 800) did not apply to cases in…more

Actual Injuries, Construction Defects, Damages, Right to Repair, Subrogation

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The Next Generation of Data Breach Notice Law — Florida’s Information Protection Act of 2014

In a harbinger of data-breach-laws to come, the Florida State Legislature just passed a new Florida Information Protection Act, which establishes tough new notification requirements for businesses and governmental entities. With…more

Breach Notification Rule, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection, Information Governance

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Labor And Employment Observer - 2013/2014

In This Issue: Message from the Chair; Social Media and the Workplace: 2013 and Beyond; Unpaid Internships: Training Ground or Legal Landmine?; Supreme Court’s Nassar Decision Sets Higher Causation Standard for a Variety…more

Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Big Data, Causation, D.R. Horton

See All Updates »

A New Era For Vessel Sharing Agreements – FMC Allows P3 and G6 Alliances To Go into Effect

On March 20, 2014, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced that by a vote of 4-1, it had decided to let the P3 Network Vessel Sharing Agreement, among CMA CGM S.A., A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S trading under the name of Maersk…more

Federal Maritime Commission, FMCSA, P3s, Shipping, Vessels

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Labor And Employment Observer - 2013/2014

In This Issue: Message from the Chair; Social Media and the Workplace: 2013 and Beyond; Unpaid Internships: Training Ground or Legal Landmine?; Supreme Court’s Nassar Decision Sets Higher Causation Standard for a Variety…more

Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Big Data, Causation, D.R. Horton

See All Updates »

CMS Proposes Prospective Payment System Update Rules for Inpatient and Long Term Care Hospitals

On Friday, April 26, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a crucial payment system rule that proposes updated rates and regulatory policies for inpatient hospitals (including inpatient psychiatric…more

CMS, Document Coding, Healthcare, Hospitals, Long Term Care Facilities

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30 (b)(6) Corporate Designee Depositions - What You Need to Know

In a world where the overwhelming majority of cases never make it to trial, depositions take on outsized importance. They will almost certainly be the only in-person testimony either party has the opportunity to elicit and the…more

Corporate Designee, Depositions, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Litigation Strategies

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Washington Appellate Court Holds That Below-Limits Settlement Fails to Trigger Excess Policies

On November 12, 2013, in Quellos Group LLC v. Federal Insurance Company, the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of two excess professional liability insurers because the excess policies “require[d]…more

Excess Policies, Policy Limits, Settlement

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Indiana: New Home Warranties Must Be Insured

When faced with a subrogation loss involving a new or fairly new house, and a potential construction defect that caused the loss, one of the first things to look for is how warranties can help or hurt your case. Did the builder…more

Construction Defects, Implied Warranty of Habitability, Warranties

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Delaware LLC Act Amended to Confirm Fiduciary Duties Exist Absent Express Agreement to the Contrary

Effective August 1, 2013, Section 18-1104 of the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act (the Act) was amended to confirm that, absent a provision in the limited liability company agreement to the contrary, the managers and…more

Delaware Limited Liability Company Act, Fiduciary Duty, LLC, New Legislation

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Disclaimer Requirement of N.Y. Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2) Held Not to Apply to Property Damage Claims

The New York Court of Appeals recently confirmed that the heightened timeliness of disclaimer requirement in New York Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2) does not apply to claims arising from property damage, in KeySpan Gas East Corp. v…more

Disclaimers, Duty to Defend, Insurers, Property Damage

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Statements Are As Important As Actions Are In Sports Too

I often like to use the world of sports as a backdrop for employment law and social media points. After all, athletes are essentially employees of the teams they play for, right? And here’s another recent case in point of how…more

Athletes, Social Media, Sports

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Mortgagee Lacks Standing to Appeal

A panel of a Commonwealth Court held that a mortgagee is not an aggrieved party for purposes of standing to take an appeal of the assessment of real property. Mountain Manor Development Company LP v. Monroe County Board of…more

Appeals, Mortgagee, Tax Assessment

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Socially Responsible Procurement and Best Value

The New York Times had an article yesterday by Ian Urbina, The Shopping List as Policy Tool, that analyzes the possibility of using the government’s purchasing power to cure a range of social challenges, including limiting harsh…more

Federal Contractors, Procurement Guidelines

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Zhang v. Sup. Ct.: Violation of Unfair Insurance Practices Act May Support Unfair Competition Claim

In a highly awaited decision, the California Supreme Court in Zhang v. Sup. Ct. of San Bernardino County (August 1, 2013) 2013 Cal. LEXIS 6520, Case No. S178542, considered whether insurance practices that violate the California…more

Insurers, Third-Party, Unfair Competition, Unfair Insurance Practices Act

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Does The EPA Have A Thing Against Building Energy Codes?

What if there was a technology that had a 20 year track record of saving 4.8 quads of energy and 41 million tons of carbon, while saving consumers more than $44 billion over the past 20 years, and was anticipated to save…more

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The Impact of Halliburton on Directors and Officers Insurance

Over the past year, directors and officers have been anticipating the Supreme Court’s ruling in Halliburton Co. et al. v. Erica John Fund, Inc., No. 13-317. In its recent 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court retained the…more

Basic v Levinson, Class Certification, D&O Insurance, Fraud, Fraud-on-the-Market

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Benefit Corporations – A New Type Of Corporation – Are Now Authorized In Pennsylvania

On January 23, 2013, the Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation Act (the Act) became effective. The Act authorizes a new type of for-profit business corporation known as a benefit corporation. Pennsylvania is now one of 12 states that…more

Benefit Corporations, Directors, Investors, Officers, Shareholders

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Court Holds Excise Tax Does Not Apply to Foreign Retrocessional Reinsurance

In Validus Reinsurance, Ltd. v. United States, No. 13-0109 (ABJ), 2014 WL 462886 (D.D.C. 2014), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that although foreign reinsurance contracts covering certain U.S. risks…more

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Potential Recovery Opportunities Arising From Pollution Claims

Energy production in the United States is at an all-time high. In 2013, an average of 7.5 million barrels of oil were pumped every day, which bested the previous production record (2012) by one million barrels. Domestic oil…more

Contaminated Properties, Environmental Claims, Environmental Liability, Environmental Policies, Oil & Gas

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FDA Proposes Regulations on Safe Food Transport

In early February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its seventh and final major rule as part of the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. The proposed rule seeks to prevent the contamination of…more

FDA, Food Safety, FSMA, Shipping, Trucking Industry

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Approved H-1B Visa Holders Can Start Applying For Passport Visas

Beneficiaries of approved H-1B petitions with an October 1, 2014 start date may now begin filing their visa applications at U.S. consular posts. Posts are authorized to accept H visa petitions and issue visas to qualified…more

H-1B, Hiring & Firing, Passports, Visas

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Halliburton Decided! World Does Not End

Yesterday, the Supreme Court released its highly-anticipated decision in Hallburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. As we (and, to be fair, others) predicted after the oral argument, the Court did not have the appetite to…more

Basic v Levinson, Class Action, Class Certification, Corporate Counsel, Fraud

See All Updates »

Fifth Circuit Rejects Insured’s Attempt to Use Lack of Prejudice When Notice Provision is Separately Negotiated

The 5th Circuit rebuffed an insured’s attempt to circumvent policy language requiring notice within 30 days of a pollution occurrence in a bumbershoot (umbrella) policy in Starr Indemnity & Liability Company v. SGS Petroleum…more

Indemnity Agreements, Indemnity Insurance, Insureds, Negotiations, Notice Requirements

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Unrest In Ukraine – The Insurance Implications

On 21 November 2013 protesters gathered in central Kiev to demand the resignation of President Yanukovich and his government following his sudden decision not to sign an Association and Free Trade Agreement with the European…more

EU, Free Trade Agreement, Insurers, Property Damage, Trade Policy

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Court Holds Excise Tax Does Not Apply to Foreign Retrocessional Reinsurance

In Validus Reinsurance, Ltd. v. United States, No. 13-0109 (ABJ), 2014 WL 462886 (D.D.C. 2014), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that although foreign reinsurance contracts covering certain U.S. risks…more

See All Updates »

U.S. DOT Emergency Order Impacts Crude Oil Testing, Rail Shipping Requirements

In an emergency order issued on February 25, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) directed all parties offering for transport or transporting petroleum crude oil to ensure that product is properly tested and…more

DOT, Hazardous Substances, Oil & Gas, Railways

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Mortgagee Lacks Standing to Appeal

A panel of a Commonwealth Court held that a mortgagee is not an aggrieved party for purposes of standing to take an appeal of the assessment of real property. Mountain Manor Development Company LP v. Monroe County Board of…more

Appeals, Mortgagee, Tax Assessment

See All Updates »

Significant Restrictions on Local Government Debt and Swaps Introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly

Legislation (Senate Bills No. 901, 902, 903 and 904 (SB 901, SB 902, SB 903 and SB 904)) has been introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly that, if passed, in whole or in part, could significantly affect certain types of…more

Economic Development, Funding, Legislative Agendas, Municipalities, Ultra Vires

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Claims Handling Reminders for Oklahoma Storm Losses

In light of the recent devastating storms in Oklahoma, it is worth bearing in mind: (1) Oklahoma’s basic rules for interpreting insurance policies, including the “reasonable expectation doctrine,” (2) Oklahoma’s standard for…more

Bad Faith, Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Oklahoma Tornado

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Supreme Court Holds That Items of Protective Clothing Are ‘Clothes’ for Purposes of the FLSA, and Questions the Viability of the De Minimis Rule in FLSA Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday released its much-anticipated decision in the case of Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, and held that Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) — which allows parties to a…more

Collective Bargaining, De Minimis Claims, FLSA, Sandifer v U.S. Steel Corp, SCOTUS

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Labor And Employment Observer - 2013/2014

In This Issue: Message from the Chair; Social Media and the Workplace: 2013 and Beyond; Unpaid Internships: Training Ground or Legal Landmine?; Supreme Court’s Nassar Decision Sets Higher Causation Standard for a Variety…more

Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Big Data, Causation, D.R. Horton

See All Updates »

“John Doe” Saves the Day in Washington: Avoiding S.O.L. Defense by Properly Naming “Doe” Defendants

In Powers v. W.B. Mobile Servs., Inc., 311 P.3d 58, 2013 WL 5645561 (2013), Division Two of the Washington Court of Appeals held that if a plaintiff (1) names a “John Doe” defendant with “reasonable particularity,” files suit…more

Insurers, Pleading Standards, Pleadings, Statute of Limitations, Subrogation

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Limitations On Federal Court Jurisdiction: The Complexities Of Complete Diversity When Foreign Parties Are Involved And FSIA Removal

In the context of transnational litigation, diversity jurisdiction in a U.S. federal court can be difficult to demonstrate. This is because the typical parties in transnational litigation may include U.S. citizens, U.S…more

Citizens, Dual Citizenship, Expatriates, Federal Jurisdiction, Foreign Nationals

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Zhang v. Sup. Ct.: Violation of Unfair Insurance Practices Act May Support Unfair Competition Claim

In a highly awaited decision, the California Supreme Court in Zhang v. Sup. Ct. of San Bernardino County (August 1, 2013) 2013 Cal. LEXIS 6520, Case No. S178542, considered whether insurance practices that violate the California…more

Insurers, Third-Party, Unfair Competition, Unfair Insurance Practices Act

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Binding Arbitration Agreements in Insurance Contracts are Void in Washington

In Washington State Department of Transportation v. James River Insurance Company, Wash. No. 87644-4 (January 17, 2013), the Washington Supreme Court declared binding arbitration agreements in insurance contracts void and…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Binding Arbitration

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The Second Circuit Confirms the SEC’s Ability to Settle Without Requiring Admissions of Wrongdoing

In November 2011, Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York ignited a firestorm of commentary and concern among the securities bar by declining to approve a settlement between the SEC and Citigroup in which the bank…more

Admissions of Liability, Citigroup, Enforcement Actions, Judge Rakoff, Neither Admit Nor Deny Settlements

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Third Circuit Ascertainability Rulings Continue to Imperil Low-End Consumer Class Actions

It’s a pattern repeated in millions of households every day: you go to the grocery or the drug store, buy the items you need, and don’t bother to keep the receipt. You may throw the receipt away immediately, you may throw it…more

Ascertainable Class, Bayer, BMW, Class Action, Class Certification

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Psychology In the Courtroom - Is Social Science "Common Sense" or a Tool to Correct Juror Misconceptions?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued two decisions regarding the use of social science experts in criminal cases. As noted by University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris, however, the opinions appear to “come…more

Juror, Testimony, Trials

See All Updates »

Sixth Circuit Limits Scope of Disgorgement Provision in E&O Policy

In a cutting-edge decision, the federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an exclusion barring coverage for an insured’s liability for “disgorgement” of “remuneration” or “advantage” is limited to “acquiring” funds as…more

Board of Directors, D&O Insurance, Disgorgement, Professional Liability, Remuneration

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Think You Cannot Be Sued For Bad Faith Because You Haven’t Issued A Policy to A Plan Participant? Think Again . . .

Just because there is no insurance policy may not mean there is no cause of action for bad faith according to a recent Hawaii Supreme Court decision analyzing the Joint Underwriting Program (“JUP”) statute. Willis v. Swain case…more

Bad Faith, Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Insurers

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And You Thought Your Teenager’s Cell Phone Bill Was High…NFL Team’s Texts Cost $3 Million

Fans everywhere like to complain about their team’s picks in the NFL draft. Maybe their team drafted a quarterback instead of a cornerback, or maybe it fell for that highly overrated prospect. Most such complaints stay safely in…more

FCC, NFL, TCPA, Text Messages, Texting

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Shifting E-Discovery Costs to the Plaintiff in a Potential Class Action: a Pennsylvania Federal Court Tells Plaintiffs' Counsel to "Make the Investment in Discovery"

In what could be a significant opinion for federal class action defendants seeking to limit their e-discovery costs, a court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently held in Boeynaems v. LA Fitness International, LLC,…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Cost-Shifting, Discovery, Electronically Stored Information

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Pennsylvania PUC to Amend Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Regulations

On February 20, 2014, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) issued a proposed rulemaking in connection with its implementation of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004 (AEPS Act). While the…more

Energy, Energy Policy, Renewable Energy, Utilities Sector

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Labor And Employment Observer - 2013/2014

In This Issue: Message from the Chair; Social Media and the Workplace: 2013 and Beyond; Unpaid Internships: Training Ground or Legal Landmine?; Supreme Court’s Nassar Decision Sets Higher Causation Standard for a Variety…more

Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Big Data, Causation, D.R. Horton

See All Updates »

Coverage Opinions Remain Privileged in Bad Faith Action Even Where Gist of Recommendation is Set Forth in Letter to Insured

As a matter of first impression, the Supreme Court of West Virginia recently held that coverage opinion letters were protected by the attorney-client privilege even though the insurer subsequently sent correspondence to its…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Bad Faith, Privilege Waivers, Waivers

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  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Washington
Other Countries
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
Number of Attorneys

400+ Attorneys

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