Recent Articles from All Practice Groups

Client Alert: New York Assembly Bill Would Repeal State’s Healthcare Immunity Statute Passed in Wake of COVID-19 Citing Concerns Over Nursing Home Conduct

A New York Assemblyman has introduced a bill that would repeal Article D-30, Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act of the New York Public Health Law, which was enacted on April 2, 2020, and provides health care facilities, health care providers, and volunteer organizations from immunity from civil or criminal liability for harm or damages sustained as a result... Read More >

Client Alert: OSHA Changes Guidance for Reporting Cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Workplace

On May 19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced changes to its previously issued guidance on reporting COVID-19 in the workplace, effectively reversing its six-week old policy which allowed a lesser standard of inquiry for employers outside the health care industry, emergency response organizations and correctional institutions. OSHA’s new guidance demands that all employers conduct investigations of all COVID-19... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Republic of Sudan Exposed to $4.3 Billion In Punitive Damages

Victims of an al Qaeda terrorist attack sued the Republic of Sudan under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which carved a specific exception under 28 U.S.C. sec. 1605(a)(7) for states that sponsored terrorism. When the victims filed suit, Section 1605(a)(7) did not permit recovery of punitive damages. Then In 2008, Congress amended FSIA through the National Defense Authorization Act, which... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Refines Defense Preclusion Doctrine In Trademark Suit

Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc. sells clothing using trademarks involving the word “Lucky.” Marcel Fashions Group, Inc. received a federal trademark for “Get Lucky,” and used that to sell their own clothing line. Inevitably, decades of litigation ensued between the two groups as they each defended their respective “Lucky” turf. In the first round of litigation, the parties signed a settlement... Read More >

The Court of Appeals of Maryland Clarifies a Receiver’s Ability to Sell Real Property

Similar to other businesses that are slowly beginning to reopen, the appellate courts are increasing the amount of decisions being issued. On May 12, 2020, the Court of Appeals of Maryland issued an important decision which reversed the intermediate appellate court and clarified a receiver’s ability to sell real property. In Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Prime Realty Associates,... Read More >

COVID-19: District of Columbia Emergency Legislation Providing for Payment Plan Application Process and Rental Increase Restrictions Under Retail Leases

On May 13, 2020, the “Coronavirus Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2020” was approved by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser which imposed new requirements upon landlords and tenants under residential and commercial retail leases, as well as touching upon many other areas of District of Columbia law including, but not limited to, alcohol beverage regulation, cooperative association remote meetings,... Read More >

Client Alert: OSHA Issues Guidance for Reporting Cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Workplace

Please Read: As of May 26, 2020, OSHA's revised enforcement guidance is in effect and the below information may be outdated. Please see Mr. Kelleher's detailed analysis of what has changed in the new guidance here. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently confirmed that COVID-19 in the workplace is a recordable illness and must be reported to the government... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Curtails Ninth Circuit’s Digression from Issues Presented By the Parties

Evelyn Sineneng-Smith was convicted of violating 8 U.S.C. sec. 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) for “encouraging or inducing an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such . . . is or will be in violation of the law,” and of sec. 1324(a)(1)(B)(i) for doing so “for the purpose of commercial... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Controversial Bridge Lane Closures by Gov. Christie’s Campaign Not Fraud

When the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. refused to support Gov. Chris Christie’s 2013 re-election campaign, the campaign decided to punish the mayor by shutting down two of the three lanes on the George Washington Bridge that were reserved for Fort Lee commuters into New York under the guise of a “traffic study.” That resulted in four days of gridlock... Read More >

Client Alert: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Authorizes Remote Witnessing for Estate Planning Documents

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has passed emergency Executive Order Number 20-04-10-01, which facilitates the execution of estate planning documents by allowing remote witnessing through video-conferencing. This Executive Order is a follow up to Executive Order 20-03-30-04 which authorized remote notarization of estate planning documents. This temporary legislation suspends the traditional in-person witnessing requirement for Wills, Advance Medical Directives, and... Read More >

Client Alert: Economic Impact Payments & The IRS’ Return Policy

In the past several weeks the IRS has issued millions of checks to certain individuals, compliments of a Congress which is desperately trying to keep our economy running. On May 6, 2020, the IRS issued several new Q&A’s on its website addressing what recipients should do if an Economic Impact Payment (“EIP”) is received and the name on the check is... Read More >

Welcome Back to Work! Here’s a Swab Test and a Questionnaire about Your Health (Gastrointestinal Issues Included)

As states begin easing COVID-19 restrictions and allowing employees to return to work, both employers and workers are reckoning with countless new concerns the return to normalcy presents. For employees, the questions focus largely on safety. What if I catch the virus from an asymptomatic coworker? Why is my coworker coughing? Do I still have to come in if I’m immunosuppressed?... Read More >

Client Alert: D.C. Council Declined to Vote on First-of-Its-Kind Legislation Requiring Certain Insurers to Retroactively Cover COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses; Other States Are Still Considering

On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the D.C. Council declined to vote on a portion of the Coronavirus Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, called the Business Interruption Insurance Amendment Emergency Act, which would have required every business interruption and loss of use or occupancy insurance policy currently in force in the District of Columbia be read to cover business... Read More >

Client Alert: A Summary of Legislative Efforts to Compel Insurers to Pay COVID-19 Related Business Interruption Losses

Small businesses across the country debilitated by the COVID-19 crisis are searching for solutions to shrinking revenue due to nationwide stay-at-home orders. Many businesses believe their insurance should cover their losses, evidenced by a growing wave of litigation against insurance carriers. Small businesses claim that without insurer payouts, they will be unable to re-open and re-hire laid off employees after... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Congress Ordered to Pay Unprofitable Insurers Under the Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contained a program under which, each year, profitable insurance plans “shall” pay an amount into the government, and the government “shall” make payments to unprofitable plans, thus limiting risk for those insurers who participated in the online exchanges. The Act did not appropriate any funds for the yearly payments. Over several years, the... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Annotations of State Law Are Not Entitled to Copyright Protection

The Official Code of Georgia Annotated consists of the text of all of Georgia’s laws plus a set of non-binding annotations with summaries of opinions regarding each statute issued by the courts or the state attorney general. The annotations were drafted by a private company under contract with Georgia’s Code Revision Commission, which controlled the product in exacting detail. The... Read More >

Seven Tips for Preparing an Effective Reservation of Rights Letter

An insurer’s reservation of rights letter is often one of the most important documents in insurance coverage litigation.  Insurers too often do not prepare coverage position letters that most effectively protect their interests.  In a routine, low-value claim, this may not matter much.  But in complex or potentially expensive cases, insurers should take extra care to prepare reservation of rights... Read More >

OSHA Issues General and Industry-Specific Guidance For Operating During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

As businesses look to adapt their workplaces to provide for safer operation during this public health emergency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released industry-specific guidance to help the construction, manufacturing, package delivery, and retail industries protect their workers and customers from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance builds on OSHA’s previously issued 10 Steps All Workplaces Can... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Court’s Dismissal of Gun Rights Case as Moot Sparks Lengthy Dissent

New York City enacted a law preventing the transport of firearms. Gun owners challenged that law on the basis that it prohibited them from moving firearms to a second home or shooting range outside the city in violation of the Second Amendment. The lower courts denied relief, and the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari. In response, the city amended its... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Narrows Eligibility of Lawful Permanent Immigrants to Avoid Removal

Andre Barton was a green-card holder who was convicted of several crimes, including a firearms offense and certain drug offenses. The government decided that it wanted to remove Barton based on those convictions. Barton applied for cancellation of removal, which has certain strict requirements including an initial seven years of continuous residence. The residency requirement would be cancelled, however, if... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Refashions Clean Water Act’s Permit Requirement

Under the Clean Water Act, a party must obtain a permit before adding any “pollutant,” broadly defined from “any point source” to “navigable waters.” In County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Maui’s sewage plant was pumping millions of gallons of partially treated sewer water into the ground each day, which eventually wound up in the Pacific Ocean. Environmental... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Profits Can Be Awarded In Trademark Infringement Case Without Willfulness

Section 1117(a) of the U.S. Code requires proof that a trademark infringer acted willfully in order for a court to award lost profits for trademark dilution under Section 1125(c) of the Lanham Act, but does not mention trademark infringement. In Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., Romag sued Fossil for trademark infringement under Section 1125(a). The jury did not... Read More >

Client Alert: Sorting Through The Various COVID-19 Relief Programs and Conflicting Guidance on Loan Forgiveness

Small businesses and charities may be sorting through the various programs recently enacted and signed into law, trying to figure out which one is best. While each business or charity is unique and no one option is best for all, bets can be hedged and more than one program may be utilized. The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) enacted through the... Read More >

Client Alert: The Supreme Court of Ohio Ruling in Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh

The Supreme Court of Ohio agreed to accept the matter of Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., Case No. 1:17-cv-01782-DAP (N.D. Ohio) on certified question as to whether an insured is permitted to seek full and complete indemnity under a single policy providing coverage for “those sums” when the property damage occurred over... Read More >

Emergency COVID-19 Legislation Requires D.C. Employers to Comply with New FMLA and Sick Leave Requirements

While much attention has been paid to leave benefits made available under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), the corresponding legislation enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia has gone largely unnoticed. However, the District’s orders contain a different set of requirements, and failure to comply could have serious implications for D.C. employers. D.C. employers should be... Read More >

No Visitors Allowed: Potential Legal Ramifications of Restricted Visitors Policies In the Midst of COVID-19

The novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, has wreaked havoc on the nation and has had far-reaching effects across the globe. The trail of destruction left in its wake will no doubt have lasting implications on multiple industries for the foreseeable future and none has felt the impact more than the healthcare industry. Doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals, and non-medical related staff remain on... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Upholds EPA’s Superfund Cleanup Plan Against Challenge

For decades, a copper smelter in Montana contaminated approximately 300 square miles of land with arsenic and lead. The Environmental Protection Agency, working with the current owner of the smelter, instituted a cleanup plan under Superfund. Unhappy with the plan and its progress, nearby landowners filed suit in state court, lodging common law claims for damage to their properties, as... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Rejects Judicial Review Of USPTO Inter Partes Determinations

By statute, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can be asked to conduct an inter partes review to reconsider the validity of an earlier-granted patent claim. However, 35 U.S.C. sec. 315(b) requires that a request for inter partes review must be brought within one year after suit against the requesting party for patent infringement. The Office’s determination of whether to... Read More >

SCOTUS Opinion: Court Abolishes Non-Unanimous Criminal Convictions

The Supreme Court had previously ruled in Apodaca v. Oregon, 406 U.S. 404 (1972), that the Sixth Amendment did not forbid non-unanimous verdicts in state criminal trials. Today, only Louisiana and Oregon still permit non-unanimous convictions. In Ramos v. Louisiana, a 6-3 majority of the Court, in an opinion by Justice Gorsuch, discarded that precedent and held that the Sixth... Read More >

Client Alert for Commercial Landlords: “Control The Space” and Pre-Bankruptcy Contractual Termination of Lease

When the economy weakens, as with the unprecedented effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic, certain office and retail tenants will be unable to satisfy their lease obligations, vacate or file bankruptcy. Landlords should anticipate the consequences of these developments and some may choose to be proactive rather than reactive, and one way is to consider sending notices of default and... Read More >