Recent Publications


Ransomware Goes Public: Cities Pay Over $1 Million to Get Their Data Back
July 16, 2019 | Privacy, Data & Cyber Law
In the second and third week of June, the municipalities of Lake City, and Riviera Beach, Fla., agreed to pay a combined total of over $1 million to cyber criminals claiming responsibility for shutting down municipal computer systems necessary to the operation of crucial municipal functions. The Riviera Beach attack was traced to an email …
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Insurance Update
July 16, 2019 | Insurance Coverage
Our July Insurance Update is now available.  Strap in, because we’re headed on a cross-country journey. We start out in New York where the Court of Appeals hands down an important ruling involving no-fault payments to non-physician controlled medical services corporations. We then cross the bridge into New Jersey where that state’s Supreme Court considers …
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US, European Regulators Levy Massive Fines for Privacy Violations
July 16, 2019 | Privacy, Data & Cyber Law
This past week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted to approve a record-breaking $5 billion settlement with Facebook, resolving its investigation into the charge that the company violated a prior settlement with the Commission when it improperly permitted political data firm Cambridge Analytica to access 87 million users’ personal information. Cambridge Analytica created personality quiz …
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‘Taxpayer First Act’ Signed into Law
July 10, 2019 | Tax
On July 1, 2019, President Trump signed the Taxpayer First Act into law. The Act represents an important and welcome step toward improving technology and security while providing for an overall improved service experience for taxpayers interacting with the IRS. The Act contains two parts. The main themes of the first portion of the Act …
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Court Boosts Insurers in Fight Against Non-Physician-Owned Medical Providers
July 8, 2019 | Insurance Coverage
Nearly 15 years ago, in State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Mallela, 4 N.Y.3d 313 (2005), the New York Court of Appeals ruled that an insurer may withhold payment under New York’s no-fault law for medical services provided by a professional medical corporation based on its “willful and material failure to abide by” the …
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Sending Your Kids off to College When You’re No Longer the Boss of Them
July 1, 2019 | Trusts & Estates
It seems like five minutes ago you were teaching your children to play peek-a-boo, and now you’re sending them off to college. Along with laptops, textbooks and dorm furnishings, there’s one item no student should be without – a healthcare proxy. Why might college students need this legal document, intended to help loved ones make …
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New York Insurance Coverage Law Update
June 28, 2019 | Insurance Coverage
Insurers Need Not Prove Fraud To Deny No-Fault Payments To Healthcare Providers, New York Court Of Appeals Decides After insurance companies stopped paying no-fault claims submitted by Andrew Carothers, M.D., P.C., a professional service corporation, as assignee, the PC sued the insurers. The insurers asserted that, under State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Mallela, …
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U.S. Supreme Court Rules that “FUCT®” Is Fine
June 28, 2019 | Intellectual Property
Maybe you feel that the title to this bulletin is “immoral” or “scandalous,” or maybe you don’t.  Either way, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Iancu v. Brunetti, whether a word or term is “immoral” or “scandalous” is no longer relevant to whether that word or term can receive federal trademark …
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Employee Benefit Plan Review – From the Courts
June 26, 2019 | Employment & Labor | Insurance Coverage
5th Circuit Applies Deferential Abuse-of-Discretion Standard of Review and Upholds Claim Administrator’s Application of Plan’s Weight-Loss Surgery Exclusion The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has upheld the adverse benefit determination of a claim administrator of a health insurance benefits plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) after …
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An enforceable contract need not be in writing
June 24, 2019 | Appeals
Commentary: Dustin and Brooks have owned a business together for years. They have no agreement. Dustin wants to retire and work on his golf handicap. Brooks wants to keep working and expand the business. They agree that Brooks will buy Dustin’s interest in the business. They get together with Rory, the company accountant, and they …
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Insurance Update
June 19, 2019 | Insurance Coverage
Our June insurance update is now available.  Packed with cases, our update touches upon a variety of issues. We start off with two state high court decisions.  One deals with faulty work, the other considers whether a third-party claims administrator must answer to a claim for bad faith. Sticking with bad faith, a Delaware court …
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Unwanted Texts Alone Can Justify Standing, 2d Circuit Decides
June 17, 2019 | Privacy, Data & Cyber Law
A plethora of federal laws address the proliferation of technology-enabled automated communications in a variety of areas, including finance, commerce, credit, and health. Although the general objective is to address individual privacy and data security concerns, each law contains distinct goals, technical requirements, and remedies if violated. One issue that continues to evolve is whether …
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Does Your Cybersecurity Insurance Policy Cover Spoofing Losses? It Depends
June 12, 2019 | Privacy, Data & Cyber Law | Insurance Coverage
It goes without saying that cybercrime is a growing concern. In April, the FBI released its annual IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center) Report, which showed that the FBI received over 350,000 cyber-crime complaints in 2018, with total losses of over $2.7 billion. One common type of cyber crime is spoofing, which is the cyber version …
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U.S. Supreme Court: Title VII Charge-Filing Requirement Is Not Jurisdictional
June 4, 2019 | Employment & Labor
On June 3, 2019, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Title VII’s charge-filing requirements, while mandatory, are not jurisdictional, and any objections will be deemed forfeited if an employer waits too long to raise them. In Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis, Respondent Davis filed a charge against her employer, Fort Bend County, with …
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Gordon and Spero Published in Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy
June 4, 2019 | Bankruptcy
Stuart Gordon’s and Matthew Spero’s article, “Marijuana Businesses in Bankruptcy: Courts Just Say No,” was published in the May 2019 issue of the Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law. Click here to read the article. …
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