Showing 76 posts by Administrator.

COVID-19 and Families First

Coauthored by: Matin Fallahi, Law Clerk

In response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused economic distress in a short period of time, the United States House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). After approval from the Senate, the President officially signed the act on Wednesday March 18, 2020. This Act and its long-term impacts are just as unknown as the virus itself.

The legislation provides free coronavirus testing and paid emergency leave for those diagnosed with COVID-19 or those caring for a family member with the virus. The FFCRA applies to any employer with less than 500 employees in hopes to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic in the United States while also providing a sense of hope and security for employees. As such, the Act will largely impact small to medium businesses who previously did not have to provide paid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). More »

Ninth Circuit Holds BIPA Class-Action Plaintiffs Have Article III Standing

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Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case of Patel v. Facebook, Inc., 2019 WL 3727424 (9th Circ. 2019), allowing a class-action lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California to proceed.  The Court held that the plaintiffs have Article III standing to bring the suit because Facebook’s alleged violations of Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) constitute a sufficiently concrete injury-in-fact.  The Court also upheld the district court’s grant of the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, finding that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure’s predominance and superiority requirements were met.  Patel represents a continued expansion of the law in favor of plaintiffs bringing suits under BIPA. More »

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLIENT ALERT: Attorney Liability Under the FDCPA

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The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) was enacted to protect consumers from abusive and deceptive practices by debt collectors, and to protect non-abusive debt collectors from competitive disadvantage. United States v. Nat'l Fin. Servs., Inc., 98 F.3d 131, 135 (4th Cir. 1996). It is “a strict liability statute that prohibits false or deceptive representations in collecting a debt, as well as certain abusive debt collection practices.” McLean v. Ray, 488 Fed. Appx. 677, 682 (4th Cir. 2012). In addition to its prohibitions, the FDCPA delineates a number of required disclosures and procedures that must be followed when communicating with debtors. Attorneys and law firms who regularly engage in debt collection activities are subject to the requirements of the FDCPA. More »

An Examination of the Illinois Insurer-Insured Privilege: What is Protected and What is Discoverable?

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Introduction
In today’s litigation climate, cases often not only involve a plaintiff, a defendant, and their attorneys, but also insurance carriers who have vested interests in the outcome of cases involving their insured. Prior to and throughout the course of litigation, an insured will often not only communicate with their attorney, but also with their insurer. It is common, for example, that an insurer will take a statement from their insured while analyzing a potential claim. The threshold question of which components of an insurance claim file are discoverable is crucial in a litigated matter. This Article explores the Illinois Insurer-Insured Privilege. A misunderstanding of this privilege can have severe consequences, including the disclosure of material information that the parties believed, in good faith, was confidential, and would never be subject to production. More »

Attorney Termination of the Attorney-Client Relationship in New York

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A client has the unqualified right to terminate the attorney-client relationship at any time, with or without cause, regardless of whether a contract exists formalizing the relationship.  In re Thelen LLP, 24 N.Y.3d 16, 28, 20 N.E.3d 264, 270 (2014); Matter of Cooperman, 83 N.Y.2d 465, 472, 633 N.E.2d 1069, 1072 (1994).1 More »

Judge Grants First Summary Judgment Based on Medical Causation in NY County Asbestos Litigation

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On January 31, 2019, Justice Manuel Mendez issued a decision granting the first summary judgment motion based on medical causation in a New York County Asbestos Litigation (“NYCAL”) case, Thomas Mantovi v. American Biltrite (Index No. 190055/2017). Judge Mendez held that “Amtico floor tiles did not produce breathable dust to a level sufficient to cause decedent’s mesothelioma.” More »

Illinois Appellate Court Concludes that Actual Harm is not Required under Biometric Information Privacy Act

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An Illinois appellate court’s recent opinion may very well open the flood gates for litigation arising out of alleged violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) by eliminating the need to allege actual harm to have standing to sue. Sekura v. Krishna Schaumburg Tan, Inc., 2018 IL App (1st) 180175. More »

CYBER RISK CLIENT ALERT: What Companies can Learn from Uber’s Recent $148 Million Settlement

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On September 26, 2018, Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) reached a joint settlement with all 50 states and Washington, D.C.’s attorney generals to pay a record breaking $148 million for its 2016 data breach and subsequent cover-up. More »

LIFE SCIENCES CLIENT ALERT: Artificial Intelligence, Healthcare, Life Science, and the Next Merger

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As the world nears the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, it should not come as a surprise that Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) will continue to impact a variety of business sectors. For proper context, AI has thus far been utilized primarily within consumer goods and technological sectors by familiar corporations such as Amazon, Apple, and Google. However, less familiar corporations in other business sectors have not been standing idly by. In the March 31st, 2018, issue of The Economist, the authors reported that in 2017, companies spent $22 billion dollars, 26 times more than they had in 2015, on AI-related mergers and acquisitions. Corporations, insurers, and attorneys that work in both the healthcare and life science industries would be wise to keep an eye on the next healthcare merger. The long-term benefits of AI in healthcare may be similar to the benefits that it has had on other sectors: lowering costs to consumers, creating a more efficient stream of services, and providing people with the ability to make more informed decisions. More »

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