The live audio call-in program was presented by the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Litigation Class Actions and Derivative Suits & Alternative Dispute Resolution Committees. Mediation is an increasingly popular alternative dispute resolution mechanism, and class actions are no exception. However, they involve different considerations than a typical mediation. The one-hour, roundtable discussion featured experienced practitioners who offered strategies, tips, and suggestions on how to effectively mediate a class action.
The 90-minute CLE seminar was hosted by the Massachusetts Bar Association and featured a discussion on the use of drones in the health care sector. Specific topics included:
The panel discussed "blockchain for business" including what blockchain technology is truly capable of and how to take full advantage of it. Panelists explained the differences between blockchain and digital currency as we currently understand it, and explored whether we might be looking at the dawn of an entirely new internet.
The keynote presentation, featuring Mr. Bernstein, discussed how courts have interpreted attorney client and work product privileges, when the privileges many not apply, and best practices.
Ms. Cole-Johnson presented an interactive session that educated attendees about the practicalities of sustaining an active, engaged and productive workforce. Acknowledging that supervisors have extensive, day-to-day, direct interaction with employees, and the key role they play in monitoring daily activity, the program explored the following questions:
In this presentation by Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyers James P. Ray and Emilee Mooney Scott, Ms. Scott discussed transactional considerations and state-level regulation of PFAS in drinking water and other environmental media, and Mr. Ray discussed litigation considerations. The program, sponsored by the Massachusetts Chemistry & Technology Alliance, included presentations by a wide variety of technical experts on topics including an introduction to PFAS; alternative chemistries; hazards and risks; pathways and mitigation; and detection and sampling of PFAS in the environment.
Ms. Scott discussed transactional considerations and state-level regulation of PFAS in drinking water and other environmental media, and Mr. Ray discussed litigation considerations. The program, sponsored by the Massachusetts Chemistry & Technology Alliance, included presentations by a wide range of technical experts on topics including: an introduction to PFAS; alternative chemistries; hazards and risks; pathways and mitigation; and detection and sampling of PFAS in the environment.
The program described the regulatory framework for the use of drones as well as some commercial uses for drones in the development context. Ms. Wright also discussed necessary or recommended considerations when your project includes the use of drones, including contractual provisions, and what the future of drone use and its regulation may be.
The full-day, interactive program introduced participants to the theory and the practical skills necessary to conduct impartial investigations of allegations of employee misconduct. Attendees learned how to: ask effective questions, interview reluctant witnesses, obtain relevant evidence, assess credibility, and arrive at a legally defensible decision. They were also instructed in how to prepare and utilize all of the necessary documentation during the investigative process. Ms. Cole-Johnson and Ms. Kushel are both AWI Certificate Holders and Ms. Cole-Johnson serves on the Board of Directors of AWI. AWI's membership of more than 800 professionals from across the United States, Canada, and Australia consists of lawyers, human resource professionals, and private investigators who conduct, manage, or have a professional interest in workplace investigations.
The 90-minute web conference, hosted by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE), focused on the risks associated with employing foreign nationals directly or receiving their services through contractors, including highlighting potential work authorization and export control issues. Ms. Naughton and Ms. Sigg reviewed the Form I-9 requirements, discussed trends in government audits/compliance - including site visits and government inquiries - and provided best practices to follow when faced with a government request.
Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Vennos presented on “The Role of the Defense Attorney – Thoughts on Cross Examination of a Fire Expert” to a large class of state and local fire marshals as part of the Academy’s multi-week training session on various aspects of fire investigation and litigation associated with those investigations. They shared their experience about the cross-examination of experts, discussed various grounds on which expert opinions are challenged, and offered their advice for preparation and testimony in a fire case.
Ms. Cole-Johnson served as a faculty member at the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) Training Institute for Workplace Investigators. The Institute consists of intensive training on the core knowledge and skills required to conduct impartial workplace investigations. The 70 students, all internal and external impartial workplace investigators from across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, participated in four days of training and a day of testing. Those individuals who passed the tests received an AWI Institute Certificate.
The CLE webinar examined new challenges facing class counsel in certifying a nationwide class, following the Ninth Circuit’s decision in In Re Hyundai and Kia Fuel Econ. Litig., which vacated and remanded a district court order certifying a nationwide settlement class. The decision significantly impacts the framework for presenting nationwide and consumer protection class action settlements. The panel looked at the scope and impact of the decision and discussed best practices for counsel to challenge or overcome nationwide class certification challenges. Post-Hyundai, class counsel should prepare for district courts to carefully scrutinize whether the predominance and superiority requirements of Rule 23(b)(3) are satisfied, even where certification is not opposed. Additionally, Hyundai strengthens a defense counsel’s position challenging certification under Rule 23(b)(3). The panel also discussed the implications of the decision for parties seeking to settle state law disputes nationwide on a class-wide basis.
Ms. Palmer covered “Leases & Other Non-Traditional Financings” and “IRS Issues & Enforcement” as part of the 2018 Fundamentals of Municipal Bond Law Seminar, which had more than 250 public finance professionals in attendance. The National Association of Bond Lawyers is the preeminent association and training group for public finance lawyers. The association promotes the integrity of the municipal market, educating its members and advancing the understanding of, and compliance with, the law affecting public finance.
Ms. Porter was among the panelists that participated in a lunch & learn program that covered the most significant developments in data privacy, including Facebook and Cambridge Analytica developments, how to prepare for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR,) and expectations for the legal industry in 2018.
The program reviewed the basic principles of ground leasing, including the purpose and functionality of Ground Leases, the important concepts that Ground Landlords and Ground Tenants should focus on when negotiating them, and the key provisions that lenders look for and require when providing financing for Ground Lease transactions.
Mr. Hug was among the panelists in a panel that included academics, judges, and practitioners from Connecticut as well as states that have adopted unsupervised probate. From their diverse perspectives, the panelists examined the pros and cons of giving beneficiaries the ability to opt out of a court-supervised estate settlement. They also considered the experiences of states that have adopted some form of unsupervised probate in the settlement of decedents’ estates.
Presented by the Property & Liability Resource Bureau, Mr. Dwyer focused on the construction methods, types and functions of various foundations; the evaluation of foundation failures, including crack patterns and possible contributing causes; identifying the timing of foundation failure; and analysis of recurring coverage issues with foundation losses under standard commercial property and homeowners policy language. He co-presented with James Panko, a Professional Engineer, who focused on the challenging technical and engineering issues frequently involved in foundation failures and the insurance claims that result.
Ms. Scheib participated as one of three panelists on a panel that discussed best practices around selection, clearance, use, and enforcement of trademarks. Ms. Scheib, in particular, offered insight on recent legal decisions that are either changing or significantly impacting the rules for protecting and enforcing trademarks.
The article notes that: “Employers in the United States increasingly seek to hire foreign nationals, as they possess unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds, and often have international experience, making them uniquely qualified for a particular position. The hiring process for foreign nationals, however, is different than the hiring process for US citizens.” In the article, Mr. Mirer and Ms. Shanley give a brief overview of some of the most widely used work-authorized categories, as well as their timing and other implications.
Presented by the Defense Research Institute (DRI), the annual seminar focuses on the latest trends and developments in life, health, disability and ERISA law. Mr. Begos addressed the practical implications of the new Department of Labor (DOL) disability claim regulations for claim practices, which took effect on April 1, 2018, and their likely effects on litigation.
The article covers the expected streamlining of the purchase, sale, and financing of real estate transactions as a result of dramatic advancements in technology over the last 25 years. “Of late, consumers are increasingly demanding greater convenience, and lenders are increasingly assessing the benefits that they may enjoy from fully electronic closings.”
The article discusses the question of when and under what circumstances a policyholder is entitled to interim payments of “undisputed” amounts from an insurer. Mr. Sullivan indicates that the answer will depend on the circumstances of the claim, examination of applicable policy language, and research into case decisions, state statutes, and applicable insurance department regulations. “Notwithstanding, prompt payment of undisputed amounts by a carrier is very often the most practical and preferred approach,” said Mr. Sullivan. “At a minimum, timely payment of undisputed amounts assists a carrier in its defense of any bad faith claims.”
The book provides practical insight and guidance to help legal counsel for state, tribal, and local governments, as well as businesses and citizens to protect lives, property, public safety, and the public welfare. Mr. Merriam’s chapter is found in the second part of the book, which focuses on “Building Physical and Financial Resilience.” He covers early considerations, risk evaluation, determination and prioritization of alternatives, and implementation of the hazard mitigation planning process.
The webinar covered the central issues associated with business interruption claims arising from catastrophes such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Murphy, and Mr. Sullivan discussed period of restoration issues, separating covered vs. uncovered losses, loss measurement issues, contingent business interruption coverage, utility service interruption coverage, and civil authority coverage.
Attendees were lead through an interactive discussion on depositions of insurance company witnesses, with a focus on claim professionals and corporate designees. Mr. Butts, Mr. Dwyer, and Ms. Vennos covered avoiding an inadvertent waiver of the attorney-client or work product privileges when decision-makers are deposed in coverage or bad faith actions; key differences between federal and state practice regarding the designation and deposition of a corporate designee/representative; the potential consequences of designating the wrong person to testify on behalf of the company, the ability to amend prior testimony, and the rules governing the use of corporate designee testimony at trial; and ethical considerations of witness preparation.
The presentation is the second in the “Insurance In-House Counsel CLE Series” that offers continuing legal education (CLE) and networking catered exclusively to in-house counsel and attorney claim professionals in the insurance industry.
The program featured remarks from the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Administration, Matthew S. Borman, and representatives from participating original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including UTC, Sikorsky, and Airbus. The seminar also included a panel discussion and Q&A session.
Ms. Freedman provided practical tips for protecting against identify theft.
The CLE program addressed the new wave of policy limit demands, how they impact the claim adjustment process, and the potential legal exposure they create. The session concluded with a review of best practices for insurers in responding to the demands.
The webcast covered the framework of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the potential risk issues health care providers might face under these Acts. Mr. Duffy offered insight on protecting highly sensitive data, breach reporting obligations at the federal and state level, and planning for a ransomware attack.
The program was geared toward chief information officers, chief information security officers, security specialists, and risk managers. Ms. Freedman offered insight on how to establish effective cyber defense.
The webinar covered what private equity firms are looking for in a services business, why sellers often misjudge their business’ real worth, and what to expect before you sell, and what you may find after.
Presented by the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, Mr. Seeman covered “Property Law Basics” and "Government Interests in Land" as part of this bonus workshop that provided an introduction to how real estate transactions work.
Presented by the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, Mr. Smith covered “Drafting & Negotiating the Purchase and Sale Agreements" as part of this bonus workshop that provided an introduction to how real estate transactions work.
The practice note provides an overview of regulating religious land uses under RLUIPA for local government attorneys and discusses different ways local governments can regulate religious uses, the types of claims that can be brought, and strategies for training staff and handling applications under RLUIPA.
Presented by the American Bar Association's Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Mr. Varga's session addressed an array of causation issues that arise under property insurance policies and remain an omnipresent source of dispute between policyholders and carriers in the context of catastrophe losses.
Presented by the American Bar Association's Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Mr. Sullivan's session focused on the evolving coverage issues associated with ransomware and offered insight on how insurers are responding to this threat.
The program was conducted as a hypothetical workplace harassment investigation. Ms. Cole-Johnson, Ms. Kushel, and Ms. Warren role-played the initial major phases of the workplace investigation process based on a hypothetical scenario with input from attendees on identifying and analyzing the issues presented. The program also covered responding to harassment allegations, including identifying key issues and creating a plan of action to investigate and resolve complaints.
The program focused on executive compensation issues that arise on termination of employment, including treatment of equity awards and deferred compensation under Section 409A. It included a summary of key 409A concepts and covered the separation pay exception, contingent releases, and issues counsel should consider at the time of "exit" for senior executives.
The webinar provided practical takeaways and key considerations in planning for a purchase or sale transaction of a health care entity including: regulatory issues related to hospitals, physician practices, and post-acute health care providers; resource management, deal process considerations, and transaction timing; and labor, employee benefit, and environmental issues.
In the article, Mr. Merriam emphasizes the importance of having a proper record during judicial reviews of land use decisions and offers insight on how to create it in an effective and illuminating way. “It is not difficult to create winning records. It only requires that everyone down the line be able to understand everything that happened at the local level, that adequate word pictures be painted to pick up on the nonverbal communication, and that the record be complete and accurately reflects the views of all the stakeholders.”