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- Kevin M. Gormly and Melissa McCoy Gormly, attorneys in the Vorys Pittsburgh office and members of the energy group, recently obtained a preliminary injunction in the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on behalf of ION Geophysical Corporation. In the case, Hempfield Township attempted to prevent ION from conducting seismic testing on the township’s roads and rights-of-way. Instead of passing an ordinance regulating or banning seismic testing, the township had its solicitor send ION a letter informing ION that the township would not permit such seismic activity.
- This is the 2nd of 4 installments on tips when contracting for technology products and services. Every business runs at least in part on technology – and when contracting for technology products and services, the “gotchas” don’t discriminate based on size or industry.
- This is the 1st of 4 installments on tips when contracting for technology products and services. Every business runs at least in part on technology – and, when contracting for technology products and services, the “gotchas” don’t discriminate based on size or industry.
- Labor and Employment Alert: NLRB Regional Director Holds Northwestern University Football Players Are Employees, And Can UnionizeYesterday, the NLRB’s regional director for Region 13, Peter Ohr, issued a 24-page ruling in which he held that college football players at Northwestern University were employees entitled to the right to organize. Ohr reasoned that the players met the standard for an employee under the NLRA and common law: a person performing services for another under a contract of hire, subject to the employer’s control or right of control, in return for payment.
- Whistleblower Defense Client Alert: Using Government Witnesses to Obtain Summary Judgment on a Qui Tam Relator’s FCA ClaimsA recent False Claims Act decision serves as an important reminder that although qui tam relators may “stand in the shoes” of the government for purposes of bringing a lawsuit, they are not entitled to substitute their judgment for that of key government decision-makers to avoid summary judgment.
- Health Care Alert: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Issues Home and Community-Based Settings ToolkitOn March 20, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted a “Transition Plan Toolkit” to assist states in developing their Home and Community-Based Settings (HCBS) 1915(c) waiver and section 1915(i) state plan amendment or renewal application(s) so that they comply with new requirements in the HCBS Final Rule, released earlier this year.
- The state’s two-year Capital Appropriations measure, House Bill 497, was introduced in the Ohio House on March 18. This year’s Capital Bill allocates $2.39 billion, largely bond-backed funding for brick-and-mortar construction and renovation projects for state agencies, colleges, universities and school districts. Also, for the first time in six years, the Capital Bill goes beyond funding construction and renovation needs for state-owned properties, providing approximately $160 million in funding for additional “community projects” identified as priorities across various regions of the state.
- Thanks to mobile apps such as Secret and Whisper, people can now divulge their deep secrets anonymously, with fewer consequences – the key here being fewer, as there is no absolute guarantee of anonymity.
- Labor and Employment Alert: New Rules Regarding Affirmative Action Obligations for Disabled and Veteran Workers Take Effect March 24, 2014As discussed in Vorys’ September 3, 2013 Client Alert, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) previously issued final rules interpreting Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 503) and the Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA). The final rules, aimed to improve hiring and employment opportunities for disabled and veteran workers, impose numerous new affirmative action obligations on federal contractors or subcontractors covered by Executive Order 11246 (contractors). The final rules take effect on March 24, 2014. However, any contractor with an affirmative action plan (AAP) already in place may maintain that AAP until the end of the AAP year.
- Client Alert: Dodd Frank Compliance Date for Notification of Segregation on Horizon for Swap Dealers and Major Swap ParticipantsIn November of 2013, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued Final Rules on the Protection of Collateral of Counterparties to Uncleared Swaps (the Final Rules).
- As investigators work to recover the data related to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, we are reminded that the deletion of data discovered through forensic analysis is something that has played a significant role in many of our cases.
- On March 12, 2014, the Supreme Court of Ohio accepted an appeal in Dodd v. Croskey (7th Dist. 2013) on one issue pertaining to the 2006 version of the Dormant Mineral Act, Ohio Revised Code § 5301.56. The Court will consider whether a notice of preservation timely filed after an abandonment notice was effective to preserve a mineral interest where no savings events occurred within the 20 years preceding the abandonment notice.
- As most bankers know, Ohio adopted a new Ohio Financial Institutions Tax (FIT), which is based on a consolidated entity formula explained below. Given the new consolidated approach to taxing financial institutions with a presence in Ohio and the bank regulatory issues that accompany any type of inter-company and bank liability sharing or exchange, it is important that financial institutions have in place an appropriate tax sharing agreement.
- On March 13, 2014, President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to “propose revisions to modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations” related to the overtime exemptions for executive, administrative and professional employees. The memorandum does not specify exactly what the new rules should include. However, the administration’s intent to narrow these overtime exemptions is apparent from President Obama’s statement that, “Because these regulations are outdated, millions of Americans lack the protections of overtime and … the minimum wage.”
- Combating the Sale of Counterfeit Goods Online: Don’t Let Someone Get Away with Selling Knockoffs of Your ProductsTrademark counterfeiting, in general, refers to the placement of a trademark on a product that is not the legitimate product offered by the trademark owner. Meanwhile, the Lanham Act – the U.S. federal trademark statute – defines a counterfeit as “a spurious mark that is identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from a registered mark.”
- On March 10, 2014, U.S. EPA published proposed revisions and confidentiality determinations for the petroleum and natural gas source category of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Rule, 40 CFR Part 98, Subpart W. The proposed revisions to Subpart W include amendments of general applicability, revised calculation methods and reporting requirements for specified emission sources within the source category, and confidentiality determinations for the new and substantially revised data elements associated with the proposed amendments to the rule.
- State and Local Tax Alert: One Small Step Closer To Some Guidance on the CAT’s “Bright Line Presence” Nexus Standard: The Ohio Board of Tax Appeals Finally Rules in L.L. BeanOn March 6, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) issued its long-awaited decision in L.L. Bean, Inc. v. Levin, Case No. 2010-2853 (Ohio BTA March 6, 2014), the lead “test case” on Ohio’s controversial commercial activity tax (CAT) nexus standard. Although this is the first case in a long line of CAT nexus challenges, the BTA’s decision offers very little in the way of any meaningful guidance.
- For several years now, news outlets have grappled with how to civilize the comments sections on their online articles. Some have chosen the path of requiring users to sign in through their Facebook accounts, while many still permit readers to comment anonymously on their websites.
- Internet Defamation Removal and the Known Defamer: How Knowing the Identity of a Defamer Changes the Court Order TechniqueDefamatory content posted online can significantly harm the reputation of a business or individual, especially when it is listed among top search engine results.
- Two appellate cases were recently decided by the Seventh District Court of Appeals enforcing arbitration clauses within oil and gas leases. There are two major questions Ohio courts must answer when they evaluate arbitration clauses and their applicability to disputes involving parties to an oil and gas lease.
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