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- Whistleblower Defense Alert: Defeating a Whistleblower’s Cursory Allegations of Scienter in FCA Cases Involving a Defendant’s Good Faith Interpretation of a Regulation or ContractA recent decision dismissing a whistleblower’s complaint with prejudice is good news for companies facing a False Claims Act (FCA) case that turns on the interpretation of a regulation or contractual provision. In U.S. ex rel. Thompson v. Honeywell Int’l, Inc., Case No. CV 12-2214-JAK (C.D. Cal.), the court articulated a clear and defendant-friendly formulation of the pleading standard for scienter in such cases.
- On June 2, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in the case of Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc. (Case No. 12-786), that will have the immediate impact of limiting liability for inducement to infringe under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) where no party is liable for direct infringement under §271(a). In at least the short-term future, defendants accused in a patent suit of inducing infringement of a method claim, where no one party has performed or controlled the performance of all steps of the method, should have a solid basis for seeking dismissal of that suit for failure to state a cause of action.
- Legislators returned to Columbus this week after the Memorial Day weekend for what is likely their last two weeks of work before they break for the summer. Several high profile bills are scheduled for action before the summer break. They include SB 310, a controversial measure to put a two-year freeze on renewable and alternative energy standards, and HB 483, one of the Mid Biennial Budget Review (MBR) bills introduced by Governor John Kasich earlier this year.
- State and Local Tax Alert: Ohio Senate Passes Mid Biennium Budget Bill and Considers Additional Tax ProposalsThe Ohio Senate last week passed the state’s main mid-biennium budget bill, Substitute House Bill 483 (HB 483). HB 483 now heads to a conference committee to be reconciled with the version of HB 483 passed by the Ohio House. HB 483 includes a number of proposed tax law changes. Meanwhile, the Ohio Senate Finance Committee amended Substitute House Bill 492 (HB 492) last week to include a number of proposed tax law changes. HB 492 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
- State and Local Tax Alert: Ohio House Committee Amends Legislation to Expand Sales Tax Deduction for Bad DebtThe Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee recently amended Amended Substitute Senate Bill 263 (SB 263) to expand the bad debt sales tax deduction. The amendment would extend the sales tax deduction to retailer vendors that make sales to customers through private label credit cards when the consumers later default, i.e., fail to pay the full purchase price to the credit card lender. Thus, in these special circumstances, the bad debt may be incurred by the lender, not just the vendor.
- This is the 4th 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.
- On May 14, 2014, a substitute version of House Bill 375 (the Bill) was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives. The Bill contains several significant changes to the version of House Bill 375 that was first introduced in December 2013. If enacted, the Bill would make several significant changes to Ohio’s existing oil and gas severance tax laws. The most significant proposed changes in the Bill are summarized in this alert.
- On May 8 the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (the Division) made several changes to its Procedural Guidelines for Unitization Applications filed under Section 1509.28 of the Ohio Revised Code. The changes below will undoubtedly present new challenges to applicants submitting applications to the Division.
- This is the 3rd 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.
- Qui tam relators and the Department of Justice continually push the FCA envelope with implied certification cases. A recent case from the District of Massachusetts, U.S. ex rel. Julio Escobar, et al. v. Universal Health Services, Inc., illustrates how FCA plaintiffs try to use this theory to shoehorn non-fraudulent regulatory non-compliances into FCA violations—and how to beat such claims.
- With the boom in oil and gas production issues in Ohio, irrespective of the type, charter bank and thrift lenders can find a significant resource for safe and sound lending guidance in the newly issued addition to the Comptroller’s Handbook on “Oil and Gas Production Lending.”
- Health Care Alert: Sixth Circuit Decision Highlights Importance of Antitrust Considerations in Health Care Consolidation PlanningCapping one of the most significant periods of antitrust enforcement in the history of the health care industry, today the Sixth Circuit delivered its opinion in ProMedica Health System, Inc. vs. Federal Trade Commission (No. 12-3583), denying ProMedica’s petition for review of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) prior order, directing the divestiture of ProMedica’s acquisition of St. Luke’s Hospital in Toledo, Ohio.
- Physicians are vulnerable to reputation attacks for a number of reasons, and false reviews are especially challenging to physicians because of HIPAA restrictions. Unlike, say, a restaurant owner hoping to practice damage control and remedy a customer’s bad experience, a physician obviously cannot register a Yelp account and respond to an angry patient.
- Client Alert: Federal Court Rules That Zip Code Alone is Not an Address Under D.C. Credit Card Transaction LawFifteen states and the District of Columbia have laws that restrict the collection of personal identification information at the point of sale when payment is made by a credit card. Retailers received good news recently from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Hancock v. Urban Outfitters.
- The Supreme Court of Ohio issued its decision dated March 4, 2014, in the case of FirstMerit Bank, N.A. v. Inks, et al (2014-Ohio-789), confirming important Ohio statutory protections for lenders in workout situations under Ohio Revised Code Section 1335.05.
- When the New York attorney general’s office cracked down on 19 companies in September for false reviews, it sent a loud and clear message to many businesses. For others, the combined $350,000 in fines may have simply been a wakeup call to get more creative with their deceptive online advertising practices.
- Health Care Alert: Speculation on Potential Fall-Out Begins as CMS Releases Medicare Physician Payment DataOn April 9, 2014, following the release of an injunction against the disclosure of the information, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted all Medicare provider and utilization data (data) on its website.
- It is not uncommon for people to create fake social media profiles of celebrities and other public figures. Unfortunately, some people also imitate non-public figures, often for harassment purposes. This is especially problematic on Facebook, which refers to these accounts as “impostor Timelines.”
- In Walker v. Noon, the Seventh District Court of Appeals recently addressed two issues concerning the 1989 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (DMA). In Walker, the Court of appeals held: (1) for the purposes of the DMA, a severed mineral interest was not the “subject of” a title transaction that conveyed the surface with a restatement of a prior mineral reservation; (2) the 1989 version of the DMA automatically vested a surface owner with a severed mineral interest where no savings events occurred within the statute’s look-back period, and that such vesting was not disturbed by the amendment of the DMA in 2006.
- 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.
1738 items, 20 items per page