FEDERAL ISSUES TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRITSCA Reform Bill Is Sent To President Obama For Signature: It has been reported that on June 14, 2016, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch (R-UT) signed the bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature. On June 7, 2016, the Senate passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act by voice vote. It is anticipated that President Obama will sign the bill next week. Information on the revisions to TSCA is available in our memorandum "An Analysis of Key Provisions and Fundamental Shifts in the Amended TSCA." EPA And PMRA To Release New Harmonized Product Chemistry Templates: Under the umbrella of the United States - Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) workplan, Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have developed harmonized product chemistry … [Read more...] about TSCA Reform Bill, EPA And PMRA New Harmonized Product Chemistry Templates, OMB Spring Regulatory Agenda
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In the neighborhood of the also-abandoned St. Cyril Church, the tract—if not redeveloped—could someday add significantly to the acreage devoted to urban agriculture. Photo by James Griffioen.It’s a warm day in April, and Skip Wiener is showing off the crown jewel of gardens that the Urban Tree Connection has created out of 29 vacant lots in the poverty-ridden Haddington neighborhood on Philadelphia’s west side.The site, tucked away in the center of a block of 60 homes, once was used by a construction firm for storage. When Wiener, the founder and director of the UTC, was first alerted about the property by a local block captain, it was overgrown, riddled with industrial waste, and a haven for drug dealers and prostitutes.It was just what the UTC was looking for. The nonprofit organization supports renewal efforts in low-income communities by turning abandoned open spaces into various types of gardens, including some devoted to growing fruits and vegetables.The … [Read more...] about Plowing Over: Can Urban Farming Save Detroit and Other Declining Cities? Will the Law Allow It?
In a recent decision, Spacesaver Systems, Inc. v. Adam, --- A.3d ----, No. 98, 2014 WL 4216024 (Md. Aug. 27, 2014) (“Adam”), the Maryland Court of Appeals was “asked to re-examine the contours of the firmly established doctrine of at-will employment.”Adam, 2014 WL 4216024, at *1. Specifically, petitioner Spacesaver Systems, Inc. (“SSI”) asked the Court “to determine if a written contract containing a for-cause provision but no definite term of employment exists as an at-will contract, a lifetime contract, or something else.” Id. The Court found such a contract to be something else, and affirmed the contract’s designation by the Court of Special Appeals as one for “continuous for-cause” employment, finding this was the “best moniker” for such an arrangement. Id. at *13. Given the creation of a new category of employment relationship, employers should review existing employment agreements and templates to … [Read more...] about Maryland Court of Appeals Holds that Inclusion of Permissive “Termination For Cause” Provisions Negates Presumption of At-Will Employment and Creates “Continuous For Cause” Contract
For two nations sharing a language and legal history, the contrast in the visions at play in the legal systems of the United States and United Kingdom is more than striking. It’s revolutionary.The debates in the U.S. go on: Should ethics rules blocking nonlawyer ownership of law firms be lifted? Is the current definition of unlicensed law practice harming rather than protecting clients? What about the restrictions on multidisciplinary practices?And those debates are by no means ending: Witness the newly created ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services. Though ABA President William C. Hubbard does not mention ethics rule changes in the commission’s primary task of identifying the most innovative practices being used in the U.S. to deliver legal services, some of those practices have been questioned as possible ethical breaches. Meanwhile, the rules and restrictions stay in place. The situation in the United Kingdom couldn’t be more different: Such restrictions … [Read more...] about Does the UK know something we don’t about alternative business structures?
AFAs: WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?We all know there are dramatic changes occurring in the legal profession. Some changes are the result of economic pressures; others are urged upon lawyers and law firms by the clients they serve. These days, being a lawyer is less about the practice of law and, out of necessity, more about the business of law.At the heart of these changes is a question plaguing managing partners, practice group chairs, CMOs and marketing staff, and every service provider in the law firm – “How do we define and market our value?”Many believe the answer lies in the philosophy and application of alternative fee arrangements (“AFAs”), a topic of much discussion, criticism, and confusion as more corporate counsel seek to hasten the elimination of the billable hour. A comprehensive overview of the most common AFA models is included in the Appendix.AFAs can be a bitter pill for many firms to swallow. Prospectively, firms will have to alter the ways … [Read more...] about Marketing Law Firm Value: Alternative Fee Arrangements
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY President Obama’s signature of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010, together with his expected signature of its companion reconciliation bill approved by Congress yesterday, will effect comprehensive changes to the country’s regulation of health insurance and the delivery of health care generally. The Act is intended, over a multiyear implementation period, to substantially expand the number of Americans having access to health insurance. The Act is financed in part by an increase in the level of federal insurance contribution taxes (known as FICA taxes), an expansion of such taxes to investment income, codification of the economic substance doctrine and other tax increases. Key provisions of the Act:Restrict coverage limitations and require various coverage terms in group health plans and individual policies issued after the enactment date, including through the definition of an“essential health benefits … [Read more...] about President Signs into Law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Effecting Comprehensive Changes to the U.S. Health Care System
iWatch News investigative series reveals legacy of corruption that still plagues Bank of America: Part two of a two part series- to read part one: Countrywide Protected Fraudsters by Silencing Whistleblowers, Say Former Employees The mortgage market was struggling in March 2007 when Countrywide promoted Eileen Foster to executive vice president and tapped her to take over the company’s mortgage fraud unit.Home prices were sputtering, borrower defaults were climbing, and the industry leader, Countywide, would soon be forced to ask Bank of America for an infusion of capital to help it keep afloat.The fraud investigation unit was also struggling. The company had laid off several experienced investigators, according to Foster. Those who remained were faced with an ever-growing number of fraud complaints.Foster had roughly two dozen investigators working for her, but only four or five had real investigative chops, Foster says. Many of the rest had been brought … [Read more...] about Executive Fired, Vindicated. Mortgage Industry Tanks, Fraud Continues at Countrywide
Can we all agree that dealing with a power of attorney in North Carolina has long been, at best, a frustrating experience? Well, help is on the way! On July 20, 2017, Governor Cooper signed Senate Bill 569, "An Act to Adopt the Uniform Power of Attorney Act in this State," into law as Session Law 2017-153. It will take effect on January 1, 2018, and if you haven't already done so, you need to read it if you practice real estate law or are called upon to consider powers of attorney!At the 10,000 foot level, the new law repeals or amends many of the existing statutes dealing with powers of attorney and adopts the Uniform Power of Attorney Act as drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, albeit with a multitude of tweaks and modifications tailored specifically to our needs in North Carolina.The effort to get the legislation introduced and passed was admirably undertaken by the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section of the North … [Read more...] about The North Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act: A Practical Introduction for Real Estate Practitioners
The green building movement has profound implications for owners, design professionals and contractors. Although much has been written about the growing momentum of green development and the increasing application of green rating standards, surprisingly little has been published addressing the identification and management of risks associated with green design and construction. This article analyzes green risks from the differing perspectives of the owner and the architect/contractor.It is difficult to read a newspaper or a magazine these days without noting a reference to “green construction” or “sustainable design.” The Owner1 of New York City's iconic Empire State Building recently announced a $20 million green investment to retrot that landmark so that it will operate in a more environmentally responsible manner.2 Announcements of new corporate headquarter buildings are routinely accompanied by references to the green standards by which the buildings will be … [Read more...] about Building Green Without Losing Green: Managing Risks In Sustainable Design And Construction Contracts
Each year the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services releases a work plan saying what it intends to focus on in its effort to detect fraud, abuse, and waste in federal health care spending. This year’s plan came out on January 31, four months after it usually appears. It has a mix of old and new concerns, covering all types of providers. We will look at many of them, but first let’s have some perspective.The Vast Scope of American Health CareWe all know American health care is huge and employs vast numbers of people. But let’s remind ourselves of some real numbers. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, there were about 835,000 physicians in the U.S. at the end of 2012. The AFL-CIO reports there were 2,725,000 registered nurses in 2011. It is probably impossible to say who exactly is and is not a healthcare executive, but the American College of Healthcare Executives had 44,600 … [Read more...] about A Look Behind OIGs (Office of Inspector General) Work Plan Re: Health Care