During February of this year, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals joined the majority of circuits and held that the disclosure of information to the government during an audit or investigation does not constitute a “public disclosure” and subsequently does not create a jurisdictional bar to a qui tam action under the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”). The Court’s decision in United States ex rel. Whipple v. Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority allowed the plaintiff to proceed with his case on remand and has the potential to invite more FCA qui tam actions given the narrow interpretation given to the public disclosure bar.
Articles, Books & Whitepapers
Rebecca McKelvey Castañeda was awarded the Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year award for 2014 by the Tennessee Bar Association.
As the saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for; you might get it." This describes the current state of biofuels. The appealing concept of biofuels is supported by well-meaning environmental advocates, business interests, and governmental policy, but if we don't make wise choices, then the reality may not be all that we wished for.
Bob Connolly takes over as Chairman of Stites & Harbison, PLLC, beginning in January 2015.
According to the Thompson Reuters Loan Pricing Corporation, in the first quarter of 2014 the trading volume of loans on the US secondary loan market was $139.27 billion, with $4.93 billion in distressed loan trades. The overall trading volume of loans in the first quarter is well above the $114.31 billion quarterly average seen since the first quarter of 2008. The secondary loan market is very active.
In 1999, by a six to three majority, the United States Supreme Court issued a seminal decision in Olmstead v. L.C., which involved the application of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Olmstead concerned several intellectually disabled individuals (“individuals”) who were admitted to a Georgia hospital but not timely discharged from the hospital although their treatment professionals agreed that they could be cared for safely in the community.
The voice of business in political and regulatory issues has been a hot button topic since the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. Public policy battles will continue whether your corporation is active or not, and avoiding the debate may not be an option. What does your board need to know about the company's involvement in PACs, lobbying, and all those other messy necessities of modern policital life?
If you practice in federal court, pay close attention to the changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure arriving in 2015. Implementing the so-called “Duke Rules Package” developed at a 2010 Federal Rules Advisory Committee meeting held at Duke University, upcoming changes recommended by the Advisory Committee focus on three main areas: (1) early judicial case management; (2) the scope of discovery and (3) litigants’ failure to preserve electronically stored information.
This article appeared as a Georgia Casenote on the website of the Construction Litigation Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association and is reprinted with their permission.
DRI member, John Tate, of Stites & Harbison, PLLC, won a defense verdict for Leatt Corporation in Scarvelli v. Leatt Corporation (Case No. 1:12-CV-00483), a product liability lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio after a two-week trial ending April 17, 2014.
Patent infringement litigation is expensive, and the cost of that litigation can make or break a company. By the same token, even our nation’s largest and healthiest companies are spending millions of dollars on arguably meritless patent litigation brought by non-practicing entitites and, at the end of the case, they have nothing to show for it but a hefty legal bill. The Patent Act allows a successful party to recover its attorney fee expenses from the other party under certain circumstances.
In recent years, lenders have been forced to defend a record number of so-called “wrongful foreclosure” lawsuits. However, several Tennessee court rulings issued this year indicate that…
This article appeared in Norton Bankruptcy Law Adviser and is reprinted with their permission.
Stites & Harbison attorneys, Thad Barnes and David Owsley, successfully defended fragrance company Mane USA, Inc. in New Jersey federal court against allegations that the company conspired with perfumer James Krivda to misappropriate over 600 trade secret formulas from Swiss fragrance giant Givaudan Fragrances Corp.
In recent years, many employers have instituted employee wellness programs to encourage good health, lower medical costs, and improve employee productivity and attendance. Initially, large employers were the primary proponents of wellness plans, but now many small and mid-sized companies sponsor wellness programs. Wellness programs can take many forms. Some focus more on disease management while others focus more on healthy lifestyles and habits.
Chairman's Message for Commerce Lexington, Inc. by Kenneth R. Sagan
Construction projects are like onions—and ogers—they have many layers. On a typical construction project an owner will contract with a general contractor who will then contract with subcontractors, who may themselves contract with even lower tier subcontractors. Ultimately, there tend to be many intermediaries between subcontractors doing the work and owners who benefit by the work on construction projects. One problem that results from this for subcontractors is how they ensure payment for their work if the contractor with whom they have contracted refuses to pay?
Article by Jerry Taylor published in Nashville Bar Journal in November 2013.
The House of Representatives has resorted to the “nuclear option” in shutting down the federal government in pursuit of a quixotic ideological crusade to stop the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Unlike the other attempts to derail their self-created bogeyman “Obamacare,” this attempt will be both unsuccessful and harmful to the nation.
Article about enforcement of state court judgments in a foreign state.
The America Invents Act, enacted Sept. 16, 2011. makes the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (“EDVA”) a primary trial court for challenging decisions of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Patent Office.
A long-standing adage in the healthcare industry is "first, do no harm." When it comes to protecting the environment, this industry must take this challenge to heart. As a group, the healthcare industry generates over two million tons of waste annually.
The fundamental feature of a class action is that the claims are such that resolving those claims for one plaintiff effectively would resolve those claims for others who have the same claims against the defendant. Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and its state equivalents, require proof of several elements designed to help determine whether this feature is present in a given case.
Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the healthcare field, including the long-term care sector, has been strong, with high reported deal volume and values. The dynamic created by healthcare reform in the U.S. is certainly a major force behind the move to greater consolidation, as well as factors such as the uncertainty resulting from downward pressure on reimbursement, challenging economic conditions, the looming fiscal cliff and the possibility of a less favorable future tax environment.
An article published in Law Practice Magazine about professional development training and mentoring programs. Stites & Harbison is featured in the article.
Blaine Early and Kathryn Taylor (a summer associate with the firm) explore how regulators, water users, legislators, and the courts are responding to severe droughts in west Texas and the Southeastern United States by allocating water among competing users, incentivizing conservation, or, in an example of the law of unintended consequences, triggering greater depletion of limited groundwater reserves. The authors consider the economic and environmental consequences of drought in the two regions and posit that Georgia legislators should consider a system such as that adopted by Texas, allowing counties and cities to provide financial incentives for rainwater harvesting.
Ken Gish, along with Elizabeth Thomas and Kari Vander with K&L Gates, LLP, review the Supreme Court's February 2012 decision in PPL Montana, LLC v. State of Montana and present an enlightening summary of the distinction between federal navigability tests for the purposes of (1) establishing title to the beds of water bodies, (2) determining the extent of federal regulatory jurisdiction under the Commerce Clause, and (3) determining the extent of admiralty jurisdiction. To the confusion of many courts and practitioners, the test for navigability is applied differently in each of these distinct types of cases.
The Membership Newsletter of Division 1 of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry recently published a "Spotlight" article on Cassidy Ruschell Rosenthal.
Prior to the Supreme Court's decision in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., most federal courts presented with a motion for a preliminary injunction in a trademark case routinely applied a presumption of irreparable harm once a plaintiff demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits. Irreparable injury ordinarily was presumed to exist based on a theory that the infringement would injure intangible assets including the good-will associated with the mark and the plaintiff's reputation. This long-recognized presumption has been called into question by the Supreme Court's decision in the eBay case, in which the Supreme Court refuted the application of categorical rules favoring automatic entry of injunctive relief in the context of a permanent injunction for patent infringement. The Court cautioned that the injunctions should be treated as extraordinary remedies and reaffirmed the traditional four-factor test governing the award of injunctive relief.