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Foulston Siefkin News

Foulston Siefkin attorneys are regularly consulted by the media as knowledgeable sources on legal industry trends, current cases, legal developments, and news happening in the firm.

June 6, 2017 – Oliver reappointed by Kansas Supreme Court

Foulston Siefkin partner James (Jim) D. Oliver has been reappointed to a three-year term on the Attorney Admissions Review Committee by the Kansas Supreme Court. The committee, composed of three practicing attorneys, reviews applications of individuals seeking to practice law in the state and makes recommendations to the Kansas Board of Law Examiners. He will serve until June 30, 2020.

Learn more about Jim here. Read the original Kansas Courts News Releasehere.

 

July 14, 2017 – Amy Lemley Recognized as 2017 Women in Business Honoree

The Wichita Business Journal, along with sponsor Cox Business, recognized 25 Wichita-area women, including Foulston Siefkin partnerAmy Lemley, for their achievements in business, their impact on the community and their efforts to support others during the 2017 Women in Business Awards. A profile on each honoree was also included in the Wichita Business Journal. Read Amy's below:


As published in The Wichita Business Journal, read the original article here.

Amy Lemley is right at home in a place most people hope they never have to be — the courtroom.

Lemley, a partner at Foulston Siefkin LLP in Wichita, has spent a career as a trial lawyer becoming comfortable in the legal spotlight, one she says can at times shine more harshly on a woman.

“Female civil trial lawyers often face gender bias issues both explicit — and more often today — implicit,” she says. “As a trial lawyer, sometimes you have to make your way very publicly. The audience judging how well you deal with double standards and other forms of bias on any given day might include your own partners, judges, juries, mediators, other lawyers or clients.”

The keys to coping with that environment, she says, include having a sense of humor, tact, patience and the courage to push back when necessary.

Those traits have helped Lemley not just cope, but succeed throughout a legal career that includes several noteworthy firsts.

Among those were her becoming the first, and still the only, woman in Kansas to be part of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Her career has also seen her take on numerous other leadership roles within her industry, including being past chairperson of the Kansas Client Protection Fund Committee and a position on the Commission on Women in the Profession of the American Bar Association.

She has also been named to the Best Lawyers in America list for more than 20 years straight.

Foulston Siefkin Managing Partner Kevin Arnel says Lemley is a “passionate force” in the courtroom, whose advocacy for her clients carries over to her long history of working to make the industry better for her peers as well.

“Despite Amy’s exceptional career and personal leadership accomplishments, she has nevertheless remained a humble collaborator, and has a thirst always to learn and do more,” Arnel says.

That drive extends into the broader community, where Lemley’s nonprofit work has included roles serving on the board at the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, the Wichita YWCA, Wichita Fellowship Club and the American Heart Association.

And keeping all those duties running smoothly, she says, requires a piece of advice she wishes she got early on and now passes on to others.

“Make a plan, don’t just let things happen,” she says.

 

May 8, 2017 – Foulston Siefkin partner Amy Lemley has been selected as a 2017 Women in Business honoree.

Each of the 25 honorees was chosen for their career achievements, their roles in making their respective companies successful, and their service to the Wichita community.

Ms. Lemley focuses on complex litigation and the defense of professionals. She has defended hundreds of personal injury and medical negligence cases and tried more than seventy jury trials as lead counsel. Ms. Lemley received her J.D. from the University of Texas in 1982. She is the first Kansas woman attorney to be named a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, among many other professional memberships and honors.

Learn more about Amy here. Read the original Business Journal article here.

 

May 8, 2017 – Today, following a six-week trial, a Sedgwick County jury awarded Aeroflex Wichita, Inc., now Cobham AvComm, $3.325 million against Tel-Instrument Electronics, Inc., Kenneth Filardo, and Chris Allen for damages caused by alleged tortious interference and improper use and disclosure of Cobham AvComm’s confidential and proprietary business information. Cobham AvComm had alleged that this conduct caused it to lose a multi-million dollar opportunity to upgrade and supply the Army with Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) test sets.

“We are very pleased with the jury’s verdict,” said Holly Dyer, a Foulston Siefkin lawyer representing  Cobham AvComm.  “We believe this decision recognizes and affirms the right of Cobham AvComm and all businesses to protect their confidential and proprietary information.”

The jury also found that punitive damages should be assessed against  Tel-Instrument. The amount will be set by the court at a later date.

 

The Foulston Siefkin law firm is very saddened to announce the passing of Marta Fisher Linenberger, Special Counsel in our Topeka office, at the age of 65. Prior to joining the firm in 2007, Marta was a former General Counsel at the Kansas Health Policy Authority.  “Marta was an extremely kind and caring individual,” said Foulston Siefkin Managing Partner, Kevin Arnel. “Her compassion and thoughtfulness touched everyone in the law firm as well as the community, and she will be dearly missed by all those who knew her.”

 

WICHITA, KANSAS – Foulston Siefkin partner Patricia (Trish) Voth Blankenship was one of two women in Wichita recognized by American City Business Journal as one of the 100 business leaders in the U.S. making up Bizwomen’s Women to Watch list for 2016.

Each of the 100 honorees was featured in an American City Business Journal earlier in the year. Trish was honored among the 2016 Women in Business by the Wichita Business Journal.

Trish leads Foulston Siefkin’s Real Estate, Energy and Environmental Team, and practices in the areas of commercial real estate and wind energy. She received her J.D. from Washburn University in 1998. Trish is active in the community and has been recognized by the Wichita Business Journal on multiple occasions.

Learn more about Trish here: http://www.foulston.com/Attorneys/Details/Patricia-Voth%20Blankenship


Read the original Business Journal article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/news/2016/12/13/bizwomen-unveils-its-women-to-watch-for-2016.html?ana=e_wich_bn_exclusive&u=OArTjoPWpNjgS5Pa7JIYiw031b2de2&t=1481732813&j=76747291

Foulston Siefkin LLP is the largest law firm in Kansas with 90 attorneys and offices in Wichita, Kansas City, and Topeka.

 

Foulston Siefkin has once again been recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in the country by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®. Firms included in the 2017 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.

Additionally, firms achieving a tiered ranking display a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for its abilities, its professionalism, and its integrity.

Foulston Siefkin received the publication’s highest first-tier rankings in the areas of appellate practice, banking and finance law, commercial litigation, construction law, copyright law, corporate law, criminal defense: white-collar, elder law, employee benefits (ERISA) law, employment law – management, energy law, environmental law, health care law, insurance law, labor law – management, legal malpractice law – defendants, litigation – antitrust, litigation – banking & finance, litigation – bankruptcy, litigation – construction, litigation – environmental, litigation – intellectual property, litigation – labor & employment, litigation – municipal, litigation – real estate, litigation – securities, litigation – trusts & estates, medical malpractice law – defendants, mergers & acquisitions law, mining law, municipal law, natural resources law, non-profit/charities law, personal injury litigation – defendants, real estate law, tax law, trademark law, trusts & estates law, and workers’ compensation law – employers.

The annual “Best Law Firms” publication, a collaboration between U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, features all of the top-ranked U.S. law firms by practice area and includes a breakdown of firms ranked nationally and by state/metropolitan area. The 2017 rankings are based on the highest number of participating firms and highest number of client ballots on record. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the U.S. Over 10,000 attorneys provided more than 800,000 law firm assessments, and over 10,000 clients provided more than 90,000 evaluations.


For more information, visit http://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/profile/foulston-siefkin-llp/rankings/6326.

 

Foulston Siefkin partner Francis Baalmann has been selected as a member of The Wichita Business Journal’s 2016 Emerging Leaders class.

These young professionals will be taking part in a year-long program that includes roundtable discussions, panel discussions, mixers, events and a class at the Kansas Leadership Center.

The goal is to create a new generation of leaders for Wichita and retain them as talented professionals in the community. This is the second year for the program.

 

August 15, 2016 – The Best Lawyers in America©, the oldest and one of the most respected peer-review publications in the legal profession, listed 55 attorneys from Foulston Siefkin law firm in The Best Lawyers in America 2017.

Foulston Siefkin law firm had more lawyers selected than any other law firm in Kansas, including 41 attorneys in Wichita, 10 in Kansas City, and 4 from Topeka.

The attorneys selected include: Stan Andeel, Jim Armstrong, Kevin Arnel, Gary Ayers, Don Berner, Boyd Byers, Holly Dyer, Charles Efflandt, Jay Fowler, Cyd Gilman, Jim Goering, Doug Hanisch, Wyatt Hoch, Christ Hurst, Jeff Jordan, Stephen Kerwick, Eric Kuhn, Jason Lacey, Amy Lemley, Bill Matthews, Andy Nolan, Michael Norton, Timothy O’Sullivan, Larry Rapp, Forrest Rhodes, David Rogers, Teresa Shulda, Harvey Sorensen, Kyle Steadman, Mikel Stout, Todd Tedesco, Trisha Thelen, David Traster, Patricia Voth Blankenship, Darrell Warta, C. Edward Watson, Shannon Wead, Stewart Weaver, Craig West, Bill Wood, and Charles Woodin, all based in Wichita; Vaughn Burkholder, Bud Cowan, Toby Crouse, Jack Epps, Scott Nehrbass, Jim Oliver, Scott Palecki, John Peck, Tony Rupp, and Bill Trenkle, all based in Kansas City; and Dick Hay, Marta Fisher Linenberger, Jim Rankin, and Tom Theis, based in Topeka.

In addition to these honors, 18 Foulston Siefkin attorneys were named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers ®.  These lawyers are Jim Armstrong (Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants), Kevin Arnel (Non-Profit / Charities Law), Boyd Byers (Labor Law – Management), Jay Fowler (Litigation – Trusts and Estates), Cyd Gilman (Criminal Defense: White Collar), Jim Goering (Litigation – Intellectual Property), Wyatt Hoch (Litigation – Construction), Chris Hurst (Tax Law), Jason Lacey (Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law), David Traster (Environmental Law), and Stewart Weaver (Trusts and Estates) in Wichita; Bud Cowan (Insurance Law), Toby Crouse (Litigation – Municipal), Scott Nehrbass (Litigation – Intellectual Property), Jim Oliver (Corporate Law), and Tony Rupp (Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants) in Kansas City; and Marta Fisher Linenberger (Health Care Law) and Tom Theis (Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants) in Topeka.

For more information, visit https://www.bestlawyers.com/firms/foulston-siefkin-llp/6326/US/.

Foulston Siefkin LLP is the largest law firm in Kansas with nearly 90 attorneys, and offices in Wichita, Kansas City, and Topeka.

 

Overland Park, KS (August 15, 2016) – Foulston Siefkin partner Toby Crouse was recently named to Benchmark Litigation’s first ever “Under 40 Hot List,” which honors the achievements of the nation’s most accomplished legal partners under the age of 40. The list is compiled through a process of peer review and case examination.

Crouse joined Foulston Siefkin law firm in 2007. He represents financial, manufacturing, and municipal clients on matters concerning constitutional, U.C.C., and general business litigation issues before state and federal trial and appellate courts.

In addition to this honor, Crouse has been selected by peers for inclusion in the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® list, and The Best Lawyers in America© for Municipal Law Litigation. He was named to the Kansas City, KS Litigation-Municipal Lawyer of the Year for 2014 by The Best Lawyers in America. Benchmark Litigation has previously named Crouse a “Future Star.”

For more information, visit https://www.benchmarklitigation.com/articles/under-40-hot-list-2016/arqgscce.

Foulston Siefkin LLP is the largest law firm in Kansas with nearly 90 attorneys, and offices in Kansas City, Wichita, and Topeka.

 

WICHITA, KS (July 6, 2016) - Chambers USA, a national research publication, included 25 Foulston Siefkin attorneys that were recognized as leading lawyers in their field of practice in 2016: Stan Andeel, Jim Armstrong, Kevin Arnel, Gary Ayers, Don Berner, Boyd Byers, Terry Cupps, Jack Focht, Jay Fowler, Doug Hanisch, Chris Hurst, Jeff Hurt, Jeff Jordan, Andy Nolan, Jim Oliver, Jay Rector, Forrest Rhodes, Tony Rupp, Harvey Sorensen, Mikel Stout, Todd Tedesco, Trisha Thelen, Patricia Voth Blankenship, Darrell Warta, and Bill Wood. Foulston Siefkin’s complete Chambers USA rankings and profile are available on the Chambers and Partners website at www.chambersandpartners.com/usa, or click the image to the right to view a detailed list.

Foulston Siefkin is the largest Kansas law firm, with nearly 90 practicing attorneys. With offices in Wichita, Kansas City, and Topeka, Foulston Siefkin provides a full range of practice areas that cover the spectrum of the legal profession, including civil and complex litigation, business matters, employment and labor, and health care.

 

Wichita, Kansas (April 7) – Foulston Siefkin partner Jay Fowler has been inducted as a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL), a group of elite trial lawyers representing both sides of the Bar. Fellowship is limited to 500 active trial lawyers under the age of 70.

Mr. Fowler received his J.D. from the University of Kansas in 1980. His active trial practice emphasizes trial of lawsuits involving commercial relationships, including plaintiffs and defendants’ representation in fiduciary duty litigation and business torts. He frequently handles complex commercial lawsuits, intellectual property, and employment disputes. He has also tried high-exposure professional negligence cases. Mr. Fowler has built an extensive and highly respected civil litigation practice in state and federal court.

In addition to this honor, Mr. Fowler is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Kansas Bar Foundation. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® and the Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers® List, and has been listed many times in Chambers USA as a leading commercial litigation lawyer in the U.S. He is also an elected member of the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission.

IATL admission standards are high and the process is extremely thorough. Qualities of nominees include outstanding skills and extensive experience as a trial lawyer, unimpeachable personal and professional character, and integrity and honesty, among others. The purposes of the IATL are to promote the rule of law, promote reforms in the law, facilitate the administration of justice, and elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and courtesy in the legal profession globally.

 

Overland Park, Kansas (March 31) – Foulston Siefkin special counsel John Peck has been named one of three winners of the Kansas University School of Law 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award, the school’s highest honor.

Mr. Peck received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Kansas State University in 1968, worked three years for the U.S. Public Health Service and the EPA in Washington, D.C., then began law school at KU, graduating in 1974, according to KU. Mr. Peck joined the KU faculty in 1978, where he teaches classes in family law, land transactions, water law, and contracts. He has served as special counsel for Foulston Siefkin since 1996, concentrating on water law and real estate transactional work.

In addition to this honor, Mr. Peck has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Natural Resources Law and Water Law.

 

Wichita, Kansas (March 2) – The law firm of Foulston Siefkin LLP was named Corporate Law Firm of the Year in Kansas by Corporate INTL for the 2016 Corporate INTL Magazine Global Awards.

According to Corporate INTL, the publication’s research department conducts extensive reviews, draws insight from business leaders throughout the world, and takes suggestions to produce a shortlist of firms for each category. The Corporate INTL shortlist is then reviewed and judged by an independent awards panel.

Business lawyers in each of Foulston Siefkin’s offices employ their broad and diversified practices to add value to the businesses of our clients. Foulston Siefkin’s business attorneys bring familiarity and experience to the diverse and complex legal areas of commercial and business transactions, including corporate governance, finance, securities matters, franchising, antitrust, creditors rights and bankruptcy, real estate, intellectual property and e- business, licensing, general commercial matters, aircraft financing, oil and gas, mergers and acquisitions, securitization, entity formation, regulatory matters, and a myriad of other corporate transaction areas.

For more information, visit http://www.corp-intl.com/.

Foulston Siefkin LLP is the largest law firm in Kansas with more than 90 attorneys, and offices in Wichita, Kansas City, and Topeka.

 

In 2016, Foulston Siefkin has once again been recognized in the U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers™ rankings of the “Best Law Firms” in the country.

The firm received the publication’s highest “Best Law Firms” First-Tier rankings in the areas of antitrust litigation, appellate practice, banking and finance law, banking and finance litigation, bankruptcy litigation, commercial litigation, construction law, construction litigation, copyright law, corporate law, elder law, employee benefits (ERISA) law, employment law – management, energy law, environmental law, environmental litigation, health care law, insurance law, intellectual property litigation, labor and employment litigation, labor law – management, legal malpractice law – defendants, medical malpractice law – defendants, mergers and acquisitions law, mining law, municipal law, municipal litigation, natural resources law, non-profit / charities law, personal injury litigation – defendants, real estate law, real estate litigation, securities litigation, tax law, trademark law, trusts and estates law, trusts and estates litigation, and workers’ compensation law – employers.

The annual “Best Law Firms” publication, a collaboration between U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, features all of the top ranked U.S. law firms by practice area and includes a breakdown of firms ranked nationally and by state/metropolitan area. The rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes client and lawyer evaluations and peer reviews; incorporating 3.9 million evaluations of 41,284 leading lawyers collected by Best Lawyers in its annual survey.

For more information, visit http://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/profile/foulston-siefkin-llp/rankings/6326.

Foulston Siefkin LLP is the largest law firm in Kansas with more than 90 attorneys, and offices in Wichita, Kansas City, and Topeka.

 

Wichita, Kansas (Jan. 5) – Foulston Siefkin law firm has elected six new partners, the largest group in the firm’s history.

New partners include Matthew Bish, Eric Pauly, Bradley Serafine, and Justan Shinkle of the Wichita office, Joshua Hill, based in Kansas City, and Jeremy Graber, who practices out of the Topeka office. The new partners have each been with the firm since 2009.

 


Minus icon2017
Is Your Emergency Preparedness Plan Consistent with CMS Standards?
July 05, 2017
By Brooke Aziere, Amanda Wilwert
Natural and man-made disasters in recent years have highlighted how disasters can disrupt the environment of health care and change the demand for health care services. As a result, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (“CMS”) issued a final rule establishing national emergency preparedness and coordination requirements for 17 different provider and supplier types including, but not limited to: Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Hospices, Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals, Long-Term Care Facilities, Rural Health Clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities, Community Mental Health Centers, and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. MORE


Plus icon2016
Federal Court Puts FLSA Salary Increases on Indefinite Hold
November 23, 2016
By Forrest Rhodes
In a ruling that comes as a huge surprise to most employment law practitioners and employers, late yesterday afternoon a federal judge in Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new salary rules for exempt status under the white-collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). This unexpected ruling occurs barely a week ahead of the December 1st implementation deadline for the new rules. MORE


CMS Clarifies Off-Campus Provider-Based Billing Prohibition
November 15, 2016
By Brooke Aziere, Justan Shinkle
Late last year, Congress enacted Section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which prohibits provider-based billing at new off-campus outpatient departments created after November 1, 2015. By enacting this provision, Congress intended to eliminate payment differentials between freestanding facilities and off-campus outpatient departments. In the Final Rule published on November 14, 2016, CMS addresses implementation of Section 603 and its chilling impact on the provider-based billing rules. MORE


Estate and Gift Tax Proposed Regulations Limit Valuation Discounts
September 19, 2016
By Matt Bish
We have prepared this issue alert to notify you of a recent estate and gift tax development for which you or your clients may desire to take current action. Those affected by these changes should act quickly, as the window for addressing the problem is closing quickly. MORE


Department of Labor Issues Long-Awaited Updates to Key Fair Labor Standards Act Overtime Exemptions
May 26, 2016
By Forrest Rhodes
After over two years of employers’ collective waiting, guessing, and worrying, last week the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its Final Rule amending the white-collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). These exemptions apply to employees working in bona-fide executive, administrative, and professional positions. MORE


New HIPAA Guidance Removes Roadblocks to Patient Access: But at What Cost to Providers?
March 23, 2016
By Brooke Aziere, Amanda Wilwert
Year after year, the individual right of access to protected health information (PHI) continues to be in the top five complaints investigated by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) with corrective action implemented. To combat this perceived non-compliance, last month OCR issued a fact sheet and a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) more fully explaining the right to access, including the fees that providers may charge for individuals exercising their right to receive copies of PHI. For the first time, OCR explicitly states that a per-page fee for producing electronic copies of PHI is prohibited. MORE


CMS Issues Final 60-Day Overpayments Rule: It’s All About A Provider’s Risk Tolerance
February 24, 2016
By Brooke Aziere, Amanda Wilwert
MORE


Plus icon2015
CMS Clarifies “Incident-To” Billing Rules: Billing Physician Must Supervise Incident-To Services
November 17, 2015
By Brooke Aziere, Justan Shinkle
Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) included proposed revisions to the ever-confusing “incident-to” billing rules in its 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. This attempt to provide clarification only further muddied the waters, leading many healthcare stakeholders to believe that the “clarification” represented a significant change in policy that would require the physician supervising the incident-to services to be the same physician ordering and treating the patient. Good news! The Final Rule published in the Federal Register on November 16, 2015, relieved the confusion and concern. Most healthcare stakeholders will see no change in how they bill Medicare in accordance with the incident-to rules. MORE


Federal Contractors Will Have to Provide Paid Sick Leave
October 05, 2015
By Boyd Byers, Sarah Macke
On Labor Day, President Obama issued an Executive Order (“EO”) directing the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations by September 30, 2016, implementing mandatory paid sick leave for employees of federal contractors and subcontractors. Assuming regulations are issued on schedule, the rules will apply to new federal contracts beginning January 1, 2017. MORE


Bank Misclassified Appraisers as Exempt from Overtime Pay, Court Says
October 02, 2015
By Boyd Byers, Sarah Macke
This summer a federal court ruled that a class of current and former residential real estate appraisers were improperly classified as exempt from overtime pay under the Federal Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). In doing so, the court rejected the bank’s argument that the appraisers fell under the administrative, professional, and highly compensated employee exemptions. The case involved two classes—one comprised of residential appraisers, and another made up of review appraisers. Both groups of appraisers alleged that the bank misclassified them as exempt from overtime under state and federal law. Last fall the parties settled the claims of the review appraisers for approximately $5.8 million, leaving only the residential appraisers pursuing their claims. MORE


NLRB Joint Employer Ruling
September 28, 2015
By Charles McClellan
A new ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) threatens to destroy the line separating corporate entities and the corresponding limitations on liability by dramatically expanding the definition of “joint employer” in the labor context. MORE


OFCCP Publishes Final Pay Transparency Regulations for Government Contractors
September 25, 2015
By Charles McClellan
The OFCCP recently published final Pay Transparency regulations for government contractors. Mandated by Executive Order, the new regulations protect applicants and employees from adverse treatment for sharing pay information, establish employer defenses to pay-transparency discrimination claims, and impose publication requirements on contractors. MORE


How Will the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Impact Kansas Employers?
July 07, 2015
By Jason Lacey, Teresa Shulda
The Supreme Court has had a busy summer. Between ruling in favor of religious dress accommodations in EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch, fashioning a new test to apply in pregnancy bias cases in Young v. UPS, and ensuring the viability of the Affordable Care Act in King v. Burwell, you’d think that the Supreme Court had given employers enough to contemplate. But the nine Justices waited until the end of their term to deliver one of the most hotly anticipated decisions all year in Obergefell v. Hodges. By a 5 to 4 margin, the Court held that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. Now, same sex couples can legally wed in all 50 states, and presumably, will be entitled to the same state and federal marriage-related rights and benefits that opposite-sex married couples enjoy. MORE


Plus icon2014
December 2014 Affirmative Action Update
December 12, 2014
By Boyd Byers, Charles McClellan, Sarah Macke
2015 will bring a sea of change for companies that have federal government contracts or subcontracts (contractors). The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the agency within the U.S. Department of Labor that enforces affirmative action and equal employment opportunity laws applicable to contractors, has issued several new sets of regulations (implementing Executive Orders) that are or will become effective in 2015. Changes include: • New requirements, including new data collection and analysis obligations, for Affirmative Action Programs for individuals with disabilities and protected veterans. • EEO policies must be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. • $10.10 per hour minimum wage for construction and service contracts. • Submission of annual pay data to OFCCP for analysis, and mandatory policies that prohibit discrimination against employees for discussing their pay (likely coming in 2015). These and other new requirements are discussed in the Affirmative Action Update at the link below. In short, it is no longer “business as usual” for government contractors and subcontractors. MORE


CMS Offers to Settle Appeals of Denied Inpatient Claims for Hospital Stays Beginning Before October 31, 2013
September 08, 2014
By Justan Shinkle
Is your hospital trudging its way through the seemingly endless levels of inpatient claims appeals? We have good news! Last week, due to the unprecedented backlog of appeals, CMS proposed to settle certain inpatient claims appeals for 68% of the claim. MORE


Why did the Lesser Prairie-Chicken cross the road?
May 13, 2014
By David Traster
Answer: Because a Lesser Prairie-Chicken, now an Endangered Species Act “threatened species,” can do whatever it wants ... on your land, on land that you operate, even on land where you provide services. But this is no joke—harming this bird, or just harming its now-protected habitat, can result in substantial monetary penalties or even land you in prison. MORE


2014 Kansas Legislature Redefines the Practices of Architecture, Engineering, and Landscape Architecture
May 12, 2014
By Wyatt Hoch
Over the course of the last 4 years the Kansas industry groups for architects, engineers, landscape architects, surveyors, and geologists have worked to develop consensus for updating their Kansas licensing statutes. That effort culminated on April 18 with Governor Brownback’s signature of Senate Bill 349, which goes into effect July 1. The statutory revisions, according to AIA Kansas, are intended to provide “clarity for the affected professions.” MORE

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ONC Focuses on HIPAA Security With Release of Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool
April 04, 2014
By Brooke Aziere
Health care providers received a gift from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) last week. On March 28, 2014, ONC, the HHS agency driving federal efforts on health information technology, released a new Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool to assist health care providers with completion of the risk assessment required under the HIPAA Security Rule. Although HHS indicated that the SRA Tool is designed to assist small-to medium-sized providers, the SRA Tool also contains guidance that assists larger providers and business associates with completion of the required assessment. MORE

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Plus icon2004
New Rules Affect Executive Compensation Plans (Jim Rankin, Doug Hanisch, Jason Lacey)
OIG 2005 Work Plan Identifies Enforcement Priorities (Gary Ayers)
Group Health Plans: Are You Ready for New COBRA Notice Rules Effective in 2005? (Jay Rector, Doug Hanisch, Jason Lacey)
New Stark Phase II Regulations Released (Stan Andeel, Scott Palecki)