When Workplace Gossip is Grounds for Title VII Claim

In less than 18 months of employment, Evangeline Parker received six promotions.  Then rumors circulated that Parker’s precipitous rise through the ranks “must” have been because she was sleeping with her boss.  When Parker complained about the rumors and confronted the employee who allegedly started the rumors, she was terminated.  Reversing the district court’s dismissal of the lawsuit, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Parker v. Reema Consulting Services, held that such rumors could form the basis of a sexual harassment claim in …

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Arbitration Ban in Nursing Homes? White House Reviewing Rule

The White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) is reviewing a final rule to reverse a 2016 regulation banning nursing home operators from entering into pre-dispute arbitration clauses with their residents as a condition of participating in Medicare and Medicaid. According to the OMB’s web site, the rule “removes provisions prohibiting binding pre-dispute arbitration and strengthens requirements regarding the transparency of arbitration agreements in LTC facilities.”  Per the OMB, the rule facilitates “the resident’s right to make informed choices about important aspects of his …

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The Importance of Quality IT in Litigation

One of the most important aspects of working with corporate clients is understanding the businesses. From general business functions to the overarching models, this knowledge can be extremely valuable in both transactional and litigation work. However, client technology is becoming more industry specific, often making it infeasible for attorneys to learn. It is in these cases that a quality IT team working on behalf of the firm is not only the most efficient way to service a client, but also may be a litigation requirement.…

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Sexual Assault in Nursing Homes

On December 29, 2018, a 29-year-old woman in a vegetative and uncommunicative state gave birth to a baby boy.  The woman had been in a vegetative state for at least a decade after a near-drowning incident which caused brain drainage.  She had been a longtime resident of a healthcare facility in Phoenix.  The employees of the nursing home only became aware that the resident was pregnant when she was found moaning and it was discovered that the resident was in active labor.  Several news reports …

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Lack of Training Deemed Adverse Action

What is an “adverse action”? In the workplace some may think that it is only when someone is fired. However, much more falls under the “adverse action” umbrella. What about denying an employee a training opportunity? A federal district court in New York recently analyzed this very issue. The case involved a longstanding employee that was placed into a different role but denied training opportunities that were offered to other employees. The plaintiff struggled in her new role and eventually commenced a lawsuit asserting many …

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Is There a Duty to Advise?

The Alabama Supreme Court recently issued what could turn out to be an important decision on the duty to advise. The court in Somnus Mattress Corp. v. Hilson, 2018 WL 6715777 (Ala. Sup. Ct. Dec. 21, 2018) affirmed a decision dismissing claims against an insurance agent for alleged negligence in failing to advise a mattress manufacturer to purchase business interruption loss coverage. While the plaintiff manufacturer argued that the agent should be held responsible for the uninsured loss he suffered following a fire that destroyed …

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Professional Liability Matters Named Best Niche and Specialty Blog of 2018!

We are pleased to announce that the Professional Liability Matters blog has been named among the best niche and specialty blog in the country earning 3rd place overall in The Expert Institute’s Best Legal Blog Contest for 2018!

The Expert Institute — a leading legal service provider for identifying, verifying, and retaining expert witnesses — holds this annual contest to vet and recognize the best legal blogs out of the thousands that are on the web. In the 2018 Best Legal Blogs Contest — what …

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Insurance Agent Liability Limited in Illinois

The Illinois Supreme Court recently issued an opinion which impacts the timing of suits against insurance agents. In American Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. Krop, the policyholders were denied coverage in a lawsuit brought against their son for cyber-bullying. They responded with an action against their insurance agent, alleging that he failed to procure coverage for certain intentional acts despite their request to do so. Although the policyholders sought to impose a heightened fiduciary duty standard, the Court instead viewed the claim as one …

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Duty to Advise & Special Circumstances

The North Dakota Supreme Court recently affirmed the dismissal of a negligent failure to advise claim based on the failure to establish “special circumstances.” The decision is a nice win for insurance agents and brokers. 

In Dahms v. Nodak Mutual Ins. Co., 2018 WL 6380779(Sup. Ct., North Dakota, Dec. 6, 2018), plaintiffs were homeowners who had afire that destroyed their garage and an “elaborate deck” they had constructed on it.  While their homeowner’s policy provided coverage for the loss, the policy had separate limits …

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NYC Issues Key Opinion on Litigation Financing

Litigation funding has grown exponentially in the past few years. However, the NYC Bar recently issued an opinion drawing a line in the sand when it comes to third parties entering into agreements with attorneys. After issuing its opinion, some of the largest financiers of complex litigation responded with sharp criticism of both the substance of the opinion and its effect of stalling progress in this area. However, the opinion also provides an opening that could lead to the eventual change in ethical rules that …

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