While monitoring your work email, you receive a message that puts a pit in your stomach. Your company’s General Counsel has sent you a “Litigation Hold Notice,” advising you that your emails, documents, and communications must be preserved. What does this mean? What do you need to do? Here are the basics on litigation hold notices, and a few simple tips on how to proceed once you receive one.

Continue Reading What to Do When Your Employer Sends You a Litigation Hold Notice

On November 24, 2022, New York’s Adult Survivors Act (“ASA”) (S.66A/A.648A) will go into effect and likely will usher in a tidal wave of litigation across the state. Employers will be impacted by the law, in addition to individuals, and the resulting litigation could span many years – particularly with the ongoing court delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, developing a proactive defense strategy for ASA claims and resolving potential insurance coverage issues in advance, is of vital importance as this date draws near.

Continue Reading The ASA Effective Date Is Fast Approaching: Employers Should Get Their Insurance House in Order Now

Public figures are fighting back against fake news.

In the most recent headline from the world of celebrity defamation cases, E. Jean Carroll is suing former President Trump for statements he made after she accused him of sexual assault. In a 2019 book and excerpt in New York magazine, Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, accused Trump of sexual assault in the mid-1990s. Trump responded that Carroll was “totally lying” and not his “type.” Carroll sued Trump for defamation, claiming his statements had harmed her reputation. But Carroll—like all public figure defamation plaintiffs—has an uphill battle before her. To succeed, Carroll will have to prove that Trump’s statements were false, and—because Carroll is a public figure—she will also have to show that Trump acted with “actual malice.” The actual malice standard often proves to be too high a threshold for most public figures to cross, and most cases are lost on that prong—regardless of whether the statement was false. In fact, Johnny Depp was one of the few public figures in recent years to win a defamation suit.

Continue Reading Actual Malice in the Age of #fakenews

Given the volume of funds that were quickly dispersed during the COVID-19 pandemic, there were plenty of new areas for fraud and abuse. The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) initially set its sights on targeting the borrowers of such funds. Now, the DOJ is ramping up enforcement with the first ever False Claims Act (“FCA”) settlement with a lender of Paycheck Protection Programs (“PPP”) funds.

Continue Reading DOJ Settles False Claims Allegations with the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) Loan Lender for the First Time

Beginning on March 1, 2023, the statute of limitations for allegations under New York City’s Victims of Gender-Motivated Protection Law (“VGMVPL”) will be extended for two years to afford alleged victims of gender motivated violence a two-year lookback window to bring a civil action for claims that have been previously time barred. Individuals will have from March 1, 2023 to March 1, 2025 to commence a civil suit against such alleged wrongdoers and institutions where they may seek compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, attorney’s fees and costs, and such other relief as a court may deem appropriate under VGMVPL for participation in such crimes.

Continue Reading New York City’s Victims of Gender-Motivated Protection Law to Provide a Two-Year Lookback Window – What Employers and Entities Can Do Now to Prepare for Possible Litigation

It has been four years since Congress enacted the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (“EKRA”), codified at 18 U.S.C. § 220. EKRA initially targeted patient brokering and kickback schemes within the addiction treatment and recovery spaces. However, since EKRA was expansively drafted to also apply to clinical laboratories (it applies to improper referrals for any “service”, regardless of the payor), public as well as private insurance plans and even self-pay patients fall within the reach of the statute.

Continue Reading Four Years After Enactment – Clinical Laboratories Should Not Forget About EKRA

Recent legislation signed into law by President Biden on September 16, 2022 abolishes the statute of limitations for over a dozen federal civil causes of action relating to child sex abuse, continuing the trend throughout the country to reform statutes of limitations relating to child sex abuse. Known as the “Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act of 2022” (Public Law No. 117-176), the Act abolishes the previous ten-year statute of limitations to commence a civil action for any person who, as a minor, was the victim of any of the offenses enumerated in the Act, including forced labor, sex trafficking of children, sexual abuse of a minor, sexual exploitation of children, and transportation of minors to engage in sexual conduct. The Act became effective on September 16, 2022.

Continue Reading “Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act of 2022” Abolishes Statute of Limitations for Federal Civil Causes of Action Relating to Child Sex Abuse

In a rebuke of the Department of Justice, the Third Circuit recently overturned money laundering conspiracy convictions for a reverse distributor pharmaceutical company, Devos Ltd., and two of its former executives, CEO Dean Volkes and CFO Donna Fallon. The Third Circuit’s opinion, United States v. Fallon, affirmed other convictions against the company and individuals but ordered a resentencing and a recalculation of the sums subject to forfeiture.

Continue Reading Third Circuit Rejects DOJ’s Broad “Commingling” Theory of Money Laundering Concealment

Building on attempts in recent years to strengthen the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) white collar criminal enforcement, on September 15, 2022, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced revisions to DOJ’s corporate criminal enforcement policies. The new policies, and those that are in development, further attempt to put pressure on companies to implement effective compliance policies and to self-report if there are problems. Notably, the new DOJ policies set forth changes to existing DOJ policies through a “combination of carrots and sticks – with a mix of incentives and deterrence,” with the goal of “giving general counsels and chief compliance officers the tools they need to make a business case for responsible corporate behavior” through seven key areas:

Continue Reading DOJ’s Corporate Criminal Enforcement Policies Are Revised: Individual Accountability, Corporate Responsibility, Additional Demands on Chief Compliance Officers

The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in In re Grand Jury to resolve a circuit split regarding what standard governs the application of the attorney-client privilege to dual-purpose communications, that is communications which contain both legal and non-legal advice. The petition was filed on behalf of an unnamed law firm which asserted the privilege in response to a federal grand jury subpoena.

Continue Reading Supreme Court to Review Scope of Attorney-Client Privilege for “Dual Purpose” Communications