The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced on Sept. 19, 2019, that it settled a qui tam False Claims Act case in which a private equity firm was a named defendant. See United States ex rel. Medrano and Lopez v. Diabetic Care Rx LLC, d/b/a Patient Care America, et al., No. 15-CV-62617 (S.D. Fla.). On Sept. 9, 2019, in a win for hospice and other health care providers, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in United States v. Aseracare, Inc., — F.3d — (11th Cir. 2019) that a mere difference in medical judgment cannot rise to a false statement under the False Claims Act. This case involved hospice care and whether the defendant improperly certified patients as being terminally ill so as to meet the Medicare requirement for hospice services.
Life sciences companies should pay attention to an ongoing action in Delaware that could have implications for whether they can obtain (or be subjected to) U.S. discovery in international arbitration under 28 U.S.C. § 1782. Section 1782 is a powerful tool that permits litigants to obtain broad discovery in the United States for use in international arbitrations, which traditionally do not provide for or allow significant discovery. But U.S. courts have found that not all international arbitrations qualify under this statute. While courts have permitted Section 1782 to be used in connection with investor-State arbitration, they have wrestled with whether to apply the statute in the context of international arbitration between two private, commercial parties.
The statute states in pertinent part: “The district court of the district in which a person resides or is found may order him to give his testimony or statement or to produce a document or other thing for use in a proceeding in a foreign or international tribunal, . . . The order may be made pursuant to a letter rogatory issued, or request made, by a foreign or international tribunal or upon the application of any interested person and may direct that the testimony or statement be given, or the document or other thing be produced, before a person appointed by the court.”
Employers have only seven weeks to ensure that all employees working in the State of New York have completed a sexual harassment prevention training program that meets the standards required by the newly amended New York Human Rights Law. The mandatory training obligation applies to all companies, regardless of their size, and will continue to be the employer’s responsibility on an annual basis. The Law includes a number of additional new obligations for employers, including the requirement that New York employees receive a sexual harassment policy comparable to the “model” policy issued by the New York State Department of Labor.
Click here to read the full GT alert prepared by Robert H. Bernstein (Shareholder), Jerrold F. Goldberg (Shareholder), Eric B. Sigda (Shareholder), Mark D. Lurie (Of Counsel), Michael J. Slocum (Of Counsel), Noel A. Lesica (Associate), and Melanie A. Sarver (Practice Group Attorney) of GT’s New York and New Jersey offices.
Israeli companies doing business in the United States have a wide range of states from which they hire employees. As our colleagues in the California, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas offices demonstrate in the article below, laws governing non-competition restrictions can vary substantially from state to state. An employee’s location can therefore significantly impact the company’s right to (i) hire an employee from a competing entity, and/or (ii) limit an employee’s competitive activity following termination of employment.
Click here to read the full GT Alert, “A Non-Compete Law Roadmap for Tech Start-Ups in Key Jurisdictions,” by Ashley Farrell Pickett, Jack Gearan, Jerrold Goldberg, Shira Yoshor, Angeles Garcia Cassin, and Melanie Sarver.
One form of digital promotion that has recently drawn attention across several states and countries is the sale of treasure chests or “loot boxes” in video games and apps. Loot boxes typically offer players a chance-based opportunity to obtain virtual items for use in a game. These in-game items may help improve a player’s chances of success in the game, or they may merely be decorative and simply give a player bragging rights based on rarity (often called “skins”).
Although the items found in a loot box often are available by “grinding,” or continuing to play the game over time, buying a loot box gives a player a chance to obtain the same item faster. In short, it can be a trade-off of time vs. money (though without a guarantee what is in any given loot box).
Loot boxes also may give a player the psychological excitement and stimulation of feeling like the player has “won” something (regardless whether the “thing” has any real-world value or utility outside the virtual world of the game). It is largely based on these psychological factors that some jurisdictions have begun to take the position that the selling of loot boxes may constitute a form of gambling – or at least warrant some form of regulation – even in the absence of prizes with real-world value being available in the loot boxes (such real-world value/prizes generally being a threshold requirement for a finding of illegal gambling under most existing U.S. precedents at this time).
In this GT Alert, we explore how certain jurisdictions around the world are addressing loot boxes. Click here for the full alert.
For more on gaming, click here.
The passage of the Mexican National Development Plan (NDP) for 2019-2024 brings with it opportunities for Israeli companies of many kinds looking to do business with Mexico, as it realizes its vision for continued development. Over the years, Israel and Mexico have engaged in mutual cooperation initiatives, sharing Israel’s accumulated academic and technological knowledge and experience, with special emphasis on the fields of agriculture, water treatment, and hi-tech. Bilateral trade volume currently stands at US $600 million, and expectations are that this sum will continue to increase. With Israel’s new incoming Ambassador to Mexico, Mr. Tzvi Tal, the relationship between Israel and Mexico is poised for growth. Israeli companies stand to benefit from closer economic ties with Mexico and the rest of Latin America.
Click here to read the full GT Alert.
In this Spring/Summer 2019 newsletter, Greenberg Traurig’s Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Practice covers the latest developments in digital assets, utility tokens, security tokens, convertible virtual currencies, smart contracts, initial coin offerings, crypto investment regulation, and more, both in the United States and around the globe. Our team stays abreast of existing laws, recent enforcement actions, and decisions, rulings, and orders, and keeps track of legal trends, upcoming legislation, and technical developments, helping clients anticipate and prepare for potential compliance requirements and legal and regulatory changes.
This issue covers the following:
- SEC Guidance
- FinCEN Guidance
- Fintech Update
- Tax Update
- Cross-Border Developments
- State Law Developments
- Escheat/Unclaimed Property
Click here for the full GT Newsletter.
When Future Media Group set out to acquire W Magazine from Condé Nast, it turned to its long-standing counsel, Adam Snukal, a shareholder in the Intellectual Property & Technology Practice in the New York and Tel Aviv offices of global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP.
Greenberg Traurig represented Future Media in an acquisition that brought W Magazine together with Surface and Watch Journal to form Future Media Group. Following the acquisition, the Group said in a press release that it would “continue to publish eight print issues of W annually while also expanding the brand’s digital and experiential footprint.”
To read the full press release, click here.