Workers’ Compensation & Employers’ Liability Article Archives

Semmes Featured in Law.com’s Legal Intelligencer Article

August, 2023 | By Todd E. Saucedo

Todd E. Saucedo and Hudson T. Sauls recently authored an article for Law.com’s Legal Intelligencer on the proposed legislation in Washington D.C. and its impact on workers’ comp claims in other jurisdictions. Todd and Hudson provided a comprehensive overview of the recent legislative changes impacting the realm of workers’ compensation in the District of Columbia.…

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New Worker’s Compensation Legislation Affects How D.C. Handles Benefits Paid and Received by a Claimant in Another Jurisdiction

January, 2023

A new emergency piece of legislation will affect how Washington, D.C., handles a credit for benefits paid and received by a workers’ compensation claimant in another jurisdiction. The new law essentially permits claimants who file in D.C. to still pursue benefits under the Act even if they have received an order/benefits from a sister jurisdiction. The…

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Marijuana Is Legal in Your State, Do the Employer and Insurer Have to Pay for It?

With no clear direction and with medical marijuana being a reasonable and necessary treatment, the states have to decide for themselves.

October, 2022 | By Barry D. Bernstein

Originally published in The Legal Intelligencer  Many injured employees believe that because marijuana is legal in their state, it means that the employer and insurer will have to pay for it. This is not correct.  The Controlled Substance Act is a federal law that prohibits the use of marijuana as a scheduled I controlled substance. Therefore, the…

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Fundamental Changes In Litigation Process of West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Claims Effective July 1, 2022

July, 2022 | By James S. Maloney

Effective July 1, 2022 the West Virginia Office of Judges, which was previously the first step in the litigation process following the issuance of a protestable order by the claims administrator, ceased handling new protestable orders. With any and all protestable orders issued July 1, 2022 and thereafter, the prior Board of Review replaced the…

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Transportation Article Archives

Toxic Torts & Environmental Article Archives

Self-Insurance & Alternative Risk Article Archives

Securities Article Archives

Professional Liability Article Archives

Products Liability Article Archives

Mergers & Acquisitions Article Archives

Maritime Article Archives

Passenger Ship Convention Sidetracked/Bunker Pollution Convention Prioritized

August, 2000

In the last issue of The Quartermaster we mentioned that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Legal Committee was scheduled to meet in October of this year and would attempt to implement a Draft Protocol amending the 1974 Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea. Leading up to that meeting the Draft Protocol was nearly complete and it appeared that it would be the first priority of the Legal Committee. However, early in the course of the meeting it became apparent that consensus could not be reached on a number of important items, and, as a result, the Draft Protocol was taken off the Legal Committee’s number one priority status.

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New Funding To Be Made Available For U.S. Flag Vessel Construction

July, 2000

Early in November, 1999, Representatives McCrery (R-La.) and Jefferson (D-La) in the House joined Sen. John Breaux (D-La) to sponsor new legislation that would change U.S. tax laws to liberalize the use of the Capital Construction Fund by U.S. flag operators not only to fund new ship construction in U.S. shipyards, but also to lease…

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New Funding Source Proposed For Dredging

June, 2000

Ever since the Supreme Court held that the Harbor Maintenance Tax on exports to be unconstitutional in United States v. United States Shoe Corporation, ___ U.S. ___, 118 S.Ct. 1290, 140 L.Ed2d 453 (1998), Congress has grappled with finding an alternative means to fund maintenance dredging of the nation’s harbors. In the last Congress, a…

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Litigation Article Archives

Are Punitive Damages Available to Plaintiffs Involved in Motor Vehicle Accidents in Maryland?

January, 2024 | By Trevor F. Gee

The award of punitive damages in Maryland is exceptionally rare. In Maryland, the “purpose of punitive damages is…to punish the defendant for egregiously bad conduct toward the plaintiff, [and] also to deter the defendant and others contemplating similar behavior.” Owens–Corning v. Garrett, 343 Md. 500, 537–538, 682 A.2d 1143, 1161 (1996). Notably, “[a]warding punitive damages…

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Federal Circuit Court Invalidates Maryland Handgun Licensing Law Under New Supreme Court Test, Questions Constitutionality of Other Firearm Restrictions, Raising Potential Concerns for Maryland Businesses as Shooting Incidents Continue to Rise

| By Richard J. Medoff

In a recent published opinion in Maryland Shall Issue, Inc., et al. v. Wes Moore, in his capacity as Governor of Maryland, et al., No. 21-2017, 2023 WL 8043827 (4th Cir. Nov. 21, 2023), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit invalidated provisions from Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act of 2013 requiring a…

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Artificial Intelligence & The Law Stop Running … You Can’t Hide

| By Paul N. Farquharson

What started as a cautionary tale of woe a few short months ago has quickly turned into what appears to be the next must-have cutting edge technological tool for lawyers. By now, we have all likely heard the tale of Mata v. Avianca in which generative artificial intelligence was employed by one party in the…

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Does The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act Prevent a Non-Dependent’s Claim for a Wrongful Death Suit Arising Out of a Workplace Injury? The Court Answers, Yes!

| By Anthony Benito Blanchfield-Felice

In Maryland, well-established precedent dictates that an employee filing a claim for personal injuries sustained during employment must pursue remedies through the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act. Nevertheless, the Appellate Court of Maryland (formerly the Maryland Court of Special Appeals) recently examined whether third parties with a cause of action under the Maryland Wrongful Death Act…

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Life & Health Insurance & ERISA Claims Article Archives

Labor & Employment Article Archives

Preventing Violence In The Workplace

January, 2017

It Could Never Happen Here Most employers do not take the threat of workplace violence seriously enough. Every now and then, a workplace shooting or murderous incident occurs that shocks employers and employees alike. However, the reality of these incidents soon fades and so does the momentary fear of a similar occurrence in our own…

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Payroll Mistakes Can Cost You – Big!

For most businesses, the single largest class of operational expenses is payroll and related expenses. In addition to wages paid directly to employees, employers are required to pay a share of federal taxes, withhold and remit state and federal income taxes, and contribute to the state and federal unemployment compensation coffers. A majority of employers…

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The Employee Free Choice Act – Redux

New companion bills placed in the Congressional hopper, designated as H.R. 1409 and S. 560, constitute an amendment to the National Labor Relations Act, designated the Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 (EFCA). View Article The above publication is saved in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document.

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Employers Questions About FLSA Overtime Requirements Are Answered

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted by Congress in 1935. Yet many employers continue to raise questions about the FLSA’s overtime requirements. This article will address some of those questions.

1. May comp time be given in lieu of pay?

NO. Even if an employee asks for comp time rather than pay, unless the employee is in one of the exempt categories (executive, administrative, professional, over-the-road driver, outside sales), the employee must be paid for hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week at a rate not less than time and one-half the employee’s regular rate of pay.

2. Is there any limit on the number of hours that an employee may work in any work week?

NO. There is no limit in the Act on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any work week.

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Insurance Regulation & Insolvency Article Archives

Understanding the Safety Net Provided by Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Associations

January, 2010 | By Alan N. Gamse

When insurers in the United States become insolvent, they are not eligible to utilize the Federal bankruptcy system. Instead, they are liquidated pursuant to state insurer insolvency laws and under the authority of the state judiciary system. Policyholders of, and claimants against, such insurers may be protected from loss by property and casualty insurance guaranty associations established under state law. This article explains how the insurance guaranty association works and how its protections are accessed.

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Insurance Coverage/Defense Article Archives

Do Commercial Property Insurance Policies Cover Business Interruption Losses Sustained due to COVID-19?

July, 2022

Note: This is an update to a previously published post. A Maryland Court of Special Appeals opinion that set Maryland precedent on business interruption losses due to COVID-19 is part of a national trend. Several courts have ruled in favor of insurers on the issue of whether losses incurred from government COVID-19 restrictions are covered…

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Estate Planning, Probate & Trusts Article Archives

The Legal Benefits of Marriage

Estate Planning for Maryland’s Same-Sex Couples

February, 2024

The right to marry now extends to more Marylanders than ever before. Under the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which took effect January 1, 2013, same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses knowing that their unions will be recognized by the state. Federal recognition came some six months later with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor. These are exciting developments for the LGBT community, and couples who choose to marry will now enjoy many important benefits. Among these are the right to file joint tax returns, to receive Social Security and other government benefits, and to obtain health insurance from a spouse’s employer.

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The Eternal Question – Revocable “Living” Trust or Will?

December, 2023 | By Carl E. Eastwick and Elizabeth A. Fitch

Revocable living trusts have been marketed so successfully that many people think they can’t live—or die—without one. The promises of avoiding probate, ensuring privacy, reducing estate taxes, and preparing for incapacity seem too enticing to pass up. Suze Orman, the popular financial guru, goes so far as to say that “everyone” needs a revocable living trust. But what everyone really needs is some good advice.

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Estate Planning, Probate & Trusts Frequently Asked Questions

March, 2017

What is an estate plan? What exactly is a trust and why might I need one? Can an estate plan help reduce taxes? I am in a same-sex relationship. How can we protect ourselves beyond a basic estate plan? I’ve heard about revocable living trusts. Should I have one? What is probate? My assets are relatively modest. Do I still need an estate plan? What happens if I die without a Will? I am young and healthy. Do I really need a financial Power of Attorney and Advance Medical Directive?

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Selecting Your Executor And Trustee

Your ability to select the person to manage your affairs after your death is one of the advantages of making a will or a trust. If you make a will, or a revocable trust as a substitute for a will, you nominate a person to settle your estate. If you create a trust, you name a person to be the “trustee” of the trust. The trustee is duty bound to follow the instructions in the trust instrument and the law governing trusts.

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Equal Employment Opportunity Article Archives

Creditors Rights & Bankruptcy Article Archives

Corporate & Business Article Archives

Important Changes to IDOT Recordation Taxes in Maryland

January, 2017

During the Special Session held on May 14-16 of this year, the General Assembly passed a budget bill that includes a considerable limitation on the widely used deferral of recordation taxes on Indemnity Deeds of Trust (IDOTs). Governor O’Malley signed the bill into law on May 22, 2012.

The new law, which will apply to all IDOTs recorded on or after July 1, 2012, imposes recordation tax on IDOTs securing loans of $1 million or more to the same extent that recordation tax would be imposed on a deed of trust or mortgage granted by the borrower. Recordation tax rates range from approximately ½ percent to just over 1 percent depending upon the jurisdiction in which the real property is located.

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Construction Article Archives

Navigating Risk: Advising Clients on Construction Defect Coverage and CGL Policies

February, 2023

Matthew McDaniel suggests that a strong risk management plan is as important as blueprints and permits when preparing for large construction projects. He advises businesses to take time before breaking ground to understand the scope and extent of the coverages and exclusions available in their insurance policies to identify potential gaps in coverage. In an…

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Class Action Litigation Article Archives

Business Litigation Article Archives

Practical Construction Law For Maryland Contractors

July, 2017

This article offers Maryland contractors and subcontractors a practical outline of some of the legal principles applicable to their daily business activities in an effort to help them anticipate problems and to be better equipped to resolve potential disputes with a minimum of difficulty and expense. A limited outline such as this cannot provide legal…

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To Try or Not to Try: Who Decides Is the Question

May, 2014

The “Right to Try” refers to the right of terminally or seriously ill patients to acquire investigational drugs without waiting for FDA approval. It grants these patients the right to access certain drugs, specifically those drugs that have completed only phase one of the FDA three-phase drug approval process. Advocates of the Right to Try contend that the decision to try an investigational drug should be between a patient and his or her physician and, thus, exclude the government, i.e., the FDA. Opponents support the FDA’s role in the drug approval and distribution process. The Right to Try debate boils down to one question: Who should decide whether a drug is too risky to try?

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Litigation and Social Media: Using Social Media to Your Advantage at Every Step of the Trial

February, 2014

This brave new world of social media poses a host of challenges, both substantive and procedural, for judges, attorneys, and litigants. Though some have refused to recognize the reality of social media,6 most jurists and attorneys are now dealing head-on with issues raised by its use. By Marisa A. Trasatti and Anna C. Horevay. View…

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Preemption in Medical Device Litigation: What has changed Since Reigel?

March, 2012

This Article provides an overview of current State and legislative developments after Riegel. It begins with a history of medical device regulation and highlights the recent case of Stengel v. Medtronic, in which the Ninth Circuit adhered closely to Riegel to hold State law claims preempted by the MDA. Stengel also highlights the uncertainty lower court’s face in the wake of Riegel when determining which claims are encompassed in the Supreme Court’s 2008 holding.

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Alternative Dispute Resolution Article Archives

Early Neutral Evaluation: An Additional Tool for Resolving Disputes

January, 2017

There are numerous methods available to avoid the time and expense of a trial before a judge or jury if the parties to a dispute wish to do so but are unable to resolve their differences by direct negotiation. Mediation and arbitration are two examples of such devices which can be very useful in this effort. Early neutral evaluation is another tool which has been employed with success in certain areas and can be adapted to assist the parties in focusing their efforts on real issues in a dispute and in achieving settlement if they wish to do so.

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