Workers’ Compensation & Employers’ Liability Article Archives

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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Stay-at-Home Work Injuries: Workers’ Comp Claims Amid COVID

October, 2021 | By Todd E. Saucedo and Jillian M. Petrella

Todd E. Saucedo and Jillian M. Petrella published an article in The Legal Intelligencer discussing how stay-at-home orders during the pandemic have required courts to address injuries for America’s nonessential work force while they work from home.

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West Virginia FY 2022 Workers’ Compensation Rates

June, 2021 | By James S. Maloney

The West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner has recently issued the new State average weekly wage for fiscal year 2022.

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West Virginia Establishes Intermediate Appellate Court; Eliminates WV Office of Judges in Workers’ Compensation Claims

April, 2021 | By James S. Maloney

For a number of years, the creation of an intermediate appellate court in West Virginia has been considered and debated. However, the most recent West Virginia legislative session finally resulted in the creation of an intermediate appellate court. The creation of the Court will have an impact on litigation in terms of workers’ compensation matters in the State.

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Maritime Article Archives

Proposed Amendments To COGSA Would Abolish $500 Package Limitation

October, 2000

The proposed amendments to the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (“COGSA”), which were drafted with the assistance of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, will also be before Congress in 2000.

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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

What Is the Reach of the AIA General Conditions’ Consequential Damages Waiver?

May, 2022 | By Stephen S. McCloskey and Thomas V. McCarron

Stephen S. McCloskey and Thomas V. McCarron published an article for The Legal Intelligencer discussing the scope of waiver provisions to consequential damages incurred due to termination of the contract during construction.

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Off-label Drug and Device Promotion in the Wake of Amarin

February, 2017

Recent cases involving promotion to doctors have challenged off-label promotion enforcement actions based on due process and First Amendment grounds, as well as physicians’ need for scientific information. By Marisa A. Trasatti and Marie Claire Langlois

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The Internet of Things and its Impact of Data Retention, E-Discovery, Products Liability, and Cybersecurity

January, 2017

The exponential rise of the IoT implicates several important areas of law. Pertinent to this analysis are the areas of Data Retention, E-Discovery, Products Liability, and Cybersecurity. By Marisa A. Trasatti and Matthew S. Sarna

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The Top Ten “Do’s” of a Law Firm Social Media Policy

April, 2014

Although social media can serve as a useful marketing tool and investigation-gathering source, it is not used exclusively for business endeavors. For these reasons, every law firm should attempt to provide reasonable guidelines for online behavior to employees who participate in online networks. By Marisa A. Trasatti and Jhanelle A. Graham This article was published in…

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The Medicare Secondary Payer Program and Recent Statutory Changes Effective July 1, 2009: The Days in Which Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Ignore Medicare’s Interests Have Ended

May, 2009

MSP amendment makes it impossible to disregard Medicare’s interests in the resolution of workers’ compensation claims. View pdf The above publication is saved in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document.

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Restrictive Covenants in Maryland

February, 2009

Under Maryland law, a restrictive covenant will not be enforceable unless it constitutes a reasonable restraint. Uncertainty regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants creates a quagmire for both employers and employees. 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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The Employee Free Choice Act – Redux

January, 2009 | By Donald F. Burke

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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Disability-Related Inquiries And Medical Exams: Recent Developments

July, 2003

As is generally the case, the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act does not prohibit inquiries into a job applicant’s or employee´s medical or compensation claim history. However, under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (ADA), an employer is strictly proscribed in conducting disability-related inquiries and medical examinations of employees…

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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 | By David F. Risk

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

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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The Probate Process

Most people encounter probate for the first time after a close family member dies. Probate is simply the legal name for wrapping up the affairs of the deceased so that title to his or her wealth is validly changed over to the beneficiaries of the estate. This brief list of questions and answers is an effort to provide a perspective on the probate process.

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Here Is Your Will – Do You Want Tax Planning To Go With That?

May, 2016 | By Carl E. Eastwick

These days only a few wealthy families will pay the federal estate tax. But for residents of Maryland, the state estate tax may perplex people planning to pass on more modest wealth. Since the federal and Maryland estate tax systems will be out of phase until 2019, estate planners should contemplate crafting special Maryland-only provisions into plans until the tax laws are again in synch.

For most people, the federal estate tax is dead! If you die this year, 2016, your family and friends will not have to deal with the IRS’s “Death Tax” unless you have more than $5,450,000 to leave to them. Only a handful of the U.S. citizens dying each year have taxable estates larger.

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Corporate & Business Article Archives

Important Changes to IDOT Recordation Taxes in Maryland

January, 2011

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

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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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2014 Maryland Legislative Update

March, 2014

Maryland Defense Counsel’s (“MDC”) lobbyists have been busy monitoring the bills affecting its members during the 2014 General Assembly Session. John Stierhoff, Ileen Ticer, Gardner Duvall, Mike Dailey, Chris Boucher and Nikki Nesbitt are among those who have testified or are expected to testify and propose amendments to certain bills. Highlighted below are some of the bills on which MDC acted.

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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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Alternative Dispute Resolution Article Archives

Early Neutral Evaluation: An Additional Tool for Resolving Disputes

January, 2012

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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Affirmative Action Article Archives