Newsletter

Release of Medicare Payments Sure to Cause Confusion

The release by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of payment information for doctors and healthcare providers is sure to cause concern among patients and garner the attention of regulators, auditors, insurers and government enforcement agencies. The release of the data, as a result of a court decision, has opened the window into the payments made to all providers …

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Aetna — UCR Action Memo

RE: AETNA UCR LITIGATION/ Non-Par Provider Proposed Settlement Agreement Action Required by February 26, 2014 We are contacting our clients with respect to a proposed settlement agreement that is being circulated in connection with class action lawsuits consolidated under the case caption In re Aetna UCR Litigation, pending in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, …

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What is a Special Power of Appointment?

What is a Power of Appointment?  A power of appointment is the power given by one person to another (referred to as the “holder” of the power of appointment) to designate who is to receive an asset. For example, if Husband creates a trust giving Daughter the power to determine who is to receive the trust principal, Daughter is the …

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Special Use Valuation for Certain Estate Properties

Although Congress passed legislation in 2001 incrementally increasing the amount exempt from federal estate tax over the next few years, with complete elimination of federal estate taxes in 2010, unless Congress acts affirmatively to make the repeal of estate taxes permanent, estate taxes will resume after 2010 at former rates and levels. In any event, estate taxes will continue to …

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Effect of Marital Status on Federal Tax Filing Status

For federal income tax purposes, there are five tax “statuses:” single; head of household; married filing jointly; married filing separately; and qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. Status affects tax credits and deductions, and therefore also affects the amount of taxes owed. This article focuses on married persons filing jointly or separately. Married Status and Consequent Options Consistent with federal law, …

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Law Requires Both Parents’ Consent for U.S. Passport Issuance

In July 2001, the United States Department of State implemented a law regarding passport application procedures.  Under the Two-Parent Consent Law, as amended in 2008, both parents are required to consent to the passport application for a minor U.S. citizen under the age of 16.  By putting this law into practice, the Department of State sought to decrease the likelihood that a U.S. passport will be …

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Intrusion Upon Seclusion: Invasion of Privacy

A “tort” may generally be defined as an act deemed wrongful enough that one who suffers injury from it may bring a lawsuit to recover damages. Many torts have their origin in “common law,” which is the body of legal, historical principles and results from actual court cases, often historically developed in England and adopted by U.S. states. Invasion of …

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Use of Expert Witnesses in Litigation

Authorities suggest that “lay” witnesses may testify to conclusions drawn from their own observations, while an “expert” expresses an opinion based on special knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education. The testimony of a civil engineer in a 1782 English case may be the first recorded use of expert testimony. In many lawsuits, the testimony of an “expert” witness is essential …

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Parents of Injured Children and Recovery of Consortium Damages

Although “loss of consortium” damages are traditionally associated with spousal relationships, modern cases have extended the right to recover them to parent-child relationships.  Referred to as “filial consortium damages,” these awards are intended to compensate the parent for the loss of affection, love and companionship that results from a child’s injury or death. Wrongful Death Actions Distinguished In cases where …

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Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

Due to the nature of landlord-tenant relationships, it is not surprising that they can often become contentious. To prevent or address problems between landlords and their tenants, the federal government and many states have enacted laws which provide housing regulations. For example, the federal Fair Housing Act governs many rental situations. Also, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State …

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