The Superior Court of Pennsylvania’s ruling this month in Snizavich v. Rohm and Haas Co. heightens, or at least reinforces, toxic tort plaintiffs' burden to submit expert testimony with a sufficient scientific basis to establish the requisite causal link between the alleged injury and exposure to the defendant’s product. This burden will be particularly difficult to meet in some cases, says John DiChello of Blank Rome LLP.
Cross-examination is not for the faint of heart — even an experienced trial lawyer may feel a surge of adrenaline facing a hostile witness and the unpredictable exchange that is inherent in cross-examination. If you follow the five laws of cross-examination, you will have a better chance of controlling the exchange, say Dawn Solowey and Lynn Kappelman of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
In many states, employers are just starting to see the impact of new legislation implementing the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act. Among other things, agreements with employees or former employees not to contest unemployment insurance benefit claims may now trigger heightened scrutiny from regulators, says Katharine Parker of Proskauer Rose LLP.
As different as the world of the NFL may be, its locker room is ultimately a workplace like any other. The recent bullying controversy in the Miami Dolphins football organization has posed the same questions that all employers face: Who is ultimately responsible for bad employee behavior? Should the employee have done more? Was it one bad apple or was the problem endemic? say James Kizziar Jr. and Amber Dodds of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.
A Massachussetts federal court recently decided that attorney-client privilege can be waived inadvertently when the employer’s legal adviser becomes overly involved in the employer’s investigation of sexual harassment claims. The case is a reminder that employers and their counsel need to build a firewall between investigators and lawyers, says David Henderson of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP.
The extensive amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45 that took effect on Dec. 1, 2013, bring welcome changes that simplify and streamline subpoena practice. In particular, the elimination of uncertainty in determining where compliance can be required and where service can be effected will reduce the effort and costs involved in issuing subpoenas, say Lawrence Friedman and Sheilah Kane of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
We offer help with some insight on the more significant new employment-related legislation that, if not already addressed, should be given some thought prior to year-end. For instance, in light of California’s mid-year minimum wage increase, the thing to be careful about now is budgeting for the salary level of your lower-level exempt employees, say attorneys with Greenberg Traurig LLP.
The Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Rivera v. Peri & Sons Farms — that employers of H-2 workers must reimburse most travel, recruitment and immigration-related expenses — deepens a circuit split on the issue. But the fact that Rivera was authored by strongly conservative Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain suggests that an opposite conclusion could simply be headed for obsolescence, says Melinda Pilling of Rukin Hyland Doria & Tindall LLP.
At a minimum, Pennsylvania’s updated professional conduct rules should give employers additional ammunition to push for using the latest cost-saving technology, such as predictive coding, when defending against litigation in Pennsylvania courts. As a practical matter, however, the effects may be limited, says Jacob Oslick of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
Under the new Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, there is no reason to expect any less protection for technical and economic information useful in oil and gas exploration and production. A comparison of the factors Texas courts have been using to determine if a trade secret exists and the new statutory definition reveals substantial overlap, say Steve Borgman and David Tobin of Vinson & Elkins LLP.