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LITIGATION ALERT: Discovery of Communications between Insurers and Reinsurers
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In today's complex work of insurance, many insurance risks are "reinsured" by a separate insurance carrier.  In those instances, it is not unusual for insurers and reinsurers to have regular communications concerning the insured, and in particular, concerning matters about which they both have an interest.  Most of the time, the insurer and reinsurer consider such communications to be confidential, and not subject to discovery.  However, whether seemingly confidential communications between insurers and reinsurers is discoverable in litigation involving an underlying insured is not a clear cut question.  Outside of Texas, there is a split of authority regarding the issue of discoverability of reinsurance communications.  A recent order issued by the Northern District of Texas demonstrates that such communication can be discoverable if an insured can persuade the court that the sought after information is relevant to his or her underlying claims.

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Jason Binford and John Kane Spoke at the Annual Meeting of the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives
Thursday, August 7, 2014

On August 5, 2014, Jason Binford and John Kane spoke at the annual meeting of the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives in San Diego, California.  They presented on their law review article, Farmer Favoritism: Statutory Protections for Creditors in Agricultural Bankruptcy Cases, recently published in the Texas Tech Law Review.

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ENVIRONMENTAL ALERT: Environmental Due Diligence
Monday, July 21, 2014

Environmental Site Assessments (“ESA”) assist potential purchasers acquiring an interest in commercial real estate with determining a baseline for certain environmental conditions of the property and potentially establishing statutory protections from liability for those conditions. In performing environmental due diligence, environmental attorneys and consultants primarily focus on two types of assessments commonly referred to as either a Phase I ESA or Phase II ESA. Each assessment is presented in a written report format and must meet certain criteria required to provide liability protections. This Alert seeks to assist the reader in understanding the purposes and basic requirements of these assessments.

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Karin Zaner Publishes "Social Media: A Physician's Guide to Avoiding Pitfalls" in MD News Magazine
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Karin Zaner published an article in MD News Magazine entitled, "Social Media: A Physician's Guide to Avoiding Pitfalls". Karin has authored several other "Top 10 Tips" guidelines for physicians and regularly speaks on these topics.  

See the full article here.

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BANKRUPTCY ALERT: The Supreme Court Continues to Limit Bankruptcy Court Powers
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

On June 9, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued the decision Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkinson, Trustee of the Estate of Bellingham Insurance Agency, Inc., which deals with the constitutional limits on bankruptcy judges.  The Bellingham decision is the latest chapter in a saga begun by the Supreme Court in the 2011 decision, Stern v. Marshall.  The potential effects of Stern and Bellingham on bankruptcy litigation will have a significant impact upon the costs, predictability, strategy and potentially the length of bankruptcy cases.  

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LITIGATION ALERT: Top-Level Domain Names: A New Frontier
Monday, July 7, 2014

First, think back to October 2013—the federal government had just experienced a 16-day shutdown and the internet only had 22 generic Top-Level Domains ("gTLDs").  Of these 22 gTLDs, there were less than a handful of gTLDs which were unrestricted and available for use for any purpose: namely, .COM, .NET, .ORG and .INFO.  Each of these gTLDs was managed by a domain name registrar who maintained a registry of all of the domain names and who collected periodic fees for each domain name registration.

Because the suffixes of the alphanumeric strings that made up the domain names were limited to these non-descriptive gTLDs, i.e., .COM, .NET, .ORG and .INFO, companies used the content of the secondary level—the location to the left of the gTLDs, to incorporate a trademark or service mark (collectively, "trademark") and distinguish their websites.  For example, Apple, Inc. developed <apple.com> and the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. developed <wikipedia.org >.

Then, on October 23, 2013, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") began delegating new gTLDs on a rolling basis.[1]  ICANN allowed entities to apply for new gTLDs and to become the respective domain name registrar for a fee of $185,000 and the obligation to maintain and operate the registry.  During the next few years, the number of gTLDs is expected to grow from 22 gTLDs to 1,300 gTLDs with a handful of new gTLDs being released each week.[2]  To date, 319 new gTLDs have been delegated. [3]

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ENVIRONMENTAL ALERT: Environmental Due Diligence
Monday, June 30, 2014

Environmental Site Assessments (“ESA”) assist potential purchasers acquiring an interest in commercial real estate with determining a baseline for certain environmental conditions of the property and potentially establishing statutory protections from liability for those conditions. In performing environmental due diligence, environmental attorneys and consultants primarily focus on two types of assessments commonly referred to as either a Phase I ESA or Phase II ESA. Each assessment is presented in a written report format and must meet certain criteria required to provide liability protections. This Alert seeks to assist the reader in understanding the purposes and basic requirements of these assessments.

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Kenneth Johnston Recently Spoke on "Hot Topics in Dealing with Banking Cyber Security"
Friday, June 20, 2014
Kenneth Johnston was recently a speaker on Hot Topics in Dealing with Banking Cyber Security for a webinar presented by the Knowledge Group.

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Kenneth Johnston Recently Spoke on "Bank Claims for Target-Type Breaches: Leveraging Litigation Theories, Assessing and Pleading Damages"
Friday, June 20, 2014
Kenneth Johnston recently spoke on Bank Claims for Target-Type Breaches: Leveraging Litigation Theories, Assessing and Pleading Damages, part of a webinar series presented by Strafford.

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Jason Binford Publishes "Preparing for a Franchisor Bankruptcy Filing" in Hotel News Now
Friday, June 13, 2014

Jason Binford published an article in Hotel News Now entitled, "Preparing for a Franchisor Bankruptcy Filing". Jason is a contributing author to HNN and regularly writes articles about bankruptcy and creditor's rights issues for the hospitality industry.

See the full article here.

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