Business/Government Litigation Archives - Parks Chesin & Walbert
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Whistleblower Win: Changes That Go Ch-Ching

On a local and national scale, whistleblowers are starting to win.

In August, the U.S. tax court awarded over $17 million to a pair of whistleblowers in a landmark decision that expanded the range of what can be claimed in such cases. For the first time, the tax court’s ruling permitted whistleblowers to get a portion of criminal fines and civil forfeitures in addition to part of the taxes the government recouped because of information they provided. The Wall Street Journal reports that the parties involved in the case weren’t disclosed, but it appears to stem from the prosecution of Wegelin & Co. The Swiss bank closed after it pleaded guilty in 2013 to conspiring with U.S. taxpayers to hide money from the IRS.

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Legal Discrimination: How Far Have We Come?

In January 1960, the undefeated Syracuse Orange football team beat Texas in the Cotton Bowl to win their only National Championship to date. This win was due in part to the performance of star running back Ernie Davis who would later be the first black man to win the Heisman Trophy and the first black man to be drafted #1 overall in the NFL draft. Syracuse University, however, did not attend the awards banquet later that night to celebrate their championship. Why? Davis and two of his black teammates were not invited to the dinner due to their race. In 1960, blatant racial discrimination like that was relatively commonplace. In 2016, it is completely unacceptable.

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Speech and Public Comment in School Board Meetings

A recent ruling against the Walker County School District has the Georgia administration system paying attention to their rules and procedures. The lawsuit was filed by a teacher in a Walker County school. The suit targeted a policy around public comment at School Board meetings. The Judge found that the School Board meetings required speech protections under the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

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Bankruptcy: How Can It Affect Your Case

When times are hard and business goes wrong, an entrepreneur’s worst nightmare may come true: They may be forced into bankruptcy. The benefit of bankruptcy is that it provides people with a fresh financial start. However, this comes at a cost. A bankrupt’s record will always be in the system (and thus could be found by potential employers). Unsurprisingly, the result reduced trust placed in both an individual and a business. That said, bankruptcy should only be used as the ultimate last resort. It should never be used as a way to escape the threat of creditors.

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Abortion Clinics, the Law & Texas

In 2013, Texas passed HB-2. HB-2 is a law that increases regulations on abortion. The law’s stated purpose is to increase women’s health and safety. Opponents of the law challenge that assertion. They argue that the law places places an unconstitutional limitation on women’s access to abortion.

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Immigrants and In-State Tuition

In March, immigrant would-be students in Georgia attempted to challenge the state’s university system. Why? The university system currently doesn’t allow immigrants to take advantage of in-state tuition. Children are often brought to the country as children and then permitted to stay temporarily. However, the state is only required to ensure that they have access to high school tuition.

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Uber in the News: Employment Law Ramifications

In this era of independent contractors, workers have the ability to work for themselves as consultants for other companies. If they’d like, they can simply fulfill tasks that companies outsource. Companies such as the taxi firm Uber are a prime example of this. Unfortunately, companies like this are also an example of the number of employment law cases that have recently been involved in a class action lawsuit. The way in which these workers are treated compared to the huge profits these companies make off of independent contractors is causing the era of independent contracting to be called into question.

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Antonin Scalia and the Supreme Court: The Impact on Employment Law

The hugely respected Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death has had massive implications for developments in employment law across America. As predictions about ongoing cases are made, ripples of uncertainty are being created throughout law firms across the country. Scalia acted as the embodiment of conservatism in the Supreme Court for three decades, and he was respected even by those who disagreed with him. His death will undoubtedly be accompanied by consequences for employees, employers and businesses.

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