Errors to Avoid When Moving State Litigation to Federal Court

Depending on the claims, parties, and preferences, there are multiple forums where litigants can choose to file suit. The majority of cases start in state courts, as they are courts of general jurisdiction. However, for defendants, moving a state court case to a federal court offers certain tactical benefits. Before moving your state court case to a federal court, know that federal courts can only hear cases that have at least one claim arising under federal law or disputes between . . . Read More

Healthcare Blog Series: “Safe Harbor” Exceptions, Common Infractions, and Legislative Updates to the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law

***This is the second installment in a blog series examining the regulatory environment and key concerns for persons or businesses operating in the healthcare industry.*** The first installment of this series introduced the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law), two of the most well-known anti-fraud and -abuse statutes in the healthcare industry. It examined their main differences and respective effects on business relationships and transactions for government contractors and commercial businesses operating in the healthcare sector. This installment . . . Read More

Protecting Your Company Against Revenue Clawbacks: Preference Actions (Part 1 of 3)

A customer goes bankrupt and then they (or a trustee) demand you return money you were already paid for services or goods duly rendered. In this three-part series, we discuss strategies to protect your company against these revenue “clawbacks,” and how to implement these strategies before and after a customer’s bankruptcy filing. In this blog, we discuss the definition of preferences and the policy purpose of preference actions. In the second, we discuss specific actionable items to take to limit . . . Read More

The Government Contractor Gifting Guide: 4 Tips to Avoid Severe Penalties

The holiday season will be here before we know it.  Although this year’s celebrations may look different for many of us, one thing will still be on everyone’s mind: gifts.  For companies, holiday gifting to clients and colleagues can be a cheerful and effective marketing tool.  If your clients or colleagues are government employees, it is important to remember the many rules that govern making gifts to government employees.  Keep these rules in mind to prevent a small gift from . . . Read More

False Claims Act Considerations for PPP Loan Forgiveness Applications

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act offered much-needed financial relief to businesses directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the program, eligible businesses could obtain a loan designed to keep employees on the company payroll, even when company revenues were impacted by stay-at-home and social distancing orders. And, in many cases, PPP loans are eligible for total forgiveness, saving companies from the additional financial burden of paying back an often . . . Read More

Is Your Arbitration Clause Leaving You Exposed?:  3 Ways to Protect Yourself

Arbitration clauses are included in many commercial contracts, particularly in government subcontracts. We often see arbitration clauses as tools to limit the parties’ exposure to protracted litigation if a dispute arises under the contract. Maryland, among many other state and federal courts, has an extremely strong public policy of favoring the enforcement of arbitration agreements.  The Maryland Court of Appeals has explained that the “public policy favoring such agreements is understandable, as arbitration agreements are generally a less expensive and . . . Read More

BLOG: Healthcare Blog Series: An Introduction to the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law

***This is the first installment in a blog series focusing on the regulatory environment and key concerns for persons or businesses operating in the healthcare industry.*** One of the major differences between the healthcare industry and other business sectors is federal regulations covering the inducement of business through referrals with financial incentives. While it may be permissible, and even common, in many industries to obtain business through financial incentive referrals, such arrangements are impermissible when the transaction involves goods or . . . Read More

BLOG: 5 Tips for Employers Managing a Remote Workforce During COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic forced many companies to transition to remote work environments with little, if any, notice. In the face of ongoing remote work, you should provide employees with clear guidance on expectations and obligations. For this reason, it is advisable to revisit your remote employment policies and agreements. The following is a list of best practices for employers managing a remote workforce. Define the Employment Relationship Defining the terms of an employment relationship is necessary to protect employees, assure . . . Read More

BLOG: $4.5 Million False Claims Act Settlement Underscores DOJ’s Focus on Fraud in Small Business Programs

During the webinar on “ The False Claims Act: 2019 Takeaways and 2020 Trends ” earlier this year, Matt Feinberg and Jackie Unger noted that the SBA’s small business programs are fertile ground for False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement and predicted increased enforcement in 2020 and beyond. A recent settlement has shown this to be true and illustrates that the risk of FCA liability can extend to affiliates and business partners of purported small businesses that contract with the federal government. On May 4, 2020, the DOJ issued a press release stating that Northland Associates, . . . Read More

BLOG: New Judicial Order Offers Clarity on Maryland Statutes of Limitations Impacted by COVID-19

Early during the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of state-level court systems, including Maryland’s courts, declared judicial emergencies and issued orders automatically tolling, or postponing, the expiration of statutes of limitations [1] for claims filed within those states. These orders offered plaintiffs a reprieve from the strict filing deadlines. Now, as Maryland begins the process of reopening its court systems to the public, the state’s highest court has issued an order offering clarity as to the new filing deadlines for the expiration of . . . Read More