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Paul Zimmerman

Showing 16 posts from February 2015.

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alphaspirit ©

Hotel WiFi Wars

UPDATE (March 3, 2015): Hilton just announced that they will be offering free WiFi to their Hilton Honors members. 

Recently, the FCC and Marriott Hotels, along with the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), engaged in a battle over one of the most important services a hotel can provide these days: WiFi. Marriott and the AHLA petitioned the FCC to block guests’ use of outside WiFi networks in order to protect network quality and improve security but, perhaps due to the optics of the action, they have abandoned their petition. This comes on the heels of 2013’s $600,000 FTC fine levied against Marriott after the hotel chain blocked convention attendees’ outside WiFi networks at one of their Nashville properties, charging the attendees upwards of $1,000 to access WiFi.  (Read more)

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Viktor Bondar ©

The FTC Targets Health Care M&A’s

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) challenge of St. Luke’s Health System’s merger with Saltzer Medical Group and its physicians was the agency’s first case against a hospital-physician acquisition. The Idaho district court ordered divestiture and on February 10, 2015, the Ninth Circuit agreed that the merger violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act, the governing federal statute prohibiting monopolies.  (Read more)

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Valeriy Lebedev ©

Do Your Supervisors Know the Rules?

Have you tested your supervisors lately? How well do they know the rules of your business?

Late last year, there was a case pending in Oklahoma state court involving a high school football game. The state playoffs were being delayed due to an erroneous call made by an official, who called a penalty on an assistant coach. The assistant coach inadvertently obstructed the official’s path on the field during a 58-yard touchdown pass in the final minutes of the game. It gave the assistant coach’s team a 5-point lead with 1 minute and 4 seconds left to play. (Read More)

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Dmitriy Shironosov ©

Will Hotels and Restaurants be ready for EMV?

October, 2015 should mark the beginning of the end of the traditional 'swipe and sign' technology for credit and debit card payments in the U.S.  Still, the question remains whether retailers, including those in the restaurant, food & beverage and hotel industries, will be ready for this change? (Read more)

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scanrail ©

Alert: California DOI Action on Price Optimization

On February 18, 2015, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) issued a Notice to property and casualty insurers on the issue of price optimization. The notice advises P&C insurers that price optimization is illegal under California law, and instructs insurers currently using price optimization in California to cease the practice. It also instructs that “any insurer that has a factor or factors based on Price Optimization in its rating plan shall remove the factor or factors in its next filing,” and requires this filing within six months. (Read more)

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Maksim Kabakou ©

Senate Introduces Cyberthreat Data Sharing Legislation

On Wednesday, February 11, The Cyber Threat Sharing Act of 2015 was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill is aimed at improving cybersecurity for both the private and public sectors, through the increase of shared cyberthreat data and communication between both sectors. (Read more)

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oksix ©

Chickens Provided More Space, but at What Cost?

Egg lovers beware. Egg prices are on the rise across the nation, largely because of California voters. Animal rights advocates persuaded voters in 2008 to pass Proposition 2, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act. The act requires farmers to place egg-laying hens in bigger cages to provide room to run around and flap their wings. The law just took effect on January 1, 2015. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has also implemented rules that give chickens substantially more room to breathe. Farmers in states like Iowa and Ohio who regularly sell their eggs to California will also have to comply with the new rules. In cold states, farmers will now be forced to install heaters in order to keep their chickens warm. This was never a previous concern, as conventional wisdom was that chickens huddled together for warmth in smaller cages. These out-of-state farmers may have to spend thousands, if not millions, to install heaters and bigger cages if they wish to sell eggs in California. To keep costs down, many farmers are opting to reduce the number of chickens. As a result, we will likely see at least a fifteen percent increase in egg prices.  (Read more)

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Ievgenii Biletskyi

Farm to Fork May Present Opportunities to Hotel and Restaurant Chains

In September of last year, Governor Brown signed AB 2413, creating California’s Farm to Fork, an initiative that seeks to bring fresh, healthy foods from farms directly to consumers in order to build healthy communities. The genesis of the legislation began when California's Health in All Policies Task Force, the Department of Education, the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Department of Public Health all collaborated in an effort promote making agricultural products more accessible to schools and underserved communities. AB 2413, authored by Assembly Speaker John A.  Pérez, was originally proposed after a myriad of State findings regarding a lack of access to healthy foods in disadvantaged urban communities, and the prevalence of chronic health conditions related to poor diets in these communities.  (Read more)

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J.R. Bale ©

Court’s Interpretations of Damages under California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act

Without a doubt, technology has made life easier for doctors. Now, instead of toiling away in their offices late into the night, they can take medical records home with them on tablets and smartphones, giving them 24-7 access to patients’ medical information from wherever they choose to work. Unfortunately, these mobile devices increase the risk of security breaches, which is concerning both for patients, whose medical records could be stolen, and providers, who may be subject to civil penalties resulting from the theft. This is because California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) sets forth that a plaintiff is able to recover damages in an amount set by statute, as opposed to having to prove actual financial losses. (Read more)

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gnidkin ©

Should Foreign Corporations Have to Submit to General Jurisdiction to Do Business in NY?

A bill proposed by New York’s Office of Court Administration (“OCA”), seeking to avoid the applicability of a U.S. Supreme Court case handed down in January 2014, will likely be introduced in the upcoming New York State Legislature session.

In Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 310 (2014), 22 Argentinean citizens sued the German company in California for alleged crimes against humanity committed in Argentina. The Supreme Court held that California courts could not exercise “general jurisdiction” over Daimler because it is incorporated in Germany and has its principal place of business in that country.  (Read More)