Accident, illness and injury can strike anyone, even busy attorneys. So, from solo to BigLaw to in-house practitioner, everyone should have a financial backup plan that includes disability insurance.Illness or disability affects 40 percent of U.S. workers in the 30- to 50-year-old group, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But if you have the “it will never happen to me” syndrome, consider Nancy Lindholm’s story.In 2000 Lindholm was a Boston tax lawyer with Goodwin Procter. “I was working crazy hours like many do, not eating or sleeping well,” she recalls. “I felt more tired than in law school when I pulled all-nighters, but still basically healthy.”With the pressures of client work occupying her mind, she says, “I kept pushing myself until one day I felt a searing pain while going to work. It was so intense I collapsed on the subway. I left the train thinking I’d walk it off.”Eventually, the pain … [Read more...] about Get a Plan B: Disability Insurance Needs to Be in Your Insurance Plan
Legally disabled definition
Pi Day comes but once a century, on 3/14/15. The Internal Revenue Service receives praise approximately as frequently. But the IRS deserves applause for its Notice 2015-18, released March 10, 2015, giving the green light to states to proceed with the establishment of tax-free investment programs for the disabled under new Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code.Section 529A, which became effective January 1, 2015, grants tax-free treatment to the earnings in so-called ABLE accounts established for eligible disabled beneficiaries and used for qualified disability expenses. As is the case with Section 529 programs, which offer tax-free investment for higher education expenses, Section 529A programs must be established by state instrumentalities and must comply with a variety of statutory requirements. But unlike Section 529, which permits anyone to establish a Section 529 account (subject to the imposition of taxes and tax penalties on amounts withdrawn for purposes other than the … [Read more...] about IRS Green Lights Section 529A ABLE Disability Programs
The Supreme Court held that it is cruel and unusual punishment for the government to execute a mentally retarded individual, but it never has explained how it is to be determined whether a person is mentally retarded. In Hall v. Florida, to be argued Monday, March 3, the court will address this issue. Thirty-two states have the death penalty and the court’s answer could affect a significant number of people on death row across the country.Freddie Lee Hall was tried and convicted for a murder that occurred in 1978. At a hearing on whether to impose the death penalty, Hall’s lawyers presented evidence that he is mentally retarded. His teachers had identified his mental disabilities and labeled him “mentally retarded.” Doctors who examined him concluded that Hall was “extremely impaired psychiatrically, neurologically and intellectually,” that he showed signs of “serious brain impairment,” and that he “is probably incapable of even the … [Read more...] about Chemerinsky: Who is mentally disabled when it comes to the death penalty?
It may seem like a no-brainer that dogs don’t belong in a supermarket. But in pet-friendly Portland, Ore., the question is controversial enough to require state officials to weigh in with a new campaign intended to educate the public about what is and is not a service animal, reports the New York Times.The legal issue is important, because although pets are not permitted in supermarkets under the federal Food Code, service animals, such as guide dogs for the blind, are exempt from the restriction. The problem is, there is no absolutely clear-cut definition of service animal or registration procedure. That has prompted a number of pet owners to claim that ordinary companion animals qualify to accompany them on their grocery-shopping trips, according to the newspaper.Reacting to some 600 complaints over the past year about animals in food stores, the Oregon Agriculture Department has mounted an educational campaign about the service dog rules, distributing posters and brochures to … [Read more...] about Definition of ‘Service Animal’ a Hot Issue in Pet-Friendly Portland, Ore.
On the theory that a happy employee is a productive employee, a number of avant-garde business owners let employees bring pets to work.But the arrangement can present both practical and legal issues, reports the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).At Justia Inc., co-owner Stacy Stern admits that her two toy dogs can be a distraction, sometimes seeking to go on a walk outside her Mountain View, Calif., office when she is on the phone with clients of the legal information provider. But she has found a solution: “What I’ll do is instant message a couple of people who love the pugs like I do and one will usually take them out,” she tells the newspaper.Where workers are concerned, attorney Jon Hyman of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz suggests that owners set advance expectations concerning such issues as what will be done with the pet if the owner needs to go to a meeting. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers must also accommodate employees who may be allergic to … [Read more...] about Despite Legal Issues, Dogs at Work Can Be a Plus; Hawk & Squirrel are Sent Home
A year ago, Congress passed and George W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 ("ADAAA"), which of course amended the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). On September 23, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) took a step towards fulfilling the Congressional mandate imposed by the ADAAA when it released proposed regulations interpreting the ADA as amended by the ADAAA. The proposed revisions to the previously existing ADA regulations introduce several changes. Of particular importance, the proposed regulations clarify the definition of the term “substantially limits.” This client alert addresses the high points of the proposed regulatory changes and provides a brief analysis of the likely effect of such changes. “Substantially Limits”An impairment is a disability within the meaning of the proposed regulations if it substantially limits the ability of an individual to perform a major life … [Read more...] about EEOC Releases Proposed Regulations Amending the Current Americans with Disabilities Act Regulations
Welcome to the New World IntroductionSocial media is a revolution in the way in which corporations communicate with consumers. This White Paper will help you to maximize the huge potential benefits of this revolution and protect against the inherent legal risks surrounding this phenomenon. In this document, you will find practical, action-oriented guidelines as to the state of law in the following areas: Advertising & Marketing; Commercial Litigation; Data Privacy & Security; Employment Practices; Government Contracts & Investigations; Insurance Recovery; Litigation, Evidence & Privilege; Product Liability; Securities; and Trademarks. Everyone has heard of Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace. These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of social media sites with tens of millions of participants. And it’s not just individuals. Multinational companies and their CEOs are increasingly active in the social media space via blogs, Facebook fan pages, and … [Read more...] about Network Interference: A Legal Guide to the Commercial Risks and Rewards of the Social Media Phenomenon
In a new federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Whittaker v. America's Car-Mart, Inc., the plaintiff is alleging his former employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it fired him for being obese. Plaintiff Joseph Whittaker claims the company, a car dealership chain, fired him from his job as a general manager last November after seven years of employment even though he was able to perform all essential functions of his job, with or without accommodations. He alleges “severe obesity … is a physical impairment within the meaning of the ADA,” and that the company regarded him as being substantially limited in the major life activity of walking.The EEOC has also alleged morbid obesity is a disability protected under the ADA. In a 2011 lawsuit filed on behalf of Ronald Katz, II against BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle Systems, LP (BAE Systems), the EEOC alleged the company regarded Mr. … [Read more...] about Will Obesity Claims Be the Next Wave of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Litigation?
There’s no question that the Connecticut mom was fully within her rights to breastfeed her child in public – as has been specifically detailed under Connecticut state law. I believe, the man’s conduct, based on what we know, could have transcended pure obnoxiousness and rose to the level that puts him in legal jeopardy as well. The woman says she plans to file a police report, if she hasn’t already done so. Based on this video, which began after the man’s first few insults calling Ms. Maher’s “nasty” and “disgusting,” a reasonable fact-finder would almost definitely view the man’s conduct as threatening. And there’s no question that he disturbed Ms. Maher and her child without any lawful basis.Sec. 53a-182 of the Connecticut Penal Code pretty clearly defines such behavior as “Disorderly conduct” – a Class C misdemeanor: “A person is guilty of disorderly … [Read more...] about Man Who Berated Breastfeeding Woman Could Be in Legal Trouble Too
Taiwan’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday paved way for the island to become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, after it struck down the Civil Code’s definition of marriage as being only between a man and a woman.The Court has now directed the authorities concerned to amend or enact relevant laws in accordance with the ruling, within two years. If the legislature fails to pass an amendment or legislation in the next two years, same-sex couples “shall be allowed to have their marriage registration effectuated at the authorities in charge of household registration,” a press release stated.The Petitions before the Court had challenged the provisions of Chapter 2 on Marriage of Part IV on Family of the Civil Code, which did not allow same-sex marriages, as being violative of both the people’s freedom of marriage as protected by Article 22 and the people’s right to equality as guaranteed by Article 7 of the Constitution.The Court … [Read more...] about First In Asia: Taiwan Constitutional Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriages, Amendments To Be Made Within 2 Years