February

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Limitations on a Health Care Provider’s Right to Indemnification
During lean economic times, payments by Medicare and Medicaid account for an increasingly large share of health care providers’ revenue streams. As such, health care providers and the attorneys that represent them need to be especially concerned about activities giving rise to False Claims Act (FCA) liability. Moreover, potential amendments to the FCA that will be favorable to plaintiffs appear to be on the horizon. These and other factors may converge to create a “perfect storm” of FCA liability for many health care providers in the near future. Counsel should be aware of the intricacies of indemnity claims relating to FCA actions.

Features

Beating Rich: Three Ways to Recover Attorney’s Fees in Miller Act Cases
The Miller Act is a statute applicable to all federal construction projects valued at $100,000 or more. Because sovereign immunity prevents mechanics’ liens on public projects, the Miller Act requires the prime contractor on the project to provide a substitute for a mechanic’s lien: a payment bond, through a qualified surety, for the protection of first- and second-tier subcontractors. A subcontractor or sub-subcontractor who is not paid may sue on the payment bond to recover unpaid amounts.
The Class Action Fairness Act and the New Federal e-Discovery Rules: To Remove or Not to Remove?
The culmination of an extensive lobbying effort over several years by many business organizations, the aim of the Class Action Fairness Act was to expand federal jurisdiction over class actions and to curb perceived abuses of the class action device. However, as often happens with tort reform legislation, passing CAFA required substantial compromise with organizations representing competing interests, including the American Trial Lawyers Association. The result was a statute that makes removal of class actions to federal court a somewhat more available option than it was before but at the price of significant risks and burdens for the removing defendant.