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The NLJ 500: Top Five Cities of 2022

Check out this year's leading cities!

     
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The NLJ 500: Ranking the States

Be sure to take a look at this year's top ranking states.

     
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  13 Hits

The NLJ 500: First Year Salaries

Check out the newest addition to our survey, the top salaries for some of the largest NLJ500 firms.

     
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US Supreme Court Declines to Review Roundup Petition, Ensuring More Trials

Tuesday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court ensures that court battles will continue over Monsanto's Roundup, which lawsuits contend causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

     
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The NLJ 500: Diverse Representation Matters

Check out the newest addition to the NLJ500, the LGBTQ scorecard! A list which offers some insight into the impact open sexual and gender minorities have in some of the nation's largest law firms.

     
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Justices Say Religious Schools Can't Be Excluded From Maine Tuition Aid Program

A 1982 Maine law excluding religious schools from a rural-area, public school tuition payment program is unconstitutional, a divided U.S. Supreme Court

     
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The NLJ 500: Which Firms Grew and Shrunk the Most?

These firms grew or shrunk the most by headcount or percentage during 2021.

     
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Supreme Court Grants Cert in Bittner v U.S. On FBAR Nonwillful Penalty Per Form or Per Account Issue (6/21/22)

The Supreme Court today granted certiorari in the Bittner case to address the issue of whether the FBAR nonwillful penalty is per form or per account.  See Order List, p. 2, here.  I covered the key points at this stage in a prior blog.  Solicitor General Acquiesces in Bittner Petition for Cert on Issue of FBAR Nonwillful Penalty Per Form or Per Account (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 5/19/22), here.  So I will defer further comment now.

The docket entries where the briefings and other documents as they are filed may be retrieved in the following web pages:

Supreme Court here. Scotusblog here (Note, as of this posting the cert granted entry has not been posted but should be posted by the end of the day.
Original author: Jack Townsend
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Supreme Court Grants Cert in Bittner v U.S. On FBAR Nonwillful Penalty Per Form or Per Account Issue (6/21/22)

The Supreme Court today granted certiorari in the Bittner case to address the issue of whether the FBAR nonwillful penalty is per form or per account.  See Order List, p. 2, here.  I covered the key points at this stage in a prior blog.  Solicitor General Acquiesces in Bittner Petition for Cert on Issue of FBAR Nonwillful Penalty Per Form or Per Account (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 5/19/22), here.  So I will defer further comment now.

The docket entries where the briefings and other documents as they are filed may be retrieved in the following web pages:

Supreme Court here. Scotusblog here (Note, as of this posting the cert granted entry has not been posted but should be posted by the end of the day.
(Originally posted by Jack Townsend)
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The NLJ 500: Law Firm Size Matters When it Comes to Retention

High market mobility remains as 2021 was another booming year for NLJ 500 law firms.

     
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The NLJ 500: Ranked by Head Count

The NLJ 500 is the National Law Journal's survey of the 500 largest law firms in the United States covering the previous calendar year.

     
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Arnold & Porter's New Denver Hire Adds Depth to FDA Bench in Gender Diverse Office

The firm has more than doubled the size of its Denver office since 2017, growing from 17 to 36 today.

     
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Understanding Duty of Care for Commercial Property Owners

One of the biggest risks commercial property owners face is that someone may be harmed on their property. In that event, the injured person may file a premises liability lawsuit seeking financial compensation. The main legal issues, in that case, would involve the property owner’s duty of care and whether they breached it. If they owed a duty of care and breached it, the commercial property owner would be liable.

In general, the duty of care refers to the legal obligation of an individual or business to exercise reasonable care. You assume certain duties just by virtue of being a property owner. You must keep your premises reasonably safe when someone else has a legal right to be on your property. This includes customers, renters, and anyone who has the right to pass through your property.

If you are found to have breached the duty of care in a manner that caused someone else’s injury, you could be found negligent. That is what triggers your obligation to pay the injured claimant. Any negligence case will be a facts-and-circumstances analysis that depends on the evidence the plaintiff gathers.

You Must Use Reasonable (But Not Extraordinary) Care

Note that the duty is for you to use a reasonable amount of care. What is reasonable is determined in comparison with what an average commercial property owner would do. Your role is not to be an absolute guarantor of everyone’s safety on your property. There are times when accidents really do happen, and you are not automatically liable for them. You are not expected to be absolutely perfect, nor are you expected to prevent every single mishap.

However, your actions would be compared to what a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances. That reasonable person would likely be another commercial property owner. You are being judged by the standards they would uphold. Therefore, you need to be aware of safety and inspection measures in your particular industry. If your commercial real estate is a shopping mall, then your actions would be compared to those of the average mall owner.

Your actions would be analyzed in the context of what transpired. If someone just tripped and was injured with no other factors present, you may not have violated the duty of care. The accident victim would have the burden of proof to show that you either did or did not do something that caused the accident. For example, they could argue you ignored a dangerous condition on the property for an unreasonable amount of time and did not fix it or alert the public to the problem.

Act Ahead of Time to Protect Against Liability

As a commercial property owner, your first step towards meeting your duty of care is to be proactive in both inspection and maintenance. You should have written inspection and maintenance guidelines that meet or exceed industry standards. Then, you should ensure your employees closely follow the guidelines. One of the first things a plaintiff may ask for in the discovery phase of a lawsuit is your maintenance and risk management procedures. Then, they will request documentation regarding whether you followed those procedures.

Your policies and procedures should be geared towards your own specific property. They should cover specific areas and functions. Policies should be extensive, but not overly intricate so they are clear. Documentation will be a key component of preventing liability exposure. You must show that you took reasonable steps to keep the property safe.

Some of the areas to pay particularly close attention to in inspections and maintenance include:

Parking lot Interior areas, such as floors and walkways Stairs Restrooms Exterior areas in front of and behind your property

As a property owner, you must exercise care beyond just the physical maintenance of the property. You have additional obligations to ensure others’ well-being. For example, depending on the known safety hazards in the area and/or on the property, you may need to take steps to boost security. If you have escalators or elevators, you must exercise reasonable care to ensure they are safe and in proper working order.

Commercial Owners May Not Be Liable When They Rent the Property

A commercial property owner may not have a duty of care when they are not in control of their property. When the owner leases the property, the lessee may assume the duty of care to maintain the premises in reasonable condition. In addition, the owner would not be liable for any injuries suffered on the property.

A lease should clearly state that the renter is responsible in premises liability cases, and it should require that the lessor indemnify the owner in any lawsuits and pay the costs to defend these lawsuits. Before you sign a document that leases your property, you should have an attorney ensure it extensively protects you from liability.

If someone has been injured on a commercial property, their attorney will likely seek a copy of the lease to determine who should be legally responsible for the damages. The lease would dictate who was responsible for key maintenance functions on the property. You should not be surprised if the plaintiff’s attorney tries to file a claim against both the owner and the lessee since they will want to tap into more than one insurance policy.

The post Understanding Duty of Care for Commercial Property Owners appeared first on MehaffyWeber.

Original author: MehaffyWeber, P.C.
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Understanding Duty of Care for Commercial Property Owners

One of the biggest risks commercial property owners face is that someone may be harmed on their property. In that event, the injured person may file a premises liability lawsuit seeking financial compensation. The main legal issues, in that case, would involve the property owner’s duty of care and whether they breached it. If they owed a duty of care and breached it, the commercial property owner would be liable.

In general, the duty of care refers to the legal obligation of an individual or business to exercise reasonable care. You assume certain duties just by virtue of being a property owner. You must keep your premises reasonably safe when someone else has a legal right to be on your property. This includes customers, renters, and anyone who has the right to pass through your property.

If you are found to have breached the duty of care in a manner that caused someone else’s injury, you could be found negligent. That is what triggers your obligation to pay the injured claimant. Any negligence case will be a facts-and-circumstances analysis that depends on the evidence the plaintiff gathers.

You Must Use Reasonable (But Not Extraordinary) Care

Note that the duty is for you to use a reasonable amount of care. What is reasonable is determined in comparison with what an average commercial property owner would do. Your role is not to be an absolute guarantor of everyone’s safety on your property. There are times when accidents really do happen, and you are not automatically liable for them. You are not expected to be absolutely perfect, nor are you expected to prevent every single mishap.

However, your actions would be compared to what a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances. That reasonable person would likely be another commercial property owner. You are being judged by the standards they would uphold. Therefore, you need to be aware of safety and inspection measures in your particular industry. If your commercial real estate is a shopping mall, then your actions would be compared to those of the average mall owner.

Your actions would be analyzed in the context of what transpired. If someone just tripped and was injured with no other factors present, you may not have violated the duty of care. The accident victim would have the burden of proof to show that you either did or did not do something that caused the accident. For example, they could argue you ignored a dangerous condition on the property for an unreasonable amount of time and did not fix it or alert the public to the problem.

Act Ahead of Time to Protect Against Liability

As a commercial property owner, your first step towards meeting your duty of care is to be proactive in both inspection and maintenance. You should have written inspection and maintenance guidelines that meet or exceed industry standards. Then, you should ensure your employees closely follow the guidelines. One of the first things a plaintiff may ask for in the discovery phase of a lawsuit is your maintenance and risk management procedures. Then, they will request documentation regarding whether you followed those procedures.

Your policies and procedures should be geared towards your own specific property. They should cover specific areas and functions. Policies should be extensive, but not overly intricate so they are clear. Documentation will be a key component of preventing liability exposure. You must show that you took reasonable steps to keep the property safe.

Some of the areas to pay particularly close attention to in inspections and maintenance include:

Parking lot Interior areas, such as floors and walkways Stairs Restrooms Exterior areas in front of and behind your property

As a property owner, you must exercise care beyond just the physical maintenance of the property. You have additional obligations to ensure others’ well-being. For example, depending on the known safety hazards in the area and/or on the property, you may need to take steps to boost security. If you have escalators or elevators, you must exercise reasonable care to ensure they are safe and in proper working order.

Commercial Owners May Not Be Liable When They Rent the Property

A commercial property owner may not have a duty of care when they are not in control of their property. When the owner leases the property, the lessee may assume the duty of care to maintain the premises in reasonable condition. In addition, the owner would not be liable for any injuries suffered on the property.

A lease should clearly state that the renter is responsible in premises liability cases, and it should require that the lessor indemnify the owner in any lawsuits and pay the costs to defend these lawsuits. Before you sign a document that leases your property, you should have an attorney ensure it extensively protects you from liability.

If someone has been injured on a commercial property, their attorney will likely seek a copy of the lease to determine who should be legally responsible for the damages. The lease would dictate who was responsible for key maintenance functions on the property. You should not be surprised if the plaintiff’s attorney tries to file a claim against both the owner and the lessee since they will want to tap into more than one insurance policy.

The post Understanding Duty of Care for Commercial Property Owners appeared first on MehaffyWeber.

(Originally posted by MehaffyWeber, P.C.)
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$427,662 ≠ $75,000

The Fifth Circuit reversed the denial of a motion to remand when:

The defendant’s claimed amount in controversy did not tie to the plaintiff’s specific claim. “Deutsche Bank failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy was over $75,000. Deutsche Bank submitted evidence of the Property’s value [$427,662], which obviously exceeded the jurisdictional threshold. But Deutsche Bank failed to show that the automatic stay at issue here put the house’s value in controversy.” The plaintiff stipulated it sought no more than $74,500. Citing a statement in the plaintiff’s pleading and an near-identical one in a later declaration, the Court said: “The best reading of these two statements is that Durbois is seeking–and will accept–no more than $74,500.” It continued: “Deutsche Bank claims these statements are insufficient. We don’t see why. Durbois used two forms of the word ‘stipulation’ and even bolded it once. A reasonable reader would understand that Durbois was limiting not only what he demanded but what he would accept from the suit. Perhaps Deutsche Bank thinks Durbois “should have used CAPITAL LETTERS …. [o]r maybe … should have added: ‘And [I] really mean it!!!’” But we don’t think such measures are necessary.”

Durbois v. Deutsche Bank, No. 20-11082 (June 16, 2022) (emphasis added, citation omitted)). The opinion thoroughly reviews the case law on these basic issues, and the “CAPITAL LETTERS” point may prove meme-worthy in the months ahead.

The post $427,662 ≠ $75,000 appeared first on 600 Camp.

Original author: David Coale
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$427,662 ≠ $75,000

The Fifth Circuit reversed the denial of a motion to remand when:

The defendant’s claimed amount in controversy did not tie to the plaintiff’s specific claim. “Deutsche Bank failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy was over $75,000. Deutsche Bank submitted evidence of the Property’s value [$427,662], which obviously exceeded the jurisdictional threshold. But Deutsche Bank failed to show that the automatic stay at issue here put the house’s value in controversy.” The plaintiff stipulated it sought no more than $74,500. Citing a statement in the plaintiff’s pleading and an near-identical one in a later declaration, the Court said: “The best reading of these two statements is that Durbois is seeking–and will accept–no more than $74,500.” It continued: “Deutsche Bank claims these statements are insufficient. We don’t see why. Durbois used two forms of the word ‘stipulation’ and even bolded it once. A reasonable reader would understand that Durbois was limiting not only what he demanded but what he would accept from the suit. Perhaps Deutsche Bank thinks Durbois “should have used CAPITAL LETTERS …. [o]r maybe … should have added: ‘And [I] really mean it!!!’” But we don’t think such measures are necessary.”

Durbois v. Deutsche Bank, No. 20-11082 (June 16, 2022) (emphasis added, citation omitted)). The opinion thoroughly reviews the case law on these basic issues, and the “CAPITAL LETTERS” point may prove meme-worthy in the months ahead.

The post $427,662 ≠ $75,000 appeared first on 600 Camp.

(Originally posted by David Coale)
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Edelson Opens DC Office, Recruiting Litigator From DC AG Office

Chicago plaintiffs boutique is handing the key to its newly added DC office to former Assistant Deputy AG Jimmy Rock, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

     
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Dirty Details About Law on the Science of Independence Revealed

If your insurance coverage does not cover enough of a legal responsibility, how a lot of it will turn out to be your private downside? If in case you have a accomplice are you chargeable for his actions? What if he desires to go away or dies? Enterprise laws range in different states and nations, […]

The post Dirty Details About Law on the Science of Independence Revealed first appeared on Family in Law.

(Originally posted by Teel Marcus)
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Women Are Taking a Front Row Seat In and Out of the Courtroom

As this year's Women in Law Scorecard shows, firms are increasingly leveraging their female attorney leadership.

     
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  15 Hits

The NLJ 500: Women in Law Scorecard

The Women's Scorecard is produced as part of the annual NLJ 500 firm head count report.

     
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