Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

HIPAA and Emerging Technologies

The Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is 15 years old this year – still acting a bit like an uncertain, wide-eyed teenager responding to new developments. Although more mature, clarified by regulations, and supplemented by the HITECH Act, at its core HIPAA has remained relatively unchanged since its enactment. Societal changes […]

Study Finds That Emergency Departments Are in Poor Health, Nearly One Third Have Closed.

According to a study published by the Journal of American Medical Association, the U.S. is facing a dramatic decrease in the number of available Emergency Departments. Researchers at the University of California San Francisco found that from 1990 to 2009, the number of hospitals with Emergency Departments declined 27%. The study found that safety-net hospitals and for-profit hospitals in competitive markets faced increase pressure due to low profit margin and a high proportion of low-income patients.

Provision Excluding Insurance Coverage For Wrongful Acts of a Coinsured Limited By California Supreme Court

California Insurance Code section 533 provides that an insurer is not liable for a loss caused by the willful act of an insured. This is consistent with California’s public policy of denying coverage for intentional acts of wrongdoing. However, when there is more than one insured, this policy can lead to inequitable results. Case in point is the situation presented in Century National Insurance Company v. Garcia, 2011 Cal. LEXIS 1392 (decided February 17, 2011).

California Supreme Court Rules That Zip Codes Are Personal Identification Information

Retail stores across California routinely ask customers to provide a ZIP code when making a purchase.  This practice may now be prohibited following the California Supreme Court decision in Pineda vs. William Sonoma, __ Cal. 4th__ (February 10, 2011), holding that ZIP codes are “personal identification information” for the purposes of the Song-Beverly Credit Card […]

Excluding Expert Testimony under Daubert

Daubert Standard Federal Rule of Evidence 702 governs the admissibility of expert testimony and permits a qualified expert to present testimony that “will assist the trier of fact” in understanding the evidence or in determining a factual issue, so long as “(1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is […]

Stored Email Protected by the 4th Amendment

The very first email message was sent in 1971 by a computer engineer named Ray Tomlinson.  It was just a simple test message sent between two computers sitting next to each other on a desk.  At the time, Tomlinson had no idea of the ultimate ramifications of this invention. Today, email has revolutionized the way […]

In ERISA Cases, The Standard Of Review Really Does Matter

Litigation pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) is rather unique.  Unlike most cases, ERISA disputes are based on a limited scope of permissible evidence.  The range of that scope is ultimately dependent on which standard of review is employed by the courts.  Typically, when the standard of review is abuse of discretion, […]

Daily Journal Article – In ERISA Cases, The Standard of Review Really Does Matter

The Daily Journal recently published an article authored by M. Scott Koller entitled, “In ERISA Cases, The Standard of Review Really Does Matter.” Originally Published by The Daily Journal on December 2, 2010.

Under ERISA , Procedural Deficiencies Not Considered When the Standard of Review is De Novo

Litigation pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) is rather unique.  Unlike most cases, ERISA disputes are based on a limited scope of permissible evidence.  The range of that scope is ultimately dependent on which standard of review is employed by the courts.  Typically, when the standard of review is abuse of discretion, […]

Effect of Metlife v. Glenn on Discovery In the Ninth Circuit

Discovery under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) is distinctly different from normal litigation.  Since one of the goals of ERISA is to resolve disputes inexpensively and expeditiously, discovery is typically limited to the administrative record.  Boyd v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Players Ret. Plan, 410 F.3d 1173, 1178 (9th Cir. 2005).  However, the […]

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