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Pat Whalen and Amy Mistler Named ‘Law Firm Leaders’ by Missouri Lawyers Media

Spencer Fane attorneys Pat Whalen, firm Chair, and Amy Mistler, Managing Partner in St. Louis, were recognized by Missouri Lawyers Media (MLM) as Law Firm Leaders honorees for 2021.

Bill Hopkins Details Health Care Lateral Market for Law360

Spencer Fane attorney Bill Hopkins analyzed the developing trend of law firms adding to health care practices in “anticipation of a boom in work” in a recent Law360 article.

Mary Bacon Authors Article Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Field

Spencer Fane attorney Mary Bacon recently authored an article for Clark County Bar Association’s Communiqué magazine. Titled “Five Actions Attorneys Can Take to Interrupt Implicit Bias and Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Field,” Mary discusses five actions attorneys can take to address implicit bias and promote diversity in the legal industry.

Spencer Fane Growth Highlighted by National and Regional Trade Media

The firm’s recent addition of 10 attorneys to the Spencer Fane Denver office received widespread national and regional coverage from notable legal and business publications.

Terence Ridley Appointed Chair of the Colorado Bar Association Insurance Committee

Spencer Fane attorney Terence Ridley was recently named Chair of the Colorado Bar Association (CBA) Insurance Committee. He will serve a one-year term. In this leadership position, Terence will work with the committee to promote professionalism, education on developments in insurance law, camaraderie, and the advancement of insurance law.

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Latest Publications

EPA Takes New Steps to Regulate PFAS

EPA on February 22, 2021, announced new steps to address PFAS  (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water.  These actions will collect new data on the presence of PFAS in drinking water and could lead EPA to establish maximum contaminant levels, commonly known as MCLs, for these substances under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).  

In Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Condemning Property When in the Process Of Obtaining Development Approvals

Typically, special districts in Colorado are required by local municipalities to construct various improvements in order to move forward to develop property.  These requirements can be imposed before, during, and after certain development approvals are obtained.  Special districts can find themselves in between a proverbial rock and a hard place when seeking to move forward with condemnation to construct improvements before having formal approval to move forward with the larger development.

EPA Criminal Penalty for RMP Violations at Cold Storage Ammonia Refrigeration Warehouse

On December 16, 2020, a cold storage warehouse and ice manufacturing facility in East Providence, Rhode Island, entered into a guilty plea with the Justice Department for a “knowing” criminal violation of Clean Air Act section 112(r)(7), 42 USC 7412(r)(7), in connection with EPA’s Chemical Accident Prevention Program and requirement to submit a risk management plan (RMP) under 40 CFR Part 68.  The facility used a refrigeration system to manufacture and store ice and other frozen products, with 19,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia in the refrigeration process.

Investment Advice Exemption Confirmed

On February 12, 2021, the Department of Labor issued a press release confirming that the new fiduciary investment advice guidelines under Prohibited Transaction Exemption 2020-02 will go into effect on February 16, 2021.  The Department also confirmed that the temporary enforcement relief provided by Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-02 will remain in place until December 20, 2021.

The Biden administration previously issued a memo to regulatory agencies suspending new regulations issued during the waning days of the Trump administration.  The purpose of the suspension is to provide the incoming administration with the opportunity to review those regulations.   As a result, there was some question whether the Exemption would become effective.

EPA Clarifies its Audit Policy on Voluntarily Disclosed Violations

Manufacturing facilities, industrial operations, and other businesses subject to environmental statutes and regulations will want to evaluate a new EPA document when considering whether and how to voluntarily disclose environmental violations to the federal government.  EPA recently published a 22-page guidance document, dated January 2021, clarifying EPA’s Audit Policy.  EPA’s Audit Policy consists of incentives the agency offers to companies that voluntarily discover their own violations of environmental laws and regulations and disclose the violations to EPA.  When all of the nine eligibility conditions in the Audit Policy are met, the Audit Policy allows for up to complete elimination of the gravity-based portion of civil penalties for environmental non-compliance, and a recommendation of no criminal prosecution. (EPA penalties may also include amounts to address the economic benefit of non-compliance, which the Audit Policy does not address.)  The Audit Policy itself is memorialized in Incentives for Self-Policing: Discovery, Disclosure, Correction and Prevention of Violations, 65 Fed. Reg. 19618 (Apr. 11, 2000) (an update to the original 1995 document establishing the Audit Policy).

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Latest Events

Health Plan Changes on the Horizon

Planning Ahead for Consolidated Appropriations Act and Price Transparency Rules

Spencer Fane attorneys Greg Ash and Julia Vander Weele will present a webinar on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, providing an overview of changes and timely compliance strategies for employers.

Article III Standing for FDCPA Claims: The Status of Spokeo Interpretation Across the Country

Spencer Fane attorneys Jamie Cotter, Josh Dickinson, and Kersten Holzheuter will present a webinar on the status of the circuit courts’ interpretations of Article III standing.

COVID-19: Impact on School Districts & Recent Developments

Spencer Fane attorneys Stephanie Lovett-Bowman and Ruthie White will present a webinar on the latest key legal and practical issues faced by school districts in the age of COVID-19.

2021 SME Annual Conference and Expo

123rd Annual Conference of the Colorado Mining Association

Spencer Fane attorney John Watson will be speaking at the 2021 Annual Conference of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration held in conjunction with the 123rd Western Mining Conference sponsored by the Colorado Mining Association.

Critical Planning: Timeline and Lifecycle of Responding to a Ransomware Attack

Spencer Fane attorney Shawn Tuma recently presented at the INTERFACE Dallas Oklahoma virtual conference, covering the lifecycle of a ransomware attack.

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