Spencer Fane LLP Logo

Insights

Spencer Fane Insights contain a wealth of information on our firm, our attorneys and our recent activities, as well as upcoming events. If you need further information please contact the marketing department.

Latest News

Harris brings substantial litigation practice to Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce veteran litigator David Harris has joined the firm’s St. Louis office as a partner.

Sean McKenna to Provide Guidance on Health Care Compliance

Spencer Fane attorney Sean McKenna will co-present an upcoming Health Care Compliance Association webinar on compliance with the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute.

Spencer Fane Adds Partner in Dallas with Strong Government Background

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce that Sean McKenna has joined the firm as a partner in its Dallas office. He will be a part of the Health Care and Litigation practice groups.

Shawn Tuma Provides Insights on Photo Database App

Spencer Fane attorney Shawn Tuma was recently interviewed by KPRC AM 950 on the cybersecurity concerns surrounding a new app that can identify a person using only a candid photo.

Mistler Named New Office Managing Partner in Firm’s St. Louis Office

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Amy Mistler has been named the new office managing partner for the firm’s St. Louis office, effective Jan. 1. She succeeds partner Frank Neuner, who has served in the role since 2014.

View More


Latest Publications

SECURE ACT – Defined Benefit Plans

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the “SECURE” Act) has broad implications for retirement plans.   Although the Act’s primary focus is on defined contribution plans, several provisions of the Act and its sister legislation apply only to defined benefit plans.

This is the fourth in a series of articles describing key provisions of the legislation.  Our focus in this article is on the provisions applicable to defined benefit plans – in-service withdrawals, required minimum distributions, and nondiscrimination testing relief.

SECURE ACT – Provisions Unique to
403(b) Plans, Governmental 457(b) Plans, and IRAs

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed into law the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, which includes the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (the “SECURE” Act).   The SECURE Act represents the most significant retirement legislation in more than a decade (i.e., since the Pension Protection Act of 2006).

This is the third in a series of articles describing key provisions of the SECURE Act.  Our focus in this article is on the provisions that are unique to Section 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity plans, governmental Section 457(b) plans, and Individual Retirement Accounts/Annuities (IRAs).  Many of the SECURE Act provisions that are broadly applicable to retirement plans (such as the increase in the age at which required minimum distributions must begin, and the new rules curtailing the ability to “stretch” post-death minimum distributions under defined contribution plans over the life expectancy of the participant’s designated beneficiary) also apply to 403(b) plans, 457(b) plans, and IRAs.  Because we addressed those provisions in the second article in this series, we will not do so again here.

Form CRS – A Reminder

The deadline by which SEC-registered investment advisers and SEC-registered broker-dealers are required to file Form CRS with the SEC and deliver the Form to retail investors is quickly approaching.  Firms registered with the SEC prior to June 30, 2020, must file the Form with the SEC no later than June 30, 2020.  In addition, firms are also required to deliver their Form CRS to new and prospective retail investors.  For retail investors who already have a brokerage or advisory account, Form CRS must be provided by July 30, 2020.

Spencer Fane LLP Victorious In Ninth Circuit Case Challenging Collection Letters For Time-Barred Debts

Josh Dickinson (Omaha) and Kersten Holzhueter (Kansas City) recently obtained a victory for a debt buyer in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  In Barry Stimpson v. Midland Funding, LLC, the plaintiff alleged that a letter seeking to collect on a time-barred debt violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  The letter offered a discount to resolve the debt and contained this language to explain that the debt could not be enforced in court: “The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt and how long a debt can appear on your credit report. Due to the age of this debt, we will not sue you for it or report payment or non-payment of it to a credit bureau.”

DC Federal Court Limits Former OCR Guidance on Medical Record Fees

The DC Federal District Court issued an opinion in Ciox Health, LLC v. Azar, et al., Case No. 18-CV-00040 (D.D.C. January 23, 2020) that reverses portions of guidance issued by the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) in 2016 related to the fees that a healthcare provider may charge for medical records that are requested by a patient and directed to a third party.  The original HIPAA Privacy Rule included provisions that a “covered entity” (1) must provide patients the right to access his or her protected health information (“PHI”) within a designated record set and (2) could only charge a reasonable cost-based fee for such access. In 2009, the HITECH Act amended HIPAA to provide that a patient could request that the patient’s access to PHI maintained in an electronic health record (“EHR”) be directed to a third party.  In 2013, the Omnibus Rule further broadened the third party directive and allowed patients to make this third party directive for access to PHI contained in any format.  Lastly, in 2016, OCR issued guidance that applied the fee limitation from the original HIPAA Privacy Rule to situations in which the patient directs the PHI to a third party.

View More


Latest Events

Spencer Fane Health Care 2020

Join the Spencer Fane Health Care Team for a discussion on trending health care topics.

Shawn Tuma and Jeremy Rucker to Present at SecureWorld Dallas

Spencer Fane attorneys Shawn Tuma and Jeremy Rucker will present at the SecureWorld Dallas Conference on the current and future legal climate of cybersecurity.

John Watson to Provide Insight on Colorado Good Samaritan Act

Spencer Fane attorney, John L. Watson, will participate on a panel at the annual San Juan Mining & Reclamation Conference in Silverton, Colorado on the topic “Reimagining Superfund in Historic Mining Districts.”

Shawn Tuma to Serve as Co-Chair at CAIL Cybersecurity Conference

Spencer Fane attorney Shawn Tuma will participate in The Center for American and Internal Law (CAIL) Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Law Conference as both co-chair and moderator of two panels.

Mike Patterson to Participate in Panel on Capital Funding for Technology Companies

Spencer Fane attorney Mike Patterson will join a panel discussion about capital available for technology companies at a Perimeter83 Lunch & Learn event.

View More