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Insights

Spencer Fane’s 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

Spencer Fane LLP Increases Space for Overland Park Office With Move to New Building

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the firm has moved its Overland Park office to 6201 College Boulevard.

John Browning Provides Insight on Legal Industry AI

Spencer Fane partner, John Browning, was recently quoted in a LegalTech News article on how artificial intelligence (AI) may shape the legal industry.

Helen Holden Article Published in Workforce Management

Spencer Fane attorney, Helen Holden, recently wrote an article on fluctuating workweek regulations that was published in HR.com’s Workforce Management, Time & Attendance, Excellence.

Shawn Tuma Provides Insights on Cyber Insurance

Spencer Fane attorney Shawn Tuma was recently interviewed for two articles in Super Lawyers on cybersecurity and insurance.

Spencer Fane Growth in Texas Featured in Multiple Publications

Spencer Fane chairman and managing partner, Pat Whalen, was featured in an article published in both the Kansas City Business Journal and Houston Business Journal discussing the firm’s growth in Texas.

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Latest Publications

Landmark Decision Re: Climate Change and Allegations of Securities Fraud

Trial Court Absolves ExxonMobil

On December 10, 2019, following twelve days of trial and testimony, Judge Barry R. Ostrager of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, denied the State of New York’s claims that ExxonMobil engaged in securities fraud by either violating the Martin Act or Executive Law  63(12).  New York had claimed that ExxonMobil failed to make proper public disclosures related to how ExxonMobil accounted for past, present and future climate change risks.

IRS Again Grants ACA-Reporting Relief (Plus a Limited Bonus)

In Notice 2019-63, the IRS has granted health insurers and large employers 30 more days to issue the appropriate 2019 ACA-reporting forms to their insureds and full-time employees.  Rather than January 31, 2020, these Forms 1095-B and 1095-C will now be due by March 2, 2020.  The IRS has also extended the “good-faith” standard for compliance with these reporting rules.  Finally, in view of the zeroing out of the penalty for failing to comply with the ACA’s individual mandate, insurers and large employers will now have an additional compliance option.

Fluctuating Laws: DOL Announces Proposed Fluctuating Workweek Regulations

On November 5, 2019, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a proposal to revise regulations governing the fluctuating workweek method of calculating overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). This method of calculating overtime may apply if certain conditions are met. These conditions include that the employees paid under this method work fluctuating hours, and they and their employers agree that the employees are paid fixed salary for all hours worked plus an overtime premium. There are very specific requirements for utilizing this method, but utilizing the method in a compliant manner can be complicated due to the need to calculate the regular rate of pay for every week in which the employee works more than 40 hours. Additionally, some state laws prohibit use of this method.

Environmental Audit Privilege and Immunity Now Available to Oklahoma Facilities

The Oklahoma Environmental, Health and Safety Audit Privilege Act is now effective as of November 1, 2019, and available to manufacturers and industrial businesses  in Oklahoma that undertake voluntary environmental audits, such as those companies involved in aircraft manufacturing, chemicals, oil and gas processing, plastics, cement, food and meat processing, and paper products .  Oklahoma is the 30th state, by EPA’s count, to enact an audit program, providing privilege and enforcement benefits to parties that voluntarily undertake an environmental audit, disclose the findings and conduct corrective actions.

2020 Inflation Adjustments

Following announcements by both the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration, we know most of the dollar amounts that employers will need in order to administer their benefit plans for 2020.  The key dollar amounts for retirement plans and individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”) are shown on the front side of our 2020 limits card.

The reverse side of the card shows a number of dollar amounts that employers will need to know in order to administer health flexible spending accounts (“FSAs”), health savings accounts (“HSAs”), and high-deductible health plans (“HDHPs”), as well as health plans that are not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act.

A laminated version of our 2020 limits card is available upon request.  To obtain one or more copies, please contact any member of our Employee Benefits Group.  You also can contact the Spencer Fane Marketing Department at 816-474-8100 or marketing@spencerfane.com.

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Latest Events

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.

Jon Farnsworth to Present in National Seminar on Cybersecurity

Spencer Fane attorney Jon Farnsworth will conduct two presentations at a National Business Institute (NBI) video webcast course focusing on cybersecurity issues. The course is aimed at attorneys, paralegals, business executives and information services managers.

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