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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

Andy Lester Receives Media Coverage for Insights on Legal Issues Facing College Campuses

Spencer Fane partner Andy Lester provided the premise for a recent editorial in The Oklahoman regarding free speech on college campuses. After hearing Andy speak at the University of Oklahoma’s “Legal Issues in Higher Education” program, The Oklahoman published an editorial aligned with Andy’s thesis. Additionally, Andy’s remarks from the program were repurposed in an abridged commentary for Oklahoma online outlet, Nondoc.com.

John Watson Addresses the Ethics of Oil and Gas Negotiations 

John Watson recently teamed with co-presenter, Austin Murr (Western State Colorado University), at the annual Kuntz Conference in Oklahoma City, the industry’s premier oil and gas conference.

Shawn Tuma’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Issues Interviews: October 2018

With nearly 20 years of experience in cybersecurity and data privacy law, Spencer Fane attorney Shawn Tuma is often sought after by media outlets to provide insights on the legalities surrounding these issues.

John Watson Interviewed by the Wall Street Journal on Colorado Ballot Measures

Spencer Fane attorney John Watson was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal in an article discussing the impacts that measures in the November election could have on the oil and gas industry in Colorado.

Greg Ash to Provide Guidance on Ethics Issues Related to ERISA Representation

Spencer Fane attorney Greg Ash is presenting at the American Conference Institute’s National Forum on ERISA Litigation, November 16 in New York.

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Latest Publications

Missouri’s Medical Marijuana Amendment Creates New Issues for Missouri Employers

On November 6, 2018, Missouri’s voters approved a medical marijuana ballot initiative, Amendment 2, while rejecting two competing medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot.  This constitutional amendment empowers doctors to authorize patients to buy medical marijuana for the treatment of a variety of conditions. It likewise provides that dispensaries may sell marijuana for medicinal purposes.  Amendment 2 does not cover recreational use of marijuana, which is currently allowed in nine states.  Missouri is the 31st state to legalize medical marijuana. While Amendment 2 authorizes use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, this is not a “free pass” for employees.  Amendment 2 does not allow employees to use marijuana while working, on the employer’s premises, or to work while impaired by marijuana use that occurred prior to the employee’s work shift.  With that said, the passage of Amendment 2 will likely create multiple issues of varying complexity for Missouri’s employers for years to come, including:

IRS (Finally) Answers Questions re: 2019 Hardship Distributions

On November 9, 2018, the IRS issued proposed amendments to the regulations under Code Section 401(k) that describe the circumstances under which participants may take an in-service distribution of elective deferrals (and contributions subject to similar withdrawal restrictions, such as QMACs, QNECs and safe-harbor contributions) on account of financial hardship. The proposed amendments to the regulations reflect several statutory changes to 401(k) plans since the Pension Protection Act of 2006, including the recent changes (that are scheduled to apply to hardship distributions in plan years beginning after December 31, 2018) under the Bipartisan Budget Act (“BBA”) of 2018. Most importantly, the amendments answer several questions that plan sponsors and plan administrators have had with respect to both the BBA and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) of 2017, and provide some much-needed transition relief for hardship distributions made in 2019.

Mount Lemmon Fire Dist. v. Guido: The ADEA Applies To All State and Local Government Employers

On November 6, 2018, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held (8-0) that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) extends to all small state and local government employers, not only public entities with twenty or more employees.  

Missouri Legalizes Medical Marijuana – Implications for Banks

On November 6, 2018, Missourians voted to amend the Missouri constitution to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Amendment 2 allows the use of marijuana for ten medical conditions and imposes a four percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana, with the funds to be used for the health care needs of military veterans. Missouri joins over 30 other states in legalizing marijuana in some form. Despite Missouri’s and other states’ laws, the manufacture, distribution, and dispensing of marijuana remains illegal at the federal level under the Controlled Substances Act. Banks and other financial institutions must navigate this conflict between state and federal law with limited guidance from regulators.

Notice – Colorado Changes to Data Privacy Laws

Three major changes to Colorado data privacy laws became effective September 1, 2018.  These affect virtually all business collecting personally identifying information (PII)[1] from Colorado residents:

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Latest Events

Josh Dickinson to Present at National Creditors Bar Association

Spencer Fane attorney Josh Dickinson will present at the National Creditors Bar Association (NCBA) Fall Litigation Boot Camp, discussing the rules of evidence in court.

Spencer Fane Attorneys to Discuss the Impact of Recent Court & Regulatory Developments on Your Business, at Upcoming “Enterprise University”

Spencer Fane attorneys Denise Delcore, Nate Orr, and Doug Weems will present at the upcoming Enterprise Bank and Trust’s “Enterprise University.”   At this free, three-hour course, they will guide you through the effect of recent court rulings and regulatory developments on your business. These changes will impact human resource policies, management best-practices, employment contracts, class action lawsuits, and customer discrimination.

Helen Holden to Provide Guidance on Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Spencer Fane attorney Helen Holden will discuss issues surrounding sexual harassment at a 2018 Associated Minority Contractors of Arizona (AMCA) Education Training Learn and Lunch.

Ellen E. Stewart to Provide Guidance on Working with Managed Care Contractors

Spencer Fane attorney Ellen E. Stewart will present at the Colorado Managed Care Collaborative (CMCC), discussing tips for working with vendors and contractors.

Stacy Harper to Speak at AAPC Annual Education Conference

Spencer Fane attorney Stacy Harper will present at the Annual Education Conference for the Kansas City Chapter of the AAPC (AAPC of Kansas City) on alternative payment models (APM).  AAPC is a national organization that provides education and professional certification to over 175,000 members world-wide in twenty-eight certifications across the business side of healthcare.

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