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Government Subpoenas and Investigations
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Don’t Violate HIPAA Fighting Bad Yelp Reviews

Healthcare providers, beware: You cannot respond to bad online reviews by disclosing your patients’ protected health information (or PHI). As you know, PHI refers to any health information that identifies or could be used to identify a patient. If you’re not sure what counts, do your homework or call your lawyer. But don’t disclose it Read More

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More Varsity Blues

As the college-admissions scandal winds its way through court, California’s clawing back the money. The tax money, that is. A few days ago, the state enacted a new law that scrutinizes all tax deductions these defendants may have taken for charitable donations to any college or university. It applies to every tax year beginning with 2014. It also denies Read More

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The Lure of Free Cancer Screenings

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department announced a major takedown of telemedicine that it says went too far. It’s among the bigger healthcare-fraud sweeps to date: 35 people charged with over $2.1 billion in false or fraudulent bills. The defendants hail from telemedicine companies and genetic-testing labs and include nine physicians. They reportedly billed Medicare for tens Read More

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You Cannot Be Serious

The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect your right to be secure against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Those are the actual words of the text, which is why I put them in quotes. But earlier this month, the federal court of appeals that covers California and eight other states could not say whether it violated the Fourth Amendment Read More

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When the Government Goes to Trial

Every now and then, a court will speak to the core of the laws that govern our way of life. Last week, the California Court of Appeal said something profound for the 21st century. Sure, it’s been said before but maybe not in this way, updated for the modern day, spelled out in language we all understand. Read More

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You’ve (Still) Got (Money) Bail

California’s bail system is proceeding along two tracks for now. On one hand, around this time last year, the state passed a law to eliminate money bail. We broke down the new law in detail here, and we weighed its pros and cons here. The law was supposed to go into effect this October, but opponents have since Read More

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The Long Odds in Criminal Cases

They are not for the faint of heart. The fact is very few cases go to trial, and of those that do, most people go down swinging. But according to the latest data, we are seeing even fewer trials than ever. The analysis comes from a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, and the underlying data comes from Read More

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Failing to Point Out the Other Side’s Fail

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court answered a notable question in the world of employment litigation. Does it matter that an employee failed to follow the “right-to-sue” process before suing for discrimination, if the employer never complains? The answer: No. What if the employer does complain but takes its sweet time doing so? The answer: Still Read More

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CFTC Publishes Enforcement Manual for First Time

On May 8, the Enforcement Division of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission published its Enforcement Manual for the first time. The Manual’s purpose is twofold: to explain the role of the Enforcement Division within the CFTC and to set general policies and procedures that guide it in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting violations of law. There’s too much Read More

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HHS Reduces HIPAA’s Maximum Fines

Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it would no longer apply the same maximum fines to all HIPAA violations regardless of fault or blameworthiness. Before, the agency used the same maximum annual penalty, $1.5 million, for all violations regardless of whether or not you knew you violated HIPAA; whether or not you Read More

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