Recent Articles from All Practice Groups

Burglary Includes Structures Or Vehicles Adapted To Overnight Accommodation

The criminal defendants in United States v. Sims and United States v. Stitt were both sentenced under the mandatory minimum 15-year prison term provided by the Armed Career Criminal Act, which applies where a defendant had three prior convictions for certain crimes, including “burglary.” Sims and Stitt had each been previously convicted of burglary under state laws, which... Read More >

Court Upholds Challenge To Designation Of A “Critical Habitat”

Under the Endangered Species Act, when an animal is classified as “endangered,” the Secretary of the Interior must then designate the “critical habitat” of that animal for protection. In 2001, the dusky gopher frog was classified as endangered. The Secretary then designated the four areas where the frogs currently lived as critical habitats, along with another area, dubbed “Unit... Read More >

Protect Yourself Against Wire Transfer and Credit Card Fraud

We are seeing two varieties of online fraud, but the good news is securing your information is as easy as a few steps. The first type of fraud involves fake wiring instructions. The criminal learns that a transaction is about to occur and sends an email to a title company, bank, buyer, seller, or real estate agent saying that the wiring instructions... Read More >

Decisions, November 2018, Volume 4, Issue 6

Christopher P. Ferragamo, a Director in Jackson & Campbell, P.C.'s Insurance Coverage Practice Group, prepares a bi-monthly newsletter that addresses healthcare issues and healthcare coverage issues called Decisions. Read the latest issue here. Please see below for prior issues of Decisions: September 2018 - Volume 4, Issue 5 July 2018 - Volume 4, Issue 4  May 2018 - Volume... Read More >

Court Rules ADEA Applies To All Governmental Entities Regardless Of Size

When two firefighters were terminated to cut costs, they sued under the Age Discrimination Employment Act, alleging they were discriminated against based on their ages. The fire department argued that it did not have enough employees to qualify as an employer under the Act. The Act provides: “The term ‘employer’ means a person engaged in an industry affecting commerce... Read More >

Are Business Lunches Entertainment?

The new tax legislation, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminated most deductions for client entertainment expenses. Prior law allowed a 50 percent deduction for both meals and entertainment expenses, and so there was no need for businesses to differentiate between the two categories. The newly enacted TCJA eliminated deductions for entertainment, amusement, and recreation expenses, but... Read More >

Pending Emergency Legislation to Affect Tax Sales and Recordation Tax on Leases

The Washington, D.C. Council is considering B22-922: Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 which, among many provisions, contains a few changes of interest to real estate practitioners which are found here. Recordation Tax: On leases in excess of 30 years, the Washington, D.C. government may determine the fair market value of the leasehold interest... Read More >

Condo Liens Entitled To Super-Priority Status Regardless Of Number Of Months Sought

Under D.C. Code sec. 42-1903.13, liens imposed by a condominium association for up to six months of unpaid condo fees were entitled to super-priority status ahead of all other liens on the condo. In two prior decisions, the D.C. Court of Appeals held that a foreclosure sale under such a super-priority lien necessarily wiped out all other liens of the... Read More >

D.C. Announces New Tax Rates for First-Time Homebuyer

Washington, D.C.’s innovative First Time Homebuyer’s tax rate reduces the recordation tax to .725 percent. The statute is found at Official Code §42-1101(17). The tax rate and value of the property changes from year to year based upon the C.P.I. Effective on October 1, 2019, the purchase price may not exceed $632,500 and the income for a single-member household may not... Read More >

D.C. Tax Rate Changes Effective October 1, 2018

The District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue has issued a notification of changes in various tax rates that will become effective on Monday, October 1, 2018. The real property tax for Class 2 properties will increase to $1.65 per $100 of value for properties worth less than $5,000,000; $1.77 from $5 million to $10 million; and $1.89 for... Read More >

Arthur D. Burger to Participate on Panel at the 2018 Judicial Conference of the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission

On September 13, 2018, Arthur D. Burger will participate on a two-person panel on professionalism and ethics at the 2018 Judicial Conference of the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission at the Darcy Hotel in Washington, D.C. Assistant Virginia Bar Counsel Kathleen Uston, formerly president of the National Organization of Bar Counsel, is also on the Panel, which... Read More >

Common HIPAA Pitfalls in Health Care Mergers and Acquisitions (and How to Identify Them)

Managing all the moving parts in a health care merger or acquisition is challenging in any transaction. For a small health care provider that does not have multiple attorneys at its beck and call, it can seem downright impossible. In the chaos of a massive exchange of due diligence materials, it is easy to overlook the additional agreements that must... Read More >

New Maryland Statute: Corporate Articles of Transfer No Longer Needed to Transfer Real Property

Until August 2018, Maryland was one of the few states that required a state-based corporation that transfers all of its real property assets to execute and file articles of transfer with the State Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT). This regulation is outlined in the Corporations and Associations Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland Section 1-101(y) and 3-109... Read More >

Virginia: No Bona Fide Purchaser of an Easement; Terms of Revocable Trust May Permit Transfer by Non-Trustee

The recent case of Kruck v. Krisak, 2018 WL 2386671 (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 2018) addressed two issues of first impression in Virginia regarding bona fide purchasers and how the transfer of real property to a trust might affect a grant of an easement. The case began with an easement for a septic field that was granted in 1974 by Austin Foster... Read More >

Housing Licensing and TOPA in the District of Columbia

Recent changes to the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) in the District of Columbia have had broad repercussions in the single-family rental market. Since TOPA’s inception, the competing purposes of maintaining a rental market and encouraging tenants to leave the rental market and become homeowners have resulted in a structure that is difficult to follow and has... Read More >

Arthur D. Burger to Participate on Panel at the National Legal Malpractice Conference of the American Bar Association

Arthur D. Burger will be a speaker at the National Legal Malpractice Conference of the American Bar Association at Las Vegas on September 27, 2018. He will be joining a panel of legal malpractice experts from the firms of Williams & Connolly, Gibson Dunn, and Lewis Brisbois. The Panel will discuss strategies for defending suits involving allegations against... Read More >

Justice Kennedy Announces His Retirement

After 30 years as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his retirement effective July 31, 2018. In a letter to President Trump, Kennedy wrote: “For a member of the legal profession it is the highest of honor to serve on this court. Please permit me by this letter to express my profound gratitude... Read More >

Court Rejects Overly Strict Standard Used By Special Master In State Dispute Over Water Rights

In an original proceeding brought by Florida against Georgia in a dispute over water apportionment from an interstate river basin, the Court referred the matter to a Special Master for evidentiary proceedings. Florida, as the downstream state, argued that Georgia was using more than its fair share of the water from the basin, thereby harming wildlife in Florida. Ultimately the... Read More >

First Amendment Forbids Mandatory Union Fees From Public Sector Unions

Illinois permits public employees to unionize, and Mark Janus was a state employee whose unit was represented by a public-sector union that engaged in collective bargaining on behalf of its members. The union required that Janus pay a union fee, but he objected since he opposed many of the collective bargaining positions the union took. In the previous case of... Read More >

Court Upholds President Trump’s Travel Ban

In 2017, President Trump issued a proclamation restricting entry of people from eight countries, with exemptions for lawful permanent residents and case-by-case waivers under certain circumstances. The stated basis of the travel ban was that the named countries failed to provide the U.S. with sufficient information about the entrants, creating a security threat, although challengers to the ban (except as... Read More >

Court Strikes Down Abortion Notices Under First Amendment

A number of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers mounted a First Amendment challenge to a California law that required licensed medical providers to provide a notice to its patients of the availability of free or low-cost services, including abortions, and required each unlicensed pro-life medical provider to notify patients that it was not licensed. The centers requested a preliminary injunction, which... Read More >

American Express’s “Antisteering” Provisions Survive Antitrust Scrutiny

Like other credit card companies, American Express (AMEX) permits cardholders to purchase things on credit. However, AMEX encourages cardholder spending by providing more benefits to its members, and that results in higher fees charged to merchants. Merchants, in response, sometimes encouraged customers to use other cards, called “steering.” AMEX in turn put antisteering provisions into its merchant contracts. The government... Read More >

Narrow Majority Largely Upholds Texas Redistricting Plan Against Gerrymandering Challenge

Abbott v. Perez presented the third opportunity for the Court to address gerrymandering claims under the Voter Rights Act, this time examining plans approved by the Texas legislature in 2013 that were largely in accordance with interim plans created by a three-judge Texas court. The 2013 plans evolved from earlier 2011 plans that did not meet with any court’s... Read More >

Supreme Court Has Appellate Jurisdiction To Hear Appeals From The Court Of Appeals For The Armed Forces

There are a separate series of trial and appellate military courts that address criminal charges against service members, capped by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF). After Keanu Ortiz was convicted of possession and distributing child pornography, he appealed to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA). Colonel Martin Mitchell was part of the panel of... Read More >

Defendant Who Consents To Separate Trials Not Subject To Double Jeopardy

After Michael Currier was indicted for burglary, grand larceny, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, he opted for separate trials, doing burglary and grand larceny first, unlawful possession second. He was concerned that his prior convictions for burglary and larceny, which would help prove the unlawful possession charge, would prejudice the jury’s consideration of his current... Read More >

Government Needs A Warrant To Obtain Cell-Site Records To Track Suspect’s Movements

When the FBI suspected that Timothy Carpenter was involved in several robberies, it identified his cell phone number and obtained cell-site information from his wireless carriers without a warrant, which could be used to track the movement of his phone, and thus Carpenter himself. Carpenter moved to suppress the information as violating the Fourth Amendment’s requirement for a warrant supported... Read More >

Patent Act Permits Recovery Of Lost Profits From Foreign Patent Infringement

In WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., WesternGeco sued ION for patent infringement under the Patent Act for creating an identical ocean floor surveying system that ION assembled overseas from parts made in America. A jury awarded WesternGeco damages and lost profits. ION moved to set aside the lost profits since it argued the Patent Act did not... Read More >

Removal Notice Must Specify Time And Place Of Proceeding To Stop Ten-Year Period To Cancel Removal Proceedings

Once a nonpermanent resident has been in the U.S. for a ten-year continuous period, they can cancel removal proceedings under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. That period is stayed if the resident receives a written notice to appear that specifies a time and place for the removal proceedings during the ten year period. A... Read More >

Securities And Exchange Commission Administrative Law Judges Are “Officers Of The United States” Under Appointments Clause

The Constitution’s Appointments Clause sets forth certain requirements for appointing “Officers of the United States,” who are more than mere employees of the federal government. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) utilizes Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) to adjudicate administrative proceedings involving violations of securities laws. Those ALJs are not appointed in accordance with the Appointments Clause. When Raymond Lucia was... Read More >