From the HR Legal News Blog

  • Keeping Mediations Confidential

    The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled that communications made during mediation proceedings must remain confidential even if a party to the mediation later sues his attorney for malpractice.

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  • HIPAA: Update Your BAAs Now

    Covered entities that had written agreements with business associates in place prior to January 25, 2013 have enjoyed a grace period of deemed compliance with the most recent HIPAA regulations concerning documentation of BAAs. September 22, 2014 marks the end of this transitional period.

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  • How Not to Prove an Arbitrator’s Partiality

    In Fowler v. Ritz-Carlton, the Eleventh Circuit reminds us that vacating an arbitrator’s decision on the grounds of evident partiality is a serious act that requires serious proof. In this case, plaintiffs’ allegations were dismissed by the lower courts and the Eleventh Circuit as “distorted,” “frivolous,” “irrelevant,” “meritless” and “omit[ting]…inconvenient facts.” It is difficult to imagine a more strongly worded rebuke or a more clearly worded reminder that federal law favors arbitration.

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  • ERISA at Forty

    Forty years later, it’s easy to take for granted the “order and humanity” which ERISA introduced into the world of employee benefits. Indeed, we have become so accustomed to receiving myriad summary plan descriptions, fee disclosures, notices to interest parties and the like that we have forgotten a time when neither information about our benefits nor the ability to enforce our rights to those benefits could be taken for granted. For all its flaws–and who could doubt their existence?–ERISA has indeed secured retirement income and many other benefits for participants in the private pension system.

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