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Veteran Bankruptcy Partner and former US Trustee shares his thoughts on what to expect and how to respond in a post-COVID 19 financial environment.

Wed 25th Mar 2020, Blog

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Bankruptcy in a Post COVID-19 Era

Wed 18th Mar 2020, Blog

Dear Colleagues,   With the economy in turmoil due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all of our businesses and practices may be impacted by bankruptcy issues.  The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic will likely create a flood of bankruptcies and restructurings as individuals and entities attempt to cope with the resulting financial loss.  There will also be unprecedented legislation addressing the crisis that will require quick interpretation and action.   As bankruptcy litigation practitioners, …

EKRA Creates Risk and Uncertainty for Substance Abuse Treatment Providers

Mon 30th Dec 2019, Blog

As anyone working in health care knows, the industry is a complex minefield of rules.  Federal and state laws regulate referrals between health care providers and violations can carry heavy civil and criminal penalties.  One way to avoid the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) is to stay away from services reimbursed under federal insurance programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare.  The federal AKS doesn’t apply to services that are reimbursed solely by private insurers (however, state …

California legislators set for vote to expand the state’s False Claims Act to false tax claims

Wed 28th Aug 2019, Blog

A bill winding its way through the California legislature seeks to extend the reach of the California False Claims Act.  The bill would amend California Government Code 12651 and 12653 to add claims under the California Revenue and Taxation Code.  The California False Claims Act, as well as its Federal equivalent, are specialized statutes with specific pleading requirements and a robust body of case law.  The IRS, the SEC, and many other Federal and state …

Ninth Circuit Rules that District Court Wrongfully Concluded that Dinosaurs Can’t Be Minerals

Tue 6th Nov 2018, Blog

By Ariana Seldman Hawbecker In 2005, the Murrays bought a Montana ranch from the Seversons.  But the Murrays didn’t transfer everything over.  Instead, the Seversons reserved ownership over two-thirds of the minerals found in, on, or under the land.  A year later, an amateur paleontologist uncovered the fossils of two dinosaurs locked in battle (the “Dueling Dinosaurs”) on the property.  The discovery of other valuable dinosaurs, said to be worth in the millions of dollars, …

16 Billion Dollar Medicare Advantage FCA Case Revived

Thu 13th Sep 2018, Blog

by Ariana Seldman Hawbecker The Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal of various claims against several Medicare Advantage Organizations who a whistleblower claims submitted fraudulent health data to the federal government (“CMS”). Anita Silingo, a former employee of Mobile Medical Examination Services, Inc. (“MedXM”), brought claims under the False Claims Act on behalf of the United States Government against MedXM and several Medicare Advantage Organizations.  After MedXM settled the case, the Organizations moved for dismissal of …

Charitable Organizations Must Disclose Names of Large Contributors

Wed 12th Sep 2018, Blog

by Ariana Seldman Hawbecker On September 11, 2018, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s decision barring the State of California from requiring Thomas More Society (the “Law Center”) and The Americans for Prosperity Foundation (the “Foundation”) to provide a list of their most significant donors to the state.  Both organizations, registered as Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organizations, had successfully argued at the trial court level that California’s requirement that they file an …

Three New Additions to Bienert | Katzman’s Roster of Veteran Trial Lawyers

Mon 20th Aug 2018, Blog

  Whitney Z. Bernstein is an experienced criminal defense attorney who brings her skills, tenacity, and compassion to every case and client. Prior to joining Bienert | Katzman, Whitney was a trial attorney with the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. in the Southern District of California and Brooklyn Defender Services in Brooklyn, New York. Whitney has defended hundreds of clients charged with state and federal felony and misdemeanor criminal offenses.  In addition to Whitney’s …