Legal process – Loro Dinapoli Thu, 21 Oct 2021 15:25:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Legal process – Loro Dinapoli 32 32 Blank Check Boom: D&O Insurance Strategies for PSPC Management Thu, 21 Oct 2021 15:06:00 +0000 A road sign is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York on February 10, 2009. REUTERS / Eric Thayer / File Photo October 21, 2021 – The decline is 20/20, and directors and officers of publicly traded companies are starting to reflect on the approach of year-end reports. The […]]]>

A road sign is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York on February 10, 2009. REUTERS / Eric Thayer / File Photo

October 21, 2021 – The decline is 20/20, and directors and officers of publicly traded companies are starting to reflect on the approach of year-end reports. The craze around Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, or SPACs, has peaked over the past year or so, but with such popularity there has been increased regulatory attention and greater consideration for the coverage of ‘directors and officers insurance (D&O).

The only operational objective of these “blank” fictitious companies is to acquire a private company with the money raised by the sponsors via an IPO, thus allowing the latter to go public quickly. According to the organizational documents of a PSPC, if PSPC is unable to complete a merger with a target company through the De-SPAC process, usually within 24 months of the closing of the IPO , it must return all the money from the trust account to the public shareholders PSPC. While many agreed-upon mergers are still in the works, around 445 SPACs are due to find merger partners soon or may be liquidated.

There are three separate D&O insurance programs involved in these PSPC and De-PSPC transactions. First, once formed, PSPC should obtain a two-year D&O policy, typically with a six-year run-off, or “tail,” policy after the De-SPAC transaction closes. Second, the private target company will likely already have its own D&O insurance, which should cover the private company and its directors and officers as part of the merger negotiations and the transaction. Finally, the future company will need a D&O insurance program put in place at the close of the De-SPAC transaction to mitigate the exposures of the newly formed public company.

Amid the volatility of global stock markets, PSPC’s 248 IPO prices raised $ 83.3 billion in 2020 and were quickly overtaken by PSPC’s 434 IPO prices which raised 235. $ 6 billion in 2021. While these numbers once reflected increases in stock prices and new entrants, increased regulatory and shareholder attention has diminished enthusiasm and increased the risk of litigation and litigation. investigation facing liability insurance. Shareholder advocates and legal and banking practitioners are calling the end of 2021 an inevitable return to earth for PSPCs.

However, given where PSPC stocks are currently trading, buying them in the current market might be considered a more prudent investment than in the past. Now more than ever, it’s critical for PSPC management to fully understand the nuances of D&O coverage, as it’s an almost risk-free bet that PSPC’s fervor will return.

The PSPC management team, or sponsors, typically own 20 percent of the outstanding common shares of PSPC at the end of the IPO, consisting of the founder’s shares they acquired for nominal consideration. when they formed PSPC. Despite these generous returns, SPAC promoters should be aware of the liability risk associated with their role so that they can assess whether their insurance adequately meets their needs.

Once a sponsor finds a target, PSPC typically prepares and distributes a proxy to its shareholders containing information regarding the transaction and the target company, including historical audited financial statements and pro forma financial information. This document is also filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is subject to review by the SEC.

There is an increasing number of securities litigation between shareholders and SPAC sponsors for alleged material inaccuracies or omissions in De-SPAC documents regarding the level of diligence undertaken. Once the De-SPAC process is complete, directors and officers may be faced with allegations involving breaches of fiduciary duties and securities claims. While these types of claims are familiar to SOEs, for SPACs, complainants focus on a company going public through a privately negotiated SPAC to substantiate alleged conflict of interest claims. , misaligned incentives or ineffective due diligence.

The directors and officers of the SAVS must carefully examine the general conditions of the D&O policy of the target company. Careful consideration should be given to exclusions, including professional service exclusions, contractual exclusions, and bodily injury / property damage exclusions. When the exclusions are too broad, SPACs should try to limit them as much as possible, by reducing the wording of the preamble, the exclusions to save coverage of defense costs, unpaid claims (“side A”) or claims presented. by security holders.

When setting the terms of the policy for the future business, insurers may agree to provide full coverage of prior acts or to apply a strict exclusion of prior acts, which will in part dictate the options when structuring the policy. liquidation cover mentioned above. From a market and price point of view, this D&O policy placement is very similar to any other IPO. Best practices require that directors and officers begin this investment process well in advance.

SPACs can expect increased attention from regulatory and private advocates on the incentives and motives for managing SPAC. Since many of these litigation risks may not become evident until after the De-SPAC process, PSPC will need to coordinate liquidation coverage from both PSPC and the target company in order to provide coverage “at the future ”for any previous prejudice presumed act.

The unprecedented increase in the number of SPACs has been accompanied by unprecedented scrutiny. SEC staff and members of Congress carefully review filings and disclosures from SPACs and their private targets. An assessment of insurance coverage for potential regulatory risk is a growing consideration for investors.

The Investor Advisory Board seeks to address “[q]questions as to whether the targets are of sufficient size for the sponsor’s economy to be reasonable “and the”[p]Potential lack of sufficient PSPC targets, which may prompt sponsors to market substandard lenses that are generally unprepared to meet legal, regulatory and overall market expectations. “

With April 2022 as the target date for issuing a proposal, the SEC recommends stepping up its regulation of PSPCs through stricter enforcement of existing disclosure rules and the SEC’s stakeholder analysis of the various stages of PSPCs. The closer the SPAC bubble is to bursting, the closer SPACs can come to traditional IPO regulation.

Last month, several U.S. Democratic senators raised concerns about prompting PSPC sponsors to close merger deals quickly. In a letter sent to six serial creators of PSPC, senators requested information on the use of PSPC by October 8, 2021, “in order to understand what kind of congressional or regulatory action may be needed to better protect investors and market integrity “. Senators have not yet received a response.

The extent of regulatory coverage can vary considerably from one D&O policy form to another. Given the increased regulatory scrutiny and exposure to regulatory investigations and proceedings, SPACs should carefully assess the extent to which the A&D policy extends coverage, favor policy formulas that extend greater coverage, and attempt to negotiate wider coverage when warranted.

Potential policyholders need to understand how the D&O insurance market responds to PSPCs and fast SEC regulations every step of the way – during the initial formation, the De-PSPC process, and the post-PSPC period for the company. future.

Unique considerations for PSPC policyholders may include: determining whether claims against promoters are insured; when a runoff policy becomes involved; how to allocate between policies when D&O coverage is shared; whether an exclusion of prior acts applies to the misconduct of the directors and officers of the target company before the merger; and the interplay between private company tail policy and future public company coverage when a claim alleges acts before and after coverage.

SPAC D&O coverage is not universal. Hedging requires examining where liabilities flow, where indemnification is granted and the types of securities covered. PSPC management should work closely with insurance brokers and partners by reviewing bylaws and exculpatory clauses to ensure that terms and periods of coverage are coordinated to avoid gaps that may arise. threaten the stability of PSPC. As time-consuming as it may be, a case-by-case analysis of each PSPC is essential.

If trends in SAVS litigation persist, SAVS management should be prepared to invest in coverage. With a clearer perspective on the PSPC flood and the personal risks to sponsors and targets, PSPC management is better equipped to plan appropriate D&O insurance policies.

The opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which, under the principles of trust, is committed to respecting integrity, independence and freedom from bias. Westlaw Today is owned by Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News.

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Ministry of Justice legal regulations discourage hiring of highly skilled immigrants Wed, 20 Oct 2021 04:15:52 +0000 The Department of Justice building on December 9, 2019, in Washington, DC (Photo by Samuel … [+] Corum / Getty Images) Getty Images The US government can force a company to pay millions of dollars in fines even if the employer complies with Department of Labor (DOL) rules on sponsoring immigrants in employment. That’s the […]]]>

The US government can force a company to pay millions of dollars in fines even if the employer complies with Department of Labor (DOL) rules on sponsoring immigrants in employment. That’s the message businesses will get from a legal settlement between Facebook and the Justice and Labor Departments (DOJs). Critics of the government lawsuit, originally filed under the Trump administration, note that the U.S. government is discouraging employers from sponsoring highly qualified foreign nationals for permanent residence at a time when less than 30% of university students graduate Americans in key technical areas are American. students, and there are over 1.2 million jobs in computer professions in America.

Background: U.S. immigration law does not not forcing employers to test the job market by placing ads and showing that no eligible U.S. worker could fill the job. The Ministry of Labor invented this regulatory requirement.

“Although immigration law requires ‘labor certification’ for most employer-sponsored immigrants, the Department of Labor created the current system from scratch,” according to a National Foundation for U.S. Policy ( NFAP) report. “As lawyer Gary Endelman writes, ‘There was no mention of individualized recruitment in the proposed labor certification regulation of November 19, 1965, or the final version of those same application rules that came out. December 3, 1965. It made no sense that employers had to advertise.

When the 1965 Immigration Act became law, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) said, “It was not our intention, nor that of the AFL-CIO, that all candidates for the immigration have to undergo a very detailed job analysis which could take a long time. and disrupts the normal flow of immigration. DOL could use the available statistical data on employment, according to Kennedy.

However, today a book published that explains how companies must comply with DOL’s labor certification requirements is almost 900 pages long and weighs almost 7 pounds. According to lawyers, sponsoring an employee from an initial H-1B petition through to permanent residence can cost $ 20,000 or more.

The accusation against Facebook: In December 2020, the Ministry of Justice lodged a complaint which alleged that Facebook failed to hire American workers when it sponsored immigrants for employment and posted advertisements to comply with Department of Labor regulations for the PERM (Permanent Labor Certification Program). The Justice Department claimed that Facebook had dissuaded American workers by requiring that applications be submitted by mail, and no American workers were hired in the process.

Among the problems with the DOJ accusation: The DOJ accused Facebook of not hiring American workers even though that is not the purpose of the test required by the government under PERM. The goal, under DOL regulations, is to use American workers to respond to advertisements so that employers can “test” the job market, not as a vehicle to recruit American workers. In addition, the Ministry of Labor has established the PERM process with no obligation to provide an e-CV response option to apply to advertisements mandated by the DOL.

“A US employer is not required to hire the US worker when recruiting in conjunction with labor certification, and is required to recruit in good faith in accordance with the recruiting rules, which DOL has recognized deviating from an employer’s normal recruiting practices, ”Immigration said. lawyer Cyrus Mehta in an interview as the DOJ filed the case.

The rule: On October 19, 2021, the DOJ and DOL announced settlement agreements with Facebook. “Under the DOJ settlement, Facebook will pay a civil fine of $ 4.75 million to the United States, pay up to $ 9.5 million to eligible victims of Facebook’s alleged discrimination, and train its employees on the demands. anti-discrimination of the INA “, according to a DOJ-DOL joint press release. In addition, Facebook will be required to conduct more extensive publicity and recruitment for its employment opportunities for all PERM positions, accept electronic resumes or applications from all U.S. workers who apply, and take other steps to ensure that its recruitment for PERM positions closely matches its usual recruitment practices…. Under the DOL OFLC [Office of Foreign Labor Certification] regulation, Facebook will conduct additional notice and recruiting for U.S. workers and be subject to ongoing audits to ensure compliance with applicable regulations.

What businesses need to know: “Like the press release for the settlement notes, this is a significant financial penalty, employers will certainly take notice, and I would expect many companies to at least review their PERM program to see if changes need to be made. done, ”Kevin Miner, partner at the law firm Fragomen, said in an interview.

“The settlement agreement itself is quite informative in terms of what DOL looks for employers to do with their PERM recruiting practices,” Miner said. “As part of the regulation, Facebook has agreed to take certain approaches to its PERM labor market testing that are really not required by the plain language of the PERM regulation. This includes posting all PERM-related positions on its Careers website and ensuring that candidates can apply for positions electronically rather than by mail. Most companies are already doing these things as part of their labor market test, so for most companies this won’t make a difference in terms of day-to-day practice.

“However, the PERM regulations make it very clear that posting on the company’s career site is an optional form of recruitment rather than a mandatory one. The regulation makes it mandatory for Facebook, and I think businesses will need to consider whether or not to prioritize posting to a careers website over some of the other recruiting options that the PERM regulation clearly provides. The regulations also make it clear that requiring applicants to apply by mail is, at best, not a mechanism the government wants employers to use. As employers do not currently accept applications electronically at this stage, continuing to require applications by post seems riskier in light of this regulation. “

What also seems risky, critics note, are government policies aligned against highly skilled immigration despite the need for foreign-born professionals and the desire to encourage a greater emphasis on green cards for foreign nationals. highly skilled.

“There are more than 1.2 million unique active job postings in IT occupations in the United States as of September 6, 2021, up 15% from 6 months earlier,” according to data from Emsi Job Posting Analytics, according to an NFAP analysis. “The data indicates a significant talent gap in the United States between the demand for highly skilled technical labor and the ability of the US labor force to meet that demand.”

There is no evidence that Facebook violated the Department of Labor’s PERM regulations for employment-based immigrant sponsorship, nor, ironically, the DOJ and DOL have claimed that Facebook committed such a violation. . “While we firmly believe that we have followed federal government standards in our Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) practices, we have reached agreements to end the ongoing litigation and move forward with our PERM program. , which is an important part of our overall immigration program, ”a Facebook spokesperson said in a report. “These resolutions will allow us to continue to focus on hiring the best builders in the United States and around the world, and support our internal community of highly qualified visa holders seeking permanent residence.”

The Justice Department has shown little concern that Facebook is adhering to Department of Labor regulations or that its actions may discourage companies from sponsoring highly skilled foreign nationals during a time when businesses and the U.S. economy have been struggling. need for more qualified scientists and engineers to develop. For the Department of Justice, the price was clear: “Today’s Civil Penalties and Arrears Fund represents the biggest fine and the biggest sum of money the Division has ever collected in the course of the year. of the 35 years of INA history. [Immigration and Nationality Act’s] anti-discrimination provision.

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Civil court cases advance in Lake Country woman’s death Tue, 19 Oct 2021 01:41:57 +0000 Recently filed court documents shed new light on the events surrounding the death of a Lake Country woman whose husband was later charged with her second degree murder. When Arlene Westervelt’s body was removed from Lake Okanagan after a day of canoeing with her husband Bert Westervelt, authorities treated her death as an accident. While […]]]>

Recently filed court documents shed new light on the events surrounding the death of a Lake Country woman whose husband was later charged with her second degree murder.

When Arlene Westervelt’s body was removed from Lake Okanagan after a day of canoeing with her husband Bert Westervelt, authorities treated her death as an accident.

While Arlene’s family suspects Bert of killing his wife, he has always maintained his innocence.

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What happened to Arlene Westervelt?

Despite her family’s criminal appeals, it wasn’t until Arlene’s divorce lawyer came forward that the mounted police took a closer look at the case.

The identity of the divorce lawyer has always been a mystery to Arlene’s family until now.

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A judge ordered the RCMP to release the name of Arlene’s divorce lawyer after her family’s lawyer argued their evidence was crucial to a lawsuit against Bert.

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Okanagan man released from murder charge in wife’s death

However, as the attorney-client privilege continues even after death, Arlene’s family will still have to file another claim asking that the divorce attorney’s evidence be heard in court.

The lawsuit alleges that Bert killed his wife and argues that he should not have inherited Arlene’s property.

Bert denies killing Arlene and maintains that her mother, who initiated the lawsuit, was not even another beneficiary of the will.

His lawyer also argues that the court has a duty to protect solicitor-client privilege unless the client waives it.

Cory Armor, Bert’s lawyer, declined an interview. However, he said the gendarmes weren’t against the publication of Arlene’s divorce lawyer name – they just wanted a judge to approve it.

Read more:

Family and friends of Arlene Westervelt organize rally in Kelowna, BC, calling for coroner’s inquest

Although Bert Westervelt was charged with second degree murder almost three years after Arlene’s death, the Crown suddenly stayed the charge and the case never went to trial.

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The family believe the reason for the move may be in part because some officials were hoping to cover up the actions of a member of the mounted police linked to the case.

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Who controls the police?

Detective at the time, Brian Gateley, was an acquaintance of Bert accused of interfering in the investigation into Arlene’s death and hacking his cell phone using RCMP resources.

Civilian documents filed by the government claim Gateley told Sgt. Craig Andrichuk, who is also named in the civil suit, that he had been friends with the couple for years but had never seen evidence of violence or abuse.

According to court documents, before Gateley helped Bert unlock the phone, he called Andrichuk to confirm whether or not the RCMP were interested in the data on Arlene’s cell phone.

“Sergeant. Andrichuk replied that the RCMP had no reason to seize Arlene’s cell phone, examine it or deny access, because at this point the RCMP was assisting the coroner in a non-criminal investigation, ” according to the civilian response.

Gateley had one of his subordinates unlock Arlene’s cell phone using a program called Cellebrite, according to the government’s claim.

“To the superintendent. Under Gateley’s instructions, the subordinate then returned the cell phone to Bert with his access code, ”according to court documents.

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‘Her story matters’: Family of Lake Country woman shares new details, renews calls for justice

The RCMP subsequently launched an internal code of conduct investigation against Gateley.

According to the government’s civilian response, in February 2019, the RCMP discovered that Gateley had engaged in a potential conflict of interest between his professional responsibilities and his private interests and that he had abused RCMP computer equipment.

The civil response claims that no action should be brought against Andrichuk.

Gateley is not named as one of the people who filed a response to the lawsuit, and his attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

The former constable now has a new job at the provincial organized crime agency.

Read more:

“They stay in the dark”: the family of a woman who died on Lake Okanagan requests a coroner’s inquest

The office of the Police Complaints Commissioner of British Columbia confirms that it is currently investigating Gateley’s conduct related to his current employment with that agency, although it does not say why.

Gateley’s lawyer has previously said his client unequivocally denies any wrongdoing and believes court proceedings will justify his actions.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Biden’s power over energy – WSJ Sun, 17 Oct 2021 20:35:00 +0000 The White House’s developing response to a global energy crisis raises a troubling question: If the Biden administration openly discusses restricting energy exports to combat rising consumer fuel prices, what power might it be? she argued to save a planet that she thinks is in crisis? Because Congress and the courts have ceded power to […]]]>

The White House’s developing response to a global energy crisis raises a troubling question: If the Biden administration openly discusses restricting energy exports to combat rising consumer fuel prices, what power might it be? she argued to save a planet that she thinks is in crisis?

Because Congress and the courts have ceded power to the executive over the past several decades, the president, if he so chose, could co-opt powerful national security tools to reduce U.S. carbon emissions. As the midterm elections approach, progressives will pressure President Biden to do just that.

Remember that one of Mr. Biden’s earliest decrees declared that climate change is “central” to national security. He promised to “fight the climate crisis with bold and progressive action” which could mean almost anything. The administration began to act on this rhetoric. In September he announcement the creation of a working group “to detect, deter and disrupt” hydrofluorocarbons, a category of powerful greenhouse gases. This alliterative expression is generally reserved for the fight against weapons of mass destruction, rogue states and terrorists.

If climate change is “an existential threat to our lives,” as Mr Biden said in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, then what would the administration not be prepared to do about it? ? Take natural gas. Climate activists used to call it “bridge fuel,” but now describe it as a dangerous pollutant. The Department of Energy can revoke applicable export authorizations under the Natural Gas Act, although it has never done so. The Obama and Trump administrations assured their nervous allies that they could not imagine a scenario where dismissals would ever be necessary. Climate warriors believe that global warming is such a scenario.

The same law allows the ministry to attach “terms and conditions” to its export approvals. A future in which every natural gas liquefaction terminal will have to build facilities to capture, store and use carbon dioxide or install large amounts of renewable energy for local use is quite plausible.

Strangling crude oil exports would only require a few red tape from the Biden administration. An obscure “safety valve” clause allows the president to declare a national emergency and impose licensing requirements on shipments. For Mr Biden, declaring a national emergency would not be too much of a task. Annual declarations of emergency and their routine extension in general have become trivial events.

Refined products such as gasoline and natural gas liquids such as propane are the most released hydrocarbon molecules in the United States. No export authorization is required. This ostensibly privileged position is already under the militant microscope. Alleged collusion on the price at the pump by US gasoline retailers, already under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, provides an easy rationale for restricting consumer fuel exports.

An adventurous White House could go even further to restrict the use of fossil fuels. The Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States is a federal agency authorized to intervene in national security-related transactions involving foreign investors. Its power allows it to “negotiate, enter into or impose and apply any agreement or condition with any party” to these transactions. If climate change is national security, where is the limit on the power of the committee? Foreign investments in domestic energy projects might be subject to scrutiny depending on the technology or infrastructure involved, and “any deal or condition” is as broad as it gets. An investing nation could be forced to take climate action within its own borders – move away from coal, tighten Paris bonds, and literally anything else – lest the deal fail. is blocked.

More troubling, American companies could be required to mitigate their climate risk in an incalculable way. Prepare for a world in which cloud computing and blockchain companies are required to install wind turbines and solar panels, and in which their overseas partners are required to divest from African coal plants and Australian coal mines. .

There is a final rung on this political scale. The International Emergency Economic Powers Act authorizes the president to “investigate, regulate or prohibit” virtually any jurisdictional transaction for national security purposes after declaring a national emergency. In practice, this law covers all transactions with the American financial system. These powers have been put to good use against rogue states and terrorists. If climate change is truly an existential threat to humanity, what could be more threatening than a country that refuses to reduce its emissions? Make way for climate sanctions.

Intense litigation would ensue over these “new uses” of existing authority. Court-imposed restrictions on executive power may result, but this will take years. The US government has the power to destroy the financial viability of politically incorrect forms of energy by increasing costs, increasing uncertainty, and discouraging investment, regardless of court results.

Congress should tame the White House and regulatory agencies by legislating specific restrictions on these emergency powers. What the legislature gives the legislature can take away by making a restricted view of regulatory authority a condition of Senate confirmation. Lawmakers should also use budget hearings and the appropriation process to warn ministries and agencies not to exceed their remits, and sign preventative joint letters signaling Congress’ intention to punish regulatory excesses in the sector. Energy. Governors must be prepared for federal officials to jeopardize energy projects vital to their state economies, which could provide opportunities to engage voters, collaborate with their states’ congressional delegations, and pursue legal actions to protect the livelihoods of their citizens.

Mr. Abbey was the Republican Chief Economist on the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (2019-2020) and Director of Strategic Planning at the National Security Council (2017-19).

Bad policy choices are contributing to the energy supply crisis. Photo: Associated press

Copyright © 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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Pritzker wants to end use of health consciousness law to prevent COVID-19 vax Sat, 16 Oct 2021 15:15:08 +0000 As Illinois politicians continue to try to force vaccinations on more residents, Governor JB Pritzker is trying to end the use of a state law designed to prevent people from being forced to make health care decisions. Illinois’ Health Care Conscience Law grants Illinois the right to refuse to participate in health care that goes […]]]>

As Illinois politicians continue to try to force vaccinations on more residents, Governor JB Pritzker is trying to end the use of a state law designed to prevent people from being forced to make health care decisions.

Illinois’ Health Care Conscience Law grants Illinois the right to refuse to participate in health care that goes against their beliefs, but Gov. JB Pritzker wants to change the law now that officials are using it as a basis to challenge forced COVID vaccinations -19.

There is no legislation in the works yet, but it is clear that Pritzker wants to thwart any lawsuits citing the law. Six Naperville firefighters trying to fight the vaccine’s mandate in court by citing the law.

“The healthcare right to conscience law was never designed to allow people to avoid public health advice during a global pandemic. The administration supports efforts to clarify the law, so that it cannot be misinterpreted by fringe elements, ”said Emily bittner, Deputy Chief of Staff of Pritzker.

“Trial” is specifically included in the definition of health care law. Groups such as the Fraternal Order of Police use the law as a legal defense against vaccination and regular testing.

“We are not opposed to the vaccine itself. We are opposed to compulsory forced vaccinations. But not at all opposed to the vaccine. We just think it’s a matter of choice, ”said FOP President Chris Southwood.

More 70% of Illinoisians have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Chicago Police are opposing Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s mandate to declare their immunization status by Oct. 15 or face unpaid days off. The union is urging members to ignore the mandate, which led Pritzker to offer the Illinois National Guard to help keep the peace if masses of officers suddenly had to stop working.

Lightfoot has canceled a request that all city workers receive at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by October 15, now saying workers can perform tests twice a week during their free time and at their own time. own expense for the remainder of 2021. They would then need to be vaccinated.

The Chicago Police Union chief said the healthcare conscience law is designed to protect exactly those who now seek its protection from forced vaccination.

“I mean, it literally says that if you have a firmly held religious belief, a firmly held conscientious belief, against a medical procedure, you are covered by this law. Period, ”said FOP Chicago President John Catanzara.

The most recent data has shown one in four Chicago police officers had not been vaccinated.

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Sunshine Coast Puppy Farm was dismissed after 400,000 objections; the council is preparing for the legal fight Thu, 14 Oct 2021 04:39:31 +0000 A Queensland council went against its own staff’s advice to dismiss a major dog breeding establishment, while noting that it could trigger costly lawsuits. Key points: Proposed Sunshine Coast facility rejected, contrary to advice from council staff Counselors were concerned about the welfare of breeding females Breeder says all of his puppies were born and […]]]>

A Queensland council went against its own staff’s advice to dismiss a major dog breeding establishment, while noting that it could trigger costly lawsuits.

The plan was filed by Diamond Valley Kennels to have 60 adult dogs inside the facility for breeding and 48 more for boarding.

The facility would also include boarding for 20 cats.

The proposal sparked a storm of activism against the plan and the Sunshine Coast Regional Council was inundated with up to 400,000 submissions sent through the anti-puppy farm group Oscar’s Law.

The volume of submissions was so large that many were blocked because the council’s servers treated the flood of objections as a potential cyber attack.

All but about 4,000 were excluded; only 104 of these included a personal address, which is necessary for submissions to be considered correctly made.

Under the area’s planning rules, animal sitting is a permitted use and council officers have recommended that it be approved on these grounds.

A document provided to council showing the layout of the proposed kennel.(Provided)

Advisors go against the advice

Deputy Mayor Rick Baberowski brought forward an alternate motion that asked councilors to reject the plan, saying it was not appropriate because of its “location, nature, scale and intensity.”

He and most of the advisers spoke out against the proposal, raising concerns about the potential welfare of breeding dogs on the so-called puppy farm.

Cr Winston Johnston became moved when he discussed the proposal, describing it as an “incredibly intensive farm for dogs”.

“I have no doubt that the puppies that go through this breeding process would likely go to good homes,” he said.

“My concern is which breeding dogs are there and how many there are.”

Council could face legal challenge

Man with shaved head and beard in dark suit
Christian Dickson voted to reject the proposed installation.(Provided)

Cr Christian Dickson presented a document produced by the council at the meeting which said it would “encourage adoption, not shopping” with regard to animal ownership and endorsed a partnership with groups of animal rescue.

Peter Cox was the only adviser to oppose the rejection, saying he had owned a “designer dog” for seven years.

He warned that rejecting the plan when it met council planning rules meant it would likely face costly lawsuits.

“Don’t end up making the wrong decision,” he said.

Man with short hair in black jacket and white shirt
Peter Cox was the only elected official to support the authorization of the installation.(Provided)

Cr Ted Hungerford voted against the breeding establishment but warned that a court could decide to approve the plan but with less stringent conditions.

Cr Baberowski said advisers often had to look coldly at planning issues and not other concerns.

“In the end, it’s just a horrible thing to do with animals raised to be companions,” he said.

After the vote, Cr Dickson said that even if the decision were to be challenged in court, it would still be the right one.

“That’s what people elected us for,” he said.

“If people just wanted us to follow the planning plan and agent advice, there is no need for advisers.

The breeder says all his puppies are “loved”

Diamond Valley already has a dog breeding center on the Sunshine Coast, where it can legally breed a maximum of 32 dogs.

His website advertises that he specializes in breeding “cavoodles, spoodles, miniature dachshunds and other small breeds.”

The dogs available for sale range from $ 3,900 for a Cavalier x Shih Tzu to $ 6,000 for a female mini cavoodle.

Its website states that all of the dogs at the facility are “loved and cared for, with excellent interaction with family, staff and other adult dogs.”

“Our large facility gives them plenty of space to exercise each day.”

He also says he is an approved member of Pet Industry Association Australia, fully complies with its code of conduct, and is inspected annually by the board.

Diamond Valley Kennels has been contacted for comment.

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Lillard begins a pivotal season with the Blazers Tue, 12 Oct 2021 22:20:16 +0000 PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Despite all the criticism this summer about Damian Lillard’s happiness in Portland, the Trail Blazers goaltender is sticking around, hoping the team’s moves pay off. The most important thing, of course, was parting ways with coach Terry Stotts after nine seasons. Portland has hired Chauncey Billups, who has no previous experience […]]]>

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Despite all the criticism this summer about Damian Lillard’s happiness in Portland, the Trail Blazers goaltender is sticking around, hoping the team’s moves pay off.

The most important thing, of course, was parting ways with coach Terry Stotts after nine seasons. Portland has hired Chauncey Billups, who has no previous experience as an NBA head coach.

Lillard’s core, goalie CJ McCollum and center Jusuf Nurkic remain intact, but Portland has strengthened the roster with the addition of Larry Nance Jr., Cody Zeller and Ben McLemore. Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter moved on.

While the team haven’t made any flashy offseason deal, Lillard believes the Blazers are in a better place,

“Obviously at the end of last season I wanted to see our roster improve, I wanted us to have a better chance of winning,” said Lillard. “And we’ve had our conversations throughout the summer about what it looked like and how we might take steps in that direction, and I’m going into this season with faith that it’s going to happen and we’re going to do it. to do.”

Portland finished 42-30 last season and won the sixth seed in the Western Conference. The team have won 10 of their last 12 regular season games, but the playoffs ended quickly with Denver knocking out the Blazers in the first round.

Lillard is entering his 10th NBA season. The closest he got to a title was a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2019.

He ranked third in the NBA with an average of 28.8 points last season and was in the top 10 with 7.5 assists. But this may be Portland’s last season with its All-Star and Olympian, unless the team gets results.

“I think we all know we have to get over the bump,” Nurkic said.


Portland has made no move for a proven backup point guard during the offseason, an issue that has plagued the Blazers in recent years. McCollum sometimes assumed these functions.

Anfernee Simons, entering her fourth year in the NBA, is looking to fill the role.

When Lillard was off duty in a preseason game against the Sacramento Kings, Simons scored 24 points.

“He continued to improve and stay aggressive. I want him to always be confident, ”Billups said. “Even some nights these hits won’t fall off, just him being aggressive and getting places he wants to go and play some game.”


Nurkic is excited to take on a bigger attacking role this season.

Nurkic was frustrated with the way he had been used last season under Stotts, who was relying on him defensively. Nurkic averaged 11.5 points and nine rebounds last season, but missed out on time with a broken wrist.

Billups told Nurkic during the offseason that he would expand his presence on both ends. “I’m personally looking for a big year for myself and the team,” Nurkic said.


The Blazers are 100% vaccinated among players and technical staff. Lillard said when the vaccines became available he wanted to line up his whole family for the shot.

“I have a lot of people in my family who I’m close with and spend a lot of time with, and I’m just not going to put their health or their lives at risk because I have to do some research,” said Lillard. noted. “As a child, I had to get vaccinated all my life, before going to university, I had to get vaccinated. And I couldn’t tell you anything about any of them.


Trail Blazers assistant coach Milt Palacio was among 18 former NBA players who were charged in federal court this month with defrauding the league’s health and welfare benefit plan . Authorities said the scam consisted of claiming fictitious medical and dental bills.

As a result, Palacio was put on administrative leave by the Blazers.

“The federal investigation is independent of the Trail Blazers organization and we will have no further comment pending the outcome of the legal process,” the team said.

Former Trail Blazers Sebastian Telfair, Darius Miles and Ruben Patterson have also been charged.


The Blazers’ backcourt did not rest during the offseason.

Lillard married his college sweetheart, won an Olympic gold medal, and released new music. Not to be outdone, CJ McCollum announced that he and his wife were expecting their first child, bought a cellar and that he was named president of the NBA Players Association.

Lillard brought his gold medal to the team’s annual media day, asking if he should pass it on to reporters in attendance. Then he quickly changed his mind: “You can’t touch my medal.


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US Agencies Publish Regulations on Independent Dispute Resolution Process and No Surprises Act Good Faith Estimate Requirements | Knowledge Mon, 11 Oct 2021 16:50:41 +0000 Supplier-insurer IDR process The NSA has called on departments to issue regulations implementing the law’s IDR process for supplier-pay disputes over off-grid reimbursement rates by December 27, 2021. The interim final rule reflects the IDR time limits set out in law. Health care providers may, within 30 days of receiving an upfront payment or a […]]]>

Supplier-insurer IDR process

The NSA has called on departments to issue regulations implementing the law’s IDR process for supplier-pay disputes over off-grid reimbursement rates by December 27, 2021. The interim final rule reflects the IDR time limits set out in law. Health care providers may, within 30 days of receiving an upfront payment or a payout notice from the payor, enter into negotiations with the payor to determine an appropriate payment amount. If the negotiations do not result in an agreed payment amount, then at the end of the 30 day period, either party to the negotiations has four days to initiate the IDR process. The initiating party must notify the initiation to the other party and the appropriate federal agency through a unified federal IDR portal. The initiating party must also provide a notice of the certified IDR entity that the party prefers.

The party receiving the notification of the opening of the IDR has three working days to object to the selected IDR entity and offer an alternative. If the parties do not agree on an IDR entity within three days, the HHS Secretary will select one. Within 10 days of selecting the certified IDR entity, the healthcare provider and payer must submit three categories of information, which guide the IDR entity’s decision:

  • An offer for the amount of the off-grid payment, expressed both as a dollar amount and as a corresponding percentage of the Qualifying Payment Amount (QPA), which is typically the payer’s median contractual rate for that item or service provided by the same or a supplier in the same geographical area;
  • Information relating to this offer, as requested by the IDR entity; and
  • Some additional information related to the type of health care provider and payer involved.

The parties may also submit any additional information relevant to the party’s offer, including information relating to “additional circumstances” specified by law: (1) the level of training, experience and quality of the supplier of health care, (2) the market share of the health care provider, (3) the acuity of the person receiving the item or service, or the complexity of providing such item or service, (4) the educational status, the combination of cases and extent of services provided in the facility, and (5) demonstrations of good faith efforts (or lack thereof) made by the health care provider and the plan or the issuer to enter into network agreements during the last four years of the plan.

Reflecting the law, the interim final rule also prohibits the IDR entity from considering three factors: (1) the usual and customary charges for the service or item, (2) the “amount that would have been charged” by the health care provider if the balance billing provisions did not apply and (3) the rate for the service or item payable by a public payer.

Unless the parties to the IDR process agree on a payment amount before the IDR entity makes its decision – in which case that payment amount controls – the IDR entity must, within 30 days of selecting the IDR entity, determine the amount of payment by selecting one of the offers.

To make its decision, the provisional final rule requires the IDR entity to select the offer closest to the QPA unless the entity determines that “credible information submitted by either party. . . clearly demonstrates that the qualifying payment amount is materially different from the appropriate off-grid rate, or the offers are also far from the qualifying payment amount, but in opposite directions. In such cases, the IDR entity should select the offer that the entity believes best represents the value of the item or service, which could be the offer from either of the parts.

The unsuccessful bidder must pay the IDR fees predetermined by the IDR entity. IDR certified entities must charge a rate of between $ 200 and $ 500 (updated annually through guidelines), unless departments approve a higher spread, a system that worsens the financial hardship for the party. loser. Both parties are also required to pay a non-refundable administrative fee set by ministries each year through referral.

Good faith estimates

An interim final rule also establishes requirements for the provision of good faith estimates of expected charges for uninsured or self-paying patients. The HHS announced guidance on August 20, 2021, however, that the HHS will postpone the application of the requirement that healthcare providers provide good faith estimate information to people who are enrolled in a health insurance plan or coverage and seeking to submit a claim to their payers. The HHS has recognized that, given the complexity of developing the technical infrastructure for transmitting the necessary data from healthcare providers to plans and issuers, meeting this requirement to provide good faith estimates to individuals registered or covered is unlikely to be possible by January 1, 2022.

A good faith estimate is a notice of expected charges for a scheduled or requested item or service, including items or services that can reasonably be expected to be provided in conjunction with such items or services. . Health care providers should (1) inquire about and determine if the person is uninsured or is paying themselves, (2) informing the uninsured or who pays themselves an estimate of good faith is available, and (3) provide a good faith estimate to the uninsured person. or a self-paid person. Likewise, if a good faith estimate is requested, the health care provider must determine if the person is uninsured or if they are considering paying out of pocket for the services. If this is the case, then the health care provider must issue a good faith estimate. A good faith estimate issued to an uninsured person must include:

  • Certain identifying information about the patient;
  • Information about the items and / or services that can be reasonably expected to be provided;
  • Information about the health care provider; and
  • Disclaimers stating (1) that the good faith estimate provided is only an estimate, (2) information about the individual’s rights to challenge the fees actually charged if they significantly exceed the good faith estimate, and (3) the estimate is not a contract and does not require the person to obtain the items or services.

Healthcare providers and establishments other than the primary provider / establishment (referred to as the “organizer”) “who provide[] items or services that are usually provided in conjunction with a primary item or service ‘also have an obligation to provide good faith estimate information. These providers and facilities, known as co-providers and co-facilities, must also submit good faith estimate information to the organizing provider / facility, who will then provide this information to the patient. Recognizing, however, that “it may take time” for health care providers “to develop systems and processes to receive and deliver the required information from co-providers and co-facilities”, HHS will exercise, from 1 January to December 31, 2022, the discretion to execute when a good faith estimate provided to an uninsured or self-paid person does not include charges expected from co-providers or co-facilities.

Patient-provider dispute resolution process

A patient may initiate the patient-provider dispute resolution process if the total fee charged by the health care provider is “substantially greater” than the total expected fee shown in the good faith estimate, or “substantially greater than” ”Means an amount that is at least $ 400 more than the total amount of the expenses initially planned. The patient has 120 calendar days from receipt of the initial invoice to initiate the dispute resolution process by submitting a notification to HHS, which chooses a selected dispute resolution entity (SDR) to resolve the dispute. While the process is ongoing, the health care provider should not seek to collect additional amounts from the patient. If the parties reach an agreement on the amount of payment before the date on which a determination by the entity is to be made, the dispute resolution process ends.

If the fees charged are higher than the good faith estimate, corn the SDR entity determines that the healthcare provider does not present any credible information that the difference between the fees charged and the good faith estimate arises from unforeseen circumstances that could not have been reasonably anticipated, the SDR entity must then determine that the amount payable is the good faith estimate. If, however, the charge is greater than the good faith estimate and the SDR entity determines that the provider or facility Is present credible information indicating that the difference between the charge and the good faith estimate is based on unforeseen circumstances that could not have been reasonably anticipated, the SDR entity shall determine that the amount payable is the lesser of:

  • The fees charged; Where
  • The payment amount paid by a plan or issuer for the same or a similar service by the same or a similar supplier in the geographic area where the service is provided.

At the start of the dispute resolution process, the uninsured person must pay the SDR entity an administrative fee. The SDR entity must remit these charges to HHS upon receipt of an invoice from HHS. If the uninsured person wins, the health care provider must pay the person the administrative costs in the form of a reduction in the payment amount determined by the SDR entity.

1 The No Surprises Act was promulgated on December 27, 2020, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. See Pub. L. 116-2610.

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Revealed: How Scottish ministers have been breaking international law for ten years Sun, 10 Oct 2021 05:30:37 +0000 Scottish ministers have come under fire as it appeared they were breaking international law for ten years by failing to put in place vital measures to protect the nation’s precious environment, landscapes and wildlife. Analysis by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, which meets on Monday, confirms that Scotland continues to fail to put […]]]>

Scottish ministers have come under fire as it appeared they were breaking international law for ten years by failing to put in place vital measures to protect the nation’s precious environment, landscapes and wildlife.

Analysis by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, which meets on Monday, confirms that Scotland continues to fail to put in place appropriate legal processes to properly protect the natural environment, wildlife and the quality of the land. air and water of the country.

The Herald can reveal that since 2011 Scotland has been declared a non-complaint with Article 9 of the Aarhus Convention, which is a binding part of international law that guarantees the right to a healthy environment.

The UN council which adopted the convention in 1998 is told that the Scottish government is still not fulfilling its legal responsibility which obliges it “to remove or reduce financial obstacles to access to justice “.

The main way to challenge decisions, developments or policies that may violate environmental laws is to initiate judicial review proceedings in the Court of Session.

But right now, it still carries a huge financial risk that conservation charities have to think long and hard about, as environmental affairs are generally not eligible for legal aid.

It comes as environmental groups continue to worry that the nation is not doing enough to protect nature in Scotland.

READ MORE: COP26: Scots’ human rights bid for ‘healthy environment’ – missed targets to stop species extinction

Official analysis from the Scottish Nature Agency shows Scotland also failed to meet 11 of the 20 targets agreed by the UN to protect the environment, while one in five animals and plants judged important to the nation by ministers are threatened.

The Scottish Biodiversity Legal List reveals threats to many of the 2,105 terrestrial animal, plant and marine species deemed of primary importance by the Scottish Government.

An analysis by NatureScot found that 441 (21%) were classified as threatened and 222 (11%) as near threatened.

Emilia Hanna, Advocacy Officer for the Environmental Rights Center for Scotland, said: “The past decade has been a wasted decade, with the Scottish government claiming to comply with its Aarhus obligations without guaranteeing access to justice to eyes of the governing institutions of the Aarhus Convention. .

“The Scottish legal system has been found repeatedly to be inconsistent with Article 9 of the Aarhus Convention, which is a binding part of international law which guarantees the right to a healthy environment.

“Article 9 provides for access to justice, which means the ability to take a low-cost court or tribunal to challenge decisions, developments or policies that may violate laws or rights.

“This is a crucial part of the rule of law because laws can only make a difference if they can be enforced and allow for accountability.” Exorbitant court costs prevent people from taking action to use the law to protect the environment.

“Everyone in Scotland deserves a healthy environment. Nature needs us to be able to use the law to defend it, and we must have the ability to go to court to hold public bodies to account when necessary. In the face of climate and natural emergencies, this is more important than ever and we have already wasted too much time. The environment is in trouble and the rule of law must be up to par. ”

Conservation charity John Muir Trust has expressed concerns over environmental justice rights after its attempt to challenge the development of a wind farm four years ago led it to face a bill nearly £ 700,000, although this was ultimately traded at £ 275,000.

The Trust has settled out of court Perth-based energy company SSE and the Scottish government after its failed attempt to block a wind farm through judicial review near Loch Ness.

The dispute involved a wind farm in Stronelairg, which sits in wilderness in the Monadhliath Mountains near Loch Ness. Composed of 67 wind turbines, it was proposed by SSE in 2012 and granted by the Scottish Government in June 2014.

Ministers are under renewed pressure to create a new one-stop environmental court for Scotland.

Mike Daniels, head of policy and land management at the John Muir Trust, said their case highlighted fundamental issues in challenging environmental issues using the Scottish court system.

“The ‘David v Goliath’ nature of charities that prey on multinational corporations and the associated financial risks are a major obstacle to legal action on environmental grounds and therefore a potential injustice that an environmental court should redress. Justice should be accessible to all, regardless of financial capacity, ”he said.

The Trust and other environmental charities are also asking for an equal right of appeal.

Currently, only applicants have the possibility to appeal refusals of planning permission.

An equal right of appeal would give charities and local communities the ability to appeal planning approvals.

The Scottish Environment LINK (SEL) of more than 30 conservation groups says its recent survey conducted by ScotPulse showed Scots believe that better protection of the environment would make the nation a better place to live, benefit the nation. economy and help protect the country from the effects of climate change.Herald Scotland:

He said last month that while the SNP-Greens deal includes a commitment to legally binding nature recovery targets, there needs to be more urgency to act.

Two years ago, the Scottish Government’s campaign agency, then known as Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), said it was failing to meet 13 of 20 goals – it is now 11.

READ MORE: Revealed: Scotland’s rare wildlife threatened with extinction

A host of environmental groups then contacted PSM and the Scottish Government to express their disappointment at the failure to meet most of the targets, describing it as a ‘wake-up call’. They also criticized the positive turn given to progress.

The then Environment Minister, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, insisted at the time that Scotland was “in the lead” in its work to protect and increase biodiversity and was “on track” to meet the targets. from 2020.

The line ‘on track’ was repeated in January last year, when conservation groups warned that some of Scotland’s most famous wildlife, including Atlantic salmon, capercaillie and the freshwater pearl mussel could be threatened by climate change.

Ann Coleman, a resident of Greengairs and an ERCS supporter who has been fighting environmental injustice for over twenty years said, “We are not equal partners in what is happening to us and the local environment. We have no responsibility. ”

She said they had considered a judicial review to fight plans for the proposed incinerator while planning, but campaigners were put off by the financial implications.

The controversial £ 250million incinerator and waste recycling plant at Greengairs in North Lanarkshire were initially granted by planners in 2009 after permission was given despite more than 1,000 objections for health, environmental and transport reasons.

“We have been living for decades with the largest landfill on our doorstep in Europe, as well as surface coal mines,” she said.

“We have no voice. We have no rights. We cannot protect ourselves.

“An environmental court for Scotland is essential. We must have the right to access justice. The environmental court should be affordable, easy for the public to approach for help, advice and take action.

“It has to be affordable, because right now the system is so turned against us that it is impossible to get justice. The environmental court or tribunal must have an independent panel: bring the government’s attention to damaging developments in a way it will have to listen to.

“People were terrified of the potential financial implications of a judicial review. They were ordinary workers who did not have huge incomes and were not limited companies, so they had everything to lose.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: ‘The Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change is unwavering.

“To maintain high environmental standards, we have arrangements in place to establish Environmental Standards Scotland as a new governance body that has the capacity to monitor the implementation of international obligations relating to environmental protection law. environment and advise the government accordingly.

“Scotland was the only jurisdiction in the UK to avoid a governance gap when the role of the European Commission ended upon leaving the EU and is the first to place our new standards body on a statutory basis . ”

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Federal judge says Governor Mike Dunleavy and former chief of staff violated US and Alaska constitutions with transitional layoffs Sat, 09 Oct 2021 02:48:45 +0000 Alaska ACLU Legal Director Stephen Koteff speaks at a press conference announcing lawsuits against Governor Mike Dunleavy, his chief of staff Tuckerman Babcock and the State of Alaska on Thursday January 10, 2019. On Friday, a federal judge ruled in favor of the ACLU. (Loren Holmes / DNA) Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and his former […]]]>

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and his former chief of staff violated the U.S. Constitution and the Alaskan Constitution when they called for the resignation of approximately 800 state employees at will at the start of the administration de Dunleavy, a federal judge declared in a written order on Friday.

“The defendants’ demand for the resignation of more than 800 employees at will, the acceptance or rejection of each resignation depending on a declaration of commitment to the employment of the State under the incoming administration, is sufficiently analogous as to its purpose and its effect to be considered an unconstitutional patronage practice, ”said Justice John Sedwick.

Both men could be held personally responsible and could be forced to pay financial and other penalties. Other lawsuits will decide on these sanctions, which could include an injunction limiting the ability of future governors to replace civil servants during post-election transitions.

Friday’s order came nearly three years after Alaska Psychiatric Institute doctors Anthony Blanford and John Bellville were fired by the Dunleavy administration and sued in response.

The two were among hundreds of state employees who were asked to submit letters of resignation during the transition from former Governor Bill Walker.

Dunleavy’s chief of staff at the time, Tuckerman Babcock, said the letters were intended to confirm that employees wanted to work on Dunleavy’s agenda.

Blanford and Bellville declined to submit letters.

“The state of Alaska hired me for my expertise, not for my political allegiance,” Blanford wrote in a letter to the editor.

After the two were fired, they sued the State, Dunleavy, and Babcock with help from the Alaska Chapter of the ACLU. (A third employee, lawyer Libby Bakalar, also sued but then separated her case from the two doctors. Her case is still pending.)

Stephen Koteff, chief legal officer for the ACLU and lead plaintiffs’ attorney, said on Friday the ruling sent an “unmistakable” message.

“The state maintained from the start that it was routine and that there was nothing political about it. The court has seen it all, as has the rest of the public for two and a half years, ”he said.

Brewster Jamieson, a lawyer representing Dunleavy in the case, said he is still reviewing the order and declined to comment.

Jamieson referred the questions to the governor’s office, which referred the questions to the law department, where lawyer and spokesperson Grace Lee said the agency was reviewing the order and considering its options.

New Alaska governors typically change high-level political staff, asking for letters of resignation as a formality during the transition process, but Dunleavy’s demands went further than usual, Sedwick concluded.

Associated with the formulation of official documents and public statements, the Governor and Babcock “demanded a conspicuous commitment of political support, or at least deference, in return for continued employment, the effect of which was either to interfere or to defer. cool employees “the exercise of protected First Amendment rights,” the ordinance said Friday.

Exceptionally, Sedwick concluded that the men’s actions were so beyond normal that they could not be considered part of their normal duties as public officials. This can make them personally responsible.

“That’s what makes this case important,” Koteff said.

“The resignation request was loaded with political burdens, and the effect was to force dozens of public employees to compromise their political beliefs by signing this resignation request,” he said.

According to a timeline set out in Friday’s order, lawyers involved in the case have two weeks to consult and determine next steps. If they can’t come to an agreement, the court could hold a trial to determine the amount of damages.

In the separate Bakalar case, which is also overseen by Sedwick, a final legal deposit is expected on October 25 and an order is possible by the end of the year.

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