Legal Insights | Fall 2015 | Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC
Legal Insights is a newsletter of timely and practical legal information that we hope you can use in your professional and personal pursuits. Please contact your attorney at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper if you have any questions or comments or if you would like to suggest topics of interest for future issues.
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Coach's contract dispute is a lesson in liquidated damages
Coach's contract dispute is a lesson in liquidated damages

Earlier this year, the 11th District Court of Appeals (Ohio) ruled in favor of Kent State University over a liquidated damages clause in the personal services contract of former basketball coach Gene A. Ford, who left the university in the midst of a five-year contract.

This case (Kent State University v. Gene A. Ford) has an interesting story, and also offers an opportunity to discuss the broader issue of liquidated damages clauses in contracts, as Jim Juliano discusses.

Read the full article.
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Workers compensation alerts

Employers need to be aware of a few recent changes affecting workers compensation in Ohio. Since the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation changed to a retroactive billing schedule, some deadlines have changed for private employers. In addition, nonprofit organizations no longer need to provide coverage for volunteer executives, and an appeals court has affirmed a lower court’s decision that could cause costly delays for employers in injury cases.

Read the full article.
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Overtime changes proposed

The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing to change the overtime exemption regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. If adopted, the changes would likely increase the number of employees who must be paid overtime compensation, a basic premise for the Obama administration's proposal.

Presently, to qualify for an overtime exemption, a white-collar employee must be salaried; be paid $455 per week ($23,660 annually) or more; and primarily perform executive, administrative or professional duties. The salary levels have not been updated in more than a decade. The proposed changes will raise the salary threshold way up—possibly to $970 a week, or $50,440 a year.

A fact sheet and an FAQ from the Department of Labor clarify the existing law and proposed changes. The new regulations will probably not be adopted until 2016, but keep in mind that even when the regulations are issued, they are subject to various court challenges, and can be stayed, or put on hold. This proposal is far from final, but it gives you a flavor of where this might be going.

—Matt Fitzsimmons
fitzsimmons@nicola.com
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Spotlight
article divider Businesses and insurance carriers have turned to Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper's insurance law litigation practice to resolve matters involving insured property and liability claims and disputes over insurance coverage in a variety of industries and circumstances. Our lawyers have forged positive results in state and federal courts throughout Ohio.
Read about our insurance law litigation practice.
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Firm News
article divider Michael E. Cicero was a guest lecturer at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's OVI seminar held in Independence Nov. 14. Mike gave a prosecutor's perspective on the current developments in drunk driving law.
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Jim Juliano served as a moderator and featured speaker at the 5th Annual Entertainment and Sports Law Association Symposium held by the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University last spring. Jim's panel covered owning and operating a sports venue.
Firm News
Matt Fitzsimmons, chair of the board of NorthEast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services Inc. (NEON) for five years, appeared on Leon Bibb's "Kaleidoscope" show with NEON's president and CEO, Willie F. Austin. They discussed the broad role NEON's health centers play, providing excellent comprehensive care in Cleveland and East Cleveland. The segment begins at the 7:20 minute mark of the show, which you can view here.

Matt has since stepped down as NEON's board chair, but will continue as a member of the board, where he has devoted more than 20 years. Matt's service was also recognized in a story and photo spread in a recent issue of the Beach Cliff Beacon.
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Rich Witkowski was quoted in the March newsletter of The Expert Institute on selecting expert witnesses to testify in complex financial litigation. Rich, a litigation attorney, is a certified fraud examiner and a certified public accountant (inactive). He has spoken across the country on topics such as risk management and ethics for accountants, and practices in the areas of accounting and legal malpractice as well as insurance coverage and other commercial disputes.
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Mike Bertsch has been appointed to the board of the Shaker Heights Public Library. The library prides itself on providing its patrons with courteous, responsive and high-quality service.

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Legal Insights
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Copyright 2015 by Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC

This newsletter contains general information that should not be considered legal advice or legal opinion concerning individual situations.
Legal counsel should be consulted for specific advice.