Articles

06.30.2014
Article

The 4th Amendment Enters the 21st Century

On June 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision unanimously ruling that the police need warrants to search cellphones of people they arrest.  (Riley v. California, No. 13-132 and United States v. Wurie, No.

05.22.2014
Article

The Public Official and Employee Ethics Act

In its April 8, 2014 decision, the Commonwealth Court affirmed the decisions of the School District of the City of York’s School Board and that of the State Charter School Appeal Board in finding that the New Hope Academy Charter School (“New Hope”) violated Section 1103 of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act (“Ethics Act”) by entering several substantial service contracts with various business entities controlled by New Hope’s founder.

05.22.2014
Article

The Educator Discipline Act: Maintaining Professionalism and Integrity

On February 16, 2014, amendments to the Professional Educator Discipline Act took effect.  The amendments expand the basis for discipline to include: the founded reports of child abuse as well as “grooming behaviors”; shortening the time period for reporting to PDE; requiring an educator arrested or indicted for or convicted of certain crimes to report the action to the employing school within 72 hours; entering into confidential settlement agreements that interfere with the entities mandatory reporting; and eliminates the current statute of limitations for filing a conduct complaint. 

05.07.2014
Article

Legal Update on Plans Required on Reflectivity of Signs

The deadline to establish a sign assessment or management plan to maintain minimum levels of sign retroreflectivity for regulatory & warning traffic signs in each municipality is quickly approaching. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), issued by the Federal Highway Administration, introduced new requirements regarding the retroreflectivity of signs, originally requiring each municipality to establish the sign assessment or management plan by January 2012.  That deadline has been extended to June 13, 2014. 

05.07.2014
Article

Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Exempt from ACA Threshold

The Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010. Enrollment commenced on October 1, 2013.  This Act requires that all employers with 50 or more full-time employees offer affordable and adequate health care coverage to their employees.  Under the Act full time equates to 30 or more work hours per week on average.  Those employees working less than 30 hours would be aggregated into full time equivalents.  Those employers that do not offer such healthcare may be required to offer health insurance to the employees or pay a penalty for failure to do so.

04.08.2014
Article

The Art of Contract War

“The best defense is a good offense” is an adage that reportedly dates back to Sun Tzu’s Art of War in which he opined success often rests on destroying the enemy’s ability to attack.  This principle has been applied to a number of endeavors and is particularly applicable to what is often the first line of defense in the event of dispute… the contract.1

04.08.2014
Article

Life Insurance, Beneficiaries, and Divorce

What happens if you don’t remove your ex spouse from your life insurance policy following divorce? You may be surprised to learn that how you got the life insurance policy makes an enormous difference.
   

03.12.2014
Article

Important New Case Law May Require Changes in Transportation Protocol for School Districts

Recent cases have marked a shift in the way the Courts view the provision of transportation by public school districts and provide clarification to previously unanswered questions regarding transportation as provided in the School Code. In particular, the recent decisions pertain to circumstances in which parents have shared 50/50 custody of children both within the same school district and in two separate school districts. As a result, we advise that you review existing transportation policies and protocols, and make adjustments accordingly.

02.18.2014
Article

New PA Laws Provide Opportunities for Inheritance Tax Savings on Family-Owned Business Assets

Recent changes in Pennsylvania’s tax laws have created a valuable opportunity for family business owners to avoid inheritance taxes on your business assets.  Within the last eighteen months, our legislature has made changes to the inheritance tax law which will lessen or avoid altogether the inheritance tax on certain family-owned business assets.  These changes are complex and will not affect all businesses or all business assets; however, with careful planning, family owned businesses and farm businesses can dramatically lessen their inheritance tax burden. 

10.07.2013
Article

Meeting Safety is a Concern for Municipalities

The recent deadly shooting spree in Ross Township during a regular monthly meeting has unsettled many local government leaders and for good reason.  The attack, coupled with other shootings in public buildings like Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Navy Yard in Washington D.C.

10.01.2013
Article

Protecting Your Plastic

As new technologies change the way we pay for things, criminals are managing to keep pace as they devise ways to separate you from your money. Doing what you can to protect yourself is one part understanding the technology and at least equal portions of vigilance and common sense. Still, we can all benefit from some reminders.
   

09.27.2013
Article

Health Insurance Exchange Notices

Employers: This is a reminder that the Health Insurance Exchange Notices to employees need to be provided by October 1, 2013. If you still are unsure on the written notice requirements, the Department of Labor has provided model notices on its website.

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