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February 2017

Deadline Approaching for Small Breach Notification

By: Jeremy W. Rogers

HIPAA covered entities, which are health care providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses, are required to report “small" data breaches of unsecured, unprotected health information by March 1, 2017. Covered entities must report these breaches, defined as a breach that involves fewer than 500 individuals, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”).  This deadline applies to breaches that were discovered in 2016, and the deadline is fast approaching.

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Helping to Ensure Enforceability of a Mediated Settlement


By: Jeremy W. Rogers

In the past few years, I have come across situations more frequently where the parties to a lawsuit reach an agreed settlement at mediation but, for a myriad of potential reasons, the parties or counsel  do not later agree upon all of the terms you reached just days or even hours before. Someone changed their mind or, more likely, misunderstood the details of the agreement. This situation usually arises when a party submits a proposed Settlement Agreement and Release a day or days after mediation.

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U.S. Supreme Court: “Clearly Established” Means “Clearly Established”

By: E. Andrew Treese and Connor M. Bateman

Qualified immunity is all about the facts. To overcome the defense, a Section 1983 plaintiff must prove that an individual defendant violated his “clearly established” rights. The United States Supreme Court has held several times that “clearly established” law refers to authority providing “fair and clear warning” to the defendant that his conduct was prohibited. Reliance on general principles of law does not suffice; instead, a plaintiff must identify a case in which an official faced with similar circumstances as the defendant was held to have violated the Constitution.

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Don’t Be a Phishing Victim: IRS Warns of Email Scam This Tax Season

By: David Cole

It’s tax season again and the cyber criminals are back at it. According to the IRS, last year’s W-2 spear-phishing scam has returned and is currently making its way across the nation. The IRS and state tax authorities have issued a new alert advising HR and payroll departments to beware of phony emails intended to steal employees’ personal information in their W-2 forms.

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Firm and Attorney News

FMG and Dana Maine Continue Trial Successes
A Fulton County Court recently issued a final judgement in favor of FMG's city client in a case tried by partner Dana Maine. This is Ms. Maine's third consecutive trial success in the last 5 months, including a successful jury trial defense verdict. Click here to read more...


FMG welcomes two new partners to the firm, H. Eric Hilton and Jeffrey A. Kershaw!


Jack R. Hancock, Wayne S. Melnick and A. Ali Sabzevari obtained a ruling from the Eleventh Circuit affirming a summary judgment for Clayton County officers in a Section 1983 case involving a Fourth Amendment claim of excessive force and state law claims under Georgia law in a case of first impression involving "flashbang" usage. A woman was injured by a police flashbang alleged to have been thrown through her bedroom window into the room where she was sleeping. The court held that deploying a flashbang into a dark room in the early morning without performing a visual inspection first violates the Fourth Amendment, but nevertheless agreed with FMG's argument that the officers are entitled to qualified immunity because they did not violate clearly established law. Click here to read more...

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About Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP

Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP is a leading national litigation firm, serving clients through its practice groups in CGL and Business Liability, Commercial and Complex Litigation, Construction and Design Law, Financial Services and Transactions, Government Law, Government Relations, Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith, Labor and Employment Law, and Professional Liability. With offices in Georgia, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Florida, FMG attorneys serve as trusted counsel to corporations and governments throughout the country, providing practical, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for legal issues. For more information about FMG, visit www.fmglaw.com.


Information conveyed in this presentation should not be construed as legal advice or represent any specific or binding policy or procedure of any organization. Information provided in this presentation is for educational purposes only. These materials are written in a general format and not intended to be advice applicable to any specific circumstance. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual distinctions. All rights reserved. No part of this presentation may be reproduced, published or posted without the written permission of Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP.
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