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September 2015

FTC’s Authority Over Data Security Affirmed: Decision Underscores Need for Cyber Policies and Procedures

By: David Cole

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit released its much-anticipated decision in Federal Trade Commission v. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, unanimously upholding the FTC’s authority to regulate businesses' data security practices under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act).  As a result, businesses can expect increased enforcement by the FTC and greater scrutiny of their data security practices.

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FCC’s TCPA Ruling Appealed

By: Matt Foree

As reported previously, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued its Declaratory Ruling and Order (Order) regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) on July 10, 2015.  That ruling was immediately appealed by several business organizations including ACA International and Sirius XM Radio, Inc. (XM Radio), which filed appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Professional Association for Customer Engagement, Inc. (PACE) filed a similar petition in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  On July 24, 2015, the three petitions for review were consolidated into the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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Third Circuit Expands FMLA Requirements for Employers: Employee Must Have Opportunity to Cure Invalid Medical Leave Certification

By: Barry Brownstein

A recent decision from the Third Circuit expands FMLA requirements, by declaring that employers who receive a medical leave certification from an employee that is vague, ambiguous, and non-responsive, are required to inform the employee that the certification is insufficient, state in writing what additional information is required and provide the employee the opportunity to cure the certification within seven (7) days. Employers who neglect these requirements may be liable for interference under the FMLA.

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FMG Adds New Attorneys in Atlanta and Los Angeles

FMG is pleased to announce that Aaron Hayes  in the Los Angeles office has joined the firm as Of-Counsel. Also, Connor Bateman in Atlanta has joined the firm as an Associate.
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Firm and Attorney News 

Mike Wolak obtained a voluntary dismissal of a nine-count complaint filed against a national automotive group alleging claims that included fraud, breach of warranties, punitive damages, and violations of Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act.  After electing not to respond to the motion to dismiss, Plaintiff agreed to a complete dismissal of her case.    


Wayne Melnick won summary judgment based on official immunity on behalf of a public school teacher who was sued in DeKalb County state court. In this case, the evidence showed the teacher twice left a classroom of special needs students without adult supervision and the plaintiff alleged that her daughter was assaulted by her classmates during each of those instances.  Even with an official school guideline stating that teachers “may not leave their students unsupervised for any reason,” the trial court still agreed with Mr. Melnick that student supervision is a discretionary action entitling the teacher to official immunity, and the guideline did not convert the teacher’s actions into a ministerial duty for which no immunity existed.


David Cole was a featured speaker at the 2015 Cobb Chamber Health & Wellness Summit.  Mr. Cole presented on the topic of employers’ legal compliance requirements when implementing wellness programs in the workplace, which have been the target of several enforcement actions by the EEOC in the past year.


Meaghan Londergan has been invited to speak at the Drexel University Kline School of Law on September 11th  about training and developing law students and young attorneys regarding best practices.



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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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