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March 2016

Discovery Costs Reduced and Litigation Simplified? Courts Applying New Federal Rules Give Hope

By: Ryan Babcock

On December 1, 2015, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended, and the federal district courts across the country are starting to apply them to pending cases. In a nutshell, those amendments were in large part aimed at raising the profile of the concept of “proportionality” in the discovery process.  This common sense concept now pervades the rules, and directs the federal trial courts and the litigants before them that, for evidence to be discoverable, the information sought must be relevant and proportional to the needs of the case.

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3D Printing, 4D Printing and Beyond Changes Coming in Products Liability Law

By: Amanda K. Hall

On January 25, 2016, researchers at Harvard University and The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign detailed their creation of “4D-Printed” structures –made by mimicking the way orchids and other plants move and twist – that could ultimately lead to advances in the way medical devices are created both in the United States and abroad.

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Who's The Boss? Independent Contractor Rules Continue to Evolve

By: Michael Hill

We have previously discussed the decision of the Department of Labor to narrow the definition of “independent contractor” so that more workers can be deemed “employees” and thus subject to federal wage and hour laws. On a similar theme, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division recently issued an Administrator’s Interpretation, in which it seeks to expand the concept of “joint employment” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA).

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Dot Your I's and Cross your T's in Person: Complying With The I-9 "Examination" Requirement

By: Nina Maja Bergmar

Federal law requires every employer to complete Form I-9 for each new employee. As part of this process, the employer must request original documents from a list of acceptable documents that establish an employee’s identity and work authorization. The employer must then sign the so-called attestation clause in Section 2 of Form I-9, confirming that it has examined the documents presented by the new hire and that, to the best of its knowledge, the hire is authorized to work in the United States.

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Firm and Attorney News 

Brad Adler was the keynote speaker for the Great Lakes Motorola Service Station Annual Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida on February 5, where he discussed performance management and hot employment topics for 2016.


Wayne S. Melnick and Wesley C. Jackson obtained an order dismissing a funeral home from a “wrongful cremation” case where the funeral home had been brought in via a third-party action.  The court agreed with FMG’s arguments that the claims being asserted against the funeral home were not derivative of the original claims brought by the plaintiff.  The court also refused to add the funeral home back to the action again agreeing with FMG’s position that the funeral home was not required to grant complete relief.


Meaghan Petetti Londergan was nominated and chosen by SNJ Business People for "40 Under 40."


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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.


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