New OSHA Rules and DOL Poster Requirements. 

News & Updates
Martin & Martin Law wants to keep you updated on the latest changes that could affect your business and family.  Here are helpful articles regarding OSHA penalty changes, DOL poster requirements, liability of joint community property of spouses,  protecting disclosure of your governmental contract bids, and professional liability.  
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OSHA Increased Penalty Amounts/  Dept. of Labor New Poster Requirements

As of August 1, 2016, OSHA penalties have increased as follows:
  • Serious, Other than Serious, and Posting and Failure to Abate violations increased from $7,000 per violation to a new maximum of $12,471 per violation.
  • Willful or Repeat violations increased from $70,000 to $124,709 per violation.
     
New Poster Required by DOL
  • The DOL has issued revised employer posters that are required by Federal law for every employer to display as of August 1, 2016 due to changes in the overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and also changes related to the Employee Polygraph Protection Act. To obtain free posters, you may contact the U.S. Department of Labor at 1-866-4-USADOL (1-866-487-2365) or download and print them yourself from
    http://www.dol.gov/compliance/topics/posters.htm

Protecting your Government Project Bids from Disclosure

It has taken many years of learning the hard way, thousands of hours, and thousands of dollars to create, develop, and refine the format of and information included in your responses to Requests for Qualifications and Requests for Proposals.  Your proposals are, of course, how you win projects.  Then you receive a letter from the government project owner stating that a Public Information Request has been made by one of your competitors that would release your proprietary information!  What should you do?
 
There is good news.  You should submit a written objection to disclosure to the government in accordance with the process set forth by Section 552 of the Texas Government Code.  Thanks to a 2015 Texas Supreme Court Decision in Boeing Co. v. Paxton, 466 S.W.3d 831 (Tex. 2015), your information that would give advantage to a competitor or bidder may now be withheld by the State. 
 
For many years prior to Boeing Co. v. Paxton, the Office of the Attorney General concluded that the terms of a contract and especially the pricing of a winning bidder were public and generally not excepted from disclosure.  Gov't Code § 552.022(a)(3) (contract involving receipt or expenditure of public funds expressly made public).  Now, however, pursuant to Boeing, § 552.104 it is no longer limited to "ongoing competitive situations."  You need only to show that release of your "competitively sensitive information" would give an advantage to a competitor regardless of when a contract is executed.  Boeing, 466 S.W.3d at 831, 839.  
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Does a Professional have Individual Liability for Negligence Even if all of the Acts in Question were Performed for a Professional Corporation?


Does a Professional have Individual Liability for Negligence even if all of the Acts in Question were Performed for a Professional Corporation?
 
In an ordinary corporation, a shareholder can generally lose only the amount of money the shareholder invests in the corporation.  Absent a finding that the shareholder disregarded the corporate "veil", the shareholder's personal assets-such as his or her personal bank accounts or home-cannot be reached by the corporation's creditors.
 
The individual shareholders in a professional corporation, however, are personally liable for any losses caused by their own negligence . Read More.
  

Is a Spouse's Joint Community Property Liable for a Debt Incurred by the Other Spouse?

Absent a statutory exemption, a spouse's separate property and special community property, as well as the joint community property, are liable for the other spouse's debts during the marriage.  
 
If the liability is a tort debt (i.e. negligence), for instance incurred during the marriage, the other spouse's "special community property" is also liable for the debt (the other spouse's separate property may be exempt depending upon the circumstances).   Read More


Lexis/Nexis Case Study on Martin & Martin and Their Use of CaseMap Software for Case Management Efficiency

Recently our Trial Paralegal, Wendi Rogers, was featured in a case study report by Lexis/Nexis regarding her efficient implementation and use of their case management software, Case Map. Wendi is a long-time and proficient user of Case Map and they consulted with her on how she uses it to make our small firm excel in efficient case management and Trial preparation.  Wendi is also a proficient user of Sanction trial presentation software, video editing software and PowerPoint.   

"Ms. Rogers has created a process for organizing case data in CaseMap to make sure details are effectively captured, first categorizing individual documents or case files for discovery responses. 'I go through them, identify what they are, what category they are, and I normally set up different databases in CaseMap so that I have one for documents from the client and another for the discovery and case file. 

'For example, with emails and Outlook files, I'll import them into Casemap then go through and search for the attorneys first off and mark all of those documents with attorney-client privilege.' ".... Read More

Martin & Martin Law

The members of Martin & Martin's professional team each bring something unique to the firm.  Working in concert, their individual skills and experiences make our team much more than the sum of its parts.  Learn More about Martin & Martin


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