Issue November/December 2016

November 2016

The misuse of summary suspension

A professional license is a property right; it can't be taken away without due process.1 This usually means a hearing before the licensing board imposes discipline. But sometimes a doctor or dentist presents an immediate and serious threat to the public, and it is dangerous to wait. In those cases, the boards can suspend the license immediately, as long as the practitioner gets a hearing within seven days.

Data breaches: How to determine plaintiff's standing

Your doctor and your medical insurer are supposed to keep your health information private. But sometimes they don't. Sometimes a company like Anthem, Excellus, or Premera gets hacked and the patients' personal health information goes … well, no one really know where it goes, or who is using it. And that's the problem.

Best practices for preserving corporate attorney-client privilege in Massachusetts

Consider the following hypothetical:

A bank's general counsel (GC) learns that $200,000 has been illegally wired from a customer's account to an account overseas. The GC immediately asks the branch manager (who is not an attorney) to interview the employees involved. The branch manager summarizes her interviews for the GC, and the GC drafts a memo to outside counsel detailing the information uncovered, and the GC's conclusion is that the fraud occurred because branch employees did not follow the bank's fraud-prevention policies.

The impact of recent decisions regarding patent hold-up on the future of standards-setting activities

Earlier this year, Qualcomm and InterDigital, two major contributors to the development of wireless telecommunications standards, announced they would not be making licensing commitments under the new patent policy introduced by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Among other changes, the IEEE's new patent policy makes it much more difficult - and in some cases impossible - for patent owners who have contributed their patented technology to the development of an IEEE standard to seek an injunction or other "prohibitive order" against the implementers of that standard who are using their patented technology without a license. A few weeks after Qualcomm and InterDigital's announcement, Ericsson and Nokia followed suit.

The First Circuit on whether a lender may perfect a security interest in a debtor's insurance coverage under Article 9

A lender files a UCC-1 in the debtor's home state with the goal of perfecting a security interest in all of the debtor's accounts, inventory and payment intangibles, including the debtor's rights to payment under its insurance policies. What happens when a fire or disaster strikes and the now-bankrupt debtor's largest asset is its business interruption insurance claim for its loss of income from the disaster? Does a UCC-1 filing perfect the lender's security interest in a debtor's insurance coverage and claim proceeds, enabling the lender to enjoy a priority right to the insurance proceeds in bankruptcy?