Prenuptial Agreements Must be Entered Into Knowledgeably to be Valid

An antenuptial agreement (informally called a “prenup”) is binding on each party if both parties signed it “freely, knowledgeably and in good faith and without exertion of duress or undue influence upon either spouse ” Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-501. Whether an agreement is valid can be an issue in the probate as well as divorce context. In a recent …

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HIPAA Compliance – Not Just for Healthcare Providers

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPPA”) is designed to require the protection and confidential handling of protected health information by mandating a certain standards for its transmission and storage. Generally, Protected Health Information is individually identifiable information that is transmitted by electronic media, maintained in electronic media, or transmitted or maintained in any other medium. It …

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New DOL Persuader Requirements Effective July 1, 2016

More detailed reporting will now be required for both employers and their attorneys related to an employer’s “persuader” activities (See 29 C.F.R. Parts 405 and 406).  “Persuader activities” are defined as “any actions, conduct, or communications that are undertaken with an object, explicitly or implicitly, directly or indirectly, to affect an employee’s decisions regarding his or her representation or collective …

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Thinking of Organizing a Business?

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Pub. Law 114-113, extended, indefinitely, the 100% exclusion from tax of the proceeds from the sale of qualified small business stock, Int. Rev. Code §1202.      Briefly, a taxpayer, other than a corporation, can exclude, from federal income tax, 100% of the gain from the sale or exchange of stock which is held for more …

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Department Of Labor Issues Rule Altering Exemption From Overtime

            The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued a final rule effective December 1, 2016 raising the minimum salary level of exempt employees classified as executive, administrative and professional (“white collar”) from $23,660 per year to $47,476 or $455 a week to $913 per week, and the minimum salary for “highly compensated” employees who are exempt from the overtime requirement …

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Vaccine Injury Compensation program Serves Manufacturers And The Public

The National Childhood Vaccination Injury Act of 1986 (NCVIA), as amended, created the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Congress created the VICP primarily to protect our nation’s vaccine supply. In the 1980’s, public attention was focused on the allegation that vaccines were causing injuries to children. Many parents sued vaccine manufacturers for alleged injuries. The few vaccine manufacturers in existence …

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Estate Planning and Pets

Many families fail to address the needs of their pets when undertaking estate planning. Pets and other animals such as livestock are considered personal property and pass as such under an individual’s will, unless there are specific provisions dealing with pets or animals.  Only a small percentage of pet owners include provisions for their pets in their estate planning documents.  …

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Recent Change to Tennessee Statute Governing Retirement and Pension Plans Impacts Divorce Cases

An important change impacting divorce proceedings in Tennessee has been made to the Tennessee statute which governs retirement and pension plans. As of July 1, 2015, T.C.A. § 26-2-105(d)(1) now provides that “a local government that establishes and maintains for its employees a qualified plan, and the qualified plan’s administrator, shall honor claims under a qualified domestic relations order, if …

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Signature on Self-Proving Affidavit but Not on Will Falls Short of Statutory Requirements

In early 2015, the Tennessee Court of Appeals provided valuable guidance to practitioners on will execution requirements. The case of In re Estate of Bill Morris (2015 WL 557970, Tenn. Ct. App. 2015) concerned a will contest in which the children of the decedent challenged the validity of their father’s Last Will and Testament based on alleged noncompliance with T.C.A. …

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The Continuing Struggle over Class Action Waivers in Arbitration

The issue of mandatory arbitration of employment and consumer disputes continues to be controversial. The principal bone of contention appears to be the requirement that the employee or consumer waive the right to participate in class or collective actions, so that his or her sole recourse is the pursuit of individual claims in arbitration. No matter how employee- or consumer-friendly …

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