von Briesen & Roper, S.C.

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CMS announced on August 27 that it is delaying publication of its final rule on amendments to the Stark physician self-referral rule until August 31, 2021. CMS had previously announced its intent to publish the final rule in August 2020. CMS issued its proposed rule on October 17, 2019 in conjunction with its “Patients over Paperwork Initiative.” The proposed rule is part of HHS’s “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care,” which looks at federal regulations that may be impeding provider efforts to better coordinate patient care. CMS intended to address what it characterized as Stark’s “undue regulatory impact and burden.” It…
The November election will determine whether Donald Trump or Joseph Biden will be our President beginning in 2021 and whether the Democrats or Republicans will control the Senate. Some are predicting changes in the estate tax law under a Biden presidency and a Senate controlled by the Democrats. Biden is proposing to return the estate tax to “historic norms.” In 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed into law. That Act increased the estate tax exemption – the value of assets that can pass without federal estate tax. Distributions to spouses and charities are deductible distributions and…
President Trump issued a Presidential Memoranda (“PM”) on August 8, 2020 which, in part, directed the Secretary of the Treasury to defer the collection of social security payroll taxes from employees between September 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. On August 28, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-65 (the “Notice”) which provides guidance on how the deferral process will be administered. This Legal Update will provide an overview of the current status of the payroll tax deferral program, including best practice recommendations for employers for compliance and to avoid interest and penalties. There remain issues in the operation of this…
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) allows eligible employees to take paid leave because of a need to care for an employee’s child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19 related reasons. As schools reopen under a variety of plans, such as hybrid-attendance and remote learning, questions have arisen regarding FFCRA leave eligibility under these circumstances. On August 27, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) updated its Question and Answer guidance to address these issues. This Legal Update summarizes the DOL guidance, and provides practical direction for employers. The FAQ identifies the following…
The Future of Telemedicine is Now, sponsored with the Wisconsin Rural Health Cooperative.  The slow evolution of telemedicine suddenly accelerated with the arrival of the coronavirus. The sudden emergence of telemedicine services presents many challenges and opportunities for rural hospitals. This panel discussion addresses key strategic considerations, including: Current telemedicine reimbursement and compliance changes and challenges How to compensate providers for telehealth services now and beyond, and The business considerations for fully embracing a telehealth program, including market share considerations and competition from others providing services in this space and parity between government and private reimbursement. presenters: Ben Ulrich, VMG…
von Briesen & Roper, s.c. announced today the opening of their new 16,000 square foot Fox Valley office space located at 55 Jewelers Park Drive, Suite 400, in Neenah. von Briesen is the first tenant in Commercial Horizons’ redevelopment of the property into a modern multi-tenant building. von Briesen’s new Fox Valley headquarters in Neenah conslidates office locations previously located in Oshkosh and Appleton. The new office will house 12 attorneys and 9 staff, with room for expansion, and has a state-of-the-art meeting space for 40 attendees along with four conference rooms and several hotel offices. Susan Lovern, President and…
The COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin and the nation is not only creating havoc for educational start-up plans, but also potentially for school district financial plans. Given the uncertainty of state and local revenue collections, school district revenues may drop significantly, or otherwise be delayed, this fall. School district cash flow requirements depend on sum certain funds from property tax collections, state aid, and other sources of local revenues. The possibility of delay or reductions in these revenues may create unexpected cash deficits in the first three to six months of the fiscal year. Accordingly, many districts are likely already planning…
Continuing a trend of adopting a more common sense approach to balancing the rights of employees to engage in protected concerted activity accorded under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) with the right of an employer to maintain order in the workplace, in General Motors, LLC, 369 NLRB No. 127 (July 21, 2020), the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) overruled a series of earlier decisions which the Board concluded had tipped the scale too far in the direction of protecting abusive behaviors on the work floor, in social media, and on the picket line. In another recent decision, Nicholson Terminal…
On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued a Coronavirus relief executive order (“EO”) intending to help alleviate the hardships experienced by American workers as a result of the pandemic. The EO focuses on four key areas of relief: (1) a deferral of payroll tax obligations for certain workers, (2) an extension of supplemental unemployment benefits, (3) an extension of relief for student loan borrowers, and (4) additional eviction relief to renters who are unable to pay rent due to economic hardship due to COVID-19. This Legal Update summarizes the EO as it relates to employment concerns. Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations…
In the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) in order to provide relief to American workers. The FFCRA generally requires employers to offer two (2) weeks of paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave to employees who are unable to work or telework because of specific qualifying reasons related to the pandemic. The leave provisions of the FFCRA are set to expire on December 31, 2020. Shortly after the FFCRA was passed, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) promulgated its Final Rule interpreting and implementing the FFCRA. In…
On July 30, 2020, Governor Tony Evers issued Emergency Order #1 (the “Order”) requiring every individual in Wisconsin, aged 5 and older, to wear “Face Coverings” except in limited circumstances. This mandate, effective August 1, 2020, and continuing through September 30, 2020, requires Face Coverings be worn in Wisconsin when an individual is both: Indoors or in an Enclosed Space (excluding private residences), and Another person or persons is present (who are not members of individual’s household or living unit) in the same room or Enclosed Space. The Order applies to public and private places of employment. There are a…
Last week, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued updated Family and Medical Leave forms and notices for employers to use in administering federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) obligations. The documents are not mandatory; instead they are suggested forms for employers to use in their FMLA compliance process. At the outset, it should be noted that these new forms and related DOL guidance do not reflect employers’ State law responsibilities. Because of the need for employers to coordinate the leave eligibility and availability differences between the Wisconsin and Federal FMLA laws, we recommend that forms used by Wisconsin employers…
MILWAUKEE, WI – von Briesen & Roper, s.c., today announced that Todd W. Gray has joined the firm as a Senior Consultant. Gray had a distinguished career with several Wisconsin school districts, and most recently was the Superintendent of the Waukesha School District. As a Senior Consultant, Gray will assist school districts on policy, board relations, finance, tax and business issues. He will also provide business and individual clients with financial and tax advisory services. Gray holds several professional licenses in the State of Wisconsin including Superintendent, Principal, Business Manager, Business Education and Registered School Business Administrator. Gray is a…
Elliot Brey and Estate of Ryan B. Johnson v. State Farm Mut. Aut. Ins. Co., et al., 2019 WL 6449010 (Ct. App., June 25, 2020) Elliot arose from a single-vehicle accident resulting in the death of Ryan Johnson, a passenger. Johnson’s son, Plaintiff-appellant, Elliot Brey (“Brey”), a minor, brought an action in Monroe County Circuit Court seeking recovery from the vehicle driver/owner and his insurer for negligence. Brey also named State Farm in the action seeking to recover, under the State Farm policy’s UIM provision, damages Brey sustained as a result of Johnson’s wrongful death, pursuant to Wis. Stat. §…
MILWAUKEE, WI – von Briesen & Roper, s.c., today announced the promotion of Attorney Jacob M. Bibis and Attorney Devin S. Hayes to Shareholders of the firm. Bibis is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Risk Management Practice Group. He focuses his practice on toxic tort, insurance coverage and general litigation matters. Bibis is recognized as a Rising StarSM by Wisconsin Super Lawyers®. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bar Association and the Waukesha County Bar Association. Bibis received a J.D. from Marquette University and a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin. He…
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every facet of our society. Collectively, we have had to modify the ways in which we work, shop, dine, travel, and socialize in order to slow the spread of the virus. Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation program is not immune to the coronavirus’ influence, and it is important for employers and insurance carriers to stay current with the evolving legal landscape. This Legal Update provides a brief overview of some of these changes and discusses the unique challenges Wisconsin employers and worker’s compensation carriers are facing during the pandemic. Compensability of COVID-19 With the gradual reopening…