Business and Corporate Litigation Committee Newsletter - Summer 2019

 

Message from the Chair

Featured Articles

Pennsylvania Takes Over Online Health Insurance Exchange

Pennsylvania established its own online health insurance exchange (the “New Exchange”) under Act 42 of 2019 (the Act”) to deliver premium savings to Pennsylvanians who seek health insurance from the exchange previously operated by the federal government (the “Federal Exchange”). That Federal Exchange has served about 400,000 Pennsylvanians who purchase policies compliant the Affordable Health Care Act (“AHCA”) through Healthcare.gov. The Governor’s Office estimates that the federal government took 3.5 % of the premiums paid in the Commonwealth, totaling $94 million in 2019, to operate the Federal Exchange but that the Commonwealth can operate the New Exchange for $30 million to $35 million with reimbursement liability between 20% and 25%. Pennsylvanians who purchase coverage through Healthcare.gov under the New Exchange could benefit from a 5% to 10% reduction in premiums according to the Governor’s Office.

What Matters More: Preserving a Fundamental Right to Privacy or Tampering with Another's Through Searches Because of "Reasonable Suspicion?"

The Fourth Amendment is included in the United States Bill of Rights to guarantee an individual’s right to privacy. Fourth Amendment protections consequently require law enforcement officers to secure a search warrant, justified by probable cause, to conduct lawful searches and seizures. However, there are several exceptions to the warrant requirement. The border search exception is one of these exceptions, permitting officers to lawfully screen individuals at an international border without probable cause or a warrant, so long as the search is reasonable.

Impressions on Quality of Lawyering: A Student’s Perspective

I recently observed a jury trial in a District Judge's courtroom that taught me a great deal about different lawyering styles and about the many roles a judge has to play during court proceedings. The plaintiff’s attorney seemed overwhelmed and was at times ineffective, while defendants' counsel consisted of a two-lawyer team of very aggressive, almost rude attorneys. The two sides’ styles were in direct opposition, and each had apparent strengths and weaknesses. The Judge did an exemplary job of using her power to try to balance these lawyering styles somewhat, while being fair to both sides and trying to maintain integrity in the courtroom for the jury’s sake. When counsel on both sides kept getting bogged down in their tactics, it seemed like the judge’s job to remind them that a jury was sitting, and that the jury would ultimately decide the outcome of the case. Watching the reactions of the jury to these various strategies was eye-opening for me. Having never served on a jury or seen one operate, I assumed that like me, they would be engaged and excited to be there, with a critical eye toward the proceedings. However in reality, I saw that the jury was fairly tired after several days of trial, and that counsel on both sides failed to keep the jury in mind at critical points, leaving it to the judge to remind them of the jury and try to keep the proceedings on track. I hope not to repeat these lawyers’ mistakes if I ever argue a case before a jury.

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The Business Lawyer Invites Submissions

The Business Lawyer Editorial Board invites Business Law Section committee, subcommittee, and task force submissions as well as topical, scholarly submissions, including case law analyses and commentary on developing trends, that may be of interest to business lawyers generally and other members of the Business Law Section. An editorial decision is made on lead articles typically within two to four weeks after submission, with detailed substantive editing thereafter. We are looking for interesting, well-researched submissions on areas of topical interest. Lead time with full peer review and professional staff editing is approximately four to six months.

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