A Farewell to outsourcing in Mexico.December 30, 2020
The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López-Obrador, submitted a Bill on November 12th, 2020 before the House of Representatives of the Mexican Congress, in order to amend the Federal Labor Law, Social Security Law, Worker Housing Law (INFONAVIT), Federal Tax Code, Income Tax Law and the Value Added Tax Law. The main purpose of this initiative is to eliminate the abuse of subcontracting. The Bill argues that “outsourcing” or “insourcing” are detrimental to worker’s rights and facilitate tax evasion through simulation practices reporting lower wages.
If enacted, the Bill initiative amendment would become effective the next day following its publication in the Mexican Federal Gazette. Tax amendments could become effective as early as January 1st, 2021.
Mexico Federal Labor Act
The initiative from Mexico’s Executive branch, prohibits the subcontracting of personnel, whether under the “outsourcing” or “insourcing” modality if labor is provided for the benefit of another party.
The proposed amendments differentiate between the figure of the intermediary and the real beneficiary of the services. The proposal defines intermediaries as “the individuals or entities that intervene in the hiring of personnel to provide services to an employer. These intermediation services can include recruitment, selection and training, among others. In no case will the intermediary be considered the employer, since this character belongs to those who benefit from the services.”
Thus, the actual or material beneficiary of labor will be solely and directly responsible for payment of social security fees.
There is a narrow exception in the form of certain specialized activities and services not to be deemed subcontracting of personnel. Hence only the “rendering of specialized services or the execution of specialized works, which are not part of the corporate purpose or the economic activity of the beneficiary thereof, shall not be considered subcontracting of personnel.” The definition is formulated in a negative sense. In other words, specific skill sets or know how that falls outside the scope of the regular conduct of business or corporate purpose of a company may fall within the safe harbor provisions. However, this safeguard is subject to prior authorization from the Department of Labor (the “Department”).
Any such clearance will be effective for a period of three years and conditional to compliance with Labor, Tax and Social Security Regulations.
A registry of authorized specialized services providers will be created. Only those individuals or entities registered therein will be allowed to legally render specialized intermediation services with their own personnel. This registry will be public and will be available online.
The proposed amendments foresee the imposition of hefty fines for any party providing unauthorized subcontracting services or receiving such services.
Severe limitations to employer substitution apply, such as tying in the transfer of assets from a company to another to achieve substitute employer status.
Mexico Social Security Law
The proposal lays down that any party that subcontracts workers with another party which fails to comply with compulsory social security requirements, shall be jointly and severally liable in relation to the workers used to execute those services.
In addition, reporting requirements are expanded. Any natural or legal person rendering specialized services or works, must provide the Mexican Social Security Institute (“IMSS”) quarterly reports of every agreement entered in connection thereof, as well as personnel data such as: name, national identification number (“CURP”), Social Security Affiliation Number, base salary and taxpayer identification number (“RFC”) of the beneficiary of the specialized services or works under such agreements. Failure to inform in timely manner shall trigger more fines.
The Bill eliminates the possibility for a company to hold multiple employer registrations based on the risk degree of work performed. This means that an employer would have to register all employees within a risk category associated with one type of activity that may not apply to employees engaged in work of another activity of lesser risk. This would invariably result in an increase in social security fees.
Mexico Worker Housing Act (INFONAVIT)
With respect to the proposed amendments to the INFONAVIT Law, these relate to: (i) increased joint and several liability in the event of employer substitution, and (ii) increased reporting requirements.
Mexico Federal Tax Code
The Bill proposes to criminalize certain conduct associated with the use of simulated schemes for the provision of specialized services, the execution of specialized works, or the carrying out of personnel subcontracting.
A conviction for the crime of tax fraud carries a penalty from five (5) to fifteen (15) years in prison. Furthermore, tax fraud could substantiate charges for organized crime. Bail would not be available to alleged offenders and companies could be subject to dissolution or winding down.
Other proposed amendments to the Federal Tax Code refer to subcontracting fees which will not be deemed an essential cost and thus cannot be deducted from the Income Tax Revenue nor can VAT be credited.
Income Tax Revenue and VAT can only be deducted as a result of the provision of specialized work if certain conditions are met and evidenced, such as (i) valid authorization issued by the Labor department, (ii) digital tax receipts (“CFDI”), (iii) statement of employees’ full income tax withholdings, (iv) declaration of VAT for services provided, (v) total of worker-employer contributions to IMSS and INFONAVIT.
The fines for failing to provide such information could range from $150,000 to $300,000 Mexican Pesos (about 7,500 to 15,000 USD.)
Mexico Income Tax Law
Deductions for income tax purposes in labor subcontracting are not authorized.
The deduction of payments for specialized services or the execution of specialized works shall only be allowed when the beneficiary of work can evidence certain clearances and permits regarding the persons rendering such specialized works. The obligation to withhold 6% of VAT for value of personnel services received during 2020, is repealed.
All companies doing business in Mexico with personnel hired under outsourcing schemes, must plan for the potential termination of service agreements through which personnel is made available to them.
Companies that rely on contracted specialized service providers must adjust to increased filing requirements in order to be able to continue having access to the work product of special skill workers.
The Amendment has been controversial and subject to criticism from several sectors. It has the potential of adversely impacting investors doing business in Mexico. Companies would have to terminate existing outsourcing contracts and directly employ all workers. The economic and legal impact would be significant.
However, please bear in mind that this Bill is being debated as part of the legislative process. It has not been enacted. The Bill may undergo further modifications to mitigate adverse effects. We will monitor events and keep our readers informed.
This report has been prepared in collaboration with our strategic alliance firm in Mexico City, IHMA Abogados y Consultores, S.C.
Ex-patriates and foreign workers. A Mexico case study.November 24, 2020
Ex-patriates and foreign workers. Employers should be cautious not to walk into a termination minefield. A Mexico case study.
One of the many challenging issues faced by companies doing business overseas is managing legal risk in employment matters. Assume that your TX based company does business in Mexico and decides to transfer a key executive from the US to Mexico. The transfer seems good business judgment until something goes wrong and the corporation decides to terminate that executive. The executive is paid from a US payroll. Said executive does forum shopping and threatens to sue your company in Mexico to maximize severance compensation, using the statutory protections afforded to employees in Mexico. You have not prepared for this scenario and the cost of severing the ex-patriate is skyrocketing. What could you have done to mitigate the risk and costs? It is not uncommon to see companies activate execution mode and take swift foreign transfer decisions. Business driven as this might be, it is essential to implement the transfer in accordance with the laws of the recipient country. When a person is sent to work from the US to Mexico, whether the person is an ex-patriate that actually moves to Mexico, or whether the executive is US based but travels back and forth from TX to Mexico, you will still be exposed to the risk of severance payments or Labor litigation in Mexico if you do not implement proper measures.
These are some important aspects that you need to take into consideration:
- Labor Laws in Mexico protect the employee. The burden of proof rests on the employer. An employment contract is presumed even if not in writing. To rebut that presumption, the employer must prove that there is no working relationship, that the employing company does not direct the work product of the employee and that it does not benefit from it.
- The transferor US entity as well as the transferee Mexican corporation can both be classified as employers. In addition to suing the Mexico transferee company, Mexican counsel for terminated employees often resort to the tactic of placing the foreign transferor entity as a co-defendant in a labor claim for the sole purpose of making it more cumbersome to defend.
- Local severance is generous and Mexican statutory protections control. Severance in Mexico comprises 3 months’ worth of salary, plus 20 days of salary for every year of seniority and proportional allotments of vacation, Christmas money, savings fund and compulsory profit-sharing plans.
- If the employee perceives US source income while employed in Mexico, you need a mirror or shadow payroll in local currency. The fact that an executive is not on a payroll, merely means that he will initially be deemed an independent contractor but can later be assimilated to employee status and have actionable rights under the Labor Regulations.
- Because there is a rebuttable presumption that the employer has hired the employee, the employer needs to discharge its burden of proof. Absent a settlement, termination can lead to litigation. A dispute may take upwards of two years and if employer fails to prevail, retroactive monthly salary payments (up to a year) could accumulate on top of the initial amount of severance compensation. The so-called “fallen” salaries are triggered by litigation precisely because the employee pleads that the labor relationship has not come to an end.
- When a settlement is possible, both parties must sign and ratify the contents of the settlement before a Mexican Labor Board. An employee working in Mexico does not waive his or her cause of action unless it is ratified before a Labor Board.
- In practice we have also seen cases where a US based company compensates key Mexican executives based in Mexico by making deposits into a US bank account. This is common where prior to any termination episode, the Mexican employee was transferred from Mexico or another country to the US and is later repatriated to Mexico. Aside from any tax or immigration law implications, a corporation will not be shielded from severance payments in Mexico by claiming that no salaries were actually paid in Mexico.
LKC in conjunction with its strategic alliance firm in Mexico can help you tailor proper protections before your company engages in ex-patriate practices or pays US compensation to executives working in another country.
US Department Of Labor Bulletin for EmployersMarch 26, 2020
On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the US Department of Labor issued a bulletin that provides a bit of grace for employers as they work to comply with the new sick leave and family medical-leave laws that went into effect last week. In sum, the Department will not bring an enforcement action against an employer for violations of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act if the employer acts reasonably and in good faith to comply. The attached bulletin provides the criteria the Department will consider in determining whether the employer acted reasonably and with good faith. The non-enforcement period expires on April 17, 2020, so employers have a limited window to get into compliance. If you have questions about the Act or how recent events may impact your business, please call James in the Houston metro area at 832.764.7202 or Patrick in the San Antonio area at 210.504.4401.
COVID-19 – Practical Business TipsMarch 23, 2020
This summary provides an overview of some novel business issues our clients are experiencing amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The following information is for illustration purposes and not legal advice. If you need more specific guidance on one of the issues discussed in this presentation, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Corona Virus – Interim Guidance for Businesses and EmployersMarch 19, 2020
Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Find more information here. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available. Read More Here.
Anadarko Change of Control Separation Benefits RepresentationNovember 5, 2019
The Anadarko Change of Control has left many of its legacy employees questioning next steps. Many of these employees have found the transition to Occidental to be bumpy—having had their positions reduced and their duties transferred away. Many of these employees want to know their options and determine their eligibility for Change of Control Separation Benefits so that they can terminate employment and move forward. Alison Wills can assist with this transition. Alison is familiar with this Change of Control and how it impacts legacy Anadarko employees. If you need a thorough review of Change of Control documents, an analysis of your eligibility for Good Reason termination and entitlement to Separation Benefits, and representation in releasing claims, please contact Alison at email@example.com or by telephone at (832) 764-7203.
Advantages and Disadvantages to CMBS Loans: Best Tips for Negotiating a CMBS Loan.September 25, 2019
While a bank loan and a commercial mortgage backed security (CMBS) loan are similar in many ways, they are not created equal and come with some disadvantage to the Borrower. Traditionally, the CMBS loans have enticed commercial real estate borrowers by offering lower interest rates (not always the case), higher loan-to-value (LTV) ratios, and a seemingly endless availability of capital. If you are contemplating a CMBS loan, you should be aware of the disadvantages and some ways that you can mitigate those disadvantages. Read More
Recent Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) VictorySeptember 19, 2019
Leger Ketchum & Cohoon’s litigation group successfully prosecuted a Federal Torts Claims Act (“FTCA”) case against the United States of America. Attorneys J. Patrick Cohoon and Alison R. Wills represented F.E.I. Company in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania before the Honorable Yvette Kane. F.E.I. owned and operated a cold storage warehouse and stored amenable meat and poultry products for its customers’ supply chain needs. The United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), as part of its regulatory powers, detained products in F.E.I.’s warehouse. Leger Ketchum & Cohoon established that the USDA was negligent in failing to remove the detention order in a timely manner and in violation of the USDA’s own policies and regulations. As a result of this unlawful extended detention period, F.E.I suffered harm, for which it was compensated. FTCA claims are complicated legal matters that require careful exhaustion of administrative remedies and litigation in federal courts. Contact Leger Ketchum & Cohoon to discuss your litigation needs and strategies.
Recent Appellate VictorySeptember 19, 2019
Patrick Cohoon with Leger Ketchum & Cohoon recently secured a Firm client’s trial court victory in an appeal made to Texas’ Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas. In the underlying suit, the client’s principal was personally targeted for liability under commercial leases. Mr. Cohoon obtained dismissal of the suit in Travis County’s 201st District Court based on special appearance. Plaintiff appealed based on an undisclosed-principal theory. After briefing and oral arguments, the court agreed with the Firm’s client and upheld the trial court’s dismissal with prejudice.
Self-Storage Market Saturation?August 16, 2019
There has been a lot of buzz about the self-storage market in the U.S., but you have to ask yourself when will the market be saturated? Only 8% of the U.S. population use self-storage and that is expected to conservatively grow to 9%. I have watched 3 new properties be built close to my home and it was amazing to see them go up so quickly and I often wonder how quickly they fill up. Whenever I see a particular asset-type saturate with a new product, I always advise my clients to look at the secondary market because that is usually where the value-add play will be the most profitable. My prediction would be that the older self-storage units run by families and private owners will be anxious to sell as they lose business to the newer, shinier units. You know the ones I mean, they are usually run down, out-dated security, lacking climate-controlled units and not the prettiest properties on the market. This creates an opportunity for the savvy investor who knows how to turn an old product into something better. It is basic real estate economics. It is a less expensive entry into a product, as opposed to new development, and if you know how, you can turn that product into something competitive to the new product at a better entry price. Most of the Mom and Pop operators will sell to an investor seller-financed with a small portion upfront in cash. This gives the investor a lot more room to add value. For those of you who are used to the multi-family market, you will know that some of the most profitable operators are those that are buying C or D properties and turning them into B or C properties. These operators know that right-sizing the expenses creates wealth. C or D self-storage units have the same economics, but they are infinitely easier to turn around. Some clean-up, fresh paint, new signs, new security, and better operations and you have yourself a wealth creator. I think this will continue to be an asset class to keep your eye on in the future, especially the secondary market. I know I am watching it closely. Tell me what your favorite asset class is. – By Pete Larsen
Texas Rising Stars 2019: Alison R. WillsApril 17, 2019
We are pleased to announce that Alison R. Wills has been selected as a 2019 Texas Rising Star. Membership to this list is reserved for those who are under 40 years of age or have been practicing for 10 years or less, and who exhibit excellence in their work. Only 2.5% of attorneys in Texas receive this distinction. Alison and Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC are excited to continue providing our clients top-notch legal representation for all of their labor and employment needs. Please contact attorney Alison Wills at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free, confidential case evaluation.
3M Combat Earplugs Caused Hearing InjuriesApril 9, 2019
MDL Panel Sends Military Service Members’ Lawsuits Faulting 3M Earplugs to Northern District of FloridaApril 5, 2019
America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys®March 27, 2019
Announcing the selection of BRADLEY L. LEGER among America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys® for 2019. Read more
DOL to Increase Salary Threshold for Overtime EligibilityMarch 8, 2019
The Department of Labor (“DOL”) just issued its long-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding overtime pay. The new rule proposes an increase to the existing salary threshold for employees to be eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Read more
3M Combat Earplugs Caused Hearing InjuriesFebruary 1, 2019
If you, or someone you know, was in active military service from 2003-2015 and suffered hearing loss of any amount and/or tinnitus, contact LKC trial attorney Bradley Leger immediately. We are working on these cases now. 3M knowingly sold defective earplugs to the military and veterans have suffered as a result. Our firm feels strongly about military veterans and their rights. You can contact LKC trial attorney Bradley Leger directly at email@example.com or 832-761-7201. Read more
Boerne Attorney Mr. J. Patrick Cohoon Honored by Texas Bar FoundationOctober 18, 2018
Mr. J. Patrick Cohoon with Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. Fellows of the Foundation are selected for their outstanding professional achievements and their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the justice system throughout the state of Texas. Read more
Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Filed Against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc.May 3, 2018
Attorney Bradley L. Leger, partner at the law firm of Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC, has filed a product liability lawsuit on behalf of his client, the Plaintiff, alleging that a number of severe and debilitating complications were caused by a defective hernia mesh, the Ethicon Prolene Mesh. Read more
Product Defect Attorney Bradley Leger Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against GMMarch 7, 2018
Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC trial attorney Bradley Leger filed a product liability wrongful death lawsuit against GM on behalf of a Texas family who lost their 66 year old mother when she was killed in a June 24, 2017 rollover crash. Read more
DEFINITION OF ‘WHISTLEBLOWER’ HEADED TO HIGHEST COURTAugust 24, 2017
Federal whistleblower laws, which extend to private sector employees, could be heading for a huge overhaul during the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court term.“Whistleblowers” and the anti-retaliation protections afforded them are hot topics in our political landscape, and Texas is no exception. Read more
Texas Modification of New Hire Reporting RegulationsJune 30, 2017
Pursuant to state and federal laws, new hires and re-hires have long since been reported to the Employer New Hire Reporting Operations Center in the Texas Office of the Attorney General. Previously, “employees” were defined by whether federal income taxes were withheld from their wages. As a result, employers had not been required to report the hiring (or re-hiring) of individuals properly classified as “independent contractors” under these mandates. Read more
Changes to VA Employees’ Due Process Rights and Appeals ProceduresJune 26, 2017
On June 23, 2017, President Trump signed the "Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017". A full text can be found electronically at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1094/text. This legislation received broad bipartisan support in Congress, passing the House by a 368-55 margin and receiving a unanimous vote in the Senate. Politicians, concerned citizens, and veterans' groups have lauded its passing, believing that such a measure is necessary to enact changes to the VA's employee infrastructure and turn around the much-maligned agency. Read more
Modification Of New Hire Reporting RegulationsJune 15, 2017
Pursuant to state and federal laws, new hires and re-hires have long since been reported to the Employer New Hire Reporting Operations Center in the Texas Office of the Attorney General. Previously, “employees” were defined by whether federal income taxes were withheld from their wages. As a result, employers had not been required to report the hiring (or re-hiring) of individuals properly classified as “independent contractors” under these mandates. However, effective May 1, 2017, the Office of the Attorney General implemented new reporting rules that could impact many Texas employers. The definition of “employee”, for the purposes of this report, has significantly changed. As it pertains to new hire reporting, the definition of “employee” has been broadened to include those individuals hired as independent contractors. Accordingly, Texas employers must submit new hire reports on both traditional employees and independent contractors within 20 calendar days of their hiring. Read more
Understanding the 2015 Clean Water Rule Controversy in a NutshellJune 12, 2017
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (“Clean Water Act”) was passed in 1972. It was estimated that, at the time of its passage, over 60% of the nation’s waters had become unsafe for fishing or swimming. The stated goal of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) was to reduce pollution and restore the biological, chemical and physical integrity of our nation’s waters. The law sought to achieve a zero discharge of pollutants into “navigable waters” by 1985 and fishable and swimmable waters by 1983. A noble goal indeed, and, while great strides have been made towards restoring our nation’s waters, we have not achieved the goals of the CWA. This short article is focused on the controversy surrounding the definition of “waters of the United States” in an attempt to explain the issue in an abbreviated, nontechnical manner. Read more
Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Filed Over Bard Perfix Plug, Ethicon Prolene MeshMay 25, 2017
Attorney Bradley L. Leger partner of the law firm of Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC, has filed a product liability lawsuit on behalf of his client, the Plaintiff, alleging that a number of severe and debilitating complications were caused by two different types of defective hernia mesh, including the Bard Perfix Plug and Ethicon Prolene Mesh. The complaint, which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, names C.R. Bard, Bard Davol, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, and its Ethicon subsidiary as Defendants. The Plaintiff first received a Bard Perfix hernia plug in March 2015. However, days after the surgery, he developed problems like groin pain, a spreading rash and tests revealed that the hernia mesh had folded on itself and ultimately the hernia ruptured, resulting in the need for a second repair surgery. The Plaintiff then had to undergo another hernia surgery involving the use of Ethicon Prolene mesh. But the severe pain and complications continued following this procedure. Ultimately, it was determined that the mesh was reacting horribly within his body, resulting in yet another revision surgery. Read more
Environmental Due Diligence: Retaining Environmental ConsultantsApril 27, 2017
Today everyone recognizes that the owner or operator of a property/facility can, under appropriate circumstances, be held liable for the historical environmental conditions existing on that property. When acquiring real property, an ownership interest or leasehold interest in real property, or even a general business interest, the most effective way to manage the risk of environmental liability is to understand the property’s pre-existing environmental conditions prior to the intended acquisition. The only way to obtain the necessary level of understanding is through the environmental due diligence process. Keep in mind that managing environmental risk is more than simply identifying environmental conditions. Read more
Texas Auto Defects Attorney Bradley Leger Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against DodgeMarch 28, 2017
Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC trial attorney Bradley Leger filed a product liability, wrongful death lawsuit against Dodge on behalf of a Texas woman stemming from a December 25, 2015 rollover crash that claimed the life of her 56 year old husband. According to the lawsuit, at around 10 a.m. on Christmas day, while traveling eastbound on I-20, the man was involved in an accident that caused his 2007 Dodge Ram pickup to roll over several times. At the time of the accident, the man was properly seated and properly wearing the available 3-point seat belt. However, despite properly wearing his seatbelt, the man sustained fatal injuries when the vehicle failed to protect him due to a myriad of defects, including a defective and insufficient restraint system. The lawsuit further alleges that the Dodge truck was recalled for at least two steering defects and not equipped with side-curtain/rollover airbags. According to Mr. Leger, “the seatbelt failed, which along with the lack of proper airbags, caused the man to sustain fatal injuries. Notably, another vehicle involved in the crash contained two occupants and also rolled over, but both of those individuals survived. This is a tragic case of well-known defects and a lack of proper safety equipment causing a preventable death.” Bradley Leger is a nationwide personal injury attorney that primarily focuses on auto defects, product liability, truck accidents, airbag and seatbelt failures, rollovers, catastrophic injuries, RV/Boat and house fires, nursing home neglect, and medical malpractice. To learn more about LKC and Bradley Leger, please visit www.lkclawfirm.com.
LKC welcomes David Owens to the firm!March 23, 2017
LKC is proud to announce that attorney David J. Owens has joined our firm. Born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, David graduated from West Virginia University with an undergraduate degree in biology and a graduate degree in quantitative ecology and statistical computer modeling. David is a graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Before joining LKC, David was the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. He was also environmental counsel at several large law firms in Texas and Virginia, and in-house counsel for Exxon Corporation. Prior to practicing law, David was an environmental consultant for several large, national engineering firms and a manager of environmental control systems for Untied States Steel Corporation. David has nearly 30 years of experience practicing environmental law including litigation, permitting, compliance counseling, agency enforcement actions, and state and federal investigations. Some of his most notable matters included the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Litigation, Tronox Incorporated, et al. v. Kerr-McGee Corp., et al., In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010; and State of Montana v. State of Wyoming, et al. (Yellowstone Water Compact litigation before the United States Supreme Court – Original Jurisdiction). David will continue to focus his practice on environmental law, including environmental and toxic tort litigation, environmental remediation and restoration matters under RCRA and CERCLA, and private party actions for surface and groundwater damage. Click here to view David's profile
Landlords of Residential Properties Must Follow Strict Notice RulesMarch 6, 2017
In 2016, the Texas legislature changed the rules for Landlords when posting a notice to vacate prior to filing an eviction suit against a residential tenant. Landlords posting a notice to vacate on the OUTSIDE of a Tenant’s door under the alternative notice provisions of new Texas Property Code Section 24.005(f-1) must meet specific format requirements. Read more
Judge approves $36 million settlement for refrigerators that combust.February 2, 2017
UPDATE: Judge approves $36 million settlement for refrigerators that combust. LKC is taking additional DEFECTIVE REFRIGERATOR cases against NORCOLD. Please contact attorney Bradley L. Leger at 832-764-7201 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE consultation. Read more
LKC Law Firm Partners with Boerne Kendall County Economic Development CorporationJanuary 26, 2017
As a strong supporter of the communities we serve, the Firm recently joined the Boerne-Kendall County Economic Development Corporation. The BKCEDC is a Public/Private Partnership sponsored by Kendall County, City of Boerne, Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce, and a dedicated group of over 80 private business investors who, like Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC are committed to promoting desirable economic development that will support a thriving, diverse and sustainable quality of life in Kendall County.
Did REFRIGERATOR cause deadly Oakland fire? Investigators focus on new lead as video emerges from inside illegal artist enclave just before blaze erupted.December 7, 2016
The deadly Oakland warehouse inferno that took the lives of 36 people during a party Friday night may have been caused by a refrigerator. Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern told reporters on Tuesday that investigators with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have identified a refrigerator as possibly being where the fire sparked. A video taken inside the enclave just hours before the tragedy, shows a few partygoers dancing and laughing among each other in a darkened room. The dark and grainy video appeared to back up stories from survivors who have previously told how they had to fight for a way out of the burning warehouse down a narrow staircase. One of the people who escaped told authorities there were flames coming from the refrigerator. Click here to read the full article.
New FLSA Overtime Rule Stalled, For Now.November 30, 2016
On November 22, 2016, Hon. Amos Mazzant issued an order enjoining implementation of the new FLSA rule changes set to begin on December 1, 2016. Those changes, among other things, more than double the minimum salary certain employees must be paid to be considered exempt from paying overtime. Judge Mazzant’s ruling is likely to be appealed. But it could be months or years before we know whether the Department of Labor’s interpretation of the FLSA is constitutional. For now, though, the new rule’s requirements are on hold. Please call Patrick Cohoon (San Antonio area) or Derek Flynn (Houston area) if you have questions about this important decision and how it may affect your business. A copy of Judge Mazzant’s opinion may be found by clicking here.
GM To Pay $900M In Criminal Settlement Over Ignition SwitchesAugust 17, 2016
General Motors Co (GM.N) agreed to pay $900 million and admit to misleading the government andthe public about the safety of its vehicles toend a U.S. criminal investigation into its handling ofdefective ignition switches linked to 124 deaths. The settlement and charges, which were detailed in papers filed on Thursday in Manhattan federalcourt, have transformed the relationshipbetween the automaker and the U.S. government, whichhad bailed out GM during the financial crisis. GM admitted to failing to disclose to its U.S. regulator and the public a potentially lethal safetydefect with the switches that kept airbags fromdeploying in some vehicles. The largest U.S. automaker also admitted to misleading consumers about the safety of vehiclesaffected by the defect. GM was criminally charged with scheming to conceal a deadly safety defect from its U.S. regulator,as well as wire fraud.
Volkswagen Says 11 Million Cars Worldwide Are Affected In Diesel DeceptionAugust 17, 2016
A scandal that has battered Volkswagen’s image in the United States spread to the automaker’s core market in Europe on Tuesday, when thecompany said that 11 million of its diesel cars wereequipped with software that could be used to cheat on emissions tests. That was more than20 times the number of cars previously disclosed. The company also said it would set aside 6.5 billion euros, or about $7.3 billion—the equivalent ofhalf a year’s profits—to cover the cost ofmaking the cars comply with pollution standards. In the United States, pressure was ramped up on Volkswagen, with attorneys general for New York and other states saying that they wereforming a group to investigate the deceit, and Senator BillNelson, a Florida Democrat, asking the Federal Trade Commission to begin an inquiryand look into remedies for owners.