How Some Firms Get a Leg Up on Tech and Talent: The Morning Minute

  • May 4, 2023

TECH BY OSMOSIS – Product demos can only take you so far. Sometimes the best way to gain a deeper understanding of a topic like technology is to just hang out with folks who really get it. While tech industry belt-tightening has led Big Law to trim emerging companies and venture capital (ECVC) practices, midsize law firms have actually embraced those clients. And, as’s Isha Marathe reports, doing so can help firms in ways that go beyond just their bottom lines. Often, for instance, these practices push law firms to become early adopters of legal technology. For those that really develop connections with the ECVC communities, such practices also can provide them with more access to technology experts or lawyers with honed tech skills.

PRIVATE PRIVACY CLAIMS PROLIFERATE – On its way to Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk is the My Health My Data Act, the “first state-level health data bill of its kind,” aimed at protecting personal information related to health conditions or attempts to obtain health care services. It’s also the first state privacy law to contain a “private right of action” provision since 2008, which means that, for the tech industry, there will be litigation. Likely lots of it,’s Riley Brennan reports. “We have seen wave after wave of cases filed not just against the large tech companies, but against the companies that use their products,” said David Zetoony, the co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s data, privacy and cybersecurity practice. “Washington’s statute will certainly add more fuel to that fire and give plaintiffs attorneys another statute and legal theory to explore.”

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North Carolina Rate Bureau seeks 28.4% increase for car insurance

  • March 9, 2023

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Rate Bureau has filed a request with the state Department of Insurance to increase auto policies, according to state Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey

The bureau asked for a 28.4% statewide increase in private passenger auto insurance. If approved, it would become effective on Oct. 1.

“We want to make sure that the consumers are being afforded a fair rate,” said Barry Smith, deputy director of Communications/Safety Officer for the Department of Insurance. “It’s also important that the automobile insurers are able to make a living.”

The bureau represents car insurance companies in the state and is not a part of the state Department of Insurance. State law requires the bureau to submit auto rate filings with the department each year by Feb. 1.

According to the personal finance company Bankrate, the average annual full-coverage premium in Raleigh this year is $1,359. The 28.4% increase would raise it to $1,744.96, meaning a monthly payment would go from $113.25 to $145.41.

“Whatever rates do get approved, that will be the base rate,” Smith said. “That doesn’t mean everybody will pay what that ends up being,” Smith said.

Causey stated that he and members of the department’s staff will review the filing and determine whether the increase is justified.

The department said that if they do not agree with the requested increase, they can negotiate a settlement or call for a hearing.

“This is a request,” Smith said. “This is nowhere near being approved or anything like that. Our actuaries, our legal experts, our experts in property and casualty insurance are reviewing those figures and there are hundreds of pages.”

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Power of Attorney | This is Money

  • August 14, 2022


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South Dakota Senate convicts and removes state attorney general in impeachment trial after he killed pedestrian in 2020

  • July 5, 2022

The Senate needed approval from two-thirds of the Republican-controlled, 35-member chamber to convict and remove Ravnsborg. The vote was 24-9 in favor of conviction and removal on the first article, committing a crime that caused the death of a person. The vote was 31-2 on the second article, malfeasance in office.

The Senate also voted to disqualify him from “holding any office of trust or profit under the state” in the future.

In a daylong trial on Tuesday — the first impeachment trial in the state’s history — prosecutors sought to paint Ravnsborg as a distracted driver who lied to try and cover up his knowledge of striking Joe Boever on September 12, 2020. Ravnsborg called 911 after the incident that night and said he had “no idea” what smashed his front windshield, saying it could have been a deer.

A local sheriff soon arrived at the scene and neither of the two men reported seeing a human body. Ravnsborg returned the next morning with an aid and found human remains at the scene, then drove to the sheriff to report the body.

“Wherever his attention was, it was not on the road,” prosecuting attorney Mark Vargo said during the trial on Tuesday.

Prosecutors argued Tuesday that Ravnsborg would go on to tell several lies, including how often he was using his cell phone on the drive that night, how fast he was driving, where he was when he hit Boever (he initially said he was still in the driving lane but it was later determined he was in the shoulder), and whether he saw the body on the night of the incident.

“I don’t think I really need to cite chapter and verse to a bunch of people from South Dakota about integrity and honesty — and why

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State attorney general launches investigation into medical data tracking

  • July 5, 2022

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – State lawmakers are looking into possible privacy concerns with medical information.

Attorney General Josh Stein’s office, along with other state representatives, are conducting an investigation into a tracker using patients’ personal data. State Rep. Brian Farkas along with State Rep. Donnie Lambeth of Forsyth County wrote to the attorney general asking him to investigate when they became aware of the issue through a report called “The Markup.”

Farkas said the report showed that 22 of Newsweek’s top 100 hospitals use a tracker called Meta Pixel, which provides Facebook a packet of data when someone tries to schedule a doctor’s appointment through the online portal.

“It’s just, I think every North Carolinians deserves that access to privacy and care without having to worry about all of a sudden their advertising across their social media platforms is going to change and be a little too specific,” said Farkas.

Farkas said he hopes the investigation will lead to policy changes that will make sure there are clear lines when it comes to health care and privacy.

“We’ve got to, you know, make sure that no clear lines are drawn on what privacy means in North Carolina, and what patients should expect in this state. And frankly, I want us to be the leader in the nation as a state for personal protecting personal private information,” said Farkas.

ECU Health said they do not use the tracker, issuing the following statement:

“ECU Health is committed to protecting patient privacy and ensuring the integrity of sensitive health information. As part of this commitment, ECU Health does not use data tracking tools like Meta Pixel on any of out patient portals.”

The report named Novant Health, which runs 14 medical centers in cities like Winston-Salem and Charlotte, as using the

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