Client News
July 24, 2017

WVCB 5 |  Emily Riemer

For some Type 1 diabetes patients, an insulin pump is a lifeline. But when they hit 65, it can come as shock when they learn Medicare doesn't cover those pumps. 

Client News
March 20, 2017

Forbes | Daniel Fisher 

The Seattle City Council and Mayor Edward Murray really like unions, in particular the Teamsters. So much so, the city passed an ordinance in 2015 that requires Uber, Lyft and any other large ride-hailing service to enter negotiations with a union of the city’s choosing if a majority of their drivers vote to organize. Earlier this month, Seattle chose Teamsters Local 117 to represent the potential bargaining units.

It’s a unique law that Uber will try and block at a hearing in state court in Washington tomorrow afternoon, arguing the ordinance is arbitrary and capricious in how it was enacted and how it defines which drivers can vote. The ordinance limits the vote to drivers who have handled 52 rides in a three-month period in the year before Jan. 17, 2017, which Uber says disenfranchises thousands of drivers who use the service less frequently or who started driving after Jan. 17.

“Although drivers who …drive only a few hours a week (e.g., the occasional airport trip) will not have a right to vote, they will still be subject to the terms and obligations of any collective bargaining agreement,” Uber says in a court filing. Uber also objects to the city’s choice of the Teamsters, which represents drivers at traditional taxi companies that would benefit from having their competitors hobbled with labor rules.

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Client News
March 10, 2017

Fairfax Times | Gary Adler

We commend Delegate David Albo for taking action to stop practices like restricted paperless ticketing that harm consumers and the function of a fair and level secondary resale market for tickets. In an open market, if you purchase a ticket, you can do whatever you would like with it, including selling it for less or more than you paid, depending on what the market and demand will bear, without onerous strings attached. Actions to restrict the purchase, sale and transfer of tickets, punish consumers and lead to a market with less choice and higher prices.

Paperless ticketing is presented as a measure to reduce fraud, but fraud on resale exchanges is not a pervasive problem, and while paperless on its own is perfectly fine as a convenience, in practice there are usually restrictions that come with paperless designed to prevent you from reselling your tickets if you wish on your own terms and in some cases not at all. It’s just one example of how large, powerful players in the ticketing system overreach and this legislation will help to loosen their chokehold and protect consumers.

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Client News
October 20, 2016

The Hill | Lindsey Johnson

Eight years after taxpayers provided them with $187 billion, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the largest backers of mortgages, remain under government control. While these government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) are healthier today thanks to new safeguards that have improved the stability of the mortgage finance system, the goal is to put the GSEs on a stable footing for the long term.

Efforts to reduce government, and therefore taxpayers’, risk exposure by positioning more private capital in a so-called “first loss” position ahead of the GSEs are widely supported. Several approaches are being tested through an initiative called credit risk transfer (CRT). The vast majority of CRT today occurs after the loans have already been purchased by the GSEs where they hold the risk for some time before selling a portion of it “on the back end” to a third party—primarily asset managers and hedge funds. While it’s positive to see the GSEs seek to shift risk, how this transfer occurs is a question currently vexing policymakers. And, how it is done will have significant implications for the future of housing finance.

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Client News
October 6, 2016

USA Today | Nathan Borney 

A solid majority of Volkswagen diesel car owners affected by the German automaker’s emissions scandal appear ready to accept settlements.

Of approximately 475,000 U.S. owners of the 2-liter diesel cars fitted with bogus software to cheat emissions standards, 311,209 have registered for the settlement offer, according to a court filing Friday.

Only 3,298 Volkswagen owners opted out of the deal, thus preserving their right to sue the automaker or pursue some other avenue, according to a filing by attorneys representing the class-action group of consumers who sued Volkswagen Group over the scandal.

“There is resounding support for this consumer class settlement and the substantial benefits it provides," VW consumer class-action attorney Elizabeth Cabraser said in a statement.

Anyone who did not respond by the Sept. 16 deadline remains eligible for a buy back or a payout and a recall fix, but missed the deadline to opt out completely.

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