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05/25/07

Post & Schell's 'Green Hospital' initiative to serve healthcare community


Post & Schell, P.C. , has created a new inter-disciplinary national practice team - the Hospital Environmental Group - comprising environmental, construction, and energy lawyers. The team will support the healthcare community and its rapidly expanding "green hospital" initiative. The law firm's attorneys have vast experience from working together on a wide range of complex environmental matters for its diverse healthcare clients. Hence, the Hospital Environmental Group is a "natural fit" for the law firm which wants to concentrate directly on the "green hospital initiative that is being embraced by hospitals and health systems around the country."

The new unit will be led by Terry Bossert, prominent environmental lawyer in Pennsylvania and a former general counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Beside him the team will have Gary Wilson, senior construction law partner and Mike Hassell, one of five energy law partners in the law firm.

Bossert will work from the firm's Harrisburg office. He said the team is equipped to meet the often "complicated, delicate, and potentially costly" healthcare issues confronting the patients and the service community. Most hospitals and health systems are now stepping up energy conservation, environment protection, and maintaining eco-friendly amenities.

The group will provide strategic planning for environmental protection, design, and implementation. It will also implement energy alternatives and efficiencies, and traditional regulatory issues like pharma waste management, red bag waste, recycling, etc.

Established in 1968, Philadelphia-based Post & Schell has nearly 160 lawyers in its seven offices around the country serving a diverse clientele with a full range of litigation, transactional, regulatory, compliance, consulting, and educational services.

Sidley Austin pays up, off fed prosecution
The federal prosecutors will not press criminal charges against law firm Sidley Austin, LLP, in connection with a probe of fraudulent tax shelters allegedly supported by one of its former tax partners, Raymond J. Ruble. Sidley Austin also agreed to pay a civil tax shelter registration penalty of $39.4 million to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This move by the law firm resolves its tax shelter issues raised by the federal government.

Sidley apologized to the government "and expressed its regret." It has resolved to fortify its screening and vigilance to prevent recurrence of such incident in the future. The government said the opinion letters for mass-marketed tax shelters were written prior to Sidley's merger. The merger agreement also held that Ruble will no longer write such letters. However, Ruble continued to do so after the merger "largely by deception."

Raymond J. Ruble who is under criminal prosecution individually, along with 17 others, "sufficiently vindicates the interests of law enforcement and the public," stated the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan.

Incidentally, Sidley expelled Ruble in 2003 for his involvement in tax shelter transactions in 1996 while a partner at Brown & Wood, which merged in 2001 with Sidley & Austin. Both the firms, before merging, had "specifically agreed that Ruble would terminate his individual tax shelter practice." Ruble by-passed and avoided the restrictions imposed by the firms' terms of agreement. He, on the sly, continued this practice into 2003 till the firm detected his fraud and expelled him. The firm found out that Ruble had deceived his partners and amassed millions of dollars in side payments from a tax shelter promoter. He was impeached in August 2005.

Prominent full service law firm, Sidley Austin has more than 1,700 lawyers practicing in its 16 U.S. and international offices.

BIZARRE NEWS

War on underwear: Locate yours if you can

Colorado Police are busy these days. They have a very important task at hand. They are trying to ascertain how many women lost their bras and panties, and also individually how many apparel went missing between September 2006 and May 2007? Mission impossible? Not really. Ask Colorado women, who are flabbergasted at these officers marching up to them and asking: Are these your panties? Poor cops! First a thief runs away with 1,300 of these women's 'itsy-bitsy teeny-weenies' worth $6000 from laundry rooms near Colorado State University. Bad. And the worst? The cops are now running after the owners trying to establish a missing link! What a job! They have thus asked the women to view 1,300 photographs and identify theirs. Hold it! The women will, however, not get it back till the case is on. The nifty crook is Chih Hsien Wu, whose handicraft is the resultant misery for these policemen. Apparently, Wu didn't mind the brand since his booty consisted of a broad array - from sports bras to panty hose of all make! Wu was arrested on suspicion of felony theft. His bail was set at $15,000. Now if Wu pays up, and soon, the ladies will get re-united with their apparel. If not, your guess is as good as mine!

Post & Schell, PC

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