SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 18 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that an insurer has no duty to defend former directors of a now-defunct company because their business and management indemnity insurance policy's professional services exclusion bars coverage for claims that the insureds engaged in a payroll tax scheme (Darryn Begun, et al. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., No. 13-16211, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14495).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 4 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that there is no coverage for two underlying lawsuits alleging that an insured committed negligence and fraud with respect to its provision of professional services pertaining to tax documents (Financial Strategy Group PLC v. Continental Casualty Company, No. 14-6296, 6th Cir.).
ATLANTA - Handwriting and fingerprint experts for the U.S. government in a tax fraud and identity theft case against a Florida man were qualified, used scientifically reliable methodology and provided testimony that was helpful to the jury, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found July 2 in affirming the man's conviction (United States of America v. Lee Ervin Dale, No. 14-10733, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11433).
CINCINNATI - A Texas appeals panel on June 25 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an excess insurer has a duty to reimburse the defense costs that its insured incurred in an underlying lawsuit alleging that it failed to fully remit hotel taxes (Illinois Union Insurance Co. v. Sabre Holdings Corporation, et al., No. 02-14-00130-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 6567).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s structure suggests the availability of tax subsidies in the federal exchange, and Congress could not have intended the state insurance market "death spirals" likely to result from barring such subsidies, a divided U.S. Supreme Court held June 25 (David King, et al. v. Sylvia Mathew Burwell, et al., No. 14-114, U.S. Sup.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - The federal judge in New Jersey presiding over the litigation brought by a school district seeking damages related to a chemical spill caused by the derailment of a train crossing the bridge over Mantua Creek on June 8 partially dismissed some of the claims against the railroad company defendants. The judge ruled that the school district had shown that the defendants owed it a duty of care, but the judge also concluded that the defendants were not liable for negligence resulting in a reduction in the property taxes (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 24 declined to exclude the testimony of a patent validity expert but limited the testimony of a damages expert so that taxes are not deducted from an accused infringer's gross profit margin, finding that if there is infringement, it is more equitable for the patent holder to receive any windfall that may occur by not deducting the taxes paid (Chico's Fas, Inc. v. Andrea Clair, et al., No. 2:13-cv-792, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67394).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 9 denied a petition for review of a decision by the U.S. Tax Court that a distributor of imported cigarettes may not claim tax deductions for unpaid obligations under the national tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) (Vidal Suriel v. Commissioner of IRS, No. 14-11533, 11th Cir.).
AUSTIN, Texas - Two pieces of legislation that would provide tax credits to oil and gas operators conducting hydraulic fracturing were referred to the Texas House Committee on Ways and Means on March 23.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - An Indian tribe waived its objections to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s large employer mandate by not raising them during the rulemaking process, and its action runs afoul of the Anti-Injunction Act's (AIA) bar on tax challenges taxes, the government told a federal judge on March 19 (Northern Arapaho Tribe, et al. v. Sylvia Burwell, et al., No. 14-247, D. Wyo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30480).
DETROIT - The owner of two home health care companies on March 13 pleaded guilty in Michigan federal court for tax fraud as well as his involvement in a $12.6 million Medicare fraud scheme in which services were not provided to patients or obtained through illegal kickbacks (United States of America v. Mohammed Sadiq, et al., No. 12-cr-2027, E.D. Mich.).
CHICAGO - In granting a disability claimant's motion for entry of judgment, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on March 13 determined that the claimant's predisability earnings should be based on the claimant's regular earnings and not based on a tax year in which the claimant's salary was vastly different from other years (Carole Cheney v. Standard Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-4269, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30918).
EDINBURGH, Scotland - A United Kingdom energy firm on March 10 announced that it has filed a notice for international treaty arbitration in relation to a $1.6 billion Indian tax assessment.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 3 held that a retailers trade association lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Colorado tax law, which requires retailers to notify customers of uncollected sales tax on mail order and Internet purchases, is not barred by the Tax Injunction Act of 1937 (TIA) because the lawsuit does not "'restrain' the 'assessment, levy or collection' of Colorado's sales and use taxes" (Direct Marketing Association v. Barbara Brohl, No. 13-1032, U.S. Sup.; 2015 U.S. LEXIS 1738).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied a petition for writ of certiorari, leaving in place a California Supreme Court decision holding that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) does not preempt a California unfair competition law (UCL) lawsuit filed by the state alleging that a trucking company misclassifies drivers as independent contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes or provide workers' compensation (Pac Anchor Transportation, et al. v. People of the State of California, ex rel. Kamala D. Harris, etc., No. 14-491, U.S. Sup.).
DENVER - Papers used to roll cigars or cigarettes do not constitute "tobacco products" within the meaning of a state tobacco tax statute, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 12 (Creager Mercantile Co. Inc. v. Colorado Department of Revenue, et al., No. 13CA1580, Colo. App., Div. 2; 2015 Colo. App. LEXIS 190).