Halunen Law Partner Melissa Wolchansky was extensively quoted in the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper for her role in a recent court argument asserting that a multi-district class action against Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company should be allowed to proceed. Wolchansky, co-lead counsel in the case, argued to the Judge that the cigarette packaging, using language such as “organic,” “natural” and “additive free,” was meant to distract consumers from the dangers of tobacco.
Employment: Protecting Your Status
“Many people assume that because their employment is at-will, they have no recourse to take action against a wrongful termination,” says Clayton Halunen, founder and managing partner at Halunen Law. But certain statuses—including age, sex, religion, and sexual orientation—are protected under both state and federal law. If you question the legitimacy of your termination or your employer’s conduct, here are some guidelines to follow.
With all of the news surrounding the fate of the Affordable Care Act lately, you may have missed that the government intervened in two lawsuits alleging fraud against the country’s largest health insurance company, Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group. Since the beginning of this year, the Department of Justice joined two separate False Claims Act cases against UnitedHealth. Both qui tam lawsuits (the Latin phrase commonly used for False Claims Act cases brought by a whistleblower) allege that UnitedHealth fraudulently inflated its Medicare Advantage risk adjustment scores.
So, what is the Medicare Advantage program? What are risk adjustment scores? And how can a major health insurance company, like UnitedHealth, defraud the government? The answers to each of these questions can be found in this post.
May 24, 2017
Contact: Jessica Thomas 612-278-6318
Subject: Clayton D. Halunen Recertified as Labor and Employment Law Specialist
The Minnesota State Bar Association announces the recertification of Clayton D. Halunen, Halunen Law, as a MSBA Board Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist. This Certification program is administered by the MSBA and approved by the State Board of Legal Certification.
The certified specialist designation is earned by leading attorneys who have completed a rigorous approval process, including an examination in the specialty area, peer review, and documented experience. Certified attorneys have demonstrated superior knowledge, skill and integrity in their specific field and can use the designation of specialist to advertise their credentials. The MSBA has been accredited as an independent professional organization for certifying attorneys as Criminal Law Specialists, Real Property Law Specialists, Civil Trial Law Specialists and Labor and Employment Law Specialists. This achievement has been earned by fewer than 3% of all licensed Minnesota attorneys. More information about Certified Legal Specialists is at http://www.mnbar.org/members/certification.
Halunen Law attorneys Benjamin Kwan and Amy Boyle participated in the Federal Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (FBA YLD) inaugural “Emerging Professionals Conference” on April 6. The event served as the kick-off to the FBA YLD’s Minnesota mentorship pilot program.
Benjamin Kwan was part of a panel discussion focused on how to create success in the first years of practice, including strategies for time management, and whether work-life balance actually exists. The panel also included FBA President Elect Kip Bolin, FBA Younger Lawyers Division Chair Glen McMurray, Sybil Dunlop, and Lauren D’Cruz. Amy Boyle is a member of the FBA YLD Board and served on the steering committee for the event.
President Abraham Lincoln enacted the False Claims Act during the Civil War when bullets were filled with sawdust instead of gunpowder, the government received sand instead of sugar, and horses arrived decrepit or blind. Regrettably, fraud against the Government is still a pervasive problem and extends widely across industries. Employees, including managers and executives, are often in a position to identify situations where an entity is defrauding the Government. Understanding the ins and outs of the False Claims Act and its qui tam and retaliation provisions may provide those who observe fraud against the government a way to stop the conduct.
MINNEAPOLIS – (April 3, 2017) Halunen Law has named Melissa Wolchansky as an equity partner in the Minneapolis-based employment, whistleblower and class action law firm. Wolchansky chairs the firm’s complex litigation and class action law practice.
“Melissa has been instrumental in elevating our class action law practice to national prominence,” says Clayton Halunen, founder and managing partner of Halunen Law. “She’s passionate about defending the rights of individuals and consumers in their pursuit of justice against corporate wrong-doers.”
The firm’s willingness to vest her as an equity partner “speaks volumes” about its commitment to equity in the workplace, says Wolchansky. “It’s still not easy for women, especially young women, to break the glass ceiling in much of the legal industry. No such barriers exist at Halunen Law. The sky is really the limit.”
Halunen Law Partner, and Chair of the consumer class action practice group, Melissa Wolchansky was invited to speak at the 2nd International Conference on Dispute Resolution of Consumer Mass Disputes held at the University of Haifa in Tel Aviv, Israel on March 17-18. Ms. Wolchansky was one of 25 international attorneys and law professors invited to speak at the conference. Ms. Wolchansky shared her expertise on a panel discussing United States Class Action Case Management and Class Member Communication. The panel addressed avenues for communicating with and managing class members throughout the life cycle of a class action. Additionally, the panel discussed communication methodologies including the dissemination of class action and fund distribution notices, as well as the interplay between the settlement administrator and class counsel.
It’s no secret; Halunen Law has an exceptional team of attorneys helping consumers, whistleblowers, and employees Take A Stand for justice and fairness. Thanks to the Super Lawyers 2016 list of “Top Women Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” published in the recent issue of Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, even more people now know about our extraordinary team. We’re pleased to announce partner, and chair of the False Claims Act practice group Susan Coler, was included in the “Top 50 Women Lawyers” list, and partner Barbara Felt was included in the “Women Super Lawyers” list. We’re also proud that partner and chair of the employment practice group Kaarin Nelson Schaffer, and partner and chair of the class action practice group Melissa Wolchansky were listed as “Rising Stars.” Congratulations to this stellar group of professionals on this prestigious recognition.
Learn more about these outstanding Halunen Law attorneys:
Titled “This Summer and Beyond,” the Affinity Bar Student Job Symposium gave law students a unique opportunity to network with their peers, hear from legal professionals, and explore job opportunities with a host of potential employers. The March 21st event featured a jobs panel moderated by Halunen Law attorney, and President of the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Benjamin Kwan. The panel discussed various practice areas, the need for increased diversity in the legal field, job search strategies, and more. Kwan co-organized the event, which drew nearly 100 law students and more than 70 lawyers from 54 different legal employers to the networking portion of the evening. Employers came from all over Minnesota. Halunen Law is proud to support Benjamin Kwan’s continued leadership role in the legal community, and his dedication to support and mentor the next generation of attorneys.
Halunen Law Partner Melissa Wolchansky was extensively quoted in the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper for her ro...
Employment: Protecting Your Status\r\n\r\n\"Many people assume that because their employment is at-will, they have ...
Halunen Law attorneys Benjamin Kwan and Amy Boyle participated in the Federal Bar Association Young Lawyers Di...
President Abraham Lincoln enacted the False Claims Act during the Civil War when bullets were filled with sawd...
MINNEAPOLIS – (April 3, 2017) Halunen Law has named Melissa Wolchansky as an equity partner in the Minneapol...
Halunen Law Partner, and Chair of the consumer class action practice group, Melissa Wolchansky was invited to ...
It’s no secret; Halunen Law has an exceptional team of attorneys helping consumers, whistleblowers, and empl...
Titled \"This Summer and Beyond,\" the Affinity Bar Student Job Symposium gave law students a unique opportunit...
I get calls several times a week from executives and professionals who want me to review a severance agreement...
New data from the Minnesota Lawyer Registration Office indicates that lawyers of color are significantly under...
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