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How did Mike DeAgro's experience co-founding a nonprofit advocacy organization lead to a career in the legal field? Find out more>

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Envision to Sell to KKR for $9.9 Billion

We represented Envision Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: EVHC) in its definitive agreement to sell to KKR in an all-cash transaction for $9.9 billion, including debt. KKR will pay $46 per Envision share in cash to buy the company, marking a 32 percent premium to the company's volume-weighted average share price from November 1, when Envision announced it was considering its options. The transaction is expected to close the fourth quarter of 2018. Read more


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Six Things to Know Before Buying a Physician Practice spotlight

Dermatology, ophthalmology, radiology, urology…the list goes on. Yet, in any physician practice management transaction, there are six key considerations that apply and, if not carefully managed, can derail a transaction. Download the 6 Things to Know Before Buying a Physician Practice to keep your physician practice management transactions on track.

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U.S. Green Building Council Sued Over LEED Certification System

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February 11, 2011

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been sued in United States District Court in New York by a putative class of plaintiffs claiming that USGBC engages in false and misleading advertising in connection with its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system. The plaintiffs are non-LEED accredited design and construction professionals who advise real estate developers and other clients on the design and construction of energy efficient buildings. The plaintiffs claim they are losing business because false and misleading information disseminated by USGBC causes consumers to utilize LEED accredited professionals who provide advice about obtaining LEED certification, mistakenly believing that such professionals will deliver a building that is verified by a third party to be more energy-efficient than a building that plaintiffs would provide. According to the suit, "USGBC’s false advertisements mislead the consumer into believing that obtaining LEED certification incorporates construction techniques that achieve energy-efficiency."

The plaintiffs point to certain statements by USGBC that they contend are false, including that LEED-certified buildings perform, on average, "25-30% better than non-[LEED] certified buildings in terms of energy-use," and that LEED "provid[es] third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most." According to the plaintiffs, USGBC’s own study data indicate that, on average, LEED-certified buildings use 41 percent more energy than non-LEED buildings, and LEED does not verify that buildings are energy efficient because applicants essentially "self-certify" with no site investigation by USGBC.

The suit includes claims for false advertising, deceptive trade practices and unfair competition. The plaintiffs seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, including all profit derived from the allegedly unlawful conduct by USGBC (the suit states that USGBC reported revenues of $64 million in 2008). The suit also seeks an injunction requiring USGBC to cease dissemination of the allegedly false and misleading information, to issue corrective advertising and literature, and to disclose the actual energy use of LEED-certified properties. The disclosure element would require all LEED-certified properties to upload utility bills into a publicly accessible online database, once a year, for ten years following certification.

The case is Gifford v. U.S. Green Building Council, No. 10-cv-7747-LBS (S.D.N.Y. amended complaint filed Feb. 7, 2010).


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