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USLS News & Events

U.S. Legal Support Completes Acquisition of Electronic Legal

Houston, TX 7.19.13 – U.S. Legal Support Inc., announced the acquisition of Electronic Legal, a leader in discovery solutions based out of Denver, Colorado.

“Electronic Legal began with a vision of bringing cutting edge technology and quality service to the Colorado Litigation support industry. With hundreds of projects over the past seven years Trent Walton and I have worked to build Electronic Legal into the premier ESI Litigation Support firm in Colorado. We are thrilled to be joining forces with U.S. Legal Support, a company that upholds our values and mission. We look forward to building a national ESI practice as part of U.S. Legal Support.” said Michael Horwith, Electronic Legal Vice President.

“At U.S. Legal Support we uphold a commitment to the legal community, providing local and regional specialists who are equipped with national resources and expertise. Upholding to this value we are honored to have completed the Electronic Legal acquisition, building our litigation and ESI team and expanding our full service offering to Colorado. We welcome Trent Walton, Michael Horwith and the rest of the Electronic Legal team as the newest members of the U.S. Legal Support family.”  stated Charles Schugart, U.S. Legal Support President and CEO.

Michael Horwith, a testifying expert in computer forensics and litigation support will serve as U.S. Legal Support’s ESI Division President. Trent Walton, Electronic Legal President and leading expert in complicated discovery matters will join U.S. Legal Support as Chief Technology Officer, partnering clients with the best technology solutions.

For more information contact Lee Ann Watson, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing,

lwatson@uslegalsupport.com

U.S. Legal Support Completes Acquisition of Tooker & Antz

Houston, TX 8.20.13 – U.S. Legal Support Inc., announced the acquisition of Tooker & Antz, a full service court reporting agency in San Francisco, CA.

Tooker & Antz has been serving the San Francisco Bay area and surrounding regions for over 40 years, upholding a strong commitment to the California legal community in providing professional and personalized court reporting services.

“At U.S. Legal Support we maintain a commitment to our clients in providing regional and local specialists equipped with national resources. Upholding to this commitment we are honored to welcome Tooker & Antz team members to the U.S. Legal Support family. Tooker & Antz will now be providing our full service offering including court reporting, record retrieval, Litigation, ESI and trial services.” Stated Pete Giammanco U.S. Legal Support West Division President & Director of Court Reporting.

Tooker & Antz owner Rob Tooker will be joining U.S. Legal Support as Director of Business Development along with key specialist.

For more information contact Pete Giammanco, West Division President,

pgiammanco@uslegalsupport.com

Texas House Bill 300 (2012)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act are federal rules governing patient privacy. HIPAA defines entities bound by the privacy standards as “covered entities” and includes; health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and healthcare providers who conduct certain financial and administrative transactions electronically. HITECH expanded some of the HIPAA rules, requirements and penalty provisions to include business associates of covered entities.

Texas has gone a step further. The Texas Legislature adopted House Bill 300, which amended the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act of the Texas Health and Safety Code and took effect on September 1, 2012. HB 300 revised and expanded the definition of a covered entity in Texas. The Texas Health and Safety Code defines covered entities as any individual, business or organization that:

· Engages in the practice of assembling, collecting, analyzing, using, evaluating, storing or transmitting protected health information (“PHI”);
· Comes into possession of PHI
· Obtains or stores PHI
· Is an employee, agent or contractor of a person or entity described above if they create, receive, obtain, maintain, use or transmit PHI. Tex

Under HITECH (passed in late 2009), law firms representing covered entities were required to safeguard PHI and were subject to fines and penalties similar to their healthcare clients. HB 300 defines any law firm handling medical records, health insurance records or healthcare billing records as a covered entity. This means that plaintiff firms, previously exempt from many HIPAA regulations, are now considered covered entities. Also included are record retrieval companies, court reporting firms, legal copy companies, schools, accounting firms and many other businesses. Under HB 300 they all must follow the new requirements and may be subject to new fines and penalties.

HB 300 Requirements and Penalties for Covered Entities Include:

Employee Training: Covered entities must now provide ongoing, customized training on both the federal and state laws for employees within 60 days of hire and again at least once every two years. Tex. Health and Safety Code, §181.101(b)

Electronic Health Records (“EHRs”): Covered entities utilizing an electronic health records system must provide a record in electronic form to the patient within 15 business days of receiving a written request. Tex. Health and Safety Code, §181.102(b)

Fines and Penalties: Civil penalties range from $5000 to $1.5 million for covered entities that wrongfully disclose PHI. HB 300 can impose these fines in addition to any federal fines imposed by Health and Human Services. Negligence, intent and evidence of frequency to constitute a pattern are all considered when assessing the penalties. Tex. Health and Safety Code, §181.201(b)

Law firms, litigation support companies and any other business engaging in the use or storage of PHI must take appropriate safeguards to comply with HB 300. Policies and procedures involving the proper storage and destruction of paper and electronic PHI, data encryption, user IDs and passwords for electronic devices, facility access and security measures and employee training must be implemented immediately.

U.S. Legal Support employs a full time HIPAA Privacy Officer with over 20 years’ experience in compliance and privacy and provides CLEs on HIPAA as well as HIPAA and HITECH consulting.

For information on a HIPAA CLE for your firm or training on HIPAA and HB 300,
please contact:

Heather L. Hughes, J.D.
HIPAA Privacy Officer
U.S. Legal Support
832.971.6753
hhughes@uslegalsupport.com

U.S. Legal Support Voted Best Court Reporting Service in South Florida

U.S. Legal Support, Inc., a preeminent provider of full-service court reporting, record retrieval, trial services, litigation and ESI services is excited to announce they were voted Best Court Reporting Service in South Florida.

The Daily Business Review announced the best providers of products and services to the legal services community of South Florida for 2012. U.S. Legal Support was voted Best Court Reporting Service through votes cast by hundreds of Florida attorneys.

U.S. Legal Support is honored to have been voted Best Court Reporting Service in South Florida. Jennifer Gaul, Division President stated, “We are thrilled to have received this vote of confidence and want to thank all who favored us to receive such an exciting award. We look forward to another year strengthening our commitment to the legal community of South Florida.”

U.S. Legal Support Voted Best Court Reporter Service in Texas and Chicago

US Legal Support, Inc., a preeminent provider of full-service court reporting, record retrieval, trial services, litigation & ESI services is excited to announce they were voted best court reporter service in Houston and Chicago with a third place finish in Austin, TX.

Texas Best, a supplement of Texas Lawyer magazine announced the best providers of products and services to the legal services community of Texas for 2012. U.S. Legal Support was voted best court reporter service in Houston for the third year in a row with a third place finish in Austin. Winners were selected through votes cast by hundreds of Texas attorneys.

Best of Chicago, a supplement of National Law Journal readers voted U.S. Legal Support the best court reporter service in Chicago for 2012. This was the first year attorneys had the opportunity to vote for the Best services in the legal community of Chicago.

U.S. Legal Support is honored to have been voted best court reporter service in Houston, Austin and Chicago. We graciously thank our clients, court reporters, employees and all who favored us. The vote of confidence in the legal services community speaks volumes about the integrity of personalized service U.S. Legal Support provides. We look forward to another year proving our power of commitment.