Latest Updates

Volkswagen Settlement Provides Funding Opportunities For Electric Utilities

The U.S. Department of Justice has asked the federal district court in the Volkswagen “clean diesel” emissions litigation to approve a long-awaited environmental mitigation trust agreement. The approval of the trust agreement will mark… more

Blockchain Energizer Vol. 13

There is a lot of buzz around blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries from finance and health care to real estate and supply chain management. Reports estimate that over $1.4 billion was… more

FCA Concerns Around Complaint Handling

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has written to CEOs expressing concern about how firms handle complaints. Following a review of how firms deal with complaints, the regulator found material non-compliance with regulatory… more

How to Get a 2,333% ROI?

Three affiliated home health companies in Tennessee agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle False Claims Act (FCA) liability. That’s a lot of money, but it’s only about four percent of the $42 million in potential liability that… more

European Commission Proposes Framework to Screen Certain Foreign Direct Investments

Proposal coordinates existing national screening mechanisms, grants the Commission powers to review investments of “Union interest.” European Parliament and Member States’ approval still required. Key Points: On 13 September 2017… more

EU General Data Protection Regulation

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (679/2016/EU), the GDPR, comes into force across the EU on 25 May 2018. As it is being made by Regulation the GDPR, unlike the existing Data Protection Directive (implemented into the UK by… more

EPA OIG Releases Report on EPA’s Management of Pesticide Funds

On September 18, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report on an evaluation conducted by OIG entitled “EPA Needs to Manage Pesticide Funds More Efficiently.” OIG states… more

CFIUS Annual Report Highlights Period of Increased Scrutiny for Foreign Investments

In 2015, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. Government interagency committee that conducts national security reviews of foreign investments, maintained a heavy case load, reviewing 143… more

The Extension of the Senior Manager and Certification Regime to All FCA Regulated Firms

The FCA has issued its long awaited consultation paper in relation to the extension of the senior manager and certification regimes to the wider financial services sector, after its implementation for banks, building societies, credit… more

Updated Draft of ePrivacy Regulation: Still Hampering Innovation

On 8 September 2017, the European Council published its first revisions (“Revised Draft”) to the draft EU ePrivacy Regulation (version COM(2017) 10 of 10 January 2017, “ePrivacy Regulation”). The Revised Draft is based on the… more

Taking It Personally: One Lawsuit Tries to Hold Individuals Accountable for the Equifax Data Breach

As we discussed recently, the Equifax data breach has inevitably brought a great deal of scrutiny and legal action against the credit reporting agency. Amidst the numerous brewing class actions and other reactions from government… more

The ADA Is Not a Medical Leave Entitlement, Seventh Circuit Declares

Today’s employers must run their businesses within the competitive environment in which they operate while affording employees an ever-increasing array of leaves. Yet, running a business without a full complement of employees is… more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission became a cybersecurity headline this week, not for brining a case or writing a rule in the area but for an intrusion into its systems. The Chairman issued a statement on the subject… more

UK MHRA Issues New Guidance on Human Factors and Usability Engineering for Medical Devices

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published new guidance on taking human factors into account when designing medical devices and ensuring that they meet the essential safety and performance… more

Eleventh Circuit Says PDA May Require Accommodation of Breastfeeding Needs

For years, federal courts have held that pregnancy and sex discrimination laws do not require employers to affirmatively accommodate breastfeeding by employees. However, a recent line of cases has blurred this conclusion, finding that… more

Chinese Buyers Act Quickly – Parallel UK & EU Foreign Takeover Control Systems Proposed

On the 13th September 2017 Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission President, unveiled a framework for investment screening for certain foreign mergers in his “State of the Union” address to the European Parliament. At the same… more

Supreme Court Ruling Could Contradict Pa. Law

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision could mean states now will have to allow public funds to be funneled to religious institutions. In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, the Court held that Missouri falsely denied… more

DOL Announces Minimum Wage Increase for Federal Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced an upcoming increase to the minimum wage rate for contractors working on or in connection with contracts covered by Executive Order 13658, which applies to certain federal construction… more

Patent Eligibility Pointers from the Federal Circuit – Part I

What characteristics of a claim do the courts use to determine if a claimed invention meets the statutory requirements under 35 USC §101? This question has been vexing patent attorneys for years, with the question becoming more… more

New York DFS Tightens Cybersecurity Gaps

Equifax takes no deposits and makes no loans, but New York now says that it, as well as all other consumer reporting agencies, must protect consumer data to the same degree as banks and other financial institutions. On September 18… more

Vevo Hacked through LinkedIn Message

Vevo announced this week that it experienced an intrusion into its servers by the hacking collective OurMine, self-described as a white hat organization that informs individuals and organizations of potential security vulnerabilities… more

CFPB finalizes alignment of Regulation B and Regulation C requirements regarding collection of consumer ethnicity and race information

On September 21, the CFPB finalized its proposal to amend Regulation B requirements related to the collection of consumer ethnicity and race information, in order to resolve the differences between Regulation B and revised Regulation C… more

Mexico: Government Declares Non-Working Days for IMSS Proceedings and Transactions Due to Earthquake

On September 19, 2107, Mexico City and neighboring states were rocked by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that inflicted grave damage, including the loss of life and collapsed structures… more

Hollywood Hills Nursing Home — Grim News

Victims of Profit? The death toll mounted again in the Broward County nursing-home disaster following Hurricane Irma. A ninth patient expired after being evacuated from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in the midst of a… more

Money Advice Service Creditor Toolkit: A Perfect Complement to New FCA Regulation

In July 2017 the Money Advice Service (MAS) released Working Collaboratively with Debt Advice Agencies: A strategic toolkit for creditors, which perfectly compliments the latest Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation regarding… more

Accountant and Attorney Liability NewsBrief - Fall 2017

Our attorneys have published the Fall 2017 edition of LeClairRyan's Accountant and Attorney Liability NewsBrief. In this issue: - Supreme Court Limits SEC Disgorgement to Five Years - Revised Form I-9 Released: Mandatory… more

Nevada Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act Goes Into Effect October 1

The Nevada Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act (NPWFA) goes into effect Sunday, October 1, 2017. The NPWFA applies to employers with 15 or more employees and generally expands the scope of protections provided to female employees for… more

Federal Circuit Vacates Judge Gilstrap’s Controversial Venue Test

The Eastern District of Texas has been the hotbed of patent ligation for years, and that is undoubtedly threatened in light of the Supreme Court’s decision on venue in TC Heartland.  But the Eastern District clearly won’t go down… more

CFTC Files Its First Anti-Fraud Enforcement Action Involving Bitcoin

The CFTC filed a federal civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Defendants Nicholas Gelfman, of Brooklyn, New York, and Gelfman Blueprint, Inc. (GBI), a New York corporation… more

Hurricane Irma – Commercial Property Damage and Business Interruption Insurance Checklist

Hurricane Irma was one of the most devastating storms in United States history, with sustained winds of over 190 miles per hour. Insurance industry experts have estimated the insured damages arising from this storm may reach $50… more

Getting Closer: Progress on Nominations for CPSC Chairman and Commissioner

Yesterday, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Dana Baiocco as CPSC Commissioner. If confirmed, Ms. Baiocco would replace Commissioner Marietta Robinson when her term expires on October 27, and would serve a seven-year… more

Update: Another Court Gives Broad Reading to Illinois Biometric Privacy Act

Another court ruling this week concludes that the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (IBIPA) covers face geometry scans that are created from digital images, again rejecting the argument that the statute should apply only to… more

Supreme Court Set To Weigh In On Class Action Waivers

In late 2017 or early 2018, employers should anticipate clarity from the U.S. Supreme Court as to whether arbitration agreements requiring workers to waive their right to file class or collective actions violates the National Labor… more

Understanding the EEOC’s Shifting Stance on Pay Bias and Data Collection

Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has sent mixed signals to employers regarding its efforts to collect salary and pay data to combat pay inequity based on gender and race. Many employers are left wondering… more

President Trump Blocks Foreign Acquisition by Chinese Firm: Isolated Case or Harbinger of Increased CFIUS Scrutiny?

On September 13, President Trump blocked the $1.3 billion acquisition of U.S. microchip manufacturer Lattice Semiconductor Corp. ("Lattice") by Chinese private equity firm Canyon Bridge Capital Partners Inc. ("Canyon Bridge"). The… more

Thoughts On National Registration For Service Dogs

I’ve posted before, regarding the dilemma business owners have when faced with a customer with a dog (fake service dog) or a customer with an animal (emotional support animal – which are not afforded the same protections as service… more

Ninth Circuit Weighs in on “Field and Obstacle Preemption,” Reversing District Court’s Finding of Preemption

Whenever a claim is made that a state law has been prempted by an analogous federal law, the courts will rigorously test the strength of the claim. As as example, in a preemption case decided on September 15, by the U.S. Court of… more

InterDrone And The Future Of Commercial Drones

Earlier this month, I attended the InterDrone Conference in Las Vegas. InterDrone brings together commercial drone operators, service providers, and tech companies, and included excellent key note speeches and informative panels on an… more

Judge Dow Orders New Trial Due to Unreliable Consumer Confusion Survey

Order Granting Motion for New Trial, The Black & Decker Corp., et al. v. Positec USA, Inc., et al., N.D. Ill. (September 11, 2017) (Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.) - Trademark litigants often submit survey evidence to prove that there is… more

Another Case of Paid Sick Leave: BERKELEY Symptoms Begin Soon

Seyfarth Synopsis: On October 1, 2017, after more than a year of waiting, the Berkeley, CA paid sick leave ordinance goes into effect. The ordinance provides extraordinarily generous paid sick leave benefits to employees beyond those… more

[Video]Day 15 of One Month of Innovation in Compliance-Structural Innovation

Innovation can come in various forms for an organization. Innovation can appear in a structural form. You can move compliance more deeply into your organization with new or different structures. One I have seen have success is a… more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Three New Species; National Marine Fisheries Services Lists Subspecies of Hector’s Dolphin

On September 20, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) listed three separate species under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). USFWS listed the Sonoyta mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) as endangered, and the ‘I’iwi… more

Guardianship, Mental Incapacity and the Right to Vote

All U.S. citizens have a federally guaranteed right to vote, but those under guardianship (or conservatorship) may not have that right. Although things are slowly changing, some states still deny citizens the right to vote if they have… more

Effects of Insurance Marketplace Uncertainty

Even as Senators continue to consider “Graham-Cassidy,” the latest Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal legislation, insurance markets are already reacting to uncertainty and instability brought about by persistent GOP efforts to upend the… more

Trump’s EEOC Nominations Are Rocking Along – And Here’s What We Can Expect

With President Trump in office for nine months now, it is hard to believe that none of his people are yet on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The four current Commissioners, including the Acting Chair, Republican Victoria… more

9th Circuit to Reconsider Employer Use of Salary History During Hiring

On Aug. 29, 2017, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit announced it will reconsider en banc whether employer use of salary history to determine an applicant’s compensation as a new hire violates the federal Equal Pay… more

Hurricane Maria Barrels Towards Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria is set to strike Puerto Rico today, with forecast wind speeds of more than 150 miles per hour. Maria already struck the Caribbean island of Dominica as a category 5 storm, with sustained winds of 160 miles per hour… more

FCC Extends Regulatory Fee Filing Window for Those Regulatees Affected by Hurricanes Harvey or Irma

On Friday, the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC’s” or “Commission’s”) Office of Managing Director released a Public Notice extending the deadline to pay annual regulatory fees from 11:59 PM, September 26, 2017 to 11:59 PM… more

Germany Sides with Institutional Investors in Competition Debate

Action Item: The German Government recently weighed in on the side of institutional investors on a competition issue that has generated vigorous academic debate in the United States: whether institutional investors’ minority… more

CPSC Announces Intent to Restrict Halogenated Flame Retardants in Consumer Products

This week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to form an advisory panel and begin drafting a rule to restrict the use of halogenated flame retardants in four consumer product categories: children’s products;… more

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