Follow Expert Insight, Commentary, and Intelligence On...

Latest Updates

Defend Trade Secrets Act Clears United States Senate Judiciary Committee

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee with broad bipartisan support. Currently, state law governs civil claims for trade secret misappropriation, generally under a particular state’s version…more

Supreme Court Rules that FERC Wholesale Markets Can Compensate Demand Response Providers

In late January, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association, et al., 577 U.S. __, slip. op. (2016) upholding Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order No…more

FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Announce Independent Dispute Resolution Program

On February 2, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (the “FHFA”) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have implemented an independent dispute resolution process for resolving repurchase disputes. The process would allow lenders to…more

Federal Appellate Court Rules that Certain Foreign Currency Options Are Subject to the Section 1256 Mark-to-Market Regime

Recently, in Wright v. Commissioner, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has reopened the question of the application of Section 1256 to foreign currency options (and also, possibly, to foreign currency swaps or…more

Can Technology Help Prevent Trucking Accident Fatalities?

Inattentive drivers cause accidents every day. When a truck is involved, those accidents often result in heavy property damage, serious injuries or fatalities. Recent annual Illinois crash data shows that tractor trailers with semis…more

FCC Delays Effective Date of Oklahoma Tribal Lifeline Change to June 8

This past Tuesday, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order delaying for 120 days the effective date of the agency’s new interpretation of “former reservations in Oklahoma” for purposes of delineating the area in that…more

CLIENT ALERT: EEOC Proposes to Require Large Employers to Report Wage and Hour Data

On January 29, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) announced proposed rule changes that would require all “large employers” (i.e., employers with 100 or more employees) and federal contractors to report…more

New York State’s New Pregnancy Accommodation Law Takes Effect

As of January 19, 2016, the Protect Women from Pregnancy Discrimination bill is in effect in New York. The bill, which was signed by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo in October 2015, requires employers to provide reasonable…more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Hospital’s Religious Exemption from ERISA

On December 29, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided in Kaplan v. Saint Peter's Healthcare System, No. 15-1172 (3d. Cir. Dec. 29, 2015) that the pension plan for Saint Peter’s Healthcare System in New…more

What Good Compliance Looks Like: Part III

I concluded Part II of “What Good Compliance Looks Like” with “compliance and tone at the top are more than stated values, it’s about operational and unspoken values. It’s about a seat at the table of business strategy.”…more

Will Peyton Manning Have a Storybook Ending or Will SuperCam Prevail? Tuah the Orangutan picks the Panthers while the Unemployment Statistics side with the Broncos….and Some Other Super Bowl Tidbits for Employers.

We are back with our annual Super Bowl prediction post. As noted in prior years, people are increasingly making their predictions based on two indicators: unemployment rates and the whims of Utah zoo animals. They each have pretty…more

EU Nations Extend Electric Car Rebates, Consider New Ones

While Europe has been the land of small diesels for decades, air quality concerns and consideration of fossil fuels’ impact on global warming has led EU nations to offer incentives to purchasers of electric vehicles. In recent weeks…more

NJ Lawmakers Propose Legislation to Raise Minimum Wage To $15 Per Hour

On February 4, 2016, in Trenton, New Jersey State Assembly Leader Vincent Prieto, Assemblyman John Wisniewski and State Senator Ray Lesniak proposed a bill to raise the state minimum wage from $8.38 to $15 for all New Jersey workers…more

Oral Waiver Insufficient to Defeat Contractor’s Liability for Building Code Violation

The Massachusetts Appeals Court, in Downey, et al. v. Chutehall Construction Co., Ltd., 88 Mass. App. Ct. 795 (January 6, 2016), recently held that an oral waiver of compliance with the building code by a homeowner does not preclude…more

There Is More than One Way to Slice the Apportionment Analysis - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation v. Cisco Systems, Inc.

Addressing the application of the smallest salable patent-practicing unit analysis, as well as the impact of a patent’s standards essential status on apportionment and the relevance of prior licenses between the parties, the U.S. Court…more

Zika Virus and the Legal Issues With an Employee's Refusal to Work

It’s big news! On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement declaring Zika virus to be a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” The WHO did not find a public health justification for…more

Learned Intermediary: Arizona Supreme Court Restores Order in the Desert

We recently brought you the breaking news that the Arizona Supreme Court has adopted the learned intermediary doctrine in prescription drug cases. The case is Watts v. Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., No. cv-15-0065-PR, 2016 WL 237777…more

European Commission Proposes an Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive

The proposed Council Directive marks another, significant, though likely problematic, step towards tackling tax avoidance across Member States. Background - The European Commission (the Commission) has been moving towards…more

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework Agreement Reached - Replaces Safe Harbor Agreement

On February 2, 2016, The European Commission (EC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) reached a deal on a new transatlantic data-transfer pact to replace the 15-year-old Safe Harbor agreement. The European Court of Justice…more

Partnership Audit Regime Shakeup

The recent Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the “Act”) sets forth a new tax audit regime for partnerships (and limited liability companies taxed as partnerships) that will have far-reaching consequences. The new audit procedures will…more

Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Reporting Thresholds Increase

On January 26, the Federal Trade Commission published the annual adjustment of the thresholds that trigger premerger reporting obligations (and the mandatory waiting period) under the Hart-Scott Rodino (HSR) Act. The new thresholds…more

What is a Section 83(b) Election and why is it helpful to Entrepreneurs

Start-up founders, executives and other employees should understand the role that Internal Revenue Code Section 83 plays in effective tax planning when certain equity incentive grants are given in exchange for services…more

Adventures in Joint Employment: the Browning-Ferris Saga Continues with an Appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Last week, Browning-Ferris Industries, the California-based waste management company, appealed two decisions issued by the National Labor Relations Board related to the definition of joint employer. Its appeal to the U.S. Court of…more

High Stakes Race Between Apple and VirnetX: Will PTAB Trump The Texas Jury's Award of $326.5M?

A Texas jury today raised the stakes even higher in a race involving parallel proceedings between the PTAB and Texas district court when it found that Apple infringed the VirnetX patents and awarded to VirnetX $625.6M in damages. While…more

Seventh Circuit Allows Reverse Racism Claims To Proceed Against Contractor

Earlier this week, the Seventh Circuit allowed a Caucasian construction worker to take his reverse racism claims to trial because there were factual disputes about the reason for his termination. The plaintiff, Terry Deets…more

President Obama Highlights TPP, Cuba Embargo in Final State of the Union Address

On January 12, President Obama delivered his seventh and final State of the Union Address to Congress and the American people. Among the many topics that he raised in this annual speech were two trade-related priorities that may…more

If It Walks Like a Carbon Tax and Talks Like a Carbon Tax, (Then the GOP Hates It.)

On February 4, 2015, the White House released a fact sheet describing its efforts to create a “21st Century Clean Transportation System”. There’s a lot of interesting material in the plan, but all the headlines have been on the…more

Behind the Curtain: Shkreli was NOT the Big Story on the Hill Today

Congress’s complex relationship with prescription drugs was on display today in the House of Representatives. In the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR), Martin Shkreli pleaded the 5th at a hearing investigating…more

The Long Long Game: The EU Financial Regulatory Agenda Into 2016 and Beyond

2016 will mark the eighth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the raft of regulatory reforms introduced in the aftermath of that event and the wider financial crisis will continue to be implemented during the year and in…more

Government Reports Compile Medicaid, Dual Eligible Beneficiary Spending, Enrollment Data

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report on trends in Medicaid managed care spending, enrollment, and oversight. Notably, the GAO reports that over 10 years (FY 2004 through 2014), federal Medicaid managed care…more

CFPB Enforcement Update

This update analyzes the trends and patterns in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s publicly available enforcement actions. Leveraging the analysis in our December 2014 White Paper, CFPB Enforcement by the Numbers (2014…more

ITC Section 337 Update – February 2016

Commission and Align Technology Petition for Rehearing En Banc in ClearCorrect - On January 27, 2016, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“Commission”) and Align Technology, Inc. petitioned for rehearing en banc in ClearCorrect…more

Hotel Lawyer at the ALIS hotel conference in Los Angeles — A turnaround in hotel investor sentiment? Was that just a raindrop or is the sky falling?

Hotel Lawyers with first signs of a sea change in investor sentiment about the hotel sector - As our team of hotel lawyers returns from the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (or ALIS) in Los Angeles, we all noticed a big change…more

Take the Sting Out of Funding – Equity-Free Loans from the SBA

What do the following startups have in common? • Startup 1 is in an “in-between” place. The founders have already passed the hat and raised seed money, but they lack the funds to pay their staff before the next financing round…more

CMS Issues Guide on Avoiding Readmissions in Diverse Medicare Populations

The CMS Office of Minority Health has released a “Guide to Preventing Readmissions among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries.” The guide highlights data indicating that racial and ethnic minority populations have…more

Latest OCR Enforcement Action: Underbed Storage is Not Appropriate for PHI

Recent enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) have highlighted that, not surprisingly, Covered Entities should not leave medical records in a physician’s driveway…more

Asset Transferee Cannot Appeal Reexamination

The Federal Circuit dismissed the appeal in Agilent Technologies, Inc. v. Waters Technologies Corp., because the appellant was not a “third-party requester” dissatisfied with the final decision in an inter partes reexamination…more

Final Office Actions - Sometimes Final Is Not So Final

Patent prosecution is a back and forth dialogue to get the broadest coverage allowable. In order to keep from bogging down the system, the USPTO can issue a Final Office Action to close off prosecution. There are limited choices to…more

EU-US Data Transfer Privacy Shield: Political Agreement Achieved Regarding “Safe Harbor 2.0”

Significant uncertainty and concern regarding US companies’ ability to process and use personal data received from the EU has loomed since the October 2015 decision by Europe’s highest court invalidating the EU-US Safe Harbor. US and…more

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring. This week’s post includes: recent developments with regard to a major Alien Tort Statute case, the…more

Environmental exposure: a step towards compensation of neighbours of former asbestos-using plants?

On 22 October 2015, the Paris Civil Court ("Tribunal de grande instance de Paris") handed down a judgment concerning environmental exposure to asbestos which could pave the way towards compensation of neighbours of industrial sites…more

Do the Restrictions on Advertising with Nutrition and Health Claims also Apply to Communications Addressed Exclusively to Health Care Professionals?—Interpretation of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims Made on Foods

The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) will soon decide on the issue of whether the restrictions on promoting foodstuffs with nutrition and health claims also apply to communications addressed exclusively to health care…more

EU and US Announce New Privacy Shield for International Data Transfers

On Tuesday 2 February 2016, the EU Commission and US Department of Commence announced that they had reached "political agreement" on a new privacy framework for transfers of personal data between Europe and the United States…more

REAL NEWS – WINTER EDITION 2015/16

IN THIS EDITION - Ben Barrison reports on the long awaited Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Marks & Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Limited (pg 03); We dedicate two articles to the…more

Court in BP Oil Spill Litigation Denies Standing for Special Purpose Entities Created Solely for Litigation

A January 4, 2016 opinion in the Southern District of Texas by Judge Keith Ellison (“Op.”) in the In re: BP p.l.c. Securities Litigation, MDL No. 4:10-md-2185, has taken up the issue of whether plaintiffs can properly assign their…more

What GCs Need to Know About Settling Employment Claims

As we noted in a recent post on another topic, most of the lawyers we know who serve as general counsel are stretched pretty thin. It’s just not possible for them to become expert in all the areas of law they encounter. Nevertheless…more

Enforcement Action Possible Against Those Who Rely on Safe Harbor to Transfer Information from the EU to the United States

Wednesday, February 3, brought additional developments pertaining to the transfer of personal data from the EU to the U.S. consistent with EU privacy law. Just one day prior, we reported on the announcement by the EU and U.S. of an…more

The New Face of Commercial Crime - Cybersecurity Risks for Companies and their Directors

The threat of commercial crime against companies is transforming. Technology has created new and innovative ways for fraudsters to exploit individuals and companies through cyber attacks. This new face of fraud can give rise to massive…more

Health Care Outlook for 2016

In 2016, the Affordable Care Act will continue to be a contentious issue involving opposing legislative efforts and presidential debates. It has already been a major talking point in the campaigns of multiple 2016 presidential…more

Updates to CEQA Guidelines for Transportation Impacts Analysis Under SB 743

On January 20, 2016, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) released a revised draft of thresholds for measuring transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). These draft thresholds are…more

Reporters on Deadline
Contributor Spotlight

The Business Finance & Restructuring Group at Bilzin Sumberg brings together diverse backgrounds in accounting, finance and banking, to assist clients with financial restructurings and insolvency…

[ About | Legal Updates ]