Latest Updates

File Not Found: Lack of Fax or Call Logs Doom Class Ascertainability in TCPA Cases

What is seemingly a growing divide between circuits has developed on the appropriate standard for assessing ascertainability in federal class actions, including Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class actions. Ascertainability… more

Justice Department Says Vending Machines Are Not Places Of Public Accommodation—And So Much More

Seyfarth Synopsis: In amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Justice Department agreed with the Fifth Circuit and defendant Coca-Cola that a vending machine is not a place of public accommodation and that public accommodations can… more

One click away from a marketplace ban?

Luxury brands can lawfully prevent their authorised dealers from selling their products on third party online platforms such as Amazon.com and eBay, according to Advocate General Wahl's Opinion for the European Court of Justice (ECJ)… more

FINRA Proposes to Loosen Restrictions on Performance Projections

In March, FINRA solicited comments on proposed amendments to Rule 2210, Communications with the Public, that would create an exception to the rule’s prohibition on projecting investment performance. The proposed exception would permit… more

Updated OIG work plan for CFPB adds new project on sharing complaint data

Since our last blog post about the Office of Inspector General’s work plan for the CFPB, the work plan has been updated as of July 1, 2017 to add one new planned project… more

Privacy Tip #98 – Publishers Clearinghouse Imposters are Stealing Consumers’ Money

We all dream about winning the lottery or the Publishers Clearing House folks secretly coming up our walkway and knocking on our door telling us we won millions of dollars. Well, I do… more

Independent Contractors & Consultants Acting on Government Contracts May be Subject to Conflict of Interest Laws

Independent contractors and consultants who engage in or advise on public contracts may be subject to the conflict of interest laws under Government Code section 1090, the California Supreme Court ruled last month. Section 1090… more

FINRA Moves to Protect Seniors and Other Vulnerable Persons

FINRA has taken another step to protect against what it calls "financial exploitation of vulnerable individuals or individuals with diminished capacity." These include seniors (at least age 65) and persons (at least age 18) with a… more

Update: San Francisco’s Salary History Ban Signed Into Law

Seyfarth Synopsis: Mayor Ed Lee signed the “Parity in Pay Ordinance” (“Ordinance”) on July 19, 2017, prohibiting employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2018 (with… more

Ahead of Maduro Power Play, Trump Administration Sanctions Venezuelan Officials

Ahead of a Constituent Assembly that could re-write the Venezuelan Constitution and dissolve state institutions, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has designated 13 current and former Venezuelan government… more

Family Office Series, Part IV: Family Office Trends

In the previous posts in our Family Office Series, we have examined, among other topics, how family offices are structured and the pros and cons of forming a family office… more

Unexpected Risks of Early Exercise Incentive Stock Options

Canadian companies and their outside counsel occasionally ask about the ability to grant early exercise incentive stock options (“ISOs”) to limit the impact of the U.S. alternative minimum tax (“AMT”) to their U.S. employees. However… more

ALJ Forces Combination of Hedge Fund Group in New York City - Tax Update Volume 2017, Issue 4

On April 27, the New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal issued a decision requiring the related members of a hedge fund group to file a combined return for New York City tax purposes. However, the administrative law judge (ALJ) rejected… more

House Financial Services Committee Democratic staff report on CFPB assails Republicans, defends CFPB and arbitration rule

A report prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Financial Services Committee takes aim at Republicans for “attempt[ing] to ensure that the country reverts back to a big bank-oriented regulatory environment and to ‘functionally… more

More Followers, More (Potential Sponsorship) Problems – What Brands Should Keep In Mind When Sponsoring YouTube Gurus, Instagram Influencers, and Bloggers

The FTC recently reviewed numerous Instagram posts by celebrities, athletes, and other social media influencers, and sent out more than 90 letters to those individuals to remind them to “clearly and conspicuously disclose their… more

FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 passes the House

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2430: FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 (FDARA) by voice vote. The FDARA seeks, among other things, to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to revise and extend the… more

House FAA Reauthorization Bill Proposes Implicit Revocation of US–EU Air Transport Agreement

On June 28, the US House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure reported out to the floor of the House of Representatives for consideration by the full House H.R. 2997, the 21st Century Aviation Innovation… more

Technology and Life Sciences IPO Survey - 2017 First Half

This report analyzes key aspects of initial public offerings (IPOs) for technology and life sciences companies that went public in the first half of 2017. Downloading the full report will provide you access to a number of tables and… more

Second Circuit Lowers Bar for Causation in FMLA Retaliation Claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently ruled that to advance a viable claim for retaliation under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an employee need only demonstrate that exercising his or her rights under the… more

A Shadow Cast Over Boston’s Building Boom

There has been a law on the books in Massachusetts since 1990 restricting the construction of tall buildings that would cast what some might view as unsightly shadows over the Boston Common and Public Garden. With no open space… more

Appeals Court Confirms That a Government Building Has the Status of a Pre-Existing Nonconforming Structure When Transferred to a Private Party

In Gund, et al. v. Planning Board of Cambridge, et al., No. 15-P-1339 (Mass. App. Ct. July 19, 2017), neighbors of the former Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge challenged special permits granted by the Cambridge Planning Board to a… more

A Changing of the Guard: DC Circuit Finds that Casino Security Technicians Are “Guards” Under the NLRA

Seyfarth Synopsis: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals applied a broad definition of who constitutes a statutory “guard” under the NLRA, finding that security technicians at two Las Vegas casinos were guards who could not be represented… more

Client Alert: Getting Ready for the New EEO-1 Report

In 2016 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced a change to the EEO-1 Report that had typically been due by September 30th of each year. This change means that there is no EEO-1 Report due in 2017. However, data… more

[Webinar] Where Do We Go From Here? Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Implementation Update - August 15th, 1:00pm PT

Join Nossaman attorneys for a webinar to update you about evolving issues related to implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Groundwater sustainability agencies have been formed. The process of developing… more

Increase In 2017 Service Contract Act Health & Welfare Rate; Lower Rate For Contracts Covered By Federal Paid Sick Leave EO

The U.S. Department of Labor has released its annual memorandum with the rate increase for Service Contract Act (SCA) Health and Welfare (H&W) Fringe Benefits. The new rate of $4.41 per hour (up from the 2015-2016 rate of $4.27 per… more

Massachusetts Issues Industry Letter On Applicability of MLO Licensing to Individuals Employed by Nonprofit Entities

On June 15, 2017, the Massachusetts Division of Banks (Division) issued an industry letter to clarify when an employee of a nonprofit agency is required to obtain a mortgage loan originator (MLO) license. The Division realized that… more

U.S Tax Court Bounces Rev. Rul. 91-32: Sales of Partnership Interests by Foreign Partners May Not be Subject to U.S. Tax

The practice of tax law is an exercise of statutory interpretation. A recent opinion of the U.S. Tax Court, Grecian Magnesite Mining, Indust. & Ship. Co. v. C.I.R., 149 T.C. No. 3 (July 13, 2017), is illustrative. Grecian Magnesite… more

Employment Tribunal Fees Regime Is Unlawful, Supreme Court In Britain Rules

In a ruling of potentially broad impact, the Supreme Court in Britain has held that the government’s July 2013 statutory order instituting an employment tribunal fees regime is unlawful. Background- The introduction of issue fees… more

Financial Services Weekly News - July 2017 #3

Editor's Note - Going Strong to the Mic. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) proposed special purpose nondepository national bank charter for FinTech companies (FinTech Charter) has long been the source of… more

Summary Judgment for Insurer in Annuity Sales Practices Action

On March 31, in Chambers v. N. American Co. for Life & Health Ins., an action alleging RICO violations and other claims in the sales of deferred annuities to seniors, the Southern District of Iowa granted the insurer’s motion for… more

Be Careful What You Wish For, You Just Might Get It: Reconsidering When To Ask for Reconsideration

On July 12, 2017, District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein granted a motion for reconsideration by Intellectual Ventures II L.L.C. (“IV”) of the Court’s prior Order of April 28, 2017. At the time of the motion, the only patent at issue in… more

SEC Issues Long-Awaited Guidance on Token Sales

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and other market participants offering digital assets by “virtual” organizations may be subject to the requirements of… more

5 Keys to Coordinating International Depositions (Updated)

Coordinating international depositions can be an expensive, time-consuming process. Working with a court reporting firm experienced in international depositions greatly reduces the time and expense law firms would encounter on their… more

FCC Opens Up 76-81 GHz Band for Cutting-Edge Vehicular Radar Applications

Recognizing that vehicular and airport-based radar systems designed to prevent collisions should be free from interference and should be permitted to operate at optimum frequency levels, the FCC, in a Report & Order released July 13… more

Independent Directors, Law Firm and Financial Advisor not Liable for Omissions in Private Tender Offer

R.L. Polk & Co. Inc., a private company, was allegedly more than 90% controlled by the Polk family. The Company was in the consumer marketing business with holdings such as Carfax, Inc. In March 2011, the Company initiated a… more

Pot-Friendly Credit Union Gets Second Chance at Master Account

A credit union seeking to provide banking services to marijuana-related businesses is flying high after the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, reversed an order dismissing its suit requesting a master account at the Federal Reserve… more

Massachusetts’s Highest Court Rules that Employee Fired for Medical Marijuana Use Can Hold Employer Liable for Discrimination

In a groundbreaking decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) ruled recently week that employees in Massachusetts who have a legal prescription for medical marijuana can sue their employers for disability… more

Objective Foreseeability:  Indiana Continues to Broaden the Foreseeability Analysis in Premises Liability Cases

In its June 19, 2017 opinion in Daviess-Martin Cty. Joint Parks & Rec. Dep’t v. Estate of Abel, 2017 Ind. App. LEXIS 260, the Indiana Court of Appeals paved the way for Indiana trial courts to expand their analysis regarding whether… more

SEC Determines That Certain Virtual Tokens Are Securities

On July 26, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an investigative report concluding that certain tokens (or coins) offered and sold by The DAO, a virtual organization, were securities under the Securities Act of… more

'Re-negotiation' Clause in Contract Not Void for Uncertainty

This alert focuses on the recent judgment in Associated British Ports v Tata Steel UK Ltd [2017] EWHC 694 (Ch). ABP demonstrates the English courts’ reluctance to find clauses and/or contracts void for uncertainty where they contain… more

Did U2’s Bono And The Edge Copy Their Song The Fly From Another Artist?

This is the question being presented in a lawsuit pending in the Southern District of New York against the iconic band U2 and a majority of its band mates. Paul David Hewson (more well known as lead singer Bono), David Howell Evans… more

Court Grants Most of Plaintiff’s Cost Recovery Request, Including All eDiscovery Costs: eDiscovery Case Week

In Ariel Inv., LLC v. Ariel Capital Advisors LLC, No. 15 C 3717 (N.D. Ill., July 17, 2017), Illinois District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly granted the prevailing plaintiff’s request to tax most requested costs in the amount of $99,378.32… more

FCPA Risks and Acquisition Integration Challenges

Chief compliance officers have devoted significant efforts to conducting pre-acquisition due diligence of a proposed target companies. I do not intend to diminish the importance of pre-acquisition due diligence, but I have noticed… more

Deadline Near for Passing the Municipal Advisor Qualification Exam

On September 12, 2016, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) began offering the Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination (the “Series 50 Exam”). Municipal advisor professionals must pass the Series 50… more

DOL Requests Feedback on Overtime Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor is seeking public input on what to do with the Obama administration overtime rule. In Wednesday’s edition of the Federal Register, the DOL published a “Request for Information Defining and Delimiting the… more

Maine Prohibits Certain Gifts from Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Wholesalers to Practitioners

Last month, the Maine Legislature passed an amendment to the Maine Pharmacy Act to prohibit licensed manufacturers and wholesalers of pharmaceuticals from offering certain gifts to practitioners authorized to prescribe and administer… more

[Video]CEO Spoofing and Phishing

In this video, McNees attorney Devin Chwastyk discusses CEO spoofing and the endless variety of scams criminal hackers and identity thieves use to defraud businesses… more

Related-Party Provisions Prevent Deduction by S Corp Shareholders - Tax Update Volume 2017, Issue 4

Many routine transactions occur between related parties, including the payment or accrual of interest on indebtedness, license fees, salary or benefits to employees and/or shareholders, and trade invoices. The Tax Court recently found… more

Colorado Set to Regulate Cybersecurity Practices of Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers

On May 15, Colorado became the latest state to publish major regulations tackling cybersecurity in the financial services industry when the Colorado Division of Securities released amendments to existing division rules previously… more

Intellectual Property and Business: Part 2

(NOTE: This is part 2 of 4 in a series of alerts linking intellectual property and economic strategy. You can read part 1 here. Check back each week for a new installment.) Monitoring and Identifying Existing and New Intellectual… more

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