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Dept. of Education announces federal student loan policy direction

The Department of Education has released a memorandum to provide policy direction for the new federal student loan “state-of-the-art loan servicing ecosystem” that the ED is currently procuring. According to the memorandum, ED expects…more

New Temporary Regulations Deny Basis Increase in Partnership Interests in Lease Passthrough ITC Structures

On July 21, the U.S. Treasury Department (“Treasury”) released temporary and proposed regulations denying a basis increase to equity holders of lessee partnerships and S corporations to account for mandatory income inclusions resulting…more

TSCA Reform --- Battle Lines Are Quickly Being Drawn

Changes to the Toxic Substance Control Act (“TSCA”), resulting from the recently passed Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (“LCSA”), are quickly taking form. The Environmental Working Group (“EWG”), an…more

Can Parties Use Settlement Agreements to Vacate a Prior Judgment?

In Hartford Accident and Indemnity v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance et al., the Eleventh Circuit recently reversed a District Court’s decision refusing to vacate its prior judgments even though vacatur was a condition of a…more

Dietary Supplements and Class Actions: Getting Schooled in California

Three cases pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals may help resolve splits in the district courts over (1) defining an appropriate class of plaintiffs ("ascertainability") and (2) the propriety of awarding class-wide damages in…more

4 Things Beneficiaries Who Receive IRS Form 8971’s Schedule A Must Know

When someone inherits assets, he or she is supposed to have a tax basis in the inherited asset for income tax purposes equal to the “fair market value” of the inherited asset at the date of death. The IRS is concerned that it is losing…more

One Year Anniversary of U.S.-Cuba Diplomatic Relations

On July 20, 2016, the United States and Cuba marked the first anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries. Key events from the preceding year include: - The re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in…more

Federal Jury Convicts Two Former Acclarent, Inc. Executives on Misdemeanor Charges Related to Off-Label Marketing of Medical Device; Acquits on Felony Charges

On July 21, 2016, two former executives of Acclarent, Inc., a medical device company owned by Johnson & Johnson, Inc., were found guilty of ten misdemeanor violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), following a six-week jury…more

Pennsylvania Amends IRA Provisions of Unclaimed Property Law and Adds Due Diligence Requirements

The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed HB 1605 on July 13, 2016, and it was approved by Governor Tom Wolf on the same day. Contained within this omnibus finance bill are two sections that significantly amend Pennsylvania’s unclaimed…more

Negotiating Software Contracts – Successfully Negotiating an Indemnification Section (Part 1 of 3)

Indemnification is a very important provision in a software agreement. Because this provision is a risk transfer mechanism, it is crucial to understand it and to successfully negotiate it to prevent unwanted risk…more

Clear Writing Makes a Difference

Clear writing makes a difference. For the skeptic, we now have proof. Using 50 readability measures, the study’s authors found that by a huge amount, a more readable, easy to understand brief is more likely to prevail over a less…more

President Obama’s ACA Prescription

President Obama recently published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, discussing his signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The President considers ACA’s comprehensive…more

Ninth Circuit Case of First Impression Holds That FDCPA Notice Requirement Applies to Subsequent Collectors of Same Debt

Action Item: The Ninth Circuit reversed the Arizona District Court’s summary judgment in favor of a defendant debt collector in an action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In a case of first impression, the Ninth Circuit…more

Canadian Parliament Holds First Reading of Bill to Create Framework to Regulate Nanotechnology

On June 8, 2016, the House of Commons held its first reading of an Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) (nanotechnology) (C-287). The bill would add Part 6.1 to CEPA primarily to implement procedures for…more

CFPB touts initiatives in “fact sheets”

To commemorate its fifth anniversary, the CFPB released a series of “fact sheets” touting its initiatives. The “fact sheets” consist of the following: CFPB: By the numbers. The CFPB lists various statistics, such as $11.7…more

PTO Cannot Raise & Decide Unpatentability Theories Never Presented by the Petitioner

In In re Magnum Tools International, Ltd., [2015-1300] (July 25, 2016) the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB’s determination that the challenged claims U.S. Patent No. 8,079,413 were invalid for obviousness. The Federal Circuit…more

Creditors likely to find it more difficult to enforce against foreign state assets in France

The ability to attach assets of foreign States in France is the subject of a new Bill. A proposed requirement for judicial authorisation for attaching such assets and more severe rules on specific assets are likely to make it more…more

The FTC Social Media Consent Order Against SmartClick: Injunctive Relief and Monetary Judgment For Doctor Certification Program and Paid Promotions Formatted To Appear As Independent Lifestyle Blogs and Review Sites

The FTC continues its efforts to combat deceptive social media advertising. Recently, the FTC brought an enforcement action against SmartClick Media LLC and its owner. The FTC alleged that SmartClick engaged in the following deceptive…more

Dolly Varden Silver and Hecla Mining - Decision goes in favour of the target in latest regulatory challenge to a private placement as an alleged take-over defence

On July 22, 2016, following a joint hearing of the British Columbia and Ontario securities commissions, the regulators decided not to block a proposed private placement of common shares of Dolly Varden Silver Corporation (Dolly…more

OSHA's New Rule Impacts the Health Care Industry

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a final rule that becomes effective January 1, 2017 requiring healthcare industry employers to electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness data from…more

Lawsuits underscore need for caution with sperm banks

A reported rash of new lawsuits offers a poignant, sadly recurrent reminder: Aspiring parents who rely on commercial sperm banks for critical reproductive tissues must heed an ancient consumer prescription: caveat emptor. The New York…more

Blog: New Study Shows Inverse Correlation Between CEO Pay And Performance Over The Long Term

As reported in the WSJ, a new study from corporate-governance research firm MSCI showed that, over the long term, there was a signficant misalignment between CEO pay and stock-price performance. The study looked at CEO pay relative to…more

FHA and VA to Expand Coverage to Properties with Certain PACE Assessments

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has announced guidance intended to clarify circumstances under which residential properties encumbered by a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) special assessment would be eligible for…more

FERC Revises Market Surveillance Data Collection Proposal and MBR Filing Proposal

On July 21, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or “Commission”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) proposing to (1) collect a wide range of “connected entity” data for market surveillance and enforcement…more

The Four Essential Rules of (Zombie) Loyalty

As mentioned in a recent blog post, we at Wicker Park Group love to read and love to share favorites with each other and with clients. Amid the many excellent books that address the client experience, we picked one particularly…more

Focus on Middle East Arbitration: Arbitral Awards

Recent court decisions highlight a few of the challenges parties may face in relation to the enforcement of arbitral awards in the onshore UAE courts. A summary of those decisions is set out in this article…more

Federal Court of Appeal: Government Failed to Adequately Consult with First Nations on Northern Gateway

On June 23, 2016, the Federal Court of Appeal delivered the Northern Gateway Project another procedural setback in its decision on Gitxaala Nation v Canada (2016 FCA 187). In a 2-to-1 split decision, the court overturned the federal…more

What Is Good Corporate Governance? A Commonsense Approach

It seems to be a very simple question that does not always produce a clear-cut response. A group of high profile executives, including CEOs of major US corporations, tried to reach consensus on commonsense principles that are…more

Challenges for Investors in Dealing with Section 13(d) Filing Requirements

A significant challenge for institutional investors, such as private equity firms, investing in public companies is managing the disclosure hurdles of Section 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. That section was added as part…more

Minnesota Rewrites Construction Rules for Prompt Payment and Retainage

Minnesota has modified its prompt payment and retainage statute (Minn. Stat. 337.10). These revisions mean that many owners, contractors and subcontractors will have to revise the payment provisions of their construction contracts to…more

A Baker's Dozen of Blue Chip CEO's and Leading Investors Speak Out on Corporate Governance: What Else Can be Offered to the Conversation?

A most curious press release sprouted up amidst summer's hot growing season: 13 leaders of public companies and investing firms have put forth self-professed governance principles for public companies. (See…more

Bankruptcy Court Rejects Unfair-Practices Claim Against Insurer Accused of Aiding and Abetting Conversion of Trust Funds

A recent decision reminds us that North Carolina’s bankruptcy courts often rule on claims under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. In re NC & VA Warranty Co. was an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy of a warranty company. The…more

Insurers Challenge Retroactive Application of New Florida Law that Requires Comparison of Names of Accounts to Death Master File

Amendments to the Florida Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act in 2016 made significant changes to unclaimed property presumptions and insurance company obligations. See § 717.107, Fla. Stat. (2016) (the Act). Among other things, the…more

Does an Award of “Restitution” Affect my Personal Injury Settlement?

Woodland Hills personal injury lawyer Barry P. Goldberg handles more than his fair share of drunk driving accidents and other “crime-related” losses. In these circumstances, it is not uncommon for there to be a criminal prosecution…more

Is Rescission Ever Legal?

Yesterday’s post concerned when a corporation’s rescission of the issuance of shares does not constitute a “distribution to its shareholders” as defined in Section 166 of the California Corporations Code. I noted that one of the three…more

SEC Proposes Amendments to Update and Simplify Certain Disclosure Requirements

On July 13, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed amendments designed to update and simplify certain disclosure requirements that may have become redundant, duplicative, overlapping, outdated or superseded as…more

Blog: CEO Group Offers List Of Commonsense Corporate Governance Principles

A group of CEOs of major public companies and institutional investors, including Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffett, Larry Fink, Mary Barra and Jeff Immelt, among others, have developed a list of “commonsense corporate governance principles,”…more

Judge seals transcript of Title IX hearing

A federal judge in North Carolina sealed a transcript of a University of North Carolina (UNC) hearing to determine whether the plaintiff was responsible for committing sexual acts without consent. In the case in question, the defendant…more

New Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program Announced By The SBA

The long-awaited Final Rule addressing changes to the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé program is being published in the Federal Register today. The Mentor-Protégé program that was limited to 8(a) Small Business Concerns has now been expanded and…more

LATAM/LAN FCPA Enforcement Action, Part I-Some Questions

What is the cost of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violation? One subset of that question is what is the cost of not cooperating and not remediating during the pendency of such investigations? Those were two of the questions…more

Acquisitions of Publicly Traded Corporations: A Cure for the Two Step in Texas

The State of Delaware recently adopted amendments, which will be effective on August 1, 2016, to an oft-used statute that streamlines the acquisition of a public Delaware corporation (the “Target”) structured as a tender offer followed…more

Alert: ED's Proposed Rules for Online Learning Present New Compliance Challenges

On Monday, July 25, the US Department of Education (ED or the Department) formally released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend its current state authorization regulations, particularly with respect to distance education…more

What Is Good Corporate Governance? A Commonsense Approach

It seems to be a very simple question that does not always produce a clear-cut response. A group of high profile executives, including CEOs of major US corporations, tried to reach consensus on commonsense principles that are…more

DOE Announces $15 Million In Funding For Algae-Based Biofuels And Bioproducts Research Projects

On July 14, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), announced $15 million in funding for three projects that will work to improve algal biomass yields to reduce production costs of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts…more

German Federal Court of Justice defines exception to disclosure obligation relating to gross margin of a swap

Exactly five years after its landmark decision in 2011, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) has handed down another important decision in the ongoing swap saga. Banks must normally disclose the specific amount…more

Ruling Highlights Importance of Attacking Punitive Damages When Seeking Summary Judgment

Earlier this month, a federal judge denied two multidistrict litigation (MDL) defendants’ bid to dismiss punitive damages in a pelvic mesh suit because they did “not present any arguments” specific to punitive damages, stressing that…more

[Video]Medical Marijuana In The Workplace

In this video podcast, McNees Attorney Denise Elliott discusses medical marijuana’s impact on the workplace…more

[Video]FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 269-Mike Volkov on the Johnson Controls FCPA Enforcement Action

In this episode Mike Volkov and I take a deep dive into the Johnson Controls FCPA enforcement action…more

New OSHA Rule May Require Employers to Update Drug-Testing Policies

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new reporting rule goes into effect August 10, 2016. Although it does not expressly address post-accident drug testing, OSHA’s commentary related to the new rule makes clear…more

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