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Changes to Iran Sanctions Provide a Few Business Opportunities, but Many Hurdles

On January 16, 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Iran had implemented nuclear reforms negotiated among the United States, the European Union and Iran, a milestone in the agreement referred to as the Joint…more

Should Your Employees Get More Sun, Surf, and Sand? A Quick Look at Unlimited Vacation Policies

The news reports that more and more companies are moving to offer unlimited vacation time. On its face, this policy change appears to be a generous offer by employers to boost employee morale and attract top talent, but there may be…more

Insurance Recovery Group News: Was it Vandalism or Was it Theft?

Was it vandalism or was it theft? According to Connecticut District Court Judge Jeffrey Meyer, that was the $2 million question in Mercedes Zee Corp., LLC v. Seneca Ins. Co., 2015 WL 9311343 (D. Conn. Dec. 22, 2015). Standard…more

OIG Interim Evaluation of ACA LTC Employee Background Check Grant Program

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued an interim evaluation report on an Affordable Care Act (ACA) program that provides grants to states to implement background check programs for prospective long-term care employees…more

Middle East PPP Policy Developments: Kuwait and Dubai

In a climate of falling oil prices and tightening government budgets, several states in the Gulf Cooperation Council region (GCC) are looking again at Public Private Partnerships (PPP) as one of several business models for the…more

Getting the Measure of EGC Corporate Governance Practices: A survey and related resources - February 2016

Corporate governance has changed dramatically since passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The level of shareholder engagement and institutional investor…more

The EEOC’s Proposed Revisions To The EEO-1 Report Could Create Legal and Administrative Headaches For Employers

The EEOC unveiled its proposed revisions to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) last month. With the revisions, the EEOC hopes to gather additional data to help better discern pay discrimination. However, the revisions could also…more

Lowering the Bar for Irreparable Harm: Infringing Feature Need Not Be the Exclusive Driver of Consumer Demand - Apple Inc. v. Samsung Elecs.

How does a patent owner prove it has been irreparably harmed when the protected feature is only a small part of an infringing device? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit answered that question in the ongoing IP battle…more

Bank Executives, Board Members Hit With SEC Fraud Charges

Why it matters - A group of bank executives and board members were hit with fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with the agency accusing the defendants of engaging in a scheme to mislead investors and…more

New Guidelines on Collecting Biometric Data Help Businesses Stay Ahead of the Game

The amount of data collected worldwide is rapidly proliferating, and one international organization wants to make sure it’s clear how to protect what is arguably the most sensitive category of that data: biometrics…more

Naruto v. Slater - USDC, N.D. California, January 28, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement action brought on behalf of macaque monkey who took “selfies” using defendant photographer’s camera, holding that animals lack standing under the Copyright Act…more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - California extends mandatory water cuts despite growing snowpack - Sacramento Bee - Feb 2 - California’s drought regulators agreed Tuesday to extend water conservation mandates through…more

EEOC Proposes Rule Requiring Employers to Report Wage Data on EEO-1 Form

Late last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) proposed a rule that would require employers with 100 or more employees to report data concerning employee pay on an annual basis. The rule, designed to strengthen the…more

Same Plaintiff Files New Complaint to Force SEC to Act on Rulemaking Petition Regarding Political Contributions

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently dismissed Stephen M. Silberstein’s complaint to mandate the SEC to adopt rules regarding disclosure of political contributions. Among other things, the Court found…more

USDA Announces New Standards to Reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in Poultry

New standards promulgated by the Food Safety and Inspection Service pose new challenges to the poultry industry. On February 4, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released an…more

Gifts to a Special Needs Trust Can Be Larger Than You May Think

The federal gift tax system is one of the most misunderstood concepts in special needs planning, and for good reason: it's incredibly complicated. This complexity has resulted in the propagation of one of the most common estate…more

Eminent Domain: Be Careful What You Ask For

The condemnation of property for public works may not always be as clean and easy as the government would like. Although local governments are often critical players in the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties…more

SEC-USAO Bring Insider Trading Case That is “Newman-Proof”

When anyone discusses insider trading these days Newman invariably becomes a key topic. Prosecutors decry the decision and its tipping standard. Little doubt why. It has been offered as a defense in innumerable cases. A number of…more

Antideficiency Protection Applies to Both Short Sales and Foreclosure Sales

In January, the Supreme Court of California affirmed the Court of Appeal’s application of Code of Civil Procedure section 580b and held that the statute’s antideficiency protection applies to short sales just as it does to foreclosure…more

Good News for Creditors in Individual Bankruptcy Cases

For the past several years, creditors in the Ninth Circuit were confounded by an interpretation of the bankruptcy code that permitted individual chapter 11 debtors to retain a significant portion of their assets without creditor…more

EU Data Protection Regulators All Set to Scrutinise ‘EU-U.S. Privacy Shield’ and Transfer Mechanisms to the U.S. Generally

On 3 February, the Article 29 Working Party (‘WP29’), a group comprising representatives of the EU Member States’ Data Protection Authorities (“DPAs”), issued a statement cautiously welcoming the agreement on an “EU-U.S. Privacy…more

Are You in Compliance with OSHA’s New Confined Space Standard for the Construction Industry?

Most employers in the construction industry already know that OSHA issued a new confined space standard for construction that became effective on August 3, 2015. Companies with employees who enter confined spaces at construction…more

CMS Posts Revised Application for Meaningful Use Hardship Exceptions

On January 22, CMS posted a revised application and instructions for a hardship exception from the Meaningful Use program penalties in 2015. Under the new, streamlined application process, which CMS says is a temporary measure…more

Managers Beware: Individual Liability Confirmed Under USERRA

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”), 38 U.S.C. §§ 4301–4335, prohibits discrimination against employees and potential employees based on their military service and imposes certain…more

3rd Circuit Affirms Dismissal in Long-Running Weist SOX Whistleblower Case

On February 2, 2016, the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the SOX whistleblower retaliation claim in the closely watched case of Weist v. Tyco Electronics Corp., No. 15-2034. We have posted on key events during the life of this…more

Rhode Island AG says Fantasy Sports is Legal but Should Be Regulated

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin has found that daily fantasy sports are currently legal under Rhode Island law. Kilmartin also strongly advised the Legislature to establish regulations to protect Rhode Island players…more

A Glimmer of Light at the End of the Tunnel: EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework Announced

On October 6, 2015, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) invalidated the Safe Harbor framework between the United States and the European Union, putting at risk the legality of trans-Atlantic data transfers. Businesses and policy…more

Court Pulls Curtain on NLRB Ruling

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the NLRB’s finding that stagehands in the Atlanta area were employees rather than independent contractors. The Court found that the NLRB repeatedly misapplied the law and disregarded…more

The Seventh Circuit Revisits Standing for Data Breach Class Actions

One obstacle for named plaintiffs in proposed data breach class actions is the extent to which plaintiffs must allege an injury-in-fact to have standing. Disputes often arise about whether proactive efforts to mitigate against the…more

In Case You Missed It: Launch Links - Week of January 31, 2016

Some interesting links we found across the web this week: The State of Venture Capital - How much VC money is out there, and where is it coming from? Click through to the full presentation for a detailed analysis—but be…more

Revisiting 2015's New Flood Regulations, Part 2

ESCROW PROVISIONS - The Final Flood Rule also imposes new requirements related to the escrow of flood insurance premiums and fees. Previously, flood insurance premiums and fees were required to be escrowed if (1) any taxes…more

Morgan Stanley Settles RMBS Litigation with FDIC for $63M

On January 29, Morgan Stanley and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation agreed to settle five suits encompassing state and federal claims alleging that Morgan Stanley made misrepresentations in offering residential mortgage-backed…more

Alberta announces Petrochemicals Diversification Program

On February 1, 2016, the Alberta government announced a new initiative to encourage the upgrading of methane and propane in the province, called the Petrochemicals Diversification Program (PDP). Details of the PDP were issued on…more

Exceptions to Restrictions - Using the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

In our last post, we discussed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2015 (the “Act”). It prevents a citizen of one of 38 VWP countries (Australia, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, etc.) who is also a national…more

Dates And Locations Of "Modernizing The Regulatory System For Biotechnology Products" Meetings Announced

On February 1, 2016, the dates and locations for the last two public engagement sessions discussing the "Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products" memorandum were announced. The first meeting occurred on October 30…more

New Year's Resolutions for Small Business Contractors: Preparing for Key Legislative and Regulatory Changes in 2016

OVERVIEW - - Coming soon from SBA - Mentor-protégé program for all small businesses - Limitations on subcontracting - Size standard changes - Joint ventures (JVs) - Changes for 8(a), WOSBs/EDWOSBs…more

New Rules for 831(b) Captive Insurance Companies

On December 18, 2015, Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act), as part of a 2016 appropriations bill. The PATH Act includes significant changes to Internal Revenue Code section 831(b)…more

Financial Regulatory Developments Focus - February 2016

In this week's newsletter, we provide a snapshot of the principal US, European and global financial regulatory developments of interest to banks, investment firms, broker-dealers, market infrastructure providers, asset managers and…more

PTOs – IRS changes may impact tax compliance!

Small tax-exempt organizations, including many parent-teacher organizations, whose annual gross receipts are less than $50,000 may qualify to file a Form 990-N Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organization Not Required to…more

IP Newsflash - February 2016 #2

SUPREME COURT CASES - Post-Complaint Events or Transactions Cannot Cure Prudential Standing Defects - The U.S. Supreme Court denied Alps South’s writ to review the Federal Circuit’s decision that the company lacked standing…more

Application for an extension of time for service of the claim form – a risk worth taking?

The case of Medhi Khosravi v. British American Tobacco PLC [2016] EWHC 123 (QB) concerned an application for an extension of time for service of the claim form and particulars. Sir David Eady, sitting as a High Court judge, reminds us…more

Neste’s Renewable Diesel Is Now Available In Italian Alps, Will Power Marcialonga Cross-Country Ski

On January 26, 2016, Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member Neste Oil announced that Tamoil has begun selling arctic diesel containing renewable diesel produced by Neste in the northern Italian Alps region. The…more

Vermont issues updated energy plan

Vermont energy regulators have completed an update of key energy and electricity plans for that state. The Vermont Department of Public Service has updated the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) and Electric Plan, two plans…more

Is a Threatened Pay Cut an Adverse Action? Fifth Circuit Issues Pro-Employer Ruling in Retaliation Case

In Brandon v. Sage Corp., the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision from the Western District of Texas granting summary judgment in favor of a truck driving school. The issue in the case concerned whether the threat of a…more

Why is the Government Interested in my Drone?

Everyone has heard of drones. Amazon is going to use them to deliver packages soon, right? What is a drone and what do individuals and businesses need to know about drone usage? Drones are defined simply an unmanned, powered…more

Can Mike Huckabee Get an Amen! for his “Eye of the Tiger” Copyright Infringement Defense?

During his presidential campaign last September, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee made a well-publicized appearance at a rally for Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex…more

Businesses Take Note: The FTC Assesses Big Data Practices

Businesses engaged in big data practices should be mindful of a new report issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in which the FTC serves notice of its intention to monitor areas where big data practices can violate consumer…more

Florida District Court Holds That Successor and Assign of Original Lender Has Standing to Enforce Jury Trial Waiver While Loan Servicer Does Not

While California does not permit pre-dispute jury trial waivers, jury trial waivers are enforceable in many states. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently held in Thompson v. Caliber Home Loans, Inc.…more

Miller Canfield Secures Court Order Stopping Enforcement of Law Barring Objectively Neutral Speech by Public Officials

On February 5, 2016, United States District Court Judge John Corbett O’Meara issued an Opinion and Order granting a preliminary injunction and blocking enforcement of §57(3) of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, which barred public…more

California-Based Pharmaceutical Company Settles with SEC Regarding FCPA Offenses in China

On February 4, the SEC settled FCPA allegations with a California-based pharmaceutical company with a cease and desist order finding that the company violated the FCPA’s anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions…more

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