Latest Updates

Breaking news in NSW planning law - Greater Sydney and Wollongong Councillors to be excluded from all development decisions, and Staged Development legislation commences

The Environmental Planning and Assessment and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Planning Panels and Enforcement) Act 2017 (NSW) (the Local Planning Panel Act) and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Staged Development… more

Eleventh Circuit Doesn’t Waffle on Enforceability of Arbitration Agreement

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal found that an arbitration agreement entered into by a putative class representative and his eventual employer was enforceable even though the agreement was signed after the plaintiff filed his class… more

Cable Operators Reduced Franchise Fee to Municipalities Not Permitted - BB&K Attorneys Win in California Federal Court

For years, California cable operators have reduced the franchise fee paid to local governments by the amount paid to the California Public Service Commission. While a small amount for many communities, the deduction reduced municipal… more

Product Liability: Consumer Expectation and Risk Benefit

Kawika Demara, et al. v. The Raymond Corporation, et al. - California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (July 18, 2017) - Kawika Demara was a warehouse employee at the time his foot was crushed under the drive wheel of a… more

The NLRB/EEOC Landmine – When Does Offensive Speech Amount to Protected Activity?

Employers need to be on the lookout for instances of offensive employee speech, which may put them between a rock and a hard place as they navigate potential claims under either anti-discrimination laws or federal labor laws… more

New Cases Provide Mixed Messages to Conservation Easement Donors

Fifth Circuit encourages flexibility for conservation easement deductions in Bosque Mountain Ranch, while Tax Court makes it difficult for farmers in Rutkoske. Two important conservation easement were handed down last week… more

Oregon Employers Face Significant New Workplace Laws

There’s good news for Oregon employers about the recently concluded 2017 legislative session: unlike years past, there were only a very small number of workplace laws passed. In fact, the Oregon Legislature only passed four pieces of… more

The Earnhardts’ Race To the Courtroom: Who Will Get The Checkered Flag?

On July 27, 2017, the Federal Circuit decided Earnhardt v. Earnhardt, a trademark collision between two relatives of the famous race car driver, Dale Earnhardt. The case involved an appeal from a TTAB decision between Teresa Earnhardt… more

Two New Rule Amendments Proposed by Commercial Division Advisory Council

If you have ever looked at a contract’s New York choice-of-law provision or a status conference stipulation and thought to yourself, “Who wrote this darned thing?” then now is your chance to weigh in. The Commercial Division Advisory… more

PCT Filings: One Method to Seek International Patent Protection

Filing for patent protection with the USPTO is probably somewhat familiar to inventors and businesses here in the United States. However, the options for seeking international patent protections are probably less well known… more

New Property Tax Exemption for All South Carolina Manufacturers

The South Carolina Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act, 2017 Act 40, was recently enacted and is designed to enhance South Carolina’s economic competitiveness. The Act, commonly referred to as the gas tax bill, increased… more

Excess Cargo? Shipping Common Law Claims Out of a Trade Secret Complaint

AFS, a company specializing in streamlining shipping costs and logistics, had its eight count amended complaint streamlined to only one—its Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUSTA”) claim—primarily due to preemption and AFS’s lack… more

My Namesake Triumphs: Tiffany & Co. awarded $19.35 million

The four year saga ended (at least for now) with Tiffany & Co. being awarded for its vigorous fight to maintain its trademark and protect against genericide. As previously reported, Tiffany & Co. filed suit against Costco Corporation… more

The Entrepreneurs Report - H1 2017

From the WSGR Database: Financing Trends for 1H 2017 - Strong median pre-money valuations for all rounds of financing ushered in nearly unprecedented median amounts raised in 1H 2017, particularly for Series C and later financings… more

UK government publishes Statement of Intent on new Data Protection Bill

On 7 August 2017, the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) published a Statement of Intent outlining proposals for a new UK Data Protection Bill (the Bill). This is the UK's preparation for the General Data… more

Comments on Notice–MV–2017–01, Evaluation of Existing Acquisition Regulations

The U.S. General Service Administration’s (“GSA”) is seeking input on acquisition regulations, policies, standards, business practices and guidance issued by GSA across all of its acquisition, disposal, and sales programs, that may be… more

How Due Process Will Wither and Die under California’s New Air Contaminant Law: AB 1132 Authorizes Air Districts to Shut Down Facilities Without a Hearing

Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1132 (“AB 1132”) into law on August 7, 2017. The bill, authored by Democratic Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, adds Section 42451.5 to the Health and Safety Code which authorizes air districts… more

Eleventh Circuit Rules That Stipulated Dismissal Of Named Plaintiffs And Defendant Triggers Putative Class Members’ Deadline To Appeal

Seyfarth Synopsis: In Love v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 15-15260 (11th Cir. Aug. 3, 2017), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the deadline for putative class members to appeal the dismissal of class claims… more

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Three Issues of First Impression for Parties in CERCLA Contribution Actions

In Asarco LLC v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. 14-35723 (9th Cir. Aug. 10, 2017), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a published opinion interpreting the statute of limitations for contribution actions… more

All You Need to Know About Flying Your Drone During the Solar Eclipse

Next week, on August 21, a solar eclipse (or the alignment of the sun, moon and earth) will take place for the first time in 38 years. The last time this cosmic event occurred, there were no battery-powered… more

Spokeo Resurfaces: Ninth Circuit Holds FCRA Plaintiff Has Standing to Sue

On August 15th, the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in Robins v. Spokeo, finding that plaintiff Thomas Robins has standing to continue his Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) suit against Spokeo, Inc. In its opinion, a unanimous panel of… more

Minnesota Supreme Court Rejects Delaware Test for Direct Versus Derivative Action

In a case arising out of the inversion transaction where Medtronic merged with Coviden, the Minnesota Supreme Court spoke on the proper test of determining when an action is derivative or direct in In re Medtronic, Inc. Shareholder… more

The Not-So-Secret Recipe: How Restaurants Can Protect Their Trade Secrets

Restaurant fortunes are often attributable to just one or two signature dishes, and recipe ownership dilemmas can arise in restaurants of all sizes. Recent examples include a joint venture gone awry, resulting in a war over the… more

NYSE Rule Change Requires Ten Minutes Advance Notice of Public Announcement of Dividends or Stock Distributions

On August 14, 2017, the SEC approved an NYSE rule change that requires listed companies to give notice to the NYSE at least 10 minutes before any public announcement of dividends or stock distributions, even if such announcements occur… more

Déjà Vu All Over Again: The Ninth Circuit Finds Concrete Injury in Spokeo Remand

The U.S. Supreme Court held in its 2016 Spokeo decision that for a plaintiff to have standing to assert a claim based on a statutory violation that the plaintiff must have suffered real—and not just legal— harm. Spokeo vacated the… more

Amgen v. Coherus: Coherus Files Reply in Support of Motion to Stay

As we have previously reported, on July 25th, Coherus filed a motion to stay discovery pending the result of its motion to dismiss in its litigation against Amgen regarding pegfilgrastim, and Amgen filed an opposition on August 8th. On… more

SBA Seeks Comments on Reducing Unnecessary Regulatory Burden

On August 15, 2017, the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) released a request for information (“RFI”) seeking input from the public as to which SBA regulations should be repealed, replaced, or modified because they are… more

New requirements for commercial and recreational drone use in the UAE

Beginning 4 September 2017, drone manufacturers, importers, vendors and operators based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (the Providers) will be required to comply with new regulations concerning the commercial and recreational use of… more

A Subsidiary Post

Not too long ago, I wrote about the Securities and Exchange Commission’s confusing classification of subsidiaries. See The Case Of The Wholly Owned, But Not Totally Held, Subsidiary That May Or May Not Be 100% Owned. Since this blog… more

The Sequel to the Global Financial Crisis Is Not the CLO! (Ok, Not Yet)

Last week, an article written by Mr. Frank Partnoy, professor of law at the University of San Diego, appeared in the Financial Times and was subsequently picked up by The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Partnoy argues that the next global… more

Significant Changes in German Competition Law

On June 9, 2017, the 9th amendment of the German Act against Restraints of the Competition (GWB) came into effect. The most significant changes affect the liability for cartel fines, the application of merger control and the… more

Can You Fire an Employee Involved in Racist Protests? Should You?

Following recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia involving a “Unite the Right” rally organized by multiple white nationalist groups protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, which turned violent and ended in the tragic… more

Employers Struggle With Overtime Classification of Skilled Service Technicians

Over the past several years, we have received multiple inquiries from employers confronted with claims that they have misclassified service technicians as exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)… more

Focusing on the Mission While Watching Macro Trends

The flow of media coming at us reminds us that we continue to live in the challenging times that began in 2007. For our clients and companies, we can provide effective leadership and advice by maintaining focus on our missions. Through… more

Alleged FCRA Violation Sufficiently Concrete for Article III Standing, Ninth Circuit Holds in Spokeo II

On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has held in Spokeo v. Robins that an alleged Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violation was sufficiently concrete to support Article III standing… more

You CAN Ask Your Employees To Be Happy! Federal Appeals Court Reins In National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

Much has been written and discussed about the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) attack on handbook policies over the past several years. The NLRB has found what many consider to be run-of-the-mill, standard policies that have… more

Good Corporate Citizen or Simply Paying too Much Property Taxes

Notwithstanding that property taxes tend to be one of the more significant operating expenses for commercial property owners, applying the “good corporate citizen” rational, many fail to challenge their assessments. Does that really… more

Anti-Corruption Risks and Drug and Device Companies

For years, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission touted the FCPA “sweep” of the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. With good reason, DOJ and the SEC turned the drug and medical device industries… more

Blog: OIG Releases August Work Plan Items

As we recently announced, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is updating its Work Plan monthly rather than its previous twice-yearly publications. The August updates released this week include 4 new Work Plan items: - 1. Review… more

If It’s Not In The Will, Does It Matter What The Testator Wants?

If you want someone to get your money or property when you die, why don’t you just say so? The case reporters are thick with stories of testators who left money or property to one person with the supposed ‘understanding’ or… more

Part Two: Abandoned Mines and Data Retention Policies

As discussed in Tuesday’s post, in addition to taking reasonable precautions to secure data, companies should consider whether they have an affirmative duty to destroy data in the United States – to clear the explosives out of the… more

The Devil's Dictionary of Bankruptcy Terms: Forum Shopping

The "Devil's Dictionary" is a quick-reference guide for commercial lenders and other restructuring professionals. In this series, we highlight many of the buzz words found in the Dictionary and used in today's bankruptcy… more

Section 301: The Trade Law You May Not Know Well that Could Shock Industries

On Monday, August 14, President Trump signed an executive memorandum directing U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider a “Section 301” investigation against China… more

Immigration Visa Update: USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Cap-Exempt H-1B Visas

In a July 24, 2017 news release, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced an immediate resumption of Premium Processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B (Temporary Worker) Visa petitioners, including: institutions of… more

Will Utah counties fund thorium reactor?

Could a coalition of rural counties in Utah and a startup company develop a thorium-fueled nuclear reactor for electric power and other purposes? According to its website, the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition is currently… more

Best in Law: The Pros and Cons of the No-Contest Clause - Trusts and Wills

No-contest clauses are generally included in trusts and wills in California in an attempt to prevent challenges to an estate plan after death. Originally published in the Press-Enterprise - July 30th, 2017… more

Third Circuit Steps Back from the Brink of a Circuit Split over “Ascertainability”

Yesterday, a panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals took another step back from a circuit split over the extent to which aspiring class plaintiffs must show a “reliable and administratively feasible means of determining whether… more

Patent Myths Corrected – Part One

Patent law is a complicated area of law governed by a confusing set of statutes and regulations that are interpreted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and the federal courts. Patents themselves are sometimes… more

D.C. Circuit Upholds DOE’s Authorization of LNG Exports from the Freeport LNG Terminal

On Tuesday, August 15, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected Sierra Club’s petition for review of a U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) order authorizing long-term exports of liquefied natural gas… more

Tenth Circuit Declines To Disturb Arbitral Award Granting Fees And Costs In Wrongful Death Suit Against Nursing Home

The Tenth Circuit recently upheld a district court’s confirmation of an arbitral award ordering a nursing home (“THI”) to pay fees and costs associated with the arbitration of a wrongful death claim. A personal representative… more

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