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Recent Revisions to Internal Revenue Code Affecting Alcohol Beverages

In December 2015, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act). The PATH Act amends several provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC) administered by the Alcohol and…more

CFPB Orders "Buy Here, Pay Here" Auto Dealer to Pay $800,000 for "Abusive" Financing Schemes

Why it matters - Continuing to keep a close eye on the auto lending industry, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered a "Buy Here, Pay Here" car dealer to pay $700,000 in restitution to customers, with a $100,000…more

Clean Power Plan Put on Hold

On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, the United States Supreme Court granted a stay preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing its Clean Power Plan (“CPP), a controversial effort by the EPA to control greenhouse gas…more

EEOC Proposes New Pay Data Reporting Requirements for Employers

President Obama has announced that the EEOC is proposing new pay data reporting requirements for employers. Under the proposal, employers would be required to provide annual information on W-2 compensation and hours worked for every…more

Arbitral Awards Based on Penalty Clauses: Enforceable?

A recent English High Court decision suggests that some such awards may be enforceable notwithstanding the rule against penalties. In Pencil Hill Limited v US Citta di Palermo S.p.A., the English High Court enforced an arbitral…more

Patenting the Avocado: A California Story with a Classic Recipe

Guacamole and chips are the ultimate in Super Bowl Sunday comfort food nowadays. During the Panthers/Broncos game, the California Avocado Commission tweeted its own commentary, offering recipes that paired avocados with food and…more

Regional Perspectives on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

On 12 December 2015, nearly 200 countries at the 21st annual meeting (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Convention or UNFCCC) reached an agreement that many have described as a historic turning point…more

Defendants' Motion Seeking to Depose Opposing Counsel Denied Where Defendants Could Not Show That Information Was Unavailable from Another Source

After the plaintiff filed suit against the defendants for patent infringement, the defendants contended that they uncovered during discovery a series of e-mails demonstrating that in 2011, plaintiff engaged plaintiff's attorney, Mr…more

Proposed Rule Adding Vapor Intrusion Component to Hazard Ranking System Will Likely Appear in Federal Register This Month

A proposed rule that would add a vapor intrusion component to the Hazard Ranking System (“HRS”), the primary screening tool for the CERCLA National Priorities List (“NPL”), is scheduled for publication in the Federal Register this…more

Financial Services Weekly News - February 2015 #2

Regulatory Developments - CFPB Announces Steps to Improve Checking Account Access - On Feb. 3, the CFPB announced that it was taking three steps to expand checking account access to the approximately 10 million “unbanked”…more

Another SEC Insider Trading Case As An Administrative Proceeding

The SEC filed another settled insider trading case. In the Matter of Abdallah Fadel, Adm. Proc. File No. 3-17111 (February 10, 2016). While the case is straight forward, what may be of interest is the fact that it is the sixth insider…more

Ohio Medical Marijuana Task Force Committee Holds First Meeting

The Ohio House of Representatives’ Medical Marijuana Task Force (“Task Force”) convened its first meeting on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at the state capitol, and members of Benesch were in attendance. The Task Force was formally…more

Regarding Beauregarding

A Beauregard claim is a claim to a computer program written as a claim to an article of manufacture: a computer-readable medium on which instructions are encoded for carrying out a process. Beauregard appealed the rejection of his…more

MACRA: What Health Care Providers Need to Know

On April 16, 2015, President Obama signed into law H.R. 2, the "Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015" (MACRA), a bipartisan effort to reform the Medicare payment policy for physician services that adopts a series of…more

OIG Issues (Another) Favorable Advisory Opinion Regarding Medigap/Preferred Hospital Network Arrangement in Advisory Opinion 16-01

On January 7, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 16-01, approving yet another insurer’s proposed contract with a preferred hospital network. The advisory opinion…more

Breaking News - SCOTUS Stays the Implementation of the Clean Power Plan

The United States Supreme Court ("Supreme Court"), in a rather surprising and unprecedented move, issued a ruling staying the Environmental Protection Agency's ("EPA") implementation of the Clean Power Plan. As you know, the Clean…more

A Culture of Inclusion: Transgender-Friendly Workplaces on the Rise

American Airlines, The Coca-Cola Co., Humana, Macy’s and Ford. All among the best-known brands in the world, each a stalwart of American business. All of them are among the most transgender-inclusive companies in the country according…more

Virtual Learning: The Scope of Preemption Under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Companies seeking protection under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”) should consider the effects of CUTSA preemption on their litigation strategy. Under the well-known Silvaco Data System v. Intel Corporation case and…more

Renewable Energy Case Law Update

This case law update describes a selection of renewable energy cases from 2015. It is not intended to address all renewable energy cases over the previous year, but rather, highlight a few that are more likely to be of interest to the…more

The Eleventh Circuit Still Stands Alone, as Balch Attorneys Defend the Dismissal of Crawford Claims in Federal Appellate Courts Across the Country

From the moment it was published in July 2014, Crawford v. LVNV Funding, LLC, 758 F.3d 1254 (11th Cir. 2014)—the first reported appellate decision holding that a plaintiff may state a claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act…more

Major Changes Underway at the California Fish and Game Commission

The California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) is in the midst of major changes. The Commission, which was established in 1870, has been led by a body of five commissioners since 1937. The Commission has a small staff to…more

EEOC’s Proposed (Anti) Retaliation Guidance: Is Your Whistleblower Response System Ready?

The EEOC’s January 21, 2016 “Draft Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues” continues the pattern of governmental agencies probing deeply into your whistleblower program.  Whether or not the guidance remains…more

Federal Circuit Reinforces PTAB’s Authority to Institute Trial on Selected Claims in Synopsis v. Mentor Graphics Appeal

Newcomers to post-grant proceedings are often surprised by the PTAB’s claim-by-claim approach to patent challenges under the America Invents Act…more

FDIC’s Winter 2015 Supervisory Insights Focus on Cybersecurity and Marketplace Lending Concerns

On February 1, 2016, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released its Winter 2015 Supervisory Insights publication. One of the primary focus areas of this Supervisory Insights mirrors much of current focus of the industry…more

Can Employees Be Disciplined When They Exceed the Frequency or Duration on Their FMLA Medical Certification?

One of the biggest headaches for employers when administering FMLA leave is how to deal with the employee who exceeds the frequency or duration identified on the employee’s medical certification. Nearly all of these situations involve…more

Blog: Applying The 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive & The 2nd Payment Services Directive To Virtual Currency Exchanges And Wallet Providers

The European Union’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council will meet on Friday 12 February 2016. At that meeting, the Council will be invited to agree to..…more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending January 29 & February 5, 2016

Real Property Update - Foreclosure/Standing: filing of original note and mortgage with assignment after complaint filed does not establish standing to sue at inception of suit where endorsement undated and assignment dated after…more

Blog: PRA Letter To Life And General (Re)Insurers About Buy And Sell Side Longevity Risk Transfers

The PRA has published a letter to life and general insurers about longevity risk transfers, and the counterparty risks they transfers can generate. Here’s a key extract..…more

Fannie And Freddie Loans Could Be Next FCA Targets

By now, lenders that make loans insured by the federal government are well acquainted with the False Claims Act. Following the financial crisis, the U.S. Department of Justice has aggressively used the FCA to collect billions of…more

R&I Update: Hot Topics in Oil and Gas Restructurings, Volume 1

In 2015, the energy sector accounted for more than one-half of all public company bankruptcy filings, including eight of the 10 largest filings. Current oil prices and bond values indicate that 2016 will be another active year. As of…more

New Jersey Appellate Division Rules Specific Searches not Required Before Resorting to Service by Mail

In New Jersey, there are three different means by which service can be effected by mail when the primary method, personal service, is unsuccessful. Each method is unique to the specific situation that gives rise to the resort to…more

When Cupid’s Arrow Strikes the Workplace

With Valentine’s Day approaching, love is in the air, and employers need to be mindful of the risks associated with workplace romance. While these risks exist year-round, the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday may trigger inappropriate…more

Health Alert (Australia) - February 8, 2016

In This Issue: - Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. - Excerpt from Judgments: South Australia 28 January 2016 - Inquest into the death of Ebony Simone Napier The South Australian Coroner has recommended…more

Publishers close the book on one e-books case; Supreme Court decides whether to reopen another

We will soon know whether the Supreme Court will grant Apple’s cert petition asking the Court to review and reverse its antitrust violation for conspiring with publishers to fix the prices of e-books. The Court will consider the…more

EEOC to Collect Pay Data from Large Companies

If you read one thing... - The EEOC has announced a proposal to start collecting employee compensation information from companies with 100 or more employees, and is seeking comments, which are due by April 1, 2016. -…more

U.S. Treasury Department to Scrutinize Certain All Cash Real Estate Transactions in New York City and Miami-Dade County

On January 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued two temporary Geographic Targeting Orders (the Orders) that will require title insurance companies to identify the…more

FTC sends 2015 ECOA report to CFPB

The FTC has sent its annual letter to the CFPB reporting on the FTC’s activities related to compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B. The FTC has authority to enforce the ECOA and Reg B as to nonbank…more

Obama Order Establishes Federal Privacy Council

On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing the “Federal Privacy Council,” an interagency council of senior officials from each of 24 federal departments and agencies. The Council is to be the…more

Alert: Timeline for First Set of Gainful Employment Rates Slips Further

The US Department of Education has announced another delay in the distribution of the Completer Lists for Gainful Employment programs until Spring 2016, which is bound to push back the date for ED to issue the first set of Draft GE…more

Stay of Clean Power Plan Hampers Innovative Strategies to Reduce Carbon Emissions & Obscures Policy Signals for Investment

On February 9, 2016, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan (CPP), effectively halting the rule’s implementation until the D.C. Circuit and, in all likelihood, the high court itself reach a decision on…more

Secured Creditors Beware: Overvalued Properties in Bankruptcy

An overvalued property may now have a bigger impact on a secured creditor’s bottom-line during bankruptcy. Splitting with the Seventh Circuit, the Fifth Circuit in Southwest Securities, FSB v. Segner (In the Matter of Domistyle…more

ESMA Publishes Opinions on Pension Schemes To Be Exempt From EMIR Clearing Obligations

On February 2, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a set of opinions to exempt 16 UK-based pension schemes from clearing obligations contained in the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR)…more

U.S. Supreme Court Stays Clean Power Plan Implementation: Next Steps

The U.S. Supreme Court’s order on February 9, 2016 staying EPA’s implementation of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) will create at least a year of uncertainty about the shape of the future electric power regulatory framework, with…more

FDIC cybersecurity framework features four areas critical to bank security

Long gone are the days when a financial institution’s primary security concern was protecting cash in the bank vault, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) acknowledges in its recent article, “A Framework for Cybersecurity,”…more

Introducing....The Federal Privacy Council!

In one of the last Executive Orders of his final term, President Obama on Tuesday established the “Federal Privacy Council”—an “interagency forum to improve the Government privacy practices of agencies and entities acting on their…more

Regulation of unfair competition and unfair advertising in CIS

Unfair competition is one of the most common violations of antimonopoly regulation in most of the CIS countries. Often linked to infringement of intellectual property rights, unfair competition can create a significant threat not only…more

Copyright Protection in Canada for Artists

In Canada, “copyright” refers to the bundle of rights conferred by the Copyright Act (the Act) on the copyright owner and author of a work. The owner of copyright has the sole right to produce or reproduce a work (or a substantial part…more

Pharmaceutical Life Cycle Management: Navigating the New IP, FDA and Antitrust Terrain

Efforts to extend the life cycle of pharmaceutical products frequently involve innovations and improvements in product design, formulation, route of administration and treatment indications. In addition, negotiation of agreements with…more

CFPB Outlines Expectations for In-Person Debt Collection Activities by First- and Third-Party Debt Collectors

Consumer debt collection activities remain one of the primary focus areas of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—and this focus is not limited to the activities of third—party debt collectors…more

[Video]FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 232-Kristy Grant-Hart on how to be a wildly effective compliance officer

In this episode I visit with Kristy Grant-Hart about her new book How To Be a Wildly Effective Compliance Officer…more

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