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FTC Announces Settlement with Municipal Debt Collector Over Alleged Abusive Debt Collection Practices

?On March 24, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced? that it entered into a consent order with a debt collection company, resolving allegations that the company engaged in unfair and abusive debt collection practices in…more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: March 2017 #4

Last week, HR Dive highlighted the benefits and drawbacks of the use of electronic tracking to assess how employees engage with one another. Use of tracking technology to assess employee interaction has joined employee location…more

What can your Animal Control Officer do for you?

I remember the days (and I don’t mean they were necessarily the good old days) when Animal Control Officers were called “dog catchers”. They had a truck, picked up stray dogs, and did not try to help the dogs or reunite them with…more

Tax Tips

Internal Revenue Service Temporarily Holding Off on Issuing New Regulations - The Internal Revenue Service is temporarily holding off on issuing new rules while evaluating the impact of executive orders from President Trump…more

Promulgation of TMDLs Does Not Create a Non-Discretionary Duty to Require NPDES Permits

When EPA approved total maximum daily loads for the Charles River, but failed to require NPDES permits for persons discharging stormwater to the Charles, CLF sued. CLF alleged that EPA violated a non-discretionary duty when it failed…more

Damages: The Dark Side of Having Employees in the United States

Canadian employment law is, in many ways, far more employee favorable than U.S. employment law. With the exception of a few states, employment in the United States is “at-will.”…more

Double whammy: Federal estate tax repeal could substantially increase tax for California residents

With all of the talk about potential repeal of the federal estate tax, many people have decided to postpone further estate planning, hoping that the repeal will occur. However, Californians should hold out no such hope…more

Maritime and Infrastructure Federal Update - March 2017

Welcome to the Cozen O’Connor Maritime and Infrastructure Federal Update. Through this publication, we aim to keep you informed about many of the federal legislative, regulatory, and administrative developments affecting the maritime…more

FINRA Proposal to Allow Broker-Dealers to Distribute Predictive Illustrations

Amendment to FINRA Communications Rule would put member firms on a more equal footing with investment advisers. In February 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) announced a proposed amendment (Proposed…more

FY2018 H-1B Cap Random Lottery Confirmed

During this time of increased unpredictability in US immigration law, it was good to see that the US Citizenship and Immigration Service had confirmed that the upcoming FY2018 H-1B random lottery will be conducted in the same manner as…more

EU Parliament’s LIBE Committee Declares Privacy Shield Inadequate

The EU-US Privacy Shield framework, which has faced a barrage of criticism since its approval in July, took another hit last week when the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs Committee (“LIBE Committee”)…more

Repeal Efforts Fail (for now): Can Obamacare Survive?

With the House GOP pulling the American Health Care Act (AHCA) due to lack of sufficient support even within its own party, Obamacare is not out of the woods. The ACA’s two pillars, the individual marketplaces and Medicaid…more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2017 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - U.S., in reversal, issues permit for Keystone oil pipeline - New York Times - Mar 24 - The Trump administration announced on Friday that it would issue a permit for construction of…more

An Important New Decision on Whether Section 75-1.1 Applies to Multistate Conduct

Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina issued a meaty decision about N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. The decision, in a case called SmithKline Beecham Corp. d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline v. Abbott Laboratories…more

Split Eleventh Circuit Panel Says Title VII Does Not Prohibit Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Perhaps the hottest issue in employment discrimination law today is whether that ban on gender discrimination includes discrimination on the basis…more

SEC Adopts T+2 Securities Settlement Cycle

On March 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) adopted a rule amendment that shortens the time by which most securities transactions effected by a broker-dealer are required to settle. Under the amendment, beginning…more

Port Authority Not Subject to Worker-Friendly New Jersey Whistleblower Law, State Court Rules

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is not subject to suit under New Jersey’s expansive whistleblower statute, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, the New Jersey Appellate Division has held. Sullivan v. Port Auth. of…more

Delaware Bankruptcy Court Reinforces that Hindsight is not a Basis to Object to Indenture Trustee Fees

In the Chapter 11 case of Nortel Networks Inc., et al. ("Nortel"), pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (the "Bankruptcy Court"), a group of senior noteholders (the "Noteholders") objected to the…more

House of Delegates Passes Bill to Reduce the Votes Required to Amend Bylaws

By a vote of 135-0, the Maryland House of Delegates has passed legislation that would reduce the percentage of affirmative votes required to amend condominium bylaws. Under Section 11-104(e) of the Maryland Condominium Act…more

Jackson Lewis Files Comments on EEOC’s Proposed Guidance on Unlawful Harassment

Jackson Lewis has submitted comments to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on the Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment. The Proposed Guidance sets out to define what constitutes harassment, examine when a basis…more

The Importance of Being Specific

When you’re designing an individual education program (IEP), you better be specific. That’s the message from a recent federal court case outside of Philadelphia which said that Norristown School District’s IEP for a special…more

European Commission Publishes Inception Impact Assessment on New Prudential Framework for Investment Firms

The European Commission has published an inception impact assessment on its review of the appropriate treatment for investment firms. The impact assessment relates to the Commission’s review of the prudential framework for…more

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to cancel Friday’s vote on the American Health Care Act triggered post-mortem jockeying among vying GOP factions struggling to come to grips with how the party failed to repeal a law it has singularly…more

Cal/OSHA’s Workplace Violence Rules for Health Care Take Effect April 2017

Effective April 1, 2017, a new California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Standards Board”) regulation at Title 8, Section 3342 requires certain employers in the health care industry to develop and implement a…more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

The feud between Big Billy Gross and his former firm, Pimco, over BBG’s 2014 ouster is officially finished. The terms weren’t officially disclosed, but both sides noted that “any proceeds from the suit will be donated to…more

Credit Reporting Remains a High Priority for the CFPB

The CFPB confirmed credit reporting remains a high priority for the agency by issuing a special Supervisory Highlights devoted to credit reporting earlier this month. The report was generally complimentary of the strides that credit…more

The Surprise of Familiarity

Watching from afar the Scouts attempting to earn their orienteering merit badges, we could see it on the boys’ faces. They were lost; they were scared. They should have reached their destination an hour ago. Soon, these woods would…more

Tax Reform – Proposed Legislation Protecting Affordable Housing

After legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act was pulled from the House floor last Friday, news headlines across the country began reporting that tax reform is next on the Trump Administration’s agenda. As noted in our prior blog…more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Testimony on Tax Surcharge Bills - This week, the Legislature’s Taxation Committee heard testimony on a…more

CFPB Seeks Comments on the Credit Card Market for Its 2017 CARD Act Report

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently issued a request for information (the RFI) regarding the consumer credit card market. The CARD Act (Pub. L. No. 111–24, 123 Stat. 1734 (2009)) requires the CFPB to publish a biennial…more

The Five Levels of Building an Ethical Culture

How to build and sustain an organization whose employees are happy, motivated, and ethical remains one of the most complex, elusive questions confronting business leaders. Organizational culture is determined by the interaction of…more

[Webinar] Cyber Security and Insider Threats: Turning Policies into Practices - April 6th, 1:00pm EST

Unfortunately even the best technological defenses won’t protect your company’s intellectual property and data if your employees inadvertently or intentionally take actions to compromise confidential information. The key to mitigating…more

Delaware Supreme Court Issues New Standards Governing Master Limited Partnership Cases

Agreements for limited partnerships, in particular for publicly-traded master limited partnerships, are notoriously complicated and often hard to understand, so much so that two of the state’s judges co-wrote a detailed article calling…more

Fourth District Affirms Judgment Rejecting Numerous CEQA Challenges to EIR and Approval Process for Large Master-Planned Riverside County Development Project

In a 46-page opinion filed February 14 and ordered published on March 15, 2017, the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected numerous CEQA challenges to Riverside County’s approval of an EIR for Specific Plan 380, a 200-acre…more

FCA releases new thematic review entitled ‘Early Arrears Management in Unsecured Lending’

The FCA has released a new report into how firms are treating customers who fall into arrears, focusing in particular on how firms are interacting with customers and examining the different forbearance options that are being offered…more

Compliance, Technology and Data Analytics

Compliance professionals cannot do it alone. Of course, CCOs need compliance staff and the collaboration of business, human resources, legal, financial and audit, and related functions in order to succeed. I have made this point over…more

Labor & Employment E-Note - March 2017

If your employees use business vehicles or personal vehicles for work, you should take heed of Great American Alliance Ins. Co. v.Anderson, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2277 (11th Cir. Feb. 8, 2017), involving approximately $1 million in…more

New Jersey Bill Will Make Whistleblower Settlement Agreements with Public Entities Public Records

Proposed legislation that would make whistleblower settlement agreements involving public entities available to the public has been approved unanimously by the New Jersey Assembly on March 23, 2017. The New Jersey Assembly Bill…more

Copyright protection available to surface ornamentation of cheerleader’s uniforms: Star Athletica v Varsity Brands

On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court in the case of Star Athletica LLC v Varsity Brands LLC affirmed a decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that copyright protection could exist in surface ornamentation of…more

Tenant Relocation and Thinking Outside the (Big) Box

Retail shopping center growth has hit a big speed bump coming in to the 2017 New Year as increasing vacancy rates persist in many U.S. shopping centers. Big-box retailer Sports Authority announced in 2016 that it would close its 460…more

Supreme Court Invalidates Action taken by Former NLRB General Counsel

The National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel is an important position. The General Counsel is, among other things, the NLRB’s chief prosecutor and sets the Agency’s prosecutorial agenda. The GC is appointed by the President and…more

Understanding the Extended Surviving Spousal Protections for SDVOSBs

A surviving spouse, who is not a Service-Disabled Veteran, must satisfy specific criteria in order to continue running a company as though it remained a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (“SDVOSB”). This right is not…more

Tax Preparation is NOT a Commodity

As we approach this year’s tax filing deadline of April 18th, do you think that you have your Tax Return under control? Before you answer yes, take the time to examine and evaluate who is preparing your taxes. Do they have the…more

HHS-OIG Publishes Resource on Compliance Program Effectiveness

On March 27, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) announced a 52-page resource guide, Measuring Compliance Program Effectiveness: A Resource Guide, aimed at helping organizations…more

[Video]Compliance into the Weeds-Episode 33, Enhancing Culture

In this episode, we take a look at a recent speech given by NY Fed Chairman William Dudley in London where he addressed improving corporate culture. Dudley provided three recommended steps. First, a bank must decide on its purpose and…more

President Signs Resolution to Undo "Blacklisting" Rule

On March 27, 2017, President Trump signed a joint resolution of disapproval (H.J. Res. 37) to block the rule implementing Executive Order 13,673, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, otherwise known as the "blacklisting" rule. The resolution…more

Protecting Your Brand Overseas

It has been my experience that when many U.S. clients expand their businesses beyond national borders, they are unaware that their U.S. trademark registrations provide no protection in foreign jurisdictions. Trademark ownership…more

The Financial Report, Volume 6, Number 6

Discussion and Analysis - This week, DLA Piper has been proud to once again be a sponsor of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Compliance and Legal Society’s Annual Seminar. Perhaps the largest…more

Financial Adviser Update Regarding Disclosure of Fees

A recent Delaware Court of Chancery case, Vento v. Curry, highlights Delaware courts’ treatment of financial adviser relationships, how these relationships intersect with directors’ fiduciary duties, and the importance of financial…more

California’s Free Mining & Tunneling Training Schedule

California enforces its own mining and tunneling regulations through Cal/OSHA’s Mining and Tunneling (M&T) Unit. The main function of this specialized unit is to investigate complaints and accidents in mines and tunnels and to issue…more

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