Latest Updates

Which Of These Brains Is Not Like The Others? Of Monkeys, Humans and Artificial Intelligence

Previously, we reported on a (fabulous) selfie taken by Naruto, a seven-year-old crested macaque monkey. Readers may recall that David Slater, a famous wildlife photographer, deliberately left his camera where a troop of crested… more

New Useful Florida Homestead Concepts Diagram

Several years ago I prepared a table to assist practitioners in determining what restrictions apply on a transfer of homestead property at death or during lifetime. Homestead status has other implications, including protections from… more

How to Get a Student Loan Discharged Because of a Disability

Many people with disability income owe student loans. Although deferring repayment or working out a repayment plan based on the individual’s income are possible options, there’s also a process for discharging student loans completely… more

Reviewing the Justices’ Voting Records in Death Penalty Appeals, 1994-2017 (Part 2)

On September 21, 2017, we reviewed the individual Justices’ voting records in death penalty appeals for the years 1994 through 2005. Today, we look at the second half of our study period, 2006 through 2017. In Table 303, we report… more

CEO Pay Ratio Rule: New SEC Advice Helps Companies Prepare to Comply

Having recently affirmed that there will be no postponement of the 2018 effective date for CEO pay ratio disclosure, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Sept. 21 issued interpretive guidance to assist companies in their… more

At Stake

L’Shana Tova! The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) held its monthly meeting on Rosh Hashanah, September 21, 2017, in Chicago. Below is a brief summary of the events of the Riverboat and Video Gaming meetings in which all Board Members… more

Undefinitized Contracts - Turner Construction Co. v. Smithsonian Institution - Construction and Procurement Law News, Q3 2017

The Civilian Board of Contracts Appeals (“CBCA”), the federal administrative court tasked to resolve disputes between government contractors and federal civilian executive agencies, recently issued a decision in Turner Construction Co… more

Kent Sullivan Named New Texas Insurance Commissioner

On September 21, 2017, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that Kent Sullivan will be the next Texas Insurance Commissioner. Sullivan previously served as First Assistant Attorney General when Abbott served as Texas Attorney General… more

Department of Education Rescinds Obama-Era Guidance on Sexual Misconduct

Following Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ Sept. 7 speech critical of the Obama administration’s prescriptive and adversarial guidance on Title IX, we predicted in a client alert that the current administration would formally rescind… more

Newton Defies the Laws of … the Federal Aviation Administration, and Finds its Efforts to Regulate Drone Operations Preempted by Federal Law

In Singer v. City of Newton, Case No. 1:17-CV-10071-WGY, a first of its kind decision, the United States District Court for the District Court of Massachusetts has found that portions of a local ordinance regulating the operation of… more

Key Regulatory Topics: Weekly Update - 15 September 2017 – 21 September 2017

CMA issues statement on investment consultancy market investigation - On 21 September, the CMA published its issues statement to set out the scope of the market investigation into the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy… more

Chief Judge Stark Grants IBM’s Motion For Summary Judgment Of No Anticipation

By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Leonard P. Stark in International Business Machines Corp. v. The Priceline Group Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 15-137-LPS (D.Del. September 18, 2017), the Court, among other things… more

Gatorade Lands in Hot Water by Encouraging Others to Avoid Water

This week, the California Attorney General announced a settlement involving allegations that Gatorade made misleading claims about the relative performance benefits of Gatorade and water in a mobile game that was targeted to teens… more

Timelines For Responding To Reasonable Accommodation Requests

In response to a question, here is a short Fair Housing Act (FHA) primer on the timeline for responding to reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification requests. Under our FHA, “discrimination” includes “a refusal to make… more

Revised Travel Ban Coming?

The Trump Administration reportedly may replace the current travel ban with a country-specific set of restrictions. In June, the Supreme Court allowed the government to begin enforcing the 90-day travel ban against individuals from… more

Ridgeway v. Walmart Stores, Inc. – A Reminder That There Are Few Bright Line Rules in Class Action Attorneys’ Fees Awards.

On September 14, 2017, the Northern District of California entered its order awarding attorneys’ fees to plaintiffs’ class action counsel in Ridgeway v. Walmart Stores, Inc., No. 08-cv-05221-SI, 2017 WL 4071293 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 14… more

Looking the Other Way: European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber Determines Employer Monitoring of Electronic Communications May Violate Employees’ Privacy

In a case highlighting the European Continent’s approach to worker privacy, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that employers may violate employees’ rights when monitoring their electronic correspondence in… more

Trump Expands Sanctions on North Korea

President Trump issued a new executive order (the EO) on September 21st that greatly expands the U.S. sanctions against North Korea, particularly secondary sanctions. Secondary sanctions apply to non-U.S. individuals and corporations… more

EB-5 Regional Center Program Extended to December 8, 2017

The EB-5 Regional Center Program authorization was set to expire September 30, 2017. The extension of the authorization until December 8, 2017 was part of the legislation (known as H.R. 601) signed into law by President Trump on… more

Court Rejects Labor Union’s Referendum Petition to Thwart City’s Sale of Land to Private Hotel Developer Whose Project Would Not Employ Union Workers

The use and abuse of the California Environmental Quality Act and the elections laws by special interests such as business competitors and labor unions is a pervasive and problematic feature of the California development process… more

Boomerang Systems – 12(b)(6) Motion To Dismiss Denied

In a decision signed September 21, 2017 in an adversary proceeding related to the Boomerang Systems bankruptcy (case 15-11729), Judge Walrath of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court denied a defendants FRCP 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a… more

New York Governor Signs Bill On Bioheating Fuel Requirements

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) announced that on September 13, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that introduces bioheating fuel tax credits and bioheating fuel tax requirements to three New York counties… more

How Loans Can Impact Size and Status

It’s protest season. Or, maybe it is always protest season. In any event, the best defense for a size or status protest is always to be prepared before the protest is filed. That means regularly assessing potential affiliations that… more

The Equifax Breach: How to Protect Your Company and Your Customers

On September 7, Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting firms in the U.S., disclosed a data breach that potentially affects 143 million consumers. Equifax’s disclosure indicated that the breach, which Equifax claims to have… more

Employees Of Meal Subscription Companies May Be Required To Obtain Food Handler Cards

The California Legislature recently passed AB 1461 which, if signed into law, would require all food-handling employees of food facilities that provide meal subscription plans to obtain food handler cards in accordance with existing… more

Three “Job Killer” Bills Sent To Governor

The California Legislature has completed its work for this session, and three bills concerning employment issues survived the process and have been sent to Governor Brown for his consideration and possible signature. All three of these… more

Pruitt Responds To Senators’ Request For Details On Icahn’s Advisory Role

On September 11, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt sent a letter to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in response to the request by Senator Whitehouse and four other Democratic Senators to… more

Premium Processing Resumes For H-1B Cap Cases

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 cap. Who can use Premium Processing? Premium processing is now… more

Pay Ratio is a Go!: The Commission and the Division of Corporation Finance Provide Guidance and Updated C&DIs

On September 21, 2017, both the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) and its Division of Corporation Finance (“Corp Fin”) provided guidance on the pay ratio disclosure requirement mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act… more

Education Department Rescinds Obama-Era Guidance On Campus Sexual Assault Investigations, Issues Interim Guidance

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on September 22, 2017, released Title IX interim guidance, while rescinding Obama-era policies, for handling sexual assault cases on college campuses . Specifically, the Department of Education… more

Another Successful IACUC Conference Presented By The New Jersey Association For Biomedical Research

On September 22, 2017, the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research (NJABR) offered its 24th Annual IACUC Conference, – “the region’s premier training conference for Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee members, lab… more

News from Second & State

Weekly Wrap - This was the Senate’s first week back from their summer break and it was rather quiet up on the hill as negotiations were still taking place on the budget. The Senate sent their spending plan to the House of… more

Neste Announces Renewable Jet Fuel To Be Used At Genève Aéroport

On September 13, 2017, Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced it is collaborating with Genève Aéroport to make flying more sustainable. Neste will be providing renewable jet fuel for… more

Managed Care Quarterly Review: Issue 1

Tips for Managing Large Claims Disputes Part 1: Pre-Litigation Avoidance and Early Litigation Strategies - Large claims disputes brought by providers against payers are on the rise. Based on previous experience with dozens of these… more

New Board Member Kaplan Sides With Pearce In First NLRB Decision

In what appears to be the first time he has participated in a National Labor Relations Board decision, new NLRB Member Marvin E. Kaplan, a Republican, has voted to deny an employer’s request to stay an election. He voted with Democrat… more

Beauty School Students Are “Dropouts” From The FLSA According To Seventh Circuit

In the movie “Grease,” there is a song entitled “Beauty School Dropout,” sung by Frankie Avalon. Well, in a legal version of that number, the Seventh Circuit has affirmed that beauty school students have, sort of, dropped out of the… more

Todd Walters Participates in Fireside Chat with Chief Judge of PTAB

On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) conducted a special “Boardside Chat” webinar with Chief Judge David Ruschke. Todd Walters represented the American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section… more

DOE Studies Impact Of Drought On Biomass Products

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have linked changes in rainfall and other environmental stressors during crop growth to potential deleterious effects on biofuel production. The study demonstrates that the effect… more

Menu Labeling Litigation Between the FDA and Public Interest Groups May Be On Hold

Following the announcement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) had decided to delay the compliance deadline for the menu labeling regulations, two public interests groups sued the FDA over the decision seeking to have… more

Good Housekeeping Tips Every 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Follow

Good housekeeping isn’t just about keeping your house clean, it’s about keeping everything in order. When it comes to being a 401(k) plan sponsor, good housekeeping isn’t about dusting and putting baking soda in the refrigerator. Good… more

PTAB Designates as “Informative” Expanded PTAB Panel Decision Adopting the Seven NVIDIA Factors For Evaluating Follow-On Petitions

The PTAB’s Chief Administrative Patent Judge and Deputy Chief Administrative Patent Judge joined an expanded PTAB panel that adopted the seven NVIDIA factors and denied institution of the Petitioner’s follow-on petitions in General… more

EEOC Sues IHOP Chain for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Chain of Franchises Subjected Employees to Sexual Harassment and Retaliation, Federal Agency Charges - LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Several franchisees of the popular IHOP restaurant chain in Nevada and New York violated federal law when they… more

California Court Tosses Challenge to Gap Outlet Labels

In a victory for outlet retailers, a California appellate panel recently tossed out a deceptive marketing and advertising suit against Gap… more

Air Enforcement: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Garland County, Arkansas Rubber Products Manufacturing Facility Enter into Consent Administrative Order

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) and Alliance Rubber Company (“ARC”) entered into a September 13th Consent Administrative Order (“CAO”) addressing an alleged violation of an air permit. See LIS No… more

Federal Circuit Upholds $112 Million Win for Knobbe Martens Client CardiAQ

On September 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a $112 million win for Knobbe Martens client CardiAQ in its trade secret misappropriation case against former service provider Neovasc. A three-judge panel… more

Seasoned Litigator Nominated to Replace Commissioner Robinson and Establish Republican Majority at CPSC

Yesterday, President Trump announced his nomination of Dana Baiocco to be a Republican Commissioner on the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If confirmed, Ms. Baiocco would take the seat of Commissioner Robinson, whose term expires… more

PTAB Grants Rare Rehearing Due To Insufficient Evidence Of Obviousness

In Coalition For Affordable Drugs VI, LLC v. Celgene Corp. (2015-01096, -01102, -01103), the PTAB granted Patent Owner Celgene’s request for rehearing of a final written decision that had found the challenged claims invalid for… more

Gulf Logistics Operating Sued For Disability Discrimination By EEOC

Vessel Company Discharged Deckhand With 'Situational Depression' Because It Perceived Him to be Disabled, Federal Agency Charged - NEW ORLEANS -- An oil and gas vessel company doing business in the Larose, La., area violated… more

FY2019 Diversity Lottery Instructions Are Now Available

The U.S. Department of State has announced that registration for the 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2019), also known as the Green Card Lottery, will commence at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), Tuesday, October 3, 2017… more

Court Adds Some of the Custodians Requested by Plaintiffs to Discovery, But Not All: eDiscovery Case Law

In Mann, et al. v. City of Chicago, et al, Nos. 15 CV 9197, 13 CV 4531 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 8, 2017), Illinois Magistrate Judge Mary M. Rowland granted in part and denied in part the plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel the defendant to include… more

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