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CFPB Issues Consent Order Regarding National Bank’s Student Loan Servicing Practices

On August 22, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it entered into a consent order with a large national bank in relation to the company’s private student loan servicing practices. The CFPB asserts that…more

Safe Harbor for Violations of Disability Access Under the Unruh Act

Senate Bill 269 provides a “safe harbor” period for some businesses to correct certain violations related to construction-related disability access under the Unruh Act. The bill reduces fines for certain technical violations…more

Password (Sharing) Risks Persist for Fiduciaries and Family Members

In May, I posted about “Estate Planning in the Digital Age” and mentioned the practical limitations of shared passwords as a means of digital estate planning.  Recent cases suggest that relying only on password sharing, even if it…more

Ninth Circuit Holds Class Action Waivers Violate NLRA: What Employers Should Do Now

In an important 2–1 decision, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded class action waivers in arbitration agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and therefore are unenforceable. This…more

Prioritising Environmental Obligations in Future Trade Agreements

We have commented previously about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its relationship with environmental obligations. Here, following Brexit, we turn our attention to future trade arrangements for the UK and…more

Ready For Takeoff! FAA’s New Commercial Drone Rule Takes Effect on August 29, 2016

The FAA’s new final rule, which will revolutionize commercial operations of small drones (also known as small Unmanned Aircraft Systems or “sUAS”), will become effective on Monday, August 29, 2016. The FAA is replacing its previous…more

Led by Texas, Several States Challenge Section 1557’s Gender Identity Protections in HHS’s Final Rule

On August 23, 2016, several States and three faith-based healthcare providers filed suit in the Northern District of Texas against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) over HHS’s interpretation of “sex” in the final…more

NAIC Exposes Second Draft of Insurance Data Security Model Law

On August 17, 2016, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Cybersecurity Task Force of the Executive Committee exposed for comment the second draft of the Insurance Data Security Model Act. The second exposure draft…more

MassMutual and RBS Settle RMBS Litigation

On August 12, 2016, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (“MassMutual”) and RBS jointly moved to dismiss MassMutual’s $235 million RMBS claim, stating that the parties had reached a confidential settlement agreement. MassMutual…more

The Case for the Mid-Sized Law Firm: A Conversation with Ed Winslow

Brooks Pierce partner, Ed Winslow, in conversation with Kathryn Whitaker on the legal industry past and present, law firm leadership, and the virtues of MidLaw versus BigLaw…more

“The War Is Over”: Assemblymember Gatto Introduces Bill to Memorialize CPUC Reform Package

At an August 11th conference organized by the Advanced Energy Economy, Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), Chair of the Utilities and Commerce Committee, and California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) President Michael…more

Reining In Individual Arbitration – Ninth Circuit Rules Class Waivers Unenforceable

In a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth Circuit became the second federal court of appeals to agree with the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) position that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prohibits class action waivers in employees’…more

NLRB Reverses Over a Decade of Precedent: Student Employees Entitled to NLRA Protection

Reversing more than a decade of precedent, the activist National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled on August 23, 2016 in The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York and Graduate Workers of Columbia–GWC, UAW that…more

Reserve Funds and Restitution: Government Litigation in the Payments Space

Beginning in earnest in 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) began to exert pressure on the payments industry—including payment card processors and independent sales organizations (“ISOs”)—to stamp out businesses engaged in…more

New AML Licence Conditions and Guidance from the Gambling Commission

Following an extensive consultation in 2015 on changes to the LCCP in relation to the prevention of crimes associated with gambling, and two short consultations in June 2016 on digital adverts and money laundering risks, the Gambling…more

2016 Changes to Tennessee Workers’ Compensation

This year, there are several notable revisions to TN law regarding workers’ compensation. First, reasonable attorney fees and costs can be awarded to the employee and his/her counsel when the employer fails to initiate appropriate…more

FLPs and Other “Discounting” Strategies: Targets for IRS Scrutiny? Act Now!

Proposed regulations issued by the Treasury Department in August 2016 under Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code seek to limit valuation discounts afforded by family limited partnerships (FLP) and other common planning techniques…more

OCR to Investigate More HIPAA Breaches Affecting Fewer Than 500 Individuals

On August 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced plans to expand its investigations of reported breaches of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act…more

SEC Settles With 71 Municipal Issuers

The Commission’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative has been a significant success. Under the Initiative the agency has filed settled enforcement actions against firm’s representing 96% of the market share for…more

CFPB proposes rule expanding disclosure of confidential supervisory information to state AGs

Without an announcement, the CFPB has proposed a rule that would expand its discretion to share confidential supervisory information (CSI) with state attorneys general and other agencies that do not have supervisory authority over…more

Latest Data Breach Settlement Illustrates Need for Companies to Prioritize Cybersecurity

On Aug. 5, 2016, the New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, announced a $100,000 settlement with an e-retailer following an investigation of a data breach that resulted in the potential exposure of more than 25,000 credit card…more

NAIC Cybersecurity Task Force Weighs Credit Freezes

On May 24-25, the NAIC Cybersecurity (EX) Task Force held an interim meeting to hear comments from various industry trade organizations and other interested parties on the proposed Insurance Data Security Model Law exposed for comment…more

AGG Litigation Insights Newsletter - Summer 2016

Even for companies accustomed to civil lawsuits, when the government is on the other side of the “v,” the prospect of litigation can be intimidating and unfamiliar. In this issue of the Litigation Newsletter, we explore how to…more

Sweeping Six-Case Win For Water District Helps Secure Orange County's Water Supply

In early May, the Fourth District Court of Appeal took an important step toward helping to secure Orange County’s water supply. It issued several opinions in response to challenges to a proposed public-private partnership project that…more

Millennials and the Gig Economy

Millennials are typically defined as those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. Recent reports from the Pew Research Center estimate there are 75.4 million Millennials in the United States today, making them the country’s…more

The Law Doesn’t Forbid Submitting False Claims

An Eighth Circuit decision provides a reminder that the False Claims Act doesn’t forbid submitting false claims: it forbids knowingly submitting false claims. That made all the difference in an appeal of summary judgment in favor of…more

ESA Mega-Settlement Part II: CBD Files Notice of Intent to Sue Over 417 Species

The Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed on August 23, 2016 a Notice of Intent to sue the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“FWS” or “the Service”) over missed Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) 12-month finding deadlines for 417…more

Private sector opportunities in the UAE water industry

Independent water projects on the increase in the UAE – new opportunities for developers and lenders. Demand for water in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to increase year-on-year with growth in population and industry…more

Online Seller Wins Dismissal of RICO Claims in Counterfeiting Action by Fashion Retailers

A New York federal court recently held that defendant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (“Alibaba”), which is notorious for allegedly enabling the sale of counterfeit products, did not violate federal racketeering law by selling allegedly…more

Healthcare & Life Sciences Private Equity Deal Tracker: Kelso Acquires Physicians Endoscopy From Pamlico Capital

Pamlico Capital has announced it has sold Physicians Endoscopy to Kelso & Company. Pamlico Capital, based in Charlotte, N.C., and formerly Wachovia Capital, is an independent PE firm focused on buyout and growth equity investments…more

Vermont adopts Renewable Energy Standard

This summer Vermont energy regulators issued an order implementing a Renewable Energy Standard. This standard, or RES, requires Vermont electric utilities to procure an increasing share of electricity from renewable sources…more

All That Glitters is Not Gold For Led Zeppelin’s Claim For Attorneys’ Fees

Legendary rockers Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are probably still flying high over their defense verdict earlier this summer in the “Stairway to Heaven” copyright infringement trial. They may be slightly coming down, though, after the…more

NLRB Rules that Graduate (and Undergraduate!) Students are Employees and May Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board (Board), in Columbia University , has issued a 3-1 decision holding that graduate, and undergraduate, student assistants are common law employees within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act…more

Anti-Kickback Regs Near Approval, After Only 19 Years

The White House is reviewing proposed regulations to ease restrictions on certain financial arrangements between hospitals and physicians and on certain transactions between providers and patients. The proposed regulations, received…more

The ABCs of B Corps

Determining which entity structure to use to organize your business is an important first step for any start-up. If you are a socially conscious or environmentally minded entrepreneur, consider a benefit corporation, sometimes called…more

CFPB’s proposal for collection of decedent debt: a misguided approach (Part I)

This blog post is the first of two on the proposals being considered by the CFPB regarding the collection of decedent debt. In tomorrow’s blog post, I will share my thoughts on the CFPB’s proposal to prohibit debt collector contact…more

The Public-Private Partnership as a New Tool for Infrastructure Development in Argentina

The Federal Executive Branch (known by the Spanish acronym, PEN) of the Argentine government recently submitted to the Argentine Congress a bill seeking approval of a new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) framework. This regime is seen…more

U.S. Army ERDC Conducting Survey to Inform Risk Management Tool for Developing Nano-Enabled Products and Nanomaterials

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is developing a web-enabled information and screening tool intended to help small businesses integrating or developing nanoscale materials address uncertainty related to…more

CFPB Solicits Information On Registration System For Nonbanks

In a Request for Information (RFI) posted on the Federal Business Opportunity website last month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) solicited information from vendors so it can "better understand current…more

NLRB: Student Teaching Assistants Can Be Employees Under the NLRA

In a 2-to-1 decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or “the Board”) overturned longstanding precedent to hold that student teaching assistants can be classified as employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)…more

Do You Know About the 4 Scenarios in the IRS Collection Process?

The IRS collection process begins when IRS does not receive full and timely payments from a taxpayer after it issues a collection notice. Based on the information in the taxpayer’s 1040 tax return, if the taxpayer does not pay the…more

Ex-Parte Communications in Violation of Arbitration Agreement Void Arbitration Award

In 1964 the Four Seasons released a song called ‘Silence is Golden.’ More than 50 years later, that may still be a good rule to follow in arbitrations. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently considered…more

EEOC Sues Profile Cabinet for Discrimination Against Black Employees

Termination of Employees Violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Federal Agency Says - ST. LOUIS -- QWP Holdings, LLC, dba Profile Cabinet and Design, a Kansas City, Mo., company which designs, builds and sells custom…more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19496 - Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities v. Echo Hose Ambulance - The issue of this case was whether or not an unpaid volunteer, in this case for an ambulance company, can…more

Five Recent Developments In Small Business Contracting Small and Large Government Contractors Should Know

While acquisition reform has garnered a great deal of attention in Congress and the Federal Executive Branch, small business contracting statutes and implementing regulations are significantly altering the federal acquisition…more

HHS Proposes 340B Dispute Resolution Process

From its inception the 340B program has been the subject of disputes between drug manufacturers and their safety-net hospital customers. On August 12 HHS proposed an administrative process for resolving those…more

Indonesia solar power projects: a (long awaited) new regime

The Government of Indonesia has just announced it will tender out at least 5,000MW of solar projects by the end of 2018 based on a newly enacted regime for the development of PV solar projects. The regime detailed in the recently…more

District Court Narrowly Defines the Relevant Market in Post-Actavis Pay-For-Delay Suit

On August 8, the District of Connecticut issued a noteworthy ruling on how to approach defining the relevant market definition in a pay-for-delay suit. In In re Aggrenox Antitrust Litigation, 3:14-md-02516 (D. Conn.), three groups of…more

California Ballot 2016: Pros and Cons of Props 51-56

Californians must decide on 17 initiatives in the November election this year, and those are just the proposed measures of state-wide concern. Never mind the many local initiatives affecting counties and neighborhoods. The state props…more

Court: Derivative Claims Allowed to Be Asserted as Part of Merger Attack

It is well-settled under Delaware law that in a merger a stockholder loses standing to assert a purely derivative claim. That claim passes instead to the acquiring company. As an asset of a Delaware company, derivative claims should be…more

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