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Construction and Infrastructure Update, August 2016

Is it the Dawning of the Age of Strict Products Liability for California Contractors? Strict liability products liability - whereby manufacturers and distributors of a defective product can be found liable to a consumer…more

Customs and Border Protection publishes interim final rule establishing new procedures for antidumping and countervailing duty evasion investigations

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has created a new framework to investigate allegations of duty evasion. Effective immediately, US companies that believe their competitors are engaged in evasion could file these allegations and…more

Protect the Privilege: Considerations in Employment Investigations

Employers can take many steps to help maximize the likelihood that attorney-client privileged information and work product will be protected in the context of employment-related investigations. In the recent case of City of…more

Are Alternate Committee Members “Then Serving”?

A number of amendments to Delaware’s General Corporation Law took effect at the beginning of this month. One of these changes was to establish a default quorum requirement for meetings of committees of corporate boards of directors…more

Everything is Negotiable, including Personal Guarantees

As many entrepreneurs and small business owners know, banks, landlords and investors will often require a personal guarantee. A personal guarantee allows the lender to reach your personal assets to satisfy a debt in the event the…more

New Blanket L Form Reflects Heightened Scrutiny of Outsourcing Companies

In recent years the L-1 Intra-Company transfer visa program has come under scrutiny. Critics of the program, which allows a multinational company to transfer an executive, manager, or worker with “special knowledge” from a foreign…more

Boston University v. Everlight: District Court Grants Immediate Appeal Over Whether Lump-Sum Royalty Award Can Be Converted to Ongoing Royalty Payments Post Verdict

After a jury awarded the Trustees of Boston University ("BU") a $9.3 million dollar one-time lump-sum payment from Epistar and a $4 million dollar one-time lump-sum payment from Everlight, the district court denied the defendants'…more

Minnesota AG Settles Suit Against California Online Lender Relating to Alleged “Rent-a-Tribe” Scheme

On August 19, the Attorney General’s Office for the State of Minnesota (Minnesota AG) announced that it had settled a lawsuit against a California-based online lender relating to an alleged “rent-a-tribe” scheme. The settlement bars…more

The Goal of Gender Equality in Cybersecurity

I have the privilege of teaching the Privacy Law class at Roger Williams University School of Law (RWU). It is a required course for the school’s Joint Masters in Cybersecurity/Juris Doctor program, which is, to my knowledge, the only…more

What’s the Story with STORIES?

Instagram recently released a new feature called Instagram Stories, which allows users to curate a collection of photos or videos of moments to share with friends for them to view, but then it disappears after a day. The thing is…more

SEC Cracks Down On Anti-Whistleblower Severance Agreements

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued six-figure fines to two different employers in the past several weeks, claiming that each crafted restrictive severance agreements that violated agency rules aimed at…more

Student loan complaint update highlights IDR plan application issues

The CFPB’s Student Loan Ombudsman has released a new “Mid-year update on student loan complaints” that highlights issues related to income-driven repayment plan (IDR) application issues. The update covers complaints submitted from…more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 8.25.16

US regulators are “ramping up oversight” of Swift—the financial messaging system used throughout global finance that’s been a key conduit for hackers in recent attacks of Bangladeshi and Ecuadorian banks…more

City of Seattle Proposes New Ordinance Regulating Employee Scheduling | World of Employment

Seattle restaurants and retail employers may soon face significant restrictions on employee scheduling. The Seattle City Council is currently considering a proposed ordinance with the potential to impact hundreds of employers across…more

SEC Updates Form ADV

The SEC has adopted final rules requiring investment advisers to provide additional information on Form ADV and other matters. The final rules: - require information about an investment adviser’s separately managed account…more

Client Alert: New Safe Harbors for Management Contracts of Tax-Exempt Financed Facilities

The Internal Revenue Service on August 22, 2016 released Revenue Procedure 2016-44 which revises the safe harbor guidelines for management contracts of service providers for tax-exempt financed facilities, under which the contract will…more

California Legislature Nearing Final Debate of Biometric and Geolocation Data Security Bill

With the session ending on August 31st, the California legislature is debating a bill (AB 83) that would expand data security requirements for businesses that maintain personal information of California residents to include, among…more

Building a future: addressing the Brexit challenge

"Brexit means Brexit" according to Theresa May. But although the Government has now indicated that it is committed to Brexit and achieving the best possible outcome for the UK, no-one knows what form this will take or how long it will…more

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

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