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SEC Grants Sub-Advisers No-Action Relief from Custody Rule Audit Requirements

A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) no-action letter issued on April 25, 2016 provides relief from the annual surprise audit requirement of the “Custody Rule” for a registered investment adviser (RIA) participating in an…more

Guidance Provided on Interplay of “Dormant” Commerce Clause and the 21st Amendment

On April 21, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed down its opinion in Cooper v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, No. 14-51343. It provides further guidance, at least within the Fifth Circuit, on the interplay of…more

Opening Iranian Skies: OFAC Issues General License I to Jumpstart the Commercial Aviation Industry, and Iran Tests its Ballistic Missiles

The sanctions stranglehold on Iran is loosening as the Obama Administration continues to chip away at restrictions on the commercial passenger aircraft industry. Pursuant to the phased enactment of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of…more

Court Increases Father’s Child Support Payment Due to Inheritance

In the 2015 Pennsylvania Superior Court Opinion E.R.L. v. C.K.L., the Court found that Father’s significant inheritance was a sufficient reason to increase his child support payment for the parties’ three children…more

The Proof Is in the Password!

Consider this scenario: A young couple entrusts you, an experienced real estate attorney, to assist them in the purchase of their first home. Days before closing, your unsecured email account gets hacked and your client receives an…more

The CATO Institute Assesses the Effectiveness of the JOBS Act

On May 3, 2016, the CATO Institute published a policy paper titled, “A Walk Through the JOBS Act of 2012: Deregulation in the Wake of Financial Crisis,” which assesses the JOBS Act and offers certain policy recommendations. In…more

Onward and Upward – California’s Minimum Wage And Paid Family Leave Benefits Set To Increase Substantially Over The Next Few Years

April 2016 has proven fruitful for California employees. Last month, Governor Brown approved a series of gradual increases raising the statewide minimum wage rate in California to at least $15.00 by 2022. A week later the Governor…more

Explaining the Provisions of the Defend Trade Secrets Act

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) is now one signature away from becoming law. On April 4, 2016, the Senate unanimously passed the DTSA and, last week, on April 27, the House of Representatives followed suit, passing the DTSA by a…more

History Repeats Itself: The EEOC Scores Big Judgment Against Absent Party

Seyfarth Synopsis: The EEOC obtains a multi-million dollar default judgment against an out-of-business company in a case alleging “human trafficking” discrimination claims…more

Life Insurance and Estate Planning

Life insurance can play an important role in estate planning. It is important to understand the uses and purposes of life insurance and the tax consequences of owning a policy and receiving a death benefit…more

Real Trial Lawyers vs. Personal Injury Lawyers

More-often-than-not, when meeting with a new client for the first time, I am asked about the chances that their case will go all the way to a trial. The odds that any case will resolve through a jury verdict is very low. The vast…more

Federal Regulator Issues Proposed Rule Aimed at Incentive Compensation Policies of Banking Organizations

On April 21, 2016, the National Credit Union Administration (collectively, with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal…more

Are Drug Prices Really Too High?

Those working in the pharmaceutical space are used to hearing complaints about the high costs of drugs, and patents often are blamed for allowing pharmaceutical companies to charge “too much” for their products. But are drug prices…more

Congress Passes Federal Trade Secrets Act

With the long-awaited passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”), which amends the Economic Espionage Act, and expected imminent signing by President Obama, federal law will now provide a civil cause of action for…more

Treasury Proposes Fundamental New Limitations on Related Party Lending Transactions – With Retroactive Effect!

The U.S. Treasury Department has very recently and unexpectedly released significant guidance that promises, if finalized, to fundamentally limit the circumstances under which related corporations (and, in some cases, partnerships) can…more

CMS Proposes Increased Transparency of Hospice Quality Data in Annual Payment Update

In Depth - On April 21, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule regarding updates to fiscal year (FY) 2017 Medicare payment rates and the wage index for hospices serving Medicare…more

The Future of Credit Shelter Trusts

When the President signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, some observers thought that certain provisions would sound the death knell for a popular legal tax shelter strategy known as Credit Shelter Trusts (CST)…more

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Cheerleader Apparel Copyright Case

The issue the Supreme Court has agreed to decide involves how to separate the artistic elements of a product’s design from the useful or “utilitarian” elements. That distinction matters for copyright purposes, because to copyright an…more

CMS Update to Medicaid Managed Care Regulations Should Prompt Significant Change

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has released the final version of its much anticipated revisions to the regulations governing Medicaid managed care (the “Final Rule”). First proposed in May 2015, the Final Rule…more

Fifth Circuit Holds Third Party Witness’ Retaliation Claim Requires “Reasonable Belief” That a Title VII Violation Has Occurred

The Fifth Circuit recently held that a third party witness who was fired after providing information in response to her employer’s investigation of a coworker’s harassment allegations had to demonstrate she had a “reasonable belief”…more

FBI Returns to House Where it Did Not Find Gardner Museum Art Before, Does Not Find Gardner Museum Art There

Refreshingly, March 18 passed this year without the usual breathless maybe-it’s-about-to-turn-up coverage that has often been manufactured each year on the anniversary of the Isabella Stewart Gardner heist of 1990. That theft, which…more

UK Regulator Publishes Final Rules Implementing the Market Abuse Regulation

The Financial Conduct Authority published a Policy Statement, including final rules on changes to the FCA Handbook required to implement the Market Abuse Regulation. MAR will apply directly across the EU from July 3, 2016, replacing…more

Modified “Ban the Box” Bill Approved in Connecticut

Remember “Ban the Box” and the fair chance employment bill from earlier in the session? Well, it passed last night. Sort of. An amendment to the original bill essentially wiped the prior version clean. Thus, whatever you…more

Mandatory FCA Per Claim Penalties Dramatically Increased from $11,000 to $21,563

The penalties are potentially astronomical for entities with FCA exposure. In addition to treble damages, the False Claims Act (FCA) provides for mandatory penalties for each false claim submitted “of not less than $5,000 and…more

US Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule Introduces a Brave New World

Final rule reflects some concessions, but its broad scope and compliance costs will cause financial services advisers to re-evaluate their business models. On April 6, 2016, the US Department of Labor (the DOL) released the final…more

MoFo New York Tax Insights - Volume 7, Issue 5

Retroactive Application Of 2010 Statutory Amendment Permitted By Tribunal - Reversing the decision of an Administrative Law Judge, the New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal has upheld the constitutionality of retroactively applying…more

USCIS Has Completed Data Entry of FY 2017 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

On May 2, 2016, USCIS announced that it has completed data entry for all FY 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in this year’s lottery. H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in the lottery are being returned…more

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: Implications for business, employers and employees

On April 27, 2016, Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which President Obama promises to sign soon. This proposed legislation, which is designed to be an expansion of the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, would authorize…more

Advertising Accountability Program Releases First Set of Decisions Applying the DAA’s Mobile Guidance

The Online Internet-Based Advertising Accountability Program recently released decisions regarding popular app publishers’ compliance with the Digital Advertising Alliance Self-Regulatory Principles. These inaugural decisions are a…more

Appellate Court Upholds Decision To Award Partial Child Custody To Mother’s Former Partner

In a non-precedential appellate decision C.B. v. L.B., a Pennsylvania appellate court held that mother’s former partner should be granted periods partial custody, one weekend per month, and eventually reducing to one Saturday per…more

Massachusetts’ First Really Good Amnesty Program since 2002

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (Department) is widely promoting a new amnesty program with significant taxpayer benefits. Our experience with Massachusetts amnesty suggests that this is the broadest program offered by the…more

CMS Proposes “Advancing Care Information” Program to Replace Meaningful Use

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) proposes a new approach, with new branding labels, to paying clinicians for the value and the quality of care that they provide by replacing a patchwork of existing…more

California Supreme Court Rules: "You May Be Seated"

In January, we wrote about the California Supreme Court’s impending decision with respect to the “suitable seating” cases. That Advisory can be found here. On April 4, 2016, the Court published its much anticipated opinion, and it is a…more

Defendants Secure Rare Summary Judgment in Zoloft MDL

In an unusual turn of events, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe recently granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to over 300 cases in the Zoloft MDL. These cases were consolidated in 2012 and involved allegations that the…more

Change Has Come To Trade Secrets In The United States: The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

Concerns about trade secret theft have been increasing in recent years and the America Invents Act included provisions that reduced the commercial risks that a business would run by trying to keep inventions as trade secrets rather…more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Special Issue: Implications of the DOL Fiduciary Rule for Structured Products

On April 6, 2016, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final conflict of interest regulations, which significantly expand who is considered a fiduciary when dealing with a retirement account. The new regulations, together with a…more

Breaking: Third Circuit Dismisses Antitrust Suit Concerning Marketing of Lovenox

Earlier today, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the District of New Jersey trial court dismissing the antitrust claims lobbed against Sanofi-Aventis by its rival pharmaceutical company Eisai. The complaint…more

How Gov't Contractors Can Avoid Pay Transparency Mishaps

The final rule implementing Executive Order 13665 (the Pay Transparency Act) went into effect on Jan. 11, 2016. The act prohibits employers from requiring their employees to keep their compensation confidential. Under the new rule…more

April 2016: ITC Litigation Update

The Federal Circuit Considers Another Issue Relating to ITC Jurisdiction in Section 337 Investigations. Less than three months after its en banc decision in Suprema, Inc. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 796 F.3d 1338 (Fed. Cir. 2015), the…more

The Equity Crowdfunding Rules: What You Need to Know

The SEC’s equity crowdfunding rules finally go into effect this month almost four years after Congress passed the JOBS Act, requiring the relaxing of certain rules on raising funds. So what does equity crowdfunding actually look like?…more

Gov. Christie Vetoes Proposed Equal Pay Act Again as ‘Business Unfriendly’

On May 2, 2016, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, for the second time, issued a conditional veto of proposed legislation that would bar gender-based pay discrimination, saying in part that the Bill would go too far beyond federal…more

OIG Approves Another Medigap/Preferred Hospital Network in Advisory Opinion 16-04

On April 18th, the OIG issued a new favorable Advisory Opinion, No. 16–04, regarding an agreement between a Medigap insurer and preferred hospital network. The opinion tracked other, similar opinions in favorably addressing preferred…more

Is the DOL Lowering the Salary Threshold in its Overtime Regulations?

As the Office of Management and Budget continues to consider the DOL’s proposed regulations – to drastically increase the minimum salary that employees must be paid in order to be exempt from payment of overtime – industry groups are…more

Innovative Social Media Marketing Cannot Overlook Old-Fashioned Compliance

Social media is all about innovation, so it is no surprise that social media marketers are always looking for innovative ways—such as courting social media “influencers” and using native advertising—to promote products and services to…more

Man Claims Marijuana Made Him A Killer: The Increasing Scope of Product Liability in the Cannabis Industry: Kirk v. Nutritional Elements, Inc., and Gaia’s Garden

Like the rest of the manufacturing world, cannabis Industry participants are beginning to face product liability risk following the legalization of marijuana. Last week, three sons of a woman killed by their father during an alleged…more

Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces Regulations Sent To OMB For Approval

On May 4, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) received proposed final regulations for the implementation of President Obama’s controversial Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (the “Order”). The Order, often…more

UK Regulator Consults on Reporting of Financial Statements and Forecast Capital Data

The Prudential Regulation Authority published a consultation paper on regulatory reporting of financial statements, forecast capital data and IFRS 9 requirements, setting out the PRA’s proposals on future reporting of balance sheet…more

District Court Applies Mayo To Treatment Claims But Denies Motion To Dismiss BMS Keytruda Litigation

The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware accepted Merck’s arguments that method of treatment patents asserted by BMS against its Keytruda product “touch[] upon a natural phenomenon” such that they should be analyzed under…more

EU Trade Mark Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 in force

On 23 March 2016, European Union Trade Mark Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 came into force. The new Regulation amends Community Trade Mark Regulation 207/2009/EC, and makes a number of procedural and substantive changes to EU trade mark…more

Innocents Abroad: Employment Agreements for Employees Working In High Risk Countries

Carrie: Thanks again for your guidance over the past several weeks. Now that we’ve tackled updating our offer letters for employees working abroad, I’d like to look at our employment agreements. What provisions should our…more

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