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Update on Initiation of FCC Rulemaking to Implement the New TCPA Exemption for the Collection of Government Debt

Some of you may remember that back in early November 2015, I wrote about a then little-noticed provision slipped into the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. That provision, designed to find more revenues to offset government spending (and…more

Alert: Gas Station Owners: State to Pursue Claims of MTBE Contamination

Over a decade ago, Connecticut, like much of the country, had concerns over groundwater contamination from gasoline containing the additive MTBE. Although much of the country had let the issue of MTBE contamination fall by the…more

One Last Time: President Seeks Huge Increase to WHD Budget, Investigators

The President’s FY2017 budget request seeks a nearly $50 million increase in the Wage & Hour Division’s budget. This more than 20% increase would fund, among other things, 300 additional investigative staff — putting the number of WHD…more

[Event] Stay Ahead: Nossaman's 2016 Emerging Employment Issues - Feb. 25th, Costa Mesa, CA

Please join us for this complimentary presentation on cutting-edge employment law issues! California and federal employment laws are constantly developing and evolving so it is essential for human resource professionals and corporate…more

[Webinar] Gainful Employment – Completer List Challenges, Debt Challenges, and Alternative Earnings Appeals - Feb. 25th, 12pm Central Time

The third webinar in our series will examine the three ways schools can challenge the debt and earnings data the Department will use to calculate each GE program’s D/E rates. We will discuss the first round of completer challenges…more

FINRA and SEC Identify Areas of Focus and Examination Priorities for 2016

Each year, FINRA and the SEC publish their priority letters explaining areas of focus for the upcoming year. The priorities reflect practices and/or products that are perceived to present either heightened risk to investors, a risk to…more

EU-US Privacy Shield: Still Awaiting Certainty

Privacy activists across Europe raised their data protection banner following the announcement by EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourová on Tuesday 2 February 2016 that a political agreement had been…more

TrialPad

In my last blog, we discussed a few tips for creating opening and closing PowerPoint presentations. This post will focus on TrialPad and presenting your exhibits from your iPad…more

Rhode Island Town Sued for Religious Discrimination

The King’s Tabernacle, a Rhode Island Church with a predominantly African American congregation of 20 members, has sued the Town of Johnston, Rhode Island over the Town’s denial of its special use permit for religious assembly use…more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Attempt to Challenge FCC Order on TCPA

In an unpublished opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed summary judgment for the defendant in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) case, refusing to entertain the plaintiff’s challenge to a…more

When to Hire an Attorney for a Car Accident

Accidents happen unexpectedly. When they happen, there are many things to consider. Health and safety are the most immediate concerns, followed by recovering compensation for personal injuries and property damage. As soon as possible…more

Property Insurance Claims? Insurance Attorney Offers Simple Yet Vital Guidelines

Suffering a loss to personal or business property can be a stressful situation. To make things worse, the process of reporting, submitting, and presenting your insurance claim can be complex. This article shares a few simple – yet…more

"Key Takeaways - Antitrust in the Technology Sector: Policy Perspectives and Insight From the Enforcers"

On January 26, 2016, Skadden’s Antitrust and Competition Group and Charles River Associates hosted the sixth annual seminar “Antitrust in the Technology Sector,” with an emphasis on policy perspectives and insights from government…more

Continued Employment is Enough for a Severance Agreement

Here’s one where the tables were turned. Former employees often argue that a non-compete agreement is unenforceable because there was inadequate “consideration.” Consideration is the exchange parties to a contract make, what one side…more

[Event] International Arbitration Boot Camp: Do You Want Someone Else to Pay Your Legal Fees? It's Possible–Third-Party Funding of International Arbitration and Litigation - Feb. 25th, Houston, TX

Third-Party Funding of International Arbitration and Litigation will explore what to expect when involving third parties (e.g., investment firms) to fund your litigation or arbitration…more

EEOC’s New Reporting Requirements May Add to Employers’ Burden, Liability

On February 1, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced plans to expand EEO-1 reporting requirements, beginning in 2017, to include compensation information for employers of 100 or more employees. The proposal…more

Tribute to Sam Spence and Management?Leadership

Sam Spence died last week. His was not a name that many folks were aware of generally and even in the sports world where he made his greatest mark. Yet he was a prime mover in the explosion of growth by the National Football League…more

What You Need to Know About US Law: Massachusetts and New York Trade Secrets Not Governed by Uniform Trade Secret Act

The article below is the second in a series regarding "What You Need to Know About U.S. Law." Attorneys from a variety of practice groups at Pierce Atwood will author similar articles in the coming months to educate our overseas…more

OFAC Issues Finding of Violation for Alleged Violations of Sudanese Sanctions Regulations

On February 4, OFAC announced that a subsidiary of a New Jersey-based manufacturer violated the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, for a period of 7 months in 2010, by facilitating the exportation of goods to Sudan by coordinating and…more

Hold the Phone! Obtaining Prior Consent under the TCPA Before Calling/Texting/Faxing Consumers

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) impacts any business that contacts consumers by phone, text or fax. Among other things, it limits the ability to place calls and send texts to consumers using an automatic telephone dialing…more

Five Easy Tips for Improving Your Company’s Non-Compete and Confidentiality Agreements and Related Practices Now

As January quickly passed by and new projects increase by the day, there is still a golden opportunity to capitalize on some low-hanging fruit to immediately improve your company’s practices and add immediate value to your company…more

Your daily dose of financial news The Brief – 2.10.16

We’ve all heard about the billions in tax savings associated with corporate tax inversions, but Deal Professor says the real tax-avoidance game is in a strategy called “earnings stripping”—a technique in which a multinational…more

Blog: The UK’s National Private Placement Regime For Non-EU PE / VC Fund Managers – “Financial Promotions”

If you’re planning to raise a non-EU PE / VC fund, and some of your investors will be in the UK when you talk or write to them, the UK’s financial promotions rules will apply. Get this wrong, and you’ll commit an offence. Get…more

Worth Another Look: Jobs that Pay

Like last year, Gov. Tom Wolf is encouraging the state legislature to provide for “jobs that pay” as part of the 2016-2017 budget. A robust economy that includes employment opportunities can help stave off property tax increases…more

Ask Permission, Not Forgiveness: PTAB Authorization Required Before Filing Anything With Patent Office, Even Before Trial Is Instituted

To fix clerical or typographical errors, patent owners typically file a request for a certificate of correction with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, during an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding, the Patent…more

Blog: Senator Calls on Med Device Leaders to Improve Cybersecurity

Late last week, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) wrote to the leaders of Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, Siemens USA, Medtronic and Philips USA, to “express serious concerns” about potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities in their medical…more

Know Your Vendors: The Importance of Comprehensive Risk Assessment Programs

As companies continue to explore new outsourcing and cloud services models in search of improved cost and productivity efficiencies, service providers are being asked to handle increasingly sensitive types of data. However, some…more

New Life for Vitiation as a Defense to Doctrine of Equivalents Infringement

The doctrine of claim vitiation prevents application of the doctrine of equivalents in a way that would completely eliminate a claim element – i.e., renders the claim limitation inconsequential or ineffective. This doctrine has its…more

From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield: New EU-U.S. Agreement for Transatlantic Data Flows

The European Commission (EC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce have reached an agreement to create a framework for transfers of personal data from the European Union to the United States. The framework, named the EU-U.S. Privacy…more

PATH Act Allows R&D Credit to Reduce FICA Taxes for Certain Small Businesses

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 makes permanent the research and development (R&D) tax credit, which had expired for amounts paid or incurred after December 31, 2014. In addition, the PATH Act gives certain…more

Delaware Bankruptcy Judge Rejects Effort to Circumvent Supreme Court’s Asarco Decision

The Supreme Court’s decision last term in Baker Botts v. Asarco, in which the Court ruled that professionals that are paid from a debtor’s bankruptcy estate cannot be compensated for time spent defending their fee applications…more

OEHHA Issues Final Regulations Related To Its Prop 65 Website

On January 25, 2016, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced the adoption of final regulations (Regulations) related to the development and maintenance of a website to "provide information to…more

OFCCP’s New Pay Transparency Rule: Are You Prepared?

As we reported in a previous blog post, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) Final Rule implementing Executive Order 13665 (titled Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information) took effect on…more

Recommendation That Certain Claims Be Dismissed As Patent Ineligible; Motion May Be Renewed Later

Burke, M.J. Magistrate recommends that defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim based upon section 101 unpatentable subject matter be granted in part and denied in part. Briefing was completed on March 2, 2015 and…more

Annual Estate Planning Newsletter: Part Two

Action Item: This is the second installment of our Annual Estate Planning Newsletter, and focuses on specific gift and generation-skipping transfer ("GST") tax matters. We urge you to review this installment to ensure that your 2016…more

Specific and Manageable Ideas for Enhancing Legal Briefs

Writing is central to what we do, and I enjoy thinking about what makes writing effective. In this article, I raise several specific ideas for how to enhance legal writing. The ideas revolve around the notion of what I call “purposeful…more

OFAC Fines Foreign Bank For Violating 50 Percent Rule

The U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") continued Monday, February 8, 2016, to direct the weight of its enforcement power at foreign banks, this time entering into a $2,485,890 settlement with United…more

Blog: Does Merit Pay Work?

Most employers in North America don’t think so, according to CFO.com, reporting on a new survey by the compensation consulting firm, Willis Towers Watson. The survey, conducted in the last quarter of 2015, was directed at 150 large and…more

Court Of Chancery Explains Section 115

Bonanno v. VTB Holdings Inc., C.A. 10681-VCN (February 8, 2016) - Section 115 of the Delaware General Corporation Law addresses forum selection provisions in corporate charters or bylaws…more

Illinois Supreme Court Narrows Misconduct Disqualification for Unemployment Benefits

The Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act (Act) provides that employees who are discharged for "misconduct" are ineligible for unemployment benefits. In Petrovic v. Department of Employment Security, 2016 IL 118562, decided Feb. 4, 2016…more

IRS releases guidance on mid-year amendments to Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

A few years back, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official opined that the IRS would not look favorably on safe harbor 401(k) plan making any amendments mid-year except in some circumstances such changing a trustee, changing a plan…more

UK Financial Regulatory Developments - February 2016 #4

ESRB approves expansion of macroprudential policy framework - ESRB has published two recommendations relating to expanding the European macroprudential policy framework. The first concerns the counter-cyclical buffer rates for…more

[Video]The Overlap Between The FMLA and the ADA

In this video, McNees Attorney Kelley Kaufman address the intersection of the FMLA and ADA with respect to employee personal medical leaves of absence…more

Liquidation Court Grants Receiver’s Application For Authority To Enter Into Reinsurance Settlements With Three Reinsurers

A Texas court presiding over the liquidation of Santa Fe Auto Insurance Company approved an application by the Special Deputy Receiver for the liquidating company (“SDR”) to enter into a reinsurance settlement with three reinsurers…more

NJ High Court Declines to Review “Borgata Babes” Case, Effectively Doubling Down on Appellate Court’s Acceptance of Atlantic City Casino’s Stringent Rules on Grooming, Dress and Weight Gain

The BorgataBabes Are Subject to Specific Personal Appearance Standards - The Borgata, which when it opened in 2003, marketed itself as Atlantic City’s first Las Vegas-style resort and distinguished itself in the marketplace…more

From Safe to Schrems to Shield - and Other Alliterations Shifting Grounds in the EU Privacy Landscape

In October 2015, the European Court of Justice abruptly invalidated Commission Decision 520/2000/EC on the adequacy of Safe Harbor (Case C-362/14, “Schrems”), mainly on grounds of (i) overly broad access by U.S. law enforcement…more

It Ends Not with a Bang but a Whimper - Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc.

The patent case between Commil and Cisco, a case that made new law at the Supreme Court on the issue of the intent requirement in cases of induced infringement allegations, came to an end with a whimper on remand back to the Federal…more

Retail Industry Leaders Association Tells FAA That Point-Of-Sale Registration For Small Unmanned Aircraft Would Pose Consumer Data Privacy Concerns

In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) regarding the FAA’s recent Registration and Marking Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft Interim Rulemaking (“Interim Final Rule”), the Retail Industry Leaders Association…more

District Court Concludes Mortgage Servicer’s Actions Violated RESPA

On January 28, the U.S. District Court for the Western Division of Washington, having determined that a mortgage loan servicer violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and committed the tort of outrage, ordered the…more

Injunctive Relief Claims Lead to Defense Opportunities

It’s not all that common, but every now and then our opponents feel their oats and seek injunctive relief – usually against the continued marketing of an FDA-approved product. A state-law plaintiff seeking such injunctive relief…more

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