Latest Updates

Lawsuit Against “Drone Slayer” Dismissed

The federal district court for the Western District of Kentucky dismissed a lawsuit filed by a UAS pilot, David Boggs, against the “drone slayer” William Meredith. In 2015, Meredith shot down Boggs’s UAS while it was flying over… more

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt H-1B Petitions

On Monday, July 24, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an update detailing how it will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions… more

California Proposes New Permitting Procedures for Impacts to Wetlands and Waters of the State

On July 21, 2017, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) published its latest proposal for new permitting procedures that would apply to waters of the State, including wetlands. The proposal – which would… more

Fame, reputation and a med school dean’s secret life

Although smaller community hospitals may provide treatments that are as good and as safe, Americans flock to academic medical centers for specialized care and complex procedures. They’re lured to the big, pricey institutions by their… more

FDIC adopts revised guidelines for appeals of material supervisory determinations

Effective July 18, 2017, the FDIC has adopted amendments to its Guidelines for Appeals of Material Supervisory Determinations.  The FDIC proposed the amendments last August and received only two comment letters, one from a trade… more

When A Police Stop Is Not A Stop

Yesterday the Second Circuit, in United States v. Huertas (15-4014) weighed in on the question of when a suspect’s brief encounter with police can support a finding that the suspect was “seized” within the meaning of the Fourth… more

Pipeline Partnership Verdict Reversed

Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. et al v. Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. et al reversed one of the largest jury verdicts in Texas history. You will like this decision if..… more

The Top Eight Things You Should Be Doing to Protect Your Business from Cyber Threats

Cyber threats take many forms. The wide-spread WannaCry ransomware attack in May of 2017 highlighted how computer files could be held hostage in return for payment, while the Dyn denial of service in October of 2016 highlighted how… more

Appellate Court Nixes Employee Arbitration Agreements

By Decision dated July 19, 2017 (the “Decision”), the Appellate Division, First Department (the “First Department”) (which has jurisdiction over Manhattan and Bronx) held that arbitration agreements obligating employees to waive their… more

Hong Kong court appoints receivers to preserve assets in aid of arbitral proceedings in China

The Hong Kong High Court has appointed receivers over shares in a Hong Kong company as an interim measure to preserve the status quo and the value of the shares, pending the outcome of CIETAC arbitration proceedings in mainland China… more

Pennsylvania AG creates Consumer Financial Protection Unit

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, announced last Friday that his office is creating a Consumer Financial Protection Unit “to better protect Pennsylvania consumers from financial scams.”… more

D.C. Circuit Finds That Absent Class Members May Intervene On Appeal To Pursue Rule 23(f) Petition Abandoned By Class Representative

Seyfarth Synopsis: In Harrington v. Sessions, No. 15-8009, No. 16-5285 & No. 16-5286 (D.C. Cir. July 21, 2017), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that absent class members may intervene in an appellate court… more

ESOPs in Iowa Gone Wrong

What is an ESOP? An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) is an employee benefit plan designed to give company stock to its employees… more

PRI’s Private Equity Terms Guidance Focuses on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Factors

On 13 July 2017, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) launched guidance on incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) provisions in private equity fund terms. The publication, Incorporating Responsible Investment… more

California’s Equal Restroom Access Act: 5 Facts You Need to Know

California’s Equal Restroom Access Act, which requires some establishments with single-occupancy restrooms to display signs indicating that the restroom is gender-neutral, has been in effect since March 1, 2017. Assembly Bill No. 1732… more

Health Update - July 2017

Contracting With Technology Vendors: Obligations and Compliance Strategies - Editor’s Note: In a recent webinar, Manatt Health examined how to protect privacy when communicating in the digital age. The session revealed how to… more

CMMI Focuses on Behavioral Health

CMS recently announced that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) is interested in lowering the cost of care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries with behavioral health conditions while improving the quality of care… more

Ninth Circuit Finds Incorporation Of ICC Rules Into Arbitration Agreement Constitutes Clear And Unmistakable Evidence Of Delegation Of Arbitrability To Arbitrator

In a case involving three related contracts, only one of which contained an arbitration agreement, the Ninth Circuit has held that incorporation of the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) into an arbitration agreement… more

Georgia Adopts New Mortgage Servicing Rules

The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance has issued new mortgage servicing rules including, but not limited to, the following provisions: Definitions that generally have the same meaning as in the terms defined in Ga. Code Ann… more

Pennsylvania Office of Public Records Will Pay $60,000 to Resolve EEOC Age Suit

State Agency Refused to Hire Attorney Based on Age, Federal Agency Charged - HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Office of Public Records will pay $60,000 and costs to settle a federal age discrimination lawsuit… more

The US Tax Court Rejects IRS Position That Non-US Partners Are Taxed on Sales of Partnership Interests

The US Tax Court earlier this month issued a decision that rejected a 25-year old IRS Revenue Ruling and held that gain from the sale or other disposition by a non-US person of an interest in a partnership that is engaged in a US… more

Varnum PI Team Wins Wrongful Death Case for Family of WWII Vet

The family of a WWII veteran who died after an assault at a State-operated adult care facility will receive a $825,000 settlement from the State of Michigan… more

Another Rematch Between Tech Companies and the Government over the Territorial Reach of the Stored Communications Act

Lawyers for the tech community are gearing up for argument next month in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, seeking to overturn another magistrate’s order that requires digital information stored outside of the U.S. to be turned… more

It’s as Suggestive as a Butter Knife for Steak

We’ve written quite a bit over the years about the Spectrum of Distinctiveness for trademarks, and the all-important difference between suggestive marks and merely descriptive ones, with only the former being allowed immediate rights… more

New California Transgender Regulations: Employer Do's & Don'ts

California continues to forge a trail for gender identity protections in the United States. On July 1, 2017, the Fair Employment and Housing Council enacted new regulations addressing transgender issues that broaden the scope of… more

The Effects of a Creditor’s Non-Participation in Bankruptcy Proceedings

Although not required for the res judicata analysis, the court also found that Montanaro received constitutionally sufficient notice of the debtor’s bankruptcy, the plan, and confirmation order to be bound by the plan’s terms, even… more

Payday Lenders’ Operation Choke Point Challenge Survives Dismissal

Payday lenders can move forward with their suit against federal regulators challenging the controversial Operation Choke Point, a Washington, D.C., federal court judge has ruled… more

Hirer of Independent Contractor Not Liable to Injured Contractor Employee

Seyfarth Synopsis: The California Court of Appeal upheld the Privette doctrine, holding that an independent contractor’s employee generally may not recover tort damages for work-related injuries from the contractor’s hirer… more

Lucia appeals D.C. Circuit ruling to Supreme Court

On July 21, 2017, an investment adviser sought review by the Supreme Court of the D.C. Circuit’s recent ruling in Lucia that allowed to stand a district court decision holding that SEC administrative law judges (“ALJs”) are not… more

DHS Allows One-Time Increase in H-2B Guest Worker Visas for Fiscal Year 2017

On July 19, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor (DOL) increased the numerical limit (or “cap”) on H-2B visas by up to 15,000 additional visas through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017. The H-2B… more

Trump Administration Plans to Ax the International Entrepreneur Rule

Last week the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would delay—and very likely withdraw—the International Entrepreneur Rule, a set of immigration regulations proposed by the Obama administration… more

Reinvestment of EB-5 Funds in a New Project Can Maintain the "At-Risk" Requirement

One of the more popular topics among EB-5 project owners and practitioners in recent years is the requirement that investors' funds remain "at risk" as a bona fide "investment." Complications arise regarding maintenance of the at-risk… more

Bank of England Opens Up Access to Payment Schemes for FinTech Firms

The Bank of England (BoE) announced on 19 July 2017 that it is extending direct access to its real-time gross settlement (RTGS) service to non-bank payment service providers (i.e., e-money institutions and payment service providers… more

Other Perspectives on Trends in Employee Noncompetition Agreements

In mid-May, the New York Times published a long article reporting a national trend that employers are expanding both the number of employees who are required to sign non-competition agreements and the types of employees required to… more

Proposed Amendments to Ontario's Construction Lien Act

On May 31, 2017, Bill 142—An Act to amend the Construction Lien Act (the “Act”) — was carried through a first reading by the Ontario Legislative Assembly. If passed, the proposed amendments to the Construction Lien Act would modernize… more

Airline Passenger Mistreatment Claim Dismissed

Recently, airlines have been subject to intense public scrutiny over several high-profile incidents over alleged mistreatment of passengers. These reports are not limited to one particular incident where a customer was forcibly removed… more

Media Law Bulletin: “All I’ve Got Is a Photograph” — Copyright Law’s Preemption of Right of Publicity Claims

The names and likenesses of celebrities, athletes and other public figures can be extremely valuable, as evidenced by the premium prices paid by many companies for celebrity endorsements and celebrity-branded goods. Think Jessica… more

Illinois District Court Rejects Federal Preemption Challenges to State Zero-Emissions Credit Program

On July 14, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued an opinion dismissing challenges to the state of Illinois’ zero-emissions credit (“ZEC”) program. Illinois’ ZECs are tradable credits created by… more

The Chinese Government Issued Draft Cybersecurity Regulations to Protect Critical Information Infrastructure

On June 10, 2017, the Cyberspace Administration of China (the “CAC”) released the Draft Regulations on the Security Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure. The CAC is seeking public comments with a deadline of August 10… more

Big Tax Court Win for Foreign Investors in U.S. Partnerships

A foreign investor, not engaged in a U.S. trade or business, can sell stock in a U.S. corporation without fear of U.S. tax liability (with the notable exception of stock in certain U.S. corporations heavily invested in U.S. real… more

EIA: U.S. Crude Oil Production Forecast Expected to Reach Record High in 2018

“In EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), total U.S. crude oil production is forecast to average 9.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2017, up 0.5 million b/d from 2016. In 2018, EIA expects crude oil production to reach an… more

FDA Issues New Guidance on IRB Waiver or Alteration of Informed Consent for Minimal Risk Clinical Investigations

As July comes to an end, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or agency) has issued a new guidance document for “immediate implementation” entitled “IRB Waiver or Alteration of Informed Consent for Clinical Investigations Involving No… more

The Strange Case of the Overly Informed Surgical Consent

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s cast its June 20 opinion as standing for the proposition that a surgeon can’t delegate his duty of obtaining informed consent to anyone else—his physician assistant in the case at hand. But the opinion… more

Fifth Amendment Prohibits Use of Compelled Foreign Testimony in U.S. Criminal Trials

On July 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the conviction of two former London-based bankers, Anthony Allen and Anthony Conti, who were convicted in October 2015 on multiple counts of bank and wire fraud in… more

CFPB Issues Final Arbitration Rule Who Is Covered and How Does It Affect Your Business

The CFPB, after entertaining numerous comments, issued its final arbitration rule on Monday, July 10. The rule prohibits specified providers of certain consumer financial products and services (loans, credit cards, and other products… more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

The Fed’s Open Markets Committee meets today, and despite relatively robust economic numbers of late, the lack of oped-for inflation (among other things) is likely to keep the Fed from moving on interest rates again at this time… more

USCIS Resumes H-1B Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt Petitions

USCIS announced that – beginning July 24, 2017 – it will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions, including those where the petitioner is an institution of higher education, a nonprofit organization related to… more

Major IP reforms foreshadowed in China’s Pharma sector

On 12 May 2017, the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (the “CFDA”) issued several draft policies aimed at overhauling of the current regulations governing the Chinese pharma and medical device sector (the “Draft Policies”). Amongst… more

What Could We Infer From Justice Theis’ Question Patterns in Criminal Cases?

Last week, we reviewed the data from Justice Theis’ participation in oral arguments in civil cases since she joined the Court in 2010. This week, we turn our attention to Justice Theis’ record in criminal oral arguments. Justice… more

Compliance and Plan C: Operationalization During Economic Uncertainties

The current economic climate continues to be in flux, with many companies falling back to Plan C, which is hunker down and ride things out until the next Presidential election and hope for some clarity in 2020. This obviously requires… more

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