Follow Expert Insight, Commentary, and Intelligence On...

Latest Updates

A Tale of Two Cakes: Can Copyright Law Protect this Cake Design?

Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes, one of our hometown heroes in Baltimore, a.k.a. the Ace of Cakes, created a striking cake for President Obama’s 2012 inauguration. The cake design caught the eye of the incoming presidential…more

Important Banking Development From California Courts

Courts in California delivered some important banking developments in two recent decisions, with a federal court finding a charge for failing to replenish an overdrawn account constituted interest while the state's highest court dealt…more

FERC electric storage policy statement

U.S. energy regulators have issued a policy statement addressing how electric storage resources may provide services at a mix of cost-based and market-based rates. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's January 19, 2017 policy…more

The Employment Law Authority - January/February 2017

A Moving Target: The Not So Final Overtime Rule - On November 22, 2016, a federal judge for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing…more

Health and Welfare Grab Bag of End of Administration Changes

21st Century Cures Act Impacts Employers with 50 or More Employees - Employers with 50 or more employees need to watch developments under the 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures”) because in addition to the establishment of the small…more

USPTO Publishes Business Method Subject Matter Eligibility Examples: Part II

As discussed in a previous article, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently published new subject matter eligibility examples directed to the abstract idea exception to patentability under 35 U.S.C. § 101. These "December 2016…more

Social Links: Will a fan-made Star Trek prequel live long and prosper?; California bans driving while Snapchatting; apps that facilitate infidelity

A federal district court judge refused to grant summary judgment to the copyright owners of the Star Trek franchise in the infringement suit they brought against the team behind a fan-made, crowdfunded prequel to the original Star Trek…more

SC Public Policy Update - January 2017 #2

What's New - SENATE - The Senate spent the week working at the committee level in an effort to move bills to the floor for debate. Members will return to meeting in regular session on Tuesday, January 24th. The Senate…more

Ajit Pai Selected as Next FCC Chairman

On January 20, 2017, Politico Pro reported that President Trump selected Republican Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Ajit Pai to serve as the next permanent FCC Chairman. According to the report, Commissioner Pai…more

Congress Amends FSIA to Protect Art and Cultural Exchanges

Introduction - On December 16, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act (FCEJICA). The bill, which extends sovereign immunity to foreign states that send works…more

On Your Mark, Get Ready, to Go . . . Somewhere: Congressional Developments January 12-18

On January 13, the House passed the 2017 budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 3), which should be found on President Trump’s desk Monday morning. As previously explained, this sets the stage for a filibuster-proof, budget reconciliation…more

Student Loans: Departments of Treasury and Education Move to Simplify Income Driven Repayment Plans

Much of the regulatory focus for student lending has been directed toward Income Driven Repayment (IDR) plans in recent months. The first student loan related move in 2017 by the Departments of Education and Treasury is no exception…more

Homework for 2017 – Making Sure Your District’s Wellness Policy is Up to Date!

Has your district finished its 2016 homework? Is the date June 30, 2017, circled on your calendar? If not, maybe it should be because June 30, 2017, is the deadline by which all local educational agencies that participate in the…more

Hubs on the horizon: how and when will an Asian LNG hub price signal hit long-term LNG contracts?

Long-term LNG contracts with price review clauses continue to dominate the Asian LNG market. The pricing in those contracts remains predominantly oil-based. The evident reason for that is the absence of a reliable price signal for LNG…more

SPECIAL REPORT: Reservation of Rights

The South Carolina Supreme Court has concluded that: (1) an insurance company’s reservation of rights letter was insufficient and the insured had therefore waived its coverage defenses; (2) even if the reservation of rights had been…more

Understanding National Origin Discrimination – Part 2

Last week, we discussed the definition of national origin discrimination and the requirements imposed on employers by state and federal law. Today’s post provides examples of workplace issues involving workers’ national origin, and…more

Pa.L.C.B. Opinion Allows Brewery Storage Locations to Sell Wine and Spirits and More

With the passage of Act 166 of 2016, which went into effect Tuesday, and Act 39 of 2016, G license holders may now sell beer and cider produced by other Pennsylvania breweries, wine produced by Pennsylvania limited wineries, and…more

Automatic enrollment is growing in 401(k) plans

The Plan Sponsor Council of America’s newest annual report shows that in 2015, 25.5% of small 401(k) plans offer automatic enrollment. In their survey, small plans are considered plans with less than 50 participants…more

Using Hashtag #Disclosures in Social Media Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has been cracking down on brands for paying Instagram users to endorse their products or to share brand content without disclosing the relationship. Indeed, the recent settlements entered between…more

Federal Circuit Rules That Not All Petitioners Have Standing to Appeal Adverse IPR ResultsFederal Circuit Rules That Not All Petitioners Have Standing to Appeal Adverse IPR Results

The Federal Circuit recently dismissed an appeal from an inter partes review proceeding where the appellant/petitioner failed to establish that it had constitutional standing to maintain an appeal. Phigenix, Inc. v. Immunogen, Inc.…more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

JPMorgan and other asset managers are pushing hard for a new type of ETF that “mimics active strategies but keeps its investments secret.” The concept hasn’t yet been embraced by the SEC, though the heavy-hitters looking to change that…more

The Department Of Homeland Security Proposes New Rules Affecting Federal Government Contractors

This week, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued three proposed rules expanding data security and privacy requirements for contractors and subcontractors. The proposed rules build upon other recent efforts by various…more

SEC Brings Enforcement Action for Disclosure Failures During Merger Talks

The SEC announced that Allergan Inc. had agreed to admit securities law violations and pay a $15 million penalty for disclosure failures in the wake of a hostile takeover bid. The SEC’s order finds that Allergan failed to disclose…more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Work Gets Underway at Maine State House - Momentum is building in the Maine Capitol as legislators begin…more

Briseno v. ConAgra Foods – The 9th Circuit’s Rejection of an “Administrative Feasibility” Requirement for Class Certification

On January 3, 2017, the Ninth Circuit issued its ruling in Briseno v. ConAgra Foods, Inc. and held that Rule 23 does not require plaintiffs to establish an “administratively feasible” means of identifying putative class members for…more

News from Second and State

Weekly Wrap - The biggest news in Harrisburg this week was the swearing-in of our newly elected row officers. Josh Shapiro took the oath of office to serve as the state’s new Attorney General and Joe Torsella will serve as State…more

Going After A Hospital For Off-Label Use Of A Device

It seems that we have posted hundreds of times about attempts to impose liability on the manufacturer of a PMA device that a doctor chose to use off-label. Recently, a bunch of those have involved Infuse. Cales v. Baptist Healthcare…more

Same-Sex Spouses Authorized to Recalculate Transfer Tax Treatment of Prior Gifts and Bequests

The IRS recently issued Notice 2017-15 to provide same-sex spouses relief to recalculate the federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax treatment of gifts and bequests made before the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)…more

Estate Planning – When the Only Certainty is Unpredictability

Donald Trump is now the President, and both chambers of Congress are under Republican control. Thus, we appear to be poised for potentially substantial changes in the estate tax, gift tax, generation-skipping transfer tax, and income…more

The Conservative Case For Chevron Deference

With GOP control of Congress and the White House, conservatives appear to have Chevron deference in their crosshairs. Put simply, I don’t get it. There are at least two good reasons why conservatives should prefer Chevron deference…more

Sustainable Development Update - January 2017 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - More EV charging stations likely in multifamily - Bisnow - Jan 17 - As electric vehicles gain in popularity, more residential communities will have charging stations as one of their…more

FDA Issues Draft Guidance Addressing Communications with Payors

On January 18, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) issued a draft guidance, Drug and Device Manufacturer Communications with Payors, Formulary Committees, and Similar Entities – Questions and Answers. This draft…more

New HSR Filing Thresholds for 2017

On January 19, 2017, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency charged with administering the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (the “HSR Act”), as amended, and its filing requirements, announced the…more

Employers Must Begin Using New I-9 Form by January 22, 2017

Beginning January 22, 2017, employers must use the new I-9 Form dated 11/14/16. This replaces the version of the I-9 Form dated 03/08/13. Failure to use the new Form may result in the assessment of penalties…more

Has The Link Between Business Goodwill And Profits Been Severed?

When property is taken by eminent domain, the owner of a business operated on the property is entitled to compensation for any “business goodwill” lost due to the taking. Usually, “goodwill” translates into a business’s profitability…more

Supreme Court Update: Lightfoot V. Cendant Mortgage Corp. (14-1055)

Greetings, Court Fans! For those of you who spent the last six months (since cert was granted in Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corp. (No. 14-1055)) just dying to know whether the sue-and-be-sued clause in Fannie Mae's charter…more

Manufacturing Law Predictions for 2017:  Labor and Employment

As has been our tradition, January is the time to predict the big developments in the coming year which will impact on manufacturers. Notwithstanding my “Lawyer’s Shrug,” here is my take on 2017…more

FAA Issued Notice Advising Public of RTCA Drone Advisory Committee Second Meeting for Jan 31

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a notice advising the public of the RTCA Drone Advisory Committee’s second public meeting, which is scheduled to take place on January 31, 2017 in Reno, Nevada. The FAA has announced that…more

FAA Issued Notice Advising Public of RTCA Drone Advisory Committee Second Meeting for Jan 31

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a notice advising the public of the RTCA Drone Advisory Committee’s second public meeting, which is scheduled to take place on January 31, 2017 in Reno, Nevada. The FAA has announced that…more

FTC Announces New Clayton Act Thresholds for 2017

On January 19, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission, as it is legally required to do, announced the new monetary thresholds for triggering a potential Hart-Scott-Rodino (“HSR”) filing and the amounts which will trigger a prohibition on…more

Federal Trade Commission Announces Adjusted HSR Thresholds for 2017

On January 19, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission announced the annual threshold adjustments for premerger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (15 U.S.C. § 18a) (“HSR”). The new thresholds have…more

Lien Claimants Ring in New Year With Blizzard of Declarations Under 2017 Legislation

In September 2016, Governor Brown signed SB 1160. This bill is intended to streamline emergency medical services and treatment for accepted industrial injuries. To offset the expected costs of less control over early treatment, SB 1160…more

The Price of PHI – A $2.2 Million USB Drive

A stolen unencrypted USB drive led to a $2.2 million settlement and a Resolution Agreement. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on January 18th a settlement with MAPFRE Life Insurance…more

Pay-to-Play Enforcement Sweep Snares Private Equity and Venture Capital

On January 17, 2017, the SEC announced nine settled enforcement actions for violations of the pay-to-pay rule against private equity, venture capital and hedge fund sponsors. The firms involved agreed to pay monetary penalties from…more

[Video]Day 22 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program-the Regional Compliance Committee

Earlier I considered the Compliance Oversight Committee. Today, I want to you to consider another compliance committee which could positively impact your compliance regime, the Regional Compliance Committee which is created at the…more

Immigration Law Update: USCIS Publishes Final Rule, New AAO NIW Standard

On November 18, 2016, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule aimed at improving several aspects of certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. This rule codifies longstanding…more

Blog: In Her Final Speech As SEC Chair, White Identifies Current Trends Assailing SEC Independence

Mary Jo White took the occasion of her final speech as SEC Chair, presented to the Economic Club of New York, to discuss how to maintain the role of the SEC as an effective financial regulator and how the SEC can “continue as a strong…more

EU Customs Developments: November-December 2016

EU Customs Policy - Union Customs Code Developments - On 12 December 2016, the EU’s Customs Expert Group held a joint meeting with the Trade Contact Group to discuss proposed amendments to the Union Customs Code (UCC) and the…more

Big Changes for California’s Labor, Employment Laws

Californians are starting to feel the effects of new labor and employment laws passed in 2016 that raise the state’s minimum wage, aim to erase wage gaps, protect immigrant and disabled workers, as well as establish gender-neutral…more

Federal Court Issues Permanent Injunction and Permanently Shuts Down Santa Ysabel’s Desert Rose Bingo

On December 12, 2016, Judge Battaglia of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California issued the Court’s long-awaited ruling on the State of California and Federal Government’s motions for summary judgment…more

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline
Contributor Spotlight

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy, Chapters 7, 13 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Litigation Consumer Law I have dedicated my legal career to helping those who are struggling with debt and financial…

[ About | Legal Updates ]