Latest Updates

Supreme Court Holds Statute Banning Registration of Disparaging Marks Violates the First Amendment

This past Monday, June 19, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), is unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Matal v. Tam, No. 15-1293, 582 U.S. ___ (2017). Section 2(a)… more

House Approves Rollback of Post-Recession Financial Reforms

In a party line vote, the House of Representatives approved the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017. If signed into law, this legislation would profoundly alter the financial services regulatory landscape put in place after the 2007–08… more

Wisconsin Eliminates Permitting Requirements for 16- and 17-Year-Old Workers

Governor Walker signed Assembly Bill 25 (2017 Wisconsin Act 11) on Wednesday reducing burdens carried by employers that rely on teenage labor. The law became effective June 23, 2017… more

Trust – the Secret Sauce in Corporate Success?

A recently released ranking of industries by Trust Across America shows that one of the most competitive and financially stressed industries – consumer staples – nevertheless scored highest on a collection of measures that center on… more

Back to Wedding Cakes and DJs—5th Circuit Overturns Injunction against Mississippi Religious Freedom Law

Last week, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s injunction of the enactment of Mississippi’s “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” (HB 1523). As written about in a blog post from… more

Slow but Steady: CMS Proposes to Simplify and Slow Down the Quality Payment Program Rollout

On Tuesday, June 20, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Proposed Rule to continue the rollout of the Quality Payment Program (QPP), an initiative to adjust Medicare payments to eligible clinicians based on… more

Appraisers’ Valuations Are Light-Years Apart, But Does That Make Them Hired Guns?

The title of this post notwithstanding, the judge’s decision in the recent, high-stakes stock valuation case I’m about to describe, featuring a clash of business appraiser titans whose conclusions of value differed by almost 400%, did… more

The Baton Passes Back to the East Coast: Prior Salary Ban Passed in Delaware and Philadelphia Law Suit Challenging Prior Salary Ban Back On

Seyfarth Synopsis: There have been two big updates on the prior salary front. First, Delaware joins the growing number of states and local jurisdictions with its enactment of a law preventing employers from requesting salary history of… more

Seventh Circuit Opinion Highlights Importance of Proactively Addressing and Documenting Employee Performance

Every employer has faced the unfortunate experience of hiring an employee whose performance fell well below expectation. As highlighted in the Seventh Circuit’s recent Ferrill v. Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District decision… more

Foreign Startup Founder Rule Delayed

It is being reported that the Trump Administration intends to stop a new rule meant to help grant foreign-born entrepreneurs temporary permission, “parole,” to be in the U.S… more

Who is Considered A Parent For Purposes of Accessing School Records?

Under state and federal law, a parent generally has the right to access his/her child’s educational records. The question is, who is considered a “parent” in under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). As the… more

Tesla’s CEO makes personal pledge for employee safety

Tesla, an electric-automobile manufacturer, made headlines last month after Worksafe, a California-based worker advocacy group, released a report in May indicating that the injury rates at Tesla’s Fremont manufacturing facility were… more

Local Taxes on Non-Indian Possessory Interests in Indian Country OK’d by Court - BB&K Wins Major Victory for Local Agencies Confirming Authority for Taxation

In a major win affecting counties and local taxing entities throughout California, Best Best & Krieger LLP attorneys Roderick E. Walston and Steven G. Martin helped secure a federal court ruling that possessory interests held by… more

Patent Holders Can Evade CBM by Disclaiming CBM Claims

Addressing petitioner’s urging that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) import the district court “time of filing” rule to institution decisions for covered business method (CBM) reviews, the PTAB once again held that disclaimed… more

[Video]FCPA COMPLIANCE REPORT-EPISODE 337, JAMES GELLERT ON ASSESSING 3RD PARTY FINANCIAL HEALTH FOR COMPLIANCE

In this episode, I visit with James Gellert, CEO of RapidRatings, a company which uses a financial dialogue to determine third party supplier health and viability. Gellert explains what supply chain resilience is and how can examining… more

Supreme Court Says “No” to “Litigation Tourism”

There has been a lot said already about the effect on product liability (especially drug) cases and “mass actions” as a result of the United States Supreme Court’s June 17, 2017 decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of… more

Getting Specific about Specific Jurisdiction: Bristol-Myers Squibb

On June 19, the United States Supreme reaffirmed some basic principles of personal jurisdiction in Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, 528 U.S. __ (2017). In a bloody-good 8-1 decision (with only Justice… more

Incorporating Employee Storytelling into Your Compliance Marketing

As you might suppose I read quite a bit. One of the pleasures I receive each month is when the copy of the MIT Sloan Management Review arrives. I also find the articles highly topical and present ways to consider new compliance… more

Good News for Revenue Cycle Management Companies - Recent Supreme Court Decision on the Scope of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Has Positive Ramifications for Revenue Cycle Management Companies

The U.S. Supreme Court, in its June 12, 2017, decision, Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc., resolves and clarifies key questions with respect to the applicability of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") in a manner that… more

Failure To Contraindicate Claims and Preemption

We were recently asked the question, “are failure to contraindicate claims preempted?” Our immediate response was, “How could they not be”? However, it’s not helpful to answer a question with a question, and as with all things… more

ABLE Accounts - Savings Tool for Special Needs Individuals

ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience Act) accounts have become a popular savings tool for special needs individuals since the ABLE Act became law in December of 2014. Now that such accounts have been in existence for few years… more

Chicago and Cook County Paid Sick Leave Ordinances - A Differential Diagnosis of Implementing Rules

As most employers in the “Chicagoland” area are hopefully already aware, both Chicago and Cook County have enacted paid sick leave (PSL) ordinances that go into effect July 1, 2017. Although the two ordinances are remarkably similar as… more

Delaware Follows Trend of Banning Compensation History Inquiries in Effort to Reduce the Gender Pay Gap

In a developing trend, Delaware followed Massachusetts, Oregon, New York City and Philadelphia, in enacting legislation directed at ensuring equal wages between genders. On June 14, 2017, Governor John Carney signed legislation, which… more

[Webinar] What TC Heartland Means for Your Business: Practical Strategies For The Next Era Of Patent Litigation - June 29th, 12:00pm ET

This timely webinar will provide insight for business leaders and legal counsel on the implications of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, which has reshaped procedural strategy… more

Senate Begins Discussions of Affordable Care Act Modifications

Senate Republicans have released a draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) that aims to repeal and replace a number of provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate bill mirrors many of the terms in the American… more

Hogan Lovells Obtains Major TCPA Consent Revocation Victory

On June 22, 2017, in Reyes v. Lincoln Automotive Financial Services, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed with Hogan Lovells attorneys representing the defendant and held that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act… more

California Does Not Bar Defense Coverage For "Willful Acts"

"California prohibits insurers from indemnifying policyholders for their intentional misconduct, as a matter of public policy and as codified in California Insurance Code section 533. This bar on insurance coverage, however, does not… more

Does the Concept of Regulatory Takings Comport With Original Intent?

On June 23, 2017, the Supreme Court issued an important regulatory takings case, refining the test to be used to determine what is the appropriate unit of property to use to assess the impact of a regulation. It’s an interesting case… more

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s A Floating Zone

According to the American Planning Association, a “floating zone” is a zoning district that “delineates conditions” rather than the more traditional use classifications that are typically found on zoning maps. While a floating zone is… more

Closing the so called "Sausage gap" – Cartel fine procedures after the 9th amendment of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB)

With the amendments to the cartel fine procedure introduced by the 9th amendment of the GWB the legislator intends a harmonization with EU-law and significantly extends the liability for cartel fines… more

Supreme Court Narrows Grounds for Revoking Citizenship

On Thursday, June 22, 2017, the Supreme Court unanimously tightened the standards for stripping immigrants of citizenship. Divna Maslenjak, a Bosnian-Serb refugee who immigrated to the U.S. in 2000 and later obtained American… more

Multi-State Class Actions After the Supreme Court’s Decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court

On June 19th, the Supreme Court issued a decision that could have important consequences for multi-state class actions. In Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, the Court addressed the question whether a California state court… more

IRS is Looking more like a “Self-Serve” Financial Provider while still Targeting Collections

Since 2011, IRS has undergone $900 million in budget cuts and has reduced its number of auditors by approximately 25%. Nonetheless, IRS has its eye on the “collections” ball. The Agency has recently benefited from Congressional… more

Of Slants, Skins, And Signs: Section 2(a) Prohibition of Disparaging Trademark Registrations Struck Down!

Well, that happened! According to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Matal v. Tam, Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which purports to prohibit the registration of marks that “disparage . . . persons,” is unconstitutional… more

One Way Out: California District Court Finds Insurer Had Right to Pay Limits Despite Possible Defense

In Film Allman, LLC v. New York Marine and General Insurance Company, Inc., 2:14-cv-7069-ODW, (C.D. Cal. May 23, 2017), a California district court granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer of a production company. The court… more

Uber’s Former CEO and Current Chairman of the Board Sued Personally for Independent Contractor Misclassification – Is This an Effort to Circumvent Uber’s Arbitration Agreements?

Last week, the lawyers representing drivers who have sued Uber in California commenced another lawsuit on behalf of drivers alleging that Uber misclassified them as independent contractors instead of employees. This lawsuit, though, is… more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | June 2017 #4

NAD Says Aldi Should Change Savings Claims Ads - The National Advertising Division (NAD) has recommended that Aldi, Inc. discontinue advertising based on a “market basket” comparison that claims consumers could save more than 50… more

Disparaging, Degrading, Derogatory Trademarks: They're Now Enforceable Says Supreme Court

You may remember that several national sports franchises are under fire for trademarks and branding that is seen to be racially disparaging. The Washington Redskins are the first team to come to mind, and it wasn’t too long ago that we… more

The future of work: using the gig economy to your advantage

One of the more interesting recent developments in relation to work has been the continual rise and development of the gig economy – that is, workers developing niche areas of specialist expertise, but having careers characterised by a… more

Real Estate Investment in Africa: Is the Honeymoon Over?

The environment for real estate investment in Africa contains a perplexing mix of positive and negative factors. This is quite apart from the obvious fact that, in a continent of 54 countries and wide variations in levels of economic… more

Inbound and Outbound U.S. Tax Planning - What's Left After the MLI?

On June 7, 2017, the formal signing ceremony of the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the “Multilateral Instrument” or “MLI”) took place. Sixty-eight… more

Insurance Coverage Applies for Cost of Repair, Even When Cost Exceeds Value

California Fair Plan Association v. Marlene Garnes - Court of Appeal, First Appellate District (June 14, 2017) - On a fire insurance policy, is a “total loss” one in which the damage exceeds the fair market value of the property… more

Recast EU Insolvency Regulation Comes Into Force

From today, 26 June 2017, the Recast EU Insolvency Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No. 2015/848) comes into force and will apply to all relevant insolvency proceedings (although existing and ongoing proceedings will continue to be… more

Shifting Sands Continue to Undermine Traditional Definitions of Employment

On June 7, 2017, the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor withdrew two Administrator’s Interpretations issued during the Obama administration that took a broad view of the employment relationship under the… more

Development Rights and Responsibility Agreements: The Give and Take of Development

Under Maryland law, the rights of a land developer to develop property for commercial or residential uses generally do not “vest” until there is some visible, lawful, construction on the property. Of course, development of a property… more

EMA Committee Issues Positive Opinion for Biogen’s Adalimumab Biosimilar Candidate

According to a Biogen press release, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued a positive opinion for Biogen’s Imraldi®, a proposed biosimilar to AbbVie’s Humira®… more

Genesis Healthcare Settlement with Federal Government

On June 16th, 2017, The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a $53.6 million dollar settlement with Genesis Healthcare Inc. (“Genesis”) over six federal whistleblower lawsuits alleging that subsidiaries of the rehabilitation and… more

Supreme Court Solidifies Specific Jurisdiction Analysis To Dismiss Product Claims Filed Against Non-Resident Defendant, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Product manufacturers routinely hauled into court in far away, inconvenient jurisdictions can breathe a little easier with the Supreme Court’s decision this week in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California. A group… more

New Incentive for Data Centers in Florida

This session, Florida approved legislation that provides for a sales tax exemption for data centers and goes into effect on July 1, 2017. The exemption eliminates sales and use taxes for infrastructure, equipment, personal property… more

TransUnion Hit with Record $60 Million Dollar Verdict in FCRA Class Action

A California jury recently returned a large verdict in a Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") case which alleged that TransUnion's credit reporting confused the class consumer names with the names of criminals and terrorists on a… more

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