Latest Updates

HIPAA Enforcement Update (February 2017 – April 2017)

In recent months, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced four settlement agreements and one civil monetary penalty to resolve allegations of Health Insurance Portability and… more

Key Takeaways: Software Patent Prosecution Requires Data-Based Strategies Due to Patent Office Inconsistencies

Kilpatrick Townsend attorneys Kate Gaudry, Ph.D. and Thomas D. Franklin recently presented at the Practising Law Institute’s 11th Annual Patent Law Institute regarding “Software/EE: Are We There, Yet?”… more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: Budget Negotiations Continue, Conference Committees Focus on Policy

The Legislature adjourned the Special Session early the morning of Friday, May 26, after adopting spending bills, a tax bill and a bonding bill. Governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders spent the final weeks of the… more

Energy Insider Interview Series: Questions for Congressman Adam Kinzinger

1. Let’s talk a little bit about the new Presidential administration and what impact it might have on the energy industry. President Trump has talked about significant changes to energy policy under his administration. One area in… more

Blakes Board Report: Opportunities for Women General Counsel

2016 S&P/TSX Composite Board Study - In late 2016, Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes) initiated a novel study to examine the involvement of general counsel and lawyers on the board of directors of Canadian publicly listed… more

New York Court of Appeals Holds that Out-of-State Entities Can be Liable for Aiding and Abetting Discrimination Under the New York Human Rights Law

Out-of-state entities with the power to dictate a New York employer’s hiring and retention policies take notice: you can be subject to liability under the New York Human Rights Law (“NYHRL”) if you “aid and abet” discrimination… more

The Ninth Circuit Affirms District Court’s Dismissal Of Putative Class Action Where Named Plaintiff Lacked Standing To Assert Claims For Injunctive And Declaratory Relief

Takeaway: While courts continue to grapple with efforts by class action defendants to “pick off” a named plaintiff by mooting his or her individual damages claim, class representatives pressing claims for injunctive and declaratory… more

National Labor Relations Board Finds Union Supporter’s Profanity-Laden Rant Unprotected by the National Labor Relations Act

In a rare win for the employer, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) unanimously affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s (“ALJ”) decision that the termination of a union bargaining-committee representative for a… more

Ontario Considers Major Employment and Labour Law Reform: Key Recommendations and How They Will Impact Employers

On May 23, 2017, the Ontario government released The Changing Workplaces Review – Final Report, which recommends a sweeping overhaul to Ontario’s employment standards and labour relations legislation. The government has promised to… more

News from Second and State

Weekly Wrap - We are now about one month away from the end of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, and if this week was a preview of what to expect in June, it will be a busy month indeed. Plenty of bills were reported from the standing… more

Ontario Introduces New International Commercial Arbitration Scheme

Effective March 22, 2017, Ontario enacted the International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017 (ICAA), replacing a previous version of the law that had been in effect since 2006. The new ICAA includes changes which are designed to… more

EPA Releases RIN Generation Data For April

On May 10, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) generation data for April 2017, reporting that nearly 1.5 billion RINs were generated during the month. Nearly… more

Mitigating Risk at the Intersection of Business and Patents

Public sales and offers to sell can trigger the on sale bar without a public disclosure of the invention - Since its enactment in 2011, many practitioners (and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) itself) have treated the… more

Service Breakdown Costs Prepaid Card Company, Processor $13M

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) entered into a Consent Order on January 31 with UniRush, a prepaid debit card company, and its processor over a breakdown in October 2015 that left RushCard holders unable to access their… more

CFPB Fines Real Estate Entities Over RESPA Violations

Targeting violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by a mortgage lender, two real estate brokers, and a mortgage servicer, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced almost $4 million in penalties… more

Shareholders Are Getting Restless; Climate Change Resolution Passes at Occidental

In March, I noted BlackRock’s increasing concern over climate. One element of its statement was “potential support for shareholder resolutions on climate risk”, where “management’s response to our prior engagement has been inadequate… more

NSA Curbs Collection Of Americans’ Emails

The National Security Agency (“NSA”) announced that it will voluntarily stop collecting the email and text exchanges of American citizens with persons overseas that mention a target of NSA surveillance. Although the collection of… more

Taking Control: Oregon SB 1057

The Oregon Legislature recently passed Senate Bill 1057, which currently sits on the Governor’s desk awaiting her signature. The bill primarily addresses the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s (OLCC) control over the state’s medical… more

CFPB Claims National Bank Impeded Loss Mitigation for Distressed Mortgage Borrowers

In separate consent orders, one bank will pay $28.8 million to resolve claims by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that it gave its distressed mortgage borrowers the "run-around" during the loss mitigation process… more

Amendments to Companies Act Aim to Transform Singapore into Debt Restructuring Hub

Singapore’s firm trajectory towards becoming an international hub for debt restructuring received a boost with the Companies (Amendment) Act 2017 coming into force on 23 May 2017… more

Unmet Garmin Factor 3 Proves Fatal for Additional Discovery Request

In Polygroup Ltd. v. Willis Electric Co., Ltd., the Patent Trial and Appeal Board denied a Patent Owner request for documents already provided in a co-pending lawsuit but restricted from use by a protective order. IPR2016-01610, Paper… more

U.S. Supreme Court Addresses Scope of Patent Venue

In TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved where a domestic corporation "resides" for purposes of the patent venue statute. The Court narrowed the meaning of "resides" under 28 U.S.C. §… more

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Trump’s Second Travel Ban - Decision Sets Up Inevitable Date At Supreme Court

In a 10-3 decision, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the nationwide injunction that had blocked President Trump’s second executive order banning certain travel into the country from taking effect. The Court held that… more

Washington to Become the First State to Certify Organic Cannabis

On May 16, 2017, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed GOP-sponsored Senate Bill 5131 to allow Washington State to be the first state in the nation to create a program to certify cannabis products as organic. The new law creates a… more

Guilt by Association: Bitcoin and the WannaCry Ransomware Attack

The recent so-called “WannaCry” ransomware cyber-extortion attack has thrust bitcoin as a means of payment back into the debate surrounding illegal online activity. Much in the way that the internet, in its early days, was seen as a… more

Best Practices for Using Third-Party Content on Your Company’s Website

Does your company’s website include or link to third-party content? If so, there are potential legal issues that may arise under copyright law and website terms of use that can be minimized or avoided by implementing some best… more

Transnational Class Action Dispute Over Oil Spill Commenced in Australia

Following the 2009 Montara Oil Field oil spill in the Timor Sea, an Indonesian seaweed farmer brought a class action in Australia against the operator of the Montara Oil Field. The action was commenced on behalf of a class of… more

Federal Bill Seeks to Create Portable Benefits for Gig Economy Workers

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), a lawmaker known for closely monitoring the changing nature of work, has introduced in the Senate legislation to promote innovative ways to offer portable benefits to workers in the on-demand economy. Rep… more

D.C. Circuit Court Rejects Anthem’s Appeal of Blocked Cigna Merger

On April 28, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected Anthem, Inc.’s (Anthem’s) appeal of the D.C. district court’s order blocking its proposed $54 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp… more

Cybersecurity, A-Z: D is for Drones

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or “drones,” as they’re commonly called, touch on numerous hot-button cybersecurity issues. As devices connected to networks, they are important when considering the “internet of things.” As used by the… more

May Washington Update

This month’s Washington Update provides insight into a number of energy-related developments at the federal level, including President Trump’s recently proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018, the Senate’s failed efforts to turn back the… more

FY 2018 President’s Budget May Signal Challenges for Health Programs on the Horizon

Eric Zimmerman, along with McDermott+Consulting Vice Presidents Adaeze Enekwechi and Piper Su, wrote this +Insights publication detailing the possible effects of the Trump Administration's 2018 budget on health programs and what can be… more

Change to Occur Slowly at NLRB

Seyfarth Synopsis: At yesterday's client symposium, “First 100 & Beyond: Strategy & Planning Summit for Businesses,” Brad Livingston offered insight into the state of the National Labor Relations Board under the Trump Administration… more

Mylan Institutional LLC v. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. (Fed. Cir. 2017)

Last week, the Federal Circuit reviewed the rare event of a preliminary injunction being granted in a lawsuit over a chemical invention, made rarer still by the evidence of likelihood of success on the merits required for the… more

Littler Global Guide - Portugal - Q1 2017

State Budget Law 42/2016 of December 28, 2017 - Enacted Legislation - Effective January 1, 2017, State Budget Law for 2017 introduced various modifications to the labor law landscape, which have had an immediate impact on the… more

Employment Law Commentary - May 2017 #2

"On The Seventh Day He (She) Rested"... Maybe - It took 124 years, but the California Supreme Court in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., No. S224611, 2017 WL 1833143 (Cal. May 8, 2017) finally addressed in detail California’s day-of-rest… more

NAFTA Renegotiation Starting - Companies Doing Business in the United States, Canada, and Mexico Should Take Notice

On May 18, 2017, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress of the Trump Administration's intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada. The letter… more

Protecting Privilege In FCA Cases From Start To Finish

The False Claims Act has been a hot area of litigation for years, and current statistics signal that this trend will not end any time soon. With lucrative rewards for whistleblowers and the possibility of treble damages and steep… more

Transgender Basics

In 2016, 1.4 million adults in the United States identified as transgender. Federal Circuit Courts have consistently ruled that Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment based on an applicant’s or employee’s transgender status… more

Rhode Island Company Liable for Refusing to Hire Marijuana User – Is Massachusetts Next?

On May 23rd, the Rhode Island Superior Court ruled that a local company is guilty of discriminating against a prospective employee for refusing to hire the employee because the employee actively used medical marijuana pursuant to a… more

Littler Global Guide - Slovakia - Q1 2017

Social Security - Enacted Legislation - Effective January 1, 2017, Slovakia removed the ceilings for mandatory health insurance contributions, which affects high-earning individuals and employer costs… more

Operationalizing Compliance: Part V – Controller’s Office

This week I have engaged in a series on how a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) or compliance practitioner might think about operationalizing a compliance program with other corporate functions and disciplines. I have been joined in this… more

Right for the Wrong Reason - Reversal Requires More Than Just an Error

Challenging an adverse judgment on appeal is an uphill battle from the start. A major part of winning an appeal requires demonstrating that an error occurred and confirming that the error was properly raised in the trial court. But… more

Supreme Court Grants Cert In SAS To Decide Required Scope Of PTAB Decision

On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in SAS Institute, Inc. v. Lee, where it has been asked to decide whether the PTAB is statutorily required “to issue a final written decision as to every claim challenged by the… more

HR Generalist’s Threat To Bring In Union Not Protected, NLRB Rules

One of the most interesting things about labor relations is the unusual situations human resources professionals have to deal with on a day to day basis. If you are at a cocktail party with a human resources professional, ask them what… more

Medicare Advantage Plans Under Fire: The Department of Justice Files Complaints-in-Intervention

As reported in earlier blogs, the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) has been actively looking into potential abuses by Medicare Advantage (MA) Organizations as to allegedly improper risk adjustment claims submissions and practices… more

The Supreme Court Limits What Constitutes Proper Venue

In TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, No. 16-341, 581 U.S. __ (2017), the Supreme Court reversed a Federal Circuit decision and clarified the proper scope of venue pursuant to the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C… more

GAO Agrees to Decide the Legality of the Leveraged Lending Guidance; Indicates Decision Will Take “at Least a Few Months”

On May 23, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), in a letter to Senator Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., agreed to determine whether the Guidance on Leveraged Lending jointly issued in 2013 by the Board of the Governors of the Federal… more

Tax court finds self-employment tax for active LLC member

Self-employment (SE) tax is one of the driving forces when a tax advisor recommends what type of entity to use for one’s business. My previous post, “Tax court finds no self-employment tax for passive LLC member,” described SE tax… more

SEC Urges Investment Firms to Better Prepare for Ransomware Attacks

On May 17, 2017, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspection and Examination (“OCIE”) issued a risk alert urging broker-dealers, investment advisors and investment companies to safeguard themselves against ransomware in light of the… more

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