Latest Updates

Immigrant Visa Processing Changes – EB1 India and China will retrogress; EB2 China will advance; Visa Office on Priority Dates, Demand, and Predictions

In our continuing series of reports, Charles (“Charlie”) Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, shares his most recent analysis of current trends and future projections for the various… more

The SEC Sends a Stern Reminder That It Is Serious About Punishing “Spoofing” and “Layering” Schemes in the Securities Markets

On March 10, 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging that a Ukraine-based trading firm committed securities fraud by… more

Sovereign immunity shields university from inventorship dispute

In a case involving medical methods invented by two Nobel laureates, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that sovereign immunity prevents a third researcher from pursuing his claim of co-inventorship against… more

A Development in Earthquakes and Fracking

Sierra Club v. Chesapeake Operating LLC et al is news more shocking than “Man Bites Dog”! A federal court has acknowledged that others are better equipped to address certain issues than the judiciary!… more

Can Inactive Lawyers Claim Privilege Protection for their Communications?

Some lawyers deliberately or inadvertently let their licenses lapse, but still give advice to clients and prepare related documents. What privilege implications come from such a scenario? In John Ernst Lucken Revocable Trust v… more

The Supreme Court’s Decision in Lewis v. Clarke Potentially Opens the Door of Tort Liability for Tribal Employees

On April 25, 2017, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Lewis v. Clarke, holding that tribal sovereign immunity does not bar individual-capacity damages actions against tribal employees for torts committed within the scope of… more

Privacy Tip #84 – Utility Company Imposters Scaring and Scamming Vulnerable Consumers

A new but old scam is on the rise and is reportedly hitting droves of unwary and vulnerable consumers. This new but old scam has increased now that tax season is over, and W2 scams are difficult to succeed this time of year. The… more

FCC Initiates Close Look at Wireless Infrastructure Deployment and Investment Issues

At its April 20, 2017 Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission” or “FCC”) initiated two proceedings to review ways in which the Commission might alleviate obstacles wireless providers face at the state, local… more

Special Education Tip – Data Data Data – 41-2017

Education is data driven. No area is more data driven than special education. Principals, Assistant Principals, and Supervisors: Make sure you are doing the following..… more

Internet Privacy – What the U.S. Can Learn from the European Union

With respect to Internet privacy, as a result of recent U.S. government action, Americans now have less protection and are more at risk of government surveillance and potential misuse of their personal information, as compared with… more

Licensed Medical Marijuana Caregiver’s Termination For Selling Drugs At Work Was Not Age Discrimination

A federal court in Michigan dismissed the age discrimination claim of a licensed medical marijuana caregiver who was terminated in connection with an investigation into drug activity at work. Henry v. Outback Steakhouse of Fla., LLC… more

2016 Could Be Peak SEC

2016 was a high-water mark for SEC enforcement activity; however, with the uncertainties associated with the new administration’s enforcement regime, we could be seeing a downturn going forward. According to a recent report issued by… more

Defense Contractors to Face New Cost Accounting Oversight with Creation of Defense Cost Accounting Standards Board

Section 820 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (“NDAA”) establishes a new Defense Cost Accounting Standards Board (“D-CASB”) to oversee the application of the Cost Accounting Standards (“CAS”) to defense… more

The 3 Big Issues in the WGA Negotiations

Hollywood is on pins and needles at the prospect of a Writers Guild of America (WGA) walkout, which could occur as early as May 2. On April 24, the Guild announced that a strike authorization vote had passed with 96% support. Although… more

When Is Harassment Not Harassment? Guidance From The EAT

In the case of Baker v. Peninsula Business Service Limited [2017] UKEAT/0241/16, the EAT confirmed that an individual cannot succeed in a claim for disability harassment, unless they first prove that they have that protected… more

Colorado Proposes Cybersecurity Rules for Investment Advisers, Broker-Dealers

The Colorado Division of Securities recently issued proposed rules directed at establishing cybersecurity requirements for broker-dealers and investment advisers. The proposed rules were issued only a month after New York enacted… more

Accidental Disinheritance: Update Wills, Estate Plans Annually

So you have an estate plan? Good for you. You funded it? Even better. But have you updated it and your will in the last year? If you haven’t, your loved ones or favorite charities may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Your ex-spouses… more

CMS Issues New SRDP Forms

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued new Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (“SRDP”) forms, and, beginning June 1, 2017, these SRDP forms will be mandatory for those parties submitting voluntary self-disclosures… more

Court Of Chancery Explains What Are Direct Claims For An LP

It matters whether a claim may be characterized as a direct claim belonging to the owners of an entity or as a derivative claim that may only be brought in the name of the entity. This decision explains which is which in the context of… more

Updates to Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program

On April 26, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy provided an update on the application review process for contending grower/processors and dispensaries. The Department of Health (DOH) has received over 500 packages… more

S-VACC: Future of the Singapore fund industry

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (the MAS) had on 24 April 2017 concluded its public consultation with various stakeholders on the Singapore Variable Capital Company (S-VACC) concept. The aim of the S-VACC framework is to improve… more

EIA: Permian Basin Oil Production and Resource Assessments Continue to Increase

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Crude oil production in the Permian Basin is expected to increase to an estimated 2.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in May, based on estimates from EIA’s Drilling Productivity… more

Federal Court Blocks Portion of Trump’s Executive Order Denying Federal Grants to Sanctuary Cities

Once again, a U.S. District Court has blocked part of one of President Donald Trump’s Executive Orders – the January 25th EO “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”. In explaining the purpose of that EO… more

23 States Considering Valuation Legislation

The Appraisal Institute reported April 17 that 37 bills affecting the valuation profession are pending in 23 states. According to the Appraisal Institute, the proposed legislation includes: Arizona SB 1197 which makes various… more

U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Section 232 Investigation that Could Limit Steel Imports in the Name of National Security

Last week, President Trump signed a presidential memorandum asking Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to expedite an investigation into the effects of steel imports on U.S. national security. The Department of Commerce conducts such… more

Rescind that Job Offer After Her Notice of Pregnancy? Maybe Not

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Minnesota Supreme Court found that a job applicant need only prove that the employee’s interest in a 12-week maternity leave was the “substantial causative factor” that “actually motivated” the employer’s… more

UPDATE: Congress and Trump Administration Repeal “Blacklisting” Rule, Relieving Contractors from Strict Labor Reporting and Other Requirements

On March 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law a Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) resolution repealing the so-called “blacklisting” rule, which would have imposed strict labor reporting and other requirements upon government… more

Advertising Litigation Report: Vol. 2, No. 2 - National Advertising Division (NAD) and National Advertising Review Board (NARB)

The Colgate-Palmolive Company (Tom’s of Maine “Naturally Dry” Antiperspirant), NARB Panel Report No. 215 (Jan. 25, 2017) - A National Advertising Review Board (NARB) panel determined that the National Advertising Division (NAD)… more

Advertising Litigation Report: Vol. 2, No. 2 - National Advertising Division (NAD) and National Advertising Review Board (NARB)

The Colgate-Palmolive Company (Tom’s of Maine “Naturally Dry” Antiperspirant), NARB Panel Report No. 215 (Jan. 25, 2017) - A National Advertising Review Board (NARB) panel determined that the National Advertising Division (NAD)… more

The Impact of Tax Reform on Private Equity

If the past 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that the future is hard to predict. One need only look at the ascendancy of Brexit, President Donald Trump, or even the New England Patriots in the second half of the Super Bowl to… more

The zero-hours contract debate: is the end in sight?

It was reported yesterday that McDonald’s is set to offer employment contracts containing fixed hours to its 115,000 employees employed under zero-hours contracts. This follows a trial offer across 23 restaurants, following which 20%… more

Article 29 Working Party Issues Guidance on Data Protection Impact Assessments

The steady trickle of GDPR guidance from the Article 29 Working Party continues. Fresh from finalising its guidance on data portability, lead supervisory authorities and data protection officers, the Working Party has published draft… more

State AGs criticize ED withdrawal of Obama student loan servicing policy direction

A group of 20 state attorneys general, the D.C. attorney general, and the Executive Director of the Office of Consumer Protection of Hawaii have sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos criticizing the ED’s… more

Supreme Court Decides Lewis v. Clarke

On April 25, 2017, the Supreme Court decided Lewis v. Clarke, No. 15-1500, holding that an Indian tribe’s sovereign immunity does not bar a suit against a tribe official or employee, in their individual capacity, for acts he or she… more

Big For Gigs: New Florida Law To Eliminate Misclassification Battles

I wrote an article yesterday about the new law that is about to be signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott that will ensure ride-sharing drivers are classified as independent contractors and not employees. You can check out the full… more

OFCCP Secures $1.7 Million Settlement In Failure-To-Hire Case

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Palantir Technologies, a California-based technology company, have agreed to settle a pending lawsuit for about $1.7 million. We first reported on this case in October 2016… more

5 Key Takeaways: Retail & Consumer Goods Industry Team Presentation “In the Trenches with Social Media”

Kilpatrick Townsend’s Retail & Consumer Goods Team presented a webinar In the Trenches with Social Media, focusing on risk mitigation and solutions. Led by Barry M. Benjamin, partner in the firm’s New York office and chair of the… more

SC court awards Lowe's employee workers' comp disability benefits

Employee disabilities are becoming a common issue that employers must address. Short- and long-term disability plans employers often make available to employees, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the varying definitions in… more

The FCA publishes its Business Plan 2017/18 and Mission: a clearer path ahead?

On 18 April the FCA published several important documents which, overall, aim to provide greater clarity about how it operates and more transparency about its decision-making. We give our views on the key documents and important… more

How Pharma, Biotech and Medical Device Companies Can Protect Against Product Liability Lawsuits

Among the many concerns manufacturers of therapeutics face is that of product liability lawsuits. While it is difficult to entirely eliminate the risk, there are steps companies can take to minimize it. Here are a few..… more

IRS Updates FATCA FAQs, Addresses January Temporary Regulations

On April 6, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) added three new frequently asked questions to its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) compliance page, which is available only online. These additional FAQs clarify… more

European Commission Prioritizes Completion of Digital Single Market

Since May 2015, the European Commission ("Commission") has identified the completion of the Digital Single Market as one of its top-ten political priorities. The Digital Single Market Strategy ("Strategy") aims at ensuring better… more

GDPR Compliance: The Ticking Time Bomb

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance is not an IT exercise. Cyber security represents a huge risk to firms (records breaches increased 556% in 2016, totaling more than 4 billion) and GDPR is an important regulation… more

Termination for convenience: What is the contractor entitled to?

Construction contracts often include termination for convenience clauses. Three recent cases highlight the potential financial implications of terminating for convenience...… more

PA DOH: Permit Application Review is On Schedule

Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy just concluded a Press Conference, where she, along with John J. Collins, Director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Medical Marijuana, provided an update on the Grower/Processor… more

Intellectual Property Strategies for Startups

One of the toughest things about being a new and struggling startup is that funds can be incredibly limited, so you have to carefully assess how to use the precious resources you have most effectively..… more

Don't Strike Out: What to Do if Your Employees Strike on May 1

With the news reporting a large labor strike of around 350,000 workers planned for May 1, employers should develop a response strategy now to limit liability and keep their businesses humming. The nature of this strike may provide… more

Alert: New Executive Order Promotes Federal Procurement of US-Origin Products

On April 18, 2017, the president issued an executive order announcing a policy of maximizing the federal government's procurement of goods, products and materials produced in the United States, as well as "rigorously" enforcing laws… more

IBB Announces Higher Blend Biofuels Dominate in Iowa

On April 4, 2017, the Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) announced that the Iowa Department of Revenue’s 2016 Retailers Fuel Gallons Annual Report demonstrated that more than half of Iowa’s fuel retailers carried biodiesel blends in 2016. In… more

The DOL's 2016 Proposed Overtime Rule Under the Trump Administration: Reading the Tea Leaves

The Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) Overtime Rule was slated to take effect on December 1, 2016. The new regulations would have extended the rights to overtime compensation to millions of additional employees in… more

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