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“Nutella” No Longer Just a Dessert Topping – FDA Seeks Comments on Appropriate Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC) and Product Category for Flavored Nut Butter Spreads

As we previously reported, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Final Rule in May of this year updating, modifying and establishing several reference amounts customarily consumed (RACCs) for a number of foods based on new…more

Circuit Split Remains: SCOTUS Passes on Defining Nominative Fair Use

In a recent disappointment to those advocating clarity for the muddy waters of determining permissible use of third-party trademarks under the nominative fair use doctrine, the Justices of the United States Supreme Court denied the…more

New Guidance Restores 1994 ERISA Proxy Voting Interpretation

The DOL bulletin also clarifies the ability to consider ESG factors in proxy voting and shareholder engagement. On December 29, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (IB 2016-1), addressing how…more

Unusual Removal Situation Yields Favorable Result

We’re pretty familiar with most diversity-based removal techniques, so when we see something unusual, we sit up and take notice (as we did with removal before service) – then we blog about it. Today’s case is Bahalim v. Ferring…more

FTC Announces Settlement with Uber over Allegedly Deceptive Earnings Claims; Commissioner Ohlhausen Dissents

In its latest action involving allegedly deceptive earnings claims, the FTC announced yesterday that Uber had agreed to settle charges that it misled potential drivers with inflated earnings claims. The complaint also alleges that…more

Court of Chancery Explains Role of Records Demand in Alleging Wrongful Pre-Suit Demand Refusal

This decision examines when pre-suit demand may be excused because the board who refused the demand declines to disclose the report of its investigation when responding. In this case, the board’s unwillingness to disclose the report…more

9 “Fun” Facts About Workplace Harassment, From The EEOC

Last week, I shared with you what I didn’t like about the proposed Enforcement Guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on workplace harassment. Well, this is warm-and-fuzzy week. Moving on to the parts of the…more

You Asked: Can My Employees Hack My Company?

Yes! Employees and other insiders – think Edward Snowden – can, and in fact, do play a role in most data breaches or cyber-security incidents. Companies must ensure their data protection policies include not only training but…more

FDA Recommends Maximum Level of Lead in Cosmetic Products . . . But Finds that Most Products Surveyed are Already Well Below the Recommended Levels

As 2016 comes to an end, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or agency) is turning its attention to cosmetics by issuing a draft guidance on December 21, 2016 recommending a limit of “no more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of lead…more

Financial regulation in 2017: Europe and the US

The result of the UK referendum on its EU membership and the outcome of the US Presidential elections of 2016 have laid the ground for 2017 to be a year of transition for both Europe and the United States. As transitions are often…more

Is the Proposed Safety Fitness Determination Rule in Jeopardy?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on Jan. 21, 2016, designed to enhance the agency's ability to identify non-compliant motor carriers. The…more

CFPB Continues Its Focus on Medical Debt

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a consent order with two debt collection law firms specializing in medical debt. This action is similar to prior CFPB enforcement actions taken against debt…more

Product Liability: 2016 Year in Review | News & Insight

Massachusetts state and federal courts issued a number of important product liability decisions in 2016. The Product Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation Group at Nutter recently reviewed these cases. Highlighted below are some of the…more

IRS Labels Syndicated Conservation Easements as “Listed Transactions,” Adds Disclosure Requirements

In a notice issued December 23, 2016, the IRS named certain syndicated conservation easements as “listed transactions,” a category of transactions which the IRS believes carry a strong potential for abusive tax avoidance. Consequently…more

Mapco Express pays $1.9 Million in Data Breach Settlement

A Tennessee federal judge has approved a proposed settlement of up to $1.9 million to be paid by Mapco Express to individuals affected by a payment card data breach that occurred in 2013. Two banks alleged that Mapco had lax…more

NEC Future Names Preferred Alternative and Releases the Final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement

After nearly four years of planning and evaluation, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) released its Preferred Alternative to improve the Northeast Corridor for passenger rail transportation from Washington, DC, to…more

A Case Study on How Regional Manufacturing Firms Are Increasingly the Targets of Cybercrime

As their methods evolve, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting regional manufacturing businesses with sophisticated and potentially costly attacks. A recent ransomware attack on a mid-sized manufacturer in the Southeast provides a…more

Another Reason to Tread Carefully When Using Criminal Background Checks in Hiring Decisions

A recent consent decree between the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a southeastern Pennsylvania company is a reminder for employers to keep employment records regarding the use of criminal background information…more

Health Care E-Note - January 2017

On October 4, 2016, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") released the final rules regarding the requirements of participation for skilled nursing facilities. One of the most significant changes to the regulations is…more

FCC Wireless Bureau’s Staff Report Questions AT&T and Verizon Zero Rating Practices in Mobile Broadband Market…But To What Effect Under the Trump Administration?

On January 11, 2017, the FCC released its most extensive “policy review” of mobile broadband operators sponsored data offerings for zero-rated content and services since the Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order…more

Illinois Crowdfunding Starting Strong in 2017

While it took longer than expected to get here, Crowdfunding for Illinois businesses is now officially up and running and its full steam ahead. To mark the occasion, a joint press conference was held Tuesday at local incubator 1871…more

When is a merger a cross-border merger?

The High Court recently had to consider whether a transaction to merge several UK companies and a Dutch company into a UK company fell within the scope of the Companies (Cross-Border Mergers) Regulations 2007…more

Weekly Update Newsletter - January 2017 #3

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS - Recognition of Tribal Organizations for Representation of VA Claimants - The Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) is amending its regulations concerning recognition of certain national, state, and…more

Investment Management Update

SEC Issues Guidance on Mutual Fund Fee Structure - The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Investment Management recently issued a guidance update addressing disclosure issues and certain procedural requirements…more

U.S.-India Partnership: BIS Establishes Licensing Policy of General Approval, Expands Validated End-User Program

On January 19, 2017, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published new regulations that establish a licensing policy of general approval for exports or reexports to, or transfers within, India for most…more

Obama Administration Issues Changes to Iran Sanctions Regulations That Benefit Exporters of Medicine, Medical Devices and Agricultural Products

On December 23, 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) published a number of changes to the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (“ITSR,” 31 C.F.R. Part 560) that expanded the ability…more

Revised International Enforcement Guidelines Prescribe Increasing Collaboration Between U.S., Foreign Competition Agencies to Investigate, Prosecute Antitrust Violations

Companies, including those in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, with multinational operations should expect increasing collaboration between U.S. and foreign competition agencies to investigate and prosecute alleged…more

FDA Makes Public the Scientific Data Evaluated and Provides Draft Guidance Regarding the Inclusion of Certain Fibers in the Definition of Dietary Fiber

As previously reported, in May 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or agency) published new final regulations on Nutrition and Supplement Facts labeling. As part of the final rules, FDA defined “dietary fiber,” in relevant…more

Brexit: the Great Repeal Bill

Since the last issue of UK Corporate Briefing, the government has outlined its plans to bring forward a "Great Repeal Bill" in the next Queen's Speech…more

Upcoming Deadline for Form SHC - Holdings of Foreign Securities

Recently, the Department of the Treasury released the final instructions for the reporting requirements of the Treasury International Capital Benchmark Form SHC (herein referred to as “Form SHC”) for the 2016 calendar year. Form SHC is…more

FTC Revises Hart-Scott-Rodino Thresholds; Minimum Size for Reportable Transactions Increases to $80.8 Million

Key Points - - The Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 requires parties to transactions meeting certain size and other tests to file premerger notification forms with both the Federal Trade Commission and…more

Alert: FDA Maintains Assigned Unique Suffixes in Generic Names for Biologics

On January 12, 2017, the FDA issued its final guidance on generic naming for biological products submitted pursuant to 351(a) or (k) of the Public Health Service Act. The guidance is titled Nonproprietary Naming for Biological Products…more

Iran and Russia Sanctions Programs Under a Trump Administration–What to Expect

In the final weeks of December, President Obama amended sanctions to both the Iran and Russia programs. These changes further relaxed sanctions on Iran while they tightened sanctions on Russia. Yet, just three days from the…more

Cannabis Banking – (Perhaps) There Is An App For That

Simply stated, voter approval of Prop. 64 did not solve the California Cannabis Industry’s banking problem. It does not matter that cannabis – recreational or medicinal – is legal in California. In order to participate in the Federal…more

The Continuing “Evolution” of Alice: a GUI Example

On January 18, 2017, the Federal Circuit, in Trading Technologies International, Inc. v. CQG, Inc., No. 2016-1616 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 18, 2017) (NEWMAN, J.), issued a non-precedential decision affirming the district court’s holding that…more

Boldly Going Where no Fanfic has Gone Before

Fanfiction refers to the art of creating fiction using another author’s characters or universe. I was first introduced to the concept in high school, when a friend began writing Harry Potter fanfiction. (Side note: this is not one of…more

Face Value: An Allegedly Co-Opted Photograph Turns into a $2.2 Billion Headache for Chipotle

Because celebrities closely guard their names and likenesses, lawsuits claiming high-dollar amounts for violations of those rights are not unusual. But a lawsuit for $2.2 billion dollars for a non-celebrity claiming a restaurant…more

Rolls Royce Global Enforcement Action-Part III, the US DPA

Today I continue my exploration of the Rolls-Royce global corruption enforcement action by considering the company’s resolution in the US under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Before we dive into that, I first want to…more

New guidance note on reinsurance for Hong Kong insurers

A new guidance note on reinsurance for Hong Kong insurers (“GN17“) came into effect on 1 January 2017. GN17 contains a number of general requirements with regard to the management and monitoring of reinsurance arrangements. The…more

The Final Four Binding PAC Opinions of 2016 Remind School Districts of FOIA and OMA Requirements

In the final days of the year, the Illinois Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued four binding opinions that reiterate the requirements of both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Open Meetings Act (OMA). Below is a discussion…more

Health Care Reform in Transition While Congress Deliberates

Changes are imminent for the Affordable Care Act and a range of other laws and regulations affecting the health care industry. Ballard Spahr attorneys established a Health Care Reform Initiative in 2008 to monitor and analyze health…more

New York State and Seattle Lead Discussion on Portable Benefits

In an effort to head off litigation by workers claiming they have been misclassified as contractors, companies using a largely on-demand workforce have been working with the New York State Assembly to develop a system of portable…more

Landmark decision of the German Federal Supreme Court: Cease and desist orders comprise the obligation to recall infringing products

BGH, 29th September 2016 – I ZB 34/15, published on the 10th January 2017 - The German Federal Supreme Court decided on the 29th September 2016, published on the 10th January 2017, to the surprise of many that a cease and desist…more

Argentine Data Protection Authority Approves Model Clauses

The Argentine Data Protection Authority recently issued a new regulation approving two sets of model contractual clauses (controller-to-controller and controller-to-processor) for the international transfer of personal data…more

Department of Labor Refuses to Let the Clock Run Out on the Persuader Rule…How about Overtime?

On January 12, 2017, the Department of Labor filed a notice of appeal of District Judge Sam R. Cummings’ November order that blocked the Department of Labor’s controversial “persuader rule.” The rule, discussed by HRLegalist when it…more

How Keeping Good Records Can Minimize A Retirement Plan Sponsor’s Liability

Besides being a religious text, the Bible is essentially a history book detailing major religious events like the Exodus from Egypt. A history book is a record of events that can be passed down from generation to generation…more

Now You Can Be Up to Your QNEC in Forfeitures

On January 18, 2017, the IRS issued proposed regulations allowing amounts held as forfeitures in a 401(k) plan to be used to fund qualified nonelective contributions (QNECs) and qualified matching contributions (QMACs). This sounds…more

Want to Ruin Your Relationships? Ask Family and Friends to Fund Your Startup

When you need cash to fuel your startup, it’s tempting to “think local.” The people with the strongest ties to you—relatives, friends, college roommates, running buddies, and co-workers—are the ones who believe in you. You’d probably…more

Texas, Adjacent States Get New OSHA Regional Administrator

A warm welcome to Kelly Knighton, the new OSHA Administrator for Region 6, which covers Texas and adjacent states. Knighton joined OSHA in 1995 as a Houston-based inspector and later as a compliance assistant advising employers on…more

The EEOC Report: A Look Back at 2016

Happy New Year! The EEOC has released its report for the year 2016, and along with its statistical data are a few very positive trends with regards to how charges are processed and received. The Numbers from 2016 - The EEOC…more

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