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Decision Cheered by Some, as Supreme Court Clarifies Useful Articles Copyright Protection

In a decision likely to affect the fashion and design industries, on March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court clarified the test for determining when a design feature incorporated into a "useful article" (such as apparel) is…more

Brexit: No Turning Back

On March 29, 2017, the United Kingdom submitted its formal notice to the European Union in order to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (the Article 50 Notice). This is the formal mechanism which begins the two-year…more

In a Victory for the “Drone Slayer,” Federal Judge Rejects Pilot’s Attempt to Create Federal Question Jurisdiction

On March 21, 2017, a federal judge in the Western District of Kentucky dismissed a lawsuit brought by a drone pilot, David Boggs, against the “Drone Slayer” William Merideth, a Kentucky man who shot down a drone that he believed was…more

Don’t Be Stingy With Tip Credit Notification...

This week, our Charleston office held its Legal Grounds coffee break. The Legal Grounds event provides an opportunity for managers, owners, and human resources personnel in the food and beverage and hospitality industries to meet…more

CGL’s “pollution exclusion” applies to “harsh soaps”: Oregon federal court

The latest round in the fight over the CGL’s “pollution exclusion” — which well-respected commentator Craig F. Stanovich has called “one of the least understood and most litigated portions” of the CGL — went to the insurance company…more

Enhanced Patent Damages in the Wake of Halo May Not Be So Easy to Come By

Background - Last year, in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1923 (2016), the Supreme Court weighed in on the question of enhanced damages in patent cases and rejected the then-existing Federal Circuit…more

Court Rules that Prisoner is Entitled to Off Label Drug Treatment

Happy birthday to Eric Idle, one of the funniest members of the Monty Python troupe. In addition to writing bizarre, hilarious comedy skits, Idle also wrote songs. When he proposed a song for The Life of Brian, he ran into…more

Muscle Beach Party and Theories of Sex Discrimination: Second Circuit Tries To Clarify Sexual Orientation vs. Gender-Stereotyping

Is there a difference between being discriminated against because of your sexual orientation versus being discriminated against for not conforming to a gender stereotype? In most areas of the country, there most certainly is according…more

New Regulations Limit California Employers’ Consideration of Criminal History

Seyfarth Synopsis: The California Fair Employment and Housing Council (“FEHC”) has approved new regulations, effective July 1, 2017, to limit employers’ use of criminal history when making employment decisions…more

Will Attorney General Sessions continue to pursue redlining cases?

On Monday, we blogged about the highlights of the panel I moderated, “The CFPB Speaks,” that was part of the Practicing Law Institute’s 22nd annual Consumer Financial Services Institute in Manhattan. The next panel, “Federal…more

Congress Repeals New OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Rule - President Trump Blocks Fair Pay and Safe Work Places Executive Order

Last week, the Senate approved a resolution killing a recordkeeping rule finalized by OSHA in December 2016, and this week, President Trump signed a congressional resolution invalidating the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order…more

Bankruptcy Beat: New York Bankruptcy Court Prohibits Stripping of Mortgage Lien Against Debtor's Multi-Family Residential Real Estate, Setting Up Split of Authority With District of Connecticut

In both Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy cases and individual Chapter 11 cases, a debtor is prohibited from modifying a claim that is “secured only by a security interest in real property that is the debtor’s principal residence.” 11…more

Is a Request for Religious Accommodation “Protected Activity” for a Title VII Retaliation Claim?

Seyfarth Synopsis: In a recent federal case the employer has challenged the EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation taking the position that a religious accommodation request does not meet the test for protected activity under Title…more

French sunshine regulations: the puzzle now completed and in force

The French sunshine regulations require industry to report certain agreements along with the fees and other benefits provided to various stakeholders in the healthcare sector…more

The Defend Trade Secrets Act and Whistleblowers: Protections and Vulnerabilities

President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) during his last year in office. Most notably, the DTSA creates a private federal civil cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets. If that…more

Colorado Businesses Continue to Face "Drive By" Lawsuits Over ADA Accessibility

Plaintiffs have brought more than 150 lawsuits in federal court in Denver against Colorado businesses alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) over the past year, following a national trend. These lawsuits…more

DC Circuit Case May Test Continuing Validity of FERC Delegations of Authority to Agency Staff Once Its Quorum Disappeared

On February 7 and March 7, 2017, we wrote about how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is operating without a legal quorum of three members and how the lack of a quorum might affect the validity of FERC staff actions taken…more

Contractor Blacklisting Rule Trump-smacked

Yesterday President Trump signed into law a resolution that officially kills the Obama-era “Blacklisting Rule.” The Rule promised to wreak havoc among federal contractors by requiring certain government contractors and subcontractors…more

Pennsylvania Appellate Court Denies Petition To Transfer Structured Settlement Involving LHWCA

Relying on Federal Court precedent, a Pennsylvania intermediate appellate court resolved whether the plain language of Section 916 of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”) prohibits the assignment of benefits…more

A Bankruptcy Discharge Makes a Face-to-Face Meeting an Act in Futility

Just last fall, we wrote about the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in In re Failla, Case No., in our article, “The Eleventh Circuit has spoken: Debtors who surrender property must get out of the creditor’s way.” Now, it appears that the…more

New rules on conflict minerals for EU importers

The European Union is bringing forward new rules on the sourcing and import of conflict minerals. The European Parliament approved the draft conflict minerals regulation (the Regulation) on 16 March 2017 by a large majority, and…more

Article 50 – let the Brexit negotiations begin

On 29 March 2017, Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s permanent representative in Brussels, personally handed over a letter, signed by Prime Minister Theresa May, to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, providing notification of…more

Trump's Skinny EPA Budget Could Have Far-Reaching Impacts

President Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2018 “skinny” budget, if enacted, would severely impact the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, reducing its budget by nearly a third and cutting 20 percent of its staff. Indeed, the EPA faces…more

Executive Order Reverses Key Aspects of Obama’s Climate Action Plan

Yesterday the White House released its highly anticipated Energy Independence Executive Order (EO). The EO signals the White House’s fulfillment of a campaign promise—to roll back the various elements of the Climate Action Plan…more

Consumer advocates are split on whether Director Cordray should finalize arbitration rule

On Monday, during “The CFPB Speaks” panel I moderated that was part of the Practicing Law Institute’s 22nd Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute in Manhattan, Diane Thompson, Deputy Assistant Director of the CFPB’s Office of…more

Large Deductibles and Self-Insured Retentions – Potential Bad Faith Exposures

As the economy recovers from the Great Recession, the insurance industry is experiencing an increase in the need to evaluate risk retention and risk transfer mechanisms tailored to the commercial policyholders’ risk management goals as…more

Extension of Parental Benefits – What About the Leave?

The Federal government announced in the budget that it intends to “stretch” employment insurance (“EI”) parental leave benefits to up to 18 months at a lower benefit rate of 33% of average weekly earnings. That raises the question:…more

IRS Warns Schools of Dangerous Email Scam

On March 28, 2017, the IRS warned schools, universities, government entities and tax exempt organizations of a dangerous email scam currently circulating nationwide and targeting employers. According to the IRS, the scammer poses as an…more

Operationalizing Data in a Compliance Program

The use of data in compliance programs continues to be held up as either a siren’s song or a goal which simply cannot be achieved. Most of the time when compliance practitioners consider how to use big data in a compliance program, it…more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending March 24, 2017

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Condition Precedent: servicer did not meet its burden of proving it satisfied condition precedent of giving notice of acceleration by failing to provide evidence that notice letter had been…more

The Delphic Provision

On 8 December 2014, the agreement between the three Departments of Mineral Resources (DMR), Environmental (DEA) and Water Affairs, also known as the “One Environmental System” became a reality. In principle, this was aimed at…more

Bigger Investments Proposed for EB-5 Projects; Investors Scramble to Beat Deadline

As we have previously reported, many members of Congress have proposed and considered several reforms to the U.S. Immigrant Investor Program known as "EB-5" over the past several years. The reforms included making the EB-5 Program…more

Middle East Market Update – March 2017

The new FIDIC White Book: what you need to know - FIDIC has now published the 5th Edition of its Client/Consultant Model Services Agreement (the White Book). This supersedes the 2006 version which although used on many projects in…more

Brief Overview of President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order

Section 1 of the Order sets forth various policy objectives, many of which (e.g., clean, reliable, affordable, safe energy) are goals that should garner bi-partisan support. How these policies are interpreted by the various heads of…more

President Trump Makes Key Treasury Nominations

President Trump made several nominations for key posts in the US Department of Treasury..…more

Ukraine: Adoption of laws substantially changing legislative regulation on ownership and disposition of corporate rights (shares) of companies

On March 23, 2017 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted three laws substantially changing legislative regulation on ownership and disposition of corporate rights (shares) of companies, in particular joint-stock companies, and legal…more

Despite Trump approval, Keystone XL pipeline still has hurdles to cross

Last Thursday, the Trump administration issued a presidential permit to TransCanada to operate and construct the Keystone XL pipeline. Although the granting of the presidential permit is a big step forward, many regulatory and legal…more

New Law Requires Specific Disability Language in Commercial Leases

California Assembly Bill 2093 requires each commercial property owner/lessor to state on each lease form or rental agreement executed on or after January 1, 2017, whether the premises have undergone an inspection by a Certified Access…more

California State Court Poised to Destabilize Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Big changes appear to be imminent for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). As discussed in greater detail in our recent post, the LCFS currently is the subject of two interrelated legal challenges commonly known as POET I…more

MSHA Proposes to Extend the Effective Date for the Workplace Examination Final Rule to July 24

On March 27, 2017, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a proposed rule to delay the effective date for its Final Rule on Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines from May 23, 2017, to July 24…more

HR’s Increasing Role in Ensuring Data Privacy

Last night I had the opportunity to speak to the Colonial Total Rewards Association on the topic of Data Privacy and HR. I titled the presentation “Is Your HR Data Going Rogue” and really focused on the role that Human Resources…more

President Trump Nominates J. Christopher Giancarlo as Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission

President Donald J. Trump nominated J. Christopher Giancarlo to serve as Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission..…more

Insuring and reinsuring Canadian risks from the United States

Over the past ten years, regulation in Canada of insurers has evolved significantly. Prior to the financial crisis, Canada’s primary regulator had begun to move from a "rules-based" approach to regulation to a "principles-based" or…more

Department Of Business Oversight Proposes Changes To Proposed Finders Rule

Last July, the California Department of Business Oversight proposed regulations to implement the provisions of AB 667 (Wagner). The bill, which was enacted in 2015 and took effect last year, created a new exemption from the…more

Likely and Potential Impacts of Yesterday’s Energy Independence Executive Order

As a follow up to yesterday’s post, President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order (the “Order”) has now been posted on the White House website, a summary of which can be found here. Over the last week, many pundits and…more

US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Extends Comment Period on Proposed Capital Requirements for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants

The CFTC announced that it was extending the comment period for the proposed rule on capital requirements applicable to swap dealers and major swap participants..…more

President Trump Revokes President Obama's "Blacklisting" Executive Order

On March 27, 2017, President Trump signed legislation, under the Congressional Review Act, blocking regulations and guidance governing Executive Order 13673, "Fair Pay and Safe Workplace," commonly called the "Blacklisting" Executive…more

Tackling GST 'Leakage' is Key to Housing Supply, Affordability

Originally published in Australian Financial Review - March 28th, 2017. If the solution to housing affordability is increased supply, the GST rules for develop-to-rent (D2R) projects is a part of the problem. "New housing"…more

President Trump Holds Press Conference and Signs Energy Independence Executive Order

President Trump and four executives of his administration held a press conference this afternoon in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) Map Room. Rick Perry (Secretary of Energy), Ryan Zinke (Secretary of Interior), Scott…more

Rights of Third Parties Put on Notice of Freezing Orders – A Clarification from the Court

In a decision this week, the English High Court has clarified the extent of a third party secured creditor’s duties, when put on notice of a freezing order, and suggested a more limited duty than that previously articulated by the…more

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