Latest Updates

Amazon Tips Its Hand With New Trademark Application

As you likely know, Amazon is taking the world by storm. Whether it is through its convenient offering of household goods, and pretty much anything else you can imagine, to your door, or through its expansive selection of movies and… more

Deficient Administrative Record Leads Federal Court to Vacate 15-Year Debarment

A recent federal court decision vacating a staggering 15-year debarment based on shortcomings in the administrative record offers a glimmer of hope to contractors facing exclusion from federal programs, and reinforces the importance… more

Should You Record Internal Investigation Interviews?

As a former federal prosecutor, I noticed a renewed discussion of the important question of whether witness interviews should be recorded (either audio or video). I have always found this issue to be interesting and have welcomed… more

The State AG Report Weekly Update

Consumer Protection- 14 AGs Oppose Rollback of FCC Net Neutrality Protections- 14 Democratic AGs, led by Illinois AG Lisa Madigan, submitted comments urging the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to ensure open access to… more

Ruling Leaves Local Public Agencies Open to Legal Actions Asserting Wasteful Government Spending by Non Property Owners

Cherrity Weatherford, who was a resident of the City of San Rafael in Marin County, rented (but did not own) property in the City. Although Weatherford’s vehicle was not impounded, she nonetheless took issue with the City’s and… more

Hedging Bets On Social Security

If you have been reading the news lately, we have seen lots of electronic ink spilled over entitlement programs, especially Medicaid and its role in health care reform. Meanwhile, the report of the Trustees of the Social Security Fund… more

Be Careful When Using Biometric Information

While not strictly speaking a wage and hour issue, here is a heads-up to any employers that use timekeeping systems featuring biometric security, like a thumbprint or fingerprint scanner..… more

Ontario Court Overturns Quarry Licence Due to Government Failure to Adequately Consult First Nations

The Ontario Divisional Court (Court) has set aside a quarry licence issued to a private company on the basis that the Ontario government failed to fulfil its constitutional obligation to consult with local First Nations impacted by the… more

Another San Francisco Treat: Mayor Lee Signs Salary History Ban

On July 19, 2017, Mayor Ed Lee signed an ordinance that will significantly affect the hiring practices of San Francisco employers. When Ordinance No. 170350 becomes operative on July 1, 2018, it will be illegal for employers to inquire… more

Ashley Madison Settles Data Breach Case for $11.2M

Ashley Madison, which suffered a data breach in 2015 involving the loss of 37 million users’ personal and financial information, has settled the suit for $11.2 million… more

Update: NYC Adopts New Rules Implementing Freelance Law

Earlier this year, we reported that New York City adopted The Establishing Protections for Freelance Workers Act, also known as the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, (the “Freelance Law”). As explained in our prior blog, under the Freelance… more

Big 5 Sporting Goods Sued by EEOC for Racial Harassment

Black Employee Taunted with Racial Slurs and Death Threats, Federal Agency Charges - SEATTLE - One of the Western United States' largest sports retailers, Big 5 Sporting Goods, violated federal law when it allowed ongoing racial… more

EPA’s Regulatory Agenda Includes TSCA Section 8(a) Nanomaterials Rule with TBD Effective Date

On July 20, 2017, the Trump Administration published its Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The Agenda includes a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) item (RIN 2070-AJ54) concerning the Toxic Substances… more

Workplace Harassment 101

One lesson companies of all sizes can learn from the sexual harassment claims that Uber is facing is that an employer needs to set clear restrictions on harassment and make a conscious effort to hold employees accountable to those… more

ACA Compliance Validation (ACV) System: Ready for Prime Time?

ACA “repeal” proposals at this point seem like zombie extras – walking dead, and none of them purports to repeal employer mandate taxes that accrued in 2015. Collection is coming; only the timing is in question. ACV 2.0 is the… more

Channel Disruption & the Future of Food: Radical Change and New Consumer Channels

With the recent announcement that Amazon is buying Whole Foods, issues of channel disruption — that is, the ways consumers purchase food — have been on the forefront of people’s minds. On June 1, at DWT’s annual food and beverage… more

Claim Of Massachusetts Employee Fired For Medical Marijuana Use May Proceed, State High Court Rules

An employee fired after she tested positive for marijuana on a test administered in the hiring process should be able to proceed with her “handicap discrimination” claim under Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination statute, the… more

Utah Considers Charter School Eminent Domain Issues

The Utah legislature is considering policy changes regarding the acquisition of land for new charter schools and further expansions of existing schools. Specifically, there currently is uncertainty as to the eminent domain powers of… more

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill Received First Reading in Parliament

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (the “Repeal Bill”), which will end the supremacy of EU law in the UK by repealing the European Communities Act 1972 and will prepare the UK’s legislative framework after its withdrawal, has… more

DoD IG Report Highlights Flaws in DLA Compliance with Buy American Act and Berry Amendment

A recent report from the Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG) identified a number of significant flaws regarding the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) compliance with the Buy American Act (BAA) and the Berry Amendment… more

Additional 15,000 Visas for H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Workers for FY 2017

Effective upon publication by the Federal Register on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has authorized the one-time issuance of an additional 15,000 H-2B visas for Temporary Nonagricultural Workers… more

Arrangement Fee Clauses in German Loan Agreements ruled invalid by German Federal Court

The German Federal Court issued a series of groundbreaking rulings on July 4, 2017. Arrangement fee clauses in German law loan agreements are invalid if they are included in general terms and conditions set by the lender. Borrowers are… more

USCIS Releases New Form I-9

On July 17, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers may use either the revised form or Form I-9 with revision date of 11/14/16N… more

Defence & Indemnity - June 2017 : Insurance I. INSURANCE ISSUES D. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia v. Lloyds Underwriters, 2017 ONSC 670, per Penny, J. [4229]

The “lessee” or “renter” of a leased or rented vehicle for the purposes of auto insurance priority legislation is determined on the basis of who the lease/rental company can look to for payment. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia… more

FHFA Announces $5.5 Billion Settlement With Royal Bank of Scotland

On July 12, 2017, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA“), as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced it had reached a settlement with Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, related companies and specifically named… more

This Little Light of Mine — Developments Affected by Rights to Light

What right? What light? Whose right? Simply put, a right to light benefits the owners or occupiers of residential or commercial buildings and allows them to receive sufficient natural light through windows or apertures. It is not a… more

Lessons From the CoinDash Initial Coin Offering Hack

On July 17, 2017, the CoinDash initial coin offering (ICO) was hacked within minutes of its launch, resulting in numerous potential purchasers sending their money to a fraudulent address. The hack has raised many questions about the… more

Will Employers Be Forced To Accommodate Employees Who Test Positive For Marijuana?

On July 17, 2017 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that under the Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination law an employer may be required to accommodate an employee who is a current user of medical marijuana regardless of the… more

New Harassment Checklists From The EEOC

A year ago, I wrote about a report from an EEOC Task Force on risk factors for workplace harassment. Well the Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace continues studying away and has issued some new materials… more

Policyholders (and the Courts) Continue to Ignore Section 1123 When Analyzing Insured v. Insured Exclusions

Last month the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued its anticipated decision in Indian Harbor Insurance v. Zucker, affirming a 2016 decision from a federal district court in Michigan that an Insured v. Insured… more

Who has Standing to Oppose or Cancel My Trademark?

The first question in any trademark opposition or cancellation proceeding is likely a question of whether the opposer (for opposition proceedings) or petitioner (for cancellation proceedings) has standing to pursue the action. The… more

FTC Warns 11 Companies Over Made in USA Claims

It seems to be another star-spangled banner year for the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and its crackdown on certain “Made in USA” claims. In 2016, the FTC cited 29 companies for their misleading “Made in USA” claims. With the… more

USA Employer Eligibility Verification – Form I-9 Updates – Immediate Release

Employers must have a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for every person on their payroll who is required to complete Form I-9. All of these forms must be retained for a certain period of time. While the I-9 Update makes… more

My long running issues against self-directed brokerage accounts

I used to joke that the only clients that used to ask about self directed brokerage accounts were medical practices and law firms. I stopped telling the joke when so many advisors told me that was the truth. My opinion about self… more

State Legislature Reaches Agreement on Extension of the Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade Program; Stops the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Proposed Cap (and-No-Trade)

As posted in CEQA Chronicles, on July 17, 2017 the California legislature approved an extension of the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program from 2020 to 2030. Cap-and-trade is a key program in the state’s efforts to meets its… more

Tips for Drafting Executive Employment Agreements -Tip #2 – Severance Conditions

This article continues with another tip for drafting executive employment agreements and the importance of consulting counsel. For every well drafted executive employment agreement in the business world, there seem to be multiple… more

UK arbitration news round-up

Our arbitration news round-up includes commentary on the following: - The "Brexit effect" on London as a dispute resolution centre. - Recent gender statistics show more women arbitrators appointed. - ICC report on use… more

Tax Court Rejects IRS’ Position in Rev. Rul. 91-32

Grecian Magnesite Mining, a Greek corporation (GMM), owned an interest in Premier Chemicals LLC, a Delaware limited liability company classified as a partnership for US income tax purposes (Premier). Premier conducted a trade or… more

OCC FinTech Charter in Trump Administration Cards

If you are wondering about the prospects of the OCC FinTech national bank charter under the Trump Administration, we got a sign yesterday. In his remarks to the Exchequer Club in Washington, D.C., President Trump’s Acting Comptroller… more

How to Keep it Brief: The No. 1 Secret to Shortening Your Meetings

No one likes sitting in a meeting any longer than necessary. So here’s the best kept secret for shortening a meeting: bypass debate on non-controversial motions… more

Temporary Worker Not Entitled To Leave As A Reasonable Accommodation

The Tenth Circuit recently addressed whether an employer had failed to make a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., (“ADA”) regarding a temporary worker’s request for time off as… more

How Employers Can Avoid California Labor Code Section 925

Many non-California employers view the enactment of California Labor Code Section 925 as destroying any possibility of avoiding the state’s restrictive covenants laws for California-based employees. But there is hope! With creative… more

[Audio]Everything Compliance-Episode 14

Show Notes for Everything Compliance-Episode 14 Topics from Matt: 1.Trump Administration & FCPA enforcement— we have two declinations now; maybe a compare-and-contrast, and speculation on what a tough Trump Admin enforcement… more

Is Your Website Accessible to Disabled Users? If Not, Courts Say You Could Be Violating the ADA

Yes, seriously. This is no longer a remote threat cautioned by overzealous lawyers. This is now a real threat that business owners should address now. If you own and/or operate a business, and the business has a website that markets… more

Maine Court Holds That Expert Testimony is Required to Prove Causation in Legal Malpractice Action

Brooks v. Lemieux, 2017 WL 1056194 (Me. 2017) - Brief Summary - The Maine Supreme Judicial Court recently held that expert testimony based on supporting facts in the record was required to prove causation between an attorney's… more

MoFo IP Newsletter - July 2017

Supreme Court Hits Reset on Patent Venue Law in TC Heartland - In the recent TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC decision, the Supreme Court reversed nearly thirty years of patent venue law and held that a domestic… more

NYC Consumer Affairs Department Adopts Final Rules on Freelance Isn’t Free Act

Hiring parties should review their current independent contractor agreements to ensure compliance with the adopted rules… more

Dialware Communications, LLC v. Hasbro, Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2017)

In the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Dialware Communications sued Hasbro, Inc. alleging that Hasbro's Furby toys infringe on five patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 7,183,929 (the "'929 Patent"), 7,383,297 (the… more

USCIS Unveils New Form I-9s Like Apple Unveils iPhones

Just as employers began getting comfortable with the “new” Form I-9 unveiled in November of last year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released yet another revised Form I-9 to be used for employment eligibility… more

Massachusetts SJC: Medical Marijuana Users May Be Safe from Employer Discrimination

In a landmark decision that is likely to influence other states, a recent ruling in Massachusetts protects medical marijuana users against discrimination by their employers absent undue hardship… more

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