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Give Me the Ring Back! Written Promises Around Engagements

On Valentine’s Day, Zack takes Kelly, his high school sweetheart who goes to a different college, to the Max for a romantic dinner. At the end of the meal Zack says, “Kelly, I want us to promise each other that after college we’ll…more

Should a Family Business Owner Make a Charitable Gift of Her S Corporation Stock?

Owners of family businesses are often looking to support charitable causes, while also seeking to obtain the most tax efficient outcome from such donations. Generally, a charitable contribution of appreciated property allows a donor…more

Depreciation of Labor Costs Class Action: Nebraska Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Insurer

I’ve regularly followed on my blog key developments in the numerous class actions against the insurance industry involving the application of depreciation to the labor cost component of estimated replacement cost value in determining…more

Trump’s Trade Policy–Not as Protectionist as You May Think

I was fortunate enough to be on a panel last week with four foreign government representatives to discuss trade. The meeting was informative and I thought I would share my take-aways. My conclusion is that Trump’s trade policy is…more

Use of e-banking secured mailbox to provide information on durable medium

By a decision held on 25 January 2017 (C-375/15), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) clarified the question of information (in electronic format) that payment service providers (such as banks) convey to their customers…more

H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions: With Potential Changes Looming, U.S. Employers Must Prepare Now for April 1 Filings

April 1, 2017 is the first day U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept H-1B cap-subject petitions for the FY 2018 allotment of visas for foreign national professionals in specialty occupations. Cap-subject H-1B…more

FERC and CPUC Approve Utilities’ Innovative Request to Own a 50 MW Solar Project in Partnership with a Tax Equity Investor

For the first time, a regulated electric utility, Liberty Utilities (CalPeco Electric) LLC (“Liberty”), recently obtained all state and federal regulatory approvals to partner with a tax equity investor to acquire, own, and operate a…more

Alert: USPTO Enacts New Audit Rules Targeting Trademark Renewals

Effective February 17, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") implemented a revised rule under which USPTO examining attorneys may request additional evidence of use from registrants beyond what was previously…more

Joint Letter To Trump On China’s Trade Barriers

On February 7, 2017, the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, and the U.S. Grains Council sent a joint letter to President Donald Trump to request the Administration’s assistance in addressing China’s recent implementation of…more

Bill in the Maryland General Assembly Would Permit Restrictions and Prohibitions On Smoking By Condos, HOAs and Landlords

House Bill 500, now pending the Maryland General Assembly, provides for a proposed amendment to Section 11-104 of the Maryland Condominium Act that would allow a condominium’s bylaws to include “a restriction or prohibition on smoking…more

New SBA Initiative Uses Global Impact Rating System for Private Funds, Companies

On Dec. 20, 2016, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced a new initiative with the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS). GIIRS, a product of nonprofit B Lab, evaluates the operational and business model impact…more

The Embraer FCPA Enforcement Action

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continued their stunning 2016 run of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) decisions with the announcement of the resolution of the Embraer SA (Embraer) FCPA…more

NLRB Finds Employee’s Facebook Posts Critical of Union Protected

Seyfarth Synopsis: NLRB affirms ALJ’s ruling finding that a union member’s criticisms on Facebook of the union that represented him were protected by the NLRA. On February 7, 2017, in Laborers’ International Union of North…more

Considerations for Depositions at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt

As covered by previous blogs, depositions in Germany may be taken only at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, upon approval from the German Ministry of Justice. Once the depositions have been approved and successfully scheduled…more

DFS Final Cyber Regulation: Accountability at the Top

Over the last few months, the New York Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) cybersecurity regulation has undergone multiple revisions. But late last week, DFS issued its final regulation, which will go into effect on March 1…more

Fifth Circuit Permits Emotional Distress Damages for FLSA Retaliation Claim

Employees asserting a claim for retaliation under the FLSA are entitled to seek emotional distress damages, according to a recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit...…more

New Rules Affecting Passports Will Help IRS Collect Tax Debts

The Internal Revenue Service has a powerful new tool to help collect tax debts from individuals applying for or using passports for international travel. The new provisions allow the IRS to coordinate with the U.S. State Department to…more

Checklist: How to Create a Successful Editorial Schedule

Editorial schedules are so much more than lists of writing assignments with due dates. Here's the simplest way to create yours…more

House and Senate Leadership and Committee Assignments Announced

Senate President Stan Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced this week their leadership teams and committee appointments for the 2017-2018 legislative session. Retaining the core of his leadership team for his second…more

Government Accountability Office Issues Report On Department Of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity And Communications Integration Center

On February 1, 2017, the United States Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) published a report assessing the performance and effectiveness of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (“NCCIC”) of the…more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2017 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Scott Pruitt confirmed to lead EPA - Los Angeles Times - Feb 17 - President Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a climate-change skeptic who has…more

Beltway Briefing: Administration Growing Pains

Blake Rutherford, Mark Alderman, and Howard Schweitzer, of Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies, discuss the recent developments in politics and policy in DC. Blake: My name is Blake Rutherford. I want to welcome all of you to another…more

Reexamination of “Healthy” Continues with an FDA Public Meeting in March 2017

As we’ve previously reported, FDA has signaled its interest in reviewing the scope and meaning of the nutrient content claim “healthy,” in part as result of a dispute with KIND LLC about label claims for its KIND Bar products. Then…more

Federal Court Blocks Anthem - Cigna Merger; King & Spalding Looks Deeper into Aetna-Humana Challenge

On February 8, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted a request filed by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division for an injunction blocking Anthem, Inc.’s (Anthem) proposed $54 billion…more

Unfair Commercial Practices: The European Court of Justice Specifies Criteria for Comparative Advertising

On 8 February 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down a judgment on a reference for a preliminary ruling stating that comparative advertising can be misleading if consumers are not provided with information on the…more

Guest Post -- The Emergent Microbiome: A Revolution for the Life Sciences -- Part X, The Big Data Component

Research into the human microbiome has resulted in such unprecedented amounts of data that challenges related to both interpretation and management have emerged. Somewhat paradoxically, current statistical methods have made it such…more

The National Labor Relations Board 2016 Year in Review – Whitepaper

Introduction - In comparison to recent history, 2016 was a tame year for the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “the Board”). While continuing to issue decisions that left employers scratching their heads, the Board was…more

Foreign Investment in Australia

Foreign investment is key to Australia’s economic development, and Australia welcomes it. As the fourth largest economy in the dynamic Asia Pacific region, Australia's competitive economy is set for continued expansion - creating…more

Fourth Circuit Offers New Test for Joint Employment under FLSA

The Fourth Circuit recently ruled that a general contractor was the joint employer of employees of its subcontractor for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Salinas v. Commercial Interiors, Inc. has broad implications for the…more

Sexual Harassment Parody Commercial Held Not To Violate Lanham Act

Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act prohibits false or misleading statements in commerce that are likely to cause confusion as to a person’s affiliation, approval or sponsorship of someone else’s commercial activities. Here’s an easy…more

Pensions Round-Up - January 2017 (UK)

Welcome to the latest edition of DLA Piper’s monthly newsletter – Pensions Round-Up – in which we provide an overview of developments in pension legislation, case law and regulatory guidance. In this edition we look at key…more

Data Privacy in a Time of Reaction: "Big Data" versus "The People"

1. Data privacy concerns entwined with anti-globalization - Anti-globalization has become a serious theme in Western countries. Right-wing and left-wing political movements converge on the issue. Centrist elites acknowledge that…more

IRRC Institute and ISS Issue Joint Study on Board Refreshment Trends

The Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) Institute and Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS) recently issued a joint study titled “Board Refreshment Trends at S&P 1500 Firms,” which analyzes demographic trends from 2008…more

Ask the TPA about their administrators’ training

If I want to get a new doctor or an attorney, I certainly want to know their background. Same with a financial advisor, I don’t want the next Bernie Madoff. When you hire a professional, you want to know their credentials…more

New North Carolina Sales Tax Provisions for Contracts Related to Real Property

This alert is relevant for contractors who perform construction services on real property in the state of North Carolina. In South Carolina, contractors remain subject to the traditional sales or use tax at the time of all purchases…more

Enhanced Damages for Willful Infringement

Proving willful patent infringement became easier after the Supreme Court in Halo rejected the rigid two-part Seagate test for willful infringement, thereby removing a significant hurdle to an award of enhanced damages. In evaluating…more

Ukraine: New rules on withholding tax for Eurobond offerings and LPNs

Starting from January 1, 2017 Ukrainian tax legislation contains new (more favorable) rules on taxation of interest payable by Ukrainian borrowers under Eurobonds offerings relating to LPN structures. It is common for Ukrainian…more

California Again Updates Equal Pay Act

After amending its Equal Pay Act to address gender-related wage differentials effective January 1, 2016, the California legislature enacted nearly identical language to also preclude wage differentials based on race or ethnicity…more

Trade & Manufacturing - News of Note - February 2017

Commerce Extends Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis System - On January 5, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced the extension of the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system until March 21, 2022. The…more

N.Y.’s 2018 Budget Proposal: Tax Proposals To Watch

Last month, Governor Cuomo presented his budget proposal for NY State’s 2017- 2018 fiscal year. Included in the proposal were a number of tax provisions that should be of interest to closely-held businesses and their owners…more

The promise of FinTech - More regulatory pointers

Earlier this month, we discussed the key results and considerations from IOSCO's updated survey on the use of automated investment advice. IOSCO noted that technology tools will affect all elements of the advice value chain and that…more

Acting Solicitor of Labor Named

Last week, amidst the drama of Andrew Puzder’s withdrawal from consideration as the Secretary of Labor, the Trump administration quietly appointed Nicholas Geale as the acting Solicitor for the Department of Labor…more

Top Five Issues to Watch in Arizona Water Law

Drought on the Colorado River. Although the winter snowpack in the Rockies is off to a good start and California has seen heavy rainfall this winter, the drought in the southwest is not over. One wet season cannot overcome the water…more

Zircore v. Straumann: A Method of Manufacturing a Physical Object Is Not an Abstract Idea

In Zircore, LLC v. Straumann Manufacturing, Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2017), as in many patent litigations since Mayo, Myriad, and Alice, the defendant moved to dismiss the infringement allegations contending that the patents in suit are…more

FDA Changes Warning For Fluoroquinolones

Fluoroquinolones is a drug used to treat respiratory and urinary infections. Fluoroquinolones include these drugs: - Avelox (moxifloxacin); - Cipro (ciprofloxacin); - Cipro extended-release (Cirpofloxacin extended-…more

Navigating Through the Hazy Intersection of Financial Services and the Legal Marijuana Industry

As more states legalize marijuana use, financial institutions face increased uncertainty about how to handle accounts opened by marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) in light of regulatory difficulties stemming from the obvious tension…more

ACCC Investigations: Be prepared in 2017

The start of a new calendar year marks a good opportunity for businesses to review their competition and consumer law compliance programs and identify key risk areas for the year ahead. The most recent annual report of the Australian…more

FTC Suing Router Company Without Underlying Data Loss

The new Administration may stand for regulatory rollback in many areas, but consumer privacy is (so far) not one. Trump's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is pursuing a router manufacturer whose equipment hasn't caused any consumer harm…more

UK Regulator Publishes Data Suggesting Minor Decline in UK Corporate Bond Market Liquidity Conditions

The Financial Conduct Authority published a research paper summarizing its most recent research into liquidity conditions in the UK corporate bond market. The report concludes that there has been a general decline in liquidity since…more

North Carolina Legislative Update - February, 2017 #3

Eminent Domain (HB3) - A bill that seeks to amend the State's Constitution to prohibit the exercise of eminent domain to condemn private property except for public use passed through the House this week after being approved by…more

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