Latest Updates

Trump’s EEOC Nominations Are Rocking Along – And Here’s What We Can Expect

With President Trump in office for nine months now, it is hard to believe that none of his people are yet on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The four current Commissioners, including the Acting Chair, Republican Victoria… more

9th Circuit to Reconsider Employer Use of Salary History During Hiring

On Aug. 29, 2017, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit announced it will reconsider en banc whether employer use of salary history to determine an applicant’s compensation as a new hire violates the federal Equal Pay… more

Hurricane Maria Barrels Towards Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria is set to strike Puerto Rico today, with forecast wind speeds of more than 150 miles per hour. Maria already struck the Caribbean island of Dominica as a category 5 storm, with sustained winds of 160 miles per hour… more

FCC Extends Regulatory Fee Filing Window for Those Regulatees Affected by Hurricanes Harvey or Irma

On Friday, the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC’s” or “Commission’s”) Office of Managing Director released a Public Notice extending the deadline to pay annual regulatory fees from 11:59 PM, September 26, 2017 to 11:59 PM… more

Germany Sides with Institutional Investors in Competition Debate

Action Item: The German Government recently weighed in on the side of institutional investors on a competition issue that has generated vigorous academic debate in the United States: whether institutional investors’ minority… more

CPSC Announces Intent to Restrict Halogenated Flame Retardants in Consumer Products

This week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to form an advisory panel and begin drafting a rule to restrict the use of halogenated flame retardants in four consumer product categories: children’s products;… more

NYDEC Waived Right to Act on a CWA 401 Water Qualification

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision in the matter of Millennium Pipeline Company, LLC was issued on September 15, 2017. FERC determined that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC)… more

Employees In California? If So, These Are The Employment Bills To Watch

With the flurry of action by California lawmakers in the final weeks of the legislative session, there are approximately 640 bills waiting for action by California Governor, Jerry Brown. Here is a list of legislation which California… more

Blog: SEC Hack Provides Occasion For Chair Clayton To Revitalize 2011 Corp Fin Disclosure Guidance On Cybersecurity Risks And Incidents

As you probably read in the papers, SEC Chair Jay Clayton announced yesterday that, in 2016, the SEC’s EDGAR system was hacked and, in August 2017, the staff determined that the hack may have led to insider trading. The hackers took… more

An Often Overlooked Tool In Workplace Safety Prevention: The Near-Miss Investigation

OSHA defines a “near miss” as an incident in which no property was damaged and no personal injury was sustained, but where, given a slight shift in time or position, damage or injury easily could have occurred. Put simply, someone got… more

Intellectual Ventures v. Motorola: Use = Benefit for the Purposes of System Claims Infringement

On Sept. 13, 2017, the United States District Court for the Federal Circuit clarified the meaning of the term “use” as it applies to system claims in patent infringement actions. In doing so, the court held that an infringer must… more

CETA Now In Force: Are You Maximizing the Benefits?

On September 21, 2017, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) comes into force on a provisional basis. If they haven’t already done so, it is now time for Canadian businesses to take steps to ensure… more

First District Upholds CEQA Categorical Exemption for Approval of Planned Parenthood Clinic in City of South San Francisco, Clarifies Implied Finding of No Exceptions is Analyzed for Record Support on Narrowest Possible Ground

When a lead agency finds a project approval to be categorically exempt from CEQA, this determination at the initial step of CEQA’s multi-tiered process necessarily includes an implied finding that no exceptions to the categorical… more

New Rules on Venture Capital Funds Adopted by the European Parliament

New rules to facilitate innovative and socially beneficial companies accessing capital in the European Union were adopted by the European Parliament on September 14, 2017. The European Parliament approved changes to Regulation (EU)… more

When Ripples Become Waves: The Equifax Cybersecurity Incident

Since September 7, 2017, Equifax, one of three credit rating agencies in the United States, has been dealing with the fallout from one of the largest (known) data breaches of personal information, putting 143 million Americans at risk… more

Upcoming CMS Clinical Diagnostic Lab Test Advisory Panel Meeting to Consider Lab Test Rates

The Medicare Advisory Panel on Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests (CDLTs) is holding a public meeting on Monday, September 25, 2017. The Panel will discuss calendar year 2018 clinical laboratory fee schedule codes for which CMS… more

U.S. Dodges OPA Claim But Must Defend Against Insurer’s Negligence Claims

On September 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit released a significant Oil Pollution Act (OPA) ruling. The case is Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company v. U.S., et al. The Court of Appeals affirmed the District… more

Federal Circuit Affirms 16-Year Import Ban Against Indian Stainless Steel Producer Viraj Profiles  

On September 11, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) issued a judgment without opinion affirming the International Trade Commission’s (“ITC”) decision in Viraj Profiles Limited v. ITC (2016-2482)… more

EPA Issues Direct Final SNURs for Carbon Nanotube (Generic) and Nanocarbon (Generic)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated on September 21, 2017, significant new use rules (SNUR) for 37 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN). Six of the chemical substances… more

Washington Bad Faith Law At A Glance

In all insurance matters, all persons owe a duty of good faith, to abstain from deception, to practice honesty and equity, and to preserve inviolate the integrity of insurance. RCW 48.01.030; Appendix A. A cause of action for… more

U.S. Trade Negotiator Calls China “Unprecedented” Threat

On Monday September 18th, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer warned that China’s trade practices represent “a threat to the trading system that is unprecedented.” This was his first public speech since being confirmed in May… more

The State AG Report Weekly Update

AG Elections- Illinois Attorney General Will Not Seek Reelection in 2018; Democrats Scott Drury and Kwame Raoul Announce Bid for Seat- Illinois AG Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, announced on her campaign website that she will not seek… more

Blog: SEC Issues Some (Limited) Guidance In Connection With Pay-Ratio Disclosure

This afternoon, the SEC announced that it had adopted interpretive guidance in connection with the pay-ratio disclosure requirement, which mandates public company disclosure of specified pay-ratio information, beginning with the… more

California Bill Would Require Disclosure of Cleaning Product Ingredients

On September 13, 2017, the California Senate passed the final version of the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 (S.B. 258), which would require manufacturers of cleaning products to disclose certain chemical ingredients on the… more

Department of Labor Announces Increase to Minimum Wage for Government Contractors

Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum wage for federal contractors working on or in connection with contracts covered by Executive Order 13658 will increase to $10.35 per hour. The current minimum wage under Executive Order 13658 is… more

Air Modeling and Effects Review Applicability: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Updates Guidance

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) announced the release of an updated Modeling and Effects Review Applicability guidance document (“Guidance”). See APDG 5874. TCEQ intends for the document to provide a general… more

4 No-Nonsense Reasons to Take Good Minutes – Part 1

Taking minutes arguably tops the list of “most thankless jobs,” and those who assume the role often wish they hadn’t been such a willing volunteer. But accurate minutes are a parliamentary procedure “must” for all non-profits –… more

Celgene Notches Rare Win On PTAB Request For Rehearing

The recent decisions of the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) granting Celgene’s requests for rehearing in parallel Inter Partes Review proceedings brought by Kyle Bass’s Coalition for Affordable Drugs (CFAD) are notable in… more

Tennessee Department of Health Grants COPA Request for Health Care Alliance

On September 19, 2017, the Tennessee Department of Health (“TDOH”) granted the request for a Certificate of Public Advantage (“COPA”) from Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance. This approval paves the way for the… more

Veil Piercing/Alter Ego Determinations – How Fund Managers Can Protect Themselves

A veil piercing claim can be a worst-case scenario for a private fund manager dealing with a struggling portfolio company investment – the company fails, and ensuing legal claims are brought not only against the portfolio company, but… more

Lewisville Medical Practice Sued by EEOC for Religious Discrimination and Retaliation

Employee Fired for Requesting to be Excused From Mandatory Morning Bible Study, Federal Agency Charges - DALLAS - Shepherd Healthcare, a medical practice in Lewisville, Texas, violated federal law when it fired an employee because… more

Calculating Patent Term Adjustment: Part 2

This article is second in a series focusing on various issues related to Patent Term Adjustment for U.S. patent applications. While Part 1 is a general overview of how to calculate patent term adjustment (“PTA”), this article… more

Rhode Island General Assembly Passes Paid Sick Leave Law

On September 19, 2017, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed The Health and Safe Families and Workplace Act (the “Act”), House Bill 5413B and Senate Bill 0290B, respectively, guaranteeing roughly 90 percent of the state’s workforce… more

Rewarding Loyalty: ECJ Holds that Loyalty Rebates Do Not Per Se Restrict Competition

The Background: In September 2017, the European Court of Justice (Case C-413/14 P) reversed the ruling of the General Court, which had upheld the European Commission's €1.06 billion fine on Intel for abusing its dominant position on… more

Equitable Mootness Doctrine Persists in Bankruptcy Appeals

In recent years, courts have become increasingly critical of the doctrine of equitable mootness, a judicially created abstention doctrine that allows appellate courts to dismiss appeals from a bankruptcy court’s confirmation order in… more

Financial Services Report - Fall 2017

EDITOR’S NOTE - Through hurricanes, wild fires, the publication of Hillary Clinton’s book, the birth of Amal and George Clooney’s twins, and the Dodgers’ historic losing streak, Director Richard Cordray and the CFPB’s Final… more

Washington Employers: Prepare To Face New Workplace Laws

The past year has brought multiple new workplace laws that will require employers in Washington to change several key policies and procedures. Below is an update that provides a general overview to help you prepare for these new laws… more

The Cannabis Patent War: In the Midst of Chaos, there is Opportunity*

In the recent issue of GQ magazine, an article entitled, “The Great Pot Monopoly Mystery,” sought to unravel some of the mystery behind the “shadowy” BioTech Institute LLC. The article made a particular point that should be of… more

Leading on Leads? CFPB Takes Action Against Online Lead Aggregators

On September 6, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or “the Bureau”) announced that it has taken action against an online lead aggregator. The allegations revolved around the company’s selling personal information of… more

Financial Regulatory Observer - September 2017: ECB holds sway in new banking order

A German lender tried and failed to remove itself from the clutches of ECB supervision – what does this mean for the wider banking sector? In May 2017 a small German state-owned bank lost its fight to escape the clutches of ECB… more

A First Time for Everything—CFPB Issues Its First No-Action Letter

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB” or the “Bureau”) recently announced the issuance of its first no-action letter (“NAL”) to Upstart Network, Inc. (“Upstart”), a San Carlos, California-based online lending platform… more

Do Customer Tips Belong the Employee or Employer? DOL Puts the Question on the Table

When a customer leaves a tip for a server, who receives the full amount of the tip at the end of the day? According to a 2011 Department of Labor (DOL) regulation, the tip always belongs to the server, even if the employer pays the… more

CFPB Makes HMDA Data Sharing Proposal

The CFPB announced on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, proposed guidance to limit the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data it shares publicly. The Bureau’s 2015 HMDA amendments revamped HMDA’s coverage and processes, including… more

Relieving Pressure in the Law Firm Restructure/Turnaround

We have previously written about the unique nature of the law firm turnaround and how commitment from owners is one of the keys to turnaround success. In Part 2 we will look at resource management (or cost management) as a second key… more

Court Tackles EEOC’s Wellness Program Regulations

Wellness programs have been on a pendulum over the past decade, swinging back and forth from “yes you can” to “no you can’t.” However, since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act guidance specifically authorizing, enhancing… more

Employment Law - September 2017

More Obama-Era Policies—Pay Data Collection, Overtime Rule—Fall - Why it matters - Continuing the rollback of Obama-era policies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hit pause on the collection of Employer… more

Wheels Are Turning on Federal Self-Driving Policy

One year ago, the federal government test drove its first set of self-driving policies with a four-part announcement from the U.S. Department of Transportation. In twelve months, much has changed, but the wheels are still turning… more

Tesla Bringing Supercharger Stations to Boston and Chicago

On September 11th, Tesla announced the opening of Supercharger stations in downtown Boston and Chicago, representing the first step in the company’s effort to expand its Supercharger network into urban areas. The company currently… more

Compliance Training Lessons From Utah, Caught on Tape

For a while now, I’ve been contemplating ethics and compliance lessons from the arrest of Alex Wubbels— the Utah nurse taken into custody by Salt Lake City police, because she refused to draw blood for an unconscious patient… more

Ruling Elevates Conflicts Considerations in Insurance/Tripartite Relationship Cases - After Washington Supreme Court Decision, Insurer-Paid Defense Lawyers Should Further Assess the Need for Client Consent in Reservation of Rights Situations

• Relationships between insurer, insured and insurer-appointed defense counsel – also known as the "tripartite relationship" – have long been recognized as a potential source of conflicts of interest. By a 5-4 majority in Arden v… more

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