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State Department Orders ‘Extreme Vetting’

State Department Secretary Rex Tillerson has directed all consular chiefs to determine which populations of visa applicants should be subject to additional “extreme” vetting. The March 15 direction is in response to President Donald…more

Keys To Successor Liability: EEOC Discrimination Suit In Alabama

Seyfarth Synopsis: An Alabama district court granted a temporary staffing company’s motion to dismiss all claims in one of the EEOC’s most high-profile lawsuits asserting hiring discrimination and abuse of vulnerable workers. The…more

Rite Way to Settle EEOC Retaliation Suit

Federal Agency Wins $70,000 for Worker Who Was Fired for Helping With Sexual Harassment Investigation - GULFPORT, Miss. - Rite Way Service, Inc., a former Alabama corporation that provided janitorial cleaning services to…more

Maryland Sheriff’s Office Recovers Stolen Construction Goods Through Drones

Last week, Maryland’s Cecil County Sheriff’s Office used an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to recover nearly $400,000 worth of stolen construction equipment, which also led to the arrest of the culprit. The New Jersey State Police…more

Blog: New Mexico Poised to Add the ‘Data Breach Notification Act’ to the Patchwork of State-Level Data Privacy Laws

The New Mexico Legislature passed the ‘Data Breach Notification Act’ (the Act) on March 15. The Act is now with Governor Susana Martinez who has 20 days from the date the Act was passed to sign it into law. If enacted, the Act would…more

Five Tips for Making the Most of #LMA17

Headed to the Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference 2017 in Las Vegas starting next Monday? Us too! Look for Blattel Communications Founder and CEO Ellen Blattel and President Traci Stuart. With the conference nearly here…more

A Contract Be too Good to Be True

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A Florida Supreme Court decision provides a variation on the adage: if a contract looks too favorable to one side to be valid, it probably isn’t. Thirty-nine weeks pregnant and…more

Freelance Work Isn't Free

On May 15, 2017, the New York City “Freelance Isn't Free Act” (the Act) will take effect. The Act protects freelance workers who are defined as “any natural person or organization composed of no more than one natural person, whether…more

Jordan’s Accession to the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Jordan is off to a busy and productive year from an intellectual property standpoint. Starting late in December of 2016, the Jordanian Council of Ministers approved the accession of the Kingdom into the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)…more

Sustainable Commodities: EU Conflict Minerals Regulation

Earlier this month, the European Parliament voted to adopt the final text of an EU Conflict Minerals Regulation (the “Regulation”), which will require smelters, refiners and importers into the EU of tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold and…more

SCOTUS Finds Cheerleader Designs Copyrightable

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court of the United States held on March 22, 2017 that the “pictorial, graphic or sculptural features” of the “design of a useful article” can be protected by copyright under certain…more

New Laws Add Significant Student Record-Keeping Requirements

The Michigan legislature has enacted two new laws, effective March 22, 2017, due to changes in technology and practices as they relate to student information. These statutes make management of student record information more…more

AHCA Pulled From the House Floor Minutes before an Expected Vote

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was pulled from consideration at the last minute after Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) reportedly told President Donald Trump…more

[Video]FCPA Compliance Report-Episode 318-Erica Byrne on Ethisphere's 2017 World's Most Ethical Companies

In this episode, I visit with Erica Salmon Byrne, EVP at Ethisphere on the 2017 World’s Most Ethical Companies honorees. Erica goes into how the corporate compliance programs are evaluated, what the companies disclose to Ethisphere…more

Federal Circuit Confirms $455 Million ICC Arbitration Award

The Federal Circuit this month, for the first time, confirmed an international arbitral award administered by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). In another first for the Federal Circuit, the court indicated that it would…more

Trump Administration Continues to Indicate Tide Change Away from Support of the CFPB

As previously reported on this blog, President Trump’s issuance of an Executive Order and the subsequent introduction of bills seeking to eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”) signaled a dramatic shift…more

Ninth Circuit Holds That Cure Amount May Include Post-Default Rate of Interest

In Pacifica L 51 LLC v. New Investments, Inc. (In re New Investments, Inc.), 840 F.3d 1137 (9th Cir. 2016), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Section 1123(d) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that a cure amount may include a…more

House of Delegates Passes Registration Requirement for Condos, HOAs and Coops

The Maryland House of Delegates, by a vote of 99- 39, has passed House Bill 41, which would require residential condominiums, homeowner associations and cooperative housing corporations to register annually with the Maryland…more

Discrimination Pitfall When Completing the Form I-9

Today’s fun fact – as an employer you cannot ask employees to provide a specific document or documents when completing section 2 of the Form I-9 (the Employment Eligibility Verification form). Remember, all employers must complete a…more

New York Attorney General Announces Record Number of Data Breach Notices in 2016

On March 21, 2017, New York Attorney General (NYAG) Eric T. Schneiderman announced that his office had received a record breaking 1,282 data breach notices to his office affecting 1.6 million New York residents during 2016. Compared to…more

Thales : Federal Circuit Forces Acceleration on § 101 for Physics-Based Claims

CAFC Decision: Thales Visionix Inc. v. United States, No. 15-5150 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 8, 2017) - Decision: In Thales Visionix Inc. v. United States, No. 15-5150 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 8, 2017), the Federal Circuit reversed a decision of the…more

Senate Approves Measure to Kill OSHA Statute of Limitations Change for Recordkeeping Violations

On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Senate passed a measure to revoke OSHA’s modification to the six-month statute of limitations for recordkeeping violations. Under the Obama Administration, OSHA issued a new rule to extend the statute of…more

Are Longer-Pending Cases More Likely to Be Affirmances in the Criminal Docket? (Part 2 – 2008-2016)

On March 23, 2017, we showed that affirmances in civil cases between 2008 and 2016 have tended to be pending for longer both between the grant of review and oral argument, and between argument and decision, than reversals were. Today…more

How will the Senior Managers and Certification Regime affect Consumer Credit firms

Background - In late 2015 the FCA announced that it was to abolish the Approved Persons regime and extend the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) currently in place for banks, building societies, credit unions and…more

TEQUILA Can Be Registered As a Certification Mark

On January 23, 2017, the TTAB dismissed Luxco, Inc.’s opposition to the registration of TEQUILA as a certification mark. Trademark applicant Consejo Regulador del Tequila, A.C. is a Mexican industry group and is the only body…more

Supreme Court Decides Endrew v. Douglas County School District

On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court decided Endrew v. Douglas County School District, No. 15-827, holding that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires participating schools to offer an…more

[Video]Day 19 of One Month to Operationalizing Your Compliance Program-Operationalizing Compliance Through Leadership From The Top

Many companies struggle with some type of metric which can be used for upper management regarding compliance and communication of a company’s compliance values. One technique might be to require the CEO to post companywide emails or…more

Cyber risk: practical actions to improve data security

Cybersecurity is a topical issue for pension schemes, and an increasingly important regulatory risk. Not only does the Pensions Regulator believe that trustees should be taking action to mitigate cyber risks, but there is also the risk…more

Federal Circuit Finds No Abuse of Discretion in Trial Court’s Refusal to Exclude Plaintiff’s Settlement Agreement with Defendant’s Competitor

In Prism Technologies LLC v. Sprint Spectrum L.P, Nos. 16-1456, -1457 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 6, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of Sprint’s motion for a new trial based on, among other things, the admission of…more

Supreme Court Decides Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc.

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., No. 15-866, holding that artistic designs on cheerleading uniforms were eligible for copyright protection. Section…more

News from Second and State

Weekly Wrap - This week was the first time this year that both the House of Representatives and Senate were in session. That made for a busy few days at the Capitol. On Monday, the House and Senate Education Committees held a…more

Anti-unfair competition law

On 22 February 2017, at the 26th session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) of China, the State Council put forth a bill to amend the Law Against Unfair Competition (LAUC). The bill was published on…more

FCC Proposes Eliminating Annual International Traffic and Revenue Report and Streamlining Annual Circuit Capacity Report

At its March 23, 2017 Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) voted unanimously to adopt a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on a proposal to reduce certain reporting requirements for…more

Supreme Court Decides Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp.

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., No. 15-649, holding that a structured dismissal under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code must follow ordinary priority rules unless…more

NASA Confirms Biofuels Reduce Jet Engine Pollution

On March 15, 2017, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published the results of a joint study with German and Canadian agencies on the impact of biofuels on jet engine pollution, including emissions and contrail…more

Two Bureau of Land Management Regulations on Life Support Under President Trump

The Trump Administration has signaled its intent to pull the plug on two rules issued by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") in 2015 and 2016. Legal and legislative developments over the next weeks will…more

Congress has Voted to Kill OSHA’s “Volks Rule – So What Does that Really Mean?

If one listens to various Democrat and labor talking heads, you would think that Congress has rolled back 40 years of worker protections by passing a resolution killing the new OSHA rule, which permitted OSHA to cite employers for…more

“Knock-Offs” Beware: SCOTUS Makes a Fashion-Forward Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court has settled the closely watched Varsity Brands Inc. et al. v. Star Athletica LLC copyright dispute, holding that cheerleading outfits contain distinct design elements that allow for copyright ownership. The…more

U.S. Patent Office Provides Additional Examples of Eligible Subject Matter

After the Supreme Court case of Alice v. CLS Bank in 2014, the Patent Office has issued a series of examination guidelines and examples to guide examiners and patent practitioners in determining patent eligible subject matter. On…more

Connecticut Supreme Court Issues Important Clarification For Independent Contractor Test

On March 21, 2017, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued an important ruling, finding that an individual may be still considered an independent contractor under the state’s Unemployment Insurance Act even if he/she only provides…more

IRS to Begin New Procedure for Initiating Tax-Exempt Bond Audits

In late 2016, the IRS Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division (“TE/GE”) released a memorandum to its examiners outlining a new procedure for initiating audits of tax-exempt bonds. The Commissioner of TE/GE recently noted that the…more

OIG Approves Free Lodging and Meals Under "Promotes Access to Care" Exception to Beneficiary Inducement CMP

In Advisory Opinion 17-01, published March 10, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) approved an academic medical center's proposal to provide free or reduced-cost lodging and meals to…more

The FTC and State of Illinois Solidify Victory Blocking Chicago Hospital Merger

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the State of Illinois successfully concluded their challenge to the proposed merger of Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University Health System earlier this month, when the U.S. District…more

Trump Administration's Budget Blueprint Calls For Significant Impacts to Environmental Programs

The Trump Administration unveiled significant rollbacks in funding for federal agencies when it released its Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again on March 16, 2017. The President's proposed budget priorities would reduce the…more

Cheerio! Influence on the U.S. Gig Economy from Across the Pond?

Many point to the Brexit movement as a sign that Donald Trump’s White House victory should have not been a surprise. Will a potential movement afoot in the United Kingdom be a precursor of things to come in the gig economy for the…more

China’s rise in global M&A: Here to stay

- China has become a key player in global cross-border M&A. Following almost a decade of consistent double-digit growth, in 2016 China became the second-largest global investor behind the United States with US$140 billion in completed…more

Absolute Priority Remains Absolute – US Supreme Court Holds Structured Dismissals Cannot Violate Priority Rules

In a highly anticipated bankruptcy opinion, the United States Supreme Court, in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., held that courts may not approve structured dismissals providing for distributions that deviate from the priority rules…more

SCOTUS Determines That Decorations on Cheerleading Uniforms Are Conceptually Separable From Uniforms and Eligible For Copyright Protection

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a 6-2 ruling in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., et al., holding the decorative elements on Varsity Brands’ cheerleading uniforms were conceptually…more

Hey Dentists: No Business Associate Agreement, No Problem

According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR), dental practices are not required to have a business associate agreement with their dental laboratory before sharing protected health information..…more

Is This The Year for Real PAGA Reform? – Don’t Hold Your Breath

Over the last several years, the level of employer complaints about PAGA has reached a deafening crescendo. For some time now, employers have expressed deep concern about abusive litigation tactics and “extortionate” PAGA claims over…more

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