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Swiss join the EU in reaching data transfer accord with the U.S.

Last year the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission agreed on a data transfer protocol that provides a mechanism for compliance with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the EU to the U.S…more

Sudan Embargo Lifted

On January 13, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a general license that authorizes all transactions with Sudan that were previously prohibited by the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations…more

New Legal Challenges to Public Union Agency Fees

Public employees in three different federal circuits filed lawsuits this week challenging the constitutionality of public unions' right to require nonmembers to pay agency fees (also known as "fair share" fees). The plaintiffs bringing…more

First Circuit: Sending Form 1099-A Post-Chapter 7 Discharge Does Not Violate the Discharge Injunction

On December 14, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the New Hampshire Bankruptcy Court and District Courts’ findings that a mortgage lender sending Internal Revenue Service Form 1099-A to a…more

Kardashians Kept Out of Arbitration (and other recent arbitration news)

Just three weeks into the year and already my pile of arbitration cases is a skyscraper! So, I will cover a lot of ground in this update. First, the headline. Kimberly, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian moved to compel arbitration…more

Where do we go from here? The evolving landscape of molecular diagnostics

"Innovate or die." The adage has been in use for decades, but it holds true today. The world of molecular diagnostics is a rapidly evolving and competitive field. With the advancement in sequencing technologies and the scale of data…more

President Trump, the Ex-Im Bank and Aircraft Finance

The Export-Import Bank of the United States has been embroiled in a considerable amount of political controversy in recent years. Created in 1934 by a presidential executive order to finance and facilitate the export of U.S. goods and…more

Final Regulations Released Regarding PFIC Ownership Determination and Annual Reporting Requirements

On December 27, 2016, the Treasury Department (Treasury) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations regarding the determination of ownership of a passive foreign investment company ("PFIC") and regarding certain…more

Connected Cars are Coming. Quickly

One of the highlights at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was the parade of new connected vehicle technologies.  Automakers and their suppliers rolled out a number of innovative capabilities that promise to shape the next…more

United States And Switzerland Reach Data Transfer Agreement

On January 11, 2017, the governments of the United States and Switzerland announced that an agreement had been reached over a Privacy Shield Framework (“Privacy Shield”) that sets out how companies may transfer personal data between…more

Court Reminds Arbitrators and Employers: Proper Investigation of Employee Medical Marijuana Use is a High Priority

The courts have again reminded employers–and arbitrators–of the importance of a proper investigation and analysis when an employee is discovered to be using medical marijuana contrary to the employer's policies…more

An Employer’s New Year Resolution: Pay Attention To Pay Equity In 2017

We are not yet through the first month of the New Year, but pay equity lawsuits have already dealt a one-two punch to employers: “one” being a million-dollar settlement between a legal and business research company and its employees…more

SEC Expands to Retail Customer Debt Transactions Disclosure of Broker-Dealer Mark-Ups and Mark-Downs

Currently, U.S. broker-dealers are not required to disclose their compensation in respect of fixed-income transactions effected as principal. In November 2016, the SEC approved a rule proposal of the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory…more

OMB Issues Guidelines for Preparing for and Responding to PII Breaches

On January 3, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued Memorandum M-17-12, which clarifies how federal agencies should prepare for and respond to data security breaches involving personally identifiable information (PII)…more

It Is Not All In The Family

Although a precedential decision allowing a “Family of Marks” to be considered in the context of an ex parte prosecution of an application that has been refused under Section 2(e)(1) to show acquired distinctiveness, this ruling could…more

Reporting on payment practices and performance

New rules requiring large companies and large limited liability partnerships to publish information about their payment practices and performance are likely to come into force in April 2017…more

Now, We Have a Privacy Shield with the Swiss Too: eDiscovery Trends

This appears to be our week to cover privacy stories on the blog. First, The Sedona Conference® (TSC) released the public comment version of its new Data Privacy Primer (which we covered on Tuesday). Also, last week, U.S. and Swiss…more

Energy Newsletter - January 2017

LNG in Europe 2016/2017: An Overview of LNG Import Terminals in Europe - The increase in the supply of LNG to Europe in 2015 and the first half of 2016 was led by the UK and Italy, with other significant increases in Spain and…more

DOL Updates Guidance on Proxy Voting by Plan Fiduciaries

On December 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) released Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (“IB 2016-1”) relating to the voting of proxies on securities held in employee benefit plans. IB 2016-1 withdraws the current…more

New Year - New Insurance Law

In an earthquake related judgment issued in late December 2016, the High Court (Court) found a mutual duty of good faith applied to parties to an insurance contract, including during the claims handling process. A breach of that duty…more

Copyrighting a Dream

This week we celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King’s mission was to teach our nation the value of tolerance and mutual respect regardless of each person’s differences. These lessons still ring true…more

China Requires Registration of App Stores

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on January 13, 2017 issued a notice concerning registration of Internet app stores. The notice requires that, effective January 16, all app stores must register with the provincial-level…more

Texas Supreme Court Accepts A Case Dealing With A No-Contest Clause

In Ard v. Hudson, a beneficiary sued testamentary trustees and executors for breach of fiduciary duty and also sought an accounting, temporary injunctive relief, and a receiver. No. 02-13-00198-CV, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 8727 (Tex…more

New ITC Investigations Surge in 2016

The ITC’s docket experienced a strong uptick in 2016, with new investigations approaching the record highs of 2010 and 2011, the years of the smartphone wars. 54 new investigations were instituted at the ITC in 2016, compared to an…more

Oral Argument Presented in Supreme Court Case Addressing the Level of Educational Benefit that must be Provided under IDEA

On January 11, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1, Docket No. 15-187, to address the level of benefit a schools must confer on students to…more

Law Firm Professional Development: The Importance of Trust

An element that is rarely included in professional development and related business development curriculums in law firms is the topic of “trust.” Trust is difficult to quantify and as a result, difficult to measure. So creating a…more

EEOC Charges Increased in Fiscal Year 2016

Earlier this week, a report was released on the number of workplace discrimination charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during fiscal year 2016, which ran from October 1, 2015, through September…more

Forgiveness May Be Available For An Untimely Caveat

It’s a new year and with it comes many resolutions. Each year, a popular resolution is to be more forgiving or to forgive someone who wronged you. Apparently, trying to get a head start on its resolutions, on December 30, the Georgia…more

"Agencies Release Updated Guidelines for IP Licensing and International Enforcement and Cooperation"

On January 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (collectively, the Agencies) issued revised Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property (IP…more

Can You Predict Earthquakes? Well, Sort Of

Followers of the CAT-Law Navigator know that our blog posts often address recent earthquakes around the world. As catastrophes go, a massive earthquake is about as bad as it gets so it’s a natural topic for us. And if earthquakes are…more

Texas Supreme Court Rules Pipeline Can Take Land by Eminent Domain

On January 6, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas LLC (“Denbury Green”) could take private property by eminent domain. In Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas LLC v. Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd., the decision…more

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Overturns District Court Decision in Marblegate Regarding Section 316(b) of Trust Indenture Act

On January 17, 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of the defendant in Marblegate Asset Management, LLC v. Education Management Finance Corp., by vacating the decision of the District Court for the…more

SEC Staff Addresses Mutual Fund Fee Structures in Response to DOL’s Fiduciary Rule

Summary of Recent SEC Staff Actions - As the April 10, 2017, compliance date for the United Stated Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new fiduciary rule (the “Fiduciary Rule”) approaches, many mutual fund sponsors have received…more

Certified Used Vehicles for Sale Can Have Unrepaired Defects

Used Car Dealers Not Required to Fix Safety Recalls Before Selling Automobiles - Have you recently purchased a certified used vehicle or are you considering a used car when you make your next automobile purchase? If so, do you…more

A Guide To: How to Challenge a Will in Michigan

The vast majority of people who pass away leave behind property to their family, friends, and loved ones. Although there are a number of options available to an individual when planning for the disposition of his or her property upon…more

U.S. Department of Labor Issues More Stringent Regulations for the Review of Disability Benefit Claims

The Department of Labor (DOL) published the Final Rule on December 19, 2016, revising the regulations addressing claims procedures for ERISA plans providing disability benefits. These claims procedures were developed pursuant to…more

“Nutella” No Longer Just a Dessert Topping – FDA Seeks Comments on Appropriate Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC) and Product Category for Flavored Nut Butter Spreads

As we previously reported, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Final Rule in May of this year updating, modifying and establishing several reference amounts customarily consumed (RACCs) for a number of foods based on new…more

Circuit Split Remains: SCOTUS Passes on Defining Nominative Fair Use

In a recent disappointment to those advocating clarity for the muddy waters of determining permissible use of third-party trademarks under the nominative fair use doctrine, the Justices of the United States Supreme Court denied the…more

New Guidance Restores 1994 ERISA Proxy Voting Interpretation

The DOL bulletin also clarifies the ability to consider ESG factors in proxy voting and shareholder engagement. On December 29, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (IB 2016-1), addressing how…more

Unusual Removal Situation Yields Favorable Result

We’re pretty familiar with most diversity-based removal techniques, so when we see something unusual, we sit up and take notice (as we did with removal before service) – then we blog about it. Today’s case is Bahalim v. Ferring…more

FTC Announces Settlement with Uber over Allegedly Deceptive Earnings Claims; Commissioner Ohlhausen Dissents

In its latest action involving allegedly deceptive earnings claims, the FTC announced yesterday that Uber had agreed to settle charges that it misled potential drivers with inflated earnings claims. The complaint also alleges that…more

Court of Chancery Explains Role of Records Demand in Alleging Wrongful Pre-Suit Demand Refusal

This decision examines when pre-suit demand may be excused because the board who refused the demand declines to disclose the report of its investigation when responding. In this case, the board’s unwillingness to disclose the report…more

9 “Fun” Facts About Workplace Harassment, From The EEOC

Last week, I shared with you what I didn’t like about the proposed Enforcement Guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on workplace harassment. Well, this is warm-and-fuzzy week. Moving on to the parts of the…more

You Asked: Can My Employees Hack My Company?

Yes! Employees and other insiders – think Edward Snowden – can, and in fact, do play a role in most data breaches or cyber-security incidents. Companies must ensure their data protection policies include not only training but…more

FDA Recommends Maximum Level of Lead in Cosmetic Products . . . But Finds that Most Products Surveyed are Already Well Below the Recommended Levels

As 2016 comes to an end, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or agency) is turning its attention to cosmetics by issuing a draft guidance on December 21, 2016 recommending a limit of “no more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of lead…more

Financial regulation in 2017: Europe and the US

The result of the UK referendum on its EU membership and the outcome of the US Presidential elections of 2016 have laid the ground for 2017 to be a year of transition for both Europe and the United States. As transitions are often…more

Is the Proposed Safety Fitness Determination Rule in Jeopardy?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on Jan. 21, 2016, designed to enhance the agency's ability to identify non-compliant motor carriers. The…more

CFPB Continues Its Focus on Medical Debt

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a consent order with two debt collection law firms specializing in medical debt. This action is similar to prior CFPB enforcement actions taken against debt…more

Product Liability: 2016 Year in Review | News & Insight

Massachusetts state and federal courts issued a number of important product liability decisions in 2016. The Product Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation Group at Nutter recently reviewed these cases. Highlighted below are some of the…more

IRS Labels Syndicated Conservation Easements as “Listed Transactions,” Adds Disclosure Requirements

In a notice issued December 23, 2016, the IRS named certain syndicated conservation easements as “listed transactions,” a category of transactions which the IRS believes carry a strong potential for abusive tax avoidance. Consequently…more

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