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Representatives of the US’s biggest stock exchanges have questioned the SEC’s plan to change how markets work by altering the current “maker-taker” system and imposing new transparency and conflict-of-interest rules on platforms run by… more

Noreika-Cordray Dispute Escalates as Senate Nears Vote on CFPB Arbitration Rule

Since last summer, Acting U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Keith A. Noreika and CFPB Director Richard Cordray have exchanged polar-opposite views on whether the CFPB’s final arbitration rule should be repealed… more

Liz Wiseman-Multiplying the Influence of Compliance

On the second full day of the SCCE Compliance and Ethics Institute (CEI) Liz Wiseman was one of the keynote speakers. Wiseman is the co-author with Greg McKeown of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, which is a… more

Sticking Firmly to Contract Terms, Court Dismisses Premium and COI Overcharge Claims

In July, in Hancock v. Americo Financial Life & Annuity Co., Americo achieved a total victory on its motion to dismiss a putative class action in the Eastern District of North Carolina that challenged its premium and COI charges… more

Costly Thy Habit As Thy Purse Can Buy: Implications of the Proposed HVADC Rules for Borrowers and Lenders of Acquisition, Development and Construction Loans

On September 27, 2017, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “Agencies”) released a joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the… more

Make Effective Introductions in Special Situations

This is the third of three posts on introductions. In our first post, we focused on introduction fundamentals of effective in-person introductions. Introductions are personal, positive and connective… more

Comprehensive Embargo on Sudan Lifted, Although Some Restrictions Remain

Effective October 12, the Trump administration revoked the U.S. embargo on Sudan in accordance with Executive Order 13761 (Jan. 13, 2017) and Executive Order 13804 (July 11, 2017). As a result of this action, Sudan and the government… more

American Apparel Preference Actions Filed in Delaware Bankruptcy Court

Earlier this month, APP Winddown, LLC (formerly known as American Apparel, LLC) and its chapter 11 affiliates (the “Debtors”) filed approximately 201 complaints seeking the avoidance and recovery of allegedly preferential and/or… more

Legislation to Alter State Water Rights Enforcement Action Processes Fails

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed AB 313, which would have shifted the hearing process for certain water rights enforcement actions to a new Water Rights Division within the Office of Administrative Hearings. However, his veto Sunday… more

A Lesson on Good Faith and Fair Dealing in Solar Construction

Late last year, a federal trial court in New York awarded a solar development company $11.6 million in damages against Suffolk County arising out of a dispute on a multi-site carport solar construction project. The basis for this… more

How to Reverse Medicare Surcharges When Your Income Changes

What happens if you are a high-income Medicare beneficiary who is paying a surcharge on your premiums and then your income changes? If your circumstances change, you can reverse those surcharges… more

California Governor Approves Three More Employment Laws: “Ban The Box”; Expansion of Sexual Harassment Training; and Contractors Liable for Subcontractors’ Wage and Benefit Obligations

The deadline for California Governor Jerry Brown to sign new bills into law officially expired October 15, 2017. In addition to signing five bills last week, the Governor signed three more employment-related bills into law over the… more

[Audio]Podcast Episode 4 -- Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail -- The Justice Department's Outsourcing of Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions

The Department of Justice's approach to criminal prosecution of corporations and individuals has evolved over the last 20 years. Beginning with the traditional model of building criminal cases, brick-by-brick, by investigating and… more

FDA Announces Public Meetings and Requests Comments on Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative

On October 13, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”) announced in the Federal Register a notice of two upcoming public meetings and request for comments related to the initial phase of the Agency’s Agricultural… more

WINTER IS COMING… and the PTO Will Be Pruning Your Deadwood!

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a new random audit procedure for trademarks aimed at removing deadwood from the Register. The random audit is the result of a multi-year pilot program launched in 2012 to assess the accuracy… more

December 31 Deadline for DMCA Safe Harbor Copyright Agent Designations

All companies that conduct business online should take note of an upcoming deadline for “safe harbor” from copyright infringement liability. Online service providers that allow users to store or post content (essentially, any… more

Conditional Optimism or Securities Fraud? Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Class Action against Biopharmaceutical Company; Shows Importance of Communicating Adequate Caveats to Balance Optimistic Statements and Factual Omissions in Order to Avoid Finding of Scienter under Rule 10b-5

On August 22, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (the “Court”) affirmed the dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (the “Company”), a biopharmaceutical company… more

Payday Loan Rule Finalized: “Ability to Repay” Requirements Narrowed, but Challenges and Risks Loom Large

On October 5, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) released its final rule targeting what it refers to as “payday debt traps” (the “Rule”). Among other things, the Rule will require lenders to make “ability to… more

I Won’t Back Down: Another Company Refuses to Permit FDA to Inspect

Not long ago, we wrote about a company that refused to permit an FDA investigator to conduct an inspection. Well, here we go again. Apparently a fan of the late, great Tom Petty, the company told the agency, “I won’t back down.”… more

More ACA: President Trump’s Termination Of Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments

Late Thursday evening after President Trump issued an Executive Order earlier in the day directing various administrative agencies to take suggested actions for the hope of reducing the cost of health insurance, discussed here, the… more

New Protocol Circular Notes on Loss or Theft of Special IDs and Residence Permits in Belgium

The Protocol Directorate of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued two new Circular Notes with information on the procedure to follow in case of loss or theft of a special identity card or a special residence permit held by… more

House Bill Aims To Encourage Public Offerings

In an effort to facilitate capital formation, the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance expanded its nonpublic review process to permit all companies to submit draft registration statements relating to an initial public offering (IPO)… more

Caution with the Models of the “Commission de Bons Offices” when Employing Local Staff in Belgium as a Diplomatic Mission

The Good Offices Commission, better known under its French name “Commission de Bons Offices”, has developed model work rules and a model employment agreement for local staff of diplomatic missions. Although both the Commission and the… more

Ambitious Tax Reform Takes Center Stage

The Trump Administration and certain members of Congress recently released an ambitious, conceptual plan for tax reform that would drastically alter current U.S. tax law, affecting a wide array of taxpayers. The plan (called the… more

Modernizing and Simplifying Disclosure with the FAST Act Mandate

Under the FAST Act mandate, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted on October 11, 2017 to propose amendments to Regulation S-K and related rules and forms aimed at modernizing and simplifying the current disclosure… more

Reminder: FCC Filing Due November 1, 2017

Form 499-Q Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet Carriers providing interstate and international telecommunications that are required to contribute to federal universal service support mechanisms must report their actual… more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, October 2017

TSCA/FIFRA/TRI - EPA Schedules PPDC Meeting: On October 13, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the scheduling of a Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) meeting for November 1-2, 2017. 82 Fed. Reg… more

Here’s A Tip, Minnesota: Discharging Employees For Refusing To Share Gratuities Is Prohibited

Discharging an employee for refusing to share tips is illegal under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA), according to the Supreme Court of Minnesota. Burt v. Rackner, Inc., 2017 Minn. LEXIS 629 (Minn. Oct. 11, 2017). In… more

Blog: Corp Fin Posts Two New CDIs Regarding Non-GAAP Financial Measures In Connection With M&A Transactions

Corp Fin has posted two new CDIs regarding the use of non-GAAP financial measures in connection with business combinations, summarized below: - Section 101. Business Combination Transactions - Question 101.01 Financial measures… more

CSA, TSX Address Treatment of Canadian Reporting Issuers with U.S. Cannabis-Related Business Activities

On October 16, 2017, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) released staff notices regarding their respective treatment of issuers with cannabis-related activities in the United… more

Are You Prepared? Recent U.S Immigration Law Changes that Will Impact Your Business

After some earlier versions that encountered significant resistance and judicial challenge, President Donald Trump issued a Proclamation on Sept. 24 that restricts travel to the United States by nationals of eight countries – Chad… more

How John Steinbeck’s Estate Planning Missteps Led to Family Feud and $13 Million Jury Award

When celebrated author John Steinbeck died in the late 1960s, he left a considerable literary legacy that included the classic American novels The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and the novella Of Mice and Men. He also left behind… more

Blog: With Congress Stuck, Administration Starts Process Of Unwinding ACA

Last week, the Administration took two actions aimed at rattling the foundations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The President signed an Executive Order (EO) directing federal agencies to relax restrictions on insurance plans that… more

Proposal for a Regulation on the Free Flow of Non-personal Data in the EU

The European Commission has issued a proposal for a new Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data (“the Proposal”). The Commission adopted a Communication in January 2017 on “Building a European Data Economy”, in which its… more

Governor Brown Vetoes Flawed AB 890, Signals Preference for More Comprehensive CEQA Reform

On October 15, 2017, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. sent a veto letter to California State Assembly Members, returning a controversial and flawed proposed land use bill – AB 890 – without his signature. Fortunately, Governor Brown… more

CFIUS Annual Report Shows Increased Scrutiny, Risk for Foreign Investment

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) recently published a summary of its Annual Report to Congress for the fiscal year 2015 (the 2015 CFIUS Annual Report) reflecting a trend that has become evident over the… more

“OK, Google. Send a Letter to the CPSC.”: Privacy Groups Request Recall of Google Home Mini

Last Friday, ten consumer and privacy advocacy groups, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Digital Democracy, and Consumer Watchdog, sent a letter to Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, requesting that the… more

Blog: OIG Releases October Work Plan Items; Includes Opioid REMS and Specialty Drug Coverage and Medicare Reimbursement

As we recently announced, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is updating its Work Plan monthly rather than its previous twice-yearly publications. The October updates include 5 new Work Plan items..… more

Disruption Is Coming To Law Firms: Are You Ready?

Think about this for a minute: venture capitalists are looking to “disrupt” the sock industry. As chronicled on Marketplace, $110M has been invested in a sock company(!). This kind of investment in a static, eminently mature market is… more

In Wake of Disasters, Do Not Just Assume No Coverage Available for Cannabis-Related Losses

As reported extensively in the media over the past week, the cannabis industry has been hit hard by recent natural disasters. While companies doing business in this industry may face some unique challenges in purchasing insurance, and… more

Dutch Courts Give Judgment on Immunities of NATO Supreme Headquarters

Earlier this year, district and appellate courts in the Netherlands have delivered first judgments in the context of a high-stakes contractual dispute between three fuel companies and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) –… more

FTC’s Prohibition On Illegal Sales Calls And Robocalls

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) operates a single National Do Not Call Registry at donotcall.gov for both personal land lines and cell phones. Although the FTC notes that the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) regulations… more

Alert: New California Laws Prohibit Salary History Inquiries, Expand Parental Leave

Recently, California's Governor Jerry Brown approved of new legislation impacting California employers. Employers should take note of these laws, which address wage discrimination and expand unpaid baby bonding leave, to ensure… more

Prop 65 Amendments Now Effective Regarding Content of Notices of Violation Involving Occupational Exposures

On October 1, 2017, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) regulations amending the content required in Proposition 65 (Prop 65) Notices of Violation involving… more

Trump Track: Portland Harbor Reset Redux

Last Thursday, I posted about EPA apparently looking at resetting the approach to the Portland Harbor Superfund site. I believe that the cost associated with the cleanup plan contained in Region 10’s Record of Decision (ROD) is out of… more

Construction Contracts: When Is Industry Best Practice Not Good Enough?

The Situation: A recent ruling in MT Højgaard A/S v E.ON Climate & Renewables UK Robin Rigg East Limited by the UK Supreme Court gives guidance on construction contracts where the contractor undertakes both to deliver a certain outcome… more

Learning from Bid Protests: Don’t Lose Your Protest Before You Begin

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently published four protest decisions that were all denied due to timeliness issues. This string of cases serves as a reminder that no matter how strong a protest’s basis may be, if… more

New PBGC-Plan Sponsor Pilot Mediation Project for Early Warning Program and Termination Liability Cases

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the “PBGC”) launched a new Pilot Mediation Project to facilitate negotiations with (i) plan sponsors involved in corporate transactions under the purview of the PBGC’s Early Warning Program and… more

Massachusetts Named Most Energy Efficient State for Seventh Consecutive Year by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

For the seventh consecutive year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) named Massachusetts the most energy-efficient state in the United States. The council’s 11th annual report, released September 28, 2017 in… more

Looming Ruling on EU Data Transfer Rules Carries Potentially Serious Implications

The Situation: The European Court of Justice ("ECJ") is to rule on the validity of EU Standard Contractual Clauses used by companies to transfer personal data outside of the European Union, at the request of Ireland's High… more

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Estlund Law, P.A. is a law firm dedicated exclusively to the practice of criminal defense. Our clients are people accused of violating federal and state laws, people facing extradition due to…

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