Latest Updates

DOJ Civil Rights Division Intensifies Efforts to Investigate Discrimination Against US Workers

On October 11, 2017, the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) and the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs announced a partnership aimed at protecting US workers… more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment or Insurer in STOLI Case

In Sun Life Assur. Co. of Canada v. U.S. Bank Nat. Ass’n, the Eleventh Circuit recently clarified that where a life insurance policy lacks an insurable interest at its inception and is thus void ab initio, prejudgment interest accrues… more

Mainbrace: October 2017 (No. 4)

Note from the Maritime Industry Team - Large sectors of the maritime industry—especially offshore—remain in the doldrums, but it nonetheless has been a busy few months for our Blank Rome Maritime group. Our Washington, D.C.… more

President Trump’s JCPOA Announcement Is More Complicated Than It Looks

On October 13, 2017, President Trump announced a new national security strategy regarding Iran that may eventually affect current economic sanctions restrictions involving Iran. The President in his comments noted that he declined… more

U.S. Department Of State Announces Revised Registration Dates For Diversity Lottery Program And Voids All Prior Entries Submitted To Date For October 2017

On Monday, October 16, the U.S. Department of State announced that due to a technical issue, the diversity lottery (DV-2019) entry period that commenced on October 3 has been closed. The Department of State further advised that all… more

Treasury Would Overhaul 2016 Regulatory Guidance

With tax reform on the horizon, Treasury takes aim at three sets of regulations with clear cross-border implications. Our International Tax Group explains the department’s recommendations to scrap much of Section 385 and overhaul… more

CIT Finds Shoe Importer Was “Grossly Negligent” In Classifying Products

In recent decision, the Court of International Trade entered a $1.6 million award against shoe importer, Sterling Footwear, Inc. (“Sterling”), for what it found to be grossly negligent product misclassification. Granting the U.S… more

Continued Employment Isn’t Always Sufficient – Minnesota Requires Additional Consideration For Non-Compete With Current Employee

The Minnesota federal district court recently refused to enforce a non-compete agreement, in part, because the employer failed to establish that the agreement was supported by valuable consideration. The decision, issued on October 6… more

Court of Chancery Imposes Incorporation By Reference Condition On Books and Records Production

The City Of Cambridge Retirement System v. Universal Health Services Inc., C.A. No. 2017-0322-SG (Oct. 12, 2017) - A stockholder may inspect a corporation’s records for any recognized proper purpose, including investigating alleged… more

Diversity Visa (Green Card Lottery) Entries Discarded by DOS Due to Glitch, New Period Opens on October 18, 2017

As previously reported, the annual Diversity Visa Lottery (DV) Program submission period for fiscal year 2019 began on October 3, 2017. The U.S. Department of State has issued an alert that, due to a technical issue, the Diversity Visa… more

How Were the Court’s Civil Cases Distributed at the Appellate Court (Part 3)?

Last week, we began our review of how the Court’s civil cases are distributed among the Districts and Divisions of the Appellate Court. We began by covering the years 1999 through 2003. This week, we address the more recent years in… more

The Government Can Sue For A Privacy Or Data-Security Violation. What Are The Limits Of That Government Power?

Consumers and businesses aren’t the only sources of potential privacy and data-security litigation. Today’s post looks at another important source: the Federal Trade Commission and state consumer-protection regulators… more

Earlier deadline for Senate to pass CRA resolution to override CFPB arbitration rule

In a recent blog post, we estimated that, as a practical matter, November 16 was the last day on which the Senate could pass a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to override the CFPB arbitration rule.  For the… more

Antitrust Claims Against Telescope Manufacturer Ningbo Sunny Dismissed and Shot into Space

On September 28, 2017, Judge Edward Davila dismissed an antitrust complaint filed by Optronic Technologies, Inc. (dba Orion) against Ningbo Sunny Electronic Co., Ltd., Sunny Optics, Inc. and Meade Instruments Corp. The case is… more

Tax Extensions Available to Victims of California Wildfires

Yesterday, the IRS announced that victims of the California wildfires have been granted extensions to file certain individual and business tax returns… more

Hurricane Maria's Aftermath, Part II: Puerto Rico Government Provides Various Exemptions and Extensions to Multiple Upcoming Deadlines

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria's catastrophic impact on Puerto Rico, in order to assist in rebuilding and recovery, Puerto Rico’s governor and several agencies have issued multiple exemptions to previously established rules for… more

Nursing Home Costs Rise Sharply in 2017

The median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States has increased to $97,455 a year, up 5.5 percent from 2016, according to Genworth's 2017 Cost of Care survey, which the insurer conducts annually. Genworth reports that… more

EEOC Filed More than 80 Lawsuits this Summer – Why Employers Should Pay Attention

Indeed, the EEOC filed far more than 80 lawsuits during July, August, and September 2017 – the last quarter of its fiscal year. Approximately 50 percent of those lawsuits targeted employers for alleged individual and, more… more

MAGA or Else: Trump DOJ Goes After Employer

In an Executive Order dated April 18, 2017, President Trump announced that it "shall be the policy of the executive branch to buy American and hire American." If an employer does not "hire American," it may find itself the target of an… more

Physicians in the Bulls-eye

Several recently reported cases highlight the growing risk physicians face if they succumb to competitive pressures, especially offers of remuneration from labs, pharmacies, home health agencies and other providers to whom they refer… more

ACA’s Nondiscrimination Taglines and Notices Require Updating Your Notice of Privacy Practices

There has been confusion as to whether the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination provision (“ACA”) affects a covered entity’s notice of privacy practices (“NPP”) or data breach notifications. OCR has issued guidance indicating that… more

Can Your Business Fly Under The Radar?

The past few years have seen the utilization of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS” or “drones”) expand from military to recreational, and now to commercial use. What once was top-secret military technology can now deliver a pizza (in… more

California “Bans the Box”: Pre-Offer Criminal Inquiries Generally Outlawed in the State

On October 14, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1008 a “Ban the Box” law that significantly restricts an employer’s ability to seek or obtain information about a job applicant’s criminal history. The… more

The Pruco Florida Supreme Court decision has been legislatively reversed by a recent amendment to the Florida Viatical Settlement Act

The Florida Supreme Court Pruco advisory opinion, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Pruco Life Ins. Co., 200 So. 3d at 1203 & 1206-07, to the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that an insurer may not challenge the validity… more

New California Law Requires Small Employers to Provide Unpaid Baby-Bonding Leave

On October 12, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the New Parent Leave Act, a law that will require employers with 20-49 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected parental leave to eligible workers… more

Mechanic's Liens 101: Ways to Avoid Them

A mechanic’s lien is a powerful tool for many construction participants on private projects and a major source of risk for owners. A mechanic’s lien is an involuntary lien and a statutory right that protects contractors… more

Infrastructure Insights: Issue #8

President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan will have to wait patiently in line behind tax reform before it gets its day in Congress, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. In the meantime, tax reform… more

The Mexichem Conjecture: Regulating HFCs under CAA ... or TSCA?

Since 1994, EPA has regulated hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are potent greenhouse gases, through several programs under Title VI of the Clean Air Act (CAA) governing stratospheric ozone protection. In a recent decision, Mexichem… more

IPR and CBM Statistics for Final Written Decisions Issued in September 2017

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued 33 IPR and CBM Final Written Decisions in September, cancelling 501 (87.28%) instituted claims while declining to cancel 53 (9.23%) instituted claims. Patent owners conceded 20 (3.48%)… more

New Mexico Court Rules Employee Is Entitled To Nationwide Discovery In FMLA Case

On October 10, 2017, Judge Ritter issued the Memorandum Opinion and Order which granted a former employee’s Motion to Compel and held that the former employee was entitled to information from the company’s nationwide offices relating… more

Governor Signs, Vetoes Pay Equity Bills

Governor Brown is in that final flurry of signing and rejecting bills sent to him at the end of the legislative session. Two of those bills that we have been following involved pay equity issues. The Governor approved one, and vetoed… more

Ballot “Selfies” in New Jersey: Can You Instagram Your Vote?

Each November, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are full of celebrities and friends posting pictures of their ballots at their local polling places. In this age of social media, many users share “selfies” of themselves exercising their… more

Could Property Owners Or Tenants Who Grow, Process, 0r Sell Marijuana Make Their Property Tough To Sell?

What Property Owners Need to Know About Title Insurance and Marijuana Facilities - If you are involved in buying, selling, or leasing real estate involving the booming marijuana industry in Michigan, beware of some startling… more

Employees Entitled To Pay During Short Breaks Per Precedential Third Circuit Decision

In a recent and precedential decision by the Third Circuit, employers are obligated to pay their employees for breaks of 20 minutes or less under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In an opinion penned by Third Circuit Judge, Theodore… more

Lessons From Equifax – Trends on Data Breach of Employee Information

The recent Equifax breach data and public missteps in handling the breach has companies revisiting their cybersecurity measures and refreshing their breach response plans. Although not every company has consumer data likely to be… more

227k Consumers to Receive Refund Checks from Dietary Supplement Company Settlement

Roughly 227,000 consumers will receive an average of $43 each in an effort by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to send refunds to purchasers of dietary supplement products sold by Health Formulas LLC. The $9.8 million total refund… more

The Critical Importance Of Properly Serving A Construction Lien Claim

So, you properly file your construction lien claim within the time allowed by the New Jersey Construction Lien Law (“CLL”), and then timely send out a copy of the lien by certified and ordinary mail to the address of the condominium… more

Healthcare & Life Sciences Private Equity Deal Tracker: PE-Backed Invo Healthcare Acquires Autism Home Support Services

Invo Healthcare has announced it has acquired Autism Home Support Services. Autism Home Support Services, based in Northbrook, Ill., is a provider of home- and center-based applied behavioral analysis therapy to children diagnosed… more

US Resumes Premium Processing for H1-B Visas

After premium processing of H-1B visas was temporarily suspended because of a large number of applications for work visas, the US is now resuming it. The H-1B visa is a work visa intended to allow companies in the US to employ… more

Alert: FCC Proposes Big Changes to Toll Free Number Rules

The FCC has proposed rules that could affect every company that uses toll free numbers in the US, by increasing the cost to obtain those numbers and creating an open market to buy and sell those numbers. The FCC plan would assign as… more

Another Off-the-Clock Case Felled by Time Study

Last week, we discussed the decision of the Northern District of California in Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Services, Inc., Case No. 14-cv-01508-BLF (N.D. Cal. Sept. 12, 2017), in which the employer’s use of a time study resulted in… more

Supreme Court Appears Split on Class Action Waivers in Employee Arbitration Agreements

On Monday, October 2, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in three cases involving the enforceability of employee arbitration agreements that include class/collective action waivers. Since January when the Supreme… more

Predictable Schedules – A Right, Not a Privilege, in NYC Fast Food and Retail Industries

Earlier this year, New York City signed into law the “Fair Work Week” legislative package, which aspires to ensure more predictable schedules and paychecks for fast food and retail workers by setting restrictions on how and when their… more

3 Key Takeaways: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Trends in 2017

Kilpatrick Townsend partner Adria Perez recently presented to the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Georgia Chapter about key 2017 trends concerning the enforcement of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) against companies and… more

Regulation Of Dietary Supplements

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) regulates dietary supplements as food, not as drugs. In general, dietary supplements are taken orally and contain a dietary ingredient such as a vitamin, mineral, amino acid, herb… more

What Can Health Plans Do Now That the Trump Administration Has Stopped Making CSR Payments?

On October 12, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it will immediately stop making cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidy payments, which allow health insurers to defray out-of-pocket costs to insure low-income Americans. This… more

Florida Emergency Power Plan Rule Requires Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities to Obtain Generators by November 15, 2017

In response to the death of eight nursing home residents after a power failure in Hollywood, Florida during Hurricane Irma, Florida regulators recently issued emergency rules requiring the state’s nursing homes and assisted living… more

Federal Court Declines to Overturn $780,000 Jury Verdict in Favor of Employer’s Argument that Application for SSDI Trumps the ADA

In Van Rossum v. Baltimore County, Maryland, a jury awarded a community health inspector $250,000 in compensatory damages and $530,000 in back pay after deciding that her employer, Baltimore County, violated the ADA by refusing to… more

Trump Administration Issues Executive Order Regarding Health Coverage and Discontinues Cost-Sharing Reductions Payments

On October 12, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order “to reform the United States healthcare system to take the first steps to expand choices and alternatives to Obamacare plans and increase competition to bring down… more

Survey Says...Get a Survey

In a decision filed on April 11, 2017, a Superior Court of Pennsylvania case highlights issues that can arise when discrepancies occur between a metes and bounds description of realty versus a parcel number. It also illustrates the… more

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