Latest Updates

Keeping Up with Cayla: Concerns over Interactive Toys Spur an FTC Update of COPPA Guidelines

“Pleeeease?!” Buying a quick gift or giving in to your child’s pleas for a new toy is quickly becoming a more serious decision. In the age where toys can happily entertain kids by talking to them, the few precious moments those toys… more

Texas’ Hailstorm Bill—Three Takeaways for Policyholders

On September 1, 2017, Senate Bill 10 / House Bill 1774 (the “Hailstorm Bill”) goes into effect. Proponents of the Hailstorm Bill will likely argue that the bill does not represent a significant regression of policyholder rights;… more

Former Employees Do Not Have Right To Inspect Personnel Files, Pennsylvania High Court Clarifies

Terminated employees, even those recently separated, are not entitled to inspect their personnel file under the Pennsylvania Inspection of Employment Records Law (the “Act”), according to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Thomas… more

Are the Bad Old Days of Blind Stonewalling in Discovery Finally Coming to a Close?

When I started as a litigator in 2001, a technique I call “blind stonewalling” ruled discovery practice everywhere from BigLaw to the smallest boutiques. But the slow evolution of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), a gradual… more

CMS Summit on Potential Behavioral Health Innovative Payment Model (Sept. 8, 2017)

The CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is holding a public summit on September 8, 2017 to explore creating a behavioral health innovative payment model intended to improve health care quality and access, while lowering the… more

[Video]Day 16 of One Month to More Effective Internal Controls-COSO’s Objectives and Principles-Risk Assessments

The Integrated Framework (Framework Volume) recognizes that “every entity faces a variety of risks from external and internal sources.” This objective is designed to provide a company with a “dynamic and iterative process for… more

Go Fish: Discovery In PAGA Actions Just Got Easier

Brace yourself. Plaintiffs can now use representative PAGA actions as the basis for a statewide “fishing expedition” to discover alleged employer misconduct. Now, I’m a baby lawyer (or, more aptly, an almost baby lawyer) – I’m a… more

Washington’s New Biometric Privacy Law: What Businesses Need to Know

With the rise in hackings and data breaches, companies and government agencies are looking for ways to protect their data that offer more security than passwords. Because passwords are easily lost, stolen, guessed, and cracked by… more

CMS Issues Corrections to Medicare/Medicaid LTC Conditions of Participation

CMS has made numerous technical and typographical corrections to its October 4, 2016 final rule revising the requirements that long-term care facilities must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs… more

Data Center Trends in Construction and Real Estate

Data centers trigger visions of windowless, concrete boxes located at the periphery of suburban office parks. That perception may fade in the coming years. With new technologies, such as cloud computing, blockchain platforms, the… more

No IPAB Medicare Cuts Triggered for 2019, CMS Actuary Rules

The CMS Chief Actuary has officially determined that the projected Medicare per capita growth rate will not exceed the target that would require the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to submit plans to reduce 2019 Medicare… more

Blog: What’s Happening With Those SEC Proposals For Dodd-Frank Clawbacks And Disclosure Of Pay For Performance And Hedging? Apparently, Not Much.

The SEC’s latest Regulatory Flexibility Agenda, which identifies those regs that the SEC intends to propose or adopt in the coming year— and those deferred for a later time—has now been posted. The Agenda shifts to the category of… more

Third Parties Aren’t Liable for POA Agent Misconduct - But Only Up to a Point

Litigation and legislation have shaped the extent to which third parties can be held liable when agents abuse their authority under Powers of Attorney (POAs). A landmark Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling known as the Vine case… more

Three Needless Deaths: Recognize Confined Space Dangers On Your Job Sites

On July 14, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a contractor for 10 serious violations after the deaths of three workers who succumbed to toxic gases in a manhole on January 16… more

QVC/HSN :: A Deal You Probably Weren’t Thinking About

On July 6, 2017, QVC announced its intent to acquire the remaining 62 percent of Home Shopping Network it doesn’t already own. More so than DraftKings or Walgreens, this transaction will demonstrate whether Trump’s election has had… more

CMS Delays Deadline for HHA Conditions of Participation Compliance

CMS is delaying the effective date of its January 13, 2017 final home health agency (HHA) conditions of participation (CoP) rule for six months, until January 13, 2018… more

Mine Safety Agency Issues Accident Alert On Haul Truck Operations

The Mine Safety and Health Administration issued a “Close Call Accident Alert” after a June 19, 2017, accident involving a haul truck driver. In the incident, MSHA said, a haul truck driver with six weeks of experience traveled into… more

BLM Proposes Rescission Of 2015 Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) announced its recommendation that the hydraulic fracturing rule from 2015 entitled, “Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands,” be rescinded – the Federal Register… more

The Sessions Memo: A Significant Reversal of Policy?

In May 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to U.S. attorneys, ordering all federal prosecutors to "charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense" as a "core principle" of charging and sentencing… more

Wyoming Mid-Sized Advisers Can No Longer Register with the SEC

Wyoming required investment advisers to register with the state for the first time on July 1, 2017. Wyoming’s decision primarily affects those Wyoming-based advisers with between $25 million and $100 million in assets under management… more

Antitrust Alert: Federal Court Rejects Failing Firm Defense in Merger Case

A new decision from a federal court in Delaware reinforces the high burden that parties face in insulating an otherwise anticompetitive merger based on the so-called "failing firm" defense. The Justice Department ("DOJ") sought an… more

OTA & Travel Distribution Update - July 14th, 2017

A number of updated and new stories in this week’s OTA & Travel Distribution Update for the week ending July 14, 2017. We hope you enjoy. Expedia’s MeetingMarket Now Speaks English [OTA/GROUP] ("Expedia extends MeetingMarket… more

House Committees Examine Health Care Policy Issues

Recent House of Representatives committee hearings have focused on a variety of health care policy issues, including the following: Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on: the growth and oversight of the 340B drug discount… more

SCOTUS Update: Environmental and Administrative Law Cases Decided in 2017

The 2016 Term of the U.S. Supreme Court was fairly quiet, perhaps reflecting the fact that with only eight members, the Court needed a working consensus to handle its docket. The Court handed down seventy rulings, but only a few can be… more

U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Votes to Defund Revised Form EEO-1 Requiring Disclosure of Pay Data

On July 13, 2017, the House Committee on Appropriations signaled what could be a devastating blow to the future of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) revised Form EEO-1. As you may recall, in February 2016, the… more

Court Holds Crime Policy Covers Business Compromise Email Loss

The “business compromise email” is what the FBI calls the “$5 billion scam,” but apparently an insurance company did not agree with an insured company that they had been the victim of a crime… more

[Video]12 O'clock High, a Podcast on Business Leadership- Leadership Lessons from Toussaint Louverture

In this episode, Richard Lummis and I explore leadership lessons from Toussaint Louverture, who held the only successful slave revolt in the Western Hemisphere. Our remarks are based on the recent biography of him entitled, Toussaint… more

An Ounce Of Data Breach Prevention…Address Attorney-Client Privilege In Your Breach Planning

Data breach “horror” stories have become a new staple in today’s business environment. The frequency of attacks which threaten (or compromise) the security of business networks and information systems continually increases — in the… more

Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law And The Construction Notices Directory- Avoiding Potential Pitfalls

On October 14, 2014, the Pennsylvania General Assembly signed Act 142 creating the Pennsylvania State Construction Notices Directory, which became effective January 1, 2017 (the “Act”). The Act created an online directory whereby… more

FCPA under the New Administration

The single most frequently asked question by our international clients over the past several months is whether there will be changes in white collar prosecution priorities under the new administration, specifically with respect to the… more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

Whistleblower Developments is a periodic report covering significant cases, decisions, proposals, and legislation related to whistleblower statutes and how they may impact your business… more

Let Them Eat Cake!

The competing interests of an individual’s First Amendment right to religious freedom and an individual’s right to be free from discrimination will be addressed by the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) in the fall. A couple… more

State Attorneys General Eye Higher Political Office

Recently West Virginia State Attorney General (“AG”) Patrick Morrisey announced that he is seeking the Republican nomination for incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s seat in 2018, and Maine AG Janet Mills announced that she is seeking… more

Colorable Difference Test Not Applicable to CDO Sanctions

A recent ITC enforcement decision highlights the importance of redesigns as an effective strategy for Respondents at the ITC… more

Cause for Concern Over Organic Fertilizer Made from Food Waste?

In December 2016, the National Organic Program (NOP) issued guidance 5034-1 that can be interpreted as approving of food waste for use in organic crop production (for example, as an input in fertilizer) without regard to whether such… more

Article 29 Working Party Releases Detailed Opinion on Data Processing in the Workplace

The Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”) recently published an opinion on data processing at work (“Opinion”). The Opinion restates the position and conclusions in WP29’s 2001 Opinion on processing personal data in the employment… more

Texas Court of Appeals Confirms Power Generation Plants’ Eligibility for TCEQ Administered Tax Exemption

On July 11, the Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, at Austin, TX, decided the case of Freestone Power Generation, LLC, v. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, et al., reversing the trial court’s ruling that eight Texas power… more

New York Appeals Court Rejects Enforceability Of Class Action Waivers – But Is This Ruling Short-Lived?

In an issue of first impression in the state of New York, last week the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division (the state’s intermediate appellate court) weighed in on the enforceability of arbitration provisions that preclude… more

DOJ’s Prosecution Of Health Care Exec Illustrates Unique Intersection Of Securities & Employment Tax Fraud Schemes

In a recent criminal prosecution of a medical doctor/entrepreneur for defrauding his company’s shareholders, the government employed a novel theory of securities fraud premised, in part, upon the defendant’s failure to pay federal… more

At the Intersection of Cybersecurity and White Collar

The global "ransomware" cyberattack in early May 2017 resulted in tens of thousands of computer systems being taken hostage by hackers and, in the instances involving hospitals, put lives at risk. Companies that suffered breaches are… more

San Francisco Adopts The “Parity In Pay” Ordinance – No More Inquiries About Or Disclosures Of Prior Salary

On July 19, 2017 Mayor Lee signed the Parity in Pay Ordinance. Below is a brief summary of the Ordinance which will go into effect on July 1, 2018. The Ordinance provides findings from the 2015 United States Census Bureau report… more

RICO Madness: The Nuisance of Owning and Operating a Marijuana Facility

On June 7, 2017, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Safe Streets Alliance, et al. v. Hickenlooper, et al., (No. 16-1048), an opinion that could open the doors to property use litigation involving marijuana… more

STRONGER Patents Act of 2017 Disadvantages Domestic Manufacturers

In late June, Senators Coons, Cotton, Durbin, and Hirono introduced the STRONGER Patents Act of 2017. The Act includes provisions that seek to heavily change the inter partes review and post-grant review processes. However, Sec. 108… more

Privacy Perils: What's in Your Container?

The use of "containers" in web application development is growing, but not without potentially increasing threats to the security of the data we store in our apps and devices. Containers are stand-alone packages of software that… more

OIG Claims CMS Paid $729 Million in Erroneous EHR Incentive Payments

In a June 12, 2017 report entitled, Medicare Paid Hundreds of Millions in Electronic Health Record Incentive Payments That Did Not Comply With Federal Requirements, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector… more

Dechert's Global Private Equity Newsletter - Summer 2017 Edition: President Macron’s Election in France: Impact on the French PE and M&A Market

President Macron announced his will to conduct meaningful reforms which could have a significant positive impact on the economy and the French M&A market… more

New York Paid Family Leave Law Regulations Become Effective

Regulations implementing the Paid Family Leave Act became effective on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. No substantive changes were made to the proposed regulations that were published back in May 2017… more

Senate Introduces Pathway to Citizenship for Dreamers, Potentially Altering a Generation

This week, the United States Senate introduced the Dream Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill, sponsored by Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, to create a pathway to citizenship for young people… more

Trump Administration Policy Statement Calls for FDA Premarketing Activities to be Funded Entirely by Industry Fees

The Trump White House released a Statement of Administration Policy on Wednesday in response to the House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 2430, a bill that would reauthorize the use of four FDA user fee programs: the Prescription… more

Missing Participants – Out of Sight Out of Mind?

Imagine it’s March 31 and you are a retirement plan administrator. You have a participant who terminated employment 15 years ago. He turned 70½ last year and now you owe him his first required minimum distribution from the Plan on… more

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