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IL Supreme Court Avoids Ruling on Constitutionality of Hospital Exemption

The Illinois Supreme Court has issued an opinion in Carle Foundation v. Cunningham Township, the case involving the constitutionality of the statute granting hospitals a special property tax exemption. In remanding this case back to…more

ALJ Rules that OFCCP Exceeded its Authority in Demanding Certain Employee Compensation Data from Google

In January, the OFCCP filed an administrative complaint against Google for denying access to records in violation of applicable federal affirmative action laws and implementing regulations. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) denied…more

New Acting Solicitor of Labor Department Signals Emphasis on ‘Humility’

In some of his first public comments since taking office, Department of Labor Acting Solicitor Nicholas Geale has signaled a shift in policies, telling attendees at a Georgetown University Law Center event that his department will…more

The Pros and Cons of Social Media in Job Screenings

It is not surprising that a recent survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management revealed that a growing number of employers are using social media both to hire and to disqualify job candidates. Social media sites have…more

The Drone Privacy and Transparency Act of 2017: Overdue or Over-reaching?

On March 15, 2017, Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) introduced federal legislation entitled the Drone Privacy and Transparency Act of 2017. The proposed legislation seeks to address growing…more

Supreme Court Update: Endrew F. V. Douglas County School District (15-827), Star Athletica, L.L.C. V. Varsity Brands, Inc. (15-866), Czyzewski V. Jevic Holding Corp. (15-549) And Order List

Greetings, Court Fans! This morning, the Court issued its decision in Moore v. Texas (15-797), an important death-penalty case holding that Texas's outdated standard for determining whether a death-row inmate is intellectually…more

What to Expect from New York’s New Cybersecurity Regulations

The New York State Department of Financial Services’ (NYDFS) cybersecurity regulations went into effect March 1, 2017. Touted by the NYDFS as the “first in the nation” comprehensive cybersecurity regulation, the new rules pose…more

The Three Lines of Compliance Offense Versus The Three Lines of Compliance Defense

People crave simple solutions to complex problems. No, this is not a political statement, nor do I intend to wade into politics. This statement applies across the board – to business, compliance, government, and other institutions. We…more

SEC Denies Listing of another Bitcoin Fund; Petition for Review Filed for Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust

The SEC has denied a proposed rule change by NYSE Arca to permit the listing and trading of shares of the SolidX Bitcoin Trust. The reasons were substantially similar to the reasons the SEC denied a proposed rule change submitted by…more

Labor Secretary Nominee Faces Committee Vote

In his confirmation hearing on March 22, Acosta fielded questions from senators that focused on the Labor Department’s controversial overtime rule, which was blocked by a federal district court judge in Texas and is on appeal at the…more

Recalls: What Information Should Be On Your Social Media Forums?

With the increased number of recalls, there is a hot button issue facing manufacturers and retailers: going forward, should your company implement a practice that includes announcing all recalls on its Facebook, Twitter, and other…more

White House Allegedly Purges Electronic Devices after Order to Preserve Data: An E-Discovery Teachable Moment

According to an article published in the Independent, allegations have arisen surrounding “White House officials and members of Donald Trump’s transition team…reportedly ‘purging’ their electronic devices to avoid being compromised by…more

MassDEP Issues Draft Fact Sheet Guidance on PFAS, a Class of Emerging Contaminants

On January 26, 2017, MassDEP announced that it had developed and is seeking comment on a Fact Sheet entitled “Guidance on Sampling and Analysis for PFAS at Disposal Sites Regulated under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan.” The Fact…more

OSHA Promotes “Safe and Sound Campaign” to Assist Employers - A Change in Approach?

Seyfarth Synopsis: OSHA has recently “launched” a “Campaign for Safety & Health Programs,” that it indicates is an approach that has been proven by “best in class” employers to reduce injuries and illnesses and improve their…more

Disability Services Company to Pay $100,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

ValleyLife Failed to Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Employees With Disabilities, Federal Agency Charges - PHOENIX - ValleyLife, a disability support services company, will pay $100,000 and furnish other relief to settle a…more

Destination Medicine: Not Just for the Rich and Famous

OIG okays providing modest hotel and meal accommodations for rural and financially needy patients. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued an advisory opinion interpreting…more

Solving the Problem of the Unchecked Rise of Short-Term Rentals

The Internet has created innovative inroads into traditional vacation lodging. Websites like Airbnb, VRBO and Flipkey provide vacationers with affordable lodging in prime locations, furnished with all the comforts of a home. But, while…more

House of Delegates Passes Legislation Requiring Periodic Reserve Studies

By a vote of 135-1, the Maryland House of Delegates has passed House Bill 651, which would require condominiums and homeowner associations to conduct reserve studies of the common elements and common areas. As discussed in an earlier…more

Who’s Got the Spirit?! Supreme Court Decides Star Athletic, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc.; New Two-Part Test Seeks to Clear Up the “Mess” But Questions Still Remain About the Subjective Nature of the Separabilty Analysis

On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas in Star Athletic, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., held that “a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is eligible for…more

Long-Term Care Facilities Subject to New Medicare Requirements for Participation Must Comply with Staffing, Training, and Facility-Wide Assessment Requirements

On October 4, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule which represents the most sweeping changes in twenty-five years regarding the requirements for participation for long-term care (LTC) facilities…more

Competition Law Threat to Active Fund Managers

SCM Direct ("SCM"), an investment manager based in the UK, has recently called for the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") and Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") to investigate actively managed funds sector for alleged fixing of…more

That’s Life. . . Insurance: The Employer Duty To Notify A Terminated Employee Of The Right To Convert

Employer provided life insurance as a part of a group plan is a terrific benefit to offer employees. However, employers must be aware that offering such a benefit also imposes certain responsibilities on them. Many states have…more

Make Your Website Bio Stand Out with Specifics

We have quite a few clients in the process of updating their websites and/or going through a brand overhaul. As many of you know, it is a massive undertaking both from a time and money perspective. But it is also a perfect opportunity…more

Recent Open Meeting Foreshadows FCC Commissioners’ Views if ACA Decision Is Remanded

As the cherry blossoms prepare to bloom in Washington, D.C., our thoughts turn toward wondering when the D.C. Circuit will hand down its ruling in ACA International, et al v. FCC (Case No. 15-1211). This case, you will recall, is the…more

Trump Signs Legislation and Issues Order Ending Obama-Era Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

The nearly three-year journey of Executive Order 13673: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, which President Barack Obama signed in July 2014, is officially over. Federal contractors will not be required to report alleged labor violations to…more

Academic Institutions: Do You Still Have a Single-Walled Steel Underground Storage Tank?

Massachusetts state regulations require that all single-walled USTs be removed or closed-in-place by August 7, 2017. Most tanks installed prior to 1970 (and in some cases later) were single-walled steel tanks. Such tanks corrode over…more

Agents Convicted for Smuggling Cuban Baseball Players

The criminal conviction of two sports agents for smuggling Cuban baseball players into the United States in an attempt to sign them to lucrative contracts serves as a reminder for agents, potential agents, and everyone else in the…more

Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order Revoked

On March 27, 2017, President Trump signed legislation and issued an executive order nullifying the Obama administration’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order and implementing rules and guidance. Major parts of the rule…more

Blog: Do Board Self-Evaluations Help Produce A High-Functioning Board?

In this paper from the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, Board Evaluations and Boardroom Dynamics, the authors suggest that board self-evaluations aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. While, based on a recent…more

Recent PFAS Case Law – RCRA, CERCLA and Toxic Tort Claims

A new class of emerging contaminants poses challenges at remediation sites and for the protection of drinking water, and is generating new toxic tort litigation. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are emerging contaminants that…more

New monetary penalty regime for breach of financial sanctions

A new regime in place in the UK for punishing individuals or businesses that breach financial sanctions comes into force from 1 April. In March 2016 the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) was formed, as part of the…more

SDNY Grants Trustees’ Motion to Dismiss Triaxx CDOs’ RMBS Claims for Lack of Standing

On March 21, 2017, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a Memorandum and Order granting defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint in Triaxx…more

[Video]Day 21 of One Month to Operationalizing Your Compliance Program-Operationalizing Compliance at the Bottom

Today, I consider how to drive the message of compliance into the bottom of your organization. Even when a company does all the right things at the senior management level, the real issue is whether or not that culture has embedded…more

March Fadness: Wearable Tech in the Workplace

Wearable technology continues to do a full court press on the marketplace and in the process, the step counters of the world and health apps tied to devices capable of tracking real-time biostatistics, are revolutionizing the way…more

PTAB Applies Collateral Estoppel to Exclude Purported Patent Owner

The PTAB issued an order applying collateral estoppel to determine that one purported owner of U.S. Patent 7,215,752 and U.S. Patent 7,844,041 (the “challenged patents”) had no authority to act as the patent owner in Microsoft Corp. v…more

Government Solidifies 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

Does Psychological Problems Excuse Me from Suicide Attempt Charges?

Question: I’ve been having family problems and I’m in a bad psychological state. I tried to commit suicide but I was arrested and face charges. Can my bad psychological condition be used as an excuse to avoid jail or at least reduce…more

Is Congress Poised To Reform Laws Affecting The Gig Economy?

In recent months, we’ve blogged about New Year’s predictions for the freelance or gig economy in 2017, New Year resolutions, and what the Trump presidency might mean for gig workers in general, (specifically, the President’s…more

Texas District Court Dismisses SOX Whistleblower Claim For Lack of Protected Activity

On March 21, 2017, the Northern District of Texas dismissed a former employee’s whistleblower retaliation claim on the ground that her allegations of fraud were too far removed from potentially harming the shareholders of a…more

Financial Services Quarterly Report - First Quarter 2017: DIFC Lowers Cost of Entry for Fund Managers

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the leading financial hubs in the Middle East. Its funds regime – administered and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) – has been updated a number of…more

Increased Scrutiny of Visa Applications and Possible Delays

On March 17, 2017, the Department of State (“DOS”), through the Secretary of State, issued a cable to all US consulates and embassies with guidance on enhanced screening and vetting of applications for US visas and other immigration…more

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Adopts Broad View of Whistleblower Protection Under Dodd Frank

On March 8, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Dodd Frank anti-retaliation provisions protect individuals who complain internally and are not strictly limited to those individuals who make an…more

Mobile Payment Patent Remains Legal Tender after Alice Challenge

In the post-Alice world, patents that relate in any material way to financial processes or systems have come under increased attacks in the early stages of infringement litigation—as defendants aim to secure a cheap and fast exit from…more

FRANCHISEE 101: Technical Disclosure Violations

The consequences to an unwitting franchisor can be severe when it fails to provide disclosure documents required by franchise law. Most franchise laws provide for rescission of the franchise agreement, allowing the franchisee to…more

Japan Legal Update - Volume 23 | March 2017

On January 20, 2017, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare issued the "Guidelines for Employers to Appropriately Manage Their Employees' Working Hours" ("Guidelines"). While the Guidelines basically follow the "Standards for…more

The IRS Provides Updated Guidance on Hardship Distributions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued updated audit guidelines for its agents regarding the substantiation requirements for hardship withdrawals from 401(k) and 403(b) plans. This guidance is welcome news for plan sponsors…more

News from AGG's Retail Industry Team - Spring Edition

By now, we’ve all realized that rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have materially impacted a number of industries during their relatively short lifetimes. For this real estate lawyer, 2016 represented the year in which these…more

Supreme Court’s Evolving Approach to Special Education

In Endrew F., et al. v. Douglas County School District (No. 15-827), the Supreme Court of the United States expanded on its long-standing interpretation of the substantive right to a “free appropriate public education” (known as FAPE)…more

Supreme Court Holds Cheerleader Uniform Designs Are Copyrightable

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held that decorative designs affixed to cheerleader uniforms may be entitled to copyright protection under the Copyright Act of 1976. The decision determined the proper approach to analyzing whether…more

Sovereign Immunity and Inter Partes Review: Protection From Post-Grant Proceedings for Universities and Affiliated Entities?

Since its inception in 2012, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has invalidated a slew of patents in inter partes review (IPR), leading some to characterize the nascent body as the “patent death squad.” As such, patentees’…more

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