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Environmental Protection Agency Adopts National Limits on Formaldehyde Exposure for Composite Wood Products

On December 12, 2016, EPA published the final Formaldehyde Standards For Composite Wood Products Rule (the Rule) in the Federal Register. The compliance date for most aspects of the Rule is December 12, 2017, with a sell-through…more

Year in Review: Legislation and Guidance for Financial Institutions in 2016

The regulation of federally regulated financial institutions (FRFIs) continued intensifying in 2016 with a new wave of legislative and regulatory initiatives impacting mortgage lending, the bank resolution regime, the life insurance…more

SEC – GM Settle Internal Controls Action

Effective internal controls are critical to any organization. The Commission has focused on these controls, brining enforcement actions in recent months tied to internal control issues. Its latest case in this area names General Motors…more

Does Your Nursing Home Discharge Notice Comply with the New Federal Requirements?

Long-term care providers should check their form notice of discharge to ensure that it complies with the new requirements sent forth in 42 C.F.R. § 483.15. The updates to this regulation were effective November 28, 2016…more

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Fate of Class-Action Waivers

As many employers may remember, on August, 22, 2016, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that class-action waivers in mandatory employee arbitration agreements were unlawful, holding that a…more

SCOTUS to Resolve Split Over Enforceability of Class Arbitration Waivers in Employment Agreements

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of three cases addressing the enforceability of mandatory arbitration agreements with class action waivers in the employment setting. These agreements require employees to…more

2 Ways Courts Approach Willful Infringement After Halo

This article analyzes how district courts have addressed the sufficiency of pleading enhanced damages after Halo at the motion to dismiss stage. (The first article in this two-part series considered district court decisions on enhanced…more

IRS Formalizes Transcripts as Substitute for Estate Tax Closing Letters

In 2005, I discussed how the IRS had posted information on its website that an account transcript notation bearing transaction code “421” could be used to determine that the IRS had concluded its review of a filed estate tax return and…more

PHMSA Adjusts Incident Reporting in Response to Public Comment

The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently revised submission requirements for incident reporting by operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. While the December 27, 2016 notice appears largely…more

Judges discriminated against in judicial pension scheme reforms

Six High Court judges have succeeded in their claims against the Ministry of Justice about the introduction of the judicial pension scheme reforms. All six judges alleged that they had been discriminated against on the grounds of age…more

Democratic leadership plans to oppose change in CFPB structure

As Inauguration Day approaches, the rhetoric about the CFPB’s future continues to heat up.  American Banker reported that, on a conference call with reporters earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer stated that that…more

NYDFS: A Lawyer’s Responsibility

New York Financial Regulator to Enforce First-of-Its-Kind Cybersecurity Regulations in Coming Weeks - On December 28, 2016, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued revised cybersecurity regulations that, as of…more

Infringement by equivalence and patentability of intermediates in Italy

By decision of December 2nd, 2016, No 24658, Industriale Chimica S.r.l. vs Bayer Pharma AG, the Italian Supreme Court ruled on the infringement by equivalence and on the patentability of intermediates…more

Case Halted: California Court Denies Class Certification in Ford Defective Steering Case

On December 22, 2016, a federal District Court Judge in the Northern District of California denied certification of three proposed classes of statewide consumers who purchased or leased certain Ford Fusion or Ford Focus vehicles. The…more

80% of Oil and Gas Injection Wells under EPA Review Will Not be Shut-In on February 15

As an update to our prior blog post, on January 17, 2017, the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) released a letter sent to notify the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) of California’s progress…more

PII Training Required for Government Contractors, Effective Jan. 19

Beginning January 19, federal government contracts will contain additional training requirements for contractors who deal with personally identifiable information (PII) or with a system of records…more

The International Foreign Bribery Taskforce and the rise of international cooperation among anti-corruption authorities

Recent events have called attention to the increasingly global nature of anti-corruption investigations and the rise in international cooperation among anti-corruption authorities. One such event involves the activities of the…more

The Commencement of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect – a New and Direct Way to Access China's Capital Market

Following the official launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect ("Shanghai Connect") on 17 November 2014, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") and the China Securities Regulatory Commission ("CSRC") made a…more

EPA Proposes to Require $7+ Billion of Financial Assurances from U.S. Hardrock Mining Industry Under CERCLA Section 108(b)

Last week the EPA officially published its proposal to impose over $7 billion of financial assurance requirements on the owners and operators of currently active or idle hardrock mines and mineral processing facilities. 82 Fed. Reg…more

New York Employers Be Prepared: 2018 Will Usher in Changes to Family Leave Policies

In 2018, New York is enacting the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law. The paid leave law will be gradually phased in, and beginning on January 1, 2018, employees will be able to take up to 8 weeks of paid family leave. By 2021…more

Delaying a Bankruptcy for Shareholder Benefit May Benefit the Creditors After All

Equity holders and sponsors be wary - a new arrow may now be available in the quiver of potential causes of action that creditors and trustees can use to maximize their recovery in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. In a recent decision in…more

DOJ Files Lawsuit Against Minnesota Bank Over Alleged Minority Redlining Practices

On January 13, 2017, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that it had filed a lawsuit against a Minnesota bank, stemming from allegations that the bank engaged in illegal “redlining” of minority neighborhoods in the…more

Rolls-Royce Global Enforcement Action, Part II

Today I continue my exploration of the Rolls-Royce global corruption enforcement action which included the largest fine to-date under the UK Bribery Act, with its total fines and penalties under three agreements being around £671…more

Merger and Purchase Agreements Governed by Maryland Law: “Best Efforts"

Merger and purchase agreements involving Maryland corporations and REITs may be governed by Maryland law. For lawyers accustomed to agreements governed by Delaware or New York law, we are frequently asked to describe key differences…more

Switzerland and the United States Agree Privacy Shield Framework

The governments of Switzerland and the United States finalised the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework on 11 January. The Framework is similar in many respects to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, and replaces the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor…more

Requiring Non-Competes for Low Level Employees Raises Increasing Risks for Employers

A client recently asked us to draft a non-competition agreement that would prevent entry level machinists from working for a competitor for one year following their departure from employment. When we asked the client about the reasons…more

New "Smart" Form I-9 Goes Into Effect January 22, 2017: Smith Anderson

Beginning January 22, 2017, employers will be required to use a new version of Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of their workforce. The new version includes a number of substantive changes, as well as…more

EPA Confirms Vehicle Emission Standards for 2022-2025

As expected, on January 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its Final Determination affirming the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for model year 2022-2025 light-duty vehicles. While EPA had until…more

Retailers Seek to Improve Website Accessibility Following Surge of ADA Claims

Retailers have faced a wave of demand letters and lawsuits recently alleging that their websites are inaccessible in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (the “ADA”), despite the fact that the ADA and its…more

Court Approves Direct Payment Of Reinsurance To Insured In Reliance Insurance Company Liquidation

The court handling the liquidation of Reliance Insurance Company has approved an application for the direct payment of reinsurance proceeds by United Insurance Company to Reliance’s insured, Hoechst Celanese Corporation, with respect…more

Southern District of New York Issues a Troublesome Corporate Privilege Case

Most courts applying privilege principles automatically treat wholly-owned subsidiaries' employees as if they were the parent's employees. However, occasionally courts take a narrower view. In Au New Haven, LLC v. YKK Corp.…more

Summary of FDA Guidance on the Nonproprietary Naming of Biological Products

On January 12, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) released a final Guidance for Industry, Nonproprietary Naming of Biological Products, as part of the Agency’s ongoing efforts to implement the Biologics Price…more

Indiana Tax Court deep freezes sales tax exemptions for Warehouse Operator’s purchases of equipment and electricity

In Merchandise Warehouse Co., Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue (Jan. 11, 2017), the Indiana Tax Court rejected a Taxpayer’s request for a sales tax exemption for certain freezer equipment and the electricity used to power…more

Due Diligence for Energy and Commodity Asset Acquisitions

This alert is the first in a series focusing on mergers and acquisitions in the energy and commodities sector. Over the series, we will examine various issues that arise at key stages of the acquisition and divestment…more

Blog: KPMG Surveys Audit Committee Concerns

What are audit committee members’ greatest concerns? Audit committee members participating in KPMG’s 2017 Global Audit Committee Pulse Survey identified risk management as the biggest challenge for audit committees in 2017, with 42% of…more

OSHA Issues Final Rule Clarifying Ongoing Recordkeeping Obligations

OSHA is scheduled to publish a final rule January 19, 2017 in the Federal Register, clarifying an employer’s ongoing duty to correct records of injuries and illnesses. The rule, which modifies 29 CFR Part 1904, will become effective on…more

Obama Administration Finalizes Changes to Home Health Conditions of Participation

CMS has finalized extensive changes to the conditions of participation (CoPs) that home health agencies (HHAs) must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The rule is intended to provide HHAs with enhanced…more

Supreme Court Decides Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corporation

On January 18, 2017, the Supreme Court decided Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corporation, No. 14-1055, holding that Fannie Mae’s corporate charter, which gives Fannie Mae the power “to sue and be sued, and to complain and defend, in…more

Burr Alert: New Requirements of Participation for Skilled Nursing Facilities

On October 4, 2016, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released the final rules regarding the requirements of participation for skilled nursing facilities. One of the most significant changes to the regulations is…more

Recent OFCCP settlements remind contractors about importance of recordkeeping

Within the past month, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has announced two settlements and filed one administrative complaint involving alleged discrimination in the hiring process. Southern Glazer’s Wine and…more

Outgoing Homeland Security Chief: Cyber Security Has Improved But More Work Remains to Be Done

Following an election season characterized by missing emails, private servers and personal laptops, and amidst pervasive allegations of Russian cybercrimes, outgoing Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson issued an exit memo…more

NIOSH Accepting Input on How Best to Protect Workers, Including in Nanotechnology

John Howard, M.D., Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), authored a January 10, 2017, NIOSH blog item entitled “Occupational Health Issues in the USA.” Howard shares a recent editorial he wrote…more

Tax Season Becomes "Spear Phishing" Season for Cybercriminals

Imagine this scenario. Your HR team receives an email from your CEO: "I want you to send me W-2s of employees' wage and tax statement for 2015, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment." They hurry to get the boss…more

Federal district court certifies interlocutory appeal in CFPB lawsuit against CashCall

The California federal district court judge who is presiding over the CFPB’s lawsuit against CashCall and several related companies that funded, purchased, serviced, and collected online installment loans has granted the defendants’…more

College Pays Bitcoin Ransom to Unlock Encrypted Data

The scourge of “ransomware”—malicious computer viruses that prevent entities from accessing their own data until they pay a ransom—has spread to the higher education sphere. In early January 2017, a California public community…more

Reimbursement Changes for Hospital Off-Campus Provider-Based Departments

Off-campus provider-based departments (PBDs) of hospitals face changes in reimbursement beginning Jan. 1, 2017, the effective date of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) final…more

US and EU Negotiate Covered Agreement on Insurance and Reinsurance Regulation

On January 13, 2017, the US Department of the Treasury and the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced they have negotiated a “covered agreement” on behalf of the United States (US) with the European Union (EU). The…more

Texas Court Enjoins Enforcement of Regulation that Would Forbid Discrimination in Healthcare on the Basis of Gender Identity and Termination of Pregnancy

As LGBTQ rights have taken center stage in political and social issues, FordHarrison has been following ground-breaking litigation related to LGBTQ rights and providing updates. In the latest decision, a federal judge in Texas…more

340B Update: HRSA Finalizes 340B Pricing & Penalties for Drug Manufacturers

On January 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”) issued a final rule on the calculation of drug ceiling prices under the 340B Drug Pricing…more

Safeguarding Every Veteran's Benefits: Lessons From Bruce V. Mcdonald, 2017 WL 57172

On January 5, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims rejected the assertion by the Veteran’s Administration (VA) and the Board of Veterans Appeals (the Board) that a service member who requested a discharge in…more

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