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Read Business Torts updates, news, and legal commentary from leading lawyers and law firms:

The Questionable Non-Compete: How to Hire Someone but Avoid a Tortious Interference Claim

by Nilan Johnson Lewis PA on

The Scenario - Your company has a great applicant for a job opening, Jane, but you learn during the interview process that Jane signed a non-compete agreement with her current employer. You can quickly spot some reasons...more

Drip Drip Drip - Is the DOL's Fiduciary Rule Slowly Going Down the Drain?

by Dechert LLP on

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) today (August 9, 2017) submitted a Notice of Administrative Action in the Thrivent v. Acosta litigation (D. Minn.). The Notice relates to the final regulation that defines who is a...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Case, Using Securities Fraud Standard

The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed a grant of summary judgment in an employer’s favor, dismissing a SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation case based on the plaintiff’s lack of an objectively reasonable belief of...more

Checklist for Strengthening Your Defenses to 401k Plan Class Actions

The last ten years have seen a proliferation of high-profile class actions alleging breach of ERISA fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty against plan fiduciaries. The claims are usually based upon alleged excessive...more

Exhaustion of Plan Administrative Remedies: Important Considerations Following Hitchcock v. Cumberland

Recently, the Sixth Circuit ruled in Hitchcock v. Cumberland University 403(b) Plan that pension plan participants are not required to exhaust their plan’s administrative remedies before pursuing claims alleging statutory...more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2017

by Hodgson Russ LLP on

The Employee Benefits practice group is pleased to present the Benefits Developments Newsletter for the month of July, 2017. Class Action Plaintiffs Target University 403(b) Plans - In June, an ERISA action – a proposed...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Manual Overload

by Lewitt Hackman on

A franchisor's investment in brand standards, protection and control often comes at a cost when a consumer believing or claiming to believe the franchisor and franchisee are the same, seeks to hold a franchisor liable for a...more

Checklist for Strengthening Your Defenses to 401(k) Plan Class Actions

The last ten years have seen a proliferation of high-profile class actions alleging breach of ERISA fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty against plan fiduciaries. The claims are usually based upon alleged excessive...more

Hirer of Independent Contractor Not Liable to Injured Contractor Employee

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The California Court of Appeal upheld the Privette doctrine, holding that an independent contractor’s employee generally may not recover tort damages for work-related injuries from the contractor’s hirer....more

Nevada Changes The Game On Non-Compete Agreements

by Fisher Phillips on

The Nevada Supreme Court has long recognized the legality of non-compete agreements between employers and employees. Recently, however, the Nevada state legislature updated the rules on non-compete agreements, specifying how...more

The Supreme Court Indirectly Stiffens A Fiduciary Breach Time Limit And Helps ERISA Fiduciaries In The Process

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Supreme Court appears to have barred equitable tolling under ERISA Section 413’s six-year statute of repose for fiduciary breach claims, subject only to well-pled allegations and proof of fraud or...more

How Key is the Employee? Identifying When an Employee is a Fiduciary

by Field Law on

A fiduciary employee is an employee trusted with a measure of responsibility by their employer. This in turn creates corresponding duties owed by the fiduciary that go over and above those normally owed by an employee to an...more

Non-Compete News – Third Circuit Says Tortious Interference with a Non-Compete Requires Actual Knowledge of the Agreement at Issue

by FordHarrison on

An employer hiring an individual known to be subject to a non-compete contract can expect to be accused of tortiously interfering with that contract. On the other hand, the hiring employer should be innocent of wrongdoing if...more

Independent Contractors & Consultants Can be Subject to Conflict of Interest Laws - California Supreme Court Sets New Precedent...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

In a watershed decision, the California Supreme Court held that independent contractors and consultants can be considered “employees” and subject to the conflict of interest provisions of Government Code 1090. This includes...more

Exculpatory Provisions Under Delaware Law: Say What You Mean And Mean What You Say

Exculpation provisions in operating agreements must be carefully crafted in order to protect members, managers, directors and officers for breaches of fiduciary duties...more

Nevada Enacts New Non-Compete Law

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

On June 3, 2017, Governor Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 276 into law, amending Nevada Revised Statute 613, which governs non-competition agreements. Notably, the law adds requirements to the enforceability and validity of...more

DOL Again Seeks Comments on New Fiduciary Rules and Exemptions

On June 29, 2017, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) requested another round of public comment on its fiduciary rule—this time in the form of a Request (“RFI”) for Information. The RFI seeks input on (a) whether to extend the...more

The Supreme Court Holds Statute of Repose Cannot Be Equitably Tolled

Securities defendants can rest easier after the Supreme Court’s decision to strictly construe certain statutory time limits under the Securities Act of 1933. On June 26, 2017, the Court issued its opinion in California Public...more

Why having a clear understanding with employees is important

by McNair Law Firm, P.A. on

Over the years, we have written a number of articles about the importance of making sure your employment documents contain clear, understandable language. One of our federal district judges was recently faced with an...more

Arbitration Provision Enforceable Despite Questions About Legitimacy Of Remainder Of Agreement

by Carlton Fields on

A New York state trial court has denied a motion to stay arbitration in an action brought by plaintiffs, a private equity firm and its affiliate, against defendants, two of plaintiffs’ former officers, despite plaintiffs’...more

Don’t “Hire” A Lawsuit: A New Employee’s Misappropriation of Trade Secrets May Quickly Become Your Own

by Fisher Phillips on

Companies commonly assume that they will only be sued for trade secret misappropriation if they or someone from their company steal the “secret sauce” of their competitor. Not true. A far more common way that companies get...more

Court Allows Trade-Secret Misappropriation Claim Based on Inevitable Disclosure

by Holland & Knight LLP on

A recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois allowed one company to sue its direct competitor for misappropriation of trade secrets based entirely on the improper taking of trade secrets...more

The Northern District of New York Applies the “Reasonable Belief” Standard

On May 11, 2017, the Northern District of New York applied the Second Circuit’s standard for evaluating a Dodd-Frank retaliation claim in response to a motion to dismiss under F.R.C.P. Rule 12(b)(6). The court denied the...more

Back to Basics – Costly Consequences of Ignoring Process in Benefits Administration

The stories of an employer and a long-term disability insurer and claims fiduciary for an ERISA plan, defendants in two recent cases, ring so true. In the first case, the insurer was designated as claims fiduciary for an...more

The Continuing Attack on Tribal Sovereign Immunity at the Supreme Court

by GableGotwals on

Immunity of tribal officers and employees from suit in state and federal court for tort liability should concern tribal governments engaged in gaming operations. Often, because of historical antecedents and general belief,...more

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