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Arizona Trade Secrets Grow New Teeth

Over the last 18 months, the courts had diluted Arizona trade secret protections, notwithstanding the recent criminalization of trade secret theft by the AZ legislature. Today, however, the Arizona Supreme Court breathed new...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Return to Pension Debates

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to return once again to what surely must be the most controversial subject at the moment in all of Illinois’ civil law: public pensions. Matthews v....more

Watch For A New Wave Of ERISA Stock Drop Cases

Plan fiduciaries may create a fiduciary duty in stock drop cases by incorporating filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission into the Summary Plan Description. We have been waiting for the Ninth Circuit to...more

Omnicare Court Ponders Two Middle Paths: One Rocky, One Smooth

Monday’s oral argument before the Supreme Court in Laborers District Counsel Construction Industry Pension Fund v. Omnicare, Inc., (“Omnicare”) was remarkable in that, as Omnicare attorney Kannon Shanmugam noted, it was the...more

Believe It or Not? In Omnicare, the Supreme Court Considers the Standard of Liability for Statements of Opinion

Americans take as given the right to hold and express opinions. So it may come as a surprise to many that the federal securities laws impose civil liability for statements of opinion. It may be even more surprising that...more

Where Did My Customer Go? Some Pleading Parameters for Tortious Interference

A Federal court in New York recently provided some pleading parameters for employers for claims of tortious interference with business relations....more

To Catch an E-Thief — Under Federal Property Law

As businesses move away from paper documents, courts are poised to broaden ‘conversion’ definition. The fundamental shift for busi­nesses in the past 15 years from paper documents to computer data has forced the courts...more

FCRA Preempts Tortious Interference Claim, Says NJ Court

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)—a federal law that regulates the collection and use of “consumer information”—covers employers who solicit third-party vendors known as consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) to run background...more

Life Insurer Prevails in First Circuit Appeal in ERISA Class Action Challenging Retained Asset Accounts

In a unanimous panel decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed a trial court’s ruling that the defendant, Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum), had breached fiduciary duties under the...more

Absent an Initial Showing That It Is a Fiduciary, Employer Is Immune from Breach of Fiduciary Liability Claim under ERISA in the...

In Moon v. BWX Technologies, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12525 (4th Cir. July 2, 2014), the Fourth Circuit rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims, determining that an employer’s failure to alert an employee...more

Reasonable Fee Issues for Fiduciaries on the Horizon

The Supreme Court is poised to address whether fiduciaries' decisions—especially in using fee sharing arrangements—are subject to deference when challenged. The Eighth and Ninth Circuit courts recently decided these issues,...more

Supreme Court to Review Application of ERISA’s Six-Year Statute of Limitations in Tibble v. Edison Int’l.

On October 2, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States granted the plaintiffs’ petition for a writ of certiorari in Tibble v. Edison International to answer “Whether a claim that [Employee Retirement Income Security Act]...more

Some Limited Trouble with Tibble? – Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Excessive-Fee Case Involving 401(k) Plan

The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari on October 2, 2014 in the case of Tibble v. Edison International, for the narrow purpose of reviewing the holding by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the statute of limitations...more

First Circuit Rules for Insurers in Two Retained Asset Account Cases; An Insurer Does not Need “to Don the Commercial Equivalent...

The First Circuit recently decided two ERISA cases challenging the use of retained asset accounts in favor of the insurer-defendants. The decisions are Merrimon v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 758 F.3d 46, 50 (1st Cir. 2014)...more

Supreme Court Urged to Consider Excessive Fee Case

The Supreme Court will soon announce whether it will address the scope of ERISA’s six-year statute of repose when applied to a claim that investments selected more than six years before suit commenced were imprudent due to...more

What Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer May Mean for ERISA Stock-Drop Litigation

Did the future course of “stock-drop” litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) against fiduciaries of public company employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) take a sharp turn on June 25, 2014, when...more

Tennessee Court Of Appeals Issues New Guidance On Trade Secret Issues

On August 19, 2014, the Tennessee Court of Appeals became the first Tennessee appellate court to address the scope to which Tennessee’s Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) preempts common law claims related to unfair competition...more

Summer Fraud and Abuse Roundup

The federal government was busy over the summer when it came to decisions and settlements under the Stark Law, anti-kickback law and federal False Claims Act. This article revisits recent developments with respect to...more

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Important Decision Affecting Fiduciaries of ESOPs

In a recent decision, Fifth Third Bankcorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 189 L.Ed. 2d 457 (2014), the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the “presumption of prudence” previously given to fiduciaries of employee-owned stock ownership plans (ESOPs)...more

Fourth Circuit Adopts More Demanding Test for Exercise of Objective Prudence by Retirement Plan Fiduciaries -Tatum v. RJR Pension...

In the latest ruling in a long-running battle arising from company stock fund divestments, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has underscored the importance of procedural prudence in the management of plan...more

Supreme Court Sets New Standards for ERISA Stock-Drop Cases

In the Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer decision issued June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the “Moench presumption”, a presumption of prudence for employer stock held in an ESOP or a 401(k) plan company...more

Alternative Theories To Address Former Employee Competition Where There Are No Covenants

A recent Connecticut Superior Court case demonstrates that all is not lost for an employer when a former employee without a non-compete or a non-solicitation covenant leaves and competes. Wentworth, DeAngelis & Kaufman, Inc....more

Supreme Court Rules No Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries

The United States Supreme Court clarified the duty of prudence that employee stock ownership plan fiduciaries owe to plan participants in its June 25, 2014 decision Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer 134 S.Ct. 2459 (U.S....more

Interfere at Your Own Risk: Legal Fees Awarded as Damages for Violating A Non-Compete Agreement

We all know the default American Rule for attorneys’ fees: unless you get fees in a contract or from a statute, you shouldn’t count on someone else paying the freight if you win your case. But a recent non-compete case brings...more

A New Reality for ESOP Fiduciaries - Company Stock Investments for Employee Participants in Retirement Plans of Public and...

For the ESOP fiduciary of a publicly traded employer, the Supreme Court has made clear that non-public insider information is not required to be used in reaching a decision to buy, hold or sell employer securities....more

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