General Business Conflict of Laws

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Federal Circuit Decision Settles GAO/COFC Split on Agency’s Use of Cooperative Agreements

In March, the Federal Circuit settled a split between the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) and the Court of Federal Claims that focused on the gray area between cooperative agreements and procurement contracts. Siding...more

Another California Court Does Backflips To Thwart Arbitration And Elevate The Class-Action Device

The hostility of some California courts to arbitration—and their resistance to preemption under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA)—has produced nearly three decades of U.S. Supreme Court reversals. The most recent is AT&T...more

Court Sanctions Party For Improper Removal Of Action Seeking Confirmation Of Arbitration Award

The facts in Jackson v. Sleek Audio, LLC, et. al., Case No. 13-80725-CIV-Marra (S.D. Fla. March 17, 2014) stemmed from an arbitrators award against Curtis Jackson (“Jackson”) in his action against former business associates,...more

Federal Preemption Does Not Preclude State Law Claim Based on Alleged HAMP Violations, Minnesota Supreme Court Holds

The Supreme Court of Minnesota last week reversed the dismissal of a borrower’s action against a loan servicer arising out of the servicer’s alleged breach of its Servicer Participation Agreement (SPA) with Fannie Mae under...more

A Bad Turn For Reg A+ And Reg D?

SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar gave a speech to an annual conference of the North American Securities Administrators Association, otherwise known as NASAA. On the issue of Reg A+ preemption of state law, the Commissioner...more

U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Reverses Ninth Circuit in Northwest, Inc. v. Ginsberg, Holding ADA Preempts State-Imposed Fair...

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously holds that the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) preempts a state-law claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing where it seeks to enlarge the parties' voluntary...more

Waiting for Iskanian, Part 3 - Friends of the Plaintiff

As we await Thursday's oral argument before the California Supreme Court in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation of Los Angeles, in Part 3 of our series of posts, we'll take a look at the amici curiae supporting plaintiffs. ...more

Tenant’s Use – Illegal or Not?

Impact on lease provisions of state laws allowing marijuana cultivation and distribution. The State of California was a pioneer in legalizing the use, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana in varying forms. In...more

Update on State Statutes Restricting "Out-of-State" Arbitrations - IADC ADR Committee Chair Val Stieglitz of Nexsen Pruet reports...

Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in 1925 to place arbitration agreements on the same footing as other contracts.1 Under the FAA, an arbitration provision “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save...more

Marijuana Taxation Update: State Sanctioned Marijuana Industry Must Keep the Federal Anti-Drug Trafficking Tax Code in Mind

As we have previously reported, despite the growing number of States that have authorized the use of marijuana in various forms, the federal government has continued to crack down on dispensaries. In addition to direct...more

Angels Rush in Where Fools Fear to Tread: State Enforcement Against Patent Trolls

I. INTRODUCTION - Nobody likes trolls — those mythical creatures, “considered dangerous to human beings,” who hide under bridges waiting to prey on unsuspecting travelers. Like their mythological namesakes, patent...more

FinCEN Issues Guidance for Financial Institutions Seeking to Provide Services to Marijuana-Related Businesses

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued guidance (the “Guidance”) to clarify FinCEN’s expectations as to how financial institutions (“FIs” and each an “FI”) will meet their compliance requirements under the...more

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Update: FinCEN Issues Guidance For Financial Institutions Providing Services To Marijuana-Related...

On February 14, 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued its guidance “BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses” in an effort to clarify Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) expectations for...more

Securities Regulator “Surprised and Offended” By SEC’s Regulation A+ Proposal

Section 401 of the JOBS Act directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt rules exempting offerings of up to $50 million of securities annually from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as...more

Tenth Circuit Holds FAA Preempts New Mexico Unconscionability Law

New Mexico law considers arbitration provisions that apply primarily to the claims that one party to the contract is likely to bring to be unconscionable and unenforceable. This law, the Tenth Circuit holds, is preempted by...more

Tenth Circuit Holds FAA Preempts New Mexico Law On Unenforceability Of Unconscionable Arbitration Provisions

On January 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts New Mexico common law that a compulsory-arbitration provision in a contract may be unconscionable and...more

On Closer Inspection, This CII “Best Practice” May Be Neither Good Nor Legal

The Council of Institutional Investors has adopted what it describes as ”a comprehensive body of corporate governance best practices”, including Policies on Corporate Governance. I question, however, whether some of these...more

First Circuit Ruling in Foreclosure Litigation May Help Lenders Facing HAMP-Related Claims

The law is well settled that borrowers do not have a direct right of action under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) against a lender that fails to offer a loan modification. A split of authority continues,...more

Bankruptcy Court defines limits of shareholder safe harbor in failed leveraged buyouts

An opinion issued in connection with the bankruptcy cases of Lyondell Chemical Company and its affiliates may have significant implications for shareholders who receive payments in connection with a leveraged buyout when the...more

SEC Releases Proposed Rules on Regulation A-Plus

In yet another effort to display Congress' commitment to the "democratization of access to capital," the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") has proposed rule amendments to Regulation A under the Securities Act of...more

Industry Group To Weigh In On GMO Labeling Debate

With the rise in state legislative efforts to require labeling for foods produced using genetic engineering or “GMOs,” the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is poised to enter the labeling debate by working with federal...more

Complete Versus Conflict Preemption In ERISA Cases

Both state and federal courts have original jurisdiction over ERISA benefits actions. See29 U.S.C. § 1132(e)(1), ERISA § 502(e)(1). But litigants (and defendants in particular) have historically preferred the federal courts,...more

Ninth Circuit: City Requirement That Cell-Tower Company Obtain Voter Approval Upheld

When T-Mobile sought to place a cell-tower in a park owned by the City of Huntington Beach, California, the City granted the company all the regulatory approvals it required. But the City also informed T-Mobile that before...more

“Loath to create a circuit split,” the Fifth Circuit Overturns NLRB’s D.R. Horton Ruling that Class Arbitration Waivers in...

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently rendered its long-awaited decision in D.R. Horton, Inc. v. NLRB, No. 12-60031 (5th Cir. Dec. 3, 2013), revised December 4, 2013, which reversed the National Labor Relations Board...more

Class Action Waiver in Arbitration Agreement Survives NLRA Challenge

Finding the National Labor Relations Board failed to give appropriate weight to the Federal Arbitration Act, the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a Board decision invalidating an arbitration agreement that...more

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