General Business Conflict of Laws

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Virginia Court Dismisses RICO Claim Against WYO Flood Insurer and Its Adjusters

The preemptive effect of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on overlapping claims asserted by policyholders based on federal and state common law theories of liability is well established. “Numerous courts have held...more

Courts Disagree on Whether Locally Enacted "Right-to-Work" Laws Are Pre-empted by the NLRA - Illinois District Court and Sixth...

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) generally permits private sector employers and unions to agree to include "union security" provisions in their collective bargaining agreements. Union security provisions promote...more

Smart Cannabis Businesses are Staking a Claim to Their Intellectual Property

Yes, cannabis is still listed as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance; and yes, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not register trademarks for cannabis strains. But there are still a number of creative...more

California Court Permits Whistleblowing Lawyer To Use Privileged Information

A California Federal Magistrate Judge in Sanford S. Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. et al., No. 3:15-cv-02356 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2016), recently ruled that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act preempts California’s ethical rules...more

Despite Privilege, GC May Pursue Whistleblower Retaliation Suit under SOX and Dodd–Frank

California’s USDC–ND ruled that Bio-Rad Laboratories’ former General Counsel may use privileged communications to prove his retaliatory-discharge case prosecuted under Sarbanes–Oxley and Dodd–Frank’s whistleblower...more

Labor and Employment Group News: Independent Contractor or “Employee, Inc.”?

It is usually the case that when you contract for services with another company you have engaged it as an "independent contractor." And, as a result, its employees cannot claim that you owe them overtime pay....more

FPPC Weighs in on Recreational Marijuana Ethics Issues

Local officials handling recreational marijuana issues will find guidance in two advice letters issued by the Fair Political Practices Commission in the wake of last month’s passage of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of...more

Road Map to Europe II - Bridging the Documentation Gap Between the US and Europe in Venture Capital Transactions

It's a common issue: a US venture capitalist and a European company agree on the commercial terms of an investment transaction and think that the hard work is done but quickly find themselves at an impasse over the way the...more

Third Circuit Reverses Order Denying Arbitration, Ruling That State Law Prohibiting Arbitration Of Insurance Matters Challenged...

Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company appealed from the denial of its motion to compel arbitration in a dispute related to a reinsurance participation contract with South Jersey Sanitation Company. The trial...more

Oregon State Court of Appeals Recognizes Federal Slayer Law

Oregon, like many states, has on its books a “slayer statute,” which generally prohibits a slayer or abuser of a decedent from obtaining benefits by virtue of the death of the decedent. The parents of Julianne Herinckx...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Is It a Franchise? Yes and No

A federal court in Indiana made an interesting decision on whether a business relationship was a franchise. Wabash National Corp. is a famous maker of semitrailers. Wabash notified a dealer in Texas that its dealership was...more

SCOTUS Accepts Review of Kentucky Nursing Home Arbitration Case

On October 28, the Supreme Court granted a cert petition in a case in which the Kentucky Supreme Court refused to enforce arbitration agreements in nursing home agreements.  (Kentucky recently topped my list of states hostile...more

FAQ About California’s New Law on Venue and Choice of Law in Employment Agreements

We recently blogged about Governor Brown signing S.B. 1241, which is now codified as Section 925 of the California Labor Code. The law, which affects venue and choice of law provisions in agreements entered into as a...more

When the TTB says no but the Pa.L.C.B. says yes: When do you need a COLA for off-premises growler sales?

Simply put, if you are a Pennsylvania brewery and looking to sell your products in growlers or crowlers for off-premises consumption, the answer to the question posed above is ALWAYS! Recently, we have been approached by...more

State-law Based Claims Against Parties Other than the United States Seeking Damages Arising Out of the Procurement of Flood...

Harris v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 4174381 (6th Cir. Aug. 8, 2016) - Case at a Glance - Plaintiffs purchased a home located in a federal flood zone, but they did not purchase...more

Commercial Restructuring & Bankruptcy Alert - October 2016

Welcome to the October 2016 issue of the CR&B Alert, the newsletter produced by Reed Smith's Commercial Restructuring & Bankruptcy Group. Excerpt from newsletter: DELAWARE AND NEW YORK AT ODDS OVER RECLAMATION...more

Are Waivers of Liability Enforceable in New York?

We have probably all seen them in the “fine print” at one time or another: waivers of liability, injury waivers, or pre-injury clauses we have to sign before taking part in some type of activity. Waivers of liability have...more

Broadening Split on Viability of Class Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements Invites SCOTUS

In the years following the U.S. Supreme Court’s AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion decision, more and more courts enforced class waivers in arbitration agreements based on the commands of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The...more

Can Disputes Related To Procurement Of Federal Flood Insurance Policies Be Litigated In State Court?

It is well-established that claim processing and wrongful denial of coverage disputes involving federal flood insurance policies belong in federal court because they present substantial questions of federal law. The U.S....more

Recent Developments in Acquisition Finance

A recent Delaware bankruptcy court decision may potentially place at risk an equity sponsor’s ability to retain proceeds from the sale of a portfolio company whose performance later deteriorates, where the selling sponsor...more

Introduction to the Legal System of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

This article sets out a brief overview of the legal system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and should be treated only as a general guide and not as legal advice. Please see full Memo below for more information. ...more

U.S. Agency Prohibits Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency within the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, has issued a final rule that includes prohibiting nursing homes and other long-term care facilities from...more

A Sovereign Thumb on the Scale: Appeals Court Defers to China’s Interpretation of Its Own Laws To Dismiss Antitrust Suit

The Second Circuit recently set aside a $147 million verdict against two Chinese companies accused of conspiring to fix the price and supply of vitamin C sold to U.S. buyers. In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation. The panel...more

WSGR Persuades Second Circuit to Overturn $150 Million Judgment Against Chinese Vitamin C Manufacturers

On September 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its decision in a closely watched dispute over the question of whether foreign companies may be held liable under U.S. antitrust law for price...more

Judge Oetken Holds That Forum-Selection Clause in License Agreement Does Not Trump First-to-File Rule Altogether

On September 16, 2016, District Judge J. Paul Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) denied plaintiff Comcast Corp.’s (“Comcast”) motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin defendant Rovi Corp. (“Rovi”) from continuing to litigate its...more

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