General Business Conflict of Laws

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Do Arbitration Agreements Between Nursing Homes and Patients Violate Public Policy-- or Are They Enforceable Under the FAA?

The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) provides for enforcement of arbitration agreements in a “contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce” in the district court. A nursing home sought to enforce arbitration agreements...more

Waiting for Gorsuch: SCOTUS Kicks Important Class-Action Waiver Case to Next Term

Last week, the United States Supreme Court informed litigants in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that it is pushing the case to its October 2017 term. The lawsuit, which rose up through the Western District of Wisconsin and the...more

Misappropriation Versus the Copyright Act: Round 2 in the Fifth Circuit

A few months ago, Trade Secrets Watch covered the GlobeRanger Corp. case in which the Fifth Circuit joined 10 other circuits in determining that the Copyright Act does not preempt state trade secret misappropriation claims....more

South Carolina Court of Appeals, in Olds v. City of Goose Creek, Affirms Circuit Court Order Regarding Definition of Gross Income...

In Olds v. City of Goose Creek, 2016 S.C. App. LEXIS 147, the South Carolina Court of Appeals provides a thorough discussion of the application of the South Carolina business license tax to a taxpayer’s gross income. The...more

Fourth Circuit Concludes That State Law Claims For Life Insurance Benefits Are Preempted

The Fourth Circuit recently concluded that a Sears employee’s state law claims seeking money damages based on denial of insurance benefits (for failure to submit evidence of insurability questionnaire) was preempted by...more

Two States Buck FAA Preemption, While Alabama Stays the Course

Three state supreme courts tackled arbitration law in recent weeks: Alabama, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. Rhode Island reversed a construction arbitration award because it disagreed with the arbitrator’s analysis. ...more

The Super-Priority Saga Continues – Nevada Supreme Court Holds That NRS 116’s Notice Provisions Are Constitutional

The Ninth Circuit sent shockwaves through the mortgage industry when it held that NRS 116—the statute allowing an HOA to impose a nominal super-priority lien that can extinguish a senior deed of trust when foreclosed—was...more

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

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

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