General Business Constitutional Law

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.
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D.C. Circuit Court “Tunes In” To SEC Administrative Court Debate

On September 29, 2015, the D.C. Circuit, the second federal appellate court to recently weigh in on the ongoing debate over SEC administrative actions, ruled in favor of the SEC in Jarkesy v. SEC, holding that federal courts...more

Blog: No Surprise Here: SEC And Amnesty File Petitions For En Banc Rehearing In The Conflict Minerals Case

To no one’s surprise, on Friday, the SEC and Amnesty International filed petitions for en banc rehearing in the conflict minerals case, National Association of Manufacturers, Inc. v. SEC. That case, decided two-to-one in...more

D.C. Circuit Repulses Assault on the SEC’s Administrative Citadel

The citadel of the SEC’s administrative forum has been under assault from several vectors over the past year or so, as a chorus of dissenting Respondents have mounted increasing challenges to its constitutional legitimacy, as...more

Conflicts Minerals Quagmire to Continue as En Banc Rehearing Requested

Both the SEC, the loser in the most recent conflict minerals rehearing decision, and Amnesty International, an intervenor on the losing rehearing side, have asked for an en banc rehearing on the recent rehearing of the...more

SEC Holds Its Admin Forum Isn’t Unconstitutional (!)

The SEC recently – and predictably – rejected a Respondents’ arguments challenging the constitutionality of the agency’s administrative forum. The September 17 Timbervest decision was the first of the constitutional...more

Business Law: The Distinction of Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other. Second Circuit Upholds New York’s Prohibition on...

After nearly two years in limbo, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that the New York law that prohibits merchants from imposing a surcharge on customers who use credit cards is constitutional and, therefore,...more

SEC Administrative Law Judge Appointments Held Likely Unconstitutional

Defendants in SEC administrative enforcement proceedings have increasingly been going to federal court to challenge the SEC’s stepped-up use of its "in-house" tribunal. While the early results were not promising, more recent...more

Fiat moves to dismiss proposed class action suit

Late last week, Fiat filed a Motion to Dismiss the proposed class action against it following reports of hacking into vehicle information systems and its announcement that it was recalling 1.4 million Dodge, Ram and Jeep...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending September 25, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Standing: plaintiff failed to meet the requirement of pre-suit ownership for standing where, although assignment contained a purported effective date before complaint was filed, it was...more

Phantom Injury Dooms “Shadow Insurance” Case

A recent federal district court decision dismissing a putative class action complaint against AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company may portend trouble for plaintiffs pursuing a number of similar so-called "shadow insurance"...more

Constitutional Right to Sell Beer?

Texas, like many states, has a patchwork of complicated, and often inconsistent, alcohol regulatory laws. A few years ago, Texas craft breweries were authorized to sell products to visitors for on-premises consumption. So, if...more

Accidentally On Purpose: Washington Court Finds Coverage For Contempt Of Court Based On “Misunderstanding”

Professional liability policies cover claims based on the insured’s alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions, and not claims for “sanctions or penalties” for “willful” professional misconduct. But the insurer’s duty to...more

Back in Court: DMA Argues Before the Tenth Circuit to Follow Quill

Direct Marketing Association (DMA) continued its fight against Colorado’s use tax reporting regime during oral arguments today before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. After getting sidetracked with a...more

Foreclosure Plaintiffs Cannot Rely Solely on Their Status as Parent Corporation

The ownership of the promissory note by a subsidiary corporation of the Plaintiff cannot alone establish standing to foreclose. In HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Ryan Kahan, et al., the Court granted the borrowers’ motion for...more

SEC Must Stop 2 Admin Cases Pending 2nd Circuit Constitutionality Decision

Two rulings last week ordered the SEC to stop administrative proceedings in two cases, pending the Second Circuit’s ruling on the constitutionality of its administrative forum. The Second Circuit stayed the SEC’s prosecution...more

SEC Seeks Increased Access to Email

Jacqui Merrill, an Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us with a posting on the SEC’s request for increased access to emails. In a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting held on September 16, 2015, Securities and...more

Second Circuit Stays SEC Administrative Proceeding

Defendants continue to pound nails into what may be to be the SEC’s coffin that its administrative proceedings are unconstitutional. If the genie is out of the bottle it’s hard to tell what the far reaching implications...more

Religious Institutions: September 2015

Respondeat superior (literally, "let the master answer" in Latin) is a doctrine that applies when an employer or principal has the ability and authority to direct and control the pertinent acts of the employee. Put otherwise,...more

SEC ALJ Dismisses Case: Inside-Info Trades, But No Tipper Benefit

An SEC administrative law judge (“ALJ”) found that former Wells Fargo trader Joseph Ruggieri traded on material nonpublic information tipped him by former analyst Greg Bolan, but dismissed the insider-trading charges against...more

SEC Administrative Law Judges Ruled Unconstitutional

Introduction - A recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York concludes that the manner in which Administrative Law Judges (“ALJs”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission...more

Having the Last Word on the Last Word: SEC Says Its ALJs are “Mere Employees”

In what will surely not be the last word on this continuing controversy, on September 3, 2015, a majority of the members of the Securities and Exchange Commission held that the appointment process for the Commission’s...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending September 4, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Standing: party whose motion to intervene in foreclosure action was denied did not have standing to appeal final judgment of foreclosure – Market Tampa Investments, LLC. V Stobaugh,...more

Slowing Down the SEC Administrative Train

I am convinced that the law eventually reaches the “right” solution. There may be disastrous detours along the way, but in the end the law will adapt to reach the right result. Of course, our history is replete with instances...more

Can you be sued for posting your opinions on the Internet?

A restaurant tells customers it may sue them if they post unfavorable reviews on the Internet. A flooring company sues a customer who complained on social media that he had an “absolutely horrible experience” with the...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending August 21 & 28 , 2015

Foreclosure/Statute of Limitations: statute of limitations did not bar foreclosure action even though filed more than five years after breach and acceleration of note upon which previous foreclosure action that had been...more

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