Conflict of Laws Updates

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Industry Group Sues Compton for Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

The City of Compton is being sued for its ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, effective on April 22, 2014. (Western States Petroleum Association v. City of Compton, et al., Case No.BC552272.) Although Compton is not...more

IRCA Does Not Preempt FEHA, But Limits Available Remedies

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., the California Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act (“IRCA”) preempts the application of the antidiscrimination provisions of...more

Legal Landscape and Guidance for Companies Involved in Marijuana Activity

Many states now permit the use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes and the federal government has revised certain enforcement policies related to marijuana-related crimes. The possession, use,...more

Huskey V. Ethicon: Case Survives Federal Preemption Argument by Ethicon

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division tried, as it had before, to have its upcoming federal transvaginal mesh case thrown out of court. The healthcare giant was unsuccessful. On July 8, Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is...more

California Employees Can Waive Class Claims In An Arbitration Agreement, But Not PAGA Claims

Resolving an issue that has created uncertainty for California employers, the California Supreme Court recently held in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC that class action waivers in employment arbitration...more

Halbig v. Burwell: A Death Blow for the Affordable Care Act?

On July 22, 2014, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) authorizes the issuance of tax credits to assist...more

Puerto Rico and PREPA Seek Dismissal of Bondholder Challenge to Territory’s Bankruptcy Statute

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) yesterday filed separate motions to dismiss the federal court complaint filed last month by some PREPA bondholders seeking to invalidate the...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - July 2014

California Employees Can Waive Class Claims In An Arbitration Agreement, But Not PAGA Claims - Resolving an issue that has created uncertainty for California employers, the California Supreme Court recently held in...more

Fifth Circuit Holds That a TPEE in a CGL Policy Can Exclude Pollution Claims Even in the Face of a UREC

What you need to know: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Texas law, held that a Total Pollution Exclusion Endorsement in a CGL Policy did not irreconcilably conflict with, and therefore was not superseded...more

California Dividend Statutes Found To Preempt Common Law Claims

Chapter 5 of the California Corporations Code imposes specific limitations on “distributions to shareholders”, a term defined in Corporations Code section 166. Directors who approve the making of any distribution to...more

California Foreclosure Law: A Defaulting Borrower Cannot Enjoin A Foreclosure Sale By Asserting That The Lender Lacks Standing

Under California’s non-judicial foreclosure statutes, a defaulting borrower cannot enjoin a lender’s initiation of foreclosure proceedings by asserting that the lender lacks standing. (Keshtgar v. U.S. Bank, N.A. (2014) 192...more

Federal Miller Act Rights Trump State Statute Precluding Claims by Non-Licensed Contractors

In a recent decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held, for the first time, that California’s contractor licensing requirement cannot be used to bar a federal subcontractor from pursuing a claim under the Miller...more

New York Court of Appeals Upholds Local Fracking Bans

The New York Court of Appeals, in a 5-2 decision, held that the New York State Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (“OGSML”) does not preempt municipal zoning authority. The Court explained that land use regulation is among the...more

Six Days on the Road and I'm Gonna Park My Truck to Comply with State Laws Tonight

My apologies to Dave Dudley. The song “Six Days on the Road” just doesn’t stand up to the changes we would have to make after the Ninth Circuit’s decision that the state meal and rest break laws are not preempted by federal...more

FIO Focus, Issue No. 58: Senate Passes TRIA Reauthorization and NARAB II

Devoted to exploring the progress of the modernization of the insurance industry, FIO Focus provides information and insights about the organizations and issues that are driving change and influencing the future of the...more

Native American Business Law Alert: Significant Tax and Applicable Law Ambiguity in Proposed Revisions for Indian Lands...

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is proposing to revise the process for obtaining and administering rights-of-way (ROWs) on Indian lands. While the proposed regulations seek to make improvements and clarifications...more

Mortgage Servicers Face Consumer Lawsuits Under CFPB “Periodic Statement” Final Rule

The CFPB’s final rule amending Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) as amended by Dodd-Frank, became effective January 10. Among other things, the new rule requires mortgage servicers to provide...more

Will Minnesota's New Medical Marijuana Law Leave Employers High and Dry?

Minnesota recently became the 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana use and, as part of the new law, to enact new potential employment protections for registered users of medical marijuana. Minnesota’s new marijuana law...more

Ninth Circuit Holds FAAAA Does Not Preempt California’s Meal and Rest Break Laws

Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded, in Dilts v. Penske Logistics, LLC, that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not preempt the application of...more

Yet Another Reminder on the Importance of Careful Drafting of Termination Clauses…

As if employers needed one, we now have yet another decision invalidating a termination provision for failure to comply with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”): Miller v. A.B.M. Canada Inc., 2014 ONSC 4062...more

Oregon’s Statute of Repose May Block Common Law Environmental Claims

Oregon’s 10-year statute of repose may now play a bigger role in environmental lawsuits in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA),...more

Arbitration Awards—No Longer The Final Word?

Courts currently have very narrow grounds on which they can overturn an arbitration award. The Federal Arbitration Act provides that a court cannot vacate an arbitration award except in cases where: the award was procured...more

A Jurisdictional Twist: 7th Cir. Holds That District Court Had Supplemental Jurisdiction Over Federal Claim and Original...

There’s nothing inherently unique about the substantive issues in Burzlaff v. Thoroughbred Motorsports, Inc., No. 13-2520 (July 10, 2014), a decision released yesterday by the Seventh Circuit. The plaintiff, Ronald Burzlaff,...more

Environmental and Energy: Hydraulic Fracturing: Courts and Localities Act Where New York State Fears To Tread (7/14)

In an opinion issued on June 24, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals upheld the zoning laws adopted by the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield to ban oil and gas production activities, including hydraulic fracturing, within their...more

Sixth Circuit Affirms Certification and Summary Judgment for TCPA Class, Despite State Law Class Action Prohibition

On July 9, 2014, the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that a consumer TCPA class action could proceed against Lake City Industrial Products, rejecting Lake City’s argument that Michigan law prohibited TCPA class...more

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