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Surface Transportation Board Rules That ICCTA Preempts CEQA Review of California’s High-Speed Train System

On December 12, 2014, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) issued a decision, in response to a petition filed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority), finding that the Interstate Commerce Commission...more

One 60-Day IRA Rollover Per Year Is The Final Answer

Although the Internal Revenue Code trumps IRS Publications, practitioners tend to use the Publications as the initial resource when handling day-to-day tax issues. However, the Publications were not part of petitioner’s...more

High Speed Rail Moves Forward Without CEQA Review

The Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) issued a declaratory order in a 2-1 vote last Friday, finding that the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) is categorically preempted by federal law, as it relates to the...more

Jury Selection: Know The Rules of Your Forum

A recent decision from the Indiana Supreme Court reminds us why it is so important to know the particular rules of your jurisdiction when preserving error during jury selection. In Oswalt v. State, 19 N.E.3d 241 (Ind....more

Multiple PAGA Representative Claims Crumble As Federal Courts Continue To Reject Iskanian and Enforce Arbitration Agreements...

When the California Supreme Court decided Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, 59 Cal. 4th 348 (2014), this June, some legal commentators assumed that employees could not waive pre-litigation claims under the Private...more

Guns In The Workplace Versus Employer’s Property Rights

There is a growing trend of state laws prohibiting employers from banning firearms on employers’ property. These laws are otherwise known as “parking lot laws.” At the state level, more and more states appear prepared to...more

Arizona Supreme Court Holds the Arizona Uniform Trade Secrets Act Does Not Preempt Tort Claims Based on Misappropriation of...

On November 19, 2014, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in Orca Communications Unlimited, LLC v. Noder that the Arizona Uniform Trade Secrets Act (AUTSA) does not preempt common law tort claims for misappropriation of...more

Vermont Doubles Down: Representative Testifies Before Congress Against Federal GMO Labeling Bill

As we’ve explored in past posts, Congress is currently considering a bill that aims to harmonize the patchwork of state efforts at regulating GMO labeling by placing such regulation firmly within FDA’s jurisdiction. Dubbed...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Limits on Self-Insured Car Rental Company's Liability for Customers' Accidents

In the closing days of its November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide an issue of considerable importance for Illinois’ car rental industry: can a self-insured car rental company be held liable without...more

FAQs About the New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act (aka New Jersey’s “Ban the Box” Law)

New Jersey’s Opportunity to Compete Act (also known informally as the New Jersey “ban the box” law), N.J.S.A. 34:6B-11 et seq., goes into effect on March 1, 2015. The new law restricts most employers’ ability to request...more

Continuing to Withstand Attack: Indiana Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Indiana’s Right to Work Law

Last month, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Indiana Right to Work Law, rejecting a union’s claim that the state statute violates the Indiana Constitution. The Indiana Supreme Court’s decision comes roughly...more

Drone on Drones: FAA Issues Commercial Drone Permits to Additional Companies

In the face of increasing public and congressional pressure to speed up access to domestic skies for commercial drone use, the FAA granted four companies permission to use drones for aerial surveillance, construction site...more

Advice on Medical Marijuana for Lawyers in Pennsylvania

The Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 811 et. seq. (CSA), enacted in 1970, provides that marijuana is a "Schedule I" drug because, in the words of the CSA, it has a "high potential for abuse," "no currently...more

Does The DBO’s Draft Tribal Consultation Policy Violate the Public Records Act?

Three years ago, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued Executive Order B-10-11. Among other things, Governor Brown ordered: that it is the policy of this Administration that every state agency and department...more

Forum Selection For SEC Cases – District Court or Administrative Proceeding?

In late September the SEC filed a settled insider trading case against an associate of an unregistered investment adviser. In the Matter of Richard O’Leary, Adm. Proc. File No. 3-16166 (September 25, 2014). The next week the...more

True Lender Issues Cloud the Future of Marketplace Lending

The relationship between certain peer-to-peer or marketplace lending platforms and the banks who actually make the loans to consumers leads to the often-debated question of “Who is the true lender?” Recent court decisions...more

Sixth Circuit Upholds Ban On Same-Sex Marriage and Poses the Question: Who Should Decide?

Based on a surprising ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals last month, the validity of state bans on same-sex marriage appears headed to the Supreme Court after all. In a 2-1 decision, the court upheld state laws...more

First Issuer Completes NASAA Coordinated Review Program

There has been somewhat of a controversy surrounding the SEC’s rulemaking in connection with Regulation A+ under the JOBS Act. Should larger Tier 2 offerings preempt state blue sky regulation (my preference) or be subject to...more

Federal District Court Doubles Down, Vacates Hawaii County GMO Ban

On November 26, Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren struck down Hawaii County’s Ordinance 13-121, which restricts the open-air growth and cultivation of genetically engineered crops or plants (GMOs). See Slip Op. at 28. In this...more

Employer's "Super Policy" Against Harassment Requires Employer to Protect Employee Beyond That Which is Required by Law

A Costco employee suffered from Tourette's syndrome, and made complaints to management about the way his supervisors and others were treating him. He later filed charges with the Connecticut Human Rights Organization as well...more

The Day the Exception Swallowed the Rule: Is Any Software Patent Eligible After Ultramercial III?

The Supreme Court has consistently cautioned that the judicial exceptions to patent eligibility need to be carefully applied: At the same time, we tread carefully in construing this exclusionary principle lest it...more

U.S. Supreme Court Now Likely to Rule on Constitutionality of Same-Sex Marriage Bans

To date, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to rule on the constitutionality of state laws banning same-sex marriage. Even in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in U.S. v. Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court left to the...more

The Approval of Recreational Marijuana Use May Change Workplace Drug Policies

Efforts to legalize marijuana secured major victories last Election Day when voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. approved laws allowing for the recreational use of a plant previously touted as the "evil weed" by the...more

SOX Squelches Arbitration of Entangled Claim

In Laubenstein v. Conair Corp., No. 5:14-cv-05227 (W.D. Ark. Nov. 19, 2014), Plaintiff claimed retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and a state-law claim for wrongful termination. A recent amendment to SOX...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Allows Plaintiffs to Circumvent HIPAA’s No Private Right of Action Clause

In an opinion released on November 11, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled on whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and its implementing regulations preempt a common law claim for...more

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