Conflict of Laws Updates

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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

Riding Currents into New Markets: What Power Generation Developers and Contractors Should Watch Out For

The CPV St. Charles Energy Center, a new 725 MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Maryland, went online earlier this month. The U.S. Supreme Court analyzed federal preemption with respect to state regulation of power...more

Amendment 7 Stands Its Ground Against the Federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act

It is well known in Florida that Article X, Section 25 of the Florida Constitution (Amendment 7) provides patients with access to any adverse medical incident report (even involving other patients) created by healthcare...more

Federal Whistleblower Laws Collide With The Attorney-Client Privilege: The Bio-Rad Case Study

Seyfarth Synopsis: Federal whistleblower laws collide with the in-house attorney-client privilege. The trial round goes to the whistleblower. The expected appellate round has still not been fought. In a February 7,...more

Un-Brotherly Love: The Commonwealth Seeks to Preempt Philadelphia’s WageEquity Ordinance Before It Takes Effect

The ink has yet to dry on Philadelphia’s newly-passed Wage Equity Ordinance and the Pennsylvania Senate has already passed a Bill that would preempt Philadelphia’s new law....more

Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements: A Changing Landscape

Because arbitration proceedings often offer a less costly and more efficient alternative to the burdens of protracted courtroom litigation, arbitration agreements are increasingly common in the nursing home industry. However,...more

Amendment 7 Prevails Over Patient Safety Work Product Protections

On January 31, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the “Patient Safety Work Product” privilege cannot shield Florida health care providers from Amendment 7 requests. The court’s decision in Charles v. Southern Baptist...more

The Continued Uncertainty of Paid Sick Leave Laws

Just days after Cook County passed its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance on October 5, 2016, several Cook County suburbs began the process of opting out of the law. So far, four have successfully done so. On November 15, 2016,...more

Florida Supreme Court: Federal PSQIA Does Not Pre-empt State's Constitution

In Charles v. Southern Baptist Hospital of Florida, Inc., published on Jan. 31, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court held that the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA) is not and was never intended to be a...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

Is Same-Sex Discrimination Considered “Sex Discrimination” Under Title VII? 

The Supreme Court made clear in 2015 that same-sex marriage is legal across the nation. However, two years later, we still are not clear whether a person’s sexual orientation is protected under Title VII’s “sex...more

Magistrate Judge Rules SEC’s Attorney-Conduct Rules Preempt State Law

Last December, Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero ruled that the SEC’s attorney-conduct rules preempt California’s statutory and professional rules requiring attorneys to maintain inviolate the confidences. Wadler v....more

Minnesota Legislature Moves Forward to Preempt Municipal Safe and Sick Leave and Wage Ordinances

The battle over paid sick leave and minimum wage ordinances at the municipal level moved to the Minnesota Legislature as its 2017–2018 session kicked off at the end of January. Several bills introduced in the 2017-2018...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Copyright Preemption, Software-as-a-Service and Popularity on the Internet

Copyright Decisions - Claim for Copying of Useful Article Design Preempted by Copyright Act: Ultraflo Corp. v. Pelican Tank Parts, Inc., No. 15-20084 (5th Cir. Jan. 11, 2017)...more

State of the States: Legislatures are off to the Races!

Most state legislatures are back in session, and they are poised to address a wide range of labor and employment issues this year. Since January 1, 2017, more than 500 employment-related bills have been proposed in more than...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

Billboards in Unincorporated Areas of California Subject to City, County Regulations

Many of California’s roadways are littered with advertising. A question regarding oversight of roadside billboards, however, has long remained: Does the state have ultimate control or can municipalities weigh in on...more

NY Department of Financial Services Joins Opposition to the OCC’s Proposed FinTech Charter

On January 17, 2017, Maria Vullo, the Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) sent a letter to the Office of the Comptroller Currency (OCC), opposing the OCC’s proposed special purpose...more

Simultaneous Decisions from the 7th Circuit: How the Later-Argued Case Became Binding Precedent

The Seventh Circuit is very serious about treating its panel decisions as the “law of the court” unless and until they are overruled by the en banc court or a higher authority. Hence, its Circuit Rule 40(e) requires a panel...more

New York State Department of Financial Services Cybersecurity Regulation Poised to Reshape Existing Regulatory Landscape

In late December, New York State’s Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) released its revised proposed cybersecurity regulation (the “DFS Rule”). While the revisions pare back some of the DFS Rule’s original requirements...more

WPI Wage Watch: Minimum Wage & Overtime Updates (January Edition)

Since we published our annual article discussing minimum wage rates in 2017, many state and local jurisdictions have adjusted their minimum wage rates, state legislative sessions have begun, signatures have been collected for...more

Developing a Plan for Cannabis Industry Banking

Following voter approval of recreational cannabis, the California State Treasurer’s Office reported that by 2020 cannabis sales will increase by an estimated $6.64 billion. By taxing cannabis, California could bring in an...more

Appeals Court Resoundingly Affirms Scope and Breadth of Shipping Act Antitrust Exemption

In August 2015, a federal court held in an apparent case of first impression that the Shipping Act of 1984 (the “Shipping Act”), preempts state law claims as well as federal antitrust claims. Direct and indirect purchasers of...more

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