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Looking Back at Five Years of Citizens United

This month marked the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court handing down its decision in Citizens United v. FEC. More than perhaps most other recent Supreme Court decisions, Citizens United has remained in the public...more

Ohio Supreme Court Invalidates Local Oil and Gas Regulation

Good news for the oil and gas industry in Ohio came last week in the form of a Supreme Court decision invalidating local ordinances that sought to regulate oil and gas production activities, weighing in on what has recently...more

DOL Extends FMLA Protection to Same-Sex Spouses

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued a final rule amending its definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to extend FMLA protection to legally married employees with same-sex spouses,...more

Pennsylvania and Ohio High Courts Issue Decisions Impacting Oil and Gas Operators

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Declines to Extend Primary Term of Oil and Gas Lease - In Wayne Harrison, et al. v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Case No. 75 MAP 2014 (Pa. Feb. 17, 2015), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania...more

Supreme Court Delivers another Blow to State Action Antitrust Immunity

Today’s Supreme Court decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission is the second time in two years that the Court has spoken on the state action exemption to the federal antitrust...more

The Iron Law of Unintended Consequences - (with apologies to Robert Michels)

It is a certainty that no matter what action is taken (by an individual, a group, or especially a legislative body) that there will be unintended consequences. It is also true that those unintended consequences, like the...more

Supreme Court Rules NC Dentist Board Not Immune From Antitrust Scrutiny

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that state professional boards comprised of active market participants are not immune from antitrust laws even though the boards are formally designated as a state agency, unless the...more

Federal Court Decision Demonstrates Ongoing Challenges Faced by Plaintiffs in Data Breach Litigation

On February 11, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas dismissed a class action complaint against the St. Joseph Health System arising out of a data security breach that occurred after hackers...more

Update: Finding the Earliest and Least Expensive Exit from Financial Services Class Actions

In this Newsletter: - Gather The Facts And Assess The Risk Up Front. - If The Class Action Is Filed In State Court, Think Strategically About Whether To Remove. - Invest Time, Effort And Resources In...more

Second Circuit Narrows Class Standing Doctrine

In NECA-IBEW v. Goldman Sachs, the Second Circuit arguably opened up a new door in class action litigation when it held that investors in one securities offering had standing to represent a putative class of investors in...more

Ninth Circuit to Consider Effect of Hobby Lobby in Land Use Context

We previously reported on the lawsuit filed by Harbor Missionary Church against San Buenaventura, California involving the City’s denial of a conditional use permit to allow the Church to continue to operate a soup kitchen in...more

Same-Sex Spouse Has No Standing to Assert COBRA Notice Claim

A New Jersey federal district court held (in an unpublished opinion) that a former plan participant’s same-sex spouse who never enrolled in the benefit plan did not have standing to assert a claim alleging that his spouse’s...more

Supreme Court Confirms That Lawyers Cannot Act as Government Agents

In its recent decision in Canada (Attorney General) v. Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada (Court) held that the government cannot “turn lawyers into state agents”; it cannot require lawyers to...more

How Hard Does it Have to Rain Before the Government is Liable for a “Condemnation Cloud?”

Public projects take years of planning and environmental review usually involving outreach to neighboring property owners and other stakeholders. During this process, potential right of way impacts are identified and property...more

Trademarks That Violate Public Policy

As our friend John Welch reported last week,  the place to be on March 10, 2015, is Washington, D.C., at the 25th Annual “PTO Day,” sponsored by the Intellectual Property Owners Association: John will be part of the panel...more

State Oil and Gas Laws v. Local Control: The Struggle Continues in Ohio

On February 17, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court announced its ruling in The State Ex Rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corporation et al. That closely-watched case addressed whether local ordinances that impact drilling operations...more

Spiritual Director Doesn't Have a Prayer When it Comes to Her Discrimination and Termination Claims

Religious employers can rejoice once again, as yet another court upholds the ministerial exception and dismisses an employee's discrimination and termination claims....more

DOL Issues Final Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights to Same-Sex Couples: Here's Everything Employers Need to Know

The Department of Labor has issued a final rule that will allow an employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes their marital status. This...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 20, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Sinkhole/Appraisal: reversing non-final order compelling appraisal of sinkhole claim because one is not appropriate under section 631.54(3)(c), Florida Statutes – Fla. Ins. Guar. Ass’n, Inc. v....more

The U.S. Department of Labor Announces a Revised Definition of “Spouse” Under the FMLA

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) today announced a change to the definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Under this new rule, which will be published later this week (on February 25, 2015),...more

New FMLA Rule Will Give Rights To Same-Sex Spouses Based On “Place Of Celebration”

The U.S. Department of Labor announced today its Final Rule changing the definition of “spouse” in the Family and Medical Leave Act to include most same-sex married couples. I blogged about the proposed rule in June, and the...more

Water District Not Liable In Inverse Condemnation When Water Pipe Breaks and Damages Property

California’s infrastructure is aging. There have been numerous reports of water line breaks and gas line leaks, and public agencies have been moving quickly to upgrade their utilities to minimize these risks and satisfy...more

Temporary Injunction Issued Against DAPA And Expanded DACA

Judge Andrew Hanen, a federal judge in South Texas, temporarily blocked President Obama’s executive actions on immigration this past Monday, February 16. The lawsuit was brought by 26 states and Judge Hanen ruled that the...more

Supreme Court of Ohio Rejects Local Governments’ Attempts to Regulate Oil and Gas Activities

In the Appalachian basin, several states have recently faced the issue of whether local governments have the ability to regulate oil and gas operations, potentially causing a maze of varying rules and requirements from one...more

U.S. Supreme Court Update, March/April 2015

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases involving state taxation on consecutive days in December. On 12/8/14, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Direct Marketing Ass'n v. Brohl, where the Court has...more

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