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U.S. Begins Easing Cuba Embargo: New Opportunities and Challenges - The Embargo Changes Will Most Likely Be Phased-In as Opposed...

On Dec. 17, 2014, President Obama announced the United States will re-establish normal diplomatic relations with Cuba and that certain economic sanctions will be eased. Notwithstanding the media frenzy implying that the...more

White House to Ease Cuba Embargo: Historic Announcement May Open New Opportunities for U.S. and Multinational Corporations

On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced steps to ease the 54-year old embargo on Cuba and begin to restore diplomatic relations. Although the full extent of easing has yet to be determined, this historic policy shift...more

Obama’s Reboot of U.S.-Cuba Relations: What Does It Mean?

Last Wednesday, President Obama announced the most sweeping changes to U.S.-Cuban relations in half a century, in effect beginning normalization to a relationship fractured by the pressures of the Cold War. Only baby steps...more

District Court Awards Florida Couple Over $1 Million In Robocalls Suit

Recently, the U.S. District Court for the District of Florida denied a major bank’s motions to vacate and modify a judgment that awarded a Florida couple a total of $1,051,000 – approximately $1,500 per unauthorized call....more

Top 10 Legal Mistakes For Start-Ups

1. You Haven’t Lawyered Up. OK, that may be a little dramatic, but the worst case scenario is that you have a handshake deal with your co-founders. After all, we are all buds, this won’t go wrong. Even if it never goes...more

Normalizing U.S. Relations with Cuba: What is ahead?

On December 17, President Obama announced that he will take steps to normalize relations with Cuba, prompting questions about what this means for an island nation that has existed under a Cold War-era embargo for more than 50...more

Turnin’ Havana to Atlanta: The White House Opens Doors for U.S. Telecommunications Investment in Cuba and Latin America

Historic changes in relations between the United States and Cuba (that touch nerves in Hip-Hop and on Capitol Hill) and new U.S. sanctions against Venezuela may provide increased opportunities for U.S. business generally, and...more

FTC $19 Million Settlement with Google: Unauthorized In-App Charges Are Not Child’s Play

The FTC recently approved a final Order resolving allegations that Google unfairly billed customers millions of dollars for unauthorized charges made by children using mobile apps downloaded from the Google Play app store....more

Financial Services Report - Winter 2014

In This Issue: - Beltway Report - Bureau Report - Mobile & Emerging Payments Report - Mortgage & Fair Lending Report - Operations Report - Preemption Report - Privacy...more

FCC Delays Vote on Net Neutrality Laws

Last month, President Obama urged the FCC to “reclassify consumer broadband services under Title II of the Telecommunications Act – while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to...more

CFTC and SEC Propose Interpretation Concerning Forward Contracts with Embedded Volumetric Optionality

On November 13, 2014, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved for publication in the Federal Register a proposed interpretation clarifying the CFTC’s...more

CFPB announces lawsuits against student loan debt relief companies

On December 11, the CFPB announced lawsuits against two student loan debt relief companies alleged to have deceived borrowers into paying upfront fees for federal student loan repayment benefits that are available for free....more

California Public Utilities Commission to Approve Grant Program to Promote Broadband Internet for Public Housing

Application Submission Scheduled for Mid-December Through Mid-January - The California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to approve the California Advanced Services Fund Public Housing Broadband Grant Guidelines...more

CFPB Fines Debt-Settlement Firm

On December 4, the CFPB fined a New Jersey-based debt-settlement service provider $69,075 in civil monetary penalties for alleged violations of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). The CFPB alleged that the firm charged...more

SEC Issues Revisions to Regulation AB Telephone Interpretations

On December 9, the SEC issued Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DIs”) that comprise the SEC’s interpretations of the rules adopted under Regulation AB II and the Securities Act and the Exchange Act. The new C&DIs...more

Financial Industry Regulatory Update - December 2014

In this issue: - The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 - Proprietary Treading And Ring Fencing (EU) - Shadow Banking - Mobile Banking And Payments - Stress Testing And Asset...more

Condo hotels: Don’t forget the secret sauce!

Condo hotels are back in vogue as “securities” - Developers particularly like the “new model” where condo hotel investments are offered as a “securities” using the new SEC Rule 506(c) for private placements with public...more

Legal Issues With Mobile Payments

A short time ago, I stopped to pick up the family dry cleaning when an alert from a pharmaceutical retailer that noticed I was nearby popped up on my mobile phone. “Slide to activate your digital rewards card and come in for...more

Global Crowdfunding Site Consents to SEC Censure

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission censured Eureeca Capital SPC, an online, securities-based crowdfunding site incorporated in the Cayman Islands, for failing to implement procedures “reasonably designed” to...more

Investment Trends in the Gaming Industry

Over the past decade, the gaming industry has evolved into one of the hottest sectors of mobile internet services. VentureBeat recently reported that in the trailing twelve months of Q3 2014, gaming accounted for $18 billion...more

Look The Gift Horse In The Mouth (Or If It Seems Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is)

Today is Giving Tuesday, and if your inbox is anything like mine, it is full of donation requests. I encourage you to support the causes that are near and dear to you. But there also may be others asking for your money...more

Legal Brief: Financial Dreams--Four Legal Risks of Crowdfunding Your Best Ideas

When Sunny T. wanted to launch a new line of titanium accessories, he did not get out his credit cards or call his rich uncle for a loan. He launched a Kickstarter campaign where people could contribute money to his venture,...more

Status Updates - November 2014 #13

Search stripped? European regulators have several beefs with Google—the digital giant has been accused of tax avoidance and violations of data protection laws—but right now they’re focused on whether the company, which...more

Credit Monitoring Company Enters Consent Order with Government Regarding Online ‘Negative Option’

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Attorneys General of Ohio and Illinois recently entered into a stipulated settlement order with a credit monitoring company arising out of the company’s alleged conduct concerning...more

Non-Enforcement

When the U.S. Congress passed the crowdfunding exemption under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the “Jobs Act”) in 2012, there was much anticipation and optimism for the ability of issuers of securities to be able to...more

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