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A Municipal Ordinance Requiring Registration and Maintenance of Vacant or Foreclosed Properties Preempted under Chapter 21E

A municipal ordinance imposing registration and maintenance obligations upon owners and secured lenders of buildings that are vacant or undergoing foreclosure was preempted by the Massachusetts remediation and clean-up...more

“Appraisal Arbitrage” Receives Boost from Delaware Court of Chancery

An increasingly popular hedge fund strategy, commonly referred to as “appraisal arbitrage,” recently received a significant boost from the Delaware Court of Chancery. Appraisal arbitrage refers to the practice of buying...more

Chapter 13 Debtors Choosing to Retain Residential Property and Not Claim Homestead Are Not Entitled to Wildcard Exemption

In Florida, it is well settled that a Chapter 7 debtor who does not claim or receive the benefit of the homestead exemption on his bankruptcy schedules is entitled to claim the “wildcard” exemption pursuant to Fla. Stat. §...more

Supreme Court Will Hear Same-Sex Marriage Issue

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in four same-sex marriage cases in April, potentially settling the divisive issue by the end of the current term. The justices will consider an appeal from the 6th Circuit decision...more

In Florida, Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Will Impact Employers

On January 6, Florida became the 36th state to recognize same-sex marriage. This development came as the result of several recent state and federal court decisions finding Florida's ban on same-sex marriage an...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rejects Municipal Foreclosure Ordinances

Can a Massachusetts municipality impose ordinances on banks that are more onerous than existing statewide law? In a recent landmark decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) answered “no.” In Easthampton...more

California Foreclosure Law: California Supreme Court Grants Review Of The Keshtgar Decision

As reported in our blog article below, in June the Second District Court of Appeal held that California’s non-judicial foreclosure statutes do not grant a defaulting borrower the right to enjoin a foreclosure sale by alleging...more

The Year in White-Collar Crime: A Look Back Helps Us See Ahead

The Justice Department’s white-collar agenda in 2014 was marked by skyrocketing corporate settlements and continued reliance on deferred and non-prosecution agreements, coupled with compliance monitors. Several significant...more

Finding the Earliest and Least Expensive Exit From Financial Services Class Actions

Effectively responding to class litigation doesn’t necessarily mean simply preparing an answer or perfunctory motion to dismiss, diving headlong into class discovery, investing in full-fledged combat on the merits of the...more

There’s No Place Like Home: SEC Increasingly Uses Administrative Proceedings

Stung by adverse court rulings in some of its enforcement cases, the SEC is bringing more of those cases in its own forum—an SEC administrative proceeding. ...more

What Do You Do When The Bank Wants Your Condemnation Award?

Property owners typically have a lot on their minds when they find out that the government is going to be taking their property. For residential owners, they need to worry about where they are going to live with their...more

Michigan Puts New Road-Funding Tax Structure Up For May 5 Referendum Vote

Michigan voters will have the final say on approving a deal between Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature to overhaul the state’s tax structure to fund road improvements at a referendum election on May 5, 2015. The...more

Federal District Court Dismisses “100% Equity Strategy” Claims on Statute of Limitations Grounds

A federal district court held that participants in a defined benefit plan had standing to challenge plan fiduciaries’ strategy of investing 100% of the plan’s assets in equities, but dismissed those claims based on ERISA’s...more

American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Reform Commission Releases Report Recommending Significant Changes to Chapter 11

On December 8, 2014, the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 published a 400-page report containing far-reaching recommendations. The report is the result of a three-year study...more

Guindon: SCC Hears Arguments in Penalty Case

The Supreme Court of Canada heard oral arguments today in the case of Guindon v. The Queen (Docket No. 35519). At issue in the case is the nature of the third-party penalty in section 163.2 of the Income Tax Act....more

Methodology for Measuring National Content in Mexican Hydrocarbon Sector - The Three Legal Schemes Impacted in the National Oil...

The "Methodology for measuring national content in Allocations and Contracts for Exploration and Extraction of Hydrocarbons, as well as for the Permits in the Hydrocarbons Industry"was published on Nov. 13, 2014,in Diario...more

California District Court Denies Certification Where Putative Class Members Lack Standing and Plaintiff Fails to Conduct Extensive...

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California recently denied class certification in a case alleging wrongdoing by a loan servicer in connection with the Home Affordable Modification Program...more

Prosecuting Individuals for Financial Crimes - Some Questionable Recent Ideas

The government must be very sensitive about all the criticism it has been getting, from Congress, some judges and others, for not prosecuting more individuals for financial crimes. Perhaps in response, senior government...more

Court Sets Aside SEC’s First Muni “Control-Person” Settlement

Earlier this month, the SEC used a “control-person” charge in a settled action against an elected municipal official in connection with municipal bond offering. Enforcement touted that “first” on the Monday after: “An...more

St. Louis County Ordinance Requiring Pre-Foreclosure Mediation Unconstitutional, Missouri Supreme Court Holds

The Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled that a St. Louis County ordinance requiring lenders to mediate with borrowers prior to foreclosure was void ab initio because it was not directed to a matter of purely municipal...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Constitutional Challenge to Rental Housing Support Program

During its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Marks v. Vanderventer, a direct appeal from the Circuit Court after the court’s order finding the fee collection provisions of a “Rental Housing...more

The Supreme Court Keeps Its “Stern” Promise Not To Change Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction

The bankruptcy bench and bar breathed a sigh of relief when the Supreme Court issued Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison (In re Bellingham Insurance Agency, Inc.), No. 12-1200 (June 9, 2014) (“Bellingham”). Its...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Return to Pension Debates

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to return once again to what surely must be the most controversial subject at the moment in all of Illinois’ civil law: public pensions. Matthews v....more

Construction Law Alert: Appellate Court Rules General Contractors Can Contractually Subordinate Mechanics Lien Rights

In Moorefield Construction, Inc. v. Intervest-Mortgage Investment Co., 230 Cal. App. 4th 146 (4th Dist. 2014), a California appellate court upheld an agreement executed by a general contractor which subordinated its...more

Blog: HOA Liens Reign Supreme Under Nevada’s Interpretation of the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act

Nevada is one of many states that adopted some iteration of the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act, an act designed in part to aid homeowners’ associations (“HOAs”) in recovering delinquent fees from their members. As...more

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