Baker Donelson

Government Employee Pensions May Now Be Fair Game for Cuts During Bankruptcy Restructuring

On Tuesday, December 2, 2013, Judge Steven Rhodes of the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that the City of Detroit, which filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on July 18, 2013, met the…more

Chapter 9, Municipal Bankruptcy, Municipalities, Pensions, Public Employees

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Keep Your Eye On the Ball: Begin 2014 With a Renewed Effort at Compliance

While most of the financial world has been focused on the new CFPB mortgage rules that went into effect on January 10, the Bureau has continued its enforcement activities in other areas. On January 16, 2013, the CFPB announced…more

CFPB, Chief Compliance Officers, Client Referrals, Compliance, Enforcement

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Florida Court Rules Borrowers Who Surrender Property in Bankruptcy Can't Later Take it Back

Thanks to several recent United States Bankruptcy Court decisions in Florida, mortgage servicers should now expect borrowers who surrender their real property in bankruptcy to not contest foreclosure later. Since the bankruptcy…more

Bank of America, Bankruptcy Code, Borrowers, Chapter 13, Chapter 7

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Franchisees Flatline in Case Against Doctors Express

On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit thoroughly shot down claims brought by franchisees of Doctors Express Franchising. Those claims asserted that Doctors Express misrepresented initial start-up…more

Appeals, Breach of Contract, Dismissals, Franchises, Franchisors

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So You Want To Sell Your Business… PART 2 of 4 – Preparing for the Sale

In our last installment we focused on the reasons why a business owner might wish to undertake a sale of a closely held business. Assuming that those reasons have been determined with ample time to prepare for a sale of the…more

Audited Financial Statements, Business Plans, Inventory, Oral Contracts, Selling a Business

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NIST Releases Guidelines for Vetting the Security of Mobile Applications Used by Businesses and Their Employees

Companies and their employees are increasingly using mobile devices and mobile applications (apps) to improve connectivity, communication and productivity. Unfortunately, these same companies may be unintentionally exposing…more

Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Framework, Mobile Apps, Mobile Devices, NIST

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Power Company Plans to Capture Carbon Dioxide Emissions to Sell for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Cost overruns at a controversial coal-gasification plant under construction in Kemper County, Mississippi apparently have cost the CEO of Mississippi Power Company his job. Ed Day recently resigned and has been replaced by G…more

Carbon Capture and Sequestration, CEOs, Coal, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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OCS Operators and Lenders Beware - Comment Period Ending on BOEM Risk Management, Financial Assurance and Loss Prevention Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Monday, November 17, 2014, is the last day to provide comments to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in connection with its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) with respect to risk management, financial…more

BOEM, Department of the Interior, Leases, Mineral Leases, NOPR

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Some H4 Spouses of H-1Bs Can Apply for Work Cards Beginning May 26, 2015

On Tuesday, February 24, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, effective May 26, 2015, USCIS will begin accepting applications for work authorization of H-4 spouses of two groups of H-1B…more

DHS, Employment Authorization Documents (EAD), H-1B, H-4 Spouses, Spouses

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D.C. Appeals Court: Coast Guard May Impose Non-Financial Conditions for Departure Clearance in “Magic Pipe” Case

In Watervale Marine Co. v. U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Sec., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently affirmed a district court ruling allowing the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security –…more

Coast Guard, DHS, Oil & Gas, Policy Violations, Pollution Control

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CFPB Shifts Focus to Auto Lending Industry

Auto lenders and servicers be advised: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turns its lonely eyes to you. On June 17, 2015, the CFPB brought an action in the Southern District of Ohio against Security National…more

Automotive Industry, Automotive Loans, CFPA, CFPB, Compliance

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OIG Hospital Compliance Audits: Is Your Number Up? Are You Ready?

In its Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2012, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it would begin reviews of Medicare payments to hospitals to determine compliance…more

ALJ, Audits, Compliance, Healthcare, HHS

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Managing Regulatory Risk in Nursing Home-Hospice Arrangements

Challenges of Nursing Home-Hospice Arrangements. As a nursing home resident's life expectation sunsets, transfer of the resident from the restorative care of a skilled nursing facility (SNF) to the palliative care of a hospice…more

Hospice, Nursing Homes

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Challenging the Denial of a Trademark Application in District Court Just Got More Expensive

In Shammas v. Focarino, the Eastern District of Virginia holds that an applicant must pay the government attorney's fees regardless of the applicant's success in a Section 1071(b) civil matter. …more

Applications, Attorney's Fees, Litigation Fees & Costs, Trademark Litigation, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

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Business Succession Planning: The Time is Now

Family-controlled businesses comprise between 80-90 percent of all business enterprises in North America. And while it is estimated that nearly 40 percent of family businesses are passed successfully to a second generation, only…more

Business Succession, Disclosure Requirements, Family Businesses, Franchisee, Franchisors

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Volunteers at For-Profit Companies: Bad Idea Even if for a Good Cause

Fall is upon us and the holiday season will soon follow. Along with the joy of this special season often comes requests from civic groups to partner with for-profit companies for fundraising or other charitable purposes. For…more

Charitable Purpose, DOL, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Minimum Wage

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Claim Purchasing as a Strategy to Avoid a Cramdown

While there are many factors that can lead a business or individual to file a chapter 11 bankruptcy petition seeking to reorganize a business, often times, particularly in a single-asset real estate case, the primary impetus for…more

Bad Faith, Banks, Chapter 11, Commercial Bankruptcy, Cramdown

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Buying and Selling Your HUD-Financed Long Term Care Project: Navigating the TPA Process

So you have refinanced your long term care facility with Federal Housing Authority (FHA)-insured financing – a nonrecourse, 30-year (or longer) loan at an amazingly low fixed interest rate. Yes, the process may have been…more

Change of Ownership, Fair Housing Act (FHA), Financial Institutions, Financing, Healthcare

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City of Birmingham Raises Minimum Wage, Establishes Severe Employer Penalties in Aggressive Wage and Hour Ordinance

On August 18, 2015, the Birmingham, Alabama, City Council passed an aggressive wage and hour ordinance that raises the minimum wage to $10.10 by July 1, 2017. Presently, the minimum hourly wage in Alabama is $7.25, which is the…more

Minimum Wage, Tip Credit, Tipped Employees, Tips, Wage and Hour

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The New Paradigm in Vendor Management Under the CFPB

This past July marked the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a period marked by sweeping changes to the regulatory and administrative environment in which financial institutions…more

Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB, Citibank, Compliance

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Bill Introduced to Curtail the Stark Law's In-Office Ancillary Services Exception

On August 1, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced H.R. 2914, the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act. The legislation would provide that the Stark Law's in-office ancillary services (IOAS) exception is not available for…more

CMS, Healthcare, HHS, Medical Devices, Medical Expenses

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IRS Issues Final Regulations for Charitable Hospitals

On December 29, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Treasury issued final regulations on requirements described in Section 501(r) for charitable hospitals exempt from federal income tax under Section…more

Charitable Organizations, CHNA, Exempt Organizations, Final Rules, Hospitals

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Federal District Court Rules Favorably for Medical Device Manufacturer in Off-Label Promotion Lawsuits

On April 13, 2015, in the case of Kathleen Hafer v. Medtronic, Inc., the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee issued a favorable opinion to a medical device manufacturer in the context of preemption…more

Leave to Amend, Manufacturers, Medical Devices, Medtronic, Misrepresentation

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New HUD Guidance for Long Term Care Industry

On April 25, 2014, HUD issued a new Mortgagee Letter (Mortgagee Letter 2014-06) that implements revised policies with respect to master leases and portfolios for HUD-insured financing of long term care facilities. This letter…more

Commercial Leases, Financing, HUD, Leases, Long Term Care Facilities

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The Inside Scoop: Top 10 Employer Mistakes According to the Solicitor of Labor

Meeting in our nation's capital and having a strong public policy group have some definite perks, such as getting the inside scoop on employment law trends directly from the Department of Labor's Solicitor. During a recent Baker…more

Best Management Practices, Corporate Counsel, DOL, Human Resources Professionals, Internships

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OIG Hospital Compliance Audits: Is Your Number Up? Are You Ready?

In its Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2012, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it would begin reviews of Medicare payments to hospitals to determine compliance…more

ALJ, Audits, Compliance, Healthcare, HHS

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Student Loans: The Next CFPB Target?

There is approximately $1 trillion in total outstanding student loan debt in the United States, according to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. With the large amount of student loan debt nationwide as well as on a…more

CFPB, Student Loans

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Murphy Oil USA v. NLRB: The Fifth Circuit and the NLRB Remain in Disagreement Over Arbitration Agreements that include Class and Collective Action Waivers

If persistence is what you want from the NLRB, then you are probably happy with the Board’s recent ruling on Murphy Oil USA’s class and collective action waivers. In case you missed it, the NLRB held that employment arbitration…more

Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Collective Actions, D.R. Horton v NLRB, FLSA, Murphy Oil USA

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What the Mahalo??

Although commonly known, judgment creditors rarely utilize the charging order as a collection mechanism. This may change as a result of recent case law developments. The charging order has long been recognized in the partnership…more

Charging Orders, Creditors, Jurisdiction, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships

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Recent Tax Extenders and Modification Package Signed into Law

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the "Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015" (the Act). The Act extends a number of tax provisions that expired on December 31, 2014 and makes some of the extensions…more

Bonus Depreciation, Business Assets, Charitable Rollover, New Legislation, New Market Tax Credits

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NLRB Decision on Joint Employer Standards Results in a Major Change in Business Relationships

On, August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a 3-2 decision gutted more than 30 years of legal precedent when it changed the joint employer standard in business relationships. See Browning-Ferris Industries…more

Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Collective Bargaining, Franchisee, Franchises, Franchisors

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Wait A Minute? Is Pregnancy a Disability Now?

On July 14, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance relating to pregnancy discrimination. Since that time, in federal courts around the country the EEOC has filed multiple lawsuits on behalf of…more

ADA, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA, PDA

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Out With the Old and in With the New…Guidance

During a Summit on Disability and Employment in February of this year, the White House announced the release of a new guide entitled Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining, and Promoting People with Disabilities, A Resource Guide For…more

Disabled, Hiring & Firing, Human Resources Professionals, New Guidance, Obama Administration

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Coalition of Lawyers and Civil Rights Groups Brings Down Corporate Bad Guy in Alabama

Wonderful news today in Alabama – private probation company Judicial Correction Services (JCS) is high-tailing it out of the State after several years of being repeatedly sued over its mistreatment of low income people who are…more

Injunctive Relief, Probation

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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Five Changes to the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act That You Need to Know

The following are five important changes to the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act (the Act) which became effective January 1, 2015: 1. Affirmative Disclosure Requirement to Report Up the Chain of Command; 2…more

Board of Directors, Corporate Conversions, Disclosure Requirements, Fiduciary Duty, Indemnification

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Hospitalitas Newsletter - Winter 2014

In This Issue: - Marriott Fined $600,000 For Wi-Fi Jamming - Franchisor Liability for Franchisee Employment Decisions: The NLRB’s General Counsel Addresses the Move to Expand the Joint-Employer Standard, and…more

Consent Decrees, Corporate Fines, Fast-Food Industry, Franchises, Hiring & Firing

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Implementing An Employee Wellness Program? Be Careful - The EEOC Is Interested

According to recent studies, over 90% of employers offer some type of wellness incentives to their employees. This is a significant jump from 2009 when only a little over half of employers had employee wellness programs, and the…more

Adverse Employment Action, Corporate Counsel, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Enforcement Actions

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Update on New Orleans Zoning Ordinance

The new City of New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (“CZO”) became effective on August 12, 2015, but various interested parties have already begun the process of amending this newly-adopted ordinance. Last Thursday, the…more

Beer, Breweries, Business Licenses, Resorts & Restaurants, Restaurant Industry

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SCOTUS Jurisdiction Watch: Exhaustion of EEOC Administrative Remedies

On May 28, 2015, the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to meet and decide whether to grant or deny certiorari in Duble v. FedEx Ground Package System Inc., Supreme Court Case No. 14-1028. Petitioner, Duble, seeks review…more

Administrative Remedies, Discrimination, EEOC, FedEx, Retaliation

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California Dreams Becoming Reality for Franchisees; Amended Franchise Relationship Law Nears Passage

The California State Assembly saw the seventh amended version of proposed changes to the California Franchise Relationship Act (CFRA) introduced August 17, 2015. This amendment is the product of industry negotiations that…more

Buyback Programs, California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Criminal Prosecution, Franchise Agreements, Franchisee

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Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split Over TILA Rescissions Limitations Period

The United States Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a borrower relying on the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to rescind his mortgage loan need only mail written notice of his intent to his lender within three years of the loan's…more

Bank of America, Countrywide, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages, Refinancing

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2016 Washington Preview

Having completed the first session of the 114th Congress, many in Washington are quickly turning toward the 2016 elections. In the coming year, the headlines will undoubtedly be dominated by electioneering but, after a…more

Affordable Care Act, Cuba, Environmental Policies, Financial Regulatory Reform, Gun Laws

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States Launch Hearings on Major Insurance Company Mergers

This summer, in the space of only a few weeks, Aetna announced an intention to acquire Humana, followed by an announcement by Anthem that it was planning to merge with Cigna. As was widely reported at the time, if consummated,…more

Antitrust Provisions, Health Insurance, Insurance Industry, Regulatory Oversight

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Technology, Guns and the NLRB – Get Ready for 2016

Happy New Year! To help ring in the New Year and pin down last-minute New Year’s resolutions, let’s look at six topics impacting the workplace in 2016..…more

Arbitration, DOL, EEOC, FLSA, Gun Laws

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Class Action Attempt to Void Jimmy John's Non-Competes Goes Stale

Sandwich chain Jimmy John's has been in the news lately because of non-compete agreements that employees of its franchisees sign. This is not necessarily good news for Jimmy John's, but it does underscore some interesting…more

Class Action, Confidentiality Agreements, Employer Liability Issues, Fast-Food Industry, Franchisee

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Lender Involved Condemnation Part 2: Lender Concerns in Condemnation

This is the second installment in a series of articles related to lender-involved condemnations. The first installment provided a basic discussion of eminent domain and condemnation principles…more

Condemnation, Eminent Domain, Lenders, Risk Management, Takings

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CFPB Demonstrates its Broad Scope

While it has only just begun its third year, the CFPB has already left its mark with a series of recent enforcement actions. Below are four examples of how the CFPB has wielded the broad scope of its mandate…more

Bonuses, Capital One, CFPB, Debt-Relief Industry, Enforcement Actions

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NLRB Takes Aim at Non-Union Employers

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently handed down a series of decisions that challenged the fundamental tenet of the employee-employer relationship: at-will employment. This new affront came on the heels of a…more

At-Will Employment, Confidential Information, Internal Investigations, NLRA, NLRB

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Failing on the Big Stage: Another Attempt to Regulate Fracking Falls Short

In March 2015, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) became the most prominent governmental entity to join in on the attempts to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. More specifically, the DOI’s sweeping regulations…more

Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, EPA, Fracking, Fracking Bans

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North Carolina Legislators Look to Criminalize Disclosure of Fracking Fluids

As many states and the federal government look towards calling for greater disclosure and regulation of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, state senators in North Carolina appear to be pushing against the tide in…more

Chemicals, Disclosure Requirements, Energy, Environmental Liability, Fracking

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Canada’s Energy Politics

Canada’s energy sector may be significantly impacted by the recent election of liberal Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister. The last nine years have seen conservative Stephen Harper at the helm. A known ally of the energy industry,…more

Canada, Climate Change, Crude Oil, Energy Sector, Justin Trudeau

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Texas Supreme Court Reinforces that Subcontractors May be Liable to Property Owners

On August 22, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that both the trial court and the court of appeals improperly dismissed a property owner's claim for negligence against a subcontractor for improper plumbing installation in…more

Breach of Duty, Contractors, Duty of Care, Negligence, Property Owners

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Alumni Profile: Joan Lucas, the General Counsel of Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University received national attention on the football field this year. Amy Champagne recently sat down with Baker Donelson Alum Joan Lucas, the General Counsel of Mississippi State University, to talk about…more

Corporate Counsel, Interviews

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U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Agreement Reached: Introducing the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

United States and European Union Commission negotiators announced today that they have reached a political agreement on a new data transfer framework that will replace the Safe Harbor Program, which was invalidated in 2015 by…more

CJEU, Data Protection Authority, EU, EU-US Privacy Shield, FTC

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Liberalization of Louisiana Foreclosure Law: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Legislation liberalizing Louisiana foreclosure law was signed by Louisiana’s governor on June 5. House Bill 697 becomes effective on August 1, 2015. One particular area where lenders strive to use technology involves the…more

Banking Sector, Banks, E-Signatures, Electronic Records, Financial Institutions

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California Adopts Nation’s Toughest Equal Pay Protections

Jennifer Lawrence may be Hollywood’s highest-paid actress, according to Forbes magazine. But in a recent essay published in Lena Dunham’s e-newsletter “Lenny Letter,” the Oscar-winner describes how she learned, through the 2014…more

Equal Pay, Fair Pay Act, Gender-Based Pay Discrimination, Pay Transparency, Wage and Hour

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FTC Ordered to Testify Regarding Data Security Standards in LabMD Dispute

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has suffered a significant setback in its ongoing dispute with LabMD, a now-closed medical laboratory that the FTC charged with failing to adopt reasonable data security practices that resulted…more

Data Breach, Data Protection, Electronic Medical Records, Enforcement Actions, FTC

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Sin of Omission: Ninth Circuit Splits with the Fifth, Finds That Failure to Include Addendum No. 2 Creates Ambiguity in Marine Builder's Risk Policy

In a marine builder's risk policy coverage dispute decided under Washington state law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a grant of summary judgment for Underwriters…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Reversal, Summary Judgment, Underwriting, Vessels

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Is Your Institution Ready for the October 1 Clery Report Deadline?

By October 1, all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs must publish and distribute to all current and prospective students and employees an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. As in…more

Clery Act, Colleges, Compliance, Crime Statistics, Dating Violence

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Business Succession Planning in the Current Tax Environment

Business succession planning in the current tax environment may require an adjustment in thinking from traditional planning. Traditional planning usually attempts to transfer ownership of the business to the next owner (often…more

Business Succession, Capital Gains, Estate Tax, Estate-Tax Exemption, Fair Market Value

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Preparing for the Inevitable: Legal Holds

Litigation is an unfortunate inevitability in the long term care industry. How well your company weathers that storm often depends on your preparation, and one of the most vital parts of your litigation response plan is your…more

Electronically Stored Information, Healthcare, Litigation Hold, Litigation Strategies, Long Term Care Facilities

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Governor Jindal Signs Bill Aimed at Ending Suit by Levee Board

On June 6, 2014, by signing into law SB 469, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took an aggressive step towards stymieing the lawsuit recently filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 oil and gas…more

New Legislation, Oil & Gas, Utilities Sector

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Deadline Approaching to Report Certain HIPAA Breaches to Federal Officials

The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule requires covered entities to notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) if a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI) is discovered. As most…more

Breach Notification Rule, Covered Entities, Deadlines, HHS, HIPAA

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

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NLRB's Quickie Election Rule Takes Effect - A New Threat for Employers: A Proactive Solution for You

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its final Rule on "quickie elections" in December, and they are now in effect. These rules come down heavily in favor of unions…more

Ambush Election Rules, Final Rules, NLRA, NLRB, Union Elections

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HHS: Providers May Be Able to Subsidize Premiums For Uninsured in Marketplace Plans

An announcement October 30 from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could remove the first hurdle for providers wishing to offer premium support for individuals eligible for health insurance on the Health…more

Affordable Care Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges, Healthcare

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Women's Health Tip: I'm SO STRESSED

I had a bad week. A really bad week. No one died. There was no terminal diagnosis. No damage that is permanent. But it was bad enough that I started questioning my goals and priorities. It also got me thinking of a trip to Napa…more

Stress Reduction, Work-Induced Stress

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President Obama Implements Sweeping New Rules to Control Climate Change

On August 3, 2015, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) utilized executive action to call for a major societal shift on climate change policy. The new rules, dubbed the Clean Power Plan, are intended to…more

Air Pollution, Carbon Emissions, Clean Air Act, Clean Power Plan, Climate Change

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"The Stark Law has become a booby trap…" Says the Federal Appeals Court. Why Health Care Providers Should Heed the Warning

After reading through the hundreds of pages of the District Court's and Appeals Court's decisions, including the recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that was filed on July 2, 2015, one thing is certain: Mixing one…more

Agency Agreement, Appeals, Compliance, Employment Contract, False Claims Act (FCA)

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Obama Signs Bill Making Changes to Affordable Care Act

On October 7, President Obama signed into law H.R.1624, the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act. The act amends a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to allow states to opt out of the scheduled expansion of…more

Affordable Care Act, Eligibility, Health Insurance, Healthcare, Obama Administration

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Volcker Rule Restricts Banks' Activities with Hedge Funds and Private Funds

On December 10, 2013, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading…more

Banks, Dodd-Frank, Hedge Funds, Private Funds, Volcker Rule

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Transgender Complaints on the Rise: What Should Employers Do?

The President, the EEOC and the Justice Department have announced that gender identity discrimination is prohibited sex discrimination under Title VII. Since these declarations, the number of lawsuits alleging gender identity…more

Best Management Practices, Discrimination, DOJ, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues

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Legislation Enhances Florida Craft Beer Industry

While many states, including such craft beer meccas as Colorado, Oregon and Vermont, have been embracing the explosion of the craft beer culture in America, Florida has been waging war against craft beer in true prohibition-era…more

Anheuser-Busch, Beer, Breweries, Economic Development, Entrepreneurs

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Texas Railroad Commission Finds Earthquakes in North Texas Not Caused by Drilling Operations

Update: On September 10, the Texas Railroad Commission concluded that these small earthquakes that occurred near Azle, Texas likely were not caused by drilling operations conducted by EnerVest Operating LLC. The Texas Railroad…more

Earthquakes, Energy Sector, Exxon Mobil, Fracking, Natural Gas

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Florida Court Rules Borrowers Who Surrender Property in Bankruptcy Can't Later Take it Back

Thanks to several recent United States Bankruptcy Court decisions in Florida, mortgage servicers should now expect borrowers who surrender their real property in bankruptcy to not contest foreclosure later. Since the bankruptcy…more

Bank of America, Bankruptcy Code, Borrowers, Chapter 13, Chapter 7

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

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What Happens if You Wait Too Long to File Your Patent Case?

Patent owners recently were reminded that delay in pursuing patent infringers can be fatal. A patent lawsuit that is not filed timely can be blocked by the doctrine of laches, even to the extent of preventing the patent owner…more

Laches, MGM, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation, Patent Royalties

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USPTO Releases Patent Counts by Class by Year Report

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) maintains annual statistics on patents issued across various technologies. Specifically, each year the USPTO’s Patent Technology Monitoring Team prepares the Patent Counts by Class by…more

Energy Sector, Oil & Gas, Patents, USPTO

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Keeping the Benefit of Your Bargain: Strengthening Your Right to Prepayment Premiums

Anyone involved in commercial lending transactions is familiar with provisions of loan agreements that provide for compensation to the lender in the event the indebtedness is paid in advance of the contemplated due date. These…more

Commercial Bankruptcy, Commercial Leases

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An Overview of the Lingering Uncertainty Surrounding the "Guns in Trunks" Law

Background The volume of gun sales has been increasing steadily across the United States over the last few years, and more citizens than ever are obtaining state-issued concealed firearms licenses. State governments, as well as…more

Employer Liability Issues, Guns-in-Trunks Legislation, Legislative Agendas, Private Property, Workplace Safety

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California "Organic" Labeling Decision: A Blueprint for More Class Actions of FDA Regulated Products?

In December 2015, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling in Quesada v. Herb Thyme Farms, Inc., which may affect many companies subject to FDA regulation, but particularly those that advertise and sell products as…more

CA Supreme Court, FDA, Food Labeling, Natural Products, Organic

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Government: “Recall Message” on October Visa Bulletin Gifts

The Department of State posted on July 25 a revised Visa Bulletin for October with “Dates for Filing Application” that cut out many thousands of people in 5 different employment based categories from India and the Philippines…more

EB-2, EB-3, Filing Deadlines, India, Philippines

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The Sixth Circuit: “Honest Belief” of FMLA Misuse May Not Be Enough to Defeat FMLA Interference Claims

Eddie Employee is an hourly employee of Company, Inc. Eddie notifies Sally Supervisor that he will undergo surgery, and will need continuous medical leave to recover. While out on leave, Eddie’s co-workers, who are “friends”…more

Employer Liability Issues, FMLA, Hiring & Firing, Retaliation, Wage and Hour

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Transocean/BP Settlement Ends Texas Law Insurance Dispute: What Are the Possible Future Implications?

A lesser known but interesting legal issue regarding the 2010 BP oil spill was whether an operator (BP) could recover insurance proceeds as an additional insured under its driller's (Transocean) insurance policies for…more

Additional Insured, BP, Gulf Oil Spill, Insurance Litigation, Master Service Agreement

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Employment Reform Legislation Passes Tennessee Legislature

On April 16, 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly, at the urging of Baker Donelson, passed significant employment litigation reform that will benefit employers throughout Tennessee. The bill places caps on compensatory damages,…more

Damages, Employer Liability Issues, Pain and Suffering

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Cyber Activities Added to the OFAC Target List – How do you ensure you are compliant?

In December of 2015 the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued regulations implementing the President’s April 1, 2015 Executive Order (“EO”), “Blocking the Property of Certain Persons…more

Cyber Crimes, Cybersecurity, Executive Orders, OFAC, Popular

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Cyber Attack Information Sharing will Bring Liability Protections to Companies

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act. Included in this must-pass federal funding legislation is the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, which represents the most significant federal…more

Consolidated Appropriations Act, Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), Healthcare, Information Sharing

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Q&A on .bank Registration

By now, many members of the banking community have heard from their trade associations that there will be a new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) released by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) for…more

Banking Sector, gTLD, ICANN

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Was Asbestos Used in Your Drilling Mud Program?

With the bankruptcy of dozens of traditional defendants in asbestos litigation, plaintiffs' attorneys have been creative in pursuing claims in previously untapped areas. One such area is alleged oilfield worker exposure via…more

Asbestos, Asbestos Litigation, Chemicals, Hazardous Substances, Oil & Gas

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No Damage for Delay Clauses Have Limits on Louisiana Public Works Projects

The Louisiana Public Works Act prohibits “no damage for delay” clauses in contracts for publicly bid projects. Recently, the State of Louisiana tested the boundaries of that prohibition by including a provision in a public…more

Change Orders, Construction Contracts, Construction Industry, Construction Site, Contractors

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Flaws and All, CFPB's Arbitration Study Sparks Vigorous Debate over Next Steps in Regulating Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

As expected, the reaction to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) arbitration study report, released in March 2015, has been vociferous. All sides of this important debate are loudly proclaiming that their arguments…more

Arbitration, Bank Accounts, Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB

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Is Your Institution Ready for the October 1 Clery Report Deadline?

By October 1, all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs must publish and distribute to all current and prospective students and employees an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. As in…more

Clery Act, Colleges, Compliance, Crime Statistics, Dating Violence

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What is the TCPA and Why is it of Concern to Long Term Care Facilities?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted in 1991 to protect consumers, especially cell phone consumers, from unwanted robocalls and texts. The Act applies to virtually any company that utilizes auto-dialing…more

Debt Collection, Healthcare, Long Term Care Facilities, Prior Express Consent, Robocalling

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Same-Sex Marriage and Employment Discrimination: The Future of Sexual Orientation Bias Claims

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country. In Oberfell v. Hodges, the Court held that Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment – commonly referred to as the Equal…more

Anti-Discrimination Policies, Benefit Plan Sponsors, Corporate Counsel, DOMA, Domestic Partner Benefits

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New HUD Guidance for Long Term Care Industry

On April 25, 2014, HUD issued a new Mortgagee Letter (Mortgagee Letter 2014-06) that implements revised policies with respect to master leases and portfolios for HUD-insured financing of long term care facilities. This letter…more

Commercial Leases, Financing, HUD, Leases, Long Term Care Facilities

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Lessons Learned from LabMD's Successful Challenge to the FTC's Cyber Authority and Wyndham's Monumental Settlement with the FTC

On the shifting sands of cyber security regulation, it is important to understand the outcome of two recent enforcement cases brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – one against clinical lab services company LabMD, Inc…more

Cybersecurity, Data Breach, FTC, FTC Act, FTC v Wyndham

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Why Take a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure? Why Not?

So you're headed for receivership and foreclosure, when the borrower rep or your counsel asks, "What about a deed in lieu?" "I don't know," you think. "Getting a receiver appointed and foreclosing is what I'm most familiar…more

Deed of Trust, Foreclosure, Mortgages

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 2, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

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Recent Case Law Hints at Possible Additional Defenses for Auto Finance Companies Hit With Debt Collection Lawsuits

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), debt collection is the leading source of consumer complaints. Many debt collection statutes, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), provide for a…more

Automotive Loans, CFPB, Debt Collection, Debt Collectors, FDCPA

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Litigation Alert For Businesses With Tennessee Operations

On March 9, 2015, a Tennessee trial court struck down Tennessee's statutory limitation on the amount of non-economic damages recoverable in personal injury cases. The court held that the legislature's attempt to limit…more

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Landlords Beware: Potential Post-Holiday Bankruptcy Filings By Retail Tenants

The holiday shopping season has long been the most important time of the year for many retailers. In the past, it has been common for troubled retailers to file for bankruptcy protection in the months following the holiday…more

Chapter 11, Commercial Bankruptcy, Landlords, Popular, Retail Market

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Will Your EU Registrations Be Invalidated by the New Law?

On December 15, 2015, following several years of negotiations, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union approved a new EU Trade Mark Directive as well as a new Trade Mark Regulation…more

EU, Fees, Intellectual Property Protection, Trade Mark Directive, Trademarks

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 2, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

See All Updates »

Louisiana Fourth Circuit Holds Public Bid Invalid Absent Written Evidence of Authority to Sign Bid

Contractors that bid public projects in Louisiana are familiar with the Public Bid Law's requirement that "[w]ritten evidence of authority of the person signing the bid for public works shall be submitted at the time of…more

Competitive Bidding, Construction Industry, Contractors, Limited Liability Companies

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Summary of Senate Bill 2622 - Mississippi's Construction Lien Law

This is the first in a series of alerts exploring how this new law will affect your business. Look for more information regarding this law in the coming weeks. The bill has passed out of conference but it must be enrolled and…more

Construction Liens, Materialman's Lien

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Top 10 Recommendations to Avoid Litigation

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been targeted by plaintiff's attorneys who advertise heavily in an effort to solicit plaintiffs for malpractice suits…more

Medical Liability

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NLRB's Quickie Election Rule Takes Effect - A New Threat for Employers: A Proactive Solution for You

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its final Rule on "quickie elections" in December, and they are now in effect. These rules come down heavily in favor of unions…more

Ambush Election Rules, Final Rules, NLRA, NLRB, Union Elections

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To the Woodshed: Self-Defense, Defense of Others and Retaliatory Discharge

The workplace can be very tumultuous. Employees working in close quarters inevitably have disagreements, and some employees prove themselves to be disagreeable troublemakers. Workplace bullying is considered by some to be such a…more

Adverse Employment Action, Appeals, At-Will Employment, Bullying, Employer Liability Issues

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Spotlight on Bankruptcy: Basic Bankruptcy for Mortgage Litigators

Mortgage litigators often face a variety of bankruptcy issues. There are three main chapters of bankruptcy that affect the average mortgage litigator: Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and Chapter 11. Upon the filing of Chapter 7, Chapter…more

Automatic Stay, Consumer Bankruptcy, Mortgages

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Summary of the Business License Tax Increase for Contractors in the City of Birmingham

A massive tax increase on contractors located and doing business in the City of Birmingham, Alabama, has been avoided, but recent amendments that go into effect January 1, 2016, still present significant increases and changes to…more

Business Licenses, Construction Industry, Contractors, Tax Rates

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May an Employer Object to the Affordable Care Act’s Contraceptive Mandate Based Solely on Moral Grounds? A federal court has ruled that a private employer can buck the mandate because it objects to it on moral—not religious—grounds.

Hobby Lobby took on the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that it must provide female employees certain contraceptives on religious grounds and won. March for Life, a pro-life organization, is trying to reach the same result but on…more

Affordable Care Act, Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, Employer Mandates, Equal Protection, Fifth Amendment

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CFPB in 2016

A new year is upon us and what better resolution for the financial services industry than thinking ahead and planning for the CFPB's potential agenda in 2016? After the flurry of mortgage activity in both 2014 and 2015, action…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, Enforcement Actions, Financial Services Industry, HMDA

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NLRB's Quickie Election Rule Takes Effect - A New Threat for Employers: A Proactive Solution for You

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its final Rule on "quickie elections" in December, and they are now in effect. These rules come down heavily in favor of unions…more

Ambush Election Rules, Final Rules, NLRA, NLRB, Union Elections

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EEOC Proposed Rule to Shed Light on Wellness Programs under the ADA

On April 20, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") published a proposed new rule that would amend the regulations for Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") as they relate to employer…more

ADA, Affordable Care Act, Benefit Plan Sponsors, EEOC, ERISA

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Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split Over TILA Rescissions Limitations Period

The United States Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a borrower relying on the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to rescind his mortgage loan need only mail written notice of his intent to his lender within three years of the loan's…more

Bank of America, Countrywide, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages, Refinancing

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Lessons Learned from LabMD's Successful Challenge to the FTC's Cyber Authority and Wyndham's Monumental Settlement with the FTC

On the shifting sands of cyber security regulation, it is important to understand the outcome of two recent enforcement cases brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – one against clinical lab services company LabMD, Inc…more

Cybersecurity, Data Breach, FTC, FTC Act, FTC v Wyndham

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Increased SEC and FINRA Scrutiny on Confidentiality Provisions

Over the past several months, confidentiality provisions included in settlement agreements, employment or independent contractor contracts, or in other documents, have come under increased scrutiny in the financial industry. In…more

Broker-Dealer, Confidentiality Agreements, Dodd-Frank, DOJ, Financial Institutions

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The Confederate Flag is Down in South Carolina, but It's Up in Your Parking Lot: What Should You Do?

There has been considerable press lately regarding efforts to remove the Confederate flag from state capitols, and to otherwise remove public displays of Confederate or similar symbols of "southern heritage." What is often left…more

Employer Liability Issues, First Amendment, Hostile Environment

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OSHA Update: A Tale of Two Proposed OSHA Regulations

Back in February, we mentioned that public comments were being accepted on OSHA's proposed rule that would require employers with more than 250 employees to electronically report to OSHA their OSHA 300 (the injury and illness…more

Compliance, OSHA, Recordkeeping Requirements, Reporting Requirements, Workplace Injury

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Fifth Circuit Protects Franchisors, For Now

In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s announcement that he intends to pursue unfair labor practice charges against a franchisor, franchisors are on high alert. With the NLRB considering an upheaval…more

Employee Rights, Franchises, Franchisors, Joint Employers, McDonalds

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How to Incentivize an Employee Exempt Under the White Collar Exemptions

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), certain employees can be exempt from overtime if they meet the "white collar exemptions" – the bona fide executive, administrative, professional, certain computer and outside sales…more

FLSA, Minimum Salary, Unpaid Overtime, Wage and Hour, White-Collar Exemptions

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Guns At Work In Tennessee: What Can Be Banned, What Can Probably Be Banned, And What Is Left

The Tennessee legislature's recent enactment of what has been widely named the "Guns in the Trunk" statute, codified at Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1313, has sparked debate across the state about the statute's impact on an…more

At-Will Employment, Concealed Carry Permit, Firearms, Guns-in-Trunks Legislation, Hiring & Firing

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House Votes to Protect Indirect Auto Lending Against CFPB

On November 18, 2015, the House of Representatives passed the Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act by a vote of 332 to 96. Although the Act has not received much fanfare, its aim is significant: proponents hope…more

Automotive Loans, Banking Sector, CFPB, Discriminatory Lending Practices, Pending Legislation

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“Constituents Of Chaos” – Administrative Appellate Decision Confirms Bureau Of Safety And Environmental Enforcement Jurisdiction Over Offshore Contractors

“Constituents Of Chaos” – Administrative Appellate Decision Confirms Bureau Of Safety And Environmental Enforcement Jurisdiction Over Offshore Contractors The classification of the constituents of a chaos, nothing less is here…more

Bureau of Safety and Envirnonmental Enforcement, Enforcement Authority, Federal Contractors, Halliburton, Offshore Drilling

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Proposed Executive Order Mandates Paid Sick Leave for Employees of Federal Contractors

President Obama may soon issue an executive order mandating that employers who contract with the Federal government, and their subcontractors, provide paid sick leave to employees. A report in The New York Times released a draft…more

Compliance, Davis-Bacon Act, Employee Benefits, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors

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Start Planning for the Worst While You Hope for the Best

For the past several months we have been updating you on the proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the impact those changes could have on your workforce. The comment period for the proposed regulations has…more

Comment Period, DOL, FLSA, Independent Contractors, Minimum Salary

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DOL Gives States More Control Over Self-Insured Health Plans

On November 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL) published Technical Release 2014-01, which provides technical guidance to States concerning stop-loss insurance. Stop-loss…more

DOL, Employer Group Health Plans, Health Insurance, Self-Insured Health Plans

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Is Forum Shopping for Equal Rights on the Horizon?

Race discrimination claims brought by members of the racial majority have long been recognized as legitimate claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and various state discrimination laws. However,…more

Civil Rights Act, Forum Selection, Forum Shopping, Race Discrimination, Title VII

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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The Flipside of BFI: Joint Employment Not Found

Back in August of this year, Baker Donelson issued a Labor & Employment Alert regarding the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) new joint employer standard as announced in its Browning Ferris Industries (BFI) decision. In…more

Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Collective Bargaining, Corporate Counsel, Hiring & Firing, Joint Employers

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Meet the New Sharif: Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction in the Wake of Wellness International

The 1978 Bankruptcy Code was hailed as a comprehensive bankruptcy overhaul, designed, in part, to eliminate the uncertainty as to which matters could be handled by a bankruptcy referee depending on the outcome of a summary…more

Article III, Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Court, Jurisdiction, SCOTUS

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Don't Get Caught Out in the Cold: Winter Wage Law Woes

Now that winter will soon be officially here and many parts of the country are expecting snow in the near future, employers should be mindful of how winter weather impacts wage laws. Employers should review their inclement…more

Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, Severe Weather, Wage and Hour

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OSHA Issues Guidance Regarding Transgender Employees

As transgender issues seem to dominate the headlines, another federal agency has stepped into the debate. Last week, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued guidance strongly urging employers to give…more

EEOC, Employee Restrooms, Employee Rights, Equal Access, Gender Discrimination

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HHS Issues Guidance on Permitted Remuneration for Prescription Refill Reminders in the Absence of Patient Authorization

On September 19, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) issued guidance on the effect of the January 25, 2013 Final Rule provision about remuneration related to prescription refill reminders and medication adherence…more

Compliance, HHS, HIPAA, HIPAA Omnibus Rule, Refill Reminders

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New Case Poses Threat to Mortgage Servicers in Bankruptcies

A new decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit poses a serious threat to mortgage companies that service mortgages of chapter 13 debtors. Mortgage servicers should be aware of the case's implications and…more

Appeals, Bankruptcy Code, Borrowers, Chapter 13, Chapter 7

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The New Paradigm in Vendor Management Under the CFPB

This past July marked the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a period marked by sweeping changes to the regulatory and administrative environment in which financial institutions…more

Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB, Citibank, Compliance

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

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Words Matter: D.C. Circuit Upholds (in part) NLRB's Ruling on Hyundai Handbook Policies

A recent opinion from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Hyundai Am. Shipping Agency, Inc. v. NLRB, illustrates the importance of word choice in handbook policies under the watchful eye of the National Labor Relations Board…more

Collective Bargaining, Employee Handbooks, NLRA, NLRB, Popular

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CFPB's October Complaint Snapshot Focuses on Credit Card Complaints

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been taking complaints from consumers about all financial service products, including credit cards, since its inception on July 21, 2011. As of October 1, 2015, the CFPB has…more

CFPB, Consumer Complaint System, Consumer Financial Products, Credit Cards, Financial Institutions

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Playing Zone(-ing) Defense

ZONE(-ING) DEFENSE --- With March Madness in full swing, now is a great time to review how local zoning ordinances can turn a mortgage servicer’s foreclosure layup into a blocked shot. Many U.S. states rely on a judicial process…more

Foreclosure, Local Ordinance, Mortgages

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CFPB Agrees to Give Originators a Grace Period for Compliance with New TRID Regulations

On the eve of the New Year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took steps to calm industry concerns about the effect of the new TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules enacted by the CFPB. Effective October 3,…more

CFPB, Disclosure Requirements, Grace Period, Mortgage Loan Originators, TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID)

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The National Labor Relations Board Expands Union Access to Witness Statements

On June 26, 2015, in a split 3-2 decision, the National Labor Relations Board (Board), overturned the 37-year-old standard protecting the confidentiality of witness statements taken by employers during workplace investigations…more

Anheuser-Busch, Balancing Test, Confidential Information, Hiring & Firing, NLRB

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Builder Beware! Does Your Project Infringe Someone’s Copyright?

On Friday, November 8, 2013, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which comprises Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, affirmed a $3.2 million damages award for copyright infringement in favor of Kipp…more

Architects, Construction Disputes, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Infringement

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Redskins Trademarks Cancelled - Found Disparaging to Native Americans (Again)

On June 18, 2014, in Amanda Blackhorse et al. v. Pro-Football, Inc., Cancellation No. 92046185 (TTAB 6/18/2014), the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) cancelled six trademark registrations issued between 1967 and 1990 for…more

Blackhorse v Pro-Football, Disparagement, Football, Laches, Native American Issues

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Will Your EU Registrations Be Invalidated by the New Law?

On December 15, 2015, following several years of negotiations, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union approved a new EU Trade Mark Directive as well as a new Trade Mark Regulation…more

EU, Fees, Intellectual Property Protection, Trade Mark Directive, Trademarks

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Government Offers Guidance for Employers Conducting Internal I-9 Audits

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices recently issued guidance to help employers conduct internal I-9 audits in compliance with the…more

Anti-Discrimination Policies, E-Verify, I-9, ICE, Immigration and Nationality Act

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Mississippi Supreme Court Upholds the Net Operating Income Method for Determining True Value of Affordable Housing

In a much anticipated decision, on October 17, 2013, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the Income Approach to Valuation of Affordable Housing, which is a significant victory for affordable housing developers and the larger…more

Affordable Housing, Appraisal, Subsidies, Valuation

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A Gathering Storm in the Dietary Supplement World

This past February, the New York State Attorney General's office accused four major retailers of selling fraudulent and possibly dangerous herbal supplements and demanded that they remove the products from their shelves. The…more

Dietary Supplements, Distributors, FDA Warning Letters, GNC, Labeling

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Alabama Legislative Update – Sine Die – The 2014 Legislative Session Ends

The Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. In previous years, sessions have ended just minutes before midnight on the 30th legislative day. This year was different. As soon as both…more

Ethics, Fraud, Legislative Agendas, Lobbying

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Fourth Circuit Joins Other Federal Courts in Broadly Interpreting the Scope of Title VII Retaliation Claims

On May 7, 2015, the Fourth Circuit ruled that an isolated instance of harassment, if "extremely serious," can create a hostile work environment, and that complaining about such harassment constitutes protected activity under…more

Employer Liability Issues, Harassment, Hostile Environment, Protected Activity, Title VII

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Bill Introduced to Curtail the Stark Law's In-Office Ancillary Services Exception

On August 1, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced H.R. 2914, the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act. The legislation would provide that the Stark Law's in-office ancillary services (IOAS) exception is not available for…more

CMS, Healthcare, HHS, Medical Devices, Medical Expenses

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

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Deepwater Horizon Update: Fifth Circuit Rules in Favor of Cameron on Insurance Issues

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently issued an opinion ruling in favor of Cameron International Corporation and certifying a question to the Texas Supreme Court on issues arising out of an insurance dispute…more

BP, Deepwater Horizon, Denial of Insurance Coverage, Insurance Litigation, Oil & Gas

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Spotlight on Louisiana Tax Amnesty: Better to Ask for Forgiveness?

For a two-month period beginning on September 23, 2013 and ending on November 22, 2013, eligible Louisiana taxpayers may apply to wipe the slate clean with the Louisiana Department of Revenue (Department) by voluntarily paying…more

Department of Revenue, Income Taxes, Interest Rates, Tax Amnesty

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FAST Act Brings Holiday Cheer to Issuers

"Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act," also known as the FAST Act, was signed by President Obama on December 4, 2015. Although primarily aimed at authorizing spending on highway and transit projects, the FAST Act…more

Disclosure Requirements, Emerging Growth Companies, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), JOBS Act, New Legislation

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Lenders Beware: Future Hurdles to Foreclosure Deficiency Actions May Lie Ahead

In an update to Kevin Stine’s June 6, 2014 article explaining the Georgia Court of Appeals decision to bid adieu to select foreclosure confirmation hurdles, the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia recently posed…more

Anti-Deficiency Provisions, Banks, Consumer Lenders, Financial Institutions, Foreclosure

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Based on Improper Appointment of Acting General Counsel to NLRB, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Voids Unfair Labor Practice Ruling

On August 7, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon's appointment violated the Federal Vacancies Reform…more

Administrative Appointments, ALJ, Bonuses, Canning v NLRB, Collective Bargaining

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Drafting Arbitration Clauses in Chinese/American Commercial Contracts for Arbitration in China

American companies doing business with Chinese companies in China are often concerned about the credibility, neutrality and quality of the arbitration institutions in China. As a result, American companies generally try to avoid…more

Arbitration, China, Commercial Contracts, Young Lawyers

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HUD Issues New Handbook for Long Term Care Financing Under Section 232

On May 22, 2014, HUD published a new Handbook covering its Section 232 Healthcare Insurance Mortgage Program, which insures HUD-approved lenders against financial loss from mortgage loan defaults in loans to qualifying long term…more

Healthcare, HUD, Long Term Care Facilities, Long-Term Care, Mortgages

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TRID's Closing Disclosure

On October 3, 2015, the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule (TRID) went into effect. The rule sought to streamline and clarify some of the overlapping and confusing language on the two different disclosure forms lenders…more

Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB, Closing Documents, Consumer Lenders

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Tennessee Supreme Court Modifies Summary Judgment Standard

On October 26, 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court returned to a summary judgment standard consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in a Memphis health care liability case. In Rye v. Women's Care Center of Memphis, the…more

Healthcare, Summary Judgment, TN Supreme Court

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Summary of Senate Bill 2622 - Mississippi's Construction Lien Law

This is the first in a series of alerts exploring how this new law will affect your business. Look for more information regarding this law in the coming weeks. The bill has passed out of conference but it must be enrolled and…more

Construction Liens, Materialman's Lien

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Recent Eleventh Circuit Decisions Clarify "Debt Collector" Status Under the FDCPA

Recent decisions within the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals have clarified two required elements needed to support a viable claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In Davidson v. Capital One Bank (USA),…more

Appeals, Capital One, Debt Collection, Debt Collectors, FDCPA

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Fast Alert: OIG Calls For Reevaluation Of Medicare Therapy Billing

On September 30, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report titled, "The Medicare System For Skilled Nursing Facilities Needs To Be Evaluated" in response to growing concerns over Medicare's payment system…more

Billing, CMS, DOJ, Health Care Providers, Healthcare

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CMS Proposes Rules Requiring LTC Facilities to Implement Compliance and Ethics Programs

Under proposed rules issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), long term care (LTC) facility operators would be required to develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive compliance and ethics program in…more

CMS, Compliance, Ethics, Healthcare, Long Term Care Facilities

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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On My Bookshelf – Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

For this month's book review, Tim Lupinacci, the leader of the Firm's Financial Services Department, and Staci Pierce, an associate in Financial Services, provide their points of view on Sponsoring Women by Ida O. Abbott…more

Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity, Leadership

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Spotlight on Alabama: Retailers Will be Subject to Sales Tax Because of Deliveries into Local Jurisdictions

For many years, retailers subject to Alabama's sales tax have correctly avoided collecting sales taxes for those Alabama cities and counties where the retailer is not located but where the retailer nevertheless makes deliveries…more

Nexus, Retailers, Sales & Use Tax

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Recent, Significant Changes in Florida's Law of Foreclosure

On June 7, 2013, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law House Bill 87, now known as Chapter 2013-137, which provides for substantial changes in mortgage foreclosures filed in Florida…more

Consumer Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Mortgages, New Legislation

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Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) is Challenged Before the U.S. Supreme Court

A significant protection afforded by the 2005 Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) is being challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court in State of Mississippi ex rel Jim Hood, Attorney General v. AU Optronics Corp, et al., No…more

CAFA, Class Action, Federal Jurisdiction, SCOTUS

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

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Spotlight on Mississippi: Domestic Asset Protection Trust Legislation

Mississippi recently became the 16th state to pass legislation permitting the creation of domestic asset protection trusts. The new law was effective July 1, 2014. Under the new Mississippi Act, a domestic asset…more

Trusts

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Patent Protection for Isolated Genetic Sequences Upheld in Australia

Last year in AMP v Myriad Genetics, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that isolated, naturally occuring DNA are not patent eligible, which caused considerable consternation in the biotech community. However, this does not appear…more

AMP v Myriad, Australia, BRCA, DNA, Genetic Materials

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Texas Supreme Court Leaves Trespass Question Unanswered

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Environmental Processing Systems LC v. FPL Farming Ltd., case number 12-0905, and specifically declined to address the issue of whether wastewater that migrates under…more

Appeals, Farms, Hazardous Waste, Trespass, TX Supreme Court

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Supreme Court Puts Raging Bull Copyright Back in the Ring

This month, the U.S. Supreme Court in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. revived copyright infringement claims based on the motion picture Raging Bull, and in the process may have killed the "discovery rule" for when a…more

Copyright, Copyright Infringement, MGM, Petrella v. MGM, Raging Bull

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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The Telephone Consumer Protection Act – FCC Approves New Rules

John met Susan in a bar. Enamored, he later asked her friend Mary for Susan's telephone number. The next day John called Susan on his iPhone to ask her out on a date. Sadly, John did not get the girl. Instead, he got sued by…more

ATDS, Cell Phones, FCC, Mobile Devices, Popular

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NLRB's Quickie Election Rule Takes Effect - A New Threat for Employers: A Proactive Solution for You

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its final Rule on "quickie elections" in December, and they are now in effect. These rules come down heavily in favor of unions…more

Ambush Election Rules, Final Rules, NLRA, NLRB, Union Elections

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Long Term Care Lenders Beware: Could You Be Liable For Patient Care?

Plaintiffs are increasingly seeking to extend to remote lenders liability for alleged negligent care of residents in long term care facilities. The current strategy is to use "alter ego and veil piercing" theories which claim…more

Alter Ego, Commercial Bankruptcy, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Lenders

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Tennessee Proposes Fracturing Practices for Oil and Gas Wells

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's (TEDC) proposed rules regarding fracturing practices for oil and gas wells have received approval by the Joint Government Operation Committee in the Tennessee General…more

Fracking, Oil & Gas

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Legislative Compromise in Georgia

The Georgia Brewer’s Guild was prepared to introduce a significant piece of legislation this year that would have opened up a number of opportunities for craft breweries in Georgia. As of yesterday, that legislation will not be…more

Beer, Breweries, Manufacturers

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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Sparta to Memphis: Bruce McMullen Shares His Path to Success

Bruce McMullen is a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Memphis office and focuses his practice in health care law and commercial litigation. Over the years, Bruce has built a successful career, earning an AV® Preeminent™ Peer…more

Career Development

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Social Media Compliance Policies: Your Company Needs One

Use of social media is ubiquitous in today's society. This is astounding when you think back to 2004 and realize that social media did not exist then. Fast forward ten years and by September 2014, 58% of all American adults ages…more

Compliance, Dominos, Facebook, FINRA, Hashtags

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NYSE Amends Rule Regarding Disclosure of Material Nonpublic Information

Companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) are certainly familiar with the NYSE rules regarding public disclosure of material information. Those rules require prompt disclosure of material information that may affect…more

Compliance, Material Nonpublic Information, NYSE, Public Disclosure, Publicly-Traded Companies

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Baker Donelson Comments on CMS's Proposed Changes to the Stark Regulations - September 2015

The law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., sincerely appreciates the opportunity to comment upon the proposed clarifications and changes to the Stark regulations issued by the Centers and Medicare and…more

CMS, FQHC, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Hospitals

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New Georgia Law Sets Deadlines for Deeds, Relaxes Attestation Requirements

If you thought you knew the decades-old Georgia requirements for attesting a security instrument or recording a deed under power, think again. These basic rules are changing on July 1, 2015, and the changes are expected to have…more

Deeds, Mortgage Servicing Rules, Mortgages, Recording Requirements, Security Deed

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The New Broader Standard for Divided Patent Infringement

On Thursday, August 13, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Akamai Technologies, Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc. unanimously overruled its prior narrow interpretation of divided infringement…more

Akamai Technologies, Covered Business Method Patents, Divided Infringement, Joint Venture, Limelight

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What Happens to LTC Arbitration Agreements if the Proposed CMS Rules are Implemented?

By now, most industry members are aware that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published a proposed set of new rules for regulating long term care (LTC) facilities. During the review period, CMS received…more

Arbitration Agreements, CMS, Healthcare, Long Term Care Facilities, Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

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The Perils of BYOD Policies

Over the holidays, many employees are out of the office on family vacations or otherwise using their time off. Many employers rely on employees' use of their own personal electronic devices to keep up with what is going on in…more

Bring Your Own Device, Confidential Information, Electronic Devices, FLSA, Non-Exempt Employees

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Court of Appeals to Plan Administrators: Inform Claimants of Time Limits on Front End of Discussions

Recently, in Mirza v. Insurance Administrator of Am., Inc., __ F.3d__ (3d. Cir. 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was asked to determine whether plan administrators are required to include a…more

Appeals, Claim Denial Letters, Employee Benefits, ERISA, Health Insurance

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“Materially Less”: The Foreclosure Deficiency Standard in Tennessee

Like many other states, Tennessee allows a creditor who has conducted a foreclosure sale of real property secured by a deed of trust or mortgage to recover "a deficiency judgment in an amount sufficient to satisfy fully the…more

Debt, Deficiency Judgments, Foreclosure, Mortgages

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Advisers Charged with Cleansing Dirty Money from Industry

On August 25, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) proposed an anti-money laundering rule applicable to SEC-registered investment advisers (RIAs). The proposed rule would require RIAs to establish anti-money…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, Banking Sector, Banks, Broker-Dealer

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Texas City Council Rejects Fracking Ban

On July 16, 2014, the City Council of Denton, Texas rejected an ordinance that would prohibit hydraulic fracturing. The initiative will now be considered by the Denton residents in the November election. Earlier this year, the…more

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OSHA Concentrates its Health Care Facility Inspections on Key Areas, but Specific Requirements Remain Elusive

On June 25, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a press release outlining its focus areas for health care facility inspections. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), blood-borne…more

DOL, General Duty Clause, Healthcare, HHS, Hospitals

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Alabama Legislative Update – Sine Die – The 2014 Legislative Session Ends

The Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. In previous years, sessions have ended just minutes before midnight on the 30th legislative day. This year was different. As soon as both…more

Ethics, Fraud, Legislative Agendas, Lobbying

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How the Current Regulatory and Legal Landscapes Can Lead to Fair Lending Violations

The CFPB's website states, "Other regulators focus on the safety and soundness of the financial institutions first. The CFPB is the first to focus primarily on the American consumer." The CFPB's actions, however, may have the…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, Disparate Impact, Fair Lending, Financial Institutions

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Executive Order Requiring Paid Sick Leave In the Works

We previously reported on other recently executed Executive Orders and it appears there is another in the works directed to government contractors. The new Executive Order circulating Washington will likely mandate paid sick…more

Construction Industry, Domestic Violence, Employee Benefits, Federal Contractors, PTO

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Five Things to Consider When Expanding in a Global Market

More and more oil and gas companies, based in the United States or elsewhere, are considering a venture into foreign waters (or land). Following is a list of just a few issues that could impact expansion efforts. …more

Compliance, FCPA, Foreign Currency, Fraud, Oil & Gas

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Recent Government Cyber Alert and Draft Guide for Financial Institutions: Lessons for All Organizations

All organizations, including financial institutions, continue to face significant security threats across their wide ranging IT systems. Such organizations are particularly vulnerable if they cannot track networked devices and…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Compliance, Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Framework

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Mitigating Successor Liability in Long Term Care Acquisitions

As in any business acquisition, purchasers in the long term care industry can encounter potential liability due to employment claims, seller violations of representations and warranties under the purchase agreement, tort…more

Long-Term Care, Succession Planning, Successor Liability

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Georgia Legislature Clarifies Service of Process Statute for Georgia Domestic and Foreign Corporations Doing Business in Georgia

On July 1, 2013, clarifying changes to Georgia’s Civil Practice Act went into effect regarding how a plaintiff can accomplish service of civil process against a Georgia corporation, as well as foreign corporations doing business…more

Foreign Corporations, New Legislation, Service of Process

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FCRA Class Action Suits on the Rise

It is a common practice for employers to check criminal backgrounds or credit ratings of potential, and sometimes current, employees. Background checks that provide this type of information are helpful to employers when…more

Background Checks, Chipotle Grill, Class Action, Compliance, Corporate Counsel

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Immigration Corner: Major E-Verify Changes Proposed

On June 8, 2015 USCIS released the details of proposed major changes to the E-Verify program. The notice, found here, proposes several major changes to the E-Verify program and seeks public comments until August 7, 2015. These…more

Compliance, E-Verify, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), I-9, Section 3

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Proposed Amendments to Outer Continental Shelf Regulations Clear Up the Meaning of a Safe Drilling Margin

On April 17, 2015, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) published proposed amendments to regulations for offshore well operators in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The proposed amendments address numerous…more

BSEE, Offshore Drilling, Oil & Gas, Outer Continental Shelf, Proposed Amendments

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On My Bookshelf: Flash Boys

In the spring of 2007, Brad Katsuyama, a successful New York banker at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), thought something was wrong with his computer. He was trying to buy 10,000 shares of Intel, offered at $22. But the moment he…more

Flash Boys, High Frequency Trading, SEC, Wall Street

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Employers of Home Care Workers to Begin Paying Overtime in January 2015

The United States Department of Labor issued a final rule, extending the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to home health care workers who provide care for the sick, disabled or elderly, otherwise known as…more

Caregivers, Employee Rights, FLSA, Unpaid Overtime, Wage and Hour

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What is Implicit Bias and Why Should Employers Care?

In 2014, Baker Donelson's Diversity Committee instituted a mandatory firm-wide training program on "implicit bias" which has continued into 2015. While the Firm regularly conducts training in how to prevent discrimination,…more

American Bar Association (ABA), Bias, Discrimination, Employment Discrimination, Harassment

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U.S. Supreme Court Bartlett Decision in Favor of Generic Drug Manufacturers

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court held that state law design defect claims against manufacturers of generic pharmaceuticals are preempted by federal law when the claim hinges on the adequacy of the drug's…more

Design Defects, Generic Drugs, Pharmaceutical Industry, Preemption, SCOTUS

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DOL Gives States More Control Over Self-Insured Health Plans

On November 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL) published Technical Release 2014-01, which provides technical guidance to States concerning stop-loss insurance. Stop-loss…more

DOL, Employer Group Health Plans, Health Insurance, Self-Insured Health Plans

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On My Bookshelf – Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

For this month's book review, Tim Lupinacci, the leader of the Firm's Financial Services Department, and Staci Pierce, an associate in Financial Services, provide their points of view on Sponsoring Women by Ida O. Abbott…more

Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity, Leadership

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Louisiana Fourth Circuit Holds Public Bid Invalid Absent Written Evidence of Authority to Sign Bid

Contractors that bid public projects in Louisiana are familiar with the Public Bid Law's requirement that "[w]ritten evidence of authority of the person signing the bid for public works shall be submitted at the time of…more

Competitive Bidding, Construction Industry, Contractors, Limited Liability Companies

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Hospitalitas Newsletter - Spring 2015

In This Issue: - The Next Hot Trend in Economic Development: Craft Beer - Class Action Attempt to Void Jimmy John’s Non-Competes Goes Stale - Use of Customer Survey Data Upheld in Hotel Franchise…more

Ambush Election Rules, Beer, Breweries, Class Action, Contract Terms

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Highlights of H.R. 22: Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act

On December 1, a conference committee unveiled the FAST Act, which would authorize approximately $305 billion for highway, transit, rail and safety spending for the next five years, until September 30, 2020. The Act would…more

Amtrak, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), Highway Trust Fund, Pending Legislation, Surface Transportation

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Deadlines Extended on Cadillac Tax and ACA Forms 1095 and 1094 Reporting

In a recent Omnibus appropriations package, Congress extended the effective date for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) "Cadillac Tax" by two years, from plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, to plan years beginning on or…more

Affordable Care Act, Cadillac Tax, Extensions, Filing Deadlines, Form 1094

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Women's Health Tip – June 2015

Jackson, Mississippi, attorney Anna Powers has traveled the world and lived in some of the globe's most fascinating places, picking up bits and pieces of fitness and nutrition practices along the way that shape her very active,…more

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A Not-So-Happy Valentine's Day for UAW and Its Continued Efforts to Feel the Love

On February 14, 2014, the results of a NLRB-conducted unionization vote by Volkswagen workers at the Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant were released. Plant workers voted 712-626 against representation by the United Auto Workers…more

Automotive Industry, NLRA, NLRB, Unions

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Recent Tax Extenders and Modification Package Signed into Law

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the "Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015" (the Act). The Act extends a number of tax provisions that expired on December 31, 2014 and makes some of the extensions…more

Bonus Depreciation, Business Assets, Charitable Rollover, New Legislation, New Market Tax Credits

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Alabama Homestead and Personal Property Exemptions Increased

On June 11, 2016, Governor Bentley (Alabama) signed into law ACT No. 2015-484 which became effective that same day. The law increases the personal property exemption available to individual debtors and surviving spouses to…more

Debtors, Homestead Exemption, Personal Property, Surviving Spouse

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Eleventh Circuit Case Delivers Big Win for Contractors Seeking Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued an important opinion that is good for contractors making claims on general liability policies, and not so good for the insurers issuing those policies. Specifically,…more

Appeals, Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Disputes, Construction Industry, Contractors

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Federal District Court Rules Favorably for Medical Device Manufacturer in Off-Label Promotion Lawsuits

On April 13, 2015, in the case of Kathleen Hafer v. Medtronic, Inc., the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee issued a favorable opinion to a medical device manufacturer in the context of preemption…more

Leave to Amend, Manufacturers, Medical Devices, Medtronic, Misrepresentation

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Supreme Court Leaves Post-Patent Expiration Royalty Rule in Place

The U.S. Supreme Court today in Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC upheld the longstanding Brulotte rule that a patent owner cannot continue to receive royalties for sales made after its patent expires. In a 6-3 decision, the…more

Brulotte, IP License, Kimble v Marvel Enterprises, Marvel Comics, Patent Litigation

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Hospitalitas Newsletter - Spring 2014

In This Issue: - Your Grandmother Doesn’t Work for Free: Volunteer and Intern Positions Under Closer Scrutiny - Excessive Celebration – Penalty Declined - Four Crisis Management Lessons from the…more

Class Action, Crisis Management, DOL, FLSA, Fourth Amendment

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Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Laws on the Rise

Several states and cities across the county have passed laws requiring employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave. Statewide laws have been passed in Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Oregon. Washington,…more

Employee Benefits, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Sick Leave, Wage and Hour

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Financial Services Industry: Be Aware of Proposed White Collar Overtime Regulations

The financial services area received a defeat earlier this year when the United States Supreme Court in March upheld the Department of Labor's (DOL) Administrative Interpretation concluding that mortgage loan officers do not…more

Appraisal Management Companies, Banking Sector, Banks, Bonuses, Collective Actions

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Get Your Ducks in a Row: Thoughts on Foreclosure of Securitized Debt in Alabama

Alabama remains one of the simplest jurisdictions in the country for commercial foreclosure. Nevertheless, foreclosure in Alabama can quickly become expensive if a lender does not carefully follow the letter of the law and…more

Debt, Foreclosure, Securitization

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 2, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

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Fifth Circuit Reverses Citgo Convictions Under Clean Air Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in United States v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., No. 14-40128 (5th Cir. September 4, 2015), reversed the district court’s convictions of Citgo Petroleum Corp. (Citgo) for alleged…more

Bird Fatalities, Citgo, Clean Air Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, National Emissions Standards

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ACG Louisiana Holding Second Annual Energy Case Cup Competition

The Louisiana Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG Louisiana) will hold its second annual Energy Case Cup Competition in October. Last year's inaugural competition included more than 100 undergraduate students…more

Corporate Financing, Energy Sector, Financial Adviser, Investment Banks, Non-Profits

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CFPB's Latest Supervisory Report Signals Enforcement Trends

The CFPB's most recent Supervisory Highlights report, which covers the second half of 2014, confirms that the bureau is continuing an aggressive focus on debt collection, overdraft fees, mortgage origination, fair lending and…more

Ability-to-Repay, CFPB, Consumer Financial Contracts, Consumer Financial Products, Consumer Lenders

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Q & A: ICANN's Global Trademark Clearinghouse

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body tasked with coordinating and preserving global Internet stability, is embarking on its largest expansion ever of the domain name system. Last week, on…more

Domain Names, gTLD, ICANN, Registration, Trademark Clearinghouse

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Avoiding a Limitations Fight by Rescinding Acceleration

Texas recently added a new statute aimed at providing lienholders and loan servicers an unambiguous method for unilaterally abandoning the acceleration of a loan's maturity. When a borrower defaults in paying an…more

Acceleration, Borrowers, Consumer Lenders, Debt, Default

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Maintaining the Magic: Disney's Use of Confidentiality Restrictions to Promote Character Integrity

When your business depends on a carefully-crafted public image, you do not want the public to know how hard you work to maintain that image. These days, that includes preventing your employees from revealing too much via Twitter…more

Actors, Confidentiality Agreements, Corporate Counsel, Disney, Disney World

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Arbitration Update

Following up on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announcement of controversial rulemaking on arbitration provisions, CFPB Director Richard Cordray offered further insight into the CFPB's intentions in remarks to a…more

Arbitration, CFPB, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Consumer Financial Products, Financial Institutions

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For Convenience Store Chains in Georgia, Leasing Business Operations to Separate Entity Can Maximize Recovery in Condemnations

In Georgia, when a convenience store chain both owns and operates a location, it should lease business operations to a separate legal entity to maximize recovery in the event of a partial condemnation. In limited…more

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Baker Donelson Comments on CMS's Proposed Changes to the Stark Regulations - September 2015

The law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., sincerely appreciates the opportunity to comment upon the proposed clarifications and changes to the Stark regulations issued by the Centers and Medicare and…more

CMS, FQHC, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Hospitals

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Preparing for the Inevitable: Legal Holds

Litigation is an unfortunate inevitability in the long term care industry. How well your company weathers that storm often depends on your preparation, and one of the most vital parts of your litigation response plan is your…more

Electronically Stored Information, Healthcare, Litigation Hold, Litigation Strategies, Long Term Care Facilities

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U.S. Institutes New International Design Applications

In February 2015, the United States completed steps to become a member of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague Agreement). The Hague Agreement went into effect for the United…more

Design Patent, Hague Agreement, Patent Applications, Patent Cooperation Treaty, Patents

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Legislative Update for Brand Manufacturers Distributing in Alabama

On April 28, 2015, the Alabama House of Representatives passed SB-80, thereby abolishing the highly criticized theory of innovator liability adopted in Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks, ___ So.3d___, 2014 WL 4055813 (Ala. Aug. 15, 2014)…more

Inventors, Manufacturers, New Legislation

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Hydraulic Fracturing Continues to Produce More Legislation and Oversight

As U.S. oil and gas production has dramatically increased due to the more frequent use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to release tight oil and gas, new state legislation and rules around oil and gas drilling…more

Energy, Fracking, Natural Gas, Oil & Gas

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Recent Changes in Off-Site Employment Requirements

There have been recent changes in the immigration world regarding the requirements for off-site employment. Both the H-1B visa category and the L-1B visa category, which are two of the more common employment-based visa…more

Administrative Appeals, DOL, H-1B, LCA, Location Changes

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Lessons Learned from LabMD's Successful Challenge to the FTC's Cyber Authority and Wyndham's Monumental Settlement with the FTC

On the shifting sands of cyber security regulation, it is important to understand the outcome of two recent enforcement cases brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – one against clinical lab services company LabMD, Inc…more

Cybersecurity, Data Breach, FTC, FTC Act, FTC v Wyndham

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Georgia Supreme Court Rules Construction Defects Satisfy CGL Policy's 'Occurrence' Requirement

Homeowners sued their homebuilder alleging that the concrete foundations of their homes were improperly constructed. As a result, it was alleged that the foundations were failing, and the defects in the foundations had caused…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Occurrence, Property Damage

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Lessons for Smaller Creditors

As we look back on 2015, it’s not surprising that the CFPB's enforcement actions continued to focus on mortgage-related practices. What was surprising was that its actions were not confined to the nation's largest banks and…more

CFPB, Enforcement Actions, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgage Loan Originators, Mortgages

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On My Bookshelf – The Other Fellow May Be Right: The Civility of Howard Baker

It was a beautiful fall afternoon in Knoxville and 100,000 Big Orange fans milled around Neyland Stadium shortly before kickoff. One of them was a then-young partner in a then medium-sized law firm, dressed in jeans and sneakers…more

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Recent Eleventh Circuit Decisions Clarify "Debt Collector" Status Under the FDCPA

Recent decisions within the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals have clarified two required elements needed to support a viable claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In Davidson v. Capital One Bank (USA),…more

Appeals, Capital One, Debt Collection, Debt Collectors, FDCPA

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Tennessee Benefit Corporation Statute

Governor Haslam recently signed into law the "For-Profit Benefit Corporation Act" (the FPBCA), which has now been assigned Public Chapter No. 497. The FPBCA will take effect on January 1, 2016 and will allow for-profit…more

B Corporation, Corporate Governance, Emerging Growth Companies, New Legislation, Public Benefits

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Top 10 Recommendations to Avoid Litigation

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been targeted by plaintiff's attorneys who advertise heavily in an effort to solicit plaintiffs for malpractice suits…more

Medical Liability

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New Texas Law Hopes to Eliminate the Barriers to Recycling Fracking Wastewater

Following a unanimous vote of approval in both the House and Senate and signature of Governor Rick Perry, House Bill 2767 will go into effect in Texas on September 1, 2013…more

Drilling Waste Disposal, Fracking, Oil & Gas, Wastewater

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Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program

On Wednesday, January 28, as required by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced the next step in the…more

BOEM, Mineral Leases, Offshore Drilling, Oil & Gas, Outer Continental Shelf

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Ruling Highlights Importance of State Income Tax Considerations for Section 338 Elections

In Spotlight on Tennessee: Letter Ruling Addresses Treatment of a Section 338(h)(10) Election, dated July 10, 2014, we examined how Tennessee treats the federal election under Internal Revenue Code Section 338(h)(10) for…more

Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes, Income Taxes, State Taxes

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Eat, Drink and Be Wary...The Aftermath of Holiday Parties is Not So Merry

It's that time of year. Stores are playing holiday music on a non-stop loop, and peppermint-flavored coffee is being served in red cups. With the merriment of the holiday season, many employers celebrate the year's…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Discrimination, Harassment, Holiday Parties, Popular

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EEOC Implements Digital Charge Pilot Program

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced the launch of its ACT Digital pilot program that allows the EEOC to communicate directly with employers through an online portal. Phase I of ACT Digital…more

ACT Digital, EEOC

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Florida to Government: Your Lien Doesn't Foreclose This Old Mortgage

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that cities cannot create ordinances that subject prior recorded mortgages to their subsequently recorded county or governmental liens, because it conflicts with Florida's state statutes on…more

Foreclosure, Liens, Local Ordinance, Mortgages, Municipalities

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CFPB Refines Mortgage Rules to Resolve Conflicts and Inconsistencies

On October 15, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interim final rule and bulletin refining and making technical changes to certain provisions of its January 2013 mortgage rules. The interim rule…more

CFPB, Conflict Resolution, Consumer Bankruptcy, FDCPA, Mortgages

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The New Paradigm in Vendor Management Under the CFPB

This past July marked the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a period marked by sweeping changes to the regulatory and administrative environment in which financial institutions…more

Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB, Citibank, Compliance

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Women's Initiative Newsletter - Issue 3, 2014

The Baker Donelson Women’s Initiative is pleased to present the latest issue of our newsletter. Our Newsletter Chairs, Jennifer Keller and Amy Mahone, have done a fantastic job and I know that you will find it useful and…more

Career Development, Client Services, Professional Development, Professional Networking, Women in the Law

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Summary of Senate Bill 2622 - Mississippi's Construction Lien Law

This is the first in a series of alerts exploring how this new law will affect your business. Look for more information regarding this law in the coming weeks. The bill has passed out of conference but it must be enrolled and…more

Construction Liens, Materialman's Lien

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes

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Waive Goodbye to Confirmation Hurdle! Recent Decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals Gives Lenders an Alternate Route to Collect Post-Foreclosure Deficiency From Guarantors

By most accounts, a decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals last September represents a sea change in the law governing judicial confirmation of foreclosure sales and post-foreclosure deficiency claims. Indeed, the Court's…more

Appeals, Deficiency Judgments, Foreclosure, Guarantors, Lenders

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The Jury's Out of the Game and Employers are Back on the Bench: No Right to Jury Under the Tennessee Public Protection Act

Recently, the Tennessee Supreme Court quietly passed down David G. Young v. City of LaFollette, which changed the face of labor and employment litigation in Tennessee. In Young, the Court held, among other things, that "there is…more

Breach of Contract, Employment Contract, Employment Discrimination, Hiring & Firing, Jury Trial

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Tennessee Benefit Corporation Statute

Governor Haslam recently signed into law the "For-Profit Benefit Corporation Act" (the FPBCA), which has now been assigned Public Chapter No. 497. The FPBCA will take effect on January 1, 2016 and will allow for-profit…more

B Corporation, Corporate Governance, Emerging Growth Companies, New Legislation, Public Benefits

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Baker Donelson Comments on CMS's Proposed Changes to the Stark Regulations - September 2015

The law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., sincerely appreciates the opportunity to comment upon the proposed clarifications and changes to the Stark regulations issued by the Centers and Medicare and…more

CMS, FQHC, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Hospitals

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2014 EEOC Enforcement and Litigation Statistics: Retaliation Claims on the Rise

On February 4, the EEOC released a comprehensive set of private sector data for fiscal year 2014. The data tables provide detailed breakdowns of the 88,778 charges of workplace discrimination filed with the agency. While the…more

EEOC, Enforcement Statistics, Retaliation

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Between the "Like" Button and a Hard Place: Understanding the Implications of Hulu's Latest Argument Against User's Privacy Allegations

Companies commonly utilize Facebook as part of their online social media advertising strategy. Companies should revisit this strategy in light of a recent finding in the Northern California U.S. District Court (In re Hulu…more

Advertising, Data Protection, Facebook, Hulu, Online Videos

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What the Mahalo??

Although commonly known, judgment creditors rarely utilize the charging order as a collection mechanism. This may change as a result of recent case law developments. The charging order has long been recognized in the partnership…more

Charging Orders, Creditors, Jurisdiction, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships

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Lessons Learned in Conservation Partnerships

The Internal Revenue Code has provided an incentive under Section 170(h) for charitable conservation gifts. Since at least 2002 there has been an interest in combining through partnership those land owners who may have little…more

Charitable Donations, Conservation, Conservation Easements, Internal Revenue Code (IRC), IRS

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Volcker Rule Restricts Banks' Activities with Hedge Funds and Private Funds

On December 10, 2013, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading…more

Banks, Dodd-Frank, Hedge Funds, Private Funds, Volcker Rule

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Safety First? When Safety and Employment Laws Collide

In keeping with the old adage "Safety first!" employers in certain industries are quick to put safety concerns and compliance with those laws and regulations governing safety above a conservative compliance with employment laws…more

Commercial Truck Drivers, Department of Transportation (DOT), Hiring & Firing, Safety Standards, Summary Judgment

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Mississippi Lt. Governor Proposes Tax Cuts

Lt. Governor Tate Reeves recently unveiled a plan to cut taxes in Mississippi by approximately $380 million over a ten-year period. Reeves' proposal is called the "Taxpayer Raise Act of 2015," and has been introduced to the…more

Proposed Legislation, Tax Cuts

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Receiverships in Georgia

In addition to Georgia's relatively swift non-judicial foreclosure process, lenders with a defaulting borrower in Georgia have the option of seeking a receivership over property securing their loans. A court-appointed receiver…more

Receivership

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ABA Resolution 105 on Punitive Damages Is Dead for Now

On the eve of the ABA's Annual Meeting next week, the ABA's Standing Committee on Medical Professional Liability announced its withdrawal of proposed Resolution 105 from consideration by the ABA House of Delegates. The proposed…more

American Bar Association (ABA), FDA, Healthcare, Healthcare Professional Liability Policies, Medical Devices

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Multiple Dangers of Meth Labs in Hotels

A quick Internet search sheds a bright light on the dangers to hotels if guest rooms are used for methamphetamine, or "meth," production. There are dangers related to contamination and its impact on other guests, as well as…more

Contaminated Properties, Hotels, Methamphetamine, Safety Precautions

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Federal District Court Rules Favorably for Medical Device Manufacturer in Off-Label Promotion Lawsuits

On April 13, 2015, in the case of Kathleen Hafer v. Medtronic, Inc., the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee issued a favorable opinion to a medical device manufacturer in the context of preemption…more

Leave to Amend, Manufacturers, Medical Devices, Medtronic, Misrepresentation

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Baker Donelson Comments on CMS's Proposed Changes to the Stark Regulations - September 2015

The law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., sincerely appreciates the opportunity to comment upon the proposed clarifications and changes to the Stark regulations issued by the Centers and Medicare and…more

CMS, FQHC, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Hospitals

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New Anti-Corruption Law to Take Effect in Brazil

With the continued ongoing work to exploit the discoveries in the Lula (Tupi) field and the recently announced 2013 subsalt strike in the Campos and Santos basins off Brazil's southern coast, oil and gas exploration and…more

Anti-Bribery, Anti-Corruption, Brazil, Clean Companies Act, Compliance

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Legislative Update for Brand Manufacturers Distributing in Alabama

On April 28, 2015, the Alabama House of Representatives passed SB-80, thereby abolishing the highly criticized theory of innovator liability adopted in Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks, ___ So.3d___, 2014 WL 4055813 (Ala. Aug. 15, 2014)…more

Inventors, Manufacturers, New Legislation

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FAST Act Brings Holiday Cheer to Issuers

"Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act," also known as the FAST Act, was signed by President Obama on December 4, 2015. Although primarily aimed at authorizing spending on highway and transit projects, the FAST Act…more

Disclosure Requirements, Emerging Growth Companies, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), JOBS Act, New Legislation

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Dancing Baby Says Play Fair: Copyright Holders Must Consider Fair Use Before Sending a DMCA Takedown Notice

With the exponential growth of internet commerce, business owners are increasingly receiving "takedown" notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), involving copyrighted works allegedly improperly used on their…more

Appeals, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Copyright Litigation, Digital Media

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Diversity Matters: Note from the Editor - Fall 2015

The excitement is still evident from the Supreme Court's June decision on marriage equality. Friends, coworkers and clients have made up and changed their minds and reactions to the ruling, all while keeping the social media…more

Caitlyn Jenner, Diversity, Diversity and Inclusion Standards (D&I), Marriage Equality, Transgender

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Changes to the Visa Waiver Program

In the aftermath of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) was amended significantly on December 18, 2015, when the enactment of the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2029) was signed into…more

Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Terrorist Acts

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Time Saver Savvy – June 2015

This month's tips are from some of the women who are part of Baker Donelson's newest group of shareholders. "Learn when it may be best to say no. Not every opportunity presented to you is appropriate to take. By being selective…more

Professional Development

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Featuring: Off-the-Record Mentoring

A structured, formal mentoring plan is an important part of any female professional's career path. Helping the next generation of female leaders through mentoring has been shown to be enormously helpful to both parties. However,…more

Career Development, Young Lawyers

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New Wage Regulations Dramatically Increase the Number of Hourly Workers

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed new regulations that will dramatically increase the number of employees who must be paid on an hourly basis. Before today, employees who earned $455.00 per week (or…more

DOL, Exempt-Employees, FLSA, NPRM, Wage and Hour

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The U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Extraterritorial Lawsuit Against Shell Oil

The United States Supreme Court, in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, recently restricted the scope of the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350 (“ATS”), a 224-year-old law often used to invoke jurisdiction in suing corporations…more

Alien Tort Statute, Extraterritoriality Rules, Human Rights, Jurisdiction, SCOTUS

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Six Months in Review: Florida Case Law

Florida has witnessed developments in three areas of mortgage foreclosure litigation already this year. The opinions offered by various courts of appeal have come at a time when litigants crave guidance more than ever, but the…more

Banks, Business Records, Foreclosure, Mortgages, Statute of Limitations

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U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Agreement Reached: Introducing the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

United States and European Union Commission negotiators announced today that they have reached a political agreement on a new data transfer framework that will replace the Safe Harbor Program, which was invalidated in 2015 by…more

CJEU, Data Protection Authority, EU, EU-US Privacy Shield, FTC

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OIG Hospital Compliance Audits: Is Your Number Up? Are You Ready?

In its Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2012, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it would begin reviews of Medicare payments to hospitals to determine compliance…more

ALJ, Audits, Compliance, Healthcare, HHS

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Pharmacies: Watch Out for Future HHS Crackdowns on Security Rule Violations

As we all know by now, HIPAA required the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to adopt regulations protecting the privacy of "protected health information" (PHI). HHS responded to that requirement…more

Covered Entities, Cybersecurity, Healthcare, HHS, HIPAA

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Increased SEC and FINRA Scrutiny on Confidentiality Provisions

Over the past several months, confidentiality provisions included in settlement agreements, employment or independent contractor contracts, or in other documents, have come under increased scrutiny in the financial industry. In…more

Broker-Dealer, Confidentiality Agreements, Dodd-Frank, DOJ, Financial Institutions

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HHS Issues Guidance on Permitted Remuneration for Prescription Refill Reminders in the Absence of Patient Authorization

On September 19, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) issued guidance on the effect of the January 25, 2013 Final Rule provision about remuneration related to prescription refill reminders and medication adherence…more

Compliance, HHS, HIPAA, HIPAA Omnibus Rule, Refill Reminders

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Emerging Trends in Tort Litigation Alleging Health Injuries Caused by Neighboring Oil and Gas Activities

Last year's $2.9 million verdict in Parr v. Aruba Petroleum, the so-called "first fracking trial," garnered attention in Texas and beyond. The significance laid not only in that the plaintiffs had succeeded on their private…more

Corporate Counsel, Energy Sector, Fracking, Hazardous Substances, Hazardous Waste

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Per NLRB, Employees May Use Company Email For Union Organizing

On December 11, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), through a divided panel, held that employees may use employer-provided email systems for union organizing. Specifically, the NLRB held "employee use of email for…more

Email, NLRB, Protected Concerted Activity, Purple Communications, Unions

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NLRB Decision on Joint Employer Standards Results in a Major Change in Business Relationships

On, August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a 3-2 decision gutted more than 30 years of legal precedent when it changed the joint employer standard in business relationships. See Browning-Ferris Industries…more

Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Collective Bargaining, Franchisee, Franchises, Franchisors

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They've Arrived: Long-Awaited Federal Crowdfunding Rules Adopted by SEC

On October 30, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted three to one to adopt equity crowdfunding rules pursuant to Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act of 2012 (JOBS Act)…more

Capital Raising, Compliance, Crowdfunding, Federal Register, Initial Public Offerings

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California "Organic" Labeling Decision: A Blueprint for More Class Actions of FDA Regulated Products?

In December 2015, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling in Quesada v. Herb Thyme Farms, Inc., which may affect many companies subject to FDA regulation, but particularly those that advertise and sell products as…more

CA Supreme Court, FDA, Food Labeling, Natural Products, Organic

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Time Saver Savvy – Helpful Tips for the Busy Professional

A colleague and I took a seminar on time management for working mothers some 20 years ago. We met each other at the hotel conference room, rushing in at the last minute just as did every other woman in attendance – approximately…more

Law Practice Management, Women in the Law, Young Lawyers

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Spotlight on Louisiana: 2015 Legislative Session Increases Tax Burdens to Balance State Budget

Even though Louisiana's 2015 legislative session has concluded, the dust may be far from settled as to how increases in tax burdens meant to balance the State's budget will impact taxpayers. At least one industry trade…more

Ad Valorem Tax, Audio Recording, Coal Industry, Dependent Coverage, Digital Media

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Spotlight on Tennessee: Department of Revenue Proposes Tax Regulations

The Tennessee Department of Revenue (the Department) is in the process of proposing a wide range of regulations addressing current state tax laws. The purpose of this project is to promulgate new regulations to clarify and…more

Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Enforcement Actions, Excise Tax, Franchise Taxes