Ballard Spahr LLP

HUD Rule Allowing Lenders To Demand Immediate Reverse Mortgage Repayments from Widowers Violates Federal Law, Court Holds

A Washington, D.C., District Court ruled recently that a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulation allowing lenders to demand that widowers immediately repay reverse mortgage loans upon the death of their spouses violates…more

HUD, Lenders, Mortgages, Reverse Mortgages

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Pennsylvania Office of Open Records Blasts Charter Schools

Charter school managers and officials should be aware that the Executive Director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records has recently made public statements criticizing charter schools that take the position that they should…more

Charter Schools, Disclosure Requirements, Exemptions, Public Records, Right To Know

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Cadillac Tax Delayed, Made Deductible

In the first significant congressional modification of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since its passage, the notorious "Cadillac tax" on high-cost employer health plans has been delayed two years, from 2018 to 2020. The delay is…more

Affordable Care Act, Appropriations Bill, Cadillac Tax, Health Insurance, Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

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Hague Agreement Streamlines Registration of Industrial Designs

On April 2, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued Final Rules to implement the provisions of the Hague Agreement concerning the international registration of industrial designs. The Agreement is effective in the…more

Design Patent, Final Rules, Hague Agreement, Industrial Design, Patents

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DOJ Settles Action Alleging Bank Discriminated Against Disability Income Recipients

The U.S. Department of Justice recently entered into a consent order with Evolve Bank & Trust to settle charges that the bank discriminated against mortgage loan applicants on the basis of disability and receipt of public…more

Banking Sector, Consent Order, Disability Discrimination, DOJ, ECOA

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Elimination Of Regional Breakouts In Freddie Mac PMMS Creates Uncertainty In New York

Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) no longer provides regional breakouts for the 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, or the 5/1 hybrid ARM. Every week, lenders throughout the country are surveyed on the…more

Banking Sector, Freddie Mac, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages, Subprime Mortgages

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CA Supreme Court Issues First Decision Extending FTC v. Actavis to State Antitrust Litigation

The California Supreme Court issued a decision today in the Cipro antitrust cases, concluding that the analysis set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in FTC v. Actavis applies to alleged “pay-for-delay” pharmaceutical patent…more

Antitrust Litigation, Antitrust Provisions, Bayer, CA Supreme Court, Cartwright Act

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HUD continues reorganization of key leadership

As part of its efforts towards continued reorganization, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has recently announced changes to the Office of Multifamily Housing leadership staff. Mark Van Kirk, the…more

Administrative Appointments, HUD

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Creating a Social Network of Tax Savings: The Use of LLCs in Structuring Philanthropic and Public Good Activities

The use of a limited liability company (LLC) by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan as the vehicle for advancing of “philanthropic, public advocacy, and other activities for the public good” has recently received a great…more

Charitable Donations, Charitable Organizations, Limited Liability Companies, Mark Zuckerberg, Tax Deductions

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Payments to LLC Members Subject to Unemployment Compensation Tax

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that members of a limited liability company (LLC) are employees of the LLC and are subject to Pennsylvania unemployment tax. The case, King’s Kountry Korner, LLC v. Dep’t of Labor and…more

Guaranteed Payments, Income Taxes, Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships

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Second Circuit Deals a Blow to Unpaid Intern Classes

In a pair of closely watched decisions, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a federal trial court decision that granted class and conditional collective action certification to claims brought by a former unpaid intern…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Commonality, DOL, FLSA

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Freddie Mac closes first direct purchase of a tax-exempt loan

Freddie Mac recently closed its first direct purchase of a tax-exempt loan. The loan financed the acquisition and rehabilitation of a 417-unit senior housing community in Dayton, Ohio known as The Lakewoods. The deal represents…more

Freddie Mac, HUD, Loans, Real Estate Market, Tax Exemptions

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New California Landlord Disclosure Requirements Effective July 1

Two new landlord disclosure requirements become effective in California on July 1, 2013. One requires that all new commercial leases state whether the property has been inspected for disability access—and if so, the results. The…more

Certified Access Specialists, Commercial Leases, Compliance, Disability, Disclosure Requirements

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Pharmaceutical Companies Get Off-Label Marketing Victory

Last week, a federal judge ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot prohibit a pharmaceutical company from marketing its drugs for off-label uses if its claims are truthful and not misleading. This ruling, while…more

Amarin, Compliance, FDA, FDCA, First Amendment

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Employers May Be Subject to Discrimination Claims by Staffing Agency Workers

The Third Circuit issued a decision last week holding that a temporary worker at a staffing agency can proceed with discrimination claims against the agency’s client to which he was assigned. In Faush v. Tuesday Morning, Inc.,…more

Employment Discrimination, Hiring & Firing, Joint Employers, Staffing Agencies, Temporary Employees

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Human Rights Watch issues report on debt buyers

A new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) titled “Rubber Stamp Justice—US Courts, Debt Buying Corporations, and the Poor” is likely to find readers at the CFPB, which is expected to move closer early this year to proposing debt…more

CFPB, Debt Buyers, Debt Collection, Human Rights, SBREFA

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Optional Rental Program Did Not Transform Hotel-Condominium Units into Securities, Ninth Circuit Holds

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal with prejudice of a putative securities class action concerning the sale of 420 hotel-condominium units at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego…more

Class Action, Condominiums, Hotels, Putative Class Actions, Rental Property

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New Utah Law Prohibits Unequal Treatment of Rental Units by Homeowners Associations

Recent revisions to Utah law clarify the role and authority of homeowners associations in restricting owners’ renting out of their units, and may require associations to take action to comply. House Bill 98, signed into law this…more

Amended Legislation, Condominiums, Homeowners' Association, Rental Property

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Commonwealth Court Affirms, Expands Public Employers’ Ability to Control Manning, Pension Costs through Collective Bargaining, Interest Arbitration

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania significantly strengthened public employers’ ability to address rising costs by holding that minimum shift manning requirements are a non-bargainable managerial prerogative. The court also…more

Arbitration, COLA, Collective Bargaining, Firemen, Public Employees

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Federal Government Steps Up Monitoring of Distressed Municipalities

Multiple news outlets have reported that the U.S. Treasury Department has created an Office of State and Local Finance tasked with monitoring the distressed local government sector of the municipal finance market. Kent Hiteshew,…more

Disclosure Requirements, Municipal Bonds, Municipalities, SEC, Secondary Markets

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Prosecutors Strike Out on Barry Bonds as Ninth Circuit Narrows Obstruction Strike Zone

The indictment and trial of famed baseball slugger Barry Bonds for perjury and obstruction of justice drew nationwide attention. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ April 22, 2015, en banc decision reversing Bonds’ obstruction…more

Barry Bonds, En Banc Review, Government Investigations, Obstruction of Justice, Young Lawyers

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Pharmaceutical Companies Get Off-Label Marketing Victory

Last week, a federal judge ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot prohibit a pharmaceutical company from marketing its drugs for off-label uses if its claims are truthful and not misleading. This ruling, while…more

Amarin, Compliance, FDA, FDCA, First Amendment

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Second Circuit Affirms Fair Use in Google Books Decision

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Google's digitization of books for use in its Google Books and Google Books Library Project is not copyright infringement. The Court also ruled that providing a public online…more

Appeals, Authors, Authors Guild, Class Action, Copyright

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DOL Extends FMLA Protection to Same-Sex Spouses

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

DOL, DOMA, Employer Mandates, Final Rules, FMLA

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Utah Supreme Court Finds No Employer Protection in Rule of Professional Conduct

The Utah Supreme Court held that Rule 1.13(b) of the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct, which requires in-house counsel to report suspected illegal activity to upper management, does not reflect a “clear and substantial public…more

ADA, At-Will Employment, Employment Contract, Employment Policies, Popular

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Pennsylvania Methane Control Strategy May Go Beyond Federal Requirements

Governor Tom Wolf’s framework of actions to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector in Pennsylvania could, if implemented, exceed limitations on methane emissions from natural gas well sites, compressor stations,…more

EPA, Methane, National Emissions Standards, Natural Gas, Oil & Gas

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U.S. Supreme Court Urges Resolution of Bankruptcy Disputes

The U.S. Supreme Court has provided new stimulus to the use of mediation in disputes over attorney fees in its June 15, 2015, decision in Baker Botts LLP v. Asarco. Baker Botts was employed by the bankruptcy debtor estate and,…more

Appeals, Attorney's Fees, Baker Botts v ASARCO, Bullard v Blue Hills Bank, Debtors

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Creating a Social Network of Tax Savings: The Use of LLCs in Structuring Philanthropic and Public Good Activities

The use of a limited liability company (LLC) by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan as the vehicle for advancing of “philanthropic, public advocacy, and other activities for the public good” has recently received a great…more

Charitable Donations, Charitable Organizations, Limited Liability Companies, Mark Zuckerberg, Tax Deductions

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Proposed Changes to Civil Rules Could Limit Scope of eDiscovery

The Advisory Committee on Civil Rules recently approved amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure addressing, among other things, eDiscovery. Although some of the Advisory Committee’s proposed revisions lessen the…more

Corporate Counsel, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Proposed Amendments, Rule 26, Rule 37

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Supreme Court Sets Framework for Determining Software Patent Eligibility

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued an important opinion in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International regarding the patent eligibility of basic business methods covered in computer software patents. Writing for the unanimous…more

Alice Corporation, Bilski, CLS Bank, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Mayo v. Prometheus

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Pennsylvania County Recorder Cannot Sue MERS for Failure to Record Mortgage Assignments, Third Circuit Rules in Overturning Oft-Cited District Court Opinion

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that Pennsylvania’s recording statute does not require the recording of all conveyances. As a result, the Third Circuit reversed the district court’s refusal to enter…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Class Action, Declaratory Judgments, Deeds

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Action Needed – FY 2016 Appropriations Bill may cut HOME program funding by 93%

The Fiscal Year 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Subcommittee has proposed critical markups to the Year 2016 Appropriations Bill. One of the most dramatic funding cuts all but…more

Affordable Housing, Appropriations Bill, Community Development Block Grants, Congressional Committees

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Nevada Federal District Court Rules Lien Statute Unconstitutional

We have reported before on a decision last fall from Nevada’s Supreme Court holding that a homeowners association (HOA) lien is a true super-priority lien that, if foreclosed upon, extinguishes a first deed of trust. Lenders…more

Deed of Trust, Due Process, Foreclosure, HOA, Liens

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CFPB engaged in process to allow public input on privacy questions under new HMDA rule

On January 11, Elena Babinecz, a CFPB attorney, spoke as part of a panel relating to the revised HMDA rule at the Winter Meeting of the Consumer Financial Services Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar…more

CFPB, Data Privacy, Financial Institutions, HMDA, Privacy Concerns

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U.S. Issues Unmanned Aircraft Fact Sheet for State, Local Regulators

While Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly—if inaccurately—known as drones, continue to fly near the edges of federal preemption, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to provide guidance for this…more

Drones, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Registration Requirement, Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Housing options for veterans

With Independence Day right around the corner and with several bond financings benefitting homeless veterans recently in the news (see Proposition 41 Bond Measure and Apartments for Homeless Veterans), it seemed fitting to…more

Affordable Housing, Bond Financing, Bonds, Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeless Issues

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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Challenge to California Decision that PAGA Claims Cannot be Waived in Arbitration Agreements

The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied a petition for certiorari that challenged a California Supreme Court decision carving out an exception to the federal high court’s recent holdings in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion and…more

American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant, Arbitration, AT&T Mobility v Concepcion, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers

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7th Circuit Rejects “Heightened” Ascertainability Requirement for Class Actions

Creating a clear circuit split on a class action issue of increasing importance, the Seventh Circuit has rejected the notion that in order to certify a class, a trial court must be able to identify class members in a reliable…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Consumer Fraud, Corporate Counsel, Dietary Supplements

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New Jersey Takes Emergency Action To Speed Rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) took emergency action to reduce approval backlogs and to make it easier for those seeking to rebuild in wake of Hurricane Sandy to obtain regulatory approvals by…more

Department of Environmental Protection, Hurricane Sandy, Reconstruction, Redevelopment

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U.S. Issues Unmanned Aircraft Fact Sheet for State, Local Regulators

While Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly—if inaccurately—known as drones, continue to fly near the edges of federal preemption, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to provide guidance for this…more

Drones, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Registration Requirement, Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Fed Seeks Public Comment on Financial Holding Company Physical Commodities Activities

An Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) issued in mid-January by the Federal Reserve Board (the Board) seeks public comment on the scope of permissible physical commodities activities. Such activities have been under the…more

Bank Holding Company, Dodd-Frank, Energy, Federal Reserve, Public Comment

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The Sixth Circuit, Relying upon Michigan’s Nonrecourse Mortgage Loan Act, Rejects the Enforceability of an Insolvency Covenant

Notwithstanding Michigan’s 2012 Nonrecourse Mortgage Loan Act (NMLA), which provides that solvency covenants in nonrecourse loans unenforceable, in Borman, LLC v. 18718 Borman, LLC, a third-party purchaser of a foreclosed…more

Deficiency Judgments, Foreclosure, Lenders, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages

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Payments to LLC Members Subject to Unemployment Compensation Tax

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that members of a limited liability company (LLC) are employees of the LLC and are subject to Pennsylvania unemployment tax. The case, King’s Kountry Korner, LLC v. Dep’t of Labor and…more

Guaranteed Payments, Income Taxes, Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships

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The Sixth Circuit, Relying upon Michigan’s Nonrecourse Mortgage Loan Act, Rejects the Enforceability of an Insolvency Covenant

Notwithstanding Michigan’s 2012 Nonrecourse Mortgage Loan Act (NMLA), which provides that solvency covenants in nonrecourse loans unenforceable, in Borman, LLC v. 18718 Borman, LLC, a third-party purchaser of a foreclosed…more

Deficiency Judgments, Foreclosure, Lenders, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages

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Hague Agreement Streamlines Registration of Industrial Designs

On April 2, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued Final Rules to implement the provisions of the Hague Agreement concerning the international registration of industrial designs. The Agreement is effective in the…more

Design Patent, Final Rules, Hague Agreement, Industrial Design, Patents

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Congress Extends EB-5 Again Without Changes Despite Months of Legislative Meetings, Lobbying, Proposals, and Negotiations

In what is considered a significant victory for real estate developers, Congress capped off months of handwringing and numerous proposals by extending the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program without amendment until September 30,…more

Construction Industry, EB-5, EB-5 Regional Centers, Housing Developers, Immigrant Investor Program

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CFPB Announces Consent Order with Employment Background Screening Report Providers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) announcement that it has entered into a consent order with two affiliated companies that generate and provide employment background screening reports serves as a reminder to…more

Background Checks, CFPB, Consumer Reporting Agencies, FCRA, Hiring & Firing

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Georgia Passes New Social P3 Legislation

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law new public-private partnership (P3) legislation, the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act (SB 59) (the Act) on May 5, 2015. The Act allows state and local…more

Governor Deal, New Legislation, Public Private Partnerships (P3s), Public Projects, State and Local Government

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Impact of USPTO Interim Guidance on Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Biotech Inventions

The recent interim guidance issued by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides applicants and practitioners with more helpful information about which types of claims the USPTO will find to satisfy subject matter…more

AMP v Myriad, Genetic Materials, Guidance Update, Mayo v. Prometheus, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter

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IRS Approves New Rules To Minimize Taxes Related to M&A Transactions

The Internal Revenue Service recently adopted long-awaited regulations intended to provide a new means of minimizing taxes in M&A transactions. The newly adopted regulations take effect on May 15, 2013, under Section 336(e) of…more

IRS

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Planning for Tenant's Changing Needs: Options To Renew, Expand, Cancel, or Reduce

As a tenant's business changes, its needs and space requirements also change. If possible, a commercial tenant should anticipate the possibility of changing needs by negotiating certain beneficial options and rights into the…more

Commercial Leases, Contract Drafting, Default, Fair Market Value, Landlords

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New Utah Law Prohibits Unequal Treatment of Rental Units by Homeowners Associations

Recent revisions to Utah law clarify the role and authority of homeowners associations in restricting owners’ renting out of their units, and may require associations to take action to comply. House Bill 98, signed into law this…more

Amended Legislation, Condominiums, Homeowners' Association, Rental Property

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Philadelphia Amends Fuel Oil Ordinance, Allows Use of Old Oil After New Standards Take Effect July 1

An amendment to Philadelphia Code relating to the use of No. 2 fuel oil—the most widely used oil for heating, industrial operations, and emergency generation, was signed into law by Mayor Michael Nutter on June 18. This…more

Local Ordinance, Manufacturing Facilities, Oil & Gas

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OFCCP Publishes Final Rule on Pay Transparency for Federal Contractors, Subcontractors

Federal contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against employees or job applicants for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing their compensation or the compensation of others now that the final Pay…more

Employment Discrimination, Equal Pay, Federal Contractors, Gender-Based Pay Discrimination, Hiring & Firing

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Supreme Court Clarifies Burden of Proof for Religious Accommodation and Disparate-Treatment Claims

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with the EEOC today and clarified the standard for religious accommodation and disparate-treatment claims under Title VII. The Court ruled that an applicant can advance a disparate-treatment claim by…more

Abercrombie & Fitch, Disparate Treatment, EEOC, EEOC v Abercrombie, Employer Liability Issues

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New York Department of Financial Services To Begin Cybersecurity Examinations of Financial Institutions

On May 6, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) will soon begin examining financial institutions for their cybersecurity preparedness. Governor Cuomo stated that,…more

Audits, Bank Records, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Financial Institutions

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Bill introduced in Senate to create permanent LIHTC rate floors

On May 5, 2015, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced the “Improving the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Rate Act” (S. 1193), which would create a permanent 9% minimum low-income housing tax credit rate…more

Affordable Housing, Bond Financing, LIHTC, Proposed Legislation

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Northwestern University Football Players Can’t Form Union, NLRB Says and Refuses to Determine if They Are “Employees”

Northwestern University football players cannot form a union, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) decided today. The NLRB based its ruling on its duty to maintain stability in labor relations and notably avoided…more

Employees, Football, NCAA, NLRA, NLRB

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The Paris Agreement on Climate Change Charts a Long-Term Plan for International Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions

On December 12, the United States and other Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed the historic Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties. We expect the Agreement to have…more

Clean Air Act, Climate Change, Environmental Policies, Paris Agreement, UNFCCC

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Investment Management Update - December 2015

Below is a summary of recent investment management developments that affect registered investment companies, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, and others in the investment management industry. Supreme Court…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Disclosure Requirements, Investment Management, Liquidity Risk Management Rule, SEC

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$6.3 Million Judgment Awarded in Alleged Timeshare Resale Scam

A federal court recently entered a final judgment against and approved settlement agreements with several telemarketing companies charged by the Federal Trade Commission with operating a timeshare resale scam. The judgment…more

FTC, Scams, Telemarketing Sales Rule, Timeshare

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Another auto finance company agrees to change dealer compensation policy to settle ECOA claims alleged by CFPB and DOJ

The CFPB and Department of Justice (the “Agencies”) announced recently that they have entered into a settlement with Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) to resolve charges that TMCC engaged in unlawful discrimination in…more

Automotive Loans, Car Dealerships, CFPB, Compensation Agreements, Discriminatory Lending Practices

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Deadline Extended for Requesting Direct Access to Military Loan Act Database

The Department of Defense has extended the deadline for requesting direct access to its Military Loan Act (MLA) Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) database until February 15, 2016. Under amendments to the MLA's implementing…more

CFPB, Consumer Lenders, Databases, Deadlines, Department of Defense (DOD)

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U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Limits on State Open Records Laws

Businesses and organizations that request public records from other states could find their access to such records restricted as a result of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling…more

FOIA, Public Records, SCOTUS

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Bankruptcy Trustees Target Colleges and Universities

Over the past few years, higher education institutions have seen an increase in litigation from an unexpected source: bankruptcy trustees. Trustees appointed in personal bankruptcy cases are seeking to claw back tuition payments…more

Clawbacks, Colleges, Consumer Bankruptcy, Educational Institutions, Tuition

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The America Invents Act (AIA) Affects Design Patents, Too

Over the last few years, companies have increasingly recognized the value of design patents, which are directed to the ornamental (non-functional) appearance of a product…more

America Invents Act, Design Patent, First-to-File, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Patents

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IRS Allocates “National Pool” Credits to Thirty-Five States and Puerto Rico

Yesterday, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2014-52 which provides for the reallocation of $2.59 million of unused national pool low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs)…more

IRS, LIHTC

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Taking Exception with the CFPB’s Attempt to Regulate Lawyers

The CFPB filed a lawsuit against two law firms, The Mortgage Law Group, LLP (MLG) and Consumer First Legal Group, LLC (CFLG), who provided foreclosure assistance to their clients. See CFPB v. The Mortg. Law Grp., Case No…more

CFPB, Consumer Financial Products, Enforcement Actions, Foreclosure, Mortgage Servicers

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Only Original Purchasers May Recover Damages for Breach of the Builder’s Implied Warranty of Habitability

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a builder’s implied warranty of habitability extends only to the initial buyer of a home, and not to subsequent purchasers. In Conway v. The Cutler Group, Inc., the Court reversed an…more

Buyers, Construction Contracts, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Contract Disputes

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Supreme Court Agrees Again To Decide Critical Disparate Impact Questions under the Fair Housing Act

The question of whether plaintiffs suing under the Fair Housing Act may bring disparate impact claims is back on the U.S. Supreme Court's docket as a result of the Court's decision today to grant certiorari in Mount Holly v…more

CFPB, Discrimination, Disparate Impact, ECOA, Fair Housing Act (FHA)

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FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Cybersecurity for Postmarket Medical Devices

The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) most recent draft guidance focuses on cybersecurity in postmarket medical devices and makes recommendations for identifying, assessing, and responding to cybersecurity vulnerabilities…more

Cybersecurity, FDA, Medical Devices

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California, Nevada Expand Scope of Customer Personal Information Subject to Reasonable Security Measures

Recent statutory amendments passed in California and Nevada expanding the definition of “personal information” will significantly impact the security measures businesses operating in these states must implement when handling…more

Compliance, Cybersecurity, Data Privacy, Data Security, Financial Institutions

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Section 202: using federal sources to assist the growing elderly population

During one of the sessions at Ballard Spahr’s Ninth Annual National Housing Symposium, Mara Blitzer from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) discussed federal housing resources for aging Americans with a…more

Affordable Housing, HUD

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FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Cybersecurity for Postmarket Medical Devices

The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) most recent draft guidance focuses on cybersecurity in postmarket medical devices and makes recommendations for identifying, assessing, and responding to cybersecurity vulnerabilities…more

Cybersecurity, FDA, Medical Devices

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FCC Order Creates New TCPA Challenges for Companies

As previously reported, the Federal Communications Commission recently approved a Declaratory Ruling and Order (the Order) addressing a number of petitions that requested the FCC clarify its interpretations of the Telephone…more

Auto-Dialed Calls, Collection Agencies, Debt Collection, Declaratory Rulings, Exemptions

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New Rule Clarifies Federal Government Authority to Regulate Certain Bodies of Water

The final Waters of the United States rule, jointly proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last spring, was signed on May 26, 2015, and aims to clarify the federal government’s…more

Clean Water Act, Discharge of Pollutants, EPA, Federal Jurisdiction, Inland Waterways

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Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing Over Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use

An employer did not act unlawfully when it fired a quadriplegic worker who used medical marijuana while off duty, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled today in a 6-0 decision. Affirming the April 2013 decision of the Colorado Court…more

Coats v Dish Network, Controlled Substances Act, Disabled, Dish Network, Drug Testing

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In re Tam en banc decision—Lanham Act 2(a) is unconstitutional

In a highly anticipated decision, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, ruled today that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which bars registration of marks that “disparage” a group of persons, unconstitutionally…more

Disparagement, First Amendment, Free Speech, Lanham Act, NFL

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‘Primary User’ of Cell Phone Number Can Sue under TCPA, Florida Federal Court Holds

The "primary user" of a cell phone line has standing to sue under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), even when another party is the actual subscriber to the service, a federal court in Florida has ruled. The case…more

Cell Phones, Corporate Counsel, Standing, TCPA

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FinCEN Imposes $650,000 Civil Penalty on Small ''Card Club'' Gaming Establishment

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced its first enforcement action against a small “card club” gaming establishment imposing a civil penalty of $650,000. The enforcement action, announced December 17, 2015,…more

BSA/AML, Casinos, Enforcement Actions, FinCEN, Gambling

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EEOC Proposes to Require Employers to Submit Pay Data

Many employers will be required to report information on pay and hours worked for all of their employees under changes proposed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to existing reporting requirements. In…more

Data Collection, EEO-1, EEOC, Equal Pay, Pay Discrimination

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Congress's ‘Regulatory Objectives’ for Copyright Law Prevail in Supreme Court's Aereo Holding

In American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. et al. v. Aereo, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court held today by a margin of 6 to 3 that an unlicensed online broadcast television retransmission service infringed copyrights owned by…more

ABC v Aereo, Broadcasting, Cable Television Providers, Copyright, Copyright Infringement

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NYDFS AML Proposal Would Require Certification of Compliance

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has proposed new regulations setting forth minimum standards for anti-money laundering (AML) transaction monitoring and filtering systems. The regulations, proposed December 1,…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Banking Sector, Money Transmitter, New Regulations, NYDFS

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How might the Supreme Court’s decision in Perez v. MBA affect the CFPB?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass’n invalidated a significant line of D.C. Circuit case law known, after the leading case, as the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine. A case involving a series of…more

Administrative Procedure Act, CFPB, Dodd-Frank, DOL, Mortgage Loan Officer

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Is Online Lead Generation Inherently Deceptive?

This post is the third in a series we’re writing on the FTC’s workshop on online lead generation entitled Follow the Lead. In our first post, we explored how online lead generation works. In our second, we covered the role that…more

CFPB, FTC, Lead Generators, Online Platforms, Popular

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New P3 Legislation To Take Effect in Washington, D.C.

A new law intended to encourage more widespread use of public-private partnerships (P3s) in the District of Columbia is set to become a reality in the coming weeks. The Public-Private Partnership Act of 2014 (P3 Act) was…more

Local Ordinance, New Legislation, Public Private Partnerships (P3s), Public Procurement Policies, Public Projects

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HUD issues notice on processing RAD applications

HUD issued a notice in today’s Federal Register on the process it will follow in processing applications for first component Rental Assistance Demonstration conversions that are on HUD’s waiting list. The original authorization…more

Affordable Housing, HUD, RAD Program

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Treasury Department Announces $3.5 Billion in New Markets Tax Credit Allocation Awards

Eighty-five community development entities (CDEs) have been selected to receive $3.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation authority in the 2012 round of the NMTC Program. The announcement of the latest round of…more

Community Development Entities, New Market Tax Credits

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Northwestern University Football Players Can’t Form Union, NLRB Says and Refuses to Determine if They Are “Employees”

Northwestern University football players cannot form a union, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) decided today. The NLRB based its ruling on its duty to maintain stability in labor relations and notably avoided…more

Employees, Football, NCAA, NLRA, NLRB

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FDIC Highlights Marketplace Lending Risks for Bank Partners

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) publication of an article highlighting the risks for banks that partner with marketplace lenders further underscores the focus of federal regulators on marketplace lending…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Banks, Due Diligence, FDIC, Financial Services Industry

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Federal Court Addresses Frequently Overlooked Nuances of Electronic Document Production

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal of the Northern District of California recently issued an order in Venture Corp., Ltd. v. Barrett shedding light on the meaning of two Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing document…more

Discovery, Document Productions, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

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Criminal Charges Brought in Food Safety Case

In another show of force against food processors, federal prosecutors in Colorado recently brought criminal charges against two brothers who owned a cantaloupe farm linked to a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people. The…more

Criminal Prosecution, FDCA, Food Manufacturers, Food Safety, Listeria

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Congress hears testimony on Public-Private Partnerships in affordable housing

Would private developers build affordable housing if there were no government subsidies? Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA) and his colleagues explored that question and other topics during a House Financial Service Subcommittee hearing…more

Affordable Housing, Congressional Investigations & Hearings, Fair Housing Act (FHA), Financial Services Committee, Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

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FHFA proposed rule on Enterprise housing goals is open for comments

Issued earlier this month, a proposed rule from the Federal Housing Finance Agency considers updates to the Agency’s Enterprise housing goals. The rule applies to mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for housing…more

Affordable Housing, Enterprise Zones, Fannie Mae, FHFA, Freddie Mac

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DOJ Delays Web Accessibility Regulations; Enforcement Actions Continue

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has published its Fall 2015 Statement of Regulatory Priorities and announced that its much-anticipated rulemaking on web accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be…more

ADA, Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), DOJ, Regulatory Agenda, Website Accessibility

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Final Rules for Preventive Services

The U.S. Departments of Treasury, Labor (DOL) and Health and Human Services (HHS) have issued interim final regulations and Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on the cost-free coverage of preventive services under the…more

Affordable Care Act, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, Closely Held Businesses, Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, Corporate Governance

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HUD Proposes to "Formalize" Definitions of Harassment and Expand Fair Housing Act Liability

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released a proposed rule that aims to "formalize standards for use in investigations and adjudications involving alleged harassment on the basis of race, color,…more

Affordable Housing, Fair Housing Act (FHA), Harassment, HUD, Title VII

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SEC Announces Second Wave of MCDC Enforcement Actions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week announced enforcement actions under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative, targeting 22 municipal bond underwriting firms for alleged due…more

Borrowers, Compliance, Disclosure Requirements, Due Diligence, EMMA

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EEOC Proposes to Require Employers to Submit Pay Data

Many employers will be required to report information on pay and hours worked for all of their employees under changes proposed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to existing reporting requirements. In…more

Data Collection, EEO-1, EEOC, Equal Pay, Pay Discrimination

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Regulators Decline to Exempt TOBs from Risk Retention Rule but Add Helpful Revisions and Clarifications

Although regulators have rebuffed industry efforts to have tender option bonds (TOBs) exempted from the final credit risk retention rule (the CRRR), they have nevertheless provided some helpful changes and clarifications that…more

ABS, Asset-Backed Securities, Dodd-Frank, Municipal Bonds, Risk Retention

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University Faces Action for Alleged Deceptive Advertising of Graduates' Employment, Earning Prospects

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a complaint in a California federal district court against the operators of DeVry University in which it alleges that DeVry violated the FTC Act by misrepresenting the employment…more

Department of Education, False Advertising, Federal Student Aid, FTC, FTC Act

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New York AG Takes Proactive Approach to Regulation of Nonprofits

Signaling increased oversight of nonprofit organizations, the New York Attorney General’s Office recently began to scrutinize the management and operation of New York nonprofits in an effort to head off potential crises before…more

Affordable Housing, Financial Reporting, Misappropriation, Non-Profits, Private Schools

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SEC Issues Final Rule on Pay Ratio Disclosure

Nearly two years after issuing the proposed rule, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 5, 2015, adopted by a 3-2 vote, the final rule on CEO-to-median employee pay ratio disclosure in what has become known…more

Compliance, Data Security, Disclosure Requirements, Dodd-Frank, Employees

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SEC Announces Second Wave of MCDC Enforcement Actions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week announced enforcement actions under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative, targeting 22 municipal bond underwriting firms for alleged due…more

Borrowers, Compliance, Disclosure Requirements, Due Diligence, EMMA

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Bipartisan Budget Act Creates New TCPA Exemptions

Prior to the amendment, these calls would have been prohibited absent the recipient’s prior express consent if placed to a cellular telephone and if they were made by an automatic telephone dialing system or included an…more

Bipartisan Budget, Cell Phones, Corporate Counsel, Debt Collection, Prior Express Consent

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N.J. Eliminates Customer Data Collection Requirements for Gift Card Retailers, Issuers

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed into law an amendment to the state’s unclaimed property law—S.B. 2235—that eliminated its consumer data collection requirements. In doing so, Governor Christie relieved a significant…more

Amended Legislation, Chris Christie, Data Collection, Gift-Cards, Retailers

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Nevada Amends Law Regarding Deficiency Judgment Calculation

By amending a statute that limits deficiency judgment amounts in certain cases, Nevada lawmakers have attempted to restore balance as the law applies to commercial properties. The amendments follow a recent wave of litigation…more

Assignments, Banks, Commercial Bankruptcy, Commercial Real Estate Market, Contracts Clause

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Where We Stand on Issue Price for Tax-Exempt Bonds

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) held a public hearing on the definition of issue price for tax-exempt bonds on October 28, 2015. The hearing is another step in the process of changing what…more

Bond Financing, IRS, Proposed Regulation, Public Hearing, Tax-Exempt Bonds

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Sixth Circuit Weighs in on CERCLA Cost Recovery, Contribution Actions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court recently issued an important opinion related to claims to recover environmental cleanup costs at an Ohio landfill. The court’s ruling in Hobart Corporation, et al. v. Waste…more

Appeals, CERCLA, Consent Order, Environmental Claims, Environmental Remediation Costs

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HUD Proposes to "Formalize" Definitions of Harassment and Expand Fair Housing Act Liability

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released a proposed rule that aims to "formalize standards for use in investigations and adjudications involving alleged harassment on the basis of race, color,…more

Affordable Housing, Fair Housing Act (FHA), Harassment, HUD, Title VII

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Commonwealth Court Affirms, Expands Public Employers’ Ability to Control Manning, Pension Costs through Collective Bargaining, Interest Arbitration

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania significantly strengthened public employers’ ability to address rising costs by holding that minimum shift manning requirements are a non-bargainable managerial prerogative. The court also…more

Arbitration, COLA, Collective Bargaining, Firemen, Public Employees

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FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Cybersecurity for Postmarket Medical Devices

The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) most recent draft guidance focuses on cybersecurity in postmarket medical devices and makes recommendations for identifying, assessing, and responding to cybersecurity vulnerabilities…more

Cybersecurity, FDA, Medical Devices

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Utah Supreme Court Finds No Employer Protection in Rule of Professional Conduct

The Utah Supreme Court held that Rule 1.13(b) of the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct, which requires in-house counsel to report suspected illegal activity to upper management, does not reflect a “clear and substantial public…more

ADA, At-Will Employment, Employment Contract, Employment Policies, Popular

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Third Circuit Requires Affidavit of Merit in Products Liability Case Against Residential Homebuilder

In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of design defect claims against a residential homebuilder under New Jersey’s Product Liability Act when the homeowner failed…more

Architecture, Construction Litigation, Design Defects, Inadequate Warning, Professional Liability

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Creating a Social Network of Tax Savings: The Use of LLCs in Structuring Philanthropic and Public Good Activities

The use of a limited liability company (LLC) by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan as the vehicle for advancing of “philanthropic, public advocacy, and other activities for the public good” has recently received a great…more

Charitable Donations, Charitable Organizations, Limited Liability Companies, Mark Zuckerberg, Tax Deductions

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New Rules Encourage Use of P3s

The recently released Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules in the final allocation and accounting regulations encourage the use of public-private partnerships (P3s). Under these rules, a private party can form a partnership with…more

IRS, Mixed-Use Zoning, New Regulations, Public Private Partnerships (P3s), Tax-Exempt Bonds

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SEC Proposed Rule 10D-1 Regarding Clawback Policies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed rules requiring national securities exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ to establish listing standards requiring publicly traded companies to…more

Clawbacks, Comment Period, Disclosure Requirements, Executive Compensation, Incentive Compensation

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NMLS Renewal Period Starts Now

The annual NMLS renewal period for 2016 started on November 1, 2015, and ends on December 31, 2015. State regulators are encouraging licensees to renew their licenses early. Renewal applications are available online. In…more

Licensing Rules, Mortgage Lenders, NMLS, Registration Requirement

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Pa. Superior Court: ‘Valuable Consideration’ Required for Employer Enforcement of Non-Compete Agreement

In a case of first impression, a Pennsylvania appellate court recently held that contractual language satisfying the state’s Uniform Written Obligations Act (UWOA)—that is, a statement that the parties “intend to be legally…more

Consideration, Employment Contract, Non-Compete Agreements, Restrictive Covenants

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Supreme Court Addresses an Employer’s Right To Amend Retiree Health Coverage

In M&G Polymers v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that ordinary contract principles govern whether a collective bargaining agreement vests retirees in health coverage (and the contributions they are required to pay for…more

CBAs, Employer Group Health Plans, Employer Healthcare Costs, Health Insurance, M&G Polymers v Tackett

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The CFTC Turns to Insider Trading Enforcement

The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently brought, and settled on consent, its first-ever insider trading case. The Commission used its new authority under the Dodd-Frank Act and the Commission’s new…more

Administrative Proceedings, CFTC, Commodities, Dodd-Frank, Insider Trading

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Former Cardinals Scouting Director Pleads Guilty to Hacking Astros’ Computer Systems

Economic espionage and computer hacking can touch all industries and business types. Computer hacking is a federal crime, and federal prosecutors are aggressively targeting cases involving the unauthorized access of a protected…more

Baseball, Cardinals, Confidential Information, Cyber Espionage, Guilty Pleas

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Maryland Public Service Commission Issues Draft Regulations Implementing Community Solar Pilot Program

On November 10, 2015, five months after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan approved a law creating a three-year pilot program for community solar projects in the state, the Public Service Commission (PSC or Commission) released draft…more

Energy Sector, New Regulations, Rulemaking Process, Solar Energy, Utilities Sector

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Impact of USPTO Interim Guidance on Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Biotech Inventions

The recent interim guidance issued by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides applicants and practitioners with more helpful information about which types of claims the USPTO will find to satisfy subject matter…more

AMP v Myriad, Genetic Materials, Guidance Update, Mayo v. Prometheus, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter

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Morristown Memorial Hospital: A Tax Exemption Ruling All Nonprofit Hospitals Need to Know About

A recent New Jersey Tax Court decision has nonprofit entities on edge. The decision may offer tax authorities the opportunity to pursue payments from nonprofit hospitals and may result in the redefining of tax exemptions by…more

Charitable Organizations, Executive Compensation, Hospitals, Non-Profits, Property Tax

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New Maryland State Income Tax Credit for Small Commercial Projects

The owners of small commercial properties in Maryland historic districts should take note of the Maryland Sustainable Communities Small Commercial Tax Credit, a new state income tax credit that may be available to them as of…more

Commercial Property Owners, Commercial Real Estate Market, Historic Preservation, Tax Credits

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New report offers toolkit for inclusionary housing programs

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy recently released “Inclusionary Housing: Creating and Maintaining Equitable Communities,” a new report on the use of government policies that tie the creation of affordable housing to…more

Affordable Housing, Commercial Real Estate Market, Community Development, Construction Industry, Fair Housing Act (FHA)

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Supreme Court Addresses an Employer’s Right To Amend Retiree Health Coverage

In M&G Polymers v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that ordinary contract principles govern whether a collective bargaining agreement vests retirees in health coverage (and the contributions they are required to pay for…more

CBAs, Employer Group Health Plans, Employer Healthcare Costs, Health Insurance, M&G Polymers v Tackett

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CFPB denies petition to modify CID

On December 2, 2015, the CFPB denied a petition for modification of a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) filed by UniRush, LLC. In doing so, the CFPB reinforced its view that such petitions are disfavored. However, in denying the…more

CFPB, Civil Investigation Demand, Custodial Interrogation, Discovery, Document Productions

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SEC Issues Final Rule on Crowdfunding, Proposes Amendments to Existing Rules to Facilitate Small Business Capital Raising

Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted the final rule permitting crowdfunding, permitting investors to purchase securities over the Internet using a crowdfunding exchange, on October 30, 2015. The…more

Broker-Dealer, Business Development, Capital Raising, Crowdfunding, Disclosure Requirements

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Courts, States Continue to Wrestle with Homeowners Association Assessment Liens

The circumstances under which a condominium or homeowners association (HOA) lien for unpaid assessments may wipe out a lender’s mortgage lien continues to evolve across the country. As noted in our previous alerts regarding…more

Bank of America, Condominiums, Fannie Mae, FHFA, Foreclosure

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SEC Proposed Rule 10D-1 Regarding Clawback Policies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed rules requiring national securities exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ to establish listing standards requiring publicly traded companies to…more

Clawbacks, Comment Period, Disclosure Requirements, Executive Compensation, Incentive Compensation

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Congress Extends EB-5 Again Without Changes Despite Months of Legislative Meetings, Lobbying, Proposals, and Negotiations

In what is considered a significant victory for real estate developers, Congress capped off months of handwringing and numerous proposals by extending the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program without amendment until September 30,…more

Construction Industry, EB-5, EB-5 Regional Centers, Housing Developers, Immigrant Investor Program

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Court Rules NCAA Can Block Colleges from Paying Student-Athletes, But Allows Scholarships for “Full Cost of Attendance”

In a partial victory for the NCAA, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned in part a permanent injunction issued by the District Court for the Northern District of California, which had required the NCAA to allow schools…more

Basketball, Class Action, College Athletes, Colleges, Deferred Compensation

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Mayor Nutter Signs Bill Strengthening “Ban the Box” Law

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter yesterday signed a bill amending the Fair Criminal Screening Standards Ordinance. The original law, which went into effect on January 13, 2012, made it unlawful for organizations with 10 or more…more

Ban the Box, Criminal Background Checks, Employment Discrimination, FCRA, Hiring & Firing

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Important Changes to Nevada's Non-Judicial Foreclosure Process

Lenders who secure loans with real property and their foreclosing trustees should be aware of important changes to the Nevada Revised Statutes regarding non-judicial foreclosures that went into effect on June 1, 2013…more

Borrowers, Deed of Trust, Foreclosure, Lenders, Mortgages

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EPA Proposes New Rules for Pharmaceutical Hazardous Waste Management and for Other Hazardous Waste Generators

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced two new proposed hazardous waste rules that EPA believes would clarify and simplify requirements for health care facilities and retail pharmacies to manage their…more

Compliance, EPA, Federal Register, Generic Drugs, Hazardous Waste

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PA Commonwealth Court Holds NOL Tax Deduction Cap is Unconstitutional, Creating Potential Refund Opportunities

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court unanimously held in a 7-0 decision that Pennsylvania's net operating loss (NOL) cap that limits a corporation's ability to deduct NOL carryforwards for corporate net income tax (CNIT) purposes…more

Carry Forward, Corporate Taxes, Income Taxes, IRS, Net Operating Losses

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From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield: New EU-U.S. Agreement for Transatlantic Data Flows

The European Commission (EC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce have reached an agreement to create a framework for transfers of personal data from the European Union to the United States. The framework, named the EU-U.S…more

Article 29 Working Party (WP29), CJEU, Data Protection Authority, EU, EU-US Privacy Shield

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FTC Can Regulate Cybersecurity Practices, Third Circuit Rules

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can regulate cybersecurity policies and procedures as “unfair” acts or practices under Section 5 of the FTC Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled in a very important…more

Appeals, Banking Sector, Banks, Best Practices, COPPA

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Supreme Court’s Campaign Contribution Decision To Have Substantial Impact

Pundits have alternatively saluted and denounced the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week striking down aggregate campaign contribution limits as unconstitutional. Few, however, have addressed the decision’s impact on states,…more

Campaign Finance Reform, Citizens United, McCutcheon v. FEC, SCOTUS

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Department of Labor Proposes New Regulations on Fiduciary Advice

The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) has reissued long-awaited proposed regulations describing the circumstances in which a person who provides investment advice in connection with a retirement plan or individual retirement…more

Conflicts of Interest, DOL, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty, Investment Adviser

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FDIC Highlights Marketplace Lending Risks for Bank Partners

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) publication of an article highlighting the risks for banks that partner with marketplace lenders further underscores the focus of federal regulators on marketplace lending…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Banks, Due Diligence, FDIC, Financial Services Industry

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Court Rules NCAA Can Block Colleges from Paying Student-Athletes, But Allows Scholarships for “Full Cost of Attendance”

In a partial victory for the NCAA, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned in part a permanent injunction issued by the District Court for the Northern District of California, which had required the NCAA to allow schools…more

Basketball, Class Action, College Athletes, Colleges, Deferred Compensation

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Deadline Extended for Requesting Direct Access to Military Loan Act Database

The Department of Defense has extended the deadline for requesting direct access to its Military Loan Act (MLA) Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) database until February 15, 2016. Under amendments to the MLA's implementing…more

CFPB, Consumer Lenders, Databases, Deadlines, Department of Defense (DOD)

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White House Task Force on Sexual Assault Advises Colleges on Working with Law Enforcement

In its April 2014 report, the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault promised to release a sample Memorandum of Understanding to provide guidance to institutions of higher education that wish to increase…more

Colleges, Obama Administration, Sexual Assault, Students, Universities

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Electronic Signatures OK for Organizing Efforts, NLRB Says

In a memorandum issued this week, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that it will accept electronic signatures to support a showing of interest related to a union organizing campaign and…more

E-Signatures, NLRB, Union Elections, Unions

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Right of Rescission Not Unlimited, Maryland Court of Appeals Holds

The timing and mechanics of rescinding a loan under the Truth and Lending Act (TILA) has been a hotly contested legal issue. As highlighted during the recent oral argument in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. before the…more

Appeals, Mortgages, Regulation Z, Rescission, Truth in Lending Act (TILA)

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DOL Issues Guidance on Joint Employers

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance warning employers that ''joint employment'' has become more common in light of the growing variety of business models and labor arrangements in today's economy…more

Agricultural Workers, DOL, FLSA, Joint Employers, Migrant Workers

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PA Federal Court Ruling Illustrates Need for Lenders to Properly Structure Bank Partnerships

A recent federal court decision refusing to dismiss Pennsylvania racketeering claims against companies alleged to have partnered with a state bank to market Internet loans illustrates the risks inherent in these relationships…more

Banking Sector, Online Marketplace Lending, Preemption, Racketeering

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Georgia Passes New Social P3 Legislation

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law new public-private partnership (P3) legislation, the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act (SB 59) (the Act) on May 5, 2015. The Act allows state and local…more

Governor Deal, New Legislation, Public Private Partnerships (P3s), Public Projects, State and Local Government

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DOL Releases New FMLA Forms

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued new forms for employers to use in connection with employee leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The new forms, which replace the forms that expired in February, are…more

DOL, Employer Mandates, FMLA, GINA, Required Forms

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FinCEN Imposes $650,000 Civil Penalty on Small ''Card Club'' Gaming Establishment

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced its first enforcement action against a small “card club” gaming establishment imposing a civil penalty of $650,000. The enforcement action, announced December 17, 2015,…more

BSA/AML, Casinos, Enforcement Actions, FinCEN, Gambling

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Investment Management Update - December 2015

Below is a summary of recent investment management developments that affect registered investment companies, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, and others in the investment management industry. Supreme Court…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Disclosure Requirements, Investment Management, Liquidity Risk Management Rule, SEC

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Investment Management Update - December 2015

Below is a summary of recent investment management developments that affect registered investment companies, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, and others in the investment management industry. Supreme Court…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Disclosure Requirements, Investment Management, Liquidity Risk Management Rule, SEC

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NY Amends Debt Collection Regulations, Issues More Guidance

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has amended several provisions of its Third-Party Debt Collector and Debt Buyer Regulations and issued additional guidance in the form of new frequently asked questions (FAQs)…more

Borrowers, Consumer Financial Contracts, Consumer Lenders, Creditors, Debt Buyers

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Investment Management Update - December 2015

Below is a summary of recent investment management developments that affect registered investment companies, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, and others in the investment management industry. Supreme Court…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Disclosure Requirements, Investment Management, Liquidity Risk Management Rule, SEC

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SEC Approves FINRA Portal Rules, Forms for Crowdfunding Under Title III

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.'s (FINRA) crowdfunding Portal Rules for companies that want to operate an intermediary “funding portal” pursuant to the…more

Capital Raising, Crowdfunding, FINRA, Funding Portal, JOBS Act

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OSHA Announces Directive on HazCom

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its much-anticipated directive to the agency’s compliance safety and health officers on its revised Hazard Communication (HazCom) standard yesterday. In 2012,…more

Chemicals, Classification, Distributors, Hazardous Communication Standard, Labeling

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Who Is a ‘Foreign Official’ under the FCPA? Eleventh Circuit Weighs In

Providing appellate guidance for the first time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit interpreted a key term defining the types of “foreign officials” subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and…more

Appeals, Appellate Review, DOJ, FCPA, Foreign Official

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Deadlines for Pennsylvania Real Property Tax Appeals

In view of market conditions, now is a good time to review your company’s real estate portfolio to consider assessment appeals for tax year 2016. Deadlines for appeal in certain Pennsylvania counties follow:…more

Ad Valorem Tax, Appeals, Property Tax, Tax Appeals, Tax Assessment

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Creating a Social Network of Tax Savings: The Use of LLCs in Structuring Philanthropic and Public Good Activities

The use of a limited liability company (LLC) by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan as the vehicle for advancing of “philanthropic, public advocacy, and other activities for the public good” has recently received a great…more

Charitable Donations, Charitable Organizations, Limited Liability Companies, Mark Zuckerberg, Tax Deductions

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Supreme Court Provides New Ammunition for Defeating Securities Fraud Class Actions

The U.S. Supreme Court today gave companies new ammunition to defeat securities fraud class actions. In Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund, the Court held that defendants can, at the preliminary class certification stage, rebut…more

Basic v Levinson, Class Action, Fraud, Fraud-on-the-Market, Halliburton

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Company Prevails in Challenge to FTC Data Security Complaint

A recent decision by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) dismissed the FTC’s complaint against LabMD, Inc. (LabMD) asserting the company’s alleged failure to protect consumer data in two…more

ALJ, Data Protection, FTC, LabMD, Personally Identifiable Information

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Fed Circuit Decision Gives Broad Patents New Concerns

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals overruled prior precedent this week in Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC and lowered the standard for patent invalidity under 35 U.S.C. § 112 (f)—the statute that requires functional claims…more

Appeals, Covered Business Method Patents, Means-Plus-Function, Patent Invalidity, Patent Litigation

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No Need for Foreclosing Trustee To Record New Notice of Sale upon Third-Time Postponement, Nevada Supreme Court Holds

The Nevada Supreme Court recently interpreted a statute that governs the manner in which a foreclosing trustee can postpone a trustee’s sale. At issue was whether a trustee must record a new notice of sale upon orally postponing…more

Foreclosure, Mortgage Lenders, NV Supreme Court, Recording Requirements, Trustee Sales

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Northwestern University Football Players Can’t Form Union, NLRB Says and Refuses to Determine if They Are “Employees”

Northwestern University football players cannot form a union, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) decided today. The NLRB based its ruling on its duty to maintain stability in labor relations and notably avoided…more

Employees, Football, NCAA, NLRA, NLRB

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NYSE MKT Amends Rules on How Listed Companies May Disclose Material News

Recent amendments to the NYSE MKT Company Guide provide that NYSE MKT-listed companies can comply with that Exchange’s immediate release policy by disseminating required information using any method or combination of methods…more

NYSE, Press Releases, Publicly-Traded Companies, Regulation FD, SEC

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New Internet Top-Level Domains Unveiled

Website domain names as we know them will look dramatically different now that the menu of Internet domain name suffixes is expanding. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently released the first…more

Brand, Domain Names, gTLD, ICANN, Registration

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The Need for Speed: The Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act

The Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act (DRAA), 10 Del. C. §§5801-581, which became effective this month, provides a new, speedy, and relatively low-cost arbitration process for commercial disputes through the Delaware Court of…more

Arbitration, Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act, Mediation

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Step 1 Completed: Zoning Rewrite Approved by Montgomery County Council

Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council approved the first restructuring of the Zoning Ordinance in more than 50 years. The much-debated legislation will be effective October 30, 2014, and it will create new zones for almost…more

Municipalities, Real Estate Market

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FTC and DOJ Shine the Spotlight on Conditional Pricing Practices

Signaling increased interest in conditional pricing, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently held a one-day workshop to examine the economic, legal, and policy…more

Antitrust Provisions, Bundled Payments, Conditional Pricing, Customer-Loyalty Programs, DOJ

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Arizona Decision May Complicate Foreclosure and Eviction Process for Lenders

A recent Arizona Court of Appeals decision could create new complexities for lenders exercising their power of sale under a deed of trust. In Grady v. Superior Court of Maricopa County, the Court of Appeals sided with the…more

Deed of Trust, Eviction, Foreclosure, Lenders, Tenants

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First Circuit Ruling in Foreclosure Litigation May Help Lenders Facing HAMP-Related Claims

The law is well settled that borrowers do not have a direct right of action under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) against a lender that fails to offer a loan modification. A split of authority continues, however,…more

Foreclosure, HAMP, Mortgages

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Wellness Program Exempted from ADA

A federal district court in Wisconsin has upheld an employer-sponsored wellness program against a challenge by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that the program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act…more

ADA, Discrimination, EEOC, Employee Benefits, Safe Harbors

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Maryland Public Service Commission Issues Draft Regulations Implementing Community Solar Pilot Program

On November 10, 2015, five months after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan approved a law creating a three-year pilot program for community solar projects in the state, the Public Service Commission (PSC or Commission) released draft…more

Energy Sector, New Regulations, Rulemaking Process, Solar Energy, Utilities Sector

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FinCEN Imposes $650,000 Civil Penalty on Small ''Card Club'' Gaming Establishment

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced its first enforcement action against a small “card club” gaming establishment imposing a civil penalty of $650,000. The enforcement action, announced December 17, 2015,…more

BSA/AML, Casinos, Enforcement Actions, FinCEN, Gambling

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Using the New Markets Tax Credit to combat chronic homelessness

In 2011, USBCDC, one of the largest New Markets Tax Credit investors, used the credit to finance a facility for Blanchet House of Hospitality, a social services nonprofit that provides three-meals-per-day, clothing and temporary…more

Homeless Issues, Non-Profits, Tax Credits

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Unaccepted Rule 68 Offer Does Not Moot Plaintiff's Claims, SCOTUS Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an unaccepted Rule 68 settlement offer does not moot a class action even when the offer would provide the named plaintiff with complete individual relief. The decision in Campbell-Ewald Co…more

Campbell Ewald v Gomez, Class Action, Class Representatives, Mootness, Rule 68

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Maryland Public Service Commission Issues Draft Regulations Implementing Community Solar Pilot Program

On November 10, 2015, five months after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan approved a law creating a three-year pilot program for community solar projects in the state, the Public Service Commission (PSC or Commission) released draft…more

Energy Sector, New Regulations, Rulemaking Process, Solar Energy, Utilities Sector

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Courts, States Continue to Wrestle with Homeowners Association Assessment Liens

The circumstances under which a condominium or homeowners association (HOA) lien for unpaid assessments may wipe out a lender’s mortgage lien continues to evolve across the country. As noted in our previous alerts regarding…more

Bank of America, Condominiums, Fannie Mae, FHFA, Foreclosure

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LifeLock to Pay $100 Million to Settle Charges it Violated 2010 Court Order

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently approved a $100 million settlement with LifeLock, Inc. to resolve allegations that it violated a 2010 federal court order by failing to take steps required to protect its users’ data,…more

Contempt, Data Protection, False Advertising, FTC, LifeLock

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Mandatory Training for Community Association Board Members

Following the release of a report evaluating the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities, the Montgomery County Council in Maryland enacted legislation that requires training and certification for board…more

Board of Directors, Common Ownership, Condominiums, HOA, New Legislation

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CFPB issues final consolidated mortgage disclosure rule

Today, the CFPB issued its long-awaited final rule consolidating the application and closing disclosures required by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth in Lending Act for mortgage loan transactions…more

CFPB, Mortgages, RESPA, Truth in Lending Act (TILA)

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El Paso RAD transaction converting 1,590 units at 13 sites closes

On April 9, 2015, the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP) and its development, private equity and lending partners closed Phase I of the largest Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) project in the country. Hunt…more

Freddie Mac, Lenders, Private Equity, Public Housing Authorities, Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

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Implications of a homeowner association’s statutory priming lien

While representing an institutional lender in the making of a loan secured by real property located in Colorado, we came across an increasingly relevant issue regarding properties subject to a homeowner association or similar…more

Condominium Associations, Condominiums, Liens, Mortgage Priority, Priority Debt

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U.S. Supreme Court Ponders Whether an Unaccepted Rule 68 Offer Can Moot a Plaintiff’s Claims as It Hears Argument in Gomez

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez on October 14, 2015, an important case presenting the question of whether a defendant can defeat a class action by offering complete individual relief to…more

Article III, Campbell Ewald v Gomez, Class Action, Collective Actions, Financial Institutions

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Supreme Court Limits Defenses to Induced Infringement

In an important decision in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., the U. S. Supreme Court held yesterday that a good-faith belief in the invalidity of a patent cannot negate the intent required for induced infringement. The…more

Cisco v CommilUSA, Frivolous Lawsuits, Honest Belief Defense, Induced Infringement, Patent Infringement

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Delaware Court of Chancery Holds Anti-Reliance Clause May Bar Fraud Claims Premised on Representations Outside of Agreement

Delaware's Chancery Court rejected a buyer's fraud claims premised on misrepresentations and omissions other than the statements the contract identified as the seller's "sole and exclusive representations" in a recent decision…more

Contract Disputes, Fraud, Misrepresentation, Omissions, Stock Purchase Agreement

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New York Agency’s Report Focuses on Data Vulnerability of Banks’ Third-Party Vendors

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) recently issued a report identifying common cybersecurity issues and concerns caused by the failure of some banks to sufficiently manage vulnerabilities posed by…more

Banks, Cybersecurity, Information Reports, NYDFS, Third-Party Service Provider

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Risk-retention rule for asset-backed securities finalized

On October 22, 2014, the federal regulatory agencies responsible for implementing regulations under Dodd-Frank finalized the risk retention rule for asset-backed securities (the “Risk Retention Rule“). For the securitization of…more

Asset-Backed Securities, CMBS, Dodd-Frank, Investors, Risk Retention

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Bankruptcy Trustees Target Colleges and Universities

Over the past few years, higher education institutions have seen an increase in litigation from an unexpected source: bankruptcy trustees. Trustees appointed in personal bankruptcy cases are seeking to claw back tuition payments…more

Clawbacks, Colleges, Consumer Bankruptcy, Educational Institutions, Tuition

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Condominium Unit Sales Exemptions and Compliance under ILSA Requirements

As discussed in Ballard Spahr’s previous alert sent on September 24, 2014, effective March 25, 2015, the sale of condominium units will no longer be subject to the registration requirements of the Interstate Land Sales Full…more

Condominiums, ILSA, Real Estate Development, Real Estate Transfers

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Patent Trial & Appeal Board Finds Obscure Russian Doctoral Thesis Qualifies as Prior Art

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) recently provided important guidance for prior art “printed publications” asserted in invalidity challenges under the 2011 Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) concerning a doctoral…more

America Invents Act, Educational Institutions, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter

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Former Cardinals Scouting Director Pleads Guilty to Hacking Astros’ Computer Systems

Economic espionage and computer hacking can touch all industries and business types. Computer hacking is a federal crime, and federal prosecutors are aggressively targeting cases involving the unauthorized access of a protected…more

Baseball, Cardinals, Confidential Information, Cyber Espionage, Guilty Pleas

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Investment Management Update - December 2015

Below is a summary of recent investment management developments that affect registered investment companies, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, and others in the investment management industry. Supreme Court…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Disclosure Requirements, Investment Management, Liquidity Risk Management Rule, SEC

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Elements of RAD — transfers of assistance

For the next blog installment summarizing a key element discussed during Ballard Spahr’s recent RAD webinar, following is an overview of the special conditions that apply to the transfer of assistance from an existing public…more

Affordable Housing, Fair Market Value, HUD, Public Housing, Public Housing Authorities

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Landlords in Philadelphia Face New Legal Requirements Concerning Residential Rental Increases

Mayor Michael Nutter last week signed into law a bill that imposes new requirements on residential landlords in Philadelphia. The bill establishes strict notice requirements that landlords will need to follow regarding rental…more

Rent Control, Rental Rates, Residential Leases, Residential Property Owners

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IRS Approves New Rules To Minimize Taxes Related to M&A Transactions

The Internal Revenue Service recently adopted long-awaited regulations intended to provide a new means of minimizing taxes in M&A transactions. The newly adopted regulations take effect on May 15, 2013, under Section 336(e) of…more

IRS

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Nearly 2 Million Home Care Workers Now Qualify for Minimum Wage, Overtime Protections

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously upheld a Department of Labor (DOL) rule which extended the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime protections to certain home care…more

Appeals, Companionship Exemptions, DOL, FLSA, Health Care Providers

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FTC Challenges Privacy Self-Regulation Offered by TRUSTe

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced an enforcement action against TRUSTe, a provider of privacy certifications for online businesses. The settlement resolves allegations that TRUSTe deceived consumers about its…more

Certifications, Enforcement Actions, FTC, Privacy Policy

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Nearly 2 Million Home Care Workers Now Qualify for Minimum Wage, Overtime Protections

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously upheld a Department of Labor (DOL) rule which extended the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime protections to certain home care…more

Appeals, Companionship Exemptions, DOL, FLSA, Health Care Providers

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Ninth Circuit Rejects Attempt to Challenge FCC Order on TCPA

In an unpublished opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed summary judgment for the defendant in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) case, refusing to entertain the plaintiff’s challenge…more

ATDS, FCC, Prior Express Consent, Putative Class Actions, Summary Judgment

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The Paris Agreement on Climate Change Charts a Long-Term Plan for International Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions

On December 12, the United States and other Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed the historic Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties. We expect the Agreement to have…more

Clean Air Act, Climate Change, Environmental Policies, Paris Agreement, UNFCCC

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Commonwealth Court Affirms, Expands Public Employers’ Ability to Control Manning, Pension Costs through Collective Bargaining, Interest Arbitration

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania significantly strengthened public employers’ ability to address rising costs by holding that minimum shift manning requirements are a non-bargainable managerial prerogative. The court also…more

Arbitration, COLA, Collective Bargaining, Firemen, Public Employees

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Federal Circuit Gives Little Guidance on Biosimilar Patent Validity Challenges

Recently, the Federal Circuit had the opportunity to issue its first decision relating to biosimilars patent litigation and the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA) procedures. Instead, the court…more

Appeals, Biosimilars, BPCIA, FDA, Patent Infringement

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USPTO Clarifies Standard for Review of Financial Services Patents

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may have given banks, financial institutions, and retailers more access to a powerful new tool to fight weak patents. A recent Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) decision…more

Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Patents, Standard of Review, USPTO

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DOL Issues Guidance on Joint Employers

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance warning employers that ''joint employment'' has become more common in light of the growing variety of business models and labor arrangements in today's economy…more

Agricultural Workers, DOL, FLSA, Joint Employers, Migrant Workers

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CFPB announces steps to improve checking account access

As anticipated, in conjunction with its field hearing today, the CFPB announced several steps it has taken to improve consumer access to checking accounts. These steps consist of a sending a letter to the 25 largest retail banks…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, Checking Accounts, Deposit Accounts, Overdraft Fees

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New York Grand Jury Indicts 12 Online Payday Lenders and 3 Individuals

In a shot across the bow of online payday lenders who allegedly disregard state law where their borrowers reside, a New York County grand jury recently voted a criminal usury and conspiracy indictment against 12 companies…more

Conspiracies, Grand Juries, Lenders, Payday Loans, Usury

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Texas Supreme Court: Discount Points are Subject to Fee Cap for Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit

In a decision that likely will have a dampening effect on the home equity lending market in Texas, the Texas Supreme Court ruled on June 21, 2013, that lenders are prohibited from treating discount points and lender fees as…more

Fees, Foreclosure, Home Equity, Home Equity Line of Credit, Homestead Exemption

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Mandatory Training for Community Association Board Members

Following the release of a report evaluating the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities, the Montgomery County Council in Maryland enacted legislation that requires training and certification for board…more

Board of Directors, Common Ownership, Condominiums, HOA, New Legislation

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Borrowers’ Counsel Sanctioned for Frivolous Lawsuit Against Lender Who Attempted to Resolve Foreclosure Action

An Ohio appellate court has affirmed an order of sanctions against counsel for borrowers who filed a frivolous lawsuit against the lender alleging fraud, breach of contract and estoppel in connection with failed attempts to…more

Attorney's Fees, Default, Financial Institutions, Foreclosure, Frivolous Lawsuits

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FinCEN Imposes $650,000 Civil Penalty on Small ''Card Club'' Gaming Establishment

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced its first enforcement action against a small “card club” gaming establishment imposing a civil penalty of $650,000. The enforcement action, announced December 17, 2015,…more

BSA/AML, Casinos, Enforcement Actions, FinCEN, Gambling

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SEC Issues Final Rule on Pay Ratio Disclosure

Nearly two years after issuing the proposed rule, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 5, 2015, adopted by a 3-2 vote, the final rule on CEO-to-median employee pay ratio disclosure in what has become known…more

Compliance, Data Security, Disclosure Requirements, Dodd-Frank, Employees

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Proposed IRS Regulations Address Community Health Needs Assessment for Tax-Exempt Hospitals

The IRS has recently proposed regulations affecting tax-exempt hospitals that provide guidance and comfort about the consequences of failing to meet the community health needs assessment (CHNA) requirement. …more

Affordable Care Act, CHNA, Healthcare, Hospitals, IRS

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Supreme Court Ruling on Employee’s Lawsuit Will Also Affect Rule 23 Class Action Cases

In a decision that has broad implications beyond its labor law context, the U.S. Supreme Court held on April 16, 2013, that an employee plaintiff in a collective action whose individual claim was mooted by her employer’s offer…more

Class Action, Collective Actions, FLSA, Genesis HealthCare, Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk

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Creating a Social Network of Tax Savings: The Use of LLCs in Structuring Philanthropic and Public Good Activities

The use of a limited liability company (LLC) by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan as the vehicle for advancing of “philanthropic, public advocacy, and other activities for the public good” has recently received a great…more

Charitable Donations, Charitable Organizations, Limited Liability Companies, Mark Zuckerberg, Tax Deductions

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FCC Eases Some Standards for TCPA Consent Compliance Regarding Texting

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted two declaratory rulings that eased some standards for complying with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's (TCPA) consent requirements regarding informational text…more

Consent, FCC, TCPA, Texting

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Investment Management Update - December 2015

Below is a summary of recent investment management developments that affect registered investment companies, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, and others in the investment management industry. Supreme Court…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Disclosure Requirements, Investment Management, Liquidity Risk Management Rule, SEC

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Fed Circuit Decision Gives Broad Patents New Concerns

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals overruled prior precedent this week in Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC and lowered the standard for patent invalidity under 35 U.S.C. § 112 (f)—the statute that requires functional claims…more

Appeals, Covered Business Method Patents, Means-Plus-Function, Patent Invalidity, Patent Litigation

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President Obama Seeks To Expand Market for P3 Transportation Projects

As part of his ongoing effort to urge Congress to address the nation’s critical infrastructure needs, President Obama recently announced the signing of an executive order creating the Build America Investment Initiative (the…more

Department of Transportation (DOT), Infrastructure, Public Private Partnerships (P3s), Public Transit

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In re Tam en banc decision—Lanham Act 2(a) is unconstitutional

In a highly anticipated decision, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, ruled today that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which bars registration of marks that “disparage” a group of persons, unconstitutionally…more

Disparagement, First Amendment, Free Speech, Lanham Act, NFL

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Mandatory Training for Community Association Board Members

Following the release of a report evaluating the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities, the Montgomery County Council in Maryland enacted legislation that requires training and certification for board…more

Board of Directors, Common Ownership, Condominiums, HOA, New Legislation

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Comments requested regarding proposed guidance on the Community Reinvestment Act

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation are the federal agencies that implement the Community Reinvestment Act…more

Community Reinvestment Act, FDIC, Federal Reserve, OCC, U.S. Treasury

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In ERISA Stock Drop Case, Supreme Court Giveth and Taketh Away on Moench Presumption

The U.S. Supreme Court recently eviscerated a key protection against stock drop lawsuits filed by participants in defined contribution plans that hold employer stock as an investment. In Fifth Third Bancorp et al. v…more

ERISA, ESOP, Fiduciary Duty, FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer, Fifth Third Mortgage Company

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Federal Circuit Gives Little Guidance on Biosimilar Patent Validity Challenges

Recently, the Federal Circuit had the opportunity to issue its first decision relating to biosimilars patent litigation and the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA) procedures. Instead, the court…more

Appeals, Biosimilars, BPCIA, FDA, Patent Infringement

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Federal Government Remains Focused on Title IX Compliance

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently made announcements that signal the government’s continued focus on ensuring that colleges and universities comply with Title IX's…more

Colleges, DOJ, National Science Foundation, Sex Discrimination, Sexual Assault

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Second Circuit Affirms Fair Use in Google Books Decision

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Google's digitization of books for use in its Google Books and Google Books Library Project is not copyright infringement. The Court also ruled that providing a public online…more

Appeals, Authors, Authors Guild, Class Action, Copyright

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Renewed interest in Mortgage Credit Certificate programs

Section 25 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) permits issuers of tax-exempt qualified mortgage revenue bonds to elect to issue mortgage credit certificates (MCCs) to eligible homebuyers in lieu of offering mortgages financed…more

Ginnie Mae, Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Mortgage Interest, Mortgage-Backed Securities, Tax Credits

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Prepayment of tax-exempt bonds in connection with the sale of a multifamily housing project

In the last few years, we have seen an increase in the number of multifamily housing projects being sold at the completion of the 15-year low-income housing tax credit compliance period. Strong rental demand in many areas of the…more

LIHTC, Multi-Family Development, Real Estate Development, Real Estate Investments, Tax-Exempt Bonds

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Who Is a ‘Foreign Official’ under the FCPA? Eleventh Circuit Weighs In

Providing appellate guidance for the first time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit interpreted a key term defining the types of “foreign officials” subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and…more

Appeals, Appellate Review, DOJ, FCPA, Foreign Official

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OFCCP Publishes Final Rule on Pay Transparency for Federal Contractors, Subcontractors

Federal contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against employees or job applicants for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing their compensation or the compensation of others now that the final Pay…more

Employment Discrimination, Equal Pay, Federal Contractors, Gender-Based Pay Discrimination, Hiring & Firing

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Congress Extends EB-5 Again Without Changes Despite Months of Legislative Meetings, Lobbying, Proposals, and Negotiations

In what is considered a significant victory for real estate developers, Congress capped off months of handwringing and numerous proposals by extending the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program without amendment until September 30,…more

Construction Industry, EB-5, EB-5 Regional Centers, Housing Developers, Immigrant Investor Program

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From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield: New EU-U.S. Agreement for Transatlantic Data Flows

The European Commission (EC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce have reached an agreement to create a framework for transfers of personal data from the European Union to the United States. The framework, named the EU-U.S…more

Article 29 Working Party (WP29), CJEU, Data Protection Authority, EU, EU-US Privacy Shield

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SEC Announces Second Wave of MCDC Enforcement Actions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week announced enforcement actions under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative, targeting 22 municipal bond underwriting firms for alleged due…more

Borrowers, Compliance, Disclosure Requirements, Due Diligence, EMMA

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Illinois Amends Collection Agency Act

Illinois has amended provisions of the state Collection Agency Act, including extending the repeal of the Act from January 1, 2016, to January 1, 2026. The amendment makes changes concerning definitions, exemptions,…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Collection Agencies, Debt Collection, Financial Institutions

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N.Y. Appeals Court Ruling on Short-Term Rental Lodging May Have Implications for Airbnb and Other “Sharing Economy” Companies

The New York Appellate Division’s recent decision that blocked a municipality’s attempt to regulate a homeowner’s renting out of his individual residence as short-term lodging demonstrates challenges that may face municipalities…more

AirBnB, Hospitality Industry, Rental Property, Residential Real Estate Market, Sharing Economy

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Wholly Underwater Junior Liens May Not Be Stripped Off in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Proceedings

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien when the debt owed on a senior mortgage lien exceeds the current value of the collateral, provided that the…more

Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 7, Consumer Bankruptcy, Junior Liens, Lien Priority

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FDIC Highlights Marketplace Lending Risks for Bank Partners

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) publication of an article highlighting the risks for banks that partner with marketplace lenders further underscores the focus of federal regulators on marketplace lending…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Banks, Due Diligence, FDIC, Financial Services Industry

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DOJ Delays Web Accessibility Regulations; Enforcement Actions Continue

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has published its Fall 2015 Statement of Regulatory Priorities and announced that its much-anticipated rulemaking on web accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be…more

ADA, Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), DOJ, Regulatory Agenda, Website Accessibility

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Envelope’s Display of Internal Tracking Number Does Not Violate FDCPA, New York Federal Court Rules

A federal district court in New York has ruled that a debt collector did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by sending a collection letter in an envelope that allegedly revealed an internal tracking…more

Corporate Counsel, Debt Collection, FDCPA, FTC, Motion for Judgment

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NLRB to Review Graduate Assistants’ Petition for Representation

The National Labor Relations Board (Board) has voted 3-1 to reconsider whether graduate assistants at private, nonprofit higher education institutions are entitled to collective bargaining rights under the National Labor…more

Collective Bargaining, Colleges, Educational Institutions, NLRA, NLRB

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Affordable, small, and manufactured housing loans prioritized as GSEs approach volume caps

The government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have announced that they are quickly approaching their 2015 volume caps. In January of this year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), who regulates…more

Affordable Housing, Fannie Mae, FHFA, Freddie Mac, Mortgage Lenders

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Florida District Court Holds That Successor and Assign of Original Lender Has Standing to Enforce Jury Trial Waiver While Loan Servicer Does Not

While California does not permit pre-dispute jury trial waivers, jury trial waivers are enforceable in many states. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently held in Thompson v. Caliber Home Loans,…more

Debt Collection, FCCPA, FDCPA, Jury Waivers, Mortgage Lenders

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Florida District Court Holds That Successor and Assign of Original Lender Has Standing to Enforce Jury Trial Waiver While Loan Servicer Does Not

While California does not permit pre-dispute jury trial waivers, jury trial waivers are enforceable in many states. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently held in Thompson v. Caliber Home Loans,…more

Debt Collection, FCCPA, FDCPA, Jury Waivers, Mortgage Lenders

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N.Y. Appeals Court Ruling on Short-Term Rental Lodging May Have Implications for Airbnb and Other “Sharing Economy” Companies

The New York Appellate Division’s recent decision that blocked a municipality’s attempt to regulate a homeowner’s renting out of his individual residence as short-term lodging demonstrates challenges that may face municipalities…more

AirBnB, Hospitality Industry, Rental Property, Residential Real Estate Market, Sharing Economy

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FTC Announces ''Operation Collection Protection'' Developments

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced new developments in ''Operation Collection Protection,'' its new coordinated federal-state enforcement initiative targeting unlawful debt collection practices. The U.S. Department…more

Attorney Generals, CFPB, Debt Collection, DOJ, Enforcement Actions

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Deadlines for Pennsylvania Real Property Tax Appeals

In view of market conditions, now is a good time to review your company’s real estate portfolio to consider assessment appeals for tax year 2016. Deadlines for appeal in certain Pennsylvania counties follow:…more

Ad Valorem Tax, Appeals, Property Tax, Tax Appeals, Tax Assessment

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OFCCP Publishes Final Rule on Pay Transparency for Federal Contractors, Subcontractors

Federal contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against employees or job applicants for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing their compensation or the compensation of others now that the final Pay…more

Employment Discrimination, Equal Pay, Federal Contractors, Gender-Based Pay Discrimination, Hiring & Firing

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Dismissal of Retained Asset Account Putative Class Action Upheld by Third Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has affirmed summary judgment in favor of The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company in a putative class action. In Edmonson v. Lincoln National Life Ins. Co. the plaintiff…more

Class Action, ERISA, Insurance Industry, Retained Asset Accounts

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California Federal Court Rules ‘No Surcharge’ Law Unconstitutional

A federal district court in California has ruled that a state law prohibiting retailers from imposing a surcharge on credit card purchases placed an unconstitutional restriction on the retailers’ freedom of speech and is…more

Commercial Speech, Credit Card Surcharges, Credit Cards, First Amendment, Retailers

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N.Y. Appeals Court Ruling on Short-Term Rental Lodging May Have Implications for Airbnb and Other “Sharing Economy” Companies

The New York Appellate Division’s recent decision that blocked a municipality’s attempt to regulate a homeowner’s renting out of his individual residence as short-term lodging demonstrates challenges that may face municipalities…more

AirBnB, Hospitality Industry, Rental Property, Residential Real Estate Market, Sharing Economy

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HUD publishes final Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Assessment Tool

On December 31, 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the availability of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Assessment Tool. The AFFH Assessment Tool is for use by local…more

Federal Funding, HUD, Public Housing Authorities, Residential Real Estate Market

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