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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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IRS Seeks to Curb Popularity of ‘Skinny’ Health Plans

The Internal Revenue Service, in Notice 2014-69, has concluded that certain unconventional group health plan designs that offer limited or no coverage for in-patient hospitalization services and/or physician services will not…more

Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Employer Mandates, Healthcare, IRS

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New Patent Examination Guidelines Give Applicants Some Reason for Optimism: First in a two-part series on USPTO interim guidance

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently released updated interim guidelines for determining whether an invention is directed to patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Although the impact of the new…more

Guidance Update, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Patents, USPTO

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CFPB issues bulletin on consideration of public assistance income in credit decisions

The CFPB has issued a new bulletin (Bulletin 2014-03) that is intended “to remind creditors” of their ECOA/Regulation B obligations with respect to consideration of public assistance income and relevant standards and guidelines…more

CFPB, Creditors, ECOA, Regulation B

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New York Issues Far-Reaching Debt Collection Regulations

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) published its final debt collection regulations on December 3, 2014, following an extensive rulemaking period. The regulations impose requirements on third-party debt…more

Debt Buyers, Debt Collection, Department of Financial Services, Disclosure Requirements, Electronic Communications

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Supreme Court Hands FTC Victory on State Action Immunity

In a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court this week tightened the standard for state action immunity under federal antitrust laws in a case involving a hospital merger. This decision arguably tightens the reins on the…more

FTC, FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Hospital Mergers, Hospitals, Immunity

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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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FLSA Wage and Hour Lawsuit Filed against NCAA

A putative collective action on behalf of college athletes, Sackos v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, was recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana against the National Collegiate…more

Athletes, College Athletes, Employee Definition, FLSA, Minimum Wage

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Philadelphia Mayor's Task Force Recommends Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

A task force appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter to examine the impact of paid sick leave legislation recently released its final report that recommends Philadelphia employers with 15 or more workers should provide paid sick…more

Employee Rights, Local Ordinance, Paid Leave, Sick Leave

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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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Federal Court Ruling in Pa. Narrows Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge has tossed an employer’s claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), holding that the CFAA does not extend to punish employees for the misuse of information that was accessed…more

CFAA, Data Protection, Fraud

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NLRB Issues Final Rule on Representation-Case Procedures

Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a final representation-case procedures rule. This rule follows yesterday’s decision in Purple Communications Inc., where the NLRB held that employees may use their…more

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

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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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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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Supreme Court Rulings Expected To Curb Meritless Patent Litigation

The U.S. Supreme Court rendered two decisions yesterday that should help curb meritless “patent troll” litigation. The decisions are particularly helpful to technology companies and large retail businesses that frequently face…more

Highmark v. Allcare, Octane Fitness v. ICON, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation, Patent Trolls

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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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Supreme Court Extends Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection to Private Contractors Working for Public Companies

In its first decision regarding the whistleblower protection provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the U.S. Supreme Court held that employees of private contractors providing services to public companies are protected from…more

Contractors, FMR LLC, Lawson v FMR, Sarbanes-Oxley, SCOTUS

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Supreme Court Upholds EPA Interstate Pollution Rule

In a significant victory for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and supporting parties, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded an appellate ruling that had invalidated EPA’s Clean Air Act regulation of certain air…more

Clean Air Act, Cross-State Air Pollution, EPA, Power Plants, SCOTUS

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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 1, Rule 26

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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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Statewide Judicial System Report Issued on N.Y. Foreclosure Cases

Earlier this month, the Chief Administrative Judge of New York’s Unified Court System issued a report on the status of foreclosure cases in the state judicial system. The 2013 report contains important information about how the…more

Foreclosure, Mortgages

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House tax extender package bolsters Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and New Markets Tax Credit programs

On Wednesday, December 3, 2014, the House of Representatives passed a one-year tax extender bill that will shore up two key housing and community development programs. The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771) (the…more

Affordable Housing, LIHTC, New Market Tax Credits, Tax Extenders

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CFPB hearing in El Paso on proposal to disclose consumer complaint narratives sheds light on CFPB position, reveals concerns of financial institutions

The CFPB held a field hearing yesterday in El Paso, Texas, at which it described its proposal to expand the complaint data it publicly discloses in its Consumer Complaint Database to include consumer complaint narratives. We…more

CFPB, Consumer Complaint System, Disclosure Requirements

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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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California Guarantees Paid Sick Leave to Employees

On September 10, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (HWHFA), requiring all California employers to provide their employees in the state with at least three days of…more

Employee Rights, New Legislation, Paid Leave, Sick Leave, Wage and Hour

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines To Adopt Restatement (Third) of Torts

In a long-awaited opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recently declined to adopt the Restatement (Third) of Torts in product liability cases, ruling instead that the strict liability regime of the Restatement (Second)…more

Negligence, Strict Liability

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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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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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Merger Doctrine Does Not Prevent Deed of Trust Beneficiary From Extinguishing Junior Lien through Foreclosure, California Court Holds

The California Court of Appeal recently held that a foreclosure by the beneficiary under a first deed of trust extinguished a junior lien, even though the beneficiary acquired the property by way of a deed in lieu of foreclosure…more

Appeals, Beneficiaries, Deed of Trust, Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure, Foreclosure

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Federal Court Notes Flaws in EEOC Stance on Severance Agreements

In a closely watched case, a federal district court questioned the stance of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that a severance agreement and general release of claims offered to employees can violate…more

Discrimination, EEOC, Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, Retaliation

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California Guarantees Paid Sick Leave to Employees

On September 10, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (HWHFA), requiring all California employers to provide their employees in the state with at least three days of…more

Employee Rights, New Legislation, Paid Leave, Sick Leave, Wage and Hour

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NLRB Issues Mixed Decisions When Applying Specialty Healthcare to Retail Industry

In two separate decisions, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has extended to the retail industry the standard for recognizing what is an “appropriate” bargaining unit that it established in Specialty Healthcare and…more

Healthcare, Macy's, NLRA, NLRB, Retailers

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New Patent Examination Guidelines Give Applicants Some Reason for Optimism: First in a two-part series on USPTO interim guidance

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently released updated interim guidelines for determining whether an invention is directed to patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Although the impact of the new…more

Guidance Update, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Patents, USPTO

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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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DOL's Proposed Rule Would Generally Prohibit Pay Secrecy Policies for Federal Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a proposed rule this week that would prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against employees or…more

DOL, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Equal Pay, Federal Contractors

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Mayor Nutter Signs Bill Mandating Employers to Allow Breastfeeding

Yesterday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed a bill requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodation to employees who seek to breastfeed. Bill No. 130922, which was first introduced by City Councilman David Oh in…more

Breastfeeding, Employee Rights, Reasonable Accommodation

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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 Institution Liability

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Senate passes Tax Extender Package at 11th hour

The Senate passed the “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014? (H.R. 5771) on Tuesday night just before Congress adjourned for 2014. As Molly Bryson described in her December 5, 2014 post following the House’s passage of the bill,…more

Legislative Agendas, Tax Extenders

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NLRB Rules Workers Have Right To Use Employer E-mail for Organizing Activity, Reversing Precedent

In a closely watched decision, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) ruled today that workers must be permitted to use their employers’ e-mail systems for union organizing activity and all other communications about…more

Email, NLRB, Purple Communications, Unions

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Supreme Court Upholds EPA Interstate Pollution Rule

In a significant victory for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and supporting parties, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded an appellate ruling that had invalidated EPA’s Clean Air Act regulation of certain air…more

Clean Air Act, Cross-State Air Pollution, EPA, Power Plants, SCOTUS

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Investment Management Update

In This Issue: - SEC Announces First-of-Its-Kind Whistleblower Award To an Audit and Compliance Professional - SEC Issues No-Action Letter To Allow for Amendment of a Sub-Advisory Agreement without Shareholder…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Auditors, Business Development Companies, Carried Interest, European Court of Justice

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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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Amicus Curiae Oppose Disparate-Impact Liability

Recently, following the U.S. Supreme Court's grant of certiorari, more than a dozen organizations, groups, and associations filed separate amicus curiae briefs in support of the notion that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) does not…more

Disparate Impact, FHA, SCOTUS

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CFPB report highlights inadequate disclosure of campus financial products

In its fifth annual report on college credit card agreements, the CFPB takes financial institutions as well as colleges and universities to task for failing to adequately disclose their marketing agreements for campus financial…more

CARD Act, CFPB, Colleges, Credit Cards, Disclosure Requirements

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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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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, Crocs Inc, Design Patent, First-to-File, Inter Partes Review Proceedings

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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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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 Lending

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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, Section 202

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Phishing Attacks Target University Employee Payroll Information

In a recent advisory, the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC) warned higher education institutions about sophisticated phishing attacks that target faculty and staff credentials…more

Cybersecurity, Payroll Records, Phishing Scams, Popular, Universities

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Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair development…more

Energy Projects, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, State and Local Government

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Employee’s Firing over Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use Is Legal, Colorado Court Holds

The Colorado Court of Appeals recently held that an employee can be fired for testing positive for medical marijuana use, even though it occurred off the job, it was legal under state law, and the employee was never under the…more

Hiring & Firing, Medical Marijuana, Termination

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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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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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Employers Must Be Cautious in Addressing Ebola Concerns

Neither the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission nor the Centers for Disease Control has issued any specific guidance for employers to deal with Ebola issues. With multiple Ebola cases diagnosed in the United States and…more

ADA, Ebola, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA, Title VII

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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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CFPB Proposes Sweeping Changes for Prepaid Cards

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued an 870-page proposal for prepaid cards (including 156 pages of actual proposed rules) that mandates new disclosures, error resolution procedures, consumer liability limits for…more

CFPB, Prepaid Payment Products, Proposed Regulation

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Virginia Supreme Court Allows Damages Claim for Violation of HUD Regulation Requiring Face-to-Face Meeting before Seeking Foreclosure

The Virginia Supreme Court recently expanded the grounds under which a private borrower can sue a lender for violations of HUD regulations. In Squire v. Virginia Housing Development Authority, a decision issued on April 17,…more

Borrowers, Breach of Contract, Deed of Trust, Delinquent Borrowers, Foreclosure

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Joint Center on Housing Studies releases “Housing America’s Older Adults”

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies recently released a report entitled Housing America’s Older Adults, which highlighted several issues: - High housing costs resulted in older adults to skimp on other necessities,…more

Elder Issues, Housing Market

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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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FLSA Wage and Hour Lawsuit Filed against NCAA

A putative collective action on behalf of college athletes, Sackos v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, was recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana against the National Collegiate…more

Athletes, College Athletes, Employee Definition, FLSA, Minimum Wage

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CFPB Proposes Sweeping Changes for Prepaid Cards

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued an 870-page proposal for prepaid cards (including 156 pages of actual proposed rules) that mandates new disclosures, error resolution procedures, consumer liability limits for…more

CFPB, Prepaid Payment Products, Proposed Regulation

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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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Increased costs and potential decrease in private investment: Ballard Spahr’s thoughts on the public housing demolition/disposition proposed rule

Since HUD issued its proposed rule for the demolition and disposition of public housing in October of this year, Ballard Spahr has thoroughly examined the regulation and has now provided to HUD comments on the potentially…more

HUD, Public Housing

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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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Increased costs and potential decrease in private investment: Ballard Spahr’s thoughts on the public housing demolition/disposition proposed rule

Since HUD issued its proposed rule for the demolition and disposition of public housing in October of this year, Ballard Spahr has thoroughly examined the regulation and has now provided to HUD comments on the potentially…more

HUD, Public Housing

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SEC Charges City Mayor as a Control Person in Allen Park, Michigan, Enforcement Action

Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges against the City of Allen Park, Michigan (City), and two of its former officials—the former City Mayor and former City Administrator. It is the first…more

Economic Development, Enforcement Actions, Fraud, Joint and Several Liability, Municipal Bonds

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OSHA To Refer Untimely Retaliation Claims to NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have entered into a new program that will provide whistleblowers an avenue to pursue claims that are time-barred by the…more

NLRA, NLRB, OSHA, Retaliation, Whistleblowers

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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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SEC Charges City Mayor as a Control Person in Allen Park, Michigan, Enforcement Action

Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges against the City of Allen Park, Michigan (City), and two of its former officials—the former City Mayor and former City Administrator. It is the first…more

Economic Development, Enforcement Actions, Fraud, Joint and Several Liability, Municipal Bonds

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ISS Releases 2015 Draft Voting Policies for Independent Chair and Equity Incentive Plan Proposals

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently released for public comment its 2015 draft voting policies. The draft policies relate to two topics affecting the U.S. market: independent board chair shareholder proposals and…more

Board of Directors, Incentive Stock Options, ISS, Proxy Voting Guidelines, Public Comment

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Industry Concerns Prompt SEC To Modify MCDC Initiative

In response to concerns raised by industry participants, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made some modifications to its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (MCDC Initiative). The SEC…more

Disclosure Requirements, MCDC, Municipal Securities Issuers, Policy Violations, SEC

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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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Amicus Curiae Oppose Disparate-Impact Liability

Recently, following the U.S. Supreme Court's grant of certiorari, more than a dozen organizations, groups, and associations filed separate amicus curiae briefs in support of the notion that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) does not…more

Disparate Impact, FHA, SCOTUS

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Act 47: Pennsylvania Says Enough Is Enough. Or Is It?

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett today signed House Bill 1773 (HB 1773) into law, significantly overhauling the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act, known as Act 47. Enacted in the 1980s to provide assistance to…more

Government-Guaranteed Loans, Grants, Municipalities, New Legislation, Tax Revenues

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CMS Releases Final Rule on Physician Payment Disclosures

Public disclosure of payments from pharmaceutical, medical device, biologic, and medical supply manufacturers to physicians and hospitals will begin under a final rule on the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (Sunshine Act)…more

Biologics, CMS, Covered Entities, GPOs, Medicaid

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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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IRS Seeks to Curb Popularity of ‘Skinny’ Health Plans

The Internal Revenue Service, in Notice 2014-69, has concluded that certain unconventional group health plan designs that offer limited or no coverage for in-patient hospitalization services and/or physician services will not…more

Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Employer Mandates, Healthcare, IRS

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IRS Construction Deadline Guidance Highlights Disparate Treatment of Renewable Energy Technologies

The IRS recently released guidance in the form of an IRS Notice implementing a rule change under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 concerning the construction deadline that renewable energy facilities must meet to qualify…more

Begun Construction Test, Energy Projects, Investment Tax Credits, IRS, Production Tax Credit

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CFPB Proposes Additional Servicing Rule Amendments

The CFPB issued a proposed rulemaking last week to amend various provisions of the mortgage servicing rules under Regulation X and Regulation Z. Comments are due 90 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register…more

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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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IRS Announces Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has announced cost-of-living increases applicable to annual limits for employee benefit plans, including pensions, 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), and welfare plans for 2015. Employers should make sure that…more

COLA, Cost-of-Living, IRS, Retirement Plan

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Second Circuit Issues Decision in Payday-Loan Regulatory Case

In a clash of competing sovereigns’ interests, the Second Circuit recently upheld, for now, the authority of the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) to regulate online payday loans made by Indian tribal lenders to…more

Banks, Consumer Financial Products, Consumer Lenders, NACHA, Native American Issues

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High-Speed Trader Indicted for ‘Spoofing’

A federal grand jury in Chicago recently indicted high-frequency trader Michael J. Coscia for “spoofing,” making it the first criminal case ever brought under the Dodd-Frank Act’s rules against disruptive trading practices…more

CFTC, Consent Order, Criminal Prosecution, Disruptive Trading Practices, Dodd-Frank

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New Patent Examination Guidelines Give Applicants Some Reason for Optimism: First in a two-part series on USPTO interim guidance

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently released updated interim guidelines for determining whether an invention is directed to patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Although the impact of the new…more

Guidance Update, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Patents, USPTO

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New Jersey Gets Federal Approval for $1.8 Billion in Hurricane Sandy Aid

The Obama administration recently approved more than $1.8 billion in aid to help New Jersey residents and businesses recover from Hurricane Sandy. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for New Jersey, part of a $60…more

Chris Christie, Community Development Block Grants, Hurricane Sandy, Natural Disasters

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New flexibility for repayment of Maryland DHCD Ffinancing

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has announced a new program to help developers resolve an issue that comes up in many if not most affordable housing deals in Maryland – how will available cash…more

Affordable Housing, Housing Developers, Lending, Real Estate Development

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Federal Courts Make Conflicting Rulings on Premium Assistance for Federal Exchange Plan Participants

Does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) authorize the payment of premium and copayment subsidies, or “premium assistance subsidies,” to individuals enrolled in a federally established Exchange? On July 22, 2014, two federal courts…more

Affordable Care Act, Halbig v Burwell, Healthcare, IRS, King v Burwell

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Furnishers Beware – CFPB Signals That Civil Penalties May Be Appropriate Even Without Any Actual Consumer Injury

Yesterday, the CFPB announced a consent order with First Investors Financial Services Group, Inc., an auto finance company that both makes loans to consumers and purchases retail installment sale contracts from auto dealers…more

Automotive Industry, Automotive Loans, Car Dealerships, CFPB, Civil Monetary Penalty

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ISS Releases 2015 Draft Voting Policies for Independent Chair and Equity Incentive Plan Proposals

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently released for public comment its 2015 draft voting policies. The draft policies relate to two topics affecting the U.S. market: independent board chair shareholder proposals and…more

Board of Directors, Incentive Stock Options, ISS, Proxy Voting Guidelines, Public Comment

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Private E-Mail and Public Officials: What's a Public Document?

The "Bridgegate" scandal in New Jersey involving an investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures has included many instances of Governor Chris Christie's top officials utilizing their own Gmail, Yahoo, or other…more

Chris Christie, Email, FOIA, Public Officials, Public Records

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Court Finds Attorney-Client Privilege Did Not Protect Antitrust Policy Disclosure

For the first time within the Third Circuit, a court has added to the handful of decisions holding that the attorney-client privilege does not shield an antitrust compliance policy from disclosure in antitrust litigation. In In…more

Antitrust Litigation, Attorney-Client Privilege, Chief Compliance Officers

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NLRB Issues Final Rule on Representation-Case Procedures

Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a final representation-case procedures rule. This rule follows yesterday’s decision in Purple Communications Inc., where the NLRB held that employees may use their…more

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

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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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Pa. Department of Revenue Delivers Good News and Bad News Regarding New Realty Transfer Tax Provisions

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR) recently issued Information Notice - Realty Transfer Tax 2014-01 (the Information Notice) delivering some good news and bad news about how the new law that became effective January 1,…more

Department of Revenue, Real Estate Holding Companies, Real Estate Transfers, Realty Transfer Taxes, Transfer Taxes

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Pennsylvania Continues Trend of Stricter Review of Experts in Product Liability and Toxic Tort Cases

For years, plaintiffs in product liability and toxic tort cases have viewed Pennsylvania's state court system as a favorable forum. Over the past year and a half, however, the Pennsylvania appellate courts have issued decisions…more

Cancer, Chemicals, Evidence, Expert Testimony, Expert Witness

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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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IRS Announces Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has announced cost-of-living increases applicable to annual limits for employee benefit plans, including pensions, 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), and welfare plans for 2015. Employers should make sure that…more

COLA, Cost-of-Living, IRS, Retirement Plan

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CFPB soliciting suggestions for its amicus brief program

The Consumer Law & Policy Blog has reproduced a copy of a letter sent yesterday by the CFPB seeking suggested cases for the CFPB’s amicus brief program…more

CFPB, Consumer Financial Products, SCOTUS

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Court Finds Attorney-Client Privilege Did Not Protect Antitrust Policy Disclosure

For the first time within the Third Circuit, a court has added to the handful of decisions holding that the attorney-client privilege does not shield an antitrust compliance policy from disclosure in antitrust litigation. In In…more

Antitrust Litigation, Attorney-Client Privilege, Chief Compliance Officers

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Congress votes unanimously to extend SCRA one-year foreclosure protection period

Congress has unanimously approved legislation to extend until January 2016 a provision of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) that prohibits foreclosing on a servicemember’s house for one year following the…more

Foreclosure, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgage Servicers, New Legislation, SCRA

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New Campus SaVE Act Requirements Effective Today

Effective today, colleges and universities face new obligations regarding reports of crime statistics, student disciplinary procedures, and policies and procedures to address and prevent sexual violence on campus. The…more

Colleges, Rape, SAVE Act, Sexual Assault, Universities

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DOL's Proposed Rule Would Generally Prohibit Pay Secrecy Policies for Federal Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a proposed rule this week that would prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against employees or…more

DOL, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Equal Pay, Federal Contractors

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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, TILA

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Third Circuit Decision Will Make It More Difficult for Employers to Defeat FMLA Interference and Retaliation Claims

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision that raises the bar for employers seeking summary judgment on claims raised under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for interference with…more

Employee Rights, FMLA, Popular, Retaliation, Tortious Interference

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Employers Must Be Cautious in Addressing Ebola Concerns

Neither the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission nor the Centers for Disease Control has issued any specific guidance for employers to deal with Ebola issues. With multiple Ebola cases diagnosed in the United States and…more

ADA, Ebola, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA, Title VII

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Investment Management Update

In This Issue: - SEC Announces First-of-Its-Kind Whistleblower Award To an Audit and Compliance Professional - SEC Issues No-Action Letter To Allow for Amendment of a Sub-Advisory Agreement without Shareholder…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Auditors, Business Development Companies, Carried Interest, European Court of Justice

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Investment Management Update

In This Issue: - SEC Announces First-of-Its-Kind Whistleblower Award To an Audit and Compliance Professional - SEC Issues No-Action Letter To Allow for Amendment of a Sub-Advisory Agreement without Shareholder…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Auditors, Business Development Companies, Carried Interest, European Court of Justice

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New York Issues Far-Reaching Debt Collection Regulations

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) published its final debt collection regulations on December 3, 2014, following an extensive rulemaking period. The regulations impose requirements on third-party debt…more

Debt Buyers, Debt Collection, Department of Financial Services, Disclosure Requirements, Electronic Communications

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Investment Management Update

In This Issue: - SEC Announces First-of-Its-Kind Whistleblower Award To an Audit and Compliance Professional - SEC Issues No-Action Letter To Allow for Amendment of a Sub-Advisory Agreement without Shareholder…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Auditors, Business Development Companies, Carried Interest, European Court of Justice

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Investment Management Update

In This Issue: - SEC Announces First-of-Its-Kind Whistleblower Award To an Audit and Compliance Professional - SEC Issues No-Action Letter To Allow for Amendment of a Sub-Advisory Agreement without Shareholder…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Auditors, Business Development Companies, Carried Interest, European Court of Justice

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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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Pa. Department of Revenue Delivers Good News and Bad News Regarding New Realty Transfer Tax Provisions

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR) recently issued Information Notice - Realty Transfer Tax 2014-01 (the Information Notice) delivering some good news and bad news about how the new law that became effective January 1,…more

Department of Revenue, Real Estate Holding Companies, Real Estate Transfers, Realty Transfer Taxes, Transfer Taxes

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Pa. Department of Revenue Delivers Good News and Bad News Regarding New Realty Transfer Tax Provisions

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR) recently issued Information Notice - Realty Transfer Tax 2014-01 (the Information Notice) delivering some good news and bad news about how the new law that became effective January 1,…more

Department of Revenue, Real Estate Holding Companies, Real Estate Transfers, Realty Transfer Taxes, Transfer Taxes

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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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Major New Jersey Health System Pays $12.6 Million To Settle False Claims Act Suit Alleging Physician Kickback Scheme

Federal prosecutors recently announced a $12.6 million False Claims Act (FCA) settlement with a major New Jersey health system to resolve allegations that the system paid outside physicians in order to increase referrals…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Compliance, False Claims Act, HHS, Kickbacks

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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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HOA Lien Extinguishes First Deed of Trust in Foreclosure, Nevada Supreme Court Holds

On the heels of a recent D.C. Court of Appeals ruling, the Nevada Supreme Court issued an opinion yesterday holding that a homeowners association (HOA) lien is a true super-priority lien that, if foreclosed upon, extinguishes a…more

Appeals, Foreclosure, Homeowners' Association, Judicial Foreclosure Process, Liens

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NLRB Rules Workers Have Right To Use Employer E-mail for Organizing Activity, Reversing Precedent

In a closely watched decision, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) ruled today that workers must be permitted to use their employers’ e-mail systems for union organizing activity and all other communications about…more

Email, NLRB, Purple Communications, Unions

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ISS Releases 2015 Draft Voting Policies for Independent Chair and Equity Incentive Plan Proposals

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently released for public comment its 2015 draft voting policies. The draft policies relate to two topics affecting the U.S. market: independent board chair shareholder proposals and…more

Board of Directors, Incentive Stock Options, ISS, Proxy Voting Guidelines, Public Comment

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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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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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Student Employees under the Affordable Care Act's Employer Mandate

Effective January 1, 2015, colleges and universities will need to comply with the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act, which will have particular implications involving certain student employees. The employer mandate…more

Affordable Care Act, Employee Rights, Employer Mandates, Student Employees, Students

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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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Class Action Not Mooted by Unaccepted Rule 68 Offers of Judgment to Putative Class Representatives, 11th Circuit Holds

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit recently held that a class action was not mooted by the unaccepted offers of judgment made by the defendant to each putative class representative in the full amount of his or her…more

Appeals, Class Action, Mootness, Offer of Judgment, Putative Class Actions

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HUD Notice has potential to encourage broad PHA renewable energy rollout

Housing authorities that are seeking alternate energy sources or new funding streams will be particularly interested in HUD’s latest PIH notice. It ushers in a number of programmatic changes in an effort to increase the use of…more

Energy Projects, HUD, Public Housing, Public Housing Authorities, Renewable Energy

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Condominium Unit Sales Exempt from Registration under ILSFDA

The sale of condominium units will no longer be subject to the registration requirements of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (the ILSFDA) under a bill passed by both houses of Congress. Barring a veto, the new…more

Condominiums, ILSFDA, New Legislation, Real Estate Transfers, Registration

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Public Offering Statement Disclosure Limits Developer's Liability

A New Jersey judge earlier this year dismissed a construction defect complaint by a condominium association against the developer and contractor, finding that the lawsuit was filed outside the state’s six-year statute of…more

Condominiums, Construction Contracts, Construction Defects, Construction Disputes, Land Developers

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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, TILA

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Act 47: Pennsylvania Says Enough Is Enough. Or Is It?

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett today signed House Bill 1773 (HB 1773) into law, significantly overhauling the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act, known as Act 47. Enacted in the 1980s to provide assistance to…more

Government-Guaranteed Loans, Grants, Municipalities, New Legislation, Tax Revenues

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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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Lender Risk Management for Bankruptcy Stay Violations

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a bankruptcy case highlights a risk to consumer lenders and suggests a practical approach to risk management through clear policies and employee training…more

Automatic Stay, Consumer Bankruptcy, Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Risk Management

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Condominium Unit Sales Exempt from Registration under ILSFDA

The sale of condominium units will no longer be subject to the registration requirements of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (the ILSFDA) under a bill passed by both houses of Congress. Barring a veto, the new…more

Condominiums, ILSFDA, New Legislation, Real Estate Transfers, Registration

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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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Investment Management Update

In This Issue: - SEC Announces First-of-Its-Kind Whistleblower Award To an Audit and Compliance Professional - SEC Issues No-Action Letter To Allow for Amendment of a Sub-Advisory Agreement without Shareholder…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Auditors, Business Development Companies, Carried Interest, European Court of Justice

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Insights from the executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

Our Ninth Annual National Housing Symposium successfully brought together a rich panorama of perspectives across the affordable housing industry. Laura Green Zeilinger, the Executive Director for the United States Interagency…more

Affordable Housing, Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeless Issues, HUD

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Philadelphia's Proposed Energy Reporting Regulations Expand Reach of Benchmarking Ordinance

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability issued proposed regulations on July 10, 2013, to implement Ordinance No. 120428-A – the City of Philadelphia’s recently enacted energy and water reporting or “benchmarking” ordinance…more

Air Pollution, Benchmarks, Energy Policy, Local Ordinance, Proposed Regulation

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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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Maryland Governor Expected To Sign Transgender Equality Bill

This month, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is expected to sign the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 (the Act). The Act prohibits discrimination against transgender individuals in employment, housing, and places of…more

Public Accommodation, Transgender

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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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Third Circuit Holds that Courts, Not Arbitrators, Should Rule on Classwide Arbitration

In Opalinski v. Robert Half International, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that where an arbitration clause is silent as to the availability of classwide arbitration, that issue should…more

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Arbitrators, Class Action

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Phishing Attacks Target University Employee Payroll Information

In a recent advisory, the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC) warned higher education institutions about sophisticated phishing attacks that target faculty and staff credentials…more

Cybersecurity, Payroll Records, Phishing Scams, Popular, Universities

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Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair development…more

Energy Projects, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, State and Local Government

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Act 47: Pennsylvania Says Enough Is Enough. Or Is It?

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett today signed House Bill 1773 (HB 1773) into law, significantly overhauling the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act, known as Act 47. Enacted in the 1980s to provide assistance to…more

Government-Guaranteed Loans, Grants, Municipalities, New Legislation, Tax Revenues

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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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Banking trade groups comment on CFPB’s proposed no-action letter policy

The American Bankers Association, American Bankers Insurance Association and Consumers Banking Association have submitted a joint comment letter on the CFPB’s proposed policy on issuing “no-action” letters for innovative…more

Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB, No-Action Letters

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

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

Banks, Foreclosure, Local Ordinance, Mediation, Mortgages

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Phishing Attacks Target University Employee Payroll Information

In a recent advisory, the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC) warned higher education institutions about sophisticated phishing attacks that target faculty and staff credentials…more

Cybersecurity, Payroll Records, Phishing Scams, Popular, Universities

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ISS Releases 2015 Draft Voting Policies for Independent Chair and Equity Incentive Plan Proposals

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently released for public comment its 2015 draft voting policies. The draft policies relate to two topics affecting the U.S. market: independent board chair shareholder proposals and…more

Board of Directors, Incentive Stock Options, ISS, Proxy Voting Guidelines, Public Comment

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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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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

In This Issue: - SEC Announces First-of-Its-Kind Whistleblower Award To an Audit and Compliance Professional - SEC Issues No-Action Letter To Allow for Amendment of a Sub-Advisory Agreement without Shareholder…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Auditors, Business Development Companies, Carried Interest, European Court of Justice

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Court Finds Attorney-Client Privilege Did Not Protect Antitrust Policy Disclosure

For the first time within the Third Circuit, a court has added to the handful of decisions holding that the attorney-client privilege does not shield an antitrust compliance policy from disclosure in antitrust litigation. In In…more

Antitrust Litigation, Attorney-Client Privilege, Chief Compliance Officers

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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, Infrastructure, P3s, Public Transit, Public-Private Partnerships

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Public Offering Statement Disclosure Limits Developer's Liability

A New Jersey judge earlier this year dismissed a construction defect complaint by a condominium association against the developer and contractor, finding that the lawsuit was filed outside the state’s six-year statute of…more

Condominiums, Construction Contracts, Construction Defects, Construction Disputes, Land Developers

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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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Clery Act Changes Published; OCR Resolves Transgender Complaint

Today, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) published in the Federal Register the final rule implementing changes to the Clery Act under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). In another recent USDOE…more

Clery Act, Department of Education, Employer Liability Issues, OCR, Transgender

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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, IRC, Mortgage Interest, Mortgage-Backed Securities, Tax Credits

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Draw down bonds and date of issuance: questions remain with IRS guidance

For many years multifamily housing apartment projects could be financed with tax-exempt drawn-down bonds and loans with all of the bonds issued pursuant to a draw-down loan being treated as part of a single issue. The date of…more

Arbitrage, Bonds, Build America Investment Initiative, Draw-Down Loan, IRS

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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 Final Rule Prohibits Sexual Orientation and Gender Discrimination by Federal Contractors and Government Employees

On December 3, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Final Rule changing the OFCCP’s regulations to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the classes it protects. The final rule…more

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Congress Passes Highway Funding Bill; Includes Pension Funding Relief

Last week, Congress gave final approval to a $10.8 billion bill that will keep federal highway funds flowing to states through the busy summer construction season. While this short-term “patch” offers some relief, it is now the…more

Appropriations Bill, Highway Trust Fund, Highways, Infrastructure, Legislative Agendas

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MCDC Issuer Deadline is December 1. Are You Prepared?

The deadline for municipal issuers and obligated persons to self-report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under its Municipal Continuing Disclosure Compliance (MCDC) Initiative any recent misstatements in primary…more

Deadlines, Filing Deadlines, MCDC, SEC

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Massachusetts Issues FAQs and Sample Form for Flood Insurance Disclosure

The Massachusetts Division of Banks recently released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to provide guidance on complying with Chapter 177 of the Acts of 2014, “An Act Further Regulating Flood Insurance” (Chapter 177). Chapter…more

Disclosure Requirements, Flood Insurance, Mortgage Lenders

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Condominium Unit Sales Exempt from Registration under ILSFDA

The sale of condominium units will no longer be subject to the registration requirements of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (the ILSFDA) under a bill passed by both houses of Congress. Barring a veto, the new…more

Condominiums, ILSFDA, New Legislation, Real Estate Transfers, Registration

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Philadelphia Mayor's Task Force Recommends Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

A task force appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter to examine the impact of paid sick leave legislation recently released its final report that recommends Philadelphia employers with 15 or more workers should provide paid sick…more

Employee Rights, Local Ordinance, Paid Leave, Sick Leave

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Petitioner Opposes NY Regulator’s Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit Seeking Access to Database of Alleged Illegal Payday Lenders

The consumer financial services attorney (the petitioner) who sued the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and its superintendent, Benjamin Lawsky, to obtain access to DFS’s database of alleged illegal payday…more

Consumer Lenders, FOIA, Motion to Dismiss, Payday Loans

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Final Rule Raising Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Thomas Perez, recently issued the final rule raising the minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts to $10.10 per hour. The final rule enacts…more

Construction Contracts, Construction Workers, DOL, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors

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District Court Issues Crucial Ruling on Pennsylvania's Recording Statute

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has held that the failure to create and record written instruments evidencing assignments of mortgages and transfers of promissory notes secured by mortgages on…more

Assignments, Loan Transfers, Mortgages, Promissory Notes, Recording Requirements

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The Impact of Dual Tracking Restrictions on Foreclosure Rates in California

Foreclosure rates are declining in California. Many tout an improving economy as a reason for this trend. The impact of new legislation that restricts lenders and mortgage servicers from foreclosing on residential mortgages in a…more

Borrowers, Default, Dual Tracking Restrictions, Foreclosure, Homeowner Bill of Rights

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New York Issues Far-Reaching Debt Collection Regulations

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) published its final debt collection regulations on December 3, 2014, following an extensive rulemaking period. The regulations impose requirements on third-party debt…more

Debt Buyers, Debt Collection, Department of Financial Services, Disclosure Requirements, Electronic Communications

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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 Companies, Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Retained Asset Accounts

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New York Proposes Additional Reforms To Protect Consumers in Collection Lawsuits

For the second time in less than a year, the New York State Unified Court System has proposed affidavits that a plaintiff would be required to execute and file before seeking a default judgment in a consumer credit collection…more

Debt Collection, Debt Collectors

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House Republicans adopt amendment to the HUD spending bill that would defund the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Proposed Rule

Last week, House Republicans adopted an amendment to the FY 2015 HUD spending bill that prohibits funding to implement, enforce, or administer HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Proposed Rule (Proposed Rule). The…more

Fair Housing Act, HUD, Legislative Agendas

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NCAA Cannot Bar Compensation of Student-Athletes for Use of Their Names and Likenesses, Federal Court Says

A recent California federal court decision has further lifted the thumb on the scales that has historically benefited collegiate athletics in weighing whether their association rules violate the federal antitrust laws…more

Antitrust Provisions, College Athletes, Colleges, Corporate Counsel, Injunctions

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Borrowers' Counsel Can Be Sanctioned over Frivolous Complaints in Foreclosure and Eviction Proceedings, Michigan Court Holds

A Michigan appellate court recently held that a borrower's counsel could be sanctioned for filing a complaint for the purpose of delaying foreclosure or eviction. In Edgett v. Flagstar Bank, after multiple reviews of the…more

Action to Quiet Title, Attorney Misconduct, Breach of Contract, Unjust Enrichment

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Supreme Court Upholds FCC's Authority To Impose Time Limitations on Land Use Approvals for Wireless Facilities

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had authority under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to impose time limits for state and local governments to act on…more

Chevron, FCC, Preemption, SCOTUS, Telecommunications

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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, TILA

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Act 47: Pennsylvania Says Enough Is Enough. Or Is It?

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett today signed House Bill 1773 (HB 1773) into law, significantly overhauling the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act, known as Act 47. Enacted in the 1980s to provide assistance to…more

Government-Guaranteed Loans, Grants, Municipalities, New Legislation, Tax Revenues

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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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Pennsylvania Amends Mechanics’ Lien Law To Create Online State Construction Notices Directory

The Pennsylvania Legislature recently passed, and Governor Tom Corbett signed into law, Act 142 amending the Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 to create the State Construction Notices Directory. The Directory, which is slated to…more

Construction Contracts, Construction Industry, Liens, Mechanics Lien, Notice Requirements

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Overview of Fannie Mae Legal Issues Forum – Spring 2014

On April 24,2014, Fannie Mae hosted its semi-annual Legal Issues Forum (“LIF”) where the state of the multifamily finance market and recent developments in its multifamily program were the primary topics of discussion. This…more

Fannie Mae, Mortgages

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Updates from the Fannie Mae DUS Multifamily front

In the past month, Fannie Mae has issued preferred equity guidance and has updated its adjustable rate loan document forms to account for the change in LIBOR administrator. - Preferred Equity Requirements: On March…more

Fannie Mae, Libor, Preferred Shares

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Petitioner Opposes NY Regulator’s Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit Seeking Access to Database of Alleged Illegal Payday Lenders

The consumer financial services attorney (the petitioner) who sued the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and its superintendent, Benjamin Lawsky, to obtain access to DFS’s database of alleged illegal payday…more

Consumer Lenders, FOIA, Motion to Dismiss, Payday Loans

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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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Third Circuit Rejects Class Certification in Yet Another Consumer Case

Consistent with its recent emphasis on the stringency of class certification requirements in consumer cases, the Third Circuit recently affirmed the denial of class certification in a consumer case involving alleged overbilling…more

Billing, Class Action, Class Certification, Consumer Fraud, Unjust Enrichment

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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, Crocs Inc, Design Patent, First-to-File, Inter Partes Review Proceedings

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Clarity May Finally Arrive in the District of Columbia for Lenders and Title Insurers

In response to the concerns of lenders and title insurers, the District of Columbia recently enacted clarifying legislation to amend the Saving D.C. Homes from Foreclosure Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (the Act). The Act went…more

Foreclosure, Mortgages, Title Insurance

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Clarity May Finally Arrive in the District of Columbia for Lenders and Title Insurers

In response to the concerns of lenders and title insurers, the District of Columbia recently enacted clarifying legislation to amend the Saving D.C. Homes from Foreclosure Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (the Act). The Act went…more

Foreclosure, Mortgages, Title Insurance

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CFPB Proposes Sweeping Changes for Prepaid Cards

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued an 870-page proposal for prepaid cards (including 156 pages of actual proposed rules) that mandates new disclosures, error resolution procedures, consumer liability limits for…more

CFPB, Prepaid Payment Products, Proposed Regulation

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Developer May Not Extinguish Contractor’s Liens by Foreclosing on Its Own Mortgage, Florida Court Holds

A Florida appellate court recently rejected a real estate developer’s creative effort to shed its property of contractor’s liens. The court applied the venerable principal of mortgage law that a borrower may not extinguish…more

Construction Liens, Contractors, Foreclosure, Liens, Mortgages

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High-Speed Trader Indicted for ‘Spoofing’

A federal grand jury in Chicago recently indicted high-frequency trader Michael J. Coscia for “spoofing,” making it the first criminal case ever brought under the Dodd-Frank Act’s rules against disruptive trading practices…more

CFTC, Consent Order, Criminal Prosecution, Disruptive Trading Practices, Dodd-Frank

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Another Agency Adopts the Uniform State Test

Another state agency has announced that it will be adopting the new national MLO test with the Uniform State Content. The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking will adopt the test effective…more

MLO Licenses

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IRS clarifies procedures for organizations with pending exemption applications that fail to file Form 990

The Internal Revenue Service last month published a memorandum for its exempt organizations specialists regarding the treatment of exempt organizations still awaiting their determination letters that have failed to file an…more

Form 990, IRS, Revocation, Tax Exemptions

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Pennsylvania Amends Mechanics’ Lien Law To Create Online State Construction Notices Directory

The Pennsylvania Legislature recently passed, and Governor Tom Corbett signed into law, Act 142 amending the Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 to create the State Construction Notices Directory. The Directory, which is slated to…more

Construction Contracts, Construction Industry, Liens, Mechanics Lien, Notice Requirements

See All Updates »

PA Elder Abuse Prevention and Reporting Update

The Elder Law Task Force of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (the "Task Force") recently issued a report containing 130 recommendations to prevent elder abuse in Pennsylvania. A large portion of the report and a significant…more

Elder Abuse, Financial Abuse, Information Reports

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Maryland High Court Limits Liability of Assignee Lenders under State's Secondary Mortgage Loan Law

In a recent ruling, the Maryland Court of Appeals substantially limited claims of second mortgage loan borrowers under the state's Secondary Mortgage Loan Law (SMLL), holding that an assignee of a second mortgage is not liable…more

Assignments, Borrowers, Lenders, Mortgages

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Supreme Court To Decide Evidentiary Requirements for Removal Notices in Class Actions

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the issue of what, if any, evidence a defendant must present in a notice of removal to remove a case to federal court based on the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). In granting the…more

CAFA, Class Action, Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, Evidence, Removal

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Insights from the executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

Our Ninth Annual National Housing Symposium successfully brought together a rich panorama of perspectives across the affordable housing industry. Laura Green Zeilinger, the Executive Director for the United States Interagency…more

Affordable Housing, Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeless Issues, HUD

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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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Obama Signs Hydropower Bills Designed To Help Reduce Red Tape

President Obama recently signed two bills into law that are designed to encourage the development of hydroelectric projects, especially certain types with a lower environmental impact…more

Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Policy, FERC, Hydropower

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Deadlines for Pennsylvania Real Property Tax Appeals

In view of current market conditions, now is a good time to review your company’s real estate portfolio to consider assessment appeals for tax year 2014…more

Appeals, Deadlines, Property Tax

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Amicus Curiae Oppose Disparate-Impact Liability

Recently, following the U.S. Supreme Court's grant of certiorari, more than a dozen organizations, groups, and associations filed separate amicus curiae briefs in support of the notion that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) does not…more

Disparate Impact, FHA, SCOTUS

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Pa. Supreme Court Rules Key Oil and Gas Law Unconstitutional

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week struck down provisions of a state law known as Act 13, ruling that municipalities retain the right to enact stricter zoning controls on the oil and gas industry than those established by…more

Environmental Policies, Municipalities, Oil & Gas

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New Jersey’s ‘Ban the Box’ Law Signed by Governor Christie

The Opportunity to Compete Act, which seeks to help individuals with criminal histories reintegrate into the workplace, was recently signed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The “ban the box” law will prohibit most New…more

Ban the Box, Criminal Background Checks, Employee Rights, Job Applicants

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New York City affordable co-op votes to go private: residents gain windfall but city loses affordable housing units

The shareholders of Southbridge Towers, a 1,651 affordable unit cooperative in Manhattan, recently voted to privatize their development, allowing the residents to sell their apartments at market rate and walk away with a…more

Affordable Housing, Going-Private Transactions, Real Estate Market, Shareholders

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CFPB Issues First Enforcement Action for Servicing Rules Violations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently announced a consent order with Flagstar Bank, F.S.B., alleging unfair acts and practices under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) and violations of the CFPB's Mortgage…more

Banks, CFPB, Civil Monetary Penalty, Consent Order, Enforcement Actions

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White House Task Force on Sexual Assault Releases First Report; OCR Issues Long-Awaited FAQs

The White House Task Force To Protect Students from Sexual Assault today released its first report, which contains a series of recommendations focused on identifying the scope of sexual assault on college and university…more

Colleges, OCR, Rape, Sexual Assault, Students

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SEC Charges City Mayor as a Control Person in Allen Park, Michigan, Enforcement Action

Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges against the City of Allen Park, Michigan (City), and two of its former officials—the former City Mayor and former City Administrator. It is the first…more

Economic Development, Enforcement Actions, Fraud, Joint and Several Liability, Municipal Bonds

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High-Speed Trader Indicted for ‘Spoofing’

A federal grand jury in Chicago recently indicted high-frequency trader Michael J. Coscia for “spoofing,” making it the first criminal case ever brought under the Dodd-Frank Act’s rules against disruptive trading practices…more

CFTC, Consent Order, Criminal Prosecution, Disruptive Trading Practices, Dodd-Frank

See All Updates »

Investment Management Update

In This Issue: - SEC Announces First-of-Its-Kind Whistleblower Award To an Audit and Compliance Professional - SEC Issues No-Action Letter To Allow for Amendment of a Sub-Advisory Agreement without Shareholder…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Auditors, Business Development Companies, Carried Interest, European Court of Justice

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NLRB Rules Workers Have Right To Use Employer E-mail for Organizing Activity, Reversing Precedent

In a closely watched decision, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) ruled today that workers must be permitted to use their employers’ e-mail systems for union organizing activity and all other communications about…more

Email, NLRB, Purple Communications, Unions

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Act 47: Pennsylvania Says Enough Is Enough. Or Is It?

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett today signed House Bill 1773 (HB 1773) into law, significantly overhauling the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act, known as Act 47. Enacted in the 1980s to provide assistance to…more

Government-Guaranteed Loans, Grants, Municipalities, New Legislation, Tax Revenues

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Employers Must Be Cautious in Addressing Ebola Concerns

Neither the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission nor the Centers for Disease Control has issued any specific guidance for employers to deal with Ebola issues. With multiple Ebola cases diagnosed in the United States and…more

ADA, Ebola, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA, Title VII

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Petitioner Opposes NY Regulator’s Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit Seeking Access to Database of Alleged Illegal Payday Lenders

The consumer financial services attorney (the petitioner) who sued the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and its superintendent, Benjamin Lawsky, to obtain access to DFS’s database of alleged illegal payday…more

Consumer Lenders, FOIA, Motion to Dismiss, Payday Loans

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Ballard Spahr Attorneys Weigh in on Lawsuit Alleging Collection of Illegal Finder's Fees

Last month, Ballard Spahr attorneys Gary C. Tepper and Daniel J. Tobin filed an amicus brief for the Mortgage Bankers Association in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Petry et al. v. Prosperity Mortgage Co., et…more

Class Action, Finder's Fees, Lenders, Mortgages, Wells Fargo

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IRS Seeks to Curb Popularity of ‘Skinny’ Health Plans

The Internal Revenue Service, in Notice 2014-69, has concluded that certain unconventional group health plan designs that offer limited or no coverage for in-patient hospitalization services and/or physician services will not…more

Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Employer Mandates, Healthcare, IRS

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SEC Issues No-Action Letter on Internet-Based ‘Road Shows’

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a “no-action” letter relating to a provider of electronic-based “road shows.” The SEC stated in the letter, issued on January 29, 2013, that such presentations to retail…more

Municipal Securities Market, No-Action Letters, Road Shows, SEC, Securities Exchange Act

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Rental Housing Mistake Limited the Number of Children at Properties

Recently, managers of rental homes settled with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) after the managers discriminated against a woman with several children by unlawfully denying housing to the family…more

Discrimination, DOJ, Fair Housing Act, HUD, Recordkeeping Requirements

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CFPB holds field hearing on proposed rules for prepaid accounts

Yesterday I attended the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) field hearing in Wilmington, Delaware, at which the CFPB unveiled and accepted public comment on its long-awaited proposed rule for prepaid accounts under…more

CFPB, Prepaid Payment Products, Public Comment, Regulation E, Regulation Z

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Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair development…more

Energy Projects, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, State and Local Government

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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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HUD adopts updated standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Construction SignHUD’s Office of Housing and the Federal Housing Administration’s adoption of a new technical standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (“Phase I ESA”) took effect on May 16, 2014…more

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Court Upholds Constitutionality of Pennsylvania Recording Statute

A class action suit against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) in Pennsylvania will go forward after a federal district court ruled that the state recording statute is constitutional. The court ruled that the…more

Class Action, MERS, Real Estate Transfers, Recording Requirements

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Third Circuit Decision Will Make It More Difficult for Employers to Defeat FMLA Interference and Retaliation Claims

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision that raises the bar for employers seeking summary judgment on claims raised under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for interference with…more

Employee Rights, FMLA, Popular, Retaliation, Tortious Interference

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines To Adopt Restatement (Third) of Torts

In a long-awaited opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recently declined to adopt the Restatement (Third) of Torts in product liability cases, ruling instead that the strict liability regime of the Restatement (Second)…more

Negligence, Strict Liability

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HOA Lien Extinguishes First Deed of Trust in Foreclosure, Nevada Supreme Court Holds

On the heels of a recent D.C. Court of Appeals ruling, the Nevada Supreme Court issued an opinion yesterday holding that a homeowners association (HOA) lien is a true super-priority lien that, if foreclosed upon, extinguishes a…more

Appeals, Foreclosure, Homeowners' Association, Judicial Foreclosure Process, Liens

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Lender Risk Management for Bankruptcy Stay Violations

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a bankruptcy case highlights a risk to consumer lenders and suggests a practical approach to risk management through clear policies and employee training…more

Automatic Stay, Consumer Bankruptcy, Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Risk Management

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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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Congress Passes Highway Funding Bill; Includes Pension Funding Relief

Last week, Congress gave final approval to a $10.8 billion bill that will keep federal highway funds flowing to states through the busy summer construction season. While this short-term “patch” offers some relief, it is now the…more

Appropriations Bill, Highway Trust Fund, Highways, Infrastructure, Legislative Agendas

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines To Adopt Restatement (Third) of Torts

In a long-awaited opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recently declined to adopt the Restatement (Third) of Torts in product liability cases, ruling instead that the strict liability regime of the Restatement (Second)…more

Negligence, Strict Liability

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Ballard Spahr’s National Housing Symposium goes beyond the horizon

Yesterday Ballard Spahr held its 9th annual National Housing Symposium in Washington, D.C.. The theme of the Symposium was “Beyond the Horizon: Housing and Community Development Strategies for the Future”. Government officials,…more

Affordable Housing, EB-5, Housing Market, LIHTC, Public Housing

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Court Upholds Constitutionality of Pennsylvania Recording Statute

A class action suit against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) in Pennsylvania will go forward after a federal district court ruled that the state recording statute is constitutional. The court ruled that the…more

Class Action, MERS, Real Estate Transfers, Recording Requirements

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Pa. Supreme Court Rules Key Oil and Gas Law Unconstitutional

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week struck down provisions of a state law known as Act 13, ruling that municipalities retain the right to enact stricter zoning controls on the oil and gas industry than those established by…more

Environmental Policies, Municipalities, Oil & Gas

See All Updates »

Investment Management Update

In This Issue: - SEC Announces First-of-Its-Kind Whistleblower Award To an Audit and Compliance Professional - SEC Issues No-Action Letter To Allow for Amendment of a Sub-Advisory Agreement without Shareholder…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Auditors, Business Development Companies, Carried Interest, European Court of Justice

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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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Amicus Curiae Oppose Disparate-Impact Liability

Recently, following the U.S. Supreme Court's grant of certiorari, more than a dozen organizations, groups, and associations filed separate amicus curiae briefs in support of the notion that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) does not…more

Disparate Impact, FHA, SCOTUS

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OFCCP Final Rule Prohibits Sexual Orientation and Gender Discrimination by Federal Contractors and Government Employees

On December 3, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Final Rule changing the OFCCP’s regulations to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the classes it protects. The final rule…more

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Maryland Passes P3 Legislation

Legislation encouraging the use of public-private partnerships (P3s) to address Maryland’s growing infrastructure needs has been passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor O’Malley with bipartisan support…more

Infrastructure, New Legislation, P3s, Public-Private Partnerships

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Condominium Unit Sales Exempt from Registration under ILSFDA

The sale of condominium units will no longer be subject to the registration requirements of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (the ILSFDA) under a bill passed by both houses of Congress. Barring a veto, the new…more

Condominiums, ILSFDA, New Legislation, Real Estate Transfers, Registration

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Getting In: Preparation and Delivery of Leased Premises

The condition of the premises upon delivery is often one of the most important parts of the lease negotiation. The lease provisions addressing this issue are often contained in an exhibit or schedule to the lease, or a separate…more

Contract Drafting, Landlords, Leases, Rent, Repairs

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines To Adopt Restatement (Third) of Torts

In a long-awaited opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recently declined to adopt the Restatement (Third) of Torts in product liability cases, ruling instead that the strict liability regime of the Restatement (Second)…more

Negligence, Strict Liability

See All Updates »

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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California Guarantees Paid Sick Leave to Employees

On September 10, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (HWHFA), requiring all California employers to provide their employees in the state with at least three days of…more

Employee Rights, New Legislation, Paid Leave, Sick Leave, Wage and Hour

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Clery Act Changes Published; OCR Resolves Transgender Complaint

Today, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) published in the Federal Register the final rule implementing changes to the Clery Act under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). In another recent USDOE…more

Clery Act, Department of Education, Employer Liability Issues, OCR, Transgender

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Areas of Practice
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Organizations
  • Class Action
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Construction Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Finance & Banking
  • Government
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  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
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  • Professional Malpractice
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  • Toxic Torts
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
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Locations
Other U.S. Locations
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Number of Attorneys

400+ Attorneys

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