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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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New IRS Guidance Modifies the ‘Use-It-or-Lose-It’ Rules for Health Flexible Spending Accounts

The Internal Revenue Service will now allow an employer-sponsored health flexible spending account (FSA) program to permit the carryover of up to $500 in unused health FSA funds from one year to the next. …more

Carryover Basis, Flexible Spending Accounts, Healthcare, IRS, U.S. Treasury

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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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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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CFPB Provides Guidance on Ability-To-Repay Rule Application to Assumptions of Residential Mortgage Loans

The CFPB recently provided guidance on the application of the Regulation Z ability-to-repay rule (Section 1026.43) to assumptions of residential mortgage loans for purposes of clarifying the application of the rule in cases in…more

Ability-to-Repay, Beneficiaries, CFPB, Mortgages, Popular

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New York DFS Unveils Shared Appreciation Mortgage Rule

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), in accordance with Section 6-F of the New York Banking Law, recently adopted regulations authorizing shared mortgage appreciation modifications in limited circumstances. …more

Appraisal, Banks, Loan Modifications, Mortgages, New Regulations

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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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NLRB Holds College Football Players Are Employees, Can Unionize

The Regional Director for Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held today that all grant-in-aid scholarship players for Northwestern University's football team are "employees" under the National Labor Relations…more

Athletes, College Athletes, NLRB, Students, Unions

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EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination and related issues. The guidance, accompanied by related Questions and Answers and a Fact Sheet for Small…more

EEOC, Employee Rights, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Discrimination

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NLRB Strikes Hospital’s Work Rules Banning Negativity

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a hospital’s work rules prohibiting negative comments and requiring that employees represent the hospital “in the community in a positive and professional manner”…more

Employer Liability Issues, Hospitals, NLRA, NLRB

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Proposed 2014 Budget Encourages Private Investment in Infrastructure

This week, the Obama administration released its proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year. Notably, the budget encourages private investment in infrastructure projects through various liberalizations of the tax laws relating to…more

America Fast Forward Bonds, Barack Obama, Federal Budget, FIRPTA, Foreign Investment

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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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DOL Proposed Rule Raises Minimum Wage to $10.10 for Federal Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued a proposed rule raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for employees staffing any of four categories of federal contracts. The proposed rule implements an executive order…more

Barack Obama, Construction Contracts, DOL, Employer Liability Issues, Executive Orders

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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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Final Regulations Address Privacy and Security of Health Information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final regulations last week that modify many aspects of the privacy and security rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the…more

Business Associates, Data Breach, Data Protection, Enforcement, Fundraisers

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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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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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Midyear Check on Health Plan Compliance

If you sponsor or administer a group health plan, you are almost certainly taking steps to prepare for legal requirements that will become effective on or before January 1, 2015. New rules under HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act…more

Affordable Care Act, Compliance, Employer Group Health Plans, Healthcare

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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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Calif. Supreme Court Sides Against NLRB, Finds Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Enforceable

The Supreme Court of California recently found an employee’s waiver of the right to bring a class action against his former employer enforceable under state law. In the process, the court reversed its 2007 decision in Gentry v…more

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Third Circuit Denies Rehearing En Banc in Closely Watched Class Action

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has denied a petition for rehearing en banc in a small-dollar consumer product class action. Depending on one’s perspective, this highly anticipated ruling either enforces the…more

Affidavits, Bayer, BMW, Class Action, En Banc Review

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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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Federal Preemption Does Not Preclude State Law Claim Based on Alleged HAMP Violations, Minnesota Supreme Court Holds

The Supreme Court of Minnesota last week reversed the dismissal of a borrower’s action against a loan servicer arising out of the servicer’s alleged breach of its Servicer Participation Agreement (SPA) with Fannie Mae under the…more

Fannie Mae, HAMP, Loan Servicer

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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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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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Federal Court: Employer’s Method of Calculating Overtime Violated Pa. Statute

A federal district judge in Pennsylvania recently found that RadioShack’s method of computing overtime violates the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA). In Verderame v. RadioShack Corp., the plaintiff brought a putative class…more

Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Minimum Wage, Over-Time

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Federal Preemption Does Not Preclude State Law Claim Based on Alleged HAMP Violations, Minnesota Supreme Court Holds

The Supreme Court of Minnesota last week reversed the dismissal of a borrower’s action against a loan servicer arising out of the servicer’s alleged breach of its Servicer Participation Agreement (SPA) with Fannie Mae under the…more

Fannie Mae, HAMP, Loan Servicer

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Telecommuting May Be Reasonable ADA Accommodation for Some Workers, Sixth Circuit Holds

In a decision with possibly far-reaching consequences, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently held that an employer may be required to grant a telecommuting request as a reasonable accommodation under the…more

ADA, Disability, Reasonable Accommodation, Telecommuting

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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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Supreme Court Invalidates NLRB Recess Appointments

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that President Obama’s 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were invalid. Justice Stephen Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court in N.L.R.B. v. Noel…more

Barack Obama, Canning v NLRB, NLRB, Recess Appointments, SCOTUS

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Philadelphia Mayor Raises Minimum Wage for City Contractors and Subcontractors

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter recently signed an executive order that will increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour for individuals working for employers who contract with the City, where the individual’s work arises…more

Contractors, Minimum Wage, Subcontractors, Wage and Hour, Wages

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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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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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Legislative Update from NCSHA Conference

In previous Housing Plus blog posts we’ve discussed various tax credit proposals that have been released since the beginning of the year, which include the comprehensive tax reform proposal from House Ways and Means Committee…more

Affordable Housing, EXPIRE Act, LIHTC, Tax Credits, Tax Reform

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Calif. Supreme Court Sides Against NLRB, Finds Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Enforceable

The Supreme Court of California recently found an employee’s waiver of the right to bring a class action against his former employer enforceable under state law. In the process, the court reversed its 2007 decision in Gentry v…more

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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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California Federal Court Awards Millions for Predictive Coding Costs in Document Review

A federal court in California recently awarded defendants in a patent infringement case more than $2.8 million in attorneys’ fees relating to the use of “predictive coding,” also known as “computer-assisted technology,” to…more

Attorney's Fees, Document Review, Legal Costs, Misappropriation, Patents

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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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FCC Clarifies TCPA Consent Standard for Collection Calls to Cell Phones

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently clarified its view on when someone has provided “prior express consent” to receive prerecorded or autodialed collection calls to his or her cell phone as required by the…more

Cell Phones, FCC, Prior Express Consent, Robocalling, TCPA

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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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Pennsylvania Senate considers a bill to provide additional state funding for affordable housing

Recently, a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania State Senators sponsored a bill to expand the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund, commonly known as the State Housing Trust Fund. If passed, Senate…more

Affordable Housing, Funding, Marcellus Shale, Proposed Legislation, State Funding

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Pennsylvania Amendments Give Condo Developers More Time To Finish Projects

In response to a challenging residential real estate market, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett recently signed an amendment to two state laws governing the development of condominiums and planned communities to give developers…more

Condominium Associations, Condominiums, Construction Permits, Land Developers, Permits

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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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How the MCDC Initiative affects bond issuers and borrowers

If you have ever issued (or borrowed the proceeds of) bonds then you should know about the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Compliance Initiative (the “Initiative”) and take the appropriate steps to determine your compliance…more

Borrowers, Issuers, MCDC, Municipal Bonds, Municipalities

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California Attorney General Releases Privacy Policy Guidance for 'Do Not Track' Disclosures

California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently released guidance, Making Your Privacy Practice Public, to help companies comply with the California Online Privacy Protection Act's (CalOPPA) "Do Not Track" (DNT) disclosure…more

CalOPPA, Disclosure Requirements, Do Not Track, Enforcement, Personally Identifiable Information

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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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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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EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination and related issues. The guidance, accompanied by related Questions and Answers and a Fact Sheet for Small…more

EEOC, Employee Rights, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Discrimination

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

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

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

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CFPB and federal banking regulators increase focus on cybersecurity

As part of their increased focus on cybersecurity, the CFPB and federal banking are taking steps to raise financial institutions’ awareness about the need for preparedness. On June 24, 2014, the Federal Financial Institutions…more

Banks, CFPB, Cybersecurity, FFIEC, SEC

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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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HUD provides guidance on relocation for public housing conversions under RAD

HUD recently released guidance on relocation requirements for Rental Assistance Demonstration (“RAD”) conversions of public housing and moderate rehabilitation projects…more

Conversion, Fair Housing, Final Guidance, HUD, Public Housing

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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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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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FCC Clarifies TCPA Consent Standard for Collection Calls to Cell Phones

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently clarified its view on when someone has provided “prior express consent” to receive prerecorded or autodialed collection calls to his or her cell phone as required by the…more

Cell Phones, FCC, Prior Express Consent, Robocalling, TCPA

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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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RAD expansion and “Pay-For-Success” Utility Demonstration among the innovations included in the Senate’s mark of the T-HUD Appropriations Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved its draft Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2015. While the bill generally falls short of the funding levels…more

Appropriations Bill, Barack Obama, Conservation, Energy, Federal Budget

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OIG audit criticizes public housing asset management

A new HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit published last week levied intense criticism at HUD’s implementation of public housing asset management. Focusing on HUD’s methodology and monitoring of asset management and…more

Asset Management, Audits, HUD, OIG, Public Housing

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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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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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SEC Issues First MCDC Cease and Desist Order

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first cease and desist order under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (MCDC Initiative). The MCDC Initiative was introduced on…more

Cease and Desist, Disclosure Requirements, MCDC, Misrepresentation, Municipalities

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SEC Proposes Long Awaited Crowdfunding Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently voted unanimously to propose rules that, for the first time, would allow investors to buy stock in companies over the Internet using a crowdfunding exchange. The proposed rules…more

Crowdfunding, JOBS Act, SEC, Securities Act of 1933

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How the MCDC Initiative affects bond issuers and borrowers

If you have ever issued (or borrowed the proceeds of) bonds then you should know about the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Compliance Initiative (the “Initiative”) and take the appropriate steps to determine your compliance…more

Borrowers, Issuers, MCDC, Municipal Bonds, Municipalities

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New York City Passes Earned Sick Time Act

New York City has become the latest U.S. city to require paid sick leave for many local private sector employees. On May 8, 2013, the New York City Council passed the Earned Sick Time Act by a 45-3 vote…more

Collective Bargaining, Employee Benefits, Employee Rights, Employer Mandates, Local Ordinance

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Disparate Impact to Supreme Court Again?

Yet another Fair Housing Act disparate impact case may find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. After losing on appeal at the Fifth Circuit in March, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (Texas DHCA) recently…more

Appeals, Certiorari, Disparate Impact, Fair Housing, Fair Housing Act

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DOL Proposes To Amend FMLA’s Definition of ‘Spouse’

A year after the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed to amend its regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act…more

DOL, DOMA, Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA

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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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Midyear Check on Health Plan Compliance

If you sponsor or administer a group health plan, you are almost certainly taking steps to prepare for legal requirements that will become effective on or before January 1, 2015. New rules under HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act…more

Affordable Care Act, Compliance, Employer Group Health Plans, Healthcare

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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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Senator Hagan Introduces the Servicemember Higher Education Protection Act

New legislation, titled the Servicemember Higher Education Protection Act (the “Bill”), was introduced recently by Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC). The Bill includes several provisions that expand protections under the Servicemembers…more

Military Service Members, SCRA, Student Loans, Veterans

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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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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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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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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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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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Baltimore County renews focus on affordable housing development

Earlier this week, the Baltimore County Department of Planning hosted a forum for the affordable housing development community as a part of its renewed commitment to expanding affordable housing opporunities in Baltimore County…more

Affordable Housing, FHA, HUD, Real Estate Development

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Federal District Court Awards Pension Benefit to Same-Sex Spouse

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has ordered a profit sharing plan to pay death benefits to the same-sex spouse of a deceased employee…more

Death Benefits, DOMA, Employee Benefits, Marriage, Same-Sex Marriage

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FTC Announces Settlement with Debt Collector over Alleged FDCPA Violations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced a settlement with a Houston debt collection company and its individual owner related to alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This action is…more

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SEC Proposes Long Awaited Crowdfunding Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently voted unanimously to propose rules that, for the first time, would allow investors to buy stock in companies over the Internet using a crowdfunding exchange. The proposed rules…more

Crowdfunding, JOBS Act, SEC, Securities Act of 1933

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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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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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Legislation Seeks To Counter Controversial 'Ambush Election' Rule

Last week, House and Senate Republicans announced the introduction of legislation intended to counter the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) controversial “ambush election rule.” …more

Ambush Election Rules, NLRB, Union Elections

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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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Supreme Court Rules That Severance Payments Are Subject to FICA Taxes

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously held that payments of supplemental unemployment benefits (SUB payments) are taxable wages subject to FICA tax withholding. The Court’s decision in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc.,…more

FICA Taxes, IRS, Quality Stores, SCOTUS, Severance Agreements

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules Defense of Marriage Act is Unconstitutional

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 vote that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The decision in United States v. Windsor means that same-sex couples who are married under state law…more

Discrimination, DOMA, Due Process, Employee Benefits, Equal Protection

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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 To Apply One-Rollover-Per-Year Limit on IRA Rollovers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided guidance that it will follow a recent tax court decision interpreting an Internal Revenue Code requirement allowing taxpayers to complete only one rollover per year from an…more

IRA, IRA Rollovers, IRS

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CFPB proposes to publicly disclose consumer complaint narratives

The CFPB is proposing to expand the complaint data that it publicly discloses in its Consumer Complaint Database to include consumer complaint narratives. …more

CFPB, Public Disclosure

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Supreme Court Chooses Middle Ground in Assessing Reverse Payment Settlements

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion today in FTC v. Actavis, Inc., ruling that so-called “reverse payment” patent settlements between innovator and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers that are challenged…more

Anti-Competitive, FTC, FTC v Actavis, Generic, Hatch-Waxman

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Loan Servicer Properly Identified as Party with Authority To Negotiate Mortgage Terms in Foreclosure Notice, Georgia Court Holds

A recent decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals helps to add further clarity to the state’s foreclosure notice statute. The statute, which was amended in 2008, requires that the written notice of a foreclosure sale “shall…more

Appeals, Foreclosure, Loan Servicer, Mortgages, Negotiations

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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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HUD Issues Proposed Rule Regarding ARM Disclosures

On May 8, 2014, HUD issued a Proposed Rule meant to align HUD rules governing FHA-insured ARMs with the recent CFPB rules regarding ARM interest rate adjustment and disclosures under Regulation Z (ARM Rules). Comments on the…more

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage, Disclosure Requirements, FHA, HUD, Interest Rate Adjustments

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Arbitration Clause Survives Contract Termination, Sixth Circuit Holds

Can an employer compel arbitration in accordance with an arbitration clause in a contract that has terminated? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently answered this question in the affirmative…more

Arbitration, Contract Term, Employment Contract, Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

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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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NLRB Rules Hospital's Resident Physicians Are Employees and Can Unionize

Whether an individual is an “employee” entitled to all the protections of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), or a “student” who has no such rights, has been a recurring and hotly contested issue before the National Labor…more

Employee Definition, Hospitals, Medical School, NLRA, NLRB

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DOL Proposes To Amend FMLA’s Definition of ‘Spouse’

A year after the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed to amend its regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act…more

DOL, DOMA, Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA

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Investment Management Update

In July 2014, the SEC settled the previously reported proceeding involving Chariot Advisors, and its former owner, Elliott Shifman, concerning charges of violating and aiding and abetting the violation of Section 15(c) of the…more

401k, Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Enforcement Actions, ERISA, EU

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Investment Management Update

In July 2014, the SEC settled the previously reported proceeding involving Chariot Advisors, and its former owner, Elliott Shifman, concerning charges of violating and aiding and abetting the violation of Section 15(c) of the…more

401k, Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Enforcement Actions, ERISA, EU

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FTC Announces Settlement with Debt Collector over Alleged FDCPA Violations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced a settlement with a Houston debt collection company and its individual owner related to alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This action is…more

See All Updates »

Investment Management Update

In July 2014, the SEC settled the previously reported proceeding involving Chariot Advisors, and its former owner, Elliott Shifman, concerning charges of violating and aiding and abetting the violation of Section 15(c) of the…more

401k, Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Enforcement Actions, ERISA, EU

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Investment Management Update

In July 2014, the SEC settled the previously reported proceeding involving Chariot Advisors, and its former owner, Elliott Shifman, concerning charges of violating and aiding and abetting the violation of Section 15(c) of the…more

401k, Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Enforcement Actions, ERISA, EU

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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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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 Amendments Give Condo Developers More Time To Finish Projects

In response to a challenging residential real estate market, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett recently signed an amendment to two state laws governing the development of condominiums and planned communities to give developers…more

Condominium Associations, Condominiums, Construction Permits, Land Developers, Permits

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Supreme Court Rules That Severance Payments Are Subject to FICA Taxes

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously held that payments of supplemental unemployment benefits (SUB payments) are taxable wages subject to FICA tax withholding. The Court’s decision in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc.,…more

FICA Taxes, IRS, Quality Stores, SCOTUS, Severance Agreements

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OIG Releases Special Fraud Alert on Laboratory Payments to Physicians

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a Special Fraud Alert regarding laboratory payments to referring physicians. The Special Fraud Alert reaffirms OIG’s…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Clinical Laboratories, Fraud, Healthcare, HHS

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Governor Christie Bolsters N.J.’s Law Against Discrimination To Expressly Protect Pregnancy and Childbirth

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation amending the state’s powerful Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to provide increased protection for employees based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical…more

ADA, Civil Rights Act, Discrimination, Employee Rights, Pregnancy

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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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NLRB Holds College Football Players Are Employees, Can Unionize

The Regional Director for Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held today that all grant-in-aid scholarship players for Northwestern University's football team are "employees" under the National Labor Relations…more

Athletes, College Athletes, NLRB, Students, Unions

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Supreme Court Rules on Patentability of Human Genes

Today the U.S. Supreme Court answered the question "Are human genes patentable?" The Court, in Association of Molecular Pathology et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. et al., ruled that isolated DNA is a product of nature and not…more

AMP v Myriad, Biotechnology, DNA, Human Genes, Myriad

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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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Midyear Check on Health Plan Compliance

If you sponsor or administer a group health plan, you are almost certainly taking steps to prepare for legal requirements that will become effective on or before January 1, 2015. New rules under HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act…more

Affordable Care Act, Compliance, Employer Group Health Plans, Healthcare

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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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AAA to Require Arbitration Clause Registration as Part of Revamped Consumer Rules

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) announced yesterday that beginning September 1, 2014, it will implement and maintain a publicly available Consumer Clause Registry. This will affect any company that designates the…more

American Arbitration Association, Mandatory Arbitration Clauses, Registration

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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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Housing Authorities, is on-site solar power right for you?

In a recent magazine article, I listed several criteria for evaluating whether the time is right for installing on-site solar power projects on commercial real estate properties. A number of housing authorities, including the…more

Energy, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy

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Second Circuit Reverses Bacolitsas Decision in Rare Win for Condo Developers

A condominium developer has garnered a significant victory in a dispute with a buyer as the result of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit…more

Condominiums, Construction Contracts, ILSFDA, Rescission

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Caveat Venditor (Let the Seller Beware): Consumer Protection Procedures Act Strikes Again in the District of Columbia

A recent court decision emphasizes the need for real estate developers to proceed with caution when making representations to potential home buyers in the District of Columbia, as well as in other jurisdictions with similar…more

Consumer Protection Act, Land Developers, Misrepresentation, Real Estate Market

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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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Illinois Passes Landmark Pension Reform

The Governor of Illinois last week signed into law legislation involving significant overhauls to the state’s pension system. The reform is intended to help stabilize both the pension system and the state's financial health in…more

Credit Ratings, Disclosure Requirements, Pension Deficiencies, Pensions, SEC

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New FAQs Address Effect of Affordable Care Act on COBRA and Other Matters

In a wide-ranging set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other guidance, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services have addressed a number of issues pertaining to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)…more

Affordable Care Act, CHIPRA, COBRA, Corporate Counsel, Cost-Sharing

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Caveat Venditor (Let the Seller Beware): Consumer Protection Procedures Act Strikes Again in the District of Columbia

A recent court decision emphasizes the need for real estate developers to proceed with caution when making representations to potential home buyers in the District of Columbia, as well as in other jurisdictions with similar…more

Consumer Protection Act, Land Developers, Misrepresentation, Real Estate Market

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Another Possible Battleground for Defending University Intellectual Property - Inter Partes Review

Over the last several months, universities and technology transfer programs have increasingly become the target of petitions for Inter Partes Review (IPR) filings. Effective September 16, 2012, IPR proceedings allow parties to…more

Eleventh Amendment, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Patents, Universities, USPTO

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Investment Management Update

In July 2014, the SEC settled the previously reported proceeding involving Chariot Advisors, and its former owner, Elliott Shifman, concerning charges of violating and aiding and abetting the violation of Section 15(c) of the…more

401k, Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Enforcement Actions, ERISA, EU

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Julián Castro is confirmed as next HUD Secretary

With a resounding 71-26 vote, the Senate has confirmed Julián Castro as the 16th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. President Obama’s nomination of Mr. Castro replaces outing Secretary Shaun Donovan, who was in turn…more

Confirmation Proceedings, 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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Obama takes action to increase assistance to student borrowers

President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum last Monday directing the Secretary of Education to issue regulations that allow additional students to take advantage of a program to cap their student loan payments at 10…more

Student Loans, Students

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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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Natural Gas Boom Fuels Requests for Partial Releases from Mortgage Liens

Residential lenders and servicers are continuing to see a larger impact from the natural gas boom, and it is not just from properties hosting drilling operations. More lenders are seeing increasing numbers of borrowers adjacent…more

Liens, Mineral Rights, Mortgages, Natural Gas, Release Agreements

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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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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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Supreme Court Rules on Patentability of Human Genes

Today the U.S. Supreme Court answered the question "Are human genes patentable?" The Court, in Association of Molecular Pathology et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. et al., ruled that isolated DNA is a product of nature and not…more

AMP v Myriad, Biotechnology, DNA, Human Genes, Myriad

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NLRB Strikes Hospital’s Work Rules Banning Negativity

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a hospital’s work rules prohibiting negative comments and requiring that employees represent the hospital “in the community in a positive and professional manner”…more

Employer Liability Issues, Hospitals, NLRA, NLRB

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Proposed eDiscovery Rule Would Bring Relief from Specter of Sanctions

The Rules Advisory Committee has recommended proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that would set guidelines for courts to follow when evaluating a request for sanctions for spoliation of discovery…more

Document Requests, Electronically Stored Information, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Predictive Coding, Spoliation

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U.S. Supreme Court Cell Phone Privacy Decision Deserves Employer Attention

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week in Riley v. California that police generally may not conduct a warrantless search of digital data stored on the cell phone of someone who has been arrested. The…more

Cell Phones, Fourth Amendment, Police, Popular, Riley v California

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CFPB Issues Small Entity Compliance Guide

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a 45-page Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Ability-to-Repay (ATR) and Qualified Mortgage Rule. The guide, published on April 10, 2013, indicates that its purpose is to…more

Ability-to-Repay, CFPB, Creditors, Qualified Mortgage Rule, Small Entity Compliance Guide

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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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CFPB now taking complaints on prepaid cards, debt settlement services and more

Although we thought an announcement that the CFPB had begun taking complaints about new products would be made at its field hearing on consumer complaints last week, that announcement was made today. The CFPB announced that it…more

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New York Announces Settlements with Six Auto Dealers

Last week, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced settlements with six auto dealers imposing fines ranging from $7,500 to $15,000 for allegedly engaging in deceptive and misleading advertising practices. The…more

Car Dealerships, CFPB, False Advertising, Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

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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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CFPB releases additional resources for mortgage consumers

In advance of today’s effective date for most of its new mortgage rules, the CFPB has been releasing additional resources for consumers. As described in the CFPB’s January 7 press release, the most recent “resources” include…more

CFPB, Mortgage Servicers, Mortgages

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Supreme Court of Rhode Island Declares Usury Savings Clauses Void

For public policy reasons, the Rhode Island Supreme Court recently held that usury savings clauses are void and unenforceable. In NV One, LLC v. Potomac Home Capital, LLC, borrowers who had defaulted on their note filed a…more

Borrowers, Commercial Loans, Default, Lenders, Usury

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OIG Releases Special Fraud Alert on Laboratory Payments to Physicians

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a Special Fraud Alert regarding laboratory payments to referring physicians. The Special Fraud Alert reaffirms OIG’s…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Clinical Laboratories, Fraud, Healthcare, HHS

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SEC Proposes Long Awaited Crowdfunding Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently voted unanimously to propose rules that, for the first time, would allow investors to buy stock in companies over the Internet using a crowdfunding exchange. The proposed rules…more

Crowdfunding, JOBS Act, SEC, Securities Act of 1933

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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 July 2014, the SEC settled the previously reported proceeding involving Chariot Advisors, and its former owner, Elliott Shifman, concerning charges of violating and aiding and abetting the violation of Section 15(c) of the…more

401k, Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Enforcement Actions, ERISA, EU

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Seventh Circuit Upholds Privacy Class Action under Federal Law

In a notable decision that may lead to an increase in privacy class actions under federal law, the Seventh Circuit in Harris v. comScore, Inc. upheld the certification of a class action for alleged privacy violations under the…more

CFAA, Class Action, Class Certification, ECPA, Harris v comScore

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Smoke-free public housing … coming this summer to an authority near you

This summer, public housing authorities in Kansas City (MO), Cambridge (MA), Annapolis (MD), and Lakeland (FL) will become smoke-free, following a trend encouraged by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)…more

HUD, Public Housing, Public Housing Authorities, Smokers, Smoking Bans

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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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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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Department of Education Proposes New Campus Safety Rules

The U.S. Department of Education proposed a new rule yesterday implementing changes to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) under the Violence Against Women…more

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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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Tax-Exempt Bond Financing for Manufactured Home Communities

Did you know that an estimated 20 million people in the United States live in mobile home or manufactured home communities? These communities make up a significant component of the nation’s affordable housing stock. Manufactured…more

Affordable Housing, Bond Financing, Mobile Homes, Non-Profits, Tax-Exempt Bonds

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Eleventh Circuit Agrees Employees Can Waive FLSA Collective Action Rights

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has become the fifth appellate court to hand down a victory for employers in the fight over enforceability of class action waivers. The court ruled that an arbitration agreement…more

Class Action, Collective Actions, FLSA, Waivers

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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 Issues Final Disability Self-Identification Form

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has released the revised Voluntary Self-Identification Form CC-305. All federal contractors will be required to use this form in inviting applicants and employees to…more

Affirmative Action, Disability, Federal Contractors, OFCCP, Rehabilitation Act

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Water Resources Legislation Could Lead to Increase of U.S. Water P3s

President Obama recently signed into law the Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA). The statute begins to address ways to fund the billions of dollars necessary to update the country’s drinking water…more

Barack Obama, Drinking Water, Federal Funding, Financing, Funding

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SEC Issues First MCDC Cease and Desist Order

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first cease and desist order under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (MCDC Initiative). The MCDC Initiative was introduced on…more

Cease and Desist, Disclosure Requirements, MCDC, Misrepresentation, Municipalities

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Hawaii Amends Mortgage Loan Origination Laws

Hawaii has amended and enacted provisions governing mortgage loan origination and licensed mortgage loan originator companies. Specifically, SB 2817, which was signed into law on July 3, 2014, makes numerous changes to the…more

Amended Legislation, Mortgage Loan Originators, Mortgages, New Legislation

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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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CFPB: Industry Should 'Start Now' To Comply with Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Standards

I recently participated in a panel presentation at the MBA Strategic Markets and Diversity Summit in Washington, D.C. Stuart Ishimaru, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Office of Minority and Women…more

CFPB, Diversity, Dodd-Frank, Employer Liability Issues, Proposed Regulation

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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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Pampers Consumer Class Action Settlement Reversed on Appeal

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated a class action settlement approval and certification of a settlement class that treated the named plaintiffs far more favorably than the other class…more

Class Action, Injunctions, Proctor & Gamble, Reversal, Settlement

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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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Independent Research Could Improve the CFPB Rulemaking Process

Recently, the Research Integrity Council (RIC) held its first Research Academic Forum, a panel discussion that focused on how independent academic research can help inform the agency rulemaking process, especially at the CFPB…more

CFPB, Rulemaking Process

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N.Y. Attorney General Investigates Use of Payroll Cards

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into companies that pay hourly employees by depositing payroll onto prepaid cards. More than 20 large employers have received letters from Schneiderman…more

Disclosure Requirements, Payroll Cards, Payroll Records, Prepaid Payment Products, Wages

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Midyear Check on Health Plan Compliance

If you sponsor or administer a group health plan, you are almost certainly taking steps to prepare for legal requirements that will become effective on or before January 1, 2015. New rules under HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act…more

Affordable Care Act, Compliance, Employer Group Health Plans, Healthcare

See All Updates »

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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Court Endorses FTC Authority To Require Special Reporting for Pharmaceutical Licenses

A federal court has endorsed the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to adopt regulations under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act that target specific industries. In Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America v. Federal…more

FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, License Agreements, Pharmaceutical, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

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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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Alabama Federal Court Ruling May Enable Borrowers with Tenants To Challenge Foreclosures

A recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama may provide borrowers who rent portions of their property to tenants with an avenue for challenging a foreclosure. The court's analysis suggests…more

Assignments, Borrowers, Foreclosure, Mortgages, Motion to Dismiss

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Loan Servicer Properly Identified as Party with Authority To Negotiate Mortgage Terms in Foreclosure Notice, Georgia Court Holds

A recent decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals helps to add further clarity to the state’s foreclosure notice statute. The statute, which was amended in 2008, requires that the written notice of a foreclosure sale “shall…more

Appeals, Foreclosure, Loan Servicer, Mortgages, Negotiations

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Water Resources Legislation Could Lead to Increase of U.S. Water P3s

President Obama recently signed into law the Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA). The statute begins to address ways to fund the billions of dollars necessary to update the country’s drinking water…more

Barack Obama, Drinking Water, Federal Funding, Financing, Funding

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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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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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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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FHFA Director Watt outlines 2014 strategic plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

House in GlobeOn May 13, 2014, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt gave his first major policy speech regarding the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac since being sworn in on January 6, 2014. In his speech,…more

Conservators, Fannie Mae, FHA, FHFA, Freddie Mac

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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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House to hold hearings on “Operation Choke Point”

Two House committees have scheduled hearings this week on “Operation Choke Point,” the coordinated federal multiagency enforcement initiative targeting banks serving online payday lenders and other companies that have raised…more

Banks, Choke Point, Congressional Investigations & Hearings, Enforcement, Legislative Agendas

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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 Denies Rehearing En Banc in Closely Watched Class Action

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has denied a petition for rehearing en banc in a small-dollar consumer product class action. Depending on one’s perspective, this highly anticipated ruling either enforces the…more

Affidavits, Bayer, BMW, Class Action, En Banc Review

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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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Have you been thinking about plunging into social media? Plan first.

Organizations that want to engage with tenants, decision makers, or the broader public increasingly find it important to engage through social media. Some organizations have found it necessary to have an active social media…more

Facebook, Marketing, Social Networks

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OIG Releases Special Fraud Alert on Laboratory Payments to Physicians

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a Special Fraud Alert regarding laboratory payments to referring physicians. The Special Fraud Alert reaffirms OIG’s…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Clinical Laboratories, Fraud, Healthcare, HHS

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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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Statute of Limitations Doesn’t Apply in UConn Law Library Lawsuit, State Supreme Court Rules

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently reversed, in a unanimous published opinion, a trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of 27 defendants involved in the allegedly defective design and construction of the University…more

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CFPB issues Snapshot of older consumers and mortgage debt

The CFPB’s Office for Older Americans released a report this month reviewing mortgage debt held by older consumers—individuals age 65 and older. The report found that older consumers are carrying more mortgage debt into…more

CFPB, Debt, Mortgages, Retirement, Secured Debt

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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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Bipartisan Group of Senators Requests Expedited LNG Export Approvals

The U.S. Senate is turning up the heat on Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on the subject of LNG exports. In a very unusual move, a bipartisan group of 34 senators has asked the Secretary to expedite approvals of 20…more

DOE, Energy, Free Trade Agreement, Iran Sanctions, Liquid Natural Gas

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Julián Castro is confirmed as next HUD Secretary

With a resounding 71-26 vote, the Senate has confirmed Julián Castro as the 16th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. President Obama’s nomination of Mr. Castro replaces outing Secretary Shaun Donovan, who was in turn…more

Confirmation Proceedings, HUD

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House Committee holds third hearing on alleged discrimination at the CFPB

Yesterday, the House Financial Services Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a third hearing in its series of hearings addressing alleged discrimination at the CFPB. The Subcommittee heard testimony from…more

CFPB, Discrimination, Retaliation

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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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Inclusive Communities Project case summary

On March 24, 2014, the Fifth Circuit was the first Circuit to directly adopt HUD’s new disparate impact rule. Inclusive Communities Project v. Texas Dep’t of Hous., 2014 WL 1257127 (5th Cir. Mar. 24, 2014). Now, a challenge to…more

Disparate Impact, Fair Housing Act, HUD, Liability, New Regulations

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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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FTC and EEOC Issue Joint Guidance on Employer Use of Background Checks

A new joint publication of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) serves as a reminder to employers of the risks that come with the use of background information when making…more

Background Checks, Criminal Background Checks, EEOC, FCRA, FTC

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$3.5 billion New Market Tax Credit announcement

On June 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of Treasury Community Development Financial Institution Fund (CDFI) announced that 87 Community Development Entities have been selected to receive $3.5 billion in New Market Tax Credit (NMTC)…more

CDFI Fund, Community Development Block Grants, Community Development Entities, NMTC, U.S. Treasury

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Federal Court: California Finance Lenders Law Does Not Prohibit a Licensee from Selling Loans to Non-Institutional Investors

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has held that Section 22340(a) of the California Financial Code does not restrict licensed finance lenders to selling loans secured by real estate to only…more

Debt Buyers, Finance Lenders, Loan Broker

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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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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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SEC Proposes Long Awaited Crowdfunding Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently voted unanimously to propose rules that, for the first time, would allow investors to buy stock in companies over the Internet using a crowdfunding exchange. The proposed rules…more

Crowdfunding, JOBS Act, SEC, Securities Act of 1933

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SEC Issues First MCDC Cease and Desist Order

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first cease and desist order under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (MCDC Initiative). The MCDC Initiative was introduced on…more

Cease and Desist, Disclosure Requirements, MCDC, Misrepresentation, Municipalities

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Water Resources Legislation Could Lead to Increase of U.S. Water P3s

President Obama recently signed into law the Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA). The statute begins to address ways to fund the billions of dollars necessary to update the country’s drinking water…more

Barack Obama, Drinking Water, Federal Funding, Financing, Funding

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Investment Management Update

In July 2014, the SEC settled the previously reported proceeding involving Chariot Advisors, and its former owner, Elliott Shifman, concerning charges of violating and aiding and abetting the violation of Section 15(c) of the…more

401k, Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Enforcement Actions, ERISA, EU

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Calif. Supreme Court Sides Against NLRB, Finds Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Enforceable

The Supreme Court of California recently found an employee’s waiver of the right to bring a class action against his former employer enforceable under state law. In the process, the court reversed its 2007 decision in Gentry v…more

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Military Caregivers, Airline Crews Get Expanded FMLA Eligibility under DOL Rule

Last week was the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) marked the occasion by publishing a Final Rule that broadens the FMLA’s reach. Following regulations proposed…more

AFCTCA, Airline Employees, DOL, Flight Crews, FMLA

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Water Resources Legislation Could Lead to Increase of U.S. Water P3s

President Obama recently signed into law the Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA). The statute begins to address ways to fund the billions of dollars necessary to update the country’s drinking water…more

Barack Obama, Drinking Water, Federal Funding, Financing, Funding

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Extended Leave Not a Reasonable Accommodation under the Rehabilitation Act, 10th Circuit Holds

A recent appellate court ruling may affect the ability of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to challenge "inflexible" employer leave policies, policies that result in the termination of employees who are unable…more

ADA, Appeals, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Hiring & Firing

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The CFPB issues guidance on ensuring equal treatment for same-sex married couples

On June 25, 2014, the CFPB issued guidance setting forth basic principles on the issue of equal treatment for legally-married same-sex couples. The CFPB noted that this guidance was issued in response to the decision in United…more

CFPB, DOMA, Marriage Equality, Same-Sex Marriage, SCOTUS

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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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Midyear Check on Health Plan Compliance

If you sponsor or administer a group health plan, you are almost certainly taking steps to prepare for legal requirements that will become effective on or before January 1, 2015. New rules under HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act…more

Affordable Care Act, Compliance, Employer Group Health Plans, Healthcare

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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 Issues Report on the Use of Remittance Histories in Credit Scoring

On July 3rd, the CFPB released a Report on the Use of Remittance Histories in Credit Scoring (the “Report”). Section 1073(e) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required the CFPB Director to study…more

CFPB, Credit Reports

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Federal Bank Regulators Increase Focus on Cybersecurity

As banking regulators increase their focus on cybersecurity, they are taking steps to raise financial institutions’ awareness about the need for preparedness. On June 24, 2014, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination…more

Banks, Cybersecurity, FFIEC

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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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Federal Court Rejects Controversial Attempt To Expand Class Action Liability

In a putative class action in federal court, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey quickly put to rest a controversial theory advanced by the plaintiffs to allow them to sue defendants who admittedly caused them…more

Article III, Class Action, DirectTV, Standing

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Lenders and Servicers: Be Aware of How Trustees Handle Excess Proceeds from HOA Foreclosure Sales in Nevada

Lenders and servicers have been addressing the issue of some Nevada courts ruling that a foreclosure sale by a homeowners association (HOA) "wipes out" a senior deed of trust. Since the date of our last legal alert on this issue…more

Deed of Trust, First-Lien, Foreclosure, HOA, Lenders

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CFPB considering action on zombie foreclosures

According to a Reuters report, a CFPB official, speaking at a Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland conference last week, stated that the CFPB is beginning to take a close look at abandoned properties and “zombie” foreclosures. The…more

CFPB, Foreclosure, Mortgages, Zombie Title

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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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Water Resources Legislation Could Lead to Increase of U.S. Water P3s

President Obama recently signed into law the Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA). The statute begins to address ways to fund the billions of dollars necessary to update the country’s drinking water…more

Barack Obama, Drinking Water, Federal Funding, Financing, Funding

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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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Restructuring of tax-exempt obligations used to finance affordable housing projects and “tax reissuance”

Recently I have assisted several clients restructure the tax-exempt obligations originally issued to finance their affordable housing projects. The purpose of these restructurings has been for anything from reducing the monthly…more

Affordable Housing, Exempt Organizations, IRS, Restructuring

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If Patented Technology Can Copy Itself, When Do Patent Rights Cease?

Patent rights in a patented self-replicating technology, such as seeds, continue until the patent term is ended and not before. On May 13, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bowman v. Monsanto that the patent rights in seeds are…more

Bowman v Monsanto, Genetically Engineered Seed, Infringement, Monsanto, Patent Exhaustion

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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 July 2014, the SEC settled the previously reported proceeding involving Chariot Advisors, and its former owner, Elliott Shifman, concerning charges of violating and aiding and abetting the violation of Section 15(c) of the…more

401k, Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Enforcement Actions, ERISA, EU

See All Updates »

Bipartisan Group of Senators Requests Expedited LNG Export Approvals

The U.S. Senate is turning up the heat on Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on the subject of LNG exports. In a very unusual move, a bipartisan group of 34 senators has asked the Secretary to expedite approvals of 20…more

DOE, Energy, Free Trade Agreement, Iran Sanctions, Liquid Natural Gas

See All Updates »

FTC Announces Consent Order with Subprime Auto Lender for Alleged Violations of FDCPA, FCRA

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a consent order with a subprime auto lender for alleged violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and the Fair…more

Automotive Loans, FCRA, FDCPA, FTC, UDAAP

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Federal Court: Employer’s Method of Calculating Overtime Violated Pa. Statute

A federal district judge in Pennsylvania recently found that RadioShack’s method of computing overtime violates the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA). In Verderame v. RadioShack Corp., the plaintiff brought a putative class…more

Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Minimum Wage, Over-Time

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Third Circuit Clarifies Time Limits for Joint Authorship Copyright Claims, and Bars District Courts from Canceling Copyright Registrations

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has announced several bright-line rules relating to copyright law in the important field of joint authorship. The first rule is that the statute of limitations for joint authorship…more

Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Repudiation

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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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Caveat Venditor (Let the Seller Beware): Consumer Protection Procedures Act Strikes Again in the District of Columbia

A recent court decision emphasizes the need for real estate developers to proceed with caution when making representations to potential home buyers in the District of Columbia, as well as in other jurisdictions with similar…more

Consumer Protection Act, Land Developers, Misrepresentation, Real Estate Market

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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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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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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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Calif. Supreme Court Sides Against NLRB, Finds Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Enforceable

The Supreme Court of California recently found an employee’s waiver of the right to bring a class action against his former employer enforceable under state law. In the process, the court reversed its 2007 decision in Gentry v…more

See All Updates »

Department of Education Proposes New Campus Safety Rules

The U.S. Department of Education proposed a new rule yesterday implementing changes to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) under the Violence Against Women…more

See All Updates »

Areas of Practice
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Organizations
  • Class Action
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Other U.S. Locations
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  • California
  • Colorado
  • D.C.
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
Number of Attorneys

400+ Attorneys

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