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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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NY Attorney General Files Redlining Lawsuit Alleging Mortgage Discrimination

The New York Attorney General filed a complaint this week in a New York federal court against a national bank headquartered in the state and its holding company alleging that the defendants violated the federal Fair Housing Act…more

Attorney Generals, Bank Holding Company, Banks, Discrimination, Disparate Impact

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Federal Court Dismisses Industry Challenge to NYC Responsible Banking Law but Leaves Door Open For Future Lawsuit

A federal judge recently dismissed a complaint brought by the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) seeking to invalidate the New York City Responsible Banking Act (the Responsible Banking Act). In New York Bankers Ass’n Inc. v…more

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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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HUD continues reorganization of key leadership

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

Administrative Appointments, HUD

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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 Ratifies Administrative Actions Taken during Invalid Recess Appointment Period

On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in N.L.R.B. v. Noel Canning, et al., which invalidated President Obama’s 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the NLRB recently ratified a…more

Canning v NLRB, NLRA, NLRB, Recess Appointments, SCOTUS

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

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

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

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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 Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Requiring Equal Pay Report

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend the regulations implementing Executive Order 11246, which addresses affirmative action requirements for federal contractors and…more

Contractors, DOL, Federal Contractors, OFCCP, Subcontractors

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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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IRS Issues Draft ACA Reporting Forms

The Internal Revenue Service recently released draft versions of the forms that will be used to meet the shared responsibility reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These draft forms have been released for…more

Affordable Care Act, Employer Mandates, Filing Requirements, Forms, Individual Mandate

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

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

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

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Federal Court: 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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Guarantors Are Not Protected by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Eighth Circuit Holds

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently upheld summary judgment in favor of a lender, dismissing an action by the borrowers’ spouses alleging that the lender’s requirement that the spouses sign guaranties for…more

ECOA, Guarantors, Guaranty Claims, Lenders

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NLRB Issues Mixed Decisions When Applying Specialty Healthcare to Retail Industry

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

Healthcare, Macy's, NLRA, NLRB, Retailers

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

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

IRS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mayor Nutter Signs Bill Mandating Employers to Allow Breastfeeding

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

Breastfeeding, Employee Rights, Reasonable Accommodation

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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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IRS releases final LIHTC Audit Technique Guide

Yesterday the IRS released a long-anticipated update to its Audit Technique Guide for the low-income housing tax credit (“LIHTC”) program. The guide is intended to assist IRS examiners charged with auditing owners of LIHTC…more

Audits, Draft Guidance, IRS, LIHTC

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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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CFPB Proposes Rule To Supervise Nonbank Auto Finance Companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a proposal to supervise nonbank companies that qualify as “larger participants of a market for automobile financing.” Comments on the proposal will be due 60 days after the…more

Automotive Industry, Automotive Loans, Banks, CFPB, Nonbank Firms

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CFPB Proposes Rule To Supervise Nonbank Auto Finance Companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a proposal to supervise nonbank companies that qualify as “larger participants of a market for automobile financing.” Comments on the proposal will be due 60 days after the…more

Automotive Industry, Automotive Loans, Banks, CFPB, Nonbank Firms

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

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

FOIA, Public Records, SCOTUS

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

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

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

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

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

IRS, LIHTC

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

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

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

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

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

CFPB, Discrimination, Disparate Impact, ECOA, Fair Lending

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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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Massive Hacking Operation Further Reveals Weakness of Passwords

A small private cybersecurity firm recently revealed that a Russian computer hacking organization amassed more than 1.2 billion username and password combinations. The data was collected across a wide swath of websites, from…more

Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Hackers, Passwords, Popular

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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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NLRB Ratifies Administrative Actions Taken during Invalid Recess Appointment Period

On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in N.L.R.B. v. Noel Canning, et al., which invalidated President Obama’s 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the NLRB recently ratified a…more

Canning v NLRB, NLRA, NLRB, Recess Appointments, SCOTUS

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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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New FAQ on Volcker Rule CEO Attestation Requirement

The five agencies that jointly issued the final Volcker Rule last December recently added to their existing list of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) a new item addressing the attestation requirement applicable to CEOs of…more

Attestation Deadlines, Banks, CEOs, FBOs, Volcker Rule

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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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Does housing count as health care?

Rocking ChairNPR aired a story Monday morning reporting that New York has allocated $260 million in State Medicaid funds for supportive housing and exploring the question of whether housing counts as health care. Right now,…more

Healthcare, Medicaid, Temporary 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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Calif. Law Does Not Bar Recording of Cell Phone Calls by Participants, Federal Court Rules

A California federal court recently ruled that the state’s call recording statute does not apply to cell phone call participants. This decision should help companies that record consumer calls for monitoring purposes defeat…more

Audio Recording, Cell Phones, Invasion of Privacy, Surveillance

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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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LIHTC discrimination suit filed against federal government

A lawsuit was recently filed alleging that the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) and Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) perpetuated racial segregation in the City of Dallas in their administration of the Low Income…more

Discrimination, Disparate Impact, LIHTC, OCC, Racial Discrimination

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LIHTC discrimination suit filed against federal government

A lawsuit was recently filed alleging that the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) and Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) perpetuated racial segregation in the City of Dallas in their administration of the Low Income…more

Discrimination, Disparate Impact, LIHTC, OCC, Racial Discrimination

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

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

Conspiracies, Grand Juries, Lenders, Payday Loans, Usury

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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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Industry Concerns Prompt SEC To Modify MCDC Initiative

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

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

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Sixth Circuit Weighs in on CERCLA Cost Recovery, Contribution Actions

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

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

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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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Government Agencies Release Further Accommodations to Organizations Opposing Mandated Contraceptive Coverage

In response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Labor (DOL) published proposed rules on August 22, 2014, expanding the…more

Affordable Care Act, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, DOL, Employer Liability Issues

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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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New York Proposes Virtual Currency Licensing and Regulatory Framework

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently proposed a regulatory framework for virtual currency firms. In doing so, New York is the first state to propose a specially tailored regulatory framework for virtual…more

Bitcoins, Financial Regulatory Reform, Virtual Currency

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

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

Conspiracies, Grand Juries, Lenders, Payday Loans, Usury

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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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New flexibility for repayment of Maryland DHCD Ffinancing

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

Affordable Housing, Housing Developers, Lending, Real Estate Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Fourth Circuit Limits Liability under Maryland Finder’s Fee Act

In two recent opinions, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit substantially limited the potential scope of liability under the Maryland Finder’s Fee Act. Applying the plain language of the statute, the Fourth Circuit…more

Brokers, Finder's Fees, Mortgages

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Executive Order Bars Discrimination against LGBT Workers for Federal Contractors, Government

President Obama recently signed an executive order that will prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The executive order adds sexual orientation and…more

Barack Obama, Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors

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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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Federal Court Dismisses Industry Challenge to NYC Responsible Banking Law but Leaves Door Open For Future Lawsuit

A federal judge recently dismissed a complaint brought by the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) seeking to invalidate the New York City Responsible Banking Act (the Responsible Banking Act). In New York Bankers Ass’n Inc. v…more

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

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

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

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Guarantors Are Not Protected by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Eighth Circuit Holds

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently upheld summary judgment in favor of a lender, dismissing an action by the borrowers’ spouses alleging that the lender’s requirement that the spouses sign guaranties for…more

ECOA, Guarantors, Guaranty Claims, Lenders

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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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HMDA proposed rule published in Federal Register

The proposed rule amending the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and its implementing regulation, Regulation C, was published in the Federal Register today. As such, the official comment deadline will be October 29, 2014. We…more

HMDA, Mortgages, Regulation C

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

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

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

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

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

Employee Rights, FMLA, Popular, Retaliation, Tortious Interference

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Federal Court Finds No Willful Violation for Misclassification of Mortgage Loan Officers

A federal court in Oklahoma delivered another blow to claims by mortgage loan officers that they are entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Chapman v. BOK Financial Corporation, the court considered…more

Employee Rights, FLSA, Loan Officer, Misclassification, Mortgages

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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

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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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Ill-equipped or Ill-researched? A letter to the editor of Fortune Magazine

There’s an irony in Fortune Magazine’s July 24, 2014, article “The dark, disturbing world of the visa-for-sale program.” The article accuses foreign EB-5 investors of being “ill-equipped (or disinclined) to assess the business…more

Business Plans, EB-5, Foreign Investment, Job Creation, Offerings

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

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

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

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NLRB 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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IRS Issues More Guidance on Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements

Following up on regulations and forms published earlier this year, the IRS has issued instructions and other guidance on the shared responsibility reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act…more

Affordable Care Act, IRS, Reporting Requirements

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CDFI Fund provides guidance for CY 2014 NMTC Program participants

Last week, the CDFI Fund provided guidance for CY 2014 NMTC Program applicants by updating its 2014 NMTC Program Allocation Application Frequently Asked Questions. Responding to various questions it received during its August…more

CDFI Fund, HUD

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OMB gives go-ahead to CFPB telephone survey of consumers for arbitration study

Over the vigorous objections of industry trade groups, on September 4, 2014, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the CFPB’s request to conduct a national telephone survey of 1,000 credit card holders as part of…more

Arbitration Agreements, CFPB, Credit Cards, Financial Products, OMB

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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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HUD Notice has potential to encourage broad PHA renewable energy rollout

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

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

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D.C. Court of Appeals Extinguishes Lender’s Mortgage Lien Following Association Lien Foreclosure

A recent decision by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals brings into renewed focus the tension between condominium and homeowner associations and lenders when it comes to payment of delinquent association assessment…more

Condominium Associations, Condominiums, Homeowners' Association, JPMorgan Chase, Liens

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Public Offering Statement Disclosure Limits Developer's Liability

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

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

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CFPB issues final consolidated mortgage disclosure rule

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

CFPB, Mortgages, RESPA, TILA

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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 Laws Can Have Significant Implications

A decision by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals emphasizes the need for real estate developers to proceed with caution when making representations to potential home buyers in jurisdictions with consumer protection laws…more

Privity of Contract, Real Estate Development, 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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Is gambling the next innovation in resident supportive services?

Recently, the New York Times published an article about the trend among some credit unions to offer “prize-linked savings accounts” as a means of encouraging saving among low-income families. The article explains that the ”Save…more

Credit Unions, Gambling, Gaming

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

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

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Arbitrators, Class Action

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Massive Hacking Operation Further Reveals Weakness of Passwords

A small private cybersecurity firm recently revealed that a Russian computer hacking organization amassed more than 1.2 billion username and password combinations. The data was collected across a wide swath of websites, from…more

Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Hackers, Passwords, Popular

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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 and FTC file lawsuits against online payday lenders

Earlier this month, the CFPB and FTC filed lawsuits against different groups of interrelated companies and their individual principals for engaging in allegedly unlawful online payday lending schemes…more

CFPB, EFTA, Enforcement Actions, FTC, Payday Loans

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

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

Conspiracies, Grand Juries, Lenders, Payday Loans, Usury

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

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

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

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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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“Operation Mis-Modification” Targets Foreclosure Relief Companies

The CFPB continues to ramp up its enforcement actions and its collaboration with state AG offices as part of the new “Operation Mis-Modification.” The CFPB, the FTC and fifteen states announced a series of lawsuits…more

CFPB, Dodd-Frank, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Foreclosure

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FinCEN Proposes More Extensive Customer Due Diligence Obligations

As part of the U.S. Treasury Department’s ongoing efforts to combat all forms of illicit financial activity, from terrorist financing and sanctions evasion to more traditional financial crimes (including money laundering, fraud,…more

Covered Banking Entity, Covered Financial Institutions, Due Diligence, FinCEN, Rulemaking Process

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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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President Obama Seeks To Expand Market for P3 Transportation Projects

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

Department of Transportation, Infrastructure, P3s, Public Transit, Public-Private Partnerships

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Public Offering Statement Disclosure Limits Developer's Liability

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

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

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Comments requested regarding proposed guidance on the Community Reinvestment Act

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Bipartisan Senate Legislation Introduced To Address Campus Sexual Assaults

Yesterday, eight U.S. senators introduced the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, a bill that proposes to amend the Higher Education Act and the Clery Act to include new requirements for addressing sexual violence on campus,…more

Clery Act, Colleges, Sexual Assault, Universities

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Renewed interest in Mortgage Credit Certificate programs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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DOL Issues Directive on Gender Identity and Transgender Status

The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)—which enforces anti-discrimination and affirmative action laws affecting government contractors and subcontractors—has issued Directive…more

Affirmative Action, Discrimination, DOL, Federal Contractors, Gender Discrimination

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Congress Passes Highway Funding Bill; Includes Pension Funding Relief

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

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

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Industry Concerns Prompt SEC To Modify MCDC Initiative

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

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

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VA Announces Upcoming Changes to ARM Disclosure Regulations

On September 5, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced in Circular 26-14-25 that it intends to clarify its interest-rate adjustment, disclosure, and notice requirements for ARM and hybrid ARM mortgage loans…more

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage, CFPB, Department of Veterans Affairs, Disclosure Requirements, Government-Guaranteed Loans

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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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Federal Court Finds No Willful Violation for Misclassification of Mortgage Loan Officers

A federal court in Oklahoma delivered another blow to claims by mortgage loan officers that they are entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Chapman v. BOK Financial Corporation, the court considered…more

Employee Rights, FLSA, Loan Officer, Misclassification, Mortgages

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Federal Court Dismisses Industry Challenge to NYC Responsible Banking Law but Leaves Door Open For Future Lawsuit

A federal judge recently dismissed a complaint brought by the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) seeking to invalidate the New York City Responsible Banking Act (the Responsible Banking Act). In New York Bankers Ass’n Inc. v…more

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Executive Order Requires New Disclosures for Federal Contractors

On Thursday, July 31, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order called "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces," requiring covered federal contractors and subcontractors to publicly report labor violations, to forgo the use of…more

ADA, ADEA, Barack Obama, Disclosure Requirements, Executive Orders

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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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Is a Uniform Debt Buying Code on Its Way?

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC), a non-partisan organization committed to drafting uniform state laws, has authorized the formation of a committee to study the need for and feasibility of state legislation to address the debt…more

Debt, Debt Buyers, OCC, Uniform Law Commission

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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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IRS Issues More Guidance on Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements

Following up on regulations and forms published earlier this year, the IRS has issued instructions and other guidance on the shared responsibility reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act…more

Affordable Care Act, IRS, Reporting Requirements

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

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

Class Action, ERISA, Insurance Companies, Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Retained Asset Accounts

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New York Proposes Additional Reforms To Protect Consumers in Collection Lawsuits

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

Debt Collection, Debt Collectors

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

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

Fair Housing Act, HUD, Legislative Agendas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chevron, FCC, Preemption, SCOTUS, Telecommunications

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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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Congress Passes Highway Funding Bill; Includes Pension Funding Relief

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

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

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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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Public Offering Statement Disclosure Limits Developer's Liability

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

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

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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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FTC Reviewing Telemarketing Sales Rule

As part of a systematic review of its regulations, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking comment on a variety of issues relating to its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). The FTC is conducting the review “to determine…more

FTC, Telemarketing, Telemarketing Sales Rule

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Supreme Court’s Campaign Contribution Decision To Have Substantial Impact

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

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

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Third Circuit Rejects Class Certification in Yet Another Consumer Case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Foreclosure, Mortgages, Title Insurance

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

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

Foreclosure, Mortgages, Title Insurance

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The ABA Responds on Mobile Financial Services (Plus, Apple Inc.’s “Response”)

In an interesting coincidence, the comment period for the CFPB’s Request for Information (“RFI”) on mobile financial services closed the same day, September 10th, that Apple announced “Apple Pay”—a new mobile wallet included…more

American Bankers Association, Apple, Apple Pay, Banks, CFPB

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

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

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

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FinCEN Proposes More Extensive Customer Due Diligence Obligations

As part of the U.S. Treasury Department’s ongoing efforts to combat all forms of illicit financial activity, from terrorist financing and sanctions evasion to more traditional financial crimes (including money laundering, fraud,…more

Covered Banking Entity, Covered Financial Institutions, Due Diligence, FinCEN, Rulemaking Process

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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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You think your housing issues are complicated?

I just read this piece in The Washington Post by Emily Badger about the housing shortage in certain rural areas of the United States (Ohio and Pennsylvania, specifically), due to the influx of labor in the fracking industries…more

Fracking, Housing Market, Oil & Gas

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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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LIHTC discrimination suit filed against federal government

A lawsuit was recently filed alleging that the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) and Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) perpetuated racial segregation in the City of Dallas in their administration of the Low Income…more

Discrimination, Disparate Impact, LIHTC, OCC, Racial Discrimination

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Pa. Supreme Court Rules Key Oil and Gas Law Unconstitutional

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

Environmental Policies, Municipalities, Oil & Gas

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

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

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

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More on the controversial affordable housing “Poor Door”

The New York Times has published more articles on “Poor Door” developments. As we reported here a few weeks ago, the term “Poor Door” refers to a separate entrance for a property’s subsidized tenants in a market rate housing…more

Affordable Housing, Real Estate Market

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Fourth Circuit Limits Liability under Maryland Finder’s Fee Act

In two recent opinions, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit substantially limited the potential scope of liability under the Maryland Finder’s Fee Act. Applying the plain language of the statute, the Fourth Circuit…more

Brokers, Finder's Fees, Mortgages

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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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Industry Concerns Prompt SEC To Modify MCDC Initiative

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

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

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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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FDIC Issues Guidance on Basel III Capital Conservation Buffer for Subchapter S Banks

A recent Financial Institution Letter provides guidance on the FDIC’s methodology when entertaining requests from banks or savings associations organized as Subchapter S corporations (S-corporation banks) to pay dividends to…more

Banks, Basel Committee, Basel III, Capital Controls, FDIC

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

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

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Arbitrators, Class Action

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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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Congress Passes Highway Funding Bill; Includes Pension Funding Relief

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

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

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DOL Issues Directive on Gender Identity and Transgender Status

The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)—which enforces anti-discrimination and affirmative action laws affecting government contractors and subcontractors—has issued Directive…more

Affirmative Action, Discrimination, DOL, Federal Contractors, Gender Discrimination

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Third Circuit Rejects Class Certification in Yet Another Consumer Case

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

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

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

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

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

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IRS Issues More Guidance on Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements

Following up on regulations and forms published earlier this year, the IRS has issued instructions and other guidance on the shared responsibility reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act…more

Affordable Care Act, IRS, Reporting Requirements

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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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Is a Uniform Debt Buying Code on Its Way?

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC), a non-partisan organization committed to drafting uniform state laws, has authorized the formation of a committee to study the need for and feasibility of state legislation to address the debt…more

Debt, Debt Buyers, OCC, Uniform Law Commission

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FTC Reviewing Telemarketing Sales Rule

As part of a systematic review of its regulations, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking comment on a variety of issues relating to its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). The FTC is conducting the review “to determine…more

FTC, Telemarketing, Telemarketing Sales Rule

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FTC and DOJ Shine the Spotlight on Conditional Pricing Practices

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

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

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HUD adopts updated standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

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

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Court Upholds Constitutionality of Pennsylvania Recording Statute

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

Class Action, MERS, Real Estate Transfers, Recording Requirements

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

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

Employee Rights, FMLA, Popular, Retaliation, Tortious Interference

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

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

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

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CFPB announces eClosing pilot program participants

The CFPB has announced the participants for its mortgage eClosing pilot program, a three-month pilot set to begin later this year. The CFPB’s plans to conduct the pilot were unveiled at a forum on the mortgage closing process…more

CFPB, Mortgages

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USPTO Clarifies Standard for Review of Financial Services Patents

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

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

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Congress Passes Highway Funding Bill; Includes Pension Funding Relief

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

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

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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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Are we seeing the return of Single-Family Tax-Exempt Bond Financing?

Prior to 2009, housing finance agencies (HFAs) financed nearly all of their single-family mortgage loans with tax-exempt bond financings. Over the past five years as rates on conventional mortgage loans fell and remained at…more

Bond Financing, Housing Finance Reform, Mortgages, Single Family Housing, Tax-Exempt Bonds

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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

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

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

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

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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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CFPB Proposes Rule To Supervise Nonbank Auto Finance Companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a proposal to supervise nonbank companies that qualify as “larger participants of a market for automobile financing.” Comments on the proposal will be due 60 days after the…more

Automotive Industry, Automotive Loans, Banks, CFPB, Nonbank Firms

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Mayor Nutter Signs Bill Mandating Employers to Allow Breastfeeding

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

Breastfeeding, Employee Rights, Reasonable Accommodation

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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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D.C. Court of Appeals Extinguishes Lender’s Mortgage Lien Following Association Lien Foreclosure

A recent decision by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals brings into renewed focus the tension between condominium and homeowner associations and lenders when it comes to payment of delinquent association assessment…more

Condominium Associations, Condominiums, Homeowners' Association, JPMorgan Chase, Liens

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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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Massive Hacking Operation Further Reveals Weakness of Passwords

A small private cybersecurity firm recently revealed that a Russian computer hacking organization amassed more than 1.2 billion username and password combinations. The data was collected across a wide swath of websites, from…more

Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Hackers, Passwords, Popular

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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

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Guarantors Are Not Protected by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Eighth Circuit Holds

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently upheld summary judgment in favor of a lender, dismissing an action by the borrowers’ spouses alleging that the lender’s requirement that the spouses sign guaranties for…more

ECOA, Guarantors, Guaranty Claims, Lenders

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Areas of Practice
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Organizations
  • Class Action
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Construction Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Finance & Banking
  • Government
  • Health
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law & Trade
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Privacy
  • Products Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Real Estate
  • Science, Computers, & Tech
  • Securities Law
  • Taxation
  • Toxic Torts
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
  • Zoning, Planning & Land Use
See more
Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • D.C.
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
Number of Attorneys

400+ Attorneys

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