Ballard Spahr LLP

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Hilary Adams

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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Valarie Allen

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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Kurt Anderson

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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Sharifa Anderson

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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Joseph Anderson III

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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Richard J. Andreano, Jr.

CFPB issues small entity compliance guide for RESPA/TILA integrated disclosure rule

The CFPB recently issued an 89-page small entity compliance guide for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (the “Guide”). As we reported previously, the CFPB issued the final rule in November 2013 to integrate the initial…more

CFPB, Mortgage Loan Servicing Standards, Mortgages, RESPA, TILA

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Justin Angelo

CFPB general counsel gives glimpse into CFPB’s upcoming agenda

On Monday, April 7, CFPB General Counsel Meredith Fuchs warned that debt collection, payday lending, prepaid cards and privacy notices are priorities for the Bureau in the coming months. Appearing before the Practicing Law…more

CFPB, Debt Collection, Payday Loans, Prepaid Payment Products, Privacy Laws

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Jessica Anthony

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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Paul Apicella

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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Katherine Atkinson

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Ruling on ‘Changing Clothes’ and Compensation under FLSA

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that U.S. Steel was not required to compensate its employees for time spent donning and doffing protective gear. The Court reasoned that the collective bargaining agreement between U.S. Steel…more

Collective Bargaining, FLSA, Sandifer v U.S. Steel Corp, SCOTUS, Unions

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Alexandra Bak-Boychuk

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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Frederic Ballard, Jr.

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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David Barksdale

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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Robert Baron, Jr.

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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Amy Bashore

Arbitration Clause Survives Contract Termination, Sixth Circuit Holds

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

Arbitration, Contract Term, Employment Contract, Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

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Daniel Benjamin

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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Kimberly Betterton

How the New ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Law Affects the Municipal Bond Market

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the Act), passed by the Senate and the House and Representatives on New Year’s Day and signed by the President on January 2, 2013, includes several direct and indirect consequences for…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Bonds, Capital Gains, Exemptions, Fiscal Cliff

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Sanjay Bhandari

Companies Have a Friend in Economic Espionage Act

Earlier this month, Walter Liew, his company, USA Performance Technology, Inc., and Robert Maegerle were found guilty of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets, among other crimes, for participating in a scheme to steal…more

China, Economic Espionage Act, Trade Secrets

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Jamie Bischoff

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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Elisabeth Blattner-Thompson

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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Josh Bobrin

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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Lorene Boudreau

EPA Publishes Proposed Greenhouse Gas Standards for New Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published its proposed standards of performance for greenhouse gases emitted from new electric utility steam generating units and stationary combustion turbines on January 8, 2014,…more

Carbon Emissions, Coal-Fired Generation, Energy Policy, Environmental Policies, EPA

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Lindsay Breedlove

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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Martin Bryce, Jr.

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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Steven D. Burt

CFPB issues second report on servicemember complaints

Earlier this month, the CFPB issued a press release describing its second snapshot report of complaints from military consumers. The report details complaints the CFPB has received from servicemembers, veterans, and their…more

CFPB, Credit Cards, Debt Collection, Military Service Members, Mortgages

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Jonathan Calpas

IRS Issues Rules for Recognizing Same-Sex Spouses under Retirement Plans

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2014-19, which sets forth the rules for recognition of same-sex spouses in retirement plan administration, as required under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in U.S. vs…more

DOMA, IRS, Retirement Plan, Same-Sex Marriage, US v Windsor

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John Carrigan, Jr.

Unpaid Film Production Interns Entitled to Minimum Wage, Judge Rules

In a decision likely to affect long-held practices in the entertainment industry and beyond, a federal judge in New York ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated federal and state minimum wage laws by not paying two…more

Fox Searchlight Pictures, Internships, Minimum Wage, Movies, Unpaid Interns

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Michael Carroll

Plaintiffs May Assert Negligent Design Claims for Prescription Drugs, Pa. Supreme Court Holds

In a stunning decision with broad implications for pharmaceutical companies in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has held that plaintiffs may assert negligence claims against pharmaceutical companies…more

FDA, Negligence, Negligent Design, Pharmaceutical, Prescription Drugs

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Barbara Casey

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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Nathan Catchpole

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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Andrea Chambers

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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Edward Chang

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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Frank Chernak

Executive Order Increases Minimum Wage for Federal Contract Workers

President Obama used his executive powers as promised in his State of the Union address and signed an Executive Order that will increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for individuals working under federal contracts. The…more

Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Minimum Wage

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Ethan Chernin

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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Louis Chodoff

N.J. Court Upholds Criminal Indictment against Former Employee Who Took Confidential Documents

Recently, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court upheld a criminal indictment against a former employee of the North Bergen Board of Education (the Board), which stemmed from the alleged theft of public records…more

Confidential Information, Discrimination, Educational Institutions, Gender Discrimination, Personally Identifiable Information

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Craig Circosta

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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Alicia Clark

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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Erin Clarke

Executive Order Increases Minimum Wage for Federal Contract Workers

President Obama used his executive powers as promised in his State of the Union address and signed an Executive Order that will increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for individuals working under federal contracts. The…more

Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Minimum Wage

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Lucretia Clemons

Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Issues New Pregnancy Rights Notice

On January 20, 2014, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed an amendment to the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance expressly banning discrimination based upon pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition and imposing new…more

Discrimination, Employee Rights, Pregnancy Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation

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Glenn Cline

Supreme Court of Rhode Island Declares Usury Savings Clauses Void

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

Borrowers, Commercial Loans, Default, Lenders, Usury

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Brian Coad

New York Announces Settlements with Six Auto Dealers

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

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

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Scott Cockerham

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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Christopher T. Cognato

Federal Negotiators Allow Lawyers, Other Advisers To Participate in Campus Sexual Assault Hearings

Negotiators empaneled by the U.S. Department of Education (Department) recently reached consensus on several preliminary campus safety rules that should be published in the coming months under the Campus Sexual Violence…more

Clery Act, Department of Education, SAVE Act

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Brendan K. Collins

EPA Publishes Proposed Greenhouse Gas Standards for New Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published its proposed standards of performance for greenhouse gases emitted from new electric utility steam generating units and stationary combustion turbines on January 8, 2014,…more

Carbon Emissions, Coal-Fired Generation, Energy Policy, Environmental Policies, EPA

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Christopher Corsi

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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Jessie Creighton

$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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John L. Culhane, Jr.

W.Va. Requires Time-Barred Debt Disclosures in ‘Initial Written Communication’

The West Virginia Legislature recently passed H.B. 4360, which amended Section 46A-2-128 of the West Virginia Code, that defines what constitutes unfair or unconscionable debt collection activities. The amendments are effective…more

Debt, Debt Collection, Disclosure Requirements, UDAAP

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Bill Curran

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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Kean DeCarlo

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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Monique DeLapenha

HUD Announces Additional $5 Billion in Recovery Funds for Communities Affected by Hurricane Sandy

This week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it has allocated $5 billion in additional funding to assist targeted communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. This is the second round of…more

Community Development Block Grants, Disaster Aid, HUD, Hurricane Sandy, Natural Disasters

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Mark S. DePillis

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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William DeSantis

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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James Duchesne

CFPB and FTC Representatives Speak at Symposium on Fine Print

CFPB General Counsel Meredith Fuchs and CFPB Assistant General Counsel for Law and Policy Anne Zorc spoke last week at the Georgetown Consumer Law Society and Citizen Works’ symposium entitled “Making the Fine Print Fair.” The…more

CFPB, FTC, Mortgages, RESPA, TILA

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Michael Duffy

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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Leslie Eaton

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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Nicole Evans

$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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Michael Fabius

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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Shannon Farmer

New Philadelphia Ordinance Requires Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnancy, Childbirth

City of Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter recently signed legislation amending the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance to prohibit pregnancy-related discrimination and require employers to provide reasonable workplace…more

ADA, Civil Rights Act, Local Ordinance, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Discrimination

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Keith R. Fisher

N.Y. Banking and Insurance Superintendent Unveils Aggressive Agenda

Benjamin M. Lawsky, who heads the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), indicated that his agency is seriously considering more aggressive investigation and pursuit of individuals whose malfeasance has led (or…more

Anti-Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering, Banks, Compliance, Department of Financial Services

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Mary Grace Folwell

President Releases FY 2015 HUD Budget

President Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), released on March 4, 2014, increases funding for many programs compared to the fiscal year 2014 appropriation. It also…more

Federal Budget, HUD, Public Housing, RAD Program

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Stephanie Franklin-Suber

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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David Fryman

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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Mark J. Furletti

Eleventh Circuit Issues Significant Ruling on TCPA Consent for Collection Calls to Cell Phones

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled that a debtor may not provide the “prior express consent” required by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for autodialed collection calls to be made lawfully…more

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

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Mark Gaylord

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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Sharon Wilson Geno

HUD Guidance Addresses Housing Choice Voucher Funding Shortfalls, Tenant Protection Vouchers

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued guidance for implementing its fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget for Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV), including requirements for obtaining additional HCV funds…more

HUD, Landlords, Tenants

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Amy Glassman

HUD Guidance Addresses Housing Choice Voucher Funding Shortfalls, Tenant Protection Vouchers

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued guidance for implementing its fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget for Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV), including requirements for obtaining additional HCV funds…more

HUD, Landlords, Tenants

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M. Norman Goldberger

Delaware Supreme Court Deals Blow to Merger Litigation Plaintiffs

On Friday, the Delaware Supreme Court adopted the business judgment rule standard of review for some controlling stockholder freeze-out mergers and potentially other interested party transactions. In Kahn, et al. v. M&F…more

Business Judgment Rule, Controlling Stockholders, Freeze-Out Mergers, Mergers, Standard of Review

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Mary Cate Gordon

Legislation Seeks To Counter Controversial 'Ambush Election' Rule

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

Ambush Election Rules, NLRB, Union Elections

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John Grugan

2013 Review: SEC Municipal Market Enforcement Actions

In 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission sought to demonstrate its resolve in enforcement by bringing more selective cases with a greater yield in financial penalties. Indeed, the SEC recently announced that its 2013…more

Compliance, EMMA, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, MSRB

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Gerald Guarcini

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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Teri Guarnaccia

SEC Enforcement Division Encourages Self-Reporting by Municipal Securities Issuers and Underwriters

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Enforcement Division introduced an initiative to encourage self-reporting by municipal securities issuers and underwriters of possible securities law violations related…more

Municipal Securities Market, Municipalities, SEC, Self-Reporting

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John Harris

New York City Passes Earned Sick Time Act

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

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

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Patrick Harvey

NLRB Reissues ‘Ambush Election’ Rules

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued proposed rules and regulations which, if adopted, will dramatically change the process for representation case petitions and pre-election procedures. Referred to by critics as…more

Ambush Election Rules, NLRB, Union Elections

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Sandra Maki Hashima

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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David Haworth

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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Jean C. Hemphill

ACA Employer Mandate Final Regulations Released; Enforcement Delays Provided for Mid-Sized Employers

Very large employers will be required to offer health care coverage to their full-time employees or pay a penalty to the federal government beginning January 1, 2015. Under the final regulations released by the U.S. Department…more

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

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Charles Henck

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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Reid Herlihy

Ginnie Mae Issues Clarification on Electronic Signatures and Documents

Ginnie Mae recently issued All Participant Memorandum 2014-01, which clarifies its position on electronic signatures and documents. In response to the Federal Housing Administration's recent announcement (Mortgagee Letter…more

Digital Signature Standards, Ginnie Mae, Mortgages, Signatures

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Andrew Herman

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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Scott Himes

New York Announces Settlements with Six Auto Dealers

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

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

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Henry E. Hockeimer, Jr.

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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Holly Horsley

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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Alison Huth

Federal District Court Awards Pension Benefit to Same-Sex Spouse

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

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

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Stefanie Jackman

W.Va. Requires Time-Barred Debt Disclosures in ‘Initial Written Communication’

The West Virginia Legislature recently passed H.B. 4360, which amended Section 46A-2-128 of the West Virginia Code, that defines what constitutes unfair or unconscionable debt collection activities. The amendments are effective…more

Debt, Debt Collection, Disclosure Requirements, UDAAP

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Katayun Jaffari

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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Kenneth Jarin

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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Leslie John

‘The Past Is Never Dead’: FTC Requires Divestiture of Acquisition Five Years After Deal Closed

The Federal Trade Commission has approved the divestiture of a five-year old acquisition, signifying that neither complete consummation of a transaction nor the passage of time will dissuade the FTC from challenging mergers and…more

Acquisitions, Anticompetitive Agreements, Divestiture, FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act

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Daniel V. Johns

Legislation Seeks To Counter Controversial 'Ambush Election' Rule

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

Ambush Election Rules, NLRB, Union Elections

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Bruce Johnson

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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Christopher Jones

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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Keith Joseph

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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Andrew Kampf

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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Joseph Kanefield

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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Robert Kaplan

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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Alan S. Kaplinsky

Pew Checking Accounts Report Makes Troubling Recommendations

The Pew Charitable Trusts has released another report evaluating the checking account disclosure practices of the nation’s largest banks. Despite finding that disclosure practices have improved, Pew again urges the Consumer…more

Banks, Charitable Trusts, Disclosure Requirements

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Stephen Kastenberg

Supreme Court Chooses Middle Ground in Assessing Reverse Payment Settlements

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

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

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Anthony Kaye

Supreme Court of Rhode Island Declares Usury Savings Clauses Void

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

Borrowers, Commercial Loans, Default, Lenders, Usury

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Rachel Keene

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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Jared Kelly

CFPB publishes guidance regarding RESPA-TILA integrated disclosure forms

The CFPB recently published guidance (the Guide) to assist mortgage originators and settlement service providers in completing the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms required under the RESPA-TILA Integrated Disclosure…more

CFPB, Disclosure Requirements, Mortgages, RESPA, TILA

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William K. Kennedy II

Arbitration Clause Survives Contract Termination, Sixth Circuit Holds

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

Arbitration, Contract Term, Employment Contract, Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

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John Kerkorian

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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Denise Keyser

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

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

Employee Definition, Hospitals, Medical School, NLRA, NLRB

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Kelly Kindig

NLRB Withdraws ‘Ambush Election’ Rules

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) formally withdrew the regulations it issued in late 2011 that would have dramatically changed the process for representation case petitions and pre-election procedures…more

Ambush Election Rules, Canning v NLRB, Compliance, NLRB

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Heather Klein

CFPB Payday Loan Rulemaking is Imminent and Will Target Repeated Borrowing

The CFPB has marshaled data against what it sees as a sustained use problem by payday loan borrowers and is “in the late stages” of drafting rules to limit payday loan borrowing, according to Director Cordray’s remarks prepared…more

CFPB, Payday Loans, Predatory Lending

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Justin Klein

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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Debbie Klis

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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Paul Koob

Super Bowl Ticketholders Denied Bid for Class Certification

A group of Super Bowl XLV ticketholders recently lost their bid in federal court in Texas for class certification of their lawsuit arising from problems with temporary seating at the event…more

Class Certification, Super Bowl, Ticket Pricing

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Philip Korb

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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Wendi Kotzen

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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Laura A. Kowal

NJ Lawmakers: Invalidating Restrictive Covenants Will Assist the Unemployed

Citing the state’s jobless rate, three New Jersey state assemblymen are challenging the longstanding employer practice of restricting the post-employment activities of employees who are terminated or resign. On April 4, 2013,…more

Hiring & Firing, Non-Compete Agreements, Restrictive Covenants, Unemployment

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Mark Kowal

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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Laura Krabill

Delaware Supreme Court Deals Blow to Merger Litigation Plaintiffs

On Friday, the Delaware Supreme Court adopted the business judgment rule standard of review for some controlling stockholder freeze-out mergers and potentially other interested party transactions. In Kahn, et al. v. M&F…more

Business Judgment Rule, Controlling Stockholders, Freeze-Out Mergers, Mergers, Standard of Review

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Evan Krick

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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Brian LaCorte

Patent Litigation Reform Bill Passes U.S. House

Congress continues to explore ways to address the explosion of flimsy patent litigation claims by so-called non-practicing entities. On December 5, 2013, the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) was approved by the House of…more

Innovation Act, Patent Litigation, Patent Reform, Patent Trolls, Patents

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John Langel

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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J. Gibson Lanier, PhD

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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Troy Larson

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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Erica Leatham

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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Jason Leckerman

HSR Act Allows Pharmaceutical Licensing Transactions To Be Subject to Unique Reporting Requirements, FTC Tells Court

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has asked a federal court to find that the agency has authority under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR Act) to promulgate reporting requirements that apply solely to transfers of patent rights in…more

Biotechnology, Chevron Deference, Drug Manufacturers, FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act

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Elizabeth Lee

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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Lisa Lee

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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Edward I. Leeds

IRS Issues Guidance on Health FSAs

The IRS has issued guidance on two issues affecting health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs). The first provides guidance on how a health FSA that consists solely of amounts carried forward from the prior year…more

Flexible Spending Accounts, Healthcare, HSA, IRS

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Mark J. Levin

Pew Checking Accounts Report Makes Troubling Recommendations

The Pew Charitable Trusts has released another report evaluating the checking account disclosure practices of the nation’s largest banks. Despite finding that disclosure practices have improved, Pew again urges the Consumer…more

Banks, Charitable Trusts, Disclosure Requirements

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A. Eric Levine

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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Darin Lowder

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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Joseph E. Lubinski

Second Circuit Reverses Bacolitsas Decision in Rare Win for Condo Developers

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

Condominiums, Construction Contracts, ILSFDA, Rescission

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Shelah Lynn

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

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

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

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Stanley Mabbitt

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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Kimberly D. Magrini

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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Sharon Marshall

IRS Issues Welfare Plan Guidance for Same-Sex Spouses in View of DOMA Ruling

The Internal Revenue Service has published a new notice that addresses specific questions on how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, recognizing same-sex marriage, affects elections and contributions under…more

DOMA, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, IRS, Same-Sex Marriage

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Timothy Martin

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

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

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

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Scott Marty, PhD

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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Andrew McCarthy

SEC Acts To Eliminate Prohibition on General Solicitation and Expand 'Bad Actor' Disqualifications

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took long-awaited action on July 10, 2013, to finalize and adopt new rules that eliminate the current prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in certain Rule 506 and…more

Advertising, Compliance, Dodd-Frank, General Solicitation, JOBS Act

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Amy McClain

HUD Issues Revised Instructions for Rental Assistance Demonstration

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released revised instructions for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program…more

HUD, Public Housing, RAD Program, Rent

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Matthew McClure

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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Karen McConnell

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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Timothy McCormack

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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Lauren McDermott

Much to do about nothing? CFPB guidelines, servicemembers and payday lending

Amid fanfare about its commitment to the protection of the military, the CFPB has released new guidelines to assist its examiners regarding payday and title loans to military servicemembers and their dependents. “Protecting…more

CFPB, Military Lending Act, Payday Loans, Richard Cordray

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Michelle M. McGeogh

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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Daniel McKenna

Natural Gas Boom Fuels Requests for Partial Releases from Mortgage Liens

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

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

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John McLaughlin

NLRB Abandons ‘Poster Rule’

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently announced that it will not seek U.S. Supreme Court review of the two Court of Appeals decisions invalidating the NLRB’s 2011 posting rule requiring employers to post notices of…more

Employee Rights, NLRA, NLRB, Notice Requirements, Posting Requirements

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Mary Anthony Merchant, Ph.D.

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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Mary Theresa Metzler

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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Arash Micaily

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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Corinne Militello

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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Emily Miller

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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Richard Miller

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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Barbara S. Mishkin

CFPB proposes extension of remittance transfer rule depository institution exception and other revisions

The CFPB has issued a proposal to extend for five years the temporary exception in its remittance transfer rule that allows insured depository institutions to estimate fees and exchange rates in certain circumstances. The…more

Banks, CFPB, Depository Institutions, Remittance Transfer Rule

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James Mitchell

New York Announces Settlements with Six Auto Dealers

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

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

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Allison Mollenhauer

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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Karen Morgan

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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Matthew Morr

Supreme Court of Rhode Island Declares Usury Savings Clauses Void

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

Borrowers, Commercial Loans, Default, Lenders, Usury

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Beth Moskow-Schnoll

FinCEN Rules on Status of Virtual Currency Miners and Investors as Money Service Businesses

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued two rulings regarding the status of virtual currency miners and investors as money service businesses (MSB) under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The rulings address…more

Bank Secrecy Act, Bitcoins, FinCEN, Money Services Business, Virtual Currency

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Mary Mullany

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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Timothy Mulliner

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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Mariah Murphy

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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Amy Mushahwar

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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Daniel Nadel

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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Christine O'Neil

SEC Assesses Its First Financial Penalty against a Municipal Securities Issuer

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced yesterday that it has, for the first time, assessed a financial penalty against a municipal securities issuer. The penalty arises from a settled administrative proceeding…more

Investors, Municipal Bonds, Municipal Securities Issuers, Penalties, SEC

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Jocelyn Oâ??Brien

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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Olabisi Okubadejo

Federal Negotiators Allow Lawyers, Other Advisers To Participate in Campus Sexual Assault Hearings

Negotiators empaneled by the U.S. Department of Education (Department) recently reached consensus on several preliminary campus safety rules that should be published in the coming months under the Campus Sexual Violence…more

Clery Act, Department of Education, SAVE Act

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Donna Page

Eleventh Circuit Agrees Employees Can Waive FLSA Collective Action Rights

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

Class Action, Collective Actions, FLSA, Waivers

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Byung Pak

Companies Have a Friend in Economic Espionage Act

Earlier this month, Walter Liew, his company, USA Performance Technology, Inc., and Robert Maegerle were found guilty of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets, among other crimes, for participating in a scheme to steal…more

China, Economic Espionage Act, Trade Secrets

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Constantinos G. Panagopoulos

OFCCP Issues Final Disability Self-Identification Form

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

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

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Steve Park

PA Transportation Funding Bill Brings Unprecedented Investment to Infrastructure

Thursday night, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a comprehensive transportation bill to fund roads, bridges, mass transit, rail freight, ports, and airports over the next five years. Governor Tom Corbett is expected to…more

Infrastructure, Public Projects, Public Transit

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Bradley Patterson

MSRB Proposes Municipal Advisor Supervision Rule

Yesterday, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) issued a request for comment on a supervision rule for municipal advisors, draft Rule G-44. The proposed rule contains similar concepts to Rule G-27, the MSRB’s…more

Broker-Dealer, MSRB, Municipal Advisers

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Marc Patterson

New York State To Require Title Agents To Be Licensed

With the passage of the New York 2014-15 budget, New York becomes one of the last states in the country to license title agents. The budget includes measures that authorize the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to regulate…more

Department of Financial Services, Disclosure Requirements, Licensing Rules

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Christopher Payne

$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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Brian D. Pedrow

President Obama Signs Two Executive Actions Strengthening Equal Pay Laws

Yesterday, President Obama signed two executive actions designed to strengthen equal pay laws and narrow pay disparities based on gender or race. The executive order and presidential memorandum marked National Equal Pay Day—the…more

Barack Obama, Disclosure Requirements, Equal Pay, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors

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Marjorie Peerce

Guilty pleas entered in CFPB’s first criminal referral

The CFPB’s first publicly announced criminal referral has resulted in the entry of guilty pleas by a debt settlement company and its principal, according to a Reuters report. The referral, which was made to the U.S. Attorney for…more

CFPB, Debt-Relief Industry, Guilty Pleas

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Jenny Perkins

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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Alan Petlak

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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Kim Phan

Research Integrity Council Formed to Improve CFPB Rulemaking Process

Last week, a group of representatives from across a variety of industries met to discuss the formation of a Research Integrity Council (RIC), the purpose of which will be to make recommendations to improve the quality and…more

CFPB, Rulemaking Process

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Kaitlin Picco

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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Brian M. Pinheiro

IRS Issues Rules for Recognizing Same-Sex Spouses under Retirement Plans

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2014-19, which sets forth the rules for recognition of same-sex spouses in retirement plan administration, as required under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in U.S. vs…more

DOMA, IRS, Retirement Plan, Same-Sex Marriage, US v Windsor

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David Pittinsky

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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Denise Plunkett

N.Y. Banking and Insurance Superintendent Unveils Aggressive Agenda

Benjamin M. Lawsky, who heads the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), indicated that his agency is seriously considering more aggressive investigation and pursuit of individuals whose malfeasance has led (or…more

Anti-Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering, Banks, Compliance, Department of Financial Services

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Nydia Pouyes

HUD Guidance Addresses Housing Choice Voucher Funding Shortfalls, Tenant Protection Vouchers

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued guidance for implementing its fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget for Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV), including requirements for obtaining additional HCV funds…more

HUD, Landlords, Tenants

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Marcel Pratt

HSR Act Allows Pharmaceutical Licensing Transactions To Be Subject to Unique Reporting Requirements, FTC Tells Court

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has asked a federal court to find that the agency has authority under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR Act) to promulgate reporting requirements that apply solely to transfers of patent rights in…more

Biotechnology, Chevron Deference, Drug Manufacturers, FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act

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Patrick H. Pugh

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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Eileen Quigley

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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Kristen Rajagopal

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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Sarah Reise

FTC Announces Settlements with Data Brokers over Alleged FCRA Violations

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced two more settlements with data brokers for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The settlements with Instant Checkmate, Inc., InfoTrack Information Services,…more

Credit Reports, Data Brokers, Data Protection, FCRA, FTC

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William C. Rhodes

SEC Enforcement Division Encourages Self-Reporting by Municipal Securities Issuers and Underwriters

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Enforcement Division introduced an initiative to encourage self-reporting by municipal securities issuers and underwriters of possible securities law violations related…more

Municipal Securities Market, Municipalities, SEC, Self-Reporting

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Carl G. Roberts

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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Edward Rogers

Supreme Court Chooses Middle Ground in Assessing Reverse Payment Settlements

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

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

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Jeremy T. Rosenblum

Hints of future payday rule-making

Laura Udis, the CFPB’s program manager for the payday lending industry, spoke on April 10 in Los Angeles on a panel sponsored by the American Bar Association Consumer Financial Services Committee. CFPB staff members are…more

CFPB, Internet Lenders, Payday Loans

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Beau Roysden

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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Burt M. Rublin

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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Lynn Rzonca

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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Jessica Hepburn Sadler

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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John Sadler

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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Trevor Salter

California Enacts New Website Disclosure Requirements

A new California law taking effect on January 1, 2014, will require any operator of a website or online service that collects personally identifiable information on state residents to include new do-not-track disclosures in its…more

Disclosure Requirements, Do Not Track, Jerry Brown, Privacy Laws, Websites

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Jonathan Satinsky

Companies Have a Friend in Economic Espionage Act

Earlier this month, Walter Liew, his company, USA Performance Technology, Inc., and Robert Maegerle were found guilty of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets, among other crimes, for participating in a scheme to steal…more

China, Economic Espionage Act, Trade Secrets

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Matthew Saunig

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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Benjamin M. Schmidt

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

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

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Robert Scott

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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Jonathan Selkowitz

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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Jack N. Semrani

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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Dongbin Christina Shin

CFPB and FTC Representatives Speak at Symposium on Fine Print

CFPB General Counsel Meredith Fuchs and CFPB Assistant General Counsel for Law and Policy Anne Zorc spoke last week at the Georgetown Consumer Law Society and Citizen Works’ symposium entitled “Making the Fine Print Fair.” The…more

CFPB, FTC, Mortgages, RESPA, TILA

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Daniel Simon

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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Michael Sklaroff

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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Michael Skojec

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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Richard Slavin

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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Patricia Smith

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

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

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

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John D. Socknat

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

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

Debt Buyers, Finance Lenders, Loan Broker

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Dee Spagnuolo

Federal Negotiators Allow Lawyers, Other Advisers To Participate in Campus Sexual Assault Hearings

Negotiators empaneled by the U.S. Department of Education (Department) recently reached consensus on several preliminary campus safety rules that should be published in the coming months under the Campus Sexual Violence…more

Clery Act, Department of Education, SAVE Act

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Ross Speier

Eleventh Circuit Clarifies Pre-Consummation Disclosure Requirements under TILA

Under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), lenders are required to make certain disclosures to borrowers before consummating mortgage loans. If a lender fails to make these disclosures, the borrower may have the right to rescind the…more

Disclosure Requirements, Fair Lending, TILA

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Jill Stadelman

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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Tesia Stanley

SEC Enforcement Division Encourages Self-Reporting by Municipal Securities Issuers and Underwriters

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Enforcement Division introduced an initiative to encourage self-reporting by municipal securities issuers and underwriters of possible securities law violations related…more

Municipal Securities Market, Municipalities, SEC, Self-Reporting

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Wayne Strasbaugh

Significant Pennsylvania Tax Changes

The General Assembly made significant changes to a number of Pennsylvania taxes as part of the 2013-2014 budget process. These changes were enacted in Act 52, signed into law on July 9, 2013, and have various effective dates…more

Corporate Net Income, Corporate Taxes, New Legislation, Tax Loopholes, Tax Reform

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Steven Suflas

Eleventh Circuit Agrees Employees Can Waive FLSA Collective Action Rights

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

Class Action, Collective Actions, FLSA, Waivers

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Nicole Sugarman

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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Meredith C. Swartz

Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Issues New Pregnancy Rights Notice

On January 20, 2014, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed an amendment to the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance expressly banning discrimination based upon pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition and imposing new…more

Discrimination, Employee Rights, Pregnancy Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation

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Joel Tasca

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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Gary Tepper

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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Diane Thompson

IRS Issues Rules for Recognizing Same-Sex Spouses under Retirement Plans

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2014-19, which sets forth the rules for recognition of same-sex spouses in retirement plan administration, as required under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in U.S. vs…more

DOMA, IRS, Retirement Plan, Same-Sex Marriage, US v Windsor

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Randall Towers

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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Claire Ana-Perot Tracey

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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Glen Trudel

CFPB payday loan proposal for rulemaking is coming, but timing of its publication remains unclear

At the Practicing Law Institute’s 19th Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute held on Monday in New York City, Meredith Fuchs, Associate Director & General Counsel for the CFPB delivered the opening keynote address, which…more

CFPB, HMDA, Payday Loans

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Mercedes Kelley Tunstall

FTC Announces Settlements with Data Brokers over Alleged FCRA Violations

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced two more settlements with data brokers for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The settlements with Instant Checkmate, Inc., InfoTrack Information Services,…more

Credit Reports, Data Brokers, Data Protection, FCRA, FTC

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Ruth Uselton

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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Ronald Varnum

EPA Publishes Proposed Greenhouse Gas Standards for New Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published its proposed standards of performance for greenhouse gases emitted from new electric utility steam generating units and stationary combustion turbines on January 8, 2014,…more

Carbon Emissions, Coal-Fired Generation, Energy Policy, Environmental Policies, EPA

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Melanie Vartabedian

Borrower Must File Suit before Foreclosure To Exercise Rescission Rights, Eighth Circuit Holds

The Eighth Circuit recently held that a borrower must file suit before foreclosure to exercise rescission rights under TILA. The court now joins the Ninth and Tenth Circuits in holding that notice alone is not sufficient. In…more

Borrowers, Foreclosure, Mortgages, Rescission, TILA

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Abran Vigil

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

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

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

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Michael S. Waldron

CFPB considering action on zombie foreclosures

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

CFPB, Foreclosure, Mortgages, Zombie Title

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Robert Walling III

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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Brian Walsh

PA Transportation Funding Bill Brings Unprecedented Investment to Infrastructure

Thursday night, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a comprehensive transportation bill to fund roads, bridges, mass transit, rail freight, ports, and airports over the next five years. Governor Tom Corbett is expected to…more

Infrastructure, Public Projects, Public Transit

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Neal Walters

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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Matthew Weaver

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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Emily Wegener

Mortgage Banking Update - February 21, 2013

In This Issue: - MERS Has Power To Assign Interest in Deed of Trust, Borrower Can Challenge Assignment of Mortgage, First Circuit Rules - Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss Arizona Mortgage Class Action Alleging Interest…more

CFPB, Class Action, Debt Collectors, Deed of Trust, Disclosure Requirements

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Harry Weiss

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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Brieanna Wheeland

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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Dena E. Wiggins

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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Christopher J. Willis

W.Va. Requires Time-Barred Debt Disclosures in ‘Initial Written Communication’

The West Virginia Legislature recently passed H.B. 4360, which amended Section 46A-2-128 of the West Virginia Code, that defines what constitutes unfair or unconscionable debt collection activities. The amendments are effective…more

Debt, Debt Collection, Disclosure Requirements, UDAAP

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Ashley Wilson

President Obama Signs Two Executive Actions Strengthening Equal Pay Laws

Yesterday, President Obama signed two executive actions designed to strengthen equal pay laws and narrow pay disparities based on gender or race. The executive order and presidential memorandum marked National Equal Pay Day—the…more

Barack Obama, Disclosure Requirements, Equal Pay, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors

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Kia Holifield Wimmer

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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David Winstead

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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Roger Winston

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

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

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

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Stephanie Zirpoli Wittenberg

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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Philip Yannella

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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Gary York

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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Shane Jasmine Young

CFPB highlights furnishers’ duty under the FCRA to investigate disputes

The CFPB recently issued a bulletin highlighting the obligations of debt buyers, debt collectors, and others who furnish information to credit reporting agencies (CRAs) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In particular,…more

CFPB, Compliance, Credit Reporting Agencies, FCRA, Investigations

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