Ballard Spahr LLP

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

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

HUD, Lenders, Mortgages, Reverse Mortgages

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Pennsylvania Office of Open Records Blasts Charter Schools

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

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

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Real Estate News in Metro DC

Ballard Spahr’s mixed-use, condominium, and multifamily lawyers are pleased to provide this newsletter to keep you apprised of important developments and trends in real estate law in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C…more

Condominiums, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Construction Project, Disclosure Requirements

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Supreme Court Restricts State Medical Claims Data Reporting Law

ERISA does not allow a state to compel a self-insured group health plan to compile and report medical claims data for inclusion in a state-wide all-payer health care database, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a landmark…more

Bright-Line Rule, Employee Benefits, Employer Group Health Plans, ERISA, Health Insurance

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Amended PTAB Rules Give Patent Owners a Boost

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has unveiled a series of new rules that provide for significant changes to the procedures followed in Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings, including inter partes review,…more

Corporate Counsel, Covered Business Method Proceedings, Derivation Proceeding, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Patent Infringement

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CFPB Revises Methodology Statement for Calculating Average Prime Offer Rates

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it has revised its methodology statement for calculating the average prime offer rates (APORs) under Regulations C…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, Financial Institutions, Mortgages, Real Estate Market

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New York DFS Brings Enforcement Action Against Two Debt Buyers for Collecting on Payday Loans

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced last week that it had entered into consent judgments with Webcollex LLC d/b/a CKS Financial (CKS) and National Credit Adjusters (NCA) for allegedly violating the…more

Civil Monetary Penalty, Consumer Financial Products, Debt Buyers, Debt Collection, FDCPA

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

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

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

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HUD continues reorganization of key leadership

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

Administrative Appointments, HUD

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

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

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

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Philadelphia Limits Employer Use of Credit Information

Beginning July 7, 2016, employers in Philadelphia may not consider credit history or other credit-related information for job-related decisions for many non-managerial jobs. This change stems from an amendment to the Fair…more

Credit Discrimination, Credit History, Employee Credit Checks, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Discrimination

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Second Circuit Deals a Blow to Unpaid Intern Classes

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

Class Action, Class Certification, Commonality, DOL, FLSA

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

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

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

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New California Landlord Disclosure Requirements Effective July 1

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

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

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Amended PTAB Rules Give Patent Owners a Boost

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has unveiled a series of new rules that provide for significant changes to the procedures followed in Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings, including inter partes review,…more

Corporate Counsel, Covered Business Method Proceedings, Derivation Proceeding, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Patent Infringement

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NLRB Decision Potentially Expands "Perfectly Clear" Successorship Rule

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision in Nexeo Solutions, LLC earlier this week, ruling that the buyer in an asset purchase of the seller’s business was a "perfectly clear" successor. As a result, the NLRB…more

Business Succession, Collective Bargaining, Corporate Counsel, Employees, Hiring & Firing

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CFPB’s proposal for collection of decedent debt: a misguided approach (Part II)

In my blog post yesterday, I shared my concerns regarding the potential consequences of the CFPB’s proposed 30-day hold on all collection contacts after the date of a consumer’s death. A 30-day holding period in which…more

CFPB, Debt Collection, Decedent Protection, FDCPA, FTC

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

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

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

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

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

Amended Legislation, Condominiums, Homeowners' Association, Rental Property

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

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

Arbitration, COLA, Collective Bargaining, Firemen, Public Employees

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New IRS Management Guidance is Flexible, Furthers P3s

State and local governments and 501(c)(3) organizations have been given very flexible guidance by the IRS for longer-term private management of tax-exempt bond financed projects to facilitate general operations and major…more

501(c)(3), Compensation, Construction Industry, Infrastructure, IRS

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

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

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

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Federal Circuit Limits On-Sale Bar’s Reach

If you were concerned that outsourcing the manufacture of your invention before you filed your patent application triggered a "sale" that could put your patent at risk, you can rest easy. In The Medicines Company v…more

ANDA, Generic Drugs, Hospira, On-Sale Bar, Patent Applications

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Second Circuit Affirms Fair Use in Google Books Decision

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

Appeals, Authors, Authors Guild, Class Action, Copyright

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DOL Extends FMLA Protection to Same-Sex Spouses

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

DOL, DOMA, Employer Mandates, Final Rules, FMLA

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Utah's New Post-Employment Restrictions Act Effective Tomorrow

Utah's newly enacted Post-Employment Restrictions Act (Act) takes effect tomorrow and significantly limits the duration of newly entered noncompetition agreements. Employers should review their noncompetition agreements going…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Contract, Former Employee, Hiring & Firing, New Legislation

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Reading the Nevada Tea Leaves after Shadow Wood

In the wake of SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. U.S. Bank, N.A., in which the Nevada Supreme Court held that an HOA foreclosure sale may extinguish a first position deed of trust, lenders have advanced numerous arguments as to why…more

Commercial Reasonableness, Condominiums, Deed of Trust, Foreclosure, HOA

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EPA Doubles Down on Methane Regulation for Oil and Gas Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a packet of measures targeting methane emissions from operations of the oil and gas industry on May 12, 2016. These measures include three final regulations affecting new…more

Energy Sector, EPA, Fracking, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Methane

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U.S. Supreme Court Urges Resolution of Bankruptcy Disputes

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

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

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

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

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

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Proposed Changes to Civil Rules Could Limit Scope of eDiscovery

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

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

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Federal Circuit Finds Software Patent Not Abstract

Reversing a district court holding, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that two patents directed to a method for organizing data in a computer database did not claim an unpatentable…more

Abstract Ideas, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Computer-Related Inventions, Mayo v. Prometheus, Microsoft

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Reading the Nevada Tea Leaves after Shadow Wood

In the wake of SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. U.S. Bank, N.A., in which the Nevada Supreme Court held that an HOA foreclosure sale may extinguish a first position deed of trust, lenders have advanced numerous arguments as to why…more

Commercial Reasonableness, Condominiums, Deed of Trust, Foreclosure, HOA

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Supreme Court Clarifies Extraterritorial Reach of RICO

In an unusual four-member majority opinion in RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Community, the U.S. Supreme Court settled a host of controversial questions about the extraterritorial scope of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt…more

Corporate Counsel, EU, Extraterritoriality Rules, Foreign Entities, Mail Fraud

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Ninth Circuit Upholds Ruling in Favor of CFPB against Lawyer in Mortgage Relief Scam, Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Director Cordray's Recess Appointment

The Ninth Circuit recently considered arguments relating to an enforcement action brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against a California attorney who was offering loan modification services. The CFPB…more

Appointments Clause, Article II, Canning v NLRB, CFPA, CFPB

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

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

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

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Housing options for veterans

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

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

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

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

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

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Sharp Increase in NJ Consumer Class Actions as Company Websites Targeted

A formerly obscure, 35-year-old New Jersey statute is increasingly taking its place as the claim of choice for class action lawyers suing consumer-facing companies. Most recently, plaintiffs' lawyers are using the ambiguous…more

Class Action, Consumer Fraud, Disclaimers, Terms and Conditions, Websites

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New Jersey Takes Emergency Action To Speed Rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy

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

Department of Environmental Protection, Hurricane Sandy, Reconstruction, Redevelopment

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

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

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

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Fed Seeks Public Comment on Financial Holding Company Physical Commodities Activities

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

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

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

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

Deficiency Judgments, Foreclosure, Lenders, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages

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DOL Issues New Sex Discrimination Rules for Federal Contractors

For the first time in more than four decades, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has revised sex discrimination regulations for federal contractors and subcontractors. Effective…more

Corporate Counsel, DOL, EEOC, Federal Contractors, Gender Discrimination

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

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

Deficiency Judgments, Foreclosure, Lenders, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages

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Hague Agreement Streamlines Registration of Industrial Designs

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

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

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

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

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

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Mass. Pay Equity Law Brings Wave of Hiring Restrictions

Signaling a new era in employee pay equity, "The Act to Establish Pay Equity" will require Massachusetts employers to make sweeping changes in their pay and hiring practices. Among the most significant changes, the Act bars…more

Civil Rights Act, Equal Pay, Equal Pay Act, Gender-Based Pay Discrimination, New Legislation

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Georgia Passes New Social P3 Legislation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IRS

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

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

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

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

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

Amended Legislation, Condominiums, Homeowners' Association, Rental Property

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

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

Local Ordinance, Manufacturing Facilities, Oil & Gas

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OSHA Incorporates Previous Guidance into Whistleblower Manual

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a new Whistleblower Investigations Manual that clarifies the new, relaxed standard to be used by its investigators in determining whether to pursue a…more

Affordable Care Act, Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Burden of Proof, Dodd-Frank, OSHA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bill introduced in Senate to create permanent LIHTC rate floors

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

Affordable Housing, Bond Financing, LIHTC, Proposed Legislation

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Ninth Circuit Sides with NLRB in Divide over Employee Arbitration Waiver Agreements

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced this week that it agrees with the National Labor Relations Board that individual arbitration waiver agreements, which prevent employees from filing or participating in…more

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers

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EPA Doubles Down on Methane Regulation for Oil and Gas Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a packet of measures targeting methane emissions from operations of the oil and gas industry on May 12, 2016. These measures include three final regulations affecting new…more

Energy Sector, EPA, Fracking, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Methane

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Investment Management Update

SEC Enforcement Action against Private Equity Fund Adviser - On June 1, 2016, the SEC announced that a private equity fund adviser and its principal owner agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle SEC charges that,…more

Business Continuity Plans, Enforcement Actions, Financial Sector, FINRA, Investment Adviser

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$6.3 Million Judgment Awarded in Alleged Timeshare Resale Scam

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

FTC, Scams, Telemarketing Sales Rule, Timeshare

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FTC Consent Order Creates Uncertainty for Advertising of Credit, Lease Offers

A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consent order with two Ohio auto dealers creates uncertainty not only for auto dealers, but also for all other businesses advertising credit or lease offers. The order settled allegations…more

Auto Lease, Automotive Industry, Automotive Loans, Car Dealerships, Consent Order

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CFPB report on community networks to combat elder financial abuse and resource guide highlight role of financial institutions

The CFPB has issued a new elder financial abuse report, “Report and Recommendations: Fighting Elder Financial Exploitation through Community Networks,” and a related resource guide, “A Resource Guide for Elder Financial…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, Elder Abuse, Elder Issues, Exploitation

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

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

FOIA, Public Records, SCOTUS

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Bankruptcy Trustees Target Colleges and Universities

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

Clawbacks, Colleges, Consumer Bankruptcy, Educational Institutions, Tuition

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

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

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

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

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

IRS, LIHTC

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Ninth Circuit Upholds Ruling in Favor of CFPB against Lawyer in Mortgage Relief Scam, Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Director Cordray's Recess Appointment

The Ninth Circuit recently considered arguments relating to an enforcement action brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against a California attorney who was offering loan modification services. The CFPB…more

Appointments Clause, Article II, Canning v NLRB, CFPA, CFPB

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Eleventh Circuit Weighs In on the FCRA’s Furnisher Investigation Requirement

The 11th Circuit has clarified that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires furnishers of credit information—like their credit reporting agency (CRA) counterparts—to conduct "reasonable" investigations of consumer…more

Collection Agencies, Credit Reporting Agencies, Credit Reports, Creditors, Debt Buyers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Plaintiffs Cannot Bring Data Breach Lawsuits Without Evidence That Information Will Be Used To Harm

The latest development in how American courts will handle the standing question for data breach class actions came last week when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed for lack of standing a putative…more

Article III, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, CareFirst, Class Action

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

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

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

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

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

Affordable Housing, HUD

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FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Cybersecurity for Postmarket Medical Devices

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

Cybersecurity, FDA, Medical Devices

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FCC Order Creates New TCPA Challenges for Companies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Proposed IRS Rules Endanger Business Valuation Discounts for Family-Owned Entities

Historically, the IRS has closely scrutinized transfers of interests in family-owned entities between family members. In particular, it has sought to curtail the use of discounts to decrease the estate and gift tax value of such…more

Business Succession, Business Valuations, Closely Held Businesses, Estate Planning, Estate Tax

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New Law Affects FHA Requirements for Condominium Financing

President Obama signed the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (H.R. 3700) into law on July 29. Title III of the Act will significantly modify Federal Housing Administration (FHA) condominium mortgage insurance…more

Condominiums, Fannie Mae, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Freddie Mac, HUD

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Redrawing of Arizona Legislative Districts Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Breyer, has unanimously upheld the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission's plan to redraw Arizona's legislative districts. Lawyers from Ballard Spahr's Political…more

Equal Protection, Fourteenth Amendment, Harris v Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Redistricting, SCOTUS

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Maryland District Court Without Jurisdiction to Consider Borrower’s Collateral Attack on State Foreclosure Action

Federal courts lack jurisdiction to consider borrowers' claims that arise out of a state court foreclosure proceeding, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland recently ruled. Parker v. Investire involved claims by a…more

Action to Quiet Title, Anti-Injunction Act, Declaratory Relief, Federal Jurisdiction, Foreclosure

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New Economic Development Opportunities Possible Thanks to Improved Marketability of Philadelphia Tax Increment Finance Transactions

The tools available to the City of Philadelphia to finance community and economic development projects have been enhanced under a new law that authorizes the imposition of special assessments to support tax increment finance…more

Bonds, Economic Development, New Legislation, Public Finance, Public Improvement Projects

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NLRB General Counsel Issues Memorandum Instructing Regional Offices To Report Complaints Issued against Federal Contractors

Earlier this month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel instructed the agency's regional offices to report any complaints they issue against federal contractors to labor compliance officers. These officers…more

Federal Contractors, NLRB, Policy Violations, Reporting Requirements, Unfair Labor Practices

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

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

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

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NYDFS AML Proposal Would Require Certification of Compliance

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

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

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

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

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

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High Court’s Encino Decision Means No Deference for CFPB View on RESPA, PHH Argues

On June 23, PHH filed a letter in the D.C. Circuit supplementing its appeal briefing in PHH Corp v. CFPB, No. 15-1177. For those of you who may have missed our prior posts on this, PHH is appealing a decision made by CFPB…more

CFPB, Chevron Deference, Mortgages, Navarro v Encino Motorcars, Referral Fees

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New Economic Development Opportunities Possible Thanks to Improved Marketability of Philadelphia Tax Increment Finance Transactions

The tools available to the City of Philadelphia to finance community and economic development projects have been enhanced under a new law that authorizes the imposition of special assessments to support tax increment finance…more

Bonds, Economic Development, New Legislation, Public Finance, Public Improvement Projects

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HUD issues notice on processing RAD applications

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

Affordable Housing, HUD, RAD Program

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

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

Community Development Entities, New Market Tax Credits

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NLRB: Student Assistants Now Employees Entitled to Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled in a 3-1 decision that graduate students at private, nonprofit higher education institutions "who perform services at a university in connection with their studies are statutory…more

Brown University, Collective Bargaining, Colleges, Educational Institutions, Graduate Students

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California Federal Court Dismisses TCPA Claims for Lack of Article III Standing

A plaintiff did not have Article III standing to assert claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for alleged autodialed calls made to her without her consent, a California federal district court recently ruled…more

Article III, Auto-Dialed Calls, Banking Sector, Corporate Counsel, Debt Collection

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Federal Court Addresses Frequently Overlooked Nuances of Electronic Document Production

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

Discovery, Document Productions, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

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Criminal Charges Brought in Food Safety Case

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

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

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Congress hears testimony on Public-Private Partnerships in affordable housing

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

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

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FHFA proposed rule on Enterprise housing goals is open for comments

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

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

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Third Circuit Holds SCRA Protections Do Not Extend to Servicemember-Owned Businesses

In a unanimous opinion in Davis v. City of Philadelphia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has held that Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protections do not extend to a servicemember's solely owned business…more

Business Ownership, Corporate Entities, Delinquent Assessment Dues, Military Service Members, Property Tax

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Final Rules for Preventive Services

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

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

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Supreme Court Affirms Invalidation of Maryland's Program to Incentivize New Power Generation

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a narrowly crafted opinion by Justice Ginsburg, has unanimously invalidated Maryland's program to promote construction of new natural gas capacity by guaranteeing new generating capacity. The Maryland…more

Energy Sector, Federal Power Act, FERC, Hughes v Talen Energy, Natural Gas

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HUD Releases Guidance on Fair Housing and Criminal Screening in Private Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued new guidance on April 4, 2016, on the use of criminal conviction records by housing providers in screening applicants. The guidance advises housing providers that…more

Criminal Background Checks, Criminal Records, Fair Housing Act (FHA), Housing Discrimination, HUD

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SEC Announces Second Wave of MCDC Enforcement Actions

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

Borrowers, Compliance, Disclosure Requirements, Due Diligence, EMMA

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EEOC Proposes to Require Employers to Submit Pay Data

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

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

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

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

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

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Ban Proposed on Mandatory Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements by Schools Receiving Title IV Aid for Student Borrowers

The U.S. Department of Education has issued a proposed rule that includes a ban on mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements by schools receiving Title IV assistance under the Higher Education Act (HEA) and a new federal…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, CFPB, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers

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New York AG Takes Proactive Approach to Regulation of Nonprofits

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

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

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SEC Adopts Rules Permitting Forward Incorporation by Reference on Form S-1 and Simplifying Disclosure Requirements for EGCs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted interim final rules permitting smaller reporting companies, generally companies with a public float of less than $75 million, to incorporate by reference on Form S-1 any…more

Emerging Growth Companies, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), Form S-1, Incorporation, Interim Rule

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HUD soliciting public comments on revised and new RAD forms

On March 17, 2016, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register to announce that as part of the process to renew the use of the form documents used under both the 1st and 2nd Component of its Rental Assistance Demonstration…more

HUD, Public Comment, Public Housing Authorities, Rental Assistance Demonstration, Required Forms

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Bipartisan Budget Act Creates New TCPA Exemptions

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

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

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

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

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

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Nevada Amends Law Regarding Deficiency Judgment Calculation

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

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

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Where We Stand on Issue Price for Tax-Exempt Bonds

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

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

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CFPB report on community networks to combat elder financial abuse and resource guide highlight role of financial institutions

The CFPB has issued a new elder financial abuse report, “Report and Recommendations: Fighting Elder Financial Exploitation through Community Networks,” and a related resource guide, “A Resource Guide for Elder Financial…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, Elder Abuse, Elder Issues, Exploitation

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Sixth Circuit Weighs in on CERCLA Cost Recovery, Contribution Actions

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

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

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

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

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

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Divided Supreme Court Allows Public Unions’ Agency Fee Collection to Continue

In a much anticipated case, an evenly divided U.S. Supreme Court has issued a per curiam order letting stand a Court of Appeals decision that allows unions to collect dues from public employees, even if those employees do not…more

Fair Share Law, First Amendment, Free Speech, Friedrichs v CA Teachers Association, Opt-Outs

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FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Cybersecurity for Postmarket Medical Devices

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

Cybersecurity, FDA, Medical Devices

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Real Estate News in Metro DC

Ballard Spahr’s mixed-use, condominium, and multifamily lawyers are pleased to provide this newsletter to keep you apprised of important developments and trends in real estate law in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C…more

Condominiums, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Construction Project, Disclosure Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Check Your Desk: HIPAA Audits for Covered Entities Have Arrived

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services has moved forward with Phase 2 of its Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) audit program. On Monday, July 11, 2016,…more

Breach Notification Rule, Covered Entities, Data Breach, Health Care Providers, HIPAA

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FTC Finally Loses a Hospital Merger Challenge … Now What?

Handing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) its first defeat in a federal court hospital merger challenge in more than a decade, a federal district court judge yesterday denied the joint request of the FTC and the Attorney…more

Antitrust Provisions, FTC, Health Care Providers, Hospitals, Merger Agreements

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New IRS Management Guidance is Flexible, Furthers P3s

State and local governments and 501(c)(3) organizations have been given very flexible guidance by the IRS for longer-term private management of tax-exempt bond financed projects to facilitate general operations and major…more

501(c)(3), Compensation, Construction Industry, Infrastructure, IRS

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SEC Proposed Rule 10D-1 Regarding Clawback Policies

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

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

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CFPB Issues Final Rule Amending Mortgage Servicing Regulations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its final rule amending the mortgage servicing rules under Regulations X and Z. The proposal for these amendments was issued in November 2014. The amended provisions cover a…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, FDCPA, Mortgage Servicers, Mortgage Servicing Rules

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The CFTC Turns to Insider Trading Enforcement

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

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

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Court: Stored Communications Act Warrant Cannot Be Used to Seize Data Held Overseas

In a case that may have significant impact for companies providing public Internet and cloud services, the Second Circuit has ruled that a federal court may not issue a criminal warrant ordering a U.S. company to produce emails…more

Cloud Computing, Criminal Investigations, e-Discovery, Electronically Stored Information, Email

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Oregon Creates Community Solar Program

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed legislation enacting a new community solar program permitting utilities and third parties to own or operate a community-based renewable energy project. The law also sets a specific target…more

Coal-Fired Generation, Energy Projects, Energy Sector, New Legislation, Public Utilities Commission

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

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

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

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Louisiana Amends P3 Legislation Granting Authority to DOTD

The State of Louisiana has passed a public-private partnership (P3) law to help alleviate a $12.7 billion backlog in highway and bridge maintenance and construction needs across the state. The law authorizes the Louisiana…more

Bridges, Construction Industry, Construction Project, Department of Transportation (DOT), Highways

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New Maryland State Income Tax Credit for Small Commercial Projects

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

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

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HUD issues deadlines for RAD closings in CY2016

Earlier this week HUD issued the following memo, which sets deadlines for RAD closing in CY2016. For efficient closing of RAD transactions in November and December, public housing authorities and developers should remain mindful…more

Affordable Housing, Deadlines, Fair Housing Act (FHA), HUD, Residential Real Estate Market

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

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

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

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Amendments Strengthen Toxic Substances Control Act

President Obama's signing of amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Law sealed a welcome effort to overhaul the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The amendments were spurred on by a rare bipartisan consensus…more

Chemicals, EPA, Legislative Amendments, Manufacturers, Preemption

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Real Estate News in Metro DC

Ballard Spahr’s mixed-use, condominium, and multifamily lawyers are pleased to provide this newsletter to keep you apprised of important developments and trends in real estate law in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C…more

Condominiums, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Construction Project, Disclosure Requirements

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Voicemail Message Without Express Statement It Was From Debt Collector Did Not Violate FDCPA, Ninth Circuit Rules

A debt collection law firm did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by leaving a voicemail message for the plaintiff that identified the law firm but did not expressly state that the law firm was a debt…more

Appeals, Corporate Counsel, Debt Collection, Debt Collectors, Disclosure Requirements

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New Incentive-Based Compensation: Proposed Rules for Financial Institutions

A group of financial regulatory agencies has released for comment revised proposed rules under Section 956 of the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The rules provide for regulations and guidelines…more

Banking Sector, Clawbacks, Corporate Officers, Dodd-Frank, Executive Compensation

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Courts, States Continue to Wrestle with Homeowners Association Assessment Liens

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

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

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SEC Adopts Rules Permitting Forward Incorporation by Reference on Form S-1 and Simplifying Disclosure Requirements for EGCs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted interim final rules permitting smaller reporting companies, generally companies with a public float of less than $75 million, to incorporate by reference on Form S-1 any…more

Emerging Growth Companies, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), Form S-1, Incorporation, Interim Rule

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Investment Management Update

SEC Enforcement Action against Private Equity Fund Adviser - On June 1, 2016, the SEC announced that a private equity fund adviser and its principal owner agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle SEC charges that,…more

Business Continuity Plans, Enforcement Actions, Financial Sector, FINRA, Investment Adviser

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FTC Finally Loses a Hospital Merger Challenge … Now What?

Handing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) its first defeat in a federal court hospital merger challenge in more than a decade, a federal district court judge yesterday denied the joint request of the FTC and the Attorney…more

Antitrust Provisions, FTC, Health Care Providers, Hospitals, Merger Agreements

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NLRB: Student Assistants Now Employees Entitled to Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled in a 3-1 decision that graduate students at private, nonprofit higher education institutions "who perform services at a university in connection with their studies are statutory…more

Brown University, Collective Bargaining, Colleges, Educational Institutions, Graduate Students

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Important Changes to Nevada's Non-Judicial Foreclosure Process

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

Borrowers, Deed of Trust, Foreclosure, Lenders, Mortgages

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

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

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

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Proposed Stormwater Control Regulations Would Increase Burden on Builders, Developers

Developers and builders face potentially more stringent requirements under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recently proposed draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for…more

Construction Industry, Construction Project, Discharge of Pollutants, EPA, Inspections

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Pennsylvania Capital Stock Tax Phased Out; LLCs Now Are the Entity of Choice in PA; Procedure for Filing Final Returns

Until it expired at the end of 2015, Pennsylvania Capital Stock Franchise Tax (CSFT) was imposed on all limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, joint-stock associations, and business trusts doing business in or owning…more

Business Taxes, Commercial Property Owners, Limited Liability Companies, Limited Partnerships, Tax Rates

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Lessons for Businesses from FTC’s Opinion on LabMD’s Data Security Practices

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued an Opinion and Final Order finding that the data security practices of LabMD, Inc. were unreasonable, and therefore constituted an unfair act or practice in violation of Section 5 of…more

ALJ, Data Breach, Data Security, Enforcement Actions, File Sharing

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FTC Can Regulate Cybersecurity Practices, Third Circuit Rules

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

Appeals, Banking Sector, Banks, Best Practices, COPPA

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Redrawing of Arizona Legislative Districts Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Breyer, has unanimously upheld the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission's plan to redraw Arizona's legislative districts. Lawyers from Ballard Spahr's Political…more

Equal Protection, Fourteenth Amendment, Harris v Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Redistricting, SCOTUS

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Department of Labor Releases Final Investment Advice Fiduciary Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized regulations describing the circumstances in which a person who provides investment advice in connection with a retirement plan or individual retirement arrangement (IRA) acts as a…more

Best Interest Contract Exemptions, DOL, Employee Benefits, ERISA, ESOP

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Ninth Circuit Sides with NLRB in Divide over Employee Arbitration Waiver Agreements

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced this week that it agrees with the National Labor Relations Board that individual arbitration waiver agreements, which prevent employees from filing or participating in…more

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers

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

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

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

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Third Circuit Holds SCRA Protections Do Not Extend to Servicemember-Owned Businesses

In a unanimous opinion in Davis v. City of Philadelphia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has held that Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protections do not extend to a servicemember's solely owned business…more

Business Ownership, Corporate Entities, Delinquent Assessment Dues, Military Service Members, Property Tax

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Sharp Increase in NJ Consumer Class Actions as Company Websites Targeted

A formerly obscure, 35-year-old New Jersey statute is increasingly taking its place as the claim of choice for class action lawyers suing consumer-facing companies. Most recently, plaintiffs' lawyers are using the ambiguous…more

Class Action, Consumer Fraud, Disclaimers, Terms and Conditions, Websites

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

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

Colleges, Obama Administration, Sexual Assault, Students, Universities

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FinCEN Finalizes Beneficial Ownership Identification Rules

As part of the U.S. Treasury Department's ongoing efforts to prevent bad actors from using U.S. companies to conceal money laundering, tax evasion, and other illicit financial activities, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network…more

Bad Actors, Bank Holding Company Act, Beneficial Owner, Covered Financial Institutions, Due Diligence

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New Guidance Issued on FCRA Compliance in Employee Screening

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued new guidance to help background screening companies comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when conducting background checks on current or prospective employees. The new…more

Background Checks, Corporate Counsel, Credit Reports, Employer Liability Issues, FCRA

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New Putative FCRA Class Action May Signal a Trend

A borrower recently filed a putative class action against Fannie Mae under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in federal court in Washington, D.C., alleging that Fannie engaged in unauthorized inquiries into borrowers' credit…more

Chapter 7, Consumer Bankruptcy, Corporate Counsel, Credit Reports, Debt

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Subway, DOL Partner to Improve FLSA Compliance

Last week, the Subway restaurant chain entered into a landmark partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) aimed at improving Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance among the chain's 27,000 franchisees. The DOL…more

Back Wages, Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Corporate Counsel, Fast-Food Industry, FLSA

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CFPB proposes rule expanding disclosure of confidential supervisory information to state AGs

Without an announcement, the CFPB has proposed a rule that would expand its discretion to share confidential supervisory information (CSI) with state attorneys general and other agencies that do not have supervisory authority…more

Attorney Generals, Banking Sector, CFPB, Comment Period, Confidential Supervisory Information

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New Hampshire Enacts P3 Legislation

New Hampshire has joined a growing number of jurisdictions in the United States that have enacted legislation enabling public-private partnerships (P3) for transportation infrastructure projects. According to Governor Maggie…more

Construction Industry, Construction Project, Department of Transportation (DOT), Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM), Infrastructure

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DOL Releases New FMLA Forms

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

DOL, Employer Mandates, FMLA, GINA, Required Forms

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

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

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

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Investment Management Update

SEC Enforcement Action against Private Equity Fund Adviser - On June 1, 2016, the SEC announced that a private equity fund adviser and its principal owner agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle SEC charges that,…more

Business Continuity Plans, Enforcement Actions, Financial Sector, FINRA, Investment Adviser

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Investment Management Update

SEC Enforcement Action against Private Equity Fund Adviser - On June 1, 2016, the SEC announced that a private equity fund adviser and its principal owner agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle SEC charges that,…more

Business Continuity Plans, Enforcement Actions, Financial Sector, FINRA, Investment Adviser

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New York DFS Brings Enforcement Action Against Two Debt Buyers for Collecting on Payday Loans

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced last week that it had entered into consent judgments with Webcollex LLC d/b/a CKS Financial (CKS) and National Credit Adjusters (NCA) for allegedly violating the…more

Civil Monetary Penalty, Consumer Financial Products, Debt Buyers, Debt Collection, FDCPA

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Investment Management Update

SEC Enforcement Action against Private Equity Fund Adviser - On June 1, 2016, the SEC announced that a private equity fund adviser and its principal owner agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle SEC charges that,…more

Business Continuity Plans, Enforcement Actions, Financial Sector, FINRA, Investment Adviser

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Investment Management Update

SEC Enforcement Action against Private Equity Fund Adviser - On June 1, 2016, the SEC announced that a private equity fund adviser and its principal owner agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle SEC charges that,…more

Business Continuity Plans, Enforcement Actions, Financial Sector, FINRA, Investment Adviser

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OSHA Announces Directive on HazCom

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

Chemicals, Classification, Distributors, Hazardous Communication Standard, Labeling

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

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

Appeals, Appellate Review, DOJ, FCPA, Foreign Official

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Deadlines for Pennsylvania Real Property Tax Appeals

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

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

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Pennsylvania Tax Changes and Tax Amnesty Program

As part of the budget package, the Pennsylvania General Assembly made many significant changes to various Pennsylvania tax laws and the unclaimed property law (including a tax amnesty program) that are estimated to generate $752…more

401k, Breweries, Corporate Taxes, Department of Revenue, Hiring & Firing

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Supreme Court Provides New Ammunition for Defeating Securities Fraud Class Actions

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

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

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Company Prevails in Challenge to FTC Data Security Complaint

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

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

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Fed Circuit Decision Gives Broad Patents New Concerns

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

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

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Foreclosure of Nevada HOA Super Lien Cannot Extinguish Mortgage Lender’s Security Interest

The non-judicial foreclosure of a Nevada HOA super lien cannot constitutionally extinguish a mortgage lender's security interest, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held. This holding will affect many lawsuits in federal…more

Banking Sector, Due Process, Foreclosure, Fourteenth Amendment, HOA

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

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

Employees, Football, NCAA, NLRA, NLRB

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

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

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

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New Internet Top-Level Domains Unveiled

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

Brand, Domain Names, gTLD, ICANN, Registration

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The Need for Speed: The Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act

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

Arbitration, Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act, Mediation

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Step 1 Completed: Zoning Rewrite Approved by Montgomery County Council

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

Municipalities, Real Estate Market

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FTC Finally Loses a Hospital Merger Challenge … Now What?

Handing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) its first defeat in a federal court hospital merger challenge in more than a decade, a federal district court judge yesterday denied the joint request of the FTC and the Attorney…more

Antitrust Provisions, FTC, Health Care Providers, Hospitals, Merger Agreements

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Arizona Decision May Complicate Foreclosure and Eviction Process for Lenders

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

Deed of Trust, Eviction, Foreclosure, Lenders, Tenants

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

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

Foreclosure, HAMP, Mortgages

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IRS Proposes Adjustments in Individual Mandate Reporting

The IRS has issued proposed regulations on the individual mandate reporting requirements under section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code. To a significant degree, the new regulations reflect guidance previously published by the…more

Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Employer Group Health Plans, Health Insurance, Healthcare

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Oregon Creates Community Solar Program

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed legislation enacting a new community solar program permitting utilities and third parties to own or operate a community-based renewable energy project. The law also sets a specific target…more

Coal-Fired Generation, Energy Projects, Energy Sector, New Legislation, Public Utilities Commission

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Court: Web Registration Did Not Establish User Assent to Arbitration Agreement

Perhaps overshadowed in the raging battle over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposal to ban the use of class action waivers in consumer arbitration agreements involving consumer financial products or services is…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Clickwrap Agreements, Corporate Counsel, Mobile Apps

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Using the New Markets Tax Credit to combat chronic homelessness

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

Homeless Issues, Non-Profits, Tax Credits

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Ninth Circuit Sides with NLRB in Divide over Employee Arbitration Waiver Agreements

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced this week that it agrees with the National Labor Relations Board that individual arbitration waiver agreements, which prevent employees from filing or participating in…more

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers

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New Incentive-Based Compensation: Proposed Rules for Financial Institutions

A group of financial regulatory agencies has released for comment revised proposed rules under Section 956 of the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The rules provide for regulations and guidelines…more

Banking Sector, Clawbacks, Corporate Officers, Dodd-Frank, Executive Compensation

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Oregon Creates Community Solar Program

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed legislation enacting a new community solar program permitting utilities and third parties to own or operate a community-based renewable energy project. The law also sets a specific target…more

Coal-Fired Generation, Energy Projects, Energy Sector, New Legislation, Public Utilities Commission

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Courts, States Continue to Wrestle with Homeowners Association Assessment Liens

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

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

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European Parliament Adopts EU General Data Protection Regulation; 12 Steps Businesses Should Take Now

The European Parliament has voted to adopt the draft text of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which imposes enhanced requirements on organizations processing personal data in the European Union and transferring…more

EU, EU Data Protection Laws, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), International Data Transfers, Personal Data

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Real Estate News in Metro DC

Ballard Spahr’s mixed-use, condominium, and multifamily lawyers are pleased to provide this newsletter to keep you apprised of important developments and trends in real estate law in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C…more

Condominiums, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Construction Project, Disclosure Requirements

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CFPB issues final consolidated mortgage disclosure rule

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

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

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Moody’s Finalizes Green Bonds Assessment Methodology

The municipal green bond market has taken another modest step towards solidifying recognized "green" standards in the market. Moody's previously published a proposed Green Bonds Assessment (GBA) methodology—a forward-looking…more

Financial Institutions, Financial Markets, Go Green Bonds, Moody's, Rating Agencies

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Implications of a homeowner association’s statutory priming lien

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

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

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

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

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

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Supreme Court Limits Defenses to Induced Infringement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Risk-retention rule for asset-backed securities finalized

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

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

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Bankruptcy Trustees Target Colleges and Universities

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

Clawbacks, Colleges, Consumer Bankruptcy, Educational Institutions, Tuition

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Real Estate News in Metro DC

Ballard Spahr’s mixed-use, condominium, and multifamily lawyers are pleased to provide this newsletter to keep you apprised of important developments and trends in real estate law in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C…more

Condominiums, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Construction Project, Disclosure Requirements

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Amended PTAB Rules Give Patent Owners a Boost

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has unveiled a series of new rules that provide for significant changes to the procedures followed in Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings, including inter partes review,…more

Corporate Counsel, Covered Business Method Proceedings, Derivation Proceeding, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Patent Infringement

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Plaintiffs Cannot Bring Data Breach Lawsuits Without Evidence That Information Will Be Used To Harm

The latest development in how American courts will handle the standing question for data breach class actions came last week when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed for lack of standing a putative…more

Article III, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, CareFirst, Class Action

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Investment Management Update

SEC Enforcement Action against Private Equity Fund Adviser - On June 1, 2016, the SEC announced that a private equity fund adviser and its principal owner agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle SEC charges that,…more

Business Continuity Plans, Enforcement Actions, Financial Sector, FINRA, Investment Adviser

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Elements of RAD — transfers of assistance

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

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

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Landlords in Philadelphia Face New Legal Requirements Concerning Residential Rental Increases

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

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

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

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

IRS

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EEOC Issues Revised Regulations To Require Employers To Submit Pay Data

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) this week published revised proposed regulations for collecting pay data through the Employer Information Report (EEO-1). The revised proposal incorporates more than 300…more

Comment Period, Data Collection, EEO-1, EEOC, Equal Pay

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FTC Challenges Privacy Self-Regulation Offered by TRUSTe

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

Certifications, Enforcement Actions, FTC, Privacy Policy

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

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

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

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California Federal Court Dismisses TCPA Claims for Lack of Article III Standing

A plaintiff did not have Article III standing to assert claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for alleged autodialed calls made to her without her consent, a California federal district court recently ruled…more

Article III, Auto-Dialed Calls, Banking Sector, Corporate Counsel, Debt Collection

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Final Guidance Released on Considering Climate Change in Environmental Reviews

The President's Council on Environmental Quality has issued its finalized guidance on how federal agencies should consider greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change in reviews of federal actions under the…more

Climate Change, Environmental Policies, Environmental Review, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Guidance Update

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Divided Supreme Court Allows Public Unions’ Agency Fee Collection to Continue

In a much anticipated case, an evenly divided U.S. Supreme Court has issued a per curiam order letting stand a Court of Appeals decision that allows unions to collect dues from public employees, even if those employees do not…more

Fair Share Law, First Amendment, Free Speech, Friedrichs v CA Teachers Association, Opt-Outs

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Mass. Pay Equity Law Brings Wave of Hiring Restrictions

Signaling a new era in employee pay equity, "The Act to Establish Pay Equity" will require Massachusetts employers to make sweeping changes in their pay and hiring practices. Among the most significant changes, the Act bars…more

Civil Rights Act, Equal Pay, Equal Pay Act, Gender-Based Pay Discrimination, New Legislation

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Federal Circuit Gives Little Guidance on Biosimilar Patent Validity Challenges

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

Appeals, Biosimilars, BPCIA, FDA, Patent Infringement

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The FLSA’s New Overtime Rule Is Here - Higher Ed Applications

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule substantially increasing the annual salary an employee must earn to be exempt from overtime pay requirements. The final rule—which takes effect on December 1, 2016,—will…more

Colleges, DOL, Educational Institutions, Final Rules, FLSA

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USPTO Clarifies Standard for Review of Financial Services Patents

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

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

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Subway, DOL Partner to Improve FLSA Compliance

Last week, the Subway restaurant chain entered into a landmark partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) aimed at improving Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance among the chain's 27,000 franchisees. The DOL…more

Back Wages, Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Corporate Counsel, Fast-Food Industry, FLSA

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Chamber files amicus brief in support of challenge to CFPB jurisdiction

The Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America (Chamber) has filed an amicus brief opposing the CFPB’s petition filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to enforce its civil investigative demand (CID) issued to…more

Amicus Briefs, Annuities, CFPB, Chamber of Commerce, Civil Investigation Demand

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Moody’s Finalizes Green Bonds Assessment Methodology

The municipal green bond market has taken another modest step towards solidifying recognized "green" standards in the market. Moody's previously published a proposed Green Bonds Assessment (GBA) methodology—a forward-looking…more

Financial Institutions, Financial Markets, Go Green Bonds, Moody's, Rating Agencies

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

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

Conspiracies, Grand Juries, Lenders, Payday Loans, Usury

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