Ballard Spahr LLP

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1735 Market Street
51st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103-7599, United States
Phone: 215.665.8500
Fax: 215.864.8999
Areas of Practice
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Organizations
  • Business Torts
  • Class Action
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Construction Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Finance & Banking
  • Government
  • Health
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law & Trade
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Privacy
  • Products Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Real Estate
  • Science, Computers, & Tech
  • Securities Law
  • Taxation
  • Toxic Torts
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
  • Zoning, Planning & Land Use
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Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • D.C.
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
Number of Attorneys
400+ Attorneys

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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House Passes American Health Care Act

As widely reported, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that, if enacted, would make the first major legislative changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Modified to provide…more

Affordable Care Act, American Health Care Act (AHCA), Cadillac Tax, CBO Report, Employer Mandates

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The Sum of the Parts ? the Whole? SCOTUS on Samsung v Apple

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned a $400 million damages award against Samsung for infringing Apple's smartphone design patents. In a decision that upsets a long-standing rule for calculating damages for design…more

Apple, Apple v Samsung, Cell Phones, Design Patent, iPhone

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ABA Critical of HMDA Rule in Comments to Treasury Secretary

Based on the President’s executive order 13772 on The Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System, the American Bankers Association (ABA) submitted a white paper to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin that…more

American Bankers Association, CFPB, Data Security, Dodd-Frank, Executive Orders

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Liens Recorded Between Foreclosure, Sale Date Ruled Valid by Florida Appellate Court

In a case of first impression among the Florida appellate courts, the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that liens recorded between the foreclosure judgment and the sale date are valid and enforceable against the property so…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Final Judgment, Florida, Foreclosure

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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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Business Tax Reform – the Current State of Play

President Donald J. Trump campaigned on a platform of large tax cuts for businesses. With President Trump in the White House and Republicans controlling both the House of Representatives and Senate, does it mean businesses can…more

Affordable Care Act, Border Adjustment Taxes, Business Expenses, Capital Investments, Corporate Taxes

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New Legal Challenges to Public Union Agency Fees

Public employees in three different federal circuits filed lawsuits this week challenging the constitutionality of public unions' right to require nonmembers to pay agency fees (also known as "fair share" fees). The plaintiffs…more

Fair Share Contribution, Fees, First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Friedrichs v CA Teachers Association

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Colorado Proposes Cybersecurity Rules for Investment Advisers, Broker-Dealers

The Colorado Division of Securities recently issued proposed rules directed at establishing cybersecurity requirements for broker-dealers and investment advisers. The proposed rules were issued only a month after New York…more

Broker-Dealer, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Electronic Communications, Financial Services Industry

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The Financial CHOICE Act, now closer to passage, would significantly impact the mortgage industry

On May 4 H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act (the Act) introduced by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, obtained enough votes to move the bill on to the House of Representatives floor.  The Act…more

Ability-to-Repay, CFPB, Dodd-Frank, Escrow Accounts, Financial Services Industry

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U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down N.C. Congressional Redistricting

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken the extraordinary step of finding that two of North Carolina's congressional districts violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment because they impermissibly utilized race as the…more

Cooper v Harris, Equal Protection, Fourteenth Amendment, Gerrymandering, Race Discrimination

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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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Arizona Court Consolidates ADA Lawsuits

The number of claims under the design and construction requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) continues to increase, but a recent development in Arizona may slow this trend. The Arizona Attorney General has…more

Accessibility Rules, ADA, Disability, Disability Access Claims, Disability Discrimination

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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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Pa. Superior Court Affirms Punitive Damage Award in Breach of Noncompetition Agreement

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a lower court ruling that assesses punitive damages against several individuals and their new employer resulting from their en masse departure from a previous firm and, in the…more

Breach of Contract, Contacts List, Corporate Counsel, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements

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Conversion to At-Will Status Does Not Void Restrictive Covenant, PA Court Holds

Non-solicitation covenants contained in two expired employment agreements were still in effect even after the employees in question were converted to "at-will" status and later terminated, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has…more

At-Will Employment, Breach of Contract, Hiring & Firing, Non-Solicitation Agreements, Pre-Employment Agreements

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The Sum of the Parts ? the Whole? SCOTUS on Samsung v Apple

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned a $400 million damages award against Samsung for infringing Apple's smartphone design patents. In a decision that upsets a long-standing rule for calculating damages for design…more

Apple, Apple v Samsung, Cell Phones, Design Patent, iPhone

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Supreme Court to Resolve Circuit Split Over Filing Bankruptcy Proof of Claim on Time-Barred Debt

The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari last week in Midland Funding, LLC v. Aleida Johnson, a decision of the 11th Circuit that held that Midland’s filing of a proof of claim in the plaintiff’s bankruptcy case on a…more

Bankruptcy Code, Certiorari, Consumer Bankruptcy, FDCPA, Financial Sector

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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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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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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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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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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 Company (LLC), Mark Zuckerberg, Tax Deductions

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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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Bourne Valley Redux

The dispute between lenders and the purchasers at homeowners’ association foreclosure sale regarding superiority of title has embroiled the State of Nevada since at least as early as 2012. Since the issue rose in volume and…more

Appeals, Banking Sector, Due Process, En Banc Review, Foreclosure

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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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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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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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Ninth Circuit Confirms That Liability Waiver in FCRA Disclosure Triggers Liability

In a case presenting a question of first impression in the federal courts of appeals, the Ninth Circuit has held that a prospective employer violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it procures a job applicant's…more

Consumer Reports, Corporate Counsel, Disclosure Requirements, Employer Liability Issues, FCRA

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House Passes American Health Care Act

As widely reported, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that, if enacted, would make the first major legislative changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Modified to provide…more

Affordable Care Act, American Health Care Act (AHCA), Cadillac Tax, CBO Report, Employer Mandates

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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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Expect Pro-Business, Pro-Employer Changes Under Trump Administration

When Donald Trump won the presidential election in November, management-side labor and employment lawyers everywhere scrambled to figure out what the changing administration would mean for our nation's employers and our clients…more

Affordable Care Act, DOL, EEO-1, EEOC, Employee Benefits

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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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IP Due Diligence in M&A Transactions

Wendy A. Choi, who leads Ballard Spahr's Patents Group, talks about the importance of intellectual property due diligence during M&A transaction…more

Due Diligence

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HUD Issues Statement on Applicability of Disparate Impact Liability to Insurance Industry

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced it will continue to address disparate impact liability for discriminatory insurance practices on a case-by-case basis. HUD addressed concerns from the…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Discrimination, Disparate Impact, Housing Market, HUD

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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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Philadelphia Earned Income Tax Credit Bill Signed

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has signed a bill expanding employers' notice requirements to employees concerning the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)…more

Earned Income Credit, Local Ordinance, New Legislation, Notice Requirements, Required Forms

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U.S. District Court Enters Injunction Preventing Enforcement of New FLSA Rules

A federal judge in Texas has granted a nationwide preliminary injunction sought by several business groups and states preventing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new overtime rules, which had been set to go…more

DOL, Exempt-Employees, Final Rules, FLSA, Minimum Salary

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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 Issues Guidance on Mutual Fund Fee Structure - The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Investment Management recently issued a guidance update addressing disclosure issues and certain procedural…more

Administrative Proceedings, Beneficial Owner, Brokers, Business Continuity Plans, Conflicts of Interest

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NAFCU urges regulatory relief for credit unions in letter to Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin

On February 28, 2017, B. Dan Berger, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (the “NAFCU“), urged regulatory relief for credit unions in a letter submitted to the…more

Arbitration, Banking Sector, CFPB, Community Banks, Consumer Complaint System

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$6.3 Million Judgment Awarded in Alleged Timeshare Resale Scam

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

FTC, Scams, Telemarketing Sales Rule, Timeshare

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CFPB and DOJ file submissions opposing state AGs’ proposal to redirect unused settlement funds to NAAG

We previously reported that the Connecticut Attorney General, on behalf of the Attorneys General of Indiana, Kansas and Vermont, (the “state AGs”) had filed a joint motion to intervene in a CFPB enforcement action against Sprint…more

Attorney Generals, CFPB, Consent Order, DOJ, Motion To Intervene

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Navient Attacks CFPB UDAAP Enforcement Without Implementing Rules

One of the hallmarks of the CFPB’s enforcement actions has been its use of those actions to announce new legal standards. Navient attacks this enforcement strategy in its motion to dismiss a recent case brought against it by the…more

CFPB, Consumer Financial Products, Default, Enforcement Actions, Financial Sector

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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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Colorado Proposes Cybersecurity Rules for Investment Advisers, Broker-Dealers

The Colorado Division of Securities recently issued proposed rules directed at establishing cybersecurity requirements for broker-dealers and investment advisers. The proposed rules were issued only a month after New York…more

Broker-Dealer, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Electronic Communications, Financial Services Industry

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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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Central District of California Upholds the Constitutionality of the CFPB and Enforces a CID

Adding to the growing body of cases disputing the CFPB’s authority to issue civil investigative demands (“CID”), a U.S. district court judge in the Central District of California, on May 17, rejected multiple challenges and…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, Civil Investigation Demand, Constitutional Challenges, Enforcement Actions

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FCRA Class Plaintiff Lacked Injury Needed for Standing Under Spokeo, 4th Circuit Holds

An $11.7 million judgment awarded against credit reporting company Experian in a 69,000-member class action brought under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was vacated by the Fourth Circuit in Dreher v. Experian…more

Article III, Class Action, Corporate Counsel, Credit Reports, Experian

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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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Data Breach Class Action Reinstated Against Horizon Healthcare Services Inc.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has vacated a district court's dismissal of a data breach class action filed against Horizon Healthcare Services Inc., in the wake of the 2013 theft of two computer laptops…more

Appeals, Article III, Class Action, Data Breach, Electronic Medical Records

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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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Eighth Circuit Clarifies Spokeo Ruling to Require Injury-in-Fact to Satisfy Article III Standing

In a victory to the defense bar, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has published the first appellate opinion to apply the principles the U.S. Supreme Court articulated in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins regarding Article…more

Article III, Cable Television Providers, Corporate Counsel, Injury-in-Fact, Personally Identifiable Information

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Obama Signs 21st Century Cures Act, Adding $6.3 Billion For Medical Research

The Cures Act aims to increase the speed by which new drugs are brought to market by streamlining clinical trials, allowing the use of patient data in the regulatory review process, and modernizing U.S. Food and Drug…more

21st Century Cures Initiative, Addiction Equity Act, Affordable Care Act, Benefit Plan Reimbursements, Clinical Trials

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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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OIG Report Continues Criticism of CFPB Enforcement Data Security Practices

On May 15, 2017, the Federal Reserve Office of Inspector General – which also oversees the CFPB – released a report finding deficiencies in the CFPB Office of Enforcement’s (Enforcement) processes for securing sensitive…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, Confidential Information, Data Security, Enforcement Actions

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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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Title VII Protects Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, 7th Circuit Holds

In a landmark decision, the Seventh Circuit has become the first federal court of appeals to find that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against individuals because of their sexual orientation…more

Civil Rights Act, Discrimination, Gender Identity, LGBT, LGBTQ

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Navient Attacks CFPB UDAAP Enforcement Without Implementing Rules

One of the hallmarks of the CFPB’s enforcement actions has been its use of those actions to announce new legal standards. Navient attacks this enforcement strategy in its motion to dismiss a recent case brought against it by the…more

CFPB, Consumer Financial Products, Default, Enforcement Actions, Financial Sector

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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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Philadelphia Earned Income Tax Credit Bill Signed

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has signed a bill expanding employers' notice requirements to employees concerning the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)…more

Earned Income Credit, Local Ordinance, New Legislation, Notice Requirements, Required Forms

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FCC Cannot Require Opt-Out Notice on "Solicited" Fax Ads, D.C. Circuit Holds

The FCC's 2006 Solicited Fax Rule is unlawful to the extent that it requires opt-out notices on solicited fax advertisements, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has held in a 2-1 ruling…more

Class Action, Faxes, FCC, Financial Sector, Financial Services Industry

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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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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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CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs Issues Annual Report

The CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs (OSA) has issued its fifth annual report to Congress addressing issues raised and complaints submitted by servicemembers, veterans, and their families…more

Annual Reports, Banking Sector, CFPB, Consumer Complaint Database, Consumer Financial Products

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Florida Lawmakers Seek to Bring Virtual Currency into the Fold

On Monday, the state of Florida moved a step closer towards amending its money laundering statute to include the nefarious use of bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The bill, H.B. 1379, has sailed through a committee vote and…more

Banking Sector, Bitcoin, BSA/AML, Florida, Money Laundering

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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 Issues Statement on Applicability of Disparate Impact Liability to Insurance Industry

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced it will continue to address disparate impact liability for discriminatory insurance practices on a case-by-case basis. HUD addressed concerns from the…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Discrimination, Disparate Impact, Housing Market, 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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Federal Contractors Notified of Affirmative Action, EEO Compliance Reviews

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP)—the Department of Labor agency charged with enforcing affirmative action and equal employment opportunity requirements imposed on certain federal contractors and…more

Affirmative Action, Audits, CSALs, DOL, Federal Contractors

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EEOC Rule Requires Employers to Report Summary Pay Data

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has finalized its anticipated rule regarding the addition of pay data to its annual Employer Information Report (EEO-1). Beginning on March 31, 2018, private employers with more…more

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

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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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Dept. of Ed. Bans Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements by Title IV Schools

The U.S. Department of Education has issued a final rule that broadly addresses the ability of a student to assert a school's misconduct as a defense to repayment of a federal student loan. The final rule includes a ban on all…more

Arbitration Agreements, Borrowers, CFPB, Consumer Financial Products, Department of Education

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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 Final Rules to Facilitate Intrastate and Regional Securities Offerings

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted final rules modernizing and expanding the ways in which smaller companies can raise capital. Rule 147 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, provides a safe…more

Capital Raising, Crowdfunding, Doing Business, Financial Markets, Financial Sector

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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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CFPB continues work on student loan payback playbook disclosures

The CFPB recently revised the prototype student loan Payback Playbook disclosures it has been developing with the Departments of Education and Treasury. These revisions were based on feedback from nearly 3,500 individual…more

Banking Sector, Borrowers, CFPB, Consumer Financial Products, Consumer Lenders

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Individual Accountability in AML Cases

This post discusses individual liability in AML/BSA enforcement, which is an area of increasing attention. Indeed, according to public statements by the government, individual liability is the focus of enhanced scrutiny across…more

Banking Sector, Broker-Dealer, BSA/AML, Derivative Suit, DOJ

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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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Deadline Extended for D.C. Comprehensive Plan Amendment Proposals

The District of Columbia Office of Planning (OP) has extended the deadline for individuals and groups to submit proposed amendments to D.C.'s Comprehensive Plan, which guides future growth and development in the District. OP has…more

Deadlines, Economic Development, Environmental Policies, Historic Preservation, Housing Market

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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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House Passes American Health Care Act

As widely reported, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that, if enacted, would make the first major legislative changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Modified to provide…more

Affordable Care Act, American Health Care Act (AHCA), Cadillac Tax, CBO Report, Employer Mandates

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HHS Finalizes Health Insurance Market Stabilization Rules

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has finalized regulations designed to help stabilize the individual and small group health insurance markets and, in particular, the health insurance exchanges established…more

Affordable Care Act, Cost-Sharing, Employee Benefits, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges

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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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Maryland Issues Revised Proposed Rules for Servicing Transfers

The Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation recently issued a revised proposed regulation impacting servicing transfers. The Commissioner previously issued proposed regulations on this topic in January 2015. This revised…more

Banking Sector, Comment Period, Loans, Mortgage Servicers, Mortgages

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CFPB Report Outlines Best Strategies for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Mortgage Industry

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a report that outlines a number of strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the mortgage industry, presents the business case for diversity, and…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, Data Collection, Diversity and Inclusion Standards (D&I), Dodd-Frank

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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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McClain Weighs in on Potential Effect of Trump Budget Cuts on Affordable Housing

In an interview with U.S. News and World Reports on “The Future of Affordable Housing in the Trump Era,” Amy McClain, who leads Ballard Spahr’s government-assisted housing practice (and is a frequent Housing Plus blogger),…more

Affordable Housing, Federal Budget, Federal Funding, Housing Market, Low-Income Issues

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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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Bankruptcy Proof of Claim on Time-Barred Debt Does Not Violate FDCPA, SCOTUS Rules

Filing a proof of claim in a debtor's Chapter 13 bankruptcy case on a debt that is "obviously time barred" does not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-3 decision. The…more

Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 13, Consumer Bankruptcy, Debt Buyers, Debt Collection

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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