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

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

HUD, Lenders, Mortgages, Reverse Mortgages

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Pennsylvania Office of Open Records Blasts Charter Schools

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

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

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IRS Seeks to Curb Popularity of ‘Skinny’ Health Plans

The Internal Revenue Service, in Notice 2014-69, has concluded that certain unconventional group health plan designs that offer limited or no coverage for in-patient hospitalization services and/or physician services will not…more

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

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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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CFPB takes action on misleading advertisements

Late last week, on February 12, the CFPB announced actions against three mortgage companies for alleged violations of Regulation N, the Mortgage Acts and Practices Advertising Rule. Among other restrictions, Regulation N bars…more

Advertising, CFPB, Consumer Lenders, False Advertising, FTC

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NY Attorney General, FTC Bring Joint Enforcement Actions against Debt Collectors

The New York Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission recently announced they had filed two joint federal court lawsuits against debt collectors in the Western District of New York. The Attorney General and FTC are seeking…more

Attorney Generals, Debt Collection, Debt Collectors, Enforcement Actions, FDCPA

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Supreme Court Hands FTC Victory on State Action Immunity

In a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court this week tightened the standard for state action immunity under federal antitrust laws in a case involving a hospital merger. This decision arguably tightens the reins on the…more

FTC, FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Hospital Mergers, Hospitals, Immunity

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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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Tax Geek Tips You Ought To Know

In any merger or acquisition, parties incur costs beyond payment of the purchase price. Transaction costs can include compensatory payments (option cancellation payments, bonuses, etc.) and professional fees (legal, accounting,…more

Tax Planning

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FLSA Wage and Hour Lawsuit Filed against NCAA

A putative collective action on behalf of college athletes, Sackos v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, was recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana against the National Collegiate…more

Athletes, College Athletes, Employee Definition, FLSA, Minimum Wage

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Philadelphia Mayor's Task Force Recommends Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

A task force appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter to examine the impact of paid sick leave legislation recently released its final report that recommends Philadelphia employers with 15 or more workers should provide paid sick…more

Employee Rights, Local Ordinance, Paid Leave, Sick Leave

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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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Federal Circuit Sides with USPTO in First Review of AIA Final Decision

For the first time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled on a final decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in an inter partes review proceeding, or IPR. In a 2-1 decision, the Federal…more

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N.J. Supreme Court Decision in Harassment Case Mixed Bag for Employers

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently decided two key issues affecting claims of supervisory hostile work environment sexual harassment under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”). In Aguas v. State of New Jersey,…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, Faragher/Ellerth defense, Hostile Environment, NJ Supreme Court

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

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

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

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Federal Government Steps Up Monitoring of Distressed Municipalities

Multiple news outlets have reported that the U.S. Treasury Department has created an Office of State and Local Finance tasked with monitoring the distressed local government sector of the municipal finance market. Kent Hiteshew,…more

Disclosure Requirements, Municipal Bonds, Municipalities, SEC, Secondary Markets

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Supreme Court Rulings Expected To Curb Meritless Patent Litigation

The U.S. Supreme Court rendered two decisions yesterday that should help curb meritless “patent troll” litigation. The decisions are particularly helpful to technology companies and large retail businesses that frequently face…more

Highmark v. Allcare, Octane Fitness v. ICON, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation, Patent Trolls

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

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

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

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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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Supreme Court Upholds EPA Interstate Pollution Rule

In a significant victory for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and supporting parties, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded an appellate ruling that had invalidated EPA’s Clean Air Act regulation of certain air…more

Clean Air Act, Cross-State Air Pollution, EPA, Power Plants, SCOTUS

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Proposed Changes to Civil Rules Could Limit Scope of eDiscovery

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

Corporate Counsel, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Proposed Amendments, Rule 1, Rule 26

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Supreme Court Sets Framework for Determining Software Patent Eligibility

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued an important opinion in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International regarding the patent eligibility of basic business methods covered in computer software patents. Writing for the unanimous…more

Alice Corporation, Bilski, CLS Bank, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Mayo v. Prometheus

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Statewide Judicial System Report Issued on N.Y. Foreclosure Cases

Earlier this month, the Chief Administrative Judge of New York’s Unified Court System issued a report on the status of foreclosure cases in the state judicial system. The 2013 report contains important information about how the…more

Foreclosure, Mortgages

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House tax extender package bolsters Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and New Markets Tax Credit programs

On Wednesday, December 3, 2014, the House of Representatives passed a one-year tax extender bill that will shore up two key housing and community development programs. The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771) (the…more

Affordable Housing, LIHTC, New Market Tax Credits, Tax Extenders

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Deed of Trust Assignment without Debt Transfer Does Not Trigger TILA Notification Obligation, Maryland District Court Rules

The mere assignment of a deed of trust without a transfer of the underlying mortgage debt does not trigger a lender's obligation under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to notify the borrower of the assignment, according to a…more

Assignments, Deed of Trust, Mortgages, TILA

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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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NJ Federal Court Confirms: No Consumer Fraud Claims For Product ‘Harm’

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has once again confirmed a recent trend in consumer fraud class actions based on product liability claims: if the essence of the claim is harm caused by an allegedly…more

Class Action, Fraud, Product Defects

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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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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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Federal Court Notes Flaws in EEOC Stance on Severance Agreements

In a closely watched case, a federal district court questioned the stance of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that a severance agreement and general release of claims offered to employees can violate…more

Discrimination, EEOC, Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, Retaliation

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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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N.J. Supreme Court Decision in Harassment Case Mixed Bag for Employers

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently decided two key issues affecting claims of supervisory hostile work environment sexual harassment under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”). In Aguas v. State of New Jersey,…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, Faragher/Ellerth defense, Hostile Environment, NJ Supreme Court

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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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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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Mayor Nutter Signs Bill Mandating Employers to Allow Breastfeeding

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

Breastfeeding, Employee Rights, Reasonable Accommodation

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

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

Audits, Bank Records, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Financial Institution Liability

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Obama Administration’s FY 2016 budget would modify LIHTCs, permanently extend NMTC and energy tax credits

As in prior years, the Obama administration’s FY 2016 budget includes a number of impactful, and generally positive, tax credit proposals. With respect to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), the budget retains many of…more

Federal Budget, LIHTC, NMTC, Production Tax Credit

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OFCCP Announces Intent To Publish Updated Rules Prohibiting Sex Discrimination

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently announced its intent to update rules prohibiting sex discrimination by federal contractors and subcontractors. The OFCCP published a Notice of Proposed…more

DOL, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Employer Mandates, Executive Orders

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Supreme Court Upholds EPA Interstate Pollution Rule

In a significant victory for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and supporting parties, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded an appellate ruling that had invalidated EPA’s Clean Air Act regulation of certain air…more

Clean Air Act, Cross-State Air Pollution, EPA, Power Plants, SCOTUS

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Investment Management Update

SEC’s Focus in 2015 - On December 11, 2014, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech at The New York Times DealBook Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference that highlighted…more

Excessive Fees, Insider Trading, Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, Mary Jo White

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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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Feds Obtain First-Ever Settlement over Allegedly Discriminatory ‘Buy Here, Pay Here’ Car Dealership Financing

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the North Carolina Department of Justice recently requested court approval of a consent decree arising out of alleged racial discrimination by two North Carolina car dealerships in their…more

Car Dealerships, Discrimination, DOJ, Equal Access to Credit, Predatory Lending

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U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether ECOA Applies to Loan Guarantors

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review whether the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) applies to loan guarantors. The case will be argued in the Supreme Court’s term that begins in October 2015…more

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

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

FOIA, Public Records, SCOTUS

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

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

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

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

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

IRS, LIHTC

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

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

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

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

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

CFPB, Discrimination, Disparate Impact, ECOA, Fair Lending

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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, Section 202

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Internet of Things: Federal Agencies Offer Privacy and Data Security Best Practices

The recently released Federal Trade Commission staff report, Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World, provides companies with insight into the FTC's consumer privacy and data security expectations for the…more

Best Practices, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, FTC, Internet

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Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair development…more

Energy Projects, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, State and Local Government

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Employee’s Firing over Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use Is Legal, Colorado Court Holds

The Colorado Court of Appeals recently held that an employee can be fired for testing positive for medical marijuana use, even though it occurred off the job, it was legal under state law, and the employee was never under the…more

Hiring & Firing, Medical Marijuana, Termination

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$6.3 Million Judgment Awarded in Alleged Timeshare Resale Scam

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

FTC, Scams, Telemarketing Sales Rule, Timeshare

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

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

FOIA, Public Records, SCOTUS

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Philadelphia Paid Sick Leave Law Passed

Yesterday, Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law a bill mandating that most Philadelphia employers provide paid sick leave to their employees. It is anticipated that the law will provide this type of leave to approximately…more

Paid Leave, Sick Leave

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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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First Salvo by New Congress To Roll Back Dodd-Frank

The House of Representatives recently passed, by a vote of 271-154, legislation that includes a delay in the implementation of the Volcker Rule until 2019. The proposed change would add two years to the maximum extension period…more

Dodd-Frank, Federal Reserve, Legislative Agendas, Pending Legislation, Time Extensions

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Virginia Supreme Court Allows Damages Claim for Violation of HUD Regulation Requiring Face-to-Face Meeting before Seeking Foreclosure

The Virginia Supreme Court recently expanded the grounds under which a private borrower can sue a lender for violations of HUD regulations. In Squire v. Virginia Housing Development Authority, a decision issued on April 17,…more

Borrowers, Breach of Contract, Deed of Trust, Delinquent Borrowers, Foreclosure

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New P3 Legislation To Take Effect in Washington, D.C.

A new law intended to encourage more widespread use of public-private partnerships (P3s) in the District of Columbia is set to become a reality in the coming weeks. The Public-Private Partnership Act of 2014 (P3 Act) was…more

Local Ordinance, New Legislation, P3s, Public Procurement Policies, Public 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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Anthem's Breach: How Employers Should Respond

With the news of the breach of security at Anthem health plans, many employers have been wondering whether their employees are affected and how they should respond. The breach extends to members in Anthem-affiliated plans and…more

Anthem Blue Cross, Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Health Insurance

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U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether ECOA Applies to Loan Guarantors

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review whether the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) applies to loan guarantors. The case will be argued in the Supreme Court’s term that begins in October 2015…more

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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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Third Time Is the Charm: U.S. Supreme Court Hears Argument in Disparate Impact Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.—the case presenting the issue of whether disparate impact claims are cognizable…more

Age Discrimination, DHCA v Inclusive Communities Project, Disparate Impact, FHA, HUD

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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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OIG criticizes HUD’s enforcement of community service requirement

This week, HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report critical of HUD’s oversight of the community service and economic self-sufficiency requirement (CSSR). This federal requirement, applicable only to public…more

Community Service, HUD, OIG, Public Housing

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SEC Charges City Mayor as a Control Person in Allen Park, Michigan, Enforcement Action

Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges against the City of Allen Park, Michigan (City), and two of its former officials—the former City Mayor and former City Administrator. It is the first…more

Economic Development, Enforcement Actions, Fraud, Joint and Several Liability, Municipal Bonds

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OSHA To Refer Untimely Retaliation Claims to NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have entered into a new program that will provide whistleblowers an avenue to pursue claims that are time-barred by the…more

NLRA, NLRB, OSHA, Retaliation, Whistleblowers

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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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SEC Charges City Mayor as a Control Person in Allen Park, Michigan, Enforcement Action

Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges against the City of Allen Park, Michigan (City), and two of its former officials—the former City Mayor and former City Administrator. It is the first…more

Economic Development, Enforcement Actions, Fraud, Joint and Several Liability, Municipal Bonds

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ISS Releases 2015 Draft Voting Policies for Independent Chair and Equity Incentive Plan Proposals

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently released for public comment its 2015 draft voting policies. The draft policies relate to two topics affecting the U.S. market: independent board chair shareholder proposals and…more

Board of Directors, Incentive Stock Options, ISS, Proxy Voting Guidelines, Public Comment

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Industry Concerns Prompt SEC To Modify MCDC Initiative

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

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

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Deed of Trust Assignment without Debt Transfer Does Not Trigger TILA Notification Obligation, Maryland District Court Rules

The mere assignment of a deed of trust without a transfer of the underlying mortgage debt does not trigger a lender's obligation under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to notify the borrower of the assignment, according to a…more

Assignments, Deed of Trust, Mortgages, TILA

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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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Amicus Curiae Oppose Disparate-Impact Liability

Recently, following the U.S. Supreme Court's grant of certiorari, more than a dozen organizations, groups, and associations filed separate amicus curiae briefs in support of the notion that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) does not…more

Disparate Impact, FHA, SCOTUS

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U.S. Mayors’ Group Recommends Ways To Improve Police-Community Relations

A U.S. Conference of Mayors working group, composed of mayors and police chiefs, recently issued a report titled Strengthening Police-Community Relations in America’s Cities. The report made two recommendations designed to…more

Community Relations, Conference of Mayors, Law Enforcement

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CMS Releases Final Rule on Physician Payment Disclosures

Public disclosure of payments from pharmaceutical, medical device, biologic, and medical supply manufacturers to physicians and hospitals will begin under a final rule on the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (Sunshine Act)…more

Biologics, CMS, Covered Entities, GPOs, Medicaid

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

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

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

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Anthem's Breach: How Employers Should Respond

With the news of the breach of security at Anthem health plans, many employers have been wondering whether their employees are affected and how they should respond. The breach extends to members in Anthem-affiliated plans and…more

Anthem Blue Cross, Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Health Insurance

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IRS Construction Deadline Guidance Highlights Disparate Treatment of Renewable Energy Technologies

The IRS recently released guidance in the form of an IRS Notice implementing a rule change under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 concerning the construction deadline that renewable energy facilities must meet to qualify…more

Begun Construction Test, Energy Projects, Investment Tax Credits, IRS, Production Tax Credit

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CFPB Proposes Additional Servicing Rule Amendments

The CFPB issued a proposed rulemaking last week to amend various provisions of the mortgage servicing rules under Regulation X and Regulation Z. Comments are due 90 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register…more

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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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Second Circuit Issues Decision in Payday-Loan Regulatory Case

In a clash of competing sovereigns’ interests, the Second Circuit recently upheld, for now, the authority of the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) to regulate online payday loans made by Indian tribal lenders to…more

Banks, Consumer Financial Products, Consumer Lenders, NACHA, Native American Issues

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High-Speed Trader Indicted for ‘Spoofing’

A federal grand jury in Chicago recently indicted high-frequency trader Michael J. Coscia for “spoofing,” making it the first criminal case ever brought under the Dodd-Frank Act’s rules against disruptive trading practices…more

CFTC, Consent Order, Criminal Prosecution, Disruptive Trading Practices, Dodd-Frank

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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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New Jersey Gets Federal Approval for $1.8 Billion in Hurricane Sandy Aid

The Obama administration recently approved more than $1.8 billion in aid to help New Jersey residents and businesses recover from Hurricane Sandy. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for New Jersey, part of a $60…more

Chris Christie, Community Development Block Grants, Hurricane Sandy, Natural Disasters

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New 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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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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An Opportunity to Collaborate? The CFPB’s credit report study

On February 19, 2015, the CFPB released its credit report study, entitled “Consumer voices on credit reports and scores.” After conducting focus groups with 308 consumers in four major metropolitan areas, the study concludes…more

CFPB, Credit Reporting Agencies, Credit Reports

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ISS Releases 2015 Draft Voting Policies for Independent Chair and Equity Incentive Plan Proposals

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently released for public comment its 2015 draft voting policies. The draft policies relate to two topics affecting the U.S. market: independent board chair shareholder proposals and…more

Board of Directors, Incentive Stock Options, ISS, Proxy Voting Guidelines, Public Comment

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Private E-Mail and Public Officials: What's a Public Document?

The "Bridgegate" scandal in New Jersey involving an investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures has included many instances of Governor Chris Christie's top officials utilizing their own Gmail, Yahoo, or other…more

Chris Christie, Email, FOIA, Public Officials, Public Records

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Speed of Pharmaceutical Innovation at Stake in N.Y. Antitrust Lawsuit

A pharmaceutical firm’s ability to efficiently produce and promote a better treatment for Alzheimer’s disease lies at the center of an antitrust lawsuit pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In State…more

Actavis Inc., Antitrust Litigation, Appeals, Generic Drugs, Injunctions

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Second NLRB Decision Issued in Ongoing Higher Education Union Organization Efforts

A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently ordered the counting of ballots that were cast in a union election by contingent faculty members at Seattle University. The votes had been impounded since…more

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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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Pa. Department of Revenue Delivers Good News and Bad News Regarding New Realty Transfer Tax Provisions

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR) recently issued Information Notice - Realty Transfer Tax 2014-01 (the Information Notice) delivering some good news and bad news about how the new law that became effective January 1,…more

Department of Revenue, Real Estate Holding Companies, Real Estate Transfers, Realty Transfer Taxes, Transfer Taxes

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Pennsylvania Continues Trend of Stricter Review of Experts in Product Liability and Toxic Tort Cases

For years, plaintiffs in product liability and toxic tort cases have viewed Pennsylvania's state court system as a favorable forum. Over the past year and a half, however, the Pennsylvania appellate courts have issued decisions…more

Cancer, Chemicals, Evidence, Expert Testimony, Expert Witness

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Supreme Court’s Campaign Contribution Decision To Have Substantial Impact

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

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

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IRS Announces Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has announced cost-of-living increases applicable to annual limits for employee benefit plans, including pensions, 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), and welfare plans for 2015. Employers should make sure that…more

COLA, Cost-of-Living, IRS, Retirement Plan

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U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether ECOA Applies to Loan Guarantors

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review whether the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) applies to loan guarantors. The case will be argued in the Supreme Court’s term that begins in October 2015…more

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Court Finds Attorney-Client Privilege Did Not Protect Antitrust Policy Disclosure

For the first time within the Third Circuit, a court has added to the handful of decisions holding that the attorney-client privilege does not shield an antitrust compliance policy from disclosure in antitrust litigation. In In…more

Antitrust Litigation, Attorney-Client Privilege, Chief Compliance Officers

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Congress votes unanimously to extend SCRA one-year foreclosure protection period

Congress has unanimously approved legislation to extend until January 2016 a provision of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) that prohibits foreclosing on a servicemember’s house for one year following the…more

Foreclosure, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgage Servicers, New Legislation, SCRA

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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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OFCCP Announces Intent To Publish Updated Rules Prohibiting Sex Discrimination

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently announced its intent to update rules prohibiting sex discrimination by federal contractors and subcontractors. The OFCCP published a Notice of Proposed…more

DOL, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Employer Mandates, Executive Orders

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Right of Rescission Not Unlimited, Maryland Court of Appeals Holds

The timing and mechanics of rescinding a loan under the Truth and Lending Act (TILA) has been a hotly contested legal issue. As highlighted during the recent oral argument in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. before the…more

Appeals, Mortgages, Regulation Z, Rescission, TILA

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N.J. Supreme Court Adopts ‘ABC’ Test To Determine Independent Contractor Status

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous decision that could affect virtually every employer in the state that uses independent contractors as part of its workforce. In Hargrove v. Sleepy’s, LLC, the court…more

Employee Definition, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Independent Contractors, Wage and Hour

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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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Investment Management Update

SEC’s Focus in 2015 - On December 11, 2014, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech at The New York Times DealBook Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference that highlighted…more

Excessive Fees, Insider Trading, Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, Mary Jo White

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Investment Management Update

SEC’s Focus in 2015 - On December 11, 2014, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech at The New York Times DealBook Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference that highlighted…more

Excessive Fees, Insider Trading, Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, Mary Jo White

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NY Attorney General, FTC Bring Joint Enforcement Actions against Debt Collectors

The New York Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission recently announced they had filed two joint federal court lawsuits against debt collectors in the Western District of New York. The Attorney General and FTC are seeking…more

Attorney Generals, Debt Collection, Debt Collectors, Enforcement Actions, FDCPA

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Investment Management Update

SEC’s Focus in 2015 - On December 11, 2014, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech at The New York Times DealBook Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference that highlighted…more

Excessive Fees, Insider Trading, Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, Mary Jo White

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Investment Management Update

SEC’s Focus in 2015 - On December 11, 2014, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech at The New York Times DealBook Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference that highlighted…more

Excessive Fees, Insider Trading, Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, Mary Jo White

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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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Pa. Department of Revenue Delivers Good News and Bad News Regarding New Realty Transfer Tax Provisions

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR) recently issued Information Notice - Realty Transfer Tax 2014-01 (the Information Notice) delivering some good news and bad news about how the new law that became effective January 1,…more

Department of Revenue, Real Estate Holding Companies, Real Estate Transfers, Realty Transfer Taxes, Transfer Taxes

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Pa. Department of Revenue Delivers Good News and Bad News Regarding New Realty Transfer Tax Provisions

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR) recently issued Information Notice - Realty Transfer Tax 2014-01 (the Information Notice) delivering some good news and bad news about how the new law that became effective January 1,…more

Department of Revenue, Real Estate Holding Companies, Real Estate Transfers, Realty Transfer Taxes, Transfer Taxes

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Supreme Court Provides New Ammunition for Defeating Securities Fraud Class Actions

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

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

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Major New Jersey Health System Pays $12.6 Million To Settle False Claims Act Suit Alleging Physician Kickback Scheme

Federal prosecutors recently announced a $12.6 million False Claims Act (FCA) settlement with a major New Jersey health system to resolve allegations that the system paid outside physicians in order to increase referrals…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Compliance, False Claims Act, HHS, Kickbacks

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U.S. Supreme Court Delivers Important Ruling in Teva v. Sandoz Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has nationwide jurisdiction for patent cases, must give deference to a district court’s factual findings in claim construction…more

Claim Construction, Clear Error Standard, De Novo Standard of Review, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Patent Litigation

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

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

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

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NLRB Issues Significant Decision on Faculty Unionization

The National Labor Relations Board (Board) recently ruled that it would assert jurisdiction over Pacific Lutheran University's (PLU’s) full-time contingent faculty members. In the context of a union's attempt to organize PLU's…more

Colleges, Faculty, Jurisdiction, NLRA, NLRB

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ISS Releases 2015 Draft Voting Policies for Independent Chair and Equity Incentive Plan Proposals

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently released for public comment its 2015 draft voting policies. The draft policies relate to two topics affecting the U.S. market: independent board chair shareholder proposals and…more

Board of Directors, Incentive Stock Options, ISS, Proxy Voting Guidelines, Public Comment

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New Internet Top-Level Domains Unveiled

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

Brand, Domain Names, gTLD, ICANN, Registration

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Step 1 Completed: Zoning Rewrite Approved by Montgomery County Council

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

Municipalities, Real Estate Market

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FTC and DOJ Shine the Spotlight on Conditional Pricing Practices

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

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

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Arizona Decision May Complicate Foreclosure and Eviction Process for Lenders

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

Deed of Trust, Eviction, Foreclosure, Lenders, Tenants

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

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

Foreclosure, HAMP, Mortgages

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IRS Issues Preliminary Guidance on Cadillac Tax

Monday, the Internal Revenue Service issued preliminary but much-anticipated guidance on the so-called Cadillac tax imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new notice offers very few concrete answers to employer questions…more

Affordable Care Act, Cadillac Tax, IRS, New Guidance

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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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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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HUD Notice has potential to encourage broad PHA renewable energy rollout

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

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

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Colorado Legislature Tries Again on Construction-Related Litigation Reform

As the Colorado Legislature begins its 2015 session, construction defect reform legislation is again at the fore. Senate Bill 177 was introduced on February 10 in an effort to spur condominium projects by providing developers…more

Class Action, Condominiums, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Homeowners' Association

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Public Offering Statement Disclosure Limits Developer's Liability

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

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

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CFPB issues final consolidated mortgage disclosure rule

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

CFPB, Mortgages, RESPA, TILA

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Act 47: Pennsylvania Says Enough Is Enough. Or Is It?

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett today signed House Bill 1773 (HB 1773) into law, significantly overhauling the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act, known as Act 47. Enacted in the 1980s to provide assistance to…more

Government-Guaranteed Loans, Grants, Municipalities, New Legislation, Tax Revenues

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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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Lender Risk Management for Bankruptcy Stay Violations

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a bankruptcy case highlights a risk to consumer lenders and suggests a practical approach to risk management through clear policies and employee training…more

Automatic Stay, Consumer Bankruptcy, Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Risk Management

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Condominium Unit Sales Exempt from Registration under ILSFDA

The sale of condominium units will no longer be subject to the registration requirements of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (the ILSFDA) under a bill passed by both houses of Congress. Barring a veto, the new…more

Condominiums, ILSFDA, New Legislation, Real Estate Transfers, Registration

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Federal Circuit Sides with USPTO in First Review of AIA Final Decision

For the first time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled on a final decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in an inter partes review proceeding, or IPR. In a 2-1 decision, the Federal…more

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Investment Management Update

SEC’s Focus in 2015 - On December 11, 2014, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech at The New York Times DealBook Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference that highlighted…more

Excessive Fees, Insider Trading, Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, Mary Jo White

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Does micro housing present opportunities for affordable housing?

Two recent news stories highlight a possible surge in the development of housing in high cost rental markets like New York and Washington, DC. A New York Times article and NPR story featured approaches to living in small housing…more

Affordable Housing, Micro Housing Units

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Philadelphia's Proposed Energy Reporting Regulations Expand Reach of Benchmarking Ordinance

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability issued proposed regulations on July 10, 2013, to implement Ordinance No. 120428-A – the City of Philadelphia’s recently enacted energy and water reporting or “benchmarking” ordinance…more

Air Pollution, Benchmarks, Energy Policy, Local Ordinance, Proposed Regulation

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

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

IRS

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Maryland Governor Expected To Sign Transgender Equality Bill

This month, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is expected to sign the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 (the Act). The Act prohibits discrimination against transgender individuals in employment, housing, and places of…more

Public Accommodation, Transgender

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

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

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Arbitrators, Class Action

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FTC Announces Settlement of First Actions against Auto Title Lenders

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that it has entered into proposed settlements with two auto title lenders that were charged with deceptive advertising in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act and the Truth in…more

Advertising, Automotive Industry, Automotive Loans, Civil Monetary Penalty, Enforcement Actions

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Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair development…more

Energy Projects, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, State and Local Government

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U.S. Mayors’ Group Recommends Ways To Improve Police-Community Relations

A U.S. Conference of Mayors working group, composed of mayors and police chiefs, recently issued a report titled Strengthening Police-Community Relations in America’s Cities. The report made two recommendations designed to…more

Community Relations, Conference of Mayors, Law Enforcement

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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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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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No Arbitration Where Employer Was Unable To Authenticate Employee's Electronic Signature on Arbitration Agreement

The California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, recently affirmed an order denying a petition to compel arbitration where the employer failed to present sufficient evidence that the employee electronically signed an arbitration…more

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Authentication, E-Signatures

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Hensarling establishes new policy for issuing subpoenas and gives CFPB deadline for responding to document requests

Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, has established a new policy for using his authority to issue subpoenas to the CFPB and other agency’s subject to the Committee’s…more

CFPB, Document Requests, Financial Services Committee, Subpoenas

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

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

Conspiracies, Grand Juries, Lenders, Payday Loans, Usury

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

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

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

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St. Louis County Ordinance Requiring Pre-Foreclosure Mediation Unconstitutional, Missouri Supreme Court Holds

The Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled that a St. Louis County ordinance requiring lenders to mediate with borrowers prior to foreclosure was void ab initio because it was not directed to a matter of purely municipal…more

Banks, Foreclosure, Local Ordinance, Mediation, Mortgages

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Phishing Attacks Target University Employee Payroll Information

In a recent advisory, the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC) warned higher education institutions about sophisticated phishing attacks that target faculty and staff credentials…more

Cybersecurity, Payroll Records, Phishing Scams, Popular, Universities

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ISS Releases 2015 Draft Voting Policies for Independent Chair and Equity Incentive Plan Proposals

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently released for public comment its 2015 draft voting policies. The draft policies relate to two topics affecting the U.S. market: independent board chair shareholder proposals and…more

Board of Directors, Incentive Stock Options, ISS, Proxy Voting Guidelines, Public Comment

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Proposed IRS Regulations Address Community Health Needs Assessment for Tax-Exempt Hospitals

The IRS has recently proposed regulations affecting tax-exempt hospitals that provide guidance and comfort about the consequences of failing to meet the community health needs assessment (CHNA) requirement. …more

Affordable Care Act, CHNA, Healthcare, Hospitals, IRS

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Supreme Court Ruling on Employee’s Lawsuit Will Also Affect Rule 23 Class Action Cases

In a decision that has broad implications beyond its labor law context, the U.S. Supreme Court held on April 16, 2013, that an employee plaintiff in a collective action whose individual claim was mooted by her employer’s offer…more

Class Action, Collective Actions, FLSA, Genesis HealthCare, Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk

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FCC Eases Some Standards for TCPA Consent Compliance Regarding Texting

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted two declaratory rulings that eased some standards for complying with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's (TCPA) consent requirements regarding informational text…more

Consent, FCC, TCPA, Texting

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Investment Management Update

SEC’s Focus in 2015 - On December 11, 2014, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech at The New York Times DealBook Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference that highlighted…more

Excessive Fees, Insider Trading, Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, Mary Jo White

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Court Finds Attorney-Client Privilege Did Not Protect Antitrust Policy Disclosure

For the first time within the Third Circuit, a court has added to the handful of decisions holding that the attorney-client privilege does not shield an antitrust compliance policy from disclosure in antitrust litigation. In In…more

Antitrust Litigation, Attorney-Client Privilege, Chief Compliance Officers

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President Obama Seeks To Expand Market for P3 Transportation Projects

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

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

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Public Offering Statement Disclosure Limits Developer's Liability

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

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

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Comments requested regarding proposed guidance on the Community Reinvestment Act

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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Renewed interest in Mortgage Credit Certificate programs

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

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

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Prepayment of tax-exempt bonds in connection with the sale of a multifamily housing project

In the last few years, we have seen an increase in the number of multifamily housing projects being sold at the completion of the 15-year low-income housing tax credit compliance period. Strong rental demand in many areas of the…more

LIHTC, Multi-Family Development, Real Estate Development, Real Estate Investments, Tax-Exempt Bonds

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

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

Appeals, Appellate Review, DOJ, FCPA, Foreign Official

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OFCCP Final Rule Prohibits Sexual Orientation and Gender Discrimination by Federal Contractors and Government Employees

On December 3, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Final Rule changing the OFCCP’s regulations to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the classes it protects. The final rule…more

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Obama’s Proposed 2016 Budget Seeks To Address Infrastructure Needs

The Obama administration's proposed 2016 budget, released on February 2, 2015, reflects the administration's commitment to finding ways to finance the country’s growing infrastructure requirements. The 2016 budget includes many…more

Bond Financing, Bonds, Educational Institutions, Federal Budget, Infrastructure

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MCDC Issuer Deadline is December 1. Are You Prepared?

The deadline for municipal issuers and obligated persons to self-report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under its Municipal Continuing Disclosure Compliance (MCDC) Initiative any recent misstatements in primary…more

Deadlines, Filing Deadlines, MCDC, SEC

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California Amends Mortgage Originator Testing and Education Requirements

The state of California has made significant changes to the testing and education requirements for its mortgage loan originators licensed under the California Finance Lenders Law and the California Residential Mortgage Lending…more

Jerry Brown, Licensing Rules, Mortgage Loan Originators, Mortgages, New Legislation

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Colorado Legislature Tries Again on Construction-Related Litigation Reform

As the Colorado Legislature begins its 2015 session, construction defect reform legislation is again at the fore. Senate Bill 177 was introduced on February 10 in an effort to spur condominium projects by providing developers…more

Class Action, Condominiums, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Homeowners' Association

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IRS Issues Preliminary Guidance on Cadillac Tax

Monday, the Internal Revenue Service issued preliminary but much-anticipated guidance on the so-called Cadillac tax imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new notice offers very few concrete answers to employer questions…more

Affordable Care Act, Cadillac Tax, IRS, New Guidance

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New York Federal Court Denounces Debtor’s Attempt To Induce FDCPA Violation

A New York federal district court recently issued a strong denunciation of the practice of debtors attempting to induce debt collectors into committing violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Finding that…more

Audio Recording, Debt Collection, FDCPA, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

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Philadelphia Paid Sick Leave Law Passed

Yesterday, Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law a bill mandating that most Philadelphia employers provide paid sick leave to their employees. It is anticipated that the law will provide this type of leave to approximately…more

Paid Leave, Sick Leave

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District Court Issues Crucial Ruling on Pennsylvania's Recording Statute

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has held that the failure to create and record written instruments evidencing assignments of mortgages and transfers of promissory notes secured by mortgages on…more

Assignments, Loan Transfers, Mortgages, Promissory Notes, Recording Requirements

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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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New York Issues Guidance on New Third-Party Debt Collector and Debt Buyer Regulations

The New York Department of Financial Services has issued guidance about its new Third-Party Debt Collector and Debt Buyer Regulations in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”). The FAQs provide insight on the scope of…more

Debt Buyers, Debt Collectors, New Guidance, NYDFS

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IRS Issues Preliminary Guidance on Cadillac Tax

Monday, the Internal Revenue Service issued preliminary but much-anticipated guidance on the so-called Cadillac tax imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new notice offers very few concrete answers to employer questions…more

Affordable Care Act, Cadillac Tax, IRS, New Guidance

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

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

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

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New York Proposes Additional Reforms To Protect Consumers in Collection Lawsuits

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

Debt Collection, Debt Collectors

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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 proposes rule to streamline certain administrative regulations

Section 243 of the FY2014 Appropriations Act for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development authorized certain statutory changes to the United States Housing Act of 1937. HUD issued notices implementing these…more

Appropriations Bill, Housing Choice Vouchers, HUD, National Housing Policy, Proposed Regulation

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

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

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

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Colorado Legislature Tries Again on Construction-Related Litigation Reform

As the Colorado Legislature begins its 2015 session, construction defect reform legislation is again at the fore. Senate Bill 177 was introduced on February 10 in an effort to spur condominium projects by providing developers…more

Class Action, Condominiums, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Homeowners' Association

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

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

Chevron, FCC, Preemption, SCOTUS, Telecommunications

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Right of Rescission Not Unlimited, Maryland Court of Appeals Holds

The timing and mechanics of rescinding a loan under the Truth and Lending Act (TILA) has been a hotly contested legal issue. As highlighted during the recent oral argument in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. before the…more

Appeals, Mortgages, Regulation Z, Rescission, TILA

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Act 47: Pennsylvania Says Enough Is Enough. Or Is It?

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett today signed House Bill 1773 (HB 1773) into law, significantly overhauling the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act, known as Act 47. Enacted in the 1980s to provide assistance to…more

Government-Guaranteed Loans, Grants, Municipalities, New Legislation, Tax Revenues

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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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Changes to Pa. Power of Attorney Law: A Problem for Commercial Transactions

Secured lenders and other parties entering into commercial transactions face new, potentially problematic requirements under recent changes to Pennsylvania’s statute governing powers of attorney (20 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 56), which…more

Amended Regulation, Commercial Loans, Power of Attorney, Secured Lenders

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CFPB takes action on misleading advertisements

Late last week, on February 12, the CFPB announced actions against three mortgage companies for alleged violations of Regulation N, the Mortgage Acts and Practices Advertising Rule. Among other restrictions, Regulation N bars…more

Advertising, CFPB, Consumer Lenders, False Advertising, FTC

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Colorado Legislature Tries Again on Construction-Related Litigation Reform

As the Colorado Legislature begins its 2015 session, construction defect reform legislation is again at the fore. Senate Bill 177 was introduced on February 10 in an effort to spur condominium projects by providing developers…more

Class Action, Condominiums, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Homeowners' Association

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Overview of Fannie Mae Legal Issues Forum – Spring 2014

On April 24,2014, Fannie Mae hosted its semi-annual Legal Issues Forum (“LIF”) where the state of the multifamily finance market and recent developments in its multifamily program were the primary topics of discussion. This…more

Fannie Mae, Mortgages

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Speed of Pharmaceutical Innovation at Stake in N.Y. Antitrust Lawsuit

A pharmaceutical firm’s ability to efficiently produce and promote a better treatment for Alzheimer’s disease lies at the center of an antitrust lawsuit pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In State…more

Actavis Inc., Antitrust Litigation, Appeals, Generic Drugs, Injunctions

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OCC Updated Examiner Guidance Includes New Overdraft Protection Program Requirements

In updated examiner guidance and examination procedures issued last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) directs its examiners to assess whether the overdraft protection and other deposit-related consumer…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Depository Institutions, Guidance Update, OCC

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Supreme Court’s Campaign Contribution Decision To Have Substantial Impact

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

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

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Third Circuit Rejects Class Certification in Yet Another Consumer Case

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

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

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Internet of Things: Federal Agencies Offer Privacy and Data Security Best Practices

The recently released Federal Trade Commission staff report, Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World, provides companies with insight into the FTC's consumer privacy and data security expectations for the…more

Best Practices, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, FTC, Internet

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

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

Foreclosure, Mortgages, Title Insurance

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

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

Foreclosure, Mortgages, Title Insurance

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CFPB Proposes Sweeping Changes for Prepaid Cards

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued an 870-page proposal for prepaid cards (including 156 pages of actual proposed rules) that mandates new disclosures, error resolution procedures, consumer liability limits for…more

CFPB, Prepaid Payment Products, Proposed Regulation

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Developer May Not Extinguish Contractor’s Liens by Foreclosing on Its Own Mortgage, Florida Court Holds

A Florida appellate court recently rejected a real estate developer’s creative effort to shed its property of contractor’s liens. The court applied the venerable principal of mortgage law that a borrower may not extinguish…more

Construction Liens, Contractors, Foreclosure, Liens, Mortgages

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High-Speed Trader Indicted for ‘Spoofing’

A federal grand jury in Chicago recently indicted high-frequency trader Michael J. Coscia for “spoofing,” making it the first criminal case ever brought under the Dodd-Frank Act’s rules against disruptive trading practices…more

CFTC, Consent Order, Criminal Prosecution, Disruptive Trading Practices, Dodd-Frank

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Another Agency Adopts the Uniform State Test

Another state agency has announced that it will be adopting the new national MLO test with the Uniform State Content. The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking will adopt the test effective…more

MLO Licenses

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Obama’s Proposed 2016 Budget Seeks To Address Infrastructure Needs

The Obama administration's proposed 2016 budget, released on February 2, 2015, reflects the administration's commitment to finding ways to finance the country’s growing infrastructure requirements. The 2016 budget includes many…more

Bond Financing, Bonds, Educational Institutions, Federal Budget, Infrastructure

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Pennsylvania Amends Mechanics’ Lien Law To Create Online State Construction Notices Directory

The Pennsylvania Legislature recently passed, and Governor Tom Corbett signed into law, Act 142 amending the Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 to create the State Construction Notices Directory. The Directory, which is slated to…more

Construction Contracts, Construction Industry, Liens, Mechanics Lien, Notice Requirements

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New P3 Legislation To Take Effect in Washington, D.C.

A new law intended to encourage more widespread use of public-private partnerships (P3s) in the District of Columbia is set to become a reality in the coming weeks. The Public-Private Partnership Act of 2014 (P3 Act) was…more

Local Ordinance, New Legislation, P3s, Public Procurement Policies, Public Projects

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Candid remarks from Director Cordray

Last week, Director Cordray spoke at a National Credit Union Administration town hall webinar. While his prepared remarks were not particularly revealing, the American Banker reported that Director Cordray was unusually candid…more

CFPB, Consumer Financial Products, Overdraft Fees, Regulation Z, Richard Cordray

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Deed of Trust Assignment without Debt Transfer Does Not Trigger TILA Notification Obligation, Maryland District Court Rules

The mere assignment of a deed of trust without a transfer of the underlying mortgage debt does not trigger a lender's obligation under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to notify the borrower of the assignment, according to a…more

Assignments, Deed of Trust, Mortgages, TILA

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Federal Circuit Sides with USPTO in First Review of AIA Final Decision

For the first time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled on a final decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in an inter partes review proceeding, or IPR. In a 2-1 decision, the Federal…more

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Supreme Court To Decide Evidentiary Requirements for Removal Notices in Class Actions

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the issue of what, if any, evidence a defendant must present in a notice of removal to remove a case to federal court based on the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). In granting the…more

CAFA, Class Action, Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, Evidence, Removal

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Internet of Things: Federal Agencies Offer Privacy and Data Security Best Practices

The recently released Federal Trade Commission staff report, Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World, provides companies with insight into the FTC's consumer privacy and data security expectations for the…more

Best Practices, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, FTC, Internet

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Insights from the executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

Our Ninth Annual National Housing Symposium successfully brought together a rich panorama of perspectives across the affordable housing industry. Laura Green Zeilinger, the Executive Director for the United States Interagency…more

Affordable Housing, Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeless Issues, HUD

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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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Obama Signs Hydropower Bills Designed To Help Reduce Red Tape

President Obama recently signed two bills into law that are designed to encourage the development of hydroelectric projects, especially certain types with a lower environmental impact…more

Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Policy, FERC, Hydropower

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Deadlines for Pennsylvania Real Property Tax Appeals

In view of current market conditions, now is a good time to review your company’s real estate portfolio to consider assessment appeals for tax year 2014…more

Appeals, Deadlines, Property Tax

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U.S. Supreme Court hears disparate impact case

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case which questioned whether the Fair Housing Act (FHA) allows for a disparate impact theory of liability. The disparate impact theory of liability is one in which a…more

Age Discrimination, DHCA v Inclusive Communities Project, Disparate Impact, FHA, HUD

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Pa. Supreme Court Rules Key Oil and Gas Law Unconstitutional

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

Environmental Policies, Municipalities, Oil & Gas

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More ADA Enforcement – Effective Communication Requirements for Service Providers

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice and Franciscan St. James Health (St. James), a nonprofit health care system providing comprehensive health care at hospitals in Illinois, settled a lawsuit alleging that St. James…more

ADA, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, Healthcare, Hospitals

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

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

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

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HUD awards Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants in six cities

On Friday, January 16, 2015, HUD announced the Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant awards. HUD is awarding $3.2 million in Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants to the following recipients..…more

Federal Grants, HUD, Neighborhood Revitalization

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CFPB Finalizes Amendments To TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule and Loan Originator Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently promulgated its first final rule of 2015, a series of minor amendments to the TILA/RESPA integrated disclosures (TRID) rule. The substantive changes to the TRID rule are an…more

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White House Task Force on Sexual Assault Releases First Report; OCR Issues Long-Awaited FAQs

The White House Task Force To Protect Students from Sexual Assault today released its first report, which contains a series of recommendations focused on identifying the scope of sexual assault on college and university…more

Colleges, OCR, Rape, Sexual Assault, Students

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SEC Charges City Mayor as a Control Person in Allen Park, Michigan, Enforcement Action

Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges against the City of Allen Park, Michigan (City), and two of its former officials—the former City Mayor and former City Administrator. It is the first…more

Economic Development, Enforcement Actions, Fraud, Joint and Several Liability, Municipal Bonds

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Pa. Supreme Court: Non-Compete Restrictions Need Clarifying

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to review Socko v. Mid-Atlantic Systems of CPA, Inc., a case of interest to employers regarding what consideration is necessary to support employee non-compete agreements. The court will…more

Consideration, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Contract, Former Employee, Non-Compete Agreements

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High-Speed Trader Indicted for ‘Spoofing’

A federal grand jury in Chicago recently indicted high-frequency trader Michael J. Coscia for “spoofing,” making it the first criminal case ever brought under the Dodd-Frank Act’s rules against disruptive trading practices…more

CFTC, Consent Order, Criminal Prosecution, Disruptive Trading Practices, Dodd-Frank

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Investment Management Update

SEC’s Focus in 2015 - On December 11, 2014, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech at The New York Times DealBook Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference that highlighted…more

Excessive Fees, Insider Trading, Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, Mary Jo White

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NLRB Rules Workers Have Right To Use Employer E-mail for Organizing Activity, Reversing Precedent

In a closely watched decision, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) ruled today that workers must be permitted to use their employers’ e-mail systems for union organizing activity and all other communications about…more

Email, NLRB, Purple Communications, Unions

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President Announces New Build America Initiatives; Introduces New Type of Municipal Bond

President Obama recently announced the latest steps federal agencies are taking to better incorporate private sector capital and expertise in improving the nation’s infrastructure. The announcement comes six months after the…more

Barack Obama, Build America Investment Initiative, Infrastructure, Municipal Advisers, Municipal Bonds

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Employers Must Be Cautious in Addressing Ebola Concerns

Neither the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission nor the Centers for Disease Control has issued any specific guidance for employers to deal with Ebola issues. With multiple Ebola cases diagnosed in the United States and…more

ADA, Ebola, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA, Title VII

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Feds Obtain First-Ever Settlement over Allegedly Discriminatory ‘Buy Here, Pay Here’ Car Dealership Financing

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the North Carolina Department of Justice recently requested court approval of a consent decree arising out of alleged racial discrimination by two North Carolina car dealerships in their…more

Car Dealerships, Discrimination, DOJ, Equal Access to Credit, Predatory Lending

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

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

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

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Expatriate Plans Exempted from Many Affordable Care Act Provisions

In the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (the recently enacted federal budget bill often known as the “CRomnibus” legislation), Congress has exempted health plans designed to cover expatriates from most of…more

Affordable Care Act, Appropriations Bill, Employer Group Health Plans, Employer Mandates, Expatriates

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SEC Issues No-Action Letter on Internet-Based ‘Road Shows’

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a “no-action” letter relating to a provider of electronic-based “road shows.” The SEC stated in the letter, issued on January 29, 2013, that such presentations to retail…more

Municipal Securities Market, No-Action Letters, Road Shows, SEC, Securities Exchange Act

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Rental Housing Mistake Limited the Number of Children at Properties

Recently, managers of rental homes settled with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) after the managers discriminated against a woman with several children by unlawfully denying housing to the family…more

Discrimination, DOJ, Fair Housing Act, HUD, Recordkeeping Requirements

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OCC Updated Examiner Guidance Includes New Overdraft Protection Program Requirements

In updated examiner guidance and examination procedures issued last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) directs its examiners to assess whether the overdraft protection and other deposit-related consumer…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Depository Institutions, Guidance Update, OCC

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New IRS guidance for certain entities benefitting from tax-exempt bond financings

The IRS has released guidance in three areas of interest to entities that benefit from tax-exempt bond financings, particularly hospitals and educational institutions…more

Bond Financing, Educational Institutions, Hospitals, IRS, New Guidance

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Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair development…more

Energy Projects, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, State and Local Government

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FTC and DOJ Shine the Spotlight on Conditional Pricing Practices

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

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

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HUD adopts updated standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

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

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Court Upholds Constitutionality of Pennsylvania Recording Statute

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

Class Action, MERS, Real Estate Transfers, Recording Requirements

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NLRB Issues Significant Decision on Faculty Unionization

The National Labor Relations Board (Board) recently ruled that it would assert jurisdiction over Pacific Lutheran University's (PLU’s) full-time contingent faculty members. In the context of a union's attempt to organize PLU's…more

Colleges, Faculty, Jurisdiction, NLRA, NLRB

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NJ Federal Court Confirms: No Consumer Fraud Claims For Product ‘Harm’

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has once again confirmed a recent trend in consumer fraud class actions based on product liability claims: if the essence of the claim is harm caused by an allegedly…more

Class Action, Fraud, Product Defects

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

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

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

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Lender Risk Management for Bankruptcy Stay Violations

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a bankruptcy case highlights a risk to consumer lenders and suggests a practical approach to risk management through clear policies and employee training…more

Automatic Stay, Consumer Bankruptcy, Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Risk Management

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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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Obama’s Proposed 2016 Budget Seeks To Address Infrastructure Needs

The Obama administration's proposed 2016 budget, released on February 2, 2015, reflects the administration's commitment to finding ways to finance the country’s growing infrastructure requirements. The 2016 budget includes many…more

Bond Financing, Bonds, Educational Institutions, Federal Budget, Infrastructure

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NJ Federal Court Confirms: No Consumer Fraud Claims For Product ‘Harm’

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has once again confirmed a recent trend in consumer fraud class actions based on product liability claims: if the essence of the claim is harm caused by an allegedly…more

Class Action, Fraud, Product Defects

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Ballard Spahr’s National Housing Symposium goes beyond the horizon

Yesterday Ballard Spahr held its 9th annual National Housing Symposium in Washington, D.C.. The theme of the Symposium was “Beyond the Horizon: Housing and Community Development Strategies for the Future”. Government officials,…more

Affordable Housing, EB-5, Housing Market, LIHTC, Public Housing

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California Federal Court Decertifies Second Damages Class in as Many Months

For the second time in as many months, the Northern District of California has decertified a damages class in a food labeling class action because the plaintiff’s damages model was incapable of measuring only those damages…more

Blue Diamond Growers, Class Action, Decertify, Dole Food

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Court Upholds Constitutionality of Pennsylvania Recording Statute

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

Class Action, MERS, Real Estate Transfers, Recording Requirements

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Pa. Supreme Court Rules Key Oil and Gas Law Unconstitutional

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

Environmental Policies, Municipalities, Oil & Gas

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Investment Management Update

SEC’s Focus in 2015 - On December 11, 2014, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gave a speech at The New York Times DealBook Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference that highlighted…more

Excessive Fees, Insider Trading, Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, Mary Jo White

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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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U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether ECOA Applies to Loan Guarantors

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review whether the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) applies to loan guarantors. The case will be argued in the Supreme Court’s term that begins in October 2015…more

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Second NLRB Decision Issued in Ongoing Higher Education Union Organization Efforts

A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently ordered the counting of ballots that were cast in a union election by contingent faculty members at Seattle University. The votes had been impounded since…more

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Maryland Passes P3 Legislation

Legislation encouraging the use of public-private partnerships (P3s) to address Maryland’s growing infrastructure needs has been passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor O’Malley with bipartisan support…more

Infrastructure, New Legislation, P3s, Public-Private Partnerships

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Condominium Unit Sales Exempt from Registration under ILSFDA

The sale of condominium units will no longer be subject to the registration requirements of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (the ILSFDA) under a bill passed by both houses of Congress. Barring a veto, the new…more

Condominiums, ILSFDA, New Legislation, Real Estate Transfers, Registration

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Changes to Pa. Power of Attorney Law: A Problem for Commercial Transactions

Secured lenders and other parties entering into commercial transactions face new, potentially problematic requirements under recent changes to Pennsylvania’s statute governing powers of attorney (20 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 56), which…more

Amended Regulation, Commercial Loans, Power of Attorney, Secured Lenders

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Getting In: Preparation and Delivery of Leased Premises

The condition of the premises upon delivery is often one of the most important parts of the lease negotiation. The lease provisions addressing this issue are often contained in an exhibit or schedule to the lease, or a separate…more

Contract Drafting, Landlords, Leases, Rent, Repairs

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Anthem's Breach: How Employers Should Respond

With the news of the breach of security at Anthem health plans, many employers have been wondering whether their employees are affected and how they should respond. The breach extends to members in Anthem-affiliated plans and…more

Anthem Blue Cross, Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Health Insurance

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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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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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Clery Act Changes Published; OCR Resolves Transgender Complaint

Today, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) published in the Federal Register the final rule implementing changes to the Clery Act under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). In another recent USDOE…more

Clery Act, Department of Education, Employer Liability Issues, OCR, Transgender

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

400+ Attorneys

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