Blank Rome LLP

U.S. Coast Guard Marine Casualty Reporting Guidance Finalized

Action Item: The Coast Guard finalized its NVIC, published earlier this year in draft form, which endeavors to provide a uniform policy interpretation of when a casualty report is and is not required. Vessel owners, operators,…more
| Maritime Law

Justice Department Announces That Three More Swiss Banks Reach Agreements Over Tax Evasion Claims

On July 30, 2015, the Justice Department’s Tax Division announced that three more Swiss banks — PKB Privatbank AG, Falcon Private Bank AG and Credito Privato Commerciale in liquidazione SA (CPC) – have cut deals with the U.S. to…more
| Criminal Law, Finance & Banking, International Law & Trade, Taxation

Foundation: July 2015 • Vol. II, Issue 2

Warranty/Guaranty Provisions in Construction Contracts - The most confusion I have seen in the discussion of construction topics concerns the concepts of “warranty” and “guaranty.” This article will address the confusion,…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law, Environmental Law, Real Estate - Commercial, Toxic Torts

Standing after Neale: Third Circuit Clarifies Jurisdictional Standing and Predominance Analysis in Consumer Class Actions

On July 22, 2015, in Joanne Neale, et al. v. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, et al., the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated and remanded the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey’s decision to…more
| Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Consumer Protection

FATCA Update: Confidentiality of Information Transmitted to IRS; Announcement of “More Favorable” IGA Terms; and More IGAs

The month of July has seen several significant developments regarding implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which has been fully effective since July 1, 2014. First, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel…more
| Finance & Banking, International Law & Trade, Taxation

Pennsylvania Federal Court Holds that Envelope with Visible Bar Code That Could Be Scanned To Reveal Consumer’s Account Number May Violate the FDCPA

Action Item: In light of this decision, debt collectors should avoid the use of account numbers and/or QR codes on envelopes or within the viewing area of clear plastic envelope windows. Revealing such information on envelopes…more
| Communications & Media Law, Finance & Banking, Consumer Protection

FinCEN Announces Another Geographic Targeting Order

South Florida check cashers will soon be required to obtain additional identifying information about customers cashing federal tax refund checks over $1,000. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued another Geographic…more
| Consumer Protection, Criminal Law, Finance & Banking, Privacy, Taxation

SEC Regulations on Investment Securities Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has created a revolution in the raising of funds for startup companies and for other projects, including both for-profit and not-for-profit projects. Crowdfunding is a process by which a company or project can raise…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Real Estate - Commercial, Real Estate - Residential, Securities Law

DOL Strikes Again – Misclassification Is (Still) the Target

Action Item: On July 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued guidance warning against misclassification of employees as “independent contractors,” enumerating the many evils of such misclassification, and…more
| Labor & Employment Law

Third Circuit Clarifies FDCPA Restrictions on Third-Party Communications

Action Item: Lenders and servicers should continue to maintain policies and procedures that minimize third-party communications and ensure maintenance of sufficient records documenting the frequency and purpose of those…more
| Consumer Protection, Finance & Banking

SEC Charges EB-5 Brokers with Violation of the Exchange Act

Action Item: In what is expected to be the first of many cease-and-desist orders made by the SEC against brokers handling investments in EB-5 investment projects, all EB-5 organizers and sponsors, through their due diligence,…more
| Administrative Law, Finance & Banking, International Law & Trade, Securities Law

Shanghai Government Relaxes Company Domicile Requirements

Action Item: The recently implemented Administrative Measures show the Shanghai government’s intention to relax and simplify the requirements for company domicile registration. However, the precise scope of the Administrative…more
| Business Organizations, Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, International Law & Trade

NLRB Overrules Longstanding Precedent—Withholding Witness Statements is No Longer a Bright Line Exception

Action Item: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently held in American Baptist Homes of the West d/b/a Piedmont Gardens that there is no longer a blanket exemption for witness statements from an employer’s Section…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law

EPA Takes Initial Steps toward Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aircraft

Action Item: As a first step towards regulating aircraft emissions that contribute to climate change or emit greenhouse gas pollutants, the EPA has proposed to find that some greenhouse gas emissions from certain aircraft…more
| Environmental Law, Transportation

Eastern District of Pa. Again Recognizes Montreal Convention Exclusively Governs Claims

Action Item: Until there is appellate resolution of the preemptive effect of the Montreal Convention, airlines sued in state court over damages allegedly arising during the course of international transportation should contact…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Conflict of Laws, Personal Injury, Transportation
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