Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Proposed Tax Regulations Limit Availability of Valuation Discounts to Family Business Owners

For family business owners who desire to transfer ownership of part of their business to the next generation, the valuation of the business interest is often an important factor to consider. This is especially true for family…more

Business Succession, Business Valuations, Closely Held Businesses, Comment Period, Estate Planning

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Alabama Property Tax Protest Season is Underway

The 2016 property tax protest season has arrived. In Alabama, property tax valuations are handled on a county-by-county basis. Some counties mail valuation notices to all taxpayers. Others rely on publication notice and only…more

Appeals, Board of Equalization, Property Tax, Property Valuation

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Digital Imports: Should Downloads Be Subject to the Tariff Act?

On April 3, the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that the agency has jurisdiction to police digital transmission for intellectual property infringement. The ITC hears trade disputes regarding “articles” imported into…more

Digital Goods, Digital Media, Illegal Imports, Imports, Infringement

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The Election is Over, Now What?

Now that the election is over, many clients and friends are asking what labor and employment law might look like under the soon to be President Trump. Of course, no one can predict exactly what will happen in the coming term…more

Affordable Care Act, Arbitration, Blacklist, Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Class Action

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Big Changes to Federal Jurisdiction over Waters of the U.S. through the Clean Water Act

On March 25, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) announced the release of their proposed rule redefining what waters fall under federal jurisdiction under the…more

Clean Water Act, EPA, Federal Jurisdiction, Jurisdiction, Mining

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What’s Mine is Not Yours: Former Officers and Directors and a Corporation’s Attorney–Client Privilege

An officer or director’s company exit often feels like a divorce, with post-departure monetary payments and document-custody issues dominating the immediate aftermath. Companies are quick to enforce non-compete agreements and…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Board of Directors, Confidential Information, Corporate Counsel, Corporate Officers

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The Election is Over, Now What?

Now that the election is over, many clients and friends are asking what labor and employment law might look like under the soon to be President Trump. Of course, no one can predict exactly what will happen in the coming term…more

Affordable Care Act, Arbitration, Blacklist, Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Class Action

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Can the CFPB Really Prohibit Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements?

Section 1028 of the Dodd-Frank Act, entitled “Authority to Restrict Mandatory Pre-Dispute Arbitration,” gives the CFPB the authority to promulgate regulations imposing conditions, limitations, or outright prohibitions on…more

Administrative Authority, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, CFPB, Consumer Financial Products

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Alternative Approaches to Alternative Design: Understanding the Reasonable Alternative Design Requirement and Its Different Applications

In 1997, the American Law Institute (ALI) adopted the final draft of its Restatement (Third) of Torts on the topic of product liability. The most notable—and controversial—feature of the ALI’s work was its requirement that…more

Design Defects

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Should Your ERISA Plan Have a Forum Selection Clause?

With relatively few exceptions, administrators of employee benefit plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) have enjoyed success enforcing forum selection clauses in cases across the country. As such,…more

DOL, Employee Benefits, ERISA, Forum Selection Clause

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SEC Issues Stern Reminder for Timely Filing of Beneficial Ownership Reports

After years of little enforcement action, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a press release yesterday announcing charges against 28 officers, directors, or major shareholders for violating federal securities…more

Beneficial Owner, Deadlines, Directors, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions

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The “Fifth Pillar” of AML/BSA Compliance FinCEN Issues Final Rule for New Customer Due Diligence Requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act

For years, financial institutions have operated under the maxim that an effective anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance program (collectively “AML”) rests upon four pillars: (1) written policies and procedures;…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, Broker-Dealer, BSA/AML, Customer Due Diligence (CDD)

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Public-Private Partnerships: The Solution to the Problem with Our Aging Infrastructure?

It is no secret that the most significant budget challenges that the United States faces on both a state and national level revolve around the cost to repair and replace our aging infrastructure. In 2014, the American Society of…more

Construction Industry, Critical Infrastructure Sectors, Design-Build, Investment, Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

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Court Grants ABC’s Preliminary Injunction Request in Case Challenging “Blacklisting” Executive Order

We recently reported on a lawsuit, filed by the Associated Builders and Contractor’s (ABC), challenging the “blacklisting” Executive Order and the implementing regulations. As we noted in our article, a ruling by the Court on…more

Blacklist, Disclosure Requirements, DOL, Executive Orders, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

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U.S. Supreme Court Vacates Fourth Circuit’s Decision Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

On Wednesday, in a 6-3 decision with Justice Breyer writing for the majority, the Supreme Court revived Peggy Young’s pregnancy discrimination claim against UPS under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) in Young v. United…more

Essential Functions, PDA, Pregnancy Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation, SCOTUS

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Roadmap to Software Patent Eligibility – Continued

Recent Federal Circuit cases provide direction on how to satisfy the PTO or the federal courts that software is eligible for a patent. Some key points include: - New ways of organizing data - New connections…more

Abstract Ideas, AT&T Mobility, Computer-Related Inventions, Internet, Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

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CFPB’s Proposed Rule Bans Class Waivers in Financial Services Industry

As expected, yesterday the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a proposed rule that would effectively ban class action waivers in pre-dispute arbitration agreements for a broad range of consumer financial…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Consumer Contracts

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Strike Suit Struck Down

It seems that the announcement of any corporate transaction triggers a race to the courthouse by plaintiffs’ firms. These firms specialize in filing class action lawsuits demanding additional disclosures for the benefit of the…more

Attorney's Fees, Class Action, Material Misrepresentation, Settlement, Shareholder Litigation

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Special Session Ends with Handful of Noteworthy Tax Bills, Predictions for Next Special Session

The first Special Session of 2015 ended on Tuesday, August 11, without accomplishing the primary objective of passing a General Fund budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The Governor’s “call” for the special session included…more

Business Taxes, Legislative Agendas, Legislative Process, Reciprocity Rules, Repeal

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A Primer to Understanding Wrap-Up Insurance Programs

Whether you are a property owner, general contractor, or subcontractor, understanding wrap-up insurance programs—when to consider one, what they insure, and how they affect the project—is vital to a construction project’s…more

Bids, CCIP, Construction Project, Contractors, Federal Contractors

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Data Breach Response Planning: Laying the Right Foundation

Part of Bradley Arant’s Privacy and Information Security Team’s seven-part Data Breach Toolkit Webinar Series, the “Data Breach Response Planning: Laying the Right Foundation” webinar, led by Paige Boshell and Amy Leopard,…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Breach Notification Rule, Cyber Attacks, Cyber Crimes

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Debt Buyers Should Exhaust All Avenues When Investigating Credit Report Disputes

Last week, the 11th Circuit issued an opinion reversing and remanding a prior decision from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia related to the proper verification of debts when a consumer…more

Appeals, Burden of Proof, Debt Buyers, Debt Collection, Debtors

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SCOTUS Agrees to Review City of Miami Fair Housing Claim

The Supreme Court has agreed to review a discriminatory lending case brought by the City of Miami against Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. At issue is whether a city government is permitted to bring a suit seeking to…more

Bank of America, Discriminatory Lending Practices, Fair Housing Act (FHA), Foreclosure, Mortgage Lenders

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Tennessee CON Report

I. October 2016—Tennessee Certificate of Need Meeting - At the October meeting of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency, the agency approved the following applications, rules and requests. (There was no…more

Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Certificate of Need, Health Care Providers, Healthcare Facilities, Home Health Care

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New OFCCP Revised Scheduling Letter: Your Secret’s Not Safe with the OFCCP

You are officially on notice—the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is going to share your data with other federal agencies. What data, you ask? The OFCCP annually selects numerous…more

Cooperative Agreements, Data Collection, DOL, EEOC, Executive Orders

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New Federal Contracting Requirements for Reporting Tax Liabilities and Felony Convictions

Federal acquisition officials recently finalized an interim rule intended to remove contractors with federal tax liabilities and felony convictions from the federal contracting arena. The interim rule, which took effect February…more

C-Corporation, Construction Industry, Disclosure Requirements, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Federal Contractors

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Land Banking Comes to Birmingham

On Tuesday, May 6, 2014, the City of Birmingham joined a number of other municipalities in a vote to authorize a Land Bank Authority. The Birmingham City Council passed the resolution to establish a land bank in hopes of…more

Abandoned Property, Banks, Economic Development, Foreclosure, Government Entities

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U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Requirements for Removing Class Actions to Federal Court

Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, No. 13-719, a case involving the procedural requirements for removing a class action from state to federal court under the Class…more

Amount in Controversy, CAFA, Class Action, Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, Diversity

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CFPB Releases Guiding Principles for the Future of Loss Mitigation

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released new consumer protection and loss mitigation-related principles in an effort to guide mortgage servicers, investors, government housing agencies, and policymakers…more

Ability-to-Repay, CFPB, HAMP, Loss Mitigation, Mortgage Servicers

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Supreme Court Upholds ACA Tax Credits; Employers Must Continue to Play or Pay

In a much-anticipated decision, the Supreme Court upheld in King v. Burwell the validity of tax credits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are available to individuals in States that have Federal…more

Affordable Care Act, Employer Mandates, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges, Individual Mandate

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MACRA/O Level Changes Coming with MIPS and APMs: An In-Depth Look at Medicare’s Proposed Physician Payment System Reform

1. Executive Summary - With the dirt barely settled on the unmourned grave of the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) methodology for updating physician fee schedule payments, CMS published a proposed rule that would…more

CMS, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization (MACRA), MIPS, Physician Medicare Reimbursements, Proposed Regulation

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Tennessee Adopts Expansive Trade Secret Preemption Standard

In a case of first impression decided August 19, 2014, the Tennessee Court of Appeals has decided the standard for determining the scope of preemption under the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA). The court adopted a…more

Misappropriation, Preemption, Trade Secrets, UTSA

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CMS Announces Next Generation ACO with Increased Risk and Reward

On March 10, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced its “Next Generation ACO Model,” which CMS hopes will provide more experienced accountable care organizations an opportunity to assume higher levels of…more

ACOs, CMS, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Medicare Shared Savings Program

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Supreme Court Rejects “No Injury” Claims For Statutory Damages

Monday morning, the United States Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins (No. 13-1339), which addresses the question of whether a bare allegation of a statutory violation, unaccompanied by…more

Article III, Class Action, FCRA, Injury-in-Fact, SCOTUS

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Same Verse, Different Chapter: The Statute of Limitations Saga Continues in Florida

The Second District Court of Appeals joins the Third District in affirming a final judgment of foreclosure in favor of the bank in an action based on a breach date that falls outside the five-year statute of limitations under…more

Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon, Banking Sector, Banks, Default, Final Judgment

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Eleventh Circuit Refuses to Extend Scope of Assignee TILA Liability to Failure to Provide Payoff Balance

Ruling on an issue of first impression at the Circuit Court level, the Eleventh Circuit recently refused in Evanto v. Federal National Mortgage Association to impose Federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA) liability on assignees for…more

Assignees, First Impression, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgage Servicers, Third-Party Liability

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Deadline Extensions Possible for Expanded Retail Accountability Program

The rollout of the newly expanded Tennessee Retail Accountability Program is meeting with some opposition as the first reporting deadline under the 2015 changes in the program approaches. In response to these concerns, the…more

Automotive Industry, Deadlines, Department of Revenue, Food Manufacturers, Recordkeeping Requirements

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CFPB Midyear Update Signals 3 Steps Student Loan Servicers Should Consider Taking Now

As regulatory pressure on student loan servicing continues to increase, servicers are paying close attention to the steady stream of news and publications issuing from the CFPB and the Department of Education. The most recent of…more

Borrowers, CFPB, Consumer Complaint System, Consumer Financial Products, Department of Education

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8 Simple Rules for Accommodating Responsible Innovation

From mobile deposits to securing account access with biometric data, financial institutions are interacting with their customers in never-before-seen ways. But long before these advances come to market they must survive…more

Banks, Innovation, OCC, Risk Management, Technology

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Appellate Court Decision Holding CFPB Unconstitutional Promises Significant Implications

In a landmark decision issued last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) structure violated the Constitution’s separation-of-powers requirements. In PHH…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Appeals, CFPB, Constitutional Challenges, Director Removal

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Should Your ERISA Plan Have a Forum Selection Clause?

With relatively few exceptions, administrators of employee benefit plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) have enjoyed success enforcing forum selection clauses in cases across the country. As such,…more

DOL, Employee Benefits, ERISA, Forum Selection Clause

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Alabama CON Report

I. SHPDA Administrative Report - Contested Case - AL2016-022, Geneva County Health Care Authority, Inc., Geneva AL: Proposes to acquire, relocate and operate five (5) geriatric psychiatric inpatient beds as an addition…more

ALJ, Certificate of Need, Health Care Providers, Healthcare Facilities, Reviewability Determinations

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CFPB Outlines Expectations for In-Person Debt Collection Activities by First- and Third-Party Debt Collectors

Consumer debt collection activities remain one of the primary focus areas of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—and this focus is not limited to the activities of third—party debt collectors…more

CFPB, Debt Collection, FDCPA, Financial Sector, Third-Party Service Provider

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House Bill 59, Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act, Expands Alabama Abatements Significantly

The Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act, HB59, Act No. 2015-24 (the “Act”), makes several changes to Alabama abatement law and expands the list of industries and types of projects that are eligible for those abatements…more

Abatement, Pending Legislation, Tax Abatement

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Something To Be Thankful For: The 2017 ISS Policy Updates

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) has published its voting policy updates for the 2017 proxy season, and those involved with public company compliance can add “generally insignificant changes to ISS voting policies”…more

Bylaws, CEO's, Incentive Compensation, Institutional Investors, ISS

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The End is Near! Election Day 2016 Employee Rights and Employer Responsibilities

The 2016 election is just days away—do you know your obligations when it comes to employees who want time off to vote during the workday? In some states employers must provide employees voting leave, while in other states, like…more

Employer Liability Issues, Paid Leave, Voting Leave, Voting Rights

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FHFA Proposes Rule on Fannie Mae’s & Freddie Mac’s Duty to Serve Underserved Markets

Pursuant to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which amended the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, federal law requires the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and…more

Affordable Housing, Fannie Mae, FHFA, Freddie Mac, Proposed Regulation

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The Election is Over, Now What?

Now that the election is over, many clients and friends are asking what labor and employment law might look like under the soon to be President Trump. Of course, no one can predict exactly what will happen in the coming term…more

Affordable Care Act, Arbitration, Blacklist, Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Class Action

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Mississippi Legislature Changes Supersedeas Bond Amounts . . . Maybe

A party that wins at trial and recovers a money judgment may seek to collect on the judgment immediately, unless the other party posts a supersedeas bond to stay execution of the judgment pending appeal. The Mississippi…more

Amended Legislation, Appeals, Bonds, Money Judgment, Rules of Appellate Procedure

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Bankruptcy Proof of Claim Form Gets a Makeover

Several of the Official Bankruptcy Forms will be replaced on December 1, 2015. For creditors, the most notable changes will be to two forms: the Proof of Claim form, Form 410, and the Mortgage Proof of Claim Attachment, Form…more

Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Court, Creditors, Default, Mortgages

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CFPB Proposes Rules to Limit Arbitration Agreements in Consumer Financial Products

Last week, the CFPB announced two proposals related to the inclusion clauses that require arbitration to resolve all future disputes (“pre-dispute arbitration agreements”) in consumer financial products. The first proposal would…more

Administrative Review, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, CFPB, Class Action

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SEC Adopts Regulation A+

Newly adopted exemption to securities registration requirements may offer new capital raising opportunities for developing companies - A company that seeks to raise capital by offering or selling securities to potential…more

Blue Sky Laws, Debt Securities, Equity Financing, Exemptions, JOBS Act

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Mississippi Legislature Changes Supersedeas Bond Amounts . . . Maybe

A party that wins at trial and recovers a money judgment may seek to collect on the judgment immediately, unless the other party posts a supersedeas bond to stay execution of the judgment pending appeal. The Mississippi…more

Amended Legislation, Appeals, Bonds, Money Judgment, Rules of Appellate Procedure

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MACRA/O Level Changes Coming with MIPS and APMs: An In-Depth Look at Medicare’s Proposed Physician Payment System Reform

1. Executive Summary - With the dirt barely settled on the unmourned grave of the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) methodology for updating physician fee schedule payments, CMS published a proposed rule that would…more

CMS, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization (MACRA), MIPS, Physician Medicare Reimbursements, Proposed Regulation

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Florida Courts Continue to Take the Wind Out of Foreclosure Defense Attorneys’ Sails

In late July, another Florida appellate court took a sizable chunk out of foreclosure defense attorneys’ litigation playbook, holding that substantial compliance, rather than strict compliance, is the prevailing standard to be…more

Compliance, Default, Defense Strategies, Foreclosure, Lenders

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BABC eDiscovery Newsletter - April 2013

In this issue: - The Firm’s Ediscovery Team Attorneys - Case Insights - Editor’s Corner - Excerpt from Peerless Industries, Inc. v. Crimson Av, LLC, Case No. 1:11-cv-1768, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2985…more

Clawbacks, Document Productions, Document Review, Email, Record Preservation

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Attention HR: The Antitrust Laws Apply To You Too!

Human resources professionals keep track of a number of laws and regulations administered by several different agencies. For the most part, HR departments have given little attention to federal antitrust law compliance. After…more

Anti-Competitive, Antitrust Provisions, Competition, DOJ, FTC

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The Prepaid Rule is Finally Here

Last week, the CFPB issued its long-awaited final rule amending Regulation E (Electronic Funds Transfer Act) and Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act) to create regulations for prepaid financial products (Prepaid Rule). The CFPB’s…more

CFPB, Consumer Financial Products, Disclosure Requirements, EFTA, Final Rules

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Buyer Beware – Know Before You Wire: FTC and NAR Warn Home Buyers on Closing Costs Wire Transfer Phishing Scams

In a recent blog post on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Information blog, the FTC warned home buyers of an e-mail and wire transfer phishing scam in which hackers pose as real estate professionals or title…more

FTC, National Association of Realtors, Phishing Scams, Real Estate Professionals, Title Companies

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What General Counsel Should Know When a Company's Tenant Files for Bankruptcy

Your tenant files for bankruptcy-what’s your move? Debtors who are lessees under real property leases have certain rights regarding their lease under § 365 of the Bankruptcy Code. Essentially, the debtor has two options: 1)…more

Assignments, Chapter 11, Chapter 7, Commercial Bankruptcy, Commercial Leases

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ALTA Introduces New CPL Form with Major Potential Negative Implications for the Financial Services Industry

In April, we posted about the significant protection afforded mortgage lenders and servicers as part of closing protection letters including recent judicial interpretations providing critical indemnity to lenders for “actual…more

ALTA, Closing Protection Letters, Financial Services Industry, Lenders, Mortgage Lenders

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Class Certification Issues In O’Bannon v. NCAA

In This Presentation: - Important Players - Underlying Lawsuit - Procedural Pre-Class Certification - Class Certification Issues - Aftermath and Trial - Recent Developments -…more

Athletes, Class Action, Class Certification, College Athletes, License Agreements

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IRS Extends Affordable Care Act Reporting Deadlines

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) granted a reprieve of sorts with respect to the 2015 information reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the ACA, an “applicable large employer” (generally,…more

Affordable Care Act, Applicable Large Employers (ALE), Employer Group Health Plans, Filing Deadlines, IRS

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Retroactive Tax Law Upheld, Circuit Court Jurisdiction Limited

Before 2014, Alabama sales tax applied only to the sale of prepaid calling cards or authorization numbers, pursuant to Ala. Code §40-23-1(a)(13). In 2014, the Alabama Legislature amended the above statute to “clarify” that it…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Appeals, Constitutional Challenges, Department of Revenue, Jurisdiction

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Be Prepared: How to Avoid the Super-Priority Trap

Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail.” Servicers can face significant obstacles in preservation of their rights vis a vis assessments by homeowners’ associations and condo associations (a…more

Condominium Associations, Homeowners' Association, Liens, Mortgage Lenders, Super Priority

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CMS Finalizes Stark Law Changes in CY 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule

This past July, on the heels of a decision in which a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit characterized the federal physician self-referral prohibition commonly known as the “Stark Law” as, “even for…more

CMS, Final Rules, Health Care Providers, Physician Fee Schedule, Stark Law

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Maximizing Cost Recovery in a Termination for Convenience

With constant budget pressures, federal procurement contracts are always at risk of a termination for convenience. If a termination for the government’s convenience is forecasted by the federal government, there are steps that a…more

Contract Termination, Damages, Federal Contractors, Federal Procurement Systems

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For Love or Money: Considering Prenuptial Agreements

The question of prenuptial agreements comes up often in multi-generational family- owned businesses. The question is typically raised by mom or dad, or maybe grandmother or grandfather, and goes something like: “We’re all very…more

Business Ownership, Business Valuations, Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Businesses

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Broad “Assumption of Liability” Clause in Subcontract Likely Trumps “Waiver of Subrogation” Clause in Prime Contract

In a recent case handled by Bradley, a federal court in Maryland issued a decision attempting to reconcile inconsistent contract provisions. The general contractor said that its fire sprinkler subcontractor was responsible…more

Ambiguous, Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Contracts, Construction Disputes, Construction Industry

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Predicting How the New Partnership Audit Rules Will Affect S Corporations and Their Shareholders

This column has three focal points: S corporations (of course!), the new partnership audit procedures and Jeanne Dixon. Yes, that Jeanne Dixon—the self-professed psychic who claimed to have predicted the assassination of…more

Audits, Bipartisan Budget, Partnerships, S-Corporation, TEFRA

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Supreme Court Affirms Discretion to Award Fees in Copyright Suits, But Case Precedence Not Relevant

The Copyright Act states that the trial court “may…award” attorney’s fees to the prevailing party. Legal fees incurred by plaintiffs and defendants alike in copyright and other intellectual property cases can be staggering, as…more

Attorney's Fees, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Fee-Shifting, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons

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Contractors Beware: Subcontractor Exception to “Your Work” Exclusion May Not Save the Day

Commercial general liability (CGL) coverage for a general contractor is not guaranteed, even if property damage is all a subcontractor’s fault. Consider the following example: A general contractor builds a stadium for which a…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Industry, General Contractors, Insurance Industry, Policy Exclusions

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Arbitration Clause Requiring Arbitrators to Render a Decision within 30 Days from Their Appointment? Superfast Decision?

Ever wonder about a superfast arbitration procedure in a contract that you have been given? An arbitration clause requiring an arbitration panel to issue a decision within 30 days of being selected for the panel was recently…more

American Arbitration Association, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Binding Arbitration, Construction Contracts

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Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Clarifies Standing Requirements for FDCPA Plaintiffs

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has clarified the type of injury that must be alleged by a plaintiff suing under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This decision, in Church v. Accretive Health, Inc., is the…more

Article III, Corporate Counsel, Debt Collectors, FDCPA, Injury-in-Fact

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Summary of Mississippi’s New Construction Lien Law

Mississippi recently enacted a new construction lien law. This article addresses certain key provisions of the new law - codified at Mississippi Code Annotated § 85-7-401 (Rev. 2014) - that apply to commercial projects. …more

Construction Contracts, Construction Liens, Construction Workers, Contractors, Liens

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Tennessee – 2014 Legislative Highlights

Effective January 1, 2015, the method of issuing tax assessments and the informal conference process available to taxpayers will be revamped. 2014 Tenn. Pub. Acts 854. Touted as being more taxpayer-friendly, the two most…more

Fuel Tax, Marketing, Natural Gas, Notice Requirements, Property Tax

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Filing a Collection Suit? The Statute of Limitations for the Forum State May Not Be the Correct Limitations Period

Debt collectors filing suit often assume that the forum state’s statute of limitations will apply. However, a string of recent cases suggests that may not always be the case. The Ohio Supreme Court recently determined that, by…more

Affirmative Defenses, Borrowers, Borrowing Statutes, Cause of Action Accrual, Corporate Counsel

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Oil and Gas Industry Concerned about EPA’s Proposed Methane Emissions Rules

On August 18, 2015, the EPA released proposed rules aimed at reducing methane and other volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in the oil and natural gas industry. In January 2015, the EPA stated its goal to decrease methane…more

EPA, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Methane, New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), Oil & Gas

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Alabama Property Tax Protest Season is Underway

The 2016 property tax protest season has arrived. In Alabama, property tax valuations are handled on a county-by-county basis. Some counties mail valuation notices to all taxpayers. Others rely on publication notice and only…more

Appeals, Board of Equalization, Property Tax, Property Valuation

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Major Win for Products Manufacturers on Safer, Alternative Design Requirement

In a unanimous decision released last week, the Alabama Supreme Court delivered a significant victory for manufacturers defending products liability claims in Hosford v. BRK Brands, Inc. As in most jurisdictions, a plaintiff in…more

Design Defects, Judgment As A Matter Of Law, Manufacturers, Product Defects

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US Environmental Protection Agency Opens Criminal Investigation into Herbicide Spraying

According to articles in Missouri newspapers and other news outlets, federal agents recently executed search warrants in several counties in Missouri to probe possible criminal violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide,…more

Criminal Investigations, EPA, FIFRA, Genetically Engineered Seed, Off-Label Use

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Treasury Department Issues Guidance Intended to Ease Dollar-Denominated Foreign Transactions with Iran

The United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) amended its guidance on Iranian sanctions to clarify that some transactions with Iran by non-U.S. institutions are permitted, provided that such…more

Banking Sector, Foreign Investment, Iran, Iran Sanctions, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

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Status of Public Private Partnerships in Texas

In recent years, the state of Texas jumped headlong into public-private partnerships in a variety of different arenas. Often called PPP, 3P or P3, this delivery method has rapidly become the go-to avenue for delivering projects…more

Construction Project, Department of Transportation (DOT), Highways, Infrastructure, Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

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Don’t Get Caught By Surprise: NMLS Adds New Requirements in Connection with Renewal

If a company is keeping its Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) record current, the renewal season should be a relatively painless exercise in fee collection. However, in addition to the normal renewal housekeeping…more

Criminal Background Checks, Financial Sector, Financial Services Industry, Fingerprints, License Renewals

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Something To Be Thankful For: The 2017 ISS Policy Updates

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) has published its voting policy updates for the 2017 proxy season, and those involved with public company compliance can add “generally insignificant changes to ISS voting policies”…more

Bylaws, CEO's, Incentive Compensation, Institutional Investors, ISS

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SCRA Will Continue to Receive Regulatory Scrutiny

On March 22, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015. This bill was signed into law by President Obama on March 31, 2016. This follows the recodification…more

CFPB, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, Financial Institutions, Foreclosure

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The Eleventh Circuit has spoken: “Debtors who surrender property must get out of the creditor’s way”

In recent years, there has been a hotbed of litigation across the nation, particularly in Florida state and bankruptcy courts, regarding a debtor’s ability to contest a secured creditor’s foreclosure notwithstanding the debtor’s…more

Abandoned Property, Affirmative Defenses, Appeals, Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 7

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DOL Tones Down White-Collar Exemption Regulations, But Millions Still Affected

Receiving over 270,000 comments must have impressed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to the point that it scaled back the provisions originally stated or hinted at in the proposed rules, with final rules issued May 18 that go…more

DOL, FLSA, Minimum Salary, Public Comment, Wage and Hour

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New Attorney General Opinion Removes Uncertainty for Alabama Retailers

State and Local Tax Alert: Alabama Edition - The Alabama Attorney General issued an opinion regarding the manner in which sellers located within the state are required to pay local sales tax on deliveries made to Alabama…more

Local Taxes, Retail Market, Sale of Goods, Sales Tax, State and Local Government

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The Upcoming “Patent Cliff”: Plan to File New Patent Applications Before March 16, 2013

On March 16, 2013, one of the most important and controversial provisions of the “Leahy-Smith America Invents Act,” or AIA, is scheduled to take effect and this event will mark a significant change in United States patent filing…more

America Invents Act, First-to-File, First-to-Invent, Patent Reform, Patents

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Oral Modification of Mortgage Not Permitted by Florida Court of Appeals

This week, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals held that Florida’s Statute of Frauds precludes oral modification of a mortgage and that the judicial doctrine of promissory estoppel may not be used to circumvent the…more

Mortgages, Oral Modification, Promissory Estoppel, Statute of Frauds

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UPDATE: Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Bourne Valley Decision Holding Nevada HOA Super-Priority Lien Statute Unconstitutional

The Ninth Circuit denied the plaintiff’s request to rehear Bourne Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., in which the Ninth Circuit found NRS 116 to be unconstitutional on its face because the statute violates a first…more

Constitutional Challenges, Denial of Rehearing, Due Process, Foreclosure, Foreclosure Sales

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CFPB Issues Compliance Guides for New TILA, RESPA, and ECOA Requirements

In January 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a number of new final rules to implement amendments to the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), and Equal…more

CFPB, Compliance, ECOA, RESPA, Truth in Lending Act (TILA)

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New Federal Contracting Requirements for Reporting Tax Liabilities and Felony Convictions

Federal acquisition officials recently finalized an interim rule intended to remove contractors with federal tax liabilities and felony convictions from the federal contracting arena. The interim rule, which took effect February…more

C-Corporation, Construction Industry, Disclosure Requirements, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Federal Contractors

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Part Two: Ten Tips to a Successful Mediation: From the Mediator's Perspective

In part one of my article, I discussed five tips you should follow prior to the mediation conference to best achieve a successful result. I will now discuss five more tips you should use at the mediation conference which will…more

Dispute Resolution, Mediation, Young Lawyers

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2015 – The Health Law Year in Review

With 2015 in the books, we are pleased to reflect on some of the major developments over the past year in the field of health law. The year was marked by changes in Medicare payment models—from government pronouncements…more

Affordable Care Act, DOJ, False Claims Act (FCA), Individual Accountability, King v Burwell

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The Election is Over, Now What?

Now that the election is over, many clients and friends are asking what labor and employment law might look like under the soon to be President Trump. Of course, no one can predict exactly what will happen in the coming term…more

Affordable Care Act, Arbitration, Blacklist, Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Class Action

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CFPB Expands Protections for Successors in Interest – Attend Part 2 of Our “CFPB Mortgage Servicing Amendments” Webinar Series to Learn More

As part of its recent amendments to the mortgage servicing rules in Regulations X and Z, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is fundamentally changing the way mortgage servicers are required to treat successors in…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, Loss Mitigation, Mortgage Servicers, Mortgage Servicing Rules

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The “Rule of Two” Rules the Day in Supreme Court’s Decision Against the VA

The recently decided case of Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States marks a big win for small business-owning veterans. The Supreme Court unanimously decided that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) misinterpreted…more

Competitive Bidding, Construction Industry, Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Contractors, Federal Supply Schedule (FSS)

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Leaving Real Estate Investment Trusts in the Cold: How the Americold Case Could Preclude Establishing Diversity Jurisdiction in Federal Court

The Supreme Court’s most recent citizenship opinion, Americold Realty Trust v. Conagra Foods, Inc., could make removing or keeping a case in federal court based on diversity more difficult for a statutory trust with a…more

Americold Realty Trust v Conagra Foods, Beneficial Owner, Citizenship, Diversity Jurisdiction, Members

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2014 – The Health Law Year in Review

Each year brings significant changes and challenges in the laws governing the health care industry, and 2014 proved to be no exception. What the year may have lacked in the high drama that accompanies comprehensive health reform…more

ACOs, Affordable Care Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, CMP Law, CMS

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The Sunshine Act Final Rule: CMS Sheds Light on Reporting Physician and Teaching Hospital Payments

On February 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule implementing the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (the “Act”). The Act requires certain manufacturers of covered drugs, devices, and…more

Applicable Manufacturers, Biologics, CMS, Covered Recipients, Disclosure Requirements

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Chapter 7 Debtors Cannot Strip Off Junior Liens on Underwater Home Loans, United States Supreme Court Rules

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that debtors in Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases cannot “strip off,” or completely void, junior mortgages that—based on the value of the property and the amount of claims secured by…more

Bank of America v. Caulkett, Bankruptcy Code, Borrowers, Chapter 13, Chapter 7

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Caught in the Cross-Fire: Student Loan Lenders and Servicers’ Risks in the Bankruptcy Fight over College Tuition Clawbacks

Many parents hope to fund, in some part, their children’s college educations, and the federal government has created a system of incentives, including tax advantaged 529 plans, to support that expectation. Recent research shows…more

529 Plans, Borrowers, Chapter 7, Clawbacks, Consumer Bankruptcy

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The Election is Over, Now What?

Now that the election is over, many clients and friends are asking what labor and employment law might look like under the soon to be President Trump. Of course, no one can predict exactly what will happen in the coming term…more

Affordable Care Act, Arbitration, Blacklist, Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Class Action

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Understanding CIPs, Builder’s Risk, and Inland Marine Insurance Policies

Part of Bradley Arant’s Policyholder Insurance Coverage Team’s six-part Maximize Your Company's Insurance Coverage Webinar Series, the “Understanding CIPs, Builder’s Risk, and Inland Marine Insurance Policies” webinar, led by…more

Builder's Risk Exclusion, CIP, Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Industry, Contractors

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Will Alabama Honor Your Choice of Law Provisions?

Amendment 884 calls into question the validity and enforceability of the choice of law provisions in contracts brought before Alabama courts. In November of 2014, Alabama voters ratified Amendment 884 to the Alabama…more

Amended Legislation, Choice-of-Law, Contract Drafting, Contract Terms, Dispute Resolution

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The Camel’s Nose: Incorporating Commercial and Construction Arbitration Rules

There is an old proverb that states, “If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow.” Stated differently, one should not let the camel’s nose inside unless he or she is prepared to accept the whole…more

AL Supreme Court, American Arbitration Association, Commercial Insurance Policies, Liability Insurance, Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

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Legislation Targeting Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs) Passes in House by Comfortable Margin

On Thursday, December 5, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the “Innovation Act” (H.R. 3309), a bill principally aimed at curtailing certain patent infringement litigation practices of non-practicing entities…more

Disclosure Requirements, Discovery, Infringement, Innovation Act, Legal Costs

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House Bill 59, Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act, Expands Alabama Abatements Significantly

The Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act, HB59, Act No. 2015-24 (the “Act”), makes several changes to Alabama abatement law and expands the list of industries and types of projects that are eligible for those abatements…more

Abatement, Pending Legislation, Tax Abatement

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Alabama Department of Revenue Now Argues that ALL Software—Canned or Custom—Is Subject to Sales/Use Tax

The Alabama Tax Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) ruled in a recent case that the taxpayer-hospital was entitled to a refund of the sales tax paid on the purchase of software that had been customized for its particular functions…more

Department of Revenue, Hospitals, Sales Tax, Software, Tax Tribunal

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Something To Be Thankful For: The 2017 ISS Policy Updates

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) has published its voting policy updates for the 2017 proxy season, and those involved with public company compliance can add “generally insignificant changes to ISS voting policies”…more

Bylaws, CEO's, Incentive Compensation, Institutional Investors, ISS

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Key Points from the Final MACRA Rule

On October 14, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule (Final Rule) implementing sweeping changes to the Medicare physician payment system mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP…more

Alternative Payment Models (APM), CMS, Final Rules, Medicare, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization (MACRA)

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Tennessee Supreme Court Revisiting Summary Judgment Standard

On the heels of two new Justices joining the Tennessee Supreme Court, the Court has indicated its intention to reconsider the summary judgment standard set forth in Hannan v. Alltel Publishing Co., 270 S.W. 3d 1 (Tenn. 2008). In…more

Appeals, Pleading Standards, Summary Judgment

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Mississippi CON Report

Certificates of Need Approved and Staff Recommendations – October 2016 - A. Letters of Intent to Change Ownership - None - B. Determinations of Reviewability - 1. University of Mississippi Medical Center…more

Certificate of Need, Extensions, Health Care Providers, Healthcare Facilities, Inpatient Rehab Facilities

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NAIC’s New 12-Step Cybersecurity Program

The Cybersecurity Task Force of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has released formal guidance outlining the data security safeguards that the insurance industry and state insurance regulators should…more

Cybersecurity, Insurance Industry, NAIC

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US Environmental Protection Agency Opens Criminal Investigation into Herbicide Spraying

According to articles in Missouri newspapers and other news outlets, federal agents recently executed search warrants in several counties in Missouri to probe possible criminal violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide,…more

Criminal Investigations, EPA, FIFRA, Genetically Engineered Seed, Off-Label Use

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Offer Expired: The FAR’s 30-Day Offer Expiration Rule Applicable to Commercial Items

The language of FAR 52.212-1(c) states that an “offeror agrees to hold the prices in its offer firm for 30 calendar days from the date specified for receipt of offers, unless another time period is specified in an addendum to…more

Department of Defense (DOD), Expiration Date, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Federal Contractors, General Solicitation

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Rhode Island Joins Lists of True Super-Priority Lien States for Condo Associations

In December 2015, the Rhode Island Supreme Court issued an opinion holding that Rhode Island’s Uniform Condominium Act provides a true “super-priority” lien to condominium owner associations (COAs) when a condominium owner is…more

Foreclosure, Homeowners' Association, Liens, Mortgage Lenders, RI Supreme Court

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Marketing Services Agreements Pose Grave Compliance Risk – Mortgage and Real Estate Industry on Notice

The CFPB issued Compliance Bulletin 2015-05 (Bulletin) today, which sets forth its position concerning the use of Marketing Services Agreements (MSAs) by mortgage companies and settlement service providers. Importantly, the CFPB…more

CFPB, CFPB Bulletins, Criminal Sanctions, Marketing Services Agreements, Mortgages

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Banks Should Prepare for Increased Collaboration between IT, Legal and BSA/AML Compliance Departments under New FinCEN Guidance

Last month, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an Advisory which provided substantial guidance to financial institutions regarding the scope of information that must be provided…more

Bank Secrecy Act, Banks, BSA/AML, Compliance, Cyber Crimes

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Budget Deal Limits Payment to New Off-Campus Hospital Outpatient Departments

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the “Act”) into law. The Act, widely hailed as a rare act of bipartisan cooperation, raises the federal debt ceiling and sets federal spending…more

Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Barack Obama, Bipartisan Budget, CMS, Debt Ceiling

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Washington Supreme Court Closes the Door on Changing the Locks

In Jordan v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, the Washington Supreme Court issued a stern warning to lenders seeking to change the locks on foreclosure properties. Given the significant potential liability exposure created by the…more

Banking Sector, Breach of Contract, Class Action, Deed of Trust, Financial Institutions

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New Self-Certification Procedure for Late Rollovers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued Revenue Procedure 2016-47, which provides for a new self-certification procedure for participants who receive retirement plan distributions but inadvertently miss the 60-day time…more

401k, 403(b) Plans, 457(b) Plans, Distribution Rules, Employee Benefits

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Don’t Be Bullied by a Patent Troll

One of our favorite stories growing up was the “Three Billy Goats Gruff,” the main character of which is a terrible troll who lived under a bridge. The troll tried to terrorize and eat three goats who just wanted to cross a…more

Infringement, Patent Trolls, Patents, USPTO

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It Depends on the Meaning of the Word “Or” – Interpreting Brand Name or Equal Clauses

The CBCA recently published an opinion addressing the interpretation of “Brand Name or Equal” clauses in Glancy & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Veterans Affairs. In Glancy, the contract specifications identified a patient headwall…more

Construction Project, Contract Interpretation, Corporate Branding, Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Contractors

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Fourth Circuit Clarifies When a Regulatory Violation May Lead to a False Claims Act Violation

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision in United States ex rel. Rostholder v. Omnicare, Inc., reconfirms the well-founded principle that a civil False Claims Act (FCA) claim that is based on the defendant’s…more

False Claims Act (FCA), Healthcare, Omnicare, Pharmaceutical Industry

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US Environmental Protection Agency Opens Criminal Investigation into Herbicide Spraying

According to articles in Missouri newspapers and other news outlets, federal agents recently executed search warrants in several counties in Missouri to probe possible criminal violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide,…more

Criminal Investigations, EPA, FIFRA, Genetically Engineered Seed, Off-Label Use

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Filing a Collection Suit? The Statute of Limitations for the Forum State May Not Be the Correct Limitations Period

Debt collectors filing suit often assume that the forum state’s statute of limitations will apply. However, a string of recent cases suggests that may not always be the case. The Ohio Supreme Court recently determined that, by…more

Affirmative Defenses, Borrowers, Borrowing Statutes, Cause of Action Accrual, Corporate Counsel

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Preparing for Increased Cybersecurity Information Sharing

Cybersecurity remains a top focus of government regulators, and the prevailing trend is to encourage information sharing between the government and private entities to combat cybersecurity threats. In line with this theme, on…more

Barack Obama, Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP), DHS

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D.C. Circuit Court Finds the CFPB Misinterpreted Section 8 of RESPA and Violated Due Process with Retroactive Application

The D.C. Circuit Court issued its long-awaited opinion in PHH Corporation v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, No. 15-1177 (D.C. Cir., filed 2015) regarding the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s…more

Administrative Interpretation, CFPB, Constitutional Challenges, Dodd-Frank, Due Process

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Real Estate Newsletter - December 2013

The Alabama Supreme Court recently addressed whether a lender must own a mortgage when it initiates foreclosure proceedings and, if not, whether that would invalidate the ownership rights in the property that the lender obtained…more

Foreclosure, Mortgages, Real Estate Market

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Final Clean Water Act Rule Goes Into Effect

On May 27, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Waters of the U.S. Final Rule under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This is an expansion by the Obama Administration of the federal protection of U.S. waterways…more

Clean Water Act, EPA, Federal Jurisdiction, Final Rules, US Army Corps of Engineers

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HIPAA and HITECH Privacy and Security Rule Update: Final Omnibus Rule

The Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published today the much anticipated final omnibus rule implementing the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health…more

Business Associates, Compliance, Covered Entities, Data Breach, Data Protection

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Time to Review Your Confidentiality Agreements: New Federal Trade Secrets Act Creates Private Right of Action and Imposes New Employer Obligations

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 (DTSA), which establishes a new federal private right of action for trade secret misappropriation, is now the law. Trade secrets, the fourth leg of the intellectual property chair, have long…more

Asset Seizure, Confidential Information, Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Economic Espionage Act, Ex Parte

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The Government Whittles Away at Life Sciences Patents

The current U.S. Supreme Court has been noted for its hostility to patent holders in general, but the Supreme Court has been especially hostile to any sort of life sciences or software invention. The Court has attempted to…more

Additive Manufacturing, Computer-Related Inventions, DNA, Food Manufacturers, Genetic Testing

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Charitable Lead Annuity Trusts: A Potential Win-Win for Your Assets

In this final installment in our three-part series, we discuss the planning technique known as Charitable Lead Annuity Trusts (CLATs). Like Intra-Family Loans and Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) described in previous…more

Charitable Lead Annuity Trust, Estate Planning, Estate Tax, Family Businesses, Gift Tax

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House Bill 59, Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act, Expands Alabama Abatements Significantly

The Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act, HB59, Act No. 2015-24 (the “Act”), makes several changes to Alabama abatement law and expands the list of industries and types of projects that are eligible for those abatements…more

Abatement, Pending Legislation, Tax Abatement

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U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Opens the Door to More State-Law Securities Class Actions

Today, in a 7-2 decision with Justice Breyer writing for the majority, the Supreme Court issued a narrow interpretation of when the federal Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (“SLUSA”) preempts state-law securities…more

Class Action, Corporate Counsel, Ponzi Scheme, Preemption, SCOTUS

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CMS Announces Next Generation ACO with Increased Risk and Reward

On March 10, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced its “Next Generation ACO Model,” which CMS hopes will provide more experienced accountable care organizations an opportunity to assume higher levels of…more

ACOs, CMS, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Medicare Shared Savings Program

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Taking Measure of HIPAA Enforcement

Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the largest settlement to date for alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)…more

Breach Notification Rule, Business Associates, Covered Entities, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Enforcement Actions

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Defense of Marriage Act: What the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor Decision May Mean for Employer-Sponsored Benefit Plans

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in U.S. v. Windsor that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is an unconstitutional “deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment of the…more

Discrimination, DOMA, Due Process, Employee Benefits, Equal Protection

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CFPB Releases Guiding Principles for the Future of Loss Mitigation

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released new consumer protection and loss mitigation-related principles in an effort to guide mortgage servicers, investors, government housing agencies, and policymakers…more

Ability-to-Repay, CFPB, HAMP, Loss Mitigation, Mortgage Servicers

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Raging Bull Decision Riles Hollywood, Thrills Plaintiffs

In June, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision affecting copyright claims and defenses. The copyrighted work at issue was the popular motion picture Raging Bull, in which Robert DeNiro plays famous boxing champion Jake…more

Affirmative Defenses, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Laches, MGM

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Taking Measure of HIPAA Enforcement

Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the largest settlement to date for alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)…more

Breach Notification Rule, Business Associates, Covered Entities, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Enforcement Actions

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Third Circuit Expands FMLA Interpretation

In Deborah Hansler v. Lehigh Valley Hospital Network, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturned a motion to dismiss granted to Lehigh Valley based on FMLA regulations and its interpretation regarding…more

Appeals, Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA, FMLA Certification Forms

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ADOR Proposes Substantial Rule Change For Partnerships

The ADOR has proposed a number of amendments to its rule governing the filing of partnership tax returns, Form 65. The new rule, as proposed, inserts language conforming with Alabama’s recently enacted “factor presence nexus”…more

Amended Legislation, Business Taxes, Department of Revenue, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Partnerships

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The “Fifth Pillar” of AML/BSA Compliance FinCEN Issues Final Rule for New Customer Due Diligence Requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act

For years, financial institutions have operated under the maxim that an effective anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance program (collectively “AML”) rests upon four pillars: (1) written policies and procedures;…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, Broker-Dealer, BSA/AML, Customer Due Diligence (CDD)

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CFPB Issues Compliance Guides for New TILA, RESPA, and ECOA Requirements

In January 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a number of new final rules to implement amendments to the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), and Equal…more

CFPB, Compliance, ECOA, RESPA, Truth in Lending Act (TILA)

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Alabama Rewrites Its Noncompete Statute

The Alabama legislature recently passed a comprehensive revision of the state’s noncompete statute, and Governor Bentley has signed the act into law. The new statute will become effective January 1, 2016. The new statute does…more

Amended Legislation, Employer Liability Issues, Non-Compete Agreements, Reasonableness Factors

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Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Push-Up Case

There is an update on the Fourth Circuit decision that ruled that the FBI could reject a male agent candidate who failed his physical fitness test by not being able to do one additional push-up. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court…more

Appeals, Denial of Certiorari, FBI, Fitness for Duty Exams, Gender Discrimination

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Check Your Neutral Policies: The EEOC Joins the ACLU’s Challenge to Dignity Health’s Exclusion of All Care Related to Sex Transitions as Sex Discrimination

The ACLU filed a complaint against Dignity Health, claiming that the total exclusion of care related to “sex transformation surgery” in Dignity’s employee health insurance plan is unlawful sex discrimination. Now the EEOC wants…more

ACLU, Amicus Briefs, EEOC, Employer Group Health Plans, Policy Exclusions

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New Rule Requires Federal Contractors to Disclose Federal Tax Delinquencies and Felonies

On December 4, 2015, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulations to implement sections of…more

Construction Industry, Department of Defense (DOD), Disclosure Requirements, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Federal Contractors

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West Virginia’s Bank of Mingo Pays $4.5 Million for BSA/AML Compliance Program Deficiencies, Showing that Small and Midsize Institutions Also Face Enforcement Scrutiny

A series of recent federal enforcement actions targeting weaknesses in financial institutions’ Bank Secrecy Act/anti–money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance programs continued on June 15, when the Department of Justice (DOJ),…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, Banks, BSA/AML, Civil Monetary Penalty

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All Play and No Work: TN Body Clarifies When Recreational Activities Are Covered Under Worker’s Comp Law

Since the early 1930s, the Tennessee Supreme Court has consistently ruled that an employee’s injury during voluntary recreational activity is not compensable as a work-related accident. However, Tennessee Code Annotated §…more

Charitable Purpose, Reversal, TN Supreme Court, Workers' Compensation Claim, Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB)

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Concerted Activity or Insubordination?

With its recent decision in Central States SE and SW Areas, Health & Welfare and Pension Funds, 362 N.L.R.B. No. 155, 203 LRRM 2082 (August 4, 2015), the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) has provided another…more

Administrative Appeals, ALJ, Dismissals, NLRB, Protected Concerted Activity

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Freddie Mac’s Manufactured Housing Initiative Task Force for Chattel Loans

Section 1129 of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) amended the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 to establish a duty for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie…more

Affordable Housing, Fannie Mae, Financing, Freddie Mac, HERA

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The Government Shutdown and its Effect on the Real Estate Market

On September 30, the federal government shut down or significantly reduced staffing for many of its programs because of Congress’ failure to pass a budget for this fiscal year. The shutdown appears set to affect the real estate…more

Fair Housing Act (FHA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Government Shutdown, Mortgages

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UPDATE: Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Bourne Valley Decision Holding Nevada HOA Super-Priority Lien Statute Unconstitutional

The Ninth Circuit denied the plaintiff’s request to rehear Bourne Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., in which the Ninth Circuit found NRS 116 to be unconstitutional on its face because the statute violates a first…more

Constitutional Challenges, Denial of Rehearing, Due Process, Foreclosure, Foreclosure Sales

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EEOC Issues Controversial Updated Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

For the first time in over 30 years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued a comprehensive update to its guidelines on pregnancy discrimination. The EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy…more

ADA, ADAAA, Discrimination, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues

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Alabama CON Report

I. SHPDA Administrative Report - Contested Case - AL2016-022, Geneva County Health Care Authority, Inc., Geneva AL: Proposes to acquire, relocate and operate five (5) geriatric psychiatric inpatient beds as an addition…more

ALJ, Certificate of Need, Health Care Providers, Healthcare Facilities, Reviewability Determinations

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Don’t Roll the Dice: FinCEN Assesses Significant Penalties on Regulated Entity for Failing to Implement a Comprehensive AML Compliance Program

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) imposed a civil money penalty of $12 million against a Nevada based casino, CG Technology, L.P. (CGT) for alleged violations of the Bank Secrecy Act…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, BSA/AML, Casinos, Civil Monetary Penalty

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Vendor Landmines

Q: Our condominium has more than 2 million square feet of unused common space. It seems like a no brainer to invite a food-and-drink vendor to use the space and charge rent based on a percentage of gross sales. Do we need to…more

Commercial Leases, Common Areas, Condominiums, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), HUD

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Will Expanding P3 Legislation Impact You?

Recent legislation in Kentucky and Tennessee: Kentucky and Tennessee have recently been added to the growing list of states allowing the use of public-private partnerships (P3). The Kentucky Legislation (HB 309) was passed…more

Construction Industry, Infrastructure, Public Private Partnerships (P3s), Public Projects, Roads

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Recovery of Real Property in South Carolina After a Tax Sale

Acme Bank has a problem. Acme loaned $480,000 for the purchase of a beach house on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, securing the debt with a recorded mortgage. Six months ago, the bank received a letter from the county tax…more

Action to Quiet Title, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages, Notice Requirements, Property Tax

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2015 – The Health Law Year in Review

With 2015 in the books, we are pleased to reflect on some of the major developments over the past year in the field of health law. The year was marked by changes in Medicare payment models—from government pronouncements…more

Affordable Care Act, DOJ, False Claims Act (FCA), Individual Accountability, King v Burwell

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Design Errors Exception to the Economic Loss Doctrine

A recent Pennsylvania case, Gongloff Contracting, LLC v. L. Robert Kimball & Assocs., Architects and Engineers, Inc., sheds light on circumstances in which design errors can lead to damages in tort as courts recognize exceptions…more

Construction Industry, Design Defects, Design Professionals, Economic Loss Doctrine, Negligent Misrepresentation

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Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of $2.3 Billion FCA Case Due to Prior Public Disclosure

Last week, in U.S. ex rel. Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) v. U.S. Bank, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a False Claims Act (FCA) suit against U.S. Bank because the conduct alleged by the qui tam…more

Corporate Counsel, Fair Housing Act (FHA), False Claims Act (FCA), Foreclosure, US Bank

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Changes to IRS Partnership and LLC Audit Rules

Recent history has seen a proliferation of health care organizations—including tax-exempt organizations, for-profit companies, and physician practice groups—that have joined together to take advantage of different synergies…more

Audits, Bipartisan Budget, Business Taxes, Income Taxes, Indemnification

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STOP! Texas Federal Court Issues Nationwide Injunction to Department of Labor’s FLSA Salary Increases

An update on Department of Labor’s (DOL)’s controversial new overtime regulations regarding “white-collar” exemptions. With the U.S. DOL’s regulations increasing the minimum salary for white collar exemptions scheduled to…more

DOL, Final Rules, FLSA, Minimum Salary, Over-Time

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Interacting with Settlement Agents to Ensure TRID Compliance

Last October, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new integrated mortgage disclosure rule under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (commonly known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated…more

CFPB, Closing Documents, Financial Services Industry, Mortgage Lenders, TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID)

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Post-Accident Investigation Reports: Protecting Work Product

A workplace accident causes injury. In-house legal counsel edits the resulting post-accident investigation report and labels it “prepared in anticipation of litigation.” Many would assume without question that the report is…more

Accident Reports, Corporate Counsel, Internal Investigations, Work Product Privilege, Workers' Compensation Defense

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A Primer to Understanding Wrap-Up Insurance Programs

Whether you are a property owner, general contractor, or subcontractor, understanding wrap-up insurance programs—when to consider one, what they insure, and how they affect the project—is vital to a construction project’s…more

Bids, CCIP, Construction Project, Contractors, Federal Contractors

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When to Say When? Fifth Circuit Rules on When an Accommodation Isn’t Working

In a published opinion, the Fifth Circuit has held that an employee’s poor performance in a light-duty position can relieve the employer from any further obligation to find a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with…more

ADA, Disability Discrimination, FMLA, Good Faith, Hiring & Firing

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Deadline Extensions Possible for Expanded Retail Accountability Program

The rollout of the newly expanded Tennessee Retail Accountability Program is meeting with some opposition as the first reporting deadline under the 2015 changes in the program approaches. In response to these concerns, the…more

Automotive Industry, Deadlines, Department of Revenue, Food Manufacturers, Recordkeeping Requirements

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Annual Report Filing Deadline in Mississippi

If you are responsible for a for-profit corporation or a limited liability company operating in the State of Mississippi, please be aware of the upcoming April 15 deadline to file your mandatory 2015 Annual Report. Failure to…more

Annual Reports, Business Entities, Filing Deadlines, Secretary of State

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Key Points from the Final MACRA Rule

On October 14, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule (Final Rule) implementing sweeping changes to the Medicare physician payment system mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP…more

Alternative Payment Models (APM), CMS, Final Rules, Medicare, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization (MACRA)

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CFPB’s Proposed Payday Rules Eerily Reminiscent of Mortgage Reform

This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a long-awaited rule on payday, vehicle title, and certain high-cost installment loans – collectively. The proposed rule is open for comment through September…more

Ability-to-Repay, Automotive Loans, CFPB, Installment Agreements, Payday Loans

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Innovators Beware! Patent Reform Creates the New “Anti-Patent” Troll

Recent years have seen a wave of efforts to control frivolous patent-infringement lawsuits perpetrated by so-called patent trolls. These started with the America Invents Act of 2011 and have been followed by the Patent Law…more

America Invents Act, Innovation Act, Inter Partes Review (IPR) Proceeding, Patent Reform, Patent Trolls

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Mississippi CON Report

Certificates of Need Approved and Staff Recommendations – October 2016 - A. Letters of Intent to Change Ownership - None - B. Determinations of Reviewability - 1. University of Mississippi Medical Center…more

Certificate of Need, Extensions, Health Care Providers, Healthcare Facilities, Inpatient Rehab Facilities

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U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Timing for Appeal of Individual Case Dismissed Within Consolidated Multidistrict Litigation Proceeding

On January 21, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Gelboim v. Bank of America Corp., No. 13-1174, a case involving the timing for an appeal of an individual case that has been dismissed within a consolidated…more

Antitrust Litigation, Bank of America, Case Consolidation, Class Action, Gelboim v Bank of America

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The Sunshine Act Final Rule: CMS Sheds Light on Reporting Physician and Teaching Hospital Payments

On February 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule implementing the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (the “Act”). The Act requires certain manufacturers of covered drugs, devices, and…more

Applicable Manufacturers, Biologics, CMS, Covered Recipients, Disclosure Requirements

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New IRS Guidance: Treatment of Disregarded Single Member LLC Employees in the 403(b) and 457(b) Plans of the Tax-Exempt Member of the LLC

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released General Counsel Memorandum 201634021 (“Memorandum”) concluding that the employees of a disregarded single member limited liability company (SMLLC) (1) must be allowed to…more

403(b) Plans, 457(b) Plans, 501(c)(3), Employee Benefits, Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

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Something To Be Thankful For: The 2017 ISS Policy Updates

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) has published its voting policy updates for the 2017 proxy season, and those involved with public company compliance can add “generally insignificant changes to ISS voting policies”…more

Bylaws, CEO's, Incentive Compensation, Institutional Investors, ISS

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CFPB Issues Proposal to Amend Mortgage Servicing Rules

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed additional amendments to Regulation X, which implements the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in…more

CFPB, Mortgage Servicers, Mortgage Servicing Rules, Mortgages, Proposed Amendments

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Tennessee Supreme Court Launches Business Court Pilot Project in Davidson County

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently announced the creation of the Davidson County Business Court Pilot Project. The business court represents the court system’s effort to ensure the development of the necessary experience and…more

Business Court, Business Disputes, Business Torts, TN Supreme Court

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Federal Circuit Rolls Back Geographic Descriptiveness Rejections for Trademark Applications

I’m sure Newbridge, Ireland, is a lovely place, but most Americans haven’t heard of it. That was the spirit of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in In re Newbridge Cutlery Co., involving the trademark…more

Geographically Descriptive, Trademarks

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No Damages for Delay Exceptions: Active Interference?

While a contractor generally has a right to a time extension and damages stemming from a delay caused by the owner, the owner (or general contractor if the harmed party is a subcontractor) may be able to assert several defenses…more

Construction Contracts, Construction Industry, Construction Project, Contractors, General Contractors

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D.C. Court of Appeals Decision Covers Important Contracting Principles

The D.C. Court of Appeals (the Court) recently issued a decision covering some important public construction contract principles, most notably notice, cost and pricing data requirements, and the implied duty of good faith and…more

Breach of Duty, Building Permits, Construction Contracts, Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Damages

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New HOA Decision by Nevada Supreme Court Indicates Continued Litigation to Save First Liens

As the lending community is well aware, the mortgage industry in the state of Nevada remains in flux. Nevada continues to deal with the aftermath of the Nevada Supreme Court’s September 2014 decision in SFR Investments Pool 1,…more

First-Lien, Foreclosure, HOA, Mortgages, NV Supreme Court

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Strike Suit Struck Down

It seems that the announcement of any corporate transaction triggers a race to the courthouse by plaintiffs’ firms. These firms specialize in filing class action lawsuits demanding additional disclosures for the benefit of the…more

Attorney's Fees, Class Action, Material Misrepresentation, Settlement, Shareholder Litigation

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CFPB Proposed Rule Could Allow Agencies without Jurisdiction to Access CSI

The CFPB issued a proposed rule which significantly affects third-party access to information obtained by the Bureau. In addition to public requests under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974 and in legal…more

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

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Supreme Court Declines to Review Second Circuit Decision Subjecting Defaulted Debt Buyers to State Usury Laws

On June 27, the United States Supreme Court declined to review the Second Circuit’s decision in Madden v. Midland Funding, LLC, 786 F.3d 246 (2d Cir. 2015). By denying Midland Funding, LLC’s petition for a writ of certiorari,…more

Choice-of-Law, Credit Cards, Debt Buyers, FDCPA, Madden v Midland Funding

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2015 – The Health Law Year in Review

With 2015 in the books, we are pleased to reflect on some of the major developments over the past year in the field of health law. The year was marked by changes in Medicare payment models—from government pronouncements…more

Affordable Care Act, DOJ, False Claims Act (FCA), Individual Accountability, King v Burwell

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Does Yeda v. Abbott Clarify Inherent Disclosure Under 35 USC 112

Recently, in Yeda Research and Development v Abbott GMBH & Co. KG, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) weighed in on the issue of inherent disclosure as a means for satisfying the written description…more

Appeals, CAFC, Disclosure Requirements, Inherent Disclosure Doctrine, Patent Applications

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BABC eDiscovery Newsletter - April 2013

In this issue: - The Firm’s Ediscovery Team Attorneys - Case Insights - Editor’s Corner - Excerpt from Peerless Industries, Inc. v. Crimson Av, LLC, Case No. 1:11-cv-1768, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2985…more

Clawbacks, Document Productions, Document Review, Email, Record Preservation

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Kentucky Court Affirms Consumer Act Claim Does Not Apply to Real Estate Transactions

In Kennedy v. Parks, the Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed that the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act (CPA) does not apply to real estate transactions. In Kennedy, the plaintiffs entered into a contract with a builder for…more

Commercial Bankruptcy, Construction Contracts, Consumer Protection Act, Real Estate Transactions, Services

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CFPB Director Denies J.G. Wentworth’s Petition to Set Aside Civil Investigative Demand

Recipients of a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have yet another reason to be wary of petitioning the Director to have the CID formally modified or set aside…more

Annuities, CFPA, CFPB, Civil Investigation Demand, Corporate Counsel

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Commercial Lenders Take Note: Insurance May Not Cover Fraudulent USDA Guarantees for Business & Industry Loans

A Wisconsin federal court recently held that forged USDA loan guarantees did not trigger coverage under a bankers blanket bond held by Wisconsin-based Citizens Bank, resulting in a $15 million loss to the bank. Atlantic…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Commercial Loans, Financial Services Industry, Forgery

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Legal Advice Or PR Plan? A Pertinent Privilege Conundrum

The ever-expanding scope of what constitutes the “press” creates new issues for companies and their counsel dealing with disputes that either are in or will develop into litigation. Routine corporate disputes that received no…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Employer Liability Issues, Media, Online Reputation, Public Relations

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Texas Federal Judge Rules DOL “Persuader Rule” Unlawful

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) controversial “Persuader Rule” is off the table—at least for now. U.S. District Judge Cummings in the Northern District of Texas granted summary judgment to 10 states, including Texas, and…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Collective Bargaining, Disclosure Requirements, DOL, Final Rules

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Government Contractor Exemption Bill Passes House

On April 9, the House of Representatives passed HB 419 on a vote of 89-6. The bill, sponsored by Representative Paul DeMarco (R-Homewood) among others and championed by the Alabama Chapter of the Associated Builders &…more

Contractors, Department of Revenue, Exemptions, Government Entities, Proposed Legislation

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Tennessee CON Report

I. October 2016—Tennessee Certificate of Need Meeting - At the October meeting of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency, the agency approved the following applications, rules and requests. (There was no…more

Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Certificate of Need, Health Care Providers, Healthcare Facilities, Home Health Care

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Hanging Around: Fourth Circuit Confirms the Coverage for Data Breach Can Still Be Found in Traditional Liability Policies

With today’s increased focus on data breaches and related cyber liability exposure, the insurance market continues to develop policies tailored to this unique risk. Insurers are also excluding cyber risks in many traditional…more

Class Action, Commercial General Liability Policies, Cyber Insurance, Data Breach, Data Security

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Browning-Ferris Appeals the NLRB’s Revised Joint-Employer Test

In August of this year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) revised its joint-employer test, which has incited much debate from employers across the country. The newly developed test permits a worker to be considered an…more

Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Franchises, Joint Employers, NLRA, NLRB

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Year-End Tax Planning with Tax Credit-Funded Scholarships

The Alabama Accountability Act provides state income tax credits to certain donors who make contributions to a state-approved scholarship granting organization (SGO). Alabama’s neediest school children can be helped at little or…more

Charitable Donations, Department of Revenue, Public Schools, Scholarships, State and Local Government

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The Four Cornerstones: Regulatory Focus Sharpens on Student Loan Servicing Industry

We have previously written about recent regulatory focus on the student loan servicing industry. In particular, we discussed the issuance of a 151-page report issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) titled…more

CFPB, Department of Education, Federal Student Loans, Joint Policy Statements, Loan Servicer

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CFPB’s Proposed Rule Bans Class Waivers in Financial Services Industry

As expected, yesterday the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a proposed rule that would effectively ban class action waivers in pre-dispute arbitration agreements for a broad range of consumer financial…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Consumer Contracts

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Tennessee CON Report

I. October 2016—Tennessee Certificate of Need Meeting - At the October meeting of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency, the agency approved the following applications, rules and requests. (There was no…more

Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Certificate of Need, Health Care Providers, Healthcare Facilities, Home Health Care

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SEC Issues Stern Reminder for Timely Filing of Beneficial Ownership Reports

After years of little enforcement action, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a press release yesterday announcing charges against 28 officers, directors, or major shareholders for violating federal securities…more

Beneficial Owner, Deadlines, Directors, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions

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Supreme Court Upholds Implied Certification Theory of Liability under False Claims Act in Limited Circumstances

The False Claims Act (FCA) is the federal government’s chief weapon to combat false or fraudulent claims made to the government and has resulted in billions of dollars of recoveries. In recent years, broad interpretation of the…more

False Claims Act (FCA), Implied Certification, Materiality, Qui Tam, Universal Health Services Inc v United States ex rel Escobar

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Alabama Ethics Commission Update

The Alabama Ethics Commission (the “Commission”) held a regularly scheduled meeting on October 5, 2016. At the meeting, the Commission formally extended the comment period for two significant advisory opinions affecting…more

Board of Directors, C-Suite Executives, Campaign Finance Reform, Charitable Donations, Compliance

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Nevada Supreme Court Strikes Significant Blow Against HOA Super-Priority Foreclosure-Sale Purchasers

In September 2014, the Nevada Supreme Court held that an HOA could foreclose on its nominal super-priority lien and extinguish a senior mortgage in SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. U.S. Bank, N.A., a ruling that initially seemed…more

Bona Fide Purchaser, Foreclosure, HOA, Mortgage Lenders, NV Supreme Court

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Defense of Marriage Act: What the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor Decision May Mean for Employer-Sponsored Benefit Plans

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in U.S. v. Windsor that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is an unconstitutional “deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment of the…more

Discrimination, DOMA, Due Process, Employee Benefits, Equal Protection

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SEC Issues Stern Reminder for Timely Filing of Beneficial Ownership Reports

After years of little enforcement action, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a press release yesterday announcing charges against 28 officers, directors, or major shareholders for violating federal securities…more

Beneficial Owner, Deadlines, Directors, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions

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Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign: What Employers Need to Know About Tennessee’s New Gun Posting Law

Tennessee employers– you can generally keep weapons off your property, but if you want to prosecute violators, you need the right sign. And, effective July 1, 2016, the state has changed what it says is an acceptable sign…more

Employer Liability Issues, Firearms, Gun Laws, Misdemeanors, Posting Requirements

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Arbitration Clause Requiring Arbitrators to Render a Decision within 30 Days from Their Appointment? Superfast Decision?

Ever wonder about a superfast arbitration procedure in a contract that you have been given? An arbitration clause requiring an arbitration panel to issue a decision within 30 days of being selected for the panel was recently…more

American Arbitration Association, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Binding Arbitration, Construction Contracts

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Don’t Get Caught By Surprise: NMLS Adds New Requirements in Connection with Renewal

If a company is keeping its Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) record current, the renewal season should be a relatively painless exercise in fee collection. However, in addition to the normal renewal housekeeping…more

Criminal Background Checks, Financial Sector, Financial Services Industry, Fingerprints, License Renewals

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10 Questions to Ask your Law Firm Vendor Management Program (Part 2)

We previously provided you five questions to determine whether your law firm vendor management program is sufficiently comprehensive. Given the attention drawn to such programs by regulators such as Office of Comptroller of the…more

CFPB, Financial Sector, Management, OCC, Risk Assessment

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FTC Announces Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Threshold Adjustments

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced the annual revisions to the monetary thresholds that determine whether companies are required to notify federal antitrust authorities about a transaction under Section 7A of the…more

Fees, Filing Requirements, FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, The Clayton Act

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Servicers Beware: Courts Rule Non-Parties Cannot Invoke Jury Trial Waiver

In Florida, courts routinely enforce jury trial waiver provisions found in loan agreements, which are generally valid and enforceable. This is true even with respect to fair debt actions. However, because there is generally a…more

Borrowers, Debt Collection, FCCPA, Jury Trial, Jury Waivers

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False Claims Act: 2015 Year in Review

This year continued the trend of aggressive False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and high volumes of qui tam lawsuits brought by whistleblowers. In fiscal year 2015, the DOJ marked the fourth…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Certiorari, DOJ, False Claims Act (FCA), False-Certification of Conformance

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BABC Attorneys Author Amicus Brief on Behalf of DRI Regarding Tibble Case in United States Supreme Court

In Tibble v Edison International, Plaintiffs brought fiduciary duty claims against Edison International for alleged mismanagement of Edison’s 401(k) Plan. Plaintiffs’ claims centered upon the fact that the Plan’s investment…more

401k, Employer Liability Issues, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty, SCOTUS

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False Claims Act: 2015 Year in Review

This year continued the trend of aggressive False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and high volumes of qui tam lawsuits brought by whistleblowers. In fiscal year 2015, the DOJ marked the fourth…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Certiorari, DOJ, False Claims Act (FCA), False-Certification of Conformance

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Construction and Procurement Law News - First Quarter 2014

In this Issue: - Federal Circuit’s Metcalf Decision a Big Win for Contractors - Government Defenses of Defective Certification and the Severin Doctrine not a Silver Bullet - Are No-Damage-for-Delay…more

CBCA, Federal Contractors, Federal Procurement Systems, HHS, Licenses

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Tennessee Property Tax Assessment Appeals: Davidson County in Reappraisal Year

With Davidson County and several other Tennessee counties in reappraisal years, we remind Tennessee property owners that now is the time to request an appointment to appeal real or personal property assessments if you disagree…more

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Mortgage-Loan Modification Scam Ends with Serious Consequences

A California man that operated as a high-level sales executive for a fraudulent residential mortgage-loan modification scheme will now spend several years in jail. From 2009 to 2016, Mehdi Moarefian (aka Michael Miller)…more

Banking Sector, Borrowers, Convictions, Criminal Prosecution, Foreclosure

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FHFA Proposes Rule on Fannie Mae’s & Freddie Mac’s Duty to Serve Underserved Markets

Pursuant to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which amended the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, federal law requires the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and…more

Affordable Housing, Fannie Mae, FHFA, Freddie Mac, Proposed Regulation

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CFPB Studies Electronic Closings

In an age of online banking, e-vites, and digital media, the mortgage loan closing process sticks out as one of the few areas that remain primarily paper-driven. Mortgage loan closings, however, could be the next target of a…more

Banks, Borrowers, CFPB, eClosing Pilot Program, Lenders

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The Government Shutdown and its Effect on the Real Estate Market

On September 30, the federal government shut down or significantly reduced staffing for many of its programs because of Congress’ failure to pass a budget for this fiscal year. The shutdown appears set to affect the real estate…more

Fair Housing Act (FHA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Government Shutdown, Mortgages

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How Much Should I Expect to Pay An Investment Banker To Sell My Family-Owned Business?

In our last blog post, we highlighted the benefits of retaining an investment banker for the sale of your family-owned business. As you might expect, investment bankers do not work for free. In today’s blog post, we outline the…more

Bankers, Family Businesses, Fees, Investment Banks, Selling a Business

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Good Faith Belief in Invalidity of Patent Will Not Immunize Induced Infringer

Bringing a lawsuit for a distinct variety of patent infringement has been made a little easier, which is good news for patent owners but probably bad news for victims of patent trolls. This outcome follows from a recent United…more

Cisco, Cisco v CommilUSA, Good Faith, Honest Belief Defense, Induced Infringement

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In a Major FIRREA Victory for the Banks, the Second Circuit Overturns $1.27 Billion Jury Verdict

On Monday, the Second Circuit overturned a jury verdict and $1.27 billion penalty against Bank of America imposed under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), 12 U.S.C. § 1833a…more

Bank of America, Breach of Contract, Burden of Proof, Countrywide, False Claims Act (FCA)

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Preparing for FHA PACE: What Mortgagees Need To Know Before September 17

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued Mortgagee Letter 2016-11, which specifically permits properties encumbered with a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)…more

Banking Sector, Clean Energy, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), HUD, Loans

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BABC eDiscovery Newsletter - April 2013

In this issue: - The Firm’s Ediscovery Team Attorneys - Case Insights - Editor’s Corner - Excerpt from Peerless Industries, Inc. v. Crimson Av, LLC, Case No. 1:11-cv-1768, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2985…more

Clawbacks, Document Productions, Document Review, Email, Record Preservation

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Tennessee CON Report

I. October 2016—Tennessee Certificate of Need Meeting - At the October meeting of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency, the agency approved the following applications, rules and requests. (There was no…more

Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Certificate of Need, Health Care Providers, Healthcare Facilities, Home Health Care

See All Updates »

BABC eDiscovery Newsletter - April 2013

In this issue: - The Firm’s Ediscovery Team Attorneys - Case Insights - Editor’s Corner - Excerpt from Peerless Industries, Inc. v. Crimson Av, LLC, Case No. 1:11-cv-1768, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2985…more

Clawbacks, Document Productions, Document Review, Email, Record Preservation

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Alstom Guilty Plea Sends Strong Message that DOJ Has Harsh View of Inadequate Internal Controls and Failure to Fully Cooperate

On December 22, 2014, French power and transportation company Alstom S.A. (“Alstom”) pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and agreed to pay $772.29 million, the largest criminal fine ever…more

Alstom, Books & Records, Bribery, C-Suite Executives, China

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Sixth Circuit Holds That Cases Directly Filed in MDLs Are Governed By Law of Where Case Would Have Been Filed

On May 22, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed an important choice-of-law issue for parties involved in multidistrict litigation. When multidistrict litigation is centralized…more

Choice-of-Law, Complex Litigation, Forum, Multidistrict Litigation, Pharmaceutical Industry

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’Tis the Season of Giving, Right?

We all think of December as the season of giving. Unfortunately, prevailing defendants in Title VII cases don’t always feel that way. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prevailing plaintiffs enjoy compensatory…more

Attorney's Fees, Civil Rights Act, Damages, Discrimination, Injunctions

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Alabama Ethics Commission Update

The Alabama Ethics Commission (the “Commission”) held a regularly scheduled meeting on October 5, 2016. At the meeting, the Commission formally extended the comment period for two significant advisory opinions affecting…more

Board of Directors, C-Suite Executives, Campaign Finance Reform, Charitable Donations, Compliance

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U.S. Supreme Court Reins In Government's Expansive Interpretation of Bribery Charges

Last week, in McDonnell v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the bribery convictions of Bob McDonnell, the former governor of Virginia. In doing so, the unanimous Court rejected prosecutors’ expansive interpretation…more

Bribery, Criminal Prosecution, Due Process, Governor McDonnell, Honest Services Fraud

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Taking Measure of HIPAA Enforcement

Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the largest settlement to date for alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)…more

Breach Notification Rule, Business Associates, Covered Entities, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Enforcement Actions

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US Environmental Protection Agency Opens Criminal Investigation into Herbicide Spraying

According to articles in Missouri newspapers and other news outlets, federal agents recently executed search warrants in several counties in Missouri to probe possible criminal violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide,…more

Criminal Investigations, EPA, FIFRA, Genetically Engineered Seed, Off-Label Use

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False Claims Act: 2015 Year in Review

This year continued the trend of aggressive False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and high volumes of qui tam lawsuits brought by whistleblowers. In fiscal year 2015, the DOJ marked the fourth…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Certiorari, DOJ, False Claims Act (FCA), False-Certification of Conformance

See All Updates »

Tennessee CON Report

I. October 2016—Tennessee Certificate of Need Meeting - At the October meeting of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency, the agency approved the following applications, rules and requests. (There was no…more

Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Certificate of Need, Health Care Providers, Healthcare Facilities, Home Health Care

See All Updates »

Arbitration vs. Litigation: The Great Debate

Many of the “form” commercial construction contracts (e.g., AIA forms) contain “dispute resolution” clauses proposing binding arbitration as opposed to courtroom litigation. Most U.S. courts, faced with the number of cases…more

Arbitration, Construction Contracts, Construction Disputes, Construction Industry

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Retroactive Tax Law Upheld, Circuit Court Jurisdiction Limited

Before 2014, Alabama sales tax applied only to the sale of prepaid calling cards or authorization numbers, pursuant to Ala. Code §40-23-1(a)(13). In 2014, the Alabama Legislature amended the above statute to “clarify” that it…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Appeals, Constitutional Challenges, Department of Revenue, Jurisdiction

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Will Expanding P3 Legislation Impact You?

Recent legislation in Kentucky and Tennessee: Kentucky and Tennessee have recently been added to the growing list of states allowing the use of public-private partnerships (P3). The Kentucky Legislation (HB 309) was passed…more

Construction Industry, Infrastructure, Public Private Partnerships (P3s), Public Projects, Roads

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SEC Issues Stern Reminder for Timely Filing of Beneficial Ownership Reports

After years of little enforcement action, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a press release yesterday announcing charges against 28 officers, directors, or major shareholders for violating federal securities…more

Beneficial Owner, Deadlines, Directors, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions

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Foreclosing Residential Lenders Ignore Environmental Issues at Their Own Risk

Several years ago, we assisted a lender who foreclosed on rural residential property and then discovered that vandals had removed metal pipes from the basement of the house. That was bad enough, but the removed piping had…more

Asbestos, Banking Sector, Contamination, Environmental Liability, Foreclosure

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The Election is Over, Now What?

Now that the election is over, many clients and friends are asking what labor and employment law might look like under the soon to be President Trump. Of course, no one can predict exactly what will happen in the coming term…more

Affordable Care Act, Arbitration, Blacklist, Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Class Action

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“Open and Frank Discussions” or Agency-Level Protest

In Coulson Aviation (USA), Inc. (B-411525, B-411525.2, 2015 CPD ¶ 272), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently denied a contractor’s protest over the terms of a request for proposals (RFP) issued by the Department…more

Bid Protests, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Federal Contractors, Federal Procurement Systems, Forest Service

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Time to Review Your Confidentiality Agreements: New Federal Trade Secrets Act Creates Private Right of Action and Imposes New Employer Obligations

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 (DTSA), which establishes a new federal private right of action for trade secret misappropriation, is now the law. Trade secrets, the fourth leg of the intellectual property chair, have long…more

Asset Seizure, Confidential Information, Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Economic Espionage Act, Ex Parte

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The Eleventh Circuit has spoken: “Debtors who surrender property must get out of the creditor’s way”

In recent years, there has been a hotbed of litigation across the nation, particularly in Florida state and bankruptcy courts, regarding a debtor’s ability to contest a secured creditor’s foreclosure notwithstanding the debtor’s…more

Abandoned Property, Affirmative Defenses, Appeals, Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 7

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The New Texas Two-Step: Construction Defect Litigation by Condominium Owners’ Associations

On June 17, 2015, Texas adopted amendments to the Texas Uniform Condominium Act by requiring condominium unit owners’ associations (“Association”) to take specified procedural steps prior to initiating a construction defect or…more

Condominiums, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Homeowners' Association, Inspections

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Florida Appellate Court Bolsters Statutory HOA Safe Harbor

A significant opinion from the Florida Third District Court of Appeal further clarifies the extent of the Florida statutory homeowners association (HOA) “safe harbor.” In the end, entities that obtain title through judicial…more

Attorney's Fees, Declaratory Judgments, Estoppel, Fannie Mae, Fees

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PHH v. CFPB: Statutes of Limitation Apply To CFPB Administrative Proceedings: What You Need To Know

The D.C. Circuit Court released its highly anticipated opinion in PHH v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on October 11. This post addresses one important holding from that opinion. In other posts, we will be analyzing the…more

Administrative Proceedings, CFPB, Constitutional Challenges, Dodd-Frank, Enforcement Actions

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You’ll Have To Be More Specific When Crafting That Generic Claim

Recent § 101 jurisprudence regarding tech inventions can be distilled down to two words: be specific. That’s a problem for patents in the tech space, because they are not specific at all, claiming inventions using broad…more

Abstract Ideas, Amazon, Claim Construction, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Computer-Related Inventions

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Mortgage Servicer Must Post ACH Payment on Date of Authorization, Appeals Court Says

In Fridman v. NYCB Mortgage Co., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held that If a customer authorizes an electronic payment via the servicer’s website, the servicer must credit the payment as of the date…more

ACH Payments, Mortgage Servicers, Regulation Z

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Banks Should Prepare for Increased Collaboration between IT, Legal and BSA/AML Compliance Departments under New FinCEN Guidance

Last month, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an Advisory which provided substantial guidance to financial institutions regarding the scope of information that must be provided…more

Bank Secrecy Act, Banks, BSA/AML, Compliance, Cyber Crimes

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No Free Houses—Florida Supreme Court Approves Fifth DCA’s Bartram Decision and Extension of Singleton v. Greymar

The mortgage industry scored a significant victory last week when the Florida Supreme Court released its decision in Bartram v. U.S. Bank, N.A. broadly approving of the approach taken by the Fifth District Court of Appeal and…more

Default, Dismissals, FL Supreme Court, Foreclosure, Mortgage Lenders

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Federal Circuit Rolls Back Geographic Descriptiveness Rejections for Trademark Applications

I’m sure Newbridge, Ireland, is a lovely place, but most Americans haven’t heard of it. That was the spirit of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in In re Newbridge Cutlery Co., involving the trademark…more

Geographically Descriptive, Trademarks

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Charitable Planning with S Corporation Stock—Making It Work

Since 1998, charities have been able to own S corporation stock (“S stock”). However, the ownership of S stock by an exempt organization may result in either an unexpected tax burden or a liability rather than an asset for the…more

Charitable Donations, Charitable Organizations, Charitable Trusts, Corporate Taxes, Estate Tax

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SEC Issues Stern Reminder for Timely Filing of Beneficial Ownership Reports

After years of little enforcement action, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a press release yesterday announcing charges against 28 officers, directors, or major shareholders for violating federal securities…more

Beneficial Owner, Deadlines, Directors, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions

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Sixth Circuit Confirms That The ADA Does Not Require Employers To Create Permanent Light Duty Positions For Disabled Employees

Giving an employee temporary light duty does not mean you have to create a permanent light duty position as a reasonable accommodation, at least according to a recent Sixth Circuit case. Here are the facts the Court considered…more

ADA, Disability Discrimination, Permanent Disability, Reasonable Accommodation, Workplace Injury

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10 Questions to Ask your Law Firm Vendor Management Program (Part 2)

We previously provided you five questions to determine whether your law firm vendor management program is sufficiently comprehensive. Given the attention drawn to such programs by regulators such as Office of Comptroller of the…more

CFPB, Financial Sector, Management, OCC, Risk Assessment

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Proposed Tax Regulations Limit Availability of Valuation Discounts to Family Business Owners

For family business owners who desire to transfer ownership of part of their business to the next generation, the valuation of the business interest is often an important factor to consider. This is especially true for family…more

Business Succession, Business Valuations, Closely Held Businesses, Comment Period, Estate Planning

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The Legal Maze of Solar Globalisation

As the utility-scale solar market continues to expand and globalise, project developers and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors increasingly find themselves considering unfamiliar jurisdictions. A new…more

Energy Projects, Entrepreneurs, EPC Contractor, Foreign Investment, Risk Assessment

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Mississippi Legislature Overwhelmingly Approves Equifax Fix

Earlier this week the Mississippi Legislature approved the conference committee report on tax reform legislation (House Bill 799) that significantly changes Mississippi’s tax assessment and appeals procedures. Both the House and…more

Appeals, Apportionment, Pay-To-Play, Tax Assessment, Tax Penalties

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Real Estate Newsletter - December 2013

The Alabama Supreme Court recently addressed whether a lender must own a mortgage when it initiates foreclosure proceedings and, if not, whether that would invalidate the ownership rights in the property that the lender obtained…more

Foreclosure, Mortgages, Real Estate Market

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Nevada Supreme Court Clarifies Limits to its SFR Investments Decision

In September 2014, the Nevada Supreme Court, in SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. U.S. Bank, N.A., held that a portion of a homeowners’ association (HOA) lien for delinquent assessments has true super-priority status over a first…more

Action to Quiet Title, Deed of Trust, Foreclosure, Homeowners' Association, NV Supreme Court

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HUD Proposes Mandatory Assignment of HECMs

As part of a broader push to update its regulations regarding Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs, more commonly known as reverse mortgages), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD published a Supplemental…more

Assignments, HECM, HUD, Public Comment, Reverse Mortgages

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Sign of the Times: EEOC Settles Case of Employer Failing to Provide ASL Interpreter for Job Interview

A deaf person applies for a job and the employee who takes applications asks you “how can a deaf person do this job?” What if an essential function of the job requires interaction with the public or the ability to communicate…more

ADA, Disability Discrimination, EEOC, Essential Functions, Hiring & Firing

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