Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Supreme Court Decides Two First Amendment Cases

Two recent Supreme Court decisions provide timely guidance on the First Amendment implications of publicly displaying the Confederate Flag or other symbols or signage related to protected beliefs. First, in Walker v. Sons of…more

Churches, Content-Neutral, First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Government Speech Doctrine

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SEC Publishes Staff Interpretations on New Regulation A+

The Securities and Exchange Commission has published 11 Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DIs”) related to the new rules implementing “Regulation A+,” which became effective June 19, 2015. The C&DIs are numbered…more

Blue Sky Laws, C&DIs, Capital Formation, New Regulations, Regulation A

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‘Cannibal Cop’ Decision Restrains Employers

Second Circuit ruling on data theft creates more inconsistency regarding federal law’s reach. In December, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in U.S. v. Valle interpreted the Computer…more

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Policies and Procedures, Popular, Split of Authority

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NLRB Implements Dramatic Changes to Union Representation Election Procedures

Late last week, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) issued a long-anticipated final rule implementing dramatic changes to the procedures for union representation elections. The so-called “quickie election” or…more

Ambush Election Rules, NLRB, Union Elections, Unions

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SEC Issues Interim Rules Under FAST Act

On January 13th, the SEC issued two interim final rules implementing portions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (the FAST Act). These interim final rules..…more

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

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Crowdfunding: A New Way for Montana Companies to Raise Money

A new exemption passed in the Montana 2015 legislative session will allow Montana companies to use crowdfunding to offer and sell securities in Montana beginning July 1, 2015. This exemption is subject to various limitations and…more

Crowdfunding, Financing, JOBS Act, SEC, Securities

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IRS Begins 409A Audit Initiative

IRS representatives have recently announced that the IRS has begun a compliance initiative project to check compliance with section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (“409A”)…more

Audits, Compliance, Deferred Compensation, IRS, Section 409A

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Nashville Pharmacy Services, LLC Settles FCA Allegations

Last week the Department Of Justice announced a settlement agreement with Nashville Pharmacy Services, LLC (“NPS”) and NPS majority owner Kevin Hartman. Under the agreement, NPS and Mr. Hartman will pay up to $7.8 million to…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, DOJ, False Claims Act (FCA), Healthcare Fraud, Qui Tam

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Employer Is Liable under the WLAD for Refusing to Hire a Truck Driver for Taking a Prescribed Narcotic

Just when is an employer required to hire those taking prescription pain medications? In Clipse v. Commercial Driver Services, Inc., the Washington Court of Appeals held that Commercial Driver Services, Inc. was liable under the…more

Appeals, Best Management Practices, Commercial Truck Drivers, Disability Discrimination, Discrimination

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EU Securities – Proposed Settlement System to Facilitate London Listings of US Companies

Historically, due to certain restrictions under US securities laws, equity securities of US companies and other companies that do not qualify as “foreign private issuers” under US securities laws (collectively, “US-Based…more

Electronic Trading, EU, Foreign Private Issuers, London Stock Exchange, Regulation S

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In re Alternate Fuels, Inc.: Key Takeaways for Venture Capitalists Working with Emerging Companies

Venture capitalists (“VCs”) often provide needed debt financing such as bridge loans to emerging companies in financial distress. However, given their insider status with these companies, VCs may encounter issues with such…more

Bankruptcy Code, Capital Contributions, Commercial Bankruptcy, Creditors, Debt Financing

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The Moronta Decision in Massachusetts – Determining A Borrower’s Ability To Repay

A recent decision by the Massachusetts Court of Appeals highlights some of the challenges lenders may face when seeking the dismissal of allegations of unfair and deceptive lending practices in connection with a loan that…more

Ability-to-Repay, Lenders, Loan Modifications, Mortgages, Summary Judgment

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EPA and Corps Final Clean Water Rule’s Potential Impacts on Farming

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) published a final rule on May 27, 2015, that purports to clarify the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act…more

Clean Water Act, EPA, Farms, Federal Jurisdiction, Permits

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Quirky Question #241, Working for Free In Montana At A Start-Up Business

Quirky Question - I was laid off by my Montana employer and I have decided to help my brother with his start up business. I will be a 50% owner but we are not going to take a salary until revenue is substantial. An…more

Startups, Unemployment Benefits, Volunteers

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SEC Issues Proposed Rules for Director, Officer and Employee Hedging Disclosures

On February 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rules to implement Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which requires annual meeting proxy statement disclosure of a…more

Annual Meeting, Dodd-Frank, Hedging, Proposed Regulation, Proxy Statements

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Another Shoe Drops: More Changes to the U.S. Cuban Sanctions from the White House

On January 25, the Obama Administration made concurrent announcements about its evolving posture on the Cuban sanctions. On that date, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released more changes to the Cuban Assets…more

Cuba, Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), EAR, Embargo, Exports

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Efaxers Beware! FCC Finds Efaxes Subject to Consumer Protections of TCPA and JFPA

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) has released a declaratory ruling holding that a type of fax that contains unsolicited advertisements – an “efax” – is subject to the consumer protections of the…more

Advertising, Faxes, FCC, Popular, TCPA

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EEOC Releases Draft Retaliation Guidance

On January 21, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued a draft guidance entitled, “PROPOSED Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues.” The public has 30 days to provide feedback…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Best Management Practices, Draft Guidance, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues

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Important Changes Under MN Data Practices Act for Public/Private Contracts for Government Functions

On May 29, 2014, the Minnesota governor signed into law Senate File 1770, which makes a company’s or private individual’s records subject to Minnesota public records law – the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act – when the…more

Contractors, Data Protection, Personally Identifiable Information

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London Court Of International Arbitration – New Rules Take Effect

As of 1 October 2014, the London Court of International Arbitration’s (LCIA) new rules (the LCIA Arbitration Rules 2014) take effect bringing about wholesale changes to the powers of LCIA arbitrators. The rules retain…more

Arbitration, Arbitrators, LCIA, UK

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Fourth Circuit Affirms $237 Million Jury Verdict for Stark and FCA Violations; Rejects Advice-of-Counsel Defense

On July 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a jury verdict of more than $237 million against Tuomey Healthcare System, a nonprofit hospital in South Carolina, based on Stark Law and False Claims Act…more

Advice-of-Counsel Defense, Appeals, False Claims Act (FCA), Hospitals, Jury Verdicts

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Déjà Vu ? SEC Proposes “New” Rules for Disclosure of Government Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers

On December 11, the SEC re-proposed rules requiring disclosure of government payments by resource extraction issuers. The proposed rules will require resource extraction issuers to disclose payments made to the U.S. federal…more

Comment Period, Disclosure Requirements, Dodd-Frank, Extractive Industry Transparency Rule, Resource Extraction

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House Transportation Committee P3 Panel Calls for Central P3 Office

Introduction & Background - On September 17, 2014, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Panel on Public-Private Partnerships, a special panel of the US House of Representatives, issued a report in which it…more

Department of Transportation (DOT), Economic Development, Infrastructure, Procurement Guidelines, Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

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Crowdfunding: A New Way for Montana Companies to Raise Money

A new exemption passed in the Montana 2015 legislative session will allow Montana companies to use crowdfunding to offer and sell securities in Montana beginning July 1, 2015. This exemption is subject to various limitations and…more

Crowdfunding, Financing, JOBS Act, SEC, Securities

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Supreme Court Asked To Clarify Application of Rule 9(b) in FCA Cases

On September 21, 2015, counsel for AT&T, Inc., and other telecommunications providers asked the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split over what relators asserting FCA claims must do to meet Federal Rule of Civil…more

AT&T, False Claims Act (FCA), Federal Pleading Requirements, FRCP 9(b), Lifeline Program

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The Impact of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 on Off-Campus Hospital Outpatient Departments

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (“Act”) into law significantly impacting how Medicare pays certain off-campus hospital departments. Specifically, Section 603 of the Act provides…more

Bipartisan Budget, Cost-Sharing, Hospitals, Medicare, MedPAC

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Takeaways From UK's 1st Deferred Prosecution Agreement

In a judgment published on Nov. 30, Lord Justice Brian Leveson approved the first deferred prosecution agreement in the U.K., which was negotiated between the Serious Fraud Office and ICBC Standard Bank PLC. Lord Justice…more

Compliance, Deferred Prosecution Agreements, DOJ, Self-Reporting, Serious Fraud Office

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YouTube to Take a Stand for Fair Use

As we have written elsewhere on this blog, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that copyright owners must consider fair use before submitting takedown requests to internet service providers under the Digital…more

Copyright, DMCA, Fair Use, Google, Online Videos

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USPTO Issues Second Round of Proposed Changes to the Rules of Practice Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

The America Invents Act (AIA) was enacted into law on September 16, 2011. A major provision of the AIA provided for a number of post grant proceedings to be heard by the rebranded Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)…more

America Invents Act, Covered Business Method Proceedings, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Patents

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Quirky Question #258, Ex Pat Trailing Partners

Question: Fred, one of our technical IT specialists, just told us that his partner volunteered for a European assignment. Fred’s a great guy and we need him but he earns less than his partner and wants the experience of…more

Best Management Practices, Expatriates, Human Resources Professionals, Multinationals, Traveling Employee

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Proposed Federal Breach Notification Law: Panacea Or Flash in the Pan?

The Obama Administration has just released the proposed text of the Personal Data Notification & Protection Act as the latest step in its uniform federal breach notification initiative. Similar legislative efforts in the past…more

Barack Obama, Breach Notification Rule, Corporate Counsel, Personally Identifiable Information, Proposed Legislation

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Extended BE-10 Filing Deadline Fast Approaching

U.S. Persons Owning Non-U.S. Businesses Should Request a Filing Extension Now and Submit Form BE-10 by August 31, 2015, In Order to Avoid Penalties. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), an agency of the U.S. Department of…more

BEA, Form BE-10

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China-Hong Kong Connect – Part Four: The Shenzhen Train Delay

In November 2014, the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (the “Shanghai Train”), a pilot program for establishing mutual stock market access between mainland China and Hong Kong, was officially launched. The new cross-border…more

China, Foreign Investment, HKEx, Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Shanghai Stock Exchange

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Quirky Question #265, Can I have an English-Only Policy?

Question: Our Company may implement a policy that requires employees to speak in the English language. What risks should we be aware of?…more

EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, English-Only Rules, NLRA

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Public–Private Partnerships Core Toll Concessions Contract Guide

On September 10, 2014, the Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) published its final Model Public – Private Partnerships Core Toll Concessions Contract Guide (“Guide”) presenting key concepts for the structuring and…more

Contracting Procedures, Federal Contractors, Federal Highway Administration, Highways, Infrastructure

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Business Rates: Looking Ahead in 2016 – The Good, The Bad and The Maybe

Business rates are charged on the majority of commercial properties, such as shops and offices, and represent one of the largest overheads for businesses. They are calculated using the rateable value of the property (the amount…more

Commercial Property Owners, Commercial Real Estate Market, Enterprise Zones, Property Tax, Renovations

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Presidential Campaigns Using Songs Without Permission Hit a Sour Note

Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is “Not Gonna Take It”. He recently received permission from Dee Snider to use Twisted Sister’s 1984 hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It” in his campaign. Trump sought permission after…more

ASCAP, Copyright Infringement, Donald Trump, False Endorsements, Political Campaigns

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Supreme Court Will Decide Whether to Relax the Standard for Award of Enhanced Patent Damages

The U.S. Supreme Court announced last week that it will decide two cases concerning the issue of when district courts may award enhanced damages to patentees upon a finding of infringement. Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, U.S., No…more

Attorney's Fees, Bad Faith, Brooks Furniture, Enhanced Penalties, Evidence

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Federal Circuit Confirms The Use Of Broadest Reasonable Interpretation In Inter Partes Review

Since going into effect on September 16, 2012, inter partes review (IPR) has become a widely-used mechanism for challenging the validity of patents. One reason for the popularity of IPR could be that the U.S. Patent and…more

Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Standard, Claim Construction, Cuozzo Speed Technologies, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Patent Trial and Appeal Board

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Six Important Things for Telecommunications Providers to Know When Filing the 2015 FCC Form 499-A

It’s that time again. Spring is in the air, the birds are chirping, the days are longer, and telecommunications providers are required to complete their FCC Forms 499-A, reporting historical revenues for calendar year 2014. Like…more

FCC, Filing Requirements, Telecommunications

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China’s new Food Safety Law “the harshest ever”

China’s new Food Safety Law took effect on October 1, 2015, and will have a far-reaching impact on importers, producers and sellers of food. The new law significantly expands the scope of the previous Food Safety Law, which…more

China, China FDA, Food Labeling, Food Manufacturers, Food Safety

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Federal Circuit Confirms The Use Of Broadest Reasonable Interpretation In Inter Partes Review

Since going into effect on September 16, 2012, inter partes review (IPR) has become a widely-used mechanism for challenging the validity of patents. One reason for the popularity of IPR could be that the U.S. Patent and…more

Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Standard, Claim Construction, Cuozzo Speed Technologies, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Patent Trial and Appeal Board

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DuPont Appeal May Clarify What Constitutes a Reverse False Claim “Obligation”

On January 20, a federal district court in Louisiana certified for appeal its 2014 ruling denying defendant DuPont’s motion for summary judgment, thereby permitting DuPont to seek appellate review of the district court’s ruling…more

Appeals, DuPont, False Claims Act (FCA), Reverse False Claims, Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

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Build America Transportation Investment Center

On July 17, President Barack Obama announced the launch of the Build America Investment Initiative. The initiative includes a host of measures to increase infrastructure investment and economic growth, including the formation of…more

Barack Obama, Build America Investment Initiative, Department of Transportation (DOT), Economic Development, Federal Funding

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DOJ Settles “First of its Kind” FCA Suit Involving Retention of Overpayments

On August 3, the Department of Justice announced the first False Claims Act settlement of a case involving a health-care provider’s alleged failure to investigate, identify and refund overpayments from government programs,…more

DOJ, False Claims Act (FCA), Health Care Providers, Medicaid, Medicare

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SEC Approves Proposals to Modernize and Enhance Reporting Regime for Registered Funds and Investment Advisers

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) unanimously approved two recommendations by the SEC’s Division of Investment Management to modernize and enhance the reporting regime for registered investment funds and…more

Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, Regulation S-K, Reporting Requirements, Required Forms

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The Moronta Decision in Massachusetts – Determining A Borrower’s Ability To Repay

A recent decision by the Massachusetts Court of Appeals highlights some of the challenges lenders may face when seeking the dismissal of allegations of unfair and deceptive lending practices in connection with a loan that…more

Ability-to-Repay, Lenders, Loan Modifications, Mortgages, Summary Judgment

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Fourth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FCA Complaint Alleging Contracting Fraud

In an unpublished decision issued on Thursday, August 13, 2015, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reemphasized Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b)’s “stringent particularity requirement” when it affirmed a lower court’s…more

Amended Complaints, Appeals, False Claims Act (FCA), Federal Contractors, Federal Pleading Requirements

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CMS Proposes Significant Revisions to Stark Law

In its CY 2016 physician fee schedule proposed rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) proposes significant amendments and clarifications to the federal physician self-referral regulations, commonly known as…more

CMS, Comment Period, Healthcare, Hospitals, Physician Fee Schedule

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SEC Issues Interim Rules Under FAST Act

On January 13th, the SEC issued two interim final rules implementing portions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (the FAST Act). These interim final rules..…more

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

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Another Shoe Drops: More Changes to the U.S. Cuban Sanctions from the White House

On January 25, the Obama Administration made concurrent announcements about its evolving posture on the Cuban sanctions. On that date, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released more changes to the Cuban Assets…more

Cuba, Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), EAR, Embargo, Exports

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Washington State’s Cooperative Law Overhauled Effective January 1, 2016

For the first time in years, Washington’s cooperative statutes have been given a facelift. Effective January 1, 2016 (except certain provisions affecting Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)), Washington state has created a set…more

Corporate Governance, Corporations Code, Foreign Entities, Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Partnerships

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The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in four cases today: Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez, No. 14-857: Respondent Jose Gomez received Navy recruitment text messages without his consent. He filed a nationwide…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Article III, Campbell Ewald v Gomez, Criminal Records, DACA

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Supreme Court Rejects Tribe’s Equitable Tolling Argument in Contract Support Litigation

On January 25, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin v. United States, rejecting an argument that equitable tolling preserves some claims against the United States for failure to pay…more

Class Action, Equitable Tolling, Federal Funding, Tribal Governments

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Franchisors May Be Liable to Franchisees’ Employees Under Recent State Cases

As noted in our first blog, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently identified temporary service workers, outsourced and subcontracted services, and franchising as target areas for an expanded joint employer…more

Franchise Agreements, Franchisee, Franchisors, Joint Employers, NLRB

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Sandia Corporation Agrees to Pay $4.7 Million to Settle Allegations Related to its Lobbying Activities

On August 21, 2015, the Justice Department announced that Sandia Corporation—owned by Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor—agreed to pay $4,790,042 to settle allegations that it violated the Byrd Amendment and…more

Byrd Amendment, Defense Contracts, DOE, False Claims Act (FCA), Justice Department

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Chobani Yogurt Ad Campaign Enjoined – A Healthy Result for Yoplait and Dannon

When I opened up a newspaper a few weeks ago and saw an ad by Chobani for its Simply 100 Greek Yogurt, my first thought was, “that’s going to provoke a false advertising dispute.” Here’s what Chobani said about its competitor…more

Chobani Inc, Corporate Counsel, False Advertising, False Statements, General Mills

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Jesinoski Update: TILA Rescission in a Post-Jesinoski World

A little over one year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 790 (2015), which resolved a circuit court spit regarding how a mortgage borrower may exercise the…more

Borrowers, Jesinoski v Countrywide, Mortgages, Rescission, SCOTUS

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Down Stream from Aereo: FilmOn Pulled by Different Legal Currents

Last year in American Broad. Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc., the Supreme Court dealt a significant victory to the broadcast industry when it concluded that Aereo’s online streaming services infringed the broadcasters’ copyrighted…more

ABC v Aereo, Broadcasting, Compulsory Licenses, Copyright Infringement, Copyright Litigation

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Is the New York Road Runners Club Running a Sweepstakes or an Illegal Lottery?

Is the New York City Marathon running an illegal lottery? According to a class action complaint filed in the Southern District of New York last week, the answer is “yes”…more

Class Action, Illegal Gambling, Lottery, Sweepstakes

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The Impact of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 on Off-Campus Hospital Outpatient Departments

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (“Act”) into law significantly impacting how Medicare pays certain off-campus hospital departments. Specifically, Section 603 of the Act provides…more

Bipartisan Budget, Cost-Sharing, Hospitals, Medicare, MedPAC

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Washington State’s Cooperative Law Overhauled Effective January 1, 2016

For the first time in years, Washington’s cooperative statutes have been given a facelift. Effective January 1, 2016 (except certain provisions affecting Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)), Washington state has created a set…more

Corporate Governance, Corporations Code, Foreign Entities, Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Partnerships

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USPTO Issues Second Round of Proposed Changes to the Rules of Practice Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

The America Invents Act (AIA) was enacted into law on September 16, 2011. A major provision of the AIA provided for a number of post grant proceedings to be heard by the rebranded Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)…more

America Invents Act, Covered Business Method Proceedings, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Patents

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Efaxers Beware! FCC Finds Efaxes Subject to Consumer Protections of TCPA and JFPA

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) has released a declaratory ruling holding that a type of fax that contains unsolicited advertisements – an “efax” – is subject to the consumer protections of the…more

Advertising, Faxes, FCC, Popular, TCPA

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DOJ, SEC Change “Cooperation Credit” Process, Add Resources to Fight Corruption

During recent speeches Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and SEC Enforcement Division head Andrew Ceresney announced changes to the processes the DOJ and the SEC will use to decide if a company will receive “cooperation…more

Compliance, Cooperation Initiative, DOJ, FCPA, SEC

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Another Shoe Drops: More Changes to the U.S. Cuban Sanctions from the White House

On January 25, the Obama Administration made concurrent announcements about its evolving posture on the Cuban sanctions. On that date, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released more changes to the Cuban Assets…more

Cuba, Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), EAR, Embargo, Exports

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EU Securities – Proposed Settlement System to Facilitate London Listings of US Companies

Historically, due to certain restrictions under US securities laws, equity securities of US companies and other companies that do not qualify as “foreign private issuers” under US securities laws (collectively, “US-Based…more

Electronic Trading, EU, Foreign Private Issuers, London Stock Exchange, Regulation S

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The SBIC Advisers Relief Act Becomes Law—Changes to SEC and State Investment Adviser Registration Requirements

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the SBIC Advisers Relief Act (the “Act” as part of H.R. 22, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act of 2015—the FAST Act). The Act amends three provisions of the…more

Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), Investment Adviser, Investment Advisers Act of 1940, SBIC

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EU-US Data Transfer Privacy Shield: Political Agreement Achieved Regarding “Safe Harbor 2.0”

Significant uncertainty and concern regarding US companies’ ability to process and use personal data received from the EU has loomed since the October 2015 decision by Europe’s highest court invalidating the EU-US Safe Harbor. …more

Article 29 Working Party (WP29), Binding Corporate Rules, Data Protection Authority, EU, EU-US Privacy Shield

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The Impact of Rejection on Trademark Licensees’ Rights in Bankruptcy: the Latest Decision on an Issue that Has Courts Divided

A decision by the Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Hampshire is the latest of a handful of cases in the past few years to weigh in on a circuit split as to whether a licensor of trademark rights can fully terminate a…more

Appeals, Bankruptcy Code, Commercial Bankruptcy, IP License, Trademarks

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Utah Unemployment Law Update - Part 2

In this Issue: - Mobile Phone / Driving Laws - Unemployment Benefits - Facts - Procedural History - The Law - Court of Appeals Decision - Takeaway - Wrongful Termination - Religious…more

Appeals, Distracted Driving, Employer Liability Issues, Hiring & Firing, Mobile Devices

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The Beukes Decision: A Helpful Clarification Regarding the Right of Rescission

Earlier this year, in Jesinoski v. Countrywide, the Supreme Court answered an important question regarding the procedure for rescinding a residential mortgage refinance loan under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”). Under TILA,…more

Appeals, Banking Sector, forecl, GMAC, Jesinoski v Countrywide

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Washington Employers, Be Careful When Demanding Arbitration Agreements from Current Employees

Yesterday, in case called Mayne v. Monaco Enterprises, Inc., a Washington Appellate Court struck down an arbitration clause because the employee faced immediate termination if he did not sign. The employee in this case had…more

Adverse Employment Action, Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Consideration

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Wellness Watch: Guidance Is (Almost) Here

In December 2014, we highlighted the challenges that employers have been facing in ensuring that their wellness programs are not in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Genetic Information…more

ADA, Affordable Care Act, DOL, EEOC, Employer Group Health Plans

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SEC Files Settled Financial Fraud Action

One of the key products of Monsanto Company is weed killer Roundup, sold to retailers and distributors but not directly to growers. After the product came off patent generics began to erode its profits…more

Cease and Desist Orders, Financial Statements, Fraud, Monsanto, Rebates

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Supreme Court Will Decide Whether to Relax the Standard for Award of Enhanced Patent Damages

The U.S. Supreme Court announced last week that it will decide two cases concerning the issue of when district courts may award enhanced damages to patentees upon a finding of infringement. Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, U.S., No…more

Attorney's Fees, Bad Faith, Brooks Furniture, Enhanced Penalties, Evidence

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International Transactions May Escape German Merger Control Even if Statutory Control Thresholds Are Exceeded - New FCO German Guidelines

In many countries turnover tests triggering merger control can be overly far-reaching and cover transactions that are “entirely foreign” and do not have any appreciable effect in the country concerned. Newly issued German…more

European Merger Control Regulation, Germany, Notice Requirements

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DOJ, SEC Change “Cooperation Credit” Process, Add Resources to Fight Corruption

During recent speeches Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and SEC Enforcement Division head Andrew Ceresney announced changes to the processes the DOJ and the SEC will use to decide if a company will receive “cooperation…more

Compliance, Cooperation Initiative, DOJ, FCPA, SEC

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First Circuit Permits Supplementation of Complaint to Cure First-to-File Jurisdictional Defects

The FCA first-to-file bar provides that if an action involving the same subject matter is already pending, “no person other than the Government may intervene or bring a related action based on the facts underlying the pending…more

False Claims Act (FCA), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, First-to-File, KBR v ex rel Carter, Qui Tam

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Quirky Question #223, Meal Periods Outside California

We have offices in 13 states, a headquarters in Iowa and a manufacturing facility in Alaska. Several employees have used our “open suggestion box” to request that we allow them to work through lunch so they can go home earlier…more

On-Duty Meal Period Waivers, Rest and Meal Break, Wage and Hour

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DOL Issues Guidance Reminding Employers That “Most Workers Are Employees”

On July 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an important Administrator’s Interpretation discussing the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Many companies engage independent contractors,…more

Best Management Practices, DOL, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Independent Contractors

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Proposed Federal Breach Notification Law: Panacea Or Flash in the Pan?

The Obama Administration has just released the proposed text of the Personal Data Notification & Protection Act as the latest step in its uniform federal breach notification initiative. Similar legislative efforts in the past…more

Barack Obama, Breach Notification Rule, Corporate Counsel, Personally Identifiable Information, Proposed Legislation

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Third Circuit Upholds Application of pre-ACA Public Disclosure Bar to FCA Claims Filed after the ACA’s Effective Date

On August 26, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a district court’s decision to apply the version of the FCA’s public disclosure bar in existence before the enactment of the Patient Protection and…more

Affordable Care Act, False Claims Act (FCA), FRCP 9(b), Health Care Providers, Jurisdiction

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Deadline Approaching for Disclosure of Continuing Disclosure Violations

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) recently launched its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (the MCDC Initiative). Obligated persons (including issuers and conduit borrowers) and…more

Bonds, Disclosure Requirements, MCDC, Municipal Bonds, SEC

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The “Smart Phone” Wars – Episode VII: Will the Force of the Supreme Court Awaken?

Design patents protect the ornamental features of utilitarian objects, that is, the uniqueness of aesthetic features, form, or configuration of products. Design patents can be a significant weapon in the intellectual property…more

Apple, Apple v Samsung, Bilski, Claim Construction, Damages

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EHR ROI: Meaningful Use and Leveraging Your Electronic Health Record

Meaningful Use (MU) is again at the forefront of many hospital leaders’ minds, as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule in early April that aligns Stage 1 and Stage 2 incentives and sets…more

CMS, EHR, HITECH, Meaningful Use

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Ultramercial: Software Patent Invalidated After Application of Alice, Patent Eligibility Becoming Threshold Question for Litigation

The Federal Circuit recently applied Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank to invalidate all claims of a patented method for advertising over the Internet in Ultramercial, Inc. v. Hulu, LLC (Fed. Cir. November 14, 2014). Like the Supreme…more

CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Online Advertisements, Patent Litigation, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Patents

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Preparing for the 2015 Proxy Season

Similar to last year, there are no new disclosure requirements which need to be reflected in this year’s proxy statement; however, with ongoing shareholder activism and the desire of companies to communicate effectively with…more

Bylaws, Corporate Governance, Equity Compensation, Executive Compensation, Glass Lewis

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Deadline Approaching for Disclosure of Continuing Disclosure Violations

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) recently launched its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (the MCDC Initiative). Obligated persons (including issuers and conduit borrowers) and…more

Bonds, Disclosure Requirements, MCDC, Municipal Bonds, SEC

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Alice’s Patent Invalidated as “Abstract,” But Court Declines to Articulate Standard Applicable across Industries

In deciding Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, the Supreme Court Thursday invalidated Alice’s patent to software for intermediated settlement of transactions – finding the patent claimed nothing more than a general computer…more

Alice Corporation, CLS Bank, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Mayo v. Prometheus, Patent Litigation

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Minnesota Amends Trust Instruction Procedure Statute

The 2015 Minnesota Legislature adopted, and Governor Dayton signed into law, a revised Minnesota Trust Code, which will go into effect on January 1, 2016. The Minnesota Trust Code, Chapter 501C, is the first major revision of…more

Amended Legislation, Governor Dayton, Personal Jurisdiction, Securitization, Uniform Trust Code

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The Impact of Rejection on Trademark Licensees’ Rights in Bankruptcy: the Latest Decision on an Issue that Has Courts Divided

A decision by the Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Hampshire is the latest of a handful of cases in the past few years to weigh in on a circuit split as to whether a licensor of trademark rights can fully terminate a…more

Appeals, Bankruptcy Code, Commercial Bankruptcy, IP License, Trademarks

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Aereo’s Antenna Arrays and Streaming of Broadcast Programming to Individual Subscribers Found Infringing

In a significant victory for the broadcast industry, the Supreme Court has held in a 6-3 decision that Aereo’s TV streaming service is a public performance within the meaning of the Copyright Act. Aereo operates massive antenna…more

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

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NLRB Published Report Concerning Employee Handbook Rules and Policies

On March 18, 2015, NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin published a Report concerning recent case developments arising in the context of employee handbook rules and policies. The thirty-page Report concludes that many…more

Employee Handbooks, Employment Policies, NLRA, NLRB, Protected Concerted Activity

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Second Circuit Rules Unintended UCC Termination Statement Was Authorized

When terminating a financing statement, it is necessary to be certain that other financing statements are not unintentionally released, according to an opinion last week of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The effect of not…more

Commercial Bankruptcy, General Motors, Lenders, Perfected Security Interest, Secured Debt

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One person’s gift, another person’s bribe: The challenge of giving gifts in China, Part 1

It was the week before Chinese New Year. The financial year had ended weeks earlier and unpaid invoices had made a dent in the annual performance of the small family business. For months, the foreign husband, a co-owner of the…more

China, Compliance, Corporate Gifts, Ethics, Holiday Gifts

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ISPs on ALERT: Failing to Terminate Repeat Infringers Can Be Costly

A recent court order from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia—and a resulting jury verdict – may be instructive to internet service providers (“ISPs”) when it comes to their “repeat infringer”…more

Contributory Infringement, Copyright Infringement, Cox Communications, Damages, DMCA

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Supreme Court Rejection of Duty of Prudence Presumption—What Does it Mean for Retirement Plans?

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer that there is no “presumption” of prudence extended to fiduciaries of employer stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”) in their…more

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

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SEC Issues Final Rule for Pay Ratio Disclosure

On August 5, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) approved its final rule subjecting most public companies to the so-called “Pay Ratio Disclosure” mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer…more

Disclosure Requirements, Executive Compensation, Final Rules, Pay Ratio, Publicly-Traded Companies

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University of Massachusetts Medical School Not a “Person” Under FCA; 1st Circuit Adopts “Arm-of-the-State” Test

In an opinion issued on January 27, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a qui tam lawsuit against the University of Massachusetts, holding that the University was…more

Dismissals, False Claims Act (FCA), Medicaid, Private Right of Action, Qui Tam

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TUPE – What Will The 2014 Changes Bring?

Following a 2-year consultation process, legislation comes into force on 31 January 2014 to amend ‘TUPE’, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. The 2006 TUPE regulations provide for the…more

Employee Rights, TUPE, UK

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In re Alternate Fuels, Inc.: Key Takeaways for Venture Capitalists Working with Emerging Companies

Venture capitalists (“VCs”) often provide needed debt financing such as bridge loans to emerging companies in financial distress. However, given their insider status with these companies, VCs may encounter issues with such…more

Bankruptcy Code, Capital Contributions, Commercial Bankruptcy, Creditors, Debt Financing

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Efaxers Beware! FCC Finds Efaxes Subject to Consumer Protections of TCPA and JFPA

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) has released a declaratory ruling holding that a type of fax that contains unsolicited advertisements – an “efax” – is subject to the consumer protections of the…more

Advertising, Faxes, FCC, Popular, TCPA

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DOJ, SEC Change “Cooperation Credit” Process, Add Resources to Fight Corruption

During recent speeches Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and SEC Enforcement Division head Andrew Ceresney announced changes to the processes the DOJ and the SEC will use to decide if a company will receive “cooperation…more

Compliance, Cooperation Initiative, DOJ, FCPA, SEC

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SEC Issues Regulation A+ Rules; Increases Access to Capital Markets for Smaller Issuers

On March 25th, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted new rules to amend Regulation A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The new rules, referred to as “Regulation A+,” were…more

Capital Formation, Emerging Growth Companies, IPO, JOBS Act, New Regulations

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United States Patent and Trademark Office issues guidance in the wake of Myriad and Prometheus decisions

On March 4th, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued formal guidelines for the determination of patent-eligible subject matter in the wake of two recent U.S. Supreme Court cases: Association for Molecular Pathology…more

AMP v Myriad, Mayo v. Prometheus, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Pharmaceutical Industry, USPTO

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Fifth Circuit Concludes That FCA Claim Was Not Covered By Insurance Policy

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently rejected a shipbuilder’s claim against its insurance company seeking defense and indemnification from a False Claims Act suit. See XL Spec. Ins. Co. v. Bollinger…more

Appeals, Coast Guard, Commercial Insurance Policies, False Claims Act (FCA), Federal Contractors

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California Proposition 65 Update – A New Judicial Interpretation for the Defense of Proposition 65 Claims

In 1986, Californian’s adopted Proposition 65 (Prop 65). The law was intended to act as a labeling law to require a clear and reasonable warning to consumers about the presence of State-listed chemicals in consumer products at…more

Beech-Nut, Children's Products, Proposition 65, Toxic Chemicals, Warning Labels

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Reducing the risk for Property Professionals of money laundering in UK real estate

Scale of money laundering in UK real estate - Transparency International UK, the anti-corruption organisation, highlighted the risk of money laundering in the high-end UK real estate market in its report published last…more

Anti-Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering, Commercial Real Estate Market, Offshore Companies, Real Estate Market

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How and Why Your Team Is Everything (And Other Essentials for Startup Success...)

The multi-faceted answer to our question: over the years working with entrepreneurs and inventors, what have you seen as an essential attribute to startup success?…more

Legal Perspectives, Startups

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Minnesota Amends Trust Instruction Procedure Statute

The 2015 Minnesota Legislature adopted, and Governor Dayton signed into law, a revised Minnesota Trust Code, which will go into effect on January 1, 2016. The Minnesota Trust Code, Chapter 501C, is the first major revision of…more

Amended Legislation, Governor Dayton, Personal Jurisdiction, Securitization, Uniform Trust Code

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Washington State’s Cooperative Law Overhauled Effective January 1, 2016

For the first time in years, Washington’s cooperative statutes have been given a facelift. Effective January 1, 2016 (except certain provisions affecting Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)), Washington state has created a set…more

Corporate Governance, Corporations Code, Foreign Entities, Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Partnerships

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Glue Company in Sticky Situation with FTC over “Made in the USA” Advertising Claims—Who Will Get Stuck Next?

In a recent post, we discussed the potential perils and pitfalls of advertising consumer products as “Made in the USA.” As we noted there, different federal and state regulatory regimes do not necessarily follow the same…more

Country of Origin, False Advertising, FTC, Made in the USA, Product Labels

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New ISS FAQs Issued for 2016

Companies that are gearing up for the 2016 proxy season will have the benefit of three sets of frequently asked questions released by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) on December 18, 2015 – one on proxy voting policies…more

Corporate Governance, Executive Compensation, Incentive Compensation, ISS, Proxy Season

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Now’s the Time to Review Compensation Arrangements Relating to Unvested Rights

Correction of Errors before Year End Could Avoid Costly 409A Penalties - Sometimes overlooked is the fact that many employment, severance and change-of-control agreements are subject to U.S. Internal Revenue Code Section…more

Change of Control, Deferred Compensation, Directors, Foreign Corporations, Foreign Entities

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House Transportation Committee P3 Panel Calls for Central P3 Office

Introduction & Background - On September 17, 2014, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Panel on Public-Private Partnerships, a special panel of the US House of Representatives, issued a report in which it…more

Department of Transportation (DOT), Economic Development, Infrastructure, Procurement Guidelines, Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

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EU-US Data Transfer Privacy Shield: Political Agreement Achieved Regarding “Safe Harbor 2.0”

Significant uncertainty and concern regarding US companies’ ability to process and use personal data received from the EU has loomed since the October 2015 decision by Europe’s highest court invalidating the EU-US Safe Harbor. …more

Article 29 Working Party (WP29), Binding Corporate Rules, Data Protection Authority, EU, EU-US Privacy Shield

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Quirky Question #269: Like it or Not – Facebook Post Protected Under the NLRA

Question: I own a small manufacturing company that employs 25-35 employees, depending on our workload. Over the years, a number of my customers and my employees have “friended” me on Facebook. Last week, I saw that one of our…more

Employer Liability Issues, Facebook, NLRB, Protected Concerted Activity, Section 7

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Director Cybersecurity Risk Oversight and Actions

This article begins by providing an overview of the duty of directors to oversee risk, including cybersecurity risk, in the cyberattack context and then outlines actions that board of directors are taking as reported by surveys,…more

Board of Directors, Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Data Breach Plans, DE Supreme Court

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Second Chances – USPTO Trademark Pilot Program Allows for Amendments Based on Technology Evolution

The USPTO recently launched a pilot program to allow amendments in limited circumstances to the identification of goods or services in existing trademark registrations, in order to account for changes in technology formats. The…more

Amended Trademark Registration, Trademarks, USPTO, USPTO Pilot Program

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Does This Year’s Nobel Prize in Economics Suggest Any Lessons Regarding the Regulation of the Consumer Finance Industry?

On Monday October 12, 2015, Professor Angus Deaton won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science. Professor Deaton’s work focuses in part on consumer behavior, and, more specifically, on techniques used by researchers for…more

CFPB, Data Collection, Financial Services Industry, Mandatory Arbitration Clauses, Scientific Research

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Ninth Circuit Raises The Bar For Plaintiffs Seeking Trademark Injunctions

The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Herb Reed Enterprises, LLC v. Florida Entertainment Management Inc. increases the burden on trademark plaintiffs seeking preliminary injunctions. The case is the first decision from a…more

eBay, Injunctions, Irreparable Harm, Trademarks

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Seeking Net Benefits: President Obama Issues New Federal Policy on Addressing and Mitigating Environmental Harm Early in the Development Process

On November 3, 2015, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum intended to encourage federal agencies to consider land use planning more holistically, clearly and consistently, addressing mitigation needs before they…more

Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense (DOD), Department of the Interior, EPA, Mitigation

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Quirky Question #236, “I need some time off to give my daughter a mental boost…”

Question: We employ a very elderly lady, Agnes. In fact, she’s a great-grandmother. See has asked to take some time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act. See tells us that her daughter Beatrice is out of the…more

Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA

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China-Hong Kong Connect – Part Four: The Shenzhen Train Delay

In November 2014, the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (the “Shanghai Train”), a pilot program for establishing mutual stock market access between mainland China and Hong Kong, was officially launched. The new cross-border…more

China, Foreign Investment, HKEx, Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Shanghai Stock Exchange

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IPOs and IPAs: Ballast Point Transaction Illustrates Benefits of a Dual-Track Approach

The menu for craft breweries raising capital and looking for investor liquidity now includes another viable alternative – public offerings. With the filing of public offering documents by Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits and the…more

Acquisitions, Beer, Business Valuations, Capital Raising, Dual Track Process

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Quirky Question #259, The FMLA and the ADA: Joined at the Hip

Question: I work in my company’s HR department and we just had an employee ask for additional time off, even though we’ve already given the employee a bunch of time off we are required to under the FMLA. I wanted to say…more

ADA, Employer Liability Issues, FMLA, Health Insurance, Reasonable Accommodation

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DOL’s Much-Anticipated Proposed “White-Collar” Exemption Rules Focus on Increased Salary-Basis Requirements

The Department of Labor (DOL) today issued proposed regulations which, if adopted, will dramatically increase the number of executive, administrative and professional (white collar) workers eligible to earn overtime compensation…more

DOL, Exempt-Employees, FLSA, Multi-Factor Test, NPRM

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EPA and Corps Final Clean Water Rule’s Potential Impacts on Farming

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) published a final rule on May 27, 2015, that purports to clarify the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act…more

Clean Water Act, EPA, Farms, Federal Jurisdiction, Permits

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Public–Private Partnerships Core Toll Concessions Contract Guide

On September 10, 2014, the Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) published its final Model Public – Private Partnerships Core Toll Concessions Contract Guide (“Guide”) presenting key concepts for the structuring and…more

Contracting Procedures, Federal Contractors, Federal Highway Administration, Highways, Infrastructure

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Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Reporting Thresholds Increase

On January 26, the Federal Trade Commission published the annual adjustment of the thresholds that trigger premerger reporting obligations (and the mandatory waiting period) under the Hart-Scott Rodino (HSR) Act. The new…more

Filing Fees, FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, Interlocking Directorate, Pre-Merger Filing Requirements

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Quirky Question #263, My Supervisor is Stressing Me Out!

Question: We have an employee who claims she has a mental disability involving stress and anxiety caused by working with her supervisor, and she has asked for a different supervisor as an accommodation. This doesn’t seem to be a…more

Appeals, Disability, Disability Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues, FEHA

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The Amended PRC Company Law - More Flexibility in Establishing Companies (But With Conditions)

The new PRC Company Law, which took effect on March 1, 2014, overhauled long-standing registered capital requirements and streamlined the process of setting up companies in China. It simplified the requirements and process for…more

Amended Regulation, Business Formation, China, Free Trade Zone, PRC Labor Contract Laws

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Online Services Companies Await Supreme Court Ruling on Standing to Bring Class Actions under Fair Credit Reporting Act

On November 2, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a contentious round of oral arguments in a case that may significantly change the landscape of consumer class actions. The case, Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, is a class action…more

Class Action, E-Commerce, FCRA, Injury-in-Fact, Oral Argument

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Wellness Watch

According to reports, more than half of all businesses with over 200 employees ask employees to participate in biometric screening, and nearly 10% of them provide a financial incentive for employees to participate. As a part of…more

ADA, Affordable Care Act, Biometric Information, EEOC, Employee Benefits

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

In Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 576 U.S. ___, 2015 WL 2473449 (Jun. 25, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, held that disparate impact discrimination…more

ADEA, Affordable Housing, Discrimination, Disparate Impact, ECOA

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SEC Fines KBR $130,000 for Using Employee Confidentiality Agreement that Violates Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has brought its first-ever enforcement action against a company for using language in confidentiality agreements that prohibits employees from speaking with the SEC without prior…more

Confidentiality Agreements, Enforcement Actions, Internal Investigations, KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root), SEC

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FDA Seems Ready to Weigh In on “Natural” Food Labeling

In 1960, Judge Friendly famously began an opinion by asking, “What is chicken?” Today, the question is, “What is ‘natural’?” Courts today are filled with cases claiming that foods labeled as “natural” are misleading…more

Biotechnology, FDA, Food Labeling, GMO, Natural Products

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Wellness Watch: Guidance Is (Almost) Here

In December 2014, we highlighted the challenges that employers have been facing in ensuring that their wellness programs are not in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Genetic Information…more

ADA, Affordable Care Act, DOL, EEOC, Employer Group Health Plans

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Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act

On April 2, 2015, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed legislation enacting the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act (“DRAA”) which became effective on May 2, 2015. 10 Del. C. § 5801, et seq. On June 17, 2015, the Delaware Supreme…more

Arbitration, Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act

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Crowdfunding: A New Way for Montana Companies to Raise Money

A new exemption passed in the Montana 2015 legislative session will allow Montana companies to use crowdfunding to offer and sell securities in Montana beginning July 1, 2015. This exemption is subject to various limitations and…more

Crowdfunding, Financing, JOBS Act, SEC, Securities

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Quirky Question #267: An Equine Accommodation?

Question: Our employee regularly uses a service dog in our office, which helps him with stability and maintaining balance around the office, which can be challenging for him due to several medical conditions he has. However,…more

ADA, Disability, Interactive Process, Public Accommodation, Reasonable Accommodation

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The Demise of Disclosure-Only Settlements?

On January 22, 2016, the Delaware Court of Chancery, in an opinion of Chancellor Bouchard, rejected a proposed disclosure-only settlement in the context of M&A litigation that offered no new helpful information to the target’s…more

Disclosure-Based Settlements, Shareholder Litigation, Target Company, Trulia, Zillow

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Proposed Federal Rule Would Proscribe Contractor Confidentiality Agreements that “Restrict” Employees And Subcontractors from Reporting Allegations of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse to the Government

A recently proposed amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation precludes Federal contractors from entering into a confidentiality agreement with an employee or subcontractor that “prohibit[s] or otherwise restrict[s]”…more

Comment Period, Confidentiality Agreements, Corporate Counsel, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Federal Contractors

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SEC Staff Issues Economic Analysis Related to the Proposed Pay Ratio Rule

On June 4, 2015, the SEC staff issued an economic analysis related to its proposed pay ratio rule. This economic analysis, conducted by the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, looks at the potential effects on the pay…more

Executive Compensation, Item 402, Pay Ratio, Regulation S-K, SEC

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Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act

On April 2, 2015, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed legislation enacting the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act (“DRAA”) which became effective on May 2, 2015. 10 Del. C. § 5801, et seq. On June 17, 2015, the Delaware Supreme…more

Arbitration, Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act

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Crowdfunding: A New Way for Montana Companies to Raise Money

A new exemption passed in the Montana 2015 legislative session will allow Montana companies to use crowdfunding to offer and sell securities in Montana beginning July 1, 2015. This exemption is subject to various limitations and…more

Crowdfunding, Financing, JOBS Act, SEC, Securities

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Recent Developments in China Bond Markets

Tapping the Euromarkets - A number of Chinese issuers have issued bonds in the European debt markets recently. To date in 2015, more than ten Chinese companies have issued in excess of €9 billion of Euro-denominated bonds,…more

Banks, Bonds, China, Corporate Bonds, Debt Market

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Utah Court Dismisses False-Certification Case Alleging Submission of False Certificates of Conformance

On September 22, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah dismissed a qui tam complaint brought against Triumph Gear Systems, Inc. (“TGS”) and its parent company Triumph Group, Inc. (“Triumph”). In an opinion…more

Amended Complaints, Dismissals, False Claims Act (FCA), False-Certification of Conformance, Federal Pleading Requirements

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Obama’s Visa Modernization Initiative Allows Earlier Filing of Permanent Resident Applications

Implementing part of President Obama's November 2014 executive actions on immigration modernization, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"), in coordination with the Department of State ("DOS"), revised…more

Barack Obama, Employment Authorization Documents (EAD), Green Cards, US Department of State, USCIS

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Weighted Voting Rights in Hong Kong: Hopes Dashed (For Now) - Part 3

In Part 1 of this eUpdate series, we discussed the reasons why Hong Kong regulators did not approve of share structures with disproportionate voting rights, also known as the “weighted voting rights” (“WVR”) structures in Hong…more

Hong Kong, Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC), Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Policy Drafting, Shareholder Rights

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Louis Vuitton and My Other Bag – Do You Get The Joke?

In a recent post, we discussed the trademark parody defense in the context of a California district court decision holding that the owner of the Superman “S” logo had adequately stated infringement claims asserted against a…more

Copyright Infringement, Dilution, Fair Use, Lanham Act, Parody

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Medical Liability Reform – Iowa’s Communication and Optimal Resolution (Candor) Bill Effective July 1, 2015

On July 1, 2015, the Iowa legislature rolled out what is being heralded as its most significant medical liability reform of the past decade: enabling confidential “open discussions” between health care providers and patients…more

Adverse Events, Best Practices, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Healthcare Facilities

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IRS Publishes Final Guidance for Tax-Exempt Hospitals Regarding Section 501(r) Compliance

On December 29, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released final regulations pertaining to Section 501(r) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The final regulations may be found here (“Final…more

CHNA, Final Rules, Healthcare, Hospitals, Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

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Supreme Court Sides with DOL and Overturns Longstanding DC Circuit Ruling Under Administrative Procedure Act

Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Assn., No. 13 1041: On Monday, March 9, 2015, the Court ruled that a longstanding decision from the DC Circuit under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) was incorrectly decided in contravention to…more

Administrative Procedure Act, DOL, Exempt-Employees, FLSA, Mortgage Servicers

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Minnesota Issues Revenue Notice Regarding Apportionment of Compensation Paid to Nonresident Corporate Board Members

On August 25, 2014, the Minnesota Department of Revenue released Revenue Notice 14-02, which provides an alternative method of apportioning compensation earned by certain corporate directors who are not residents of Minnesota…more

Apportionment, Board of Directors, Directors, Executive Compensation, Income Taxes

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SEC Administrative Law Judges Ruled Unconstitutional

A recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York concludes that the manner in which Administrative Law Judges (“ALJs”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) are appointed is…more

Administrative Appointments, Administrative Authority, ALJ, Appointments Clause, Article II

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A Brief Decoding of Trademark Notice Guidelines

As the global nature of the economy and business grows, companies are faced with the challenge of determining when, whether and how to provide notice of trademark rights on product packaging and advertising materials. The laws…more

Advertising, Product Packaging, Trademarks

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Medical Liability Reform – Iowa’s Communication and Optimal Resolution (Candor) Bill Effective July 1, 2015

On July 1, 2015, the Iowa legislature rolled out what is being heralded as its most significant medical liability reform of the past decade: enabling confidential “open discussions” between health care providers and patients…more

Adverse Events, Best Practices, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Healthcare Facilities

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EEOC Releases Draft Retaliation Guidance

On January 21, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued a draft guidance entitled, “PROPOSED Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues.” The public has 30 days to provide feedback…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Best Management Practices, Draft Guidance, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues

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Patent for Technology that “Revolutionized Prenatal Care” Nonetheless Invalid as Patent Ineligible

The Federal Circuit Friday held in Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc. that Sequenom’s patent directed toward its MaterniT21 test—involving methods of detecting and using cell-free fetal DNA— was invalid for lack of…more

Biotechnology, Diagnostic Method, Diagnostic Tests, DNA, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter

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EU-US Data Transfer Privacy Shield: Political Agreement Achieved Regarding “Safe Harbor 2.0”

Significant uncertainty and concern regarding US companies’ ability to process and use personal data received from the EU has loomed since the October 2015 decision by Europe’s highest court invalidating the EU-US Safe Harbor. …more

Article 29 Working Party (WP29), Binding Corporate Rules, Data Protection Authority, EU, EU-US Privacy Shield

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Ninth Circuit Reinforces that Arbitration Agreements Will be Enforced

Ashbey was employed from December 1996 until November 2010, when he was discharged. He started with Archstone as a service technician and was promoted to regional service manager. In 2009, Ashbey signed a document titled,…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Discrimination, Title VII

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Organic Internet Growth: New .ORGANIC Domain Names Launch

If an organic standards body has approved you or your product, you are likely eligible to register an .organic domain name. Interested brand owners should apply as soon as possible and before the sunrise period closes on…more

Domain Names, Farms, Food Manufacturers, gTLD, Internet Retailers

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Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Reporting Thresholds Increase

On January 26, the Federal Trade Commission published the annual adjustment of the thresholds that trigger premerger reporting obligations (and the mandatory waiting period) under the Hart-Scott Rodino (HSR) Act. The new…more

Filing Fees, FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, Interlocking Directorate, Pre-Merger Filing Requirements

See All Updates »

Now’s the Time to Review Compensation Arrangements Relating to Unvested Rights

Correction of Errors before Year End Could Avoid Costly 409A Penalties - Sometimes overlooked is the fact that many employment, severance and change-of-control agreements are subject to U.S. Internal Revenue Code Section…more

Change of Control, Deferred Compensation, Directors, Foreign Corporations, Foreign Entities

See All Updates »

Utah Legislature Expands Antidiscrimination Laws to Address LGBT and Religious Rights

Last night, the Utah House passed landmark legislation (the "Act") already approved by the Senate that modifies Utah's antidiscrimination and fair housing acts to provide protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender…more

Adverse Employment Action, Anti-Discrimination Policies, Boy Scouts, Employee Handbooks, Employer Liability Issues

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DOL’s Much-Anticipated Proposed “White-Collar” Exemption Rules Focus on Increased Salary-Basis Requirements

The Department of Labor (DOL) today issued proposed regulations which, if adopted, will dramatically increase the number of executive, administrative and professional (white collar) workers eligible to earn overtime compensation…more

DOL, Exempt-Employees, FLSA, Multi-Factor Test, NPRM

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US CHINA TRADE WAR–DEVELOPMENTS IN TRADE POLICY, TRADE, PRODUCTS LIABILITY, 337/IP ANTITRUST AND SECURITIES

TRADE POLICY - TPP RUNS INTO HEADWINDS - As predicted in past blog posts, on December 28, 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Election Debate was complicating the passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership…more

Anti-Dumping Duty, China, Countervailing Duties, Currency Exchange, DuPont

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Minnesota Issues Revenue Notice Regarding Apportionment of Compensation Paid to Nonresident Corporate Board Members

On August 25, 2014, the Minnesota Department of Revenue released Revenue Notice 14-02, which provides an alternative method of apportioning compensation earned by certain corporate directors who are not residents of Minnesota…more

Apportionment, Board of Directors, Directors, Executive Compensation, Income Taxes

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IRS Publishes Final Guidance for Tax-Exempt Hospitals Regarding Section 501(r) Compliance

On December 29, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released final regulations pertaining to Section 501(r) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The final regulations may be found here (“Final…more

CHNA, Final Rules, Healthcare, Hospitals, Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

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Message from New York Court: Rely on CGL Policy Coverage for Data Breaches at Your Own Peril

A New York trial court announced a decision on February 21, 2014, that may be a harbinger of wide-reaching limitations on insurance coverage for data breaches under commercial general liability (CGL) policies. The court’s…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Cyber Insurance, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, FBI

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Crowdfunding Part 2 - Initial and Ongoing Disclosure Requirements

On October 30th, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted new crowdfunding rules, referred to as Regulation Crowdfunding. The rules were mandated by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, with the…more

Crowdfunding, Disclosure Requirements, Intermediaries, Regulation C, SEC

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California’s Latest Attack on Franchise Industry Goes Into Effect

A new California law (AB 525, effective January 1, 2016) makes it harder for franchisors to terminate defaulting franchisees, requires franchisors to buyout franchisees in some cases, and adds new burdens for evaluating…more

Buyback Programs, Franchise Agreements, Franchisee, Franchises, New Legislation

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California Court Permits FCA Claim Involving Medicare “Referral and Regeneration” Scheme to Proceed Against Healthcare CEO

In a recent opinion, the Northern District of California allowed FCA claims to proceed against the CEO of a skilled nursing facility operator. John Orten, the whistleblower in the suit, was a former nursing home administrator…more

CEOs, False Claims Act (FCA), Medicare, Personal Liability, Qui Tam

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Supreme Court Decides Two First Amendment Cases

Two recent Supreme Court decisions provide timely guidance on the First Amendment implications of publicly displaying the Confederate Flag or other symbols or signage related to protected beliefs. First, in Walker v. Sons of…more

Churches, Content-Neutral, First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Government Speech Doctrine

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Quirky Question #266: What’s up with Pregnancy Discrimination?

Question: Over the summer, we heard a lot about new guidance on pregnancy discrimination. What do we need to know to ensure we are complying with local, state, and federal laws on pregnancy discrimination?…more

Best Practices, Disparate Treatment, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Enforcement Guidance

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SEC Releases Long Awaited Rules on Regulation A+

On December 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission released their long-awaited proposed rules on Regulation A+. The proposed rules, which are intended to increase access to the capital markets for smaller issuers, were…more

Blue Sky Laws, JOBS Act, Preemption, Regulation A, Reporting Requirements

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3 Fundraising Mistakes Startup Entrepreneurs Make (and How to Avoid Them)

Some startups want to tout big fundraising numbers. Resist that urge. Focus on a smart valuation and return focus to the product…more

Business Formation, Fundraisers, Legal Perspectives, Startups, Venture Capital

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China-Hong Kong Connect – Part Four: The Shenzhen Train Delay

In November 2014, the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (the “Shanghai Train”), a pilot program for establishing mutual stock market access between mainland China and Hong Kong, was officially launched. The new cross-border…more

China, Foreign Investment, HKEx, Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Shanghai Stock Exchange

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Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal declines jurisdiction to hear Philip Morris’ challenge to Australia’s plain packaging laws on cigarettes

News has just emerged that the Permanent Court of Arbitration (“PCA”) declined jurisdiction in a unanimous decision to hear the merits of Philip Morris’ expropriation claim against the Commonwealth of Australia. Philip…more

Australia, Expropriation, Hong Kong, Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), Philip Morris

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Can My Website Subject My Business to Liability Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)?

It may come as a surprise that the answer to the above question is yes, or so a number of plaintiffs claim in lawsuits that have been filed recently in the U.S. More specifically, in the U.S. District Court for the Western…more

ADA, Corporate Liability, Public Accommodation, Reasonable Accommodation, Website Accessibility

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NASDAQ Proposes Rule Requiring Disclosure of “Golden Leash” Arrangements

On January 28, 2016, the NASDAQ Stock Market LLC proposed a change to its Listing Rules that, if implemented, would require NASDAQ-listed companies to publicly disclose so-called “golden leash” arrangements. “Golden leash”…more

Compensation Agreements, Directors, Disclosure Requirements, Nasdaq, Nominee Directors

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2014 Changes to the Minnesota Business Corporation Act

On April 25, 2014, Governor Mark Dayton signed House Bill H.F. No. 2190, which makes a number of changes to Chapter 302A of the Minnesota Statutes, the Minnesota Business Corporation Act (the “MBCA”). These changes will go into…more

Corporate Conversions, Corporations Code, Cross-Border, Dissenters Rights, Mergers

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Monumental Change Announced for Alaska Native Tribes—BIA will Allow Alaskan Land to be Taken into Trust

On December 19, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced the promulgation of a final rule that will allow land to be taken into trust for federally-recognized tribes in Alaska. Allowing trust lands in Alaska is a seismic…more

Alaska, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Economic Development, Final Rules, Indian Tribal Trusts

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Sixth Circuit Joins Sister Circuits In Using Arm-Of-The-State Analysis To Define “Person” Under The False Claims Act

The FCA imposes liability on “any person” that makes a false statement in violation of the Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1). Although the Act itself does not define “person,” the Supreme Court has said only that a person cannot…more

Civil Investigation Demand, Eleventh Amendment, False Claims Act (FCA), First Impression, SCOTUS

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Bracing For a Regulatory Race to the Finish

Over the last several months, much critical attention has focused on two environmental efforts: (1) EPA’s recently issued Clean Power Plan, which seeks reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power plants, and…more

Clean Power Plan, Climate Change, Energy Sector, EPA, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Reporting Thresholds Increase

On January 26, the Federal Trade Commission published the annual adjustment of the thresholds that trigger premerger reporting obligations (and the mandatory waiting period) under the Hart-Scott Rodino (HSR) Act. The new…more

Filing Fees, FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, Interlocking Directorate, Pre-Merger Filing Requirements

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SEC Publishes Staff Interpretations on New Regulation A+

The Securities and Exchange Commission has published 11 Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DIs”) related to the new rules implementing “Regulation A+,” which became effective June 19, 2015. The C&DIs are numbered…more

Blue Sky Laws, C&DIs, Capital Formation, New Regulations, Regulation A

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SEC Issues Proposed Rules for Director, Officer and Employee Hedging Disclosures

On February 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rules to implement Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which requires annual meeting proxy statement disclosure of a…more

Annual Meeting, Dodd-Frank, Hedging, Proposed Regulation, Proxy Statements

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Jesinoski Update: TILA Rescission in a Post-Jesinoski World

A little over one year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 790 (2015), which resolved a circuit court spit regarding how a mortgage borrower may exercise the…more

Borrowers, Jesinoski v Countrywide, Mortgages, Rescission, SCOTUS

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New York Trial Court Dismisses FCA Tax Case against Vanguard; Determines Relator Violated Confidentiality Provisions of State Attorney Ethics Rules

On November 13, 2015, the New York State Supreme Court dismissed a qui tam action brought under New York State Finance Law §§ 187-194 (“False Claims Act”) against The Vanguard Group Inc., The Vanguard Group of Mutual Funds, and…more

Confidential Information, Legal Ethics, NY Supreme Court, Qui Tam, Relators

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A Constitutional Challenge to a Different Kind of Gun Control Legislation

A lawsuit was filed earlier this week which challenges the constitutionality of Cal. Penal Code § 26820, a California statute aimed at regulating the sale of guns. Tracy Rifle & Pistol LLC v. Harris (E.D. Cal. filed Nov. 10,…more

First Amendment, Gun Laws, Second Amendment

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SEC Playing Bigger Role in Cybersecurity

Besides clarifying disclosure requirements,the agency is prompting companies to take proactive steps. Cybersecurity threats have reached a point where they cannot go ignored by any government agency, even the U.S…more

Cybersecurity, Data Protection, HITECH, Popular, SEC

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Obama Administration Requires Federal Contractors to Offer Paid Sick Leave to Workers

Companies that do work for the federal government must give their employees up to seven days of paid sick leave per year under new rules announced Monday by President Obama. The move is the latest in a series by the Obama…more

Barack Obama, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, New Regulations, Paid Leave

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Tuomey Settles, Post-Judgment, Alleged Violations of FCA and Stark Law

The Department of Justice and Tuomey Healthcare have announced a $72.4 million settlement in a lawsuit that the DOJ touts as “another achievement for the [DOJ and DHS] Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team…more

Appeals, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, False Claims Act (FCA), Healthcare

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Recent Developments in China Bond Markets

Tapping the Euromarkets - A number of Chinese issuers have issued bonds in the European debt markets recently. To date in 2015, more than ten Chinese companies have issued in excess of €9 billion of Euro-denominated bonds,…more

Banks, Bonds, China, Corporate Bonds, Debt Market

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SEC Issues Regulation A+ Rules; Increases Access to Capital Markets for Smaller Issuers

On March 25th, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted new rules to amend Regulation A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The new rules, referred to as “Regulation A+,” were…more

Capital Formation, Emerging Growth Companies, IPO, JOBS Act, New Regulations

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“Is This The Party To Whom I Am Speaking?”: Third Circuit Okays TCPA Suit Against Bank Over Call Meant For Roommate

On March 11, 2005, Bank of America (“BofA”) attempted to call Genevieve Dutriaux at her home where she resided with a roommate, Mark Leyse. Dutriaux was the registered subscriber for the phone number that BofA dialed. The call…more

Appeals, Bank of America, Collateral Estoppel, Standing, TCPA

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Quirky Question #267: An Equine Accommodation?

Question: Our employee regularly uses a service dog in our office, which helps him with stability and maintaining balance around the office, which can be challenging for him due to several medical conditions he has. However,…more

ADA, Disability, Interactive Process, Public Accommodation, Reasonable Accommodation

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Another Shoe Drops: More Changes to the U.S. Cuban Sanctions from the White House

On January 25, the Obama Administration made concurrent announcements about its evolving posture on the Cuban sanctions. On that date, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released more changes to the Cuban Assets…more

Cuba, Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), EAR, Embargo, Exports

See All Updates »

Quirky Question #250, New York wage notice burdens lifted

Question: I am a New York employer and I have heard about some onerous requirements to furnish wage notices to all employees. Is this law taking effect soon?…more

Amended Legislation, Annual Notices, Employer Liability Issues, Wages

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Do You Know Where Your Manually Signed Signature Pages Are?

On September 8, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled an enforcement action against a company for, among other violations, a failure to manually sign and retain signature pages, as required by Rule 302 of…more

Electronic Filing, Enforcement Actions, Failure To Disclose, Regulation S-T, Related Parties

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The Impact of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 on Off-Campus Hospital Outpatient Departments

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (“Act”) into law significantly impacting how Medicare pays certain off-campus hospital departments. Specifically, Section 603 of the Act provides…more

Bipartisan Budget, Cost-Sharing, Hospitals, Medicare, MedPAC

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7 Intellectual Property Mistakes Startup Entrepreneurs Often Make

What’s the biggest mistake startup entrepreneurs make with respect to their intellectual property, and what can they do to fix it? That’s the question we recently put to IP attorneys writing on JD Supra, knowing that the…more

Business Formation, Copyright, First-to-File, Legal Perspectives, Patents

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OFCCP Publishes Final Rule Prohibiting Discrimination against LGBT Employees of Federal Contractors

On December 9, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs published its Final Rule implementing Executive Order 13672, which extended protection against workplace discrimination to lesbian, gay, bisexual and…more

Barack Obama, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Final Rules, Gender Discrimination

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Patent for Technology that “Revolutionized Prenatal Care” Nonetheless Invalid as Patent Ineligible

The Federal Circuit Friday held in Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc. that Sequenom’s patent directed toward its MaterniT21 test—involving methods of detecting and using cell-free fetal DNA— was invalid for lack of…more

Biotechnology, Diagnostic Method, Diagnostic Tests, DNA, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter

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Ninth Circuit Affirms FTC’s Challenge to Provider Acquisition as Anticompetitive Despite Defense that the Transaction’s Goals Aligned with the Affordable Care Act

Competitive effects still matter in healthcare mergers, even in the face of a transaction’s claimed improvements in patient outcomes through integrated care and risk-based reimbursement consistent with the goals of the…more

Affordable Care Act, Antitrust Litigation, FTC, Hospital Mergers, Mergers

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Anti-Corruption Digest - April 2014

Welcome to Dorsey & Whitney’s monthly Anti-Corruption Digest. Anti-corruption enforcement crosses boundaries like no other, so keeping up to date is more important than ever. In this digest, we draw together news of enforcement…more

Anti-Corruption, Chief Compliance Officers, Compliance, Corruption, Enforcement

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IRS Issues Notice Addressing Impact of the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014 on Existing IRS Guidance

On April 16, 2015, the IRS released Notice 2015-34 clarifying the effect of the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014, Pub. L. No. 113-168, 128 Stat. 1883 (2014) (the “Act”), which added new Section 139E to the Internal…more

General Welfare Exclusion, IRS, Native American Issues, Tribal Government Programs, Tribal Governments

See All Updates »

Obama Administration Requires Federal Contractors to Offer Paid Sick Leave to Workers

Companies that do work for the federal government must give their employees up to seven days of paid sick leave per year under new rules announced Monday by President Obama. The move is the latest in a series by the Obama…more

Barack Obama, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, New Regulations, Paid Leave

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Did You Catch that Hashtag at the Super Bowl?

Early in the game on Sunday night, Esurance ran a commercial announcing that it was giving away more than $1 million through a sweepstakes on Twitter. You may remember that Esurance made a splash with a Twitter-based sweepstakes…more

Contests & Promotions, Disclosure Requirements, FTC, Hashtags, Social Media

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Ultramercial: Software Patent Invalidated After Application of Alice, Patent Eligibility Becoming Threshold Question for Litigation

The Federal Circuit recently applied Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank to invalidate all claims of a patented method for advertising over the Internet in Ultramercial, Inc. v. Hulu, LLC (Fed. Cir. November 14, 2014). Like the Supreme…more

CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Online Advertisements, Patent Litigation, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Patents

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The Demise of Disclosure-Only Settlements?

On January 22, 2016, the Delaware Court of Chancery, in an opinion of Chancellor Bouchard, rejected a proposed disclosure-only settlement in the context of M&A litigation that offered no new helpful information to the target’s…more

Disclosure-Based Settlements, Shareholder Litigation, Target Company, Trulia, Zillow

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Supreme Court Decides Two First Amendment Cases

Two recent Supreme Court decisions provide timely guidance on the First Amendment implications of publicly displaying the Confederate Flag or other symbols or signage related to protected beliefs. First, in Walker v. Sons of…more

Churches, Content-Neutral, First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Government Speech Doctrine

See All Updates »

Monumental Change Announced for Alaska Native Tribes—BIA will Allow Alaskan Land to be Taken into Trust

On December 19, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced the promulgation of a final rule that will allow land to be taken into trust for federally-recognized tribes in Alaska. Allowing trust lands in Alaska is a seismic…more

Alaska, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Economic Development, Final Rules, Indian Tribal Trusts

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Alice v. CLS Bank Applied Broadly by the Federal Circuit

On Friday, the Federal Circuit released its first opinion citing the Supreme Court’s June 2014 decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. This opinion is significant because it shows how the Federal Circuit intends to follow the clear…more

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

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It Is Now Easier To Draft Class Action Waivers and Arbitration Agreements

Last week, the California Supreme Court provided additional guidance as to how to draft an enforceable arbitration agreement and how Courts should analyze whether mandatory arbitration provisions can be held unconscionable and…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, AT&T Mobility v Concepcion, CA Supreme Court, Car Dealerships

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Weighted Voting Rights In Hong Kong: Hopes Raised High But... – Part 2

In Part 1 of this eUpdate series, we discussed the reasons why Hong Kong regulators did not approve of share structures with disproportionate voting rights, also known as the “weighted voting rights structures” in Hong Kong or…more

Emerging Technology Companies, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC), Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Investors

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IRS Publishes Final Guidance for Tax-Exempt Hospitals Regarding Section 501(r) Compliance

On December 29, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released final regulations pertaining to Section 501(r) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The final regulations may be found here (“Final…more

CHNA, Final Rules, Healthcare, Hospitals, Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

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District Court Rejects FCA Claim Against Healthcare Provider That Submitted False Claims But Did So Without Necessary Mental State

Healthcare provider Fresenius Medical Care North America claimed victory in a False Claims Act (“FCA”) lawsuit recently when a federal district court ruled that there was no evidence that its practice of billing for “overfill”…more

Billing, CMS, False Claims Act (FCA), Health Care Providers, Summary Judgment

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Federal Circuit Confirms The Use Of Broadest Reasonable Interpretation In Inter Partes Review

Since going into effect on September 16, 2012, inter partes review (IPR) has become a widely-used mechanism for challenging the validity of patents. One reason for the popularity of IPR could be that the U.S. Patent and…more

Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Standard, Claim Construction, Cuozzo Speed Technologies, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Patent Trial and Appeal Board

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ISS and Glass Lewis Update Policies for 2016 Proxy Season

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis have released updates to their proxy voting policies that will apply to shareholder meetings held on or after February 1, 2016. The ISS policy updates can be found here…more

Board of Directors, Glass Lewis, ISS, Overboarding, Proxy Voting Guidelines

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2014 Amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law

On July 15, 2014, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed Delaware House Bill No. 329, which makes a number of noteworthy changes to the Delaware General Corporation Law. The 2014 amendments address: (1) mergers under DGCL Section…more

Corporate Governance, Delaware General Corporation Law, Proposed Amendments

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2015 Changes to the Minnesota Business Corporation Act

On August 1, 2015, House Bill H.F. No. 385, which was signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton in May 2015, will become effective. The new law streamlines the process for executing cross-entity and cross-border conversions under…more

Business Corporation Act, Corporate Conversions, Cross-Border, Governor Dayton, Limited Liability Companies

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

In Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 576 U.S. ___, 2015 WL 2473449 (Jun. 25, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, held that disparate impact discrimination…more

ADEA, Affordable Housing, Discrimination, Disparate Impact, ECOA

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Supreme Court Rejection of Duty of Prudence Presumption—What Does it Mean for Retirement Plans?

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer that there is no “presumption” of prudence extended to fiduciaries of employer stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”) in their…more

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

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Ninth Circuit Raises The Bar For Plaintiffs Seeking Trademark Injunctions

The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Herb Reed Enterprises, LLC v. Florida Entertainment Management Inc. increases the burden on trademark plaintiffs seeking preliminary injunctions. The case is the first decision from a…more

eBay, Injunctions, Irreparable Harm, Trademarks

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“Natural” Clones Are Ineligible for Patent Protection

Last week, in In re Roslin Institute (Edinburgh), the Federal Circuit affirmed the rejection by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) of product claims covering cloned mammals. This case relates to Dolly,…more

DNA, Genetic Materials, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Patents, Roslin

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Extended BE-10 Filing Deadline Fast Approaching

U.S. Persons Owning Non-U.S. Businesses Should Request a Filing Extension Now and Submit Form BE-10 by August 31, 2015, In Order to Avoid Penalties. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), an agency of the U.S. Department of…more

BEA, Form BE-10

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Another Shoe Drops: More Changes to the U.S. Cuban Sanctions from the White House

On January 25, the Obama Administration made concurrent announcements about its evolving posture on the Cuban sanctions. On that date, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released more changes to the Cuban Assets…more

Cuba, Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), EAR, Embargo, Exports

See All Updates »

Supreme Court Will Decide Whether to Relax the Standard for Award of Enhanced Patent Damages

The U.S. Supreme Court announced last week that it will decide two cases concerning the issue of when district courts may award enhanced damages to patentees upon a finding of infringement. Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, U.S., No…more

Attorney's Fees, Bad Faith, Brooks Furniture, Enhanced Penalties, Evidence

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Naked Liens – Stripping Prohibited

In June, the US Supreme Court decided the case of debtors in bankruptcy desirous of stripping off a lender’s real estate lien that was fully in excess of the fair market value of the real estate. The Supreme Court unanimously…more

Bank of America v. Caulkett, Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 7, Consumer Lenders, Dewsnup

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The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in four cases today: Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez, No. 14-857: Respondent Jose Gomez received Navy recruitment text messages without his consent. He filed a nationwide…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Article III, Campbell Ewald v Gomez, Criminal Records, DACA

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IRS Issues Notice Addressing Impact of the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014 on Existing IRS Guidance

On April 16, 2015, the IRS released Notice 2015-34 clarifying the effect of the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014, Pub. L. No. 113-168, 128 Stat. 1883 (2014) (the “Act”), which added new Section 139E to the Internal…more

General Welfare Exclusion, IRS, Native American Issues, Tribal Government Programs, Tribal Governments

See All Updates »

Quirky Question #268: E-Sign Away!

Question: We have our electronic handbook and arbitration agreement online, and all employees sign both electronically. I saw a news blurb that a California court last year refused to enforce an arbitration agreement that was…more

Arbitration, Class Action, E-Signatures, Employee Handbooks, Employer Liability Issues

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Private Employers Now Face Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protections

On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling that dramatically expands the reach of whistleblower protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”). The Court’s decision in Lawson v. FMR, LLC, 571 U.S. __…more

Contractors, FMR LLC, Lawson v FMR, Sarbanes-Oxley, SCOTUS

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Jesinoski Update: TILA Rescission in a Post-Jesinoski World

A little over one year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 790 (2015), which resolved a circuit court spit regarding how a mortgage borrower may exercise the…more

Borrowers, Jesinoski v Countrywide, Mortgages, Rescission, SCOTUS

See All Updates »

Prosecutors Pierce Attorney-Client Privilege in Procurement-Fraud Investigation; Court Orders “Compliance” Advice Of Counsel to Be Disclosed

Organizations routinely seek the advice of counsel in complying with the complex, evolving Federal regulatory scheme. But a recent Federal prosecution for government-contracting fraud illuminates the stark difference between…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Crime-Fraud Exception, Criminal Conspiracy, DOJ, Reasonableness Factors

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Novartis Pharmaceuticals Settles $390MM FCA Allegations

Drugmaker Novartis Pharmaceuticals has agreed in principle to pay $390MM (including $20MM in civil forfeitures) to the Department of Justice. This payment, in addition to modification and an extension of Novartis’s existing…more

Corporate Integrity Agreement, DOJ, False Claims Act (FCA), Inducement, Kickbacks

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Contact

50 South Sixth Street Suite 1500
Minneapolis, MN 55402-1498, United States

  • (612) 340-2600
  • (612) 340-2868

Areas of Practice
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100+ Attorneys

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