Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

This Changes Everything: The FCC Open Internet Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order

I. Not Your Father’s Broadband - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on March 12, 2015, released a new template for future regulation of a basket of mass market retail services it has named “broadband Internet…more
| Administrative Law, Communications & Media Law, Science, Computers, & Technology

Ninth Circuit Calls Into Question “No Reemployment” Provisions In California Settlement Agreements

On April 8, 2015, in Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals broadly interpreted California’s statutory provisions regarding restrictive covenants in the context of reviewing a…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Health

President Recommends Cuba’s Removal from State Sponsors of Terrorism List

On April 14, 2015, President Obama notified Congress that he intends to remove Cuba from the State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list. While this is a newsworthy occurrence, it does not have immediate, or even…more
| Elections & Politics, International Law & Trade

Twenty-Seven Day Elections (Or Less) Likely Under NLRB’s New Quickie Election Rules

The NLRB’s “quickie election” rule goes into effect today. And while the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has avoided a clearly mandated time frame for processing union representation petitions, employers can expect…more
| Labor & Employment Law

New Guidance Regarding Employee Handbooks Part Two: Employee Conduct Rules Can Prohibit Insuordination and Harassment But Cannot Prohibit Criticism and Debate

This post is the second in a series providing guidance on federal rules regarding permissible and impermissible employer handbook policies and rules…more
| Labor & Employment Law

What’s the Purpose of the Emergency Purpose Statutory Exemption?

As we’ve noted in the past, there are a number of TPCA petitions for declaratory ruling or requests for interpretation of the TCPA statute or FCC rules on a range of issues relating to the definition of an autodialer, seeking a…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Education, Consumer Protection

NLRB’s New Election Rule Implementation Update

In preparation for the NLRB’s new “quickie election” rules going into effect next week, the NLRB General Counsel yesterday published a 36-page Guidance Memorandum intended to explain how representation cases will be processed…more
| Labor & Employment Law

United States and Five World Powers Agree on Framework with Iran

On April 2, 2015, the Obama Administration announced that the U.S., Germany, Russia, the U.K., China and France (the “P5+1”) had agreed on the framework of a deal with Iran to address concerns surrounding that country’s nuclear…more
| Elections & Politics, Energy & Utilities, International Law & Trade

Court Grants Summary Judgment to Plaintiff Class in Blast Fax Case, Awards More Than $22 Million in Statutory Damages

In September, we reported that a court in the District ofNew Jersey denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment in a “fax blast” class action, concluding that the defendants could be directly liable under the TCPA for fax…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

SEC Uses Books and Records and Internal Control Regulations to Extend Reach of Actions Beyond Fraud

Last year, we predicted that the SEC would increase its use of administrative proceedings to enforce strict liability violations such as books and records and internal controls. See Mary P. Hansen & William L. Carr, The Future…more
| Administrative Law, Business Organizations, Business Torts, Securities Law

Failure to Identify Fax Recipients Shows Putative Class Is Not Ascertainable

A court in the Northern District of Illinois recently denied class certification in a “fax blast” case because the plaintiff failed to meet its burden of proof in showing that the putative class was ascertainable where there was…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

SEC Uses Its Powers under the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provisions to Warn Employers Against Attempting to Restrict Employees’ Ability to Report Potential Violations

On April 1, 2015, the SEC announced a settled enforcement proceeding against KBR, Inc., a publicly traded, Houston-based technology and engineering company, for including “restrictive language” in confidentiality agreements used…more
| Administrative Law, Business Organizations, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

New Guidance Regarding Employee Handbooks — Part One: Don’t Let Your Confidentiality Provisions “Chill” Employee Communications

It is a great time for employers to review their employee handbooks. Richard F. Griffin, Jr., General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), recently issued a lengthy and detailed report summarizing the NLRB’s…more
| Labor & Employment Law

U.S. Senate HELP Committee Releases White Papers on Higher Education Act Reauthorization

On March 23, 2015, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (the “HELP Committee”) released staff white papers about the following three issues, as…more
| Education, Elections & Politics, Finance & Banking, Privacy, Insurance

Whistleblower Award Update

There was not much activity from the SEC Office of the Whistleblower (OWB) in the months since it announced the highest whistleblower award to date in September 2014, but that changed in February when it issued a number of…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law
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