Lane Powell PC

ERISA Preempts State Law Requiring Insurer “Prompt Payment”

Alaska’s prompt pay statute—which requires insurers to pay benefit claims within 30 days of submission—is preempted by federal laws governing employer-provided benefits and benefits for government workers, a federal judge ruled…more
| Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Health, Insurance, Labor & Employment Law

Imposing Section 10(b) Liability Against Defrauded Corporation Reads Scienter Element out of Statute—An Analysis of In re ChinaCast Education Corp. Securities Litigation, 809 F.3d 471 (9th Cir. 2015)

From time to time, D&O Developments will take a closer look at an important issue decided in an appellate opinion. In this post, I analyze In re ChinaCast Education Corp. Securities Litigation, 809 F.3d 471 (9th Cir. 2015), in…more
| Business Organizations, Business Torts, Civil Procedure, Securities Law

The Decline of the Disclosure-Only Settlement: Will We Regret What We Wished For?

In combination with the Delaware Court of Chancery’s decision in In re Trulia, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, 129 A.3d 884 (Del. Ch. 2016), Judge Posner’s blistering opinion In re Walgreen Company Stockholder Litigation, 2016 WL…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities Law

ERISA: “Key Evidence Needed to Prove the Intoxication Exclusion”

You know that many insurance policies and ERISA-governed plans exclude from coverage disabilities “resulting from, or related to…any accident related to the voluntary influence of any drug, narcotic, intoxicant or chemical….”…more
| Civil Procedure, Insurance, Labor & Employment Law

DEA Just Said No to Rescheduling Cannabis: Why It Matters

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently denied a petition to initiate proceedings to reschedule cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Thus, Cannabis will remain a Schedule I substance under the CSA. Prior…more
| Conflict of Laws, Criminal Law, Health, Taxation

DOL Increases Penalties on ERISA Plans – August 2, 2016

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) just increased civil monetary penalty amounts that may be assessed for violations of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

The DEA Is Getting Past Just Saying No: Scientific Research Into Medical Uses of Marijuana Is a Bridge Toward a Policy Shift

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s recent decision declining to reschedule cannabis is a step bridging the national discussion — a step toward a possible agreement on medical cannabis through scientific research. The…more
| Conflict of Laws, Health, Science, Computers, & Technology

Deciphering Smoke Signals — FDA’s New Tobacco Product Rules and Their Impact on the Cannabis Industry

Synopsis: Dual-use cannabis consumption products and their off-label uses may cause those products to fall within the new FDA rules governing tobacco products. Manufacturers and retailers of vape pens and atomizers…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Consumer Protection, Products Liability

Merging Wisely: Best Practices for Structuring Successful Non-Profit Mergers

A merger in the non-profit world is no less complicated than the merger of a for-profit corporation. But the metrics of success are different. Values-based organizations structured around achieving a mission—as opposed to bottom…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Mergers & Acquisitions, Nonprofit Law

ERISA — 7th Circuit: Under De Novo Review, the Court “Should NOT Resolve[] Doubts or Gaps in the Evidence in [the Claimant’s] Favor”

You know that claimants have the burden to establish eligibility for ERISA-governed disability benefits. Sometimes gaps in coverage can occur when, for example, a claimant alleges disability while using accrued vacation…more
| Civil Procedure, Insurance, Labor & Employment Law

In re Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation: An IP Address is Not Always Personally Identifiable Information

What’s the Case About? In re Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation is a multi-district consolidated class action filed on behalf of children under the age of thirteen alleging that Viacom used child directed websites it owned…more
| Business Torts, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology

ERISA: 2nd Circuit — Mental Health Provider Lacks Standing to Challenge ERISA Benefit Denial

Who can challenge an ERISA benefit denial? Does a physician have standing to challenge the denial of a patient’s coverage? It depends…more
| Civil Procedure, Health, Insurance, Labor & Employment Law

The Polyjuice Potion Is the Worst Prescription When Branding Marijuana Businesses: Lessons Learned From In re Morgan Brown

The recent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision, In re Morgan Brown, (Herbal Access) denied registration for the Herbal Access mark for a retail store legally selling marijuana products in Washington state. The…more
| Communications & Media Law, Conflict of Laws, Intellectual Property

5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense: Greater Director Involvement in Securities Litigation Defense and D&O Insurance

One of my “5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense” (April 30, 2016 post) is greater involvement by boards of directors in decisions concerning D&O insurance and the defense of securities litigation, including defense-counsel…more
| Business Organizations, Business Torts, Commercial Law & Contracts, Insurance, Securities Law

Cannabis Trademark Strategy in Jeopardy

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Trademark Office (TTAB) just rejected a popular strategy for protecting cannabis-related marks at the federal level. Many forward-thinking cannabis businesses have applied to…more
| Communications & Media Law, Conflict of Laws, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property
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