Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

REGULATORS, QUANT UP! New Rules from FINRA, SEC and CFTC Target Automated Algorithmic Trading

On February 11, 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) filed a proposed rule with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that would require individuals who “design, develop or significantly modify…more

Algorithmic Trading, FINRA, Proposed Regulation, Regulatory Agenda, Strategic Enforcement Plan

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Second Circuit Narrowly Applies Supreme Court’s Decision in Omnicare

In In re Sanofi Securities Litigation, No. 15-588-cv, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4107 (2d Cir. Mar. 4, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of class action complaints alleging that…more

Class Action, False Statements, FDA, Investors, Material Misstatements

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Fiduciary Duties in the Context of Dent v. Ramtron Int’l Corp.

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently addressed a number of claims commonly made in the “ubiquitous” stockholder litigation that follows announcement of a public merger or acquisition transaction. In Dent v. Ramtron Int’l…more

Acquisitions, Breach of Duty, Fiduciary Duty, Mergers, Shareholder Litigation

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FTC Proposes Consent Order to Settle Charges Alleging Misrepresentations by Patent Assertion Entity

On November 6, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a consent order that would settle charges against a patent assertion entity, MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC (“MPHJ”), and a law firm that represented MPHJ…more

Consent Order, FTC, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation, Patent Trolls

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EU-US Privacy Shield: Brace Yourself . . . or Maybe Not

On February 29, 2016, the European Commission and United States released the terms of the much-anticipated renewed framework for the transfer, sharing, and processing of European individuals’ data to the United States. The…more

Data Protection Authority, EU, EU-US Privacy Shield, European Commission, European Court of Justice (ECJ)

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Back at it Again (with the Standing Opinions): Seventh Circuit Reiterates Article III Standing in Data Breach Class Actions

On July 20, 2015, the Seventh Circuit issued its opinion in Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Group, 794 F. 3d 688 (7th Circ. 2015), which immediately became the low-water mark for Article III standing in data breach cases. In short,…more

Article III, Causation, Class Action, Class Certification, Data Breach

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Ninth Circuit Fumbles The Ball In Videogame Likeness Cases

Creating a new rule that gives videogames much more limited protection than other expressive works, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that realistically depicting college athletes in videogames showing them doing what they became…more

Athletes, Electronic Arts, First Amendment, NCAA, Right of Publicity

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Terrorism Risk Insurance Act Set to Expire at Year End

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) now appears set to expire as of December 31, 2014, barring further action from Congress.  The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014[1] would have extended the…more

Legislative Agendas, Terrorism Insurance, TRIA

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Ninth Circuit Rulings on Equitable Mootness in Transwest and Sunnyslope Impact Third Party Investors

The doctrine of equitable mootness provides that Chapter 11 reorganization plans will be deemed moot, and therefore not subject to appellate review, if a plan has been substantially consummated and granting appellate relief…more

Appellate Review, Bankruptcy Court, Chapter 11, Commercial Bankruptcy, Creditors

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[Event] Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - Oct. 22nd, San Diego, CA

Please join us for Sheppard Mullin's bi-annual Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour. There have been significant developments in California labor and employment law this year. We will explain how these new developments…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Contract, Events, Hiring & Firing, Independent Contractors

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California Enacts New Law Mandating Paid Sick Leave for Employees

On September 10, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. As a result, most employers in California will be required to provide up to 24 hours (3 days) of paid…more

Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, New Legislation, Paid Leave, Recordkeeping Requirements

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The Commercial Decision Reviews Arbitrations: Three Recent Decisions Clarify Standards For Actions Brought Pursuant To Article 75 of the CPLR

Several recent decisions by Commercial Division Justices, two of them affirmed by the First Department, have clarified the limitations and standards applied in actions brought pursuant to Article 75 of the CPLR. Article 75…more

Arbitration, CPLR

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[Event] Labor & Employment Breakfast Briefing - Sept. 10th, Chicago, IL

Sheppard Mullin invites you to the second in a series of breakfast briefings in our Chicago office addressing domestic and global employment law developments, legislation, and trends affecting the workplace. Each briefing…more

ADA, Continuing Legal Education, Employer Liability Issues, Events, FMLA

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Delaware Supreme Court Holds That a Minority Stockholder Has No Common Law Right to a Conflict-Free Board Decision Regarding the Repurchase of Shares

In Blaustein v. Lord Baltimore Capital Corp., No. 272, 2013, 2014 Del. LEXIS 30 (Del. Jan. 21, 2014), the Delaware Supreme Court held that a closely-held corporation’s directors owe no fiduciary duty to decide, free from…more

Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Good Faith, Minority Shareholders, Repurchases, Shareholders' Agreements

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As GSA FAS Struggles To Reinvent Itself; Contractors Suffer

The last year has been a tough one for the GSA Multiple Award Schedules (“MAS”) program. The Federal Acquisition Service (“FAS”) – the agency charged with administering the MAS program – has struggled to re-invent itself and…more

Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Federal Contractors, GSA, Multiple Award Contracts, OIG

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Patent Trial & Appeal Board Institutes 17 Inter Partes Reviews for TCL Communication Technology Holdings, LTD.

In Fiscal Year 2015, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) instituted inter partes reviews (“IPR”) on approximately 68% of petitions filed. Overcoming these odds, the PTAB recently instituted 17 out of 17 IPRs filed by…more

Ericsson, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Order to Stay, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Telecommunications

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Will The FTC Issue Native Advertising Guidelines in 2015?

As we previously reported last year, native advertisements represent an increasingly popular and effective means of promotion for marketers that also presents a major challenge for the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), an…more

Advertising, FTC, Native Advertising, Online Advertisements, Technical Conference

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Second Circuit Holds That SIPA Does Not Permit an Inflation or Interest Adjustment to “Net Equity” Claims For Customer Property

In In re Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, No. 14-97-bk(L), 2015 WL 727965 (2d Cir. Feb. 20, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that no adjustment for inflation or interest could be…more

Appeals, Bernie Madoff, Inflation Adjustments, SIPA

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[Webinar] What Happens if You Get Sued? Litigation Basics - Dec. 17th, 12:00pm PST

When your company gets sued, what steps should you take immediately and what do you need to be concerned about in the first 30 days of the case? Although cases take a long time to get to trial (and most never make it that far),…more

Emerging Growth Companies, Entrepreneurs, Litigation Strategies, Startups, Webinars

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Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Motorola’s LCD Antitrust Claims Based on Foreign Purchases

On March 27, in the latest major development in Motorola Mobility’s lawsuit alleging price-fixing of liquid crystal display modules (LCDs), a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit, including renowned antitrust jurist Judge…more

Antitrust Litigation, Motorola, Price-Fixing

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No Relief Under CCP Section 473 For Missed Filing Deadline In CEQA Challenge

Alliance for the Protection of the Auburn Community Environment, et al. v. County of Placer, SCV0028200 (3rd Dist., February 18, 2013). In Alliance for the Protection of the Auburn Community Environment v. County of…more

CEQA, Demurrers, Environmental Impact Report, Filing Deadlines, Statute of Limitations

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The FTC Continues Its Focus on the Mobile Arena

The Federal Trade Commission has recently focused its consumer protection efforts on the mobile arena, and particularly video game companies operating in that arena. Early last year, the FTC issued several staff reports…more

Apple, COPPA, FTC, Gaming, Mobile Apps

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Products or Services That Cannot Be Sold To California Minors Cannot Be Advertised To Them Online, Either

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law S.B. 568, the first bill of its kind in the nation. S.B. 568 enacts two new statutes under the title “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World.” The…more

Advertising, Children's Products, COPPA, Minors

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OIG Investigations (Without Subpoena Bells and Whistles) Coming to a Program Near You

The Inspector General Act of 1978 aimed to “consolidate existing auditing and investigative resources to more effectively combat fraud, abuse, waste and mismanagement in the programs and operations of [the executive branch].” To…more

Compliance, Department of Defense (DOD), Enforcement, Fraud, Investigations

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Ninth Circuit Severely Limits “Rogue Employee” Exception for Corporations in Securities Fraud Cases

In an issue of first impression, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a rogue corporate officer’s fraudulent intent can be imputed to a corporation even where the defrauding officer acted against the…more

Appeals, Corporate Counsel, Corporate Liability, Corporate Officers, Imputed Knowledge

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Indiana Wins Federal Approval to Expand Medicaid Coverage Under Obamacare

Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached on the state’s Medicaid expansion proposal submitted in July. As many as 350,000 people could gain coverage under the federal health law…more

Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Legislative Agendas

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Congress Passes Passport Revocation Bill Aimed At Large Tax Debtors

On December 4, 2015, the President signed into law HR 22, which requires the IRS to notify the State Department of any U.S. citizen who owes more than $50,000 in federal taxes. The State Department is then directed to revoke the…more

Federal Taxes, IRS, New Regulations, Passports, US Department of State

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NLRB Broadens its Test for Determining Joint-Employer Status

On August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued its highly anticipated decision in Browning-Ferris Indus. of California, et al v. Sanitary Truck Drivers, 362 NLRB No. 186. In deciding to “revisit and…more

Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Franchisee, Franchisors, Joint Employers, Labor Code

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Communications Compliance: Are Messaging Applications Leaving Your Organization Vulnerable to HIPAA Liability?

Messaging applications are popular tools to facilitate communication and workflow in healthcare settings—increasingly so as smart phones, tablets and other mobile mediums continue to penetrate the market. Organizations relying…more

Commercial Electronic Messages, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, HIPAA, Popular

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Government Forces Awaken: The Rise of Cyber Regulators in 2016

As the sun sets on 2015, but before it rises again in the New Year, we predict that, in the realm of cyber and data security, 2016 will become known as the “Rise of the Regulators.” Regulators across numerous industries and…more

CFPB, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Department of Defense (DOD), DOE

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New Jersey Congressman Questions Legality of Daily Fantasy Sports

There is something to be said for keeping a low profile. Apparently, daily fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel are not fans of the idiom, as viewers that tuned in to week 1 action of the NFL were inundated with…more

Fantasy Sports, Gambling, Internet Gambling, NFL, Sports Gambling

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Viability of certain Internet and software patents reconfirmed in DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com

DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com, L.P., Appeal No. 2013-1505 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 5, 2014) For those following the law of patent eligibility in the United States, a December 5, 2014 precedential decision by the Court of Appeals…more

Hotels.com, Internet, Patent Litigation, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Patents

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Preexisting Management Plan Not a “Mitigation Measure” for Purposes of CEQA Exemption

A preexisting management plan intended to minimize environmental effects of recurring facility operations and events is not a “proposed mitigation measure” for purposes of determining whether an event qualifies for a CEQA…more

CEQA, Environmental Claims, Environmental Liability, Environmental Policies

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[Event] Breakfast With Your Finance & Bankruptcy Lawyers: The Risks and Rewards of Financings in Europe - May 13, New York, NY

This breakfast session is jointly presented by Sheppard Mullin and Bird & Bird LLP, and will look at the key issues to consider when structuring financings involving European counterparties and examine whether there are real…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Commercial Bankruptcy, Continuing Legal Education, Corporate Taxes

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Supreme Court Update – Hana Financial v. Hana Bank

Sheppard Mullin’s intellectual property group prevailed before the United States Supreme Court in the trademark matter entitled Hana Financial v. Hana Bank.  574 U.S. ___ (2015).  Justice Sotomayor, writing for a unanimous…more

Hana Financial v Hana Bank, Jury Questions, Likelihood of Confusion, SCOTUS, Tacking

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Forward to The Past: NYSE Returns to Regulation

Everything old is new again. On January 1, 2016, the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) – now owned by Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. – will be taking back some of the regulatory responsibilities it yielded to the Financial…more

FINRA, NASD, NYSE, Regulatory Agencies, SEC

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Warren Distribution, Inc. v. Royal Purple, LLC – What’s in a Name?

In this matter, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board dismissed an opposition without prejudice in this precedential opinion because the party that filed the opposition was different from the party that sought and obtained an…more

Dismissals, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

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Potential Changes at GAO in 2016

There are some big potential changes coming to the bid protest process at the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) in 2016. It is possible that this year will bring a formalized electronic docketing system, a fee for filing…more

Bid Protests, Federal Contractors, Federal Procurement Systems, GAO, NDAA

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Federal Circuit Case Law Summary of High Point SARL v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., No. 15-1235 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 16, 2016)

Please find below a case summary of a Federal Circuit decision from this month that has patent exhaustion and licensing context. In High Point SARL v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., No. 15-1235 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 16, 2016), the Federal…more

AT&T, Divestiture, Ericsson, IP License, Joint Venture

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Mergers & Acquisitions Insurance - The growing use of rep and warranty protection in M&A transactions

The good news is that you can insure almost anything! In M&A transactions, buyers and sellers spend a great deal of time allocating risk relating to known and unknown pre-closing liabilities. The buyer’s view of the…more

C-Suite Executives, Contract Drafting, Corporate Sales Transactions, Insurance Industry, Purchase Agreement

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T.T.A.B. Emphasizes the Fame of the Movie ‘Jaws’ in Its Refusal to Register a Cooking Show’s Mark

On March 16, 2016, the TTAB affirmed the refusals of an applicant’s mark, JAWS DEVOUR YOUR HUNGER, for online streaming cooking shows, holding that it is confusingly similar to the registered mark from the movie JAWS. Though the…more

Likelihood of Confusion, Movies, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Trademarks

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Commercial Division Practice Continues to Shift Towards Federal Standards with Four Proposed Rule Changes

The Commercial Division Rules are once again the subject of several proposed amendments, as detailed below. While these proposals are not as far-reaching as some of the rule changes enacted in 2014, they nonetheless raise…more

Business Court Division, Discovery, Eligibility, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Proposed Amendments

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California Court of Appeal Makes It Easier to Add Business Owners to a Judgment

Individuals form limited partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations to limit their personal liability. These legal structures encourage entrepreneurs to take risks. The California Court of Appeal, Second…more

Alter Ego, Business Ownership, Choice of Entity, Limited Liability Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships

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DoD Seeks Public Comments Before Issuing a Proposed Rule on IR&D Costs

The Department of Defense intends to issue a proposed rule to ensure that substantial future independent research and development (“IR&D” or “IRAD”) expenses, which can be used as a means to reduce bid prices in competitive…more

Comment Period, Competitive Bidding, Department of Defense (DOD), Federal Contractors, Federal Register

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Employers Exhale Relief, Governor Vetoes Ban on Employment Arbitration Agreements

On October 11, 2015, Governor Brown vetoed Assembly Bill No. 465. AB 465 was one of the most closely watched, controversial employment related bills passed by the California Legislature in recent memory. Understandably,…more

Arbitration Agreements, Armendariz v Foundation Health, AT&T Mobility v Concepcion, CA Supreme Court, Employment Contract

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Not Taking “Yes” For An Answer: U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Unaccepted Offer Of Complete Individual Relief Does Not Moot Plaintiff’s Individual Or Class Action Claim

On January 20, 2016, in a highly anticipated decision (see October 27, 2015 blog) that will have implications for class action practice nationwide, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an unaccepted offer of judgment sufficient to…more

Campbell Ewald v Gomez, Mootness, Putative Class Actions, Rule 68, SCOTUS

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Was AdChoices Just Flipped the (Twitter) Bird on Behavioral Targeting?

It appears that users won’t be seeing the blue AdChoices triangle icon on Twitter anytime soon. AdChoices and its blue triangle icon are the work of the Digital Advertising Alliance (a consortium of trade groups) to provide…more

AdChoices Icon, Behavioral Advertising, Digital Advertising Alliance, Facebook, Twitter

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HHS Recognizes Changing Environment of Research: Still Time to Comment

Late last month the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other Federal Departments and Agencies announced an extension until January 6, 2016 to the comment period for the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human…more

Clinical Trials, HHS, Medical Research, NPRM, Scientific Research

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Dang v. San Francisco Forty Niners - Consumers can challenge Reebok's exclusive NFL apparel deal based just on a market of garments bearing NFL team logos

On August 2, 2013, District Judge Edward J. Davila denied a motion to dismiss antitrust claims brought by consumers of NFL apparel against Reebok and the NFL in Dang v. San Francisco Forty Niners, Case No. 5:12-CV-5481 (N.D…more

Cartwright Act, Class Action, Fashion Industry, Licensing Rules, Logos

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Implied Waiver of Privilege in Internal Investigations: Barko Court Compels Production of Internal Investigation Documents, Again

On November 20, 2014, the District Court for the District of Columbia once again ordered Kellogg, Brown and Root (“KBR”) to produce all documents prepared as part of an internal investigation.  The District Court’s decision…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Corporate Counsel, Document Productions, False Claims Act (FCA), Internal Investigations

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The Changing Landscape for Services Contractors

Two recent developments have the potential to change the landscape for contractors providing services to the Government. Government contractors and subcontractors are required to comply with a host of regulations governing…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employer Mandates, Executive Orders, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)

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Georgia’s Limited Tax Credits for Interactive Entertainment Producers

On April 15,[1] Georgia passed a law[2] amending its tax code to provide a limited tax credit to qualified interactive entertainment companies. The law provides incentives for mid-size game developers who demonstrate sufficient…more

Corporate Taxes, Income Taxes, Interactive Content, Tax Credits

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First Circuit Finds that a Private Equity Fund Can Be Liable for the Pension Obligations of its Portfolio Company

In Sun Capital Partners III, L.P. et al. v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, No. 12-2312, 2013 WL 3814985 (1st Cir. July 24, 2013), the First Circuit held that a private equity fund could be liable for its…more

Benefit Plan Sponsors, Employee Benefits, ERISA, Investment Portfolios, Pensions

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B&B Hardware v. Hargis – U.S. Supreme Court Declares TTAB Findings Can Have Preclusive Effect on Subsequent Federal Court Decisions

On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its second decision in substantive trademark law in nearly a decade. B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Indus., Inc., No. 13-352, slip op. at 22, 575 U.S. __ (2015). Sheppard…more

B&B Hardware v Hargis Industries, De Novo Standard of Review, Issue Preclusion, Likelihood of Confusion, SCOTUS

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[Event] Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - Oct. 22nd, San Diego, CA

Please join us for Sheppard Mullin's bi-annual Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour. There have been significant developments in California labor and employment law this year. We will explain how these new developments…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Contract, Events, Hiring & Firing, Independent Contractors

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What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

Volume 4 – Key Issues in Government Contracts Due Diligence - This posting is the fourth in our ten-part series on unique issues that arise in connection with mergers and acquisitions involving government contractors and…more

Acquisitions, Conflicts of Interest, CPARS, DCAA, Due Diligence

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At the Crossroads - Brand integration deals involve copyright, trademark, and insurance considerations

At the crossroads of Hollywood Boulevard and Madison Avenue, a variety of legal and business issues must be considered and addressed in order to set the stage for a successful brand integration deal. In the historical television…more

Brand, Copyright, Television Commercials, Television Programming, Trademarks

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[Event] Labor & Employment Breakfast Briefing - Sept. 10th, Chicago, IL

Sheppard Mullin invites you to the second in a series of breakfast briefings in our Chicago office addressing domestic and global employment law developments, legislation, and trends affecting the workplace. Each briefing…more

ADA, Continuing Legal Education, Employer Liability Issues, Events, FMLA

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Second Circuit Holds that FLSA Settlements Require Court or Department of Labor Approval

On August 7, 2015, in Dorain Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House, Inc., 796 F.3d 199 (2d Cir. 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is an “applicable…more

Appeals, Dismissal With Prejudice, DOL, Filing Requirements, FLSA

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Supreme Court Holds that Rejected Rule 68 Offer of Judgment Does Not Moot Class Action

On January 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court rejected a strategy recently used by some defendants to defeat class actions in their infancy. In Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857 (2016), a majority of the Court held…more

Campbell Ewald v Gomez, Class Action, Class Representatives, Mootness, Rule 68

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The California Supreme Court Holds Consumer Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Provisions Are Enforceable Under Federal Law

On August 3, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited arbitration decision in Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., LLC, No. B228027. The Court held that the arbitration provision found in a standard form auto…more

Appeals, Arbitration, CA Supreme Court, Car Dealerships, Class Action

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Potential Challenges Associated With California's Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act Scheduled to Take Effect on January 1, 2014

On September 21, 2012, S.B. 323, the California Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (known as the RULLCA), was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown and is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2014…more

Fiduciary Duty, Jerry Brown, LLC, New Legislation, RULLCA

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To Share or Not to Share (with the Government)? That is the Question: DHS Announces Interim Guidelines for Sharing Cyber Threat Indicators

On February 16, 2016, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced interim guidelines and procedures for sharing cyber threat indicators under the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (“CISA”). Because the…more

Cyber Threats, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), DHS, Information Sharing, Private Sector

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[Event] Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - Oct. 7, Palo Alto, CA

Please join us for Sheppard Mullin's bi-annual Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour. There have been significant developments in California labor and employment law this year. We will explain how these new developments…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Contract, Events, Hiring & Firing, Independent Contractors

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CMS Grants Extension to Apply for 2015 Meaningful Use Hardship Exemption

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) continues to work to ensure it is responsive to providers who tried to meet meaningful use standards in 2015 but faced hardships in their efforts. Eligible professionals,…more

CMS, Critical Access Hospitals, Electronic Health Record Incentives, Health Care Providers, Hospitals

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Common Pitfalls of Appellate Practice

According to Merriam-Webster, a pitfall is a "danger or problem that is hidden or not obvious at first." If you're a lawyer who specializes in appeals, the "hidden problems" in appellate practice we highlight below are obvious,…more

Appeals

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California Supreme Court Resolves Split Over Accrual Rules for Unfair Competition Claims

The California Supreme Court has offered hope to plaintiffs facing statute of limitations problems under California’s Unfair Competition Law, holding that special rules for calculating accrual dates for so-called “continuing…more

Cause of Action Accrual, Continuing Wrongs, Discovery, Statute of Limitations, Unfair Competition

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Medicare ACO v.3.0—More Risk, More Money?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced on March 10, 2015 that it is adding a new Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model to its cadre of innovative models. Titled the “Next Generation ACO Model,” CMS’ new ACO…more

ACOs, CMS, Healthcare, Medicare Shared Savings Program, Next Generation ACO (NGACO)

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Corporate Internal Investigations: Best Practices

A CEO receives an anonymous call claiming that someone is stealing company trade secrets or that an employee is taking kickbacks from a vendor. A GC gets a call from the HR director who has an employee accusing the company of…more

Corporate Counsel, Human Resources Professionals, Internal Investigations

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Crime Doesn’t Pay (as much as it used to) – FBI Cracks Down on Trade of Looted Syrian and Iraqi Cultural Artifacts

In support of the international crackdown on the black market trade of looted cultural artifacts, the FBI recently announced that art dealers may be prosecuted for engaging in the trade of stolen Iraqi and Syrian antiquities…more

Art, Art Dealers, Black Market, Criminal Prosecution, Cultural Artifacts

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CMS Proposes Payment Reform/Cap Adjustments

On April 30, 2015, CMS released its FY 2015 Hospice Wage Index, including long anticipated payment reform and some changes to the hospice cap calculation. Comments are due by June 29. Here is an initial summary and analysis…more

CMS, Healthcare, Hospice

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Thirteen Years of the Same Rules and Now Big Proposed Changes to the Regulation of Medicaid Managed Care Plans

On May 25, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a newly proposed rule that would change the way the agency regulates Medicaid managed care plans, the first regulation of its kind since 2002. …more

CHIP, CHIPRA, CMS, Health Insurance, Healthcare

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Ninth Circuit Blesses Iskanian

On September 28, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 decision in the long-awaited case of Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail North America, Inc. (No. 13-55184, D.C. No. 3:12-cv-00436-GPC-KSC) (“Sakkab”). The Court held…more

Appeals, Arbitration Agreements, Federal Arbitration Act, Iskanian, Labor Law Violations

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Second Circuit Limits “Tippee” Insider Trading Liability

In United States v. Newman, No. 13-1837 (2d Cir. Dec. 10, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the 2013 convictions of Anthony Chiasson and Todd Newman on charges of conspiracy to commit…more

Illegal Tipping, Insider Trading, Material Nonpublic Information, Personal Benefit, SEC

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SEC Brings Charges Against SEC Registered Investment Adviser for Improperly Allocating Expenses and Other Violations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”)

On February 25, 2014 the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) filed public administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings against Arizona-based Clean Energy Capital, LLC (a registered investment adviser, “CEC”) and…more

Cease and Desist, Fraud, Investment Adviser, Investment Advisers Act of 1940, SEC

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Mooting Plaintiff’s Class Action Even After Plaintiff Refuses An Offer Of Judgment

For years, litigants have battled over whether a defendant’s offer of judgment, which completely satisfies the plaintiff’s individual claim, can moot a class action. In Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez, 136 S. Ct. 663 (2016), the U.S…more

Campbell Ewald v Gomez, Class Action, Mootness, Offer of Judgment, TCPA

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The Baby and the Bathwater: The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Intrusion and Surveillance Software Export Licensing Proposal

If you are not aware, please take note that the July 20, 2015 deadline is fast approaching for comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) proposed rule on the export control of certain…more

BIS, EAR, Export Administration Regulations, Export Controls, Exports

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Commercial Lease Guaranties From Foreign Entities: What You Need to Know to Safeguard Your Security

In connection with a commercial lease with an international company, a commercial landlord is often asked to accept U.S.-based subsidiary as the tenant entity. The U.S. subsidiary often does not have independent financials or…more

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Two New Minimum Wage Increases Pass In Northern California

In the wake of a debate over increasing the federal minimum wage, two Northern California cities voted to increase their local minimum wage rates during the recent midterm elections. On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, San Francisco…more

Minimum Wage, Municipalities, New Legislation

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When it Comes to Crop Insurance, the FCA Bears Fruit

The federal crop insurance program is an often overlooked area of potential liability under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The program, which is governed by a substantial body of regulatory law, is subject to intense oversight…more

Crop Insurance, Department of Agriculture, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, False Claims Act (FCA)

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Federal Trade Commission Continues March “to Set a Standard for the Industry” with Cephalon Settlement

On May 28, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced it had reached a $1.2 billion settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals, which acquired Cephalon in 2012, over reverse payment for its narcolepsy drug, Provigil. The Cephalon…more

Antitrust Provisions, Cephalon, FTC, Generic Drugs, Hatch-Waxman

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What is Retaliation in the Second Circuit Under the FLSA?

On April 20, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a long-standing precedent when it held in Greathouse v. JHS Security Inc., that an internal oral complaint could be sufficient to demonstrate…more

Adverse Employment Action, Appeals, FLSA, Internal Reporting, Protected Activity

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Corporate Internal Investigations: Best Practices

A CEO receives an anonymous call claiming that someone is stealing company trade secrets or that an employee is taking kickbacks from a vendor. A GC gets a call from the HR director who has an employee accusing the company of…more

Corporate Counsel, Human Resources Professionals, Internal Investigations

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Federal Trade Commission Continues March “to Set a Standard for the Industry” with Cephalon Settlement

On May 28, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced it had reached a $1.2 billion settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals, which acquired Cephalon in 2012, over reverse payment for its narcolepsy drug, Provigil. The Cephalon…more

Antitrust Provisions, Cephalon, FTC, Generic Drugs, Hatch-Waxman

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Back at it Again (with the Standing Opinions): Seventh Circuit Reiterates Article III Standing in Data Breach Class Actions

On July 20, 2015, the Seventh Circuit issued its opinion in Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Group, 794 F. 3d 688 (7th Circ. 2015), which immediately became the low-water mark for Article III standing in data breach cases. In short,…more

Article III, Causation, Class Action, Class Certification, Data Breach

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Update – City of Los Angeles Releases List of 13,500 Soft First Story Buildings Targeted for Earthquake Retrofitting

The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (DBS) has released its list of wood frame soft-story buildings that may be required to undergo mandatory retrofitting. The list can be obtained by request to DBS, and…more

City of Los Angeles, Department of Building and Safety (DBS), Earthquakes, Local Ordinance, Property Owners

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Be Alert: Ransomware Attacks on the Rise

Big name companies, government agencies and individuals are all falling victim to “ransomware” attacks in record and still-rising numbers. Recently, Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital’s communications capabilities were disabled for…more

Bitcoin, Cyber Attacks, Malware, Ransomware, Risk Management

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[Event] Labor & Employment Breakfast Briefing - Sept. 10th, Chicago, IL

Sheppard Mullin invites you to the second in a series of breakfast briefings in our Chicago office addressing domestic and global employment law developments, legislation, and trends affecting the workplace. Each briefing…more

ADA, Continuing Legal Education, Employer Liability Issues, Events, FMLA

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CFPB Issues Compliance Bulletin On Confidentiality of Supervisory Information

On January 27, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a compliance bulletin reminding supervised financial institutions (including large depository institutions, credit unions and their affiliates,…more

Banking Sector, Banks, CFPB, Confidential Supervisory Information, Financial Institutions

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Delaware Chancery Court Holds that Creditor Plaintiffs in Derivative Suits May Satisfy Standing Requirement by Showing Corporation’s Insolvency at Time of Suit, Regardless of Later Solvency

In Quadrant Structured Products Co., Ltd. v. Vertin, C.A. No. 6990-VCL, 2015 WL 2062115 (Del. Ch. May 4, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery held that a creditor plaintiff needs only establish that a corporation was insolvent…more

Board of Directors, Breach of Duty, Credit Default Swaps, Creditors, Derivative Suit

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Fifth Circuit Expected To Issue Landmark Ruling Concerning Recognition of Foreign Bankruptcy Proceedings Contrary to US Public Policy

In a widely followed dispute, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon render a decision on the appeal of a Texas Bankruptcy Court’s refusal to recognize non-debtor third party releases in the Mexican reorganization…more

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Home Care Associations Seek Stay by SCOTUS of New Wage-and-Hour Rules, As the Effective Date of DOL Wage-and-Hour Regulations Quickly Approaches

Recently, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Home Care Association of America, et al. v. Weil, that the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) regulations about the inapplicability of certain statutory exemptions for third-party…more

DOL, FLSA, Health Care Providers, Home Health Care, Home Healthcare Workers

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DOL Issues Final Rule Amending FMLA Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a final rule amending the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). We earlier reported on the DOL’s proposed rule to this effect, which is now…more

DOL, DOMA, Employer Mandates, Final Rules, FMLA

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Undisclosed Change in Building Height Requires Supplemental EIR

Ventura Foothill Neighbors v. County of Ventura (12/15/14, 2d Civil No. B254120) - The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of California has ruled that (i) a 20% increase in the actual height of a building…more

Appeals, CEQA, Construction Industry, Construction Project, Environmental Impact Report

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[Event] Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - Sept. 24th, San Francisco, CA

Please join us for Sheppard Mullin's bi-annual Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour. There have been significant developments in California labor and employment law this year. We will explain how these new developments…more

California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Employer Liability Issues, Employment Contract, Events, Forum Selection

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Update – City of Los Angeles Releases List of 13,500 Soft First Story Buildings Targeted for Earthquake Retrofitting

The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (DBS) has released its list of wood frame soft-story buildings that may be required to undergo mandatory retrofitting. The list can be obtained by request to DBS, and…more

City of Los Angeles, Department of Building and Safety (DBS), Earthquakes, Local Ordinance, Property Owners

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Commercial Division Rules Revamp Encourages International Arbitration Matters In The New York County Commercial Division

The Commercial Division Advisory Council continued its revamp of the Commercial Division Rules on October 14, 2015, when it implemented amendments to 22 NYCRR § 202.70(b) and (c). As we discussed in this blog when the…more

Arbitration Awards, Declaratory Relief, Equitable Relief, Exemptions, International Arbitration

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Look Before You Leap – Pitfalls and Tripwires Inherent in Government Contracting

Accepting money from the Government, whether through a contract, grant, or other transaction, does not come for free. In the commercial world, companies typically engage in a cost/benefit analysis when they make major decisions,…more

Disclosure Requirements, Federal Contractors, Hiring & Firing, Human Trafficking, Intellectual Property Protection

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SIPO's Draft Measures on Service Invention

On November 12, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) released the Draft Measures on Service Invention«????????(?????)»(the “Draft Measures”) for public comments. Generally speaking, the Draft Measures enhance the rights…more

Inventions, Patents, SIPO

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State Regulatory Scheme Offering Antitrust Immunity to Healthcare Collaborations Creates Tension Between Federal and State Antitrust Enforcement

On April 22, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission submitted a public letter to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) expressing “strong concerns” over state regulations offering to provide antitrust immunity to certain…more

Antitrust Provisions, Department of Health, FTC, Health Care Providers, Healthcare

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Potential Revisions to the Definition of “Accredited Investor”

On December 18, 2015, the staff (the “Staff”) of the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) released a report on their review of the definition of “accredited investor” under the Securities Act of 1933. This review…more

Accredited Investors, Comment Period, Dodd-Frank, SEC, Securities Act of 1933

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Bill to Nullify Clean Water Rule Vetoed

On January 19, 2016, President Obama vetoed legislation that, if approved, would have nullified the Clean Water Rule. The controversial rule, which redefines which water bodies qualify as “waters of the United States” under the…more

Clean Water Act, Clean Water Rule, EPA, Presidential Veto, Rapanos v US

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Pay to Play: Appellate Division Upholds Ruling that Payment is Required to Qualify for Champerty Safe Harbor Provision

In Justinian Capital SPC v. WestLB AG, etc. et al., 2015 N.Y. Slip Op. 04381 (1st Dep’t May 21, 2015), the Appellate Division affirmed the February 25, 2014 decision of the New York County Supreme Court, Commercial Division…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Financial Institutions, Investment, Investment Portfolios

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DraftKings and FanDuel to Suspend Activity in New York, Effective Immediately

There has been a new development in the ongoing legal battle between New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators DraftKings and FanDuel, as the two largest DFS operators agreed earlier…more

Attorney Generals, DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Sports, Internet Gambling

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They Can Be Heroes: The FCC Proposes Expansive and Detailed Privacy & Cybersecurity Regulations for Broadband ISP

On April 1, 2016, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that would impose new regulatory burdens on broadband Internet service providers’ use of customer data. The wide-ranging NPRM also proposes rules…more

Breach Notification Rule, Broadband, Cybersecurity, Data Security, FCC

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New IRS Regulations Regarding Noncompensatory Partnership Options Effective Immediately

On February 4th, the IRS issued final and further proposed regulations regarding noncompensatory partnership options, effective immediately. Overview - A “noncompensatory partnership option” is any contractual right…more

IRS

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Top 5 Actions to Consider for the New York Not-for-Profit Law Overhaul Effective on July 1

On July 1, 2014, the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act (the “Act”) took effect. The Act is the most significant modification of New York’s Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the “NPCL”) in approximately 40 years. New…more

Corporate Governance, Non-Profits

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It’s Time to Review and Update Safety and Compliance Regimens – OSHA Penalties Set to Surge in 2016

For the first time since 1990, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been authorized to increase its civil penalties. The provision was inserted into the expansive Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which was…more

Bipartisan Budget, Civil Monetary Penalty, Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, OSHA, Safety Violations

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[Event] Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - Oct. 7, Palo Alto, CA

Please join us for Sheppard Mullin's bi-annual Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour. There have been significant developments in California labor and employment law this year. We will explain how these new developments…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Contract, Events, Hiring & Firing, Independent Contractors

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Conan Doyle Estate’s Quixotic Attempt to Protect Sherlock Holmes

Led by Judge Richard Posner, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently refused what Posner called a “quixotic” attempt to extend copyright law. While the holding was perhaps to be expected, the opinion introduced a mystery…more

Appeals, Arthur Conan Doyle, Books, Copyright, Public Domain

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North Carolina Court Issues First Decision Controlling Coop Pole Attachment Rates

This is a story of persistence and perseverance, if not patience. The cable industry finally obtained some control over skyrocketing pole attachment rates charged by cooperative utilities in North Carolina when the…more

Cable Television Providers, Time Warner, Utilities Sector, Utility Poles

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Round and Round and Round She Goes, and Where She Lands, Nobody Knows: The Future of Obamacare and Why King v. Burwell Matters – A Five-Part Series

Last week, on Wednesday, March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the highly publicized case of King. v. Burwell—a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” based upon what many would call the most…more

Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges, King v Burwell, Oral Argument

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FTC v. Actavis: What Does It Mean for Reverse-Payment Settlements?

On June 17, 2013, the United States Supreme Court announced a rule that blurs the lines between antitrust and patent law in the context of Hatch-Waxman litigation…more

Anti-Competitive, Antitrust Litigation, FTC, FTC v Actavis, Hatch-Waxman

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Maryland Legislature Fixes Problems Left Over From 2012 IDOT Legislation

Prior to 2012, the Indemnity Deed of Trust ("IDOT") had long been the preferred structure for borrowers in Maryland looking to finance their property because it would allow deferment of recordation taxes that would otherwise be…more

IDOT, Indemnification

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Groundbreaking Cross-border Airport Terminal Linking Tijuana to San Diego Breaks Ground

Sheppard Mullin client, Otay Tijuana Venture, announced this week that a cross-border pedestrian bridge linking San Diego with Tijuana’s A.L. Rodríguez International airport will be set to open next year. The project, which…more

Airlines, Airports, Cross-Border, Economic Development

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State Agency’s Intentional Flooding for Environmental Protection Results in Physical Taking of Private Property – Strict Liability Applies

Pacific Shores Property Owners Association v. Department of Fish and Wildlife (1/20/16, C070201) - On January 20, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of California ruled that where a state agency…more

Flooding, Inverse Condemnation, State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Statute of Limitations, Takings

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Plaintiffs Must Offer "Significant Proof" Of A Common Policy Or Practice To Satisfy Commonality Under Rule 23 Post-Dukes

On January 28, 2013, Hon. George King of the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued an order in Pedroza v. PetSmart, Inc. denying class certification of exempt misclassification claims brought…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Commonality, Exempt-Employees, Misclassification

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Changes to California’s Piece-Rate Compensation Requirements

Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1513, will significantly change the requirements governing the payment of piece-rate compensation in California beginning January 1, 2016. AB 1513 creates Labor Code section 226.2 which sets forth…more

Minimum Wage, New Legislation, Piece-Rate Pay, Rest and Meal Break, Safe Harbors

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Recent Remarks By Officials Reinforce DOJ’s Focus On Criminal Fraud Investigations And Prosecutions Of Culpable Individuals

In a trio of speeches given at separate events on September 17, 2014, Department of Justice (“DOJ”) officials announced new initiatives and points of emphasis in the Government’s ongoing efforts to hold corporations and…more

Board of Directors, Corporate Officers, Criminal Prosecution, DOJ, False Claims Act (FCA)

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New California Statutes Potentially Increase Owners’ and Developers’ Exposure Under the Prevailing Wage Law

California has enacted several statutes, effective January 1, 2014, which will likely increase the exposure of contractors and subcontractors, and the developers and owners for whom they work, to claims for prevailing wage…more

Construction Contracts, Contractors, Employer Liability Issues, Prevailing Wages, Subcontractors

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California Supreme Court Holds That Proof That Employer Would Have Made Same Employment Decision Absent Discrimination Precludes Award Of Damages, Backpay, Or Reinstatement

On February 7, 2013, the California Supreme Court held that where a plaintiff proves that unlawful discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") was a substantial factor motivating her termination,…more

Attorney's Fees, Back Pay, Damages, Declaratory Relief, Discrimination

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[Event] Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - Oct. 22nd, San Diego, CA

Please join us for Sheppard Mullin's bi-annual Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour. There have been significant developments in California labor and employment law this year. We will explain how these new developments…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Contract, Events, Hiring & Firing, Independent Contractors

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Arbitration Wars: Supreme Court Continues To Affirm The Supremacy of the FAA

The United States Supreme Court recently reversed a decision by the California Court of Appeal wherein the state court refused to enforce a class action waiver in an arbitration agreement. The Supreme Court enforced the class…more

Arbitration Agreements, AT&T Mobility v Concepcion, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, DirecTV, DirecTV v Imburgia

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New Year, New Rules For Employers Doing Business in California

This year the California Legislature added over a dozen new employment laws, many of which take effect on January 1, 2016. Some of these laws impose new prohibitions on employers, while others provide positive benefits such as…more

Commercial Truck Drivers, E-Verify, Equal Pay, Family Members, Independent Contractors

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Second Circuit Holds That Facebook “Like” May Be Concerted Activity Under Section 7 of the NLRA

The Second Circuit recently released a summary order in Three D, LLC v. NLRB affirming the National Labor Relations Board’s (the Board) ruling that a Facebook “like” can be construed as concerted activity under Section 7 of the…more

Disparagement, Facebook, NLRA, NLRB, Protected Concerted Activity

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Evolving Private Remedies for Competition Infringements in Europe: Class Actions in the U.K.

Winds of change are blowing through Europe’s national courts, beginning with a new antitrust damages Directive requiring changes in national laws to facilitate private enforcement of competition law. This step was a major…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Collective Actions, Competition, Competition Appeal Tribunal

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FAST Act Speeds-Up Raising Capital

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act. Although primarily a transportation bill, the FAST Act also made changes to the federal securities laws as…more

Capital Raising, Corporate Issuers, Emerging Growth Companies, Financial Statements, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act)

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DOJ’s FCPA Enforcement Power Gets A Big Boost

In 2011, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) stated that “[i]t’s not necessarily the wisest move for a company” to challenge the definition of “foreign official” under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), and that…more

Compliance, DOJ, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, FCPA

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Second-Lowest Bidder for Public Contracts May Sue Lowest Bidder Who Paid Less Than Prevailing Wages

Public agencies have little, if any, discretion when awarding public contracts because they are required to award the contract to the lowest bidder, subject to certain minimum qualifications. These limitations are designed to…more

Bid Protests, Competitive Bidding, Contractors, Prevailing Wages, Public Projects

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The New Normal: The Need for Damages Proof To Certify Consumer Classes Post-Comcast

In consumer class actions, the damages measure tends to remain undisclosed or ill-defined when plaintiffs move for class certification. Revealing as little as possible about damages allows plaintiffs to more flexibly adapt to…more

Burden of Proof, Class Action, Comcast v. Behrend, Evidence, SCOTUS

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UPDATE: SCOTUS Denies Petition For Cert In Iskanian

On June 24, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a controversial decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC. While the Court in Iskanian confirmed that an express class action waiver in an employment…more

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Employment Contract

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Cross Subsidization For Purpose Of Enhanced Grocery Sales Through Alleged Below Cost Gasoline Discounts Found Not To Violate California Unfair Practices Act

Injury to competing retail fuel stations is non-actionable where market conditions demonstrate that an “incipient antitrust violation” is not imminent. Dixon Gas Club LLC v. Safeway Inc., Case No. A139283 (Court of Appeal 1st…more

Appeals, CA Supreme Court, Discounts, Fuel Standards, Grocery Stores

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Ninth Circuit Rejects Percentage Method To Determine Attorneys’ Fees In Class Action Settlement

In Collado v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Nos. 11-57013, 11-57023, 11-57030 (9th Cir. Dec. 16, 2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s attorneys’ fees award in a class action settlement…more

Attorney's Fees, Class Action, Settlement, Toyota

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Abuse of Discretion Not Shown By Court’s Failure To “Show Its Arithmetic” in Significantly Reducing Claimed Attorney Fees in CEQA Litigation

In Save Our Uniquely Rural Community Environment v. County of San Bernardino, __ Cal.App.4th ___, 2015 WL 1259781 (4th Dist., Div. 2, 2015) (SOURCE) , the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision to…more

Abuse of Discretion, Appeals, Attorney's Fees, CEQA, Environmental Impact Report

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[Event] Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer - May 19, San Francisco, CA

Please join us for Sheppard Mullin's annual “Breakfast with Your Labor Lawyer." 2015 presents significant developments in California labor and employment laws. We will explain how these new developments will affect day-to-day…more

Contractors, Discrimination, Earned Sick Time, Email, Events

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New Year, New Rules For Employers Doing Business in California

This year the California Legislature added over a dozen new employment laws, many of which take effect on January 1, 2016. Some of these laws impose new prohibitions on employers, while others provide positive benefits such as…more

Commercial Truck Drivers, E-Verify, Equal Pay, Family Members, Independent Contractors

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California Enacts New Data Privacy Laws

As part of a flurry of new privacy legislation, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two new data privacy bills into law on September 27, 2013: S.B. 46 amending California’s data security breach notification law and A.B. 370…more

Breach Notification Rule, CalOPPA, COPPA, Data Breach, Data Protection

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US Safe Harbor Regime Invalidated by Europe’s Highest Court

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled this morning that the Safe Harbor regime, which enables transatlantic data transfers from the European Union to the United States, is invalid, thereby giving each national…more

Binding Corporate Rules, Consent, Data Protection Authority, EU, EU Data Protection Laws

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New Year, New Rules For Employers Doing Business in California

This year the California Legislature added over a dozen new employment laws, many of which take effect on January 1, 2016. Some of these laws impose new prohibitions on employers, while others provide positive benefits such as…more

Commercial Truck Drivers, E-Verify, Equal Pay, Family Members, Independent Contractors

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[Event] Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - Oct. 15th, Los Angeles, CA

Please join us for Sheppard Mullin's bi-annual Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour. There have been significant developments in California labor and employment law this year. We will explain how these new developments…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employment Contract, Events, First Amendment, Hiring & Firing

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To Share or Not to Share (with the Government)? That is the Question: DHS Announces Interim Guidelines for Sharing Cyber Threat Indicators

On February 16, 2016, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced interim guidelines and procedures for sharing cyber threat indicators under the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (“CISA”). Because the…more

Cyber Threats, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), DHS, Information Sharing, Private Sector

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Get Ready! DC’s Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Currently Expected To Take Effect On March 3, 2015

The District of Columbia recently joined twelve other states that have enacted laws requiring employers to accommodate certain limitations associated with pregnancy. The Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the “Act” or…more

Employer Mandates, New Legislation, Pregnancy, Reasonable Accommodation

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A Proposition 65 Violation May Be Lurking in Your Cash Register Receipt

Many consumer-facing businesses have learned to identify high-risk Prop 65 targets: soft, flexible plastics; faux and colored leathers; and any kind of brass or metal that may contain lead or other heavy metals. But businesses…more

BPA, OEHHA, Proposition 65, Toxic Chemicals, Warning Labels

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U.S. Supreme Court’s Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo Opinion Reaffirms The Importance Of Challenging Plaintiff’s Experts In Class Actions

On March 22, 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, et al., No. 14-1146, a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule 23”) and a collective action under the…more

Admissible Evidence, Calculation of Damages, Class Action, Class Certification, Expert Witness

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Judge Rules In Favor Of Stockton And Accepts Chapter 9 Petition

Round one of the fight between the City of Stockton, California and its creditors is finally over. On April 1, 2013, Bankruptcy Judge Christopher M. Klein held that Stockton satisfied the eligibility requirements for a Chapter 9…more

Bonds, CalPERS, Chapter 9, City of Stockton, Creditors

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Forward to The Past: NYSE Returns to Regulation

Everything old is new again. On January 1, 2016, the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) – now owned by Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. – will be taking back some of the regulatory responsibilities it yielded to the Financial…more

FINRA, NASD, NYSE, Regulatory Agencies, SEC

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Equityholder's Strategy for Shifting Tax Burdens to Creditors Upheld by Third Circuit

In re Majestic Star Casino, LLC, F.3d 736 (3rd Cir. 2013), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit broke from other courts by holding that S corporation status (or "qualified subchapter S subsidiary" or "QSub" status) is…more

Casinos, Cost-Shifting, Creditors, Debtors, IRS

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Update: Sandoz and Celltrion Decline the Invitation to Dance: Biosimilars Challenge the Applicability of the BPCIA’s Exchange Provisions Before Bringing Suit

In our previous blog post of November 11, 2014, we noted that Celltrion had filed a declaratory judgment action against Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research for invalidity of certain patents covering methods of treating…more

Biosimilars, BPCIA, Patents, Pharmaceutical Patents, Sandoz

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Federal Circuit Reaffirms Its Longstanding Patent Exhaustion Precedents in Lexmark v. Impression Products (Fed. Cir. Feb. 12, 2016) (en banc)

Under the doctrine of patent exhaustion, otherwise referred to as the “first sale doctrine,” the initial authorized sale of a patented item exhausts a patent owner’s rights to further control the sale, offer for sale, or use of…more

Bowman v Monsanto, First Sale Doctrine, Foreign Sales, Lexmark v Static Control Components, License Agreements

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New York State Minimum Wage Set to Increase to $15 Per Hour

On April 4, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law which will significantly increase the minimum wage in New York State from the current rate of $9, to $15 by the end of 2018 for many businesses in New York City, and…more

Governor Cuomo, Minimum Wage, Wage and Hour

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5 Things You Need To Know Now About Mexico’s Energy Reforms

Mexico’s landmark constitutional energy reforms, enacted in December 2013, were lauded as the start of a new era for private investment in Mexico. Nearly five months in, how has the government fared in implementing these…more

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Day Three Notes – JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, San Francisco

On January 13, 2016, conference sessions surfaced interesting questions and approaches regarding the post-acute sector, bundled payment, emergency medicine and anesthesia. Post-Acute Focus: With more and more focus on the…more

Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Bundled Payments, Hospitals, JPMorgan Chase, Physicians

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Federal Circuit Reaffirms Its Longstanding Patent Exhaustion Precedents in Lexmark v. Impression Products (Fed. Cir. Feb. 12, 2016) (en banc)

Under the doctrine of patent exhaustion, otherwise referred to as the “first sale doctrine,” the initial authorized sale of a patented item exhausts a patent owner’s rights to further control the sale, offer for sale, or use of…more

Bowman v Monsanto, First Sale Doctrine, Foreign Sales, Lexmark v Static Control Components, License Agreements

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China’s Anti-Unfair Competition Law Is Poised For An Update

Since 2010, China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and the State Council Legislative Affairs Office (SCLAO) have been revising China’s Anti-Unfair Competition Law of 1993 (AUCL). This February the SCLAO…more

Anti-Corruption, Antitrust Provisions, China, SAIC, Trade Secrets

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Laches, Statutes of Limitations and Raging Bull: The Supreme Court Re-Emphasizes The Pitfalls Of Delay In Copyright Cases

In Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 572 U.S. __ (2014), the United States Supreme Court addressed the role that the equitable defense of laches – i.e., a plaintiff’s unreasonable and prejudicial delay in commencing suit –…more

Affirmative Defenses, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Laches, MGM

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Federal Circuit Affirms Inequitable Conduct Determination Under Therasense “But For” Exception and Reaffirms Significance of Rohm & Haas

Today, the Federal Circuit upheld the District Court’s inequitable conduct verdict based on the submission of false affidavits to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“PTO”). Intellect Wireless, Inc. v. HTC Corp.,…more

Declaration, False Statements, Inequitable Conduct, Infringement, Materiality

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U.S. Supreme Court Decision Gives More Latitude to Defeat Securities Fraud Class Action Lawsuits Prior to Class Certification

In Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., No. 13-317, __ S Ct. __, 2014 WL 2807181 (U.S. June 23, 2014), the United States Supreme Court refused to overturn the landmark decision Basic v. Levinson, but ruled that…more

Basic v Levinson, Class Action, Class Certification, Fraud, Fraud-on-the-Market

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SAFEs and KISSes Poised to Be the Next Generation of Startup Financing

Overview - In late 2013, startup accelerator Y Combinator unveiled its Simple Agreement for Future Equity (“SAFE”) investment instrument as an alternative to convertible debt. While SAFE templates appeared in different…more

Convertible Debt, Corporate Counsel, Financing, Investors, Popular

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You Again?: Application of the First-to-File Bar Where Subsequent Actions Are Brought By the Same Relator

The Federal False Claims Act (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3729, et seq., has unique procedural aspects that come into play when a private whistleblower (the “relator”) seeks to sue on behalf of the Government. One of these, the…more

False Claims Act (FCA), Federal Contractors, First-to-File, Qui Tam, Relators

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California’s Equal Pay Law To Become More Stringent Effective January 1, 2016

Earlier this month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act, a bill making various changes to strengthen the California Equal Pay Act, which addresses gender wage inequality. The bill, S.B. 358,…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Equal Pay, Fair Pay Act, Governor Brown, Pay Secrecy

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Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Share-Tracing Standing Requirement for Appraisal Petitioners

The Delaware Court of Chancery issued companion opinions clarifying Delaware’s standing requirements for appraisal petitions under 8 Del. C. § 262. In In re Appraisal of Ancestry.com, Inc., C.A. No. 8173-VGC, 2015 WL 66825…more

Ancestry.com, Appraisal, Arbitrage, Business Litigation, Buy-Out Agreements

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[Event] Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - Sept. 16th, Costa Mesa, CA

Please join us for Sheppard Mullin's bi-annual Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour. There have been significant developments in California labor and employment law this year. We will explain how these new developments…more

DOL, Events, Hiring & Firing, Independent Contractors, Internships

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Commercial Lease Guaranties From Foreign Entities: What You Need to Know to Safeguard Your Security

In connection with a commercial lease with an international company, a commercial landlord is often asked to accept U.S.-based subsidiary as the tenant entity. The U.S. subsidiary often does not have independent financials or…more

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Plaintiffs’ Full Refund Theory of Restitution Under California’s Unfair Competition Law Goes Up in Smoke in Latest Tobacco II Opinion

The long saga of In re Tobacco Cases II recently produced yet another appellate opinion addressing California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), False Advertising Law (“FAL”), and the remedies they provide. This time, in In re…more

Disgorgement, False Advertising, Philip Morris, Restitution, Tobacco Litigation

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Claims Trading From The Inside Out: Ninth Circuit BAP Holds That A Non-Insider Claimant's Vote On A Plan Is Not Discounted Merely Because The Claimant Purchased Its Claim From An Insider

In an unpublished decision in In re The Village at Lakeridge, LLC, BAP Nos. NV-12-1456 and NV-12-1474 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. Apr. 5, 2013), the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit held that a vote on a plan…more

Debtors, Transfers

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U.S. Supreme Court Holds Agency Interpretations Are Not Subject To Notice-and-Comment Rulemaking Requirement

In 2004, the DOL revamped its regulations regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) administrative exemption. In 2006, the Bush DOL issued an opinion letter finding that mortgage loan officers qualified for the…more

Administrative Exemption, Administrative Procedure Act, Chevron Deference, DOL, Exempt-Employees

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New FCC Interpretation Of "Express Consent" To Increase TCPA Class Action Liability

Plaintiffs frequently sue businesses in class actions for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (the “TCPA”). The TCPA generally prohibits calls and text messages to cell phones using…more

Cell Phones, Class Action, Consent, FCC, TCPA

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United States Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Two Cases That Could Potentially Deter Non-Practicing Entities From Filing Frivolous Suits

On October 1, 2013, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the “exceptional” case standard for awarding attorneys’ fees in two separate patent-infringement cases. Both cases relate to patentees who are non-practicing…more

Attorney's Fees, Certiorari, Frivolous Lawsuits, Infringement, Non-Practicing Entities

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More Transparency- New Enterprise Information Disclosure Rules Take Effect

China has recently passed new laws requiring enterprises to disclose important information which the public can access. On October 1, 2014, new rules came into effect, Provisional Rules on Enterprise Information Disclosure…more

China, Compliance, Disclosure Requirements, Transparency

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Higher Filing Thresholds for HSR Act Premerger Notifications and Interlocking Directorates Announced

Higher Thresholds For HSR Filings - On January 15, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission announced revised, higher thresholds for premerger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The filing…more

Filing Fees, FTC, GDP, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, Interlocking Directorate

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New York State Passes 12-Week Paid Family Leave Law

On April 4, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation adopting a 12-week paid family leave policy for New York employees (the “Paid Leave Law”). (The text of the Paid Leave Law can be found in Part SS of recently…more

Governor Cuomo, Maternity Leave, Paid Family Leave Insurance Program, Paid Leave, Parental Leave

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EEOC Proposes New Pay Data Reporting Requirements for Employers

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has published proposed revisions to the requirements associated with the Employer Information Report (EEO-1). The EEO-1 already requires employers with more than…more

Data Collection, EEO-1, EEOC, Equal Pay, Fair Pay Act

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IRS Announces Inflation-Adjusted Amounts for 2016

The IRS recently announced the inflation-adjusted items for 2016, including gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax amounts. The following adjustments should be considered in your estate and gift planning..…more

Generation-Skipping Transfer, Gift-Tax Exemption, IRS

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Work and Resident Permits for Short-Term Working Foreigners

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Culture jointly issued a notice of the Relevant Handling Procedures for Foreigners…more

China, Foreign Nationals, Residency Status, Work Permits

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DC Circuit Ruling Confirms Reasonableness Of Resellers Relying On TAA Certifications From Suppliers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has issued a ruling bringing to an end the long-running False Claims Act (“FCA”) case filed by relator Brady Folliard and providing useful guidance to resellers…more

Appeals, Distributors, False Claims Act (FCA), Federal Contractors, GSA

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Arbitrator and Mediator. Member of AAA National Panel of Construction Arbitrators

AAA issued revised Construction Industry Arbitration Rules which took effect July 1, 2015. There are significant changes in the new rules which are intended to make the arbitration process more efficient and cost-effective. …more

American Arbitration Association, Arbitration, Arbitrators, Case Consolidation, Case Management

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Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Challenge to San Jose’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance; Justice Thomas Suggests The Issue is Far From Settled

On February 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States denied the California Building Industry’s petition for writ of certiorari seeking review of the decision of the California Supreme Court in California Building…more

Affordable Housing, CA Supreme Court, California Building Industry Association (CBIA), City of San Jose, Construction Industry

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Warren Distribution, Inc. v. Royal Purple, LLC – What’s in a Name?

In this matter, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board dismissed an opposition without prejudice in this precedential opinion because the party that filed the opposition was different from the party that sought and obtained an…more

Dismissals, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

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New Business Opportunities in Iran! Who Will Be Your Banker? Non-U.S. Banks Hesitant to Process Lawful Iran Transactions…and for Good Reason

- Sanctions relief presents new business opportunities with Iran - Most U.S. companies are still prohibited from Iran business, but the U.S. government is encouraging lawful business by non-U.S. companies - The…more

Banking Sector, Business Opportunities, Financial Transactions, Iran, Iran Sanctions

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California and Delaware Courts Agree: Amendments to Corporate Bylaws Do Not Apply Retroactively to Impair Pursuit Previously Accrued Claims

Two recent decisions, one from the Delaware Court of Chancery and one from the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, refused to apply bylaws that impaired a shareholder/member plaintiff’s ability to pursue his…more

Appeals, Bylaws, Corporations Code, Retroactive Application, Shareholder Litigation

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Reconsideration of Certificate of Need in Virginia

In a joint statement issued by the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (collectively, the “Agencies”) late last month, the Agencies suggested Virginia’s Certificate of Public…more

Antitrust Division, Certificate of Need, Hospitals, Regulatory Agenda, Repeal

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CEQA “Common Sense” Exemption Upheld; Environmental Baseline for Project Following Improvements Pursuant to an Emergency Exemption Clarified

CREED-21 v. City of San Diego (2/18/2015, 4th Civil No. D064186) - The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a CEQA exemption related to the City of San Diego’s approval of a project comprising emergency storm drainage…more

CEQA, Emergency Response, Environmental Assessments, Exemptions, Land-Use Permits

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DoD Reveals its Cybersecurity Discipline Implementation Plan (or How 1940s War Department VD Training Can Help Your 21st Century Cyber Hygiene)

“If our country is to successfully defend our right to live the American way, it needs every one of you, and requires you in the best possible condition. Any [company] who willfully, or through neglect fails to maintain [their…more

Authentication, Cybersecurity, Department of Defense (DOD), Federal Contractors, Risk Management

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FAST Act Speeds-Up Raising Capital

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act. Although primarily a transportation bill, the FAST Act also made changes to the federal securities laws as…more

Capital Raising, Corporate Issuers, Emerging Growth Companies, Financial Statements, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act)

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When Goods Are Shipped from Overseas, When Are They Considered “Received by the Debtor” for Purposes of Asserting a Section 503(b)(9) Administrative Claim?

A bankruptcy court in Pennsylvania recently held that trade creditors who supplied goods to a debtor prior to its bankruptcy filing were not entitled to administrative priority status under Bankruptcy Code section 503(b)(9)…more

Commercial Bankruptcy, Debt, Debtors, Section 503(b)(9)

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California Relaxes Its “Made in the U.S.A.” Law

To the consternation of many, California law has long imposed a “Made in the U.S.A.” standard that has been more stringent than the federal standard, requiring manufacturers of all types who wanted to make a country of origin…more

Country of Origin, FTC, Labeling, Made in the USA, Manufacturers

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[Event] Retail Best Practices: Accommodating Disabilities with Acumen, Protecting Data with Diligence, and Avoiding Class Actions with Class - Sept. 29th, New York, NY

Topics covered will include: Accommodating Disabilities in The Retail Work Environment: A discussion of recent developments under the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act impacting retail…more

Class Action, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Disability, Disability Discrimination

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Hotels and Hospitality in Cuba: OFAC and Obama Paving the Way

With more flights, relaxing regulations, a historic presidential trip to Cuba, and news of hospitality services expanding into Cuba, the pathway into Cuba for hotels and hospitality companies seems smooth. But businesses should…more

Business Opportunities, Compliance, Cuba, Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), Economic Sanctions

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California Supreme Court Opens Door For Wrongful Foreclosure Lawsuits and Challenges to Transfers of Mortgages: Practical Implications and Options Moving Forward

In Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage Corporation et al, the Supreme Court of California reversed the Court of Appeal’s ruling, and held that a borrower plaintiff who has been subject to a nonjudicial foreclosure has standing to…more

Assignments, Borrowers, CA Supreme Court, Commercial Mortgage Securitization, Mortgage Lenders

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Considerations For International Clients Who Intend to Buy A Home In the U.S.

International buyers invested $82.5 billion in U.S. residential real estate (4.8% of total U.S. sales) according to the most recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors for the 12 month period ending with…more

Estate Tax, Foreign Investment, Real Estate Market

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Evolving Private Remedies for Competition Infringements in Europe: Class Actions in the U.K.

Winds of change are blowing through Europe’s national courts, beginning with a new antitrust damages Directive requiring changes in national laws to facilitate private enforcement of competition law. This step was a major…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Collective Actions, Competition, Competition Appeal Tribunal

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Second Circuit Holds RMBS-issued Certificates Are Exempt from the TIA

On December 23, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion on an issue of first impression, namely the scope of § 304(a)(2) of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, 15 U.S.C. §§ 77aaa-77aaaa…more

Appeals, Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon, RMBS, Trust Indenture Act

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No Proof Necessary: SCOTUS Rules Defendant’s Notice Of Removal Under CAFA Need Not Include Evidence of The Amount In Controversy

On December 15, 2014, the United States Supreme Court resolved a circuit split in holding that a defendant need not supply evidence of the amount in controversy in its notice of removal under the Class Action Fairness Act…more

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

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[Event] Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer - May 28, Los Angeles, CA

Please join us for Sheppard Mullin's annual “Breakfast with Your Labor Lawyer." 2015 presents significant developments in California labor and employment laws. We will explain how these new developments will affect day-to-day…more

Arbitration, Commuter Tax Benefits, Continuing Legal Education, Discrimination, Earned Sick Time

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NASDAQ Proposes The Adoption Of A New All-Inclusive Annual Listing Fee

On August 26, 2014, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) certain proposed amendments to the NASDAQ Stock Market Rules (the “Amendments”) to provide for, among other…more

Fees, Filing Fees, Nasdaq, Proposed Amendments, SEC

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Nationality of Vessels on Sea Trials Under U.S. Law

In 2013, approximately 1,147 commercial and military vessels were delivered by United States shipyards. This total includes vessels of all types – 8 deep-draft vessels and structures, 219 OSVs, tugs, towboats, passenger and…more

Federal Admiralty Law, Shipping, Shipyard Industry, Vessels

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Lenders Beware -- California decision may ignite next wave of lender liability litigation

In a recent decision from the California Court of Appeals entitled Jolley v. Chase Home Finance, LLC, the Court severely curtailed lenders’ ability to dispose of lender liability claims on summary judgment, thereby adopting a…more

Borrowers, Default, Lenders, Loan Modifications, Negligence

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SEC Eliminates the Prohibition on General Solicitation for Rule 506 and Rule 144A Offerings

On July 10, 2013, the SEC adopted the amendments required under the JOBS Act to Rule 506 that would permit issuers to use general solicitation and general advertising to offer their securities, subject to certain limitations. In…more

Bad Actors, Dodd-Frank, Felons, General Solicitation, JOBS Act

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Hotels and Hospitality in Cuba: OFAC and Obama Paving the Way

With more flights, relaxing regulations, a historic presidential trip to Cuba, and news of hospitality services expanding into Cuba, the pathway into Cuba for hotels and hospitality companies seems smooth. But businesses should…more

Business Opportunities, Compliance, Cuba, Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), Economic Sanctions

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California Supreme Court Announces New Test for CEQA “Unusual Circumstances” Exception

Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (2015) ___ Cal.4th ___, Case No. S201116 - This week the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the Berkeley Hillside case, which considered whether…more

Berkeley Hillside v City of Berkeley, Categorical Exemptions, CEQA, Environmental Impact Report, Substantial Evidence Standard

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Final Section 336(e) Regulations Allow Step-Up in Asset Tax Basis in Certain Stock Acquisitions

Final regulations were issued last month under IRC Section 336(e). These regulations present beneficial planning opportunities in certain circumstances…more

Final Rules, LLC, S-Corporation, Shareholders, Stocks

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States Take Aim At Health Insurance Providers Fee In New Litigation

Three states—Kansas, Louisiana and Texas—filed a complaint in federal court on October 22, 2015 challenging the constitutionality and legality of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance providers fee. The health…more

Affordable Care Act, CHIP, CMS, Covered Entities, Declaratory Judgments

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California Supreme Court: Arbitration Agreement Restating Existing Law Is Not Unconscionable

On March 28, 2016, the California Supreme Court handed down a long-awaited opinion in Baltazar v. Forever 21. Baltazar’s most important holding is that an arbitration agreement is not unconscionable merely because it restates…more

Arbitration Agreements, CA Supreme Court, Cal Code of Civil Procedure, Unconscionable Contracts

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Commercial Division Rules Revamp Encourages International Arbitration Matters In The New York County Commercial Division

The Commercial Division Advisory Council continued its revamp of the Commercial Division Rules on October 14, 2015, when it implemented amendments to 22 NYCRR § 202.70(b) and (c). As we discussed in this blog when the…more

Arbitration Awards, Declaratory Relief, Equitable Relief, Exemptions, International Arbitration

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Delaware Court of Chancery Increases Scrutiny on Disclosure-Only M&A Class Action Settlements

As recently as 2014, nearly 95% of all mergers of public companies valued at $100 million or more triggered stockholder class action litigation. Historically, a large number of merger-related stockholder litigation settled…more

Attorney's Fees, Defense Strategies, Disclosure-Based Settlements, Mergers, Shareholder Litigation

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False Claims Act Whistleblower Bounties Exceed $345 Million in Fiscal Year 2013

The DOJ has released its Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2013 totals for civil settlements and judgments recovered under the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”). To say that the Department had a successful year in prosecuting fraud against the…more

Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, False Claims Act (FCA)

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U.S. Supreme Court Decision Gives More Latitude to Defeat Securities Fraud Class Action Lawsuits Prior to Class Certification

In Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., No. 13-317, __ S Ct. __, 2014 WL 2807181 (U.S. June 23, 2014), the United States Supreme Court refused to overturn the landmark decision Basic v. Levinson, but ruled that…more

Basic v Levinson, Class Action, Class Certification, Fraud, Fraud-on-the-Market

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US Safe Harbor Regime Invalidated by Europe’s Highest Court

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled this morning that the Safe Harbor regime, which enables transatlantic data transfers from the European Union to the United States, is invalid, thereby giving each national…more

Binding Corporate Rules, Consent, Data Protection Authority, EU, EU Data Protection Laws

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Supreme Court to Hear VA Procurement Controversy This Fall

In a matter of keen interest to the small business community, last month the Supreme Court, granted certiorari in Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States. The Court’s decision will hopefully bring some closure to the…more

Appeals, Bid Protests, Certiorari, Chevron Deference, Court of Federal Claims

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U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Regulations Regarding Federal Contractors’ Obligation To Provide Paid Sick Leave To Employees

On Thursday, February 25, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued proposed regulations for implementing Executive Order 13706, which requires federal contractors to provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave to its…more

Comment Period, Davis-Bacon Act, DOL, Federal Contractors, FLSA

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Patent Trial & Appeal Board Institutes 17 Inter Partes Reviews for TCL Communication Technology Holdings, LTD.

In Fiscal Year 2015, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) instituted inter partes reviews (“IPR”) on approximately 68% of petitions filed. Overcoming these odds, the PTAB recently instituted 17 out of 17 IPRs filed by…more

Ericsson, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Order to Stay, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Telecommunications

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California Employers: Get Ready for New FEHC Regulations Effective April 1st

As most California employers know, the complex web of laws that govern employment in the state is vast and ever-expanding. It just got more complicated. The Fair Employment and Housing Council (“FEHC”) has issued new…more

Anti-Discrimination Policies, Anti-Harassment Policies, Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Employer Liability Issues, FEHC

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A Quick Take on Justice Scalia’s Legacy on Antitrust Law

The late Justice Antonin Scalia was not the biggest fan of antitrust law. As he famously quipped during his Senate confirmation hearing: “In law school, I never understood [antitrust law]. I later found out, in reading the…more

American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant, Antitrust Litigation, Arbitration, AT&T Mobility v Concepcion, Class Certification

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Morton Salt Presumption Of Injury Under Robinson-Patman Act

Plaintiffs and appellants, the disfavored purchasers in a Robinson-Patman Act case, were twenty-eight retail pharmacies who alleged that the pharmaceutical manufacturer defendants had charged them higher prices than those…more

Antitrust Litigation, Competition, Pharmacies, Price Discrimination, Robinson-Patman Act

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California Insurance Commissioner Issues Emergency Regulations Affecting Narrow Provider Networks

On January 5, 2015, Commissioner Dave Jones issued emergency regulations affecting health insurers with respect to access to provider networks in response to consumer complaints that appointments with physicians are hard to…more

Health Care Providers, Health Insurance, Healthcare, Insurance Commissioners, New Regulations

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New Year, New Rules For Employers Doing Business in California

This year the California Legislature added over a dozen new employment laws, many of which take effect on January 1, 2016. Some of these laws impose new prohibitions on employers, while others provide positive benefits such as…more

Commercial Truck Drivers, E-Verify, Equal Pay, Family Members, Independent Contractors

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U.S. and China Strike Visa Deal

The United States and China announced an agreement on November 10, 2014 whereby visitors to both countries will now be able to apply for 10-year multiple entry visas. Previously visitors to both countries could only apply for…more

China, Reciprocity Rules, Visas

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Evolving Private Remedies for Competition Infringements in Europe: Class Actions in the U.K.

Winds of change are blowing through Europe’s national courts, beginning with a new antitrust damages Directive requiring changes in national laws to facilitate private enforcement of competition law. This step was a major…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Collective Actions, Competition, Competition Appeal Tribunal

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[Webinar] Licensing Basics: Third Thursday Emerging Company Webinar - Sept. 17th, 12:00 PST

Please join Sheppard Mullin for our monthly Third Thursday Emerging Company Webinar Series educating entrepreneurs and emerging companies on the key legal issues they face during the growth of their companies. These…more

Emerging Growth Companies, License Agreements, Startups, Webinars

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When Goods Are Shipped from Overseas, When Are They Considered “Received by the Debtor” for Purposes of Asserting a Section 503(b)(9) Administrative Claim?

A bankruptcy court in Pennsylvania recently held that trade creditors who supplied goods to a debtor prior to its bankruptcy filing were not entitled to administrative priority status under Bankruptcy Code section 503(b)(9)…more

Commercial Bankruptcy, Debt, Debtors, Section 503(b)(9)

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Federal Circuit Won’t Review USPTO’s Alice Guidelines

On March 10, 2016, the Federal Circuit ruled that it cannot review the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s patent-eligibility guidelines to examiners on how to apply the Supreme Court’s Alice ruling. The appeals court held that…more

Appeals, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Corporate Counsel, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Trial de Novo

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Improper Use of Commercial Signs — Proposed Revisions to Article 5 of the PRC Anti-Unfair Competition Law

On February 25, 2016, The State Counsel Legislative Affairs Office (“SCLAO”) released a draft amendment (“Draft Amendment”) of the PRC Anti-Unfair Competition Law (“AUCL”) for comment by industry and other stakeholders. Article…more

China, Proposed Amendments, Signs, Trademarks, Unfair Competition

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DraftKings and FanDuel to Suspend Activity in New York, Effective Immediately

There has been a new development in the ongoing legal battle between New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators DraftKings and FanDuel, as the two largest DFS operators agreed earlier…more

Attorney Generals, DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Sports, Internet Gambling

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Second Circuit Reiterates: Bigger Hurdles For Employers Under Big Apple’s Anti-Discrimination Law

On February 13, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reiterated that courts must analyze claims under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) “separately and independently from any [related] federal and…more

ADEA, Age Discrimination, But For Causation, Hiring & Firing, NYCHRL

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Look Before You Leap – Pitfalls and Tripwires Inherent in Government Contracting

Accepting money from the Government, whether through a contract, grant, or other transaction, does not come for free. In the commercial world, companies typically engage in a cost/benefit analysis when they make major decisions,…more

Disclosure Requirements, Federal Contractors, Hiring & Firing, Human Trafficking, Intellectual Property Protection

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Mooting Class Actions by Offer of Judgment – Episode 2: The Ninth Circuit Strikes Back

In Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez, 136 S. Ct. 663 (Jan. 20, 2016), the Supreme Court resolved a split among courts and held that an unaccepted settlement offer of complete individual relief does not moot the plaintiff’s lawsuit. …more

Allstate, Campbell Ewald v Gomez, Class Action, Class Certification, Class Representatives

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Beware of Email Requests from the C-Suite to Transfer Employee Data

Human Resources and payroll professionals are being targeted by sophisticated cyber criminals to steal employee data. The email phishing scam works like this: the bad guy sends an email to employees in the human resources or…more

Cyber Threats, Email, Human Resources Professionals, PHI, Phishing Scams

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The Ninth Circuit Declares That Individualized Damages Issues Alone Never, Ever Preclude Certification of a Rule 23(b)(3) Class

In Pulaski & Middleman, LLC v. Google, Inc., No. 12-16752, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16723 (9th Cir. Sept. 21, 2015), a Ninth Circuit panel held that individualized damages (or restitution) calculations cannot alone defeat Rule…more

Advertising, AdWords, Appeals, Calculation of Damages, Class Action

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Credit Card Theft Plaintiffs Discover Warm Home After 7th Circuit Rulings

One of the great scourges for retail companies in the digital age has been the ever-present threat of massive data breaches by hackers attempting to steal millions of consumers ’debit and credit card information. In recent…more

Actual Injuries, Article III, Class Action, Credit Cards, Data Breach

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Tribe’s Gamble That Casino Land Transfer Approval Not Subject to CEQA Pays Off

Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians v. Brown, C074506 (9/24/2014) - In a recent Third District Court of Appeal published opinion, the court in Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians v. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (3rd…more

CEQA, Department of the Interior, Environmental Impact Report, Indian Gaming, Jerry Brown

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Sovereign Litigation in Latin America: Top Five Issues To Think of When Doing Business With a Latin American Country

“We are in the soup” exclaimed, federal judge Thomas Griesa, referring to Argentina allegedly defaulting on its sovereign bonds. And so we are. According to bondholders, on July 30 of 2014, Argentina defaulted on its…more

Bonds, Corporate Counsel, Forum Selection, FSIA, Hedge Funds

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CEQA “Common Sense” Exemption Upheld; Environmental Baseline for Project Following Improvements Pursuant to an Emergency Exemption Clarified

CREED-21 v. City of San Diego (2/18/2015, 4th Civil No. D064186) - The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a CEQA exemption related to the City of San Diego’s approval of a project comprising emergency storm drainage…more

CEQA, Emergency Response, Environmental Assessments, Exemptions, Land-Use Permits

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Copyright Is Nothing To Joke About

Last summer, comedian Robert Kaseberg filed a copyright infringement suit against Conan O’Brien, among others, alleging that O’Brien incorporated four jokes written by Kaseberg in the opening monologues of his television show…more

Balancing Test, Copyright Infringement, Copyright Litigation, Fair Use, Intellectual Property Protection

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Bright Line Rule: Collateral Estoppel Precludes Attacks on Quasi-Judicial Permit Decisions (But Stay Tuned: Rehearing Granted on the Court’s Own Motion)

Simply stated: “[a] collateral attack is not a substitute for an appeal” reasoned the Second Appellate District Court in Bowman v. California Coastal Commission (2nd Dist., Div. 6, 03/18/2014, B243015) ___Cal.App.2nd___, 2014). …more

Collateral Estoppel, Environmental Policies, Nollan v California Coastal Commission, Permits

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Keep Sticking to the Four Corners - Extrinsic Evidence of Parties' Prior Conduct Cannot Alter the Interpretation of an Unambiguous Contract

In BDCM Fund Advisor, L.L.C. v. Zenni, No. 602116/08 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Nov. 15, 2012), Judge Eileen Bransten granted a motion for partial summary judgment for the defendants/counterclaim-plaintiffs, James J. Zenni (“Zenni”) and his…more

Contract Interpretation

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Second Circuit Tosses Out Time-Barred Copyright Claims Against Jay Z

Last month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a New York judge’s decision to dismiss federal copyright and state tort law claims alleged against the hip-hop icon, Jay Z, and his affiliated companies. Mahan v. ROC…more

Copyright Infringement, Dismissals, Jay Z, Music, Music Industry

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California Homeowner Bill of Rights: A New Mortgage Law For The New Year

The California Homeowner Bill of Rights (“HBR”) goes into effect on January 1, 2013. The HBR revamps California’s non-judicial foreclosure statutes granting borrowers additional rights. It was designed to correct perceived…more

Foreclosure, Homeowner Bill of Rights, Mortgages

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European Court of Justice to Rule on Legality of Online Sales Bans

An appeal court in Frankfurt has asked the European Court of Justice to clarify the application of the competition rules to online sales. The Frankfurt court made its request in the context of a dispute between a leader in…more

Amazon, Competition, Corporate Counsel, E-Commerce, eBay

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Attacking Class Action Allegations On The Pleadings Can Be A Successful Strategy

Not all class action allegations are created equal. Certain types of claims are more likely to be amenable to class treatment – generally those involving uniform policies that result in uniform injuries; other claims seem…more

Class Certification, Defense Strategies, Dismissals, Putative Class Actions, Residential Leases

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Justice Friedman Allows Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim to Proceed Against Corporate Directors Under Delaware Law

In AP Services, LLP v. Lobell et. al, No. 651613/2012, 2015 NY Slip Op 31115(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. June 19, 2015) (argued Feb. 21, 2014), Justice Friedman, applying Delaware Law, denied a motion to dismiss plaintiff AP Services,…more

Acquisitions, Articles of Incorporation, Board of Directors, Breach of Duty, Commercial Bankruptcy

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[Event] Sheppard Mullin's Labor & Employment Year In Review - Nov. 19th, New York, NY

Please join our experienced attorneys for an informative and lively discussion on a variety of timely topics, including: Where We've Been and Where We're Going: Key legislative developments and leading court decisions…more

Background Checks, Employer Liability Issues, Events, Hiring & Firing, Independent Contractors

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Whew! That Was Close – D.C. Circuit Reaffirms Application of Attorney-Client Privilege and Attorney Work Product Doctrine in Internal Investigations

On August 11, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a writ of mandamus supporting the robust applicability of the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product doctrines in the context of False Claims…more

Appeals, Attorney-Client Privilege, Barko v Halliburton, Corporate Counsel, False Claims Act (FCA)

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Ninth Circuit Fumbles The Ball In Videogame Likeness Cases

Creating a new rule that gives videogames much more limited protection than other expressive works, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that realistically depicting college athletes in videogames showing them doing what they became…more

Athletes, Electronic Arts, First Amendment, NCAA, Right of Publicity

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EU Carbon Trading System Wins Parliament's Support

On Wednesday, the European Parliament approved a proposal to delay the issue of 900 million emissions allowances (each representing the right to emit one metric ton of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas equivalent, or CO2e). The…more

Carbon Capture and Sequestration, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Off-Set Credits, Clean Energy, Climate Change

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[Event] Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - Sept. 24th, San Francisco, CA

Please join us for Sheppard Mullin's bi-annual Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour. There have been significant developments in California labor and employment law this year. We will explain how these new developments…more

California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Employer Liability Issues, Employment Contract, Events, Forum Selection

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What’s in a Name? That Which We Call a Biological Product…

The FDA has been gradually issuing guidances to implement the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (“BPCIA”). One of the most eagerly awaited guidance documents has been that on nonproprietary names to be used…more

Biosimilars, BPCIA, FDA, PHSA, Prescription Drugs

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Non-Union Employee’s “Bad Attitude” Protected by the NLRA

As a reminder that non-union employees are also protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago recently upheld a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision holding that…more

Corporate Counsel, NLRA, NLRB, Non-Union, Protected Concerted Activity

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“Change in Ownership” Can Trigger Documentary Transfer Tax

926 North Ardmore Avenue, LLC v. County of Los Angeles, (9/22/14, B248536) - The California Court of Appeals has recently held that, as a general rule, the Documentary Transfer Tax (“DTT”) applies whenever there is a…more

Appeals, Change in Ownership, Local Ordinance, Real Estate Transfers, Transfer Taxes

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FCC Warns Broadband Internet Service Providers Of Coming Expanded Title II Privacy Regulation

On May 20, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released an Enforcement Advisory notifying providers that the agency’s recent Open Internet Order “applies the core customer privacy protections of Section 222 of…more

Broadband, Communications Act 2003, FCC, Internet, Open Internet Rules

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The Changing Landscape for Services Contractors

Two recent developments have the potential to change the landscape for contractors providing services to the Government. Government contractors and subcontractors are required to comply with a host of regulations governing…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employer Mandates, Executive Orders, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)

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Success Is Not Always Founder Friendly (Silicon Valley – Episode 19)

HBO’s Silicon Valley is back, but Richard is still out as Pied Piper’s CEO. To recap how we got here: in the closing moments of last season, the Pied Piper team triumphed by successfully livestreaming its condor cam video to…more

Silicon Valley, Technology Sector, Television Shows, Venture Capital

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State Lands Commission Land Exchanges Not Exempt from CEQA Review Absent a Title or Boundary Dispute; Actual Notice Doesn’t Satisfy CEQA Notice Requirements Under Public Resources Code Section 21177(e)

In Defend Our Waterfront v. California State Lands Commission (Sept. 17, 2015) __Cal.App.4th __, Case Nos. A141696 & A141697, the California Court of Appeal for the First District upheld the trial court’s grant of a petition for…more

Appeals, CEQA, Mixed-Use Zoning, Petition for Writ of Mandate, Real Estate Development

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CFPB Issues Letter on TRID Enforcement and Liability

On December 29, 2015, CFPB Director Richard Cordray sent a letter to the president of the Mortgage Bankers Association regarding implementation of the CFPB’s Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule (more commonly known as…more

CFPB, Good Faith, Mortgage Bankers Association, Mortgages, TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID)

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Cybersecurity: 36 Questions Every Director Should Ask

Cyber security, data loss, hacking and schemes to steal personal information and assets electronically are all over the news daily. Companies are the primary targets of these actions since they accumulate information, store it…more

Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection, Hackers

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Top 5 Actions to Consider for the New York Not-for-Profit Law Overhaul Effective on July 1

On July 1, 2014, the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act (the “Act”) took effect. The Act is the most significant modification of New York’s Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the “NPCL”) in approximately 40 years. New…more

Corporate Governance, Non-Profits

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FDA Issues Guidance for Mobile Medical Applications: What Will be Subject to FDA Oversight and Enforcement?

On February 09, 2015, the FDA issued final guidelines[1] to outline its regulatory enforcement approach to mobile medical applications (or “apps”). The FDA is taking a risk-based approach, focusing its oversight on apps that…more

FDA, FDCA, Healthcare, Medical Device Accessories, Medical Devices

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Mechanics Lien Subordination: Illinois Further Limits Construction Lenders’ Ability To Ensure Priority Against Mechanics Liens

On July 16, 2014, Illinois enacted Public Act 98-764 (Senate Bill 3023) (“SB 3023”), which amends the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act (770 ILCS 60/ et seq.) (the “Act”) to prohibit subordination of mechanics liens on Illinois…more

Construction Contracts, Construction Industry, Construction Loans, General Contractors, Mechanics Lien

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Did the FCA’s “Implied Certification” Theory Dodge a Bullet?

Yesterday’s argument before the Supreme Court in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar had the potential to put false claims based on an “implied certification” in the crosshairs. Instead, based on the weight…more

Certificates of Compliance, False Claims Act (FCA), False Implied Certification Theory, Implied Certification, SCOTUS

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City of Los Angeles Outsources Defense of CEQA/Land Use Lawsuits To Private Law Firms – Developers To Foot The Bill

On December 16, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously authorized the City Attorney to establish a Land Use/CEQA Panel, which will consist of five municipal law firms, to defend the City in CEQA and land use lawsuits that…more

CEQA, City of Los Angeles, Real Estate Development

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Bill to Nullify Clean Water Rule Vetoed

On January 19, 2016, President Obama vetoed legislation that, if approved, would have nullified the Clean Water Rule. The controversial rule, which redefines which water bodies qualify as “waters of the United States” under the…more

Clean Water Act, Clean Water Rule, EPA, Presidential Veto, Rapanos v US

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