Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP

Delaware General Corporation Law Amendments

On June 24, 2015, Delaware Governor Jack Markell approved several important amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”),[1] with such amendments generally becoming effective on August 1, 2015. These…more

Amended Legislation, Attorney's Fees, Board of Directors, Breach of Duty, Bylaws

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FTC Issues Guidance on Scope of "Unfair Competition" Under Section 5 of FTC Act

In a short statement issued yesterday, the FTC issued guidance regarding how it will interpret Section 5 of the FTC Act. Section 5 is a little-used antitrust statute for which the FTC has issued no guidance in the Act’s 100-year…more

FTC, FTC Act, New Guidance, Policy Statement, Section 5

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“Waters of the U.S.” Rule Still Subject to Nationwide Stay, For Now

Would you consider this a “Water of the United States” subject to the Clean Water Act? Well think again, because under a new rule, even a dry streambed or channel could be considered a “Water of the U.S.” and thus subject…more

Clean Water Act, Clean Water Rule, EPA, Federal Jurisdiction, Order to Stay

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IRS Issues New Guidance for Smaller Reporting Companies on CFO Compensation

In a recently released Chief Counsel Advice memorandum, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) informally revised its guidance regarding which officers of “smaller reporting companies” (“SRCs”) should be considered “covered…more

CFOs, Covered Employee, Executive Compensation, IRS, SEC

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A Peek at the Horizon: Six Questions, Six Answers

Recently, I was honored when Kevin McMurdo of McMurdo Consulting approached me to do a video interview to discuss professional sales leadership in the legal services industry. I greatly appreciate Kevin giving me a platform. I…more

Law Practice Management, Marketing, Professional Services Companies, Young Lawyers

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Georgia Supreme Court Interprets the Apportionment Statute in Conjunction with the Workers' Compensation Act

This month, the Georgia Supreme Court further extended the reach of the Georgia law addressing the apportionment of liability in tort cases in the case of Walker, et al. v. Tensor Machinery, et al. The Court had recently decided…more

Apportionment, GA Supreme Court, Non-Parties, Subrogation, Workers Compensation Act

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Fourth Circuit Rejects Broad Reading of Arbitration Ban in Dodd-Frank

In a variation on a familiar refrain, the Fourth Circuit recently upheld the enforceability of another arbitration provision under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) in Santoro v. Accenture Federal Services, LLC. This time, the…more

American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Dodd-Frank

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SEC Expected to Begin Settlement Actions With Issuers Under MCDC Initiative

In March 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) initiated the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (“MCDC Initiative”) to provide issuers (including obligated persons) and underwriters…more

MCDC, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC, Self-Reporting, Underwriting

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NC Begins Work On Patent Troll Bill

Recently, a joint legislative committee sent a report to the North Carolina General Assembly that recommended passing an anti-troll bill during the legislature’s 2014 Short Session. A copy of the bill may be found here. The…more

Extortion, Patent Infringement, Patent Trolls, Proposed Legislation

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ERISA Preemption: Don't Tread on my Uniform System of Plan Administration

On March 1 the U.S. Supreme Court again reinforced the broad preemptive scope of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C.A. §1001. In Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, the court held…more

Data Collection, Employee Benefits, Employer Group Health Plans, ERISA, Gobeille v Liberty Mutual Insurance Com.

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FCC OKs Certain Informational Calling and Texts by Schools and Utilities to Wireless Phones under TCPA

The FCC recently released a Declaratory Ruling with new clarifications for schools and utilities on autodialed calls and texts and pre-recorded/artificial voice calling under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") for…more

Cell Phones, Declaratory Rulings, Educational Institutions, Exceptions, FCC

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SEC Adopts CEO Pay Ratio Rule

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), by a 3-2 vote, adopted the final CEO pay ratio rule, which was initially proposed by the SEC in September 2013, and originally mandated by Congress under Section 953(b)…more

CEOs, Disclosure Requirements, Dodd-Frank, Executive Compensation, Final Rules

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Is PPACA on the Road to Recovery?

Part I: Is PPACA on the Road to Recovery? The recent decision in King v. Burwell by the Supreme Court of the United States sent a strong message to critics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010…more

Affordable Care Act, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, Commerce Clause, Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, Health Care Providers

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Next Steps: Helping Your Organization Implement the New Medicare Overpayment Rule - Part II

On February 12, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a final rule that explains the requirements for providers and suppliers reporting and returning overpayments under Medicare Parts A & B (the…more

60-Day Rule, Audits, CMS, Final Rules, Health Care Providers

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New Rule Governing Retirement Advice Shakes Up Traditional Broker Compensation

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor released its long-awaited and controversial fiduciary rule expanding the definition of who is a fiduciary when providing investment advice on retirement accounts. The rule aims to…more

Best Interest Contract Exemptions, Best Interest Standard, Broker Commissions, Brokers, Conflicts of Interest

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FDA Gives Food Industry Three Years to Phase Out Partially Hydrogenated Oils from Food Products

On June 16, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") issued a declaratory order, requiring a phasing out of the use of partially hydrogenated oils ("PHOs"). In its order, the FDA stated that partially hydrogenated oils are…more

FDA, FFDCA, Food Manufacturers, GRAS, New Guidance

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NC Supreme Court Reaffirms Strict Blue Pencil Doctrine for Restrictive Covenants

The North Carolina Supreme Court recently reaffirmed that the power of North Carolina courts to “blue pencil” restrictive covenants is extremely limited, even when an agreement purports to give a court express authority to…more

Blue Pencil Contract Modification, NC Supreme Court, Non-Compete Agreements, Restrictive Covenants, Reversal

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More Changes to U.S. Patent Laws Coming From Implementation of 2012 Treaties Act

While much attention has been given to the recent, significant changes in U.S. patent law arising from the America Invents Act (“AIA”), lesser attention has been given to patent law changes brought about by further congressional…more

America Invents Act, Patent Applications, Patent Reform, Patents, PLTIA

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Removal to Federal Court Based on Diversity Jurisdiction: How Long Do You Have?

Complaints filed in state court routinely allege only damages “in excess of $10,000.” If you’re a defendant considering removal to federal court based on diversity, such an allegation doesn’t meet the $75,000 amount in…more

Car Accident, Diversity Jurisdiction, Jurisdiction, Removal, Trucking Industry

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Radical New Partnership Audit Rules

Last week, President Obama signed H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the “Legislation”), which dramatically changes the manner in which partnerships (and LLC’s taxed as partnerships) are audited and taxed by the IRS…more

Audits, Bipartisan Budget, IRS, Partnership Agreements, Partnerships

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A Reduction in the Utility of Civil Investigative Demands and the Interpretive Narrowing of "Person" under the False Claims Act

Executive Summary: False Claims Act actions against government contractors are on the rise. But two recent decisions offer potential limitations to false claims exposure, and may aid defendants in future FCA litigation…more

CID, Eleventh Amendment, Enforcement, False Claims Act (FCA), Federal Student Aid

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North Carolina Legislature Uncovers "Hidden Liens"

Executive Summary: North Carolina implements “lien agent” law for construction projects. The North Carolina General Assembly recently enacted significant changes to North Carolina's mechanics lien laws. These changes…more

Land Titles, Lien Agents, Liens, Mechanics Lien, Mortgages

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Dead Before the Ink is Dry? EU Approves Privacy Shield Text

After months of uncertainty, the U.S. again has a framework of rules to follow that will govern U.S. business’ use of EU residents’ data. The European Commission approved the text of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (the “Privacy…more

EU, EU-US Privacy Shield, European Commission, FTC, International Data Transfers

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Use of Modifier 25 - 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) have reviewed the use of Modifier 25 to unbundle payments for evaluation and management (E/M) services when a procedure is performed…more

Billing, CMS, Coding, Health Care Providers, Medicare

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Director and Executive Compensation Remains a Hot Topic for 2016

A series of recent Delaware Chancery Court and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) decisions—coupled with anticipated SEC action to finalize the three remaining Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act…more

Board of Directors, Clawbacks, Corporate Counsel, Corporate Governance, Director Compensation

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Eleventh Circuit Examines “Debt Collector” Under the FDCPA

For those tracking Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) litigation for financial institutions and loan servicers, an opinion recently issued by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals provides new insight on the definition…more

Banking Sector, Capital One, Debt Collection, Debt Collectors, Default

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Sometimes, Finding Justice is Subtle

Justice delayed is Justice denied is a favorite aphorism. Most times, the aphorism criticizes the deliberative process of our judicial system. But, in fact, the aphorism is broader - the mere passage of time - regardless of…more

Declaratory Judgments, Public Utility, Statute of Limitations, Utility Rates

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DOJ Provides Focused “Guidance” on Prosecuting Corporate Individuals

After receiving significant criticism on the Department of Justice’s failure to prosecute corporate executives involved in the financial crisis in 2008, Sally Yates, the Deputy Attorney General issued a seven page memo…more

C-Suite Executives, Cooperation, Corporate Fraud, Corporate Veil, DOJ

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Healthcare Alert: Better Late than Never - The Sunshine Act Final Regulations are Finally Here!: Applicable Manufacturers

“Applicable Manufacturers” - Common Ownership Considered to be Ownership by the Same Individuals or Entities of 5 Percent or More in Two Entities - In the Final Rule, CMS defines “applicable manufacturer” as an entity…more

Applicable Manufacturers, CMS, Final Rules, Medicare, Reporting Requirements

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Selling Products Outside the US? If Yes, New Patent Laws are Available to Streamline International Design Protection

In recognition of ever growing cross-border sales, the U.S. recently expanded its design protection laws to make it easier to file a single application in multiple jurisdictions. Read on if you deal with products that could…more

Design Patent, Hague Agreement, Industrial Design, International Treaties, New Legislation

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“Waters of the U.S.” Rule Still Subject to Nationwide Stay, For Now

Would you consider this a “Water of the United States” subject to the Clean Water Act? Well think again, because under a new rule, even a dry streambed or channel could be considered a “Water of the U.S.” and thus subject…more

Clean Water Act, Clean Water Rule, EPA, Federal Jurisdiction, Order to Stay

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The Case for a Unified Approach to Corporate and LLC Citizenship

Imagine opening your email one morning to find a copy of a complaint and summons just received by your out-of-state corporate client. The caption shows a familiar North Carolina company as the lone plaintiff, and a cursory…more

Citizenship, Disparate Treatment, Diversity Jurisdiction, Forum Shopping, Jurisdiction

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NHL Scores Big on Attorneys' Fees Against Nondebtors

Last fall, the National Hockey League (NHL) enjoyed a big off-ice victory when the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona found that it was entitled to recover from Jerry and Vickie Moyes and the Jerry and Vickie Moyes…more

Attorney's Fees, Bankruptcy Code, Commercial Bankruptcy, Consent Agreements, NHL

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Bumpy Road to Start the Legislative Session

Jones Street is like a gravel road right now – BUMPY! Just a month ago, in a rare move, the General Assembly called itself into session for one day to enact House Bill 2 which is now referred to as the “Bathroom Bill”. The new…more

Infrastructure, Legislative Agendas, Restroom Legislation, State Budgets, Tax Reform

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Companies Should Revisit Severance and Other Agreements as the SEC Steps Up Enforcement Actions to Protect Whistleblower Rights

In less than one week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced enforcement actions against two companies that had required their departing employees to waive their rights to any monetary recovery under the SEC’s…more

BlueLinx Holdings, Dodd-Frank, Employer Liability Issues, Enforcement Actions, KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root)

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How Smartphones, Showrooming Impact Property Taxes and More

The battle between physical stores and online retail rages on, but the recent explosion in smartphone usage is blurring the battle lines. Using smartphones, consumers in a store now can simultaneously shop and compare pricing…more

Commercial Property Owners, E-Commerce, Internet Retailers, Property Tax, Rental Rates

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High Point Bank v. Highmark and Guarantor Liability in North Carolina

When a borrower’s default results in a foreclosure sale and purchase of the secured property by the mortgagee lender, can a guarantor’s deficiency liability be reduced by the difference between the property’s fair market value…more

Borrowers, Default, Deficiency Judgments, Fair Market Value, Foreclosure

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Next Steps: Helping Your Organization Implement the New Medicare Overpayment Rule - Part II

On February 12, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a final rule that explains the requirements for providers and suppliers reporting and returning overpayments under Medicare Parts A & B (the…more

60-Day Rule, Audits, CMS, Final Rules, Health Care Providers

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Middle Market Focus: Driving Boards Forward, a Conversation with Jason Pappas of Antson Capital Partners

Previously published in Balitmore City Biz List. Perhaps the greatest challenge facing corporate boards and management teams is how to align around and execute on a shared vision. Jason Pappas, Managing Partner of Antson…more

Board Meetings, Board of Directors, CEOs, Middle Market, Strategic Planning

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Be Careful What You Wish For: SEC Permits Company Disclosures Via Social Media If Regulation FD Requirements Are Met

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a report clarifying that companies can use social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, to disseminate material nonpublic company information under Regulation Fair…more

Facebook, Investors, Netflix, Public Disclosure, Reed Hastings

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A Response to Rejections Under 35 USC §101

Here is an argument we are using in response to rejections under 35 USC §101 that allege the claims are directed to an abstract idea and are patent ineligible. This is useful in Office action responses, and appeals. The…more

Office Actions, Patent Prosecution, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Section 101, USPTO

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Is Your HIPAA Compliance Program Ready for the FTC?

Everyone in healthcare knows that the next round of HIPAA audits is coming. Covered entities and business associates have long been advised to review and update their HIPAA security risk analyses, have business associate…more

Audits, Business Associates, Compliance, Covered Entities, Data Privacy

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Broadcast Client Advisory: June 24, 2016 Effective Date for Expanded On-Line Public Files

The FCC has announced that its expanded requirements for on-line public files will become effective June 24, 2016. Commercial radio stations in the top 50 Nielsen markets with five or more full-time employees must begin…more

Broadcasting, Databases, Disclosure Requirements, FCC, Public Disclosure

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Beneficial Ownership Reporting and the Brokaw Act

Recently, Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced legislation that, if enacted into law and implemented accordingly, would dramatically change the course of beneficial ownership reporting for purposes of…more

Activist Hedge Funds, Beneficial Owner, Proposed Legislation, Reporting Requirements, Schedule 13D

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A Response to Rejections Under 35 USC §101

Here is an argument we are using in response to rejections under 35 USC §101 that allege the claims are directed to an abstract idea and are patent ineligible. This is useful in Office action responses, and appeals. The…more

Office Actions, Patent Prosecution, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Section 101, USPTO

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D.C. Circuit Limits Government's Ability to Collect on Personal Debt by Garnishing Assets of Closely Held Corporation, Reverses $2.1 Million Judgment Against Womble Carlyle Client

On July 8, 2016, the D.C. Circuit clarified the limits of the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act (FDCPA). The Court held under D.C. and federal law that the government cannot satisfy a judgment against a co-owner and…more

Appeals, Business Assets, Closely Held Businesses, Debt Collection, FDCPA

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FTC Seeks to Secure First Disgorgement in Nearly a Decade

The FTC announced yesterday that Cardinal Health, Inc. (“Cardinal”) has agreed to pay $26.8 million to resolve its investigation into the company’s alleged anticompetitive behavior. If approved by a federal court, the…more

Antitrust Investigations, Corporate Counsel, Disgorgement, FTC, Pharmaceutical Industry

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USPTO to Implement Significant Rule Changes for AIA Trial Proceedings Impacting Both Petitioners and Patent Owners

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has released the final set of the latest round of changes to the rules governing inter partes review, post grant review, and other AIA trial proceedings before the Patent…more

America Invents Act, Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Standard, Claim Construction, Corporate Counsel, Covered Business Method Proceedings

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USPTO to Implement Significant Rule Changes for AIA Trial Proceedings Impacting Both Petitioners and Patent Owners

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has released the final set of the latest round of changes to the rules governing inter partes review, post grant review, and other AIA trial proceedings before the Patent…more

America Invents Act, Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Standard, Claim Construction, Corporate Counsel, Covered Business Method Proceedings

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Lawsuits Continue Against Central Virginia Regional Jail

Two federal lawsuits are proceeding against the Central Virginia Regional Jail for civil rights violations of inmates. One case is brought by the mother of an inmate who died in CVRJ custody allegedly due to lack of medical…more

Class Action, Inmates, Qualified Immunity, Sovereign Immunity, Wrongful Death

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D.C. Circuit Limits Government's Ability to Collect on Personal Debt by Garnishing Assets of Closely Held Corporation, Reverses $2.1 Million Judgment Against Womble Carlyle Client

On July 8, 2016, the D.C. Circuit clarified the limits of the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act (FDCPA). The Court held under D.C. and federal law that the government cannot satisfy a judgment against a co-owner and…more

Appeals, Business Assets, Closely Held Businesses, Debt Collection, FDCPA

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Design Patents and Trade Dress

I often get asked by clients to discuss the differences between design patents and trade dress. Both are intellectual property protections that protect similar aspects of a product—the appearance and aesthetic features. Last…more

Apple v Samsung, Certiorari, Damages, Design Patent, Functionality

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Specialty Surfaces Alleges Patent Infringement by Deluxe Athletics

On August 21, 2014, Pennsylvania-based Specialty Surfaces International, Inc. (“SSI”) filed a complaint against Georgia-based Deluxe Athletics, LLC (“Deluxe Athletics”) alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,976,645 (the…more

Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation, Patents

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“Waters of the U.S.” Rule Still Subject to Nationwide Stay, For Now

Would you consider this a “Water of the United States” subject to the Clean Water Act? Well think again, because under a new rule, even a dry streambed or channel could be considered a “Water of the U.S.” and thus subject…more

Clean Water Act, Clean Water Rule, EPA, Federal Jurisdiction, Order to Stay

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Sixth Circuit Says FCC Can't Preempt State Limits on Muncipal Broadband

In an August 10, 2016 ruling, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the FCC’s preemption of state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina which prevented municipal broadband providers from expanding their networks beyond…more

Appeals, Broadband, Competition, FCC, Municipalities

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How Monsanto Applies to Nonagricultural Biotechnology

The facts behind the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Monsanto v. Bowman are simple enough. Farmers are able to buy soybeans containing Monsanto’s patented glyphosate resistance technology under a license that permits them to…more

Biotechnology, Bowman v Monsanto, Genetically Engineered Seed, Monsanto, Patent Exhaustion

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United States Supreme Court Holds that Order Denying Plan Confirmation Is Not Immediately Appealable

On May 4, 2015, the Supreme Court for the United States unanimously held that an order denying confirmation of a plan is not a “final” order subject to immediate appeal as a matter of right. Although the Bullard decision…more

Appeals, Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Court, Bankruptcy Plans, Bullard v Blue Hills Bank

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New Urgent Question: Does Your Website Accommodate Disabled Users?

Your business, school or enterprise has an obligation under the law to accommodate handicapped people in accessing your facilities. As more business moves to the Web, the U.S. Justice Department is increasingly finding that…more

ADA, Class Action, Disabilities, DOJ, Duty to Accommodate

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DC Circuit Court Rejects Challenge to SEC Pay-to-Play Rule

The DC Circuit Court has rejected an effort by the New York and Tennessee Republican Parties to set aside Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 206(4)-5. The 2010 SEC rule prohibits investment advisers from providing services…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Compliance, Financial Institutions, First Amendment, Government Officials

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The Partial Lifting of Iranian Sanctions – Not Quite Business As Usual

Implementation Day under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed by the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany), the European Union, and Iran (“JCPOA”) came on January 16, 2016 and certain…more

Implementation Day, International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran, Iran Sanctions, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

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Top 10 Points of Guidance for Employers on the Zika Virus Outbreak

The Zika virus has been around for nearly 70 years, but an outbreak earlier this year has put the disease squarely on the public’s radar. In fact, on February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared Zika and the spread…more

ADA, CDC, FMLA, OSHA, Title VII

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Supreme Court Rules Landowners Can Challenge Jurisdictional Determinations

On May 31, 2016, in a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held in USACE v. Hawkes Co. that approved jurisdictional determinations (“JD”) are final actions which can be reviewed by the courts. Under the Clean Water Act a…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Clean Water Act, Hawkes Co v United States Army Corps of Engineers, Judicial Review, Jurisdictional Determination (JD)

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New Rule Governing Retirement Advice Shakes Up Traditional Broker Compensation

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor released its long-awaited and controversial fiduciary rule expanding the definition of who is a fiduciary when providing investment advice on retirement accounts. The rule aims to…more

Best Interest Contract Exemptions, Best Interest Standard, Broker Commissions, Brokers, Conflicts of Interest

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Once Again, the Supreme Court Upsets Precedent in Fourth and Eleventh Circuit

As we reported in our March 11, 2014 article, the Eleventh and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals definitively rejected the “continuing breach” theory in recent disputes involving statute of limitations deadlines in ERISA cases…more

401k, Appeals, Benefit Plan Sponsors, Breach of Duty, ERISA

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NC Takes a Big Leap: “Opportunity to Misappropriate” Trade Secrets Enough for a PI

In last month’s Horner v. McKoy decision, the North Carolina Court of Appeals appeared to lower the evidentiary threshold needed to obtain a preliminary injunction preventing the inevitable disclosure of trade secrets. The…more

Food Labeling, Food Manufacturers, Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine, Misappropriation, Trade Secrets

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High Point Bank v. Highmark and Guarantor Liability in North Carolina

When a borrower’s default results in a foreclosure sale and purchase of the secured property by the mortgagee lender, can a guarantor’s deficiency liability be reduced by the difference between the property’s fair market value…more

Borrowers, Default, Deficiency Judgments, Fair Market Value, Foreclosure

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Radical New Partnership Audit Rules

Last week, President Obama signed H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the “Legislation”), which dramatically changes the manner in which partnerships (and LLC’s taxed as partnerships) are audited and taxed by the IRS…more

Audits, Bipartisan Budget, IRS, Partnership Agreements, Partnerships

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SEC Expected to Begin Settlement Actions With Issuers Under MCDC Initiative

In March 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) initiated the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (“MCDC Initiative”) to provide issuers (including obligated persons) and underwriters…more

MCDC, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC, Self-Reporting, Underwriting

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SEC Proposes New Clawback Rules

Last Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed new Rule 10D-1 to require public companies to adopt and enforce clawback policies to recoup incentive-based compensation paid to current and former executive…more

Board of Directors, Clawbacks, Comment Period, Compliance, Corporate Officers

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Filing and Litigating a Hague Convention Child Abduction Civil Case in Federal Court

Background on Child Abduction Cases Under the Hague Convention - The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“Hague Convention”) is an international treaty in which the signatory countries…more

Child Abduction, Child Custody, Hague Convention, Pro Bono, US Department of State

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Beneficial Ownership Reporting and the Brokaw Act

Recently, Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced legislation that, if enacted into law and implemented accordingly, would dramatically change the course of beneficial ownership reporting for purposes of…more

Activist Hedge Funds, Beneficial Owner, Proposed Legislation, Reporting Requirements, Schedule 13D

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How Monsanto Applies to Nonagricultural Biotechnology

The facts behind the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Monsanto v. Bowman are simple enough. Farmers are able to buy soybeans containing Monsanto’s patented glyphosate resistance technology under a license that permits them to…more

Biotechnology, Bowman v Monsanto, Genetically Engineered Seed, Monsanto, Patent Exhaustion

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U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Regarding Overtime and "White Collar" Employees

On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued the final version of revised regulations relating to so-called “white collar” exemptions from overtime pay requirements. The Final Rule…more

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

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Middle Market Company Focus: Avoiding Emails that Hurt or Embarrass Your Company

Email communication is vital to just about every business. But in-house counsel know that what employees write in an email can come back to haunt their company. Womble Carlyle attorney Meredith McKee and Carolinas…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Discovery, Email, Email Policies, Employees

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Next Steps: Helping Your Organization Implement the New Medicare Overpayment Rule - Part II

On February 12, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a final rule that explains the requirements for providers and suppliers reporting and returning overpayments under Medicare Parts A & B (the…more

60-Day Rule, Audits, CMS, Final Rules, Health Care Providers

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SEC Expected to Begin Settlement Actions With Issuers Under MCDC Initiative

In March 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) initiated the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (“MCDC Initiative”) to provide issuers (including obligated persons) and underwriters…more

MCDC, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC, Self-Reporting, Underwriting

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Spoken in Your Office, Read in the Courtroom: What Corporate Officers and Trustees Need to Know About the Waiver of the Attorney-Client Privilege in Bankruptcy

The corporate bankruptcy process, where the roles of various stakeholders and parties in interest can change drastically throughout the case, presents unique challenges for the application of the attorney-client privilege. One…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Commercial Bankruptcy

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"Defend Trade Secrets Act" - How Will This New Law Affect Your Business?

With a near unanimous (410-2) vote on April 27, 2016, the House passed the “Defend Trade Secrets Act” (“DTSA”). Having already been passed by the Senate (87-0), the legislation advances to President Obama, who has signaled that…more

Asset Seizure, Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Employment Contract, Ex Parte, Intellectual Property Protection

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Field Set for NC Supreme Court Races

In November, North Carolina voters will select the individuals who will hold of the majority of the seats on the Supreme Court of North Carolina until 2022. Four of the seven seats on the Supreme Court are up for grabs and…more

Political Campaigns

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Do You Need Cyber Insurance or Will Your CGL Policy Be Enough?

In Travelers Indemnity Co. of America v. Portal Healthcare Solutions, LLC, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reverses the recent trend of insurance companies avoiding any liability for data breaches under commercial general…more

Class Action, Commercial General Liability Policies, Cyber Insurance, Data Breach, Duty to Defend

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ICANN To Provide Trademark Clearinghouse to Assist Brand Owners With Protecting Their Rights at the New gTLDS

ICANN, the international agency responsible for oversight of the domain name system, is scheduled to make an unknown number of new generic Top-Level Domain Names (“New gTLDs”) available in mid-2013. The process to roll out the…more

Brand, gTLD, ICANN, Trademark Clearinghouse, Trademarks

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Sixth Circuit Says FCC Can't Preempt State Limits on Muncipal Broadband

In an August 10, 2016 ruling, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the FCC’s preemption of state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina which prevented municipal broadband providers from expanding their networks beyond…more

Appeals, Broadband, Competition, FCC, Municipalities

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NHL Scores Big on Attorneys' Fees Against Nondebtors

Last fall, the National Hockey League (NHL) enjoyed a big off-ice victory when the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona found that it was entitled to recover from Jerry and Vickie Moyes and the Jerry and Vickie Moyes…more

Attorney's Fees, Bankruptcy Code, Commercial Bankruptcy, Consent Agreements, NHL

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EPA Issues Final Rule on Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a prepublication version of its final rule on Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products. The authority for the rule comes from…more

CARB, Distributors, EPA, Final Rules, Importers

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ERISA Preemption: Don't Tread on my Uniform System of Plan Administration

On March 1 the U.S. Supreme Court again reinforced the broad preemptive scope of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C.A. §1001. In Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, the court held…more

Data Collection, Employee Benefits, Employer Group Health Plans, ERISA, Gobeille v Liberty Mutual Insurance Com.

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Radical New Partnership Audit Rules

Last week, President Obama signed H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the “Legislation”), which dramatically changes the manner in which partnerships (and LLC’s taxed as partnerships) are audited and taxed by the IRS…more

Audits, Bipartisan Budget, IRS, Partnership Agreements, Partnerships

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NC Supreme Court Reaffirms Strict Blue Pencil Doctrine for Restrictive Covenants

The North Carolina Supreme Court recently reaffirmed that the power of North Carolina courts to “blue pencil” restrictive covenants is extremely limited, even when an agreement purports to give a court express authority to…more

Blue Pencil Contract Modification, NC Supreme Court, Non-Compete Agreements, Restrictive Covenants, Reversal

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New "White Collar" Final Rule Issued; Takes Effect December 1, 2016

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its much-anticipated final rule changing the regulations for the so-called "white collar” exemptions under the FLSA, and significantly increasing the minimum salary level necessary for…more

DOL, FLSA, Minimum Salary, Wage and Hour, White-Collar Exemptions

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North Carolina General Assembly Does More Than Just Invalidate Charlotte’s LGBT Ordinance

On Wednesday night, March 23, 2016, the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill (HB) 2, which was then signed by Governor Pat McCrory. While HB 2 was prompted by the desire to overturn Charlotte’s recently enacted…more

Corporate Counsel, Employment Discrimination, General Assembly, Governor Pat McCrory, LGBT

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DOJ Provides Focused “Guidance” on Prosecuting Corporate Individuals

After receiving significant criticism on the Department of Justice’s failure to prosecute corporate executives involved in the financial crisis in 2008, Sally Yates, the Deputy Attorney General issued a seven page memo…more

C-Suite Executives, Cooperation, Corporate Fraud, Corporate Veil, DOJ

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COA Confirms That Any Appeals in Suits Designated Complex Business Cases After October 1, 2014 Must Go to the NC Supreme Court, or Face Dismissal

Today the Court of Appeals issued a decision addressing Session Law 2014-102, the 2014 Business Court Modernization Act, which requires that appeals in matters that are designated as mandatory complex business cases go straight…more

Appeals, Jurisdiction, NC Supreme Court

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Steps to effectively cancel an insurance policy

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently released an unpublished opinion further illuminating how insurers can effectively cancel worker's compensation policies. However, nothing in the case limits its application solely to…more

Cancellation Rights, Insurance Industry, Insurance Litigation, Material Misrepresentation, Notice Requirements

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New Patent Law to Create “First to File” Rule on March 16th

As we begin a new year, we wanted to bring you up to date on the most recent happenings in the patent world. I'm sure you have seen the publicity in the past year concerning changes in the patent laws, sometimes referred to as…more

America Invents Act, First-to-File, Patents

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The New Clery Handbook: What Your College or University Needs to Know Before Publishing Your October 2016 Annual Security Report (ASR)

On June 23, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, published the 2016 Edition of The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, as required by the Clery Act (the “Handbook")..…more

Annual Reports, Clery Act, Colleges, Dating Violence, Department of Education

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The Partial Lifting of Iranian Sanctions – Not Quite Business As Usual

Implementation Day under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed by the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany), the European Union, and Iran (“JCPOA”) came on January 16, 2016 and certain…more

Implementation Day, International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran, Iran Sanctions, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

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Important Changes to the Federal Rules

Be prepared to adapt your litigation and cost management strategies to the new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) which will take effect on December 1, 2015. The amendments follow a four-year effort by…more

Case Management, Discovery, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, New Amendments, Proportionality

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Important Changes to the Federal Rules

Be prepared to adapt your litigation and cost management strategies to the new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) which will take effect on December 1, 2015. The amendments follow a four-year effort by…more

Case Management, Discovery, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, New Amendments, Proportionality

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Ticking time bomb in your office lease?

Benjamin Osgood, of the Tenant Advocate, brings up a good point that I've noticed becoming MUCH more of an issue lately -- restoration provisions obligating the tenant to return the space to the condition in which they received…more

Commercial Leases, Commercial Tenants, Contract Terms, Landlords

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Guests Laura DeVivo and Angel Sams Explain the N.C. General Assembly's Recently-Concluded and Critical "Crossover" Period

The "crossover" period has just ended in the North Carolina General Assembly, which is an inflection point for pending bills in each session. Here with a wonderful explanation of what "crossover" means, both technically and…more

Legislative Process

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Non-Compete Agreements Cannot be "Reasonable-ized" by Court--Even with the Parties' Consent

Yesterday, the Supreme Court stiffened its stern treatment of non-compete agreements. At issue in Beverage Systems was a non-compete clause that allowed the trial court to modify its geographic scope if the court determined the…more

Consent, Contract Amendments, Contract Drafting, Contract Terms, Non-Compete Agreements

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HB 663 - Legal Zoom tries to get a safe toehold in NC

Amending the Practice of Law - On Thursday the Senate Judiciary I committee approved a bill that amends Chapter 84-2.1 regarding the practive of law. Chairman Goolsby proposed the new language which creates a safe haven…more

Pending Legislation, Safe Harbors, Unauthorized Practice of Law, Young Lawyers

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DOJ Provides Focused “Guidance” on Prosecuting Corporate Individuals

After receiving significant criticism on the Department of Justice’s failure to prosecute corporate executives involved in the financial crisis in 2008, Sally Yates, the Deputy Attorney General issued a seven page memo…more

C-Suite Executives, Cooperation, Corporate Fraud, Corporate Veil, DOJ

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NaturaLawn Attempts to Clip the Competition, brings Trademark Suit against Naturescape

On February 23, 2016, Signum, LLC and NaturaLawn of America, Inc. (collectively, “NaturaLawn”), Maryland-based companies, filed a complaint in the Northern District of Georgia alleging trademark infringement, false designation…more

Intent-to-Use, Trademark Infringement, Trademark Litigation, Unfair Competition

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Do You Need Cyber Insurance or Will Your CGL Policy Be Enough?

In Travelers Indemnity Co. of America v. Portal Healthcare Solutions, LLC, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reverses the recent trend of insurance companies avoiding any liability for data breaches under commercial general…more

Class Action, Commercial General Liability Policies, Cyber Insurance, Data Breach, Duty to Defend

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ISS and Glass Lewis Issue 2016 Policy Updates

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis recently released their voting guideline updates for the 2016 proxy season. ISS has also released updates to its QuickScore 3.0 product and its Equity Plan Scorecard…more

Glass Lewis, ISS, Overboarding, Proxy Season, Proxy Voting Guidelines

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FDA New e-Cig Rules Raise Issues for Traditional and Digital Ad Platforms

The long awaited FDA regulations “deeming” e-cigarettes a tobacco product have, at last been issued and were published in the Federal Register earlier this week. While they may have answered some questions, they also leave many…more

E-Cigarettes, FDA, Product Packaging, Tobacco, Tobacco Regulations

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Radical New Partnership Audit Rules

Last week, President Obama signed H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the “Legislation”), which dramatically changes the manner in which partnerships (and LLC’s taxed as partnerships) are audited and taxed by the IRS…more

Audits, Bipartisan Budget, IRS, Partnership Agreements, Partnerships

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Sixth Circuit Says FCC Can't Preempt State Limits on Muncipal Broadband

In an August 10, 2016 ruling, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the FCC’s preemption of state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina which prevented municipal broadband providers from expanding their networks beyond…more

Appeals, Broadband, Competition, FCC, Municipalities

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Halo Removed the Stranglehold of "Objective Recklessness" on Enhanced Damages for Patent Infringement

Although under the Patent Act, “a court may increase the damages [for patent infringement] up to three times,” 35 U.S.C. § 284, enhanced damages awards are infrequent. For nearly a decade, the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision…more

35 U.S.C. § 284, Enhanced Damages, Halo v Pulse, Judicial Discretion, Patent Infringement

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Dead Before the Ink is Dry? EU Approves Privacy Shield Text

After months of uncertainty, the U.S. again has a framework of rules to follow that will govern U.S. business’ use of EU residents’ data. The European Commission approved the text of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (the “Privacy…more

EU, EU-US Privacy Shield, European Commission, FTC, International Data Transfers

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Filing and Litigating a Hague Convention Child Abduction Civil Case in Federal Court

Background on Child Abduction Cases Under the Hague Convention - The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“Hague Convention”) is an international treaty in which the signatory countries…more

Child Abduction, Child Custody, Hague Convention, Pro Bono, US Department of State

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The New Clery Handbook: What Your College or University Needs to Know Before Publishing Your October 2016 Annual Security Report (ASR)

On June 23, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, published the 2016 Edition of The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, as required by the Clery Act (the “Handbook")..…more

Annual Reports, Clery Act, Colleges, Dating Violence, Department of Education

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Use of Modifier 25 - 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) have reviewed the use of Modifier 25 to unbundle payments for evaluation and management (E/M) services when a procedure is performed…more

Billing, CMS, Coding, Health Care Providers, Medicare

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EPA Issues Final Rule on Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a prepublication version of its final rule on Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products. The authority for the rule comes from…more

CARB, Distributors, EPA, Final Rules, Importers

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Courts Answer Key Questions Over the Reach of the BPCIA

Since the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA) was signed into law in 2010, only a small handful of abbreviated Biologics Licensing Applications (“aBLAs”) have been filed and of those the FDA has…more

AbbVie, aBLA, Amgen, Apotex, Biosimilars

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Ninth Circuit Weighs In: Nevada "Superpriority" Law for HOA Liens Violates Due Process

In October 2014, we blogged about cases from Nevada and D.C. giving priority of so-called HOA "superliens" over first position mortgages…more

Due Process, Foreclosure, Homeowners' Association, Liens, Mortgage Lenders

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South Carolina Supreme Court Decision Impacts Enforceability of Arbitration Provisions in New Residential Construction Sales Agreement

On July 6, 2016, the South Carolina Supreme Court filed its Opinion No. 27645, captioned Smith v. D.R. Horton, Inc., in which it affirmed the Court of Appeals' refusal to compel arbitration between new home purchasers and the…more

Arbitration Agreements, Construction Contracts, Contract Drafting, Housing Developers, Motion to Compel

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SEC Issues Final Crowdfunding Rules

On October 30, 2015 the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued final rules that will allow private issuers to utilize innovative new “crowdfunding” techniques for offering and selling securities. The long-awaited…more

Capital Raising, Crowdfunding, Final Rules, JOBS Act, SEC

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DMCA Loosening the Reins for Education

You may know the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) from the widely deployed DMCA take-down notices that copyright owners use to remove putatively infringing content from the Internet. Enacted in 1998, the DMCA is more,…more

Copyright, DMCA, Exemptions, Noninfringement, Software

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[Webinar] Robins Kaplan Tribal Litigation Update: How Tribes may be able to recover damages from recent antitrust lawsuits - May 18th, 1:00pm CST

On July 13, 2012, Robins Kaplan LLP reached a $7.25 billion settlement with Visa, MasterCard and major US banks for alleged anticompetitive practices and price fixing in setting credit card interchange fees. One of the lead…more

Anti-Competitive, Credit Cards, MasterCard, Native American Issues, Price-Fixing

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Modtruss Stumbles on “Same” Problem with Battlefrog Obstacles - Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief Denied

This post follows up on this post on Judge Ross’s Order of June 6, 2016, in which she allowed Modtruss, Inc. (“Modtruss”), to clarify its intent with regard to a prior motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary…more

Irreparable Harm, Patent Litigation, Preliminary Injunctions, Restraining Orders, Trade Dress

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FDA Gives Food Industry Three Years to Phase Out Partially Hydrogenated Oils from Food Products

On June 16, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") issued a declaratory order, requiring a phasing out of the use of partially hydrogenated oils ("PHOs"). In its order, the FDA stated that partially hydrogenated oils are…more

FDA, FFDCA, Food Manufacturers, GRAS, New Guidance

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EPA Issues Final Rule on Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a prepublication version of its final rule on Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products. The authority for the rule comes from…more

CARB, Distributors, EPA, Final Rules, Importers

See All Updates »

SEC Finalizes NYSE and NASDAQ Rules Regarding Compensation Committee and Compensation Adviser Requirements

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) finalized rules approving the New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE”) and The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ”) proposals regarding compensation committee…more

Compensation Committee, Compliance, Independence Rules, Nasdaq, NYSE

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Radical New Partnership Audit Rules

Last week, President Obama signed H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the “Legislation”), which dramatically changes the manner in which partnerships (and LLC’s taxed as partnerships) are audited and taxed by the IRS…more

Audits, Bipartisan Budget, IRS, Partnership Agreements, Partnerships

See All Updates »

Preparing Your Organization Today to Win Its Future (Possibly Inevitable) Cyber Lawsuit: Making Crown Jewels Out of Paper

One day in the not too distant future, your organization may be fighting to protect its balance sheet against high-stakes claims in a cyber tort trial. Arrayed against you will be the best of the class action plaintiff’s bar,…more

Attorney Generals, Board of Directors, Cyber Threats, Cybersecurity, Data Breach Plans

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Contact


Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina Area, United States


Areas of Practice
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Communications & Media Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Construction Law
  • Education
  • Elections & Politics
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Finance & Banking
  • Government
  • Health
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law & Trade
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
See more
Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • California
  • D.C.
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
Number of Attorneys

100+ Attorneys

This profile may constitute attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Any correspondence with this profile holder does not constitute a client/attorney relationship. Neither the content on this profile nor transmissions between you and the profile holder through this profile are intended to provide legal or other advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.

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