Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP

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Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina Area, United States
Areas of Practice
  • Agriculture
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Torts
  • Class Action
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Communications & Media Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Construction Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Education
  • Elections & Politics
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Finance & Banking
  • Government
  • Health
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law & Trade
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Maritime Law
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Privacy
  • Products Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Science, Computers, & Tech
  • Securities Law
  • Taxation
  • Toxic Torts
  • Transportation
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Zoning, Planning & Land Use
See more
Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • California
  • D.C.
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
Number of Attorneys
400+ Attorneys

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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Medical Group Practice Can Once Again Employ PTs and PTAs

In December 2016, the South Carolina Supreme Court denied a petition for re-hearing, resolving a long standing dispute and allowing medical practices to employ directly physical therapists (“PTs”) and physical therapist…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Health Care Providers, Petition For Rehearing, Physical Therapists, Position Statements

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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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An Examiner’s Tips For Speedier Prosecution

Interactions between patent examiners and patent practitioners are often tense. At worst, these interactions can be an exercise in restraint with both parties thinly veiling their disdain for one another. This adversarial…more

Examiners, Patent Applications, Patent Prosecution, USPTO

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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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New Canada Anti-Spam Rules Take Effect July 1 – Additional Teeth Behind New Rules

Organizations that do business in Canada should be aware of key changes coming to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (“CASL”). Beginning July 1, 2017, CASL will place stricter conditions on how companies can market their services…more

Anti-Spam Legislation, CAN-SPAM Act, Canada, CASL, Civil Monetary Penalty

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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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Rite Aid Wins Summary Judgment in TCPA Action Involving Prerecorded, Automated Call for Flu Shot Reminder

In an outright win for pharmacies, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in the attached opinion, granted Rite Aid’s motion for summary judgment in a class action alleging violations of the TCPA…more

Business Associates, Class Action, Covered Entities, Exceptions, Exemptions

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EPA, CDC and CPSC Investigating Potential Health Effects of Recycled Tire Crumb Used on Playing Fields and Playgrounds

Public concern is increasing over the safety of recycled rubber tire crumb used as infill for synthetic turf fields and playgrounds. There are currently between 12,000 and 13,000 synthetic turf fields in the United States, and…more

CDC, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), EPA, Information Reports, Public Health

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Trump Administration’s Freeze on New Federal Regulations Will Impact Furniture Industry, EPA’s Formaldehyde Rule

The Trump Administration wasted no time getting started, as the new President issued a number of new executive branch directives in his first few days in office…more

EPA, Executive Orders, Rulemaking Process, Toxic Chemicals, Trump Administration

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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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An Examiner’s Tips For Speedier Prosecution

Interactions between patent examiners and patent practitioners are often tense. At worst, these interactions can be an exercise in restraint with both parties thinly veiling their disdain for one another. This adversarial…more

Examiners, Patent Applications, Patent Prosecution, USPTO

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California Bill Mandates Privacy By Design For IoT Devices

Manufacturers of Internet-connected devices (better known as the Internet of Things) should be following a new California bill closely because it would create a mandate under California law that all IoT devices have built-in…more

Connected Items, Consumer Privacy Rights, Cybersecurity, Data Collection, Data Privacy

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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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Class Action Arbitration after Dell Webb

Agreeing to arbitrate disputes, in lieu of traditional litigation, is not a new phenomenon. As consumers, we all contractually agree to arbitrate disputes on an almost daily basis. While not everyone may read the entire contact,…more

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action, Commerce Clause

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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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Important Steps to Prepare for the WannaCry Ransomware Attack

Your business may have been victim to the latest ransomware attack, or it may be caught in the next wave. On May 12, 2017, the “WannaCry” ransomware attack compromised over 70,000 organizations in nearly 100 countries...…more

Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Data Security, Hackers

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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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Trump Administration Likely to Maintain Yates Memo Priorities on Corporate Wrongdoing

As Donald Trump has now been inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, one of the questions we are asked concerns the likely direction the Trump administration will pursue concerning regulatory/criminal…more

Corporate Misconduct, Criminal Prosecution, DOJ, Trump Administration, Yates Memorandum

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The Pitfalls of Pithy Latin Phrases

Crack open any law dictionary worth its salt and you will find the Latin phrase “Qui Tacet Consentire Videtur” or “He who is silent appears to consent.” Do not be fooled – context matters – a pithy Latin phrase is not a general…more

Business Licenses, Municipalities, Zoning Laws

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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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Sections 101 and 112: Eligibility, Patentability, or Somewhere in Between?

We wrote earlier about the Supreme Court’s renewed interest in patent eligibility and seemingly unintended confusion between the patent eligibility requirements of 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the remaining patentability requirements…more

Abstract Ideas, Bilski, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Mayo v. Prometheus, McRo v Bandai Namco

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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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4 Tips to Protect Textile Innovations

Is innovation a key component of your business plan? Will you distinguish yourself with unique product offerings? Whether protecting our men and women in uniform, advancing the treatment of medical conditions, or adding to a…more

Australia, Canada, China, EU, Global Marketplace

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Class Action Arbitration after Dell Webb

Agreeing to arbitrate disputes, in lieu of traditional litigation, is not a new phenomenon. As consumers, we all contractually agree to arbitrate disputes on an almost daily basis. While not everyone may read the entire contact,…more

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action, Commerce Clause

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M&A Indemnification Provisions: Are You Drafting Unenforceable Time Limits?

In an M&A transaction, the convention is for the seller to make representations and warranties to the buyer regarding the target business. When the target business is a private company, the acquisition agreement typically…more

Acquisitions, Breach of Contract, Buyers, Choice-of-Law, Contract Terms

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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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Be Reasonable: Qualified Immunity, After-Discovered Facts, and the Case of Hernandez v. Mesa

In some form or fashion, law students learn that the words “reasonable man” denote a person exercising those qualities of attention, knowledge, intelligence and judgment which society requires of its members for the protection…more

Abuse of Power, Border Security, Excessive Force, Fifth Amendment, Fourth Amendment

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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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OCC Outlines Process for FinTech Companies to Apply for Special Purpose National Bank Charters and Seeks Public Comment

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) has released for public comment its proposed Licensing Manual Supplement (the “Supplement”) for evaluating charter applications submitted by financial technology…more

Banking Sector, FinTech, Fintech Charter, National Bank Charters, OCC

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Sounding the Alarm on Code Compliance Costs

Most multifamily owners are familiar with reserve requirements for items such as fire alarms and alarm replacement. Yet those owners may be surprised to learn that complying with the latest fire code changes can jeopardize…more

Building Codes, Fires, Multi-Family Development, Reassessments, Safety Standards

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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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New Canada Anti-Spam Rules Take Effect July 1 – Additional Teeth Behind New Rules

Organizations that do business in Canada should be aware of key changes coming to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (“CASL”). Beginning July 1, 2017, CASL will place stricter conditions on how companies can market their services…more

Anti-Spam Legislation, CAN-SPAM Act, Canada, CASL, Civil Monetary Penalty

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The ReSET – The Racial Wealth Divide in Baltimore

The Center for Enterprise Development, with support from JP Morgan Chase, published a study on the racial wealth divide in Baltimore. Baltimore is hardly alone in struggling with the challenges of wealth inequality which,…more

Economic Development, Government Studies, Minorities, Wealth Management

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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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House Republicans Challenge OCC Fintech Charter

Bank charters for FinTech companies have become a point of contention between Congress and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. However, in response to concerns that the OCC is moving too quickly, FinTech attorney…more

FinTech, Fintech Charter, National Bank Charters, OCC, Public Comment

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This RMLC/GMR Fight Is No Joke

Originally published in Radio Ink - January 12, 2017. Most radio stations have received emails in the past several weeks from both the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR) regarding an interim…more

ASCAP, BMI, Copyright, IP License, Musical Sound Recordings

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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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2016 FCC Regulatory Fees Due By September 27, 2016

The FCC has announced a deadline of 11:59 PM on September 27 for receipt of its Fiscal Year 2016 annual regulatory fees. Fees are owed on all authorizations held as of October 1, 2015 but must be paid by the current holder…more

Annual Regulatory Fees, FCC, Telecommunications

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Bermuda – Proactively Seeking to Grow its Influence as an Off-Shore Investment Jurisdiction

Bermuda has long been a favorite jurisdiction of captive insurance companies and insurance-linked investment funds. More than 70% of the $25 billion in global insurance-linked securities (ILS) volume is listed on the Bermuda…more

Bermuda, Captive Insurance Company, Corporate Governance, Foreign Investment, Limited Liability Company (LLC)

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Inherency and Patent Claims

A patent claim can be rejected for inherency over a reference. An inherent property cannot be claimed, even if that property was not known at the time a prior art composition was disclosed or prior art invention was made. But,…more

Claim Construction, Claim Limitations, Inherency, Patent Examinations, Patents

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Bermuda – Proactively Seeking to Grow its Influence as an Off-Shore Investment Jurisdiction

Bermuda has long been a favorite jurisdiction of captive insurance companies and insurance-linked investment funds. More than 70% of the $25 billion in global insurance-linked securities (ILS) volume is listed on the Bermuda…more

Bermuda, Captive Insurance Company, Corporate Governance, Foreign Investment, Limited Liability Company (LLC)

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North Carolina Supreme Court Gives Easement Holders 20 Years to Challenge Encroachments

On August 19, 2016, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a decision that will benefit all companies that own easements. Patrolling easements and clearing them of vegetation and structures can be very costly, but the Supreme…more

Duke Energy, Easements, Encroachments, NC Supreme Court, Statute of Limitations

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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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Be Reasonable: Qualified Immunity, After-Discovered Facts, and the Case of Hernandez v. Mesa

In some form or fashion, law students learn that the words “reasonable man” denote a person exercising those qualities of attention, knowledge, intelligence and judgment which society requires of its members for the protection…more

Abuse of Power, Border Security, Excessive Force, Fifth Amendment, Fourth Amendment

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Patent Holder Sues CBS and iHeart Over Digital Audio Signal Transmission Systems

On Friday, April 14, 2017, Digital Stream IP, LLC filed two separate complaints in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas against CBS Radio Inc. and iHeartMedia, Inc., alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,757,913…more

CBS, Digital Downloads, Electronic Data Transmissions, iHeart Media, Patent Infringement

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Lessons From The Largest Patent Damages Award In History

By now, most everyone in the patent community has heard about the $2.54 Billion dollar jury verdict in a battle over Hepatitis C medication that resulted from a jury trial in December 2016. In Delaware federal district court,…more

Calculation of Damages, Gilead Sciences, Jury Verdicts, Litigation Strategies, Merck

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Federal Appeals Court Rules Sexual Orientation Is Protected Class

In a significant decision that expands the rights of employees, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled on April 4, 2017 that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination…more

Appeals, Civil Rights Act, EEOC, Gender Identity, Hiring & Firing

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Key IP Questions For Emerging Businesses

Are you starting a new company or business venture? Launching an exciting new product or expanding into a new business line? Congratulations. Just remember, if you wind up with a high-growth opportunity, it can often pay big…more

Copyright, Copyright Registration, Exclusive Licenses, Intellectual Property Protection, Inventors

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Employee Sports Gambling: Workplace Policies and Guidance For In-House Counsel

Sports fans have long looked for ways to be a part of the action. The co-owner of the Oakland Raiders developed a fantasy golf game back in the 1950s. In the 1980s, journalist Daniel Okrent created “Rotisserie” League Baseball,…more

Best Management Practices, Employment Policies, Fantasy Sports, Interstate Wire Act, RICO

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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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State Universities Gain Immunity from IPRs

State Universities Gain Immunity from IPRs - Today, many universities own extensive patent portfolios that are managed by sophisticated tech transfer offices. Universities obtain these patents for many reasons, not the…more

Article III, Breach of Contract, Educational Institutions, Eleventh Amendment, Florida

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State Universities May Use Sovereign Immunity Defense in IPRs

The University of Florida picked up some big wins in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, moving into the tourney’s Sweet Sixteen. But the Gators also earned a big patent dispute victory recently in Covidien LP v. University of…more

Dismissals, Eleventh Amendment, Exclusive Licenses, Inter Partes Review (IPR) Proceeding, IP License

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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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Reading the Tea Leaves: What Lies Ahead for Broadband Privacy Regulation?

On April 3, 2017, President Trump signed into law a rare Joint Resolution of Congress under the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”), which disapproved the Broadband Privacy Rules adopted late last year by then-Chairman Wheeler’s…more

Broadband Internet Access Services (BIAS), Broadband Privacy Rules, Communications Act 2003, Congressional Review Act, Consumer Privacy Rights

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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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Michigan State Data Breach and the Value of Preparedness

Michigan State University’s announcement earlier this month that hackers had gained access to a school database of about 400,000 records highlights why colleges and universities are such tempting targets for hackers and just how…more

Data Breach, Educational Institutions, Incident Response Plans, Ransomware, Student Records

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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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Stage is set as Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to meet President Donald Trump: What can we expect?

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has secured the coveted first meeting between President Trump and a foreign head of government. Among the goals of each leader in this meeting will be setting a course for a future UK-US trade…more

Bilateral Agreements, Theresa May, Trade Relations, Trump Administration, UK

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“Knock-Offs” Beware: SCOTUS Makes a Fashion-Forward Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court has settled the closely watched Varsity Brands Inc. et al. v. Star Athletica LLC copyright dispute, holding that cheerleading outfits contain distinct design elements that allow for copyright ownership…more

Cheerleaders, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Fashion Design, Fashion Industry

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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

See all updates »

EPA, CDC and CPSC Investigating Potential Health Effects of Recycled Tire Crumb Used on Playing Fields and Playgrounds

Public concern is increasing over the safety of recycled rubber tire crumb used as infill for synthetic turf fields and playgrounds. There are currently between 12,000 and 13,000 synthetic turf fields in the United States, and…more

CDC, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), EPA, Information Reports, Public Health

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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

See all updates »

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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"Private" E-mails and FOIA

Recent legal decisions continue to blur the line between private communications and public records, extending the reach of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Because of these shifts, proactive government officials are…more

Email, FOIA, Public Disclosure, Public Employees, Public Records

See all updates »

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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North Carolina Supreme Court Gives Easement Holders 20 Years to Challenge Encroachments

On August 19, 2016, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a decision that will benefit all companies that own easements. Patrolling easements and clearing them of vegetation and structures can be very costly, but the Supreme…more

Duke Energy, Easements, Encroachments, NC Supreme Court, Statute of Limitations

See all updates »

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

See all updates »

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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"Private" E-mails and FOIA

Recent legal decisions continue to blur the line between private communications and public records, extending the reach of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Because of these shifts, proactive government officials are…more

Email, FOIA, Public Disclosure, Public Employees, Public Records

See all updates »

State Universities Gain Immunity from IPRs

State Universities Gain Immunity from IPRs - Today, many universities own extensive patent portfolios that are managed by sophisticated tech transfer offices. Universities obtain these patents for many reasons, not the…more

Article III, Breach of Contract, Educational Institutions, Eleventh Amendment, Florida

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Sections 101 and 112: Eligibility, Patentability, or Somewhere in Between?

We wrote earlier about the Supreme Court’s renewed interest in patent eligibility and seemingly unintended confusion between the patent eligibility requirements of 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the remaining patentability requirements…more

Abstract Ideas, Bilski, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Mayo v. Prometheus, McRo v Bandai Namco

See all updates »

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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Social Media Policy Checklist

A social media policy or a set of guidelines helps your employees make smarter decisions when marketing your brand, products and services online and may mitigate the risk of coming under the radar of the FTC or another…more

FTC, Human Resources Professionals, Marketing, Popular, Risk Management

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When “WannaCry” Strikes: Preparing for and Responding to the Largest Ransomware Attack in History

As many around the world were preparing for the Mother’s Day weekend, the WannaCry ransomware attack hit over 70,000 organizations in nearly 100 countries in just one day, Friday, May 12th. After the weekend, the attack had…more

Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Encryption, Incident Response Plans

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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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FCC Waives Certain Classification Standards from 2017 E-rate Eligible Services List

On February 8, 2017, the Wireline Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) granted a waiver of certain Category One/Category Two classification standards established in the 2017 Eligible Services List (“ESL”) on its own motion, meaning…more

E-Rates, FCC, School Districts, Waivers

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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

See all updates »

"Private" E-mails and FOIA

Recent legal decisions continue to blur the line between private communications and public records, extending the reach of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Because of these shifts, proactive government officials are…more

Email, FOIA, Public Disclosure, Public Employees, Public Records

See all updates »

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

See all updates »

DOL’s Final Rule Modifies ERISA Disability Claim Regulations

Effective January 18, 2017, the Department of Labor issued a "final rule" modifying 29 CFR § 2560.503-1, governing claims procedures for disability benefits under ERISA plans. The new regulations apply to disability claims filed…more

Disability Benefits, DOL, ERISA, Final Rules

See all updates »

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

See all updates »

North Carolina Supreme Court Gives Easement Holders 20 Years to Challenge Encroachments

On August 19, 2016, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a decision that will benefit all companies that own easements. Patrolling easements and clearing them of vegetation and structures can be very costly, but the Supreme…more

Duke Energy, Easements, Encroachments, NC Supreme Court, Statute of Limitations

See all updates »

Waiting Game: Future of Proposed "White Collar" Rules Remains Uncertain

There is still no decision on when—or if—the proposed “white collar” regulations will go into effect. On November 22, 2016, a federal court in Texas issued an order that blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) proposed…more

Delays, DOL, FLSA, Minimum Salary, Obama Administration

See all updates »

Patent Holder Sues CBS and iHeart Over Digital Audio Signal Transmission Systems

On Friday, April 14, 2017, Digital Stream IP, LLC filed two separate complaints in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas against CBS Radio Inc. and iHeartMedia, Inc., alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,757,913…more

CBS, Digital Downloads, Electronic Data Transmissions, iHeart Media, Patent Infringement

See all updates »

Federal Court Blocks New "White Collar" Regulations

A federal court in Texas has issued an order that blocks—nationwide—the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new regulations that would have doubled the minimum salary for many “white collar” workers on December 1, 2016. While not…more

DOL, Final Rules, FLSA, Preliminary Injunctions, Wage and Hour

See all updates »

New Guidance Offers Deep Dive Into Compliance Issues

Following up on DOJ’s recent memo on “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,” the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its own compliance program evaluation memo last…more

Board of Directors, Compliance, Corporate Governance, DOJ, Health Care Providers

See all updates »

Important Steps to Prepare for the WannaCry Ransomware Attack

Your business may have been victim to the latest ransomware attack, or it may be caught in the next wave. On May 12, 2017, the “WannaCry” ransomware attack compromised over 70,000 organizations in nearly 100 countries...…more

Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Data Security, Hackers

See all updates »

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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Lawsuit filed to set aside IRS Notice 2016-66

Two months ago, without any prior warning or public notice, the IRS issued Notice 2016-66 which defined a number of common captive insurance transactions as “transactions of interest.” The Notice is limited to captive insurers…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Captive Insurance Company, Injunctive Relief, IRS, Reporting Requirements

See all updates »

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

See all updates »

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

See all updates »

Rule Against Perpetuities and Leases in North Carolina

Remember the Rule Against Perpetuities? Think back to your days in law school, sitting in your 1L Property class. Remember the rule against perpetuities? Remember thinking that it would never really come into play in…more

Common Law Claims, Landlords, Leases, Right of FIrst Refusal, Rule Against Perpetuities

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Is the Owner-Manager of your Vendor your “Employee?” - Expansion of Coverage: North Carolina Crime Coverage Part: Embezzlement Is the Owner-Manager of your Vendor your “Employee?”

On November 14, 2014, the Eastern District of North Carolina entered summary judgment in favor of an insured seeking coverage for embezzlement for actions by owners of a vendor. Colony Tire Corp. v. Fed. Ins. Co., No. 2:15 CV…more

Claims Made Policy, Embezzlement, Employee Definition, Summary Judgment, Vendor Contacts

See all updates »

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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New Year’s Resolution – Be Compliant With the DMCA!

Copyright Office Issues New Rule – A Fresh Designation of Agent Submission is Required Before The End of 2017 to Be Compliant With The DMCA - The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) provides safe harbors from…more

Copyright Infringement, Designated Agent, DMCA, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Safe Harbors

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Key IP Questions For Emerging Businesses

Are you starting a new company or business venture? Launching an exciting new product or expanding into a new business line? Congratulations. Just remember, if you wind up with a high-growth opportunity, it can often pay big…more

Copyright, Copyright Registration, Exclusive Licenses, Intellectual Property Protection, Inventors

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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

See all updates »

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 »

Federal Appeals Court Rules Sexual Orientation Is Protected Class

In a significant decision that expands the rights of employees, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled on April 4, 2017 that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination…more

Appeals, Civil Rights Act, EEOC, Gender Identity, Hiring & Firing

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Reading the Tea Leaves: What Lies Ahead for Broadband Privacy Regulation?

On April 3, 2017, President Trump signed into law a rare Joint Resolution of Congress under the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”), which disapproved the Broadband Privacy Rules adopted late last year by then-Chairman Wheeler’s…more

Broadband Internet Access Services (BIAS), Broadband Privacy Rules, Communications Act 2003, Congressional Review Act, Consumer Privacy Rights

See all updates »

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

See all updates »

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

See all updates »

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

See all updates »

EPA, CDC and CPSC Investigating Potential Health Effects of Recycled Tire Crumb Used on Playing Fields and Playgrounds

Public concern is increasing over the safety of recycled rubber tire crumb used as infill for synthetic turf fields and playgrounds. There are currently between 12,000 and 13,000 synthetic turf fields in the United States, and…more

CDC, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), EPA, Information Reports, Public Health

See all updates »

Basics of the BPCIA

The FDA broadly defines biologics as medical products derived from living sources (human, animal, plant, or microorganism) intended to treat or prevent diseases. Biologics thus include such varied vehicles of medical treatment…more

Affordable Care Act, Biologics, BPCIA, Commercial Marketing, Competition

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Old MacDonald Had a Farm. Wait, Maybe He Didn’t.

In March 2015, Katie and Chris Brewer bought 22 acres in Chapel Hill, Orange County – a rural, wooded spot – through an entity called Southeast Property Group, LLC. Among other things on their property, the Brewers intended to…more

Adjacent Property Owners, Appeals, Building Permits, County Planning Commissions, Exemptions

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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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Faster, Cheaper Designation of Agents to Accept DMCA Take-Down Notices

A message in a bottle tossed into the sea stands little chance of reaching its intended recipient anytime soon. A notice, to be effective, must be delivered to someone somewhere as expeditiously as possible. What if that someone…more

Copyright Infringement, DMCA, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Service of Process, Takedown Notices

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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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Fearing Trolls, Some “Friends of the Court” Turn to Laches for Solace While Others Urge Reversal in SCA Hygiene v. First Quality Baby Products

On November 1st, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments to decide whether “Raging Bull” applies in patent litigation. At issue is whether and to what extent a laches defense may bar a claim for damages in patent infringement…more

Copyright Infringement, Defense Strategies, Laches, Medical Devices, Patent Trolls

See all updates »

Liability for Directors of Nonprofit Corporations

Lawyers are often asked to serve on Boards of nonprofit corporations and if they do so, they will often be asked by other directors about the potential individual liability of a director for actions of the nonprofit, for actions…more

501(c)(3), Board of Directors, Business Judgment Rule, D&O Insurance, Duty of Care

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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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Food and Beverage Manufacturers That Use Added Sugar Be On Alert

The public health community has been more vocal over the last several years regarding the amount of sugar being used in food and beverages. On January 4, 2017, the Praxis Project (“Plaintiff”), a public health advocacy group,…more

Coca Cola, Food Labeling, Food Manufacturers, Public Health, Scientific Research

See all updates »

Supreme Court Addresses Design Patent Damages for First Time in 120 Years: New Era of Design Patent Damages Dawn

On December 6, 2016, the United States Supreme Court threw out a $399 million damages award against Samsung for infringing three design patents, opening the door on a new era in design patent infringement damages and the value…more

Apple v Samsung, Calculation of Damages, Design Patent, Patent Infringement, Popular

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OCC Outlines Process for FinTech Companies to Apply for Special Purpose National Bank Charters and Seeks Public Comment

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) has released for public comment its proposed Licensing Manual Supplement (the “Supplement”) for evaluating charter applications submitted by financial technology…more

Banking Sector, FinTech, Fintech Charter, National Bank Charters, OCC

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EEOC Releases New Guidance on Retaliation Claims

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in 2015, retaliation claims made up to 45 percent of all private-sector charges filed with the agency. In recognition of the growth in the number of these claims…more

Adverse Employment Action, Discrimination, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Enforcement Guidance

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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

See all updates »

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 »

Medical Group Practice Can Once Again Employ PTs and PTAs

In December 2016, the South Carolina Supreme Court denied a petition for re-hearing, resolving a long standing dispute and allowing medical practices to employ directly physical therapists (“PTs”) and physical therapist…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Health Care Providers, Petition For Rehearing, Physical Therapists, Position Statements

See all updates »

Lack of Original Note Can Be Fatal Enforcement

In Emerald Portfolio, LLC v. Outer Banks/Kinnakeet Assoc., LLC, the North Carolina Court of Appeals refused to allow a debt purchaser to enforce a note where the original note was lost before it was transferred to a debt…more

Appeals, Assignments, Debt Instruments, Promissory Notes, Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)

See all updates »

Data Protection Law- A Broken Shield

Sweeping statements made in an Executive Order issued five days into the Trump administration have cast doubt on the legal status of the EU-US Privacy Shield and have caused at least one highly-placed EU politician to challenge…more

Article 50 Treaty of the EU, EU, EU-US Privacy Shield, European Commission, Executive Orders

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