BakerHostetler

The Innovation Act of 2015: Congress Targets Patent ‘Trolls’ Again

On February 5, 2015, the House Judiciary Chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), flanked by a bipartisan group of his peers, reintroduced his “Innovation Act” (H.R. 9). The bill is the second time in as many years that the…more

Non-Practicing Entities, Patent Trolls, Patents, Proposed Legislation

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Jury Sees a Clear Line – Pharrell, Thicke Crossed It

Pharrell Williams, famous for singing about how “Happy” he is, might be changing his tune these days. On March 10, a federal jury found him and fellow pop star Robin Thicke liable for copying Marvin Gaye’s popular song “Got to…more

Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Jury Awards, Jury Verdicts, Marvin Gaye

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CFPB Criminal Referral

In what he called "a harbinger of an especially potent partnership," Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced Tuesday the filing of criminal charges against a New York debt settlement firm…more

CFPB, Criminal Prosecution

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Aetna Out of Patience With Hospital’s Alleged Out-of-Network Billing Scheme

Aetna Life Insurance Company (Aetna) is going on the offensive against a Northwest Houston hospital with an out-of-network strategy. On February 23, 2015, Aetna filed suit in Texas federal court against Robert A. Behar, M.D. and…more

Aetna, Excessive Fees, Hospitals, Insurance Litigation, Out of Network Provider

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Florida Court Allows Plaintiff Extensive Communication with Putative Class Members

A recent decision from the Southern District of Florida denied a motion seeking to limit plaintiffs’ ability to contact putative class members to solicit support and evidence in support of a class certification motion. In A.R…more

Attorney Solicitation, Class Action, Class Certification, Medicaid, Putative Class Actions

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Northwestern Football Players and Academic Medical Centers: The Other Shoe Has Dropped

In a move that has surprised many, but not all, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)-watchers and collegiate football fans, Chicago-area NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr has determined that Northwestern University…more

Athletics Grants-in-Aid, Bargaining Units, College Athletes, Colleges, Football

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United States Supreme Court Strikes Down Illinois Regulatory Framework Requiring Personal Assistants for Medicaid Recipients to Pay Union Dues or Fees

In its much anticipated decision in Harris v. Quinn, 573 U.S. __ (2014), the Supreme Court of the United States in a five to four ruling struck down an Illinois regulatory framework that required personal assistants (PAs) for…more

Collective Bargaining, First Amendment, Harris v Quinn, Healthcare, Medicaid

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CMS Proposes Increased Rewards for Reporting Fraud and Abuse

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published a proposed rule modifying certain provisions in their Incentive Reward Program (IRP) to sweeten the incentives for reporting sanctionable conduct. Revisions…more

CMS, False Claims Act, Fraud, HIPAA, Incentives

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Can Employees Really Arm Themselves with Recording Devices as They Go About Their Daily Work?

Over the last months, we have traced the Board’s and Administrative Law Judges’ rulings on the legality of handbook rules and conduct in the workplace. We have learned that an employer will often have a better opportunity of…more

Corporate Counsel, Employee Handbooks, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, NLRB

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State Oil and Gas Laws v. Local Control: The Struggle Continues in Ohio

On February 17, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court announced its ruling in The State Ex Rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corporation et al. That closely-watched case addressed whether local ordinances that impact drilling operations are…more

Fracking, Oil & Gas, Preemption

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Class Action Disgorgement Case Dismissed Against PG&E as Remedy Sought Would Interfere with Filed Rates

Companies in regulated markets, such as insurance and energy, are increasing litigating issues surrounding the “filed rate doctrine,” or in other words, whether they can be sued in a class action where the remedy sought…more

Class Action, Disgorgement, Dismissals, Filed-Rate Doctrine, PG&E

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Re: New Bad Act Disqualification, Disclosures and Certification for Rule 506 Exempt Offerings under Regulation D

Today, new Rules 506(d) and (e) of Regulation D under the Securities Act and changes to Form D (Bad Act Rules) take effect to make all Rule 506 offerings subject to certain "bad act" disqualification, disclosure and…more

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Legal Issues to Consider Before Starting Big Data Projects

We read every day about the myriad of purposes for which enterprises are embarking on Big Data projects. Securing C-suite buy in and funding may be a significant endeavor, as is implementing an analytic approach to yield results…more

Big Data, COPPA, Corporate Counsel, Data Collection, Data Protection

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No Room for Companies to Gamble as the Feds Double Down on FCPA Enforcement

In 2014, a record-setting year for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the largest-ever DOJ FCPA resolution—an over $772 million criminal fine for French power company…more

Alstom, DOJ, Enforcement Statistics, FCPA, Strategic Enforcement Plan

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Independent Producers Seek To Halt Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule - BakerHostetler Files Injunction in Federal Court; Motion Follows Firm's Initial Lawsuit Challenging Meritless Rule

DENVER, May 15, 2015 — BakerHostetler today filed a request for preliminary injunction against the final rule the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The motion…more

Bureau of Land Management, Fracking, Oil & Gas, Preliminary Injunctions, Public Land

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Sixth Circuit Denies Government Motion for Rehearing in Quality Stores Employment Tax Challenge

The Sixth Circuit has unanimously and summarily denied a Government request for en banc rehearing of a taxpayer-favorable ruling in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., 693 F.3d 605 (6th Cir. Sept. 7, 2012)…more

FICA Taxes, IRS, Quality Stores, Refunds, Statute of Limitations

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IRS Publishes Proposed Regulations Addressing Fracking Services by MLPs

On May 6, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed regulations [REG-132634-14], which if finalized would clarify that income from certain oil and natural gas fracturing (“fracking”) services is “qualifying…more

Fracking, IRS, Master Limited Partnerships, Oil & Gas, Pass-Through Entities

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ACTEC Wealth Advisor App Offers Powerful Planning Tool for Wealth Management Professionals

The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national association of leading trust and estate attorneys. ACTEC contributes to the field of trusts and estates law through scholarship, teaching, and bar leadership…more

Estate Planning, Mobile Apps, Personal Finances

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Tax Court Rules Corporate Merger of Family-Owned Businesses Results in Substantial Taxable Gift

In September, the Tax Court issued its opinion in Cavallaro v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2014-189, holding that a merger of two family-owned businesses resulted in a $29.6 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. Cavallaro to their three…more

Family Businesses, Gift Tax, Mergers, Popular, Tax Court

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Oil and Gas Developer Challenges an Extreme Waste Disposal Ordinance Enacted by a Pennsylvania Township

Oil and gas developer Pennsylvania General Energy Company, LLC (“PGE”) recently filed suit against Grant Township in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, alleging that a waste disposal ordinance enacted by the Township violates the…more

Energy, Environmental Policies, Oil & Gas, Waste, Waste Disposal

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How NLRB's New ‘Quickie Election' Rule Strengthens Unions' Positions

On December 12, 2014, by a 3-2 party-line decision, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) issued a final rule, which if implemented will drastically truncate union election procedures. Such changes are…more

Ambush Election Rules, Corporate Counsel, Final Rules, NLRB, Union Elections

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Ohio Budget Bill Introduced

On February 12, 2013, the text of the Governor's budget proposal for the 2014-2015 biennium, announced on February 4, 2013, was made public as House Bill 59 ("HB 59"). The new HB 59 includes a state income tax deduction for…more

Local Taxes, Pass-Through Entities, Sales & Use Tax, Severance Tax, State Budgets

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Nova Scotia Bans Hydraulic Fracturing

On September 3, Nova Scotia’s government announced that it will indefinitely ban high volume hydraulic fracturing onshore. According to Energy Minister Andrew Younger, “Nova Scotians have overwhelmingly expressed concern about…more

Canada, Fracking, Fracking Bans, Proposed Legislation

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USPTO Announces New Lower Fee Schedule for Trademark Applications

On January 17, 2015, the United States Trademark Office implemented a reduced fee schedule for newly filed applications. The Trademark Office has introduced an additional category of applications called the TEAS Reduced Fee, or…more

Electronic Filing, Filing Fees, Trademarks, USPTO

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Take Care in Using Consumer Data to Drive Dynamic Pricing of E-Commerce

Dynamic pricing is the practice of offering different prices to consumers based on various factors designed to maximize sales and profits, which may include the retailer’s perception of the willingness of a particular consumer…more

Data Analytics, Discrimination, E-Commerce, FTC, Internet Retailers

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EEOC Approves Strategic Enforcement Plan

On December 18, 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) highlighting six high-priority target areas. The SEP stresses that the EEOC’s enforcement efforts over…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Discrimination, EEOC, Equal Pay, Hiring & Firing

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2014 Mobile Privacy and Security Trends and What to Look for in 2015

Most analysts and commentators agree that 2014 was the year mobile reached a tipping point. With over 1 billion mobile smartphones in circulation, 2014 marked the first year that mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop use in…more

Corporate Counsel, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, FTC, Internet of Things

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RE: Bakken Crude-by-Rail: Environmental Groups Ask New York State to Regulate DOT-111 Tank Cars

A recent state-law challenge by environmental groups to an aspect of crude-by-rail transportation has teed up the question of federal supremacy over railroad regulation. Because federal law generally preempts state regulation of…more

Bakken Shale, Crude by Rail, Environmental Liability, Federal Jurisdiction, Oil & Gas

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Federal Circuit affirms PTAB in first IPR final written decision appeal

The Federal Circuit recently issued its first ruling on an appeal from an inter partes review (IPR) final written decision, In re Cuozzo Speed Technologies. In doing so, the court affirmed the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal…more

America Invents Act, Appeals, Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Standard, Cuozzo Speed Technologies, Inter Partes Review Proceedings

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Employer Shared Responsibility Final Regulations Offer Partial Temporary Enforcement Relief

Enforcement of the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been further delayed for employers with between 50 and 99 full-time equivalent employees and temporarily eased for employers with…more

Affordable Care Act, Delays, Enforcement, f, Internal Revenue Code

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Volunteer Directors and Officers Liable to Facility Creditors

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a trial court’s jury verdict finding the individual board members and officers of a non-profit healthcare facility personally liable to the facility’s creditors. The board…more

Board of Directors, Breach of Duty, Corporate Officers, Healthcare, Healthcare Facilities

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Health Care Reform's 90-Day Waiting Period Guidance for Group Health Plans Deserves a Closer Look

One of the many requirements bearing down on group health plans in 2014 is the 90-day waiting period rule found in section 2708 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act), as added by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)…more

Affordable Care Act, Eligibility, Employer Group Health Plans, Healthcare, Penalties

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Florida Revised Limited Liability Company Act

On May 3, 2013, the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed the Florida Revised Limited Liability Act (the "New Florida Act") in the form of amended House Bill 1079. The companion bill, Senate Bill 1300, was…more

Appraisal, LLC, Members, New Legislation, Waivers

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Sixth Circuit Further Defines Requirements of Commonality Under Dukes; Distinguishes Seventh Circuit Case Relaxing Those Requirements

In a recent case, Miller v. Countrywide Bank (In re Countrywide Financial Corp. Mortgage Lending Practices Litigation), — F.3d —, No. 12-5250, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 924 (6th Cir. Jan. 15, 2013), the Sixth Circuit provided more…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Commonality, Countrywide, Delegation of Discretion

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Vapor Intrusion Guidance Update

U.S. EPA has extended the deadline for comments on its OSWER Final Guidance for Assessing and Mitigating the Vapor Intrusion Pathway from Subsurface Sources to Indoor Air and its Guidance for Addressing Petroleum Vapor Intrusion…more

EPA, Vapor Intrusion, Vapor Intrusion Guidance

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Novartis v. Lee: New Math for Calculating Patent Term Adjustment

Recently, in Novartis v. Lee (2013-1160, Fed. Cir., Jan. 15, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit revised the method by which the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) calculates patent…more

Novartis, Patent Applications, Patent Term Adjustment, Patent Terms, Request for Continued Examination

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Ding-Dong, Yard-Man Is Dead! Supreme Court Decision in Tackett a Huge Win for Employers in the Retiree Healthcare Arena

On Monday, a unanimous United States Supreme Court issued its decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, Supreme Court Case No. 13-101, vacating and remanding the Sixth Circuit’s holding that a group of retirees was…more

CBAs, Collective Bargaining, Employer Group Health Plans, Employer Healthcare Costs, Health Insurance

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San Francisco's Family-Friendly Workplace Ordinance Allows Requests for Flexible Work Arrangements

San Francisco's new Family-Friendly Workplace Ordinance (the "Ordinance") applies to employers with 20 or more employees and to those San Francisco-based employees who have been employed for at least six months and who work at…more

Family-Friendly Workplace Ordinance, Reasonable Accommodation

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Collateral Damage: Medicaid Inspector General Says You're Fired!

The New York Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) has discretion to exclude a physician from New York's medical assistance program (Medicaid) based solely on a consent order…more

Inspector General, Medicaid, Physicians, Termination

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SEC Adopts Final Rules to Implement "Regulation A+"

As part of its mandate under the JOBS Act to facilitate capital raises by smaller companies and emerging businesses and its continuing effort to broaden the number of investment options for investors, the Securities and Exchange…more

Emerging Growth Companies, Final Rules, JOBS Act, Regulation A, SEC

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2014 Year End Update

Over the course of 2014, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) have continued their aggressive enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). This has led to critical…more

Corporate Counsel, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, Enforcement Statistics, FCPA

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Judicial Conference Proposes Proportional Discovery Through Amendments to the FRCP

For the first time in over twenty years, the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure have approved for publication proposals to amend the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. If enacted, these proposals…more

Discoverable, Discovery, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Proposed Amendments

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Retaining the Attorney-Client Privilege in a Merger

In Great Hill Equity Partners IV, LP v. SIG Growth Equity Fund I, LLLP, Chancellor Strine of the Delaware Chancery Court recently reaffirmed that the target company in a Delaware merger is the sole holder of the attorney-client…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Confidential Communications, Mergers

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Government Contracts Quarterly Update - January 2015

The Government Contracts Quarterly Update is published by BakerHostetler’s Government Contracts Practice team to inform our clients and friends of the latest developments in federal government contracting. Topics in the…more

Bid Protests, Business Judgment Rule, Cybersecurity, Discrimination, Due Diligence

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[Event] BakerHostetler 26th Annual Legislative Seminar - June 10, Washington, D.C.

Please join us on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, for the 26th Annual Legislative Seminar in Washington, D.C., a one-day program focused on tax, budget, financial services, banking, healthcare, energy, and technology…more

Events, Federal Budget, Patent Reform, Tax Reform

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Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Obama Administration Announces Regulatory Amendments to U.S. Cuba Sanctions

On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 515 (“CACR”), and the U.S. Department of Commerce amended the Export Administration Regulations,…more

Amended Regulation, Banking Sector, Barack Obama, BIS, CACR

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BakerHostetler 2014 Year-End Review of Class Actions (and what to expect in 2015)

We are pleased to share with you the BakerHostetler 2014 Year-End Review of Class Actions, which offers a summary of some of the key developments in class action litigation during the past year. Class action litigation continues…more

Antitrust Litigation, Ascertainable Class, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Class Certification

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Protecting Private Wealth: Recent Bankruptcy Cases Involving Tuition Payments and Profit Sharing Plans

Two recent decisions may affect the assets of individuals available to satisfy creditors' claims in bankruptcy. In the first decision, the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York determined that married, joint…more

Consumer Bankruptcy, IRA

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Supreme Court Grants Cert in Spokeo Case

The Supreme Court yesterday morning granted Spokeo, Inc.’s petition for a writ of certiorari in the closely watched case of Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, No. 13-1339. The case presents the question as to whether defendants can be held…more

Article III, Certiorari, FCRA, Federal Jurisdiction, Imminent Harm

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Justice to Target Corporations and C-Suite Executives in the Healthcare Industry

On Thursday, May 14, 2015, at a meeting of the American Bar Association’s Healthcare Fraud Section, Leslie Caldwell, the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice (DOJ) Criminal Division, declared stamping out…more

American Bar Association, C-Suite Executives, DOJ, Healthcare, Healthcare Fraud

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2014 Year End Update

Over the course of 2014, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) have continued their aggressive enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). This has led to critical…more

Corporate Counsel, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, Enforcement Statistics, FCPA

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Creditors Beware: Do the Proof of Claim Right or You Are Out

Recent developments in the bankruptcy arena have placed a greater burden on claimants. Creditors are now required to make additional disclosures in their proof of claim forms, and courts are under no obligation to recognize…more

Commercial Bankruptcy, Creditors, Debtors, Proof of Claims

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The Latest on the Use of Retained Asset Accounts to Pay Life Insurance Benefits

In Merrimon v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of America, 2014 WL 2960024 (1st Cir. July 2, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit became the third circuit court to approve an insurance company’s use of a retained asset…more

Class Action, Corporate Counsel, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty, Insurers

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Individualized Causation and Reliance Defenses Render Class Representative Inadequate in the Northern District of Illinois

Class action defense practitioners routinely face uphill battles on the issue of individualized defenses for class members. However, these arguments should not be overlooked as tools to defeat class certification. Lipton v…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Class Representatives, Consumer Fraud, Predominance Requirement

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2013 Mid-Year Securities Litigation and Enforcement Highlights

Table of Contents - I. Supreme Court Case Review (October 2012 Term) II. Rule 10b-5 Cases III. Investment Adviser and Hedge Fund Cases IV. Settlements V. Commodities and Futures Litigation and…more

Amgen Inc. v Connecticut Retirement Plans, Comcast, Commodities, Enforcement Actions, Gabelli v SEC

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OIG Advisory Opinion Sheds Light on Preventive Care Exception

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued an advisory opinion approving an arrangement whereby a licensed entity providing services under a state program for at-risk…more

Advisory Opinions, Anti-Kickback Statute, Healthcare, HHS, Medicaid

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District Court rejects supervisor liability for state employee’s motor vehicle record data breach

In a recent decision, the Federal District Court of Minnesota found that state agencies were not liable in a data breach class action suit involving a rogue employee’s unauthorized viewing of personal information in drivers…more

Data Breach, DMV, Governmental Liability, Liability, Motor Vehicles

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Ninth Circuit Draws Fine Line Around Fine Art Resale Royalties

In a partial victory for artists such as Chuck Close and the Sam Francis Foundation—and for other visual artists who sold early works for rent money before establishing their name and value—the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals…more

Appeals, Christies, Commerce Clause, Dormant Commerce Clause, Fine Art

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Supreme Court "SOX" it to Employers by Extending Statute's Whistleblower Provision to Private Contractors of Public Companies

On March 4, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Lawson v. FMR LLC expanding the class of persons protected under the anti-retaliatory provisions set forth in the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 ("SOX"). The Court held…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Contractors, FMR LLC, Lawson v FMR, Sarbanes-Oxley

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Class Action Disgorgement Case Dismissed Against PG&E as Remedy Sought Would Interfere with Filed Rates

Companies in regulated markets, such as insurance and energy, are increasing litigating issues surrounding the “filed rate doctrine,” or in other words, whether they can be sued in a class action where the remedy sought…more

Class Action, Disgorgement, Dismissals, Filed-Rate Doctrine, PG&E

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Frack 2.0: Refracing Could Enable a Second Wave of Production Growth in the Bakken and Eagle Ford

Operators will likely refrac more oil and gas wells this year and further accelerate such activity in 2016. The reason is simple: substantial bang for CAPEX bucks. A recent study by engineers from SPE and Baker Hughes estimates…more

Bakken Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Fracking, Oil & Gas

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Agencies Beware: Supreme Court Leans Toward Air Marshal Whistleblower in Oral Argument

On November 4, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dep’t of Homeland Security v. MacLean, bringing closer to an end the lengthy dispute between Robert MacLean and his former employer, the Transportation Security…more

Adverse Employment Action, Confidential Information, DHS v McLean, National Security, Oral Argument

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Washington’s New Provisions on Advance Waivers of Corporate Opportunities: Opening the Road for Investors

On April 17, 2015, Governor Inslee signed a bill into law that effectively encourages venture capital and private equity funds to invest in Washington corporations. Senate Bill 5031 (“SB 5031”) amended the Washington Business…more

Board of Directors, Corporate Officers, Governor Inslee, New Legislation, Private Equity

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DfE Under Fire: Do Fragrances Pass the Sniff Test?

Logos are powerful in driving consumer preferences. My three-year-old loves the Starbucks logo because he knows it means cookies for him and a chai latte for mommy. The Energy Star logo often plays an important role in consumer…more

Chemicals, Department of Toxic Substances Control, EPA

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BIS Issues Final Rule Setting Deadline for Completing Voluntary Self-Disclosures

The U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) recently issued a final rule to revise the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) governing Voluntary Self-Disclosures (VSDs) by imposing a 180-day deadline for submission of the…more

BIS, Deadlines, Export Controls, Exports, Filing Requirements

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Employers Must Abide By GINA Regulations When Providing Health Screenings

Workplace health and wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular throughout the country, and this is not surprising at all, given how beneficial such programs can be for both employers and employees…more

Data Collection, Discrimination, EEOC, Genetic Discrimination, GINA

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Re-examining the M&A Playbook for Non-consenting Stockholders in Light of Cigna Health

In a case that is likely to impact M&A structuring for certain transactions, the Delaware Court of Chancery held that (1) stockholder release obligations found only in a letter of transmittal and not in the related merger…more

CIGNA, Consideration, Delaware General Corporation Law, Healthcare, Indemnification Clauses

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OSHA Adds Employers in the Upstream Oil and Gas Drilling Industry to Its Severe Violator Enforcement Program

On February 11, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced revisions to its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (“SVEP”). Under SVEP, employers in designated industries…more

Oil & Gas, OSHA, Popular, Safety Inspections, SVEP

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IRS Attempts to Simplify the Application Process for Certain 501(c)(3) Organizations, but is “EZ” Better?

On July 1, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”)…more

501(c)(3), IRS, Non-Profits

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Deconstructing DOMA: The DOL Takes Its First Step Down The Path Toward Extended Rights for Same-Sex Spouses

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) just took the first of "many steps" it plans to take over the coming months to implement the United States Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor, striking down Section 3…more

DOL, DOMA, Employee Benefits, Employee Rights, Marriage

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FTC Amends Its COPPA Rule to Protect Children Online After Technology Advances In Gathering Their Personal Information

Technology advances often help consumers do things quicker or easier. For regulators and law enforcers, such advances often present challenges in keeping laws and regulations up to date…more

COPPA, FTC, Parental Consent, Personally Identifiable Information, Privacy Policy

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New York Court Upholds Local Hydraulic Fracturing and Oil and Gas Development Bans

Last Friday, a four judge panel of a New York appeals court upheld two local zoning laws that prohibit activities related to oil and gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing. The decisions in Norse Energy…more

Energy Exploration, Fracking, Local Ordinance, Oil & Gas

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Back to Google’s Backyard: Forum and Venue Clause Enforced to Dismiss Putative Class Action

For most corporations, standard forum and venue “home court advantage” clauses are par for the course. For companies with an expansive reach like Google’s, they are essential. Google has long included these clauses in its…more

Class Action, Contract Drafting, Contract of Adhesion, Forum, Google

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Wyoming Broadens Data Breach Notification Law

Wyoming recently joined the list of states passing laws that broaden the scope of their data breach notification laws. On March 2, 2015, Wyoming signed into law two bills (S.F. 35 and S.F. 36) that expand the definition of…more

Amended Legislation, Breach Notification Rule, Data Breach, Personally Identifiable Information

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U.S. Supreme Court Nixes Obama Recess Appointees To NLRB

The United States Supreme Court held yesterday that President Obama’s 2012 appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were not valid recess appointments under the United States Constitution. NLRB v. Noel Canning, U.S…more

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Florida Revised Limited Liability Company Act

On May 3, 2013, the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed the Florida Revised Limited Liability Act (the "New Florida Act") in the form of amended House Bill 1079. The companion bill, Senate Bill 1300, was…more

Appraisal, LLC, Members, New Legislation, Waivers

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Highlights of the UARG v. EPA Decision

On Monday, the Supreme Court’s decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v EPA, No. 12–1146 (June 23, 2013) limited EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases (“GHGs”) under the Clean Air Act, reversing in part and affirming in…more

BACT, Clean Air Act, Climate Change, Environmental Policies, EPA

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Hitting Below the Belt? MMA Fighters Allege That UFC Has Monopolized the Mixed Martial Arts Game

Throughout their history, professional sports leagues, including the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League, have generated high-profile antitrust litigation. The nascent…more

Antitrust Litigation, Popular, Putative Class Actions, Sherman Act, Sports

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FinCEN Imposes Significant Fines In a Warning to Adhere to Due Diligence Requirements

In its recent decision to impose $20 million in sanctions upon Oppenheimer and Co. for the company’s failure to maintain internal controls to promote enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), FinCEN revealed the emphasis it…more

Bank Secrecy Act, Due Diligence, Enforcement Actions, Financial Institutions, FinCEN

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Bitcoin and the Like: Further Tax Developments to Monitor

Virtual currency developments continue to emerge, including state tax guidance, a court decision on deductibility of losses, and the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (the “Act”). State Tax Guidance - The New Jersey…more

Capital Losses, Fiduciaries, State Taxes, Virtual Currency

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Pennsylvania Governor Proposes Severance Tax

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has proposed a new state severance tax on natural gas drilling. The measure, which the governor introduced as a means to fund the state’s education system, would impose a 5 percent tax on the value…more

Natural Gas, Oil & Gas, Proposed Legislation, Severance Tax, Well Drilling

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The Federal Government Continues to Prosecute Royalty Underpayment Claims Under the False Claims Act

Earlier this month, John Walsh, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, announced that upwards of $66,000 had been recovered from Slawson Exploration Company (Slawson) in a settlement for alleged violations under the False…more

Energy Exploration, Energy Sector, Enforcement Actions, False Claims Act, Royalties

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Government Contracts Quarterly Update - January 2015

The Government Contracts Quarterly Update is published by BakerHostetler’s Government Contracts Practice team to inform our clients and friends of the latest developments in federal government contracting. Topics in the…more

Bid Protests, Business Judgment Rule, Cybersecurity, Discrimination, Due Diligence

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BakerHostetler 2014 Year-End Review of Class Actions (and what to expect in 2015)

We are pleased to share with you the BakerHostetler 2014 Year-End Review of Class Actions, which offers a summary of some of the key developments in class action litigation during the past year. Class action litigation continues…more

Antitrust Litigation, Ascertainable Class, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Class Certification

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2013 Mid-Year Securities Litigation and Enforcement Highlights

Table of Contents - I. Supreme Court Case Review (October 2012 Term) II. Rule 10b-5 Cases III. Investment Adviser and Hedge Fund Cases IV. Settlements V. Commodities and Futures Litigation and…more

Amgen Inc. v Connecticut Retirement Plans, Comcast, Commodities, Enforcement Actions, Gabelli v SEC

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EEOC’s Battle Against Employee Releases Heats Up

In February, we commented on the EEOC v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. case, where the EEOC filed a “pattern or practice” lawsuit against CVS in Illinois federal court, claiming that CVS’ employee releases discourage the filing of EEOC…more

CVS, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Pattern or Practice, Release Agreements

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Common and Predominating Damages: Comcast Opinion Extends Wal-Mart v. Dukes' Standards for Class Certification but Leaves the Question of Daubert for Another Day

On March 27, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, Case No. 11-864, which provides a valuable tool for the defense in combatting class certification in antitrust cases and other types of class actions…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Comcast, Comcast v. Behrend, Damages

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The State and Local Regulatory Landscape for Bioengineered Plants

Across the country, numerous state and local governments have enacted or are considering laws affecting the cultivation, use, and labeling of genetically engineered plants (“GMOs”). These laws are best described in three…more

Disclosure Requirements, Farms, Food Labeling, GMO, Regulatory Standards

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Ohio's Highest Court Holds Unions Are Not Required to Give Public Employers Advance Notice of Informational Picketing

On October 23, 2013, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled, in Mahoning Education Association of Developmental Disabilities v. State Employment Relations Board, that unions are not required to provide public sector employers ten-day…more

Notice Requirements, Right to Picket, Right to Strike, Unfair Labor Practices

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Challenging Delegated Top-Level Domains: ICANN’s Trademark Post Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure

This year, hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are changing the landscape of the Internet. The long-awaited result of ICANN’s new gTLD program, top-level domains such as .NYC, .WINE, and .WTF will now join the…more

Brand, Domain Names, gTLD, ICANN, Internet

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United States Supreme Court Strikes Down Illinois Regulatory Framework Requiring Personal Assistants for Medicaid Recipients to Pay Union Dues or Fees

In its much anticipated decision in Harris v. Quinn, 573 U.S. __ (2014), the Supreme Court of the United States in a five to four ruling struck down an Illinois regulatory framework that required personal assistants (PAs) for…more

Collective Bargaining, First Amendment, Harris v Quinn, Healthcare, Medicaid

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The Supreme Court of Texas Marries Contractual Limitations to Insurance Policies

In a case that has been closely watched by the oil and gas industry and its insurers, the Supreme Court of Texas issued its opinion in In re Deepwater Horizon on February 13, 2015, and settled the debate concerning whether a…more

Additional Insured, BP, Contract Drafting, Contract Negotiations, Deepwater Horizon

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Colorado Supreme Court Grants Petition to Consider Use of Lone Pine Orders in Toxic Tort Case Involving Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court granted a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Antero Resources, et al. v. Strudley, et al. The Strudley case involves claims relating to alleged injuries from natural gas drilling operations…more

Chemicals, Discharge of Pollutants, Fracking, Toxic Exposure

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Tax Court Deals Another Blow to Conservation Easements

On June 24, 2013, the U.S. Tax Court disallowed a couple’s deduction for the donation of a conservation easement on the façade of a building to the National Architectural Trust, a qualified charitable organization. The court…more

Charitable Donations, Conservation Easements, IRS, Tax Deductions

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Is Tax Law Ever Permanent?

According to dictionary.com, permanent means “existing perpetually; everlasting, especially without significant change.” However, for federal tax law purposes, something is “permanent” only so long as Congress and the President…more

Barack Obama, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer, Gift Tax, Transfer Taxes

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Consumer Debt Collectors Join the Federally Supervised Community

For the consumer debt collection industry, the federal regulators have arrived. In February 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) began supervising roughly 175 large consumer debt collectors, defined as those…more

CFPB, Debt Collection, Dodd-Frank, Electronically Stored Information, Enforcement

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Low-Tech Proof In a High-Tech World: Northern District of California Denies Class Certification In Hulu Data Privacy Case

On June 16, the Northern District of California denied a motion for class certification in In re Hulu Privacy Litigation, No. C 11-03764 LB, ECF No. 111. The plaintiffs in that action alleged that Hulu violated the Video Privacy…more

Class Certification, Due Process, Facebook, Hulu, Personally Identifiable Information

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The Pivot To Asia And The Inevitable Failure Of The Trans-Pacific Partnershps

TPP negotiators have been through more than twenty negotiating rounds since 2010, meeting in ten different countries. We could spend a lot of time on the details. Businesses have lobbied their particular interests, trying to…more

Asia, Canada, China, Free Trade Agreement, Japan

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2014 Year End Update

Over the course of 2014, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) have continued their aggressive enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). This has led to critical…more

Corporate Counsel, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, Enforcement Statistics, FCPA

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New York City Earned Sick Time Act Notice of Employee Rights Has Finally Been Published

As most New York City employers know by now, the New York City Earned Sick Time Act (“Act”) is scheduled to go into effect on April 1, 2014. While the Act was adopted in the summer of 2013, it was subsequently amended after…more

Employee Rights, Paid Leave, Sick Leave

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The BakerHostetler Data Security Incident Response Report 2015

The rate of disclosures of security incidents in 2015 continues at a pace that caused many to call 2013 and then 2014 “the year of the breach.” Most incidents are described publicly with attention-grabbing terms such as “hack”…more

Annual Reports, Best Management Practices, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection

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Justice to Target Corporations and C-Suite Executives in the Healthcare Industry

On Thursday, May 14, 2015, at a meeting of the American Bar Association’s Healthcare Fraud Section, Leslie Caldwell, the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice (DOJ) Criminal Division, declared stamping out…more

American Bar Association, C-Suite Executives, DOJ, Healthcare, Healthcare Fraud

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IRS Issues Warnings about Email and Telephone Tax Scams

As the 2014 tax filing season progresses the Internal Revenue Service has issued warnings to taxpayers about convincing fraudulent email messages and telephone calls seeking payments or personal information that will enable the…more

Fraud, IRS, Scams

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Seventh Circuit Allows Class Certification Despite Attorney Misconduct

Do you ever wonder how plaintiffs’ class action lawyers find their class representatives? And whether there is any possibility of defeating class certification if their efforts are sleazy or downright unethical?…more

Attorney Misconduct, Class Action, Class Certification, Class Representatives, Reliable Money Order v McKnight Sales

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Oregon Federal Court Weighs In on Disputed Umbrella Theory of Damages

An Oregon federal court recently relied on the so-called umbrella theory of damages to decide that the plaintiffs had an antitrust injury necessary to pursue an injunction. While this decision has garnered attention for…more

Antitrust Injuries, Calculation of Damages, Class Action, Distributors, Food Manufacturers

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2014 Year End Update

Over the course of 2014, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) have continued their aggressive enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). This has led to critical…more

Corporate Counsel, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, Enforcement Statistics, FCPA

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Omnicare and the "Reasonable Investor" Standard for Statements of Opinion

On March 24, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided the closely followed case of Omnicare v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund concerning liability for false statements of opinion made in…more

Issuers, Material Misstatements, Omnicare, Omnicare v Laborers District Council, Registration Statement

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To Err Is Human; to Indemnify, Divine?: Human Foibles in the Cloud

BakerHostetler’s inaugural Data Security Incident Response Report (the “Report”) concluded that employee negligence and theft were two of the top five causes of data security incidents for the more than 200 incidents that we…more

Best Practices, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Risk Assessment

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Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Appeals Act 13 Ruling to State Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PPUC) is asking the state Supreme Court to review a July ruling by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court that strips PPUC of its authority to review and approve local drilling…more

Appeals, Local Ordinance, Public Utilities Commission, Utilities Sector, Well Drilling

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FDA Issues Draft Memorandum of Understanding for 503A Drug Compounding

Included in the flurry of guidance documents recently issued by the FDA concerning human drug compounding is a long-awaited document of great importance to mail-order pharmacy compounders and entities that rely on interstate…more

Drug Compounding, FDA, FFDCA, Healthcare, Interstate Commerce

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2014 Top 10 SEC Enforcement Highlights

Mary Jo White was confirmed in April 2013 as Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), becoming the first former United States Attorney to serve in that role. Given her background, and despite criticism from…more

Auditors, Bitcoin, Custody Rule, Deloitte, Dodd-Frank

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Coming Soon...the New .sucks gTLD - How Will it Affect You?

To All Brand Owners: The arrival of a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) will require you to once again evaluate your brand strategies and trademark portfolios, particularly as they relate to the Internet. The Internet…more

Domain Names, gTLD, ICANN, Sunrise Periods, Trademarks

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Changes in California Employment Law for 2015

As Californians get back to business in the new year, we wanted to highlight the following changes to California employment laws for 2015: - Mandatory Paid Sick Leave - Protections Against Discrimination and…more

Corporate Counsel, Discrimination, Employer Mandates, Gender Discrimination, Harassment

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China to Increase Shale Gas Production

China plans to increase its shale gas production from 1.3 billion cubic meters of shale gas per year to 30 billion cubic meters per year by 2020, according to Chen Weidong of China National Offshore Oil Corp. This goal is…more

China, Mineral Exploration, Mineral Extraction, Oil & Gas

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Self-Regulatory Authorities Police Online Ad Industry in Another Sweep

Interest-based advertising (IBA), also known as behavioral advertising, creates profiles of consumers based on their online activities over time and across services, and uses them to send consumers relevant, targeted ads. To try…more

Advertising, Data Collection, Digital Advertising Alliance, Internet, Opt-In

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Don’t Miss the Window for Post-Grant Review: Monitor Your Competitors by Creating Alert Systems

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has new and popular procedures for challenging the validity of (in other words, killing) a competitor’s patent. The most powerful procedure, a Post-Grant Review (PGR), must be filed within…more

Corporate Counsel, Deadlines, Patents, Post-Grant Review

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Basic Is Dying a Slow Death: The Supreme Court Upholds the Fraud-on-the-Market Presumption in Halliburton but Allows Rebuttal

Given the opportunity to overrule its landmark 1988 decision in Basic v. Levinson, in which it created the fraud-on-the-market presumption, the Supreme Court declined. The Court found in its decision this week in Halliburton…more

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

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Colorado Court Ruling Confirms Role of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in Resolving Royalty Disputes

It is not uncommon for royalty disputes between mineral lessors and operators to increase as oil and natural gas prices decrease. Before mineral lessors go running to the courthouse in Colorado, however, and before operators…more

Administrative Boards, Administrative Remedies, Contract Interpretation, Mineral Leases, Oil & Gas

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The BakerHostetler Data Security Incident Response Report 2015

The rate of disclosures of security incidents in 2015 continues at a pace that caused many to call 2013 and then 2014 “the year of the breach.” Most incidents are described publicly with attention-grabbing terms such as “hack”…more

Annual Reports, Best Management Practices, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection

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2014 Mid-Year Report Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement

Welcome to the 2014 Mid-Year Report from the BakerHostetler Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement Practice Team. Its purpose is to provide a periodic survey, apart from our team Executive Alerts, on matters we believe…more

Banking Sector, Banks, CFTC, Commodities, Deferred Prosecution Agreements

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Amarin Pharma Sues FDA Over Constitutional Right to Discuss Off-Label Uses

Drug makers and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have often disagreed over whether drug makers can discuss unapproved uses for their products with physicians. While courts have sided with drug makers in certain situations,…more

Corporate Counsel, FDA, Off-Label Promotion, Off-Label Use, Pharmaceutical

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Increase to Federal Construction Minimum Wage May Mean Little

It has been widely reported that during his State of the Union address the President will announce a plan to issue an executive order requiring construction workers on federal projects be paid a minimum wage of at least $10.10…more

Construction Contracts, Construction Workers, Contractors, Federal Contractors, Minimum Wage

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Past as Prologue: Rebirth of the Merger Trial and the Bazaarvoice Case

For many years after its implementation, the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 seemed to sound the death knell of post-consummation merger trials. By establishing a file-and-wait system rather than the old…more

Anticompetitive Agreements, Antitrust Conspiracies, Bazaarvoice Inc, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, Mergers

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CRESCENT HOLDINGS: An Issue of First Impression for Partners with Capital Interests

On December 2, 2013, the United States Tax Court issued an opinion in Crescent Holdings, LLC v. Commissioner, 141 T.C. No. 15. This opinion affects individuals who receive a non-vested capital interest in a partnership. In what…more

Capital Gains, CEOs, Income Taxes, Partnerships, Tax Court

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SEC Issues Guidance on Proxy Voting Responsibilities of Investment Advisers, Their Use of Proxy Advisory Firms, and Application of the Proxy Rules to Proxy Advisory Firms

On June 30, 2014, the Staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Divisions of Investment Management and Corporation Finance issued guidance on the responsibilities of investment advisers in voting proxies and using proxy…more

Exemptions, Final Guidance, Investment Adviser, Proxy Advisors, Proxy Voting Guidelines

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Always Be Prepared: Forecasting a Business Partner's Financial Problems and How to Prepare

As the American economy continues to slog through the ongoing Great Recession, even financially sound companies face challenges due to the continued economic malaise. In particular, a company that works with suppliers, customers…more

Adequate Assurances, Business Development, Client Services, Contract Claims, Creditors

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Don’t Miss the Window for Post-Grant Review: Monitor Your Competitors by Creating Alert Systems

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has new and popular procedures for challenging the validity of (in other words, killing) a competitor’s patent. The most powerful procedure, a Post-Grant Review (PGR), must be filed within…more

Corporate Counsel, Deadlines, Patents, Post-Grant Review

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Re-examining the M&A Playbook for Non-consenting Stockholders in Light of Cigna Health

In a case that is likely to impact M&A structuring for certain transactions, the Delaware Court of Chancery held that (1) stockholder release obligations found only in a letter of transmittal and not in the related merger…more

CIGNA, Consideration, Delaware General Corporation Law, Healthcare, Indemnification Clauses

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Will Congress Finally Act? The ABI Commission on Business Bankruptcy Reform: Secured Lenders

Congress rarely accomplishes anything these days, but the need to reform Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code seems to have “crossed over the aisle.” When the Bankruptcy Code was enacted in 1978, America boasted the world’s…more

Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Reform, Chapter 11, Commercial Bankruptcy, Secured Lenders

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Supreme Court "SOX" it to Employers by Extending Statute's Whistleblower Provision to Private Contractors of Public Companies

On March 4, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Lawson v. FMR LLC expanding the class of persons protected under the anti-retaliatory provisions set forth in the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 ("SOX"). The Court held…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Contractors, FMR LLC, Lawson v FMR, Sarbanes-Oxley

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The SEC Goes Global - With 30 Million Reasons For Whistleblowers To Report Violations As Soon As Possible

On Monday, September 22, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced an award to an anonymous foreign whistleblower of an estimated $30 million-plus payment that more than doubles the largest previous amount…more

Dodd-Frank, SEC, Whistleblower Awards, Whistleblowers

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Addressing Section 101 Issues Through Reissue

The contraction of patent eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 101 that Alice, Mayo, Bilski, and other recent court cases have triggered has placed a cloud of uncertainty over a large number of patents. Fortunately, though,…more

Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Patents, Section 101

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Alice in Cook County, Illinois: A View Through the Looking Glass at a Ridiculous Wage-Theft Ordinance

Starting May 1, 2015, employers in Cook County will be subject to a new “Wage-Theft Ordinance” that could lead to employers incurring massive property tax liabilities, business license revocation, and debarment from county…more

Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Minimum Wage, Penalties, Wage and Hour

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Today’s Special: What May Be on Your Hospital Cafeteria Menu Soon

On November 14, 2014, an Administrative Law Judge fired another round in the continuing skirmish between the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the federal courts over the rights of union representatives to enter an…more

ALJ, Employer Liability Issues, Hospitals, NLRB, Private Property Rights

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Trademark “tacking” questions should go to a jury, SCOTUS rules

The Supreme Court issued its first substantive trademark decision of the current term yesterday in Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank. The district court had charged the jury with determining whether Hana Bank’s original mark,…more

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

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SEC Adopts Rules to Improve Systems Compliance and Integrity

On November 19, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) unanimously voted to adopt Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (Reg SCI), which will govern the technology infrastructure of the U.S.’s securities…more

Market Participants, Regulation SCI, SEC

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The Waiting Game: What to Do (and Not Do) While an Exemption Application is Pending

So, you have thoughtfully and thoroughly prepared the Form 1023 Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) (“Form 1023” or “application”) on behalf of a charity, and filed it with the IRS along with a…more

501(c)(3), Applications, Exemptions, Form 990, IRS

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What Companies Can Do to Protect Themselves in the Face of Yet Another Massive Data Breach

Last week it was reported that a small group of Russian computer hackers illegally obtained an unprecedented quantity of internet credentials, including 1.2 billion username and password combinations, and over 500 million unique…more

Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection, Hackers

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2014 Year End Update

Over the course of 2014, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) have continued their aggressive enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). This has led to critical…more

Corporate Counsel, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, Enforcement Statistics, FCPA

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SEC Recently Issued a No-Action Letter Exempting Private Company M&A Brokers From Registration With the SEC as Broker-Dealers

The staff of the Division of Trading and Markets of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") recently issued a No-Action Letter[1] that should reduce significantly the registration burdens upon certain brokers and…more

Broker-Dealer, No-Action Letters, Registration, SEC

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SEC Proposes Pay Versus Performance Disclosure Rule

On April 29, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), by a three-to-two vote, proposed the pay versus performance disclosure rule required by Section 953(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection…more

Disclosure Requirements, Dodd-Frank, Executive Compensation, Pay-for-Performance, SEC

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Five Things to Know About the Medicare SGR Fix

H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), was signed into law by President Obama on April 16, 2015. A broad bipartisan compromise measure, MACRA repeals the much-maligned sustainable growth rate (SGR)…more

CHIP, Health Care Providers, Hospitals, Medicare, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization (MACRA)

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Raising the Stakes: National Labor Relations Board Expands Remedies for Labor Law Violations

The price of poker just went up for employers facing unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB, or Board). On October 24, 2014, the NLRB asserted that it had broad authority to order expanded…more

Administrative Remedies, Employer Liability Issues, Enforcement, NLRA, NLRB

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Exotic Dancers Continue to Rake in Class Action Dollar Bills

In our continuing coverage of exotic dancer performances on the class action stage, another group of dancers from California recently won approval of a multi-million dollar settlement in a wage and hour class action suit…more

Wage and Hour

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Class Action Waivers And Arbitration Agreements - Justices Divided On Validity Of Effective Vindication Of Rights Analysis In AMEX Oral Argument

The U.S. Supreme Court heard the much anticipated oral argument in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant on February 27, 2013. The issue before the Court was whether an arbitration clause which prohibits class…more

American Express, American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant, Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Class Action

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FTC Director Jessica Rich Discusses Privacy and Data Security at BakerHostetler Symposium

On February 26, 2015, Jessica L. Rich, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission, spoke at the BakerHostetler Symposium on Section 5 of the FTC Act on how the FTC approaches privacy and data…more

Cybersecurity, Data Protection, FTC, FTCA, Section 5

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AAPL To Issue Revised Form 610-1989 Model Form Operating Agreement To Address Horizontal Wells

The American Association of Professional Landmen is expected to release a revised Form 610-1989 Model Form Operating Agreement within the next few days. It is our understanding that the revised Form will include language making…more

Horizontal Wells, Oil & Gas, Operating Agreements

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Ohio Medicaid Expansion Underway

Last fall, Ohio became the 25th state to file a state plan amendment to extend Medicaid benefits to approximately 275,000 Ohioans who previously were not eligible for the program. In doing so, Ohio also agreed to accept an…more

Healthcare, Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion

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Changes in California Employment Law for 2015

As Californians get back to business in the new year, we wanted to highlight the following changes to California employment laws for 2015: - Mandatory Paid Sick Leave - Protections Against Discrimination and…more

Corporate Counsel, Discrimination, Employer Mandates, Gender Discrimination, Harassment

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A Further Harbinger on the Application of SLUSA

On March 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed claims in a putative class action against New York-based hedge fund manager Philip A. Falcone (“Falcone”), his advisory firm Harbinger…more

Dismissals, Fund Managers, Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, Hedge Funds, Issue Preclusion

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Healthcare Providers Face Increasing Financial Pressure and Bankruptcy Risk

The health of the healthcare industry can be summarized as follows: as go federal reimbursement rates, so goes the financial viability of healthcare providers, whether hospitals, nursing homes or medical practices. These…more

Affordable Care Act, Bankruptcy Code, Commercial Bankruptcy, Healthcare Costs, Healthcare Facilities

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Clear Expectations: DOJ Outlines Tenets of an Effective Antitrust Compliance Program

There has never been a greater emphasis on policing anticompetitive behavior worldwide. Dozens of countries have instituted effective and aggressive cartel enforcement programs following a trend of increased global enforcement,…more

Antitrust Division, Antitrust Provisions, Compliance, DOJ, Strategic Enforcement Plan

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Explaining the Implications for Merchants of EMV and the Liability Shift

The EMV liability shift is coming. Sounds ominous, but what does it really mean? And how can retailers and merchants determine the potential impact of the shift on their business? Like many issues in the payment card industry,…more

Debit and Credit Card Transactions, EMV, Liability, Payment Processors, Retailers

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In Cross-Border Contamination Case, Court Holds That CERCLA Displaces Federal Common Law Public Nuisance Claim

In yet another recent case involving the intersection of CERCLA and state law, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington held that CERCLA legislatively displaced federal common law public nuisance…more

CERCLA, Contaminated Properties, Cross-Border, Environmental Remediation Costs, Nuisance

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U.S. Enacts New Russia Sanctions Law; President Obama Imposes Trade/Investment Embargo on Crimea

On December 18, President Barack Obama signed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 (UFSA) into law. Passed by the Congress in response to Russia’s support of the pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine, it authorizes…more

Banking Sector, Crimea, Defense Sector, Energy Sector, Oil & Gas

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FDA Addresses Compounding of Animal Drugs From Bulk Drug Substances

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a Notice of Draft Guidance and Withdrawal of Compliance Policy Guidance (Guidance Notice), along with a Draft Guidance for Industry (Draft Guidance) addressing compounding…more

Animal Drugs, Draft Guidance, Drug Compounding, FDA, FFDCA

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Trademark practice tip: Request Interlocutory Attorney attendance at discovery/settlement conferences in opposition proceedings to avoid costs of motions to strike affirmative defenses

In trademark opposition proceedings the affirmative defense of failure to state a claim is commonly pleaded, yet it is often an inappropriate affirmative defense. Other affirmative defenses that are severely limited in…more

Affirmative Defenses, Discovery, Litigation Strategies, Settlement Conferences, Trademarks

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U.S. Supreme Court To Review Fifth Circuit’s SLUSA Decision in Stanford Ponzi Scheme Case

The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to examine the “in connection with” requirement of the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (“SLUSA”) in Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice, No. 12-79…more

Chadbourne & Parke LLP v Troice, Class Action, Ponzi Scheme, SCOTUS, SLUSA

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2014 Year-End Securities Litigation Enforcement Highlights

In This Issue: - I. Supreme Court Cases Review - II. Securities Law Cases - III. Insider Trading Cases - IV. Settlements - V. Investment Adviser and Hedge Fund Cases - VI. CFTC Cases and…more

CFTC, Compliance, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Financial Institutions

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Thou Shall Accommodate: Funeral Leave as a Religious Accommodation Under Title VII

Requests for reasonable accommodations are commonplace for employers of qualified individuals with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But a recent case reminds employers that reasonable accommodation of an…more

ADA, Bereavement Leave, Employee Rights, Funerals, Reasonable Accommodation

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Health Plan Identifiers – November 5, 2014 Deadline

What Is a Health Plan Identifier (HPID)? A health plan identifier is a standardized 10-digit number that is unique to a plan. Who Must Obtain an HPID in the Coming Weeks? Large “controlling health plans”…more

Controlling Health Plan, EAP, Employee Assistance Programs, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Insurance

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Failure to Reimburse California Employees for Business Expenses, Including Mileage, Resulting in Class-Action Litigation

In California, there has been an increase in class action litigation against employers for the alleged failure to reimburse employees for business expenses, particularly mileage reimbursement…more

Class Action, Employer Liability Issues, Mileage Reimbursement, Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Reimbursements

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The Supreme Court of Texas Marries Contractual Limitations to Insurance Policies

In a case that has been closely watched by the oil and gas industry and its insurers, the Supreme Court of Texas issued its opinion in In re Deepwater Horizon on February 13, 2015, and settled the debate concerning whether a…more

Additional Insured, BP, Contract Drafting, Contract Negotiations, Deepwater Horizon

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From Sedona to Georgetown to New York—What’s Fashionable in eDiscovery This Year?

It’s that time of year, when bench, bar, vendors, and clients think big eDiscovery thoughts. They go to The Sedona Conference (which is not in Sedona), Georgetown Law’s Advanced eDiscovery Institute (which is not at Georgetown…more

Bring Your Own Device, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Discovery, Professional Conferences

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Sixth Circuit Reaffirms Certification of Defective Washing Machine Class on Remand From Supreme Court

In a closely watched decision after remand by the Supreme Court, on July 18, 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld for a second time the class certification order in In re Whirlpool Front-Loading Washer Prods. Liab…more

Design Defects, Manufacturing Defects, Remand, SCOTUS, Whirlpool

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Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Obama Administration Announces Regulatory Amendments to U.S. Cuba Sanctions

On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 515 (“CACR”), and the U.S. Department of Commerce amended the Export Administration Regulations,…more

Amended Regulation, Banking Sector, Barack Obama, BIS, CACR

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Chicago Court Hands Out Harsh Sentences for Hedge Fund Trade Secret Theft

Following earlier plea agreements, “Ben” Pu (“Pu”) and Sahil “Sonny” Uppal (“Uppal”) were sentenced today for stealing trade secrets related to high-frequency trading platforms from Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel. In what…more

Citadel, Criminal Prosecution, Hedge Funds, High Frequency Trading, Theft

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The Latest on the Use of Retained Asset Accounts to Pay Life Insurance Benefits

In Merrimon v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of America, 2014 WL 2960024 (1st Cir. July 2, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit became the third circuit court to approve an insurance company’s use of a retained asset…more

Class Action, Corporate Counsel, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty, Insurers

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Delta's Mobile Application's "Wings Clipped"

A powerful reminder to the business community that it must take mobile application (“App”) privacy seriously was provided by California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris in the form a complaint filed against Delta Airlines, Inc…more

Delta Airlines, Kamala Harris, Mobile Apps, Online Privacy Protection Act, Privacy Policy

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District Court Rejects Claim to Aggregate Series of Compressor Stations

A federal judge in Pennsylvania recently denied an environmental group’s attempt to subject a driller’s gas compressor stations to stricter regulatory permitting. This decision provides reliable guidance for drillers on the…more

Marcellus Shale, Oil & Gas, Regulatory Standards, Well Drilling

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BakerHostetler's Shale Oil and Gas Industry 2014 Year in Review and 2015 Look Forward

Once again, shale oil and gas production dominated energy headlines in 2014, with a number of key economic, political, and legal developments making news across the country. Bolstered by technologies like hydraulic…more

Energy Policy, Environmental Policies, EPA, Fracking, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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EPA Adopts Updated Standards And Practices For Environmental Site Assessments; Forthcoming Proposed Rule Will No Longer Accept Prior Standard As Basis For CERCLA Defenses

On December 30, 2013, EPA published a Final Rule providing that a prospective purchaser or tenant of contaminated property may use ASTM International’s recently updated version of its standard for environmental site assessments…more

ASTM, CERCLA, Contaminated Properties, Environmental Assessments, EPA

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San Francisco's Family-Friendly Workplace Ordinance Allows Requests for Flexible Work Arrangements

San Francisco's new Family-Friendly Workplace Ordinance (the "Ordinance") applies to employers with 20 or more employees and to those San Francisco-based employees who have been employed for at least six months and who work at…more

Family-Friendly Workplace Ordinance, Reasonable Accommodation

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Florida Revised Limited Liability Company Act

On May 3, 2013, the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed the Florida Revised Limited Liability Act (the "New Florida Act") in the form of amended House Bill 1079. The companion bill, Senate Bill 1300, was…more

Appraisal, LLC, Members, New Legislation, Waivers

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FDA Addresses Compounding of Animal Drugs From Bulk Drug Substances

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a Notice of Draft Guidance and Withdrawal of Compliance Policy Guidance (Guidance Notice), along with a Draft Guidance for Industry (Draft Guidance) addressing compounding…more

Animal Drugs, Draft Guidance, Drug Compounding, FDA, FFDCA

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Judge Peck’s Latest Decision on Technology Assisted Review (TAR): Our Past Blog Posts Revisited

Many who consider Magistrate Judge Peck’s recent opinion and order in Rio Tinto PLC v. Vale S.A., which he titled “Predictive Coding a.k.a. Computer Assisted Review a.k.a. Technology Assisted Review (TAR) – Da Silva Moore…more

Discovery, Popular, Predictive Coding, Technology-Assisted Review

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Isn’t E-Discovery Hard Enough Without the Internet of Things?

This week, after a seemingly endless year of construction, my family and I moved into our new, energy-efficient home. As I was in the kitchen unpacking, my daughter cried out, somewhat dramatically, “Mama, come here…. The…more

Corporate Counsel, FTC, Internet, Internet of Things

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Protecting Private Wealth: Recent Bankruptcy Cases Involving Tuition Payments and Profit Sharing Plans

Two recent decisions may affect the assets of individuals available to satisfy creditors' claims in bankruptcy. In the first decision, the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York determined that married, joint…more

Consumer Bankruptcy, IRA

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The BakerHostetler Data Security Incident Response Report 2015

The rate of disclosures of security incidents in 2015 continues at a pace that caused many to call 2013 and then 2014 “the year of the breach.” Most incidents are described publicly with attention-grabbing terms such as “hack”…more

Annual Reports, Best Management Practices, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection

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The BakerHostetler Data Security Incident Response Report 2015

The rate of disclosures of security incidents in 2015 continues at a pace that caused many to call 2013 and then 2014 “the year of the breach.” Most incidents are described publicly with attention-grabbing terms such as “hack”…more

Annual Reports, Best Management Practices, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection

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California’s Latest Amendments to Its Data Security Breach Notification Law – Much Ado about Nothing?

On September 30, 2014, California Governor, Jerry Brown, signed Assembly Bill 1710 into law, amending California’s existing personal information privacy laws. A.B. 1710 makes several changes to existing laws including..…more

Breach Notification Rule, Corporate Counsel, Data Breach, Data Protection, Electronically Stored Information

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BakerHostetler 2014 Year-End Review of Class Actions (and what to expect in 2015)

We are pleased to share with you the BakerHostetler 2014 Year-End Review of Class Actions, which offers a summary of some of the key developments in class action litigation during the past year. Class action litigation continues…more

Antitrust Litigation, Ascertainable Class, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Class Certification

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A Further Harbinger on the Application of SLUSA

On March 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed claims in a putative class action against New York-based hedge fund manager Philip A. Falcone (“Falcone”), his advisory firm Harbinger…more

Dismissals, Fund Managers, Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, Hedge Funds, Issue Preclusion

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Highest Bidder Loses Spoliation Fight in Auction House Data Breach

A recent case out of the Northern District of Ohio is an unsung victory for proportionality in that the Court twice declined to sanction a plaintiff’s “failure” to forensically image computers where computer logs showing the…more

Auction, Bids, Data Breach, Evidence, Software

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Starbucks Coffee, Burned Again

This past Friday, Starbucks received yet another blow in its 12-year long trademark dispute against Wolfe’s Borough Coffee Inc. The Second Circuit affirmed U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain’s decision and found that…more

Brand, Dilution, Injunctions, Starbucks, Trademarks

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“Spacious Accommodations”: Supreme Court Breaks New Ground in Pregnancy Discrimination Case

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, revived a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by Peggy Young against United Parcel Service (“UPS”). The decision vacated the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’…more

ADA, Disparate Treatment, PDA, Pregnancy Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation

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Changing the Rules in the Middle of the Game: Oregon Supreme Court Allows Prospective Modifications to Public Pension Benefits

The national debate on public pension plans is beginning to resonate in the court system. On April 30, 2015, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of two legislative amendments that modified certain benefits of…more

Amended Legislation, COLA, Offsets, OR Supreme Court, Pensions

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Debates Continue on Pennsylvania and Ohio Severance Tax Proposals

Pennsylvania legislators continue to debate a severance tax proposal announced late last year, and previously discussed on this blog. Under that severance tax proposal, the commonwealth’s system of impact fees would be replaced…more

Hiring & Firing, Proposed Legislation, Severance Pay, Severance Tax

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Supreme Court Refs Call Foul on EEOC, NBA Playoff Edition

The heads of officiating at the Supreme Court called a technical foul on the EEOC for being too Cavalier about its obligation to conciliate before lacing up its Converse All-Stars and heading to court. Mach Mining v. EEOC (April…more

Conciliation, Discrimination, EEOC, Judicial Review, Mach Mining v EEOC

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Independent Producers Seek To Halt Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule - BakerHostetler Files Injunction in Federal Court; Motion Follows Firm's Initial Lawsuit Challenging Meritless Rule

DENVER, May 15, 2015 — BakerHostetler today filed a request for preliminary injunction against the final rule the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The motion…more

Bureau of Land Management, Fracking, Oil & Gas, Preliminary Injunctions, Public Land

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President Obama Signs "Fiscal Cliff" Legislation into Law

As you likely have heard, the President signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act (H.R. 8) (the "Act") on January 2, 2013. The Act, popularly known as the "fiscal cliff" legislation, permanently extends the Bush era tax cuts for…more

3.8% Medicare Tax, Alternative Minimum Tax, American Taxpayer Relief Act, Bush-Era Tax Cuts, Business Taxes

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In re Application of Owl Shipping: Does § 1782 permit discovery to aid foreign arbitral proceedings?

The District of New Jersey has issued a recent opinion highlighting a potential resource for parties engaged in foreign arbitral proceedings – the use of 28 U.S.C. § 1782, which allows parties engaged in foreign proceedings to…more

Arbitral Authority, Discovery, Discovery Rule, Foreign Arbitration Clauses, Jurisdiction

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Gawker Interns and the Use of Social Media to Notify Potential Class Members

Social media has dramatically impacted many areas of law, and class and collective action litigation is no exception. Recently, a number of former interns who sued Gawker Media LLC and its owner Nick Denton (Gawker) for wage and…more

Class Action, Employer Liability Issues, Facebook, Gawker, LinkedIn

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“Ring my friend, I said you call Doctor Robert, day or night he'll be there”*

The first lawsuit, in what may be a wave of antitrust litigation challenging professional board regulations in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade…more

Antitrust Litigation, Antitrust Provisions, NC Board of Dental Examiners v FTC, Physicians, SCOTUS

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Supreme Court to decide if a TCPA class action can be mooted by a pre-certification offer of judgment

Monday, the United States Supreme Court accepted certiorari to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Campbell-Eward Co. v. Gomez, 768 F.3d 871 (9th Cir. 2014), which involved a TCPA class action brought by the recipient of a…more

Article III, Campbell Ewald v Gomez, Class Action, Mootness, Rule 23

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New York Court Dispenses with the Litigation Requirement for the Application of the Common-Interest Privilege: Why Transactional Counsel Should Pay Attention

In a recent decision, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Judicial Department, broke with other New York courts and joined Delaware and federal courts in applying the common-interest privilege to…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Common-Interest Privilege, Countrywide, Merger Agreements, RMBS

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Releases Tax Reform Staff Discussion Drafts – More Expected

From November 19 through 22, 2013, Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee (the "Committee"), released three staff discussion drafts that propose sweeping changes to the federal rules regarding international…more

Corporate Taxes, International Tax Issues, Tax Reform

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Who Is Houston’s New “HERO”? Houston City Council Passes Sweeping Equal Rights Ordinance

On May 28, 2014, the Houston City Council passed the controversial Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (“HERO”) by a vote of 11 to 6. HERO expands the “protected classifications” beyond those currently provided by federal or Texas…more

Employer Liability Issues, Gender Identity, Marital Status, New Regulations, Protected Class

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New Law in Texas Prohibits Local Municipalities from Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law, prohibiting cities, towns, and local municipalities in Texas from enacting bans on fracing. The new law provides that “oil and gas operations…more

Fracking, Fracking Bans, New Legislation, Oil & Gas

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IRS Publishes Proposed Regulations for Hedge Fund Reinsurance Arrangements

In April 24’s Federal Register, the IRS released proposed regulations (REG-108214-15) to restrict when a foreign insurance company’s income can be excluded as passive income by giving a more strict definition for the “active…more

Foreign Insurance Companies, Insurance Industry, IRC, IRS, Passive Activity

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Changes in California Employment Law for 2015

As Californians get back to business in the new year, we wanted to highlight the following changes to California employment laws for 2015: - Mandatory Paid Sick Leave - Protections Against Discrimination and…more

Corporate Counsel, Discrimination, Employer Mandates, Gender Discrimination, Harassment

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U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Cases Regarding the Constitutionality of Same-Sex Marriage Bans

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear four cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee, respectively, regarding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans by the states…more

Same-Sex Marriage, SCOTUS

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New York Court Dispenses with the Litigation Requirement for the Application of the Common-Interest Privilege: Why Transactional Counsel Should Pay Attention

In a recent decision, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Judicial Department, broke with other New York courts and joined Delaware and federal courts in applying the common-interest privilege to…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Common-Interest Privilege, Countrywide, Merger Agreements, RMBS

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Affiliates of Health Insurance Providers May Be Subject to the Affordable Care Act $500,000 Deduction Limit on Executive Compensation Under Recently Issued Proposed Regulations

Most issuers of healthcare insurance likely have heard about the $500,000 limit on deductible compensation that became effective January 1, 2013, but might be surprised to know how much broader the scope of the deduction is…more

Affordable Care Act, Deductions, Executive Compensation, Healthcare, Insurers

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Will Congress Finally Act? The ABI Commission on Business Bankruptcy Reform: Secured Lenders

Congress rarely accomplishes anything these days, but the need to reform Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code seems to have “crossed over the aisle.” When the Bankruptcy Code was enacted in 1978, America boasted the world’s…more

Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Reform, Chapter 11, Commercial Bankruptcy, Secured Lenders

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SEC Recently Issued a No-Action Letter Exempting Private Company M&A Brokers From Registration With the SEC as Broker-Dealers

The staff of the Division of Trading and Markets of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") recently issued a No-Action Letter[1] that should reduce significantly the registration burdens upon certain brokers and…more

Broker-Dealer, No-Action Letters, Registration, SEC

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Ninth Circuit Rebuffs Shell’s Declaratory Judgment Act Suit

The Ninth Circuit recently rejected “a novel litigation strategy” under the Declaratory Judgment Act (DJA). Shell Gulf of Mex. v. Ctr. for Biological Div., 13-35835 (9th Cir. Nov. 12, 2014) (Slip Op.). According to the Ninth…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Declaratory Judgment Act, Oil & Gas, Shell Oil

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Weigand v. N.L.R.B: A Double Standard for Social Media?

On April 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision finding a local branch of the Amalgamated Transit Union (“Union”) could not…more

Appeals, Facebook, NLRA, NLRB, Popular

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New IRS Offshore Disclosure Program Announced

On June 18, 2014, the IRS announced significant changes to its current Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) and to the current version of the IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures (SFCP). Under the new directive,…more

DOJ, IRS, OVDP, Reporting Requirements

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Third Circuit Clarifies Standard for Ascertainability

In a recent ruling vacating denial of class certification, the Third Circuit provided guidance on the scope of the implied “ascertainability” requirement under Rule 23. Byrd v. Aaron’s, Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6190 (3d Cir…more

Ascertainable Class, Class Certification, Putative Class Actions

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Use of Service Marks in Commerce: Making Good on Your Promises

In order to register a service mark—a trademark used to promote and sell services, as opposed to goods—with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the owner of the service mark must be using the mark in…more

Service Mark Specimens, Service Marks, Use in Commerce, USPTO

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Too “Obnoxious” to Enforce: New York Court Refuses to Apply Florida Law in Considering Restrictive Covenants

Florida MapRecently, a New York appellate court concluded that an employer could not rely upon a Florida choice-of-law provision in an employment agreement to enforce restrictive covenants against a former employee, even though…more

Choice-of-Law, Parent Corporation, Restrictive Covenants

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OIG Provides Additional Compliance Guidance for Healthcare Governing Boards

On April 20, 2015, the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG), in collaboration with the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA), the Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors (AHIA), and the Health Care Compliance…more

Board of Directors, Chief Compliance Officers, Corporate Governance, Health Care Providers, Hospitals

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EEOC Issues Proposed Regulations on Wellness Programs and the ADA

On April 20, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued highly anticipated proposed regulations addressing the application of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) to workplace wellness programs. In…more

ADA, Biometric Information, EEOC, HIPAA, Medical Records

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Judge Posner Identifies Some Warning Signs Of An Unfair Class Settlement

On June 2, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected a class action settlement in Eubank v. Pella Corp., Nos. 13-2091, -2133, 2136, -2162, 2202 (7th Cir., June 2, 2014) that the Court labeled…more

Class Action, Richard Posner, Settlement

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Legislative Watch: Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization Act of 2013

A proposed U.S. Senate Bill has the potential to change the way in which intellectual property infringement is reported and enforced. U.S. Senate Bill 662 ("S. 662"), the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization…more

Chamber of Commerce, Enforcement, Trade Policy

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Unanimous Supreme Court Vacates Tibble v. Edison International: Much Ado About Nothing? Or Something More?

On May 18, 2015, the United State Supreme Court, by a 9-0 vote, vacated and remanded the Ninth Circuit’s holding in Tibble, et al. v. Edison International, et al., 729 F.3d 1110 (9th Cir. 2013). Tibble is an “excessive fee” case…more

401k, Benefit Plan Sponsors, Breach of Duty, Corporate Counsel, ERISA

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When Acting to Prevent Data Breaches and Comply with Privacy Laws, Remember Overarching Employee Rights

The grocery business may be “fresh and easy,” but drafting a confidentiality and data protection policy that withstands the scrutiny of the current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is not. The NLRB, in its recent 2-1 Fresh…more

Confidential Information, Data Protection, Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies

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Appeal of Tax Court Decision Focuses on Foreign Tax Credit, Tests Scope of U.S.-France Totalization Agreement

Briefing is underway in an appeal by two taxpayers—a married couple with dual citizenship in the United States and France—of a U.S. Tax Court decision denying them foreign tax credits for money they contributed to social…more

Appeals, Dual Citizenship, France, Tax Court

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Bring Your Own Device (Everywhere): Legal and Practical Considerations for International BYOD Programs

The cross-use of mobile devices for personal and professional purposes, commonly referred to as “Bring Your Own Device” or “BYOD”, is a relatively recent phenomenon that has created a host of legal and practical challenges for…more

Best Management Practices, Bring Your Own Device, Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies

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Alice in Cook County, Illinois: A View Through the Looking Glass at a Ridiculous Wage-Theft Ordinance

Starting May 1, 2015, employers in Cook County will be subject to a new “Wage-Theft Ordinance” that could lead to employers incurring massive property tax liabilities, business license revocation, and debarment from county…more

Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Minimum Wage, Penalties, Wage and Hour

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2014 Year-End Securities Litigation Enforcement Highlights

In This Issue: - I. Supreme Court Cases Review - II. Securities Law Cases - III. Insider Trading Cases - IV. Settlements - V. Investment Adviser and Hedge Fund Cases - VI. CFTC Cases and…more

CFTC, Compliance, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Financial Institutions

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Hobby Lobby: Likely First of Many Cases Pitting Religion Against ACA

The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30, 2014, ruled 5-4 that a closely held, for-profit corporation can qualify for an exemption from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requirements mandating contraceptive…more

Affordable Care Act, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, HHS, Hobby Lobby

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Is Your Hedge Fund a Trader or Investor?

Hedge fund managers should be aware of two recent U.S. Tax Court memorandum decisions that shed further light on when a taxpayer, such as a hedge fund, is considered to be a "trader" or "investor" for tax purposes -- a…more

Hedge Funds, Investors, IRS, Tax Deductions

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Unanimous Supreme Court Holds EEOC Must Conciliate

Title VII was passed with a strong bias toward voluntary, non-litigation methods of dispute resolution. Indeed, the statute requires that even when the EEOC has found probable cause, the Commission “shall endeavor to…more

Conciliation, Discrimination, EEOC, Judicial Review, Mach Mining v EEOC

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State Oil and Gas Laws v. Local Control: The Struggle Continues in Ohio

On February 17, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court announced its ruling in The State Ex Rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corporation et al. That closely-watched case addressed whether local ordinances that impact drilling operations are…more

Fracking, Oil & Gas, Preemption

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Health Plan Identifiers – November 5, 2014 Deadline

What Is a Health Plan Identifier (HPID)? A health plan identifier is a standardized 10-digit number that is unique to a plan. Who Must Obtain an HPID in the Coming Weeks? Large “controlling health plans”…more

Controlling Health Plan, EAP, Employee Assistance Programs, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Insurance

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2014 Year-End Securities Litigation Enforcement Highlights

In This Issue: - I. Supreme Court Cases Review - II. Securities Law Cases - III. Insider Trading Cases - IV. Settlements - V. Investment Adviser and Hedge Fund Cases - VI. CFTC Cases and…more

CFTC, Compliance, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Financial Institutions

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District Court rejects supervisor liability for state employee’s motor vehicle record data breach

In a recent decision, the Federal District Court of Minnesota found that state agencies were not liable in a data breach class action suit involving a rogue employee’s unauthorized viewing of personal information in drivers…more

Data Breach, DMV, Governmental Liability, Liability, Motor Vehicles

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Court to Applebee's Servers, Bartenders and Hosts: Washing Dishes and Taking Out the Trash May Be All in a Day's Work

On May 13, 2013, in a decision favorable to the restaurant industry and companies that employ tipped workers, a district court in Indiana carved out a tip credit claim from a proposed wage and hour collective action brought on…more

Applebee's, Collective Actions, DOL, FLSA, Minimum Wage

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BakerHostetler 2014 Year-End Review of Class Actions (and what to expect in 2015)

We are pleased to share with you the BakerHostetler 2014 Year-End Review of Class Actions, which offers a summary of some of the key developments in class action litigation during the past year. Class action litigation continues…more

Antitrust Litigation, Ascertainable Class, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Class Certification

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2014 Year End Update

Over the course of 2014, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) have continued their aggressive enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). This has led to critical…more

Corporate Counsel, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, Enforcement Statistics, FCPA

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act - 2014 Mid-Year Update

The first half of 2014 has seen several important developments in the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) as well as other anti-corruption laws worldwide. The FCPA has been in existence for more than 35…more

Compliance, DOJ, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, FCPA

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Patent Troll Receives Push Back

Over the past eight months, thousands of businesses across the United States received the same five-page letter from "The Licensing Team" of any one of 40 shell companies affiliated with MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC..…more

Consumer Protection Act, Infringement, Licenses, Patent Trolls, Patents

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Agencies Beware: Supreme Court Leans Toward Air Marshal Whistleblower in Oral Argument

On November 4, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dep’t of Homeland Security v. MacLean, bringing closer to an end the lengthy dispute between Robert MacLean and his former employer, the Transportation Security…more

Adverse Employment Action, Confidential Information, DHS v McLean, National Security, Oral Argument

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Weigand v. N.L.R.B: A Double Standard for Social Media?

On April 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision finding a local branch of the Amalgamated Transit Union (“Union”) could not…more

Appeals, Facebook, NLRA, NLRB, Popular

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