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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Texas Wastewater Injection Wells Off the Hook for Causing Earthquakes

On September 10, the Texas Railroad Commission absolved a second oil and gas company of causing a series of earthquakes in northern Texas finding that the seismic activity was due to “natural tectonic processes.” The Commission…more

Earthquakes, Energy Sector, Fracking, Oil & Gas, Railroads

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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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CMS Finalizes Revisions to Stark to Ease Burden on Providers, Refines “Incident to” Requirements

In its calendar year 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule published in the Federal Register on November 16, 2015 (Final Rule), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized amendments to the federal physician…more

CMS, Final Rules, Healthcare, Medicare Payment Reform, Stark Law

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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

Bargaining Units, College Athletes, Colleges, Football, NLRB

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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 (FCA), 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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Global Tax Enforcement in 2016: What You Need to Know

The investigation and prosecution of tax evasion has, in the past decade, grown from a specialized subcategory of law enforcement into a first-tier policy concern for the international community. Financial institutions, bankers,…more

DOJ, Enforcement Actions, FACTA, Financial Adviser, Financial Institutions

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Do You Dare to Flare? A North Dakota Field Office Provides a View Into the Federal Regulatory Future

While high-profile regulatory efforts focused on hydraulic fracturing, waters of the United States, sage grouse, and greenhouse gas emissions have grabbed media headlines over the last several months, a potent stew of seemingly…more

Bureau of Land Management, Oil & Gas, Regulatory Agenda, Tribal Lands, Underground Injection Wells

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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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The ABI Commission on Business Bankruptcy Reform: Director and Officer Fiduciary Duties and Lender Liability

Will Congress Finally Act? This is the third in a series of Alerts regarding the proposals made by the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Commission to Reform Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcies. It covers the Commission’s…more

American Bankruptcy Institute, Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Reform, Board of Directors, Chapter 11

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Donors and Charities Benefit Under New Tax Legislation

While most provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) do not automatically expire, there are dozens that do. Included among the expiring provisions have been several intended to enhance charitable giving. Each has been…more

Charitable Donations, Conservation Easements, Internal Revenue Code (IRC), IRA Rollovers, Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act

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German Data Protection Authorities Limit Use of Alternative Data Transfer Mechanisms in Light of Safe Harbor Decision

In the weeks since the October 6, 2015, Court of Justice of the European Union decision (“CJEU Decision”) that invalidated the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor framework, companies have been faced with the quandary of establishing legal…more

Article 29 Working Group, Binding Corporate Rules, Cybersecurity, EU Data Protection Laws, European Court of Justice (ECJ)

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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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CFPB Issues RFI for HMDA Data Resubmission Final Rule

On January 7, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a request for information (RFI) seeking feedback and additional information on what modifications may be appropriate to the CFPB’s Home Mortage…more

CFPB, Financial Institutions, HMDA, Regulation C, Reporting Requirements

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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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Significant Tax Provisions in the 2016-2017 Ohio Budget Bill Affecting Businesses

On June 30, 2015, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law the biennial budget bill, Amended Substitute House Bill No. 64 (“HB 64”). The legislation underwent substantial changes during the legislative process such that the…more

Affiliated-Business Arrangements, Article I, C-Corporation, Click-Through Nexus, Commercial Activity Tax

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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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California Court Clarifies How to Calculate Overtime on Flat Sum Bonuses

A California court of appeal has addressed a gap in California law to clarify what can be a tricky problem for employers — how to calculate overtime on bonuses of a fixed amount, or “flat sum” bonuses. The court’s answer can be…more

Bonuses, DLSE, Unpaid Overtime, Wage and Hour

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FTC Launches “Operation Collection Protection” to Target Debt Collection Practices

On Wednesday, November 4, the Federal Trade Commission announced the largest-ever-coordinated federal-state enforcement initiative targeting allegedly deceptive and abusive debt collection practices. The initiative, consisting…more

Compliance, Debt Collection, Enforcement Actions, Financial Institutions, FTC

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2015 Mid-Year Securities Litigation and Enforcement Highlights

Welcome to the 2015 Mid-Year Report from the BakerHostetler Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement Practice Team. The purpose is to provide a periodic survey, apart from our team Executive Alerts, on matters we believe…more

401k, Administrative Procedure Act, Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon, Broker-Dealer, CFTC

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Recent Changes in California Employment Law

As 2016 approaches, we wanted to highlight the following changes to California law for the new year. Assembly Bill 1506 amends the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) to rein in actions asserting noncompliance with itemized…more

Fair Pay Act, PAGA, Piece-Rate Pay, Wage and Hour, Wage Statements

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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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Delaware General Corporation Law Amended Regarding Fee-Shifting and Forum Selection Clauses

On June 24, 2015, the governor of Delaware signed into law legislation that amends the Delaware General Corporation Law (Title 8 of the Delaware Code) (“DGCL”) to effectively prohibit fee-shifting bylaw provisions in the context…more

Bylaws, Fee-Shifting, Forum Selection, Legal Fees, SEC

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FTC Issues Native Ad Guidance

We have been closely following the evolution of “native advertising” and the regulatory response since before the FTC’s Workshop “Blurred Lines: Advertising or Content?” over two years ago. Applying traditional FTC…more

Disclosure, FTC, FTC Act, Native Advertising, Section 5

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EPA Releases Revised Ozone NAAQS

On October 1, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a prepublication version of a final rule establishing a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. The final rule lowers the primary and secondary…more

Air Quality Standards, Clean Air Act, Compliance, Environmental Policies, EPA

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USPTO Pilot Program: Trademark Registrations May Now Be Broadened To Account For Evolving Technology

Trademark Office rules generally prohibit the broadening of goods and services identified in existing trademark registrations. But on September 1, the USPTO announced a new pilot program that will create a limited exception to…more

Corporate Counsel, e-Books, Online Banking, Online Education, Popular

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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, Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Shared Responsibility Rule

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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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Washington Federal Court Decertifies Class of Insurance Agents Alleging Entitlement to Overtime

Challenging the classification of workers as independent contractors continues to be a growing area of focus for plaintiffs’ attorneys. However, as a recent federal case from Washington demonstrates, the fact-intensive inquiry…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Corporate Counsel, Independent Contractors, Insurance Agents

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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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ALJ Issues Sweeping Decision Dismissing FTC’s Action Against LabMD

On November 13, 2015, the chief administrative law judge (“ALJ”) handling the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC” or “Commission”) complaint against LabMD Inc. (“LabMD”) dismissed the case in its entirety. As we previously…more

ALJ, Data Breach, Dismissals, FTC, LabMD

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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 2015 Update

Despite a decline in enforcement actions by the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the first half of 2015 has continued to highlight the relevance and ever-evolving effects of the…more

Aerospace, Africa, Angola, Anti-Bribery, Anti-Corruption

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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

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 November 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…more

Bid Protests, Campaign Contributions, Cybersecurity, DCMA, DOL

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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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What Do Early Investors Really Expect of an Emerging Technology Company?

Emerging technology companies – at their core – will usually have a great scientific or engineering breakthrough or improvement coupled with at least one stellar individual talent. The company will usually have credible proof of…more

Emerging Technology Companies, Inventions, Investment, Investors, Patents

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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, Cuba

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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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Pointing the Finger The New Price of Corporate Cooperation

On September 9, 2015, Sally Quillian Yates, the Deputy Attorney General, issued a memorandum announcing the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) new guidelines regarding its intensifying focus on individual wrongdoers in the context of…more

Criminal Investigations, Criminal Prosecution, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, Federal Prosecutors

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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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Global Tax Enforcement in 2016: What You Need to Know

The investigation and prosecution of tax evasion has, in the past decade, grown from a specialized subcategory of law enforcement into a first-tier policy concern for the international community. Financial institutions, bankers,…more

DOJ, Enforcement Actions, FACTA, Financial Adviser, Financial Institutions

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New York Anti-Terror Rules Place Chief Compliance Officers in the Hot Seat

In early December 2015, New York state proposed rules to aid in the fight against terrorism by making it increasingly difficult for terrorist and other criminal organizations to transfer funds globally. As a result of several…more

BSA/AML, Financial Institutions, Governance Standards, NYDFS, Terrorism Funding

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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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Federal Court Sets Strict Standards for Bringing Customs Penalty Cases

In United States v. Nitek Electronics, Inc., decided December 1, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a U.S. Court of International Trade decision that limited the government’s powers in seeking to…more

Anti-Dumping Duty, Court of International Trade, Customs and Border Protection, DOJ, Gross Negligence

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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, Insurance Industry

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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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CMS Finalizes Revisions to Stark to Ease Burden on Providers, Refines “Incident to” Requirements

In its calendar year 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule published in the Federal Register on November 16, 2015 (Final Rule), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized amendments to the federal physician…more

CMS, Final Rules, Healthcare, Medicare Payment Reform, Stark Law

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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, Motor Vehicles, Section 1983

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement reached: What does it mean for you?

The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim trading partners recently announced that they have come to a provisional agreement on the wide-ranging trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”), which, over time,…more

Apple, Automotive Industry, Child Labor, Collective Bargaining, Copyright Infringement

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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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[Webinar] Strategies for Class Action Defense: Four Key Developments - Sept. 9th, 12:00pm EDT

Please join BakerHostetler’s Class Action Defense practice team on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, for an informative Webinar discussing the latest in defense strategies for companies facing class actions. The presenters will draw…more

Class Action, Comcast v. Behrend, Continuing Legal Education, Litigation Strategies, Mootness

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Off the Tracks: A Data-Driven Analysis of Crude-by-Rail Liability Factors, Exposure, and Potential Solutions

Crude oil prices are now approaching what pundits believe is likely to be the bottom phase in the current market cycle. Due to the price downturn, the arbitrage window that drives a substantial portion of crude-by-rail (“CBR”)…more

Crude Oil, Environmental Liability, Oil by Rail, Oil Spills, PHMSA

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Financial Agencies’ Joint Diversity Standards Voluntary for Regulated Entities

Six federal financial agencies—the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection…more

Diversity, Employer Mandates, Federal Reserve, Financial Institutions, Hiring & Firing

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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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OIG Advisory Opinion 15-07: An Indicator of Clinical Trial Copayment Change?

“You scratch my back, I scratch yours” arrangements are common in business transactions. These agreements are risky in the healthcare space, however, with the potential to implicate civil and criminal sanctions. Whether…more

Advisory Opinions, Clinical Trials, Co-payments, Deductibles, Health Insurance

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OSHA Announces Significant Increases in Civil Penalties, Marking First Time Maximum Fines for Violations Have Risen Since 1990

On November 2, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. Obscured within the lengthy bill is a provision that not only mandates a current increase in the penalties for violations of standards…more

Bipartisan Budget, OSHA, Penalties, Workplace Investigations, Workplace Safety

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Greater liability for ISP’s

In a sure-to-be-appealed verdict last week, a federal court jury in the Eastern District of Virginia found Cox Communications liable to pay $25 million to music publisher BMG Rights Management for contributory copyright…more

Copyright Infringement, Cox Communications, DMCA, File Sharing, Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

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Donors and Charities Benefit Under New Tax Legislation

While most provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) do not automatically expire, there are dozens that do. Included among the expiring provisions have been several intended to enhance charitable giving. Each has been…more

Charitable Donations, Conservation Easements, Internal Revenue Code (IRC), IRA Rollovers, Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act

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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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The ABI Commission on Business Bankruptcy Reform: Paying "Critical Vendors" - Will Congress Finally Act?

This is the second in a series of Alerts regarding the proposals made by the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Select Commission to Reform Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcies. It covers the Commission’s recommendations about the…more

American Bankruptcy Institute, Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Reform, Commercial Bankruptcy, Creditors

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5 Popular Cybersecurity Writers to Follow Right Now

For your convenience, a short list of JD Supra writers covering the myriad issues raised surrounding Cybersecurity, date privacy and protection, and related matters…more

Corporate Counsel, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection, Popular

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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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EPA Releases Revised Ozone NAAQS

On October 1, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a prepublication version of a final rule establishing a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. The final rule lowers the primary and secondary…more

Air Quality Standards, Clean Air Act, Compliance, Environmental Policies, EPA

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The Seventh Circuit Revisits Standing for Data Breach Class Actions

One obstacle for named plaintiffs in proposed data breach class actions is the extent to which plaintiffs must allege an injury-in-fact to have standing. Disputes often arise about whether proactive efforts to mitigate against…more

Article III, Class Action, Corporate Counsel, Data Breach, Injury-in-Fact

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Are the Patent Trolls Vulnerable to Antitrust Claims?

We previously wrote about the nascent efforts of legislators, regulators, and representa­tives of technology-dependent industries to use the antitrust laws, such as Section 2 of the Sherman Act or Section 7 of the Clayton Act,…more

Capital One, Corporate Counsel, Financial Institutions, Patent Infringement, Patent Trolls

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Powerball for H-1B Visas

Lottery mania has been sweeping the nation as Powerball winnings exceeded $1 billion for the first time. For highly skilled foreign nationals and the employers who desire to employ them, a different kind of lottery mania is…more

DOL, H-1B, Popular, USCIS, Work Visas

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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, Fiduciary Duty, 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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2015 ONRR Civil Penalties: Where, Why, and How Much

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (“ONRR”), a unit within the United States Department of the Interior, is responsible for collecting and disbursing revenues from energy production on federal and Indian lands and offshore…more

Energy Sector, Filing Requirements, Natural Resources, Outer Continental Shelf, Penalties

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Government Contracts Quarterly Update November 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…more

Bid Protests, Campaign Contributions, Cybersecurity, DCMA, DOL

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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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FTC Brushes Aside AG, Regulators to Attack Local Hospital Merger

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continued its relentless focus on combinations in the healthcare industry last month when it filed an administrative complaint challenging a merger of two West Virginia hospitals, In the Matter…more

Certificate of Need, FTC, Health Care Providers, Hospitals

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Applying for a Patent? Tell a Good Invention Story!

What do Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, and a well-drafted patent application have in common? They all tell good stories, of course! Telling a good story in a patent application is especially important for inventions in…more

Inventions, Patent Applications, Patents, Popular, Prior Art

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Class Certification of California Price Advertisement Case Gives Cause for Concern

A recent class certification decision in California involving challenges to a retailer’s price comparison advertisements should prompt retailers to carefully evaluate their sale advertising practices. Whether comparing to…more

Advertising, Class Action, Class Certification, CLRA, False Advertising

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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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Global Tax Enforcement in 2016: What You Need to Know

The investigation and prosecution of tax evasion has, in the past decade, grown from a specialized subcategory of law enforcement into a first-tier policy concern for the international community. Financial institutions, bankers,…more

DOJ, Enforcement Actions, FACTA, Financial Adviser, Financial Institutions

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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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The ABI Commission on Business Bankruptcy Reform: Providing Information and Fairness to Creditors

Will Congress Finally Act? This is the fourth in a series of Alerts regarding the proposals made by the American Bankruptcy Institute Commission to Reform Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcies. We discuss here the Commission’s…more

American Bankruptcy Institute, Bankrtupcy Preferences, Chapter 11, Commercial Bankruptcy, Commercial Leases

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[Webinar] The New Class Action Risks for 2016 in Consumer Financial Services - Feb. 10th, 12:00pm, EST

Please join the BakerHostetler Class Action Defense Team's webinar on February 10, 2015, from 12:00-1:15 p.m., discussing the risks and trends expected to affect consumer financial services in 2016. The presenters will draw from…more

CFPB, Class Action, Consumer Financial Products, Continuing Legal Education, Incident Response Plans

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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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Data Security in the Financial Industry: Five Key Developments to Keep An Eye on in 2016

According to a 2015 report on threats to the financial services sector, 41% of financial services organizations polled had experienced a data breach or failed a compliance audit in the previous year, and 57% listed preventing a…more

Cybersecurity Framework, Data Breach, Data Security, Enforcement Actions, Financial Services Industry

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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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LabMD and Wyndham Decisions Curtail FTC’s Data Privacy and Security Reach

Both the administrative law judge’s decision in LabMD and the Third Circuit’s recent decision in Wyndham, which we previously blogged about, put the FTC on notice that it cannot assume that in the wake of a security breach,…more

ALJ, COPPA, Data Protection, FTC, FTC Act

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2015 Update

Despite a decline in enforcement actions by the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the first half of 2015 has continued to highlight the relevance and ever-evolving effects of the…more

Aerospace, Africa, Angola, Anti-Bribery, Anti-Corruption

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New Basis Reporting Requirements (and Penalties) for Decedents’ Estates

On July 31, President Obama signed into law the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act (the “Act”) to reauthorize the Highway Trust Fund’s spending authority for another three months. To offset…more

Beneficiaries, Estate Tax, Filing Requirements, Internal Revenue Code (IRC), IRS

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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

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Better Late Than Never? FTC Finally Releases Guidance on Section 5

After years of academic debate and internal deliberation, the Federal Trade Commission today unveiled a “Statement of Enforcement Principles” that generally describes conduct prohibited by Section 5 of the FTC Act…more

FTC, Section 5, Sherman Act, The Clayton Act, Unfair Competition

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2015 Update

Despite a decline in enforcement actions by the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the first half of 2015 has continued to highlight the relevance and ever-evolving effects of the…more

Aerospace, Africa, Angola, Anti-Bribery, Anti-Corruption

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SEC Announces 2016 Examination Priorities

Earlier this week, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its 2016 examination priorities. These priorities are of particular interest…more

Broker-Dealer, ETFs, Hedge Funds, Investment Management, OCIE

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Safe Harbor Part Deux: The Privacy Shield

This week began like many. An arbitrary deadline came and went – this one, January 31, 2016, was set by the Article 29 Working Party for European and United States regulators to address the void created by the invalidation of…more

Article 29 Working Party (WP29), Binding Corporate Rules, Data Protection, EU, EU-US Privacy Shield

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It’s About Time (But Not Quite Yet)

The comment period for the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) regarding proposed changes to the Human Subjects Protection “Common Rule” issued by 16 federal departments and agencies in September has been extended an…more

Clinical Trials, Comment Period, Healthcare, HHS, NPRM

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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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CMS Continues Its Focus on Quality Initiatives with the FY 2016 IPPS Final Rule

On July 31, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule (Final Rule) updating fiscal year (FY) 2016 Medicare payment policies and rates under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and…more

CEHRT, CMS, Electronic Medical Records, Federal Register, Final Rules

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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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Sixth Circuit Differentiates Trade Secrets and Confidential Information Under Texas Law

Last week, in a diversity jurisdiction case, the Sixth Circuit analyzed Texas law to identify the relationship among three separate categories of business information: (1) trade secrets, (2) contractually protected confidential…more

Confidential Information, Diversity Jurisdiction, Misappropriation, Trade Secrets, Uniform Trade Secrets Acts

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FTC Report on Big Data Outlines Usage Limitations Under Federal Law

On January 6, 2016 the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued the report Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? Understanding the Issues (“Report”), based on prior workshops and subsequent public comments on Big Data…more

Analytics, Big Data, Data Collection, Discrimination, FCRA

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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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District Court Follows Supreme Court’s Lead in Halliburton, Allows Class Action to Proceed with Narrowed Factual Scope

Applying the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2398 (2014) (“Halliburton II”), which allowed companies facing securities fraud class actions to defeat certification by…more

Asbestos, Basic v Levinson, Class Action, Class Certification, Construction Industry

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BOEM’s “Proposed Guidance” Shakes Up the Agency’s Supplemental Bonding Requirements

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) has backed away from its proposed rulemaking regarding financial assurance requirements for the Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”). On August 19, 2014, BOEM published an Advance Notice…more

Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), BOEM, Compliance, Credit Ratings, Energy Sector

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The CFTC’s Proposed Standards Identify Cybersecurity Best Practices

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) offered several reasons for proposing five new cybersecurity testing requirements for the commodity trading platforms it regulates in its December 23, 2015, Notice of Proposed…more

CFTC, Cyber Attacks, Cybersecurity, NPRM, Securities Exchanges

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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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Family Trust Company Legislation Passes Ohio House

On December 9, 2015, House Bill 229 was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 84-8. The bill, which was almost two years in the making, allows an Ohio family to establish its own trust company to serve as…more

Family Trusts, Financial Planning, Pending Legislation

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Increased Scrutiny of Drug Pricing What Should Pharmaceutical Companies Know

As U.S. spending on pharmaceuticals continues to rise, reaching $373.9 billion in 2014, government scrutiny of drug pricing practices has increased in response. Early last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human…more

Audits, Drug Pricing, HHS, OIG, Pharmaceutical Industry

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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 Proposes Clawback Rules

On July 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed long-awaited rules under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) requiring the national securities exchanges to adopt…more

Clawbacks, Corporate Governance, Disclosure Requirements, Dodd-Frank, Executive Compensation

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The ABI Commission on Business Bankruptcy Reform: Providing Information and Fairness to Creditors

Will Congress Finally Act? This is the fourth in a series of Alerts regarding the proposals made by the American Bankruptcy Institute Commission to Reform Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcies. We discuss here the Commission’s…more

American Bankruptcy Institute, Bankrtupcy Preferences, Chapter 11, Commercial Bankruptcy, Commercial Leases

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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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The FTC and DAA Set Their Sights on Cross-Device Tracking

Gone are the days of single-browser tracking. Accordingly, cross-device tracking – the process of tracking a single consumer across all of the consumer’s devices – is the new Holy Grail for marketers. Both the Federal Trade…more

Cross-Device, Digital Advertising Alliance, FTC, Internet of Things, Personal Data

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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, Lenders

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Five Practice Pointers: Risk Allocation in Enterprise Cloud Service Agreements

Outsourcing information technology functions to the cloud entails risk for both companies and cloud service providers, especially when sensitive data is stored in the cloud. Sensitive data carries business risk and may be…more

Cloud Computing, Consumer Service Agreements, Data Security, Indemnification, Popular

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As Urged by PhRMA and BIO, Supreme Court Agrees to Review Claim Construction Standard Used in Patent Office Trials

Pharmaceutical companies have reason to be pleased with the Supreme Court’s recent decision to grant a petition for a writ of certiorari in Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for…more

Claim Construction, Cuozzo Speed Technologies v Lee, Inter Partes Review Proceedings, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Petition for Writ of Certiorari

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Second Circuit Finds Member Associations Have Standing to Bring Claims on Behalf of Members

Last month the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the U.S. District Court’s decision to deny the New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA) standing in its claim against UnitedHealth Group and related entities…more

Appeals, ERISA, Healthcare, Mental Health, Mental Health Parity Rule

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Delaware General Corporation Law Amended Regarding Fee-Shifting and Forum Selection Clauses

On June 24, 2015, the governor of Delaware signed into law legislation that amends the Delaware General Corporation Law (Title 8 of the Delaware Code) (“DGCL”) to effectively prohibit fee-shifting bylaw provisions in the context…more

Bylaws, Fee-Shifting, Forum Selection, Legal Fees, SEC

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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

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In re Tam – Federal Circuit Orders En Banc Review of Trademark Act’s Ban Against Registration of Disparaging Marks

The Slants is a Portland-based band composed of musicians of Asian-American descent who characterize their genre as “Chinatown Dance Rock.” The band’s bassist, Simon Tam, filed a trademark application for THE SLANTS for…more

En Banc Review, Entertainment Industry, First Amendment, Free Speech, Lanham Act

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New York: Women’s Equality Act Legislation

In 2013, Governor Cuomo proposed multiple pieces of legislation, dubbed the Women’s Equality Act (“WEA”), to protect and further women’s equality in New York state. The legislation has been signed and became effective last week…more

Equal Pay Act, Gender-Based Pay Discrimination, New Legislation, NYSHRL, Pregnancy Discrimination

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FCC’s Growing Privacy and Data Security Enforcement

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has had a busy 2015, and its presence in the data security regulatory enforcement space will likely continue to grow. Last year, the FCC named Travis LeBlanc as chief of the…more

Data Security, Enforcement Actions, FCC, Personal Data, Popular

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Use of a Limited Liability Company for Charitable Purposes

On December 1, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a letter to his newborn daughter, Max, and shared it with the world (on Facebook, of course). The letter announced the commitment of Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, to improve the…more

Charitable Organizations, Facebook, Limited Liability Companies, Mark Zuckerberg

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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 2015 Update

Despite a decline in enforcement actions by the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the first half of 2015 has continued to highlight the relevance and ever-evolving effects of the…more

Aerospace, Africa, Angola, Anti-Bribery, Anti-Corruption

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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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Hello Budget Agreement; Goodbye Provider-Based Status?

H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, was signed into law by President Obama on November 2, 2015. The two-year budget framework, which raises the federal debt limit through March 2017, partially rolls back the Budget…more

Affordable Care Act, Bipartisan Budget, Healthcare, Physician Medicare Reimbursements, Section 340B

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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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Banks Win Class Certification in Target Data Breach Case

A federal court recently granted class certification to a group of financial institutions (the “Banks”) in the data breach case against Target Corporation (“Target”) arising from the December 2013 hacking of its computer system,…more

American Bankers Association, Banking Sector, Banks, Class Action, Class Certification

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CMS Continues Its Focus on Quality Initiatives with the FY 2016 IPPS Final Rule

On July 31, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule (Final Rule) updating fiscal year (FY) 2016 Medicare payment policies and rates under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and…more

CEHRT, CMS, Electronic Medical Records, Federal Register, Final Rules

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Safe Harbor Is Dead, Long Live Standard Contractual Clauses?

For the past 15 years, the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Framework has been one of the most popular data transfer mechanisms for organizations that engage in cross-border transfers of EU personal data to the United States. In the…more

Article 29 Working Party (WP29), Binding Corporate Rules, Compliance, Corporate Counsel, Data Protection Authority

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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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Responsibility for Deficiencies Will Shift to Partnerships Under New Audit Rules

Effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, any additional tax or penalties resulting from a partnership audit will be assessed and collected at the partnership level in the year the audit is completed. Included…more

Audits, Bipartisan Agreement, K-1, Partnerships, TEFRA

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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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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2015 Update

Despite a decline in enforcement actions by the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the first half of 2015 has continued to highlight the relevance and ever-evolving effects of the…more

Aerospace, Africa, Angola, Anti-Bribery, Anti-Corruption

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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, Health Care Providers, Healthcare Costs

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Pharmaceutical Life Cycle Management: Navigating the New IP, FDA and Antitrust Terrain

Efforts to extend the life cycle of pharmaceutical products frequently involve innovations and improvements in product design, formulation, route of administration and treatment indications. In addition, negotiation of…more

ANDA, Antitrust Violations, Biologics, Clinical Laboratory Testing, Corporate Counsel

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[Webinar] The New Class Action Risks for 2016 in Consumer Financial Services - Feb. 10th, 12:00pm, EST

Please join the BakerHostetler Class Action Defense Team's webinar on February 10, 2015, from 12:00-1:15 p.m., discussing the risks and trends expected to affect consumer financial services in 2016. The presenters will draw from…more

CFPB, Class Action, Consumer Financial Products, Continuing Legal Education, Incident Response Plans

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EPA’s 2015 General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Carries New Risks for Industry

In a controversial change, the 2015 version of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) general permit for industrial stormwater discharges (known as the Multi-Sector General Permit, or MSGP) expressly prohibits the discharge…more

Clean Water Act, EPA, Industrial Storm Water Permit, Manufacturers, NPDES

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