Bracewell LLP

Management Contracts & Private Business Use–IRS Releases Favorable Guidance

Coming as welcome news to those involved in the municipal bond market, Revenue Procedure 2016-44 provides helpful guidance for governmental issuers and 501(c)(3) borrowers entering into long-term contracts with private entities…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Government Contracting, Securities Law, Taxation

FY 2017 Sequestration Reduction Percentage for Direct Pay Tax Credit Bonds Set at 6.9 Percent

According to an update released by The IRS Office of Tax Exempt Bonds (TEB), the sequester reduction percentage applied to the payments made to issuers of direct pay bonds in FY 2017 will be 6.9 percent. This percentage will…more
| Education, Elections & Politics, Energy & Utilities, Finance & Banking, Taxation

The Proposed Code Section 457 Regulations Have Arrived

On June 22, 2016, the IRS finally issued the long-awaited proposed regulations under Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) Section 457. Code Section 457 applies to deferred compensation plans or arrangements of tax-exempt entities and…more
| Finance & Banking, Government Contracting, Labor & Employment Law, Taxation

Municipal Advisor, School Consultant, and Associated Individuals Enter Settlement Offers with SEC after First-of-Its-Kind Municipal Advisor Antifraud Enforcement Action

On June 13, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accepted the settlement offers made by two firms and three executives charged with using deceptive business practices in dealing with five school districts. As part…more
| Business Organizations, Business Torts, Civil Remedies, Government Contracting, Securities Law

Proposed Rule Relates to Investment Advisers' Business Continuity and Transition Plans

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently proposed Rule 206(4)-41 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”), which would require registered investment advisers (“firms” or “Advisors”) to adopt…more
| Business Torts, Consumer Protection, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

Investment Firm to Pay Record $11 Million Fine for Violation of HSR Act

On July 12, 2016, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that investment firm ValueAct Capital (“ValueAct”) agreed to pay a record $11 million fine to settle charges that it and its affiliates violated the reporting and…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Business Organizations, Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Mergers & Acquisitions

Sales Tax Exemption for Manufacturing Held Inapplicable for Oil and Gas Equipment, but Questions Remain

Southwest Royalties, Inc. v. Hegar, No. 14-0743 (Tex. June 17, 2016)(“Southwest”), addresses the applicability of a sales tax exemption for property sold for use in manufacturing in the context of oil and gas production…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Energy & Utilities, Taxation

Second Circuit Rules that Federal Warrants Do Not Apply to Electronic Information Stored Overseas

On July 14. 2016, the Second Circuit ruled that the government cannot lawfully use a search warrant to compel access to consumer data stored by Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) overseas. In its decision, the court overturned a…more
| Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Electronic Discovery, International Law & Trade, Privacy

OSHA Delays Enforcement of its New Anti-Retaliation Provisions until November 1, 2016

There have been significant developments impacting the portions of OSHA’s new work-related injury and illness rule scheduled to become effective on August 10. As our July 7 alert explained, the new requirements include, among…more
| Civil Remedies, Constitutional Law, Labor & Employment Law

Does Your Company Have "Reasonable" Procedures for Employee Reporting of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses Consistent with OSHA’s New Rule Effective August 10th?

OSHA’s May 12, 2016 final rule revising its recording and reporting regulations received a great deal of publicity, in large part, because of the new requirements beginning in 2017 for some employers to electronically submit…more
| Labor & Employment Law

Modifications to Code Section 409A Regulations

On June 22, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service published proposed regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 409A, which applies to non-qualified deferred compensation plans and arrangements. The proposed regulations are…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law, Taxation

Keep Quiet and Carry On under the EU Trade Secrets Directive

Much as the recent U.S. Defend Trade Secrets Act establishes uniform federal trade secrets protections across the states, the EU Trade Secrets Directive (the “Directive”) harmonizes similar protections across its Member States…more
| Civil Remedies, Intellectual Property, International Law & Trade, Labor & Employment Law, Privacy

Texas Supreme Court Narrows the Ability of General Contractors to Seek Chapter 82 Indemnity for Product Claims

On June 17, the Texas Supreme Court further clarified the definition of the word "seller" in Chapter 82 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code (known as the Texas Products Liability Act), which was intended to provide the…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law, Personal Injury, Products Liability

Texas Adopts EPA's Definition of Solid Waste Rule and E-Manifest Requirements

On June 10, 2016, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) adopted amendments to its statewide hazardous waste rules to incorporate changes made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to the federal…more
| Environmental Law

Willful Infringement: "If I could turn back time..."

Unlike Cher, the U.S. Supreme Court can turn back time. In Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics, the Court unanimously upended the law on enhanced damages for willful patent infringement set forth in by the Federal Circuit in…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Intellectual Property
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