Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Screenwriter SLAPPs Down Libel-in-Fiction Claim

In a victory for all authors of fiction, a screenwriter of the film “What Maisie Knew” has successfully defended a lawsuit that sought to hold him liable for defamation based on the portrayal of a character drawn from an 1897…more

Anti-SLAPP, Books, Defamation, Film Industry, First Amendment

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Where’s the (TCPA) Harm in That?

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Spokeo v. Robins that plaintiffs must allege a concrete and particularized injury to meet Article III standing requirements, federal district courts across the country are beginning…more

Article III, Corporate Counsel, Debt Collection, Injury-in-Fact, Robocalling

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Oregon Tiered Minimum Wage Increase Effective, July 1, 2016

Oregon’s new minimum wage law which phases in wage increases over a six-year period starts, July 1, 2016. The minimum wage for medium and high density counties – listed below – rises to $9.75. The minimum wage for low density…more

Employer Liability Issues, Minimum Wage, New Regulations, Wage and Hour

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New California Laws Affecting Outpatient Surgery Settings Go Into Effect January 1, 2016

New Development - California Senate Bill 396 (SB 396), which strengthened requirements for outpatient clinics such as ambulatory surgery centers, was recently signed into law and becomes effective January 1, 2016…more

Credentialing, Healthcare, Inspection Rights, New Legislation, Outpatient Services

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Update #4: Proposed ACA Rules to Stabilize Exchange Markets

Insurers have been pressuring the Trump Administration to relieve some of the uncertainty from the pending ACA “repeal/replace” debate in time for them to decide whether to participate in the individual health insurance Exchange…more

Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Health Insurance, HHS, Trump Administration

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Ninth Circuit: “Solely” Means “Solely” When It Comes to FCRA-Mandated Disclosures

Does your company conduct applicant background checks? If so, you are no doubt familiar with the disclosure requirements of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Among other things, the FCRA states that employers may not obtain…more

Background Checks, Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, FCRA, Hiring & Firing

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Texas Hold ‘Em: Long-Lasting Pole Attachment Dispute Ends (For Now)

In late February, the Texas Court of Appeals issued an opinion resolving an eight-year dispute concerning municipal pole attachment fees charged to AT&T and Time Warner Cable (TWC) by CPS Energy (CPS), an electric utility owned…more

AT&T, FCC, Pole Attachment Order, Public Utilities Commission, Utility Poles

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California Beefs Up Encryption & Notice in Data Breach Law

On October 8, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 964 and S.B. 570 into law, a pair of bills that amended the Golden State’s data breach notification statute (Ca. Civ. Code § 1798.82)…more

Data Breach, Encryption, New Legislation, Posting Requirements, State Data Breach Notification Statutes

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New Exclusion Rule on the Horizon

On January 12, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) published a final rule which provides guidance on its new and expanded bases for permissive exclusion from federal health care…more

HHS, OIG, Permissive Exclusion Authority, Regulatory Freeze, Statute of Limitations

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PRC Regulation on Internet-Based Live Broadcasting Businesses

On Sept. 2, 2016, the General Administration of Press Publication Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China (the “GAPP”) released the Circular on Several Issues for Strengthening the Administration of…more

Broadcasting, China, Live Streaming

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Ninth Circuit: “Solely” Means “Solely” When It Comes to FCRA-Mandated Disclosures

Does your company conduct applicant background checks? If so, you are no doubt familiar with the disclosure requirements of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Among other things, the FCRA states that employers may not obtain…more

Background Checks, Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, FCRA, Hiring & Firing

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Lessons Learned in Selling the Family Business

We have represented hundreds of family businesses (as well as other privately-held businesses) in negotiating and completing successful mergers and acquisitions. We have seen important lessons learned by families selling their…more

Acquisitions, Business Valuations, Buy-Sell Agreements, Fair Market Value, Family Businesses

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European Union’s Highest Court Rules Google Must Remove Links Containing Personal Data

In a significant and concerning decision, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has endorsed the so-called “right to be forgotten” and ruled that, in some circumstances, search engines can be compelled to remove search result…more

Data Protection, EU, EU Data Protection Laws, European Court of Justice (ECJ), Google

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9th Circuit Sides With the NLRB: Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements Violate the National Labor Relations Act

A divided panel (2-1) of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employer violates the National Labor Relations Act by requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements that contain class or collective action…more

Arbitration Agreements, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Collective Actions, Federal Arbitration Act, NLRA

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[Webinar] Legal Issues and Risks in Wearable Health Technologies - Sept. 24th, 10:00am PDT

The market for wearable health technologies, encompassing innovations such as fitness bands, glucose monitors, and implanted devices, is booming – estimated to surpass $70 billion by 2024. The session will focus on key legal…more

Emerging Growth Companies, Emerging Technology Companies, Fitbit, Mobile Devices, Technology

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U.S. FCPA Guidance Released by DOJ and SEC

On Nov. 14, 2012, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission released a joint 130-page Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). This long-anticipated guidance lays out the…more

Compliance, DOJ, FCPA, FCPA Resource Guide, SEC

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Sixth Circuit Rules That TripAdvisor’s Ranking of “Dirtiest Hotels” is Protected Opinion

In a helpful decision for online publishers of rankings and ratings, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a travel website’s annual top-ten list of the dirtiest hotels in the United States, based on data compiled from…more

First Amendment, Free Speech, Hotels, TripAdvisor

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Update #4: Proposed ACA Rules to Stabilize Exchange Markets

Insurers have been pressuring the Trump Administration to relieve some of the uncertainty from the pending ACA “repeal/replace” debate in time for them to decide whether to participate in the individual health insurance Exchange…more

Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Health Insurance, HHS, Trump Administration

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FERC Requires New England Generators to Reveal How Bids Formulated

On August 8, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its order on remand from the D.C. Circuit on FERC’s approval of ISO New England’s (ISO-NE) 2013-14 winter reliability program, results, and rates…more

Bids, Energy Sector, FERC

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Portland Requires Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave Starting in 2014 to Employees Who Work in City

The Portland City Council has passed a paid sick leave mandate that requires employers to provide paid leave for employees to use for personal and family member illness as well as certain safety concerns. The new ordinance takes…more

Local Ordinance, Medical Leave, Municipalities, Paid Leave

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Supreme Court Clarifies Test for Accommodating Pregnancy Limitations

The United States Supreme Court recently established a new test to evaluate whether an employer discriminates against a pregnant employee under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) when it denies an accommodation or adjustment…more

Disparate Treatment, EEOC, Enforcement Guidance, PDA, Pregnancy Discrimination

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Going Green: What Procedures Should You Consider for 2016 Electronic ERISA Disclosures?

In the ever-increasing push to “go green,” many employers are opting to distribute required notices and disclosures to employees via e-mail or through website postings. Plan sponsors are asking: Can an employer rely on an…more

Disclosure Requirements, Employee Benefits, ERISA, Posting Requirements, Retirement Plan

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U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Montanile Applies Principles of Equity to Reach an Absurdly Inequitable Result Regarding ERISA Plan Reimbursement Claim

“A” gets hit by a drunk driver and incurs $121,044 in medical expenses. The ERISA Plan agrees to pay the expenses if “A” contractually agrees to reimburse the Plan for any recovery obtained as the result of any legal action or…more

Employee Benefits, Equitable Relief, ERISA, Medical Expenses, Medical Liens

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Good News: California Extends Its Medical Data Breach Notification Requirement From 5 to 15 Days

On Sept. 18, 2014, California’s governor approved Assembly Bill 1755, extending California’s stringent breach notification deadline for medical information breaches from five business days to 15 business days for clinics, health…more

Breach Notification Rule, Data Breach, EHR, Healthcare, Personally Identifiable Information

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Delaware Formally Adopts Proposed Statutory Amendments Governing Mergers Following the Completion of a Tender Offer

The governor of Delaware recently signed into law previously proposed amendments to Section 251(h) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”), which make Section 251(h) more accessible to deal parties by..…more

Delaware General Corporation Law, Merger Agreements, New Amendments, Shareholders, Stocks

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California Supreme Court Holds That California Law Requires Unencumbered Rest Breaks

California law requires most employers to authorize paid rest breaks for non-exempt employees of at least 10 minutes for each four hours worked or a major fraction thereof, and to provide this rest break approximately mid-way…more

Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, Rest and Meal Break, Wage and Hour

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Reversing Precedent, NLRB Drops Consent Requirement for Mixed Bargaining Unit of Temporary and Regular Employees

On July 11, the NLRB continued the expansion of joint-employer liability set forth in Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (Aug. 27, 2015) by eliminating the requirement that a union receive the consent of both the…more

Bargaining Units, Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Collective Bargaining, Joint Employers, NLRB

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FCC Licenses: The Forgotten Stepchildren of M & A

Parties to acquisitions often find themselves in the position of the McCallisters in "Home Alone," dashing out of the house and arriving in Paris only to discover that they’ve left little Macaulay Culkin (aka Kevin) behind. Like…more

Acquisitions, Communications Act of 1934, FCC, Mergers, Telecommunications

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EPA Issues Assessment of Bristol Bay and Large-Scale Mining

On January 15, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued its final Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska, concluding that large-scale mining in the region poses risks to…more

Clean Water Act, Critical Habitat, Environmental Assessments, Environmental Policies, EPA

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FDA Extends Menu Labeling Compliance Date

On July 9, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is extending the date for compliance with its menu labeling requirements by one year. Under the new timeframe, businesses covered by the menu…more

Affordable Care Act, Compliance, FDA, Final Rules, Food Labeling

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California FEHC Regulations Limit Use of Criminal History for Employment Decisions

The Fair Employment and Housing Council has finalized new regulations that will further limit employers’ ability to consider criminal history when making employment decisions. The new regulations are scheduled to take effect on…more

Criminal Background Checks, Criminal Records, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, FEHC

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Event Recap: The 12 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Selling Your Business

DWT recently hosted “The 12 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Selling Your Business,” a seminar examining the common challenges affecting owners of family and closely held businesses on the subject of succession and estate…more

Business Valuations, Exit Strategies, Sellers, Selling a Business

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Texas Hold ‘Em: Long-Lasting Pole Attachment Dispute Ends (For Now)

In late February, the Texas Court of Appeals issued an opinion resolving an eight-year dispute concerning municipal pole attachment fees charged to AT&T and Time Warner Cable (TWC) by CPS Energy (CPS), an electric utility owned…more

AT&T, FCC, Pole Attachment Order, Public Utilities Commission, Utility Poles

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Hugh Jackman’s Conundrum: Can the Blockchain Revitalize the First Sale Doctrine Under Copyright Law?

Blockchain technology offers new possibilities for owners to sell digital copies of “pre-owned” content on secondary markets, as we’ve discussed in prior posts. But virtual flea markets – where an owner of a collection of…more

Blockchain, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Digital Downloads, First Sale Doctrine

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FERC Accepts PJM’s Proposal to Limit Imported Capacity

Owners of generation capacity in PJM have often complained of what they perceive as favorable treatment under rules governing PJM’s annual forward capacity auctions when applied to competing resources, namely generation located…more

Energy, FERC, PJM, Power Plants, Utilities Sector

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Estate, Gift, and GST Taxes in 2013: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and Other News (Oregon)

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the “Act”) was signed into law on Jan. 2, 2013, avoiding dramatic changes to tax exemptions and tax rates on transfers subject to federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Charitable Donations, Estate Tax, Fiscal Cliff, Generation-Skipping Transfer

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"Ladies' Night" Promotions Violate California Law

The hospitality industry is no stranger to the rules prohibiting discrimination in accommodations. The average restaurant or hotel operator is aware that the establishment cannot deny service to a patron on the basis of a…more

ADA, Discounts, Discrimination, Hospitality Industry, Protected Class

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Hazardous Waste Transporters Beware!

The Oregon Supreme Court upheld a penalty assessed against a hazardous waste Transporter for failure to manifest hazardous waste regardless of whether it reasonably relied on a determination by the generator that the waste was…more

Department of Environmental Quality, Hazardous Waste

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The 2016 Roundup of Key California Anti-SLAPP Decisions

In 2016, the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued important opinions interpreting California’s anti-SLAPP statute (C.C.P. § 425.16 et seq.), once again broadly construing its application. See…more

Anti-SLAPP, Defamation, False Light, Free Speech, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

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California Sick Time Law: Beyond the Basics

California’s “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014,” otherwise known as California’s Paid Sick Time (or Paid Sick Leave) law, went into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, and will become operative for accrual purposes on July…more

DLSE, Employer Mandates, Healthy Workplace Act, Paid Leave, Sick Leave

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Federal Circuit Holds Foreseeable Equivalents Infringe Under Doctrine of Equivalents

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held Wednesday that the doctrine of equivalents covers alternatives that were foreseeable at the time of application but not literally claimed. As a result, patent drafters will not…more

Functional Equivalent, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation, Patents

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Shanghai Revises Policy to Attract Establishment of More Regional Headquarters

For the past 20 years, Shanghai has been the home for regional headquarters (“RHQs”) for multinational companies that have extensive investments in China. By the end of 2016, 580 RHQs were established by multinational companies…more

China, Foreign-Owned Corporations, Threshold Requirements

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Estate, Gift, and GST Taxes in 2013: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and Other News

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the “Act”) was signed into law on Jan. 2, 2013, avoiding dramatic changes to tax exemptions and tax rates on transfers subject to federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer, Gift-Tax Exemption, Retirement Plan

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Alaska Supreme Court Says Exploration is a Transfer of Interest in State Land, Cannot Be Allowed Without Full Public Notice and Comment - Also Sides with Public Interest Litigants on Fee Shifting

The Alaska Supreme Court’s recent decision in Nunamta Alukestai v. Pebble Limited Partnership, No. 7011 (Alaska filed May 29, 2015) significantly alters the permitting process for projects within the jurisdiction of the…more

Department of Natural Resources, Energy Sector, Fee-Shifting, Land-Use Permits, Mining

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D.C. Circuit’s POM Wonderful Decision Calls Into Question The FTC’s Imposition Of A Two-Study Requirement

On Jan. 30, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed the FTC’s ruling that POM Wonderful made false and misleading advertising claims that its pomegranate juice products were effective in fighting various…more

Administrative Hearings, Advertising, Appeals, Clinical Trials, False Advertising

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Oregon Legislature Passes Sweeping Energy Bill

The Oregon Legislature on Wednesday passed a sweeping and contentious bill that signals significant changes for the state’s energy industry. Senate Bill 1547, the final home for the “Oregon Clean Electricity and Coal Transition…more

Biomass, Coal-Fired Generation, Electricity, Energy Sector, New Legislation

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California FEHC Regulations Limit Use of Criminal History for Employment Decisions

The Fair Employment and Housing Council has finalized new regulations that will further limit employers’ ability to consider criminal history when making employment decisions. The new regulations are scheduled to take effect on…more

Criminal Background Checks, Criminal Records, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, FEHC

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NYDFS Issues Regulation Addressing Anti-Money Laundering Transaction Monitoring and Filtering Requirements

On June 30, 2016, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued a final regulation obliging regulated institutions to meet enhanced requirements for transaction monitoring and filtering programs aimed at…more

Anti-Money Laundering, BSA/AML, Final Rules, Financial Institutions, NYDFS

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CFPB Seeks Comments on the Credit Card Market for Its 2017 CARD Act Report

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently issued a request for information (the RFI) regarding the consumer credit card market. The CARD Act (Pub. L. No. 111–24, 123 Stat. 1734 (2009)) requires the CFPB to publish a…more

CARD Act, CFPB, Credit Cards, Public Comment, Request For Information

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New SEC Guidance Regarding Social Media; Proposed Clarifications to Delaware Law for Mergers Following a Tender Offer; Change in SEC Notice Procedures for Granting Confidential Treatment Requests

Social media is becoming a desirable tool for companies to communicate with their shareholders and potential investors. Over the last few years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has issued guidance on how SEC…more

Disclosure Requirements, Investors, Public Disclosure, Public Offerings, SEC

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Additional IRS Guidance on Physical Work Test and Facility Transfers for Energy Tax Credits

The IRS has released additional guidance (Notice 2014-46) on the “beginning of construction” requirement for the renewable energy production tax credit under Code Section 45 (PTC) and energy investment tax credit under Code…more

Energy, Energy Policy, Energy Tax Incentives, Investment Tax Credits, IRS

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Race to the Highest Minimum: California Minimum Wage Increase and San Francisco’s New Parental Leave Ordinance

California’s newly increased minimum wages will impact employers in two ways. First, minimum wage employees will have to be paid the higher minimum wage. Second, salaried exempt employees in California must be paid no less than…more

Employer Liability Issues, Minimum Wage, New Legislation, Paid Leave, Parental Leave

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Blurred Lines: Ninth Circuit Applies Same First Amendment Protections to Bloggers as Traditional Media

The Ninth Circuit last week became the first federal court of appeals to find that bloggers are entitled to the same First Amendment protections as traditional print and broadcast media when sued for defamation. Obsidian Fin…more

Blogs, Defamation, First Amendment, Media

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The Fourth European Union Anti-Money Laundering Directive and Its Effects on Financial Institutions Operating in the EU

The Fourth European Union Anti-Money Laundering Directive (Fourth AML Directive), approved by the European Parliament on May 20, 2015, went into effect on June 25, 2015, repealing the 2005 Third AML Directive. Given the evolving…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Banking Sector, Banks, BSA/AML, CDD

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Trump Victory Complicates Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Contract Dispute

During his presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump made clear his misgivings over Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program. During an interview on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, Mr. Trump asked “[w]hen they say that [the F-35]…more

Department of Defense (DOD), Lockheed Martin, Presidential Elections, Trump Administration

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FERC Extends Deadline for Filing Q3 2013 EQRs

Yesterday, on October 10, 2013, FERC issued a long-anticipated order granting public utilities and non-public utilities an extension of time to file their third quarter (Q3) Electric Quarterly Reports (EQRs). FERC will notify…more

Extensions, FERC, Filing Deadlines, Filing Requirements, Reporting Requirements

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Single-User Restrooms in California Must Be Designated As All-Gender

Effective March 1, 2017, under a new law known the Equal Restroom Access Act, California businesses that have single-user restrooms are required to designate such restrooms as all-gender and must post appropriate accessible…more

Employee Restrooms, Gender Identity, Transgender

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Begins Accepting Consumers’ Money Transfer Complaints

Noting that “[i]t’s pretty incredible that you can quickly send money to almost anywhere in the country or abroad,” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) recently announced it has begun accepting consumer complaints…more

CFPB, Consumer Complaint System, Money Transfer

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California Employers Must Update EEO Policies by April 1, 2016

New regulations under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) require employers of five or more employees to update anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and complaint-investigation policies; update sexual…more

Anti-Discrimination Policies, Anti-Harassment Policies, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, FEHA

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Possible Renewable Identification Number Price Spike Due to Proposed EPA Compliance Deadline Causes Biofuel Industry Concern

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the annual percentage standards for ethanol, cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuels that apply to all gasoline and diesel produced or…more

Auto Manufacturers, Automotive Industry, Biofuel, Energy Sector, EPA

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Controlling L. mono in RTE Foods: FDA Publishes Draft Guidance

Quick Bite: The FDA is seeking comment until July 17, 2017, on draft guidance about recommended practices to control Listeria monocytogenes in food facilities. The Details: The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”)…more

Comment Period, Draft Guidance, FDA, Food Safety, FSMA

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FCC Adopts Framework for $4.53B Mobility Fund Phase II

After some months of delay, the FCC has launched the second phase in its plans to provide significant subsidies over the next decade to fund the expansion of mobile wireless services to unserved rural areas of the country…more

Broadband, ETCs, FCC, Mobile Broadband Services, Telecommunications

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Top Takeaways from IAPP

The world of privacy grows every day as more data goes through the cloud. The new trends and weekly data breaches make conferences like the Global Privacy Summit all the more relevant. Earlier this month we went to IAPP’s…more

Broadband, Data Breach, FBI, FCC, FERPA

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New York Pay Equity Law Expands Basis for Sex-Based Pay Disparity Claims

Beginning in January, workers in New York will find it much easier to plead and prove claims of wage discrimination. Effective Jan. 19, 2016, New York employers will face greater difficulty in defending against claims of sex…more

Anti-Pay Secrecy, Gender-Based Pay Discrimination, New Legislation, Pay Equity Act (PEA), Sex Discrimination

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Materiality Matters: SCOTUS Rules on FCA Implied Certification

In a unanimous decision issued on June 16, 2016, in Universal Health Inc. v. U.S. et al. ex rel. Escobar et al. the United States Supreme Court resolved a circuit split and held that an “implied certification” theory can provide…more

Conditions of Payment, False Claims Act (FCA), False Implied Certification Theory, Implied Certification, Medicaid

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Tinker, Take Two

Two legendary figures in the ongoing fight for student free speech rights are asking the Supreme Court to revisit this thorny area of First Amendment jurisprudence. John and Mary Beth Tinker were petitioners forty-six years ago…more

Censorship, First Amendment, Free Speech, Freedom of Expression, Political Speech

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More “Natural” Labeling Litigations to Come?

Last month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals revered (in part) a lower court decision finding that Dole’s “all natural” labeling was not deceptive to consumers – reviving a four-year-old litigation, Brazil v. Dole Packaged…more

All Natural, Class Action, Class Certification, Dole Food, Food Labeling

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Partisan Gridlock on Open Internet Rules Likely to Continue Until Court Ruling

Uncertainty over whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will overturn the FCC’s Open Internet rules appears to be a major roadblock to any bipartisan resolution of the issue in Congress. James…more

Broadband, FCC, Internet, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Open Internet Rules

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California Supreme Court to Decide Whether (And When) PAGA Plaintiffs Can Compel Discovery of Other Employees’ Contact Information

The California Supreme Court has granted review of the appellate court decision in Williams v. Superior Court to answer the following question: Is the plaintiff in a representative action under the Private Attorneys General Act…more

CA Supreme Court, Class Action, Discovery, Marshalls, PAGA

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California Employment Law Update: What’s New for 2017

This is our year-end assessment of the most important developments for California employers. All of the new laws are effective on Jan. 1, 2017, unless otherwise noted. The California legislature once again had a busy…more

Choice-of-Law, Domestic Violence, Equal Pay Act, ERISA, Exempt-Employees

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DOI Secretary Jewell Announces Two Utility-Scale Solar Projects in California and Nevada

Secretary Jewell, of the Department of Interior, announced approval of two utility-scale solar projects located on the California-Nevada border. The Stateline Solar Project will be located in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino…more

Department of the Interior, Public Private Partnerships (P3s), Public Projects, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy

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Final Regulations on Play or Pay Mandate Provide Relief to Certain Employers

This week, the IRS issued final regulations concerning the Affordable Care Act’s “play or pay” (also known as the employer shared responsibility) mandate. This advisory describes highlights of these voluminous regulations,…more

Affordable Care Act, Delays, Employee Benefits, Employer Mandates, Healthcare

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SBA Adds Training Module to Mentor-Protégé Applications

Small and large businesses seeking to take advantage of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) new All Small Mentor-Protégé Program will now have to jump through an extra hurdle as part of the application process. The…more

Federal Contractors, Joint Venture, Mentor-Protege Program, SBA, Small Business

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Developments on the OCC’s Initiative for Fintech Companies

Since Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry announced last December that the OCC will move forward to consider granting special purpose national bank charters to financial technology companies—under the OCC’s existing…more

Banking Sector, FinTech, National Bank Charters, OCC

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China’s Ongoing Foreign Direct Investment Law Reform: A Major Move to Simplify Market Entry Matters

China’s foreign investment regulatory landscape is undergoing another wave of major revamping since China amended its Company Law and the implementation guidelines regarding the registered capital of foreign-invested enterprises…more

Acquisitions, China, Foreign Investment, Investors, MOFCOM

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Employers Burdened By More New Laws

The Oregon Legislature enacted several laws in 2015 that will significantly affect your workplace. The following laws go into effect Jan. 1, 2016: Paid Sick Leave - As expected, Oregon has enacted a mandatory paid sick leave…more

Background Checks, Ban the Box, Criminal Background Checks, Criminal Records, Discrimination

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OIG Fraud Alert: Physicians in the Cross Hairs

On June 9, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a Fraud Alert focused on physician relationships. The Alert cautions physicians who enter into compensation arrangements such…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Fair Market Value, Fraud Alerts, Healthcare, HHS

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Amendments to the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Consumers to Take Effect on March 15, 2014

On Oct. 25, 2013, China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (the “NPC’s Standing Committee”) promulgated the Amendments to the Law on the Protections of the Rights and Interests of Consumers (the…more

Burden of Proof, China, Disclosure Requirements, Human Rights, Product Recalls

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FFIEC Releases Revised BSA/AML Examination Manual

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has released its revised Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Examination Manual. The revisions clarify supervisory expectations and incorporate…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, Banking Examinations, Banking Sector, Banks

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The Alaska Constitution and Alaska Oil and Gas Projects

In the March 29th decision of Sullivan v. Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL), the Supreme Court of Alaska held that the Alaska Constitution requires only one “best interest finding” (that an oil or…more

Leases, Oil & Gas, Permits

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Second Circuit Denies Section 230 Immunity for Acts of Affiliate Marketers

The Second Circuit became the third federal appellate court ever to deny immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, which provides broad protection for content supplied to websites by their users…more

Corporate Counsel, FTC, Immunity, Section 230, Section 5

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“Operation Failed Resolution:” FTC Seeks Media Outlets’ Help to Police Deceptive Weight Loss Ads

In the wake of settlements between the FTC and four weight loss product purveyors relating to the companies’ advertising tactics, the FTC has issued updated guidance for media outlets regarding the publication of advertisements…more

Advertising, Endorsements, False Advertising, FTC, Weight-Loss Products

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Essential Employment Policies for Family Businesses, Part II

In this second round of “must-have” employment policies, we focus on rest breaks and meal periods. It can be devastating for any business, but especially a family-run business, to face claims of non-compliance with wage and hour…more

Audits, Best Management Practices, Class Action, Employee Benefits, Employment Policies

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Industry Players Weigh In on Spokeo

A few months ago, we reviewed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, and the implications that a ruling in the case will have on the landscape of litigation under privacy statutes. Since…more

Article III, Certiorari, Class Action, Putative Class Actions, SCOTUS

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Modernization? SAMHSA Falls Short in Updating 42 C.F.R. Part 2

On January 18, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) published a final rule amending 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (“Part 2”), with an effective date that has…more

Consent, Data Security, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Health Care Providers, HIPAA

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1st Circuit Limits Secured Lender’s Right to Post-Petition Interest by Applying Flexible Standard

In an important decision for lenders, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided In re SW Boston Hotel Venture LLC, holding that a bankruptcy court was right to give a lender a claim for post-petition interest beginning…more

Commercial Bankruptcy, Hotels, Lenders

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Federal Circuit Holds Foreseeable Equivalents Infringe Under Doctrine of Equivalents

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held Wednesday that the doctrine of equivalents covers alternatives that were foreseeable at the time of application but not literally claimed. As a result, patent drafters will not…more

Functional Equivalent, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation, Patents

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New Washington Supreme Court Opinion Makes Pre-Decisional Case Records Easier to Seal

In a substantial narrowing of the public’s ability to review court files, the Washington Supreme Court has held there is no constitutional right of access to any case record unless and until the record becomes “relevant to a…more

Discovery, Right of Access, Sealed Records

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California Supreme Court to Decide Whether (And When) PAGA Plaintiffs Can Compel Discovery of Other Employees’ Contact Information

The California Supreme Court has granted review of the appellate court decision in Williams v. Superior Court to answer the following question: Is the plaintiff in a representative action under the Private Attorneys General Act…more

CA Supreme Court, Class Action, Discovery, Marshalls, PAGA

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[Webinar] Effective Negotiation of Health Information Technology (HIT) Contracts - August 11, 10:00 a.m. PDT

Frequently the legal contract is the last hurdle to beginning a new HIT project, and, for many health care organizations, the process can be a source of frustration in acquiring new technologies. This session will focus on best…more

Health Information Technologies, Information Technology, Information Technology Outsourcing, Webinars

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Recent Stark Developments: A Moving Target Where a Miss is as Good as a Mile

The federal physician self-referral ban or Stark law has been a part of the legal landscape for almost 25 years. The breadth of the law’s prohibitions, its strict liability formulation and draconian remedies have made it the…more

BPCI, CMS, False Claims Act (FCA), Healthcare, Hospitals

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Legislative Update: GMO-Labeling Bill Moves to Full Senate

In a hearing this morning in the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, committee members voted 14-6, including all Republican members and three Democrats (Klobuchar (MN), Heitkamp (ND), and Donnelly (IN)), to…more

Farms, First Amendment, Food Labeling, Food Manufacturers, GMO

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When Food Production Leads to Prosecution

Over the last few weeks, two big stories have made headlines in the food industry. Beginning in early February, news media across Europe began reporting that food products tested in several European countries contained…more

DOJ, EU, FDCA, Food Contamination, Food Manufacturers

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Read This If You Have a Website!

On Oct. 26, the Copyright Office published a notice of its final rule governing how online service providers must designate their "agent" for infringement notifications pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C…more

Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Copyright Office, Corporate Counsel, DMCA

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OIG Fraud Alert: Physicians in the Cross Hairs

On June 9, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a Fraud Alert focused on physician relationships. The Alert cautions physicians who enter into compensation arrangements such…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Fair Market Value, Fraud Alerts, Healthcare, HHS

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President Obama’s Proposed Privacy Bill of Rights - Part 6: FTC Enforcement Powers

In this post, we look at the additional powers given to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights (CPBR) and what it may mean for the agency that already enjoys significant authority to…more

Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, Discussion Draft, Enforcement, FTC, Obama Administration

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Federal Antitrust Enforcers Announce Intent to Crack Down on HR Practices That Can Be Illegal

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice recently issued Guidance for Human Resources Professionals and others involved in hiring, compensation, and benefits decisions. The guidelines put companies and individuals…more

Antitrust Violations, DOJ, FTC, Hiring & Firing, Human Resources Professionals

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The Big Picture: Aereo Held to Violate Public Performance Right

In a 6-3 decision written by Justice Breyer, the Supreme Court today ruled that Aereo’s internet television service infringes broadcasters’ exclusive rights to publicly perform their works. Despite the potentially broad…more

ABC, ABC v Aereo, Aereo, Broadcasting, Cable Television Providers

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D.C. Circuit’s POM Wonderful Decision Calls Into Question The FTC’s Imposition Of A Two-Study Requirement

On Jan. 30, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed the FTC’s ruling that POM Wonderful made false and misleading advertising claims that its pomegranate juice products were effective in fighting various…more

Administrative Hearings, Advertising, Appeals, Clinical Trials, False Advertising

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PG&E Narrows Scope of the CPUC Proceeding to Shut Down the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant by Unilaterally Withdrawing Its Procurement and Cost Allocation Requests

On February 27, 2017, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”) announced it is withdrawing several portions of its plan to close its 2.3 gigawatt Diablo Canyon Power Plant near San Luis Obispo by 2025. Specifically, PG&E has…more

CPUC, Nuclear Power, Power Plants, Renewable Energy

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California Court of Appeal Upholds Provision Delegating Authority to Arbitrator to Resolve Disputes Concerning Enforceability of Arbitration Agreement

On May 15, 2014, the California Court of Appeal provided positive news to employers seeking to maintain and enforce arbitration agreements. In Tiri v. Lucky Chances, Inc., a unanimous First Appellate District panel reversed a…more

Appeals, Arbitration, Arbitrators, Delegation of Discretion, Employment Contract

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Reversing Precedent, NLRB Drops Consent Requirement for Mixed Bargaining Unit of Temporary and Regular Employees

On July 11, the NLRB continued the expansion of joint-employer liability set forth in Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (Aug. 27, 2015) by eliminating the requirement that a union receive the consent of both the…more

Bargaining Units, Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., Collective Bargaining, Joint Employers, NLRB

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Unpaid Interns May Be Entitled to Wages and EEO Protections

Every summer, eager students beat down company doors, offering to do whatever is needed—for free—so they can include experience and a reference on their resume. But, a recent slew of lawsuits by unpaid interns has caused…more

Best Management Practices, Contract Drafting, DOL, EEOC, Employee Rights

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Enforcing Attendance Standards in the New World of California Sick Leave

When California’s sick leave law went into effect in 2015, many employers—especially national employers—did not change their pre-existing sick leave or paid-time-off (PTO) policies because those policies exceeded the…more

Corporate Counsel, Employee Benefits, Sick Leave, USPTO, Wage and Hour

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Estate, Gift, and GST Taxes in 2013: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and Other News

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the “Act”) was signed into law on Jan. 2, 2013, avoiding dramatic changes to tax exemptions and tax rates on transfers subject to federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer, Gift-Tax Exemption, Retirement Plan

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U.S. FCPA Guidance Released by DOJ and SEC

On Nov. 14, 2012, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission released a joint 130-page Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). This long-anticipated guidance lays out the…more

Compliance, DOJ, FCPA, FCPA Resource Guide, SEC

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New York’s Shield Law Follows New York Reporters Wherever They May Roam

On Dec. 10, 2013, the New York Court of Appeals resoundingly reaffirmed the important public policy underlying the New York statutory scheme that allows New York journalists to preserve the anonymity of their confidential…more

Journalists, Shield Laws

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Changes to the “Two-Midnight Rule” on the Horizon

On July 1, CMS published proposed changes to the so-called “Two-Midnight Rule,” which currently governs when inpatient hospital admissions are entitled to Medicare Part A payment. The proposed changes were announced in a display…more

CMS, Healthcare, Hospitals, Inpatient Billing, Medicare

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The (much!) Higher Cost of Non-Compliance: Federal Civil Penalties Increase

EPA has released an interim final rule with penalty adjustments mandated by a new law (“Interim Rule” or “Rule”). Most importantly, the “catch up” adjustments under the Interim Rule carry quite a wallop for those subject to any…more

CERCLA, Civil Monetary Penalty, Clean Water Act, EPA, EPCRA

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FCC Adopts Framework for $4.53B Mobility Fund Phase II

After some months of delay, the FCC has launched the second phase in its plans to provide significant subsidies over the next decade to fund the expansion of mobile wireless services to unserved rural areas of the country…more

Broadband, ETCs, FCC, Mobile Broadband Services, Telecommunications

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Supreme Court Invalidates Software Patents Directed to Implementing Abstract Ideas

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its highly anticipated opinion in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Services, Inc., No. 13-298. In Alice Corp., the Court upheld an en banc decision of the United States Court of…more

CLS Bank, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Patent Litigation, Patents, Popular

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FCC Proposes Fines of More Than $1.9M for EAS Violations

On March 3, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an omnibus Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) that proposes substantial fines totaling more than $1.9 million against Viacom, ESPN and NBCUniversal (the…more

Emergency Alerts, ESPN, FCC, NBC, Viacom

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DOL Notice on Tips for Selecting and Monitoring an ERISA Plan Auditor Alarms Recipients – Fear Not!

If you have recently received a notice from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), titled “Tips for Selecting and Monitoring a Plan Auditor,” do not be alarmed. It does not mean that you are being audited by the DOL and it does not…more

Audits, Corporate Counsel, DOL, Employee Benefits, ERISA

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Avoiding Class Action Litigation Under Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a growing source of class action litigation, due to the high potential penalties that it provides for very technical violations. The statute imposes conditions, among other things, on…more

Attorney's Fees, Background Checks, Class Action, Compliance, Consumer Reports

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PCI DSS 3.0: Business as Usual?

In the past, critics of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) have alleged that the DSS requirements either (1) provide little more than a minimal baseline for security with a “check-the-box” compliance…more

Cloud Computing, Compliance, Credit Cards, Data Protection, DSS

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FCC Grants States Extra Time to Implement Lifeline Rules

On December 1, 2016, the day before new eligibility and port freeze rules imposed by the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order on Lifeline-supported broadband services were to take effect, the FCC granted in part the petitions of…more

Broadband, Eligibility, FCC, Lifeline Program, Telecommunications

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Unpaid Interns May Be Entitled to Wages and EEO Protections

Every summer, eager students beat down company doors, offering to do whatever is needed—for free—so they can include experience and a reference on their resume. But, a recent slew of lawsuits by unpaid interns has caused…more

Best Management Practices, Contract Drafting, DOL, EEOC, Employee Rights

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FERC, NERC and Business Blackout: New CIP Standards and Fictional Cyber Attacks

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) July 16, 2015, proposing to approve various Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards proposed by the North…more

CIP, Compliance, Cyber Attacks, Cyber Crimes, Cybersecurity

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Climate change Regulation Starts to Take Shape in Washington State

In 2015, the Washington Legislature failed to act on Governor Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade proposal to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Since then, all branches of Washington State government, as well…more

Carbon Emissions, Carbon Taxes, Clean Power Plan, Climate Change, Energy Sector

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Good News: California Extends Its Medical Data Breach Notification Requirement From 5 to 15 Days

On Sept. 18, 2014, California’s governor approved Assembly Bill 1755, extending California’s stringent breach notification deadline for medical information breaches from five business days to 15 business days for clinics, health…more

Breach Notification Rule, Data Breach, EHR, Healthcare, Personally Identifiable Information

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Opposition Builds to Proposed Federal Clean Water Act Rules

Federal agencies face growing opposition from members of Congress and industry regarding a proposed definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The scope of federal jurisdiction under the CWA has…more

Clean Water Act, EPA, Jurisdiction, Nexus, Rapanos v US

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Consider The Risks Before Electing S Status For Your LLC

Family-owned businesses are often formed as LLCs. For federal tax purposes, an LLC with two or more members is treated as a partnership unless it elects otherwise. Income earned by a partnership is not subject to a separate…more

C-Corporation, Family Businesses, Limited Liability Company (LLC), S-Corporation, Shareholders

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USDOL Announces 2016 FLSA White-Collar Exemption Final Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) announced adoption of 2016 final regulations changing the white-collar exemption requirements. The new regulations are set to take effect on December 1, 2016, giving employers approximately…more

DOL, Final Rules, FLSA, Minimum Salary, Wage and Hour

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On Remand from Supreme Court, Hawkes Wins Challenge to Army Corps’ Wetland Determination

As described on this site last year, the Supreme Court first affirmed the right to challenge wetlands jurisdictional determinations by the Army Corps of Engineers. On remand, plaintiff Hawkes Company, a peat mining company in…more

Administrative Appeals, Hawkes Co v United States Army Corps of Engineers, Jurisdictional Determination (JD), US Army Corps of Engineers, Wetlands

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[Webinar] Hotel Liquor Licensing - September 27th, 10:00am PST

Join DWT Partner Matt LeMaster and Associate Jeff Giametta for this webinar where they will provide practical advice for dealing with the ins and outs of retail and hotel liquor licensing, including acquisition diligence,…more

Acquisitions, Alcohol Beverage Control, Continuing Legal Education, Corporate Structures, Hospitality Industry

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NYPSC Clarifies Clean Energy Standard (“CES”) and Commences First Compliance Year

On August 1, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission (the “NYPSC” or “Commission”) issued an Order Adopting a Clean Energy Standard (CES Order). In the CES Order, the Commission adopted the State Energy Plan (“SEP”) goal…more

Clean Energy, Energy Sector, FERC, Power Purchase Agreements, Renewable Energy

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FCC Proposes to Make 150 MHz of Spectrum Available for Shared Broadband Through Use of Dynamic Spectrum Access and Sharing Systems

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took steps to make 150 megahertz of spectrum available for shared broadband use by unanimously approving a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) setting forth…more

Broadband, FCC, NPRM, Wireless Industry

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Amendment To The FCC’s Effective Competition Rules: Implementation Of Section 111 Of STELAR

On June 2, 2015, the FCC adopted an Order implementing Section 111 of the STELA Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STELAR), which required the FCC to streamline its longstanding effective competition rules for small cable operators…more

Cable Television Providers, Communications Act of 1934, Competition, Competition Authorities, FCC

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Potential Impact of Reclassification on State and Local Tax Obligations

The Order tries to minimize the potential that state or local taxes on broadband Internet access service (BIAS) will increase as a result of reclassifying BIAS as a telecommunications service. BIAS providers, however, have…more

Broadband, Internet, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Internet Taxation, Telecommunications

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New HSR Filing Thresholds Take Effect Feb. 24, 2014

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced an increase in the thresholds that determine whether companies are required to notify federal antitrust authorities under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Acts…more

FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, Pre-Merger Filing Requirements

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California Court of Appeal Holds That a Private Conservator is a Public Official; Finds No Actual Malice Shown in Claim Based on CBS Report About Conservatorships

A conservator appointed by the court to temporarily handle certain affairs of an elderly woman is a “public official” for purposes of defamation law who has to meet the “actual malice” standard to survive an anti-SLAPP motion,…more

Actual Malice, Anti-SLAPP, Conservators, Defamation, Public Officials

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WOTUS, We Hardly Knew Ye

With a flourish of his pen, on February 28 President Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at dismantling the ill-fated Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The rule was the latest attempt by EPA and the Army Corps of…more

Clean Water Act, EPA, Executive Orders, Trump Administration, Waters of the United States

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The Real Takeaway from VIZIO’s Privacy FTC Settlement

It has been widely reported that VIZIO, Inc., a large television manufacturer, settled a Complaint brought by the FTC and the Attorney General of New Jersey for $2.2 million for alleged unfair and deceptive acts and practices…more

Data Collection, FTC, FTC Act, Section 5, Smart Devices

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NY Regulations on Wage Payment by Direct Deposit / Payroll Debit Cards Have Been Invalidated

The New York State Industrial Board of Appeals (the “IBA” or the “Board”) invalidated regulations scheduled to take effect on March 7, 2017, that would have enhanced the notice and authorization requirements for employers using…more

Debit Cards, Direct Deposit, DOL, Employer Liability Issues, Payroll Cards

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The Fed’s Goals, Strategies, and Tactics for an Improved U.S. Payment System

The Federal Reserve System recently issued a paper titled Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System that provides a roadmap for end-to-end payment system advances over the short and long term…more

Federal Reserve, Information Reports, Payment Systems

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U.S. FCPA Guidance Released by DOJ and SEC

On Nov. 14, 2012, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission released a joint 130-page Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). This long-anticipated guidance lays out the…more

Compliance, DOJ, FCPA, FCPA Resource Guide, SEC

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What Does the New Defend Trade Secrets Act Mean for California Employers?

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) allows companies for the first time to file civil lawsuits for trade secrets theft under federal law if the trade secret is “related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in,…more

Asset Seizure, Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), Economic Espionage Act, Ex Parte, Intellectual Property Protection

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Materiality Matters: SCOTUS Rules on FCA Implied Certification

In a unanimous decision issued on June 16, 2016, in Universal Health Inc. v. U.S. et al. ex rel. Escobar et al. the United States Supreme Court resolved a circuit split and held that an “implied certification” theory can provide…more

Conditions of Payment, False Claims Act (FCA), False Implied Certification Theory, Implied Certification, Medicaid

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If You Think Your Family Business’s Service Contracts Limit Your Liability In All Situations, Think Again!

Family-owned businesses in the services industry in Washington (and beyond) should be paying attention to a recent Washington Supreme Court case addressing the “Independent Duty Doctrine” (also referred to as the “economic loss…more

Family Businesses, Limitation of Liability Clause, Service Contracts

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U.S. House Approves Law Targeting Sex Trafficking Ads, Threatens to Undermine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

On May 20, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2014 (“SAVE Act”). If enacted, the bill would expose websites and other media to federal criminal penalties for…more

Communications Decency Act, Crime Victims, First Amendment, Free Speech, Internet

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Oregon PUC Outlines Ambitious Schedule for Implementation of Clean Electricity Programs

At an April 21 workshop, the Oregon Public Utility Commission presented its timeline for implementing a variety of programs in the wake of the state’s recently passed and far-ranging energy bill, SB 1547 (the “Oregon Clean…more

Clean Energy, Coal, Electricity, Public Utilities Commission

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Your Estate Plan – Four Documents You Should Be Considering

An estate plan can be a complicated thing. Attorneys, accountants, advisors all may be involved in pulling together a customized plan that conforms to your desires, complies with state and federal law and minimizes your tax…more

Advance Directives, Estate Planning, Power of Attorney, Trusts, Wills

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DWT Releases Latest Health Care Breach Charts

Following the HITECH Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued regulations requiring HIPAA covered entities to provide certain notifications for breaches of unsecured protected…more

Data Breach, HHS, HITECH, OCR

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Labeling Flying Pig Bacon and Not Much Else (For Now)

There’s a new federal law governing GMOs, and it preempts the poorly conceived, if well-meaning, state laws that have been pushed for the past decade. While state GMO bills have tended toward inclusion—concerns over…more

Bioengineering, Food Labeling, GMO, Preemption, USDA

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Single-User Restrooms in California Must Be Designated As All-Gender

Effective March 1, 2017, under a new law known the Equal Restroom Access Act, California businesses that have single-user restrooms are required to designate such restrooms as all-gender and must post appropriate accessible…more

Employee Restrooms, Gender Identity, Transgender

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FERC and CPUC Approve Utilities’ Innovative Request to Own a 50 MW Solar Project in Partnership with a Tax Equity Investor

For the first time, a regulated electric utility, Liberty Utilities (CalPeco Electric) LLC (“Liberty”), recently obtained all state and federal regulatory approvals to partner with a tax equity investor to acquire, own, and…more

CPUC, Federal Power Act, FERC, Investment Tax Credits, Tax Equity Partnership

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Accessibility Rules Continue to Take Shape Even As FCC Leadership Transitions

With FCC leadership soon shifting as the current administration winds down, there have been several interesting accessibility-related developments. In addition, several important FCC accessibility rule compliance deadlines have…more

Accessibility Rules, Broadband, Broadband Internet Access Services (BIAS), FCC

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Stolen Patient Information on Hospital Computer Not Considered “Medical Information” by California Appellate Court

The California Court of Appeal recently held that the release of an index identifying hospital patients did not constitute the release of medical information under California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA),…more

Appeals, Data Breach, Healthcare, Hospitals, Medical Records

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FCC Finalizes Weighting Criteria for Evaluating Provider Bids in CAF Phase II Auction

On March 2, the FCC released an Order finalizing the competitive bidding framework for the Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II auction. Under the Phase II auction the FCC will distribute nearly two billion dollars to providers…more

Broadband, CAF, Competitive Bidding, FCC

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The FAST Act: Buried Transportation Bill Amendments Ease Private Resale Restrictions and Modify the JOBS Act

On Dec. 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (the “FAST Act”). As the name implies, the FAST Act is primarily concerned with transportation and infrastructure spending, but it…more

Capital Raising, Emerging Growth Companies, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), JOBS Act, Resale Exemption

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DOL Proposes 60-day Delay of Fiduciary Duty Rule

On March 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed 60-day extension of the final rule commonly known as the “Fiduciary Duty Rule,” which if approved would delay the effective date from April 10, 2017 to…more

DOL, ERISA, Fiduciary Rule, Investment Adviser, Retirement Plan

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Streaming Video of Oral Arguments: Now Live in California… and Then Everywhere Else?

I love watching appellate arguments. When I worked for the office of the New York attorney general and my colleagues argued before the New York Court of Appeals, my entire office was able to gather around and watch the argument…more

Broadcasting, CA Supreme Court, Live Streaming

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Sturgeon v. National Park Service: Supreme Court Sidesteps Federal / State Lands Conflict

A case originating in Alaska may have answered the question for those wondering how the United States Supreme Court will approach weighty questions of law and policy with a vacancy on the Court; it probably won’t…more

ANILCA, Land Preservation, National Park Service, Public Land

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Are You a Small Employer? Still Time to Implement a Health Reimbursement Arrangement

The 21st Century Cures Act allows small employers to reimburse employees on a pre-tax basis for medical care expenses (including premiums for individual health insurance policies). Under transition relief issued on February 27,…more

Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Plan (QSEHRAs), Small Employers

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Medicare Shared Savings Program: Final Rule

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Final Rule on the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). The Final Rule provides additional flexibility to accountable care organizations participating…more

ACOs, CMS, Data-Sharing, Electronic Health Record Incentives, Fee-for-Service

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No Phishing: OCR Warns of Phishing Attempts Disguised as Official HIPAA Audit Program Emails

What’s worse than receiving an email indicating that you have been selected for an audit by your favorite government regulator? Clicking on a link in the email and discovering that it is a phishing attack that has just…more

Business Associates, Covered Entities, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Email

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Executive Orders on Immigration: How Employers Can Prepare for Increased Enforcement Actions

Recent press reports describe worksite raids and other types of enforcement action by U.S. immigration authorities, illustrating the new immigration reality introduced by the Trump Administration. Employers have taken notice and…more

DHS, Executive Orders, H-1B, I-9, ICE

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The 2016 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Eliminating the Three-Day Rule for Electronic Service

On December 1, 2016, absent congressional action, new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will take effect, amending Rules 4, 6, and 82. (See At-A-Glance Summary, infra.) While these changes seem mostly…more

Corporate Counsel, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, New Amendments, Young Lawyers

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Seattle Secure Scheduling Proposed Rules - Public Comments Due by March 28, 2017

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards (“OLS”) has released proposed rules implementing the Secure Scheduling Ordinance. The Ordinance takes effect on July 1, 2017 and requires large retail and food service employers in Seattle…more

Covered Employer, Local Ordinance, Public Comment, Work Schedules

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[Event] Nonprofits in the Digital Age - October 18th, Seattle, WA

Please join us for a complimentary seminar focused on the critical legal issues facing nonprofits as they increasingly engage supporters, raise funds, and create change online and through digital technology…more

501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), Continuing Legal Education, Crowdfunding, Cybersecurity

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Value of Independent Directors for the Family Corporation

In the wake of the financial scandals of the early 2000s, a push was made to increase the number of independent directors on public company boards. Most public companies are required to have a majority of independent directors…more

Audit Committee, Family Businesses, Independent Boards, Privately Held Corporations

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Alaska Passes Initiative to Legalize Recreational Use of Marijuana—What Does that Mean for Employers?

Alaska voted on Nov. 4, 2014, to decriminalize possession, use, display, purchase, and transport of marijuana. Alaska has now joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. in legalizing recreational marijuana use…more

Decriminalization of Marijuana, Drug Testing, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, Marijuana

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New Exclusion Rule on the Horizon

On January 12, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) published a final rule which provides guidance on its new and expanded bases for permissive exclusion from federal health care…more

HHS, OIG, Permissive Exclusion Authority, Regulatory Freeze, Statute of Limitations

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Amendment To The FCC’s Effective Competition Rules: Implementation Of Section 111 Of STELAR

On June 2, 2015, the FCC adopted an Order implementing Section 111 of the STELA Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STELAR), which required the FCC to streamline its longstanding effective competition rules for small cable operators…more

Cable Television Providers, Communications Act of 1934, Competition, Competition Authorities, FCC

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New Year, New Possibilities: OIG Final Rule Amends Beneficiary Inducement Rules

The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) of the Department of Health and Human Services has issued a final rule (“Final Rule”) adding new safe harbors to the federal anti-kickback statute, amending existing safe harbors, and…more

Anti-Kickback Statute, Civil Monetary Penalty, Cost-Sharing, FQHC, Generic Drugs

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China Makes Updates to Catalog of Telecommunication Business

On Dec. 28, 2015, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (“MIIT”) issued the Catalog of Telecommunication Business (2015 Edition) (the “2015 Edition”), which will take effect on…more

China, Cloud Computing, E-Commerce, Internet, Mobile Apps

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FCC Adopts Broader Exemption from Enhanced Open Internet Transparency Disclosure Requirements for Small Providers

Today, the FCC adopted an order relieving broadband providers with 250,000 or fewer connections from the enhanced transparency requirements introduced in the 2015 Open Internet Order. Compared to the prior Administration’s…more

Broadband, Disclosure Requirements, FCC, Internet Privacy, Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

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EEOC’s Tough Enforcement Stance Against Criminal Background Checks

Earlier this year, the EEOC issued new Enforcement Guidance warning private sector employers that they could face litigation unless they significantly restrict the use of arrest and conviction records in hiring, promotion, and…more

Criminal Background Checks, Criminal Records, EEOC, Enforcement Guidance, Strategic Enforcement Plan

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The CFPB’s Final Prepaid Account Rule

On October 13, the DWT Payments team briefed the Consumer Working Group of the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) on the CFPB’s final prepaid account rule. The presentation focused on the following topics: - Scope of the…more

CFPB, Fee Disclosure, Gift-Cards, Prepaid Payment Products, Regulation E

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DOL Proposes 60-day Delay of Fiduciary Duty Rule

On March 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed 60-day extension of the final rule commonly known as the “Fiduciary Duty Rule,” which if approved would delay the effective date from April 10, 2017 to…more

DOL, ERISA, Fiduciary Rule, Investment Adviser, Retirement Plan

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Open Internet Rules Become Effective June 12: Impact on Pole Attachments

On Friday, June 12 – barring a judicial stay – many of the FCC’s “Open Internet” rules will become effective. A significant consequence of the reclassification of retail broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a…more

Broadband, Cable Operators, FCC, Open Internet Rules, Pole Attachment Order

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California Supreme Court Broadens Borrower Fraud Defense to Written Loan Agreements

The California Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision earlier this week, broadening the scope of the “fraud exception” to the parol evidence rule, to allow a plaintiff challenging the terms of a written agreement to…more

Bank of America, Borrowers, Foreclosure, Fraud Exception, Lenders

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The Dancing Baby Grooves to Mixed Victory in the 9th Circuit: Court Holds that DMCA Takedown Notices Require Consideration of Fair Use

Behind the scenes of the Internet’s current swirl of memes, mashups and other viral content is a massive system of takedown notices and counternotices passing back and forth between content owners, web hosts and users, intended…more

Copyright Infringement, Digital Media, DMCA, Fair Use, Takedown Notices

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State Supreme Court Strikes Down Washington’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

The Washington Supreme Court in May struck down the state’s 2010 anti-SLAPP statute, holding in a unanimous opinion that the law violates the state constitution’s right to a jury trial and is invalid on its face. The decision,…more

Anti-SLAPP, First Amendment, Free Speech, Jury Trial, WA Supreme Court

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Congressional Payments Technology Caucus Formed

Innovation in the payments industry continues to accelerate as both established and emerging companies invest significant resources in the development of new payment systems and technologies. Recognizing the challenge that…more

Emerging Growth Companies, Legislative Agendas, Payment Systems, Technology

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Can Electric Storage Resources Collect Both Cost-Based and Market-Based Revenue?

The short answer is: yes, with a few caveats. On January 19, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a policy statement that, under appropriate circumstances, electric storage resources may…more

Energy Market, Energy Sector, Energy Storage, FERC, ISOs

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Encouraging Gas Development in China—A Work In Progress

The Chinese government recently issued several reform measures intended to open up its gas industry to foreign oil and gas developers. An inflow of foreign capital and technology, it is hoped, will spur construction of the…more

China, Entergy, Foreign Investment, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas

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Alaska Supreme Court Says Exploration is a Transfer of Interest in State Land, Cannot Be Allowed Without Full Public Notice and Comment - Also Sides with Public Interest Litigants on Fee Shifting

The Alaska Supreme Court’s recent decision in Nunamta Alukestai v. Pebble Limited Partnership, No. 7011 (Alaska filed May 29, 2015) significantly alters the permitting process for projects within the jurisdiction of the…more

Department of Natural Resources, Energy Sector, Fee-Shifting, Land-Use Permits, Mining

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Added Compliance Burdens: New York Nonprofits Have to Implement Workplace Violence Programs

In 2010, New York State enacted its New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (NYPMIFA); in 2012 Governor Cuomo promulgated Executive Order 38 capping excess compensation at nonprofits receiving government funding;…more

Compliance, DOL, Healthcare, Medicaid, Medicare

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When Food Production Leads to Prosecution

Over the last few weeks, two big stories have made headlines in the food industry. Beginning in early February, news media across Europe began reporting that food products tested in several European countries contained…more

DOJ, EU, FDCA, Food Contamination, Food Manufacturers

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The Latest with the FCC's Open Internet Order

Attorneys Chris Savage, Peter Karanjia, and Dan Reing discuss the history and rationale of the Open Internet Order and the motivation and implications of the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision. The FCC’s assumption affirms that…more

Broadband, FCC, Internet, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Net Neutrality

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CMS Releases Proposed Rules Allowing Meaningful Use CEHRT Flexibility and Extending Stage 2

CMS recently issued proposed rules that would modify 2014 EHR certification requirements and revise the meaningful use Stage 2 and Stage 3 timeline. In response to industry complaints that many eligible professionals and…more

CEHRT, Certifications, CMS, EHR, Healthcare

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Cloud Computing: Evolving Contracting Practices

The explosion of cloud computing is creating new common standards and changing industry contracting practices for access to these services. Cloud services providers tend to provide standard contractual terms that are largely…more

Cloud Computing, Contract Drafting, Contract Formation, Negotiations, Software

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Nationwide Injunction of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule

One of, if not the most often-discussed issue facing Government contractors over the past few months has been the impending implementation of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. In brief, this rule, which was to come…more

Executive Orders, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, Federal Arbitration Act, Federal Contractors, First Amendment

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Modernization? SAMHSA Falls Short in Updating 42 C.F.R. Part 2

On January 18, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) published a final rule amending 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (“Part 2”), with an effective date that has…more

Consent, Data Security, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Health Care Providers, HIPAA

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Modernization? SAMHSA Falls Short in Updating 42 C.F.R. Part 2

On January 18, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) published a final rule amending 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (“Part 2”), with an effective date that has…more

Consent, Data Security, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Health Care Providers, HIPAA

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California Supreme Court Holds That California Law Requires Unencumbered Rest Breaks

California law requires most employers to authorize paid rest breaks for non-exempt employees of at least 10 minutes for each four hours worked or a major fraction thereof, and to provide this rest break approximately mid-way…more

Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, Rest and Meal Break, Wage and Hour

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Nationwide Injunction Freezes New FLSA White-Collar Exemption Rule

A Texas federal court has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction preventing the key features of the controversial FLSA white-collar exemption rule from taking effect on Dec. 1. The USDOL can appeal to the conservative 5th…more

DOL, FLSA, Minimum Salary, Over-Time, Popular

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Who Runs Your Business and Finances if You Can’t?

You are the senior executive of a successful family business. If you experience a stroke, or a heart attack, or are in a serious accident, such that you are in a coma, for example, or otherwise unable to act on your own behalf,…more

Durable Power of Attorney, Family Businesses, Successors

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Ninth Circuit Retcons Its “Dancing Baby” Fair-Use Decision and Creates More Confusion

Apparently, George Lucas is not the only party in California who can edit his own work after release in order to change aspects he does not like. While perhaps not as culturally significant as changing “Star Wars: A New Hope” so…more

Copyright, Copyright Litigation, DMCA, Fair Use, Good Faith

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Ways to Make Your Family Business More Family Friendly

Family businesses face many hurdles. One of the biggest hurdles for family businesses (as for all businesses) is keeping and retaining talent. Family businesses have to compete for talent against bigger, more established…more

Compensation & Benefits, Family Businesses, Professional Development, Recruitment Incentives

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Added Compliance Burdens: New York Nonprofits Have to Implement Workplace Violence Programs

In 2010, New York State enacted its New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (NYPMIFA); in 2012 Governor Cuomo promulgated Executive Order 38 capping excess compensation at nonprofits receiving government funding;…more

Compliance, DOL, Healthcare, Medicaid, Medicare

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Ninth Circuit Ices Back-of-House Tip Pools

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld U.S. Department of Labor regulations invalidating tip-pooling arrangements that include kitchen staff and other employees who are not customarily tipped (often referred to as…more

Resorts & Restaurants, Tip-Pooling, Tipped Employees, Tips, Wage and Hour

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Federal Court Nixes City’s Attempt to Use Copyright Law to Curtail Critic’s Speech on YouTube

A California city cannot hold one of its citizens liable for copyright infringement for using clips of city council meetings in his critical YouTube videos, a federal judge has ruled. The August 20, 2015 order in City of…more

City Councils, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Copyright Litigation, CPRA

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[Event] Nonprofits in the Digital Age - October 18th, Seattle, WA

Please join us for a complimentary seminar focused on the critical legal issues facing nonprofits as they increasingly engage supporters, raise funds, and create change online and through digital technology…more

501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), Continuing Legal Education, Crowdfunding, Cybersecurity

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California Employment Law Update: What’s New for 2016?

The California legislature continued its focus on expanding legal remedies for employees in California. Many of the new laws for 2016, such as the Fair Pay Act and expanded Labor Commissioner powers, make significant changes to…more

Fair Pay Act, FEHA, Labor Commissioners, PAGA, Piece-Rate Pay

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Changing the Changes: 2015 Revisions to the New York Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013

The Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013 (the “2013 Act”) carried out the first major overhaul of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the "NPCL") in four decades. A number of changes to the 2013 Act were enacted in…more

Amended Legislation, Board of Directors, Conflicts of Interest, Governor Cuomo, Non-Profits

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[Webinar] Hotel Liquor Licensing - September 27th, 10:00am PST

Join DWT Partner Matt LeMaster and Associate Jeff Giametta for this webinar where they will provide practical advice for dealing with the ins and outs of retail and hotel liquor licensing, including acquisition diligence,…more

Acquisitions, Alcohol Beverage Control, Continuing Legal Education, Corporate Structures, Hospitality Industry

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9th Circuit Determines that California Law Restricts a “No-Rehire” Provision in a Settlement Agreement

Under California law, “every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.” (Bus. & Prof. Code §16600) The prohibition pertains even if the…more

Business & Professions Code, Contract Terms, Employer Liability Issues, Hiring & Firing, Settlement Agreements

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Oregon DEQ to Review Sites with Long-Term Controls

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) announced that in March 2017, it will launch a pilot program to take a second look at 25-30 randomly selected sites that received a No Further Action (“NFA”) determination…more

Contamination, Department of Environmental Quality, Property Owners

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Be Careful with Living Trusts that Own S Corporation Stock

In many states, Living Trusts are a person’s key estate planning document. Living Trusts are created to hold assets during life and then dispose of those assets at death according to the person’s directions (here, we will call…more

Estate Planning, Grantor Trusts, Living Trust, S-Corporation

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Legislation Proposed to Ban Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

On April 29, 2015, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) introduced the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2015 (AFA), which would amend the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. (FAA), by…more

Arbitration, Federal Arbitration Act, Mandatory Arbitration Clauses, Proposed Amendments

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Should a Family Business Owner Make a Charitable Gift of Her S Corporation Stock?

Owners of family businesses are often looking to support charitable causes, while also seeking to obtain the most tax efficient outcome from such donations. Generally, a charitable contribution of appreciated property allows a…more

Charitable Donations, Family Businesses, S-Corporation

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New Form Factors in Cobrand and Private-Label Credit Card Program Agreements

Most current cobrand and private-label agreements involve one or, more usually, two parties that are issuing, branding or developing non-traditional form factors alongside or in lieu of plastic cards. Some of these form factors…more

Brand, Credit Cards, Mobile Payments, Servicing Agreements

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FCC Proposes Rules to Allow Carriers to Block Illegal “Robocalls”

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) and Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) opening a new docket, Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls, which proposes rules to…more

Call Blocking, FCC, NPRM, Robocalling, Spoofing

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Developments on the OCC’s Initiative for Fintech Companies

Since Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry announced last December that the OCC will move forward to consider granting special purpose national bank charters to financial technology companies—under the OCC’s existing…more

Banking Sector, FinTech, National Bank Charters, OCC

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Interconnected VoIP Providers Gain Direct Access to Telephone Numbers

On Monday, June 22, 2015, the FCC released a Report and Order establishing a process to authorize interconnected VoIP providers to obtain direct access to telephone numbers. Once the process takes effect (after approval by OMB,…more

FCC, Telecommunications, VoIP, Wireless Industry

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CSBS Emerging Payments Task Force Issues Virtual Currency Policy Framework

The recently formed Emerging Payments Task Force of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) issued a proposed policy on state virtual currency regulation on Dec. 16, 2014 (the “Policy”). The Policy identifies core public…more

Bitcoin, BitLicense, BSA/AML, CSBS, Licensing Rules

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CFPB Seeks Comments on the Credit Card Market for Its 2017 CARD Act Report

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently issued a request for information (the RFI) regarding the consumer credit card market. The CARD Act (Pub. L. No. 111–24, 123 Stat. 1734 (2009)) requires the CFPB to publish a…more

CARD Act, CFPB, Credit Cards, Public Comment, Request For Information

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Federal Antitrust Enforcers Announce Intent to Crack Down on HR Practices That Can Be Illegal

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice recently issued Guidance for Human Resources Professionals and others involved in hiring, compensation, and benefits decisions. The guidelines put companies and individuals…more

Antitrust Violations, DOJ, FTC, Hiring & Firing, Human Resources Professionals

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Stiff Penalties Imposed for Abuse of SBA Set Aside Contracts

This past Tuesday, Margaret Cho, an Officer of Far East Construction Company, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud. Ms. Cho also agreed to pay a forfeiture in the amount of $169,166 and a criminal fine in the amount…more

Federal Contractors, SBA, Set-Aside Contracts, Small Business

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California Court Clarifies Controversial Questions About Medical Staff Peer Review Decisions and the Power of Hospital Boards

Two recent California Court of Appeal opinions decide issues of first impression in the medical staff peer review arena, helping to resolve questions that have long been uncertain and controversial. In the first of the two cases…more

Health Care Providers, Healthcare, Hospitals, Peer Review

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Supreme Court to Revisit the Plaintiff-Friendly “Fraud-on-the-Market” Presumption in Securities Fraud Class Actions

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide a case this term that could significantly affect the viability of securities fraud class actions against public companies. The case, Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., will…more

Class Action, Fraud, Fraud-on-the-Market, Halliburton, SCOTUS

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Assessing the Utility of CARD Act Disclosures

PLA has for many years posted elite academic research questioning the utility of CARD Act disclosures. For example, in 2013 we posted Regulating Consumer Financial Products: Evidence from Credit Cards by Sumit Agarwal from…more

CARD Act, Consumer Financial Products, Credit Cards

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EPA’s Audit Policy eDisclosure: Electronic Self-Reporting for Environmental Violations

Reporting uner EPA’s audit policy, which has provided relief from gravity-based penalties to those who self-report, is about to become much easier. This fall, EPA expects to launch a centralized web-based “eDisclosure” portal…more

Disclosure Requirements, eDisclosure, EPA, EPCRA, Penalties

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DoD New Cyber Security Reporting Rules for Contractors

In a move that highlights the changing winds of federal cybersecurity policy, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) has issued an interim Rule (“Rule”) that imposes new security and reporting requirements on federal contractors, and…more

Breach Notification Rule, Cloud Computing, Controlled Unclassified Information, Cybersecurity, Data Protection

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[Webinar] Update on Preparing for the Trump Administration – What Employers May Expect - February 16th, 10:00am PST

If recently signed executive orders by President Trump are any indicator, changes are in store for employers in 2017. With current legislation and regulations under scrutiny and the future of ACA uncertain, employers are likely…more

Affordable Care Act, Compliance, Continuing Legal Education, EEOC, Employee Benefits

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Oregon Tiered Minimum Wage Increase Effective, July 1, 2016

Oregon’s new minimum wage law which phases in wage increases over a six-year period starts, July 1, 2016. The minimum wage for medium and high density counties – listed below – rises to $9.75. The minimum wage for low density…more

Employer Liability Issues, Minimum Wage, New Regulations, Wage and Hour

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Delaware Bankruptcy Court Denies Motion to Sell Free and Clear of Senior Lien

The Delaware bankruptcy court recently denied a debtors’ motion to sell real estate free and clear of a bank’s senior liens on the properties. The court rejected the debtors’ arguments that the bank could be compelled to take…more

Banks, Commercial Bankruptcy, Debtors, Financial Institutions, Mortgages

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Changing the Changes: 2015 Revisions to the New York Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013

The Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013 (the “2013 Act”) carried out the first major overhaul of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the "NPCL") in four decades. A number of changes to the 2013 Act were enacted in…more

Amended Legislation, Board of Directors, Conflicts of Interest, Governor Cuomo, Non-Profits

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The Real Takeaway from VIZIO’s Privacy FTC Settlement

It has been widely reported that VIZIO, Inc., a large television manufacturer, settled a Complaint brought by the FTC and the Attorney General of New Jersey for $2.2 million for alleged unfair and deceptive acts and practices…more

Data Collection, FTC, FTC Act, Section 5, Smart Devices

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Vanity Fair Prevails in Libel Suit Brought by Oleg Cassini’s Widow

Oleg Cassini, the designer who created Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic styles, had been linked or married to the most beautiful women of his day – Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Anita Ekberg, Gene Tierney, among countless others. But…more

Dismissals, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Libel, Statute of Limitations

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Executive Orders on Immigration: How Employers Can Prepare for Increased Enforcement Actions

Recent press reports describe worksite raids and other types of enforcement action by U.S. immigration authorities, illustrating the new immigration reality introduced by the Trump Administration. Employers have taken notice and…more

DHS, Executive Orders, H-1B, I-9, ICE

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[Event] Nonprofits in the Digital Age - October 18th, Seattle, WA

Please join us for a complimentary seminar focused on the critical legal issues facing nonprofits as they increasingly engage supporters, raise funds, and create change online and through digital technology…more

501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), Continuing Legal Education, Crowdfunding, Cybersecurity

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China’s New Online Information Protection Law

On Dec. 28, 2012, the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress enacted a 12-article Decision on Strengthening Online Information Protection (the “Decision”), without public consultation and after just one…more

China, Data Protection, Internet, Internet Privacy Protection Acts, Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

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Federal Reserve Banks Payment System Improvements Project Moves Forward

Keep your eye on this one. In the fall of 2013, the Federal Reserve Banks launched a study of the US payments system. The study has three targets: first, a faster payment system; second, a more secure payment system; and…more

Banks, Cross-Border, Cross-Border Transactions, Federal Reserve, Payment Systems

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Washington State Producers and Retailers of Mercury-Containing Lights Face New Regulations

The New Year brought with it new obligations for any company that produces or sells mercury-containing lights in (or into) Washington State. As of January 1, 2015, the State’s recycling program and corresponding funding…more

Manufacturers, Mercury, Recycling, Retailers

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President Trump to Restore Quorum at FERC

It has been widely reported that President Donald J. Trump is preparing to nominate three new commissioners to fill existing vacancies at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The prospective nominees are Kevin J. McIntyre,…more

Administrative Appointments, Energy Sector, FERC, Oil & Gas, Trump Administration

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Who Owns the Family Name?

For good reasons family businesses often use a family name in their business names. The use of a family name has a number of benefits, from quickly identifying the familial association with the business to honoring the legacy of…more

Business Ownership, Family Businesses, Ownership Requirements

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Ninth Circuit Ices Back-of-House Tip Pools

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld U.S. Department of Labor regulations invalidating tip-pooling arrangements that include kitchen staff and other employees who are not customarily tipped (often referred to as…more

Resorts & Restaurants, Tip-Pooling, Tipped Employees, Tips, Wage and Hour

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Estate, Gift, and GST Taxes in 2013: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and Other News

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the “Act”) was signed into law on Jan. 2, 2013, avoiding dramatic changes to tax exemptions and tax rates on transfers subject to federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer, Gift-Tax Exemption, Retirement Plan

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Seattle Minimum Wage and Wage Theft Ordinances Take Effect April 1, 2015

Two significant wage-related ordinances take effect on April 1, 2015, impacting all employers with employees who work in Seattle, whether regularly or occasionally. The Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance: Minimum wages rise for all…more

Local Ordinance, Minimum Wage, Wage and Hour, Wage Theft Prevention Act, Wages

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USDOL Announces 2016 FLSA White-Collar Exemption Final Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) announced adoption of 2016 final regulations changing the white-collar exemption requirements. The new regulations are set to take effect on December 1, 2016, giving employers approximately…more

DOL, Final Rules, FLSA, Minimum Salary, Wage and Hour

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You May Not Be Entitled To Use Your Own Name

Working with several artisan food and alcohol producers as clients, we frequently notice that using one’s own name (first, last, or both) as a brand name in association with one’s goods is very common in these industries…more

Brand, Food Manufacturers, McDonalds, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Trademarks

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Mobile Application: Security Best Practices

The industry for mobile applications is growing rapidly. As companies and independent developers look to gain—or strengthen—footholds in this competitive space, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asks, “… is security keeping up”…more

Credit Karma, Cybersecurity, Fandango, FTC, Mobile Apps

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Wireless Legislation on the Way?

In the current divisive political climate, there’s one thing pretty much everyone can agree on – broadband infrastructure deployment is and should remain a high priority for legislators and regulators. In this special edition…more

Broadband, Infrastructure, Obama Administration, Telecommunications, Trump Administration

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Seattle Secure Scheduling Proposed Rules - Public Comments Due by March 28, 2017

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards (“OLS”) has released proposed rules implementing the Secure Scheduling Ordinance. The Ordinance takes effect on July 1, 2017 and requires large retail and food service employers in Seattle…more

Covered Employer, Local Ordinance, Public Comment, Work Schedules

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California Employment Law Update: What’s New for 2016?

The California legislature continued its focus on expanding legal remedies for employees in California. Many of the new laws for 2016, such as the Fair Pay Act and expanded Labor Commissioner powers, make significant changes to…more

Fair Pay Act, FEHA, Labor Commissioners, PAGA, Piece-Rate Pay

See All Updates »

California Sick Time Law: Beyond the Basics

California’s “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014,” otherwise known as California’s Paid Sick Time (or Paid Sick Leave) law, went into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, and will become operative for accrual purposes on July…more

DLSE, Employer Mandates, Healthy Workplace Act, Paid Leave, Sick Leave

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3 Takeaways from the Empire Startups Fintech Conference

On November 10, attorneys from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP attended the Empire Startups Fintech Conference in San Francisco, CA. Partner Wendy Kearns moderated a panel called “Traditional FinServ – Where to Disrupt and When to…more

Bitcoin, Data-Sharing, Financial Institutions, FinTech, Startups

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The Dancing Baby Grooves to Mixed Victory in the Ninth Circuit: Court Holds That DMCA Takedown Notices Require Consideration of Fair Use

Behind the scenes of the Internet’s current swirl of memes, mash-ups, and other viral content is a massive system of takedown notices and counter-notices passing back and forth between content owners, web hosts, and users,…more

Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Copyright Litigation, Corporate Counsel, DMCA

See All Updates »

Modernization? SAMHSA Falls Short in Updating 42 C.F.R. Part 2

On January 18, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) published a final rule amending 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (“Part 2”), with an effective date that has…more

Consent, Data Security, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Health Care Providers, HIPAA

See All Updates »