Farella Braun + Martel LLP

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Evan Abrams

Revisiting Estate Planning Post-DOMA

The Supreme Court issued decisions in two landmark cases involving same-sex marriage on June 26, 2013. In United States v. Windsor, the Court held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional, which…more

DOMA, ERISA, Estate Planning, Estate Tax, Marriage

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Diego Acevedo

New San Francisco Ordinance Requires Employers To Discuss Family Life Accommodations

Effective January 1, 2014, the San Francisco Friendly Workplace Ordinance will provide employees working within City and County limits a specified method to request flexible work schedules or other accommodations to help the…more

Flexible Work Arrangements, Local Ordinance

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Navjot Athwal

San Francisco Takes Steps to Rationalize the CEQA Process

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ADOPTS NEW CEQA APPEAL PROCEDURES - After nearly a year of effort (and after three previous unsuccessful tries by others), San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener crafted a California Environmental…more

CEQA, Environmental Claims, Environmental Policies, Environmental Review, Local Ordinance

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Susan Baise

Best Practices for Internet Security

As privacy and online security become a growing concern, we would like to remind you of a few computer and Internet security tips and best practices to keep you, your family and your personal information safe…more

Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Email, Hackers, Passwords

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Jon Benjamin

Developing Renewable Energy Projects on Brownfields: Mitigating Enivronmental Risks & Liabilities

“Greenfield” utility-scale renewable energy projects have generated both considerable praise and criticism. Government agencies and the public generally applaud efforts to generate renewable energy, while at the same time,…more

Brownfield Properties, Renewable Energy, Utilities Sector

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Amber Chrystal

New San Francisco Ordinance Requires Employers To Discuss Family Life Accommodations

Effective January 1, 2014, the San Francisco Friendly Workplace Ordinance will provide employees working within City and County limits a specified method to request flexible work schedules or other accommodations to help the…more

Flexible Work Arrangements, Local Ordinance

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John L. Cooper

Justice Department and Patent Office Issue “Policy Statement” Regarding Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents

In a statement likely to be influential with courts, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) on January 9 issued a joint Policy Statement urging limitations on remedies for infringement of…more

DOJ, Exclusion Orders, Infringement, Injunctions, ITC

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Dennis Cusack

How To Navigate London's Aviation Insurance Claims Process

Maintaining appropriate insurance is critical for the entire aviation industry. Many US-based airlines, aircraft owners/financiers, and aircraft lease servicers devote significant resources at the front end, setting up their…more

Aviation Industry, Commercial General Liability Policies, Underwriters of Lloyds

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Doug Dexter

New Legal Guidance For Modifying Arbitration Agreements

Employers have had some reluctance to expressly reserve the right to modify arbitration agreements in light of arguments that the agreements might be found illusory and unenforceable. Last week, the Second Appellate District…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Modification

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Ilene Dick

San Francisco Takes Steps to Rationalize the CEQA Process

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ADOPTS NEW CEQA APPEAL PROCEDURES - After nearly a year of effort (and after three previous unsuccessful tries by others), San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener crafted a California Environmental…more

CEQA, Environmental Claims, Environmental Policies, Environmental Review, Local Ordinance

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B. Scott Douglass

Best Practices for Public-Private Partnerships

Public-private partnerships (“P3s”) for public infrastructure are likely to become more prevalent due to necessity if nothing else. In anticipation of this uptick in P3s, this article examines “best practices” for public…more

Construction Contracts, P3s, Public-Private Partnerships, Transparency

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William R. (Bill) Friedrich

Superstorm Sandy: Financial Loss May Be Covered Even Without Property Damage

We hope your business did not sustain any direct property damage. Even if that’s the case, do not fail to consider that you may have insurance coverage for financial losses caused by the storm…more

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Unnati Gandhi

Kaiser Opinion May Affect Ability to Stack Policies issued by Single Carrier

Policyholders should continue to assert that limits can be stacked in situations where there is continuing damage, despite the California Court of Appeals’ latest decision in Kaiser Cement & Gypsum Corp. v. Insurance Company of…more

Anti-Stacking Provisions, Asbestos, Asbestos Litigation, Bodily Injury, Liability

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Courtney Nash Gardner

New Year’s Nonprofits: Resolve to be Patient While Waiting for Tax-Exempt Status

The start of a New Year brings about a flurry of charitable planning. Frequently, new nonprofits are formed to support year-end charitable gift tax planning or to prepare for a January 1 start date to begin new charitable…more

Exempt Organizations, IRS, Non-Profits

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Cathleen Garrigan

US Supreme Court Holds cDNA Patent Eligible, but Isolated DNA Not

On June 13, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. ___ (2013). The case concerned whether claims drawn to isolated DNA and cDNA were patent…more

AMP v Myriad, DNA, Gene Patenting, Human Genes, Myriad

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Tyler Gerking

For Small Business Owners, Cybersecurity Is Not a Question of "If" But 'When..."

While much of the discussion around cybersecurity tends to focus on critical information sectors, national security, and the concerns of global corporations, data breaches can be just as devastating for small and medium-sized…more

Cyber Attacks, Cyber Insurance, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection

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Lara Gilman

Revisiting Estate Planning Post-DOMA

The Supreme Court issued decisions in two landmark cases involving same-sex marriage on June 26, 2013. In United States v. Windsor, the Court held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional, which…more

DOMA, ERISA, Estate Planning, Estate Tax, Marriage

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John Green

New case affirms broad duty to defend in construction defect case where damage dates unclear

A new case from Oregon deals with a recurring problem in construction defect litigation—the absence of clear dates in the complaint regarding when damage is alleged to have occurred…more

Construction Defects, Damages, Duty to Defend, Insurers

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John Gregory

EPA Issues Long-Awaited Vapor Intrusion Guidance for Public Comment

More than ten years after issuing draft guidance regarding the increasingly significant subject of vapor intrusion (VI), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just released for public comment drafts of two guidance…more

CERCLA, Environmental Assessments, Environmental Review, EPA, Hazardous Substances

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Deepak Gupta

3D Printing, Copyright Challenges, and the DMCA

I. Introduction - The conventional photocopier makes copies of two-dimensional documents, and computers permit replication of digital audio and video files. Now three dimensional (“3D”) printers can replicate at least…more

3-D Printing Technology, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, DMCA

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Amanda Hairston

Protect Your Business With Cyber Liability Coverage

Many insurers are now offering “cyber liability” or “cyber risk” policies designed to protect policyholders against electronic injuries that policyholders may either suffer themselves or cause to others. Most of these policies…more

Cyber Insurance, Data Breach, Data Protection

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Stephanie Hall

Case Allows Parties To Substantially Reduce Ten Year Statutory Exposure

In a case of first impression, the First Appellate District recently affirmed a judgment holding that standard AIA contract language, providing that all causes of action relating to the contract work accrue from the date of…more

Construction Defects, Contract Drafting, Discovery Rule, Statute of Limitations

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Gary Kaplan

Insolvency Legislative Update - February 2013

California enacted a number of pieces of legislation over the last year or so of great importance to insolvency professionals. These include bills impacting mortgage foreclosures, sales of tax-defaulted property, wage…more

Blighted Property Protection, Deficiency Judgments, Foreclosure, Insolvency, Loans

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Genevieve Larson

Revisiting Estate Planning Post-DOMA

The Supreme Court issued decisions in two landmark cases involving same-sex marriage on June 26, 2013. In United States v. Windsor, the Court held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional, which…more

DOMA, ERISA, Estate Planning, Estate Tax, Marriage

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Andrew Leibnitz

Balancing Freedom Of Expression And The Right Of Publicity: Implications For The Future Of Interactive Entertainment

Freedom of expression bowed to the right of publicity on July 31, 2013, when a divided panel at the Ninth Circuit ruled that college athletes could proceed in litigation against Electronic Arts (“EA”) for making sports-based…more

Athletes, Electronic Arts, First Amendment, Free Speech, NCAA

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Eugene Mar

Federal Circuit Issues Decision on Section 101 Patent Eligibility of Computer-Implemented Inventions

On May 10, 2013, the Federal Circuit issued its en banc decision in CLS Bank Int’l v. Alice Corp. (Case No. 2011-1301), a closely watched dispute regarding the standard for patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The per…more

CLS Bank, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Computer-Related Inventions, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Patents

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Kelly Matayoshi

Supreme Court Clarifies Tax Rules for Certain Severance Payments

The United States Supreme Court resolved a split among the Circuit courts over whether severance payments are “wages” and thus subject to taxation under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (“FICA”). In a unanimous ruling,…more

FICA Taxes, Quality Stores, SCOTUS, Severance Pay

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Barbara Murphy

Charitable Giving: Better Late than Never

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the “Act”), signed into law by President Obama on January 2, 2013, extends favorable tax treatment for qualified charitable distributions made from IRAs (”Individual Retirement…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Income Taxes, IRA, Qualified Charitable Distributions

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Katherine Ohlandt

Best Practices for Internet Security

As privacy and online security become a growing concern, we would like to remind you of a few computer and Internet security tips and best practices to keep you, your family and your personal information safe…more

Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Email, Hackers, Passwords

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Erik Olson

Publications Patent Exhaustion Does Not Apply to the Reproduction of Patented Seeds

On May 13, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., 569 U.S. ___ (2013), which concerned whether and how patent exhaustion applies to self-replicating patented articles. Monsanto patented…more

Bowman v Monsanto, Genetically Engineered Seed, Infringement, Monsanto, Patent Exhaustion

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Philip Peters

New Laws Bring California into Alignment with U.S.

Starting in 2012, a variety of new laws passed that directly affect California businesses. There were new filing requirements for exempt securities offerings involving real estate, changes to the rights of dissenting…more

Compliance, JOBS Act, LLC, Offerings, Securities

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Alex Reese

Employee and Inventor Witnesses in Patent Trials: The Blurry Line Between Expert and Lay Testimony

Parties in patent infringement lawsuits frequently must choose a witness to explain complex or scientific technology behind an invention or an accused product that sits at the heart of a claim or a defense. Often, the parties…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Discovery, Evidence, Expert Witness, Infringement

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Cynthia Rowland

Keeping the Record Straight—EO Select Check is a Critical Tool for Nonprofits

Private foundations and public charities increasingly rely on the Internal Revenue Service’s on-line tool EO Select Check to verify tax exempt status. EO Select Check allows anyone with Internet access to search all exempt…more

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Chandra Russell

New Legal Guidance For Modifying Arbitration Agreements

Employers have had some reluctance to expressly reserve the right to modify arbitration agreements in light of arguments that the agreements might be found illusory and unenforceable. Last week, the Second Appellate District…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Modification

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Anthony Schoenberg

The California Supreme Court Loosens Restrictions On Internet Retailers

Attempting to strike a balance between the competing concerns of privacy and fraud protection, the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act does not apply to online retailers that collect…more

Apple, Class Action, Credit Cards, Internet, Internet Retailers

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Richard Shapiro

New Accessibility Disclosure Requirements for Commercial Landlords in 2013

The California legislature and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently enacted separate laws imposing on landlords disclosure requirements relating to accessibility on commercial properties. In addition, the San…more

Accessibility Rules, CASp, Commercial Leases, Disclosure Requirements, Landlords

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Stephanie Skaff

US Supreme Court Holds cDNA Patent Eligible, but Isolated DNA Not

On June 13, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. ___ (2013). The case concerned whether claims drawn to isolated DNA and cDNA were patent…more

AMP v Myriad, DNA, Gene Patenting, Human Genes, Myriad

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David Smith

The CGL “Business Risk” Exclusions

I recently came upon an interesting case from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that examined the complex and confusing Commercial General Liability (CGL) “business risk” exclusions. Oxford Aviation, Inc…more

Claims Adjusters, Commercial General Liability Policies, Risk Management

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Holly Sutton

Supreme Court Clarifies Tax Rules for Certain Severance Payments

The United States Supreme Court resolved a split among the Circuit courts over whether severance payments are “wages” and thus subject to taxation under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (“FICA”). In a unanimous ruling,…more

FICA Taxes, Quality Stores, SCOTUS, Severance Pay

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Mathew Swain

California Adopts New General Industrial Storm Water Permit

On April 1, 2014, after 12 years of drafts, public comments and deliberations, the California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) adopted a new General Industrial Storm Water Permit (“General Permit”), which will…more

Department of Water Resources, Industrial Stormwater Rule, Storm Water

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Jeffrey Sykes

Public-Private Partnerships in California - Part II

Current funding levels for public infrastructure in the United States are inadequate. Existing infrastructure is crumbling due to long-deferred maintenance and new infrastructure needed by the public is not being built. …more

Infrastructure, P3s, Public-Private Partnerships

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Deborah Tellier

Lessons from the IRS Firestorm on 501(c)(4) Political Organizations

The recent Internal Revenue Service scandal concerning the Agency’s handling of applications for certain tax exempt organizations has created a media frenzy and a forum for daily congressional mud-slinging…more

501(c)(4), Exempt Organizations, IRS, Political Campaigns, Political Contributions

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Racheal Turner

New San Francisco Law Restricts Employers’ Use of Criminal Background Checks

San Francisco’s recently enacted Fair Chance Ordinance (a.k.a., the “Ban-the-Box Ordinance”) limits the use of criminal history information in pre-employment screening by San Francisco employers, contractors, and affordable…more

Background Checks, Ban the Box, Criminal Background Checks, Job Applicants

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Steven Vettel

San Francisco Takes Steps to Rationalize the CEQA Process

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ADOPTS NEW CEQA APPEAL PROCEDURES - After nearly a year of effort (and after three previous unsuccessful tries by others), San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener crafted a California Environmental…more

CEQA, Environmental Claims, Environmental Policies, Environmental Review, Local Ordinance

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Erica Villanueva

How To Navigate London's Aviation Insurance Claims Process

Maintaining appropriate insurance is critical for the entire aviation industry. Many US-based airlines, aircraft owners/financiers, and aircraft lease servicers devote significant resources at the front end, setting up their…more

Aviation Industry, Commercial General Liability Policies, Underwriters of Lloyds

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C. Brandon Wisoff

Routine Recording Of Customer Service Calls – Standing Alone – Does Not Violate California’s Invasion of Privacy Act, According To Ninth Circuit

Good news for companies that routinely record or monitor calls to or from California residents – the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s January 17 decision in Faulkner v. ADT Security Services, Inc. has made it harder for class…more

Audio Recording, CIPA, Class Action, Class Certification, Customer Service Calls

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Rochelle Lee Woods

Federal Circuit Issues Decision on Section 101 Patent Eligibility of Computer-Implemented Inventions

On May 10, 2013, the Federal Circuit issued its en banc decision in CLS Bank Int’l v. Alice Corp. (Case No. 2011-1301), a closely watched dispute regarding the standard for patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The per…more

CLS Bank, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Computer-Related Inventions, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Patents

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Sunshine Yin

The Devil Wears Trademark: How The Fashion Industry Has Expanded Trademark Doctrine To Its Detriment

I. INTRODUCTION - Over the past decade, the uncertainty of fashion’s status as protectable intellectual property has generated enormous controversy. It is no wonder: in 2011, apparel sales in the United States amounted to…more

Fashion Industry, Logos, Trademarks

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