Morgan Lewis

New Opinion and Advisory Program for Pre-Approved 403(b) Plans

The IRS releases new procedures and sample plan language to assist 403(b) plan sponsors in obtaining pre-approval of 403(b) plan documents and to ensure documentary compliance with 403(b) requirements…more

403(b) Plans, Advisory Opinions, IRS, Pre-approval, Required Documentation

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U.S. Supreme Court Holds DMA’s Action Is Not Barred By Tax Injunction Act

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the Tax Injunction Act does not bar Direct Marketing Association’s federal court challenge to Colorado’s sales and use tax notice and reporting requirements…more

Direct Marketing Association, Reporting Requirements, Retailers, Sales & Use Tax, SCOTUS

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Court Upholds Validity of ERISA Fiduciary Indemnification

Ruling rejects DOL challenge of an agreement by a 100% ESOP-owned company to advance defense costs and indemnify a trustee…more

DOL, ERISA, ESOP, Indemnification, Legal Costs

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Nuclear Agreement Lacks Details on Relaxing Sanctions Against Iran

Although the provisions that limit Iran's nuclear program are spelled out in some detail, those related to relaxing economic sanctions against Iran are quite vague…more

Iran Sanctions, Negotiations, Nuclear Weapons, P5+1 Nations, United Nations

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Fifth Circuit Holds Deferred Compensation Plan Is Governed by ERISA

The decision details important implications for employers that use deferred compensation arrangements…more

Corporate Counsel, Deferred Compensation, Employee Benefits, ERISA

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Bank of Russia Adopts Basel III Regulation

Any subordinated debt, including Eurobonds, issued after 1 March 2013 must comply with the new rules in order to qualify as regulatory capital…more

Bank of Russia, Basel III, Bonds, Debt, Russia

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New Guidance from the SEC on Gifts to Adviser Personnel

SEC Staff from the Division of Investment Management has issued guidance on receipt of gifts by investment adviser personnel who manage registered funds…more

Gifts, Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, New Guidance, SEC

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Brazil Enacts Anti-Corruption Law

Companies doing business in the country should evaluate their compliance programs to avoid the law's sanctions on violators. On August 2, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signed Law No. 12,846/2013—unofficially called…more

Anti-Bribery, Anti-Corruption, Bribery, Compliance, FCPA

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Kazakhstan’s New Rehabilitation and Bankruptcy Law

The new law extends the grounds for shareholders’ liability and invalidation of transactions. On 26 March 2014, the new Rehabilitation and Bankruptcy Law (the New Law) took effect in Kazakhstan. The New Law supersedes the…more

Bankruptcy Reform, Commercial Bankruptcy, Liability, Shareholders

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Eastern District of Texas Adopts Limits on Asserted Patent Claims and Prior Art

Eastern District’s order aims to focus patent cases in an attempt to reduce costs. On October 29, Chief District Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas signed a general order…more

Claim Construction, Discovery, Patents, Prior Art

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US/Cuba Relations: What You Need to Know About Protecting US Brands in Cuba

Recent developments justify reconsidering companies’ trademark protection options. Although US sanctions that generally prohibit US exports to Cuba as well as other transactions that involve Cuba largely remain in effect,…more

CACR, Corporate Counsel, Cuba, Exports, OFAC

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EEOC Issues Proposed ADA Regulations Regarding Wellness Programs

The regulations are a win for employers, but there is still important work to be done during the comment period. On April 17, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released proposed regulations under the…more

ADA, Affordable Care Act, EEOC, Employer Group Health Plans, Health Insurance

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New Developments Surrounding Lactation Discrimination

New case law and statutory changes increase litigation and liability risk for employers that fail to comply with both federal and state lactation break laws…more

Affordable Care Act, Breastfeeding, Discrimination, EEOC, FLSA

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New Developments in UK Employment Law

The changes affect the areas of antenatal appointments, equal pay audits, national minimum wage, Reserve Forces membership, whistleblowing, and shared parental leave…more

Employer Liability Issues, Equal Pay, Maternity Leave, Minimum Wage, New Legislation

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Changes to UK’s TUPE Regulations

New TUPE Regulations come into force on 31 January, with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills issuing updated accompanying guidance. On 31 January 2014, the regulations that will amend the UK’s Transfer of…more

Employee Rights, TUPE, UK

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Mexico Energy Reform: Secondary Legislation Presented to Congress

Mexico’s comprehensive energy reform advances and reflects lessons from the Brazilian experience. On April 30, the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto presented a package of much-anticipated bills to the…more

Energy, Energy Policy, Energy Reform, Mexico

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Recent Trends in Class Action and Aggregate Litigation in the Life Sciences Industry

Introduction - For the last several years, the life sciences industry has been fertile ground for class action and aggregate litigation. Developments in this area have driven several trends, including state consumer…more

Aggregation Rules, Antitrust Litigation, Class Action, Fraud, Life Sciences

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OCC’s Updated Guidance on Retail Nondeposit Investment Products

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently released an updated and substantially revised section of its Comptroller’s Handbook titled “Retail Nondeposit Investment Products” (the Booklet). The Booklet replaces…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Guidance Update, Industry Examinations, OCC

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FDA to Cease Active Regulation of MDDS and Other Health IT Devices

The draft guidance also enables some health IT manufacturers to avoid the device tax. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took an unusual step on June 20 by issuing new draft guidance that states its intent to not…more

FDA, Health Information Technologies, Healthcare, Medical Devices, Mobile Devices

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Change to Civil and Commercial Proceedings | Procédure civile et commerciale

A new obligation requires parties to seek amicable resolution to a dispute before referring it to the court. A New Obligation Entered into Force on 1 April 2015 - Since 1 April 2015, parties to a civil or…more

Dispute Resolution, France

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The CFPB and the Future of High-Interest Lending

High-interest lending has just become riskier, and investors need to be aware that the upcoming CFPB’s regulations may reduce or eliminate the profitability that is inherent in high-risk lending…more

CFPB, Consumer Financial Products, Consumer Lenders, Payday Loans, Regulatory Agenda

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New Kazakhstan Law on Trade Unions and Amendments to the Labour Code

Under the new law, trade unions are limited and monitored. New Law No. 211-V of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Trade Unions, dated 27 June 2014, (the Law) has been adopted in Kazakhstan. The Law came into force on 11 July…more

New Regulations, Union Membership, Unions

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Publication of New Jersey Gender Equity Notice Triggers Obligations

On January 6, New Jersey employers must begin complying with new posting and notice requirements under the New Jersey Equal Pay Act. On December 11, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL)…more

Compliance, DOL, Equal Pay, Gender Equity, Notice Requirements

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DOL Fiduciary Rule to Revamp Regulation of Advice to Plans and IRAs

Reproposal would broaden the fiduciary definition, narrow exceptions, and substantially revise prohibited transaction exemptions applicable to current and newly covered fiduciaries…more

Conflicts of Interest, DOL, ERISA, Fiduciary Standard, Investment Adviser

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DOL Clarifies FMLA Leave Entitlement for Same-Sex Spouses

In the wake of the Supreme Court's Windsor decision, employers should review and, if necessary, revise their FMLA policies and procedures to ensure compliance. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently clarified that…more

DOL, DOMA, FMLA, Marriage, Same-Sex Marriage

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Fourth Circuit's Triple Canopy False Claims Act Decision

The decision unexpectedly expands potential liability. On January 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a panel decision that established a new and potentially significant False Claims Act (FCA)…more

Appeals, Breach of Contract, Defense Sector, False Claims Act, Federal Contractors

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Select Broker-Dealer Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2014 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) enforcement developments and cases regarding broker dealers.* The SEC…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC

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Year-End Legislation Important for Employers

The 2015 Cromnibus and the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 solve some problems and raise others. On December 16, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of…more

Affordable Care Act, Appropriations Bill, ERISA, Expatriates, Health Insurance

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New York Issues Tax Advisory Opinion Regarding Cloud Computing Product

The new guidance addresses the New York sales and use tax treatment of cloud computing services. Background - On April 14, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (the Department) issued Advisory…more

Advisory Opinions, Cloud-Based Services, Popular, Sales & Use Tax

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New York City Earned Sick Time Act Expanded Before Taking Effect

The Act was recently amended to cover more New York City employers and to impose even greater compliance obligations than the original law passed in 2013…more

Employee Rights, Paid Leave, Sick Leave

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Checklist for Employers to Comply with New California Laws

Employers should take action to ensure compliance with new employment laws that take effect January 1, 2015. In September 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed more than 300 new laws, many of which may require…more

Employer Mandates, Employment Policies, New Legislation, Wage and Hour, Year-End Planning

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FDA Ups the Ante on Inspections with New Administrative Detention Authority

New authority allows FDA inspectors to quickly detain products during inspections if they believe the products are misbranded or adulterated…more

Drug Manufacturers, FDA, Misbranding, Pharmaceutical, Prescription Drugs

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Select Broker-Dealer, Investment Adviser, and Investment Company Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2013 Year in Review

Table of Contents: Executive Summary; U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Executive Summary - This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement Actions, FINRA, Investment Adviser, SEC

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Automotive News, 3/2014

This is the first issue of “Automotive News”, a regular update on current developments in the automotive industry, with a particular focus on Germany, published by Morgan Lewis’ automotive practice for clients and interested…more

Antitrust Provisions, Auto Manufacturers, Auto Parts, Automotive Industry, Joint Venture

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FDA Draft Guidance Proposes Change to Combination Product Exclusivity Policy

New market exclusivity opportunities emerge for pharmaceutical companies. In draft guidance released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) on February 24, 2014, the Agency proposed changes to its…more

Exclusive Dealing Agreements, FDA, Pharmaceutical, Prescription Drugs

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Select Broker-Dealer Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2014 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) enforcement developments and cases regarding broker dealers.* The SEC…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC

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HIPAA/HITECH Business Associate Agreements: The Home Stretch

The one-year transition rule expires on September 22, 2014. The final regulations under the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules as amended by HITECH, make several changes, including modifying the requirements…more

Business Associates, Covered Entities, Final Rules, Healthcare, HIPAA

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FERC Changes Electric Utility Return-on-Equity Calculation

The Commission’s order applies the same methodology used for natural gas and oil pipeline return on equity and discards the former one-step calculation in favor of a two-step calculation that uses short- and long-term growth…more

Consumer Utility Costs, FERC, Utilities Sector

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Trade Agreements Act Compliance Activity Increasing at VA

Companies should include internal TAA compliance reviews in their overall manufacturing compliance programs. Every manufacturer of medical devices and pharmaceuticals that offers a product for sale to the federal…more

Country of Origin, Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), Manufacturers, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

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FERC Lacks Authority Over Commodity Futures Contracts

The D.C. Circuit clarifies that FERC may prohibit manipulative trading only in markets outside of the CFTC's exclusive jurisdiction over commodity futures contracts. On March 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District…more

CFTC, Commodity Futures Contracts, Exclusive Jurisdiction, FERC, Natural Gas

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DOL Extends Participant Disclosure Deadline for 2013

Guidance provides temporary relief from the August deadline for annual disclosures by participant-directed plans. On July 22, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2013-02 (the Bulletin),…more

Benefit Plan Sponsors, Compliance, Deadlines, Delays, Disclosure Requirements

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D.C. Circuit Protects Attorney-Client Privilege in Internal Corporate Investigations

The appellate court clarifies that internal corporate investigations are subject to the attorney-client privilege where one of the significant purposes of the investigation is to secure legal advice for the company…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Compliance, False Claims Act, Internal Investigations, Kellogg Brown & Root

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DOE Highlights the Need to Modernize Aging US Energy Infrastructure

The first installment of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive survey and analysis of the US energy sector provides a detailed roadmap for modernizing the energy transmission, storage, and distribution system to make it more…more

Climate Change, DOE, Energy Sector, Infrastructure, Obama Administration

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Brazil Bill Implements New Provisions for International Data Transfers

The Bill’s provisions on international data transfers are most relevant to foreign companies that do business in Brazil. The Brazilian government has issued a Bill for the Protection of Personal Data (Bill) for public…more

Brazil, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, International Data Transfers, Internet

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FCC Adopts Open Internet (Net Neutrality) Rules

The order classifies broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) today voted, by a 3-2 margin, to adopt rules designed to promote an open Internet…more

Broadband, Common Carriers, FCC, Internet, Internet Service Providers

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IRS Proposes Curtailing “Next-Day Rule” in Corporate Acquisitions

Are you a day late? - On March 5, the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) published proposed regulations (REG-100400-14, RIN 1545-BM14) (the Proposed Regulations) that would place strict new guidelines on the “next-day…more

Corporate Taxes, IRS, Proposed Regulation

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Select Broker-Dealer Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2014 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) enforcement developments and cases regarding broker dealers.* The SEC…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC

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FDA Ups the Ante on Inspections with New Administrative Detention Authority

New authority allows FDA inspectors to quickly detain products during inspections if they believe the products are misbranded or adulterated…more

Drug Manufacturers, FDA, Misbranding, Pharmaceutical, Prescription Drugs

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Tibble v. Edison International Decision Finds Ongoing Duty to Monitor Investments in 401(k) Plans

The Supreme Court holds that ERISA’s limitations period does not bar an alleged breach for failure to monitor a plan’s investments. Background - On May 18, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Tibble v…more

401k, Benefit Plan Sponsors, Breach of Duty, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty

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USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for H-1B Extensions

Starting May 26, USCIS will temporarily suspend the 15-day premium processing service for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27 to allow it to implement the H-4 Employment Authorization Document final rule in a…more

Employment Authorization Document, H-1B, H-4 Spouses, Hiring & Firing, Human Resources Professionals

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U.S. Supreme Court Issues Historic Noel Canning Decision

The unanimous decision on presidential recess appointment powers strikes down three National Labor Relations Board recess appointments and effectively invalidates hundreds of Board decisions issued between January 2012 and…more

Canning v NLRB, NLRA, NLRB, Recess Appointments, SCOTUS

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Final Rules Released for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Tribal Lands

The Bureau of Land Management contends that its new rules are consistent with state regulations and industry standards, but stakeholders believe that the rules are unnecessary or simply miss the mark…more

Bureau of Land Management, Fracking, Oil & Gas, Petroleum, Trade Secrets

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Philadelphia Mandates Paid Sick Leave

Employers should act to ensure compliance before the law takes effect on May 13. On February 12, the City of Philadelphia joined the nationwide paid sick leave trend when Mayor Michael Nutter signed the Promoting Healthy…more

Employee Rights, Employer Mandates, Local Ordinance, Paid Leave, Sick Leave

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Select Broker-Dealer, Investment Adviser, and Investment Company Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2013 Year in Review

Table of Contents: Executive Summary; U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Executive Summary - This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement Actions, FINRA, Investment Adviser, SEC

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Select Broker-Dealer Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2014 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) enforcement developments and cases regarding broker dealers.* The SEC…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC

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Mexico Energy Reform: Secondary Legislation Presented to Congress

Mexico’s comprehensive energy reform advances and reflects lessons from the Brazilian experience. On April 30, the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto presented a package of much-anticipated bills to the…more

Energy, Energy Policy, Energy Reform, Mexico

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Select Broker-Dealer Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2014 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) enforcement developments and cases regarding broker dealers.* The SEC…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC

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FTC Raises Hart­-Scott­-Rodino Thresholds

Transactions that close toward the end of February will be subject to increased HSR Act jurisdictional and filing fee thresholds. On January 15, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it will raise the…more

Filing Fees, FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, Jurisdiction, Threshhold Requirements

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ICMA Publishes Updated Model Sovereign Bond Clauses

The model clauses should lead to greater consistency and efficiency in sovereign bond restructurings. On May 11, the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) published a revised version of its model collective…more

Bonds, Pari Passu, Sovereign Debt

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NLRB Issues “Quickie” Election Rules

After an unsuccessful effort to implement new election rules in 2011, the NLRB has now re-issued election rules that would substantially speed up the existing union election process…more

Final Rules, NLRB, Quickie Election Rules, Union Elections, Unions

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U.S. Supreme Court Holds DMA’s Action Is Not Barred By Tax Injunction Act

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the Tax Injunction Act does not bar Direct Marketing Association’s federal court challenge to Colorado’s sales and use tax notice and reporting requirements…more

Direct Marketing Association, Reporting Requirements, Retailers, Sales & Use Tax, SCOTUS

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DOL Issues Final Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Rule

Under Executive Order 13658, covered employees must be paid at least $10.10 per hour starting January 1, 2015. On October 7, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published in the Federal Register the preamble and final rule…more

DOL, Employee Rights, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Minimum Wage

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Increased FTC Enforcement as FDA Deregulates Low-Risk Health IT Devices

The FTC steps up enforcement of misleading software and mobile app promotional claims as FDA deregulates low-risk health IT devices. In recent weeks, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken several enforcement actions…more

Advertising, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, False Advertising, FDA

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Obligations Under European Market Infrastructure Regulation Imminent

With certain EMIR provisions set to go live in September, both EU counterparties and many non-EU counterparties must take action to comply with risk management requirements, which involve some overlap with Dodd-Frank…more

CFTC, Compliance, Dodd-Frank, EMIR, EU

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Select Broker-Dealer Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2014 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) enforcement developments and cases regarding broker dealers.* The SEC…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC

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EEOC Issues Proposed ADA Regulations Regarding Wellness Programs

The regulations are a win for employers, but there is still important work to be done during the comment period. On April 17, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released proposed regulations under the…more

ADA, Affordable Care Act, EEOC, Employer Group Health Plans, Health Insurance

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FTC Raises Hart­-Scott­-Rodino Thresholds

Transactions closing as of February 11 will be subject to increased HSR Act jurisdictional and filing fee thresholds. On January 10, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it will raise the Hart-Scott-Rodino…more

DOJ, FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, Threshhold Requirements

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Massachusetts Attorney General Releases Proposed Earned Sick Time Regulations

The proposed regulations provide employers with preliminary guidance on the Earned Sick Time Law. On April 27, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AG or AG’s Office) released proposed regulations regarding the new…more

Earned Sick Time, Paid Leave, Paid Sick Leave Act, Sick Leave

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Supreme Court Rules That TTAB Decisions Can Have Preclusive Effect in Infringement Actions

The ruling creates new risks to assess in TTAB litigation strategies. On March 24, the US Supreme Court decided in the case of B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. that a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal…more

B&B Hardware v Hargis Industries, Issue Preclusion, Likelihood of Confusion, SCOTUS, Trademark Infringement

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Select Broker-Dealer Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2014 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) enforcement developments and cases regarding broker dealers.* The SEC…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC

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CMS Aims to Grease the Reporting Wheels for Medicare Fraud and Abuse

Proposed rule would substantially increase rewards for fraud tips and enhance billing revocation authority. On April 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule (Proposed Rule) that…more

CMS, Fraud and Abuse, Incentive Awards, Medicare, Proposed Regulation

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New California Law Protects Online Account Information

As of January 1, security breach notifications must be provided to consumers when certain account information is compromised. On September 27, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill No. 46 (S.B. 46),…more

Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection, Notice Requirements, Passwords

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Harrison Decision: Cabot Oil Denied Equitable Extension of Oil and Gas Lease

The decision marks another departure by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from “mainstream” oil and gas jurisprudence. On February 17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (the Court) unanimously ruled that state law does not…more

Declaratory Judgments, Equitable Extensions, Fraudulent Procurement, Lease Termination, Leases

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Eastern District of Texas Adopts Limits on Asserted Patent Claims and Prior Art

Eastern District’s order aims to focus patent cases in an attempt to reduce costs. On October 29, Chief District Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas signed a general order…more

Claim Construction, Discovery, Patents, Prior Art

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District Court Issues New ESI Guidelines

The trend toward increased judicial involvement in eDiscovery to lower litigation costs and promote cooperation among litigants takes another leap forward in the Northern District of California. The U.S. District Court for…more

ESI Guidelines

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Francophone Africa: Changes to OHADA Rules on Operating through Branches

The Organisation for Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa’s new Uniform Act provisions will impact petroleum companies operating through branches in the organisation’s member states. …more

Africa, Foreign Policy, International Tax Issues, OHADA, Oil & Gas

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Has the SEC Become the "Whistleblower’s Advocate"?

The SEC Chair discusses the whistleblower program’s achievements and importance and how the agency will fight to ensure that whistleblowers continue to be heard…more

Mary Jo White, Popular, SEC, Technical Conference, Whistleblower Protection Policies

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Treasury Department and IRS Issue Priority Guidance Plan

Plan lays out the agencies' top priorities for the 2013–2014 fiscal year, including those affecting tax-exempt organizations…more

Employee Benefits, Exempt Organizations, IRS, Priority Guidance Plan, Tax Exemptions

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China Seeks to Reform Regulation of Foreign Investments with New Law

The new law, when implemented, will make sweeping changes to the current regulation of foreign investments. On January 19, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China published a draft Foreign Investment…more

China, Foreign Investment, MOFCOM, New Legislation

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China to Clean Up Various Local Preferential Policies

Enterprises that do business in China should take inventory and assess potential impact on business. I. Circular 62 - On November 27, 2014, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China issued the Notice…more

China, Corporate Taxes

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Year-End Legislation Important for Employers

The 2015 Cromnibus and the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 solve some problems and raise others. On December 16, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of…more

Affordable Care Act, Appropriations Bill, ERISA, Expatriates, Health Insurance

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Amendments to Bank of Russia’s Basel III Requirements Published

Several clarifications have been provided with regard to subordinated debt instruments. On 30 November 2013, amendments to the Bank of Russia’s Regulation 395-P, “On the Methodology of Determination of the Amount and…more

Basel III, Foreign Banks, Russia

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D.C. Circuit Supports Government Contractors’ Reliance on Supplier Certification of TAA Compliance in Qui Tam Suit

In a qui tam whistleblower suit under the False Claims Act, the D.C. Circuit affirmed a lower court finding that a federal contractor reasonably relied on certifications of Trade Agreements Act compliance from its distributor…more

Compliance, False Claims Act, Qui Tam, Suppliers, Trade Agreements

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CMS Proposes Rule for Exchanges and SHOPs Under the Affordable Care Act

New marketing integrity and oversight provisions warrant review and comment. On June 14, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its…more

Affordable Care Act, CMS, Employer Group Health Plans, Federally Facilitated Exchanges, Healthcare

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Proposed Data Breach Legislation Announced

President Obama’s new proposed Personal Data Notification and Protection Act provides a national standard for companies responding to security breaches…more

Barack Obama, Breach Notification Rule, Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, Cybersecurity, FTC

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The High Price of Challenging a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Decision in District Court

Applicants who challenge a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board refusal to register a trademark must reimburse the government for PTO attorney fees even if they win…more

Attorney's Fees, Trademark Litigation, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Trademarks

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Select Broker-Dealer, Investment Adviser, and Investment Company Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2013 Year in Review

Table of Contents: Executive Summary; U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Executive Summary - This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement Actions, FINRA, Investment Adviser, SEC

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U.S. Supreme Court Issues Historic Noel Canning Decision

The unanimous decision on presidential recess appointment powers strikes down three National Labor Relations Board recess appointments and effectively invalidates hundreds of Board decisions issued between January 2012 and…more

Canning v NLRB, NLRA, NLRB, Recess Appointments, SCOTUS

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7 Key Roles of a Successful Startup CEO

In your experience, what’s the most important role that a startup CEO should fulfill? That’s the question we put recently to JD Supra contributors, many of whom have spent years working with successful entrepreneurs in various…more

Business Formation, CEOs, Legal Perspectives, Startups

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New York Issues Tax Advisory Opinion Regarding Cloud Computing Product

The new guidance addresses the New York sales and use tax treatment of cloud computing services. Background - On April 14, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (the Department) issued Advisory…more

Advisory Opinions, Cloud-Based Services, Popular, Sales & Use Tax

See All Updates »

OCC’s Updated Guidance on Retail Nondeposit Investment Products

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently released an updated and substantially revised section of its Comptroller’s Handbook titled “Retail Nondeposit Investment Products” (the Booklet). The Booklet replaces…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Guidance Update, Industry Examinations, OCC

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English Court Finds Shareholder Default Provisions Unenforceable as a Penalty

Decision serves as a reminder that careful consideration should be given to provisions dealing with the consequences of breaches of restrictive covenants and other terms of commercial agreements…more

Breach of Contract, Contract Drafting, Penalties, Restrictive Covenants, Shareholders

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Immigration Update 2015

Biometric Residence Permit regulations will begin rollout in March. New regulations will require individuals from overseas who apply for a visa for more than six months to obtain a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)…more

Immigration Procedures, UK, Visas

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DOL Publishes New FMLA Regulations That Redefine "Spouse"

The Final Rule takes effect on March 27 and redefines “spouse” under the FMLA to reflect the law in the state where the marriage was performed. On February 25, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule…more

DOL, DOMA, Employer Mandates, Final Rules, FMLA

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Supreme Court Again Enforces an Arbitration Agreement with a Class Action Waiver

In American Express, Court rules that class action waivers may not be invalidated on the ground that individual arbitration is too expensive. On June 20, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in American Express Co…more

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

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CAFA Jurisdiction Cannot Be Evaded by Limiting Amount in Controversy

The U.S. Supreme Court holds in a 9–0 decision that class action plaintiffs cannot promise to limit damages in an effort to remain below the Class Action Fairness Act's $5 million federal jurisdictional threshold…more

Amount in Controversy, CAFA, Class Action, Damages, Jurisdiction

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Select Broker-Dealer, Investment Adviser, and Investment Company Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2013 Year in Review

Table of Contents: Executive Summary; U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Executive Summary - This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement Actions, FINRA, Investment Adviser, SEC

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CMS Final Rule Adds More Arrows but also Demonstrates Restraint

CMS reconsiders $10 million bounties for reporting of regulatory violations. On December 5, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule (the Final Rule) that expands its program integrity and…more

CMS, Hospitals, Medicare, OIG

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New Protections for Government Contractor and Subcontractor Whistleblowers

Enhanced rights and protections for whistleblowers under the National Defense Authorization Act take effect on July 1. Beginning July 1, 2013, government contractor whistleblowers will obtain substantial additional rights…more

Contractors, NDAA, Subcontractors, Whistleblowers

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OCC’s Updated Guidance on Retail Nondeposit Investment Products

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently released an updated and substantially revised section of its Comptroller’s Handbook titled “Retail Nondeposit Investment Products” (the Booklet). The Booklet replaces…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Guidance Update, Industry Examinations, OCC

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CFTC Releases No-Action Letter 14-144

The letter modifies previous No-Action Letter 13-22, to expand relief for treasury affiliates entering into swaps on behalf of non-financial end-user affiliates that could otherwise elect the exception in section 2(h)(7) of the…more

CEA, CFTC, Dodd-Frank, No-Action Letters, Swaps

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FTC Raises Hart-Scott-Rodino Thresholds

Transactions closing toward the end of February will be subject to increased HSR Act jurisdictional and filing fee thresholds. On January 17, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it will raise the…more

Acquisitions, FTC, Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, Mergers, The Clayton Act

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Proposed Data Breach Legislation Announced

President Obama’s new proposed Personal Data Notification and Protection Act provides a national standard for companies responding to security breaches…more

Barack Obama, Breach Notification Rule, Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, Cybersecurity, FTC

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Supreme Court Rules That TTAB Decisions Can Have Preclusive Effect in Infringement Actions

The ruling creates new risks to assess in TTAB litigation strategies. On March 24, the US Supreme Court decided in the case of B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc. that a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal…more

B&B Hardware v Hargis Industries, Issue Preclusion, Likelihood of Confusion, SCOTUS, Trademark Infringement

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FDA Ups the Ante on Inspections with New Administrative Detention Authority

New authority allows FDA inspectors to quickly detain products during inspections if they believe the products are misbranded or adulterated…more

Drug Manufacturers, FDA, Misbranding, Pharmaceutical, Prescription Drugs

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Can French Employees Wear Unrestricted Religious Symbols in the Workplace?

The French Supreme Court provides guidance to employers in France on how to deal with employees who wear religious symbols in the workplace…more

Employer Liability Issues, European Court of Justice, France, Religious Clothing, Religious Discrimination

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Supreme Court Rejects “Presumption of Prudence” in ERISA Employer Stock Cases

The Court’s Dudenhoeffer decision also provides some guidance for scrutinizing such claims at the pleadings stage. On June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer,…more

ERISA, ESOP, Fiduciary Duty, FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer, Fifth Third Mortgage Company

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IRS Releases “Start Construction” Guidance for Renewable Energy Facilities

Long-awaited guidance regarding eligibility for production or investment tax credits largely tracks guidance under the Section 1603 cash grant program…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Begun Construction Test, Investment Tax Credits, IRS, Physical Work Test

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Guidelines Monitoring Group Updates Walker Guidelines

Update does not amend guidelines but includes illustrations of best-practice reporting. On 20 February, the Guidelines Monitoring Group (GMG), an independent body providing oversight on disclosure issues, published an…more

Financial Services Authority, Private Equity, The Walker Guidelines

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Protections to Be Extended for Electronic Health Record Donations

CMS and OIG issue similar proposed rules to modify the electronic health record exception and safe harbor. On April 10, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the…more

CMS, EHR, Final Rules, OIG, Proposed Amendments

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Revised Rural Call Completion Reporting Requirements Effective April 1

Covered providers must begin collecting and retaining rural call completion data as of April 1, to be reported beginning August 1. On March 4, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) published in the…more

Covered Providers, Data Collection, FCC, OMB, Reporting Requirements

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Pennsylvania Non-Compete Update

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania reaffirms that restrictive covenants added to existing employment relationships must be supported by “valuable consideration.” Pennsylvania courts have long held that an employer seeking…more

Employment Contract, Non-Compete Agreements, Restrictive Covenants

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Select Broker-Dealer Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2014 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) enforcement developments and cases regarding broker dealers.* The SEC…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC

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ICMA Publishes Updated Model Sovereign Bond Clauses

The model clauses should lead to greater consistency and efficiency in sovereign bond restructurings. On May 11, the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) published a revised version of its model collective…more

Bonds, Pari Passu, Sovereign Debt

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Nuclear Agreement Lacks Details on Relaxing Sanctions Against Iran

Although the provisions that limit Iran's nuclear program are spelled out in some detail, those related to relaxing economic sanctions against Iran are quite vague…more

Iran Sanctions, Negotiations, Nuclear Weapons, P5+1 Nations, United Nations

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Fourth Circuit's Triple Canopy False Claims Act Decision

The decision unexpectedly expands potential liability. On January 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a panel decision that established a new and potentially significant False Claims Act (FCA)…more

Appeals, Breach of Contract, Defense Sector, False Claims Act, Federal Contractors

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Title VII at Age 50: Still Room for Creativity? Developing New Defenses and Testing New Claims

New Substantive Uses of Title VII - Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity: ..Issue: Whether Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. ..Statutory Authority:…more

Civil Rights Act, Discrimination, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Title VII

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Tibble v. Edison International Decision Finds Ongoing Duty to Monitor Investments in 401(k) Plans

The Supreme Court holds that ERISA’s limitations period does not bar an alleged breach for failure to monitor a plan’s investments. Background - On May 18, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Tibble v…more

401k, Benefit Plan Sponsors, Breach of Duty, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty

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Select Broker-Dealer, Investment Adviser, and Investment Company Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2013 Year in Review

Table of Contents: Executive Summary; U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Executive Summary - This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement Actions, FINRA, Investment Adviser, SEC

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FASB Defers the Revenue Recognition Standard’s Effective Date

On April 1, the FASB decided to defer the effective date of the new revenue recognition standard to interim periods of public entities within their annual reporting periods that begin after December 15, 2017. Early adoption is…more

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IRS Issues Device Tax Regulations; Industry Braces for 2013 Implementation

Pending the January 1 effective date, final regulations and interim guidance on the medical device excise tax provide some clarity but leave many questions unanswered. On December 7, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)…more

Excise Tax, IRS, Medical Devices

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Year-End Legislation Important for Employers

The 2015 Cromnibus and the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 solve some problems and raise others. On December 16, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of…more

Affordable Care Act, Appropriations Bill, ERISA, Expatriates, Health Insurance

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FASB Eliminates Extraordinary Items Reporting

In January, the FASB adopted a final Accounting Standards Update that eliminates the requirement that preparers report events that meet the criteria for extraordinary classification separately in an income statement, net of tax…more

Accountants, Accounting, Accounting Standards, FASB, Financial Accounting Standards Board

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DOL Issues Final Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Rule

Under Executive Order 13658, covered employees must be paid at least $10.10 per hour starting January 1, 2015. On October 7, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published in the Federal Register the preamble and final rule…more

DOL, Employee Rights, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Minimum Wage

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Ninth Circuit Widens Judges’ Discretion to Allocate CERCLA Contribution Damages

Trial court may select the method of accounting for prior settlement in allocating response costs among liable parties, but claims to recover settlement payments are limited to costs consistent with the National Contingency…more

Accounting Methods, Apportionment, CERCLA, Contaminated Properties, Environmental Remediation Costs

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FERC Changes Electric Utility Return-on-Equity Calculation

The Commission’s order applies the same methodology used for natural gas and oil pipeline return on equity and discards the former one-step calculation in favor of a two-step calculation that uses short- and long-term growth…more

Consumer Utility Costs, FERC, Utilities Sector

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Florida’s Strict New Data Breach Notification Law Takes Effect

The new law sets up one of the most robust data protection regimes in the United States and is relevant to any business that collects personal information nationwide…more

Breach Notification Rule, Corporate Counsel, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection

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Select Broker-Dealer Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2014 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) enforcement developments and cases regarding broker dealers.* The SEC…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC

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China Seeks to Reform Regulation of Foreign Investments with New Law

The new law, when implemented, will make sweeping changes to the current regulation of foreign investments. On January 19, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China published a draft Foreign Investment…more

China, Foreign Investment, MOFCOM, New Legislation

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SEC to Approve “Exchange-Traded Managed Funds”

The new product will have characteristics of both mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. On November 6, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a notice indicating that it intends to grant exemptive…more

Amended Regulation, ETMFs, Exemptive Relief, Nasdaq, SEC

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Select Broker-Dealer Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2014 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) enforcement developments and cases regarding broker dealers.* The SEC…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC

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New California Law Protects Online Account Information

As of January 1, security breach notifications must be provided to consumers when certain account information is compromised. On September 27, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill No. 46 (S.B. 46),…more

Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection, Notice Requirements, Passwords

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The Latest from Dodd-Frank: Credit Risk Retention Rule Finalized

In the latest significant rulemaking arising out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), on October 22, six federal financial and housing agencies finalized long-awaited rules on credit…more

Compliance, Dodd-Frank, Risk Retention, Securities Exchange Act

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FINRA Issues Guidance on Materiality Consultations

The Overview addresses, among other things, categories of information and other factors that firms should consider when assessing materiality of prospective business initiatives…more

Broker-Dealer, Brokers, FINRA, NASD, Rule 1017 Process

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UK’s Serious Fraud Office Looks to Pursue More Prosecutions of Corporates

A proposed amendment to the UK Bribery Act would give the SFO greater power to prosecute corporates for financial crimes committed by their employees. The head of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), David Green, recently…more

Public Procurement Policies, SFO, UK, UK Bribery Act

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Pennsylvania Does Not Recognize Duty to Warn an Employee’s Spouse

District court predicts that Pennsylvania will not recognize a duty to protect or warn the spouse of an employee in “take home” or “household” asbestos exposure cases. On August 26, Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the U.S…more

Asbestos, Boeing, Employer Liability Issues, Take-Home Exposure

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IRS Proposes New Definition of “Political Activity” for Social Welfare Organizations

The initial comment period for the proposed regulations is drawing to a close on February 27, 2014. On November 29, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a Notice of…more

CPRA, IRS, Social Welfare Organizations

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Provisions of UK Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act Take Effect

New competition provisions may make it easier to prosecute cartel offences, but add additional exclusions and defences. On 1 April, the competition provisions of the UK’s Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (ERRA) came…more

Cartels, Competition Act, ERRA

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There’s No Place Like Home: SEC Increasingly Uses Administrative Proceedings

Stung by adverse court rulings in some of its enforcement cases, the SEC is bringing more of those cases in its own forum—an SEC administrative proceeding. …more

Administrative Hearings, Due Process, Enforcement Actions, Equal Protection, SEC

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Treasury Department and IRS Issue Priority Guidance Plan

Plan lays out the agencies' top priorities for the 2013–2014 fiscal year, including those affecting tax-exempt organizations…more

Employee Benefits, Exempt Organizations, IRS, Priority Guidance Plan, Tax Exemptions

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DOE Revises Regulations on Nuclear Technology Exports

The revised rules (10 C.F.R. Part 810) that govern “Assistance to Foreign Atomic Energy Activities” will take effect on March 25. After almost three and a half years, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) new Part 810…more

Atomic Energy, Atomic Energy Act, DOE, Exports, Nuclear Power

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SEC Considers Active ETF Listing Standards, Approves Paired Class ETP

Although the proposed listing standards could significantly reduce regulatory barriers, commissioner dissent in exchange-traded product order underscores regulatory concerns about novel products…more

ETFs, Listing Standards, Regulatory Reform, SEC

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DOGGR Issues Emergency Rules for Class II Underground Injection Wells

Interim regulations will phase out injection into high-quality aquifers pending development of permanent regulations…more

DOGGR, Emergency Response, New Regulations, Safe Drinking Water Act, Underground Injection Wells

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Security Screening Time in the Wake of Busk - Retail did you know?

Dear Retail Clients and Friends, In 2014, employees across the United States filed dozens of lawsuits under both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA or the Act) and state law alleging that they and the classes of…more

Class Action, FLSA, Integrity Staffing v Busk, Minimum Wage, Retailers

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SEC Proposes Rules Affecting Funds and Advisers

Proposals would impose new disclosure requirements designed to enhance the SEC’s ability to monitor the industry. On May 20, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) unanimously approved proposals intended to…more

Comment Period, Investment Adviser, Investment Funds, Mary Jo White, Proposed Regulation

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Changes Announced to UK Immigration Rules

Notable changes include changes to application fees, the business visitor rules, and the introduction of a super premium service for applications submitted in the United States. The UK Home Office has released a Statement…more

UK

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Canadian Government Approves CNOOC’s Acquisition of Nexen

Monumental US$15.1 billion acquisition results in the largest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company to date. On December 7, the Canadian government approved the acquisition of Calgary, Alberta–based petroleum company…more

CFIUS, China, Foreign Investment, Investment Canada Act, Petroleum

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Deadline Approaches for Amending Compensation Committee Charters

Companies must comply with certain final NYSE and NASDAQ listing rules by July 1. By July 1, affected companies must comply with recent amendments to the listing rules of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ…more

Compensation Committee, Dodd-Frank, Exemptions, Nasdaq, NYSE

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Group Health Plans: Year-End Action Items and Upcoming Changes - 2014

Employers should note upcoming cafeteria plan design changes that require an amendment no later than December 31, 2014 and other upcoming 2015 action items…more

Cafeteria Plans, Corporate Counsel, Employer Group Health Plans, Employer Mandates, Health Insurance

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Select Broker-Dealer Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2014 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) enforcement developments and cases regarding broker dealers.* The SEC…more

Broker-Dealer, Enforcement, Enforcement Actions, Municipal Securities Issuers, SEC

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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Class Certification in Comcast v. Behrend

High Court's decision provides companies with a significant and rational defense to class certification in antitrust and other damages class actions. …more

Class Action, Class Certification, Comcast, Comcast v. Behrend, Dukes v Wal-Mart

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The High Price of Challenging a Refusal to Register a Trademark in District Court

Applicants who challenge in a federal district court a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision that upholds a PTO refusal to register a trademark may be required to reimburse the government for PTO attorney fees, even if they…more

Appeals, Attorney's Fees, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Trademarks, USPTO

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Recent Trends in Class Action and Aggregate Litigation in the Life Sciences Industry

Introduction - For the last several years, the life sciences industry has been fertile ground for class action and aggregate litigation. Developments in this area have driven several trends, including state consumer…