Advisory Opinions

News & Analysis as of

Tax Court Approves Use of Predictive Coding During ESI Discovery

On September 17, 2014, the U.S. Tax Court issued its first opinion regarding the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). In Dynamo Holdings, Ltd. vs. Commissioner, 143 T.C. No. 9 (Sept. 17, 2014), the Tax Court...more

FinCEN's Busy August Yields Noteworthy Anti-Money Laundering Developments

August was a busy month for the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Among other initiatives, FinCEN issued its long-awaited proposed regulations on customer due diligence (CDD)...more

Bitcoin Regulatory Update: CFPB Issues Consumer Advisory Regarding Virtual Currencies, Begins Accepting Complaints

On August 11, 2014, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (“CFBP”) issued a consumer advisory warning customers of the potential risks associated with virtual currencies....more

OIG Okays Medigap Insurer’s Arrangement for Discount on Inpatient Deductibles

Last Monday the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of Health & Human Services posted an advisory opinion (No. 14-07) allowing a Medigap insurance company to strike a deal with hospitals for discounts—even waivers—of the...more

OIG Rejects Specialty Pharmacy Request to Pay “Per-Fill” Payents to Retail Pharmacies

In OIG Advisory Opinion 14-06, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) concluded that payment by a specialty pharmacy to a retail pharmacy on a “per-fill” basis for services provided by the retail pharmacy could violate the...more

Comments on SBA's Proposed Rule Regarding Advisory Small Business Size Decisions

Re: Comments on Proposed Rule Regarding Advisory Small Business Size Decisions RIN: 3245-AG59, Docket Number: SBA-2014-7 - Dear Mr. Koppel: We are writing to submit comments regarding the U.S. Small Business...more

OIG Rejects Pharmacy’s Plan for Per-Fill Referral Fees, Or Be Careful What You Ask For

Advisory Opinion No. 14-06, issued August 15, addressed a plan by the chain to reimburse local pharmacies for referrals of patients in need of specialized drugs that the local pharmacies did not dispense. In the scenario...more

OIG Finds Risk of Abuse in Specialty Pharmacy’s Per-Fill Fee Proposal

In an Advisory Opinion posted August 15, 2014, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) concluded that a proposed arrangement by a specialty pharmacy (“Requestor”) might generate prohibited remuneration under the Federal...more

Massachusetts Regulator Issues Advisory Opinion On Debt Validation

Last month, the Massachusetts Division of Banks (DOB) issued an advisory opinion addressing whether an oral request by a debtor for certain records to validate a debt (pursuant to 209 CMR 18.18(3)) triggers a debt collector’s...more

Last Week at the FEC: Opinion Requested on Credit Card Rewards Programs for Political Committee Contributions

Last week, the Federal Election Commission did not meet, but released two Advisory Opinion Requests (AORs) and the results of several enforcement actions. Earlier in the month, the Commission’s Office of Inspector General...more

FERC Announces New Approach for Determining the Return on Equity for Electric Utilities

On June 19, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Opinion No. 531, an order affirming in part and reversing in part an administrative law judge’s August 2013 Initial Decision concerning a complaint...more

Time To Get Rid Of Your Circular 230 Disclaimer

Most tax practitioners tack on a Circular 230 disclaimer to their emails and other communications to avoid problems with reliance opinion and covered opinion provisions of Section 10.35 of that Circular. These disclaimers are...more

FinCEN Updates Trade-Based Money Laundering Detection Advice

On May 28, FinCEN published Advisory FIN-2014-A005, which updates advice related to trade-based money laundering (TBML) to address the increased use of “funnel accounts.” FinCEN explains that individuals or businesses may...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

CFTC Announces New Approach for Considering Requests for Relief from Registration for Delegating Commodity Pool Operators - On May 12, CFTC Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight announced a streamlined...more

FinCEN Issues Five Advisory Rulings Concerning the Application of the Bank Secrecy Act’s Definition of “Money Transmitter” to...

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) published five administrative rulings (collectively, the “Rulings,” and each a “Ruling”) concerning the applicability of certain exemptions from money transmitter status to...more

FEC Allows Small Bitcoin Political Contributions

On May 8, the FEC unanimously approved an advisory opinion permitting political committees to accept bitcoin contributions of $100 or less, and allowing political committees to buy and sell bitcoins as an investment. ...more

FEC Approves Bitcoin Political Donations While SEC Issues Investor Alert

On May 8, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) unanimously affirmed in an advisory opinion that political committees (including candidate campaigns and political action committees) could legally accept small bitcoin...more

FCC Denies Petition To Change Its Rules So That It Could Preside Over Class Actions

The FCC recently denied a petition that had asked it to amend its rules so that it could preside over class actions. Although the Petition did not mention the TCPA, it would not have taken long for plaintiffs to create a new...more

I/MX Info. Mgmt. Solutions, Inc. v. Multiplan, Inc., C.A. No. 7786-VCP (Del. Ch. Mar. 27, 2014) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted the plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment as to the withholding of escrowed funds, reasoning that the defendants did not have a pending claim that could...more

Premium Credits Offered to Medigap Policyholders Okayed by OIG

The OIG has approved a licensed insurance broker’s proposal to establish a preferred hospital network as part of Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance policies (Medigap) and related premium credit offered to policy holders....more

OIG Revisits Clinical Laboratory Electronic Data Transmission Fees

Prior Opinion Rescinded and Negative Opinion Issued - The Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a negative advisory opinion about an arrangement that offered relief of a $1 electronic data transmission fee...more

Last Week At The FEC: Commission Confirms That Federal Funds Can Support State Candidates

Last week the Federal Election Commission did not meet, but held a tally vote to approve Advisory Opinion 2014-03 regarding the use of campaign funds to pay for public communications in support of both a federal candidate and...more

OIG Approves Medigap Policy Contracts with Preferred Hospital Networks

On February 20, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released Advisory Opinion 14-02, concerning the use of preferred hospital networks as part of certain Medicare Supplemental...more

Last Week at the FEC: Revisions to Draft Advisory Opinion Would Reject Revolution Messaging’s Supplemental Proposal

Last week the Federal Election Commission did not meet, but issued a revised draft Advisory Opinion related to Revolution Messaging, LLC and released records related to MUR 6610, where it closed its investigation and...more

OIG rejects management arrangement that carves out federal healthcare program patients

The Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services recently posted an Advisory Opinion describing a proposed arrangement by a clinical laboratory. ...more

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