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News & Analysis as of

In Flannery v. SEC, First Circuit Rebukes Commission, Signals Departure from Deferential Review

On December 8, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled in Flannery v. SEC that the Securities and Exchange Commission lacked substantial evidence in finding securities law violations by two executives in...more

Can Your Non-Union Workers Strike? Yes, They Can.

If your employees don’t have a union and they stop working, can you discipline them? In a recent decision, an Administrative Law Judge for the National Labor Relations Board said not if it is a true strike and not just an...more

USPTO Implementation of AIA Does Not Violate Due Process: Federal Circuit Affirms the PTAB Panel Determining Institution of an IPR...

In Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidien LP, a 2-1 panel split of the Federal Circuit held that neither the American Invents Act (“AIA”) nor the Constitution precludes the same panel of the Patent Trial & Appeal Board...more

No Harm, No Foul? Defining FTC’s Authority Over Data Security

Given the frequency of high-profile breaches, it’s reasonable for companies and consumers to be not only fearful but also realistic (or some would say fatalistic) about data security. It’s not a question of if a security...more

New Ruling Challenges FTC Authority to Regulate Cybersecurity Based on “Possible Consumer Harm”

A Nov. 13, 2015 ruling supports the argument that various companies and lawyers have been making for years: the Federal Trade Commission is exceeding its authority in prosecuting cybersecurity breaches under Section 5 of the...more

Living in a Nonmaterial World: Determining IP Rights for Digital Data

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) regulates U.S. trade and oversees Section 337 investigations that address unfair competition based on alleged infringement of intellectual property rights. The ITC has been a...more

2015 Securities Law Developments

On balance, the securities litigation landscape in 2015 offered a glass half-full/glass half-empty perspective for issuers and their officers, directors and advisors. Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction...more

Recent SEC Actions Highlight Adviser Responsibilities With Respect to Performance Advertising

In a series of recent administrative proceedings, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has clarified its expectations regarding the use of performance data in investment adviser advertisements. Specifically,...more

LabMD and Wyndham Decisions Curtail FTC’s Data Privacy and Security Reach

Both the administrative law judge’s decision in LabMD and the Third Circuit’s recent decision in Wyndham, which we previously blogged about, put the FTC on notice that it cannot assume that in the wake of a security breach,...more

SEC Judge Lenient Toward Compliance Employee

Previously, we described how some recent SEC officials’ enforcement actions and statements could suggest a movement toward holding chief compliance officers (CCOs) strictly responsible for legal violations their compliance...more

SEC Issues Proposed Changes to Administrative Proceedings

Amid controversy over its increased use of administrative proceedings to bring enforcement cases, the SEC has recently proposed several reforms. For instance, one change would ease the deadlines by which an initial decision...more

What About New York State’s Federal Tax Audits?

A noteworthy determination was issued earlier this month by one of the Division of Tax Appeals’ administrative law judges. Judge Bennett found in Matter of Chery that the Division of Taxation improperly denied the petitioning...more

OSHRC Law Judge Orders Trial on Enterprise-Wide Hazard Abatement for Powered Industrial Trucks Standard

An Administrative Law Judge has held that the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) “may have authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act” to order abatement measures sought by the Occupational...more

ITC Confirms a Section 337 Violation May be Based on Discontinued Accused Products

On occasion, the allegations in a patent-based a section 337 investigation will apply the asserted patent(s) against an accused product that, by the time the investigation concludes, has been discontinued. This is...more

Judge Says OSHA Can Seek Hazard Abatement at Worksites it Never Inspected

We saw more OSHA changes in 2015 than in any time in the last 30 odd years. Nevertheless, an OSHA Administrative Judge issued a decision a few weeks ago that could eclipse OSHA’s 2015 pronouncements on temporary employees,...more

FTC Loses Data Security Case

On November 13, 2015, an administrative law judge dismissed the FTC’s enforcement action against LabMD for its data security breach in 2008. This appears to be the first dismissal of a FTC data security enforcement action....more

“Lookout, Here They Come!” Private Causes of Action to Enforce Pennsylvania Pipeline Safety

Pennsylvania pipeline operators may be dealing with allegations of pipeline safety problems brought by private citizens at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PaPUC or Commission) based on a recent decision. In a case...more

The Year in Review: Ten Trends in SEC Enforcement Actions

As 2015 winds down, we offer the following observations about 10 important trends in SEC enforcement actions. 1. Increased Number of Enforcement Actions - The number of SEC enforcement actions continues to grow. In FY 2015,...more

SEC Tees Up Newman & Admin Forum Issues for 2016

The SEC granted two petitions for review last week that tee-up significant issues for full Commission consideration late next Spring. The Commission will consider the application of the Second Circuit’s Newman decision...more

A 1,500-Day Ordeal: First Circuit Rebukes SEC for In-House Prosecution

Five years after the SEC brought charges that cost two fund executives their jobs, the U.S. First Circuit overturned the sanctions, chiding the SEC for misreading critical evidence, lacking substantial evidence for its...more

Re-Thinking “Substantial Injury”: The FTC’s Potential New Need for Victims

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission’s Chief Administrative Law Judge dismissed the Commission’s long-running data security case against LabMD because it failed to prove that there was an actual or reasonably imminent...more

When Do Data Security Breaches Cause Substantial Consumer Harm? Lessons from the LabMD FTC Complaint Dismissal

On November 19, 2015, an Administrative Law Judge (the “ALJ”) at the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) dismissed the FTC’s 2013 complaint against LabMD, a clinical testing laboratory, stating that the FTC failed to demonstrate...more

Company prevails in challenge to FTC data security complaint

As we have previously observed, banks and other companies subject to the CFPB’s jurisdiction face the possibility that the CFPB could begin using its authority under Sections 1031 and 1036 of the Dodd-Frank Act (which...more

CFPB Files Notice of Charges Against Online Payday Lender

On November 18, the CFPB announced an action against a Delaware-based online payday lender and its CEO for alleged violations of the Truth in Lending Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, and for engaging in unfair and...more

LabMD Successfully Challenges FTC’s Cyber Authority

On November 13, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission’s Chief Administrative Law Judge, D. Michael Chappell, issued an Initial Decision dismissing the FTC’s cyber security lawsuit against LabMD, Inc. This is the first time that...more

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