Corporate Counsel

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Fifth Circuit Says Community Service Can Be Protected Religious Practice

Title VII requires employers to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs and practices. Understandably, courts are reluctant to make judicial determinations as to what are and what are not sincere religious activities. Last...more

Navigating Employment-Based Visas for Startups

Startups often seek to hire highly educated employees with degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and science) fields in order to compete with their established competitors. Post-graduate international students...more

Federal ALJ Finds Standard Employee Confidentiality Agreement Language to Violate NLRA

Earlier this month, attorneys for the National Labor Relations Board continued their legal assault on common employment policies and procedures. In MUSE School CA, a federal administrative law judge agreed that an employee...more

S.D.N.Y. Judge Permits Novel Theory And Allows SEC To Use Unpaid Taxes As Measure Of Disgorgement In Securities Fraud Case

In a case against Dallas billionaires Sam Wyly and the estate of his late brother, Charles, Judge Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

A Cautionary Tale for Companies With Potential False Claims Act Exposure

A False Claims Act suit can be a company’s worst nightmare, as it may potentially result in large settlements and awards on account of the statute’s trebled damages provision. However, the nightmare for AmerisourceBergen was...more

Does a Compliance Program Matter to U.S. Antitrust Enforcers?

Two weeks ago Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division gave speeches in which they commented on the role of corporate compliance...more

NLRB Declines to Revisit Employee Use of Company Email Systems . . . For Now

Under current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) law, employees do not have a statutory right to use their employers’ email systems for union organizing or for other purposes. Email systems remain employer property for...more

Takeaways from the Latest Whistleblower Awards

Two recent awards by the SEC are noteworthy reminders that it continues to vigorously implement its whistleblower bounty program and that companies must be vigilant when dealing with internal complaints....more

U.S. Treasury Department Takes Action to Slow (But Not Stop) Corporate Inversions: A Summary for Executives

What is an inversion? An inversion is a transaction that results in an existing U.S. company becoming a foreign company or becoming a subsidiary of a foreign parent. Historically, inversions involved U.S. companies...more

Activism: An Overview from the Company Perspective

Increasingly, companies are being confronted with shareholders seeking to exercise power and influence over business activities. The term “activism” has become a buzzword to refer to shareholders seeking to make operational,...more

Illinois Federal Court Grants Neiman Marcus’ Motion to Dismiss Data Breach Action on Article III Standing

Once again, a court finds that data breach plaintiffs do not have the requisite Article III constitutional standing to pursue civil action against a retailer – itself the victim of a cyber attack. Last week, the United...more

Is a LinkedIn Contact List a Trade Secret? Potentially, Yes

As a LinkedIn user, the decision concerning whether to share your entire list of connections with any individual connection can often implicate a number of strategic questions. As of May 2014, LinkedIn boasts 300 million...more

Eleventh Circuit Refuses to Credit Expert’s Guess on Causation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued an important decision on expert testimony, Hughes v. Kia Motors. Patricia Hughes filed a wrongful death action against Kia Motors after her daughter,...more

Easy Living

One of the phrases we hear most frequently in client feedback interviews is “Make my life easier.” Clients often describe that as the key to their most successful outside counsel relationships, and at other times they express...more

Your Client is Hacked and Personal Information is Leaked Online – Now What?

You are general counsel to a company, and your CEO steps into your office, clutching his iPhone in one hand and wiping sweat from his brow with the other, and tells you that a compromising photograph of him was stolen from...more

Third parties: 4 FCPA takeaways for working with distributors

There is a growing appreciation that companies can be held liable for the actions of third parties under the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws. In this article, we highlight four key challenges and related “cures” for...more

The Origins of the FCPA: Lessons For Effective Compliance and Enforcement - Part Four

This is the fourth part of an occasional series. The first is available here, the second here and the third here. The entire paper will be published by Securities Regulation Law Journal early next year. The volunteer...more

How EU data protection laws impact cross-border FCPA investigations

EU data protection laws apply to "personal data" in the broadest sense. For instance, a business email sent by an employee from the office constitutes "personal data" as long as the email directly or indirectly identifies an...more

Full Court of Appeals Finds Customs Civil Penalty Statute Applies to Corporate Employee

In an important precedent, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), sitting en banc (i.e., the full court rather than the typical three-judge panel), held that corporate employees who engage in a broad variety of...more

Twelve Tips for Franchisors to Reduce Joint Employer Risks Under Today's Legal Standards

Franchise agreement recitals declaring your franchisee to be an independent contractor, not an employee, are not dispositive! Until now, the spotlight has never shined so brightly on franchising and, specifically, on...more

Ninth Circuit Confirms Consultants and Other Middlemen May Be Vicariously Liable Under the TCPA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision in Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Company holding that the defendant marketing consultant could be liable under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for...more

Court Allows Counterclaim Against Whistleblower for Breach of Employment Agreement

A federal court in New Jersey has permitted a defendant in a False Claims case to defend itself on the grounds that the whistleblower/ex-employees breached their employment agreements by using and disclosing confidential...more

“Return of Basis” Repatriation Strategy Tested in Tax Court

U.S. multinationals literally have trillions of dollars of untaxed earnings purportedly “trapped” offshore because of the associated high U.S. corporate income taxes that would be incurred if these earnings were repatriated...more

California Court of Appeal Rules Models’ Right of Publicity Claims Assignable, Not Preempted by Copyright Act

The California Court of Appeal held earlier this month that certain right of publicity claims are freely assignable, and that the Copyright Act does not preempt a right of publicity claim where the defendant has no legal...more

Are You a Co-Employer? FMLA Joint Employer Liability Can Be Deadly

To be covered by the FMLA, a private employer must employ at least 50 employees within a 75-mile area. If the employer doesn’t meet this threshold, it is not obligated to provide FMLA leave to its employees. However, an...more

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