Corporate Counsel

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Legal Advice Privilege In The Context Of A Regulatory Investigation

In this case report, we consider the decision of the High Court in Property Alliance Group Ltd v The Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2015] EWHC 3187 (Ch) (5 November 2015). In the latest in a series of procedural decisions in...more

California Court Confirms No Absolute Public Policy Against Non-Competes Entered into by Partners

California’s prohibition on non-competition agreements is less than absolute. For example, non-compete agreements may be enforced against partners or sellers of businesses. Additionally, in SingerLewak LLP v. Andrew Gantman...more

Amendments to Federal Civil Rules Governing Discovery and Preservation of ESI Set to Take Effect December 1, 2015

The course of federal civil litigation will take a turn on December 1, 2015, with pending amendments to several rules governing discovery, case management, and the preservation of electronically stored information (“ESI”) set...more

Ninth Circuit Severely Limits “Rogue Employee” Exception for Corporations in Securities Fraud Cases

In an issue of first impression, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a rogue corporate officer’s fraudulent intent can be imputed to a corporation even where the defrauding officer acted against the...more

Don’t Lose a No-Hitter – Use of Questionnaire and Compliance Terms and Conditions

Before Jim Crane came along to purchase the Houston Astros and provide us all with some of the best lessons learned for the compliance practitioner, they had a long and storied history, even if part of that history included...more

District Court Cuts The Cord To Cable Employees’ Discipline And Promotions Class Claims

In a new order issued on November 13, 2015 in Brand, et al. v. Comcast Corp., Case No. 11-CV-8471 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 13, 2015), a matter we have previously blogged on here, Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of the U.S. District Court...more

Federal Court Requires “Meeting of the Minds” To Enforce Arbitration Agreement Included in Employment Application

Last month, a federal court in Maryland denied an employer’s motion to compel arbitration even though the plaintiff executed an arbitration agreement the employer had included in the plaintiff’s employment application. The...more

Day 2: Your First Five Questions (times four): A Practical Guide to the Amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure – Early Case...

The current amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure—and, in particular, those that address the practice of civil discovery—are the product of five years of development, debate, and, of course, dialogue. Now that the Rules...more

"Software" Claims Reciting No Structural Components and Having Questionable Novelty Struck Down under 35 U.S.C. § 101

Two recent District Court decisions show examples of "weak" claims, which in the past would likely be found invalid as lacking novelty or being obvious, but today are struck down as being unpatentable under § 101. The cases...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Delivers Clear Message to Employers Regarding Restrictive Covenants in Employment Agreements

In a case of first impression, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that an employee may challenge an employment agreement containing a restrictive covenant for lack of consideration, even though the agreement...more

The mountain that is Specialty Healthcare: Volkswagen case typifies employers’ steep climb in NLRB unit determination cases

In its 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision, the National Labor Relations Board revised the test it applies in determining whether a union’s petitioned-for unit is appropriate. In Specialty Healthcare, the NLRB explained that...more

Labor Department Provides Guidance on ERISA Coverage of State-Run Retirement Programs for Private Sector Employers

In recent years, a number of states have explored the idea of establishing state-run retirement plans for private sector employees who do not have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. The preemption concerns under...more

Bankruptcy Court Order Compelling Surrender of Property Upheld on Appeal

On November 23, 2015, in the first appellate decision of its kind, the District Court for the Southern District of Florida affirmed a bankruptcy court order to compel chapter 7 debtors to surrender real property by directing...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects Clean Air Act Preemption of State Common Law Claims: Four Things to Know

In two decisions released on November 2, 2015, Merrick, et al. v. Diageo Americas Supply, Inc. and Little et al. v. Louisville Gas & Electric Company; PPL Corporation, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit...more

DOL Issues Proposed Revisions to Disability Plan Claims Regulations

The Department of Labor published proposed changes to its regulations governing disability claims and appeals in the Federal Register on November 18, 2015, and invited comments. The stated purpose of the proposed changes is...more

Final Means Final: No Reconsideration in Arbitration

Recent decisions from the 3d and 11th Circuits drive home this point: an arbitration award is final and should not be revisited. In Robinson v. Littlefield, 2015 WL 5520017 (3d Cir. Sept. 17, 2015), the parties...more

Brother Can You Spare Some (Compliance) Advice?

Usually I have Houston professional sports teams to hold high as example of true bone headedness around compliance issues. However, as my beloved Houston Astros took the World Series Champions, KC Royals, to the 7th inning of...more

Pizza franchisee jailed for wage violations

Most employers know that failing to pay minimum wage or overtime pay to their employees can lead to serious consequences. When employees file lawsuits claiming unpaid overtime wages, they can bring in their co-workers,...more

Complicit in Sin: the Burden of the Opt-Out Form

Does filling out a form burden religious beliefs? We’re about to find out. On November 6, the Supreme Court agreed to review a group of seven cases (led by No. 14-1418, Zubik v. Burwell) brought by religious non-profit...more

Get It in Writing: Even Arguments Prompted by PTAB Questions Must Be in the Briefings

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to strictly enforce its rule that "parties are not permitted to raise new arguments at oral hearing," including in situations where the "new" arguments are provided as a...more

Trend In The Courts: It’s Getting Harder To Obtain Preliminary Injunctions In Restrictive Covenant Cases

In recent weeks, courts almost routinely have been denying preliminary injunctive relief in cases alleging violation of non-compete and similar employment agreements. Three examples: Burleigh v. Center Point Contractors,...more

SEC Exam Staff Shares Observations on Outsourced Chief Compliance Officers

Firms that use third-party CCOs or that rely on financial intermediaries that have outsourced their compliance functions should consider taking a fresh look at their compliance structure in the wake of this guidance....more

Bankruptcy Beat: The Second Circuit Establishes a Binding Standard For Lien Extinguishment Under a Plan of Reorganization

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion, City of Concord, N.H. v. N. New England Tel. Operations, LLC (In re N. New England Tel. Operations LLC), 795 F.3d 343 (2d Cir. 2015), addressing an issue of...more

Envelope’s Display of Internal Tracking Number Does Not Violate FDCPA, New York Federal Court Rules

A federal district court in New York has ruled that a debt collector did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by sending a collection letter in an envelope that allegedly revealed an internal tracking...more

Think you can keep your internal investigations confidential? Think again.

Many employers have rules or policies directing employees who are involved in a workplace investigation to keep their conversations with investigators confidential and to refrain from discussing the matter with colleagues...more

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