Interstate Commerce

News & Analysis as of

Can the Tax Man Come After Your Stored Gas?

The owner of 33 BCF of gas cant’ just stuff it in his pocket and move it county-to-county to avoid taxes. So, the question: Is gas in storage subject to ad valorem tax on personal property? The Harris County Appraisal...more

Supreme Court Update: Comptroller v. Wynne (13-485) And San Francisco v. Sheehan (13-1412)

We're back with the two remaining decisions from Monday, Comptroller v. Wynne (13-485) and San Francisco v. Sheehan (13-1412), two split decisions featuring strange bedfellows. The Justices' philosophical differences...more

Court Puts the Brakes on Overtime for Drivers—No Interstate Trips? No Problem!

The Third Circuit put a screeching halt to the contention that drivers must actually cross state lines to be exempt from overtime under the Motor Carrier Act (“MCA”). In Resch v. Krapf’s Coaches, Inc., the court ruled that...more

Maryland’s Denial of Credit for Tax Paid in Other States Declared Unconstitutional

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne, 575 U.S. ____ (2015), has struck down, under the “dormant” Commerce Clause, an aspect of Maryland’s income tax laws...more

Supreme Court Rules that Dormant Commerce Clause Limits Maryland’s Taxing Powers over Its Residents

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne on May 18. In a split 5-4 decision, the Court struck down as unconstitutional a feature of Maryland’s income tax...more

Trucking Company Appeals ATB Decision Upholding Use Tax Assessment on Trucks Used in Interstate Commerce

In a case to watch for interstate trucking companies, Regency Transportation, Inc. is appealing a use tax assessment upheld by the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board (“ATB”). Regency had challenged the Department of Revenue’s...more

Mississippi Court Rules Discriminatory Exclusion is Unconstitutional

The Hinds County Chancery Court recently issued an opinion in AT&T Corp. v. Miss. Dep't of Revenue finding that Mississippi's dividend exclusion statute unlawfully discriminates against interstate commerce and is therefore...more

Food for Thought: Jail Sentences Send Strong Message to Food Industry

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett in Sioux City, Iowa, sentenced Austin (Jack) DeCoster and his son Peter to three months in jail for their role in selling contaminated food across state lines. Their company,...more

Welcome To California: No Foreign Corporations Need Apply

California continues to hemorrhage corporate charters to Delaware and Nevada.  The most recent potential emigrant is SJW Corp. which filed this proxy statement last week seeking shareholder approval of a reincorporation from...more

CFIUS Releases Annual Report to Congress

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) was established decades ago to identify and recommend responses to threats to US national security posed by acquisitions by non-US entities of controlling...more

FDA Issues Draft Memorandum of Understanding for 503A Drug Compounding

Included in the flurry of guidance documents recently issued by the FDA concerning human drug compounding is a long-awaited document of great importance to mail-order pharmacy compounders and entities that rely on interstate...more

Tax Injunction Act Does Not Bar Suit by Online Retailers Trade Association, But May Not Be the Last Word on Taxation of Online...

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held on March 3 that the Tax Injunction Act does not bar a lawsuit brought by the Direct Marketing Association, a trade association of retailers, challenging the enforcement of a Colorado...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects San Jose’s Bid to Overturn Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption

Baseball is the only national sport that is exempt from the antitrust laws. The baseball exemption has existed for 92 years and withstood both court and Congressional challenges, despite the United States Supreme Court’s...more

Nutritious and Judicious: Nutribullet Blender False Ad Claim Survives Attack from Ninjas and Phantom Reviewers

While courts may not officially be in the business of ghostbusting, a district court in California recently offered some support to a blender manufacturer apparently haunted by a phantom reviewer. The court found that...more

Report From Counsel: Insights And Developments In The Law - Winter 2014/2015

In this Newsletter: - Federal Advertising Guidelines for Businesses - Case by Case - Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts - Life Insurance Can Be Part of Your Estate Plan - Employment...more

The Prospect of a Federal Trade Secret Claim

Trade secrets constitute the only category of intellectual property that is governed primarily by state law. This status may soon change—two bills, House Bill 5233 and Senate Bill 2267 were introduced in Congress last term to...more

Arbitration Clauses In Employment Contracts

The Federal Arbitration Act requires courts to enforce clauses in commercial contracts that require arbitration of disputes. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce are...more

Prairie Dogs vs. Congress

A recent ruling by a Utah federal judge, although directed at the Endangered Species Act (ESA), may have far-reaching implications on Congress' commerce clause powers. In a first-of-its-kind ruling, U.S. District Judge Dee...more

The Benefits of Settling Employee Wage Claims Through the Department of Labor

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as construed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in its extensive regulations promulgated under the Act, governs federal wage and hour law. Where an employer is an enterprise engaged in...more

LITIGATION ALERT: The Motor Carrier Act/MCS-90 Endorsement Duty to Defend When No Coverage Exists?

Under the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 ("the Act"), no motor carrier shall operate a motor vehicle unless the carrier has obtained minimum levels of financial responsibility through insurance or other forms for bodily injury or...more

California Supreme Court Poised To Decide Key CEQA Questions: The Court’s Lineup For 2015

The California Supreme Court’s involvement in CEQA cases has been relatively limited since he statute’s enactment in 1970, with the court taking  review of at most one or two appellate court decisions a year.  The last two...more

Utah Prairie Dog Could Narrow Endangered Species Act

A Utah federal court has created the potential for a constitutional showdown that could result in a significant narrowing of the Endangered Species Act and further limiting Congress’ power to legislate. In an unprecedented...more

Anticipating a Federal Trade Secret Law

Unlike patents and copyrights, trade secrets have historically been protected primarily under state law rather than federal law. That long history may soon change, as bills to create a federal cause of action for trade secret...more

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Sustains Opposition on the Basis of Fraud

Nationstar Mortgage LLC v. Mujahid Ahmad - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or Board) sustained an opposition on the basis of fraud, finding that Ahmad’s...more

Utah Federal Court Strikes Down as Unconstitutional a Regulation Under the Endangered Species Act Protecting Utah Prairie Dogs on...

The Utah Prairie Dog is a species that exists only in Utah, where it lives on both federal and private land. The species is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, and a federal regulation...more

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