Interstate Commerce

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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

District Court Strikes Down Regulation of Purely Intrastate Species on Private Land

In a significant Endangered Species Act case, the Utah District Court has ruled that Congress may not regulate take of the threatened Utah prairie dog, a purely intrastate species, on non-federal land. The court found that...more

Do Takes of the Utah Prairie Dog Affect Interstate Commerce? Only When McDonalds Starts Serving Prairie Burgers

Earlier this week, in a suit brought by the beautifully named People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners, Judge Dee Benson ruled that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service could not regulate takes of the Utah...more

Local Wholesaler-Retailer Dispute Has Federal Implications

On August 14, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi issued an opinion finding that state regulations bolstered one antitrust claim and hindered another in an ongoing dispute between a northern...more

EPA Labeling Requirements for Products Containing or Manufactured with a HCFC Begin January 2015

Effective January 1, 2015, products imported or manufactured after that date that contain or were manufactured with a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) must be labeled before they may be placed into interstate commerce. These...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Alameda Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance, Triggering Implementation of King County Secure Medicine Return Rule

On September 30, 2014, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the Northern District of California’s summary judgment that the Alameda Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) does not violate the dormant Commerce Clause of the...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

Vermont AG defends the state’s GMO statute. On August 8, the Vermont attorney general filed a motion to dismiss a case brought by food trade groups against the state’s newly enacted statute requiring GMO foods be...more

Allied Domecq: Nexus-Combined Reporting

In Allied Domecq Spirits & Wines USA, Inc. v. Commissioner of Revenue, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals held that the parent company of a Massachusetts taxpayer could not be included in the taxpayer’s Massachusetts...more

CFIUS Process and Due Process: Presidential orders blocking transactions on national security grounds – the process, and the...

The President of the United States, acting upon the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) has the power to block or unwind any transaction – i.e., merger, acquisition, takeover...more

Propane: winter shortages in 2014

Propane is widely used as a fuel -- but shortages this past winter led to an unprecedented emergency in the eyes of federal regulators. Propane is a hydrocarbon produced as a byproduct from natural gas processing and crude...more

New Federal Trade Secret Protections on the Horizon?

Conspicuously absent in the quiver of arrows available to a business looking to take action against someone who has misappropriated or is threatening to misappropriate its trade secrets is a federal cause of action for...more

Will Trade Secrets Finally Get Federal Civil Protection?

On April 29, 2014, Senators Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the Defend Trade Secrets Act (S. 2267), a proposed amendment to the Economic...more

FDA Regulation of Compounding Pharmacies: Unsolved Mysteries

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been busy since the passage of the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) in November 2013. In just five short months, the FDA has issued six warning letters referencing the...more

First Amendment And Off-Label Promotion – Prosecute What I Do, Not What I Say

On December 3, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the conviction of Alfred Caronia (“Caronia”), who had been tried and convicted of participating in an unlawful conspiracy to introduce a...more

EPA Asks STB to Resolve Preemption Question

The Administrator of Region IX of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for a declaratory order to address whether locomotive idling rules issued by the South Coast...more

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