Public Policy

News & Analysis as of

Court Affirms Dismissal Of Will Contest Based On Public Policy Arguments Arising From Sexual Abuse Allegations

In Merrick v. Helter, a daughter who accused her father of sexual abuse attempted to void her father’s will based on public policy grounds. No. 03-14-00708-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 8966 (Tex. App.—Austin August 18, 2016, no...more

Firing Of Pot-Smoking State Employee Goes Up in Smoke by CT Supreme Court

You might think that smoking pot on the job as a state employee would be justifiable grounds to get you fired. A no-brainer, right?...more

Fifth Circuit Broadens Exceptions to At-Will Employment

On August 8, 2016, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recognized a new public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine, allowing a former employee to sue his employer for terminating his employment for legally...more

New Decision Allows Employee Suit for Violation of Concealed Handgun Law

Texas and many other states in the South have passed state laws in recent years restricting employers from terminating employees who keep their lawfully-licensed concealed handgun locked in their vehicle. For the most part,...more

Are You Ready to Disclose Your Environmental, Social, and Governance Risks?

Back in April, the Securities and Exchange Commission sought public comments on modernizing certain business and financial disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K. In their Concept Release, the SEC noted that some...more

Second Circuit Affirmed Enforcement of ICC Arbitral Award Annulled Abroad

Decision confirming an arbitral award annulled in Mexico, underscores US courts’ pro-enforcement position and highlights different approaches undertaken by courts around the world. On August 2, 2016, the United States...more

Priority of Future Advances Under Idaho Deeds of Trust Now in Doubt

In Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Co. v. Witherspoon, No. 41993, 2016 WL 74987 (Idaho Jan. 6, 2016), the Idaho Supreme Court examined a loan modification agreement in which a lender agreed to release real property from its...more

FPPC Initiates its Political Reform Act Revision Project

The Fair Political Practices Commission, charged with the implementation, interpretation and frontline enforcement of the Political Reform Act, launched its Political Reform Act Revision Project. The Commission is partnering...more

District Court Finds Forum Selection Clause Unenforceable in ERISA Action

A federal district court in Illinois ruled that a plan’s forum selection was unenforceable because it conflicts with ERISA’s public policy of providing plaintiffs “ready access to the Federal courts.” Darlene Harris...more

Third Party Funding: a New Chapter in Hong Kong & Singapore

The legal landscape is changing in South East Asia for third party funding of international arbitration. Third party funding – by which a commercial fund finances a case in exchange for a share of the damages – has...more

Nevada Confirms Its Restrictive Covenant Law, But Rejects Blue Penciling

In the first decision to reach the Nevada Supreme Court on whether state district courts may modify or “blue pencil” non-competition agreements, the high court has concluded that doing so would violate Nevada law. Golden Road...more

The Validity of Oral Modifications and Waivers Is Not Always Intuitive

In an ideal world, any modification of a contract would be in writing, signed by the parties, notarized and witnessed by an independent third party. In the real world, not only are contracts modified, or terms waived, without...more

Nevada Supreme Court Refuses To “Blue Pencil” Unreasonable Non-Compete

Nevada, unlike California, applies a reasonableness test to non-compete agreements. Although the Nevada courts haven’t identified a specific heuristic to be followed, a covenant not to compete will be found to be...more

Delaware Law Updates – Freedom of Contract in LLC Structure Is Not Absolute Where Parties Seek Bankruptcy Relief

In re Intervention Energy Holdings, LLC, Case No. 16-11247 (D. Del. June 3, 2016), the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware dealt with the issue of whether a Delaware LLC lacked authority to file a Chapter 11...more

Aveta And The Use Of Confidential Info In FCA Cases

In a recent case in the District of Puerto Rico, United States ex rel. Valdez v. Aveta Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-01140-CCC (D.P.R.), the former president of Puerto Rican-based managed health care provider Aveta Inc., Jose...more

In the Matter of Microsoft: Why It Matters

On July 14, 2016, the Second Circuit released its decision in Microsoft Corp. v. United States, No. 14-2985, slip op. (2d Cir. July 14, 2016). The Second Circuit rejected the Government’s efforts to require Microsoft to turn...more

Gavel to Gavel: Add a box to your termination checklist

A recent decision from the Oklahoma Supreme Court adds new considerations to the list of items employers should examine before terminating an employee. In Moore v. Warr Acres Nursing Center , the court significantly...more

The Ethics Advisor: It’s Getting Hot in Here

Ah, summertime. Beaches, BBQs, visits with familia, ethics developments, balmy nights … Wait – ethics? Yes, it’s true. The world of ethics and conflicts of interest es muy caliente this summer, with a couple of...more

Sixth Circuit Holds Coverage Unavailable for Perpetrator of Sexual Misconduct

In its recent decision in Clifford v. Church Mutual Ins. Co., 2016 Fed. Appx. 0373N (6th Cir. July 5, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, applying Ohio law, had occasion to consider the coverage...more

Bankruptcy Courts Closing In – Will An Agreement Requiring Unanimous Consent To File For Bankruptcy Be Effective?

We’ve all seen it. The business opportunity looks enticing but is laced with risk about a potential bankruptcy filing down the road. As bankruptcy lawyers we are often asked how deals can be structured to prevent a...more

Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds And The FOIA (Part Two): Can You See My Notes (And Calendar)?

For those who still cannot get enough after my latest post on the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”], here are more nuggets from the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. Today, we focus on written notes and calendar...more

Transmission Planning and Construction Right of First Refusal Ruled Unduly Discriminatory, Not Mobile-Sierra Protected

The provision contained in incumbent electric utility tariffs—conferring on the holder the right of first refusal (ROFR) to construct additions to the high-voltage electrical grid, regardless of who conceived of and proposed...more

Legislature restores wrongful discharge claim eliminated by HB2

We previously wrote a short guide for North Carolina employers on the employment law implications of House Bill 2 “HB2”...more

Lenders Cannot Prevent Borrowers From Filing Bankruptcy By Owning Minority Equity With Veto Power Over Borrower’s Decision To File...

In a recent decision, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware refused to enforce a provision in the debtor’s LLC operating agreement requiring a unanimous vote of the debtor’s members to authorize the debtor to...more

Weaving Together the Strands of Big Data Policy and Practice in Local Government

For more than two decades, beginning with the emergence in the mid-1990s of CompStat in the New York City Police Department, local governments have been using data, combined with accountability and follow-through, to improve...more

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