Safe Harbors

News & Analysis as of

DOL Clarifies Fiduciary Duties for Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Offering Annuity Contracts

The availability of annuity options under defined contribution plans has increased in recent years due to the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans. Fiduciaries, however, are often concerned with potential...more

California Doubles Down on Proposition 65 Regulations; OEHHA Issues Pre-Regulatory Proposals That Harm Existing Defenses

Late last week, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) released several new pre-regulatory draft proposals regarding Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”). With one possible exception, the pre-regulatory...more

Makers’ Mark Two: Bourbon Distiller Slips another “Handmade” False Advertising Suit

In another blow to consumers that demand absolute rustic authenticity from their top-shelf bourbon purchases, a court in the Southern District of California has dismissed a false advertising class action against Maker’s Mark...more

Privacy & Cybersecurity Update - August 2015

Third Circuit Affirms FTC’s Authority Over Cybersecurity: In the Wyndham case, the Third Circuit affirmed that the FTC has the authority to regulate cybersecurity under Section 5 of the FTC Act, and that the language of...more

Is Ashley Madison abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the Wake of Hack?

In July, a group of hackers identifying themselves as the Impact Team took over the computer systems of Avid Life Media (“ALM”), the parent company of the adultery-oriented website Ashley Madison, threatening to release the...more

Another Major Earthquake: California Creates Big Fissures in Proposition 65 Regulations – Proposals Could Shatter Defenses

In the midst of making Proposition 65’s longstanding warning regulations far more onerous, and vexatious litigation far more likely, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has unveiled still...more

SEC Provides Guidance on “General Solicitation” in C&DIs and No-Action Letter

On August 6, 2015, the Staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Corporation Finance issued new compliance and disclosure interpretations (C&DI Questions 256.23 through 256.33) regarding the meaning...more

No deference for CFPB amicus brief from Ninth Circuit

Many readers probably remember Edwards v. First American Financial Corp. for its ill-fated journey to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had granted certiorari to decide the issue of whether a plaintiff who brings a...more

Obtaining Relief from Penalties Related to IRS Form 1098-T Filing Deficiencies

It has been reported that many colleges and universities have received IRS Notices assessing significant penalties for failing to provide accurate or complete information on IRS Forms 1098-T. Going forward, colleges and...more

The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers (Part 6 of 24): Reporting Group Health Plan Opt-Out...

Under a common strategy for controlling group health care plan costs, employers sometimes adopt arrangements under which an employee is offered cash as an incentive to waive coverage. These arrangements are colloquially...more

New Era in Private Capital Raising – Opening Up General Solicitation and General Advertising

The next few years may be the largest watershed event in opening up private equity capital since the 1980s when Regulation D was first published by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). By allowing general...more

Ninth Circuit Finds CFPB Interpretation of RESPA Provision Not Entitled to Deference

On August 24, 2015, the Ninth Circuit found that the CFPB’s interpretation offered in an amicus brief of 12 U.S.C. § 2607(c)(2) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was not entitled to Chevron deference...more

Changes to Obligations for Filing H-1B Amendment Petitions Under Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC

As of August 19, 2015, full enforcement of a recent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, 26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015) will commence. On April 9, 2015, the AAO—the appellate body...more

Federal Trade Commission Continues Its Enforcement Campaign Against False Safe Harbor Claims

Reiterating its commitment to enforcing the U.S.-EU and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks, the Federal Trade Commission announced on Monday that it has reached settlements with 13 companies alleged to have misled consumers...more

Immigration Corner: Time to Get Simeio-Compliant, Faster H-1Bs, a Permanent Resident Card Refresher and Increased Security...

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has now published a final policy memorandum designed to bring employers into compliance with the ruling in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC and to assess whether H-1B...more

Glossary of Important Securities Regulation Terms and Definitions

This Glossary is designed to provide law students taking Securities Regulation with a tool that will assist them in learning the basic language of securities law and achieve a working knowledge of the fundamental principles...more

Twitter, the DMCA and Copyright in the Age of Sharing

As social media platforms continue to find new ways to allow users to share, post, and forward nonoriginal content and users become more engaged in the practice, the platforms hosting the content and disgruntled original...more

FTC settles false safe harbor allegations with thirteen companies

The FTC has made it clear over the past year that it is serious about companies’ compliance with the US-EU and US-Swiss safe harbor programs, and has publicly stated that it is randomly reviewing company websites to ensure...more

Senator Shelby's Push for Financial Regulatory Reform

Why it matters - Five years after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, efforts on Capitol Hill seek to continue to turn back many of its regulatory restrictions. Sen. Richard...more

MSRB Proposes Further Changes to Municipal Advisor Conduct Rule

The MSRB responded August 12 to the SEC’s initiation of proceedings on proposed conduct standards for Municipal Advisors, filing some amendments to the proposed Rule. The MSRB’s Amendment No. 1: MSRB declined to make a number...more

A Sea Change for Waive-rs? - Proposed Regulations Address Tax Treatment of Management Fee Waivers

The U.S. Treasury Department (“Treasury”) and the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) have issued proposed regulations under Section 707(a)(2)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), covering the...more

You Cannot Buy an Ethical Corporate Culture

I do not mean to be facetious or snarky, but I am concerned about organizations that sell or promote their ability to certify or give a seal of approval to a company as an “ethical” company.  Even more troubling (or perhaps...more

Sun-Blocked: California Court Dismisses Sunscreen Labeling Case

It’s summertime, and for many of us that means buying and applying sunscreen. Lots of it. Indeed, when selecting sunscreen rated at, say, SPF 30, we rely on national standards promulgated by the FDA. It thus comes as no...more

How To Handle Homeopathy?

Search for “homeopathy” on the Internet, and one quickly discovers that this particular form of “alternative medicine,” does not have the greatest reputation. Wikipedia, not always an unimpeachable source, but usually OK for...more

A Band-Aid Remedy?: New TCPA Rules for the Healthcare Industry

Companies in the healthcare industry, along with virtually every consumer-facing business, are adjusting to the impacts of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) July 10, 2015 Order resolving more than 20 petitions...more

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