Follow Expert Insight, Commentary, and Intelligence On...

Latest Updates

Illinois Nursing Home Faces Employee Class Action Based On State Biometric Privacy Act

Alleging that mandatory daily biometric fingerprint scans violate employees’ privacy rights under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), employees of Paramount of Oak Park Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, LLC, have… more

Slippery Slope Fraud Scheme Crumbles Under Mountain of Evidence

U.S. immigration policy continues to be a subject of national debate, but almost everyone agrees that the EB-5 visa program has been a win-win for immigrants and the U.S. economy. Under the EB-5 program, foreign nationals can gain U.S… more

CPSC Recall Snapshot - New Commissioners and Court-Ordered Judgment for Late Reporting

Welcome to the October edition of the Alston & Bird CPSC Recall Snapshot. There have been several recent noteworthy events involving the CPSC. In September, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Dana Baiocco, a partner… more

Has the Government Solicited Bids Under the Correct 2017 NAICS Code? Here’s How to Make Sure That It Does!

On October 1, 2017, the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) updated its table of the North American Industry Classification System (“NAICS”) codes, which resulted in numerous changes, including additional industries, the merger… more

Keeping CEQA In Its Lane: First District Holds Substantial Evidence Supports EIR’s Conclusion That “Urban Decay” Is Not Reasonably Foreseeable Indirect Effect Of Project Relocating Trial Court Operations From Historic Placerville Courthouse

In 15-page opinion filed on September 15, and later certified for publication on October 16, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a writ petition challenging the Judicial Council of… more

New California Product Label and Internet Disclosure Requirements (and New Crime for Employers who Fail to Disclose) for Cleaning Products

On October 15, 2017, California enacted SB 258 – the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 (Cal. Health and Safety Code Sections 108950 et seq.) – that requires product label and on-line disclosure requirements or bans sale of… more

IRS Announces Key Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions for 2018

On October 19, IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2017-58, announcing inflation adjustments for 2018 for dozens of important figures across the Internal Revenue Code, including the following two key numbers regarding the estate tax, gift tax… more

A Beacon in the Night Sheds New Light

Since the decision in Bellefonte Reinsurance Co. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 903 F.2d 910 (2nd. Cir. 1990) (”Bellefonte”) in 1990, the limits of coverage provided by facultative certificates have been pretty well defined, but cases… more

San Diego Developer Strikes Out on “Disguised Taking” Claim

In Dryden Oaks, LLC v. San Diego County Regional Airport Authority et al.(D068161, filed 9/26/17, publication order 10/19/17), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District held that the County of San Diego (County) and the… more

How Collecting Fingerprints Could Cost Your Company: Biometric Laws on the Rise

Corporations in Illinois, Texas and Washington could be subject to extensive monetary damages if they collect any biometric identifier, including fingerprints or voice scans. Businesses should carefully comply with privacy laws to… more

Regulation Amending EMIR: ECB Opinion

On October 17, 2017, the European Central Bank (“ECB“) published an opinion on the proposed Regulation amending EMIR (Regulation 648/2012) in relation to the clearing obligation, its suspension, the reporting requirements, the… more

IRS Audits Of Cannabis Companies And The Importance Of Substantiation

Today, the Tax Court issued its opinion in Feinberg v. Commissioner, a case involving an ongoing and hard fought battle between the IRS and a medical marijuana dispensary, Total Health Concepts, LLC. The IRS examined THC’s 2009… more

ICE Acting Director Confirms Plans For Significantly Higher Worksite Enforcement Activity

When President Donald Trump issued his first immigration executive orders in January, enforcement was a primary focus. With the “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, it was clear that the Administration plans to increase… more

Treasury Report Takes Aim at CFPB Arbitration Rule

The CFPB’s Arbitration Agreements Rule (“Rule”), which was finalized on July 18, 2017, came under fire today in a report released by the U.S. Department of Treasury (“Treasury”). The 18-page report details the “extraordinary costs”… more

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

President Donald Trump is considering appointing lawmakers to a bipartisan commission that would develop strategies to lower prescription drug prices, while senators last week called for greater transparency into how medicines are… more

CLIENT ALERT: IRS Announces Increases For Health FSAs And HSAs For 2018

The IRS has just released its 2018 annual inflation adjustments, in which it announced that the dollar limitation under Code section 125 on voluntary employee salary reductions for contribution to health flexible spending arrangements… more

CSA Comment on Registrants’ Cybersecurity and Social Media Practices

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have published Staff Notice 33-321 Cyber Security and Social Media (Staff Notice 33-321), which summarizes survey results of registered firms’ cybersecurity and social media practices, and… more

EPA Issues Regulatory Action on Dicamba

On October 13, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it had reached an agreement with Monsanto, BASF, and DuPont on measures “to further minimize the potential for drift to damage neighboring crops from… more

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Petition for Certiorari on Constitutional Challenge to 8(a) Program

On October 16, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of certiorari filed by Rothe Development, Inc. in Rothe Development, Inc. v. Department of Defense & Small Business Administration. Rothe, a non-minority-owned… more

Rating Agency Developments

On October 16, 2017, KBRA published a report entitled: Container Leasing ABS Rating Methodology. On October 16, 2017, KBRA published a report entitled: General Rating Methodology for Asset-Backed Securities… more

The EU – US Privacy Shield Passed Its First Annual Review

The European Commission recently issued an overall positive review in its first annual report on the E.U. – U.S. Privacy Shield (“Privacy Shield”), after evaluating the Privacy Shield in its joint review with the US last month. The… more

SEC Proposes Rules To Modernize And Simplify Certain Disclosure Requirements In Regulation S-K And Related Rules And Forms

On October 11, 2017, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (the Commission) proposed amendments to simplify and modernize the disclosure obligation of public companies in an effort to reduce costs and burdens on registrants… more

Pump the Breaks: Employers Cannot Bypass Obligation To Compensate Employees For Short Rest Periods

Refusing to compensate employees for short breaks is prohibited by the FLSA, the Third Circuit has confirmed. Thus, an employer’s “flexible time” policy, under which employees were not paid if they logged off of their computers for… more

End-Of-Year Checklist – What Employers Need to Know

Fall is here, which means open enrollment is coming up and end-of-year deadlines are right around the corner. As we quickly approach the end of 2017 and the start of a new year, here are some deadlines that employers will want to keep… more

Law Firms That Are Leading the Way to Successful Legal Operations

Merry Neitlich looks at how two law firms - Baker McKenzie and Davis Wright Tremaine - are leading the way to improved legal operations… more

Federal Court Applies Charitable Organization Exemption in Telephone Consumer Protection Act Case

The Situation: A federal court recently weighed in on some of the considerations involved in applying the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's ("TCPA") exemption for charities and the third-party services that conduct fundraising… more

Deciding Not To Look Away: Ethics v. Compliance

For most of us, we do not get into trouble for intentionally doing something wrong. We do not steal. We do not commit fraud. We do not hurt people on purpose. But, if we are truthful with ourselves, we have sometimes looked away and… more

2018 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2018 Social Security Taxable Wage Base

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits. A few of the limits shown below remain unchanged from last year, but others have increased… more

PTAB Stays Reexamination in IXI Mobile (R&D) Ltd. v. Google LLC

In August 2016, Google petitioned for Inter Partes Review of U.S. Patent No. 7,552,124 (owned by IXI Mobile), asserting that claims 1–10 are unpatentable. In March 2017, the PTAB instituted the IPR as to claims 1–5, but denied… more

“Technically Speaking” – the Do’s and Don’ts of the New Maryland Electronic Filing Rules

Currently 13 out of 24 counties in Maryland require electronic filing. Effective August 1, 2017, the Court’s Standing Committee of Rules of Practice and Procedure (the “Rules Committee”) revised the electronic filing rules to be… more

The Revival of North Carolina General Assembly Special Sessions and Why They Matter

Brief History of Special Sessions - In odd numbered years, after the North Carolina General Assembly adjourns its Long Session, the body typically abstains from lawmaking through the commencement of the Short Session the following… more

English Court Rules on Unwinding of Distressed Debt LMA Trades

The Situation: The English Commercial Court heard a dispute regarding a back-to-back trade of distressed debt between an upstream seller and a downstream buyer, via a "riskless principal" broker, which contained an express unwind… more

Court Denies Default Judgment Sanctions for Defendant’s Production of Two Versions of Same Email: eDiscovery Case Law

In Catrinar v. Wynnestone Communities Corp., et al., No. 14-11872 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 30, 2017), Michigan Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen denied the plaintiff’s Motion for Discovery Sanctions (requesting a default judgment) for… more

EEOC Issues Final Rule To Modify FOIA Regulations

Changes Will Affect Certain FOIA Procedures, Federal Agency Says - WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has finalized an update of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) procedures by issuing a Final… more

Wolfsberg Group Adopts New Standards on Correspondent Banking and Payment Transparency

The Wolfsberg Group has published two new standards, the Correspondent Banking Due Diligence Questionnaire (CBDDQ) and the revised Payment Transparency Standards. The Wolfsberg Group was established in 2002 and comprises thirteen… more

Rental Income Guarantee Scheme introduced for private sector Build to Rent developments in Scotland

On 12 October the Scottish Government announced the launch of a Rental Income Guarantee Scheme (RIGS) which will see the Government sharing a proportion of landlords' rental income risk associated with qualifying Build to Rent private… more

When Is a Private Company Considered a Public Body and Subject to the EU Procurement Rules?

The case itself is a judgement of 5 October 2017, following a request for a preliminary ruling from a regional court in Lithuania to the ECJ. The question submitted was essentially should a private company established by the Lithuanian… more

The Court of Appeal of Manitoba clarifies presence based jurisdiction – Fernandes v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp.

The recent decision of the Court of Appeal of Manitoba (the Court) in Fernandes v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp. contains an important statement of principle relating to the interaction between the traditional bases for jurisdiction, namely… more

Reminder that Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Deferral Elections for 2018 Must be Made on or Before December 31, 2017

As we approach the end of 2017, we want to remind employers and employees to take action before year end if they desire to defer compensation that will be earned during 2018..… more

Cyber Risk a Modern Concern for M&A Dealmakers

Amid a growing number of high-profile corporate data breaches, cybersecurity is now a key issue for strategic acquirers. Thehack of Yahoo, which came to light midway through its 2016 takeover by Verizon, resulted in a US$350 million… more

Boston Municipal Research Bureau 'Update' Has Me Thinking Thoughts of PILOTS

I always thought that hospitals and universities owned most of the tax-exempt land in the City of Boston. Boy was I mistaken. The total area of Boston consists of 47.84 square miles. Of that total, 49 percent, or 23.44 square miles… more

What you should know about estate and gift tax 2018 inflation adjustments

The IRS has announced the 2018 inflation adjustments for many tax provisions, including exemptions for estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes and the annual exclusion amount for gifts. The 2018 estate and gift tax… more

Non-Equity Transactions with Certain Non-EU Central Banks Exempt from Trade Transparency Requirements under MiFID II

A Commission Delegated Regulation exempting compliance with the pre- and post-transparency requirements for non-equity transactions with the Bank for International Settlements and the central banks of 12 third countries has been… more

OTA & Travel Distribution Update - Oct. 13th, 2017

This week’s OTA & Travel Distribution Update for the week ending Friday, October 13, is below. This week’s Update features stories on short-term rentals (or should I say hotels?), OTAs and loyalty. I hope you enjoy… more

Department of Education Sued in Connection with Recently Issued Q&A on Campus Sexual Misconduct

• An equal rights group and three individual plaintiffs have filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court in Boston against the Department of Education (ED) and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The complaint alleges that the “Q&A on… more

Second CAR-T Cell Therapy Approved by FDA

Less than two months after approving the first gene therapy for use in the U.S., that of Novartis's Kymriah for treatment of pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the FDA has approved a second single-infusion… more

MoFocus: Our Insights into the Risk + Crisis Landscape - Vol.1 Issue. 2

Arrest of a Chinese National on Hacking Charges Illustrates How U.S. Tactics Are Changing to Meet the New Cyber Threat - In August, Yu Pingan, a Chinese national, was arrested on charges that he conspired to acquire and use malware… more

Is This The Beginning Of The End Of The NLRB’s War On Employer Rules? - ALJ Rules Broad Confidentiality and Texting Rules Lawful

Employers who have been keeping up with the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decisions over the past eight years may be pleasantly shocked to learn that an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) just upheld an employer’s seemingly broad… more

Bipartisan bills bolster cybersecurity protections for small business

Cybersecurity is not just a concern for very large companies but instead should be on the radar of all companies. While the breaches experienced by Target, The Home Depot, or even Equifax may garner much of the press, small businesses… more

Privacy Perils: Phishing in the Ocean of Apps

News about phishing attacks implemented through email and websites is very common (see Déjà vu All Over Again; American Express – New Bait for an Old Phishing Lure; Beware of Text Scam, iPhone Users; Beware New Hacker Scheme Requesting… more

Watch This