Ballard Spahr LLP

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1735 Market Street
51st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103-7599, United States
Phone: 215.665.8500
Fax: 215.864.8999
Areas of Practice
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Organizations
  • Business Torts
  • Class Action
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Construction Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Finance & Banking
  • Government
  • Health
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law & Trade
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Privacy
  • Products Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Real Estate
  • Science, Computers, & Tech
  • Securities Law
  • Taxation
  • Toxic Torts
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
  • Zoning, Planning & Land Use
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Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • D.C.
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
Number of Attorneys
400+ Attorneys

Pennsylvania Office of Open Records Blasts Charter Schools

Charter school managers and officials should be aware that the Executive Director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records has recently made public statements criticizing charter schools that take the position that they should…more

Charter Schools, Disclosure Requirements, Exemptions, Public Records, Right To Know

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Real Estate News in Metro DC

Ballard Spahr’s mixed-use, condominium, and multifamily lawyers are pleased to provide this newsletter to keep you apprised of important developments and trends in real estate law in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C…more

Condominiums, Construction Defects, Construction Industry, Construction Project, Disclosure Requirements

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House Passes American Health Care Act

As widely reported, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that, if enacted, would make the first major legislative changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Modified to provide…more

Affordable Care Act, American Health Care Act (AHCA), Cadillac Tax, CBO Report, Employer Mandates

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Updated USPTO Patent Fee Schedule Includes Significant Increases and Additions

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last week established an updated patent fee schedule, effective January 16, 2018. The updated schedule provides for a modest increase for most fees—but also more significant increases…more

Covered Business Method Patents, Design Patent, Fees, Filing Fees, Intellectual Property Protection

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CFPB Revises TRID Guides to Reflect Black Hole Fix

The CFPB recently issued revised TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule guides to reflect the adoption of an amendment to the rule to fix the so-called “black hole” issue. …more

CFPB, Closing Documents, Consumer Financial Products, Disclosure Requirements, Mortgage Lenders

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Liens Recorded Between Foreclosure, Sale Date Ruled Valid by Florida Appellate Court

In a case of first impression among the Florida appellate courts, the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that liens recorded between the foreclosure judgment and the sale date are valid and enforceable against the property so…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Final Judgment, Florida, Foreclosure

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CFPB urges more consumer control over payment methods

As one of his final actions before resigning last Friday from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Director Richard Cordray sent letters to the chief executives of 29 banks, credit unions, and other financial companies…more

Banking Sector, CFPB, Financial Institutions, Financial Literacy

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CA Supreme Court Issues First Decision Extending FTC v. Actavis to State Antitrust Litigation

The California Supreme Court issued a decision today in the Cipro antitrust cases, concluding that the analysis set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in FTC v. Actavis applies to alleged “pay-for-delay” pharmaceutical patent…more

Antitrust Litigation, Antitrust Provisions, Bayer, CA Supreme Court, Cartwright Act

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HUD continues reorganization of key leadership

As part of its efforts towards continued reorganization, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has recently announced changes to the Office of Multifamily Housing leadership staff. Mark Van Kirk, the…more

Administrative Appointments, HUD

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Analysis of Key Provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

As we are sure you know, H.R. 1, informally known as the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, became law on December 22, 2017. This new law will impact almost all taxpayers. Ballard Spahr's Tax Group has prepared a detailed summary of…more

Alternative Minimum Tax, Business Taxes, Compensation & Benefits, Corporate Taxes, Estate Tax

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Senate Confirms Second Trump NLRB Pick

The Senate voted 49-47 yesterday to confirm William Emanuel to fill a vacant seat on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the independent agency tasked with administering federal labor law in the private sector. Mr…more

Administrative Appointments, NLRB, Presidential Nominations, Senate Confirmation Hearings, Trump Administration

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FinCEN Letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Finance Purports to Thread Needle of Potentially Competing Jurisdictions by Regulators over Cryptocurrencies

As we previously have blogged, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) became one of the first regulators to wade into the regulation of cryptocurrency when it released interpretive guidance in March 2013 stating…more

AML/CFT, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Broker-Dealer, CFTC

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High-Level CFPB Officials Invite Companies to Address Prepaid Rule Through RFI for Adopted Regulations

We have learned from a reliable industry source that Brian Johnson, Senior Advisor to CFPB Acting Director Mulvaney, has invited companies and other stakeholders in the prepaid industry to address the Bureau’s prepaid rule,…more

CFPB, Consumer Financial Products, Financial Services Industry, Prepaid Payment Products, Regulatory Oversight

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Arizona Court of Appeals Declares Trial Court's Media Restrictions Unconstitutional

The Arizona Court of Appeals issued a unanimous opinion late last month reaffirming the strict requirements for limiting the media's ability to disseminate public information and strongly cautioning trial courts against imposing…more

Appeals, Criminal Prosecution, Name and Likeness, News Stories, Public Information

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Freddie Mac closes first direct purchase of a tax-exempt loan

Freddie Mac recently closed its first direct purchase of a tax-exempt loan. The loan financed the acquisition and rehabilitation of a 417-unit senior housing community in Dayton, Ohio known as The Lakewoods. The deal represents…more

Freddie Mac, HUD, Loans, Real Estate Market, Tax Exemptions

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Arizona Court Consolidates ADA Lawsuits

The number of claims under the design and construction requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) continues to increase, but a recent development in Arizona may slow this trend. The Arizona Attorney General has…more

Accessibility Rules, ADA, Disability, Disability Access Claims, Disability Discrimination

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New California Landlord Disclosure Requirements Effective July 1

Two new landlord disclosure requirements become effective in California on July 1, 2013. One requires that all new commercial leases state whether the property has been inspected for disability access—and if so, the results. The…more

Certified Access Specialists, Commercial Leases, Compliance, Disability, Disclosure Requirements

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Pa. Superior Court Affirms Punitive Damage Award in Breach of Noncompetition Agreement

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a lower court ruling that assesses punitive damages against several individuals and their new employer resulting from their en masse departure from a previous firm and, in the…more

Breach of Contract, Contacts List, Corporate Counsel, Non-Compete Agreements, Non-Solicitation Agreements

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State Legislatures Tackle Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

More than 100 bills or resolutions related to sexual harassment and workplace misconduct have been introduced during the 2018 state legislative session, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures…more

Civil Rights Act, Corporate Culture, Employer Liability Issues, Hostile Environment, Legislative Agendas

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The Sum of the Parts ? the Whole? SCOTUS on Samsung v Apple

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned a $400 million damages award against Samsung for infringing Apple's smartphone design patents. In a decision that upsets a long-standing rule for calculating damages for design…more

Apple, Apple v Samsung, Cell Phones, Design Patent, iPhone

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Supreme Court to Resolve Circuit Split Over Filing Bankruptcy Proof of Claim on Time-Barred Debt

The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari last week in Midland Funding, LLC v. Aleida Johnson, a decision of the 11th Circuit that held that Midland’s filing of a proof of claim in the plaintiff’s bankruptcy case on a…more

Bankruptcy Code, Certiorari, Consumer Bankruptcy, FDCPA, Financial Institutions

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Federal Housing Finance Agency Proposes GSE Goals

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) has proposed new single-family and multifamily housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (collectively, the “GSEs”) for 2018-2020…more

Comment Period, Fannie Mae, FHFA, Freddie Mac, GSE

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New Utah Law Prohibits Unequal Treatment of Rental Units by Homeowners Associations

Recent revisions to Utah law clarify the role and authority of homeowners associations in restricting owners’ renting out of their units, and may require associations to take action to comply. House Bill 98, signed into law this…more

Amended Legislation, Condominiums, Homeowners Association (HOA), Rental Property

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Impact on Gift, Estate, and GST Taxes Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1)

The tax law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), signed by President Trump on December 22, 2017, contains important changes to provisions governing gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes..…more

Estate Planning, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer, Gift Tax, Gift-Tax Exemption

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Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Sheldon Adelson’s SLAPP Suit Against National Jewish Democratic Council

The Second Circuit has now affirmed dismissal of a defamation lawsuit brought by casino magnate and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson against the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) and two members of its leadership…more

Anti-SLAPP, Defamation, Federal Rule 12(b)(6), First Amendment, Free Speech

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Cosby Case Highlights Role of Public Access to Court Records

The April 2018 criminal trial of iconic entertainer and "America's Dad" Bill Cosby has ended with a guilty verdict…more

#MeToo, Bill Cosby, Criminal Convictions, Judicial Records, Public Access Laws

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Federal Tax Reform: House Bill Rewrites Municipal Bond Rules

The proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act released last week would eliminate the federal tax exemption for interest earned on all private activity bonds—including 501(c)(3) bonds and exempt facility bonds—and advance refunding bonds…more

501(c)(3), Bonds, Infrastructure, Internal Revenue Code (IRC), IRS

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Federal Circuit Limits On-Sale Bar’s Reach

If you were concerned that outsourcing the manufacture of your invention before you filed your patent application triggered a "sale" that could put your patent at risk, you can rest easy. In The Medicines Company v…more

ANDA, Generic Drugs, Hospira, On-Sale Bar, Patent Applications

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Supreme Court Scales Back Safe Harbor Protection for Some Pre-Bankruptcy Fraudulent Transfers

Title 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code contains provisions that allow some pre-bankruptcy transfers to be avoided, or "unwound," by a debtor in possession, trustee, or other party granted standing to do so…more

Avoidance, Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 11, Commercial Bankruptcy, Debtors

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Second Circuit Affirms Fair Use in Google Books Decision

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Google's digitization of books for use in its Google Books and Google Books Library Project is not copyright infringement. The Court also ruled that providing a public online…more

Appeals, Authors, Authors Guild, Class Action, Copyright

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Arizona Passes New Law to Bolster Campus Free Speech

In the midst of heightened political activism among students and employees at academic institutions across the nation, Arizona has enacted legislation designed to protect free speech on its college campuses…more

Colleges, Educational Institutions, First Amendment, Free Speech, Freedom of Association

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DOL Announces Minimum Wage Increase for Federal Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced an upcoming increase to the minimum wage rate for contractors working on or in connection with contracts covered by Executive Order 13658, which applies to certain federal construction,…more

DOL, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Minimum Wage, Obama Administration

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EPA Doubles Down on Methane Regulation for Oil and Gas Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a packet of measures targeting methane emissions from operations of the oil and gas industry on May 12, 2016. These measures include three final regulations affecting new…more

Energy Sector, EPA, Fracking, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Methane

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U.S. Supreme Court Urges Resolution of Bankruptcy Disputes

The U.S. Supreme Court has provided new stimulus to the use of mediation in disputes over attorney fees in its June 15, 2015, decision in Baker Botts LLP v. Asarco. Baker Botts was employed by the bankruptcy debtor estate and,…more

Appeals, Attorney's Fees, Baker Botts v ASARCO, Bullard v Blue Hills Bank, Debtors

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Creating a Social Network of Tax Savings: The Use of LLCs in Structuring Philanthropic and Public Good Activities

The use of a limited liability company (LLC) by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan as the vehicle for advancing of “philanthropic, public advocacy, and other activities for the public good” has recently received a great…more

Charitable Donations, Charitable Organizations, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Mark Zuckerberg, Tax Deductions

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Ninth Circuit Allows Leases To be Stripped in Section 363 Sale

Courts consistently have held that the sale of real property under the Bankruptcy Code cannot "strip off" the leasehold interests in that property. Until now, only one case held to the contrary and was generally considered an…more

Bankruptcy Code, Commercial Bankruptcy, Leases, Personal Property, Section 363

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Federal Circuit Finds Software Patent Not Abstract

Reversing a district court holding, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that two patents directed to a method for organizing data in a computer database did not claim an unpatentable…more

Abstract Ideas, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Computer-Related Inventions, Mayo v. Prometheus, Microsoft

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Pennsylvania County Recorder Cannot Sue MERS for Failure to Record Mortgage Assignments, Third Circuit Rules in Overturning Oft-Cited District Court Opinion

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that Pennsylvania’s recording statute does not require the recording of all conveyances. As a result, the Third Circuit reversed the district court’s refusal to enter…more

Banking Sector, Banks, Class Action, Declaratory Judgments, Deeds

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HUD Secretary States: RAD – “We need to lift the cap”

At the National Housing Conference 2017 Annual Policy Symposium on June 9, 2017, HUD Secretary Ben Carson delivered the keynote address and participated in a Q&A session with Chris Estes, President and CEO of NHC. While much of…more

Affordable Housing, HUD, LIHTC, Low-Income Issues, Public Housing

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USCIS: Are Your Signatures Valid?

Starting March 18, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will require individuals who are submitting an application, petition, request, or other documents to provide a "valid" signature on forms filed with the…more

Fraud and Abuse, Immigrants, Immigration Procedures, Immigration Reform, Manufacturers

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Bourne Valley Redux

The dispute between lenders and the purchasers at homeowners’ association foreclosure sale regarding superiority of title has embroiled the State of Nevada since at least as early as 2012. Since the issue rose in volume and…more

Appeals, Banking Sector, Due Process, En Banc Review, Foreclosure

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Deputy AG Rosenstein Announces New DOJ Policies to Reduce 'Piling On' and Refocus Corporate Enforcement

In a highly anticipated speech to the New York City Bar White Collar Crime Institute this morning, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced two new Department of Justice (DOJ) policies..…more

Corporate Counsel, Corruption, Criminal Investigations, DOJ, Enforcement Actions

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A New Governor Takes Office: What NJ Employers Can Expect

Governor Phil Murphy—officially in office just two days—has already begun to implement many of the "progressive" policy changes he promised on the campaign trail and transform New Jersey into the "California of the East."…more

Decriminalization of Marijuana, Executive Orders, Gender-Based Pay Discrimination, Governors, Legislative Agendas

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Housing options for veterans

With Independence Day right around the corner and with several bond financings benefitting homeless veterans recently in the news (see Proposition 41 Bond Measure and Apartments for Homeless Veterans), it seemed fitting to…more

Affordable Housing, Bond Financing, Bonds, Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeless Issues

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A Tale of Two Enforcement Actions

And a Tale of Four Countries: Singapore Fines a U.K. Bank, and the U.S. Imposes a Consent Order on a Chinese Bank - Less than a week apart, two major financial institutions (“FIs”) have been hit with penalties for failing to…more

Anti-Money Laundering, Banking Sector, BSA/AML, China, Enforcement Actions

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New Jersey Takes Emergency Action To Speed Rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) took emergency action to reduce approval backlogs and to make it easier for those seeking to rebuild in wake of Hurricane Sandy to obtain regulatory approvals by…more

Department of Environmental Protection, Hurricane Sandy, Reconstruction, Redevelopment

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U.S. Issues Unmanned Aircraft Fact Sheet for State, Local Regulators

While Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly—if inaccurately—known as drones, continue to fly near the edges of federal preemption, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to provide guidance for this…more

Drones, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Registration Requirement, Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Ninth Circuit Confirms That Liability Waiver in FCRA Disclosure Triggers Liability

In a case presenting a question of first impression in the federal courts of appeals, the Ninth Circuit has held that a prospective employer violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it procures a job applicant's…more

Consumer Reports, Corporate Counsel, Disclosure Requirements, Employer Liability Issues, FCRA

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Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Enacts Changes to Employee Retirement and Health Benefit Plans, and Medicare

Following a brief shutdown of the federal government, on February 9, Congress passed and President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Budget Act), which provides Congress until March 23 to enact…more

ACOs, Affordable Care Act, Bipartisan Budget Act, CHIP, Employee Benefits

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Hague Agreement Streamlines Registration of Industrial Designs

On April 2, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued Final Rules to implement the provisions of the Hague Agreement concerning the international registration of industrial designs. The Agreement is effective in the…more

Design Patent, Final Rules, Hague Agreement, Industrial Design, Patents

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Congress Extends EB-5 Again Without Changes Despite Months of Legislative Meetings, Lobbying, Proposals, and Negotiations

In what is considered a significant victory for real estate developers, Congress capped off months of handwringing and numerous proposals by extending the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program without amendment until September 30,…more

Construction Industry, EB-5, EB-5 Regional Centers, Housing Developers, Immigrant Investor Program

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The Split Deepens: 2nd Circuit Holds that Title VII Bans Sexual Orientation Discrimination

The U.S. Supreme Court now has a greater incentive to resolve the issue of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation…more

Civil Rights Act, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Litigation, Gender Discrimination

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Georgia Passes New Social P3 Legislation

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law new public-private partnership (P3) legislation, the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act (SB 59) (the Act) on May 5, 2015. The Act allows state and local…more

Governor Deal, New Legislation, Public Private Partnerships (P3s), Public Projects, State and Local Government

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Updated USPTO Patent Fee Schedule Includes Significant Increases and Additions

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last week established an updated patent fee schedule, effective January 16, 2018. The updated schedule provides for a modest increase for most fees—but also more significant increases…more

Covered Business Method Patents, Design Patent, Fees, Filing Fees, Intellectual Property Protection

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DOJ Rescinds 10 ADA Guidance Documents

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) rescinded 25 guidance documents that the department deemed unnecessary, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper…more

ADA, Deregulation, Disability Discrimination, DOJ, Executive Orders

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IRS Approves New Rules To Minimize Taxes Related to M&A Transactions

The Internal Revenue Service recently adopted long-awaited regulations intended to provide a new means of minimizing taxes in M&A transactions. The newly adopted regulations take effect on May 15, 2013, under Section 336(e) of…more

IRS

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Planning for Tenant's Changing Needs: Options To Renew, Expand, Cancel, or Reduce

As a tenant's business changes, its needs and space requirements also change. If possible, a commercial tenant should anticipate the possibility of changing needs by negotiating certain beneficial options and rights into the…more

Commercial Leases, Contract Drafting, Default, Fair Market Value, Landlords

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New Utah Law Prohibits Unequal Treatment of Rental Units by Homeowners Associations

Recent revisions to Utah law clarify the role and authority of homeowners associations in restricting owners’ renting out of their units, and may require associations to take action to comply. House Bill 98, signed into law this…more

Amended Legislation, Condominiums, Homeowners Association (HOA), Rental Property

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Philadelphia Amends Fuel Oil Ordinance, Allows Use of Old Oil After New Standards Take Effect July 1

An amendment to Philadelphia Code relating to the use of No. 2 fuel oil—the most widely used oil for heating, industrial operations, and emergency generation, was signed into law by Mayor Michael Nutter on June 18. This…more

Local Ordinance, Manufacturing Facilities, Oil & Gas

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Philadelphia Earned Income Tax Credit Bill Signed

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has signed a bill expanding employers' notice requirements to employees concerning the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)…more

Earned Income Credit, Local Ordinance, New Legislation, Notice Requirements, Required Forms

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CA Supreme Court Decision Calls for Reevaluation of Worker Classifications

Businesses with employees in California may need to reevaluate whether their workers are independent contractors or employees in light of a recent decision by the California Supreme Court…more

ABC Test, CA Supreme Court, Employee Definition, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Litigation

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Senate Passes Banking Bill Providing Dodd-Frank Relief

The U.S. Senate on March 14 passed S.2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the Act), by a vote of 67 to 31. Although the Act would not make the sweeping changes to the Dodd-Frank Act found in…more

Appraisal, Banking Sector, CFPB, Dodd-Frank, Financial Institutions

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EPA Doubles Down on Methane Regulation for Oil and Gas Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a packet of measures targeting methane emissions from operations of the oil and gas industry on May 12, 2016. These measures include three final regulations affecting new…more

Energy Sector, EPA, Fracking, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Methane

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In Lease Case, Maryland's Highest Court Brings State Law in Line With FOIA

Confidentiality is important for landlords and tenants in commercial lease transactions. For that reason, a recent Maryland Court of Appeals decision should be kept in mind when leases and other documents are submitted to public…more

Commercial Leases, Confidential Information, Disclosure, Entitlements, FOIA

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