Code of Federal Regulations
Gov. Malloy Signs Order Implementing the State Water Plan
“On June 14, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed Executive Order No. 66, directing the Connecticut Water Planning Council (WPC) to immediately be guided by and implement the State Water Plan, as submitted to the Connecticut General Assembly in January 2018.” See Article.
Jun 22, 2018 9:12 PM
State Department to Limit Visas for Specific Chinese Citizens
“As part of the continuing trade and intellectual property war with China, the U.S. Department of State has implemented a new policy to limit visa validity periods and impose additional security clearances before visa issuance to citizens of the People's Republic of China.” See Article.
Jun 22, 2018 9:11 PM
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Proposes Amendments to the State’s White Collar Exemption Regulations
“The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) responded to Governor Tom Wolf's call to modernize Pennsylvania's outdated overtime rules for "white collar" employees. On June 12, 2018, the DLI submitted to the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) a proposed rulemaking package that would update the Executive, Administrative and Professional (EAP) exemptions to the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA).” See Article.
Jun 22, 2018 9:10 PM
U.S. Supreme Court: existence of probable cause does not bar the defendant’s First Amendment retaliation claim
On June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court held that, in the case of Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, the existence of probable cause does not bar the defendant’s First Amendment retaliation claim. In this case, the defendant was an outspoken critic of the City’s plan to use its eminent domain power to seize waterfront homes for private development. Defendant alleged that councilmembers devised a plan to intimidate him. He was arrested at a subsequent public council meeting when he refused to stop making remarks about the arrest of officials from other jurisdictions. See Decision.
Jun 22, 2018 9:09 PM
South Carolina’s New State Telemarketing Law
“On May 18, 2018, Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina signed the Telephone Privacy Protection Act (the "Act") into law. The new State telemarketing law is intended to curb caller ID spoofing and promote transparency by requiring marketers to comply with terms similar to federal telemarketing regulations.” See Article.
Jun 22, 2018 9:06 PM
Using Credit Histories in Employment Decisions: An Overview of Divergent State & Local Requirements
“Over the past few years, restrictions regarding the use of credit checks by employers on applicants and employees have been passed at various state and municipal levels, and the federal government has indicated its own concerns of potential discriminatory impact of the use of credit checks. The nuanced differences in obligations and requirements that may govern in any particular jurisdiction have created a legal mine-field for employers who utilize credit checks.” See Article.
Jun 22, 2018 9:04 PM
NY Court of Appeals: Tax Law § 471’s pre-collection mechanism does not conflict with the Buffalo Creek Treaty of 1842 or Indian Law § 6
On June 7, The New York Court of Appeals held that because Tax Law § 471’s pre-collection mechanism does not operate as a direct tax on the retailers or upon members of the Seneca Nation, it does not conflict with the Buffalo Creek Treaty of 1842 or Indian Law § 6. Tax Law § 471 imposes requirements on Indian retailers located on reservation land to pre-pay the tax on cigarette sales to individuals who are not members of the Seneca Nation of Indians. See Decision.
Jun 22, 2018 9:03 PM
11th Circuit Overturns FTC LabMD Order
“In a landmark decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vacated a Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") cease and desist order which directed LabMD, a relatively small and now-defunct cancer testing laboratory, to create and implement a variety of protective measures with respect to its data security practices.” See Article.
Jun 22, 2018 9:00 PM
Supreme Court Rules that Federal Courts are Not Bound to Give Conclusive Effect to Foreign Governments’ Statements about Their Laws
“The Supreme Court ruled [on June 14] that, when a foreign government presents a formal submission to a federal court about the content of the government's own laws, the court should accord "respectful consideration" to the government's statements, but is not bound to grant them "conclusive effect." The decision in Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. resolves a Circuit split about the weight to accord a foreign government's description of its own law and could lead to more in-depth litigation of the content and meaning of foreign law, with expert witnesses on both sides addressing the issues.” See Article.
Jun 21, 2018 11:16 PM
Minnesota Supreme Court: MN statutes offer procedural fairness "safe harbor" for provisions in antenuptial agreements that address non-marital property and if the provision is not within the safe harbor, the common law test of In re Estate of Kinney applies
The Supreme Court of Minnesota has held that “Minnesota Statutes § 519.11, subd. 1 (2016) offers a procedural fairness "safe harbor" for provisions in antenuptial agreements that address nonmarital property. If a provision is not within the safe harbor, or if the provision addresses marital property, the common-law, multi-factor test for procedural fairness adopted in In re Estate of Kinney, applies.” See Decision.
Jun 21, 2018 11:14 PM
Florida’s New Law Changes Physician Responsibilities for Opioid Dispensing
“Florida's House Bill (HB) 21, enacted to help combat opioid abuse, contains several noteworthy changes to Florida law that impact the dispensing of opioids. Effective July 1, 2018, dispensing providers must consult Florida's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) prior to dispensing controlled substances to patients, and must report any controlled substances dispensed in the PDMP by the following business day.” See Article.
Jun 21, 2018 11:09 PM
CA Supreme Court held that if the injury can be considered “accidental” then it can allege an occurrence under the employer’s commercial general liability policy
The California Supreme Court considered the question of “when a third party sues an employer for the negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of an employee who intentionally injured that third party, does the suit allege an “occurrence” under the employer's commercial general liability policy?” The Court found that if the injury can be considered “accidental” then it can allege an occurrence under the employer’s commercial general liability policy. See Decision.
Jun 21, 2018 11:08 PM
US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Issue Final Rule to Shorten Settlement Cycle
“On June 1, 2018, the OCC and FDIC issued a final rule shortening the settlement cycle for securities purchased and sold by OCC- and FDIC-supervised financial institutions. This final rule follows the transition from a T+3 settlement cycle to a T+2 settlement cycle that occurred in the securities industry on September 5, 2017. The final rule codifies existing OCC and FDIC guidance published in June and July of 2017, respectively, which notified institutions that they should be in compliance with the T+2 settlement cycle by September 5, 2017.” See Article.
Jun 21, 2018 11:04 PM
U.S. Supreme Court upholds judge's sentence reduction decision in the case of Chavez-Meza v. United States
The U.S. Supreme Court held that, in the case of Chavez-Meza v. United States, “the record as a whole demonstrates the judge had a reasoned basis for his decision” and that the judge’s explanation for petitioner’s sentence reduction was adequate. In this case the defendant alleged that the sentencing judge did not adequately explain why he rejected petitioner's request for a 108-month sentence. The Court stated “given the simplicity of this case, the judge's awareness of the arguments, his consideration of the relevant sentencing factors, and the intuitive reason why he picked a sentence above the very bottom of the new range, his explanation fell within the scope of lawful professional judgment that the law confers upon the sentencing judge.” See Decision.
Jun 21, 2018 11:03 PM
DOJ Loses First Vertical Merger Suit Brought in Decades as Federal Judge Approves AT&T’s Acquisition of Time Warner
“On June 12, 2018, following a six-week-long bench trial, Judge Richard J. Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that AT&T's proposed acquisition of Time Warner does not violate the antitrust laws, rejecting the United States Department of Justice's (DOJ) challenge to the merger. This case, the first vertical merger challenge tried by the Justice Department since 1977demonstrates the difficulty in challenging mergers where a competitor is not eliminated by the transaction.” See Article.
Jun 21, 2018 10:59 PM
NJ Court: Consolidated Rules Apply to Separate-Company Returns
“The Tax Court of New Jersey's decision in MCI Communication Services, Inc. v. Director, Division of Taxation, which involved the coordination of federal cancellation of indebtedness and consolidated return rules with the corporation business tax, has been affirmed by the New Jersey appellate court.” See Article.
Jun 21, 2018 10:57 PM
Federal Circuit Requests Briefing from Patent Office Regarding § 315(B) Time-Bar Determinations
“On June 7, 2018, the Federal Circuit in Wi-Fi One, LLC v. Broadcom Corp. requested that intervenor, Patent Office director Andrei Iancu, and appellee Broadcom, file a response to Wi-Fi One's second petition for rehearing. At issue was whether the court should grant Wi-Fi One's second petition for panel or en banc rehearing regarding 35 U.S.C. § 315 (b) time-bar challenges.” See Article.
Jun 20, 2018 8:17 PM
President Trump signs executive order regarding separation of immigrant children at the border
On June 20, President Trump signed an executive order stating “it is  the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources. It is unfortunate that Congress’s failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law.” See Order.
Jun 20, 2018 8:13 PM
2nd Circuit Reaffirms New York’s Contestability Period for Life Insurance Policies
“On June 8, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a unanimous opinion that declined to recognize a fraud exception to New York's two-year contestability period for life insurance policies.” See Article.
Jun 20, 2018 6:07 PM
U.S. Supreme Court holds that Minnesota’s political apparel ban violates the First Amendment of the Constitution
On June 14, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Minnesota political apparel ban violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. The Minnesota political apparel ban “prohibits individuals, including voters, from wearing a "political badge, political button, or other political insignia" inside a polling place on Election Day. The Court noted that the statute did not define the term “political” among other issues and state that “if a State wishes to set its polling places apart as areas free of partisan discord, it must employ a more discernible approach than the one offered by Minnesota here.” See Decision.
Jun 20, 2018 6:06 PM
9th Circuit’s Expansion of Successor Liability May Make Asset Purchases More Costly
“On June 1, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that an asset purchaser that was deemed a successor was liable to pay the seller's withdrawal liability even though the purchaser did not have actual knowledge of the liability. The Ninth Circuit found that constructive notice of the liability was sufficient to impose withdrawal liability on the asset purchaser. This ruling raises the hurdles that a successor must overcome to avoid withdrawal liability in an asset sale transaction.” See Article.
Jun 20, 2018 6:01 PM
United States Withdraws from the UN Human Rights Council
On June 19, Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, announced the United States’ official withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council. In her speech Representative Haley cited that “the world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks.” See Press Release.
Jun 20, 2018 6:00 PM
Supreme Court Says Creditors Must ‘Get it in Writing'
“On June 4, the U.S. Supreme Court sent a clear message regarding the requirements for non-dischargeability under the Bankruptcy Code, holding that a debtor's misleading statement to a creditor regarding a single asset was a statement "respecting the debtor's . . . financial condition" which must be in writing to render the resulting obligation non-dischargeable.” See Article.
Jun 20, 2018 5:58 PM
New Jersey Supreme Court Favors Retailers in Landmark Ruling Limiting TCCWNA Claims
In what has been described as a landmark ruling on behalf of both national retailers and consumers alike, the New Jersey Supreme Court has established critical law to limit exposure to purported class action claims involving the New Jersey Truth-in-Consumer Contract Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA). Specifically, the Court's recent 7-0 opinion enforced TCCWNA as the New Jersey Legislature intended - requiring that a consumer asserting a TCCWNA claim must be adversely affected by the alleged violation in order to establish a claim for relief. See Article.
Jun 20, 2018 5:57 PM
California’s FEHC Adopts New National Origin Discrimination Regulations
“On July 1, 2018, new regulations from California's Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) that clarify protections from national origin discrimination will go into effect. The new regulations are extensive and include clarifications on the definitions of "national origin" and "national origin groups," the permissible and prohibited types of employer policies governing language restrictions in the workplace, the permissible and prohibited inquiries regarding immigration status, and the permissible and prohibited types of height and weight requirements for work.” See Article.
Jun 15, 2018 8:18 PM
U.S. Supreme Court affirms judgment by an equally divided court in case of Washington v. United States
In the case of Washington v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the judgment by an equally divided Court, with Justice Kennedy not taking part in the decision. The case questioned whether the state of Washington violated a Native American fishing treaty through an action that would reduce the fish population. See Decision.
Jun 15, 2018 8:17 PM
Federal Judge Rules D&O Coverage for Wrongful Acts Extends to Responding to Government Subpoenas
“US District Judge Manish S. Shah in the Northern District of Illinois [recently] denied insurers' motion to dismiss a pharmaceutical company's action seeking insurance coverage for the costs associated with responding to a US Department of Justice subpoena in an ongoing healthcare fraud investigation. The opinion notably expands the scope of the factors courts consider in determining whether a particular insurance policy's "Wrongful Act" requirement was met for the purposes of activating an insured's policy coverage.” See Article.
Jun 15, 2018 8:16 PM
U.S. Supreme Court upholds Ohio voter removal procedure
On June 22, the U.S. Supreme Court held that “the process that Ohio uses to remove voters on change-of-residence grounds does not violate the Failure-to-Vote Clause or any other part of the NVRA.” The Ohio process to remove voters begins by sends those who have not voted in two years “a pre-addressed, postage prepaid return card, asking them to verify that they still reside at the same address. Voters who do not return the card and fail to vote in any election for four more years are presumed to have moved and are removed from the rolls.” See Decision.
Jun 15, 2018 8:15 PM
ND of CA Dismisses Class Action Against Biopharmaceutical Company Alleging Fraud Based on Undisclosed Problems with Hepatitis B Vaccine in Trials and FDA Approval Process
“On June 4, 2018, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed with prejudice a class action alleging that Dynavax Technologies Corporation and its executives violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 by alleging omitting information about its hepatitis B vaccine. In re Dynavax Securities Litigation. The Court's decision is another in a long line of decisions declining to find a securities violation when a pharmaceutical company is alleged to have concealed adverse developments in clinical trials.” See Article.
Jun 15, 2018 8:14 PM
Federal Circuit Distinguishes Between Enablement and Reasonable Expectation of Success
“In the recent UCB v. Accord opinion, a panel of the Federal Circuit drew a distinction between (i) the enablement of a patentee's claims, and (ii) a reasonable expectation of success in an obviousness analysis. The majority found that the presumption of enablement for a claimed genus of compounds did not preclude a finding that there was not a reasonable expectation of success in creating a species falling within that genus.” See Article.
Jun 15, 2018 8:11 PM