Code of Federal Regulations
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Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) responded to Governor Tom Wolf's call to modernize Pennsylvania's outdated overtime rules for "white collar" employees.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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Virginia Supreme Court: General Assembly did not intend to abrogate some common law causes of action when they enacted § 8.01-226.12
The Supreme Court of Virginia has reversed a trial court judgment and held that when enacting Code § 8.01-226.12, the General Assembly did not intend to abrogate the common law causes of action involved in this case. Here, the complaint was filed after the plaintiff suffered damages after being exposed to mold in their apartment. See Decision.
Jun 15, 2018 8:11 PM
Eastern District of Pennsylvania Holds that Plaintiffs Forfeited American Pipe Tolling by Filing Their Lawsuit Too Soon
“A federal district court has dismissed with prejudice a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) class action filed against JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. and related entities on statute of limitations grounds a year after finding that the continuing violations doctrine applied to RESPA.” See Article.
Jun 15, 2018 8:09 PM
False Claims Act: Eastern District of New York Dismisses Case Alleging Fraud Against Federal Reserve Banks
“The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York decided a long-running whistleblower case last month, which alleged that Wells Fargo and its predecessors-in-interest had defrauded Federal Reserve Banks (FRBs) in order to borrow money at lower interest rates. In United States v. Wells Fargo & Co., the Court ultimately dismissed the False Claims Act (FCA) case, which had been remanded from the Second Circuit in September 2017.” See Article.
Jun 14, 2018 8:36 PM
California Court of Appeal Holds that ‘Safe Harbor’ Defense Precludes Suit Based on Presence of Inorganic Arsenic in Wines
“Last month, the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Four, issued an opinion in Charles v. Sutter Home Winery, Inc. The court considered the Plaintiffs' appeal of their dismissed putative class action complaint brought under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65. The appeal challenged the adequacy of the warning label that the Defendants, a group of wine suppliers, provided on wines that contained allegedly unsafe levels of inorganic arsenic, a chemical listed by the State of California as a carcinogen and a reproductive toxicant (a "listed chemical"). In a win for the wine industry, the Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal of the case.” See Article.
Jun 14, 2018 8:35 PM
U.S. Supreme Court holds that after a class certification denial a class member may not commence a new class action after the applicable statute of limitations period
On June 11, the U.S. Supreme Court held that “[u]pon denial of class certification, a putative class member may not, in lieu of promptly joining an existing suit or promptly filing an individual action, commence a class action anew beyond the time allowed by the applicable statute of limitations.” See Decision.
Jun 14, 2018 8:35 PM
The VA Mission Act of 2018 and Potential Opportunities for Providers
“After a concerted effort, the bipartisan bill to reform the way care is delivered to Veterans has been signed into law. While there are a number of significant reforms, perhaps none are so critical as those related to the ability of Covered Veterans (the Veteran) to receive their care outside of the current VA system, and from private health care providers. Through the establishment of the Veterans Community Care Program, a system will be created which will allow qualifying services to be provided to Veterans who, under the provisions of the VA Mission Act of 2018 are not able to receive timely and appropriate care to which the Veteran is entitled.” See Article.
Jun 14, 2018 8:33 PM
Wyoming Supreme Court overrules their precedent disfavoring shared child custody
On May 14, the Supreme Court of Wyoming overruled their precedent disfavoring shared child custody and affirmed the district court’s ruling giving the parties shared legal and physical custody until the child enters kindergarten, and giving the father primary physical custody with visitation for the mother. See Decision.
Jun 14, 2018 8:32 PM
Should the President’s Tweets Create a ‘Public Forum’?
“You might be aware that the President of the United States has a Twitter account. You might not be aware that each time he uses the account to post information about government business, the President opens a new "public forum" for assembly and debate. According to District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald's decision in Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump, the government controls the "interactive space" associated with the President's tweets and may not exercise that control so as to exclude other users based on the content of their speech. In other words, the District Court wrote, the First Amendment regulates the President's conduct on Twitter and prohibits him from blocking other users from replying to his political tweets.” See Article.
Jun 14, 2018 8:31 PM
In Unanimous Ruling, US Supreme Court Limits Criminal Restitution Orders under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act
“In Lagos v. United States, decided on May 29, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that restitution orders under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA) are limited to fees and expenses incurred during government investigations and criminal proceedings. Following Lagos, a criminal defendant is not required under the MVRA to pay a corporate victim's investigatory and legal fees associated with internal investigations or related civil and bankruptcy proceedings.” See Article.
Jun 14, 2018 8:30 PM
DOJ Announces Place to Worship Initiative
“The Department of Justice  announced the “Place to Worship Initiative,” which will focus on protecting the ability of houses of worship and other religious institutions to build, expand, buy, or rent facilities—as provided by the land use provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).” See Press Release.
Jun 14, 2018 8:29 PM
U.S. Supreme Court upholds Minnesota statute revoking beneficiary designations make to ex-spouses
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a Minnesota statute which provides that “'the dissolution or annulment of a marriage revokes any revocable . . . beneficiary designation . . . made by an individual to the individual's former spouse.’ Minn. Stat. §524.2-804, subd. 1.” In it's analysis the Court uses the two-part test set forth in Allied Structural Steel v. Spannaus to determine whether the state law has "operated as a substantial impairment of a contractual relationship." The Court found 3 aspects of the law that, when taken together, “show that the law does not substantially impair pre-existing contractual arrangements.” See Decision.
Jun 13, 2018 8:07 PM
Foreign Debtors’ Forum Shopping Warranted Stay of U.S. Avoidance Litigation
“In In re National Bank of Anguilla (Private Banking Trust) Ltd., the court, on grounds of forum non conveniens and comity, stayed litigation commenced in a chapter 11 case by two Anguillan banks to avoid fraudulent transfers in deference to the banks' Anguillan administration proceedings and litigation pending in an Anguilla court involving the same issues. The court concluded that the debtors, whose Anguillan administrations it had previously recognized under chapter 15, had engaged in forum shopping by filing the avoidance litigation in the U.S. after: (i) commencing chapter 11 cases for that purpose; and (ii) commencing litigation in Anguilla with the same parties regarding the same transactions and nucleus of facts.” See Article.
Jun 13, 2018 8:06 PM
California Judicial Council revises court rules requiring that settlements involving judicial officers, using public funds, be disclosed when requested
On May 24, the California Judicial Council “revised the rules of court to clarify that any settlement agreements involving judicial officers for which public funds were spent in payment of the settlement must be disclosed if requested, including agreements related to complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination.” See Press Release.
Jun 13, 2018 8:05 PM
California Supreme Court Rules Broadly in Favor of Insureds
“On Monday, June 4, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled that an insurance company must provide liability coverage to its corporate insured against claims of negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of its employee, who allegedly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old child.” See Article.
Jun 13, 2018 8:04 PM