vLex United States

  • Shareholder Activism in 2020: New Risks and Opportunities for Boards of Directors

    The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2020”. The era of stakeholder governance and corporations with a purpose beyond profits is taking hold, with corporate directors expected to answer to more constituencies and shoulder a greater burden than ever before. At the... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Congressional Approval of U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement Accomplished; President Trump Scheduled to Sign Legislation Next Week

    The U.S. Senate has approved by a vote of 89 to 10 the required implementing legislation for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). After months of negotiations by Democrats in the House of Representatives with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (see Trump and Trade Updates of December 10, 2019 and December 16, 2019), H.R. 5430 was quickly... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • The First of Three? DOL Releases Final Rule on Joint Employer Status

    By Chelsea Caswell On January 12, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) released a final rule updating and revising the DOL’s interpretation of joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on January 16, 2020, and its effective date will... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Superior Court Affirms Dismissal of Case Due to Service of Process Issues

    In the non-precedential case of Phillips v. Triple G Farms, Inc., No. 514 MDA 2019(Pa. Super. Oct. 22, 2019 Nichols, J., Dubow, J., Musmanno, J.) (Op. by Nichols, J.) (non-precedential), the court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Defendant due to the Plaintiff’s failure to properly complete service of process.  The court relied upon... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Son, Tipped By Father, Convicted of Insider Trading

    As 2019 drew to a close a father and son resolved an insider trading case with the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office. The action centered on trading while in possession of inside information about a pharmaceutical company. Congressman Christopher Collins, who sat on the board of the company, tipped his son who, avoiding losses. U.S. v.... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Spiking death rate a harsh reminder of alcohol’s risks, especially for women

    Tipple much, much less in 2020. That might be a life-saving bit of advice for too many Americans to follow, especially because of new data on a worrisome spike in alcohol-related deaths. As NBC News reported, based on published research by federal researchers: “The yearly total of alcohol-related deaths for people ages 16 and over... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Congress: Week in Review | Jan. 16, 2020

    FEMA Administrator Confirmed The Senate confirmed Peter Gaynor on Tuesday to be Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Gaynor previously served as the Director of Rhode Island’s Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) and advised Governor Gina Raimondo on emergency management and response. USMCA Passes Senate The Senate passed the United States-Canada-Mexico trade agreement (USMCA)... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • FINRA’s 2020 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter

    On Jan. 9, 2020, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released its 2020 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter, in which it identifies its areas of examination focus for 2020. The cover note also highlights key changes in FINRA’s risk monitoring and examination program. These changes include the consolidation of FINRA’s three examination programs into a... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • NY Appellate Division Decision Provides Equity for Guardians of Limited Means

    Last week, Proskauer obtained a critical victory for our client—a grandmother acting as guardian for her two learning-disabled grandchildren—in an appeal to the Appellate Division, First Department.  The appeal challenged a lower court holding that an amendment to New York’s Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (“KinGAP”) did not apply retroactively to beneficiaries, such as our client’s... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Modernizing NAFTA: The United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement

    On January 16, 2020, the United States Senate voted by an overwhelming majority to pass the implementing legislation for the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) after months of tense negotiations with Democrats over revisions to the original agreement which had been signed by all three signatories on November 30, 2018. The USMCA has been touted... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Proposed Reforms to NEPA & Their Impact on New Nuclear

    The Council on Environmental Quality is proposing major changes to its regulations concerning the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), that if implemented could have impacts on advanced reactor licensing.  These changes, if put into effect, will be among the most monumental revisions to the NEPA process since 1978, and come at a time when the... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Violation of Statute Exclusion Bars Coverage Under Umbrella Policy

    Many general liability polices contain an exclusion for violations of certain statutes involving the sending or communicating of information like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  The question a federal court in North Dakota faced was whether debt collection practices came within the statutory violation exclusion. In Rodenburg, LLP v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, no.... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Law360 — 5th Circ. Ultra Petroleum Ruling Poses Key Debtor Question

    In an article for Law360, Mayer Brown partners Sean Scott, Adam Paul, Brian Trust, Tom Kiriakos and associate Tyler Ferguson discuss a recent key ruling in the Ultra Petroleum case.   (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Eleventh Circuit Affirms $250K Compensatory Damages Award and Allows a $1 Million Punitive Damages Award in Individual Mixed-File FCRA Action

    On January 9, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued its decision in Williams v. First Advantage Lns Screening Solutions, a case watched closely by the background screening industry. In Williams, the Court affirmed a $250,000 compensatory damages award and reduced a $3.3 million punitive damages award to $1 million in an... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • 2020 Hindsight

    Read Mark Savit’s recent column in Rock Products that looks back at 2019 and ahead to 2020. (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Demand for H-2B Visas Remains Higher than Supply

    The peak H-2B filing season opened on January 2, 2020, and by the next day the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) in the Department of Labor (DOL) had received approximately 5,000 applications for 87,000 seasonal workers. Only 33,000 are available for the spring/summer period, which starts on April 1, 2020. Another 33,000 are available... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • BlackRock Supports ESG as a New Standard for Investing in its Annual CEO Letters

    In his annual letter to CEOs, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock expressed his belief that climate change and sustainability were important considerations in investment risk assessments. Investment based on these concepts is often captured under Environmental, Social and Governance Criteria, commonly called ESG. In his letter, Mr. Fink emphasized that he believes “we are on... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • US Office of Management and Budget Calls for Federal Agencies to Reduce Barriers to Artificial Intelligence

    On January 7, 2020, the Director of the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a Draft Memorandum (the Memorandum) to all federal “implementing agencies” regarding the development of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to reducing barriers to the development and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Implementing agencies are agencies that conduct foundational research,... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Chipotle’s Employees Denied Class Certification On Employment Discrimination Claims

    By Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., Jennifer A. Riley, Alex S. Oxyer, Andrew D. Welker Seyfarth Synopsis: On January 15, 2020, in Guzman v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No. 17-CV-02606-HSG, 2020 WL 227567 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 15, 2020), Judge Haywood Gilliam of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied a motion for class... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Progress on the transition of LIBOR – referencing legacy bonds to SONIA by way of consent solicitation

    On 16 January 2020, the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates (RFRWG) published a statement entitled Progress on the transition of LIBOR – referencing legacy bonds to SONIA by way of consent solicitation.  The statement is intended to encourage participants in the sterling bond market (including sterling floating rate notes, covered bonds and securitisations)... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • 8th Circuit Hears Arguments In Religion Clause Challenge To Missouri Abortion Restrictions

    The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday heard oral arguments (audio of full arguments) in Doe v. Parson (Docket No. 19-1578). In the case, a Missouri federal district court rejected both Establishment Clause and free exercise challenges to Missouri’s abortion law.  The suit, filed by a member of the Satanic Temple, challenges the requirement that... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • The Sentencing Project reports briefly on “Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2019”

    The folks at The Sentencing Project have this helpful new short brief reviewing “Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2019.” The four-page document starts and ends this way: The United States is a world leader in incarceration and keeps nearly 7 million persons under criminal justice supervision.  More than 2.2 million are in prison... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Breaking News – Supreme Court Personal Jurisdiction Certiorari Grants

    Today the Supreme Court agreed to take another shot at “stream of commerce” personal jurisdiction in two automotive cases.  Here are the case pages at SCOTUSBlog:  Ford Motor Co. v. Bandemer, No. 19-369, and Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court, No. 19-368.  The decisions being appealed are Bandemer v. Ford Motor Co.,... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Will IJ’s Class Action Shut Down TSA’s Cash Machine?

    The story of how the law as to civil in rem forfeiture is apocryphal. It was formed largely in the 1980s, using the cute phrase, “take the profit out of crime,” and was directed at drug dealers. Everybody hated drug dealers, and so they not only had no qualms about it, but applauded it. After... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Merlin Law Group to Host OSHA 30 Class in Houston

    Merlin Law Group has agreed to host an OSHA 30 class being put on by 1 Life Safety in Houston on February 4th – 7th. This blog has repeatedly posted about how contractor costs to comply with OSHA on a job should be included in insurance estimates. This class is a great opportunity to get... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • 3 companies put out of business after losing their Safe Food for Canadians licenses

    During the first few days of the new year, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has suspended the Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licenses of three food companies, including a fish importer, multi-commodity processor, and a sausage producer.  While the actions carried into 2020, all three licenses were revoked as of Dec. 31, 2019. The... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Experts assess potential of whole genome sequencing in food safety

    Whole genome sequencing offers new possibilities for foodborne outbreak detection and investigation, source attribution and hazard identification, according to an EFSA panel. The scientific opinion by the panel on Biological Hazards covers use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) and metagenomics for outbreak investigation, source attribution and risk assessment of foodborne pathogens. Cost/benefit analyses and technical... (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • What’s Left to Target for Sanctions in Iran? (IRB No. 581)

    On January 10, 2020, the US Administration announced the imposition of new sanctions against Iran. The sanctions were initially announced in President Trump’s public address on January 8, 2020, in the aftermath of Iran’s missile strikes on US military bases in Iraq. (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • Transportation Climate Initiative Seeks to Achieve CO2 Reductions by Increasing Cost of Motor Fuels

    The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) recently issued for public comment a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) detailing measures to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions from the transportation sector. TCI is a consortium of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states – including Virginia – and the District of Columbia. (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:33 AM

  • In Search Of A Federal Data Privacy Law

    In the absence of a comprehensive federal data privacy and data security law, states continue to fill the gap. The California Consumer Privacy Act took effect on January 1, 2020, and several other states have similar laws under consideration. Nevertheless, in search of a federal solution, two data privacy laws, one from each side of the aisle, are spurring debate in the Senate. (See Article)

    Jan 20, 2020 9:32 AM