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April 24, 2014

Emerging Legal News Headlines:

Please listen to the final part of the four-part presentation on April 22, 2014, on prospects for tax reform in 2014 by Wayne M. Zell, Esq. of Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C.

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Please listen to the third part in the four-part presentation on prospects for tax reform in 2014, given by Wayne M. Zell, Esq. on April, 22, 2014. 

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On April 22, the Sixth Circuit reversed the Eastern District of Michigan in a case that may pave the way for more employees to work at home as a reasonable accommodation. Jane Harris worked as a resale steel buyer for Ford. Her...

Please listen to Wayne Zell discuss prospects for tax reform in 2014 in this first part of a four part presentation. This presentation was made in a Breakfast Briefing on April 22, 2014 at the law offices of Odin, Feldman &...

In the wake of recent SEC pronouncements about huge numbers of whistleblower complaints in the pipeline, one of the most hotly contested issues under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer...

Stakes are high when it comes to horse racing. Part of the lure of the track is testing one's luck; you can win big or lose it all. When it comes to the business side of the Thoroughbred industry, however, risk is not nearly as appealing....

An effective anti-corruption program is important for any company covered by Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), which bars American companies from bribing officials...

One of the most vexing tax issues remaining unresolved since the 1986 enactment of the passive loss (PAL) rules is whether business or rental income earned by a trust can be active income and whether business or rental losses sustained by a trust...

A Minnesota federal trial court recently ruled that the government can sue Clean Water Act violators even if the statute of limitations has expired. The decision opens the door for the Eighth Circuit to issue a definitive ruling...

While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) has never required a uniform structure for reactive power compensation, in light of the growing number of new...

In greater frequency, broker-dealers are participating in EB-5 financings.  These broker-dealers engage foreign finders and foreign affiliates to locate suitable investors.  Engaging foreign finders and...

Beginning in September 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) will publish a list of all payments and transfers of value paid by drug manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals on a...

Port Miami and Port Canaveral, two of the busiest ports in Florida, are preparing to get busier as both equip to undergo major expansion projects....

The U.S. Tax Court recently held, in Frank Aragona Trust v. Commissioner, that a trust can “materially participate” in a trade or business. When a taxpayer materially participates in a trade or business,...

On March 25th, EPA released a draft of the long-awaited and highly-anticipated ...

A gunshot that cracks the silence of an old west desert canyon creates an echo coming from all directions.  A Supreme Court decision can make similar reverberations throughout the legal world.  Last year, just such a sound was heard....

On April 15th, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) ...

Insight Bank has been acquired by First Financial Bancorp.  With its $6.4 billion in assets, First Financial has 100 branches including ones located in Kentucky.

Insight apparently had a number of concerns back in 2012 due to the...

April 17, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s new greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations became effective, establishing the framework for a new GHG permitting program at TCEQ, which the agency hopes to begin...

Federal Court News & National Administrative Law Issues:

The Department of Justice announced last week that CRC Health Group, a nationwide provider of substance abuse and mental...

As I noted in my last article, the First Amendment does much more than give a person the right to the freedom of speech.  For example, the First Amendment contains the Religion Clauses, one of which allows...

The Ninth Circuit in Gordon v. Deloitte & Touche, LLP Group Long Term Disability Plan, 2014 WL 1394962 (9th Cir. Apr. 11, 2014) affirmed summary judgment in favor of a long term disability plan on the ground...

Will insurance expansion and industry consolidation result in higher healthcare costs, at least in the short term, and further stress the economy and the healthcare industry? That highly political question is...

A patent owner insists that your company infringes a patent and makes a claim of patent infringement.  You have settled patent infringement assertions before, but this patent seems invalid over known prior art.  You...

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently accused the operator of www.Jerk.com (Jerk) of misrepresenting to users the source of the personal content that Jerk used for its purported social...

Last week, President Obama issued two important directives aimed at ending gender pay disparities. The first, an ...

On April 1, 2014, President Obama signed legislation that delays the scheduled Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) cut to physician payments for one year.  The legislation contains a number of other provisions, including...

On April 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its opinion in the conflicts minerals case, National Association of Manufacturers, et al., v. Securities and Exchange Commission....

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

With Congress in recess for another week, most of Washington’s attention will be focused on President Obama’s trip this week to Asia, which is likely to focus primarily on trade...

Last week Kevin O’Keefe (@kevinokeefe) and I had an interesting discussion on Twitter about the goal of social media for law firms. Nancy Myrland (@NancyMyrland) and Jabez LeBret (@jabezlebret) graciously joined in. Then Kevin...

In an April 16, 2014 one-paragraph opinion, the Fifth Circuit rejected the NLRB’s rehearing petition in D.R. Horton v. NLRB, which sought reconsideration of the Court’s December 2013 decision...

The Affordable Care Act is driving innovation at all levels of the healthcare system, creating opportunities for small start-ups to compete with industry giants. One such start-up is Oscar, a venture-backed health insurance...

Granted that many workers are not sophisticated in legal matters and severance agreements are not always written in plain English, but it seems fairly intuitive that when an employer offers an employee the choice of 13 weeks...

On April 8, 2014, President Obama signed two Executive Orders affecting federal government contractors. The signing was timed to coincide with National Equal Pay Day, the day that symbolizes how far into the next...

Nearly three years ago, in M&I Marshall & Isley Bank v. Mueller, the Arizona Court of Appeals held that the Arizona anti-deficiency statute (A.R.S. § 33-814) protects a borrower who started, but never completed,...

On April 3, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the FDASIA Health IT Report (Report).  This Report fulfills Section 618 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), Public Law 112-144, which...

On January 17, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a “State of Emergency” in California due to the severity of drought conditions across the State.  Since then, the California drought continues to be...

On April 15, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets issued guidance in the form of 19 frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Rule 15c3-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act...

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) filed a proposed rule change with the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt FINRA Rule 2081 that would prohibit broker dealers and associated persons from conditioning the settlement...

The U.S. Tax Court recently issued a taxpayer favorable opinion regarding how a trust materially participates in its activities. The court’s holding will make it easier for trusts to currently deduct expenses against non-passive income and...

Earlier this year, we began a series of blog entries to update our readers on legislative efforts on Capitol Hill that affect...

State Court News & State Administrative Law Issues:

Judge William Terrell Hodges of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida recently ruled that an employee with an LPN degree who was responsible for managing an employer’s workers’ compensation claims...

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed into law a bill protecting interns in the City from job discrimination to the extent as is presently available to employees. The law, amending the New York City administrative code, was approved by...

California isn’t exactly known as a business-friendly state.  In some ways, the governor has tried to change that.  He’ll have an interesting choice to make if a recently-passed senate bill reaches his desk.

Last week...

On April 17, the Florida Supreme Court held that even though the Florida Civil Rights Act does not list pregnancy among the list of protected classes, pregnancy discrimination is prohibited under the Act because...

New York has recently passed new laws that significantly reform its current estate, generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax and income tax scheme. This Private Client Group Client Alert provides a brief overview of New York’...

Attention employers – the use of interns remains a hot topic in the legal realm, as protections for interns continue to grow.  In fact, just this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed off on...

The New York Court of Appeals reversed a decision of the New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal (the "Tribunal") and rejected years of administrative interpretation regarding New York's statutory resident test. Under New York tax law,...

Two years ago, the Nevada Supreme Court in an en band decision held that a state district court may exercise jurisdiction over the nonresident officers and directors of a Nevada corporation with its principal place of business in...

CME Group has issued an advisory notice prohibiting transitory exchange for related positions (EFRPs) on each of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the Chicago Board of Trade...

Adopting restrictions on employers’ ability to access the social media accounts of employees and job applicants, Wisconsin has joined 12 other states with similar restrictions. 

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In recent years, Kentucky physicians have dealt with the state’s prescription drug abuse problem head-on – by adding substance disorder recovery services to their practices or establishing separate addiction recovery...

Though the multi-billion dollar medical tourism industry is dominated by Asia, it is on the rise in the United States, with many wealthy international patients eyeing the U.S.’s innovative treatments in...

Wisconsin's landlord/tenant laws have received much attention over the last two years as sweeping legislative changes have forced landlords to review the way they do business. 2013 Wis. Act 76 ("Act 76") is the newest round of...

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has signed a law increasing the minimum wage in Minnesota to $9.50 an hour by 2016. The first of three increases will be effective August 1, 2014.

The state’s current minimum wage, $6....

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) issued a pre-regulatory proposal for new regulations that would change the requirements for warnings provided under ...

On April 7, 2014, in a landmark decision with broad implications for American businesses, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey upheld the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s authority to regulate data...

Plans of New Passenger Rail Link from Miami-to-Miami Beach

On several occasions we have written about transportation public-private partnerships in the Miami area. These have included posts on ...

In AGR Halifax Fund, Inc. v. Fiscina, 743 A.2d 1188 (1999), the Delaware Court of Chancery was asked to decide whether a consent given by persons before they became directors could...

On April 15th, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed legislation which will increase Minnesota’s minimum wage to $8.00 per hour for...

International Legal News & Immigration Law News:

On April 14, 2014, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) filed an amicus brief asking the Second Circuit to overturn a ruling by the Eastern District of New York against Chinese vitamin...

The latest swerve in the rollercoaster that is Puerto Rico public finance occurred on April 11 with the release of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court’s ruling striking down as unconstitutional the bulk of the territory’s teacher pension...

The Decedent committed suicide in September 2011. Shortly before, he created a series of documents on his iPhone. One document stated, "This is the last Will and Testament" of the Decedent and referred to his address....

While recent case law developments under Chapter 15 might suggest a retrenchment from the international comity and cooperation goals of cross-border insolvency law, reports from Mexico indicate that there might yet be hope for...

In a significant move, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that the Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC (Directive) is invalid. This decision is expected to have wide-reaching implications...

Nina Witt

Recently, the European Court of Justice ruled on the applicability of European copyright law in the case of placing hyperlinks or embedded links on websites to works protected by copyright, published elsewhere on...

The Office of Compliance and Examinations (OCIE) announced a new "Never-Before Examined Initiative" focusing on conducting examinations of investment advisers that have been SEC-registered for at least...

New laws have come into force in the UK that will eventually require all UK businesses (including U.S. businesses with operations in the UK) to auto-enroll their eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme.

What is a workplace...

The proposal covers shareholder votes on remuneration policies and related party transactions and greater transparency obligations on certain market participants.

The European Commission (EU Commission) recently...

Electronic certification applications may be submitted beginning April 15, 2014.

In late 2013, the Mexican legislature passed sweeping tax reforms that financially impact several Mexican industries, including the maquiladora industry....

Domestic Chinese private equity managers should take notice of new provisional regulations requiring registration of domestic Chinese private equity managers and filings with the Asset Management Association of China (“AMAC”).  ...

The European Parliament has voted emphatically in support of a report produced by its Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on the mass surveillance undertaken by the U.S. National Security...

The proposed directive seeks to coordinate national requirements concerning the formation, registration, and operation of single-member companies.

On 9 April, the European Commission published a...

"The Government has carefully considered the views of the respondents to the call for evidence and has decided to proceed with ratification of the treaty" – para. 1.4 - Convention on International Interests in...

The European Parliament has voted emphatically in support of a report produced by its Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on the mass surveillance undertaken by the...

As ties between Canada and Florida continue to strengthen, Canadian investment in the region continues to increase. Tricon Capital Group, the Canadian company whose profit rose five-fold last year after betting on U.S....

For the first time, the European Commission has decided on comprehensive rules for the assessment of State aid in the energy sector. The new text adopted on 9 April 2014 will create the framework for the ability of EU Member...

On January 18 2014, Republic of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed several amendments to Kazakhstan’s public procurement regulations into law; they came into force on January 302014.

Major adjustments...

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