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Member Alerts

New Provisions Regulating the Creation, Implementation and Operation of the Electronic Dossier for Procedures and Services and Good Selection Practices in Inspections, Verifications and Home Visits.
Sánchez Devanny (Mexico)     July 30, 2020

Claim of Illegal Outsourcing. Labor and Tax Implications
Sánchez Devanny (Mexico)     July 29, 2020

“Written Demand” Made Within a “Civil Proceeding” is Not a New Claim
Wiley (District of Columbia)     July 29, 2020

DHS Implements Changes to DACA Program in Light of Supreme Court Ruling
Barnes & Thornburg (Indiana)     July 29, 2020

Vessel Owner’s Limitation of Liability Action Dismissed for Failure to Provide Proper Notice
Jones Walker (Mississippi)     July 29, 2020

Fifth Circuit Clarifies the Scope of “Necessaries” Under Federal Maritime Lien Statute
Jones Walker (Mississippi)     July 29, 2020

Waived on Through: Federal Court Highlights the Fine Distinctions that Govern Waiver of Privilege
Hall & Wilcox (Melbourne, Australia)     July 28, 2020
In a recent case highlighting the risks of waiver of legal professional privilege, the Federal Court has observed that fine distinctions may be involved when determining whether privilege has been lost.

Financial Regulators Update Guidance for Hemp-Related Business Banking: Seven Key Points
McGuireWoods (Virginia)     July 28, 2020
As the hemp-related product industry continues to grow, institutional lenders now have clarifying guidance to consider as they conduct diligence regarding potential borrowers. Specifically, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the federal agency that insures deposits at federally insured credit unions, recently issued a letter providing additional guidance to credit unions servicing hemp-related businesses.

Take That Job and Shove It! NLRB Adopts New Standard for Addressing Offensive Statements in the Workplace
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp (Los Angeles, CA)     July 28, 2020
Last week, the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision making it easier for employers to lawfully discipline or terminate employees who make abusive or offensive statements – including profane, racists, and sexually unacceptable remarks – in the course of activity that would otherwise fall under the protection of the National Labor Relations Act.  

Department of Labor Issues New Guidance, Including Much Needed Guidance on Telework
Patterson Belknap (New York, NY)     July 28, 2020
On July 20, 2020, the Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) of the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published further guidance regarding the protections and requirements of certain Acts—the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”),and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”)—as understood during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Business Life Cycle – Your Legal Toolkit
Wynn Williams (New Zealand)     July 27, 2020
Navigating the legalities of owning and running a business can be tricky, especially as there are so many different aspects to consider.  To assist with this, every couple of weeks over the course of 2020 we shall be producing articles to help guide business owners through the life cycle of a business.

DOL Finally Releases Their Much Anticipated Electronic Disclosure Safe Harbor Final Rules for Retirement Plans
Jones Walker (Mississippi)     July 27, 2020
The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued the long-awaited electronic disclosure final regulations providing employers with two new safe harbor methods for electronic delivery of retirement plan disclosures. The final rules are effective July 27, 2020; however, plan administrators may rely on them prior to that date. 

Blackbaud Data Breach: Do You Need to Notify Affected Individuals or EU Data Protection Authorities?
McGuireWoods (Virginia)     July 27, 2020
On July 16, 2020, Blackbaud, a U.S. based cloud computing provider and one of the world’s largest providers of education administration, fundraising, and financial management software, notified users of its services that it had suffered a ransomware attack in May 2020 in relation to personal data stored on their servers. Numerous colleges, universities, foundations, and other non-profits across the U.K., U.S. and Canada were affected.

Damning Findings in the Samuel Interim Report on the Commonwealth EPBC Act
Hall & Wilcox (Melbourne, Australia)     July 27, 2020
In no uncertain terms, Professor Graeme Samuel has found that the Commonwealth environmental legislation is ineffective. In this article, Partner Meg Lee considers the key findings of the Interim Report of the Independent Review of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) and explains the road to reform.

Enactment of the Fourth Draft Version of the Second Resolution of Modifications to the Miscellaneous Tax Resolution for 2020
Sánchez Devanny (Mexico)     July 23, 2020
On July 14, 2020, the Second Resolution of Modifications to the Miscellaneous Tax Resolution for 2020 (the “MFT”) was published on the website of the Tax Administration Service (SAT per its acronym in Spanish). Through this publication, various Rules were modified and added, including the extension of the deadline for the presentation of the fiscal audit report for the taxable year 2019 until August 31, 2020…

M+A Motivations
Kegler Brown Hill + Ritter (Ohio)     July 24, 2020
In many cases, it’s fairly obvious why the parties to an M+A transaction are doing a deal. The seller may simply be ready to cash out. The buyer may see the transaction as an opportunity to add to its product or service offerings or expand its customer base. Pretty simple.  But sometimes M+A may be a means to achieve a different end. This month, we take a look at a few of the more common alternative motivations behind M+A transactions.

2020 Mini-Budget: A Reconciliation of Previous Tax Measures
Hall & Wilcox (Melbourne, Australia)     July 24, 2020
The Federal Government has released its 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update, coined as the ‘Mini-Budget’.  While Australia has outperformed most other countries in both health and economic outcomes through the COVID-19 crisis, as promised by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the numbers are eye-watering.  Budget deficits are estimated to be $85.8 billion in 2019-20, and $184.5 billion in 2020-21.

Charges Against Ardent Leisure, Parent Company of Dreamworld
Hall & Wilcox (Melbourne, Australia)     July 23, 2020
On 21 July 2020, the Office of the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor (OWHSP) filed three charges against Ardent Leisure, the parent company of Dreamworld.  In February 2020 the Inquest by the Coroners Court of Queensland into the deaths of four people at Dreamworld in 2016 referred the matter to the OWHSP for consideration of prosecution. The coroner was very critical of Dreamworld in regards to safety.

Sale and Leaseback Options for the Health and Community Sectors
Hall & Wilcox (Melbourne, Australia)     July 23, 2020
Sale and leaseback is an option for the health and community sectors, in particular, the private hospital sector, medical centers and specialist disability accommodation. However, appropriate regulatory and financial advice – including financial modeling in the changing funding environment – should be sought.

ERISA Exclusion in E&O Policies Bars Coverage for Suit Filed by the Department of Labor
Wiley (District of Columbia)     July 22, 2020
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, applying Ohio law, has held that an ERISA exclusion in two E&O policies barred coverage for a lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Labor alleging ERISA violations in connection with an employee stock ownership program (ESOP) stock purchase.  Gemini Ins. Co. v. Potts, 2020 WL 4000977 (S.D. Ohio July 15, 2020).

Department of Labor Releases Guidance for 401(k) Plan Investments in Private Equity
Jones Walker (Mississippi)     July 22, 2020
Last month the US Department of Labor (Department) issued an Information Letter stating that it is possible for individual account plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to offer limited private equity investments in a manner that complies with ERISA, provided certain suitability issues are considered by plan fiduciaries. 

Updated FAR Clause Expands Ban on Federal Contractor Use of Certain Chinese Telecom Equipment and Services
McGuireWoods (Virginia)     July 22, 2020
On July 14, 2020, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council published an interim rule in the Federal Register, implementing restrictions aimed at preventing telecommunications and surveillance technologies manufactured by leading Chinese companies from playing any role in the federal supply chain. The interim rule has its statutory roots in Section 889(a)(1)(B) of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (Pub. L. 115-232), and becomes effective Aug. 13, 2020.

Deadline to Adopt Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy is Fast Approaching
Harrang Long (Oregon)     July 22, 2020
The Oregon Workplace Fairness Act, passed by the legislature in 2019, requires employers to adopt a written policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment by October 1, 2020. That deadline is fast approaching. The policy will need to cover several items, including multiple reporting paths and procedures that bypass the immediate supervisor if they are the alleged harasser. 

No Coverage for Affirmative Lawsuit Challenging Distribution of Proceeds From Sale of Investment Assets
Wiley (District of Columbia)     July 22, 2020
Applying Oklahoma law, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has held that no coverage is available for a lawsuit involving an equity holder in an investment agreement because the action did not involve a “Wrongful Act” in an individual’s capacity as “an Insured Person.”

Expedited Protection for Intellectual Property on Amazon
Fennemore Craig (Arizona)     July 21, 2020
Amazon Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation Procedure. This Amazon pilot program offers a tool for removing patent infringing products from the Amazon marketplace. Currently, Amazon must invite the patent owner to participate (although the patent owner can solicit an invitation). 

No Coverage for Lawsuit Alleging Human-Trafficking and Wage and Hour Violations
Wiley (District of Columbia)     July 21, 2020
Applying Pennsylvania law, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has held that no coverage is available under a professional liability policy for a lawsuit alleging human trafficking, wage and hour, and consumer protection violations because all counts rested on intentional conduct that occurred after professional services were rendered.

Synopsis on the Telecommunications Modernization Act (Telekommunikationsmodernisierungsgesetz, “TKMoG”)
GvW Graf von Westphalen (Germany)    July 17, 2020
Investment-friendly regulation, nation-wide broadband coverage, and a sound regulatory framework to promote innovation and digitalization: These are key objectives of the proposed modernization of the current telecommunications law. The European Electronic Communications Code (EECC), to be implemented into national law by 21 December 2020, is the basis for the expected major revision of the German Telecommunications Act (Telekommunikationsgesetz, “TKG”).

Assess Reporting Obligations for Cross-Border Tax Arrangements
GvW Graf von Westphalen (Germany)    July 17, 2020
Surprisingly, Germany – contrary to the recommendation of the EU Commission – has not extended the reporting deadlines for cross-border tax arrangements: Since 1 July 2020, such arrangements must therefore be reported to the tax authorities within 30 days. This is provided for by EU Directive 2018/822/EU (DAC 6), which was transposed into domestic law with the Act on the Introduction of an Obligation to Report Cross-Border Tax Arrangements (“Gesetz zur Einführung einer Pflicht zur Mitteilung grenzüberschreitender Steuergestaltungen”). 

Federal Reserve Updates Main Street Lending Program Guidance Following Launch
McGuireWoods (Virginia)     July 17, 2020
On July 15, the Federal Reserve released updated guidance for the recently launched Main Street Lending Program, which was created to support lending to qualifying small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the pandemic.

IRS Allows Midyear Safe Harbor Retirement Contribution Changes
McGuireWoods (Virginia)     July 15, 2020
In light of the economic challenges posed by the pandemic, the IRS recently provided flexibility to employers wishing to reduce or suspend safe harbor contributions to certain retirement plans. To take advantage of this flexibility, employers must act by Aug. 31.

Got More Hand Sanitizer? (Part 2) More Legal and Business Considerations for New Market Entrants
McGuireWoods (Virginia)     July 14, 2020
This second McGuireWoods alert covering regulation of the manufacture and distribution of hand sanitizer addresses the additional legal and business considerations outlined in the Food and Drug Administration’s June 1 update to its hand sanitizer guidance. In this update, FDA concedes to industry that not all alcohol can be easily sourced, but certain standards and requirements will apply.

Reduced Corporate Tax Rate in Alberta
Field Law (Alberta, Canada)     July 13, 2020
The Alberta government recently accelerated its plans to cut the general corporate tax rate from 10% to 8%, bringing the combined general corporate rate down to 23%. The rate reduction came into effect on July 1, 2020. Rates for Canadian-controlled private corporations and individuals remain unchanged.

Customs Broker Regulations Update: What was CBP Thinking?
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp (Los Angeles, CA)     July 13, 2020
For many months, the customs brokerage community has been expecting to see updates to the existing regulations. They finally came out in the Federal Register on June 5, 2020. Comments are due on or before August 4, 2020. While much of what is in the proposed revisions is not controversial and fits nicely into CBP’s stated purpose to “modernize” the regulations, one update is totally out of line – and CBP should know better.

Highlights of Bill 32: Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act
Field Law (Alberta, Canada)     July 13, 2020
Bill 32: Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, was introduced in the Alberta Legislature on July 7, 2020. The Government of Alberta has stated that this Bill provides “employees and employers with clearer and more transparent rules, promoting fairness and productivity.”

Provider Relief Funds: New Dental Distribution and More for Safety-Net and Rural Hospitals
McGuireWoods (Virginia)     July 13, 2020
On July 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will allow dental care providers to apply for relief from the Provider Relief Fund. The deadline to apply is July 24, 2020. HHS also announced additional funding for safety-net acute care hospitals, specialty rural hospitals, urban hospitals with certain rural Medicare designations, and hospitals in small metropolitan areas.

White Paper on Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness
McGuireWoods (Virginia)     July 10, 2020
The CARES Act established the Paycheck Protection Program as a business loan program under the Small Business Act to provide liquidity to eligible businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. A key feature of the program is that up to 100 percent of each loan may be forgiven if the loan proceeds were used for specified purposes, such as business-related payroll, mortgage, utilities, rent and other expenses.

Online-Only International Students May Lose U.S. Visa Status – Analysis and Impact
McGuireWoods (Virginia)     July 9, 2020
On July 6, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program, which monitors foreign nationals on F and M student visas, issued fall 2020 guidance that reverses its COVID-19 policy on remote learning. This fall, international students will no longer be permitted to take a full online course load without jeopardizing their visa status.

Trump v. Trump: Publisher is not an Agent of Author Subject to a Non-Disclosure Agreement
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp (Los Angeles, CA)     July 9, 2020
On July 1, the Appellate Division of the State of New York Supreme Court issued a decision on whether an author’s non-disclosure agreement (NDA) binds a publisher and other similarly situated distributors. The decision allows publisher Simon & Schuster to proceed with the publication of Mary Trump’s book about her uncle, President Donald Trump, titled Too Much and Never Enough, How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.  

Bill 30: Increased Public Participation in Professional Regulation
Field Law (Alberta, Canada)     July 8, 2020
On Monday, July 6, 2020, the Government of Alberta tabled Bill 30, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020. This proposed legislation amends a number of existing Acts, including the Alberta Health Professions Act

SEC Issues Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Disclosures to Shareholders, Investing Public
McGuireWoods (Virginia)     July 7, 2020
The Division of Corporation Finance and the Office of the Chief Accountant of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently issued additional guidance for companies to inform their shareholders and the investing public about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Supreme Court Determines Otherwise Generic Term When  Combined with Generich “.com” Can be Registrable Trademark
Patterson Belknap (New York, NY)     July 6, 2020
In a June 30 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an otherwise generic term, when combined with the generic top-level domain “.com,” qualifies for trademark registration if consumers perceive the combination to identify a particular source for services.

Time to Make Gifts of California Real Property May be Running Out
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp (Los Angeles, CA)     July 6, 2020
On November 3, 2020, Californians will vote on Proposition 19, the “Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildlife Agencies and Counties Amendment,” a measure that seeks to amend the California Constitution with respect to the current property tax system.  If the proposed constitutional amendment passes, it will significantly narrow one of the most commonly used exemptions from property tax reassessment: that is, Proposition 58, the parent-child exemption.  

Bill 21: An Act to Protect Patients from Past Conduct of Health Care Professionals
Field Law (Alberta Canada)     July 2, 2020
On April 1, 2019, portions of Bill 21: An Act to Protect Patients came into force in Alberta and amended the treatment of sexually-based regulatory offenses by colleges and regulators under the Health Professions Act, RSA 2000, c H-7 (the “HPA”).

Federal Tax Filing and Payment Due Dates Will Not Change
Fennemore Craig (Arizona)     July 2, 2020
The deadline for tax filings and tax payments will not be postponed. The due date remains July 15, 2020. (IRS News Release 2020-134, June 29, 2020.)  If an individual is unable to file his or her tax return (i.e. the IRS Form 1040 series) by July 15, 2020, he or she can extend the due date for filing the tax return until October 15, 2020.

SCOTUS Rejects Per Se Rule Against Trademark Protection for Generic.com Terms
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp (Los Angeles, CA)     July 1, 2020
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a generic word combined with “.com” is entitled to federal trademark registration if consumers perceive the combined mark as nongeneric.  United States Patent & Trademark Office v. Booking.com B. V., No. 19-46, 2020 WL 3518365 (U.S. June 30, 2020).  In an 8-1 decision, the Court held that because Booking.com is not a generic name to consumers, it is not generic, and therefore is eligible for federal trademark registration.  This ruling opens the door for other “generic.com” brands seeking to apply for trademarks, such as Cars.com, Dictionary.com, Newspapers.com and Wine.com.  

Who Will Decide the Limits on Internet Filters – And Who Cares?
Fennemore Craig (Arizona)     June 30, 2020
Recent events may impact the ability to manage website content posted by users. Initially, Internet service providers (ISPs) were potentially subject to liability for online pornography or other harmful content published by users. Passive service providers were not responsible for user-provided content. See Cubby, Inc. v. CompuServe, Inc., 776 F. Supp. 135 (SDNY 1991)(mere distributor of information not liable). This created an incentive not to actively filter user content.