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Publication Results

This advisory discusses the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s announcement that the SEC will begin using a new approach to pursue violations of the federal securities laws. The approach calls for a renewed focus on an obscure section of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 – Section 20(b).
June 2, 2014
Advisories
Launched in June 2013, re:code LA is a five-year project to create a Downtown Development Code and a new Citywide Zoning Code.
June 2014
Publications
Legislation that would require food manufacturers and retailers to label products made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is gaining traction throughout the country.  As of the date of this article, Vermont, Connecticut and Maine have already enacted GMO labeling laws, and bills have been introduced in at least 22 other state legislatures.  Meanwhile, Congress is considering the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (HR 4432), which would mandate that FDA set standards for labeling food products as it pertains to the presence or absence of GMO ingredients, and take a voluntary approach whereby industry players are allowed to choose whether to label their products as containing GMOs.
June 2, 2014.
Publications
This advisory discusses GraniteTrust Co. v. U.S., which ruled that a parent’s sale of more than 20 percent of the stock of a subsidiary to an unrelated person was a proper set up for a taxable liquidation of the subsidiary, and how even though the IRS announced it would no longer rule on Granite Trust-type liquidations, there are still several rulings in the pipeline—most recently, LTR 201419011.
June 2, 2014
Advisories
Class actions continue to be an area of significant risk for many companies, particularly in the automotive industry with spikes in class actions often following closely on the heels of recall announcements.  These class actions tend to involve large number of class members and can lead to astronomical damages figures, even when the case is settled on favorable terms.  In addition to the financial burden, class actions can also place the company's brand and reputation at risk.  With potential exposure so high, automakers should consider every available tool for managing class action liability.  One such option may be making the class representative an offer of judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68, thereby mooting the case.
June 2, 2014
Publications
"Strategies for Combating the Recent Rise in Class Actions Involving No-Injury, Consumer Fraud and Warranties," American Conference Institute's 7th Annual Summit on Defending & Managing Automotive Product Liability Litigation, June 2014.
June 2014
Publications
"Proposed Changes for Competent Authority and MAP: A Good Direction but Incomplete Execution," Journal of Taxation, June 2014.
June 2014
Publications
“The FCPA and the Financial Industry: Understanding and Mitigating Risk,” Journal of Taxation and Regulation of Financial Institutions, Vol. 27, No. 5, May/June 2014.
May/June 2014
Publications
"EEOC Publishes Guidance on Religious Garb and Grooming Practices in the Workplace," Employee Benefit Plan Review, June 2014.
June 2014
Publications
Too many manufacturers erroneously conclude that they do not have enforceable trade secrets in their manufacturing equipment, processes, or systems because individual components of their process may be known in the industry or available from third-party vendors.  Trade secret law, however, protects unique combinations of equipment and/or processing steps, even if the individual components of that process are known in the public domain.  Unfortunately, manufacturers frequently fail to properly ascertain and protect the trade secrets in their manufacturing process until a competitor seizes those intangible assets for itself and puts the entire business at risk.
June 2014
Publications
Like many acronyms that emanate from Washington, the cGMP and HACCP programs impose a variety of complex obligations and “suggestions” on FDA-regulated industries like the food and beverage sector. But the gist is straightforward. These programs generally require companies to establish—and ensure compliance with—best practices in the manufacturing and distribution of food products.
June 2014
Publications
Employers participating in E-Verify must execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to participate in the program. Many employers signed-up in 2009, in light of numerous federal contract rules and state laws.
Spring 2014
Publications
"Agency Guidance Prohibits Pre-Tax Funding of Individual Medical Coverage for Active Employees," ECFC Flex Reporter, June 2014.
June 2014
Publications
The following is a summary of the precedential patent-related opinions issued by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for the week ending May 30, 2014.
May 30, 2014
Publications
Employers must be thoughtful and strategic during covenant drafting and enforcement, and be cognizant of Full Faith and Credit's uncertain limitations.
May 30, 2014
Publications
This advisory is an update to the previous Economic Development Advisory titled “Georgia Legislative Report 2014: Energy, Infrastructure and Economic Development.” During the 2014 portion of the 2013–2014 legislative sessions, the Georgia General Assembly passed several bills with provisions aimed at having a positive impact on energy, infrastructure and economic development in the state. Certain of these bills have been signed into law by the governor, and this advisory highlights these bills.
May 29, 2014
Advisories
The Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) proposed two new rules this month that could soon subject health care providers to more expansive exclusion rules and steeper civil monetary penalties (CMPs). The proposed Exclusion Rule was published in the Federal Register on May 9, 2014, while the proposed CMP Rule was published on May 12, 2014.
May 27, 2014
Advisories
On May 21, 2014, California Attorney General Kamala Harris released “Making Your Privacy Practices Public,” her office’s long-anticipated guidance on privacy policies for businesses collecting personal information related to California residents (the “Report”). As discussed in prior Alston & Bird client advisories and privacy blog postings, the California AG’s office has been drafting its guidance document since December 2013 and had previously solicited input from stakeholders regarding its proposed recommendations. See, Privacy & Data Security Advisory: Special Assistant Attorney General Speaks on Privacy Issues at Alston & Bird’s Los Angeles Office. Among its other recommendations, the new guidance was issued to advise companies operating inside and outside of California on how to address the amendments to California’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“Cal-OPPA”) that went into effect on January 1, 2014. As conceived, the Report is designed to apply to all businesses, regardless of the country or state in which they operate, based on the California AG’s position that Cal-OPPA applies to all companies that collect personal information about California residents through their websites, online services or mobile apps, even if the business has no other connection to California.
May 27, 2014
Advisories