Articles Posted in In the News

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In what may be a harbinger of things to come, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit debated the propriety of using the court’s own internet research to decide a case before it.  The case is Rowe v. Gibson, et. al., decided on August 19, 2015; a pro se prisoner civil rights dispute that was dismissed by the district court. Continue reading

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For the second time in two years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in an important attorney-client privilege case,  has issued a Writ of Mandamus to protect the contents of an internal corporate investigation that was led by the company’s lawyers.  The case is In Re: Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., et alContinue reading

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On August 7, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia vacated an order of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) in an unfair labor practices matter because the Board’s Acting General Counsel, who plays a very prominent role in the Board’s enforcement work, was serving in that capacity in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA).  The case is SW General, Inc. dba Southwest Ambulance v. National Labor Relations BoardContinue reading

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The Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 (FOIA), is a federal law that allow for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government. FOIA defines agency records that are subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures and grants exemptions from disclosure. Many states similar laws governing the disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the state and its agencies. The theory is that the government should be open and transparent unless the government has a good reason to withhold the information sought. On March 31, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a long opinion in Sea Shepherd Conservation Society v. Internal Revenue Service, regarding the IRS’s response to Sea Shepherd’s FOIA request seeking information from the IRS about its investigation of Sea Shepherd.
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Seattle’s new minimum wage legislation passed by the Seattle City Council and signed into law by Mayor Murray on June 3, 2014 provides for an increase in the minimum wage in the City of Seattle to $15/hr., phased in over time, beginning April 1, 2015. The minimum wage ordinance has a different schedule for increasing the employees’ pay based upon the employers’ number of employees in the U.S. and whether the employer pays toward its employees’ medical benefits plan.
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Today, Pillsbury attorneys James Lloyd, Vince Morgan, Adam Weaver and Tamara Bruno published their client alert titled USGS’s Increase of Texas’s Earthquake Risk Level: Commercial Real Estate and Insurance Implications. The Alert discusses the increase in seismic activity in the Fort Worth Basin and the likelihood that this increase will lead to a corresponding rise in the official earthquake risk level for the Fort Worth Basin when the United States Geological Survey (USGS) releases an updated earthquake hazard map in the coming months. This map and the USGS’s estimates of seismic risk play a crucial role in determining insurance costs, building codes and lenders’ insurance requirements.

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Yesterday, Pillsbury attorneys Chris Wall, Steve Becker, Nancy Fischer, Aaron Hutman and Stephanie Rohrer published their advisory titled Treasury and Commerce Departments Issue Regulations to Implement New Cuba Policy. The Advisory discusses the Obama administration’s implementation of its promised changes to U.S. sanctions and export controls for Cuba, changes effective January 16, 2015. Although most trade and transactions still are prohibited, the revisions to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) ease licensing requirements in a number of areas, including exports to and imports from Cuba of certain types of goods and services, telecommunications and Internet services, travel and travel services, financial services, remittances, and treatment of Cuban nationals in third countries.

If you have any questions about the content of this blog, please contact the Pillsbury attorney with whom you regularly work or Chris Wall, Steve Becker, Nancy Fischer, Aaron Hutman or Stephanie Rohrer, the authors of this blog.

Additional Source: A New U.S. Course for Cuba Relations: What Does It Mean for Business?

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Today, Pillsbury attorneys Jim Chudy and Brian Wainwright published their advisory titled Five Facts About the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. The Advisory provides an overview of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (Division A of H.R. 5771), signed into law by President Obama on December 19, 2014, an Act that extends many tax provisions that had expired at the end of 2013.

If you have any questions about the content of this blog, please contact the Pillsbury attorney with whom you regularly work or Jim Chudy or Brian Wainwright, the authors of this blog.

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Recently, Pillsbury attorneys Chris Wall, Steve Becker, Nancy Fischer, Aaron Hutman and Stephanie Rohrer published their advisory titled A New U.S. Course for Cuba Relations: What Does It Mean for Business? The Advisory discusses President Obama’s unexpected announcement signaling a “new course” for Cuba after more than 50 years of comprehensive U.S. sanctions, and possible opportunities for certain exports markets including telecommunications, building materials, agricultural equipment, and certain goods for use by Cuban entrepreneurs.

If you have any questions about the content of this blog, please contact the Pillsbury attorney with whom you regularly work or Chris Wall, Steve Becker, Nancy Fischer, Aaron Hutman or Stephanie Rohrer, the authors of this blog.

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Yesterday, the California Contractors State License Board Chairman David Dias announced the selection of Chief Deputy Registrar Cindi A. Christenson to serve as the board’s new Registrar of Contractors, effective January 1, 2015. Her qualifications include having served as the CSLB’s second in command since 2009. Dias also noted that “She also will have the distinction of serving as CSLB’s first female Registrar of Contractors, among the known 15 executives who have served in this position since 1929.” Congratulations Ms. Christenson!

Additional Sources: Sac Bee, Christenson becomes first female to hold key exec post with state contractors’ board; California Looking For Next Registrar of Contractors; California CSLB Registrar of Contractors Announces Departure