Current Legal News for Attorneys

Antitrust & Competition

TOP STORY—2d Cir.: AmEx ‘anti-steering’ claims dismissed based on efficient enforcer test
November 29, 2021 | By Kenneth H. Ryesky, M.B.A., J.D.
Merchants who do not accept American Express cards lack standing to sue American Express for antitrust violations. In class action litigation against the American Express Company and American Express Travel Related Services Company (AmEx) alleging antitrust law violations in AmEx's "anti-steering" contractual provisions, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City affirmed the dismissal of claims brought by a class of merchants that did not accept...

Banking & Consumer Finance

TOP STORY—Banking agencies develop crypto-asset policy
November 29, 2021 | By Justin Marcus Smith, J.D.
In a joint statement, the OCC, Fed and FDIC announced several initiatives intended to provide legal clarity to the emergence of crypto-assets in banking. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, the agencies) have issued a joint statement summarizing a recent interagency “policy sprint” concerning crypto-assets. The agencies announced several initiatives...

COVID-19 Resources

TOP STORY—1st Cir.: No injunction pending appeal for Mass General Brigham employees denied COVID vaccine exemption requests
November 22, 2021
By Kathleen Kapusta, J.D. The employees acknowledged that Mass General Brigham granted religious or medical exemptions to at least 234 employees. Mass General Brigham employees failed to convince the First Circuit to issue an injunction pending appeal of a district court’s denial of their request for preliminary injunctive relief against MGB’s application of its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy to them individually. Noting that the employees...

Healthcare

TOP STORY: Oral arguments highlight ‘panoply of problems’ with HHS’ interpretation of DSH statute
November 29, 2021 | By Sheila Lynch-Afryl, J.D., M.A.
In Becerra v. Empire Health Foundation, a hospital challenged a 2004 final rule that altered reimbursement for Medicare disproportionate share hospitals. Justices grappled with the distinction between “entitled to” and “eligible for” and expressed concern about the application of Chevron deference during oral arguments for Becerra v. Empire Health Foundation . The issue in Empire Health is whether CMS correctly included in a hospital’s disproport...

Intellectual Property

TOP STORY—N.D. Ill.: Recipe for a lawsuit: copyright infringement claim against a culinary school can go to trial
November 29, 2021 | By Matthew Hersh, J.D.
But the jury will be free to decide that the school was a co-owner of the works and that it had a license to use them. A writer’s claim that a Chicago-based culinary school infringed her contributions to a teaching website can go to trial, the federal court in Chicago has held. But the ruling was not a total loss for the school, a prominent pastry-making school founded by two French chefs, as it will have the opportunity to persuade the jury not ...

Labor & Employment Law

November 29, 2021 | By Kathleen Kapusta, J.D.
Agreeing with every other circuit to have considered the issue, the court held that “a notice of termination, like the selection for surplus status here, is an adverse employment action even if an employee is given a window of time—small or large—before her actual discharge.” Although the Third Circuit acknowledged it was “deeply unfortunate for a sixty-year-old cancer patient to lose her job,” it nevertheless affirmed the grant of summary judgme...

Products Liability & Insurance

TOP STORY—MOTOR VEHICLES—Utah App.: New trial grant upheld in Hyundai car fire case
November 29, 2021 | By Robert B. Barnett Jr., J.D.
The vehicle owners failed to disclose prior to trial a key portion of their experts’ opinions on the cause of the fire. The Utah Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s grant of a motion for a new trial in a products liability case involving a car fire, finding that the plaintiff car owners failed to disclose a change in their experts’ testimony prior to trial and that the lower court gave incorrect jury instructions that failed to assign t...

Securities

TOP STORY—SEC guidance cracks down on spring-loaded options
November 29, 2021 | By Anne Sherry, J.D.
The agency said that option grants that precede market-moving announcements “merit particular scrutiny by those responsible for compensation and reporting governance.” SEC staff released new guidance showing a focus on the accounting treatment of spring-loaded options, or non-routine options granted while the company possesses material non-public information. The guidance calls for companies to consider the additional value from the impending ann...