Buried in a brand-new Pennsylvania law that increases the transparency of fracking royalties is a provision that allows oil and gas operators to easily pool adjoining leases for production purposes, enabling drillers to expand production in the Marcellus Shale while stripping landowners of a key bargaining chip in lease negotiations.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Wednesday that the Defense of Marriage Act's definition of marriage is unconstitutional will spark a number of changes for same-sex couples at tax time, and while most will reap great benefits from the ruling, it will still take careful estate planning for some couples to keep the taxman at bay.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a federal law defining marriage as between one man and one woman but avoided a broad ruling on the constitutionality of state gay-marriage bans in a separate decision that will allow gay couples to marry in California, leaving the legal status of same-sex marriage in the hands of the states.
The large-scale layoff coupled with partner compensation cuts that struck Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP on Monday — the most significant BigLaw bloodletting in recent years — heralds a wave of partner and associate pink slips, with other law firms likely to follow suit and slash their own badly bloated payrolls, experts said.
The New York Senate on Thursday approved a bill that makes clear certificates of insurance do not provide new rights under the insurance policies they are supposed to summarize and fights the use of false or misleading certificates to meet requirements under loans and contracts, sending the legislation to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk.
State regulators from regions served by two of the nation’s top power providers on Thursday urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to lay out guidance on power transfer issues holding up a cooperation agreement managing overlap territories between the two power grids.
New York law prohibiting deceptive business practices doesn't apply to all unlawful contracts between companies and consumers, the state's top court ruled Thursday, after Valspar Corp. customers claimed a furniture repair plan violated a separate statute limiting when businesses can back out of such agreements.
Anderson Kill California LLP announced Wednesday the addition of a municipal law veteran with more than 31 years of experience as a shareholder in its new Government Affairs Group.
A Pennsylvania state lawmaker introduced legislation on Thursday designed to ensure that deductions taken out of royalty checks issued to landowners who lease their properties to gas drillers are clearly broken down.
A Pennsylvania Democratic state representative announced Wednesday that he intended to introduce two pieces of legislation aimed at protecting property owners who lease the fracking rights to their land, according to co-sponsorship memos.
New Jersey businesses wouldn't be able to enforce noncompete agreements with staffers who can claim unemployment compensation under legislation that state lawmakers introduced Thursday.
A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule allowing clearing agencies registered with both the SEC and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to quickly implement rule changes regarding certain futures contracts has been expanded to include certain swap and forward contracts, the agency said Wednesday.
A coalition of civil liberty and small government groups including the ACLU and FreedomWorks on Tuesday blasted draft legislation that would amend the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by increasing penalties and expanding the scope of conduct punishable under the statute.
A Pennsylvania legislator on Tuesday introduced a bill that would protect heating ventilation and air-conditioning contractors from lawsuits filed by property owners looking to recover damages for mold growth.
The United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading has referred a deal AEG Facilities Limited struck in January to run London's Wembley Arena to the Competition Commission, citing concerns the agreement could decimate competition in the country’s live entertainment venue sector, the regulator said Friday.
Energy companies faced off against landowner groups before the House Energy Resources Committee on Wednesday as they tried to sway Texas lawmakers on a controversial bill that would allow drilling operators to aggregate tracts of land into a larger unit if a majority of mineral rights owners agreed.
The top two members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee demanded Wednesday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission provide more information about investigations into whether natural gas pipeline operators overcharge customers.
The Obama administration said Monday that consumers should be allowed to legally “unlock” their cellphones so they can be used on different networks, so long as they are not bound to contracts with specific wireless carriers.
The European Commission on Wednesday unveiled proposed rules for determining when technology transfer agreements run afoul of antitrust regulations that could lead to more patent license agreements and other deals being challenged as anti-competitive.
The D.C. Circuit on Friday upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to hold forward capacity auction rates for electricity to the same public interest standard as contract rates negotiated between electricity suppliers and purchasers.
Picture this: A seller of goods is losing tens of millions of dollars per year on a requirements contract containing price caps that the parties have operated under for years. Given the Uniform Commercial Code and relevant case law, it would be natural — and completely logical — to accept the cogent authority establishing that rising costs are generally insufficient to invalidate a contract. I am betting that, in this case, the law will trick you, says Andrew Jarzyna of Ulmer & Berne LLP.
When researching an expert, look for whether the expert’s opinion and methodology in the case is consistent with the expert’s approach outside of litigation. Inconsistency in an expert’s opinion not only is great fodder for cross-examination, but might also point to a more serious methodological problem that can form the basis for a Daubert challenge, says Matthew Whitley of Beck Redden LLP.
While international arbitration continues to grow as a means by which companies resolve cross-border disputes, counsel and their clients cannot approach or handle it as just another typical lawsuit. Effective advocacy in the international arbitration arena requires a different skill set, says Scott Kelly of Porter Hedges LLP.
Preemptive rights to lease additional space, commonly sought by tenants during lease negotiations, primarily benefit the tenant and could substantially hamper the landlord’s ability to market the subject space to potential tenants. It is important that landlords understand the distinction between the two preemptive rights and the potential disadvantages associated with each, says Alexander Jackins of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
The outcome of Lawson v. FMR LLC, the first Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, may turn on how the justices resolve a hypothetical posed by Justice Stephen Breyer about a gardener hired to mow the lawn for a publicly traded corporation, say Edward Ellis and Stephen Melnick of Littler Mendelson PC.
Despite the benefits of publishing and consistently enforcing progressive discipline policies, individuals and business owners alike can think of examples where employers have not published or adhered to their own protocols, says R. Scott Oswald of The Employment Law Group PC.
Until quite recently, China’s foreign exchange controls meant significant delays and red tape for anyone trying to remit or receive payment overseas for services rendered to a business in China — including to a subsidiary or affiliate. New regulations have made most of these difficulties a thing of the past for payments under $50,000, say Richard Grams and Allan Goldner at Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aranoff LLP.
The Second Circuit decision in the American Airlines bankruptcy and the decision by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware regarding School Specialty Inc. show that courts will uphold make-whole provisions in loan documents that are valid under state law — but they will rely heavily on the plain meaning of contract language when weighing enforceability, say John Ventola and Sean Monahan of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.
While the questions in Bakoss v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London were plainly important and the circuit splits were clear, the issues may well have been too vexing for the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservatives to support taking the case. It is, however, simply a matter of time before these issues will demand the court’s resolution once again, says Robert Loeb of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.
Companies may find it beneficial to include forum selection clauses in foreign contracts as they provide a sense of security about where any potential litigation may take place. However, a party may find that the legal or political environment of the designated forum is markedly different at the time of litigation, and U.S. courts have thus far allowed avoidance of the application of such clauses only for drastic and unexpected changes, say Aaron Gruber and Caroline Mitchell of Jones Day.