Kosovo should have taken a more balanced approach to criminalizing copyright infringement. The government did not employ the term "piracy" or provide a clear definition of what acts may constitute piracy. Instead, it left room for any type of activity — commercial or noncommercial — to be considered a piracy offense and be subject to criminal sanctions, say Kujtesa Nezaj-Shehu of SDP KOSOVE and Nita Shala of Kosovo Legal Group.
On Oct. 31, 2013, the IRS issued guidance relaxing the use-or-lose rule applicable to health flexible spending arrangements under employers’ cafeteria plans. Employers with calendar year plans that want to adopt this carryover provision for unused health FSA balances remaining at the end of 2013 will need to act quickly, say Marcus Wu and Lori Partrick of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
In the wake of Dodd-Frank, it is likely that the Fed’s role in public policy is too great for elected officials to merely defer to its judgments. Navigating this new political landscape will be among Janet Yellen’s most challenging tasks as Fed chairwoman, says Andrew Olmem, a partner with Venable LLP and former Republican chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
The two cases of United States v. Midwest Generation LLC and United States v. EME Homer City Generation LLP — as well as Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, in which the U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari — may limit the scope of the Clean Air Act's Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement power, says Charles Haake of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
If the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality receives permitting authority for greenhouse gas emissions as planned, affected Texas businesses will likely spend less time and money securing their GHG permits, and the ancillary issues that must be reviewed as part of the federal permitting process will not loom as large at the state level, say Anthony Cavender and Amanda Halter of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
The use of design-build project delivery has been hampered by state laws and professional ethical rules, but recent legislation in New York may drastically increase its use in the public sector. While the design-build model has many benefits, it may not be the best choice when there is a premium placed on quality of design, say Michael De Chiara and Thomas O’Neill of Zetlin & De Chiara LLP.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform has proposed reforms that would improve the fairness, rationality and effectiveness of the False Claims Act. For example, instituting a descending set of award ranges applicable to increasing recoveries will reduce the prevalence of enormous jackpots that spur frivolous suits and needlessly drain away funds more properly reserved for taxpayers, say David Ogden and Jonathan Cedarbaum of WilmerHale.
Workplace bullying can expose employers to liability under various federal and state laws and dampen workplace productivity. Therefore, states should consider drafting and passing bills similar to those in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, while employers should implement anti-bullying policies, says Jennifer Burdick with Community Legal Services and attorneys with Dechert LLP.
As a result of a recent Federal Trade Commission rule change, any transfer of exclusive pharmaceutical patent rights is potentially reportable under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, even when the patent owner retains certain manufacturing rights or certain “co-rights," say Harry Robins and David Brenneman of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.
A District of Columbia federal court recently handed the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States a major victory against Chinese-owned Ralls Corporation. The case exemplifies the importance of notifying and engaging CFIUS voluntarily before closing a transaction that may raise national security concerns, say Alexandra Lopez-Casero and Doug Dziak of Nixon Peabody LLP.