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"Hanley vs Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment LLC Putting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act on Ice" by Kevin Brown in Sports Law Expert
Waller, June 2019

The sports world is under attack again for its text marketing tactics directed to consumers. This time the target is Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment, LLC, the owner of the National Hockey League team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. In a federal class action lawsuit filed in March 2019 (Bryan Hanley vs. Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment LLC, Case No. 8:19-CV-550-CEH-CPT (M.D...

The Healthcare Industry: A Look Back. A Look Ahead.
Waller, January 2019

While buzzwords like consolidation and price transparency continue to dominate headlines, major players throughout the healthcare ecosystem are working tirelessly behind the scenes to deploy creative and complex service methods that leverage a smarter, more holistic approach to care. The goal? Control escalating costs and deliver tangible value to patients – all while maintaining a healthy balance sheet...

Starwood Data Breach Serves as Wakeup Call to Tennessee Bars, Hotels and Restaurants
Waller, November 2018

We suspect that thousands of Tennessee restaurants, hotels, bars and other hospitality businesses gather personal information from their customers for marketing purposes.   It’s just a birthdate, address, anniversary, spouse’s name – good stuff to know, right? That’s all fine and dandy until some hacker steals the information...

FDA and DEA Approve CBD-Based Epilepsy Medication
Waller, October 2018

Late last month,  the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a final order placing FDA-approved drugs that contain cannabidiol (CBD) derived from cannabis and no more than 0.1 percent tetrahydrocannabinols in Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA). Schedule V of the CSA includes drugs such as Robitussin and Lyrica...

California Passes Law Requiring Public Companies to Include Women on Boards
Waller, October 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown signed California Senate Bill 826 into law, which requires publicly held companies whose principal executive offices are located in California to have a minimum of one woman on their boards of directors by the end of 2019. Thereafter, women’s representation will have to increase based on the law, with what will be codified as Section 301...

Cannabis Cultivator Paves The Way For Marijuana Companies On The NASDAQ Exchange
Waller, August 2018

Tilray, Inc. officially launched its initial public offering on Thursday, becoming the first U.S. cannabis cultivator to directly list on an American exchange. Based on a better-than-expected share price of $17, the company raised more than $153 million in the offering. The IPO is notable for two reasons: 1) Tilray was incorporated in Delaware in January 2018 and is, therefore, the first U.S. cannabis company allowed to list directly on Nasdaq. The company’s U.S...

"QAPI Spells Success for SNFs" Jeff Parrish in McKnight's Long-Term Care News
Waller, August 2018

The skilled nursing sector has seen a significant number of facility divestitures and closures in the last few years. Quite frankly, this negative trend is due in part to a reluctance by some operators to implement clinical-based care standards and a lack of honest self-evaluation to improve the clinical care provided at skilled nursing facilities. Outdated operating models – solely meeting the basic needs of patients – does not bode well for SNF operators to survive...

Federal Government Urges Caution When Buying Digital Coins or Tokens
Waller, August 2018

When it comes to digital coins or tokens, it’s best to approach with caution, ask plenty of questions and conduct extensive research before making an investment, warns the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”)...

At Long Last, Fintech Companies Can Apply For National Bank Charters
Waller, August 2018

After two years of review, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently announced that it will begin accepting applications for special purpose national bank charters from financial technology (fintech) companies. The OCC’s announcement came hours after the Treasury Department endorsed the approach...

Reversing the Ban on Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements
Waller, June 2018

The hits keep coming to plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking to invalidate nursing home arbitration agreements. Last year, the plaintiffs’ bar could smell victory when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its new rule banning arbitration clauses in nursing home admission contracts...

With Insider Trading Back In The News, Is It Time to Revisit Your Insider Trading Policy?
Waller, June 2018

Recent insider trading charges are shining a renewed spotlight on the need for companies to take a fresh look at their insider trading policies. On May 31, 2018, the SEC issued a press release announcing that it has filed civil charges against an executive of a bulge bracket investment banking firm in an insider trading scheme based primarily on the “misappropriation theory” of insider trading. On the same day, the FBI and the U.S...

Restaurants and Hotels Get The Green Light to Give Away Alcohol
Waller, June 2018

Generations of restauranteurs and hoteliers have been told they cannot give away liquor. Since liquor by the drink was originally adopted in Tennessee in the late 1960s, it has been illegal to give away wine or spirits at any restaurant, hotel, entertainment venue or other on-premise outlet. No more. P.C. 755 allows any liquor by the drink establishment to serve a complimentary sample of wine...

CFTC issues advisory for virtual currency derivative products
Waller, June 2018

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has clarified the priorities and expectations when a designated contract market (DCM) or swap execution facility (SEF) lists new virtual currency derivatives or when a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) clears virtual currency derivatives.   Background and Key Terms The CFTC is an independent federal agency that administers the Commodity Exchange Act, which regulates transactions in commodity interests...

CBO Releases Highly Anticipated Report on Trump's ObamaCare Repeal Bill; 23 Million Americans Projected to Lose Insurance by 2026
Waller, May 2018

Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its report on the direct spending and revenue effect of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), as passed by the House of Representatives. CBO made this estimate in conjunction with the Joint Committee on Taxation...

Does Your Bank's Website Invite ADA Lawsuits?
Waller, May 2018

Does your bank have a website? Unless your bank uses an abacus to tally deposits, the answer is probably yes. If so, do you know if your bank’s website complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)? Did you even know that your website might be subject to scrutiny under the ADA? Let’s discuss...

New Tennessee Open Carry Law is Game Changer for Many Restaurants, Hotels
Waller, May 2018

Among the many liquor laws passed this legislative session by the Tennessee General Assembly, one of the biggest changes, in our humble opinion, is the new Open Carry law. P.C. 755 allows restaurants, hotels and other liquor-by-the-drink establishments to serve alcohol into common areas and allow adjacent restaurant patrons to bring alcoholic beverages into their restaurant. You can now walk between restaurants with your cocktail, glass of wine or mug of suds...

First Canadian Cannabis Company Could be Headed for NYSE
Waller, May 2018

This February, with its cross-listing on the Nasdaq Global Market, Cronos Group Inc. (TSX-V: MJN; Nasdaq:CRON) became the first “plant-touching” cannabis cultivator to list on any U.S. exchange. This listing was particularly notable because Cronos is a Canadian company...

"How to Transform International Registrations Under the Madrid Protocol" By Robert P Felber Jr INTA Bulletin
Waller, May 2018

The Madrid system for the International Registration of trademarks is a convenient and economical system for applicants in member countries to secure trademark registrations in other member countries throughout the world. There are 98 contracting parties to the Madrid Protocol, covering 114 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico, China, and much of Europe and the Pacific Rim (http://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/)...

Government May Change Course on Reimbursements for FSEDs
Waller, April 2018

In recent months, the influential Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) voted unanimously to reduce reimbursement rates for some urban, free-standing emergency departments (FSEDs). MedPAC is the independent congressional agency that advises Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. While MedPAC’s recommendation is just that — a recommendation — its advice typically serves as a harbinger of Congressional action...

The Tax Man Cometh - and He's Thirsty
Waller, March 2018

Lots of folks have been asking of late, “Do I have to show taxes in drink prices?” The Tennessee Department of Revenue recently clarified that including taxes in drink prices is optional. Previously, the state required that menu prices include both liquor by the drink and sales taxes. The law now gives taxpayers the option to include taxes on the final bill to the customer, instead of in the sales price listed in menus. A copy of the notice from Revenue is included here...

Tennessee Becomes One of First States to Approve Blockchain 'Smart' Contracts
Waller, March 2018

Tennessee has become one of the first states in the country to approve the use of “smart contracts,” which are made through the use of blockchain technology. In essence, the law gives blockchain contracts and electronic signatures submitted through blockchain as having equal standing to more traditional forms of contracts...

5 of the Biggest Myths About GDPR Data Protection - and Why You Shouldn't Believe Them
Waller, March 2018

You may have heard something about GDPR lately and thought "Why should I care? It probably won't affect me or my business.” In reality, the implications of GDPR are far-reaching. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of regulations strengthening data privacy and protection laws for residents of the EU. The regulations take effect in just two months: May 25, to be exact...

A New Milestone for Cannabis Investing in the U.S.? - Video
Waller, March 2018

For the first time, the Nasdaq has allowed common shares of a Canadian cannabis cultivator, Cronos Group Inc., to be cross-listed on the Nasdaq Global Market.  This cross-listing for Cronos (TSX-V: MJN; Nasdaq: CRON) marks the first time a cannabis cultivator was allowed to list on any U.S. exchange.  In 2015 and 2016, Nasdaq famously rejected the Colorado cannabis-focused social media company MassRoots Inc...

Why Telehealth was a Big Winner in New Budget Deal
Waller, February 2018

Hidden in the details of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 are some key telehealth provisions that are receiving praise from many industry groups and could mark a significant development for Medicare telehealth policy. The new legislation promotes telehealth in several ways. Tele-stroke. Medicare currently only covers tele-stroke services for patients located in rural health professional shortage areas and counties not classified as a metropolitan statistical area...

Amazon Sets Out to Tackle Healthcare Costs
Waller, February 2018

This week we learned that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan Chase have joined forces to tackle employee healthcare costs.  This announcement marks yet another chapter in some employers' frustration with our nation’s healthcare system.  Employees are equally tired of the increasing cost of healthcare eating away what should be their wage increases even as employers pay for ever increasing health insurance premiums...

Consumer Survey Fails Reliability Test and Results in Dismantling of Massive Verdict
Waller, February 2018

In vacating a jury’s award of almost $54 million based on a finding of willful trademark and trade dress infringement, an Illinois federal district court granted the defendants’ motion for a new trial, finding the trial “fundamentally unfair due to the admission of unreliable and prejudicial expert testimony.” The Black & Decker Corporation et al v. Positec USA Inc.,No. 1:2011cv05426 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 11, 2017)...

The Conflict Over the CFPB and What it Means for the Future
Waller, December 2017

The federal agency now well-known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was established by Congress in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The CFPB is a uniquely independent agency, shielded from the executive branch in a way that other agencies are not. Doing away with that independence has the potential to significantly alter the CFPB and its regulatory work...

Eleventh Circuit Finds Reproduction an Insincere Form of Flattery
Waller, December 2017

In October 2017, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s grant of summary judgement, finding that a college has potentially protectable rights that extend beyond the scope of its federal service mark registrations. Savannah College of Art & Design, Inc. v. Sportswear, Inc., No. 15-13830 (11th Cir. Oct. 3, 2017)...

Trademark Licensees Priority Derives from its Own Use and Not From its Licensors Use
Waller, December 2017

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (Board) held that the plaintiff licensee in an opposition and cancellation proceeding could not establish priority of use over the defendant based on any common law rights previously acquired by the plaintiff’s licensor. Julie A. Moreno v. Pro Boxing Supplies, Inc., 124 USPQ2d 1028 (TTAB Sept. 8, 2017). Julie A...

Strategic Partnerships Between Investor-Owned Companies and Nonprofit Hospitals or Health Systems Top Ten Key Considerations
Waller, November 2017

Strategic partnerships between investor-owned companies and nonprofit hospitals or health systems are an unmistakable trend in the health care industry today. Such strategic partnerships can consist of a myriad of structures and variations thereof. The most common transaction structures include affiliations, management arrangements, joint operating arrangements, joint ventures, asset leases, and asset sales/acquisitions...

Blockchain Basics: Overview of Distributed Ledger Technology Application in Health Care and Legal Considerations
Waller, November 2017

In August 2016, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) co-sponsored the Use of Blockchain in Health IT and Health-related Research Ideation Challenge, soliciting whitepapers on how blockchain technology can be used in health care...

POTUS Trump Looks to Halt CSR Payments
Waller, October 2017

President Donald Trump announced that the federal government will halt payments known as cost share reduction (CSR) payments. The CSR payments amounted to approximately $7 billion this year, and served as a subsidy to enable lower-income Americans to afford health insurance coverage...

"Will Growth Consolidation Lead Residential Addiction Treatment Industry to Police Itself in Terms of Ethics & Marketing" by Colbey Reagan Nashville Medical News
Waller, September 2017

At this year’s annual meeting of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers in Austin, there was a clear divide on display between the “old school” and the “new school” during a session on electronic marketing strategies. The number of residential addiction treatment providers operating in the United States has exploded since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010...

BSAAML Enforcement, Things Are Getting Personal
Waller, August 2017

The financial exploitation of elders is a hot topic in state legislatures, with the federal government, and in the media. In the first few months of 2017 alone, media reports from Gadsden, Fairhope and Dothan chronicle four cases of financial exploitation, with losses in each case ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 over short periods of time. The perpetrator in each case was a family member of the victim...

"Limiting Liability Exposure for a Private Family Trust Company" by John Bunge Waller Private Family Trust Company Research
Waller, August 2017

Provisions in a trust instrument can expressly limit and define the scope of the PFTC’s fiduciary duties, including the Prudent Investor Rule and the duty to inform and report. Generally, the ability to limit fiduciary duties is subject to “mandatory” rules dictated by state statutes or common law. Some states have stringent mandatory rules, while other states seek to maximize the trust settlor’s freedom of disposition and freedom of contract...

Statutory Protection From IRS Reinterpretation of Old Tax Laws by John Bunge Tax Notes
Waller, August 2017

Bunge argues that the section 7805(b) limitation on retroactive regulations was meant to apply to all regulations issued after July 30, 1996, regardless of when the underlying statute was enacted. A. Retroactive Treasury Regulations Generally Many legal systems discourage or disallow retroactive laws in various contexts.1 The U.S...

The Rise of Impact Investing in Trust Administration
Waller, July 2017

Traditionally, investment decisions have focused primarily on increasing economic value. Over the past few decades, however, an investment philosophy focused on creating non-economic value by advancing social or charitable causes has become increasingly commonplace. This investment philosophy, traditionally referred to as socially responsible investing, has historically been assumed to involve the sacrifice of economic gains in furtherance of non-economic objectives...

"Series LLCs Part 2 - Current Status Multi-State Issues and Potential Uniform Limited Liability Company Protected Series Act" By J Leigh Griffith and Alberto R Gonzales Taxes - The Tax Magazine
Waller, March 2017

Although its emergence on the business scene is fairly recent, the Series LLC has been gaining popularity as a business entity. Under the Series LLC umbrella, this entity is able to create multiple Protected Series, each with its own separate rights, powers, assets, obligations, business purposes and associated members...

Bias in Law Enforcement Cybersecurity and White Collar Crime
Waller, March 2017

Most people probably associate cyber-crime with issues of national security—what with Russia dominating so much space in the headlines, lately. However, cybersecurity breaches can have a palpable and damaging effect on everyday individuals, due to how often they’re tied to corporate security breaches involving highly sensitive personal information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and contact information...

Proposed Rule from HHS Changes Standards for ACA Individual and Small Group Marketplaces
Waller, February 2017

In one of the first concrete developments related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes following Dr Thomas E Price’s approval as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a Notice of Proposed Rule making was recently released by HHS. The recent release by HHS stated a goal of helping to stabilize the individual and small group marketplaces established by the ACA...

"How to De-stress a Distressed Senior Living Company" Co-Authored by Jeffery D Parrish and John C Tishler
Waller, February 2017

External pressures, such as lower reimbursement rates and an overall shift in policy by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and state Medicaid agencies have put significant financial and operational pressure on skilled nursing and other senior living operators in the United States...

Membership Substitution Transactions – Why Are They So Misunderstood? By Ken Marlow in Bond Buyer
Waller, February 2017

Membership substitution transactions are the most common form of business combination transaction in the nonprofit hospital industry. They are also widely misunderstood and the source of many mistakes. Many large 501(c)(3)s have become more acquisitive as a result of economic pressures of the ACA. Nonprofit health systems have been getting much better at participating in and winning competitive sale processes, resulting in an increased use of this business combination form. http://www...

Q&A: Waller Partner Talks Websites and ADA
Waller, January 2017

The impacts of the Americans with Disabilities Act loom largest in the public consciousness in the form of handicap-accessible parking spaces and entrance ramps — accommodations for physical access to public premises. But under the law, it also appears that businesses must make sure their websites and mobile apps are ADA-compliant. Derek Edwards is a partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, where he specializes in financial services litigation...

JD Thomas Posts "Healthcare Industry on Pins and Needles The Repeal of the ACA and What Comes Next" on Waller Healthcare Blog
Waller, January 2017

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been one of the most sweeping, and most divisive, pieces of legislation related to healthcare in a generation. More ink has been spilled over enactment, constitutionality, and repeal than any other government healthcare program. With the election of Donald Trump, and a Republican-controlled Congress, the repeal of the ACA is all but assured...

"Blockchain Technology and Applications for Healthcare" Kristen Johns on the Nashville Medical News blog
Waller, January 2017

The underlying technology behind the digital currency, Bitcoin, is piquing interest across Nashville’s healthcare industry, largely due to its potential to change the way data is shared. Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, is a decentralized database that securely records transactions and can also allow for the transfer of an asset such as data or currency.https://nashvillemedicalnews...

"Private Family Trust Companies Find New Homes in Tennessee" by Richard A Johnson Family Office Elite Magazine
Waller, December 2016

Since 1999, when it was an early adopter of the state banking regulators’ model private trust company act, Tennessee has earned a reputation for responding to the sophisticated trust and financial needs of ultra-high net worth families and their private offices...

"Watering Down the Risk of Data Breaches" by Steve Blumenthal Nashville Business Journal
Waller, October 2016

I’ve had bad experiences with water. Pouring out of broken washers and gushing from burst pipes, water has repeatedly defied my attempts to keep it contained. But I need water, so I maintain my plumbing, use water sensibly, and, if I suffer a leak, I clean up the mess and go on. Why am I talking about water? Modern businesses need data, like we need water...

"Night of the Living Trademark Zombie Trademarks in the United States" by Robert P Felber Jr and Julian L Bibb IV INTA Bulletin
Waller, October 2016

The February 2016 resolution of the five-year-old trademark dispute between Macy’s Inc. and Strategic Marks, LLC in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (Macy’s Inc. et al. v. Strategic Marks, LLC, Case No. 15-0612, N.D. Cal. 2016) is a reminder that zombie trademarks still walk among us...

"IRS Taking Harder Look at Non-Profit Hospitals" Don Stuart Quoted in FierceHealthcare
Waller, October 2016

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is ratcheting up surveillance of non-profit hospitals regarding their levels of community benefits and patient financial assistance. The IRS reviewed 692 hospitals in fiscal 2016, which ended late last month, Bloomberg BNA has reported. Of those, 166 were referred for a closer “field examination...

"Series LLCs Part 1 - Current Status Multi-State Issues and Potential Uniform Limited Liability Company Protected Series Act" By J Leigh Griffith and Alberto R Gonzales Taxes - The Tax Magazine
Waller, October 2016

The Series Limited Liability Company (“Series LLC”), a variation of the traditional limited liability company (LLC), is the newest entity enterprise on the business scene today.1 Within this legal entity, separate “series” or “cells” can be created and established under the umbrella of a single LLC...

 

 

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