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SEC Disclosure Requirement Amendments to Regulation S-K: Description of Business, Legal Proceedings, and Risk Factors
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2020

Effective Nov. 9, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) amendments to “modernize the description of business, legal proceedings, and risk factor disclosures” required under Regulation S-K take effect. These amendments largely follow the proposed amendments, dated Aug. 8, 2019,[1] with some clarifications. The intent of the amendments is to improve the disclosure regime, which has not had a major overhaul in over thirty years...

In Morehouse, Eleventh Circuit Underscores Threshold Test for FCA Retaliation Claims
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2020

In Brown v. Morehouse College, a False Claims Act (FCA) retaliation action, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the case’s dismissal, agreeing with the district court that while the plaintiff’s ethics complaints may have led to retaliation against him by the College, the complaints did not allege FCA fraud and therefore were not protected by the statute. No. 19-13773, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 33444 (11th Cir. Oct. 23, 2020)...

DOJ Announces First Life Sciences Settlement Involving the Open Payments Program
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on October 29, 2020 it reached a more than $9.2 million settlement with Medtronic USA Inc. to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) and Open Payment Program.[1] Specifically, Medtronic agreed to pay $8.1 million to resolve FCA allegations it paid kickbacks to induce a South Dakota neurosurgeon to use its SynchroMed II intrathecal infusion pumps...

CDC Expands the Definition of Close Contact for COVID-19
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

On Oct. 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new definition for “close contact.” The new definition was expanded to account for the cumulative amount of exposure one might have had with a person infected with COVID-19. Under the new definition, close contact is defined as being “within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period beginning two days before illness onset...

Life Sciences Enforcement Trends in 2020 and Outlook for 2021
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

Although the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reported a slight decrease in settlements with life sciences companies in FY2019 (the most recent year for which data is available),[1] this likely will be a temporary trend. Several significant settlements and investigations in 2020 provide key insights into government enforcement priorities as we look toward 2021...

OCIE RISK ALERT—Cybersecurity: Ransomware Alert
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

On July 10, 2020, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) released a Risk Alert highlighting the dangers of ransomware to SEC-registered entities, including investment advisers. The Risk Alert is a response to a marked uptick in both the prevalence and sophistication of ransomware attacks in recent months. Ransomware is a type of malware used by criminals to gain control of your or your firm’s confidential information and customer data...

Select COVID-19 Compliance Risks and Considerations for Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

In response to the ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19, OCIE issued a Risk Alert on Aug. 12, 2020. In the Risk Alert, OCIE makes various observations and recommendations which fall into six different categories: (1) protection of investors’ assets; (2) supervision of personnel; (3) practices relating to fees, expenses, and financial transactions; (4) investment fraud; (5) business continuity; and (6) the protection of investor and other sensitive information...

OCIE RISK ALERT—Cybersecurity: Safeguarding Client Accounts against Credential Compromise
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

OCIE’s most recent Risk Alert, published Sept. 15, 2020, address another cybersecurity issue, this time highlighting the dangers of “credential stuffing.” Credential stuffing is a method of cyberattack that uses compromised client login credentials and can lead to loss of customer assets and the disclosure of confidential or other personal information. Hackers will obtain groups or lists of usernames, email addresses, and their passwords from sellers on the dark web...

SEC Enforcement Action – VALIC Financial Advisors
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

On July 28, 2020, the SEC announced a pair of settled administrative actions against Houston-based VALIC Financial Advisors (VFA). In the first action, the SEC charged VFA with failing to disclose that its parent company paid a for-profit entity owned by a Florida teacher’s union to promote VFA to Florida teachers. The second action involved VFA’s wrap fee arrangements with clients...

CFIUS: Now More Complicated and More Expensive
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

Effective Oct. 15, 2020[1], the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’ (CFIUS) mandatory filing requirement will shift from a critical technology[2], industry-specific focus to one focused on export controls. It will focus on whether the U.S. regulatory authorization would be required to export the target U.S. business’ critical technology to the foreign person party to the transaction, including certain parties in the foreign person’s ownership chain...

SEC Issues Additional Form CRS Guidance
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

On Oct. 8, 2020 the SEC issued a joint statement on additional Form CRS guidance regarding firms’ disciplinary history. The statement was released in tandem with several new FAQs, which help clarify firms’ disclosure obligations as they relate to disciplinary history. The update guidance comes in response to the SEC’s early review of firms’ Form CRS filings...

Securities and Exchange Commission Rescinds Guide 3
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

Since the 1960s, the United Stated Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) has implemented several “Guides” for business disclosure by certain SEC registrants involved in banking, oil and gas, real estate, insurance, and mining activities...

Ohio Introduces Proposed Legislation to Expand Telehealth Services
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

Ohio legislators recently introduced proposed H.B. 679, expanding telehealth services. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has become more prevalent and necessary. Ohio lawmakers realize telehealth is only going to become more widespread in the future, as patient usage and acceptance continue to grow. If enacted, H.B...

What Employers Need to Know about Coronavirus, Paid Leave
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

As seen in Bank Director From lobby closures to Paycheck Protection Program loans, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a lot at banks and other financial services providers during this pandemic. One more item to add to the list is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)...

Ohio Supreme Court Hands Down Win for Ohio CAT Taxpayers in Defender Security Case
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2020

In a major win for sellers of services and intangibles, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Sept. 29, 2020, that a taxpayer is entitled to Ohio Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) refunds stemming from its sale of contracts to an out-of-state buyer...

District Court in Eleventh Circuit Holds Relator Cannot Overcome First-to-File Bar by Amending Complaint
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2020

A Florida district court recently dismissed without prejudice a False Claims Act (FCA) qui tam action, finding the action precluded by the first-to-file bar. See United States ex rel. Cho v. H.I.G. Capital, LLC, No. 8:17-cv-983-T-33AEP, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155373 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 26, 2020)...

Ohio Passes Law Providing COVID-19 Liability Shield for Individuals, Businesses, and Health Care Providers
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2020

On Sept. 14, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law a bill, which provides significant protections against tort claims arising from COVID-19 to all entities, including individuals, businesses, health care providers, property owners, government entities, churches, and schools. Amended Sub...

The BWC Offers Employers Assistance Through COVID-19 Pandemic
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique issues in the workforce and to employers. Fortunately, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has implemented policies and programs over the last several months intended to reduce employer hardships. Below are a few policies to note and verify have been applied to your business...

DOL Issues Revised FFCRA Regulations in Response to Court Ruling
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2020

On Sept. 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced revisions to the regulations implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), following the New York federal court’s decision that invalidated some of the prior regulations as either inconsistent with the text of the FFCRA or insufficiently explained by the DOL in its original regulations...

Low Federal Interest Rate Provides Unique Gifting Opportunity Through GRATs
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2020

For the last several months, local and national economies have struggled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To mitigate the downturn, the federal government reduced interest rates to near zero. This reduced rate has created a unique estate planning opportunity for individuals who hold assets they expect will appreciate, who wish to make lifetime gifts to their lineal descendants, and who wish to make such gifts without incurring annual or lifetime gift tax liability...

Top 10 COVID-19 Employer Mistakes to Avoid
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2020

COVID-19 has sent many employers into a workforce management tailspin. Laws, regulations, and recommendations change daily, and as the pandemic continues to affect the workplace, the risk of legal complacency increases. The list below identifies the top 10 mistakes for employers to avoid during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mistake 1: Failing To Prepare and Update a COVID-19 Response Plan...

Everybody in the Pool! – The SEC Expands the Definition of Accredited Investor
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2020

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently adopted a new amendment that adds additional categories of persons eligible to meet the accredited investor definition, expanding the pool of capital available to the private capital markets. Background Under the Securities Act of 1933 (Act”), offerings for the sale of securities must be registered with the SEC...

OSHA Whistleblower Complaints on the Rise: Employers Be Aware
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2020

Whistleblower complaints to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have continued to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between February 18, 2020, and May 31, 2020, a total of 4,101 whistleblower complaints were filed,[1] which represented a 30% increase in complaints over the same period last year...

Exclusion Orders: How an International Trade Commission Investigation Can Protect Patented Products from Infringing Imports
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2020

The International Trade Commission (ITC) sits in a nondescript office building about a block farther south of the National Mall than tourists usually care to venture. Patent owners come from around the country to this tree-lined street in Washington, D.C., to seek a powerful remedy to protect their patented products: an exclusion order. An exclusion order directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to block infringing imports at the United States border...

COVID-19 Liability: Practical Guidance on Risk Management for Horse Shows and Competitions
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2020

As COVID-19 continues to alter our daily lives, many of us have found comfort in barn time spent with our four-legged friends. With so many spring and summer events cancelled, we are eager to get back in the saddle and into the show ring. However, the legal implications facing horse show boards and competition venues are complex and ever-evolving...

 

 

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