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Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP | August 2013

On January 17, 2013, the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit (the "First Circuit BAP") rendered its opinion in Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance v. OPK Biotech, LLC (In re PBBPC, Inc.), BAP No. MB 12-042 (B.A.P. 1st Cir. Jan ...

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP | August 2013

In response to solar industry concerns that its regulations were stifling the country’s solar energy development, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission initiated a rulemaking on January 17 to amend its regulations applicable to the interconnection of facilities of 20 MW or less to the grid ...

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP | August 2013

BackgroundFollowing much anticipation on the part of health care industry members, CMS released its long-awaited final rule on the Physician Payment Sunshine Act in February 2013, supplying clarification and guidance on new financial disclosure requirements governing pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. The rule includes extensive and potentially time-consuming mandates for drug and device companies, including reporting of annual payments to physicians and teaching hospitals ...

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP | August 2013

he designation of critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) can result in significant and costly consequences for landowners, industry, government, and other entities—often with little if any evidence of a commensurate benefit to the species involved. In Critical Habitat and the Challenge of Regulating Small Harms, Professor Dave Owen provides a valuable contribution to assessing the role of critical habitat during  consultation on federal agency actions under ESA section 7 ...

An expansion strategy doesn’t always need to be M&A driven. Hunton & Williams LLP partners Robert Acosta-Lewis  and Susan Failla make the case for strategic alliances.  When considering expanding into emerging markets, companies often look to traditional M&A opportunities or explore possible distribution or sales representation relationships.  While both of these avenues may offer potential advantages, they also carry risks and limitations ...

Don't bank just yet on putting your marketing muscle behind the safe and effective off-label uses of your FDA-approved drugs, or defending your next mass consumer class action on First Amendment grounds. But you can start giving those multi-billion dollar prospects some serious thought, because constitutional winds are blowing through the Code of Federal Regulations ...

After the recent downturn, examiners have been placing more emphasis on reputation risk. This emphasis, however, is being applied paternalistically, in a way that is limiting legitimate transactions. I have heard of examiners advising bankers to terminate relationships with payday lenders because of reputation risk. The examiners are implicitly saying the risk of such association will so damage an institution's reputation as to jeopardize safety and soundness ...

In a recent bench ruling, the Delaware Court of Chancery refused to dismiss a stockholder’s complaint alleging, among other things, that a company’s board of directors had amended a stock incentive plan without obtaining stockholder approval as required by the listing rules of the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE"). The court did so even though the company had received email confirmation from the NYSE staff agreeing that stockholder approval was not required ...

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it will extend its current set of six  National Enforcement Initiatives through fiscal years 2014–2016. EPA’s current list of top priorities  includes reducing air emissions from major industrial and utility sources, reducing contamination from  mineral processing operations and ensuring that energy extraction activity complies with environmental regulations ...

Insurers often have a duty to settle underlying claims against their insureds. While that duty generally requires insurers to accept reasonable settlement offers, insurers and insureds alike face many other issues regarding settlement of the underlying case ...

 The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the "Second Circuit") recently affirmed a broad reading of the safe harbor of United States Bankruptcy Code (the "Bankruptcy Code") section 546(e), which protects from avoidance both "margin payments" and "settlement payments" as well as transfers made in connection with a "securities contract ...

In Vance, the Supreme Court announced a narrow standard for determining which employees constitute "supervisors" for purposes of establishing vicarious liability under Title VII. In a 5-4 decision, the Court decided that a supervisor is a person authorized to take "tangible employment actions," such as hiring, firing, promoting, demoting or reassigning employees to significantly different responsibilities ...

On June 25, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued CFPB Bulletin 2013-06 to announce its "Responsible Business Conduct" policies. The bulletin lays out, in very general terms, suggestions for how companies might curry favor with the Bureau’s Office of Enforcement by engaging in voluntary self-policing, self-reporting, remediation, and cooperation activities. The bulletin is available at [link to http://files.consumerfinance ...

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently held that excess insurance policies are triggered when the payment of losses exceed the attachment point rather than when the policyholder’s loss obligations exceed the attachment point. Ali v. Fed. Ins. Co., No. 11-5000-cv, 2013 WL 2396046 (2d Cir. June 4, 2013). The decision is another reminder that outcomes in insurance disputes may depend on subtle differences in the wording of insurance policies ...

At the end of May, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida sentenced a Florida import company president to 22 months in federal prison for violating consumer product safety and other laws. His wife, an executive of a related company, was sentenced to a year of probation. The case is significant because it involves a criminal prosecution of importers of unsafe children’s products ...

After a prolonged internal debate, the Securities and Exchange Commission has unanimously proposed new rules for the regulation of money market mutual funds, also known as money market funds or money funds. If adopted, these rules would fundamentally change the basic characteristics of most money funds ...

On June 13, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought a settled administrative proceeding against Revlon, Inc., for disclosure violations relating to a 2009 exchange offer subject to the going-private rules under Rule 13e-3 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.1 As described below, the SEC alleges that Revlon engaged in various acts described as "ring fencing" in an effort to conceal negative information about the transaction from minority stockholders ...

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