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Haynes and Boone | January 2016

loration and production (“E&P”) companies are confronting the harshest industry environment in decades. E&P companies experienced a drastic deterioration in prices for their oil and natural gas production during the second half of 2014, which remained at depressed levels throughout 2015. The velocity and steepness of the decline has resulted in deteriorating operating cash flows, results of operations and financial condition for many E&P companies ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

The filing window for Fiscal Year 2017 for Cap-Subject H-1B petitions – those subject to the annual numerical limit (the “Cap”) – will open on April 1, 2016. Given recent trends, the number of filed petitions is expected to again exceed the Cap. Over the last three years, the Cap has been reached within the first week of the April filing period ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

On December 15, 2015, the National Hydrocarbons Commission (Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos or, “CNH”) in a successful public bid for Mexico, awarded all of the 25 available blocks of License Agreements for the Production of Hydrocarbons in on-shore contract areas. A total of 41 formal bidders submitted effective proposals ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

On December 11, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC,” or the “Commission”) issued re-proposed rules (the “Proposed Rules”), as authorized under Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

The recent Memorandum of Understanding (the “MOU”) between the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Department of Labor (“DOL”) reinvigorated the Worker Endangerment Initiative by “redoubling” the agencies’ cooperative “efforts to hold accountable those who unlawfully jeopardize workers’ health and safety,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates announced on December 17, 2015. An accompanying memorandum sent to all 93 U.S ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted the final rules to Regulation Crowdfunding on October 30, 2015, which implemented Title III of the JOBS Act to allow companies to raise capital through crowdfunding. The final rules are codified as Regulation Crowdfunding in furtherance of Section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act of 1933 ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”), in In re Simon Shiao Tam, held the seventy-year old disparagement clause of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act unconstitutional on December 22, 2015. Under Section 2(a), a trademark shall be refused registration if it consists of “matter which may disparage…persons, living or dead… or bring them into contempt, or disrepute ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

As part of its effort to eliminate the risk of taxpayer-funded bail-outs of European banks, the European Union undertook a new “bail-in” regime beginning on January 1, 2016, implementing rules which require banks and some other market participants in EU member states to write-down, cancel, convert into equity or otherwise modify certain unsecured liabilities if such steps are required to recapitalize the institution.To red the full alert, click here ...

Haynes and Boone | January 2016

If 2015 is considered to be the “Year to Amend and Extend,” then 2016 is setting up to be the “Year of Reckoning.” Last year began with high hopes for a reset to the oilfield activity levels of mid-2014, which did not materialize. Market conditions appeared to stabilize in the middle of 2015 at an activity level to support an oil price of $60 per barrel, but that stability did not last long since 2015 concluded with oil below $40 per barrel ...

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