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Insights

Oil & Gas Distress: Bankruptcy Issues Deep Dive Published: 04-13-2016

In this presentation, V&E attorneys cover a variety of trending and hot topics in the restructuring and bankruptcy process. Watch a video recording and download the presentation.

ALM’s 10th Annual Hedge Fund General Counsel and Compliance Officer Summit 09-28-2016

V&E partner Mark Proctor will participate in a panel discussion entitled “Current Terms in Fund Negotiation and Structuring” at ALM’s 10th Annual Hedge Fund General Counsel and Compliance Officer Summit.

Wearables TechCon 07-18-2016

Hosted by BZ Media

This event brings together more than 50 tech sessions and panels covering topics including Developer Essentials, UI / UX, IoT / Internet of Things, Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality, Legal Essentials, and Manufacturing and Prototyping. Wearables TechCon is for developers, designers, builders, business decision makers and OEMs driving the next generation of wearables and the Internet of Things.

Wearable Technologies Conference 2016 USA 07-12-2016

Hosted by Wearable Technologies

Join the international WT | Network at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. The entire wearable ecosystem including chip vendors, integrators, distributed networks; as well as network, product, and service solutions providers will be represented.

33rd Annual State Bar Advanced Business Bankruptcy Course 06-23-2016

This two-day seminar, which is cosponsored by the Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, will focus on a broad range of cutting-edge business and consumer bankruptcy-related legal topics. 

2016 Kayo Women's Energy Investment Conference 06-07-2016

The Kayo Women’s Energy Investment Conference is bringing together 200 leading women investors in energy, power and renewables for a one-day summit. 

SuperReturn Energy 2016 – Benchmarking Strategies for Investing in Global Energy Private Equity 06-06-2016

V&E partner and co-head of the Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Markets practice group Keith Fullenweider will speak on a panel entitled “Exits and Liquidity,” which will explore the topic of exits and distribution timing in an era of vast raised capital.

Post McClendon Indictment: What Does This Mean For The Oil & Gas Industry? 05-19-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program will focus on examining the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice’s renewed shift in focus in domestic cartel investigations, specifically in light of the indictment of former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, and directly with respect to the energy industry.

LNG Trading Leaders Japan Forum 05-18-2016

The LNG Trading Leaders Japan Forum is a comprehensive two-day LNG conference focused on the commercial aspects of LNG trading, that brings together policy makers, traders, end-users and producers under the same roof. V&E partner James Atkin will participate in the panel entitled "Forecasting the Asian Market Outlook to Predict Trading Volumes" on May 18.

Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals and National Investor Relations Institute Joint Meeting – Mock Proxy Battle with Alliance Advisors 05-18-2016

Kai Liekefett, Head of Vinson & Elkins’ Shareholder Activism Response Team, will speak at a presentation entitled “Mock Proxy Battle with Alliance Advisors.” The event is special luncheon and joint meeting of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals and National Investor Relations Institute that will examine what it takes to successfully conclude a proxy fight.

Crisis Planning: Part 1 – The Financial or Business Crisis Scenario 05-11-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideA sudden financial loss. The loss of a key executive. A business partner turns bad. In the first part of our crisis planning presentations, we will concentrate on internal business and financial crisis such as these.

Annual In-House Symposium 05-05-2016

Hosted by Association of Corporate Counsel Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter

This one-day seminar features a dual-track CLE program offering both litigation and transactional courses. V&E partner David D'Alessandro and V&E partner Shane Tucker will be presenting on “Executive Compensation Update - The Latest in IRS and SEC Guidance,” and V&E partner Matthew Stammel will be presenting on “Avoiding Electronic Communication Pitfalls and Protecting Privilege.”

38th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute 05-05-2016

Hosted by The University of Texas School of Law and The Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar of Texas

The 38th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute offers in-depth, practical discussions on legal issues for in-house counsel and outside counsel who represent companies of all sizes. The Institute is presented by the Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar of Texas and The University of Texas School of Law. 

Corporate Governance in the New Shareholder Activism Landscape Webinar 05-05-2016

Kai Liekefett, Head of Vinson & Elkins’ Shareholder Activism Response Team, will participate in a panel discussion for the webinar entitled “Corporate Governance in the New Shareholder Activism Landscape.”

Federal Circuit Panel Declines Invitation to Narrow Permissible Venues for Patent Cases 05-02-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, May 2, 2016

On Friday, a three-judge Federal Circuit panel unanimously denied a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus seeking to compel the transfer of a patent infringement action based on 2011 amendments to the federal venue statute. 

The 14th Annual OffshoreAlert Conference 05-01-2016

Hosted by OffshoreAlert

On May 2, 2016, V&E partner, Jason Levine, will speak on the panel “Pre-Litigation Discovery: Latest Developments Across Jurisdictions” at the 14th Annual OffshoreAlert Conference.

BSEE Final Well Control Rule Published 04-29-2016

V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, April 29, 2016

On April 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's (BSEE) long anticipated and controversial final “Well Control Rule” was published in the Federal Register.

Federal “Defend Trade Secrets Act” Passes Congress 04-28-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, April 28, 2016

On April 27, 2016, the United States House of Representatives passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) in a near-unanimous vote to permit a federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. 

Enviros Allege FWS Ignored Climate Change in Bull Trout Recovery Plan 04-28-2016

Climate Change Blog

Two Montana environmental groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on April 19, 2016, complaining among other things that the Service’s recovery plan for bull trout, a cold-water species in the Pacific Northwest protected under the Endangered Species Act, ignores the effects of climate change and wrongfully plans for the demise of many bull trout populations, not their recovery.

Why Employers Should Consider Letting Transgendered Employees Use the Restroom of Their Own Choice – Part One 04-28-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

With a growing number of employees choosing to openly change their gender without changing their jobs, human resources departments are being enlisted to assist these employees in transitioning. This often involves unique challenges that may require many conversations and substantial planning. 

Risk Assistance Network + Exchange (RANE) Conference Call: Emerging Risks of Privately Held Investments 04-28-2016

V&E partner Mark Proctor will participate as a panelist alongside Alex Fishman, Founder of Disruptive Technology Advisers, and Howard Schilit, Ph.D, CPA, Founder and CEO of Schilit Forensics, on RANE’s conference call “Emerging Risks of Privately Held Investments.”

ALM’s 10th Annual Hedge Fund General Counsel and Compliance Officer Summit 09-28-2016

V&E partner Mark Proctor will participate in a panel discussion entitled “Current Terms in Fund Negotiation and Structuring” at ALM’s 10th Annual Hedge Fund General Counsel and Compliance Officer Summit.

Wearables TechCon 07-18-2016

Hosted by BZ Media

This event brings together more than 50 tech sessions and panels covering topics including Developer Essentials, UI / UX, IoT / Internet of Things, Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality, Legal Essentials, and Manufacturing and Prototyping. Wearables TechCon is for developers, designers, builders, business decision makers and OEMs driving the next generation of wearables and the Internet of Things.

Wearable Technologies Conference 2016 USA 07-12-2016

Hosted by Wearable Technologies

Join the international WT | Network at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. The entire wearable ecosystem including chip vendors, integrators, distributed networks; as well as network, product, and service solutions providers will be represented.

33rd Annual State Bar Advanced Business Bankruptcy Course 06-23-2016

This two-day seminar, which is cosponsored by the Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, will focus on a broad range of cutting-edge business and consumer bankruptcy-related legal topics. 

2016 Kayo Women's Energy Investment Conference 06-07-2016

The Kayo Women’s Energy Investment Conference is bringing together 200 leading women investors in energy, power and renewables for a one-day summit. 

SuperReturn Energy 2016 – Benchmarking Strategies for Investing in Global Energy Private Equity 06-06-2016

V&E partner and co-head of the Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Markets practice group Keith Fullenweider will speak on a panel entitled “Exits and Liquidity,” which will explore the topic of exits and distribution timing in an era of vast raised capital.

Post McClendon Indictment: What Does This Mean For The Oil & Gas Industry? 05-19-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program will focus on examining the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice’s renewed shift in focus in domestic cartel investigations, specifically in light of the indictment of former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, and directly with respect to the energy industry.

LNG Trading Leaders Japan Forum 05-18-2016

The LNG Trading Leaders Japan Forum is a comprehensive two-day LNG conference focused on the commercial aspects of LNG trading, that brings together policy makers, traders, end-users and producers under the same roof. V&E partner James Atkin will participate in the panel entitled "Forecasting the Asian Market Outlook to Predict Trading Volumes" on May 18.

Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals and National Investor Relations Institute Joint Meeting – Mock Proxy Battle with Alliance Advisors 05-18-2016

Kai Liekefett, Head of Vinson & Elkins’ Shareholder Activism Response Team, will speak at a presentation entitled “Mock Proxy Battle with Alliance Advisors.” The event is special luncheon and joint meeting of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals and National Investor Relations Institute that will examine what it takes to successfully conclude a proxy fight.

Crisis Planning: Part 1 – The Financial or Business Crisis Scenario 05-11-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideA sudden financial loss. The loss of a key executive. A business partner turns bad. In the first part of our crisis planning presentations, we will concentrate on internal business and financial crisis such as these.

Annual In-House Symposium 05-05-2016

Hosted by Association of Corporate Counsel Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter

This one-day seminar features a dual-track CLE program offering both litigation and transactional courses. V&E partner David D'Alessandro and V&E partner Shane Tucker will be presenting on “Executive Compensation Update - The Latest in IRS and SEC Guidance,” and V&E partner Matthew Stammel will be presenting on “Avoiding Electronic Communication Pitfalls and Protecting Privilege.”

38th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute 05-05-2016

Hosted by The University of Texas School of Law and The Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar of Texas

The 38th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute offers in-depth, practical discussions on legal issues for in-house counsel and outside counsel who represent companies of all sizes. The Institute is presented by the Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar of Texas and The University of Texas School of Law. 

Corporate Governance in the New Shareholder Activism Landscape Webinar 05-05-2016

Kai Liekefett, Head of Vinson & Elkins’ Shareholder Activism Response Team, will participate in a panel discussion for the webinar entitled “Corporate Governance in the New Shareholder Activism Landscape.”

The 14th Annual OffshoreAlert Conference 05-01-2016

Hosted by OffshoreAlert

On May 2, 2016, V&E partner, Jason Levine, will speak on the panel “Pre-Litigation Discovery: Latest Developments Across Jurisdictions” at the 14th Annual OffshoreAlert Conference.

Risk Assistance Network + Exchange (RANE) Conference Call: Emerging Risks of Privately Held Investments 04-28-2016

V&E partner Mark Proctor will participate as a panelist alongside Alex Fishman, Founder of Disruptive Technology Advisers, and Howard Schilit, Ph.D, CPA, Founder and CEO of Schilit Forensics, on RANE’s conference call “Emerging Risks of Privately Held Investments.”

Government Contracting Summit 04-27-2016

Hosted by Federal Circuit Bar Association

The 2016 Government Contracting Summit focuses on Bid Protests, the Government’s shifting treatment of IP in Government Contracts, and VA, Small Business, and Minority Set Asides. This conference brings together representatives from the many venues adjudicating government contracts issues and disputes.

Licensing Executives Society (LES) 2016 Spring Meeting 04-26-2016

The LES 2016 Spring Meeting will provide new information, tools and techniques, and best practices for intellectual property, technology, and business development professionals in attendance. 

Tax Planning for Domestic & Foreign Partnerships, LLCs, Joint Ventures & Other Strategic Alliances 2016 04-26-2016

Practicing Law Institute’s (PLI) conference will teach and illustrate the partnership tax rules from the birth of the partnership, its operating life and on through its wind down, with an emphasis on practical planning strategies. 

Oil & Gas Transactions: The Latest Trends in the FTC's Merger Review Program 04-21-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WidePlease join our discussion with Peter Richman, Assistant Director of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Weathering the Cycle - Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures in the Downturn 04-21-2016

Institute for Energy Law 

V&E partner Marc Rose will speak on a panel entitled “Hot Button Issues and Trends in Asset Purchase and Sale Agreements: Both a Buyer’s and Seller’s Perspective” beginning at 1:45 p.m. on April 21.

Oil & Gas Distress: Bankruptcy Issues Deep Dive 04-13-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis presentation covers a variety of trending and hot topics in the restructuring and bankruptcy process.

MLP Simplifications, Roll-Ups, and Recapitalizations 03-09-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this presentation, V&E attorneys cover sponsor acquisitions of MLPs, MLP acquisitions of GPs and IDRs, and subordinated unit restructurings.

Current Issues in Energy Storage 03-03-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, V&E attorneys Mike Tomsu and Becky Diffen, who have worked on some of the first and largest storage projects in the country, will discuss current issues affecting the industry.

Key Considerations in Distressed Upstream M&A 02-17-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, attorneys from V&E’s Corporate and Bankruptcy practices provide strategic and practical issues to consider when acquiring oil and gas properties from distressed, insolvent and bankrupt sellers.

26th Annual Texas Wetlands Conference 01-29-2016

V&E Environmental & Natural Resources attorneys Taylor Pullins and Brandon Tuck presented at the 26th Annual Texas Wetlands Conference on January 29, 2016. View their presentations here.

What to Expect in 2016: Federal Environmental Outlook For the Oil and Gas Sector 01-21-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThe Obama Administration is closing out its second term with a sweeping and aggressive environmental agenda, including a host of regulations and other initiatives affecting the oil and gas sector.

Alternative Sources of Capital Raising in a Distressed Market 01-13-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program covers alternative sources of capital raising in a distressed market, including private master limited partnerships (private MLPs), private investments in public equity (PIPEs), preferred offerings to private equity investors and the retail public (private and retail preferred offerings), and MLP consolidations (MLP roll-ups).

Liability Management Transactions for Debt Securities 12-09-2015

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program covers the basics of liability management transactions for debt securities, including tender offers, exchange offers, private exchanges, open market purchases and consent solicitations, with particular focus on distressed debt securities.

Managing Through Distress – Considerations for Directors and Officers 11-18-2015

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this presentation, attorneys from V&E’s Corporate, Bankruptcy and Finance practices provide practical issues to consider as to directors’ and officers’ responsibilities when a company approaches insolvency or becomes insolvent.

MLP 101 10-14-2015

Energy Series Logo - Thumbnail - 125x120This program covers the typical organizational and capital structure of MLPs, governance and accounting issues, and a primer on tax considerations and qualifying income.

IP Issues in Venture Capital and Angel Investing 10-12-2015

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideFor many early stage investments in emerging growth companies and startups — either in the venture capital or angel investing space — intellectual property can play a crucial role in the valuation of these companies.

The Clean Power Plan 09-16-2015

Energy Series Logo - Thumbnail - 125x120V&E panel discusses the recently published Clean Power Plan and its potential impacts on the power and clean energy sectors.

Hostile Takeovers in the Oil & Gas Industry and Beyond 09-09-2015

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideHistorically, hostile takeovers in the oil and gas industry have been rare. Times have changed, as we have seen several unsolicited and hostile takeover bids in the oil and gas sector in the past year.

Changing Landscape of Qualifying Income 08-12-2015

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideProposed regulations made public May 5, 2015 by the Treasury Department propose new guidance with regard to mineral and natural resource activities that generate “qualifying income.”

Best Practices for MLP Dropdowns: Lessons from Delaware Court of Chancery’s Recent El Paso Decision 07-23-2015

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThe panel will discuss the implications of El Paso to MLPs, sponsors, conflicts committee members, and financial advisors on current best practices in MLP dropdowns.

Responding to Accidents and Emergencies: What Every General Counsel in the Energy Industry Should Know 05-21-2015

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideWorkplace accidents and emergencies can result in intrusive government inspections and significant legal liabilities. A company’s response in the immediate aftermath of such an event is key to protecting the company’s (and its employees’) interests. This program will address the issues on which every general counsel needs to be prepared when responding to workplace accidents and emergencies.

YieldCos and Renewable MLPs: Yield-Oriented Offerings in the Power Industry 05-13-2015

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThe program will cover recent renewable power YieldCos and renewable master limited partnerships (MLPs), including the various structural alternatives that have been utilized, and analogies and comparisons between renewable power YieldCos and other yield-oriented structures.

Energy Restructuring and Reorganization 04-16-2015

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideRecent price declines in the oil and gas markets have created challenges in the energy sector.

Alternative Financing Opportunities for Upstream and Midstream Companies: Joint Ventures, Private Placements and Public Offerings of Equity Securities 04-15-2015

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WidePlease join us for a discussion on alternative funding opportunities for upstream and midstream companies.

Credit Facility and High Yield Bond Covenant Issues for Upstream Borrowers in a Lower Commodity Price Environment 03-25-2015

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis presentation will cover select covenant issues under credit facilities and high yield bonds for upstream borrowers in a lower price commodity environment.

Federal Circuit Panel Declines Invitation to Narrow Permissible Venues for Patent Cases 05-02-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, May 2, 2016

On Friday, a three-judge Federal Circuit panel unanimously denied a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus seeking to compel the transfer of a patent infringement action based on 2011 amendments to the federal venue statute. 

BSEE Final Well Control Rule Published 04-29-2016

V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, April 29, 2016

On April 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's (BSEE) long anticipated and controversial final “Well Control Rule” was published in the Federal Register.

Federal “Defend Trade Secrets Act” Passes Congress 04-28-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, April 28, 2016

On April 27, 2016, the United States House of Representatives passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) in a near-unanimous vote to permit a federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. 

TIA 316(b) Opinion White Paper 04-25-2016

The recent decisions of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in the Marblegate and Caesars Entertainment cases contain language that suggests a significant departure from the widely understood meaning of TIA Section 316(b) that has prevailed among practitioners for decades. This white paper presents a set of general principles that can guide opinion givers until such time as the interpretive questions raised by these recent cases are resolved through future judicial opinions and/or legislative action. 

White Collar Criminal Investigations (BNA) 04-19-2016

Reproduced with permission from Corporate Practice Series, Portfolio No. 108, Ch. XIII(2016)

Government Investigations Practice Co-chair, Craig Margolis led a team of Vinson & Elkins attorneys in authorizing a just-released Bloomberg BNA Corporate Practice Series Portfolio (No. 108) titled White Collar Criminal Investigations.

Bristol-Myers Ruling Highlights Biologics Patent Eligibility 04-18-2016

First published in Law360, April 18, 2016

A pair of decisions last month from the District of Delaware illustrates the challenges that many life sciences-related patentees are facing under the U.S. Supreme Court’s current patent-eligibility analysis.

From Judgment Day To Payday In International Disputes 04-13-2016

First published in Law360, April 13, 2016

The case for breach of contract was strong. The lawyers were the best. The victory in the United States federal court was total. The judgment was for millions of dollars. But the defendant refuses to pay and all of the defendant’s assets are in China. And China does not readily enforce American court judgments.

New and Unexpected Treasury Regulations Increase Complexity for Debt Financings and Cross-Border Transactions 04-12-2016

V&E Tax Update E-communication, April 12, 2016

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department (“Treasury”) published hundreds of pages of regulations and associated guidance purportedly targeted at inversion transactions.

Helicopter Company Flying High After Implied Certification False Claims Act Case Chopped Over DOJ's Objections 04-12-2016

V&E False Claims Act Update E-communication, April 12, 2016

False Claims Act (FCA) practitioners are closely watching United States ex rel. Escobar v. Universal Health, in which the Supreme Court will hear argument on April 19, and ultimately decide whether the so-called “implied false certification” FCA theory is viable.

The Crossroad of Collusion and Corruption: U.S. Enforcement Authorities Promise Heightened Enforcement for Conduct Implicating U.S. Antitrust and Anti-Corruption Laws 04-11-2016

V&E Antitrust Investigations Update E-Communication, April 11, 2016

Companies and individuals facing exposure for corruption or anticompetitive conduct abroad may have even more to worry about. 

V&E Launches Redesigned Climate Change and Water Blogs 04-11-2016

The firm’s Environmental and Natural Resources practice is pleased to unveil our newly redesigned Climate Change Blog and Water Blog.

Amid Questions about the Benefits of Self-Disclosure and Cooperation, DOJ Proclaims that Pilot Program May Lead to “Significantly Different Outcome” in FCPA Investigations 04-07-2016

V&E Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Update E-communication, April 7, 2016

On April 5, 2016, in a nine-page document titled “The Fraud Section’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Enforcement Plan and Guidance” (hereinafter, “The Guidance”), the Department of Justice (DOJ) at once touted its enhanced prosecution and law enforcement capabilities for more effective enforcement of violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and announced a one-year pilot program designed to encourage companies to self-report and cooperate with investigations in exchange for the possibility of reduced fines and declinations above and beyond those available through the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. 

Strengthening Corporate Defenses During an Activist Engagement – Lessons from the Delaware Court of Chancery in In re Ebix, Inc. 03-31-2016

Republished by The M&A Journal and Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

The surge in shareholder activist campaigns directed at corporate America in recent years makes clear that few public companies are immune from shareholder activism. 

Q&A With Vinson & Elkins’ Jim Loftis 03-30-2016

First published in Law360, March 30, 2016

Jim Loftis heads Vinson & Elkins LLP's international dispute resolution practice, and focuses his practice on the arbitration and litigation of international commercial and investor-state disputes, and counseling in matters involving public international law and treaties. He acts both as counsel and as arbitrator.

India's New Model Bilateral Investment Treaty – What Does It Mean for Investors? 03-30-2016

V&E International Dispute Resolution Update E-communication, March 30, 2016

The Indian government recently released the approved text of India’s new Model Bilateral Investment Treaty. 

PTAB Has Wide Discretion in Rejecting “Redundant” Grounds of Invalidity and Determining Whether Inter Partes Reviews are Time-Barred 03-25-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, March 25, 2016

On March 23, 2016, the Federal Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in two consolidated inter partes review (IPR) proceedings on the same patent.

Modern Slavery Act 2015 – The Impact on Multinational Businesses 03-25-2016

This article was first published in the April 2016 issue of PLC Magazine

The enactment of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (2015 Act) made headlines in the UK, but it also generated significant interest in the global community as the latest example of legislative action to address slavery and human rights abuses in commercial supply chains (see Briefing “Modern Slavery Act 2015 and beyond: putting the spotlight on human rights.”

Supreme Court’s Tyson Foods Decision Is a Win for Class Plaintiffs and May Have Wide-Ranging Impact 03-24-2016

V&E Antitrust Update E-Communication, March 24, 2016

On March 22, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States released its decision in the much-watched class action Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo.

United States Severely Restricts Trade With Chinese Telecommunications Giant ZTE Corporation and Three Affiliates, But Then Offers Temporary Relief 03-24-2016

V&E Export Controls and Economic Sanctions E-Communication, March 24, 2016

On March 8, 2016, the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce (BIS), added the following entities to the Entity List under the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR) for engaging in actions contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and, as detailed below, imposed stringent licensing requirements relating to these entities.

Supreme Court to Review Apple’s Damages Award for Design Patent Infringement 03-24-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, March 24, 2016

On March 21, 2016, the United States Supreme Court granted Samsung’s petition for certiorari with respect to a single question — whether, for the infringement of a design patent, the damages award should be limited to those profits from the infringer that are attributable to the infringing component. 

Enviros Allege FWS Ignored Climate Change in Bull Trout Recovery Plan 04-28-2016

Climate Change Blog

Two Montana environmental groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on April 19, 2016, complaining among other things that the Service’s recovery plan for bull trout, a cold-water species in the Pacific Northwest protected under the Endangered Species Act, ignores the effects of climate change and wrongfully plans for the demise of many bull trout populations, not their recovery.

Why Employers Should Consider Letting Transgendered Employees Use the Restroom of Their Own Choice – Part One 04-28-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

With a growing number of employees choosing to openly change their gender without changing their jobs, human resources departments are being enlisted to assist these employees in transitioning. This often involves unique challenges that may require many conversations and substantial planning. 

Lessons to Be Learned from Massey Energy’s CEO’s Conviction 04-27-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is a very lucky man. Yes, he was convicted on a single misdemeanor count of conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards. And yes, a federal judge in West Virginia just sentenced Blankenship to the maximum that she could: one year in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

Sixth Circuit Declines to Revisit Its Decision to Keep Jurisdiction Over WOTUS Litigation 04-26-2016

Water Blog

On Thursday, April 21, the full Sixth Circuit denied six petitions for en banc rehearing of a three-judge panel’s February 2016 decision that the court of appeals has jurisdiction to hear challenges to the controversial Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”) rule. The decision is a disappointment for states and industry groups, who seek to litigate the rule in district courts across the country.

Federal Public Trust Doctrine Suit May Overcome Jurisdictional Hurdles 04-22-2016

Climate Change Blog

On April 8, 2016,an Oregon Magistrate Judge issued Findings and Recommendation that may allow a controversial climate change suit to overcome procedural challenges. The suit, Kelsey Cascade Rose Juliana v. United States, was filed in August 2015 on behalf of a group of twenty-one youths from around the country.

Industry Groups Anguish Over New Silica Standard That Could Require Major Engineering Changes in the Hydraulic Fracturing Industry 04-21-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

It didn’t take long for industry groups to file legal challenges (in the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits) to OSHA’s new silica standards. Whether the courts will find that OSHA ignored evidence of technological and economic infeasibility that was presented during the rulemaking process or simply conclude that OSHA is owed deference with respect to these standards is hard to predict.

Blimey! England and Texas Agree: Employers Cannot “Buy” a Non-Compete Restriction. Norway Thinks That Is “Totally Texas.” 04-20-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

A recent decision by the English High Court in Bartholomews Agri Food Limited v. Thornton, [2016] EWHC 648 (QB) (Eng.), serves as a good reminder that employers with employees in different jurisdictions need to understand what amounts to adequate consideration for an employment non-compete in each of those jurisdictions.

Who Is in Charge Around Here Anyway? 04-19-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Many employees try to motivate their employees by giving them greater authority in the workplace. These employers often use a team approach and give the employees titles such as leads or team leaders. 

If You Include a Termination Notice Period in a Contract, Don’t Forget the PILON 04-15-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Most U.S. offer letters and employment agreements are “at-will.” Contractual termination notice periods (for example, a requirement that the employer must give the employee at least 30 days’ written notice of termination) are rare.

White House Announces Another Plank in its Environmental Platform: Plan for a Sustainable Water Future 04-14-2016

Water Blog

As it looks down the home stretch of its second term, the Obama Administration has been steadily ramping up measures to solidify its environmental legacy, particularly with its climate change agenda. Linked to its climate change measures is a recent Administration announcement of a program for addressing challenges with the use, conservation, and availability of water in the United States. The White House believes that the country will experience more frequent, intense, and longer droughts because of climate change impacts.

The Need to Know Where Your Products Go: The Government Subcontractor Surprise Scenario 04-12-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Do you know where all of your company’s products go?  Is there a chance that some of those products are being used by a customer to fulfill that customers’ contractual obligations to the United States federal government? If you are not sure about the answers to these questions, your company could be a government subcontractor without even realizing it.

“Fixing” the Wrong Problem and Causing a Bigger One: Nonprofit Organizations and Small Businesses Are Likely to Suffer More than Most Under New Fair Labor Standards Regulations 04-08-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

One of my biggest criticisms of the Fair Labor Standards Act is that while some very low paid employees may be exempt, it requires employers to pay overtime to some very highly paid technical employees who turn out to be non-exempt.  

Keep it on the Down Low: Protecting Business Confidential Information from a Human Relations Perspective 04-07-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Almost every business has some information that it wishes to keep confidential, and many businesses have information that the law requires them to keep confidential. In a world that seems to be filled with hackers, what these companies do to protect this confidential information is not only a legal concern, but is the stuff of a front page PR nightmare.  

The New EEO-1 Form and Why Companies Should Look at Male–Female Pay Discrepancies Now 04-06-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

While some may dispute the claim that “women make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns,” on grounds that this statistic does not take into account differences in occupations, job tenure, or hours worked, few would deny that there is at least some gender pay gap that could be mined by Plaintiffs in discrimination cases. 

Oral Arguments Heard at the Supreme Court in Hawkes Matter 04-05-2016

Water Blog

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., a case challenging federal regulations that prohibit court review of Corps opinions regarding whether wetlands are subject to jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

UK Modern Slavery Act Obligations Take Effect 04-01-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Businesses with financial year-ends of 31 March or later must start publishing annual statements under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act (the MSA). The statements must set out the steps that businesses have taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place within their businesses or supply chains.

EPA Releases New Voluntary Program to Limit Methane Emissions From the Oil and Gas Sector 04-01-2016

Climate Change Blog

On March 30, 2015, EPA announced the launch of its voluntary oil and gas sector “Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program.” Originally, this program was expected to be an alternative to mandatory emissions reductions for existing sources in the industry.

Compliance - Whose Job is it Anyway? 03-31-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

When times are hard, the compliance role in a company becomes much more important. Hard times can create poor decision making. Some companies rely heavily on compliance committees and trust that these committees can provide significant oversight and a valuable check-and-balance to the company’s management.

Staffing Agencies - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly 03-24-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

When markets and customer demand are erratic, the use third-party staffing agencies is often a good method to manage a variable-sized work force. When properly done, the use of such staffing agencies often avoids complicated administrative benefits and payroll issues. 

Crisis, Tragedy, and the Executive Suite 03-22-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Standard language in crisis response plans for many companies includes providing counselors to frontline employees who may have witnessed a significant accident in the workplace. This is clearly a good idea. Recent tragic deaths of two executives in the energy industry indicate, however, that crisis counseling should be provided in the executive suite as well.

V&E Safety Minute: Internal Audits 04-07-2016

Conducting an internal safety audit to determine areas of potential risk is a common practice for businesses in various industries. Christopher Bacon, member of the Employment, Labor & OSHA practice and Emergency Response and Crisis Management Team, addresses internal safety audits and what should be done with the findings.

V&E Safety Minute: Document Requests 04-06-2016

How should companies manage and respond to document requests and subpoenas from the government following a workplace accident or emergency? Taylor Pullins, member of the Environmental and Regulatory practice and Emergency Response and Crisis Management Team, shares his experience overseeing document requests and things to consider when structuring a response protocol. 

Lifting of “Secondary” Iranian Sanctions 04-05-2016

Dan Gerkin, a counsel in V&E’s Export Controls & Economic Sanctions practice, discusses the January 16, 2016 implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which saw the United States lift its nuclear-related “secondary” sanctions targeting Iran, and addresses continuing compliance risks for U.S. and non-U.S. companies alike.

Energy Outlook: Investing in Argentina 03-31-2016

Boyd Carano, chair of V&E’s Latin America practice, describes Argentina’s strong natural resource potential and the political climate that makes it particularly attractive to investors. 

Texas Advances in Renewable Power and the Challenges Ahead 03-01-2016

V&E energy regulation partner Barry Smitherman, discusses the advances that Texas has made in renewable power and the challenges ahead.

Political Volatility in the Middle East 03-01-2016

V&E partner James Loftis, head of the International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration practice, talks with Raad Alkadiri of IHS about political volatility in the Middle East and what the future may hold for Iraq.

Changes to the Partnership Audit Tax Rules – What Partnerships Need to Consider Now 02-04-2016

Major changes to the rules for auditing the tax items of partnerships were made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 and will come into effect in 2018.

When Is Cybersecurity Reasonable? 01-27-2016

In order to better understand the legal risks associated with a cyber-attack, corporate legal teams must understand how courts and government agencies determine whether a company’s cybersecurity measures were sufficient.

Cyber Insurance 101: What Does It Do and What are the Issues? 01-27-2016

Cyber insurance can be useful in helping companies manage and mitigate risks associated with data breaches and cyber-attacks.

Questions to Consider About EPA’s eDisclosure Program 01-08-2016

V&E Environmental & Natural Resources counsel Andrew R. Stewart discusses the potential impact of eDisclosure on reporting companies, concerns with the new system, and the future of state and federal voluntary disclosure programs.

Overview of EPA’s eDisclosure Program 01-08-2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s eDisclosure system is a centralized, automated, web-based portal designed to more efficiently receive and process environmental violations disclosed under EPA’s Audit Policy.

An Introduction to Private Letter Rulings 11-11-2015

V&E partner Ryan Carney discusses the basics of private letter rulings (PLRs).

An Introduction to Retail Preferred Offerings 11-06-2015

V&E senior associate Thomas Zentner discusses the key attributes and terms of retail preferred offerings.

Protecting Data in Unlikely Places 11-02-2015

Intellectual Property partner Devika Kornbacher discusses how to protect your company data in unlikely places.

Cybersecurity and the Cloud 10-21-2015

Hear from V&E IP associate, Lavonne Hopkins, as she describes the characteristics and cybersecurity risks companies face with regards to big data.

A Comparison of MLPs and YieldCos 10-02-2015


A Look at the Supreme Court’s Criminal Cases with John Elwood 09-30-2015

Bloomberg BNA’s Kimberly Robinson talks with V&E partner John Elwood about this term’s criminal law cases and the important — and numerous — issues facing the justices.

Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2015? 09-30-2015

V&E partner John Elwood and panelists address the major cases involving the death penalty, affirmative action, unions, civil asset forfeiture, and more.

Mineral Source Provisions under Dodd-Frank 09-30-2015

V&E partner Tom Wilson outlines the impact of section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act – also known as the Conflict Minerals Law.

United Nations’ Guidance on International Human Rights 09-30-2015

V&E Labor & Employment Chair, Tom Wilson, discusses recent guidance from the United Nations on international corporate responsibility in protecting international human rights. 

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