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National Contract Management Association’s 2017 World Congress 07-23-2017

V&E partner, Dan Graham, will be co-presenting at the National Contract Management Association’s 2017 World Congress in Chicago, IL on Tuesday July 25, 2017. Participants will hear an overview of different ways the government can change its contracts.

The Golden State of Governance – 2017 National Conference 06-28-2017

V&E partner Kai Liekefett will be speaking at the “Activists at the Gate? Lessons for Small & Mid-Cap Companies” session on Friday, June 30. This discussion will cover shareholder activism and hostile takeovers as well as leading defense practices.

U.S. Real Estate Opportunity & Private Funds Investing Forum 06-25-2017

IMN is hosting the 18th Annual U.S. Real Estate Opportunity and Private Fund Investing Forum in Newport, RI, June 25-27, 2017. V&E is a Bronze level sponsor to the conference, with attendees from the largest real estate private equity funds, LPs, and an assortment of service providers.

Conducting Internal Investigations and Avoiding Retaliation Claims 06-22-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideV&E lawyers will discuss investigation planning, fact gathering, ways to reduce costs, interim and final reporting, protecting privilege, and remediation after the investigation.

3rd Annual GAR Live Energy Disputes 06-15-2017

Vinson & Elkins is pleased to be sponsoring the 3rd Annual GAR Live Energy Disputes. The event will feature a series of thought provoking panel discussions and a networking lunch, and will conclude with a drinks reception from 5:15 p.m. onwards.

Harvard's June 2017 Shareholder Engagement Roundtable 06-14-2017

The Shareholder Engagement Roundtable is a component of Harvard Law School’s Program on Corporate Governance. The roundtable will bring together prominent decision-makers with a range of perspectives – from institutional investors, boards of directors, advisers, public authorities, and academic – for an off-the-record discussion.

M&A Transaction Structures, Corporate, Reporting and Tax Considerations 06-14-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, V&E attorneys will discuss transaction structures for mergers and acquisitions, including Up-Cs and double-dummy mergers.

Popcorn & Principles XV: More Fun at the Movies 06-13-2017

Nothing is more important to a lawyer's long-term success than a fundamental understanding of the rules of professional conduct. 

SuperReturn Energy 2017 – Where Private Equity Investors Meet To Shape the Future of Energy Investment 06-12-2017

V&E partner Keith Fullenweider will speak on a panel entitled “Playing the Recovery in Midstream & Natural Gas Markets,” which will address how managers are looking to play the recovery of the market, appropriate risk adjusted returns, and future liquid directed opportunities.

ACI's 8th Annual Summit on Biosimilars 06-12-2017

The Firm is an Associate Sponsor of the American Conference Institute's 8th Annual Summit on Biosimilars. V&E counsel Erin Ator Thomson will speak on the panel entitled "Policy and Politics of Biosimilars under the New Administration" at 8:30 a.m. on June 12.

2017 Kayo Women’s Energy Investment Conference 06-12-2017

Vinson & Elkins proudly sponsors Kayo Women’s Energy Investment Conference in Houston. This event brings together two hundred of the energy industry’s leading figures across multiple sectors, including oil & gas, metals and mining, and alternative fuels.

33rd Annual Bankruptcy & Restructuring Conference 06-09-2017

This four-day conference, which is sponsored by the Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors, will focus on will focus on the latest issues and trends in bankruptcy and restructuring. V&E partner Jim Lee will speak on the topic, “Hot Topics in Fraud” at 11:00 a.m. on June 9.

Navigating your Way through Murky Waters: How to Manage Legal Issues in the Current Climate 06-07-2017

V&E counsel Andrew Stewart will participate in the third installment of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ 2017 Hot Topics in Clean Water Law webinar series on Wednesday, June 7.

30th Annual Environmental, Health & Safety Seminar 06-05-2017

V&E’s Emergency Response & Crisis Management practice is proud to sponsor the 30th Annual Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Seminar coordinated by the Texas Chemical Council (TCC) and Association of Chemical Industry of Texas (ACIT) in collaboration with the Louisiana Chemical Association (LCA) and the Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance (LCIA). 

The National Association of Corporate Directors’ Summit: The Strategic-Asset GC 06-01-2017

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is holding its annual GC summit, “The Strategic-Asset GC” on June 1st.

12th Annual Texas Bankruptcy Bench Bar Conference 06-01-2017

This two-day conference, which is sponsored by the Texas Bankruptcy Bench Bar of the State Bar of Texas, will focus on a broad range of current issues and topics in business and consumer bankruptcy. V&E counsel Brad Foxman will speak on the topic, “Business: Modern Trends and Creative Uses of DIP Financing” at 4:15 p.m. on June 1.

2017 MLP Annual Investor Conference 05-31-2017

V&E is a sponsor of the Master Limited Partnership Association’s (MLPA) 2017 Master Limited Partnership (MLP) Annual Investor Conference being held May 31st through June 2nd.

Project Spotlight: Part 2 – V&E Guardianship Project 05-25-2017

Pro Bono Blog

Pro Bono projects take different paths – some are short moments in time, some last for years, and still others continue and adjust to different needs in the community. The V&E guardianship project falls into that last category. While we still handle traditional guardianships, for families with wholly incapacitated children, thanks to the hard work of another wonderful legal services organization, our program was able to grow and add another dimension.

Specific Representations and Half-Truths Need Not Apply: D.C. District Court Finds Knowingly Billing at “Significantly Higher than Reasonable” Costs Sufficient for Implied False Certification 05-25-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

In a decision many in the defense bar will argue was wrongly decided, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in U.S. v. DynCorp Int’l LLC ruled that knowingly billing for unreasonable costs can serve as the basis for an implied certification claim under the FCA. The court took an expansive view of implied certification that departs from the Supreme Court’s guidance in Escobar and, we would argue, sidesteps the rigorous materiality requirements emphasized by the Court.

Accommodating Nursing Mothers and Pregnant Employees 05-25-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

Last week, several newspapers ran stories about the Frontier Airlines flight attendants and pilots who filed charges of discrimination with the EEOC in which they complained that the airline had failed to provide accommodations to them so that they could pump breast milk.

National Contract Management Association’s 2017 World Congress 07-23-2017

V&E partner, Dan Graham, will be co-presenting at the National Contract Management Association’s 2017 World Congress in Chicago, IL on Tuesday July 25, 2017. Participants will hear an overview of different ways the government can change its contracts.

The Golden State of Governance – 2017 National Conference 06-28-2017

V&E partner Kai Liekefett will be speaking at the “Activists at the Gate? Lessons for Small & Mid-Cap Companies” session on Friday, June 30. This discussion will cover shareholder activism and hostile takeovers as well as leading defense practices.

U.S. Real Estate Opportunity & Private Funds Investing Forum 06-25-2017

IMN is hosting the 18th Annual U.S. Real Estate Opportunity and Private Fund Investing Forum in Newport, RI, June 25-27, 2017. V&E is a Bronze level sponsor to the conference, with attendees from the largest real estate private equity funds, LPs, and an assortment of service providers.

Conducting Internal Investigations and Avoiding Retaliation Claims 06-22-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideV&E lawyers will discuss investigation planning, fact gathering, ways to reduce costs, interim and final reporting, protecting privilege, and remediation after the investigation.

3rd Annual GAR Live Energy Disputes 06-15-2017

Vinson & Elkins is pleased to be sponsoring the 3rd Annual GAR Live Energy Disputes. The event will feature a series of thought provoking panel discussions and a networking lunch, and will conclude with a drinks reception from 5:15 p.m. onwards.

Harvard's June 2017 Shareholder Engagement Roundtable 06-14-2017

The Shareholder Engagement Roundtable is a component of Harvard Law School’s Program on Corporate Governance. The roundtable will bring together prominent decision-makers with a range of perspectives – from institutional investors, boards of directors, advisers, public authorities, and academic – for an off-the-record discussion.

M&A Transaction Structures, Corporate, Reporting and Tax Considerations 06-14-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, V&E attorneys will discuss transaction structures for mergers and acquisitions, including Up-Cs and double-dummy mergers.

Popcorn & Principles XV: More Fun at the Movies 06-13-2017

Nothing is more important to a lawyer's long-term success than a fundamental understanding of the rules of professional conduct. 

SuperReturn Energy 2017 – Where Private Equity Investors Meet To Shape the Future of Energy Investment 06-12-2017

V&E partner Keith Fullenweider will speak on a panel entitled “Playing the Recovery in Midstream & Natural Gas Markets,” which will address how managers are looking to play the recovery of the market, appropriate risk adjusted returns, and future liquid directed opportunities.

ACI's 8th Annual Summit on Biosimilars 06-12-2017

The Firm is an Associate Sponsor of the American Conference Institute's 8th Annual Summit on Biosimilars. V&E counsel Erin Ator Thomson will speak on the panel entitled "Policy and Politics of Biosimilars under the New Administration" at 8:30 a.m. on June 12.

2017 Kayo Women’s Energy Investment Conference 06-12-2017

Vinson & Elkins proudly sponsors Kayo Women’s Energy Investment Conference in Houston. This event brings together two hundred of the energy industry’s leading figures across multiple sectors, including oil & gas, metals and mining, and alternative fuels.

33rd Annual Bankruptcy & Restructuring Conference 06-09-2017

This four-day conference, which is sponsored by the Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors, will focus on will focus on the latest issues and trends in bankruptcy and restructuring. V&E partner Jim Lee will speak on the topic, “Hot Topics in Fraud” at 11:00 a.m. on June 9.

Navigating your Way through Murky Waters: How to Manage Legal Issues in the Current Climate 06-07-2017

V&E counsel Andrew Stewart will participate in the third installment of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ 2017 Hot Topics in Clean Water Law webinar series on Wednesday, June 7.

30th Annual Environmental, Health & Safety Seminar 06-05-2017

V&E’s Emergency Response & Crisis Management practice is proud to sponsor the 30th Annual Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Seminar coordinated by the Texas Chemical Council (TCC) and Association of Chemical Industry of Texas (ACIT) in collaboration with the Louisiana Chemical Association (LCA) and the Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance (LCIA). 

The National Association of Corporate Directors’ Summit: The Strategic-Asset GC 06-01-2017

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is holding its annual GC summit, “The Strategic-Asset GC” on June 1st.

12th Annual Texas Bankruptcy Bench Bar Conference 06-01-2017

This two-day conference, which is sponsored by the Texas Bankruptcy Bench Bar of the State Bar of Texas, will focus on a broad range of current issues and topics in business and consumer bankruptcy. V&E counsel Brad Foxman will speak on the topic, “Business: Modern Trends and Creative Uses of DIP Financing” at 4:15 p.m. on June 1.

2017 MLP Annual Investor Conference 05-31-2017

V&E is a sponsor of the Master Limited Partnership Association’s (MLPA) 2017 Master Limited Partnership (MLP) Annual Investor Conference being held May 31st through June 2nd.

UT Law 30th Annual Technology Law Conference 05-25-2017

V&E is a sponsor of the UT Law 30th Annual Technology Law Conference. V&E partner Steve Borgman served on the Planning Committee for the event and will speak on "Innovative Approaches to Protecting IP in the Technology Sector" on Thursday, May 25 at 2:35 p.m.

18th Annual B. Riley & Co. Institutional Investor Conference 05-24-2017

V&E is a sponsor of B. Riley & Co.’s 18th Annual Investor Conference being held May 24th and 25th in Santa Monica, California.

2017 General Counsel & Regulatory Affairs Conference of KKR Portfolio Companies 05-23-2017

V&E partner, Bill Lawler, is a panel moderator in a session about whistleblowers at 2017 General Counsel & Regulatory Affairs Conference of KKR Portfolio Companies. The session will take you through the anatomy of a whistleblower interview, successful techniques, as well as common mistakes and pitfalls that can undermine an effective strategy.

Hunting Pirates at the ITC: A Cost-Effective Approach to Brand Protection 05-09-2017

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WidePiracy is one of the larger threats to brand owners. Going after pirates can be costly and traditional fines from Customs & Border Patrol do little to deter the brazen pirate.

Cybersecurity Preparedness for the Energy Industry 04-28-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis panel discussion with representatives from the infrastructure, public relations and insurance fields discussed the metes and bounds of being “cyber-secure” in today’s energy business.

V&E Sponsors Inaugural Kayo Women’s Real Estate Investment Summit 2017 04-24-2017

V&E was a gold sponsor of Kayo’s inaugural Women’s Real Estate Investment Summit, which took place Monday, April 24th and Tuesday, April 25th in Brooklyn. With over 60 speakers and approximately 200 attendees from 18 states and four countries, the summit showcased diverse perspectives on trends in the real estate and hospitality sectors, with an exciting focus on the experiences of women professionals in the industry.

Patents in the “Age of Experience”: Valuable Property Right or Useless Relic? 04-11-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIt is not news that technology has permeated and revolutionized practically every industry on the planet. While 25 years ago, the dawn of the internet ushered in the “Information Age,” we now find ourselves at the dawn of what some have dubbed the “Experience Age.”

V&E / Risk Assistance Network + Exchange (RANE) Energy Investment Roundtable 03-02-2017

The energy sector’s recovery from a historic decline in oil prices in 2016 has driven renewed interest in the sector’s investment opportunities. Further fueling this interest is rising demand and advances in technology that are yielding significant cost reductions in the way oil and gas are developed and produced.

Energy Technology Roundtable 02-23-2017

This program addressed technology’s growing impact on the oil and gas industry. The panel discussed cutting edge technologies that are currently impacting the oil and gas industry, the origins and the future of oil and gas technology as well as certain legal and commercial issues to consider when investing in, working with, and/or acquiring energy technology companies.

Alternative Capital: 144A Equity Offerings and Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) 02-22-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program covered alternatives to traditional forms of capital raising, including 144A Equity Offerings and Special Purposes Acquisition Companies (SPACs). The presentation looked at recent market trends and precedents in such financings.

Environmental Citizens' Suit Defense: Preparing for "Private Attorneys General" in the Trump Administration 02-07-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideAs the Trump Administration advances its agenda, several environmental NGOs will look to make good on their pledge to rely on citizen suit statutes to accomplish their public policy priorities. These groups hope to achieve judicial rulings on environmental theories that may not be endorsed by either the legislative or executive branches, while also being reimbursed for their efforts.

An MLP Update: The Final Regulations on Qualifying Income and Recent Delaware Supreme Court Opinions 01-25-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideOn January 19, 2017, the Treasury Department and the IRS released final regulations providing guidance on the treatment of income from natural resource activities of publicly traded partnerships as qualifying income for purposes of section 7704(d)(1)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Patent in the High Court 2016-2017 01-24-2017

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this presentation, we previewed TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC and Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International and discussed the issues and potential outcomes. We also took one additional step and discussed what these cases may mean to the business of law.

The Times They Are A-Changin’: Energy Policy in the Trump Administration 01-24-2017

U.S. oil and gas policy may undergo substantial change in the next administration. Federal rules governing methane emissions, the leasing of government lands, exports, and much more could be revised in the coming years. 

The Return of Shareholder Activism to the Energy Industry 12-14-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, Kai Liekefett, head of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Response Team, financial public relations experts from Sloane, and financial experts from Morgan Stanley discussed the return of shareholder activism to the energy sector and gave an overview of advance preparation measures.

Privcap Media’s 2016 Energy Game Change Conference 12-08-2016

V&E partner Mark Proctor moderated the panel entitled “LP Second Thoughts?” as limited partners discussed co-investing and direct investing in energy deals.

Power Shift? Regulatory Change in the First 100 Days of the Trump Administration 12-08-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WidePresident-Elect Donald Trump has promised to revoke or repeal many of the Obama Administration’s signature regulatory and executive actions — from immigration, labor, and employment, to financial services, energy, and the environment. This program offered a high-level overview of the legal landscape facing a new President seeking to deliver immediate regulatory change.

Preparing for an IPO: Market Update, Process and Timeline 11-09-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, V&E attorneys discuss recent IPO activity in the energy space, the IPO timeline and process overview, issues that arise during the IPO process, financial statement and structuring considerations, and governance matters.

China Intellectual Property & Innovation Summit 10-27-2016

V&E partner Chris Kao was invited to deliver an update on the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International case at the China Intellectual Property & Innovation Summit in Shenzhen, China, on October 28th. Chris' presentation reviewed the impact of the Alice decision in regards to Section 101 issues and patent litigation strategies following revisions to the America Invents Act (AIA).

Defining the Contours of Alice 10-25-2016

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideRecent decisions on Section 101 patent-eligible subject matter have begun to connect the dots, giving additional shape to the Alice analysis.

Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium 10-05-2016

Our Sixth Annual Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium focused on timely topics surrounding unconventional oil and gas development.

Proxy Season 2016 – A Look Back & A Look Ahead 09-29-2016

Kai Liekefett, Head of V&E's Shareholder Activism Response Team, co-hosted the webinar "Proxy Season 2016: A Look Back & A Look Ahead" with RANE Network.

V&E and TPH Host Energy Infrastructure Summit 09-20-2016

Energy infrastructure continues to play a critical role in operational and investment decision-making for participants throughout the energy value chain. The outlook for the space has improved notably since the beginning of 2016 but is still not without its challenges.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office Successfully Chips Away Privilege Protections in the Investigations Context 05-24-2017

V&E FCPA & Global Anti-Corruption Update E-communication, May 24, 2017

The General Director of the UK’s principal corruption enforcer, the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”), David Green, previously warned companies that the SFO would challenge privilege claims it considers unfounded.

Home Is Where the Heart(land) Is 05-22-2017

V&E IP Insights E-communication, May 22, 2017

On May 22, 2017, in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC, No. 16-341 (May 22, 2017), the Supreme Court disrupted decades of Federal Circuit precedent interpreting the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b).

Trump Administration Aims to Modernize Federal IT Infrastructure and Articulates New Cybersecurity Priorities 05-18-2017

V&E Government Contracts Update E-communication, May 18, 2017

On May 11, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure (the “EO”), an important step in centralizing the government’s strategy for cyber defense and modernizing federal information technology (“IT”) architecture.

Loose Lips Sink Ships . . . And Patents 05-17-2017

V&E IP Insights E-communication, May 17, 2017

On May 11, 2017, in Aylus Networks, Inc. v. Apple Inc., the Federal Circuit ruled that statements made by a patent owner during an inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) can support a finding of prosecution disclaimer during a district court claim construction proceeding, resolving an issue of first impression.

Welcome Certainty For Investors From 27 OIC Member States 05-09-2017

First published by Law 360, May 9, 2017

Until recently, investors in the 27 states that ratified the Agreement on Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investments of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (the “OIC agreement”) have only had theoretical access to the guarantees of investment protection set out in that agreement.

New Pressure for Energy Over Environment? 05-03-2017

First published by The National Law Journal , May 3, 2017

A well-worn stereotype portrays American corporations and particularly the energy industry as ambivalent at best about the environment.

Another “Operation Car Wash” FCPA Settlement: Federal Court Orders Odebrecht to Pay $2.6 Billion, but Amount Could Have Been Higher 04-21-2017

V&E FCPA & Global Anti-Corruption Update E-communication, April 21, 2017

On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered Odebrecht SA, a Brazilian engineering and construction conglomerate, to pay a $93 million criminal penalty to the United States for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).

Qualcomm Strikes Back: Claims Apple “Induced” South Korean Investigation and Fine 04-21-2017

V&E Hi-Tech Update E-communication, April 21, 2017

Qualcomm Inc. recently filed a 139-page answer and counterclaims in Apple Inc. v. Qualcomm Inc., 17-cv-108 (S.D. Cal.), a high-profile case in which Apple alleges that Qualcomm failed to offer fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) licensing terms for essential patents.

NPE Licensee Now, Reluctant ITC Discovery Participant Later: Satisfying Domestic Industry Activity Through Licensees 04-19-2017

V&E Hi-Tech Update E-communication, April 19, 2017

In a decision issued on February 8, 2017, an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) of the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) confirmed that a patent owner can rely on its licensee’s activities to satisfy the “domestic industry” requirement of a Section 337 Investigation (the “Investigation”). 

Buyer Beware: How Violation of a Consent Order Resulted in a $6.2 Million Penalty 04-06-2017

V&E IP Insights E-communication, April 6, 2017

On April 4, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) upheld its civil penalty of $6.2 million against DeLorme Publishing Company, Inc. and DeLorme InReach LLC (collectively, “DeLorme”), now known as DBN Holding, Inc. and BDN LLC (collectively, “DBN”), for DeLorme’s violation of a consent order. 

Permanent Court of Arbitration Steps in to Appoint an Arbitrator on Behalf of Libya 04-04-2017

V&E International Dispute Resolution Update E-communication, April 4, 2017

Until last week, investors in the 27 States that ratified the Agreement on Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investments of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (the “OIC Agreement”) have only had theoretical access to the guarantees of investment protection set out in that agreement.

D.C. Circuit Throws Out an FCC Junk Fax Prevention Act Rule 04-04-2017

V&E Hi-Tech Update E-communication, April 4, 2017

On March 31, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated a Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) rule requiring advertisers to place opt-out notices on solicited faxes, subject to penalties for noncompliance.

Boehringer Ruling Limits Treatment Method Patent Eligibility 03-30-2017

First published by Law 360, March 30, 2017

A recent decision from the District of New Jersey illustrates a potential challenge facing many life sciences patentees under the current patent-eligibility framework.

Why Time Warner's Attack Against The TCPA Is On The Ropes 03-30-2017

First published by Law 360, March 30, 2017

Attempting to win a constitutional battle that many before it have lost, Time Warner Cable has sought to invalidate the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 on grounds that its new exemption for government-sponsored debt collection calls creates an impermissible “content-based” distinction between categories of regulated speech.

FCC Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules Repealed 03-30-2017

V&E Hi-Tech Update E-communication, March 30, 2017

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, Congress voted to rollback a regulation that imposed stricter data privacy rules on the collection, use, and sharing of consumer data by broadband Internet service providers (ISPs). 

SEC Adopts T+2 Settlement 03-29-2017

V&E SEC Update E-communication, March 29, 2017

On March 22, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) amended Exchange Act Rule 15c6-1(a), which shortens the standard settlement cycle for most broker-dealer transactions to T+2 (two days after the trade date) from the previous T+3 standard.

Top 10 Questions from the Supreme Court at Yesterday’s TC Heartland Oral Argument 03-28-2017

V&E IP Insights E-communication, March 28, 2017

Following one of the year’s most publicized IP cases, patent litigators and litigants anxiously await the Supreme Court’s ruling on patent litigation venue issues in TC Heartland v. Kraft

Jevic: Structured Dismissal SCOTUS Ruling 03-27-2017

V&E Restructuring and Reorganization Updates E-communication, March 27, 2017

The Supreme Court limited the use of “structured dismissals” in chapter 11 cases on March 22, 2017, overturning a ruling of the Third Circuit. The Court stressed that any distribution scheme in connection with a proposed chapter 11 structured dismissal must follow the basic priority rules of the Bankruptcy Code absent consent of the affected parties. Importantly, however, the Supreme Court avoided determining that interim modifications of the priority scheme cannot be permitted at any time during a case. 

Even After Section 230 Defense Doesn’t Work Out for Match.com, Federal Court Finds No Relationship Status with Plaintiff 03-24-2017

V&E Hi-Tech Update E-communication, March 24, 2017

On March 10, 2017, the District of Nevada dismissed Mary Kay Beckman’s claims against Match.com stemming from a brutal attack by Wade Ridley, a man she met through the website. The case was before the district court after the Ninth Circuit’s decision holding that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, did not apply to Beckman’s failure to warn claim.

Yay Team! Supreme Court Declares Cheerleading Uniforms Can Be Copyrighted 03-23-2017

V&E IP Insights E-communication, March 23, 2017

On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a “decorative element” on a “useful article,” such as a cheerleader uniform, can be copyrightable.  

Project Spotlight: Part 2 – V&E Guardianship Project 05-25-2017

Pro Bono Blog

Pro Bono projects take different paths – some are short moments in time, some last for years, and still others continue and adjust to different needs in the community. The V&E guardianship project falls into that last category. While we still handle traditional guardianships, for families with wholly incapacitated children, thanks to the hard work of another wonderful legal services organization, our program was able to grow and add another dimension.

Specific Representations and Half-Truths Need Not Apply: D.C. District Court Finds Knowingly Billing at “Significantly Higher than Reasonable” Costs Sufficient for Implied False Certification 05-25-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

In a decision many in the defense bar will argue was wrongly decided, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in U.S. v. DynCorp Int’l LLC ruled that knowingly billing for unreasonable costs can serve as the basis for an implied certification claim under the FCA. The court took an expansive view of implied certification that departs from the Supreme Court’s guidance in Escobar and, we would argue, sidesteps the rigorous materiality requirements emphasized by the Court.

Accommodating Nursing Mothers and Pregnant Employees 05-25-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

Last week, several newspapers ran stories about the Frontier Airlines flight attendants and pilots who filed charges of discrimination with the EEOC in which they complained that the airline had failed to provide accommodations to them so that they could pump breast milk.

Project Spotlight: Part 1 – V&E Guardianship Project 05-23-2017

Pro Bono Blog

V&E Pro Bono Projects come to be in many different ways – from the keen interest of a V&E lawyer, as a result of an inquiring call from a legal service provider or because of a national or international crisis. This project came to be because a former legal services lawyer, now BigLaw Pro Bono Counsel, was just being a parent in the waiting room of a children’s hospital.

Is My Employee Recording Me? 05-23-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

It is not unusual for supervisors today to wonder whether they are being recorded by employees during meetings when performance issues or discipline are being discussed. “Can they do that?” I am often asked. Interestingly, while an employee may not have a legal right to demand that a disciplinary meeting be recorded, in most states, it is not illegal for an employee to surreptitiously record their supervisor or manager during meetings where performance issues or discipline are being discussed. And, in fact, employment lawyers are increasingly seeing recordings used as evidence in employment lawsuits.

Top Asset Managers That Support Environmental Shareholder Proposals 05-22-2017

Climate Change Blog

Environmental shareholder activism at publicly traded companies in the U.S. features some of the largest investors in the world supporting proposals sponsored by some of the smallest investors in the world. From 2015 to the present, most environmental shareholder proposals were brought to annual meetings of companies by relatively unknown investment groups such as As You Sow, Mercy Investment Services, The Park Foundation, Trillium Asset Management, Calvert Asset Management, The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and the Presbyterian Church of the USA. Only occasionally have these proposals been co-sponsored or sponsored by significantly larger pension funds in the U.S. market known for their interests in corporate environmental policy. With these proposals, these small investors have commanded degrees of attention at corporations highly disproportionate to their usually miniscule ownership stakes. The 2017 proxy season is likely to bring continued increases in visibility for these investors, with added support from a few of the world’s leading asset managers.

Bon Voyage, US ex rel ABLE v. US Bank: Cert. Denied in CVSG’d Public Disclosure Case 05-22-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

We have been writing about the relator’s cert. petition in U.S. ex rel. ABLE v. US Bank16-130since the earliest days of LLB, but today we say good-bye to that petition about the public disclosure bar because the Supreme Court denied cert, as the Solicitor General recommended.  In other news, because the “ex rel.” might catch some readers’ eyes, we note that the Court also denied cert. in U.S. ex rel. Bauchwitz v. Holloman16-1185, a cert. petition we did not cover because despite being a qui tam, it did not raise FCA issues.

“Common Sense” and Concealment of Noncompliance Lead Fourth Circuit to Find Triple Canopy Invoices Hit Their Materiality Mark and Were Impliedly False Despite No Specific False Representations 05-19-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

Earlier this week, the Fourth Circuit issued its first substantive post-Escobar implied certification opinion in the closely watched U.S. ex rel. Badr v. Triple Canopy. Prior to Escobar, the Fourth Circuit found that the government’s complaint-in-intervention stated an implied certification FCA claim, causing Triple Canopy to seek cert. After issuing the Escobar opinion, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals to reconsider in light of Escobar. The Fourth Circuit largely affirmed its prior decision, finding that the government had sufficiently alleged both falsity and materiality. [Disclosure:  Two of the authors of this piece represented amici in support of Triple Canopy’s cert. petition.]

False Claims Act Cert. Monitor: Attorneys’ Fees, Reverse False Claims, Public Disclosure Bar, and Government Employees as Relators Feature in Three New Petitions 05-19-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

Three new FCA relator cert. petitions have landed in the past few weeks, covering the gamut of FCA legal issues.

First, the relator in U.S. ex rel. Harper v. Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District16-1278, takes us back to 1L Property, alleging that the Army in 1949 granted the defendant water district a “determinable fee simple estate subject to a possibility of reverter interest retained by the United States.” In other words, the government gave the water district government land to keep so long as the land was used for recreation, conservation, etc. The relator contends that when the defendant entered into oil and gas leases on the land but kept the land and the lease income, it knowingly and improperly avoided an obligation to return the property and income to the government—i.e., a conversion reverse false claim. The question presented to the Court is whether, for a reverse false claim, the relator needed to plead that the defendant subjectively knew that it was violating the terms of the deed and had not committed a mistake of law. A potential difficulty for this petition, however, is that neither Sixth Circuit’s majority nor the dissent focused on the question of subjective knowledge of mistake of law, but rather on whether the relator pleaded sufficient facts from which the court could infer that the defendant “knew or should have known” of the requirement to return the property. The response is currently due June 26, 2017.


Under Siege: Addressing the CEO Attacked by Shareholder Activists 05-18-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

CEOs have long had to look over their shoulders to their company’s shareholders with some fear of a revolt that could lead to the CEO’s removal. While typically seeking board representation, shareholder activists also often go after the CEO of their targets. It is the unfortunate circumstance that sometimes a board has to sacrifice the CEO to satisfy the activist.

D.C. Circuit Suspends Proceedings in Clean Power Plan Case 05-16-2017

Climate Change Blog

On Friday, April 28, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the “D.C. Circuit”) granted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) request to suspend litigation in two cases considering the Clean Power Plan (the “CPP”). The D.C. Circuit’s orders come after the D.C. Circuit heard en banc oral arguments in one of the cases, West Virginia v. EPA, 15-1363, last year. The D.C. Circuit’s orders required the parties to file supplemental briefing on the question of whether the CPP should be remanded to EPA, which they have filed. A key question to be decided based on this briefing is the effect of a remand on the Supreme Court’s February 2016 stay on the CPP. This post discusses the background of the CPP cases, the D.C. Circuit’s orders, and potential scenarios if the D.C. Circuit decides to remand the CPP to EPA.

Good News, Bad News, What “Hire America” Means to the H-1B Visa Program 05-16-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

The H-1B program has long been the subject of criticism. Many have argued that the program has been used to support outsourcing of jobs that could be performed by Americans.

Although it is framed in very general terms, President Trump’s latest Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American, signed on April 18, 2017, signals that this administration would like to overhaul the H-1B program. The Order directs the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security to “suggest reforms to ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries”, to issue new rules and guidance to “protect the interests of United States workers”, and to “prevent fraud or abuse” of the immigration system.


A Cure for the Common Qui Tam? Escobar’s Materiality Standard and Government Inaction has Pharma Defendant Feeling Good Again 05-12-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

The Third Circuit recently joined the growing number of circuits refusing to find materiality where the government fails to act or intervene in the face of alleged noncompliance. See United States ex rel. Petratos v. Genentech, No. 15-3805 (3rd Cir. May 1, 2017). The D.C. CircuitFirst Circuit; and Seventh Circuit all have reached similar conclusions. The Ninth Circuit will address this issue in the coming months in United States ex rel. Rose v. Stephens Institute.

Employers May Not Always Enjoy the Luck of the Irish 05-10-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

During meetings in Dublin, Ireland, I was reminded that employers in many countries outside the U.S. need to be prepared for injunction cases when terminating employees. I spent the first three months of this year representing an employer that brought an injunction action against a former executive for enforcement of non-compete and confidentiality obligations. It was intense and time consuming, but the company was on the offensive to protect its business interests. Injunction cases are still rare in the U.S., and even less likely to be brought by employees upon termination than by the employer. In places such as Ireland, however, employers might instead find themselves on the defensive in injunction cases. There, employees can bring injunction actions to stop the employer from terminating their employment and require continued payment of the employees’ wages.

Congress Finally Revisits the FLSA – Is Comp Time Coming? 05-09-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

A common misconception among many employers is that they can give “comp time” to nonexempt employees in lieu of paying overtime. While the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) does allow public employers to offer compensatory time to nonexempt employees under certain circumstances, until now, any private employer who did so would still be liable for unpaid overtime. The Working Families Flexibility Act (the “WFFA”), which was passed by the House of Representatives last week, may change this.

Pro Bono Hero: Darin Schultz 05-08-2017

Pro Bono Blog

Darin Schultz talks about his pro bono experience representing a U.S. World War II veteran seeking medical benefits for war injuries.

Franks and the False Claims Act? District Court Uses Familiar Fourth Amendment Remedy to Dismiss Deceptive FCA Case 05-04-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

An “elaborate series of falsehoods, misrepresentations, and deceptive conduct” perpetrated by a relator’s counsel culminated last Friday with dismissal of a relator’s False Claims Act complaint by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. In U.S. ex rel. Leysock v. Forest Labs., Inc., No. 12-11354, 2017 WL 1591833 (D. Mass. Apr. 28. 2017),  relator alleged off-label promotion of an Alzheimer drug, and to get over the Rule 9(b) “hump,” relied on a purported nationwide study of physician prescribing practices for the medication.  The study results were featured prominently in the complaint – including details about particular physicians and patients.  Turns out, however, that the “study” at issue was sponsored and directed entirely by relator’s counsel under false pretenses.

One Thing Leads to Another – OSHA Reporting Requirements and Machine Guarding Citation 05-04-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

One consequence of OSHA’s new requirement that all amputations must be reported to the Agency is an increased focus on machine guarding issues. A significant number of amputations are caused by machines that either lack proper guarding or because the employees or contractors override that guarding. Employers need to take some actions, given this trend.

Oklahoma Report Offers Key Insights on Recycling and Re-Use of Produced Water 05-03-2017

Water Blog

The cheapest and most common method for disposal of produced water – the salty water that is co-produced with oil and natural gas – is typically by using disposal wells to inject the water into deep non-potable formations. But that may be changing in Oklahoma, where produced water volumes are rising with the development of the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province (SCOOP), and Sooner Trend Anadarko Basin Canadian and Kingfisher Counties (STACK) plays and where seismicity thought to be induced by deep injection well disposal of produced water has caused public officials to search for disposal alternatives. In December 2015, Governor Mary Fallin tasked a working group called the “Water for 2060 Produced Water Working Group” with assessing produced water recycling or re-use as disposal alternatives. The working group’s April 2017 report includes important insights into the future of water recycling and re-use in Oklahoma and perhaps beyond.

Generics? For Drugs, Maybe, But Not for Restrictive Covenants 05-02-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

Too often, I come across employers who are using non-disclosure agreements that appear to have been downloaded from some human resources group’s website. The generic definitions used in those agreements do little to inform employees what their employer considers so important that they should not tell anyone else about it. If the goal is to make sure the employees protect the employer’s information, these agreements should—at a minimum—describe with some specificity the information the employer is trying to protect. After all, if employees don’t understand an agreement, it will be very difficult for them to comply with it.

Intellectual Property Rights in Complex Cross-Border Operations 05-11-2017

A common problem that arises in complex cross-border operations involving intellectual property is something referred to as the coordination problem. Rights under the law in one country may be exploited under the laws of another country. These problems can be addressed contractually if proper forethought is given.

Interview with Bloomberg Markets on Shareholder Activism 01-30-2017

Bloomberg interviews V&E partner Kai Liekefett on "Why the Fireworks Go Off During Proxy Season."

V&E Launches Redesigned Shale & Fracking Tracker 10-18-2016

We welcome you to visit the V&E Shale & Fracking Tracker, a one-stop resource for the latest news, events, and materials related to legal, government, and industry developments in shale and hydraulic fracturing operations.

EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives for Fiscal Years 2017–2019 10-01-2016

On October 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for fiscal years 2017-2019 took effect.

Controlling Costs in International Arbitration 09-21-2016

Arbitration is always said to have been cheaper, quicker and more confidential than the equivalent court proceedings.  More often than not, however, many arbitration users have discovered this is not always the case. In this video, V&E partner Mark Beeley, will share how you can reverse this trend with careful planning up front.

Why Private Equity’s Wait for Distressed Energy Deals Might be Over 09-20-2016

As prices for oil and gas have fluctuated in the past two years, so have private equity’s expectations to buy distressed energy assets. V&E partner Mark Proctor speaks to Privcap about why private equity might finally be able to seize on these opportunities.

Implementing a Dispute Resolution Framework in Construction Projects 09-12-2016

Scott Stiegler, a senior associate in V&E’s International Construction Disputes practice, outlines some important considerations when implementing an efficient and effective dispute resolution framework in your construction contract.

The Shareholder Activist Playbook 09-09-2016

Kai Liekefett, head of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Response Team, describes the typical shareholder activist’s playbook.

A Profile of V&E’s Energy Appellate Practice 08-31-2016

Marie Yeates, co-chair of V&E's Appellate practice, and Appellate partner Michael Heidler have deep experience handling energy appeals, particularly in Texas and Louisiana.

Kayo Conference: Perspectives on the Impact of the Recent Drop in Commodity Prices 08-01-2016

V&E senior associate Brittany Sakowitz shares perspectives on the impact of the drop in commodity prices on companies and investors involved in the energy industry.

TV Interview with The Street on Shareholder Activism 07-19-2016

V&E partner Kai Liekefett spoke to The Street on the topic “Over-Eager Activist Investors Are Partly to Blame for Mega-Deal Failures.” 

An Illustration of Nationality Planning 07-08-2016

When making a significant investment in a new jurisdiction, companies should consider nationality planning, or investment treaty protection, as a tool to help protect against political risk.

A Closer Look at EPA's New Methane Rules for the Oil and Gas Industry 06-22-2016

On May 12, 2016, EPA issued a slate of final rules and an information request under the Clean Air Act directed at the oil and gas industry. This is the first time EPA is directly regulating methane as a greenhouse gas. These rules will have widespread application to the oil and gas industry, including production, processing, transmission, and storage. 

Safety Minute: Environmental Considerations when Acquiring Distressed Assets 06-14-2016

What should companies look for when looking to acquire distressed assets in a down market environment? Brandon Tuck, member of V&E’s Environmental & Natural Resources practice, highlights components of due diligence reviews prior to engaging in a transaction that can help protect against unwanted environmental risk.

Safety Minute: Managing Environmental Programs in a Down Market 06-14-2016

There are certain environmental issues companies should consider before downsizing environmental and safety programs.

Brandon Tuck, member of V&E’s Environmental & Natural Resources Practice, talks through several items companies should consider when trying to manage costs in a down market. 


Safety Minute: Safety Considerations When Downsizing 06-14-2016

Tom Wilson, head of V&E’s OSHA practice, highlights the importance of cross referencing emergency response plan documents when considering downsizing operations and conducting layoffs.

Understanding the Impact of Public International Law 06-06-2016

Public international law, while abstract, does have meaning for international businesses. George Burn, a partner in V&E’s International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration practice, explains public international law and some key areas of commercial application – specifically regarding borders (both maritime and territorial) and the authority of international organizations, such as INTERPOL.

Enforcing International Law – A Powerful Tool for Investors 06-06-2016

George Burn, a partner in V&E’s International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration practice, explains the development of international law’s enforcement mechanism – investor-state arbitration.

Employment Consideration in International Asset Transactions 06-03-2016

Martin Luff, counsel in V&E’s International Employment practice, highlights some of the differences between U.S. and international transactions with regards to the transfer of employment and employee benefits. Buyers and sellers must consider all potential issues that may arise in the different jurisdictions where business deals occur.

Global Reductions in Force 06-03-2016

Martin Luff, counsel in V&E’s International Employment practice, highlights the issues employers must consider when implementing global layoffs or reductions in force.

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