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Insights

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

This program focused 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. Watch a video recording.

35th Annual Jay L. Westbrook Bankruptcy Conference 11-16-2016

The Jay L. Westbrook Bankruptcy Conference, now in its 35th year, attracts a national faculty of prominent judges, academics, and practitioners and provides an in-depth focus on current issues and topics in business and consumer bankruptcy.

PLI’s Tax Strategies for Corporate Acquisitions, Dispositions, Spin-Offs, Joint Ventures, Financings, Reorganizations & Restructurings 11-02-2016

Practicing Law Institute’s (PLI) seminar will focus on the tax issues presented by the entire spectrum of modern major corporate transactions, from relatively simple single-buyer acquisitions of a division or subsidiary to multi-party joint ventures, cross-border mergers, and complex acquisitions of public companies with domestic and foreign operations, including spin-offs and other dispositions of unwanted operations.

2016 Dispute Resolution in the International Oil and Gas Business AIPN and ICDR/AAA 10-27-2016

On Friday, October 28,  James Loftis, head of V&E’s International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration practice, will present on the “Infrastructure Dispute” panel at the Dispute Resolution in the International Oil and Gas Business conference hosted by AIPN and ICDR/AAA. Infrastructure Disputes Oil & gas companies are involved in some of the largest construction projects in the world.

90th Annual National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges 10-26-2016

The 90th Annual National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges will cover a variety of topics, including energy restructurings, chapter 13 exit strategies, and planning intercreditor and forbearance agreements.

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.

NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit 09-17-2016

Vinson & Elkins is a sponsor of the National Association of Corporate Directors’ (NACD) annual conference in Washington, which brings together the best and the brightest in corporate governance for three days of dialogue, networking, and cutting-edge insight. This event is crafted to deepen the attendees’ collective understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing boardrooms today and in the future. 

Smarter, Faster, Cheaper Technology Dispute Resolution Conference – Open Forum with Silicon Valley 09-16-2016

The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center (SVAMC), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), American Arbitration Association (AAA) and International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) have come together to host a one day program bringing together technology dispute resolution experts to discuss litigation and efficient dispute resolution practices. 

New York Stock Exchange Shareholder Engagement Forum 09-14-2016

Kai Liekefett, Head of Vinson & Elkins’ Shareholder Activism Response Team, will speak on a panel entitled “Activist Campaign Dos and Don’ts – Lessons from the Field” at the New York Stock Exchange’s Shareholder Engagement Forum.

12th Annual Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop 08-04-2016

The 12th Annual Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop will teach and illustrate emerging insolvency topics focusing on chapters 7 and 11 and common areas of interest, including the latest decisions impacting business and consumer bankruptcy practitioners in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Jurisdictional Considerations in Cross-Border Transactions 07-26-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

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

Federal Circuit Rejects Burden-Shifting in IPRs Following Institution 07-26-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, July 26, 2016

On July 25, 2016, the Federal Circuit rejected a burden-shifting scheme for inter partes reviews (IPRs) that would have required patentees to show that challenged patent claims are not invalid following the institution decision, holding that the burden always remains on the petitioner to prove invalidity.

Agenda Webcast: Director Pay Faces Heat 07-26-2016

V&E partner Stephen Jacobson will be a co-panelist on Agenda’s July 26 webcast titled “Director Pay Faces Heat.” As part of Agenda Education’s webcast series, this presentation will cover the risk for boards of director pay lawsuits and provide an overview of recent director pay developments and emerging trends in this space.

Texas/New Mexico Water Fight May Make It to the U.S. Supreme Court 07-22-2016

Water Blog

The longstanding dispute between Texas and New Mexico with regard to water apportionment from the Rio Grande might make it to the Supreme Court after all. Approximately three and a half years ago, Texas filed a complaint in the U.S. Supreme Court alleging that New Mexico was taking too much water from the Rio Grande in violation of the Rio Grande Compact and the Rio Grande Project Act, which allegedly allocate the Rio Grande water among the three parties.

Ariosa v Sequenom: keeping the Mayo test in place 07-21-2016

First published in Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, July 21, 2016

Despite the clamour for more guidance on the scope and application of the Mayo test on patent eligibility, the US Supreme Court denied Sequenom’s petition in its dispute with Ariosa, as Stephen Stout and Rachael McClure of Vinson & Elkins explain.

The Other Shoe Drops – First New Regulations, Now More Enforcement 07-21-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

The current administration in Washington has added a number of new employment-related requirements for federal government contractors during the past three years. (The president can implement such changes by executive order without needing the approval of Congress.) Now that regulations are in place, the government is taking a more aggressive position on enforcement of the new and previously existing requirements for government contractors.

62nd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law 07-21-2016

The 62nd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute opens with the General Session on Thursday morning, July 21. That afternoon and for the remainder of the conference, attendees can choose among Mining, Oil & Gas, Water, Public Lands, Environmental, International, and Landman’s Sections.

Dallas Democratic Forum Presents: The U.S. Supreme Court: 2015-2016 Decisions 07-21-2016

V&E partner John Elwood, along with other distinguished panelists, will discuss some of the most legally and socially significant decisions of the 2015 – 2016 U.S. Supreme Court term, such as abortion law, immigration, affirmative action, and criminal justice.

Federal Oil & Gas Leases: Framework and Developments 07-21-2016

V&E partner Robert Seber will present a Lawline CLE entitled “Federal Oil & Gas Leases: Framework and Developments.” The webinar will provide an overview of the legal framework governing Federal oil and gas leases and background on how the Federal government grants leases to private parties and the fiscal terms of those leases. It will also survey recent regulatory and judicial developments affecting onshore and offshore leasing.

Trade Secrets and the Energy Industry 07-21-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program will discuss the newly enacted federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, how it compares to trade secret protection at the state law level, particularly in Texas, and the potential ramifications for the energy industry.

BOEM Issues NTL Imposing More Stringent Financial Assurance Requirements on OCS Lessees for Decommissioning Liabilities 07-20-2016

V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, July 20, 2016

On July 14, 2016, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) conducting oil, natural gas, and sulfur activities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) that overhauls the federal government’s offshore financial assurance program relating to the performance of decommissioning obligations on the OCS.

35th Annual Jay L. Westbrook Bankruptcy Conference 11-16-2016

The Jay L. Westbrook Bankruptcy Conference, now in its 35th year, attracts a national faculty of prominent judges, academics, and practitioners and provides an in-depth focus on current issues and topics in business and consumer bankruptcy.

PLI’s Tax Strategies for Corporate Acquisitions, Dispositions, Spin-Offs, Joint Ventures, Financings, Reorganizations & Restructurings 11-02-2016

Practicing Law Institute’s (PLI) seminar will focus on the tax issues presented by the entire spectrum of modern major corporate transactions, from relatively simple single-buyer acquisitions of a division or subsidiary to multi-party joint ventures, cross-border mergers, and complex acquisitions of public companies with domestic and foreign operations, including spin-offs and other dispositions of unwanted operations.

2016 Dispute Resolution in the International Oil and Gas Business AIPN and ICDR/AAA 10-27-2016

On Friday, October 28,  James Loftis, head of V&E’s International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration practice, will present on the “Infrastructure Dispute” panel at the Dispute Resolution in the International Oil and Gas Business conference hosted by AIPN and ICDR/AAA. Infrastructure Disputes Oil & gas companies are involved in some of the largest construction projects in the world.

90th Annual National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges 10-26-2016

The 90th Annual National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges will cover a variety of topics, including energy restructurings, chapter 13 exit strategies, and planning intercreditor and forbearance agreements.

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.

NACD Global Board Leaders’ Summit 09-17-2016

Vinson & Elkins is a sponsor of the National Association of Corporate Directors’ (NACD) annual conference in Washington, which brings together the best and the brightest in corporate governance for three days of dialogue, networking, and cutting-edge insight. This event is crafted to deepen the attendees’ collective understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing boardrooms today and in the future. 

Smarter, Faster, Cheaper Technology Dispute Resolution Conference – Open Forum with Silicon Valley 09-16-2016

The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center (SVAMC), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), American Arbitration Association (AAA) and International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) have come together to host a one day program bringing together technology dispute resolution experts to discuss litigation and efficient dispute resolution practices. 

New York Stock Exchange Shareholder Engagement Forum 09-14-2016

Kai Liekefett, Head of Vinson & Elkins’ Shareholder Activism Response Team, will speak on a panel entitled “Activist Campaign Dos and Don’ts – Lessons from the Field” at the New York Stock Exchange’s Shareholder Engagement Forum.

12th Annual Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop 08-04-2016

The 12th Annual Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop will teach and illustrate emerging insolvency topics focusing on chapters 7 and 11 and common areas of interest, including the latest decisions impacting business and consumer bankruptcy practitioners in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Agenda Webcast: Director Pay Faces Heat 07-26-2016

V&E partner Stephen Jacobson will be a co-panelist on Agenda’s July 26 webcast titled “Director Pay Faces Heat.” As part of Agenda Education’s webcast series, this presentation will cover the risk for boards of director pay lawsuits and provide an overview of recent director pay developments and emerging trends in this space.

62nd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law 07-21-2016

The 62nd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute opens with the General Session on Thursday morning, July 21. That afternoon and for the remainder of the conference, attendees can choose among Mining, Oil & Gas, Water, Public Lands, Environmental, International, and Landman’s Sections.

Dallas Democratic Forum Presents: The U.S. Supreme Court: 2015-2016 Decisions 07-21-2016

V&E partner John Elwood, along with other distinguished panelists, will discuss some of the most legally and socially significant decisions of the 2015 – 2016 U.S. Supreme Court term, such as abortion law, immigration, affirmative action, and criminal justice.

Federal Oil & Gas Leases: Framework and Developments 07-21-2016

V&E partner Robert Seber will present a Lawline CLE entitled “Federal Oil & Gas Leases: Framework and Developments.” The webinar will provide an overview of the legal framework governing Federal oil and gas leases and background on how the Federal government grants leases to private parties and the fiscal terms of those leases. It will also survey recent regulatory and judicial developments affecting onshore and offshore leasing.

Trade Secrets and the Energy Industry 07-21-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program will discuss the newly enacted federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, how it compares to trade secret protection at the state law level, particularly in Texas, and the potential ramifications for the energy industry.

Annual Supreme Court Round Up presented by John Elwood 07-20-2016

V&E partner John Elwood will be presenting an update on the Supreme Court’s cases from the past term at the Dallas Chapter of the Federalist Society. A partner in the firm’s Appellate practice group, John has argued nine cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, and argued before most federal courts of appeals.

China: 2nd Annual International Arbitration Summit - Shanghai 07-20-2016

Practitioners and delegates from all over Asia will attend the summit to network, present and understand everything you need to on arbitration, ADR, and mediation from the experts in this field and the leading Kluwer authors. V&E counsel John Zadkovich will present on “Advising on Energy Disputes in China and Asia.”

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.

Energy REITs and Real Estate MLPs 07-13-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis presentation will introduce V&E’s new nationally recognized team of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) lawyers to the firm’s clients, and explore the corporate and tax similarities between master limited partnerships (MLPs) and REITs.

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.

Navigating the ITC Patent Minefield 07-11-2016

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program will provide a mid-year update on activity before the International Trade Commission (ITC), which has seemingly become a popular venue for patent owners.

First Impressions Post-Ruling in Universal Health v. United States ex rel. Escobar 06-21-2016

V&E appellate partners John Elwood and Jeremy Marwell, and False Claims Act/Qui Tam Litigation partners Craig Margolis and Tirzah Lollar provided first impressions of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Universal Health v. United States ex rel. Escobar endorsing the implied false certification theory of liability in certain circumstances.

2016 U.S. Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation Seminar 06-14-2016

Vinson & Elkins was invited by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Manufacture and Development Association to speak in Taipei, Taiwan on May 25th, 2016. 

2016 Intellectual Property Symposium in Taiwan 06-10-2016

The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) invited Vinson & Elkins attorneys to speak at its 2016 International Intellectual Property Symposium held in Taipei, Taiwan on May 26th, 2016.

Crisis Planning: Part 2 – The Environmental, Health and Safety Crisis Scenario 06-08-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIt’s a dreaded situation – receiving a phone call that there has been an explosion, leak, or major accident at your facility. In the second part of our crisis planning presentations, we focus on the aftermath of a safety or environmental crisis and response tactics that can prove vital in any resulting litigation or government investigation.

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

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program focused 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.

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 concentrate on internal business and financial crisis such as these.

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 partner Mike Tomsu and attorney 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.”

Federal Circuit Rejects Burden-Shifting in IPRs Following Institution 07-26-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, July 26, 2016

On July 25, 2016, the Federal Circuit rejected a burden-shifting scheme for inter partes reviews (IPRs) that would have required patentees to show that challenged patent claims are not invalid following the institution decision, holding that the burden always remains on the petitioner to prove invalidity.

Ariosa v Sequenom: keeping the Mayo test in place 07-21-2016

First published in Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, July 21, 2016

Despite the clamour for more guidance on the scope and application of the Mayo test on patent eligibility, the US Supreme Court denied Sequenom’s petition in its dispute with Ariosa, as Stephen Stout and Rachael McClure of Vinson & Elkins explain.

BOEM Issues NTL Imposing More Stringent Financial Assurance Requirements on OCS Lessees for Decommissioning Liabilities 07-20-2016

V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, July 20, 2016

On July 14, 2016, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) conducting oil, natural gas, and sulfur activities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) that overhauls the federal government’s offshore financial assurance program relating to the performance of decommissioning obligations on the OCS.

Federal Circuit (En Banc) Limits Types of Commercial Activities That Can Trigger the “On-Sale” Bar to Patentability, Overruling Inconsistent Prior Precedent 07-13-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, July 13, 2016

On July 11, 2016, an en banc panel of the Federal Circuit reversed a previous merits panel decision that had found two patents invalid under the on-sale bar of 35 U.S.C. § 102(b).

Shields Up: New Privacy Shield Available for Transatlantic Data Transfers 07-12-2016

V&E Cybersecurity and Data Privacy E-communication, July 12, 2016

The European Commission announced on July 12, 2016, that it has formally adopted the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. 

Government’s ‘Victory’ in Escobar Is Actually a Win for FCA Defendants 07-01-2016

First published in Corporate Counsel, July 1, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Universal Health Services Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar on June 16 held that the implied false certification theory can be a basis for False Claims Act liability. Although the decision expanded the scope of potential FCA liability in circuits that had not yet embraced the implied false certification theory of liability, the claim of victory by the government and relators’ bar may ultimately prove empty.

Temple-Inland Decision to Impact Future Unclaimed Property Audits 06-30-2016

V&E Commercial & Business Litigation Update E-communication, June 30, 2016

On June 28, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware ruled on cross-motions for summary judgment in Temple-Inland, Inc. v. Cook, No. 14-654-GMS, a case in which Temple-Inland challenged the constitutionality of Delaware’s audit of Temple-Inland’s unclaimed property reporting. 

Because $3 Billion in False Claims Act Recoveries This Year Just Isn’t Enough, DOJ Doubles Maximum FCA Penalties to $21,563 Per Claim 06-30-2016

V&E False Claims Act Update E-communication, June 30, 2016

By our count, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has reported more than $3.2 billion in False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries so far this fiscal year, already approaching the $3.5 billion in FCA recoveries DOJ reported for all of last year. As we predicted, these substantial recoveries are set to grow with DOJ’s issuing regulations nearly doubling FCA penalties.

President Obama Signs New Pipeline Safety Law 06-29-2016

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

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed new pipeline safety legislation, the “Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016” (the PIPES Act), just recently passed by Congress. 

FCPA Settlement Foreshadows Potential Impact of Recent DOJ Guidance 06-27-2016

V&E Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Update E-communication, June 27, 2016

Over the past year, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ” or “Department”) has released several new directives in an effort to enhance the Department’s ability to effectively enforce the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended (“FCPA”). 

BREXIT: Key Questions and Answers 06-27-2016

BREXIT Update, June 24, 2016

1.1 This note does not cover the potential political and/or economic impact that the No vote will have on 23 June and does not seek to make any predictions as to the anticipated business environment in the context of a Brexit economy.

Landmark TSCA Reform Legislation Enhances Regulatory Consistency, Expands EPA Authority 06-23-2016

V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, June 23, 2016

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law legislation overhauling the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Supreme Court Upholds “Broadest Reasonable Construction” Standard for Inter Partes Review 06-21-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, June 21, 2016

On Monday, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the “broadest reasonable construction” standard applied by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) when construing patent claims in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings, finding it to be a “reasonable exercise of rulemaking authority” under the IPR statute entitled to Chevron deference.

Issues for Companies Under New Trade Secrets Law 06-17-2016

First published in New York Law Journal, June 17, 2016

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), Pub. L. No. 114-153, 130 Stat. 376 (DTSA), signed into law on May 11, 2016, will inexorably have a significant impact on how companies manage their intellectual property. 

Supreme Court Clarifies Attorneys’ Fees Standard in Copyright Cases 06-17-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, June 17, 2016

On June 16, 2016, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-375 (U.S. June 16, 2016) (Kirtsaeng II), the Supreme Court clarified the standard for awarding attorneys’ fees in copyright litigation under 17 U.S.C. § 505.

Defendants Lose a Battle, But Win the War? Supreme Court in Universal Health Endorses False Claims Act Implied Certification Theory in Narrow Circumstances While Raising the Materiality Bar 06-17-2016

V&E False Claims Act Update E-communication, June 17, 2016

The Supreme Court decided Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar yesterday and held that the implied false certification theory can be a basis for False Claims Act (FCA) liability.

IRS and Treasury Backstop PATH Act and Expand REIT Spin-Off Restrictions With Temporary Regulations 06-16-2016

V&E REIT Update E-communication, June 16, 2016

On June 7, 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department (the “Treasury”) and the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) issued temporary regulations (the “Temporary Regulations”) under Section 337 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) that will have a widespread impact on merger and acquisition activity involving real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) and C corporations that engage in spin-offs. 

Seagate Loses Its Halo 06-13-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, June 13, 2016

On June 13, 2016, the Supreme Court in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., No. 14-1513, 579 U.S. ___(2016), unanimously overturned the Federal Circuit’s prior ruling in In re Seagate Technology, LLC, 497 F.3d 1360 (2007), which courts had used for nearly a decade as the measuring stick to determine whether enhanced damages should be awarded in patent infringement actions.

The Future of Clean Water Act Enforcement and the Jurisdictional Determination Program in the Wake of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc. 06-07-2016

V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, June 7, 2016

The Supreme Court dealt the Obama Administration another Clean Water Act loss on May 31, 2016, ruling unanimously that landowners can more quickly go to court to challenge the federal government when it claims Clean Water Act jurisdiction over their property. 

Ninth Circuit Upholds “De Minimis” Copying Exception for Sampling in Madonna's Vogue 06-06-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, June 6, 2016

In VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone, Nos. 13-57104 & 14-55837 (9th Cir. June 2, 2016), the Ninth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment holding that the sampling from the song Love Break for Madonna’s hit song Vogue did not constitute copyright infringement.

Jurisdictional Considerations in Cross-Border Transactions 07-26-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

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

Texas/New Mexico Water Fight May Make It to the U.S. Supreme Court 07-22-2016

Water Blog

The longstanding dispute between Texas and New Mexico with regard to water apportionment from the Rio Grande might make it to the Supreme Court after all. Approximately three and a half years ago, Texas filed a complaint in the U.S. Supreme Court alleging that New Mexico was taking too much water from the Rio Grande in violation of the Rio Grande Compact and the Rio Grande Project Act, which allegedly allocate the Rio Grande water among the three parties.

The Other Shoe Drops – First New Regulations, Now More Enforcement 07-21-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

The current administration in Washington has added a number of new employment-related requirements for federal government contractors during the past three years. (The president can implement such changes by executive order without needing the approval of Congress.) Now that regulations are in place, the government is taking a more aggressive position on enforcement of the new and previously existing requirements for government contractors.

Social Media Spotlight: Policies & Guidelines 07-19-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

There’s not one size fits all when it comes to social media policies, however there are some consistent elements that employers should consider having in their guidelines. Chris Bacon outlines these common elements and emphasizes the importance of crafting social media polices that do not violate an employee’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

U.S., Canada, and Mexico Agree to Use Similar Measures for the Social Cost of Carbon to Value GHG Reductions 07-19-2016

Climate Change Blog

On June 29, 2016, President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto made a trilateral energy and climate announcement during the North American Leadership Summit in Ottawa. The announcement included an Action Plan of “deliverables,” such as striving “to achieve a goal for North America of 50% clean power generation by 2025.”

Zika Virus: Protect Your Employees Without Falling into Title VII Pitfalls 07-14-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Recent international headlines about the Zika virus have caused human resources managers in the United States to express concerns about employees who travel to countries, notably Brazil and other countries in Latin America, where there could be a risk of exposure. (To date, the only cases of infection in the United States have been in persons who had traveled in Latin America.)

EPA Continues to Aggressively Target Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector 07-14-2016

Climate Change Blog

On May 12, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued three final rules, all related to the regulation of air emissions from oil and gas operations. The most significant of these regulations was a set of new requirements to limit Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and methane emissions from certain new, modified, and reconstructed upstream and midstream sources in oil and gas production.

UPDATE: The New EEO-1 Form and Why Companies Should Look at Male–Female Pay Discrepancies Now 07-13-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

We recently discussed the EEOC’s proposal to require employers with more than 100 employees to include salary range information in the EEO-1 form. Today, the EEOC announced that the new requirement would not go into effect until March 31, 2018, so that employers could have a full year of salary information for the first report.  

Social Media Spotlight: Current Employees 07-12-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

There are a number of reasons why employers should not look at the social media postings of their employees - it violates privacy and rights protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and can potentially create liability for the employer. There may be situations, however, when reviewing an employee's social media page is necessary. Chris Bacon talks through these situations and how an employer might consider conducting this type of investigation. 

Social Media Spotlight: The Hiring Process 07-07-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Is it legal for a company to review an applicant’s social media profile before hiring them? In this Social Media Spotlight post, Chris Bacon addresses how employers can responsibly review social media profiles during the hiring process. 

EPA Finalizes Oil and Gas Source Definition: The Evolution of EPA’s Source Determination Rule 07-06-2016

Climate Change Blog

On May 12, 2016, EPA issued the final version of its source determination rule, defining when activities will be considered “adjacent” for purposes of major source air permitting in the upstream oil and gas sector. Under the new rule, new or modified equipment or activities are “adjacent” if they are on the same surface site or on sites that share equipment and are within one-quarter mile of each other.

Pending Green Card Applications Don’t Need to Stand in the Way of Promotions 07-05-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

An employee’s career may continue to advance, without pause, even if the employee has a green card application pending. Section 204(j) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) provides that an approved Form I-140 for individuals with certain employment-based visas will remain valid for green card adjustment of status purposes when an applicant “ports” (changes jobs or employers) if: (1) a Form I-485 has been filed and remains unadjudicated for 180 days or more and (2) the new job is the same or similar occupational classification as the job for which the petition was filed. 

Coach Pat Summitt and the Modern Workplace 06-30-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

During my years at the University of Tennessee, I often attended the games of the Lady Vols basketball team coached by Pat Summitt, who passed away this week. Coach Summitt’s ferocious stare for any player who displeased her was downright frightening, and the law students watching the game from the tenth row all agreed that none would have survived law school had Coach Summitt decided to become a law professor instead of a basketball coach. 

EPA’s Cost Analysis for the New Methane Rules for the Oil and Gas Sector 06-28-2016

Climate Change Blog

On August 2, 2016, EPA’s first-ever rule to directly regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector will go into effect. EPA is regulating methane as a greenhouse gas (“GHG”), which it considers to be 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (“CO2”). The way that EPA values the reduction in these emissions resulted in the agency concluding that the rule would have a net economic benefit.

Brexit – Now That It’s a Reality, What Happens Next for UK Employment Law? 06-28-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

A couple of weeks ago, when I wrote a blog post commenting on the potential UK employment law consequence of a vote to leave the EU, the “smart” money was still on a vote to remain. The actual result on Friday morning came as a shock to most people on both sides of the debate. 

Federal Judge in Wyoming Rejects BLM Fracking Rule 06-24-2016

Water Blog

In a June 21 ruling, the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming set aside the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) comprehensive hydraulic fracturing regulations, holding that BLM lacks the statutory authority to regulate the hydraulic fracturing process.  

The Impact of Downsizing on Your Emergency Response Plan 06-24-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

When a company is considering downsizing or has recently conducted layoffs, it is particularly important for the company to review their emergency response plan to ensure that those responsible for components of the plan are replaced and any holes are filled as needed. 

Considerations for U.S. Companies When Conducting a Global Reduction in Force 06-22-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

This video highlights some of the issues employers may face when implementing reductions in force and encourages employers to think through the process and legal issues well in advance of taking any action.

EPA Releases Final Rule Prohibiting Discharge of Unconventional E&P Wastewaters to Public Treatment Facilities 06-16-2016

Water Blog

On June 13, EPA released its final rule prohibiting unconventional oil and gas well operators from discharging wastewater to publicly-owned treatment works (“POTWs”). The final rule only applies to unconventional oil and gas well operators; conventional wells and coalbed methane extraction facilities are unaffected. 

Unintended Consequences of MSHA’s Proposed Rules for Workplace Examinations 06-14-2016

Labor & Employment

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has a longstanding requirement that mines designate a competent person to examine each working place at least once during each shift for conditions that may affect safety or health. No safety manager would dispute that this is a sensible rule. That MSHA has proposed that employers now be required to document any corrective action that is taken with respect to any hazard identified in the workplace examination is also not unreasonable. 

Shareholder Activism and Government Regulation in Public M&A 07-19-2016

V&E partner Kai Liekefett speaks to The Street about the involvement of activist investors and government regulation in public M&A.

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.

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.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Do You Have the Coverage You Think You Do? 06-03-2016

There are several benefits to workers’ compensation insurance. For example, it provides benefits to an employee in the event of a workplace injury and provides an exclusive remedy protecting the employer from most types of negligence claims.

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.

V&E Safety Minute: An Introduction 04-05-2016

V&E’s Emergency Response and Crisis Management team has decades of experience managing crisis situations and scenarios, particularly for clients in the chemical, energy, heavy manufacturing, and industrial sectors.

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.

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