Insights Hero

Insights

Issues In Cross-Border Pipeline Development Published: 09-22-2016

This program will discuss common disputed claims within cross-border pipeline projects as well as nationality planning processes companies should consider prior to engagement in a project.

Construction SuperConference 2016 – A Global Perspective on Construction Arbitration: Current Practices and Recent Developments from Around the World 12-05-2016

Nick Henchie, head of Vinson & Elkins’ International Construction Group, will feature on a panel of distinguished counsel and consultants discussing current practices and recent developments in Construction Arbitration on Tuesday, December 6th, 4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. This panel discussion will focus on the practices and distinctions of various arbitral bodies, institutions, and rules implemented around the World.

28th Annual All Hands Meeting 2016 11-16-2016

V&E partners, Matt Jacobs and Jessica Mussallmen will be speaking at the 28th Annual All Hands Meeting in Santa Clara. They will be covering “The DOJ and SEC's New Tough Love Program for Corporations and Executives”. The All Hands Meeting is a unique and multifaceted annual event tailored to the special needs of in-house professionals whose companies rely upon intellectual property.

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.

32nd Annual SEC Reporting & FASB Forum 11-14-2016

The 32nd Annual SEC Reporting & FASB Forum hosted by the The SEC Institute, a division of Practising Law Institute (PLI), will explore the ever-changing world of SEC reporting, accounting, and auditing. On Monday, November 14, V&E partner Paul Tobias will be speaking on a panel entitled, "MD&A, Gearing Up for Year-End Reporting."

NYSE General Counsel Forum & Compliance Workshop 11-03-2016

Kai Liekefett will participate in the "Shareholder Activism: Making a Case for the GC" panel, which will discuss the increased activism, regulation, and risk that has resulted in heightened uncertainty in the boardroom. The panel will also advise on what guidance general counsel should offer the board when navigating shareholder communication, including corporate regulations, lobbying decisions, and negotiating M&A deals.

Hill International London Masterclass – Delay, Disruption and Construction Contracts 11-03-2016

Nick Henchie, Head of Vinson & Elkins’ International Construction Group, will be speaking at the Hill International Chartered Institute of Building Masterclass titled "Delay, Disruption and Construction Contracts." The event will examine current industry trends, changes to the law and methods of dispute resolution and cover a number of  the most up to date topics, including: How to minimize risks on your projects, Avoiding Disputes, Protecting your reputation when things go wrong and Preparing for hearings.

Harvard Roundtable on Corporate Governance 11-02-2016

The Harvard Roundtable on Corporate Governance will bring together top academics, practitioners and policy-makers for a discussion on current trends and topics in corporate governance. Chris Schmitt, a member of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Response Team, will attend and take part in the roundtable discussion.

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.

California Trial Evidence 2016 10-27-2016

The complexities of California evidence often can be the difference between winning and losing at trial. Recent case law and statutory developments in the law of evidence render this mastery critical in modern litigation and trials. V&E partner, Matt Jacobs will be participating in a panel discussion entitled “The End Goal—Crediting and Discrediting Witnesses” at the California Trial Evidence 2016 seminar.

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.

Executive Compensation in the Energy Industry: Preparing for the Year Ahead 10-20-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, a panel of attorneys from Vinson & Elkins and consultants from Meridian Compensation Partners will discuss executive compensation in the energy industry. 

9th West Coast FCPA Enforcement & Compliance Conference 10-18-2016

Hosted By American Conference Institute (ACI)

V&E partners, Matt Jacobs and Jessica Mussallem are participating in panel discussions at the 9th West Coast FCPA Enforcement & Compliance Conference in San Francisco.

Corporate Governance in the New Shareholder Activism Landscape Webinar 10-17-2016

Head of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Response Team Kai Liekefett will be the lead presenter in a webinar entitled “Corporate Governance in the New Shareholder Activism Landscape,” hosted by the Clear Law Institute.

The Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law’s (TJOGEL) Law Firm Career Panel 10-13-2016

V&E partner John B. Connally IV will be speaking as a panelist on TJOGEL's Law Firm Career Panel targeting first-year law students at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 13. John B. serves on the Board of Directors for the TJOGEL.

Public M&A in the Energy Space 10-12-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis presentation will review a range of transaction topics and considerations covering public company M&A issues including structure, fiduciary duties, flexibility, remedies, title and commercial issues, diligence, liability issues, environmental concerns, drafting and negotiating, management, labor, employee compensation and benefits, and tax considerations.

Kayo Women’s Private Equity Conference 10-05-2016

V&E is a proud sponsor of the 4th annual Kayo Women’s Private Equity Conference. This is an exclusive event bringing together the leading 300 women investors in private equity and venture capital. V&E partner Amy Riella will moderate the “Legal Considerations for PE Board Members,” panel at 11:00 a.m. on October 5.

2016 EBA Mid-Year Energy Forum 10-05-2016

V&E partners Barry Smitherman and Michael Wigmore will present at the 2016 Energy Bar Association Mid-Year Energy Forum. The event will provide two full days of discussions focused on the legal issues related to all aspects of energy law, as well as ample networking opportunities with professionals and law practitioners in the energy space.

Sixth Annual Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium 10-05-2016

You’re invited to join Vinson & Elkins for our annual seminar discussing timely topics surrounding unconventional oil and gas development. 

Section 363 Sales in Oil & Gas Bankruptcies: Purchasing Oil & Gas Assets 10-04-2016

Hosted by Legal Publishing Group of Strafford Publications

The Legal Publishing Group of Strafford Publications will host a panel of industry experts for a 90-Minute teleconference on October 4 at 12:00 p.m. CT. 

Construction SuperConference 2016 – A Global Perspective on Construction Arbitration: Current Practices and Recent Developments from Around the World 12-05-2016

Nick Henchie, head of Vinson & Elkins’ International Construction Group, will feature on a panel of distinguished counsel and consultants discussing current practices and recent developments in Construction Arbitration on Tuesday, December 6th, 4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. This panel discussion will focus on the practices and distinctions of various arbitral bodies, institutions, and rules implemented around the World.

28th Annual All Hands Meeting 2016 11-16-2016

V&E partners, Matt Jacobs and Jessica Mussallmen will be speaking at the 28th Annual All Hands Meeting in Santa Clara. They will be covering “The DOJ and SEC's New Tough Love Program for Corporations and Executives”. The All Hands Meeting is a unique and multifaceted annual event tailored to the special needs of in-house professionals whose companies rely upon intellectual property.

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.

32nd Annual SEC Reporting & FASB Forum 11-14-2016

The 32nd Annual SEC Reporting & FASB Forum hosted by the The SEC Institute, a division of Practising Law Institute (PLI), will explore the ever-changing world of SEC reporting, accounting, and auditing. On Monday, November 14, V&E partner Paul Tobias will be speaking on a panel entitled, "MD&A, Gearing Up for Year-End Reporting."

NYSE General Counsel Forum & Compliance Workshop 11-03-2016

Kai Liekefett will participate in the "Shareholder Activism: Making a Case for the GC" panel, which will discuss the increased activism, regulation, and risk that has resulted in heightened uncertainty in the boardroom. The panel will also advise on what guidance general counsel should offer the board when navigating shareholder communication, including corporate regulations, lobbying decisions, and negotiating M&A deals.

Hill International London Masterclass – Delay, Disruption and Construction Contracts 11-03-2016

Nick Henchie, Head of Vinson & Elkins’ International Construction Group, will be speaking at the Hill International Chartered Institute of Building Masterclass titled "Delay, Disruption and Construction Contracts." The event will examine current industry trends, changes to the law and methods of dispute resolution and cover a number of  the most up to date topics, including: How to minimize risks on your projects, Avoiding Disputes, Protecting your reputation when things go wrong and Preparing for hearings.

Harvard Roundtable on Corporate Governance 11-02-2016

The Harvard Roundtable on Corporate Governance will bring together top academics, practitioners and policy-makers for a discussion on current trends and topics in corporate governance. Chris Schmitt, a member of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Response Team, will attend and take part in the roundtable discussion.

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.

California Trial Evidence 2016 10-27-2016

The complexities of California evidence often can be the difference between winning and losing at trial. Recent case law and statutory developments in the law of evidence render this mastery critical in modern litigation and trials. V&E partner, Matt Jacobs will be participating in a panel discussion entitled “The End Goal—Crediting and Discrediting Witnesses” at the California Trial Evidence 2016 seminar.

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.

Executive Compensation in the Energy Industry: Preparing for the Year Ahead 10-20-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, a panel of attorneys from Vinson & Elkins and consultants from Meridian Compensation Partners will discuss executive compensation in the energy industry. 

9th West Coast FCPA Enforcement & Compliance Conference 10-18-2016

Hosted By American Conference Institute (ACI)

V&E partners, Matt Jacobs and Jessica Mussallem are participating in panel discussions at the 9th West Coast FCPA Enforcement & Compliance Conference in San Francisco.

Corporate Governance in the New Shareholder Activism Landscape Webinar 10-17-2016

Head of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Response Team Kai Liekefett will be the lead presenter in a webinar entitled “Corporate Governance in the New Shareholder Activism Landscape,” hosted by the Clear Law Institute.

The Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law’s (TJOGEL) Law Firm Career Panel 10-13-2016

V&E partner John B. Connally IV will be speaking as a panelist on TJOGEL's Law Firm Career Panel targeting first-year law students at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 13. John B. serves on the Board of Directors for the TJOGEL.

Public M&A in the Energy Space 10-12-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis presentation will review a range of transaction topics and considerations covering public company M&A issues including structure, fiduciary duties, flexibility, remedies, title and commercial issues, diligence, liability issues, environmental concerns, drafting and negotiating, management, labor, employee compensation and benefits, and tax considerations.

Kayo Women’s Private Equity Conference 10-05-2016

V&E is a proud sponsor of the 4th annual Kayo Women’s Private Equity Conference. This is an exclusive event bringing together the leading 300 women investors in private equity and venture capital. V&E partner Amy Riella will moderate the “Legal Considerations for PE Board Members,” panel at 11:00 a.m. on October 5.

2016 EBA Mid-Year Energy Forum 10-05-2016

V&E partners Barry Smitherman and Michael Wigmore will present at the 2016 Energy Bar Association Mid-Year Energy Forum. The event will provide two full days of discussions focused on the legal issues related to all aspects of energy law, as well as ample networking opportunities with professionals and law practitioners in the energy space.

Sixth Annual Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium 10-05-2016

You’re invited to join Vinson & Elkins for our annual seminar discussing timely topics surrounding unconventional oil and gas development. 

Section 363 Sales in Oil & Gas Bankruptcies: Purchasing Oil & Gas Assets 10-04-2016

Hosted by Legal Publishing Group of Strafford Publications

The Legal Publishing Group of Strafford Publications will host a panel of industry experts for a 90-Minute teleconference on October 4 at 12:00 p.m. CT. 

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.

Energy REITs and Real Estate MLPs 07-13-2016

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

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.

Assignor Estoppel Does Not Preclude Inter Partes Review 09-26-2016

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

On September 23, 2016, in Husky Injection Molding Systems, Inc. v. Athena Automation Ltd., No. 2015-1726 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 23, 2016), the Federal Circuit held that it did not have jurisdiction to review the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) decision to institute an inter partes review (IPR), even though the patent challenger would likely have been barred by the doctrine of assignor estoppel from challenging its own patent in district court.

New Methane Regulations 09-20-2016

First published in Oil & Gas Financial Journal, September 2016

V&E partner Larry Nettles and V&E associate Corinne Snow recently authored an article on EPA's economic analysis of the new "Quad Oa" regulations of methane and volatile organic compound air emissions from the oil and gas sector. EPA now estimates that the costs of complying with the rule will be significantly higher than its initial estimates in the fall of 2015

Applying Halo, Federal Circuit Confirms Expanded District Court Discretion to Award Enhanced Damages 09-13-2016

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

On September 12, 2016, on remand from the Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit vacated the Western District of Michigan’s award of enhanced damages and remanded for reconsideration in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1923 (2016) Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc., No. 2013-1668 (Fed. Cir. Aug 12, 2016).

Impact of Proposed Financial Institution Incentive-Based Compensation Rules on Private Equity Firms 09-13-2016

V&E Executive Compensation E-communication, September 13, 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), together with other federal agencies (the “Agencies”), have issued proposed rules that would govern incentive-based compensation arrangements (the “Proposed Rules”), as required by Section 956 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). 

Federal Circuit Reverses District Court Dismissal of Declaratory Judgment Action for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction 09-09-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, September 9, 2016

On September 8, 2016, the Federal Circuit reversed the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia’s dismissal of a declaratory judgment action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction based on a failure to plead facts showing a substantial controversy. 

International Cartel Enforcement 09-01-2016

First published in Risk & Compliance Magazine, July-September, 2016

Cartel enforcement continues to be a high priority for antitrust enforcement authorities throughout the world. V&E’s Co-head of the Antitrust Practice Group and Washington Office Managing Partner, Craig Seebald, participated in a panel discussion in Risk & Compliance Magazine. The panel discussed the latest developments and trends in global cartel enforcement.

Board’s Denial of Motion to Amend Claims in IPR Was Arbitrary and Capricious 08-31-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, August 31, 2016

On August 30, 2016, the Federal Circuit vacated the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“Board”) denial of Veritas Technologies LLC’s (“Veritas”) motion to amend claims filed in an inter partes review (“IPR”).

The Rest of the Iceberg?: SEC Allegedly Made Its First FCPA Whistleblower Award — $3.75 Million 08-31-2016

V&E Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Update E-communication, August 31, 2016

The Australian Financial Review reported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made its first U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)-related whistleblower award when it gave $3.75 million to a BHP Billiton insider.

New Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule Adds Substantial Compliance Burdens for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors 08-31-2016

V&E Workplace Safety & Government Contracts Update, August 31, 2016

On August 25, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (“FAR”) Council published the much anticipated final rule implementing the President’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (the “Rule”).

Treasury Department Issues Final Regulations Clarifying the Definition of REIT Real Property 08-30-2016

V&E REIT Update E-communication, August 30, 2016

Final regulations made public on August 30, 2016, by the Treasury Department provide new guidance on whether property qualifies as “real property” for purposes of the real estate investment trust (REIT) provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

A Facelift For IP-Licensing Antitrust Guidelines 08-25-2016

First published in Law360, August 25, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division have announced that they are seeking public views on a set of proposed updates to the 1995 Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property, which outline the agencies’ antitrust enforcement policies regarding the licensing of intellectual property protected by patent, copyright and trade secret laws. 

ITC Terminates Investigation Under 100-Day Pilot Program For First Time, Finding Music Categorization Claims Patent-Ineligible Under Alice 08-24-2016

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

In an International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation defended by Vinson & Elkins, Administrative Law Judge David P. Shaw issued a Final Initial Determination (ID) finding that the claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,928,433, directed to a method for the hierarchical organization of music within a portable media player, are not directed to patent-eligible subject matter.

Texas State Court Declines to Recognize Federal Patent Agent Privilege 08-23-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, August 23, 2016

On August 17, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas in Dallas (Court) refused mandamus relief from a trial court’s order that compelled the production of communications between a plaintiff inventor and his non-attorney patent agent. 

Antitrust Agencies Propose Facelift to IP Licensing Guidelines 08-18-2016

V&E Antitrust Update E-communication, August 18, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (the “Agencies”) have announced that they are seeking public views on a set of proposed updates (“Proposed Guidelines”) to the 1995 Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property (the “Guidelines”), which outline the Agencies’ antitrust enforcement policies regarding the licensing of intellectual property protected by patent, copyright, and trade secret laws.

Federal Circuit Affirms Patent-Ineligibility of Data Gathering and Processing Claims 08-15-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, August 15, 2016

In a case handled by Vinson & Elkins LLP in both the trial and appellate courts, the Federal Circuit this morning affirmed a judgment of the Southern District of Texas finding claims patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. 

Federal Circuit Limits Reliance on “Common Sense” to Establish Patent Invalidity 08-11-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, August 11, 2016

On August 10, 2016, the Federal Circuit clarified the limitations on the use of “common sense” in an obviousness analysis to supply a missing element in a prior art reference. Arendi S.A.R.L. v. Apple Inc., No. 2015-2073 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 10, 2016).

The Federal Trade Commission Takes a Broad View of “Unfairness” in Finding LabMD Violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by Failing to Adopt Reasonable and Appropriate Safeguards of Consumer Health Information 08-11-2016

V&E Cybersecurity and Data Privacy E-communication, August 11, 2016

In an eagerly anticipated decision, the Federal Trade Commission (the “Commission”) unanimously concluded that LabMD, Inc. failed to adopt reasonable and appropriate safeguards to protect consumer health information resulting in the disclosure of such sensitive information.

Now Accepting Applications: The EU – U.S. Privacy Shield Goes Live 08-02-2016

V&E Cybersecurity and Data Privacy E-communication, August 2, 2016

August 1, 2016 marked the first day U.S. companies can self-certify their compliance with EU data privacy laws by filing with the U.S. Department of Commerce under the new Privacy Shield program at www.privacyshield.gov.

Another Brick in the Wall Against Corruption: World Bank Continues to Increase Enforcement Activity 08-01-2016

V&E Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Update E-communication, August 1, 2016

The World Bank’s regulatory arm, the World Bank Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD) released last week the second edition of its “Report of Functions, Data and Lessons Learned.” Outlining the World Bank’s enforcement efforts to combat fraud and corruption, the report presents a cautionary tale for businesses involved in projects using financing provided by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs).

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.

Those Old Severance Agreements May Come Back to Haunt You 09-28-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Whenever I draft a severance agreement for a client, I always caution them that "one size does not fit all." A severance agreement intended for a 25-year-old receptionist in Texas who is always late to work is unlikely to be appropriate for a 65-year-old engineer in California being terminated as part of a larger reduction-in-force. Most seasoned human resource managers understand this. However, even when the circumstances of a termination are virtually identical (same jurisdiction, rationale, circumstances, and demographics), employers should not assume that they only need to change out the names from an agreement their labor counsel prepared a few months ago.

Pressing the Limits of Rule 9(b): Seventh Circuit Revives Billing Code Claim, But Holds Other Claims Fail Rule 9(b) for Lack of "Context" 09-27-2016

Lincoln's Law Blog

In yet another post-Escobar case involving the application of Rule 9(b), the Seventh Circuit reaffirmed the critical role of that rule in weeding out thinly-supported qui tam claims. In United States ex rel. Presser v Acacia Mental Health Clinic, LLC, No. 14-2804, 2016 WL 4555648 (7th Cir. Sept. 1, 2016), the relator, a nurse practitioner, brought FCA claims against her employer, a mental health clinic, alleging that the clinic provided, and billed for, medically unnecessary services and required nurse practitioners and receptionists to use a billing code reserved exclusively for psychological assessments and medical evaluations performed by therapists or psychiatrists.

False Claims Act Cert. Monitor: Supreme Court Will Consider Four FCA Petitions Today 09-26-2016

Lincoln's Law Blog

Today, at the Supreme Court’s 2016 “long conference,” the justices will consider some 1,600 petitions for certiorari in a single day. There are four FCA cert. petitions up for review. We covered those petitions in an earlier FCA Cert. Monitor post. In short, two of the petitions raise questions related to the public disclosure barU.S. ex rel. Cause of Action v. Chicago Transit Authority, No. 16-131; U.S. ex rel. Advocates for Basic Equality, Inc. v. U.S. BankN.A., No. 16-130.

False Claims Act Cert. Monitor: Relator Asks Supreme Court to Decide If Halo's Glow Shines New Light on FCA's Knowledge Standard 09-23-2016

Lincoln's Law Blog

The Supreme Court's decision in the patent case Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1923 (2016), which we wrote about previously, has now inspired a new FCA cert. petition by the relator in an 18-year-old case U.S. ex rel. Purcell v. MWI Corp., No. 16-361, in which the relator seeks review of the D.C. Circuit ’s 2015 decision, 807 F.3d 281 (D.C. Cir. 2015).

Trust Me, I am from the United States 09-22-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

In his keynote speech at the International Bar Association meetings in D.C., the U.S. Trade Ambassador, Robert Holleyman, made a passionate defense of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP) as a mechanism that will build trust between the U.S. and the other 11 countries in the TPP. While it is not clear that the TPP will ever obtain the required congressional support, the success of American companies doing business abroad will depend on those companies building trust with their employees in those countries.

False Claims Act Stats: "What Is Going on in Florida?" 09-22-2016

Lincoln's Law Blog

One discerning LLB reader, looking at the FCA Recovery Map and noting that the Eleventh Circuit and Florida are "hot" with FCA recoveries, asked us, "What is going on in Florida?" It’s a good question: As of September 18, 2016, $487 million in FCA recoveries, or 15% of FCA dollars recovered nationally, have come out of cases filed in district courts or investigated by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices located in the Eleventh Circuit. Of that $487 million, 94% come from courts or U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Florida.

North Dakota Reveals Basic Framework for Challenge of EPA's Quad Oa Methane Regulations for the Oil and Gas Sector 09-21-2016

Climate Change Blog

As discussed in this previous post, a number of states and industry groups have taken a stand against the Environmental Protection Agency's new methane and VOC emissions regulations for the oil and gas sector ("Quad Oa"). North Dakota recently provided additional insight about the claims that it plans to bring against EPA in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The Challenge of Implementing a "Global Diversity" Initiative in "Diversity-Unfriendly" Countries 09-21-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Some 6,000 lawyers from around the world are attending the International Bar Association meetings in Washington this week. As I meet colleagues from many countries, I am constantly reminded of the challenges that international employers face when trying to implement their diversity initiatives in very different countries. In some areas of the world, promotion of women is culturally, and even legally, controversial. In other countries, racism and discrimination are institutionalized and condoned by the authorities.

See Something, Say Something 09-20-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

My week at the International Bar Association conference in Washington began with a speech by the Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. He urged all of us who attended, in light of recent events in New York and New Jersey, if we see something suspicious, to say something. Many of you manage assets that are of particular importance to the security of the United States. If you haven’t done so recently, now might be a good time to remind employees of this simple principle.

Zero Damages Doesn’t Mean Zero Liability: DOJ Avoids Twice-Reversed False Claims Act Damages Calculation and Gets Paltry Disgorgement of Profits Instead 09-20-2016

Lincoln's Law Blog

It is common knowledge that even if a relator or the government cannot prove the government suffered actual damages, the court may still impose FCA penalties where there is liability. But a recent district court opinion provides a reminder that the government’s recovery, even in FCA cases with zero actual damages, can contain a third component: disgorgement of profits based on claims of common law unjust enrichment, although such claims can be brought only by the government.

Texas Challenges EPA’s Failure to Make New Endangerment Findings for the Quad Oa Methane Rules for the Oil and Gas Sector 09-19-2016

Climate Change Blog

As discussed in this previous post, a number of states and industry groups have challenged EPA’s new VOC and methane emission regulations for the oil and gas sector (“Quad Oa”). Texas has now further defined the claims it plans to bring against EPA in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Ninth Circuit lends biomass a Helping Hand 09-15-2016

Climate Change Blog

On September 2, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit handed down its opinion in a consolidated case - Helping Hand Tools v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (available here). In it, the court held that EPA did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in granting a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) permit under the Clean Air Act to Sierra Pacific Industries, Inc. Both Helping Hand Tools and the Center for Biological Diversity had petitioned the court to review the permit and the court consolidated their petitions.

OSHA’s Warning to Employers Makes Post-Accident Drug Testing More Complicated 09-15-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Many industrial employers have policies that require employees to take a drug test whenever they have been involved in an on-the-job accident which causes — or, in some cases, could have caused — a fatality, a serious injury, or significant property damage. You would think that these policies would be uncontroversial, given how important determining the cause of workplace accidents is to preventing future ones.

Home Sweet Home: FHA Mortgage Insurance Carries Heavy False Claims Act Risks for Mortgage Originators 09-15-2016

Lincoln's Law Blog

Banks are no strangers to complex regulatory schemes and close government scrutiny.  That is especially true for banks originating and underwriting mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a sub-agency of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). FHA issues mortgage default insurance to lenders for more than a third of mortgages issued each year, but imposes very specific underwriting and quality control measures upon loan originators seeking FHA insurance.

Return Fire: Employers Who Disregard State Gun Laws May Expose Themselves to Wrongful Termination Liability 09-13-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Across the country, employers today must be aware of their state’s gun laws. “Bring your gun to work” laws, enacted in over 20 states, pose a particular challenge to employers because they limit the extent to which employers can regulate guns on workplace premises. Addressing Mississippi law, the Fifth Circuit recently held that Mississippi employees can sue employers for wrongful termination if they are fired for storing a licensed firearm in a locked vehicle on company property, Swindol v. Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation.

In the Eye of the Storm: Recovering from Wind, Rain, and False Claims Act Liability After a Natural Disaster 09-13-2016

Lincoln's Law Blog

With hurricane and tropical storm season in full force, large parts of America face, or anticipate, the prospect of recovering from a natural disaster. Images of destruction wrought by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Irene, and Sandy have etched themselves into America’s collective consciousness. In addition to the human toll, these events posed an incredible financial cost.

EPA Acknowledges Missed Deadlines in Perchlorate Regulation 09-08-2016

Water Blog

On August 31, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) acknowledged in federal court that it had missed two deadlines for regulating perchlorate in drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”). The agency appeared at the initial case conference in response to a National Resources Defense Council (“NRDC”) lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York in February 2016. The NRDC is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against EPA for failing to meet statutory deadlines for regulating perchlorate.

Diagnosis: Another Executive Order Causes Government Contractors Nightmares and Loss of Appetite 09-08-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

If your business is a federal government contractor or subcontractor, do not read this before bedtime or mealtime. The U.S. Department of Labor has published the much-anticipated final rule implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which will go into effect on October 25, 2016.

False Claims Act Cert. Monitor: Who Is the State? Solicitor General Asked to Weigh in on FCA Liability of State-Affiliated Medical and Education Entities 09-08-2016

Lincoln's Law Blog

There's a strong chance the Supreme Court will grant certiorari on the fourth FCA issue in the past few years. This time, the most likely candidate for review is an important question for state-affiliated universities and hospitals facing FCA claims: When are state-affiliated entities liable under the FCA? With three petitions on this issue, coming from both the defense and relators’ bars, and the Court calling for the views of the Solicitor General (CVSG) in one case, the chances look decent for a grant on this issue in the upcoming term.

State Representative Seeks Attorney General Opinion on Controversial San Saba River Management Plan 09-06-2016

Water Blog

In an August 26 request for a formal opinion of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, State Representative J.D. Sheffield asked the Attorney General to weigh in on the constitutionality of the proposed Upper San Saba River Management Plan (“the Plan”), which would allow a private board to oversee all diversions of water from the upper portion of the San Saba River.

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, is a veteran appellate practitioner with deep experience handling energy appeals, particularly in Texas and Louisiana. She explains what legal issues we have handled in this industry, many of which have resulted in landmark decisions, and what makes this niche practice invaluable to clients.

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 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.

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.

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.

Find Insights