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

A 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. Watch a video recording and download the presentation.

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.

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

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

Wearables TechCon 07-18-2016

Hosted by BZ Media

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

Wearable Technologies Conference 2016 USA 07-12-2016

Hosted by Wearable Technologies

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

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

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

2nd Annual GAR Live Energy Disputes 06-16-2016

V&E energy disputes partner Mark Beeley will be joining Global Arbitration Review’s 9:10 a.m. panel discussing disputes arising out of joint operating agreements: As the price of oil has tumbled, so has the desire to be in certain projects.

2016 Harvard Roundtable on Shareholder Engagement 06-08-2016

The Harvard Roundtable on Shareholder Engagement will bring together prominent figures with a wide range of perspective on the subject, including activist investors, other institutional investors, issuers, directors, advisers, public officials and academics, for an off-the-record discussion. V&E partner Kai Liekefett will participate in the roundtable discussion.

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

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideContinuing the theme of last month’s financial crisis scenario, this month’s program will focus on the aftermath of a safety or environmental crisis and response tactics that can prove vital in any resulting litigation or government investigation.

2016 EBA Annual Meeting & Conference 06-07-2016

V&E partner James Olson will moderate a panel discussion entitled “Natural Gas Industry – Pressures and Solutions” at the Energy Bar Association’s Annual Meeting & Conference on June 8 at 9:00 a.m. The event will provide two full days of discussions focused on the legal issues related to all aspects of energy law.

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

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

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

V&E partner Jim Fox will speak on a panel entitled “Exits and Liquidity,” which will explore the topic of exits and distribution timing in an era of vast raised capital.

2016 Louisiana Energy Conference 06-01-2016

V&E partner Kai Liekefett will speak on the panel entitled “Energy Shareholder Activism: Has the Oil Price Decline Affected the Strategy?” on Thursday, June 2, at the 2016 Louisiana Energy Conference. The three-day conference will feature two days of panels focused on addressing key U.S. and international industry developments and issues, followed by a day of field trip opportunities.

Half-a-Loaf: SCOTUS Grants Cert in Rigsby Solely on Seal Violation Issue 05-31-2016

V&E False Claims Act Update E-communication, May 31, 2016

We have been closely watching the progress of State Farm & Casualty Company v. United States ex rel. Rigsby as it winds through the certiorari process, last noting on May 25, 2016, that the Supreme Court had “relisted” the petition for its next conference and that we could expect action as early as today.

Texas Supreme Court: Groundwater Owners Must Accommodate Surface Owners’ Rights 05-31-2016

Water Blog

The Texas Supreme Court has given those interested in groundwater another reason to hold on to their oil and gas treatises. In 2012, the Court looked to oil and gas law in Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Day to support its decision that landowners own the groundwater beneath their properties in place.

Introducing the V&E ‘Safety Minute’ Series 05-27-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Vinson & Elkins is pleased to announce V&E ‘Safety Minute,’ a content series from our Emergency Response & Crisis Management team. Collectively, these lawyers have decades of experience responding to environmental and safety crises and overseeing crisis response plan preparation. 

Proposed Regulation Would Require Federal Contractors to Report on GHG Disclosures 05-26-2016

Climate Change Blog

Yesterday, the FAR Council issued a Proposed Rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to create a new annual representation for certain contractors as the first step in implementing President Obama’s Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.

Second Circuit Strips Government of $1.3 Billion Victory, Underscoring the Line Between Breach of Contract and Fraud 05-26-2016

V&E False Claims Act Update E-communication, May 26, 2016

The government and private whistleblowers alike have long attempted to erode the distinction between breach of contract and fraud by bringing fraud cases based on conduct that, at most, gives rise to a claim for breach of contract. 

Managing Antitrust Risk in the Distressed Energy Market 05-26-2016

V&E Antitrust Update E-communication, May 26, 2016

The downturn in energy prices poses significant challenges for firms operating at all levels of the production chain, as the impact of low consumer prices cuts into the cash flow of companies across the industry. 

8th Anti-Corruption Compliance in China Summit 2016 05-26-2016

Hosted by Duxes

On May 26, V&E partner Matt Jacobs will be speaking on the panel “Trends in FCPA and International Anti-Corruption Enforcement.” The panel will address aggressive enforcement and record fines, bounties paid to whistleblowers, new tools used by enforcement authorities and enforcement actions against individuals.

Rigsby Relist Raises Chances of Three Consecutive Years of FCA in the Supreme Court 05-25-2016

V&E False Claims Act Update E-communication, May 25, 2016

In 2015, there was Carter, in 2016, there was Escobar (with a decision still to come), and a relist in Rigsby just brought False Claims Act (FCA) practitioners a crucial step closer to a trifecta of three consecutive FCA cases in three years at the Supreme Court.

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.

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

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

Wearables TechCon 07-18-2016

Hosted by BZ Media

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

Wearable Technologies Conference 2016 USA 07-12-2016

Hosted by Wearable Technologies

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

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

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

2nd Annual GAR Live Energy Disputes 06-16-2016

V&E energy disputes partner Mark Beeley will be joining Global Arbitration Review’s 9:10 a.m. panel discussing disputes arising out of joint operating agreements: As the price of oil has tumbled, so has the desire to be in certain projects.

2016 Harvard Roundtable on Shareholder Engagement 06-08-2016

The Harvard Roundtable on Shareholder Engagement will bring together prominent figures with a wide range of perspective on the subject, including activist investors, other institutional investors, issuers, directors, advisers, public officials and academics, for an off-the-record discussion. V&E partner Kai Liekefett will participate in the roundtable discussion.

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

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideContinuing the theme of last month’s financial crisis scenario, this month’s program will focus on the aftermath of a safety or environmental crisis and response tactics that can prove vital in any resulting litigation or government investigation.

2016 EBA Annual Meeting & Conference 06-07-2016

V&E partner James Olson will moderate a panel discussion entitled “Natural Gas Industry – Pressures and Solutions” at the Energy Bar Association’s Annual Meeting & Conference on June 8 at 9:00 a.m. The event will provide two full days of discussions focused on the legal issues related to all aspects of energy law.

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

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

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

V&E partner Jim Fox will speak on a panel entitled “Exits and Liquidity,” which will explore the topic of exits and distribution timing in an era of vast raised capital.

2016 Louisiana Energy Conference 06-01-2016

V&E partner Kai Liekefett will speak on the panel entitled “Energy Shareholder Activism: Has the Oil Price Decline Affected the Strategy?” on Thursday, June 2, at the 2016 Louisiana Energy Conference. The three-day conference will feature two days of panels focused on addressing key U.S. and international industry developments and issues, followed by a day of field trip opportunities.

8th Anti-Corruption Compliance in China Summit 2016 05-26-2016

Hosted by Duxes

On May 26, V&E partner Matt Jacobs will be speaking on the panel “Trends in FCPA and International Anti-Corruption Enforcement.” The panel will address aggressive enforcement and record fines, bounties paid to whistleblowers, new tools used by enforcement authorities and enforcement actions against individuals.

Popcorn & Principles XIV, More Order in the Court 05-24-2016

Nothing is more important to a lawyer's long-term success than a fundamental understanding of the rules of professional conduct. The Texas Bar Association requires all lawyers to adhere to these rules. Beyond that, the rules are critical to the development and maintenance of effective working relationships.

2016 Effective General Counsel in the Boardroom 05-18-2016

National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and the Directors' College for Global Business and Law, University of Michigan Law School

The “2016 Effective General Counsel in the Boardroom” forum will convene elite general counsels, corporate secretaries, governance gurus, and legal experts from across the United States to identify tactics that better align strategic assets in the boardroom and help your company survive and thrive in an era of heightened risk and new opportunities. 

LNG Trading Leaders Japan Forum 05-18-2016

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

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

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

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Special Institute on Oil & Gas Agreements: Purchase and Sale Agreements 05-12-2016

V&E partners John Grand and David Wicklund spoke on "Acquisition Financing and M&A Transactions – What You Need to Know as a Buyer and as a Seller” and V&E partner Larry Nettles discussed “Environmental Due Diligence and Defect Procedure” in the 11th installment of the Foundation’s Oil and Gas Agreements series which focused on a broad range of issues associated with the buy-sell process.

Annual In-House Symposium 05-05-2016

Hosted by Association of Corporate Counsel Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter

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

38th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute 05-05-2016

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

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

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 attorneys Mike Tomsu and Becky Diffen, who have worked on some of the first and largest storage projects in the country, will discuss current issues affecting the industry.

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

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

26th Annual Texas Wetlands Conference 01-29-2016

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

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

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

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

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

Liability Management Transactions for Debt Securities 12-09-2015

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

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

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

MLP 101 10-14-2015

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

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

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

The Clean Power Plan 09-16-2015

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

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

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

Changing Landscape of Qualifying Income 08-12-2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Restructuring and Reorganization 04-16-2015

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

Half-a-Loaf: SCOTUS Grants Cert in Rigsby Solely on Seal Violation Issue 05-31-2016

V&E False Claims Act Update E-communication, May 31, 2016

We have been closely watching the progress of State Farm & Casualty Company v. United States ex rel. Rigsby as it winds through the certiorari process, last noting on May 25, 2016, that the Supreme Court had “relisted” the petition for its next conference and that we could expect action as early as today.

Second Circuit Strips Government of $1.3 Billion Victory, Underscoring the Line Between Breach of Contract and Fraud 05-26-2016

V&E False Claims Act Update E-communication, May 26, 2016

The government and private whistleblowers alike have long attempted to erode the distinction between breach of contract and fraud by bringing fraud cases based on conduct that, at most, gives rise to a claim for breach of contract. 

Managing Antitrust Risk in the Distressed Energy Market 05-26-2016

V&E Antitrust Update E-communication, May 26, 2016

The downturn in energy prices poses significant challenges for firms operating at all levels of the production chain, as the impact of low consumer prices cuts into the cash flow of companies across the industry. 

Rigsby Relist Raises Chances of Three Consecutive Years of FCA in the Supreme Court 05-25-2016

V&E False Claims Act Update E-communication, May 25, 2016

In 2015, there was Carter, in 2016, there was Escobar (with a decision still to come), and a relist in Rigsby just brought False Claims Act (FCA) practitioners a crucial step closer to a trifecta of three consecutive FCA cases in three years at the Supreme Court.

SEC Requires Changes in Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures 05-25-2016

V&E Corporate Governance Update E-communication, May 25, 2016

On May 17, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission staff issued twelve new or revised Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations on Regulation G and Item 10(e) of Regulation S-K, which govern the use of non-GAAP financial measures. 

A New Slew of Oil and Gas Regulations: What You Need to Know 05-18-2016

V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, May 18, 2016

On May 12, 2016, EPA issued a slate of final rules and an information request under the Clean Air Act (the “Act” or “CAA”) directed at the oil and gas industry. 

President Signs Federal Trade Secrets Law 05-12-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, May 12, 2016

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) into law, after the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to approve the DTSA and the U.S. House of Representatives approved it by a near unanimous 410-2 vote.

Government Contractors Railroaded Again by the False Claims Act? Railroad Retirement Board Doubles FCA Penalties, Foreshadowing Likely Increase by DOJ 05-11-2016

V&E False Claims Act Update E-communication, May 11, 2016

While the Supreme Court’s implied certification case Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar gets all the press, the quiet doubling of False Claims Act (FCA) penalties by one small federal agency, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), could foreshadow a dramatic increase in FCA penalties by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and possibly other agencies later this year.

Recent Trends in the Federal Trade Commission Review of Oil and Gas Industry Mergers and Joint Ventures 05-11-2016

V&E's Antitrust Update E-communication, May 11, 2016

Many oil and gas companies are struggling with declining oil prices and profitability, and the Department of Justice (the DOJ) recently indicted an oil and gas executive for price fixing or rigging bids. 

Q&A With Vinson & Elkins' George Burn 05-10-2016

First published in Law360, May 10, 2016

George Burn is a partner in Vinson & Elkins LLP's international dispute resolution group. He is based in the firm’s London office and is a seasoned advocate, appearing in international arbitration proceedings, representing companies, individuals and states. He is admitted in England as a Solicitor-Advocate.

Supreme Court to Review Viability of Laches Defense in Patent Cases 05-04-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, May 4, 2016

On May 2, 2016, the Supreme Court granted SCA Hygiene Products AB’s (SCA) petition for certiorari with respect to a single question — whether and to what extent the defense of laches may bar a claim for patent infringement brought within the Patent Act’s six-year statutory limitations period.

Supreme Court to Address Copyright Protection for Cheerleader Uniforms 05-03-2016

V&E IP Insights E-communication, May 3, 2016

On May 2, 2016, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case dealing with whether copyright protection exists for cheerleader uniforms. 

Recent Developments in Media, Privacy, Defamation, and Advertising Law 05-03-2016

First published by Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal (Vol. 51-2), Winter 2016

This article addresses a range of significant legal developments from October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015, related to publishing—from the regulation of anonymous online speech to the use of drones in journalism. The first two parts address torts involving defamation and privacy.

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

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

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

BSEE Final Well Control Rule Published 04-29-2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First published in Law360, April 18, 2016

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

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

First published in Law360, April 13, 2016

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

Texas Supreme Court: Groundwater Owners Must Accommodate Surface Owners’ Rights 05-31-2016

Water Blog

The Texas Supreme Court has given those interested in groundwater another reason to hold on to their oil and gas treatises. In 2012, the Court looked to oil and gas law in Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Day to support its decision that landowners own the groundwater beneath their properties in place.

Introducing the V&E ‘Safety Minute’ Series 05-27-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Vinson & Elkins is pleased to announce V&E ‘Safety Minute,’ a content series from our Emergency Response & Crisis Management team. Collectively, these lawyers have decades of experience responding to environmental and safety crises and overseeing crisis response plan preparation. 

Proposed Regulation Would Require Federal Contractors to Report on GHG Disclosures 05-26-2016

Climate Change Blog

Yesterday, the FAR Council issued a Proposed Rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to create a new annual representation for certain contractors as the first step in implementing President Obama’s Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.

Why Employers Should Consider Letting Transgendered Employees Use the Restroom of Their Own Choice – Part Two 05-25-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

I will not weigh into the most recent legal salvo in the transgendered bathroom wars other than to mention in passing that the federal government and the State of North Carolina filed dueling lawsuits challenging and defending North Carolina’s new law requiring public agencies to limit the use of multiple occupancy bathrooms to persons of the same biological sex. Instead, as I promised in my last blog on this subject, I will address how employers can accommodate transgendered employees without creating unnecessary battles with those employees who might have difficulty accepting these coworkers—especially when they use the restroom.

Preparing for the New Methane Quad Oa: LDAR Requirements for Compressor Stations 05-24-2016

Climate Change Blog

On May 12, 2016, EPA finalized its proposed rule to regulate methane and volatile organic compound emissions from new and modified sources in the oil and gas sector (known as “Quad Oa”).  This is the first in a series of posts discussing steps that upstream and midstream companies may want to consider as they prepare for Quad Oa.  More information about the requirements is available here.

A New Slew of Oil and Gas Regulations: What You Need to Know 05-24-2016

Climate Change Blog

On May 12, 2016, EPA issued a slate of final rules and an information request under the Clean Air Act (the “Act” or “CAA”) directed at the oil and gas industry. 

The New OSHA Reporting Requirements: Are They Much Ado About Nothing? 05-19-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Every time the federal government issues new a set of regulations governing some aspect of the workplace, human resources and health and safety managers can expect to receive dozens of “e-alerts” from employment lawyers at different law firms warning them that the new rules will dramatically change the way they do business.

The New Overtime Regulations: It Could Have Been Worse! 05-18-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Now they are final. Effective December 1, 2016, any employee who earns a salary of less than $47.476.01 will be entitled to overtime and treated as non-exempt, regardless of their job duties. This is slightly more than double the current $23,660 salary threshold. 

EPA Releases Final Rule on Oil and Gas Sector Methane Emissions 05-17-2016

Climate Change Blog

On May 12, 2016, the U.S. EPA released a final rule aimed at reducing methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions from new, reconstructed, and modified oil and gas sources. The final rule places new compliance burdens on compressor stations and well sites, including detecting and repairing equipment leaks, capturing gas from the completion of hydraulically fractured wells, and limiting emissions from certain new and modified equipment used at gas transmission compressor stations and well sites. 

Mapping the Labyrinth: Considerations for Employers Affected by New Paid Family Leave Laws 05-17-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

Justice Brandeis famously likened the states to “laboratories of democracy” that could undertake bold policy experiments for which the federal government was too timid. But when state and local governments pass a patchwork of different and even incompatible laws, they cause headaches for multi-state employers that would prefer to maintain uniform, efficient practices.

Washington Department of Ecology Ordered to Develop a GHG Emissions Reduction Plan 05-13-2016

Climate Change Blog

On April 29, 2016, a group of children suing the Washington Department of Ecology (“DOE”) won a big victory when a King County Superior Court judge ordered DOE to develop a greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions reduction plan by the end of the year. The case shows that citizen groups are continuing to try to use the Public Trust Doctrine as a way to force agency action on climate change.

Dealing with Dementia in the Workplace 05-12-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

In the last couple of years, I have watched both my parents deal with dementia: first, my father who died last year after dealing with Lewy body dementia in the last years of his life, and more recently, my mother, who is currently living in “memory care” assisted living because of Parkinson’s-related dementia. While it has been difficult watching my once very bright parents deal with severe cognitive declines, I recognize that they were both fortunate in that they did not begin to suffer from dementia until they were well into their eighties.

EPA Accused of Deceiving District Court Regarding Blending and Mixing Zone Policies Under CWA 05-11-2016

Water Blog

The most recent development in EPA’s struggle with challenges to its ‘blending’ and ‘mixing zones’ policies is interesting, to say the least. On May 2, 2016, in a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) lawsuit in the District Court for the District of Columbia, EPA was accused by plaintiff Hall & Associates (H&A) of misleading the court when it submitted a declaration that the plaintiffs characterized as “a complete and utter fabrication.”

Public Trust Doctrine Suite Could Clear Procedural Hurdles 05-10-2016

Climate Change Blog

Law360 recently ran an article, authored by V&E partner George Wilkinson and V&E associate Lauren Sidner, looking at Kelsey Cascade Rose Juliana v. United States, a controversial climate change suit involving claims based on the public trust doctrine.

Details Matter in Collective Bargaining 05-10-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

When negotiating new labor union agreements, employers often focus only on the value of wages and benefits and assume that the remaining terms of the agreement—which may have been in effect for decades—can remain the same. However, when an employer decides that it needs to make moves that allow it to accommodate economic, technology, and business management changes, these seemingly inconsequential, yet overlooked, details can often stop the employer in its tracks. 

Enviros Launch New Assault Against RCRA E&P Exemption 05-06-2016

Water Blog

On May 4, 2016, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), Earthworks, and three other environmental groups filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  The suit seeks to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review, and, if necessary, promulgate revised regulations and guidelines for the disposal, storage, transportation, and handling of oil and natural gas wastes.  

Issues for Employers Under New U.S. Trade Secrets Law 05-04-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

While the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA” or the “Act”), passed by Congress on April 27, 2016, has a significant impact on intellectual property management (see V&E Intellectual Property group’s report), it also impacts how U.S. employers draft and enforce confidentiality agreements with their employees.

Why It’s Important to Remember the Reason You Wrote Your Workplace Conduct Rules 05-03-2016

Labor & Employment Blog

To many unionized and non-unionized employers alike, it might appear that the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) has it out for their handbooks and policy manuals. From social media policies to arbitration provisions to confidentiality of internal investigations, the Board has aggressively scrutinized employer policies under a standard that can make it very difficult for an employer to know which of its policies are proper and which are not. 

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

Climate Change Blog

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

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

Labor & Employment Blog

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

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.

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

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

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

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

An Introduction to Private Letter Rulings 11-11-2015

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

An Introduction to Retail Preferred Offerings 11-06-2015

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

Protecting Data in Unlikely Places 11-02-2015

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

Cybersecurity and the Cloud 10-21-2015

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

A Comparison of MLPs and YieldCos 10-02-2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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