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

V&E partners Caroline PhillipsGillian HobsonSarah Morgan, and Lande Spottswood will each speak at the Kayo Women’s Energy Investment Conference on Monday, June 12th and Tuesday, June 13th in Houston.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 MLP Annual Investor Conference 05-31-2017

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

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

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

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

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

Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures Conference 05-18-2017

The Center for American and International Law will host its 4th Annual Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures Conference on May 18 and May 19 in Houston, TX. The conference will cover lessons learned from energy bankruptcies, the current state of the oil & gas markets, and developments abroad, among other discussions.

28th ITF Public Conference: Economic Crime and International Investment Law 05-12-2017

V&E International Dispute Resolution Partner George Burn will be speaking at the 28th ITF Public Conference: Economic Crime and International Investment Law.

Corporate Counsel Institute 05-11-2017

The 39th 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.

Governance and Disclosure: 2017 Season Lessons, 2018 Season Expectations 05-10-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, we will discuss key 2017 governance and disclosure developments and trends, including proxy access developments, proxy advisory firms policy changes, executive compensation trends, conflict minerals developments, shareholder proposal trends and recent SEC guidance.

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

Piracy is one of the larger threats to brand owners. Going after pirates can be costly and traditional fines from Customs & Border Patrol do little to deter the brazen pirate.

An Evening with the SEC Director Shamoil Shipchandler 05-08-2017

The Texas Lawbook, is hosting an evening with SEC Director Shamoil Shipchandler. Speakers will include his predecessor, David Woodcock of Jones Day and Vinson & Elkins partner, John Wander.

22nd Annual Government Contracting Update: Shaping Today's Challenges Into Tomorrow's Success 05-04-2017

DHG's Government Contracting Practice has been helping government contractors interpret, implement and comply with regulatory concerns since the 1980's. The Annual Government Contracting Update focuses on ways to improve profit margins, enhance indirect cost strategies, ensure compliance with rules and regulations, increase cost recovery and minimize tax consequences.

Offshore and Energy Restructuring Breakfast Panel 05-03-2017

In concert with Marine Money’s Houston Offshore Finance Forum, Vinson & Elkins and PJT will host an invitation-only breakfast.

Cybersecurity Preparedness for the Energy Industry 04-28-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideCome join us for a panel discussion with representatives from the infrastructure, public relations and insurance fields as we discuss the metes and bounds of being “cyber-secure” in today’s energy business.

Latin Lawyer – GAR Live Arbitration Summit 04-27-2017

Jim Loftis will be speaking at the Latin Lawyer – GAR Live Arbitration Summit on Thursday, April 27. Latin Lawyer and Global Arbitration Review are joining forces to provide a top-level focus on the latest developments on arbitration in the region.

Active-Passive Investor Summit 04-27-2017

13D Monitor’s Active-Passive Investor Summit is the preeminent hedge fund activism conference designed for both active and passive investors. 

Women's Energy Network National Conference 04-26-2017

Women's Energy Network (WEN) is hosting its national conference in Houston. V&E partner Sarah Morgan is moderating the "Financing the Industry: Current Trends and Considerations" panel which will feature Hi-Crush, Trecora Resources and Morgan Stanley.

Eleventh Annual Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference – Technology, IP and Investor-State Arbitration 04-25-2017

Vinson & Elkins partner George Burn and associate Robert Landicho will feature on a panel titled 'Full protection and "cyber" security?' at the Eleventh Annual Juris Conferences’ Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference.

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

V&E partners Caroline PhillipsGillian HobsonSarah Morgan, and Lande Spottswood will each speak at the Kayo Women’s Energy Investment Conference on Monday, June 12th and Tuesday, June 13th in Houston.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 MLP Annual Investor Conference 05-31-2017

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

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

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

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

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

Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures Conference 05-18-2017

The Center for American and International Law will host its 4th Annual Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures Conference on May 18 and May 19 in Houston, TX. The conference will cover lessons learned from energy bankruptcies, the current state of the oil & gas markets, and developments abroad, among other discussions.

28th ITF Public Conference: Economic Crime and International Investment Law 05-12-2017

V&E International Dispute Resolution Partner George Burn will be speaking at the 28th ITF Public Conference: Economic Crime and International Investment Law.

Corporate Counsel Institute 05-11-2017

The 39th 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.

Governance and Disclosure: 2017 Season Lessons, 2018 Season Expectations 05-10-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, we will discuss key 2017 governance and disclosure developments and trends, including proxy access developments, proxy advisory firms policy changes, executive compensation trends, conflict minerals developments, shareholder proposal trends and recent SEC guidance.

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

Piracy is one of the larger threats to brand owners. Going after pirates can be costly and traditional fines from Customs & Border Patrol do little to deter the brazen pirate.

An Evening with the SEC Director Shamoil Shipchandler 05-08-2017

The Texas Lawbook, is hosting an evening with SEC Director Shamoil Shipchandler. Speakers will include his predecessor, David Woodcock of Jones Day and Vinson & Elkins partner, John Wander.

22nd Annual Government Contracting Update: Shaping Today's Challenges Into Tomorrow's Success 05-04-2017

DHG's Government Contracting Practice has been helping government contractors interpret, implement and comply with regulatory concerns since the 1980's. The Annual Government Contracting Update focuses on ways to improve profit margins, enhance indirect cost strategies, ensure compliance with rules and regulations, increase cost recovery and minimize tax consequences.

Offshore and Energy Restructuring Breakfast Panel 05-03-2017

In concert with Marine Money’s Houston Offshore Finance Forum, Vinson & Elkins and PJT will host an invitation-only breakfast.

Cybersecurity Preparedness for the Energy Industry 04-28-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideCome join us for a panel discussion with representatives from the infrastructure, public relations and insurance fields as we discuss the metes and bounds of being “cyber-secure” in today’s energy business.

Latin Lawyer – GAR Live Arbitration Summit 04-27-2017

Jim Loftis will be speaking at the Latin Lawyer – GAR Live Arbitration Summit on Thursday, April 27. Latin Lawyer and Global Arbitration Review are joining forces to provide a top-level focus on the latest developments on arbitration in the region.

Active-Passive Investor Summit 04-27-2017

13D Monitor’s Active-Passive Investor Summit is the preeminent hedge fund activism conference designed for both active and passive investors. 

Women's Energy Network National Conference 04-26-2017

Women's Energy Network (WEN) is hosting its national conference in Houston. V&E partner Sarah Morgan is moderating the "Financing the Industry: Current Trends and Considerations" panel which will feature Hi-Crush, Trecora Resources and Morgan Stanley.

Eleventh Annual Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference – Technology, IP and Investor-State Arbitration 04-25-2017

Vinson & Elkins partner George Burn and associate Robert Landicho will feature on a panel titled 'Full protection and "cyber" security?' at the Eleventh Annual Juris Conferences’ Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference.

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

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

Energy Technology Roundtable 02-23-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China Intellectual Property & Innovation Summit 10-27-2016

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

Defining the Contours of Alice 10-25-2016

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

Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium 10-05-2016

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

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

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

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

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

MLP Qualifying Income and Market Update 09-14-2016

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program will cover the status of the proposed qualifying income regulations and 2016 MLP capital markets transactions, with a focus on institutional preferred equity.

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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First published by Law 360, March 30, 2017

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

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

First published by Law 360, March 30, 2017

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

FCC Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules Repealed 03-30-2017

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

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

SEC Adopts T+2 Settlement 03-29-2017

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

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

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

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

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

Jevic: Structured Dismissal SCOTUS Ruling 03-27-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supreme Court Flushes Laches: No Longer a Viable Patent Infringement Defense in Many Cases 03-22-2017

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

On March 21, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 7-1 decision that laches cannot be invoked as an equitable defense against a claim for damages arising from an infringing act that occurred within the six-year damages limitations period prescribed by 35 U.S.C. § 286. 

Texas Supreme Court Cautions Against Reliance on Wikipedia in “Welfare Queen” Defamation Case 03-22-2017

V&E Hi-Tech Update E-communication, March 22, 2017

On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court decided a closely-watched defamation case brought by a woman who claimed she was libeled when a Dallas magazine referred to her as a “welfare queen.” See D Magazine Partners, L.P. v. Rosenthal, Case No. 15-0790 (Mar. 17, 2017).

Federal Circuit Upholds Attorneys’ Fee Award Despite Bayer’s Claim It Had an “Objectively Reasonable Case on the Merits” 03-21-2017

V&E IP Insights E-Communication, March 21, 2017

On March 17, 2017, the Federal Circuit issued a rare precedential opinion affirming an award of attorneys’ fees. Bayer Cropscience AG v. Dow Agrosciences LLC, No. 2015-1854 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 17, 2017).

No Right to be Forgotten from Commercial Registers in European Union 03-14-2017

V&E Hi-Tech Update E-communication, March 14, 2017

The contours of the right to be forgotten — to have potentially damaging personal data removed from digital records — continue to take shape in the European Union (EU). 

Amgen Declines Genentech’s Invitation to the Patent Dance; Litigation Ensues 03-13-2017

V&E Hi-Tech Update E-communication, March 13, 2017

On March 1, 2017, the District of Delaware dismissed Genentech’s two-week old lawsuit against Amgen, which alleged violations of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”).

Making It Easier to Challenge Arbitral Awards? UK Supreme Court Rules That a Party Challenging Enforcement of an Arbitration Award Does Not Have to Post Security 03-13-2017

V&E International Dispute Resolution Update E-communication, March 13, 2017

A recent decision of the UK Supreme Court clarified that parties raising, in good faith, genuine defences to enforcement of arbitral awards under the New York Convention may not have to put up security as a condition of having that defence heard.

Don’t Be Afraid to Run Your Business in Considering ADA Accommodation Requests 04-20-2017

Employment & Labor Blog

Employers are often hesitant to deny a disabled employee accommodation, fearing that any denial may trigger liability. But a recent Eleventh Circuit case reminds us that, while employers must seriously consider accommodation requests and engage in a meaningful interactive process with the requester, companies don’t have to let such a request interrupt the ordinary conduct of their business.

The Hundred Years Firm 04-20-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

1917 was a momentous year: the Royal Bank of Canada took over Quebec Bank, Emperor Nicholas II of Russia abdicated his throne thus ending the Russian Empire, and the United States called off its search for Pancho Villa. But did you know that 1917 is also the year that our very own Vinson & Elkins was founded? Not quite as old as the False Claims Act – but almost!

Armor Manufacturers (Mostly) Deflect FCA Claims Again Post-Escobar: District Court Finds Implied, Extra-Contractual Duties Not Bargained For and Thus Not Material 04-18-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

In related cases U.S. ex. rel. Westrick v. Second Chance Body Armor, Inc. and U.S. v. Toyobo Company, Ltd., the D.C. district court recently determined on a motion to reconsider post-Escobar that implied “extra-contractual” requirements, not included in the language of the contract with the government, may nevertheless form the basis of an implied certification claim. No. 1:07-cv-01144 (D.D.C. Mar. 31, 2017). But, the court found that since the government in Westrick and Toyobo presented no evidence that it in fact contracted or bargained for the alleged extra-contractual obligations, the obligations were not material to payment and affirmed its previous grant of summary judgment for defendants on their FCA claims based on a violation of those obligations.

The NLRB’s Scrutiny of Codes of Conduct – How Much Longer Will It Last? 04-18-2017

Employment & Labor Blogs

Last year I talked about how the Board was closely scrutinizing — paragraph by paragraph and line by line — employers’ codes of conduct and related policies often contained in employee handbooks.

New Silica Standard is Not Being Trumped 04-13-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

Last year, I talked about the new silica standard that could require major engineering changes in the hydraulic fracturing industry. Recently, several clients have asked me if it’s true, that they no longer have to worry about the silica standard, now that Trump has been elected. Alas, rumors of the death of the silica regulation have been greatly exaggerated.

The Duck Test: Case Law from Across the Pond 04-11-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

It is no surprise that this blog regularly returns to the issue of misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Classification is something that employers often get wrong. Figuring out whether someone is an employee or independent contractor is sometimes referred to as “the duck test.” If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a duck – similarly, if a relationship has all the characteristics of employment, then the individual is probably an employee as a matter law, regardless of the label the parties put on it. A recent series of cases in the UK demonstrates how this same issue arises around the world, but sometimes with a twist.

The Quicken Origin Story:  Michigan Federal Court Addresses False Claims Act 04-11-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

Last week we wrote about the opinion in United States v. Quicken Loans Inc., specifically discussing its ruling on causation of damages under the FCA. No. 16-CV-14050, 2017 WL 930039 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 9, 2017). As we noted, Quicken touches on other important FCA issues, including knowledge and materiality. But since liability necessarily precedes damages, let’s go back now to discuss certain of the court’s rulings on knowing violations of ambiguous rules under Safeco and on materiality after Escobar.

Federal Court Dismisses RCRA Suit Seeking Limitations on Oklahoma Wastewater Injection Wells 04-05-2017

Water Blog

On April 4, 2017, Western District of Oklahoma Judge Stephen Friot dismissed an action brought under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) by the Sierra Club against four deep fluid injection well operators. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants’ use of wastewater injection wells presented an “imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment” in violation of RCRA because it supposedly causes “waste-induced earthquakes.” The Sierra Club sought a wide range of injunctive relief, asking the court to order defendants to substantially reduce the volume of wastewater they inject into disposal wells, reinforce vulnerable structures, and establish a seismic activity monitoring center to further analyze (and predict) the potential for seismic effects of underground injection of oilfield wastes.

Will the Supreme Court Decide Whether Gays Are Protected by Title VII? 04-05-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

As I predicted last week, a conflict among the circuits now exists on whether gays are protected from workplace discrimination. In yesterday’s landmark opinion in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, the Seventh Circuit became the first court of appeals to find homosexuality broadly defined is included in Title VII’s protection against sex-based discrimination.

Activist Shareholders and Labor Issues – Staying Ahead but Staying Honest 04-04-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

A growing number of organizations and institutional investors concerned about international human rights — particularly forced labor or modern slavery — are using their status as shareholders to pressure public companies to take action on these issues. When such pressure is brought to bear, companies are well advised to respond quickly and with precision. Making unsupported statements in a human rights policy can lead to claims by both shareholders and consumers.

Fifth Circuit Holds Relators’ Rubber Stamp Anxiety Insufficient to Clear Escobar’s Materiality Hurdle Given Government Inaction after Investigation 04-04-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

The Fifth Circuit recently issued a helpful materiality decision for defendants in Abbott v. BP Exploration & Production, finding that the Department of the Interior’s (“DOI”) decision to allow an oil production facility to continue operating after an investigation into the relators’ allegations is “strong evidence” that a regulation’s alleged stamping requirement is not material. No. 16-20028, 2017 WL 992506 (5th Cir. Mar. 14, 2017).

Is President Trump’s Climate Executive Order Good for Business? 04-03-2017

Climate Change Blog

On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that seeks to entirely reverse the Obama Administration’s climate policies. Widely anticipated and discussed as a “climate change” order, the Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, is actually a sweeping statement regarding the President’s desire to comprehensively reduce regulatory burdens across the energy industry. The stated purpose of the Executive Order—to promote the development of American energy resources—raises the question of whether what the order seeks to accomplish is good for the energy industry.

And the winner is…? Top 10 OSHA Citations of 2016 03-30-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

OSHA publishes an annual list of the top 10 violations for which OSHA most frequently cites employers.1 Although OSHA’s regulations cover a wide range of safety standards, all of which must be complied with, this is a valuable list for an employer to consider when developing focus points for its workplace safety program.

A Rebel Claim Without a Cause? Michigan Federal Court Analyzes False Claims Act Causation of Damages Standard 03-29-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

In the recent decision in United States v. Quicken Loans Inc., the district court found the government adequately pleaded that Quicken Loan Inc. (“Quicken”) submitted false claims and made false statements material to false claims for insurance payouts from the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) for defaulted FHA-insured loans that Quicken had not properly underwritten. No. 16-CV-14050, 2017 WL 930039 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 9, 2017). As a result, the Court denied most of Quicken’s motion to dismiss except for one theory of liability and certain untimely claims.

Corporate Boards Keep Watch: BlackRock Again Emphasizes Linkages between Climate-Friendly Policies and Market Value 03-29-2017

Climate Change Blog

Institutional investors are increasingly emphasizing linkages between protection of the environment and long-term shareholder value in an effort to both strengthen shareholder value and to encourage other investors to seek more environmentally-conscious policies in the companies in which they invest. These large asset managers are paying attention to environmental factors in their portfolio management and engagement decisions not just to benefit the world, they say, but to protect and increase company value. For the moment, climate-related aspects of environmental protection are receiving a particularly high degree of attention from environmentally-focused asset managers and investors.

Despite Fine Line in Cases, Discrimination Against Gays Is Often Illegal and Bad for Business 03-28-2017

Employment & Labor Blog

Full disclosure: I have a dog in this fight. As a gay man, I would be happy if the Supreme Court decided that Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Until now, federal appellate courts have always found that Title VII does not protect employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation, including the most recent decision last week by the Eleventh Circuit in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital. However, those of us who heard the oral argument before 11 judges of the Seventh Circuit last November 30, 2016 in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College would not be surprised if a conflict soon emerged among the circuits. (There was also a vigorous dissent in Evans). The Loving v. Virginia arguments that were made in gay marriage cases appear to be resonating with judges who are considering whether sexual orientation may simply be a form of sex discrimination. In other words, if you discriminate against a gay person because he or she is attracted to someone of the same sex, you are essentially discriminating against them because they are failing to conform to a gender stereotype.


It’s Complicated — Structuring a Bankruptcy Settlement to Avoid Employment Claims 03-27-2017

Previously published as a V&E Restructuring and Reorganization Updates E-communication on March 27, 2017

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court limited the use of “structured dismissals” in chapter 11 cases, overturning a ruling of the Third Circuit that would have wiped out employee WARN Act claims while paying out lower-priority, general unsecured creditors. It stressed that any distribution scheme in connection with a proposed chapter 11 structured dismissal must follow the basic priority rules of the Bankruptcy Code absent consent of the affected parties. Notably, the Supreme Court avoided determining that interim modifications of the priority scheme cannot be permitted at any time during a case.

False Claims Act Cert. Monitor: Relator Asks Court to Extend Benefit of FCA Statute of Limitations Tolling Provision to Relators 03-24-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

As FCA aficionados know, the FCA’s statute of limitations provides that claims are timely only if they are brought either (1) within 6 years of the FCA violation, or (2) within 3 years of “the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known by the official of the United States charged with responsibility to act in the circumstances,” up to 10 years after the FCA violation. A new FCA cert. petition raises the question whether relators in non-intervened qui tam cases can take advantage of the latter provision to toll the limitations period.

Beware of the B-1 Visa When Bringing Employees from Abroad 03-23-2017

Labor & Employment Blog

Mem Fox, a well-known and beloved 70-year old Australian children’s book author, was harshly interrogated by Customs and Border Patrol (“CBP”) agents at Los Angeles International Airport several weeks ago as she attempted to enter the U.S. to deliver the opening keynote at a literacy conference.

Nursing Homes Save Payment for Another Day as Court Grants Emergency Motion to Stay $347 Million in Judgments Against Them 03-21-2017

Lincoln's Law Blog

We last reported on United States and Florida ex rel. Ruckh v. CMC II, LLC, et al., 8:11-cv-1303 (M.D. Fl.) earlier this month, when a federal jury returned a verdict for $115 million against the defendant nursing homes, finding that defendants had submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for unnecessary patient care or patient care that was never supplied.  After trebling and additional penalties, CMC II and the other corporate defendants now face over $347 million in damages.  In an unusual turn of events, the defendants filed an emergency motion on March 13 in which they asked the court to stay the execution of judgments pending the Court’s consideration of one or more post-trial motions to be filed by the end of March.  The emergency motion went unopposed, and the court granted the motion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Controlling Costs in International Arbitration 09-21-2016

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

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

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

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

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

The Shareholder Activist Playbook 09-09-2016

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

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

Marie Yeates, co-chair of V&E's Appellate practice, 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 spoke to The Street on the topic “Over-Eager Activist Investors Are Partly to Blame for Mega-Deal Failures.” 

An Illustration of Nationality Planning 07-08-2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Employment Consideration in International Asset Transactions 06-03-2016

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

Global Reductions in Force 06-03-2016

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

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.

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