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Insights


NCMA World Congress 2019 07-29-2019

V&E partner Dan Graham will present at the World Congress 2019 in Boston hosted by the National Contract Management Association alongside Greg Bingham, President at the Kenrich Group.

The Trouble With Emojis: Emerging Legal Issues and Proposed Business Responses 06-27-2019

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideEmojis — the picture symbols that are so commonplace in texts and instant messages — pose a growing legal threat to businesses. This program will explore the communication disconnects and legal problems arising from emojis, including case studies and quizzes to test your knowledge of emojis’ meanings, and will offer targeted responses to help protect businesses from legal liability.

The Benchmark Litigation 5th Annual Women in Litigation Forum 06-20-2019

The Benchmark Litigation 5th Annual Women in Litigation Forum, sponsored by V&E, will take place this year on Thursday, June 20th in Palo Alto.

UT Law Conference on State & Federal Appeals 06-20-2019

V&E is again sponsoring UT Law's Conference on State & Federal Appeals. On June 20, partner Jeremy Marwell will review the Supreme Court of the Unites States' 2018 term and look ahead to the 2019 term commencing in October.

Hate Speech and Incitement - Fifty Years after Brandenburg v. Ohio 06-17-2019

This program will explore the legacy of Brandenburg’s standard of “incitement to imminent lawless action,” the challenges that journalists face in covering controversial speakers and groups, the treatment of these speakers and groups by public institutions post-Charlottesville, and the heightened tensions between the right to speak and social media platforms’ right to censor, limit, or ban these speakers.

Employment Laws Also Apply to Your Household Caretakers 06-13-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, June 13, 2019

When you are an employment lawyer who represents management, most of your clients are businesses that have human resources departments. From time to time, however, I am cornered by friends at ball games or cocktail parties who have questions about the individual caretakers who assist them in managing their house, children, and garden, or, for example, the home health aides who might take care of their parents. 

Opioid Manufacturer Files for Bankruptcy after Settling with DOJ 06-12-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, June 12, 2019

On June 5, the Department of Justice announced that opioid manufacturer Insys Therapeutics (Insys) agreed to settle the government’s criminal and civil investigations into an illegal marketing scheme for Subsys, an opioid spray used by adult cancer patients. 

Time Is of the Essence: U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Failure-To-Exhaust Argument in Employment Discrimination Suits Can Be Waived If Not Timely Made 06-11-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, June 11, 2019

On June 3, 2019, in Fort Bend County v. Davis, the Supreme Court held that federal courts can hear discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, even if the worker alleging discrimination did not bring those claims first to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or an equivalent state-level workplace discrimination body.

Government Agencies Barred From AIA Patent Challenges, Said Supreme Court 06-11-2019

V&E IP Insights, June 11, 2019

On June 10, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a federal agency is not a “person” able to challenge the validity of a patent post-issuance under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (the “AIA”).

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) 2019 Conference 06-09-2019

On Tuesday, June 11, V&E partner Margaret Peloso will speak on the panel "Taming Nature's Fury: Electric Companies and Extreme Weather Events."

BSEE Risk-Based Inspections: First Year Report and Second Year Expansion 06-07-2019

V&E Environmental and Natural Resources Update, June 7, 2019

In 2018, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) commenced performance of a new investigatory program at oil and gas exploration and production facilities on the federal Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”) in the Gulf of Mexico. Dubbed the Risk-Based Inspections (“RBI” or “risk inspections”) Program, this new investigatory tool is intended by BSEE to supplement its regular safety and environmental inspections.

Heritage Pharmaceuticals Under Fire, Settles Criminal and Civil Charges with DOJ 06-06-2019

V&E Antitrust Update, June 6, 2019

On May 30, 2019, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division charged Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc., a generic pharmaceutical company, for conspiring with its competitors to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers. The one-count felony information, filed on May 30 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleges that from April 2014 to December 2015 Heritage conspired with other individuals and companies to fix and maintain prices of glyburide, a medicine used to treat diabetes.1 At the same time, the Antitrust Division and Heritage entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA,” explained below) to resolve the charge.

Does Your Company Have a Heat Policy? Have You Even Heard of Such a Thing? 06-06-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, June 6, 2019

If you’ve never heard of a heat policy, you might not think that it could be relevant to your company. But with the rapidly evolving world of human rights law, you may need to think again if your employees, or the workers within your supply chains at home or abroad, operate in high-temperature environments.

Watch for Gathering Storms to Protect your Expatriates 06-04-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, June 4, 2019

We are all concerned when we send an employee to a location where we know that the work circumstances and living conditions may not be the safest. However, we should also be concerned about those expatriates who have been working in locations that were considered safe when they were first given the foreign assignment. 

Supreme Court Extends the Statute of Limitations for Claims by Relators 05-31-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, May 31, 2019

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Cochise Consultancy Inc. v. United States, ex rel. Hunt,1 has altered the landscape for False Claims Act (FCA) claims by expanding the period for private-party relators to bring FCA lawsuits.

New Guidelines Reward Voluntary Self-Disclosure of FCA Violations and Cooperation with DOJ 05-30-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, May 30, 2019

The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced this month its latest initiative to incentivize companies to voluntarily self-disclose potential False Claims Act (“FCA”) violations and to cooperate with DOJ during FCA investigations.1

Court Agrees With the FTC That Qualcomm’s “No License, No Chips” Policy Is No Good, Deeming It Impermissible Anticompetitive Conduct 05-30-2019

V&E Antitrust Update, May 30, 2019

In January 2017, the Federal Trade Commission sued Qualcomm in the Northern District of California, alleging that the company was violating U.S. antitrust laws by using its dominant market share in two cellular chip markets to extract unreasonably high royalty rates and anticompetitive licensing terms from device manufacturers.

The Return of the “No-Match” Letter 05-30-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, May 30, 2019

The last time a client of mine received a “No-Match” letter was in 2012, so I was somewhat surprised when multiple clients received letters from the Social Security Administration in only the last few weeks. Apparently, my clients were not alone. 

The Gatekeepers’ Course: Navigating Evolving Trends in Corporate Governance and Compliance 05-29-2019

Vinson & Elkins invites you to a discussion of this year’s trending legal issues affecting public companies. This program is an excellent forum for internal legal teams to get perspectives from our lawyers on the issues companies are currently facing on a daily basis. 

Why Do Property REITs Have Operating Partnerships: REIT OP Units as a Tax-Advantaged Currency for Property Acquisitions 05-28-2019

REITs_Thumbnail

In this presentation, we reviewed the UPREIT structure with a particular focus on how REITs use OP Units to acquire properties.


NCMA World Congress 2019 07-29-2019

V&E partner Dan Graham will present at the World Congress 2019 in Boston hosted by the National Contract Management Association alongside Greg Bingham, President at the Kenrich Group.

The Trouble With Emojis: Emerging Legal Issues and Proposed Business Responses 06-27-2019

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideEmojis — the picture symbols that are so commonplace in texts and instant messages — pose a growing legal threat to businesses. This program will explore the communication disconnects and legal problems arising from emojis, including case studies and quizzes to test your knowledge of emojis’ meanings, and will offer targeted responses to help protect businesses from legal liability.

The Benchmark Litigation 5th Annual Women in Litigation Forum 06-20-2019

The Benchmark Litigation 5th Annual Women in Litigation Forum, sponsored by V&E, will take place this year on Thursday, June 20th in Palo Alto.

UT Law Conference on State & Federal Appeals 06-20-2019

V&E is again sponsoring UT Law's Conference on State & Federal Appeals. On June 20, partner Jeremy Marwell will review the Supreme Court of the Unites States' 2018 term and look ahead to the 2019 term commencing in October.

Hate Speech and Incitement - Fifty Years after Brandenburg v. Ohio 06-17-2019

This program will explore the legacy of Brandenburg’s standard of “incitement to imminent lawless action,” the challenges that journalists face in covering controversial speakers and groups, the treatment of these speakers and groups by public institutions post-Charlottesville, and the heightened tensions between the right to speak and social media platforms’ right to censor, limit, or ban these speakers.

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) 2019 Conference 06-09-2019

On Tuesday, June 11, V&E partner Margaret Peloso will speak on the panel "Taming Nature's Fury: Electric Companies and Extreme Weather Events."

The Gatekeepers’ Course: Navigating Evolving Trends in Corporate Governance and Compliance 05-29-2019

Vinson & Elkins invites you to a discussion of this year’s trending legal issues affecting public companies. This program is an excellent forum for internal legal teams to get perspectives from our lawyers on the issues companies are currently facing on a daily basis. 

UT Law’s 32nd Annual Technology Law Conference 05-23-2019

V&E is sponsoring the Thursday evening networking reception at the UT Technology Law Conference.

6th Mergers & Acquisitions in Energy Conference 05-21-2019

V&E lawyers Shamus Crosby, Matt Dobbins, and Lande Spottswood will speak at the 6th Annual Mergers & Acquisitions in Energy Law Conference in Houston on Tuesday, May 21. 

Popcorn & Principles XVII: More Order in the Court 05-07-2019

Popcorn & Principles XVII, More Order in the Court is a fun and interactive review of several key principles found in the rules of professional conduct.

8th Annual Private Equity US Spring Forum 05-06-2019

V&E partner Robert Seber will be conducting an interview with Chuck Davis, CEO of Stone Point Capital at the 8th Annual Private Equity US Spring Forum in New York City on Monday, May 6th.

ITC Trial Lawyers Association Event 05-02-2019

V&E partner Steve Borgman will speak on the overlap and interplay of International Trade Commission and federal court litigation at an event organized by the ITC Trial Lawyers Association and the IP Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia.

PLI Tax Planning for Domestic & Foreign Partnerships, LLCs, Joint Ventures & Other Strategic Alliances 04-30-2019

V&E Partner Gary Huffman will speak on "Advanced Basis Issues: Impact of Liabilities" at PLI's Tax Planning for Domestic & Foreign Partnerships, LLCs, Joint Ventures & Other Strategic Alliances conference in April in New York and in Chicago in May.

13D Monitor Active-Passive Investor Summit 04-16-2019

Patrick Gadson, New York Co-Chair of V&E’s Shareholder Activism practice, will be speaking on a panel on "Best & Worst Things a Company Can Do When Approached by an Activist" at the 13D Monitor Conference in New York City at the Plaza on Tuesday, April 16th.

Kayo Women's Energy Summit 04-16-2019

Sarah MorganDanielle Patterson, and Bailey Pham will be speaking on various panels throughout the Kayo Women's Energy Summit in Houston on Tuesday, April 16th and Wednesday, April 17th.

NACD Northern California Chapter – Private Dinner with V&E 04-15-2019

V&E will host a private dinner with the Northern California Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors in San Francisco.

Public Roundtable on Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement & Reform Act (ACPERA) 04-11-2019

On April 11th, V&E Counsel Lindsey Vaala will speak on a panel at a public roundtable held by the Department of Justice Antitrust Division to discuss the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement & Reform Act.

Solar & Storage Finance Texas 04-09-2019

The Solar & Storage Finance Texas conference will take place in Austin, Texas on April 9 and 10.

Independent Petroleum Association of America's (IPAA) Oil & Gas Investment Symposium 04-08-2019

V&E partners Mingda Zhao and Brenda Lenahan and Senior Associate Julia Pashin will join representatives from Ernst & Young on a panel addressing "Valuation Creation and Strategic Exit Readiness" at the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)'s Oil & Gas Investment Symposium in New York.

Tax Executives Institute (TEI) 2019 Mid-Year Conference 04-01-2019

On April 1, V&E partner Gary Huffman will speak as a co-panelist on "The New Limitation on the Deduction for Business Interest Expense Under Section 163(j)" at the Tax Executives Institute's 2019 Mid-Year Conference.

Why Do Property REITs Have Operating Partnerships: REIT OP Units as a Tax-Advantaged Currency for Property Acquisitions 05-28-2019

REITs_Thumbnail

In this presentation, we reviewed the UPREIT structure with a particular focus on how REITs use OP Units to acquire properties.


High Yield Bonds in the Energy Industry 04-10-2019

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideV&E partners provided an overview of high yield bonds in the energy industry, including a discussion of structuring issues, covenants and recent developments.

Public Company Consolidations: What You Need to Know 03-20-2019

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideV&E partners discussed recent trends and hot topics relating to consolidation transactions involving public companies.

Qualified Opportunity Funds, Real Estate, and REITs 02-20-2019

REITs_Thumbnail

In the first REIT Series program of 2019, V&E REIT professionals discussed the benefits, challenges, and opportunities associated with using Qualified Opportunity Funds to invest in real estate, including the various roles that REITs can play. 


Pipeline Wars: The Battles Over Gas Infrastructure Development 02-06-2019

On February 6, 2019, V&E partners Robert Seber and Jeremy Marwell spoke on "Pipelines Wars: The Battles Over Gas Infrastructure Development" at NYU School of Law. 

Reserve-Based Lending: Market Trends and Recent Developments 02-06-2019

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideV&E lawyers discussed market trends and recent business and legal developments in the reserve-based lending space.

Building and Overseeing Effective Compliance and Corporate Governance 01-30-2019

V&E lawyers discussed key trends and developments in compliance and corporate governance and how to create and oversee a healthy and holistic compliance and corporate governance program. 

Recent Antitrust Enforcement in the Energy and Chemical Industries 01-17-2019

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideV&E lawyers discussed recent antitrust developments in the energy and chemical industries – including merger enforcement, cartel investigations, and private litigation – and explain how these developments will affect future enforcement efforts.

Recent Trends in Renewable Energy Dealmaking 11-07-2018

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThree attorneys from Vinson & Elkins who frequently represent financial sponsors in the renewables sector discussed the impact of additional capital deployment.

Cyber-Governance: Legal Considerations for Cyber Disclosure and Preparedness 11-01-2018

Today, companies face more complex and sophisticated cyberthreats and new and evolving cybersecurity regulations and standards around the world. This CLE breaks down recent developments, and helps listeners identify key areas of risk and liability, develop and implement a compliant information security program, prepare for any cyber-event, and communicate their risks and readiness with key stakeholders.

Are You SLAPP Happy Yet? 10-30-2018

Since its enactment in 2011, the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA) has become an increasingly important tool in a broad range of cases and other legal proceedings. This program covered the nuts and bolts of litigation under the TCPA.

REIT Internalization Transactions 10-30-2018

REITs_ThumbnailIn the fourth quarter REIT Series presentation, V&E attorneys discussed internalization structures and various considerations that REITs, their external managers and financial advisors should consider.

Eighth Annual Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium 10-03-2018

On October 3, 2018, V&E hosted our annual seminar discussing timely topics surrounding unconventional oil and gas development.

Market Update: Evolution of Midstream IPO Structures 09-12-2018

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, V&E attorneys provided a market update on Up-C Limited Partnerships, Up-C Corporations, Traditional C-Corps, Modified MLPs and SPACs.

Legal Talk Network Podcast – Antitrust Cartel Enforcement 08-21-2018

V&E counsel Lindsey Vaala served as a panelist for a podcast discussion regarding antitrust cartel enforcement hosted by the Legal Talk Network.

Compensation Trends in the REIT Industry 07-19-2018

REITs_ThumbnailThe third quarter V&E REIT Series presentation explored the latest trends and developments impacting compensation decisions and disclosures in the REIT industry.

Keep Calm and Carry On: How Disputes, Data Privacy and Employment Issues Post-Brexit will Affect American Businesses 06-14-2018

Join members of V&E’s cross-border cybersecurity, employment, and dispute resolution teams as we analyze these developments through the lens of U.S. multinational companies planning to navigate a post-Brexit Europe.

FTC Updates Guidance on Premerger Due Diligence and Negotiations (Sharing But Not Oversharing) 06-13-2018

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued guidance on information sharing while conducting premerger negotiations and due diligence.

Environmental Enforcement Update 05-24-2018

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis program discussed new developments in environmental enforcement, including the increase in statutory penalties under the various environmental statutes, the new DOJ policy on third party payments, EPA’s revised policy on enforcement, and new DOJ policy on use of agency guidance in enforcement.

REITs and Infrastructure Investment 04-19-2018

REITs_ThumbnailThe second quarter V&E REIT Series presentation explored the types of infrastructure assets that can qualify as real property for purposes of the REIT requirements.

Opioid Manufacturer Files for Bankruptcy after Settling with DOJ 06-12-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, June 12, 2019

On June 5, the Department of Justice announced that opioid manufacturer Insys Therapeutics (Insys) agreed to settle the government’s criminal and civil investigations into an illegal marketing scheme for Subsys, an opioid spray used by adult cancer patients. 

Government Agencies Barred From AIA Patent Challenges, Said Supreme Court 06-11-2019

V&E IP Insights, June 11, 2019

On June 10, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a federal agency is not a “person” able to challenge the validity of a patent post-issuance under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (the “AIA”).

BSEE Risk-Based Inspections: First Year Report and Second Year Expansion 06-07-2019

V&E Environmental and Natural Resources Update, June 7, 2019

In 2018, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) commenced performance of a new investigatory program at oil and gas exploration and production facilities on the federal Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”) in the Gulf of Mexico. Dubbed the Risk-Based Inspections (“RBI” or “risk inspections”) Program, this new investigatory tool is intended by BSEE to supplement its regular safety and environmental inspections.

Heritage Pharmaceuticals Under Fire, Settles Criminal and Civil Charges with DOJ 06-06-2019

V&E Antitrust Update, June 6, 2019

On May 30, 2019, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division charged Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc., a generic pharmaceutical company, for conspiring with its competitors to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers. The one-count felony information, filed on May 30 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleges that from April 2014 to December 2015 Heritage conspired with other individuals and companies to fix and maintain prices of glyburide, a medicine used to treat diabetes.1 At the same time, the Antitrust Division and Heritage entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA,” explained below) to resolve the charge.

Supreme Court Extends the Statute of Limitations for Claims by Relators 05-31-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, May 31, 2019

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Cochise Consultancy Inc. v. United States, ex rel. Hunt,1 has altered the landscape for False Claims Act (FCA) claims by expanding the period for private-party relators to bring FCA lawsuits.

New Guidelines Reward Voluntary Self-Disclosure of FCA Violations and Cooperation with DOJ 05-30-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, May 30, 2019

The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced this month its latest initiative to incentivize companies to voluntarily self-disclose potential False Claims Act (“FCA”) violations and to cooperate with DOJ during FCA investigations.1

Court Agrees With the FTC That Qualcomm’s “No License, No Chips” Policy Is No Good, Deeming It Impermissible Anticompetitive Conduct 05-30-2019

V&E Antitrust Update, May 30, 2019

In January 2017, the Federal Trade Commission sued Qualcomm in the Northern District of California, alleging that the company was violating U.S. antitrust laws by using its dominant market share in two cellular chip markets to extract unreasonably high royalty rates and anticompetitive licensing terms from device manufacturers.

Directors Must Heed SEC On Cybersecurity And Social Media 05-28-2019

First published by Law360, May 20, 2019

In recent years, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has demonstrated an increased willingness to investigate and enforce violations of the federal securities laws arising from cybersecurity breaches and information disseminated through a company’s social media outlets, including by bringing actions directly against individual directors and officers.

Texas Legislature Punts on Privacy Act…For Now 05-28-2019

V&E Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Update, May 28, 2019

The Texas State Legislature ended its regular session on May 27, 2019, without passing the Texas Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) or the Texas Privacy Protection Act (TPPA).

Minority Report: San Francisco Bans Facial Recognition Tech Over Potential Bias, Privacy Concerns 05-23-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, May 23, 2019

Privacy advocates in the Bay Area have cause for celebration after San Francisco became the first municipality in the United States to pass an ordinance barring the city’s use of facial recognition technology because of the “propensity [of] facial recognition technology [to] endanger civil rights and civil liberties” and “exacerbate racial injustice.”

BSEE 2019 Final Revisions to the Offshore Well Control Rule 05-22-2019

V&E Environmental and Natural Resources Update, May 22, 2019

On May 2, 2019, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) announced final revisions to its Well Control Rule (“WCR”). BSEE proposed the revisions last year, as discussed in our previous publication.

FINRA Gives Broker-Dealers New Tips for Spotting Fraud and Money Laundering 05-22-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, May 22, 2019

On May 6, 2019, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Regulatory Notice 19-18 to help broker-dealers recognize and report potential fraud and money laundering.

More Bang for the Antitrust Compliance Buck: Antitrust Division To Consider Preexisting Compliance Programs at the Charging Stage 05-22-2019

After more than a year of careful consideration, the “time has come” for the DOJ Antitrust Division to change its longstanding policy against giving companies credit for having preexisting robust corporate compliance programs in place at the time of the alleged misconduct.

Trademark Licensees Retain Their Rights to Use a Debtor’s Trademarks Despite the Debtor-Licensor’s Rejection of the Licenses 05-22-2019

V&E Restructuring & Reorganization Update, May 22, 2019

The question regarding whether a trademark licensee may continue to use a license after a debtor-licensor rejects the license in its bankruptcy case has now been answered.

Employment in the Energy Sector 05-20-2019

First published in Practical Law, May 2019

V&E counsel Martin Luff discusses employment in the oil and gas sector and the power and renewable energy sector.

Brace Yourself: DOJ Demonstrates it Can Adapt to Technological Advances in Healthcare Industry 05-15-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, May 15, 2019

Although it is sometimes difficult for regulators to keep pace with innovation, telemedicine — the use of telecommunication and information technology to provide medical care remotely — is both rapidly evolving and under intense scrutiny.

Clarity for Crypto: Commissioner Peirce wants the SEC to Refine Fintech Regulation 05-15-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, May 15, 2019

On May 9, 2019, SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce delivered a speech via video conference to the Securities Enforcement Forum lamenting the Commission’s failure to develop meaningful regulation in the realm of cryptocurrency and emphasizing the need for clear regulation that would be meaningful and not overly burdensome.

Supreme Court Expands Potential Scope of Antitrust Lawsuits Against Platforms 05-15-2019

V&E Antitrust Update, May 15, 2019

On May 13, the Supreme Court held in Apple v. Pepper,1 that anyone with a direct relationship with the alleged violator can sue for damages under the federal antitrust laws. 

Federal Cybersecurity Regulations Pose New FCA Risk to Defense Contractors 05-15-2019

V&E Government Contracts Update, May 15, 2019

Defense contractors who falsely claim that they are compliant with federal cybersecurity acquisition regulations may face liability under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) in light of a recent decision from the Eastern District of California. 

Federal Circuit Turns Down Competitor Standing Argument for IPR Appeals 05-14-2019

V&E IP Insights, May 14, 2019

On May 13, 2019, the Federal Circuit held that an IPR petitioner may not use the competitor standing doctrine to establish Article III standing in an appeal of a PTAB decision where the petitioner has no present or nonspeculative interest in engaging in conduct covered by the patent claims at issue.

Employment Laws Also Apply to Your Household Caretakers 06-13-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, June 13, 2019

When you are an employment lawyer who represents management, most of your clients are businesses that have human resources departments. From time to time, however, I am cornered by friends at ball games or cocktail parties who have questions about the individual caretakers who assist them in managing their house, children, and garden, or, for example, the home health aides who might take care of their parents. 

Time Is of the Essence: U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Failure-To-Exhaust Argument in Employment Discrimination Suits Can Be Waived If Not Timely Made 06-11-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, June 11, 2019

On June 3, 2019, in Fort Bend County v. Davis, the Supreme Court held that federal courts can hear discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, even if the worker alleging discrimination did not bring those claims first to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or an equivalent state-level workplace discrimination body.

Does Your Company Have a Heat Policy? Have You Even Heard of Such a Thing? 06-06-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, June 6, 2019

If you’ve never heard of a heat policy, you might not think that it could be relevant to your company. But with the rapidly evolving world of human rights law, you may need to think again if your employees, or the workers within your supply chains at home or abroad, operate in high-temperature environments.

Watch for Gathering Storms to Protect your Expatriates 06-04-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, June 4, 2019

We are all concerned when we send an employee to a location where we know that the work circumstances and living conditions may not be the safest. However, we should also be concerned about those expatriates who have been working in locations that were considered safe when they were first given the foreign assignment. 

The Return of the “No-Match” Letter 05-30-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, May 30, 2019

The last time a client of mine received a “No-Match” letter was in 2012, so I was somewhat surprised when multiple clients received letters from the Social Security Administration in only the last few weeks. Apparently, my clients were not alone. 

Home Remedies for Diagnosing Trade Secrets Theft 05-28-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, May 28, 2019

Listen to your gut when an employee who had access to confidential information leaves your company. Were they vague on their next steps? Is there a chance they’re going to work for a competitive venture? 

The Westeros Citizens Participation Act (Yeah, Right) 05-23-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, May 23, 2019

My disappointment with the Game of Thrones’ finale on Sunday night was greatly alleviated by the news on Monday morning that a bill amending the Texas anti-SLAPP law is on its way to the governor’s office. This amendment to the Texas Citizens Participation Act (the anti-SLAPP law) – should it be signed into law by Gov. Abbott – explicitly says that the TCPA does not apply to a legal action arising from an employer-employee relationship (among other relationships) that seeks to recover for trade secrets misappropriation, or seeks to enforce a non-compete or non-disparagement agreement.

Banning the Box on those Old Job Application Forms 05-21-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, May 21, 2019

While employment lawyers like myself — and the EEOC — have long cautioned employees against automatically asking job applicants about their criminal history, few companies would think twice (absent advice of learned counsel) about asking “Have you ever been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor?” on their standard job application forms.

Executives Behaving Badly: Applying the “Musk Principles” 05-16-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, May 16, 2019

The SEC recently sought to have Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Inc., held in contempt because Musk tweeted that “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019,” followed by a second tweet in which he wrote “Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.”

The Gig Economy In The Crosshairs: The Ninth Circuit Extends Dynamex Retroactively 05-14-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, May 14, 2019

The battle over the gig economy continues on the West Coast. The Ninth Circuit in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., held that the California Supreme Court’s test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, has retroactive effect.

Pink Hair in the Workplace 05-09-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, May 9, 2019

A few months ago, I was having lunch with a good friend who — although she is not an employment lawyer — likes to get my thoughts on current workplace issues. As we ate our pizzas, my friend wanted to talk about the Millennial receptionist at her office who had showed up earlier that morning having dyed her hair bright pink.

Under Pressure: Public Companies and Disclosures About Their Employees 05-07-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, May 7, 2019

There is growing pressure on public companies to disclose information about their employees. At the end of March, for example, the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee recommended that the SEC recognize the significance of human capital management and incorporate disclosures about employees in the SEC’s standard disclosure requirements.

“This is My Information and You Can’t Have It” – Breaking Down Information Walls in the Workplace 05-02-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, May 2, 2019

I recently heard a story about a company that created a new division as a result of a technology advancement and ran into a problem –– a “wall,” if you will. The problem was that, in its nascent state, the technology that was going to be used by this new division had been previously “owned” by the IT department. 

BOEM Announces Increased Civil Monetary Penalties for 2019 05-01-2019

Environmental Blog

As has been reported on in the past, federal agencies with oversight over offshore regulated activities, including oil and gas exploration and production operations, continue to increase the maximum civil penalty amounts they may assess for violations of applicable law, with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) being the latest agency to do so.

Professionals and Managers as Shift Workers 04-30-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, April 30, 2019

What if companies and firms made flexible work mandatory for all?  What if everyone was given a “shift” to work and knew that otherwise, they were not to respond to the constant emails or calls, but rather could rely upon their “shift relief” to answer?  Would the result be a more fair workplace for all with equality in opportunity and compensation?

The Supreme Court All But Ends Classwide Arbitration, Delivering A Win For Employers 04-25-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, April 25, 2019

When most employers think about arbitration with their employees, they think about arbitrating the claims of one employee at a time.

Glencore the Latest to Commit to Climate Action 100+ Initiative 04-24-2019

Glencore PLC, the British-Swiss multinational trading and mining company, is one of the latest to commit to take steps in line with investor initiative Climate Action 100+. 

The Supreme Court “Finally” Grants Review of LGBTQ Title VII Cases 04-23-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, April 23, 2019

As a gay man and an employment law specialist, I have long been interested in the issue of whether Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination also protects employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

S&P Launches Forward-Looking ESG Benchmark 04-19-2019

Climate Change Blog

On April 12, 2019, S&P Global Ratings (S&P) announced the launch of “ESG Evaluation,” a new benchmark designed to evaluate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

U.S. Labor Department Seeks to Expedite Discretionary Suspensions and Debarments of Federal Contractors that Commit Labor Violations 04-18-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, April 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a new pilot program to speed up discretionary suspensions and debarments of individuals and contractors “from months to days.” 

V&E's Matt Jacobs Discusses Legal Implications from Indictments in Mueller Investigations 01-31-2019

Matt Jacobs appears on MSNBC to discuss the legal implications of Roger Stone’s indictment in the Mueller investigations.

V&E's Matt Jacobs Weighs in on Committee Investigation 01-14-2019

Matt Jacobs sits in on an MSNBC panel to discuss the subject of legal troubles facing the Trump family in light of allegations of the inaugural committee misusing and abusing funds.

V&E’s Matt Jacobs Weighs In on the Mueller Investigation 01-07-2019

V&E's Matt Jacobs, a former federal prosecuter, sits down with MSNBC during a panel discussing the Mueller investigation. 

REIT IPO Activity Could Pick Up in Late 2018 04-11-2018

First published by Nareit, April 3, 2018

Daniel LeBey, partner, capital markets and M&A at Vinson & Elkins LLP, participated in a video interview at REITwise 2018, Nareit’s Law, Accounting & Finance Conference in Hollywood, Florida.

Why Join V&E: Your Development as a Lawyer 01-02-2018

Hear from V&E Partner John B. Connally, Practice Group Leader, former Management Committee member, and LGBT affinity group member, on what he thinks are the two most important things when considering where to start your law career.

The International Reach of The Defend Trade Secrets Act 09-12-2017

V&E partner Craig Tyler outlines implications of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) for misappropriation taking place outside of the U.S. and looks specifically at the International Trade Commission as a venue for cracking down on misappropriating products imported into the U.S.

Testing the Waters: The First Few Months of The Defend Trade Secrets Act 09-12-2017

On May 11, 2016, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) was signed into law, providing a federal civil remedy for trade secrets misappropriation. 

Cyber-insurance 101: The Basics 08-17-2017

Increasingly, organizations are purchasing cyber-insurance or requiring their vendors to do so to mitigate risks related to cyber-attacks. In this video, partner Devika Kornbacher helps companies think through choosing the coverage that is best for them.

An Intro to The Defend Trade Secrets Act 05-11-2017

The new Defend Trade Secrets Act was signed into law by President Obama on May 11, 2016. V&E partner Steve Borgman explains what the new law is, how it differs from existing trade secrets law, and how the new law can be beneficial to parties involved in a trade secrets dispute.

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

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

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.

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

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

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. 

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.

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.

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