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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.

History Repeats Itself: Mueller Investigation Spurs Renewed DOJ Focus on WWII Era Foreign Agents Registration Act 04-25-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, April 25, 2019

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” highlights already well publicized concerns about covert foreign influence on U.S. politics.

Supreme Court Says Parties Must Agree or Intend to Agree to Class Arbitration: Silence and Ambiguity Are Not Enough 04-25-2019

V&E Arbitration Update, April 25, 2019

On April 24, 2019, almost a year after the Supreme Court granted certiorari, the Court handed down its third important decision this term regarding arbitrations.

The Prague Rules on the Efficient Conduct Of Proceedings in International Arbitration – Restriction to Achieve Efficiency? 04-25-2019

V&E International Dispute Resolution Update, April 25, 2019

Trends in international arbitration show disputes becoming larger and more complex, often resulting in increasingly higher costs and lengthier timetables, much to the dissatisfaction of its users.

Government’s Filing of Complaint Against Private Equity Company Signals New Focus on Private Equity and Other Investors 04-24-2019

V&E False Claims Act Update, April 24, 2019

In a new development in False Claims Act (“FCA”) litigation, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has filed a complaint-in-intervention naming, among other defendants, California-based private equity firm, Riordan, Lewis & Haden, Inc. (“RLH”). 

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.” 

If You Give A Cop Your Passcode... Court Considers Whether Using Voluntarily-Provided Codes Violates the Fourth Amendment 04-17-2019

V&E Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Insights, April 17, 2019

The Colorado Supreme Court held last week that when a defendant voluntarily disclosed his four-digit passcode for what he thought was a limited purpose and an officer used the code to search the defendant’s entire phone, it did not violate the Fourth Amendment.

Bid-Rigging Bonanza: DOJ Announces Criminal Charges in Three New Investigations 04-17-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, April 17, 2019

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) ended its recent drought of new criminal antitrust cases by bringing bid-rigging charges under the Sherman Act against individuals in three separate cases over the past few weeks.1

Offer Letters: This Should be Simple, Right? 04-16-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, April 16, 2019

It should be simple to just write a letter offering someone a job. Unfortunately, that is not the case. While offer letters may not be required by law, employers often wish to set out terms and conditions of employment in an offer letter.

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.

The Waiting Game Continues for Impact of Brexit on Data Transfers 04-15-2019

V&E Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Insights, April 15, 2019

On April 10, 2019, the European Union (“EU”) voted to extend the Brexit deadline to October 31, 2019.

New U.S. Labor Department Pilot Program Aims to Fast Track Discretionary Suspensions and Debarments 04-11-2019

V&E Government Contracts Update, April 11, 2019

Early last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new pilot program to speed up discretionary suspensions and debarments of individuals and contractors “from months to days.”1

Utah Becomes First State to Curtail Warrantless Searches of Personal Data Transmitted to Third Parties 04-11-2019

V&E’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Update, April 11, 2019

Utah recently enacted the nation’s first privacy law that protects its citizens from unbounded government invasion into personal electronic information shared with third parties.

Stop the Presses: Misleading Investors in the Wake of Bad Press Leads to Criminal and Civil Penalties 04-11-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, April 11, 2019

P. T. Barnum is credited as saying “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” That may be true in running a circus, but it is demonstrably untrue in running a public company.

The Secret to Dressing 04-11-2019

Managing the Modern Workplace, April 11, 2019

Disclaimer: This article does not contain any tips for dressing well. Instead, I address what happens if one of your employees walks out the door to join a competitor and that competitor begins to produce products that look suspiciously like yours.


31st Annual Environmental, Health & Safety Seminar 06-04-2018

V&E’s Emergency Response & Crisis Management practice is proud to sponsor the 31st 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).

Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce Cyber Security Conference 05-31-2018

V&E partner Devika Kornbacher will serve as a panelist on the topic "How Government and the Private Sector Cooperate on Cyber Security Threat Management."

University of Texas Law Technology Law Conference 05-24-2018

V&E is sponsoring UT Law's Technology Law Conference.

WorldatWork 2018 Total Rewards Conference & Exhibition 05-21-2018

On Tuesday, May 22, V&E partner Shane Tucker will speak on a panel titled "How to Design the Right Performance-Based Incentive Plan for Your Organization."

Turnaround Management Association's (TMA) Healthcare Restructuring Panel Discussion 05-17-2018

V&E is proud to sponsor Turnaround Management Association’s Healthcare Restructuring Panel Discussion. V&E partner Bill Wallander is serving as Moderator on the panel. 

North American Petroleum Accounting Conference (NAPAC) 05-17-2018

North American Petroleum Accounting Conference (NAPAC) brings petroleum industry professionals together for two days of intense and important educational sessions enhanced by lively, productive discussions.

How to Stay Out of Federal Prison, and Other Helpful Tips 05-16-2018

Michael Ward, VP & Chief Compliance Officer at Juniper Networks, and V&E partners Matt Jacobs and Jessica Mussallem will share insights about the Yates Memo, in addition to how corporate leaders can minimize liability risks for themselves and their companies in light of the expanding attention on corporate and individual misconduct.

UT Law’s 25th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference 05-10-2018

Sean Becker, head of V&E’s Labor & Employment practice, is leading a session entitled, “Anti-SLAPP for Employment Lawyers” at UT Law’s 25th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, a premier program on employment law practice in Texas. 

Popcorn & Principles XVI: More Fun at the Movies 05-10-2018

Nothing is more important to a lawyer's long-term success than a fundamental understanding of the rules of professional conduct. 

Tax Executive Institute – Houston Chapter 05-09-2018

V&E is proud to sponsor upcoming Tax Executive Institute (TEI) Tax School sessions.

National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) Dallas Conference 05-03-2018

V&E is a proud Ruby sponsor of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) Dallas Conference, taking place May 3 in Dallas, TX.

Tax Planning for Domestic & Foreign Partnerships, LLCs, Joint Ventures & Other Strategic Alliances 2018 05-01-2018

V&E partner Gary Huffman is speaking at the Practising Law Institute (PLI): Tax Planning for Domestic & Foreign Partnerships, LLCs, Joint Ventures & Other Strategic Alliances programs in Chicago and New York.

Annual In-House Symposium 04-27-2018

Hosted By Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) - Dallas - Fort Worth Chapter

V&E is a Silver Sponsor of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Dallas - Fort Worth (DFW) Chapter's Annual Symposium, and V&E has two distinct speaking roles at this conference.

#MeToo in the Energy Industry 04-26-2018

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThe #MeToo movement presents unique challenges not only for human resources managers and general counsel, but also for boards that are increasingly recognizing the reputational damage that can be caused by workplace complaints. This presents special challenges for the energy industry.

Drill, Baby, Drill: The Federal Oil & Gas Lease Program in the Trump Administration 04-24-2018

The Federal government is a key economic actor in the energy industry as the lessor of drilling rights in territorial waters and on almost 650 million acres of land. When the Federal oil and gas lease program makes news headlines, it frequently elicits passionate reactions.

2018 Kayo Women's Real Estate Summit 04-23-2018

V&E is once again a proud sponsor of the 2018 Kayo Women's Real Estate Summit, taking place April 23rd and 24th in Washington D.C. 

MLP Transitions: Understanding the Process and Critically Evaluating the Long-Term Costs and Expected Benefits of Simplifications, Roll-ups and Conversions 04-19-2018

V&E attorneys will describe several recent transactions in which MLPs are converting into corporations, eliminating IDRs or combining into a single public entity. 

TowerXchange Meetup Europe 2018 04-17-2018

Vinson & Elkins is pleased to be sponsoring the TowerXchange Meetup Europe 2018. TowerXchange is the primary thought leadership body in the global telecom tower industry. 

Government Contracting Summit 04-13-2018

V&E counsel, Jamie Tabb, will be a panelist in the “OTAs: No FAR Doesn't Necessarily Mean No Problems” session. 

2018 CFO University 04-13-2018

Hosted by Financial Executives International

On Friday, April 13, the Houston Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) is hosting its 2018 CFO University. 

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

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIn this program, we discussed 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

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WidePiracy 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.

Cybersecurity Preparedness for the Energy Industry 04-28-2017

Energy Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideThis panel discussion with representatives from the infrastructure, public relations and insurance fields discussed the metes and bounds of being “cyber-secure” in today’s energy business.

V&E Sponsors Inaugural Kayo Women’s Real Estate Investment Summit 2017 04-24-2017

V&E was a gold sponsor of Kayo’s inaugural Women’s Real Estate Investment Summit, which took place Monday, April 24th and Tuesday, April 25th in Brooklyn. With over 60 speakers and approximately 200 attendees from 18 states and four countries, the summit showcased diverse perspectives on trends in the real estate and hospitality sectors, with an exciting focus on the experiences of women professionals in the industry.

Patents in the “Age of Experience”: Valuable Property Right or Useless Relic? 04-11-2017

IP Series Logo - Mini Thumbnail - 50px WideIt is not news that technology has permeated and revolutionized practically every industry on the planet. While 25 years ago, the dawn of the internet ushered in the “Information Age,” we now find ourselves at the dawn of what some have dubbed the “Experience Age.”

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

One for You, Two for Me — Cognizant FCPA Declination a Mixed Bag for Companies 03-07-2019

V&E FCPA and Global Anti-Corruption Update, March 07, 2019

In the first FCPA enforcement action of the 2019 season, DOJ issued a particularly lenient declination to Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, but required additional disgorgement beyond what the SEC could collect in its own parallel action and indicted two of the company’s most senior executives.

Supreme Court To Review Expansive Interpretation of the Clean Water Act 03-06-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, March 06, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to review the scope of the federal Clean Water Act (“CWA”), which prohibits the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters from any point source.

DOJ is “Swinging for the Fences” in Expanding Traditional Industry Focus 03-05-2019

V&E Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Update, March 05, 2019

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) typically stick to a game plan when it comes to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), historically focusing on high risk markets and select industries with heavy foreign government involvement, such as energy and resource extraction, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, and financial services.

Supreme Court Says Copyright Owners Cannot Sue Until After Registration 03-05-2019

V&E IP Insights, March 05, 2019

In Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, 586 U.S. __ (2019), the Supreme Court of the United States held that a suit for copyright infringement cannot commence until after the Copyright Office has granted registration of a copyright.

Oracle Shoots for “Full Moon” and Loses: Supreme Court Says Copyright Award of “Full Costs” Limited to Statutorily Enumerated Costs 03-05-2019

V&E IP Insights, March 05, 2019

In Rimini Street, Inc. v. Oracle USA, Inc., 586 U.S. __ (2019), the Supreme Court of the United States held that an award of “full costs” for copyright infringement under Section 505 of the Copyright Act is limited to and may not go beyond the six enumerated categories of costs authorized under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1821 and 1920.

How Frustrating is BREXIT? High Court Holds BREXIT does not Frustrate a Commercial Lease Contract 03-04-2019

V&E International Dispute Resolution Update, March 04, 2019

In a (perhaps unsurprising) recent decision in the case of Canary Wharf (BP4) T1 Ltd v European Medicines Agency(the “EMA”),1 the High Court ruled that BREXIT would not amount to an event frustrating a lease.

DOJ Escalates the Fight Against Opioids, Preemptively Shuts Down Pharmacies 02-27-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, February 27, 2019

In early February, the U.S. Department of Justice took the unprecedented step of temporarily shutting down two Tennessee pharmacies accused of allowing opioid prescriptions to flow into the local market unchecked, signaling an escalation in the DOJ’s enforcement surrounding the opioid cases.

Joint Operating Agreements and the Operator “Hold-Neutral” Principle – Court of Appeal Addresses Participants’ Liability for Unforeseen Costs 02-27-2019

In a recent decision, Spirit Energy Resources Ltd & Ors v Marathon Oil UK LLC [2019] EWCA Civ 11, the English Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal brought by Spirit Energy and TAQA in respect of their liability for a share of a pension deficit for employees engaged in joint operations.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules States Can’t Impose Excessive Fines 02-21-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, February 21, 2019

Yesterday, in Timbs v. Indiana, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on excessive fines applies to the states. In an opinion drafted by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held the Excessive Fines Clause is “fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty” with “deep roots in our history and tradition.”1

One Step too Far? The Chamber of Commerce Argues the DOJ Wrongly Used the Wire Fraud Statute to Combat Spoofing 02-20-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, February 20, 2019

Earlier this month, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed an amicus brief in an Illinois district court, arguing that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) went too far in indicting two former Deutsche Bank employees with violations of the wire fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1943.

2018 False Claims Act and Whistleblower Developments 02-20-2019

V&E False Claims Act Update, February 20, 2019

Whistleblower activity has consistently increased over the past decade, with 2018 being no exception. Although the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) reported a decrease in False Claims Act (“FCA”) whistleblower actions and recoveries in 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) both reported year-on-year increases in tips received and payments to whistleblowers.

Meet the New Fraud, Same as the Old Fraud: 10th Circuit Holds Anti-Fraud Provisions of Securities Act Once Again Apply Abroad 02-20-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, February 20, 2019

On January 24, 2019, the Tenth Circuit held in SEC v. Scoville that the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws once again have extraterritorial application, providing the government new ammunition as it seeks to expand the reach of federal securities laws.1

Introducing Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense Report - Part 1 02-20-2019

V&E Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense Update, February 20, 2019

Over the past year, the Technology Sector has faced a lot of developments in the government enforcement landscape.

The Federal Trade Commission Issues 2019 Annual Updates to the United States Pre-Merger Notification (HSR) and Interlocking Directorates Thresholds 02-19-2019

V&E Antitrust Transactional Update E-communication, updated March 4, 2019

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revised the thresholds that govern pre-merger notification requirements under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (HSR Act), as well as the thresholds for interlocking directorates under Section 8 of the Clayton Act.

10 Risk Areas For Companies Operating Internationally 02-08-2019

V&E FCPA Update, February 8, 2019

10 Risk Areas For Companies Operating Internationally

#Youvebeenserved: Instagram Influencers Subpoenaed in Fyre Festival Bankruptcy 02-06-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, February 06, 2019

Last week, the trustee for Fyre Festival LLC’s bankruptcy estate received court authorization to serve subpoenas on 24 individuals and companies connected to the failed music festival, including agencies representing the social media influencers who were instrumental in promoting the event.

Texas Supreme Court Affirms Vinson & Elkins LLP's “Win for The Little Guy” 02-01-2019

V&E Condemnation Update, February 1, 2019

After a six-year "fight" over compensation owed for taking 3,200 square feet of land from their family-owned Action Collision Repair facility in Little Elm, Texas, the Texas Supreme Court recently affirmed the trial court's Judgment in favor of Steve and Kim Morale for $1.064 million. 

Ultra Petroleum: Fifth Circuit Signals Make-Whole Premiums Unenforceable in Bankruptcy 01-31-2019

V&E Restructuring and Reorganization Updates, January 31, 2019

On January 17, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion holding that a creditor whose rights have been affected by operation of the Bankruptcy Code may nevertheless be “unimpaired” under a chapter 11 plan of reorganization.

Uncle Sam on Social Media: Lawsuit Accuses the Government of Abusive Surveillance 01-30-2019

V&E Government Investigations Update, January 30, 2019

Individuals and companies frequently use social media as a platform to share thoughts and connect with others. But do we know who is following and how they are using our data?

Supreme Court Holds that AIA’s “On Sale” Bar Applies to Confidential Commercial Sales 01-30-2019

V&E IP Insights, January 30, 2019

On January 22, 2019, the Supreme Court held that a confidential commercial sale of an invention can qualify as prior art under 35 U.S.C. § 102(a).

Round Three: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Agrees to Review Briggs in Deciding Whether the Rule of Capture Defeats a Claim of Trespass for Drainage Arising from Hydraulic Fracturing 11-26-2018

Environmental Blog

On November 20, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to review the April 2018 intermediate appellate court decision, Adam Briggs et al. v. Southwestern Energy Production Company, which held that the “rule of capture” did not bar a claim for trespass when an operator’s hydraulic fracturing activity resulted in the drainage of gas from an adjoining tract that was not a part of the operator’s lease.

Being Thankful for the Good Employees 11-20-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, November 20, 2018

In 1863, while the Civil War raged across our country, President Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a federal holiday.

The Smoke has not Cleared When it Comes to Testing Employees for Marijuana Use 11-15-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, November 15, 2018

In a recent post, we discussed how several states now prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who use marijuana for medical purposes.

To Arbitrate or Not, That is the Debate 11-13-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, November 13, 2018

We recognize that many employers — and likely many readers of this blog — have implemented arbitration programs for addressing disputes with employees by including those provisions in employment agreements or in their employee handbook.

Is My Dress Code Policy Discriminatory? 11-08-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, November 8, 2018

“Leonard works as a clerk typist for a large employer. He likes to wear jewelry, and his attire frequently includes earrings and necklaces. 

Seeking Balance: OSHA Reconsiders its Opposition to Safety Incentive Programs 11-06-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, November 6, 2018

How does an employer incentivize employees to operate safely but not interfere with the reporting of workplace incidents?

The Art of Constructive Criticism in the Workplace 11-01-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, November 1, 2018

Most human resources managers will tell you that the thing that frustrates them the most are supervisors who complain about employees without having previously discussed their concerns with the employees themselves.

There is an OSHA Inspector in the Lobby — Now What? 10-30-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, October 30, 2018

A trend is developing among OSHA inspectors around the country for those inspectors, when investigating a worksite in response to a reported injury, to try to inspect the facility far beyond the limited circumstances of the injury itself.

Deal Due Diligence: Addition of International Human Rights 10-25-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, October 25, 2018

The United Nations Working Group on the issue of human rights issued guidance last week on international corporation due diligence.

Can I Fire Someone for Getting High at Home? 10-23-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, October 23, 2018

Testing for marijuana use has been a staple of drug testing for years. Because marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug (no currently accepted medical use) by the federal government, many employers assume they can terminate any employee who tests positive for marijuana use.

Mentor Fail: #MeToo No Excuse 10-18-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, October 18, 2018

Last Saturday, I was at the luggage return of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston after a long business trip to Rome.

Not All Animals are Created Equal (Under the ADA) 10-16-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, October 16, 2018

I recently saw a story about a woman trying to board a plane with a squirrel. You might think that’s nutty, but United Airlines reports that requests for emotional support animals increased by 77% last year.

OSHA Still Serious About Silica in the Fracking Industry 10-11-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, October 11, 2018

When asked to speak on safety and OSHA issues at Vinson & Elkins’ Eighth Annual Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium last week, I knew that one subject would dominate my presentation. 

The Cyber Risks Your Employees May Be Creating 10-09-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, October 9, 2018

An unlocked work computer gets left in a hotel room. A link or attachment gets opened in an email that looks like it’s coming from the boss, but isn’t. An employee is promoted to a position with access to vast amounts of sensitive information — no background check has ever been done.

Lesson Learned: Class Waiver Provision Saves Uber in FLSA Misclassification Cases 10-04-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, October 4, 2018

A major battle is being waged in California over the business model of ride share companies — and by proxy, the future of the gig economy (we have discussed the ongoing challenges facing the gig economy, especially in California, here and here).

Simply Because OSHA Says Something is RAGAGEP Doesn’t Make it So 10-02-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, October 2, 2018

Over six years ago, two colleagues and I tried a month-long trial in the federal courthouse in downtown Detroit, in which we challenged 65 Process Safety Management (“PSM”) citations that OSHA had issued to a large petroleum refinery in Ohio.

What Employers Should Learn From Omarosa 09-27-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, September 27, 2018

Loyalty to one’s employer is a fast disappearing quality it seems and it is not hard to imagine the following scenario: After terminating an especially difficult employee, you have learned that she has posted derogatory comments on social media about you (the person who terminated her), your company and your company’s product.

Can Calls from an Ordinary Cellphone Trigger TCPA Liability? Maybe. 09-27-2018

High-Tech Law & Litigation Blog

While spam calls and texts are becoming more sophisticated, courts have disagreed about what types of “automatic telephone dialing system[s]” are limited by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”). On September 20, 2018, the Ninth Circuit adopted a surprisingly broad interpretation of autodialer: a device can be considered an autodialer even in the absence of the statutorily specified “random or sequential number generator.”

Is There Fault With Your No-Fault Attendance Policy? 09-25-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, September 25, 2018

Some employer attendance policies use a tally system where employees accrue “points” for absences or tardiness. If an employee hits a certain number of points, disciplinary action is taken.

DOJ to Prosecute Employers for Discriminating Against Americans by Hiring Foreign Workers 09-20-2018

Managing the Modern Workplace Update, September 20, 2018

As previously discussed here and here, this administration appears to be doing everything it can to enforce President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, by making it more difficult for employers to get work visas.

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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