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Weekly Digest: COVID-19 Resources from Bradley (April 15, 2021)
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, April 2021

This digest is a curated list of Bradley content regarding the coronavirus. In an effort to provide our clients with the easiest way to find information that may be beneficial in responding to the impact of COVID-19, we have provided links to our most recent blog posts, news alerts, webinar recordings and more. Additionally, this digest will now be deployed on a weekly basis in an effort to reduce the number of emails our clients receive...

New California Bill Would Impose Strict Products Liability on All Online Retailers
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, April 2021

A new bill in the California Assembly has the potential to alter substantially the existing legal framework of products liability for online retailers. Assembly Bill No. 1182 (“AB 1182”), which was introduced on February 18, 2021, would impose strict products liability on online retailers who (1) communicate offers of sale and (2) facilitate payment between a third-party seller and a purchaser, even if the online retailer never takes physical possession of the product...

To Be is Not to Be: Remedies for Erroneously Drafted Written Instruments
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2021

What options does one have when they discover that a term in a previously executed contract or written instrument was worded poorly, or incorrectly drafted? Generally, parties in this scenario may seek the remedy of rectification, which gives a court the equitable jurisdiction to rectify or correct the document so that it accords with the parties’ true agreement...

Can I Bring My Dog to Work After COVID-19?
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2021

As we look forward to returning to our normal routines, after we have all had the opportunity to be vaccinated, many people are wondering what permanent workplace changes will remain in place or will be introduced for workers; as well as the pets they either acquired or became more attached to during quarantine. I am certain my dog thinks I decided to stay home with him all day because he is so wonderful (which he is)...

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, April 2021

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) is a new federally-funded program providing emergency assistance for eligible venues adversely affected by COVID-19. The program, administered by the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Disaster Assistance, will offer over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, providing economic relief to eligible entities. This legal update summarizes the requirements and additional information related to the grant application process...

IRS Guidance: COVID-19 PPE May be Eligible to be Reimbursed from Health FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, April 2021

On March 26, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) published Announcement 2021-7, which notifies taxpayers that certain amounts paid for personal protective equipment (such as masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes) for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 (“COVID-19 PPE”) may be an eligible expense that can be reimbursed from certain health care account based plans...

American Rescue Plan Act: New Guidance on COBRA Premium Assistance
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, April 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) became law in March of this year. One of the many relief provisions included in ARPA is a temporary subsidy of COBRA continuation premiums for certain individuals, summarized in our prior alert, found here...

New State Guidelines Clarify When Leases of Local Agency-Owned Land are Subject to the Surplus Land Act
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2021

Key Points The California Department of Housing and Community Development has released new guidelines for implementing the Surplus Land Act, which clarify when leases are subject to the terms of the Act. Pursuant to the new guidelines, leases are not subject to Surplus Land Act when the lease involves "land on which no development or demolition will occur" or leases with "a term that is less than five (5) years (including any extensions, amendments or options)...

New Favorable Qualified Small Business Stock Guidance for Fintechs and Insurtechs
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2021

On April 9, 2021, the IRS released Private Letter Ruling (PLR) 202114002 (January 13, 2021), which provides additional context to taxpayers worried about whether their Fintech or Insurtech shares represent Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 1202...

CFPB Proposed Rule: Slowing the Foreclosure Wave
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, April 2021

On April 5, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) issued a proposed rule that would, among other things, establish a temporary COVID-19 emergency pre-foreclosure review period until December 31, 2021, for principal residences. Currently, the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for Federal Housing Administration, US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac loans has been extended until June 30, 2021...

Gig Employer Hit with Background Check Class Action
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, April 2021

Uber Technologies, Inc. has been sued in a class action lawsuit alleging the company’s use of criminal background checks discriminates against Black and Latinx drivers. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on April 8, challenges Uber’s “unlawful use of criminal history to discriminate against its drivers in New York City as well as its brazen noncompliance with human rights and fair credit laws...

The West is Burning: A Private Screening & Discussion
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, April 2021

Join Schwabe for an exclusive screening of The West Is Burning, followed by a panel discussion with the creators of the film. Schwabe Natural Resources attorneys Greg Fullem and Janna Davydova are excited to introduce you to the filmmakers of the documentary. After a private screening, there will be an opportunity to connect with the creators of the film, ask questions, and learn about what comes next for the forests that shape the landscape of the West Coast...

Is Refusal to Wear a Mask the Basis for a Human Rights Complaint?
Lawson Lundell LLP, April 2021

Mask wearing indoors has become a ubiquitous part of the COVID-19 experience. The B.C. government mandated mask wearing in November of 2020 for most indoor public settings. Those orders are premised on face coverings helping to prevent, respond to or alleviate the spread of COVID-19, when used with other protective measures. Some members of our society have physical, cognitive, or psychological disabilities that make mask wearing unduly difficult or unsafe...

Loss of Personal Information: The Superior Court Dismisses a Class Action
Lavery Lawyers, April 2021

On March 26, 2021, the Superior Court rendered a decision dismissing a class action against the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”) on the loss of personal information of thousands of Canadian investors.1 The lack of evidence of compensable injury and IIROC’s diligent behaviour are the main reasons for the dismissal of the class action. The Facts On February 22, 2013, an inspector working for IIROC forgot his laptop computer in a public place...

Legal Considerations of Employer-Provided Covid-19 Vaccine Incentives
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, April 2021

Covid-19 has left employers who want their employees back in the office in a difficult position. With the pandemic still raging, many employees are fearful of returning to the office with unvaccinated peers. In order to ease their employees’ concerns and provide a safe work environment, some employers are offering incentives to get vaccinated...

General Permit for Winery Process Water Discharge Issued
Buchalter, April 2021

  The State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) approved the much-debated General Waste Discharge Requirements for Winery Process Water (“Winery Order”) on January 20, 2021. Although the official version of the approved Winery Order has not been released, an uncertified copy has been posted on the SWRCB website. Based on that document, most of the elements of the draft Winery Order remain unchanged from the most-recent draft issued for public comment...

CMS Announces Proposed Rate Increases and Other Changes for Skilled Nursing Providers and Hospice Providers in Fiscal Year 2022
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2021

On April 8, 2021, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced a proposed rate increase of 1.3 percent for skilled nursing providers in fiscal year 2022. It is estimated this will result in approximately $444 million increase in payments to skilled nursing facilities (SNF) under Medicare Part A for the fiscal year.  This increased payment rate does not incorporate the SNF Value-Based Program (VBP) reductions that CMS estimates to be $184...

High-Income, Corporate Tax Returns Will Be Scrutinized
Waller, April 2021

In its discretionary funding request for fiscal year (FY) 2022, the Biden administration is seeking an additional $1.2 billion for the IRS – a 10.4% increase over FY 2021. $900 million of the increase will be earmarked for compliance. The additional funding in the White House proposal would enable the IRS to “increase oversight of high-income and corporate tax returns,” according to a statement issued by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen...

The Ins and Outs of the Income Tax Deadline Extension—Which Returns, Deadlines Are Affected, and Which Aren’t?
Dykema, April 2021

On March 17, 2021, the IRS published IR-2021-59, postponing the deadline for filing individual income tax returns and payment of individual income taxes from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. On March 29, 2021, the IRS issued Notice 2021-21, further clarifying the postponement of Federal income tax reporting and payment deadlines...

Impacts on Creditors Servicers Preparing for Uncertain Future CFPB Debt Collection Working Session 7
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, April 2021

Although there is considerable uncertainty about what the future holds for the CFPB’s Debt Collection Final Rule, it is still currently set to become effective on November 30, 2021. This has caused many in the industry to wonder what should be done while we wait for answers. Join us to learn more about the current status of the Debt Collection Final Rule, and what steps you might consider taking now...

Is it Time for the Resign of the E-Sign “Reasonable Demonstration?”
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, April 2021

The E-Sign Act was signed into law over two decades ago. To put that into context, smart phones as we know them did not exist—the most popular mobile phone in 2000 was a flip phone, the Nokia 3310, and the first iPhone would not debut for another seven years. The most popular website was AOL because many people were still using AOL as their internet service provider. Google was a fledgling company with its search engine just starting out among the mainstays like Excite and Lycos...

The Biden Administration: What to Expect in Regards to Environmental Issues Webinar Recording
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, April 2021

This presentation will cover the Biden administration’s environmental policy goals and the regulatory changes we can expect from the administration in the environmental sphere. We will discuss potential changes we anticipate in the Clean Water Act WOTUS rule, changes to energy policy, and new regulation of PFAS compounds. We will also discuss the impact of the new administration at EPA and what clients can expect going forward in their dealings with EPA...

Delaware Issues Landmark Decision Supporting D&O Coverage for Fraud
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, April 2021

On March 3, 2021, the Delaware Supreme Court issued a landmark victory for policyholders in the insurance dispute concerning Dole Food Company, Inc. under a directors and officers liability policy, in RSUI Indem. Co. v. Murdock, et al., No. 154, 2020, 2021 WL 803867, at *1 (Del. Mar. 3, 2021). Dole’s dispute was with its eighth-layer excess insurer, RSUI Indemnity Company, which provided $10 million excess of $75 million...

Retailers Beware: “You Can’t Say Your Products are Made in the USA When [They Are] Made Elsewhere.”
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, April 2021

Gennex Media LLC, a customizable product online marketplace, and its sole officer and shareholder Akil Kurji, have agreed to an FTC consent decree resolving allegations the company falsely claimed its Brandnex novelty products were “Made in USA,” “USA MADE,” and “Manufactured Right Here in America!” when, in many instances, they were wholly imported from China...

United States Supreme Court Exempts Certain Technology from the TCPA
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2021

In Facebook v. Duguid, (Case No. 19-511) on April 1, 2021, the United States Supreme Court unanimously confirmed that equipment without the capacity to randomly or sequentially store or produce numbers is not an autodialer for TCPA purposes. The Facebook ruling focuses on text messages, which many institutions are using as a primary method of customer contact, but it is also a victory for those using predictive dialers and preview dialers without random and sequential source codes...

 

 

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