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Year-End Tax Newsletter: Planning for the End of 2019 and Beginning of 2020
Dykema, December 2019

Before 2019 comes to a close, it may be worthwhile to review the state of your tax, estate, and charitable giving plans. Along with the typical end-of-year considerations, it is important to remain aware of the effects of the 2017 tax act (informally called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,” and herein the “2017 Tax Act”) that altered many longstanding rules and assumptions...

Not All Disruptors are Unicorns
TSMP Law Corporation, December 2019

Some are just donkeys with a horn.I will remember 2019 as the year when many unicorns were exposed as donkeys in disguise.Invoking the rarity and mystique of the mythical creature, a “unicorn” is the term the financial market coined for companies worth US$1 billion or more. The year opened with high hopes for such companies that sought an initial public offering (IPO) in the following months...

Department of Justice Announces Strike Force to Combat Antitrust Crimes in Government Procurements
Dykema, December 2019

On November 5, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division announced the establishment of a Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) to deter, detect, investigate, and prosecute criminal schemes that undermine the integrity of the government procurement process. One of the highlights of the PCSF is to reprioritize prosecutions of cartel conduct after a several-year decline...

An Introduction to Labor Racketeering Actions Under The Federal Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

Any person injured in his or her business or property by a pattern of racketeering activity may have standing to seek relief pursuant to the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970...

‘Tis the Season to Be on Heightened Alert: FBI Warns of Targeted Cyber Attacks
Dykema, November 2019

Hackers delight in targeting U.S. companies during the holiday season triggering a year-end spike in cyber-attacks, with Carbon Black reporting a 57.5 percentincrease in attempted cyber-attacks during past holiday seasons. This year we can expect that threat actors across the globe will remain online throughout the holiday season, looking to capitalize on the distraction of the holidays and the increased internet traffic that comes with online holiday shopping...

"Text Me?" Proposed Electronic Disclosure Rule Would Allow Greater Flexibility for Retirement Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

Under a new proposed rule, certain required disclosures could be provided electronically to all retirement plan participants, including former employees and beneficiaries. On October 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposed rule intended to expand the use of internet technology to furnish ERISA-required disclosures to plan participants, and to reduce printing and mail expenses...

Hold My Beer Browns get Doused with Lawsuit in Mistaken Identity Case
Waller, November 2019

On Sunday, September 8, 2019, the Cleveland Browns hosted the Tennessee Titans for the first game of their 2019 season. The game did not go well for the Browns that day. They lost badly to the Titans - 43 to 13. During the fourth quarter, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield threw an interception that was run back for a “pick six” by Titans player Malcolm Butler. Butler jumped into the stands to celebrate, and Titans cornerback Logan Ryan joined him...

Emerging Concerns Regarding Silica Exposure in the Engineered Stone Industry
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

The dangers of workers developing silicosis amid the fabrication of engineered stone has become a topic heavily discussed in the news and elsewhere recently. Silicosis is a lung disease that develops from the exposure and inhalation of silica particles. On Oct. 2, National Public Radio (“NPR”) aired a story entitled “Workers Are Falling Ill, Even Dying, After Making Kitchen Countertops...

New California Employment Laws for 2020
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

2019 was a banner year for Governor Gavin Newsom. The Governor signed numerous bills into law, most of which are not employer friendly. For an in-depth analysis of how each law might affect your organization, contact your Hanson Bridgett labor and employment lawyer and/or join us for our Annual Client Seminars on January 28, 2020 (Walnut Creek), January 29, 2020 (Sacramento), or January 30, 2020 (San Francisco). Unless otherwise indicated, each new law takes effect on January 1, 2020...

New Regulation on Location Permit
Makarim & Taira S., November 2019

Over the past years, the Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/ Head of the National Land Agency (“Minister”) has issued several regulations on location permits due to the progressive system established by the government for the efficiency of investments and licensing. After the Online Single Submission (“OSS”) system became applicable, the Minister issued Regulation No...

The Shift From DOJ Enforcement to Administrative Review for HUD False Claims Act Violations
Dykema, November 2019

The False Claims Act (“FCA”) is one of the most powerful anti-fraud weapons available to the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”). It permits treble damages and makes penalties available for each false claim the defendant submitted to a federal payor. The DOJ effectively deployed the FCA against mortgage lenders in the aftermath of the sub-prime lending crisis to obtain, in some cases, billion-dollar settlements...

Key Takeaways from USDA Final Interim Rules for Domestic Hemp Production
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

Introduction On Oct. 31, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its highly anticipated interim final rules, establishing the USDA Domestic Hemp Production Program to be administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)...

CalPERS Issues Guidance on Uniform Allowance Reporting
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

A few weeks ago, CalPERS issued a Circular Letter to provide guidance to contracting agencies about reporting the uniform allowance, a statutory form of special compensation that applies only to classic CalPERS members. The Circular Letter provides much needed guidance about the uniform allowance, specific examples of reportable and non-reportable items, and reporting standards...

Technical Specification on Compliance Plans in the Context of the Amendment to the National Consumer Service
Carey, November 2019

On August 26th, 2019, the National Institute of Normalization (INN) published Technical Specification INN/ET1 on compliance plans for the protection of consumer’s rights (the “Technical Specification”), in accordance to which suppliers can develop the compliance plans referred in Article 24 subparagraph four of Law No. 19,496 Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”), included therein after the latest amendment to that Law...

H-1B Visas – New H-1B Cap Registration Rules and Other Potential Changes
Dykema, November 2019

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule on January 11, 2019, introducing electronic registration requirement for employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The final rule went into effect on April 1, 2019, though the electronic registration requirement was suspended Fiscal Year 2020 (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020) to allow USCIS to complete user testing and ensure the system and process are fully functional...

IRS Issues 2020 Limits for Retirement Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

On November 6, 2019, the IRS announced in Notice 2019-59 cost of living adjustments to the qualified plan dollar limits for 2020. Below is a summary of the limits that are generally relevant for most retirement plans. Effective January 1, 2020: The elective deferral limit for 401(k), 403(b), and eligible 457(b) plans is increased from $19,000 to $19,500. The catch-up contribution limit for those age 50 or older is increased from $6,000 to $6,500...

2019 Mergers & Acquisitions Outlook Survey
Dykema, November 2019

The results of Dykema's Annual Mergers & Acquisitions Outlook Survey are in! This annual survey tracks the marketplace to gauge the direction of the M&A market and economy for the coming year. As with previous installments of the survey, our firm canvassed leading company executives and outside advisors in the M&A space to ask them to share their observations and insights into how the U.S. economy and domestic and global matters will impact the M&A market...

Greater Reforms for Promoting Work-Life Balance
Lee & Ko, November 2019

 On 1 October 2019 significant changes to the Gender Equality Employment and Work-Life Balance Support Act came into force, including to employees' rights to paternity leave and reduced working hours for child and family care...

Judge Halts Presidential Proclamation Suspending Visas for Immigrants Without Health Insurance
Dykema, November 2019

The U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, issued a 28-day temporary restraining order (TRO) in an unusual weekend session just before the “Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Healthcare System” was to go into effect on November 3, 2019. Judge Michael H. Simon agreed to “freeze things the way they are” so a determination can be made on the merits of the case...

Banking Regulation in Chile: Overview
Carey, November 2019

Our partner, Felipe Moro, and our associate, Diego Lasagna, authored this year’s Thomson Reuter’s Practical Law guide about Banking Regulation in Chile, which provides, “a high level overview of the governance and supervision of banks, including legislation, regulatory bodies and the role of international standards, licensing, the rules on liquidity, foreign investment requirements, liquidation regimes and recent trends in the regulation of banks...

Pollution of the Solution?
TSMP Law Corporation, November 2019

Amid the noise, vitriol and spectacle, the real debate that we need to have about climate change has been drowned out.   In the past few weeks, I have followed with much interest a Swedish child activist’s barely concealed yearning for the Nobel Peace Prize...

IRS Issues New Guidance on Cryptocurrency: Hard Forks and Other Utensils Are Taxable
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

After sending cryptocurrency enforcement letters in the summer of 2019, the IRS recently issued Revenue Ruling 2019-24 and an accompanying frequently asked questions (FAQs) with additional guidance on the taxation of cryptocurrency. The Revenue Ruling addresses the tax treatment of cryptocurrency "hard forks", where one version of the currency is split from its original ledger and a new version of the currency is created with a new ledger...

Illinois Secure Choice Registration Is Underway for Employers with at least 25 Employees
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

Starting Nov. 1, 2019, employers in Illinois with at least 25 employees must comply with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Secure Choice Program) or offer employees an employer-sponsored retirement plan...

Is a Benefit Corporation Right for You?
Verrill, November 2019

The “benefit corporation” is a relatively new type of business entity. In 2010, Maryland became the first state in the U.S. to enact a statute recognizing and providing for the organization of this form of entity. In September, Maine joined 30 other states that have enacted benefit corporation legislation over the past nine years, and such legislation is currently pending in several more states...

Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash Attempt a U-Turn on AB 5 via New Ballot Initiative
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

The fate of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) may be headed to the voters. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have unveiled the Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act, a $90 million ballot initiative targeting AB 5. AB 5, signed by Governor Newsom on September 18, 2019, is expansive legislation that has potentially significant impact on California employers. AB 5 broadly adopts a new test for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, with far-reaching implications...

 

 

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