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BEFORE THE WALLS COME CRUMBLIN’ DOWN: Lessons that Condo Associations Can Learn from Surfside, Florida Condominium Building Collapse
Buchalter, September 2021

  Surfside Collapse – what we know so far: On Thursday, June 24, 2021, at approximately 1:25 a.m., Champlain Towers South, a twelve-story beachfront condominium in the Miami suburb of Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed. The collapse was reported as the third deadliest structural engineering failure in United States history. Ninety-eight people were confirmed dead, only four people were rescued from the rubble...

The Implications of California’s Appellate Decision in Malak Melvin Abdul Qaadir v. Ubaldo Gurrola Figueroa et al.
Buchalter, August 2021

  On August 11, 2021, the California Court of Appeals for the Second District extended the Pebley v. Santa Clara Organics (“Pebley”) Court’s analysis as applied to the admissibility of unpaid medical liens. Based on the Court’s reading of Howell v. Hamilton Meats[1] (“Howell”) and its progeny, the Court in Malak Melvin Abdul Qaadir v. Ubaldo Gurrola Figueroa et al...

Curtailments Ordered in the Delta Watershed
Buchalter, August 2021

Water Law On August 20, 2021, the Deputy Director of the Division of Water Rights (Deputy Director) of the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) issued water curtailment orders for the remainder of August and for all of September to approximately 4,500 water right holders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed (Delta Watershed).  These curtailment orders affect post-1914, pre-1914, and riparian rights, though in different ways, as described further below...

Emergency Regulations Allow Curtailments in the Delta Watershed
Buchalter, August 2021

Water Law Effective August 19, 2021, emergency regulations were approved for water curtailment orders and related reporting requirements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed, defined as Hydrologic Unit Code level 4 Sacramento and level 4 San Joaquin subregions (Delta Watershed), as shown in the map below...

Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: San Francisco Provides New Evidentiary Presumption in Continued Push to Provide Rent Relief to Limited Commercial Tenants
Buchalter, August 2021

Following the passage of its commercial eviction moratorium for certain qualified tenants in December 2020,[1] the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, on August 4, 2021, provided additional assistance to the same class of “Covered Commercial Tenants” by establishing a new evidentiary presumption aimed at excusing payment of past due rent. To the extent applicable, the presumption applies to all past due rent as of March 16, 2020...

Social Media Influencers Could Become the Targets of Trademark Infringement Lawsuits
Buchalter, August 2021

Petunia Products, Inc. owns the BROW BOOST ® trademark, under which it sells a “Billion Dollar Brows” eyebrow primer and conditioner. Petunia recently asserted trademark infringement claims against a skin care products company, which Petunia alleges infringed on its BROW BOOST mark in connection with the name of its product that competes with Petunia’s product, and by using the hashtag #BROWBOOST on social media to promote its product...

Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: Supreme Court Holds That in Applying COVID-Related Stays of Eviction Proceedings, Landlords Must Be Given the Opportunity to Challenge a Tenant’s Claim of COVID-Related Hardship
Buchalter, August 2021

On August 12, in a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order enjoining the portion of a New York State statute which provided that tenants could establish that they had suffered COVID-related economic hardship by means of self-certification.  Under the New York law, eviction actions based on non-payment of rent could not go forward if a tenant submitted such a self-certification.  Under the law, landlords could not contest the tenant’s declaration in court...

EPCRS Provides More Retirement Plan Self-Correction Opportunities  
Buchalter, July 2021

  On July 16, 2021 the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-30, which modifies and supersedes Revenue Procedure 2019-19, expanding the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System ("EPCRS").  EPCRS is a program for correcting documentation and operational failures for retirement plans that are intended to be qualified plans under Sections 401(a) and 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code...

Buchalter TCPA Digest: More ATDS Cases Slip Past Pleading Stage, Plaintiffs Keep Trying to Leverage Facebook’s FN7, and Florida Enacts Not-so-“Mini” TCPA
Buchalter, July 2021

  The TCPA and other related regulations over telemarketing and “robocalling” continue to evolve at a quick pace, creating uncertainty and posing challenges for any business that contacts consumers through calling or texting. This past month has seen more important developments in the wake of the Supreme Court opinion in Facebook v. Duguid, which gave us a narrow interpretation of the statutory ATDS definition...

NMLS Transition Update for Existing California Financing Law Licensees: CA DFPI Has Opened the NMLS Portal to Receive Transition Applications
Buchalter, July 2021

  Following July 8, 2021’s Client Alert, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) posted its CFL Transition Checklist for existing California Financing Law licensees to begin the license administration transition over to the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) portal. The deadline for submitting CFL transition applications through the NMLS portal is December 31, 2021...

IRS Expands Self-Correction under EPCRS and Adds New Overpayment Correction Methods
Buchalter, July 2021

By: Jenni Krengel and Tonie Bitseff On Friday, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-30 expanding the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System ("EPCRS")—a voluntary program for correcting errors in tax-qualified and section 403(b) plans—by adding two new methods for recouping benefit overpayments, among other changes...

CA DFPI Issues New Round of Proposed Rules for Transitioning Existing CA Financing Law Licensees to the NMLS Platform
Buchalter, July 2021

Back in November 2020, we reported the CA Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (“CA DFPI”) as administrator of the California Financing Law (CFL) License had published a third round of proposed rules to transition the CFL License administration to the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) electronic portal. The target date for completing this transition would be July 1, 2021...

New “Warehouse Indirect Source Rule” Requires Action Now
Buchalter, July 2021

  The Warehouse Indirect Source Rule requires some warehouse operators to begin collecting compliance information starting July 1, 2021. The “Warehouse Indirect Source Rule,” adopted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District on May 7, 2021, requires some warehouse operators to begin collecting compliance information starting July 1, 2021...

Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: Stop the Clock: Relief from Your Insurer Claiming a Notice Time Bar During the Pandemic
Buchalter, July 2021

A dangerous trap for an unwary insured looking for insurance coverage can be a notice provision. To trigger certain liability insurance policies, the insurer may require that a “claim” be both made against an insured and that the insured then report such claim to its insurer during the time the single insurance policy is in effect. This is what is known as a “claims-made-and-reported” policy...

Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: CFPB Issues Rule on Required COVID Relief Steps and Availability of Foreclosure for Residential Mortgage Loans
Buchalter, June 2021

  On June 28, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a new rule (Rule) setting forth loss mitigation/loan modification steps residential mortgage loan servicers must take in regard to mortgage loan borrowers due to possible COVID-19 related hardship, and when servicers may or may not commence foreclosure proceedings.  The Rule will take effect on August 31, 2021 and remain in place until December 31, 2021...

Mid-Year Check-Up: California’s Prop 65 Continues To Evolve and Pose Burdens on Businesses
Buchalter, June 2021

Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a record year for Prop. 65 filings. There was a 46% increase in Notice of Violation filings from 2019, driven by the usual filers, as well as many new law firms and noticing parties. There have been 1,346 notices filed between Jan. 1, 2021 and June 3, 2021, compared to 1,327 Notices filed in the same time-period in 2020. These Notices consist primarily of phthalates, lead, cadmium, arsenic, BPA and acrylamide...

Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: Health Plans are on the Hook for COVID Testing, Per the DMHC
Buchalter, June 2021

On June 7, 2021, the Department of Managed Health Care (“DMHC”) issued an All Plan Letter (APL-21-016) to the health care service plans it regulates, announcing that health care service plans must continue to cover certain COVID-19 testing for their enrollees beyond the now-expired DMHC’s emergency regulation[1] (“Emergency Regulation”)...

New Oregon Legislation Further Restricts the Use of Noncompetition Agreements
Buchalter, June 2021

By: Alexandra Shulman The Oregon Legislature recently passed a new bill (SB 169) that will have a major impact on the use of noncompetition agreements in Oregon. These amendments to Oregon’s existing noncompetition statute, ORS 653.295, will become effective on January 1, 2022, and will apply to all Oregon noncompetition agreements entered into on or after that date.  The most significant changes to the statute are described below. Reduced Term...

The Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Immaterial Registration Errors Can Serve as the Basis for Invalidating Copyright Registrations
Buchalter, June 2021

By: Matthew Seror and Aaron Levine On June 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case that will likely determine once and for all whether courts are empowered to void copyright registrations based on immaterial registration errors, or whether a showing of bad faith or an intent-to-defraud is required. The underlying case, Unicolors v. H&M, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS U.S. App. LEXIS 17097 (9th Cir...

When Can Companies Recoup Advancement of Executives’ Criminal Defense Costs? A Recent Decision Highlights Some Limits
Buchalter, May 2021

  When corporate executives are charged with crimes, their companies often foot the bill for their defenses. Sometimes those bills can be hefty. And while companies sometimes seek to recoup the expenses when the executives are convicted, a recent decision from the influential Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York makes clear that the criminal restitution process may not be their best approach...

Buchalter COVID-19 Alert: California is Reopening, Will Commercial Evictions Remain on Hold?
Buchalter, May 2021

In early April as the statewide vaccination rate began to rise and major population centers across California began to see significant decreases in positive COVID cases and hospitalization rates, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the State plans to reopen in full on June 15, 2021. As of the date of this Alert, California has one of the lowest number of COVID cases per 100,000 people and the fourth lowest number of COVID hospitalizations in the United States...

Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Safety Rules to be Revised
Buchalter, May 2021

The Cal/OSHA Standards Board is scheduled to meet on May 20, 2021 to review proposed revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) on COVID-19 Safety in the workplace that were originally adopted in November, 2020.  The rules are expected to be readopted with the revisions and sent on to the Office of Administrative Law for an abbreviated five-day public notice and comment period as an emergency action before taking effect...

The Post-Facebook TCPA Landscape: How the Supreme Court’s Opinion on the Definition of ATDS Has Changed Legal Risk for Companies That Text or Call Consumers
Buchalter, May 2021

By: Artin Betpera The Telephone Consumer Protection Act has for over a decade been a source of significant legal risk for any business that communicates with consumers by phone or text.  The TCPA prohibits making calls without consent to cell phones using an “Automatic Telephone Dialing System” (“ATDS”), and contains a private right of action that provides for statutory damages of $500 up to $1,500 per offending call or text...

Corporate Practice of Medicine on Steroids
Buchalter, May 2021

By: Carol K. Lucas At a time when many are questioning the continued utility and viability of the corporate practice of medicine ban, California may be doubling down. On May 3, 2021, the California Senate Health Committee approved SB-642, the stated purpose of which is to protect medical decision-making from lay control. The bill is currently pending in the California Senate. Assembly Bill AB-705 is a substantially identical bill in the California Assembly...

CFPB Extends Compliance Deadline for New Qualified Mortgage Definition to October 1, 2022
Buchalter, April 2021

On April 27, the CFPB published a final rule extending the date for mandatory compliance with the new “general” Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule (General QM Rule) until October 1, 2022.  In December, 2020, the CFPB published the final General QM Rule...

 

 

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