August 2011 Client Alerts

September 2, 2011

Authored by: Bryan Cave

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Arizona’s Employment Verification Law

On May 26, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Arizona law that sanctions employers for hiring unauthorized aliens and endorsed Arizona’s requirement that employers use the federal E-Verify screening program.  A 5-3 majority of the Court found that language in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 did not pre-empt the Arizona Law.  For the answers to frequently asked questions about the Arizona law, please click here to read the Client Alert published by the Labor & Employment Client Service Group on August 4, 2011.

Employers Should Consider Expressly Prohibiting FMLA Fraud

Many employers have updated their FMLA policies to reflect recent amendments to the law and revisions to the regulations.  Another aspect of an FMLA policy that merits attention is ensuring that the policy expressly prohibits FMLA fraud and specifies the penalty for the offense.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an unpublished opinion earlier this year that reinforces the need for express fraud prohibition.  To learn more about the implications of the opinion, please click here to read the Client Alert published by the Labor & Employment Client Service Group on August 19, 2011.

SEC Proxy Access Rule Vacated by Federal Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently set aside and vacated Exchange Act Rule 14a-11 concerning shareholder proxy access, adopted by the SEC on August 25, 2010.  On a petition for review, a panel held that the SEC had “failed adequately to consider the rule’s effect upon efficiency, competition and capital formation,” as the SEC was required to do under its enabling statutes.  Thus, the Court held that adoption of the Rule was “arbitrary and capricious” and vacated the Rule.  To read more about the decision, please click here to read the Alert published by the Corporate Finance and Securities Client Service Group published August 4, 2011.

Distressed Debt Transfers & Restructurings in a Dynamic Environment

It is unclear whether we are toward the end, or in the middle, of the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression.  What is clear, however, is that we are in a dynamic environment with a large amount of stress on the domestic and world economy.    For a discussion of the strategic opportunities in the area of debt transfers and restructurings in this environment, please click here for an article by the Bankruptcy, Creditors Rights and Real Estate groups.

New York Legislature Enacts Power Plan Siting Law

On August 4, 2011, Governor Cuomo signed the Power NY Act of 2011.  This legislation includes measures to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, but its most significant provisions reinstate a “one stop” approval process for new and expanded power plants under Article X of the Public Service Law.  To learn more about the new Article X, please click here to read the Bulletin published by the Environmental Client Service Group on August 9, 2011.

Protecting Trademark Owner Rights Under the New .XXX, Adult Entertainment Sponsored Top-Level Domain

After years of debate, ICANN has approved the sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) .xxx.  Unlike general top-level domains (e.g., .com, .net, .info) which can be registered by anyone, sTLDs are specialized domains limited to members of a specific community or specific content, based on industry, technical, or other themes (the “Sponsored Community”).  Examples of sTLDS include:  .gov for governmental entities, .edu for post-secondary educational institutions, and .aero for members of the air transport industry.  The Sponsored Community for .xxx is the adult entertainment industry.  Nevertheless, the new sTLD is expected to have a  broad impact on all brand owners in a way that previous sTLDs have not.  A domain devoted to the adult entertainment industry is perceived by many as more likely to result in “squatters” of YourTrademark.xxx, and the content of such sites to have a much greater impact on the public perception of brands.  To learn more, please click here to read the Bulletin published by the Intellectual property Client Service Group on August 3, 2011.

Bryan Cave Launches Sports, Sponsorship and Event Venue Group

In response to the ongoing evolution of the world of sports, sponsorship and event venues into a world of big business, Bryan Cave has announced the formation of a Sports, Sponsorship and Event Venue Group.  To learn more about this practice and the group, please click here to read the Alert published by the new Industry Practice Team on August 9, 2011.

Malaysia Extends Trial Period for Permit Validation System

On 26 July 2011, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry issued a Circular on the Royal Malaysian Customs Permit Validation System, amending an earlier Circular by extending the trial period for the System, originally scheduled to end on 31 July 2011, to a later date.  To learn more, please click here to read the Asia Trade Alert published by the International Consulting Group on 12 August 2011.