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International Lawyers Network

The International Lawyers Network (ILN) is a leading association of 91 high-quality, full-service independent law firms.

Since 1988, the ILN has helped its members keep pace with today’s global economy, through access to the tremendous strength and depth of the combined expertise of 5,000 lawyers in 66 countries on six continents.

ILN member firms are among the most respected and most experienced counsel in their jurisdictions. Clients’ increasing need for reliable foreign counsel is well-met by the personalized, high-quality and cost-effective legal services provided by ILN member firms. Unique to the ILN are the strong personal and professional relationships among its members and their clients developed over the past 30 years. Far from a mere directory, the ILN is an affiliation of lawyers who gather on a regional and worldwide basis annually and work routinely with each other to address client requirements and needs.

Each of the ILN’s member firms is international in outlook and staffed by highly trained senior attorneys, who are experts in a broad range of practice areas. ILN members have demonstrated experience in working successfully with international companies. They are independent, mid-sized firms within their jurisdictions, and are committed to the focus of the International Lawyers Network, admitted to the Network only after a rigorous application process. The ILN provides clients with high-quality service from experienced local counsel who work in firms that maintain excellent reputations in their own countries. This means that clients have immediate access to attorneys who are native, both linguistically and culturally, to the country of interest.

The ILN’s international directory app is available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry smartphones. To access the app, click here or log on to ILNmobile.com from your smartphone.

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ILN Today Post

FAR FROM IMPOSSIBLE… THE LEGAL CHALLENGES OF TELEWORKING

While the number of people employed in teleworking or home office is growing rapidly across the world, many firms are not aware of what this entails in legal terms. Yet, those employing workers outside of the office are often faced with unexpected risks.

More…

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ILN Today Post

State Department Proposes New Guidelines for the Export of Surveillance Technology Aimed at Addressing Human Rights Concerns

Should human rights concerns be a consideration for exporters engaged in international trade? New draft guidance proposed by the U.S. Department of State aims to provide a potential roadmap for tackling this issue.

On September 4, 2019, the State Department’s Internet Freedom and Business & Human Rights Section of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor released draft guidance for “Surveillance Technology” exports.[1] If adopted, this guidance could add another layer to the export control process.

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Th-Inking About The Law: Tattoos Leaving Indelible Marks On Black-Letter Principles & Coloring Our Perspectives

Tattoos, one of the oldest art forms in the world, are all over the legal news in recent years.  The news runs the gamut from a tattooist suing a movie studio over replication of Mike Tyson’s facial tattoo in The Hangover II to artists looking to gaming companies for compensation for reproduction of tattoos appearing on video game avatars of professional athletes, which even made it into the Wall Street Journal and been the subject of court decisions earlier this year and late last year. Even more recently it has included a Larry Bird’s mural being altered, at his request, to remove tattoos an artist had added for a modernizing flourish. (BTW, speaking of murals, the Chuck Wepner mural I had written about has been painted over). It has also included law enforcement receiving criticism from many directions for “Photo-Shopping” tattoos out of pictures of suspects used in policy photo arrays.  Just recently, Cardi B was sued for using a photo of a tattoo on her album cover. Though the examples above may most resonate with a US domestic audience, the copyright and other legal issues emerging from, and connected to, tattooing are being considered worldwide.   Consequently, it seems like an area worth exploring here.

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ILN Today Post

D.C. Circuit Weighs in on Issue of Willfulness in Prosecutions for Unlawful Exports

What is the appropriate standard for determining whether a defendant has acted willfully in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (“AECA”)? On August 20, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) weighed in on this question in U.S. v. Burden. Specifically, the court examined the definition of willfulness as it relates to the unlawful exporting of defense articles without a license.[1]

Exports and imports of defense articles are governed by the AECA.  The AECA serves the purpose of furthering the national security and foreign policy of the United States and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) are the regulations that implement the AECA. In this case, the defendant was convicted for violating the AECA for exporting gun parts to Thailand without a license. During trial, the district court instructed the jury that in order to find that the defendant willfully violated the law, the jury must find that “the defendant knew that his conduct was unlawful.”[2] The jury found the defendant guilty and he appealed, arguing that his conviction should be overturned, in part, because the jury was provided with the improper standard required for a conviction. On appeal, the D.C. Circuit examined the willfulness standard provided in the district court’s instruction.

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Andrew Penhale becomes RSS’s Managing Partner

October 15, 2019 — Change of leadership for the firm: after a long tenure as Managing Partner of Robinson Sheppard Shapiro, Charles E. Flam will be passing the baton to Andrew Penhale. For Andrew, this will be like returning home, since he practised with the firm from 2001 to 2010, after his 1997 call to the Bar. He subsequently was Head of the Claims Service of the Professional Liability Insurance Fund of the Barreau du Québec.

“This position matches my aspirations perfectly”, said Mr. Penhale. “I know the group, having been a partner with the firm, which allowed me to appreciate Mr. Flam’s leadership. It’s quite a challenge to follow in the footsteps of someone who led the firm for so many years; at least, I know I’m handed a first-rate team.”

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NLRB Solidifies Boeing and Provides Guidance on Employer Workplace Rules

As discussed in previous blog posts and articles, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in Boeing Co., overruled past precedent that had resulted in the invalidation of “commonsense [workplace] rules and requirements that most people would reasonably expect every employer to maintain.”  Boeing sought to return the analysis to a more balanced approach in which workplace rules would no longer be struck down simply because such rules could have been more narrowly tailored or just because a hypothetical employee theoretically might construe them to conflict with the exercise of Section 7 rights.

On October 10, 2019, for the first time since Boeing was published, the Board had the opportunity to clarify and apply the analysis now required for facially neutral work rules in LA Specialty Product Company.   At issue in LA Specialty Produce Company was two workplace rules included in the employee manual for employer LA Specialty Produce Company.

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ILN Today Post

Potential Direct Tax Implications for Digital Economy

Multinational companies such as Google, Facebook, Airbnb etc., engaged in providing digital services in different countries, without any physical presence, are likely to be adversely impacted by the changing international tax regime. The tax challenges arising from digitalisation of the economy were identified as one of the main areas of focus of the Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS) Action Plan, leading to the 2015 BEPS Action 1 Report on ‘Addressing the Tax Challenges of the Digital Economy’. Thereafter, the focus of the countries has been to draw up a conclusive plan for the governments’ right to tax multinationals, through the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is currently working on releasing a methodology for such taxation, by 2020.

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ILN Today Post

There’s a New Economic Sanctions Sheriff in Town: the SEC

In recent years, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission appears to be taking a more active role in a regulatory area for which it is not traditionally associated: economic sanctions. So far this year, the SEC has sent comment letters to several major public companies, including PayPal and The Bank of New York Mellon, inquiring about business activities related to U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) economic sanctions.

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Proposed changes in the Companies Act, 2013 – Decriminalization of various offences

Since the inception of the Companies Act, 2013 (“Act”), the Government of India (“Government”) has undertaken and continues to undertake various amendments to the Act including the recent amendment dated July 31st, 2019, in which approximately 21 (twenty-one) criminal offences were decriminalized and re-categorized as civil offences.

Since then there have been constant deliberations to decriminalize more and more criminal offences under the Act, with the intent to avoid unwarranted prosecutions against the executives of the companies and provide a fair chance to compound the civil offences by paying penalties only.

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California Court of Appeal Rejects Employee’s Attempt to Seek Derivative Wage Statement and Waiting Time Penalties Based on Alleged Meal and Rest Period Violations Continue Reading…

In bringing meal and rest period claims on behalf of their clients, the plaintiffs’ bar has long argued that merely because there was an alleged meal or rest period violation, there were also “derivative” statutory violations entitling their clients to additional penalties.  By arguing that an employer is also on the hook for such penalties, plaintiffs’ attorneys argue that the potential exposure is greater.  And with greater potential exposure, employers will be more inclined to settle – or so the rationale goes.

These purported “derivative” violations have come in at least two forms.  One type of “derivative” violation the plaintiffs’ bar has advanced is the theory that, because an employee was allegedly denied a meal or rest period, and because the employee would thus be owed an hour of “premium” pay for such a violation, the employee’s wage statement was not accurate because it did not show the premium pay the employee allegedly should have been paid, but was not.  That theory has been nonsensical from the get-go because it ignored the primary purpose of California’s wage statement law – that employees be provided a statement showing a calculation of the wages that they were actually paid.  Nevertheless, the plaintiffs’ bar continued to push this theory.  Understandably so – the maximum statutory penalty for wage statement violations is $4,000.  And that would be for just one employee.

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