Monthly Archives: May 2016

ILN Today Post

Four PR and legal strategies and tactics to battle online defamation

With the ever-expanding role of social media and the Internet, negative reviews can spread virtually unchecked. Some negative reviews are limited to statements of opinion, which generally are legally protected. However, companies and individuals increasingly are subject to attacks that include false statements constituting online defamation. The best strategies for combating online defamation involve both savvy legal and PR counsel, working in tandem, to provide effective relief.

The legal avenues for addressing defamatory comments and obtaining their removal from websites can be difficult to navigate. Generally speaking, the Communications Decency Act of 1996 protects websites where reviews may appear, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Glassdoor, and Yelp, from liability for content posted by their users. This significant limitation of liability on the “publishers” of the defamation creates little incentive — and, arguably, a disincentive — for these entities to self-police their sites. Because of this, many sites require a court order or judgment before removing allegedly defamatory comments.

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ILN Today Post

Shutts makes Law360’s Top 10 and Top 100 Best Law Firms for Hispanic Attorneys

For the second year in a row, Shutts & Bowen ranks among the 10 Best Law Firms for Hispanic Attorneys and the Top 100 Firms for Minority Attorneys following a national survey of more than 300 U.S. firms by Law360, a LexisNexis legal news service.

Shutts & Bowen ranked second in the 10 Best Law Firms for Hispanic Attorneys and 13th in the Top 100 Firms for Minority Attorneys. According to Law360, most of these firms have at least 15% of minority partners as opposed to the 8.4% national average. At Shutts, Hispanics make up 13% of the firm’s partners and 19% of associates.

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Proposed New French Language Requirements For Businesses in Québec

man wearing a suit holding a chalkboard with the question parlez-vous francais? do you speak french? written in it

After losing the battle in court over the requirement that businesses must add French language to English trade-marks displayed on signage outside their stores, the Québec government announced its intention in June 2015 to make modifications to Québec’s Regulation respecting the language of commerce and business (“Regulation”).

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Pat Williams recognized for work on the Strata Property Law Reform Project Committee

Pat Williams was acknowledged in the Advocate for his work with the BC Law Institute’s project committee on strata property law reform. The committee examines improvement in various areas, including cancellation of a strata plan, dissolution of a strata corporation, complex and leasehold stratas, common property, governance, insurance and land-title issues. Their goal is to aid in the development of strata property law in BC.

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FDA Issues Draft Guidance Encouraging More Widespread Use of Electronic Health Record Data in Clinical Trials

On May 17, 2016, FDA issued Draft Guidance for Industry on Use of Electronic Health Record Data in Clinical Investigations (“Draft Guidance”).  This Draft Guidance builds on prior FDA guidance on Computerized Systems Used in Clinical Investigations and Electronic Source Data in Clinical Investigations, and provides information on FDA’s expectations for the use of Electronic Health Record (“EHR”) data to clinical investigators, research institutions and sponsors of clinical research on drugs, biologics, medical devices and combination products conducted under an Investigational New Drug Application or Investigational Device Exemption.

While the recommendations set forth in the Draft Guidance do not represent a significant departure from existing guidance, research sponsors, institutions and investigators should consider the extent to which their existing policies and procedures, template agreements, protocols and informed consent documents should be updated to incorporate FDA’s recommendations.

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What Issues Might the SEC and/or NLRB Have with Employee Confidentiality Agreements?

It is a common practice for employers to obtain a written agreement from employees to refrain from disclosing company trade secrets and other confidential and proprietary information. Such agreements are structured to be effective after an employee departs, as well as while he or she is actively employed. Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements can be an important tool in an employer’s efforts to protect trade secret, business-sensitive, and other confidential information, but if they are not thoughtfully and carefully drafted, they could engender unwelcome scrutiny, or even enforcement action, from executive agencies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). The SEC and NLRB have shown interest in confidentiality provisions even in the absence of an existing action or a complaint from the employee.

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OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Rule: New Pitfalls for Employers

Our colleague Valerie Butera, a Member of the Firm at Epstein Becker Green, has a post on the OSHA Law Update blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the technology industry: “OSHA’s New Electronic Recordkeeping Rule Creates a Number of New Pitfalls for Employers.”

Following is an excerpt:

On May 12, 2016, OSHA published significant amendments to its recordkeeping rule, requiring many employers to submit work-related injury and illness information to the agency electronically.  The amendments also include provisions designed to prevent employers from retaliating against employees for reporting injuries and illnesses at work.  The information employers provide will be “scrubbed” of personally identifiable information and published on OSHA’s website in a searchable format. …

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OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Rule: New Pitfalls for Employers

Our colleague Valerie Butera, a Member of the Firm at Epstein Becker Green, has a post on the OSHA Law Update blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the financial services industry: “OSHA’s New Electronic Recordkeeping Rule Creates a Number of New Pitfalls for Employers.”

Following is an excerpt:

On May 12, 2016, OSHA published significant amendments to its recordkeeping rule, requiring many employers to submit work-related injury and illness information to the agency electronically.  The amendments also include provisions designed to prevent employers from retaliating against employees for reporting injuries and illnesses at work.  The information employers provide will be “scrubbed” of personally identifiable information and published on OSHA’s website in a searchable format. …

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ILN Today Post

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 – a brief snapshot

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Code”) has been passed by the Lok Sabha on May 5, 2016 and Rajya Sabha on May 11, 2016, and shall come into force, once, it receives the Presidential assent. The Code, seeks to consolidate and amend the existing laws on bankruptcy and insolvency matters and creates a unified legal framework for resolution of insolvency/bankruptcy issues in a time bound manner. 

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IP Update – EU Trade marks

Portrait of a boy with the flag of the European Union painted on his face.

At the start of 2016 we highlighted the impending changes to IP law in the European Union (EU) and what to expect over the coming months when the new legislation is introduced.  This article focuses on two of the amendments governing the use of a European Union trade mark (EUTM) and how the new laws will affect the use of EUTMs pertaining to company names.

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