Monthly Archives: February 2017

Lack of Actual Knowledge of The Existence of a Non-Compete Defeats Tortious Interference Claim

Matthew Savage Aibel

In Acclaim Systems, Inc. v. Infosys, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently rejected a claim for tortious interference with a non-compete, because the plaintiff introduced no evidence of actual knowledge that the individuals in question were covered by non-competes.

Infosys, an IT services company, bid on a job from Time Warner Cable (“TWC”) that had been serviced by a competitor, Acclaim. TWC decided to transfer the project over to Infosys, but wanted Infosys to hire four contractors who previously worked with Acclaim on the project.

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Pennsylvania: State Supreme Court upholds made-up tax assessment

In the case City of Philadelphia v. Lerner, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld what it characterized as an “exorbitant assessment” against a taxpayer, albeit unsympathetic, that was invented out of whole cloth. The court, noting that the taxpayer had failed to provide any records from which the City could determine a taxable income, inferred that the assessment “apparently was not tied to any specific information in the City’s possession.” Instead, it was fabricated in order to get the taxpayer’s attention, and ultimately, force him to hand over his business records.

BACKGROUND

In September 2004, the City received an anonymous letter accusing the taxpayer of concealing business income. The informant included checks it had made out to the taxpayer, several of which were issued by the taxpayer’s alleged business partner.
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More jurisdictions considering taking high CEO compensation

Last December, Portland, Oregon became the first city in America to pass an ordinance imposing an additional tax on the compensation of any chief executive officer of a publicly traded company doing business in Portland whose compensation is more than 100 times that of a median worker’s compensation. The ordinance, which affects about 550 firms, calls for a 10 percent surtax when the pay ratio of CEO to median worker is between 100 to 1 and 250 to 1. When that ratio exceeds 250 to 1, the surtax increases to 25 percent. We detailed the law in our December 22, 2016, article.
As we noted, the surtax was made possible in the first place by a 2015 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule requiring public companies to disclose the ratio of the compensation of their CEO to median employee compensation. The rule requires companies to disclose the ratio of the median annual total compensation of all employees, excluding the CEO, to the annual total compensation of the chief executive officer.
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Texas: New challenges to solve and old challenges that need new solutions

In Gov. Greg Abbott’s state-of-the-state speech, he declared that Texas “is in the middle of an innovation renaissance,” touting the facts that the state has the second highest number of Fortune 500 companies, has added more than 200,000 new jobs in spite of last year’s “downturn in the oil patch,” and is number two in the nation for women-owned businesses.
In addition, without “breaking the budget,” the governor applauded lawmakers’ improvements in early and higher education, unclogging congested roads, boosting border security, and “end[ing] the [legislative] session with the largest savings account of any state in America.”
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The Supreme Administrative Court Says “No” to Petroleum Companies “Black List”

A security company, Stanley Security Sverige AB, has created an innovative system to register car drivers who fill up fuel at a petrol station and leave without paying.

The actual system was planned to be carried out in the following way: If a car leaves without paying, the staff at the petrol station will send information of the car (the vehicle registration number, car model, unpaid amount etc.) to a central database, which registers the information on the “black-list”. When the same car arrives to other petrol stations which are connected to the database, a special camera at the petrol station monitors the vehicle registration plate and compares automatically with the registered vehicle numbers on the black-list. If the car is on the black-list, the staff will be notified and can demand that a payment shall be made in advance. After the car has been registered on the black-list, the car owner will be informed and given an opportunity to object to a potentially erroneous registration.

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Super Bowl Commercials – The Ugly of 2017

We are finally here at the “ugly” of the 2017 Super Bowl commercials – do you already have your list is mind? The first couple were really easy for me to come up with, and the last few were late additions after some extra thought was given to the crop of ads this year.

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New Jersey Finds Jury Waiver Too Ambiguous To Encompass Whistleblower Claims

Denise DadikaNew Jersey’s Appellate Division recently held that a jury waiver provision was unenforceable as to a former employee’s statutory employment claims. In Noren v. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., Docket No. A-2651-13T3, __ N.J. Super. __ (Feb. 6, 2017), plaintiff signed an employment agreement with his then-employer that provided:

HPS and RM [employee] irrevocably waive any right to trial by jury in any suit, action or proceeding under, in connection with or to enforce this Agreement.

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Leading Anti-Corruption Advocates to Meet at Summit in Amsterdam

The International Monetary Fund has estimated that bribery costs the global economy an annual 1.5 to 2 Trillion USD. In the European Union, the economic costs associated with corruption total one percent of its GDP, a figure that nearly equals its annual budget. In developing and developed countries alike, corruption remains a grave social problem, with a negative effect on economic growth and the delivery of government services.

With the goal of combating corruption, Duxes has organized and will host the Anti-Corruption Compliance Europe Summit 2017, on April 26-27 in Amsterdam. The summit will gather more than 150 delegates, representing leading companies, government agencies, and non-profit institutions. During the two-day event, speakers and panelists will discuss important topics at the forefront of anti-corruption compliance, including enforcement trends, relevant legislation, industry-specific corruption, and models for compliance programs, among other issues.

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Lawrence J. Casey to Moderate SBANE’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Best Practices

On March 2, 2017, Davis Malm shareholder Lawrence J. Casey will moderate a panel at the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Best Practices program. Mr. Casey will guide panelists through a discussion on cybersecurity and privacy best practices, planning and risk management trends, and responses to breaches and attacks. The session is designed to educate small businesses on the importance of cybersecurity and provide a foundation for them to build their own data security plans.

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Court Refuses To Dismiss Challenge To OSHA Practice Allowing Unions To Accompany OSHA Workplace Investigations

United States District Court in Texas has refused to dismiss a law suit challenging OSHA’s practice of allowing union representatives and organizers to serve as “employee representatives” in inspections of non-union worksites. If the Court ultimately sustains the plaintiff’s claims, unions will lose another often valuable organizing tool that has provided them with visibility and access to employees in connection with organizing campaigns.

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