North America

Connecticut Trade Secret Laws: Q&A Guide for Employers

Thomson Reuters Practical Law has released the 2020 update to “Trade Secret Laws: Connecticut,” a Q&A guide to state law on trade secrets and confidentiality for private employers, co-authored by our colleagues David S. Poppick and Carol J. Fahertyattorneys in Epstein Becker Green’s Stamford office.

Click here to download the full Q&A in PDF format.

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June 2020 Immigration Alert

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing

USCIS has announced here that beginning the month of June 2020, it will again start accepting certain petitions for premium processing.  Premium processing was indefinitely suspended as of March 20, 2020, due to the Covid-19.

Premium processing allows (1) nonimmigrant petitions filed on Form I-129 that are reserved for H-1B, L-1A/B, O-1, and TN work authorization and (2) immigrant petitions filed by employers on behalf of foreign national employees on Form I-140 to be adjudicated within fifteen calendar days of USCIS receipt of the premium processing application request.  The application is filed on Form I-907 and requires payment of the $1,440 USCIS filing fee.

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The Courts Are Really Back in Action, as RSS Witnessed

June 1, 2020 — The Quebec courts, including the Superior Court, Commercial Division, District of Montreal, declared that they were resuming their activities in progressive fashion as of Monday, June 1.

This morning, June 1, Jean-Pierre Sheppard and Lauren Flam, from our Commercial Litigation Team, attended court on behalf of a shareholder involved in a dispute within a family company. RSS obtained an order forcing the other shareholder/director to cease unilaterally declaring dividends, withdrawing funds from the company’s bank accounts and from using the company’s credit facilities.

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California Court Whittles Down Claims Against StubHub

After more than three years of litigation and two rounds of extensive discovery, in Calendar Research LLC v. StubHub, Inc., et al., 2:17-cv-04062-SVW-SS, the United States District Court for the Central District of California dismissed almost all the remaining claims against StubHub and the other defendants.  In doing so, the Court confirmed that in California, specific identifiable trade secrets are required and general industry knowledge and “know how” is insufficient for trade secret protection.

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ESTATE FREEZE OR RE-FREEZE

An ‘estate freeze’ is a common tax planning strategy. The owner of shares of a private company can ‘freeze’ the value of his/her shares and transfer the future growth of the company to other family members. The benefit of a freeze from an income tax perspective is that the future taxation of the growth of the company can be transferred to other family members particularly children, thus limiting the tax liability of the owner on death and deferring the tax to the next generation. If the shares qualify as ‘qualified small business corporation’ shares, a freeze can enable such other family members to claim the lifetime capital gains exemption. A freeze is most commonly used to freeze the value of a company that owns a business, real estate or public securities. If the owner has already implemented a freeze, a ‘re-freeze’ at a lower value can be effected if the value of the company has dropped.

A freeze or re-freeze should be considered in a down market because it may provide the owner with the opportunity to freeze his/her shares at a lower value than would otherwise have been possible.

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CFIUS AND EXPORT CONTROLS: A DETAILED ANALYSIS OF THE PROPOSED MANDATORY FILING CHANGES

Pursuant to the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (“FIRRMA”), the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) is authorized to review and take action to address national security concerns arising from certain investments and real estate transactions involving foreign persons. On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) published a Proposed Rule that includes two important changes impacting mandatory filings.

In October 2018, Treasury published the “Pilot Program Interim Rule,” an interim rule that implemented—on a temporary basis—a pilot program which imposed a mandatory filing requirement for certain foreign investment transactions involving a U.S. business across the five types of critical technologies as defined by FIRRMA; and with a nexus to specified industries identified in the North American Industry Classification System (“NAICS”). For more details about the critical technologies pilot program, please see our previous article.

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Attorneys Appointed/Reappointed to Committees within the Illinois State Bar Association

ROYAL OAK, Mich., May 21, 2020 – Royal Oak-based law firm Howard & Howard is pleased to announce that three of our attorneys have been appointed/reappointed to committees within the Illinois State Bar Association for the 2020-2021 term.

The attorneys and their appointments/reappointments are as follows:

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U.S. Department of Labor Allows Employers to Give Bonuses and Other Extra Pay to Fluctuating Workweek Employees Continue Reading…

For the second time this week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) has issued a Final Rule involving the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”).  Following closely on the heels of the revisions to the section 7(i) exemption regulations discussed here, on May 20, 2020 WHD released its revisions to the regulations regarding the “fluctuating workweek” method of paying overtime to salaried non-exempt employees.  And, as with the 7(i) Final Rule, the fluctuating workweek Final Rule eliminates confusion caused by WHD’s previous rulemaking efforts.

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Law Firm ILN-telligence Podcast | Episode 2: Michael Slan, Fogler Rubinoff LLP | Toronto, Canada

In our second episode of the Law Firm ILN-telligence Podcast, we welcomed Michael Slan, who is the managing partner of Fogler Rubinoff LLP in Toronto, Canada, and a member of the International Lawyers Network. In this episode, I had a candid conversation with Michael about the importance of communication in this time of pandemic, why deep cuts may not be the best cuts, and what leadership looks like in the face of market downturns and global lockdowns.

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New Jersey Affidavit of Merit Statute Applied to Nursing Case Despite “Common Knowledge” Claim

The Supreme Court of New Jersey unanimously held in Linda Cowley v. Virtua Health System (A-47-18) (081891) that the “common knowledge” exception of the Affidavit of Merit Statute applies only when a simple negligence standard is at issue, and does not apply when a specific standard of care must be evaluated.  In this case involving if and how to reinsert a removed nasogastric tube, the Court reversed the judgement of the Appellate Division and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice because she failed to submit an affidavit of merit within the time required by the Affidavit of Merit Statute.

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