Expert Analysis


Cannabis Ruling Lights Path For Bankruptcy Protection

A recent Massachusetts bankruptcy appellate court ruling in Blumsack v. Harrington leaves the door open for those employed in the cannabis industry to seek bankruptcy relief where certain conditions are met, but rescheduling marijuana as a Schedule III drug may complicate matters, say Jane Haviland and Kathryn Droumbakis at Mintz.


Contract Disputes Recap: Interpretation And Jurisdiction

Edward Arnold and Sarah Barney at Seyfarth examine three decisions by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that show the importance of knowing who your contracting partner is, addressing patent ambiguities in a solicitation prior to award and keeping basic contract principles in mind when evaluating performance obligations.


This Earth Day, Consider How Your Firm Can Go Greener

As Earth Day approaches, law firms and attorneys should consider adopting more sustainable practices to reduce their carbon footprint — from minimizing single-use plastics to purchasing carbon offsets for air travel — which ultimately can also reduce costs for clients, say M’Lynn Phillips and Lisa Walters at IMS Legal Strategies.


SEC Climate Rules Create Unique Challenges For CRE

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's recently adopted final rules concerning climate-related disclosures for public companies are likely to affect even real estate companies that are not publicly traded, since they may be required to provide information to entities that are subject to the rules, says Laura Truesdale at Moore & Van Allen.


The Shifting Landscape Of Physician Disciplinary Proceedings

Though hospitals have historically been able to terminate doctors' medical staff privileges without fear of court interference, recent case law has demonstrated that the tides are turning, especially when there is evidence of unlawful motivations, say Dylan Newton and Michael Horn at Archer & Greiner.


Energy Community Tax Credit Boost Will Benefit Wind Sector

Recent Internal Revenue Service guidance broadening tax credit eligibility to more parts of offshore wind facilities in so-called energy communities is a win for the industry, which stands to see more projects qualify for a particularly valuable bonus in the investment tax credit context due to the capital-intensive nature of offshore wind projects, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.


New Proposal Signals Sharper Enforcement Focus At CFIUS

Last week's proposed rule aimed at broadening the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States' enforcement authority over foreign investments and increasing penalties for violations signals that CFIUS intends to continue expanding its aggressive monitoring of national security issues, say attorneys at Kirkland.


4 Ways AI Tools Can Improve Traditional Merger Analyses

Government officials at the American Bar Association's annual antitrust spring meeting last week reinforced the view that competition cases will increasingly rely on sophisticated data analysis, so companies will likewise need to use Big Tech quantitative techniques to improve traditional merger analyses, say Patrick Bajari, Gianmarco Calanchi and Tega Akati-Udi at Keystone.


What FinCEN Proposed Customer ID Number Change Means

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's recent request for comment on changing a requirement for banks to collect full Social Security numbers at account sign-up represents an important opportunity for banks to express their preferability, as communicating sensitive information online may carry fraud or cybersecurity risks, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring.


How Companies Can Use Big Data As A Strategic Asset

Artificial intelligence technology powered by big data has the potential to create radical improvements to business operations, but if big data is improperly protected or monetized, this same information can give competitors similar advantages, or at the very least undermine a company's edge, say Gary Weinstein and Hudson Peters at Faegre Drinker.


Oracle Ruling Underscores Trend Of Mootness Fee Denials

The Delaware Chancery Court’s recent refusal to make tech giant Oracle shoulder $5 million of plaintiff shareholders' attorney fees illustrates a trend of courts raising the standard for granting the mootness fee awards once ubiquitous in post-merger derivative disputes, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.


Circumstantial Evidence Requires A Pointillist Approach

Because complex cases with sophisticated defendants are unlikely to reveal much, if any, direct evidence, attorneys must aggregate many pieces of circumstantial evidence into a cohesive narrative — much like the painting technique of pointillism, says Reuben Guttman at Guttman Buschner.


How China's IP Proposal Could Affect US Brands' TM Strategy

Proposed amendments to China's Trademark Law aimed at improving the application and enforcement processes could make some common U.S. brand protection strategies moot, and may require brand owners to more carefully explain marks' use or nonuse, say attorneys at Neal Gerber.


Cos. Should Mind Website Tech As CIPA Suits Keep Piling Up

Businesses should continue evaluating their use of website technologies and other data-gathering software and review the disclosures in their privacy policies, amid an increase so far in 2024 of class actions alleging violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act's pen register and trap-and-trace provisions, say attorneys at Sheppard Mullin.


Traversing The Web Of Nonjudicial Grievance Mechanisms

Attorneys at Covington provide an overview of how companies can best align their environmental and human rights compliance with "hard-law" requirements like the EU's recently approved Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive while also navigating the complex global network of existing nonjudicial grievance mechanisms.


Questions Persist After Ruling Skirts $925M TCPA Award Issue

After an Oregon federal court's recent Wakefield v. ViSalus ruling that the doctrine of constitutional avoidance precluded it from deciding whether a $925 million Telephone Consumer Protection Act damages award was constitutionally sound, further guidance is needed on when statutory damages violate due process, says Michael Klotz at O'Melveny.


Benzene Contamination Concerns: Drugmakers' Next Steps

After a citizen petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a flurry of class actions over benzene contamination in benzoyl peroxide acne products, affected manufacturers should consider a thoughtful approach that includes assembling internal data and possibly contacting the FDA for product-specific discussions, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.


An NYDFS-Regulated Bank's Guide To Proper Internal Audits

As certification deadlines for compliance with the New York State Department of Financial Services’ transaction monitoring and cybersecurity regulations loom, lawyers should remember that the NYDFS offers no leeway for best efforts — and should ensure robust auditing and recordkeeping processes for clients, say attorneys at Arnall Golden.


A Look At Global Employee Disconnect Laws For US Counsel

As countries worldwide adopt employee right to disconnect laws, U.S. in-house counsel at corporations with a global workforce must develop a comprehensive understanding of the laws' legal and cultural implications, ensuring their companies can safeguard employee welfare while maintaining legal compliance, say Emma Corcoran and Ute Krudewagen at DLA Piper.


Discord Stock Case Toss Means Little For Fraud Defendants

A Texas federal court’s recent dismissal of fraud charges related to a "pump and dump" scheme on Discord is an outlier after the U.S. Supreme Court scrapped the right-to-control theory of fraud last year, and ultimately won't deter the government from pursuing routine securities prosecutions, says William Johnston at Bird Marella.



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Special Series


Prosecutor Pointers

As new trends enter the courtroom, this Expert Analysis series features prosecutors' practice tips — some time-tested, some newly updated — for every stage of the jury trial, from voir dire to closing statements.




My Hobby Makes Me A Better Lawyer

Attorneys discuss how their unusual extracurricular activities enhance professional development, providing insights and pointers that translate to the office, courtroom and beyond.




Opinion


Anti-DEI Complaints Filed With EEOC Carry No Legal Weight

Recently filed complaints against several companies' diversity, equity and inclusion programs alleging unlawful discrimination against white people do not require a response from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and should not stop employers from rooting out ongoing discriminatory practices, says former EEOC general counsel David Lopez.

States Should Follow Federal Lead On Expert Evidence Rules

The recently amended Federal Rule of Evidence 702 will help ensure expert testimony in federal courts reflects adequate data and reliable methods properly applied to a given case, and state courts — home to the overwhelming majority of U.S. litigation — should adopt similar changes, says retired attorney Michael Harrington.



Access to Justice Perspectives


Prosecutors' Growing Case Backlogs Need Urgent Attention

Growing case backlogs in prosecutors' offices around the country affect the functioning of the entire criminal legal system, so the problem's root causes must be immediately addressed, say Minnesota county prosecutor John Choi and Montana county prosecutor Audrey Cromwell.





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