SEC and DOJ Target Insider Trading on the Dark Web

A high profile action brought recently by the SEC and DOJ against a SpaceX engineer exemplifies the federal government’s ability to monitor the dark web, despite its anonymity. Regardless of the difficulties in monitoring for sensitive information disseminated on the dark web, companies need to take proactive, prophylactic steps to help minimize the danger that company insiders will misuse access to material nonpublic information.

Modernization of Intellectual Property Laws Under the New Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the act) was passed by Congress on December 21 and signed by President Donald Trump on December 27, 2020. The act includes not only amendments to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), but also significant changes to copyright and trademark laws.

10-Q&A Episode 9: Conversation with Futurist and Innovator Ajay Raju (LAW ’96)

In Jon Shahar’s final episode, he sits down with Ajay Raju (LAW ’96) to discuss disruption and innovation in the legal practice, the role of “counsel”, and Philadelphia’s future as a hub for innovation. Interviewer:Jon Shahar  Guests:  Ajay Raju (LAW ’96), Managing Partner & Founder of Raju LLP & IO Law Firm

Recent DOJ Action in the No-Poach Arena

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2016 published Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals warning of criminal remedies for those participating in illegal no-poach agreements. Recently, the DOJ and FTC made good on that promise by filing the first public criminal indictment alleging a conspiracy between companies in which they agreed not to poach each other’s employees. The DOJ and FTC warned they could take such actions when “naked” wage-fixing and no-poach agreements were per se illegal violations under the antitrust laws.

CFPB Adopts Strict Liability Standard for Debt Collectors Who Sue or Threaten Suit Over Time-Barred Debt

On January 19, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its final debt collection rules in the Federal Register, including 12 C.F.R. § 1006.26(b), which prohibits collections of time-barred debt. Under the new rules, collectors who sue or threaten to sue consumers for time-barred or “zombie” debts ‒ debts for which the statute of limitations already expired ‒ violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Corporate Transparency Act and Implications for Entity Formation and Transaction Structures

The 116th United States Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which includes the Corporate Transparency Act (the CTA). The CTA seeks to provide appropriate safeguards to identify bad actors engaged in terrorism, money laundering, sex trafficking and other heinous acts through “shell companies” that are not actually engaged in a bona fide business venture but instead are created for the principal purpose of shielding the owners from liability for engaging in illicit behavior and, in many cases, their identities.

Antitrust Implications of COVID Surcharges

While it may seem justified for businesses facing increased costs in these trying COVID-19 pandemic times to add “COVID surcharges” to ensure they can keep their doors open, businesses and their corporate counsel should be aware that such surcharges can raise serious competition concerns and need to be carefully navigated.