Action-Snacked Year: Food Labeling Class Actions On The Rise

Consumer class action lawsuits targeting foods for alleged false and misleading labeling rose sharply in 2020. Although this trend may appear to threaten the food and beverage industry, courts are applying the “reasonable consumer” standard with a “real world” perspective, dismissing cases despite plaintiffs’ alleged subjective confusion about the labeling at issue because the hypothetical “reasonable consumer” would not have been misled.

Blockchain’s Promising Future in Battling Counterfeit Luxury Goods

Luxury brands spend copious amounts of time, money, and resources to protect their brands, trademarks, and intellectual property. But even so, the counterfeit market keeps growing, and annual losses from counterfeit goods reach well into the billions. Leading luxury retailers are now turning to blockchain technologies in an effort to douse the flames. By providing accurate, transparent, and verified data directly to consumers, blockchain might allow luxury brands to radically change the playing field.

Extension of Energy Related Tax Incentives Boosts Renewable Energy Industry

Congress signaled bipartisan support for renewable energy investment in the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act (the Act) of 2020, part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Stradley Ronan Associate Andreas N. Andrews (LAW’14) published an article in Tax Notes and hosted a webcast with the Co-Chair of Stradley Ronan’s Environmental Group, Andrew Levine, about this development.

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.

The Compliance Monthly: The Government’s Prioritization of Information Over Sanction

As part of Temple Law’s Faculty Spring Colloquium Series, Professor Veronica Root Martinez presented her paper: The Government’s Prioritization of Information Over Sanction: Implications for Compliance. Professor Martinez teaches at Notre Dame Law School and is also the Director of the Program on Ethics, Compliance & Inclusion.

Dismissal of Chapter 11 Case Calls Into Question Bankruptcy Protections for Cannabis Companies

Despite a company’s claim that it deals only in legal hemp products, in January, a federal court denied the company’s access to relief under the Bankruptcy Code. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Joseph Rosania, Jr., of the District of Colorado, dismissed United Cannabis Corporation’s (UCANN) Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, a move that could cause concerns for cannabis companies that may be seeking bankruptcy relief, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic.

The Compliance Monthly: The Outlook for Enforcement Actions Under a Biden Administration

There was a perception in 2017 when then President-elect Trump took office that white collar enforcement actions under the US Department of Justice (DOJ) might drop dramatically. Many expected the Republican administration to effect policy changes or resourcing decisions that would keep corporations out of the spotlight when it came to major investigations and massive penalties. But, in surveying the last four years, the opposite happened.

SEC Adopts Modernized Framework for Fund Valuation Practices

On December 3, the SEC adopted Rule 2a-5 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. Under Rule 2a-5, determining fair value in good faith with respect to what a fund will require: (1) the periodic assessment and management of material risks associated with the determination of the fair value of the fund’s investments,