Featured Columns

Credit Card Information Security Issues in Franchising

Craig R. Tractenberg and Keri McWilliams | October 31, 2014

Data breaches at Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus and P.F. Chang's are front-page reminders of the vulnerability of customer payment information in the retail sector. Verizon estimated that "74 percent of attacks on retail, accommodation, and food services companies target payment card information." In Federal Trade Commission v. Wyndham Worldwide, Case No. 13-cv-01887 (D. N.J. 2014), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought suit claiming that a franchisor's alleged failures to maintain reasonable security measures constituted unfair and deceptive practices under Section 5 of the FTC Act.

In-House Counsel

  • Agents and Employees May Be Liable for Customs Violations

    By Thomas J. O'Donnell and Karolien M. Vandenberghe

    A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has caused a great deal of concern in the importing community because of its broad interpretation of Section 592 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, which is the most commonly used customs penalty statute (19 U.S.C. Section 1592). In United States v. Trek Leather, No. 09-CV-0041 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 16, 2014), the Federal Circuit held that Section 592 allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection to impose civil penalties on corporate employees, officers and agents when these individuals make material misrepresentations or omissions in import transactions. Customs penalties under Section 592 are tied to the level of culpable conduct as determined by Customs. In cases of fraud, the maximum penalty is the domestic value of the goods. For gross negligence, the maximum penalty is four times the loss of revenue and simple negligence carries a maximum penalty of two times the loss of revenue.

  • Reporting and Investigating Potential Employee Wrongdoing

    By Hayes Hunt and Arthur P. Fritzinger

    Companies in every industry—private and public—struggle with the difficult task of promptly identifying employee wrongdoing and responding appropriately. The National Football League continues to be embroiled in a controversy arising from its reaction to the off-the-field conduct of its players. Penn State University continues to make attempts to repair its reputation after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Lloyds Banking Group recently dismissed eight employees and sought to recoup millions in bonuses after it was revealed that they, along with employees of at least two other British banks, had attempted to manipulate benchmark interest rates from 2006 to 2009. Even government organizations struggle with this issue: Last month, Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr. resigned amid an investigation by the FBI that has lasted more than a year.

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Young Lawyer

  • Paving a Road to Success With Early Assignments

    By Dimple C. Patel

    So, you recently graduated law school and secured gainful employment. Well done. Now it's time to prove yourself by delivering quality work on your assignments. For even the most confident young attorneys, a new assignment can give rise to anxiety, stress and fear. If this sounds familiar to you, take a breath and break it down.

  • Make Networking a Priority to Obtain Long-Term Success

    By Christopher M. Varano

    Networking is a critical skill that is too often undervalued and overlooked. The importance of establishing, growing and maintaining contacts in the legal profession cannot be overstated. As a young lawyer, your network should include mentors, colleagues and targets for business development. Each of these types of contacts is critically important to your success as a young lawyer.

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Employment Law

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Business of Law

  • Reports Show Playing Team Sports Benefits Women's Careers

    By Frank Michael D'Amore

    The benefits associated with playing sports have been extolled in this column over the years. For instance, a two-part series, "Ten Lessons From Athletes to Excel in the Boardroom," was published in the May 20, 2013, and June 17, 2013, editions of The Legal. The series discussed some of the most significant characteristics embodied by those who participated in sports—such as perseverance, goal-setting and the ability to operate in a team environment—and gave examples of how they were a boon to the careers of lawyers.

  • Slaying the Inertia Dragon to Reach Your Full Potential

    By Frank Michael D'Amore

    Actions and results define our careers. In some cases, we achieve resounding victories in winning a trial, closing a deal, landing a major client, or taking the mantle of leadership and driving a group, department or organization to great heights. At other times, we may have suffered defeats, but, in the process, learned valuable lessons that ultimately paved the way to future accomplishments.

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  • Using Documents to Prepare a Rule 30(b)(6) Witness

    By Shannon McClure and Regina Nelson

    When representing a corporation or other organizational entity in federal court, it is not uncommon to be presented with a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) deposition request. There are many issues to consider when presented with this type of deposition notice.

  • Fifth Circuit Offers Guidance on Corrective Disclosures

    By Peter J. Kreher and Frank P. Trapani

    In Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi v. Amedisys, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit offered important guidance on how to evaluate whether alleged corrective disclosures meet the standard for pleading loss causation established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dura Pharmaceuticals v. Broudo. This article describes the court's analysis and discusses the implications for plaintiffs and defendants in securities fraud cases.

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All Columns

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