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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
310.299.5500

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California Enacts Sweeping Amendments to the Insurance Code

Assembly Bill 1511 was recently enacted in California. The omnibus bill, which is a consolidation of multiple legislative efforts, amends, among other things, certain provisions of the California Insurance Code relating to (1) notices of renewal or nonrenewal concerning residential property insurance policies, (2) insurer investments, (3) claims against insurers, (4) the Insurance Commissioner’s authority in enjoining persons who violate the Insurance Code, (5) the Insurance Adjuster Act, and (5) the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

By way of this alert, Michelman & Robinson, LLP provides an overview of the law that goes into effect on January 1, 2022. (Read More)

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Wage And Hour Audits: A Preparedness Primer for Employers

Being an employer is no easy feat. Between the imposition of business regulations at the local, state and federal levels, legal obligations that differ from state-to-state, and ever-changing demands of employees and customers alike, the job of an employer is a challenge, to say the least.

Federal and state wage and hour laws are an area particularly rife with potential pitfalls for employers. These rules vary by jurisdiction, but typically provide employees the legal right to compensation if their employers fail to pay the minimum wage or overtime earnings, require work to be conducted “off the clock,” overlook meal and/or rest breaks during the workday, or misclassify employees as independent contractors or as being otherwise exempt from wage and hour requirements. (Read More)

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SPACs: Their Current Status and the Future of Regulation

Just last month, the special-purpose acquisition company craze that hit its stride in 2020 began to show signs of slowing down. According to Dow Jones Market Data, as of early October, a market selloff erased approximately $75 billion in value of companies that went public using SPACs since mid-February.

But that correction may be just a hiccup, as these so-called “blank check companies” look to be storming back as 2021 marches to a close. In fact, the number of new deals now being rushed to market by year end is exploding—this despite the issuance of strict accounting guidance on SPAC warrants issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission last spring. (Read More)

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Federal Authorities Have Their Eyes on Treatment Facilities, Sober Living Home Operators and Marketers, Especially in Orange County

Federal prosecutors are aggressively targeting the substance use disorder treatment space—an industry that some believe has been permeated with fraud and abuse. This is particularly the case in Orange County, California, referred to by some as part of the “Rehab Riviera” on account of the dense concentration of treatment facilities and sober living homes in Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach and San Juan Capistrano.

Just last week, on November 15, a marketer pleaded guilty in Orange County federal court to accepting nearly $2 million in kickback payments in return for referring patients to treatment facilities. And, by all indications, further indictments and charges are coming. (Read More 

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Attention Illinois Employers: Your Use of Restrictive Covenants Is About to Be Severely Limited

Meet Jane Doe, owner and operator of Chicago-based XYZ Corporation. Though business is booming at XYZ, not everything is as it should be. That’s because John—Jane’s top-performing salesperson—just departed for a cross-town competitor.

When John left XYZ, he took with him a large client base and a mountain of contact information developed over time, potentially a crushing blow to XYZ’s business. In response, and to assure this won’t happen again, Jane decided to present her remaining salespeople with agreements restricting them from competing with XYZ after the termination of their employment. She plans on requiring them to sign within ten days . . . or else. (Read More)

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Binance De-Platforms Suex Exchange Amid Groundbreaking Sanctions: Potential New Standards in Cryptocurrency Compliance

Last month, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) levied sanctions against Russian-based cryptocurrency exchange Suex. This move represents the first time the U.S. has sanctioned a digital currency exchange, signaling a major shift for cryptocurrency exchanges and their potential exposure to liability.

The news gets even worse for Suex. Around the same time that OFAC announced the sanctions, cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced that its compliance program had identified issues with Suex, de-platformed the exchange, and shared information from its investigation with law enforcement. Binance’s success may set a new standard for digital asset compliance programs, but time will tell whether it has set a new gold standard or will become the bare minimum. (Read More)

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5 Corporate Takeaways from the Facebook Whistleblower Hearing

Stakeholders at businesses worldwide listened attentively last week as a former Facebook product manager testified before a Senate subcommittee about, among other things, the company’s purported knowledge of Instagram’s impact on young users of the app. Frances Haugen, who worked on issues regarding civic integrity while at Facebook, also released thousands of pages of research and internal documentation suggesting Facebook knew about an array of problems associated with Instagram, including its allegedly toxic effect on teens. (Read More)

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SEC v. BitConnect: New Technology, Same Old Financial Fraud

Blockchain technology is often touted for its enormous potential to revolutionize many aspects of the financial system. This relatively new technology, however, does nothing to eliminate would-be criminals from leveraging age-old fraud schemes. The SEC’s recent case against BitConnect bears this out. The proceeding also demonstrates that the federal government maintains a strong interest in rooting out old-fashioned fraud, even in the digital asset space. (Read More)

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Quick Resource Guide to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for Turkish Companies

Lawyers from Michelman & Robinson and Cetinkaya have authored a recently published white paper titled “FCPA for Turkish Companies.” This is a comprehensive resource guide to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and its application in Turkey. You can read the white paper here.

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Delta-8 THC Is All the Rage, But Its Legality Is in the Crosshairs

Delta is very much in the news these days.

The delta variant continues to spread, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 40 million since the start of the pandemic.

Delta Airlines made headlines when it recently announced that its unvaccinated employees will face $200 monthly increases on their health insurance premiums beginning November 1, citing steep costs to cover workers hospitalized with COVID.

And then there’s a delta having nothing to do with the novel coronavirus. Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive compound naturally occurring in hemp and cannabis and believed by many to be legal at the federal level. (Read More)