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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
310.299.5500

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Purpose Meets Profit: 5 Things to Know if Your Business Is Considering Becoming a Certified B Corporation

If you’ve spent any time in a shopping mall, you’ve surely passed by, or perhaps made purchases from, The Body Shop, which for decades has been selling ethically sourced beauty, skincare, bath and body products. The company has done so since 1976, all the while adhering to a rather admirable vision: that business can be a force for good. With that as its driving force, The Body Shop has launched a series of activism campaigns over the years and even became the first international cosmetics brand recognized under the Humane Cosmetics Standard. (Read More)

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NIL + College Athletics = a New Arms Race

The NCAA made big news recently, voting to suspend its rules related to one category of compensation earned by college athletes. The headlines in the wake of the NCAA’s move have touted the ability of these students to benefit (read: cash in) from the use of their names, images and likenesses (NIL).

More than 460,000 football, baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, lacrosse and tennis players, swimmers, gymnasts, and every other collegiate level athlete can now be hired for brand ambassadorships, social media promotion, appearances, sponsorships, autograph signings and the like—some already have. And while this is great news for many, college athletics remains without a long-term solution to its NIL problem given the patchwork of related laws now in effect, not to mention the NCAA’s interim NIL policy. (Read More)

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Attention Corporate America: With PR Nightmares Lurking, Get Ahead of the Inevitable Crises

Imagine the panic inside the halls of Colonial Pipeline last May. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, the privately held company is among the nation’s largest pipeline operators. Estimates suggest it provides nearly half of the East Coast's fuel supply—we’re talking gas, diesel, home heating oil, jet fuel and even fuel for the military.

So, when criminal hackers breached the company’s computer network through a VPN account—using a password leaked on the dark web, to do so—all in an effort to hold Colonial Pipeline’s data for ransom, decision-makers in Alpharetta were backed into a corner. Because the ransomware infected a computer system responsible for pipeline management, stakeholders at Colonial Pipeline elected to halt all pipeline operations on May 7 and pay the hackers $4.4 million in bitcoin. (Read More)

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Nasdaq’s New Board Diversity Rule

Late last week (August 6), the SEC approved Nasdaq’s Board Diversity Rule (the Rule), which aims to diversify the boards of directors for Nasdaq-listed companies. By way of the Rule, Nasdaq-listed companies will be required to have at least two diverse directors, one who self-identifies as female and one who self-identifies as an underrepresented minority (read: Black or African American; Hispanic or Latinx; Asian, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; or two or more races or ethnicities ) or LGTBQ+. (Read More)

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M&R Doing Its Part to Advance Environmental Sustainability

Michelman & Robinson, LLP is a proud member of “Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy,” a law firm-led initiative that provides pro bono legal services to sustainability-focused entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. LSE was organized and is supported by Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy and Stanford Law School. (Read More)

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Access to International Arbitration and Third-Party Funding in Kosovo

Mehmet Baysan, Jason Emert and the International Arbitration & Trade team at Michelman & Robinson, LLP are proud to announce the publication of their highly anticipated white paper, “Access to International Arbitration and Third-Party Funding in Kosovo.” (Read More)

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NYC to Require Proof of Vaccination for Indoor Activities

In what may be a preview of things to come throughout the U.S., New York City became the first jurisdiction in the nation to announce that it will require individuals to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter all restaurants, fitness centers and indoor entertainment venues. Enforcement of this new mandate is expected to begin on September 13. (Read More)

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PPP Loan Forgiveness to Be Made Even Easier for Small Businesses

Some good news to report for certain small businesses that have been issued loans pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Beginning next week (August 4 to be exact), those that have borrowed $150,000 or less in PPP proceeds can apply for loan forgiveness directly through an online portal to be launched by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This option streamlines the forgiveness process by taking private financial institutions—the ones that have handled most aspects of the PPP since its inception—out of the mix. (Read More)

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California Court Upholds Insurance Commissioner’s Order to Expand FAIR Plan Coverage

In an effort to better protect homeowners, insurance coverage has been expanded and limits increased under the California FAIR Plan – the state’s insurer of “last resort.” Such was the mandate as set forth in California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s 2019 Order No. 2019-2, which has just been upheld by the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles. (Read More)

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Employers Face Potentially Higher Compensation Obligations for Meal, Rest, and Recovery Breaks

Last week, the California Supreme Court issued a decision of great importance to employers statewide. In Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC, the court ruled employees must receive premium payments at their “regular rate of pay” for missed meal, rest, and recovery breaks. (Read More)