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Media Mentions

March 18, 2011

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Media Mentions

March 18, 2011

Authored by: Jeannie Osborne

With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan Cave often makes the news.  Recent media mentions of attorneys in the Financial Institutions group include:

Moeling in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Partner Walt Moeling was quoted March 5 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution concerning the high number of failed banks in Georgia, many of them concentrated within 70 miles of Atlanta. For the most part, the failed banks were heavily tied to the state’s once-booming housing market. “The banks that failed are a direct reflection of the economy that supported them,” Moeling said.  Click here to read the full article.

Custer and Dempsey in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Partner Bill Custer was quoted March 10 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for his representation of a syndicate of banks that held an $89.3 million loan on a large Arizona development that failed. Following a one-week arbitration last December in which Custer and Atlanta Partner Jennifer Dempsey represented the banks, a panel of arbitrators entered an award on Valentine’s Day against longtime Atlanta developer W. Harrison Merrill in the amount of $43.6 million. Unfortunately, the decision does not clear the way for banks, located primarily in the Southeast, to collect the money any time soon. A trial in the Superior Court of Pinal County, Ariz., later this year ultimately will be required to resolve the matter.  Click here to read the full article.

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February 2011 Client Alerts

March 1, 2011

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February 2011 Client Alerts

March 1, 2011

Authored by: Jeannie Osborne

CPSC Opens Business Registration for New Consumer Product Safety Information Database

The new Consumer Product Safety Information Database is now available online on a trial basis, and will launch officially in March at www.SaferProducts.gov.  The Database allows a broad range of people to file so-called “reports of harm” informing the CPSC about an incident or concern that the submitter believes is an indication a product is unsafe or potentially hazardous.  To read more the database, please click here to see the Alert published by the Retail Team on February 3, 2011.

IRS Reverses Course — Breast Pumps and Other Lactation Supplies are Now Deductible Medical Expenses Subject to Reimbursement under FSAs, HRAs and HSAs

In Announcement 2011-14, the Internal Revenue Service concluded that breast pumps and supplies that assist lactation are medical care under Section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code and can therefore be reimbursed under a health flexible spending arrangement.  To learn more about this announcement, please click here to read the Feburary 22, 2011 Alert published by the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Client Service Group.

Patent Reform Act of 2011

On January 25, 2011, The Patent Reform Act of 2011 was introduced by Senator Leahy (D-VT) with bipartisan support.  The Bill is the latest installment of Congress’ attempts to pass patent legislation reform, following the Patent Reform Act of 2009 and other bills in recent years, all of which died in Congress.  To learn more, please click here to read the February 22, 2011 Bulletin published by the Intellectual Property Client Service Group.

Wide-Open House Budget Debate Moves Toward Finish Line

The House continues to work towards completing a major budget bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year.  Of the hundreds of amendments which have been offered and voted upon, major energy and environment-related amendments would reverse a law that requires the federal government to pay the legal costs of some environmental plaintiffs, de-fund the White House climate czar’s office, prevent an EPA appeals board from revoking air permits for oil exploration in the Arctic, and de-fund the EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions registry.  To read more about the proposed amendments and other energy updates, please click here to see the February 18, 2011 Energy Update.

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January 2011 Client Alerts

February 3, 2011

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January 2011 Client Alerts

February 3, 2011

Authored by: Jeannie Osborne

SEC Issues Final “Say-on-Pay” and “Golden Parachute” Rules

On January 25, 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission released its final “say-on-pay” and related golden parachute rules to implement the provisions of Section 951 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  For a summary of the rules, please click here to read the Bulletin published by the Corporate Finance and Securities Group on January 27, 2011.

SEC Issues Proposed Rules for “Conflict Minerals” Disclosure

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued proposed rules to implement the “conflict minerals” disclosure requirements in Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Section 1502 amended the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) by adding Section 13(p). Section 13(p) requires the SEC to promulgate disclosure rules concerning the use of certain minerals that originate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or its adjoining countries (the “DRC countries”).  For more information on the proposed rules, please click here to read the Client Alert published by the Corporate Finance and Securities Client Service Group on January 3, 2011.

When All Appropriate Inquiry Isn’t Enough: Court Highlights the Significance of Other Factors in the Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Defense

Anyone who has been involved in a real estate transaction relating to commercial or industrial property has likely dealt with conducting “All Appropriate Inquiry” into the site, which generally includes the preparation of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and may include Phase II sampling work. All Appropriate Inquiry (“AAI”) is one necessary component of the “bona fide prospective purchaser” (“BFPP”) defense established under the 2002 Brownfields amendments to Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). The BFPP defense is intended to protect property owners from liability for contamination that clearly occurred prior to their period of ownership. However, conducting AAI is not the only prerequisite to establishing a BFPP defense. The BFPP requirements beyond AAI are highlighted in Ashley II of Charleston, LLC v. PCS Nitrogen, et al., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104772 (D.S.C. Sep. 30, 2010), one of the first cases to address in detail the BFPP defense. To learn more about this case, please click here to read the Client Alert published by the Environmental Client Service Group on January 3, 2011.

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Client Alerts December 2010

January 11, 2011

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Client Alerts December 2010

January 11, 2011

Authored by: Jeannie Osborne

IRS Issues Guidance Expanding and Modifying 409A Correction Program and New Reporting Requirements for Stock Transfers under ISOs and ESPPs

The IRS issued Notice 2010-80 (the “Notice”), which made favorable changes to the procedures for voluntary correction of failures to comply with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A (“Section 409A”) originally issued in Notice 2010-6. These changes should make the correction procedures more accessible and less burdensome.  For a summary of the changes, please click here to read the Executive Compensation Update published by the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Client Service Group on December 7, 2010.

Virginia Federal Court Rules Health Reform “Individual Mandate” Unconstitutional

On December 13, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that the individual mandate of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, as amended (“PPACA”), which requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty, was unconstitutional. Virginia v. Sebelius, E.D. Va., No. 3:10-CV-188, memorandum opinion 12/13/10. The 42-page ruling declared that the penalty was beyond Congress’s Commerce Clause powers and could not be rationally construed as a tax.  To learn more about this ruling, please click here to read the Client Alert published by the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Client Service Group on December 16, 2010. 

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Client Alerts November 2010

January 9, 2011

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Client Alerts November 2010

January 9, 2011

Authored by: Jeannie Osborne

Criminal Action Against In-House Lawyer Underscores Risks in Dealing with Government Investigations

Lawyers who deal with government investigators and regulators should take note of a recent federal criminal action charging a former in-house lawyer at GlaxoSmithKline for statements she made while representing the company in a government investigation.  For more information, please click here to read the Client Alert published by the White Collar Defense & Investgations, Securities Litigation and Enforcement practice group on November 29, 2010.

Qualified Retirement Plans: Year-End Compliance

Although 2010 has been dominated by new healthcare-related laws and regulations requiring significant design changes to group health plans, as discussed in a prior alert, qualified retirement plans are not immune to new requirements that must be addressed by the end of 2010.  For more information, please see the Client Alert published b y the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Client Service Group on November 30, 2010.

SEC Proposed Whistleblower Rules Attempt to Balance Competing policy Considerations

The Securities and Exchange Commission has now issued proposed rules to implement the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank“). Dodd-Frank amended the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by adding Section 21F. Section 21F directs the SEC to pay awards to whistleblowers who provide the SEC with information about securities laws violations that lead to successful enforcement actions. Proposed Regulation 21F defines statutory terms, establishes the standards and procedures for rewarding eligible whistleblowers and generally seeks to explain the program.  For more information on the proposed rules, please click here to see the Client Alert published by the Corporate Finance and Securities Client Service Group on November 11, 2010.

SEC Proposes “Family Office” Exemption from Definition of Investment Advisers

On October 12, 2010, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) proposed Rule 202(a)(11)(G)-1 (the “Proposed Rule”) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”) to define family offices for purposes of excluding them from the definition of “investment adviser.”  For more information on the Rule, please click here to see the Client Alert published by the Private Client practice group on November 1, 2010.

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Media Mentions – December 3, 2010

December 3, 2010

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With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan Cave often makes the news.  Recent media mentions  include Rob Klingler of the Financial Institutions group on NPR.

Atlanta Associate Robert Klingler was interviewed Nov. 23 on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” concerning the FDIC’s recently released list of problem banks. The number has gone up again – 860 institutions are on its official watch list. That’s the most since 1993. “We’ve had banks that survived the Great Depression but couldn’t make it through the Great Recession, and each one is a traumatic event,” Klingler said. Click here to read a full transcript of the interview.

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Media Mentions – November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010

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Media Mentions – November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010

Authored by: Jeannie Osborne

With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan Cave often makes the news.  Recent media mentions of attorneys in the Financial Institutions group include:

Blanchard in Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta Partner Jerry Blanchard was quoted Nov. 4 in the Atlanta Business Chronicle in connection with a resurgence of energy from Georgia banks. The state has suffered numerous bank failures, and even those that did not go under have in large part been hibernating during the recession. But now they are starting to look for capital again, he said. “To the extent that everybody has been looking for light at the end of the tunnel, this is a little light,” Blanchard said.

Klingler in Banker & Tradesman.

Atlanta Associate Robert Klingler was quoted extensively Oct. 18 in Banker & Tradesman on the good and bad that small banks have seen since accepting TARP funds. Banker & Tradesman is a banking trade publication out of Massachusetts.

Moeling in American Banker

Atlanta Partner Walt Moeling was quoted Nov. 4 by American Banker concerning an announcement by our client Brand Group Holdings Inc. that it will raise up to $200 million through affiliates of Carlyle Group, Stephens Group LLC and Nonami LLC, owned by the Cousins family in Atlanta. Analysts say the deal is the first time in years that private equity has made a big traditional investment in Georgia, rather than using shelf charters or failed banks. “We haven’t had a significant infusion of capital in any Atlanta-based community bank in three years, essentially,” Moeling said. “The banks that are still standing may be battered and bruised but, by God, they’re still standing and the biggest hits have been taken.” Click here to read the article, republished by Bank Investment Consultant. He also was quoted Oct. 27 by American Banker on Ameris Bank, one of the few homegrown banks in Georgia to have bid successfully on multiple failed banks. Ameris just made its fourth failed-bank purchase in the past year – notable given that Ameris has had eight consecutive quarters of net losses largely owing to credit deterioration in real estate-related loans. Analysts say the bank has become a serial acquirer by proving it can handle these takeovers in its recession-battered market.

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October 2010 Client Alerts

November 2, 2010

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October 2010 Client Alerts

November 2, 2010

Authored by: Jeannie Osborne

IRS Has Announced its 2011 Cost-of-living Adjustments for Retirement Plans

On October 28 the IRS issued a press release announcing its 2011 cost-of-living adjustments for retirement plans.  For a chart reflecting the qualified plan limits for years 2008-2011, please click here to see the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group’s Client Alert published October 28, 2010.

SEC Issues Proposed “Say-on-Pay” and “Golden Parachute” Rules

The SEC has released its proposed “say-on-pay” and related golden parachute rules to implement the provisions of Dodd-Frank set forth in new Section 14A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The comment period will close on November 18, 2010 and the SEC plans to issue final rules in early 2011.  For a discussion of the proposed rules, please click here to read the Bulletin published by the Corporate Finance and Securities Group on October 20, 2010.

Employee Benefits Provisions of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010

On September 27, 2010, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 was signed into law.  While the Act mainly focuses on providing tax and other assistance to small businesses, it also includes provisions aimed at promoting retirement preparation that are not limited to small business.  For a discussion of these provisions, please click here to read the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation goup’s client alert Alert published October 4, 2010.

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Media Mentions – October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010

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With attorneys and staff worldwide, Bryan Cave often makes the news. Recent media mentions of attorneys in the Financial Institutions group include:

Moeling in ABA Banking Journal

Atlanta Partner Walt Moeling was quoted in the October edition of the ABA Banking Journal concerning whether all banks should have a board-level “risk committee.” Currently, the Dodd-Frank Act imposes a risk-committee requirement on public bank holding companies (BHCs) of $10 billion or more. It empowers the Federal Reserve to impose such requirements on other public BHCs, but debate is growing as to whether all banks should voluntarily put these committees in place. “I think this is going to get into the examination process very quickly,” said Moeling, who thinks a risk committee isn’t necessary for small, simple community banks and should be reserved for more complex organizations.

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September 2010 Client Alerts

October 7, 2010

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September 2010 Client Alerts

October 7, 2010

Authored by: Jeannie Osborne

Check It Out and Check It Off:  2010 and 2011 Group Health Plan Checklist

Several new laws and regulations from 2010 require significant design changes to group health plans and impose new notice requirements on plan sponsors.  For a checklist of the major changes which require implementation in 2010 or 2011 as well as a listing of enrollment and annual notices that group health plan sponsors should consider during open enrollment, please see the Client Alert published by the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Client Service Group on September 20, 2010.

New Medicare Enrollment Requirements Will Burden Providers and Suppliers

On September 22, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued proposed rules that will dramatically change the enrollment process for Medicare providers and suppliers, including new enrollment following a change of ownership.  For more information on the new requirements, please read the Client Alert published by the Life Sciences and Health Care Client Service Group on September 22, 2010.

CMS Issues Regulations Changing the DMEPOS Supplier Standards

On August 27, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published final regulations in the Federal Register that impose new standards on suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and suppliers.  Most of the requirements contained in the new regulations will take effect on September 27, 2010.  For more information on the regulations, please read the Client Alert published by the Life Sciences and Health Care Client Service Group on September 16, 2010.

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