Disciplines & Topics

Readings: Business Law

Thinking About Bitcoin? Beware the Whales

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

At present, the top 100 bitcoin addresses hold 17.3 percent of bitcoin. There are mounting concerns that large holders of bitcoin, known as “whales,” have been colluding to manipulate bitcoin prices.

CFPB: Center for Partisan Bickering

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The controversy over who should head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has revived the controversy over the CFPB itself. The CFPB, created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, regulates home mortgages, student loans, and other consumer financial products

Migraines? Appendectomy? Giving Birth? That’s No Reason To Cancel Class

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Concerns have been raised about the class-cancellation policy for VIPKid's teachers. The VIPKid policies raise the question of whether its teachers deserve labor-law protections as employees or whether they should continue to be treated as independent contractors.

Big Brother vs. Little Brother

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

LinkedIn recently lost a decision in federal district court in a case against HiQ, a human resource consulting firm that scraped public data from LinkedIn. LinkedIn argued that HiQ was trespassing under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and violating its terms of privacy. HiQ argued that LinkedIn was engaging in unfair business practices and violating its free speech.

The Small-Time Market for Mini-IPOs

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Regulation A+, enacted in 2015, has allowed for a handful of “mini-IPOs.” These small initial public offerings are limited to $50 million and have lower disclosure requirements.

Marijuana: Three More States Roll Out Legalization Plans in 2018

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Eight states and the District of Columbia have now legalized recreational marijuana. But marijuana companies still face barriers, including opposition from local governments and lack of bank financing.

FEMA’s Spending Spree

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Since Hurricane Harvey hit, FEMA has given out $2.2 billion in contracts, some of which are being awarded to companies with past violations for similar work.

Chai Feldblum

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Chai Feldblum, appointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by then-president Obama, has championed the idea that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is a form of sex discrimination. The EEOC accepted this view in rulings in 2012 and 2015.

The Billion-Dollar War

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Apple has been challenging, in negotiations and in the courts, the pricing model Qualcomm uses for its wireless modems. Qualcomm has a licensing fee based on the price of the phone, not the price of the chip.

The Trump-Loving Lawyer Who Won’t Stop Suing Fox News

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Douglas Wigdor, a life-long Republican, has risen to prominence as an anti-discrimination lawyer based on his multiple cases against Fox News.

So You Want to Move to the U.S.?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A minor industry has developed in visas through the EB-5 program. The EB-5 program lets immigrants obtain residency visas in exchange for investing at least $500,000 in distressed areas in the United States.

Guarding Big Pharma’s Crown Jewel

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

AbbVie Inc., the maker of Humira, a biologic treatment for inflammatory diseases, uses a patent thicket strategy to maintain a monopoly over the drug. AbbVie has over 100 patents on Humira, covering manufacturing processes, drug formulation, methods of treatment, and other aspects of the drug.

Hard Rain and Hard Lessons

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Lax regulations in the Houston area aggravated the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

J&J Loses $417 Million Talc Verdict in First California Case

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest health care provider, was recently handed a $417 judgment for its failure to warn customers of the link between talc in baby powder and ovarian cancer.

Buffet Likes Solar, But Not the Price Tag

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Many utilities, including those owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, are pushing back against the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (Purpa). Purpa requires that some utilities buy power from certain providers as long as it is less costly than building a new plant themselves.

He Objects

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Some organizations are challenging “disclosure-only” lawsuits. In these suits, if some aspect of the merger was not disclosed lawyers sue on behalf of plaintiffs in a class action. In many cases, only lawyers are paid in the settlements.

St. Louis Loses Favor with Plaintiffs

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A 2017 U.S. Supreme Court case ruled that there must be a connection between the forum and the specific claims at issue in order to grant court jurisdiction. This case will reduce litigation tourism, where, for example, one resident in a class action is a sufficient basis for granting jurisdiction over many nonresidents.

Saving Face

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Illinois passed the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in 2008. BIPA requires user permission to collect and store iris, fingerprint, voice, or facial scans. The tech industry has lobbied strenuously against the extension of BIPA to other states.

Roundup: The Usual Suspect

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Mosanto is facing class-action litigation over glyphosate, a major ingredient in Roundup. While the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs has approved of glyphosate, an outside scientific review panel raised major questions about the EPA’s benign view of glyphosate.

What’s Jeff Sessions Up To?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Jeff Sessions is seeking to overturn parts of the Obama administration’s legal legacy. Perhaps most significant, Sessions is pushing for stricter sentencing for drug offenses, including medical marijuana.

‘I Need More Mexicans’

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The enforcement-only approach to immigration is leading to sharp labor shortages in agriculture and construction. The Trump administration is considering a merit-based immigration system similar to Canada's and Australia's.

ICO Is the New IPO

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There has been a rapid growth this year in the use of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to fund new ventures. ICOs are a form of crowdfunding using digital tokens like bitcoin.

Dept. of Shell Companies, Clandestine Accounts & Bribery

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction firm, has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and seen several of its executives go to jail in one of the largest corruption scandals in recent history. Odebrecht, established in 1944, paid bribes throughout Latin American and the Caribbean in seeking large construction contracts.

Why the U.K.’s Whistles Remain Mostly Unblown

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The SEC and IRS pay whistleblowers a percentage of penalties. The British financial regulatory authorities do not.

Does Foreign Steel Threaten U.S. Security?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The U.S. Commerce Department has started a Section 232 investigation of the steel and aluminum industry. Section 232 is a Kennedy-era trade law that allows the executive branch to investigate whether certain imports constitute a national security threat.

Your Money or Your Data!

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The WannaCry cyberattack raised awareness of many outdated computer systems' vulnerabilities. Fingers have been pointed at the National Security Agency, Microsoft, and companies that failed to patch their systems.

When Fighting (Alleged) Crime Doesn't Pay

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Francisco Riordan says he helped expose Rothenberg Ventures to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It's a touchy subject in job interviews.

E-Z Auto Loans Are A Tough Business

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Don Foss recently stepped down as chairman of Credit Acceptance Corp, a company that pioneered subprime auto loans. Many investors are now shorting the stock of Credit Acceptance. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating its auto loan collection practices.

Fannie and Freddie’s Many Happy Returns

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Investors have filed suit claiming that dividends paid by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the federal government constitute an illegal confiscation of private property. In 2012, the federal government changed the terms of its preferred shares so that all profits from Fannie and Freddie would go to the federal government except for funds held in reserve.

Would You Pay for Your Online Privacy?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There is room to defend the Trump administration’s overturn of the Obama administration’s rules covering online privacy. The Obama administration’s privacy rules would have required broadband providers to ask customers permission before collecting personal data for use in selling ads.

Beware of Sharks

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The book Loan Sharks: The Birth of Predatory Lending by Charles Geisst traces predatory lending from its beginning in the United States until the 1940s with the passage of the Uniform Small Loan Law across many states.

California vs. Trump Over Car Emissions

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There is growing conflict between California and the Trump Administration over car emissions. Historically, the Clean Air Act granted California the ability to seek waivers from EPA regulations to establish California’s own pollution rules if those rules were not less restrictive than national rules.

There’s More Than One Way to Wear a Wire

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Meet Guy Gentile, the stock broker turned informant who double-crossed the FBI.

Wall Street Legend Flops in Sports Betting

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Howard Lutnick’s sports gambling company, CG Technology, is reportedly being shopped around to gauge interest in a purchase. CG Technology ran into several legal problems involving illegal bets, scheming with bookies, and money laundering.

Will the GOP Finally Crush Class Actions?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) has introduced legislation to reform class actions. The proposed legislation would limit attorney compensation in class actions, bar attorneys from representing the same clients in multiple class actions, and establish tighter requirements for certification of class actions.

If Not Dodd-Frank, Then... What?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Although as a candidate President Trump promised to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, such repeal does not appear to be a priority right now. Rep. Hensarling’s Financial Choice Act is one alternative to Dodd-Frank, but it has little chance of passing.

Labor’s Last Stand

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There are now twenty-eight states with right-to-work laws that ban mandatory union dues.The last case to address this issue before the U.S. Supreme Court resulted in a split decision.

Blowing Down That Fiduciary Rule

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

President Trump ordered the Labor Department to reconsider the fiduciary rule, scheduled to go into effect in April 2017. The fiduciary rule requires financial advisors to put client interests first when handling retirement accounts.

The 'Travel Ban' Heads for the Courts

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

President Donald Trump's executive order restricting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries has generated considerable controversy. Critics says the executive order violates the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution by preferring one religion over another.

Apple Tries the Full-Court Press

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Apple is suing Qualcomm on antitrust grounds over licensing fees. Qualcomm makes most of the advanced chips for cell phones and licenses its intellectual property. Apple is arguing that Qualcomm should base its licensing fees on the cost of components and not a percentage of the retail price of the phone, whether the phones use Qualcomm chips or not.

How to Make a €367 Million Loss Disappear

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Deutsche Bank structured a transaction with Italy’s Monte dei Paschi bank that allegedly helped to disguise trading losses during the 2008 financial crisis. Basically, the deal was structured for Paschi to have a certain immediate gain followed by a certain delayed gain for Deutsche Bank that was spread out over multiple years.

Unionize Me

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Gig-economy firms such as Uber and Handy continue to face legal challenges to their treatment of workers as independent contractors. New York state is currently considering legislation that would allow firms to provide portable benefits to workers who would still retain their independent contractor status.

Red Flags Abounded on Platinum Partners

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Mark Nordlicht, co-founder of the hedge fund Platinum Partners, has been arrested for what's alleged to be one of the biggest investment frauds since Bernie Madoff's. Nordlicht had left numerous red flags in his past.

Can You Say Class Action in German? Nein

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Volkswagen emissions litigation has highlighted the obstacles plaintiffs face in the German legal system. Class actions are generally disallowed in Germany except for some aspects of investor suits.

Is Kratom a Deadly Drug or A Life-Saving Medicine?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency recently decided to allow public comment on its proposal to label kratom a Schedule I narcotic. LSD and heroin are Schedule I narcotics and as such are subject to felony prosecution. Kratom works like morphine, but existing research indicates it has fewer of the addictive side effects of morphine and other opioids.

Banking Regulation

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There are several areas where bank regulation may change under the new Trump administration: capital requirements, small banks, shadow banks, stress tests, bank failures, and the Volker Rule.

A Rush to Regulate Before Inauguration

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Obama administration has accelerated its issuance of regulations as the president's term nears an end. There is some concern that Congress may use the Congressional Review Act to overturn some of these regulations.

The Fall of Warren’s CFPB?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) is under challenge given that President-elect Donald Trump has pledged o dismantled the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the CFPB. The CFPB is charged with regulating “abusive acts and practices” by large banks and credit unions as well as mortgage services, payday lenders, and debt collectors.

When the President’s a Billionaire

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

President-elect Trump faces unique conflict of interest issues upon assuming the presidency. He has said he will address those issues by establishing a blind trust overseen by his children. (Note: "When the President’s a Billionaire" (Bloomberg Businessweek, November 14–20, 2016) has not be published online.

How Not to Regulate The Internet

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently passed new privacy rules requiring broadband providers to seek permission from their subscribers before they can collect certain personal data. In an opinion piece, "How Not to Regulate The Internet (Nov. 7-13, 2016)," Bloomberg Businessweek's editorial board disagrees with the FCC ruling.

Where the Future’s AT(&T)

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

AT&T has made an $85 billion takeover bid for Time Warner. The AT&T-Time Warner takeover must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Bring On the Lawyers

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The British exit from the European Union (“Brexit”) is causing a sharp increase in the demand for legal and consulting advice. There is still great confusion as to what Brexit means.

Another Dispute Over the Sept. 11 Lawsuit Bill

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Congress recently overrode a presidential veto to pass the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Jasta), which had been pushed by the 9,000 families and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attack. However, the current version of Jasta weakens its force.

Not in My Back Yard

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Oxitec, a British biotechnology company, has developed a genetically modified mosquito that breeds with mosquitoes allegedly carrying the Zika virus and renders those mosquitoes sterile. However, Oxitec has faced strong community opposition to carrying out tests of the modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys and in Key Haven, Fla.

Plaintiff’s Lawyers > St. Louis

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Some Missouri state courts in the St. Louis area have become attractive to the plaintiff’s bar. One reason is that Missouri state law allows out-of-state plaintiffs to combine claims with local plaintiffs.

Miracle Whipped

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Hampton Creek, a Silicon Valley–based maker of vegan products, is under investigation by the SEC and the Justice Department for securities violations and criminal fraud. One of the allegations is that Hampton Creek had a secret national program to buy its own products at stores in order to inflate sales figures.

House Panel Calls Stumpf to Testify as Part of Wells Probe

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The House Financial Services Committee will be interviewing Wells Fargo & Co. executives about the recent scandal involving unauthorized accounts. There have been calls to claw back compensation of Carrie Tolstedt, the Wells Fargo executive who led the unit where the alleged misconduct occurred.

#ExxonKnew Now What?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Eric Schneiderman, the New York State attorney general, is investigating Exxon over misleading investors and regulators over climate-change science. The argument is that Exxon knew facts about climate change science that it did not disclose.

Creating a Problem—And a Lucrative Solution

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Monsanto genetically engineered soybeans and cotton to resist its herbicide, dicamba. Monsanto also planned to create a variant of dicamba that would not blow off onto other plants. The second step is not complete, and the increased use of dicamba is harming other agricultural products.

New Rule Takes the Wind Out of Public Lands

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The federal government is establishing new rules allowing for competitive bidding on selected government tracts for renewable energy projects. These tracts will cleared in advanced for significant environmental conflicts. There are currently eighteen leasing zones for solar power but no designated zones for wind power on public lands.

When A Tech Patent Is Neither

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Two years ago in Alice v. CLS Bank, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that implementing “abstract ideas” on a computer does not meet the standard of intellectual property. In the aftermath of Alice, federal courts have invalidated over 370 patents under the new standard.

Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, discusses several issues involving European antitrust policy toward American technology companies.

Golfing with the Enemy

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Trade embargo prohibits trips to Cuba to promote tourism. Members of the Trump Organization do not claim to be reviewing business opportunities during their travel to Cuba.

A Big Settlement That Won’t Fix the Problem

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Volkswagen’s $15 billion settlement with the EPA still allows the car company to exceed pollution standards. Under the settlement, Volkswagen owners are given some flexibility in how they deal with individual cars and do not have to immediately meet emission standards.

The Fake Factory That Pumped Out Real Money

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Philip Rivkin, former chief executive of Green Diesel, was sentenced to ten years in jail for fraudulent selling of renewable fuel credits. The Renewable Fuel Standard requires fuel makers to blend ethanol into gas and biodiesel into diesel products. At the same time the Renewable Fuel Standard allows suppliers who fall short of blending targets to buy credits for use of renewable fuel.

Courts Deal a Setback to Unions and Obama

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

In March, the Obama administration proposed a rule requiring the disclosure of payments to consultants advising companies on anti-union campaigns. Last month a federal district court judge issued an injunction blocking the national implementation of the rule.

The Fix for Immigration

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The U.S. Supreme court reached a four-to-four deadlock on the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program. Under that program undocumented immigrant parents of U.S. citizens or legal residents are shielded from deportation.

Govern This With These?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Important issues in the interface between the law and the internet are being adjudicated in court. Key issues are: (1) are gig workers (e.g., Uber drivers) contractors or employees? (2) what does copyright cover? (3) can the U.S. government access data on servers abroad? and (4) should the "right to be forgotten" be expanded from Europe to around the globe?

Letting Mom-To-Be Sit

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There has been a recent stream of added protection to pregnant employees. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that pregnant workers can claim discrimination if employers place an “undue burden” on them without justification.

Sweet Cakes with a Bitter Aftertaste

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

An Oregon couple is appealing a $135,000 fine for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. They argue that baking the cake would force them to engage in speech they disagree with.

Want to Sell Caskets? Get a License

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There is a crazy quilt of occupational licensing laws across the country. A White House report found that more than 1,100 occupations are licensed in at least one state, but only 60 occupations are licensed in all states.

Suing Your Bank Could Soon Be Easier

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently issued a proposed rule that would restore the right of people to join in class actions against financial institutions. About 53 percent of credit card loans have arbitration clauses that generally require plaintiffs to seek arbitration first.

HR Startup Has an HR Problem

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Zenefits, a Silicon Valley start-up providing online insurance brokerage services, ran into numerous legal problems around allegedly selling insurance products without a license. Several states have opened investigations into the matter. *Note: This article is only available in the print version of the magazine.

The Cost of Resistance

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

LabMD, a medical testing company, has been in a protracted legal fight with the Federal Trade Commission over leaks of billing data for 9,000 consumers. LabMD is now closed, but the owner is continuing the legal battle.

Wall Street Chips Away at Dodd-Frank

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Legal challenges are mounting against the Dodd-Frank financial reform. A federal court recently ruled that the designation of MetLife as a “systematically important financial institution” by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) was “arbitrary and capricious.” A mortgage lender is also challenging fines imposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

States Pay a Price for Being LGBT-Unfriendly

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A number of corporations have objected to North Carolina HB2, which blocks local ordinances that extend public accommodations to LGBT residents. Governor McCrory says the goal of HB2 is to guarantee “the expectation of privacy” in schools and other public places. *This article is not available online.

A Choice Between Cuts and Bankruptcy

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Central States Pension Fund, the multiemployer pension fund for truckers, faces the choice of either cutting benefits or going broke. The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 allows the Fund to cut benefits.

A Strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Jawbone, a maker of fitness trackers, sued its competitor, Fitbit, in California state court over patent infringement and theft of trade secrets. The issue is now also before the International Trade Commission, which could ban the imports of the fitness trackers.

Help Workers, Risk Losing Money for Cops

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Arizona cities that raise wages or mandate sick pay would lose state funding under legislation being considered by state lawmakers.

Cheers! Enjoy a Tall Glass of Roundup

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has declared that glyphosate—the key ingredient in the weed killer Roundup—is probably carcinogenic. Roundup is the primary earner for Monsanto’s agricultural productivity sector.

Tesla Takes on the Dealerships—and GM

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There is a struggle in state legislatures over the right of Tesla to sell cars directly to consumers. In Indiana, legislation is being pushed that would force Tesla to find a franchisee.

Someone Didn't Get the Memo

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Apple is resisting a court order to help the U.S. government gain access to the iPhone that belonged to the shooter in the San Bernardino attack. The government claims that it is asking for a one-time request for one device.

Justice For the Big Guys

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

While Justice Antonin Scalia may be most known for his originalist constitutional philosophy, his greatest impact may be on the doctrine of standing and the parameters of class actions.

Can You Patent This?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Banks are now competing with software companies in seeking finance patents. Banks have been motivated in part by suits over the way they encode and transmit data on transactions.

Payday Lenders On the Run

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CPFB) will be issuing rules soon on payday lending. The key regulation pertains to lenders who charge more than 36 percent interest: They'll have to make sure that potential borrowers will have enough money to pay back their loans.

Who Owns the Sun?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission recently changed rules that set back Elon Musk’s SolarCity in its battle with NV Energy, owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. The change involved a sharp drop in the rates rooftop solar providers were paid for the energy they provided to the grid (net metering).

The Case for Allowing U.S. States to Declare Bankruptcy

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico has raised again the question of whether states should be allowed to file bankruptcy. Currently, municipal governments, not states, can file for bankruptcy protection.

Clash of the Evergreen Giants

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There are two competing proposals to address greenhouse gas emissions in the state of Washington. One would impose mitigation fees on each ton of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. The other proposal would impose a $25-per-ton tax on burning fossil fuels and then offset the tax with lowering other taxes.

Spotify Isn't Laughing Off This Lawsuit

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Musicians are suing Spotify for failing to fully pay for songs that it streams. Some of the suits are seeking class-action status.

I'll Show You Climate Change! Senator Mitch McConnell and The Coal Industry's Last Stand

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Senator Mitch McConnell has been fighting the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The EPA plan sets individual state carbon-reduction goals that collectively achieve a 32 percent cut by 2030.

'Hey, Pops, My Student Loans Are Due'

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Robert Murphy, a 65 year old with over $246,000 in Parent PLUS student loans for his children, is emblematic of a national problem and is seeking relief in federal court. The amount of education debt held by people 65 and older has risen from $2.8 billion in 2005 to $18.2 billion in 2013.

Vial Accusations

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Elizabeth Holmes, founder of blood test pioneer Theranos, faces challenges to the credibility of her firm. Theranos products offer the potential of radically reducing the cost of medical diagnostics and have attracted a top-tier corporate board.

That Feeling When You Win a Supreme Court Case and Get Nothing

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Plaintiffs in ideologically driven cases before the Supreme Court often have little at stake personally in the outcome. In one current case, Abigail Fisher, a recent college graduate, is challenging the University of Texas over its admissions process even though she's no longer in school and is seeking only $100.

Surveillance in Aisle 4

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Walmart hired Lockheed Martin to monitor activities, including social media, of an employee organization seeking higher wages, more full-time jobs, and predictable schedules. The union-backed group, OUR Walmart, threatened a Black Friday walk-out.

New York Gambles on A Daily Fantasy Ban

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The State of New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman sent cease-and-desist orders to DraftKings and FanDuel, the dominant daily fantasy sports sites. The daily fantasy sports sites claim an exemption under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Antitrust Trainwreck: The Scandal Undoing the Largest Antitrust Class Action Ever

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Keila Ravelo, a partner with Wilkie Farr & Gallagher, faces 25 years in prison on fraud and tax evasion charges. During the course of the investigation of Feliz, it was discovered that Ravelo had been communicating confidential information with plaintiff’s counsel in the negotiations for settlement of class actions against MasterCard.

The Teacher Who Could Gut Unions

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

In the current U.S. Supreme Court case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA), the plaintiff is challenging a prior Court ruling allowing public-sector unions to charge fees to nonmembers. About half of union labor is with public-sector employees.

Your Health Plan Will Now Self-Destruct

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Ten nonprofit co-ops created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have failed recently in part due to a lack of Congressional funding. The co-ops were created to promote competition in state health insurance marketplaces.

Google Books' Win May Threaten Other Media

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

In a long running case, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Google’s digital book database did not violate copyright law. Google has digitized millions of books and makes a database of snippets of the books available on the Internet.

Making Millions From Mother’s Milk

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made a significant impact on Medela, the Swiss manufacturer of breast pumps. The ACA requires insurance coverage of breast pumps and the certification of breast pump suppliers.

A Biden Buddy Picks a Fight Over Mortgages

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Investors have sued the U.S. Treasury for taking all the profits of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two mortgage finance companies have been under government conservatorship since the 2008 financial crisis.

Small-Town America Falls Out of Love With the Prison-Industrial Complex

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The IRS is going after counties that issued tax-free bonds to build jails used by federal agencies. Counties had been urged to build jails with capacities larger than needed for local inmates as a source of new revenue.

No Place for Old Waiters at Texas Roadhouse?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A Florida plaintiff is suing Texas Roadhouse for age discrimination in hiring. The company claims its hiring policies are job-related and consistent with business necessity even if those policies have a statistically adverse impact.

Was Tom Hayes in Charge of a $350 Trillion Conspiracy? Or Just Taking the Fall for One?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

This book excerpt tells the tale of Tom Hayes, the derivatives trader who was sentenced to fourteen years in prison for his role in rigging Libor rates.

A Push to Regulate Alternative Medicines

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The FDA allows makers of homeopathic products to make claims unsupported by medical evidence, unlike other drug producers. However, consumer complaints of homeopathic products are leading to a possible increase in FDA scrutiny.

Worker Safety

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is still working on trying to update silica exposure rules first set in 1971. OSHA estimates that stronger rules could save around 700 lives a year.

No Fare: The Wrath of the Taxi King

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Gene Friedman, the major owner of taxi cab medallions in New York City, is under serious pressure from Uber. Uber now has more than 20,000 vehicles serving customers in New York City.

Insider Trading Then and Now

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A new variant of insider trading involves hacking computer servers. In one recent example, the SEC charged foreign hackers with selling press releases with financial information to traders.

How Google Lost Europe

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Google has thus far been unsuccessful in settling antitrust claims by the European Union (EU). The company has been accused of using its near monopoly in search to promote its other services by placing those services at or near the top of search results.

Making the Seas Safer for Fishermen

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Commercial fishing remains one of the most dangerous occupations in the country. Nevertheless, the government has been slow to develop safety regulations in line with the Coast Guard Authorization Act.

Plea Deals Are Easy, Juries Are Hard

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Department of Justice has won record settlements in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases, even though the government has a poor record going to trial in FCPA cases. Corporate defendants have dared to go to trial only twice since the act came into law 35 years ago, but won both cases.

Diva of Wall Street

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The SEC has filed a case against collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) operated by Patriarch Partners, which is controlled by Lynn Tilton. Tilton helped to develop the CLO market for securities in distressed industries. She says she protects American families from ruin. The SEC says she defrauded investors.

What Does Harper Lee Want?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

HarperCollins has released Go Set A Watchman, a companion book to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee is eighty-nine years old, and there's been controversy about legal decisions she's made in recent years.

Can DuPont Spin Off Its Liabilities?

Larry Tunnell, Ph.D., CPA  |  Business Law

In 2013, DuPont announced plans to spin off its major chemical operations. The primary reason was to offload environmental liabilities to the spin-off. Unfortunately, these liabilities could reach more than a billion dollars.

How Uber Rolls

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Uber has been spending considerable resources lobbying local governments for regulations permitting ride-sharing services.

The Student Debt Collection Mess

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The National Collegiate Student Loan Trust has filed more than 4,000 lawsuits in five states in an effort to collect on student loans.

Arne vs. The Students

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The students who attended Corinthian Colleges are seeking debt relief in bankruptcy.

The Agency That Barely Moves

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The SEC, under the leadership of Mary Jo White, has been criticized for the slow pace of rule-making and regulatory reform.

Is There Anyone David Boies Won't Represent?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

David Boies, founder of Boies, Schiller & Flexner (BS&F), plays both sides of the court room and not just the corporate defense side.

The First Rate-Rigging Trial Begins in London

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Thomas Hayes, a former trader, is the first person to stand trial for Libor-rigging.

Ron Wyden's Lonely Crusade

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There is bipartisan support and opposition to granting President Obama fast track trade authority.

Can Someone Else Decide?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Time is running out for states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

In Plain Sight

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Swiss bank executives have been subject to criminal liability in the U.S. for assisting Americans with tax evasion.

Big Pharma’s Patent Wars

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The legal battles continue on “product hopping” by pharmaceutical companies.

Better Call Brent

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Brent Yessin, a Tampa-based attorney, has been promoting city and county right-to-work laws.

Bank Customers May Get Their Day in Court

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes aim at contract clauses that bar class-action suits.

A Split Over Protecting Investors

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The U.S. Department of Labor is considering applying a fiduciary standard to brokers who handle 401(k) plans.

Replacing Class-Action Postcards With "Likes"

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Ex-interns suing Gawker want to use social media to find plaintiffs.

On Payday Loans, Churches Ask, "WWJD?"

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Alabama churches are lobbying for tighter regulation of local payday lenders.

Get Out the Way

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The average weight of pick-up trucks has grown 26 percent since 2000, in part due to consumer demand and in part due to fuel-efficiency standards.

Walking Away From Clean Coal

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Obama administration cut off support for a clean-coal plant, making it harder to meet ambitious emissions goals.

Let Them Eat Burgers

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Shack Shake IPO issued dual-stock with founding investors holding 85.9 percent of the voting rights.

A Fight for More Clarity on Surveillance

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Internet giants are going to court to fight seizures of data.

Painting the Keystone XL Pipeline Green

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Critics have found flaws in the Environmental Resources Management (ERM) environmental impact report on the Keystone XL Pipeline written for the U.S. State Department.

Mother of a Problem

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Can the U.S. ever untangle its mixed-up maternity leave system?

Apple Store Workers Take Up Wage Fight

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Having lost at the U.S. Supreme Court, employee organizations are now looking to sue in state courts to be compensated for time spent in security lines.

Opening Remarks: Cuba Isn't Libre Yet

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Major obstacles remain despite President Obama reducing travel, trade, and banking restrictions with Cuba.

Giving Cops Their Own Special Justice

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The use of special prosecutors could help avoid the problems generated by the failure to indict police in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

How Two Legal Cases Established Sexual Harassment as a Civil Rights Violation

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Bloomberg BusinessWeek lists sexual harassment law as the 46th most disruptive idea of recent times.

Payday Loans Move Onto the Reservation

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Web-based payday lenders have been moving to Native American reservations to avoid state regulation.

Obamacare's YouTube Challenge

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A Philadelphia investment advisor posted comments by Jonathon Gruber that may impact a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

The Other Way to Raise Worker Pay

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Labor groups say the next move is increasing minimums state by state.

Coal Lobbies for More Time to Burn

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There is some resistance to the EPA's draft carbon dioxide emissions rule.

The Bailout Reunion Trial

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Maurice Greenberg, former CEO of AIG, is suing the federal government over the AIG bailout.

Home-Care Aides Get a Raise - At a Price

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The elderly and disabled may have to pay more to get less care.

All You Need to Know About Net Neutrality

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

New regulations coming as soon as December could determine whether the Internet continues to treat all traffic equally.

Fracking's Funny Numbers

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

In a review of drillers’ data, the resources touted to investors average 6.6 times higher than those reported to the SEC.

A Subprime Market Grows in the Shadows

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A subprime market has been growing for bonds backed by auto loans.

A Showdown Over Housing Discrimination

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether to hear a Texas case involving the use of the disparate impact standard in Fair Housing Act litigation.

Using the Web to Police Dangerous Workplaces

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will take a "name and shame" approach to safety regulation.

Cutting Waste--Or Creating Monopolies?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Health-care providers say they need more consolidation to reduce costs, but their charges are rising.

Greenhouse Gas Is Groovy

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

An oil industry public-relations campaign aims to convince Californians that new carbon rules will lead to high gas prices.

States Step In to Put a Lid on Health Costs

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

California asks voters for the power to reject insurance price hikes.

Free Trade Man

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

American special effects professionals are losing work to tax-subsidized firms in foreign countries.

Not Risky

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

John Biggs co-edited a recent book, Modernizing Insurance Regulation.

Cynk Hole

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Cynk Technology, a penny stock with one employee, no assets and no revenue at one point, had a $6 billion valuation before collapsing.

A Stock Market Star Implodes in Spain

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Jenaro Garcia, founder of the Spanish internet company, Let's Gowex, has admitted to financial improprieties.

Crazed Pervert or Misunderstood Genius?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

American Apparel founder and CEO Dov Charney is struggling to get his company back.

Your Hospital Knows Your Secrets

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Hospitals are increasing the use of Big Data, in part due to the Affordable Care Act.

Yes, You Can Be Fired For Being Gay

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

President Obama is about to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Hedge Funds Score a Goal on Argentina

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Argentina is looking for ways to get around an unfavorable court ruling on its $95 billion bond default.

The Conflict Over Conflict-Free Minerals

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Disclosures are now due to the SEC for so-called conflict minerals.

"I Guess I Was Just Mad"

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Part-time employees in Japan have filed wage discrimination lawsuits and formed unions in response to their treatment by employers.

A Business Backlash on Behalf of Gays

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There is concern that a new Mississippi statute would allow businesses to refuse to serve gay customers.

Font Superstars Split

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Longtime font designers Tobias Frere-Jones and Jonathan Hoefler have separated and are in litigation over the nature of their business relationship.

Shootout: Can Nike Beat Adidas at Soccer?

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Nike is making a big push to catch Adidas in the soccer gear market.

A Stunning Apology in a Years-Long Legal Drama

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Washington law firm Patton Boggs withdrew from seeking to enforce a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian court judgment against Chevron for pollution.

Tech Hubris

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe recently agreed to settle the Silicon Valley hiring antitrust case.

Investors, Meet your Arbitrators

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Complaints have risen against securities arbitrators managed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Aereo's Survival Depends on Semantics

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

At stake in a Supreme Court case is Aereo’s streaming model and networks’ retransmission rights, worth billions.

Slow Cop, Fast Beat

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The SEC needs a multibillion-dollar data system to determine if speed traders are doing more harm than good.

Does God Hate Obamacare?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Hobby Lobby, a $3.3 billion family-held company, is challenging the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

In Trade Talks, It's Countries vs. Companies

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Many groups feel that mandating arbitration in international trade treaties is undemocratic.

Chasing Forbidden Treasure

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Investors are challenging a U.S. Treasury decision that all of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac earnings go to the government.

A Withering Ruling in the Epic Chevron Case

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A federal district court judge ruled that the $9.5 billion judgment by an Ecuadorian court had been obtained through "bribery," "coercion," and other methods that violated RICO.

A Safer Way to Trade Interest Rate Swaps

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Most trades in the $426 trillion interest rate swap market must now take place on swap execution facilities.

Warren Buffet's Black Box

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Berkshire Hathaway, led by Warren Buffett, has not provided a full picture of the performance of some of its smaller operating units.

Too Big to Fail vs. Too Small to Get a Pass

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Two Bitcoin entrepreneurs have been arrested and charged with money-laundering, while major banks have settled for cash fines and deferred prosecutions.

Putting Released Prisoners Back to Work

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A number of state and local governments now ban asking about arrest and conviction records on job applications.

Who Are These Guys?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Following the chemical spill that left 300,000 West Virginians without tap water, the mystery isn't how it happened, but who really really runs Freedom Industries, the company responsible.

A Chinese Scandal Could Stall Nu Skin's Growth

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Nu Skin Enterprises, a maker of anti-aging skin products, has been criticized in the Chinese press for its sales and marketing practices.

From Davos, a View on the State of Globalization

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland is trying to keep up the momentum for globalization.

Collusion In the Chat Rooms?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Authorities are investigating whether traders used chat rooms to rig rates in the currency exchange market.

American Hustle

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A disgruntled business partner of a prominent homebuilding company hired an ex-con to sabotage the firm's stock price.

1,238 days, 18,223 comments, 71-page rule, 893-page preamble, 5 agencies, 1 man

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Even at 964 pages, including a preamble, the newly approved Volcker Rule leaves many questions unanswered.

A Last-Minute Push to Rein in Wall Street

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Gary Gensler has been issuing advisory opinions on overseas derivatives and competition in the swaps market as his term as CFTC chair comes to a close.

The Man Who Took On Merrill

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Merrill Lynch recently settled in a racial discrimination case with black brokers.

Marco Rubio's New Plan To Unravel Obamacare

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Marco Rubio is seeking to eliminate "risk corridors" from the Affordable Care Act.

Navigating the New World of Mortgage Rules

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Lenders face restrictions designed to keep homeowners from getting in over their heads.

The Five-Letter Word No One Can Define

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The president wants negotiations over the Volcker Rule, which curbs risky bank trades, to be done by the end of the year.

The CFTC Is Drowning in Data

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The CFTC was given the biggest grant of new authority under Dodd-Frank but not the budget to match its increased responsibilities for regulating swaps.

A Cheaper Way to Defuse Patent Claims

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The 2011 America Invents Act has provided technology companies with a new tool to fight patent trolls: the patent review.

Chevron's $19 Billion Day in Court

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Chevron launched a civil racketeering lawsuit against Steve Donziger, a New York environmental attorney who won a $19 billion judgment against Chevron in a Ecuadorian court.

The End of the Class-Action Carnival

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

U.S. court decisions in the last few years have reduced the scope of class actions.

Small Banks Feel the Urge to Merge

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Dodd-Frank financial regulation is leading to an uptick of mergers by small banks.

The FDA Sets Its Sights On Medical Apps

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Recent FDA guidelines require that medical apps that diagnose and treat conditions must meet similar quality standards that apply to devices like ultrasound machines.

Dirty Honey

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Two executives of Hamburg-based ALW Food Group plead guilty to fraud in connection with illegal imports of honey from China.

Robosigning's Erin Brockovich

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Lynn Szymoniak won a large settlement as part of a whistle-blowing case against financial institutions using poorly prepared documents in mortgage foreclosures.

The NFL's Concussion Deal's Surprise Winner

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The NFL agreed to give more than 5,000 former NFL players a $765 million dollar settlement for ailments related to head injuries.

Time to Fix the Not-So-Nifty Nasdaq

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The three-hour shutdown of the Nasdaq in August due to a software error underlined the importance of the recent SEC-proposed rules that set standards for electronic trading.

The Feds' About-Face on Airline Mergers

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division is opposing the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

A President Steps Between Apple and Samsung

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

President Obama granted Apple a reprieve under which the U.S. International Trade Commission will not block certain iPhone 4 and iPad 2 models from entering the country.

Hammering Away at the Health-Care Law

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There are still multiple law suits challenging the Affordable Care Act along a range of issues.

Do Banks and Commodities Mix?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Federal Reserve Bank is reviewing a 2005 decision that allowed banks to trade physical commodities.

Disarray in the CFTC

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Gary Gensler, chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has ruffled feathers in the pursuit of regulation of the $633 trillion swaps market.

The U.S. Goes Bigger Than Basel

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

U.S. regulators are proposing capital standards of 5 percent of assets for eight large U.S. bank holding companies.

Shutting Health Workers Out of Health Care

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The shortfall in Medicaid expansion coupled with last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision will likely leave many low wage workers without health insurance.

Spillapalooza: How BP Got Screwed in the Gulf

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

BP is challenging a claims administrator’s interpretation of a multi-billion dollar settlement the company made over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

This Prism Isn't Reflecting Much Light

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Technology companies are struggling with the response to the leaks by NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Superman's Lawyer

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Marc Toberhoff, a Los Angeles attorney, has been in a long-running legal crusade to win the rights to Superman for the families of Jerome Seigel and Joe Shuster, creators of the action hero.

A Better Way to Get Brains From Abroad

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Employers appear to prefer H-1B visas over green cards and are lobbying for an increase in the number of H-1B visa holders.

The Porn Copyright Trolls

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Two attorneys have been accused of engaging in an extensive and lucrative copyright trolling operation involving pornography.

Europe's Regulators Pry Open the Oil Market

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The European competition commission is concerned with collusion in setting reference prices for oil.

Have Credit Unions Become Stealth Banks?

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Banks are concerned about the growth and consolidation of credit unions.

Loosening the Screws On Military Exports

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Obama administration is reviewing regulations under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act.

Big Law's Small Future

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The implosion of Howrey, a large law firm, sheds light on the changing role of large firms in the legal profession.

An Ex-Wife Threatens Steve Wynn's Casino Empire

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Elaine Wynn is seeking permission to sell her shares in Wynn Resorts, which could cause Steve Wynn to lose control of the company.

Here Comes the Libor Scandal's Sequel

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is investigating the whether or not there has been manipulation of ISDAfix.

The Wheels on the Bus Go Brrrrrr

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Bus travelers recently launched an on-line protest over their treatment by bus companies.

Getting a Grip On Obamacare

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There is considerable confusion about the scope of potential employer penalties under the forthcoming insurance mandate established by the Affordable Care Act.

Behold the Ghosts of Bubbles Past

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Banks are back to selling collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), which played a role in the last credit bubble.

The SEC's Roadmap for Pursuing JPMorgan

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A Senate investigation has provided evidence that JPMorgan hid from investors the extent of its trading losses on credit derivatives.

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

There is a political struggle over the required levels of doctor supervision of nurse practitioners.

A Watchdog Stalls on Overdraft Fees

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is moving slow in the regulation of overdraft fees by banks.

The Government Goes Medieval on S&P

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking $5 billion in penalties against S&P for inflated credit ratings.

Pain Point

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Over 4,000 former NFL players and their wives are suing the NFL over life-altering brain injuries from playing days.

This Is What Unregulated Swaps Look Like

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Swap traders have moved to futures exchange in response to new CFTC swap regulations.

The Dangling Man

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Charges of insider trading at SAC Capital have gotten closer to founder Steven Cohen.

Bill Ackman's Crusade Against Herbalife

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management has accused Herbalife of being a pyramid scheme.

Stem Cell Showdown

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

A Texas company wants to move ahead with adult stem cell therapy but has faced impediments from the FDA.

Pushing Banks to Unwind Their Global Bets

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

The U.S. Federal Reserve is planning to place capital requirements on U.S. branches of foreign banks.

This Weed Is Totally Legal. It Is Also Totally Illegal.

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Voters in Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana, but it's still illegal under federal law.

BP's $4.5 Billion Mea Culpa

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

By admitting fault and paying a huge fine, BP got clear of criminal charges. But it still faces potentially billions in civil penalties.

Why Congress Hacked Up a Bill to Stop Hackers

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Business opposition has set back the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 for the time being.

Like Malbec for Porsches

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

In order to preserve foreign exchange, the Argentine government has undertaken a number of measures, including currency controls and import matching. Under import-matching, an Argentine importer must import a roughly equivalent amount of goods.


Feedback