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September 19, 2022

New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission Issues Long-Awaited Guidance on Establishing Workplace Impairment

In February 2021, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (“NJCREAMMA”) legalized the use of recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21. As a result, while NJCREAMMA still allows employers to prohibit employees from using, being impaired by, or possessing cannabis in the workplace, employers can no longer take adverse action against an employee solely because an individual has used, or not used, cannabis off duty. Given that cannabinoid metabolites can result in a positive drug test even if the employee is not currently under the influence of cannabis, NJCREAMMA modified the term “drug test” to include both (1) a scientifically reliable objective testing method and (2) a physical evaluation conducted by an individual certified as a Workplace Impairment Recognition Expert. However, with no WIRE certification standards yet in place, employers have had no clear guidance on what objective signs and symptoms to look for in a physical evaluation to support an adverse employment action against an employee for working while impaired – until now. ...READ MORE

September 13, 2022

The Case for Decentralized Exchanges

Crypto Exchanges and Bankruptcy ...READ MORE

September 6, 2022

The Devastating Impact of Bankruptcy to Crypto Investors

Blockchain is one of the fastest evolving, controversial and important technologies of the modern era. Diverse industries recognize the benefits of a decentralized distributed ledger, one whose data is both highly secure and readily accessible to anyone with an internet connection. New blockchain-related companies are created daily, each offering its own cryptocurrency “coin” with its own specific purpose. The meteoric rise in value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies over the last several years has facilitated tremendous interest in the blockchain sphere, not just for companies or government entities that see the benefit of the technology, but also for the institutional and individual investor who sees the potential for massive profits, returns far exceeding a typical stock trader’s ten or even twenty percent return at the end of the year. Cryptocurrencies, in contrast, have increased in value by one-thousand or even ten thousand percent on a regular basis. With such huge investment potential, cryptocurrency may understandably blind investors to the very real risk of a bankruptcy filing, particularly those lacking the tech-savviness to understand and account for the underlying fundamentals of the technology. Recently, that bankruptcy risk has come to roost for crypto investors. ...READ MORE

July 26, 2022

The USPTO Offers Relief to Those Impacted by Russian Invasion in Ukraine

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) published an Official Gazette Notice announcing that the effects of the Russian invasion in Ukraine are considered to be an “extraordinary situation” under 37 CFR § 1.183, § 2.146(a)(5), and § 2.148, in which case the Director is authorized to suspend or waive any requirement of the regulations that is not a requirement of statute. ...READ MORE

July 21, 2022

No Notice, No Exemption from Rent Control: Appellate Decision Sets Stage For Legal Headaches for Property Owners

Current owners and prospective buyers, developers, and builders of New Jersey residential properties are on high alert following a recent Appellate Court decision that could sweep away their exemptions from local rent control and rent leveling ordinances.  ...READ MORE

July 13, 2022

Understanding and Avoiding the Perils of a Triangular Setoff

Triangular setoffs are often negotiated in contracts governing complex business dealings as a means of extinguishing debt. However, in bankruptcy proceedings they can create headaches unless certain key steps are taken to protect one’s business. ...READ MORE

June 20, 2022

NJDEP Proposes Rules Implementing Landmark Environmental Justice Law Which Will Change the Paradigm of Environmental Permitting in Overburdened Communities

On June 6, 2022, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) proposed its long-awaited environmental justice rule (the “Proposed Rule”). The Proposed Rule will impact permitting considerations on certain new and expanded facilities, and renewals of existing major source air permits located in New Jersey’s overburdened communities. The Proposed Rule would implement the requirements of the groundbreaking environmental justice legislation (the “EJ Law”) enacted September 18, 2020 (N.J.S.A. 13:1D-157 et seq.). The Proposed Rule has significant implications for certain facilities located wholly, or partly, in overburdened communities.  If adopted, the Proposed Rule will require extensive analysis of stressors in the overburdened community, the potential of additional control measures to avoid adverse stressors, and significant public participation requirements. For those intending on locating a new covered facility in an overburdened community, the EJ Law and Proposed Rules may result in a denial of a permit.  The comment period for the Proposed Rule is currently scheduled to expire on September 4, 2022. ...READ MORE

June 2022

Digital Assets Regulation - The Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act

In the wake of Biden’s recent Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets and the increasing acceptance of the promises and functionality of digital assets by governments around the world, the U.S. legislature has taken steps toward finally embracing and regulating digital assets and cryptocurrencies. ...READ MORE

May 2022

NJDEP To Issue Emergency Rule Expanding Flood Hazard Jurisdiction in Riverine Areas And Expanding Storm Water Requirements

In a video conference call with industry stakeholders on May 25, 2022, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) announced that it will be adopting an emergency rule expanding the areas in New Jersey that are subject to flood hazard permitting requirements.  This regulatory action, which also updates stormwater requirements for new developments, is likely to be issued by mid-June and will go into effect immediately upon issuance. ...READ MORE

April 2022

Sellers Beware (Of The Section 510(b) Trap) In A Corporate Divorce

Whether the product of a business entity’s consensual separation agreement or knock down litigation over years of mistrust and differences, a structured buyout over time of one partner’s equity interest in the erstwhile business partnership, with the payout secured by the business assets, has hidden dangers. The United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit on March 22, 2022, in a case captioned In re Bruce Elieff, BAP # CC-21-1081-SFL, rendered an Opinion on one such hidden danger: A seller’s claim for damages arising from his former partner’s purchase of his equity interest in their business partnership would be, upon the buyer’s default on the payment terms of the buyout, subordinated to the unsecured claims in the buyer’s subsequent affiliated bankruptcies under Section 510(b) of the Bankruptcy Code. Moreover, the Court ruled the judgment lien obtained by the seller against the debtor’s business assets also was subordinated to unsecured creditors of the business. ...READ MORE

March 24, 2022

President Biden Signs Executive Order, Signaling the Development of a United States Central Bank Digital Currency and Shaping Up Regulations of Digital Assets

On March 9, 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets, bringing the U.S. Government one step closer to regulating cryptocurrencies1 and digital assets2 at the federal level and international stage. ...READ MORE

March 2022

Companies Urged To Stay Vigilant With Cybersecurity Practices Due To Concerns About Russia-Based Cyber Attacks

In the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, numerous government agencies and security industry authorities are warning public, private and not for profit entities to be more vigilant than ever for cyber-attacks, whether from Russia or its allies or other countries and bad actors being opportunistic. ...READ MORE

March 2022

Pandemic Executive Orders Do Not Toll Contractual Limitations Periods in New York

An issue of substantial importance to sureties and insurers, but about which little (if anything) has been written, is whether the Executive Orders issued during the pandemic that extended limitations periods for civil actions in New York apply to private contractual limitations periods, such as those contained in bonds and insurance policies. A recent federal court decision along with an unreported state court decision from early last year appear to establish that the Executive Orders did not extend the time for suit against insurance policies or bonds that contain a limitations period different from the otherwise applicable statute of limitations. ...READ MORE

February 2022

Recent Guilty Plea Highlights Espionage-Related Security and Compliance Risks, and Potential for Leniency Based on Classified Discovery Issues

On February 16, 2022, Hector Fuentes pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Florida to acting in the United States on behalf of Russia without notifying the Attorney General, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 951. Fuentes admitted to traveling to the United States at the direction of a Russian intelligence officer to collect information relating to a U.S. informant. This alert addresses three takeaways from the plea: ...READ MORE

February 2022

Recent SDNY Ruling Highlights Inadequacy Of Oral Instructions To Protect Trade Secrets and Importance of Pleading "Reasonable Measures" in DTSA Claims

This week, Judge Roman of the Southern District of New York granted a judgment on the pleadings dismissing a Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) claim without leave to amend, for an alleged failure to plead “reasonable measures” to maintain the secrecy of the alleged trade secret. Altman Stage Lighting, Inc. v. Smith, 20-CV-2575 (NSR), 2022 WL 374590 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 8, 2022).  The decision is a blow to trade secret owners that have only orally advised others that they consider information to be a trade secret. ...READ MORE

January 2022

NYC Enacts Pay Transparency Law Requiring Employers to Disclose Salary Ranges

Employers will soon be required to include salary ranges in advertisements for jobs, promotions or transfer opportunities for positions located within New York City. ...READ MORE

September 2021

Proposed New Tax Legislation Would Dramatically Affect Estate Planning

Congress is considering certain tax law changes which may adversely impact your ability to pass assets to your family in a tax-efficient manner in the future. While in general the tax proposals are wide-ranging and cover many areas of taxation, a few proposals relate to the Federal estate and gift tax – and potentially prompt a meaningful reconsideration of tax minimization strategies. These proposals are: ...READ MORE

September 2021

Recent Section 101 Patent Challenges in the Southern District of New York

Ever wonder how patent eligibility challenges are faring in the “Mother Court”? Two recent SDNY decisions offer an indication. ...READ MORE

July 27, 2021

Governor Murphy Signs Bill That Requires Electric Charging Stations in Most New Development Projects in New Jersey

On July 9, 2021, Governor Murphy signed Senate Bill S3223 (the “Bill”), which will have far-reaching effects on most new real estate development in New Jersey, with few exceptions. The new law will require the majority of new development to include a mandated amount of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. These new requirements went into effect upon the signing of the Bill on July 9, 2021. ...READ MORE

May 2021

New York's HERO Act Enacts New Workplace Health and Safety Obligations on Employers

While Memorial Day weekend might offer a long-awaited reprieve for many New Yorkers, employers must return prepared for another round of COVID-fueled requirements. Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation coined as the New York Health and Essential Rights (HERO) Act. Aiming to address airborne infectious diseases in addition to COVID-19, the HERO Act places significant requirements on New York employers and takes effect over two phases. ...READ MORE

January 2021

Biden Administration Seeks Immigration Policy Overhaul with U.S. Citizenship Act

Yesterday morning, President Biden announced proposed legislation – soon to be sent to Congress – seeking to overhaul the immigration system in the United States. Named the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, the bill sets forth comprehensive reforms to U.S. immigration law with the intention of improving the path to citizenship, employment-based immigration and family-based immigration, as well as the implementation and prioritization of smart integrity measures and solutions for securing our borders. ...READ MORE

December 2020

The New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 Explained

On December 21, 2020, both houses of the New Jersey Legislature approved and sent to Governor Murphy a comprehensive economic reform bill entitled the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (the "Act"). Generally, it is described by the legislature as providing for the “administration of programs and policies related to jobs, property development, food deserts, community partnerships, small and early stage businesses, State procurement, wind energy, and film production.” It appropriates over $55.5 million and provides in excess of $14.3 billion in potential tax credits. ...READ MORE

November 2020

COVID-19 Has Not Slowed Down HIPAA Enforcement

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been quite active in recent months with respect to enforcement of the health information privacy and security requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Below is an overview of some of OCR’s most recently announced HIPAA settlements. The details surrounding the alleged HIPAA violations and the facts that led to OCR’s investigations are instructive to covered entities and business associates seeking to review or improve their HIPAA compliance efforts. Notably, OCR’s investigations are commonly precipitated by a patient complaint to OCR or a report of a data breach, which, in recent times, is often due to cyberattacks through phishing emails or other unauthorized access of log in credentials. See the CSG Client Alert here with respect to recent ransomware threats to the healthcare industry. Some of the most common deficiencies cited by OCR are a lack of HIPAA policies and procedures and a failure to conduct a risk analysis, both of which are threshold compliance requirements. OCR’s continued, robust enforcement efforts in the midst of COVID-19 serve as a reminder to HIPAA covered entities and business associates – both large and small – that HIPAA compliance is a top priority and that failure to comply can lead to substantial penalties. ...READ MORE

November 2020

Estate Planning After the 2020 Election

With the winding down of election season and impending year-end, now is the time to consider whether it would be beneficial to implement wealth transfer techniques in the event of changes to estate and gift tax laws. In this alert, CSG's Trusts & Estates Group highlights key areas and strategies worth considering. ...READ MORE

September 2020

Back to School 2020: Employer FFCRA Obligations

Last updated September 10, 2020 ...READ MORE