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The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (the “Seventh Circuit”) recently decided the case of Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v. City of Naperville, 900 F.3d 521 (7th Cir. 2018). The suit brought by Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (“NSMA”) alleged that the collection of smart meter energy-consumption data by the City of Naperville, Illinois, (the “City”) constituted an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and should be prohibited.[1] The Seventh Circuit made two important holdings in the case. First, it held that the collection of smart meter data is, in fact, a search under the Fourth Amendment. Second, it held that under the specific facts of the case, the City’s smart meter program constitutes a reasonable search and thus does not violate customers’ Fourth Amendment rights.

[1] NMSA also brought state constitutional claims under the Illinois constitution that are not addressed here.

The Supreme Court’s October 2018 term is right around the corner, and one case will have a very practical impact on prospective copyright litigation.  In the Court’s only copyright case this term, Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com will settle the question of whether a plaintiff must have a valid copyright registration before filing an infringement suit or, instead, can merely have an application pending with the U.S. Copyright Office.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This amendment made it illegal to fire women for becoming pregnant, to deny insurance coverage for pregnancy-related conditions, or to require women to take unpaid leave after becoming pregnant.

Posted in Litigation

Does your company have an incident response plan in place in case of a cyberattack or data breach? Companies that do not understand the gravity of these events should take heed of this statistic: 90 percent of businesses that lose data due to a security incident shut down within two years, according to The Ponemon Institute.

This summer has been filled with legal changes that significantly impact businesses that sell online. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 will impact the way businesses collect, store, and sell customers’ private information, and the recent case of South Dakota v. Wayfair will change the way online retailers handle sales tax.

How has the #MeToo movement impacted your business? For many, the rise of the #MeToo movement in 2017 has led to more women and men publicly talking about sexual harassment they have experienced in the past or are currently experiencing at work. Companies clearly do not want to find themselves defending against sexual harassment lawsuits. How can you minimize this risk?

This article appeared in the Indianapolis Business Journal on July 20, 2018.

The vast majority of companies in the United States are small, privately owned, with fewer than 500 employees. Many are family-owned, some are venture-capital-backed, others are supported by private equity.

Posted in Litigation

The 11th Circuit recently released its long-awaited opinion in FTC v. LabMD. Anyone monitoring data privacy regulation in America has been waiting for this opinion to help corporations understand their obligations under US privacy regulation. 

This article originally appeared in Medical News on June 27, 2018.  

There is a recent trend of physician practices partnering with private equity firms (PE Firms) as hospitals and other large health systems have curtailed their acquisition of physician practices.

Recent events involving the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia should give everyone pause.

A short summary. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the President’s Press Secretary, came to the Red Hen for dinner with her family on June 22, 2018. Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of the Red Hen, asked Mrs. Sanders to leave after the Red Hen’s staff said they felt uncomfortable having Sanders in the restaurant. The Sanders family complied and went elsewhere.

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