The Legal Year in Review: What Lawyers Are Saying

For your interest, here’s a “Year in Review” reading list from lawyers and law firms on JD Supra. Covering HR, taxes, banking & finance, IP law, business, and other topics, this diverse collection of posts includes analysis of important legal developments in 2010, with suggestions of what to do in the new year:

Top Trademark Trends in 2010 (by Erik Pelton):

In IP Law: “In 2010, many of the biggest news stories touched on the world of
trademarks in some manner. Facebook and Apple were active taking steps
to register and protect a variety of trademarks. But the most notable
trademark story of 2010 was the release – and subsequent retraction –
of a new GAP® logo. Here are the 10 most significant trends in
trademarks for 2010…” Read more>>

Privacy and Data Protection Year In Review (by McDermott Will & Emery):

In Privacy Law: “Privacy and data protection are an exploding area of focus for
international and U.S. regulators. Most businesses are now well aware
that if their information practices are not already regulated, they
likely will be soon. This article gives in-house counsel and others
responsible for privacy and data protection in the United States and
Europe an overview of the major developments in this area in 2010, as
well as a prediction of what is to come in 2011…” Read more>>

Top 10 FCPA Investigations of 2010 (by Thomas Fox):

In Securities Law: “While enforcement actions can provide the some of the DOJ/SEC most
current thinking on FCPA compliance best practices the public
information made available during investigations can provide to the
FCPA, Bribery Act or other compliance professional many opportunities
for teaching points and lessons learned by others. So with the
opportunity for many educational occasions in mind we present our
favorite investigations of 2010…” (also see Part II of this post). Read more>>

HR Resolutions for 2011 (by Warner Norcross & Judd):

In Employment Law: “Review Your Employee Handbook.
This is a good item to have on your to-do list every year, given how
often the landscape changes with new laws, regulations and court
interpretations. Particular attention should be paid to your Equal
Employment Opportunity and workplace harassment policies (see
discussion below). You should also address confidential information and
how employees are expected to handle it…” Read more>>

[Also from Warner Norcross, see: It Is Time To Start Thinking About Those New Year’s Resolutions]

2011 Forecast (by Sanford Millar):

In Tax Law: “In 2011 we can expect greater emphasis on international reporting and tax compliance. Foreign finanicial institutions will further gear up for imposition
of the FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) making it harder to
open and maintain foreign accounts. U.S. taxpayers will face new
disclosure rules for foreign finanicial assets. These assets will need
to be scheduled for tax return purposes if they are $50,000 or more.
Foreign held trusts, corporations and partnerships will need to be
disclosed. More indictments are likely resulting from the UBS and
related cases…” Read more>>

Tax Relief Act of 2010: Year-End Planning and Beyond (by Duane Morris LLP):

In Tax Law: “On December 17, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Tax Relief,
Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010
(the “Act”). In addition to extending the Bush income tax cuts until
December 31, 2012, the Act contains numerous changes to the federal
estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax laws, which
also will expire on December 31, 2012. Here is a summary of the
estate, gift and GST tax provisions included in the Act. It is
important to note that one change in particular – namely, the
elimination of any GST tax on certain 2010 transfers – may require
action before year-end…” Read more>>

Death Sentences Are Given Less, Fewer Executions in 2010: DPIC Report (by Terence Lenamon):

In Criminal Law: “The Death Penalty Information Center has issued its annual report on
the state of capital punishment in this country. According to the DPIC,
the forty-six (46) executions that were conducted this year constitute
a twelve percent (12%) decrease in the death penalty. (In 2009, there
were 52 executions in the United States; in 2000, there were 85.)
Capital punishment therefore declined in the first decade of the
21st Century. However, there are 3261 people still living on American
Death Rows today and each of them still faces a sentence of death…” Read more>>
 
Looking To End Of Year And 2011 (by Sands Anderson):

In Auto Law: “Increased sales for the closing weeks of 2010 are encouraged by the availability of 0% financing, often coupled with a rebate. This coupled with manufacturer incentives to dealers to move product, should help drive sales upward, but will only cut losses in a year that will be one of the slowest in decades. The optimism for 2011 is based on more durable premises- new and better products (especially from the U.S. “Big Three”), some increased availability of consumer financing (even for the sub-prime market), and the U.S. consumers “aging fleet”. ” Read more>>

A Collection of Venable’s Credit Counseling and Debt Services Legal Articles and Presentations from the Second Half of 2010 (by Venable LLP):

In Banking & Finance Law: “During the second half of 2010, there has been a great deal of federal
and state activity touching on credit counseling and debt services,
including: new rules for debt relief services under the Federal Trade
Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule and mortgage assistance relief
services rulemaking; major enforcement actions by the FTC, state
regulators, and state Attorneys General against DMP providers, debt
settlement companies, mortgage foreclosure consultants, and lead
generators…” Read more>>

Looking Ahead to 2011: Year End Employee Benefit Plan Compliance Items (by Dinsmore Shohl):

In Employment Law: “While the tri-agencies of Treasury, Labor and Health & Human
Services (the “Departments”) have issued a flurry of regulations and
model notices, many issues are still in need of further clarification.
In the interim, the Departments have indicated that employers should
still take steps toward good faith compliance with the law…” Read more>>

Health Care Reform Checklist (by Warner Norcross & Judd):

In Health Law: “As the year draws to a close, employers should review what actions
they’ve taken with respect to health care reform for 2010 and begin
planning for changes in 2011. This checklist will hopefully make the
daunting task a little easier…” Read more>>

Lights Out for the DREAM Act in 2010 (by Ronald Shapiro):

In Immigration Law: “The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (the
“DREAM Act”) fell five votes short of the necessary 60 votes for
obtaining consideration on the Senate floor on Friday (Dec. 17th)
bringing down the curtain on any further legislative action in 2010. However, President Obama vowed that his administration would not
give up on passing some form of legislation offering a path to
citizenship for the children of illegal aliens who either secure a
college education or enlist in military service…” Read more>>

Mopping Up 2010 and What to Expect in 2011 (by Ron Gitter):

In Real Estate Law: “A look back at the important developments in New York co-ops and condos for 2010 and what to expect in 2011…” Read more>>

Top 10 Expert Rulings of 2010 (by IMS ExpertServices):

In Law Practice: “The most important judicial action involving expert witnesses in
2010 came in the year’s waning days. On Dec. 6, the Supreme Court
agreed to hear a case that could decide the standard for use of expert
testimony when a court is weighing whether to certify a class action.
The case was already notable, having certified the largest employment
class action in U.S. history.
But that was not the only significant court case involving expert witnesses during 2010…” Read more>>

Related:

Popular Legal Topics in 2010
What Surprised You In 2010? Perspectives from Legal Professionals
Tax Relief Act of 2010: What Lawyers Are Saying
Year-End Tax Planning: What Lawyers Are Saying

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