As a national price on carbon looms across Canada and with the cap-and-trade system now up and running in Ontario, disclosure is an increasingly important issue with regards to financial liabilities and risk assessment. Lawyers say that because there is a mandated federal carbon price that is a backstop and most prices will be administered provincially, the patchwork approach across the country will mean different requirements from province to province.“It’s not going to be a standard one-size-fits-all approach across every province, and that’s something that a lot of clients need to get their heads around,” says Laura Zizzo, founder and CEO of management consulting firm Zizzo Strategy and a practising lawyer.Zizzo says that because there is already a price in Ontario and Quebec through their cap-and-trade system and a carbon tax in B.C., the majority of the Canadian economy is already thinking about how to go about dealing with it. She says that as … [Read more...] about Uneven carbon pricing means guidance needed
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In one of my favorite scenes from The Wire, the great HBO television series about crime, cops, and life in Baltimore, detectives Bunk Moreland and Jimmy McNulty sit in an interrogation room across the table from a young African American man they call Cheese. The detectives suspect Cheese in one of several recent murders, and for good reason: they have him recorded, on tape. When Cheese refuses to tell them anything, Bunk re-enacts Cheese's recorded statement: "Oh, he was my dawg, man…I didn't sleep since I capped his ass. Lookin' up at me, all bloody and shit…He had much love for me, even then. I ain't never gonna find another…" The detectives know they've hit pay dirt when Cheese becomes emotional, fighting back tears. They point at the pictures of the bodies of murder victims they've put in front of Cheese, and they ask him: which one was his dawg? "Which one of these is he?"What the detectives don't know, because they weren't there — they have Cheese's voice … [Read more...] about Dog Eat Dawg: Louisiana May be Right, but that Doesn’t Mean They’re Right
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales reflected on what’s important and what he would have done differently in a magazine’s meaning-of-life issue.“This may sound egotistical, but to me it is important that when I leave this earth, I would have made a difference—that people would know Al Gonzales lived, he touched lives, he made a difference, he left a mark,” Gonzales told Esquire magazine.Gonzales was one of about 20 people interviewed about weighty matters for the magazine’s January issue, according to the Washington Post.Gonzales is teaching a political science class at Texas Tech in Lubbock. His time in the attorney general’s office was marked by controversy over his role in the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and his defense of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism.Gonzales told Esquire it was “cool” to work at the White House.“I think 90 percent of what happened to me is politics, pure and simple. It’s … [Read more...] about Former AG Gonzales Turns Reflective in Magazine’s Meaning of Life Issue
During the campaign, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) was mostly mentioned by President Trump in the context of illegal immigration. Controlling the flow of people, however, is only one of the jobs of CBP, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. CBP also regulates what goods come into the United States, while ensuring that the goods pay the appropriate tariff (basically, a form of tax paid as a percentage of the value of the goods entered). As both the gatekeeper to the United States as well as the second-largest source of U.S. government revenue, the agency is a key regulator for many importers.Many of President Trump’s campaign proposals, while not explicitly directed at CBP, would either impact how it operates or would require implementation by the agency. Further, CBP continues to juggle its dual roles as gatekeeper to the United States with its long-standing role as a revenue collection agency. CBP also is tasked under new legislation with … [Read more...] about U.S. Customs and New Trump Administration: Your Top Ten Questions Answered
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) did not err in its conclusions that a claim element reciting “means” did not invoke § 112 ¶ 6 and that the challenged claims were unpatentable as obvious. Skky, Inc. v. MindGeek, s.a.r.l., Case No. 16-2018 (Fed. Cir., June 7, 2017) (Lourie, J).The patent at issue describes a method for delivering audio and/or visual files to a wireless device. Prosecution leading to the patent lasted almost seven years, and the Examiner eventually allowed the claims over the prior art after the claims were amended to recite a “wireless device means,” which the Examiner believed to be a means-plus-function term that would invoke 35 USC § 112 ¶ 6.In the institution decision, the PTAB determined that the “wireless device means” claim term did not invoke § 112 ¶ 6 “because ‘wireless device’ is not purely functional language, … [Read more...] about Skky Found the Limit for “Means” Terms
In a 3-2 decision divided along party lines, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that employees have a presumptive right to use their employers’ email systems during non-working time to discuss unionization and the terms and conditions of their employment. In so holding, a three-member majority of the Board explicitly overruled the Board’s Bush-era 2007 Register Guard decision in order to make “[n]ational labor policy . . . responsive to the enormous technological changes that are taking place in our society.” We explore the NLRB’s controversial decision below. BackgroundIn Purple Communications, Inc., the employer, a sign language interpretation service provider, permitted its employees to use its electronic systems, including its email systems, “for business purposes only,” and strictly prohibited them from using email to communicate with organizations that had “no professional or business … [Read more...] about Did the NLRB Really Just Grant Employees the Presumptive Right to Use Employer-Provided Email Systems? We Break Down the Purple Communications Decision and What it Means for Employers.
Ending months of speculation, President Donald Trump has nominated the Honorable Neil McGill Gorsuch to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Gorsuch would bring more than 10 years of judicial experience to the position. Still, the Supreme Court is sui generis, different than any other court in the land, and any nominee will be the subject of intense scrutiny as Court watchers assess the nominee’s record for clues as to how his or her vote will affect the landscape.CareerJudge Gorsuch is a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in Denver. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1988, a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1991, and a Doctorate of Legal Philosophy from Oxford University in 2004. Gorsuch clerked for D.C. Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle in 1991-1992 and then for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy in 1993-1994. He practiced law with Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, … [Read more...] about President Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch to U.S. Supreme Court
When Thomson Reuters announced its acquisition of one of India’s largest legal outsourcing firm late last year, we wanted to know: Is the legal information giant entering into direct competition with its law firm clients? Are general counsel eager to bypass traditional firms in favor of less expensive ancillary legal service providers for routine work? ABA Journal Podcast moderator Stephanie Francis Ward asks our guests what an outsourcing boom, both overseas and in the U.S., means for today’s large and small legal practices and the future of the profession. Business of law reporter Rachel Zahorsky @LawScribbler tweeted their conversation live using the Twitter hashtag #ABAJchat. In This Podcast: Michael D. Bell is the founder and managing principal of Fronterion LLC, independent legal process outsourcing advisory firm. Bell works with large law firms, helping them structure and implement legal outsourcing engagements. David Curle is the … [Read more...] about What Today’s Outsourcing Boom Means for Legal Practice (Podcast)
In recent weeks, there has been extensive news coverage on the Gang of Eight’s U.S. Immigration reform bill . If the new bill were to pass, U.S. Immigration (USCIS) would extend the amount of days a Canadian can spend in the U.S. from 180 to 240 per year. Many Canadian Snowbirds are delighted that their 6-month sunny winter may be extended to 8-months, pending the bill’s approval – and who could blame them? More sun, more beach, more golf and less snow! However, there may also be a costly tradeoff to this dream lifestyle in the form of double taxation and loss of health care coverage. There are numerous government organizations where the number of days spent within a specific jurisdiction can have a significant impact when applying its rules. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Provincial Health Care and USCIS are the key players when analyzing this topic. While it may seem logical that these departments work … [Read more...] about The New U.S. Immigration Bill – Impacts to Canadians Spending More Time in the U.S.
The sanctions directly affect companies involved in Russia's oil and gas industries by imposing new export license requirements.On August 6, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published major amendments to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that take immediate effect.The new EAR amendments significantly impact both U.S. and non-U.S. companies active in Russia's oil and gas industries by imposing new EAR export license requirements for Russian trade—regardless of whether or not the Russian party is an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated National (SDN) or under other OFAC limitations, such as those established by OFAC’s Sectoral Sanctions Identifications List.These new EAR provisions are in addition to those actions already taken by OFAC. This is important because OFAC sanctions against Ukraine and Russia control the activities of “U.S. Persons” as defined by OFAC to be any U.S. citizen, … [Read more...] about U.S. Department of Commerce Implements New Russian Oil and Gas Sanctions