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FERC Ability to Require Demand Response Thwarted

Most of us pay the same price to turn on the lights no matter what the time of day.  Even if electricity happens to be scarce at that moment, our cost to turn on that light doesn’t change.  But scarce resources cost more, and the high cost of turning on that light at that moment […]

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms DOJ’s Expansive Interpretation of “Foreign Official” under the FCPA

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals last Friday issued a ruling on a challenge to DOJ’s interpretation of “foreign official” under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, affirming a sentence imposed upon two defendants for bribing employees of Haiti’s state-owned telecommunications company. The ruling represents the first time an appellate court has ruled on whether state-owned […]

Pending Massachusetts Legislation Threatens Commercial Real Estate Transactions

In 1936, Sociologist Robert Merton published a paper entitled The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action.  Through the years, Merton’s analysis has morphed into the “law of unintended consequences” which serves as a warning that an action involving a complex system can result in unanticipated, typically negative, outcomes.  One example of the law of unintended […]

Implementation of BERDO Delayed

On April 29, 2014, we reported that Boston’s new energy ordinance (Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance or “BERDO”) was likely to face delays in implementation. The chief concern amongst building owners was that the May 15, 2014 reporting deadline was swiftly approaching and yet the infrastructure needed to implement the ordinance was left wanting. […]

Wyly Brothers Found Liable in SEC Fraud Case

On Monday, a New York federal jury found that Sam Wyly and his late brother Charles Wyly Jr. committed civil fraud by hiding share holdings in offshore trusts for over 13 years. The SEC sued the Wylys in 2010, after a six-year investigation.  The SEC alleged that the brothers used trusts and other entities in […]

When Health and Safety Standards Go Nuts

Between late 2008 and early 2009, more than 700 people became ill and at least nine died from consuming a lunchbox staple—peanut butter.  This tragedy, at first, provoked bewilderment.  It did not seem possible that an ingredient that showed up on countless food labels—granola bars, cookies, cereal, TV dinners, and even pet food—could slip past […]

Painting Yourself Into A Corner With The Small Business Administration In One Easy Step

Important advocacy tip: if you are a 50’ giant, don’t base your entire argument on the fact that the doggy-door was six inches too small. Also, if you’re appealing a small business NAICS code designation and you’re disqualified as a large business under the size standard for the current code, don’t argue for application of […]

The Limits of Wire Fraud: When Lying Isn’t Enough

Nancy Sadler and her husband Lester ran a pain management clinic in Kentucky.  The clinic was extraordinarily successful, treating more than 100 patients per day (not including the clinic’s “phantom” patients).  Patients came from hundreds of miles away, gathering in the clinic’s parking lot (where they traded drugs and prescription forms) before it opened.  After paying […]

New Investigative Powers for the New UK Anti-Trust Enforcement Authority – A Word of Warning

On 1 April 2014, the new Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) came into operation in the UK.  The CMA will be the UK’s lead competition body and is responsible for competition enforcement (amongst other things). The new CMA has brought with it increased enforcement powers.  One of the most notable new powers is the power […]

SEC Urges Cooperation with First Individual Non-Prosecution Agreement

Last week, the SEC for the first time entered into a non-prosecution agreement with an individual involved in an insider trading scheme.  In 2011, eBay  held talks with executives of the e-commerce marketing services company GSI Commerce, Inc. (“GSIC”) regarding  an acquisition  of GSIC by eBay.  GSIC’s CEO, Christopher Saridakis, tipped several friends, who made more than […]