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New Harassment Policies Required in California

By | Blog, Business Law, Employment Law | No Comments

By Stephen C. Gerrish, Senior Counsel

Employers in California should immediately review their harassment policies to ensure compliance with California’s new harassment prevention regulations.

California law mandates that employers have an affirmative duty to prevent harassment and discrimination. Employers must take “all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment.” (Ca. Govt. Code section 12940(k)). With regard to sexual harassment, California law requires the posting of a state-developed poster and the distribution to employees of a state supplied pamphlet (form DFEH-185 brochure, or similar written notice). Now, new regulations have been promulgated that broaden an employer’s notification and internal policy requirements. These regulations are effective April 1, 2016, and require employers to “develop a harassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention policy that: Read More

Congress Corrals Scope Of Discovery With Recent Amendment To Federal Rule Of Civil Procedure 26

By | Blog, Litigation | No Comments

By Andrew P. Holland and Jared M. Ahern

Rule 26 may be the most important Federal Rule of Civil Procedure because it governs discovery, which is arguably the most important part of modern civil litigation. On December 1, 2015 Congress amended Rule 26 to make “proportionality” a more prominent part of the rule.1 Generally, proportionality requires striking a balance between the need for the information sought in discovery with the burden imposed on the party who would have to supply that information. Read More

Is This Fishing Lure Made By The Butter Company? Seventh Circuit Finds Butter And Fishing Tackle Companies’ Use Of The Same Trademark Is Not Likely To Confuse Consumers

By | Blog, Intellectual Property Law, Litigation | No Comments

By Andrew P. Holland and Jared M. Ahern

Is a consumer likely to be confused when a company that makes butter uses the same trademark as a company that makes fishing tackle (hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes)?1 The court’s answer in Hugunin v. Land O’ Lakes, Inc. was a resounding no.2 815 F.3d 1064 (7th Cir. 2016).

James Hugunin, along with two of his companies, sued the dairy company Land O’ Lakes, Inc. for trademark infringement after it demanded that he cease using the “LAND O LAKES” mark without a license.3 Land O’ Lakes counterclaimed for trademark dilution.4 The Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of all the claims, observing that “in this unusual case two firms sued each other though neither had been, is, or is likely to be harmed in the slightest by the other.”5 Read More

Selling Restricted Stock of Private Companies

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Anyone who holds restricted stock of a non-public company, such as Twitter, Box, or Palantir among others, probably has discovered it is possible to find buyers for their stock by contacting Second Market or Shares Post or other broker-dealers who specialize in assisting in the purchase and sale of restricted stock of companies experiencing rapid growth and share appreciation.

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