Month:

March 2018

Dodging Pitfalls on the Path to Success: Entrepreneurs and E-Commerce

The number of Americans who purchase goods online is steadily rising.  Recent data published by the U.S. Department of Commerce stated that retail e-commerce had increased by 16.2 percent in 2Q 2017 from 2Q 2016.  The report also stated that as a whole retail e-commerce had risen from 3.5 percent of total quarterly retail sales in 2008 to 9 percent as of 2Q 2017.  In hard numbers, 2Q 2017 e-commerce generated 111.5 billion dollars in sales.  Showing strong growth in under 10 years, these staggering numbers indicate that e-commerce has started to creep up on the traditional brick and mortar (BM) style of retail which has so long dominated the retail landscape.  One can only look at the financial data and stock charts of traditional BM stores as well as the REITs that own the malls and land these stores call home to see there has been some effect with this shift.

How Would a New Bipartisan Bill that Encourages the DEA to Increase Opioid Quotas Affect Drug Manufacturer Efforts to Remain Compliant?

After years in an opioid crisis, the United States now faces an opioid epidemic that has left the government and public desperate for relief and a workable solution. A group of senators hopes to be part of the solution with the introduction of a bipartisan bill that aims to better enable the DEA to establish opioid quotas. Despite already-present struggles to effectively manage its quota system and policies, the DEA would be given significantly more responsibility under this bill. Drug manufacturers, directly responsible for following DEA, FDA, and OIG regulations to hopefully resolve the epidemic, will need to grow their compliance efforts and create responsive solutions to remain both profitable and compliant.

New Senate Dealings Prepare to Ease Banking Regulations Under the Dodd-Frank Act

New discussions in the U.S. Senate indicate a likely repeal of 2010’s controversial Dodd-Frank Act. Designed in response to the 2008 economic crisis, the Dodd-Frank Act implemented regulations on banks and lending agencies to provide greater financial stability and consumer protection. The fundamental purpose of Dodd-Frank was to increase oversight and transparency among financial institutions. However, the Dodd-Frank Act has been the target of much criticism, most notably that its imposed regulations stifle the growth of smaller institutions. As of March 2018, Senate discussions indicate an intent to lay the foundations to remove this regulation.

TAX TALK SERIES: IRS Clarifies Post-TCJA Confusion on Home Equity Interest

On December 20, 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) designed to decrease the taxable rate for corporations and individuals, and significantly limited allowable deductions. Since this change to the Tax Code was one of the largest since the Reagan era, the Internal Revenue Service will need to publish many regulations and advisories in the coming months to better clarify provisions of the TCJA. This multi-part series will explore prominent IRS regulations and advisories as they relate to the TCJA, and what these regulations and advisories mean for both individual and corporate taxpayers. 

Financing a Funeral: FTC Protection Against Providers

One of the most difficult things many of us will experience in our lifetime is the death of a loved one. Whether unexpected or a drawn out farewell, it is a situation no one can be full prepared to handle. In this moment of extreme vulnerability, most people begin the process of planning a funeral. Society has placed an incredible amount of faith in funeral directors to make sure the wishes of our loved ones are met and insure a memorable service for the living. However, this is not always the case.

The Volcker Rule: Where we stand and where we could go

The Volcker Rule: Where we stand and where we could go John Martin Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law J.D. 2018   On January 24, 2018, a coalition of 43 states’ community banking associations sent a letter to majority leader Senator Mitch McConnell and minority leader Senator Charles Schumer asking for bipartisan collaboration …
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Building a Compliance Framework from the Ground Up

Large companies generally have well established programs and systems in place to remain compliant with ever-changing regulations within their industry. But at a time when the percentage of job seekers starting their own businesses is at a recent high, young firms and start-ups are at a disadvantage when it comes to compliance, having to build a system from the ground up. In order to have an effective compliance program, an organization must “exercise due diligence to prevent and detect criminal conduct” and must establish and maintain an organizational culture that “encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance with the law.” Thus, management not only has to focus on structure, but also culture in building their compliance systems.

Deregulation of Uranium Mining or: How I Learned to Stop Regulating and Love the Bomb

Compliance professionals all over the country are paying close attention to the Trump administration’s deregulatory campaign. While deregulation in finance has received the most media attention, the uranium mining industry has been a quiet beneficiary of the President’s new regulatory scheme.

Bracket Busted: NCAA Compliance the Clear Loser of March Madness

For the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), March is supposed to be a showcase of the best about college sports, and the ideals the NCAA claims up uphold.  March is about student-athletes representing their schools, in a tournament full of upsets, uplifting stories, and some of the more dramatic moments in sports.  However, this March, the spectacle of March Madness is overshadowed by headlines of criminal conduct, corruption, rules violations, and plenty of criticism for the NCAA.  While many of these stories are just beginning to unfold, there are several ethical and compliance issues raised, which have application to all areas of compliance.

Waters of the United States

The Obama administration’s “Clean Water Rule” was designed to control pollution in approximately 60% of the country’s bodies of water. The Rule primarily extended current federal regulations to smaller bodies of water, requiring that pollution of rivers and wetlands be held to the same environmental penalties as larger bodies of water. However, the Trump administration has suspended enforcement of the regulation for two years. During that time, they will re-consider the definition of “waters of the United States.” The Trump administration intends to release a new version this year.