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A US Data Privacy Law That Bites, Hopefully

Despite industry groups’ and tech companies’ numerous efforts over the past few months to water down and ultimately halt the first-ever U.S. data privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA” or “the Act”), the CCPA now has its final language set on September 13, 2019, the end of California’s legislative calendar, and will go into effect on January 1, 2020. The goal is to give California residents control of their personal information collected and processed by companies.

The Shift from Sectoral to Comprehensive Data Protection in Thailand

Ever since the enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union, data privacy and data protection have become a hot topic for businesses and countries around the world. In the digital age where personal data is constantly collected, processed, and used, the need for strong data collection regulations has never been more important. Many countries have begun to enact data protection laws, and the most recent addition to a comprehensive data protection act is seen in Thailand. On February 28th, 2019 Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly approved the very first comprehensive data protection law in the country, the Thailand Personal Data Protection Act, which will be effective after a one-year transition period to help ensure compliance.

The Many Ethical Questions Arising from the Conduct of Michael Avenatti

By now, Michael Avenatti is a household name. He shot to fame in 2018 while relentlessly representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her pursuit of the invalidation of a 2016 non-disclosure agreement regarding an alleged affair with President Donald Trump. Avenatti is famously brash and confrontational, and since his rapid rise to fame, numerous allegations of professional misconduct have come to the public’s attention. While he has avoided formal discipline thus far, it seems like only a matter of time until Avenatti faces some consequences for his actions.

Charitable Solicitation: Do Threatened Penalties and Sanctions Ever Actually Reach the Non-Profit Organizations Misappropriating Funds?

In order to operate, non-profit organizations rely heavily on the ability to fundraise. The government leaves the regulation of that “charitable solicitation” to individual states, with most requiring formal registration to engage in such activities. With firms vying for organizations’ business to hire consultants to obtain funds, and ethics and oversight firms highlighting the careful approaches that must be utilized to appropriately raise funds for non-profit operations, charitable organizations may find themselves confused and threatened in the space between needing charitable solicitation to survive and maintaining regulatory compliance to engage in the activity itself. While the threats of penalties and sanctions are large and imposing, it appears that few organizations ever face their true weight. Charitable organizations must, of course, comply with each state of registration, but is the fear instilled equal to the reality of the consequences of non-compliance?

The Issue with Attorney Conflicts of Interest in the Entertainment Industry

All attorneys, in every jurisdiction in which they are admitted to the bar and in every area of practice, have an obligation to comply with that jurisdiction’s Rules of Professional Conduct.  However, the past few decades have shed light on the unusual practices of attorneys in the entertainment industry, particularly on how they handle conflicts of interest.  Generally, these attorneys encourage clients to waive conflicts of interest, and those clients are all too happy to do so.  This practice only serves to further blur the lines in an already complicated area of legal ethics. 

Tax Compliance During the Partial Government Shutdown

On December 22, 2018, for the third time in a year, the United States government shut down. Almost two years into his presidency, President Trump, feeling pressure to accomplish one of his many promises from the campaign trail, requested $5.7 billionfrom Congress to fund his proposed wall at the border of the United States and Mexico. Following negotiation efforts by Senate Democrats, the standoff between the President and the Senate ended in a financial default, triggering a partial shutdown. The shutdown became the longest in U.S. history on January 19, 2019, beating the previous 21-day recordset by the 1995-1996 shutdown. The shutdown left an estimated 380,000 government employeeslocked out of work without pay and an even greater 420,000 employees working for no compensation at all, including employees of the IRS. With one of the United States’ most important governmental bodies being almost completely stalled by a lapse in funding, it begs the question: what happens to taxes during a shutdown?

Corporate Compliance: How Important are Relationships?

Regulatory compliance requires investment, but it can also mean opportunity. The level of investment looks different depending on the industry. One consistency covering all industries impacted by regulation is the potential benefit resulting from relationships with compliance officers and regulatory officials. Embracing compliance means embracing the relationships that follow.

ABA Rule 8.4(g): States Concerned that Anti-Discriminatory Intent Not Balanced with Constitutional Concerns

Arizona and Idaho are the most recent in a long line of states declining to adopt the American Bar Association’s (ABA) new Model Rule 8.4(g), which is being called the “anti-discrimination” rule.  This rule was adopted by the ABA to specifically address harassment and discrimination based on race, religion, sex, disability, and LGBTQ status in all conduct related to the practice of law.  However, because of the broad construction and application of the rule, many states and attorneys have concerns that compliance with this anti-discrimination rule will infringe on their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religion.

Compliance in the Age of #MeToo

Last year the #MeToo movement swept across the country, sparking national attention and debate. Fast forward 11 months and we still grapple with breaking news which exposes the next unsuspecting top executive of workplace misconduct. Victims are finally breaking their silence, leading corporations to reassess corporate culture. In this modern age, compliance is not enough. Corporations might need to reconsider decades old written policies and training programs to ensure safety, success, and growth in the workplace.