August 2009 Client Alerts

September 1, 2009

Authored by: Bryan Cave

The Buying and Selling of Distressed Notes

The volume of purchase and sale of performing and non-performing real estate loans has picked up dramatically over the past year as banks seek to shrink their balance sheets as their capital base falls and other banks and investors seek to take advantage of the sale of assets from failing banks. What are the typical features of such agreements and what are the interests of buyers and sellers in such transactions?

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Real Estate Banking, Business and Public Finance Financial Institutions Client Service Group on August 5, 2009.

Group Health Plans: Compliance Items

Several important changes in governing law and regulations during the past year require changes to group health plans in the upcoming enrollment period. Below is a brief description of these major changes which require implementation in 2009 or 2010.

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Client Service Group on August 20, 2009.

New York Restaurant Employer Briefing — Wage Payment Requirements

New York restauranteurs operate in one of the most regulated employment environments in the country. In addition to the federal, state and local laws applicable to all employers, such as those prohibiting employment discrimination, governing the payment of wages, workplace safety and leaves of absence, New York-based restaurants also must comply with regulations applicable only to the restaurant industry. This extensive maze of regulation can be exploited by plaintiffs’ lawyers who search for unwitting violations. This has led recently to many lawsuits that are costly to defend, and which seek not only damages for employees, but also fees and costs for the attorneys who bring these suits. The threat of litigation is compounded by the fact that many lawsuits are brought as collective actions on behalf of several employees, which can greatly add to potential damages and to the complexity of the defense.

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Labor and Employment Client Service Group on July 31, 2009.

Department of Energy Offers Funding Opportunities

With credit markets still tight, utilities, other energy project developers, technology companies and others interested in pursuing renewable energy projects, “smart grid” development, electric transmission improvements, or energy efficiency enhancement should consider funding opportunities recently offered by the Department of Energy.

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Environmental Client Service Group on August 3, 2009.

New Data-Security Law Brings New Data Notification Laws to Missouri Businesses, Including Health Care Businesses

The Missouri governor recently signed into law House Bill 62, a part of which makes Missouri the 45th state to adopt a data breach notification statute. Although the notification requirements are similar to those in other states with such laws, the broad coverage of Missouri’s statute, which goes into effect on August 28, 2009, is noteworthy for any company which does business in Missouri and/or with Missouri residents.

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Antitrust & US Trade Client Service Group on August 5, 2009.

Record $9.4 Million DHL Export Settlement Questions the Benefit of Joint Agency Settlements

The Bureau of Industry and Security and the Office of Foreign Assets Control have entered a record-setting joint agreement with the global shipping company DHL settling thousands of alleged export control and economic sanctions violations involving Iran, Sudan and Syria. The agreement, which calls for DHL to pay $9.4 million, audit its trade compliance and report on other violations found, is noteworthy because of the settlement amount and questions it raises about settling with both agencies simultaneously.

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s International Trade Client Service Group on August 7, 2009.

New York State Human Rights Law Amended: Civil Penalties More Broadly Available, Protected Category Added

The New York State Human Rights Law (“HRL”) has been amended to make available civil penalties in all matters covered by the HRL. Also, one’s status as the victim of domestic violence is now added to the list of HRL protected categories that also includes race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, military status, arrest or conviction record and predisposing genetic characteristics.

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Labor and Employment Client Service Group on August 10, 2009.

WTO Panel Rules Against China on Imports of Film, Recordings and Publications

In a report issued on August 12, 2009, a dispute settlement panel of the World Trade Organization found China to be in violation of its free trade commitments with respect to restrictions on the importation and distribution of films for both theatrical release and home entertainment, sound recordings and publications such as books, magazines and newspapers.

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s International Trade Client Service Group on August 13, 2009.

OSHA National Emphasis Program Targets Workplaces that Use Highly Hazardous Chemicals

On July 27, 2009, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), launched a National Emphasis Program that will focus the agency’s inspection and enforcement activities on facilities which use highly hazardous chemicals and are subject to OSHA’s process safety management regulations (29 C.F.R. Section 1910.119).

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Environmental and Labor & Employment Client Service Groups on August 13, 2009.

Reminder: Beginning July 1, 2009, Defendants in Civil Lawsuits and Their Insurers Are Responsible for Reporting Payments to Medicare Beneficiaries

The Unites States Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 expands the authority of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to recover certain payments by civil defendants and their insurers.

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s BC Aviation Client Service Group on August 14, 2009.

New CPSIA Requirements for Children’s Products

On August 14, 2009, new requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act went into effect for manufacturers, importers and distributors of children’s products (defined as consumer products designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger). These new safety requirements, aimed at making children’s products safer and increasing consumer confidence, will be “vigorously enforced”, warned newly-confirmed Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s Antitrust/U.S. Trade Client Service Group on August 18, 2009.

Court Holds for First Time That OFAC Blocking Order Was Unconstitutional

In an unprecendented case, a federal judge has held that the Office of Foreign Assets Control violated the U.S. Constitution by blocking a company’s assets without obtaining a warrant and by not providing adequate notice of the blocking order or opportunity for the company to be heard. The company involved is an Ohio-based charity that OFAC says coordinated activities with Hamas leaders and made contributions to Hamas-affiliated organizations.

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s International Trade Client Service Group on August 20, 2009.

New EC Dual-Use Regulation Comes Into Effect

On August 27, 2009, the new “recast” EC dual-use export control regulation became effective. It replaces the current Council Regulation (EC) No 1334/2000, as amended, relating to control of exports of dual-use items from the European Union. The new regulation is directly applicable in the member states.

For more information, please read the client alert published by Bryan Cave LLP’s International Trade Client Service Group on August 26, 2009.