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U.S. Judicial Decisions and Federal Legislation

- Courts consider the use of drones to target terrorists and the applicability of workers’ compensation to undocumented workers.

Parody

- The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) settled a lawsuit with an activist who was selling merchandise using their logos. The NSA and DHS acknowledged that merchants who use images and names of government agencies on parody merchandise are not in violation of any federal laws.

Gun Rights

- The U.S. Supreme Court refused to re-enter Second Amendment gun controversies and denied to hear three cases seeking clarification on the scope of an individual’s right to have a gun for personal self-defense.

Drones

- A federal judge dismissed a case challenging the Obama administration’s use of unmanned drones to kill terrorism suspects overseas. In her opinion, Justice Rosemary M. Collyer wrote that the courts cannot create a remedy for targeted killings without intruding on the powers of the president and Congress to wage war.

Trade Secret Theft

- Trade secret theft costs industry billions of dollars each year and no company is immune to trade secret misappropriation. In a recent white paper, the Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade details how widespread trade secret theft has become and how companies can mitigate the risk of trade secret misappropriation.

Whistleblowers

- The U.S. Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s opinion, ruling that whistleblower protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act includes employees of a public company’s private contractors and subcontractors. The plaintiffs had been employed by private companies that manage mutual funds for public companies that have no employees. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the Court’s opinion, writing that its interpretation of the law “protects the employees of investment advisors, who are often the only firsthand witnesses to shareholder fraud involving mutual funds.”

Legal Report

- Courts consider whether a data broker is liable for a privacy breach, Congress tackles chemical safety, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission releases its annual enforcement and litigation report.

Concealed Carry

- A federal appeals court ruled that San Diego County’s policy of requiring “good cause” for concealed carry gun permits is unconstitutional. In its opinion, the court wrote that there is a constitutional right to carry a weapon, such as a handgun, outside the home for protection and that the Second Amendment protects Americans’ right to bear arms.

Gun Control

- A federal judge upheld Connecticut’s gun control law, which was passed after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In his ruling, the judge wrote that while the law “burdens” individuals’ Second Amendment rights, it is related to the government’s interest of public safety and crime control.

Data Brokers

- A federal court allowed a man to pursue legal action against an investigative service that provided his personal information to a data broker. The court ruled that the service “failed to use reasonable care” in distributing the man’s information, which was later used for an improper purpose.

Fire Prevention

- After two years of the worst wildfires in the state’s history, Colorado’s Legislative Council formed the Wildfire Matters Review Committee to review and propose legislation related to wildfire prevention, mitigation, and related matters. The committee’s findings were published in January 2014 and recommended changes to state law, including new bans on agriculture burning and fireworks.

Legal Report

- Court rulings on negligence and pregnancy discrimination are discussed. Also, Missouri requires schools to report threats, while Wisconsin intoduces a bill to protect student information.

Noncompete Agreements

- A state appeals court has ruled that a company’s noncompete agreement is unenforceable because it is overbroad. The court ruled that the company has “no protectable interest in public information” and “cannot deem by fiat all information…acquired through employment is confidential.”
 




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