• September 1, 2014 News
    Employee Benefits and ERISA

    Admit it: Your company, as a 401(k) sponsor, and the company decision makers who direct plan operations (including in-house trustees), are ERISA fiduciaries. Don’t quibble about this but take a step back and figure out what to do about it.

    Read More
  • September 1, 2014 News Employment Alerts
    Employment Law

    Starting on January 1, 2015, Illinois employers and staffing agencies are no longer allowed to ask any question about an applicant’s criminal history until after an interview or conditional job offer has been made. The “Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act” (otherwise known as “Ban the Box”) provides steep monetary penalties for any violations. If the job application your company currently uses asks whether an applicant has any criminal convictions, this language must be removed no later than January 1, 2015. Please contact Golan & Christie if you would like assistance in updating your company’s application forms.

    Read More
  • September 1, 2014 News Employment Alerts

    In the July/August 2014 issue of Inc. Magazine, business owners were given a stern warning that any company with a social media policy that hasn’t been updated in the last 18 months is probably violating the law. The ongoing mission of today’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seems to be finding and penalizing companies whose social media restrictions go too far.

    Read More
  • September 1, 2014 News IP Alerts
    Intellectual Property

    In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, SCOTUS affirmed a Federal Circuit decision invaliding a patent for using a computer to execute a well-established method of settling investment trades. Justice Thomas, writing for the Court, said that “merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform that abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.” The plaintiff in the case, Alice Corp., is a non-practicing entity (also known as a “Patent Troll” because they use their patents to accuse others of patent infringement for large settlements or long-term licensing deals). Some commentators are praising the decision as bringing clarity to the gray areas in patent law that Patent Trolls use to intimidate businesses into paying them for licenses. Those in the software industry are concerned that the decision will stifle innovation.

    Read More
  • September 1, 2014 News
    Reorganization & Bankruptcy

    Join ABI in the Windy City this fall for the Seventh Annual Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference! This day-long educational program, devoted entirely to consumer bankruptcy professionals, will focus on current issues affecting debtors and creditors in consumer cases.

    Read More
  • September 1, 2014 Newsletters
    • New Illinois Caregiver Law
    • What is a 401(k) Fiduciary to Do?
    • New Illinois 'Ban The Box' Law goes Into Effect January 1
    • Social Media Policies Continue to Make Headlines
    • U.S. Supreme Court Decision Puts Software Patents In Jepordy
    • Even Established Trademarks Can Evoke The Wrong Message
    • Agence France-Presse And Getty Images Liable For Copywright
    • False Positive Reviews Are Just As Bad As False Negative Reviews
    • Best Practices in Client Advocay: From Beginning to Bitter End
    Read More
  • June 1, 2014 News

    Before becoming an attorney, I spent several years intimately involved in running my family’s marketing and advertising business. On many occasions we found ourselves with upset clients, annoyed vendors, disgruntled employees and unsuccessful business relationships and some of these disputes led to lawsuits. There was no greater source of anxiety than carrying the weight of threatened or pending litigation.

    Read More
  • June 1, 2014 News Employment Alerts
    Employment Law

    In recent years, the number of sexual misconduct and abuse claims against colleges and universities, religious institutions and other organizations that regularly interact with minors, including summer camps and country clubs, have become more frequent and high-profile. In addition to the horrible impact on the victims of such abuse, the institution where the abuse occurred can have significant liability.

    Read More
  • June 1, 2014 News Employment Alerts
    Employment Law

    President Obama announced two executive orders which will have a significant impact on any employer who is a federal contractor. The first, which goes into effect on January 1, 2015, raised the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 per hour. The current federal minimum wage for all other employers is $7.25, unless the applicable state minimum wage is higher (the minimum set by individual states varies, with Illinois currently at $8.25 and the District of Columbia, the country’s highest, currently at $9.50).

    Read More
  • June 1, 2014 News Employment Alerts
    Employment Law

    Employers in Illinois will have to comply with a new law, starting January 1, 2015. The recently passed amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act provides that it is a civil rights violation for an employer to refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee that are based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, if she so requests, with the advice of her health care provider. The term “reasonable accommodations” means actions which would enable an employee to perform the activities involved in her job and may include providing light duty work, acquisition or modification of equipment, job restructuring, more frequent breaks or a modified work schedule. The law provides an exception to the reasonable accommodations if the employer can show that it would impose an undue hardship on the business.

    Read More
  • June 1, 2014 News IP Alerts
    Intellectual Property

    In two companion decisions, Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Heatlh Management System, Inc. and Octaine Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., SCOTUS decided that trial courts have discretion to determine attorney’s fees awarded to a successful party in patent litigation. The decisions eased previously rigorous standards and are considered a blow to “patent trolls.” A patent troll is a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, even though he does not manufacture the products or supply the services in the patents in question.

    Read More
  • June 1, 2014 Newsletters
    • Lessons From A Family Business Owner
    • Do We Have To Train Employees To Spot Potential Sexual Misconduct?
    • Employers With Federal Contracts Must Follow New Executive Orders On Increased Minimum Wage And Anti-Discrimination
    • Illinois Passes New Pregnancy Accommodation Law
    • U.S. Supreme Court Decides Fee Shifting In Patent Cases
    • Using Selfies For Business Promotion
    • Fyretv Sues Amazon Claiming Trademark Infringement
    • U.S. Supreme Court Puts Raging Bull Infringement Suit Back Into The Ring
    Read More
  • May 22, 2014 Publications
    Employment Law

    Columbia Law School, Blue Sky Blog, featured in the Securities Mosaic® Blogwatch

    Read More
  • March 20, 2014 Publications
    MarketWatch
  • January 1, 2014 News

    In April 2012, Congress passed the JOBS Act, which included Title III that created a new securities offering exemption under Section 4(a)(6) that sets the framework for equity crowdfunding.

    Read More
  • January 1, 2014 News Employment Alerts
    Employment Law

    On January 1, 2014, the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, 410 ILCS 130/1, et seq., (the “Act”) became effective, allowing registered marijuana users to purchase marijuana from a registered, licensed dispensary. The Act specifically prohibits employers from discriminating against registered users and caregivers solely on the basis of their status as a registered user or caregiver unless discrimination is necessary to comply with federal law or the employer will lose federal funding.

    Read More
  • January 1, 2014 News Employment Alerts
    Employment Law

    Even non-union employers can be liable under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which protects certain comments by employees about their wages and working conditions. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency which enforces the NLRA, has ramped up its enforcement efforts and is targeting employers that have broad policies limiting employees’ protected speech. Specifically, the NLRB is scrutinizing employers’ social media, workplace investigation, confidentiality, media and anti-disparagement policies. For instance, the NLRB recently ruled that a blanket prohibition on employees discussing workplace investigations violated the NLRA because it bans protected speech. Employers should carefully review their policies with their attorneys in light of the NLRB’s heightened scrutiny.

    Read More
  • January 1, 2014 News

    Golan & Christie acts as Registered Agent with the Illinois Secretary of State for many of our corporate clients, receiving and preparing their entity’s annual reports each year. We recently received correspondence from a firm called Corporate Records Service targeting Illinois corporations in a scam to collect a fee for preparation of “Annual Minutes Record Form.”

    Read More
  • January 1, 2014 Newsletters
    • Is Your Business a Good Candidate for Crowdfunding?
    • Illinois Employers Prohibited From Discriminating Against Registered Medical Marijuana Users
    • The National Labor Relations Board Is Targeting Overly-Broad Employment Policies
    • Golan & Christie Welcomes New Partner
    • Statewide Corporate Scam
    Read More
  • December 14, 2013 Publications
    LEADINGLAWYERS.COM
    Reorganization & Bankruptcy
  • December 13, 2013 Publications
    Northwest Herald
    Corporate Law & Governance

    Northwest Herald

    Read More
  • December 4, 2013 Publications
    Corporate Law & Governance

    The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation

    Read More
  • September 1, 2013 News

    In our last newsletter we discussed the Supreme Court landmark decision in United States V. Windsor, in which the Court held the terms “marriage” and “spouse” cannot exclude same-sex partners. As a result of the Court’s decision, each state may determine whether or not to permit or prohibit same-sex marriages.

    Read More
  • September 1, 2013 News Employment Alerts
    Employment Law

    Beginning on January 5, 2014, individuals in Illinois can apply for permits allowing them to carry concealed weapons under the recently passed Firearm Concealed Carry Act. Business owners can prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons on company property if they post a sign indicating that the carrying of firearms is prohibited at the location.

    Read More
  • September 1, 2013 News Employment Alerts
    Employment Law

    As you’ve likely already heard, the Affordable Care Act’s mandate for employers to provide health insurance to all employees has been delayed one year. But did you remember to provide notice to your employees of the healthcare exchanges by October 1st? If not, the good news is that there’s currently no penalty for failing to issue the notice. However, that is likely to change, so you should issue the notice now to all existing employees and make sure to include it in the first day paperwork given to new employees in the future. A copy of the model notice is available on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website here: www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/.

    Read More