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Benefit Plans: 2014 COLAs

November 4, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2014 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Most of the limits related to retirement plans are increased.

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Handling Outstanding E-Verify Cases Delayed by the Government Shutdown

October 17, 2013

Now that the federal government shutdown has ended, all E-Verify features and services are now available. Employers should resume regular use of E-Verify. Notably, the Form I-9 requirements were not affected by the federal government shutdown, and all employers must complete and retain a Form I-9 for every person hired to work for pay in the United States during the shutdown.

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Patent Publications: An Offensive and Defensive Tool

October 1, 2013

Everyone knows the adage “the best defense is a good offense.” That adage can now be applied to the field of patent procurement. United States patent laws recently underwent a radical transformation from a first to invent system to a first to file system.

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Impact of the Government Shutdown

October 1, 2013

As of today, October 1, 2013, the government began a partial shutdown of its agencies. Listed below are several agencies that will be affected:

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Insider Trading: What Public Companies Should Know Now

September 1, 2013

Recent high-profile insider trading cases brought by the SEC and the DOJ have resulted in hefty prison sentences, fines and settlements. The SEC has made it clear that insider trading continues to be a high enforcement priority and that it will pursue criminal trading aggressively. In particular, the SEC says it will continue to scrutinize trading around significant corporate transactions, such as a merger.

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New Guidance on Tax Treatment for Same-Sex Spouses

September 1, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued guidance in how the Federal Tax Code will tax employee benefits with respect to married same-sex couples. Same-sex couples who are legally married in a state or foreign jurisdiction will be treated as spouses under the Code, even if the couple currently resides in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

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A Sleeping Tax Technique Comes to Life

September 1, 2013

A new tax tool has been added to our transaction tool kit. It may prove useful in certain bank transactions where the acquired bank (or holding company) is an S Corporation. These new rules have been languishing in the wings since their addition to the Internal Revenue Code in 1986. Twenty-two years later, in 2008, Proposed Regulations provided a preview of the intended scope and detail of the provisions. The Proposed Regulations were finalized on May 15, 2013, and 27 years after Congress acted, the Code provisions have now become applicable. The Code Section was not self-executing and was therefore unusable until final regulations were adopted.

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Immigration Barriers for Same-Sex Couples Removed by DOMA Ruling

July 1, 2013

We are delighted to report that bi-national same-sex couples no longer have to choose between separation from their spouse or separation from the United States. Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, same-sex couples have been prevented from receiving federal immigration benefits. The limiting definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman found in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is no longer valid, granting same-sex spouses equal benefits.

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Changes on the Horizon for European Patenting

July 1, 2013

Just as people were starting to gain a sense of comfort dealing with changes to the U.S. patent system brought on by the America Invents Act of 2011, we now find that Europe is also planning changes to its own patent system. The changes will include introducing a unitary patent and a unified patent court. What are the further particulars regarding these changes and how should they factor into your European patent filing strategies?

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New E-Verify Email Tool Aligns with Recent Changes to Form I-9

July 1, 2013

As of July 1, 2013, employers participating in E-Verify are required to enter an employee’s email address into E-Verify if that employee voluntarily provided the information in Section 1 of Form I-9. This new data field was added to E-Verify to bring it in line with the new version of the Form I-9, which went into effect in March 2013 and added data fields for employees’ emails and telephone numbers in Section 1.

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