Blog Articles

Recent Blog Articles

Arizona Supreme Court Affirms Lower Court's Ruling on Death Penalty

08/12/2019 - By: Stephen Richer

On Wednesday morning, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled to uphold the death sentence of Alan Matthew Champagne who killed two people and then buried them in his mother’s backyard, only to be discovered 20 months later by a landscaper. In affirming the lower court’s ruling, the Court rejected Champagne’s argument that Arizona’s death penalty violated both the U.S. Constitution and the Arizona Constitution. Champagne also lost on a host of other challenges that the Court assessed and rejected.

End of the Line? A Halt to Funding the Phoenix Light Rail Expansion Now Officially on the Ballot

07/29/2019 - By: Stephen Richer

The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled that a Phoenix light rail ballot initiative can proceed to the polls in August 2019. According to the Court, the proponents of the ballot initiative did not violate ARS 19-118.01(A) by paying signature gatherers per signature because that prohibition only applies to statewide ballot initiatives, not city initiatives. Nor did the initiative supporters violate ARS 19-102(A) through a misleading 100-word descriptive statement.

The ballot initiative before the Court in Associated General Contractors v. City of Phoenix and Building a Better Phoenix seeks to end all funding for the expansion of the city’s light rail system. If passed by Phoenix voters, current light rail operations would remain, but planned expansions would be scrapped (listen to this AZCentral podcast for more details).

New USPTO Rules for Foreign Applicants Ensure Compliance With U.S. Use Requirements

Intellectual Property
07/29/2019 - By: Oliver Bajracharya, David Jackson

The impetus for the upcoming August 3, 2019 rule change requiring all foreign-domiciled trademark applicants and registrants to retain licensed counsel in the United States is an increase in foreign trademark applicants acting pro se and who are failing to comply with the rules of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Many countries …

New Hampshire Sports Betting Legislation Approved

Commercial Gaming
07/12/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

The governor of New Hampshire signed sports betting legislation, HB 480, on July 12, 2019. The new law authorizes sports betting at retail locations and mobile wagering while located within the geographic boundaries of the state. If you would like to discuss this recent legislation, please contact authors Karl Rutledge at krutledge@lrrc.com, Glenn Light at …

The Federal Circuit Clamps Down on Broadening Reissues – Or Does It?

Intellectual Property
07/01/2019 - By: Kyle Kellar

By Kyle Kellar and Christopher Underwood Last week, the Federal Circuit, in Forum US v. Flow Valve[i], affirmed the lower court’s ruling invalidating a reissue patent because the broadened claims added in the reissue failed to satisfy the original patent requirement under 35 U.S.C. § 251. As a brief refresher, the original patent requirement requires that …

SCOTUS Decision on "Immoral or Scandalous" Trademarks

Intellectual Property
06/25/2019 - By: David Jackson

What exactly is an “immoral” or “scandalous” trademark, and should the government be the arbiter of making such a determination? In the second landmark trademark decision in two years, the Supreme Court invalidated the Lanham Act’s prohibition on registering “immoral” or “scandalous” trademarks. Iancu v. Brunetti, 588 U.S. ___ (2019). The Court’s decision expands the …

Federal Water Quality – WOTUS Rule Updates Leave Some States in Flux

Energy & Natural Resources
06/24/2019 - By: Dietrich Hoefner

Southern District of Texas Remands Obama WOTUS Rule The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas decided on May 28, 2019, that the Obama-era Clean Water Rule defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS Rule), see 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054 (June 29, 2015), must be remanded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and …

DOJ Extends Deadline to Enforce Wire Act Reinterpretation, Yet Again

Commercial Gaming
06/13/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

In light of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission Wire Act ruling issued on June 3, 2019, the Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a new memorandum on June 12, 2019 extending the June 14, 2019 deadline for implementation of the Wire Act reinterpretation. The last extension we reported was issued on …

Growing a Business to Multiple Locations Can Be Both Exciting and Daunting

06/12/2019 - By: Amy Altshuler

From a business perspective, many factors must be considered when growing a business to multiple locations, and this will vary based on the product or service being provided.

Podcast: Cybersecurity Panel with Doug DePeppe, Hilary Wells, Ed Barkel and Bill Nelson on the Business Leaders Podcast

Cybersecurity attorneys Doug DePeppe, Hilary Wells, Bill Nelson and Ed Barkel explore why businesses must start paying attention to their 'Cyber Hygiene' on the latest episode of the Business Leaders Podcast.

2018 Wire Act Reinterpretation Set Aside by U.S. District Court in New Hampshire

Commercial Gaming
06/05/2019

On June 3, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro issued a 60-page ruling rejecting the 2018 Wire Act Interpretation that stated the Wire Act applied to all forms of gambling rather than only sports betting. As mentioned in our prior blogs, this case was brought in New Hampshire by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission …

Federal Loot Box Legislation Introduced: The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act

Commercial Gaming
05/28/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

Language for the “The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act” was introduced on May 23, 2019 by Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), along with Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). This bill purports to ban the exploitation of children through “pay-to-win” and “loot box” monetization practices by the video game industry. The rules would …

eSports Competitions Legislation Approved in Maryland

Commercial Gaming
05/14/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

On April 30, 2019, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland approved House Bill 48 titled “eSports Act.”[1] The eSports Act defines “eSports Competition” as a competition involving video games, including first-person shooters, real-time strategy games, and multi-player online battle arenas in which: (1) players compete against each other; and (2) the dominant element determining the results …

Proposed Loot Boxes & Microtransactions Gaming Bill in Missouri

Commercial Gaming
05/13/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

Josh Hawley, a United States Senator from Missouri, recently announced plans to introduce a bill titled “The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act.” The bill would, in essence, make it illegal for games “played by minors” to include loot boxes or pay-to-win microtransactions. How exactly the bill would achieve this is unclear as there is …

NJ Attorney General Sues DOJ For Failure To Respond To FOIA Request Regarding The Recent Wire Act Interpretation

Commercial Gaming
05/08/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal filed suit on May 7, 2019 against the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for its failure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request filed on February 5, 2019. The request sought documents relating to Sheldon Adelson’s lobbying efforts regarding the recent DOJ interpretation of the …

New Hampshire Lottery Commission and NeoPollard Interactive Respond to DOJ’s Refusal to Determine Wire Act Applicability to State Lotteries as Requested by the Court

Commercial Gaming
05/03/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

Last week the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) refused to rule out future prosecution of state lotteries and their employees and vendors under the 1961 Wire Act. “The potential Wire Act liability of state agencies, employees, and vendors involves the evaluation of numerous complicated and important issues, and the department intends to give these issues …

The Future of Loot Boxes in the State of Washington May Lie within its Courts

Commercial Gaming
04/29/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

The Quinault Indian Nation has filed a lawsuit against Valve Corporation in the State of Washington alleging the popular game developer engages in unregulated and unlicensed online gambling. The complaint, filed on April 3, 2019, claims the introduction of the loot box system in CS:GO “was a deliberate attempt . . . to increase its …

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Gaming Practice named to Chambers USA 2019

Commercial Gaming
04/25/2019 - By: Karl Rutledge

We are honored to have our Gaming and Licensing practice recognized by Chambers USA 2019, and for Karl Rutledge being recognized in the USA – Nationwide category. We are excited to announce that 25 attorneys and 10 practice areas of our firm, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, have been recognized by Chambers USA 2019, one of the most …

Executive Order Will Impact Clean Water Act Permitting Process

Energy & Natural Resources
04/18/2019 - By: Carla Consoli

On April 10, 2019, President Trump signed an executive order that alters how Section 401 review is performed under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  Currently, applicants must seek State authorization of a project pursuant to Section 401 of the CWA from the State in which the project is located. Section 401 delegates federal authority to the …

U.S. DOJ Claims Reinterpretation of Wire Act Did Not Address State Lotteries and Its Vendors

Commercial Gaming
04/12/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to leave the gaming industry scratching their heads as it now claims the Office of Legal Counsel’s (OLC) November 2018 Opinion did not address the Wire Act’s applicability to state lotteries and their vendors. This assertion came in a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, dated …

Cap’n Crunch vs. Kap’n Kronik

Intellectual Property
04/08/2019 - By: Drew Wilson

Intellectual Property attorney Drew Wilson details the difficulties of ongoing IP conflicts between major brands and somewhat underground edibles manufacturers. The article was originally published in the April edition of Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine. Read the full article by clicking here.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property – Law Practices Booming

Intellectual Property
04/01/2019 - By: Michael McCue

Trademark and IP litigation attorney Michael McCue shares his thoughts on the growth and importance of IP-related legal services in Nevada with Nevada Business Magazine. Read the full article by clicking here.

Arizona Supreme Court Clarifies Jurisdiction of Arizona Corporation Commission

Energy & Natural Resources
03/29/2019 - By: Stanley Lutz

On March 28, 2019, the Arizona Supreme Court filed a decision in the case, City of Surprise v. Arizona Corp. Comm’n, No. CV-18-0137-SA, that addressed the Arizona Corporation Commission’s jurisdiction in cases in which a public service corporation is being condemned by a municipality. In late 2017, the City of Surprise (“City”) entered into a …

New Mexico Legislature Passes Senate Joint Resolution 1

Energy & Natural Resources
03/18/2019

On March 14, 2019, the New Mexico legislature passed Senate Joint Resolution 1 that, if approved by voters, would change the New Mexico Constitution to require appointed instead of elected Commissioners to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.  Under the resolution, commencing in January 1, 2023, the Commission shall consist of three members appointed by …

DOJ Extends Deadline for Implementation of Wire Act Reinterpretation

Commercial Gaming
03/04/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

We previously reported that, as a result of the 2018 Opinion, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a memorandum on January 15, 2019 stating that Department of Justice (“DOJ”) attorneys should refrain for ninety (90) days  from pursuing any actions against persons and businesses that relied on the 2011 interpretation in order to allow them …

Nevada Touts in Less of a Bout

Commercial Gaming
02/25/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

As noted in a prior blog,[1] Senate Bill 46 (SB 46)[2] was filed to regulate services that provide advice on wagering in racing or sporting events. SB 46 would require tout service providers and persons involved with the operations to register with the Nevada Gaming Commission (the Commission) and allow the Commission to regulate how …

New Hampshire Becomes First State to Sue DOJ Over New Interpretation of the Wire Act

Commercial Gaming
02/19/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

As noted in our prior blog post, the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Office of Legal Counsel (“OLC”), in a controversial move, recently released an opinion overturning its 2011 interpretation of the federal Wire Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1084. The DOJ’s reinterpretation states that the Wire Act applies to any form of gambling using wire communications …

Arizona Lawmakers Debate Legal Sports Betting

Commercial Gaming
02/14/2019

This week tribal gaming and Indian law attorney, Steve Hart was interviewed by KJZZ to discuss the pending SB 1158 bill on sports betting on tribal land in Arizona. To listen to the interview please click here.

DOJ’s Reinterpretation of the Wire Act Draws Swift Lottery and State Opposition

Commercial Gaming
02/07/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

As noted in a prior post, on January 15, 2019, the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Office of Legal Counsel (“OLC”) issued an opinion dated November 2, 2018, replacing the OLC’s 2011 interpretation of the federal Wire Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1084. The new interpretation states that the Wire Act is applicable to any form of …

Office of Legal Counsel Reinterprets the Wire Act

Commercial Gaming
01/23/2019 - By: Karl Rutledge

On January 14, 2019 the Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel of the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Office of Legal Counsel (“OLC”) issued an opinion dated November 2, 2018 (the “2018 Opinion”) replacing the OLC’s 2011 interpretation of the federal Wire Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1084  (the “Wire Act”). The 2018 Opinion states the Wire Act …