Blog Articles

Recent Blog Articles

Supreme Court Establishes CWA "Functional Equivalence" Test for Discharges to Groundwater

07/16/2020 - By: Dietrich Hoefner

The opinion resolves the key legal issue in a citizen suit brought by a number of environmental interest groups alleging that Maui County, Hawaii, requires a CWA permit in connection with discharges of treated sewage into groundwater.

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions Impact Rights for Religious Employers

Religious Liberty
07/16/2020 - By: Eric Kniffin

On July 8, 2020, the United States Supreme Court released two decisions with important implications for the rights of religious employers.

Southwestern States COVID-19 Tax Relief Update: States Beginning to Provide Advice on Income Tax Conformity to Provisions in the CARES ACT

07/10/2020 - By: Pat Derdenger, Karen Lowell

The following summarizes the latest news in the Southwest relating to state tax and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arizona Seeking Public Comment on Draft COVID-19 Penalty Abatement Procedure

07/06/2020 - By: Pat Derdenger, Karen Lowell

On June 30, the Arizona Department of Revenue issued a draft Transaction Privilege Tax Ruling TPR 20-XX and the corresponding Transaction Privilege Tax Procedure TPP 20-XX. These tax rulings are the first step formalizing the procedure for late payment penalty abatement due to  COVID-19.

Category: Taxation

Supreme Court Finds BOOKING.COM Non-Generic And Capable Of Federal Trademark Registration

06/30/2020 - By: David Jackson, Jennifer Van Kirk

Can a generic word combined with “.com” ever be eligible for trademark protection in the United States? Yes, under the Supreme Court’s 8-1 decision in United States Patent And Trademark Office v.  B.V., issued today.

Southwestern States COVID-19 Tax Relief Update

06/26/2020 - By: Pat Derdenger, Karen Lowell

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, states are clarifying their position on certain tax relief provisions available to taxpayers. Additionally, taxpayers in the Southwest and nationwide should be aware that the July 15 extended filing deadline for 2019 corporate and personal income tax at the federal and state levels is rapidly approaching.

Rising Tide of Ransomware and Waves of COVID-19

06/25/2020 - By: John Gray, CIPP/US

Since January, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the global economy, leading to even greater cybersecurity threats as more and more people are connecting remotely. Indeed, the FBI has reported a 300% increase in the number of daily complaints submitted to its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) during the pandemic.

Trademarks for COVID-19 Products and Services Given Free Expedited Examination by the USPTO

06/23/2020 - By: David Jackson, Jennifer Van Kirk

Businesses small and large have been impacted in myriad ways by the COVID-19 crisis but some businesses have responded by reinventing themselves by making products or providing services to meet the new demands of COVID-19.

Do You Have Your Copyright House in Order?

06/22/2020 - By: Jennifer Van Kirk

Taking a few small steps to set up your company’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act agent can provide significant protection against copyright claims.

IP of Everything Podcast - Episode 1 - IP of Tiger King

Join our panel of intellectual property lawyers as they discuss the IP litigation cases and issues associated with one of the hottest shows on Netflix - Tiger King. Hear how you can avoid some trademark pitfalls.

California Lawsuit Against Apple Over Loot Boxes

06/17/2020 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

The complaint claims that Apple profits from games with loot boxes by marketing the games to children, acting as an agent for the game developers, and managing the monetary transactions. Apple does not explicitly provide notice that a loot box game feature exists and instead provides disclosures of “Offers In-App Purchases.”

Defense Department Issues Guidance to Contractors on Managing Impact of COVID-19

06/15/2020 - By: Ross Crown

On March 30, 2020, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum to procurement officials throughout the Department of Defense on managing the effects of the COVID-19 virus on defense contracts. This memorandum is authored by Kim Herrington, the Acting Principal Director, Defense Pricing and Contracting. Although the memorandum lacks detail, it should be viewed as an encouraging sign from the DoD that it recognizes its contractors are impacted by the virus and that they are entitled to seek relief.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Title VII Protects LGBTQ Employees from Discrimination


The United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision on June 15, 2020, ruling that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with the Court’s more liberal members in finding that Title VII’s ban on discrimination “because of sex” covers sexual orientation and gender identity.

Category: Labor & Employment

EEOC Issues New COVID-19 Guidance for Employers on Variety of Topics

06/12/2020 - By: Melanie Pate

On June 11, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued new guidance that addresses numerous pandemic-related topics. 

Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act Provides Employers Greater Leniency and Opportunities for Loan Forgiveness

06/05/2020 - By: Hannah Dolski, Melanie Pate

On June 5, 2020, President Trump signed into law the latest COVID-19 relief-related legislation: the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (the “Act”). As stated in the title of the Act, the purpose of this legislation is to provide the recipients of PPP loans greater flexibility in the use of loan funds, while maintaining eligibility for loan forgiveness.

$155 Million Offered to Settle Two Big Fish Games Class Action Lawsuits

06/03/2020 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

Big Fish Casino is a social gaming application that provides “freemium” online casino games. Similar to many other providers, users are awarded free chips when they create their account and may obtain additional chips by winning games, via free chip replenishment, or by purchasing additional chips. Big Fish Games was owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated and subsequently sold to Aristocrat Leisure Limited earlier this year.

Category: Commercial Gaming

The USPTO Continues To Offer Relief For Businesses Impacted By COVID-19

The USPTO has twice announced extensions of certain trademark and patent deadlines in accordance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The most recent extensions will lapse on May 31, 2020, but the USPTO will continue to offer some relief.

A Surprising Question: Is The New Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 Retroactive?

05/21/2020 - By: Rob Charles, Justin Henderson

The SBRA law became effective in February 2020. In March, Congress increased the eligibility limit to businesses with up to $7,500,000 in debt for at least a year. Many, if not most, chapter 11 filings could qualify.

SEC Issues Guidance on Form ADV Disclosures for CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Loans

05/05/2020 - By: Edwin Barkel

On April 27, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued guidance regarding investment advisory firms’ duty to disclose loans obtained under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created under Section 1102 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The SEC has concluded that an advisory firm must disclose to clients that it has taken a PPP loan to counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19: What Should Nevada Gaming Establishments Consider When Bringing Employees Back to Work?

04/30/2020 - By: Howard Cole, Jennifer Hostetler

Following Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s March 17, 2020 directive to close all non-essential businesses, Nevada gaming establishments ceased operations and sent all employees home. This article seeks to provide Nevada gaming establishments with several topics to consider when crafting policies and protocols for bringing employees back into the workplace during the ongoing pandemic.

The USPTO Extends Patent and Trademark Deadlines Due to COVID-19

The USPTO has announced extensions of certain patent and trademark deadlines in accordance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Under some conditions, discussed below, deadlines for filing certain patent and trademark related documents and paying certain required fees that would otherwise have been due between March 27 and May 31 may now be filed on or before June 1.

What Borrowers Need to Know about Mortgage Forbearance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

04/30/2020 - By: Linda Mitchell, Drew Wilson

COVID-19 and the subsequent stay-at-home/safer-at-home orders that have been in place for approximately the last 6-weeks resulted in severe financial strain on many borrowers who have either lost their jobs, been furloughed, experienced a significant reduction in their income as a result of cutting hours or have witnessed a decline in business. Many of these borrowers can no longer afford to make their monthly mortgage payments, and are wondering what options may be available during this unprecedented time.

New OSHA and EEOC Guidance Impacts Construction Employers' Return-to-Work Obligations

04/29/2020 - By: Frances Haynes, Melanie Pate

Although many employers in the construction industry have continued to operate as essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, some have allowed certain employees to work from home where possible. As states begin to loosen restrictions and “reopen” for business in the coming weeks and months, construction employers will need to implement new, and possibly permanent, policies and guidelines designed to keep the construction workforce safe.

SBA Revises Guidelines for Small Gaming Businesses

On April 24, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) issued revised and updated guidelines to allow certain gaming businesses to benefit from the new Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) created under Title II of the CARES Act. This is a reversal of the SBA’s longstanding regulations that made most gaming businesses ineligible for any SBA loans.

COVID-19: Telework and Nexus and Update on Southwestern Tax Relief

04/23/2020 - By: Pat Derdenger, Karen Lowell

As stay-at-home orders and the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, states continue to update the tax relief available to taxpayers. The following summarizes the latest news in the Southwest.

Cybercriminals Targeting Healthcare Providers With Phishing Scams Exploiting COVID-19

Cybercriminals are exploiting the vulnerability of the healthcare community affected by COVID-19, an increase in teleworking and the need by medical professionals to stay current on coronavirus information.

Willfulness is No Longer a Requirement for an Award of Profits in a Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

04/23/2020 - By: Drew Wilson

The Supreme Court today resolved a long-standing circuit split, unanimously holding that willfulness is not a requirement for an award of profits in a trademark infringement lawsuit. The case is Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc., No. 18-1233 (April 23, 2020).

How the Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act ("UCRERA") May Be An Option For Business Creditors Affected By the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the fallout from the COVID-19 virus widens and the prospect of an economic downturn looms, lenders are likely to focus more on protecting their collateral. Although many lenders are negotiating accommodations with borrowers in the short term, some of these accommodations will inevitably be unsuccessful and lead to defaults.

EEOC Issues Updated Guidance Regarding Reasonable Accommodations During the COVID-19 Pandemic


On April 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published additional guidance for employers regarding the issues they are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest advice focuses on the reasonable accommodation requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”).

CARES Act 401k Distributions FAQ

04/20/2020 - By: Jan Steinhour

The CARES Act allows a 401(k) plan to provide a coronavirus-related distribution option (CVR Distribution) to plan participants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, a plan participant who is a Qualified Individual can elect one or more CVR Distributions totaling no more than $100,000 during the period beginning January 1, 2020 and ending December 30, 2020.