• A New Cybersecurity Reality for the New York Insurance and Financial Services Industries

          By Jack Harrington, Esq. Email Jack Published in the Hauppage Reporter, March 2017 February 10, 2017 On March 1, 2017, the New York financial services industry will awaken to a new regulatory regime designed to set minimum standards for the development and functionality of cybersecurity programs.  The New York State Department of Financial Services’ (“DFS”) proposed cybersecurity regulation (the “DFS Rule”) will cover any institution doing business in New York pursuant to a license, registration, charter, or similar authority under New York’s Banking, Insurance, or Financial Services Laws.  Companies outside the financial services sector should also take heed, as regulators overseeing other industries may use the ...

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    Thursday, February 09th, 2017

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  • Volkswagen Guilty Plea Sets New Standards for White Collar Investigations and Enforcement

        Published in The Suffolk Lawyer March 2017 By Jack Harrington, Esq. Email Jack On Wednesday, January 11, 2017 German auto-maker Volkswagen pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to violate the Clean Air Act, as well as customs violations and obstruction of justice.  The company agreed to pay an astounding $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties, which when combined with the settlements paid to car owners may total an eye-popping $20 billion. The federal investigation stems from Volkswagen having lied about emissions tests for approximately 11 million diesel vehicles.  U.S. regulators began investigating the company after an academic study demonstrated that ...

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    Friday, January 27th, 2017

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  • EEOC Proposed Enforcement Guidance for Addressing Unlawful Harassment

    By Vincent Costa, Esq. Email Vinny January 27, 2017 On January 10, 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requested public input on proposed enforcement guidance for addressing unlawful harassment in the workplace and hostile work environments under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Harassment claims have risen over the past few years and the proposed guidance follows a June 2016 EEOC report.  While there are a number of classes protected under federal and state law, harassment claims based on sex, race, and/or disability appear to be most common.  Employers should be aware of the legal standards and potential liability ...

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    Friday, January 27th, 2017

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  • To Mediate or Not to Mediate

    By Scott D. Middleton, Esq. Email Scott January 27, 2017 Mediation can either be a great tool to move beyond an impasse or a colossal waste of time and money. Without the proper approach and preparation, the parties may be pushed further apart. In a recent mediation, my client was amenable to settling but the plaintiff, in the lead-up to the mediation, was less than forthcoming. He led me to believe that he was looking for a number to settle at less than six figures. Based upon this understanding, my client agreed to mediation. Of course, we prepared our submission for the mediator (as ...

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    Friday, January 27th, 2017

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  • Roadmap to a Valuable Teaming Agreement

    By Edward J. Karan III, Esq. Email Eddie December 20, 2016 Recently, a client inquired about forming a joint venture with another company to bid on government solicitations.  While joint ventures are one vehicle, there is another option that is often less expensive and less risky: a teaming arrangement, which is memorialized in a Teaming Agreement. Generally, teaming arrangements are organized so that one company is the prime contractor and one or more other companies are subcontractors.  The prime contractor generally interfaces with the government.  The prime contractor agrees in the Teaming Agreement that if awarded the government contract, it will use the subcontractor’s ...

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    Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

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  • JP Morgan Pays $264 Million to Resolve “Princelings” FCPA Investigation

    By Jack Harrington, Esq. Email Jack December 20, 2016 Last month, JP Morgan entered into a landmark settlement agreement in which it agreed to pay $264.4 million to the DOJ, SEC, and Federal Reserve to resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) offenses for providing jobs to the relatives of Chinese government officials to secure the underwriting of Chinese state-owned companies’ initial public offerings (“IPO”).  While this is not the first time an American company has settled an FCPA case on similar facts, the JP Morgan investigation trumps all others in terms of its scope and the audacity of the alleged bribery scheme.  The ...

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    Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

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  • The Internationalization of Anti-Corruption Investigations and Enforcement

    By Jack Harrington, Esq. Email Jack November 28, 2016 In November 2016, France adopted new anti-corruption legislation permitting deferred prosecution agreements in bribery cases.  In July 2017, Mexico’s new anti-corruption law will take effect.  The more-stringent law should prompt all companies operating in Mexico to re-evaluate their anti-corruption compliance programs.  And in February of this year, China released draft amendments of a new law governing commercial bribery that would, among other things, include vicarious liability for employers and liability for bribes paid through third parties. American companies are understandably focused on complying with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA), which carries stiff civil ...

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    Monday, November 28th, 2016

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  • Sorry for the Delay: The Importance of Giving Timely Notice to Your Insurer

    By Christine Malafi, Esq. Email Christine November 28, 2016 When an insured seeks liability coverage under its general liability or commercial liability policy after it has been sued for personal injuries or death resulting from an accident, New York State Insurance Law § 3420(d) requires the insurance company to make its decision to disclaim liability or deny insurance benefits to the insured and provide “written notice as soon as is reasonably possible” to the insured and those persons making the claim. This obligation usually arises after the insured’s obligations under the applicable insurance policy have been triggered—one of which is the insured’s obligation ...

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    Monday, November 28th, 2016

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  • When a Charitable Donation is a Bribe

        Published in the Suffolk Lawyer, November 2016 By Jack Harrington, Esq. Email Jack October 26, 2016 On September 20, 2016, Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc., a Utah-based skincare products manufacturer, agreed to pay $765,688 to settle SEC charges that the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).  In short, the FCPA prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials to secure an improper business advantage.  As I have written about in prior articles, the DOJ and SEC have been expanding the definition of what constitutes a bribe, or, in the parlance of the statute, “something of value” offered or paid to the foreign official. What is interesting ...

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    Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

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  • Legislative Update: A Long-Awaited Solution to a Mortgage Foreclosure Problem?

    By Scott D. Middleton, Esq. Email Scott September 26, 2016 This past June, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that imposes pre-foreclosure duties on banks and servicing companies. After it goes into effect this December, it is anticipated that a problem that has plagued local municipalities for years with respect to abandoned residential properties will begin to subside. Now, under the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL) section 1308, first lien mortgage holders on one- to four-family vacant and/or abandoned residential real property must complete an exterior inspection of the property within 90 days of delinquency to determine if the property is vacant. While the ...

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    Monday, September 26th, 2016

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