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HOW A PANDEMIC BLOSSOMS TRADEMARK FILINGS

By: Rezarta Mataj

Since January 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic has consumed conversations in the news, ads, and TV shows, creating common phrases and buzzwords such as “Covid-19,” “Corona Virus,” “Pandemic,” “Social Distancing,” “Patient Zero,” “Self-Isolation” and countless others. Consequently, this has resulted in a wave of pandemic-related trademarks hitting the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Because distinctiveness is one of the primary features that characterizes a trademark, individuals and companies seeking to use pandemic-related marks are now caught in a race to register their marks with the USPTO.

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PETITIONER AND RESPONDENT REACH AN AGREEMENT IN SCOTUS TAX REFUND CASE

By: Hong Deng

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows an affiliated group of corporations to file a consolidated federal return instead of separate returns. In doing so, the IRS will pay the group’s designated agent a single refund that discharges the government’s liability to all group members. However, federal law says little on how to distribute the money among the group members.

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In re Grand Jury Proceeding: Insights into Discovery in Corporate Criminal Investigation

By: Jacob Stock
The facts underlying In re: Grand Jury Proceeding read as well as any legal thriller: Felix Sater, a man wrapped up in fraud and racketeering for the mob, becomes an informant for the feds and helps to track down US law enforcement’s most wanted. Hot on his tail is Frederick Oberlander, a lawyer working hard for his clients to recover the funds lost in Sater’s former schemes. As Oberlander works the cases, however, he discovers information related to Sater’s cooperation with the government is sealed, and the Second Circuit enjoins Oberlander from publicly disclosing the information. Frustrated by the red tape, Oberlander releases the information anyway, resulting in several grand juries being impaneled to initiate a criminal investigation.

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GETTING REAL ABOUT DIVERSITY

By: Adina Weisberg

BigLaw has been slow on improving diversity; top law firms will not even be close to mirroring law school classes until 2057 (for gender diversity) and 2084 (for racial diversity). To address this issue, five firms will work with Diversity Lab, through its Move the Needle Fund (“MTN”), on incorporating experimental methods based on research and data.

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WE NEED TO TALK.

By: Alexa Weber

In The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has sued Match Group, Inc. (“Match”) for allegedly tricking individuals to subscribe to Match.com, an online dating service, through fraudulent advertising, deceptive business practices, and unfair denial of access to subscriber accounts. Match controls about one-quarter of the online dating market and owns approximately 45 separate online dating services, including Match.com, OKCupid, Tinder, and PlentyOfFish.

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Arizona Becomes the First State to Approve Nonlawyer Participants in and Ownership of Law Firms

By: Lingyun Ye

On August 27, 2020, the Arizona Supreme Court voted to make two changes in the Court’s rules regulating the practice of law. The Court approved a licensure process that will allow nonlawyers, called “Legal Paraprofessionals (LPs)” to provide limited legal services to the public. The Court also voted to eliminate ER 5.4 in the Rules of Professional Conduct which barred nonlawyers from sharing fees and having an economic interest in a law firm. Both changes will take effect on January 1, 2021.

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From Runway to No Way: COVID-19’s Impact on the Fashion Industry

By: BethEl Nager

COVID-19 has impacted every element of our lives. Grocery shopping, chatting with friends, and going to work have either become a virtual experience or an opportunity to mask up and brave the world. This pandemic has also greatly affected the fashion industry. Despite the athleisure market boom, there are some apparel companies facing economic unrest. Major retailers including J.Crew, Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, and Stein Mart have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In fact, approximately 25 “retailers, big and small, have filed for Chapter 11 protection this year, far exceeding the number for all of last year.” Chapter 11 bankruptcy permits a business organization to devise a plan for the reorganization of its financial situation. Each company creates a strategy that will benefit them and satisfy their creditors. This reorganization plan is approved or denied by the court.

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INSIGHTS INTO “INABILITY TO PAY” CLAIMS

By: Olivia Stitz

Gone are the days where companies are forced to decipher and interpret the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) published declination letters. After supplementing Title 18 Sentencing Guidelines with its April 2019 Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, the DOJ left a gaping hole in how they would evaluate Inability-to-Pay claims.

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