In a rebuke of the Department of Justice, the Third Circuit recently overturned money laundering conspiracy convictions for a reverse distributor pharmaceutical company, Devos Ltd., and two of its former executives, CEO Dean Volkes and CFO Donna Fallon. The Third Circuit’s opinion, United States v. Fallon, affirmed other convictions against the company and individuals but ordered a resentencing and a recalculation of the sums subject to forfeiture.

Continue Reading Third Circuit Rejects DOJ’s Broad “Commingling” Theory of Money Laundering Concealment

Building on attempts in recent years to strengthen the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) white collar criminal enforcement, on September 15, 2022, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced revisions to DOJ’s corporate criminal enforcement policies. The new policies, and those that are in development, further attempt to put pressure on companies to implement effective compliance policies and to self-report if there are problems. Notably, the new DOJ policies set forth changes to existing DOJ policies through a “combination of carrots and sticks – with a mix of incentives and deterrence,” with the goal of “giving general counsels and chief compliance officers the tools they need to make a business case for responsible corporate behavior” through seven key areas:

Continue Reading DOJ’s Corporate Criminal Enforcement Policies Are Revised: Individual Accountability, Corporate Responsibility, Additional Demands on Chief Compliance Officers

The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in In re Grand Jury to resolve a circuit split regarding what standard governs the application of the attorney-client privilege to dual-purpose communications, that is communications which contain both legal and non-legal advice. The petition was filed on behalf of an unnamed law firm which asserted the privilege in response to a federal grand jury subpoena.

Continue Reading Supreme Court to Review Scope of Attorney-Client Privilege for “Dual Purpose” Communications

The October term of the Court began yesterday, with a sitting that marked the very active debut of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and predictions that this term will be even more controversial than last, although it is difficult for me to imagine a more incendiary decision than Dobbs.

Continue Reading Court Upholds Biden Vaccine Mandate and Bump Stock Ban; Remembering Laurence Silberman and Raymond Strother: SCOTUS Today

As I recently noted in an article on trademarks in the U.S. and internationally, Metro-Goldin-Mayer and Pennsylvania State University are two entities in different, yet related, channels of trade (sports and entertainment, which were melded together as ESPN’s original name). But they do have something in common in that each is known for the roar of a lion:

Continue Reading Recent Noise Over Acoustic Trademarks

In a recent article examining international trademark, copyright and related issues, we started with a focus on the place humor holds as a possible defense. To understand the roots of the penchant for humor to act as a bulwark of humanity’s way of defending itself, consider this story:

Continue Reading Just Humor Them in Infringement and Defamation Cases

Epstein Becker Green Lawyers Anthony Argiropoulos, Theodora McCormick, William Gibson, and Maximilian Cadmus Argue for Amicus Curiae New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance

On August 25, 2022, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued on an important decision in Mirian Rivera v. The Valley Hospital, Inc., (A-25/26/27-21)(085992)(085993)(085994), reaffirming the exceedingly high bar for punitive damages claims in medical malpractice cases in New Jersey. This is an important decision for healthcare providers as it provides them with broad protection from punitive damages claims (which are not covered by malpractice insurance) that are really negligence or gross negligence claims in disguise.

Continue Reading NJ Supreme Court: No Punitive Damages in Medical Malpractice Case Without Evidence of Wanton and Willful Conduct

In a brush-back pitch to DOJ opioid initiatives, the U.S. Supreme Court this past June issued an important decision clarifying the mental state the government must establish to convict a licensed medical professional of illegal drug distribution under the federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). No longer can a doctor be convicted of such a crime based on objectively unreasonable prescribing practices alone. The government now must show that the medical professional subjectively, knowingly, and intentionally prescribed a controlled substance with no legitimate medical purpose. While unlikely to materially impact the number of DOJ opioid prosecutions, the case will no doubt inform charging decisions in marginal cases and will support important defense arguments at trial.

Continue Reading Will the Supreme Court’s Latest Decision on <em>Mens Rea</em> Leave Medical Professional Prosecutions <em>Ruan</em>-ing on Empty?

The last two years have provided legal professionals with a crash course in the remote practice of law. Attorneys and judges have been forced to navigate COVID-19 protocols and adapt to the rapidly changing legal landscape in the digital age. While the pandemic created an abundance of new technological challenges, it also impacted one of the oldest standards in our judicial system—service of process.

Continue Reading Service of Process: An Overlooked Challenge of Litigation During COVID-19

With the release of the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, questions regarding enforcement activity in states that restrict or ban abortion by statute have been raised and have remained mostly hypothetical. The frequency and scope of future enforcement activity remains unknown. Given the variety of laws now in effect in restricted and ban states, and that enforcement of such laws is subject to state prosecutorial discretion as well as the prevailing political climate, enforcement initiatives are expected to vary by state.

Continue Reading Post-<em>Dobbs</em> Abortion Enforcement: Nebraska Uses Facebook Messages as Evidence