No Longer a Long Shot: Why the Odds Favor the Eventual Legalization of Sports Gambling

By: Jack Meyer

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver made headlines recently when he wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece that he was in favor of the legalization of sports gambling.[1] This came as a surprise to some NBA fans, as this is the same sport that was previously rocked by a points shaving scandal involving former referee Tim Donaghey. Silver’s essential thesis was that since sports gambling is already widespread despite its illegality, a push toward legalization is long overdue. Though little hard data exists, some estimates suggest that nearly $400 billion is illegally wagered on sports each year,[2] including $9 billion wagered on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament alone.[3] With the emergence of the internet and fantasy sports, sports betting has perhaps never been more widespread and Silver’s call for legalization certainly does not fall on deaf ears. Proponents of sports gambling have called … Read the rest

Unnecessary Toughness: Throwing the Flag on the NFL’s New Personal Conduct Policy

By: Jack Meyer

In the wake of the Ray Rice incident and subsequent domestic violence arrests involving several other NFL players during the 2014 season, the NFL encountered a public relations firestorm. The NFL faced widespread public criticism that domestic violence among NFL players had become an “epidemic” and that the male dominated league was indifferent to the issue.[1] Commissioner Roger Goodell nearly lost his job after his perceived mishandling of the Rice incident, and public pressure forced the NFL take significant action to address domestic violence offenses among its players.[2]

This pressure led the NFL to hastily implement a player conduct policy specifically aimed at addressing crimes against women, such as domestic violence and sexual assault. The NFL admittedly used this new policy as a public relations maneuver, knowing full well that the policy did little to actually prevent domestic violence and was only aimed at publicly … Read the rest

Two Sides of the Same [Bit]coin: Why Regulating Bitcoin Works in Its Favor

By: Amanda Maslar

          The reality of the most notorious virtual currency is that it is only a matter of time before it comes under the purview of a regulatory body.  Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that exists entirely online; it is partially anonymous and affords its users rigorous privacy protections in their transactions.[i]  Its online presence is shrouded in mystery, aided by the fact that no one knows exactly who introduced the world to the illustrious Bitcoin.[ii]

            Bitcoin is not pegged to any currency, and its value is dictated entirely by demand.[iii]  Central banks around the world have used monetary policy tools to manipulate the money supply and the value of currency throughout history; the Federal Reserve, however, has in recent years engaged in aggressive policies to stabilize the U.S. dollar, which has concerned some who fear inflation and a devaluation of the U.S. currency.[iv]  Many people Read the rest

The Ride-Sharing Economy: Keeping Liability in the Rearview

By: Keith St. Aubin

             In large cities the world over, passengers have stopped reaching into the air to hail a cab and have begun reaching into their pockets for their smartphones.  Companies such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar represent a cross-section of the transportation sector of a rapidly growing marketplace: the so-called “sharing economy.”[1]  The sharing economy delivers products, places, rides and various other perks to consumers through the use of modern technology.  Dog owners can turn to DogVacay rather than finding a kennel for Fido.[2]  The elderly can now hire someone to clean their gutters using TaskRabbit instead of dealing with the snotty kid next-door.[3]  Loan seekers can avoid the bank by booting up their PC and heading over to Lending Club.[4]  The sharing economy exploded on the scene across various sectors seemingly overnight.  Almost twenty years after Ebay began, the peer-to-peer model has expanded Read the rest

Practical Tips to Comply with SEC Beneficial Ownership Reporting Requirements

By: Clyde Tinnen, Partner, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP – Clyde Tinnen is a partner in the Chicago office of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. He focuses his practice on corporate law matters, including finance and securities law.  Any questions relating to topics discussed in this article may be directed to the author at ctinnen@kelleydrye.com.

Practical Tips to Comply with SEC Beneficial Ownership Reporting Requirements

On September 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against 28 officers, directors, or major shareholders for failure to promptly file Form 4 and Schedule 13D and 13G reports, resulting in financial penalties totaling $2.6 million.  Six publicly-traded companies were charged for contributing to filing failures by insiders or failing to report their insiders’ filing delinquencies. SEC enforcement staff used quantitative data analytics to catch the violators. The news came as a shock to many practitioners given the Commission’s historically passive stance on … Read the rest

A Look at IRS’s Transfer Pricing Audit Roadmap

By: Byung Kyu Cho

 Background

There are still a number of corporations which have not fully recovered from the economic downturn, which consequently leads to less tax revenue for tax authorities.  As such, some of the tax authorities around the globe have taken steps to counter the effects of the diminishing revenue by increasing a number of tax audits or performing audits in a more aggressive manner.  However, based on the statistics provided by Internal Revenue Source (“IRS”), the IRS does not fall under this category.  While the total number of business tax returns has slightly increased from 9.5 million in 2008 to 9.9 million in 2013, an examination coverage ratio, calculated by dividing the number of examined returns by the total number of returns, marginally reduced from 0.63% to 0.61%.[1]  It is not surprising to see that enforcement revenue collected during this period decreased from $56.4 billion to Read the rest

Government Gone Overboard With Sarbanes-Oxley

By: Austin Root 

               For most, it would be a stretch to compare the acts of a corporate executive who shredded company documents in order to cover up financial fraud with those of a fisherman who threw a few undersized red grouper fish back into the sea.  For the Department of Justice, it is not stretch at all as both are guilty of the same crime.  Should the Supreme Court agree with this comparison, there will surely be vast waves that disturb the business landscape.

Act One

In October of 2001, a scandal was revealed at the American energy company, Enron Corporation, which eventually led to the company’s bankruptcy, dozens of charges against its executives, and the dissolution of Arthur Anderson, one of the largest audit and accountancy partnerships in the world.[i]  Enron was able to hide billions of dollars in debt through misleading financial statements while portraying themselves Read the rest

Pregnancy Discrimination in The Workplace: Proposed Changes in The Law

By: Thomasin Sternberg

The impact women have on the workforce is not minute. In 2010, 46.8% of the labor force in the United States was comprised of women.[1] Yet many working women feel pressured to choose between having families and advancing their careers. The pressure to make this choice is detrimental to the advancement of women, leading to gender discrimination and inequality. According to a study published by UC Hastings College of Law, 43% of working women leave the work force to raise their children. [2] With women in such great numbers ultimately choosing family over work, many employers are mindful of how this choice will effect them when making hiring, firing, and promotion decisions. Oftentimes this leads to gender-based discrimination in the work place when employers give preferential treatment to male employees to avoid the costs associated with maternity leave.[3]

            A number of federal and state laws Read the rest

Are Fish Tangible Objects?

By: Louis Forristall

             On November 5, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Yates v. United States that focused on this seemingly absurd question, and the outcome could impact much more than fish. The statute at issue was passed as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Act provides a ban on paper shredding, and was passed in response to Enron executives’ alleged destruction of documents to hide evidence. The Supreme Court’s decision in Yates could impact the handling of records, documents and any other object that could be potentially relevant to a federal investigation. Despite concerns from Court, the statute’s potentially broad applications are restrained by statutory and institutional limitations, and can also be significantly reduced with proactive steps from businesses.

 

            The appellant, John L. Yates, was a captain of Miss Katie, a shipping vessel operating off the coast of Florida.[1] On August 23, 2007, the Read the rest

Pirating an Industry: Ridesharing as a Subversion of Livery Regulation

By: Matthew Holm

            “A ride whenever you need one,” boasts the corporate tagline of San Francisco-based company Lyft.[1]  Founded in 2012, Lyft is a relatively recent addition to the growing “ridesharing” industry.[2]  Its competitors such as UberX, Sidecar, Summon, and Wingz have altered the urban transportation market by allowing smartphone users to summon a car, track the driver’s arrival, and pay for a ride, all at the touch of a virtual button.[3]  The concept is genius and has gained widespread popularity in major cities in the United States and around the globe since Uber’s launch in 2009.[4]

            But these fledgling ride-for-hire companies continue to straddle regulatory fences and have required both controversial legislation and a stream of litigation to define the restrictions and mandates that will apply to the drivers and vehicles they employ.  Uber has been under attack for its circumvention of ride-for-hire regulation since Read the rest