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February 12, 2013
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Legal News in Brief

  Corporate Spotlight 
  • Fed warns of high-yield rally encouraged by monetary policy
    Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein warned that the speculative-grade debt market, which has expanded rapidly largely in response to the central bank's monetary policy, is overheating. "We are seeing a fairly significant pattern of reaching-for-yield behavior emerging in corporate credit," he said. Bloomberg (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  National News 
  • Obama reportedly will issue order on cyberattack defense
    President Barack Obama soon will issue an order toughening U.S. defenses against cyberattacks, sources said. The Department of Homeland Security will take the lead in protecting vital U.S. infrastructure, said an official who has seen a draft of the order's executive summary. "Our biggest issue right now is getting the private sector to a comfort level so they can report anomalies, malware, incidents within their network," said Richard McFeely, head of the FBI's Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. Reuters (2/12), SC Magazine (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Legislative Dispatch 
  • Lew to face Citi questions at confirmation hearing
    Jack Lew's work at Citigroup, before he joined the State Department in 2009, reportedly will be Republicans' focus during Senate hearings on Lew's nomination as Treasury secretary. "If taxpayers are going to prop up failed banks, they have a right to know what a key executive like Mr. Lew did at that time," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Observers say Lew appears likely to be confirmed. "Mr. Lew has been confirmed by the Senate three times already," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. "I don't expect there to be any reason why he should not be confirmed this time around as well." Bloomberg (2/12), The Washington Post (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • House bill will address "too-big-to-fail" banks
    Lawmakers who feel that the Dodd-Frank Act did not do enough to curb the size of big banks are bringing another bill to the floor of the House of Representatives. "If you want to stay big that's fine, you can stay big. But it's going to be rather expensive," said Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., the bill's sponsor. The bill would require the largest banks to hold an extra level of capital to ensure against the possibility of short-term funding disappearing. Bloomberg (2/11), (free registration)/Bloomberg (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Employment Focus 
  • State of the Union address will pledge a focus on jobs
    President Barack Obama reportedly has promised Democratic lawmakers that he will use his State of the Union address to present issues such as immigration and education reform as means to boost employment. Tuesday's speech could be a defining moment for Obama, giving him the chance to set out his vision at a time when he has significant political capital. "He's never really had an opportunity like this -- and he probably won't have one again," write Sean Sullivan and Aaron Blake. USA Today/The Oval blog (2/8), The Washington Post/The Fix blog (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Supreme Court and Federal Court Watch 
  • Appeals court considers validity of financial-transaction patent
    Lawyers for CLS Bank International and Alice Corp. presented arguments Friday before a full panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a case involving a patent for a financial-transaction method. The patent previously was upheld by a panel of judges, and the court later granted an en banc review. Mark Perry, representing CLS, argued that "these patents claim only abstract ideas." However, Adam Perlman, representing Alice Corp., noted that "we have a computer that requires specialized programming," which he said "creates a new machine." The Blog of Legal Times (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional and Business Development 
  • Have a Plan B to tame layoff anxieties
    The constant fear of being laid off can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, experts say. To ease your anxiety, specifically identify what you're afraid of and develop a plan for what you will do if it happens. "Now is the moment to decide what control your fear will have over you -- whether it will paralyze you or motivate you," career coach Deborah Brown-Volkman said. CNNMoney/Fortune (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why "5" is a magic number in networking
    Five exceptional connections are all you need to have a long and successful career, says Brian Fetherstonhaugh, CEO of OgilvyOne. "[D]on't confuse those high-impact people you will meet in career heaven with Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections," he said. "It is not a quantity game; it's a quality game." Forbes (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  PLI News 
  • Update on Calif. Penal Code 1170.9 for Veterans
    Learn about the restorative relief now available to veterans under subdivision (h) of the California Penal Code 1170.9, effective as of Jan. 1, 2013, at today's One-Hour Audio Briefing. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Details Emerge on Alleged Inventors Network Scam
    For their final action of 2012, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Office of Enrollment and Discipline chose a doozy. The Matter of David P. Gaudio features a non-patent practitioner who founded The Inventors Network Inc., a licensed corporation alleged to have filed over 150 patent applications with the office that were not prepared or reviewed and signed by a registered patent practitioner in violation of USPTO regulations. On PLI's Patent Law Practice Center, Gene Quinn outlines the case. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--John Steinbeck,
American author

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