April 20, 2021
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Corporate Spotlight
The House has voted 321-101 to approve the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, which would let banks do business with legal cannabis companies without violating federal law. A companion bill with 32 co-sponsors has been introduced in the Senate.
Full Story: Reuters (4/19),  MarketWatch (tiered subscription model) (4/19),  Bloomberg (4/19) 
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National News
President Joe Biden said ahead of a second bipartisan discussion with lawmakers on his infrastructure plan he was "prepared to compromise, prepared to see what we can do, what we get together on," as Republican lawmakers have said they want a more modest package than Biden's $2 trillion-plus proposal. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., said the meeting included discussion of raising the corporate tax rate to a level below the currently proposed 28% to fund the plan.
Full Story: CNBC (4/19),  The Wall Street Journal (4/19) 
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Financial and Tax Update
Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler has hired four senior staffers, including the AFL-CIO's Heather Slavkin Corzo as policy director. Gensler's priorities are expected to include environmental, social and governance issues, special-purpose acquisition companies and the mainstreaming of cryptocurrencies.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (4/19),  The Wall Street Journal (4/19),  The New York Times (4/19) 
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A rule proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would require third party debt collectors to inform tenants who are struggling to pay rent of their rights under a federal moratorium on evictions. President Joe Biden has extended the current eviction ban until June 30.
Full Story: The Hill (4/19),  Politico (4/19) 
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The International Swaps and Derivatives Association's Ibor Fallbacks Protocol for transitioning derivatives contracts away from interbank offered rates has gained wide support. Almost 14,000 entities have agreed to adopt the protocol, according to ISDA.
Full Story: Bloomberg (4/19),  International Swaps and Derivatives Association (4/20) 
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PLI News
Indemnification Clauses Are Common and Often Negotiated in High-Technology Contracts
This week's free article download from PLI Press, "Language Issues in Drafting Indemnification Clauses in High-Tech Contracts," explores some of the language issues involved in drafting effective indemnification clauses. Download and take a deep dive into these topics and more: indemnify versus "hold harmless"; when there is silence, who gets control of the defense?; indemnitee's right to participate; and "arising from" versus "related to."
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Practice-Oriented Research: Faber on Mechanics of Patent Claim Drafting
PLI PLUS provides access to all PLI Press publications, including the recently updated Seventh Edition of Faber on Mechanics of Patent Claim Drafting. This lucid, time-saving handbook spotlights proven claim drafting practices and techniques that have been firmly established by patent authorities and custom. It offers readers start-to-finish directions for every type of claim, numerous tips on how to avoid common mistakes, definitions and preferred usage of stylized words and phrases in patent law, and more.
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Supreme Court and Federal Court Watch
The US Supreme Court on Monday appeared inclined to agree with the Biden administration's arguments that immigrants cannot seek permanent residency if they entered the US without legal permission and received Temporary Protected Status, a designation that applies to about 400,000 people. Another case argued before the high court on Monday involves local and regional tribal corporations of Alaska Natives that are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in federal coronavirus-relief funds.
Full Story: The Associated Press (4/19),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/19),  The Wall Street Journal (4/19) 
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A coalition of plaintiffs including the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University has filed a petition with the US Supreme Court seeking access to key opinions issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The plaintiffs argue that making the decisions public would "allow the public to understand the government's surveillance powers and practices" and provide "the opportunity to press for reforms."
Full Story: National Public Radio (4/19) 
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The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case in which Darrell Hemphill, who was convicted in the fatal shooting of a child, argues that prosecutors violated his Sixth Amendment right "to be confronted with the witnesses against him" in his trial. Meanwhile, the court has rejected an appeal by a man who was directed by prosecutors at his murder trial to reenact a crime with his arms and legs shackled.
Full Story: Howe on the Court (4/19) 
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Professional and Business Development
When the pandemic ends, companies need to be ready to clearly communicate their policies on virtual work, how employees meet and collaborate, in-person events and whether recruiting will cover a larger geography, writes Optimal Networks CEO Heinan Landa.
Full Story: Chief Executive (4/15) 
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Process matters more than outcome if you want to learn from your decisions and create sustained success, writes Wally Bock. "Once you know how something came out, it's human nature to rearrange your memory so that you look better than you were," he writes.
Full Story: Three Star Leadership (4/15) 
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April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.
Christopher Morley,
writer, editor, journalist
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