April 22, 2016

James G. Sammataro is quoted in "Judge Tosses Case Alleging Cartel Conspiracy Among Talent Agencies"

LOS ANGELES DAILY JOURNAL | James G. Sammataro, a partner in Stroock's Entertainment and Litigation Practice Groups and managing partner for the firm's Miami office, was quoted in a Los Angeles Daily Journal article that discusses how U.S. District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell dismissed boutique talent agency Lenhoff Enterprises Inc.'s case that Hollywood's "Big Four" talent agencies formed an oligopoly to box out competitors.


Mel Brosterman to Speak at ACI's Energy Trading Compliance & Regulatory Enforcement Conference

Stroock partner Mel Brosterman will be speaking at the American Conference Institute’s 13th National Forum on Energy Trading Compliance & Regulatory Enforcement. He will participate in the panel discussion "The Ethics of Energy Trading Regulatory Enforcement."

  • May 3, 2016 - AIRROC Boston Regional Education Day
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  • May 3-6, 2016 - Digital Hollywood 2016 Spring Conference
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  • May 4-6, 2016 - FIA Law and Compliance Conference
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    "Third Time is No Charm: Albany Fails (Yet Again) to Enact Meaningful Estate Tax Relief"

    Two years ago, New York State enacted legislation reforming its estate, gift, and GST tax laws. State and City Bar Association Committees continued to present proposals to legislative leaders in Albany to fix the shortcomings of the new estate tax law. Unfortunately, their efforts were once again unsuccessful.

    Meanwhile, the Republican presidential candidates advocate for full Federal estate tax repeal while the Democratic candidates seek to reinvigorate the Federal estate tax . For now the Federal estate, gift and GST tax exemptions have reached the new threshold of $5,450,000 and many popular wealth-transfer techniques remain viable, but coordination of planning by New York couples is of even greater importance.

    This Stroock Special Bulletin provides an overview of key provisions the New York tax bill, including estate planning considerations for New York residents in light of the still-steep New York estate tax cliff.

    It also discusses recent developments in the estate planning arena and popular planning techniques that remain effective.


    "Final Fiduciary Rule Means ERISky Business: Will BICkering Follow?"

    On April 6, 2016, the Department of Labor (referred to herein as "DOL" or the "Department") issued its long-awaited changes to the definition of an "investment advice" fiduciary and accompanying exemptions (collectively, the "Rule"). The definition of investment advice fiduciary is a fundamental legal pillar for those many providers of services to employee benefit plans ("ERISA Plans") subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended ("ERISA"), and individual retirement accounts ("IRAs") subject to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code") (ERISA Plans and IRAs, together referred to herein as "Plans").

    The 4,000 plus written comments and four days of hearings speak quite clearly to one regulator’s characterization that "obviously, any regulatory project that aims at the fiduciary definition is going … right to the core [of ERISA]."

    This Stroock Special Bulletin assesses some of the potential impacts of the Rule for financial market institutions such as investment banks, investment managers, alternative funds and products, insurance companies, platform providers, and broker-dealers and other providers dealing with Plans outside of the institutional markets.


    "New York Passes Landmark Employee Rights Laws"

    This Stroock Special Bulletin provides an overview of sweeping amendments to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law to provide for paid family leave benefits and to the New York Labor Law to increase the minimum wage to $15.00.

    The amendments were signed into law on April 4, 2016 by Governor Andrew Cuomo.


    "D.C. Circuit Vacates District Court Decision Refusing to Approve Fokker’s Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the Department of Justice..."

    The D.C. Circuit’s long-awaited decision in United States v. Fokker Services B.V., issued on April 5, 2016, held that Judge Richard J. Leon of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia abused his discretion in refusing to approve a proposed deferred prosecution agreement between the Department of Justice and Fokker Services B.V. Judge Leon rejected the proposed deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) under the guise of declining to extend time to commence a criminal trial under the Speedy Trial Act. Rather than defer to the Department of Justice’s exercise of its prosecutorial discretion to enter into the DPA, the court addressed the DPA’s substance and concluded that the prosecution had been too lenient in agreeing to, and structuring, the DPA, and failed to include, among other things, any criminal charges against individual company officers.

    This Stroock Special Bulletin provides an overview of the Fokker D.C. Circuit decision, in which the court, in an opinion authored by Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan, vacated Judge Leon’s decision and remanded, holding that the Speedy Trial Act “confers no authority in a court to withhold exclusion of time pursuant to a DPA based on concerns that the government bring different charges or should charge different defendants,” and did not authorize courts “to second-guess the Executive’s exercise of discretion over the initiation and dismissal of criminal charges.” The D.C. Circuit joins other courts, including the Second Circuit, in limiting substantive review by district courts of regulatory settlements.


    "The Integral Calculus of Private Equity Funds and ERISA?"
    Co-Investment Case’s Math May Not Add Up

    Last week, the District Court of Massachusetts issued the latest decision in a line of cases in the Sun Capital Fund litigation. This Stroock Special Bulletin provides an overview of the district court decision, in which the court held that several Sun Capital private equity

    funds that jointly invested in a portfolio company were not only each a "trade or business" but also formed a "partnership in fact" resulting in each fund having joint and several liability for the jointly owned portfolio company's withdrawal liability.

  • April 2016 | HABITAT

    "Who's on the Hook for Attorneys' Fees?"

    Every lawyer and manager and many board members have had to deal in recent years with the issue of short-term rentals-those apartment owners who decide to rent their apartments for a month, a week, or just a night.

    The case of Osberger v. 18 Mercer Equity Inc., a lower court case, discusses what happens when a co-op shareholder accused of renting improperly seeks to recoup attorneys' fees.