National Security Space Launch: No Contest

by Mathew Rayman April 13 2014, 16:13
Competition and innovation are key ideals in American society, and they were the main focus on March 5, 2014 when the CEOs of SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (“ULA”) testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. The ULA, a joint venture between aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, currently provides launch services for the U.S. National Security Space Launch programs. SpaceX, a relative newcomer to the space launch business, is seeking to break ULA’s current monopoly on national security launches and open the procurement process to other launch providers. [More]

Lessons from Hartney: How to Reduce Tax Forum Shopping by Illinois Retailers

by Jennifer Brown April 12 2014, 21:26
The Illinois’ Local Retailers’ Occupation Tax Acts (ROT Acts) allows “municipal governments and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) to impose a retail occupation tax ‘upon all persons engaged in the business of selling tangible personal property at retail within the county, municipality, or metropolitan region.” Leading up to the recent Illinois Supreme Court decision in Hartney Fuel Oil Co. v. Hamer, a number of Illinois retailers with selling activities in multiple jurisdictions sought to pay Illinois Local Retailer Occupation Taxes only in the lowest tax rate jurisdictions where they accepted purchase orders, even when their predominant selling activities occurred in other places. This narrow interpretation of the “business of selling” in the ROT Acts complies with the Department of Revenue (DOR) regulations regarding the Acts, which establish a bright-line rule for purchase order acceptances. [More]

Tags:

Corporate | Tax

Family Leave in the United States: Time for a Change?

by Mathew Rayman March 22 2014, 13:43
On February 5, 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”) was signed into law by Bill Clinton, mandating 12 weeks of unpaid family leave for companies with over 50 employees, if the employee has worked at least 1,250 hours during the last 12 months with the company.[1] In its findings, Congress specifically recognized the importance of parent participation in early childhood and the lack of job security available to working parents, and sought to give new parents more flexibility with work-life balance.[2] Since the FMLA was passed, the United States has fallen far behind other developed countries in providing leave for new parents. After more than 21 years, U.S. lawmakers should reexamine the national family leave policy and increase the benefits guaranteed for family leave. A more generous family leave policy is not only good for individuals and families, but also good for business. [More]

The Necessity of Corporate/NGO Partnerships

by Roshn Vazhel January 28 2014, 03:11
While corporations have historically committed human rights and environmental conservation violations, it is undisputed that they have taken several steps in recent years to reduce their negative impact on the world. Perhaps the most important fundamental change in the framework of corporate responsibility is the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The principles lay out three “pillars”: (1)the state’s duty to protect human rights, (2)the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and (3)the need for available remedies for victims of corporate abuses. But can companies live up to these standards? NGO(Non-government Organizations)/Corporate partnerships may be the answer, but they are in dire straits. [More]

Tags:

Corporate

The Macy’s, JC Penney, and Martha Stewart Love Triangle: Is Freedom of Contract Threatened?

by Maddie Davis November 16 2013, 20:36
In 2011, Martha Stewart called Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren and announced she wanted to have her cake and eat it too – she was breaking her contract with the company. [1]

The contract granted Macy’s exclusive rights to sell Stewart’s bed, bath and kitchen merchandise. [2] In exchange for these rights, Macy’s spent millions to bring Stewart (then fresh out of prison) back to the forefront as America’s homemaker extraordinaire. [3]
[More]

Tags:

Corporate

Crimes Against Humanity, I’m Lovin’ It: Issues in Sponsorship of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

by Inessa Goodman November 12 2013, 21:23
While business leaders and CEOs have never shied away from promoting their political agendas and views, the line is sometimes blurred between what is appropriate, and what is not. The recent controversies involving Chik-fila, Barilla, and their public statements against the LGBT community highlight this issue. Recently, a similar issue has surfaced, not involving public statements, but mere funding of an entity that supports questionable social policies. [More]

Fiduciary Duties: Legal Obligations or Investors’ Imaginary Friends?

by Marvis Barnes November 19 2012, 19:59
Founded in 1983, Ancestory.com is the world’s largest family history website that provides access to more than ten billion records and thirty eight million family trees.[i] Recently, the London based private equity firm Permira Advisers LLP agreed to purchase the company at a valuation of $32 a share.[ii] The $32 amount represents a premium of 10% based on the company’s price at the time the deal was announced. [iii] However, many shareholders are unsatisfied and upset.[iv] In fact, many shareholders have filed suit against the company.[v] Principally, these suits allege that the Board of Directors of Ancestry.com breached their fiduciary duties to stockholders by failing to obtain a higher price by adequately shopping the company and that the decision to consummate the sale was not in the best interest of shareholders, rather that of the Board of Directors.[vi]
[More]

Bluebird: Walmart Wants To Be Your “Every Day Low Price” Bank.

by Matt Diamond October 29 2012, 17:36
Frustrated with your bank’s surprise fees and minute interest rates? Shop at Walmart? You may find a solution to your woes in an unusual but convenient location: on the “Every Day Low Price” stores’ shelves. [More]

Say-On-Pay: The First Results Are In

by Jack Melamed October 22 2012, 23:00
Pursuant to enacted legislation, shareholders of publicly owned companies are entitled to hold a non-binding vote on executive compensation packages (say-on-pay). With the 2011 say-on-pay votes complete and a substantial portion of the 2012 say-on-pay votes well underway, analysis of all the available data is beginning to give say-on-pay supporters reason to celebrate. [More]

Fried Chicken, Snuggies, Dish Soap, and the NFL: The Common Denominator

by Jamie Netznik December 30 2011, 15:46
During a typical six-month season, the environment in National Football League ("NFL") stadiums can easily be characterized as masculine. However, during the month of October, players take the field in pink sweatbands, cleats, and chin straps; play with a pink, embellished pigskin; and even wipe their sweat with a pink towel. The referees also take part, blowing their pink whistles when a player in a pink-accented jersey does something that runs afoul of the game. This is the NFL’s way of supporting breast cancer awareness month alongside a multitude of other companies and nonprofits. During October, a breast-cancer-research “superfan” could purchase almost any product allegedly supporting the cause including dish soap, measuring cups, Snuggies, and bike helmets. If that fan is hungry, they can pick up a pink bucket of fried chicken from KFC. Breast cancer awareness month motivates companies to capture consumer dollars with a promise (even if implied) to raise funds for breast cancer research. However, do all of these products actually benefit the research they claim to support? [More]

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