Posts from June 2020.
Time 4 Minute Read

In April 2020, the National Advertising Division (NAD) rolled out a Fast-Track SWIFT option (“Single Well-defined Issue Fast Track”) for certain cases under review. The new SWIFT track expedites the process for single-issue disputes that do not require complex evidence or argument and meet certain parameters. On June 10, the NAD published its first trio of SWIFT decisions that illustrate what participants can expect from the new process.

Time 2 Minute Read

One novel feature of the 2020 proxy season has been the surge in virtual shareholder meetings. For example, one provider of virtual meeting services reported four times as many virtual shareholder meetings as last year. Although the rise in virtual meetings this year resulted from safety precautions surrounding COVID-19, after weighing the benefits and becoming more comfortable with conducting business remotely, it is likely that many companies will continue to use virtual shareholder meetings or hybrid in-person and virtual meetings in the future.

Time 2 Minute Read

On Monday, the US Supreme Court agreed to consider whether a provision in an arbitration agreement that exempts certain claims from arbitration negates an otherwise clear and unmistakable delegation of questions of arbitrability to an arbitrator. It is a question on which circuits have been divided. On one hand, some courts have found that the gateway question of arbitrability—whether the claims fall within the scope of the carve-out provision—is for the arbitrator to decide. On the other, some courts have found that, where there is a carve-out provision, there is no clear and unmistakable evidence of the parties’ intent to delegate questions of arbitrability to an arbitrator, and questions of arbitrability are to be decided by the court. Undoubtedly, resolution is necessary.

Time 4 Minute Read

Should you have to pay to see CPSC’s adopted safety standards?  That is the question raised by a lawsuit filed in the Third Circuit this month, which challenges the CPSC’s adoption of mandatory safety standards for consumer products that are not available for free to the public.  The American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM”) is a well-recognized independent organization that develops consensus-based, voluntary standards for children’s products.  In 2019, ASTM updated its safety specifications for infant bath seats, which includes changes to labeling, product performance, and safety testing (ASTM F1967-19).  The CPSC later promulgated an agency rule adopting the updated ASTM standard as legally binding on infant bath seat manufacturers (16 C.F.R. § 1215).  On behalf of a new mother, a civil rights group filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 2060 challenging the CPSC’s rule.  The mother claims that she asked the CPSC for a copy of the standard and the CPSC instead directed her to buy a copy from ASTM.  ASTM charges $56 for a copy of the standard—almost double the price of an infant bath seat.  The petition asks the Third Circuit to vacate the rule, order the CPSC to make any binding standard freely accessible to the public whenever the CPSC proposes to promulgate a new rule, and order the CPSC to make any binding standard freely accessible to the public permanently after the CPSC adopts it in a final rule.

Time 3 Minute Read

According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, retail sales plummeted 16.4% in April 2020. As state and local governments across the country begin to lift or ease Stay at Home Orders and business closures, retailers reopening their doors are grappling with how to protect their employees’ health and reassure customers that it is safe to shop.

Time 4 Minute Read

A consumer advisory issued on June 1, 2020 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clarifies which hard-surface disinfectant products may legally make claims regarding expected efficacy against the COVID-19 virus. The advisory, titled “What You Need to Know Regarding Products Making Claims to Kill the Coronavirus Causing COVID-19,” also warns retailers of potential enforcement actions if they sell non-compliant products.


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