Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP is a full-service law firm that offers clients the national reach and sophisticated experience of a large firm and the local connections and value of a boutique firm.

This combination of reach and local autonomy supports our clients with the clout of a mega-firm and the service hallmarks of a boutique. With one firm, our clients get a macro view of the law with a micro focus on their unique legal needs. With 16 offices in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr serves businesses throughout the United States and internationally. We represent recognizable names in corporate America, exciting start-ups and an array of closely held and privately held companies, as well as nonprofits, governmental and educational entities.

A New York Class Action Relying on the Second Circuit’s Madden Decision Is In Jeopardy After Magistrate Judge’s Recommendation In 2019, two putative class actions were filed in New York by plaintiffs seeking to build off the Second Circuit’s decision in Madden v. Midland Funding, LLC, 786 F. 246 (2d Cir. 2015). The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants, who acquired securitized credit card receivables from national banks, violated New York law by charging interest amounts that were in excess of New York’s usury cap of 16%. One of these cases, Petersen v. Chase Chard Funding LLC, 19-cv-0741 (W.D.N.Y.) is now…
This blog shall provide a brief summary of the status of the pending lawsuit related to the New Regulations issued by USCIS and effective November 21, 2019, as well as a status report on pending legislation. Needless to say, the market is in a confused state given the uncertainty of what will transpire going forward. As an industry, we are now dealing with the New Regulations which in effect eliminates non-TEA projects from the marketplace since it is very doubtful that investors will invest $1,800,000 to obtain a green card, especially given all the delay and extra costs being encountered…
New Year Brings Substantial Changes for Tobacco, Cannabis, and Food and Beverage Industries We saw plenty of significant federal and state policy, regulatory, and enforcement developments for the tobacco, cannabis, and food and beverage industries this holiday season.  Notably, (1) President Trump signed H.R. 1865 into law, which bans the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21; (2) the Trump Administration finalized its partial ban on flavored e-cigarette products, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its enforcement policy on unauthorized flavored e-cigarettes that appeal to children; (3) the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the…
Key Takeaways for Furnishers from the CFPB’s Recent Supervisory Highlights on Credit Reporting In December 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its Supervisory Highlights covering its findings from examinations in the areas of credit reporting and the furnishing of credit information to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). The following are a few of the key takeaways from the CFPB’s findings and comments. 1.  The Lack of Procedures Necessary to Fit a Furnisher’s “Nature, Size, Complexity and Scope of Activities” The CFPB highlighted that a furnisher’s policies and procedures must be appropriate to fit the nature, size, complexity, and scope…
Happy New Year, Employers! From Your Friends at the NLRB. In December, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a flurry of employer-friendly decisions.  Management can toast the following end-of-year gifts and look forward to continuing success at the Board in the new year. Ambush Election Rule Out with the old:  In 2014, the Obama-era Board instituted its infamous “ambush election” rules, which set very tight election time limits, foreclosed employers from litigating critical issues of bargaining unit scope and voter eligibility before the election, and effectively limited an employer’s ability to educate its workers about the pitfalls of unionization.…
2020 Preview: Minimum Wages Rise in 24 States Plus D.C. In 2019, we saw significant activity in state legislatures passing employment-related laws in areas where federal government efforts had stalled, like paid sick leave, non-compete agreements and workplace discrimination. Another important area where states took action concerns the raising of minimum hourly wages. In fact, workers in half the states (25 including D.C.) will see an increase in hourly minimum wage rates at some point in 2020. The chart below details which states are affected by minimum wage increases in 2020 and what those increases will be. States in which…
For the past 4 weeks, the EB-5 industry has been anxiously awaiting the status of the pending complaint filed in the United States District Court in the District of Columbia by a Florida regional center against USCIS and other related parties in order to block the enforceability of the New Regulations published by USCIS that became effective November 21, 2019 (the “New Regulations”). As a result of such action, industry experts are taking a precautionary standpoint in analyzing how to deal with investors who would otherwise invest at a $900,000 level, assuming that the new TEA standards have been satisfied…
Congress has passed, and the President has signed, a spending bill that includes the SECURE Act, which makes a number of changes in retirement planning rules. Here are some highlights: 1. Minimum distributions from IRAs and retirement plans, required to begin soon after age 70 1/2, may be postponed until age 72. This change applies to those who reach age 70 1/2 after December 31, 2019. 2. Participants in IRAs and retirement plans may withdraw up to $5,000 without penalty (but with tax) to pay the costs of the birth or adoption of a child. 3. Contributions to IRAs were…
On December 6, 2019, the Treasury announced that the final regulations had been issued and sent to OMB for approval. On December 19, 2019, the final regulations package, totaling over 500 pages, was officially published. Separate blogs will be posted after we digest the contents of the final regulations. “Opportunity Zones are helping to revitalize communities and create jobs for hardworking Americans,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “These regulations provide clarity and certainty for investors, which will enhance the flow of capital to new and expanding businesses, and create sustained economic growth in communities that have been left behind.” The…
According to data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), in 2018, 6.9% of all sexual harassment charges submitted to the EEOC were filed in Illinois, representing the third highest concentration for any state, behind Texas (9.7%) and Florida (9.6%). Notably, that number has increased each year since 2014. Enter the Illinois legislature, which, earlier this year, passed an extensive new law designed to weed out discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The law, dubbed the Workplace Transparency Act (“WTA”), combats unlawful employment practices through a variety of methods, including limits on non-disclosure agreements, mandatory reporting of certain claims, and…
As referenced in our prior WISE blog article here, earlier this year Illinois enacted legislation legalizing recreational marijuana for adults, effective January 1, 2020 (the “Adult Use Act”).  However, given the ambiguity in the original legislation as it related to employer liability and, more specifically, the liability for terminating (or withdrawing a job offer for) employees for testing positive for marijuana, the Illinois legislature recently passed (and the Governor signed into law), an amendment (SB 1557) that clarifies what employers can and cannot do under the Adult Use Act. The primary source of confusion for employers under…
Pennsylvania Court Finds Employee Can Assert Claim Against Employer Under State’s Medical Marijuana Act The Lackawanna Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania held, in a matter of first impression, that language in the state’s Medical Marijuana Act (“MMA”) creates a private right of action for an employee that is terminated for off-site use of medical marijuana.  In Palmiter v. Commonwealth Health Systems, et al. , the court decided that although that statute does not expressly provide a private right of action, its explicit language that “[n]o employer may discharge, threaten, refuse to hire or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against…
On November  20, 2019, the Commonwealth’s highest court issued a significant decision regarding overtime compensation, which makes it illegal for employers to use the “fluctuating work week” method (“FWW”) to calculate overtime.  In this significant departure from longstanding wage and hour practices and federal law, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania outlawed the FWW method because it does not guarantee non-exempt employees at least one-and-one-half times their regular rate for working more than 40 hours per workweek, as required by state law.  GNC Store Managers Bring Suit for Overtime Violations This decision arose from the matter of Tawny Chevalier et al.…
New Jersey Appellate Division Rejects Consumer’s Attempt to Declare Arbitration Provision Invalid Under New Jersey Plain Language Act In a recent unpublished opinion, Maisano v. LVNV Funding, LLC, No. A-1775-18T2, 2019 WL 6341035 (App. Div. Nov. 27, 2019), the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the trial court’s order compelling Maisano (the “consumer”) to arbitrate his claims against LVNV Funding, LLC (“defendant”), an entity that acquires outstanding credit card accounts and collects the balances. In this case, the consumer entered into a credit card agreement with Credit One (“Agreement”) and as a result of the consumer’s failure to make payments…
Saul Ewing Arnstein and Lehr LLP has been extremely active in navigating the current status of the EB5 industry and determining what courses of action need to be taken given the existence of the new regulations (“New Regulations” or “REGS”), the possibility of the pending legislation being adapted, and the recently-filed temporary restraining complaint against USCIS and related parties in order to invalidate the REGS. The current EB-5 Regional Center Program has been extended by a continuing resolution until December 20, 2019.  However, on July 24, 2019, USCIS published new regulations that became effective on November 21, 2019, and until otherwise modified by…
Pennsylvania Seeks to Raise Minimum Wage, Scrap Salary Increase for Overtime Exemption The Pennsylvania Senate passed Senate Bill 79 on November 20, 2019, which would raise the minimum wage but also halt the state Department of Labor and Industry (“DLI”) from raising the salary threshold for overtime wages. The bill, which still needs to pass the house and be signed by the governor, is expected to pass and represents a compromise between the Republican-controlled legislature and Democratic governor. Under the proposed law, Pennsylvania’s minimum wage would gradually raise over the next three years to: $8.00/hour effective July 1, 2020 $8.50/hour…