International Commercial Arbitration is the process used by parties conducting international business to resolve contractual disputes. Distrust and uncertainty in laws, fairness of the legal process, independence of judicial systems of other nations, procedural delays, and elevated costs of pursuing legal actions in foreign countries are frequent concerns among those involved in international business. Accordingly, such concerns have encouraged the use of arbitration to resolve international commercial disputes. Read more
In the United States today, the majority of Americans use credit and debit cards and students are no different. Often times students receive their first card when they enter a college or university. These cards are school sponsored credit cards. The schools are required by law to comply with the consumer protection laws when offering school sponsored credit cards. In December of 2015, the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sent warning letters notifying 17 higher education institutions that they have to improve disclosure of credit card agreements as required by law.
All colleges and universities are required to comply with the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD). Rule 15 U.S.C. § 1650(f)(1), known as the CARD Act, necessitates that all institutions of higher education must disclose publicly any contract or agreement made with a credit card issuer or a creditor whose intent is to market a credit card. 12 CFR § 1026.57(b); Comment 1026.57(b)-1 sets forth the guidelines for compliance:
For those new to our series, let us tell you a bit more! Our View from the Top series is when we take a scheduled departure from our regular blog content. We sit-down and talk with individuals who are having a local, national, or global impact in our community. We ask these individuals to share a bit about the challenges they faced on the road to success and advice they would give others. This a chance for Gonzalo Law to reach out to “game changers” and allow them to share their insights with our business and institutional clients. Our goal is to help clients maximize their success by implementing key insights.
Technological advancements have given rise to new issues regarding privacy in health care. It is very important that organizations understand and comply with these frequenty changing health care rules. Failure to comply can lead to hefty fines for your organization. The three important rules that your organization should be aware of are the Security Rule, The Privacy Rule, and the Breach Notification Rule.
The accidents caused by firearms continue to rise in the United States. This week, the federal government has decided to take action to reduce the number of firearms obtained by ineligible individuals. The people who fall into this category of “ineligible” include convicted felons, perpetrators of domestic violence, as well as individuals who suffer from mental health challenges that risk harm to themselves or others. The question then becomes how institutions will properly comply with federal healthcare privacy laws under HIPPA and also meet the objective of these executive orders.
In the world of business today, protecting confidential information and trade secrets is an important part of conducting business. Business owners should be sure to have a detailed and carefully drafted agreement in place for all employees and vendors with whom their company conducts business. An agreement that will withstand legal scrutiny in litigation or arbitration is especially important. These agreements should list the specific items or types of items considered confidential or to be trade secrets. This is vital because the court must be able to easily determine when there has been a breach of the stated contract terms. Frequently, companies use very broad terms such as “all information pertaining to the company.” However, many things pertaining to the company would not be considered confidential information or a trade secret. This type of terminology would be overly broad. Using broad language opens the door to legal interpretation. When this occurs, it requires the court to define for a company what item truly is a trade secret or is confidential information. A company, rather than the court however, is in a much better position to define this. As such, having this definition already included in the agreement is most prudent.
The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) is American Legislation passed in 1936, yet is still used today. This act provided a way to enforce contracts under the international Hague Convention Rules. COGSA originally stated that all cargo ship owners are responsible for packages that are shipped; however, liability per package is limited to $500 per package and parties are limited to one year for filing litigation. This act is automatically enforced for all relevant international shipments, yet is not automatic for domestic shipments unless the carrier agrees to be bound. Many foreign countries enforce a similar set of laws that apply to overseas shipping.
The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG) have many similarities yet also contain many differences. If you are considering conducting business concerning the international sale of goods, it is important that you are aware of these differences prior to signing a contract.
If you plan on importing or exporting goods to another country, then you should be aware of the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG). This is a treaty that was originally signed in Vienna in 1980. As of September 2014, it has been ratified by 83 countries. The purpose of the treaty is to create uniform laws to govern international sales. Read more
With technological advancement, comes the increased need for new rules and regulations regarding trademarks. On September 1, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) began implementing a pilot program called The Technology Evolution Pilot Program. This program makes it possible for trademark owners to expand the trademark registrations of their goods and services. Thus, trademark owners may be permitted to keep their current trademark without having to file a new application if the revised registration of the existing mark is due to a technological advancement of the current mark. This change will enable trademark owners to save the time and money often involved in changing an existing trademark registration.