Our Top 10 Legal Alerts from 2021

December 30, 2021

As we start a new year, we would like to share with you some of our most popular legal alerts from 2021. Our top alerts range from bankruptcy, real estate, COVID-19, labor & employment, healthcare, immigration, trusts & estates, corporate & securities, litigation, and intellectual property, reflecting the broad array of our full-service capabilities. We hope that our alerts have been helpful to you and your colleagues and demonstrate our commitment to providing important information to you.

1. USCIS Conducts Third H-1B Cap Lottery and Build Back Better Legislation Passed by the House of Representatives Includes Significant Relief for Those Seeking to Immigrate to the U.S.

On November 19, U.S. Citizenship Services (USCIS) announced it had completed a third H-1B lottery selection for the fiscal year 2022 cap. This is the third H-1B lottery selection this year. USCIS allows for 85,000 H1-B cap-subject petitions on an annual basis.

2. PERM Lessons From Facebook Settlements With The Department Of Labor and Department Of Justice

On October 19, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Justice (DOJ) settled with Facebook over its alleged discrimination against U.S. workers relating to the manner it conducted recruitment under the permanent labor certification (PERM) process.

3. The Constitutionality of New York City’s “Guaranty Law” Remains in Question After Decision by the Second Circuit

For those interested in knowing whether the New York City “Guaranty Law,” which was enacted by the City Council in May 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will survive a challenge to its constitutionality, the wait continues.

4. Latest Developments in OSHA's Guidance for Healthcare-Related Businesses

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) passed its COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for healthcare-based businesses. The ETS requires employers to implement a COVID-19 plan to protect their workers from the virus.

5. Battle Royale: Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc.

The question of fair use has been the subject of many notable court decisions, including one recent one from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals holding that Warhol’s use in the artwork of Lynn Goldsmith’s photographs wasn’t transformative and hence didn’t qualify for the fair use defense.

6. NFTs and Securities Laws: How to Create and Sell Compliant Non-Fungible Tokens

NFTs are extremely hot right now. In March 2021, the digital artist Beeple made history when he sold his NFT of digital art for $69.3 million through Christie’s auction house. NFTs are poised to upend almost every creative industry from art to music to books to collectibles.

7. New Requirement for New York Landlords: Reasonable Accommodation Notice for Persons with Disabilities

A change in state law that takes effect this month now requires New York residential landlords to distribute disability accommodation notices to all current tenants by April 1, 2021, and to all new tenants within 30 days of beginning their tenancy.

8. Voluntary Qualified Importer Program Opens for Fiscal Year 2022

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently opened an application portal for a Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) for fiscal year 2022. Through a voluntary, fee-based model, VQIP provides participating importers with expedited review and import entry of human and animal foods into the United States. 

9. New York State Issues Updated COVID-19 Sick Leave Guidance

New York State released supplemental guidance regarding the application of COVID-19 sick leave for all eligible employees. The supplemental guidance stipulates that employees may qualify for leave under the New York State COVID-19 Sick Leave law for up to three orders of quarantine or isolation and that the second and third orders must be based on positive COVID-19 tests.

10. Naming Beneficiaries on Financial Accounts: Advantages and Disadvantages

More and more, people are being advised to add “transfer on death” designations to their non-IRA brokerage assets. This increasingly popular tool has both benefits as well as detractions and is best used only in certain circumstances.


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