TalksOnLaw Editorial

TalksOnLaw Editorial

Featuring legal updates and trends from across the United States and around the world.

The ideas shared by contributors represent the ideas of that individual only and in no way represent the views or position of TalksOnLaw.


SEC Releases 2020 Examination Priorities

2020 SEC OCIE EXAMINATION PRIORITIES—HIGHLIGHTS On January 7, 2020, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) released its 2020 examination priorities. The annual publication outlines the practices, products, and services that the SEC believes present potential risks to investors and the U.S. markets. The report highlights 8 focus areas for fiscal year 2020: (1) retail investors, including seniors and individuals saving for retirement; (2) information security; (3) financial technology (fintech) and innovations, including digital assets and electronic investment advice; (4) additional focus areas involving registered investment advisers (RIAs) and inv...

Published: February 12, 2020
Extradition Battle: Who Gets Julian Assange?

Who gets Julian Assange? The (in)famous Wikileaks founder was arrested on April 11 at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.  But with charges still pending in the UK (skipping bail), the possibility of a sexual assault case in Sweden, and a felony charge in the US for “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” (helping Chelsea Manning take and release classified military docs), who will end up with custody of the famous white-haired hacker?  While many experts see the U.S. as the favorite for custody, Sweden is also a contender; Assange’s alleged rape victim is pushing Swedish prosecutors to reopen her case.  Another mystery yet unsolved – why after 7 years of asylum (plus Ecuado...

Published: April 11, 2019
EU Bans Single-Use Plastics

The European Parliament approves a new law banning single-use plastics by 2021.  The law bans items such as plastic straws, plates, q-tips and plastic cutlery.  Additionally, the new legislation calls for EU states to reach 90% collection targets for all plastic bottles by 2029.  “Today, we have taken an important step to reduce littering and plastic pollution in our oceans and seas. We got this, we can do this.” Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission. Additional Resources For details on the ban from the European Parliament, click here. For the EU's factsheet on the new rules reducing plastics and the damage of such plastics to the oceans, click he...

Published: March 28, 2019
Bump Stock Now Illegal

The federal ban on bump stocks is officially law as of March 26, 2019.  Bump stocks modify semiautomatic rifles, allowing them to fire continuously with one pull of the trigger.  Back in December 2018, the Dept of Justice provided owners with 90 days to turn in or destroy their bump stock before banning them outright.  Bump stocks are now included within the federal definition of a "machinegun" in the Gun Control Act (GCA) and the National Firearms Act (NFA). Possessing them can result in fines and a prison term of up to 10 years.  To learn more, read the official Bump-Stock-Type Devices Final Rule released by the Department of Justice December 18, 2018.

Published: March 26, 2019
What Does the Cole Memo Mean for Marijuana?

WHAT IS THE COLE MEMORANDUM? On August 29, 2013, the Department of Justice issued the now infamous Cole Memorandum, signaling a shift in federal law enforcement policy on marijuana in America. While the memo (signed by then United States Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole) reiterates the view that marijuana is a “dangerous drug” and federally illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, it provided some comfort to the cannabis industry by offering some restraint in terms of enforcement of the prohibition.   Specifically, the memo provided guidance to federal law enforcement regarding crimes relating to the cultivation, distribution, sale, or possession of marijuana in stat...

Published: February 12, 2020
Contested Paternity between Identical Twins

► TOL Foreign Law Update A woman is pregnant, and the father is one of two identical twins.  But what happens if each twin claims he is not the father? Well, according to a court in Brazil, both will pay. The twins, referred to by the court as Fernando and Fabrício, are alleged to regularly impersonate one another while pursuing women.  The judge, left unable to identify the father, imposed child support on both men.     Additional Resources For an in depth conversation on bioethics, including the ownership of sperm and contested paternity, watch this interview with Harvard Law Prof. Glenn Cohen.  Click here. For the legal decision (in Portuguese), click here.  ...

Published: April 3, 2019
Jussie Smollett–All Charges Dropped

In an example of the broad powers of prosecutorial discredition, Chicago prosecutors dropped all 16 felony charges against Jussie Smollett. The actor had been previously accused of staging a fake hate crime against himself and then lying to police about it.  Without reversing on the allegations from Chicago PD, the DA’s office dropped the charges after Smollett agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond and perform community service. According to DA Kim Foxx, the crimes may not have been serious enough to merit pursuing further, given that Smollett wasn't likely to face jail time. Kim Foxx said, “This is a Class 4 felony — We recognize that the likelihood that someone would get a pri...

Published: March 27, 2019