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  • Standing Rock Sioux Water Protectors Win a Battle

    On December 4th, 2016, while many were sipping their Sunday coffee, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that the Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.  I am sure more than one cup of coffee spilled with elation and disbelief that the Water Protectors at and near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation had achieved a major victory against Dallas-based Energy Transfer Part...

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  • December 1, 2016 Deadline Defunct: Federal Judge Blocks US Department of Labor Exempt Salary Increase

    Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s controversial rule which was slated to increase the minimum exempt salary requirements on December 1, 2016.  The rule was scheduled to raise the minimum exempt salary for executive, administrative and professional employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. The Texas federal judge concluded that the 21 states ...

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  • SUN SETTING ON SOLAR RESIDENTIAL INCENTIVES IN CALIFORNIA: HAVE TRIBAL CITIZENS BENEFITED?

    In California, rooftop solar has largely been a success under the Million Solar Roofs Initiative (SB 1, 2006). Senate Bill No.1 includes the California Solar Initiative, an incentive program that is run by investor-owned utilities, and the New Solar Homes Partnership, which supports solar energy on new homes.  However, many Tribal citizens have not taken advantage of the financial incentive programs at the state, county, and local levels.  One of the reasons may have been outreach a...

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  • Now Accepting Applications for Procopio's Summer 2017 Native American Law Internship Program

    Procopio has a long-standing tradition of providing growth opportunities to the communities we serve.  Procopio’s Native American Law Practice Group extends this tradition by actively investing in the future leaders of Indian Country through offering paid internships for Native American law students or law students with an emphasis in Native American law.  Please join us in identifying qualified legal students within Native American communities that may be interested in being part...

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  • Effective TODAY! Revised San Diego Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

    In previous updates from earlier this summer, we alerted employers about the San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance (“Ordinance”), advising employers that the “original” Ordinance (effective July 11) would eventually be revised into an “implemented” Ordinance (effective sometime in September).  The Office of Enforcement (the agency tasked with enforcing the Ordinance in San Diego) finalized the language in the implemented Ordinance and the effective date is TO...

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  • How Businesses Can Recover Serious Damages from Website Copyright Infringers

    A company's website is their calling card, and with so many emerging startups looking to establish their brand, it is easy to overlook the “little things,” like copyrighting website content. As attorneys who often advise firms on copyright protection, we know better than anyone that protecting intellectual property is top of mind for technology and brand conscious business owners. What is not always top of mind is everything that encompasses intellectual property, like website content...

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  • Should You Consider a “Crowdfunding” Offering?

    On October 30, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to adopt “Regulation Crowdfunding,” or “Regulation CF”. On May 16, 2016, the final Regulation CF went active.  Regulation CF is meant to make it easier for privately held companies to raise investment capital. Unlike other crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter™, GoFundMe™ and IndieGoGo™ that raise funds from the public for personal causes and cool ideas where the donors have no expectation of a return...

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  • LANDLORDS, PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY!

    Let’s say you’re a landlord.  Your tenant’s contractor builds improvements.  The contractor is not paid, and records a mechanics lien.  Does the lien impact your fee interest in the property?  It can.  In California, a mechanics lien may attach to a fee interest even where the landlord does not contract for the improvements.  (Civil Code § 8442.)  This presents risk where a tenant wants to build.  However, there are ways for a landlord ...

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  • IS ALL “FAIR” IN FASHION AND APPROPRIATION?

    On July 12, 2016, New Mexico Federal Judge Bruce D. Black granted another partial win to Urban Outfitters in the infamous, Navajo Nation v. Urban Outfitters, by denying the Nation’s motion to dismiss Urban Outfitters’ trademark fair use defense. As a result, Urban Outfitters will be able to assert the affirmative defense of descriptive fair use against the Nation’s trademark infringement claim at trial. Descriptive fair use allows the use of another’s mark if used to describe a user...

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  • “Forage”- Ahead: Tribes Permitted to Gather Plants from National Parks

    Effective August 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Interior authorized the National Park Service to enter into government-to-government agreements with federally recognized Tribes to allow tribal members to gather and remove plants or plant parts from national parks and monuments for tribal or cultural uses. In the agreements, Tribes must explain their traditional connections to a particular park or monument, and show that such connections predate the park’s establishment. Tribes must fu...

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