General

Brazilian Distributor Caught Up in the Meat of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

By: Brandon Kroll*| Guest Writer

Philip Halling [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Philip Halling [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

If you have ever eaten at McDonald’s, Burger King, or Outback Steakhouse, then you have probably eaten the meat of JBS, the world’s largest meat producer. JBS is a global company that was started in Brazil in 1953. Since then, the beef and chicken giant has been aggressively expanding its reaches all over the globe. However, JBS finds itself under fire for bribing politicians in Brazil, most notably Brazilian President Michel Temer. This made news after Joesley Batista, the former chairman of JBS, told prosecutors that the company had paid politicians bribes in exchange for “taxpayer-subsidized loans and other favors.”  Batista subsequently stepped down from his position in the company.

Continue reading »

The Merchants of Verification

By: Brad Fleming*| Guest Writer

https://pixabay.com/en/credit-card-terminal-payment-1727353/

Visa and MasterCard have built highly profitable businesses that rest on preventing competition from rival PIN and signature verification networks. When consumers use debit cards to make purchases, the consumer’s identity must be confirmed through either a Personal Identification Number (“PIN”) or signature. Both signature and PIN verifications require the transaction be sent through either signature or PIN verification networks. PIN network technology can be stored in the debit card, so merchants should be able to choose from among multiple competing network providers for processing signature and PIN transactions.

Continue reading »

Payless: Fighting the Label of Another Bricks and Mortar Store Gone Under

By: Jasmine Little*| Guest Writer

By BentleyMall (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By BentleyMall (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Another one bites the dust. Payless ShoeSource, the largest chain for footwear, recently filed chapter 11 bankruptcy in April of 2017. The chain has high hopes to avoid being labeled as one of the many bricks and mortar focused retail companies that permanently closes its doors, like Sports Authority Holdings Inc. and Wet Seal. However, the odds are not in the chain’s favor. Not only has Payless’ bankruptcy plan prompted questions from its unsecured creditors but the retail market in general is seeing a soar in bankruptcy filings and store closings. The retail industry is most susceptible to liquidating its assets and shutting down permanently after filing bankruptcy than is any other sector of the market. AlixPartners firm research study found that once a retail company files for bankruptcy, there is a about a fifty-five percent chance that it will never reopen.

Continue reading »

“Fearless Girl” Not Cowed by “Charging Bull”

By: Cara Katrinak*| Guest Writer

Gabriele Giuseppini [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Gabriele Giuseppini [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Big things come in small packages. After reigning over Wall Street for nearly 30 years, the 3 ½-ton bronze sculpture “Charging Bull” is facing off against a 4-foot adversary in Lower Manhattan. “Fearless Girl,” commissioned by State Street Global Advisors to commemorate International Women’s Day, features a bronze girl, hands-on-hips, blocking the path of the famous bull. While “Fearless Girl” was designed to be the Financial District’s symbol of women in leadership, Arturo Di Modica, the artist behind “Charging Bull,” wants “Fearless Girl” to promote her message somewhere else.

Continue reading »

Air Bagged and Sold: The Price of Nonfunctional Slack-fill

By: Ralph J. D’Agostino*| Guest Writer

By kundl (Comida Chatarra  Uploaded by JohnnyMrNinja) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By kundl (Comida Chatarra Uploaded by JohnnyMrNinja) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There is one first world problem many of us habitual snackers can relate to – with wide eyes you reach for what appears to be a bag stuffed with the answers to your growling stomach’s prayers, then… pop! The air quickly pours out of the bag and the joy rushes out of your soul as you realize its contents were a mere fraction of its container. But is leaving you and the bag hopelessly deflated, a result of caveat emptor or possibly false advertisement? This is the question posed to the Southern District of New York in a case brought against Wise Foods, the maker of Wise potato chips.

Continue reading »

Has Privacy Become a Silently Enforced Business Strategy?

By: Maria Pigna*| Staff Writer 

https://pixabay.com/en/keyboard-computer-empty-private-895556/

It goes without saying that the new age of evolving technology has presented the world with a fast treadmill of development, with no choice but to hop on or be left behind in the dark past.  This has left modern businesses and the legal market in a frenzy, with outdated policies and unsettled issues.  For decades, great customer service has been about delighting your customers with friendly staff and business policies, but in this digital global economy, the game has changed.

Continue reading »

The California DMV is Putting Its Foot Down on Regulation for Top Notch Cybersecurity Laws in Autonomous Cars

By: Thomas Gaffney*| Staff Writer

By Dllu (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Dllu (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Imagine yourself on your morning commute to work, but instead of sitting behind the wheel you are comfortably reclined in your bucket seat reading the newspaper and eating waffles for breakfast.  Does this sound too far-fetched?  Maybe not. No one is surprised that autonomous vehicles are currently a super-hot topic in the tech and auto industries.  Every big name in the tech industry (UBER, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Telsa, etc.) is working on its own version of autonomous driving software; and why would they not?  The first company to develop an autonomous car with driving capabilities better than that of a human will get an enormous upper hand in a market that is projected to be worth at least 42 billion dollars by 2025. No one is going to purchase an autonomous car if it is not safe, however, and some of the threats facing these vehicles are not coming from the road but from the internet.

Continue reading »

Qualified Immunity for Non-Profit Board Members in North Carolina

By: Tommy Tobin*| Guest Writer

pexels-photo

Are you considering joining a non-profit board of directors? Non-profit boards in North Carolina operate similarly to those of their for-profit cousins but important differences exist, especially with regard to liability exposure. State law encourages non-profit board service and offers additional immunity protections for volunteer board members.

Continue reading »

Digital Gold: How Data Ownership Creates a Barrier to Market-Entry for Tech Startups

By: Cara Van Dorn*| Staff Writer

https://pixabay.com/en/binary-code-privacy-policy-woman-2175285/

Computers are learning to do more than drive cars and predict your next online purchase; they are learning to compose music, translate languages in real time, invest your money, diagnose disease, read MRIs and ultrasounds, and even perform surgeries.  The possibilities are truly incredible.  Many of the brightest minds in engineering, computer science, medicine, and finance are engaged in one of these fields through academia, startup companies, and big corporations such as IBM, Google, and Amazon.  Regardless of the field or forum, the limiting factor to the success of any innovation is the same: access to data.

Continue reading »

Who’s Listening: A Kid-Friendly Cyber Threat

By: Katherine Escalante*| Staff Writer

 https://pixabay.com/en/binary-black-cyber-data-digits-2170630/

At its core, CloudPets’s new toy brings a personal touch to a stuffed animal. A parent can send a recorded message through an app, which transmits through the stuffed animal, allowing your loved one to hear your voice.  However, this personal touch may come at the cost of your personal information, passwords, and access to your voice.  Like other toys that connect to the internet, this toy stores all that information in the cloud.  With scammers developing new ways of attaining personal information, this purchase is surely something parents will have to think about twice before buying.

Continue reading »