In mid-2000, the SEC adopted Regulation FD to protect investors by creating a level playing field for all investors for access to material, nonpublic information. The SEC’s primary concern was that selective disclosure, and the perception of selective disclosure to analysts and institutional investors, of material, nonpublic information, leads to a loss of investor confidence in the integrity and fairness of the securities markets.
On June 9, 2015, the Federal Reserve, OCC and FDIC (as well as the SEC, CFPB and NCUA) issued a final interagency joint policy statement (JPS) establishing standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate.
Imagine the following scenario: your bank has just announced an agreement to be acquired by a larger institution that is entering your market for the first time. Two months into the process your CEO, CFO and chief lender tell the board that they have decided to accept offers from local competitors because (a) they will make more money, (b) they have a built-in customer following and (c) despite good relations with the buyer they are uncertain as to their future and have families to consider.
As the M&A environment heats up and industry chatter increases, banks and their boards need to be prepared to take advantage of strategic opportunities. Boards should have an M&A strategy in place and this preparation needs to take place before the situation arises.
A recent opinion from the federal district court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania determined that drivers who transported water to drilling rigs were not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or Pennsylvania law.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced the results of a 2014 enforcement initiative that focused on the oil and gas industry in New Mexico and west Texas. According to the DOL, it recovered more than $1.3 million owed to some 1,300 employees as a result of this investigation. This is not the first DOL foray into wage-and-hour practices within the oil and gas industry. In December 2014, the DOL announced that employers engaged in natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania and West Virginia agreed to pay $4,498,547 in back wages to 5,310 employees.
As 2015 gets under way, bank compensation committees are tasked with setting the bank’s executive compensation strategy for the year and effectively communicating that compensation structure to shareholders. Compensation committees need to strike a balance between a compensation program that attracts and retains employees and encourages those employees to take appropriate business risks while advancing the bank’s growth strategies and discouraging inappropriate risks.
Maybe at one time your company was reporting to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and your company’s stock was listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ). You were relieved when the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act allowed you to terminate your SEC registration, even though it meant that your stock could no longer be listed on NASDAQ.
During the past three years, a significant number of community banks and their holding companies (collectively, banks) throughout the United States elected to “go dark” by taking advantage of a provision in The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). These banks were able to suspend their reporting obligations under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and deregister with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because they had fewer than 1,200 shareholders of record.
In December 2014, Congress modified portions of Dodd-Frank to provide additional opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden on community banks. In response to this legislation, on January 29, 2015 the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) requested comment on several related proposals (and an interim rule) focused primarily on increasing the number of holding companies eligible for the reduced reporting and other requirements under the “small” holding company exclusion.
Over the past year, Pennsylvania has continued to lead the northeastern United States in natural gas production. According to a report published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on November 25, 2014, Pennsylvania became the second-largest shale gas producing state in the nation in 2013, and production continued to increase throughout 2014.
2014 was a year of continued growth and expansion for Ohio’s oil and gas industry. Drilling and production increased dramatically, with more than 50 Utica rigs operating in Ohio at year end and over 550 new drilling permits having been issued as of October 2014, which is more than all of 2013.
Following an extended dry spell for de novo bank applications, in what could be interpreted as a gesture to “kick-start” de novo conversations, the FDIC issued in November a somewhat “out of the blue” financial institutions letter (FIL-56-2014) containing a series of Q&As relating to procedural issues surrounding applications for deposit insurance.
Both state and federal bank regulatory exam reports use references to Matters Requiring Attention (MRAs), Matters Requiring Board Attention (MRBAs) and Matters Requiring Immediate Attention (MRIAs) as mechanisms for bringing issues and concerns to the attention of financial institution boards.
Kevin Gormly, a partner in the Pittsburgh office, and Abbi Marusic, an associate in the Pittsburgh office, provided the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Update in the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Mineral Law Newsletter, Vol. 31, No. 4.
The use of independent contractors in the oil and gas industry is typical and its advantages are obvious. However, decisions about when and how to use independent contractors might be made without full consideration of potential problems or the ever-looming and potentially significant risks of misclassification.
Kevin Gormly, a partner in the Pittsburgh office, and Abbi Marusic, an associate in the Pittsburgh office, provided the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Update in the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Mineral Law Newsletter, Vol. 31, No. 3. The article covered the Commonwealth Court's decision on Act 13 issues, the forced pooling provision of oil and gas conservation law, and the Pennsylvanaia Superior Court's decision on "Title Washing."
Kevin Gormly, a partner in the Pittsburgh office, and Abbi Marusic, an associate in the Pittsburgh office, provided the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Update in the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Mineral Law Newsletter, Vol. 31, No. 2. The article covered the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Act 13 decision, the new provisions of the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Lease Act, Pennsylvania natural gas severance tax, and seismic testing litigation.
On May 8 the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (the Division) made several changes to its Procedural Guidelines for Unitization Applications filed under Section 1509.28 of the Ohio Revised Code. The changes below will undoubtedly present new challenges to applicants submitting applications to the Division.
Kevin M. Gormly and Melissa McCoy Gormly, attorneys in the Vorys Pittsburgh office and members of the energy group, recently obtained a preliminary injunction in the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on behalf of ION Geophysical Corporation. In the case, Hempfield Township attempted to prevent ION from conducting seismic testing on the township’s roads and rights-of-way. Instead of passing an ordinance regulating or banning seismic testing, the township had its solicitor send ION a letter informing ION that the township would not permit such seismic activity.