Phase I Hazardous Land Conditions Study Standard Approved By USEPA

The US Environmental Protection Agency issued rules December 30, 2013 approving the American Society for Testing and Measurement (ASTM) E1527-13 standard practice for Phase I environmental site assessments. This is an “all appropriate inquiries” standard, which defines and limits what types of site conditions require inquiry, allows parties to rely on agency letters indicating they…

Equipment And Business Stock Tax Breaks Expired 12/31/2013

Congress let two significant small business tax breaks expire at the end of 2013. These were: — The 100% exclusion from capital gains of sales of “qualified small business” stock. A 50% exclusion remains, and the rest of the gain gets ordinary capital gains tax treatment. See http://www.martindale.com/investments-law/article_Foley-Hoag-LLP_2041816.htm for details. — Equipment costs of up to…

What To Do About A Patent Troll?

“Patent trolls” take advantage of the relatively easy process for getting a “patent” for inventions in the USA (almost 303,000 issued in 2013, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office, see http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/us_stat.htm) and the frequently incomprehensible language of “claims” in the issued patents to suggest that their (often never commercialized) old inventions were the…

SEC No Action Letter on M&A Brokers

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a no-action letter which reaffirms that merger and acquisitions brokers do not have to register as broker-dealers where control of a privately held business transfers hands as a result of their efforts. The letter is available at: https://www.sec.gov/divisions/marketreg/mr-noaction/2014/ma-brokers-013114.pdf?utm_source=SEC+Issues+M%26A+Broker+No+Action+Letter+1-31-14&utm_campaign=SEC+MAB+NAL+-+2%2F3%2F14&utm_medium=email Practice tip: M&A includes facilitation of “mergers, acquisitions, business sales, and…