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Is this deja vu, or deja deja deja vu?

Back in April, Senate Republicans rejected the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014. At the time, The Washington Post noted that it was the third attempt in recent years to pass the wage equality legislation. But hey, maybe the fourth time would be a charm?

No. Not at all. This time, according to The Hill, Wednesday's vote was 52-40, short of the 60-vote procedural hurdle needed to advance. The vote seems like more of a political move than an actual attempt to pass legislation -- it's not like a handful of senators swapped party affiliation since the 53-44 vote in the spring, after all. But more importantly, for businesses, this should cause more than a few GCs to utter a sigh of relief.

Wait, so you're not allowed to send cute, overly familiar emails to the regulatory board that is going to decide how much your company gets dinged for blowing up a bunch of houses and killing some peeps a few years back, demanding that you get a more lenient administrative law judge?

Now you tell me. And now Pacific Gas & Electric knows, after a series of back-and-forth emails detailing a way too close relationship between the utility company and California's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) came to light. Three execs and a top aide at the state agency just served as the sacrificial lambs, while PG&E scurries to "put new procedures in place" before they get slammed by the suddenly less friendly PUC.

Let's see what we can learn from this mess, shall we?

Is your company engaging in false advertising? Are you sure? When was the last time someone from the marketing department walked through your door to make sure they were on the up-and-up?

Maybe it's time you checked. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating "outlet stores" -- those low-priced colonies of large clothing labels like Saks, J. Crew, Gap, and so on -- that live in outlying outlet malls around the nation.

Last year, in the wake of two well-known startups (Uber and Square) clashing with local laws and regulations, we asked who was at fault -- the disruptor or the disrupted, the startups or the state?

Both startups, but especially Uber, had run headfirst into local ordinances, regulations, and cartels bent on preserving the status quo, but also hadn't done their homework or made an effort to play the political game before entering the market and upsetting the (legal) status quo -- easier to get forgiveness than permission, we suppose.

Now, Uber has pulled a U-turn and hired a noted behind-the-scenes political figure to glad-hand politicians: David Plouffe, Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaign manager.

Think that data stored in overseas data centers are outside the reach of U.S. law? Think again. A U.S. District Court judge in Manhattan has affirmed a magistrate's ruling ordering Microsoft to give overseas-stored data to federal prosecutors.

The ruling -- which Microsoft vows to appeal -- has implications for companies that store their data in other countries. In fact, email providers like Google -- which provide non-Google-branded email services that are hosted by Google -- store files in data centers around the world. Many corporations use Gmail to host their email because it's cheaper than maintaining their own email systems on-site or in-house.

If your company stores files abroad -- and there's a good chance it does -- then those files may very well be within the reach of American law enforcement.

It's not about the size of the company -- it's about the culpability and level of misconduct during the subprime mortgage bubble that preceded the 2008 financial crisis. That's the message the Department of Justice is sending after today's settlement with Citigroup.

While the company opened negotiations with a $363 million offer, and the DOJ demanded $12 billion, the approximately $7 billion deal struck is this: a $4 billion civil penalty paid to the Justice Department, $500 million paid to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and several states. The bank will also allocate $2.5 billion for "consumer relief," such as modifying mortgages for struggling homeowners and financing affordable multi-family rental housing.

We got fee-shifting, thanks to the Supreme Court. And the Innovation Act passed the House ... before it hit a dead end in the Senate.

Well, here's another one to keep patent reform advocates satiated in the meantime: curbing abusive demand letters. The Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act (TROL Act) would target patent troll letters that, in most instances, are frivolous demands for settlements with no legal merits.

Ideas for curbing frivolous demand letters were considered and left out of the Innovation Act, as that bill's sponsor, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), noted that it would be difficult to balance speech interests, and legitimate defense of intellectual property, with a law that restricts demand letters.

Congratulations: Your closely held corporation is a person. And when it comes to religious beliefs, that fictional person, it seems, takes after its figurative parents -- its closely held owners.

What does the Supreme Court's landmark Hobby Lobby ruling mean for your company, your religious beliefs, and your requirement to provide either contraceptive coverage or insurance coverage for other services that run contrary to your beliefs?

Depending on the level of accommodation you're requesting, you may only need to fill out a form or send a letter, though for objections to anything other than contraception, you may be forced to litigate.

The nation's fastest growing cell phone carrier is about to meet the Federal Trade Commission in a courtroom, and the fallout could be more than a few fines -- the PR hit from allegedly cramming bogus fees on customers' bills could cost the company dearly.

The FTC announced earlier this week that it filed a complaint [PDF] against T-Mobile, accusing it of knowingly passing along unauthorized fraudulent third-party charges to consumers, while taking a thirty-five to forty percent cut. The charges would be hidden in bills that were dozens of pages long, and the refund rate was only 40 percent, according to the agency.

For those hoping for a stunning reversal of pro-Environmental Protection Agency rulings from the Supreme Court, well, it hasn't happened yet, and doesn't seem like it will any time soon.

Yesterday, the nation's High Court mostly reaffirmed prior holdings that upheld the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gasses, but narrowed that power just a bit, by striking down the agency's "tailoring rule," as an agency's overstep into rewriting its enabling statute, the Clean Air Act.

What companies are left with is this: if your emissions are already regulated, the EPA is well within its rights to limit the amount of greenhouse gases that you produce -- which is pretty much exactly what the EPA was aiming for.