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What If You're a GC for a Cannabusiness?

Marijuana tourism; it sounds like a business idea that pot-smokers dreamt up at a party.

But this is serious business with the financial potential to attract attorneys with more than the munchies. In California, one company just bought an old ghost town.

It could be part of the marijuana boom or a bust in more ways than one. In any case, here's what you ought to consider if you become general counsel to a cannabusiness:

ExxonMobil Case Fans Fire Around Ex-CEO

President Trump's Russia affair just got more complicated, but the latest twist is turning into a nightmare for a major corporation and its former chief executive officer.

Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, was head of ExxonMobil three years ago. The company struck a deal with Russian oligarch Igor Sechin on behalf of Rosneft oil, but then the United States sanctioned Sechin for backing Russia when it annexed Crimea from Ukraine a year later.

Now the U.S. has fined ExxonMobil $2 million for violating the sanctions orders, the oil company is suing the government back, and Tillerson is about to quit his job.

Fed Appoints New General Counsel: Meet Mark Van Der Weide

Mark Van Der Weide, a legal star who has been rising for some time, has reached a zenith in the American economy.

The Federal Reserve Board has appointed him as general counsel, following Scott G. Alvarez, a 36-year-veteran of the agency, who is retiring. Van Der Weide beat out many other veteran attorneys for the position, having ascended steadily at the Fed since 2010.

"The Board gave thorough consideration to many highly qualified internal and external candidates and Mr. Van Der Weide was chosen for his exceptional skills and experience," the Fed said in a statement.

Traveling Abroad With a Laptop? Here's What Employees Should Know

Traveling abroad? Don't forget your passport, your laptop, and your export license.

Wh-what export license? Oh, maybe your company attorney didn't tell you that your laptop requires an export license.

That's right, the United States requires a license for certain technology and software going abroad. It's not just to control weapons technology, either.

Corporations: When Is It Time to Speak Up?

One appellate court said President Trump's latest travel ban "drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination." It's one thing for a court to say that, but should corporations ever speak up against policies they find destructive?

Major corporations, like Ford, Google, and Facebook, have spoken out loudly against the president's policies. They have become part of a diverse choir for corporate speech, causing companies to consider the difficult question about when to exercise their First Amendment rights.

How Businesses Are Adapting to Overtime Rule Uncertainty

Sometimes you just have to laugh about life's twists and turns. Especially since Donald Trump became president and started rolling back Barack Obama's initiatives, like the proposed rule on overtime wages.

The proposed overtime increases are long overdue and now appear to be overdone. That's because the changes were to take effect in December 2016, but a judge granted a preliminary injunction to stop them in November, and then Trump put a freeze on the regulations in January.

Nearly four months after the judge ruled, there is no appealing the injunction and the reality is setting in: overtime increases are not coming anytime soon.

President Trump campaigned on reducing government regulations and he didn't wait long to start moving in that direction. On January 30th, Trump signed an executive order that would require federal agencies to identify two regulations for elimination for every one new regulation they promulgate. Consider it a "buy one, lose two" deal.

Now, a coalition of consumer, labor, and environmental groups has filed the first suit challenging that order, claiming it oversteps the president's authority and violates administrative law.

Data Security Stressing Health Care Counsel

When thieves stole a laptop from a medical worker's car, who knew that it would become a big stressor for general counsel across the country?

According to a national survey of health care attorneys, more than 75 percent of the general counsel say that data security is the issue they worry about the most. The $5.5 million penalty against an Illinois-based health care group must have still been on their minds.

Advocate Health Care System agreed last August to pay $5.5 million to federal regulators for computer thefts from a doctors' office and a staff member's car. The group was also penalized for failing to protect records that somebody hacked at a company handling the hospital's billing.

In an age when cyber-insecurity has spread like a disease, health care providers have it bad. Because of heightened privacy requirements in the industry, their lawyers are on the forefront of the problem.

President Trump met with Wall Street executives on Friday, then emerged to sign an executive order that could be used to roll back Dodd-Frank regulations. The president also signed a memorandum instructing the Treasury Department to reexamine the new retirement broker fiduciary rule.

Taken together, the two directives could mark the beginning of the end for some signature Obama-era financial reforms. But they are just the beginning, the start of a process that could take months or longer to play out.

This morning, President Trump signed an executive order designed to radically slash federal regulations: for each new regulation put forward, the EO demands, federal agencies must propose two for elimination. Even more, the EO sets a yearly budget for regulatory costs. In 2017, the amount allowed for new regulations is zero dollars and zero cents.

The coming year, it seems, could see a major regulatory shift.