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New SEC Rules on Public Companies' Cybersecurity

With companies being hacked virtually every day, the Securities and Exchange Commission released guidelines for them to take more security measures.

The Equifax cyberattack, in particular, pushed the agency to publish the new cybersecurity standards. The credit reporting agency failed to report a cyber breach that exposed about 145 million consumer records, even as some company executives sold off their shares before disclosing the breach.

Marijuana 'Compliance Company' Planned Illegal Pot Party

Capitol Compliance Management offers to help businesses comply with laws that affect the cannabis industry.

So it came as a surprise when city officials shut down the company's "Holiday Budtender Bash" before it started. It was supposed to be an event for attendees to "smoke out with your favorite budtenders" and try out the "dab bar" where people could sample the latest products.

Somehow, the company attorney didn't get the memo because that party was against the law.

Uber Blew Tire With Data Breach Cover-Up

For all of its popularity with urbanites, Uber is losing its luster in the marketplace.

SoftBank is offering to buy the company for about $48 billion, but that is down 30 percent from the company's most recent valuation. What happened to the most popular ride-hailing service on the planet?

This happened: Uber tried to cover up a massive data breach affecting 57 million riders. For corporate counsel, it goes to show that paying for confidentiality is not always a good thing.

This may be the Rolls-Royce of foreign bribery schemes, but only because it involves three former Rolls-Royce employees who pleaded guilty in a foreign bribery scheme. Interestingly, it was the UK company's U.S. subsidiary that was alleged to have bribed officials in Asia in order to secure a gas pipeline construction contract there.

Unfortunately for the U.S. based employees, their actions violated the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act which prohibits U.S. businesses from bribing foreign officials, or foreign government backed businesses for economic advantages.

Not surprisingly, the Trump administration nominee for the position of General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Peter Robb, has recently been confirmed. Also not surprising, President Trump, who is heavily pro-business rather than pro-labor, nominated an attorney that is known to be anti-union, in addition to padding the board with conservative, pro-employer, board members.

For the first time in over a decade, Republicans have control of the NLRB, though the past decade has been mired by controversy held over from the Bush Administration. Although the NLRB was formed to help employees resolve disputes with their employers, the recent changes certainly shifts the focus from leveling the playing field for employees, to putting employers in a position of even greater power.

How Is Airbnb Tied to the Manafort Scandal?

The big story this week is that Manafort, the president's former campaign manager, has been indicted through Mueller's investigation.

The money-laundering allegations against Manafort have also entangled his daughter, Jessica Manafort, and the family's Airbnb businesses. Only in Washington. And Russia. And now New York. How does Airbnb have anything to do with this?

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.