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LaVigne, Christopher L.

Christopher L. LaVigne

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  • United States Supreme Court Clarifies Scope of Specific Personal Jurisdiction in State Court

    22 Jun 2017

    On Monday, June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court clarified the limits of specific personal jurisdiction in state courts, holding that a connection between a defendant’s contacts with the forum and the claims at issue remains essential in establishing whether a state court has such jurisdiction. The Court reversed a decision from the California Supreme Court, rejecting that court’s “sliding scale approach” to specific jurisdiction. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of Cal., San Francisco Cty., No. 16-466 (June 19, 2017). Writing for the Court, Justice Alito analyzed whether plaintiffs’ claims sufficiently arose out of or related to defendant’s forum activities to create specific jurisdiction, and concluded that there was no adequate link between the claims and the forum. In so doing, the Supreme Court more clearly delineated the potential reach of specific personal jurisdiction in state courts. 

  • Matal v. Tam: Trademark Disparagement Clause Held Unconstitutional

    20 Jun 2017

    Yesterday, the Supreme Court held in an 8–0 decision that the disparagement clause in the Trademark statute—which prohibits the registration of trademarks that may “disparage . . . or bring . . . into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead,” 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)—violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Justice Alito, writing for the majority, explained that the disparagement clause defies “a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.”

  • United States Supreme Court Holds SEC Disgorgement Orders Subject to Five-Year Statute of Limitations

    6 Jun 2017

    On Monday, June 5, 2017, a unanimous Supreme Court held that the ability of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to seek disgorgement in connection with a violation of federal securities law is subject to a five-year statute of limitations, reversing a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and rejecting the SEC’s argument that disgorgement is an equitable remedy not subject to any statute of limitations. Kokesh v. SEC, No. 16-529 (June 5, 2017). 

  • WannaCry Global Ransomware Attack: What You Need to Know

    25 May 2017

    The WannaCry ransomware attack was first reported on Friday, May 12. Within hours, it shut down thousands of computer systems, locking users out of their own files. The latest report estimates over 300,000 computers in 150 countries were affected, which could cost as much as $8 billion in lost revenue due to business disruptions. Banks, hospitals, telecommunications services, train stations, and other mission-critical organizations in multiple countries were all hit, including the UK government’s National Health Service, which was one of the first and worst hit by WannaCry. Thousands of operations and appointments had to be canceled as the WannaCry malware locked users out of their computers and threatened to delete patient files unless ransoms of $300 were paid.

  • US Supreme Court to Consider Registrant’s Liability for Non-Disclosure Under Item 303 of Regulation S-K

    31 Mar 2017

    On March 27, 2017, the United States Supreme Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to resolve a circuit split on whether corporate issuers’ disclosure obligation under Item 303 of SEC Regulation S-K can be an independent source of liability under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Leidos, Inc. v. Ind. Pub. Ret. Sys., No. 16-581. 

  • Cheering on the Fashion Industry: U.S. Supreme Court Issues Landmark Copyright Decision That Will Have Deep Implications for Fashion and Sports Industries

    24 Mar 2017

    On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court decided that federal copyright protection applies to cheerleading-apparel designs. The decision, which has far-reaching implications for the fashion and sports industries, sets a new and uniform standard for determining whether features of useful articles (such as clothing) are entitled to copyright protection.

  • Sanctions Round Up: Fourth Quarter 2016 and President Donald J. Trump

    31 Jan 2017

    On November 8, 2016, Donald John Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. Following fiery criticism of the Obama Administration’s sanctions policies, including the Iran deal, the lifting of substantial parts of the Cuban sanctions program, and the imposition of sanctions on Russia, it is likely that the new President will usher in a new era of US policy as it relates to Russian, Iran, and Cuban sanctions, although the nature, scope, and timing of such changes, not to mention Congressional views on certain of them, is still unknown.

  • Iran Sanctions: OFAC Provides—at Least for Now—Assurances of a Wind-Down Period in Case of Snap-Back

    16 Dec 2016

    On December 15, 2016, the Office of Foreign Assets Control revised its Frequently Asked Questions guidance that concerns the re-imposition of sanctions in the event of a sanctions snapback under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”). The amended FAQs, which can be found below, convey OFAC’s general view that should the US re-impose certain sanctions pursuant to a JCPOA snapback, the US government would provide a 180-day wind-down period for payments related to contracts entered into and executed during the JCPOA period. In addition, OFAC also issued License J-1, which authorizes the temporary re-export of certain aircraft that are involved in code-sharing arrangements.

  • Supreme Court Affirms That Pecuniary Benefit Not Required For Family Member Tips, But Declines to Address What Constitutes a Benefit in Other Contexts

    7 Dec 2016

    Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous, but narrow, ruling in Salman v. United States,[1] regarding criminal tipper/tippee liability for insider trading, which the Supreme Court had not significantly addressed since its decision in Dirks v. United States in 1983.[2] Following Dirks’ holding that a tippee cannot be held liable for insider trading unless the tipper receives a “personal benefit,” the Supreme Court ruled in Salman that a jury can infer that an insider receives an inherent personal benefit when making a gift of confidential information to a relative who trades on that information. The Court declined to adopt the Government’s argument that “a gift of confidential information to anyone, not just a ‘trading relative or friend,’ is enough” to establish liability, and noted that ultimately the question of whether a benefit was received will be a factual one for the jury.[3] The Court also expressly left intact the Second Circuit’s crucial ruling in United States v. Newman[4] that a remote tippee who receives information second or third hand must know of the personal benefit received by the insider in order to be liable.

  • Ramifications of US Election for International Sanctions

    9 Nov 2016

    Yesterday’s election has significant implications for international sanctions, particularly with respect to Iran, Cuba, and Russia. Although we do not want to be unduly alarmist, President-elect Trump’s statements on the campaign trail, should they be carried through to policy in his Administration, certainly suggest a U-turn in US policy. With respect to Iran and Cuba, the possibility of such a change in direction will need to be taken into account by persons and companies who have begun to enter into commercial arrangements with those countries in the expectation that the recent easing of sanctions would continue. With respect to Russia, we do not advise that any company make any assumptions as to the shape of future sanctions. Although any potential shifts in US policy would not officially occur before President-elect Trump takes office, it is likely that some of the potential changes will be telegraphed before the Inauguration in January 2017.

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Education

  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 2002, cum laude
    • Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, George A. Spiegelberg Award for Best Oral Advocate of the 2002 National Trial Competition
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1998, cum laude

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