Home | EmTech Law Blog

Our EmTech Law Blog provides timely legal and business information on issues impacting companies developing or investing in new technologies, new companies, and new ideas.



State Clean Transportation Initiatives

The United States is experiencing a wave of state-led clean transportation initiatives that are gaining substantial momentum. Faced with insufficient federal action, states started focusing their efforts on the sector that produces the largest percentage of greenhouse gas: transportation. On November 10, 2020, the Environmental Law Institute and Babst Calland co-hosted a webinar that explored these initiatives, their potential impact, and funding sources. Click here for a transcript of the discussion, which has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

Tagged:  Transportation, Vehicles

Join Babst Calland at Smart Business Dealmakers Conference on March 4 – Attend as Our Guest

On March 4th, the Pittsburgh Smart Business Dealmakers Conference will bring together middle-market entrepreneurs, investors and advisers to discuss the new landscape for business and what you can do today to keep your business growing.

Join Chris Farmakis and a group of entrepreneurs and industry-seasoned service providers offer a deep dive into how to make sure you’re checking the right boxes before you go to market—during the deal and post-close.

Following Chris’ session, join Chris, Sara Antol and Kevin Wills in the “Babst Calland Networking Room” to learn more about some of the latest trends in transactions, including use of artificial intelligence tools in due diligence and the increasing use of representations and warranties insurance in mid-market size deals.

As a sponsor of this event, we extend a special invitation for you to attend as our guest. Below is a link you can use to register for a complimentary ticket. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Register Today!  

Tagged:  Artificial Intelligence, Conference, Entrepreneurs, Startups, Strategy, Transactions

Venture debt: Determining when it’s the right path for your business

For startup companies lacking the cash flow or liquid assets to obtain a traditional bank loan, venture debt could be the answer to help elevate them to the next level. Startups often lack many of the characteristics that would give traditional lenders comfort that a regular commercial loan would be a good deal for them. Venture debt can be an alternative to help bridge the gap to a company's next valuation. Read More.

Tagged:  Funding, Startups, Venture debt

Explore Solvaire: Babst Calland’s Affiliated Alternative Legal Service Provider

We understand the unprecedented challenges facing our organizations. Now, more than ever, we realize how critical it is for our clients to seek cost efficiencies while making legal, operational, financial and ‘game changing’ business decisions. Solvaire, Babst Calland’s affiliated Alternative Legal Service Provider – with its enhanced AI-enabled processes and machine learning capabilities – can help to increase efficiency, while lowering project costs. For more than 21 years, Solvaire has effectively designed, performed, and implemented complex buy-side diligence projects, discovery projects and tailored document management solutions. Solvaire’s track record and satisfied clients speak for themselves. Check out Solvaire’s new website and request a free consultation to learn how Solvaire can work with your team to provide superior diligencediscovery and document management services – on time, with accuracy and consistency and within a budget that provides price certainty. To stay informed about Solvaire news, latest case studies and content, as well as innovative business and technology enhancements, sign up for updates here. Explore Solvaire, and unlock the value it provides. On behalf of Babst Calland and Solvaire, we look forward to serving you on your next project. Chris Farmakis Chairman, Babst Calland President, Solvaire

Tagged:  Discovery, Document Management, Solvaire, diligence, e-Discovery

Alert: California Announces the Opening of the Vehicle Fleet Reporting System for Entities with Operations in the State

On January 15, 2020, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced the opening of the reporting system for the Large Entity One-Time Reporting Requirement for vehicle fleet owners. This reporting requirement was passed by CARB as part of its June 2020 adoption of the Clean Trucks Rule. As the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) has not yet approved the regulation, businesses may voluntarily provide information at this time if they wish to begin the reporting process ahead of the April 1, 2021 deadline.

Please read more about this reporting requirement in this Alert.

Tagged:  Transportation, Trucks, Vehicles, Zero-Emission

FTC Issues Settlement Requiring Zoom to Implement Robust Information Security Program in Response to Years of Deceptive Security Practices

On November 9, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement agreement with Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (Zoom) that arose from alleged violations that Zoom engaged in a series of deceptive and unfair practices that undermined user security. The FTC found that Zoom made several representations across its platform regarding the strength of its privacy and security measures used to protect users’ personal information that were untrue and provided users with a false sense of security. Specifically, the FTC found that Zoom made multiple statements regarding “end-to-end” and “AES 256-bit” encryption used to secure videoconference communications. However, Zoom did not provide end-to-end encryption for any Zoom meeting conducted outside of Zoom’s “Connecter” product. And, Zoom used a lower level of encryption that did not provide for the same level of security as “AES 256-bit” encryption. The FTC also found that Zoom stored meeting recordings unencrypted and for a longer period than Zoom claimed in its Security Guide. And, Zoom circumvented browser privacy and security safeguards through software updates without notice to users and without establishing replacement safeguards. Read more.

Tagged:  Data Protection, Emerging Technology, Privacy, Remote Working, Technology

Webinar – State Clean Transportation Initiatives: Stepping Toward Success for High EV Adoption

On November 10th, two Babst Calland attorneys, Julie Domike and Gina Falaschi, will participate in an Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and Babst Calland co-sponsored webinar entitled "State Clean Transportation Initiatives: Stepping Towards Success for High EV Adoption."  They will be joined by Colorado State Senator Chris Hansen, Jim Chen, Vice President of Public Policy at Rivian, and Matt Nelson, Director of Government Affairs at Electrify America, in a discussion of 2020’s most important state-led clean transportation initiatives, their goals and impacts, as well as funding sources for such efforts.  The panel will also explore the partnership that state and local governments can forge with industry to facilitate high electric vehicle penetration, charging and grid infrastructure, and direct sales to consumers.

The event is open to the public (there is a $50 fee for those who are not members of ELI; Press/Full-Time Students, $0); registration is required by November 6 through the ELI Website.

Tagged:  Funding, Transportation, Vehicles, Zero-Emission

Ensuring Data Privacy – Are You Compliant?

The world of data privacy is constantly changing. Regulatory compliance has never been more important, particularly as the business world has been forced to become more digital as a result of the pandemic. In this recent podcast Babst Calland Data Privacy Attorneys Justine Kasznica and Ashleigh Krick review domestic and international data privacy and security laws, and how such laws may affect your business and online presence.

Topics of discussion include:
  • Overview of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • Common elements among GDPR, PIPEDA, and CCPA; including: privacy policy notice requirements, business obligations, and consumer rights
  • Overview of U.S. Regulatory Landscape: proposed state legislation and thoughts on federal action
  • Practice pointers and best practices for compliance with existing privacy laws and preparing for the future
Listen to this episode of the Emerging Tech Law Podcast series on Pittsburgh Technology Council’s TechVibe Radio.

Tagged:  Data Protection, Document Management, TechVibe

Keep proprietary information safe with remote employees

When the economy started shutting down in March as a result of COVID-19 and employees began working remotely, keeping intellectual property and proprietary information safe didn’t top the list of companies’ concerns. “Some businesses didn’t put procedures in place or have appropriate training classes because no one really thought the pandemic would extend as long as it has,” says Carl Ronald, shareholder at Babst Calland. “They didn’t instruct employees on how to identify important confidential information or safeguard certain proprietary documents when working from home.” Smart Business spoke with Ronald about how to keep your company’s proprietary information safe when employees are working outside the office. Read more.

Tagged:  COVID-19, Data Protection, Remote Working

California Approves a Program to Install 37,800 Electric Vehicle Chargers

The State of California has taken another leap to support electric vehicle owners and manufacturers.  On August 27th, the California Public Utilities Commission formally approved a plan from investor-owned utility Southern California Edison (SCE) to fund approximately 37,800 electric vehicle charging ports within its service territory.  Under the program, known as Charge Ready 2, SCE will install and maintain the charging infrastructure, while program participants will own, operate and maintain qualified charging stations.  SCE will also provide rebates to lower the cost of program participation, including an expanded rebate program to support EV charging ports in new multifamily dwellings under construction. Of the $436-million-dollar budget, $417.5 million will fund the charging infrastructure for Level 1, Level 2, and direct current fast chargers, while the remaining funds will be used for marketing, education, outreach, and evaluation programs.  The utility, which provides power to 15 million people across 50,000-square miles of Southern California, has committed to install 50% of these chargers in disadvantaged communities that are often disproportionately impacted by air pollution. This program expands the Charge Ready Pilot program, which began three years ago, and joins SCE’s Charge Ready Transport, which aims to provide charging to support 8,490 medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles over the next five years. The Charge Ready 2 program will benefit current owners of electric vehicles by increasing charging options and possibly enhancing the market for used electric vehicles, making electric vehicles a more affordable option for more consumers.  The program will also encourage the purchase of new electric vehicles, which will benefit not only consumers wanting to own an EV, but also manufacturers who must meet their required percentage of zero emission vehicle sales. Under California law, which has also been adopted by several other states under the federal Clean Air Act, manufacturers must produce enough zero emission vehicles to meet the minimum credit requirement, which increases by 2.5% annually.  For example, for model year 2020 vehicles, a manufacturer must produce enough zero emission vehicles to have credits equal to 9.5% of the manufacturer’s average fleet sales in model years 2016-2018.

Tagged:  Industry News, Mobility, Regulations, Vehicles, Zero-Emission