Recent Blog Posts

  • UPDATE: Foreseeable pitfalls of the SAFE Banking Act By Frank Tice and Jack Meadows    The SAFE Banking Act has hit a snag in Congress thanks to opposition from the chair of the Senate Banking Committee.  The October 2019 post, “Temper Your Expectations on Cannabis Banking Reform: foreseeable pitfalls of the SAFE Banking Act,” explained how the SAFE Act intended to alleviate the bank industry’s cannabis problem, and where it may fall short. We are proud to share that our first post on the topic recently received national recognition as “Best... More
  • Commercial Loans: Equity Cure Provisions By Andy Bojko and Jack Meadows    Background In loan agreements, lenders customarily require the borrower to make various financial covenants­ whereby the borrower promises to achieve certain financial metrics, often requiring the borrower to stay above or below certain thresholds based on its operations. Since financial covenants are based on past financial performance, breaches of financial covenants typically cannot be cured in the absence of some sort of cure provision. This is why the concept of an equity cure provision is an... More
  • Temper Your Expectations on Cannabis Banking Reform: foreseeable pitfalls of the SAFE Banking Act By Frank Tice and Jack Meadows    On September 25, 2019, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 passed the U.S. House of Representatives by an impressive margin of 321 to 103. The U.S. Senate—once seen as a gauntlet of insurmountable obstacles to cannabis banking reform—has also seen some meaningful progress. Senator Mike Crapo (R., Idaho), the influential chair of the Senate Banking Committee overseeing the SAFE Act in the Senate, previously expressed no interest in allowing the SAFE Act... More
  • OHIO’S NEW NOTARY LAW REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION By Mike Reed    Ohio is a relatively new adopter (September 20, 2019) of laws permitting electronic on line notarization. These new laws generated a great deal of excitement when they went into effect on September 20, 2019, creating new licensing, education and requirements for “electronic notarial acts”. There are however, several relatively mundane aspects of the law that will affect the daily work of bankers, lawyers, the real estate industry and other businesses such as wealth management where signature attestation may... More
  • The Bank Industry’s Cannabis Problem By Frank Tice    The banking industry has a cannabis problem—it cannot bank cannabis related businesses. Despite the fact that over 35 states have legalized medical cannabis in some form and more than 10 others have recreational cannabis laws, the mainstream banking industry has been largely unable to provide services to lawful cannabis companies. That is because federal law still views cannabis as an illegal Schedule I drug subject to the Controlled Substances Act—on par with drugs such as heroin. This complex federal overlay... More
  • Ohio Legislature reaffirms approval of electronic transacting, but lenders beware of e-note enforceability By Carlin Littles    Earlier this month, SB 220, the Ohio law that amended Ohio’s version of the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) became effective. The amendment to the UETA confirms that records, contracts, and signatures that are secured through blockchain technology, i.e., a technology that creates an unalterable electronic ledger, will be considered an electronic recording holding the same legal legitimacy as its printed counterpart.[1] As a result, records, contracts, and electronic signatures secured through blockchain technology cannot be denied legal... More
  • Cryptocurrency Update By Grant Stephenson    Porter Wright’s Jay Levine and Brett Thornton discussed e-currency with a focus on cryptocurrency in a current podcast on Porter Wright’s Antitrust Law Source: They explore the rules and regulations of this kind of currency, the securities law ramifications, and other regulatory implications. ... More
  • New Statute Makes It Easier for the Small Business Administration to Lend to ESOPs By Greg Daugherty    Every business owner must make a decision regarding what he or she will do with the business. If no family member is able or willing to assume ownership, an increasingly popular succession planning strategy has been to sell the business to an employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”).  ESOPs are popular in part because of the tax advantages they provide to the selling business owner, the company, and the employees.  Smaller businesses who have considered adopting an ESOP, however,... More
  • Why You May Want To Do Business Under Ohio’s 2018 Banking Law By Grant Stephenson    Let’s say your client is a bank based outside of Ohio, and suppose further your client wants to set up a banking business in Ohio. Most of the time a merger transaction will result in a non-Ohio bank doing business in Ohio through an out-of-state franchise of course. But in light of changes to Ohio banking law that took effect on January 1, 2018, in an appropriate business situation, an Ohio bank might be a good way for a... More
  • FDCPA – Sixth Circuit Requires Real Damages By Grant Stephenson      When Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act it created a federal statutory right to damages for consumers who suffer abusive debt collection practices. One of those practices, the required disclosures in a communication with the consumer, was the subject of a recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The decision will give some comfort to consumer lenders and their lawyers in light of the judicial limitation it imposed on Congress when it creates... More