April 22 Amicus Curiae Brief in American Institute of Certified Public Accountants v. Internal Revenue Service

On behalf of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), our firm submitted a brief supporting neither party in the AICPA v. IRS case, before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. This brief addressed the need for clarification regarding an issue decided by the lower court, and its implications for NASBA’s state agency members. These agencies are authorized and obligated to protect the public against the use of potentially misleading credentials.


April 7 Director Noel Allen Presents on the Supreme Court’s Decision in N.C. State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission

Director Noel Allen presented a case law update to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s annual executive director and legal counsel conferences. His presentation included updates on several recent decisions impacting state boards of accountancy, focusing in particular on the practical implications for state licensing agencies of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in N.C. State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission.


March 23 N.C. Licensing Boards’ Treatment of Criminal Convictions

Allen, Pinnix & Nichols Director Catherine Lee recently presented on the role of criminal convictions in boards’ licensure, renewal, and disciplinary decisions. This presentation details the process that North Carolina’s licensing boards generally apply to considering whether an applicant for licensure or renewal with a prior criminal conviction will meet the “good moral character” requirement. This requirement, which is common to most professional licensing boards, is often defined by case law. State court decisions have often determined which court actions constitute convictions and which actions fail to meet the “good moral character” requirement. 


March 13 Allen, Pinnix & Nichols Attorney in the News

Senior Associate Brenner Allen* was quoted in a Law360 article on recent resale price maintenance lawsuits in the contact lens industry. These lawsuits are significant because they may test the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., which determined that resale price maintenance is not per se unlawful in some circumstances. Last year, Brenner co-authored an American Bar Association International Law News article on recent developments in resale price maintenance in the U.S. and the U.K.


March 10 Director Catherine Lee Presents on Recent Statutory Venue Changes in Office of Administrative Hearing Cases

Allen, Pinnix & Nichols Director Catherine Lee recently presented to occupational licensing board members and staff on Venue Change for Petitions for Judicial Review. This presentation documents recent changes in North Carolina statutory requirements for venue in appeals of N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings decisions. As of October 2013, N.C.G.S. 150B-45(a)(1) allows a broader range of venues for such cases than was previously permitted; this change could have several practical and financial implications for the state’s occupational licensing boards.


March 3 The U.S. Supreme Court Decides N.C. State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission

In a 6 to 3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that professional licensing boards, controlled by market participants acting against non-licensees, will need to show active state supervision to enjoy immunity from federal antitrust law. The court concluded that the N.C. State Board of Dental Examiners acted against non-licensees without state supervision. Thus, the Board would not enjoy immunity from the Federal Trade Commission Act. Allen, Pinnix & Nichols represented the N.C. State Board of Dental Examiners during the earlier stages of this case.


March 2 Allen, Pinnix & Nichols Publishes a 2015 North Carolina Occupational Licensing Case Law Update

Allen, Pinnix & Nichols has released a 2015 North Carolina Case Law Update, featuring an overview of developments in occupational licensing decisions from the past three years.  This report features state agencies responses to the unauthorized practice of professions; challenges to state licensing boards’ enforcement powers and procedures; and decisions interpreting these boards’ authorizing statutes.



* Brenner is licensed only in Washington State and Washington D.C.


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