A pandemic, a bitter feud with China and the enactment of a shiny new North American trade agreement were among the many factors keeping companies and their trade attorneys busy in the first half of the year. Here, Law360 breaks down the most essential international trade developments of 2020 so far.
3M Co. told a Florida federal judge it has no choice but to seek to compel six U.S. Department of Defense employees to give deposition and the department to produce data in multidistrict litigation over the company's earplugs, which are said to have caused users in the military to develop tinnitus and suffer hearing loss.
The U.S. Senate on Thursday gave final approval to a bill requiring sanctions on officials and companies that help the Chinese government diminish Hong Kong's independence, sending the measure to President Donald Trump for his signature.
While the federal government continued to pour funding into the development of a coronavirus vaccine, it also awarded multibillion dollar contracts to Raytheon for surveillance radars and General Dynamics for ballistic missile submarines in June. Here are Law360's top picks for government contracts awarded for the month, along with details about a $50 billion IT contract for small businesses on the horizon.
Courts have handed down a number of important rulings for federal contractors so far in 2020, including a decision significantly altering country-of-origin determinations and several developments related to the materiality standard for False Claims Act cases.
Reversing a long-held position, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs on Wednesday said it lacks authority to enforce affirmative action obligations against health care providers who participate in military health insurance program Tricare but not other federal contracts.
U.S. sailors said Wednesday the Supreme Court is the next stop for their $1 billion lawsuit against General Electric Co. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. over alleged radiation injuries suffered during their response to the Japanese nuclear disaster, after striking out in the Ninth Circuit.
The U.S. Department of Defense has partially developed a governance framework and standards for the use of artificial intelligence, yet it needs to do more, including developing capabilities to share data and crafting standards for legal and privacy considerations, the Office of Inspector General said in a report released Wednesday.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday easily passed a bill to require sanctions on companies that help the Chinese government suppress Hong Kong's independence, following the Senate, which approved an identical measure last week. Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly described the legislative process for this bill. The error has been corrected.
Boeing pushed an Illinois federal judge to toss a proposed securities class action accusing the company of hiding safety problems in its 737 Max 8 jets, arguing Tuesday that while the shareholders bring "an avalanche of allegations," none of the purported misstatements show that Boeing intentionally misled investors.
State investigators conducting wiretaps encountered encryption at an uncharted rate in 2019, and nearly always could not decipher messages, while total arrests and convictions based on electronic surveillance increased, according to a U.S. courts report released Tuesday.
Jeffrey Gerrish, the deputy U.S. trade representative who played a lead role in brokering this year's hard-fought trade pact with China, will rejoin Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP in August, the firm announced Tuesday.
The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday refused to revive a FedEx pilot's complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration that alleged FedEx violated air-carrier-safety whistleblower protection laws by failing to take seriously his concerns about the potential for terrorists to attack cargo planes.
Venezuela's defense ministry is urging the Fifth Circuit to overturn an order enforcing a $138 million arbitral award to a U.S. military shipbuilder, arguing that a lower court improperly barred the parties from arbitrating the dispute in Caracas, the venue agreed upon in their 1997 contract.
The Seventh Circuit on Tuesday denied a contractor's bid to revive its suit against Zurich American Insurance Co. and The Insurance Co. of the State of Pennsylvania over $8.6 million it claims it's owed from work on a Qatar air base, saying the contractor failed to give notice within the right time frame that it wasn't paid.
A New York federal judge has ordered the federal government to release a Palestinian man indefinitely held in immigration detention after completing a terrorism-related prison sentence, ruling he poses no security risk and there is no legal basis to hold him.
An attorney for Turkey's state-owned Halkbank on Tuesday told a New York federal judge it didn't envision being ready for trial over an alleged multibillion-dollar scheme to evade American sanctions targeting Iran until the spring of 2022, citing the difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federal Communications Commission formally designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to the United States on Tuesday, moving to disrupt the Chinese tech firms' American operations by declaring that federal telecom subsidies won't cover their equipment.
James Bainbridge, the last remaining name partner at Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP besides founder John Pierce, has set up his own law office in California but will remain affiliated with the struggling firm.
A D.C. federal judge on Monday unsealed the full version of her decision last week to give Roger Stone an extra two weeks to report to prison while denying the longtime conservative operative's request to extend the surrender date even further to September.
Prominent Saudi Arabian political dissident Ali Al-Ahmed hit Twitter Inc. with a lawsuit on Monday, accusing the social media giant of enabling and turning a "blind eye" to Saudi Arabia's efforts to suppress, torture, terrorize and murder dissenters.
The U.S. Senate began debate Monday on a $740.5 billion defense policy and budget bill for 2021 that includes several provisions designed to shore up military cybersecurity and promote more innovative defense acquisition strategies.
The Trump administration is halting the U.S. export of defense equipment and certain high-technology products to Hong Kong as the Chinese government is poised to pass a new national security law that will curb political opposition and "eviscerate Hong Kong's freedoms," the U.S. secretary of state said Monday.
The U.S. Supreme Court sided against HIV/AIDS groups challenging a requirement that their foreign affiliates explicitly oppose prostitution and sex trafficking before receiving any federal funding, holding that the foreign entities have no First Amendment rights under the Constitution.
The World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body held its first meeting in more than three months on Monday following a COVID-19 lockdown, and the delegations wasted no time jumping into the fray.
A recent survey shows that law and prelaw students have serious concerns about the quality and value of remotely provided legal education, and rapid action from the legal community is necessary to prevent promising young people from leaving in favor of other professions, says Mehran Ebadolahi at TestMax.
Despite their informal nature, congressional inquiries regarding CARES Act implementation should not be taken lightly as these requests may be precursors to more formal and invasive investigations, say attorneys at Baker Donelson.
While few courts have addressed the attorney-client privilege or work-product doctrine in the context of online collaboration tools, existing case law supports five best practices as organizations increasingly use these tools in the COVID-19 era, say Christopher Campbell and Marcus Sandifer at DLA Piper.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office's recent denial of a Small Business Administration-approved joint venture's bid protest of its downgrade suggests that joint ventures between large and small firms should consider adjusting proposal strategies to avoid downgrades due to a lack of relevant past performance, says Albert Krachman at Blank Rome.
Lawsuits brought by cities, counties and states against fossil fuel companies in state courts over the effects of climate change are becoming more common, but splits among federal circuits on whether such litigation belongs in federal courts will need to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court, say attorneys at King & Spalding.
Even before the pandemic, troubling data about mental distress among lawyers pointed to a profession in crisis, but addressing the challenge requires a better understanding of the causes, says Jonathan Prokup at Cigna Corp.
SK Engineering & Construction's recent guilty plea, culminating the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation of a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud the U.S. Army, signals the DOJ's renewed focus on prosecuting government procurement fraud through its Market Integrity and Major Frauds Unit, say attorneys at Quarles & Brady.
Michael Sartori and Matt Welch at Baker Botts analyzed 10 years of data and found that knowing the type of examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can help an applicant anticipate the likely costs to obtain a patent.
The Ninth Circuit's certification order last week in Fast Trak v. Sax presents an important opportunity for the New York high court to affirm the consensus among courts — litigation finance transactions are not loans subject to usury laws, say Wendie Childress and William Marra at Validity Finance.
The white, male power structure has eased the path for lawyers like me for far too long, and we should now be responsible for dismantling this systemic bias within the legal industry, says Scott McLaughlin at Eversheds Sutherland.
The U.S. government's charges against Michael Flynn for lying to federal agents shine a light on one of the most misused tools prosecutors deploy to salvage otherwise failed investigations and should generate skepticism from the U.S. Department of Justice and courts, says Simon Gaugush at Carlton Fields.
As law firms continue to experience the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, it is more important than ever that they reduce reliance on just a few rainmakers and foster a culture that makes business development a way of life for everyone — from junior associates to senior partners, says Elise Holtzman at The Lawyer's Edge.
Companies regulated under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations should consider the unique opportunity to publicly comment on whether the Department of State should extend a temporary reduction in certain compliance obligations due to COVID-19, which may be key to remaining operational during the pandemic, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter.
Mediation in recent years has largely devolved into a kind of arbitration without due process — where a mediator reads briefs, decides where the case should settle, and drives parties toward that single-minded result — but online mediation can be steered in a different direction, says mediator Jeff Kichaven.
The U.S. Department of Justice's China Initiative has significant numbers of federal prosecutors and investigators focused on economic espionage, intellectual property theft and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases, which may have wide-ranging implications for companies in the technology, media and telecommunications space, says Brendan Quigley at Baker Botts.