Public Policy

  • January 23, 2020

    Tribal Co. Deserves Same Exemption As Tribe, 9th Circ. Hears

    A tribal business entity should enjoy the same exemption from California excise tax that is afforded to tribes themselves, a Native American cigarette company has told the Ninth Circuit.

  • January 23, 2020

    DeVos Wants Boosted Contempt Bid Squashed

    The U.S. Department of Education has asked a California federal court not to jack up the $100,000 sanction it slapped Education Secretary Betsy DeVos with last year after her department violated a court order by billing thousands of students with loans tied to the disgraced and defunct Corinthian Colleges.

  • January 23, 2020

    O'Rielly Suggests FCC Could Ink 5.9 GHz Rules By Summer

    Federal Communications Commission member Michael O'Rielly told reporters and members of the auto industry on Thursday that he hopes the agency can ink new rules governing the 5.9 GHz spectrum band by midyear, allowing WiFi to share the band with auto-safety applications.

  • January 23, 2020

    House Dems Still Open To Pursuing TCJA Fixes, Counsel Says

    Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are still open to working with Republicans to enact technical corrections to the 2017 tax overhaul under certain conditions, the committee’s counsel said at a conference Thursday.

  • January 23, 2020

    Media Can Argue Truth Defense In Texas Defamation Case

    A trial court wrongly failed to consider the truth of an article when it declined to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought against ProPublica Inc. and the Houston Chronicle, a Texas appellate panel ruled Thursday.

  • January 23, 2020

    Chicago Dodges Uber's Bike-Share Contract Spat For Now

    Uber’s bike-share company Jump cannot sue Chicago for renewing a $65 million contract with a rival bike-share company owned by Lyft Inc., an Illinois federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying Uber can’t challenge a procurement process it didn’t participate in.

  • January 23, 2020

    States, ABA Urge High Court To Affirm Migrant Habeas Review

    A coalition of 20 attorneys general and the American Bar Association told the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday that expedited removal of migrants fails to sufficiently safeguard against erroneous deportations, weighing in on a fight over court authority to review whether asylum-seekers credibly fear persecution.

  • January 23, 2020

    9th Circ. Upholds FCC's Bid To Speed Copper Retirement

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Thursday negated an attempt by public advocacy organizations to challenge a Federal Communications Commission rule that sped the transition from copper to fiber networks, finding the groups weren’t directly connected to the matter.

  • January 23, 2020

    Immigration Attys Tell Justices Law Criminalizes Good Advice

    Giving accurate and ethical legal advice should not be a crime, immigration attorneys have told the U.S. Supreme Court in a case challenging a statute that makes it a felony to encourage unauthorized immigrants to remain in the country.

  • January 23, 2020

    Deny Bids To Kill AT&T Rate Rulings, Gov't. Urges DC Circ.

    The Federal Communications Commission is urging the D.C. Circuit to stay out of a rate dispute between AT&T and an Iowa local exchange carrier, saying both companies are seeking to overturn an FCC decision that was based on established agency rules for resolving these kinds of disagreements.

  • January 23, 2020

    Wells Fargo Ex-CEO Fined $17.5M For Role In Sales Scandal

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Thursday that it is bringing enforcement actions against five former Wells Fargo executives and has reached settlements with three others over their alleged roles in the bank’s sales practices scandal, including a $17.5 million fine for former CEO John Stumpf.

  • January 23, 2020

    EPA Narrows Federal Oversight Of Water Pollution

    The Trump administration on Thursday officially narrowed the federal government's permitting authority under the Clean Water Act, in a final rewrite of a rule that replaces a controversial and broader Obama-era policy the president already rescinded.

  • January 23, 2020

    State Dept. Introduces Visa Hurdles For Pregnant Women

    The Trump administration released a new rule Thursday, citing national security concerns, that will make it harder for foreign pregnant women to get visitor visas to the U.S.

  • January 23, 2020

    FERC Commissioner McNamee Won't Seek New Term

    Bernard McNamee, a Republican commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said Thursday that he won't seek another term at the agency when his current term expires June 30, which raises the possibility that the agency will lack a quorum of commissioners for the second time in three years.

  • January 22, 2020

    New Laws Bolster NJ's Worker-Friendly Bona Fides, Attys Say

    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a spate of employee-friendly bills into law Tuesday, including one statute that stiffens penalties on employers for misclassifying workers and another that requires businesses to pay severance to workers impacted by mass layoffs. Here, employment attorneys take stock of the Garden State’s new mandates.

  • January 22, 2020

    Ex-Md. Lawmaker Admits Guilt In Medical Pot Bribery Scheme

    A former member of Maryland's House of Delegates pled guilty Wednesday to fraud and bribery charges, after prosecutors said she accepted money for official actions including voting to expand the state's number of medical marijuana licenses.

  • January 22, 2020

    DC Circ. Won't Reconsider EPA Pollution Policy Ruling

    The D.C. Circuit on Wednesday rejected a request by environmentalists and California to reconsider a split panel's ruling that courts can't review a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency memorandum rescinding its "once in, always in" air pollution permitting policy.

  • January 22, 2020

    Judge Memberships Warning Has Some Questioning Its Scope

    A plan to ban federal judges from membership in the Federalist Society and its left-leaning counterpart appeared Wednesday to have few fans in the legal community, with some decrying the guidance as too strict and others calling an allowance for American Bar Association membership wrong-headed.

  • January 22, 2020

    Michael Flynn Wants Sentence Of 'No More Than' Probation

    Former Trump administration adviser Michael Flynn asked a Washington, D.C., federal judge Wednesday to hand down a sentence of “no more than” probation in a case in which Flynn stands accused of lying to the FBI during a probe of Russian interference with the 2016 election.

  • January 22, 2020

    Expanded Travel Ban Means New Headaches For Foreign Biz

    President Donald Trump’s plan to add more countries to his so-called travel ban list could send major business with foreign companies elsewhere and worsen an already lengthy backlog for waiver requests.

  • January 22, 2020

    Congress Weighs In On SEC Disgorgement Power Challenge

    Two dozen members of Congress told the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday that stripping the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's power to seek disgorgement in civil cases would upend decades of legislation and buck sound precedent undergirding the nation's securities laws.

  • January 22, 2020

    Iranian Investors No Longer Eligible For US Travel On E Visas

    Iranians traveling to the U.S. for investment and international trade purposes can no longer enter or extend their stays with E Visas, U.S. immigration officials announced Wednesday, weeks after the U.S. assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and amid increasing scrutiny of Iranian immigrants.

  • January 22, 2020

    ECJ Adviser's Glaxo Opinion A Boost For Pay-For-Delay Fines

    A European Court of Justice advocate general said Wednesday that the court should back £44.99 million ($59 million) in U.K. government fines against GlaxoSmithKline PLC and generic-drug makers accused of cutting anti-competitive pay-for-delay deals, in an opinion that could have important implications for other pay-for-delay cases before the top court.

  • January 22, 2020

    Accounting Ethics Body Would Kill Audit Client Consulting

    Accounting firms would be prohibited from consulting work for audit clients, including tax planning under certain circumstances, according to two draft proposals issued by the global body that sets ethical standards for professional accountants.

  • January 22, 2020

    Dem Bill Would Kill FCC Rule On Cable Co. Franchise Fees

    Congressional Democrats introduced a bill Tuesday that would roll back a new Federal Communications Commission rule that they worried would decimate community access TV stations.

Expert Analysis

  • Pro-Employer NLRB Rulings May Prompt Handbook Reviews

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    Three new National Labor Relations Board rulings that overturn Obama-era pro-worker precedents may indicate that now is a good time for employers to strengthen their workplace policies on nonbusiness email use, investigation confidentiality and union dues, say Charles Caulkins and Garrett Kamen at Fisher Phillips.

  • Capitol Hill's Diversity Efforts Are Rubbing Off On Wall Street

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    Increasing congressional support for leadership, programs and legislation that prioritize corporate diversity and inclusion is pushing financial services companies to recognize the importance of equitable performance metrics that focus on results, say Weldon Latham and Michael Hatcher at Jackson Lewis.

  • Sexual Assault Ruling Increases Exposure For NYC Employers

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    In Breest v. Haggis, a New York appellate court ruled that a New York City anti-violence law extends to workplace sexual assault claims and provides an avenue for financial recovery, making proactive assessment of workplace culture and harassment claims crucial for employers, say attorneys at Holland & Knight.

  • Why Conflict Is Brewing Over Del. Unclaimed Property Law

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    Detailed complaints and attachments from recent lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Delaware's unclaimed property program shed light on why the state finds itself in a deepening legal quagmire, say Matthew Wright and Matthew Rifino of McCarter & English.

  • NJ Tax Talk: New Bypass For SALT Deduction Cap

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    Recently enacted New Jersey legislation that allows a bypass of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's $10,000 limit on state and local tax deductions may entice residents to structure their businesses as pass-through entities, say Steven Saraisky and Reuben Muller at Cole Schotz.

  • FTC-DOJ Vertical Merger Guide Aims To Boost Transparency

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    New draft guidelines from the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission clarify how the agencies will approach vertical merger inquiries and signal that parties will be held accountable for proving pro-competitive benefits, say former FTC acting commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen and Christine Ryu-Naya of Baker Botts.

  • Nissan Ex-CEO Illustrates Do's And Don'ts Of Image Repair

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    Lawyers can draw a number of useful lessons about reputation management from the efforts of former Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn — who recently escaped house arrest in Tokyo — to restore his sullied reputation, says Elizabeth Ortega at ECO Strategic Communications.

  • 3 Concerns If Your Witness Becomes Flippant At Deposition

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    In light of a recent Delaware Supreme Court case in which a litigator was rebuked for failing to control his evasive witness during a deposition, attorneys should consider when they may be held responsible for client misconduct and what to do if a client crosses the line, says Philip Sechler of Robbins Russell.

  • Energy Storage As A Transmission Asset In Regional Markets

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved energy storage as a generation asset, but regional markets, including the Midcontinent Independent System Operator and ISO-New England, would benefit from rules for compensating storage as a transmission asset, say Derya Eryilmaz and Caroline Heilbrun of Charles River Associates and Rao Konidena of Rakon Energy.

  • Reining In Runaway Loss Calculations For Procurement Fraud

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    In criminal prosecutions of procurement fraud cases involving set-aside contracts, prosecutors frequently argue that the victim’s loss is the total face value of the wrongfully awarded contracts, but this reasoning cannot survive basic scrutiny, say David Chaiken and Tiffany Bracewell at Troutman Sanders.

  • How OFCCP's Systemic Discrimination Audit Proposal Is Flawed

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    The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' recently proposed new rule, laying out statistical thresholds for finding systemic discrimination, would implement a problematic method of statistical analysis and notice provisions that may provide government contractors inadequate time to respond, say Chris Wilkinson and Necia Hobbes at Orrick.

  • The Int'l, Federal And State Taxation Forecast For 2020

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    Attorneys at Steptoe & Johnson look at U.S. international, federal and state taxation, including legislative, regulatory and controversy developments expected in 2020.

  • DOJ's Trade Security Reporting Policy Boosts Transparency

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    Recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice's National Security Division on the voluntary self-disclosure part of its sanctions and export controls enforcement program continues the DOJ’s movement toward increased transparency, but leaves unanswered questions about how the policy will be applied in practice, say attorneys at Paul Hastings.

  • #MeToo Is Much More Than Last Year's News

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    Employers wondering whether #MeToo is still relevant should recognize that it is a continuous equity movement that includes pay, diversity and inclusion efforts at both the worker and executive levels, say attorneys at Epstein Becker.

  • Courts' Deference To DOL Joint Employer Rule Is Up In The Air

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    Employers should use the U.S. Department of Labor’s narrowed standard for determining joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act as a guidepost until federal courts weigh in on whether and to what extent they will defer to the new rule, say Alexander Passantino and Kevin Young at Seyfarth.