Public Policy

  • April 12, 2021

    Biden Taps Lowenstein Sandler Atty, Ex-NJ AG To Run DEA

    A Lowenstein Sandler LLP special counsel who served as New Jersey's attorney general from 2007 to 2010 has been nominated to head the Drug Enforcement Administration, President Joe Biden announced Monday.

  • April 12, 2021

    IRS Eyes Tweaks For Non-US Investment In Opportunity Zones

    Foreigners could see reduced or eliminated capital-gains withholding from investments in federal opportunity zones, under proposed rules that also would tighten requirements for non-U.S. parties and refine guidance on safe harbors in disaster areas, the IRS said Monday.

  • April 12, 2021

    Biden Nominates Senior National Security Officials

    President Joe Biden on Monday nominated several people to senior defense and national security positions, including an inaugural national cyber director, a new federal counterterrorism chief, and potentially the first-ever woman to serve as Army secretary.

  • April 12, 2021

    Tech Attys Tell USPTO To Rethink PTAB Review Denials

    Top attorneys from Cisco and Microsoft called Monday for the next U.S. Patent and Trademark Office director to consider the "practical" realities of the agency's practice of refusing to review patent challenges in light of parallel district court litigation.

  • April 12, 2021

    White House Enviro Office Rescinds Trump-Era Guidance Rule

    The White House on Monday rescinded a January rule promulgated by the Trump administration that established procedures for guidance documents from the Council on Environmental Quality, saying the rule would interfere with its own priorities.

  • April 12, 2021

    Biden Taps Morgan Lewis Atty To Lead DOJ Criminal Division

    President Joe Biden on Monday said he would nominate a Morgan Lewis white collar partner to lead the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division and a Duke law professor to head up the department's Office of Legal Counsel.

  • April 12, 2021

    FCC Wants Your Internet Speed Data For Broadband Maps

    The Federal Communications Commission wants everyone to download the agency's speed test smartphone application to help it quickly gather data about network performance across the country.

  • April 12, 2021

    USMCA's Trade Rules Are Keeping Carmakers On Their Toes

    After spending nearly three decades acclimating to the North American Free Trade Agreement's complex web of rules, the U.S. car industry once again finds itself in the middle of a steep learning curve as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement goes into effect.

  • April 12, 2021

    Judge Rejects Brewpub's Bid To Lift Pa.'s Virus Restrictions

    A Pennsylvania federal judge declined to lift the state's COVID-19 indoor dining restrictions, finding that a brewpub's constitutionality challenge is unlikely to succeed because the Keystone State's orders are "rationally" related to its goal of limiting death and hospitalizations.

  • April 12, 2021

    Ky. Latest State To Enact COVID-19 Liability Shield Law

    Kentucky has enacted a law that shields businesses and health care providers from COVID-19 injury and death lawsuits, following Florida as the latest state to provide a legal safe haven for businesses amid the pandemic.

  • April 12, 2021

    NJ Pot Regulators Prioritize Equity, Patients' Access

    At its inaugural meeting on Monday, members of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission pitched a vision of regulating cannabis with a focus on restoring communities harmed by the war on drugs and ensuring patients' continued access to medicinal marijuana in the Garden State.

  • April 12, 2021

    T-Mobile Says Dish To Blame For 3G Shutdown Threat

    T-Mobile is combating assertions that it's trying to "prematurely" kick Boost Mobile subscribers off its 3G network, telling the Federal Communications Commission that its network transition plan is firmly in line with prior merger commitments.

  • April 12, 2021

    Utah Federal Judge's Shift Opens Red-State Seat For Biden

    After overseeing cases ranging from employment and Native American law to a major solar energy tax write-off scheme, Utah U.S. District Judge David O. Nuffer's transition to senior status next year will give President Joe Biden a rare and delicate red-state opening.

  • April 12, 2021

    Sen. Wants To Ban 'Dominant' Tech, $100B Cos. From All M&A

    Online platforms designated as "dominant digital firms" and any company with a market capitalization of more than $100 billion would be all but banned from any mergers and acquisitions activity under a new bill Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., unveiled Monday in a sweeping antitrust broadside against "woke mega-corporations."

  • April 12, 2021

    Seila Law Says Full 9th Circ. Should Reject CFPB Ratification

    California law firm Seila Law LLC has urged the full Ninth Circuit to step in and "correct" a panel decision from late last year that upheld a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau civil investigative demand against the firm after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the agency was unconstitutionally structured.

  • April 12, 2021

    Detroit Pot Licensing Halted Amid Residency Fight

    A Michigan federal judge has halted Detroit's marijuana dispensary licensing program in response to a lawsuit that accused the city of unconstitutionally discriminating against nonresidents.

  • April 12, 2021

    USPTO Chief Questions Call To Review Patent Eligibility Last

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's acting director said Monday that the agency is considering a proposal by two senators to move the analysis of whether an invention is patent-eligible to the end of examination, though he said he's not sure that would be an improvement.

  • April 12, 2021

    Biz Groups Say EEOC Conciliation Regs Reach 'Fair Balance'

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and eight other business groups urged Congress Monday not to take steps to rescind the Trump-era changes to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's conciliation process, saying the rule makes pre-suit settlements more likely.

  • April 12, 2021

    FERC Urged To Nix Catskills Hydropower Project

    Opponents of a proposed upstate New York hydroelectric project urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Monday to nip it in the bud, arguing it would compromise a major Big Apple drinking water source and that local governments' opposition dooms the project anyway.

  • April 12, 2021

    Justices Cast High-Profile 'Shadow' Rulings Despite Pushback

    Bringing transparency to the U.S. Supreme Court's "shadow docket" is going to take more than finger-wagging by congressional lawmakers, the justices showed on Friday, when they handed down an unsigned 5-4 decision on California COVID-19 restrictions at midnight.

  • April 12, 2021

    Md. Bill To Bar Passing On Digital Ad Tax Goes To Gov.

    Large online companies such as Google and Facebook would be prohibited from passing along the cost of a new tax on digital advertising in Maryland under a bill sent Monday to the state's governor.

  • April 12, 2021

    Nat'l Security Team Clears Polhem's $1B Telia Carrier Buy

    A key U.S. national security panel said Monday it won't object to Telia Co. selling its international carrier business to Polhem Infra for 9,450 million Swedish krona ($1.1 billion) if certain conditions are met.

  • April 12, 2021

    Minn. House Panel OKs Legalizing, Taxing Recreational Pot

    A Minnesota House committee advanced a bill Monday to legalize recreational cannabis and impose gross receipts and use taxes on sales of cannabis products.

  • April 12, 2021

    Full 6th Circ. Set To Look At Tenn. Abortion Fight

    The full Sixth Circuit is teed up to hear Tennessee's appeal of a lower court's decision to block a state requirement that women wait 48 hours between consulting with a doctor and getting an abortion.

  • April 12, 2021

    Feds Say Texas Is Too Late To Pick Up Public Charge Fight

    The Biden administration and Cook County, Illinois, urged the U.S. Supreme Court to spike an appeal from Texas and other states seeking to resurrect the 2019 public charge rule, arguing that the states had missed their chance to intervene.

Expert Analysis

  • Consumer Protection Takeaways From ABA Antitrust Meeting

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    During the recent Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, the American Bar Association's panels evaluated how antitrust and consumer protection fit into broader social and political issues, and revealed how that perspective might inform enforcement, litigation and consumer education in the future, say Patrick Thompson and Kevin Schock at Perkins Coie.

  • Partial Repeal Could Resolve Biden's SALT Cap Dilemma

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    Lawmakers' calls to repeal the cap on federal deductions for state and local taxes are controversial because doing so could cost over $600 billion, but a partial repeal could be accomplished on a revenue-neutral basis, providing relief to some, if not most, affected taxpayers, says Joseph Mandarino at Smith Gambrell.

  • Opinion

    Growth Cos. Should Disclose Projections In IPO Prospectuses

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    It's time for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to encourage smaller and emerging companies to demonstrate their prospective growth to investors by providing reasonable financial projections in their initial public offering prospectuses for a greater chance of success, says Spencer Feldman at Olshan Frome.

  • Opinion

    It's Time To Modernize Amateurism In College Sports

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    Recent U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in a case challenging the NCAA’s freedom from antitrust constraints — together with proposed federal legislation and U.S. Golf Association rules favorable to student-athletes — signal a coming, needed sea change in the definition of amateurism in college sports, says Geoffrey Lottenberg at Berger Singerman.

  • Biden's Power To Change Oil And Gas Leasing Faces Limits

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    The Biden administration has signaled its intention to dramatically curtail federal oil and gas leasing, but it should first carefully consider the statutory, regulatory, constitutional and contractual limitations on its authority to do so, say attorneys at Jones Walker.

  • Del. Rulings Guide On D&O Insurance For Corporate Fraud

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    Two recent Delaware decisions chart a helpful path for policyholders seeking directors and officers coverage for incidents involving fraudulent conduct, and also demonstrate the flexibility afforded by choice-of-law clauses, say Brian Scarbrough and Eric Fleddermann at Jenner & Block.

  • What Associates Should Consider Before Switching Practices

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    The current high demand for midlevel associates provides them a rare opportunity to potentially explore new practice areas, but associates should first ask themselves six questions to begin figuring out why a change sounds appealing, says Stephanie Biderman at Major Lindsey.

  • 4 Effective Ways To Prioritize Client Advocacy

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    To truly support a client going through a complicated lawsuit or a painful experience, lawyers must think beyond interpreting legal guidelines and navigating court proceedings, says attorney Scott Corwin.

  • Opinion

    Consider Benefits Of Carbon Emissions Alongside Costs

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    The Biden administration's recently announced social cost of carbon estimate will be used to calculate adverse impacts from many different activities and industries, but Poe Leggette at BakerHostetler argues that the social benefits of carbon emissions connected to food, shelter, and other goods and services have not been given enough attention.

  • FDA Letters Suggest Scrutiny Of Virus And Vaping Products

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    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stepped up its issuance of warning letters during the first quarter of 2021, and focused particularly on products for diagnosing, treating and preventing COVID-19, and on vaping products — so manufacturers and retailers in these sectors should intensify their marketing compliance efforts, says Katie Insogna at DLA Piper.

  • Alcohol Law Changes Test Public Policy Balance

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    Pandemic-era temporary changes to alcohol laws aimed at helping bars and restaurants are maturing into long-term legislative reforms that are testing the extent to which states can obtain a policy balance between modern convenience and the safe, moderate consumption of alcohol, say Arielle Albert and Brian Fink at Danow McMullan.

  • A Call For Greater Clarity Around SEC Cooperation Credit

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision not to fine Gulfport Energy in a recent enforcement action over disclosure failures highlights the need for SEC guidance on the benefits a company will receive for cooperating with agency investigations, say Robert Cohen and Brook Jackling at Davis Polk.

  • Remote Law Firm Culture Should Prioritize Associate Training

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    Due to the pandemic, the gap between law school and the first day on the job has never been wider, but law firms can leverage training to bridge that intimidating gap and convey the unique value of their culture in a virtual environment, say Melissa Schwind at Ward and Smith, and William Kenney and Jaron Luttich at Element Standard.

  • Health Insurance Compliance Steps After Antitrust Reform

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    Health insurers should review their compliance programs to avoid antitrust complaints from overzealous plaintiffs now that the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act has ended insurers' federal antitrust protections, say Lisl Dunlop and Thomas Rohback at Axinn.

  • Extreme Weather Means Energy Cos. Need New Risk Tools

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    The recent extreme weather events in Texas, and subsequent litigation, show that energy facility owners and operators may no longer be able to rely strictly on adherence to existing codes and standards when assessing climate-related business and legal risk, and may instead new need new tools and models, say consultants at Exponent.

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