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Public Policy

  • March 21, 2019

    NY's Vullo Set For Hot Seat In NRA Discrimination Suit

    The National Rifle Association will have a chance to grill Maria T. Vullo, New York’s former top financial services regulator, after an Albany federal magistrate judge granted its deposition bid in its lawsuit alleging she and Gov. Andrew Cuomo sought to silence the gun rights advocacy group by squeezing the financial institutions it works with.

  • March 21, 2019

    FERC Mulls Grid Rate Incentive Policy Changes

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday said it would explore revising its incentive policy for electric transmission projects to ensure it's properly encouraging new development, as well as how it calculates transmission company investor returns.

  • March 21, 2019

    DOI OKs Changes To Conn.'s Gambling Deal With Tribe

    The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved changes to Connecticut’s gambling agreement with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, according to a notice to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, a move that could pave the way for a proposed $300 million casino project and resolve a related lawsuit.

  • March 21, 2019

    Calif. Approves Final Regulations For Idle Oil And Gas Wells

    A California agency on Thursday announced it had approved regulations aimed at ensuring idle oil and gas wells do not harm the environment and that there are more resources to plug wells that are abandoned by operators.

  • March 21, 2019

    Marine Chief Says Hurricanes, Border Work Straining Budget

    Recent hurricanes, alongside deployments to the southern border and other unexpected events, have resulted in the U.S. Marine Corps facing unprecedented financial challenges and "unacceptable risk" to its combat readiness, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said in a pair of internal memos, publicly leaked Thursday.

  • March 21, 2019

    DC Circ. Prods UPS Unit On Grievance Against Union Vote

    A D.C. Circuit panel on Thursday scrutinized a UPS subsidiary's claim that the National Labor Relations Board rushed a unionization vote for a few dozen of the delivery company's Pennsylvania-based truck drivers without giving the company a chance to make its case against the drive.

  • March 21, 2019

    FCC Tightens Up Rules For Spectrum-Sharing Databases

    Industry groups praised the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday for its plan to tighten rules covering "TV white spaces" databases, which allow unlicensed users to share unused broadcast spectrum for a variety of applications like rural broadband.

  • March 21, 2019

    Long-Distance Carrier Fined $2.3M For Unauthorized Charges

    The Federal Communications Commission today issued a $2.32 million fine against Michigan-based Long Distance Consolidated Billing Company for deceptive marketing practices, saying it switched consumers’ carriers — a practice known as slamming — and charged them for services without authorization, also known as cramming.

  • March 21, 2019

    Watchdog Asks DOT To Publicize Info On Airline Immunities

    The U.S. Department of Transportation needs to be more transparent about how it decides whether to hand out antitrust immunity to airlines seeking to make alliances, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday.

  • March 21, 2019

    Commerce Hit With FOIA Suit For Auto Tariff Report

    A conservative nonprofit on Wednesday asked a federal court to force the U.S. Department of Commerce to turn over a copy of the agency’s findings from its probe into whether imported cars threaten U.S. national security interests.

  • March 21, 2019

    Final FATCA Rules Expand Definition Of 'Responsible Officer'

    The U.S. Treasury Department finalized regulations Thursday that expand the definition of “responsible officer” under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act to include individuals who aren’t directly affiliated with American financial institutions that report on behalf of overseas banks.

  • March 21, 2019

    Justices Urged To Merge Census Citizenship Question Cases

    The city of San Jose and immigrant advocates urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to hear their constitutional claims against the inclusion of a citizenship status question on the 2020 census, suggesting that the court consolidate their case with one brought by New York and other states.

  • March 21, 2019

    Insurers Must Name Climate-Problem Clients, Nonprofits Say

    California is under pressure to force insurers to name the fossil-fuel projects they insure and underwrite, with nonprofit groups calling Thursday for emergency measures from the state’s insurance regulator.

  • March 21, 2019

    DOJ Appellate Atty Moves To US House Counsel's Office

    The General Counsel's Office for the U.S. House of Representatives has added a former U.S. Department of Justice appellate attorney, another potential sign House Democrats are gearing up for legal battles with President Donald Trump.

  • March 21, 2019

    Pai Aims To Kill 'Kinda Crazy' Rural Phone Rate Floor

    The Federal Communications Commission will vote next month on several reforms, including whether to end its "kinda crazy" rural telephone rate floor in order to head off likely price hikes this summer, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday.

  • March 21, 2019

    NJ Housing Official Says Accused Rapist Defamed Her

    A New Jersey housing official who alleged she was raped by a campaign staffer who later got a lucrative job in Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration said Wednesday his denial of her sexual assault claim to prosecutors, lawmakers and the media amounts to defamation.

  • March 21, 2019

    Native Groups Can't Weigh In On National Monuments Cuts

    Efforts of Native American advocacy groups to support challenges to President Donald Trump’s decision to shrink two national monuments were halted Wednesday when a D.C federal judge said their proposed amicus brief would not help determine whether the president’s decision was authorized by the Antiquities Act.

  • March 21, 2019

    DOI Gives Tribes, States $291M For Coal Mine Cleanup

    The U.S. Department of the Interior announced that states including Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas along with several tribes will benefit from more than $291 million in funding to be used for the reclamation and regeneration of abandoned coal mines.

  • March 21, 2019

    USTelecom Pilot Program To Gather Broadband Location Data

    Trade groups headlined by USTelecom officially unveiled a plan Thursday that they say could cure the federal government’s ailing broadband maps, announcing a pilot program that will layer data from public sources, providers and customers to visualize where internet service is and is not.

  • March 21, 2019

    Hit Tax Havens To Stop Digital Co. Abuse, UK Group Urges

    Successive U.K. governments have failed to rein in tax avoidance by digital behemoths like Google and Amazon.com, so Britain should target use of Ireland as a tax haven enabling that practice, a U.K. tax advocacy group said Thursday.

Expert Analysis

  • US Policy On Cuba Litigation Comes With Risks For Cos.

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    A newly effective embargo measure that allows U.S. claimants to sue the Cuban government in U.S. courts for confiscated Cuban property may soon be expanded to permit lawsuits against non-Cuban entities operating in Cuba. Attorneys at Greenberg Traurig LLP discuss key issues surrounding the policy change.

  • Assessing Compliance Risk Under DOJ China Initiative

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    The U.S. Department of Justice's China Initiative should be a signal to Chinese companies, multinational companies with Chinese subsidiaries, and U.S.-based investors in Chinese companies — it's time to design and implement strong anti-corruption and anti-bribery programs, says Jean Chow-Callam of FTI Consulting Inc.

  • The Latest On Vapor Intrusion Regs In Calif.

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    Recent and upcoming vapor intrusion policies from California environmental regulators will increase the number of properties investigated, shift the focus to indoor air sampling, and possibly affect real estate transactions, say Catherine Johnson and Dorothy Dickey of Environmental General Counsel LLP.

  • Lenders Score Major High Court Victory In Foreclosure Case

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous ruling on Wednesday in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP removes nearly all activities taken by creditors seeking nonjudicial foreclosure of liens and mortgages from the ambit of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, says John Baxter of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.

  • How The SEC Eased In-Person Director Voting Rules

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    Last month, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission staff issued a no-action letter permitting fund and company boards of directors to meet and take certain actions by telephone or video conference when directors cannot meet in person. But the validity of contracts entered into in such circumstances is unclear, say attorneys with Proskauer Rose LLP.

  • Tech Trends From SXSW Pose Unique Questions For Lawyers

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    These days, a popular theme in media is that lawyers' jobs will be taken by robots. However, based on the tech issues discussed at the South by Southwest technology conference in Austin, Texas, last month, robots may in fact need lawyers, says Nick Abrahams of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • Opposite Rulings Refine Scope Of Texas Sovereign Immunity

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    Last week, the Texas Supreme Court reached opposite conclusions in two sovereign immunity cases, reflecting the excruciating parsing of statutory text required to determine whether a claim against a local government is barred or is encompassed by a statutory waiver of immunity, says Lyndon Bittle at Carrington Coleman Sloman & Blumenthal LLP.

  • Liability For CEO Misconduct Expands After #MeToo

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    The Nevada Gaming Commission's recent $20 million fine against Wynn Resorts for failing to act after reports of its former CEO's alleged sexual misconduct demonstrates how #MeToo has altered the classic economic assessment for harassment claims, says Dove Burns of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP.

  • In Bar Admissions Process, It's Candor Or Bust

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    You passed the bar exam and are ready for the character and fitness committee interview. Time to think about how to discuss that minor incident in college, that misdemeanor in high school or that mental health issue that you have totally under control, says Richard Maltz of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC.

  • DOJ's Wire Act Opinion Means Uncertainty For Tribal Gaming

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    While tribes may be split on the U.S. Department of Justice's new interpretation of the Wire Act, they should all note the DOJ's willingness to weigh in on otherwise established gaming laws, say Charles Galbraith and Julian SpearChief-Morris of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.