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Public Policy

  • September 18, 2018

    Hearing Over Kavanaugh Assault Claims Could Face Delays

    Just one day after Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, announced a hearing on the sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, plans for the event appear to be in disarray after Democrats and the judge’s accuser called for a delay.

  • September 18, 2018

    White House May Swap McGahn For Mueller Point Man

    President Donald Trump’s potential pick for his next White House counsel has been heading up the White House response to the Mueller probe for months, signaling the office could play a larger part in probes into the Trump administration than it did under Don McGahn, who recused himself.

  • September 18, 2018

    Ban On Prescription Drug 'Gag Clauses' Clears Senate

    The U.S. Senate has passed a piece of bipartisan legislation designed to bar the practice of hiding lower prescription drug costs from patients, the authors of the bill announced Monday.

  • September 18, 2018

    Labor Union Says Lost Wages Not Taxable Under Railroad Law

    A labor union and an association of plaintiffs’ attorneys has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to find that wage loss awards should not be taxable under a railroad retirement statute and argued that the railroad company pushing for them to be taxable had an ulterior motive, saying railroads could use the tax to reduce wage loss awards that result from future injuries.

  • September 18, 2018

    4th Circ. Opinion Curtails Reach Of Clean Water Act

    A recent Fourth Circuit opinion that Dominion Energy Inc.'s coal ash settling ponds aren't considered a "point source" of pollution under the Clean Water Act limits environmental groups in bringing citizen suits to control pollution from similar ponds, experts say.

  • September 18, 2018

    Trump's Refugee Admissions May Sink Lower Than 30K Cap

    The Trump administration announced Monday evening that it would lower the annual cap on refugee admissions from 45,000 to 30,000 in the next fiscal year, but attorneys and refugee aid groups projected that actual admissions could be even lower given processing inefficiencies.

  • September 18, 2018

    Senate Passes Streaming Music Royalties Overhaul

    The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of legislation that would make major changes to how streaming music services like Spotify pay royalties.

  • September 18, 2018

    Enviros Threaten To Sue FWS Over Giraffe ESA Protections

    Environmental and animal rights groups on Tuesday threatened to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its alleged failure to respond to a petition to list giraffes as an endangered species.

  • September 18, 2018

    Ga. Can Use Electronic Ballots In 2018, But Fight Not Over

    Georgia won't have to switch from an electronic voting system to paper ballots for the midterm elections, but a federal judge on Monday had words of encouragement for challengers who say the system isn't secure — as well as criticism for officials who have their "heads in the sand."

  • September 18, 2018

    Dems Want Calif. Net Neutrality Bill Signed Despite Pai

    Democrats are urging California Gov. Jerry Brown to sign what is considered the nation's toughest net neutrality law after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai dragged the legislation as “a radical, anti-consumer” measure.

  • September 18, 2018

    Christie Critic Seeks To Revive GWB Scandal Complaint

    Counsel for an activist urged a New Jersey state appellate panel Tuesday to revive his criminal complaint accusing former Gov. Chris Christie of official misconduct over an alleged scheme to reduce local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge for political revenge, saying the prosecutors who dismissed the case had a conflict of interest.

  • September 18, 2018

    Global Carbon Taxes Still Lag, But There Is Hope, OECD Says

    Worldwide carbon tax rates are still well below estimates of what would be needed to capture the costs of damage to the environment by 2030, though there are reasons for hope, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

  • September 18, 2018

    FWS Asks Justices To Uphold Decision To End Otter Program

    The federal government has asked the U.S. Supreme Court not to take a test of the Chevron deference doctrine in a case brought by California commercial fishing groups arguing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service went beyond its authority in deciding to shutter an experimental program for threatened sea otters.

  • September 18, 2018

    Trump's Military 'Transgender Ban' Will Stay Blocked

    A California federal judge on Tuesday refused to dissolve an injunction blocking the federal government’s military “transgender ban” from going into effect, ruling a revision to the policy was not meaningfully different from the initial outright ban.

  • September 18, 2018

    Trump Admin. Can't Escape LA's Bid To Nix 'Sanctuary' Rules

    A California federal court on Monday rejected the Trump administration’s bid to toss a case that challenges the placing of immigration-related conditions for receiving a federal public safety grant on the city of Los Angeles, finding the municipality has plausibly stated its claims. 

  • September 18, 2018

    Pa. AG Backs New Abuse Reporting Bill After Church Probe

    Following last month's sweeping grand jury report into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Tuesday supported legislation to strengthen the rules imposed on religious leaders, school employees and other individuals for reporting suspected child abuse, and the penalties for violating them.

  • September 18, 2018

    Preemption Lines Blurred In 9th Circ. Hazmat Fee Ruling

    The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision knocking down California's new fee on rail cars transporting hazardous materials but leaving the door open to such a levy if it were "fair" raises new questions on the breadth of federal preemption concerning railroad rates and services, experts say.

  • September 18, 2018

    FCC's Rosenworcel Sees Ways To Bridge The Internet Gap

    For Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, the digital age will be a success only if the government does all it can to connect underprivileged people with high-speed internet service and help local communities better serve their own residents.

  • September 18, 2018

    Interior Finalizes Move On Pulling Back Methane Flaring Rule

    The U.S. Department of the Interior finalized Tuesday a plan to eliminate most of an Obama-era rule aimed at reducing the amount of methane that oil and gas companies release on federal and Native American lands, saying the regulations went far beyond the agency’s authority.

  • September 18, 2018

    DC Circ. Sides With Copyright Board In SoundExchange Suit

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday refused to alter a ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board that set how much streaming services like Pandora Radio must pay for music until 2020, rejecting the argument that the board had used improper benchmarks from the private market.

Expert Analysis

  • Preparing For New Life Settlement Transactions Reporting

    Kristan Rizzolo

    Last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act imposed a host of new information reporting requirements on participants in life settlement transactions. Those affected should put systems in place now to ensure they have the information they need when the filing requirements go into effect, say attorneys at Eversheds Sutherland LLP.

  • Muddy Road Ahead For Autonomous Vehicle Liability In EU

    Anna Masser

    The product liability regimes related to driverless cars in various European countries remain far from harmonized, and lawmakers trail behind the fast-moving reality. As the European Commission works to update the European Product Liability Directive, evolving legal definitions of "producer," "product" and "defect" will be vital for the industry, say attorneys with Jones Day.

  • Aviation Watch: Why The F-35 Has Struggled To Take Flight

    Alan Hoffman

    Seventeen years after the U.S. Department of Defense awarded Lockheed Martin the contract for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and 12 years after the first production aircraft flew in 2006, all versions of the plane remain far from combat-ready, or even fully operational. Recent concerns about cybersecurity have added to the project's woes, says Alan Hoffman, a retired attorney and private pilot.

  • What We Heard At The FTC Hearings: Day 1

    Barry Reingold

    Last week, the Federal Trade Commission began a series of public hearings on competition and consumer protection issues. Attorneys with Perkins Coie LLP offer some key takeaways from the three panel discussions.

  • Series

    Navigating NLRB: A New Era For Joint Employment?

    Peter Kirsanow

    While the National Labor Relations Board’s Browning-Ferris decision is currently the standard upon which joint employer analysis rests, as a number of independent challenges to its vitality loom — including the board's recently announced draft rule — its reign may be short-lived, says Peter Kirsanow, former member of the NLRB and partner at Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP.

  • Update On Calif. Immigrant Worker Protection Act

    Jesse Cripps

    A California federal court recently forbade California and its officials from enforcing several portions of the state's Immigrant Worker Protection Act. While private employers in the state will not be subject to many of the requirements of the law for the time being, the fight over it is likely to proceed, say Jesse Cripps and Ryan Stewart of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Calif.'s New Rules For Lawyers Move Closer To ABA Model

    Mark Loeterman

    The first comprehensive overhaul of California's Rules of Professional Conduct in nearly 30 years becomes operational on Nov. 1. Some of the new rules mirror the model language used by the American Bar Association, but many continue to reflect California’s unique approach to certain ethical questions, says Mark Loeterman of Signature Resolution LLC.

  • Series

    Navigating NLRB: Attacking Instability With APA Rulemaking

    Ronald Meisburg

    In the first article of this Expert Analysis special series, Ronald Meisburg, former member and general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board and special counsel at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, examines why the time may be ripe to use the Administrative Procedure Act to advance rulemaking petitions with the NLRB in order to bring more stability and predictability to the agency's law.

  • Surveying The Cannabis Patent Litigation Landscape

    Tryn Stimart

    As the cannabis market continues to grow, patent infringement suits will abound contingent on federal legalization. Some in the industry worry that many current cannabis patent claims are overbroad, but the availability of post-grant proceedings may provide a solution, say Tryn Stimart and Jean Dassie of Gibbons PC.

  • Post-Florence Insurance Considerations For The Carolinas

    Patrick Aul

    In 2016, Hurricane Matthew was an extraordinary event that caused the Carolinas' departments of insurance to provide additional safeguards for insureds. The impact of Hurricane Florence will likely compel North and South Carolina to take the same actions again, say Patrick Aul and Stephen Pate of Cozen O'Connor.