Public Policy

  • January 18, 2021

    FTC's Chopra Gets Biden Nod To Become Next CFPB Director

    President-elect Joe Biden said Monday that he plans to nominate Rohit Chopra, a Democratic member of the Federal Trade Commission, to serve as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a selection that consumer advocates are welcoming as a sign of tougher industry scrutiny ahead.

  • January 15, 2021

    Novo Joins Challenge To HHS Pharma Discount Opinion

    Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk Inc. on Friday joined a slew of other pharmaceutical companies challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' view that drugmakers must give discounts to pharmacies contracting with hospitals that serve low-income areas.

  • January 15, 2021

    Trump Auto Emissions Rollback Faces Heat From All Sides

    Foes of the Trump administration's rollback of vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and fuel-economy standards urged the D.C. Circuit to undo the change, with environmental and energy groups saying the rollback went too far while a deregulation supporter argued it didn't go far enough.

  • January 15, 2021

    USDA Relaxes Some Requirements In Final Hemp Rule

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday released its final rule governing the cultivation of hemp, some 14 months after publishing draft regulations that industry stakeholders decried as overly burdensome.

  • January 15, 2021

    OCC Defends Valid-When-Made Rule In State AGs' Suit

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has urged a California federal court to reject an effort by California and two other states to block the agency's valid-when-made rule, arguing the rule was well within bounds as an attempt to mitigate legal uncertainty surrounding interest rate transferability.

  • January 15, 2021

    Trump Orders Agencies To 'Minimize' China Contracts

    President Donald Trump directed federal departments and agencies Friday to come up with policy changes to minimize their procurement of goods and services from the People's Republic of China to reduce the risk of China's "technical and human espionage" directed at the U.S. government, according to his national security adviser.

  • January 15, 2021

    Church Tells 9th Circ. Calif. Can't Restrict Worship Amid Virus

    A San Diego church that failed to beat California's pandemic restrictions at the U.S. Supreme Court urged the Ninth Circuit on Friday to reconsider its request, arguing that a subsequent high court decision striking down rules on religious gatherings in New York favors axing California's rules.

  • January 15, 2021

    Immigration Groups Challenge Rule 'Eviscerating' Asylum

    Two more immigrant advocacy groups have sued over the Trump administration's eleventh-hour asylum reforms in Washington, D.C., federal court, calling the new regulations an "evisceration" of protections established by Congress to shelter immigrants fleeing persecution.

  • January 15, 2021

    Virus Didn't Compromise ComEd Grand Jury, Feds Say

    Illinois federal prosecutors slammed a bid by former Commonwealth Edison Co. executives and lobbyists to access grand jury selection materials in their bribery case, arguing the request is based on the "mistaken conjecture" that additional jurors were improperly selected during the coronavirus pandemic. 

  • January 15, 2021

    Calif. Says AB 5 Not Blocked By Federal Franchising Law

    California wants a suit challenging its landmark worker classification law dumped without leave to amend, telling a federal court that the statute doesn't bump up against federal law and the lawsuit's preemption argument "presents a false choice."

  • January 15, 2021

    Up Next At High Court: Media Diversity And Climate Suits

    The U.S. Supreme Court has a light workload in the week ahead, due in part to the chief justice's duty to administer President-elect Joe Biden's oath of office Wednesday. But the court will hear a pair of cases, both on Tuesday, about diversity in media ownership and where to file climate change lawsuits.

  • January 15, 2021

    NY, FTC Lead Charge To Expand Biometric Privacy Shields

    New York lawmakers and the Federal Trade Commission are the latest to step up pressure on companies to be upfront with consumers about the use of their biometric data, signaling that more laws and regulatory scrutiny are expected for the increasingly popular technology, attorneys say. 

  • January 15, 2021

    DOL Changes Wage Guidelines For H-2A Agricultural Visas

    The U.S. Department of Labor finalized changes to the H-2A agricultural visa program on Friday to replace prevailing wage guidelines and permit businesses to stagger the entry of workers into the U.S.

  • January 15, 2021

    FCC Inks $10M Fine For Racist Political Robocaller

    After sending out thousands of racist robocalls in an attempt to sway public opinion against Black and Jewish political candidates, an Idaho white supremacist is being hit with nearly $10 million in fines from the Federal Communications Commission.

  • January 15, 2021

    Trump White House Finalizes 5G Network Security Plan

    The White House announced Friday it has finalized a four-pronged strategy to help the U.S. roll out safe and effective 5G networks, including promoting "core security principles" in new wireless infrastructure and encouraging global allies to do the same.

  • January 15, 2021

    Pet Theory: Judge Says Dog May Be Livestock In Zoning Fight

    A Massachusetts state court judge suggested Friday that puppies could fall under the definition of livestock as he heard closing arguments in a bench trial over whether a million-dollar bernedoodle operation can run in a residential neighborhood.

  • January 15, 2021

    Manhattan DA Subpoenas NY Towns Over Trump Property

    Manhattan's district attorney has subpoenaed records from three New York towns, seeking information about a Trump Organization property called Seven Springs Estate, which is already under scrutiny by the state's attorney general, according to a news report Friday.

  • January 15, 2021

    Texas Law Firm Blasts Allstate Experts In Proposed Class

    Allstate is facing a proposed class action brought on behalf of as many as 10,000 Texas lawyers and law firms, accusing the insurer of routinely putting forth unqualified experts to delay justice and drive up court costs.

  • January 15, 2021

    Biden, New Congress Offer Historic Opportunities For Tribes

    The incoming Biden administration's progressive ambitions, coupled with a newly Democratic Congress, could mean unprecedented opportunities for tribes not only to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, but to kickstart their economic recovery and address long-standing environmental, infrastructure and land issues.

  • January 15, 2021

    FTC Faces Steep Odds In High Court Restitution Case

    The Federal Trade Commission's chances for hanging on to its power to seek restitution for victims of consumer scams and antitrust violations in federal court look grim if sharp questions from several justices during Supreme Court arguments this past week are any indication, legal observers say.

  • January 15, 2021

    Outgoing DOJ Antitrust Chief's Greatest Hits

    The Justice Department's top antitrust enforcer, Makan Delrahim, has been sticking song references in the titles of his policy speeches throughout his tenure, most recently announcing a decision about music licensing groups in remarks titled "And the Beat Goes On." Here, Law360 takes a look at the songs Delrahim has cited ahead of his expected departure from the agency Tuesday.

  • January 15, 2021

    DC Circ. Won't Pause Methane Monitoring Rollback

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday rejected environmental groups' effort to block parts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's less restrictive policy on methane emissions for new and modified oil and gas infrastructure while litigation plays out.

  • January 15, 2021

    Blue States Challenge EPA Aircraft GHG Emissions Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new gas emissions standards for aircraft won't actually result in new reductions, said 12 attorneys general from California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and other Democrat-led states plus the District of Columbia in announcing a D.C. Circuit challenge Friday.

  • January 15, 2021

    Calif. Voters Should Have Say On Flavored Vape Ban, AG Says

    The state of California has told a federal judge that while a voter referendum is pending on the fate of the state's flavored vape ban, the court should not entertain a challenge against it brought by Big Tobacco, saying it could deprive Californians of their right to legislation by referendum.

  • January 15, 2021

    What To Expect In High Court's Media Ownership Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court will wade into a more than two-decade-old dispute over media ownership rules on Tuesday and at long last attempt to address the Federal Communications Commission's contrasting obligations to promote both competition and diversity among radio and TV station owners and to eliminate unnecessary constraints on who can hold broadcast properties.

Expert Analysis

  • 6 Priorities For Employment-Based Immigration Reform

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    Maria Fernanda Gandarez and Avram Morell at Pryor Cashman propose six practical changes the incoming Biden administration should make to improve employment-based immigration for U.S. employers and remove barriers preventing foreign talent from contributing to economic recovery in the U.S.

  • FTC Authority To Obtain Monetary Relief May Be Under Threat

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    Although justices asked difficult questions of both sides at the recent U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in AMG v. Federal Trade Commission, they expressed significant skepticism of the FTC's implicit authority to seek restitution and disgorgement of the proceeds of fraud and other misconduct, say attorneys at Sullivan & Cromwell.

  • EU Rule Presents New Medical Device Compliance Hurdles

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    The European Union's new Medical Device Regulation coming into effect this May will create a revolutionary new legal framework for manufacturers, distributors and notified bodies, but introduces an urgent need to adapt infrastructure and data collection, say Sylvie Gallage-Alwis at Signature Litigation and Sylvie Gallage-Alwis at Exponent.

  • Fed. Circ. Ruling Shows Novelty's Role In Patent Eligibility

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    The recent Federal Circuit decision Simio v. FlexSim is the latest in a trend concerning a class of inventions that are patent ineligible because they’re not novel despite purporting to improve computer technology, and is informative for winning or surviving early motions to dismiss, say Braden Katterheinrich and JD Schneider at Faegre Drinker.

  • CFPB's Busy 2020 May Foretell Regulatory Uptick Ahead

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    The last year stood out for its marked resurgence in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau activity, suggesting 2021 will usher in even more vigorous enforcement, enhanced fair lending regulation, and renewed assaults on consumer arbitration and payday lending, says Richard Gottlieb at Manatt.

  • DC Circ. Lobbyist Ruling May Lead To 1st Amendment Clarity

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    The D.C. Circuit’s recent opinion in Akhmetshin v. Browder, leaving the government contacts exception's application to foreign lobbyists unsettled, may compel courts to clarify the availability of First Amendment defamation defenses to foreign companies involved in lobbying, says Joe Meadows at Bean Kinney.

  • What's On The Horizon For Unclaimed Property In 2021

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    Unclaimed property professionals who run holder compliance programs should buckle themselves in for what portends to be a perfect storm of legislative, enforcement and litigation contests this year between state administrators and holders, say attorneys at Alston & Bird.

  • Opinion

    6 Ways Financial Regulators Should Prioritize Climate Risk

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    As the Biden administration prepares to take office, financial regulators must resolve to collaborate with each other and industries to manage the financial risks from climate change after years of obstruction by the Trump administration, says New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell.

  • 4 Legal Industry Trends Litigation Financiers Are Watching

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    Some recent litigation developments demonstrate efforts by law firms and their clients to search for opportunities in the COVID-19 economic fallout, while others — such as the rise of contingency fee arrangements — reflect acceleration of tendencies that were already underway, says William Weisman at Therium Capital.

  • New Fla. Summary Judgment Rule Will Deter Forum Shopping

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    The Florida Supreme Court's recent amendment of the state's summary judgment standard to align it with that of the federal courts and most other states will improve judicial efficiency, reduce the cost and uncertainty of litigation, and help prevent forum shopping by plaintiffs with dubious claims, say Walter Latimer and Guy Noa at Fowler White.

  • Pandemic Is Changing Compassionate Release Calculus

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    Whereas compassionate release applications for white collar defendants were previously rare, courts are now approaching these applications with greater leniency to reduce sentences or to impose sentencing alternatives in the appropriate circumstances, which may continue beyond the pandemic, say Jamie Furia and Carly Coleman at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • How EU Climate Regs May Affect US Private Fund Managers

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    As compliance dates for the European Commission's environmental, social and governance rules draw closer, U.S. private fund managers should be aware that EU investors and subsidiaries could trigger climate risk data requests and compliance obligations, says Trysha Daskam at Silver Regulatory.

  • Lenders' Role Will Be Key In NYC Green Building Loans

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    New York City's Climate Mobilization Act, which will soon restrict large buildings' carbon emissions, provides for a loan program to help owners finance energy-efficient improvements — but the program's success will depend on mortgage lenders' participation, says Jason Rozes at Dechert.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Setting Well-Being Goals In 2021

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    In the face of rising client demands due to the pandemic and the changing regulatory environment, and with remote work continuing for the foreseeable future, lawyers should invest in their well-being by establishing inspiring yet realistic goals for 2021 — one month at a time, says Krista Larson at Morgan Lewis.

  • Opinion

    Congress Must Fix The AML Whistleblower Law

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    Fundamental differences between whistleblower provisions in the recently passed Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Dodd-Frank Act will render the new law ineffective until Congress amends it to fully conform to Dodd-Frank's highly successful reward provisions, says Stephen Kohn at Kohn Kohn.

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