Public Policy

  • January 21, 2022

    Arizona Says No Takebacks Of Pandemic Relief Funds

    The Biden administration can't confiscate federal pandemic relief money given to Arizona just because the state decided to use some of its share to reopen schools and undermine mask mandates, according to a federal lawsuit filed Friday in the Grand Canyon state.

  • January 21, 2022

    CalSavers Urges Supreme Court To Reject Auto-IRA Appeal

    California's state-run retirement program on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject an anti-tax group's challenge, arguing that the Ninth Circuit correctly found that the program wasn't preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it's not an "employee benefit plan" under ERISA.

  • January 21, 2022

    Texas Judge Blocks Vaccine Mandate For Federal Workers

    A Texas federal judge on Friday blocked the enforcement of President Joe Biden's mandate requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 after finding that the president doesn't have authority to issue such a broad order, a ruling the federal government has already announced it's appealing.

  • January 21, 2022

    Wyoming, Montana Back Bid To End Suit Against Coal Leasing

    Wyoming and Montana have thrown their weight behind an effort to kill a lawsuit filed by environmentalists who want the Biden administration to put an end to federal coal leasing, arguing that the revocation of a Trump-era order makes the case moot.  

  • January 21, 2022

    Ga. Judge Grapples With Pot's Legal Status In Licensing Fight

    A Georgia federal judge pushed attorneys at a hearing Friday to explain how he could grant relief in a challenge to the state's residency requirement for low-THC medical cannabis businesses, given that marijuana is still federally illegal.

  • January 21, 2022

    Mayorkas Seeks Cities' Help On Immigration Enforcement

    Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is urging city leaders to cooperate with the Biden administration's immigration enforcement efforts, saying mayors should set aside a distrust of federal authorities that deepened during the Trump administration.

  • January 21, 2022

    Online Broker Appeals Oregon's Win Over Real Estate Fees

    An online real estate brokerage has appealed to the Ninth Circuit to take up its challenge to Oregon regulations that prohibit brokers from paying rebates to buyers after they close on a home purchase.

  • January 21, 2022

    Iowa Lawmaker Lobs Bill To Make Student-Athletes Employees

    Amid a growing legal push to treat NCAA student-athletes as employees, an Iowa lawmaker has introduced a bill that would classify athletes at Iowa state schools as public employees and entitle them to pay and other benefits.

  • January 21, 2022

    $26B Deal Keeps Opioid Files Of J&J, Distributors Out Of View

    Document disclosure obligations that attorneys have touted as crucial elements of opioid litigation settlements are absent from a $26 billion resolution that Johnson & Johnson and large drug distributors are close to finalizing, hindering the deal's goal of preventing narcotic abuse, experts say.

  • January 21, 2022

    Tillis Slams DOJ's Plan To Revise Policy On Essential Patents

    Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., the top Republican on the Senate's intellectual property subcommittee, criticized U.S. Department of Justice officials over a recent draft policy statement seeking to reverse a Trump-era policy that made it easier for holders of standard-essential patents to seek injunctive relief in court.

  • January 21, 2022

    NY Fiber Co. To Pay $5M Over 'Unsafe' Pole Attachments

    New York's utility regulator has reached a $5 million settlement with a fiber optic internet service provider in Rochester over alleged violations of utility pole attachment rules, a sum of money the state said will help to develop broadband in the region.

  • January 21, 2022

    Google Says States' Ad Antitrust Suit Stifles 'Market Forces'

    Google accused antitrust watchdogs of bridling the free market on Friday as the data giant asked a New York federal judge to dismiss the bulk of 17 attorneys generals' claims that it monopolizes online display advertising.

  • January 21, 2022

    Biden Admin. Expands Definition Of STEM For Int'l Students

    The Biden administration has implemented a pair of changes aimed at making it easier for international students in the STEM field to stay and work in the U.S. after graduation by widening the net of careers that fall into the science, technology, engineering or mathematics category and making it easier for those people to qualify as "extraordinary" individuals.

  • January 21, 2022

    Maryland AG Sues Baltimore Over Wastewater Plant Pollution

    Maryland's attorney general Friday sued the city of Baltimore over pollution from the state's two largest wastewater treatment plants that the attorney general alleges hampers efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay watershed and other streams, creeks and rivers.

  • January 21, 2022

    Immigration Legislation Faces Headwinds As Midterms Near

    Prospects are waning for the passage of major federal immigration legislation ahead of midterm elections set for this fall, as efforts founder to provide a pathway to permanent legal status for unauthorized immigrants.

  • January 21, 2022

    FCC Chair Says Agency Is Working On Spectrum Coordination

    Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel told members of Congress that her agency is working to resolve a government watchdog's recommendations for ways the FCC can better coordinate on spectrum policy.

  • January 21, 2022

    FCC Looks To Ink Apartment Internet Choice Rule

    The Federal Communications Commission is getting the ball rolling on a measure to promote competition and increase choice for broadband services for people living and working in apartments.

  • January 21, 2022

    DC Judge Won't Move Offshore Oil Lease Challenge To La.

    A D.C. federal judge has rejected the state of Louisiana's attempt to move a lawsuit filed by environmentalists against the federal government's sale of Gulf of Mexico oil drilling rights to the Western District of Louisiana, ruling that the suit couldn't have been filed there in the first place.

  • January 21, 2022

    BigLaw Lobbying Shops Report Huge Earnings Surge In 2021

    Several BigLaw lobbying shops saw their earnings skyrocket in 2021, as a change in administrations, coupled with continued COVID-19 relief efforts and negotiations around massive Democratic spending bills, gave rise to frenzied activity on Capitol Hill.

  • January 21, 2022

    Texas Justices Will Review Abortion Law Challenge

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider the Fifth Circuit's certified question over whether state licensing boards have the authority to enforce Texas' new abortion law and whether they are the correct defendants in a constitutional challenge launched by a coalition of abortion clinics.

  • January 21, 2022

    Texas Man Is 1st Charged By DOJ Election Threats Task Force

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday announced the first criminal charges under Attorney General Merrick Garland's new election threats initiative, accusing a Texas man of threatening to kill Georgia election officials the day before the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

  • January 21, 2022

    Justices Take Up Okla. Petition But Won't Overrule McGirt

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to weigh whether Oklahoma and other states have the authority to prosecute non-Indians for crimes against Indians in Indian country, but refused the state's bid to overrule the court's landmark McGirt decision.

  • January 21, 2022

    Over Protests, Judge Lets IT Group Into H-1B Lottery Rule Suit

    A D.C. federal judge brushed off objections from both sides in a suit over the H-1B specialty occupation visa program's lottery-based applications to let the U.S.' largest information technology services association intervene in the case.

  • January 21, 2022

    Ex-Mass. Mayor Cites Omicron In 2nd Bid To Delay Prison

    Former Massachusetts Mayor Jasiel Correia on Friday asked a federal judge to delay the start of his six-year prison term for a corruption conviction, citing the omicron variant and the fact that his alleged co-conspirator has yet to be tried.

  • January 21, 2022

    DOJ Antitrust Division Names Permanent Deputy

    The U.S. Department of Justice has named Doha Mekki as its permanent deputy assistant attorney general for its Antitrust Division, after she first took on the role on an acting basis in November.

Expert Analysis

  • What To Do As PFAS Food Packaging Phaseouts Approach

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    Attorneys at Hogan Lovells offer tips on compliance with the transition timeline for the federal phaseout of the chemicals known as PFAS from food packaging, the coming bans in California, New York, Maine, Vermont, Washington, Connecticut and Minnesota, and the states' differing definitions of packaging terms.

  • Interconnection Process Is Key To Calif.'s Green Power Goals

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    If California is to achieve its greenhouse gas goals and procure its desired mix of power generation resources, the California Independent System Operator will need to get better at keeping pace with surging interconnection requests, says Seth Hilton at Stoel Rives.

  • What To Expect From Merger Guideline Modernization

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    The U.S. Department of Justice's and Federal Trade Commission's recent request for comment on amending the merger review guidelines provides perhaps the clearest indication yet of where guideline revisions might focus, including on structural presumptions, the role of market definition and the effect of transactions on labor, say attorneys at MoFo.

  • Corporate Boards Need Not Fear 7th Circ. Boeing Decision

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    The Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Seafarers Pension Plan v. Bradway, over Boeing shareholders' rights to bring federal derivative suits over the 737 Max aircraft, may encourage creative Securities Exchange Act claims to avoid exclusive forum provisions, but boards of Delaware corporations still have tools to avoid duplicative litigation, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • Rebuttal

    Trucking Cos. Need Stronger Insurance To Protect Public

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    A recent Law360 guest article urged lawmakers to implement liability protections for the trucking industry, but raising outdated trucking insurance limits would better incentivize companies to keep unsafe drivers and vehicles out of their fleets to begin with, protecting the industry and motorists alike, says Tad Thomas at The Thomas Law Offices and the American Association for Justice.

  • Libor Isn't Only Benchmark Transition That Requires Attention

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    The final publication of the Eleventh District Cost of Funds Index, used to price adjustable-rate mortgages, is less than two weeks away, and demands the same kind of commitment and process that has gone into replacing Libor to avoid costly delays and litigation, says Jeffrey Armstrong at Berkeley Research Group.

  • Gov't Contractor Takeaways From Biden's Clean Energy Order

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    Attorneys at Covington discuss how President Joe Biden's recent net-zero emissions pledge and related executive actions are changing the landscape of federal procurement, creating new opportunities and challenges for government contractors.

  • 4 Consequences Of Gov't Contractor Antitrust Violations

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    Along with criminal penalties, significant collateral repercussions can follow a government contractor's conviction for antitrust violations, so vigilant compliance strategies are a must as the U.S. Department of Justice turns its attention to this area, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter.

  • How Health Cos. Have Responded To Anti-Kickback Reform

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    A year after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services revised anti-fraud and abuse regulations for value-based care arrangements, health companies have expressed some willingness to embrace new safe harbors, but ultimately further reform may be necessary, say Troy Barsky and Barbara Ryland at Crowell & Moring.

  • What's Next For COVID-Era Emergency Use Medical Devices

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    Now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released draft guidance and post-pandemic expectations for unapproved medical devices greenlighted under emergency use authorizations, manufacturers' next steps will depend on several factors, including device type and future intentions, say attorneys at Ropes & Gray.

  • The Rising Demand For Commercial Litigators In 2022

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    Amid broken supply chains, pandemic-induced bankruptcies and a rise in regulation by litigation, strong commercial litigators — strategists who are adept in trying a range of tortious and contractual disputes — are becoming a must-have for many law firms, making this year an opportune moment to make the career switch, say Michael Ascher and Kimberly Donlon at Major Lindsey.

  • Import Best Practices Under New Uyghur Forced Labor Law

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    Rachel Alpert and Grace Signorelli-Cassady at Jenner & Block discuss key provisions of the recently enacted Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, and offer compliance strategies that may position importers to demonstrate their supply chains are free from forced labor when the act's provisions presumptively barring many Chinese imports go into effect in June.

  • 3 Cybersecurity Imperatives For Financial Cos. This Year

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    With cyberattacks and regulatory scrutiny both expected to increase in 2022, financial services companies should consider important compliance strategies to protect against cyber risks and enforcement actions, says Shardul Desai at Holland & Knight.

  • Antitrust's 1900s Nostalgia In The US And Beyond

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    President Joe Biden's appointees will continue to pursue a return to a previous antitrust era this year — the Federal Trade Commission, in particular, is dusting off its old tools — and similar developments are occurring in Europe and Asia, says Maureen Ohlhausen at Baker Botts.

  • 5 Global Digital Markets Regulatory Issues To Watch In 2022

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    Francesco Liberatore at Squire Patton lays out the key regulatory developments that will affect global digital markets this year, from new enforcement measures aimed at electronic communications services in the European Union to increased cooperation between antitrust officials in the U.S., U.K. and EU.

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