Public Policy

  • April 01, 2020

    Insurance Groups Tell Justices PBM Law Would Upend ERISA

    A health insurance trade organization told the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus brief Tuesday that an Arkansas law requiring pharmacy benefit managers to reimburse pharmacies equally is preempted by federal law, saying states' interference with uniform national standards threatens the very existence of employer benefit plans.

  • April 01, 2020

    Facebook, Chamber Back Bid To Strike TCPA Autodialer Ban

    Facebook, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and more than a half-dozen others have joined the push to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's autodialer ban, arguing that axing the entire speech-abridging provision is the only way to properly remedy First Amendment deficiencies.

  • April 01, 2020

    5th Circ. Swap Was Rare Defeat For Trump On Court Picks

    When the White House announced a new nominee for the Fifth Circuit this week, it constituted a rare admission of defeat for one of President Donald Trump's judicial picks and illustrated how opposition from the president's own party can derail a nomination.

  • April 01, 2020

    4 New Developments As US Coronavirus Cases Top 200K

    The number of Americans infected with the novel coronavirus raced past 200,000 on Wednesday, deaths approached the 5,000 mark, and President Donald Trump said that cases are "exploding" across the country. Here are four new developments to know.

  • April 01, 2020

    Prison Says It Tested Just 2 More Inmates Despite Virus Cases

    The Federal Bureau of Prisons alarmed inmates’ counsel when it revealed to a New York federal judge on Wednesday that a Brooklyn federal prison had tested only two additional inmates — out of 1,700 — after five staff members and one prisoner were found to be infected with the coronavirus.

  • April 01, 2020

    'Irresponsible' TRO Would Halt Immigration Courts, Feds Say

    The Trump administration urged an Oregon federal judge Tuesday to deny a temporary restraining order filed by nonprofit organizations seeking to curtail operations at the nation’s immigration courts because of COVID-19, saying the “extraordinary and irresponsible” request would “halt all immigration-court functions nationwide.”

  • April 01, 2020

    FTC, Axon Spar Over Jurisdiction In Federal Court

    Police body camera maker Axon Enterprises sparred with the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday during a hearing held over the phone before an Arizona federal judge over whether the court can hear Axon’s constitutional challenge of the agency’s structure and merger review process.

  • April 01, 2020

    CFPB Issues Credit Reporting Guidance Amid Pandemic

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offered guidance Wednesday about how it plans to handle consumer credit reporting oversight during the coronavirus pandemic, saying it will give companies some flexibility on meeting dispute investigation deadlines and won't go after them for telling credit bureaus about payment help given to borrowers. 

  • April 01, 2020

    DC, Pa. Won't Count Teleworkers For Nexus Amid Outbreak

    Tax officials from District of Columbia and Pennsylvania are not considering telecommuting employees as creating a nexus, they said at a Wednesday coronavirus-themed webinar with other state officials, though jurisdictions diverged on whether they're delaying some estimated tax payments.

  • April 01, 2020

    Family Pushes 11th Circ. To Revive Cancer Suit Against UTC

    A Florida family urged the Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday to revive their suit claiming their daughter’s death from cancer was caused by United Technologies Corp.'s release of hazardous materials, arguing that a lower court misunderstood a pair of federal laws in finding it was filed too late.

  • April 01, 2020

    Fed Agencies Flag Ex-NFLer For Claiming CBD Cures Virus

    A former NFL player's CBD company has received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly claiming the company's products can treat or cure COVID-19.

  • April 01, 2020

    NJ Extends Tax Filing Deadline, But New Payment Day Not Set

    New Jersey will extend its income tax filing deadlines by three months, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday, but he is working with lawmakers to provide a matching extension for tax payment deadlines, a source at his office told Law360.

  • April 01, 2020

    DOJ Concerned Port Joint Venture May Skip Antitrust Review

    The U.S. Department of Justice wants to know whether the Federal Maritime Commission has jurisdiction to stand in the way of a proposal to essentially merge two companies' San Juan, Puerto Rico, terminal operations, because the deal might be beyond antitrust scrutiny.

  • April 01, 2020

    USPTO Deadline Extensions Give Flexibility During Crisis

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's decision to extend some deadlines during the COVID-19 pandemic is welcome news for applicants and attorneys facing disruptions due to the crisis, though it's unclear how often they will be put to use.

  • April 01, 2020

    Tax Extenders Could Be Candidate For Next Virus Relief Bill

    Despite Congress having just passed $2 trillion in economic relief to mitigate damage from the novel coronavirus pandemic, some lawmakers are already considering another relief bill that could serve as a vehicle to renew expiring tax incentives known as extenders.

  • April 01, 2020

    Dems Probe Net Neutrality Repeal's Effect On FCC Oversight

    A pack of Democratic senators called on the head of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday to suss out how the agency's controversial net neutrality repeal could hinder public safety, universal access and competition for broadband.

  • April 01, 2020

    La. Asylum Seekers Make Emergency COVID-19 Parole Bid

    A class of asylum seekers detained in Louisiana is demanding release immediately in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an emergency motion filed Tuesday in D.C. federal court.

  • April 01, 2020

    Senate Bill Would Expand Term For COVID-19 Treatment IP

    A GOP senator has proposed adding 10 years of extra patent protection to new and existing medical devices and drugs used to treat COVID-19.

  • April 01, 2020

    Wi-Fi Sharing And 5G Funding On FCC's Agenda For April

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced Wednesday that he will press his fellow commissioners to add more airwaves capacity for Wi-Fi and to launch a new phase of funding for 5G infrastructure this month.

  • April 01, 2020

    Iranian Co. Loses Bid To Lift Sanctions Despite EU Precedent

    A D.C. federal judge has tossed a challenge to the Office of Foreign Assets Control's decision to leave sanctions in place against an Iranian electronics company, ruling that OFAC's decision was well-explained and based on solid evidence about the company's dealings with other sanctioned companies.

  • April 01, 2020

    Retirees’ Tax Info Not Needed For Virus Checks, Mnuchin Says

    Social Security recipients who don’t file tax returns will be able to receive coronavirus relief payments without having to file additional tax information, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said late Wednesday.

  • April 01, 2020

    3rd Circ. Gives Gay Ghanaian Man New Shot At Asylum Bid

    A gay man who fled Ghana after he was outed and violently attacked will get a new chance to seek asylum in the United States, with the Third Circuit ruling that immigration judges bungled their analysis of whether the man faced persecution that qualifies for protection.

  • April 01, 2020

    2nd Circ. Forces EPA To Release Fuel Standards Cost Model

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday reversed a lower court and said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must release part of its computer program that is used to price out potential vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards.

  • April 01, 2020

    House Dems Eye $760B Transpo Funds In 4th Virus Relief Bill

    House Democrats said Wednesday that the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation will be anchored by $760 billion to rebuild the nation's highways, railways, airports, water and broadband infrastructure, while also tackling climate change, asserting that their proposal will jump-start the American economy.

  • April 01, 2020

    Int'l Antitrust Enforcers Balance Cooperation, Crackdowns

    Antitrust agencies worldwide continue to adapt to enforcement in the time of COVID-19, balancing the need to be more permissive about intercompany collaboration necessary to combat the pandemic with warning others against taking advantage of the situation, all while still reviewing mergers.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Virus Highlights Nature's Right To Be Left Alone

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    In Animal Legal Defense Fund v. U.S., now on appeal to the Ninth Circuit, the plaintiffs' argument for the right to an undisturbed natural environment is especially relevant as we battle a virus unleashed by interfering with nature, says Michael Shank at NYU's Center for Global Affairs.

  • Opinion

    Congress Must Bolster Bias Remedies After Comcast Ruling

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s Comcast v. National Association of African American-Owned Media ruling still allows plaintiffs to fight summary judgment in discrimination cases, but Congress must step in to ensure their ability to win relief at trial, says Michael Lieder at Mehri & Skalet.

  • Gov't Interaction Ethics Rules Still Apply In COVID-19 Crisis

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    While government actions addressing the current public health crisis present both risks and opportunities, companies should remember that rules regulating interactions with federal, state and local officials still apply, and that their conduct will likely face greater scrutiny than under normal circumstances, say Ki Hong and Charles Ricciardelli at Skadden.

  • NY Order May Limit Foreclosures, But Could Hurt Local Banks

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    A recent executive order from the New York governor facilitates mortgage forbearances to help stave off a statewide foreclosure crisis, but shifting too much of the burden to the banking industry could force small and local institutions to sell their residential loan portfolios to generate liquidity and avoid risk, say Adam Swanson and Jessie Bonaros at McCarter & English.

  • Opinion

    Cannabis Exclusion From COVID-19 Relief Must Be Remedied

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    Marijuana businesses — deemed essential in several states — are not able to tap into the $360 billion in U.S. Small Business Administration loans being made available in response to COVID-19, amplifying the disconnect between federal and state treatment of cannabis. Something can and should be done to fix this, says Zachary Kobrin at Akerman.

  • What If Gov't Allows Patent Infringement For COVID-19 Drugs?

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    Government deployment of a Bayh-Dole Act compulsory license or eminent domain to bypass patent hurdles to the public’s access to a COVID-19 treatment or vaccine could inadvertently deter future pharmaceutical innovation, say attorneys at Ropes & Gray.

  • What COVID-19 Means For Calif. Real Estate And Use Permits

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    In California, the coronavirus pandemic and the state's response have raised important questions for those involved in pending or approved construction projects, as well as existing businesses that require modification or emergency funding, say Stephanie Smith and Avneet Sidhu at Grid Legal.

  • Telehealth During COVID-19: New Rules And Considerations

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    Changes in federal and state regulations are expanding access to remote health care in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and health care providers need to be thinking about licensure, how to establish valid practitioner-patient relationships, prescribing authority, technology requirements and more, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter.

  • Confronting The Challenges Of Virtual Mediation

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    Conducting mediation via videoconference amid the ongoing pandemic poses significant challenges, including the difficulty of reading people when you are not with them in person. Daniel Garrie at JAMS shares six tips to overcome the limitations.

  • Preparing For Private Right Of Action Under Calif. Privacy Law

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    While enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act won’t begin until July, the private right of action created by the CCPA is available to consumers now, and companies assessing their litigation risk should evaluate three open questions, say Amanda Lawrence and Michael Rome at Buckley.

  • Opinion

    Remote Notarization Bill Will Help Save The Economy

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    The Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act recently proposed in Congress should be enacted as soon as possible because it will remove antiquated barriers to conducting business transactions and protect people from COVID-19 and other diseases, says Scott Rahn at RMO.

  • Discrimination Suits May Upend 30 Years Of OFCCP Precedent

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    The legal battles being waged between the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Oracle, which arise out of the Trump administration's unprecedentedly aggressive anti-discrimination enforcement strategy, could ultimately weaken the OFCCP's institutional authority, says Pratik Chougule at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

  • Key Takeaways From DOJ's 2019 FCA Recovery Stats

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    While $3 billion in False Claims Act recoveries by the U.S. Department of Justice in fiscal year 2019 represents only a marginal increase over 2018, it shows the FCA remains a powerful tool for combating fraud in health care and an expanding array of industries, say attorneys at Winston & Strawn.

  • How Behavioral Health Care Rules Are Evolving For COVID-19

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    As the COVID-19 crisis deepens and the need for behavioral health services is likely to increase, expect to see providers, payors and policymakers continue to collaborate at an unprecedented pace to provide safe access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment, say Purvi Maniar and Sarah Jean Kilker at Norton Rose.

  • Mitigating Antitrust Risks With DOJ-FTC Pandemic Guidance

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    To comply with recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, companies collaborating with competitors in response to the COVID-19 crisis — particularly high-risk collaborations or exchanges of competitively sensitive information — must demonstrate a legitimate business justification and employ appropriate anti-competition safeguards, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

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