Public Policy

  • August 19, 2019

    NYC, States Say EPA Can't Duck Ozone Pollution Obligations

    Now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has downgraded the New York City metropolitan area's ability to meet national ozone standards, the Big Apple and several states told the D.C. Circuit the agency can't justify not requiring upwind, ozone-polluting states to further clean up their air

  • August 18, 2019

    As NY Child Abuse Suits Surge, Attys Prepare For Long Haul

    Hundreds of child abuse lawsuits poured into New York state courts last week as the Child Victims Act went into effect, but attorneys said they were also pacing themselves for a longer rollout as a one-year door opened for older people to file suits against their childhood abusers.

  • August 16, 2019

    Feds Urge Justices Not To Expand 'Sex' In Trans Bias Case

    The Trump administration told the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday that Title VII's ban on sex discrimination shouldn't be stretched to include gender identity, marking its latest break with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's position that the law protects both gay and transgender workers.

  • August 16, 2019

    Trump Taps Embattled Lender's Exec As Student Loan Monitor

    The Trump administration hired the top compliance official from the troubled Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency to serve as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s chief fixer of private student loan complaints, in a move that drew immediate criticism from the appointee's predecessor Friday.

  • August 16, 2019

    Trump's Greenland Folly: 'Not As Simple As Buying A Resort'

    President Donald Trump spent decades affixing his name to flashy properties, but his reported interest in purchasing the autonomous territory of Greenland — while legally feasible — would be fraught with logistical, political and pragmatic hurdles.

  • August 16, 2019

    Trump Admin. Wants NSA's Phone-Spying Powers Preserved

    The Trump administration is pushing Congress to permanently reauthorize the National Security Agency to scoop up domestic phone records, arguing that while the agency has voluntarily stopped collecting this data, evolving terrorist threats caution against scrapping the program for good. 

  • August 16, 2019

    FCC Told To Reject Plan Expanding High-Band Unlicensed Use

    Mobile industry trade group CTIA pushed back Friday against a request by Robert Bosch LLC for the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider its approach to the experimental use of ultra-high frequency bands, arguing the German conglomerate's bid to expand unlicensed spectrum access would handcuff wireless progress globally.

  • August 16, 2019

    Health Clinics Fight Rule Penalizing Immigrants On Public Aid

    Health clinics and community groups fought Friday to strike down a new policy penalizing legal immigrants who rely on public benefits, claiming not only that the rule is unconstitutional, but also that the Cabinet official who approved it was illegally appointed.

  • August 16, 2019

    Epstein Death Ruled A Suicide By NYC Medical Examiner

    Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself in federal prison, New York City’s chief medical examiner said Friday, confirming law enforcement officials' preliminary descriptions of the wealthy sex offender’s death the week before.

  • August 16, 2019

    Crypto Co. Gets NY Regulator's OK To Launch Bitcoin Futures

    Cryptocurrency infrastructure company Bakkt announced Friday that it received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services to custody bitcoin, paving the way for it to launch its bitcoin futures marketplace on Sept. 23.

  • August 16, 2019

    DOJ Takes Wire Act Reinterpretation Issue To 1st Circ.

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday appealed a federal court decision that rejected its opinion the Wire Act prohibits interstate gambling beyond sports betting, prolonging a closely watched legal fight over the reinterpretation that opponents say will hamper the growing online lottery and gambling industries.

  • August 16, 2019

    Top 3 Groups Lobbying The FCC

    During the month of July, lobbyists representing major telecom providers squared off over the best way to map broadband service availability and sparred over how to repurpose satellite spectrum in the valuable C-Band.

  • August 16, 2019

    Fed. Circ. Is Asked To Shackle Trump's Tariff Power

    The libertarian Cato Institute and a walnut farm have backed a challenge to the constitutionality of the Cold War-era statute the Trump administration has used to set national security tariffs, saying the law is an improper abdication of congressional authority over trade.

  • August 16, 2019

    Florida's Tabled Remote Seller Sales Tax Bill Gets Refiled

    A Florida state senator has refiled legislation that aims to impose sales and use taxes on remote sellers and marketplaces three months after it was tabled in a bid to belatedly close a costly gap in the state’s tax code.

  • August 16, 2019

    4 States, DC Challenge Trump Immigration Rule On Public Aid

    Four states and the District of Columbia on Friday challenged the Trump administration’s new rule making it harder for immigrants who rely on public assistance programs to obtain green cards, adding to a flurry of lawsuits opposing the move nationwide.

  • August 16, 2019

    NRA Bid To Stall NY AG's Oliver North Deposition Denied

    A New York State court judge denied a bid by the National Rifle Association to stall the deposition of Oliver North, the gun rights group's former president, as part of an ongoing investigation into NRA finances by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.

  • August 16, 2019

    Sabre Rattling: Merging Co. Gives DOJ Lawsuit Deadline

    Travel industry technology provider Sabre Corp. all but dared the U.S. Department of Justice to sue it Wednesday as the company tries to push a planned $360 million acquisition past the finish line. And while the tactic may seem brazen at first glance, attorneys say there can be good reasons for making such a move. 

  • August 16, 2019

    State Regulators, Vets Join Fight Against FCC Lifeline Cuts

    A host of state regulators and veterans organizations have endorsed a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to tighten standards and cut funding for the Lifeline subsidy program, arguing the agency is trying to do too much too fast.

  • August 16, 2019

    DC Circ. Won't Review SEC's Paperless Reporting Rule

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday declined to review a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule allowing mutual fund companies to distribute shareholder reports online rather than by mail, taking issue with consumer and paper industry groups’ standing to bring the challenge.

  • August 16, 2019

    Dems Urge FCC To Take New Comments On Sprint/T-Mobile

    Congressional Democrats have urged the Federal Communications Commission to seek another round of public comments on the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint because the $56 billion plan has changed significantly after a U.S. Department of Justice settlement.

  • August 16, 2019

    Officials Blast Barr For Criticism Of Progressive Prosecutors

    Sixty-seven current and former prosecutors, law enforcement officials and judges issued a statement Friday blasting U.S. Attorney General William Barr for a recent speech in which he called progressive prosecutors "dangerous to public safety."

  • August 16, 2019

    States, Enviros Tell 9th Circ. Trump’s Wall Unconstitutional

    California and New Mexico are joining the American Civil Liberties Union and the Sierra Club to urge the Ninth Circuit to shut down President Donald Trump’s diversion of defense money to build a southern border wall, calling his move unconstitutional and an environmental threat.

  • August 16, 2019

    DC Judges Feud Over Climate Change Seminar: Report

    Tensions inside Washington, D.C.'s federal courthouse spilled into view Friday with the publication of a bitter email exchange between a D.C. Circuit judge and a district judge over plans for a climate change seminar, reportedly triggering an ethics inquiry and possibly a recusal of the circuit judge in an ongoing case.

  • August 16, 2019

    9th Circ. Narrows Nationwide Block On Asylum Restrictions

    A split Ninth Circuit panel on Friday narrowed a lower court’s nationwide block on the Trump administration’s policy of denying asylum claims from migrants entering through a country other than their own, reinstating the policy in states outside the circuit.

  • August 16, 2019

    US Offshore Wind Review Delay Roils Waters For Developers

    The Trump administration's recent move to delay approval of the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the U.S. in order to conduct a broader review underscores the regulatory headwinds the budding industry faces, though experts say it's too soon to tell if the government's actions will choke off other projects in the pipeline.

Expert Analysis

  • Questions After IRS Guidance On Uncashed 401(k) Checks

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    A recent revenue ruling provided helpful guidance on the tax treatment of uncashed 401(k) distribution checks, but did not clarify how plan administrators should handle the nettlesome administrative issues arising when uncashed required minimum distribution checks involve missing plan participants, says Daniel Morgan at Blank Rome.

  • California Tax Takes: A Tool To Fight Underpayment Penalties

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    If the California Legislature adds tax claims to the ambit of the state False Claims Act, taxpayers would need to evaluate their potential exposure to the large corporate understatement penalty or consider challenging the penalty as an excessive fine, pursuant to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Timbs v. Indiana, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • Aviation Watch: What's Behind General Aviation Safety Issues

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    The contemporary general aviation safety picture is much improved, thanks to better planes, better safety equipment and a better safety culture. But recent accidents in corporate and skydiving flight operations point to a need for further action by Congress, regulators and the aviation community, says Alan Hoffman, a retired attorney and private pilot.

  • Opinion

    New Ohio Energy Law Impairs Competition, Reverses History

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    Ohio’s governor recently signed legislation that will subsidize four uncompetitive electricity-producing nuclear and coal plants, remove financial incentives to build more renewable energy projects and curtail energy efficiency programs. The law turns back the clock at the expense of ratepayers, says Richard Drom of Eckert Seamans.

  • Crisis Messaging To Protect Law Firm Brand And Bottom Line

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    When crises occur, such as data security incidents or gender bias suits, a well-prepared law firm has a thoroughly tested communications plan at the ready, which ensures the firm is the most proactive news source, prevents the crisis from escalating and notifies stakeholders about mitigation efforts, says Zach Olsen at Infinite Global.

  • New Compliance Steps For Filing Drug Co. Settlements

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    Starting this summer, settlements between innovators and generics submitted to the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice under the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act must be filed online, and other new filing requirements are quite broad, say Melanie Rupert and Alexander Plushanski of Paul Hastings.

  • The Escalating Sanctions Against Venezuela, Russia And Iran

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    The past few weeks saw a flurry of activity demonstrating that imposition and enforcement of economic sanctions against Venezuela, Russia and Iran — and by extension China — continues to be a key driver for the Trump administration in confronting foreign policy challenges, say attorneys at Kirkland.

  • Unpacking The OFCCP's Proposed Audit Compliance Letters

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    If implemented, the new compliance review scheduling letters proposed by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will demand more detailed data at the commencement of an audit than ever sought before, say attorneys at Jackson Lewis.

  • State Net

    Calif. Emissions Agreement A Model For State-Industry Deals

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    Bypassing the Trump administration, California recently reached a deal with four automakers to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. The agreement could set a precedent for how state governments and industry can work together to address major issues, says Lou Cannon of State Net Capitol Journal.

  • What Cos. Should Consider To Prep For Nev. Data Privacy Law

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    Website operators that collect and sell Nevada residents' personal information should lay the groundwork for compliance with Nevada Senate Bill 220, effective on Oct. 1, which will be the first U.S. law to grant consumers the right to opt out of the sale of their data, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • Ohio's Payday Lending Regs May Inform Other State Efforts

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    With the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rules to rein in payday lending on hold indefinitely, state legislatures seeking to fill the regulatory void may look to the successes and failures of Ohio's Fairness in Lending Act, elements of which recently went into effect, say attorneys at Isaac Wiles.

  • How New Bill Boosts Renewable Projects On Federal Lands

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    If passed by Congress, a new bipartisan bill is expected to slash permitting delays for renewable energy projects across the U.S. The resulting regulatory certainty would be a win both for industry and for the growing group of states that have set ambitious climate change mitigation goals, say Ed Hild and Robert Burns of Buchanan Ingersoll.

  • Assessing The Cost, Legal Fallout Of Capital One Data Breach

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    Following Capital One's recent massive data breach, Jack Lu of IPMAP estimates the incremental direct cost incurred for management of the breach and for post-breach legal and regulatory processes, shedding light on the economic and legal uncertainties.

  • Florida Tax Views: A Closer Look At $500M Corporate Refund

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    While some may suggest the pending Florida corporate tax refund of $543.2 million is a mammoth tax cut, it is actually just a correction for the government's inadvertent overcollection, says French Brown of Dean Mead.

  • Perspectives

    What You Should Know About Courtroom Closures

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    At attorney Greg Craig’s trial in D.C. federal court this week, the courtroom was cleared so prospective jurors could answer sensitive questions. Even seasoned litigators were left wondering about the nature of this subtle, yet significant, issue involving Sixth Amendment public trial rights, says Luke Cass at Quarles & Brady.