Public Policy

  • July 22, 2014

    WTO To Guide Poorer Nations In Enacting Trade Pact

    The World Trade Organization announced plans on Tuesday to enact its Trade Facilitation Agreement for poorer nations one at a time based on their capacity to implement the terms, as the fate of the closely-watched deal remained unclear with India withholding approval just nine days before the July 31 deadline.

  • July 22, 2014

    4th Circ. Contradicts DC Circ. In ACA Subsidies Debate

    The Fourth Circuit on Tuesday determined that the federal government could subsidize insurance premiums on the federal Affordable Care Act exchange because the tax credits support the mission of the health care reform law, coming in conflict with a D.C. Circuit opinion released just hours before.

  • July 22, 2014

    Judge Axes GOP Sen.'s Suit Over ACA Exemptions For Congress

    A Wisconsin federal judge on Monday tossed a suit by by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., seeking to block allegedly special treatment for federal lawmakers under the Affordable Care Act, saying the lawmaker couldn't prove he suffered an injury to have standing to bring suit.

  • July 22, 2014

    ACA Exchanges Dealt Blow As DC Circ. Limits Subsidies

    A divided D.C. Circuit on Tuesday ruled that consumers shopping on Affordable Care Act exchanges run by federal regulators cannot have their insurance premiums reduced by federal tax credits, a major decision that once again clouds the landmark law's future.

  • July 21, 2014

    Judge Bars FDA Menthol Cigs Study For Conflicts Of Interest

    A Washington, D.C., federal judge on Monday barred the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from using a tobacco science committee's critical report on menthol cigarettes, agreeing with a pair of tobacco companies that the report was tainted by the input of committee members with conflicts of interest.

  • July 21, 2014

    Republican CFTC Member Scott O'Malia Steps Down

    U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Scott O'Malia, a Republican, announced his resignation from the swaps regulator on Monday, shortly after the U.S. Senate confirmed three new members to fill vacancies on the five-member panel.

  • July 21, 2014

    Religious Pushback Expected On LGBT Executive Order

    Although President Barack Obama is no stranger to using federal contracts as a testing ground for employment reform measures, religious employers may be more resistant to Monday's executive order banning discrimination against gay and transgender contractor employees than to other recent efforts, attorneys say.

  • July 21, 2014

    SEC Needs Stronger Whistleblower Rules, Ex-Official Says

    A former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission official on Friday urged the agency to ramp up protections for whistleblowers against retaliation by their employers, saying that those who alert the SEC to wrongdoing are increasingly being targeted for wrongful retaliation.

  • July 21, 2014

    Biggest Health Care Cases Of 2014: Midyear Report

    Courts during the first half of 2014 handed down a number of important rulings that will shape the hottest topics in health care, including provider consolidation, employee benefits under the Affordable Care Act and the availability of attorney-client privilege in False Claims Act litigation.

  • July 21, 2014

    IRS To Set Foreign Credit Guidance For Asset Acquisitions

    The Internal Revenue Service on Monday said it will issue regulations to prevent taxpayers from receiving foreign tax credits for foreign income derived from asset acquisitions that are exempt from domestic taxation.

  • July 21, 2014

    SEC's Dodd-Frank Duties Fade As Other Reforms Take Focus

    Despite pledges to make the Dodd-Frank Act a priority, the head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has proven to be no faster than her predecessor at pushing through the financial reform law’s rulemaking, though experts say that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is Part 2 of a five-part series on the four-year anniversary of the Dodd Frank Act.

  • July 21, 2014

    DOT Head Slams Congress Over 'Band-Aid' Highway Fund Fix

    Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx blasted Congress on Monday for continuing to finance the Highway Trust Fund with short-term patches, claiming the nation's transportation infrastructure is crumbling due to chronic under-investment and a lack of long-term planning.

  • July 21, 2014

    HHS Formalizes 340B Policy As Court Fight Continues

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday released a new regulation requiring drugmakers to discount so-called orphan drugs when hospitals use them for conditions that aren’t rare, hoping to skirt a recent court decision that called the 340B program policy into question.

  • July 21, 2014

    New MSRB Dept. Revamps Monitoring Of Market Structure

    The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board on Monday announced the creation of a new market structure department, which will consolidate the board’s activities related to market structure, market transparency, economic analysis, research and industry operations.

  • July 21, 2014

    Nuke Industry On Notice As NY Seeks Changes At Indian Point

    New York's effort to force Entergy Corp. to install cooling towers at its Indian Point nuclear plant or possibly shut it down completely during the summer to protect Hudson River fish is a ways from reality, but experts say the unprecedented nature of such a sweeping operational demand has the industry's full attention.

  • July 21, 2014

    SEC Taps Florida Professor As New Chief Economist

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday said it has named a University of Florida finance professor and Treasury Department adviser as its new chief economist and director of its Division of Economic and Risk Analysis.

  • July 21, 2014

    Calif. Oil Regulator To Scrutinize Injection Well Rules

    California's oil and gas regulator said Friday it would review the state’s rules for injection wells to ensure they fully comply with the requirements of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in the wake of concerns about groundwater contamination at a number of wells. 

  • July 21, 2014

    Deutsche, Barclays Helped Funds Dodge Taxes, Panel Says

    The U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed on Monday that Barclays Bank PLC and Deutsche Bank AG sold complex, structured financial products to hedge funds for over a decade that allowed the groups to evade federal leverage limits and billions in capital gains taxes.

  • July 21, 2014

    Canada Blasts Lilly's $500M Patent Law Challenge

    The Canadian government has urged a North American Free Trade Agreement panel to toss Eli Lilly & Co.'s $500 million suit claiming that Canadian patent laws unfairly discriminate against pharmaceutical companies, saying the suit improperly aims to create a "supranational court of appeal."

  • July 21, 2014

    Malaysian Pols Spurn TPP Talks With US Amid Gaza Crisis

    Lawmakers within Malaysia's opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat said Monday that they would cut off their consultations with U.S. trade leaders on the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks in light of the Obama administration's inaction in the ongoing clash between Israel and Palestine in Gaza.

Expert Analysis

  • When You Are Responsible For Your Book Of Business

    Jennifer Topper

    Finding prospective clients and retaining them has little to do with your legal training and expertise, and yet you have no practice without successful client acquisition and retention. There is no reason you cannot apply your basic legal training and critical thought to successful sales efforts hinging upon your practice strength and experience, says independent law firm consultant Jennifer Topper.

  • The Problem And Promise Of Genomic Marketing

    Ivan J. Wasserman

    Genomic scientific advances have brought the promise of "personalized medicines" to consumers, creating opportunities for marketers that have in turn brought the attention of — and lawsuits from — federal regulators, say Ivan Wasserman and La Toya Sutton of Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP.

  • How To Respond To CFPB Civil Investigative Demands

    Alice S. Fisher

    Since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau became operational its initial enforcement actions have focused on mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and debt relief organizations, however more recent actions show the bureau is expanding its reach toward other industries and products — a trend we expect to continue, say attorneys at Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Combating Calif. Drought With New Rules On Recycled Water

    Alison B. Torbitt

    The obvious participants in California's recycled water program will be municipal wastewater treatment plants that already have the equipment and expertise to comply with treatment regulations — the program may even prove a good source of extra income for such facilities while they save scarce freshwater sources, says Alison Torbitt of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • 5 Takeaways From Latest US Sanctions Against Russian Cos.

    Alexandra Lopez-Casero

    The latest round of U.S. sanctions against Russia’s oil, natural gas and financial industries is a dramatic departure from how the United States has applied targeted sanctions in the past, and raises several questions, say Alexandra Lopez-Casero and D. Grayson Yeargin of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Lines Drawn In Tesla Direct Sales Battle

    Robert A. Zinn

    Given Tesla’s current tiny share of the U.S. auto market, the debate over Tesla’s direct sales to consumers may seem like much ado about nothing. But the direct sales model is also being studied by both new Chinese automakers and mainstream U.S. and global manufacturers as they plan their future U.S. marketing strategies, says Robert Zinn of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt LLP.

  • EPA May Threaten Reverse Distribution Of Pharmaceuticals

    Jonathan E. Wells

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may adopt starkly different approaches toward regulating nonhazardous pharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals containing hazardous ingredients, with additional inconsistencies between health care facilities and other retailers — a regulatory nightmare for industry, say Jonathan Wells and Elise Paeffgen of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • European Court Deals Body Blow To UK Trade Unions

    Douglas Darch

    National Union of Rail, Maritime And Transport Workers v. The United Kingdom was a big setback to the U.K.'s trade unions, particularly with the growth in outsourcing of public services to the private sector, say Douglas Darch and John Evason of Baker & McKenzie LLP.

  • Corporate Inversions Show No Signs Of Slowing Down

    Jeffrey L. Rubinger

    Inversions are especially popular these days for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, where most of the value of the company is found in intangible assets, but it has been indicated that the heightened pace may prompt Congress to act on a measure quickly, says Jeffrey Rubinger of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP.

  • Mild Financial Fallout From Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act

    Stephanie Keene

    Despite the withholding of funds by many Western donors and initial suspicions that foreign investors might boycott Uganda in response to the Anti-Homosexuality Act, the broader economic implications of the act appear to be less significant, say attorneys at Covington & Burling LLP.