Public Policy

  • October 31, 2014

    $393M Bond Issue For New Miami Courthouse Faces Long Odds

    Proponents of a project to fund the replacement of the dilapidated Miami-Dade County courthouse through a $393 million bond issue will face an uphill battle Tuesday with voters weary of publicly funded buildings, and those voters could force the county commission to scramble for alternate financing to fix a building that judges and lawyers say no longer serves their needs.

  • October 31, 2014

    NJ Courts Urged To Oversee Housing Rules Overhaul

    Housing advocates asked the New Jersey Supreme Court on Friday to step in and have the courts take over responsibility for overhauling the state’s affordable housing regulations after the state failed to meet court-imposed deadlines for coming up with the proposed rules.

  • October 31, 2014

    3 Top Competition Players To Know In the New EC

    As the new European Commission takes over on Monday, incoming competition chief Margrethe Vestager inherits a slate of high profile cases, including probes into Google Inc.'s search practices and tax breaks for Apple Inc. and Starbucks Corp. But Vestager isn't the only new player worth knowing. Here's our cheat sheet for the new European leadership.

  • October 31, 2014

    NJ Sen. Urges Judge's Recusal In NFL Sports Betting Case

    A New Jersey state senator on Friday urged a federal judge to recuse himself from litigation filed by the National Football League and other sports leagues to block sports gambling in New Jersey, claiming the judge's fraternal bond with an NFL veteran could compromise his objectivity.

  • October 31, 2014

    States, Profs Tell High Court 'Amazon Law' Is A Local Matter

    Several state government associations, a group of law professors, and Texas, 23 other states and the District of Columbia have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to enforce the Tax Injunction Act's jurisdiction rules and allow Colorado’s so-called “Amazon tax” law to stand.

  • October 31, 2014

    Medicare Finalizes 2015 Pay Policies For Doctors, Hospitals

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday finalized its 2015 reimbursement policies affecting physicians and hospital outpatient departments, introducing new packaged payments, increasing its scrutiny of off-campus billing and backing off proposed pay cuts for mental health care.

  • October 31, 2014

    US Dept. Of Energy Awards $13M For Nuclear Reactor R&D

    The U.S. Department of Energy said on Friday that it is awarding a total of $13 million to five companies to support research and development projects for advanced nuclear reactor technology as part of President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan.

  • October 31, 2014

    USTR Says Dropping Investor Provision Dilutes EU Trade Pact

    The top U.S. trade official on Thursday gave a firm endorsement for the inclusion of an increasingly controversial investment arbitration system in a trade agreement with the European Union, saying that eliminating the provision would weaken a pact that the partners see as a model for the rest of the globe.

  • October 31, 2014

    Revolving-Door Roundup: Sidley, Jones Day, Morgan Lewis

    October was an especially busy month for attorneys moving back and forth between the government and private practice, with six federal prosecutors and a host of high-ranking officials joining BigLaw firms, including Jones Day, Sidley Austin LLP and Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • October 31, 2014

    Md. Tells Supreme Court To Stay Out Of Its Tax Policies

    The Maryland comptroller told the U.S. Supreme Court that a business owner’s arguments that the state’s county income tax laws violate the Commerce Clause are invalid, and that upholding a ruling by the Maryland high court would interfere with the state’s power to tax its own residents.

  • October 31, 2014

    EPA Outlines Greater Role For Climate Change Considerations

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday outlined strategies various offices within the agency will take to incorporate climate change considerations into their policies and procedures, such as incorporating the cost of adapting to climate change to a greater extent in economic modeling.

  • October 31, 2014

    EPA Gives Thumbs Up To Texas GHG Permitting Plan

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday approved Texas' program to issue greenhouse gas permits for building new or modified facilities, ending a two-plus-year stretch in which the federal agency handled the permitting duties in the Lone Star State.

  • October 31, 2014

    Pa. Gov.’s $95M Park Drilling Plan Faces 2nd Enviro Suit

    The Delaware Riverkeeper Network on Thursday became the second Pennsylvania environmental group to challenge Gov. Tom Corbett’s plan to lease state park and forest land to raise $95 million for the state’s general fund, claiming that the governor’s executive order violates the state’s constitution.

  • October 31, 2014

    Indiana Asks 7th Circ. Not To Rehear Right-To-Work Case

    Indiana’s attorney general asked the Seventh Circuit on Thursday not to reconsider a ruling preserving the state’s “right-to-work” law, arguing that the National Labor Relations Act gives states expansive power to bar agreements that require workers to pay union membership dues.

  • October 31, 2014

    EPA To Give Public More Industry Pollution Data, Giles Says

    Industries regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are increasingly likely to face scrutiny from private citizens, as pollutant monitoring technology becomes widely available and government data is easier to use — a trend the agency fully supports, Cynthia Giles, the head of EPA’s enforcement division, told Law360. This is part two of a two-part series.

  • October 31, 2014

    Bridgegate-Inspired NJ Bill Imperils Gov't Employers

    Bridgegate-inspired legislation in New Jersey that would enhance whistleblower safeguards for government workers could inject new confusion into the state's formidable Conscientious Employee Protection Act and expose public employers to an onslaught of frivolous litigation over legal conduct, some defense attorneys worry.

  • October 31, 2014

    CMS Finalizes Rule On Home Health Pay, Fraud Prevention

    Federal health regulators on Thursday issued changes to Medicare’s home health prospective payment system for 2015, reducing the national standardized payment amount and clarifying face-to-face encounter requirements as part of the second year of adjustments under the Affordable Care Act.

  • October 31, 2014

    CFPB Mortgage Data Expansion Risks Muddy Stats

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal for expanding a key mortgage data law would include information related to commercial and other loans that banks say could muddy the statistics and put them at risk of uncalled-for enforcement actions.

  • October 31, 2014

    EU Fights Russian Tariffs, Advances Brazil Tax Row In WTO

    The European Union was busy in Geneva on Friday as it filed a new World Trade Organization challenge against Russian tariffs on various agricultural and manufactured products while also asking the WTO to rule on a prior case it had filed over Brazilian import fees and internal tax schemes.

  • October 31, 2014

    8 Ballot Measures Attorneys Will Be Watching

    Voters on Tuesday will decide the fate of myriad state and local initiatives that address issues as varied as fracking, medical marijuana and care for terminally ill patients. Here, Law360 looks at eight ballot initiatives that could have significant nationwide implications, should they pass or fail.

Expert Analysis

  • 'Green Revolution' Is Here — Try Not To Lose Your Head

    William J. Simonitsch

    "Ganjapreneurs" beware. Cannabusiness is fraught with risk, even when legal under state law, and bankruptcy does not appear to be an option for anyone in the supply chain, says William Simonitsch of K&L Gates LLP.

  • Recall Or Enhancement? Read These Medical Device Rules

    Pamela F. Forrest

    A significant departure in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's final guidance on distinguishing medical device recalls from enhancements involves changes to references of nonviolative devices and nonviolative labels — the addition of a new warning now will not be considered a recall, say attorneys at King & Spalding LLP.

  • Congress Must Pass Cyber Legislation Before Next Attack

    Kathleen B. Rice

    Congress' failure to pass information-sharing legislation means companies wanting to share threat information will be hesitant to. Yet, in an environment of growing cyberattacks, that effectively forces companies to seek counsel before sharing timely information, which is neither practical nor good public policy, say a former congresswoman and Senate congressional staffers now at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • If Voters Repeal The Massachusetts Gaming Law

    Abim Thomas

    As Massachusetts voters consider whether to ratify or veto the Legislature’s decision to allow casino gambling, the companies that planned to open casino and slot gaming establishments should keep in mind what recourse they may have in the event the cards turn out not to be in their favor on Election Day, say Abim Thomas and Joshua Daniels of Goodwin Procter LLP.

  • Important O&G Regulatory Developments Come To Pa.

    Tad MacFarlan

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's recent insight into enforcement protocols for the oil and gas industry reaffirms procedures for issuing and resolving notices of violation, establishes a new process for resolving water supply contamination incidents and updates well-inspection policies, say Timothy Weston and Tad MacFarlan of K&L Gates LLP.

  • New Guidelines Suggest A Friendlier European Patent Office

    Philip Cupitt

    While many of the changes in the latest European Patent Office guidelines reflect the current practice of the EPO’s boards of appeal, they also suggest that the first-instance departments of the EPO may be moving toward a less rigid and formalistic approach to some issues, say Philip Cupitt and Hazel Ford of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP.

  • Automakers Should Not Be Held Strictly Liable For V2V Hacks

    Todd B. Bernoff

    Strict liability was initially used to spur the auto industry to develop safer vehicles. And it worked. But that incentive is not necessary in the case of hacking vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems, for a number of reasons, says Todd Bernoff of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • Judge Blocks NJ Sports Betting — What's Next?

    Daniel Wallach

    Less than 48 hours before Monmouth Park Racetrack was to open the first legal sports book in New Jersey, U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp put a temporary halt to those plans. Oral argument on the leagues’ application for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for Nov. 20. Can we expect a different outcome? Don’t bet on it, says Daniel Wallach of Becker & Poliakoff PA.

  • How Russian Sanctions Impact Energy And Financial Cos.

    The U.S. Treasury and European Union have continued to expand the scope of economic sanctions in response to Russian activities and the political unrest in Ukraine. In this brief video, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan partner Mark Herlach discusses recent key developments and what the latest round of sanctions mean for energy and financial services companies.

  • 10 Key Points From The Final Risk Retention Rule

    Dan Ryan

    The final asset-backed securities risk retention rule effectively broadens the original proposal’s exemption from risk retention requirements for qualified residential mortgages, abandoning the proposal’s most stringent requirements to obtain exemption. It may, however, be too soon for the mortgage industry to celebrate, says Dan Ryan, chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's financial services regulatory practice.