Public Policy

  • July 30, 2015

    Lawmakers Take Another Stab At Federal Trade Secrets Law

    A bipartisan group of leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday introduced a bill that would clear the way for companies to bring a private right of action alleging trade secret misappropriation in federal court, a move aimed at preventing hundreds of billions of dollars in losses every year in the U.S. from the theft of corporate trade secrets.

  • July 30, 2015

    Senate Panel Weighs Latest Attempt At Carcieri Fix

    The Senate Indian Affairs Committee's chairman touted a bill Wednesday to fix the uncertainty around tribal land-into-trust actions stirred up by the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Carcieri v. Salazar decision, while a similar bill was withdrawn to make way for the new proposal.

  • July 30, 2015

    Obama Nominates Mass. Associate Justice, 2 Others For CIT

    President Barack Obama nominated a diverse slate of three, including a Stewart and Stewart partner, the CEO of Titanium Law Group LLC and an associate justice for the Massachusetts Appeals Court, to join the United States Court of International Trade on Thursday.

  • July 30, 2015

    San Francisco Can't Sue DOT Over Gas Blast, 9th Circ. Says

    San Francisco is not authorized to sue the U.S. Department of Transportation on claims the agency failed to enforce natural gas pipeline safety rules that led to a deadly 2010 explosion, the Ninth Circuit said Thursday, affirming a lower court.

  • July 30, 2015

    Senate Warned Not To Impose Unilateral Sanctions On Iran

    Two experts cautioned the U.S. Senate against going at it alone on renewed Iran sanctions on Thursday, delivering testimony as Congress takes stock of American sanctions efforts and a landmark agreement to stem the Middle Eastern nation's nuclear capabilities.

  • July 30, 2015

    Judge To Rule On $225M NJ Exxon Mobil Deal In August

    The decision to approve or reject New Jersey's proposed $225 million payout from Exxon Mobil Corp. to settle natural resource damage claims will wait another month because there's “a lot to consider,” a judge said Thursday after six hours of testimony by the deal's advocates and opponents.

  • July 30, 2015

    NLRB Court Wins Won't Quell Election Rule Challenges

    The National Labor Relations Board’s controversial rule in effect since April streamlining the union election process has withstood two district court challenges, but attorneys say suits over the rule’s application and the ire of a Republican legislative majority mean disputes over the rule aren't yet over.

  • July 30, 2015

    NJ Justices Avoid Tumult By OK'ing Recall Of Retired Judges

    New Jersey's wide use of retired judges to address vacancies can continue thanks to a state Supreme Court decision Thursday finding the law authorizing the practice is constitutional, a ruling observers say underscores the tough task of overturning statutes and prevents a quagmire of worsened case backlogs.

  • July 30, 2015

    AT&T $100M Fine Challenge Stresses FCC Enforcement Issues

    AT&T's forceful response to the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed $100 million fine over its unlimited data plan challenges key concerns that have crept up in enforcement activity and brings growing industry unrest over due process and fine calculation methods to the forefront, experts said.

  • July 30, 2015

    DOJ Faces Uphill Battle In Fattah Corruption Case

    While an exhaustive indictment handed down Wednesday accuses Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., of misappropriating federal funds and charitable donations to repay loans to his political supporters, attorneys tell Law360 that prosecutors will face an uphill battle proving the congressman was at the helm of the corruption scheme.

  • July 30, 2015

    Senate OKs Highway Bill, Emergency VA Funding

    The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a long-term highway funding bill, alongside a three-month patch also including emergency veterans’ health care funding, buying time to negotiate a bicameral compromise bill that could be funded through proposed corporate tax reforms.

  • July 30, 2015

    Cecil The Lion's Death Spurs Talk Of Game Trophy Airport Ban

    A New Jersey lawmaker on Wednesday responded to the “tragic demise” of Cecil — a beloved African lion hunted down in Zimbabwe by a Minnesota man in early July — by proposing legislation to ban the transport of game trophies of threatened or endangered species through New York and New Jersey's major airports.

  • July 30, 2015

    9th Circ. Won't Revive Challenge To US Shipping Law

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday affirmed the dismissal of a class action that was aimed at invalidating the Jones Act, a law designed to help the American shipping industry that the plaintiffs had claimed caused the price of goods in Hawaii to soar by creating a de facto shipping duopoly in the state.

  • July 30, 2015

    ACA Insurance Co-Ops Missed Goals, Watchdog Says

    Most of the Affordable Care Act’s co-op insurance plans have fallen short on enrollment and suffered heavier losses than expected, jeopardizing billions of dollars in government loans, according to a report on Thursday from the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • July 30, 2015

    Broadband Cos. Tell Court Neutrality Is FCC 'Power Grab'

    Challengers to the Federal Communications Commission’s tough new net neutrality rules fired their opening salvo Thursday at the D.C. Circuit, calling the agency's rules “a sweeping bureaucratic power grab.”

  • July 30, 2015

    Google Rejects France's Global 'Right To Be Forgotten' Order

    Google on Thursday said it would not comply with an order by France’s data protection regulator to apply Europe’s “right to be forgotten” online law on a global scale, saying no one country should be able to control what content someone in another country can access.

  • July 30, 2015

    Nigerian Capital Markets Need Clearer Rules, Report Says

    Attorneys and policy experts from Nigeria and the U.K. said in a joint report published Thursday that the African nation’s capital markets would benefit from reforms to crack down on corrupt trading, clarify procedures for resolving disputes and boost incentives for investors and issuers.

  • July 30, 2015

    GOP, Dems Duel Over EPA's Ozone Standards Plan

    U.S. House lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are weighing in on the Obama administration's plan to tighten national ozone standards, with Republicans claiming a tougher standard would be economically crippling and Democrats pushing for the strictest standard possible to protect public health.

  • July 30, 2015

    USPTO Posts Update On Alice, Mayo, Myriad Rules

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued interim guidance Thursday to its 2014 memo to examiners concerning how to determine subject matter eligibility under federal patent law, in light of the recent Alice, Mayo and Myriad Supreme Court decisions.

  • July 30, 2015

    Regulators Back Down On Asset Manager SIFI Designations

    Global regulators on Thursday said they would delay any decisions on designating large asset management firms as systemically important financial institutions, but added that they would continue to study the potential risks such firms presented to the financial system.

Expert Analysis

  • Craft Beer's Growth Is Causing Congress To Brew Reforms

    Matthew P. McLaughlin

    In response to the craft beer industry's explosive growth, national policy surrounding alcohol regulatory reform has been one of modernization, not the elimination of three-tier distribution systems and state franchise laws. However, while some states have embraced this trend in a positive manner, others have been extremely resistant to change, says Matthew McLaughlin of Baker Donelson PC.

  • Betting On NY Gaming Commission's Casino Vendor Rules

    Laura McAllister-Cox

    Companies providing goods and services to casinos may find themselves in a New York state of mind this summer thanks to recently proposed rules governing vendor licensing for the nascent commercial casino industry in the Empire State, say attorneys at Greenberg Traurig LLP.

  • UPenn Fracking Study Can't Give Plaintiffs Causation

    Harry Weiss

    Despite the media attention surrounding a recent University of Pennsylvania study linking increased hospital visits for cardiac and neurological complaints with hydraulic fracturing, it is unlikely to significantly help plaintiffs looking to establish causation, say Harry Weiss and Philip Yannella of Ballard Spahr LLP.

  • Cuba, Si! Trade With Cuba, Todavia No

    Burt Braverman

    There has been much fanfare surrounding the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, but for U.S. businesses anxious to establish commercial beachheads for the sale of goods and technology, the reality is much the same as it has been since 1982 when Cuba was first designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, says Burt Braverman at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

  • Shedding Light On Conn.'s Pay Secrecy Law

    Daniel L. Schwartz

    Connecticut's Public Act No. 15-196 provides employees in the state with a private right of action against alleged gender pay discrimination. Employees may file a complaint alleging a violation of the law in any court of competent jurisdiction, and the language of the law appears to contemplate collective or multiple plaintiff lawsuits, say Daniel Schwartz and James Leva of Day Pitney LLP.

  • OPINION: On Porous Borders

    Judge Eliza Klein

    Since 2008, funding of the border patrol has doubled. Meanwhile, funding of the immigration courts has stagnated. The case load has grown from slightly less than 263,000 cases nationwide to slightly more than 450,000 — over 2,000 cases per judge. We must do better, says Judge Eliza Klein, of counsel to Gil Law Group and a former immigration court judge for more than 20 years.

  • Reading Between The Lines Of San Francisco's Retail Rules

    Joanne A. Buser

    Certain provisions to San Francisco's Retail Workers Bill of Rights may unnecessarily expose an employer to disparate treatment claims for failure to offer additional work or failure to promote a part-time employee, and consistent criteria should be used to minimize the impact of these risks to covered employers, says Joanne Buser of Paul Plevin Sullivan & Connaughton LLP.

  • CIS Memo Could Relieve Some Immigrant Religious Workers

    Rabindra K. Singh

    Although a recent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services memo will only help special immigrant religious workers who gained qualifying relevant work experience in an unlawful status in the United States by obtaining approval of their Form I-360 special immigrant religious worker petition, it will not help them in adjusting status in the United States to become a legal permanent resident, say attorneys at Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak Law Group PC.

  • Not-For-Profit Property Tax Exemption In NJ: Not For Long

    Richard F. Ricci

    Two recent decisions from the New Jersey Tax Court may prove problematic for nonprofit organizations currently relying on the state’s property tax exemption statute, say Richard Ricci and Sean Collier at Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

  • IRS To Significantly Trim Determination Letter Program

    Maria P. Rasmussen

    The IRS is eliminating the staggered five-year determination letter remedial amendment cycles for individually designed tax-qualified retirement plans. As a result, some employers may decide to switch to plans that are preapproved by the IRS, which typically limit design choices, say Maria Rasmussen and Allison Tanner of McGuireWoods LLP.