Public Policy RSS

  • April 23, 2014

    Congressman Urges FTC To Shine Light On Health M&A

    Congressman Jim McDermott, D-Wash., has asked the Federal Trade Commission to issue better guidance on potential antitrust issues raised by Affordable Care Act-inspired health care mergers, after a federal court agreed with the agency that hospital operator St. Luke's Health System Ltd. must divest itself of a recently acquired physician practice.

  • April 23, 2014

    NJ Rolls Out New Sales Tax Regs On Software Sales

    The New Jersey Division of Taxation released proposed rules Monday clarifying the proper sales tax treatment of computer software and related software maintenance services, a move the regulator said is intended to clear up confusion within the industry.

  • April 23, 2014

    Pentagon Will Send Apache Helicopters To Egypt

    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Egypt on Tuesday the U.S. will send it 10 Apache attack helicopters to support the country’s counterterrorism efforts, as the U.S. maintains its strategic relationship with the country following last year’s ousting of President Mohamed Morsi.

  • April 23, 2014

    Brazil Enacts Internet Law To Curb Spying, Unequal Pricing

    Brazil's president on Wednesday signed landmark Internet regulation legislation that limits service providers' ability to collect and share user data with government officials and prohibits them from charging higher prices for services that consume more bandwidth.

  • April 23, 2014

    Pa. Rep. Appeals After Corbett Denies Drilling Info Request

    A Democratic lawmaker in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives asked the state’s Office of Open Records on Tuesday to review a decision by Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration denying a formal request for information about plans to raise $75 million by leasing public parkland for oil and gas drilling.

  • April 23, 2014

    Calif. Panel Passes 'Yelp Bill' To Protect Customer Reviews

    The California Assembly’s Judiciary Committee on Tuesday waved through the so-called Yelp bill, which would prohibit companies from stifling consumer reviews unless a consumer has expressly waived his or her right to give an opinion.

  • April 23, 2014

    Chrysler Sues Calif. Town Over City Development Plan

    Chrysler Group Realty Co. LLC slapped California's city of Hayward with a lawsuit on Monday, alleging that the town's plan to put a park and new road lanes on Chrysler-owned property is unlawful and unfairly singles out the company.

  • April 23, 2014

    EU Data-Retention Ban Puts Service Providers In A Bind

    A recent data-retention ruling by the European Union’s high court has forced service providers into a difficult decision: Either run the risk of upsetting law enforcement officials seeking information or implement costly privacy safeguards to comply with the ruling and hang onto their records.

  • April 23, 2014

    As Obama Arrives In Japan, USTR Ramps Up TPP Pressure

    With President Barack Obama slated to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday, the top U.S. trade official made one last bid for the Asian powerhouse to take an “elevated view” in order to settle issues impeding the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

  • April 23, 2014

    Conservative Groups Urge Rejection Of Senate Housing Bill

    Conservative activist groups on Wednesday launched a broadside attack against a U.S. Senate bill that would reshape the United States housing finance system and eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying that it would simply increase government intrusion in the housing market.

  • April 22, 2014

    Deadly Fertilizer Plant Blast Was Preventable, CSB Says Notes

    The 2013 fertilizer plant explosion and fire in the city of West, Texas, that killed 14, injured 200 and destroyed about 140 nearby buildings could have been prevented with better regulations, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board said Tuesday, releasing its preliminary findings on the blast.

  • April 22, 2014

    FTC Urged To Reject Candidate For COPPA Safe Harbor Role

    The Center for Digital Democracy on Monday shot back at the Internet Keep Safe Coalition's bid to become the seventh safe-harbor provider under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act rule, telling the Federal Trade Commission that the nonprofit lacks the expertise to run a robust program.

  • April 22, 2014

    Fla. Senate Panel Passes Springs Bill, Drained Of Funding

    The Florida Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday advanced legislation to clean up the state's freshwater springs, a major recreational attraction and important connection to drinking water supplies, but not before largely gutting the once ambitious measure to the dismay of stakeholders.

  • April 22, 2014

    Rail Industry Lagging On Oil Safety, Watchdog Warns

    National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah A. P. Hersman warned on Tuesday that the rail industry is falling behind on its oil shipping safety measures and said the usual negotiated rulemaking may be too slow to fix the problems.

  • April 22, 2014

    DOJ Names New No. 2 At Criminal Unit's Helm

    The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Tuesday that it has named Marshall L. Miller as second-in-command in the agency’s criminal unit, where he'll take on the roles of acting principal deputy assistant attorney general and chief of staff, the agency said.

  • April 22, 2014

    NJ Bridgegate Panel Issues 4 Subpoenas For Testimony

    A New Jersey committee investigating September's politically charged closure of George Washington Bridge access lanes issued four subpoenas on Tuesday to current and former members of Gov. Chris Christie's office and to two Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials for testimony next month.

  • April 22, 2014

    Fla. Senate Panel OKs Controversial Pension Plan Reforms

    A bill aimed at steering Florida's public workers from pensions toward investment retirement plans passed the state Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday by a slim margin in the face of opposition from state workers and strong reservations from panel members.

  • April 22, 2014

    Gas Rule Stalling Leaves Industry Playing Endless Catch-Up

    The Obama administration is once again several months late in issuing its yearly renewable fuels standard for gasoline, and attorneys say that tardiness will continue in the future, leaving refiners and the auto industry ignorant and scrambling as federal officials try to balance ambitious biofuel estimates with decreasing fuel demand.

  • April 22, 2014

    The Accidental Advocate: Judge John E. Jones III

    Pennsylvania Middle District Judge John E. Jones III talks to Law360 about the surreal aftermath of his divisive ruling against intelligent design as he prepares for yet another potentially explosive trial over Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban.

  • April 22, 2014

    Fannie, Freddie Reform Bill Has A Shot, HUD Chief Says

    A bill that could transform the housing finance system and stave off years of continued dependence on government backing will face a tough political test next week during a scheduled Senate markup, but U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said Tuesday he's optimistic that reform is on the horizon.

Expert Analysis

  • Will Investors 'Like' SEC's New Social Media Ad Rules?

    Abigail Bertumen

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's recent guidance on third-party social media commentary in investment adviser advertising maintains existing agency principles while providing greater latitude under the Testimonial Rule. Advisers must be willing to adopt a fairly specific and practical policy for social media advertising, and policies should include ways of managing the "do's" and "don'ts" of publishing site commentary, say attorneys at Bingham McCutchen LLP.

  • Gender Pay Gap: A Problem For Contractors And Feds

    Alan G. King

    Data compiled on federal employee compensation reveals statistically-significant differences based on gender in the U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor, the two agencies expected to be most vigilant in rooting out discrimination. Thus, before the DOL considers adopting a reporting standard for federal contractors' compensation practices, it should consider how the government would fare under alternatives, say Stephen Bronas of Welch Consulting Inc. and Allan King of Littler Mendelson PC.

  • Mandatory Pro Bono Is Not The Answer For Practitioners

     Amanda D. Smith

    The State Bar of California has decided to follow New York's lead and require prospective attorneys to record 50 hours of pro bono service in order to be eligible for admission. While we applaud the intentions behind these initiatives, there are a number of reasons why state bars should limit any mandatory pro bono requirement to this context, rather than extend it to licensed attorneys as some have suggested, say attorneys with the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • States May Beat Congress To Consumer-Tracking Laws

    David Zetoony

    Assuming that Congress does not pass legislation on consumer location data, there is a risk that states may attempt to pass their own statutes — a phenomenon that is well known when it comes to data privacy issues. Nationwide retailers may end up facing inconsistent statutes and regulations that require state-by-state differences in how they present their privacy practices to consumers, say David Zetoony and Shahin Rothermel of Bryan Cave LLP.

  • Earth Day And The Evolution Of Environmental Law

    Timothy J. Bergere

    Since 1970, environmental lawyers have been immersed in a myriad of federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations, beginning with the National Environmental Policy Act. As the movement has grown, Earth Day has become a placeholder for the idea that we can better manage our environment, and in the legal community, it reminds us that we must continue advancing the law with the goal of a cleaner environment in mind, says Timothy Bergere of Montgomery McCracken Walker Rhoads LLP.

  • The EPA's Next Regulatory Frontier: Large Ship Emissions

    Granta Nakayama

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement office is signaling a new area of interest — air pollution from large ships and ocean-going vessels. Public statements indicate sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide requirements are on the EPA's agenda and, given the agency's foray into new applications of existing environmental law, it may apply its practice of issuing notices of violation in the marine-vessels context, say Granta Nakayama and Ilana Saltzbart of Kirkland Ellis LLP.

  • Paycheck Fairness Act Would Have Drastic Consequences

    Paul H. Kehoe

    Should the Paycheck Fairness Act ever pass the Senate, employers would face a drastically changed landscape regarding both compensation decisions and litigation. The included measures would provide the plaintiffs bar with more bargaining power in pay discrimination claims, regardless of the merits or the employees' interest in participation, says Paul Kehoe of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • Fla. Film Tax Credit Bills Are Good For Business

    Alan Feldman

    The goal of the proposed tax incentive bills being considered by the Florida Legislature is to encourage production companies to produce movies, music and television series in the state. The incentives will likewise benefit law firms and the legal profession by increasing revenues, says Alan Feldman of Lydecker Diaz.

  • The Evolving New Normal For Data Breach Responses

    Mark Salah Morgan

    The Target Corp. and Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey data breaches differed in manner, size and scope, but both reveal the vulnerabilities all companies are facing. A nuanced, more responsive, and more uniform legal and regulatory framework is required. That environment is being shaped by private actions, legislative and administrative responses, and various corporate initiatives, say Mark Salah Morgan and Andres Acebo of Day Pitney LLP.

  • Recognizing The Retirement Revolution In Pensions

    Jim Poolman

    The pension abundance of the past has fallen prey to the harsh realities of the present market — gone are the days of the defined benefit pension plan. As a result, Millennials lacking a company-provided pension will be have to be completely responsible for their own retirements, ultimately making them one of the most financially literate generations in our nation's history, says Jim Poolman, executive director of the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council.