Public Policy

  • November 26, 2014

    Big Island GMO-Restricting Law Falls To Preemption Challenge

    A Hawaii federal judge on Wednesday shot down a Big Island law limiting the growth of genetically modified crops, finding it was preempted by state and federal laws and was therefore invalid.

  • November 26, 2014

    Calif. High Court To Review Malpractice Cap Law

    California’s high court will review the constitutionality of the state’s $250,000 cap on damages in medical malpractice suits, less than a month after voters summarily rejected a measure that would have raised the cap to $1 million, according to a consumer advocacy group on Wednesday.

  • November 26, 2014

    Fla. Supreme Court Backs Gambling Permit Conversion Law

    The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed an appeals court's finding that a 2010 statute allowing the conversion of certain gambling permits was unconstitutionally a special law passed under the guise of being a general law, ruling Wednesday that supporters offered a reasonable interpretation in keeping with legislative intent.

  • November 26, 2014

    Oil Co. Gets Backup In High Court Appeal Of Spill Rules

    A Louisiana oil and gas exploration company asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its arguments against the government’s addition of new oil spill response requirements to its drilling lease got backup from industry and libertarian groups, who filed amicus briefs on the company’s behalf.

  • November 26, 2014

    Calif. Lawmaker Wants Retailers To Double Holiday Pay

    California retailers and restaurants open on Thanksgiving and Christmas will have to pay workers double wages under a proposal announced Wednesday by a state legislator, as Democrats across the country voice opposition to growing holiday hours.

  • November 26, 2014

    Tougher Ozone Regs May Be Hard For States To Stomach

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s stricter national ozone standards unveiled Wednesday will be a heavy regulatory lift for state and local governments to implement and may energize Congress to require the agency to consider the costs of its air quality regulations, experts say.

  • November 26, 2014

    5th Circ. Told Texas Abortion Law Overburdens Providers

    A group of Texas abortion providers on Monday responded to a Fifth Circuit appeal by officials and anti-abortion groups to uphold a controversial state abortion law that could shutter all but seven clinics, arguing that the new rules place an unreasonable burden on abortion facilities.

  • November 26, 2014

    Colo. Pols Ask Supreme Court To Allow TABOR Challenge

    A group of Colorado state lawmakers and educators have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow their challenge to the state’s taxpayer bill of rights to proceed over the objections of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

  • November 26, 2014

    Former FDIC Chairwoman Bair Joins DLA Piper

    Former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairwoman Sheila Bair has joined DLA Piper as a senior policy adviser, the firm announced on Wednesday.

  • November 26, 2014

    Top NY Court Clears Way For Rent-Overcharge Class Actions

    New York renters alleging overcharges may bring class action claims against landlords, New York's top court held Monday in a blow to landlords seeking to prevent tenants from banding together in court.

  • November 26, 2014

    Senators Press FAA To Work Faster To Craft Drone Regs

    Five U.S. senators sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday urging the agency to take action in order to reach its goal of implementing regulation that would allow integration of commercial drones into U.S. airspace by September of next year.

  • November 26, 2014

    NJ Senate Prez Urges New Rail Tunnel To New York City

    New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney on Wednesday called for the construction of a new rail tunnel connecting north Jersey to New York City, saying the region's transportation network could be hampered by critically needed repairs to existing tunnels.

  • November 26, 2014

    Indian Regulator Shuts Down Overseas Bond Practice

    The Reserve Bank of India clamped down on Indian issuers' access to the offshore bond market in a Tuesday note, forbidding several procedures related to overseas borrowing because it violates the country's Foreign Exchange Management Act.

  • November 26, 2014

    SF Supervisors Pass Predictable Work Schedule Legislation

    Days before the annual Black Friday sales rush, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed legislation that extends benefits to part-time employees and aims to make retail work schedules more predictable.

  • November 26, 2014

    US Pols Wary Of EU's Onerous Digital Trade Proposals

    Four trade heavyweights in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday warned European Union lawmakers against pursuing new digital commerce and competition policy proposals that could hamper market access and thus deal a significant blow to ongoing EU-U.S. trade talks.

  • November 26, 2014

    DOD Must Give Sikorsky Contract Data To Small Biz Group

    A California federal court has ordered the Pentagon to cough up never-seen subcontracting data on Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. to an organization representing small businesses, saying the information was not exempt from Freedom of Information Act disclosure because it did not expose privileged financial or business information about Sikorsky. 

  • November 26, 2014

    In Rare Move, CFIUS Hands Over Cache Of Ralls Docs

    The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. handed over 3,487 pages of documents from its review of Ralls Corp.'s planned purchase of an Oregon wind farm, according to a Tuesday court filing, an unprecedented turn in an ongoing dispute over the agency's rejection of the deal.

  • November 26, 2014

    Colo. Oil And Gas Group Goes After Town's Fracking Ban

    The Colorado Oil & Gas Association has filed a lawsuit in Colorado state court seeking to invalidate the city and county of Broomfield’s hydraulic fracturing ban, arguing a moratorium on the controversial oil and gas extraction process passed by referendum in 2013 is superseded by state law.

  • November 26, 2014

    Lawmakers ‘Back To The Drawing Board’ On Tax Extenders

    Lawmakers will return to Washington on Monday after the Thanksgiving break looking for a way forward on the tax extenders after President Obama’s veto threat scuttled a tentative deal over the more than 50 tax breaks for businesses and individuals.

  • November 26, 2014

    Sierra Club Wins Ruling In Greenhouse Gas Reduction Suit

    A California appeals court has thrown out a $200 billion proposed transportation plan developed by the San Diego Association of Governments, finding the plan doesn’t adequately consider future impact on air quality as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

Expert Analysis

  • Are You Ready For Florida's New LLC Law?

    Stefan Rubin

    Exemption from the state’s corporate income tax, coupled with greater flexibility, has led to explosive growth in Florida limited liability companies, especially among venture capitalists, private equity groups and the broader investment community. As of Jan. 1, 2015, all of Florida's nearly 800,000 LLCs will live by new rules — some of which create potential personal liability, says Stefan Rubin, a partner with Shutts & Bowen LLP ... (continued)

  • Up In The Air With FERC's Demand-Response Rule

    Gregory K. Lawrence

    Since the D.C. Circuit’s vacatur of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's demand-response rule in Electric Power Supply Association v. FERC last May, the legal status of demand-response participation in the wholesale energy and capacity markets has been hotly debated — the only matter that is certain is the lack of certainty, say attorneys at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP.

  • NIST Draft Info-Sharing Guide Advances Cybersecurity Debate

    Mark Krotoski

    Private sector entities reviewing the National Institute of Standards and Technology's draft guide on information sharing should focus on its recommendations surrounding sharing communities, standardized transfer mechanisms and the handling of corporate legal considerations, say Mark Krotoski and Brock Dahl of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Remembering Doar: Justice As A 4-Letter Word

    Kevin J. Curnin

    John Doar ran the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division at perhaps the most chaotic and pivotal time in its history. His passing earlier this month is an occasion for lawyers everywhere to marvel at just how impactful one attorney can be. He didn’t just preside at a historic time, he calmly and coolly shaped it, says Kevin Curnin of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Gunnison Sage Will Give Energy Something To Grouse About

    Richard T. Stilwell

    Protection of the Gunnison Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act in accordance with a recent announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will require a restriction of oil and gas development, including the closure of roads during nesting season and cessation of machinery operation, says Richard Stilwell of Baker & Hostetler LLP.

  • IRS Disregards Own Revenue Ruling In Barnes Decision

    Jeffrey L. Rubinger

    In a case involving a series of stock transactions by Barnes Group Inc., the U.S. Tax Court and the Second Circuit both held that the taxpayer unreasonably relied on an IRS revenue ruling, making it difficult for a taxpayer to ever be able to rely on a revenue ruling with any degree of certainty, say Jeffrey Rubinger and Nadia Kruler of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP.

  • NJ's Sick Leave Law May Be A Poison Pill For Restaurants

    Christina Stoneburner

    The main reason why New Jersey's proposed sick leave law may have more of an impact on the food service industry is how large and small employers are defined under it — a small restaurant may easily have upward of the necessary employees to qualify as a large employer simply because certain employees may only be available a few hours per week, says Christina Stoneburner of Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • Breaking Down The Top 5 Candidates To Replace Hagel

    Frederic Levy

    It’s easy to see why Michele Flournoy, Robert Work and Kathleen Hicks are viewed as leading candidates to be the next secretary of defense. At the same time, Ashton Carter’s and Jack Reed’s impressive resumes and established records of public service will earn them serious consideration by the White House, despite what some perceive as personal reluctance to throw their hats in the ring, say Frederic Levy and Alejandro Sarria of Mc... (continued)

  • Why Trade Legislation Must Address Trade Remedy Evasion

    Terence Stewart

    The growing problem of evasion of anti-dumping and countervailing duties presents an important challenge and should be taken up by Congress urgently when Trade Promotion Authority is considered, says Terence Stewart of the Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart.

  • States Still Fighting Bad-Faith Patent Infringement Claims

    Michael Martinez de Andino

    With 17 states having enacted legislation against bad-faith patent infringement assertions and 12 reviewing proposed legislation, states are sending a clear message that the current patent demand letter business model is insufficient to protect companies from unscrupulous patent holders, say Michael Martinez de Andino and Matthew Nigriny of Hunton & Williams LLP.