Public Policy

  • October 24, 2014

    NY, NJ To Quarantine Air Travelers, Doctors Over Ebola Fears

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, amid fresh Ebola virus concerns, on Friday ordered mandatory 21-day quarantines for all arriving airplane passengers who had direct contact with Ebola patients in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea.

  • October 24, 2014

    Judge Buries Suit Over Va. Medical Certificate Of Need Law

    A Virginia federal judge on Thursday ruled that Virginia’s requirement that new medical service providers receive a certificate of public need before being allowed to do business in the state doesn’t discriminate against interstate commerce, granting summary judgment to state health officials.

  • October 24, 2014

    Lawmakers Want Data Flow Protections In TPP Talks

    Six congressmen, including the heads of the Senate Finance and Commerce committees, urged U.S. trade negotiators on Friday to protect the unfettered transfer of commercial data and digital trade in Trans-Pacific Partnership talks this weekend.

  • October 24, 2014

    Judge Blocks NJ From Launching Sports Betting On Sunday

    A New Jersey federal judge on Friday prevented New Jersey’s new sports betting law from going into effect on Sunday, after the four major U.S. sports leagues and the NCAA argued they would be irreparably injured without an “urgent” injunction.

  • October 24, 2014

    GOP Sens. Say Obama Fooling US On EPA Water Rule

    Twenty-four Republican U.S. senators on Thursday accused the Obama administration of misleading the public about a proposed rule that seeks to redefine the scope of the Clean Water Act's jurisdiction, saying it has manipulated the rule-making process.

  • October 24, 2014

    SEC OKs Muni Adviser Compliance Rule, Supervision Regime

    The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Authority on Friday said it has won federal approval of its plan to hold newly regulated municipal advisers responsible for supervising their business, including by appointing chief compliance officers and having CEOs attest their firm has processes in place to meet the letter of the law.

  • October 24, 2014

    Latham & Watkins Partner Withdraws From AG Consideration

    Latham & Watkins LLP partner and former White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler has withdrawn from the race to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder, an administration official confirmed Friday.

  • October 24, 2014

    Texas Hospital Overhauls ER Screening After Ebola Failings

    Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, whose mistakes dealing with the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. called attention to a lack of readiness among health care providers, on Friday announced a raft of reforms aimed at averting additional lapses involving the deadly disease.

  • October 24, 2014

    Fighting Ebola At Source Will Protect US, Congress Hears

    Health care regulators and providers faced sharp questioning Friday on Capitol Hill about their ability to cope with Ebola patients, even as experts stressed that the best way to protect Americans is by battling the virus at its source in West Africa.

  • October 24, 2014

    NJ Lawmakers Advance Bill Expanding Data Breach Mandates

    A New Jersey Assembly panel on Thursday cleared a bill expanding the types of data breaches that companies are required to disclose to consumers, one of the latest efforts by legislators to regulate the oversight of consumer information in the wake of recent massive data breaches.

  • October 24, 2014

    FCC Pushes Airwave Auction For Mobile Broadband To 2016

    The Federal Communications Commission is pushing back the voluntary auction of TV broadcasters’ spectrum to mobile broadband providers until 2016 because of a pending lawsuit over the auction’s rules filed by the National Association of Broadcasters in the D.C. Circuit, the agency announced Friday.

  • October 24, 2014

    EU Agrees To 40% Cut In Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 2030

    European Union leaders on Friday agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030, a goal they said would be achieved mainly through an emissions trading system, and adopted renewable energy and energy efficiency targets.

  • October 24, 2014

    Leaving India Adrift Would Pose New Headaches For WTO

    As a World Trade Organization deal to smooth the flow of goods across borders languishes because of India’s hard-line stance on protecting food security programs, whispers of moving the deal forward without India have grown louder, but experts say political fallout and procedural hurdles should give members a pause.

  • October 24, 2014

    DC Circ. Won’t Revisit OSHA Law On Flammable Grain Dust

    The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday said it wouldn’t vacate a federal rule defining combustible dust in grain operations as a “hazardous chemical” and requiring employees be informed about its dangers, saying that the rule was fairly disseminated and not overly vague.

  • October 24, 2014

    FTC Says Vehicle-To-Vehicle Tech Meets Privacy Standards

    The Federal Trade Commission on Friday said it supports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s proposed regulations for vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology, commending the agency for addressing privacy and security concerns by designing a system that only collects and stores data that serves safety purposes.

  • October 24, 2014

    USPTO Backs Away From Patent Transparency Rules

    The head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said Thursday that the agency is giving up plans to establish rules requiring greater transparency about patent ownership, and instead leaving the issue to Congress when it next takes up legislation aimed at so-called patent trolls.

  • October 24, 2014

    Murray Energy Can't Fight EPA Carbon Rule Yet, DC Circ. Told

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told the D.C. Circuit on Thursday that Murray Energy Corp.’s challenge of a proposed rule to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants must be dismissed as premature, since the rule isn’t final.

  • October 24, 2014

    Senators Chide 'Glacial' Response To Exploding Air Bags

    Two U.S. senators roundly criticized a Department of Transportation underling's “glacial” response in handling the ever-increasing number of vehicles with defective Takata Corp. air bags, urging Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a letter Thursday to issue a nationwide recall of all vehicles affected.

  • October 24, 2014

    Medical Pot Law Trumps Unemployment Law, Mich. Court Says

    A Michigan appeals court ruled Friday that workers fired solely for failing a drug test because of their legal use of medical marijuana qualify for unemployment benefits, affirming lower court decisions that the state’s medical marijuana law preempted its unemployment law.

  • October 24, 2014

    Deferred Annuities Won't Violate 401(k) Discrimination Rule

    The Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of the Treasury on Friday said employer-sponsored 401(k) plans can now include annuities that are limited to older individuals without running afoul of federal nondiscrimination requirements, in a bid to promote annuity usage among taxpayers.

Expert Analysis

  • The Tool Boehner Used To Manage Congressional Dysfunction

    Holly Fechner

    U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner’s strategic use of the informal Hastert Rule allowed him to navigate successfully a treacherous political path of managing his divergent caucus, preserving his leadership position, and passing key legislation even when a majority of his caucus did not support it, says Holly Fechner of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Why You Should Start Thinking About Upcoming Drone Regs

    William O'Connor

    Companies and trade associations interested in obtaining the benefits of small unmanned aircraft systems should start formulating plans now to help shape the Federal Aviation Administration's much-anticipated notice of proposed rulemaking — likely to issue in mid-December — and the regulations that will come out of it. They need not wait for the notice, say attorneys with Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • IRS Complicates Withholding Agents’ Responsibilities

    Edward Tanenbaum

    The IRS recently discussed withholding agents’ reliance on documentation for Chapter 3 withholding — and the agency's position counsels timeliness in obtaining withholding certificates and documentary evidence, lest the withholding agent be left on the hook, say Edward Tanenbaum and Heather Ripley of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • Benefits Of Compliance: US Antitrust Vs. Other Approaches

    Douglas Tween

    In a pair of disappointing recent speeches, leading U.S. antitrust enforcers stated that a company's pre-existing compliance program is not a basis for a reduction in punishment for a cartel offense, which stands in stark contrast to the position of other components of the U.S. Department of Justice and recent draft guidance issued by Canada, say Douglas Tween and Arlan Gates of Baker & McKenzie LLP.

  • Japan's Trade Secret Law Reform Should Focus On Discovery

    York Faulkner

    Faced with a growing trend of trade secret theft, Japanese lawmakers are actively debating reforms to strengthen both civil and criminal enforcement of trade secrets. The proposals, however, fail to address the fundamental weakness of trade secret enforcement under current Japanese law, say attorneys with Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP, Kitahama Partners and Lexia Partners.

  • New Calif. Data Breach Rules Bring Obligations And Debate

    Ellen Giblin

    The new law regarding the California breach notification requirement related to identity theft prevention and mitigation services has already spurred debate on two issues, say attorneys with Edwards Wildman Palmer LLC.

  • Canada's Proposed Takeover Bid Rules Are Target-Friendly

    Ralph Shay

    Newly proposed amendments to Canada's takeover bid legislation would address long-standing concerns that the current regulatory regime tilts the playing field too far in favor of hostile bidders, says Ralph Shay of Dentons Canada LLP.

  • The State Of Same-Sex Marriage In Florida

    Brad Gould

    If the Eleventh Circuit overturns the ruling in Brenner v. Scott, then Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage would remain in place — making the Eleventh Circuit the only circuit to uphold such a ban and opening the door to U.S. Supreme Court review, say Brad Gould and Dana Apfelbaum of Dean Mead Minton & Zwemer.

  • A Ban On Ban-The-Box?

    Natasha B. Dorsey

    In a regulatory landscape of ban-the-box laws and increased EEOC scrutiny of criminal history questions during the hiring process, employers in industries such as health care and finance are often put in the position of acting unlawfully because they are required to conduct background checks for certain positions. The Certainty in Enforcement Act could clarify things, but it also leaves the door open for trouble, says Natasha Dorse... (continued)

  • International Standard Could Reshape Cloud Privacy

    Lindsey Tonsager

    Because the International Standards Organization and the International Electrotechnical Commission's new voluntary standard is the first international standard to focus on privacy in the cloud and provides an auditable policy framework for privacy compliance, it could significantly shape cloud services around the globe, says Lindsey Tonsager of Covington & Burling LLP.