Public Policy

  • April 24, 2015

    Christie Warns Of Court ‘Entanglement’ In $1.6B Pension Fight

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration on Friday told the state Supreme Court that the judiciary branch would become entangled in the annual budget process if it lets stand a lower court ruling that he unlawfully trimmed $1.57 billion in pension funding.

  • April 24, 2015

    Calif. Bill Would Ramp Up Enforcement Against Wage Theft

    Looking to crack down on wage theft, California’s Senate leader said Thursday he has introduced a bill that would allow state regulators to require businesses that have failed to pay court orders for worker wages to post a bond of $150,000.

  • April 24, 2015

    Calif. AG Wants 9th Circ. To Restore Card Surchage Ban

    California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Friday served notice that she will ask the Ninth Circuit to overturn a California federal judge’s ruling striking down a state ban on credit card surcharges on free speech grounds.

  • April 24, 2015

    Quake Links Turn Up Legal, Regulatory Heat On Drillers

    Studies released this week by federal and state geologists linking oil and gas drilling to an increase in earthquakes will provide more ammunition for plaintiffs in lawsuits over wastewater injection wells cited as the likely culprit and for regulators to impose tighter restrictions on those wells, experts say.

  • April 24, 2015

    North Carolina House Passes Bill To Expand E-Verify Use

    A bill that would require tens of thousands of North Carolina businesses to begin checking employees’ work authorization with E-Verify cleared the state’s House of Representatives on Thursday, as federal lawmakers consider similar legislation.

  • April 24, 2015

    Insurers Rip Tenn. 'Retaliation' Tax In High Court Petition

    Zurich American Insurance Co. and other insurers have told the U.S. Supreme Court that Tennessee is unfairly retaliating against New York insurance companies operating in the state by levying taxes to compensate for surcharges that New York charges out-of-state insurers to fund its workers’ compensation program.

  • April 24, 2015

    Lynch’s Skills Could Help Mend DOJ Rift With Lawmakers

    Incoming U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is unlikely to make radical changes to the Justice Department's focus on issues such as cyber- and financial crime, but her strong relationship-building skills could still help mend a rift between Congress and the DOJ, former colleagues say.

  • April 24, 2015

    Fla. Appeals Court Upholds Acquitted Mayor's Reinstatement

    A Florida appeals court on Friday affirmed a lower court's ruling that Michael Pizzi should be reinstated as Miami Lakes mayor following his acquittal on federal bribery and extortion charges and the subsequent lifting of his suspension by the governor.

  • April 24, 2015

    Replaced Employees Challenge H-4 Spousal Work Rule

    A group representing former Southern California Edison Co. computer workers launched a suit in Washington, D.C., federal court Thursday challenging a U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulation that authorizes certain H-1B dependent spouses who possess H-4 visas to work, saying the rule robs them of their domestic labor protections.

  • April 24, 2015

    VA Clarifies Veterans Choice Program Eligibility Rule

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will now determine eligibility for its Veterans Choice program based on the driving distance — rather than by a straight line — between a veteran's home and the nearest VA medical facility, the agency announced Friday.

  • April 24, 2015

    Fla. Sen. Seeks To Revive Seminoles Tribe's Cigarette Sales

    A Florida senator on Thursday introduced a resolution to the state Legislature, encouraging the governor to allow the Seminole Tribe of Florida Inc. to again sell tax-exempt cigarettes to nontribal members, which would revive the practice after a six-year ban.

  • April 24, 2015

    Fla. Appeals Court Reinstates Same-Sex Divorce Case

    A Florida appeals court on Friday overturned a lower court's dismissal of a petition to dissolve a same-sex couple's marriage recorded in Massachusetts, saying that the state and one of the partners in the couple failed to offer rational reasons for Florida law to block the request.

  • April 24, 2015

    Cyberinsurance Thaw Hinges On Data-Sharing Bills

    Cybersecurity information-sharing legislation headed for consideration in the Senate would be a boon for the insurance industry if passed into law, as increased data sharing should trim liabilities for policyholders and allow insurers to offer more comprehensive — and cheaper — cyber-specific coverage to companies that have been reluctant to pay the high cost.

  • April 24, 2015

    Fla. Budget Impasse Lingers As Senate Rejects House Offer

    The Florida Senate on Friday rejected the House of Representatives' budget proposal, stood firm on its proposal for Medicaid expansion and indicated that the legislative session will most likely need to be extended to resolve the impasse.

  • April 24, 2015

    Mont. Gov. Signs Off On Controversial Tribal Water Pact

    Montana Gov. Steve Bullock signed a controversial water rights agreement with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the federal government on Friday, capping off a hard-fought battle and more than a decade of negotiation over water resources.

  • April 24, 2015

    5th Circ. Wipes Out ACA Origination Clause Suit

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday smacked down a prominent GOP donor’s lawsuit claiming that the Affordable Care Act flouted the U.S. Constitution’s origination clause, finding that the complaint failed to describe harm and was filed prematurely.

  • April 24, 2015

    DC Circ. Sinks Animal Feedlot Reg Suit Against EPA

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday tossed a lawsuit accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of taking too long to list pollutants from animal feedlots as sources of pollution under the Clean Air Act, saying the plaintiffs couldn’t show how the EPA broke the law.

  • April 24, 2015

    Calif. County Defends Drug Cleanup Law To High Court

    A California county has fired back against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors who want the U.S. Supreme Court to strike a first-in-the-nation ordinance requiring drug companies to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, saying the companies are ignoring the true purpose of the law.

  • April 24, 2015

    China Poised To Scrap Rare Earth Export Duties

    The Chinese government announced late on Thursday that it would soon remove export duties on precious rare earth elements used in the production of hybrid cars and mobile phones, a move aimed at bringing Beijing into compliance with an adverse World Trade Organization decision.

  • April 24, 2015

    Fla. Lawmakers Pass Anti-Pregnancy Discrimination Bill

    The Florida Legislature on Friday passed a bill that would outlaw discrimination of pregnant women in public places and the workplace, including hotels and restaurants, as part of an amendment to the state’s civil rights law.

Expert Analysis

  • Arguments For And Against A Venture Exchange

    John R. Hempill

    The U.S. is no longer the world leader in initial public offerings, and one of the fixes suggested has been the creation of a “venture exchange.” But to effect this change, existing U.S. structures and institutions must become better suited for small-cap companies through the identification and elimination of bias toward large-cap companies, say John Hempill and Elizabeth Thompson of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

  • Bankruptcy Courts Remain Closed For Marijuana Businesses

    John M. Spires

    In re Medpoint Management LLC highlights the risks and difficulties faced not only by marijuana businesses, but by their creditors too. Despite Medpoint’s income not directly arising from marijuana and the Cromnibus Act limiting prosecution of marijuana-related offenses, the court still dismissed Medpoint’s case, says John Spires of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.

  • 3 Developments You Need To Know About Calif.'s Prop 65

    Judith Praitis

    All three branches of California's government rendered important determinations on Proposition 65 during the first quarter of 2015: a court of appeal affirmed a major defense victory on how lead exposures in food can be assessed, the executive branch promulgated major new warning regulations and the legislature is considering new curbs on frivolous lawsuits, say Judith Praitis and Amy Lally of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Caveat Contractor: GSA's Proposed Transactional Data Rule

    Brian Miller

    What could possibly induce contractors to volunteer to take on onerous and dangerous transactional reporting requirements? Getting rid of the dreaded Price Reductions Clause, of course. The U.S. General Services Administration is proposing a Faustian bargain for contractors in the proposed transactional data reporting pilot program, says Brian Miller, a managing director at Navigant Consulting Inc. and former inspector general for the GSA.

  • 5 Issues Financial Services Industry Employers Must Face

    John F. Fullerton III

    Employers in the financial services industry face a growing number of employment law challenges, among them being whistleblower complaints on the heels of more aggressive action from regulatory agencies, a more unpredictable arbitration process courtesy of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and labyrinth-like immigration hurdles, say attorneys at Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • NY Financial Compliance Landscape May Get Treacherous

    Michael H. Huneke

    The Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower program has garnered much attention, but a less-noticed New York financial fraud whistleblower proposal could likewise have a significant impact, because New York regulators and enforcement agencies have been very active in bringing some of the largest investigations and enforcement actions in the financial sector, say John Wood and Michael Huneke of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

  • Is Congress Ready To Act On Trade Legislation?

    Thomas Spulak

    There is probably no stopping the trade promotion authority bill in the House Ways and Means Committee this week, but the markup will set the stage for the floor debate. There, the bill will face a substantial number of Republicans who do not want to give the president the authority to negotiate trade agreements, despite the fact that he has been doing just that for the last six years, even without TPA, say attorneys with King & Spalding LLP.

  • OPINION: The New, New Thing — Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

    Senator Byron Dorgan

    There have been many breathtaking changes in automobiles in recent years. But the introduction of new hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is a major milestone. This is a car with twice the power to the wheel per unit of energy and it emits only water vapor out of the tailpipe. That sounds like disruptive change to me, says Sen. Byron Dorgan, senior policy adviser at Arent Fox LLP and former senior member of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee.

  • CFPB's Consumer Database Could Prove Counterproductive

    Gerald S. Sachs

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's minimal procedures for verifying the accuracy of information alleged in complaints on its consumer database and the limited opportunity afforded to providers to respond may compromise the CFPB's efforts in enabling consumers to make informed decisions and identify trends in the consumer financial market, say attorneys at Paul Hastings LLP.

  • What FCC’s Transparency Rule Means For Internet Privacy

    Stephen Ruckman

    The Federal Communications Commission's newly adopted Open Internet Order has not only retained but enhanced the transparency rule, suggesting that it will be a key FCC tool for protecting consumers in their use of the Internet, and recent FCC enforcement activity suggests one significant use of this tool will be to protect consumers’ privacy, say Stephen Ruckman and Anoush Garakani of ​BuckleySandler LLP.