Public Policy

  • September 16, 2014

    CFTC's Massad Faces Test Of Dodd-Frank Fine-Tuning Pledge

    After saying regulatory reforms need tweaking to ensure farmers and manufacturers can keep using the swaps markets, the new head of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission will be on the spot Wednesday to live up to the pledge when his agency reproposes rules around margin requirements for uncleared swaps and finalizes an exemption related to another class of so-called end users.

  • September 16, 2014

    FDA Clears Up 'Refuse To Receive' Rules For Generics

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday delivered on a promise to better explain its policies for refusing to accept generic-drug applications for review, revising and clarifying a number of proposals issued last year.

  • September 16, 2014

    NHTSA Puts Blame On GM For Hiding Ignition Switch Defect

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's deputy administrator, David Friedman, on Tuesday defended agency probes of air bag failures that were eventually linked to an ignition switch defect, telling a Senate panel that General Motors Co. tried to "hide the ball" from investigators.

  • September 16, 2014

    Sen. Drafts Bill To Boost Oversight Of Foreign Ag Buyout

    Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is drafting legislation toughening the government's oversight of foreign companies' acquisitions of U.S. food companies, amid concerns over the $7.1 billion acquisition of Smithfield Foods Inc. by China's largest pork producer, a Monday statement said.

  • September 16, 2014

    White House Outlines Measures To Reduce HFC Emissions

    The White House on Tuesday announced a slew of measures intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including cutting pollution from government buildings, updating contractor regulations to promote the use of environmentally friendly alternatives, and working with businesses.

  • September 16, 2014

    Yahoo Slams Move To Open Deceased Users' Data Records

    Yahoo Inc. on Monday slammed an inheritance law drafted by the Uniform Law Commission and recently enacted in Delaware that will give heirs sweeping access to a deceased person's digital assets, saying it should be up to Internet users to determine the fate of their electronic records.

  • September 16, 2014

    FTC's Ohlhausen Troubled By China's Antitrust Law

    The Federal Trade Commission's Maureen Ohlhausen said Tuesday she was worried for the future of antitrust law in China, amid the country's apparent break with international standards by factoring noncompetition concerns into merger reviews and using antitrust to undermine the value of intellectual property.

  • September 16, 2014

    EPA Escapes Suit Over Delayed Pesticide Labeling Rules

    A California federal judge on Monday released the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from a lawsuit brought by environmental advocacy groups alleging it illegally delayed the rulemaking process to determine which ingredients must be included on the labels for pesticides, finding the groups’ claims were moot.

  • September 16, 2014

    Scotland Independence Vote Clouds UK Energy Project Future

    From squabbles over North Sea oil and gas to financial viability questions over offshore wind, a Thursday vote for an independent Scotland could throw the U.K. energy project environment into chaos and many developers may choose to sit the region out until the political and regulatory air clears, experts say.

  • September 16, 2014

    Sens. Float Bill To Fast-Track Cross-Border Pipelines

    Four United States senators introduced a bill Tuesday aimed at fast-tracking cross-border energy pipelines and transmission lines by bypassing the president's office and instead requiring government agencies to evaluate permit applications in an effort to prevent the kinds of delays surrounding the controversial Keystone XL project.

  • September 16, 2014

    NJ Aims To Fund E-Courts With Newly Unveiled Fee Increases

    The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday unveiled proposed fee increases across the state's courts that would help fund the development of a digital “e-court” system, among other purposes.

  • September 16, 2014

    House Passes Broad Dodd-Frank Revision Bill

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a consolidated bill tweaking the Dodd-Frank Act to exempt insurers from the capital requirements that apply to banks and exempt existing collateralized loan obligations from the statute’s Volcker Rule, while also adjusting the regulatory definition of a “qualified mortgage.”

  • September 16, 2014

    Medicare Accountable Care Groups Saved $372M, CMS Says

    Medicare providers participating in accountable care organizations created under the Affordable Care Act have generated more than $372 million in savings while improving health care for their patients, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Tuesday.

  • September 16, 2014

    NJ Bills Would Bar State Contracts Over Inversion Deals

    Joining a slew of federal proposals to crack down on corporate inversions, two New Jersey bills formally introduced on Monday would ban the award of state contracts to American companies that reincorporate abroad to avoid U.S. tax obligations.

  • September 16, 2014

    EPA Says Malfunctions Can't Protect Plants From Penalties

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that it is tightening up a proposed rule controlling power plant emissions by prohibiting states from allowing extra pollution when a facility malfunctions.

  • September 16, 2014

    AMA Calls For Overhaul Of Electronic Records Systems

    The American Medical Association on Tuesday urged vendors and the federal government to revamp the electronic health record industry and create more usable products for physicians, saying the current regulations are too rigid and prevent physicians from realizing the benefits of the technology.

  • September 16, 2014

    Small Banks Slam 'One Size Fits All' Dodd-Frank Regs

    Community bank and credit union representatives urged Senate lawmakers Tuesday to help ease their regulatory burdens, saying they've been unfairly caught up in "one size fits all" Dodd-Frank Act rules designed to curb the risky practices of larger institutions.

  • September 16, 2014

    Fla. Medical Marijuana Plan Faces Challenge From Nursery

    One of Florida's leading plant growers on Monday formally challenged the state Department of Health's proposed rules for selecting official medical marijuana dispensers, saying several provisions, including a lottery to choose among qualified applicants, do not comply with the law passed earlier this year.

  • September 16, 2014

    NJ Lawmakers Target Spousal Privilege In Criminal Trials

    New Jersey lawmakers introduced two bills Monday to prevent the use of marital privilege to block the admission of wiretapped communications in cases of crime or fraud in a legislative effort to close a legal loophole at the state Supreme Court's suggestion.

  • September 16, 2014

    DOE Proposes New Efficiency Standards For Hotels, Offices

    The Department of Energy on Tuesday proposed a new rule to require increased efficiency on air conditioners and heat pumps that are commonly used in hotels, offices and other developments.

Expert Analysis

  • The CFPB's 'UDAAPification' Of Consumer Protection Law

    Jonice G. Tucker

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has significant latitude to pursue infractions it asserts are unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices, a pursuit it is now using to push its jurisdictional limits over perceived legal violations it might not otherwise have authority over, say Jonice Tucker and Aaron Mahler of BuckleySandler LLP.

  • Criminal Antitrust Policy: Bigger Sticks, Smaller Carrots

    Mark Rosman

    Recent policy statements on the U.S. Department of Justice’s criminal antitrust enforcement program provide additional clarity, and significant reaffirmation, on the DOJ’s policies and practices in prosecuting breaches of the antitrust laws. But some comments may leave companies seeking more clarification, say Mark Rosman and Jeff VanHooreweghe of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

  • Food Fight Between Russia And The West May Intensify

    Matthew R. Levy

    Western companies should expect the current economic sanctions between Russia and the West to remain, if not intensify — today’s food ban could become tomorrow’s automobile ban, and the prohibitions on trade could come from either the West or Russia at this point, say attorneys at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • A Look At The New US And EU Sanctions On Russia

    Triplett Mackintosh

    While the latest U.S. and EU sanctions do not cut off entire sectors of the Russian economy, they come close, say attorneys with Holland & Hart LLP.

  • Next Possible CFPB Targets: Foreclosures And Law Firms

    Richard B. Benenson

    Currently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stands at the threshold of a circuit split regarding the scope of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, with foreclosure entities — for now — enjoying an exemption from FDCPA enforcement, say Richard Benenson and Emily Renwick of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • ACA Tax Subsidy Dispute May End Up Before High Court

    J. Peter Rich

    Given the political composition of the D.C. Circuit as it prepares to hear Halbig v. Burwell en banc, it is expected that the full court will rule in favor of the government, which may ultimately result in appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, say J. Peter Rich and Lauren D'Agostino of McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

  • Problems With Volume Of Commerce In Antitrust Sentencing

    Robert Connolly

    As the Sentencing Commission reviews the antitrust guidelines, we urge that consideration be given to reforming the way volume of commerce escalates an individual’s recommended prison guidelines range, say Robert Connolly and Joan Marshall, partners with GeyerGorey LLP and former Antitrust Division prosecutors.

  • Answering Your Questions On NJ's 'Ban-The-Box' Law

    Jill R. Cohen

    New Jersey employers should understand that the Opportunity to Compete Act that Gov. Chris Christie recently signed into law is more lenient than prior iterations — which would have prohibited employers from asking about criminal records until after a conditional offer of employment was made to an applicant, says Jill Cohen of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.

  • Indian Health Service Recovery Efforts Are Overreach

    Darryl T. Landahl

    Although regulators may argue otherwise, there is no known legal support for the position that 25 U.S.C. § 1621e(a) preempts all plan limitations from Native American health providers' recovery claims or that the statute was intended to provide unabated coverage for services from such a provider, say Darryl Landahl and Shelley Nordling of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

  • FCC Health Fund Points To Next-Generation Network Growth

    Randall B. Lowe

    Next-generation networks are on the rise and the Federal Communications Commission's Healthcare Connect Fund offers health care providers the ability to reverse the trend of decreasing revenues and increasing costs while delivering new and improved services, says Randy Lowe of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.