Public Policy

  • 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 Unprecedented 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ban, arguing a moratorium on the controversial oil and gas extraction process passed by referendum in 2013 is superseded by state law.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 state appeals court has thrown out a $200 billion proposed transportation plan developed by the San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG, finding the plan doesn’t adequately consider future impact on air quality as required by the California Air Quality Act.

  • November 26, 2014

    WTO Poised To Seal Trade Facilitation-Food Security Truce

    The World Trade Organization is preparing for a Thursday vote that will simultaneously pave the way for the implementation of a deal to streamline global customs rules and formally enshrine a so-called peace clause shielding developing countries' food stockholding programs from legal challenges.

  • November 26, 2014

    EPA Unveils Stricter Limits On Ozone Levels

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday unveiled stricter new outdoor air quality standards for ozone that could carry billions of dollars in compliance costs, proposing to drop acceptable levels from 75 parts per billion to between 65 and 70 parts per billion.

  • November 25, 2014

    Grocers Say FDA Menu Label Rules Overreach

    Grocery and convenience stores are bristling at being included in the final menu labeling rules issued Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, saying the regulations contradict Congress' intent and will cost these businesses more than $1 billion in the next year to comply with them.

  • November 25, 2014

    As Legal Threats Loom, Feds May Alter Systemic Risk Labeling

    A federal panel of financial regulators faces rising complaints from Congress and the industry over its method for designating nonbank firms as risky enough to require added supervision, pressure experts predict will likely push the panel to streamline the process.

  • November 25, 2014

    New Defense Chief Faces Tough To-Do List

    With speculation rising over who will succeed Chuck Hagel as the next defense secretary, experts say the ultimate nominee must know the Pentagon inside and out, as well as be a skillful political operator, to tackle the threats posed by both sequestration and the terrorist group the Islamic State.

  • November 25, 2014

    Agency Authority At Stake In High Court Mercury Rule Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s surprising decision Tuesday to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark rule limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants signals increased skepticism over the agency’s regulatory reach, and a reversal could limit the rule-making reach of the EPA and other federal regulators, experts say.

  • November 25, 2014

    Fed Seeks To Subject GE Capital To Large-Bank Regs

    The Federal Reserve Board proposed on Tuesday to subject General Electric Capital Corp. to stricter financial regulatory standards, akin to those applied to the largest banks.

  • November 25, 2014

    Calif. Controller Not Liable In Taxpayer Property Action

    A California judge on Tuesday threw out a proposed taxpayer class action accusing state controller John Chiang of misappropriating their unclaimed securities, insurance payouts, bank accounts and other funds, saying that Chiang is immune from liability as an individual government official.

  • November 25, 2014

    SEC's Minority Staff Gain Fewer, Smaller Bonuses: Report

    African-American employees of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission receive fewer and smaller cash awards than their white counterparts, and have filed a greater percentage of equal opportunity complaints, but the agency hasn’t been able to determine if these workers face internal barriers, the SEC’s inspector general wrote in a report made public Monday.

  • November 25, 2014

    Tax Reform Best Venue For Reaching Extenders Consensus

    As lawmakers and the Obama administration stake out positions on a possible tax extenders deal during the lame-duck session, observers told Law360 that tax reform discussions are the most likely context for Republicans and Democrats to achieve consensus on the package.

  • November 25, 2014

    GAO Urges Closer Eye On GPO Fee Payments To Hospitals

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should take steps to determine if hospitals are appropriately reporting administrative fee revenues from medical group-purchasing organizations to evaluate the GPOs’ impact on Medicare payments, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released Monday.

  • November 25, 2014

    Gov't Sued For Overdue ‘Hard Look’ At Coal Program

    The U.S. Department of the Interior has failed for decades to analyze the environmental impact of its controversial practice of leasing public land to private parties for coal mining, two environmental nonprofits alleged in D.C. federal court Monday.

  • November 25, 2014

    Leveraged Lending Group Wants Risk Retention Rule Tossed

    A Wall Street interest group on Monday asked a federal appeals court to overturn federal regulations mandating that investment firms retain an interest in debt securities they issue, saying the rules will have a damaging effect on the leveraged loan market.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • EU Tax Rulings For Companies Threatened By State Aid Law

    Salome Cisnal de Ugarte

    With European Commission probes and the recent "Lux Leaks" revelations, international companies that have benefited from tax rulings issued anywhere in the European Union face more than tax law risks — they also risk the enforcement of EU competition law and in particular, EU state aid control, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Pa. High Court Tort Ruling Is Relief To Local Gov't

    Casey A. Coyle

    Zauflik v. Pennsbury School District represents a significant victory for local governments — had the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reached a contrary result it could have served as a catalyst for renewed challenges to the constitutionality of governmental immunity statutes nationwide, says Casey Coyle of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.

  • What If States Opt Out Of EPA's Existing Source Rule?

    Scott C. Oostdyk

    The initial legal question surrounding the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan is whether long-standing principles of federalism allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to compel states to enforce a federal program like it — legal precedent establishes that the EPA cannot, say Scott Oostdyk and Duncan Getchell Jr. of McGuireWoods LLP.