Public Policy

  • May 27, 2016

    US Tribes Down But Not Out Of Canadian Pipeline Fight

    Opponents of Kinder Morgan’s proposed $5.4 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion were dealt a setback when Canadian energy regulators recently endorsed the project, but U.S. tribes are hoping their unusual push north of the border can convince Canadian officials to cancel the plan.

  • May 27, 2016

    Seneca Says Fed. Law Preempts Pa. Town's Waste Well Rule

    Seneca Resources Corp. urged a federal judge Friday not to chuck its suit seeking to strike down a Pennsylvania township’s ordinance blocking its fracking disposal wells, saying federal law preempts the locality's rule.

  • May 27, 2016

    Senate Urges Equal Pay For US Women's Soccer Team

    The Senate handed the three-time World Cup-winning U.S. women’s national soccer team a symbolic victory Thursday, passing a resolution that pressures the team’s governing body to close the wage gap and pay the women equally to their male counterparts.

  • May 27, 2016

    Justices Divided: 3 Cases That May Tie Up The High Court

    With rulings still pending on contentious issues from abortion to immigration, the last few weeks of the Supreme Court’s term promise to pack a punch, as the divided bench works to resolve its toughest cases with only eight justices. Here are three cases to watch as the Supreme Court closes the book on this term.

  • May 27, 2016

    Top House Republican Prods Fed On Stress Test Audit

    A top Republican lawmaker on Thursday pressed the Federal Reserve to cooperate with an audit of the central bank’s stress test process.

  • May 27, 2016

    Sens. Say DOI Must Weigh Coal Leasing's Climate Risks

    A group of 14 Senate Democrats on Friday urged the Department of the Interior to consider the environmental impacts of coal as it revises the federal coal leasing program, saying the effects of climate change in relation to the program have been largely ignored in the past.

  • May 27, 2016

    Pa. DEP Boss's Exit Could Pave Way For Gas Rule Changes

    A path toward amending controversial new rules on gas drilling may be clearing after Pennsylvania’s top environmental official, who’s faced criticism for his unwillingness to compromise on the regulations, suddenly resigned this month following the release of a profanity-laced email he sent urging advocacy groups to back his agenda.

  • May 27, 2016

    Google Shareholder Seeks Political Transparency

    Clean Yield Asset Management sent a letter to Alphabet Inc. shareholders Thursday urging them to vote in favor of a proxy measure that would require Google’s parent company to disclose details about its political donations, saying some of its efforts have already caused harm to its reputation.

  • May 27, 2016

    Ohio Co-Op Joins Ranks Of Failed ACA Nonprofits

    An Ohio state judge has ordered the liquidation of nonprofit insurer InHealth Mutual, and named the state insurance department as receiver, making it the most recent failure under the troubled Affordable Care Act co-op program.

  • May 27, 2016

    Uber Wants $11M Pa. Fine Chopped

    Uber Technologies Inc. on Wednesday asked Pennsylvania regulators to reduce a more than $11.3 million fine assessed against the ride-hailing company for operating in the state without authorization, saying that the penalty exceeded a previous state high by more than five times.

  • May 27, 2016

    5 Ways Employers Should Prep For The New OT Expansion

    As the dust settles on the U.S. Department of Labor's overtime exemption rule finalized last week, employers are beginning the daunting task of figuring out how to comply with the rule. Here, attorneys offer practical advice on how to best adjust to the sweeping changes before the rules take effect.

  • May 27, 2016

    Accredited Investor Debate Puts SEC On Hot Seat

    As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission considers revising the definition of an accredited investor — the decades-old, nearly untouched financial criteria that determines eligibility to participate in private placements — deals lawyers say regulators must resist anything that disturbs the increasingly robust private offerings market and aim for broader flexibility instead.

  • May 27, 2016

    Rail Agency Must Improve Grant Oversight, GAO Finds

    Federal officials overseeing passenger rail project grants can do a better job documenting specific goals against which they measure a project's progress, according to a Thursday report from the Government Accountability Office.

  • May 27, 2016

    Atlantic City Bailout Bills Win NJ Gov.'s Approval

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday signed legislation that would help Atlantic City recover from a crippling financial spate of poor gambling revenue and successful tax appeals, ending fears that a legislative stalemate would drive the city into insolvency.

  • May 27, 2016

    Altria Sues FDA Over 'Black & Mild' Cigar Ban

    Altria Group is suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over an expansion of anti-tobacco powers, arguing in D.C. federal court that the agency’s approach would improperly ban its popular Black & Mild brand of cigars.

  • May 27, 2016

    Ill. Supreme Court To Review Hospital Tax Ruling

    The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that it will review a state appellate court’s landmark ruling overturning a law that exempts hospitals from paying property taxes in exchange for doing a certain amount of charitable work.

  • May 27, 2016

    Feds Give Thumbs-Up To Pacific Offshore Fracking

    U.S. offshore regulators on Friday revived permitting hydraulic fracturing and other drilling activities in the Pacific Ocean after concluding those activities won't significantly impact the environment, a move blasted by environmentalists who vowed to take the government to court.

  • May 27, 2016

    Fed To Unveil Insurance Co. Capital Rules In Early June

    The Federal Reserve on Friday said that it will release the outline of its long-awaited capital rules for insurance companies, including those designated systemically important financial institutions, at a meeting set for June 3.

  • May 27, 2016

    New US Banking Data Policy In Trade Deals Still Has Critics

    A change in the Obama administration’s strategy for crafting data localization rules for financial services firms in trade deals was met with a mixed reaction Thursday, with some stakeholders applauding the policy while others said more action was needed.

  • May 27, 2016

    'Tiny Homes' Meet Code, Homeless Shelter Or No, Judge Says

    A Florida Administrative Law Judge on Wednesday recommended the approval of a Tallahassee residential development consisting of two dozen “tiny homes” despite objections from neighbors that they’ll be used as a homeless shelter, because the project meets all applicable codes.

Expert Analysis

  • How Criminal Rule 4 Is Changing

    Daniel Prince

    After consideration by the U.S. Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a public comment period, litigation in district and appellate courts, and review by the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Justice may not have to wait much longer to serve federal criminal summons on foreign corporations, say attorneys with Paul Hastings LLP.

  • Start-Of-Construction Update Should Benefit Clean Energy

    Jeffrey G. Davis

    The latest “start of construction” guidance makes it easier for renewable energy developers to satisfy the IRS’ requirements for the production tax credit, and will likely result in more projects being constructed with the associated increase in environmental and economic benefits, say attorneys with Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Gov't Contractors Railroaded Again By The False Claims Act

    Tirzah S. Lollar

    While the U.S. Supreme Court’s implied certification case Universal Health Services v. U.S. gets all the press, the quiet doubling of False Claims Act penalties by one small federal agency — the Railroad Retirement Board — could foreshadow a dramatic increase in FCA penalties by the U.S. Department of Justice and possibly other agencies later this year, say Tirzah Lollar and Ralph Mayrell of Vinson & Elkins LLP.

  • NY AG Simplifies Registration For Out-Of-State Condos

    Douglas P. Heller

    The New York attorney general's recent policy statement on the Martin Act will permit developers of projects located in other jurisdictions to more easily offer those projects in New York and allows prospective buyers in New York to make better-informed decisions on whether or not to purchase them, says Douglas Heller at Herrick Feinstein LLP.

  • The Fed's Proposed Capital Rules Could Be Overly Complex

    Lawrence Hamilton

    Assuming the building-block and consolidated approaches to insurer capital regulation are ultimately implemented in a manner consistent with the U.S. Federal Reserve's proposal for new capital standards, multinational insurance groups subject to the board’s jurisdiction will soon face additional challenges in navigating an even larger patchwork of standards and regulations, say attorneys at Mayer Brown LLP.

  • To Un-Jam Transportation Infrastructure Tenn. Tries P3s

    Zachary D. Jones

    Following the lead of at least 33 other states, Tennessee's new mass transit focused public-private partnership law should offer a solution to Nashville's growing traffic problem without dipping too deep into public coffers, say Zachary Jones and Cassidy Rosenthal at Stites & Harbison PLLC.

  • What To Know About The DOL's New Overtime Regulations

    Libby Henninger

    After the 2015 release of its proposed changes to the overtime exemption regulations, many believed the U.S. Department of Labor would take the opportunity to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act’s qualitative duties standards to more closely resemble California’s model. However, for many employers the new rule appears as a compromise against what many in the industry feared would be a much broader reworking of the regulations, say a... (continued)

  • Inside FinCEN’s Beneficial Ownership Final Rule

    Jacqueline M. Allen

    Institutions covered by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s recently published final rule extending customer due diligence requirements may need to amend their Bank Secrecy Act programs to include a new fifth pillar to the traditional “four pillars” of an effective anti-money laundering program. It is also important to keep in mind that federal functional regulators may set their own, additional supervisory expectations, say... (continued)

  • Oil And Gas Opportunities And Political Obstacles Ahead

    Jack R. Luellen

    The dramatic growth in domestic oil and natural gas production has reignited calls for the U.S. to achieve “energy independence." But at the same time, the resurgence of industry activity has been met with increased governmental oversight and tensions. Tremendous opportunities have been created, but the road to each is lined with significant challenges for industry, regulators and communities, says Jack Luellen at Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • Defend Trade Secrets Act: How To Inform Employees

    Jeff Barnes

    The Defend Trade Secrets Act offers many benefits to businesses, including federal question jurisdiction for trade secrets and the ability to recover compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. However, to obtain the full array of remedies available under the statute, employers must comply with a specific notice requirement, says Jeff Barnes, a partner at Fisher & Phillips LLP.