Public Policy

  • 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 Airbags

    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. airbags, 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.

  • October 24, 2014

    OECD Nations’ Tax Heads Commit To Base Erosion Plan

    The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development delivered an agreement among over 130 tax commission delegates from 38 nations on its corporate base erosion and profit-shifting plan at the close of the Ninth Forum on Tax Administration in Dublin on Friday.

  • October 24, 2014

    Russia's 3 Top Banks File Suit Over EU Sanctions

    Three of Russia's largest banks announced Friday that they are taking the European Union to court challenging sanctions imposed on them over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the same day that German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the sanctions would remain in place because a cease-fire wasn’t being observed.

  • October 24, 2014

    DC Circ. Lifts Stay On EPA's Cross-State Air Rule

    The D.C. Circuit on Thursday formally reinstated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's cross-state air pollution rule that was resurrected by the U.S. Supreme Court in April, rejecting a bid by several states and industry groups to delay implementation until all pending litigation ends.

  • October 23, 2014

    Senator Questions Whisper's Location Data, Privacy Policies

    Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., on Thursday called on anonymous secret-sharing app Whisper to provide him with more information about its location tracking and data-sharing practices, after a report accused the company of surreptitiously collecting location information and colluding with media organizations.

  • October 23, 2014

    Canada Slams 'Protectionist' Buy America Procurement Bills

    Canada's top trade official on Thursday issued a stern rebuke to U.S. lawmakers for their continuing efforts to ramp up "buy America" requirements for U.S. federal, state and municipal-level governments, blasting the proposals as a damaging restriction on public procurement markets.

  • October 23, 2014

    Fla. High Court OKs Fast Track For Redistricting Appeal

    The Florida Supreme Court agreed Thursday to take up a challenge directly from a trial court to a newly tweaked congressional district map despite state lawmakers' protests that there was no need to bypass the intermediate appeals court.

  • October 23, 2014

    4 Endangered Species Listing Decisions To Watch

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is racing to meet a court-imposed deadline of 2018 to decide whether scores of animals should be listed as endangered or threatened. Here, Law360 spotlights four creatures whose candidacies have sparked controversy among environmentalists, landowners, businesses and the government.

  • October 23, 2014

    Leagues Push For 'Urgent' Injunction Of NJ Sports Betting

    The four major U.S. sports leagues and the NCAA on Thursday said they would be irreparably injured if the courts don’t grant an “urgent” injunction stopping New Jersey’s new sports betting law from going into effect on Sunday.

  • October 23, 2014

    Bridgegate Panel Co-Chair Unveils Port Authority Reform Bill

    A co-chair of the New Jersey legislative panel probing “Bridgegate” proposed wide-ranging Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reforms on Thursday that would trim gubernatorial appointment powers, impose transparency requirements and force the agency to take a harder look at its operations.

  • October 23, 2014

    NYC Taxi Drivers Gain Chance To Appeal ‘Taxi Of Tomorrow’

    The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division said Thursday that the Greater New York Taxi Association can challenge New York City's plan for an all-Nissan taxi fleet under a $1 billion contract with Nissan Motor Co. to the state’s highest court.

  • October 23, 2014

    FDA Should Nix Drug Risk Proposal, Advocacy Group Says

    Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen argued Wednesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should revoke a proposal that the group said would allow pharmaceutical companies to downplay the risks of medications that are indicated on their FDA-approved labels. 

  • October 23, 2014

    Outgoing EU Official Sees Future For Collective Actions

    The European Union's outgoing competition chief said Thursday he believed collective actions would eventually take hold in the bloc once practitioners adapted to more widespread private antitrust litigation.

  • October 23, 2014

    Texas Securities Board Paves Way For Equity Crowdfunding

    The Texas Securities Board on Wednesday gave the green light to new equity crowdfunding rules in the Lone Star state, releasing Texas startup companies seeking funding from the red tape associated with registering their securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • October 23, 2014

    GRAS Rules Could Lead To Another FDA Suit, Group Warns

    The Center for Food Safety may consider bringing another suit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration if the agency finalizes its controversial rule on additives that qualify as “generally recognized as safe” ingredients without making changes to it, the consumer advocacy group said Thursday.

  • October 23, 2014

    Bank Of England Shields Taxpayers In Failed-Bank Plan

    The Bank of England laid out a plan to handle future bank failures Thursday, saying it would act unilaterally over a “resolution weekend” to replace management and initiate stabilization transactions — a regime aimed at shielding taxpayers and the broader financial system from bearing the costs of the collapse. 

  • October 23, 2014

    EPA Wants 72 Inert Chemicals Out As Pesticide Ingredients

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed removing 72 inert chemicals from its list of approved pesticide ingredients, but green groups said there are still about 300 chemicals they want reviewed in addition.

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.