Public Policy

  • June 29, 2016

    BREAKING: GE Capital Wins Removal From SIFI List

    U.S. financial regulators on Wednesday said General Electric Co.’s finance arm was released from its designation as a systemically important financial institution, freeing it from enhanced oversight from the Federal Reserve and providing a roadmap for firms seeking to escape stricter regulation.

  • June 28, 2016

    IRS Should Do More To Get Compliance On Tax Credits: GAO

    The Internal Revenue Service needs to step up its game to ensure compliance with refundable tax credits, according to the Government Accountability Office, which found in its report released Monday that nearly $30 billion are being overclaimed each year.

  • June 28, 2016

    Immigrants Faced Tough High Court Term, With Silver Linings

    The U.S. Supreme Court saved its biggest immigration case for the end, issuing a blow to immigrants in the U.S. without legal authorization with a tie vote that upheld a block on the president's executive actions. But while United States v. Texas was the most important immigration case in the 2015 term, it wasn't the only one, and there were a few bright spots for immigrants and immigration advocates, according to experts.

  • June 28, 2016

    Pa. House Panel Authorizes Subpoenas In Kane Investigation

    A Pennsylvania House subcommittee on Tuesday advanced an effort to investigate whether state Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s actions in office merit impeachment, voting to authorize subpoenas to gather additional information and requesting lawmakers to pursue a court order to protect employees in her office from retaliation for cooperation.

  • June 28, 2016

    Trump Blames US Manufacturing Woes On NAFTA, China

    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump railed against globalization Tuesday in a speech at a metal factory near Pittsburgh, blaming trade deals with China and others for the loss of a third of U.S. manufacturing jobs since 1997 and pledging to reverse course on trade policy should he win office.

  • June 28, 2016

    DOI Says Enviros Can't Force Off-Shore Drilling Regs

    The U.S. Department of the Interior asked a Washington, D.C., federal judge on Monday to throw out a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity seeking tougher environmental regulations on off-shore drilling operations, saying the court has no authority to order such revisions to its environmental policies.

  • June 28, 2016

    IRS Says Tax Court Erred In Invalidating Cost-Sharing Rule

    The Internal Revenue Service on Monday took aim at a U.S. Tax Court decision invalidating its rule requiring cost-sharing agreements between related parties to include the costs of stock-based compensation, saying in an appeal to the Ninth Circuit that it is unnecessary to consider what unrelated parties do.

  • June 28, 2016

    Pa. Turnpike Agency Must Face Ex-Worker's Free Speech Suit

    A Pennsylvania federal court on Monday refused to toss a civil rights suit launched against the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission by a former employee alleging he was terminated after beginning a campaign for state Senate against an incumbent favored by department heads, saying the allegations suggest a constitutionally improper motive.

  • June 28, 2016

    SEC To Push Companies For Info About Boards' Diversity

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White said Monday that the SEC plans to use its power as a disclosure agency to require that companies provide better information about what they are doing to improve diversity on their boards.

  • June 28, 2016

    New Broadcast Standard Must Not Hurt Auction, FCC Told

    A wireless communications trade group on Monday told the Federal Communications Commission that while it applauds the broadcast industry’s efforts to evolve, a proposed new broadcast television standard must not interfere with spectrum licenses purchased at an ongoing auction.

  • June 28, 2016

    How To Become The Firm Every GC Wants To Hire

    Some law firms have perfected the art of pleasing general counsels, a skill that wins them the love of clients and allows them to score new cases and deals. Here, we look at a new report that delves into the intricacies of making clients happy.

  • June 28, 2016

    The 24 Firms GCs Love The Most

    Some law firms have honed their ability to serve clients so well that their relationships with general counsels have entered a sort of utopian existence where they earn glowing recommendations from clients and consistently win work. Here, find out which 24 firms have reached a state of “clientopia,” according to a new report by BTI Consulting Group.

  • June 28, 2016

    Feds Deny Deleting Christie's Texts In Bridge Scandal Case

    U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman has blasted accusations by a defendant in the so-called Bridgegate case that his office spoiled evidence, telling a federal judge Monday that the government never tampered with a purportedly deleted text message exchange between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and another official.

  • June 28, 2016

    Verizon, INCOMPAS Push Biz Data Services Plan At FCC

    Verizon and trade group INCOMPAS pushed their compromise approach to the Federal Communications Commission's proposed regulatory regime for business data services, endorsing on Monday rate-setting for noncompetitive services based on forecasts instead of actual market results.

  • June 28, 2016

    Senators Press Green Dot, Wal-Mart On Prepaid Card Outage

    A pair of Senate Democrats on Tuesday asked Green Dot Corp., Wal-Mart and MasterCard for information about a technical glitch that prevented Wal-Mart-branded prepaid card users from accessing their accounts for as many as three days last month.

  • June 28, 2016

    Clinton Backs Patent Reform, New Venue Rules

    Hillary Clinton expressed support for patent reform on Tuesday while unveiling a plan to curb excessive patent litigation and allow the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to keep all the fees it collects from patent applicants.

  • June 28, 2016

    ACLU Pushes For Second Chance At CIA Torture Report

    The American Civil Liberties Union pushed a D.C. Circuit panel to reconsider its decision to keep secret a Senate intelligence committee's landmark investigation into the CIA's torture program, arguing Monday that Congress did not explicitly bar the report from public release.

  • June 28, 2016

    SEC Floats Business Continuity Plan Rule For Advisers

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday proposed a new rule that would require investment advisers to adopt written business continuity and transition plans, saying advisers need to be able to address significant disruptions like a cyberattack or bankruptcy while minimizing investor harm.

  • June 28, 2016

    FCC’s Wheeler Moves To Keep Many Media Ownership Limits

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed on Monday to mainly continue existing media ownership restrictions and revive a limit on the ability of TV stations to enter into joint advertising agreements, saying the plan accounts for media marketplace shifts.

  • June 28, 2016

    Starbucks' Transfer Pricing Behind EU's $34M Tax Ruling

    The European Commission’s decision to hold Starbucks liable for about €30 million ($34 million) in Netherlands back taxes was based on an opaque transfer pricing agreement for intellectual property that gave the coffeehouse chain an unfair, selective advantage, according to a document released Monday.

Expert Analysis

  • Inside DOD's Reasonable Approach To Data Rights Rule

    W. Jay DeVecchio

    The U.S. Department of Defense’s long-awaited proposed rule — which makes significant changes to the ways contractors have conducted “data rights” business for almost 50 years — mostly turns the badly written 2012 National Defense Authorization Act's Section 815 into a workable framework. But two particularly troublesome potential pitfalls remain, say Jay DeVecchio and Locke Bell of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Tips For Drafting Best-Interest Contracts Under DOL Rule

    Clifford Kirsch

    Practitioners drafting agreements to satisfy the U.S. Department of Labor’s new best-interest contract exemption will need to ensure the contract also conforms to the financial institution’s related customer agreements and disclosures and employs terms designed to protect the firm, say Clifford Kirsch and Allison Wielobob of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • Forming Drug Test Policies Through A Haze Of Marijuana Laws

    Amanda Wingfield Goldman

    When it comes to protections for medical marijuana users, the tide appears to be changing as some states are revising their laws to include specific discrimination protections for employees. Amanda Wingfield Goldman at Coats Rose Ryman Yale & Lee PC provides practical steps for drafting drug testing policies in states where medical marijuana is legal, and states where recreational and medical marijuana is legal.

  • The State Of British Politics After Brexit

    Huw Beverley-Smith

    The result of the United Kingdom referendum on leaving the European Union shows both a general lack of trust in politicians and a failure in turn of those politicians to address deep-rooted social and economic problems, says Huw Beverley-Smith at Faegre Baker Daniels.

  • Dodd-Frank Reform, Not Repeal

    Daniel F. C. Crowley

    The Financial Choice Act, recently proposed by the Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, addresses specific provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that are widely viewed as controversial, many of which have bipartisan support for reform, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.

  • New Vt. Drug Pricing Law Will Have A Limited Impact

    Joanne L. Zimolzak

    If, as Vermont's new drug pricing law itself expresses, transparency is merely the first step to health care cost control, patients need and deserve to know: What is the next step? Vermont will eventually be faced with more daunting questions around what actions it will take to rein in these costs and what impact those changes will have on patients, say attorneys at Dentons.

  • Alice May Be Back From Wonderland

    Ronald G. Embry

    The Federal Circuit and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are moving in substantially the same direction at the same time, which may move U.S. patent practice back to a more moderate and discerning Alice implementation, says Ronald Embry of Patterson & Sheridan LLP.

  • New Pipeline Safety Law Needs A Push From Industry

    Michael K. Friedberg

    The Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 allows very little time to act before the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's next authorization period will ramp up. Furthermore, a change in administration will undoubtedly give rise to new initiatives, priorities and pushes for additional requirements, which may cause existing unfulfilled mandates to remain unresolved, say attorn... (continued)

  • The Latest State To Regulate 3rd-Party Funding By Statute

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    Indiana recently joined a handful of other states that authorize and regulate the consumer third-party litigation funding industry by statute. Scheduled to take effect on July 1, the statute also establishes a new distinction between the various types of legal funding. But, in doing so, it could potentially reduce the availability of capital, says Victoria Shannon Sahani, associate professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law.

  • What You Should Know About The Defend Trade Secrets Act

    Patrick J. Coyne

    Nothing passes Congress during an election year. Well, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 did. In some ways, the act is unexceptional. In other ways, however, it is exceptional. Perhaps the single most important provision is the availability of ex parte seizure orders, says Patrick Coyne of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP.