Public Policy

  • October 9, 2015

    GOP Reps. Moves To Break Ex-Im Bank Deadlock

    The fight to reopen the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. took a dramatic turn on Friday as Republican House members maneuvered to force a vote on legislation to reinstate the embattled agency, despite fervent pushback from the conservative wing of the party.

  • October 9, 2015

    Fish and Wildlife Appeals Eagle 'Take' Permits To 9th Circ.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday filed an intent to appeal to the Ninth Circuit an August decision striking down its rule lengthening the duration of permits to “take” bald and golden eagles from 5 years to 30 years.

  • October 9, 2015

    BREAKING: EPA Water Rule Blocked Nationwide By 6th Circ.

    The Sixth Circuit on Friday stayed a controversial federal rule clarifying the scope of the Clean Water Act while it sorts out whether the courts of appeal or district courts have jurisdiction to handle challenges filed by various states and private parties.

  • October 8, 2015

    Sen. Menendez Can't Dodge Corruption Charges, Judge Says

    A New Jersey federal judge on Thursday refused to dismiss most of the criminal charges in the corruption case against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and a Florida eye doctor, holding that the defendants failed to shoot down the government's allegations of corruption and bribery.

  • October 8, 2015

    White's Cravath Ties DQ Her From Picking Official, Groups Say

    Advocacy groups asked SEC head Mary Jo White on Thursday to recuse herself from helping to appoint the chair of an important accounting watchdog, saying the decision carries potential financial implications for her husband, a Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP attorney.

  • October 8, 2015

    Pa. Gas Tax Specter Still Looms Despite House Vote

    Despite a vote by Pennsylvania lawmakers on Wednesday rejecting Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to enact a severance tax on natural gas drillers, experts say the ongoing push by Democrats for a new levy on production would continue to cast a potentially growth-hampering pall on the industry.

  • October 8, 2015

    Calif. Gov. Signs 'Landmark' Digital Privacy Bill Into Law

    California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed the "landmark" California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, updating the state's digital privacy laws by protecting Californians against warrantless surveillance of their digital information.

  • October 8, 2015

    Calif. Gov. Approves Microbead Ban Starting In 2020

    California Gov. Jerry Brown approved a ban starting in 2020 on the sale of microbeads — the small plastic particles in facial scrubs, soaps and toothpaste — aimed at curtailing pollution in the Pacific Ocean and the Los Angeles River, according to an announcement from his office Thursday.

  • October 8, 2015

    Obama Signs ACA Tweak To Aid 'Small Employers' With Costs

    President Barack Obama on Wednesday night signed a bipartisan bill aimed at protecting small and midsize businesses from potential health care premium increases under the Affordable Care Act, according to the bill’s original sponsor in the U.S. Senate.

  • October 8, 2015

    Obama Nominates US Attys For NY, DC, Others

    President Barack Obama announced on Thursday U.S. attorney nominations for six districts including the Eastern District of New York and the District of Columbia, tapping four veteran federal prosecutors and two private practice attorneys, including a shareholder with New England-based Bernstein Shur Sawyer & Nelson PA.

  • October 8, 2015

    Miami, Key Biscayne Deal Over Marine Stadium Site Hits Snag

    Key Biscayne, Florida, put a halt to a proposed settlement to its grievances over the city of Miami's plans to renovate and rent out the historically designated Miami Marine Stadium for the area's annual boat show, just ahead of a possible vote by the city's commissioners.

  • October 8, 2015

    DHS Drafting New Work Rule For Prospective Residents

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has indicated it will try to modernize the immigrant visa system to allow for certain immigrants with approved permanent residency petitions to obtain work authorizations and cut down delays on their ability to switch jobs.

  • October 8, 2015

    Gibson Dunn Slams 'Rhetoric' In Bridge Case Subpoena Fight

    The battle over a subpoena seeking unreleased material from Gibson Dunn's investigation into the closure of George Washington Bridge access lanes continued raging on Wednesday, with the firm accusing former New Jersey and Port Authority officials who are facing criminal charges over the scandal of resorting to “outrageous rhetoric.”

  • October 8, 2015

    FINRA Allowed To Share Over-The-Counter Securities Data

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Thursday the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved a proposal intended to increase over-the-counter securities transparency, enabling FINRA to make OTC market data public as it does trading data for dark pools and other alternative trading systems.

  • October 8, 2015

    DOI Rule Kills Alaska's Tribal Trust Land Appeal, DC Circ. Told

    The federal government urged the D.C. Circuit on Thursday to toss the state of Alaska’s bid to overturn a decision that would allow the U.S. Department of the Interior to take land into trust for Alaska Native tribes, arguing that the DOI’s revision of the rule the state is challenging rendered the appeal moot.

  • October 8, 2015

    Bill Ties Broadband Conduits To Federal Highway Projects

    A bipartisan group of senators announced legislation Thursday that would tie broadband infrastructure deployment to federal highway projects by promoting what they call a “dig once” policy.

  • October 8, 2015

    Pa. House Passes Bill To Create State Business Court

    Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill Wednesday that would create a special division devoted to business disputes and other corporate matters within the state’s trial courts and intermediate appellate court.

  • October 8, 2015

    CFPB Eyes Kickback Risk In Marketing Services Agreements

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took a tough line Thursday on so-called marketing services agreements among firms that provide closing services on real estate transactions, saying such deals pose the risk of lenders engaging in illegal kickbacks.

  • October 8, 2015

    NJ Sues To Take Shoreline Property For Storm Projects

    New Jersey filed an eminent domain action against a shore town Thursday to secure an easement the Army Corps of Engineers needs to construct engineered beach and dune projects needed to guard property against storm surges and flooding on Absecon Island.

  • October 8, 2015

    Sens. Seek Permanent West Coast Offshore Drilling Ban

    The six senators representing the West Coast states on Wednesday reintroduced a bill to place a permanent ban on offshore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf of their states.

Expert Analysis

  • Springtime For 'Implementation Day' On Iran Sanctions

    Baruch Weiss

    The U.S. will not begin to lift additional sanctions on Iran until "Implementation Day," which is when the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies that Iran has implemented key nuclear-related measures described in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Implementation Day is not expected to occur until Spring 2016, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • NJ Appeals Court Makes Room For 1 More In Spill Act

    John J. DiChello Jr.

    A New Jersey appellate court's recent decision in NL Industries Inc. v. State of New Jersey is an outright victory for responsible parties saddled with the costs to clean up contaminated sites under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act in which the state bears some level of responsibility, says John DiChello Jr. of Blank Rome LLP.

  • The State Of DOL's Whistleblower Protection Program

    Matthew S. Stiff

    While substantial room for progress remains, the U.S. Department of Labor's shortcomings in enforcing federal whistleblower protections are largely due to insufficient resources, not a lack of commitment to whistleblowers, says Matthew Stiff of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • Don’t Burst My Bubble! IRS Provides Clarity For F Reorgs

    Bryan Smith

    Given F reorganizations' many potential uses, the guidance in recently issued IRS regulations, in particular the confirmation that such reorganizations may in fact occur “in a bubble” without impacting the treatment of related transactions, is welcome, say attorneys with Perkins Coie LLP.

  • Spotlight On The Historic Immigration Visa Bulletin

    Delisa J.F. Bressler

    There is no precedent to suggest the outcome in Chintan Mehta v. U.S. Department of State over the historic October visa bulletin, which moved back green card application cutoff dates for certain Chinese and Indian immigrants. Publication of the revised bulletin prior to its effective date and the high standard for obtaining an injunction mandating government action may be enough for the government to carry the day, says Delisa J.F... (continued)

  • Vt. GMO Labeling Act Is Unnatural And Unconstitutional

    Michael A. Walsh

    Vermont did not join the union until 1791, the year the First Amendment was ratified. That tardiness may explain its inability to interpret the First Amendment correctly. Thankfully, in Grocery Manufacturers Association v. Sorrell, a Vermont district court found that a Vermont statute barring manufacturers from using the word "natural" to label products was unconstitutional, says Michael Walsh at Strasburger & Price LLP.

  • The Retrospective Approach To Companion Diagnostics

    Derrick Rowe

    When concurrent development of therapeutics and companion diagnostics isn't possible, the U.S Food and Drug Administration may accept the retrospective analysis of banked patient samples to validate a companion diagnostic. As technology evolves, retrospective development will only grow, so diagnostic developers and therapeutic product sponsors should be ready to take advantage of retrospective studies, say attorneys at Wilson Sonsi... (continued)

  • EPA Hazardous Waste Generator Rule Is A Mixed Bag

    Thomas E. Hogan

    While aspects of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule may provide greater flexibility for some generators to manage their hazardous waste more efficiently, the rule would clearly increase the regulatory burden in other respects, particularly in the area of documentation and notification, says Thomas Hogan of Baker & Hostetler LLP.

  • Potential Problems With The California Fair Pay Act

    Allan G. King

    Although the California Fair Pay Act was passed to remedy a perceived gender gap in pay, the statute’s potential effects on the labor market likely will be more sweeping and unrelated to gender issues. The CFPA may require employers to equalize pay between employees performing vastly different jobs and those performing the same job in vastly different labor markets, says Allan King of Littler Mendelson PC.

  • A New Critique Of Ch. 11 Reform Carries Serious Weight

    David Griffiths

    The Loan Syndications and Trading Association's response this week to the American Bankruptcy Institute's Chapter 11 reform recommendations is thoughtful, well-researched and forceful, and its most compelling arguments turn on the importance of certainty and uniformity in bankruptcy courts, say David Griffiths and Doron Kenter of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.