Public Policy

  • September 29, 2016

    Skeptics Say EEOC Pay Data Rule Too Broad To Achieve Goal

    The goal behind a new Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requirement that certain businesses disclose more information about worker compensation is laudable, attorneys say, but the job categories and pay bands used in the reports may be too broad to help the EEOC fight for equal pay.

  • September 29, 2016

    Cos. May Lose Gov't Contracts Over Personal Tax Debts

    Pass-through businesses like S-corps and partnerships that are bidding for federal contracts will need to be extra cautious about ensuring individual executives and shareholders pay outstanding tax liabilities now that the federal government has finalized rules barring tax cheats and convicted felons from such awards.

  • September 29, 2016

    Gender-Neutral Bathroom Bill Signed By Calif. Governor

    California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed legislation requiring all single-occupancy restrooms in the state to be identified as “all gender” and be universally accessible, just days after the governor greenlit a bill limiting state employee travel to North Carolina due to its controversial transgender bathroom law.

  • September 29, 2016

    Supreme Court Case May Reduce Deportation Uncertainty

    With the U.S. Supreme Court now set to decide whether part of the “crime of violence” definition is unconstitutionally vague, the justices may reduce uncertainty over whether some crimes can lead to deportation and even open the door to challenges to other nebulous immigration provisions, experts say.

  • September 29, 2016

    Calif. Governor Signs Off On New State-Run Retirement Plan

    California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Thursday a plan to provide nearly 7 million residents access to a new retirement savings account that will be run by the state.

  • September 29, 2016

    Judge Won't Stay Ill. Same-Day Voter Registration Ban

    An Illinois federal judge on Thursday denied the state attorney general's request for a stay of his own decision halting Election Day voter registration at some polling places in Illinois.

  • September 29, 2016

    API Says Biodiesel Groups Can't Weigh In On EPA Fuel Row

    The American Petroleum Institute said Wednesday a swath of biodiesel industry groups shouldn't be able to chime in on a set of consolidated appeals in the D.C. Circuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program.

  • September 29, 2016

    Final Sick Leave Rule Offers Little Relief For Contractors

    Despite some minor tweaks, the U.S. Department of Labor's final rule requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to employees still imposes a significant burden on those companies, attorneys said, especially in combination with a slate of other recently introduced labor rules.

  • September 29, 2016

    Activist Groups, Others Back FCC Inmate Call Rate At DC Circ.

    Prison reform groups and others threw their weight behind the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday, telling the D.C. Circuit that the agency did not overstep its authority when setting mandated limits on rates for inmate calls, including related fees.

  • September 29, 2016

    4 Key Arguments As ACA Birth Control Battle Rages On

    The Obama administration has received nearly 55,000 comments as it seeks compromise in bitterly fought litigation surrounding the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, but newly released letters from major players suggest that a meeting of the minds is still elusive. Here’s a look at four key arguments.

  • September 29, 2016

    Defense Says GWB Scandal Chief Sent Conflicting Messages

    A defense attorney in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial took aim Thursday at how the two defendants were not included together on emails, text messages or phone calls with the architect behind the scandal, as part of an effort to undercut claims that the three of them conspired in an act of political revenge.

  • September 29, 2016

    10 States Push Judge To Block DOL Persuader Rule

    Ten states urged a Texas federal judge Wednesday to permanently block the U.S. Department of Labor from enforcing a new rule expanding employers’ disclosure requirements related to union-organizing campaigns and declare it unlawful.

  • September 29, 2016

    Sens. Say TPP Fundamentally Flawed, Needs Reworking

    A group of Democratic and independent senators told the Obama administration on Thursday that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal must be renegotiated, saying it has "fundamental flaws" that, among other things, will adversely affect the U.S. auto sector and allow foreign corporations to bring claims against the U.S.

  • September 29, 2016

    States Sue To Block Ending Of Feds' Domain Name Contract

    Fearing the consequences of privatizing control over the internet’s domain name system, state attorneys general from Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Nevada filed suit on Wednesday to block the federal government from transferring its DNS stewardship over to a global community of stakeholders at the end of the week.

  • September 29, 2016

    FCC Delays Set-Top Box Vote As Dems Vow To Press On

    The Federal Communications Commission yanked a proposed vote on a measure to promote competition in the set-top box marketplace just before the start of its Thursday meeting, with Democratic commissioners pledging to move forward after they iron out the remaining details.

  • September 29, 2016

    Bill Would Halt Naturalizations In Wake Of Citizenship Gaffe

    U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, introduced a bill Wednesday to freeze naturalizations until the U.S. Department of Homeland Security fully updates its digital fingerprint database in the wake of a report that over 850 immigrants were granted citizenship after they had been ordered to leave the country.

  • September 29, 2016

    ISPs Must Not Make Consumers Pay For Privacy, FCC Told

    Online privacy advocates told the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday that it should bar broadband providers from using discounts to “coerce” customers into letting the companies use personal information, as part of the FCC’s new privacy rules for internet service providers.

  • September 29, 2016

    Enviros Sue USFS Over California Spotted Owl Habitat

    Environmentalists on Thursday sued the U.S. Forest Service for authorizing logging that is allegedly harmful to critical California spotted owl habitat in California’s Tahoe National Forest.

  • September 29, 2016

    DOT Speed-Limiter Rule Could Cut Emissions, Report Says

    The U.S. Department of Transportation's proposed rule requiring speed-limiting devices on heavy-duty trucks won't impact water, farmland or biological resources but will help reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, according to a draft report released Thursday.

  • September 29, 2016

    Lobbying Group Pushes For Robust National Antitrust Policy

    Highly concentrated economic and political power resulting from company mergers has harmed U.S. competition, and consumers need a national policy that governs antitrust issues, the American Antitrust Institute said Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Modernizing Vs. Weakening The TCPA

    Chis Dore

    Many points raised in a recent House subcommittee hearing addressed concrete Telephone Consumer Protection Act concerns shared by both corporate interests and consumer advocates. But some testimony presented by business interests blamed their inability to carry out vital communications squarely on the TCPA, ignoring the fact that the TCPA does not prohibit robust consumer communication, says Chris Dore of Edelson PC.

  • USCIS Regs Innovate Programs For Immigrant Entrepreneurs

    Eric D. Ledbetter

    Despite the significant role played by immigrant entrepreneurs in America, our current immigration laws in this area are woefully complex and out-of-date. However, new regulations proposed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would bring much-needed modernization for immigrant entrepreneurs, says Eric Ledbetter of Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • Oral Advocacy And 'Vocal Fry'

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    In a sneak preview of the fall edition of Legal Communication & Rhetoric, Professor Michael Higdon of the University of Tennessee College of Law explores the negative reactions to "vocal fry," the accusations of sexism those reactions have engendered, and what all this means for female attorneys.

  • The Politics Of Family Enterprises In America

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    Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., has introduced a bill that aims to nullify the recently proposed transfer tax regulations for closely held and family businesses. The bill is a rare move and is most likely politically motivated, notwithstanding its accuracy from a tax perspective, says Steven Horowitz of Horowitz & Rubenstein LLC.

  • What You Should Know About EU Trademark Reform

    Ulrike Gruebler

    European trademark law is currently undergoing the most fundamental changes since the introduction of the European community trademark system 20 years ago. The approved reform package brings substantial changes not only to EU trademarks, but also to owners of national trademarks in the EU, says Ulrike Gruebler of DLA Piper.

  • Problems In New General Services Administration OIG Memo

    Dismas N. Locaria

    The U.S. General Services Administration Office of the Inspector General recently issued a memorandum — the fourth in a series over the past several years — detailing major issues identified during the OIG's fiscal year 2014 pre-award audits. The findings are based on two faulty premises, say Dismas Locaria and Melanie Totman of Venable LLP.

  • The Courtroom Where It Happened: Hamilton As A Lawyer

    Randy Maniloff

    Often lost in discussions about Alexander Hamilton is that he was an extremely important New York lawyer. He had an extensive law practice until his death in 1804 and he wrote what is considered to be the first treatise in the field of private law. Ultimately, Hamilton certainly did get "a lot farther by working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter, by being a self-starter," says Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP.

  • 4 Considerations For Challenging Agency Actions

    Chris S. Leason

    The U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association seemed to foreclose many challenges to so-called “interpretive rules” issued by federal agencies. However, the D.C. Circuit's recent decision in Agricultural Retailers Association and The Fertilizer Institute v. U.S. Department of Labor presents a road map for developing successful litigation against ostensibly “interpretive” agency guidance, say attorn... (continued)

  • Daubert V. Frye: A Battle Of The Branches

    James D. Gassenheimer

    The Florida Supreme Court is currently debating whether the court will follow the Daubert standard for admissibility of expert testimony, or if it will revert to the more lenient Frye standard. This issue, reflective of a power struggle between the Florida Legislature and Florida Supreme Court, clouds the validity of trial results and forces lawyers to gamble on the outcome of the debate when evaluating case strategy, say Jordan Is... (continued)

  • What To Know About EEOC's New Retaliation Guidance

    Matthew C. Cooper,

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recent guidance on retaliation attempts to help employers reduce the likelihood of retaliation by, among other things, outlining its analyses of recent case law and providing concrete examples. However, this does not always mean the agency agrees with the court rulings or that all court interpretations are incorporated into the guidance, says Matthew Cooper of Squire Patton Boggs LLP.