Public Policy

  • December 2, 2016

    DOL Asks 5th Circ. For Quick Hearing On Blocked OT Rule

    A day after giving notice of its appeal of a preliminary injunction blocking a new overtime pay threshold, the U.S. Department of Labor on Friday asked the Fifth Circuit to expedite the proceedings, saying delaying the Dec. 1 implementation date denied added pay to millions of workers.

  • December 2, 2016

    Bill Forthcoming To Help Protect 'Dreamers,' Durbin Says

    Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., confirmed Thursday that he is collaborating with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to introduce a bill that could protect young immigrants in the country without legal permission, often referred to as "Dreamers," amid concerns the Trump administration will cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

  • December 2, 2016

    Commission Lays Out Plan For Trump To Tackle Cyberthreats

    A presidential committee tasked with developing a plan to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity urged the incoming administration Friday to take immediate action to safeguard information systems by encouraging the public and private sectors to expand their collaboration in combating cyberthreats and the risks posed by the internet of things.

  • December 2, 2016

    Contentious Estate Transfer Rules May Remain Under Trump

    Despite multiple calls for the IRS to withdraw proposed regulations that value transferred interests for estate tax purposes, as well as Republicans’ stated intent to repeal the so-called death tax altogether, experts say the controversial regulations may be here to stay as they also apply to the gift tax, which remains an important revenue tool.

  • December 2, 2016

    3rd Circ. Affirms Tossing Of ALJ's Discrimination Suit

    The Third Circuit on Thursday affirmed the dismissal of a case brought by a Social Security Administration administrative law judge against the agency's commissioner over the loss of a higher title, finding no issue with the trial court's acceptance of an argument not used in an initial dismissal bid.

  • December 2, 2016

    Ill. Gov. Blocks $215M Pension Aid For Chicago Teachers

    Chicago's public school system will move into 2017 with a $215 million budget hole after Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that would have authorized the state to contribute the money to the system’s retirement fund, blaming the move on lawmakers' failure at pension reform.

  • December 2, 2016

    FCC Seeks Feedback On Plan For National Lifeline Verifier

    The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday asked for comments on a proposal for implementing a national verifier for participation in the Lifeline low-income subsidy program after March reforms, asking for feedback between Dec. 5 and Dec. 30 on how the Universal Service Administrative Co. should take over the customer eligibility process.

  • December 2, 2016

    Federal Charters Could Ease Burdens For Fintech Upstarts

    Financial technology firms may have a way to avoid regulation by 50 different state regulators after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced plans to begin issuing national banking charters on Friday.

  • December 2, 2016

    NJ County Not Obligated To Take Land In Grocery Row: Judge

    A New Jersey judge on Thursday refused to force Essex County to accept ownership of a strip of land to help an embattled supermarket development move forward, ruling that a geographic boundary change in the 1950s wasn’t predicated on the county taking possession of the narrow parcel. 

  • December 2, 2016

    United Reaches $2.4M SEC Deal In Airline Bribery Scheme

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday that the parent company of United Airlines Inc. agreed to pay $2.4 million to settle charges that the airline reinstated a money-losing flight route to curry favor with a former New Jersey official looking for more convenient trips to a vacation house.

  • December 2, 2016

    Calif. Atty Lays Into CFPB, Cordray In High Court Appeal

    A California lawyer accused of a home loan modification scam has asked the U.S. Supreme Court take up the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s wins at the district court and Ninth Circuit, arguing that the suit was just as invalid as the agency director’s recess appointment.

  • December 2, 2016

    House Passes $619B Defense Spending, Reform Bill

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed the combined version of the National Defense Authorization Act on Friday, the $619 billion annual spending and reform package for the armed forces, after agreements with the Senate dropped many of the most controversial provisions.

  • December 2, 2016

    IRS Proposes Adjusting Rules For Foreign Acquisitions

    The Internal Revenue Service on Friday said that it will unroll new regulations covering transactions involving at least one foreign corporation in which a subsidiary uses its parent company's stock to acquire another company, saying that some taxpayers are using these transactions to avoid incurring U.S. tax.

  • December 2, 2016

    W.Va. Takes ACA Administrative Fix Protest To High Court

    West Virginia has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review its challenge of the Obama administration’s decision to temporarily not enforce Affordable Care Act insurance standards, saying that the unfavorable decision it got in the D.C. Circuit runs contrary to high court precedent.

  • December 2, 2016

    Hong Kong, Swiss Regulators Ink Cross-Border Funds Pact

    Hong Kong and Swiss securities watchdogs said Friday they have signed a cooperation agreement that will expand cross-border offerings of fund products for asset managers in both countries.

  • December 2, 2016

    FCC Must Revisit Emergency Alerting Changes, Group Says

    A wireless association asked the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday to revisit its updates to modernize wireless emergency alerting, saying the agency shouldn't require the inclusion of hyperlinks and phone numbers before testing is finished and must clarify what it means by "clickable links" and the devices that must support them.

  • December 2, 2016

    FCC Bucks Republicans To Press Phone Cos. On Zero-Rating

    Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Federal Communications Commission pressed AT&T with concerns about free data and raised new questions about Verizon’s program Thursday while Republican commissioners fired back Friday that he is ignoring calls from Congress to end complex and controversial action.

  • December 2, 2016

    DHS Urged To Keep Privately Run Immigrant Detention

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security should continue to utilize privately owned, for-profit facilities to detain immigrants, a subcommittee tasked with studying the matter recommended to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson in a report on Thursday.

  • December 2, 2016

    IRS Partnership Liability Rule Still Unclear, Firm Says

    Baker & McKenzie LLP urged the IRS Thursday to take another look at its temporary partnership liabilities regulation, arguing that efforts to clarify the treatment are still coming up short and that the agency should go back to the drawing board rather than impose the rule on ill-prepared practitioners.

  • December 2, 2016

    AT&T Seeks Flexibility In FCC's Real-Time Text Plan

    AT&T on Thursday pressed the Federal Communications Commission to hold off on requiring specific features in updated technology for communications by phone for the disabled, telling the agency that it's too early to impose technical requirements on new “real-time text” technology.

Expert Analysis

  • Energy Policy In The Trump Era: Part 2

    Christopher Carr

    President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to drastically change the federal government’s role and policies in relation to energy, the environment and climate change. In the second of a two-part series, Christopher Carr and Robert Fleishman of Morrison & Foerster LLP examine the impact of the new administration's attitudes towards the Clean Power Plan, the Paris Agreement and other energy and environmental regulations and policies.

  • Hitting Pause On FLSA White Collar Changes

    Kathleen Anderson

    The eleventh-hour preliminary injunction from the Eastern District of Texas against expanded coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act is a blow to the U.S. Department of Labor, which had estimated expanded overtime coverage to more than four million additional employees, says Kathleen Anderson of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

  • The Trump Infrastructure Plan And Its Legal Implications

    Steve Sorett

    The incoming Trump administration's $1 trillion infrastructure plan would rely mostly on private investment, with infrastructure tax credits envisioned as bringing the needed financing to the table. But many questions remain unanswered, including who will decide on the selection and timing of projects, what laws will apply, and how private investors will be paid back, says Steve Sorrett of Kutak Rock LLP.

  • Inbound M&A Activity Adrift Post-Election

    Jeff Haidet

    Many speculate that President-elect Donald Trump's protectionist policies could ignite trade wars in which nations such as Mexico and China subsequently enact retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. This would cause prices to climb and could discourage foreign direct investment in the U.S., say Jeff Haidet and Catherine Dallas of Dentons.

  • Innovate Bigly? — Patent Reform Under @realDonaldTrump

    Lionel M. Lavenue

    Many commentators have stated that President-elect Donald Trump has yet to take a clear stance regarding patents and intellectual property. However, his Twitter account holds many hints as to his possible intellectual property priorities, say attorneys from Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP.

  • Defense IR&D Policy Shift Is Unnecessary, Counterproductive

    Tom Lemmer

    The proposed U.S. Department of Defense policy change regarding independent research and development is particularly shortsighted, in an era of declining budgets and a continuing desire to maintain technological superiority, because it likely will create disincentives for technology developers to innovate, and ultimately will increase DOD acquisition costs, say Thomas Lemmer and Gale Monahan of Dentons.

  • Key Changes In EPA's Waste Generator Improvements Rule

    Kenneth M. Kastner

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making an attempt to modify its hazardous waste generator rules for the first time in 35 years. These rules generally facilitate compliance with requirements, but include one aspect that might cause controversy, says Kenneth Kastner of Hogan Lovells US LLP.

  • What Is 'Public Interest' Under California Anti-SLAPP Law?

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    Under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, a court may strike causes of action arising from defendants’ exercise of free speech rights concerning matters of "public interest." But because the statute does not define "public interest," California courts have construed it in varying ways. The California Supreme Court may soon provide guidance, say Felix Shafir and Jeremy Rosen of Horvitz & Levy LLP.

  • Energy Policy In The Trump Era: Part 1

    Christopher Carr

    President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to drastically change the federal government’s role and policies in relation to energy, the environment and climate change. In the first of a two-part series, Christopher Carr and Robert Fleishman of Morrison & Foerster LLP consider the incoming administration's plans on infrastructure, natural gas, oil and coal, as well as clean and renewable energy.

  • Despite Momentum, Marijuana Remains Risky Business

    John Bessonette

    Voters in eight states legalized marijuana last month and more than one-fifth of Americans now live in states with legal recreational marijuana markets. But marijuana companies still lack adequate access to capital and financial services, say attorneys with Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP.