Public Policy

  • February 5, 2016

    Bankers Take Challenge Of Info-Sharing Law To High Court

    Florida and Texas banking associations have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to revive their challenge of an Internal Revenue Service rule requiring disclosures of accounts held by foreigners, saying the D.C. Circuit's ruling that their suit was barred by the Anti-Injunction Act ran contrary to well-established precedent.

  • February 5, 2016

    Minority Biz Program Lacks Goals, Metrics, DC Circ. Hears

    An information technology government contractor continued Thursday to push the D.C. Circuit to find that a federal government program giving preference in contract awards to minority-owned small businesses is unconstitutional, saying the program cites no data and has unclear goals.

  • February 5, 2016

    W.Va. House Passes Right-To-Work Bill

    The West Virginia House of Delegates narrowly approved legislation Thursday that would allow employees to opt-out of paying union fees, putting the state on the verge of becoming the 26th right-to-work state in the U.S.

  • February 5, 2016

    Spy Programs Doing Better On Privacy, Watchdog Says

    Congress and the Obama administration have made strides in limiting personal data collected by intelligence officials, with a major surveillance law passed last year and new policies from regulators having managed to safeguard privacy without compromising security, a federal privacy watchdog said Friday.

  • February 5, 2016

    Full 11th Circ. To Rehear Fight Over Fla. 'Gun Gag' Law

    The Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday agreed to rehear en banc a free speech case challenging a Florida law forbidding doctors from entering information about gun ownership into medical records of most patients, brought by physicians who have thrice lost in the appeals court.

  • February 5, 2016

    FCC Video Plans Could Foster Diversity, Panelists Say

    The Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming proposal on changes to video set-top boxes and its plan to review barriers to independent programmers were hailed as ways to open the marketplace to more diverse voices at a Public Knowledge panel Friday, but not everyone saw it that way.

  • February 5, 2016

    Some Kids To Get More Time Before Immigration Hearings

    The Executive Office for Immigration Review said Thursday that it has released guidance for immigration judges on new docketing practices for high-priority cases, which give unaccompanied children more time before initial hearings are scheduled.

  • February 5, 2016

    HHS Floats Substance Abuse Records Privacy Rules Update

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday floated revisions to the decades-old rules governing the confidentiality of substance abuse treatment records that would relax consent requirements in order to allow patients to take advantage of increased information sharing procedures within the health care system.

  • February 5, 2016

    Wall St. Group Urges DC Circ. To Toss Risk-Retention Rule

    A Wall Street industry group pushed a D.C. Circuit panel Friday to toss federal regulations requiring that investment firms retain an interest in debt securities they issue, arguing the rule would lock up capital and restrict access to credit.

  • February 5, 2016

    Illinois ACA Co-Op Hit With Class Action For Cutting Provider

    An Illinois non-profit insurer created under the Affordable Care Act has been hit with a class action in state court over its decision to boot the University of Chicago from its network of providers after patients had already signed up with the expectation of being attended to by the university’s doctors.

  • February 5, 2016

    5 Key Arguments From Abortion Foes At High Court

    Newly filed briefs are pressing the U.S. Supreme Court to allow stricter regulation of abortion doctors and clinics in Texas, arguing that the effort will protect women and that there is no reliable evidence abortion access will be sharply curtailed. Here’s a look at five key arguments advanced in the briefs.

  • February 5, 2016

    Texas Floats Rule To Ease Reports Of Small Wastewater Spills

    The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality published proposed rules Friday that would allow delayed reporting of some small wastewater spills and accidental discharges by utilities.

  • February 5, 2016

    Citigroup Halts DraftKings, FanDuel Transactions In NY

    Citigroup Inc. will no longer process transactions for New York residents on daily fantasy sports sites run by DraftKings and FanDuel until there is more legal clarity on the matter, as the companies face enforcement actions by the state attorney general as well as a slew of lawsuits that were recently consolidated.

  • February 5, 2016

    Manufacturers Readying For Vote On Customs Bill Next Week

    The National Association of Manufacturers said Friday that it expects the Senate to vote next week on a long-delayed bill to beef up customs and intellectual property enforcement, facilitate shipments at U.S. ports and implement a permanent ban on taxing Internet access.

  • February 5, 2016

    Air Force To Get Additional $1B For Training, Carter Says

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday that the Air Force plans to increase its spending on training by $1 billion over the next five years, an investment that he said reflects the military’s growing emphasis on air power as a vital front against opponents ranging from the Islamic State to “high-end threats.”

  • February 5, 2016

    Feds Unveil Overhaul To Critical Habitat Regulations

    Federal fish and wildlife regulators unveiled final regulations on Friday overhauling how they implement critical habitat designation requirements under the Endangered Species Act, a move blasted by environmentalists as a giveaway to oil and gas, mining and logging industries.

  • February 5, 2016

    Tobacco Seller Pushes DC Circ. To Revive Internet Tax Row

    A Native American Internet tobacco seller called on a D.C. Circuit panel to revive his constitutional challenge to a law allowing states to collect taxes on Internet tobacco sales Friday, maintaining that he still has standing in court because various states can still pursue back taxes.

  • February 5, 2016

    House Leaders Accuse FCC Of Shifting Telecom Standards

    Two key Republican House leaders charged the Federal Communications Commission Friday with changing its standards for broadband service and for what counts as competition in telecommunications markets in order to justify intervention in the broadband and wireless industries.

  • February 5, 2016

    EU Commish Urges Fewer Bank Regulations, More Stability

    European Union financial stability commissioner Jonathan Hill called on EU banking regulators Friday to review regulations enacted since the financial crisis and slow the pace of new regulation, saying such regulatory stability is key to building trust among lenders and growing the economy.

  • February 5, 2016

    Pa. AG Kane Loses Bid To Lift Suspension

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected Attorney General Kathleen Kane's bid to resurrect her suspended law license on Friday, allowing the state Senate to take its next step towards removing her from office.

Expert Analysis

  • New FIRPTA Changes Are No Panacea

    H. Neal Sandford

    The new exemptions to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act will be helpful in certain circumstances and should encourage the flow of certain non-U.S. capital into U.S. real estate, but we doubt the changes will fundamentally alter how non-U.S. capital is invested in U.S. real estate, say attorneys with Goodwin Procter LLP.

  • FERC 'Seaway II' Order Is A Win For Oil Pipeline Industry

    Emily Pitlick Mallen

    The importance of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's recent decision regarding Seaway Crude Pipeline Company LLC extends beyond the purview of the Interstate Commerce Act's pipeline regulation. It provides some of the strongest words on FERC’s primacy over its administrative law judges' authority and sets an important precedent on ratemaking principles, say attorneys at Van Ness Feldman LLP.

  • Man Vs. Machine: The New Era Of Self-Driven Cars

    Kimberly L. Wald

    Although self-driven cars are a very new development, many different companies, like Google, Tesla and Nissan are scrambling to develop a foothold in this arena. Self-driving cars have already raised a host of legal issues, and states are already introducing new legislation to try and keep up with the fast pace of progress, says Kimberly Wald at Kelley Uustal PLC.

  • New Regulations Create Business Opportunities In Cuba

    Lori Scheetz

    Though hurdles remain, the fairly extensive list of goods that may be authorized for export to Cuba — thanks to recent changes in U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security regulations — combined with a shift from a general policy of denial to a general policy of approval and the fact that these sales may now be made to government entities, create new possibilities for U.S. companies seeking to enter the Cuban market, says Lori Scheetz a... (continued)

  • FDA's Strategy For Interoperable Medical Device Regulation

    Mark Mansour

    In order to balance the competing priorities of developing new and innovative interoperable medical devices and protecting patient safety and privacy laid out in its recent guidance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should conduct a fact-based technical analysis to assess the costs and potential burdens for medical device manufacturers and others in the health information technology marketplace, say attorneys at Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Patent Reform And The New Insurance Market That May Follow

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    Proposed legislation would require the losing party in patent litigation to pay the winning side’s reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, which means that the legal expense insurance market that emerged as a result of the loser-pays rule in England could soon be imported here, say Nirav Desai and Krishan Thakker of Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox PLLC.

  • 5 Things To Know About Chicago's Affordable Housing Regs

    Doorhy_Shawn_faegre baker.jpg

    Recent amendments to Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance have shifted the calculus for multifamily developers in Chicago who need zoning changes to accomplish development projects, especially with pending litigation that could entirely invalidate portions of the ordinance, say Shawn Doorhy and Emma Olson at Faegre Baker Daniels.

  • Unexpected Uncertainty For The 340B Drug Pricing Program

    Alyce Katayama

    The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 poses an unexpected threat to the 340B Drug Pricing Program — even though it doesn't even mention the program — as it changes the way new off-campus hospital outpatient departments are paid, which could have a substantial impact on 340B Program child site eligibility. But covered entities shouldn't throw in the towel just yet, say Alyce Katayama and Elizabeth Gebarski at Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • Congress Loses Its COOL

     Matthew I. Kaplan

    Congress recently repealed the country-of-origin labeling rule for beef and pork, partially in response to the threat of retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico. But COOL requirements are still in effect for other commodities and whether other countries will follow Canada and Mexico to obtain COOL repeal for these products remains to be seen, say Matthew Kaplan and Ndubisi Ezeolu at Tucker Ellis LLP.

  • CPUC Net Metering Decision Is Good News For Clean Energy

    Sheridan J. Pauker

    While the California Public Utilities Commission's approval of a new tariff structure for future net energy metering customers will impose certain fees and increase monthly ratepayer charges, it has been strongly praised by the clean energy industry as largely preserving the economics of a customer's decision whether to install distributed energy resources, say attorneys at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.