Public Policy

  • July 25, 2016

    EU Supervisor Urges E-Privacy Update With Strong Encryption

    The European data protection supervisor on Monday pushed for an update to the bloc’s e-privacy law that would prohibit the breaking of encryption or monitoring of communications over a wide range of services, from traditional phone calls to messages sent over mobile apps.

  • July 25, 2016

    CFPB Fights Payment Processor's Constitutional Challenge

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau urged a North Dakota federal judge Monday to toss a payment processor's lawsuit seeking to bar a $12 million administrative proceeding against it on grounds that the bureau is unconstitutional, saying the court should allow the matter to be resolved in the CFPB's enforcement action.

  • July 25, 2016

    Arnold & Porter Ducks DQ In Defense Of Menendez Pal

    A Florida federal judge on Monday rejected federal prosecutors' bid to disqualify Arnold & Porter LLP from representing a doctor — separately charged with bribing Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. — in a Medicare fraud case, ruling it is too late in the case to disqualify the doctor's attorneys.

  • July 25, 2016

    Lawyers Urge Texas To Streamline Groundwater Oversight

    Water rights lawyers on Monday urged a Texas Senate committee to streamline the regulation of groundwater, saying a patchwork of inconsistent and fragmented local oversight leads to unpredictable water allocation that makes it hard for businesses to plan ahead.

  • July 25, 2016

    Defense IT Initiative Likely Unscathed By Critical GAO Report

    A recent audit of the Pentagon's ambitious Joint Information Environment initiative, a major information technology overhaul, found that the effort lacked sufficient oversight and didn't clearly define what it is supposed to cover, but experts say that criticism reflects the inapposite nature of the audit more than any fundamental flaw with the initiative.

  • July 25, 2016

    Texas To Accept More Documents In Bid For Birth Certificates

    The Texas Department of State Health Services and the agency’s vital statistics unit have agreed to broaden the types of documents immigrant parents can provide to obtain birth certificates for their American-born children, according to a settlement agreement.

  • July 25, 2016

    Ill. High Court Expedites Appeal Of Redistricting Petition

    The Illinois Supreme Court has promised to speed up an appeal of a November ballot initiative that would change the way legislative districts are drawn in the state, following a lower court decision that the ballot initiative is unconstitutional.

  • July 25, 2016

    Feds Ask 9th Circ. To Rethink Navajo's Suit Over Remains

    The federal government on Friday asked the Ninth Circuit to rethink its decision that revived the Navajo Nation’s suit seeking the return of human remains and funerary objects taken from its reservation by the National Park Service.

  • July 25, 2016

    Challenge To IRS Offshore Income Program Rules Dismissed

    A D.C. federal judge tossed a suit from three taxpayers seeking to upend the Internal Revenue Services’ offshore income disclosure programs Monday, ruling that the suit illegally sought to affect the agency’s ability to collect taxes.

  • July 25, 2016

    EPA Tells 6th Circ. No More Docs Needed In Water Rule Row

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday urged the Sixth Circuit not to force them to turn over additional records related to their controversial Clean Water Rule.

  • July 25, 2016

    FCC Told Set-Top Rules Mustn't Apply To Small Providers

    A rural broadband group has told the Federal Communications Commission that whatever plan it adopts to allow consumers to access their pay-TV programming on third-party devices, smaller companies must receive an exemption for rules that could push them out of business.

  • July 25, 2016

    NBA Tests Power To Effect Change With All-Star Game Move

    The NBA took the bold move of relocating the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina, citing the state's controversial new law preventing transgender people from choosing the bathroom of their choice, in what some attorneys said could test the power of a sports league to effect social change.

  • July 25, 2016

    FCC’s Clyburn Wants ‘Mutually Beneficial’ ISP Privacy Rules

    Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn told small broadband providers Monday that she is mindful of their concerns about burdensome regulations as the FCC considers privacy rules for internet service providers, saying the goal is a solution that works for all stakeholders.

  • July 25, 2016

    FCC Urged To Keep Public Inspection Rules For Broadcasters

    The Federal Communications Commission should keep its requirement for commercial broadcasters to retain copies of correspondence from viewers and listeners in its public inspection file, the National Hispanic Media Coalition said Friday, arguing that the file allows community members to hold their local broadcasters accountable.

  • July 25, 2016

    FBI Opens Probe Into DNC Email Hack

    The FBI revealed Monday that it has launched a probe into a massive data breach at the Democratic National Committee, which led to the exposure and online publication of nearly 20,000 emails that discussed topics ranging from the strength of the committee’s cybersecurity to personal details about donors.

  • July 25, 2016

    NASA Floats Contractor Property Reporting Rule

    NASA contractors may soon have to keep better track of the agency’s property, as the space agency proposed a rule Monday to require monthly reporting of NASA assets.

  • July 25, 2016

    FCC Told Inmate Call Reforms Must Ban Prison Commissions

    A North Carolina attorney has pressed the Federal Communications Commission to ban or limit the payments made by inmate calling service providers to correctional facilities that providers say are necessary to secure contracts, saying a new plan to raise the cap on how much inmates pay without the ban won’t lead to real reform.

  • July 25, 2016

    Ex-NJ Homeland Security Official Sues Agency Over Age Bias

    A former high-ranking official in the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness has hit the agency with an age discrimination lawsuit in New Jersey state court alleging he was fired in 2014 as part of a long-standing pattern of bias against older employees.

  • July 25, 2016

    Commerce Department Launches New Trade Finance Panel

    The U.S. Department of Commerce on Monday unveiled a new federal advisory panel that will aim to help potential U.S. exporters gain better access to trade finance and asked interested stakeholders to submit nominees to sit on the panel.

  • July 25, 2016

    WTO Chief Pushes Members For Specific Negotiating Offers

    World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo on Monday applauded the strides that member countries have made in developing a new negotiating agenda but said that the ideas will have to get much more detailed in order for the effort to be a success in the short term.

Expert Analysis

  • Benefiting From FDA's Medical Device Risk-Benefit Guidance

    Daniel S. Wittenberg

    Medical device manufacturers should understand the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's considerations for benefit-risk assessments so they can advocate for favorable FDA decisions by using the enumerated factors to illustrate the high benefits and low risks of the company’s device, say Dan Wittenberg and Tim Scalo at Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • Carelessness Is Not Criminal: The Impact Of FBI Chief's Theory

    Brian E. Finch

    Buried deep in the transcript of FBI Director James Comey’s fiery hearing with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was an interesting nugget — Comey stated that he has worked hard “to stop the criminalization of negligence in the United States.” It’s a fascinating position to take and could alter attitudes about who should be held accountable following cyberattacks, says Brian Finch of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • EPA Wants More Control Over State-Issued Discharge Permits

    Ronda L. Sandquist

    Proposed changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Pollutant Discharge Permit System would make minor revisions to program definitions and the contents of permit fact sheets, and major revisions that will expand the EPA’s ability to object to permits administratively continued by a state program, say attorneys at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • Testing The UBE: Missouri Benefits From Uniform Bar Exam

    Jim Nowogrocki

    We in Missouri do not take lightly to new trends or frothy ideas. Yet, the uniform bar exam has allowed us to meet the challenges of an increasingly mobile legal profession and the changing needs of clients, and to ensure that a newly admitted attorney has the knowledge, character and fitness to practice in the Show-Me State, says Jim Nowogrocki, president of the Board of Law Examiners in Missouri — the first state to adopt the UBE.

  • USDA Food Safety Data Plan Hints At Larger Institutional Goals

    Robert G. Hibbert

    With the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service's announcement of its plan to share more food safety data regarding slaughter and processing facilities, it seems clear that the agency hopes such publicity will provide additional stimulus for a race to the top in the area of pathogen reduction, say Robert Hibbert and Hilary Lewis at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • PROMESA Shields Puerto Rico Behind A New Automatic Stay

    Michael P. Cooley

    Tucked at the end of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act is a stand-alone provision that promises an immediate impact not merely on bondholders and other creditors seeking to enforce payment and remedies, but on any person or entity seeking to enforce rights generally against the government of Puerto Rico or any “territorial instrumentality,” says Michael Cooley of Bryan Cave LLP.

  • DOT Oil Train Rule Proposes Costly Requirements

    J. Scott Janoe

    A recently proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Transportation intends to improve oil spill response readiness and mitigate effects of rail incidents involving petroleum oil and certain high-hazard flammable trains. However, the expanded requirements would likely impose substantial costs and burden on railroads and could increase the price of crude oil transport by rail, say attorneys at Baker Botts LLP.

  • The Flaw In DTSA’S Civil Seizure Provision

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    Other than serving as a trap for the unwary and giving defense lawyers a shiny new weapon in their arsenal, does the Defend Trade Secret Act's civil seizure provision serve any useful purpose at all? asks Arash Beral of Freeman Freeman & Smiley LLP.

  • OPINION: It's Time To Radically Rethink Immigration Reform

    John W. Lawit

    The antiquated Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 has outlived its usefulness. It is time for a completely new law, based not on conditions from more than 60 years ago, but rather focused on the nation’s needs going forward into the 21st century, says John Lawit of John W. Lawit LLC.

  • USPTO Cancer Drug Pilot Program Not Likely To Be Used Much

    Robert W. Esmond

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced a pilot program to fast-track examination of patent applications directed to cancer immunotherapy inventions as part of the Obama administration's "cancer moonshot" initiative. However, the fast-tracking of drug applications is often not in the best interest of biopharma companies as it eliminates patent term adjustment, say Robert Esmond and Stephanie Elmer of Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox PLLC.