Public Policy

  • May 22, 2015

    SEC's Stein Blasts Waiver Grants To Felon Banks

    A top U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission member on Friday said she is concerned the guilty pleas the government extracted from five banks over benchmark rate manipulation have been reduced to mere symbolic exercises after her fellow commissioner granted the banks a fresh round of regulatory waivers.

  • May 22, 2015

    FCC, Dish, Netflix Oppose Net Neutrality Stay At DC Circ.

    The Federal Communications Commission, Dish Network Corp., Netflix Inc. and an intervenor group on Friday blasted an attempt by challengers to the Open Internet Order to stay the rule during the challenge, telling the DC Circuit that the broadband providers are not likely to succeed.

  • May 22, 2015

    Pa. Dems Back State's Intervention In Highmark, UPMC Row

    Democrat leaders of the Pennsylvania General Assembly fired off an amicus brief on Friday supporting the state’s bid to force the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to reverse its decision ending a series of Medicare Advantage contracts between its hospitals and rival insurer Highmark Inc.

  • May 22, 2015

    Ireland Threatens Bank Penalties For High Mortgage Rates

    Following a meeting with the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders on Friday, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan warned that sanctions could be levied against the banks if they don’t lower mortgage interest rates that are high by European standards.

  • May 22, 2015

    New ESA Petitioner Rule Faces Likely Extinction

    The federal government's proposed rule requiring Endangered Species Act petitioners to gather information from states about the animal in question creates a new burden that likely won’t withstand inevitable legal challenges, experts say.

  • May 22, 2015

    DOD Should Allow Charge Card Use At Casinos, Industry Says

    A casino industry group said Thursday that the Department of Defense should allow the use of government charge cards at casinos, despite the Pentagon watchdog’s report this week decrying over $1 million in charges at casinos and strip clubs.

  • May 22, 2015

    US Sanctions Iraqi Airline For Airbus Sale To Iran

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Thursday sanctioned an Iraqi airline company and others for illicitly selling commercial aircraft to an Iranian airline accused of sponsoring terrorism.

  • May 22, 2015

    FCC Seeks Comment On Services Eligible For E-Rate Funding

    The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday laid out the proposed list of services eligible for funding in 2016 under a $3.9 billion program meant to help schools and libraries obtain broadband Internet service.

  • May 21, 2015

    Ala. Court Tells Judges To Allow Same-Sex Marriage Statewide

    An Alabama federal judge on Thursday ruled that probate judges throughout the state must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, although she stayed the preliminary injunction while the U.S. Supreme Court considers the issue.

  • May 21, 2015

    Obama Nominates Dem. Rosenworcel For 2nd FCC Term

    President Barack Obama said Wednesday he plans to renominate Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, best known for her work on improving Internet access schools and increasing spectrum, to a five-year term.

  • May 21, 2015

    USCIS Clarifies Simeio Rule On H-1Bs For Relocated Workers

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued guidance Thursday on a new Administrative Appeals Office decision requiring an updated H-1B petition when a foreign worker changes locations, clarifying that an amendment isn’t necessary when an employee moves within a metropolitan statistical area.

  • May 21, 2015

    Eastman Chemical Challenges EPA Emissions Rule At DC Circ.

    Eastman Chemical Co. on Tuesday challenged in the D.C. Circuit a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency final rule under the Clean Air Act ramping up emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants at waste sites.

  • May 21, 2015

    FDA Adjusts Blood Donation Rules To Test For More Diseases

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it will be amending blood donation regulations to include more testing for infectious diseases and evaluations for factors that might harm a donor's health.

  • May 21, 2015

    Emergency Order Issued On New Amtrak Speed Regulations

    The Federal Railroad Administration on Thursday issued an emergency order that it said will help control passenger train speeds at certain locations on the Northeast Corridor and require Amtrak to beef up safety protocols in light of last week’s fatal derailment in Philadelphia.

  • May 21, 2015

    CPA Group Lacks Standing in Tax Preparer Suit, IRS Says

    The IRS urged the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday to affirm that the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants doesn't have the right to sue over the agency's oversight program for uncredentialed return preparers, because the rules don't affect the CPAs and accounting firms that make up its membership.

  • May 21, 2015

    Halt On Fast H-1B Extensions Could Have Spillover Effects

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services plans to suspend faster processing on H-1B stay extensions because of the anticipated wave of H-4 work requests, a move attorneys say might have unintended consequences that include slowing the H-4 permit process and hampering foreign workers’ ability to get driver's licenses.

  • May 21, 2015

    As Fuel Efficiency Rises, Ore. Turns Tax Focus To Mileage

    Oregon will become the first state in the nation this summer to tax some drivers on mileage rather than on fuel use, with the launch of a voluntary program aimed at making up for declining revenue as cars have become more efficient.

  • May 21, 2015

    US Uncuffs Internet Tech-Sharing To Crimea

    The U.S. Department of Commerce on Thursday filed final changes to export rules allowing unlicensed delivery of Internet technology to the politically fraught Crimea region of Ukraine, saying the change will allow Crimeans to reclaim the narrative of daily life from their Russian occupants.

  • May 21, 2015

    Sen. Touts Bills To Restore Lands To Oregon Tribes

    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee panel on Thursday that two bills he is sponsoring would redress a historic injustice by taking federal lands into trust for four Native American tribes located in the state.

  • May 21, 2015

    CMS Offers $1B For Fla.'s Low-Income Health Care Funding

    The federal government preliminarily agreed Thursday to send Florida $1 billion in health care funding for low-income residents in the coming year, but advised against the state relying on the funding as a substitute for Medicaid expansion.

Expert Analysis

  • NYC Employers Should Check Themselves Before Employees

    Holly H. Weiss

    In making decisions about which employees to conduct credit checks on in light of recent amendments to the New York City Human Rights Law, city employers should analyze the job responsibilities for each employee to ensure an employee's actual job responsibilities fall within one of the law's exceptions, say attorneys at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

  • Power Continues To Flow Toward Calif. Plaintiffs Via PAGA

    Joshua R. Dale

    Since its enactment in 2004, California's Private Attorney General Act is clearly gaining strength as a tool for plaintiffs' employment attorneys, as evidenced by the recent suit against 99 Cents Only Stores over "suitable seating." In light of this trend, employers should aggressively preempt potential bases for claims against them over nonmonetary violations of the state labor code, says Joshua Dale of Michel & Associates PC.

  • No Consensus On CEQ Draft Guidance For NEPA Reviews

    Elizabeth A. Lake

    Despite its intended goal of reducing "litigation driven by uncertainty," the White House Council on Environmental Quality's revised draft guidance regarding National Environmental Policy Act reviews avoids providing direction on determining when greenhouse gases and climate change impacts are significant and its consideration of upstream and downstream impacts is particularly vague, says Elizabeth Lake of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • 47 Years Of The Fair Housing Act: Where We Stand

    Scott Badami

    Last month marked the 47th year since the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act and it remains important for professional apartment management to know about fair housing priorities at both the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — particularly when recent national events have raised the profile of racial divisions in our country, says Scott Badami of Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • New Food Recall Guidance May Signal Tougher FDA

    John Fuson

    To date, the U.S Food and Drug Administration has made only light use of its mandatory recall authority, but by offering new draft guidance on recalls, the FDA may be signaling its intent to more aggressively exercise this authority, say John Fuson and Chalana Williams of Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • For NY Medicaid, It's Health Reform Vs. Antitrust Law

    Dionne Lomax

    At the heart of the Federal Trade Commission and New York State Department of Health's disagreement over the state's Medicaid program is the mounting tension between health care reform — which focuses on transformative health care models that seek to curb costs and improve care through coordinated and integrated systems — and antitrust law, say attorneys at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • Making The Right Call On 'On-Call' Shifts

    Lindsay A. Ayers

    As labor costs have risen in recent years, on-call shifts have grown in popularity, particularly in the food and retail industries, because they allow employers to avoid paying for excess labor during slow periods. However, employers may soon see these efficiencies evaporate in light of the evolving legal landscape relating to shift scheduling, say Lindsay Ayers and David Szwarcsztejn of Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP.

  • The Spin And Substance Surrounding NY's Brownfields

    Richard G. Leland

    The principal implication of the latest reforms to New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program is that the state will continue to struggle with the inherent conflict between the needs to redevelop contaminated sites and to conserve resources — not to mention the political spin that subsidizing development in New York City during an apparent real estate boom is a giveaway to developers, says Richard Leland of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

  • What’s Missing From The SEC’s Forum Selection Guidance

    Thomas A. Hanusik

    In its recent guidance on forum selection, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission missed a golden opportunity — instead of addressing the legitimate and widespread criticism of its increasing use of the administrative forum, the SEC dodged the key issues and failed to make the forum selection process fairer to defendants, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • NIST Starts Filling The Gaps In Cybersecurity Compliance

    Keir Bancroft

    Government contractors who think cyber and information security applies only to classified or U.S. Department of Defense contracts, take note — a new set of standards from the National Institute of Standards and Technology is on the horizon, say attorneys with Venable LLP.