Public Policy

  • April 20, 2015

    Conn. Bill Allowing More Tribal Casinos Advances

    A Connecticut bill that would authorize the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to open up three more casinos in the state passed another hurdle Monday when a second legislative committee gave it the thumbs up, despite warnings that the bill could potentially decrease state slot-machine revenues.

  • April 20, 2015

    FEC Says Watchdog Suing Over Nonexistent Enforcement Rule

    The Federal Election Commission urged a D.C. federal judge to gut a watchdog group's suit over a purported rule that allegedly led the commission to drop several enforcement proceedings and allow “dark money” political groups to operate, arguing Monday that there is no official policy for the group to challenge.

  • April 20, 2015

    5th Circ. Args May Signal Deference To Executive Action Block

    The Fifth Circuit is unlikely to lift a block on the immigration policies created by the president's executive actions, experts predict, particularly after a key appellate judge seemed inclined to show deference to the district court’s findings during oral arguments on Friday.

  • April 20, 2015

    Va. Becomes 1st State To Set Up Cyber Info-Sharing Effort

    Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday announced the creation of the first state-level organization intended to boost the sharing of information related to cybersecurity threats and attacks, less than three months after the release of a presidential executive order that encouraged such initiatives.

  • April 20, 2015

    OSC Issues Letter On Texas E-Verify Executive Order

    In a letter issued by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel clarifying Texas’ E-Verify Executive Order, the agency has said that employers using the work eligibility system for prospective employees or for current employees not enrolled as federal contractors would violate federal E-Verify rules.

  • April 20, 2015

    Top NJ Lawmakers Wade Into Supreme Court Pension Fight

    New Jersey legislative leaders on Monday moved to defend a ruling that Gov. Chris Christie's administration violated state law by trimming $1.57 billion in pension funding, contending in a brief bound for New Jersey Supreme Court that the statute at the center of the dispute is constitutional.

  • April 20, 2015

    SEC Won't Let Hedge Fund Jettison Shareholder Proposal

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has determined that Clough Capital Partners LP cannot exclude a shareholder proposal relating to a potential tender offer from its proxy documents merely because it is too vague, telling the $4.5 billion hedge fund that the shareholders have the right to make corrections.

  • April 20, 2015

    Vermont AG Adopts State’s Historic Food-Labeling Rule

    Vermont’s attorney general on Monday said he had formally adopted regulations implementing a law passed in May that made the state the first in the nation to require the labeling of genetically modified food and created a fund for its implementation.

  • April 20, 2015

    EU Touts Small-Biz Benefits As TTIP Talks Open

    U.S. and European Union officials on Monday commenced the ninth negotiating session for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in New York City with the EU side marking the occasion with a report touting the potential benefits its small businesses will enjoy under the pact.

  • April 20, 2015

    Michael Best Adds Ex-Wis. PSC Chair To Energy Practice

    The former chairman of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission has joined Michael Best & Friedrich LLP as a partner on the energy and environmental teams in Madison.

  • April 20, 2015

    Fla. Gov. Agrees To End State Worker Drug Test Dispute

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott and a union challenging his executive order requiring drug testing of all state employees agreed Monday to a settlement that exempts most public workers from random drug tests.

  • April 20, 2015

    SEC's Texas Regional Director To Step Down

    The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission announced on Monday that David Woodcock, regional director of the agency’s Fort Worth, Texas, office and an auditing expert, will leave his post at the commission later this spring.

  • April 20, 2015

    DHS Not Following Obama's Immigration Directives, AILA Says

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is failing to consistently comply with the immigration prosecutorial discretion policies laid out by President Barack Obama in November, the American Immigration Lawyers Association claims in a letter to the agency released Friday.

  • April 20, 2015

    Fla. Sends State Senate LIP Model To Feds As Suit Looms

    Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration on Monday submitted the state Senate's proposal for extending more than $1 billion in federal health care funding for low income residents that is set to end June 30, seeking a solution short of the governor's announced plans for legal action.

  • April 20, 2015

    Ore. Enviro Group Urges EPA Action On Water Pollutants

    An Oregon environmental group on Monday hit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a Clean Water Act lawsuit over its alleged failure to issue revised water quality standards for four toxic pollutants, urging a federal court to force the agency’s hand over the state’s criteria.

  • April 20, 2015

    Watchdog Says NTIA Shouldn't Lead Drone Privacy Talks

    A privacy watchdog on Monday told the National Telecommunications and Information Administration that it should step away from presiding over efforts to develop privacy protections for the commercial use of drones, saying that the federal agency has a major conflict of interest.

  • April 20, 2015

    Alaska Senate Demands DOI Lift Native Land Limits

    A resolution threatening legal action if Congress fails to lift restrictions on more than 152 million acres of land that were closed to appropriation under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and other legislation breezed through the Alaska Senate on Friday and now awaits the governor's signature.

  • April 20, 2015

    Sens. Poised To Advance Fast-Track, Other Trade Measures

    The Senate Finance Committee will convene on Wednesday to forge ahead on a suite of international trade legislation, highlighted by last week's long-awaited bill to reinstate the White House's authority to submit trade agreements for swift congressional approval, the panel announced Monday.

  • April 20, 2015

    Enviro Groups Call DOT's Oil Train Speed Limit "Toothless"

    Environmental groups say that the U.S. Department of Transportation's recently proposed rules addressing some issues with trains carrying large volumes of crude oil don't go far enough to protect people and the environment.

  • April 20, 2015

    OIG Guides Hospital Boards On Overbilling, Privacy, Kickbacks

    The Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday released a first-of-its-kind guide for hospital governing boards on how to detect and avoid overbilling, kickbacks and privacy breaches that can lead to civil and criminal punishment.

Expert Analysis

  • Warming Up To EEOC Rules On Workplace Wellness Programs

    Timothy B. Collins

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recently proposed rules regarding wellness programs require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to have equal access to fringe benefits and that any medical inquiries be job-related and consistent with business necessity, says Timothy Collins of Duane Morris LLP.

  • 10 Topics For Corporate Counsel To Consider On Coal Ash

    Kirsten L. Nathanson

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regulations on the disposal of coal combustion residuals are the first of their kind under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's Subtitle D enforcement structure, which grants enforcement authority to states and citizens rather than to the EPA, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Understanding Mozambique’s New Oil And Gas Regime

    Paulo Rage

    Mozambique recently enacted a new hydrocarbons law, which aims to provide legal stability for international investors seeking to develop the country’s recently proven reserves of 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Mayer Brown LLP’s Paulo Rage outlines the new law and the country’s hydrocarbons tax law, which together determine the general rules for all oil and gas operations.

  • A New Paradigm For Industrial Hemp Farming On Tribal Lands

    Timothy Purdon

    Although the past two decades have seen 22 states and many tribal governments pass laws permitting industrial hemp cultivation, pushback from the federal government and a persistent association of hemp to marijuana has prevented American Indian farmers from pursuing this cash crop. However, a recent U.S. Department of Justice memo could usher in a new area for industrial hemp farming on tribal lands, say attorneys with Robins Kaplan LLP.

  • This Week In Congress: Cybersecurity, Iran, Veto Override?

    Richard Hertling

    The president’s veto of S.J. Res. 8 is the second veto issued this year, and only the fourth of his presidency. We may see a sharp increase in veto activity under this Republican-led Congress, as the president has issued veto threats for 17 other legislative proposals working their way through the House and Senate, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • A Trend Toward More State Focus On Lawyer Mobility?

    Allison Martin Rhodes

    The efforts of state bar regulators in three large legal markets — Florida, New York and now Virginia — are almost certainly an indication of increased regulation to come in the area of lawyer mobility, say attorneys with Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Volcker Underwriting: It’s Simple, No Need To Overanalyze

    Dan Ryan

    While all banks are in the same boat in that they have yet to fully operationalize their underwriting desk-level compliance programs, closing the implementation gap for underwriting Volcker compliance should be one of the few relatively easy wins for banks, says Dan Ryan, chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s financial services regulatory practice.

  • Contractor Employee Confidentiality Policies In The Spotlight

    Dave Nadler

    The government has recently stepped up its efforts to preclude government contractors from using overly restrictive confidentiality and nondisparagement clauses in employment contracts that might discourage employees from reporting waste, fraud and abuse, say attorneys with Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

  • Obama's Trade Plan: 'Made In America' Is Making A Comeback

    Patrick Togni

    President Obama's 2015 trade policy agenda recognizes the importance of American manufacturing and makes this segment of the economy a central focus of U.S. trade policy this year, says Patrick Togni of King & Spalding LLP.

  • For Biosimilars Under Medicare, It Is Just The Beginning

    Preeya N. Pinto

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to designate any biosimilar products as “interchangeable” and, although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' position on the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program is broadly applicable to all biosimilars, it remains unclear whether CMS will treat all biosimilars equally under Medicare, say attorneys at King & Spalding LLP.