Public Policy

  • October 30, 2014

    NJ High Court To Consider Recall Of Retired Judges

    The Supreme Court of New Jersey has agreed to rule on the constitutionality of recalling judges older than the statutorily mandated retirement age in an appeal from a defendant who said his criminal trial was officiated by a judge whose age barred his service.

  • October 30, 2014

    Enviros Attack Wash. Permit For Nuke Plant Water Pollution

    Environmental groups challenged a Washington state decision to issue a water pollution permit to a commercial nuclear reactor in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Washington state court, claiming the state violated federal and state water quality laws by issuing the permit.

  • October 30, 2014

    Life Sciences Groups Assail SF’s Drug 'Take-Back' Plan

    Five drug manufacturing and health care organizations spoke out on Thursday against a proposed San Francisco ordinance requiring pharmaceutical companies to pay for the collection of unwanted drugs, saying it would have little positive health impact while forcing drug companies to bear the full burden of running the program.

  • October 30, 2014

    Canadian PM Announces Family Tax Benefits Package

    Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday unveiled a series of tax benefits and payments aimed at families, including an income-splitting provision for parents, an increase in a direct payment to support children and an increase in the deduction for child care expenses.

  • October 30, 2014

    9th Circ. To Rehear En Banc Artists' Royalty Act Appeal

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday said it would rehear en banc a class of artists' appeal to restore California’s Resale Royalty Act and revive suits against Christie's Inc., Sotheby's Inc. and eBay Inc., facing a potential conflict in circuit precedent on Commerce Clause applicability to state actions.

  • October 30, 2014

    New Zealand, Montenegro Commit To WTO's Procurement Pact

    The World Trade Organization has accepted New Zealand and Montenegro into its recently updated government procurement agreement, a move that will allow the countries access to the $1.7 trillion procurement market, the WTO said Wednesday.

  • October 30, 2014

    SEC, FINRA Warn Investors On Penny Stock Hype

    Some so-called penny stocks might be nothing more than dormant shell companies, regulators warned investors Thursday, in just the latest reminder that the low-cost shares might not be all that they seem.

  • October 30, 2014

    Despite Fervent Push, Fast-Track Bill Likely DOA In Congress

    Scores of business groups have amplified their calls for the U.S. Congress and the Obama administration to pass a new fast-track trade bill in the upcoming lame-duck legislative session, but experts are dubious of the prospects, citing staunch opposition among trade skeptics and the Senate leadership.

  • October 30, 2014

    23 AGs Assail EPA's Mercury Rule At Supreme Court

    Attorneys general from 23 states including Michigan, Texas and Alaska asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants, arguing the agency failed to adequately consider the regulation’s economic impact.

  • October 30, 2014

    EPA’s Cynthia Giles Says New Tech Is Fueling Enforcement

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's program to increase use of new technology in environmental monitoring has uncovered more pollution than expected and led to tough compliance actions over air, water and waste rules, enforcement chief Cynthia Giles told Law360. This is part one of a two-part series.

  • October 30, 2014

    GOP Lawmakers Want Info On Diplomats' ACA Benefits

    House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce called on the Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday to disclose whether foreign diplomats are receiving health coverage tax credits through the Affordable Care Act, saying it's unfair if U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing foreign nationals.

  • October 30, 2014

    CFPB No-Action Letters May Be Small Comfort For Innovators

    The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to offer financial product developers assurances that new products don't violate any laws in the form of so-called "no-action letters," but attorneys say the program's burdensome requirements could limit its appeal.

  • October 30, 2014

    Lyft Looks To Dodge $7M Fine For Operating In Pa.

    Lyft Inc. urged the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Tuesday to reject a nearly $7 million fine proposed over allegations that the rideshare company violated a cease-and-desist order preventing it from operating in the state, saying the PUC’s complaint is legally insufficient.

  • October 30, 2014

    Pa. Rep Launches Probe Into Fracking Waste Disposal

    A Pennsylvania congressman has asked the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to hand over records about its process for monitoring the handling and disposal of waste from hydraulic fracturing as part of a nationwide investigation by a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee.

  • October 30, 2014

    Enviros Challenge NRC Waste Storage Rule At DC Circ.

    Environmentalists on Wednesday challenged the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s recent rule for long-term nuclear waste storage, saying that the rule violates the U.S. Environmental Policy Act and federal atomic energy regulations in two petitions for review filed in the D.C. Circuit.

  • October 30, 2014

    New UK Law Eyes Tax Shelter Promoter Fines, Suspensions

    U.K. tax advisers who breach professional codes of conduct by promoting tax shelters and are fined more than £5,000 ($8,006) because of that activity could find themselves subject to a new law that requires them to stop that behavior, the U.K. government said Thursday.

  • October 30, 2014

    EC Proposes Options For Reformed VAT Regime

    The European Commission on Thursday released a set of options to reform the European Union’s more than 20-year-old, outdated value added tax system and move toward a definitive regime that is more efficient and less burdensome for businesses.

  • October 29, 2014

    No New AG Until Next Year, Holder Says

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday said he doesn’t envision a replacement taking over the top spot at the U.S. Department of Justice until 2015.

  • October 29, 2014

    EXCLUSIVE: SEC Issued Badges Without Security Checks

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission neglected to perform required background checks before giving security keycards to some of its workers and failed to document who received those keycards, according to a previously undisclosed report by the agency’s inspector general.

  • October 29, 2014

    More Cybersecurity Regs Would Hurt Business, SEC Told

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday urged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission not to go overboard on cybersecurity regulations, saying that legislation forcing public companies to disclose cyberattack information would hurt businesses and harm their relationship with the government.

Expert Analysis

  • If Voters Repeal The Massachusetts Gaming Law

    Abim Thomas

    As Massachusetts voters consider whether to ratify or veto the Legislature’s decision to allow casino gambling, the companies that planned to open casino and slot gaming establishments should keep in mind what recourse they may have in the event the cards turn out not to be in their favor on Election Day, say Abim Thomas and Joshua Daniels of Goodwin Procter LLP.

  • Important O&G Regulatory Developments Come To Pa.

    Tad MacFarlan

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's recent insight into enforcement protocols for the oil and gas industry reaffirms procedures for issuing and resolving notices of violation, establishes a new process for resolving water supply contamination incidents and updates well-inspection policies, say Timothy Weston and Tad MacFarlan of K&L Gates LLP.

  • New Guidelines Suggest A Friendlier European Patent Office

    Philip Cupitt

    While many of the changes in the latest European Patent Office guidelines reflect the current practice of the EPO’s boards of appeal, they also suggest that the first-instance departments of the EPO may be moving toward a less rigid and formalistic approach to some issues, say Philip Cupitt and Hazel Ford of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP.

  • Automakers Should Not Be Held Strictly Liable For V2V Hacks

    Todd B. Bernoff

    Strict liability was initially used to spur the auto industry to develop safer vehicles. And it worked. But that incentive is not necessary in the case of hacking vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems, for a number of reasons, says Todd Bernoff of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • Judge Blocks NJ Sports Betting — What's Next?

    Daniel Wallach

    Less than 48 hours before Monmouth Park Racetrack was to open the first legal sports book in New Jersey, U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp put a temporary halt to those plans. Oral argument on the leagues’ application for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for Nov. 20. Can we expect a different outcome? Don’t bet on it, says Daniel Wallach of Becker & Poliakoff PA.

  • How Russian Sanctions Impact Energy And Financial Cos.

    The U.S. Treasury and European Union have continued to expand the scope of economic sanctions in response to Russian activities and the political unrest in Ukraine. In this brief video, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan partner Mark Herlach discusses recent key developments and what the latest round of sanctions mean for energy and financial services companies.

  • 10 Key Points From The Final Risk Retention Rule

    Dan Ryan

    The final asset-backed securities risk retention rule effectively broadens the original proposal’s exemption from risk retention requirements for qualified residential mortgages, abandoning the proposal’s most stringent requirements to obtain exemption. It may, however, be too soon for the mortgage industry to celebrate, says Dan Ryan, chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's financial services regulatory practice.

  • How The FEC Responded To Citizens United, McCutcheon

    Joseph Cosby

    While there may be more public debate over the rules the Federal Election Commission recently adopted in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United opinion, special attention should be given to the FEC's proposal dealing with the McCutcheon decision. Likely to be one of the more contentious provisions, the FEC requested comments on its enforcement policies concerning earmarked contributions, says Joseph Cosby of Butzel Long PC.

  • CFPB Final Privacy Notice Rule Will Hurt Consumers

    Andrew M. Smith

    By crafting a narrowly tailored rule for financial institutions on posting online annual privacy notices and imposing several needlehole requirements, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is essentially discouraging companies from adopting a sensible and consumer-friendly alternative, say attorneys at Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • The RMBS Working Group: Is There Life After Eric Holder?

    Andrew W. Schilling

    Attorney General Eric Holder’s planned exit and a string of other high-level departures could lead some to believe that the U.S. Department of Justice’s aggressive pursuit of financial fraud cases may be behind us. However, there is evidence to suggest that the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group may in fact be ramping up rather than winding down, say Andrew Schilling and Ross Morrison of BuckleySandler LLP.