Public Policy

  • May 25, 2017

    NJ City Accused Of Bias In Denying Mosque Plans

    An Islamic group accused Bayonne, New Jersey, officials on Thursday in federal court of religious discrimination in rejecting its plans to convert an abandoned warehouse into a mosque, saying the municipal zoning board of adjustment capitulated to the community’s anti-Muslim animus.

  • May 25, 2017

    FDA Chief Vows Action On Generic Approvals, Obstruction

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s newly confirmed leader said Thursday that the agency will soon take action to ease drug prices by speeding development of generic medicines and cracking down on efforts by brand-name drugmakers to impede competition.

  • May 25, 2017

    Watchdogs Ask FTC To Investigate TRUSTe Over Child Privacy

    A pair of privacy and consumer protection watchdogs on Thursday called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether TRUSTe Inc. violated a past settlement agreement with the agency by not properly assessing some website operators’ tracking technology under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. 

  • May 25, 2017

    5th Circ. Remands Texas Credit Card Surcharge Case

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday sent a case challenging a Texas law that bars retailers from imposing credit card surcharges back to a lower court following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a similar statute in New York may have unconstitutionally restricted merchants’ free speech rights.

  • May 25, 2017

    Mnuchin Mum On How To Pay For Massive Tax Cuts

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin avoided questions about how the Trump administration plans to broaden the tax base to offset deep cuts to corporate and individual tax rates during a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday.

  • May 25, 2017

    Senate Panel Tees Up Action On New Iran Sanctions Bill

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday approved legislation that would slap new sanctions on Iran in a move that could ratchet up tensions with Tehran as Iran and the U.S. continue to implement a landmark accord to stem the Middle Eastern nation’s nuclear program.

  • May 25, 2017

    3rd Circ. Revives Effort To Halt Abortion Clinic Protest Ban

    The Third Circuit upended a district court’s refusal to temporarily halt a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, law banning protests within 20 feet of health care facilities, issuing a precedential ruling Thursday that the burden of proof was wrongly placed on the ordinance’s two pro-life challengers seeking injunctive relief.

  • May 25, 2017

    Bill Seeks More Indian Health Service Accountability

    Three Republican senators floated legislation Thursday aimed at boosting transparency and accountability at the Indian Health Service, in an effort to guarantee that Native Americans across the country receive reliable and quality health care.

  • May 25, 2017

    NYC Says FCC Must Improve Alerts, Citing Chelsea Bombing

    New York City agencies urged the Federal Communications Commission to modernize the Wireless Emergency Alerts program to embed links and other media in notifications, citing the September bomb explosion in the city's Chelsea neighborhood and opposing delays to reform proposed by a wireless trade association.

  • May 25, 2017

    DOE Halts Energy Efficiency Rule Delay For Ceiling Fans

    The U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday ended its delay of energy efficiency rules for ceiling fans, bowing to lawsuits brought by several states and environmental and consumer groups over the Trump administration's postponement of the Obama-era standards.

  • May 25, 2017

    Calif. Senate Bans Bombastic Judicial Ballot Titles

    The California Senate has passed a bill that would keep prosecutors running for the bench from using self-aggrandizing titles such as “Hardcore Gang Prosecutor” on ballots in an effort to even the playing field between government and private attorneys.

  • May 25, 2017

    House Dems Tell Zinke Trump Can't Touch Monuments

    A group of 86 Democratic U.S. representatives told Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday that Congress, not the president, has the authority to revoke or shrink national monuments, meaning that his ongoing review of certain monuments at President Donald Trump’s direction is a waste of time and money.

  • May 25, 2017

    Trump Repeats NATO Spending Criticism In Brussels

    President Donald Trump delivered harsh rhetoric to NATO on Thursday, and while not repeating campaign rhetoric that the 28-nation alliance is “obsolete,” he did echo prior calls for members to contribute more to Europe’s defense while calling the current situation “unfair” to U.S. taxpayers.

  • May 25, 2017

    ICE Detained Refugee For Unlikely Removal, ACLU Says

    The American Civil Liberties Union has asked a Massachusetts federal court to halt the detention of a man subject to a deportation order to Cambodia nine years ago, alleging he has been wrongly arrested and detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in violation of his Fifth Amendment due process rights.

  • May 25, 2017

    DOJ To Send Fraud Prosecutor To UK Financial Watchdog

    The U.S. Department of Justice expects to detail an anti-corruption prosecutor to Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority in the coming months in the first assignment of its kind, a high-ranking DOJ official said in a speech Wednesday.

  • May 25, 2017

    IRS Mischaracterizes Tax Preparer Rule, DC Circ. Told

    The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants assailed the IRS on Wednesday for its “mischaracterizations” of a challenged voluntary certification program for unlicensed tax return preparers, urging the D.C. Circuit to upend a lower court ruling finding the trade group had no legally protected interest by which to sue.

  • May 25, 2017

    Hastert Open To Settling Hush Money Case

    Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert indicated Wednesday he might be open to settling a suit brought by an anonymous man who says the jailed politician owes him nearly $2 million under a deal that kept the man from going public with allegations of sexual abuse.

  • May 25, 2017

    NYPD Can't Cite National Security To Veil Docs, Activists Say

    Activists organizing protests against police brutality have hit the New York City Police Department with a lawsuit arguing authorities can't use a federal national security exemption to duck a public records request for information on whether authorities surveil organizers or use technology to disrupt their communications.

  • May 25, 2017

    Dems Push Sports Betting Bill Amid High Court Challenge

    New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone led Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee in unveiling legislation Thursday designed to roll back the 25-year-old prohibition on state authorization of sports betting, as the U.S. Supreme Court mulls whether to take up a challenge to the law.

  • May 25, 2017

    First Trump Nominee For Circuit Court Clears Senate

    The Senate has approved President Donald Trump's first nominee for an appellate court, confirming District Judge Amul Thapar to a post on the Sixth Circuit on Thursday.

Expert Analysis

  • My Milkshake Is Better Than Yours: Part 2

    Jill Dessalines

    In the second installment of this two-part series on disruptive innovation among mid-size law firms, Jill Dessalines, founder of Strategic Advice for Successful Lawyers and former senior vice president at McKesson Corp., explores a number of ideas for keeping clients and maintaining market position.

  • The IRS Brings Partial Clarity To North-South Scenarios

    Aaron Pinegar

    When a shareholder transfers property to a distributing corporation shortly before or after a spinoff, will the transfer to the distributing corporation be respected as a separate transaction from the distribution for tax purposes? The IRS' recent ruling on such "north-south" transactions provides helpful guidance for some situations, but leaves other questions unanswered, says Aaron Pinegar of Baker Botts LLP.

  • Opinion

    DOL Fiduciary Rule Puts American Investors First

    Anil Vazirani

    American workers and families should cautiously applaud U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s recent decision to allow partial implementation of the fiduciary rule to proceed. He recognizes the need to protect retirement investors, but the reality is that investors will still need to fight to keep this protection from predatory marketing practices, says 

Anil Vazirani, president and CEO of Secured Financial Solutions LLC.

  • Noncompete Agreements Under Siege At The State Level

    James Hammerschmidt

    Compared with many other areas of labor and employment law, the law of noncompetition agreements has been relatively static with most changes coming in the form of court decisions. More recently, however, many states have turned their attention to noncompetes and considered significant procedural and substantive changes in how they are used and enforced, say James Hammerschmidt and Jack Blum of Paley Rothman.

  • Collaboration, Harmony Key For International Drone Rules

    William O'Connor

    While President Donald Trump's 2-for-1 order has stalled regulations for drone operations in the U.S., the European Aviation Safety Agency and the International Civil Aviation Organization have recently taken steps forward on regulating drones and the airspace in which they operate. Coordination across jurisdictions will be essential for industry to fully realize the benefits of this technology, say attorneys with Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • The Next Steps For Biometrics Legislation Across The US

    Justin Kay

    This month, Washington became the third state after Illinois and Texas to enact its own legislation generally governing the collection, use and retention of biometric data. As biometric information becomes more commonplace, there appears to be a renewed focus on the Illinois law, as well as a new impetus in other states to pass similar laws, say Justin Kay and Brendan McHugh of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.

  • A Gov't Contractor's Guide To Trump Cybersecurity Order

    Christian Henel

    Although many aspects of the Trump cybersecurity executive order follow along the same lines as the 2013 Obama order, there are three important takeaways for government contractors, says Christian Henel of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • My Milkshake Is Better Than Yours: Part 1

    Jill Dessalines

    As I sat there listening, incredulous to learn that "Milkshake" was not only a real song but also a chart-topper, it reminded me of Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen’s work on disruptive innovation — and how it pertains to mid-size law firms, says Jill Dessalines, founder of Strategic Advice for Successful Lawyers and former assistant general counsel of McKesson Corp.

  • Pretax Premiums May Have Employees Singing Post-Tax Blues

    Matt Gerard

    A recent IRS memo states that payments made to participants under certain fixed indemnity health plans must be included in employees’ gross income, unless the premiums for such plans are paid on an after-tax basis. However, the memo does not address how employers should administer these taxable fixed indemnity payments, says Matt Gerard, in-house legal counsel at National Benefits Services.

  • Unaoil Judgment Shows Judicial Support For SFO Authority

    Kevin Roberts

    In its Unaoil ruling, the High Court of Justice in England and Wales recently provided a rare insight into the difficulties that companies can face when challenging the basis of a Serious Fraud Office investigation. The stance of the judiciary seems to be in line with authorities and legislators, allowing prosecuting authorities a wide remit of independence with which to investigate financial crimes, say attorneys with Morrison & Foerster LLP.