Public Policy

  • December 15, 2017

    DOJ Watchdog Says Indian Country Crime Data Is Unreliable

    The U.S. Department of Justice inspector general released a report on Thursday that called into question the implementation of a law aimed at assisting tribes with their law enforcement capabilities, finding that efforts were disorganized and the government’s crime data was “virtually useless.”

  • December 15, 2017

    Final GOP Tax Bill Settles On 21% Corporate Rate

    Republicans unveiled the final version of their tax cut bill on Friday that would impose a 21 percent flat rate on corporations, set the maximum individual tax rate at 37 percent and largely adopt the Senate’s proposal for pass-through businesses.

  • December 15, 2017

    Health Hires: Holland & Knight, EBG, Quarles, Ciitizen

    Over the last few weeks, Holland & Knight LLP, Epstein Becker Green, Quarles & Brady LLP and medical records startup Ciitizen have grown their health care and life sciences teams with pros from Laredo & Smith LLP, LifePoint Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • December 15, 2017

    Senate Confirms US Attys For Pa., Mass.

    The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Scott W. Brady, corporate counsel for Federated Investors, as the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania and Andrew Lelling, a longtime federal prosecutor, as the U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

  • December 15, 2017

    US Calls Off The Dogs Following Thailand's IP Tweaks

    The Trump administration closed a probe of Thailand’s intellectual property regime Friday following several steps the country took to improve its patent and trademark rules that had frustrated drugmakers and other companies for years.

  • December 15, 2017

    Trump’s Finance Regulators Shift Focus To Compliance Costs

    The financial stability risks flagged by Trump administration regulators in a Thursday report largely mirrored those highlighted by the Obama administration, but the report's focus on revising the rules governing banks and other financial firms indicates a significant change in perspective among supervisors.

  • December 15, 2017

    House-Senate Negotiators Approve GOP Tax Bill

    Republicans on Friday signed off on changes to their $1.5 trillion tax cut bill to settle differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation, even as details of the final bill remain largely hidden.

  • December 15, 2017

    IRS Floats Tiered Partnership Rules Under New Audit Regime

    The IRS on Friday released highly anticipated guidance on a new partnership tax audit regime to address, among other things, how tax adjustments should be taken into account by so-called tiered partnerships that have pass-through entities as partners.

  • December 15, 2017

    Ghosts Of Trade Deals Past: The Year In NAFTA

    The defining feature of President Donald Trump’s trade policy during his first year in office has been the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a process that has altered decades' worth of Washington orthodoxy and teed up a high-stakes tussle between the U.S. and two of its closest partners. Here, Law360 catches you up on the long road to NAFTA renegotiation.

  • December 14, 2017

    Judge Could Reach Split Ruling On CFPB Leadership

    A chief complaint about President Donald Trump's appointment of a White House staffer to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is that it erodes the agency's independence, but experts say a judge could reassert that independence even as he upholds the president's right to fill that post.

  • December 14, 2017

    Feds Should Ask Firms, Not Cloud Service, For Data: DOJ

    The U.S. Department of Justice has advised prosecutors seeking consumer data stored on the cloud to request the information from underlying businesses rather than their third-party data storage providers, in a shift that Microsoft Corp., which has been sparring with the government over online privacy rights, hailed as a positive step.

  • December 14, 2017

    House OKs Bill Loosening Bank Privacy Disclosure Rules

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would loosen current requirements for banks to notify their customers of personal information policies, claiming the bill would reduce duplicative regulation despite concerns for abuse of the information.

  • December 14, 2017

    Ex-Cuomo Aide Pleads Not Guilty In Bribery Case

    A former aide of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and three others pled not guilty on Wednesday to an expanded indictment tied to alleged bribes for higher education and energy projects, ahead of a trial set for January.

  • December 14, 2017

    EPA Invites Local Groups To Discuss Updates To Lead Rules

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday sent a letter inviting local organizations to weigh in on an effort to revise rules aimed at keeping lead out of drinking water, saying the dialogue was part of the Trump administration’s efforts to engage with local stakeholders.

  • December 14, 2017

    USCIS Ends Temporary Protected Status For Nicaraguans

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is ending a 20-year a temporary protected status program for Nicaraguans effective in January 2019, according to a notice issued Thursday in the Federal Register.

  • December 14, 2017

    NY, NJ Pledge $5.55B Toward 'Urgent' Commuter Tunnel Rehab

    New York and New Jersey have pledged $5.55 billion for the construction of two new commuter rail tunnels under the Hudson River, an infrastructure project New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday is “urgent” and critical to public safety and the economy.

  • December 14, 2017

    Senate Confirms Gibson Dunn Vet For 5th Circ.

    Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP partner James C. Ho is heading to the Fifth Circuit after a Senate vote Thursday confirmed him to the post as President Donald Trump’s 12th appellate judge confirmed this year.

  • December 14, 2017

    Woman Says Husband’s Visa Delayed Because He’s Pakistani

    A U.S. citizen seeking a visa for her Pakistan-born spouse sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, claiming the agency has intentionally delayed issuing final approval for his visa application because he is from a predominantly Muslim country.

  • December 14, 2017

    Trump To Appeal Ruling Blocking 'Sanctuary Cities' Order

    The Trump administration is appealing to the Ninth Circuit a California federal judge’s decision blocking enforcement of an executive order to withhold federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities, according to court documents filed on Thursday.

  • December 14, 2017

    Trump's 2018 Deregulatory Push Targets CPP, Fracking Rule

    Final coffin nails for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan and the Bureau of Land Management's hydraulic fracturing rule are just two of the energy-related deregulatory actions the Trump administration is planning to take in 2018, the White House said on Thursday.

Expert Analysis

  • A Review Of Massachusetts' Marijuana Industry In 2017

    William Moorman Jr.

    It's been an exciting year for the marijuana industry in Massachusetts, with cities and towns now determining whether to embrace the new economic development opportunities presented by recreational marijuana. However, investment in the industry remains risky because the cultivation, use, sale and possession of marijuana remains a crime under federal law, say William Moorman and John Ottaviani of Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP.

  • Litigation Trend Links Climate Change And Human Rights

    Viren Mascarenhas

    One key takeaway from the Bonn Climate Talks — which recently brought together negotiators from close to 200 countries to discuss implementation of the Paris agreement — is that energy companies must seriously consider potential lawsuits linking their business operations with human rights violations and climate change, say Viren Mascarenhas and Kayla Winarsky Green of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Cosmetic Companies Must Plan For New Regulation  

    Arameh O'Boyle

    U.S. senators on both sides of the aisle have proposed cosmetic reform bills, making it likely that Congress will soon pass legislation regulating personal care products. This, in turn, is likely to result in greater litigation against companies making those products, say attorneys at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • Opinion

    BigLaw Is Behind The Automation Curve

    Michael Moradzadeh

    In its new report on the effects of automation in the workplace, McKinsey Global Institute identifies lawyers as less susceptible to the sort of automation that could put one-third of American workers out of a career by 2030. This may seem reassuring, but it doesn't mean automation won't disrupt our bottom line, says Michael Moradzadeh of Rimon PC.

  • Weighing Wedding Cake Questions At The High Court

    Joel Kurtzberg

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. While there are many ways the court could slice this case, it seems likely the vote will be 5-4 with Justice Anthony Kennedy casting the deciding vote, says Joel Kurtzberg of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP.

  • A GDPR Primer For US-Based Cos. Handling EU Data: Part 2

    Caroline Krass

    In the final part of this series about the General Data Protection Regulation, attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP explain the stringent restrictions placed on cross-border data transfers to countries outside of the European Union, various compliance mechanisms and penalties, and potential deviations in implementation among EU member states.

  • Autonomous And Connected Vehicles: The Year In Review

    Lawrence Hamilton

    During 2017, advances in the state of autonomous vehicle technology, and in the development of a new regulatory framework, moved at a rapid pace. While some industry experts think fully automated passenger vehicles will arrive by 2020, there are signs it will happen sooner, say attorneys with Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Simplifying Federal Purchases Of Commercial Products

    Angela Styles

    The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president on Tuesday, makes measurable strides forward in transforming the federal government’s commercial purchasing practices and signals a willingness to remove the regulatory burdens facing government purchasers and commercial companies, say Angela Styles and Robert Wagman of Bracewell LLP.

  • 10 Things To Know About Native American Policy: Part 2

    Donald Pongrace

    Significant Native American policy developments to pay attention to in the coming months include the future of tribal coal and the next wave of politicians that will leave office in the near future, as well as how their replacements will address Indian Country issues, say attorneys with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in the final part of this article.

  • A Look Inside Texas' New Home Equity Loan Law

    Jeff Dunn

    New amendments to the Texas constitutional provisions permitting loans secured by homestead equity should help expand loan opportunities, but the transition period requires compliance vigilance by lenders, says Jeff Dunn of Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC.