Public Policy

  • February 22, 2018

    Tax Law Could Keep IP From Leaving, Treasury Official Says

    An international provision in the new tax law might not result in U.S. companies bringing intellectual property back home, but the measure could keep them from moving more assets outside of American borders, a U.S. Treasury official said Thursday at a conference in Houston.

  • February 22, 2018

    Facebook Shouldn't Expect 'Fake News' Legal Woes, For Now

    Social media sites are facing heightened scrutiny amid charges that an army of Russia-based “bot” accounts meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google are largely immune from liability even if they unwittingly help spread propaganda, attorneys say.

  • February 22, 2018

    Senate Budget Chief Urges DOD To Show Audit Progress

    Congress could hold back on proposed growth in the U.S Department of Defense’s budget if it doesn’t assure lawmakers and the public that it is spending money wisely, including by demonstrating its progress on a pending department-wide audit, a senior GOP senator said Wednesday.

  • February 22, 2018

    More Yellowstone Bison Illegally Freed, Park Service Says

    For the second time this year, dozens of bison were released from a holding area in Yellowstone National Park before officials could process them for slaughter or test them for disease, according to a statement from the park that characterized the incident as an act of "sabotage."

  • February 22, 2018

    Trump 'Thinking About' Pulling ICE Out Of California

    President Donald Trump suggested Thursday he is "thinking about" removing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from California in response to policies instituted by the state and several of its communities that he considers provide sanctuary to those unauthorized to be in the United States.

  • February 22, 2018

    FCC Faces Heat On Proposed Lifeline Subsidy Reforms

    The Federal Communications Commission fielded a bevy of comments on its proposals to reform the Lifeline phone subsidy program for low-income households ahead of Thursday’s deadline, with many blasting a ban on wireless services that rent infrastructure.

  • February 22, 2018

    Chamber Seeks Clarity For Tax Law's Repatriation Rules

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has asked Treasury and IRS officials to clarify the terms of recent guidance that give multinational corporations some wiggle room in determining the amount of offshore income eligible for a one-time discounted tax rate under the newly enacted tax cut law.

  • February 22, 2018

    SEC Case Exposes Justices' Rift Over 'Legislative History'

    The Supreme Court’s long-running tensions over the use of legislative history as a way to interpret law broke out into public view Wednesday in a case over the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions, as Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas clashed over the value of a Senate report.

  • February 22, 2018

    Net Neutrality Challenges Roll In After Rule Publication

    Official net neutrality lawsuits started to rain on federal courts Thursday along with the divisive Restoring Internet Freedom rule’s publication in the Federal Register, with the rule stating an effective date of April 23 for the deregulation.

  • February 22, 2018

    Agricultural Visa Overhaul Added To Immigration Package

    Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is pushing for an overhaul of temporary agricultural worker visas as part of a House immigration reform package, capturing the support of the House Freedom Caucus and industry groups.

  • February 22, 2018

    USCIS Accused Of Wrongly Denying Green Cards

    Immigrants with temporary protected status on Thursday brought class claims that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services wrongfully denied their green card petitions on the basis that they initially entered the U.S. “without inspection.”

  • February 22, 2018

    UK Antitrust Agency Eyes Bigger Post-Brexit Role

    The United Kingdom’s competition watchdog is eyeing a leading global enforcement role and greater ownership over U.K.-related mergers and cartel allegations after Britain leaves the European Union, the agency’s general counsel said in a London speech Thursday.

  • February 22, 2018

    Treasury Official Keeps Mum On BEAT Anti-Abuse Rules

    Taxpayers can expect guidance dealing with how the new U.S. tax law’s base erosion and anti-abuse measure will affect partnerships, a U.S. Department of Treasury official said Thursday at a conference in Houston, although he kept mum on how the government would interpret its related authority to curb avoidance.

  • February 22, 2018

    Newark Accused Of Unlawfully Shielding Amazon HQ Docs

    A New Jersey man has slammed Newark with a lawsuit in state court alleging the city unlawfully denied his public records request for documents related to its bid to land Amazon's second U.S. headquarters, citing "a compelling public interest" in learning such information.

  • February 22, 2018

    Pass-Throughs Await IRS Guidance Before Restructuring

    The recently passed federal tax cut bill slashed income tax rates for corporations, but in the absence of guidance from the Internal Revenue Service, some pass-through businesses are holding off on restructuring that might take advantage of the reduced rates.

  • February 22, 2018

    NJ Sens. Move Bill To Raise $300M In Nuke Plant Subsidies

    A New Jersey legislative committee on Thursday released a bill that would establish a $300 million nuclear plant subsidy from ratepayers in what advocates say will ensure the viability of two Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. power plants and advance the state’s clean energy goals.

  • February 22, 2018

    Rulemaking On Speedy Tech Approval Raises Hackles At FCC

    The Federal Communications Commission took steps to expedite reviews for emerging communications technologies at its February open meeting on Thursday, teeing up a public comment period over objections that the FCC is detrimentally positioning itself as a gatekeeper for innovation.

  • February 22, 2018

    Feds Ask DC Circ. To Reinstate Tax Preparer ID Fees

    Seeking to overturn a federal court decision, the IRS told the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday it had the authority to charge $37.6 million in fees to issue and renew preparer tax identification numbers because a PTIN has value — it protects a tax preparer’s Social Security number and helps the preparer avoid a penalty of up to $25,000.

  • February 22, 2018

    Feds' Plan For 5G: If You Deregulate, It Will Come

    Federal legislative and executive staff gathered Wednesday in Washington, D.C., to outline efforts to streamline the approval process for broadband infrastructure projects, saying removal of regulatory barriers will pave the way for the private sector to roll out next-generation wireless services, known as 5G.

  • February 22, 2018

    Montana Forest Wildfire Project Gets 9th Circ.'s Blessing

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday gave the go-ahead to the U.S. Forest Service’s plan to reduce the wildfire threat in Montana’s Gallatin National Forest, overruling environmentalists’ arguments that the project would imperil the threatened Canada lynx.

Expert Analysis

  • Understanding Texas Mechanic's Liens And Bonds: Part 1

    Excerpt from Lexis Practice Advisor
    David Tolin

    Texas is home to relatively complex statutory frameworks for liens and bonds used to secure payment for services rendered. Statutory and constitutional liens provide powerful remedies for nonpayment, but only if the proper guidelines are strictly observed, says David Tolin of Cokinos Young.

  • Autonomous Drones: Set To Fly, But May Not Comply

    Sara Baxenberg

    A California company has unveiled a fully autonomous "selfie" drone, which promises to stay trained on a moving subject, capturing footage while avoiding any obstacles. But a drone that flies itself may run afoul of a number of Federal Aviation Administration regulations, even if it has fancy obstacle detection and personal tracking, say Sara Baxenberg and Joshua Turner of Wiley Rein LLP.

  • How Emerging Sources Of ESI Will Impact Discovery

    Charles McGee

    Late last year, the Sedona Conference released the third edition of its principles addressing electronic document production, updated to account for innovations like Snapchat and Twitter. It may be necessary for these principles to be updated more often in order to keep pace with technology, says Charles McGee III of Murphy & McGonigle LLP.

  • 3 Mass. Proposals Signal A New Wave Of Offshore Wind

    Tommy Beaudreau

    After the recent submission of three bids in response to Massachusetts electric distribution companies' request for proposals for offshore wind energy projects, the stage is set for 2018 to be a breakthrough year in U.S. offshore wind development, say attorneys with Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Put The Brakes On Acceleration Bay Litigation Funder Ruling

    David Gallagher

    Last week, the District of Delaware raised eyebrows by ruling that documents provided to a litigation funder and its counsel in connection with their due diligence are categorically not attorney work product. Acceleration Bay v. Activision Blizzard seems to be a case of bad facts making bad law, says David Gallagher, investment manager and legal counsel for Bentham IMF.

  • The Base Erosion And Anti-Abuse Tax: An Introduction

    Introducing The Base Erosion And Anti-Abuse Tax

    The new base erosion and anti-abuse tax generally imposes a 10 percent minimum tax on a taxpayer’s income determined without regard to tax deductions arising from base erosion payments. In this video, Daniel Nicholas and Margaret Pope of Eversheds Sutherland LLP offer a brief overview of the tax, and a simplified example of the BEAT calculation.

  • Contesting FERC's Right To Impose Retroactive Surcharges

    David Perlman

    In Verso Corp. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the commission is arguing that it has broad authority to make regional transmission organizations impose surcharges on customers where necessary to pay refunds ordered under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act. The D.C. Circuit's decision in this dispute will have significant implications for FERC’s authority going forward, say attorneys with Bracewell LLP.

  • Drawing A Road Map For Nationwide Health Info Sharing

    Christine Moundas

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released its draft Trusted Exchange Framework, setting forth a guide for a public-private partnership designed to promote interoperability among health information networks. Attorneys with Ropes & Gray LLP address some of the questions that remain in evaluating whether this new voluntary arrangement will help to achieve its intended goals.

  • Considerations For Attorneys Using Artificial Intelligence

    Ben Allgrove

    Artificial intelligence tools can empower attorneys to work more efficiently, deepen and broaden their areas of expertise, and provide increased value to clients, which in turn can improve legal transparency, dispute resolution and access to justice. But there are some common pitfalls already apparent in the legal industry, say Ben Allgrove and Yoon Chae of Baker McKenzie.

  • PG&E Ruling May Mean More Challenges To Incentive Adders

    Paul Pantano Jr.

    The Ninth Circuit recently rejected the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s grant of incentive adders to Pacific Gas & Electric’s rate of return calculations for the utility's continued participation in the markets operated by the California Independent System Operator. The decision may open the door for more challenges to public utilities’ rate filings, say attorneys with Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.