Public Policy

  • March 22, 2018

    New Indiana Law Allows Pro Licenses For Certain Immigrants

    Indiana Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday signed a bill into law that allows the issuance of professional licenses to immigrants unauthorized to be in the United States who entered the country as minors.

  • March 22, 2018

    IRS Overhaul Bill Coming In April, Brady Says

    House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said Thursday that his committee will advance an Internal Revenue Service overhaul bill next month as part of the next phase of tax overhaul that he and President Donald Trump have advocated.

  • March 22, 2018

    Congress Passes $1.3T Spending Bill With ‘Grain Glitch’ Fix

    Congress has approved a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that in addition to funding the government would fix a provision in the recent tax overhaul law that was having unintended effects on the agricultural industry and make other changes to the tax code.

  • March 22, 2018

    Infrastructure Gets $21B Boost In House Spending Package

    The House approved a $1.3 trillion six-month omnibus spending package Thursday that would invest an additional $21.2 billion on rebuilding infrastructure nationwide, including transportation, energy, water and cybersecurity projects, and reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration through September.

  • March 22, 2018

    Trump's Salvo Against China IP Sows Trade Anxiety

    Leading lawmakers and industry groups balked at President Donald Trump’s move to crack down on China’s intellectual property regime Thursday, saying that while Beijing’s policies deserve scrutiny, the White House should make a measured response that won’t harm the U.S. economy.

  • March 22, 2018

    EPA Escapes Relatively Unscathed In Spending Bill

    The $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by the House on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s call for dramatic cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 budget, maintaining it at the current $8 billion and shifting money around to provide more for water projects and Superfund cleanups.

  • March 22, 2018

    Budget Bill Won't Let Businesses Keep Workers' Tips

    The federal spending bill that passed the Senate Friday includes a provision that would block the part of the U.S. Department of Labor's controversial tip pooling rule that lets employers keep workers' tips.

  • March 22, 2018

    House OKs Changes For Air Passenger, Cargo Security Rules

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed a series of bills Monday to update Department of Homeland Security policies for ground and air transportation, intent on establishing new strategies and pilot programs for security and terrorism prevention.

  • March 22, 2018

    HomeAway Challenging Santa Monica License Law In 9th Circ.

    HomeAway gave notice Wednesday to the Ninth Circuit that it is appealing a lower court decision denying its and Airbnb’s bid to stop enforcement of a Santa Monica, California, ordinance requiring residents using the home-sharing websites to be licensed.

  • March 22, 2018

    Transport Co. Owner Charged With Fraud, Laundering Millions

    The owner of a Massachusetts-based transportation company, already facing an indictment for allegedly running a $19 million Medicaid false claim scheme, was indicted on Wednesday by a Bay State grand jury on additional charges claiming he laundered millions of dollars, according to the state's attorney general.

  • March 22, 2018

    Long-Term Gov't Funding Bill Includes $3.5B For USPTO

    The omnibus federal spending bill passed by Congress on Thursday to keep the government operational includes $3.5 billion earmarked for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a slight uptick from the $3.41 billion President Donald Trump called for in a 2019 budget unveiled last month.

  • March 22, 2018

    Labor Agencies Avoid Sharp Budget Cuts In Spending Bill

    The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that passed the House and Senate on Thursday spared the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board from drastic budget reductions that had recently been proposed by the Trump administration.

  • March 22, 2018

    Trump Escalates China IP Brawl As Tariffs Loom

    President Donald Trump targeted $50 billion worth of Chinese goods with hefty new tariffs and ordered stiff investment restrictions Thursday in retaliation for Beijing’s purported abuse of U.S. intellectual property, marking the administration’s most contentious trade move against China to date.

  • March 21, 2018

    House Passes 'Right To Try' Experimental Treatments Bill

    The House of Representatives passed a bill that would expand the “right to try” experimental treatments under current U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules Wednesday, as backers claim the measure may help save the lives of people with no other option.

  • March 21, 2018

    Groups Seek Ban On Imports From Mexico To Save Porpoise

    Conservation groups sued the federal government in the U.S. Court of International Trade on Wednesday, calling for a prohibition on seafood imported from Mexico when it's caught in a certain area with an all-encompassing net, saying the world's smallest, most endangered porpoise will be pushed to extinction without such a ban.

  • March 21, 2018

    NJ Arbitration Measure On 'Collision Course' With Fed. Law

    Pending legislation in New Jersey aimed at banning nondisclosure agreements in cases of discrimination, retaliation or harassment also would preclude arbitration agreements in employment contracts, a move some attorneys and law professors said would run afoul of federal law and U.S. Supreme Court precedent that prohibit state efforts to forbid arbitration.

  • March 21, 2018

    Congressional Leaders Agree To $1.3T Long-Term Funding Bill

    House and Senate leaders have reached an agreement Wednesday on federal spending for the next six months, kicking off a race to keep the government open ahead of a Friday funding deadline.

  • March 21, 2018

    Immigration Authorities Sued Over 5-Year Green Card Delays

    Three refugees from Sri Lanka sued federal immigration authorities in New York federal court on Wednesday over their failure to process the immigrants' applications for permanent residency for almost five years, alleging that they have violated due process and the Administrative Procedure Act.

  • March 21, 2018

    OPM's Post-Breach Security Efforts Worry Lawmakers

    House lawmakers expressed concern Tuesday that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is still struggling to modernize its aging information technology systems three years after a sweeping breach compromised personal data belonging to tens of millions of people.

  • March 21, 2018

    Chevron Concedes Climate Change, But Not Blame In SF Suit

    The California federal judge overseeing allegations that oil companies are liable for San Francisco and Oakland’s global warming-related infrastructure costs heard a five-hour tutorial on climate science Wednesday, with both sides agreeing human activity contributes to global warming, while an attorney for Chevron said a handful of companies shouldn’t take the heat.

Expert Analysis

  • Trends In China's Food And Packaging Laws: Part 2

    David Ettinger

    China has recently implemented a number of changes to its food regulatory system. U.S. beef can again be imported to China after a 14-year prohibition. But companies must comply with new standards for food manufacturer certification, food labeling and food packaging, say attorneys with Keller and Heckman LLP.

  • Employer Takeaways From Calif.'s Response To #MeToo

    Jamie Wright

    Because there is a clear definition of sexual harassment under both California and federal law, there are several precautions that employers can take to prevent the #MeToo movement from occupying their workspace, even as state representatives work to bolster the statutory scheme of protection, says Jamie Wright of Albright Yee & Schmit APC.

  • Section 232 Tariffs: More Questions Than Answers

    Donald Cameron

    The recent announcement of new steel and aluminum tariffs provided few answers regarding their scope and operation. The sooner definite procedures for exclusions and exemptions are established, the better for the global economy, say Donald Cameron and Mary Hodgins of Morris Manning & Martin LLP.

  • Tax Planning In The Age Of Tax Reform: Part 1

    Ellen McElroy

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act presents both challenges and opportunities. Companies face immediate hurdles implementing the law without administrative guidance. But the combination of expiring provisions and newly enacted provisions creates unique tax planning opportunities, say attorneys with Eversheds Sutherland LLP.

  • Trends In China's Food And Packaging Laws: Part 1

    David Ettinger

    As China says "zai jian" to the Year of the Rooster and "ni hao" to the Year of the Dog, it's a good time to reflect on developments in China's food laws in 2017. Many important food regulations and standards were revised, including rules on health foods, GMOs and infant formula, say attorneys with Keller and Heckman LLP.

  • How The Federal Reserve Might Approach Regulatory Reform

    George Madison

    The Federal Reserve’s new leadership has made clear that while it supports certain changes to Dodd-Frank and the related regulations, it broadly supports the post-crisis regulatory framework. With that background, we focus on the Fed’s anticipated views of five areas where reform is possible, say attorneys with Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Lawyering A La Carte: Unbundled Dispute Resolution Services

    David Wallace

    There's no reason for limiting unbundled legal services to family law or even pro se litigants. Wider adoption, especially by litigators, presents an opportunity to correct law's distribution and pricing problem, to make justice practically available to all, and to dethrone litigation as the "sport of kings," says New York-based trial lawyer David Wallace.

  • Illinois And Oregon's Turn To Respond To Federal Tax Reform

    Stephen Kranz

    On March 1, Illinois issued guidance explaining how federal tax reform, especially the international and net operating loss provisions, will impact its taxpayers. And Oregon has now addressed the repatriation provisions of federal tax reform and is in the process of repealing its tax haven inclusion provision. Attorneys with McDermott Will & Emery LLP track the changes.

  • Aviation Update: Air Traffic Control Privatization Stalls

    Alan Hoffman

    Last month saw the end of a congressional effort to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system. The initiative was opposed by groups who saw it as a ploy to hand air traffic control to the airlines. But given its support from the airline industry and the Trump administration, privatization will likely resurface, says Alan Hoffman, a retired attorney and private pilot.

  • You’re Perfect, Now Change: Perfectionism Hurts Lawyers

    Peter Norman

    Like medical professionals, lawyers often resist policies to reduce errors due to the culture of perfectionism that permeates the industry. Autonomy is key to the legal professional's prestige and the outward demonstration of competence is key to maintaining autonomy, says Peter Norman of Winnieware LLC.