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Public Policy

  • May 23, 2018

    DOD Bars Mobile Devices From Secure Areas At Pentagon

    The U.S. Department of Defense will block mobile devices from being brought into areas of the Pentagon that handle classified information, according to a new policy released Tuesday that stopped short of an outright ban, after a review prompted by concerns about devices potentially revealing sensitive information.

  • May 23, 2018

    EU Digital Tax Not A ‘Google Tax,’ Commission Official Says

    A top official at the European Commission emphasized Wednesday that the continent’s efforts to tax large digital firms are intended not to punish individual companies but simply to tax an activity that didn’t exist when tax rules were written.

  • May 23, 2018

    Advertising Co. Sues Gov't Over CEO's L-1 Visa Denial

    Federal immigration officials violated federal immigration and procedural law when they denied an L-1 visa extension application for the CEO of the U.S. affiliate of a Dubai-based advertising agency, the company alleged in Illinois federal court on Tuesday.

  • May 23, 2018

    Treasury To Weigh In On States' SALT Cap Workarounds

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury signaled Wednesday that it may curb state governments’ attempts to circumvent the new federal tax law’s $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions.

  • May 23, 2018

    Gilbane GC Monitoring Contracts Amid Steel Tariff Questions

    New tariffs on steel from certain countries are creating uncertainty in the construction industry regarding which of various parties involved in contracts would bear the responsibility for increased costs should prices rise, and that's causing companies to closely examine their contracts, Gilbane Building Co. General Counsel Brad Gordon told Law360 in a recent wide-ranging interview.

  • May 22, 2018

    Researchers Can't Sell Medical Marijuana, Pa. Judge Says

    Temporary regulations allowing medical marijuana researchers to produce and sell products were preliminarily blocked Tuesday by a Pennsylvania judge, who sided with a group of growers and distributors in saying the state’s Medical Marijuana Act did not appear to intend for research facilities to engage in commercial distribution.

  • May 22, 2018

    Va. School Can't Shake Trans Student's Bathroom Bias Suit

    A Virginia school board that created a policy aimed at keeping a transgender student from using restrooms that match his gender identity will have to face his discrimination claims that made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and back, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

  • May 22, 2018

    3 Reasons The Epic Systems Ruling Won't Sink #MeToo

    Although the U.S. Supreme Court's blockbuster Epic Systems ruling that gave businesses a green light to use employment contracts to bar workers from bringing class actions will have a far-reaching impact on employment law, attorneys say it won't significantly reduce the volume of sexual harassment cases that arise as part of the #MeToo movement.

  • May 22, 2018

    UPS Loses Challenge Of Postal Shipping Costs Rule

    UPS can’t unwind new federal rules on consumer shipping costs after the D.C. Circuit found Tuesday that the Postal Regulatory Commission hadn’t overstepped its bounds in excluding some of the U.S. Postal Service’s costs from its math.

  • May 22, 2018

    House Bill Would Extend USPTO’s Fee-Setting Power

    Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation Tuesday that would allow the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to retain its fee-setting authority, which is set to expire in September, mirroring a bill introduced in the Senate in March.

  • May 22, 2018

    Iancu Defends AIA Claim Construction Plan To Congress

    U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday that a planned change to the claim construction standard for America Invents Act reviews will increase consistency and efficiency, defending the move to lawmakers who expressed concern about it.

  • May 22, 2018

    ICE Chief Pushes For Clamp Down On Border Crossings

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Thomas Homan urged Congress on Tuesday to adopt stricter enforcement policies to discourage unauthorized border crossings, echoing U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recent assertion of a “zero-tolerance” policy at the border.

  • May 22, 2018

    5th Circ. Tosses Houston Residents’ Suit Over Flooding

    A group of Houston residents can’t revive claims that a city tax reinvestment zone led to street and drainage projects in their area that caused their homes to flood during periods of heavy rainfall, the Fifth Circuit held Tuesday.

  • May 22, 2018

    Sens. Whose IDs Used In Fake FCC Posts Tell Pai To Fix Site

    Two senators, one from each party, have told Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to fix a public commenting system that has let bots produce millions of fraudulent comments under stolen identities — including the identities of the senators themselves.

  • May 22, 2018

    City-Industry Rifts Mire FCC Panel's Bid To Grease 5G

    When FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced a new task force last year, he optimistically billed it as a way to break down local regulatory hurdles slowing the rollout of new 5G technology. But a year and half after its formation, the panel is facing many roadblocks of its own.

  • May 22, 2018

    House Sends 'Right To Try' Treatments Bill To Trump

    The House of Representatives sent a bill to President Donald Trump on Tuesday that would greatly increase the “right to try” experimental treatments under current U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, which backers claim would help bring hope to otherwise terminally ill patients.

  • May 22, 2018

    Gorsuch, Ginsburg Go To Mat Again In Class Waiver Case

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has once again delivered a 5-4 majority opinion over a vigorous dissent from his liberal colleague Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this time clashing in a high-profile dispute over arbitration clauses protecting businesses from worker class actions.

  • May 22, 2018

    Defense Industrial Base Faces Significant Risks, DOD Says

    The defense industrial base faces a number of challenges that threaten its health, including skill loss, fluctuating demand and dependency on foreign sources, although the impact varies by industry sector, according to a U.S. Department of Defense report made public Monday.

  • May 22, 2018

    Ala. Sues Over Census Counting Unauthorized Immigrants

    The state of Alabama sued the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau on Monday over the federal government’s policy of including immigrants unauthorized to be in the United States as part of census tallies, alleging that the policy violates the Constitution.

  • May 22, 2018

    Groups Back Trucking Co.'s High Court Arbitration Bid

    A trucking industry lobbying group, a D.C. think tank and a Boston public-interest law firm urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to compel arbitration in a class action accusing New Prime Inc. of failing to pay independent contractor truck-driver apprentices a proper minimum wage.

Expert Analysis

  • Compliance Lessons From An Arms Export Enforcement Case

    Thomas McVey

    Last month, the U.S. Department of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls announced a major enforcement case and settlement for violations of arms export regulations involving FLIR Systems Inc. The case is a reminder to U.S. companies that what may seem like “routine” violations can quickly turn into a $30 million problem, says Thomas McVey of Williams Mullen.

  • Calif. Attorney-Officials Must Heed AG's Ethics Warning

    Gary Schons

    The California attorney general recently issued an opinion on the conflicts posed when an attorney who serves as a city councilmember has a client with interests adverse to the city. The opinion illustrates that ethical conflicts can arise when a lawyer has a fiduciary relationship, but not an attorney-client relationship, with a person or legal entity, says Gary Schons of Best Best & Krieger LLP.

  • Nat'l Space Council Could Launch New Era Of Patent Policy

    Larry Williams Jr.

    While the recently re-established National Space Council has a broad mandate to develop U.S. space policy recommendations, one important area for the council should be fostering creative endeavors in space. In particular, the council should determine if the current patent law framework is adequate, say Larry Williams Jr. and William Allen of Thompson Hine LLP.

  • Emerging Enforcement Trends For Patient Support Programs

    Brett Friedman

    A growing number of recent governmental investigations and settlements calls into question the practice of pharmaceutical companies donating to independent charities that provide financial assistance with out-of-pocket drug costs to patients. In light of this emerging trend, donating to independent patient assistance programs should now be considered a high-risk activity, say attorneys with Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Ending Forced Arbitration In Workplace Discrimination Cases

    Joseph Abboud

    While recent actions to eliminate forced arbitration for employee sexual harassment and sex discrimination claims are welcomed developments in the wake of the #MeToo movement, the concerns motivating the movement provide a similar opportunity to consider the ramifications of changes that benefit one group and how they might be expanded to benefit all workers, says Joseph Abboud of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • Opinion

    Recovering Lawyers' Lost Position Of Independence

    Samuel Samaro

    In these politically divisive times, many ask whether our institutions and traditions can help us return to a greater consensus. In days long past, the legal profession could have been counted on to serve just such a function. But lawyers are now just as polarized as everyone else, says Samuel Samaro of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden PC.

  • Challenges In Billing Physician Observation Services

    Debbie Sconce

    Emergency department overcrowding is a well-documented problem in today’s hospitals. But as processes for admitting patients to observation care have changed to expedite patient throughput, hospitals could be at risk for billing noncompliance due to a long-standing and possibly overlooked regulation in the Medicare Billing and Claims Manual, says Debbie Sconce of FTI Consulting Inc.

  • Inside The New DOJ Policy On Coordinated Enforcement

    Suzanne Jaffe Bloom

    A recent policy announcement by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appears to be an express acknowledgement by the U.S. Department of Justice of the need to mitigate the disproportionate and harmful consequences that can result when multiple enforcement authorities seek to investigate and punish the same conduct, say attorneys with Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • FERC Aims For Market Transparency With Uplift Reports

    Colette Honorable

    Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a final rule requiring regional transmission organizations and independent system operators to publicly report information regarding uplift payments. Attorneys at Reed Smith LLP unpack the revised reporting obligations.

  • How The House FAA Bill Champions Air Travelers' Rights

    Barbara Lichman

    The U.S. House passed its version of the six-year budget reauthorization for the Federal Aviation Administration last month. In a surprising change from Congress' usual tilt toward the interests of the aviation industry, the bill features a number of provisions that address many of the long-smoldering — and vociferously expressed — concerns of the flying public, says Barbara Lichman of Buchalter PC.