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Public Policy

  • June 15, 2018

    Taking On The ‘Petri Dish’ Of BigLaw Bias

    The often-informal processes for deciding matters like compensation at law firms can create, as one expert put it, a “petri dish” for the effects of unconscious bias. Here’s how some firms are looking to shake up the system.

  • June 15, 2018

    The Best Firms For Minority Attorneys

    While U.S. law firms have long vowed to make their ranks more diverse and inclusive, the industry has long failed to deliver on those promises. Here are the firms making some headway, according to this year’s Diversity Snapshot.

  • June 15, 2018

    Law360’s Diversity Snapshot: By The Numbers

    Efforts to increase diversity have again yielded few meaningful changes in law firm demographics, according to Law360’s annual headcount survey, even as law schools continue to enroll students of color in increasing numbers.

  • June 15, 2018

    Law360’s Pro Say: What BigLaw Should Do About Diversity

    For years law firms have had programs aimed at increasing attorney diversity, but nothing is working. On this week’s Pro Say podcast we take a look at our latest survey of diversity at law firms, and unpack what experts say are the things that could actually move the needle on this issue.

  • June 15, 2018

    Walgreens' Dual Role Helped Spur Ky. Opioid Crisis, AG Says

    Walgreens helped spread unneeded opioids throughout Kentucky as both pharmacy chain and distributor, the state's attorney general said in a lawsuit filed Thursday, allegedly cultivating a public health nightmare that has killed Kentuckians, defrauded Medicaid and spurred an armed-robbery epidemic.

  • June 15, 2018

    FTC Backs Flexible Approach To Regulating Internet Of Things

    The Federal Trade Commission on Friday weighed in on the Consumer Product Safety Commission's efforts to better understand the emerging world of internet-connected devices, cautioning that any new standards should be flexible and publicly accessible and urging the CPSC not to overlook the link between poor security practices and potential safety risks. 

  • June 15, 2018

    Trump Throws A Curve With Two-Pronged Tariff Approach

    President Donald Trump’s decision to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese technology in a squabble over intellectual property policy arrived with a wrinkle as the administration primed one set of duties for July while keeping another batch for the future, adding a new layer of intrigue to the sprawling trade fight.

  • June 15, 2018

    3 Telecom Lessons We Can Learn From AT&T-Time Warner

    The U.S. Department of Justice unsuccessfully took AT&T to court over its proposed buy of Time Warner Inc., and U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s Wednesday opinion wholly approving the merger offers several lessons on the shape of the telecom landscape going forward.

  • June 15, 2018

    FCC Urged To Fight Contractor Debt-Collection Robocalls

    A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Friday called on the Federal Communications Commission to beef up rules against federal contractors sending robocalls and texts, saying the agency shouldn't be deterred after its definition of autodialer was rejected as too broad by the D.C. Circuit.

  • June 15, 2018

    2,000 Kids Taken From Parents At Border Under New Policy

    The Trump administration separated 1,995 children from their parents over a recent six-week stretch as part of its new “zero tolerance” policy for prosecuting those who seek to enter the United States without authorization, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Friday.

  • June 15, 2018

    Fiduciary Rule's End Leads Merrill Lynch To Review IRA Policy

    Merrill Lynch is reviewing its policies and procedures, including a ban on commission-based individual retirement accounts, that were implemented in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Obama-era fiduciary rule, the company announced to its financial advisers Friday.

  • June 15, 2018

    BALCA Denies Qualcomm's Bid To Certify Engineer Position

    The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals on Thursday affirmed the denial of a labor certification bid by Qualcomm for an engineer position in California, determining that the company’s alternate requirements of education and experience for the job were too different from its primary requirements.

  • June 15, 2018

    Association Health Plan Rule Almost Ready For Prime Time

    Twenty Republican senators encouraged the U.S. Department of Labor on Friday to pull the trigger on a rule allowing small businesses to band together to create employee health plans, urging the agency to publish the finished rule now that the White House Office of Management and Budget has approved it.

  • June 15, 2018

    Trump Can't Freeze Transgender Troops Ruling During Appeal

    A Washington federal judge on Friday declined to pause her ruling enjoining the Trump administration’s policy barring transgender people from military service while the president appeals to the Ninth Circuit.

  • June 15, 2018

    EPA Cost-Benefit Review Signals Big Concessions To Industry

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently said it is considering altering its approach to regulatory cost-benefit analyses to reflect industry groups' concerns that the process is weighted against them, something experts say would be tough to implement as a one-size-fits-all rule and would surely invite legal challenges from environmental and other public interest groups.

  • June 15, 2018

    Fed Board OKs Credit Exposure Limits For Big Banks

    The Federal Reserve Board signed off Thursday on a rule that puts caps on how much credit big banks can extend to one another, finalizing a proposal that has been years in the making and is aimed at reducing the risk of one firm's distress spreading throughout the financial system.

  • June 15, 2018

    Airbnb Loses Free Speech Challenge To Rental Ordinance

    A California federal judge on Thursday echoed his previous ruling against Airbnb Inc. and HomeAway.com Inc. in dismissing the case and constitutional challenges to a Santa Monica city ordinance that bans unregistered short-term rentals.

  • June 15, 2018

    3 High Court Justices Dump Some, But Not All, Of Their Stock

    The amount of individual stock held in public companies by U.S. Supreme Court justices declined once again in 2017, but three members of the high court’s bench still combine to hold shares in more than 40 entities, according to an analysis of financial disclosures released Thursday by watchdog group Fix the Court.

  • June 15, 2018

    Senate Funding Bill Staves Off Cuts To Indian Programs

    The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $36 billion funding bill Thursday that largely increased spending over the levels proposed by the Trump administration for federal programs providing health care, education and other services to Native American tribes.

  • June 15, 2018

    Conn. Expands Nexus Definition For Out-Of-State Retailers

    Connecticut has expanded the definition of sales tax nexus to include online solicitation and other types of electronic transmission for making tangible personal property sales.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    The Fight Against NPEs, 1 Year After TC Heartland

    Rachel Wolbers

    As the data shows, the U.S. Supreme Court's TC Heartland decision last year marked a major milestone in addressing extreme forum selection in patent law, and to some extent the threat of nonpracticing entity litigation abuse faced by startups. But other NPE problems need fixing, say Rachel Wolbers of Engine and Jonathan Stroud of Unified Patents Inc.

  • Opinion

    Hiding Complaints About Wall St. Benefits Mulvaney Donors

    Pamela Foohey

    Since 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has maintained a public database of consumer complaints that has helped hold financial institutions accountable for unscrupulous practices. But acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney — who received contributions from some of the companies in the database — appears to be on a quest to shut it down, say law professors Pamela Foohey and Amy Schmitz.

  • Go East, Angel Investors: Tax Incentives In Delaware Tech

    Ernie Holtzheimer

    A new Delaware law is noteworthy for angel investors because it awards a significant tax credit to those who invest in certain Delaware-based small businesses, says Ernie Holtzheimer of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP.

  • Series

    Masterpiece Cakeshop: What Did The Baker Win?

    Andrew Koppelman

    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission granted victory to the cake shop owner, but on such narrow grounds that it won’t protect other religious dissenters from anti-discrimination laws. And it’s not generally understood how minuscule the victory is, says Andrew Koppelman, professor of law and political science at Northwestern University.

  • Congress’ Overlooked Environmental Legislation

    Rachel Jacobson

    The House recently passed — and now the Senate is considering — the most important piece of energy and environmental legislation it will consider all year. It isn’t a revision to the Endangered Species Act or the Clean Water Act. It's the National Defense Authorization Act, say attorneys with WilmerHale.

  • The Latest On State-Level Noncompete Reform

    Kevin Burns

    Since the White House’s “call to action” for state restrictive covenant reform, over a dozen states have proposed and enacted laws reforming their use by employers. As more and more states answer the “call” and alter an already inconsistent legal landscape, employers that use these types of agreements should review them to ensure compliance, say Kevin Burns and Brian Ellixson of Fisher Phillips.

  • A Look At 2 GDPR-Inspired Privacy Bills In Senate

    Carroll_Katherine_Mooney_HRC.jpg

    The very public and high-profile allegations against Facebook have led to more discussion about data privacy than ever before within the U.S. Two pieces of proposed legislation have the potential to considerably change the U.S. data privacy regime, but it is not clear that either has a realistic chance of passing, say attorneys with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

  • Impediments To Legal Industry's 'Inevitable' Future: Part 2

    Craig Levinson

    I agree with the legal pundits speculating that NewLaw’s present and future disruptors will radically change the legal services industry, but that change may not come quite as rapidly as predicted. Regardless, now is the time for both the incumbents and the challengers to best position themselves for the eventual shakeup, says Craig Levinson, founder of Levity Partners.

  • Right Of Way And Property Rights In A Driverless World

    Michelle Rudd

    With much land in today's cities currently designated right of way, broad use of autonomous vehicles may provide opportunities to repurpose some of this property. But first, decision-makers will need to understand the nature of the ownership interests in the property, says Michelle Rudd of Stoel Rives LLP.

  • Opinion

    We Must Protect The PTAB

    Dana Rao

    Some people are intent on convincing newly appointed U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu to roll back post-grant review procedures. The innovation community needs to remind Iancu why the patent reform gains of the last few years are so critical, says Dana Rao, associate general counsel of intellectual property and litigation at Adobe Systems Inc.