Public Policy

  • July 06, 2020

    FDA Rips Big Tobacco's 'Astounding' Attack On New Warnings

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is scorching a legal challenge from major tobacco companies over new visual warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements, telling a Texas federal judge that the lawsuit blithely downplays concerns about lesser-known smoking risks, such as amputations.

  • July 06, 2020

    LA Urges Court Not To Pause Minority Pot Licensing

    Los Angeles has asked a California state judge not to grant an injunction pausing the city's processing of minority cannabis applications in a case that may reach a settlement, according to counsel for some rejected applicants.

  • July 06, 2020

    GOP Operative Linked To Russian Spy Gets 7 Years For Fraud

    A conservative operative once linked to a Russian agent who made headlines for her high-profile arrest was sentenced Monday in South Dakota federal court to seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.

  • July 06, 2020

    The CFPB Survived The High Court, But Will All Of Its Rules?

    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision settling the long-standing debate around the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's structure may have opened a Pandora's box for pending litigation and past rulemaking.

  • July 06, 2020

    Gov't Releases Borrower Details For PPP Loans Over $150K

    The Trump administration released detailed data Monday covering all Paycheck Protection Program loans over $150,000, meeting a congressional demand for transparency while using dollar ranges to protect proprietary information.

  • July 06, 2020

    Law Firms Sought Millions In PPP Loans As Virus Hit Industry

    More than 170 of the largest law firms in the U.S. were among the businesses approved for loans under a federal program intended to ease the economic impact of COVID-19, with roughly 100 receiving a nod for funding of between $5 million and $10 million, according to newly released data.

  • July 06, 2020

    ICE Won't Let Int'l Students Have Virtual Semester In The US

    International students who planned on taking an online course load for the fall semester will have to choose between taking those virtual classes abroad and switching to in-person classes to remain in the U.S., according to Monday guidance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

  • July 06, 2020

    Tribes Say Alaska Native Cos. Must Wait For COVID Funds

    Several federally recognized tribes have pressed a D.C. federal judge to block the Treasury Department from sending Alaska Native corporations part of $8 billion in COVID-19 relief, saying the court's recent decision in favor of the companies recognized that there are tough questions to be dealt with on appeal and that the language of the relief law backs the tribes.

  • July 06, 2020

    8th Circ. Adopts Supreme Court's Broad Title VII Standard

    The Eighth Circuit on Monday officially scrapped its longstanding precedent that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act doesn't bar discrimination against gay workers to square with the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision last month that the federal workplace protections cover sexual orientation and gender identity bias. 

  • July 06, 2020

    Texas Justices Asked To Revive Navy Helicopter Crash Suit

    A military contractor accused of improperly maintaining a U.S. Navy helicopter that crashed in Virginia and killed three service members isn't protected from suit under the political question doctrine, family members of those killed have told the Texas Supreme Court.

  • July 06, 2020

    Mich. Sens. Demand Answers On Unusable COVID-19 Tests

    Michigan's senators are taking two federal agencies to task after the state received 322,000 faulty COVID-19 test kits produced by upstart government contractor Fillakit, which received more than $10.5 million in federal contracts in May, just weeks after it was incorporated.

  • July 06, 2020

    Norcross Can't Revive Suit Challenging Tax Break Probe

    A New Jersey state appeals court refused to revive Democratic powerbroker George E. Norcross' claim that a probe into a state corporate tax break program unfairly targeted the mogul's business interests, reasoning that a lower court judge properly considered outside evidence that was public record and relevant to the allegations.

  • July 06, 2020

    Bids Seeking Win In FOIA Suit Against CBP Rejected

    A District of Columbia federal judge has rejected bids by both the federal government and a reporters' committee for an end to litigation over access to documents related to an incident in which the government sought to unmask an anonymous Twitter account critical of the Trump administration's immigration policies.

  • July 06, 2020

    EPA Accused Of Wrongly Going Virtual For Coal Ash Hearing

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency broke the law when it refused to hold an in-person hearing in January regarding proposed changes to a coal ash rule, environmental groups told a D.C. federal court on Monday.

  • July 06, 2020

    Commerce Scrambling To Shore Up Tariff Exclusion Records

    The Trump administration has not kept sufficient records of its system for granting tariff exemptions and is currently in the process of tracking down missing documents, according to a Monday filing at the U.S. Court of International Trade.

  • July 06, 2020

    10th Circ. Sides With Sierra Club Over Utah Coal Plant Permit

    The Tenth Circuit has ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cannot ignore its obligation to enforce the Clean Air Act, pointing to its failure to pursue pollution controls on a Berkshire Hathaway-affiliated coal plant in Utah.

  • July 06, 2020

    Twitter Nears Win In Suit Challenging Its Trump Tweet Policy

    A California judge said Monday the Communications Decency Act likely shields Twitter from a lawsuit demanding that the company apply its policies uniformly to the president's tweets, reasoning that Twitter didn't write the tweets and its policy of nonenforcement falls within the traditional scope of a publisher protected by the CDA.

  • July 06, 2020

    Top State And Local Tax Policies Of 2020: Midyear Report

    The unexpected displacement of workforces by the COVID-19 pandemic, the acceleration of taxation of the digital world and continued post-Wayfair adaptation were just some of the state and local tax trends in the first half of the year. Here, Law360 looks at five policy developments that stood out.

  • July 06, 2020

    T-Mobile Keeping 11K Boost Subscribers In Sprint Merger

    The U.S. Department of Justice has told a D.C. federal court it allowed T-Mobile to keep about 11,000 subscribers from Sprint's prepaid mobile business that were supposed to be divested to Dish Network as a concession to T-Mobile and Sprint's $56 billion merger.

  • July 06, 2020

    Va. Lawmakers Eye Pot Legalization Amid Racial Justice Push

    Top state lawmakers in Virginia have called for full legalization of marijuana shortly after the state's decriminalization law went into effect, saying a regulated commercial market should be the next step in redressing racial inequality in the criminal justice system.

  • July 06, 2020

    Cigar Groups Challenge Philly's Flavored Tobacco Ban

    A group of cigar manufacturers has filed suit arguing that a recent ban on the sale of most flavored tobacco in the city of Philadelphia, which follows a similar ban that was axed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court nearly a decade ago, was preempted by state laws regulating tobacco sales.

  • July 06, 2020

    FERC Seeks More Time To Digest DC Circ. Pipeline Ruling

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asked the D.C. Circuit on Monday to pause a recent order upending the agency's ability to delay requests to reconsider gas project approvals, telling the court it needs time to figure out how to implement the court's June decision and to consider a U.S. Supreme Court appeal.

  • July 06, 2020

    Top Dems Demand More Time For Input On Fiduciary Rule

    Two Democratic lawmakers have urged the U.S. Department of Labor not to limit the public to just 30 days to comment on its recently-announced fiduciary rule, saying that the middle of a pandemic wasn't the time for the agency to "arbitrarily and unfairly rush through this process."

  • July 06, 2020

    House Dems Float Cuts To ICE, Block Of Border Wall Funding

    House Democrats on Monday released their draft homeland security spending bill, which sets up a congressional showdown with its calls for the slashing of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's detention capacity and a bar on transferring defense funding to the border wall.

  • July 06, 2020

    Top Federal Tax Policies Of 2020: Midyear Report

    As in other areas, so far this year the biggest news in federal tax policy relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Congress passing economic relief laws and the IRS issuing key regulations despite its limited operations due to the virus. Here, Law360 takes a look at notable legislative and regulatory developments in federal tax policy for the first six months of 2020.

Expert Analysis

  • Assessing The New DOJ, FTC Vertical Merger Guidelines

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    The vertical merger guidelines recently issued by the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice offer few details on agency determination of industrywide average retail price and lack clarity on remedies, so the forthcoming agency commentary should fill in the holes, say Koren Wong-Ervin and John Harkrider at Axinn.

  • How Cannabis Cos. Can Address Enhanced Antitrust Scrutiny

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    Cannabis businesses should consider the antitrust implications of deals and transactions, discussions with competitors, and participation in trade associations in light of recent whistleblower claims that Attorney General William Barr has targeted the industry for unwarranted scrutiny, say attorneys at Jenner & Block.

  • Mass. Solar Incentive Restrictions Make Site Scrutiny Crucial

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    In light of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources' recent rule changes restricting incentives for solar development on ecologically sensitive greenfield sites, landowners and solar developers should assess target properties carefully before building, say attorneys at Beveridge & Diamond.

  • 9th Circ.'s VW Ruling Promotes Patchwork Auto Regs

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    The Ninth Circuit's recent ruling in the Volkswagen multidistrict litigation that the Clean Air Act does not preempt state and local anti-tampering laws for post-sale vehicles raises significant concerns about patchwork regulation of vehicle maintenance, recalls and field fixes, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • 5 Biz Tax Reforms To Aid Long-Term Pandemic Recovery

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    As Congress negotiates another COVID-19 relief package, it should consider business tax measures that provide liquidity and encourage economic recovery by focusing budgetary resources on activities and circumstances connected to the pandemic and associated economic slowdown, says George Callas at Steptoe & Johnson.

  • 6 Dispute Prevention Steps As Lawsuits Rise Amid Pandemic

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    With the inundation of lawsuits resulting from the pandemic, now is an opportune time for companies and their advisers to implement prevention measures explicitly designed to break the dispute cycle early and to de-escalate possible legal actions as they form, says arbitrator and mediator Janice Sperow.

  • Trump's Social Media Order May Not Go Far

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    Because courts have a history of interpreting the Communications Decency Act's Section 230 immunity broadly, President Donald Trump’s executive order targeting social media company protections will likely have little real effect, and a recent challenge in federal court stands on solid legal ground, says Genelle Belmas at the University of Kansas.

  • Why Colo. Stay Of Trump's Water Rule Is Noteworthy

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    Following a Colorado federal court's statewide stay of the Trump administration's new Clean Water Act rule, it seems likely the rule will be invalidated in the state — further complicating a national patchwork of definitions of "waters of the U.S." and possibly influencing other courts considering injunction requests, say Christine Jochim and Michael Smith at Brownstein Hyatt.

  • CARES Act Reanimates Sale-Leaseback Tax Benefits

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    Sale-leaseback transactions have new life thanks to the CARES Act's net operating loss changes, which give participants an opportunity to reduce effective tax rates, accelerate refunds and, in some cases, deduct 100% of their rental payments, say William Rohrer and Maximilian Viski-Hanka at Duane Morris.

  • CFIUS Latest Annual Report Reveals Key Enforcement Trends

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    Attorneys at Reed Smith discuss five takeaways from the new annual report of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which assessed the 229 notices and 21 declarations filed for CFIUS' review in 2018 and provided a first look at the impact of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act.

  • COVID-19 Orders Unlikely To Constitute Temporary Takings

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    Although public agencies have issued a broad range of orders intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, they are likely safe from temporary takings claims due to the high hurdles for such claims and the expanded police powers granted to governments during public health emergencies, say Gene Tanaka and Emily Chaidez at Best Best.

  • Don't Count On PREP Act To Defend Pandemic IP Infringement

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    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' recent guidance, the rise in pandemic-related intellectual property lawsuits, and constitutional considerations suggest that parties cannot rely with certainty on the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act to protect against infringement claims, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn.

  • Opinion

    Time To Consider Percentage Rental Agreements For Lawyers

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    It has long been the law that attorneys cannot use percentage rental agreements because doing so would constitute an impermissible sharing of fees with nonlawyers, but such arrangements can help lawyers match expenses with revenues in lean times like now, say Peter Jarvis and Trisha Thompson at Holland & Knight.

  • Calif. Cannabis Delivery Case May Bring Black-Market Growth

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    A win for municipalities suing the California Bureau of Cannabis Control in an upcoming trial this month would likely lead to an increase in black-market services by disallowing legal statewide marijuana delivery, say Michael Rosenblum and Lauren Chee at Thompson Coburn.

  • Altera Could Bolster State Transfer Pricing Scrutiny

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    The reasoning of the Ninth Circuit's Altera v. Commissioner decision — which the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to review — could provide state tax authorities with an argument for additional discretion when challenging transfer pricing arrangements between affiliated entities, say attorneys at Eversheds Sutherland.

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