Public Policy

  • February 23, 2017

    Trump's Trans Bathroom Access U-Turn May Not Slow EEOC

    Although the Trump administration made waves in rescinding an Obama-era directive that transgender public school students be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice, experts say employers shouldn't assume the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will take its foot off the enforcement throttle when it comes to transgender rights in the workplace.

  • February 23, 2017

    Tax Reform Possible Despite Border Adjustment Opposition

    Despite growing opposition from retailers and within the GOP's own ranks to a tax reform blueprint that would disallow deductions for import costs, experts are hopeful that a compromise going beyond mere tax cuts is possible.

  • February 23, 2017

    Fla. Senate Readies Gaming Bill, But House Has Other Ideas

    The Florida Senate Appropriations Committee's passage of a comprehensive gaming bill to the Senate floor on Thursday raised the prospects for long-sought resolutions to multiple industry issues, but those odds looked longer as a House panel backed a proposal that hews to the status quo and rejects expansion.

  • February 23, 2017

    Sessions Ditches Obama Policy Curtailing Private Prison Use

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reversed a U.S. Department of Justice memo from the Obama administration aimed at curtailing use of private prisons by the federal government, according to a memo sent to the federal Bureau of Prisons on Thursday.

  • February 23, 2017

    GOP Faces Pitched Battle As It Looks To Revise ESA

    Having seized control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, Republicans are seeking to amend the Endangered Species Act after years of complaints that it stymies development and limits land use. But lawmakers should take note of previous failed attempts to alter the law, as supporters will fiercely fight any changes they see as weakening it, experts say.

  • February 23, 2017

    Wood Group To Pay $9.5M In False Reporting, Explosion Plea

    Wood Group PSN Inc. will pay $9.5 million over allegations of falsely reporting safety inspections and violating the Clean Water Act in connection with the November 2012 explosion at the West Delta 32 offshore facility in the Gulf of Mexico, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

  • February 23, 2017

    FCC Approves 1st Foreign Co. Broadcast Station Ownership

    The Federal Communications Commission for the first time ever has allowed a fully foreign-owned company to take ownership of 15 U.S. radio broadcast stations, in a decision on Thursday that approved a petition to let an Australian couple take on several stations in Alaska and Texas.

  • February 23, 2017

    Public Interest Groups Urge FCC Not To Undermine Lifeline

    The NAACP, AFL-CIO and Public Knowledge are among a range of public interest organizations that on Thursday pressed the Federal Communications Commission to reverse course on stripping nine Lifeline low-income broadband providers of eligibility to provide service or risk undercutting the goal of connecting the poor.

  • February 23, 2017

    FCC Grants Small-Business Relief From Transparency Rules

    The Federal Communications Commission’s Republican majority voted Thursday to exempt broadband providers with 250,000 or fewer subscribers from stepped-up transparency rules in the 2015 Open Internet Order as the lone Democratic commissioner objected amid questions of how the GOP will deal with broader net neutrality rules.

  • February 23, 2017

    Oregon Moves Forward On Bill To Revamp Sports Agent Law

    Oregon lawmakers are pushing forward with what could be a first-of-its-kind bill that would significantly expand the definition of who is considered an athlete agent beyond those who negotiate contracts and provide college student-athletes with a specific civil remedy for agent misconduct.

  • February 23, 2017

    Fracking Quakes Could Shake Regulatory Ground In Pa.

    The first-of-its-kind link that Pennsylvania environmental regulators recently drew between hydraulic fracturing and a string of minor seismic events detected nearly a year ago could be the first step toward increased monitoring requirements and permitting conditions for drillers.

  • February 23, 2017

    IRS Asked To Create Form To Help Shareholder Compliance

    An accounting trade group has urged the IRS to create a new income tax form that would compute a shareholder’s basis in the stock and debt of a pass-through corporation, saying that in the past, taxpayers have misreported over $10 million in losses due to a lack of basis.

  • February 23, 2017

    Groups Aim To Block Trump From Slashing Refugee Numbers

    The International Refugee Assistance Project and others asked a Maryland court Wednesday to stop the government from enforcing part of the travel ban executive order that slashed refugee admission numbers, saying the law doesn’t allow a president to force a midyear cutback in refugees.

  • February 23, 2017

    Law Profs Hit Kellyanne Conway With Misconduct Complaint

    A group of law professors and ethics experts this week filed a misconduct complaint against President Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, arguing that a series of false statements she made in TV interviews "brings shame" to the profession.

  • February 23, 2017

    FCC Pushed To Ensure Stricter Political Ad Disclosure

    In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday, a group of 10 Democratic Congress members encouraged the agency to adopt even stricter disclosure rules for TV stations that run political advertisements.

  • February 23, 2017

    High Court Confirmation ‘Not The Way It Should Be’: Ginsburg

    The current U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process has grown too partisan, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday, as the Senate is gearing up for a fight over President Donald Trump’s pick for the high court, Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch.

  • February 23, 2017

    Feds To Allow Pre-ACA Policies Through 2018

    Federal regulators on Thursday once again granted extra time for consumers to renew health insurance that doesn’t fully comply with Affordable Care Act standards, saying the older coverage can run through 2018.

  • February 23, 2017

    Sierra Club To Sue EPA For Renewable Fuel Report Absence

    The Sierra Club issued a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, saying it had ignored its obligations to analyze the Renewable Fuel Standard by failing to publish an evaluation on air quality or communicate with Congress.

  • February 23, 2017

    Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes City's LGBT Protections

    The Supreme Court of Arkansas on Thursday struck down a city ordinance that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but refused to address whether the state’s law stripping local governments of the ability to protect LGBT rights is constitutional.

  • February 23, 2017

    5th Circ. Reinstates Texas Anti-Immigrant Harboring Law

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday reinstated a Texas law that makes it a felony to harbor unauthorized immigrants, lifting an injunction that had blocked the 2015 law from taking full effect, in a ruling praised by both the state and immigrant advocates.

Expert Analysis

  • Paid Administrative Leave: There Ought To Be A Law

    Gregory J. Rolen

    California public entities and employees are being increasingly victimized by paid administrative leave abuse. Although sometimes an indispensable practice, PAL is metamorphosing as a means to not only shortcut public employees’ workplace rights, but also to destroy reputations, says Gregory Rolen of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP.

  • What Lawyers Can Learn From Kellyanne Conway

    Michelle Samuels

    Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway's TV appearances provide some examples of what lawyers should and shouldn't do when speaking to the media, says Michelle Samuels, a vice president of public relations at Jaffe.

  • How States Might Challenge The OCC's Fintech Charter

    Brian G. Barrett

    Some state banking regulators see the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's plan to create a new charter for financial technology companies as a direct threat to their existing authority. Litigation challenging the preemptive effect of the fintech charter would likely involve an interpretation of the limitations on the OCC’s statutory preemptive power, say attorneys with Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP.

  • Gorsuch's Judicial Tools For Fixing Overcriminalization

    John F. Lauro

    For those who are concerned about overcriminalization, President Donald Trump could not have selected a better U.S. Supreme Court nominee than Judge Neil Gorsuch. Three opinions reveal his approach to addressing this problem, says John Lauro, founder of the Lauro Law Firm and a former federal prosecutor.

  • Opinion

    A Potential Risk For Eminent Domain In California

    David Graeler

    Earlier this month, a California Assembly member introduced Assembly Bill 408, which sets out to radically change the standards by which courts decide whether or not to award litigation expenses in eminent domain actions. This bill could cause right-of-way costs to increase and projects may take longer to build, says David Graeler of Nossaman LLP.

  • Financial Services In The 1st Month Of Trump Presidency

    Matthew Cutts

    In the first 30 days of his administration, President Donald Trump issued more than two dozen executive orders, memoranda and proclamations, several of which significantly impact the financial services industry. In addition, policymakers are turning their time and attention to reforming the nation’s financial services laws, with a “Choice Act 2.0” likely to be introduced soon, say Matthew Cutts and James Sivon of Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • The Uncertain Future Of PURPA, A Key To Renewable Energy

    Larry Eisenstat

    The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act was enacted in 1978 to encourage development of alternative energy resources. But PURPA's opponents want to see it amended or repealed. With the law’s supporters staying relatively quiet, calls for reform may gain traction with the new Congress and the Trump administration, say attorneys from Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Challenging Emoluments Clause Violations As A Conspiracy

    Randall Eliason

    I’m not confident that trying to hold the Trump Organization liable for President Donald Trump’s own constitutional violations will work. But there might be other legal theories under which a state attorney general could argue that Trump-owned companies act unlawfully when they receive emoluments. Consider a core white collar criminal statute — conspiracy to defraud the U.S., says Randall Eliason, a former federal prosecutor.

  • Inside New FAR Rule On Untimely Payment To Subcontractors

    Aron C. Beezley

    New changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation impose mandatory reporting requirements on federal prime contractors who fail to make full and timely payments to their small business subcontractors. Although little more than a month old, this rule already has been the source of considerable confusion, say Aron Beezley and Emily Unnasch of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

  • The Mistakes Lawyers Make When Copying And Pasting

    Robert D. Lang

    We all recognize that cutting or copying text from earlier works and pasting it into new documents saves attorneys time. However, with this increase in speed comes an increased risk of making, or not catching, errors, says Robert Lang of D’Amato & Lynch LLP.