Public Policy

  • May 23, 2024

    SEC Opens Gate To Ether ETFs, But Firms Await Green Light

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission started the process of bringing exchange-traded funds holding the cryptocurrency ether to market on Thursday when it approved a series of filings permitting national securities exchanges to list the products, leaving firms to wait for the next step before trading can begin.

  • May 23, 2024

    RFK Jr.'s Anti-Vax Suit Against Wash. AG Tossed

    A Washington federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on behalf of NBA legend John Stockton trying to shield doctors who make anti-vaccine statements, ruling claims that a medical board probe has chilled speech are speculative.

  • May 23, 2024

    Feds Ask 5th Circ. To Weigh Highway GHG Rule Vacatur

    The Biden administration has asked the Fifth Circuit to review a Texas district court's recent decision vacating a Federal Highway Administration rule that would've required states to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from federally funded highway projects.

  • May 23, 2024

    DOJ Has A Long Set To Play Against Live Nation-Ticketmaster

    The U.S. Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit announced Thursday against Live Nation and Ticketmaster's dominance over performing artists, venues and tickets may have been 14 years in the making, but it still has a long road ahead in New York federal court.

  • May 23, 2024

    NJ Justices Toss Direct Appeals Over Hospital Contract Bid

    The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Thursday that an independent state-owned teaching hospital's conduct cannot be challenged directly in the state's intermediate appellate court because it isn't considered an administrative agency, affirming the dismissal of two protests over the hospital's selection of a pharmacy vendor.

  • May 23, 2024

    House Members Approve Closing Delta-8 Hemp 'Loophole'

    A U.S. House of Representatives committee on Thursday approved a major change to the statutory definition of hemp and hemp products — which would effectively rewrite national hemp policy if it became law — in the next version of the federal Farm Bill.

  • May 23, 2024

    ACLU Follows DOJ In Bid To Block Okla. Immigration Law

    The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday filed a lawsuit challenging an Oklahoma law criminalizing the presence of undocumented immigrants in the state, mirroring a similar suit the U.S. Department of Justice filed the day prior.

  • May 23, 2024

    White House Pushes Back On GOP's Nominee Complaints

    Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is withholding his go-ahead for a nominee to serve as a U.S. district judge in the Southern District of Florida, alleging that the White House did not work with him. The White House says otherwise.

  • May 23, 2024

    Proposal To Expand PTAB Practitioners Divides Atty Groups

    Patent lawyers and others have chimed in on proposed plans from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that would potentially "designate nonregistered practitioners" to litigate at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, with some urging the agency to let nonpatent lawyers argue there, while others warn it could "dilute the importance of the registration process."

  • May 23, 2024

    Alaskan Youth Sue State Over $43B Natural Gas Project

    A group of children is suing Alaska to stop a $43 billion liquefied natural gas project, alleging the endeavor violates their rights under the state constitution to a climate system capable of sustaining human life, liberty and dignity.

  • May 23, 2024

    House Panel Pushes AM Radio Bill Forward

    Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle came together to bump a popular proposal to prevent automakers from removing AM radios from their vehicles through to the full committee, with the bill sailing through markup Thursday morning.

  • May 23, 2024

    22 States Seek To Defend EPA Heavy-Duty Truck GHG Rule

    A coalition of 22 Democrat-led states and four cities moved to intervene on Thursday in defense of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's final rule establishing greenhouse gas emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles, arguing that vacating the rule would lead to direct injuries to state lands and resources.

  • May 23, 2024

    Feds Agree To Clean, Close Dump Site For Tribal Nations

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to properly clean and shut down a 70-year-old solid waste dump site on tribal lands in northern Arizona, saying federal law requirements for its closure haven't been followed since 1997.

  • May 23, 2024

    White House Says 1st Circ. Judge Didn't Aid Daughter's Nom

    The White House said Thursday that a First Circuit judge played no part in his daughter's nomination to the appeals court, and plans to retire if she's confirmed.

  • May 23, 2024

    Thomas Sees No Role For Courts In Election Map Fights

    While his Supreme Court colleagues sparred over evidence standards Thursday in a 6-3 decision rejecting claims that South Carolina's congressional map diluted the power of Black voters, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a solo opinion to argue the country's founders never intended courts to referee election map fights.

  • May 23, 2024

    FCC Aims To Reduce Risk From China-Controlled Test Labs

    The Federal Communications Commission pushed Thursday for new rules to prevent foreign adversaries, mainly the Chinese Communist Party, from playing a role in testing and certifying communications equipment in the U.S. market.

  • May 23, 2024

    Ill. Justices OK $28M Tax Value Appeal Without Payment

    A power company's property in Illinois was not required to pay disputed property taxes before appealing a valuation, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed Thursday, upholding a reduction in the assessment of about $28 million.

  • May 23, 2024

    FERC Cements 1-Year Window For State, Tribal Water Permits

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday said it will give states and tribes one year to act on water quality certificate requests from developers of any energy project seeking agency approval, the maximum amount of time allowed under the Clean Water Act.

  • May 23, 2024

    NC GOP Wants 'Citizen-Only' Voting Question On Ballots

    North Carolina Republicans on Thursday pushed to amend the state constitution to clarify that only U.S. citizens may vote in the state.

  • May 23, 2024

    Enforcers Want To Know Where Roll-Ups Are Happening

    The Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice are asking for help finding industries where serial acquisitions and roll-up strategies are being used, building on a probe of the healthcare sector launched earlier this year.

  • May 23, 2024

    Conn. To Expand Paid Sick Leave To Smaller Businesses

    More employees in Connecticut will soon become eligible for paid sick leave after the state's governor gave his blessing on a bill that expands the state's time-off requirements to include smaller businesses.

  • May 23, 2024

    Length A 'Red Herring' In Black Student's Hair Bias Case

    A Black Texas high school student claiming his Houston-area district is discriminating against him for wearing his hair in locs told a Galveston judge Thursday the district forces students to choose a religion if they want to style their hair outside the district's dress code, as he fought off multiple dismissal bids.

  • May 23, 2024

    Ga. Judge Says Disorderly Law 'Likely Survives' Challenge

    A federal judge has declined to grant a Georgia man's request to block enforcement of the disorderly conduct ordinance he was arrested under in 2021, finding the law "likely survives" a constitutional challenge to its alleged limits on free speech rights.

  • May 23, 2024

    Commerce Must Rethink German Steel Duties A 4th Time

    The U.S. Department of Commerce failed a third time to convince the trade court that its assessment of a German steel company's energy costs is correct, with the court ordering it to once again rethink duties on the company's exports.

  • May 23, 2024

    AT&T Stands To Gain Billions From 4.9 GHz, Report Says

    A group representing Verizon and T-Mobile is renewing its effort to stop AT&T-affiliate FirstNet from gaining further control of the 4.9 gigahertz public safety band, this time arguing that AT&T stands to gain over $3 billion worth of spectrum if the Federal Communications Commission extends FirstNet's authority.

Expert Analysis

  • Perspectives

    Public Interest Attorneys Are Key To Preserving Voting Rights

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    Fourteen states passed laws restricting or limiting voting access last year, highlighting the need to support public interest lawyers who serve as bulwarks against such antidemocratic actions — especially in an election year, says Verna Williams at Equal Justice Works.

  • Car Apps, Abuse Survivor Safety And The FCC: Key Questions

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    A recent request for comment from the Federal Communications Commission, concerning how to protect the privacy of domestic violence survivors who use connected car services, raises key questions, including whether the FCC has the legal authority to limit access to a vehicle's connected features to survivors only, say attorneys at Davis Wright.

  • Novel Applications May Fizzle After Fed Master Account Wins

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    Two recent federal court rulings that upheld decisions denying master account applications from two fintech-focused banks are noteworthy for depository institutions with novel charters that wish to have direct access to the Federal Reserve's payment channels and settle transactions in central bank money, say attorneys at Davis Polk.

  • Exploring An Alternative Model Of Litigation Finance

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    A new model of litigation finance, most aptly described as insurance-backed litigation funding, differs from traditional funding in two key ways, and the process of securing it involves three primary steps, say Bob Koneck, Christopher Le Neve Foster and Richard Butters at Atlantic Global Risk LLC.

  • Salvaging The Investor-State Arbitration System's Legitimacy

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    Recent developments in Europe and Ecuador highlight the vulnerability of the investor-state arbitration framework, but arbitrators can avert a crisis by relying on a poorly understood doctrine of fairness and equity, rather than law, to resolve the disputes before them, says Phillip Euell at Diaz Reus.

  • NY's Vision For Grid Of The Future: Flexible, Open, Affordable

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    Acknowledging that New York state's progress toward its climate goals is stalling, the New York Public Service Commission's recent "Grid of the Future" order signals a move toward more flexible, cost-effective solutions — and suggests potential opportunities for nonutility participation, say Daniel Spitzer and William McLaughlin at Hodgson Russ.

  • FTC Noncompete Rule's Impact On Healthcare Nonprofits

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    Healthcare entities that are nonprofit or tax-exempt and thus outside of the pending Federal Trade Commission noncompete rule's reach should evaluate a number of potential risk factors and impacts, starting by assessing their own status, say Ben Shook and Tania Archer at Moore & Van Allen.

  • Businesses Should Take Their AI Contracts Off Auto-Renew

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    When subscribing to artificial intelligence tools — or to any technology in a highly competitive and legally thorny market — companies should push back on automatic renewal contract clauses for reasons including litigation and regulatory risk, and competition, says Chris Wlach at Huge Inc.

  • Global Bribery Probes Are Complicating FCPA Compliance

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    The recent rise in collaboration between the U.S. Department of Justice and foreign authorities in bribery enforcement can not only affect companies' legal exposure as resolution approaches vary by country, but also the decision of when and whether to disclose Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations to the DOJ, say Samantha Badlam and Catherine Conroy at Ropes & Gray.

  • Airlines Must Prepare For State AG Investigations

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    A recent agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation and 18 states and territories will allow attorneys general to investigate consumer complaints against commercial passenger airlines — so carriers must be ready for heightened scrutiny and possibly inconsistent enforcement, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • Series

    Teaching Yoga Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Being a yoga instructor has helped me develop my confidence and authenticity, as well as stress management and people skills — all of which have crossed over into my career as an attorney, says Laura Gongaware at Clyde & Co.

  • A Vision For Economic Clerkships In The Legal System

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    As courts handle increasingly complex damages analyses involving vast amounts of data, an economic clerkship program — integrating early-career economists into the judicial system — could improve legal outcomes and provide essential training to clerks, say Mona Birjandi at Data for Decisions and Matt Farber at Secretariat.

  • Opinion

    State-Regulated Cannabis Can Thrive Without Section 280E

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    Marijauna's reclassification as a Schedule III-controlled substance comes at a critical juncture, as removing marijuana from being subjected to Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code is the only path forward for the state-regulated cannabis industry to survive and thrive, say Andrew Kline at Perkins Coie and Sammy Markland at FTI Consulting.

  • Asset Manager Exemption Shifts May Prove Too Burdensome

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    The U.S. Department of Labor’s recent change to a prohibited transaction exemption used by retirement plan asset managers introduces a host of new costs, burdens and risks to investment firms, from registration requirements to new transition periods, say attorneys at Simpson Thacher.

  • Pay-To-Play Deal Shows Need For Strong Compliance Policies

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, through its recent settlement with Wayzata, has indicated that it will continue stringent enforcement of the pay-to-play rule, so investment advisers should ensure strong compliance policies are in place to promptly address potential violations as the November elections approach, say attorneys at WilmerHale.

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