Public Policy

  • April 10, 2024

    Pot Cos. Say California City Reneged On Fee Waiver Promise

    Six cannabis companies are suing the city of Cudahy in California federal court, saying the city breached its contracts by refusing to waive fees accrued during national emergencies and city-caused delays, costing the companies more than $26 million in damages.

  • April 10, 2024

    DOL Says Groups' Challenge To Rule Update Must Fall

    The U.S. Department of Labor pressed a Texas federal court to ax two construction groups' challenge to its rule updating the Davis-Bacon Act, arguing that they face no injury and that their suit relies heavily on speculation and fear-based claims.

  • April 10, 2024

    Biden's Student Loan Relief Plan Is Unlawful, States Say

    A coalition of states have sued the Biden administration over a student loan forgiveness program that's set to kick in this summer, alleging in a Missouri federal lawsuit that the plan sidesteps statutory authority and will unduly cost taxpayers nearly $500 billion.

  • April 10, 2024

    Ex-Trump Finance Chief Weisselberg Jailed For Perjury

    A New York state judge on Wednesday sentenced former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg to five months in jail for lying under oath in the attorney general's civil fraud case against Donald Trump and his business associates, imprisoning a close ally of the former president on the eve of his hush-money trial.

  • April 10, 2024

    EPA Finalizes First-Ever PFAS Drinking Water Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced the final version of its first-ever regulatory limits on "forever chemicals" in drinking water, a move the EPA said will be accompanied by nearly $1 billion in new funding for implementation.

  • April 09, 2024

    Men Agree To Pay $1M For Robocalls Targeting Black Voters

    A pair of conservative conspiracy theorists have agreed to collectively pay $1 million to resolve litigation stemming from their robocall campaign that spread lies about voting by mail to Black voters ahead of the 2020 election, according to a consent decree filed Monday in New York federal court.

  • April 09, 2024

    After Uproar, New MDL Rule Advances With Attys Assuaged

    Following years of debate and months of outcry, a judicial panel Tuesday approved the first formal rule aimed at improving efficiency and fairness in the nation's burgeoning realm of multidistrict litigation, earning plaudits from placated lawyers in the defense and plaintiffs bars.

  • April 09, 2024

    5th Circ. Asks For Briefing Amid Scrutiny Of Judge's Citi Stock

    The Fifth Circuit has ordered additional briefing in a banking industry-backed legal challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's $8 credit card late-fee rule amid questions that have been raised about a potential conflict of interest involving a circuit court judge on the case.

  • April 09, 2024

    Ex-Ohio Utility Chair Dies As Criminal Charges Mount

    The onetime chair of Ohio's utility regulator, who was accused of stealing money from FirstEnergy Corp. as part of a bribery scheme behind a controversial $1.3 billion bailout for two nuclear energy plants, died Tuesday in an apparent suicide, the Franklin County Coroner's Office confirmed.

  • April 09, 2024

    Calif. AG Backs Bill To Revamp 'Abysmal' Corporate Penalties

    California Attorney General Rob Bonta gave his full support Tuesday to a state bill that would increase the cap on criminal penalties for corporate malfeasance from the "abysmal penalty" of $10,000 per felony to $25 million, or twice the value of the inflicted loss, and provide all proceeds to California's crime victim services.

  • April 09, 2024

    What's In The Norfolk Southern $600M Derailment Deal

    Last year's fiery Norfolk Southern train derailment and toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, reached a litigation milestone Tuesday with the disaster's first major settlement, a proposed $600 million deal with nearby residents and businesses, but the rail giant must still contend with a federal investigation and other lawsuits.

  • April 09, 2024

    In Trump Case, Justices Get Reminded Presidents Aren't Kings

    Former President Donald Trump's bid for absolute presidential immunity from criminal prosecution flies in the face of a major feature of the U.S. Constitution, and would create novel obstacles for the military and the economy, backers of special counsel Jack Smith have told the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • April 09, 2024

    Pfizer Cancer Drug Way Too Expensive, Biden Told

    The U.S. government is being asked yet again to use patent laws to lower the price of a prostate cancer drug that was developed at UCLA and is being sold by Pfizer for $136 a pill in the U.S.

  • April 09, 2024

    FDIC Beats Industry Group's Challenge To NSF Fee Guidance

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation no longer faces a bank industry group's suit alleging its guidance on nonsufficient funds fees violated federal law after a Minnesota federal judge found the group put "the cart before the horse" in presuming certain FDIC guidance would be binding.

  • April 09, 2024

    Colo. Justices Admit Rulings Caused Claims Clock Confusion

    The Colorado Supreme Court has concluded that some of its past decisions sowed confusion about how much time minors have to file personal injury claims, and clarified that a woman who relied on the prior precedent to sue in state court over her bike accident had waited too long.

  • April 09, 2024

    US, UK And Australia Eye Japan For 'Advanced Capabilities'

    Japan may join Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. in the trio's efforts to develop advanced military capabilities and technology sharing in areas including artificial intelligence and quantum technologies, the three AUKUS security partners announced.

  • April 09, 2024

    Court Axes Subpoena Of Ex-Wife In 1st Abortion Death Suit

    The woman at the center of the nation's first abortion wrongful death suit since the landmark Dobbs decision need not produce info about how she allegedly obtained abortion-inducing drugs from two women, a Texas appeals court ruled Tuesday, saying doing so would violate the woman's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

  • April 09, 2024

    Contractor Says Feds Are Blocking Border Wall Settlement Payout

    A construction contractor wants to intervene in litigation over the Biden administration's diversion of border wall funds, saying the federal government has invoked a recent injunction in the case to stymie the company's attempt to recoup lost construction costs.

  • April 09, 2024

    Colo. Justices Doubt Workers' Comp Stops Insurance Suits

    A Colorado Supreme Court justice expressed doubt Tuesday that lawmakers, in crafting Colorado's workers' compensation law, intended to make employees choose between getting workers' comp and suing their employer's auto insurer when injured on the job by an underinsured driver — tackling a question that has stymied the state's federal judiciary.

  • April 09, 2024

    Wash. High Court Leaves Gun Magazine Ban In Place

    The Washington state Supreme Court has paused a judge's ruling that the state's law banning the sale of large-capacity magazines for firearms is unconstitutional.

  • April 09, 2024

    Pa. Panel Won't Undo Town Election Due To Missed Deadline

    The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court said supporters of a candidate for the Towamencin Township Board of Supervisors missed their deadline to challenge Montgomery County's decision to count contested mail-in ballots, which had turned the incumbent's narrow win last November into a tie that his opponent won in the tiebreaker.

  • April 09, 2024

    9th Circ. Open To Reviving Calif. Cannabis Abatement Fight

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Tuesday appeared open to reviving a proposed class action alleging that Humboldt County's abatement fines for unlicensed cannabis growing structures is an unconstitutional "dragnet scheme," with two judges suggesting the magistrate judge inappropriately resolved material factual disputes against the property owners at the pleading stage.

  • April 09, 2024

    Property Owners' Bias Claims Belong In Court, NC Justices Told

    Three property owners urged the North Carolina Supreme Court on Tuesday to revive their claims that the city of Kinston targeted a Black community for house demolitions, contending that they shouldn't have to argue with City Council members before being able to sue.

  • April 09, 2024

    Treasury Proposes Long-Awaited Stock Buyback Tax Rules

    The U.S. Treasury Department proposed a pair of long-awaited rules Tuesday that detail the calculation and reporting of a new excise tax assessed to publicly traded corporations that recently bought back their own shares of stock on the open market.

  • April 09, 2024

    FTC Pressures Global Partners, Gulf Oil Into Reducing Deal

    The Federal Trade Commission took credit Tuesday for raising antitrust concerns spurring the late-February reduction of Global Partners LP's purchase of Northeast U.S. gas terminals from Gulf Oil, cut from five terminals with a $273 million price tag to four terminals and a $212.3 million payment.

Expert Analysis

  • 2nd Circ. Adviser Liability Ruling May Shape SEC Enforcement

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    The Second Circuit’s recent decision in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Rashid, applying basic negligence principles to reverse a finding of investment adviser liability, provides a road map for future fraud enforcement proceedings, says Elisha Kobre at Bradley Arant.

  • In Bribery Case, High Court's Past Is Probably Prologue

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    The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear oral arguments in Snyder v. U.S. on the issue of whether federal law criminalizes gratuities that are not tied to an explicit quid pro quo, and precedent strongly indicates the court will limit an expansive reading of the bribery statute, say attorneys Sami Azhari and Don Davidson.

  • Stay Interviews Are Key To Retaining Legal Talent

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    Even as the economy shifts and layoffs continue, law firms still want to retain their top attorneys, and so-called stay interviews — informal conversations with employees to identify potential issues before they lead to turnover — can be a crucial tool for improving retention and morale, say Tina Cohen Nicol and Kate Reder Sheikh at Major Lindsey.

  • What To Know About State-Level Health Data Privacy Laws

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    Companies that handle consumer health data, including those in the retail sector, should take a conservative approach when interpreting the scope of new health privacy laws in Washington, Nevada and Connecticut, which may include development of privacy notices, consent procedures, rights request response processes and processor contracts, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • New Concerns, Same Tune At This Year's SIFMA Conference

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    At this year's Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association conference on legal developments affecting the financial services industry, government regulators’ emphasis on whistleblowing and AI washing represented a new refrain in an increasingly familiar chorus calling for prompt and thorough corporate cooperation, say attorneys at Fried Frank.

  • Ruling In La. May Undercut EPA Enviro Justice Efforts

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    A Louisiana federal court's recent decision in Louisiana v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will likely serve as a template for other states to oppose the EPA's use of disparate impact analyses in Title VI civil rights cases aimed at advancing environmental justice policies and investigations, say Jonathan Brightbill and Joshua Brown at Winston & Strawn.

  • HHS' Updated Tracking Tech Guidance Offers Little Clarity

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    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights' updated guidance on the use of online tracking technologies appears more focused on legal issues raised in ongoing litigation with the American Hospital Association and less on practical guidance for covered entities, say attorneys at Sheppard Mullin.

  • 8 Tips As GCs Prep For New SEC Climate Disclosure Rules

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's recently adopted rules governing climate-related disclosures represent a major change to the existing public company disclosure regime, so in-house counsel should begin to evaluate existing systems and resources related to emissions data, and identify the changes that will need to be made, say attorneys at Bracewell.

  • A Defense Strategy For Addressing Copyright Fee-Shifting

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    Permissive fee-shifting under Section 505 of the Copyright Act poses unique challenges for copyright defendants, carrying an outsize impact on the economic incentive structure in copyright litigation, but relying on a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure may offer a potential solution by allowing defendants to recover attorney fees, say Hugh Marbury and Molly Shaffer at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Opinion

    DOJ Press Office Is Not Fulfilling Its Stated Mission

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    The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs’ apparent practice of issuing press releases when someone is indicted or convicted, but not when a defendant prevails, undermines its stated mission to disseminate “current, complete and accurate” information, and has negative real-world ramifications, says Sara Kropf at Kropf Moseley.

  • An Overview Of Key Financing Documents In Venture Capital

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    The Delaware Chancery Court’s recent Moelis decision highlights the importance of structuring corporate governance around investor demand, meaning early-stage companies seeking venture funding through sales of preferred stock should understand the legal documents needed to do so successfully, say Daniel Bell-Garcia and Tristan Kaisharis at Winstead.

  • Opinion

    Expanded Detention Will Not Solve Immigration Challenges

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    The recently defeated bipartisan border package included provisions that would increase funding for detention, a costly distraction from reforms like improved adjudication and legal representation that could address legitimate economic and public safety concerns at much lower cost, say Alexandra Dufresne and Kyle Wolf at Cornell University.

  • Ready Or Not, Big Tech Should Expect CFPB Surveillance

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    In light of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposed plan to supervise large companies providing the vast majority of digital money transfers, not only will Big Tech have to prepare for regulation previously reserved for traditional banks, but the CFPB will also likely face some difficult decisions and obstacles, says Meredith Osborn at Arnold & Porter.

  • Opinion

    Neb. Justices Should Weigh IRC Terms In Dividend Tax Case

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    Nebraska’s highest court, which will hear oral arguments in Precision CastParts v. Department of Revenue on April 1, should recognize that the Internal Revenue Code provides key clues to defining “dividends received or deemed to be received,” and therefore limits Nebraska’s tax on foreign-sourced corporate income, says Joseph Schmidt at Ryan.

  • What New Waste Management Laws Signal For The Future

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    Several states have enacted extended producer responsibility and recycling labeling laws that will take effect in the next few years and force manufacturers to take responsibility for the end of life of their products, so companies should closely follow compliance timelines and push to innovate in the area, say attorneys at Perkins Coie.

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