Public Policy

  • April 11, 2024

    Judge Calls Out Colo. For Limiting Prisoner Calls With Attys

    A Colorado state judge on Thursday said the state's prisons seemed to be imposing "draconian" limits on virtual calls between prisoners and their lawyers, telling officials to figure out how to do more for those seeking to join a proposed class action accusing the state of using them for slave labor.

  • April 11, 2024

    Shops Fight Altria Unit's Bid To Block Flavored Vape Sales

    A group of smoke shops urged a California federal judge to reject a bid by vape manufacturer NJOY, a subsidiary of tobacco giant Altria Group, Inc., seeking to block the retailers from selling Elf Bar branded flavored vapes, arguing that consumers won't flock to NJOY's tobacco flavored products even if Elf Bar is off the market.

  • April 11, 2024

    Prosecutor Named In Ga. Lt. Gov. 2020 Fake Elector Probe

    Nearly two years after a judge disqualified Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from investigating Georgia Lieutenant Gov. Burt Jones over his alleged role in helping former President Donald Trump overturn the state's 2020 presidential election, a state prosecutor has been appointed to handle the case.

  • April 11, 2024

    FTC 'Hopeful' Merger Judges Can See Past Market Definition

    The Federal Trade Commission's top antitrust enforcer emphasized Thursday that the FTC and Justice Department's new merger guidelines could facilitate transaction challenges based solely on "direct" competitive effects, regardless of what market definition numbers indicate.

  • April 11, 2024

    Iowa Makes Illegal U.S. Reentry A State Crime

    Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed into law a bill that will let state police arrest individuals suspected of having entered the country illegally, raising the prospect of another legal battle over the federal government's jurisdiction over immigration affairs.

  • April 11, 2024

    FDA Commissioner Says Congress Must Act On Hemp, CBD

    The commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that the agency did not consider hemp-derived CBD safe enough to be sold lawfully as a dietary supplement, and urged Congress to create a new pathway to regulate the substance.

  • April 11, 2024

    Interior Dept. Finalizes Rule To Strengthen Endangered Species Act

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday announced a final rule it said is intended to increase participation in its voluntary conservation programs, but environmentalists slammed it as "a huge missed opportunity" to improve conditions for wildlife.

  • April 11, 2024

    Colo. Developer Sues Over Remodeling Impact Fees

    A Colorado developer has accused Pitkin County's Board of Commissioners in Colorado federal court of wrongfully charging impact fees on the remodel of a residential property.

  • April 11, 2024

    DOI Lowers Fees For Solar, Wind Projects On Public Lands

    The U.S. Department of the Interior unveiled finalized updates to its renewable energy regulations on Thursday that are aimed at promoting the development of solar and wind energy on public lands by lowering the associated fees.

  • April 11, 2024

    Drag Ban Opponents Defend Free Speech Stance To 5th Circ.

    A coalition of LGBTQ advocacy groups, performers and venues challenging a Lone Star State law widely seen as a ban on drag shows told the Fifth Circuit that the attorney general "ignores established precedent" in his defense of the legislation, which the groups said chills "inherently expressive" performances.

  • April 11, 2024

    CFPB, EU Say Teamwork 'Critical' As Fintech Bridges Atlantic

    The consumer protection watchdogs in Europe and the U.S. said Thursday that their ongoing dialogue has yielded three shared focuses — the expansion of technology firms' payment services, the use of artificial intelligence in consumer markets and buy now, pay later products.

  • April 11, 2024

    Odebrecht Exec Details Bribes To Ex-Ecuador Comptroller

    The former director of Odebrecht SA's operations in Ecuador told jurors Thursday that he paid millions in bribes to "Miami" — a code name for Ecuador's former comptroller — related to various infrastructure projects the Brazilian conglomerate was building in the country.

  • April 11, 2024

    Ga. Judge Tosses Immigrant Voting Rights Suit Mid-Trial

    As attorneys for the Georgia Secretary of State's office prepared to mount their defense Thursday against a lawsuit challenging the legality of how the state adds newly naturalized citizens to its voter rolls, an Atlanta federal judge instead announced she was dismissing the case mid-trial.

  • April 11, 2024

    Alaska Native Village Defends Donlin Gold Mine Approvals

    Alaska's Native Village of Crooked Creek threw its support behind the federal government in litigation brought by half a dozen tribes challenging its approvals for a massive open-pit gold mine along the Kuskokwim River in southwest Alaska, saying the project will bring meaningful improvements to Crooked Creek.

  • April 11, 2024

    Vineyard Wind Project Thoroughly Vetted, Feds Tell 1st Circ.

    The federal government on Thursday urged the First Circuit to uphold a Massachusetts federal judge's decision tossing a fishing group's challenge to the Vineyard Wind project, saying it was approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior after extensive analysis.

  • April 11, 2024

    Feds Agree To Settle Damages Over 2018 Migrant Separations

    The Biden administration is on track to settle two lawsuits from families that alleged serious harm from a Trump-era policy that resulted in children and parents being separated at the southern border, according to Arizona federal court filings.

  • April 11, 2024

    State Enforcers: Not Joining Fed Cases No Sign Of Opposition

    Several state enforcers said Thursday they choose which antitrust cases being brought by federal enforcers they join based on a number of factors, and it doesn't mean they are opposed to a case if they decide not to join.

  • April 11, 2024

    Prison Racial Gap Narrowing, No Thanks To Reforms, Study Says

    A wide range of changes to criminal sentencing laws that most states have adopted in the last two decades did not play a major role in the reduction of Black-white disparity in imprisonment seen between 2000 and 2020, according to a study released Thursday by the Council on Criminal Justice.

  • April 11, 2024

    1st Challenge To NLRB Structure Axed For Lack Of Standing

    A Washington, D.C., federal judge tossed a constitutional challenge to the National Labor Relations Board's structure filed by two Starbucks employees, ruling that the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation-represented baristas did not have standing to sue.

  • April 11, 2024

    NC Justices Hint Holtzman Vogel Immune In Defamation Case

    The North Carolina Supreme Court's Republican majority seems poised to reverse a Court of Appeals decision forcing Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak PLLC to face voters' defamation claims, with one justice lamenting that revoking the law firm's privilege defense could upend decades of case law in the Tar Heel State.

  • April 11, 2024

    Colonial Oil Fined $2.8M For Violating Renewable Fuel Rules

    Colonial Oil Industries Inc. will pay a $2.8 million fine to resolve allegations it dodged federal renewable fuel mandates by selling 100 million gallons of diesel to marine vessels without buying required offset credits, according to a proposed settlement filed in Georgia federal court.

  • April 11, 2024

    DOL's Final OT Rule Incoming After Clearing OMB Review

    The U.S. Department of Labor might soon issue a final rule increasing salaries in order for workers to be considered overtime-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, after a proposed rule cleared the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

  • April 11, 2024

    Medical Cannabis Ads Are Lawful In Miss., 5th Circ. Told

    A Mississippi medical marijuana dispensary is urging the Fifth Circuit to find that state regulations restricting cannabis advertising violate the First Amendment right to free speech, and that the state cannot hide behind the drug's federal illegality.

  • April 11, 2024

    Calif., NY And SD Judicial Nominees Advance To Full Senate

    Four judicial nominees were voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, including one scrutinized for his affiliation with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the group's position on hot button issues.

  • April 11, 2024

    OJ Simpson's Jury Was Sequestered. Why Not Trump's?

    Unlike jurors in the murder case of O.J. Simpson, the 12 Manhattanites picked to hear criminal charges against Donald Trump likely won't be sequestered during the trial — easing psychological and financial burdens but potentially exposing them to outside pressures.

Expert Analysis

  • How Export Controls Are Evolving To Address Tech Security

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    Recently proposed export control regulations from the U.S. Department of Commerce are an opportunity for stakeholders to help pioneer compliance for the increasing reliance on the use of outsourced technology service providers, say attorneys at Benesch.

  • HHS Opioid Rule Generally Benefits Providers And Patients

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    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' newly effective rule, the first substantial change to opioid treatment programs and delivery standards in over 20 years, significantly expands access and reduces stigma around certain medications, though the rule is narrow in scope and does have some limitations, say attorneys at Alston & Bird.

  • 5th Circ. Clarifies What Is And Isn't A 'New Use' Of PFAS

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    The Fifth Circuit's March 21 decision in Inhance Technologies v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, preventing the EPA from regulating existing uses of PFAS under "significant new use" provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act, provides industry with much-needed clarity, say Joseph Schaeffer and Sloane Wildman at Babst Calland.

  • Handling Customer Complaints In Bank-Fintech Partnerships

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    As regulators mine consumer complaint databases for their next investigative targets, it is critical that fintech and bank partners adopt a well-defined and monitored process for ensuring proper complaint handling, including by demonstrating proficiency and following interagency guidance, say attorneys at Jenner & Block.

  • Trump's NY Civil Fraud Trial Spotlights Long-Criticized Law

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    A New York court’s recent decision holding former President Donald Trump liable for fraud brought old criticisms of the state law used against him back into the limelight — including its strikingly broad scope and its major departures from the traditional elements of common law fraud, say Mark Kelley and Lois Ahn at MoloLamken.

  • Opinion

    New Mexico Fire Victims Deserve Justice From Federal Gov't

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    Two years after the largest fire in New Mexico's history — a disaster caused by the U.S. government's mismanagement of prescribed burns — the Federal Emergency Management Agency must remedy its grossly inadequate relief efforts and flawed legal interpretations that have left victims of the fire still waiting for justice, says former New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas.

  • Opinion

    $175M Bond Refiled By Trump Is Still Substantively Flawed

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    The corrected $175 million bond posted by former President Donald Trump on Thursday to stave off enforcement of the New York attorney general's fraud judgment against him remains substantively and procedurally flawed, as well as inadequately secured, says Adam Pollock of Pollock Cohen.

  • Opinion

    Requiring Leave To File Amicus Briefs Is A Bad Idea

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    A proposal to amend the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure that would require parties to get court permission before filing federal amicus briefs would eliminate the long-standing practice of consent filing and thereby make the process less open and democratic, says Lawrence Ebner at the Atlantic Legal Foundation and DRI Center.

  • Opinion

    Streamlined Mine Regulation Is Key For The Energy Transition

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    Mining is essential for obtaining the critical minerals required for a transition to greener energy and transportation technologies, but inefficient permitting processes are making it harder to mine these essential materials that will enable a more environmentally sound future, says Scot Anderson at Womble Bond.

  • 2 Recent Suits Show Resiliency Of Medicare Drug Price Law

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    Though pharmaceutical companies continue to file lawsuits challenging the Inflation Reduction Act, which enables the federal government to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices, recent decisions suggest that the reduced drug prices are likely here to stay, says Jose Vela Jr. at Clark Hill.

  • 4 Ways To Motivate Junior Attorneys To Bring Their Best

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    As Gen Z and younger millennial attorneys increasingly express dissatisfaction with their work and head for the exits, the lawyers who manage them must understand and attend to their needs and priorities to boost engagement and increase retention, says Stacey Schwartz at Katten.

  • A Look At Recent Challenges To SEC's Settlement 'Gag Rule'

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    Though they have been unsuccessful so far, opponents of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's so-called gag rule, which prevents defendants from denying allegations when settling with the SEC, are becoming increasingly vocal and filing more challenges in recent years, say Mike Blankenship and Regina Maze at Winston & Strawn.

  • How 3 Unfolding Cases Could Affect The Energy Industry

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    Three judicial decisions now in the pipeline — Texas' challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's methane regulations, Delaware's climate suit against big energy companies, and a case before the Supreme Court of Texas on royalty lease interpretation — could have important implications for the energy industry, say Michelle Scheffler and Rachael Cox at Skadden.

  • The Tricky Implications Of New Calif. Noncompete Laws

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    Two new California noncompete laws that ban certain out-of-state agreements and require employers to notify certain workers raise novel issues related to mergers and acquisitions, and pose particular challenges for technology companies, says John Viola at Thompson Coburn.

  • Series

    Illinois Banking Brief: All The Notable Legal Updates In Q1

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    In the first quarter of 2024, Illinois lawmakers proposed a stack of bills aimed at modernizing money transmission, digital assets and banking laws, with a particular focus on improving consumer protections and better defining the state’s authority to regulate digital services, say James Morrissey and Mark Svalina at Vedder Price.

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