Public Policy

  • April 16, 2024

    DC Circ. Grills EPA On Nixing Refiners' Biofuel Exemptions

    A D.C. Circuit panel seemed open Tuesday to petroleum refiners' challenge to federal regulators' denial of their exemptions to federal renewable fuel requirements, as the judges grilled attorneys for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on how federal regulators gauge refineries' compliance costs.

  • April 16, 2024

    Mich. Justice Questions Abuse Law's Missing Language

    A Michigan Supreme Court justice on Tuesday challenged an attorney for a victim of a 1990s sexual assault on why the state Legislature didn't explicitly include retroactive language for a 2018 change that allowed survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse scandal more time to bring civil suits, noting that the law was specific in other areas.

  • April 16, 2024

    Wis. Bank Must Face Bias Claims In Tribal Peyote Case

    A Wisconsin federal judge ruled Tuesday that a local bank cannot avoid discrimination claims in a suit that accuses it of denying service to Indigenous company Medicine Fireplace, whose members use the psychoactive peyote plant in their religious ceremonies.

  • April 16, 2024

    Ohio Bans On Transgender Care, Youth Sports Halted By Judge

    An Ohio state court on Tuesday blocked a law that bans gender-affirming healthcare for children and prohibits transgender girls from competing in girls' school sports, issuing a temporary restraining order more than a week before the statute was to go into effect.

  • April 16, 2024

    Tai Sidesteps As GOP Reps Try To Pin Down Trade Timeline

    Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee castigated U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday for the administration's vague agenda regarding future trade deals and a long-awaited tariff review that she described as "optimistic" and "coming soon."

  • April 16, 2024

    Vineyard Wind Urges 1st Circ. To Uphold Project Approval

    Developers of an offshore wind energy project near Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, on Tuesday urged the First Circuit not to revive a fishing group's legal challenge to the endeavor, arguing the environmental review process was solid.

  • April 16, 2024

    Trump, Insurer Defend $175M Bond In NY AG Case

    Donald Trump and the Delaware insurer that agreed to post the former president's $175 million bond in his civil business fraud case told a Manhattan judge that they have the money in cash, after New York Attorney General Letitia James questioned the sufficiency of the bond.

  • April 16, 2024

    White House Opposes Bill To Close Data 'Loophole'

    The White House on Tuesday came out against a bipartisan bill that would prevent law enforcement and intelligence agencies from buying Americans' personal information, an issue critics say is a "loophole" to get around the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

  • April 16, 2024

    DOE Aims To Wrap LNG Review By Year-End, Granholm Says

    U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday said her agency hoped to complete the review of its liquefied natural gas export policy by year's end and pushed back on accusations that the current pause of export reviews is permanent.

  • April 16, 2024

    SEC Hit With Class Action Over Database Privacy Concerns

    A conservative think tank filed a lawsuit in Texas federal court Tuesday hoping to put an end to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission market surveillance tool known as the consolidated audit trail, arguing in the proposed class action that the database threatens to subject the personal information of tens of millions of American citizens to a possible data breach.

  • April 16, 2024

    Broadband Subsidy Backers Seek To Force House Vote

    Nearly 300 groups urged Congress to extend the Affordable Connectivity Program, but as a bill to do so picked up support from more than half of U.S. House lawmakers, a vote on replenishing the fund remains up in the air.

  • April 16, 2024

    7th Circ. Open To Religious Workers' Visa Rule Challenge

    Religious institutions trying to revive their challenge to a visa regulation they contend unfairly strips work authorization from foreign ministers seemed to strike a chord with a Seventh Circuit panel on Tuesday, which suggested the rule might disadvantage religious workers.

  • April 16, 2024

    Judges Doubt Denver Transit Co.'s $112M Loss Is Protected

    A pair of Colorado appellate judges on Tuesday grilled an attorney representing a company claiming its contract with a regional transit authority protected it from $112 million in losses after state regulators changed the rules, asking how the problems that caused the losses weren't the company's own fault.

  • April 16, 2024

    Ex-Fla. Lawmaker Didn't Break Election Laws, 11th Circ. Told

    A former U.S. congressman from Florida urged the Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday to reverse a $456,000 fine imposed by a lower court over the Federal Election Commission's allegations that he violated campaign finance laws, saying the agency didn't follow pre-suit notice procedures while insisting he didn't break the law.

  • April 16, 2024

    Virginia Judge Tosses State Broadband Law Challenge

    The Association of American Railroads has lost its challenge to a Virginia federal law that gives broadband providers easier access to railroad property and that the group says constitutes illegal taking, after a judge knocked out all the suit's claims for various reasons.

  • April 16, 2024

    NJ Judge Won't Nix 'County Line' Ballot For GOP Candidates

    A New Jersey state judge has ruled that county clerks can use the state's controversial "county line" ballot design for the Republican primary election, striking a blow to four GOP candidates who sought the same relief as Democratic congressional hopefuls but who drew different results. 

  • April 16, 2024

    CFPB Moves To 'Streamline' How It Tags Nonbanks For Exams

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday unveiled procedural adjustments to its process for singling out fintech firms and other nonbanks for examination, changes the agency attributed in part to plans for an internal reorganization of its supervision and enforcement unit.

  • April 16, 2024

    EPA Urges 5th Circ. To Back Win In Texas Air Quality Suit

    U.S. regulators and the Sierra Club urged the Fifth Circuit not to upset a panel's ruling finding the government legally accepted pollution data from the conservation group to apply a poor air quality designation in two Texas counties surrounding a coal-fired power plant.

  • April 16, 2024

    Tribes, Lawmakers Call On Biden To Protect Historic Sites

    A coalition of Native American tribal communities and federal lawmakers on Tuesday delivered a petition containing more than 800,000 signatures calling on the Biden administration to protect, expand and designate a slew of national monuments and sacred lands under the Antiquities Act.

  • April 16, 2024

    Colo. Shooting Case Could Return To State Court, Judge Hints

    A federal judge in Connecticut hinted Tuesday that he might send cases by Colorado mass shooting victims against gunmaker Sturm Ruger & Co. back to state court, noting that only rarely may district court judges hear core state law claims when federal law provides an ingredient in the analysis.

  • April 16, 2024

    NC Justices Hint Contractor Qualifies For Tax Break

    The North Carolina Supreme Court appeared ready to rule in favor of a contractor seeking a tax exemption reserved for manufacturers, with the justices concerned that hinging qualification on a sales percentage flouts the language of the applicable law.

  • April 16, 2024

    Jackson, Barrett Seek Enron Law Compromise In Jan. 6 Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court grappled Tuesday with whether an obstruction of Congress statute enacted in the wake of an accounting scandal can be read broadly enough to prosecute alleged U.S. Capitol rioters.

  • April 16, 2024

    Ex-Mich. Speaker, Wife Charged With Embezzlement

    Former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield was charged Tuesday with criminally misusing money from his nonprofit to pay for family trips and designer clothing while in office, as the state attorney general called on lawmakers to beef up Michigan's "worthless" campaign finance laws.

  • April 16, 2024

    GOP Senators Call IRS' E-File Program Too Costly

    Senate Republicans continued to criticize the Internal Revenue Service's free tax filing pilot program during a Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, saying the program has not followed best practices and will be costly to implement long term.

  • April 16, 2024

    IRS Extends Excise Tax Relief For Min. Plan Distribution

    Plans that fail to make certain required minimum distributions in 2024 will not be assessed an excise tax under changes made to retirement plan legislation, the Internal Revenue Service said in guidance released Tuesday.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Untangling The Legal Complexities Of Trade Secrets And AI

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    With broad adoption of generative artificial intelligence, some have suggested trade secret law is the best means for protecting innovations, but while this protection may apply to all forms of information, the breadth of coverage may make identifying the information and later misappropriation difficult, say Joshua Lerner and Nora Passamaneck at WilmerHale.

  • A Look At 3 Noncompete Bans Under Consideration In NYC

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    A trio of noncompete bills currently pending in the New York City Council would have various effects on employers' abilities to enter into such agreements with their employees, reflecting growing anti-noncompete sentiment across the U.S., say Tracey Diamond and Grace Goodheart at Troutman Pepper.

  • Reducing Risk While DOJ Plans New Whistleblower Rewards

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    In light of the Department of Justice's newly announced plan to create a comprehensive whistleblower reward program to fill the gaps in the current patchwork of federal incentives, companies should mitigate their risk of external claims now by implementing internal systems where employees can confidently and anonymously report concerns, say Caleb Hayes-Deats and Walter Hawes at MoloLamken.

  • Series

    Spray Painting Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experiences as an abstract spray paint artist have made me a better litigator, demonstrating — in more ways than one — how fluidity and flexibility are necessary parts of a successful legal practice, says Erick Sandlin at Bracewell.

  • DOJ's Safe Harbor Policy May Quietly Favor M&A Enforcement

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    In a change that has received little attention, the U.S. Justice Department's recently codified safe harbor policy essentially reads the Antitrust Division's criminal enforcement out of the policy entirely, and now appears to favor merger enforcement in antitrust, rather than criminal enforcement, as originally intended, say Daniel Oakes and James Attridge at Axinn.

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