Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Public Policy Law 360. March 3, 2021

 

Law360 Public Policy

PUBLIC POLICY


Wednesday, March 3, 2021



 

TOP NEWS


10th Circ. Says Court Abused Discretion With Clean Water Act

The Tenth Circuit slammed a Colorado federal court Tuesday for abusing its discretion by halting implementation of the Trump administration's narrowed Clean Water Act in Colorado, since the state did not show it would "suffer irreparable injury" without the preliminary injunction.

Order attached | Read full article »

Feature

New Copyright Boss Talks Small Claims Court, DMCA Reforms

Four months into her new job as the register of copyrights, Shira Perlmutter sat down with Law360 to chat — about building a small claims court from scratch, possible changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the need to never stop modernizing.

Read full article »

After J&J-Merck Deal, Biden Vows Vaccines For All By May 31

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that a manufacturing partnership between Johnson & Johnson and Merck, arranged by activating the Defense Production Act, will boost coronavirus vaccine supplies enough by the end of May to jab every U.S. adult.

Read full article »

Justices Mull If Minority Impact Dooms Ariz. Voting Laws

The U.S. Supreme Court grilled Democratic and Republican advocates Tuesday on how much weight to give the impact of two Arizona voting laws on minority voters, trying to find a coherent approach to applying two awkward provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

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Senate Confirms Raimondo To Lead Commerce Dept.

The Senate easily confirmed Gina Raimondo as Commerce secretary on Tuesday despite some Republican opposition over the Biden administration's stance on China and the technology company Huawei.

3 documents attached | Read full article »

Texas Reopening Won't Curb Courts' COVID-19 Restrictions

The Texas judiciary's COVID-19 restrictions will remain unaffected even after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that "it's now time to open Texas 100%" and rescind the state's mask mandate and 75% capacity on businesses.

Order attached | Read full article »

Pittsburgh Judge Sued For Lack Of Virtual Court Access

A civil rights watchdog group filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against an Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, judge, claiming he has violated the Constitution by not allowing it virtual access to observe proceedings in his Pittsburgh courtroom despite directives from court administration to do as much as possible via phone and videoconference.

2 documents attached | Read full article »

BANKING & SECURITIES


GameStop, Diversity Policies Dominate Gensler's SEC Hearing

President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler,  vowed Tuesday to take a closer look at the GameStop trading frenzy, climate disclosures and board diversity during a relatively tame Senate hearing on his confirmation.

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Hong Kong Explores Allowing Blank-Check Listings

Hong Kong's securities watchdog and stock exchange have been advised to develop rules that would allow the listing of blank-check companies, which are shell entities that raise money for acquisitions, potentially enabling overseas expansion of a market that has boomed in the U.S.

Read full article »

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL


House Dems Unveil Plans For Net-Zero Emissions By 2050

House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a sweeping climate change plan, proposing to eliminate the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, relying in part on a dramatic transition to 100% clean energy in the power sector in just 15 years.

Read full article »

John Kerry Tells Oil Cos. To Go Green Or Be Left Behind

Oil and gas companies will need to pivot hard and quick toward clean energy if they want any hope of surviving the seismic shift that the energy industry is heading toward, White House climate envoy John Kerry said Tuesday.

Read full article »

EPA Hits Chem Co. With Fine For Toxic Substances Violations

Chemicals distributor Brenntag Pacific Inc. has agreed to pay a $128,265 fine as part of a settlement for failing to produce accurate reports regarding the import of nine different chemicals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday.

Settlement attached | Read full article »

NY, Calif. Lead 16-State Push For Stronger Ozone Protections

A group of 16 state attorneys general say the Trump administration ignored relevant evidence and science when it decided not to strengthen ozone air quality standards last year, and has asked the Biden administration to rethink those policies.

Petition attached | Read full article »

States, Greens Slam Stay Bid In Auto Emissions Challenge

The Biden administration should not be allowed to pause litigation over Trump-era vehicle emissions standards because the harm caused by the regulations must be addressed as soon as possible, environmental groups and a coalition of states and local governments told the D.C. Circuit Monday.

2 documents attached | Read full article »

3M Says Michigan's PFAS Suit Belongs In Federal Court

3M Co. told a Michigan federal court that a lawsuit filed by Michigan's attorney general against manufacturers and sellers of polyfluoroalkyl substances called PFAS touches on work done at the behest of the federal government and the matter should therefore be heard in federal court.

Notice attached | Read full article »

HEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES


Florida's Rush To Pass COVID-19 Liability Shield May Backfire

Florida seems poised to quickly pass a COVID-19 liability shield as its legislative session starts this week, despite critics' concerns the current proposals go too far or might even produce unintended consequences that could end up hurting the businesses and health care providers they're intended to protect.

Read full article »

Hospital Groups Want To Join Fight Over Drug Discount Rule

A bevy of hospital trade groups asked a New Jersey federal court Tuesday if they can intervene in lawsuits brought by Sanofi-Aventis and Novo Nordisk challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' view that drugmakers must give discounts to pharmacies serving low-income areas.

2 documents attached | Read full article »

Coronavirus Regulations: A State-By-State Week In Review

State leaders enhanced their vaccination efforts this past week as cases and hospitalizations declined, leading to additional sites in Florida and Illinois and initiatives to reach underserved communities in Massachusetts and New York.

Read full article »

IP & TECHNOLOGY


Justices Told Fed. Circ. 'Crying Out' For Patent Eligibility Help

The deep divide among the full Federal Circuit about whether an American Axle driveshaft patent should have been invalidated for claiming a natural law is proof the circuit is "crying out" for help, attorneys said in one of many amicus briefs asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up patent eligibility law.

9 documents attached | Read full article »

MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT


Texas Court Yanks Dentist's $1.2M Win For Bad Yelp Review

An appellate court in Dallas has vacated a $1.2 million award won by a dentist who claimed his bottom line was hurt by a Yelp post shaming him for not paying a marketing company he hired, ruling a deal to end the contract dispute also nipped the Yelp review claims in the bud.

Opinion attached | Read full article »

REAL ESTATE


Gibson Dunn Gets $600K Fee Award In HomeAway-NYC Spat

A New York federal judge awarded Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP lawyers roughly $600,000 in attorney fees and costs Monday for their representation of a vacation rental company in its successful fight against a New York City rental ordinance law.

Order attached | Read full article »

EMPLOYMENT & BENEFITS


DOL Delays Trump's Last-Minute Independent Contractor Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday that it is delaying the effective date of an independent contractor classification test it rolled out near the end of former President Donald Trump's term, pushing the date back from March 8 to May 7.

Notice attached | Read full article »

NLRB Nixes Challenge To Ohr's Appointment As Premature

The National Labor Relations Board has weighed in for the first time on a challenge to the legality of the appointment of the board's acting general counsel, dodging a ruling on the substance of the issue by saying a shipping company made its arguments prematurely.

Decision attached | Read full article »

OFCCP Strikes Trump-Era 'Focused Reviews'

The U.S. Department of Labor's federal contractor watchdog on Tuesday canceled a Trump administration directive that allowed the agency to evaluate contractors for compliance with specific legal authorities governing anti-discrimination practices.

Read full article »

$81.2B Rescue For Union Pensions Greenlit For COVID-19 Bill

A Senate official has confirmed that Congress can include a fix for the $81.2 billion union pension funding crisis in its coronavirus relief bill, which is moving through Congress via a special fast-tracked process reserved for budget-related legislation.

1 document attached | Read full article »

Union Says Philadelphia Firefighters' Test Too Subjective

Philadelphia's test for firefighter applicants violates city law because it is not relevant to the job and not capable of providing a competitive ranking of prospective candidates, a city firefighters' union alleged in a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania court.

Complaint attached | Read full article »

CYBERSECURITY & PRIVACY


Watchdog Says US Gov't Cybersecurity 'Regressed' Since '19

The federal government's level of cybersecurity has "regressed" since 2019 due in part to the White House failing to appoint a single leader responsible for rolling out its national cybersecurity program, a congressional watchdog said Tuesday.

Read full article »

Va. Becomes 2nd State To Enact Consumer Privacy Law

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday signed into law a sweeping consumer privacy bill that will restrict how businesses handle and share personal data beginning in 2023, making the state the second behind California to put in place such protections. 

Bill attached | Read full article »

AEROSPACE & DEFENSE


Sen. Urges Gov't To Declassify Russian Bounty Assessment

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., has urged the Biden administration to release a declassified intelligence assessment looking into whether Russia offered bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan, saying the public needed to know the truth of the claims.

Letter attached | Read full article »

INTERNATIONAL TRADE


US Imposes Sanctions On Russia Over Navalny Poisoning

The U.S. has sanctioned Russian officials and institutions over the 2020 poisoning and subsequent imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Biden administration said Tuesday.

Read full article »

TAX


SG Flips High Court Stance On Scrutiny In Donor Privacy Row

In a distinct reversal of position, the acting U.S. solicitor general told the U.S. Supreme Court the federal government no longer believes a California law requiring charitable organizations to disclose tax information about their largest donors is outright unconstitutional.

Brief attached | Read full article »

IMMIGRATION


​​​​​​​TPS Green Card Case Draws Flood Of Support At High Court

Advocates inundated the docket this week in a U.S. Supreme Court case concerning green cards for certain temporary protected status holders, with groups including Harvard University and the Service Employees International Union backing permanent residency for all TPS recipients.

9 documents attached | Read full article »

EB-5 Biz Groups Sue Feds Over New Investment Restrictions

A group of businesses that raise money from foreign investors seeking visas through the EB-5 program sued the government in D.C. federal court Tuesday in a bid to block a new policy that restricts the redeployment of EB-5 investment funds to certain preapproved geographic areas.

Complaint attached | Read full article »

GOP Senator Seeks More H-2B Visas Under Proposal

Senator John Thune, R-S.D., reintroduced legislation that would free up to thousands of extra H-2B guest worker visas separate from the annual 66,000 visa cap for states with low unemployment rates.

Bill attached | Read full article »

NJ County Asks 3rd Circ. To Ax Immigrant Info-Sharing Curbs

A New Jersey county urged the Third Circuit to nix a state policy restricting the information it can share with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, saying the directive illegally "frustrates" local officials' compliance with federal immigration enforcement actions.

Brief attached | Read full article »

Co. Slams CFPB's 'Hyberbolic' Immigration Bond Suit

A bond services company that caters to individuals leaving immigration detention asked a Virginia federal court to nix a suit alleging predatory business practices, calling the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state claims "hyperbolic, inaccurate, and flat-out false."

Motion attached | Read full article »

WHITE COLLAR


Jones Day Creates Practice Focusing On State AG Probes

Jones Day has announced that it has launched a new practice that will focus on representing clients facing investigations, litigation and general enforcement by state attorneys general.

1 document attached | Read full article »

Texas Appeals Court Stops Paxton Whistleblower Hearing

A Texas appeals court late Monday night put a stop to what was supposed to be a two-day hearing where former high-ranking attorneys at the Texas Attorney General's Office argued for reinstatement to their positions while they pursue claims they were fired for reporting their boss' alleged abuse of office. 

2 documents attached | Read full article »

NATIVE AMERICAN


Feds Back Mille Lacs Tribe In Reservation Boundary Fight

The federal government has backed a Minnesota tribe seeking to empower its police officers on tribal lands, saying the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe's reservation, established through an 1885 treaty, has never been diminished.

Brief attached | Read full article »

NM Tribal Health Clinic Opens Amid Fight To Save Hospital

The Pueblo of Laguna tribe on Tuesday opened a new community health center in central New Mexico, the proposal for which prompted the Indian Health Service to seek to downsize a local hospital, a plan currently stalled in federal court.

Read full article »

TELECOMMUNICATIONS


Expect Net Neutrality Bill To Resurface Soon, Markey Says

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., signaled Tuesday that he'll soon reintroduce his net neutrality legislation that would bar internet service providers from slowing, blocking or charging extra for access to web content.

Read full article »

CANNABIS


Va. Legislature Approves Recreational Cannabis, Tax On Sales

Virginia would legalize adult-use recreational cannabis sales and impose a 21% statewide excise tax to help support state programs and communities historically affected by drug enforcement and criminalization under a bill passed by the state legislature.

2 documents attached | Read full article »

Fla. Sens. Introduce Cannabis Legalization, Taxing Proposals

Three bills to legalize and tax cannabis were introduced in the Florida Senate, days after similar measures were introduced in the state's House of Representatives.

2 documents attached | Read full article »

LA's Flavored Vape Ban Unconstitutional, 9th Circ. Hears

A group of tobacco companies has told the Ninth Circuit that Los Angeles County's ban on flavored vapes was preempted by the federal Tobacco Control Act, urging the court to reverse a lower court's decision to toss their suit against the county.

Brief attached | Read full article »

EXPERT ANALYSIS


Inside The Immigration Reform Bill's Business Provisions

Provisions in the recently introduced U.S. Citizenship Act that aim to reduce the employment-based green card backlog and attract STEM students are welcome business immigration reforms, but the business community is skeptical of its more restrictive provisions, say attorneys at Akin Gump.

Bill attached | Read full article »

3 Degrees Of Legalization Show True Prevalence Of Cannabis

The three degrees of state marijuana legalization regimes throughout the U.S. show that cannabis is only fully illegal in three U.S. states and one territory — not 14 states as some counts indicate — and even in those places, there are stirrings of change, says Julie Werner-Simon at Drexel University's Thomas R. Kline School of Law.

Read full article »

Remote Working Tips For Lawyer Trainees And Their Firms

The prospect of joining a law firm during the pandemic can cause added pressure, but with a few good practices — and a little help from their firms and supervising attorneys — lawyer trainees can get ahead of the curve while working remotely, say William Morris and Ted Landray at King & Spalding.

LEGAL INDUSTRY


Law Student Activism Heats Up: Is BigLaw Listening?

More than 200 law students have pledged to boycott Seward & Kissel LLP over what they called the "unethical private" prosecution of attorney Steven Donziger, the latest salvo in a growing movement from students and activists to place pressure on corporate law firms over their representation and internal policies.

Read full article »

NYC Bar Supports Giuliani Probe Over Work For Trump

The New York City Bar Association supports investigating whether Rudy Giuliani should be sanctioned and potentially lose his legal license for allegedly promoting false voter fraud claims while he headed former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, the organization announced Tuesday.

Read full article »

Attys' Rates Disclosure Doesn't Help Client Win Fee Bid

An auto parts supplier that successfully defended against a suit by a nurse claiming she co-invented its seatbelt patent had its attorney fee motion rejected last week by a federal court, despite the auto company's lawyers at Nelson Mullins disclosing the rates they billed in the case.

Read full article »

DOJ Official Who Led Google Antitrust Probe Joins Shearman

The U.S. Department of Justice official who led a landmark enforcement action accusing Google of stifling competition in order to maintain a monopoly in search and search advertising is joining Shearman & Sterling LLP as an antitrust partner.

Read full article »

Simpson Thacher Hiring Spree Continues With Blackstone GC

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is bringing on Blackstone's Europe, Middle East and Africa general counsel as a partner in its London office, the firm announced Tuesday, the latest high-profile addition in a string of transactional hires the firm has made in recent months.

Read full article »

NHL's Vegas Golden Knights Score Ex-Qdoba Atty For CLO

The NHL's Vegas Golden Knights on Monday said the team had tapped a former in-house attorney for Qdoba and the parent company of Hardee's as its chief legal officer.

Read full article »

JOBS
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LAW FIRMS

Abato Rubenstein

Akerman LLP

Akin Gump

Alexander Dubose

Cain & Skarnulis

Cleary Gottlieb

Clifford Chance

Cowles & Thompson

DeShazo & Nesbitt

DiCello Levitt

Donahue Goldberg

Earthjustice

Fields PLLC

Gibson Dunn

Greenberg Traurig

Grogan Tuccillo

Haynes & Boone

Holland & Knight

Honigman LLP

Hunton Andrews

Jenner & Block

Jennings Sigmond

Jones Day

Kaufman Dolowich

Keating Muething

Kelley Wolter

King & Spalding

King & Wood Mallesons

Kirkland & Ellis

Klasko Immigration Law Partners

Latham & Watkins

Lewis Brisbois

Littler Mendelson

Lockridge Grindal

Lyons Snyder

Marrinan & Mazzola

Mayer Brown

McDonnell Boehnen

McGlinchey Stafford

Miller Canfield

Nelson Mullins

Nolan Thompson

Norris McLaughlin

O'Melveny & Myers

Orrick Herrington

Panitch Schwarze

Pashman Stein

Paul Weiss

Perkins Coie

Quinn Emanuel

RuyakCherian LLP

Saul Ewing

Seward & Kissel

Shearman & Sterling

Sheppard Mullin

Sidley Austin

Simpson Thacher

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Taft Stettinius

Testa Heck

Tillman Wright

Troutman Pepper

Vinson & Elkins

Weil Gotshal

Williams & Connolly

Wilson Sonsini

Ziontz Chestnut

Zuckerman Spaeder


COMPANIES

3M Co.

AARP Inc.

Airbnb Inc.

Alliance Defending Freedom

Amazon.com Inc.

Ameranth Inc.

America's Essential Hospitals

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc.

American Civil Liberties Union

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations

American Hospital Association

American Immigration Lawyers Association

American Petroleum Institute Inc.

American Snuff Co. LLC

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Americans for Prosperity Foundation

Association of American Medical Colleges

AstraZeneca PLC

Bank of America Corp.

Bank of Montreal

Barclays Center

Brenntag AG

Brooklyn Nets

CKE Restaurants Inc.

Charlotte Hornets

Chevron Corp.

Clean Air Task Force

Competitive Enterprise Institute

DISA Global Solutions Inc.

Democratic National Committee

Drexel University

Eli Lilly & Co.

Environmental Defense Fund Inc.

Exxon Mobil Corp.

Facebook Inc.

Florida Justice Association

Foundation to Support Animal Protection

GW Pharmaceuticals PLC

GameStop Corp.

Georgetown University

Google Inc.

H & M International Transportation Inc.

Harvard University

HomeAway Inc.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

IHS Markit Ltd.

International Association of Fire Fighters

International Longshoremen's Association

Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Johnson & Johnson

Judicial Watch Inc.

Leafly Holdings Inc.

LexisNexis Group

LinkedIn Corp.

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Group LLC

Major Lindsey & Africa LLC

MasterCard Inc.

Microsoft Corp.

Mylan NV

NASDAQ Inc.

Nascar Digital Media LLC

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

National Conference of State Legislatures

National Hockey League

Natural Resources Defense Council

New York City Bar Association

New York Rangers

New York State Bar Association

New York University

Northern Mariana Islands Retirement Fund

Novo Nordisk A & S

Oxfam America Inc.

Pension Rights Center

Pfizer Inc.

Public Citizen Inc.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Inc.

RPT Legal Strategies

Reynolds American Inc.

Sanofi SA

Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co.

Service Employees International Union

SolarWinds Worldwide LLC

St. Louis Blues

Tilray Inc.

Twitter Inc.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Yelp Inc.

YouTube Inc.

Zeughauser Group LLC

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

California Attorney General's Office

California Department of Insurance

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Congressional Research Service

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

European Union

Federal Aviation Administration

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Communications Commission

Federal Trade Commission

Florida House of Representatives

Florida State Senate

Food and Drug Administration

Government Accountability Office

Indian Health Service

Internal Revenue Service

Kansas Legislature

Michigan Attorney General's Office

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

Minority Business Development Agency

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

National Institute of Standards and Technology

National Labor Relations Board

National Security Council

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

Office of Foreign Assets Control

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

Pueblo of Laguna of New Mexico

Texas Attorney General's Office

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Texas Supreme Court

U.S. Army

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Copyright Office

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Department of Commerce

U.S. Department of Energy

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of Transportation

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. Department of the Treasury

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce

U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. Office of Personnel Management

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

U.S. Senate

U.S. Supreme Court

United Nations

Virginia Bureau of Insurance

Wage and Hour Division

 



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