Administrative Agency Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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Senate Version of Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Preempts Local Drone Regulations

On March 17, 2016, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee of the United States Senate approved amendments to the most recent funding legislation for the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), the FAA...more

FPPC Amends Regulations for Conflict of Interest Codes

The Political Reform Act requires all government agencies to adopt and circulate a Conflict of Interest Code showing which positions in the agency involve participation in governmental decision-making. It also must identify...more

Trademark Review | April 2016

Broad JAWS Registration Devours JAWS Cooking Channel - Mr. Recipe’s applications to register the marks JAWS and JAWS DEVOUR YOUR HUNGER were refused based on the earlier registration for JAWS, the movie. Mr. Recipe’s...more

Want an FAA Section 333 Exemption for your Close-up sUAS Operations? Come Prepared.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) generally prohibits small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) flight operations within 500 feet from all persons, vessels, vehicles, and structures. However, closer-in operations of sUAS...more

EPA ALJ Denies Bayer’s Motion for Accelerated Decision

On April 25, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Susan L. Biro issued an order denying Petitioners Bayer CropScience LP and Nichino America, Inc.’s (BCS/NAI or Petitioners)...more

NYDFS Announces Senior Staff Additions

The NYDFS has appointed Scott Fischer Executive Deputy Superintendent for Insurance and Laura E. Evangelista Deputy Superintendent for Insurance. Fischer joins the NYDFS from the New York Liquidation Bureau where he served as...more

Bonus Points: ARB Upholds Whistleblower Order Challenging Bonus Plan

The Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) recently upheld an order finding a semiconductor company had constructively discharged a manager who complained the company’s bonus plan violated state wage and...more

Better Late Than Never: Massachusetts Moves to Obtain NPDES Delegation

Like most federal environmental programs, NPDES program authority is largely delegated to the states. Only four states aren’t delegated: Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. How is it that progressive...more

Jeffrey Burstein Named New Regional Attorney for EEOC's New York District

NEW YORK -- Jeffrey Burstein, an eight-year attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), has been appointed regional attorney for EEOC's New York District effective May 1, the agency announced today....more

Advertising Law - April 2016 #4

Study Finds Low Compliance for Native Advertising - According to a new study, roughly 70 percent of websites are not compliant with the Federal Trade Commission's recently released native advertising...more

Elevated Fine Lacks Justification, Mine Safety Agency Attorney Concedes

A government attorney agreed with opposing counsel that the Mine Safety and Health Administration had not justified a proposed 127 percent increase in fines against an Illinois coal operator. The two sides disagreed, however,...more

USPTO Seeks Comments on New Patent Quality Metrics

In a notice published in the Federal Register (81 Fed. Reg. 16142) last month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that new patent quality metrics were being designed for use in FY2017 and that the Office was...more

Financial Services Weekly News - April 2016 #4

Regulatory Developments - Federal Banking Regulators Propose Net Stable Funding (Liquidity) Ratio - The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation...more

OIG Issues Revised Policy Statement Regarding Permissive Exclusion

On April 18, 2016, the Office of Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG”) issued a revised policy statement containing the new criteria that OIG intends to use in implementing its...more

Mark Your Calendars: BPA Prop 65 Warnings Required as of May 11, 2016; Styrene Also Added to the Prop 65 List

Earlier this month, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) issued a Notice of Emergency Action to allow temporary use of a standard point-of-sale warning message for bisphenol A (“BPA”)...more

Privatization of the United States Air Traffic Control System Hits Roadblock in the U.S. Senate

Less than a month ago, it seemed clear that privatization was the wave of the future for the United States Air Traffic Control System (“ATC System”). On February 19, 2016, the United States House of Representatives...more

OIG Issues New Exclusion and CIA Guidance

On April 18, 2016, Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson announced the publication of updated guidance on how the Office of Inspector General (OIG) makes decisions about using its permissive exclusion authority and requiring...more

FDA Proposes Ban on Electrical Stimulation Devices for Aggressive or Self-Injurious Behavior

On April 25, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a proposed rule banning electrical stimulation devices (ESDs) used to treat aggressive or self-injurious behavior....more

CFPB Suffers First Official CID Challenge

On April 21, 2016, Judge Richard J. Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on the first judicial challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB,” or “Bureau”) authority to...more

Court of Appeal Sustains CPUC's Discretion to Fill Gaps in Statutory Scheme for Intervenor Compensation but Requires CPUC to Limit...

The California Court of Appeal (1st Dist., Div. 4) issued an important decision on April 19, 2016, in New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC v. Public Utilities Commission, addressing a determination by the California Public...more

LabMD’s Waiting Game: Lingering Questions over FTC’s Authority in Data Security Matters

A contentious legal battle over data security between the Federal Trade Commission and LabMD, a small medical testing lab, is chronicled in the latest edition of Bloomberg Businessweek. Dune Lawrence’s report raises...more

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Federal Circuit Says It's Required to Accord the PTAB Deference Until Instructed Otherwise by...

On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, the Federal Circuit issued an order denying a petition filed by Merck & Cie for rehearing en banc of an Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board...more

CFPB Reopens Comment Period on Proposed Amendments to Servicing Rules

On April 21, 2016, the CFPB reopened the comment period on a narrow portion of its December 15, 2014 notice of proposed rulemaking (the “NPR”), which would amend the mortgage servicing rules in Regulation X and Regulation Z....more

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments In First Appeal From AIA Post-Grant Proceeding: Justices Focus on Practical Consequences of...

On April 25, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in its first appeal from a decision by the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB” or “Board”) in an inter partes review proceeding (“IPR”) under the...more

The Continuing Saga Surrounding Magnet Sets: Proof of the CPSC's Determination to Eradicate Hazards to Children

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has made it very clear over the last several years that it takes hazards associated with rare earth magnet sets very seriously, primarily because the hazards affect children. Rare...more

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