Administrative Agency Civil Procedure

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Characterization as “Essential Element” Amounts to a Disavowal of Scope

X2Y Attenuators, LLC v. International Trade Commission - Addressing the impact of an alleged disclaimer made in a patent on which asserted patents relied for priority, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit...more

Federal Grant and Contract News for Nonprofits - August 2014

As is an annual tradition in Washington, the month of August is relatively quiet. However, the Court of Federal Claims (COFC) did issue a recent decision that provided guidance on how to distinguish a grant or cooperative...more

D.C. Circuit Ruling Upholds New Ground Rules in Development of Electric Transmission Infrastructure

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC or "Commission") landmark regional electric transmission planning rulemaking, a multi-year effort by the Commission that has been met with vigorous opposition from some...more

Executive Labor Summary - July/August 2014

NLRB extends Weingarten right of union representation to drug and alcohol test situations - On July 31, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board in Ralph's Grocery Co. ruled that a union-represented...more

Arizona Enacts Limited Privilege For Insurance Self-Audits

Arizona has enacted a privilege applicable to voluntary compliance audits conducted by insurance companies. This “self-evaluative” privilege protects audit documents and testimony in civil and some administrative proceedings....more

Supreme Court of PA Reaffirms the Broad Scope of the Commonwealth Court’s Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction in Challenges to...

Many Pennsylvania Lawyers only encounter the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in its appellate guise, but the court enjoys an unusual hybrid nature, having both appellate and original jurisdiction. The court’s original...more

Court Reluctantly Upholds Designation of Critial Habitat for Frog

Last week, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana upheld the designation of approximately 1,544 acres of privately-owned timber land located in Louisiana as critical habitat for the dusky...more

Ready, Set, Charge!

Professional discipline allegations are more art than science. Regulatory statutes usually provide little or no guidance for writing them. But whether you call them allegations, charges, citations, complaints or something...more

Back to School OMA/FOIA Update: Public Access Counselor (PAC) Decisions this Summer

The summer is nearly behind us, and it has been a busy summer for the Public Access Counselor (PAC) office of the Illinois Attorney General, which issued five binding decisions since May on Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Freedom...more

Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Appeals Act 13 Ruling to State Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PPUC) is asking the state Supreme Court to review a July ruling by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court that strips PPUC of its authority to review and approve local drilling...more

California Coastal Commission Further Solidifies Enforcement Powers

An informal Attorney General advice letter and recent legislation attempt to clarify the Coastal Commission’s powers in carrying out its enforcement authority. The extent of the California Coastal Commission’s legal...more

Non-Incumbent Transmission Developers Win with Court’s Affirmance of FERC’s Order No. 1000

Non-incumbent transmission developers scored a big win last week. As we previously reported here, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld FERC’s Order No. 1000. Among other things, Order 1000 mandated that a regional...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenges to FERC’s Order No. 1000

The court turned back all challenges to FERC’s order, which imposed major regional transmission planning requirements, concluding that FERC has adequately justified the order and acted within its statutory authority....more

OMHA Announces Two New Programs to Process Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearings More Efficiently

Earlier this year, the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) announced that for most hearing requests received after April 1, 2013, it will be deferring assignment of ALJs. OMHA’s announcement is available on its...more

ERISA ATTORNEY FEES – 1st Circuit: Court Remand to Claims Administrator “because the record is insufficient for de novo review” is...

You have seen this issue before: The court remands the ERISA-governed long term disability claim for further consideration by the claims administrator because the administrative record was insufficient for de novo review....more

Court Allows ESA Claims Involving Oversight of Pesticides to Move Forward

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 11-cv-00293-JCS, plaintiffs alleged that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by failing to...more

If A Tree Falls In The City, Is It Serving A Public Purpose?

Today’s posting has nothing to do with corporate law and everything to do with trees. On November 30 and December 1, 2011, the City of Pasadena experienced an unusually violent windstorm. Wind speeds in excess of 100 miles...more

Two Recent Cases May Indicate Expansion of the NLRB’s Position Regarding Organizing Activity

In June, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Starbucks violated labor law by firing a worker, union supporter Joseph Agins, who used profanity in front of customers. In 2010, the NLRB found that Starbucks...more

Court of Appeal Clarifies Requirements for Public Input on Development Agreements

Due process rights to notice and a public hearing for those who may be affected do not apply to a public agency’s consideration of approval of a development agreement, an appellate court has ruled. In addition, the First...more

Revenue-Driven Licensing Activities Fail to Satisfy Domestic Industry Requirement for ITC Action

The ALJ terminated the ITC investigation upon granting respondent's motion for summary judgment for lack of domestic industry, finding that the complainant's (a licensing entity) patent-related activities were solely...more

California District Court Dismisses ESA Section 7 Case for Failure to Allege that Agency Action Took Place on the "High Seas"

On August 12, a judge for the Northern District of California granted a motion to dismiss claims alleging that a federal agency violated section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to consult with federal...more

National Transportation Safety Board Procedures to Change: Comments Due by October 14, 2014

If you have participated in the investigation of a major transportation calamity, you are likely familiar with the bold yellow lettering on the blue jackets of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators. These...more

Fifth Circuit Holds that the Army Corps of Engineers' Jurisdictional Determination Does Not Constitute a Reviewable "Final Agency...

On July 30, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the issuance of a jurisdictional determination (JD) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is not a final agency action subject to...more

Alleging panic attacks due to mistreatment at work, employee’s HRTO application dismissed for duplicating court action

Employees may not raise the same human rights issue before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the courts, a recent HRTO decision confirms. The employee had commenced a court action in which he claimed that he was...more

Judge Rakoff’s “Sour Grapes”: SEC v. Citigroup Settlement Approved

On August 5, 2014, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff reluctantly approved a$285 million settlement in the SEC’s enforcement action against Citigroup. In SEC v. Citigroup, the SEC alleged that after Citigroup realized in early...more

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