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How Will Michigan Courts Analyze a Legal Challenge to the Michigan Legislature’s Retroactive Repeal of the Multistate Tax Compact?

In recent days, the state tax world has focused on the State of Michigan’s retroactive repeal of the Multistate Tax Compact (Compact). Last week, the Michigan Legislature passed and Governor Snyder signed into law a bill...more

Wisconsin's Voter-ID Case Provides a Lesson in Interim Relief

In recent weeks, several high-profile cases involving Wisconsin public policy have come before the Seventh Circuit. In many instances, these cases have provided not only insights on the federal judicial system for the general...more

Patent Troll Watch - States Are Pushing Patent Trolls Away from the Legal Line

Oregon introduces bill to make improper patent license demands a violation of its unlawful trade practices law - In February 2014, Senate Bill 1540 was filed, which would make patent trolling a violation of the...more

New North Carolina Law Provides Tool to Battle Patent Trolls

The North Carolina General Assembly recently passed a bill aimed at the abusive assertion of patents. It was part of the Commerce Protection Act of 2014 (S 648, S.L. 2014-110, section 2.1) and was signed into law by Governor...more

House Passes Bill to Fix Privilege Waiver Problem for Nonbanks

A bill (H.R. 5062) recently passed by the House of Representatives would amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act (the CFPA), which is Title X of the Dodd-Frank legislation, to provide protection against waiver of state...more

Colorado State Court Strikes Down a Second City-Wide Fracking Ban

A Colorado state judge recently struck down a city’s voter-approved moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This marks the second time a Colorado judge has quashed a city’s fracking ban within a matter of two...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

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2014

Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs and Fair Competition, et al. v. Donna Norris, et al. - Why it matters: With land use issues and development projects increasingly the subject of local ballot initiatives, it is imperative...more

Tuolumne Jobs Case

The California Supreme Court has just issued an opinion which may encourage the use of initiatives. At issue in the case was an initiative to adopt a specific plan to streamline approval for construction and operation of a...more

ALJ Declares NLRB’S Dues Checkoff Termination Decision a Dead Letter

In WKYC-TV, Inc., 359 NLRB No. 30 (2012), the NLRB overruled 50 years of precedent under Bethlehem Steel, 136 NLRB 1500 (1962), and held that going forward, employers could not unilaterally end dues checkoff at the expiration...more

Patent Troll Legislation: Oregon State Courts Curb Abuse of Patent Laws by NPEs

Patent trolls, or more politely, Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), are firms that collect “license” fees on patent rights by threatening lawsuits. Rarely do NPEs make any products, provide any services or operate any systems...more

Sunshine Ordinance Preempted by City Charter Provision Creating Attorney-Client Privilege

The First District Court of Appeal determined that City of San Francisco (“City”) resident Allen Grossman (“Grossman”) was not entitled to documents related to the development of certain San Francisco Ethics Commission...more

Supreme Court Opens Escape Path From CEQA Via Citizens Initiative – Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court

Why it matters: Project proponents may avoid CEQA altogether by gathering sufficient voter signatures and then having the local City Council approve the proposed project, without submitting the measure to a vote of the...more

California Supreme Court Holds No CEQA Review Required for a Voter Initiative-Sponsored Ordinance

In a relatively short decision, the California Supreme Court held in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court of Tuolumne County (Tuolumne Jobs) that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not...more

Decision: Voter-Sponsored Local Land Use Initiatives Not Subject to Environmental Review

The proposed expansion of a Wal-Mart store into a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the City of Tuolumne, Calif. yielded a California Supreme Court decision that says city councils need not comply with CEQA before adopting a...more

Supreme Court Confirms CEQA Exemption for Voter-Sponsored Initiatives

In Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, No. S207173 (Supreme Court, Aug. 7, 2014), the California Supreme Court ruled that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not apply when a lead...more

Supreme Court Blocks Citizens United Advisory Proposition From Ballot

I’ve previously reported on SB 1272 which was rushed through the legislature and allowed to become “law” without Governor Brown’s signature. The bill, authored by Senator Ted Lieu, calls for an advisory vote on whether the...more

The California Supreme Court Further Limits the Scope of CEQA Review for Voter-Sponsored Initiatives in Tuolumne Jobs & Small...

Voter-driven initiatives meeting California Elections Code requirements may be adopted directly by local governments without first conducting a full review under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), according to...more

No CEQA Review Required For Initiative Measures, Whether Adopted By City Council Or Voters

The Supreme Court of California has held that CEQA review was not required before the Sonora City Council adopted an initiative measure approving a specific plan for expansion of a Wal-Mart store. The court held that: the...more

California Supreme Court Holds CEQA Inapplicable To City’s Adoption Of Qualified Voter Initiative Approving Wal-Mart “Supercenter”...

In a concise 15-page opinion filed August 7, 2014, the California Supreme Court reversed the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s judgment which had held that a city may not adopt a voter-sponsored initiative with potential...more

California Supreme Court Rules Local Governments Are Not Required to Comply With CEQA Before Adopting a Voter-Sponsored Initiative

Opinion Clarifies When CEQA Review is Required for Local Land Use Initiatives - Local governments may adopt voter-sponsored initiatives without conducing environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental...more

Business Court Modernization Bill is now Law

This session we've watched SB 853 - Business Court Modernization work through the legislative process and we are impressed by freshman Senator Tamara Barringer's first big effort. All you lawyers who take on complex...more

CEQA Alert: California Supreme Court Holds No CEQA Review is Required for Adoption of Voter-Sponsored Initiatives

On August 7, the California Supreme Court filled the last gap in the interpretation of CEQA in the context of land use initiatives. Previously, the courts had determined that (1) CEQA compliance is required for land use...more

CA Supreme Court Rules ‘No CEQA Required’ When Agencies Adopt Citizen-Sponsored Initiatives

The California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that when a city council or county board of supervisors adopts a citizen-sponsored land use initiative, rather than placing it on the ballot, it need not comply with the...more

NLRB Ratifies Administrative Actions Taken during Invalid Recess Appointment Period

On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in N.L.R.B. v. Noel Canning, et al., which invalidated President Obama’s 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the NLRB recently ratified a...more

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