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Alabama Senate Unanimously Approves Bill to Establish an Independent Tax Tribunal

Last night, the Alabama Senate passed by a vote of 26-0 Substitute House Bill 105, formerly known as the Alabama Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights II (TBOR II) and recently renamed the “Alabama Taxpayer Fairness Act,” which...more

“Mind Your Own Business”- The Connecticut Supreme Court Limits Challenges to Licensing and Certification Decisions by Public...

In a much ballyhooed case, certain residents and taxpayers of the City of Bridgeport brought a “quo warranto” action in the courts, challenging the qualifications of the City’s Superintendent of Schools (Paul Vallas) to hold...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Whether State FOIA Applies to State's Attorney's Offices

Based upon the oral argument during the recently-concluded January term, it is not clear what the Illinois Supreme Court is likely to decide in Nelson v. The Office of the Kendall County State's Attorney. Nelson raises a...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law January 10, 2014

The Virginia Supreme Court issued new opinions this morning, some of which affect local government law. Here they are (summaries taken from the Virginia Supreme Court website, click on the Record Number to read opinion)...more

FOIA 2013 Wrap-Up – Summary Of Year End PAC Opinions

The Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) closed out the year by issuing two binding opinions. The following is a summary of key points from the opinions of which public bodies should be aware....more

“Waters of the U.S.” — What’s Not To Understand?

EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers continue their ongoing effort to bring clarity to the tangled mess wrought by the Supreme Court in Rapanos v. U. S. In that 2006 case, a fractured Court issued five separate opinions on the...more

D.C. federal court issues decision on FOIA requests to CFPB

Although the controversy over the validity of Richard Cordray’s recess appointment as CFPB Director effectively ended with his confirmation by the Senate this past July, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for...more

Lawsuit for a Retaliatory or Discriminatory Firing under the Labor Code May Not Be Filed Until After Fired Employee Completes...

After complaining about a supervisor smoking in the office, an employee of the State Assembly was fired. Believing the firing was motivated by his complaint, the employee filed a lawsuit against the Assembly, claiming...more

Illinois Appellate Court Decision Clarifies Waiver Of The FOIA Predecisional Materials Exemption

The Appellate Court of Illinois (First District) recently issued an opinion clarifying how a public body can waive the Freedom of Information Act protection for predecisional records....more

Court Clears Way For Case Against CalPERS, Judicial Council & Prison Healthcare Receiver

Nearly two years ago, Mr. Daniel E. Francis filed a petition for writ of mandamus against CalPERS and other based on allegations that the penstion fund had laundered the salary of the receiver appointed by the U.S. District...more

Congress Approves Patent "Corrections and Improvements" Act, President's Signature Expected Shortly

On January 1, 2013, a bill (H.R. 6621) cleared both houses of Congress to “correct and improve certain provisions” in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA) and in other parts the Patent Act....more

Stripped of Controversial Provisions, Lame-Duck Patent Reform Heads to Obama's Desk

On January 1, 2013 — immediately after passing the fiscal crisis bill — the House of Representatives agreed by voice vote (at 11:13 PM) to approve the Senate's Amendments to H.R. 6621. A controversial provision that would...more

Legislation to fix CFPB privilege waiver problem passes Congress

The U.S. Senate, by unanimous consent, has passed a bill previously approved by the House of Representatives (H.R. 4014) that amends the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to provide protection against waiver of the...more

Special Alert: Congress Passes Bill Extending Privilege Waiver Protections To CFPB

Yesterday, the Senate passed H.R. 4014, an important bill that clarifies that privileged materials produced to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) retain their privileged character as to third parties. Because the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Review Federal Funding of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

On October 10, 2012, two pro-life groups petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review and reverse the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court’s decision allowing the continued federal funding of...more

ITC Proposes New Limitations on Discovery

In a recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) promulgated for comment revisions to its Section 337 discovery procedures. If implemented largely as proposed, which is likely given the...more

More than 20 new insurance-related bills signed into law by Governor Brown

September 30, 2012, was the deadline for Governor Jerry Brown to take action on bills passed by the California Legislature during the 2012 regular legislative session....more

Argument Report: How Independent Should a Government Ethics Officer Be?

Our reports on the oral arguments of the Illinois Supreme Court's September term continue with Ferguson v. Patton. Ferguson involves a potentially important issue for the growing field of government ethics law: can the ethics...more

Can Your Ethics Officer Sue Your Lawyer?

Our preview of the September term of the Illinois Supreme Court continues with Ferguson v. Georges, a case which might prove to have important implications for Illinois political ethics law....more

Government

UPDATED THROUGH SEPTEMBER 4, 2012 Legislation – State University System. Do the statutes and provisions of the General Appropriations Act that restrict state universities’ expenditure or tuition and fees and condition...more

Public Employment Relations Board Has Jurisdiction Over Question Of Whether City Was Required To Meet And Confer Before Placing...

A court of appeal recently held that a trial court erred in staying the administrative proceedings before the Public Employment Relations Board (“PERB”) that involved an unfair practices charge. The charge was brought by a...more

NLRB's Efforts To Advance Ambush Election Rules Rebuffed, Again

If only everyone had just showed up and voted we wouldn't be in this mess. As previously reported, the NLRB's attempt to promulgate the so-called ambush election rules was dealt a setback when a federal district court ruled...more

CalPERS Suffers Standing Setback In Spiking Suit

Last Friday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny ruled on demurrers to a petition for a writ of mandamus filed against the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees Retirement System, California...more

Opting Out: Supreme Court Holds Public Sector Unions Cannot Force Non-Members to Pay Agency Fees Subsidizing Political Speech

On June 20, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its anticipated opinion in Knox v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000, No. 10-1121. Building on precedent establishing that public sector union fees levied on...more

Supreme Court Holds that Public Sector Unions Must Provide Nonmembers Notice and Opportunity to Opt Out of Special Assessments or...

Executive Summary: Calling the SEIU's "aggressive use of power to collect fees from nonmembers indefensible," the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, has held that the union violated the First Amendment by not sending a...more

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