Holland & Knight LLP

United States

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Last Week at the FEC: Opinion Requested on Credit Card Rewards Programs for Political Committee Contributions

Last week, the Federal Election Commission did not meet, but released two Advisory Opinion Requests (AORs) and the results of several enforcement actions. Earlier in the month, the Commission’s Office of Inspector General…more
| Communications & Media Law, Elections & Politics, Finance & Banking

D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenge to FAA's Drone Policy as Premature

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit granted the FAA's motion to dismiss a petition for review involving its enforcement policy on unmanned aerial systems, also referred to as drones. The petition was filed by Texas Equusearch, a…more
| Civil Procedure, Transportation

Fifth Round of Sanctions Target Certain Russian Banks, Energy Companies and Arms Manufacturers

The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a fifth round of designations imposing limited sanctions on two Russian banks and two major Russian energy companies. OFAC also designated and blocked the assets of eight…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Elections & Politics, Energy & Utilities, Finance & Banking, International Law & Trade

Religious Institutions Update

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that an existing contraceptive coverage mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act statute that applies to for-profit closely held corporations and…more
| Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Education, Labor & Employment Law, Health

The Supreme Court's Noel Canning Decision and the NLRB's Response

Since the Supreme Court affirmed a decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on June 26, 2014, invalidating President Obama's appointment in January 2012 of three members to the National Labor Relations Board, the NLRB has…more
| Constitutional Law, Elections & Politics, Labor & Employment Law

Reviews Posted Under a Pseudonym Could be Defamatory

As written on this blog before, plaintiffs often have difficulty when alleging claims of defamation against anonymous defendants. Unsurprisingly, websites that provide a forum for anonymous commentary are loathe to reveal the…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Personal Injury

Message Board Post Highly Critical of Company is Opinion and Thus Not Defamatory

An essential defense to a defamation claim is "pure opinion." In other words, if the defendant can show that the statements alleged to be defamatory are opinions protected under the relevant free speech laws, the defamation act…more
| Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Personal Injury

Fifth Circuit Limits the Reach of ESA "Take Liability" for State Regulatory Agencies Based on "Proximate Causation" Principles

The Fifth Circuit's decision provides important legal and factual guidance for whether an action will cause a "take" under the ESA. While the decision only affects states covered by the Fifth Circuit (Texas, Louisiana and…more
| Civil Procedure, Construction Law, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

New OIG Special Fraud Alert Focuses on Suspect Practices of Labs and Referring Physicians - Certain Payment Arrangements May Be a Violation of the Federal Medicare/Medicaid Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a new Special Fraud Alert on June 25, 2014, that focuses on certain compensation arrangements between laboratories and referring…more
| Health, Science, Computers, & Technology

2014 Intelligence Authorization Act Imposes Cyber Breach Reporting Requirement on Intelligence Community Contractors - Many Federal Government Contractors Already Subject to Varying Cyber Security Requirements – Congress Adds a New One

The federal government must publish new procedures 90 days after the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act is signed. These procedures will become effective upon publication. Intelligence community contractors will be required…more
| Administrative Law, Elections & Politics, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology, Government Contracting

FDA Issues New Drug Compounding and Outsourcing Facility Guidance - The New Policy Documents Clarify FDA's Expectations and Enable the Compounding Industry to Comply with the Compounding Quality Act

The FDA issued multiple policy documents on July 1, 2014, to implement the Compounding Quality Act (CQA). Congress enacted the CQA in November 2013 as part of the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA), in response to the deadly…more
| Administrative Law, Consumer Protection, Health, Science, Computers, & Technology

D.C. Circuit Rejects Petitions Challenging Proposed NY-NJ Gas Pipeline

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently dismissed petitions brought by the City of Jersey City, NJ, and various environmental organizations challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's ("FERC") order granting a…more
| Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Personal Injury, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

2014 Legislative Update: Environment, Growth Management and Water

CS/CS/CS/HB 325 amends statutory provisions relating to the brownfield program and modifies the procedures for establishing a brownfield area. The bill also authorizes the local government designating a brownfield area to use a…more
| Construction Law, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use, Real Estate - Commercial

Florida Introduces Stringent Obligations with New Data Breach Law

In the wake of increasing pressure due to data breaches, Florida is introducing a stringent new data breach law to protect its residents from identity theft and financial harm. The new Florida Information Protection Act of 2014…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Consumer Protection, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology

Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements Enforceable - Landmark California Supreme Court Ruling Is Positive for Employers in Class Action Cases But Not PAGA Claims

In an opinion filed June 23, 2014, Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC,(Iskanian) the California Supreme Court gave employers some relief when faced with class action suits. The court's significant decision will…more
| Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Conflict of Laws, Labor & Employment Law
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