Administrative Authority

News & Analysis as of

"Supreme Court: A Term-End Review"

As the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014-15 term draws to a conclusion, the Court has resolved — or will resolve in a matter of days — several cases with potentially wide-reaching implications for a range of important policy and...more

“Ambush” Election Challenge Fails in Federal Court

A federal judge in Texas recently ruled in favor of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a case challenging the Board’s “ambush” election rules. The lawsuit, Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas, Inc. v....more

Texas Operator Pushes Back on Seismic Claims at Railroad Commission Hearing

Earlier this week, the Texas Railroad Commission held its first “show cause” hearing under the rule amendments adopted last October to address issues related to disposal wells located in potential high-risk seismic areas....more

A CEQA Trustee Agency “Muscles Up”: Third District Holds Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Newly Exercised Power To Require Notice...

Under CEQA, a “trustee agency” is a “state agency having jurisdiction by law over natural resources affected by a project which are held in trust for the people of the State of California” and “[t]he California Department of...more

Utah Legislative Update: 2015 Water Law Legislation

This year the Utah Legislature took action on two water law issues that it has struggled with for several years—the authority of the State Engineer to consider forfeiture during review of change applications and the rights of...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Preliminary Challenge to Clean Power Plan

Consistent with longstanding administrative-law precedents, the D.C. Circuit has rejected two challenges to EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan rule as premature. The two closely-watched cases, In re Murray Energy Corporation and...more

SEC Insider Trading Case Brought As Administrative Proceeding Enjoined

The SEC’s shift to administrative proceedings in recent months has spawned a series of suits against the agency challenging its forum selection authority. The suits have generally met with little success. Nevertheless,...more

Regulatory Notes on Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrency Derivatives

Six things every investor, start-up, financial institution and payment processor should know about the future regulation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency derivatives. With the quickly developing market for...more

Patent Infringement in the Digital Age: How a Dispute About Tooth Aligners Led to a Fight About the ITC’s Jurisdiction over...

The International Trade Commission (“ITC”) is an “independent nonpartisan agency that investigates and reports to the President and Congress on matters concerning import trade, tariffs and trade agreements.” Shewmaker v....more

SEC Confirms “Looking Glass” Fears About Administrative Forum

The SEC confirmed Friday that it may choose to be prosecutor, judge and jury in novel cases where it thinks it knows best and can urge Chevron deference when others seek judicial review....more

FINRA Chairman: SEC Should Lead on Uniform Fiduciary Standard

On May 1, 2015, Richard Ketchum, Chairman and CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), reaffirmed his support for a uniform fiduciary standard for broker-dealers. Testifying before the House Financial...more

Federal Regulators Expand Authority Over Data Security Issues: Recent Actions by FCC and FTC Underscore the Importance of...

Highly regulated industries such as banking and healthcare have been at the forefront with robust data security regulations for a number of years. Regulators are now focusing on other industries as data breach incidents...more

Massachusetts Governor Baker Issues Order Dramatically Curtailing Agency Regulatory Authority

As we reported in our last issue, shortly after incoming Governor Charlie Baker was sworn in earlier this year, his Secretary of Administration and Finance issued a memo imposing a temporary three-month freeze on new state...more

Can the CFPB Really Prohibit Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements?

Section 1028 of the Dodd-Frank Act, entitled “Authority to Restrict Mandatory Pre-Dispute Arbitration,” gives the CFPB the authority to promulgate regulations imposing conditions, limitations, or outright prohibitions on...more

New York City Council Introduces Bill to Create an Office of Labor Standards

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council has introduced a bill (T2015-2812) that seeks to establish an Office of Labor Standards (“Office”). The bill, which would amend the New York City Charter and the Administrative...more

Perhaps a Corps Jurisdictional Interpretation is Final Agency Action After All

After Sackett, the question on everyone’s mind was “How far does it go?” The first test of that question was the decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals – not known as a bastion of liberalism – in Belle Company v. Corps...more

FAA Concedes Merely Posting Drone Video Does Not Violate Federal Regulations - A New Directive Notes Agency Lacks Authority to...

The Federal Aviation Administration, after more than a year of warning media companies and hobbyists that posting or linking to any footage filmed by drones may violate the law, has finally acknowledged that its inspectors...more

California Insurance Commissioner Lacks Authority to Regulate Formula for Estimating Replacement Cost Value

In Assn. of Cal. Insurance Companies v. Jones ( No. B248622, filed 4/8/15), a California appeals court held that California’s Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones lacked the authority to promulgate California Code of...more

FTC Creates New Office To Investigate Consumer Technologies

On March 23, the FTC announced – via blog post – the formation of the Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTRI), a newly formed research office within its Bureau of Consumer Protection....more

New CFPB Consent Orders Point to Growing Indirect Regulation of Title Insurance

The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 granted rule-making authority under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to the CFPB and, with respect to entities under its jurisdiction, generally granted authority to the CFPB to...more

Privacy & Cybersecurity Update - March 2015

In This Issue: - Dismissal in P.F. Chang’s Data Breach Case Shows Challenge Plaintiffs Face in Such Actions - Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Decision Underscores the Need to Evaluate Insurance Programs for Cyber...more

SEC Proposes High Frequency Traders to be Regulated by FINRA

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on March 25, 2015 a proposal to amend Rule 15b9-1 under the Exchange Act to require broker-dealers who trade in off-exchange venues to become members of a national securities...more

FTC Creates New Office Focused on Privacy and Data Security

Earlier this week the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced the formation of the Office of Technology Research and Investigation within its Bureau of Consumer Protection. The office will succeed the Mobile Technology...more

State Water Board Significantly Expands Scope of Authority to Investigate Water Rights

As widely anticipated, on March 17, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board approved a resolution to impose state-wide mandatory water conservation measures, including restricting the number of days that irrigation of...more

OSC Affirms Breadth of Inter-Jurisdictional Enforcement Power, Limits on Sanctions in Conrad Black Case

The recent decision in Re Conrad M. Black et al. illustrates how the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) will use its inter-jurisdictional enforcement authority to impose sanctions relating to conduct in other jurisdictions...more

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