Public Policy

News & Analysis as of

Pa. Supreme Court Agrees that Policyholders May Assign Their Bad Faith Claims

This week, in a 5-1 decision resolving a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that a policyholder or insured is permitted to settle the claims against it...more

Cal. App. Court Finds in Favor of “Whistleblower” Who Never Blew the Whistle

In Diego v. Pilgrim United Church of Christ, — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 2014 WL 6602601 (Cal. App. 4 Dist.), the California Court of Appeal determined that Cecilia Diego (Plaintiff) could pursue a common law public policy retaliation...more

California Public Policy Prohibits Employer Retaliation Based on Mistaken Belief That Employee Engaged in Whistleblowing Activity

In Diego v. Pilgrim United Church of Christ (November 21, 2014) --- Cal. App. 4th ---), the California Fourth District Court of Appeal considered whether California public policy precludes employers from retaliating against...more

Extraordinary Turnout and Discussions at ULC Unclaimed Property Drafting Meeting

Failing to attend last week’s Uniform Law Commission’s (ULC’s) Drafting Committee meeting to revise the 1995 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (the Act) was worse than missing the 2012 Extravakranza. On November 7 and 8, 2014,...more

Polsinelli Podcast - Republicans Gain Control of the U.S. Senate - How That May Impact Health Reform [Video]

Republicans gained control of the U.S. Senate winning seats in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. This is the first time since 2007 the Senate has gained majority control. How...more

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Scope and Application of the “Anti-Technicality” Statute

In Greene v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, the Texas Supreme Court clarified the scope and application of § 862.054 of the Texas Insurance Code, the “anti-technicality” statute, holding that the clause would only operate in...more

Washington Court of Appeals Expands "Jeopardy" Element of Claim for Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy

This month the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III issued a ruling in Becker v. Community Health Systems, Inc. that expands protections in a wrongful termination action based on violation of a public policy....more

Court Finds Coverage For Settlement Of Restitution Claim

Insurers often take the position that indemnification for claims for “restitution” are barred by public policy, and contend they have no obligation to reimburse a settlement of such claims. They often take this position even...more

Texas Supreme Court Enforces Waiver Of Post-Foreclosure Fair Market Value Hearing

On June 13, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court, consistent with its long-standing “respect for the strong public policy [in Texas] of respecting parties’ freedom to design contracts according to their wishes,” held that a broad,...more

Commission of Agriculture Approves Revised GAAMP’s Limiting Scope of Right to Farm Act

For over a year, the Michigan Ag Commission has considered expanding the scope of the "site selection" GAAMPs in order to bring even small livestock facilities within its scope. The site selection GAAMPs have traditionally...more

Severance Agreements Under Attack by the EEOC

Two recent lawsuits filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) underscore the federal agency’s intent to continue, and even expand, its attack on severance agreements. Generally, a severance agreement offers...more

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Nanotechnology: From Laboratories to Commercial Products

The House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology held a hearing on May 20, 2014, on "Nanotechnology: From Laboratories to Commercial Products." The purpose of the hearing was to examine the...more

FHFA Director Watt outlines 2014 strategic plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

House in GlobeOn May 13, 2014, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt gave his first major policy speech regarding the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac since being sworn in on January 6, 2014. In his...more

Senate Committee Questions FDA's Use of Draft Guidances

In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, a group of U.S. senators from the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions expressed "significant" concern about the agency's apparent reliance on a process of issuing...more

The New Normal: Big Data Comes of Age

On May 1, 2014, the White House released two reports addressing the public policy implications of the proliferation of big data. The first report is by the Executive Office of the President, entitled “Big Data: Seizing...more

Industry And Policymakers To Hold Summit On California SCPR

With the March 2013 release of its first draft list of Priority Products (PP) (more information is available in the Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) memorandum), the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)...more

SC Supreme Court Finds Family Member Exclusion In Florida Auto Policy Does Not Violate SC Public Policy

A Florida automobile insurance policy’s family exclusion did not violate South Carolina public policy according to an April 2014 opinion of the South Carolina Supreme Court....more

Minnesota Supreme Court Refuses to Expand Exception to Employment-at-Will Doctrine

The Minnesota Supreme Court rang in 2014 with an employer-friendly decision on the at-will employment rule. On January 2, in Dukowitz v. Hannon Security Services (No. A11-1481), the state’s highest court held that the...more

Public Policy News

The Legislature returns on January 14, 2014 for a flurry of session days before final adjournment on April 3, 2014. With the biennial budget and many other GOP big ticket items passed, the agenda this spring will include no...more

Weekly Law Resume: Uninsured Motorist Coverage – Statutory Exclusions vs Policy Language

Progressive Choice Insurance Co. v. California State Automobile Association Inter-Insurance Bureau - California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (August 12, 2013)- Insurance Code Section 11580.2, the...more

Arbitration Decision Precludes Subsequent Non-Statutory Wrongful Termination Claim

A court of appeal recently addressed whether an arbitration decision on a claim of wrongful termination in violation of a collective bargaining agreement, as a result of racially discriminatory practices, bars a subsequent...more

Immigration Reform Likely Delayed Until End of the Year

Immigration reform has been on shaky ground lately, and now it seems even more doubtful that immigration legislation will be enacted this year. According to the New York Times, in light of the current debate over military...more

Former Employee Allegedly Coughs Up Cold Remedy Formula: Broad Non-Disclosure Agreement Largely Ineffective

A New Jersey appellate court’s decision last week in UCB Mfg., Inc. v. Tris Pharma, Inc., serves as a cautionary tale for employers when drafting confidentiality agreements to protect their trade secrets and confidential...more

Freddie Mac Updates Disaster Assistance, Other Servicing Policies

On August 15, Freddie Mac issued Bulletin 2013-15, which updates and revises many of its servicing requirements, including those related to assistance for borrowers impacted by an eligible disaster. ...more

Connecticut Public Policy Supports, And In Some Cases, Requires, Termination Of Workplace Harassers

State of Connecticut v. AFSCME, Council 4, Local 391, No. 18749 (August 6, 2013): The Connecticut Supreme Court recently upheld the reversal of an arbitrator’s decision to reinstate an employee whose employment was terminated...more

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