Public Policy

News & Analysis as of

News from Abroad: Australian High Court Has Ruled in Myriad Gene Patent Case

The Australian High Court yesterday unanimously overturned six lower court judges and dismissed some very careful reasoning to not only follow the U.S. Supreme Court in invalidating claims to the BRCA1 and 2 gene sequences,...more

BRING-YOUR-GUN-TO-WORK-DAY? . . . . MAYBE! Swindol v. Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation

Robert Swindol brought his gun to work . . . kind of. He parked his car in the Aurora Flight Services parking lot with his firearm locked inside. Aurora’s mangers learned about the firearm and fired Swindol that day for...more

California Court Approves Retaliation Protection For Private Police Report

The California Court of Appeal held last week in Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc. that retaliation claims under California Labor Code § 1102.5 need not be based on a report of employer wrongdoing or promote a fundamental...more

Key Takeaways From the Associated Industries of Florida Water Forum

Last week I was honored to serve as lead moderator at the 2015 Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) Water Forum held in Orlando, Florida. As moderator, I led dynamic conversations on a wide range of water-related issues,...more

No Distinction to be Made Between Foreign Commercial and Administrative Law Awards for Exequatur in France

France has had a dual jurisdictional system since the 19th century. On the one hand, the administrative courts have jurisdiction to hear most disputes which involve public entities and, on the other hand, the judicial courts...more

New York City’s RBA Falls to Preemption Challenge

New York City banks are breathing a sigh of relief after a federal judge ruled that they would not have to provide detailed servicing disclosures under a preempted city law. The law, a gloss on top of the federal Community...more

Florida Non-Competes: Physicians, Attorneys, Quarterbacks, Oh My…

Regular readers of this blog know that Florida law allows “valid restraints of trade,” under certain circumstances. Those restrictions apply to the employer-employee relationship when written and duly executed in accordance...more

California Legislature Boosts Renewables Portfolio Standard to 50 Percent and Increases Energy Efficiency Goals; Balks at...

Following a raucous debate fueled by intense lobbying by environmental organizations and the oil industry, the California Legislature has approved an ambitious plan by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to boost targets for renewable...more

Dead Statutory Claims May Rise Again as Wrongful Discharge Claims, Washington Supreme Court Rules

Your former employee claims he was fired for blowing the whistle on alleged illegal activity. Your lawyers inform you that the deadline for filing a claim under the applicable whistleblower statutes has passed. You breathe a...more

Ferguson Commission Urges Greater Access to Banking in Disadvantaged Communities

This week, the Ferguson Commission released an analysis of the socio-economic environment following the shooting of Michael Brown that included recommendations for financially strengthening lower-income areas. The Commission,...more

The Ethics Advisor: The California Public Official’s Quick and Clean Guide to Gift Rules and Regulations

As a public official in California, whether elected or appointed, volunteer or employee, you need to be aware of the rules regarding your receipt and reporting of gifts, as well as the traps for the unwary that can lead to...more

Blog: Academic Study Shows Insiders Beat The Market In The “8-K Trading Gap”

A new study, reported in the WSJ, showed that corporate insiders consistently beat the market in their companies’ shares in the four days preceding 8-K filings, the period that the researchers called the “8-K trading gap.”...more

Healthcare Costs for the Average Family Have Risen Dramatically

According to consulting and actuarial firm Milliman’s “2015 Milliman Medical Index,” which measures the cost of healthcare for a typical American family of four receiving coverage from an employer-sponsored preferred provider...more

Food Safety’s Shifting Paradigm

The recent news that Stewart Parnell, convicted former Peanut Corporation of America CEO, is facing a possible life sentence as a consequence of his role in the nine deaths and hundreds of illnesses caused by PCA’s salmonella...more

The Regulatory State: May We Have A Little Humility, Please?

The Great Equity Correction of 2015 that is now being enjoyed by all of us is a correction, and not the beginning, of the Great Bear Market of 2015 (from my lips to God’s ears). It reminds me of just how little we know about...more

Express Waiver of Assumption of Risk – Gross Negligence Exception

Stacey Chavez, et al. v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (July 8, 2015) - California’s public policy in favor of sporting and leisure activities provides strong support for...more

Business Court Enjoins Enforcement Of High Interest Rate Loans Made By American Indian-Related Business

Judge Gale's opinion last week in Western Sky in State v. Western Sky Financial, LLC, 2015 NCBC 84 has a little bit of everything in it: choice of law, the U.S. Constitution, claims for usury (excessive interest rates) and...more

Court Confirms Power to Partially Enforce a Foreign Arbitration Award

The recent decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal in Aircraft Support Industries Pty Ltd v William Hare UAE LLC [2015] NSWCA 229 ('Aircraft Support Industries') confirms that Australian courts have power to partially...more

Federal Trade Commission Issues First-Ever Guidance on “Unfair Methods of Competition”

Section 5 of the 1914 Federal Trade Commission Act declares that “unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce” are unlawful. The Act also empowers the Commission to prevent persons, partnerships, and corporations...more

China’s International and Domestic Climate Change Policies: An Overview Leading up to Paris

In June, China submitted its climate policy pledges to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC” or “Convention”) for the December 2015 Paris Climate Conference (“COP 21” or the “2015 Paris...more

FTC Issues First Statement of Enforcement Under Section 5 in 101 Years

On August 13, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”), by a 4-1 vote, approved a bipartisan “Statement of Enforcement Principles” (“Statement of Enforcement”),[1] which purports to shed light on the...more

"After Long Debate, FTC Issues Only General Principles Regarding Section 5"

On August 13, 2015, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued formal guidance on Section 5 enforcement consisting of a general statement of principles1 to guide application of its authority to challenge “unfair methods...more

Whistleblower Must Identify the Law, Rule, or Regulation Violated by the Employer Prior to the Summary Judgment Stage, District...

The U.S. District Court of New Jersey recently reaffirmed that under New Jersey’s whistleblower law, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), a plaintiff asserting that her employer’s conduct is incompatible with a...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Franchisee Keeps Case in Home Court Despite Forum Selection Clause

Rob & Bud's Pizza ("R&B") is a Papa Murphy's franchisee and owns and operates multiple Papa Murphy's Take 'n' Bake Pizza restaurants in Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. In April 2014, R&B and other Papa Murphy's franchisees...more

Antitrust Development: FTC Releases New Statement of Enforcement Principles for Unfair Methods of Competition Under Section 5 of...

On August 13, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a Statement of Enforcement Principles for “Unfair Methods of Competition” claims brought under Section 5 of the FTC Act. Section 5 empowers the FTC to challenge...more

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