Public Policy

News & Analysis as of

UK Supreme Court: Fraud Trumps the Finality of Settlements

In a recent decision that can have equal application in the United States, the UK Supreme Court ruled that fraud trumps the public policy arguments of finality and encouragement of settlements....more

Public Policy Alert from the South Carolina State House - Budget Outlook and Impact of South Carolina’s Changing Demographics

The House Ways and Means Committee met on Monday, September 19th, to hear testimony regarding an outlook on future revenues as well as South Carolina’s changing demographics. Dr. Lee Pearson, Associate Dean with the Arnold...more

Texas Supreme Court Affirms Property Owners' Rights Within the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction

On May 27, 2016, in Town of Lakewood Village v. Bizios, the Texas Supreme Court held that general law municipalities do not have the authority to enforce building codes within their extraterritorial jurisdictions (ETJs). This...more

New Foreign Investment Control of UK Critical Infrastructure Projects

Changes will align the UK’s policy framework for ownership and control of critical infrastructure with other major economies. On 15 September 2016, the UK Government announced its delayed approval of the proposed...more

House Tax Policy Review Committee Update - Public Policy Alert from the South Carolina State House

The House Tax Policy Review Committee held its second meeting on Tuesday, September 13th, to discuss income and sales tax issues and statistics. Gordon Shuford with the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office made a...more

The Ethics Advisor: The Details Matter — Recusing Yourself Due to Conflict of Interest

Once, when I had put a lot of time and attention into arranging the particulars of social engagement, an old acquaintance called me a “detallista.” At the time, I think she may have meant it more as a slight than a...more

New Illinois law prohibits non-competition agreements with low-wage employees

In a rare move, the Illinois legislature has enacted new legislation establishing a clear rule invalidating non-compete agreements for certain employees. Effective January 1, 2017, employers are prohibited from entering into...more

Differences in Public Policy Can Affect Claims of Wrongful Discharge

Most jurisdictions, including Connecticut, recognize a tort of “wrongful discharge” as an exception to the principle of employment at will. Although employment at will generally allows either the employer or the employee to...more

Dam Safety Ad Hoc Committee Update - Public Policy Alert from the South Carolina State House

David Wilson from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) addressed the Dam Safety Ad Hoc Committee to give members an update on the current status of dams across South Carolina. He informed the Committee...more

UK Supreme Court Adopts New “Range of Factors” Approach to Defence of Illegality

The UK Supreme Court has rejected a formal “reliance” test to determine whether a defendant to a civil claim can rely on the claimant’s wrongdoing to defeat the claim, replacing it with a more fact-sensitive “range of...more

Connecticut's Highest Court Reinstates State Employee Fired for Smoking Marijuana at Work

The Supreme Court of Connecticut recently held, by a unanimous decision, that termination was not the only appropriate disciplinary action for a public employee who had been caught smoking marijuana during working hours. In...more

Supreme Court of Nevada Holds That Legal Malpractice Claim Was Impermissibly Assigned

Tower Homes, LLC v. Heaton, ___ P.3d ___, 2016 WL 4273578 (Nev. 2016) - Brief Summary - The Supreme Court of Nevada held that a bankruptcy trustee's stipulation and court's order permitting creditors to pursue the...more

Court Affirms Dismissal Of Will Contest Based On Public Policy Arguments Arising From Sexual Abuse Allegations

In Merrick v. Helter, a daughter who accused her father of sexual abuse attempted to void her father’s will based on public policy grounds. No. 03-14-00708-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 8966 (Tex. App.—Austin August 18, 2016, no...more

Firing Of Pot-Smoking State Employee Goes Up in Smoke by CT Supreme Court

You might think that smoking pot on the job as a state employee would be justifiable grounds to get you fired. A no-brainer, right?...more

Fifth Circuit Broadens Exceptions to At-Will Employment

On August 8, 2016, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recognized a new public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine, allowing a former employee to sue his employer for terminating his employment for legally...more

New Decision Allows Employee Suit for Violation of Concealed Handgun Law

Texas and many other states in the South have passed state laws in recent years restricting employers from terminating employees who keep their lawfully-licensed concealed handgun locked in their vehicle. For the most part,...more

Are You Ready to Disclose Your Environmental, Social, and Governance Risks?

Back in April, the Securities and Exchange Commission sought public comments on modernizing certain business and financial disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K. In their Concept Release, the SEC noted that some...more

Second Circuit Affirmed Enforcement of ICC Arbitral Award Annulled Abroad

Decision confirming an arbitral award annulled in Mexico, underscores US courts’ pro-enforcement position and highlights different approaches undertaken by courts around the world. On August 2, 2016, the United States...more

Priority of Future Advances Under Idaho Deeds of Trust Now in Doubt

In Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Co. v. Witherspoon, No. 41993, 2016 WL 74987 (Idaho Jan. 6, 2016), the Idaho Supreme Court examined a loan modification agreement in which a lender agreed to release real property from its...more

FPPC Initiates its Political Reform Act Revision Project

The Fair Political Practices Commission, charged with the implementation, interpretation and frontline enforcement of the Political Reform Act, launched its Political Reform Act Revision Project. The Commission is partnering...more

District Court Finds Forum Selection Clause Unenforceable in ERISA Action

A federal district court in Illinois ruled that a plan’s forum selection was unenforceable because it conflicts with ERISA’s public policy of providing plaintiffs “ready access to the Federal courts.” Darlene Harris...more

Third Party Funding: a New Chapter in Hong Kong & Singapore

The legal landscape is changing in South East Asia for third party funding of international arbitration. Third party funding – by which a commercial fund finances a case in exchange for a share of the damages – has...more

Nevada Confirms Its Restrictive Covenant Law, But Rejects Blue Penciling

In the first decision to reach the Nevada Supreme Court on whether state district courts may modify or “blue pencil” non-competition agreements, the high court has concluded that doing so would violate Nevada law. Golden Road...more

The Validity of Oral Modifications and Waivers Is Not Always Intuitive

In an ideal world, any modification of a contract would be in writing, signed by the parties, notarized and witnessed by an independent third party. In the real world, not only are contracts modified, or terms waived, without...more

Nevada Supreme Court Refuses To “Blue Pencil” Unreasonable Non-Compete

Nevada, unlike California, applies a reasonableness test to non-compete agreements. Although the Nevada courts haven’t identified a specific heuristic to be followed, a covenant not to compete will be found to be...more

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