Public Policy

News & Analysis as of

From Dusk to Dawn: Battle Looming Over USDA Changes to Sunset Provision of Organic Rules

The USDA is facing a lawsuit in federal court stemming from its decision to unilaterally alter the process for exempting synthetic and non-organic substances used in producing organic food. Until September 2013, substances...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Property Dispute Between Former Same-Sex Domestic Partners

In Hewitt v. Hewitt in 1979, the Illinois Supreme Court decided that for public policy reasons, Illinois courts cannot decide property disputes between unmarried couples. In the closing days of the March term, the Court...more

The Role of the Comprehensive Plan in Land Use Planning

The comprehensive plan is the most important tool in land use planning. In its most basic function, it provides a roadmap for the development of a community’s most limited resource, the land itself. More than just a rigid set...more

Court Of Chancery Issues Mother Of All In Pari Delicto Decisions

This and the AIG decisions are the leading decisions on when the in pari delicto defense works. The Court carefully summarizes the 3 exceptions to when in pari delecto bars a recovery: (1) the adverse interest exception, (2)...more

Maryland Appeals Court Casts Doubt On Forum Selections Clauses in Wage Payment Disputes

Recently, the Maryland Court of Appeals took the position, albeit in dicta, that the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Law reflects a “strong” public policy of Maryland and urged Maryland courts to reject as unenforceable...more

South Carolina Does Not Protect Employee Against Discharge for Reporting Crime to Police

Like most states, South Carolina recognizes a limited exception to its at-will employment doctrine. South Carolina employees can sue their employers for wrongful discharge if the reason for termination violates state public...more

Zachry Construction Corp.: The End to Indemnity for Exemplary Damages?

In August 2014, the Texas Supreme Court decided Zachry Construction Corp. v. Port of Houston Authority of Harris County, 2014 WL 4472616 (Tex.). While the case involves construction issues—and specifically the enforceability...more

Are liability waivers that are signed by a parent on behalf of a minor enforceable?

Yes, according to an Order by US District Judge Louise W. Flanagan in Kelly et al v. USA. However, the type of activity that the child is engaged in is critical for this question....more

Another Exception to Employment At-Will

Virginia is known as a stalwart adherent to the doctrine of employment at-will. The courts in Virginia have long recognized that the employment relationship is for an indefinite term and may be terminated for any reason or...more

Employment at Will Comes with Many Exceptions

Kentucky employment law generally recognizes that most employment is “at-will” – meaning, employees serve at the pleasure of the employer, and termination of an employee does not require “just cause.” ...more

California Court Of Appeal Sides With Federal Arbitration Act Over State Law Unconscionability Rule

The California Court of Appeals recently held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) preempts California’s Broughton-Cruz rule, which states that arbitration agreements for injunctive relief under California’s unfair...more

Choice-of-Law Agreements and Public Policy Enforceability Exception

By statute, Delaware has affirmed the ability of parties to agree to have their rights, remedies, liabilities, powers and duties governed by the law of Delaware. Originally published in the Delaware Business Court...more

Dr. Philippa “Pippa” Malmgren, Politics & Policy Advisor, Author, Talks with @HsuUntied  [Video]

Today, my special guest is Dr. Philippa “Pippa” Malmgren, a politics and policy advisor, who is the author of “Signals: the breakdown of the social contract and the rise of geopolitics.” Raised by a father who served in four...more

Blog: Agenda Overload For Audit Committees?

In its 2015 Global Audit Committee Survey, KPMG found that audit committee members around the world had four key concerns: “economic and political uncertainty and volatility, regulation and the impact of public policy...more

Chancery Court Applies New Statutory Amendment Retroactively

Before the newly enacted statutory amendment, 10 Delaware Code Section 8106(c), parties could shorten, but were not permitted to lengthen, an applicable limitations period by contract because an extension of the statute of...more

More on California Non-Competes – But This Time from Delaware

When it comes to California non-competes, you can never get enough clarity.  And when that clarity comes from a Delaware Chancery Court, it adds a utility element that our corporate brethren appreciate....more

Chancery Court Refuses to Enforce Non-Competition Agreement Against a California-Based Employee Despite Delaware Choice-of-Law...

In non-competition agreement disputes involving California employees, it is common to encounter an agreement stating that the law of another state governs the non-compete. Since non-competes in California are generally...more

UPDATE: SCOTUS Denies Petition For Cert In Iskanian

On June 24, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a controversial decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC. While the Court in Iskanian confirmed that an express class action waiver in an employment...more

Court Of Chancery Rejects Delaware Choice Of Law

The public policies of California and Delaware both espouse freedom. Ironically, the freedoms that they espouse are antithetical to each other. California embraces the freedom of people to pursue any lawful and employment...more

Court Of Chancery Rejects Application Of Delaware Law

This is an important decision on choice of law. The Court held that the parties’ choice of Delaware law to govern the terms of a noncompete agreement was unenforceable in the face of contrary public policy of California that...more

Employee Could Proceed With Whistleblower Lawsuit Based On Employer’s Mistaken Belief She Had Complained

Diego v. Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 231 Cal. App. 4th 913 (2014) - Cecilia Diego, the former assistant director of Pilgrim United’s preschool, sued her former employer for retaliation in violation of public...more

Communications Technology Transitions

FCC Seeks Local Government Views - It is rare for the Federal Communications Commission to expressly invite local government participation in formulating communications policy, so when this happens it is worth special...more

Arbitration Award Roundup

Following is a roundup of recent opinions on motions concerning the confirmation, vacation, and modification of arbitration awards, organized by the issues presented in the motions...more

Two California Appellate Decisions Expand the Scope of Tameny Claims Based on Whistleblower Laws

Two significant decisions on whistleblower protections were recently issued by two districts of the California Court of Appeal. Both courts reversed trial court dismissals of claims for wrongful termination in violation of...more

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

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