Expert Analysis


9th Circ. Clarifies ERISA Preemption For Healthcare Industry

The Ninth Circuit's recent ruling in Bristol SL Holdings v. Cigna notably clarifies the broad scope of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's preemption of certain state law causes of action, standing to benefit payors and health plan administrators, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.


Beware Shifting Provisions In Middle-Market Loan Documents

In recent years, many credit facility provisions previously considered to be market standard have been negotiated, often turning in favor of borrowers, demanding renewed diligence from workout officers and restructuring counsel operating in the middle market, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring.


State Procurement Could Be Key For Calif. Offshore Wind

A recent ruling from the California Public Utilities Commission highlights how the state's centralized electricity procurement mechanism could play a critical role in the development of long lead-time resources — in particular, offshore wind — by providing market assurance to developers and reducing utilities' procurement risks, say attorneys at Wilson Sonsini.


Key FCC Enforcement Issues In AT&T Location Data Appeal

AT&T’s decision to challenge a $57 million fine from the Federal Communications Commission for its alleged treatment of customer location information highlights interesting and fundamental issues about the constitutionality of FCC enforcement, say Patrick O’Donnell and Jason Neal at HWG.


Calif. Budget Will Likely Have Unexpected Tax Consequences

A temporary suspension of net operating loss deductions and business incentive tax credits, likely to be approved on June 15 as part of California’s next budget, may create unanticipated tax liabilities for businesses that modeled recently completed transactions on current law, says Myra Sutanto Shen at Wilson Sonsini.


Crafting An Effective Workplace AI Policy After DOL Guidance

Employers should take proactive steps to minimize their liability risk after the U.S. Department of Labor released artificial intelligence guidance principles on May 16, reflecting the reality that companies must begin putting into place policies that will dictate their expectations for how employees will use AI, say David Disler and Courtnie Bolden at ​​​​​​​Porzio Bromberg.


Patent Lessons From 7 Federal Circuit Reversals In May

A look at recent cases where the Federal Circuit reversed or vacated decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or a federal district court provide guidance on how to succeed on appeal by clarifying the obviousness analysis of design patents, the finality of a judgment, and more, say Denise De Mory and Li Guo at Bunsow De Mory.


How SEC Could Tackle AI Regulations On Brokers, Advisers

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission held an open meeting of its Investor Advisory Committee on June 6 to review the use of artificial intelligence in investment decision making, showing that regulators are being careful not to stifle innovation or implement rules that will quickly be made irrelevant after their passage, says Brian Korn at Manatt Phelps.


How M&A Attorneys Can Best Serve Self-Funded Searchers

Post-pandemic, and with the so-called great wealth transfer on the horizon, individuals looking for small and midsize businesses to acquire are increasingly going the self-funded route, so deal attorneys must understand the major pain points and unique needs of this demographic, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.


Litigation Inspiration: Attys Can Be Heroic Like Olympians

Although litigation won’t earn anyone an Olympic medal in Paris this summer, it can be worthy of the same lasting honor if attorneys exercise focused restraint — seeking both their clients’ interests and those of the court — instead of merely pursuing every advantage short of sanctionable conduct, says Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben.


Biden Admin Proposals May Facilitate US, UK, Australia Trade

Recent proposals that create exceptions to U.S. export licensing requirements for defense trade with Australia and the U.K. would remove hurdles that have hindered trade among the three countries, and could enable smaller companies in the sector to greatly expand their trade horizons, say Keil Ritterpusch and Grace Welborn at Buchanan Ingersoll.


Unpacking NY's Revised Hospital Cybersecurity Rule Proposal

The New York State Department of Health's recently revised hospital cybersecurity rule proposal highlights increased expectations and scrutiny around cybersecurity in the healthcare sector, while adapting to both recent industry developments and public comments, say Christine Moundas and Gideon Zvi Palte at Ropes & Gray.


What To Know As CFPB Late Fee Rule Hangs In Limbo

Though the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's final credit card late fee rule faces an uncertain future due to litigation involving injunctions, emergency petitions and now a venue dispute, card issuers must understand how to navigate the interim period and what to do if the rule takes effect, say attorneys at Steptoe.


Short-Term Takeaways From CMS' New Long-Term Care Rules

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' new final rule on nursing home staffing minimums imposes controversial regulatory challenges that will likely face significant litigation, but for now, stakeholders will need to prepare for increased staffing expectations and more specialized facility assessments without meaningful funding, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.


Politics In The Workplace: What Employers Need To Know

As the 2024 election approaches and protests continue across the country, employers should be aware of employees' rights — and limits on those rights — related to political speech and activities in the workplace, and be prepared to act proactively to prevent issues before they arise, say attorneys at Littler.


A Deep Dive Into The Evolving World Of ESG Ratings

Attorneys at Mintz discuss the salience of environmental, social and governance ratings in corporate circles in recent years, and consider certain methodologies underlying their calculation for professionals, as well as issues concerning the ESG ratings and products themselves.


What TikTok's Race Against The Clock Teaches Chinese Firms

The Biden administration's recent divestiture deadline on TikTok parent ByteDance provides useful information for other China-based companies looking to do business in the U.S., including the need to keep products for each market separate and implement firewalls at the design stage, says Richard Lomuscio at Stinson.


Updated Federal Rules Can Improve Product Liability MDLs

The recent amendment of a federal evidence rule regarding expert testimony and the proposal of a civil rule on managing early discovery in multidistrict legislation hold great promise for promoting the uniform and efficient processes that high-stakes product liability cases particularly need, say Alan Klein and William Heaston at Duane Morris.


Lean Into The 'Great Restoration' To Retain Legal Talent

As the “great resignation,” in which employees voluntarily left their jobs in droves, has largely dissipated, legal employers should now work toward the idea of a “great restoration,” adopting strategies to effectively hire, onboard and retain top legal talent, says Molly McGrath at Hiring & Empowering Solutions.


9th Circ. Ruling Shows Lies Must Go To Nature Of Bargain

The Ninth Circuit’s recent U.S. v. Milheiser decision, vacating six mail fraud convictions, clarifies that the key question in federal fraud cases is not whether lies were told, but what they were told about — thus requiring defense counsel to rethink their strategies, say Charles Kreindler and Krista Landis at Sheppard Mullin.



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Attorneys discuss how their unusual extracurricular activities enhance professional development, providing insights and pointers that translate to the office, courtroom and beyond.




Opinion


New Guidance On Guilty Plea Withdrawals Is Long Past Due

In light of the Sentencing Reform Act's 40th anniversary, adding a new section to the accompanying guidelines on the withdrawal of guilty pleas could remedy the lack of direction in this area and improve the regulation's effectiveness in promoting sentencing uniformity, say Mark H. Allenbaugh at SentencingStats.com and Alan Ellis at the Law Offices of Alan Ellis.

The FTC And DOJ Should Backtrack On RealPage

The antitrust agencies ought to reverse course on their enforcement actions against RealPage, which are based on a faulty legal premise, risk further property shortages and threaten the use of algorithms that are central to the U.S. economy, says Thomas Stratmann at George Mason University.



Access to Justice Perspectives


Justices' Repeat Offender Ruling Eases Prosecutorial Hurdle

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week in Brown v. U.S., clarifying which drug law applies to sentencing a repeat offender in a federal firearms case, allows courts to rely on outdated drug schedules to impose increased sentences, thus removing a significant hurdle for prosecutors, says attorney Molly Parmer.





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