U.S. Sen. Al Franken came under fire Thursday after a radio newscaster recounted being groped and kissed by the former comedian during a USO tour of the Middle East in 2006, three years before the Minnesota Democrat took office. Less than 24 hours earlier, Franken was speaking out about sexual harassment to make his case against forced arbitration clauses in employment contracts that can silence victims of abuse.
A federal claims court judge on Tuesday ordered the government to pay $2 million in legal fees to Greenberg Traurig for its work representing a Florida real estate developer that prevailed in a long-running case over the denial of a permit to fill in wetlands.
Richard Cordray is stepping down as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after spending more than five years building up the Obama-era agency from scratch and fostering it into a powerful regulator.
Holland & Knight partner Jason Klitenic, a former deputy general counsel at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is the Trump administration's pick to serve as the top lawyer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Klitenic is a brother-in-law to FBI Director Christopher Wray, who gave him a shout-out at his confirmation hearing this year.
For some lawyers working on Robert Mueller's special counsel team, life—that is, other cases—must go on. That was true Monday for U.S. Justice Department appellate lawyer Adam Jed, who took a break from his detail on Mueller’s team to appear before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a case without a Russia connection.
The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday moved to abandon fraud allegations against HCR ManorCare Inc., a leading national provider of nursing homes, after a judge struck a key witness and scolded prosecutors for bringing a case she described as a "waste of money."
Glassdoor Inc., the online job-review site, must comply with a federal grand jury subpoena that seeks identifying information about anonymous users of the website, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday in rejecting the company's privacy claims.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to name Kristen Donoghue, the top deputy under outgoing enforcement chief Anthony Alexis, to lead the Obama-era agency’s effort to police the financial industry, according to three sources familiar with the decision. Donoghue is a longtime agency lawyer who formerly worked at Hogan Lovells.
Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has been cleared of allegations that he improperly positioned himself to run in Ohio’s gubernatorial contest while leading the Obama-era agency, according to a newly disclosed letter from the government office that enforces restrictions on federal employees’ political activity.
A federal magistrate judge has struck a key witness and ordered the U.S. Justice Department to pay legal fees to HCR ManorCare Inc., one of the country's largest providers of skilled nursing facilities, for alleged missteps in a case the government touted in the crackdown on fraud in the health care industry. “I don’t think this case should have ever been brought,” a federal magistrate judge in Virginia said at a recent hearing. “I have looked at this stuff, and I’m appalled, I’m embarrassed, I’m ashamed that the Department of Justice would rely on this kind of nonsense." The government indicated this week it will appeal the decision.
The 12-count indictment against Paul Manafort and a business partner this week rattled Washington's K Street lobbying corps, as lawyers and consultants now find themselves forced to reassess their past disclosures and future compliance with rules that govern advocacy for foreign clients.
Gail Ennis, a Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr securities litigation partner nominated for inspector general at the Social Security Administration, reported earning $2 million in partnership income, according to newly disclosed ethics documents.
A Washington federal district judge this month ordered a former lawyer for Paul Manafort to testify before the grand jury convened as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to a court ruling unsealed Monday. U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell rejected the argument that the testimony, from an Akin Gump partner in Washington, would violate two shields that provide some protection to attorney communication and work product.
“There is no evidence that Mr. Manafort or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government," Kevin Downing, formerly of Miller & Chevalier, told reporters after his client, Paul Manafort, pleaded not guilty in Washington court to conspiracy and other charges.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an aide, Rick Gates, face money laundering conspiracy charges, according to an indictment unsealed Monday in Washington federal district court. Manafort and Gates were expected to surrender Monday to face the criminal allegations, which thrust Special Counsel Robert Mueller III's investigation into the public Monday.
Jane Norberg, the head of the SEC’s whistleblower office, said the corporate world is getting the hint and not using severance agreements to stifle would-be tipsters. “The good news is that I have seen some improvement in this area,” Norberg said Thursday at a securities conference in Washington. The “message is out there” that severance agreements cannot include terms preventing employees from contacting regulators, she added.
Four prominent law firms courted at least one top-level official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this summer. Between June and July, the firms Sidley Austin, Ballard Spahr, Goodwin Procter and Manatt Phelps each requested meetings with one or more CFPB officials, according to documents The National Law Journal obtained through a public records request.
"What the legal system is terrible at is remedying individual injuries because it’s so expensive," Mayer Brown partner Andrew Pincus said Wednesday at a U.S. Chamber litigation conference. Pincus was a lead attorney in a suit the Chamber filed to challenge a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule to restrict the use of mandatory arbitration clauses that keep consumers out of court. The U.S. Senate late Tuesday blocked the rule.
The Trump administration on Monday took a new chance to bash the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's push to restrict arbitration agreements, saying the regulation will only put money in the pockets of plaintiffs lawyers.
Joseph Mohorovic, an Obama-appointed Republican on the Consumer Product Safety Commission, is leaving the agency to join Dentons, where he will split his time between the Chicago and Washington offices as a principal working on regulatory and compliance matters.
At her confirmation hearing Wednesday, Ann Marie Buerkle, the Trump administration's pick to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission, was pressed on her vote last year opposing a proposal to limit emissions on portable power generators, which have been cited in carbon monoxide poisoning deaths.
In a wide-ranging interview on Sept. 8, Mayer Brown's Andy Pincus and Gupta Wessler's Deepak Gupta discussed the future of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's controversial arbitration rule. This week, according to news reports, the Senate could vote to repeal the regulation.
Amid mounting scrutiny over Russian-funded web advertising during the 2016 presidential election, Facebook Inc.'s internal government affairs team in Washington and the company's network of outside advocates will be tested like no time before. Here's a look at some of the key players, the money and connections.
John Demers, the Boeing Company in-house lawyer picked to lead the U.S. Justice Department's national security division, reported earning a salary and bonus totaling nearly $1.8 million, and he anticipates receiving at least another $350,000 in incentive and performance awards, according to a financial disclosure released publicly on Tuesday.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has returned billions of dollars to consumers while confronting abuses carried out by large banks, mortgage lenders and law firms—successes that are reflected in the agency's court record and settlements. But the CFPB has also suffered a string of setbacks this summer. Proponents of the agency caution not to read too much into the losses—the CFPB, they say, is willing to litigate. Still, others see an agency that's still pushing the limits of its authority.
The Trump administration is unlawfully delaying a rule that would allow foreign entrepreneurs to travel or remain in the United States for at least two years to work on business development, according to a new lawsuit that startups and venture capital advocates filed Tuesday in Washington federal district court.
Here's a snapshot from the Dorsey & Whitney report about issues surrounding the stock sales, and guidance for companies that are watching how Equifax responds to the cyber breach for any wider lessons about what to do.
Equifax Inc. has maintained that three executives were unaware of a massive data breach when they made stock trades on Aug. 1—worth more than $1 million—days after the company discovered the attack. Still, published reports about the stock sales raise "fundamental questions," two partners at the law firm Dorsey & Whitney said in an article published Friday at the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.
The interim head of the Federal Trade Commission division that traditionally conducts data security investigations has recused from the agency's investigation into the Equifax breach because he previously represented the company while at the law firm Arnall Golden Gregory.
Davis Polk & Wardwell partner Jennifer Newstead, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration whom President Donald Trump nominated for U.S. State Department legal adviser, reported earning a $1.5 million partnership share between January 2016 and May of this year, according to documents the U.S. Office of Government Ethics posted Tuesday.
In the months before revealing a data breach that potentially exposed the personal information of nearly half the adult U.S. population, Equifax Inc. turned to the firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington to help convince U.S. lawmakers to reduce penalties for companies that violated the federal fair credit-reporting law.
The credit reporting agency Equifax Inc. faces enormous national backlash and future scrutiny after revealing one of the largest data breaches in the U.S., one that potentially affects nearly half of the country's population. The company drew even more criticism for its move to force customers to agree to arbitration to participate in a free credit monitoring and identity theft service. Equifax has resisted efforts by U.S. regulators to ban the widespread use of arbitration agreements in consumer contracts in the banking and finance industries.
The Federal Trade Commission in several cases has faulted social media "influencers" for failing to disclose the payments behind their seemingly organic endorsements. But the FTC had only reached settlements with the companies, raising a question of when—if ever—the agency would directly go after the influencers. That time has come. The agency this week took its first action against an influencer.
A federal judge in Washington has kept alive a lawsuit from King & Spalding that seeks records from federal enforcement and regulatory agencies about information the firm believes was at the heart of an investigation targeting a pharmaceutical client.
Bacardi has taken new legal action in its long-running rum war with Cuba, this time against banking regulators in a hunt for information about how an entity owned by the island nation last year received a U.S. license to renew the disputed "Havana Club" trademark.
A federal labor appeals panel has revived a whistleblower's claims against the defense contractor Exelis Systems Corp., ruling that the employee can allege retaliation even though he raised concerns about unlawful conduct outside the United States and was fired while overseas.
A federal appeals panel on Tuesday rejected a digital advertising firm's effort to invoke Verizon Wireless' arbitration agreement to push a subscriber class action over data collection practices out of court.
With its third data security-related settlement in as many weeks, the Federal Trade Commission laid blame Tuesday on a "man in the middle"—a software program, designed to interfere with how browsers interact with websites, that left sensitive consumer information vulnerable. The FTC joined with 32 state attorneys general—including California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut—in faulting Lenovo Inc., a leading computer manufacturer.
As millions of Americans prepared to witness a total solar eclipse, Amazon.com Inc. sent a safety warning to consumers who'd purchased potentially hazardous safety glasses and camera filters to capture the spectacle in the sky.
Our latest weekly roundup of big news on the regulatory and compliance front, featuring: NLRB takes on Tesla for alleged unfair labor practices. Prosecutors open an early inquiry into whether Uber violated foreign-bribery laws. Richard Cordray, the CFPB director, isn't opening up about any plans to leave the agency before his term expires in July. Home Depot's big settlement with product-safety regulators portends changes at the agency, and lawyers for Google this week told EU regulators how the company will comply with an order requiring it to stop giving improper preference.
"We recommend that you DO NOT use this product to view the sun or the eclipse," Amazon reportedly told consumers who bought certain special glasses to watch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. Amazon is now the target of a class action in a Charleston, South Carolina, federal district court, where five law firms teamed up to sue the online retail giant over its alleged inadequate recall notification before the Aug. 21 eclipse.
U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling can ask, and ask, and ask again. But Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has no plans of telling the Texas Republican whether he plans to resign anytime soon to pursue his rumored interest in the Ohio governorship.
Home Depot USA Inc. has reached a $5.7 million settlement with federal product safety regulators over claims that the retailer, in a span of four years, sold thousands of products that had previously been recalled due to dangerous defects. The Consumer Product Safety Commission's acting chairwoman, Ann Marie Buerkle, voted to reduce the penalty to $1 million.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has prevailed in its latest standoff with a law firm, as a federal judge ordered the California-based Seila Law to respond to the agency's demand for records related to debt relief services. A judge wasn't impressed with what she called a law firm's "cleverly" use of ellipses in the attack against the subpoena.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's internal watchdog has cleared Commissioner Michael Piwowar of claims raised from four Democratic U.S. senators that he undermined the regulator's mission while serving as interim chairman.
Here's a weekly roundup of big regulatory news, including CFPB Director Richard Cordray taking to the NYT op-ed pages to defend his agency's new anti-arbitration rule; Colorado telling the feds to be more chill on marijuana; and ex-Uber engineer Susan Fowler, who exposed hostile-work complaints, taking her story to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Wells Fargo, represented by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, mounts an appeal to challenge the wrongful-termination claims of a former branch manager in California who alleged she was fired after blowing the whistle on bankers opening new accounts without proper authorization. OSHA ordered the bank to reinstate the whistleblower, and pay $577,500 in back pay and damages.
President Donald Trump wants more products labeled "Made in USA." But companies beware: The Federal Trade Commission in recent weeks revved up enforcement of allegedly deceptive "Made in USA" marketing, resolving accusations that four companies' advertising violated the agency's requirement that products be "all or virtually all" manufactured in the United States to live up to domestic origin claims. So far this year, 15 companies have resolved the FTC's allegations through the agency's so-called "closing letters."
A federal judge on Tuesday told the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to revisit regulations for increasingly popular workplace wellness programs, ruling in part that the agency failed to justify its 30 percent cap on cost incentives for participating workers.
A former National Labor Relations Board compliance official pleaded guilty Monday in Washington to charges he used his position to steal more than $400,000 in back pay that was meant for victimized employees.
Carl Icahn's resignation came with President Donald Trump's blessing, the investor wrote, and capped a week marked by an exodus of top executives and business leaders from White House advisory panels in response to the president's comments to the recent violence in Charlottesville.
In a court filing earlier this month, pension advance provider Future Income Payments said the CFPB was demanding information from state authorities that the company provided “generally under confidentiality restrictions.”
Uber agreed Tuesday to submit to regular audits of its privacy protocols to resolve Federal Trade Commission allegations that the ride-hailing platform failed to properly safeguard sensitive data and misrepresented its monitoring of employee access to consumers' personal information.
As its independent, single-director design continues to come under attack, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) this week trumpeted a judge's recent refusal to toss the agency's allegations that student loan servicer Navient Corp. mishandled payments and its communications with borrowers.
The move away from CFPB cases comes months after the Justice Department, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, said it would no longer defend the lawfulness of the CFPB's independent, single-director design.
A whistleblower was awarded $9.4 million Tuesday for her role in raising concerns about possible misconduct at the New Jersey-based mortgage lender PHH Corp., which will pay $74.5 million overall to resolve claims the company's loan practices put borrowers and the U.S. government at risk.
Two weeks after being ordered to reinstate a branch manager fired for raising concerns about improper sales practices, Wells Fargo & Co. has acknowledged it could have a much larger whistleblower problem in the aftermath of a $185 million settlement with federal regulators and Los Angeles last year over allegations the bank opened up to 2.1 million unauthorized accounts.
Cheers: Here's what the Beer Institute wants on the deregulatory front. Wells Fargo faces fresh scrutiny over a car insurance scheme. Microsoft is embracing alternative fee arrangements. And Trump's pick for HHS general counsel admits he has a "big mouth." This is a weekly roundup from ALM publications and around the web.
A federal judge in Florida has opened an opportunity for the U.S. Justice Department to undercut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in one of its biggest cases, teeing up a new fight as the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress ramp up their own attacks against the Obama-era agency.
Robert Charrow, the Greenberg Traurig shareholder picked to serve as general counsel to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, pledged on Thursday to resist any efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act—regulations that Senate Democrats said remain the "law of the land" following the failure of Republican-backed reform legislation.
Rather than roll the dice in a hazy regulatory environment, the gaming industry is pressing the U.S. Treasury Department for greater clarity about how casinos should handle money connected to the booming legalized cannabis market.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's whistleblower program has taken off since its creation in 2010 from the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, awarding more than $150 million in bounties to tipsters who have helped the agency bring successful enforcement actions. Last year, the SEC's enforcement director at the time, Andrew Ceresney, called the whistleblower office a "game changer" for the agency.
A federal appeals court in Washington ruled Tuesday that a district judge should not have allowed extensive redactions and sealed filings in MetLife Inc.'s fight with financial regulators over the company's designation as "too big to fail," in a unanimous opinion that trumpeted the public's right to access court records.
As legislation advances to undo the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new anti-arbitration rule, a banking regulator appointed by President Donald Trump on Monday passed up pursuing an alternative path to erasing the Obama-era agency's plan to ban contract terms that prohibit banking consumers from filing class actions.
Citing court rules, but perhaps also sympathizing with regular readers of legal filings, a federal judge in Washington found 48 reasons to send a regulatory agency back to the drawing board on a motion to dismiss. Judge James Boasberg ordered a motion to dismiss be "stricken" for violating a local rule that prohibits "excessive footnoting." The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's bottom-of-the-page verbosity, Boasberg wrote, "appears to be an effort to circumvent page limitations."
After a nearly three-month dry period for whistleblower bounties, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week awarded a pair of tipsters who helped the agency bring successful enforcement actions. To approve the latest award, the SEC made an exception that it has used at least once before to reward a tipster who began working with the agency before the 2010 passage of Dodd-Frank reform law.
This week, President Trump nominated Ann Marie Buerkle, the former New York congresswoman, to serve as the Consumer Product Safety Commission's chairwoman in a permanent capacity, putting her in line to lead the agency when Republicans take a majority. Here's a look at what companies and safety advocates need to know about Buerkle.
A California law firm on July 21 blasted a recent subpoena from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as "nothing more than an unwarranted and impermissible fishing expedition," in a brief that also called for eliminating the agency on the grounds that its independent, single-director structure violates the Constitution.
Peter Davidson, a former top lobbyist for Verizon Communications who is the Trump administration's pick for U.S. Commerce Department general counsel, left the telecommunications giant in December with more than $3 million in salary, bonus, stock payments, severance and unused vacation time.
Chopping down Washington's "dense thicket of rules, regulations and red tape," as President Donald Trump described it in June, doesn't always come so easily—or quickly. For a number of other regulations, the Trump administration has been playing the delay game.
The U.S. Department of Labor on Friday ordered Wells Fargo & Co. to reinstate a former branch manager fired for blowing the whistle on three subordinates who were opening new accounts for customers without their knowledge—the conduct at issue in the bank's $185 million settlement last year with federal regulators and the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.
The Trump administration is touting the number of federal regulations that are on the chopping block. Exxon Mobil Corp.'s suing the U.S. Treasury Department over a $2 million fine for violating Russia sanctions. The Federal Trade Commission's looking at Amazon.com's discounting practices. And financial regulators appear to be pulling back on a plan to restrict Wall Street bonuses. This is a weekly roundup from ALM and around the web.
An appellate lawyer who is likely to figure prominently in the anticipated challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's arbitration rule took aim at the new regulation Wednesday, saying it was "not rooted in reality" and showcased the pitfalls of insulating an agency from the political process.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is moving forward on a rule that would restrict arbitration agreements that block consumers from bringing class actions against banks. Now, it's game on for the rule's supporters and opponents. The battle may not be confined to Capitol Hill. Ready for a "legal hail Mary"?
Keith Noreika, acting comptroller of the currency, and Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are sparring over the CFPB's new, and controversial, push to restrict arbitration agreements that ban class actions in the banking and finance industries. Here's some of the back and forth between Keith and Rich.
A Kentucky real estate law firm on Thursday prevailed against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's accusations that attorneys orchestrated a web of shell companies to make improper payments for referrals.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the OCC are fighting over a new rule that would curtail forced arbitration in the banking industry. Uber drivers win a class certification ruling. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton lays out his agenda. This is a weekly regulatory roundup from ALM and around the web.
Jerome Paul Compton, the Trump administration's pick for general counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, pulled in nearly $1.2 million between January 2016 and late March of this year from his work in the Birmingham offices of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, according to a financial disclosure form. Compton's confirmation hearing is set for July 18.
After nearly four years as the Federal Trade Commission's top antitrust enforcer, Debbie Feinstein is returning in September to Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, where she will lead the global antitrust group, the firm said Wednesday.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's sweeping new run to curtail arbitration agreements contains a provision that would create a public online database showing arbitration documents and awards that are still permitted. Companies regularly raise reputational concerns about such databases. The CFPB noted that several industry commenters said the publication of arbitration records would lead "plaintiff's attorneys to bring more frivolous litigation generally."
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday finalized a sweeping new rule banning arbitration agreements that prevent class actions against banks and other financial institutions, setting the stage for parallel legal and political fights over a regulation that Republican lawmakers will seek to overturn before it sees the light of day.
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