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Administrative Law & Regulation

Commissioner Ajit Pai on the FCC Television Set-Top Box Proposal - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Ajit V. Pai, Alexander Okuliar July 01, 2016

In this teleforum, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai talked about the FCC’s proposed rulemaking to transform the pay television industry and competition for the television set-top boxes sitting in millions of homes across the country. The proposed rule seeks to unbundle the sale of programming from the sale of set-top boxes. The FCC wants third party technology companies to “build devices or software solutions that can navigate the universe of multichannel video programming with a competitive user interface.” The proposal has sparked tremendous debate among pay-television providers, technology companies, state and federal lawmakers, the Administration, and others. Advocates for the proposal think it could spur competition and unlock value for consumers with better and cheaper solutions for accessing video programming. Others believe the Commission’s proposal interferes with free market forces, creates more problems than it solves, and could compromise consumer privacy.

What is the FCC’s proposal? What are the implications for consumer privacy, advertising, and free market competition? Is a compromise possible? Commissioner Pai will explore these and other issues in this important teleforum, explain his dissent to the proposal, and offer us his vision for moving forward.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Ajit V. Pai, Federal Communications Commission
  • Interviewer: Alexander P. Okuliar, Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Net Neutrality Survives D.C. Circuit Challenge: U.S. Telecom Association v. FCC - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Brett A. Shumate, Adam J. White June 20, 2016

On Wednesday, June 14, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial reclassification of broadband internet service as a telecommunications service subject to common carrier regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. The case, which many observers believe may ultimately end up before the United States Supreme Court, touches on major questions about the Communications Act, as well as First Amendment issues and larger administrative law controversies, including Chevron deference. Our experts discussed all of these angles and the outlook for the case going forward.

Featuring:

  • Brett A. Shumate, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Adam J. White, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution

How “False” Must a Claim be under the False Claims Act? The Supreme Court Decides Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Shane B. Kelly, Mark B. Sweet June 17, 2016

If you do business with the federal government, when does violating a statute, regulation, or contract provision become fraud? This question was answered by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 16 in Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar, which examines the scope of the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA provides for treble damages and civil fines for anyone submitting false claims for payment to the federal government. Violations of the FCA must involve a “false or fraudulent claim” or “a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim.” Traditionally, the falsity element of an FCA claim required a “factual falsehood” (e.g., submitting a claim for payment for 10 computers when only 5 were delivered) or an express false certification (e.g., certifying to a lack of organizational conflicts of interest when such conflicts exist). Circuit Courts had split on this question, but the Supreme Court ruled today that a party can be held liable under the implied false certification theory when the party “fails to disclose noncompliance with material statutory, regulatory, or contractual requirements that make those representations misleading with respect to goods and services.” This decision has significant implications for anyone doing business with the federal government and could substantially increase contractors’ exposure to the FCA’s punishing statutory regime. 

Featuring:

  • Shane B. Kelly, Associate, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Mark B. Sweet, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP

WOTUS comes to SCOTUS: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Company Decided - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Mark Miller May 31, 2016

On Monday, May 31 the United States Supreme Court issued an 8-0 opinion in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Company. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Pacific Legal Foundation, representing Hawkes Company, squared off regarding the Corps’ decision that Hawkes Company could not use its property for peat farming without first spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in pursuit of a federal wetlands permit under the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule. The Court agreed with Pacific Legal Foundation that that decision, called a Jurisdictional Determination, is judicially reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Featuring:

  • Mark Miller, Managing Attorney, Atlantic Center, Pacific Legal Foundation