MENU

Government Agencies

Amtrak and the Non-Delegation Doctrine in the Supreme Court - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
C. Frederick Beckner December 10, 2014

Congress passed the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) in 2008. Section 207 of PRIIA requires the Federal Railroad Administration and Amtrak to “jointly develop” the metrics and standards for Amtrak’s performance that are used by the Surface Transportation Board to trigger the investigation of private freight railroads for failing to provide preferences for Amtrak passenger trains (as required by federal law) if Amtrak fails to meet the standards. Is PRIIA Section 207 an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to a private entity? The D.C. Circuit said yes, concluding that the statute is the functional equivalent of granting General Motors the authority to write regulations covering its industry rivals. Will the Supreme Court agree and breathe life into the rarely invoked non-delegation doctrine? Our expert attended the oral argument on Monday, December 8, and offered his impressions to a Teleforum audience.

  • C. Frederick Beckner, III, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

The Regulatory Reach of the FTC, and its International Implications - Event Audio/Video

Patents and Innovation: Addressing Current Issues
Alden Abbott, Joshua D. Wright, Paul R. Michel, Dean A. Reuter December 04, 2014

Parity between the treatment of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and real property is a core principle of the DOJ/FTC 1995 Guidelines on licensing patents, which provide that the “[a]gencies apply the same general antitrust principles to conduct involving intellectual property that they apply to conduct involving any other form of tangible or intangible property.”  Are these guidelines still being followed, or have the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice have taken actions that signal a departure, and perhaps a skepticism about patent licensing activity, particularly with respect to technological standards?  Under either scenario, what are the implications for innovative U.S. companies at home and abroad, including in China where regulators are using antimonopoly powers to extract commercial concessions from U.S. technology leaders?   How can patent rights and competition policiesbest co-exist while preserving incentives for firms to invest in R&D and disseminate patented technologies through licensing, standard setting, and other voluntary arrangements?

This panel was part of a conference titled "Patents and Innovation: Addressing Current Issues". The conference was held on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Alden F. Abbott, Deputy Director, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies; John, Barbara, and Victoria Rumpel Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation; former Director of Patent and Antitrust Strategy, BlackBerry
  • Hon. Joshua D. Wright, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Moderator: Hon. Paul Michel, former Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Showcase Panel IV: ROUNDTABLE: Is the Future of the American Dream Bright? - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Rachel Brand, Lanny J. Davis, Neal K. Katyal, Charles Murray, Karlyn Bowman November 17, 2014

America has always been a forward-looking country.  What is the future for our young – for the best and brightest – and for everyone else?  Does the American Dream still apply?  Does our current legal and regulatory system offer the young prospects for a more just and better society, or for an overregulated society that stifles enterprise and compromises individual liberty?  How do we balance these competing concerns and what role can and should our legal system play?  Finally, there has been much discussion recently about income inequality.  Are efforts to address that through law or taxes beneficial or harmful to the young and their vision of a better society?

The Federalist Society's Practice Groups presented this showcase panel on "Is the Future of the American Dream Bright?" on Saturday, November 15, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Rachel L. Brand, Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board; Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, United States Chamber of Commerce; and former Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Legal Policy United States Department of Justice
  • Hon. Lanny J. Davis, Principal, Lanny J. Davis & Associates, former Special Counsel to the President, and former Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
  • Prof. Neal K. Katyal, Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law and Director, Center on National Security and the Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Partner, HoganLovells US LLP, and former Acting U.S. Solicitor General
  • Dr. Charles A. Murray, W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • Moderator: Ms. Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow and Research Coordinator, American Enterprise Institute

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

“The Dog Ate My Emails!”: Document Retention Policies, Litigation Holds, and Legal Ethics - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
Jamie Brown, Daniel Z. Epstein, Patrick Oot, Victoria A. Redgrave, Julie Goldsmith Reiser, Jerry E. Smith, Jack J. Park Jr. November 17, 2014

Once upon a time, corporations, government departments, and other entities made their own decisions about how long to retain documents created or received in the course of business.  Today, document retention policies can present difficult issues for the entities, for the lawyers who advise them, and for the courts that are called on to decide the consequences when documents are no longer available.  Particularly in the electronic age, where computers die, people delete their emails, and backups are not always reliable, document retention cannot be counted on.  What are an attorney’s obligations?  Should a lawyer bringing suit write to the other side and warn that entity not to engage in normal document destruction and to back up particularly important data?  Does the company being sued have to comply?  These are some of the questions that the panel will address.

In-house lawyers may face particular difficulties.  Does the lawyer represent only the institution, or does the lawyer also have obligations to the employees? Should the lawyer advise the employees to censor themselves in emails sent via the employer’s email system?  Should employees be encouraged to communicate about work through their personal email instead?  How does an in-house lawyer handle the conflicts between representing individuals who do not want to disclose discoverable emails for emails unrelated to ongoing litigation (perhaps because they made impolitic comments about their supervisors)?

Finally, the panel will discuss if there are special obligations for counsel representing government entities.  Government records have a unique status.  They document the conduct of public business and are necessary for transparency and, more formally, are subject to retention and preservation requirements.  Should lawyers advise government clients that backups cannot be destroyed for years, contrary to current IRS policy?  Should lawyers inform government employees that their personal emails, if discussing issues related to their work, may also be discoverable?  How does the government’s duty of transparency to the public affect its disclosure obligations and the lawyer’s corresponding obligations to her client?

The Federalist Society's Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group presented this panel on "'The Dog Ate My Emails!': Document Retention Policies, Litigation Holds, and Legal Ethics on Saturday, November 15, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.

Featuring:

  • Ms. Jamie Brown, Global eDiscovery Counsel, UBS AG, and former Associate General Counsel, Commodities Futures Trading Commission
  • Mr. Daniel Epstein, Executive Director, Cause of Action
  • Mr. Patrick Oot, Partner, Shook Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., and former Senior Special Counsel for Electronic Discovery Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Mrs. Victoria A. Redgrave, Managing Partner, Redgrave LLP
  • Ms. Julie Goldsmith Reiser, Partner, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
  • Moderator: Hon. Jerry Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • Introduction: Jack J. Park Jr., Of Counsel, Strickland Brockington Lewis LLP; and Chairman, Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC