The effects of climate change and environmental degradation are more apparent than ever, with experts predicting that 2024 will possibly be the hottest year on record. Although significant progress remains to be seen, meaningful efforts like the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022 cannot be understated. Still, much more is necessary if the world plans to stay within the 1.5°C threshold, which experts predict will be surpassed by the 2030s. Recognizing the need for urgent, dramatic action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new standards that would impose dramatic emissions limits on new vehicles produced beginning in 2027. The rule includes a “phase-in” period, allowing some flexibility for vehicle manufacturers to comply with the proposed standards, giving them five years to make the necessary adjustments. This ambitious plan aligns with President Biden’s Executive Order 14037, which sets forth the Administration’s priorities in promoting zero-emissions vehicles. The EPA specifically emphasized the Executive Order’s goal of having “50 percent of U.S. new vehicle sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030.” Given that passenger vehicles make up an estimated 17% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with transportation being the “single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States,” the goal is admirable. However, achieving this transition to electric vehicles raises deep concerns related to deep seabed mining, the process of extracting critical minerals for batteries from the ocean floor.
On June 1, 2023, in a unanimous opinion, the United States Supreme Court ruled in United States et al. ex rel. Schutte et al. v. Supervalu Inc. et al. and United States et al. ex rel. Proctor v. Safe-way, Inc. that the scienter element of the False Claims Act (FCA) refers to a defendant’s knowledge and subjective beliefs. Supervalu and Safeway knew they were charging government health insurance programs more for prescription drugs than what they usually and customarily charging regular customers, in violation of the FCA.
Connectivity has become our way of life. For Apple users, iPhones, MacBooks, iPads, and Apple Watches are interconnected with one touch. For Android enthusiasts, Samsung has developed the ‘SmartThings’ app, enabling users to seamlessly control Smart TVs, monitors, and refrigerators from one device. With the proliferation of ‘Smart Home’ technology, products are being integrated into our everyday lives like no other. Whether it be Google Home products like Google Nest thermostats or the Ring Home Security System – we are able to save energy and protect our most valuable possessions from any device no matter its operating system. Nevertheless, from a B2B standpoint, IoT provides businesses the opportunity understand predictive maintenance of their devices, optimize supply chains, and develop stronger customer relationships.
Therefore, the evidence is clear from industry-to-industry: the benefits of IoT are abundant. But what exactly does IoT entail, and what compliance guidelines are in place to protect consumer use? As the landscape expands and new products enter the market, organizations are tasked with developing innovative compliance solutions for an equally contemporary technology platform.
The landscape of post-termination benefits and rights for employees is continuously evolving. In recent developments, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a rule that could significantly change the dynamics of the job market by seeking to ban noncompete clauses. This proposal impacts businesses and employees and intersects with other regulatory frameworks, calling for an integrated perspective on its implications.
The objective of copyright law is to protect certain rights of a human author. But what happens when a nonhuman author creates something that is original, fixed, and has a minimal degree of creativity? Well, in the wild case of Naruto v. Slater, animals cannot have copyright protection in a “Monkey selfie.” As the technological world advances, the latest dispute that has everyone going bananas is AI and copyright protection. The Copyright Office will not register works “produced by a machine or mere mechanical process” such that there is no creative input from a human author because this kind of protection goes against the objective of copyright law.
Major League Baseball’s (MLB) century-long immunity from antitrust law may soon come to an end depending on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the pending Tri-City ValleyCats, Inc. v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. The petitioners, a pair of minor league baseball teams, are seeking to overrule years of precedent that allow the league to function as both a monopsonist (only buyer in the market) and monopolist (only seller in a market) given its unique control over the professional baseball market. While other professional sports leagues are subject to competition laws, MLB is uniquely positioned to have complete control over licensing, geographic exclusivity for teams, broadcasting, and salaries. Unsurprisingly, MLB’s unrestricted control of the multibillion-dollar professional baseball market has raised concerns about the continued exemptions.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 17 state attorneys brought a lawsuit against Amazon on September 26, 2023 claiming that Amazon is engaging in illegal activities to solidify their monopolistic grip on the online retail marketplace.
On January 20, 2021, his first day in office, President Biden passed Executive Order 13990, directing all executive departments and agencies to “immediately review” existing regulations, orders, policies, etc. that were “promulgated, issued, or adopted” by the previous administration between January 20, 2017 and January 20, 2021 and identify those that are or may be inconsistent with “important national objectives” regarding protecting public health, the environment, and restoring science. The order further directs agency heads to review such policies and consider whether to take any agency actions to fully restore and enforce important national objectives. A key focus of this order was to strengthen and fully enforce the Endangered Species Act, emphasizing the importance of conservation efforts and wildlife protection.
The United States spends more money per person on health care than any other country, approximately $4.2 trillion in 2021. Unfortunately, our complex health care system and the large budget make fraud a significant concern for the U.S. Government, payers, and patients. The National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association estimates that as much as 10% of annual healthcare spending is lost to scams, resulting in billions in losses yearly. To combat healthcare fraud, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, in collaboration with state law enforcement and other governmental agencies has created special Strike Forces. These efforts have led to substantial recoveries of federal funds and criminal/civil prosecution of individuals or entities involved in Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Besides avoiding unnecessary or fraudulent claims, individual healthcare payers are motivated to prevent fraud due to severe penalties associated with the False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law), and Civil Monetary Penalties Law. How can individual payers detect and try to prevent fraud? The answer is AI.
Tomer D. Elkayam Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2024 In the midst of a lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Rite Aid Corporation announced it had filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection after agreeing with creditors on a financial restructuring plan. Rite Aid, one of the “big three” pharmaceutical …