The Center News: April 2015

A Publication of the National Association of ManufacturerstheCenter for Legal Action

Center Perspectives

By Patrick Forrest, Vice President, Litigation and Deputy General Counsel

MCLA Launches the Manufacturers’ Compliance Institute and Ambush Election Training
On April 14, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “ambush elections” rule went into effect. Manufacturers are faced yet again with the overwhelming challenge of deciphering a new legal restriction and complying with an ever-increasing number of complicated, and often vague, employment regulations.

The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) has frequently received requests from National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) members for help in navigating the web of employment regulations. To help you untangle this regulatory burden, we have established a new service for NAM members through a partnership with Littler Mendelson, the world’s largest law firm representing management in labor and employment matters. The new Manufacturers’ Compliance Institute (MCI) will provide prompt access to attorneys who will answer questions about compliance and enforcement requirements. Simply send your inquiry to MCI@nam.org and one of our advisers will promptly respond to your inquiry. The assistance is completely free for the first consultation on each issue.

The MCI launched on April 14 with a half-day webinar that focused on legal and compliance issues surrounding the “ambush elections” rule. If you missed this webinar, we will be rebroadcasting it on April 21; an email will be sent on April 15 with instructions to register for this session. The addition of the MCI to the services and information already provided by the MCLA will help ensure you and your employees can navigate the complex maze of compliance.

MCLA in the Courts
 
Class Actions

Business Allies Join Forces in Antitrust Case: On April 9, the NAM joined a coalition of business groups to ask the Supreme Court to review an antitrust class action brought against the Dow Chemical Company. The case involves whether the class action, which resulted in a $1 billion judgment against Dow, was properly certified since Dow was not allowed to present defensive evidence about lack of injury to particular class members.

More Information: In Re Urethane Foam Litigation (U.S. Supreme Court)
 
Environmental

Plaintiffs Continue to Circumvent Clean Air Act Limitations: The NAM filed a brief supporting an appeal by a power plant that faces liability due to emissions of dust and coal ash even though the company complied with Clean Air Act permitting requirements. A judge allowed a state common law nuisance suit to proceed, and we argue that such suits are preempted by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

Appeals Court Invalidates GHG Provisions: In response to the Supreme Court’s order that it review parts of the EPA’s greenhouse gas (GHG) rule, the D.C. Circuit ordered the EPA to vacate provisions of the regulation.

More Information: Coalition for Responsible Regulation, Inc. v. EPA (U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit)

NAM to Challenge EPA Solid Waste Rule: The NAM began the process of challenging the EPA’s rules that define hazardous solid waste and regulate its handling. The rules have implications for manufacturers’ ability to reuse materials in the manufacturing process and raise significant legal concerns about the EPA's expanding its jurisdiction beyond the statutory limits for regulation of hazardous wastes.

More Information: NAM v. EPA (U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit)
 
Intellectual Property

NAM Seeks to Protect Manufacturers’ IP Rights in Europe: The NAM and our coalition partners filed a statement with the European Court of Justice in a case that will have a dramatic impact on the ability of companies in the United States to continue marketing their products in the European Union.

More Information: European Comm'n v. Stichting Greenpeace Nederland (European Court of Justice)
 
Labor

NAM Continues Fight Against Ambush Elections: Manufacturers are awaiting the district court’s decision on pending motions for summary judgment in our challenge to the NLRB’s “ambush elections” rule.

More Information: Coalition for Responsible Regulation, Inc. v. EPA (U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit)
 
Other News

Long-Running Chevron Litigation Not Over Yet: Chevron returns to court this month to fight plaintiffs’ lawyer Steven Donziger’s appeal of his civil RICO conviction in connection with his lawsuit against the energy company. A lower court found that Donziger had engaged in extortion, fraud, money laundering, bribery, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. If you have not been following this extraordinary story of plaintiff lawyer misdeeds, you can catch up here.

Rise of the Regulator: “[T]he Supreme Court unanimously missed an opportunity to check the rising regulatory state,” NAM Deputy General Counsel Patrick Forrest opines in Roll Call about the potentially broad impact of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers.

Questions or Comments?

Contact Senior Vice President & General Counsel Linda Kelly at lkelly@nam.

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