Since its opening in 1980, Kaye Scholer's Washington, DC, office has maintained a vigorous legislative practice representing a broad array of clients. The attorneys who lead the Firm's Legislative & Regulatory Group not only have extensive experience in the public sector, but also draw on the internationally recognized experience of the Firm's numerous law departments.
As a consequence, the Group's clients benefit from the substantive skill of some of the nation's best legal practitioners, together with the tactical and policy experience of legislative counsel. The Group's experience includes the following assignments:
- On behalf of a foreign industry trade association, the Group helped draft a legislative and political strategy that successfully challenged potentially serious import restrictions. The Group met with Members of Congress and their staffs, as well as the Administration, to ensure that U.S. government decisionmakers were aware of industrial and economic reforms in the targeted foreign country, organized meetings between Congressional representatives and high-level foreign government and industry officials, and coordinated the coalition's policy statements and briefings.
- On behalf of several clients, the Group helped defeat legislation that would have exposed manufacturers to costly litigation on claims of "price fixing" whenever they terminated a dealer that had been the subject of price complaints by competing dealers.
- On behalf of one of the nation's leading television broadcast groups, the Group helped secure passage of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act — notwithstanding a Presidential veto — including important protections for independent broadcasters.
- On behalf of a leading medical device manufacturer, the Group helped coordinate the response to a yearlong Congressional investigation into product liability issues.
- On behalf of one of the nation's leading dairy producers, the Group helped enact the Prompt Payment Act Amendments, ensuring timely payment on products sold to U.S. Defense Department commissaries — one of the nation's largest buyers of grocery products. Subsequently, the Group helped draft regulations implementing the changes in the law, helped secure oversight hearings on agency compliance, and helped obtain a Congressionally mandated study on commissary bill-paying practices.
- On behalf of several leading financial institutions, the Group helped draft an exemption to the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, permitting the polygraphing of employees in investigations. On behalf of the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Group also drafted a detailed guide to compliance with the Act.
- The Group has drafted White Papers on numerous public policy questions, from airline deregulation to product liability reform.
- On behalf of a leading supplier of building products, the Group constructed a state-by-state legislative response to efforts to revise local building codes to disadvantage our client's products. At the same time, the Group helped obtain Federal legislation endorsing national building codes that sanctioned our client's products. This work complemented the efforts of the Firm's Litigation/Antitrust Department, which successfully prosecuted our client's competitors on antitrust charges.
- At the request of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, the Group testified in support of efforts to reform Congressional procedures.
- The Group helped defeat legislation that would have threatened the security of banks and other financial institutions by limiting and, in some cases, prohibiting the use of electronic monitoring in the workplace.
- The Group testified before the House Judiciary Committee concerning legislation granting new enforcement powers to the United States government in international antitrust actions.
- On behalf of one of the nation's largest minority-owned radio networks, the Group helped draft and promote tax legislation to promote diversity in the telecommunications industry.
The versatility of the Group's legislative practice is testament to the versatility of the Firm itself. At the same time, any successful legislative strategy necessarily draws upon the client's knowledge and experience. The Group never loses sight of the fact that Members of Congress are most responsive when they understand the implications of federal policies for the people they represent. Therefore, the Group works closely with clients in developing and implementing legislative strategies, taking a "back seat" where appropriate, working in tandem with the client's Washington office, if any, in a continuing effort to ensure that it is the client's voice — and not counsel's alone — that is heard in Washington.
An interdisciplinary legislative team is created for each project, as appropriate, including those members of the Firm with recognized experience in the issues presented by the assignment. Each project is managed by senior legislative counsel.
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