Samuel L. Brown

Latest Articles

Judicial review of state agency regulatory orders in California has long been seen as an exercise in futility as state courts typically give significant deference to agency determinations. However, two recent decisions by California Superior Courts have bucked that trend and may provide renewed hope that success at the trial court level is not out of reach.…
In a flurry of decisions late last week, the newly-constituted majority of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) issued a number of decisions that signal a less interventionist approach with respect to the employer-employee relationship. Three of these decisions in particular will have wide-reaching benefits for union and non-union employers alike, as they will:  (1) heighten the standard for finding that two entities are so-called “joint employers,” (2) reduce Board scrutiny over…
Since President Trump’s election, his Administration has emphasized cooperative federalism and has opened the door for more state responsibility.  California is walking through that door, and has positioned itself, according to its elected officials, at the vanguard of the so-called “resistance” to the Administration and its policies, real and perceived.  This is particularly clear on environmental, energy, and natural resource matters.  Last week illustrates the growing divide between California and the federal government in these…
On October 21 and November 3, EPA Regions 3 and 9 denied petitions from eNGOs for the agency to use its “residual designation authority” (RDA) to expand the universe of stormwater discharges that are regulated by the Clean Water Act (CWA) in specific watersheds in Maryland and California. See 33 U.S.C. § 1342(p)(2)(E); 40 C.F.R. §§ 122.26(a)(1)(v), (a)(9)(i)(D). This was an important decision by EPA, and any resulting litigation could have significant implications for businesses…