This past weekend, Joseph Sandler and Joshua Rosenstein were quoted in a New York Times article, discussing the funding of think tanks by foreign powers, in order to gain influence within U.S. policy.
Joseph Sandler noted that the arrangement between foreign states and think tanks, “opened a whole new window into an aspect of the influence-buying in Washington that has not previously been exposed. It is particularly egregious because with a law firm or lobbying firm, you expect them to be an advocate. Think tanks have this patina of academic neutrality and objectivity, and that is being compromised.”
Joshua Rosenstein noted that the issue of foreign powers funding research within influential U.S. based think tanks is something that, “the Department of Justice needs to be looking at.”
To read the entire New York Times article, please click here.
Last week, Josh Rosenstein was quoted in an article discussing the recent unprecedented action of The Office of Congressional Ethics to accuse an entity of lobbying Congress illegally.
“Joshua Ian Rosenstein, a partner at Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock, said the office must have found significant evidence of wrongdoing in order to make the referral.
Because the [disclosure] law does not require time-sheets or other supporting documentation, one would have to assume that OCE has something pretty substantial to justify them taking the extraordinary step of making a referral.
There are some cases that are clear as day, where registration should be required. But there are other cases that may be more borderline — if you spend 19 percent of your time versus 21 percent of your time.”
To read the entire article in The Hill, click here.
The Firm is proud to announce that Joseph M. Birkenstock has become a member of the Firm. Mr. Birkenstock, previously a member of Caplin & Drysdale, brings to the firm two decades of expertise in all aspects of political law. Firm founder Joseph Sandler stated, “We are truly excited that Joe , who worked with us for several years as chief counsel at the DNC, will be re-joining us and bringing to our practice his exceptional reputation and skill in the political law field.”
In addition to Mr. Birkenstock’s addition to the Firm, the Firm has elevated Joshua Rosenstein to Partner. In recognition of these changes, the Firm is being renamed SANDLER REIFF LAMB ROSENSTEIN & BIRKENSTOCK, P.C.
Joshua Rosenstein was quoted today in a story in National Journal about the rise in litigation over the executive rule-making process. The article describes ongoing litigation between the EPA and biofuel producers over renewable-fuel standards. Mr. Rosenstein told the National Journal that such litigation is becoming commonplace as lobbyists increasingly fail to make headway through a gridlocked government.
“You’re seeing a rise in either actual litigation or the threat of litigation,” said Joshua Rosenstein, a counsel with the Washington law firm Sandler Reiff Young & Lamb. “Advocacy groups are being stymied because the government hasn’t been doing much and they’ve had to get creative; and one of the things I’ve heard people talking about across the industry is seeking policy changes through the courts.”
Joshua Rosenstein was cited in an article published this morning in The Hill regarding the decline in the number of registered lobbyists in Washington. The article discusses the reasons why K Street has seen the number of federally registered lobbyists decrease by over 4,500 since 2007. Mr. Rosenstein cited public perception and new ethics orders on lobbyists working in the White House as two reasons why fewer potential lobbyists are registered today.
“When the administration tells you that you’re unwelcome and the public perception of the industry is so negative, lobbyists become very aware of the message that’s being sent,” Mr. Rosenstein said.
In an article published today in The Hill, Josh Rosenstein is cited as a corporate compliance expert regarding potential new Federal Reserve regulations regarding prepaid gift cards. The regulations, which are set to go into effect on Monday, require prepaid MasterCard and Visa-branded gift cards to have a PIN, much like a debit card. In the past, the PIN was an optional feature. And while the article points that while these new regulations are still considered “informal guidance” and does not hold legal weight, industries typically treat the guidance as if it does.”
According to Mr. Rosenstein, this feature is key: “Even though the guidance may not be ratified by the [Federal Reserve leadership], it can give you a pretty good idea how the regulators might likely respond to particular situations — which is critical if you’re in the regulated community. One of the fundamental purposes of informal guidance is to let the industry know how the agency intends to enforce its mandate.”
SRYL attorney Joshua Rosenstein was quoted on the importance of effective political law compliance programs by law firms in an article on Law360 [subscription required]. The article discusses various strategies that law firms should adopt as politics takes center stage this election season. Mr. Rosenstein explains that while many larger firms take bipartisan approaches to politics and elections, many firms like SRYL that specialize in election law or represent clients in campaign matters “tend to be skewed one way or another.”
Furthermore, while individual contributions to campaigns and committees were unlikely to cause much trouble, similar contributions by the firm itself can be trickier. He explained that “You’re not going to grow your business if you’re breaking the law,” adding that it’s “incredibly important” for firms to bear in mind regulatory concerns as well as their own reputation.