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May 19, 2011, Alert No. 2,245.
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Sen. Franken and Rep. Hank Johnson Reintroduce Arbitration Fairness Act

5/17. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and other Senate Democrats introduced S 987 [LOC | WW | PDF], the "Arbitration Fairness Act", on May 12, 2011. Also, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) announced at a news conference on May 17 that he will introduce the companion bill in the House. The House will return from a recess on May 23.

This bill, and earlier versions in prior Congresses, are introduced in part in reaction to judicial opinions upholding the enforceability of arbitration clauses contracts between service providers and their customers, such as the April 27, 2011, opinion [39 pages in PDF] of the Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion.

In that case the Supreme Court held that a contract between a wireless phone company and its consumers that provides for mandatory arbitration of consumer complaints, and waiver of class actions, is enforceable under Section 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), notwithstanding the state of California's attempt to render such contracts unenforceable as unconscionable.

See also, story titled "Supreme Court Holds Class Action Waiver Clauses in Arbitration Contracts Are Enforceable" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,228, April 28, 2011.

See also, the Supreme Court's 2001 opinion in Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. Adams, 532 U.S. 105, in which the Supreme Court held that an arbitration clause in an employment application is enforceable when that employee subsequently brings an employment discrimination action against the employer.

Sen. Al FrankenSen. Franken (at right) stated in a May 17 release that "Workers and consumers should never be forced to give up their rights to get hired for a job, or to get a cell phone ... I've introduced the Arbitration Fairness Act to ensure that workers and consumers have the right to choose arbitration over litigation, instead of being forced into it by corporations".

S 987 was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC). Sen. Franken is a member.

Rep. Johnson stated in a release that "Forced arbitration clauses undermine our indelible Constitutional right to take our disputes to Court ... They benefit powerful business interests at the expense of American consumers and workers. These bills are designed to defend our rights and to re-empower consumers".

Rep. Johnson's bill will be referred to the House Judiciary Committee (HJC). He is a member.

Arbitration agreements have long been negotiated between businesses for resolution of commercial disputes. However, recent judicial interpretations of the FAA, which is codified at 9 U.S.C. 1, et seq., have increased the use of arbitration clauses in business's contracts with consumers and employees.

However, businesses have increasingly been including arbitration clauses in agreements with consumers. They are used in connection with cell phone service, internet access service, user agreements for e-commerce web sites, and in other situations.

Opinion such as Circuit City and Concepcion encourage further and broader use of arbitration agreements. They have also resulted in Congressional efforts to limit the enforceability of arbitration clauses in consumer and employment contracts.

See also, story titled "Supreme Court Denies Cert in Case Involving Arbitration Clauses in Wireless Contracts" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,773, May 28, 2008.

Bills in Prior Congresses. Rep. Johnson introduced HR 3010 [LOC | WW], the "Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007", in the 110th Congress. The HJC approved it on July 15, 2008. The full House did not approve it. See also, story titled "House Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Arbitration Fairness Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,658, October 19, 2007.

Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced the companion bill in the Senate in the 110th Congress, S 1782 [LOC | WW], also titled the "Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007". Neither the Senate, nor the SJC approved that bill.

Rep. Johnson introduced HR 1020 [LOC | WW], the "Arbitration Fairness Act of 2009", in the 111th Congress. Neither the House nor the HJC passed that bill.

Former Sen. Feingold introduced S 931 [LOC | WW], also titled the "Arbitration Fairness Act of 2009", in the Senate in the 111th Congress. Neither the Senate nor the SJC passed that bill.

Statute. The FAA, at 9 U.S.C. 2 currently provides, that "A written provision in any maritime transaction or a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafter arising out of such contract or transaction, or the refusal to perform the whole or any part thereof, or an agreement in writing to submit to arbitration an existing controversy arising out of such a contract, transaction, or refusal, shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract."

Bill Summary. This bill is similar, but not identical to S 931 (111th Congress).

It recites in its findings that the FAA "was intended to apply to disputes between commercial entities of generally similar sophistication and bargaining power" and that "Most consumers and employees have little or no meaningful choice whether to submit their claims to arbitration. Often, consumers and employees are not even aware that they have given up their rights."

The key clause of the bill provides that "no predispute arbitration agreement shall be valid or enforceable if it requires arbitration of an employment dispute, consumer dispute, or civil rights dispute".

The bill defines "consumer dispute" a "a dispute between an individual who seeks or acquires real or personal property, services (including services relating to securities and other investments), money, or credit for personal, family, or household purposes and the seller or provider of such property, services, money, or credit". (Parentheses in original.)

The original cosponsors of S 987 in the Senate are Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Senators Debate Free Trade Agreements

5/19. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spoke in the Senate against free trade, free trade agreements (FTAs), and permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with the People's Republic of China.

He complained that "manufacturing jobs so often go straight to Mexico, go straight to China, go straight to countries all over the world after we sign these trade agreements or after we change these rules about trade". See, Congressional Record, May 19, 2011, at Pages S3147-8.

He also said that "We went to literally hundreds of billions of dollars in trade deficit with China after PNTR. If we go into any store in the country we see the number of products made in China that used to be made" in the U.S.

None of the pending bilateral FTAs concluded during the Bush administration (with Korea, Columbia, and Panama) have been approved by the Congress during the Obama administration. These FTAs include significant provisions related to telecommunications, electronic commerce, and intellectual property.

See, the US Korea FTA's sections on telecommunications [18 pages in PDF], electronic commerce [4 pages in PDF]  intellectual property [35 pages in PDF]. See also, June 30, 2007, side letters on internet service providers [6 pages in PDF], books [4 pages in PDF], shutting down web sites [4 pages in PDF], and enforcement of a provision regarding pharmaceutical patents [2 pages in PDF].

Moreover, President Obama has not commenced negotiations for any new bilateral FTAs.

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) also spoke in the Senate on May 19, arguing that free trade and FTAs create jobs, and that the pending FTAs should be approved.

He said that "the administration, claiming that reopening negotiations with Korea, Colombia, and Panama was necessary, continues to talk through these agreements." See, Congressional Record, May 19, 2011, at Pages S3146-7.

He added that "Now the administration seems to be moving the goalposts, suggesting continued delay. They are trying to hold up these agreements to force us to make spending increases that were contained in the ill-fated economic stimulus bill."

"On July 1, less than 2 months away from now, the trade agreement between the European Union and South Korea goes into effect", said Sen. Johanns. "If America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade agreements, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores."

See also, Sen. Johanns' May 19 release.

On Thursday, May 26, the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) will hold a hearing titled "U.S. Korea Free Trade Agreement". The witnesses will include Demetrios Marantis (Deputy USTR). See, notice.

On May 11, 2011, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced HRes 266, a long resolution, that concludes that President Obama "should immediately submit legislation implementing the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement to Congress". It was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. See also, Rep. Kelly's release.

Goodwin Liu Cloture Motion Fails

5/19. The Senate rejected a cloture motion on the nomination Goodwin Liu to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) by a vote of 52-43. See, Roll Call No. 74.

Democrats voted 51-1. Only Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) voted no. Republicans voted 1-42. Only Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted yes. See, related item in this issue titled "More People and Appointments".

A cloture vote, which ends a filibuster, requires a three fifths majority to prevail under Senate Rule XXII. See, Congressional Research Service report titled "Invoking Cloture in the Senate", dated February 25, 2011.

Liu is the son of Taiwanese immigrants. He went to college at Stanford, and law school at Yale. He clerked for Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) and Justice Ruth Ginsburg of the Supreme Court. He worked in the Washington DC office of the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers. He is now a law professor at UC Berkeley.

The main objection of Senate Republicans, and the voters and interest groups to whom they respond, is that Liu is very liberal on a number of social issues, such as same sex marriage, education, welfare, and racial quotas, and his prior statements suggest that he would render opinions in cases involving these issues that are consistent with his views, but inconsistent with statutes.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who voted present, stated in the Senate debate that "Professor Liu's record endorses a powerful judiciary that can take control of the law in general and of the Constitution in particular. His activist judicial philosophy is fundamentally at odds with the principles on which our system of government is based." See, Congressional Record, May 19, 2011, at Page S3125.

Similarly, when former President Bush nominated Judges for the Courts of Appeals, Senate Democrats objected to the conservativism, especially on social issues, of some of those nominees.

Moreover, neither Bush nor Obama have nominated many persons with substantial experience or expertise, either from practicing law, teaching, or serving as a judge, in technology related areas of law.

Nominees to the Federal Circuit are a notable exception. And, there are a few other exceptions, such as Katherine Forrest, whom President Obama recently nominated for the U.S. District Court (SNDY), but not many. See, story titled "Obama Nominates Time Warner Copyright Lawyer for SDNY" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,233, May 5, 2011.

Senators whose party is not the President's party tend to delay and/or oppose some of the nominees of the President, while Senators of the President's party almost always support them. When the party of the President changes, Senators trade roles. In addition, Senators of the President's party often accuse the other party of improper delay and obstruction.

In 2002, Senate Democrats added a new strategy -- the systematic use of the filibuster to block Court of Appeals nominees, thus requiring filibustered nominees to obtain 60 votes to win confirmation. Senate Democrats successfully filibustered eight of former President George Bush's judicial nominees, such as Miguel Estrada, whom President Bush nominated to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir). Now, Senate Republicans have blocked Liu by resort to the filibuster.

Senate Democrats also used their majority to block some nominees by not allowing a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, such as Peter Keisler, whom President Bush nominated for the DC Circuit.

Senate Democrats now complain about the impropriety of using the filibuster to block judicial nominations, just as Republicans did during the Bush administration.

Also, back in 2005, a group of 14 Senators issued a joint statement that provided that "Nominees should be filibustered only under extraordinary circumstances". Hence, Republican Senators argued on May 19 that there are "extraordinary circumstances" that warrant a filibuster of Liu, while Democrats argued the absence of "extraordinary circumstances".

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC), stated in a release after the vote that "The partisan filibuster of Goodwin Liu's nomination is another example of Republicans' shifting standards on judicial nominations."

He stated during debate that during the Bush administration many Republican Senators "declared that they would never support the filibuster of a judicial nomination. Some have tried to stay true to that vision and principle. That is why the filibuster against Judge Hamilton failed and that against Judge McConnell was ended. This filibuster should also be ended." See, Page S3141.

(Judge David Hamilton now sits on the 7th Circuit, while the Senate confirmed Judge John McConnell for the District Court in Rhode Island earlier this month.)

Also, last week, the Senate rejected a cloture motion on the nomination of James Cole to be the Deputy Attorney General (DAG). See, story titled "Senate Rejects Cloture on Nomination of James Cole to be Deputy Attorney General" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,238, May 11, 2011.

The Liu nomination, and other judicial nominations in the past decade, demonstrate that ideology is playing a major role in both the President's selection of judges, and in efforts to block confirmation.

In contrast, expertise in key areas of federal law, such as patent, copyright, antitrust, communications, surveillance, and computer fraud, are not a significant criteria in either Presidential selection or Senate confirmation.

Yet, confirmed judges rarely sit in cases that involve same sex marriage statutes, or other issues that have caused nominees such as Liu to be blocked. In contrast, confirmed judges do sit in many important cases involving technology related areas of law.

More People and Appointments

5/19. President Obama nominated Morgan Christen to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) on May 18, 2011. See, White House news office release. She has been a Justice of the Supreme Court of the state of Alaska since 2009. She was appointed by former Governor Sarah Palin. Before that, she was a state trial court judge in Anchorage, Alaska. Before that, she worked in the Anchorage office of the predecessor of K&L Gates. In addition, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who backs this nomination, was the only Republican to vote to override the filibuster of Goodwin Liu on May 19. See also, Sen. Murkowski's release. This nomination is for an Alaska seat on the 9th Circuit. Judge Andrew Kleinfeld has taken senior status.

5/19. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) held an executive business meeting at which it held over consideration of five District Court nominees: John Ross (ED Missouri), Timothy Cain (South Carolina), Nannette Brown (ED Louisiana), Nancy Torresen (Maine), and William Kuntz (EDNY).

5/19. President Obama nominated three persons to be District Court Judges: Andrew Carter (SDNY), James Gilstrap (ED Texas), and Gina Marie Groh (ND West Virginia). See, White House news office release and release. Carter is currently a federal Magistrate Judge (EDNY); he was previously a public defender. See also, Sen. Charles Schumer's (D-NY) release.

5/19. President Obama nominated Luis Aguilar to be a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a term expiring June 5, 2015. His has been an SEC Commissioner since 2008. This is a reappointment. See, White House news office release.

5/19. President Obama nominated Daniel Gallagher to be a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a term expiring June 5, 2016. If confirmed, he will replace Kathleen Casey, whose term is about to expire.

More Capitol Hill News

5/19. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) held an executive business meeting at which it held over consideration of S 623 [LOC | WW], the "Sunshine in Litigation Act".

5/19. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) held an executive business meeting at which it held over consideration of S 968 [LOC | WW], the "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011".

5/19. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced S 1022 [LOC | WW], the "PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011".

5/19. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced S 1038 [LOC | WW], the "PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011".

5/17. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced S 1011 [LOC | WW], the "Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2011".

5/12. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and others introduced S 968 [LOC | WW], the "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011".

5/12. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) introduced HR 1864 [LOC | WW], a bill to limit the authority of states to tax certain income of employees for employment duties performed in other states.

5/11. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) introduced HR 1841 [LOC | WW], the "Data Accountability and Trust Act (DATA) of 2011".

5/9. Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Sen. Kay Hutchison (R-TX) introduced S 911 [LOC | WW], the "Strengthening Public-safety and Enhancing Communications Through Reform, Utilization, and Modernization Act", or the "SPECTRUM Act".

In This Issue
This issue contains the following items:
  Sen. Franken and Rep. Hank Johnson Reintroduce Arbitration Fairness Act
  Senators Debate Free Trade Agreements
  Goodwin Liu Cloture Motion Fails
  More People and Appointments
  More Capitol Hill News
Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Monday, May 23

The House will return from its one week May recess. It will meet at 2:00 PM.

The Senate will meet at 2:00 PM. It will consider S 1038 [LOC | WW], the "PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011", by introduced by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on May 19 to extend expiring provisions of surveillance law.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Technology Policy Institute (TPI) will host a panel discussion titled "Spectrum Incentive Auctions: the Nuts, Bolts  and Economics". The speakers will be Lawrence Ausubel (University of Maryland), Peter Cramton (University of Maryland), Evan Kwerel (FCC), and Karen Wrege (Power Auctions). Lunch will be served. This event is free and open to the public. See, notice. Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.

5:00 - 6:00 PM. The House Intelligence Committee (HIC) will hold a closed hearing on the FY 2012 intelligence budget. Location: Room 304, Capitol Visitor Center.

6:30 PM. The National Press Club (NPC) and George Washington University's Global Media Institute will host a presentation by Paul Steinle and Sara Brown titled "Who Needs Newspapers? A Report on the Status of Newspapers in the United States". See, notice. RSVP to professionaldevelopment at press dot org or 202-662-7524. Location: NPC, Murrow Room, 529 14th St., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) regarding reducing the burdens that its regulatory requirements impose. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 24, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 57, at Page 16604.

Deadline to submit objections to the Copyright Office (CO) to its "initial list of television stations listed in filed affidavits in which the owner or licensee of the television station attests that the station qualifies as a specialty station in accordance with" the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) definition. The CO will use the final list "to verify the specialty station status of those television stations identified as such by cable systems on their semi-annual statements of account". See, notice in the Federal Register, April 22, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 78, at Pages 22733-22734.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding video relay service (VRS) rates. The FCC adopted this item on April 14, 2011, and released it on April 15, 2011. It is FCC 11-62 in CG Docket Nos. 10-51 and 03-123. See, notice in the Federal Register, May 2, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 84, at Pages 24442-24443.

Tuesday, May 24

10:00 AM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Emergency Response Interoperability Center Public Safety Advisory Committee (ERICPSAC) will meet. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 28, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 82, at Page 23810. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room.

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The Social Security Administration's (SSA) Future Systems Technology Advisory Panel  will meet. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 90, Tuesday, May 10, 2011, at Page 27143. Location: Hyatt Regency Crystal City, 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA.

2:00 PM. The House Ways and Means Committee (HWMC) will hold a hearing titled "How Other Countries Have Used Tax Reform to Help Their Companies Compete in the Global Market and Create Jobs". See, notice. Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.

2:30 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing on nominations. The SJC will webcast this event. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

6:00 - 8:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host an event titled "Spring Reception". Prices vary. See, notice and registration form [PDF]. Location: Washington Hilton Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Ave., NW.

Wednesday, May 25

ROOM CHANGE. 9:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee will meet. The deadline to submit written comments is May 18, 2011. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 28, 2011 Vol. 76, No. 82, at Pages 23796-23797, and notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 92, Thursday, May 12, 2011, at Page 27636. Location: DOC, Room 6059, 1401 Constitution Ave., NW.

9:00 - 10:30 AM. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will host a panel discussion titled "Crafting the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a True Model 21st Century Trade Agreement". The speakers will be Grant Aldonas (Split Rock International), Karan Bhatia (General Electric), Robert Atkinson (ITIF), and Stephen Ezell (ITIF). See, notice and registration page. Location: Suite 610A, ITIF/ITIC, 1101 K St., NW.

10:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet and Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security will hold a joint hearing titled "Cybersecurity: Innovative Solutions to Challenging Problems". See, notice. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's (HOGRC) Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency, and Financial Management will hold a hearing titled "IRS E-File and Identity Theft". See, notice. Location: Room 2154, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The House Science Committee's (HSC) Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation and Subcommittee on Research and Science Education will hold a joint hearing titled "Protecting Information in the Digital Age: Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Efforts". See, Location: Room 2318, Rayburn Building.

10:30 AM. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing titled "Creating an Interoperable Public Safety Network". See, notice. Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.

12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Homeland Security and Emergency Communications Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled "The FCC's Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC): Challenges and Actions". The speakers will be Jeffery Goldthorp (FCC's Associate Chief for Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability), Stephen Malphrus (Federal Reserve System) and Paula Silberthau (FCC's Office of General Counsel). Location: __.

1:30 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law will hold a hearing on HR 1864 [LOC | WW], the "Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2011". See, notice. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

1:30 - 3:30 PM. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (HOGRC) Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations will hold a hearing titled "Cybersecurity: Assessing the Immediate Threat to the United States". See, notice. Location: Room 2154, Rayburn Building.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The House Intelligence Committee (HIC) will hold a partially closed hearing. The witness will be FBI Director Robert Mueller. Location: Room 304, Capitol Visitor Center.

2:00 PM. The Senate Finance Committee's (SFC) Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth will hold a hearing titled "The Spread of Tax Fraud by Identity Theft: A Threat to Taxpayers, A Drain on the Public Treasury". See, notice. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.

2:00 - 3:30 PM. The Heritage Foundation (HF) will host a panel discussion titled "Radio Silence in China: VOA Abandons the Airwaves". The speakers will be David Jackson (Burson Marsteller), Maochun Yu (U.S. Naval Academy), Dan Dickey (Continental Electronics Corporation), Huchen Zhang (Voice of America), and Helle Dale (HF). See, notice. Location: HF, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE.

5:00 PM. Deadline to register to attend the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) June 1, 2011, hearing regarding its ex parte and inter partes reexamination proceedings. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 25, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 79, at Pages 22854-22861. See also, story titled "USPTO to Hold Hearing on Inter Partes Reexamination Proceedings" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,226, April 26, 2011.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to some portions of its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [139 pages in PDF] regarding changes to the two universal service tax and subsidy programs titled "Lifeline" and "Link Up". The FCC adopted this NPRM on March 3, 2011, and released the text on March 4, 2011. It is FCC 11-32 in WC Docket Nos. 11-42 and 03-109, and CC Docket No. 96-45. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 23, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 56, at Pages 16481-16519.

Thursday, May 26

Supreme Court conference day (discussion of argued cases, and decision on cert petitions). Closed.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The House Intelligence Committee (HIC) will hold a partially closed business meeting. Th agenda includes consideration of HR 1892 [LOC | WW], the "Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2012". Location: Room 304, Capitol Visitor Center.

10:00 AM. The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) will hold a hearing titled "U.S. Korea Free Trade Agreement". The witnesses will include Demetrios Marantis (Deputy USTR). See, notice. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.

10:30 AM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet will hold a hearing titled "How Will the Proposed Merger Between AT&T and T-Mobile Affect Wireless Telecommunications Competition?". See, notice. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

1:00 PM. The US Telecom will host a webcast seminar titled "Cloud Computing Security". The speakers will be Glenn Biery (Verizon) and John Hatem (Verizon). This event is free. See, notice.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Public Notice (PN) asking what its broadband internet access service (BIAS) transparency rule means. The FCC promulgated its BIAS transparency rule in its huge Report and Order (R&O) [194 pages in PDF] which contains rules for the regulation of BIAS service providers. The FCC released this PN on April 11, 2011. It is DA 11-661 in CG Docket No. 09-158. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 20, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 76, at Pages 22103-22104. See also, story titled "FCC Issues Public Notice Asking What Its BIAS Transparency Rule Means" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,221, April 12, 2011.

Friday, May 27

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit notices of intent to testify at the Copyright Office's (CO) June 10 public hearing in its inquiry in to possible mechanisms, methods, and recommendations for phasing out the statutory licensing requirements set forth in 17 U.S.C. 111, 119, and 122. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 90, May 10, 2011, at Pages 27091-27092. See also, story titled "Copyright Office to Hold Hearing on Phasing Out Statutory Licensing Requirements" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,238, May 11, 2011.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its April 28, 2011, event titled "Public Workshop: Debt Collection 2.0: Protecting Consumers as Technologies Change". See, notice in the Federal Register, March 15, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 50, at Pages 14010-14014, and story titled "FTC Workshop to Address Use of Facebook and Other New Technologies for Debt Collection" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,204, March 15, 2011.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [52 pages in PDF] regarding retransmission consent negotiations. The FCC adopted and released this NPRM on March 3, 2011. It is FCC 11-31 in MB Docket No. 10-71. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 28, 2011, Vol. 76, No. 59, at Pages 17071-17088.

Deadline to submit comments regarding, and deadline to register to attend the open portion of, the Executive Office of the President's (EOP) National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee's (NSTAC) meeting on June 2 at 2:00 PM. The agenda includes government use of cloud computing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) national security and emergency preparedness (NSEP) communications, communications resiliency, commercial satellite mission assurance, implementation of a national public safety broadband network, and secure communications for mobile devices. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 95, Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at Pages 28443-28444.

Three provisions of surveillance law are scheduled to sunset. The three provisions are codified in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). They pertain to (1) treating lone wolf individuals like agents of foreign governments or terrorists organizations (see, 50 U.S.C. 1801(b)'s definition of the term "agent of a foreign power"), (2) access to business records, including library records (see, 50 U.S.C. 1861 as amended by Section 215 of the 2001 surveillance act), and (3) roving wiretaps (see, 50 U.S.C. 1805).

Monday, May 30

Memorial Day. This is a federal holiday. See, OPM list of 2011 federal holidays.

The House will not meet. However, it will meet the rest of the week.

Supreme Court holiday.

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