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Federal Preemption

Federal regulations are often complex and extensive. Federal preemption occurs when federal regulations, standards and laws take precedence over state laws. Companies in many highly regulated industries often find themselves seemingly required to comply with federal laws and regulations and those of the states or localities where they do business. For a nationwide business, compliance with differing sets of requirements is, at a minimum, expensive and operationally difficult. It may be impossible.

Many companies in this situation rely on us to help clarify which rules - state or federal or both -govern. We help find this clarity by pressing clients’ interests with agency personnel, participating in rulemaking processes and pursuing resolution in the courts.

We are particularly well-suited to pursue preemption claims because of our deep understanding of the highly complex regulatory schemes of industries such as telecommunications, cable, digital media, financial services, health care, energy, and the food and beverage.

In telecommunications, cable and digital media, we have represented numerous clients before the courts, the FCC, state commissions and legislatures on issues such as facilities construction (including wireless networks); interconnection; consumer protection; Internet standards; and privacy and access to consumer information.

Our banking and financial services clients routinely seek our assistance navigating the maze of overlapping federal and state regulation. We have helped form business strategies for consumer credit transactions (including mobile payments), assisted in complex financial services litigation, and shepherded our clients through simultaneous legislative investigations, state attorneys general actions, and litigation.

We represent hospitals, physicians and other health care providers in dealing with preemption issues arising out of HIPAA and state medical records systems. Our lawyers understand the deep corners of health regulation, including various privacy regimes.

In the food and beverage area, we represent producers, distributors, packagers, licensors, franchisors, restaurants, wineries, breweries and distillers, importers and wholesalers. We help these clients navigate the maze of regulations that may affect their operations and their bottom lines.

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