Executive action is a hallmark of every administration, even more so in a divided government. So it should be no surprise that 2015 was, and 2016 will be, buzzing with activity by administrative agencies. The DOL proposed new overtime rules; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau changed rules for real estate closing and is considering going around Congress to limit some consumer arbitration clauses; the FTC is busy regulating net neutrality; the DOJ is openly targeting individual executives for corporate wrongdoing.
Each of those will likely be challenged and will make their way through the courts over the next two or three years. Meanwhile, businesses will face bureaucratic enforcement of these and hundreds of other regulations, from federal labor investigations to state workers compensation oversight, and so on and so forth. It goes on endlessly.
The overtime rules we just mentioned are one example likely to impact many businesses, and they are actively enforced by the regulator. Inspectors from the Department of Labor can descend on, say, a butcher shop, inspect time records, and file suit if they find records lacking and suspect overtime went unpaid. Then a very basic complaint in federal court will ruin your day and drag your business in lengthy court proceedings.
In our view, representing businesses does not stop at writing a contract, or even at appearing in court for trial or appeal, though we do both. It also includes representing the company in the face of government oversight and investigations.