Monday status conference: Congress is back!

This week lawmakers return from their summer recess, which was filled with campaigning and convention activities (and perhaps even some home district work) to finish the business of 110th Congress before the session concludes at the end of the year. Among the legislative items still pending this session are a bill that would ban federal agencies from asking for attorney-client privilege waivers in white collar criminal prosecutions, and a measure that would expand the scope of the ADA. But the resumption of the session doesn’t mean the business of election-year stumping is done – expect lawmakers to also focus on hot election-year topics like energy and the economy.

Meanwhile, a new issue of Lawyers USA is on the stands, and here’s a look at what’s inside:

Fierce non-competition: A recent California decision that has rendered non-compete agreements all but unenforceable in the state illustrates a nationwide trend. Courts are taking a hard look at contracts that limit workers’ choices for new employment at a time when the economy continues to sputter. (Lawyers USA)

Getting sued over going green? The green building industry is booming as builders, contractors, owners are buyers all want more environmentally friendly construction projects. But lawyers familiar with green construction say the good feeling is fading. (Lawyers USA)

Being (Medi)careful with settlements: New Medicare reporting requirements for liability insurers will affect the settlement of personal injury and mass tort cases. Yet many trial lawyers are not aware of the new requirements. (Lawyers USA)

And in other legal news:

Freddie and Fannie get seized: More than half of the nation’s mortgages are now under the control of the U.S. government after the seizure of faltering lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The move came yesterday in an effort to keep the two lenders from failing – which would have had a catastrophic effect on the nation’s financial markets. (WaPo)

Ping-pong over Miers’ testimony continues: A federal appeals court has blocked former White House counsel Harriet Miers from testifying about the firing of nine U.S. attorneys until judges decide whether they have authority to wade into a battle that pits Congress against the Bush administration. (AP)

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