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Administration Imposes Sweeping Limits on Federal Actions Against Companies

"The Trump administration has adopted new limits on the use of 'guidance documents' that federal agencies have issued on almost every conceivable subject," reports the New York Times (Feb. 10, Pear), "an action that could have sweeping implications for the government's ability to sue companies accused of violations."  Such documents offer the government's interpretation of laws. Often when companies face accusations of legal violations, what they have really violated are the guidance documents. According to defense attorneys, the change in policy gives them a powerful tool to fend off allegations of wrongdoing against their clients.  Consumer advocates, though, say the move will crimp enforcement of crucial protections. The new policy was issued by Rachel L. Brand, the No. 3 official at the Justice Department.

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