• May 27, 2016

    FERC Fines Pa. Trading Firm $42M For Market Manipulation

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday imposed $42 million in penalties and disgorgement on a shuttered Pennsylvania trading firm and its employees for alleged electricity market manipulation, rejecting their claims that the trading activity was legitimate.

  • May 27, 2016

    5th Circ. Revives Enviros' $641M Exxon Pollution Suit

    Exxon Mobil Corp. will have to face a $641 million suit brought by environmentalists over emissions at its Baytown, Texas, refinery, the Fifth Circuit said Friday in an opinion that panned portions of the trial court’s ruling in Exxon's favor as “irreconcilably inconsistent.”

  • May 27, 2016

    Calif. Utility Wins Some Docs In San Bruno Explosion Case

    A California federal judge on Thursday largely denied Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s bid for certain documents in the government’s suit over a deadly 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion, but said the government must hand over ministerial grand jury records.

  • May 27, 2016

    Exxon, Others Beat Time-Barred MTBE Claims At Vt. Top Court

    The Supreme Court of Vermont on Friday refused to revive claims brought by the state’s attorney general against Exxon Mobil Corp. and a host of other gasoline companies over methyl tertiary-butyl ether groundwater contamination in the state, finding them time-barred.

  • May 27, 2016

    US Tribes Down But Not Out Of Canadian Pipeline Fight

    Opponents of Kinder Morgan’s proposed $5.4 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion were dealt a setback when Canadian energy regulators recently endorsed the project, but U.S. tribes are hoping their unusual push north of the border can convince Canadian officials to cancel the plan.

  • May 27, 2016

    Seneca Says Fed. Law Preempts Pa. Town's Waste Well Rule

    Seneca Resources Corp. urged a federal judge Friday not to chuck its suit seeking to strike down a Pennsylvania township’s ordinance blocking its fracking disposal wells, saying federal law preempts the locality's rule.

  • May 27, 2016

    Investors Slam Halliburton's Bid To Muzzle Accounting Pro

    A class of investors alleging Halliburton misled them over its asbestos liabilities shot back at the oil field services giant’s bid to block expert testimony from an accounting professor, arguing Friday that the statements at issue are in direct rebuttal to those of a Halliburton witness.

  • May 27, 2016

    Enviros Appeal To 9th Circ. In Aussie LNG Loan Suit

    Environmentalists on Thursday said they’ll ask the Ninth Circuit to overturn a California federal judge’s decision not to block the U.S. Export-Import Bank from completing two loans worth $4.8 billion to two Australian liquefied natural gas projects in the Great Barrier Reef.

  • May 27, 2016

    5 Tips For Energy Cos. Looking To Tap Into Mexico

    While landmark reforms opening up Mexico's energy sector have largely been implemented, energy companies looking to dive into the country's market must be mindful of still uncharted territory, from continually developing regulations to more complicated land use policies. Here, attorneys offer five pieces of advice for energy firms looking to make their mark in Mexico.

  • May 27, 2016

    Texas Justices To Consider If Landowner Botched Exxon Suit

    Texas’ high court on Friday decided to review whether a trial judge had the discretion to throw out an oil and gas royalty suit against an ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary and whether a landowner’s failure to add 44 neighboring property owners to the suit justified dismissal.

  • May 27, 2016

    Sens. Say DOI Must Weigh Coal Leasing's Climate Risks

    A group of 14 Senate Democrats on Friday urged the Department of the Interior to consider the environmental impacts of coal as it revises the federal coal leasing program, saying the effects of climate change in relation to the program have been largely ignored in the past.

  • May 27, 2016

    Fed. Circ. Rules Shell’s Benzene Too Pure To Infringe Patent

    The Federal Circuit on Friday affirmed that Shell Oil Co. did not infringe an engineer's patent on a process for producing benzene because the company's benzene is purer than what can be produced by the patented method.

  • May 27, 2016

    Pa. DEP Boss's Exit Could Pave Way For Gas Rule Changes

    A path toward amending controversial new rules on gas drilling may be clearing after Pennsylvania’s top environmental official, who’s faced criticism for his unwillingness to compromise on the regulations, suddenly resigned this month following the release of a profanity-laced email he sent urging advocacy groups to back his agenda.

  • May 27, 2016

    Legal Saga Over $38B ETE, Williams Deal Heats Up

    The legal saga over Energy Transfer Equity LP’s and The Williams Cos. Inc.’s troubled $37.7 billion merger reached the boiling point Friday, with ETE revealing a counterclaim in Delaware state court that contends Williams is actually the one delaying the deal and argues it should be allowed to abandon merger. Here, a Law360 interactive graphic recaps the many twists since Williams spurned ETE’s advances last summer.

  • May 27, 2016

    Texas Justices Say Water Drillers Can't Ignore Land Rights

    Texas’ high court held for the first time Friday that a doctrine requiring oil and gas lessees to accommodate surface owners’ rights also applies to groundwater disputes, favoring a ranch in litigation over whether a Texas city can drill wells to reach a severed groundwater estate.

  • May 27, 2016

    $6M Award In Mining Row Rightly Confirmed, 6th Circ. Told

    A Kentucky coal mine investor has urged the Sixth Circuit to uphold a lower court’s ruling confirming a nearly $6 million arbitral award in a dispute over misleading revenue figures between the mine and a group of Canadian investors.

  • May 27, 2016

    Absent Employee's ADA Claim Doesn't Pass Muster: 5th Circ.

    The Fifth Circuit has upheld a win in favor of a Texas-based energy equipment repair shop over claims that the company violated the Americans with Disability Act by firing a sick employee, with the appellate court saying it was believable that the company fired him for not showing up for work.

  • May 27, 2016

    Hercules Offshore Plans Second Trip To Ch. 11, Sale

    Months after emerging from bankruptcy, Hercules Offshore said Friday that it intends to again file for Chapter 11 protection as part a plan with senior debtholders to sell the company’s assets and wind down the business.

  • May 27, 2016

    DOE Yanks $40M Funding For Dominion Offshore Wind Project

    A proposed $380 million wind project off the coast of Virginia being developed by a Dominion Resources Inc. unit on Friday lost $40 million in potential funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, a move that puts the project's future in question, the company said.

  • May 27, 2016

    Feds Give Thumbs-Up To Pacific Offshore Fracking

    U.S. offshore regulators on Friday revived permitting hydraulic fracturing and other drilling activities in the Pacific Ocean after concluding those activities won't significantly impact the environment, a move blasted by environmentalists who vowed to take the government to court.

Expert Analysis

  • Behind The Curtain: Technical Advisers In Complex Cases

    Christopher S. Finnerty

    During complex litigation, litigants often retain consulting experts to help them understand any intricate aspects of social and natural sciences present in a case, but the federal rules provide no such mechanism for the presiding judge. That is where technical advisers come in, say attorneys at K&L Gates LLP.

  • Start-Of-Construction Update Should Benefit Clean Energy

    Jeffrey G. Davis

    The latest “start of construction” guidance makes it easier for renewable energy developers to satisfy the IRS’ requirements for the production tax credit, and will likely result in more projects being constructed with the associated increase in environmental and economic benefits, say attorneys with Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Regulators Are Widening The Spoofing Net

    Jonathan Flynn

    A U.S. Department of Justice official recently expressed his view that spoofing is widespread in the commodities and derivatives markets in addition to the equities markets, likely leading to an uptick in spoofing cases going forward. With the new anti-spoofing authority given to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the DOJ’s recent interest, we agree with this assessment, say attorneys with Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP.

  • How To Prepare Your Employees For Litigation Discovery

    Charles N. McGee III

    The discovery process can be stressful and nerve-wracking for a company’s employees. Their reactions can vary tremendously and the effects are often overlooked by general counsels. Keeping your employees informed and educated prior to and during a collection or preservation hold can help to minimize disruption, maintain productivity and help discovery budgets stay in line with projections, say attorneys at Murphy & McGonigle PC.

  • 5 Tips For Negotiating And Drafting Joint E-Discovery Plans

    Anthony J. Rospert

    Courts often require parties to develop a joint e-discovery plan. But even when they are not court-imposed, parties should consider using joint e-discovery plans to promote transparency and streamline the discovery process, say Anthony Rospert and Jake Evans of Thompson Hine LLP.

  • Oil And Gas Opportunities And Political Obstacles Ahead

    Jack R. Luellen

    The dramatic growth in domestic oil and natural gas production has reignited calls for the U.S. to achieve “energy independence." But at the same time, the resurgence of industry activity has been met with increased governmental oversight and tensions. Tremendous opportunities have been created, but the road to each is lined with significant challenges for industry, regulators and communities, says Jack Luellen at Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • Megamergers Under The Microscope

    Randy Gordon

    If the failed Halliburton-Baker Hughes and Staples-Office Depot mergers collectively constitute a bellwether, we can expect to see fewer horizontal competitors propose mergers in markets that are already concentrated, says Randy Gordon of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP.

  • Not So Fast, Ohio: FERC Weighs In On Wholesale Energy

    Joseph H. Fagan

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently affirmed its role in ensuring reasonable rates for wholesale sales of electric energy in Ohio. But state utilities seek to further their objectives without invoking FERC jurisdictional issues, and if other states aim to advance their public policy initiatives using similar methods, it could impose higher costs on captive retail customers, say Joseph Fagan and David Doot at Day Pitney LLP.

  • Panama Papers: Reminders About Law Firm Cybersecurity

    Sean Doherty

    Nowhere is the attractiveness of law firms as cybercrime targets more evident than the recent Mossack Fonseca hack, believed to be the most significant data theft event in history. Firms represent a treasure trove of information and historically have had dreadful cybersecurity practices. There has been some progress, but firms can also commit to better defending their information by taking a simple, three-step approach, says Sean D... (continued)

  • New Far-Reaching Air Regulations For US Oil And Gas Wells

    Scott Janoe

    The Obama administration recently announced two sweeping final rules to regulate air emissions from oil and gas exploration, production and transportation facilities and has begun a rulemaking process aimed at controlling methane emissions from existing oil and gas facilities, both of which will will place a significant burden on in-house staff, say attorneys at Baker Botts LLP.