• August 1, 2014

    ND Landowners Ask High Court To Reinstate Jury Rights

    Two North Dakota property owners are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate their constitutional rights to a jury, arguing those rights were improperly denied when Alliance Pipeline LP condemned portions of their land to build a $141 million natural gas pipeline from the Bakken Shale.

  • August 1, 2014

    Global Roundup: France Eyes Mail Cos., Bulgargaz Gets Fined

    France took aim at Royal Mail and TNT Express, Bulgaria fined its leading natural gas provider $16 million, and South Korea forced revisions to app store terms at Apple Inc. and Google Inc. Here are details on those and a few other international antitrust developments you might have missed in the last month.

  • August 1, 2014

    W.Va., Other States Take EPA Coal Emission Fight To DC Circ.

    A coalition of a dozen states challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule limiting carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, telling the D.C. Circuit on Thursday that the agency has illegally regulated the facilities under two different Clean Air Act provisions.

  • August 1, 2014

    Chevron Won't Take Apache's Stake In Int'l LNG Plants

    Chevron Corp. on Friday said it has no interest in increasing its stakes in two massive liquefied natural gas projects in Australia and Canada, a day after partner Apache Co. announced it was pulling out of both projects to refocus on growing its U.S. operations.

  • August 1, 2014

    TVA Inks $28M Deal To End Suits Over Coal Ash Disaster

    The Tennessee Valley Authority said Friday that it has reached a $27.8 million settlement with more than 850 plaintiffs over property damage from a disastrous 2008 accident at a Tennessee power plant that flooded a nearby river with toxic coal ash.

  • August 1, 2014

    With Bay In Wings, Obama Appoints LaFleur As FERC Chief

    President Barack Obama has removed the acting label from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur, while Norman Bay, the president’s preferred choice for chairman, will assume the commission’s top spot in April 2015, FERC said Friday.

  • August 1, 2014

    USDA Unveils Report On How Farmers, Others Can Cut GHG

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday issued a detailed greenhouse gas report showing farmers, ranchers and forest landowners how changing their land management and conservation practices can help them save money and protect the environment.

  • August 1, 2014

    Ex-Alstom VP Says FCPA Indictment Is Time-Barred

    A former Alstom SA vice president argued in Connecticut federal court Thursday that an indictment charging him with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with an alleged bribery scheme linked to a $188 million contract in Indonesia is time-barred because of his resignation in 2004 from the company.

  • August 1, 2014

    Investor Demands Parker Drilling Execs' Names In FCPA Case

    A Parker Drilling Co. investor late Thursday requested the Delaware Chancery Court to compel the company to reveal the identities of former senior executives and outside counsel purportedly connected to a U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case it settled with the U.S. government for $16 million.

  • August 1, 2014

    AES Looks To Invest $1B In Mexico Power Generation

    U.S.-based AES Corp. is looking to increase its presence in Mexico, potentially investing up to $1 billion to double its capacity over the next few years and stepping into the country’s wholesale market, a spokesperson for the power company said on Friday.

  • August 1, 2014

    Sutherland Snags Winston Energy, Environmental Duo

    Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP has beefed up its energy and environmental regulatory practice by bringing aboard a pair of Winston & Strawn LLP attorneys well-versed in guiding energy clients through compliance with the Clean Air Act and other federal and state environmental laws.

  • August 1, 2014

    Enviro Groups Ask DC Circ. To Mull EPA Delays Of Soot Regs

    Environmental groups including the Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians urged the D.C. Circuit on Thursday to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s delay of air quality deadlines, claiming the agency is allowing states including Alaska and California to get away with low standards for fine particulate pollution.

  • August 1, 2014

    Enviros Challenge XTO Pa. Fracking Permits

    Environmental groups and property owners have appealed a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection decision granting XTO Energy Inc. permits to build a well pad complex for natural gas drilling in Western Pennsylvania, contending the project will have a detrimental effect on two watersheds.

  • August 1, 2014

    Ex-Client Wants Lynch Chappell To Arbitrate $1.2M Fee Fight

    A former client of Lynch Chappell & Alsup PC asked a Texas appeals court Thursday to enforce an arbitration agreement in a $1.2 million dispute over fees she says she was tricked into paying the firm to settle estate litigation involving her oil and gas mineral interests.

  • August 1, 2014

    2nd Circ. Asks Top NY Court To Examine Fracking Leases

    The Second Circuit asked New York's highest court Thursday to weigh whether the state's hydraulic fracturing moratorium amounts to a circumstance neither drillers nor landowners can control — a so-called force majeure — and whether oil and gas lease contracts can be extended by the industry as a result.

  • August 1, 2014

    ComEd Owes Customers For 2011 Outages, Ill. Court Rules

    Commonwealth Edison Co. is on the hook for damages to municipalities and more than 30,000 customers for widespread power failures resulting from a severe storm that struck Northern Illinois in July 2011, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.

  • August 1, 2014

    DOI Wants More Input On Offshore Drilling Program

    The U.S. Department of the Interior said Friday that it’s extending the public feedback period for its 2017-2022 offshore oil and gas development program, amid calls from industry and its congressional allies to expand available drilling areas and pushback from coastal state lawmakers and environmental groups.

  • August 1, 2014

    Woodside Investors Reject $2.8B Shell Buyback Plan

    Woodside Petroleum Ltd. shareholders on Friday voted against a plan for the Australian oil and gas company to buy back $2.8 billion of its shares from Royal Dutch Shell PLC, sending both companies back to the drawing board.

  • August 1, 2014

    ArcelorMittal Inks Deals For Stake In Guinea Iron Ore Project

    Steel maker ArcelorMittal SA said Friday that it has inked deals with units of Australian resources and mining company BHP Billiton and French nuclear energy giant Areva to acquire a more than 50 percent stake in the Mount Nimba iron ore project in Guinea for an undisclosed amount.

  • July 31, 2014

    Longview Wants $825M Policy Fight Kept In Bankruptcy

    Coal plant operator Longview Power LLC told a Delaware bankruptcy judge Thursday that its suit over an $825 million insurance policy needs to remain before the court because the outcome is crucial to the successful resolution of its Chapter 11 case.

Expert Analysis

  • Long-Term GHG Reduction Rule Could Change Nature Of EPA

    Jonathan Martel

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to reduce emissions by 2030 will require “beyond-the-fence” measures and represents a potential shift from the agency's traditional role as an environmental regulator to that of an energy regulator — a shift that may test the limits of state and EPA regulatory authority, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • FCPA Diligence In Infrastructure Transactions

    Richard G. Madris

    U.S. companies and investors engaged in infrastructure and energy transactions worldwide must note that an acquirer can be held liable for the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations committed by a target company — even if those violations took place prior to the acquirer obtaining control over the company, say attorneys with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.

  • OPINION: Lawyers Should Think In Terms Of Big Data

    James H. Wendell

    The vast majority of civil cases in the United States settle before trial. Knowing how many on a particular topic were filed, how many settled, when they settled, and on what terms clearly would be useful to a lawyer advising a client. Big Data could make it possible — yet this type of research is generally ignored by lawyers, says James Wendell of Riddell Williams PS.

  • Denied Rule Petitions In Texas Will Have No Day In Court

    Dale Wainwright

    The Austin Court of Appeals' holding in Texas Commission on Environmental Quality v. Bonser-Lain is significant because it precludes private parties from asking courts for "second opinions" on state agency denials of requests for rulemaking, thereby avoiding a protracted and potentially costly resolution of such requests, say attorneys at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

  • Dukes May Have Doomed Toxic Tort Class Certification

    Peter E. Seley

    Heightened focus on commonality and the other Rule 23 prerequisites post-Dukes has been a tremendous hurdle for toxic tort class action plaintiffs as courts reject classes based on the individual nature of exposure, causation and damages and the insufficiency of expert testimony, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Death Rattle For Unfinished Business Claims?

    Angelo G. Savino

    In a departure from Jewel v. Boxer, the decisions in the cases of Thelen LLP and Heller Ehrman LLP reflect a shift in the manner by which courts treat trustees’ claims for post-dissolution fees, say Angelo Savino and Julie Moeller Albright of Cozen O'Connor.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Top 10 Venue Arguments

    Alan E. Rothman

    As the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heads to the “Heart of America” for its July 31 hearing, this column will take a bit of a detour from its regular format and present a top 10 list of arguments — some strange, yet true — made in support of a particular MDL venue, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • EPA Is Holding Flare Users' Feet To The Fire

    J. Tom Boer

    Larger facilities operating multiple flares and larger companies with multiple facilities likely run the greatest risk of enforcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — recent settlements confirm that the EPA, at least in this initial stage of enforcement, has been targeting larger companies, say attorneys at Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp LLP.

  • Securing Summary Judgment In Section 1603 Suits Got Harder

    Timothy Jacobs

    The U.S. Court of Federal Claims' recent opinion in Alta Wind I Owner-Lessor C v. United States, one of many Section 1603 energy grant cases filed in recent years, previewed some of the key issues to be decided in these cases — and it does not appear that these issues can be resolved by summary judgment, says Timothy Jacobs of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • 5th Circ. May Have Created New Rule On Policy Exhaustion

    Stephen P. Pate

    The Fifth Circuit's ruling in Indemnity Ins. Co. of N. Am. v. W&T Offshore Inc. is important because many believed it was implied in umbrella/excess policies that only damages covered by them would count against their retained limit — now carriers wishing to restrict damages against such limits must expressly state so in policies, says Stephen Pate of Norton Rose Fulbright.