Many lawyers are asking whether placing electronically stored information in the cloud could inadvertently waive the attorney-client privilege and whether the government or a civil litigant could obtain ESI directly from a cloud service provider. In answering these questions, there are a number of aspects of the cloud worth considering, say Timothy Broas and Matthew Saxon of Winston & Strawn LLP.
Not every company can be the next Facebook. But thankfully, for many startups, generating one billion users is not the end goal, nor should it be. Enter “narrowcasting” — one of a few reasons to be optimistic about venture capital, despite the first quarter of 2013 being the slowest for fundraising since 2002, says David Kaufman of Thompson Coburn LLP.
While the recently introduced bill permitting renewable energy projects to use a master limited partnership structure seems like good policy, there is concern that opening the MLP franchise to projects without a strong track record of producing steady cash flows could result in failed projects and cast a pall over the entire investment category, say attorneys with Sidley Austin LLP.
Recently, a New York appellate court upheld lower court decisions in Norse Energy Corp. USA v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Town of Middlefield, which found municipal bans on natural gas development to be a valid exercise of home rule. There are a number of reasons, however, that the court should have instead overturned these decisions, says Yvonne Hennessey of Hiscock & Barclay LLP.
Recently, the D.C. Circuit surprisingly overturned a decision that invalidated the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to veto a Clean Water Act “dredge and fill” permit, putting several construction projects under threat of losing permit authorization. Although the case specifically refers to a coal mining operation in West Virginia, it has serious implications beyond the coal industry and state, say attorneys with Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.
Manufactured gas plants represent the best of the industrial revolution from an environmental perspective, but they have left us today with a very difficult environmental problem that no one in the past could have anticipated, says Neil Shifrin of Berkeley Research Group LLC.
Recently, the National Ocean Council released its final national ocean policy implementation plan, identifying specific actions for federal agencies to undertake to bolster the nation's ocean economy and improve ocean health. These actions could broadly impact a wide range of ocean uses, including offshore energy development, shipping, recreation, fishing and aquaculture, say attorneys with Van Ness Feldman LLP.
While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's long-waited proposed vapor intrusion guidance documents provide more certainty as to how to investigate and assess vapor intrusion, the guidelines could also significantly increase remediation costs, add more uncertainty to business transactions and cause regulators to reopen sites, say attorneys with McGuireWoods LLP.
In Alaska Community Action on Toxics v. Aurora Energy Services, the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska dismissed the principal claims in a citizen suit addressing fundamental Clean Water Act issues. This decision may now serve as precedent in future litigation implicating the CWA's permit shield or in cases concerning airborne emissions, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.
Even though there probably will not be a major climate change bill passed during the 113th Congress, we can expect a very active next couple of years — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will continue to tout new environmental policies and pursue a lengthy regulatory agenda to control emissions from fossil fuel power plants and other industries, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.