• September 8, 2014

    Thompson & Knight Botched Deal To Buy Metal Co., Suit Says

    Thompson & Knight LLP was slapped with a $1 million malpractice suit in Texas state court Monday by a former client who says the firm shirked its obligations to him when it helped a private equity investor seize control of an oil and gas industry fabrication company.

  • September 8, 2014

    Houston Enviro Reg Preempted, Energy Cos. Tell Texas Court

    A group of energy and industrial companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., Dow Chemical Co. and ConocoPhillips on Friday urged the Texas Supreme Court to strike down a Houston clean air ordinance that requires pollution emitting entities to register with the city and pay a fee, saying such rules are preempted by state law. 

  • September 8, 2014

    Caterpillar Shuts Down 'Big Cat' Registration At TTAB

    The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has upheld an opposition by Caterpillar Inc. to block an energy company's attempt to register the term “Big Cat” for oil and gas well technology, saying that Caterpillar's "CAT" mark is famous and entitled to broad protection.

  • September 8, 2014

    Texas Regulator Says Gazprom Backs Anti-Fracking Push

    A member of the Texas Railroad Commission on Monday criticized the Russian oil and gas giant OAO Gazprom, accusing Russian president Vladimir Putin of using the state-run company to attack American energy production by sponsoring anti-fracking campaigns.

  • September 8, 2014

    Oil Co. Slams Attempt To Alter 5th Circ. Ike Insurer Ruling

    W&T Offshore Inc. asked a Texas federal judge on Monday to deny a motion from National Liability & Fire Insurance Co. to amend a Fifth Circuit finding that it is liable for W&T’s damage caused by Hurricane Ike, arguing the district court lacks jurisdiction to grant the request.

  • September 8, 2014

    Moncrief Wants $1.3B Oil Field Suit Back In State Court

    Moncrief Oil International Inc. told a Texas federal judge on Friday that Russian gas giant OAO Gazprom invoked an irrelevant arbitration agreement to remove a $1.3 billion trade secrets suit from state court in an effort to duck compliance with an adverse discovery order.

  • September 8, 2014

    SD Activists Vow To Fight Keystone XL Permit Renewal

    South Dakota activists said Friday they intend to put up fierce resistance to the renewal of TransCanada Corp.'s permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which expired in late June, four years after being approved by the state Public Utilities Commission.

  • September 8, 2014

    Donziger Dodges Ecuadoreans’ Suit Over $18B Judgment

    A New York state judge has ruled that Ecuador's courts are the proper venue for a suit against class action attorney Steven Donziger brought by a group of indigenous Ecuadoreans seeking a share of the $18.2 billion pollution-related judgment Donziger helped secure against Chevron Corp., according to an order posted Friday.

  • September 8, 2014

    UK Gov't Backs BP In Appeal Of $9.2B Deepwater Settlement

    The U.K. government weighed in Thursday on BP PLC's U.S. Supreme Court appeal of the $9.2 billion settlement that allows claims for people who suffered no injury from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, arguing paying them would undermine the “vigorous and fair resolution of disputes.”

  • September 8, 2014

    McGuireWoods’ Fees Could Eat Spill Cleanup Cash: Judge

    A West Virginia bankruptcy judge expressed concern on Friday that Freedom Industries Inc. could walk away from cleaning up a chemical spill blamed for contaminating drinking water for 300,000 people, saying too much of the company’s scant funds are going toward paying legal fees from McGuireWoods LLP.

  • September 8, 2014

    Orrick Nabs Energy Infrastructure Partner From Hogan Lovells

    Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has named veteran lawyer Colin Graham a partner in its energy and infrastructure group, the global firm announced Monday, further expanding its London-based practice at a time of rising demand for project finance endeavors worldwide.

  • September 8, 2014

    Schlumberger Ruling Raises Bar For Trade Secrets Claims

    A Texas judge’s ruling that the state’s anti-SLAPP statute prohibits trade secret misappropriation claims in Schlumberger Ltd.'s case against its former deputy general counsel could significantly hamper the ability of companies to stop intellectual property theft, experts say.

  • September 8, 2014

    Acacia Unit Blasts Schlumberger's DQ Motion In Patent Suit

    A unit of Acacia Research Group told a Texas federal judge on Friday Schlumberger Ltd. concocted a baseless conflict of interest allegation against the oilfield services giant’s former chief intellectual property attorney in an effort to escape patent litigation.

  • September 8, 2014

    Canadian Solar Teams With Chinese Co. To Start $800M Fund

    Canadian Solar Inc. said Monday it has entered into an agreement with Sichuan Development Investment Management Ltd., an asset management company backed by the Chinese government, to establish an $800 million investment fund to finance solar projects in China.

  • September 5, 2014

    $1.4B PG&E Fine Exposes Risks Of Aging Underground Lines

    The record $1.4 billion penalty PG&E Corp. is facing over its role in the fatal pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California, serves as a wake-up call for utilities nationwide that they need to ramp up investments in maintaining their underground infrastructures, which are often overlooked in favor of more visible projects, experts say.

  • September 5, 2014

    Babst Calland Adds 4 Enviro, Employment Shareholders

    Babst Calland Clements and Zomnir PC has hired a quartet of veteran West Virginia litigators, who have experience in environmental, employment and energy matters, to join its Charleston office as shareholders as part of its move to bolster its strength in the state, according to the firm.

  • September 5, 2014

    Chevron To Pay $278K In Penalties For Richmond Plant Errors

    Chevron USA Inc. will pay $278,000 in civil penalties for a series of air quality violations at its Richmond, California, refinery that are unrelated to the 2012 explosion and contaminant release at the plant, Northern California regulators said Thursday.

  • September 5, 2014

    Texas High Court Stays Corporate-Friendly In 2014 Term

    In its 2013-2014 term, the Texas Supreme Court issued rulings on minority shareholder claims, employment contracts and online defamation that appellate lawyers say will help Texas hold on to its reputation as a business-friendly state where contracts are upheld and the business judgment of corporations is respected.

  • September 5, 2014

    Dickstein Shapiro Adds Capitol Hill Policy Pros

    Dickstein Shapiro LLP has added a pair of policy professionals with experience on Capitol Hill, including an attorney who has served with both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Federal Communications Commission, the firm has announced.

  • September 5, 2014

    Iraq Takes Another Swing At Seizing Disputed Kurdistan Oil

    The Iraqi government refiled a complaint in Texas federal court Thursday seeking the seizure of over 1 million barrels of oil from a tanker floating near Galveston, Texas, that it claims was illegally pumped from its semiautonomous Kurdistan region, after a previous seizure order was tossed on jurisdictional grounds.

Expert Analysis

  • How To Protect Your Co. From Russian Retaliatory Measures

    Marney Cheek

    With Russian lawmakers threatening to retaliate against U.S. and European companies in response to new sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union, now is the time for companies to consider how they can mitigate the exposure to their investments in Russia, say attorneys at Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Defending Against IRS' Aggressive Offshore Oil Efforts

    Andrius R. Kontrimas

    In light of the IRS’ enhanced enforcement efforts, both foreign vessel owners and the U.S. companies that hire them for oil and gas services on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico should be prepared to respond to tax enforcement proceedings. However, it is unknown whether the IRS' expansive view of "exploration and exploitation" would survive a court challenge, say Andrius Kontrimas and Robert Morris of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.

  • Expect Spike In Calif. Suits Over Environmental 'Reform'

    Kevin Haroff

    It seems reasonable to expect even more litigation in California over urban planning and development issues after the Legislature's exemption of broad categories of development from environmental scrutiny under the California Environmental Quality Act, say Kevin Haroff and Marina Cassio of Marten Law PLLC.

  • 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.