Environmental

  • August 23, 2016

    Illinois Coal Plant Can't Beat Enviros' Air Pollution Suit

    A coal-fired power plant near Peoria, Illinois, violated the Clean Air Act with its thousands of instances of emissions over allowable opacity limits during a six-year period, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, siding with the Natural Resources Defense Counsel and the Sierra Club.

  • August 23, 2016

    River Cleanup Claims Against Repsol Belong In NJ, Co. Says

    Spanish oil giant Repsol SA, which once owned a stake in bankrupt Maxus Energy Corp.’s parent, pushed back Monday against Occidental Chemical Corp.’s argument that claims connected to the Spanish company’s potential liability for cleaning up pollution in a New Jersey river should be considered in Delaware bankruptcy court.

  • August 23, 2016

    Calif. Assembly Passes GHG Emissions Reduction Bill

    The California Assembly on Tuesday passed legislation that would strengthen and extend the life of the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction program and provide a measure of security for its cap and trade system.

  • August 23, 2016

    Tribe Objects To $177M Enbridge Deal Over Pipeline Spills

    The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians objected Tuesday to a proposed deal that calls for Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge to pay $177 million in civil penalties and pipeline safety upgrades to resolve pollution claims related to 2010 oil pipeline spills in Michigan and Illinois.

  • August 23, 2016

    Sioux Tribe Slams Pipeline Co., Army Corps In Injunction Bid

    The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe pushed a D.C. federal court Monday to block construction on the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline while the court weighs a challenge to the Army Corps of Engineers’ approval for the project, saying the agency hadn’t done nearly enough tribal consultation and that the pipeline’s developer is bringing any financial damage from halting the project on itself.

  • August 23, 2016

    Quanta Redoubles Effort To Bar Gibbons In Pollution Dispute

    Quanta Resources Corp. on Tuesday again pushed for the disqualification of Newark, New Jersey-based law firm Gibbons PC from litigation alleging its client Rexam Beverage Can Co. helped contaminate a Quanta-owned refining center, doubling down on its argument that a recent New York federal court ruling supports booting the firm.

  • August 23, 2016

    Kasowitz Benson Says Chem Cos. Hid Risks, Owe Billions

    The federal government has declined to intervene in a False Claims Act suit brought by Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP against Dow Chemical Co. and three other companies, triggering the unsealing of a lawsuit that accuses them of hiding the dangers of isocyanate chemicals and cheating the government out of billions of dollars in penalties.

  • August 23, 2016

    Parts Supplier Tried To Loot $60M Enviro Fund, Suit Says

    A Wisconsin family who sold their leather-car-seat business to Lear Corp. is now suing the auto parts supplier in Delaware federal court to void an allegedly bad faith claim on a $59.5 million environmental escrow fund set up during the acquisition.

  • August 23, 2016

    Fish And Wildlife Fumbled ESA On 417 Species, Enviros Say

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service missed a deadline for taking action on petitions to list 417 species under the Endangered Species Act, and environmental activist group said Tuesday in filing a formal notice of intent to sue the agency. 

  • August 23, 2016

    Enviros Urge DC Circ. To Sink $607M Gas Pipeline Project

    Environmental groups on Tuesday told the D.C. Circuit a $607 million gas pipeline project in New Jersey and Pennsylvania cannot proceed because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission failed to fulfill its environmental obligations.

  • August 23, 2016

    Monsanto Ducks SF-Area Cities' Suits Over Bay Pollution

    Monsanto Co. dodged three separate environmental actions by a trio of Northern California cities over the alleged contamination of the San Francisco Bay by polychlorinated biphenyls when a federal judge ruled Monday the cities failed to establish a property interest to assert a public nuisance claim.

  • August 23, 2016

    Feds Fight Rancher Bundy's Extension Bid In Obama Suit

    The federal government told a Nevada federal court on Tuesday it should reject rancher Cliven Bundy’s attempt to get an extension to respond to the government’s bids to dismiss his $90 million suit against it in which he claims to be the victim of a conspiracy that forced him and his family off their land.

  • August 23, 2016

    VW Investor Wants Labaton To Head Emissions Suits

    A Volkswagen investor suing the company over the fallout from the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal asked a California federal judge on Monday to allow Labaton Sucharow LLP to take the lead in the investor lawsuits as another law firm jockeys to win the same spot.

  • August 23, 2016

    Bosch Seeks To Shield Workers From 'Wild' VW Plot Claims

    Robert Bosch GmbH requested Monday that a California federal court keep under wraps the names of employees mentioned in litigation stemming from Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal, saying it will eventually disprove claims that it knowingly participated in the scheme but that the workers’ reputations deserve protection in the meantime.

  • August 23, 2016

    Automakers Denied Extra Time For Comments On Emissions

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday declined a bid by automakers to extend the time allotted to weigh in on a July report regarding their ability to meet greenhouse gas emissions standards and implement fuel-efficient technologies for light-duty vehicles.

  • August 23, 2016

    NM Justices Needn't Weigh Insurance Query, 10th Circ. Told

    Nova Casualty Co. urged the Tenth Circuit on Monday to deny Taos Ski Valley Inc.'s bid to seek the New Mexico Supreme Court's input on a question of insurance law implicated in its appeal of a lower court's ruling that the ski resort isn't entitled to coverage for environmental cleanup costs, asserting that the state's law isn't unsettled on the issue.

  • August 23, 2016

    Suction Mining Ban Not Preempted, Says Calif. High Court

    The California Supreme Court on Monday upheld the state’s moratorium on suction dredging for gold, rejecting a prospector’s argument that federal laws preempt the ban.

  • August 23, 2016

    Pa. Regulators Slap CNX With Pipeline Construction Fines

    Environmental regulators in Pennsylvania announced a pair of fines against Cone Midstream Partners LP and Consol Energy Inc. unit CNX on Monday over pipelines the companies constructed outside the boundaries set in their permits.

  • August 23, 2016

    GSA Proposes GHG Reporting Requirement For $50B IT Deal

    The U.S. General Services Administration on Tuesday asked for feedback on a proposal to require greenhouse gas emissions information from successful bidders on its $50 billion Alliant 2 information technology contract, one of the largest federal contracts currently pending.

  • August 23, 2016

    3rd Circ. Won't Rehear Activists' Bid To Join Fracking Fight

    The Third Circuit refused Monday to reconsider its decision to affirm a lower court and not let two activist groups intervene in a Pennsylvania town’s defense of a now-defunct ordinance that barred the disposal of fracking wastewater.

Expert Analysis

  • From BigLaw To Your Own Firm: 4 Tips For Legal Startups

    Russell Shinsky

    Highly successful attorneys who are thinking about leaving the safe haven of a large law firm to go out on their own face a number of issues specific to the legal profession. Russell Shinsky, chairman of Anchin Block & Anchin LLP's law firms industry group, shares four pillars of a successful startup law firm.

  • 4 Communications Fundamentals For High-Stakes Litigation

    Michael J. Gross

    The court of public opinion can mete out judgments as harsh as those rendered by a court of law, which is why communications professionals and attorneys should be working together to protect their clients’ reputation and advance their legal objectives as litigation proceeds, as well as when decisions or settlements are reached, say Michael Gross and Walter Montgomery at Finsbury.

  • Rule Of Law Trumps Rhetoric In Chevron’s 2nd Circ. Win

    William E. Thomson

    The Second Circuit’s unanimous decision in Chevron v. Donziger is an important victory for the rule of law and should serve as a powerful warning to U.S. lawyers who are tempted to leave their ethics at the border when seeking to recover huge transnational judgments against U.S. corporations, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Risk Management Tips For Attys Serving As Local Counsel

    Patrick S. (Sean) Ginty

    Often, the lead counsel in a case maintains sole contact with the client and makes substantive decisions, relying upon the local counsel only to serve in the requisite capacity to satisfy jurisdictional procedures. Therein lies the problem — absent appropriate precautionary measures, the local attorney faces equal malpractice exposure for the substantive, strategic decisions of the lead counsel, say Patrick (Sean) Ginty of CNA Glob... (continued)

  • What To Know About New White House GHG Guidance

    Elizabeth A. Lake

    The White House Council on Environmental Quality's final guidance created to help agencies consider greenhouse gas and climate change impacts in National Environmental Policy Act reviews provides some clarity regarding the overall approach to the process, but it also leaves fundamental questions for individual agencies to answer, say attorneys at Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Beware The 'Standard' Mediation Confidentiality Agreement

    Jeff Kichaven

    There are several risks involved with signing a "standard" mediation confidentiality agreement, both to your clients and to yourself. Once you recognize these risks, you will never sign a standard MCA again, at least not without a lot of thought and a lot of disclosures to your client, says Jeff Kichaven of Jeff Kichaven Commercial Mediation.

  • DC Circ. Sends EPA Back To Industrial Boiler Drawing Board

    Cynthia A. Faur

    The D.C. Circuit recently issued a decision in U.S. Sugar Corporation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where the U.S. Sugar Corporation panel remanded emission limits for an unspecified number of boiler subcategories, a perceived victory for environmental interests that has created substantial uncertainty for owners and operators of industrial boilers, say Cynthia Faur and Peter Tomasi at Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Building Law Libraries

    Fahad Zaidi.jpg

    As advances in technology continue to push law libraries in a more complex direction, many law firms are still making structural mistakes. Fahad Zaidi, senior consultant at HBR Consulting, notes five common pitfalls that law firms should be wary of when developing their libraries.

  • Law Students Should Explore BigLaw Pro Bono Options

    Michael Scudder

    I worry too many law students see the priorities of BigLaw in tension with a meaningful commitment to pro bono work, making them reluctant to ask questions in interviews about pro bono opportunities and a firm’s commitment to its community. This needs to change, says Skadden partner and former White House legal adviser Michael Scudder.

  • The Evolution Of EPA's Source Determination Rule

    Charles T. Wehland

    Although inconsistent source determinations will continue, it appears the three factors the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency uses to define "adjacent" for sites under common control in its new source determination rule will bring long-awaited clarity in onshore oil and gas source aggregation decisions, say Charles Wehland and Jennifer Hayes at Jones Day.