• October 2, 2015

    7 Firms Guide NTE Energy's $645M Natural Gas Plant Deal

    Pierce Atwood LLP and three other firms represented an affiliate of NTE Energy in its $645 million financing deal announced Friday for a natural gas-fired electricity project, which Latham & Watkins LLP worked on as counsel to lead lenders and McGuireWoods LLP and Mercer Thompson LLC guided for a pair of equity providers.

  • October 2, 2015

    Feds Call In Mine Safety Attys As Blankenship Trial Begins

    West Virginia’s U.S. attorney has conscripted two Department of Labor mine safety lawyers as special prosecutors for the trial of former Massey Energy Co. CEO Don Blankenship, new filings revealed Thursday, as jury selection began on charges he mandated safety shortcuts before a 29-death mine explosion.

  • October 2, 2015

    NASA Subcontractor Wrongly Axed From Paint Job, Suit Says

    A subcontractor fired from a painting job at a Mississippi NASA site after being accused of lead contamination hit back with a lawsuit Thursday, saying the claims were baseless and asking a Louisiana federal judge to award damages for what it calls a wrongful termination.

  • October 2, 2015

    EPA Says DC Circ. Can Review Texas Issues In Rule Challenge

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday asked the D.C. Circuit not to send back to the Fifth Circuit certain allegedly “Texas-specific” issues raised in a challenge to the EPA’s rule tightening startup, shutdown and malfunction practices in 36 states.

  • October 2, 2015

    VW To Face German Investor Actions, Litigation Funder Says

    Bentham Europe Ltd. has charged out of the gates to fund impending German shareholder litigation against Volkswagen Group over its failure to tell investors about its practice of installing software in vehicles to avoid complying with emissions standards, the company said Thursday.

  • October 2, 2015

    USDA Must Face Enviros' Suit Over Organic Rule, Court Says

    A California federal judge has refused a bid by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to toss a suit by environmental groups who say the agency shifted fertilizer requirements for organic food growers without notifying the public as required.

  • October 2, 2015

    USDOT To Streamline $20B Hudson River Tunnel Project

    Amtrak and federal and state agencies will push ahead with plans to build a new $20 billion passenger rail tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey, starting with an expedited environmental review, representatives for involved organizations confirmed Friday.

  • October 2, 2015

    Victims' Families Want Quebec Derailment Suit In State Court

    Families of the victims of a train derailment in Quebec, Canada, asked a Texas federal judge on Friday to remand a wrongful death and injury suit against Canadian Pacific Railway Co. to state court, arguing that the case was removed because it was incorrectly classified as a mass civil action.

  • October 2, 2015

    Liberty Says Texas Law Applies In Sinkhole Suit

    Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc. told a Texas federal court Friday that its battle with Occidental Chemical Corp. and Texas Brine LLC over liability for a massive sinkhole is governed by Texas law because the insureds are based in that state.

  • October 2, 2015

    Tribe Sues BP Over Deepwater's Effect On Natural Resources

    A Louisiana tribe that failed to reach a settlement with BP in the massive multidistrict litigation over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Thursday sued the oil giant separately, accusing it of damaging its property and cultural and natural resources during the spill and subsequent cleanup process.

  • October 2, 2015

    IRS To Issue Energy Credit Property Regulations

    The Internal Revenue Service said on Friday that it plans to issue regulations aimed at certain types of property qualifying for an energy credit, seeking public comment on how to define solar energy, wind and other forms of energy-related property.

  • October 2, 2015

    Exxon Mobil Loses $236M MTBE Cleanup Appeal In NH

    The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a $236 million trial judgment against Exxon Mobil in a groundwater contamination case Friday, capping 12 years of litigation in the state over a gasoline additive that is meant to reduce air pollution but may cause cancer.

  • October 2, 2015

    Pa. DEP Wants Gas Group's Permit Program Challenge Axed

    A Pennsylvania court was urged Thursday to find that a gas industry group did not have standing to pursue claims accusing environmental regulators of running a permitting program that didn’t comply with a landmark ruling that gutted legislation aimed at establishing statewide rules for drillers.

  • October 2, 2015

    Rice Energy Unit Challenges Pa. DEP's Pipeline Fine

    A Rice Energy Inc. unit filed on Thursday to challenge a nearly $500,000 penalty imposed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection over violations of state laws connected to construction of a gas pipeline in Greene and Washington counties.

  • October 2, 2015

    Feds Continue Pipeline Safety Push With New Proposals

    The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed long-awaited rules that would tighten safety requirements for pipelines carrying oil and other hazardous liquids, including expanding the use of leak detection systems and requiring inspections of pipelines in areas hit by extreme weather or natural disasters.

  • October 2, 2015

    VW's Top US Exec To Testify Before House Committee Oct. 8

    As part of its ongoing investigation into the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the U.S. House of Representative’s Energy & Commerce Committee announced Thursday that the German automaker’s top U.S. executive, along with an official from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will testify before a house subcommittee next week.

  • October 2, 2015

    Dominion Seeks Green Light On $130M Va. Solar Projects

    A subsidiary of Dominion Resources on Thursday asked a Virginia state commission to approve three solar facilities with a combined expected output of 56 megawatts, saying its $129.5 million total investment would be a boon to consumers.

  • October 2, 2015

    Judge Sinks Bid To Trim Sites From Puerto Rico MTBE MDL

    A New York federal judge refused Thursday to trim three "release sites" from Puerto Rico's suit accusing Shell Oil Co. and others of contaminating its groundwater with a common gasoline additive, saying the defendants hadn't shown that the commonwealth’s claims at those sites were time-barred.

  • October 2, 2015

    Switzerland Bans Some VWs From Its Roads Amid Scandal

    Switzerland’s transportation authority said Friday that it will not allow any new Volkswagen vehicles to be registered in the country as of Monday if they are affected by the automaker’s emissions scandal.

  • October 1, 2015

    Berkshire Unit Off The Hook For $44M For Superfund Cleanup

    An Idaho federal judge ruled Wednesday that a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary does not owe the government $44 million for cleanup of a Superfund site because it is not a successor in interest to the company that ran the contaminated Idaho mine.

Expert Analysis

  • An Era Of Arctic Oil Exploration, Upended

    Joseph S. Kakesh

    After seven years of preparation, litigation and billions of dollars invested, Royal Dutch Shell PLC's recent decision to abandon its exploration program in the U.S. Arctic “for the foreseeable future” marks a pause — not the end — of a new era of Arctic oil and gas exploration. While oil prices weaken and dates change, litigation over the future of the Chukchi Sea rages on, say Joseph Kakesh and Steven Richardson of Wiley Rein LLP.

  • To Whom And Where Will The Water Go In California?

    Belynda Reck

    It is a safe bet that California Gov. Jerry Brown will sign A.B. 1390 and S.B. 226 into law. A more efficient groundwater adjudication process is necessary to manage usage, however the question remains whether the expedited process will provide clarity and certainty to water users as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is slowly implemented, say Belynda Reck and Gerard Olson of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Pope Francis And Pro Bono Publico


    Listening to Pope Francis last week as he made his way from Washington to New York to Philadelphia, one could be forgiven for imagining he was a poverty lawyer in robes. Again and again, he shone light on challenges that pro bono lawyers have wrestled with for years, including the death penalty, housing and homelessness, immigration and even climate change, say Kevin Curnin and Jennifer Colyer of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • OPINION: Paul Harvey, RIP


    After recently hearing a young trial lawyer start his opening statement with the Paul Harvey approach, I feel motivated to set out the reasons why defense lawyers should not use this technique anymore, says Dr. Ross Laguzza of R&D Strategic Solutions.

  • A New Model For Clean Energy: Community Solar Gardens

    Alidad Vakili

    Community solar gardens offer substantial cost benefits over traditional residential solar panels. Members of solar gardens may qualify for certain federal and state tax benefits if the solar garden investment is correctly structured and the size of a solar garden renders it better able to achieve economies of scale, say attorneys at K&L Gates LLP.

  • The Clean Power Plan Will Survive: Part 2

    Patrick Parenteau

    In the legal battle between supporters and opponents of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, there are no elephants hiding in mouseholes. Indeed, states are not required to do anything at all — they are simply given the option of tailoring an implementation plan to their specific circumstances, says Patrick Parenteau, a professor at Vermont Law School.

  • 10 Marketing Tips From A Young Partner Perspective

    Richard Segal.jpg

    No one ever told you in law school that once you received the highly coveted associate job in a big firm, that to really succeed at that job and climb the ranks quickly you need to take on a second job — marketing, says Richard Segal of Kluger Kaplan Silverman Katzen & Levine PL.

  • The Clean Power Plan Will Survive: Part 1

    Patrick Parenteau

    While opponents of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have issued several challenges to the Clean Power Plan, each will fail. For example, there is no merit to the argument that the EPA lacks authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, says Patrick Parenteau, a professor at Vermont Law School.

  • OPINION: Have Big Law Firms Lost Their Way?

    Dennis R. Suplee

    My hope is that this article will not be seen as a rant by a senior trial lawyer. The truth is that some things get worse with the passage of time and it should be fair to comment upon such deterioration, says Dennis Suplee, a partner and former chairman of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP.

  • Methods To Minimize CERCLA Liability: Part 3

    Lester Brown

    Arizona v. City of Tucson makes it more difficult in the Ninth Circuit to obtain approval of consent decrees proposed by state environmental agencies versus those proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the Ninth Circuit’s standard makes obtaining approval for proposed consent decrees more difficult than in almost all other circuits, says Lester Brown of Perkins Coie LLP.