Environmental

  • July 28, 2016

    8th Circ. Won't Rehear Railway's $7.7M Tanker Spill Suit

    The Eighth Circuit on Wednesday declined to rehear a Canadian Pacific unit’s appeal of a trial loss in its lawsuit seeking to recover $7.76 million it spent cleaning up a chemical spill after a Werner Enterprises Inc. truck driver struck one of the railroad’s trains.

  • July 28, 2016

    Sioux Challenges $3.8B Pipeline Through Ancestral Lands

    The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, D.C., federal court on Wednesday, saying the Corps flouted historic preservation law with its approvals for a $3.8 billion pipeline designed to carry Bakken crude oil through the tribe’s ancestral lands.

  • July 28, 2016

    5th Circ. Haze Ruling Dooms Clean Power Plan, DC Circ. Told

    The Fifth Circuit's recent blockage of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional haze plan for Texas and Oklahoma supports arguments that the agency overstepped its legal authority in crafting the Clean Power Plan, states challenging the rule told the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday.

  • July 28, 2016

    Alliant To Sink $1B Into Iowa Wind Projects

    Alliant Energy Corp. is planning to spend about $1 billion to expand its wind power generation operations in Iowa, the company announced on Wednesday, noting that it is seeking approval to expand its existing Whispering Willow wind farm to add up to 500 megawatts of capacity.

  • July 27, 2016

    Enviros Sue To Stop Oil Exploration In Fla. Preserve

    Environmental groups sued the National Park Service on Wednesday over plans to allow a Texas-based oil company to explore for oil and gas in the Big Cypress National Preserve in South Florida that the groups say didn't take into account the environmental impacts.

  • July 27, 2016

    EPA Defends Startup, Shutdown Revisions At DC Circ.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday asked the D.C. Circuit not to strike down a requirement that 36 states revise emissions exemptions related to startup, shutdown and malfunction events.

  • July 27, 2016

    Cemex Agrees To $11.7M Deal To Settle Air Pollution Claims

    Cement maker Cemex Inc. will spend $10 million on plant upgrades and pay a $1.69 million civil penalty to resolve air pollution allegations at facilities in Texas and three other states, according to a proposed settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed Wednesday in federal court.

  • July 27, 2016

    5th Circ. Urged To Raise BP Atlantis FCA Suit

    BP PLC cheated the government by flouting engineering certification procedures for its Atlantis offshore oil and gas platform, whistleblowers contended Monday, pushing the Fifth Circuit to revive a False Claims Act suit against the petroleum giant and replace a "hostile" federal judge.

  • July 27, 2016

    Honeywell, Saint-Gobain To Face Combined Toxic Water Suits

    Four proposed class actions brought by residents of an upstate New York village who blame Honeywell and plastics maker Saint-Gobain for the presence of a dangerous chemical in their water system were consolidated by a New York federal judge on Wednesday.

  • July 27, 2016

    Conrail Seeks To Uphold Wins In Paulsboro Derailment Case

    Consolidated Rail Corp. urged the Third Circuit on Tuesday to uphold its defeat of various claims filed by a New Jersey woman in response to a 2012 train derailment and chemical spill in Paulsboro, New Jersey, saying the trial court correctly found certain claims were preempted and certain expert opinions were unreliable.

  • July 27, 2016

    SolarWorld To Appeal $793M Award In Supply Contract Suit

    A unit of the German solar panel company SolarWorld said Wednesday it would appeal a $793 million damages judgment entered Tuesday in Michigan federal court, two weeks after a judge found SolarWorld breached a supply contract with Hemlock Semiconductor Corp.

  • July 27, 2016

    ETP Unit Gets Final OK For $3.8B Dakota Access Pipeline

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given an Energy Transfer Partners LP unit its final federal approval to start the construction of a $3.8 billion pipeline that continues to cause controversy among environmentalists and tribes, clearing the way for some 60 river crossings in Iowa.

  • July 27, 2016

    Enviros Challenge Navy Plans For Live-Fire Sites In Marianas

    Local environmental groups challenged the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps' plans for live-fire testing sites in the Northern Mariana Islands on Wednesday, arguing to the U.S. district court there that the plans ignored substantial impacts from basically taking over two islands.

  • July 27, 2016

    FERC Gives Enviro OK To $455M Pa.-NY Pipeline Project

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday gave a preliminary thumbs-up to a proposed $455 million natural gas pipeline project being built by units of National Fuel Gas Co. in Pennsylvania and New York, saying in a draft environmental assessment that the project wouldn't significantly harm the environment.

  • July 27, 2016

    Mining Co. Teck Beats Cross-Border Pollution Drift Claims

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday overturned a federal judge’s ruling that allowed Washington state and a Native American tribal federation to sue Canadian mining company Teck Cominco Metals Ltd. over aerial emissions from a British Columbia smelter that allegedly polluted land in Washington.

  • July 26, 2016

    4 Traits Of The Top Litigation Firms

    All litigation powerhouses boast talented trial lawyers, but the 20 firms at the top of their game don't just rely on their litigators. Here, we talk about the four traits that led the elite of the Litigation Powerhouses to become the go-to firms for bet-the-company cases.

  • July 26, 2016

    5 Small(er) But Mighty Litigation Shops

    Five relatively small but fearsome law firms landed a spot on Law360's 2016 list of 50 Litigation Powerhouses after they laced up their gloves and brought the pain in their fights for clients, winning some of the biggest cases over the past year.

  • July 26, 2016

    NJ Sewer Supervisors Sentenced For Misusing Employees

    Four former supervisors at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission drew sentences ranging from five years in state prison to probation Tuesday for having on-duty subordinate agency employees perform renovations at private homes.

  • July 26, 2016

    Law360 Names Top 50 Firms For Litigation

    Historic, precedent-setting wins in class action litigation. Jaw-dropping jury verdicts in courts across the country. Victories in the smartphone wars. Dramatic upsets on appeal. Law360's Litigation Powerhouses leveraged their deep legal talent to score remarkable wins for their clients over the past year, landing them a spot on our inaugural ranking of the top firms for litigation.

  • July 26, 2016

    Volkswagen Gets Preliminary OK For $14.7B Emissions Deal

    A California federal judge on Tuesday granted preliminary approval to Volkswagen AG's deal, valued at $14.7 billion, to settle claims with consumers and the federal government related to its scheme to evade government-mandated emissions testing in some diesel engine cars.

Expert Analysis

  • New Tax Rules Curtail Benefits Of Pass-Through Leases

    Jeffrey Davis

    New IRS regulations addressing certain investment tax credit issues in a so-called “pass-through lease” structure will change the financial modeling of both historic and energy investment tax credit inverted leases and make them somewhat less attractive to tax equity investors, say attorneys with Mayer Brown LLP.

  • 4 Recent Cases Raise Concerns For Renewable Energy Projects

    Thomas C. Perry

    Based on decisions in several recent cases, it is clear that renewable energy projects sited on or across federally administered lands will be carefully reviewed by federal courts. From these rulings, at least three key considerations emerge for developers, says Thomas Perry at Marten Law PLLC.

  • OPINION: Our Juries Are Being Circumvented

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    The Freddie Gray case and a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision demonstrate how the government replaces juries, removing the jury as an important decision maker in the community and as a check on governmental power — roles that are especially important in these times, says Professor Suja A. Thomas of the University of Illinois College of Law.

  • Regulating Aircraft GHG Emissions: EPA's Initial Steps

    Eric B. Rothenberg

    An endangerment finding issued Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicates that aircraft greenhouse gas emissions are a threat to public health and triggers the EPA’s duty under the Clean Air Act to promulgate emission standards for aircraft engines included in the finding, say Eric Rothenberg, Bob Nicksin and Remi Moncel at O'Melveny & Myers LLP.

  • Legal Aid, Meet Legal Tech

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    Because there will never be enough free lawyers to satisfy demand from low-income Americans, we need to leverage technology to allow the legal expertise of one lawyer to reach hundreds or thousands of clients at once, say Jonathan Petts and Rohan Pavuluri, co-founders of startup nonprofit Upsolve.

  • Eliminating Ultrahazardous Activity Liability In Enviro Cases

    Thomas A. Manakides

    In toxic tort or environmental cases, both the causal chain and the equities at stake are markedly different compared to standard ultrahazardous activity cases. Such cases raise the question of whether an activity involving no known serious risks at the time it was carried out can give rise to strict liability decades later, say Thomas Manakides and Joseph Edmonds at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Testing The UBE: Portable But Inaccurate Bar Exam Scores

    Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus

    While there is not much that is new about the uniform bar exam’s components, what is new is that where you take the bar exam may make the difference between passing and failing. Half of the score depends on the strength of the applicant pool in the jurisdiction where the candidate wrote the exam, which may lead to “UBE shopping,” says Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus, director of bar programs at Touro Law Center.

  • EPA Wants More Control Over State-Issued Discharge Permits

    Ronda L. Sandquist

    Proposed changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Pollutant Discharge Permit System would make minor revisions to program definitions and the contents of permit fact sheets, and major revisions that will expand the EPA’s ability to object to permits administratively continued by a state program, say attorneys at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • Testing The UBE: Missouri Benefits From Uniform Bar Exam

    Jim Nowogrocki

    We in Missouri do not take lightly to new trends or frothy ideas. Yet, the uniform bar exam has allowed us to meet the challenges of an increasingly mobile legal profession and the changing needs of clients, and to ensure that a newly admitted attorney has the knowledge, character and fitness to practice in the Show-Me State, says Jim Nowogrocki, president of the Board of Law Examiners in Missouri — the first state to adopt the UBE.

  • Feeding The Future World: The Israel Outlook

    Meital Stavinsky

    While improvements to the global availability of and access to food are expected in the coming years, many countries will continue to struggle. A further robust collaboration between the U.S. and Israel would both help expand the innovative food and agricultural industry growth in the U.S., and may offer an answer to the looming global food crisis, says Meital Stavinsky at Greenberg Traurig LLP.