Environmental

  • May 25, 2016

    VW's Taiwan Arm Fined Over False Emissions Ads

    Audi Volkswagen Taiwan Co. was hit with a 5 million New Taiwan dollar ($154,000) fine Wednesday by a Taiwanese regulator over false advertising about the emissions levels of certain vehicles, according to a news report, the latest fallout from Volkswagen AG’s emissions cheating scandal.

  • May 25, 2016

    Illegal Dumping Thriving Under Poor Oversight, NJ Agents Say

    New Jersey's incomplete oversight of the recycling industry has helped spur a flourishing illegal dumping trade that is hurting the environment, causing public health issues and costing taxpayer money, the State Commission of Investigation said Tuesday. 

  • May 25, 2016

    9th Circ. Snubs Octane Standard In Solar TM Fight

    The Ninth Circuit upheld an injunction Tuesday that largely bars a Chinese solar energy company from using the name Sun Earth in the U.S., striking down a California solar thermal company's bid to tighten the screws on the foreign firm and win fees under the U.S. Supreme Court's Octane Fitness standard.

  • May 25, 2016

    Maryland, Federal Officials Defend Purple Line Approval

    The state of Maryland and federal officials on Tuesday slammed arguments that they failed to adequately study the environmental impact of the proposed Purple Line light rail project, defending their analysis as exhaustive and urging a D.C. federal court to end a lawsuit brought by opponents of the project.

  • May 25, 2016

    EPA New Plant Carbon Rule Foes Want To Hit Pause Button

    Opponents of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rule capping carbon emissions from new power plants urged the D.C. Circuit Tuesday to suspend the briefing schedule in their case while some opponents appeal the agency's refusal to reconsider its rule.

  • May 24, 2016

    House Keeps 'Waters Of US Rule' Defunding In Energy Bill

    The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to keep provisions blocking implementation of the so-called Waters of the United States rule under the Clean Water Act in a $37.4 billion bill funding the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and several energy and water infrastructure projects.

  • May 24, 2016

    Sabal Trail Gets Easement Win For $3B Natural Gas Pipeline

    A Florida federal judge on Tuesday allowed Sabal Trail Transmission LLC to condemn easements in Lake County, Florida, so that it can construct a $3 billion, 516-mile natural gas pipeline running from Alabama to the Sunshine State.

  • May 24, 2016

    States Slam EPA's Bid To Keep MATS Fight Out Of High Court

    States wrestling with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule on Monday pressed the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether a court can remand a legally defective rule without vacating it.

  • May 24, 2016

    Timber Co. Can't Ax Investor Suit Over Harvesting Practices

    A Florida federal judge has denied timber company Rayonier Inc.'s bid to dodge a proposed shareholder class action accusing it of dooming stock prices by lying about maintaining sustainable forests, rejecting its argument that two trust funds that sued the harvester failed to state a claim.

  • May 24, 2016

    Guilty Subcontractor Wasn't Deprived Fair Trial, Feds Say

    The federal government on Monday blasted a Superfund site subcontractor's attempt to overturn his federal conviction for using bribes and kickbacks to secure continued work in a multiphase project in New Jersey, arguing that there was plenty of evidence to prove the subcontractor's guilt.

  • May 24, 2016

    5th Circ. Sides With Gasoline Cos. In Cancer Expert Fight

    The Fifth Circuit refused Monday to reinstate experts who would have provided grounds to revive a suit against Shell Oil Co., Chevron USA and Texaco Inc. brought by a woman who said her late husband got cancer from exposure to gasoline containing benzene.

  • May 24, 2016

    Citing Zika Risk, House Cuts Pesticide Rules Amid Veto Threat

    The U.S. House passed a bill Tuesday that would get rid of Environmental Protection Agency permitting rules on using pesticides near bodies of water, after a veto threat from the White House maintaining the measure would not actually stop the spread of the Zika virus.

  • May 24, 2016

    DuPont Accused Of Destroying Critical Docs In Cancer MDL

    The man whose bellwether trial starts next week in multidistrict litigation alleging DuPont contaminated drinking water with cancer-causing Teflon chemicals accused the company Monday of destroying crucial underlying records relating to its own trial theory, which should result in a special jury instruction.

  • May 24, 2016

    Enviros Blast Fossil Fuel Portions Of Energy Reform Bill

    Scores of environmental groups urged U.S. Senate leaders Tuesday to strip provisions that streamline permitting for liquefied natural gas export projects and other oil and gas infrastructure from sweeping energy reform legislation being hammered out by Congress, saying any legislation should focus on phasing out fossil fuels.

  • May 24, 2016

    TSCA Reform Passes House By Huge Margin

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would revamp the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act, overcoming initial skepticism from key Democrats and shifting focus to the Senate, which will take up the measure next.

  • May 24, 2016

    Hardware Seller's Engine Warranties Flout CAA, Suit Says

    Harbor Freight Tools has been slapped with a proposed class action accusing the discount hardware retailer of defrauding consumers and selling engines without emissions warranty language required by the Clean Air Act.

  • May 24, 2016

    Faegre Ordered To Return Fraudulent Deepwater Claim Money

    A Louisiana federal judge on Tuesday said that a seafood company and its law firm, Faegre Baker Daniels, must pay back the $1 million they received from the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center.

  • May 24, 2016

    ND Judge Rejects EPA Bid To Nix Water Rule Challenge

    A North Dakota federal judge on Tuesday rejected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's bid to nix a challenge to the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers' Clean Water Rule and put the case on hold pending the outcome of a similar challenge making its way through the Sixth Circuit.

  • May 24, 2016

    Range Resources Dodges $9M Fracking Leak Fine — For Now

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has withdrawn a proposed nearly $9 million fine against a Range Resources Corp. unit over a leaky gas well that had been used for fracking, but the agency says it still may seek to punish the company.

  • May 24, 2016

    Enviros Press NRC To Keep Entergy's NY Nuke Plant Shut

    As Entergy Corp. wraps up repairs at a nuclear reactor 26 miles north of New York City, an environmental group on Tuesday urged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to delay restarting the unit and to order the immediate shutdown of its sister reactor until the commission solves “the mystery of the missing bolts.”

Expert Analysis

  • Oil And Gas Opportunities And Political Obstacles Ahead

    Jack R. Luellen

    The dramatic growth in domestic oil and natural gas production has reignited calls for the U.S. to achieve “energy independence." But at the same time, the resurgence of industry activity has been met with increased governmental oversight and tensions. Tremendous opportunities have been created, but the road to each is lined with significant challenges for industry, regulators and communities, says Jack Luellen at Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • Calif. Asbestos Case Opens Door For Shaky Expert Opinions

    Thomas A. Manakides

    While the California Court of Appeal's holding in Davis v. Honeywell can and should be limited to the specific facts and expert testimony in that case, the decision serves as a warning that courts may not always vigorously enforce their responsibility to screen expert opinions, which could open the door for plaintiffs in asbestos cases to depend on testimony that may not be entirely reliable, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Not So Fast, Ohio: FERC Weighs In On Wholesale Energy

    Joseph H. Fagan

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently affirmed its role in ensuring reasonable rates for wholesale sales of electric energy in Ohio. But state utilities seek to further their objectives without invoking FERC jurisdictional issues, and if other states aim to advance their public policy initiatives using similar methods, it could impose higher costs on captive retail customers, say Joseph Fagan and David Doot at Day Pitney LLP.

  • Panama Papers: Reminders About Law Firm Cybersecurity

    Sean Doherty

    Nowhere is the attractiveness of law firms as cybercrime targets more evident than the recent Mossack Fonseca hack, believed to be the most significant data theft event in history. Firms represent a treasure trove of information and historically have had dreadful cybersecurity practices. There has been some progress, but firms can also commit to better defending their information by taking a simple, three-step approach, says Sean D... (continued)

  • New Far-Reaching Air Regulations For US Oil And Gas Wells

    Scott Janoe

    The Obama administration recently announced two sweeping final rules to regulate air emissions from oil and gas exploration, production and transportation facilities and has begun a rulemaking process aimed at controlling methane emissions from existing oil and gas facilities, both of which will will place a significant burden on in-house staff, say attorneys at Baker Botts LLP.

  • OPINION: Sotomayor's Solution To Pro Bono Is Incomplete

    David A. Lash

    In calling for mandatory pro bono service, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is effectively using her bully pulpit to advance the cause of access to justice for the poor. Her courageous leadership is a clarion call to action that must be heeded. But bold as it may be, the pronouncement is incomplete, says David Lash, managing counsel for pro bono at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and a member of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Creating Barclay Damon: Lessons From A Law Firm Merger

    John P. Langan

    Joining two firms with long histories meant not only combining cultures, philosophies and deeply rooted ways of doing business, but also combining two IT systems, two accounting systems, and two ways of handling many other administrative functions. It didn't help that the firms had different fiscal year ends, says John Langan, managing partner of Barclay Damon LLP.

  • Reflecting On The 20th Anniversary Of BMW V. Gore

    Andrew Frey

    On May 20, 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a $2 million punitive damages award imposed for a tort that caused $4,000 in economic harm was unconstitutionally excessive. In the ensuing 20 years, BMW v. Gore has proved to be a foundational case in punitive damages jurisprudence. We were fortunate enough to have played a role in this historic decision, say Mayer Brown LLP partners Andrew Frey and Evan Tager and Maserati North Am... (continued)

  • Corporate Counsel: Consumer Becomes Provider (The Sequel)

    Mark A. Cohen

    Last week, we discussed why corporate legal departments are taking on so much more work themselves instead of outsourcing it to law firms. This is, of course, an ominous sign for law firms and the traditional partnership structure. So too is disaggregation and the emergence of legal service providers as well as others — notably the Big Four — poised to enter the gargantuan legal services market, says Mark A. Cohen of Legal Mosaic LLC.

  • OPINION: Stop 'Vigorously Defending' Your Clients

    Dan McGinn

    Oddly, amazingly, inexplicably, in a business where words are never in short supply, only one word seems to work when it comes to characterizing a lawyer’s commitment to clients, says Dan McGinn, a national reputation management adviser who has counseled nearly half the Fortune 100.