Every law firm knows the importance of a conflicts check before beginning a representation, but what happens when it serves discovery requests or a subpoena on a third party, only to discover that the third party is a current or former client? As firms get larger, and litigations become more complex, this issue is bound to come up, say Shari Klevens and Alanna Clair of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.
To the dismay of many in the commercial real estate and financing sectors, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that in addition to a forthcoming version of the standard practice for phase I environmental site assessments, the less stringent and less expensive earlier version of the standard could still be used to satisfy “all appropriate inquiries” to qualify for CERCLA liability protections, says Larry Schnapf of Schnapf LLC.
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission resolved deceptive advertising charges with Chemical Free Solutions on their marketing of cedar oil-based solutions that claim to eliminate bed bugs and head lice infestations. This case is particularly noteworthy for the split among the commissioners about requiring preapproval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prior to making future claims, says Lauren Peay of Arnold & Porter LLP.
The interpretation of pollution exclusions still flummoxes parties, including those in American National Property & Casualty Co. v. Wyatt. An important case for policyholders seeking coverage, the recent decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals continues the line of authority limiting the application of pollution exclusion in order to avoid absurd results, say Nicholas Insua and Jennifer Black Struttis of McCarter & English LLP.
The Texas Supreme Court's recent decision in Texas Commission on Environmental Quality v. City of Waco has far-reaching implications on the commission's processing of water quality permit applications and strengthened discretion over contested hearing requests on such applications, say Leonard Dougal and Kate Wright of Jackson Walker LLP.
A new rule effective next month will limit the economic impacts that federal regulators may consider when designating property as “critical habitat” — an unwelcome development for property owners and others affected by habitat designations, says Jessica Ferrell of Marten Law PLLC.
Can California’s cap-and-trade program meet new federal carbon emission standards for existing electric generating units? In theory, yes, although there are problems. For instance, the cap-and-trade program covers more than just the state's power plants that the federal standards would cover, say attorneys with Reed Smith LLP.
The public planning board review process can make lawyers and their clients susceptible to some common legal and interpersonal pitfalls. Among other things, remember to listen more and talk less, say John Sokul and Richard Uchida of Hinckley Allen & Snyder LLP.
Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District confirms the breadth of the unconstitutional-conditions doctrine in protecting the Fifth Amendment right to just compensation and adds clarity to the land use permitting legal landscape without setting forth any revolutionary principles for lower courts to apply, say Jack Perry and Daniel White of Briggs and Morgan PA.
The growth and prevalence of social media in recent years has enabled lawyers and their jury consultants to make more educated and sophisticated decisions during the jury selection process. But there are several ethics opinions that suggest that the use of LinkedIn for jury research would constitute an ethical violation, say William O’Neil and Derek Sarafa of Winston & Strawn LLP.