Environmental

  • September 21, 2016

    Exxon Pays $12M Damages For 2011 Mont. Pipeline Spill

    Exxon Mobil Corp.’s U.S. pipeline arm has agreed to pay $12 million in federal and state natural resources damages stemming from a 2011 pipeline failure that dumped 60,000 gallons of oil into Montana’s Yellowstone River, according to a consent decree filed Wednesday.

  • September 20, 2016

    Whole Foods Strikes $3.5M Deal With EPA Over Waste

    Whole Foods Market Inc. will pay $3.5 million in penalties as part of a deal with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over improperly handled hazardous waste products at stores in five states, the agency said Tuesday.

  • September 20, 2016

    SEC Probing Exxon Mobil’s Accounting Practices

    Exxon Mobil Corp. confirmed Tuesday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is requesting more information about the energy giant’s accounting practices followings news reports that the company is under scrutiny for how it values its assets in light of slumping oil prices.

  • September 20, 2016

    Tesla Investors Seek Faster Review Of SolarCity Motions

    A Delaware Chancery judge agreed Tuesday to consider accelerating court timetables for motions seeking expedited discovery and preliminary injunctions in investors’ class challenge of the $2.6 billion Tesla Motors Inc.-SolarCity merger, as a shareholder vote on the contested tie-up approaches.

  • September 20, 2016

    Utility Gets SolarCity's Monopoly Suit Halted During Appeal

    A federal judge pressed pause on SolarCity Corp.’s monopolization suit against an Arizona utility on Tuesday while the Ninth Circuit considers the utility’s arguments that it’s immune from the rooftop solar giant’s claims, saying the issue raised on appeal could be dispositive.

  • September 20, 2016

    Class Counsel Nets $20M In Final Caterpillar Defect Deal

    A New Jersey federal judge on Tuesday gave final approval to a $60 million class action settlement between Caterpillar Inc. and purchasers of bus engines that allegedly contained defective anti-pollution systems, granting class counsel about $20 million in attorneys' fees and $1.4 million in costs.

  • September 20, 2016

    Scientists Caution Against Trump's Plan To Duck Climate Pact

    Hundreds of top scientists published an open letter on Tuesday warning against the “severe and long-lasting” ramifications that would come from the U.S. pulling out of the landmark Paris climate change agreement, as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has vowed to do if elected.

  • September 20, 2016

    Gulfport Energy Hits Insurer With $3M Cleanup Suit

    Gulfport Energy Corp. filed suit in Oklahoma federal court on Tuesday, accusing Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co. of shirking its obligations and defrauding the company by hiding that it didn’t intend to provide coverage for $3 million in remediation and cleanup costs until its insured renewed its policy.

  • September 20, 2016

    Calif. High Court Details Rules For Additional Enviro Review

    The California Supreme Court on Monday unanimously reversed a lower court decision saying the San Mateo County Community College District had to conduct a second environmental impact review for a change to building demolition plans under the California Environmental Quality Act, but the court clarified when subsequent reviews are required.

  • September 20, 2016

    Enviros Can't Sue Over Pipeline Comment Period Woes: Judge

    The Army Corps of Engineers can’t be sued over its decision not to reopen a public comment period before issuing a dredge-and-fill permit for a petroleum pipeline project through Louisiana wetlands, a federal judge ruled on Monday, dismissing a suit brought by an environmental group trying to stop the pipeline.

  • September 20, 2016

    Feds Fight Enviros' Bid To Block Ariz. Highway Project

    The Federal Highway Administration on Tuesday urged an Arizona federal court to deny a bid by environmental and community groups to halt a Phoenix-area highway project while the Ninth Circuit reviews the ruling that said the FHWA and the Arizona Department of Transportation didn’t take shortcuts on environmental reviews when greenlighting the project.

  • September 20, 2016

    Enviro Group Challenges Approvals In $1.5B Pa. Gas Project

    A Pittsburgh-area environmental group launched a legal challenge on Monday over approvals that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced in August it had awarded for a cryogenic gas processing plant that an Energy Transfer Partners LP unit is planning as part of a $1.5 billion investment in Western Pennsylvania.

  • September 20, 2016

    Green Bond Sales Break Prior Annual Record, Report Says

    Global green bond volume has reached $47 billion year to date, the highest annual total ever for the environmentally friendly debt securities, aided by surging interest in the Asia-Pacific region, a researcher reported Tuesday.

  • September 20, 2016

    Stakeholders Dig In Over Fate Of Molycorp's Calif. Mine

    The battle over the fate of Molycorp Minerals LLC’s idled 19,000-acre rare earth mine in California heated up Monday with insurers, investors, regulators and a bankruptcy trustee all questioning calls to toss the firm from Chapter 11 or convert the proceeding into a Chapter 7 liquidation.

  • September 20, 2016

    Tribe Says It Can File Own Complaint Against Dakota Pipeline

    The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe urged a D.C. federal judge Monday to reverse his decision not to let the tribe file a complaint in the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's suit to block the Dakota Access pipeline, saying it has its own standing to challenge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ permits for the project.

  • September 20, 2016

    Drug Cos. Pledge To Tackle Antibiotic Overuse, Pollution

    Johnson & Johnson, Allergan PLC, Pfizer Inc. and 10 other pharmaceutical companies on Tuesday laid out a plan to rein in their environmental impact, curb overuse of drugs to target antibiotic resistance, make drugs more accessible and increase research and development during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

  • September 20, 2016

    Investors In Chevron Rig Blast Class Action Seek 6X Return

    Investors backing a proposed class action targeting Chevron over a deadly Nigerian offshore rig explosion will reap a sixfold return on a $1.7 million outlay if the case is successful, according to a recent filing in California federal court.

  • September 20, 2016

    DuPont Fights To Undo $5.6M Chemical Cancer Verdict

    DuPont pressed an Ohio federal judge Monday to undo a $5.6 million jury award to a cancer survivor who claimed the company’s dumping of a Teflon component into the air and water near a West Virginia plant caused his illness, calling the July verdict excessive and unjustifiable.

  • September 20, 2016

    Senate Report Says Clean Water Rule Can't Be Justified

    The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Tuesday issued a report claiming the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers' justification for its controversial Clean Water Rule doesn't hold up and urged Congress to step in and limit the agencies' authority.

  • September 20, 2016

    Enviros Can't Get Favored Ruling In EPA Water Safety Suit

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed to meet its deadline to propose limits for the drinking water contaminant perchlorate, a New York federal judge ruled Monday, but he refused a request by the Natural Resources Defense Council to rule the agency failed to finalize the limits as well.

Expert Analysis

  • EPA Clean Water Rule Rests On High Court Army Corps Case

    Kimberly L. Bick

    Even if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's clean water rule survives all court challenges and becomes the law of the land, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes may impact its eventual implementation, because the decision would be applied to the category of waters in the rule known as “significant nexus” waters, says Kimberly Bick at Bick Law LLP.

  • Discovery Rule Resurrects Fraud Claim On NJ Property Sale

    Katharine A. Coffey

    A New Jersey state appeals court's recent decision in Catena v. Raytheon Company reinforces the equitable nature of the discovery rule applied to common law fraud claims in connection with the sale of commercial real property, and highlights the importance of proper disclosures, particularly when the property has a history of stigma, lest the seller be faced with liability, say Katharine Coffey and Christopher John Stracco at Day Pitney LLP.

  • The Psychological Edge Of Relieving Stressed Jurors

    Roy Futterman

    To guide overwhelmed jurors toward a calm, logical defense verdict in a high-stakes case, an attorney can apply the same psychological techniques that were developed in the treatment of substance abuse, says Dr. Roy Futterman, a clinical psychologist and director at DOAR Inc.

  • 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.