High Court Mulls Southern Union's $18M Mercury Storage Fine

Law360, New York (March 19, 2012, 9:39 PM EDT) -- U.S. Supreme Court justices expressed skepticism Monday about the U.S. government's claim that a judge properly imposed a $18 million penalty on natural gas company Southern Union Co. after a jury convicted it on a felony charge of illegally storing mercury.

The high court is tackling the question of whether a judge or a jury should determine the facts that increase statutory maximum criminal fines. A judge ordered Southern Union to pay a $6 million criminal fine and $12 million for local community initiatives following a...
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