• January 18, 2017

    Landowners Seeking $150M in Gas Royalties Get Class Cert.

    An Oklahoma federal judge granted class certification Tuesday to landowners claiming Chaparral Energy LLC withheld $150 million in gas royalties through improper deductions, but excluded a fraud claim and narrowed the group to those with agreements that don’t release the well operator’s obligation to pay production costs.

  • January 18, 2017

    Exxon, Quanta Settle Long-Running NY Cleanup Suit

    Exxon Mobil Corp. and Quanta Resources Corp. told a New York federal judge Wednesday they had reached a settlement that would release dozens of companies from labyrinthine environmental cleanup litigation over Quanta's old waste transfer station in Queens.

  • January 18, 2017

    Venezuela Loses 3rd Reconsideration Bid In Conoco Row

    An international tribunal on Tuesday declined to undo a 2013 decision finding Venezuela had improperly nationalized ConocoPhillips' interests in three oil projects, but took the opportunity to clarify that the tribunal in the underlying decision had not found Venezuela had acted in bad faith.

  • January 18, 2017

    Duane Morris Adds Partners In Miami, Chicago

    Duane Morris LLP has added a former McDermott Will & Emery LLP litigator and international arbitration expert in Miami and a former Locke Lord LLP corporate partner in Chicago, the firm announced Wednesday.

  • January 18, 2017

    Trump EPA Pick Won't Vow To Recuse Himself In Agency Suits

    Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, declined to say Wednesday whether he’d recuse himself from several pending lawsuits he filed against the agency if he is confirmed, instead leaving the matter up to the EPA’s ethics counsel.

  • January 18, 2017

    Oil Co. Directors Say Nigerian Assets Bought In Good Faith

    The directors of oil exploration firm Erin Energy Corp. argued Wednesday to have a derivative suit dismissed in Delaware Chancery Court, saying they acted in good faith when approving a pair of transactions to buy offshore assets in Nigeria.

  • January 18, 2017

    NY Says Bid To Force Pipeline Decision Is Uncalled For

    The New York State Department of Environment Conservation asked the D.C. Circuit to dismiss a suit by a natural gas pipeline company alleging the state agency is moving too slowly on approving a 7.8-mile gas pipeline, arguing on Tuesday that the state is following the timeline set out by law.

  • January 18, 2017

    Duke Energy To Pay To Resolve Feds' 'Gun-Jumping' Claims

    Duke Energy Corp. has agreed to pay $600,000 in civil penalties to settle the U.S. Department of Justice’s allegations that it took control of a natural gas-fired power plant in Florida from Calpine Corp. before a mandatory waiting period for antitrust review had lapsed, the department announced on Wednesday.

  • January 18, 2017

    EPA Reaches $600M Mine Fix Deal With Freeport-McMoran

    Two subsidiaries of mining company Freeport-McMoRan Inc. agreed Tuesday in Arizona federal court to pay roughly half the cost of a $600 million settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the cleanup of 94 abandoned uranium mines on Navajo Nation land in the Southwest.

  • January 18, 2017

    Army Gets OK For Enviro Review Of Dakota Access Pipeline

    The U.S. Army said Wednesday it will prepare a new environmental impact statement to consider Dakota Access LLC’s bid to complete construction of its pipeline under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, as a D.C. federal judge rejected the company’s bid to block the publication of the Army’s plans in the Federal Register.

  • January 18, 2017

    Aussie Builder Must Arbitrate AU$1.8B Chevron Jetty Case

    An Australian contractor that has filed suits against KBR Inc., Chevron Corp. and their affiliates for allegedly shortchanging it for work on a AU$3.4 billion ($2.6 billion) liquefied natural gas jetty had its case against Chevron paused by a California federal judge on Tuesday, with the court saying arbitration underway in Australia should conclude first.

  • January 18, 2017

    NJ Atty Escapes Default In Energy Co.'s Malpractice Suit

    A New Jersey attorney accused of negligently handling a financial deal for an Idaho energy company escaped a default judgment Tuesday when a federal judge ruled that although the lawyer may have been culpable for failing to appear in the case, the matter should still be decided on the merits.

  • January 18, 2017

    Willkie Farr Adds Energy Partners From Cadwalader

    Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has announced it has added two new energy and commodities attorneys to its firm who will join its Washington, D.C., offices from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP.

  • January 18, 2017

    Chevron Seeks To Toss Workers’ 2nd Stab At ERISA Suit

    Chevron Corp. urged a California federal judge Wednesday to toss a putative class action brought by beneficiaries of its employee retirement plan who claim Chevron breached its fiduciary duties when it made high-cost and poor-performing investments, saying the employees haven’t alleged anything new since the court dismissed their original complaint.

  • January 18, 2017

    FERC Got Market Order Wrong, TransCanada Gas Unit Says

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wrongly refused to let the U.S. natural gas storage unit of pipeline giant TransCanada Corp. charge market-based rates for its services, based on erroneous competition concerns, the unit told the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday.

  • January 18, 2017

    Munsch Hardt Tells Court Oil Field Service Co. Owes Fees

    Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC filed a lawsuit in district court in Houston on Tuesday against a client it said breached a contract for services and owes it about $130,000 in legal fees for work the firm performed during a five-month period last year.

  • January 18, 2017

    13 States Sue To Stop Coal Mining Stream Protection Rules

    Thirteen states sued the U.S. Department of the Interior in D.C. federal court on Tuesday, alleging that federal rules finalized in December aimed at minimizing harm to surface and groundwater from coal mining operations violated the states’ ability to regulate mining within their borders.

  • January 18, 2017

    Enviros Take Bid To Join BLM Auction Fight To 10th Circ.

    Environmental groups on Tuesday appealed to the Tenth Circuit a New Mexico federal judge's refusal to let them intervene in an oil and gas industry group's suit accusing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management of illegally failing to hold oil and gas lease auctions.

  • January 18, 2017

    Pa. Appeals Court Upends Cert. Denial In Gas Lease Row

    A Pennsylvania appeals court issued a published ruling on Tuesday finding that Rex Energy Corp. could not rely on arguments over contract conditions to defeat class certification in a pair of disputes over bonus payments landowners claim they’re owed after agreeing to lease their properties for gas drilling.

  • January 18, 2017

    BP Can't Ditch Royalty Payment Suit So Soon, Court Hears

    Chieftain Royalty Co. urged an Oklahoma federal court Tuesday to deny BP America Production Co.'s motion to dismiss its proposed class action for allegedly underpaying royalties for all natural gas production from wells in the state, saying a similar class action that was denied certification 15 years ago doesn't preclude the suit.

Expert Analysis

  • The Trump Administration And Nuclear Energy

    David Repka

    Nuclear energy has fallen on hard times in the United States. Operating costs are high, while natural gas is abundant and cheap. So what will the Trump administration mean for nuclear generation? The president-elect seems uninterested in carbon-free nuclear power as a means to fight climate change, but job creation could justify the construction of new nuclear plants, say David Repka and Tyson Smith of Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • It’s Time To Change The Law Firm Business Model

    Lucia Chiocchio

    Every year, statistics reveal very little change in the number of women and minorities in the ranks of partnership. So how do law firms change this painfully slow rate of progress? It takes more than adding a diversity policy or a women’s leadership program to the current law firm business model, says Lucia Chiocchio, co-chair of Cuddy & Feder LLP's telecommunications and land use, zoning & development groups.

  • Tribal Treaty Rights And Public Interest: Showdown In ND

    Lael Echo-Hawk

    Following the Obama administration's refusal to issue a required permit for the Dakota Access pipeline, the matter is far from resolved. However, regardless of the ultimate outcome, the world is now better educated about Native American issues, and the government has shown a willingness to fulfill its legal obligations, says Lael Echo-Hawk of Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP.

  • Suits Against Foreign Sovereigns: Mixed Bag For Energy Cos.

    Kenneth Reisenfeld

    Legal claims against foreign governments — including those of major oil-producing states — are growing in size and number. This trend creates a paradox for global energy companies: It is easier for them to protect their rights on projects abroad, but the increase in successful claims against sovereign states poses unforeseen risks for those doing business with government-owned oil concerns, say attorneys from BakerHostetler LLP.

  • Amended Rule 37(e): 1 Year Later

    Samantha Southall

    After a full year in effect, the amended Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) has been tested in a variety of district courts. A sampling of these decisions reveals that courts seem to be adhering closely to the amended rule and ordering adverse inference instructions only where there was intent to deprive another party of access to relevant information, say Carrie Amezcua and Samantha Southall of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • In Congress: More Confirmation Hearings

    Richard Hertling

    Democrats will have a difficult time actually defeating any of President-elect Trump's cabinet nominations because of a change they made to the Senate rules to end the filibuster for executive branch nominations. Their goal is not really to defeat the nominees but to draw stark differences early on in the new administration, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • EPA's New Risk Management Rule Is Here ... For Now

    Michael Reer

    After the 2013 explosion at a fertilizer facility in Texas, President Obama signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to identify improvements to risk management practices. In response, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just published a final rule amending its Risk Management Program regulations. But changes to the Congressional Review Act could affect the rule's future, says Michael Reer of Harris Finley & Bogle PC.

  • Avoiding The Hidden Costs Of Bargain-Priced E-Discovery

    Michael Cousino

    Many organizations are interested in finding electronic discovery partners who offer tantalizingly low prices for electronic discovery services. However, unforeseen gaps, lax security practices, ignorance of global practices and delayed deliverables can all add up to a surprisingly large final cost, says Michael Cousino of Epiq Systems.

  • Saving Lawyers 1 Breath At A Time: Mindfulness In The Law

    Jennifer Gibbs

    As critical as lawyers are to society, they are reported to be the most frequently depressed occupational group in the United States. In response to the inherently stressful nature of the practice of law, more and more lawyers are turning to an ancient contemplative practice called “mindfulness,” says Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle LLP.

  • Understanding How Blockchain Could Impact Legal Industry

    R. Douglas Vaughn

    Blockchain is essentially a computerized public ledger that can apply to almost anything that a person might save into a database or spreadsheet. This versatile technology may enhance the legal industry by providing an improved record keeping system, setting up "smart contracts" and tracking intellectual property and land records, say R. Douglas Vaughn and Anna Outzen of Deutsch Kerrigan LLP.