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  • August 8, 2018

    US Plans Sanctions On Russia Over Nerve Agent Attack

    The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that it plans to sanction Moscow for using chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or against its own nationals, following the attempted assassination of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

  • August 8, 2018

    BLM Wants Input For Enviro Analysis Of Calif. Fracking

    The Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday opened up a 30-day period for the public to weigh in on the "potential environmental impacts" of hydraulic fracturing on around 400,000 acres of public land in California, a proposal that was met with opposition from environmental groups.

  • August 8, 2018

    Texas Panel Zaps Power Co.'s Tax Break On Steam Generators

    A Texas appeals panel has ruled that a power company was properly denied a tax exemption for steam generators that it couldn't prove were used for pollution control, saying a determination from the state’s environmental commission was a binding opinion on the equipment's usage.

  • August 8, 2018

    Ex-Energy Contract Worker Must Repay $2.5M In Bribes

    A former project manager for a U.S. government contractor that retrofits buildings for energy efficiency was ordered on Wednesday to repay the $2.5 million he admitted to taking in kickbacks and bribes from companies seeking $15 million in subcontracts.

  • August 8, 2018

    SoCalGas Reaches $119.5M Deal In Calif. Gas Leak Litigation

    Southern California Gas Co. has agreed to a proposed $119.5 million deal to end state litigation from the California Air Resources Board and the city and county of Los Angeles over the huge Aliso Canyon gas leak, the company and local officials announced on Wednesday.

  • August 8, 2018

    Attys Shake Malpractice Suit Over $20M Arbitration Losses

    A Texas state appellate court declined on Wednesday to revive a petroleum engineer’s suit against the attorneys he claimed cost him an extra $20 million in losses after representing him in an underlying arbitration, saying that the lower court was right to find the engineer’s expert was introduced too late.

  • August 8, 2018

    Lenders In $25B EFH Loan Row Get No Priority, 3rd Circ. Says

    The Third Circuit on Tuesday found Marathon Asset Management LP and several Polygon Global Partners funds do not have a priority claim on the $1.25 billion remainder of a $24.5 billion loan in the Energy Future Holdings Corp. bankruptcy.

  • August 8, 2018

    Texas Court Affirms $16M Mexico Power Plant Arbitration Win

    A Texas appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a $16 million arbitration award in a dispute between an electrical equipment maker and a power company over the construction of a Mexico power plant, ruling that the lack of a record in the arbitration proceedings isn’t grounds to reverse its finding.

  • August 8, 2018

    Va. Power Co. Wants Insurers To Defend It In Injury Suit

    A Virginia power company has filed suit in federal court accusing Continental Western Insurance Co. and other carriers of shirking their contractual duty to defend it against a lawsuit filed by a man who was shocked after his vehicle was hit by a downed power line.

  • August 8, 2018

    3 Firms Steer Starwood's $2.6B GE Energy Finance Biz Deal

    Starwood Property Trust on Wednesday expanded its reach beyond traditional real estate, striking a deal with GE Capital to acquire an arm of its energy finance business for $2.56 billion, with Sidley Austin LLP and Paul Hastings LLP guiding the buyer and Shearman & Sterling LLP guiding the seller.

  • August 8, 2018

    China Strikes Back At US Over Latest IP Tariff Escalation

    Hours after the Trump administration teed up a new tranche of tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese industrial goods as part of its effort to reform the country’s intellectual property rules, Beijing came forward Wednesday with new duties on U.S. chemicals, petroleum products, medical equipment and other items.

  • August 7, 2018

    Reinsurers Freed From Battle Over Finance Co.'s $26M Award

    A District of Columbia federal judge on Monday dismissed Vantage Commodities Financial Services LLC’s claims that seven reinsurers must help cover a $26 million arbitration award that the finance company won against its insurer, but he allowed Vantage to proceed with negligence claims against the broker that lined up the reinsurance coverage.

  • August 7, 2018

    Economist Urges DOI To Rethink Climate Cost Of Coal Leases

    American economist Michael Greenstone has told a Montana federal court that advances in climate change science justify requiring a more thoughtful assessment from the U.S. Department of the Interior than it used in making its decision to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing, pointing to the social costs of carbon and other greenhouse gases.

  • August 7, 2018

    Seismic Owes Attys' Fees As Sinclair Won, 5th Circ. Told

    An agreement that stated a winning party in any underlying dispute was entitled to attorneys' fees means Sinclair Companies didn't need to “specially plead” its request for the funds after beating Seismic Wells in a contract fight, the Fifth Circuit was told Tuesday.

  • August 7, 2018

    FTC, Tronox Duel Over Bid To Halt $2.4B Cristal Merger

    Mining and chemical company Tronox Ltd. squared off in D.C. federal court Tuesday against the Federal Trade Commission’s effort to stall its $2.4 billion acquisition of Saudi Arabia-based Cristal, telling a federal judge that the government is unlikely to win an order that would quash the deal.

  • August 7, 2018

    Level Solar Grilled By Court Over Ch. 11 Case Progress

    A New York bankruptcy judge on Tuesday pressured an attorney for solar panel installer Level Solar Inc. to address delays in moving the company toward a restructuring plan amid calls to liquidate the estate while ordering a holdback of nearly half of his request for legal fees.

  • August 7, 2018

    Most Of Obama Oil And Gas Royalty Rule Kept By Wyo. Judge

    A Wyoming federal judge has largely backed an Obama-era rule that the American Petroleum Institute had said would put entities that hold oil and gas leases on federal and Native American land at risk for harsh penalties under a law governing royalty payments.

  • August 7, 2018

    DC Circ. Keeps Helmerich Unit Out Of Rig Seizure Suit

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday affirmed a decision cutting Helmerich & Payne Inc.'s Venezuelan unit from a suit accusing the South American nation of illegally seizing the company’s drilling rigs, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that expropriation claims need to clear a high bar in order to be heard by U.S. courts.

  • August 7, 2018

    Kazakhstan Wants No Security During $506M Award Appeal

    Kazakhstan asked a D.C. federal judge not to force it to put up security while it challenges enforcement of a more than $506 million arbitral award issued to two Moldovan oil and gas investors, arguing that the investors have already frozen enough of its assets abroad.

  • August 7, 2018

    Sidley Austin Steers Quantum Energy To $5.58B Fund Closing

    Texas-based Quantum Energy Partners, with assistance from legal adviser Sidley Austin LLP, has clinched its latest investment vehicle after bringing in almost $5.58 billion from investors, the energy-focused private equity firm said Tuesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    From Lawmaker To Lawyer: DC Isn't As Bad As You Think

    Norm Coleman

    Popular culture paints the Hill as a place teeming with intrigue, corruption and malicious intent. But in Congress I learned important lessons about respecting people and the work they do, says former Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., of Hogan Lovells.

  • BSEE Listened To Industry In Well Control Rule Revisions

    James Vines

    The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement issued its 2016 well control rule in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The revisions it proposed last month respond to complaints that the rule failed to account for best available, economically feasible safety technologies, and set out requirements that were neutral in benefit but rendered some wells uneconomical, say attorneys with King & Spalding LLP.

  • Venezuela Sanctions Complicate Compliance For Cos.

    Seetha Ramachandran

    New sanctions issued by President Donald Trump last month prohibit transactions involving the purchase of any debt owed to the Venezuela government. The challenge for firms that buy and sell securities is that the interest of a sanctioned party in any given security or transaction may not be readily apparent, say attorneys with Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

  • Series

    From Lawmaker To Lawyer: 6 Things I Learned In Congress

    Charles Gonzalez

    I found that senior members of Congress didn’t have time to mentor younger members. Lawyers — though just as busy as members of Congress — cannot afford to follow this model, says former Rep. Charles Gonzalez, D-Texas, of Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC.

  • Foreign Patent Damages: A Look Back And A Look Ahead

    Alex Chan

    On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in WesternGeco provided much-needed clarity on the availability of foreign lost profits to patent owners. It is important to understand the history of the presumption against extraterritoriality in patent disputes and the case law leading up to this decision, says Alex Chan of Tensegrity Law Group LLP.

  • Energy Storage: Are We There Yet?

    Paul Kraske

    2018 has proven to be a turning point for energy storage in the U.S. Affordable, reliable batteries, ambitious state capacity goals and a major policy shift from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have created an ideal environment for energy storage to grow at a fast rate, say Paul Kraske and Zahir Rahman of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • What New FWS Take Guidance Means For Permit Applicants

    Wayne Whitlock

    New guidance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service clarifies when habitat modification triggers an incidental take permit, who decides whether a permit is needed and who takes the risk, creating significant implications for private project proponents considering whether to seek an incidental take permit and prepare a habitat conservation plan, say attorneys with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Mid-2018 Sanctions Review: A Turbulent Year So Far

    Ama Adams

    No superlative could aptly describe the magnitude of U.S. sanctions developments through the first six months of 2018. The pace of change has been so intense and complex that, understandably, even the most sophisticated international companies and investors have been challenged to respond to policy and regulatory developments, say attorneys with Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Opinion

    BigLaw's Associate Salary Model Is A Relic Of A Bygone Era

    William Brewer

    Legal industry compensation practices are once again in the news as BigLaw firms continue to match the new high watermark of $190,000 for first-year associate salaries. The typical model of increasing associate salaries uniformly fails star associates, the firms they work for and, ultimately, the clients they serve, says William Brewer, managing partner of Brewer Attorneys & Counselors.

  • A Practical Method For Utility Property Interest Allocation

    Bradley Seltzer.jpg

    Certain utility companies are exempt from the 30 percent limitation on the deductibility of interest expenses under Internal Revenue Code Section 163(j), but the IRS has yet to define how companies involved in both exempt and nonexempt activities should allocate interest expenses on their tax returns. We suggest a practical approach consistent with congressional intent, say attorneys at Eversheds Sutherland LLP.