• March 22, 2018

    Energy Co. Price-Gouging Ill. Customers, Suit Says

    Connecticut-based Verde Energy USA was hit with a putative class action in Illinois federal court Wednesday in a suit claiming the company is price-gouging its customers by luring them in with false promises that it offers variable rates based on market conditions when the prices are based on its own inflated rate.

  • March 22, 2018

    DOL Told To Rethink Denial Of Benefits For Uranium Worker

    A Kentucky federal judge has revived a workers’ compensation benefit petition from a former painter and laborer who said he developed a respiratory disorder at a government uranium-production facility, saying a doctor’s report casts doubt on whether the U.S. Department of Labor gave all available medical records to the expert whose opinion torpedoed the claim.

  • March 22, 2018

    Port Authority, Jersey City Settle $400M Tax Dispute

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said on Thursday its board of commissioners voted to authorize a host of agreements that settle a long-standing dispute with Jersey City, New Jersey, over property tax payments worth $400 million, with the understanding that the city will not contest the tax-exempt status of Port Authority properties located within the city for 25 years.

  • March 22, 2018

    Pennsylvania Withdraws Objection To Refinery Bankruptcy

    Pennsylvania tax officials on Wednesday withdrew their objection to Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC's fast-track prepack Chapter 11 plan, saying the oil refinery agreed to amend the plan to preserve the state’s right to collect on a $3.8 billion tax claim.

  • March 22, 2018

    Swiss Prosecutors Investigating Possible Rio Tinto Bribes

    Federal prosecutors in Switzerland on Thursday confirmed they’re investigating whether mining company Rio Tinto paid a former Mongolian finance minister millions in bribes in connection with the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, one of the world’s largest.

  • March 22, 2018

    Enviros Fight Bid To Move Water Rule Delay Row To Texas

    Two environmental groups urged a New York federal judge on Wednesday to reject the federal government’s attempt to send their lawsuit challenging the suspension of an Obama-era rule defining the Clean Water Act’s reach to Texas, saying the government failed to show events in Texas led to the rule's delay. 

  • March 22, 2018

    Oil Co. Says $147M Award Moots JV Partner's Federal Claims

    Carpatsky Petroleum Corp. on Wednesday urged a Texas federal court to dismiss a Ukrainian oil company's claims over a soured oil and gas development deal, arguing that arbitrators have already weighed the dispute, rejected the company's arguments and awarded it $147 million. 

  • March 22, 2018

    4th Circ. Shuts Down Fight Over FERC's $5B Pipeline OK

    The Fourth Circuit on Wednesday nixed a challenge by environmental and public interest groups to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of the $5 billion Atlantic Coast gas pipeline because FERC hasn't yet acted on the group's rehearing requests, and rejected an emergency bid to halt construction of the project.

  • March 22, 2018

    Congress Averts Shutdown With $1.3T Spending Package

    Congress has now approved a bill that would fund the government through September to the tune of $1.3 trillion, with the Senate voting 65-32 early Friday to send legislation that would avoid a government shutdown to President Donald Trump.

  • March 22, 2018

    In Rebuke To Trump, Spending Bill Boosts DOE Funding

    Congress answered the Trump administration's proposed cuts to the U.S. Department of Energy's research and development programs with funding boosts in its $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, a sign of the bipartisan popularity of the DOE's cash that flows to lawmakers' states and congressional districts.

  • March 22, 2018

    EPA Escapes Relatively Unscathed In Spending Bill

    The $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by the House on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s call for dramatic cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 budget, maintaining it at the current $8 billion and shifting money around to provide more for water projects and Superfund cleanups.

  • March 22, 2018

    Anadarko Playing Victim In $26M Tax Refund Row, IRS Argues

    The IRS told a Texas federal court Wednesday to reject a quick-win request from Anadarko Petroleum Corp., saying the oil company is playing the victim, while Anadarko said the government is just restating the same arguments.

  • March 22, 2018

    Enviros Fight Consol’s Expanded Coal Mining Under Pa. Park

    Two environmental groups on Wednesday challenged Consol Energy Inc.'s latest bid to expand the largest underground coal mining operation in North America, asking the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board to cancel a permit issued earlier this month by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

  • March 22, 2018

    Chevron Suit Doomed By CERCLA Exclusion, 9th Circ. Says

    The Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that an exclusion for petroleum substances in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act precluded a woman’s claims that Chevron Capital Corp. was responsible for the pollution on her property, affirming a lower court’s dismissal of her case.

  • March 21, 2018

    Holland & Hart Brief Was Brief Enough, 9th Circ. Says

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday gave Holland & Hart LLP a shot at wiping out sanctions levied against it in a Clean Air Act suit by a judge who said the firm went over a brief length limit, finding the judge had erred at least in part by ignoring his own updated threshold.

  • March 21, 2018

    Congressional Leaders Agree To $1.3T Long-Term Funding Bill

    House and Senate leaders have reached an agreement Wednesday on federal spending for the next six months, kicking off a race to keep the government open ahead of a Friday funding deadline.

  • March 21, 2018

    ENGlobal Plant Contract Row Must Be Nixed, Judge Told

    Native American Services Corp. urged a Texas federal court on Tuesday to toss a breach of contract claim brought against it by ENGlobal US Inc., saying the firm hasn’t shown it is entitled to damages for allegedly not being fully paid for work under a consulting and engineering contract for a biomass power plant project in the United Kingdom.

  • March 21, 2018

    Enviros Sue FWS For Records On Mine's Impact On Crayfish

    The Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in West Virginia federal court, alleging that two information requests it submitted last year concerning a mine and protected crayfish were ignored and asking for the court to force the agency to turn over the information.

  • March 21, 2018

    Weil Reasserts Distance From Debt Holder In Breitburn Ch. 11

    Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP on Tuesday sought to reassure a New York bankruptcy court that the firm has no conflicts of interest as counsel for Chapter 11 debtor Breitburn Energy Partners LP and that its representation of a party affiliated with a large creditor is unrelated.

  • March 21, 2018

    Chevron Concedes Climate Change, But Not Blame In SF Suit

    The California federal judge overseeing allegations that oil companies are liable for San Francisco and Oakland’s global warming-related infrastructure costs heard a five-hour tutorial on climate science Wednesday, with both sides agreeing human activity contributes to global warming, while an attorney for Chevron said a handful of companies shouldn’t take the heat.

Expert Analysis

  • How FERC Is Acting On Income Tax Allowances And The TCJA

    Linda Walsh

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission acted swiftly to respond to the recent United Airlines v. FERC decision regarding income tax allowances, as well as to implement changes stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. FERC's actions are meant to ensure that ratepayers see the benefits of lower corporate tax rates, say attorneys with Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Opinion

    Companies Should Avoid The BigLaw Bonus Structure

    Michael Moradzadeh

    Since passage of the Trump tax plan last year, companies have been touting bonuses they’ve handed down to rank-and-file employees. This highlights the trend of employers favoring bonuses over pay raises in the belief that variable, short-term rewards are less risky to the business than permanent increases in labor costs. But law firms have been using this strategy for years — and there are dangers, says Michael Moradzadeh of Rimon PC.

  • Calif. Seeks Input On Clean Energy Equipment Tax Exemption

    Carley Roberts

    Next month, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration will hold an interested parties meeting regarding a partial sales and use tax exemption for electric generation and distribution equipment. Attorneys from Eversheds Sutherland LLP explain how the exemption has changed this year and why stakeholders may want to weigh in.

  • Chief Innovation Officer — The New Star On Legal Teams

    Mark Williamson

    Over the past few years, forward-thinking law firms have expanded their talent pools to include a chief innovation officer, whose responsibilities include spearheading the implementation of technology. It is a smart move, says ​​​​​​​Mark Williamson, co-founder and chief technology officer at Hanzo Archives Ltd.

  • Considerations For Appointing Equity Committees In Ch. 11

    Shivani Shah

    Equity security holders are increasingly requesting the appointment of official equity committees to represent their interests in bankruptcy cases. Shivani Shah of Norton Rose Fulbright examines the bases for such appointments and the standard that courts apply in evaluating such requests.

  • Opinion

    National Lawyers Need National Licensing For National Courts

    EJ Hurst II

    Just last month, a number of legal groups asked the Northern District of California to strike its rule requiring that, before seeking federal court admission, attorneys first be licensed by the state of California. It is irrational to exclude seasoned federal practitioners from general admission due to state bar approval while allowing raw state lawyers who have never been inside a federal courtroom, says attorney EJ Hurst.

  • How Regulatory Power Is Moving To The States

    Ashley Taylor

    Despite the current momentum of federal deregulation, state agencies are buttressing consumer protections and ensuring there is no lapse in enforcement. State attorneys general are leading a charge into the perceived vacuum where federal agencies have retreated. The decentralization of oversight demands a more strategic, proactive approach to compliance, says Ashley Taylor of Troutman Sanders LLP.

  • New Bribery Suit's Implications For Venezuela Restructuring

    Richard Cooper

    The decision by Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA to pursue claims in the U.S. over an alleged bribery scheme raises a number of legal and strategic issues not just for the defendants named in the suit, but also for PDVSA’s bondholders and creditors of the republic, say Richard Cooper and Boaz Morag of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

  • What FERC's Order 842 Means For New Generation Facilities

    Blake Urban

    Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission revised its regulations to require all newly interconnecting generation facilities to install, maintain and operate equipment capable of providing primary frequency response. Because this order may impose significant costs and disadvantage new generation in the marketplace, legal challenges are likely, say attorneys with Bracewell LLP.

  • Changes To Rule 23 Are Coming, Are You Prepared?

    Niki Mendoza

    Proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23, which governs class actions, are set to take effect on Dec. 1, 2018, pending approval. The amendments would significantly alter class action litigation procedure from notice to settlement, says Niki Mendoza of Garden City Group LLC.