Environmental

  • January 20, 2017

    Feds Order Inspection Of Disputed Alaska Mining Permits

    The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement on Wednesday ordered an inspection of state permits belonging to a company for a planned coal strip mine in Alaska, permits that a tribe and environmental groups have successfully challenged as invalid in federal court.

  • January 20, 2017

    Texas Justices To Hear Town's Suit Against Gas Cos.

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday took up three separate petitions stemming from a fight between five energy companies accused of polluting private property by emitting foul-smelling gases and loud noises, and the town and homeowners who launched the accusations.

  • January 20, 2017

    Enviro Groups Seek Atty Fees In Ill. Tollway Suit

    Environmental groups that sued the U.S. Department of Transportation and others over the construction of a $1.2 billion tollway are seeking attorneys' fees despite the case being dismissed as moot, the three organizations said in a motion filed Thursday.

  • January 20, 2017

    Calif., Oil Cos. Get Pollution Conspiracy Suit Nixed

    A California federal judge on Friday threw out a racketeering lawsuit accusing oil companies and state officials, including Gov. Jerry Brown, of conspiring to boost profits and tax revenue from oil production in the San Joaquin Valley, without regard for farmland pollution.

  • January 20, 2017

    Mesa Says Windstream Award Backs Its Energy Case

    Mesa Power Group LLC, which is fighting to revive its CA$775 million ($600 million) claim against Canada over the Ontario government's allegedly unfair renewable energy regulatory process, urged a D.C. federal court on Thursday to view its case as similar to one recently won by Windstream Energy LLC.

  • January 20, 2017

    Fiat Chrysler Investors Sue Over Emissions, Recall Missteps

    Fiat Chrysler investors on Thursday launched a proposed class action lawsuit in New York federal court accusing the automaker of inflating its stock price by making false statements related to the use of emissions software and failing to implement recalls and mandated safety compliance protocols.

  • January 20, 2017

    Calif. Eyes 2030 With Broad Greenhouse Gas Cut Plan

    California unveiled a sweeping plan Friday to slash 1990-level greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030, which includes a 10-year extension of the state's cap-and-trade program and a new requirement for oil refineries to slash their emissions by 20 percent.

  • January 20, 2017

    FirstEnergy Unloads 4 Pa. Plants In Nearly $1B Deal

    FirstEnergy Corp. said Thursday it will sell four natural gas generating plants in Pennsylvania and a portion of a Virginia hydroelectric power station to a unit of power developer LS Power for approximately $925 million in an all-cash transaction.

  • January 20, 2017

    EPA, Enviros Reach Deadline Agreement On Ozone Plans

    A California federal judge on Thursday signed off on a binding schedule for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to make decisions about air pollution plans in several states, resolving a lawsuit brought by three environmental groups last year.

  • January 20, 2017

    Politics Put Pa. Methane Reduction Efforts On Thin Ice

    A year after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced an ambitious strategy to curb methane emissions from natural gas production, political realities in Washington, D.C., and Harrisburg are threatening to take regulation of the greenhouse gas in the opposite direction. 

  • January 20, 2017

    US Tells 5th Circ. Citgo's $81M Spill Fine Should Stick

    The federal government on Wednesday urged the Fifth Circuit to uphold an $81 million fine imposed against Citgo Petroleum Corp. over a 2006 oil spill, saying the oil company hasn't presented any evidence that a lower court miscalculated the economic benefit the company received from its violations that led to the spill.

  • January 20, 2017

    Feds Strengthen Rules For Reporting Pipeline Accidents

    The U.S. Department of Transportation issued new guidelines on Thursday requiring pipeline operators to report accidents and spills more quickly, continuing efforts to fulfill obligations set out by Congress in 2011 aimed at strengthening pipeline regulations and safety.

  • January 20, 2017

    Exxon Mobil Gets Part Of La. Chemical Plant Suit Tossed

    A Louisiana federal judge sided with Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday by throwing out part of a suit brought by environmentalists alleging the company’s Baton Rouge chemical plant had violated the Clean Air Act by deciding claims about violations of reporting requirements weren’t actionable.

  • January 20, 2017

    Pa. GOP Sens. Back Landowner In Fracking Ban Suit

    Three Republican Pennsylvania state senators on Thursday urged a federal judge to advance a landowner’s lawsuit challenging the Delaware River Basin Commission's fracking moratorium, saying the state did not cede its authority to regulate development when it entered into the compact that created the multistate organization.

  • January 20, 2017

    EPA Announces Settlement Over Hawaii Molasses Spill

    The federal government has come to a settlement with a company accused of being responsible for a September 2013 molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor that killed thousands of fish, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday.

  • January 19, 2017

    Rolling Back Regulation In The Age Of Trump

    The incoming president’s plans to rein in the power of federal agencies will lead to uncertainty for lawyers and their clients as pending investigations and rulemaking are stopped in their tracks.

  • January 19, 2017

    Most Influential Judges On Trump’s Supreme Court Short List

    A new look at the potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees’ rulings reveals a ranking of judicial influence with some surprises at the top — and at the bottom.

  • January 19, 2017

    The Lawyer Who Will Shape Trump’s Presidency

    Jones Day’s Donald McGahn is stepping into the role of White House counsel, a powerful but little-understood position that has a strong history of impacting the president’s authority.

  • January 19, 2017

    In The Polarized Era Of Trump, BigLaw Searches For Balance

    The alignment of law firms with or against the new administration in legal battles to come could open rifts among attorneys and clients. But the publicity earned for taking on a potentially unpopular case could ultimately be worth any public fallout.

  • January 19, 2017

    Monsanto Can't Keep Ex-Atty Out Of Syngenta MDL

    A Kansas federal magistrate judge shot down Monsanto’s “implied request” to exclude its former longtime in-house attorney from serving as a witness in multidistrict litigation over Syngenta’s allegedly false promotion of genetically modified corn, holding Thursday that the deposition will go forward, but the company’s counsel can attend to object or advise the ex-employee.

Expert Analysis

  • How Litigation Funding Is Bringing Champerty Back To Life

    John H. Beisner

    While some courts have declined to apply the common-law doctrine of champerty to invalidate third-party litigation funding agreements, two recent rulings by appellate courts in New York and Pennsylvania have brought renewed attention to champerty principles, casting doubts on the legality of certain forms of third-party litigation funding, say John Beisner and Jordan Schwartz of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • 'Take-Home' Asbestos Means A Duty Of Care In California

    Nicole Harrison

    In two coordinated cases, the California Supreme Court recently ruled that employers using asbestos in the workplace have a duty of care to protect employees’ household members from exposure via workers' clothing or persons. This holding may encourage more asbestos lawsuits in California, but the court did offer some limitations of which defendants should be mindful, says Nicole Harrison of Manion Gaynor Manning LLP.

  • Attracting And Retaining The Millennial Lawyer

    Christopher Imperiale

    Instead of trying to change the new workforce to follow a law firm's existing processes and procedures, perhaps it's time for firms to start changing their processes and procedures to better accommodate the mentality of this next generation of lawyers, says Christopher Imperiale, a law firm adviser with Berdon LLP.

  • A Look At The Next 4 Years In Indian Affairs

    Matthew L.M. Fletcher

    The three previous Republican administrations can be characterized by negative views about federal public lands and federal trust responsibility to Indians and tribes. If more of the same can be expected from the new administration, Indian tribes will have to play defense against federal interventions in their affairs, says Matthew Fletcher of Michigan State University College of Law.

  • Trump's EPA: Be Careful What You Wish For

    Mitchell J. Klein

    Trying to prognosticate what President-elect Donald Trump will do is very difficult. But assuming he does seek to implement change at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if it's perceived as backing off of environmental enforcement, private parties will step in and cases will likely be even more expensive, more problematic and more unreasonable than those brought by the EPA and the states, says Mitchell Klein of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Evidence Substantiation Burden May Soon Shift To FTC

    Margaret E. Krawiec

    To date, questions about how the Trump administration will impact the Federal Trade Commission have focused primarily on antitrust issues, but clues to how the new administration will affect consumer protection issues might be found by examining the record of former Commissioner Joshua Wright, whom Trump has named to lead the FTC transition efforts, say attorneys at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.