Environmental

  • October 16, 2017

    Feds, Tribe Urge Justices To Reject Review Of Water Ruling

    The federal government and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians on Friday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a petition by two California water agencies seeking to overturn a Ninth Circuit ruling extending the tribe’s water rights to groundwater in the Coachella Valley.

  • October 16, 2017

    Calif. County Must Revise Enviro Report On 340-Home Project

    Orange County has to revise its environmental impact report on a proposed 340-home residential project next to a state park, a California appeals court said in an opinion filed Friday, granting an environmental group’s bid to halt the project after finding the report failed to adequately identify the development’s potential impacts on the surrounding area.

  • October 16, 2017

    Split FERC OKs Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipelines

    A divided, three-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday approved the construction of the $5 billion Atlantic Coast pipeline and the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley pipeline.

  • October 16, 2017

    US Energy Firm Puts Poland In Crosshairs Over Nixed Deals

    Invenergy LLC has queued up an approximately $700 million investment treaty claim against Poland after the country allegedly orchestrated the unlawful termination of long-term wind farm contracts between the American energy company and several state-owned utilities, according to a Monday notice.

  • October 16, 2017

    Greenpeace Beats Paper Co.'s RICO, Defamation Suit In Calif.

    A California federal judge Monday threw out all of Resolute Forest Products’ defamation and racketeering claims against Greenpeace International and its anti-logging campaign, saying that the company fell far short of showing the group purposely made false statements that went beyond the protection of the First Amendment.

  • October 16, 2017

    Calif. County Sheds Strip Search, Retaliatory Raid Claims

    A California federal judge has agreed to toss a lawsuit from two ex-California wastewater treatment facility executives against Ventura County over allegedly illegal strip searches and retaliatory raids relating to a 2014 explosion.

  • October 16, 2017

    Trenk DiPasquale's Email Excuse Is Shaky, Water Agency Says

    A defunct Newark water agency seeking email correspondence by its former counsel blasted what it called the firm’s attempt to shield the files, telling a New Jersey bankruptcy judge Friday that it doesn’t buy Trenk DiPasquale Della Fera & Sodono PC’s explanation that employees’ digital communications are deleted within a month of their termination.

  • October 16, 2017

    EPA Chief Moves To End ‘Sue And Settle’ Practice

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced new measures intended to prevent lawsuit settlements that Administrator Scott Pruitt said often circumvent transparency standards.

  • October 16, 2017

    Ranchers See Last Claims In NM Grazing Rights Suit Tossed

    A federal judge on Friday tossed the rest of a group of northern New Mexico ranchers' suit against the federal government over grazing permit reductions, saying the government didn’t violate the National Environmental Policy Act when it didn’t properly analyze the “social, economic and environmental” impacts of the decision.

  • October 16, 2017

    NY Says FERC Can't Override Pipeline Permit Denial

    The New York Department of Environmental Conservation on Friday told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it should revisit its decision that quashed the state’s denial of a Clean Water Act permit for a Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC natural gas pipeline, arguing that the federal agency misinterpreted the department’s deadline.

  • October 13, 2017

    Solar Co. Suniva Gets OK For $3M Boost To DIP Loan

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Friday allowed solar panel maker Suniva Inc. to take on roughly $3 million in additional post-petition financing the debtor said was needed to keep up its unusual restructuring efforts that hinge on prosecuting an import relief case before the U.S. International Trade Commission.

  • October 13, 2017

    DC Circ. Urged Not To Delay Truck Trailer Emissions Rule

    Seven states and several other groups on Thursday urged the D.C. Circuit to reject a truck trailer manufacturers’ association's bid to delay implementation of a federal rule aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty truck trailers, saying that the trailer makers won’t suffer irreparable harm.

  • October 13, 2017

    EPA, Chemical Cos. Draw Up New Regs For Dicamba Herbicide

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement on Friday with major agricultural and chemical manufacturers, including Monsanto and DuPont, to reduce damage caused by a weed killer that can drift and hurt nearby crops, deciding that new requirements were appropriate.

  • October 13, 2017

    SunEdison Can End IP Contract With Korean Co., Judge Rules

    A New York bankruptcy judge on Friday found that a supply and license agreement between SunEdison Inc. and a Korean company it helped create to manufacture solar materials is governed by New York law and was properly terminated, allowing SunEdison to sell the patent rights to the production process.

  • October 13, 2017

    Nearly 4 In 10 Nat'l Park Employees Harassed, DOI Says

    U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke released a plan Friday to combat the “widespread and pervasive” culture of harassment and bias at the National Park Service, with the agency also releasing statistics that show nearly four in 10 NPS employees have experienced some form of workplace harassment or discrimination in the past year.

  • October 13, 2017

    Feds Reach Cleanup Deal For Maryland Superfund Site

    The federal government announced Friday it has reached a deal requiring various parties to execute a $51.5 million plan to clean up a Baltimore County, Maryland, Superfund site where a landfills had operated between the 1950s and 1970s.

  • October 13, 2017

    Trump Taps Climate Skeptic To Lead WH Enviro Council

    President Donald Trump said late Thursday that he would nominate former Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chair Kathleen Hartnett White, a prominent skeptic of man-made climate change, to serve on the White House's Council on Environmental Quality and designate her as the council's chair.

  • October 13, 2017

    Wyo. Wants In On Suits Over Yellowstone Grizzly Protection

    Wyoming has asked a Montana federal court to let it defend the U.S. government’s decision to take away Endangered Species Act protections for the Yellowstone-area grizzly population in opposition to two suits brought by environmental groups and other activists that are challenging the delisting decision.

  • October 13, 2017

    Luminant Shutters 2 Texas Coal-Fired Plants

    Vistra Energy said Friday that its Texas-based Luminant subsidiary would close two coal-fired plants in early 2018 due to deteriorating finances, making it three Lone Star State coal plants in the last week the company has tabbed for closure next year.

  • October 13, 2017

    Elephant Trophy Ban Faces Tough DC Circuit Bench

    A skeptical D.C. Circuit panel Friday suggested the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bypassed its required rulemaking process when it banned imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies from Zimbabwe.

Expert Analysis

  • Financial Crisis Anniversary

    New Post-Recession Metrics For BigLaw Partner Success

    Peter Zeughauser

    After nearly a decade of recession-accelerated change in the legal industry, “merit-based” compensation has largely come to mean measuring attorney success using some combination of origination and working attorney hours metrics. However, there are signs that the real impact of the recession is still around the corner, and that building a book isn’t enough, says Peter Zeughauser of Zeughauser Group.

  • Opinion

    Time To Lift Student Loan Counseling Restrictions

    Christopher Chapman

    While it lends more than $100 million each year to our nation’s college students — including law students — the U.S. Department of Education surprisingly limits loan counseling to one-time entrance counseling for first-time student borrowers. Is this rational? asks Christopher Chapman, president of AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit focused on access to legal education.

  • Deciding The Forum For 'Waters Of The US' Suits

    Joel Beauvais

    Last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in National Association of Manufacturers v. U.S. Department of Defense. During argument, the balance of questions seemed to favor the industry and state petitioners arguing in favor of district court jurisdiction for suits challenging the Clean Water Rule, says Joel Beauvais of Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Why You Should Consider Hyperlinking Your Next Brief

    Christine Falcicchio

    The shift to electronic filing has somewhat eased the task of reviewing briefs and their supporting files. An e-brief takes e-filing to the next level, says Christine Falcicchio, a principal at Strut Legal Inc.

  • Viability Of 'Act Of God' Defense In A Superstorm World

    Sarah Quiter

    The stakes are high for anyone facing environmental liability in the wake of storms like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. If you are among the parties potentially liable for the costs to clean up a release of oil or hazardous substances caused by a major storm event, you may be thinking about a possible “act of God” defense, but you may want to think again, says Sarah Quiter of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Asian-Americans Facing Challenges In The Legal Industry

    Goodwin Liu

    Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing minority in the legal profession, but recent studies confirm their underrepresentation among partners, prosecutors, judges and law school administrators. We must take action, say Goodwin Liu, associate justice of the California Supreme Court, and Ajay Mehrotra of the American Bar Foundation.

  • A BigLaw Ladies’ Guide To Becoming A 1st-Chair Trial Lawyer

    Sarah Rathke

    Judge Shira Scheindlin recently published an op-ed in The New York Times discussing the statistical truth that law firms have poor representation of female attorneys as first-chair trial lawyers. Backed by data collected by the New York State Bar Association, Judge Scheindlin’s observation is not merely anecdotal. But it doesn’t have to be inevitable, says Sarah Rathke, a partner and trial lawyer at Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • Calif. Real Property Transactions May Need CEQA Review

    Stephanie Smith

    Private parties who plan to jump into a real property transaction with a public agency should be aware that their deal could be impacted or held up by the California Environmental Quality Act unless they are fully informed of the recent legal developments pertaining to CEQA compliance and real property, says Stephanie Smith of Grid Legal.

  • Next Round Of Water Contamination Suits May Involve CWA

    Seth Kerschner

    Manufacturing facilities that produced and used perfluorinated chemicals are already targets of plaintiffs attorneys. Now, current and former military aviation installations may be next, as these military sites could be subject to Clean Water Act litigation risk concerning PFCs used in firefighting foam, say Seth Kerschner of White & Case LLP and Zachary Griefen of the Conservation Law Foundation.

  • 5 Tips To Ensure Proper Deposition Behavior

    Brian McDermott

    If conducted properly, depositions can be a powerful tool. At times, though, opposing counsel employ tactics to impede the examiner’s ability to obtain unfiltered, proper testimony from the deponent. By knowing and effectively using applicable rules and case law, however, deposing attorneys can take specific steps to combat these tactics, say attorneys with Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC.