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Environmental

  • September 19, 2018

    Fla. Enviros Want Order Freeing Land Buying Funds Enforced

    Environmental groups that won a state court judgment in June finding Florida misspent hundreds of millions of dollars in conservation land acquisition funds asked the Tallahassee circuit court Wednesday to lift a stay on the judgment while the state appeals.

  • September 19, 2018

    Costa Rica Prevails In $97M Real Estate Project Row

    An international tribunal has rejected several U.S. investors' $97 million claim accusing Costa Rica of improperly shutting down their beachfront villa project, while also accepting jurisdiction over but ultimately rejecting the Central American nation's counterclaim seeking to hold the investors accountable for alleged environmental damage.

  • September 19, 2018

    Fenwick & West Guides Proterra's $155M Funding Round

    Proterra Inc., which makes heavy-duty electric transportation equipment for the North American mass transit market, said on Wednesday that it has closed a $155 million funding round led by Daimler AG and family investment firm Tao Capital Partners, which was guided by Fenwick & West LLP.

  • September 19, 2018

    Trump Methane Rollbacks Hand Regulatory Reins To States

    The rollback of Obama-era restrictions on venting and flaring from gas wells on federal and tribal lands is the latest sign the Trump administration intends to hand off the job of regulating methane emissions to states, some of which are expected to be lax while others may craft more stringent methane rules, experts say.

  • September 19, 2018

    Some Claims In BP Deepwater Suits Time-Barred, Judge Says

    A Texas federal judge on Tuesday dismissed some claims against BP PLC from more than a dozen of the investor suits in multidistrict litigation related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, finding that a 2017 U.S. Supreme Court ruling clarified that certain claims based on company statements from before the spill are time-barred.

  • September 19, 2018

    Alaska Natives Back Feds In Row Over Hovercraft Ban

    Alaska Native tribes and groups have urged the U.S. Supreme Court haveto uphold the National Park Service’s right to apply its hovercraft ban on an Alaska river, saying that taking away the federal government’s power to regulate certain waters in the state could destroy Alaska Natives' traditional subsistence fishing.

  • September 19, 2018

    EPA Asks 5th Circ. To Uphold Effluent Rule Delay

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has asked the Fifth Circuit to uphold its decision to postpone parts of an Obama-era rule that set limits on how much toxic metal can be discharged with power plants’ wastewater, an action environmental groups have said is illegal.

  • September 19, 2018

    Alaska Tells DC Circ. Not To Halt 'Roadless Rule' Case

    Alaska asked the D.C. Circuit not to pause an appeal in the state’s long-running challenge to the 2001 “roadless rule” aimed at limiting road construction in national forests, arguing that a rulemaking effort by the U.S. Department of Agriculture can’t address all its concerns.

  • September 19, 2018

    3rd Circ. Asked To Weigh In On Nuverra’s Ch. 11 ‘Gifting’

    A Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc. noteholder who challenged the company’s confirmed Chapter 11 plan last year asked the Third Circuit on Wednesday to weigh in on claims that the plan did not treat unsecured creditors fairly and equitably by permitting “gifting” that led to more recovery for some.

  • September 19, 2018

    States Fight To Keep EPA In Suit Over Landfill Emissions

    A group of states on Tuesday asked a California federal judge not to dismiss their lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act by failing to impose Obama-era regulations limiting emissions from municipal landfills.

  • September 19, 2018

    NJ Enviro Agency Beats Developer's Suit Over Wetlands

    A New Jersey appeals court on Wednesday sided with the state's Department of Environmental Protection in a challenge to a bar on development for three residential lots, saying the developer could not show how the agency’s designation of the property as wetlands constituted trespass and ejectment.

  • September 19, 2018

    Chevy Drivers Aren't Victims In Emissions Suit, Bosch Says

    A proposed class action against General Motors and electronics engineering firm Robert Bosch LLC alleging the two conspired to design auto systems that eluded emissions test standards fails because it never establishes the consumer as a victim, according to Bosch’s reply brief in support of a motion to dismiss the case.

  • September 19, 2018

    Calif., NM Sue Interior Over Reversal Of Methane Rule

    On the same day the U.S. Department of the Interior finalized a plan to reverse much of an Obama-era rule that sought to reduce methane release from oil and gas operations on federal and tribal lands, California and New Mexico challenged the rollback as harmful and unsupported by facts.

  • September 18, 2018

    Monsanto Fights To Get $289M Verdict Tossed Or A New Trial

    Bayer AG-acquired Monsanto asked a California court Tuesday to set aside a $289 million jury verdict for a man who said its Roundup weed killer caused his cancer, arguing there wasn’t enough evidence to support his claims and asking the court for a ruling in its favor or a new trial.

  • September 18, 2018

    NJ Justices Side With Unpaid Demo Firms In Salvage Suit

    New Jersey’s Supreme Court has sided with unpaid demolition companies in a dispute over a leveled power plant, confirming that the market value of salvaged material can be used to pay what the companies are owed for their work.

  • September 18, 2018

    Consultant Gets 4 Years For Kickback Scheme At NJ Agency

    A New Jersey federal judge on Tuesday slammed a political consultant with a four-year prison term for her role in a kickback scheme at a defunct Newark water agency, saying she was part of the “inner circle of this tremendous fraud" that ultimately brought down the organization.

  • September 18, 2018

    Chevron Wants Donziger Jailed In Fight Over $9.5B Fine

    Chevron Corp. told a New York federal court that attorney Steven Donziger, who helped procure a fraudulent $9.5 billion judgment in Ecuador over pollution in the Amazon, should be jailed if he continues refusing to transfer his interest in the proceeds of that judgment to Chevron.

  • September 18, 2018

    4th Circ. Opinion Curtails Reach Of Clean Water Act

    A recent Fourth Circuit opinion that Dominion Energy Inc.'s coal ash settling ponds aren't considered a "point source" of pollution under the Clean Water Act limits environmental groups in bringing citizen suits to control pollution from similar ponds, experts say.

  • September 18, 2018

    Enviros Threaten To Sue FWS Over Giraffe ESA Protections

    Environmental and animal rights groups on Tuesday threatened to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its alleged failure to respond to a petition to list giraffes as an endangered species.

  • September 18, 2018

    Global Carbon Taxes Still Lag, But There Is Hope, OECD Says

    Worldwide carbon tax rates are still well below estimates of what would be needed to capture the costs of damage to the environment by 2030, though there are reasons for hope, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Expert Analysis

  • Q&A

    Back To School: Stanford's Jeff Fisher Talks Supreme Court

    Jeffrey Fisher

    In this series featuring law school luminaries, Stanford Law School professor Jeffrey Fisher discusses his motivation for teaching, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court and what the court might look like if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed.

  • Genetic Data Holds Opportunities And Risks For Litigants

    Kirk Hartley

    A recently published research paper concludes that a significant proportion of patients with malignant mesotheliomas carry inherited mutations in cancer-associated genes. Well-informed lawyers on both sides of the aisle can effectively use such data to materially alter the outcome of cases, say Kirk Hartley and David Schwartz of ToxicoGenomica.

  • Clearing Up Some Pipeline Permit Questions At 3rd Circ.

    Deidre Duncan

    Two recent decisions from the Third Circuit — Delaware Riverkeeper and Township of Bordentown — indicate that resolving questions related to state appeals of pipeline project permits will ultimately turn on the particulars of the state administrative process, say Deidre Duncan and Clare Ellis of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

  • Calif.'s New Rules For Lawyers Move Closer To ABA Model

    Mark Loeterman

    The first comprehensive overhaul of California's Rules of Professional Conduct in nearly 30 years becomes operational on Nov. 1. Some of the new rules mirror the model language used by the American Bar Association, but many continue to reflect California’s unique approach to certain ethical questions, says Mark Loeterman of Signature Resolution LLC.

  • Congressional Forecast: September

    Layth Elhassani

    The House and Senate are entering their respective final runs before the November midterm elections. The most pressing items of business are funding the government and the pending Senate confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. But several lower-profile issues remain as well — including a Republican push for further tax reform, says Layth Elhassani of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Know The Limits To Atty Public Statements During A Trial

    Matthew Giardina

    The balancing act between protecting attorneys’ speech rights and ensuring unbiased adjudications was highlighted recently in two cases — when Michael Cohen applied for a restraining order against Stephanie Clifford's attorney, and when Johnson & Johnson questioned whether a Missouri talc verdict was tainted by public statements from the plaintiffs' counsel, says Matthew Giardina of Manning Gross & Massenburg LLP.

  • In Calif., Questions Remain On Law Firm Conflict Waivers

    Richard Rosensweig

    In Sheppard Mullin v. J-M Manufacturing Co., the California Supreme Court ruled last month that a law firm's failure to disclose a known conflict with another current client did not categorically disentitle the firm from recovering fees. But the court didn’t provide hoped-for guidance on how to write an enforceable advance conflict waiver, says Richard Rosensweig of Goulston & Storrs PC.

  • Q&A

    A Chat With Faegre Client Development Chief Melanie Green

    Melanie Green

    In this monthly series, Amanda Brady of Major Lindsey & Africa interviews management from top law firms about the increasingly competitive business environment. Here we feature Melanie Green, chief client development officer at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Kavanaugh's Chevron Skepticism May Impact Enviro Regs

    Andrea Driggs

    Confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court may accelerate its narrowing of the discretion given to administrative agencies to regulate via rulemaking. An indication of how a Justice Kavanaugh might deal with Chevron deference is found in his dissent in Northeast Hospital Corp. v. Sebelius, say Andrea Driggs and Christopher Thomas of Perkins Coie LLP.

  • The EPA Isn’t Putting Asbestos Back Into Buildings

    Andrew Knudsen

    This summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sparked public outrage with its proposed "significant new use" rule addressing certain commercial uses of asbestos. But the EPA’s proposed action would actually impose substantial new prohibitions on the listed uses of asbestos — which currently are not regulated by the EPA at all, says Andrew Knudsen of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.