• 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.

  • March 21, 2018

    Fed. Judge Says Only 1 Landowner Needs To OK Coal Mining

    A Kentucky federal judge on Wednesday upheld a coal mining permit issued to a company that shares ownership of the land with other parties that objected to any mining, finding only one party had to approve.

  • March 21, 2018

    Study FCC 5G Infrastructure Plan's Tribal Impact: Commish

    Thursday's anticipated FCC vote to streamline 5G infrastructure deployment should be delayed until the agency can further assess how the proposal might hurt tribal lands and the environment, Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said Wednesday afternoon.

  • March 21, 2018

    Rail Co. Asks 7th Circ. To Revive $10M Cleanup Coverage Row

    Rail supply company Varlen Corp. asked the Seventh Circuit on Wednesday to revive its bid for more than $10 million in coverage from Liberty Mutual to cover the costs of remediating groundwater contamination at a pair of industrial sites, arguing that a lower court improperly barred expert testimony that would have defeated a pollution exclusion in its policies.

  • March 21, 2018

    5th Circ. Affirms Corps' Win In Mitigation Credits Suit

    The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of an environmental restoration company’s lawsuit alleging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers illegally planned its own rehabilitation project instead of buying mitigation credits from the company.

  • March 21, 2018

    Tesla, Ariz. Utility Deal Won't End Solar Antitrust Debate

    Tuesday's settlement of an antitrust suit brought by a Tesla Inc. unit over an Arizona public utility's rooftop solar fees leaves unanswered whether such fees unlawfully impede solar development to benefit incumbent utilities, as well as the scope of public utilities' immunity from antitrust suits, a question the U.S. Supreme Court was poised to consider.

  • March 21, 2018

    Enviros' Timber Project Challenge Takes Heat From Judge

    A Montana magistrate judge on Tuesday said a lawsuit by two environmental groups challenging the federal government’s approval of a vegetation management project in the Helena Lewis and Clark National Forest should be thrown out, saying in part that they haven't exhausted administrative remedies.

  • March 21, 2018

    PES Ch. 11 Plan Hit With Objections From US Gov't

    The federal government objected late Tuesday in Delaware to the proposed Chapter 11 plan of refinery operator PES Holdings LLC, saying the plan cannot be confirmed for numerous reasons related to its treatment of creditors and the lack of information about claims against the debtor.

  • March 21, 2018

    Enviros Say They'll Sue Feds Over Inaction On Pesticide

    The Center for Biological Diversity sent a notice Tuesday informing two federal agencies that it intended to sue, alleging they aren’t analyzing and moving to limit the impact of a common pesticide despite information that says it likely harms many protected species.

  • March 21, 2018

    Landowner Takes Spill Fight With Oil Co. To Texas Justices

    A landowner has told the Texas Supreme Court that a lower appellate court ignored “well-settled rules of contract interpretation” when it upheld an early win in favor of Samson Exploration LLC in a dispute over who is responsible for both the cost of a chemical spill on his property and the cost of pursuing legal action to recoup those costs.

  • March 20, 2018

    Greenberg Traurig Snags Ex-Calif. Enviro Watchdog Chief

    Greenberg Traurig LLP announced Monday that it has hired the former director of California's Department of Toxic Substances Control as a shareholder who will bolster its environmental and toxic tort practices from its Sacramento office.

  • March 20, 2018

    Ill. Railroad Co. Sued Over Worker's Exposure To Chemicals

    A conductor who has worked with Illinois Central Railroad Co. for nearly two decades hit the railroad with a suit in Illinois federal court on Tuesday, claiming Illinois Central was negligent in exposing him and other employees to toxic chemicals during the course of his work, which he said resulted in his diagnosis of a respiratory disease.

  • March 20, 2018

    Big Oil Says Courts Are No Place For Climate Change Fight

    BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday urged a California federal judge to nix Oakland's and San Francisco's suits to hold the oil giants liable for climate change-related infrastructure damage, saying climate change is not an issue that belongs in a courtroom.

  • March 20, 2018

    Power Groups Press FERC To Revise Energy Storage Rule

    Several utility and transmission groups on Monday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider a rule it finalized last month that removes barriers for energy storage providers to participate in regional wholesale energy markets, saying it infringes on state authority.

  • March 20, 2018

    6th Circ. Sides With EPA In Mich. Road District Permit Row

    The Sixth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed the dismissal of a Michigan road district’s lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers alleging the agencies improperly blocked a permit for the construction of a new road, finding the road district was to blame for abandoning the permitting procedure.

  • March 20, 2018

    Calif. Top Judge Says Upped Budget Will Speed Civil Docket

    California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye on Monday applauded the governor's proposal to up trial court budgets by $123 million, saying the money will be used to speed civil dockets amid an "onslaught of cases waiting to be filed," like $12 billion in anticipated insurance claims stemming from recent wildfires.

  • March 20, 2018

    Tribe Tells 9th Circ. It Has Immunity From Wash. Landslide

    The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians urged the Ninth Circuit on Monday to uphold a lower court's finding that the state of Washington can't seek indemnity from the tribe for a deadly landslide, saying the tribe didn't waive its sovereign immunity.

  • March 20, 2018

    Tribe, NRC Spar Over Uranium License Challenge In DC Circ.

    The Oglala Sioux Tribe insisted Tuesday in oral arguments at the D.C. Circuit that a uranium mining license under review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission also can be challenged at the appeals court because the license remains “effective” and in place during the review.

  • March 20, 2018

    Yankton Sioux Tribe Loses Bid To Pull Dakota Pipeline Permits

    A D.C. federal judge on Monday rejected the Yankton Sioux Tribe’s bid to pull the permits issued by the federal government for the controversial $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, saying the tribe hadn't shown that the government hid the overall impact of the project by fracturing its environmental review.

  • March 20, 2018

    Perry's Proposed DOE Budget Cuts Rile Senate Panel

    U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on Tuesday faced bipartisan fire from members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources over research and development cuts in the Department of Energy's proposed 2019 budget, echoing criticism he received last week from House appropriators.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Opinion

    It's Time For The US To Re-Engage With The TPP

    Christopher Corr

    A year after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the remaining TPP countries have signed a revised agreement among themselves, and U.S. exporters may pay a heavy price. Now is the time for industries with the most to lose to push for a U.S. return to the TPP, says Christopher Corr of White & Case LLP.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Lawyering A La Carte: Unbundled Dispute Resolution Services

    David Wallace

    There's no reason for limiting unbundled legal services to family law or even pro se litigants. Wider adoption, especially by litigators, presents an opportunity to correct law's distribution and pricing problem, to make justice practically available to all, and to dethrone litigation as the "sport of kings," says New York-based trial lawyer David Wallace.

  • You’re Perfect, Now Change: Perfectionism Hurts Lawyers

    Peter Norman

    Like medical professionals, lawyers often resist policies to reduce errors due to the culture of perfectionism that permeates the industry. Autonomy is key to the legal professional's prestige and the outward demonstration of competence is key to maintaining autonomy, says Peter Norman of Winnieware LLC.

  • Will UN Electric Vehicle Regs Live Up To Billing?

    Anurag Maheshwary

    Aspiring to close the gaps between differences in American, European and Chinese approaches to regulating electric vehicle safety, the United Nations recently completed development of a Global Technical Regulation. Anurag Maheshwary, an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, reviews the notable features of the GTR and explores its impact on improving safety compared to existing regulations.

  • Opinion

    Grassley, Feinstein Debate Judicial Vetting, Obstruction

    Sen. Chuck Grassley

    It is undisputed that in his first year in office President Trump was able to confirm a significant number of judges to the federal bench. How it happened — and whether it's a good thing — are debated here by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.