Environmental

  • October 17, 2017

    Bosch Says VW Dealers Can’t Show Harm In RICO Action

    Robert Bosch GmbH Inc. asked a California federal judge Tuesday to end a putative racketeering class action brought by dealerships alleging the auto parts maker helped Volkswagen AG skirt emissions regulations, saying there’s no evidence Bosch knew what its parts were used for or that dealerships were injured by the scheme.

  • October 17, 2017

    Flint Must Find Long-Term Water Solution, Judge Says

    A Michigan federal judge on Tuesday told the city of Flint, Michigan, it must soon pick a long-term drinking water source that satisfies the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 order directing the city and state to take measures to begin addressing the city’s water crisis.

  • October 17, 2017

    Zoo Elephants' 'Friends' Don't Have Proper Counsel, City Says

    The Massachusetts city of New Bedford told a federal court Monday that a nonprofit group lacks proper legal representation to bring a lawsuit claiming that the city’s poor treatment of two Asian elephants at a zoo it owns flouts the Endangered Species Act.

  • October 17, 2017

    States, Enviros Urge DC Circ. To Decide Clean Power Merits

    Activist groups, along with several state and local governments, asked the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to rule on the merits of the Clean Power Plan, saying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to repeal the plan without drafting a replacement was an attempt to undermine its obligations.

  • October 17, 2017

    FERC Chair Says Perry's Grid Proposal Deserves Fair Shot

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s controversial proposal to pay coal-fired and nuclear plants for providing base load power and grid reliability services should have a seat at the table, as regulators mull ways to ensure a stable grid, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee said Tuesday.

  • October 17, 2017

    Interior Dept. Moves For Quick Win In Canceled Lease Suit

    The U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday moved for a quick win in a suit accusing it of arbitrarily canceling a mineral lease in northwestern Montana, telling a D.C. federal judge that it had actually given ample notice before terminating the lease.

  • October 17, 2017

    Sierra Club To Appeal FirstEnergy Subsidy To Ohio Top Court

    The Sierra Club on Monday notified the Ohio Supreme Court that it would appeal the Public Commission of Ohio’s decision to affirm FirstEnergy’s ability to collect a $204 million annual subsidy over at least the next three years, arguing that the money is an “unreasonable” handout.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Kozinski Reviews 'The Judge'

    Judge Alex Kozinski

    The new book "The Judge: 26 Machiavellian Lessons" is a lively tour of colorful incidents and personalities that have populated the U.S. Supreme Court for the past 23 decades. Do authors Ronald Collins and David Skover prove their thesis that hypocrisy is the key to judicial greatness? Some of their examples are hard to dispute, says Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit.

  • Enviro Rights: What's The Public Trust Role In Pa.?

    Philip Hinerman

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's recent decision in Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has changed the discussion about the state’s so-called environmental rights amendment. Philip Hinerman and Adam Cutler of Fox Rothschild LLP examine issues raised in the case, such as what it means to be a public trustee, and the positions various groups are taking.

  • The Legal Theory Behind The Clean Power Plan's Repeal

    Jane Montgomery

    News media reports about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's move to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan have focused on President Donald Trump’s attacks on his predecessor's environmental legacy. However, repeal proponents can make a strong argument that the CPP was always on shaky legal ground, say Jane Montgomery and Amy Antoniolli of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • 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.