Environmental

  • December 15, 2017

    Brothers Will See Jail Time Over Turtle Trafficking

    Two brothers who admitted to trafficking alligator snapping turtles can’t escape without a bite, a Texas federal judge held Friday, ordering them to serve 21 months and 16 months in prison, respectively, for illegally taking and selling members of the threatened species.

  • December 15, 2017

    Texas Justices Keep Noble On The Hook For $63M Indemnity

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined to revisit its decision that Noble Energy Inc. has to indemnify ConocoPhillips in connection with $63 million in environmental cleanup costs despite arguments that Noble’s predecessor wasn’t properly told about the indemnity agreement.

  • December 15, 2017

    Pearson Simon, Burns Charest To Lead German Auto MDL

    A California federal judge on Thursday picked attorneys from Pearson Simon & Warshaw LLP and Burns Charest LLP as co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in multidistrict litigation accusing Audi, BMW, Volkswagen and other German automakers of a decadeslong antitrust conspiracy covering car technology, costs, suppliers and emissions equipment.

  • December 15, 2017

    AGs Oppose EPA, Corps Proposal To Delay Clean Water Rule

    Attorneys general from states including New York, California and Massachusetts have told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that they “strongly oppose” the proposed postponement of an Obama-era rule defining the federal government’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

  • December 15, 2017

    Toss Of Duke Energy Investor Suit Upheld By Del. Justices

    The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of an investor breach of duty suit against the directors of Duke Energy on Friday, saying in a 4-1 split opinion that the Court of Chancery was correct in tossing the suit because the plaintiffs hadn't shown that a litigation demand on the board was futile.

  • December 15, 2017

    The Biggest Environmental Rulings Of 2017

    Courts answered several important environmental law questions in 2017, including how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may regulate recycling and hydrofluorocarbons, and how the effects of greenhouse gases must be factored into project analyses. Here are the biggest rulings in environmental cases from 2017.

  • December 15, 2017

    EPA Stalling On Good Neighbor Enforcement, Delaware Says

    Delaware on Thursday said that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's bid to nix a suit claiming it failed to act on petitions seeking to force it to curb pollution seeping across Delaware's border from power plants in neighboring states is merely another unlawful delay tactic.

  • December 15, 2017

    Let Fishing Rights Ruling Stand, Wash. Tribes Tell 9th Circ.

    The Quileute Indian Tribe and Quinault Indian Nation told the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday that it shouldn’t rethink a panel decision backing a lower court’s finding that the federal government gave them the right to hunt whales and seals when it granted both the “right of taking fish” in a treaty signed in 1855. 

  • December 15, 2017

    MVP: Bracewell's Kevin Ewing

    In the last year, Bracewell LLP's Kevin Ewing has advised Statoil on its winning bid for a highly competitive federal wind lease and secured a ruling that clarifies the scope of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, landing him among Law360's 2017 Environmental MVPs.

  • December 15, 2017

    The Biggest Pennsylvania Court Decisions In 2017

    The Pennsylvania judiciary logged another busy year in 2017 as members of both the appellate and trial benches handled major cases, including a wholesale reshaping of environmental law in the state and a string of eye-popping verdicts in pharmaceutical product liability cases.

  • December 15, 2017

    House-Senate Negotiators Approve GOP Tax Bill

    Republicans on Friday signed off on changes to their $1.5 trillion tax cut bill to settle differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation, even as details of the final bill remain largely hidden.

  • December 14, 2017

    Insurer Off Hook In River Contamination Row, 3rd Circ. Says

    Indian Harbor Insurance Co. doesn’t need to defend a lead pigment maker in a suit over river contamination, the Third Circuit ruled Thursday, affirming a lower court’s ruling that the company was only able to slip through an exclusion loophole due to "scrivener's error.”

  • December 14, 2017

    EPA Invites Local Groups To Discuss Updates To Lead Rules

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday sent a letter inviting local organizations to weigh in on an effort to revise rules aimed at keeping lead out of drinking water, saying the dialogue was part of the Trump administration’s efforts to engage with local stakeholders.

  • December 14, 2017

    Trump's 2018 Deregulatory Push Targets CPP, Fracking Rule

    Final coffin nails for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan and the Bureau of Land Management's hydraulic fracturing rule are just two of the energy-related deregulatory actions the Trump administration is planning to take in 2018, the White House said on Thursday.

  • December 14, 2017

    Senate Confirms Trump's EPA GC, Water Chief Picks

    The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Matthew Leopold of Carlton Fields as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's general counsel, and Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General David Ross as the EPA's water office chief.

  • December 14, 2017

    Enviro Group Wants Trump Admin.'s Monuments Docs

    The Conservation Lands Foundation Inc. expanded the fight over President Donald Trump's decision to shrink national monuments in Utah with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in D.C. federal court Wednesday, seeking documents to shed light on the move beyond the “sweeping generalizations” already made.

  • December 14, 2017

    Trump's EPA Chemical Safety Office Pick Drops Out

    President Donald Trump's controversial pick to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's chemical safety office has reportedly given up on seeking the post, just weeks after two Republican senators said they couldn't support his nomination and a third expressed doubts as well.

  • December 14, 2017

    Bearded Seal 'Threatened' Listing Improper, Justices Hear

    Oil and gas groups, the state of Alaska and an Alaska Native regional corporation urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to reject the federal government’s plea to uphold the National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to list the Pacific bearded seal as a threatened species.

  • December 14, 2017

    FERC Won't Reconsider Atlantic Bridge Pipeline Project OK

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday stood by its approval of the Atlantic Bridge natural gas pipeline project in New York and New England, rejecting arguments from environmentalists and local municipalities saying that its environmental review was flawed.

  • December 14, 2017

    MVP: Morgan Lewis' James Dragna

    Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP’s James J. Dragna has helped various clients navigate complex environmental proceedings in the past year on issues ranging from a natural gas leak in California to a case involving the allocation of cleanup costs at a San Diego site, landing him a spot among Law360's 2017 Environmental MVPs.

Expert Analysis

  • Alternative Fees: My Experience At Bartlit Beck

    J.B. Heaton

    Bartlit Beck was a wonderful place to work for 18 years, and the lawyers there are not only excellent attorneys but also great people. That said, and stating my biases upfront, it is possible for me to look analytically at the Bartlit Beck fee model and make some observations on the pros and cons of one version of alternative fees, says J.B. Heaton, founder of investment analytics company Conjecture LLC.

  • Opinion

    Jurors Should Have An Active Voice In Trials

    Judge Amos Mazzant III

    We tell jurors how important they are to the successful implementation of our judicial system, but oftentimes we don’t treat them with the reverence they deserve. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas, Lisa Blue of Baron and Blue, and Robert Hirschhorn of Cathy E. Bennett & Associates advocate three jury system improvements that will give jurors an active voice and role in our civil and criminal jury trials.

  • New Wine In Old Bottles: RCRA's Anti-Duplication Clause

    Anthony Cavender

    Last month, the Ninth Circuit became the latest federal appellate court to consider the implications of the anti-duplication provision of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. This is an important decision because it further clarifies the limiting scope of this provision, which is unique to RCRA, say Anthony Cavender and Amy Pierce of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Reviewing 2017's CEQA Legislative And Regulatory Activity

    Arthur Coon

    As another year draws near its close, a number of notable California Environmental Quality Act developments in both the legislative and regulatory arenas bear mention, including one proposed regulation that is already outdated due to its conflict with a recent Fifth District decision, says Arthur Coon of Miller Starr Regalia.

  • Why Information Governance Is More Important Than Ever

    Linda Sharp

    It used to be that hiring a good law firm was the single most important thing a company could do when facing litigation. You could now make the case that an organization’s most powerful asset in prosecuting or defending a claim is its information, says Linda Sharp, associate general counsel of ZL Technologies and chair of the ACC Information Governance Committee.

  • Litigation Trend Links Climate Change And Human Rights

    Viren Mascarenhas

    One key takeaway from the Bonn Climate Talks — which recently brought together negotiators from close to 200 countries to discuss implementation of the Paris agreement — is that energy companies must seriously consider potential lawsuits linking their business operations with human rights violations and climate change, say Viren Mascarenhas and Kayla Winarsky Green of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Opinion

    BigLaw Is Behind The Automation Curve

    Michael Moradzadeh

    In its new report on the effects of automation in the workplace, McKinsey Global Institute identifies lawyers as less susceptible to the sort of automation that could put one-third of American workers out of a career by 2030. This may seem reassuring, but it doesn't mean automation won't disrupt our bottom line, says Michael Moradzadeh of Rimon PC.

  • The Science And Controversy Of Offshore Wind

    Brook Detterman

    As the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management embarks on several studies to better understand offshore resources and species, fishing interests have sued BOEM to challenge not only an offshore wind lease, but the process used to award leases and conduct environmental analysis. The future of offshore wind in the United States may be at stake, says Brook Detterman of Beveridge & Diamond PC.

  • 10 Things To Know About Native American Policy: Part 2

    Donald Pongrace

    Significant Native American policy developments to pay attention to in the coming months include the future of tribal coal and the next wave of politicians that will leave office in the near future, as well as how their replacements will address Indian Country issues, say attorneys with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in the final part of this article.

  • Land Use And Entitlement Diligence For Calif. CRE Lending

    Andrew Starrels

    Following the widespread construction boom in most California markets, commercial real estate lenders and their counsel find themselves increasingly asked to evaluate and underwrite the nature of entitlement approvals for development projects, but the state's web of land use regulations and sometimes overlapping jurisdictions can make that task complicated, says Andrew Starrels of Holland & Knight LLP.