Environmental

  • March 30, 2020

    'Codfather' Accomplice Can't Flip Conviction In 1st Circ.

    The First Circuit has rejected arguments from a former underling of the Bristol County, Massachusetts, sheriff that a slew of errors at trial tainted his conviction for smuggling money for the notorious fishing magnate known as the "Codfather."

  • March 30, 2020

    Justices Won't Let Citgo Off Hook For $133M Oil Spill

    Three Citgo units are financially responsible for a $133 million oil spill in Delaware caused by a sunken anchor that was hidden beneath the water's surface at a port and pierced a tanker's hull, the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday.

  • March 27, 2020

    The Attys And Legal Logic Behind Stay-At-Home Orders

    The attorneys helping draft cities’ and states’ stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic have been tiptoeing through a legal minefield, working long hours to carve out the kind of work that should be considered “essential” and to ensure local governments aren’t overstepping their authority.

  • March 27, 2020

    Enviros Challenge Rio Grande Valley LNG Export Terminals

    Community and environmental groups are challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ approval of three fracked gas export terminals on the Texas Gulf Coast, claiming the agency ignored pollution impacts on nearby and largely low-income Latino communities.

  • March 27, 2020

    Greens See Red, Attys Urge Care With New EPA Virus Policy

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to temporarily suspend some compliance obligations for entities affected by the coronavirus crisis was condemned by green groups as a free pass for polluters, but attorneys who work with companies say it's appropriate for the circumstances as long as clients don't stretch their interpretations too far.

  • March 27, 2020

    Enviros' Favored Settlement Tool May Be In DOJ's Sights

    The head of the U.S. Department of Justice's environmental unit said Friday that after prohibiting environmental projects as an option in enforcement settlements with private parties, officials are studying whether steps should be taken to curtail their use in citizen suits that environmentalists frequently pursue.

  • March 27, 2020

    Mont. Forest Project Must Address Impact On Wolverines

    A Montana federal judge has granted a partial win to two conservation groups challenging a U.S. Forest Service logging and thinning project at a forest next to Yellowstone National Park, agreeing that the government failed to analyze how wolverines would be impacted.

  • March 27, 2020

    Monsanto Must Face San Diego Port's PCB Nuisance Claim

    A California federal judge has cleared the San Diego Unified Port District to proceed with claims that Monsanto Co. must fund the cleanup of San Diego Bay after allegedly manufacturing for decades the polychlorinated biphenyls that now contaminate it.

  • March 27, 2020

    California Loses Bid To Revive Obama-Era Fracking Regs

    The Bureau of Land Management was granted a win by a federal judge Friday in California's challenge of the Trump administration’s revoking of hydraulic fracturing regulations finalized during the Obama administration, ruling the feds cleared the “low bar” of providing a reasoned explanation for changing course.

  • March 27, 2020

    Baltimore Air Quality Ordinance Trumped By State Law

    A Maryland federal judge said Friday that a Baltimore ordinance clamping down on emissions from waste-to-energy facilities is preempted by state law, handing a win to companies and trade groups that claimed Baltimore's law was designed solely to shut down incinerators in the city.

  • March 27, 2020

    Enviros Can't Challenge Drilling Ban Reversal, 9th Circ. Told

    Environmentalists don’t have standing to challenge the Trump administration's move to undo former President Barack Obama's block on oil and gas drilling in large areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, the government has told the Ninth Circuit.

  • March 26, 2020

    Enviros End Suit Over Miami Nuke Plant Pollution

    Environmental groups settled their suit against Florida Power & Light Co. over claims its Turkey Point nuclear plant near Miami was polluting the surrounding waters, according to court filings Thursday.

  • March 26, 2020

    Bosch Must Face Mercedes And Daimler Emissions Fraud Suit

    A New Jersey federal judge has said German auto parts giant Bosch must face allegations it developed emissions-cheating software for certain Mercedes-Benz USA LLC and Daimler AG diesel vehicles.

  • March 26, 2020

    Power Plant Says Permit Didn't Spell Out River Temp Test Site

    A coal-fired power plant operator told a Pennsylvania federal judge Thursday that it couldn’t have violated its state permit for discharging heated wastewater into the Allegheny River because the permit didn’t require it to monitor the river temperature or indicate where to measure the water.

  • March 26, 2020

    Chris Christie Adds Ex-NJ Enviro Chief To Lobbying Firm

    The former head of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has joined his onetime boss, former Gov. Chris Christie, at Christie's consulting firm, where he'll focus on advising clients on a variety of business and regulatory matters.

  • March 26, 2020

    Mine Workers' Asbestos Suit Against Insurer Can Go Forward

    The Montana Supreme Court will allow claims from 800 mine workers alleging their employer’s insurer contributed to their exposure to asbestos to go forward, ruling that the insurer took up a duty to warn them when it assumed responsibility for medical monitoring from the employer.

  • March 26, 2020

    Energy Services Group Buys Solar Farm Builder In $37M Deal

    Publicly traded energy services company CUI Global Inc. said Thursday it’s snapping up a solar energy-focused construction company in a deal worth $37 million to help it expand into the renewables industry.

  • March 25, 2020

    Dakota Access Permits Axed Due To 'Gaps' In Corps' Review

    Federal permits for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline were struck down Wednesday by a D.C. federal judge who found the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers didn't adequately vet the portion of the 1,200-mile-long project that goes under the Missouri River.

  • March 25, 2020

    PG&E Granted Approval For Updated Ch. 11 Disclosures

    A California bankruptcy judge Wednesday said he would allow PG&E Corp. to send out a supplement to its already-approved Chapter 11 plan disclosure covering recent changes made in response to objections by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

  • March 25, 2020

    Feds Say Virus Fears Didn't Taint $511M Fraud Conviction

    Prosecutors who recently obtained a conviction against Los Angeles businessman Lev Dermen for a $511 million tax fraud told a Utah federal court Tuesday the man’s push for a coronavirus-based mistrial is off-base since the district is still still conducting already-begun criminal trials to this day.

  • March 25, 2020

    EPA Won't Ask 10th Circ. To Revisit Renewable Fuel Ruling

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rebuffed calls from a group of Senate Republicans and opted not to seek rehearing of a Tenth Circuit decision that threw out a temporary pass given to a trio of small refineries who claimed blending renewable fuels into their products would cause “disproportionate economic hardship.” 

  • March 25, 2020

    Texas Court Tosses Enviro Suit Over Barge Facility

    A Texas federal court dismissed as premature a lawsuit by an environmental group arguing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is improperly considering whether to allow an industrial barge facility to stay put on the Lone Star State’s coast.

  • March 25, 2020

    Chevron Urges Courts To Ignore 4th Circ.'s Climate Ruling

    Chevron Corp. has said the Fourth Circuit wrongly concluded that Baltimore's lawsuit seeking to put fossil fuel companies on the hook for climate change belongs in state court and its decision should be ignored by circuit courts weighing similar suits.

  • March 25, 2020

    DOI Blocked From Taking Land For Keetoowah Gambling

    An Oklahoma federal judge blocked the U.S. Department of the Interior from taking a two-acre parcel of land into trust for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians to use for gambling, saying the government misapplied an exception to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

  • March 25, 2020

    Courts Can't Grant Kids' Climate Demands, Feds Tell 9th Circ.

    A Ninth Circuit panel correctly nixed a trial for kids who say the federal government is endangering their futures with policies that exacerbate climate change, and the full appeals court should reject their petition for review, the federal government said.

Expert Analysis

  • Client Advocacy Tips For Remote Hearings During COVID-19

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    As the judiciary implements telephone and video hearings in response to the coronavirus pandemic, attorneys can deliver effective advocacy by following certain best practices, such as using backup materials and specially preparing witnesses and exhibits, say attorneys at Fish & Richardson.

  • How To Conduct Depositions Remotely

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    Remote depositions are a useful tool for meeting discovery deadlines while allowing all parties to stay at home amid the COVID-19 outbreak. But they come with a unique set of challenges, say Eliot Williams and Daniel Rabinowitz at Baker Botts. 

  • A Guide To Zealously Representing Clients During COVID-19

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    The American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct require lawyers to be zealous advocates for clients' interests, but how do these rules apply in this unprecedented time of COVID-19? Anne Lockner at Robins Kaplan offers some pointers.

  • What COVID-19 Means For Renewable Projects And Financing

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    The rapid global spread of COVID-19 has brought severe disruption and uncertainty to the wind, solar and energy storage industry supply chains and the renewable project financing market, making it crucial for developers to review project and financing documents and monitor policy developments, say attorneys at McDermott.

  • 7 Ways Attys Can Create The Right Home Office Environment

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    In the midst of this health crisis when lawyers are working from home with their loved ones around all day, practitioners need to ensure their “home” and “office” settings coexist without one trumping the needs of the other, says Luciana Fragali at Design Solutions.

  • Aviation Waste Problem Is A Green Economy Opportunity

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    As airport projects receive increasing environmental and legal scrutiny, the need for a resource recovery model that can handle the aviation sector's waste challenges is clear, say Jonathan Cocker at Baker McKenzie and Andrew Wilson at the International Aviation Waste Management Association.

  • 10 E-Discovery Challenges Caused By COVID-19

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    The COVID-19 crisis will continue to affect e-discovery long after we overcome this pandemic. When litigation and investigations reengage and courts start moving their schedules forward, these concerns will need to be addressed, say David Kessler and Andrea D'Ambra at Norton Rose.

  • Emergency Environmental Exemptions During The Pandemic

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    The national response to the coronavirus faces many impediments, but federal and state environmental laws should not be among them, thanks to exemptions that allow projects to bypass normal procedures and waive some substantive requirements in emergencies, say Michael Gerrard and Brian Israel of Arnold & Porter.

  • Lessons From A $265 Million Dicamba Damages Award

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    Due to the publicity and size of a Missouri federal court's recent verdict in Bader Farms v. Monsanto — in which the jury awarded a peach farm $265 million after the herbicide dicamba drifted onto its crops from neighboring fields — dicamba suits are likely to increase in number, say Philip Sholtz and Paul Knobbe at Goldberg Segalla.

  • BigLaw Leaders Must Prepare For COVID-19 Economic Fallout

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    The financial impact of COVID-19 is already starting to ripple through law firms in the form of diminished demand and time entry. A few lessons from the 2008 financial crisis and some new ideas can help firm leaders navigate the storm, says Peter Zeughauser at Zeughauser Group.

  • Federal Gov't Memos Can't Override State COVID-19 Closures

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    Recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Defense memoranda identify essential critical infrastructure industries, but they don’t overrule state and local directives requiring businesses to close during the coronavirus outbreak, creating difficult choices for some, say Jeffrey Bialos and Erin Park at Eversheds Sutherland.

  • 3 Ways Leaders Can Improve Remote Work For Lawyers

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    Remote working doesn’t work when people feel they must apologize for or hide it, and lawyers often feel that way — even in unavoidable, disaster-related scenarios like we see with the pandemic today, says David Pierce at Axiom.

  • Tips For Online Mediation In The Age Of Social Distancing

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    While mediating via an internet conferencing platform during the COVID-19 crisis, remember that visual interactions are of vital importance. A simple phrase can be transformed into a sincere inquiry, a shocked response or a sarcastic put-down depending upon how we visually convey that message, says mediator Sidney Kanazawa at ARC.

  • Rethinking Flood Insurance In The Age Of Climate Change

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    Climate change is rendering flood insurance financially unsustainable, and both the commercial real estate investment and flood insurance industries will need to adapt, say Jason Rozes and Alexandra Hill at Dechert.

  • How Cos., Asset Managers Can Plan For Physical Climate Risk

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    Climate change-induced droughts, wildfires, storms and floods threaten businesses with infrastructure, suppliers and customers in vulnerable locations, but companies and asset managers can assess physical climate risk, and manage it with resiliency programs, says Jennie Morawetz at Kirkland.

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