Environmental

  • October 18, 2019

    Baltimore Asks High Court To OK State Court Climate Suit

    Baltimore on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject BP PLC's, Chevron's and other energy giants' effort to stop the city's lawsuit seeking to hold the companies liable for climate change-related infrastructure damage from proceeding in state court.

  • October 18, 2019

    Washington Tribe Hit With Suit Over Proposed Crab Fishery

    Three tribal groups have asked a Washington federal judge to ban a competing tribe from opening a crab fishery in Puget Sound waters where it hasn't been permitted to fish in 45 years, saying the tribe's proposed operation threatens to upset the state's crab harvest quotas.

  • October 18, 2019

    Landmark Exxon Climate Change Case Heads To Trial

    Exxon Mobil will go to trial in Manhattan on Tuesday to fight claims it deceived investors about climate change risks to its business, the culmination of a multiyear, publicly fought battle between New York state and the oil giant. Here's a cheat sheet on what to expect in one of the most significant corporate fraud trials in recent years.

  • October 18, 2019

    Brennan Center, Cato Back Advocates In Border Wall Fight

    The Brennan Center for Justice and the Cato Institute have asked to join a California federal court suit challenging President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration, which made $8.1 billion available for a border wall, to argue as amici that the court should "stop this abuse of emergency power."

  • October 18, 2019

    DuPont Wants Fresh Shot At Defense In Ohio Cancer Cases

    DuPont on Thursday fought to preserve its right to use defense theories that plaintiffs are attempting to block in multidistrict litigation about the company's alleged improper dumping of toxic chemicals.

  • October 18, 2019

    Feds Can't Dodge Tort Claims In Gold King Mine MDL

    A New Mexico federal judge has ruled that the government had jumped the gun in its bid for an early win in multidistrict litigation over the 2015 Gold King Mine spill, saying Utah, New Mexico, the Navajo Nation and others deserve more discovery about the court's jurisdiction over their tort claims.

  • October 18, 2019

    PG&E Bondholders, Wildfire Victims File Rival Ch. 11 Plan

    Pacific Gas & Electric Co. noteholders and wildfire victims have filed a joint alternative to the California utility’s own Chapter 11 plan that would give the noteholders control of the company and victims an additional $6 billion in potential compensation.

  • October 17, 2019

    Creditors Slam $11B PG&E Proposal Over Calif. Wildfires

    Creditors blasted Pacific Gas and Electric's proposed settlement of subrogation claims stemming from California's 2017 and 2018 wildfires, saying it locks the bankrupt utility into an $11 billion payment to insurers no matter what direction the case takes in the future.

  • October 17, 2019

    Enviros Urge Judge To Block $32M Hawaii Sports Complex

    Green groups on Thursday urged a Hawaii federal judge to block construction of a $32 million sports complex that they say will harm endangered species and archaeological artifacts.

  • October 17, 2019

    Bryan Cave Atty Overbilled, Cos. In Waste Dumping Suit Say

    Construction companies accused by New York of dumping hazardous material into a Long Island town's park objected to a fee request from the Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP attorney appointed as special master, saying its questionable billing practices warrant cutting the fee in half.

  • October 17, 2019

    BLM Sage-Grouse Plans, Drilling Approvals Put On Ice

    An Idaho federal judge blocked the Trump administration's proposed changes to federal protections for the greater sage-grouse on Wednesday, putting the brakes on expanded oil and gas drilling and other projects that would impact the bird's habitat in several Western states.

  • October 17, 2019

    EPA Denies NY's Request To Control Ozone From Other States

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that New York state has failed to prove that hundreds of air pollution sources in nine upwind states are interfering with its efforts to comply with federal ozone standards.

  • October 17, 2019

    FERC Greenlights Grid Operators' Energy Storage Plans

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday largely approved plans by a pair of regional grid operators to make a place for energy storage in their wholesale electricity markets, the first move that implements the agency's landmark energy storage rule enacted last year.

  • October 17, 2019

    DOI Says Developer Ire Misplaced In Mining Water Fight

    An Arizona real estate company mounted a legal challenge to a U.S. Department of the Interior decision the agency never actually made, the DOI said in a bid to shake off a suit alleging it greenlighted a well without analyzing its environmental impacts.

  • October 16, 2019

    Insurer Must Face Trial Over Duty To Defend Environmentalist

    Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Inc. will face a trial against a well-known Florida environmentalist over its duty to defend her in a libel case in which a $4.4 million verdict was entered against her, after a ruling for the insurer was reversed Wednesday.

  • October 16, 2019

    Limited Classes Certified In 2015 Exxon Refinery Fire Case

    A California federal judge has granted certification to two limited classes of property owners who say their air quality and groundwater suffered after a 2015 ExxonMobil refinery fire, rejecting arguments from the company that the residents' claims were too disparate to move forward as a class.

  • October 16, 2019

    Energy Trade Groups Look To Enter Keystone XL Pipeline Suit

    A group of five natural gas entities looking to intervene in the dispute over the Keystone XL Pipeline urged a Montana federal court Tuesday to reject challenges to a particular permit for gas pipelines, arguing that if the permits are deemed unlawful it would cause costly delays that would harm utility providers and the public.

  • October 16, 2019

    Enviro Group Says Hemp Co. Didn't Properly Label Products

    Hemp foods company Manitoba Harvest has failed to warn consumers about the levels of lead and cadmium in some of its hemp seed products, according to a complaint filed under California's Proposition 65 in state court on Tuesday.

  • October 16, 2019

    EPA Sued Over Paint-Stripper Ban's Commercial Exemption

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's partial ban on a toxic chemical contained in paint strippers illegally fails to protect workers, even though they face greater health risks through exposure than consumers do, environmental groups said in a lawsuit filed in the Second Circuit Wednesday.

  • October 16, 2019

    Exide Loses Bid To Halt California Penalties Via Ch. 11

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Wednesday denied battery maker Exide Technology's bid to bar California from seeking $240,000 in penalties related to environmental remediation efforts that the Golden State says the reorganized debtor has failed to fulfill.

  • October 16, 2019

    NM Judge Splits Gold King Mine MDL Into Three Parts

    A federal court granted a request by the Navajo Nation, New Mexico, Utah and more than 200 individual plaintiffs to split up a trial over environmental damage caused by a wastewater spill at Colorado's Gold King Mine.

  • October 16, 2019

    Judge Rejects Recusal Bid Over Ex-Clerk Working On Case

    A Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing a decades-old Clean Water Act lawsuit declined on Wednesday to step down from the case after a property owner objected to the fact that the government's attorney once clerked for the judge.

  • October 16, 2019

    Tax Frequent Flyers To Cut Emissions, UK Committee Says

    To deal with harmful emissions from airlines boosted by a small number of passengers, the U.K. government should transition away from air passenger taxes toward taxes on frequent flyers, according to a report from a U.K. climate change advisory group.

  • October 16, 2019

    Landowners Tell High Court To Keep Claims Against Arco

    Montana landowners told the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday pollution levels on their properties are still a problem and Atlantic Richfield Co. shouldn't be able to use federal environmental laws to shield itself from further cleanup costs.

  • October 16, 2019

    NY Judge Clears Way For Exxon Climate Change Trial

    A New York state judge brushed aside a bevy of pretrial motions Wednesday in the New York attorney general's lawsuit claiming that Exxon Mobil defrauded investors by hiding the risks posed by climate change, teeing up the bench trial for next week.

Expert Analysis

  • New Data Shows BigLaw's True Profitability

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    Based on an analysis adjusting BigLaw operating income and revenue to account for equity partners and taxes, the profitability of firms is lower than commonly thought, says Madhav Srinivasan at Hunton.

  • State Net

    In Most Court Battles, States Win And Trump Loses

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    Analysis of lawsuits filed by state attorneys general against the Trump administration shows that banding together has been a successful strategy for states — and that even when states have lost in court, their litigation has sometimes moderated administration policies, says Lou Cannon of State Net Capitol Journal.

  • Decarbonization Offers New Shipping Finance Opportunities

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    Adoption of internal carbon pricing and the Poseidon Principles climate framework by leading shipping lenders could be the start of financiers incentivizing shipowners to invest in cleaner technologies, says Niovi Antoniou of Reed Smith.

  • Why Trump's Orders On Agency Guidance Are Significant

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    ​Two recent executive orders ​​on the use of guidance documents by federal agencies​ represent a major change for virtually every executive agency ​and a historic assertion of the president’s authority under Article II to oversee the independent regulatory agencies, says Paul Noe, former counselor to the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

  • Opinion

    Courts Keep Rejecting Litigation Funding Discovery Campaign

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    As shown by recent case law, including a New Jersey federal court holding last month in Valsartan Products Liability Litigation, there is no "shifting tide" in favor of disclosing litigation funding arrangements, say Matthew Harrison and Stephanie Southwick of Bentham IMF.

  • How Emotionally Intelligent AI Could Assist With E-Discovery

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    While artificial intelligence has already revolutionized the e-discovery field, the development of emotionally intelligent AI promises to explore data in an even more nuanced and human way, thereby further reducing the burden on legal teams, say Lisa Prowse and Brian Schrader at e-discovery services provider BIA.

  • Is 'The Government Said I Could' A Civil Liability Defense?

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    A Virginia federal court's recent decision in Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards v. Red River Coal Co., clearing the defendant of liability for certain nonpermitted discharges, raises an issue relevant to any business operating in a highly regulated space: reliance on government regulators as a defense to civil liability, says Mitchell Morris of Butler Snow.

  • Preventable Risks Your Law Firm May Be Overlooking

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    Although most lawyers are well-prepared to defend or justify the value of an insurance claim for clients, often law firms have not clearly identified their own potential liabilities, planned for adequate insurance or established prudent internal risk management practices, says Victor Sordillo at Sompo International.

  • Pa. Ruling Leaves Room For Oil And Gas Reg Challenges

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    While the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania’s decision in Marcellus Shale Coalition v. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection upheld state agencies’ authority to promulgate oil and gas drilling rules, the decision made clear that the rules themselves are not immune from judicial scrutiny, says Michael Aceto of Goldberg Segalla.

  • Insurance Cases Illuminate Business Interruption Disputes

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    A growing body of insurance case law provides that in instances of widespread destruction caused by natural disasters, policyholders are not required to prove their contingent business interruption losses on a supplier-by-supplier or customer-by-customer basis, but subtle differences in policy language can significantly impact coverage, say Barry Buchman and Greg Van Houten of Haynes and Boone.

  • 6 Ethics Tips For Attorneys Making Lateral Transfers

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    With lateral transfers between law firms on the rise, it is more important than ever for partners to understand the steps they must take to adhere to ethics rules and other requirements when making a transition, say attorneys at Harris Wiltshire.

  • Bulb Efficiency Rollback May Lead To Regulatory Patchwork

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    The U.S. Department of Energy asserts that its recent withdrawal of energy efficiency targets for light bulbs has not triggered a statutory “backstop” efficiency standard, but its actions will likely prompt litigation by consumer and environmental groups, and implementation of stricter standards by some states, say Daniel Eisenberg and Jack Zietman of Beveridge & Diamond.

  • FERC Proposal Would Shake Up Renewable Energy Pricing

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently proposed major modifications to its regulations concerning the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, which could significantly affect the ability of renewable power facilities to require electric utilities to purchase their output — and the price that utilities will have pay for that output, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • Calif. Funds Wildfire Liabilities Without Punishing Ratepayers

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    A recently enacted California law that sets aside $21 billion to cover future wildfire damage claims and incentivizes safer electric utility infrastructure represents a successful attempt to balance competing interests, while putting wildfire claims funding on a firmer footing, says Allan Marks of Milbank.

  • EPA Misses The Irony In Its Calif. Emissions Waiver Rollback

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    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler criticized California's poor air quality when he withdrew the state's waiver to regulate vehicle emissions more stringently than the EPA. But California's air pollution problem was precisely the reason Congress provided for such waivers in the first place, says Seth Jaffe of Foley Hoag.