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Environmental

  • April 18, 2019

    Tribe Tells Full DC Circ. Not To Rehear FERC Dam Dispute

    A California-based tribe on Wednesday urged the full D.C. Circuit to reject a bid to reconsider an appeal panel's decision earlier this year that a one-year time limit for states to act on Clean Water Act permit requests doesn't reset if applications are withdrawn and resubmitted.

  • April 18, 2019

    Wind Energy Co. Urges 5th Circ. To Affirm $70M Award

    Renewable energy company Soaring Wind Energy LLC and China-focused investor Tang Energy Group Ltd. asked the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday to uphold the confirmation of their $70 million arbitral award over a soured joint venture, saying the lower court had the power to decide the action.

  • April 18, 2019

    PG&E Using Ch. 11 To Elude Rate-Gouging Claims, City Says

    San Francisco has asked a California bankruptcy court to allow it to press forward with its claims that PG&E is improperly squeezing the city on rates, saying the bankrupt power utility has been hiding behind the automatic stay to prevent a resolution.

  • April 18, 2019

    Gov't Says Trump Had Power To Shrink National Monuments

    The federal government continued to argue that the Antiquities Act gives President Trump the power to reduce the size of two national monuments, pushing back in D.C. federal court against opposition raised by amici in support of the tribes and environmental groups challenging the presidential proclamation.

  • April 18, 2019

    Tesla Investors Win Class Cert. In SolarCity Chancery Suit

    Tesla stockholders challenging Elon Musk's allegedly conflicted $2.6 billion bailout of SolarCity Corp. secured class certification in the Delaware Chancery Court on Thursday, moving the case toward a summary judgment argument in September and a possible 10-day trial in March 2020.

  • April 18, 2019

    FERC Acts On Pipeline Taxes, Grid Fees, Hydro Projects

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday rebuffed a bid to alter major revisions to its tax policy for pipelines, ordered a regional grid operator to curb some of its exit fees and sped up the timeline for licensing certain hydroelectric projects.

  • April 18, 2019

    NJ OKs $300M PSEG Nuclear Plant Ratepayer Subsidy

    The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on Thursday voted in favor of a $300 million ratepayer subsidy to keep three Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. nuclear power plants afloat, sealing a proposal mired in debate over how to incentivize clean energy while keeping it affordable for Garden State customers.

  • April 18, 2019

    Int'l Law Seen As Path To Fight Climate Change

    While critics are skeptical about using investor-state dispute settlement to address environmental issues, proponents caution against dismissing a mechanism that could ensure nations live up to their promises to promote sustainable development and mitigate climate change.

  • April 18, 2019

    EPA Mercury Rule Revision Slammed In Comments

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to remove the cornerstone of a 2012 mercury air pollution rule drew a fairly negative response in a public comment period that ended Wednesday, with a large industry coalition urging caution and environmental groups coming out strongly against it.

  • April 18, 2019

    FERC Approves 2 LNG Projects But Remains Split On Climate

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday approved two U.S. Gulf Coast liquefied natural gas export projects, but commissioners remain clearly divided over how the agency should evaluate the climate change impacts of such projects.  

  • April 18, 2019

    Attorney Can't Skip Discovery For Pipeline Protest Docs

    North Dakota's attorney general has said law enforcement agencies were right to deny requests for records of a 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline protest, concluding an attorney for a woman alleging excessive police violence must seek the records through discovery.

  • April 18, 2019

    Transco Asks High Court To Ignore Pipeline Access Case

    Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC has argued its effort to condemn property in Pennsylvania for a natural gas pipeline that had been greenlighted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was run-of-the-mill and did not need to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • April 17, 2019

    EPA Approved Roundup Based On Bogus Studies, Jury Told

    An agricultural economist told a California jury Wednesday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the weedkiller Roundup in the 1970s based on fraudulent cancer studies implicated in the wake of the “largest scandal of pesticides in the U.S.," in testimony that sparked dozens of objections from Monsanto's lawyers.

  • April 17, 2019

    High Court Gets New Bid To Consider CWA Pollution Liability

    Two Tennessee-based environmental groups have asked the Supreme Court to decide whether the federal Clean Water Act applies to pollution introduced into navigable waters through groundwater systems, pointing out that the justices are already considering the same issue in another case.

  • April 17, 2019

    EPA Flips Groundwater Stance Ahead Of High Court Case

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that the Clean Water Act does not require permits for groundwater pollution even if the contaminants end up in waters that are regulated, reversing a long-held position and giving the U.S. Supreme Court food for thought as it considers the issue in a closely watched case.

  • April 17, 2019

    Escape Hatch Remains For Judges Accused Of Misconduct

    Recent changes empowering judicial authorities to conduct institutional reviews of alleged misconduct after a judge retires are a step in the right direction, advocates say, but do they go far enough?

  • April 17, 2019

    National Park Service Accused Of Illegal Appointment

    An environmental advocacy group wants the U.S. Department of the Interior’s inspector general to investigate the National Park Service’s appointment of David Vela as its acting deputy director of operations, saying Wednesday that the appointment was illegal.

  • April 17, 2019

    EPA Rule Would Bar Reintroduction Of Asbestos

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule Wednesday that would prevent the use of asbestos in product categories like automobile adhesives and building materials where the hazardous substance had already been retired by industry.

  • April 17, 2019

    Northwest Cattle Ranchers Sue Gov't Over Water Rule

    Cattle industry trade groups sued the federal government on Tuesday in an effort to bring Washington and Oregon in line with 28 other states that have stopped enforcing an Obama-era rule defining which bodies of water are subject to the Clean Water Act.

  • April 17, 2019

    Colo. Law Expanding Oil, Gas Rules Gets Gov.'s Signature

    Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday signed off on sweeping changes to the way the state regulates oil and gas, enacting legislation that will require public health and environmental effects to be a consideration in approving new development.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Jury Trials Are In Decline For Good Reason

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    A recent Law360 article reported on federal judges bemoaning jury trials' nationwide decline, but these laments are unfounded as jury trials have been replaced by better alternatives, says J.B. Heaton of J.B. Heaton Research.

  • Series

    Why I Became A Lawyer: A Circuitous Path To The Law

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    Instead of going to college after high school, I followed in my father’s footsteps and became an electrician. Later I became an electrical engineer, and then an IP attorney. Every twist and turn along the way has made me a better lawyer, says Joseph Maraia of Burns & Levinson.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Conrad Reviews 'The Jury Crisis'

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    In "The Jury Crisis," jury consultant and social psychologist Drury Sherrod spotlights the vanishing jury trial, providing a fascinating canary-in-the-coal-mine warning for lawyers, litigants and society at large, says U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad of the Western District of North Carolina.

  • Revamping Your Approach To Client Development

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    As a former general counsel for both public and private companies, my advice to law firm attorneys who want to attract and keep clients is simple — provide certain legal services for free, says Noel Elfant, founder of General Counsel Practice.

  • Considerations When Using CEQA To Fight Land Use Projects

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    Two California appellate decisions demonstrate some of the legal missteps parties must be wary of when using the California Environmental Quality Act to challenge a land use project, says Stephanie Smith of Grid Legal.

  • Contamination Doesn't Always Justify An Injunction

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    Recent decisions by the Seventh Circuit and Illinois state courts show that defendants can defeat injunction requests related to liability for environmental contamination by proving that the problem has already been addressed, says Thomas Dimond of Ice Miller.

  • What Lawyers Must Know Before Acting As Escrow Agents

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    The moment an attorney agrees to serve as an escrow agent for a client, the attorney assumes some of the most important obligations in the legal profession. Significantly, these obligations potentially extend to third parties who are not clients, say Scott Watnik and Michael Contos of Wilk Auslander.

  • Tribes Well-Equipped To Sue US For Climate-Related Harm

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    While tribes are not currently among the groups testing various legal theories to seek relief from climate change impacts, they may be uniquely positioned to do so thanks to their trust relationship with the U.S., say Rob Roy Smith and Claire Newman of Kilpatrick Townsend.

  • NY Should Learn From Prop 65 Chemical-Labeling Regs

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    With its recently proposed Consumer Right to Know Act, New York has an opportunity to educate consumers about legitimate risks associated with chemicals in certain products. But lawmakers should avoid following in the footsteps of California’s Proposition 65 too closely, say Kevin Mayer and Michelle Chipetine of Crowell & Moring.

  • Opinion

    McNamee Should Sit Out FERC 'Grid Resilience' Ruling

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    If Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Bernard McNamee fails to recuse himself from adjudicating certain issues in the agency's proposed "grid resilience" rulemaking on fuel security, his participation in a final order could have serious consequences, says Richard Drom of Eckert Seamans.