Environmental

  • April 17, 2018

    State Pushback Of Grid Policy Vexes FERC Commissioners

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners defended their unanimous decision to reject a controversial plan to pay coal and nuclear power plants for contributing to grid resiliency at a House energy panel hearing Tuesday, though they didn’t appear united on how to address resiliency amid rapidly changing electricity sources.

  • April 17, 2018

    Enviros' Claims Against Coal Co. Different Enough To Proceed

    A federal judge on Tuesday rejected Fola Coal Co. LLC’s attempt to nix environmental groups' claims that it has improperly discharged ionic chemicals from two of its mines in West Virginia into nearby waters, finding that the groups’ allegations are different enough from ones they previously asserted to move forward.

  • April 17, 2018

    Justices To Weigh Tribal Treaties Against $2B Culvert Cost

    The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a challenge to a Ninth Circuit ruling that could force the state of Washington to spend nearly $2 billion replacing hundreds of culverts to preserve Native American tribes' salmon fishing, a case that could see the high court set the standard for how far states have to go to tackle environmental problems in order to satisfy the terms of tribal treaties.

  • April 17, 2018

    Colo. Munis Hit Exxon, Suncor With Climate Change Suit

    Two Colorado counties and one city on Tuesday launched a suit in state court seeking to put ExxonMobil and Canada's Suncor Energy Inc. on the hook for damages related to climate change, increasing the flood of climate torts brought by U.S. municipalities against fossil fuel producers.

  • April 17, 2018

    Fed. Agencies Must Hand Over Emails In Keystone XL Battle

    A Montana federal judge on Monday told the federal government to cough up emails it has pertaining to the Keystone XL pipeline or create a log of materials it believes need not be turned over in a pair of lawsuits in which environmental and tribal groups are challenging the controversial project's revival.

  • April 17, 2018

    Wash. Tribes’ Fishing Boundary Won’t Be Tweaked

    A Washington federal judge Monday refused a request by the Quileute Indian tribe and the Quinault Nation to revisit his order defining their fishing territory so that a more generous western boundary could be drawn, saying the facts didn't show that the court had made an error.

  • April 17, 2018

    Calif. County Urges Justices To Hear Tribal Casino Land Row

    A California county has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its appeal of a Ninth Circuit ruling that backed the U.S. Department of the Interior's decision to take land into trust for a proposed Ione Band of Miwok Indians casino.

  • April 16, 2018

    Why BigLaw’s Partnerships Are Shrinking

    BigLaw’s brass ring has grown more elusive in recent years, Law360 data shows, and experts say a number of potentially market-changing forces may be at work.

  • April 16, 2018

    Dropping Ranks: Andrews Kurth’s Pre-Merger Dip

    Andrews Kurth Kenyon saw a more than 12 percent drop in headcount in the year before its February merger with Hunton & Williams — a story experts expect to become familiar for regional firms in Texas.

  • April 16, 2018

    Dropping Ranks: Lathrop’s Rough Patch

    Lathrop Gage lost more than 15 percent of its attorneys in 2017. Can a new managing partner help bolster its headcount?

  • April 16, 2018

    Dropping Ranks: Stroock’s ‘Shrink To Grow’ Strategy

    De-equitized partners. Contracting offices. Declining headcount. The leaders of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan say it’s all part of the plan — a plan that’s already paying dividends.

  • April 16, 2018

    Massachusetts Defends Authority To Cap Electric Emissions

    Massachusetts energy regulators told the state’s top court in a filing provided to Law360 on Monday that they have express authority to implement greenhouse gas caps on electricity generators, rebuking a lawsuit from power companies challenging rules set to take effect this year.

  • April 16, 2018

    Buchalter Hires Alcantar & Kahl Energy Team In San Francisco

    Buchalter Law Firm has hired a team of attorneys from Alcantar & Kahl LLP to join its energy and natural resources group in San Francisco, where they’ll serve as regulatory and corporate counsel to private companies on energy matters, Buchalter has announced.

  • April 16, 2018

    Watchdog Clears Zinke's Chartered Flights, Questions One

    U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s use of chartered flights last year did not amount to a waste of federal funds, the agency’s watchdog concluded in a report released Monday, but one of three reviewed trips, from Las Vegas to Montana, could have been avoided.

  • April 16, 2018

    Enviros Say Court Got Exxon $20M Pollution Ruling Right

    The Sierra Club and Environment Texas Citizen Lobby Inc. on Friday told the Fifth Circuit that it should uphold a $20 million Clean Air Act penalty against ExxonMobil Inc., saying the energy giant is incorrectly arguing their members lack grounds to sue over years of air pollution.

  • April 16, 2018

    Flint Crisis Suit Belongs In Michigan Court, 6th Circ. Says

    A Sixth Circuit panel ruled Monday that a proposed class action against current and former employees of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality over the Flint lead-tainted water crisis belongs in the Michigan Court of Claims.

  • April 16, 2018

    High Court Won’t Take DTE Energy Nuke Project Challenge

    The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to take up an environmental group's challenge to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision to approve DTE Electric Co.'s plans to build a new nuclear reactor at its Fermi plant in Michigan, keeping in place a D.C. Circuit decision saying the action was legally sound.

  • April 16, 2018

    DOE Taps Ohio Energy Lobbyist To Run Oil And Gas Program

    The U.S. Department of Energy on Monday announced that a longtime public affairs specialist and lobbyist for the coal and oil and gas sectors has been appointed to a senior position in the Office of Fossil Energy, which administers oil and gas programs and conducts research and analysis.

  • April 16, 2018

    Justices Refuse To Weigh Remand Of Flint Water Crisis Suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said it will not review a Sixth Circuit ruling directing that a proposed class action Flint residents brought against Michigan environmental officials over the water crisis there be returned to state court.

  • April 16, 2018

    EPA Defends Grant Policy For Scientific Committee Members

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defended its policy barring members of its scientific advisory committees from receiving agency grants while serving in the role, urging a D.C. federal court Friday to throw out a lawsuit brought by a coalition of scientific advocacy groups who claim the policy violates ethics rules.

Expert Analysis

  • Why DC Circ. Said Airport Noise Critics Are Out Of Luck

    Paul Kiernan

    What if they made a regulatory change and no one noticed? The D.C. Circuit's recent ruling in Citizens Association of Georgetown v. Federal Aviation Administration reaffirms the rule that the appeal clock starts ticking on the day a regulatory order is officially made public, whether affected parties had actual notice or not, says Paul Kiernan of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Why High Court Ruling Matters For Compact Clause Entities

    Matthew Tripolitsiotis

    The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that the United States could maintain a suit to enforce terms of an interstate compact — even where it was not a signatory of the compact. This decision offers clues about how the high court might deal with issues of compact construction that have gone unresolved for some time, says Matthew Tripolitsiotis of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.

  • Opinion

    How Climate Change Threatens The US Power Supply

    Sarah Jordaan

    Climate change is expected to expose U.S. electric power systems to extreme weather, sea level rise and changing temperatures, which may cause acute disruptions and persistent economic impacts. Without evidence-based energy policy, the legacy of the present administration might be power assets incapable of withstanding environmental threats, says Sarah Jordaan, a professor at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.

  • Opinion

    BigLaw Doesn't Have A Diversity Problem

    Marlen Whitley

    Although the lack of racial and gender diversity among the ranks of the majority of both midsized and top law firms is a major issue, it’s past time to shed light on the real problem — inclusion, or lack thereof, says Marlen Whitley of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Solar’s Achilles' Heel Opens Door To Exclusionary Conduct

    Andrew Lemon

    While the recent settlement between SolarCity, a unit of Tesla, and the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District leaves the legal question regarding the merits of SolarCity’s claims unanswered, from an economics perspective it's clear that discriminatory pricing structures implemented under the guise of “cost recovery” can snuff out nascent competition, says Andrew Lemon of Compass Lexecon.

  • How Federal Agencies Are Aiming To Streamline Permitting

    H. David Gold

    The Trump administration's infrastructure plan outlines various legislative reforms intended to streamline the permitting of infrastructure projects, and the administration has also taken executive actions to this end. But given limited agency resources and ambitious reform agendas, it may be a long time before these efforts are fully implemented and can benefit specific projects, say attorneys with WilmerHale.

  • Opinion

    Roman J. Israel, Esquire, Meet Donald J. Trump, POTUS

    Kevin Curnin

    Despite the Trump administration's desire to shut down the Legal Services Corp., thankfully the budget that Congress passed and the president signed into law last week has restored $410 million of funding to the legal aid organization. An unlikely brief for preserving LSC may be found in the quirky Denzel Washington film "Roman J. Israel, Esq.," says Kevin Curnin, immediate past president of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Keys To Corporate Social Responsibility Compliance: Part 4

    Michael Littenberg

    Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in litigation and investigations related to corporate social responsibility issues. Activity has increased not only in the United States at the federal, state and local level, but also in several other countries. Proceedings and investigations have involved many different statutes and theories of liability, say attorneys with Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • NY Slams Door On 'Unavailability Of Insurance' Exception

     Scott Seaman

    On March 27, the New York Court of Appeals issued a unanimous decision in KeySpan v. Munich, rejecting the so-called "unavailability of insurance" exception. This ruling sends a strong message that policyholders cannot hoist upon insurers responsibility for damage taking place outside policy periods, says Scott Seaman of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP.

  • Opinion

    We Need A Cybersecurity Framework For Law Firms

    Shaun Jamison

    In order to enable lawyers to best meet cybersecurity challenges, state bars should pass rules that adopt a cybersecurity framework to be developed by a national committee, says Shaun Jamison, associate dean of faculty and professor at Purdue University's Concord Law School.