Environmental

  • January 16, 2018

    Exxon Insists Climate Change Speech Claims Are Valid

    ExxonMobil told a judge Friday it has made its case that climate change probes launched by the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts violate its free speech rights, documenting meetings between New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and climate activists to bolster its argument.

  • January 16, 2018

    BP Expects Higher Charges Related To Deepwater Claims

    BP said Tuesday it anticipates a $1.7 billion charge in its 2017 fourth-quarter financial results, reflecting a greater value of settlement claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill and the Fifth Circuit’s May rejection of most of the formula the company was using to calculate economic losses from the disaster.

  • January 12, 2018

    The Firms That Dominated In 2017

    Law360’s Firms of the Year rose above the competition with a combined 24 Practice Group of the Year awards after helping their clients win game-changing judgments and close record-breaking deals in 2017. Here’s a closer look at how they landed at the top.

  • January 12, 2018

    Law360 Names Practice Groups Of The Year

    Law360 congratulates the winners of its 2017 Practice Group of the Year awards, which honor the law firms behind the litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry in the past year.

  • January 12, 2018

    VW, Porsche Cut $235M Canadian Emissions Deal

    Volkswagen Canada, Audi and Porsche have agreed to pay CA$293 million ($235 million) to resolve class claims alleging they rigged vehicles to cheat emissions tests and to end the Competition Bureau’s probe into their marketing practices, tacking millions onto the $25 billion that Volkswagen has already agreed to pay in settlements over its vehicles' emissions, the bureau announced Friday.

  • January 12, 2018

    Researcher Sues EPA For Access To Officials’ Emails

    An environmental researcher and Harvard University librarian on Friday sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging it has improperly withheld emails he requested between Administrator Scott Pruitt and his chief of staff, as well as other employees.

  • January 12, 2018

    Coastal Senators Seek Ban On Drilling In Northeastern US

    A bipartisan congressional delegation representing the northeastern U.S. this week mounted legislative action aiming to shield the nation’s pre-eminent fishing region from a White House plan that would open nearly all American waters to oil and gas drilling next year.

  • January 12, 2018

    11th Circ. Says Seaquarium Orca Not Harmed By Conditions

    The Eleventh Circuit on Friday upheld a district court’s ruling that the Miami Seaquarium’s treatment of a captive orca named Lolita doesn’t seriously threaten her life, dealing a loss to animal rights groups that argued the creature’s captivity is illegal under the Endangered Species Act.

  • January 12, 2018

    Pa. Court Limits Review Over State's Use Of Gas Lease Funds

    Following a landmark Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling last year limiting the state’s use of payments from gas leases on public lands, a panel of judges has said that further review in the dispute will not include whether the funds can be put toward a conservation agency’s operating costs.

  • January 12, 2018

    Treasury Lowballed Wind Farm Grants, Fed. Circ. Hears

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury should include a wind farm's tax benefits in its fair market value for the purposes of calculating its Section 1603 energy cash grants, just as mortgage deductions are accounted for in the sales price of a house, an attorney for Alta Wind Energy Center told the Federal Circuit on Friday.

  • January 12, 2018

    Ohio Presses ETP For Info To Thwart Another Pipeline Spill

    The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency asked Energy Transfer Partners LP on Thursday for information about when the pipeline operator will fill a pilot hole that the agency worries could lead to a spill of drilling fluid similar to the one that prompted the state's recent lawsuit.

  • January 12, 2018

    State Objections May Mean Rough Seas For DOI Drilling Plan

    The U.S. Department of the Interior's recently announced plan to open nearly all federal waters to oil and gas drilling was likely to draw legal pushback from coastal states right out of the gate, but critics got added ammunition on Jan. 9 when the Interior secretary declared Florida exempt from the controversial proposal.

  • January 12, 2018

    GOP Enviro Leaders Support Clean Power Plan Rollback

    A group of Senate Republicans told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a letter on Friday that they were on board with the agency’s proposal to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, saying the plan would be disastrous for American communities and jobs.

  • January 12, 2018

    Texas Oil Refinery Must Face Enviros' CAA Emissions Suit

    A Texas federal judge on Thursday refused to dump a suit that alleges Pasadena Refining System Inc. is violating the Clean Air Act by spewing toxic chemicals from its oil refinery, saying the environmental groups that brought the suit have adequately alleged harm from the refinery's emissions.

  • January 12, 2018

    High Court To Review Tribal Fishing Rights Ruling

    The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to take up the state of Washington’s challenge to a Ninth Circuit decision ordering the state to replace hundreds of culverts to protect tribal salmon fishing rights.

  • January 12, 2018

    7th Circ. Upholds CEO's Conviction In Biodiesel Tax Plot

    The Seventh Circuit on Friday upheld the conviction of the former CEO of an Indiana petroleum company charged in a tax fraud scheme based on the sale of biodiesel, saying prosecutors had more than enough evidence to prove he knew what was going on.

  • January 12, 2018

    FERC Tells 2nd Circ. NY Permit Override Was By The Book

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told the Second Circuit on Thursday that its conclusion that New York state waived its permitting authority for a Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC project was based on a plain reading of the Clean Water Act that is backed by decades of agency implementation and congressional intent.

  • January 12, 2018

    Holland & Knight Hires 5 From Jones Day In Mexico City

    Holland & Knight LLP has hired five Jones Day veterans for its Mexico City office in a move that bolsters its roster of attorneys experienced in a wide variety of commercial sectors, the firm announced recently.

  • January 12, 2018

    Fracking Case Now Moot, Ute Indian Tribe Tells 10th Circ.

    The Ute Indian Tribe on Thursday told the Tenth Circuit that an appeal of a lower court order striking down the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's strengthening of regulations for fracking on federal and Native American lands should be tossed, saying the case is moot because the rule at issue has been axed.

  • January 11, 2018

    Laredo Defends Bag Ban Before Texas High Court

    Laredo should be allowed to ban single-use bags in retail stories, the city told the Texas Supreme Court in oral arguments Thursday, because nothing in state law prevents it from doing so, as a merchant's association has argued.

Expert Analysis

  • Catching Our Balance: Opportunities For ESA Reform

    Kerry McGrath

    When Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act, it emphasized the need to strike the proper balance between protecting species and allowing productive human activities. Now, the Trump administration has the opportunity — and seemingly, the appetite — to do more to refine the ESA program, says Kerry McGrath of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Ohio's New Practical Approach To Waste Management

    David Edelstein

    Ohio will soon join Texas and New Jersey as the only states to regulate “paint and paint-related waste” as universal waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The move is a positive change for Ohio industries from both an economic and “practicality of handling waste” perspective, says David Edelstein of Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP.

  • How 2 Devices And 1 Domain Changed My Practice In 2017

    Paul Kiesel

    The question I ask about new technology is how can it improve the quality of my practice — and my life? This year, the iPhone X, the Apple Watch Series 3 and a .LAW domain have proven to be great investments, for professional and personal reasons, says attorney Paul Kiesel of Kiesel Law LLP.

  • 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, I can look analytically at the Bartlit Beck fee model and make some observations on its pros and cons, says J.B. Heaton, founder of investment analytics company Conjecture LLC.

  • Opinion

    Jurors Should Have An Active Role 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 improvements to give jurors an active 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.