Environmental

  • August 9, 2017

    Gov't, Chemical Distributors Sued Over Contaminated Water

    The federal government and a number of chemical companies have contaminated drinking water in Sacramento County, California, with a toxic chemical, according to two suits filed by water districts in California federal court.

  • August 9, 2017

    Beverly Hills Schools Lose Subway Funding Row At 9th Circ.

    The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday dismissed the Beverly Hills, California, school district’s appeal seeking to block a federal funding agreement for a subway expansion project that would route a train line under a district school, saying a challenge at this point is premature because money doesn't set the project in stone.

  • August 9, 2017

    Jury Awards $6.5M To Worker Injured By Gas Leak

    A Washington federal jury awarded $6.49 million on Tuesday to the family of a worker who said he was injured by a large release of ammonium by a negligent trucking company in an industrial setting.

  • August 9, 2017

    Mariner East Deal Allows Sunoco To Restart Pipeline Work

    A Pennsylvania judge on Wednesday signed off on a settlement agreement between Sunoco Pipeline LP and three environmental groups that lets the company resume drilling on stalled parts of the Mariner East 2 project while forcing it to re-evaluate the technical aspects of its work.

  • August 8, 2017

    DC Circ. Pauses CPP Litigation For 2 More Months

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday postponed litigation over the validity of the Clean Power Plan for 60 more days, granting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s request for more time to review its options about what to do with the Obama-era rule.

  • August 8, 2017

    GE, Others Must Face Contamination Suit, Calif. Court Rules

    A California appeals court has revived the Orange County Water District’s lawsuit seeking damages from General Electric, Sabic Innovative Plastics and several other companies for alleged groundwater pollution, saying a lower court was wrong to have dismissed the case.

  • August 8, 2017

    Enviros Look To Revive EPA Stormwater Pollution Permit Suits

    Conservationists urged the First Circuit on Monday to revive lawsuits accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of flouting its Clean Water Act responsibility to require stormwater dischargers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to apply for pollution permits.

  • August 8, 2017

    Trade Coalition Weighs In On Effluent Rule Case

    A coalition of trade groups on Monday added their names to those opposing a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s postponement of toxicity limits for power plant wastewater, telling a D.C. federal judge that the agency can exercise its discretion when suspending rules.

  • August 8, 2017

    Enviros Decry Forest Service Green Light To $3.5B Pipeline

    Green groups opposing a $3.5 billion natural gas pipeline planned to run through Virginia and West Virginia on Monday challenged the U.S. Forest Service's proposed changes to the forest plan for Virginia's Jefferson National Forest so the pipeline can run through it, claiming they violate federal environmental law.

  • August 8, 2017

    SC Sues US For $100M Over Failure To Remove Plutonium

    South Carolina on Monday sued the federal government in Federal Claims Court, seeking $100 million and alleging the U.S. Department of Energy failed to live up to its obligation to remove a ton of plutonium from an industrial facility near the Savannah River.

  • August 8, 2017

    Sunoco Facing Growing Pressure On Pa. Gas Pipeline

    A hearing set to begin Wednesday is the latest obstacle Sunoco Pipeline LP has faced in its battle to complete the 350-mile Mariner East 2 pipeline across Pennsylvania, and while environmentalists are unlikely to stop the project, they are gaining traction in forcing greater accountability from the company. Here’s a look at the tangled history of the project.

  • August 8, 2017

    Chancery Lets Pipeline Co. Investors See Oil Spill Records

    A Delaware Chancery judge ruled Tuesday that investors in Plains All American Pipeline LP can access records related to a nearly 3,000-barrel oil spill in California stemming from a 2015 breach in one of its lines, finding they had a credible basis to investigate possible corporate mismanagement.

  • August 8, 2017

    Tribes Urge Halt Of Dakota Access Pipeline For Enviro Review

    The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes pushed a D.C. federal judge on Monday to revoke the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ approvals for the Dakota Access pipeline and thus halt its operations while the agency works to fix problems the judge found with an environmental review.

  • August 8, 2017

    NRC Plans Fresh Review Of Yucca Mountain License Process

    A divided U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday that it will further examine its suspension of the application to build a long-term nuclear waste storage site at Nevada's Yucca Mountain, a move that a dissenting commissioner warned would indicate that the agency is reviving its review of the controversial project.

  • August 8, 2017

    9th Circ. Revives Calif. City's $31M Tainted-Water Case

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Monday slapped down a lower court's dismissal of Pomona, California’s $31 million suit claiming that perchlorate-laden fertilizer produced by mining giant SQM North America Corp. contaminated the city’s water, finding the court abused its discretion by limiting testimony by one of the city’s experts.

  • August 8, 2017

    Cabot Sues Attys For $5M Over Filing Of Allegedly Barred Suit

    Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. on Monday filed a $5 million lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court against two law firms that allegedly pursued claims on behalf of a local property owner that the lawyers knew were barred by a previous settlement.

  • August 8, 2017

    Wash. Tribes Ask Judge To Keep Killer Whale Suit Afloat

    Two Washington tribes on Monday asked a federal judge to keep alive their suit alleging the U.S. Coast Guard put endangered killer whales at risk by adopting a shipping traffic plan off the coast of the state without consulting the National Marine Fisheries Service, saying they've met the low threshold of harm for standing.

  • August 8, 2017

    DC Circ. Strikes Down Part Of EPA Rule On HFCs

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not have authority under the Clean Air Act to force companies that use hydrofluorocarbons in products like spray cans, automobile air conditioners and refrigerators to swap the HFCs out for an EPA-approved alternative, handing a win to chemical companies that challenged a 2015 rule.

  • August 7, 2017

    SunEdison Shareholders' Objections Put To Rest

    The New York bankruptcy judge handling SunEdison Inc.'s Chapter 11 case on Monday explained his rejection of shareholder bids to further probe the clean energy giant's losses, saying the company is “hopelessly insolvent” and that months of investigations and legal fights haven't produced any evidence of nefarious activity.

  • August 7, 2017

    DOI Sage Grouse Report Focuses On Energy, State Interests

    The U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday released a review of an Obama-era plan to protect the greater sage-grouse across its 11-state range in the West, and recommended reworking some policies to facilitate more energy exploration and production.

Expert Analysis

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: Clients Are Not Really 'Emotional'

    Gray Matters

    When you look at your client through the "survival circuit" lens, what first appeared as an emotional mess is now valuable information about what is important to them, what needs have to be met to settle the case, or what further clarity your client requires before moving forward, say dispute resolution experts Selina Shultz and Robert Creo.

  • Avoiding The Rotten Compromise In Mass Litigation

    Ted Mayer

    Product liability litigation is often resolved through compromise. But not all compromises are equal. If a settlement achieves peace at unknown cost, does not resolve the most serious claims, or permits new claims to be filed for decades into the future, it is a rotten compromise and should be avoided, say Ted Mayer and Robb Patryk of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

  • Having A Chief Privacy Officer Reassures Your Firm's Clients

    Rita Heimes

    When a law firm appoints a chief privacy officer, not only does the firm benefit from the crucial operational impact of a well-managed privacy program, but clients see how seriously you take your duties of confidentiality and competence, says Rita Heimes, research director at the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

  • Water Suppliers Litigation Is Making Waves In 2017

    Kelly McTigue

    So far, 2017 has seen some important movement in litigation involving water suppliers across the country. States including California, Georgia and Iowa are seeing pivotal moments in many long-running disputes about water-usage rights and water quality, say attorneys with O'Melveny & Myers LLP.

  • Methane Rule Decision Shows Regulatory Process Is Key

    J. Michael Showalter

    The Trump administration has placed regulatory reform — particularly related to environmental matters — at the forefront of its agenda. But the D.C. Circuit's recent decision on the methane rule demonstrates that the administration’s attempts to roll back regulations in unconventional ways is clashing with the mechanics of how the federal government operates, say J. Michael Showalter and Kaitlin Straker of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • Weekly Column

    Innovating For Wise Juries: Discussions Before Deliberations

    Richard Lorren Jolly

    To be sure, allowing jurors to discuss evidence before final deliberations proved to be among the least popular of our recommended innovations. But empirical evidence belies these fears, say Stephen Susman, Richard Lorren Jolly and Dr. Roy Futterman of the NYU School of Law Civil Jury Project.

  • 5 Questions Firms Should Ask When Evaluating Litigation AFA

    Gregory Lantier

    Law firm management should understand the client’s reasons for requesting an alternative fee arrangement, and whether approving the fee will help grow the relationship with the client, say attorneys with WilmerHale.

  • For Law Firm Offices, Business Savvy Is The New Cool

    Craig Braham

    Having embraced the notion that the right space can reinforce the right firm culture, law firm leaders have been evaluating real estate primarily for its physical properties. However, it's hard to be collegial, even in the coolest of in-house coffee bars, if your cost structure is untenable, says Craig Braham of Advocate Commercial Real Estate Advisors LLC.

  • The Best Documents In Your Case May Be From 3rd Parties

    Wyatt Dowling

    Cases are built on evidence and evidence comes from discovery. But discovery is largely a voluntary process. Serving a document subpoena on a third party can be an efficient and creative way to fill in the gaps that may exist in the productions of opposing parties, says Wyatt Dowling of Yetter Coleman LLP.

  • Planning A Legal Career With A Future Relocation In Mind

    Jacqueline Bokser LeFebvre

    Lawyers move to New York City to work on some of the most sophisticated work the legal market has to offer. This exposure and experience is an amazing asset and many of the skills developed will make associates very marketable in the event they consider relocating to another market. However, this isn’t always the case, says Jacqueline Bokser LeFebvre of Major Lindsey & Africa.