Environmental

  • September 12, 2017

    9th Circ. Won’t Halt Ariz. Highway Project For Enviro Fight

    The Ninth Circuit refused Monday to stop construction of a Phoenix-area road project while environmentalists and a tribe challenge it on appeal, rejecting their arguments that the work needed to be paused to prevent permanent environmental harm.

  • September 12, 2017

    Insurer Slams Bid For Early Win In $50M Pollution Fight

    Westfield Insurance Co. asked an Indiana federal judge Monday to reject a summary judgment motion from the neighbors of a recycling plant who are seeking the insurer’s contribution to a more than $50 million judgment in their class action over pollution, saying that they have no grounds to block its policy defense.

  • September 12, 2017

    Insurer Can't Duck Egg Producer's Bid For $2M After Bird Flu

    A Minnesota federal judge found Tuesday that Illinois Union Insurance Co. can’t duck out of paying a Midwest egg farm operator up to $2 million for the replacement of more than 8 million chickens in the wake of a bird flu outbreak.

  • September 12, 2017

    10th Circ. Freezes Utah Haze Fight After EPA Revisits Regs

    The Tenth Circuit on Monday paused a federal plan to reduce haze in Utah that would require major upgrades to two coal-fired power plants, saying it wouldn’t waste its time considering the plan now that it's under review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • September 12, 2017

    No Stay For High Court Bid In Navajo Right-Of-Way Suit

    A New Mexico federal judge on Monday rejected a bid to continue a pause on two combined cases about the operation of a crucial transmission line over land allotments partly owned by members of the Navajo Nation, saying the state utility operating the line failed to show good cause to extend the stay.

  • September 12, 2017

    Enviros Say 3rd Circ. Got Pa. Pipeline Permit Ruling Wrong

    The Delaware Riverkeeper Network on Tuesday urged the Third Circuit to reconsider its backing of Pennsylvania water permits for a Kinder Morgan unit's $143 million natural gas pipeline project, saying the ruling clearly conflicts with an earlier decision upholding a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for the project.

  • September 12, 2017

    Quebec Environmentalists Urge ICSID To Toss Driller's Claim

    The Quebec Center of Environmental Law urged an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes tribunal to reject a U.S. natural gas driller’s request for $103.6 million in damages related to oil exploration permits after the province banned drilling beneath the St. Lawrence River, arguing that it’s settled international law that governments can act to protect the public interest even if the issue isn’t scientifically settled.

  • September 12, 2017

    Top NY Court Won't Take Up Exxon Climate Subpoena Appeal

    New York's highest court on Tuesday rejected ExxonMobil's appeal of rulings ordering its outside auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to comply with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's subpoena for documents as part of his climate change probe of Exxon, documents that Exxon asserted were subject to accountant-client privilege under Texas law.

  • September 12, 2017

    DOE, Enviro Group Denied Quick Wins By Judge In FOIA Suit

    A D.C. federal judge on Monday shot down competing bids for quick wins in an environmental group’s lawsuit seeking to force the U.S. Department of Energy to release records concerning a Mississippi power plant, finding that material factual issues still remain.

  • September 11, 2017

    Waters Of US Rule Challengers Slam EPA, Corps In High Court

    Industry groups, states and environmental organizations on Monday told the U.S. Supreme Court that the federal government is relying on flimsy, erroneous legal theories to support its contention that challenges to its controversial Waters of the U.S. rule belong in federal appellate rather than district courts.

  • September 11, 2017

    Dairy Co. Loses Bid For Manure Contamination Suit Coverage

    A group of insurance companies don't have to cover a large-scale dairy operation's costs to defend or settle a lawsuit alleging its inadequate manure disposal methods caused groundwater contamination, a Washington federal judge ruled Monday, finding that coverage is barred under a pollution exclusion in the insurers' policies.

  • September 11, 2017

    6th Circ. Says Flint Water Crisis Suit Belongs In State Court

    A split Sixth Circuit on Monday directed that litigation against Michigan environmental officials over the Flint water crisis be returned to state court, breaking down brick by brick the officials’ argument that their work was carried out under federal orders.

  • September 11, 2017

    Utility Asks Justices To Rule On Immunity In SolarCity Case

    An Arizona utility has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Ninth Circuit ruling that refused it an immediate appeal of a lower court’s determination that the utility wasn’t immune from SolarCity Corp.’s antitrust suit, arguing the case would address an important threshold issue and resolve a circuit split.

  • September 11, 2017

    Ariz. Power Plant, Navajo Mine Immune To Suit, Judge Says

    An Arizona federal judge on Monday tossed a lawsuit in which a handful of groups claim the federal government flouted environmental laws by approving continued, expanded operations of the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant and a mine on Navajo land that helps feed it, finding the mine owner has sovereign immunity.

  • September 11, 2017

    NLRB Judge Finds Fault With SolarCity Arbitration Pacts

    A National Labor Relations Board judge ruled Friday that SolarCity Corp. illegally maintained arbitration agreements that workers could think restrict their right to file unfair labor practice charges with the board.

  • September 11, 2017

    China Aims To End Sale, Production Of Gas-Powered Cars

    China is planning to phase out the manufacture and sale of vehicles running on gasoline and diesel, a government official said at an automobile forum this weekend, according to state-run media outlet Xinhua.

  • September 11, 2017

    High Court Asked To Review EPA Sewage Rule Challenge

    An industry coalition has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by the D.C. Circuit not to hear their challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's refusal to apply an Eighth Circuit finding that the agency improperly crafted water pollution rules to states outside the Eighth Circuit's jurisdiction.

  • September 11, 2017

    Schulte Roth Seeks $5.4M For Maxus Creditor Work

    Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP sought approval Friday for $5.4 million in fees for representing the official unsecured creditors committee in defunct oil company Maxus Energy Corp.'s 13-month bankruptcy proceeding.

  • September 11, 2017

    Enviros Ask Judge To Save Keystone Pipeline Suit

    Environmental groups on Friday pushed back at TransCanada and the U.S. Department of State’s continued efforts to toss litigation brought under the Endangered Species Act over the government’s revival of the Keystone XL Pipeline project, telling a Montana federal judge that the permit approvals are not exempt from judicial action.

  • September 11, 2017

    NIGC Deal Lets Nooksack Tribe Reopen Casino, Avoid Fine

    The Nooksack Indian Tribe reopened its casino in Washington state on Saturday after reaching an agreement with the National Indian Gaming Commission to lift the agency's June closure order for the facility, a deal that will also allow the tribe to dodge a $13 million fine.

Expert Analysis

  • How The IPad Can Be A Litigator's Best Friend

    Paul Kiesel

    New mobile computing tools — both hardware and applications — are changing the technology paradigm for legal practitioners. In particular, the combination of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil and the LiquidText annotation app can revolutionize both trial preparation and courtroom litigating, says attorney Paul Kiesel, in his latest review of tech trends.

  • Series

    Notes From A Law Firm Chief Privacy Officer: CPO Vs. CISO

    Mark McCreary

    To understand the role of the law firm chief privacy officer — and why that person ought to be a lawyer — it’s important to distinguish the role they fill from that of the chief information security officer, says Mark McCreary, chief privacy officer for Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • How To Transfer Your Water Rights In Nevada

    Michael Van Zandt

    When you transfer your water right in Nevada, you potentially expose your right to attack not only by other water right owners in the vicinity, but also by the Nevada state engineer who may question whether your right is invalid, if it has expired or if it isn't in the quantity that you think it should be, says Michael Van Zandt of Hanson Bridget LLP.

  • 5 Questions To Ask Before Entering Joint-Representation AFA

    Natalie Hanlon Leh

    One growing trend is for clients to enter into alternative fee arrangements in which one law firm represents multiple parties who “share” fees and costs in a related matter. This way parties can more efficiently manage a matter and reduce their individual legal fees. But joint representation is not without its own risks and challenges, say attorneys with WilmerHale.

  • Legal Incubators Can Help New Lawyers And Society

    Martin Pritikin

    Legal incubators serve as an important bridge to practice and a crucial step toward aligning the incentives of new lawyers with the needs of their clients. They may even pose a threat to the traditional law school model itself, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, says Martin Pritikin, dean of Concord Law School at Kaplan University.

  • Storytelling In The Age Of Emojis

    Adam Bloomberg

    Being a truly effective trial attorney is as much about building a case as it is about playing to your audience of jurors. So if jurors are constantly relying on pictures to connect outside the courtroom, it is time to begin speaking to them in this new language, says Adam Bloomberg of Litigation Insights Inc.

  • Insights On Calif. High Court's CEQA Opinion In Rail Row

    Arthur Coon

    The California Supreme Court's recent decision in Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority avoids stating a broad bright-line legal rule. Rather, it resolves a narrow legal issue regarding state entity-owned lines and projects, while leaving other issues about the scope of federal preemption of the California Environmental Quality Act unanswered, says Arthur Coon of Miller Starr Regalia.

  • A 6-Step Guide To Tribal Consultation Under CEQA

    Brett Moore

    Although a technical advisory recently issued by the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research provided a succinct summary of timelines under Assembly Bill 52 — which broadened tribal consultation requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act — comments from the Native American Heritage Commission indicate it recommends beginning the process as early as possible, says Brett Moore of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP.

  • How To Prioritize Your Law Firm's Crisis Response Plan

    Michelle Samuels

    If the media is going to cover your law firm’s crisis, they are going to cover it with or without your firm’s input. But your involvement can help shape the story and improve your firm’s image in the public eye, says Michelle Samuels, vice president of public relations at Jaffe.

  • Weekly Column

    Innovating For Wise Juries: Closing Argument

    Stephen Susman

    In the final article in this series on proposed innovations to the American jury trial, Stephen Susman, Richard Lorren Jolly and Dr. Roy Futterman of the NYU School of Law Civil Jury Project sum up the improvements they believe the U.S. jury system desperately needs.