Environmental

  • February 2, 2018

    High Court Could Rein In ESA's Reach In Frog Habitat Fight

    The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a timber company's challenge to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to designate a swath of private property as "critical habitat" for an endangered frog, a move some experts say could lead to the high court limiting the government's power to protect land under the Endangered Species Act.

  • February 2, 2018

    Feds, Tribe Say DC Circ. Ruling In Similar Case Backs Casino

    The federal government and the Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria told the Ninth Circuit on Thursday that a recent D.C. Circuit decision backs their efforts to defeat a challenge to the tribe’s proposed casino.

  • February 2, 2018

    Exxon Insists It Can Bolster Climate Speech Claims

    ExxonMobil on Thursday told a New York federal judge that it should be allowed to submit additional allegations that the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts conspired to deprive the oil giant of its free speech rights on climate change issues, claiming the prosecutors’ opposition “smacks of pure desperation.”

  • February 2, 2018

    Sunpreme Asks Fed. Circ. To Undo Solar Cell Duties

    Sunpreme has asked the Federal Circuit to overturn a U.S. Court of International Trade ruling on dumping and subsidy duties applied to the solar energy company’s hybrid solar cell imports from China, arguing that its goods fall outside the scope of a 2012 order.

  • February 1, 2018

    BASF, Shell Beat Challenge Over Contaminated NJ Property

    BASF Corp., Shell Oil Co. and related parties scored a victory Thursday when a New Jersey state appeals court upheld a lower court ruling enforcing a settlement that called for them taking ownership of a former landfill site and handling environmental cleanup costs there.

  • February 1, 2018

    Pipeline Developer Can't Take Land Yet, Va. Judge Says

    A Virginia federal judge on Wednesday said Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC can’t act immediately to possess nearly 300 properties in the state for a natural gas pipeline, saying more information on their worth was needed before the company could move forward.

  • February 1, 2018

    NJ Joins Support For Delaware River Fracking Ban

    Continuing his pledge to reverse New Jersey’s prior stance on several environmental issues, Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday announced the state’s newfound support for a proposal that would ban high-volume fracking in the Delaware River Basin.

  • February 1, 2018

    Lloyd's Wins Dismissal Of $25M Pollution Coverage Suit

    Waste collector Republic Services cannot press its claim that Lloyd's of London underwriters breached a $25 million excess policy by failing to pay the company's costs in connection with pollution at a Missouri landfill, an Arizona state judge has ruled, saying the claim is premature because the underlying primary insurance hasn't been exhausted.

  • February 1, 2018

    Feds Fight At 9th Circ. Against Water Release Order

    The federal government and others on Wednesday further urged the Ninth Circuit to overturn a lower court’s determination that the government must boost water releases and monitoring at a series of dams along the Columbia and Snake rivers to protect salmon and steelhead.

  • February 1, 2018

    Counties' VW Diesel Suits Could Spur Copycats, Judge Says

    A California federal judge expressed concerns at a San Francisco hearing Thursday that if he allows two counties in Florida and Utah to proceed with their litigation over Volkswagen AG’s “clean diesel” emissions scandal, it could set off thousands of copycat suits from counties across the country.

  • February 1, 2018

    Herbicide Suits Against Monsanto Consolidated In Mo.

    The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ruled Thursday that a series of farmers' lawsuits accusing Monsanto Co. and other chemical manufacturers of making a defective crop-damaging herbicide have enough in common to warrant consolidation in the Eastern District of Missouri.

  • February 1, 2018

    9th Circ. Ruling Broadens Reach Of CWA Pollution Liability

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday said that wastewater injections whose pollution reaches navigable U.S. waters via groundwater are subject to Clean Water Act permitting requirements, a decision experts say expands the scope of CWA liability to potentially ensnare activities ranging from coal ash and pipeline spills to agricultural runoff.

  • February 1, 2018

    Taiwan Requests Consultations Over US Solar Tariffs

    Taiwan has asked to join South Korea in consultations with the U.S. over newly minted U.S. safeguard tariffs on solar energy equipment, according to documents lodged with the World Trade Organization.

  • February 1, 2018

    Solar Co. Seeks $12M In Federal Clean Energy Cash Grants

    A solar company sued the federal government Wednesday in the Court of Federal Claims, seeking almost $12 million it said it's owed in renewable energy cash grants provided under the 2009 stimulus law.

  • February 1, 2018

    NM, Navajo Nation Fight EPA Bid To Stay Mine Spill Suit

    New Mexico and the Navajo Nation on Wednesday urged a federal judge not to grant the EPA’s bid to pause their litigation over the 2015 Gold King Mine spill while the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ponders whether to consolidate several actions stemming from the incident.

  • February 1, 2018

    FWS Must Redo Yellowstone Bison Analysis, Judge Says

    A D.C. federal judge gave a win to environmental groups Wednesday by forcing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct another analysis about whether the bison population around Yellowstone should be given special protections, saying the government didn’t properly explain why it rejected the advocates’ scientific argument.

  • February 1, 2018

    Sacramento Tainted Water Suit Filed Too Soon, Judge Says

    The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Wednesday tossed the Sacramento Suburban Water District’s suit seeking roughly $1.1 billion in damages for alleged drinking water contamination stemming from the former McClellan Air Force Base, concluding that the dispute is premature.

  • February 1, 2018

    Landowner Can't Overturn Energy Co.'s Win In Spill Suit

    Texas' Ninth Court of Appeals on Thursday denied a landowner's bid to overturn an early win granted to Samson Exploration LLC in a dispute over who is responsible for both the cost of a chemical spill on his property and the cost of pursuing legal action to recoup those costs.

  • February 1, 2018

    Enviros Sue DOI Over Tribal Land Swap For Road In Alaska

    A coalition of environmentalists filed a lawsuit in Alaska federal court on Wednesday challenging the U.S. Department of the Interior’s approval of a deal for a land swap facilitating the construction of a road across a national wildlife refuge, saying it was an unlawful trade.

  • January 31, 2018

    Exide Says Air Regulator's Claim Is Barred By Ch. 11 Plan

    Reorganized debtor Exide Technologies Inc. told a Delaware judge Wednesday that up to $80 million in claims being lodged in California by an air quality regulator should be barred because they were discharged when the company’s Chapter 11 plan was confirmed in 2015.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • The Science And Controversy Of Offshore Wind

    Brook Detterman

    As the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management embarks on several studies to better understand offshore resources and species, fishing interests have sued BOEM to challenge not only an offshore wind lease, but the process used to award leases and conduct environmental analysis. The future of offshore wind in the United States may be at stake, says Brook Detterman of Beveridge & Diamond PC.

  • 10 Things To Know About Native American Policy: Part 2

    Donald Pongrace

    Significant Native American policy developments to pay attention to in the coming months include the future of tribal coal and the next wave of politicians that will leave office in the near future, as well as how their replacements will address Indian Country issues, say attorneys with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in the final part of this article.

  • Land Use And Entitlement Diligence For Calif. CRE Lending

    Andrew Starrels

    Following the widespread construction boom in most California markets, commercial real estate lenders and their counsel find themselves increasingly asked to evaluate and underwrite the nature of entitlement approvals for development projects, but the state's web of land use regulations and sometimes overlapping jurisdictions can make that task complicated, says Andrew Starrels of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Cooke Reviews 'Constance Baker Motley'

    Judge Marcia Cooke

    Gary Ford's new book, "Constance Baker Motley: One Woman’s Fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice Under Law," is more than a biography of the first African-American woman to become a federal judge. It presents in vivid detail how her work altered the legal landscape of the United States, says U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke of the Southern District of Florida.

  • Keeping Your Law Library Relevant In The Age Of Google

    Donna Terjesen

    Google’s status as a go-to research tool has transformed legal research habits, leading critics to view law libraries as cost centers. Law firms should embrace Google-style research tools and manage costs efficiently in order to position their libraries as valuable assets for years to come, says Donna Terjesen of HBR Consulting.

  • 6 Things You Need To Know About Millennial Jurors

    Zachary Martin

    Millennials are now the largest living generation and comprise one-third of jurors. While it is impossible to generalize a group so large and diverse, trial lawyers should be mindful of certain generational differences, say baby boomer Lee Hollis and millennial Zachary Martin of Lightfoot Franklin & White LLC.