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Environmental

  • June 1, 2018

    Trump Subverts FERC With Coal, Nuke Plant Bailout Order

    President Donald Trump on Friday ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take immediate steps to prop up struggling coal and nuclear power plants, a move experts say will not only unleash an avalanche of legal challenges but could also undermine the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's authority over the nation's electric grid.

  • June 1, 2018

    EPA Must Cough Up Info On Pruitt's Climate Change Comment

    A D.C. federal judge ruled Friday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must fork over records underlying Administrator Scott Pruitt’s statement on CNBC that carbon dioxide created by human activity is not a “primary contributor” to climate change, blasting its “excuses” for not giving them to an environmental group yet.

  • June 1, 2018

    US Couple Say Dominican Ties Don't Doom $41M Claim

    A U.S. couple have accused the Dominican Republic of exaggerating their connections to the country to try to shake claims that it obstructed the expansion of their gated community, saying the evidence clearly shows their bond with America and thus, the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s jurisdiction over the $41.5 million dispute.

  • June 1, 2018

    Pa. Justices Largely Preserve Fracking Rule Injunction

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday largely preserved a preliminary injunction won by an industry group that bars state environmental regulators from beginning to enforce controversial new rules governing hydraulic fracturing operations.

  • June 1, 2018

    Feds Charge Five With Smuggling Tropical Birds

    The federal government charged five men Thursday with violating international regulations on endangered birds by conspiring to smuggle macaws, cockatoos, parrots and other tropical birds from Louisiana to Taiwan.

  • June 1, 2018

    7 High Court Petitions From Last Month You Shouldn't Miss

    From a $1.7 billion case involving Iran's central bank to a major question under the America Invents Act, the U.S. Supreme Court docketed a broad swath of cert petitions in May. Here, Law360 takes a look at the past month's most interesting requests for high court review.

  • May 31, 2018

    Residents Want Class Cert. In Exxon Refinery Explosion Row

    A group of residents who live near a refinery that released pollutants in an explosion in 2015 asked a California federal court on Wednesday to certify their proposed class in a suit accusing Exxon Mobil Corp. of negligently operating the facility and exposing those close by to environmental harms.

  • May 31, 2018

    Energy-Coupon Founder Must Dish On Merger, 1st Circ. Rules

    The Massachusetts founder of a company that promotes energy efficiency through utilities coupons cannot dodge deposition questions concerning a merger deal that’s given rise to two opposing securities lawsuits seeking a combined $70 million, the First Circuit has decided, reversing a lower judge's ruling in an opinion unsealed Wednesday.

  • May 31, 2018

    SC High Court Rejects Challenge To Water Use Law

    The South Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a 2010 state law that allows farms to use large amounts of water without obtaining a permit, handing a loss to property owners who argued the statute violated the state’s obligation to protect aquatic resources.

  • May 31, 2018

    States Say EPA Isn't Limiting Landfill Emissions Under Rule

    A coalition of states including California, Pennsylvania and Illinois sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in federal court on Thursday, alleging it has violated the Clean Air Act by failing to impose an Obama-era regulation limiting emissions from municipal landfills.

  • May 31, 2018

    Novozymes Escapes $7.5M Verdict In Ethanol IP Fight

    Novozymes A/S escaped a $7.5 million jury verdict in a patent case over technology to control deposits in plants that turn corn into ethanol, after a Wisconsin federal judge invalidated parts of the patents Novozymes was found to have infringed.

  • May 31, 2018

    Sens. Ask EPA Watchdog To Probe Pruitt's Real Estate Search

    A trio of Democratic senators on Thursday asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog to look into whether Scott Pruitt, who leads the agency, flouted federal regulations by having one of his top aides help him hunt for housing.

  • May 31, 2018

    DC Circ. Rejects RI Tribe's 'Premature' Pipeline Work Appeal

    The D.C. Circuit on Thursday threw out a bid by the preservation office of a Rhode Island tribe to have the court review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to let a unit of Kinder Morgan Inc. start construction on a pipeline expansion project in New England.

  • May 31, 2018

    Fla. Pipeline OK Deepens FERC Split On Greenhouse Gauge

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday approved the construction of an offshoot of the $3.5 billion Southeast Market gas pipelines project that's intended to serve a new Florida power plant, but FERC commissioners were once again divided over what constitutes a proper climate change analysis of a project.

  • May 31, 2018

    Drivers Defend Claims In GM Emissions Cheating Suit

    Drivers on Wednesday fired back at General Motors LLC's bid to purge state law deceptive trade practices and consumer protection claims from their proposed Michigan class action alleging emissions cheating in certain diesel pickup trucks, saying the automaker's scattershot attempt to pare down the suit misses the mark.

  • May 31, 2018

    Past Lien Suits May Hint At Case's Path In NJ High Court

    As a complex dispute over the demolition of a long-shuttered power plant moves to New Jersey's Supreme Court, anyone looking to speculate on its outcome can take some cues from the state’s history of protecting unpaid subcontractors, lawyers say.

  • May 31, 2018

    3rd Circ. Won’t Revisit Citgo’s $100M Oil Spill Liability

    ​The Third Circuit declined Wednesday to revisit a decision that made three Citgo units liable for most of a $100 million-plus oil spill judgment, keeping in place a ruling that said the refiner must repay the federal government for cleaning up the pollution.

  • May 31, 2018

    FERC Sticks To Timeline For PennEast Pipeline Appeals

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stood by its decision to stretch out its consideration of pleas to rethink its approval of the $1 billion PennEast pipeline, rejecting environmental groups' arguments that the delays are unlawful and allow the pipeline's developers to pursue construction unabated.

  • May 30, 2018

    9th Circ. Won't Revive National Park Service Receipt Row

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday upheld the toss of a putative class action accusing the National Park Service of failing to properly redact payment card expiration dates from receipts, ruling that the plaintiff had failed to link this allegedly unlawful conduct to subsequent identity theft she experienced and that the government was immune from such claims.  

  • May 30, 2018

    4th Circ. Won't Revisit Kinder Morgan Groundwater Ruling

    The Fourth Circuit on Wednesday denied a Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP subsidiary’s request that it revisit a panel’s decision reviving environmentalists’ lawsuit over a South Carolina gasoline pipeline spill, a case that centers on the controversial question of when the federal government may regulate groundwater.

Expert Analysis

  • Roundup

    Dissolving Practice

    Dissolving Practice

    In this series, experts discuss the unique aspects of closing a law firm, and some common symptoms of dysfunctionality in a firm that can be repaired before it's too late.

  • Calif. Case Shows Propriety Of Telecom CEQA Exemptions

    Michael Shonafelt

    A California appellate court's recent decision in Aptos v. Santa Cruz clarifies that "small cell" telecommunications networks in public streets and highways are exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review. This case comes at a time when the telecom industry and local governments both need certainty on the applicability of CEQA exemptions, says Michael Shonafelt of Newmeyer & Dillion LLP.

  • Series

    Dissolving Practice: How To Fix A Dysfunctional Law Firm

    Larry Richard

    I am often asked, “When there are one or more partner departures, what can a firm do to prevent this from escalating to a catastrophic level?” The short answer is “nothing.” Law firms need to adopt culture-strengthening lifestyles to prevent defections from occurring in the first place, says Larry Richard of LawyerBrain LLC.

  • Series

    Dissolving Practice: Partner Agreement Clauses That Can Help

    ​​​​​Leslie Corwin

    Given the competing public policies of protecting clients’ right to counsel of their choice, lawyer mobility, and the fiduciary duty partners owe to a dissolved firm, it behooves law firms to carefully review their partnership agreements to make sure they adequately spell out what happens in the unfortunate event that the law firm chooses to wind down, say ​​​​​Leslie Corwin and Rachel Sims of Blank Rome LLP.

  • When Are Minority Stockholders Controllers?

    Scott Barshay

    The Delaware Chancery Court's recent decision in a Tesla stockholder case shows that even a shareholder with a “relatively low” ownership stake representing a “small block” may be found to be controlling under certain circumstances, say attorneys with Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP.

  • The Time Is Right For New Jersey To Adopt Daubert

    Timothy Freeman

    The New Jersey Supreme Court may soon decide whether to adopt the Daubert standard for admissibility of expert witness testimony. The searching inquiry into the reliability of proffered expert testimony that is required by Daubert protects the integrity of the jury system by ensuring that jurors are not misled by unreliable evidence, says Timothy Freeman of Tanenbaum Keale LLP.

  • Series

    Dissolving Practice: The Unfinished Business Doctrine

    Thomas Rutledge

    There has been, of late, significant dispute as to the application of the unfinished business doctrine, particularly with respect to hourly rate matters of now-dissolved large law firms. And the California Supreme Court’s recent decision in Heller Ehrman, like others as to similar points, is highly questionable, says Thomas Rutledge of Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC.

  • Fast-Tracking Electric Transmission Infrastructure

    Keith Barnett

    The U.S. Department of Energy will soon conduct its fourth triennial congestion study, and may subsequently designate one or more National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors. Streamlined permitting procedures could allow any projects within those corridors to benefit from fast-tracked approval, say attorneys with WilmerHale.

  • 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.