Environmental

  • September 6, 2017

    EFH, NextEra Units Settle $29M Wind Farm Credit Dispute

    An Energy Future Holdings Corp. unit and a NextEra Energy Inc. subsidiary told a Texas appellate court on Tuesday that the parties have settled their $29 million dispute over wind farm credits and asked the court to vacate lower court rulings and dismiss the lawsuit.

  • September 6, 2017

    Nossaman Gets Veteran Enviro And Litigation Duo In Seattle

    Nossaman LLP has picked up two seasoned attorneys who ran their own law practice to bolster its environment and litigation groups on the West Coast, the firm announced on Tuesday.

  • September 6, 2017

    Goldberg Nabs Toxic Tort Team From Segal McCambridge

    Goldberg Segalla announced Tuesday that it has nabbed a seven-attorney team from Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney Ltd. to bolster its toxic tort and environmental practice group in Philadelphia.

  • September 6, 2017

    Senate Dem Wants EPA Records On Clean Water Rule Rewrite

    The top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is asking the Trump administration to hand over information related to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to repeal and replace the Clean Water Rule, after media reports suggested the agency might have left out key economic information in its proposal.

  • September 6, 2017

    FERC Eminent Domain Powers Are Unconstitutional, Suit Says

    A coalition of landowners on Tuesday sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C., federal court, claiming that the agency's pipeline permitting process unconstitutionally allows pipeline developers to seize property through eminent domain, a suit grounded in opposition to two major East Coast pipeline projects that FERC is currently reviewing.

  • September 6, 2017

    Enviros' Border Wall Suit Widened To Address Legal Waivers

    An environmental group suing to stop the Trump administration’s southern border wall plans expanded its lawsuit on Wednesday to attack the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s recent decision to bypass environmental requirements that are mandated by a slew of federal laws.

  • September 6, 2017

    Pipeline Co. Says 2nd Circ. Got NY Permit Ruling Wrong

    Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC asked the Second Circuit to rehear its claims that the New York State Department of Environmental Protection overstepped its authority when it denied the company a water quality permit for its planned $683 million natural gas pipeline.

  • September 6, 2017

    Gas Groups Urge 7th Circ. To Strike Down Ill. Nuke Subsidies

    Two natural gas industry groups told the Seventh Circuit on Tuesday that Illinois' plan to subsidize struggling nuclear power plants usurps federal authority over wholesale electricity markets and unlawfully discriminates against the use of gas as a fuel source for electric generation.

  • September 5, 2017

    Trump Taps Lawyers For EPA GC, Water Office Jobs

    President Donald Trump said Friday he intends to fill two key vacancies at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with attorneys who appear ready to help further his agenda of rolling back Obama-era regulations and curtailing the agency’s regulatory activities.

  • September 5, 2017

    Flood Victims Hit Houston, Harris County With Action

    Four Houston victims of floods following Hurricane Harvey hit the city and the Harris County Flood Control District on Sunday with a putative class action in Texas state court, claiming that the county deliberately released water from two reservoirs that flooded homes and businesses in the area.

  • September 5, 2017

    VW Gets Leg Up In State Suits After Wyo. Dismissal

    The dismissal of the state of Wyoming’s suit against Volkswagen over its diesel emissions scandal marks a rare win for the German automaker in the fallout over its so-called defeat device software and gives it a new weapon in fighting other states’ suits, experts say.

  • September 5, 2017

    3rd Circ. Questions Greenlease's Challenge Of Cleanup Costs

    A Third Circuit panel on Tuesday pressed Greenlease Holding Co. to prove how a Pennsylvania federal judge improperly allocated the majority of environmental contamination cleanup costs for a former rail car plant to the company given the “extensive” record of Greenlease's responsibility in the case brought by Trinity Industries Inc.

  • September 5, 2017

    Tire Cos. Liable For $11M In Iowa Superfund Suit

    An Iowa federal judge on Tuesday said two Titan International Inc. subsidiaries are liable for $11 million for selling buildings contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl in an effort to dodge their environmental responsibilities.

  • September 5, 2017

    Texas Justices To Review Personal Liability For Enviro Fine

    The Texas Supreme Court is giving the state of Texas a chance to argue that a lower appellate court wrongly allowed an officer of a limited liability company, who was slapped with nearly $370,000 in fines for environmental violations, a new trial by too narrowly interpreting the doctrine of personal liability.

  • September 5, 2017

    Sidley Austin Adds Hogan Lovells Environmental Partner

    A former Hogan Lovells partner who specializes in environmental law and who also previously worked for the U.S. Department of Justice has joined Sidley Austin LLP in its Washington, D.C., offices, the firm announced on Tuesday.

  • September 5, 2017

    FERC Snags Skadden Atty For New General Counsel

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday announced that it has picked up a decorated U.S. Army veteran from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP to serve as its new general counsel.

  • September 5, 2017

    Feds Say Tribe, Enviros Can't Add To Logging Project Suit

    The U.S. Forest Service urged a California federal judge on Friday to reject a bid by the Karuk Tribe and several environmental groups to add a National Environmental Policy Act claim to their suit challenging a logging project, saying that the plaintiffs' claims that there won't be enough funding for environmental remediation aren't new and will delay resolution of the case.

  • September 5, 2017

    $43M Peabody Pollution Cleanup Deal With US Gets Court OK

    A Missouri bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved a $43 million settlement between coal producer Peabody Energy Corp. and the U.S. government over environmental liabilities incurred by a Peabody subsidiary at 13 Superfund sites contaminated by heavy metal mining and production.

  • September 5, 2017

    DOI Secretary Zinke Names Members To Mineral Royalty Panel

    U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has named representatives from states, tribes, the energy industry and academia to a departmental committee that will advise the secretary about energy development on federal lands and potential changes to regulations, according to a department statement Friday.

  • September 5, 2017

    Credit Suisse Sheds Solar Energy Short-Selling Suit

    Credit Suisse International was handed a win by a New York federal judge in a proposed class action brought by Energy Conversion Devices Inc. shareholders alleging the bank pushed ECD into bankruptcy by manipulating the market for the solar panel maker’s stock through short selling.

Expert Analysis

  • Cybersecurity Risks In The Courtroom

    Daniel Garrie

    As cybercriminals continue to look for easy targets, the court system will surely enter their crosshairs. If judges and court personnel do not maintain proper data security and cyber hygiene, confidential litigant information can fall into the hands of a wide variety of bad actors, say Daniel Garrie of JAMS, David Cass of IBM Cloud, Joey Johnson of Premise Health Inc. and Richard Rushing of Motorola Mobility LLC.

  • Opinion

    Fossil Fuel Industry’s 'Tobacco Moment' Has Arrived

    Douglas Kysar

    Climate change lawsuits have been filed before, but the recent lawsuits filed against several of the largest oil, gas and coal producers by two California counties and one city are different than earlier efforts for three important reasons, says Douglas Kysar, a professor of law at Yale University.

  • 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.