Environmental

  • March 17, 2017

    Ariz. Tribe Hits Gov't With $200M Trust Mismanagement Suit

    The White Mountain Apache Tribe has slapped the federal government with a $200 million suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, alleging the government failed in its trust duty to the tribe by mismanaging its money and the forests on its sprawling Arizona reservation.

  • March 17, 2017

    Polysilicon Co. Fears Loss Of IP In SunEdison Asset Sale

    A joint venture founded by a bankrupt SunEdison unit and a former Samsung subsidiary urged a New York bankruptcy court on Thursday to look further into its objection to a $150 million sale of SunEdison’s solar material business, complaining that its intellectual property is wrapped up in the deal.

  • March 17, 2017

    Fla. Phosphate Mine Projects Wrongly Approved, Enviros Say

    Federal agencies should not have allowed Mosaic Co. to expand four phosphate mines because they did not properly assess the expansions' impact on central Florida watersheds, environmental groups have alleged in Florida federal court.

  • March 17, 2017

    Class Counsel Gets $167M In Fees In VW Emissions MDL

    A California federal judge on Friday granted $167 million in fees and $8 million in costs to the class counsel representing drivers of 2.0 liter Volkswagen diesel cars who reached a $10 billion deal with the German automaker in the massive litigation over its emissions scandal.

  • March 17, 2017

    Exxon Shoots Back At NY AG Over CEO’s Climate Emails

    In a rebuff to New York's attorney general, ExxonMobil filed a letter in state court Thursday saying its ex-CEO Rex Tillerson did nothing wrong by using a second email address under the name “Wayne Tracker” and that the company was not dragging its feet in response to a subpoena over the oil giant’s knowledge of climate change.

  • March 17, 2017

    Former EPA Administrators Slam Trump Budget Proposal

    Two former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrators on Friday said that President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint will “take the environmental cop off the beat” and hamper valuable science work.

  • March 17, 2017

    Maxus Seeks More Ch. 11 Exclusivity Amid Creditor Proposal

    Maxus Energy Corp. asked a Delaware bankruptcy judge on Thursday for more time to poll creditors on its proposed Chapter 11 plan as the insolvent oil exploration firm ponders a competing liquidation proposal from its unsecured creditors.

  • March 17, 2017

    Tesla Nets $1.2B In Combined Debt, Stock To Fund Model 3

    Tesla Inc. said it raised $1.2 billion in cash, $200 million more than planned, on Friday through convertible notes and stock offerings to help fund its planned rollout of the Model 3 electric sedan, guided by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC.

  • March 17, 2017

    Chemical Maker Loses Appeal Over Biodegradability Claims

    A Sixth Circuit panel on Thursday denied a petition to review a Federal Trade Commission allegation that a chemical maker's biodegradability claims about an additive it manufactures were deceptive, disagreeing with the company’s assertion that the commission’s decision was unsupported by substantial evidence.

  • March 16, 2017

    Trump's Shrunken EPA Budget Would Also Hinder States

    President Donald Trump's newly unveiled budget proposal aligns with his promises to drastically cut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's funding, but would also make it difficult for states to step up and fill the gap left by a diminished EPA.

  • March 16, 2017

    1st Circ. Tosses Enviros’ Appeal Over Natural Gas Pipeline

    The First Circuit on Wednesday said it didn’t have jurisdiction to review a water quality permit for the proposed expansion of a Kinder Morgan unit’s natural gas pipeline system for New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut, after environmentalists “hedged their bets” in their own appeal by asking the panel to toss the petition so the state environmental regulator could assess the project.

  • March 16, 2017

    Pipeline Co. Can’t Sue NY Over Permit Delay, Judge Says

    A New York federal judge on Thursday ruled Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC can't challenge a state regulator's decision to hold off ruling on certain water quality permits for the company’s proposed $683 million natural gas pipeline while an appeal about another permit is pending, saying the pipeline maker hasn’t experienced an injury or imminent threat of harm as a result of the delay.

  • March 16, 2017

    Kan. Chemist Charged With Illegally Storing Hazardous Waste

    Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged the owner and operator of a Lenexa, Kansas, chemical lab of unlawfully storing hazardous waste as well as obstructing an agency proceeding, the U.S. attorney’s office said in an announcement.

  • March 16, 2017

    Sioux Tribe Asks DC Circ. To Halt Dakota Access Oil Flow

    The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe urged the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday to block Dakota Access LLC from letting oil flow through its nearly completed pipeline on a stretch of federal land in North Dakota, a day after a lower court refused an injunction based on the tribe's claims the pipeline would interfere with its exercise of religion.

  • March 16, 2017

    Vietnamese Wind Tower Co. Escapes Anti-Dumping Duties

    The U.S. Court of International Trade on Thursday rubber-stamped the U.S. Department of Commerce's revised anti-dumping duty for a Vietnamese wind tower maker, which was reduced to a zero percent margin after the Federal Circuit found that the agency had failed to adequately explain a portion of its calculations.

  • March 16, 2017

    Investors Say VW's Admissions Of Guilt Are Proof Of Intent

    A proposed class of Volkswagen AG investors on Wednesday told a California federal court to resolve some of their claims accusing the automaker of scheming to cheat emissions standards, arguing that the company acknowledged the truth of certain claims when it agreed to plead guilty to civil and criminal charges.

  • March 16, 2017

    Pennsylvania DEP Chief Blasts Proposed EPA Cuts

    The chief of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection ripped President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s budget Thursday, highlighting the elimination of funding for the Chesapeake Bay cleanup in a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

  • March 16, 2017

    VW Slams German Prosecutors After Jones Day Office Search

    A search of Jones Day’s Munich office prompted harsh criticism from Volkswagen AG on Thursday, as the automaker promised to take action over a probe into the law firm hired to conduct an internal investigation of the company in the aftermath of its diesel emissions scandal.

  • March 16, 2017

    9th Circ. Backs Tribal Right To Water. But How Much?

    A Ninth Circuit ruling backing the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians' right to tap groundwater for their reservation marked a key win for tribes, but experts say the still-unresolved question of how much water tribes may be entitled to in similar disputes may cause them to look for settlements in future water access battles.

  • March 16, 2017

    Congress Braces For Fight Over Trump's First Budget

    President Donald Trump’s first budget for Congress quickly set the stage for political battles over defense spending increases and domestic cuts Thursday, as legislators prepare for a potential government shutdown in fights over funding this year and next.

Expert Analysis

  • What FERC Can — And Cannot — Do Without A Quorum

    David_L_Schwartz_HiRes.jpg

    With last week's departure of Commissioner Norman Bay, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lacks a quorum for the first time in its history. Until the Senate confirms at least one new appointee, FERC’s ability to issue orders will be restricted to certain authorities delegated to commission staff, covering relatively common, uncontroversial matters, say attorneys from Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Law Firm Margin Improvement: The Long Game

    Jack Diggle

    For all the lessons learned since 2008, it's surprising that margin management remains so tactical, rather than an ongoing strategic endeavor, for law firms. The firms that will survive and thrive must invest in ongoing margin-improvement capability, which will combine enhanced business- and change-management skills and take a long-term view to drive out the more difficult changes, says Jack Diggle of Elevate Services Inc.

  • The Fate Of EPA's Fracking Study Under Trump

    Bernadette M. Rappold

    Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's final report on hydraulic fracturing's impact on drinking water may not be considered. But in carrying out the study, the agency laid the groundwork for future research by developing models and analytical methods and collecting critical data to guide future scientists, says Bernadette Rappold of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

  • 2017 Check-Up: Is Your Law Firm Positioned For Success?

    William G. Johnston

    Over the next few weeks, a slow trickle of news about one measure of law firm success — law firm financial results — will gradually become a flood as more firms open up about their performance in 2016. Law firm leaders would be wise to focus on nine factors that determine success, says law firm management consultant William Johnston.

  • The Missing Key To 3rd-Party Litigation Funding

    Tripp Haston

    Unlike other forms of commerce and unlike in other nations, litigation investment and funding in the U.S. is largely unregulated with few disclosure requirements. Where darkness exists, ignorance and mistrust breed. Disclosure and transparency in litigation investment and funding is the first and proper step to better understand this opaque dynamic in the U.S. civil justice system, says Tripp Haston of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

  • In Congress: Cabinet Approvals, Disapproval Resolutions

    Richard Hertling

    Congress this week will continue to move forward on approving President Trump’s cabinet nominees and disapproving federal regulations issued in the final months of the Obama administration, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Opinion

    President Trump's Pipeline Memos Send The Right Message

    John Povilaitis

    Regardless of the final outcome of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects, President Trump’s pipeline memorandums send an appropriate message that failure to timely review and make balanced regulatory decisions on energy project proposals is unacceptable, say John Povilaitis and Alan Seltzer of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • Opinion

    Trump Should Establish Undersecretary For Indian Affairs

    Brian Gunn

    The Obama administration opposed establishing an undersecretary for Indian affairs despite longtime Indian country support and bipartisan support in Congress. The Bureau of Indian Affairs currently lacks a meaningful voice in major policy and funding decisions, but an undersecretary would correct a decades-old power imbalance within the U.S. Department of the Interior, says Brian Gunn of Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC.

  • Strengthening EPA Water Transfers Rule At The 2nd Circ.

    Ronda L. Sandquist

    In Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Second Circuit issued a highly anticipated ruling confirming the legality of the EPA's water transfers rule. The decision is significant in that it strongly reinforces the legality of the rule and offers additional assurance to water providers that employ or intend to develop water transfers, say attorneys with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • WWII Contract Breach Decision May Open Pandora's Box

    Terri Oguz

    Last month, the U.S. Court of Claims ruled that the U.S. government must pay Avian Gas $100 million for violating the "other taxes" clause from WWII-era contracts. The potential windfall of this decision opens the door for thousands of WWII contractors to sue, but many of the top Fortune 500 companies already sued and settled the matter long ago, says Terri Oguz of Golden Seal Enterprises Inc.