Environmental

  • August 2, 2017

    3 Questions Environmental Attorneys Have About The ESA

    The Endangered Species Act gives the federal government powerful tools to protect animals and plants in danger of extinction, and the Obama administration took steps to use the ESA to beef up safeguards against negative environmental impacts from energy projects and protections for species that aid crop development. But under the Trump administration, how the ESA will be applied is uncertain. This is the fourth in a seven-part series on important open questions about environmental law.

  • August 1, 2017

    Ga. Tells Justices It Backs Dismissal Of Fla. Water Suit

    The state of Georgia told the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday that a special master correctly recommended denial of Florida's request to cap its neighbor's water use from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, saying exceptions raised by Florida distort the record and underscore a failure to prove its case.

  • August 1, 2017

    3 Things To Watch After DC Circ. Issues EPA Methane Mandate

    Environmental groups on Monday scored another win in their battle to keep in force methane regulations for oil and gas infrastructure when the D.C. Circuit again ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to lift a stay on the rule. But the war over the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back this and other finalized Obama-era energy regulations is far from over. Here are three things to watch.

  • August 1, 2017

    Sens. Propose Tax Credit For 3K Megawatts Of Offshore Wind

    Two U.S. senators on Tuesday announced a bill that would provide tax credits for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind facilities put into service, saying that the bipartisan bill would give the wind power industry the certainty it needs to plan future projects.

  • August 1, 2017

    Feds Blast Ponzi Conspirator's Bid To Trim Indictment

    Prosecutors told a Pennsylvania federal court Tuesday that a man charged for his role in running an alleged $54.5 million Ponzi scheme is trying to "twist and contort" the facts by arguing much of the indictment lies outside the statute of limitations on wire fraud.

  • August 1, 2017

    Industry Group Wants BNSF Tank Car Fee Challenge Revived

    A petroleum industry group told the D.C. Circuit Monday the Surface Transportation Board shouldn’t have rejected its complaint that BNSF Railway Co. wrongly imposed a surcharge for crude oil shipped in older tank cars, arguing the board's rejection improperly forced it into a far more cumbersome proceeding.

  • August 1, 2017

    Fuel Broker Can't Avoid Texas Superfund Cleanup Order

    Baxter Oil Service Ltd. can't duck an order from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality related to the cleanup of the Voda Petroleum State Superfund site after a Texas appellate court on Monday rejected its argument that the order violated due process by not providing notice it could appeal.

  • August 1, 2017

    SunEdison Takes On Appeal Over Key Ch. 11 Plan Agreement

    Attorneys for bankrupt renewable energy giant SunEdison Inc. found themselves back in court Tuesday, just a week after confirming a Chapter 11 wind-down plan, indicating their intent to expeditiously deal with and dismiss an appeal from dissatisfied creditors over a $300 million exit financing agreement.

  • August 1, 2017

    VW Says Clean Air Act Ends State Emissions Scandal Cases

    Volkswagen AG told a California federal judge Tuesday the Clean Air Act preempted state claims in a suit alleging the defeat devices that misled regulators about VW’s “clean diesel” vehicles’ emissions violated Wyoming anti-tampering laws, noting a slew of states were looking to see how the judge would rule before deciding similar local lawsuits.

  • August 1, 2017

    Judge Tosses Fiat Investors' Stock Drop Claims, For Now

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday dismissed emissions-related claims brought by investors accusing Fiat Chrysler of boosting its stock price by lying about the existence of “defeat devices” in diesel vehicles, saying that they failed to show how FCA officials “must have known” that FCA cars had illegal devices.

  • August 1, 2017

    EPA Forgives $21M Of Flint’s Safe Drinking Water Debts

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday it will forgive Flint, Michigan’s $20.7 million in debts owed to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, a partnership between federal and state governments to help pay for infrastructure projects related to clean drinking water.

  • August 1, 2017

    Texas Pipeline Co. Asks DC Circ. To Affirm FERC Approval

    A Texas pipeline company operated by Energy Transfer Partners told the D.C. Circuit Monday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was right when it concentrated its review on a small portion of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline system, arguing an environmental group’s objections should have been raised earlier.

  • August 1, 2017

    Democratic AGs Challenge EPA's Smog Standard Delay

    Sixteen Democratic attorneys general on Tuesday filed a D.C. Circuit challenge against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent decision to extend a deadline to designate smog-affected areas, calling the delay illegal and harmful to public health.

  • August 1, 2017

    Trump Names Ex-DOJ, Sidley Austin Attorney As DOI Solicitor

    President Donald Trump said on Monday he intended to nominate a former associate at Sidley Austin LLP with experience working in all three branches of government who currently serves as general counsel to a major wellness shopping company to be solicitor at the Department of the Interior.

  • August 1, 2017

    Texas Can't Force Yucca Mountain Decision, Nev. Says

    Nevada told the Fifth Circuit on Monday that it should not allow Texas to force a decision on a nuclear waste repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain, because it doesn't have standing to do so and is attempting to short-cut congress and the administration of President Donald Trump in the process.

  • August 1, 2017

    Jury Hits Lennar With $5.5M Verdict Over Construction TM

    A builder of tech-forward concept homes, including structures with environmentally friendly features, won nearly $5.5 million Monday in a jury verdict against builder Lennar over the use of the word “NEXTGEN."

  • August 1, 2017

    Rising Star: Alston & Bird's Meaghan Boyd

    Alston & Bird’s Meaghan Boyd has been defending a roster of big-name clients in environmental cases for more than a decade, including Colonial Pipeline Co. in litigation related to nearly 500,000 gallons of total oil that spilled and leaked in various incidents in Alabama last year, earning her a spot among environmental attorneys under 40 being celebrated by Law360 as Rising Stars.

  • August 1, 2017

    EU Anti-Fraud Office Finishes Look Into VW Funds Misuse

    The European Union’s anti-fraud office has finished its investigation into the possible misuse of EU funds and European Investment Bank loans by Volkswagen as part of the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal, the agency confirmed Tuesday.

  • August 1, 2017

    3 Questions Environmental Attorneys Have About TSCA

    Congress won plaudits from both business groups and environmentalists last year when it passed bipartisan legislation updating the Toxic Substances Control Act, and while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun rolling the changes out, observers remain perplexed about issues like how much leeway states will have for their own regulations to how businesses can protect their trade secrets. This is the third in a seven-part series on important open questions about environmental law.

  • July 31, 2017

    Texas Judge Won't Cut Exxon's $20M Clean Air Act Penalty

    A Texas federal judge said Monday he was correct to impose a nearly $20 million civil penalty on Exxon Mobil Corp. over allegations brought by environmental groups including Sierra Club that it improperly emitted millions of pounds of air pollution from a complex in Texas, ruling that the company should have voiced objections sooner and that penalties were correctly tied to Clean Air Act violations.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    The Future Of Law And The Demise Of The Midsize Firm

    Fredric Newman

    Since 1980, there has been a systemic supersizing of business enterprises, the growth of sovereign wealth, and the emergence of international businesses. The pressure this has put on national and regional law firms to go global or go home is enormous, says Fredric Newman, a founding partner of Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney LLP.

  • The Road To Standardizing Food Safety And Quality Dates

    Michael Cromwell

    A lack of clear federal regulatory guidance on the quality and safety of food is one primary reason food waste is such a chronic problem in the U.S. Another is fear of liability. But potential solutions exist, both in the form of proposed legislative reform and current legislation, as well as voluntary standards developed by the food industry, says Michael Cromwell of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP.

  • DAPL Opinion Highlights Pipeline Project NEPA Challenges

    Deidre Duncan

    Litigation involving the Dakota Access pipeline took another turn when a federal court in Washington, D.C., granted partial summary judgment to two Native American tribes challenging the environmental review's adequacy. The opinion touches on several issues with respect to agencies’ National Environmental Policy Act obligations for pipeline projects generally and oil pipelines in particular, say attorneys with Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • How Discovery Has Changed Under New Federal Rules

    Brandee Kowalzyk

    In December 2015, an amendment to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure was implemented with the intent of putting reasonable limits on civil discovery. The many subsequent cases that have applied the amended rules provide guideposts for litigants and practitioners, say Brandee Kowalzyk and Christopher Polston of Nelson Mullins LLP.

  • Weekly Column

    Innovating For Wise Juries: Pre-Voir Dire Questions

    Stephen Susman

    The simple practice of asking jurors important and substantive questions early can help make trial by jury a more reliable form of dispute resolution, say Stephen Susman, Richard Lorren Jolly and Dr. Roy Futterman of the NYU School of Law Civil Jury Project.

  • An Interview With Floyd Abrams

    Randy Maniloff

    It was a privilege to spend a half-hour on the phone with the nation's foremost First Amendment lawyer. Floyd Abrams and I discussed his career, his new book and what he sees in his free-speech crystal ball. And he was a very good sport when I asked if it is constitutionally protected to yell inside a movie theater: “Citizens United is a terrible decision and should be set on fire,” says Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP.

  • Bucking Tradition: NewLaw And The Coming Millennials

    Jill Dessalines

    Recent surveys show that law firms won't be able to rely on the flood of associates their business model demands as long as they require them to dedicate all day, most nights, every weekend and all holidays to firm business, says Jill Dessalines, founder of Strategic Advice for Successful Lawyers and former assistant GC at McKesson Corp.

  • State AGs Responding To Trump Policies: 3 Areas To Watch

    Michael Rossetti

    The federal government’s unfolding enforcement priorities have galvanized state attorneys general into action. We expect this trend to continue, say attorneys with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

  • 2 Diverging Standards On Disclosing Interim Financial Info

    Kevin LaCroix

    With the Second Circuit's opinion in Stadnick v. Vivint Solar, we now have a situation where two federal appellate courts have promulgated differing standards to determine when companies making initial public offerings must disclose interim financial information. The question is whether we have a “split between the circuits” of the kind that might attract the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court, says Kevin LaCroix of RT ProExec.

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: We Feel, We Decide

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    Despite legal education training and the focus on logic and reason by the courts, lawyers address emotional issues on a daily basis — albeit more indirectly. But a shift to consciously and strategically addressing emotions gives us a powerful tool to help our clients reach faster, better decisions, say dispute resolution experts Robert Creo and Selina Shultz.