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Environmental

  • December 19, 2018

    Ohio City Seeks To Overturn $2B Nexus Pipeline Approval

    The Ohio city of Oberlin along with a fellow opponent of the $2 billion Nexus pipeline told the D.C. Circuit that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was wrong to approve the project, saying its need was overstated and it was not in the public interest.

  • December 19, 2018

    Trump Signs Tribal Energy, Salmon Protection Bills Into Law

    President Donald Trump gave his blessing Tuesday to a trio of bills with tribal implications, signing into law measures that will give Native American tribes more control over energy development on their lands, provide land for an Alaskan health organization and protect salmon fisheries.

  • December 19, 2018

    EPA Suit Over Exxon Terminal Would Be Futile, Parties Agree

    Suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a permit for a Boston-area petroleum storage terminal — an avenue suggested by a federal judge — will prove futile, so an environmental group will press on with its suit against Exxon Mobil Corp., the group and Exxon said Tuesday.

  • December 18, 2018

    Where 5 Top MDLs Stand At The End Of 2018

    The past year was a lively one on the multidistrict litigation docket as major MDLs over the opiate crisis and the Equifax data breach got up and running, while cases concerning a Monsanto weedkiller and a common hospital technology revved for early bellwether trials.

  • December 18, 2018

    Gov't Agrees To Dam Water Release In Fish Protection Row

    Washington state and several federal agencies have reached a deal with Oregon and the Nez Perce Tribe to ensure that endangered salmon and steelhead can traverse the Columbia River basin while the government works on a new environmental analysis regarding dams in the waterway, according to a Tuesday announcement.

  • December 18, 2018

    Kinder Morgan Unit Faces $5M Suit Over Chemical Spill

    Fallout from a chemical spill near a Kinder Morgan unit-owned pipeline landed in Texas state court Monday as two landowners brought a proposed class action claiming the company negligently released the toxic chemicals causing more than $5 million in environmental damage over 3,000 to 5,000 acres of land.

  • December 18, 2018

    Enviros Fight To Sink NY Nuke Subsidies

    A coalition of environmental groups on Monday asked a New York state judge to strike down a state program offering subsidies to prop up struggling nuclear power plants, arguing that the state's Public Service Commission violated the requirements for public comment and review.

  • December 18, 2018

    German Auto Co. Agrees To $35M Fine In VW Emissions Case

    A German automotive engineering company entered into a plea agreement Tuesday to pay $35 million for its alleged role in a long-running scheme by Volkswagen AG to sell diesel vehicles in the United States that use a "defeat device" to cheat on vehicle emissions tests required by federal law.

  • December 18, 2018

    DC Circ. Probes EPA Rationale For Obama Ozone Rule

    A D.C. Circuit panel on Tuesday examined whether a 2015 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule aimed at reducing ozone emissions can realistically be complied with and what criteria the agency relied on when determining whether permitted emission levels are safe.

  • December 18, 2018

    French Protests Highlight Difficulty Of Taxing Carbon

    French President Emmanuel Macron’s reversal on a proposed fuel tax increase in the face of violent protests has cast doubt on the political viability of wide-ranging consumption taxes that may be necessary to combat climate change.

  • December 18, 2018

    States Plan Regional Pact To Slash Transportation Emissions

    Nine eastern U.S. states and the District of Columbia on Tuesday announced plans to develop a regional cap-and-invest system aimed at slashing carbon emissions from the transportation sector, echoing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that uses cap-and-trade to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

  • December 18, 2018

    Keep Youth Climate Suit On Hold, Feds Tell Judge

    The U.S. government on Monday urged an Oregon federal judge to maintain her stay of a children's suit accusing the government of pushing policies that contribute to climate change while the Ninth Circuit mulls its latest bid to dismiss the case, saying the children haven't justified the need for a restart.

  • December 18, 2018

    The Moments That Mattered Most For Legal Ethics In 2018

    Anyone who thinks that legal ethics is a sleepy area of the law didn't live through 2018. The year saw major decisions about conflict waivers and defunct firm clawbacks, among other meaty topics, and enough head-shaking news springing from the special counsel probe into the presidential election to make one dizzy. Here, Law360 highlights some of the biggest ethics and professional conduct stories of 2018.

  • December 18, 2018

    Exxon Insists Bid To Halt NY AG Climate Probe Is Valid

    Exxon Mobil Corp. urged the Second Circuit to keep alive its bid to halt New York state's climate change probe, arguing the Empire State can't be shielded from judicial review of alleged constitutional violations just because it's now launched a civil enforcement case against the oil giant.

  • December 18, 2018

    The Year #MeToo Rocked In-House Law Departments

    General counsel from various industries were forced into the spotlight and held publicly accountable this year — either because they allegedly behaved inappropriately or were accused of handling internal situations poorly — as the #MeToo movement swept through corporate America and its in-house law departments.

  • December 17, 2018

    Ala. High Court Won't Revive State's VW Emissions Suit

    The Supreme Court of Alabama has upheld Volkswagen AG’s win in quashing a state government case against the automaker that claimed its installing engine software that disguised excessive emission levels was primarily a violation of state rather than federal environmental laws.

  • December 17, 2018

    Calif. Regulator Says PG&E Faked Records For Years

    The California Public Utilities Commission on Friday said Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for years faked gas records and committed safety violations after a deadly 2010 gas explosion and fire, adding that it is starting a new investigation into the Golden State’s biggest utility.

  • December 17, 2018

    2nd Circ. Revives Enviro's CWA Suit Against Recycler

    The Second Circuit on Monday revived the Sierra Club's lawsuit seeking to stop a New York construction waste recycling company from discharging polluted stormwater, ruling that the company's activities could be subject to Clean Water Act permitting requirements.

  • December 17, 2018

    Spain Says €128M Award Over Subsidies Can't Be Enforced

    Spain has urged a D.C. federal court to toss a suit seeking to enforce a €128 million ($145.2 million) arbitral award issued to international investors following a dispute with the country over renewable energy subsidies, arguing the proceeding is barred because there is no valid arbitration agreement.

  • December 17, 2018

    NJ Assembly OKs Using $50M From Exxon Deal For Cleanup

    The New Jersey Assembly on Monday unanimously approved legislation earmarking $50 million for natural resource damage restoration projects out of the state’s $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil Corp. over contamination from its refineries and gas stations.

Expert Analysis

  • Roundup Verdict Points To Jury Realities In Product Cases

    Matthew Gatewood

    A California jury was recently asked to determine whether the popular herbicide Roundup causes cancer. The case demonstrates how jurors often must draw conclusions on unresolved scientific issues, and how manufacturers that ignore complaints about product risks will struggle to overcome the image of corporate irresponsibility at trial, say attorneys with Eversheds Sutherland LLP.

  • Next Steps For Oil And Gas Owners If Colo. Passes Prop 112

    Brent Owen

    On Tuesday, Colorado voters will decide whether to enact a ballot initiative that significantly restricts oil and gas development. If Proposition 112 passes, owners of oil and gas mineral interests will likely seek redress for the loss of their valuable property rights, says Brent Owen of Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • Protecting Law Firm Talent At Both Ends

    Susan Blakely

    By 2030, it is possible that 75 percent of lawyers practicing in the U.S. will be millennials. A broadened focus on retention and advancement of all young lawyers is therefore a logical step forward but it fails to address another major retention issue that law firms should explore, says Susan Smith Blakely of LegalPerspectives LLC.

  • Q&A

    Wendy Olson Talks Twin Falls, Tribes, Private Practice

    Wendy Olson

    Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho Wendy Olson discusses her decades of experience prosecuting white collar crimes and civil rights violations, her work and challenges as U.S. attorney, and her move to private practice.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Brown Reviews 'Dangerous Leaders'

    Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown

    Anthony Thompson’s "Dangerous Leaders: How and Why Lawyers Must Be Taught to Lead" explores the conflict many lawyers face when charged with the responsibility of leadership. The book is an excellent read for all lawyers, says U.S. District Chief Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown of the Eastern District of Louisiana.

  • Breaking The Rules: 3 Ways To 'Lead' A Direct Examination

    Matthew Menchel

    Trial lawyers are frequently taught that they should appear invisible during direct examination — that their job is merely to prompt the witness to start speaking. But the most powerful direct examinations are the ones in which the examiner, not the witness, is controlling the pace, say attorneys with Kobre & Kim LLP.

  • 4 Years Of WIFIA: What Works, What Doesn’t And P3 Potential

    Roger Rosendahl

    Enacted in 2014 to promote financing and development of water projects, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act was initially intended as a five-year pilot program. Four years later, it is now a promising vehicle for water project development, says Roger Rosendahl of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.

  • Utilities' Build-Transfer Deals Spur Renewable Projects

    Sean Shimamoto

    Build-transfer agreements — where an electric utility hires a third party to develop and construct a renewable energy project, then transfer ownership to the utility — can create opportunities and challenges for developers and utilities. Some common themes have emerged from recent transactions, say Sean Shimamoto and Frank Shaw of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Why Enviros, Agencies Disagree On Safe Glyphosate Levels

    Lori Elliott Jarvis

    An environmental group is criticizing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their actions and policies regarding levels of glyphosate in oat-based products. Advocacy groups will likely continue to press the issue, with individual companies being pulled into the debate, say attorneys at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

  • Need Litigation Finance? Don't Skip These 5 Steps

    Molly Pease

    The process of applying for litigation financing isn’t difficult, but few do it right the first time. Following five steps in your application process will help make sure litigation funders are convinced of the value of your company's legal claims, says Molly Pease of Curiam Capital LLC.