Environmental

  • July 17, 2017

    DOI Can't Dodge Challenge To Calif. Offshore Fracking OK

    A California federal judge on Friday refused to toss consolidated challenges to an environmental assessment by two U.S. Department of the Interior divisions that would allow acid well stimulation and fracking off Southern California’s coastline, determining that the findings constituted final agency actions that could be reviewed.

  • July 17, 2017

    SolarCity Call Recipients Seek Court OK Of $15M TCPA Deal

    A putative class alleging that members received unwanted sales calls from SolarCity Corp. in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act asked a California federal court on Friday to grant preliminary approval of a $15 million settlement agreement to end the suit.

  • July 14, 2017

    Law360 Names Top Attorneys Under 40

    We're pleased to announce Law360's Rising Stars for 2017, our list of 156 attorneys under 40 whose legal accomplishments transcend their age.

  • July 14, 2017

    'Phantom Frog' Fight Tries To Hop To High Court

    Weyerhaeuser Co. and other landowners have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Fifth Circuit’s July 2016 ruling upholding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to declare 1,500 acres of private property in Louisiana a refuge for the "phantom" endangered dusky gopher frog.

  • July 14, 2017

    DC Circ. Gives EPA 2-Week Delay On Methane Mandate

    A D.C. Circuit panel on Thursday agreed to delay for two weeks the issuance of a mandate requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to lift a stay on portions of methane regulations for new oil and gas infrastructure, saying it wants to give the agency time to decide on how to respond.

  • July 14, 2017

    ETP Demolished Historic House Near Pipeline, FERC Says

    Energy Transfer Partners LP told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission it wouldn’t harm a historic building while constructing its $4.2 billion Rover pipeline project, then bought it and demolished it without informing the commission, FERC said Thursday.

  • July 14, 2017

    Asarco Attorney To Be Witness, Not Counsel, For Co.

    A Nossaman LLP attorney with a dual role as witness and lawyer for a copper mining enterprise in an environmental damages liability case withdrew as the company's counsel a day after defendant Union Pacific Railroad Co. moved to disqualify her, according to a filing in Idaho federal court Thursday.

  • July 14, 2017

    Hudson Tunnel Draft EIS Could Spur More Expedited Reviews

    The federal government’s swift completion of the draft environmental review for the highly anticipated $13 billion Hudson Tunnel Project for New York and New Jersey is a welcome sign that officials are delivering on promises to more quickly vet crucial infrastructure projects and shave years off construction timelines.

  • July 14, 2017

    Trump To Nominate Jones Day Energy Attorney To FERC

    President Donald Trump on Thursday announced his intent to nominate the co-leader of Jones Day’s global energy practice to two terms as a commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

  • July 13, 2017

    Judge Greenlights Some BP Investor Holder Claims In MDL

    A Texas federal judge has allowed a small number of institutional investors to move forward in their efforts to recover an expanded scope of damages under English common law in multidistrict litigation against BP Plc related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to an order unsealed Thursday.

  • July 13, 2017

    Ex-NJ Water Agency Official Gets 8 Years In Kickback Scheme

    A former high-ranking official and consultant with a defunct Newark water agency was slapped Thursday with an eight-year prison sentence in New Jersey federal court for his role in a scheme to accept nearly $1 million in kickbacks from contractors in exchange for giving them business, authorities announced.

  • July 13, 2017

    Calif. Justices Reverse Toss Of $200B San Diego Transit Plan

    The California Supreme Court on Thursday reversed an appeals court decision to throw out a $200 billion proposed transportation plan developed by the San Diego Association of Governments, disagreeing with the lower court’s finding that the plan doesn’t adequately consider future impact on air quality as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

  • July 13, 2017

    DOI Touts Support From Tribes, Congressman For New Official

    U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said Wednesday that a former department official will return in a key role at the DOI with the backing of Native American leaders and the Republican congressman he served as chief of staff.

  • July 13, 2017

    Judge's Tweets Don't Merit Recusal, 9th Circ. Says

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday upheld a $122.5 million California wildfire settlement, saying that alleged improper tweets by a federal judge were not grounds for recusal.

  • July 13, 2017

    Calif. Gov., Bloomberg Launch New Climate Coalition

    A new coalition of states, cities and businesses led by California Gov. Jerry Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are banding together to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in the wake of the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

  • July 13, 2017

    Monopoly Risk Led Judge To Block $367M Waste Co. Merger

    A Delaware federal judge on Thursday unsealed the reasoning behind her decision to block the $367 million merger of rival nuclear waste processors EnergySolutions and Waste Control Specialists, explaining that the deal would have created a monopoly and rejecting the claim that WCS couldn't have found another buyer.

  • July 13, 2017

    7th Circ. Axes Own Precedent, Moves EPA Rule Fight To DC

    The Seventh Circuit on Wednesday transferred an Illinois power utility’s appeal of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decision to the D.C. Circuit, saying the Clean Air Act’s “plain language” mandates the move and retracting a decades-old stance that let a similar appeal play out in the Seventh Circuit.

  • July 13, 2017

    Asarco Counsel Can't Play 2 Roles, Union Pacific Says

    An attorney for a copper mining company shouldn’t be allowed to act as both a witness and counsel, Union Pacific Railroad Co. told an Idaho federal judge on Wednesday, arguing that allowing her to do both would violate certain rules during a trial over liability for environmental damages.

  • July 13, 2017

    EU Softens WTO Proposal To Curb Fisheries Subsidies

    The European Union on Thursday offered a revision to its proposal for a World Trade Organization agreement that will cut down global fisheries subsidies, offering a transitional period during which even companies in developed economies may still receive government support.

  • July 13, 2017

    Agencies Missed Substitute To Pa. Pipeline, 3rd Circ. Hears

    The attorney for a Pennsylvania environmental group Thursday pushed the Third Circuit to stop a Kinder Morgan unit's natural gas pipeline project, arguing in separate appeals that the state’s Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers both overlooked a viable alternative when issuing permits.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Opinion

    Justice Kennedy's Moderating Influence On The High Court

    Nan Aron

    The guessing game around Justice Anthony Kennedy’s possible retirement is reaching a crescendo. Yet the speculation does more than fuel bookmakers’ odds. It draws attention to his pivotal role as the court’s swing vote, says Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice.

  • How Pennsylvania Made Water System Sales Easier

    Thomas Wyatt

    The capital costs and regulatory requirements of providing safe and reliable water and wastewater service continue to increase. Pennsylvania's Act 12 provides a valuable new tool for municipalities wishing to monetize those assets and redeploy the proceeds, and the recent sale of New Garden Township's wastewater system is a case in point, say attorneys with Dilworth Paxson LLP.

  • Weekly Column

    Innovating For Wise Juries: Juror-Posed Questions

    Roy Futterman

    One way to combat juror confusion and boredom is to allow jurors to ask witnesses questions. No federal evidentiary or court rule prohibits it, and every federal circuit court to address the practice has held it permissible, say Stephen Susman, Richard Lorren Jolly and Dr. Roy Futterman of the NYU School of Law Civil Jury Project.

  • Roundup

    FERC At 40

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    In 1977, the Federal Power Commission was replaced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the U.S. energy system entered a new era. This series takes stock of FERC's past, present and future.