The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday rejected a challenge by Kansas utility regulators to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of regional grid operator Southwest Power Pool Inc.'s plan to bring aboard two utilities without having to pay certain facility costs, saying FERC's reasoning was sound.
Nebraska landowners have asked the state’s utility regulators to reconsider their recent decision approving a section of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline, arguing that the company’s application only asked for approval of its “preferred route,” which was rejected, not the “mainline alternative route” that was approved.
Attorneys general from eight Democratic-leaning states, including New York, on Monday threw their support behind the Empire State’s plan to subsidize struggling nuclear power plants, telling the Second Circuit that the program is well within states’ authority to address air quality issues and doesn’t intrude upon federal electricity regulation.
Mistras Group Inc. on Monday asked a Georgia federal judge for a new trial in an attempt to undo a $7.37 million jury award to AGL Services Co. in its suit alleging that the contractor provided poor radiological services for a pipeline project, arguing that testimony in Mistras’ favor was improperly barred.
A D.C. Circuit panel ruled Tuesday that just the possibility of adverse regulation isn’t enough to permit North Dakota to intervene in court and challenge a consent decree with environmental groups under which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed to review and potentially update drilling waste disposal rules.
A group of employee pension funds urged a New York bankruptcy court on Monday to reject a construction contractor's request for $135 million in debtor-in-possession financing, saying the proposed creation of a new superpriority lien may preclude their ability to collect on a $76 million judgment against the company.
The fight for appointment of an official equity committee in the tangled bankruptcy case for some of Paragon Offshore’s drilling subsidiaries heated up Monday, with the shareholder pushing for its formation accusing the debtor of trying to whisk away value that belongs to equity holders.
Spanish construction firm Cobra Infraestructuras Hidraulicas SA continued its push to vacate an award in favor of an Italian engineering and construction firm, telling a Florida federal court Friday that the decision by the International Chamber of Commerce’s arbitration court to reduce the initial $23 million award by more than $5 million does not remove the alleged deficiencies in how it was determined.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Monday that he has brokered a deal with Enbridge Inc. to bolster the safety of an aging oil pipeline as the state mulls its long-term future amid concerns from environmental groups, local tribes and regulators that a spill could foul the Great Lakes and other waterways.
A New Mexico utility has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its bid to overturn a Tenth Circuit ruling that the company couldn’t condemn land for a power line because the Navajo Nation held an interest there, saying the decision could hamper infrastructure around the country.
Four states have asked the Tenth Circuit to allow them to file an additional court document supporting their request for the court to revisit its rejection of their challenge to an Obama-era hydraulic fracturing rule for federal and Native American lands.
Venezuela and the bankrupt Crystallex International Corp. secured a Canadian court’s approval Friday for a settlement resolving their dispute over a $1.2 billion arbitral award issued to the company over the government’s expropriation of a gold mine.
The D.C. Circuit on Monday rejected an anti-nuclear power group's challenge to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's approval of utility DTE Energy Co.'s plans to construct a new nuclear reactor at its Fermi plant in Michigan, saying the NRC's decision was legally sound.
Statoil said Monday it will take over Total SA’s interest in Norwegian oil and gas field assets for $1.45 billion, as the seller looks to make changes following the acquisition of an exploration and production company from A.P. Moller-Maersk Group.
Connecticut and two environmental groups have moved for quick wins in a suit alleging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency didn’t timely act on the state’s petition asking the agency to stop pollution from a Pennsylvania coal-fired power plant from blowing in the state’s direction.
Freight railroads have slammed the government’s bid to have the D.C. Circuit preserve a federal statute allowing Amtrak to set performance and scheduling standards along the nation's passenger railways, saying trimming an arbitration provision in the law wouldn't suddenly make it constitutionally valid.
A Montana federal judge on Wednesday refused to nix a pair of suits challenging the revival of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that the federal government can't evade environmental challenges simply because President Donald Trump delegated permitting authority for the controversial project to the U.S. Department of State.
Students and early-career attorneys looking to carve out a career in environmental law face a competitive marketplace and a legal landscape that’s in flux thanks to the Trump administration’s commitment to rolling back regulations, but experts say there are several ways for up-and-coming environmental lawyers to gain traction in the field.
President Donald Trump has made rolling back energy and environmental regulations to boost energy development a priority. But 10 months into his presidency, there are still plenty of vacancies in politically appointed positions at agencies responsible for carrying out the deregulatory push.
The D.C. Circuit rejected a bid by the private owners of the Ambassador Bridge to invalidate the approval of a new public span between Detroit and Canada, ruling Tuesday that Michigan and federal officials acted within their authority and that Congress never promised the company permanent exclusivity or profitability.
The justice gap is a well-documented problem and over the past two decades, law firms have mobilized attorneys to provide millions of hours of pro bono every year. But for many in-house counsel, there remains a big hurdle — restrictive multijurisdictional practice rules, says Eve Runyon, president and CEO of Pro Bono Institute.
To the extent that companies have tolerated predominantly male leadership in the past because it was deemed necessary for growth and prosperity, or viewed diversity and the underrepresentation of women strictly as human resources issues, a growing body of research suggests otherwise, say Andrea Mitchell and Valerie Hletko of Buckley Sandler LLP.
Within their first year, associates should make it a priority to take on a pro bono matter and approach a partner about supervising the project. By collaborating with a partner on a pro bono case, young associates can cultivate sponsorship relationships while simultaneously contributing to the public good, say Michael Scudder and Jay Mitchell of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.
As a new attorney, it was astonishing to realize how little I knew. I soon began to appreciate that everyone I met had a unique take or way of doing something. Many things I learned during that first year from my colleagues are still incorporated into my practice today, says Patrick Mendes of Tyson & Mendes LLP.
There are various barriers to corporate pro bono work, including lack of malpractice insurance coverage, limited resources, and the transactional nature of the majority of in-house legal work. But at the end of the day, we’ve overcome many of these barriers, says Ann Warren, associate general counsel of Duke Energy Corp.
Pipeline development in the United States is increasingly contentious, with states using Section 401 of the Clean Water Act to push back against new projects. The relevant statutory framework and recent court and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decisions will continue to provide fertile ground for litigation, say Joel Beauvais and Janna Chesno of Latham & Watkins LLP.
Christopher Scalia and Edward Whelan have published an indispensable collection of the late Justice Antonin Scalia's best speeches. "Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived" puts on full display Justice Scalia’s skilled writing, quick wit and uncommon wisdom on a wide range of topics — from law to turkey hunting, says Judge William Pryor of the Eleventh Circuit.
Lawyers spend considerable time defining the scope of force majeure events and associated relief mechanisms in construction agreements, but often move onto the next deal after contracts are signed. It is important to stay involved, and be prepared for issues that may arise during project execution, say David Strickland III and Michelle Northcutt of King & Spalding LLP.
Numerical models provide a powerful tool to quantify complex flow, sediment and contaminant transport behavior in environmental litigation, but they can be complicated and resource-intensive. Marcia Greenblatt of Integral Consulting shares insights on working with technical experts to navigate multiple models and how to best apply numerical models in litigation.
Financial Crisis Anniversary
The role of the general counsel has significantly grown in importance, with the GC now often replacing the senior partner in the outside law firm as the primary counselor for the CEO and the board. This inside counsel revolution was given great impetus by the financial crisis that started 10 years ago, says Ben Heineman Jr., former general counsel of General Electric Co.