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Transportation

  • July 20, 2018

    Truckers Fight Calif.'s New Independent Contractor Standard

    A nonprofit trade association representing some 6,000 trucking operators has filed suit in California federal court asking a judge to find that federal law supersedes a recent landmark state Supreme Court ruling redefining employees versus contractors that some observers say could devastate the industry.

  • July 20, 2018

    Texas Court Limits Info Toyota Must Disclose In Seats Suit

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday ordered a trial court to dial back its overbroad discovery order against Toyota in a suit launched by the parents of two children who were injured by front seats in a Lexus that collapsed backward in a rear-end collision.

  • July 20, 2018

    Split DC Circ. Reverses Ruling On Amtrak Regulatory Powers

    A split D.C. Circuit panel reversed a lower court’s ruling that a federal statute governing Amtrak’s regulatory authority over its competitors was unconstitutional, saying that by severing an arbitration clause in the statute, Amtrak’s regulatory proposals could be overruled by a federal transportation agency.

  • July 20, 2018

    9th Circ. Says Ore. County Can’t Collect $2.3M Defect Award

    An Oregon county can’t sue a subcontractor’s insurers to help pay for a damaged bridge, the Ninth Circuit affirmed Friday, finding that the insurance arrangement spelled out in the subcontractor’s work agreement is strictly verboten under Beaver State law.

  • July 20, 2018

    Republican ESA Reform Proposals Face Uphill Battle

    Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration in recent weeks have turned their attention to weakening the Endangered Species Act, but experts say legislation amending the 45-year-old law has a low likelihood of success, and environmentalists are almost certain to challenge new agency rules in court.

  • July 20, 2018

    UK Litigation Roundup: Here's What You Missed In London

    The last week has seen a slew of consumer goods distributors and insurers sue shipper MSC Mediterranean, a Nigerian bank take on one of the country's politicians and businessmen and U.S. tech company Ivanti lodge a claim against the venture capital firm it bought a digital workplace startup from.

  • July 20, 2018

    Atty DQ'ed Over Presuit Talks In Allstate Insurance Fight

    A Montana federal judge ruled Thursday that the attorney for a woman in a car insurance dispute with Allstate could not serve as trial counsel due to his presuit communications with the insurance company, finding the attorney may have to testify over information he provided about his client’s demands.

  • July 20, 2018

    NHTSA Probes Alleged Stalling, Overheating Of Ford Escapes

    Documents posted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website on Friday state that the agency has opened an investigation into complaints that some 2013 model Ford Escapes are overheating and suddenly losing power at highway speeds.

  • July 20, 2018

    Seattle Airport Worker's $40M Injury Award Slashed To $10M

    The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that the Port of Seattle need only pay $10 million to an injured airport baggage handler, rejecting the worker's claim that the port should be on the hook for the entirety of a jury’s $40 million award.

  • July 20, 2018

    Refiner Prevails On Renewable Fuel Exemption In 4th Circ.

    The Fourth Circuit on Friday sided with a small West Virginia refinery and threw out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rejection of the company’s application for an exemption to the renewable fuel standard program, saying that the decision had wrongly relied on a faulty economic hardship analysis.

  • July 20, 2018

    JB Hunt Owes $4.8M Interest In Indiana Negligence Suit

    An Indiana appeals court on Wednesday affirmed the $4.8 million in prejudgment interest that J.B Hunt Transport Inc. owes to an injured woman awarded $19.5 million following an accident stemming from a J.B. Hunt driver’s negligence in a 2006 tractor-trailer crash, saying the interest was justified.

  • July 20, 2018

    ND Wants $38M From Army Corps For Pipeline Protest Costs

    North Dakota filed a tort notice seeking $38 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the law enforcement resources it deployed to respond to eight months of sometimes violent Dakota Access Pipeline protests, alleging the federal government’s inaction forced the state to step in.

  • July 19, 2018

    16 AGs Sue EPA Over 'Super-Polluting' Truck Rule Rollback

    The attorneys general for New York, California and other states sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday for suspending a rule that limited the number of remanufactured, heavy-duty trucks that could be sold, a decision issued on Scott Pruitt's last day as agency administrator.

  • July 19, 2018

    NY Appeals Board Agrees That Uber Drivers Are Employees

    The New York State Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board affirmed an administrative law judge’s determination that three former Uber Inc. drivers and those similarly situated were employees for the purpose of receiving unemployment benefits, rejecting the ride-hailing giant’s bid to withdraw its appeal, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance announced Thursday.

  • July 19, 2018

    Uber Slams Rival's 'Troubling Pattern' Of Axing Attys In IP Row

    A California state judge tapped the brakes on Uber’s bid to end claims it stole an inventor’s ride-sharing concept, saying Thursday she would wait until the man finds a new attorney — even after Uber pointed out “a troubling pattern,” noting the plaintiff had terminated contracts with three consecutive law firms in the case.

  • July 19, 2018

    GM Ch. 11 Judge Undecided On $1B Ignition Switch Deal

    The judge presiding over the bankruptcy case for General Motors LLC’s predecessor said Thursday he’s not yet decided on whether class certification is needed for him to approve a proposed Chapter 11 settlement over legacy ignition switch lawsuits that could possibly cost the carmaker $1 billion in new stock.

  • July 19, 2018

    Energy Cos. To Appeal Climate Tort Ruling To 9th Circ.

    A group of major oil and gas companies including Chevron Corp. told a California federal court that they would be appealing to the Ninth Circuit a recent order that sent climate change-related torts brought by two cities and a county to state court.

  • July 19, 2018

    Ford, Bosch Say Super-Duty Truck Emissions Suit Baseless

    Ford Motor Co. and auto parts supplier Robert Bosch LLC rebuked a proposed Michigan class action alleging they rigged 500,000 heavy-duty trucks to cheat emissions tests, saying Wednesday the vehicle owners’ unsubstantiated racketeering and fraud claims based on contrived road tests won’t hold up in court.

  • July 19, 2018

    FERC Still Won't Override NY's $683M Pipeline Permit Denial

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday stood by its decision to leave intact New York’s denial of a Clean Water Act permit for a $683 million natural gas pipeline, dealing a fresh setback to Williams Cos. Inc. unit Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC.

  • July 19, 2018

    Senate Enviro Committee Goes Easy On Trump CEQ Nominee

    President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality left a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday largely unscathed, avoiding much of the controversy that has dogged many of the administration’s other nominees for environmental positions.

Expert Analysis

  • Distracted Driving Laws And How Employers Should Respond

    Alison Loy

    A few weeks ago, Georgia became the 16th state to ban the use of a handheld cellphone while driving. These laws bring considerations for employers, who can be held liable for accidents caused by employees acting within the scope of their employment when the accident occurred, say Alison Loy and Marilyn Fish of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

  • Suddenly, ALJs Become Political Appointees

    Brian Casey

    Less than three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, President Donald Trump signed an executive order applying the court’s rationale in Lucia to the hiring — and firing — of all administrative law judges in the federal government, making them entirely beholden to the heads of their agencies or the president for their jobs, says Brian Casey of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

  • Congressional Forecast: July

    Layth Elhassani

    While Senate hearings on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court will draw much attention during July, Congress remains very busy with fiscal year 2019 appropriations bills. The chambers may go to conference this month on the first of several appropriations "minibuses," says Layth Elhassani of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • A Big Verdict Highlights Hazardous Trucking Practices

    John Jose

    The $90 million verdict handed down against Werner Enterprises by a Texas court in May highlights the dangers that can arise when trucking companies pair an experienced driver with a student, then allow the veteran driver to rest while the student behind the wheel faces dangerous driving conditions. Until this practice is changed, we can anticipate more lawsuits like Werner, says John Jose of Slack Davis Sanger LLP.

  • What Kavanaugh's Writing Tells Us About His Personality

    Matthew Hall

    People with certain personality traits tend to use certain words. A computer analysis of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s D.C. Circuit opinions reveals that he is highly extraverted, which means that he would be a prominent voice on the U.S. Supreme Court, says Matthew Hall, a professor at the University of Notre Dame.

  • Opinion

    Buying Military Innovation: P3s Are Not The Best Approach

    Daniel Schoeni

    Experts debate the best strategy for the U.S. Department of Defense's technological leap forward. Options include public-private partnerships and open systems architecture. Innovation is best served by the latter, says Daniel Schoeni, a judge advocate with the U.S. Air Force.

  • Opinion

    3 Pros, 3 Cons Of Litigation Finance

    Ralph Sutton

    An educated guess puts the number of new litigation funders launched in the past 18 months at 30 — an astonishing number, with more to come. Is this a blessing to our legal system or something more akin to tulip mania? Maybe both, says Ralph Sutton, founder and CEO of litigation funding firm Validity Finance LLC.

  • Modern Communication Brings E-Discovery Challenges

    Thomas Bonk

    As new communications platforms displace email, the legal industry is awkwardly grappling with complex e-discovery questions. Fortunately, this environment provides a very fertile ground of incentives for innovation in both e-discovery technology and service offerings, says Thomas Bonk of Epiq.

  • Opinion

    DOJ Should Encourage The Bid-Rigging Whistleblower

    Robert Connolly

    There are relatively few government contract collusion whistleblowers. The U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division could roll out the whistleblower welcome mat by making a few changes that will not cost the government a nickel. Even if only one new case emerges, the efforts would be worth it, says former federal prosecutor Robert Connolly.

  • Opinion

    It's Not All About The Benjamins, Baby (Lawyer)

    J.B. Heaton

    Notwithstanding the latest salary war among prominent law firms, I urge my middle-aged and older colleagues to help the recent graduates we know focus on the long term. Even if the salary is the same, there is a big difference between an institutional firm and the relatively younger firms matching BigLaw, says J.B. Heaton, a University of Chicago business law fellow and former partner at Bartlit Beck.