Environmental

  • June 25, 2024

    DOD Watchdog Says Calif. Bases Must Prep Climate Plans

    The U.S. Department of Defense's Office of the Inspector General revealed in a report that the leaders of four California defense facilities have failed to incorporate mandatory climate-related environmental risks, infrastructure vulnerabilities and risk-reduction measures into their master plans.

  • June 25, 2024

    NC Development Bill Violates UN Declaration, Tribe Says

    A North Carolina tribe is fighting state legislation that it says does not assure protections over one of the most significant archaeological Native American discoveries in recent years, arguing its language violates international law and centuries-old treaties.

  • June 25, 2024

    Oil Co. Accused Of Duping Consumers With Biodiesel Product

    A Massachusetts home heating oil dealer falsely told consumers they were purchasing an environmentally friendly biodiesel product, a proposed class action filed in state court on Monday alleges.

  • June 25, 2024

    Ariz. Lawmakers Say State Has No Interest In Monument Fight

    The Arizona State Legislature says Gov. Katie Hobbs and Attorney General Kris Mayes can't show that they have an interest in lawsuits against President Joe Biden's proclamation designating an Indigenous site in the Grand Canyon region a national monument and they shouldn't be allowed to intervene in the litigation.

  • June 25, 2024

    Exxon Bid For Avangrid Docs In Greenwash Case Faces Doubt

    A Massachusetts judge on Tuesday questioned the relevance of potentially millions of wind energy company Avangrid's documents being sought by ExxonMobil in its defense of a greenwashing case brought by the state.

  • June 25, 2024

    Drilling Permit Challenge Should Stay Dead, DOI Tells DC Circ.

    The U.S. Department of the Interior told the D.C. Circuit a federal judge correctly ruled environmental groups cannot challenge the federal approval of thousands of drilling permits in New Mexico and Wyoming because they failed to establish any particularized injury.

  • June 25, 2024

    Litigation Pro Rejoins GRSM50 In Calif. From DeHay & Elliston

    Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP has strengthened its litigation bench with a partner in Walnut Creek, California, who arrived from DeHay & Elliston LLP and who worked for six years earlier in his career as a senior counsel for GRSM50.

  • June 25, 2024

    Judge Stays Food Supplier's Wastewater Suit Against Ga. City

    A Georgia federal judge on Monday agreed to stay a lawsuit in which a food supplier alleged the city of Dawsonville, Georgia, and seven city officials threatened to shut off water and sewage service to its poultry plant based on $1.5 million in illegally assessed wastewater discharge penalties.

  • June 24, 2024

    Chevron's $120M Trial Loss Reinstated By Calif. Appeals Court

    A California appellate court says Chevron cannot get another trial after a jury found it liable for the negligent operation of an oil field, overturning a lower court's ruling that the company was entitled to a new trial because a juror failed to disclose a decades-old criminal conviction.

  • June 24, 2024

    PacifiCorp To Pay Another $150M To Resolve Wildfire Claims

    PacifiCorp will shell out another $150 million to roughly 380 plaintiffs resolving "substantially all individual claims" stemming from the 2020 Slater wildfire in California, the company announced Monday, adding to the hundreds of millions of dollars the utility has already paid over wildfire-related claims.

  • June 24, 2024

    EPA Says Army Corps Doesn't Belong In Pebble Mine Dispute

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is urging an Alaska federal judge to refuse a mining company's bid to amend a lawsuit in order to reverse an Army Corps of Engineers decision denying the controversial Pebble Mine project a permit.

  • June 24, 2024

    States Attack Conservation Leasing In New Public Lands Rule

    North Dakota, Idaho and Montana are challenging the Bureau of Land Management's move to prioritize conservation in public land regulation, claiming the agency's recent public lands rule "upends" long-standing federal leasing processes and reorients land use mandates against the priorities of federal law.

  • June 24, 2024

    Toyota Accused Of Misleading Investors Over Emission Tests

    Toyota and its top brass misled investors by understating in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings its role in falsifying emissions and fuel-economy data, which led to a drop in stock price when the truth came out, according to a proposed class action filed Monday in California federal court.

  • June 24, 2024

    5th Circ. Weighs 'Binding Authority' Of Gulf Fishery Council

    A Fifth Circuit panel on Monday pushed back against the government's assertion that members of a council tasked with regulating fishing in federal waters do not count as federal officers, saying the council's ability to limit changes to federal rules "sounds like a legally binding authority."

  • June 24, 2024

    Sierra Club Says Mich. Power Co. Liable For Illegal Pollution

    The Sierra Club and a small town in Michigan are looking to hold a power plant partially liable for air pollution produced by a steel factory, claiming in amended complaints filed Monday that many of the factory's regulatory compliance failures can be traced back to energy company employees.

  • June 24, 2024

    Ill. Landowners Challenge FERC Moves On $7B Power Line

    Illinois residents, farmers and landowners launched a fresh challenge to the $7 billion Grain Belt Express high-voltage power line, telling the D.C. Circuit that when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved an amended negotiated rate authority, it ignored clean energy giant Invenergy's unsanctioned purchase of the project in 2020.

  • June 24, 2024

    IRS Finalizes Limits To Partnership Conservation Easements

    The Internal Revenue Service finalized rules Monday that curb the conservation easement tax deduction claimed by certain partnerships, with some changes to last year's proposed version, such as limiting the opportunity for entities to adjust their tax returns to avoid the new restrictions.

  • June 24, 2024

    Australian, Canadian Uranium Miners Ink $835M Combo Deal

    Australian mining company Paladin Energy Ltd. has agreed to buy Canada's Fission Uranium Corp. for CA$1.14 billion ($835 million), the companies said in a Monday statement. 

  • June 24, 2024

    No Coverage For $3M Logging Injury Verdict, 4th Circ. Affirms

    The Fourth Circuit has affirmed that an insurer doesn't have to cover a $3 million jury verdict over a man's logging injuries, finding that a North Carolina federal court correctly decided that a broad worker injury exclusion was applicable.

  • June 24, 2024

    US DOT Final Rule Ups Freight Rail Hazmat Disclosures

    Freight railroads must provide more detailed, real-time information on trains transporting hazardous materials to state and local first responders, under a new U.S. Department of Transportation final rule announced Monday that was largely spurred by last year's fiery derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

  • June 24, 2024

    NM Sued Over Sustainable Building Credit Award Process

    A New Mexico apartment complex alleges that the state violated its due process rights after it was denied sustainable building tax credits for most of its units, according to a complaint filed in federal court.

  • June 24, 2024

    Covestro, Abu Dhabi Oil In 'Concrete' Talks For $12.5B Deal

    German chemicals group Covestro AG said Monday it is advancing its talks to potentially sell the business to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. after the United Arab Emirates' oil group upped its bid to more than €11.7 billion ($12.5 billion).

  • June 24, 2024

    6th Circ. Won't Rethink Partial Revival Of Sanofi Pollution Suit

    The full Sixth Circuit has declined to review a split panel's decision reviving parts of a Sanofi unit's lawsuit against a Tennessee landfill owner it accused of improperly shuttering the dump, which then led to the contamination of water at its property.

  • June 24, 2024

    Justices Will Review Request To Rein In NEPA Requirements

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted seven Utah counties' request that it review a D.C. Circuit decision revoking federal approval of a rail line to transport crude oil from Utah.

  • June 21, 2024

    DOL Says Union's Farm Wage Challenge Too Late

    The U.S. Department of Labor has pushed back against a challenge to rules introduced in 2022 that a Washington union said are depressing farmworkers' wages, telling a federal judge Friday that the union should have objected during the rule-making period.

Expert Analysis

  • Salvaging The Investor-State Arbitration System's Legitimacy

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    Recent developments in Europe and Ecuador highlight the vulnerability of the investor-state arbitration framework, but arbitrators can avert a crisis by relying on a poorly understood doctrine of fairness and equity, rather than law, to resolve the disputes before them, says Phillip Euell at Diaz Reus.

  • NY's Vision For Grid Of The Future: Flexible, Open, Affordable

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    Acknowledging that New York state's progress toward its climate goals is stalling, the New York Public Service Commission's recent "Grid of the Future" order signals a move toward more flexible, cost-effective solutions — and suggests potential opportunities for nonutility participation, say Daniel Spitzer and William McLaughlin at Hodgson Russ.

  • Trump Hush Money Case Offers Master Class In Trial Strategy

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    The New York criminal hush money trial of former President Donald Trump typifies some of the greatest challenges that lawyers face in crafting persuasive presentations, providing lessons on how to handle bad facts, craft a simple story that withstands attack, and cross-examine with that story in mind, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

  • Leveraging Insurance Amid Microplastics Concerns

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    A pending microplastics lawsuit — New York v. PepsiCo Inc. — may be a harbinger of what is to come for companies whose products are exposed to the environment, so any company considering how to address microplastics liability should include a careful assessment of the potential for insurance coverage in its due diligence, say attorneys at Haynes Boone.

  • Series

    Teaching Yoga Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Being a yoga instructor has helped me develop my confidence and authenticity, as well as stress management and people skills — all of which have crossed over into my career as an attorney, says Laura Gongaware at Clyde & Co.

  • A Vision For Economic Clerkships In The Legal System

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    As courts handle increasingly complex damages analyses involving vast amounts of data, an economic clerkship program — integrating early-career economists into the judicial system — could improve legal outcomes and provide essential training to clerks, say Mona Birjandi at Data for Decisions and Matt Farber at Secretariat.

  • What A Louisiana Ruling Means For Pipeline Crossings

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    After a Louisiana appeals court's recent ruling on a conflict between two pipeline projects, operators and developers should review pipeline crossings to ensure that they occur at safe distances — and keep in mind the value of crossing agreements for protecting both sides in case of a dispute, say attorneys at McGuireWoods.

  • ECHR Ruling May Pave Path For A UK Climate Damage Tort

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    In light of case law on the interaction between human rights law and common law, the European Court of Human Rights' recent ruling in KlimaSeniorinnen v. Switzerland, finding the country at fault for failures to tackle global warming, could tip the scales toward extending English tort law to cover climate change-related losses, say lawyers at Cleary.

  • Opinion

    Climate Change Shouldn't Be Litigated Under State Laws

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    The U.S. Supreme Court should reverse the Hawaii Supreme Court's October decision in Honolulu v. Sunoco that Hawaii could apply state law to emissions generated outside the state, because it would lead to a barrage of cases seeking to resolve a worldwide problem according to 50 different variations of state law, says Andrew Ketterer at Ketterer & Ketterer.

  • Regulating Resurrected Species Under The ESA

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    As the prospect of extinct species being resurrected from DNA and reintroduced into the wild grows closer, an analysis of the Endangered Species Act suggests that it could provide a thoughtful, flexible governance framework for such scenarios, say Caroline Meadows and Shelby Bobosky at the SMU Dedman School of Law.

  • E-Discovery Quarterly: Recent Rulings On Text Message Data

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    Electronically stored information on cellphones, and in particular text messages, can present unique litigation challenges, and recent court decisions demonstrate that counsel must carefully balance what data should be preserved, collected, reviewed and produced, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • What CRA Deadline Means For Biden Admin. Rulemaking

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    With the 2024 election rapidly approaching, the Biden administration must race to finalize proposed agency actions within the next few weeks, or be exposed to the chance that the following Congress will overturn the rules under the Congressional Review Act, say attorneys at Covington.

  • IP Considerations For Companies In Carbon Capture Sector

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    As companies collaborate to commercialize carbon capture technologies amid massive government investment under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a coherent intellectual property strategy is more important than ever, including proactively addressing and resolving questions about ownership of the technology, say Ashley Kennedy and James De Vellis at Foley & Lardner.

  • Keeping Up With Class Actions: A New Era Of Higher Stakes

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    Corporate defendants saw unprecedented settlement numbers across all areas of class action litigation in 2022 and 2023, and this year has kept pace so far, with three settlements that stand out for the nature of the claims and for their high dollar amounts, says Gerald Maatman at Duane Morris.

  • 5 Climate Change Regulatory Issues Insurers Should Follow

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    The climate change landscape for insurers has changed dramatically recently — and not just because of the controversy over the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's climate-related risk disclosure rules, says Thomas Dawson at McDermott.

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