Environmental

  • February 21, 2024

    Alaska Tribes Seek Rights Declaration Over BC Gold Mines

    A consortium of southeast Alaska tribes is asking the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to hold an investigative hearing and declare that Canada is violating their human rights by considering and approving mines that threaten to pollute cross-border rivers and harm vital salmon fisheries without seeking the tribes' input or consent.

  • February 21, 2024

    9th Circ. Says Federal Coal Lease Ban Case 'Is Moot'

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Wednesday vacated and remanded a district court's ruling that had reinstated a 2016 moratorium on federal coal leasing, with a recommendation that the litigation be dismissed as moot, saying there's no basis to conclude that a challenge to a defunct order is still alive.

  • February 21, 2024

    Gov't Says Camp Lejeune Litigants Must Show Specific Cause

    The federal government has said that Camp Lejeune plaintiffs need to show that their illnesses were specifically caused by their exposure to contaminated water at the Marine base, not just that they spent 30 days at the base and have an illness that can be caused by exposure.

  • February 21, 2024

    Tribes, Mich., Feds Refute Great Lakes Fishing Challenge

    Several Native American tribes, the state of Michigan and the federal government have urged the Sixth Circuit to reject a sport fishing group's attempt to sink a tribal fishing pact for parts of lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior, arguing it strikes an appropriate balance between respecting tribal fishing rights and protecting the Great Lakes fisheries.

  • February 21, 2024

    Justices Squabble Over Emergency Review Of EPA Smog Plan

    The U.S. Supreme Court's liberal wing denounced during oral argument Wednesday their colleagues' decision to consider the merits of four related emergency requests to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from implementing a plan to reduce cross-state pollution without first getting lower court input.

  • February 21, 2024

    Boston Faces Suit Over Women's Soccer Stadium Project

    The city of Boston was slammed with a complaint in Massachusetts Superior Court by a nonprofit organization seeking to halt the city's pending privatization of the George Robert White Memorial Stadium in order to transform it into a women's professional soccer stadium.

  • February 21, 2024

    Pa. Justices Clarify Timing For Oil & Gas Accounting Claims

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday said the statute of limitations for filing accounting claims related to oil and gas royalties is six years, definitively putting a time limit on such claims in a way that had not previously been spelled out.

  • February 21, 2024

    NH Power Plant Can Reject Electric Purchase Deal In Ch. 11

    Bankrupt electricity generating station Burgess Biopower LLC received court approval Wednesday from a Delaware judge to reject a power purchase agreement with a party the debtor claims was withholding payments and creating a financial situation where the station was in danger of shutting down permanently.

  • February 21, 2024

    5th Circ. Affirms Subrogation Loss In Fieldwood Energy Sale

    The Fifth Circuit has ruled that a group of insurers that issued surety bonds to bankrupt Fieldwood Energy in a sale of its assets are not entitled to subrogation rights because the bankruptcy court's order stripping their rights could not be challenged under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, a protection that limits appellate review of an approved sale.

  • February 21, 2024

    Mass., Property Developer Strike Deal Over Wetlands Pollution

    The state of Massachusetts and a nationwide residential property developer have settled claims the company caused sediment runoff in wetlands in a town about 16 miles south of Boston, in violation of the Clean Water Act.

  • February 21, 2024

    Green Groups Press FERC To Rescind Tenn. Pipeline Approval

    Environmentalists on Tuesday urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to undo its approval of a Tennessee pipeline project that will serve a Tennessee Valley Authority gas-fired power plant that is replacing a coal-fired plant, saying the agency botched its consideration of the project's climate change impacts.

  • February 21, 2024

    Feds Found Responsible For Leased Building's Contamination

    The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals has ruled that the federal government is liable for piscicide contamination of a building long used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but is on the hook only for diminished value and not full restoration.

  • February 21, 2024

    No Property Coverage For Maui Wildfire, Insurer Says

    A condominium association and its property manager have no coverage for property damage claims stemming from the 2023 Maui wildfires, their insurer told a Hawaii federal court, arguing that a property damage exclusion in their errors and omissions policy wholly bars coverage.

  • February 20, 2024

    Liberal Justices Hint Chevron Deference Hanging By A Thread

    In the U.S. Supreme Court's latest battle royal over administrative powers, left-leaning justices at oral arguments Tuesday openly suggested that the landmark legal doctrine underpinning modern rulemaking might soon shrivel up, clearing the way for industry-led challenges to regulations on the books for decades.

  • February 20, 2024

    Chicago Sues Oil Giants, Alleging Climate Change Deception

    The city of Chicago hit BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell and the oil and gas industry's largest trade association with a lawsuit Tuesday, alleging their involvement in a decadeslong "campaign of deception" to increase consumption of fossil fuels to boost profits, despite their knowledge that their products cause environmental harm.

  • February 20, 2024

    Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin Sued Over Fatal Plane Crash

    The widow of a pilot has accused Google's co-founder Sergey Brin of delaying efforts to recover her husband's body after he crashed into the Pacific Ocean while ferrying Brin's private aircraft, saying Brin tried to cover up illegal alterations made to the plane, according to the suit filed in California state court.

  • February 20, 2024

    NM Fire Victims Sue FEMA Over Compensation Delays

    Ten New Mexico residents with property damaged by the Hermit's Peak/Calf Canyon Fire sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency in federal court Friday, saying FEMA is not processing their claims in a timely manner, in violation of an assistance measure Congress passed for victims of the wildfire.

  • February 20, 2024

    Fond Du Lac Tribe Seeks Sanctions In Mining Land Suit

    The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians has asked a Minnesota federal judge to sanction PolyMet Mining Inc. in the tribe's suit over a land swap for a copper and nickel mine, arguing that the company and its lawyers are obstructing the discovery process.

  • February 20, 2024

    Tribes, Enviro Orgs Can Join Fight Over Tongass Protections

    An Alaska federal judge said a coalition of tribes, conservation groups, fishers and tourism businesses can join litigation to help defend a challenged Biden administration rule that reinstated roadless area protections for some 9 million acres of the vast Tongass National Forest.

  • February 20, 2024

    5th Circ. Seeks Texas Justices' Input On LNG Permit Fight

    The Fifth Circuit has yanked its prior ruling that scrapped an emissions permit issued by Texas environmental regulators for a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal, saying it wants the state's Supreme Court to weigh in on how to define the best available pollution control technology under Texas law.

  • February 20, 2024

    How Future Litigators Are Training In A 'Flight Simulator'

    Law students who would traditionally experience only a few courtroom scenarios over a semester have begun working with programs that can provide an entire array of courtroom curveballs, thanks to large language model artificial intelligence technology.

  • February 20, 2024

    Fluoride Trial Judge Mulls 'Mixed' IQ Evidence In Closings

    A California federal judge questioned the EPA and environmental groups on studies linking fluoride exposure to lower IQs during bench trial closing arguments Tuesday, observing that there's a clear dose-response relationship at high levels of fluoride exposure, but at low levels, "the evidence is mixed — we've got evidence going both ways."

  • February 20, 2024

    Trivest Can Seek 6th Circ. Review Of RICO Jurisdiction Ruling

    A Michigan federal judge will allow a Florida-based private equity firm to appeal a decision denying its bid to escape a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act lawsuit scrutinizing its funding of a solar company accused of scamming customers.

  • February 20, 2024

    Solar Co. Preyed On Elderly Prior To DOE Loan Deal, Suit Says

    Sunnova Energy International Inc. was hit with a proposed investor class action alleging shareholders were damaged when reports revealed that it routinely engaged in predatory tactics against elderly homeowners before it entered a deal with the U.S. Department of Energy to help disadvantaged communities.

  • February 20, 2024

    Calif. Must Face Trimmed Suit Over Locomotive Emissions Rule

    A California federal judge has trimmed a lawsuit from rail industry groups challenging a new regulation requiring railroads to transition to zero-emission locomotives in the Golden State over the next decade, saying some parts aren't in effect yet but others may interfere with federal rules governing railroad operations.

Expert Analysis

  • A Look Ahead For The Electric Vehicle Charging Industry

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    This will likely be an eventful year for the electric vehicle market as government efforts to accelerate their adoption inevitably clash with backlash from supporters of the petroleum industry, say Rue Phillips at SkillFusion and Enid Joffe at Green Paradigm Consulting.

  • A Post-Mortem Analysis Of Stroock's Demise

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    After the dissolution of 147-year-old firm Stroock late last year shook up the legal world, a post-mortem analysis of the data reveals a long list of warning signs preceding the firm’s collapse — and provides some insight into how other firms might avoid the same disastrous fate, says Craig Savitzky at Leopard Solutions.

  • Opinion

    Exxon Court Should Clarify Shareholder Proposal Exclusion

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    ExxonMobil last month took the unusual action of asking a Texas federal judge whether a proposal from climate activists seeking to limit oil and gas sales could be excluded from its 2024 proxy statement, and the court should use this opportunity to reevaluate SEC policy and set clear limits on when shareholder proposals can be included, says Stephen Bainbridge at UCLA School of Law.

  • Legislative And Litigation Trends In Environmental Advertising

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    Companies that tout their products' environmental benefits can significantly reduce the risk that they will face allegations of greenwashing by staying up to date on related Federal Trade Commission guidance, state requirements and litigation trends, say Raqiyyah Pippins and Kelsie Sicinski at Arnold & Porter.

  • Considering The Logical Extremes Of Your Legal Argument

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    Recent oral arguments in the federal election interference case against former President Donald Trump highlighted the age-old technique of extending an argument to its logical limit — a principle that is still important for attorneys to consider in preparing their cases, says Reuben Guttman at Guttman Buschner.

  • Reducing The Risk Of PFAS False Advertising Class Actions

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    A wave of class actions continues to pummel products that allegedly contain per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances, with plaintiffs challenging advertising that they say misleads consumers by implying an absence of PFAS — but there are steps companies can take to minimize risk, say attorneys at Keller and Heckman.

  • 6th Circ. Ruling Breathes New Life Into Article III Traceability

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    The Sixth Circuit's recent decision in Hardwick v. 3M Co. to vacate a district court's certification of one of the largest class actions in American jurisprudence for lack of Article III standing has potentially broader implications for class action practice in the product liability sphere, particularly in medical monitoring cases involving far-fetched theories of causation, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • Storytelling Strategies To Defuse Courtroom Conspiracies

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    Misinformation continues to proliferate in all sectors of society, including in the courtroom, as jurors try to fill in the gaps of incomplete trial narratives — underscoring the need for attorneys to tell a complete, consistent and credible story before and during trial, says David Metz at IMS Legal Strategies.

  • Challenges Remain In Financing Energy Transition Minerals

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    COP28, the latest U.N. climate conference, reached a consensus on a just and equitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, but more action and funding will be needed to ensure that developed countries responsibly source the minerals that will be critical for this process, say attorneys at Watson Farley.

  • Exxon ESG Proxy Statement Suit May Chill Investor Proposals

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    Exxon Mobil’s recent use of a Texas federal lawsuit to intimidate shareholders into withdrawing a climate-friendly proxy proposal could inspire more public companies to sue to avoid adopting ESG resolutions — a power move that would chill activist investor participation and unbalance shareholder-corporate relations, say Domenico Minerva and James Fee at Labaton Keller.

  • 3 Principles For Minimizing The Risk Of A Nuclear Verdict

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    In one of the latest examples of so-called nuclear verdicts, a single plaintiff was awarded $2.25 billion in a jury trial against Monsanto — revealing the need for defense attorneys to prioritize trust, connection and simplicity when communicating with modern juries, say Jenny Hergenrother and Mia Falzarano at Alston & Bird.

  • Series

    Coaching High School Wrestling Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Coaching my son’s high school wrestling team has been great fun, but it’s also demonstrated how a legal career can benefit from certain experiences, such as embracing the unknown, studying the rules and engaging with new people, says Richard Davis at Maynard Nexsen.

  • What To Know About RWI In Acquisition And Divestiture Deals

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    As a slower pace of merger activity turns underwriters toward new industries, representations and warranties insurance policies are increasingly being written for acquisition and divestiture energy deals, making it important for contracting parties to understand how the RWI underwriting process works in this new sector, say attorneys at Haynes Boone.

  • Opinion

    New La. Gas Pipeline Projects Must Respect Rules And Rights

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    As pipeline developers rush to join in Louisiana's Haynesville Shale gas boom, established operators like Energy Transfer are justified in demanding that newer entrants respect safety rules, regulatory requirements and property rights when proposing routes that would cross existing pipelines, says Joshua Campbell at Campbell Law.

  • Freight Forwarders And Common Carriers: Know Your Cargo

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    Freight forwarders and other nonprincipal parties involved in global cargo movement should follow the guidance in the multi-agency know-your-cargo compliance note to avoid enforcement actions should they fail to spot evasive tactics used in supply chains to circumvent U.S. sanctions and export controls, say attorneys at Venable.

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