Environmental

  • April 10, 2024

    Children Fight Feds' Bid To Dodge Constitutional Climate Suit

    A group of children has fired back at the federal government's attempt to dismiss its California federal court lawsuit alleging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency knowingly allows unsafe levels of climate pollution despite the Constitution guaranteeing "a life-sustaining climate system." 

  • April 10, 2024

    EPA Finalizes First-Ever PFAS Drinking Water Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced the final version of its first-ever regulatory limits on "forever chemicals" in drinking water, a move the EPA said will be accompanied by nearly $1 billion in new funding for implementation.

  • April 09, 2024

    After Uproar, New MDL Rule Advances With Attys Assuaged

    Following years of debate and months of outcry, a judicial panel Tuesday approved the first formal rule aimed at improving efficiency and fairness in the nation's burgeoning realm of multidistrict litigation, earning plaudits from placated lawyers in the defense and plaintiffs bars.

  • April 09, 2024

    Calif. AG Backs Bill To Revamp 'Abysmal' Corporate Penalties

    California Attorney General Rob Bonta gave his full support Tuesday to a state bill that would increase the cap on criminal penalties for corporate malfeasance from the "abysmal penalty" of $10,000 per felony to $25 million, or twice the value of the inflicted loss, and provide all proceeds to California's crime victim services.

  • April 09, 2024

    What's In The Norfolk Southern $600M Derailment Deal

    Last year's fiery Norfolk Southern train derailment and toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, reached a litigation milestone Tuesday with the disaster's first major settlement, a proposed $600 million deal with nearby residents and businesses, but the rail giant must still contend with a federal investigation and other lawsuits.

  • April 09, 2024

    Venable Snags Trio Of Product Liability Partners From Steptoe

    Three Steptoe LLP product liability and mass torts partners have departed the firm and joined Venable LLP in Chicago and Los Angeles, according to an announcement Tuesday.

  • April 09, 2024

    Hawaiian Electric Brass Hit With Suit Over Wildfire Preparation

    A Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. shareholder has alleged in a derivative suit that the company's executives and directors knew that it was not prepared for last year's deadly Maui wildfire, which caused reputational and financial damage to the company.

  • April 09, 2024

    Navajo, Mine Operator Look To Settle Last Waste Spill Claims

    A New Mexico federal judge has stayed litigation in the Navajo Nation's remaining claims against a Gold King Mine operator stemming from a hazardous waste spill that spurred nearly a decade of litigation after the parties said they reached a settlement in principle.

  • April 09, 2024

    Contractor Says Feds Are Blocking Border Wall Settlement Payout

    A construction contractor wants to intervene in litigation over the Biden administration's diversion of border wall funds, saying the federal government has invoked a recent injunction in the case to stymie the company's attempt to recoup lost construction costs.

  • April 09, 2024

    Nikola Investors' SPAC Fraud Suit Moves Ahead

    Board directors of electric truck maker Nikola Corp. and the blank-check company that took it public for $3.3 billion in 2020 must face shareholders' derivative claims of insider trading, securities fraud and merger-related breaches after Delaware's Court of Chancery on Tuesday denied more than half of the defense's motions to dismiss.

  • April 09, 2024

    Jones Day's FOIA Suit Turning Into Judicial Quagmire

    A Michigan state judge said what he initially thought was a straightforward open-records dispute had turned into a complicated mess, as law firm Jones Day argued Tuesday that a Michigan agency must turn over documents related to its crackdown on the family of toxic chemicals known as PFAS.

  • April 09, 2024

    Equitrans Hit With $1.1M Pollution Penalties In Pennsylvania

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection unveiled more than $1.1 million in civil penalties against Equitrans Midstream Partners LP on Tuesday for violations related to the company's uncontrolled gas release from its Rager Mountain natural gas storage field in Cambria County.

  • April 09, 2024

    9th Circ. Open To Reviving Calif. Cannabis Abatement Fight

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Tuesday appeared open to reviving a proposed class action alleging that Humboldt County's abatement fines for unlicensed cannabis growing structures is an unconstitutional "dragnet scheme," with two judges suggesting the magistrate judge inappropriately resolved material factual disputes against the property owners at the pleading stage.

  • April 09, 2024

    4th Circ. Tosses Duty To Defend Case Over Oil Co.'s Objection

    The Fourth Circuit said Tuesday that a West Virginia oil and gas company lacked standing to continue an appeal that was originally brought by a green grower, which had sought coverage from its insurer for an underlying $4 million land use dispute with the extractor.

  • April 09, 2024

    FTC Pressures Global Partners, Gulf Oil Into Reducing Deal

    The Federal Trade Commission took credit Tuesday for raising antitrust concerns spurring the late-February reduction of Global Partners LP's purchase of Northeast U.S. gas terminals from Gulf Oil, cut from five terminals with a $273 million price tag to four terminals and a $212.3 million payment.

  • April 09, 2024

    Tech M&A Reigns Supreme In Q1 After Rare Hiccup In Q4

    The technology sector logged the greatest total value of global mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter of 2024, following a rare quarter that saw the industry fall out of the top spot and into third place, data from Dealogic shows.

  • April 09, 2024

    House GOP To Air Measure Rejecting SEC Climate Rule

    The U.S. House of Representatives' Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday morning addressing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's climate disclosure rules, where a leading Republican member of the committee is expected to put forth a resolution that would nullify the rules.

  • April 09, 2024

    47 Members Of Congress Urge DC Circ. To Ax EPA Smog Plan

    Nearly 50 members of Congress called on the D.C. Circuit to strike down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's plan to reduce smog-forming emissions in several states, arguing that the agency is infringing on states' authority to establish how they achieve federal air quality standards.

  • April 09, 2024

    EPA Reaches $1.4M Deal With Chemical Co. Over Plant Fire

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said that it had recently reached a settlement with Houston-based Sasol Chemicals LLC over a 2022 chemical plant explosion in Westlake, Louisiana, over which the company agreed to pay more than $1.4 million in civil penalties and fix violations.

  • April 09, 2024

    Feds Want To Push Back Complex Camp Lejeune Cases

    The federal government has asked the North Carolina court overseeing litigation concerning contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to first try cases brought by former residents of the Marine base who allege they have developed only one disease from the water and try more complicated cases later.

  • April 09, 2024

    EPA Outlines New Ways To Destroy, Dispose Of PFAS

    Waste managers, government regulators and the public should use methods such as underground injection to destroy or dispose of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances and PFAS materials, guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says.

  • April 09, 2024

    Hogan Lovells Adds Baker Botts Enviro Litigators In DC, SF

    Hogan Lovells announced Tuesday it has hired three environmental crisis and white collar attorneys from Baker Botts LLP to bolster efforts to steer clients through criminal environmental and workplace safety investigations and other matters.

  • April 09, 2024

    16 States Seek To Defend EPA Particulate Matter Rule

    A coalition of 16 states, New York City and Washington, D.C., has pushed to intervene before the D.C. Circuit in defense of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recent final rule tightening federal standards for fine particulate matter pollution, as it faces challenges from industry groups and Republican-led states.

  • April 09, 2024

    Climate Inaction Violates Human Rights Law, ECHR Rules

    The European Court of Human Rights found on Tuesday that the Swiss government was at fault over failures to tackle global warming, one of three major decisions on climate change that could affect litigation in the future.

  • April 09, 2024

    California Can Set Own Emissions Standards, DC Circ. Says

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act waiver that allows California to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles and run a zero-emission vehicles program, rejecting challenges filed by red states and industry groups.

Expert Analysis

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • Takeaways From EPA's New Methane Emission Rules

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    Attorneys at V&E examine two new Clean Air Act rules for the oil and gas industry, explaining how they expand methane and volatile organic compound emission reduction requirements and amplify U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enforcement risks.

  • 3 Litigation Strategies To Combat 'Safetyism'

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    Amid the rise of safetyism — the idea that every person should be free from the risk of harm or discomfort — among jurors and even judges, defense counsel can mount several tactics from the very start of litigation to counteract these views and blunt the potential for jackpot damages, says Ann Marie Duffy at Hollingsworth.

  • Risks Of Nonmutual Offensive Collateral Estoppel In MDLs

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    After the Supreme Court declined to review the Sixth Circuit's ruling in the E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. personal injury litigation, nonmutual offensive collateral estoppel could show up in more MDLs, and transform the loss of a single MDL bellwether trial into a de facto classwide decision that binds thousands of other MDL cases, say Chantale Fiebig and Luke Sullivan at Weil Gotshal.

  • What Recent Study Shows About AI's Promise For Legal Tasks

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    Amid both skepticism and excitement about the promise of generative artificial intelligence in legal contexts, the first randomized controlled trial studying its impact on basic lawyering tasks shows mixed but promising results, and underscores the need for attorneys to proactively engage with AI, says Daniel Schwarcz at University of Minnesota Law School.

  • 5 Things Trial Attorneys Can Learn From Good Teachers

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    Jennifer Cuculich at IMS Legal Strategies recounts lessons she learned during her time as a math teacher that can help trial attorneys connect with jurors, from the importance of framing core issues to the incorporation of different learning styles.

  • Legal Considerations For Circular Economy Strategies

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    As circular economy goals — generating revenue at multiple points in a product's life cycle — become nearly ubiquitous in corporate sustainability practices, companies should reassess existing strategies by focusing on government incentives, regulations, and reporting and disclosure requirements, say Rachel Saltzman and Erin Grisby at Hunton.

  • SEC's Final Climate Disclosure Rules: What Cos. Must Know

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    While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's scaled-back final rules requiring public companies to disclose certain climate-related information still face challenges in court, companies should begin preparing now to comply with the rules, say Celia Soehner and Erin Martin at Morgan Lewis.

  • Caremark 2.0 Lends Shareholders Agency Against Polluters

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    The Caremark doctrine has been liberalized by recent Delaware court decisions into what some have termed a 2.0 version, making derivative cases against corporations far more plausible and invigorating oversight duty on environmental risks like toxic spills and air pollution, say Joshua Margolin and Sean Goldman-Hunt at Selendy Gay.

  • Preempting Bottled Water Microplastics Fraud Claims

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    Food products like bottled water are increasingly likely to be targets of consumer fraud complaints due to alleged microplastics contamination — but depending on the labeling or advertising at issue, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act can provide a powerful preemption defense, say Tariq Naeem and Brenda Sweet at Tucker Ellis.

  • Wildfire Challenges For Utility Investors: Regs And Financing

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    For investors in public utilities, wildfire liability considerations include not only regulatory complexities, but also bankruptcy claims resolution, financing judgments and settlements, and how to leverage organizational structures to maximize investment protections, say David Botter and Lisa Schweitzer at Cleary.

  • Business Litigators Have A Source Of Untapped Fulfillment

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    As increasing numbers of attorneys struggle with stress and mental health issues, business litigators can find protection against burnout by remembering their important role in society — because fulfillment in one’s work isn’t just reserved for public interest lawyers, say Bennett Rawicki and Peter Bigelow at Hilgers Graben.

  • Wildfire Challenges For Utility Investors: Liability Theories

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    The greater frequency and scale of wildfires in the last several years have created operational and fiscal challenges for electric utility companies, including new theories of liability and unique operational and risk management considerations — all of which must be carefully considered by utility investors, say David Botter and Lisa Schweitzer at Cleary.

  • 5 Ways To Hone Deposition Skills And Improve Results

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Depositions must never be taken for granted in the preparations needed to win a dispositive motion or a trial, and five best practices, including knowing when to hire a videographer, can significantly improve outcomes, says James Argionis at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Series

    Skiing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    A lifetime of skiing has helped me develop important professional skills, and taught me that embracing challenges with a spirit of adventure can allow lawyers to push boundaries, expand their capabilities and ultimately excel in their careers, says Andrea Przybysz at Tucker Ellis.

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