Energy

  • May 29, 2020

    PG&E Objector Suggests Weil Atty's Son Raises Conflict

    A bench trial over whether to confirm Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s $58 billion bankruptcy reorganization plan entered its third day Friday, with an objector questioning whether a conflict exists because a Weil LLP attorney representing PG&E is the father of a director of the company running its confirmation process.

  • May 29, 2020

    Bankruptcies Pile Up As COVID-19 Pandemic Squeezes Cash

    In the 2½ months since COVID-19 created a national emergency in the United States, dozens of companies have tilted into bankruptcy in the retail, travel and energy sectors, and a former bankruptcy judge predicts the turmoil will spread further through the economy in the coming months.

  • May 29, 2020

    5th Circ. Agrees With EPA's Review Of Exxon Refinery Permit

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision not to oppose Exxon Mobil Corp.'s air pollution permit application to enlarge a Texas petrochemical plant, rejecting arguments the permit should have received more scrutiny.

  • May 29, 2020

    Corporate Bond Rush Brings A Big Wave Of Firsts

    The tidal wave of corporate debt offerings in recent months has enabled companies to raise billions in cash and gain much-needed breathing room to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, setting records and ushering in several first-of-their kind deals along the way.

  • May 29, 2020

    Texas Justices To Consider Royalty Clause Dispute

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review an oil and gas developer's dispute with royalty owners over whether the company can charge them for post-production costs.

  • May 29, 2020

    Gov't Contracts Of The Month: Virus, Space And Google Deals

    The federal government looked to the future in May, injecting $1.2 billion into AstraZeneca's candidate COVID-19 vaccine and infusing billions into the U.S.'s space-bound ambitions. Other megadeals include remediation of a nuclear site and Google's partnership with the Pentagon.

  • May 29, 2020

    Native American Tribes Sue Feds Over Keystone Pipeline

    Two Montana-based Native American tribes filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government on Friday challenging the approval of an oil pipeline being built near the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, claiming federal agencies failed to consider how the project would impact the tribes.

  • May 29, 2020

    Texas Justices Won't Rehear Dispute Over Tax-Free Zone

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday denied a request for a rehearing in a tax dispute over whether an oil importer storing products in a foreign trade "subzone" can claim the subzone's exemptions from local property taxes.

  • May 29, 2020

    Texas Justices To Hear Utility Co.'s Bid To End Injury Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court agreed Friday to review a utility service and its subcontractor's bid to escape negligence claims filed by a woman who claims she was injured when she fell into a hole left after a utility pole was removed from her property.

  • May 29, 2020

    RI Says 9th Circ. Agrees Climate Suit Belongs In State Court

    Rhode Island told the First Circuit that a pair of recent Ninth Circuit decisions lend support to its argument that a lower court correctly sent back to state court the state's lawsuit seeking to pin climate change-related infrastructure costs on energy giants like Chevron.

  • May 29, 2020

    Lye Makers Want Out Of National Consolidated Antitrust Suit

    Lye makers who stand accused of working together to inflate the price of their caustic product have a laundry list of reasons they think the freshly consolidated antitrust suit against them dissolves under scrutiny.

  • May 29, 2020

    Borrowers Denied Cert. In Green Home Loans Suit

    A federal judge in California on Thursday denied a bid for class certification in a suit accusing a green home upgrades financing company of misrepresenting the terms of its loans, telling the borrowers they didn't show they had actually viewed various versions of the company's alleged misrepresentations.

  • May 29, 2020

    Feds Will Contribute $7.5M To Exit Landfill Cleanup Fight

    The federal government will pay $7.5 million to exit a long-running dispute over the cleanup of hazardous waste at a Washington state landfill, according to an agreement filed in federal court.

  • May 29, 2020

    Energy Co. Says It Hasn't Seen $63M Award 5th Circ. Upheld

    Renewable energy company Soaring Wind Energy asked a Texas federal judge Thursday to order the American arm of China's state-run aerospace corporation to hand over a nearly $63 million arbitral award it allegedly has refused to pay even after the Fifth Circuit upheld it in January.

  • May 29, 2020

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

    The past week in London has seen German financier Lars Windhorst dragged into court by a hospitality company, an Emirati lender sue former executives of a scandal-hit health company, and a bank representing the estate of musical artist Prince file IP claims against a unit of a major record label.

  • May 28, 2020

    CPUC Approves PG&E's $58B Ch. 11 Plan Despite Criticism

    The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday voted unanimously in favor of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s $58 billion bankruptcy reorganization plan after hearing more than 100 public comments from customers against it and three comments in support of it.

  • May 28, 2020

    Remanding Mass. Exxon Climate Case Clear Call, Judge Says

    A Massachusetts federal judge said Thursday the state attorney general's suit claiming ExxonMobil Corp. lied to investors and the public about climate change-associated risks relies on "mundane theories of fraud" that can be litigated in state court.

  • May 28, 2020

    Alsup Slams 'Criminal' PG&E's 'C-R-A-P-P-Y' Fire Mitigation

    U.S. District Judge William Alsup slammed wildfire mitigation efforts by "recalcitrant criminal" Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Thursday, saying the bankrupt utility is violating probation by failing to trim enough trees and that, "if ever there was a corporation that deserved to go to prison, it's PG&E."

  • May 28, 2020

    Ex-GE Engineer Cops To Stealing Trade Secrets

    A research engineer who worked for General Electric Co. for more than eight years admitted Thursday to swiping trade secrets from his previous employer in hopes of using the information to start his own venture.

  • May 28, 2020

    Shareholders Say Canadian Mining Co. Lied About Problems

    A Canadian gold mining company boasted about nonexistent improvements in its mining operations in Ghana only to reveal "a laundry list of issues" later on that caused share prices to plummet, a proposed class of investors is alleging in California federal court.

  • May 28, 2020

    Anadarko Can't Duck Wyoming Landowners' Antitrust Suit Yet

    Anadarko Petroleum Corp. hasn't mounted a strong enough case to convince a Wyoming federal court to dismiss claims that the company has been collecting drilling permits it doesn't intend to use in order to keep others from profiting off certain swaths of land.

  • May 28, 2020

    Chevron Awarded More Than $15.6M In Trademark Dispute

    Chevron has gotten a Texas jury's award of $1.1 million boosted to a final judgment of more than $15.6 million against a company that infringed its trademark to dupe other companies into doing business with it.

  • May 28, 2020

    Virtual Auction Leads To $53M Ch. 11 Sale For Southland

    Oil and gas driller Southland Royalty Co. LLC received bankruptcy court approval Thursday for a $53 million sale of its assets in the San Juan Basin of Colorado and New Mexico to stalking horse bidder Morningstar Operating LLC following a virtual auction.

  • May 28, 2020

    9th Circ. Bars Pipelines From Water Permit During Appeal

    New oil and gas pipeline projects can't use an expedited Clean Water Act permitting process while the federal government and Keystone XL pipeline developer appeal a judge's order barring the use of the permit, the Ninth Circuit said Thursday.

  • May 28, 2020

    Clean Energy Tax Credit Delays Give Builders Breathing Room

    The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday formally announced an extension of eligibility deadlines for renewable energy tax credits, easing the minds of coronavirus-impacted wind and solar developers worried that blowing project milestones might cost them some or all of their credits.

Expert Analysis

  • Avoiding Inadvertent Privilege Waivers In E-Communications

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    Attorneys at WilmerHale highlight recent developments in privilege law, the significant challenges raised by nontraditional working arrangements popularized during the pandemic, and ways to avoid waiving attorney-client privilege when using electronic communications.

  • 5 Tips For Drafting Effective Legal Billing Guidelines

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    To properly manage outside counsel, it's imperative for a company's legal department to implement and maintain rules on what they will and won't pay for, on staffing cases and requesting rate increases, and on how matters will be handled, says Chris Seezen at Quovant.

  • How Energy Co. Buyers Can Limit Environmental Liability Risk

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    As potential buyers look to purchase assets of energy companies driven into bankruptcy by the coronavirus pandemic, there are a number of precautionary steps they should take to reduce the risk of liability for the seller's environmental obligations, say Jacob Hollinger and Darren Azman of McDermott.

  • Opinion

    Keystone XL Ruling Paralyzes Infrastructure Permit Process

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    A Montana federal judge's recent ruling revoking water permits for the Keystone XL pipeline and imposing a nationwide moratorium on dredging and filling operations by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seriously undermines a tried and true regulatory process, say Tom Magness at Grow America's Infrastructure Now and Patrice Douglas at Spencer Fane.

  • Opinion

    Don't Cancel Your Summer Associate Programs

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    While pulling off an effective summer associate program this year will be no easy feat, law firms' investments in their future attorneys should be considered necessary even during this difficult time, says Summer Eberhard at Major Lindsey.

  • Retail Investors Hit By Oil Price Drop May Turn To The Courts

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    The recent large drop in oil prices — and in the prices of futures contracts tied to oil — resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has generated substantial losses for many retail investors, and precedent suggests this may lead to a wave of litigation against fund managers, say economists at Bates White.

  • New Trend In IPR Institution Appealability Demands Scrutiny

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    While a recent trend of federal courts holding that U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decisions instituting inter partes reviews are not appealable requires close following, there are two remedies practitioners can seek apart from appeal, say Brett Cooper and Kevin Schubert at McKool Smith.

  • Trial By Webcam: Tips From A Firsthand Experience

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    Initially incomprehensible, it turns out that conducting trial by video is reasonable and relatively convenient, as long as lawyers do not try to recreate the courtroom experience, say Wheeler Trigg attorneys Joel Neckers and Peter Herzog, who recently participated in an online bench trial in United Power v. Tri-State before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

  • 5 Ways To Reduce Post-Pandemic Legal Malpractice Exposure

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    History suggests that legal malpractice claims will rise following the current economic downturn, and while a certain percentage of the claims will be unavoidable, there are prophylactic steps that law firms can take, says John Johnson at Cozen O'Connor.

  • NY Order Kicks Power Grid Modernization Into High Gear

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    The New York Public Service Commission's recent order directing investor-owned utilities to rapidly review their distribution and local transmission infrastructure represents a turning point in the state's efforts to update its electric grid for green energy — so interested stakeholders must weigh in soon, says Kevin Blake at Phillips Lytle.

  • FTC Continues To Zero In On Problematic M&A Noncompetes

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    Although noncompete clauses often play a vital role in mergers and acquisitions, they are not immune from antitrust scrutiny — exemplified by three recent Federal Trade Commission challenges, say Joel Grosberg and Lisa Rumin at McDermott.

  • Justices' SEC Disgorgement Ruling May Shape FCPA Matters

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming opinion in Liu v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may call into question when Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlements should be subject to disgorgement, say Matthew Rutter and Neal Hochberg at Charles River Associates.

  • COVID-19, Contango And Energy's New Economic Reality

    Excerpt from Lexis Practice Advisor
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    During the current pandemic, counsel for energy companies must be prepared for the market condition known as contango — where short-term and long-term energy prices operate differently — and with pressure from banks providing reserve-based lending facilities, says Cameron Kinvig at Lexis Practice Advisor.

  • Opinion

    Credibility Concerns About Virtual Arbitration Are Unfounded

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    Concerns that videoconferenced arbitration hearings compromise an arbitrator's ability to reliably resolve credibility contests are based on mistaken perceptions of how many cases actually turn on credibility, what credibility means in the legal world, and how arbitrators make credibility determinations, says Wayne Brazil at JAMS.

  • Opinion

    COVID-19 Relief Should Include Federal Infrastructure Bill

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    To create jobs and address the country's $4.5 trillion infrastructure backlog, the federal government should enact coronavirus relief directed at infrastructure investment, leveraged by the allocation of funds for public-private partnerships, say Andrej Micovic and Eric Singer at Bilzin Sumberg.

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