Environmental

  • April 09, 2020

    Insurer Wants Out Of Covering Hurricane Harvey Suit Defense

    An insurer asked a Texas federal court on Thursday to declare that it no longer has to defend an industrial company facing accusations that it discharged debris into Houston-area waterways and made Hurricane Harvey-related flooding worse.

  • April 09, 2020

    NJ Court Says $1.8M Is A Fair Price For Seized Landfill

    The New Jersey state appeals court affirmed Thursday that $1.8 million is a fair price for a state planning and zoning agency to pay the town of Kearny for a landfill parcel, rejecting the town's argument that the property's revenue potential made it worth far more.

  • April 09, 2020

    NJ Panel Kills Enviro Business’ Award In Asbestos Job Suit

    A New Jersey appeals court on Thursday reversed an environmental service company’s $54,000 win in a contract breach suit, finding that a contractor was empowered to scale back a subcontractor’s work removing asbestos from a school district. 

  • April 09, 2020

    EPA Rolls Back Air Standards For Coal Waste Power Plants

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday rolled back emissions standards for a handful of small power plants that burn coal refuse, a move the EPA said is better for the environment than leaving the older, stricter rules in place.

  • April 09, 2020

    Enviros Can Restart Alaska Mine Suit Despite COVID-19 Stay

    An Alaska federal judge said Thursday that a suit by environmental and Native American groups challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's withdrawal of proposed restrictions on a gold and copper mining project can move forward despite a COVID-19-related stay.

  • April 09, 2020

    Oil Well Permits Didn't Need Enviro Review, Calif. Court Says

    California regulators did not violate state law by authorizing Aera Energy LLC to drill in a Kern County oil field without an environmental review, a state appeals court held Wednesday, rejecting claims from resident and environmental groups.

  • April 09, 2020

    Elephant Hunters Can't Speed Up Trophy Import Permits

    A D.C. federal judge shot down a group of elephant hunters' bid to force the U.S. Department of the Interior to rush requests to bring back animal trophies from abroad, finding Thursday that the hunters hadn't shown they would be irreparably harmed beyond suffering "great anguish."

  • April 09, 2020

    PG&E Touts Erin Brockovich's Support Of Reorganization Plan

    Pacific Gas & Electric is drumming up support for its reorganization plan, trumpeting Thursday an endorsement from consumer advocate Erin Brockovich, who led a legal battle against the utility over contaminated California drinking water in the mid-1990s and said wildfire victims’ “best way forward” is confirming the plan.

  • April 09, 2020

    No Atty Fees For WV Sewer District In EPA Row, Says 4th Circ.

    A municipal sewer utility in West Virginia can't collect attorney fees in its lawsuit seeking to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to act on a proposed pollution discharge plan, the Fourth Circuit said Thursday.

  • April 09, 2020

    Dems Want Border Wall Halted Over COVID-19 Concerns

    Four Democratic lawmakers wrote to the Trump administration Wednesday demanding an end to border wall construction amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the continued work is threatening the health of small border and indigenous communities.

  • April 09, 2020

    1st Circ. Will Rehear Penobscot Tribe's Water Rights Case

    The First Circuit will review en banc a divided panel ruling that the Penobscot Indian Nation can't lay claim to the Penobscot River's waters in Maine, agreeing to consider the federal government and tribe's argument that the waters should be part of the tribe's reservation.

  • April 09, 2020

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

    The past week in London has seen a major Portuguese bank join the queue of lenders suing Mozambique in the wake of a $2 billion fraud scandal, Russia's sovereign wealth fund target another news outlet over coverage, and BP add to the legal woes for its rival Glencore. Here, Law360 looks at those and other new claims in the U.K.

  • April 08, 2020

    Calif. Appeals Court Backs Marathon Refinery Project

    A California appeals court has backed a regional air regulator's approval of a Marathon Petroleum Corp. refinery upgrade project in Los Angeles County, rejecting claims that the project’s environmental review flouted state law.

  • April 08, 2020

    NJ Court Affirms Broker's $12M Loss Over Coverage Advice

    A New Jersey appeals court has affirmed a large grocery store cooperative’s $12 million win against an insurance broker over coverage advice that allegedly left its stores exposed to tens of millions of dollars in Superstorm Sandy damage, saying Wednesday there was no error in a lower court’s rulings.

  • April 08, 2020

    PG&E Tort Claimants Object To How Utility Plans To Pay Fine

    The tort claimants committee in the PG&E Chapter 11 case is asking a California bankruptcy judge to reject the utility's proposal to route $4 million in fines through their settlement trust, saying the move would create a bad precedent.

  • April 08, 2020

    San Diego County And Resort Can't Pause Lake Pollution Suit

    A California federal judge has denied a request by San Diego County and a resort owner to pause their environmental cleanup dispute until after a local water quality agency decides whether well water can be used in the pollution cleanup, saying the suit has been going on long enough.

  • April 08, 2020

    Fed Circ. Says Pa. Property Owners' Takings Claim Is Too Late

    The Federal Circuit said that current and former owners of a Pennsylvania property that was contaminated from long-ago industrial operations waited too long to bring a takings claim against the federal government over alleged uncompensated damage caused by its conduct.

  • April 08, 2020

    Full 10th Circ. Won't Rethink Holding Refiners To Biofuel Regs

    The Tenth Circuit won’t reconsider its decision to junk exemptions the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted to three refineries that temporarily absolved them from having to blend renewable fuels into their products.

  • April 08, 2020

    9th Circ. Upholds Two Montana Forest Projects

    The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday upheld two separate Montana land use decisions made by the U.S. Forest Service, a loss for environmentalists who had challenged the actions.

  • April 08, 2020

    FERC Tells 2nd Circ. NY Missed Year Deadline In CWA Review

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has told the Second Circuit that when New York environmental regulators waited more than a year to deny a Clean Water Act permit for a roughly $500 million natural gas pipeline project, the state violated a “bright line” time limit to act.

  • April 07, 2020

    Cahill Gordon Suspends 2020 Summer Associate Program

    Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP has decided to suspend its summer associate program for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm announced Tuesday though it says it will pay the associates who had been selected and will offer them full-time positions after graduation.

  • April 07, 2020

    PG&E Judge Won't OK COVID-19 Letter Co. Atty Called 'Silly'

    A California judge overseeing Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s bankruptcy declined Tuesday to approve a letter informing Northern California wildfire survivors that COVID-19 has hammered PG&E shares and reduced a $13.5 billion victims settlement fund, after a PG&E attorney slammed opposing counsel's "silly letter" as an effort to kill the deal.

  • April 07, 2020

    Calif. Water District Says It's Working To Meet Design Order

    A California water district has asked a federal court to reject environmental and indigenous groups' accusations that it ignored deadlines for it to help the protected steelhead fish navigate the Vern Freeman Dam, arguing that the groups' expectations, especially during a pandemic, are unrealistic.

  • April 07, 2020

    DC Circ. Says EPA Can't Roll Back Hydrofluorocarbons Rule

    The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday sided with environmental groups and states that challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to stop implementing an Obama-era rule restricting hydrofluorocarbon use.

  • April 07, 2020

    Dems Mull Major Changes To Banking, Housing In Relief Bill

    As House Democrats develop their proposal for another COVID-19 relief package, a memo obtained by Law360 shows that Financial Services Committee staff are recommending a blanket ban on stock buybacks, a halt to all evictions and foreclosures, and a pause on any negative credit reporting.

Expert Analysis

  • Key Risks For Green Bond Issuers When Plans Change

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    Green bond issuers struggling to adhere to their frameworks amid a pandemic-prompted economic downturn should prioritize communication with investors consistent with their reporting obligations under the relevant securities laws, contracts and listing rules, say attorneys at Latham.

  • Calif. Organic Waste Regs Mean Sweeping Changes For Cos.

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    With the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery set to release final regulations aimed at aggressively minimizing organic waste, businesses should review their obligations under the rules as well as the details of their local jurisdiction’s implementation, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn.

  • Don't Forget Firm Culture When Adapting To Remote Work

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    While law firms suddenly pivoting to remote work due to coronavirus restrictions are busy dealing with logistical challenges, an equally pressing and perhaps more difficult task may be adjusting a long-standing brick-and-mortar culture to working remotely for the first time, say Heather Clauson Haughian and Grant Walsh at Culhane Meadows.

  • Fracking Decision Strengthens Precedent On Forced Pooling

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    A Colorado federal court's ruling last month in Wildgrass Oil & Gas Committee v. State of Colorado joins several recent decisions confirming that forced pooling of mineral interests is legal in the context of hydraulic fracturing, says Russell Gips at Copeland & Rice.

  • Conducting Court Hearings Remotely: 12 Considerations

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    As more courts begin to explore remote hearings during the COVID-19 crisis, attorneys and courts should be aware of some of the common concerns accompanying video- and teleconferencing technology and make allowances to avoid these issues, say Attison Barnes III and Krystal Swendsboe at Wiley Rein.

  • What Cos. Must Know About EPA's COVID-19 Policy

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently issued temporary policy on the implications of COVID-19 for environmental enforcement and compliance activities provides some comfort to companies trying to reconcile pandemic control measures with environmental obligations, say Joel Gross and Jonathan Martel at Arnold & Porter.

  • The Era Of Video Mediation Is Here — Or Is It?

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    Mediator Jeff Kichaven has heard from several first-chair trial lawyers and senior claims executives that they are reluctant to adopt online video mediation even during the COVID-19 crisis, and says this reluctance is grounded in reality.

  • COVID-19 Highlights BigLaw Need For Emotional Intelligence

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    The formula for making decisions at BigLaw firms has historically been rooted in IQ-based factors, but with the ongoing pandemic, lawyers and firm leaders are increasingly dealing with issues that require emotional intelligence — from establishing effective virtual offices to retaining firm morale and client confidence, say Jolie Balido and Tina van der Ven at NewStar Media.

  • Key Issues As Automakers Shift To Medical Device Production

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    As automakers respond creatively to the COVID-19 pandemic, they must anticipate and address important performance and quality requirements as they work to quickly transform automotive and others factories for medical device production, say advisers and attorneys at King & Spalding.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Shaming Of Attys Is Troubling Even During Pandemic

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    Judges have recently rebuked attorneys for wasting judicial resources to resolve minor issues during the COVID-19 crisis, including in a trademark lawsuit over unicorn drawings. But it is unfair to publicly flog lawyers for doing what they are trained to do, says Ronald Minkoff, chairman of Frankfurt Kurnit's professional responsibility group.

  • Environmental Compliance Essentials During The Pandemic

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    Organizations can take certain steps now to ensure they are able to meet environmental compliance obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic — or to obtain relief based on force majeure, impossibility or impracticability of performance, compliance-with-all-laws clauses, enforcement discretion, or emergency relief provisions, say Bernadette Rappold and Christopher Bell at Greenberg Traurig.

  • Don't Be Social Media Distancing: LinkedIn Tips For Lawyers

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    While we need to be physically apart at this time, lawyers and firms should be leaning into social media to reinforce and build relationships, and help guide clients through the coronavirus crisis, says marketing consultant Stefanie Marrone.

  • COVID-19 And Construction Stormwater Discharge Permits

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    As some state and local jurisdictions have begun to direct that construction projects shut down due to COVID-19 concerns, questions have arisen about contractors’ ongoing obligations under their projects’ National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System construction stormwater discharge permits, says Nick Hoogstraten at Peckar & Abramson.

  • Justices' Citgo Ruling Offers Shippers Contractual Clarity

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent opinion in Citgo v. Frescati provides shippers, brokers and counsel with assurance that maritime shipping contracts' safe berth clauses are an express warranty of safety, allowing future agreements to be drafted with greater certainty, say Christopher Nolan and Robert Denig at Holland & Knight.

  • Remote Depositions: Coming To A Home Office Near You

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    Recent Texas state court orders indicate judges are increasingly requiring parties and nonparties to submit to remote depositions amid the pandemic. However, there are inherent drawbacks to such depositions, including limitations on attorneys’ ability to assess witness credibility, says Edward Duffy at Reed Smith.

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