Environmental

  • July 16, 2019

    A Look Back At Justice Stevens' Most Important Opinions

    Justice John Paul Stevens wrote over 1,000 opinions in his 34 years on the U.S. Supreme Court, leaving a footprint in the court’s jurisprudence still visible today. Here, Law360 looks back at his most important decisions, from landmark First Amendment cases to those involving the separation of powers.

  • July 16, 2019

    5th Circ. Won't Revive Investors' Suit Over Calif. Oil Spill

    Optimistic and "aspirational" statements by Plains All American Pipeline LP about the condition of a California pipeline that broke in 2015 and caused an oil spill aren't enough to revive a shareholder lawsuit accusing the company of being misleading, the Fifth Circuit said Tuesday.

  • July 16, 2019

    Justice John Paul Stevens' Brand Of Judicial Humility

    His critics called him a "liberal activist." His fans? A "liberal icon." But those who worked for Justice John Paul Stevens remember a common law judge who took things one case at a time.

  • July 16, 2019

    Dominion Asks DC Court Not To Dismantle Power Project

    Dominion Energy Inc. urged a D.C. federal court Monday to remand its permit for an already-completed electricity transmission project to the Army Corps of Engineers without voiding it, arguing the results of an environmental study could still end up clearing the project.

  • July 16, 2019

    Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, Hero To Left, Dead At 99

    Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, a World War II veteran who became a liberal icon during his more than three decades on the U.S. Supreme Court, died Tuesday at 99, the Supreme Court said.

  • July 16, 2019

    Utilities, Regulators Challenge FERC Energy Storage Rule

    Utility groups and an organization representing state utility regulators are challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's landmark rule that makes a place for energy storage in wholesale electricity markets.

  • July 16, 2019

    China Plows Ahead With WTO Challenge To US Solar Tariffs

    China has asked the World Trade Organization to consider its challenge to the Trump administration's tariffs on imported cells used in solar panels, escalating tensions with the U.S. after prior efforts to resolve the trade disagreement fell short.

  • July 16, 2019

    Fla. Says Land Buying Funds Can Go To Other Enviro Uses

    Florida legislators on Tuesday defended their allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars in conservation land acquisition funds for other conservation purposes, telling a state appeals court the text of the constitutional amendment setting aside those funds gives them the leeway to do so.

  • July 16, 2019

    Clean Power Plan Foes Say New Rule Kills Court Case

    Challengers of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan asked the D.C. Circuit late Monday to put out of its misery long-delayed litigation over the rule slashing greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, since the Trump administration has finally released a replacement rule.

  • July 16, 2019

    Feds Abandon La. Enviro Researchers' Trade Secrets Case

    Federal prosecutors in Louisiana on Monday sought to dismiss a grand jury's charges against two former water research group employees who allegedly tried to steal Mississippi Delta environmental modeling software, saying they haven't got enough evidence.

  • July 16, 2019

    WTO Deals Another Blow To US CVDs On Chinese Goods

    The World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body ruled Tuesday that the U.S. government has continued to violate global trade rules with its countervailing duties on Chinese solar panels, wind towers, and various steel and aluminum products.

  • July 15, 2019

    Feds Ink $33M Enviro Deal With Defunct Magnesium Cos.

    More than 18 years after accusing two now-defunct magnesium companies of polluting at a production facility in Utah, federal agencies announced Monday that they’ve reached a settlement under which the companies’ trustee and others will fund a $33 million cleanup.

  • July 15, 2019

    Tribal Org. Blew Chance To Fight Pipeline, DC Circ. Told

    A Kinder Morgan unit has told the D.C. Circuit that a Rhode Island tribe's preservation office can't challenge a federal review of the company's pipeline expansion project because the office didn't take part in the review process.

  • July 15, 2019

    Enviros Challenge BLM Approval Of Ariz. Oil And Gas Leases

    Environmental groups are accusing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management of improperly approving oil and natural gas leases on public land, saying Monday in Arizona federal court that the agency failed to conduct a new environmental review of the leases in question as required under federal law.

  • July 15, 2019

    $80M Roundup Verdict Slashed To $25M By Calif. Judge

    A California federal judge on Monday reduced an $80 million verdict against Monsanto to $25 million, calling the company's failure to warn about the dangers of its Roundup weedkiller "reprehensible" but finding the punitive damages awarded to a man who claims Roundup caused his cancer unreasonably high.

  • July 15, 2019

    Feds Say Beef Group Can’t Show Harm From Water Rule

    The federal government on Monday told a Washington federal court that a cattle industry association can't win its bid to block an Obama-era rule that expanded federal bodies of water protections because the association can't show it's been sufficiently harmed.

  • July 15, 2019

    DOT Must Redo Railroad Hazmat Plan Rule, DC Circ. Told

    A new U.S. Department of Transportation rule ensuring railroads are prepared to handle oil spills and other accidents involving trains carrying hazardous materials must be retooled to safeguard railroads' confidential information, Union Pacific told the D.C. Circuit on Monday.

  • July 15, 2019

    GAO Says EPA Skirting Advisory Board Selection Rules

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed to ensure that nominees for its advisory committees met ethics requirements and skipped a key step in vetting members of two important science committees, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a Monday report.

  • July 15, 2019

    VW Rips SEC's Delayed Emissions Fraud Suit

    Volkswagen AG has told a California federal judge that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission can't hide behind excuses for waiting years to sue the German automaker for allegedly defrauding U.S. investors in a bond offering that failed to disclose its "clean diesel" emissions cheating scheme.

  • July 15, 2019

    Energy Cases To Watch In The Second Half Of 2019

    Climate change will dominate the energy-related court cases attorneys will watch in the second half of 2019, while fights over FERC's bankruptcy authority and state-level disputes over energy partnerships and oil and gas rights will draw plenty of eyeballs. Here are seven cases that energy attorneys will be watching in the second half of the year.

  • July 13, 2019

    Trump Spares Uranium Imports From National Security Duties

    President Donald Trump declared late Friday that U.S. reliance on foreign uranium does not pose a national security threat and declined to set new tariffs on those imports, marking a rare instance of restraint from a White House that has aggressively and creatively enforced the nation’s trade laws.

  • July 12, 2019

    Enviros Urge Justices To Uphold 9th Circ. Groundwater Ruling

    Green groups on Friday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Ninth Circuit's holding that Clean Water Act permits may be required for pollution sources that discharge contaminants via groundwater.

  • July 12, 2019

    Atty Slams Order To Pay $5M For Fraud That Snared NBA Star

    A well-known Alabama attorney and businessman vowed Friday to appeal a Georgia federal judge's order requiring him to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $5 million for defrauding former NBA star Charles Barkley and other investors out of millions of dollars.

  • July 12, 2019

    Trump Seeks High Court Stay Of Border Wall Fund Injunction

    The Trump administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to stay a California federal court's ruling that keeps him from pulling $2.5 billion in Defense Department money to pay for six border wall projects while it tries to overturn the decision at the Ninth Circuit.

  • July 12, 2019

    NJ Atty Disciplined For Bogus Fee Doc In Lockheed Suit

    The New Jersey Supreme Court on Friday reprimanded a lawyer for presenting a federal court and counsel for Lockheed Martin with a backdated version of a fee agreement signed by her client in support of a bid for attorney fees in an environmental suit against the defense contractor.

Expert Analysis

  • Answers To Key Legal Finance Ethics Questions

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    While there is discussion in some quarters about new regulations on commercial legal finance, the hands-off approach taken by the majority of courts and legislatures is an implicit recognition that it is already sufficiently regulated, says Danielle Cutrona of Burford Capital.

  • Federal Agencies Need A Uniform Record-Keeping Process

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    The administrative record is very important to federal agency litigation — as showcased in last month's U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census — yet there is no set of consistent principles to guide agencies in compiling these official records, say attorneys at WilmerHale.

  • The Role Of Dictionaries In Last Term's High Court Decisions

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    Since 32 of the 67 decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court during its October term cite dictionaries, it’s worth reviewing the opinions to learn which dictionaries the justices consulted and how they used them, say Bruce Wessel and Brian Weissenberg of Irell & Manella.

  • Climate Change And Insurance: Insurers' Subrogation Claims

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    Once the litigation floodgates open for property damage lawsuits against greenhouse gas polluters, a second wave of subrogation claims brought by first-party property insurers is likely to follow, say José Umbert and Jason Reeves of Zelle.

  • How To Evaluate The Rise In Legal Employment

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    Although the rate of employment for law school graduates — which had been falling steadily — saw a small increase over the last year, other factors, such as fewer graduates overall and potential future job growth stagnation, temper the good news for those pursuing law degrees, say Tiffane Cochran and Tyler Grimm of AccessLex Institute.

  • What Justices' Deference Opinion Means For Employers

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    The U.S. Supreme Court rewrote the rules on judicial deference to federal agency guidelines with its recent decision in Kisor v. Wilkie. For employers — where agency guidance frequently disclaims authoritative use — it means a lot of settled law is potentially up for grabs, says Steven Katz at Constangy Brooks.

  • Opinion

    The Business Case For Championing Diverse Legal Teams

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    Leveraging the collective strengths of a diverse workforce is not only the right thing to do, it’s a strategic imperative for any successful firm or business, says Louise Pentland, executive vice president and chief business affairs and legal officer of PayPal.

  • ARIA Paves The Way For US Reengagement With Asia

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    A U.S. Senate subcommittee recently held hearings concerning the 6-month-old Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, which seeks to renew U.S. engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. But the success of the law will depend on whether the private, governmental and nongovernmental sectors make full use of the funding it provides, says Chuong Le of Snell & Wilmer.

  • The Art Of The 'Science And Expert Team' In Mass Torts

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    Science is at the foundation of mass tort lawsuits involving drugs or medical devices. Critical to a virtual law team in these cases, the "science and expert team" does more than get into the weeds of scientific issues and retain experts, say attorneys at FaegreBD, Peabody & Arnold and Shook Hardy.

  • Rethinking The Tech-First Approach To Law Firm Solutions

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    When a lawyer complains about some workflow inefficiency they are having, the knee-jerk reaction of many firms is to look for a technology-based workaround. This overlooks the importance of human psychology and behavior, which may be the root of the problem, says Ryan Steadman of Zero.

  • Perspectives

    Artisanal Miners' Roadblocks To Justice: Is A Path Clearing?

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    Efforts to give small-scale gold miners, who face displacement, pollution and violence at sites around the world, access to fair and functioning justice systems have met with apathy from politicians and fierce resistance from powerful business lobbies, but there are signs that this may be changing, says Mark Pieth, president of the Basel Institute on Governance.

  • In High Court's Kisor Ruling, 2 Important Doctrines Survive

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s surprising 9-0 ruling in Kisor v. Wilkie salvaged Auer deference, but of even greater significance was Chief Justice John Roberts’ alignment with the four liberal justices on the stare decisis question, say Dan Deane and Nathan Warecki at Nixon Peabody.

  • Top 10 Techniques For Crafting A Dazzling Brief

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    Legal writing often falls flat not because it’s unorganized, but because it’s technically unsound and riddled with gaffes that cheapen and degrade it. Avoiding the most common mistakes will keep judges interested and, most importantly, make them trust you, says Daniel Karon of Karon LLC.

  • Recent Tax Equity Rulings And The Renewable Energy Sector

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    While mirror Federal Claims Court decisions last week in the Bishop Hill Energy and California Ridge Wind Energy cases were favorable for the renewable energy industry, companies seeking project development grants from the U.S. Department of the Treasury may want to reconsider some of their practices, say David Burton and Keith Martin from Norton Rose.

  • High Court May Take On Preemption In Superfund Case

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    The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to review a Montana Supreme Court decision allowing common-law environmental cleanup claims at sites already subject to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleanup orders. The court may have taken the case because it addresses federal agencies' authority to preempt state-level claims, say Jeffrey Dintzer and Greg Christianson of Alston & Bird.