Environmental

  • June 25, 2024

    Ariz. Lawmakers Say State Has No Interest In Monument Fight

    The Arizona State Legislature says Gov. Katie Hobbs and Attorney General Kris Mayes can't show that they have an interest in lawsuits against President Joe Biden's proclamation designating an Indigenous site in the Grand Canyon region a national monument and they shouldn't be allowed to intervene in the litigation.

  • June 25, 2024

    Exxon Bid For Avangrid Docs In Greenwash Case Faces Doubt

    A Massachusetts judge on Tuesday questioned the relevance of potentially millions of wind energy company Avangrid's documents being sought by ExxonMobil in its defense of a greenwashing case brought by the state.

  • June 25, 2024

    Drilling Permit Challenge Should Stay Dead, DOI Tells DC Circ.

    The U.S. Department of the Interior told the D.C. Circuit a federal judge correctly ruled environmental groups cannot challenge the federal approval of thousands of drilling permits in New Mexico and Wyoming because they failed to establish any particularized injury.

  • June 25, 2024

    Litigation Pro Rejoins GRSM50 In Calif. From DeHay & Elliston

    Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP has strengthened its litigation bench with a partner in Walnut Creek, California, who arrived from DeHay & Elliston LLP and who worked for six years earlier in his career as a senior counsel for GRSM50.

  • June 25, 2024

    Judge Stays Food Supplier's Wastewater Suit Against Ga. City

    A Georgia federal judge on Monday agreed to stay a lawsuit in which a food supplier alleged the city of Dawsonville, Georgia, and seven city officials threatened to shut off water and sewage service to its poultry plant based on $1.5 million in illegally assessed wastewater discharge penalties.

  • June 24, 2024

    Chevron's $120M Trial Loss Reinstated By Calif. Appeals Court

    A California appellate court says Chevron cannot get another trial after a jury found it liable for the negligent operation of an oil field, overturning a lower court's ruling that the company was entitled to a new trial because a juror failed to disclose a decades-old criminal conviction.

  • June 24, 2024

    PacifiCorp To Pay Another $150M To Resolve Wildfire Claims

    PacifiCorp will shell out another $150 million to roughly 380 plaintiffs resolving "substantially all individual claims" stemming from the 2020 Slater wildfire in California, the company announced Monday, adding to the hundreds of millions of dollars the utility has already paid over wildfire-related claims.

  • June 24, 2024

    EPA Says Army Corps Doesn't Belong In Pebble Mine Dispute

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is urging an Alaska federal judge to refuse a mining company's bid to amend a lawsuit in order to reverse an Army Corps of Engineers decision denying the controversial Pebble Mine project a permit.

  • June 24, 2024

    States Attack Conservation Leasing In New Public Lands Rule

    North Dakota, Idaho and Montana are challenging the Bureau of Land Management's move to prioritize conservation in public land regulation, claiming the agency's recent public lands rule "upends" long-standing federal leasing processes and reorients land use mandates against the priorities of federal law.

  • June 24, 2024

    Toyota Accused Of Misleading Investors Over Emission Tests

    Toyota and its top brass misled investors by understating in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings its role in falsifying emissions and fuel-economy data, which led to a drop in stock price when the truth came out, according to a proposed class action filed Monday in California federal court.

  • June 24, 2024

    5th Circ. Weighs 'Binding Authority' Of Gulf Fishery Council

    A Fifth Circuit panel on Monday pushed back against the government's assertion that members of a council tasked with regulating fishing in federal waters do not count as federal officers, saying the council's ability to limit changes to federal rules "sounds like a legally binding authority."

  • June 24, 2024

    Sierra Club Says Mich. Power Co. Liable For Illegal Pollution

    The Sierra Club and a small town in Michigan are looking to hold a power plant partially liable for air pollution produced by a steel factory, claiming in amended complaints filed Monday that many of the factory's regulatory compliance failures can be traced back to energy company employees.

  • June 24, 2024

    Ill. Landowners Challenge FERC Moves On $7B Power Line

    Illinois residents, farmers and landowners launched a fresh challenge to the $7 billion Grain Belt Express high-voltage power line, telling the D.C. Circuit that when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved an amended negotiated rate authority, it ignored clean energy giant Invenergy's unsanctioned purchase of the project in 2020.

  • June 24, 2024

    IRS Finalizes Limits To Partnership Conservation Easements

    The Internal Revenue Service finalized rules Monday that curb the conservation easement tax deduction claimed by certain partnerships, with some changes to last year's proposed version, such as limiting the opportunity for entities to adjust their tax returns to avoid the new restrictions.

  • June 24, 2024

    Australian, Canadian Uranium Miners Ink $835M Combo Deal

    Australian mining company Paladin Energy Ltd. has agreed to buy Canada's Fission Uranium Corp. for CA$1.14 billion ($835 million), the companies said in a Monday statement. 

  • June 24, 2024

    No Coverage For $3M Logging Injury Verdict, 4th Circ. Affirms

    The Fourth Circuit has affirmed that an insurer doesn't have to cover a $3 million jury verdict over a man's logging injuries, finding that a North Carolina federal court correctly decided that a broad worker injury exclusion was applicable.

  • June 24, 2024

    US DOT Final Rule Ups Freight Rail Hazmat Disclosures

    Freight railroads must provide more detailed, real-time information on trains transporting hazardous materials to state and local first responders, under a new U.S. Department of Transportation final rule announced Monday that was largely spurred by last year's fiery derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

  • June 24, 2024

    NM Sued Over Sustainable Building Credit Award Process

    A New Mexico apartment complex alleges that the state violated its due process rights after it was denied sustainable building tax credits for most of its units, according to a complaint filed in federal court.

  • June 24, 2024

    Covestro, Abu Dhabi Oil In 'Concrete' Talks For $12.5B Deal

    German chemicals group Covestro AG said Monday it is advancing its talks to potentially sell the business to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. after the United Arab Emirates' oil group upped its bid to more than €11.7 billion ($12.5 billion).

  • June 24, 2024

    6th Circ. Won't Rethink Partial Revival Of Sanofi Pollution Suit

    The full Sixth Circuit has declined to review a split panel's decision reviving parts of a Sanofi unit's lawsuit against a Tennessee landfill owner it accused of improperly shuttering the dump, which then led to the contamination of water at its property.

  • June 24, 2024

    Justices Will Review Request To Rein In NEPA Requirements

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted seven Utah counties' request that it review a D.C. Circuit decision revoking federal approval of a rail line to transport crude oil from Utah.

  • June 21, 2024

    DOL Says Union's Farm Wage Challenge Too Late

    The U.S. Department of Labor has pushed back against a challenge to rules introduced in 2022 that a Washington union said are depressing farmworkers' wages, telling a federal judge Friday that the union should have objected during the rule-making period.

  • June 21, 2024

    SEC Bypassed Congress On Climate Regs, Suing States Say

    A coalition of Republican-led states suing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over recently adopted climate disclosure regulations presented their opening pitch for vacating those regulations to the Eighth Circuit on Friday, arguing that Congress has passed on the opportunity to demand climate risk reporting from publicly traded companies.

  • June 21, 2024

    Fed Circ. Revives Gov't Defenses In Land Underpayment Case

    The Federal Circuit on Friday revived a dispute alleging that the U.S. Forest Service underpaid for a property, saying the U.S. Court of Federal Claims wrongly rejected the agency's arguments that the seller shouldn't have relied on a disputed appraisal when selling.

  • June 21, 2024

    Feds, Enviros Spar Over Power Line Crossing Through Refuge

    The federal government and sparring environmental groups both called on a Wisconsin federal court to grant them judgment in litigation seeking to upend a land exchange that would allow a high-voltage transmission line to cross part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Expert Analysis

  • How Justices' Chevron Ruling May Influence Wind Projects

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    Parties both for and against the development of East Coast offshore wind development are watching the U.S. Supreme Court closely for its anticipated ruling challenging long-standing principles of agency deference that may subject decision making based on that precedent to upheaval, say attorneys at Robinson & Cole.

  • After A Brief Hiccup, The 'Rocket Docket' Soars Back To No. 1

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    The Eastern District of Virginia’s precipitous 2022 fall from its storied rocket docket status appears to have been a temporary aberration, as recent statistics reveal that the court is once again back on top as the fastest federal civil trial court in the nation, says Robert Tata at Hunton.

  • New Laws, Regs Mean More Scrutiny Of Airline Carbon Claims

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    Recent climate disclosure laws and regulations in the U.S. and Europe mean that scrutiny of airlines' green claims will likely continue to intensify — so carriers must make sure their efforts to reduce carbon emissions through use of sustainable aviation fuel, hydrogen and carbon offsets measure up to their marketing, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • Recruitment Trends In Emerging Law Firm Frontiers

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    BigLaw firms are facing local recruitment challenges as they increasingly establish offices in cities outside of the major legal hubs, requiring them to weigh various strategies for attracting talent that present different risks and benefits, says Tom Hanlon at Buchanan Law.

  • Atmospheric Rivers: Force Majeure Or Just A Rainy Day?

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    As atmospheric rivers pummel California with intense rainfall, flooding and landslides, agencies and contractors in the state struggling to manage projects may invoke force majeure — but as with all construction risk issues, the terms of the agreement govern, and relief may not always be available, say Kyle Hamilton and Corey Boock at Nossaman.

  • Series

    Glassblowing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    I never expected that glassblowing would strongly influence my work as an attorney, but it has taught me the importance of building a solid foundation for your work, learning from others and committing to a lifetime of practice, says Margaret House at Kalijarvi Chuzi.

  • 3 Surprising Deposition Dangers Attorneys Must Heed

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    Attorneys often do not think of discovery as a particularly risky phase of litigation, but counsel must closely heed some surprisingly strict and frequently overlooked requirements before, during and after depositions that can lead to draconian consequences, says Nate Sabri at Perkins Coie.

  • Best Practices For Chemical Transparency In Supply Chains

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    A flurry of new and forthcoming regulations in different jurisdictions that require disclosure of potentially hazardous substances used in companies' products and processes will require businesses to take proactive steps to build chemical transparency into their supply chains, and engage robustly and systematically with vendors, says Jillian Stacy at Enhesa.

  • How Associates Can Build A Professional Image

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    As hybrid work arrangements become the norm in the legal industry, early-career attorneys must be proactive in building and maintaining a professional presence in both physical and digital settings, ensuring that their image aligns with their long-term career goals, say Lana Manganiello at Equinox Strategy Partners and Estelle Winsett at Estelle Winsett Professional Image Consulting.

  • Navigating New Safe Harbor For Domestic Content Tax Credits

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    The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s recent notice simplifying domestic content calculations for certain solar, onshore wind and battery storage projects, which directly acknowledges the difficulty for taxpayers in gathering data to support a domestic content analysis, should make it easier to qualify additional domestic content bonus tax credits, say attorneys at A&O Shearman.

  • Emerging Trends In ESG-Focused Securities Litigation

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    Based on a combination of shareholder pressure, increasing regulatory scrutiny and proposed rulemaking, there has been a proliferation of litigation over public company disclosures and actions regarding environmental, social, and governance factors — and the overall volume of such class actions will likely increase in the coming years, say attorneys at Mintz.

  • Firms Must Rethink How They Train New Lawyers In AI Age

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    As law firms begin to use generative artificial intelligence to complete lower-level legal tasks, they’ll need to consider new ways to train summer associates and early-career attorneys, keeping in mind the five stages of skill acquisition, says Liisa Thomas at Sheppard Mullin.

  • 'Energy Communities' Update May Clarify Tax Credit Eligibility

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    A recent IRS notice that includes updated lists of locations where clean energy projects can qualify for additional tax credits — based 2023 unemployment data and placed-in-service dates — should help provide clarity regarding project eligibility that sponsors and developers need, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.

  • Think Like A Lawyer: Always Be Closing

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    When a lawyer presents their case with the right propulsive structure throughout trial, there is little need for further argument after the close of evidence — and in fact, rehashing it all may test jurors’ patience — so attorneys should consider other strategies for closing arguments, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

  • How A Bumblebee Got Under Calif. Wildlife Regulator's Bonnet

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    A California bumblebee's listing as an endangered species could lead to a regulatory quagmire as California Department of Fish and Wildlife permits now routinely include survey requirements for the bee, but the regulator has yet to determine what the species needs for conservation, says David Smith at Manatt.

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