Environmental

  • April 12, 2024

    DOI Sews Up Overhaul Of Oil Leasing Regs And Rates

    The U.S. Department of the Interior on Friday finalized its overhaul of decades-old onshore oil and gas leasing regulations and rates with an eye on guiding oil and gas drilling toward already developed public lands.

  • April 12, 2024

    Maine AG Sues Monsanto Over PCB Contamination

    Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey sued Monsanto on Friday seeking to recover damages for the company's alleged contamination of the state's waterways with polychlorinated biphenyls, a dangerous chemical compound known to accumulate and persist in humans and the environment.

  • April 12, 2024

    5th Circ. Won't Block Park Plan Over Religious Concerns

    The Fifth Circuit has upheld a lower court's decision ordering the city of San Antonio to allow Native American church members access to a park under renovation for religious ceremonies but declined to enjoin the city's planned tree removal and bird deterrence program.

  • April 12, 2024

    DOJ Must Cut Through Political Noise In US Steel Probe

    The U.S. Department of Justice has its work cut out for it as it conducts a probe of Nippon Steel's planned $14.9 billion takeover of U.S. Steel, a potentially drawn out process that experts say will test the antitrust division's ability to remain objective in the face of immense pressure from President Biden, an influential union, and a concurrent CFIUS review. 

  • April 12, 2024

    Mediation Not Required In River Authority Price Hike Row

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday reversed a lower court decision that the San Jacinto River Authority was required to mediate claims with two Houston-area cities over unpaid amounts for groundwater services, writing that contract provisions for alternative dispute resolution "do not serve as limits" on a waiver of governmental immunity.

  • April 12, 2024

    NC Auto Parts Co. Settling Feds' Emissions-Cheating Claims

    The U.S. government and a North Carolina auto parts seller are close to settling a lawsuit alleging the company sold equipment to overwrite vehicle emissions controls, according to a joint motion to stay the litigation so the two sides can finalize a deal.

  • April 12, 2024

    Tribes Look To Overturn Enbridge's Line 5 Mich. Tunnel Permit

    Several tribal nations are asking the Michigan Court of Appeals to overturn and remand a state commission's permit approval that allows Enbridge Energy to build a Line 5 pipeline tunnel project beneath the Straits of Mackinac, arguing that they and others were barred from introducing evidence relevant to the final decision.

  • April 12, 2024

    US Steel Stockholders Greenlight $14.9B Sale To Nippon

    U.S. Steel said Friday that its shareholders have "overwhelmingly" approved the American steel company's nearly $15 billion takeover by Japan's Nippon Steel, a positive development in a deal that's otherwise received a high degree of political and regulatory scrutiny. 

  • April 12, 2024

    Florida Loses Bid To Retain Control Of CWA Permit Program

    A D.C. federal judge on Friday rejected Florida's bid to retain some control over a Clean Water Act permitting program that he recently found was improperly handed off to the state by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • April 12, 2024

    Justices Limit Shareholder Suits Over Corporate Disclosures

    A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that a corporation's failure to disclose certain information about its future business risks, absent any affirmative statement that would make such silence misleading, cannot itself be the basis of a private securities fraud claim.

  • April 11, 2024

    NJ Climate Suit Goes 'Far Beyond' Boundaries, Oil Cos. Say

    Six oil companies and an energy trade group told a judge Thursday that New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin is attempting to stretch the state's tort law "far beyond" any manageable boundaries in attempting to hold them liable for allegedly misleading Garden State residents about the climate impacts of fossil fuels.

  • April 11, 2024

    Interior Dept. Finalizes Rule To Strengthen Endangered Species Act

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday announced a final rule it said is intended to increase participation in its voluntary conservation programs, but environmentalists slammed it as "a huge missed opportunity" to improve conditions for wildlife.

  • April 11, 2024

    Pacific Pipeline To Pay Calif. Landowners $70M Over Oil Spill

    A class of landowners urged a California federal judge to sign off on a $70 million deal with Pacific Pipeline Co. to resolve litigation stemming from the rupture of an onshore pipeline that leaked 140,000 gallons of crude oil near Santa Barbara, California, according to a motion for settlement approval entered Wednesday.

  • April 11, 2024

    DOI Lowers Fees For Solar, Wind Projects On Public Lands

    The U.S. Department of the Interior unveiled finalized updates to its renewable energy regulations on Thursday that are aimed at promoting the development of solar and wind energy on public lands by lowering the associated fees.

  • April 11, 2024

    Ohio Judge Axes Norfolk's Derailment Cleanup Cost Defenses

    An Ohio federal judge has struck several of Norfolk Southern Corp.'s defenses against the government's environmental cleanup cost suit arising from the train derailment in East Palestine but said it is too early to rule on the company's argument that the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act claims are preempted by federal rail statutes.

  • April 11, 2024

    Alaska Native Village Defends Donlin Gold Mine Approvals

    Alaska's Native Village of Crooked Creek threw its support behind the federal government in litigation brought by half a dozen tribes challenging its approvals for a massive open-pit gold mine along the Kuskokwim River in southwest Alaska, saying the project will bring meaningful improvements to Crooked Creek.

  • April 11, 2024

    Vineyard Wind Project Thoroughly Vetted, Feds Tell 1st Circ.

    The federal government on Thursday urged the First Circuit to uphold a Massachusetts federal judge's decision tossing a fishing group's challenge to the Vineyard Wind project, saying it was approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior after extensive analysis.

  • April 11, 2024

    Judge Recommends State Court For Ore. County Climate Suit

    A federal magistrate judge has said an Oregon county's climate change lawsuit against Chevron, Exxon Mobil and other fossil fuel companies should be sent back to state court, rejecting arguments that the complaint was fraudulently crafted to evade federal jurisdiction.

  • April 11, 2024

    Longtime Hogan Lovells Transport Head Joins Morgan Lewis

    Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP has hired the former head of Hogan Lovells' transportation practice as a Washington, D.C.-based partner and co-leader of its global automotive and mobility practice.

  • April 11, 2024

    Fired Yellow Corp. Workers Can Proceed With Class Action

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Thursday lent support to a group of laid off Yellow Corp. workers in their bid to bring a class action against the insolvent trucking company, saying he would recognize claims tied to the terminations brought by both union members and others.

  • April 11, 2024

    Colonial Oil Fined $2.8M For Violating Renewable Fuel Rules

    Colonial Oil Industries Inc. will pay a $2.8 million fine to resolve allegations it dodged federal renewable fuel mandates by selling 100 million gallons of diesel to marine vessels without buying required offset credits, according to a proposed settlement filed in Georgia federal court.

  • April 11, 2024

    EPA Says Colo. Air Pollution Plan Approval Was Proper

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday urged the Tenth Circuit to uphold its approval of a Colorado air emissions permitting program, and said a green group's argument that the scheme contains too many exemptions for the oil and gas industry pollution is mistaken.

  • April 11, 2024

    Judge Won't Rethink Ax Of Tribes 'Cultural Resource' Claims

    A Washington federal judge has refused to rethink his dismissal of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation's claims for "tribal service losses" stemming from a smelter's Columbia River pollution, saying the tribes did not meet the standard required for reconsideration.

  • April 11, 2024

    US Sends Mixed Messages In Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline Dispute

    The U.S. government sent mixed messages to the Seventh Circuit in weighing in on Enbridge's controversial Line 5 oil pipeline, saying a lower court was right to determine that the company is trespassing on tribal lands, but recommended that the case be remanded and that a tribe's public nuisance claim be dismissed. 

  • April 10, 2024

    GOP Rep. Calls On SEC To Delay Climate Rule Compliance

    A Republican congressman said Wednesday that he plans to ask the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to push back the compliance timeline for controversial rules governing corporate climate disclosures, indicating that the agency's agreement to temporarily stay the rules' implementation during the course of a legal challenge is not enough.

Expert Analysis

  • 2 Issues For Venture-Backed Climate Tech Startups To Avoid

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    As climate tech startups become more common, poor equity dilution management and stacked seed financing are two common pitfalls that apply more acutely to climate tech startups than to the broader venture-backed startup space, say attorneys at Goodwin.

  • 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.

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