Environmental

  • May 22, 2024

    American Air Pilots Win Cert. Over 401(k)'s ESG Investments

    A Texas federal judge on Wednesday certified a class of pilots accusing American Airlines of packing its $26 billion retirement plan with investments that focused too heavily on environmental, social and governance factors, like climate change, and too little on financial returns.

  • May 22, 2024

    Int'l Tribunal Says Countries Must Do More To Protect Oceans

    In a historic unanimous ruling, an international tribunal has concluded that greenhouse gas emissions are polluting the oceans and that nations have an obligation under international law to "take all necessary measures" to prevent, reduce and control these emissions.

  • May 22, 2024

    Founders Of BP's Archaea Looted From Own Co., Suit Says

    A group of fraternity brothers who founded waste management company Noble Environmental Inc. and later sold a venture called Archaea Energy to BP has been hit with a shareholder derivative suit in Delaware Chancery Court alleging the fraternity brothers stole billions of dollars from the company and breached their fiduciary duties to minority shareholders.

  • May 22, 2024

    Feds And Enviro Groups Fight Utah Counties' High Court Bid

    The United States, a Colorado county and five environmental groups are fighting a bid by a coalition of Utah counties to win a U.S. Supreme Court review of a D.C. Circuit decision revoking federal approval of a rail line to transport crude oil from the state.

  • May 22, 2024

    Youths Take Second Crack At Constitutional Climate Suit

    A group of young plaintiffs on Monday made their second attempt at a lawsuit alleging that the Constitution guarantees "a life-sustaining climate system" and that the federal government unconstitutionally discriminates against children by favoring the fossil fuel industry's interests over children's.

  • May 22, 2024

    Mich. Judge Not Satisfied By Atty's Letter Over Flint PR Stunt

    The federal judge overseeing Flint, Michigan, water crisis cases isn't satisfied with a California attorney's letter denying involvement in an alleged smear campaign targeting a lawyer for Flint children, saying Wednesday that if the attorney doesn't provide more substantive information, she will be referred to the State Bar of California.

  • May 22, 2024

    Justices' CFPB Alliance May Save SEC Courts, Not Chevron

    A four-justice concurrence to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's unique funding scheme last week carries implications for other cases pending before the court that challenge the so-called administrative state, or the permanent cadre of regulatory agencies and career government enforcers who hold sway over vast swaths of American economic life.

  • May 22, 2024

    Solar Cell Duties May Inadvertently Crush Domestic Industry

    A bevy of new duty rules on solar cell imports from Asia, coupled with a government investigation instigated by domestic producers unconventionally claiming to protect future homegrown manufacturing, could backfire on the Biden administration's efforts to boost the nascent domestic sector.

  • May 22, 2024

    Developer Had No Duty To Verify Flood Model, Court Hears

    A Houston-area developer indicated before a state appeals court Wednesday that the consequences of entering a judgment in favor of more than 400 homeowners whose properties flooded during Hurricane Harvey would be catastrophic, as their claims boil down to the developer's alleged failure to double-check modeling conducted by an outside consultant.

  • May 22, 2024

    DuPont 'Document Dump' Rattles NC In PFAS Suit

    North Carolina and DuPont on Wednesday battled over what the state called a roughly 5 million-page "document dump" ahead of a looming June 3 discovery deadline in its contamination lawsuit, irking a business court judge in the process.

  • May 22, 2024

    Senate, House Dems Seek DOJ Big Oil Climate Impact Probe

    U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, Democrats from Rhode Island and Maryland, respectively, called on the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday to formally investigate Big Oil companies over their decadeslong effort to conceal the impact of fossil fuels on climate change.

  • May 22, 2024

    $600M Norfolk Southern Derailment Deal Gets Early Court OK

    Consolidated class litigation over last year's fiery Norfolk Southern train derailment and toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, cleared a court hurdle Tuesday after a federal judge tentatively signed off on a proposed $600 million settlement between the rail giant and thousands of impacted residents and businesses.

  • May 22, 2024

    EPA Urges Justices To Keep Ozone Fight In DC Circ.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to keep seven consolidated challenges to the EPA's decision disapproving Utah's and Oklahoma's air quality plans in the D.C. Circuit.

  • May 22, 2024

    Oil Tanker Operators To Pay $2M For Dumping Oil From Ship

    The operators of the motor tanker PS Dream pled guilty in Louisiana federal court as part of a $2 million plea deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that includes four years of probation, after a whistleblower shared a video of oil being deliberately pumped overboard in January 2023.

  • May 22, 2024

    Mich. Judge Gives Final OK To Engineering Co. $8M Flint Deal

    A Michigan federal judge has granted final approval of an $8 million settlement between a civil engineering company and Flint, Michigan, residents, putting to rest claims the company failed to warn them of likely lead contamination that triggered a drinking water crisis in the city.

  • May 21, 2024

    Pacific Seafood Beats Crab Price-Fixing Claims, For Now

    A California federal magistrate judge on Tuesday dismissed a proposed class action claiming Pacific Seafood fixed the price paid to fishers for Dungeness crab in the Pacific Northwest but will allow the fisherman who filed the suit the opportunity to amend most of his claims.

  • May 21, 2024

    9th Circ. Axes Forest Service's Calif. Mining Exemption

    A split Ninth Circuit panel on Tuesday cut down the U.S. Forest Service's approval of gold exploration mining in California's Inyo National Forest, handing a win to environmentalists who had opposed the project for its potential impacts to threatened sage grouse and endangered fish.

  • May 21, 2024

    Banks Urged To Vote Out Exxon Leaders Who Sued Investors

    A group of state and city financial officials sent letters to some of the biggest banks and asset managers Tuesday urging them to vote against Exxon Mobil Corp.'s CEO and lead independent director at an upcoming annual meeting because of the company's lawsuit against a pair of environmentally minded activist investors.

  • May 21, 2024

    Fla. Scientist Fights Contempt Ruling In Data Theft Suit

    A Florida Everglades scientist urged a state appeals court Tuesday to reverse a contempt ruling against him over violating an injunction to preserve computer data from his prior job, saying that the order was ambiguous and that the lower court wrongly appointed opposing counsel to prosecute the violation.

  • May 21, 2024

    Nixing Green Energy Tax Perks Would Be Tough For Trump

    Former President Donald Trump has vowed to scrap Democrats' signature 2022 climate law should he get reelected in November, but following through on that campaign promise could prove difficult amid bipartisan support for many of the law's clean energy tax incentives and a potentially divided Congress.

  • May 21, 2024

    20 States Challenge Biden Admin's NEPA Rule

    A group of 20 states sued the Biden administration's Council on Environmental Quality on Tuesday in North Dakota federal court, challenging a recent environmental permitting rule they claim unlawfully changes the National Environmental Policy Act's review procedures "into a substantive set of requirements to achieve broad and vague policy goals."

  • May 21, 2024

    Drinking Water Systems At Risk Of Cyberattack, EPA Says

    More than 70% of the nation's drinking water systems are not in compliance with federal law requiring them to assess the risks of and develop plans for cybersecurity attacks, which could leave them vulnerable to foreign interference, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

  • May 21, 2024

    TotalEnergies Hit With Climate Criminal Complaint In France

    Three environmental groups, alongside eight victims of climate change, filed a criminal complaint on Tuesday in Paris against French petroleum company TotalEnergies' board of directors and main shareholders for their alleged contribution to climate change and its impact on humans and the environment.

  • May 21, 2024

    Feds Fight Philly Port Authority's River Expansion Suit

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has denied allegations made by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority that building a new port on the Delaware River southwest of Philadelphia would cut off shipping business to the city in favor of the First State.

  • May 21, 2024

    DC Circ. Won't Let Fla. Halt Wetlands Permits Decision

    The D.C. Circuit on Monday refused Florida's request to pause a lower court's ruling that stripped the state of its federally delegated authority to administer a Clean Water Act permitting program until its appeal is resolved, rejecting its argument that the decision is likely to be reversed.

Expert Analysis

  • NY's Vision For Grid Of The Future: Flexible, Open, Affordable

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    Acknowledging that New York state's progress toward its climate goals is stalling, the New York Public Service Commission's recent "Grid of the Future" order signals a move toward more flexible, cost-effective solutions — and suggests potential opportunities for nonutility participation, say Daniel Spitzer and William McLaughlin at Hodgson Russ.

  • Trump Hush Money Case Offers Master Class In Trial Strategy

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    The New York criminal hush money trial of former President Donald Trump typifies some of the greatest challenges that lawyers face in crafting persuasive presentations, providing lessons on how to handle bad facts, craft a simple story that withstands attack, and cross-examine with that story in mind, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

  • Leveraging Insurance Amid Microplastics Concerns

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    A pending microplastics lawsuit — New York v. PepsiCo Inc. — may be a harbinger of what is to come for companies whose products are exposed to the environment, so any company considering how to address microplastics liability should include a careful assessment of the potential for insurance coverage in its due diligence, say attorneys at Haynes Boone.

  • Series

    Teaching Yoga Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Being a yoga instructor has helped me develop my confidence and authenticity, as well as stress management and people skills — all of which have crossed over into my career as an attorney, says Laura Gongaware at Clyde & Co.

  • A Vision For Economic Clerkships In The Legal System

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    As courts handle increasingly complex damages analyses involving vast amounts of data, an economic clerkship program — integrating early-career economists into the judicial system — could improve legal outcomes and provide essential training to clerks, say Mona Birjandi at Data for Decisions and Matt Farber at Secretariat.

  • What A Louisiana Ruling Means For Pipeline Crossings

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    After a Louisiana appeals court's recent ruling on a conflict between two pipeline projects, operators and developers should review pipeline crossings to ensure that they occur at safe distances — and keep in mind the value of crossing agreements for protecting both sides in case of a dispute, say attorneys at McGuireWoods.

  • ECHR Ruling May Pave Path For A UK Climate Damage Tort

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    In light of case law on the interaction between human rights law and common law, the European Court of Human Rights' recent ruling in KlimaSeniorinnen v. Switzerland, finding the country at fault for failures to tackle global warming, could tip the scales toward extending English tort law to cover climate change-related losses, say lawyers at Cleary.

  • Opinion

    Climate Change Shouldn't Be Litigated Under State Laws

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    The U.S. Supreme Court should reverse the Hawaii Supreme Court's October decision in Honolulu v. Sunoco that Hawaii could apply state law to emissions generated outside the state, because it would lead to a barrage of cases seeking to resolve a worldwide problem according to 50 different variations of state law, says Andrew Ketterer at Ketterer & Ketterer.

  • Regulating Resurrected Species Under The ESA

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    As the prospect of extinct species being resurrected from DNA and reintroduced into the wild grows closer, an analysis of the Endangered Species Act suggests that it could provide a thoughtful, flexible governance framework for such scenarios, say Caroline Meadows and Shelby Bobosky at the SMU Dedman School of Law.

  • E-Discovery Quarterly: Recent Rulings On Text Message Data

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    Electronically stored information on cellphones, and in particular text messages, can present unique litigation challenges, and recent court decisions demonstrate that counsel must carefully balance what data should be preserved, collected, reviewed and produced, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • What CRA Deadline Means For Biden Admin. Rulemaking

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    With the 2024 election rapidly approaching, the Biden administration must race to finalize proposed agency actions within the next few weeks, or be exposed to the chance that the following Congress will overturn the rules under the Congressional Review Act, say attorneys at Covington.

  • IP Considerations For Companies In Carbon Capture Sector

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    As companies collaborate to commercialize carbon capture technologies amid massive government investment under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a coherent intellectual property strategy is more important than ever, including proactively addressing and resolving questions about ownership of the technology, say Ashley Kennedy and James De Vellis at Foley & Lardner.

  • Keeping Up With Class Actions: A New Era Of Higher Stakes

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    Corporate defendants saw unprecedented settlement numbers across all areas of class action litigation in 2022 and 2023, and this year has kept pace so far, with three settlements that stand out for the nature of the claims and for their high dollar amounts, says Gerald Maatman at Duane Morris.

  • 5 Climate Change Regulatory Issues Insurers Should Follow

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    The climate change landscape for insurers has changed dramatically recently — and not just because of the controversy over the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's climate-related risk disclosure rules, says Thomas Dawson at McDermott.

  • What's Extraordinary About Challenges To SEC Climate Rule

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    A set of ideologically diverse legal challenges to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's climate disclosure rule have been consolidated in the Eighth Circuit via a seldom-used lottery system, and the unpredictability of this process may drive agencies toward a more cautious future approach to rulemaking, say attorneys at Thompson Coburn.

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