Environmental

  • February 21, 2024

    Mass., Property Developer Strike Deal Over Wetlands Pollution

    The state of Massachusetts and a nationwide residential property developer have settled claims the company caused sediment runoff in wetlands in a town about 16 miles south of Boston, in violation of the Clean Water Act.

  • February 21, 2024

    Green Groups Press FERC To Rescind Tenn. Pipeline Approval

    Environmentalists on Tuesday urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to undo its approval of a Tennessee pipeline project that will serve a Tennessee Valley Authority gas-fired power plant that is replacing a coal-fired plant, saying the agency botched its consideration of the project's climate change impacts.

  • February 21, 2024

    Feds Found Responsible For Leased Building's Contamination

    The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals has ruled that the federal government is liable for piscicide contamination of a building long used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but is on the hook only for diminished value and not full restoration.

  • February 21, 2024

    No Property Coverage For Maui Wildfire, Insurer Says

    A condominium association and its property manager have no coverage for property damage claims stemming from the 2023 Maui wildfires, their insurer told a Hawaii federal court, arguing that a property damage exclusion in their errors and omissions policy wholly bars coverage.

  • February 20, 2024

    Liberal Justices Hint Chevron Deference Hanging By A Thread

    In the U.S. Supreme Court's latest battle royal over administrative powers, left-leaning justices at oral arguments Tuesday openly suggested that the landmark legal doctrine underpinning modern rulemaking might soon shrivel up, clearing the way for industry-led challenges to regulations on the books for decades.

  • February 20, 2024

    Chicago Sues Oil Giants, Alleging Climate Change Deception

    The city of Chicago hit BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell and the oil and gas industry's largest trade association with a lawsuit Tuesday, alleging their involvement in a decadeslong "campaign of deception" to increase consumption of fossil fuels to boost profits, despite their knowledge that their products cause environmental harm.

  • February 20, 2024

    Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin Sued Over Fatal Plane Crash

    The widow of a pilot has accused Google's co-founder Sergey Brin of delaying efforts to recover her husband's body after he crashed into the Pacific Ocean while ferrying Brin's private aircraft, saying Brin tried to cover up illegal alterations made to the plane, according to the suit filed in California state court.

  • February 20, 2024

    NM Fire Victims Sue FEMA Over Compensation Delays

    Ten New Mexico residents with property damaged by the Hermit's Peak/Calf Canyon Fire sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency in federal court Friday, saying FEMA is not processing their claims in a timely manner, in violation of an assistance measure Congress passed for victims of the wildfire.

  • February 20, 2024

    Fond Du Lac Tribe Seeks Sanctions In Mining Land Suit

    The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians has asked a Minnesota federal judge to sanction PolyMet Mining Inc. in the tribe's suit over a land swap for a copper and nickel mine, arguing that the company and its lawyers are obstructing the discovery process.

  • February 20, 2024

    Tribes, Enviro Orgs Can Join Fight Over Tongass Protections

    An Alaska federal judge said a coalition of tribes, conservation groups, fishers and tourism businesses can join litigation to help defend a challenged Biden administration rule that reinstated roadless area protections for some 9 million acres of the vast Tongass National Forest.

  • February 20, 2024

    5th Circ. Seeks Texas Justices' Input On LNG Permit Fight

    The Fifth Circuit has yanked its prior ruling that scrapped an emissions permit issued by Texas environmental regulators for a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal, saying it wants the state's Supreme Court to weigh in on how to define the best available pollution control technology under Texas law.

  • February 20, 2024

    How Future Litigators Are Training In A 'Flight Simulator'

    Law students who would traditionally experience only a few courtroom scenarios over a semester have begun working with programs that can provide an entire array of courtroom curveballs, thanks to large language model artificial intelligence technology.

  • February 20, 2024

    Fluoride Trial Judge Mulls 'Mixed' IQ Evidence In Closings

    A California federal judge questioned the EPA and environmental groups on studies linking fluoride exposure to lower IQs during bench trial closing arguments Tuesday, observing that there's a clear dose-response relationship at high levels of fluoride exposure, but at low levels, "the evidence is mixed — we've got evidence going both ways."

  • February 20, 2024

    Trivest Can Seek 6th Circ. Review Of RICO Jurisdiction Ruling

    A Michigan federal judge will allow a Florida-based private equity firm to appeal a decision denying its bid to escape a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act lawsuit scrutinizing its funding of a solar company accused of scamming customers.

  • February 20, 2024

    Solar Co. Preyed On Elderly Prior To DOE Loan Deal, Suit Says

    Sunnova Energy International Inc. was hit with a proposed investor class action alleging shareholders were damaged when reports revealed that it routinely engaged in predatory tactics against elderly homeowners before it entered a deal with the U.S. Department of Energy to help disadvantaged communities.

  • February 20, 2024

    Calif. Must Face Trimmed Suit Over Locomotive Emissions Rule

    A California federal judge has trimmed a lawsuit from rail industry groups challenging a new regulation requiring railroads to transition to zero-emission locomotives in the Golden State over the next decade, saying some parts aren't in effect yet but others may interfere with federal rules governing railroad operations.

  • February 20, 2024

    Oregon Lists Southern Resident Orcas As Endangered

    A distinct population of southern resident orcas will be protected under Oregon's Endangered Species Act following a unanimous vote by the state's Fish and Wildlife Commission.

  • February 20, 2024

    DC Circ. Says FERC Fight Over 'Onshore' Meaning Is Moot

    The D.C. Circuit has dumped a fight between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and an advocacy group concerning whether the agency has jurisdiction over facilities that transport liquefied natural gas to port via truck, saying the dispute is moot because the proposed facility in question isn't being built.

  • February 20, 2024

    Conn. State Worker Wins $5K In Racial Hostility Claims

    Connecticut's state energy and environmental regulator is liable for the hostile work environment that a Black employee endured before and after he claimed that he found a noose near his workstation in June 2018, a federal jury has found.

  • February 20, 2024

    Girardi Keese Trustee Recovers $1.8M In Fees For Exide Case

    A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved an agreement between the Girardi Keese bankruptcy trustee, a former attorney for the firm and the Mandell Law Firm to end an adversary proceeding connected to $1.8 million in attorney fees from a lawsuit over the toxic Exide battery plant in Vernon, California.

  • February 20, 2024

    Insurers Say Pollution Exclusion Bars Cancer Suits Defense

    An oil company accused of causing four people to develop cancer through exposure to harmful chemicals should not have coverage for its defense of the claims, according to four Nationwide units that told an Illinois federal court the company has no pollution coverage.

  • February 16, 2024

    Fla. Bills Limiting Toxic Tort Damages Headed To Floor

    Two business-backed bills that could sharply limit the ability of toxic tort victims to recover damages from polluters who violate their permits are poised to hit the floors of both houses of the Florida Legislature, despite concerns that they could embolden polluters and leave certain claimants — like commercial fishing operators — without remedy.

  • February 16, 2024

    Mayer Brown Denies Knowing Of 'Disturbing' Flint PR Effort

    A Mayer Brown LLP partner representing Veolia North America, the water engineering firm facing negligence claims from children exposed to lead in Flint, Michigan, told a Michigan federal judge Friday that his team didn't know about Veolia's public relations campaign disparaging the children's counsel, a campaign the judge labeled a "disturbing development."

  • February 16, 2024

    6th Circ. Rejects FirstEnergy Objector's Appeal In $180M Case

    The Sixth Circuit on Friday rejected an appeal from a FirstEnergy investor who was holding up a $180 million settlement in a derivative suit seeking to hold the utility company responsible for its involvement in a $1 billion bribery scandal.

  • February 16, 2024

    Hydro Co. Must Alter, Not Remove, Dam That's Killing Salmon

    A Washington federal judge on Friday said a hydroelectric company must remove part of a rock dam structure killing endangered wild salmon, but the judge declined to order complete removal, saying it went beyond a narrowly tailored remedy zeroing in on what is harming fish.

Expert Analysis

  • Freight Forwarders And Common Carriers: Know Your Cargo

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    Freight forwarders and other nonprincipal parties involved in global cargo movement should follow the guidance in the multi-agency know-your-cargo compliance note to avoid enforcement actions should they fail to spot evasive tactics used in supply chains to circumvent U.S. sanctions and export controls, say attorneys at Venable.

  • SG's Office Is Case Study To Help Close Legal Gender Gap

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    As women continue to be underrepresented in the upper echelons of the legal profession, law firms could learn from the example set by the Office of the Solicitor General, where culture and workplace policies have helped foster greater gender equality, say attorneys at Ocean Tomo.

  • Googling Prospective Jurors Is Usually A Fool's Errand

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    Though a Massachusetts federal court recently barred Google from Googling potential jurors in a patent infringement case, the company need not worry about missing evidence of bias, because internet research of jury pools usually doesn’t yield the most valuable information — voir dire and questionnaires do, says Sarah Murray at Trialcraft.

  • Reducing Carbon Footprint Requires A Tricky Path For CRE

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    As real estate owners find themselves caught between rapidly evolving environmental, social and governance initiatives and complicated societal debate, they will need to carefully establish formal plans to remain both competitive and compliant, say Michael Kuhn and Mahira Khan at Jackson Walker.

  • The Corporate Disclosure Tug-Of-War's Free Speech Issues

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    The continuing conflict over corporate disclosure requirements — highlighted by a lawsuit against Missouri's anti-ESG rules — has important implications not just for investors and regulated entities but also for broader questions about the scope of the First Amendment, say Colin Pohlman, and Jane Luxton and Paul Kisslinger at Lewis Brisbois.

  • 3 Administrative Law Lessons From 5th Circ. Appliance Ruling

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    Showing that mundane details can be outcome-determinative, the Fifth Circuit's recent decision in Louisiana v. U.S. Department of Energy — that the government's repeal of rules affecting dishwashers and laundry machines is invalid — highlights the relationship between regulatory actions and statutory language, say Michael Showalter and Vyasa Babu at ArentFox Schiff.

  • A Look Into How Jurors Reach High Damages Awards

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    In the wake of several large jury awards, Richard Gabriel and Emily Shaw at Decision Analysis shed light on challenges that jurors have in deciding them, the nonevidentiary and extra-legal methods they use to do so, and new research about the themes and jury characteristics of high-damages jurors.

  • Aviation Back On Course, But Keep Seat Belts Fastened

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    While the airline industry finally returned to profitability last year for the first time since the onset of COVID-19, and is poised for historic levels of traffic in 2024, supply chain problems and economic and geopolitical uncertainty persist — so more turbulence may lie ahead, say Kevin Lewis and Bart Biggers at Sidley.

  • Preparing For A New Wave Of Litigation Under Silicosis Rules

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    After the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of California issued an emergency temporary standard to combat noncompliance with assessments of workers' exposure to particles of crystalline silica, companies that manufacture, distribute or sell silica-containing products will need aggressive case-specific discovery to navigate a new wave of litigation, say attorneys at Dechert.

  • Managing Competing Priorities In Witness Preparation

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    There’s often a divide between what attorneys and witnesses want out of the deposition process, but litigation teams can use several strategies to resolve this tension and help witnesses be more comfortable with the difficult conditions of testifying, say Ava Hernández and Steve Wood at Courtroom Sciences.

  • Reimagining Law Firm Culture To Break The Cycle Of Burnout

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    While attorney burnout remains a perennial issue in the legal profession, shifting post-pandemic expectations mean that law firms must adapt their office cultures to retain talent, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.

  • Series

    ESG Around The World: Brazil

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    Environmental, social and governance issues have increasingly translated into new legislation in Brazil since 2020, and in the wake of these recently enacted regulations, we are likely to see a growing number of legal disputes in the largest South American country related to ESG issues such as greenwashing if companies are not prepared to adequately adapt and comply, say attorneys at Mattos Filho.

  • Understanding And Working With The Millennials On Your Jury

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    Every trial attorney will be facing a greater proportion of millennials on their jury, as they now comprise the largest generation in the U.S., and winning them over requires an understanding of their views on politics, corporations and damages, says Clint Townson at Townson Litigation Consulting.

  • Vagueness In Calif. Climate Law Makes Compliance Tricky

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    California's recently enacted Voluntary Carbon Market Disclosures Act requires companies making claims of carbon neutrality, or significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions, to disclose information supporting those claims — but vague and conflicting language in the statute poses multiple problems for businesses, say John Rousakis and Chris Bowman at O'Melveny.

  • Series

    Competing In Dressage Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My lifelong participation in the sport of dressage — often called ballet on horses — has proven that several skills developed through training and competition are transferable to legal work, especially the ability to harness focus, persistence and versatility when negotiating a deal, says Stephanie Coco at V&E.

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