Environmental

  • June 17, 2024

    DC Circ. Gives FERC More Clarity On Scope Of Climate Reviews

    A recent D.C. Circuit decision not only endorses the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's current approach to reviewing the climate change impacts of gas infrastructure projects, but may also help trim environmental reviews by federal agencies across the board.

  • June 17, 2024

    6th Circ. Sends Enbridge Pipeline Dispute To Mich. State Court

    A Sixth Circuit panel on Monday remanded a dispute between Michigan's attorney general and Enbridge Energy that looks to shut down dual pipelines that cross the Straits of Mackinac, saying the company failed to timely remove the case to federal court and there are no equitable exceptions to do so.

  • June 17, 2024

    Exxon Investor Deal May End Suit Over Emissions Proposal

    Activist investor Arjuna Capital may yet evade Exxon Mobil Corp.'s lawsuit over a contentious greenhouse gas-related shareholder proposal the investor sought to include in the company's 2024 proxy statement, with a Texas federal judge on Monday seemingly ready to believe the investor's promises not to resubmit the proposal.

  • June 17, 2024

    Chrysler MDL Class Can Fix 'Puzzling' State Claim Skip

    A Michigan federal judge has said he will give a class of drivers alleging Chrysler minivans have a defect that causes their batteries to explode unexpectedly an opportunity to fix their "puzzling" choice not to plead state-by-state claims in the first master complaint of the sprawling multidistrict litigation.

  • June 17, 2024

    Iowa Seeks To Mute 'Ag-Gag' Law First Amendment Challenge

    Iowa on Friday asked a federal district court to dismiss animal rights' and community advocacy groups' First Amendment challenge to the state's "ag-gag" law that's designed to thwart undercover investigations of animal treatment.

  • June 17, 2024

    Feds, Tribes Say It's Too Soon To Reopen Monument Suit

    The federal government, tribes and conservation groups are fighting a bid by Utah and farming associations to lift a more than three-year stay in a challenge to the Bears Ears National Monument, arguing that the state is already involved in litigation that attempts to nullify the presidential proclamation that established it.

  • June 17, 2024

    Conn. Worker Gets $144K Counsel Fee After Bias Trial Win

    The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection must pay nearly $139,000 in attorney fees to W. Martyn Philpot Jr. after a Black employee won a federal jury verdict on racial hostility claims, including accusations that he found a noose hanging near his desk in a state office building.

  • June 17, 2024

    Ares, Searchlight-Led Group Plugs £500M Into RSK Group

    British sustainability company RSK Group Ltd., advised by Travers Smith LLP, on Monday announced that it is set to receive a £500 million ($634.5 million) preferred equity investment from a group led by private equity firms Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP-led Searchlight Capital Partners LP and Dechert LLP-led Ares Management Corp., which will be used to fund growth initiatives.

  • June 17, 2024

    Ga. County Says Battery Co.'s Dumping Caused Blaze

    A Georgia electric vehicle battery manufacturer that has come under regulatory scrutiny for a series of workplace safety violations has been hit with a lawsuit from its own county, which accused the company of dumping hundreds of batteries that led to a massive fire at a local recycling plant.

  • June 14, 2024

    Utah Gov. And Land Trust Beat Tribe's Bidding Suit, For Now

    A federal judge dismissed claims against Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, several state officials and its trust lands administration in a tribe's challenge accusing them of spinning a racist bidding scheme to prevent it from winning a land auction to purchase land just outside its reservation.

  • June 14, 2024

    Uri Pricing Upheld After Lower Court 'Strayed From Its Lane'

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday said that the Public Utility Commission of Texas acted within its authority when it set a single price for electricity at the market cap during 2021 winter storm Uri, overturning a blockbuster decision by a lower court that upheld its two pricing orders.

  • June 14, 2024

    Makah Tribe Can Resume Hunting Gray Whales

    The Makah Tribe can go back to its long-standing cultural practice of hunting gray whales off the coast of Washington now that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has authorized it to resume ceremonial and subsistence hunting in line with its treaty rights.

  • June 14, 2024

    Feds, Tribes Say Mill Owners Liable For 150 Years Of Pollution

    The federal government, the state of Washington and a slew of tribes are suing the owners of a shuttered sawmill and a property group that now oversee the sawmill area's development, alleging that for more than a century, hazardous substances from the operation released into Port Gamble Bay and have harmed its natural resources.

  • June 14, 2024

    Split DC Circ. Rejects NY's Electricity Rate Challenge

    A split D.C. Circuit panel rejected Friday a New York utility regulator's attempt to unravel the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of the state grid operator's wholesale electricity rates, leaving in place an estimated 17-year lifespan for new fossil-fueled power plants.

  • June 14, 2024

    Colo. Says Pollution Law Leaves Details Up In The Air

    Colorado's Air Quality Control Commission said state lawmakers gave it a long leash to implement a 2021 law requiring more stringent air pollution monitoring in disproportionately impacted communities, urging a state judge to reject environmental groups' challenge to a permitting rule. 

  • June 14, 2024

    'Alkaline Water' Co. Owes Another $3.1B For Liver Failures

    A Las Vegas jury awarded $3 billion in punitive damages and $89.75 million in compensatory damages Friday to a group of children and adults who experienced severe liver problems after drinking toxin-adulterated "alkaline water," adding to the product maker's legal woes.

  • June 14, 2024

    DC Circ. Backs FERC Climate Reviews In Pipeline Project Row

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday appeared to endorse the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's current method of evaluating the climate change impacts of gas infrastructure projects in approval in rejecting an environmental group's challenge of the agency's pipeline upgrade project serving the New York City area.

  • June 14, 2024

    Enviros Fight FERC OK Of Pipeline Feeding Mexico LNG Plant

    The Sierra Club and Public Citizen called on the D.C. Circuit to review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of a methane gas pipeline to run between West Texas and Mexico, asserting the agency failed to conduct a thorough analysis of the pipeline's 157 U.S.-based miles.

  • June 14, 2024

    House Passes $884B Defense Bill For 2025

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed an $883.7 billion defense policy and budget bill in a mostly party-line vote after adopting several contentious amendments related to climate change, abortion and diversity programs.

  • June 14, 2024

    Malaysian Oil Biz Hibiscus Buys TotalEnergies Unit For $259M

    Kuala Lumpur-based oil and gas producer Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad said it has agreed to buy a Brunei subsidiary of France's TotalEnergie for $259 million, advised by Malaysian law firm Murad Yee Partnership.

  • June 13, 2024

    Co. Says 'Lawyerly Technicalities' Won't Undo $45B DOE Deal

    A joint venture awarded a $45 billion nuclear waste management contract by the U.S. Department of Energy accused a rival joint venture of relying on "lawyerly technicalities" to upend an award it said was ultimately determined by who could perform the work best. 

  • June 13, 2024

    FERC Faces Chorus Of Calls To Rethink Grid Policy Overhaul

    Dozens of requests that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reconsider parts or all of its sweeping revision of its regional transmission planning policies have been filed, some of which could telegraph future court challenges if the agency ultimately sticks to its guns. Here's a roundup of the notable issues raised in the rehearing requests for FERC Order No. 1920.

  • June 13, 2024

    Chinese Officials Promise Response On EV Tariffs

    A Chinese Foreign Ministry official told reporters on Thursday that Beijing "will take all measures necessary" to combat planned European Union tariffs on its electric-vehicle exports, after Brussels announced preliminary countervailing duty rates of up to 38.1%.

  • June 13, 2024

    Monsanto Can't Plead Ignorance On PCB Pollution, Cities Say

    Chicago suburbs looking to hold Monsanto and related businesses accountable for their financial share of reducing pollutants in water that flows into Lake Michigan urged an Illinois state court to keep their case alive, arguing the companies should have known about the dangers of the chemicals in products.

  • June 13, 2024

    Chamber Asks DC Circ. To Reject EPA's PFAS Designation

    Three business groups, spearheaded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have gone to the D.C. Circuit to challenge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision to declare two "forever chemicals" to be hazardous materials under federal law.

Expert Analysis

  • '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.

  • Wiretap Use In Cartel Probes Likely To Remain An Exception

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    Although the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division has recently signaled interest in wiretaps, the use of this technology to capture evidence of antitrust conspiracies and pursue monopolization as a criminal matter has been rare historically, and is likely to remain so, say Carsten Reichel and Will Conway at DLA Piper.

  • Series

    Playing Chess Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    There are many ways that chess skills translate directly into lawyer skills, but for me, the bigger career lessons go beyond the direct parallels — playing chess has shown me the value of seeing gradual improvement in and focusing deep concentration on a nonwork endeavor, says attorney Steven Fink.

  • State Procurement Could Be Key For Calif. Offshore Wind

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    A recent ruling from the California Public Utilities Commission highlights how the state's centralized electricity procurement mechanism could play a critical role in the development of long lead-time resources — in particular, offshore wind — by providing market assurance to developers and reducing utilities' procurement risks, say attorneys at Wilson Sonsini.

  • Litigation Inspiration: Attys Can Be Heroic Like Olympians

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    Although litigation won’t earn anyone an Olympic medal in Paris this summer, it can be worthy of the same lasting honor if attorneys exercise focused restraint — seeking both their clients’ interests and those of the court — instead of merely pursuing every advantage short of sanctionable conduct, says Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben.

  • A Deep Dive Into The Evolving World Of ESG Ratings

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    Attorneys at Mintz discuss the salience of environmental, social and governance ratings in corporate circles in recent years, and consider certain methodologies underlying their calculation for professionals, as well as issues concerning the ESG ratings and products themselves.

  • Updated Federal Rules Can Improve Product Liability MDLs

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    The recent amendment of a federal evidence rule regarding expert testimony and the proposal of a civil rule on managing early discovery in multidistrict legislation hold great promise for promoting the uniform and efficient processes that high-stakes product liability cases particularly need, say Alan Klein and William Heaston at Duane Morris.

  • Lean Into The 'Great Restoration' To Retain Legal Talent

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    As the “great resignation,” in which employees voluntarily left their jobs in droves, has largely dissipated, legal employers should now work toward the idea of a “great restoration,” adopting strategies to effectively hire, onboard and retain top legal talent, says Molly McGrath at Hiring & Empowering Solutions.

  • Adopting 7 Principles May Improve Voluntary Carbon Markets

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    The Biden administration's recently issued joint policy statement on improving the integrity of voluntary carbon markets may help companies using carbon credits to offset their emissions withstand scrutiny by government agencies, the public and investors, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • EU Directive Significantly Strengthens Enviro Protection

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    The recently revised European Union directive on environmental protection significantly strengthens its prior legislation and broadens the scope of environmental crime through the introduction of offenses for conduct resulting in severe damage, say Katharina Humphrey and Julian Reichert at Gibson Dunn.

  • How Act 126 Will Jump-Start Lithium Production In Louisiana

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    Louisiana's recent passage of Act 126, which helps create a legal and regulatory framework for lithium brine production and direct lithium extraction in the state, should help bolster the U.S. supply of this key mineral, and contribute to increased energy independence for the nation, say Marjorie McKeithen and Justin Marocco at Jones Walker.

  • Legal Battles Show Brands' Dilemma In Luxury Resale Trend

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    Recent litigation, such as Chanel's pending case against The RealReal, underscores the intricate balance luxury brands must strike between protecting their trademarks and embracing the burgeoning secondhand market that values sustainability, says Prachi Ajmera at Michelman & Robinson.

  • Why Jurors Balk At 'I Don't Recall' — And How To Respond

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    Jurors often react negatively to a witness who responds “I don’t remember” because they tend to hold erroneous beliefs about the nature of human memory, but attorneys can adopt a few strategies to mitigate the impact of these biases, say Steve Wood and Ava Hernández at Courtroom Sciences.

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