Environmental

  • June 18, 2024

    'Reckless' Behavior Centered In Climate Coverage Suit Args

    Attorneys for a Sunoco subsidiary and AIG offered sharply differing views to Hawaii's top court Tuesday in oral arguments over whether reckless behavior would trigger the oil company's liability coverage in a novel suit over coverage for underlying climate change claims.

  • June 18, 2024

    Nuke Regulator Asks High Court To Review Atomic Waste Rule

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a contentious Fifth Circuit decision that barred it from issuing a license to a temporary nuclear waste storage facility in Texas, saying that the circuit court widened circuit splits and upended decades of agency practice.

  • June 18, 2024

    Green Group Insists It Can Fight Colo. Air Plan Approval

    The Center for Biological Diversity told the Tenth Circuit it didn't forfeit its challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval of a Colorado air emissions permitting program and that the agency is wrong to assert otherwise.

  • June 18, 2024

    9th Circ. Asked For En Banc Review In Youths' Climate Case

    Youth plaintiffs have asked the Ninth Circuit for en banc review of a panel's decision to toss their lawsuit against the federal government over the effects of climate change.

  • June 18, 2024

    Blue States, Enviro Groups Back DOE Furnace Rule

    Several blue states and environmental and consumer groups Monday threw their support behind the U.S. Department of Energy's tighter energy efficiency standards for furnaces and water heaters, telling the D.C. Circuit that challenges to the new rules are meritless.

  • June 18, 2024

    EPA Tells DC Circ. That Smog Plan Is Legally Sound

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday defended its plan to reduce smog-forming emissions in several states, telling the D.C. Circuit that it's taken a sensible approach to cracking down on upwind pollution using a formula that has been backed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • June 18, 2024

    African Gold Miner To Go Public Via $500M SPAC Merger

    African gold miner Namib Minerals said Tuesday it has agreed to go public by merging with special-purpose acquisition company Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. VI at an estimated $500 million value, a deal said to be the largest SPAC acquisition involving an African business to date.

  • June 18, 2024

    Insurers Must Keep Defending Heating Oil Co. In Class Suit

    Two Crum & Forster units must continue defending a heating oil company and several executives in a class action claiming the company provided oil with elevated levels of biodiesel that caused property damage, a Massachusetts federal court ruled, saying the policies' "failure to supply" provisions do not limit or exclude coverage.

  • June 18, 2024

    Treasury Finalizes Labor Rules For Bonus Energy Tax Credits

    The U.S. Treasury Department released final labor rules Tuesday for clean energy projects seeking to significantly boost the value of their tax credits, emphasizing due diligence by developers and announcing that more IRS resources will go toward enforcement of the rules.

  • June 17, 2024

    Excess Insurers May Need To Pay In Kaiser Asbestos Dispute

    A policyholder can tap into first-layer excess policies as soon as the primary coverage for that period is exhausted, the California Supreme Court ruled, potentially implicating several first-level excess insurers to contribute to coverage for underlying asbestos exposure claims against Kaiser Cement and Gypsum Corp.

  • 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 Ends Suit Over Emissions Proposal

    Activist investor Arjuna Capital has escaped 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 after a Texas federal judge on Monday accepted 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. 

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • 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.

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