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How Much Deference Do States Get in Entering CERCLA Consent Decrees? Probably A Lot, But Perhaps Not As Much as You Thought

In Cannons Engineering, the First Circuit Court of Appeals famously stated that, when CERCLA consent decrees arrive at the courts of appeal for review, they do so “encased in a double layer of swaddling,” because both the EPA...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA Settlement, Declines to Give Deference to State Agency

On August 1, 2014, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s approval of a multi-party settlement at an Arizona waste site. State of Arizona v. Ashton Company Incorporated Contractors and Engineers, et...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Allows Early Contribution Claims Under the Spill Act

Parties sued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) for remediation now have an immediate right to seek contribution from other potentially responsible parties. Following last week’s unanimous ruling...more

Settling Parties In Government Consent Orders Have CERCLA Claims For Contribution Not Cost Recovery

To the extent there was any remaining uncertainty, the Sixth Circuit has now made crystalline that a party settling some or all of its liability under CERCLA with the United States or a state has a contribution claim under...more

UPDATE*: Understanding Philadelphia Zoning Law

Moving a project through the Philadelphia zoning process can seem like a daunting task – even after Philadelphia entirely revamped its zoning code. This article will familiarize applicants with the zoning process and help...more

Real Estate and Land Use - June 2014

Bowman v. California Coastal Commission - Why it matters: The Court in Bowman held that a permit condition could not be modified or deleted by a second permit that included the same project, even if the first permit...more

Is The “Functional Interdependence” Test Dead?

On May 30, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) attempt to preserve an expansive view of what constitutes a single source of air emissions under...more

The Registrar is Changing the Game for Complaints Against Arizona Contractors

Sweeping changes at the Registrar of Contractors have the construction and real estate industries concerned and curious. The Registrar recently received some poor performance reports by the Auditor General and State...more

Value of Intangible Assets That Make a Direct Contribution to the Going Concern Value of a Business Must be Deducted from Property...

After the sale of an upscale city hotel, a county assessor reassessed the property. The new owner challenged the assessment, claiming it improperly included the value of nontaxable intangible assets. The county assessment...more

Bureau of Indian Affairs Finalizes Changes to Land-Into-Trust Procedures in Light of Patchak

In response to last year’s United States Supreme Court case of Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak, 132 S. Ct. 2199 (2012) (“Patchak”), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) issued a final rule on...more

California Supreme Court Permits Picketing on Private Property

In a split decision, the California Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of two statutes that restrict state court injunctions against picketing by labor unions on private property. Ralphs Grocery Co. v. United Food...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinion Affecting Local Government Law, January 10, 2013

Today, the Virginia Supreme Court issued one opinion affecting Virginia local government law. Congratulations to the County of Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville! The Local Government Attorneys of Virginia supplied an...more

Eminent Domain Opinions Focus On 'Just Compensation'

Originally Published in Daily Journal, January 4, 2013 It has been quite a busy year for takings cases, and the state Court of Appeal provided one last published eminent domain opinion just before 2012 came to a close....more

Legal Alert: California Supreme Court Reverses Court Of Appeal; Declares State Labor Picketing Laws Constitutional In 6-1 Decision...

In a case that will significantly strengthen labor's hand regarding picketing activities in the state, the California Supreme Court reversed a Court of Appeals decision that had declared unconstitutional two state laws...more

Repeated Seasonal Flooding Of Forest Land Authorized By Government May Qualify As A Taking of Property

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorized repeated seasonal flooding that damaged trees on forest land owned by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The question before the United States Supreme Court was “whether a...more

Statute of Limitations Doesn’t Apply in UConn Law Library Lawsuit, State Supreme Court Rules

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently reversed, in a unanimous published opinion, a trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of 27 defendants involved in the allegedly defective design and construction of the...more

NH Supreme Court Rules That State Law Preempts Municipal Restrictions on Excavation Permitting

On November 9, 2012, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued its decision in Town of Carroll v. Rines (“Rines”), invalidating certain municipal regulations that limited excavations....more

Connecticut Supreme Court Reaffirms State's Immunity from Statutes of Limitation

In a decision followed closely by the construction industry, Connecticut's Supreme Court has issued a unanimous decision confirming a long-standing rule that statutes of limitations do not run against the State. The...more

EIR Satisfies CEQA Despite Minor Deficiencies and Inaccuracies Where Environmental Review Process Not Prejudiced, Third District...

A unanimous Third District panel upheld SiskiyouCounty’s EIR for Roseburg Forest Products Co.’s (Roseburg) electricity cogeneration project involving expansion of its existing wood veneer manufacturing facility. (Mount Shasta...more

Further Confirmation Notice of Exemption Filed Before Project Approval is Void

Coalition for Clean Air v. City of Visalia (Oct. 4, 2012, No. F062983M)- The partially published opinion in Coalition for Clean Air v. City of Visalia brightened the line regarding when a California Environmental Quality...more

Prematurely Filed Notice Of Exemption Does Not Trigger 35-Day Limitations Period In CEQA Actions

A court of appeal recently concluded that a notice of exemption filed before a project is actually approved is invalid and does not trigger the 35-day limitations period in which to bring a California Environmental Quality...more

When Adopting a Resolution of Necessity, Can Failing to Consider a Substitute Condemnation Constitute a Gross Abuse of Discretion?

While most lawsuits typically start with the filing of a complaint, eminent domain cases really start one key step earlier, with the condemning agency’s adoption of a Resolution of Necessity. The Resolution establishes (i)...more

Horne v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Brief for the CATO Institute, et al., as Amici Curiae in Support of the Petitioner for Certiorari

Property owners should not be made to suffer a needless, Rube Goldberg-style litigation process to vindicate their constitutional rights. Yet that is exactly what the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks to impose on...more

Inadmissible Property Valuation Evidence Could Not Be Used To Impeach Expert During Eminent Domain Proceeding

A court of appeal recently held that inadmissible evidence could not be used during cross- examination to impeach an expert in an eminent domain proceeding. The court concluded that prior case law did not create a...more

Appeals Court Reaffirms That Non-Prejudicial Planning And Zoning Code And CEQA Errors Cannot Serve As Basis For Overturning City...

On July 31, 2012, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District held that the trial court erred in invalidating the City of Rialto’s (the “City”) approval of a 230,000 square foot commercial retail center to be...more

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