Civil Procedure Energy & Utilities

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Court Dismisses Complaint That FERC’s Regulatory Structure Is Biased In Favor Of Pipeline Applicants

On March 22, in the case of Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al., v. FERC, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint that the statutory requirement that the Federal Regulatory...more

Kern County Judge Grants Injunction, Blocking Blanket Enforcement of Oil Field Aquifer Exemption Regulations

A reported in a prior blog post, the Western States Petroleum Association (“WSPA”) sued the California Department of Conservation and the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (jointly, the “Department”) in Kern...more

The Conservative Case for Chevron Deference, Chapter 3 (Plus an Auer Bonus!)

The conservative cases in support of Chevron deference keep arriving. This week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s federal implementation plan for compliance with its regional haze regulations by the Navajo...more

District Court Upholds Bankruptcy Court’s Ruling on Rejection of Gathering Agreements

On March 10, 2017, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Court”) affirmed on appeal a bankruptcy court’s prior decision in In re Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. that permitted a debtor to reject...more

Electric Cooperative Receives Favorable Interpretation of Excess Revenue Statute and Class Action Dismissal

A federal court's interpretation of an excess revenue statute could bring an end to many capital credit lawsuits brought by current and former members of rural electric cooperatives challenging the distribution of patronage...more

Recent Pro-Cooperative Decisions in Class Action Patronage Capital Cases

Cooperatives facing patronage capital lawsuits have recently enjoyed a series of favorable court opinions. Over the past few months, the Eleventh Circuit and state and federal courts in Florida have all dismissed claims for...more

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction Denied

On March 7, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling denying a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe challenging an easement granted on February 8 by the U.S....more

No English jurisdiction over Nigerian oil pollution claims against Shell

In a highly mediatised ruling, the English High Court refused jurisdiction over claims brought against Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, by over 42,000...more

Using Joint Venture Analysis to Limit Antitrust Risks of Energy Sector Collaborations

In an antitrust case where two competitors admittedly engaged in concerted action to block a third competitor’s access to a natural gas gathering system, a federal appeals court recently upheld summary judgment for the...more

Valero Refining-Texas, L.P. v. Galveston Central Appraisal District: A Strategic Opportunity?

The Texas Supreme Court recently handed an owner of a Texas oil refinery a significant victory in Valero Refining-Texas, L.P. v. Galveston Central Appraisal District, No. 15-0492, 2017 WL 727276 (Tex. Feb. 24, 2017). In a...more

Rural Electric Cooperatives Receive Dismissals in Class Action Capital Credit Litigation

Two recent dismissal orders – filed within days of each other – signal positive news to rural electric cooperatives defending actions brought by former or current members regarding the distribution of patronage capital and...more

Twin Challenges to LCFS Advance in California Courts, With Potential Implications for State’s Overall Climate Stabilization...

Two related cases, advancing in parallel, have the potential to upend California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), whether via full suspension of the LCFS or carving out diesel fuels from the deficit and crediting...more

Texas Supreme Court Reverses Two Court of Appeals Decisions Involving Environmental Issues

On February 24, the Texas Supreme Court released several decisions, including two rulings involving aspects of environmental law. The cases are ExxonMobil Corporation v. Lazy R Ranch, et al., and ExxonMobil Pipeline Company,...more

Coming Down the Pipeline: Mitigating the Payment Risk in Oil and Gas Construction Through Lien Claims

Since 2015, the oil and gas market has experienced significant distress. Recent reports have tracked at least 114 North American oil and gas producers and 16 midstream companies that have filed for bankruptcy since the...more

Estimates from Common Metering System are Insufficient to Maintain Oil and Gas Lease

Recently, the Seventh District Court of Appeals of Ohio in Joseph and Anna Lang v. Weis Drilling Company, et al., Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-88213, held that estimates derived from a common metering system are insufficient to...more

What Does Your Reservation Clause Mean?

Webb et al. v. Martinez (Tex. App. San Antonio) - On December 14, 2016, San Antonio’s Fourth Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s take-nothing summary judgment regarding a property dispute in favor of Martinez. Webb...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Finds “Threatened” Designation For Bearded Seals Proper Based On New Long-Term Projections - Alaska Oil and Gas Ass’n et al. v. Pritzker et al., 840 F.3d 671, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19084 (9th Cir. 2016)....more

Mineral Lease Prevails in Louisiana Royalty Dispute

Prevails over what, you ask? In Gladney v. Anglo-Dutch Energy, LLC, a conditional allowable from the Office of Conservation didn’t supersede lease royalty obligations....more

Court Of Chancery Limits Cost Recovery Following Successful Appeal

This decision explains what “costs” are recoverable under Court of Chancery Rule 54 following a successful appeal. While the amounts involved normally do not merit much discussion, the cost of bond for an appeal can be...more

Court of Appeal Re-affirms the Importance of the 'Autonomy Principle' of Letters of Credit

Fraud is rarely proved in practice. So a High Court decision in 2016 which prevented payment under a standby letter of credit (the “SBLC”) on the basis that the demand presented under the SBLC was untrue and fraudulent caused...more

Can the ‘Long-Ago’ Nature of Conduct Bar Punitive Damages — Even for Recent Injuries?

Does the statute of limitations bar a claim for punitive damages if the conduct occurred outside the limitations period, but the plaintiff’s injuries occurred within it? An Illinois federal judge recently confronted this...more

Award for Nuisance From Gas Wells Squelched

It was a bad day for the Parrs in Aruba Petroleum v. Parr. The trial court judgment was against the operator for intentional nuisance. The Parrs recovered $2.9 million for pain and suffering and mental anguish and for loss of...more

Oil and Gas Arbitration – Did the Parties Get What They Bargained For?

First, a promise: I won’t report on another arbitration case until there is more to say than “business as usual”. Second, an opinion: Arbitration is still the right forum in many situations. Third, remember: An award and a...more

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Clean Water Rule Case Jurisdictional Challenge

On January 13, 2017, the US Supreme Court granted certiorari for an appeal that will allow the Court to determine the proper jurisdiction for litigation challenging the Clean Water Rule (the Final Rule). The federal Clean...more

Dallas Court of Appeals Reverses $2.9 Million Jury Verdict, Finding Insufficient Evidence of Intent

In 2014, the jury awarded $2.9 million to plaintiff landowners in Lisa Parr et.al. v. Aruba Petroleum, Inc., a case involving alleged hydrocarbon exposure due to hydraulic fracturing operations. Earlier this week, the Dallas...more

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