Civil Procedure Energy & Utilities

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The SemCrude Bankruptcy: Commodity Traders Prevail Against Related Fraud and U.C.C. Claims

In 2008, SemCrude, L.P. and related entities (collectively, SemCrude or the Debtors) filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. In connection with the SemCrude bankruptcy, a dispute...more

Court Rejects 30 Year Eagle Permit Rule on NEPA Grounds

On August 11, 2015, the US District Court for the Northern District of California remanded a US Fish & Wildlife Service’s (FWS) 2013 final rule that had extended the maximum duration of eagle take programmatic permits under...more

Blog: Three-Judge Panel Of D.C. Circuit Again Holds That Mandatory Disclosure Requirement Of Conflict Minerals Rule Violates First...

In November 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the petitions of the SEC and Amnesty International for panel rehearing in connection with the conflict minerals case, National Association of Manufacturers, Inc. v....more

Los Angeles Settles Disputed Phone Tax for $92.5M

Recently, a class of plaintiffs settled with City of Los Angeles over its alleged unlawful collection of telephone utility user tax (UUT). The class alleged that the Los Angeles Municipal Code exempted from UUT all amounts...more

Ninth Circuit Finds ESA 60-Day Notice "Adequate" and Resurrects Challenge to Suction Dredge Mining Suit

On August 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court order dismissing an Endangered Species Act ("ESA") lawsuit on the grounds plaintiffs provided inadequate notice. Klamath-Siskiyou...more

BP Case May Again Test Limits of FERC’s “In Connection With” Enforcement Jurisdiction

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Administrative Law Judge last week issued an Initial Decision finding that BP America (BP) and certain related BP entities violated FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule. Following a...more

15 States Seek Stay of Clean Power Plan Compliance Deadlines

Litigation over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently issued “Clean Power Plan” (CPP) has already begun. On August 13, 2015, 15 States (the “States”) filed an emergency petition in the United States Court of...more

California Drought Prompts Bout Among Regulators and Farmers

As the drought drags on and lawns grow brown across California, a battle is raging over the scope of the State Water Resources Control Board’s authority to restrict the diversion of water from rivers, lakes and...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - 15 states sue to block enforcement of Obama administration climate change rules: Bloomberg - Aug 13: Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia – but not including California - asked...more

MoFo New York Tax Insights - Volume 6, Issue 8 - August 2015

Court Of Appeals Affirms Revocation Of Tax Exemption For Public Parking Facilities - Reversing a decision by the Appellate Division, the Court of Appeals has held in a 5-2 decision that a charitable organization is not...more

Court Invalidates 30-Year Permit Provisions of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Eagle Permit Rule on NEPA Grounds

As we discussed in a post from May 2014, the American Bird Conservancy (“ABC”) in 2014 filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“USFWS”) 2013 revisions to its eagle permit rule, alleging violations of...more

FERC Reaffirms Filing Requirement For Jurisdictional Service Where No Compensation Is Received

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently issued an Order on Rehearing in Chehalis Power Generating, L.P., Docket No. ER05-1056-008, where it reaffirmed its October 17, 2013 finding that Chehalis Power...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Rejects Broad Expansion of Private Nuisance and Trespass

Action Item: On August 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey in Ross v. Lowitz, et al., No. A-101-13 (N.J. Aug. 6, 2015), held that property owners could not prove claims for private nuisance and trespass against the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: Coastkeeper's suit against water agency dismissed - San Diego Union-Tribune - Jul 31: A San Diego superior court judge ruled against an environmental group on July 30, rejecting its...more

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies When Parties to an Oil and Gas Lease May Allocate Post-Production Costs by Agreement

The Texas Supreme Court recently decided Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Hyder, providing a notable win for royalty interest holders. In a close 5-4 decision, the Texas Supreme Court held that Chesapeake had improperly...more

Without So Much as a Fig Leaf . . .

Legal commentators and court watchers rightly complain about activist judges who make laws rather than interpret them. Last month’s decision in the The Babcock & Wilcox Co. et al. v. American Nuclear Insurers, et al., is...more

Oklahoma Supreme Court Finds Subject Matter Jurisdiction Over Earthquake Claims

Potentially opening the door for litigation that seeks to tie deep-well injection of hydraulic fracturing flowback and other wastewater to damage caused by earthquakes, the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously held that state...more

Louisiana Federal Court Rejects Expert Testimony Tying Gasoline to AML

Underscoring the importance of the distinction between a product and its component parts, a federal court in Louisiana refused to allow expert testimony that exposure to gasoline caused acute myeloid leukemia (“AML”) in a...more

Michigan Court Finds Expert Testimony Not Necessary to Show Link Between Chemical Exposure and Injury

Issuing an opinion that could lower the bar for proving toxic tort causation, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that direct expert testimony may not be necessary to prove causation in a toxic tort case and that a plaintiff...more

District Court Limits Nuisance Claims Against Chemical Manufacturer in Elk River Spill

Finding only public interests at issue from contamination of public drinking water supplies, a West Virginia federal court dismissed a private nuisance claim, but not a public nuisance claim against a chemical manufacturer. ...more

San Francisco Cannot Sue Federal Agency For Gas Explosion Under APA

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit issued its Opinion in City & County of San Francisco v. US Department of Transportation, holding the City may not proceed against the Secretary of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous...more

Tenth Circuit Finds Price-Anderson Act Does Not Preempt Nuisance Claims

This decision departs from all other federal circuits that have addressed the issue and, if adopted by other courts, represents a significant expansion of potential liability for operators in the nuclear energy industry....more

The D.C. Circuit Sends EPA Back to the Drawing Board to Fix Its Transport Rule Emissions Budgets

The Clean Air Act’s good neighbor provision prohibits upwind states from emitting air pollutants in amounts that will “contribute significantly to nonattainment” of a national ambient air quality standard in a downwind state....more

EPA and the Army Corps Seeking to Consolidate Challenges to Recently Issued “Waters of the United States” Rule

Since the EPA and the Army Corps published the final rule defining “waters of the United States” on June 29, 2015, 72 plaintiffs have already filed ten separate complaints in eight federal district courts challenging the...more

California Supreme Court Denies Requests to Depublish San Juan Capistrano Case

Action Means the Closely Watched Tiered Water Rate Case Is Final - The California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied requests to depublish the appellate court opinion in Capistrano Taxpayers Association v. City of San...more

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