Civil Procedure Energy & Utilities

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Recovery for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Under California Law Gains a Greater Clarity

The recent decision in Wilson v. Southern California Edison Co., __Cal. App. 4th__, 2015 WL 522578, provides increased clarity into the California rule permitting claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED)...more

Texas Supreme Court Relaxes Its Grip on the Discovery Rule

The Texas Supreme Court – that elephants’ graveyard of claims and causes of action – has sided with a lessor-plaintiff who relied on the discovery rule to defeat a limitations defense. For the many with low expectations when...more

Texas Supreme Court Argument Preview - 2/15

On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, beginning at 9:00 am, the Supreme Court of Texas will hear argument in the following three cases...more

Litigation Alert: "Texas Appellate Court Says Pipeline Must Convince Jury of Common Carrier Status in Condemnation Case"

An intermediate Texas appellate court has called for an extensive jury role in the ongoing issue of determining when a pipeline is a common carrier. Common carrier status is critical to the pipeline company’s ability to use...more

Is It Too Late to Just Throw Superfund to the Curb?

Last week, Judge Paul Borman of the Eastern District of Michigan, allowed a motion by the United States for judgment on the pleadings, dismissing a third-party complaint brought against the United States by Michigan...more

The D.C. Circuit Clarifies the Timing for Filing Petitions for Review of FERC Orders

At the end of January, the D.C. Circuit denied rehearing en banc in Smith Lake Improvement and Stakeholder Association v. FERC.  Smith Lake clarified when a party denied rehearing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission...more

Court Finds CFTC RTO/ISO Exemptive Order Bars CEA § 22 Private Right of Action, but More to Come from the CFTC

Can private litigants bring claims under the Commodity Exchange Act alleging manipulation in ERCOT’s energy markets? On February 3, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas answered “no,” granting...more

Texas Supreme Court Orders and Opinions (2/15)

Today, the Supreme Court of Texas issued opinions in two argued cases. The Court did not grant any new petitions or set any mandamus petitions for argument. ...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Unanimously: There is No Statute of Limitations Defense to Contribution Actions Under the Spill Act

On January 26, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Morristown Associates v. Grant Oil Co. that the general six-year statute of limitations for injury to real property does not apply to contribution claims...more

Missouri Federal Court Cuts Claims in Pipeline Property Damage Action

Underscoring the need for plaintiffs to show concrete proof of harm in suits alleging property damage, a federal district court dismissed a suit alleging that an oil pipeline contaminated farmland in Missouri. See Henke v....more

U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania Dismisses Majority of Water Well Contamination Claims Against Oil Drilling Company

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III in the Middle District of Pennsylvania completely adopted the “extremely thorough, well-reasoned” recommendations of a U.S. Magistrate Judge and dismissed almost all...more

High Court Finds Plausible Showing of Amount in Controversy Sufficient to Remove Action

In a decision that may make it somewhat easier for defendants to remove putative class actions from state to federal court, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that defendants in such cases do not need to offer evidence in their...more

Tread Carefully When Implementing a Reduction in Force

With recent price drops in the oil and gas industry it is likely that reductions in force (RIFs) are looming on the horizon. But employers need to tread carefully when implementing any RIF, as it can raise thorny issues under...more

Ormat Defends 1603 Cash Grant Awards in Suit by Ex-Employees

Ormat is a successful developer of geothermal energy projects. Two former employees have brought a lawsuit alleging that Ormat made inaccurate 1603 Cash Grant submissions to obtain grants for projects that should not have...more

Analysis: Early closure of the ROCs regime ruled lawful

The Government’s decision to close the Renewables Obligations Certificates (ROC) subsidy scheme for larger solar PV installations (above 5MW) two years early, and the grace periods introduced to mitigate the effects of the...more

Environmental Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Declines to Determine Effect of Permit in Subsurface Trespass Case"

The Supreme Court of Texas upheld a jury verdict finding that a landowner did not suffer trespass from a wastewater injection well located on adjacent property. Environmental Processing Systems, L.C., v. FPL Farming Ltd.,...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Confirms “Or” Means “Or”

On February 4, 2015, less than one month after hearing oral argument on the matter, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the April 2014 decision of Greene County Court of Common Pleas Judge William R. Nalitz in Warren v....more

Court Sustains Treasury’s 2/3 Reduction of Cash Grant for Cogen Open-Loop Biomass Plant

The United States Court of Federal Claims on January 12 rendered an opinion in W.E. Partners II, LLC v. U.S. sustaining the Treasury Department’s reduction by approximately two-thirds of a Cash Grant for a cogeneration...more

Termination of Contracts in Challenging Economic Times

Given the current state of the economy, businesses are scrutinizing existing and potential transactions very closely. Existing or potential contracts, which seemed economic even a few short months ago, may not seem as...more

FERC Issues Order to Show Cause to Maxim Power

On February 2, 2015, FERC issued an Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty to Maxim Power Corporation and its named subsidiaries (“Maxim”), jointly and severally, as well as executive, Kyle Mitton (the “Order”)....more

LEX PETROLEA: Sources and Successes of International Petroleum Law

In the widely cited and sometimes wildly interpreted 1982 arbitration award issued by the tribunal in Aminoil v. Kuwait, the Government argued that compensation for its expropriation of Aminoil's concession should be based on...more

Court Will Not Halt Horizontal Drilling Operation to Reach Adjacent Lessee’s Land

Using offsite locations for horizontal drilling is becoming increasingly popular as surface use becomes difficult. In Lightning Oil Inc. v. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, the San Antonio Court of Appeals looked at what can...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: EPA Stakes Out Approach to Address GHG Permitting for Authorized Sources Affected

On December 19, 2014 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two memoranda outlining the Agency’s planned response to the Supreme Court’s June 2014 decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. Environmental...more

Illinois Supreme Court Affirms Revenue Decoupling for Natural Gas Rates

In the closing days of its January term, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Appellate Court’s decision in People ex rel. Madigan v. Illinois Commerce Commission, approving the use of the so-called...more

FERC Protects a QF’s PURPA Right to Sell Net Output

On January 22, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order reaffirming a qualifying facility’s (QF) right to sell all of its net output to a utility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act...more

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