Civil Remedies Energy & Utilities

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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

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

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

Key Decision on Corporate Separateness – English High Court Decides Not to “impose liability in an indeterminate amount, for an...

In a highly anticipated judgment, the English High Court has ruled that Royal Dutch Shell (RDS), a holding company that is the ultimate parent of the Shell Group, does not owe a duty of care to residents of the Niger Delta in...more

The Supreme Court May Review Whether Regulatory Enforcement Actions Seeking Disgorgement are Subject to a Five-Year Statute of...

Federal regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), have the authority to impose...more

Delaware Law Updates – The Court of Chancery Determines $2 Billion Dispute Is One for an Independent Auditor to Decide

In Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. v. Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, C.A. No. 12585-VCL (Del. Ch. Dec. 5, 2016), the Court of Chancery granted a buyer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, holding that the plain...more

Idaho Supreme Court Refuses to Modify the Workers Compensation Exclusive Remedy Doctrine

In order to provide near certain relief for employees injured in the course of employment, the Idaho Worker’s Compensation Act withdrew the common law remedies workers traditionally held against their employers. This...more

Missouri Supreme Court resets the rules for collecting leaking underground storage tank cleanup costs in litigation

An impactful decision from the Missouri Supreme Court will likely affect how leaking underground storage tank (“UST”) owners collect cleanup costs from the Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund (“Fund”) in the future....more

NERC Increasing Penalties for Fundamentally Failing to Comply with Cyber Standards

For the second time in less than a year, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has imposed a six-figure penalty on a participant in the electric market for fundamentally failing to comply with the NERC...more

Ninth Circuit Expands the Octane Fitness Attorneys’ Fee Standard to the Lanham Act

Following several other circuits as well as patent law precedent, in SunEarth, Inc. v. Sun Earth Solar Power Co., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently made it easier for Lanham Act litigants to recover...more

Act Now To Preserve Your Section 1603 Grant

In Depth - We recently reported that on October 31, 2016, the US Court of Federal Claims issued its opinion in Alta Wind I Owner v. United States, in which the court determined that the value of the property eligible for...more

Court Awards $206 Million to Alta Wind Projects in Section 1603 Grant Litigation; Smaller Award to Biomass Facility

The US Court of Federal Claims awarded damages of more than $206 million to Plaintiffs/applicants in a case with respect to the cash grant under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law...more

NRC Announces Updates to Enforcement Policy

The updates involve a change in the way the NRC implements its enforcement mandate. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced on November 7 a number of changes to the NRC Enforcement Policy (Policy). This...more

Operator – Don’t Get Burned by Paying an Insolvent Contractor

Just received notice of a Texas subcontractor’s mineral lien? DO NOT continue to pay the contractor. He hasn’t paid the subcontractor. Think you owe nothing on the well on which the lien will be filed? Think what you owe the...more

Ohio Supreme Court Rules in Landowner Royalty Case

In a closely watched and long-awaited case with potentially sweeping industry-wide consequences, the Supreme Court of Ohio refused to adopt a default rule regarding deduction of postproduction costs from landowner royalties...more

Court Awards $206 Million to Alta Wind Projects in Section 1603 Grant Litigation

The US Court of Federal Claims awarded damages of more than $206 million to the Plaintiffs in a case with respect to the cash grant program under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Section...more

Federal Court Orders EPA to Evaluate Job Losses from Air Regulations

On October 17, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled in favor of Murray Energy Corporation (Murray) in its section 321 suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The court...more

Supreme Court Allows Early Challenges to Wetlands Jurisdictional Determinations

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a property owner can go to court to challenge a determination by the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that part of the property is “waters of the U.S.” or connected wetlands and therefore...more

Quicksands and Cutting Edges of the Law: Do Municipal Utility Customers possess Due Process and Vested Rights to Continued...

Sometimes, I read a court’s opinion and put it aside because it is thought provoking beyond its facts and outcome. The case of United States Cold Storage, Inc. v. Town of Warsaw, __ N.C. App. ___, 784 S.E. 2d 575 (April 5,...more

Florida Court Deals Big Blow to Plaintiffs Challenging Rural Electric Cooperatives - Ruling Involved Patronage Capital Case Filed...

Since April 2014, seven cases have been filed in Florida against rural electric cooperatives regarding the distribution of patronage capital. In each of these putative class action cases, the plaintiff – a customer and member...more

FERC Enforcement Targets Entitled To Due Process Protections In De Novo Review Of Penalty Assessments

In a line of much-anticipated decisions, two federal district courts ruled to protect the procedural due process rights of entities targeted by FERC enforcement actions. Recent decisions in Massachusetts and the District of...more

Declinations and Profits Disgorgement – It Was There All Along

Last week there were two declinations issued by Department of Justice (DOJ) for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matters. The matters involved two Texas based, privately held companies. The first was HMT LLC (HMT) which...more

County Counsel Teamwork: The Exide Story

Justice: (1) the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action; (2) conformity to this principle or ideal The concept of environmental justice is straightforward, the pathway to practical solutions are often...more

Nuclear Liability in the UK: Implementation of the 2004 Protocols

On May 4, 2016, the Nuclear Installations (Liability for Damage) Order 2016 (the “2016 Order”) entered into force in the United Kingdom. The 2016 Order, which implements the 2004 Protocols1 to the Paris Convention and...more

Back to the Bulgarian Bad Guy, So Say the Justices

My blogging sensei Cordell Parvin says the title should always inform the reader of the content. Mea culpa on this one; I couldn’t resist the alliterations. Some time back I reported on Carlton Energy Group et al v....more

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