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High Speed Rail Moves Forward Without CEQA Review

The Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) issued a declaratory order in a 2-1 vote last Friday, finding that the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) is categorically preempted by federal law, as it relates to the...more

Legislation Alters Shipping Act Treatment of Attorneys’ Fees

Late yesterday, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed S. 2444, the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014....more

Construction Case Law Update - November 2014

Personal Injury Liability, Design Standards, Slavin Doctrine, and Certorari Jurisdiction – Certiorari jurisdiction can arise where two parties in the same legal position move for summary judgment under the same theory...more

Eminent Domain Begins for County of Sacramento Road Projects

As traffic continues to increase and roadways become more congested, California’s transportation infrastructure needs to keep up. While there has been a concerted focus on alternative methods of transportation (such as rail,...more

Federal Court Orders DOT to Respond to Sierra Club’s Unsafe Tank Car Lawsuit

A Federal Court has ordered the Department of Transportation (DOT) to respond to a lawsuit filed by three environmental organizations—Earthjustice, Sierra Club and ForestEthics—in which the parties asked the court to order...more

District Judge Allows Rail Union to Side Step Rule 23 with Pattern-Or-Practice Claim

A federal district judge in Hammond, Indiana, has permitted a rail union to pursue injunctive remedies in a Title VII pattern-or-practice discrimination claim on behalf of its black members without compliance with Rule 23. In...more

Another Hefty OSHA Whistleblower Award + Reinstatement

On September 26, 2014, OSHA issued a preliminary order that an Illinois employer, Stericycle Inc. (the Company), reinstate and pay $262,000 to a supervisor who was discharged after allegedly reporting safety concerns to...more

To Hell With “Oh, Hell, Why Not” – The Fifth Circuit en banc Reverses Estis v. McBride Well Service, L.L.C.

In a much anticipated ruling, the Fifth Circuit en banc has reversed the original panel ruling in Estis v. McBride Well Service, L.L.C., 731 F.3d 505 (5th Cir. 2013), which sent shockwaves through the maritime bar and...more

Airline Industry Legal Alert: Ninth Circuit Hears Argument on Strike Injunction Against Non-Union Employees

Yesterday, Douglas Hall, a partner in the Airline Group of FordHarrison, appeared before an en banc panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to defend an injunction obtained on behalf of Aircraft Service...more

FERC Issues Declaratory Orders in Shell and Pivotal Proceedings Related to LNG Production Facilities

On September 4, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued declaratory orders in response to two petitions, each seeking a jurisdictional determination under the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”)...more

Full Steam Ahead for Eminent Domain Actions after High Speed Rail Authority Negotiations End in Impasse

The State Public Works Board (the “Board”) adopted four Resolutions of Necessity approving the High-Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) use of eminent domain for public necessity to acquire four parcels in Fresno and...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Injury Claim in Airline Bumping Case

The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Campbell v. Air Jamaica, Ltd. is a favorable one for the aviation industry. The court confirmed that non-economic damages, including emotional distress and...more

Lien On Me – But Only If You Can: Carriers’ Liens, Conversion and “Hostage Freight”

In certain circumstances, carriers are authorized to exercise their common law and contractual rights to place a “`carrier’s lien’’ on freight. But what are those circumstances? If the carrier improperly asserts “dominion and...more

Enforcing Foreign Judgments in U.S. Admiralty Courts: Second Circuit Prefers Substance Over Form

After protracted and expensive litigation overseas, you obtain a judgment against the defendant. There remains one series of hurdles left to cross: the defendant refuses to pay that judgment and has no assets in the country...more

Out Of The Extraordinary: The Court Of Appeal's Judgment In Huzar V Jet2.Com

Court of Appeal hands down judgment on the meaning of "extraordinary circumstances" in the case of cancellation or delay arising out of technical faults pursuant to EC Regulation 261/2004 - It is somewhat regrettable...more

California District Court Finds Biological Assessments Inconsistent And Enjoins Caltrans' Project

In Souza v. California Department of Transportation, No. 13-cv-04407 (N.D. Cal. May 2, 2014), plaintiffs sought to enjoin a project proposed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to modify U.S. Route 199...more

Unruly Passengers Beware: ICAO Delivers Montreal Protocol 2014 to Enhance Enforcement Measures Against Unruly Passengers

This month the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) officially adopted a Protocol to amend the Tokyo Convention on offenses committed on aircrafts. The culmination of a four-year effort to modernize the Tokyo...more

$5 Billion Honolulu Rail Transit Project Gets Green Light

In a decision of national importance for rail transit and highway projects, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected NEPA and Section 4(f) challenges to the 20-mile Honolulu Rail Transit Project. HonoluluTraffic.Com v....more

High Speed Rail Decision on Track for Review at Court of Appeal

Last Friday, Governor Brown’s administration (the “Petitioners”) filed a petition for extraordinary writ of mandate and application for temporary stay with the California Supreme Court, challenging Superior Court Judge...more

RLA: A Duty to Unionize?

Aircraft service employees threatened to close Seattle’s airport. They were disgruntled about the suspension of a co-worker, and they banded together with a community organizer (not a union agent) to threaten a strike. The...more

Carrier's Website Does Not Limit Liability Under Carmack Amendment

A recent decision in District Court in New Jersey may interest insurers subrogating transportation claims. In particular, it sets forth the legal argument to challenge target-carriers’ arguments about purported limitations of...more

OSHA Issues Another $1 Million+ Whistleblower Award, Along With Reinstatement

On November 13, 2013, OSHA issued a press release stating that it ordered Gaines Motor Lines (the “Company”) to pay a total of $1,070,123 four whistleblowers, along with reinstatement. The press release indicates that...more

5 Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident

Car accidents are devastating. Many victims are disorientated after an auto accident. In most cases, there is noticeable damage to the vehicles involved. Sadly, there may also be serious or fatal injuries to those...more

Landmark Decision Issued on Proper Environmental Baseline under

In a recent landmark California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") decision, Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (2013) 57 Cal.4th 439 (Smart Rail), the California Supreme Court issued its...more

Property Owners May Not Recover Precondemnation Damages for Decline in Property Values - Appellate Court Rules That Property...

In a ruling that benefits public agencies, a state appellate court yesterday overturned a finding of precondemnation liability against the California Department of Transportation. The court held that a causal relationship...more

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