Civil Remedies Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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When It Comes to Property Acquisitions and Private Development, Timing May Be Everything

As the old adage goes, the three most important things to consider with real estate are location, location, and location. But any developer who has lived through a real estate cycle, and any public agency that is under a...more

Revision Of Coal Mining Permit By Environmental Group Results In Attorney Fee Award

In Black Mesa v. Jewell, 2015 DJDAR 1050, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that an environmental group was entitled to an award of attorney fees arising out of their challenge to the Office...more

Real News - Spring 2015

Welcome to Real News! I’m pleased to introduce to you DLA Piper’s quarterly guide to key developments in English and Welsh real estate law. In this quarter’s edition: - Mark Beardwood looks at service charge...more

Environmental Alert: "Potential Seismic Activity from Injection Wells Prompts Railroad Commission of Texas to Order Hearings"

On Friday, April 24, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) ordered hearings regarding two waste injection well permits. The hearings are to address an alleged connection between the injection wells and seismic activity in...more

Abuse of Discretion Not Shown By Court’s Failure To “Show Its Arithmetic” in Significantly Reducing Claimed Attorney Fees in CEQA...

In Save Our Uniquely Rural Community Environment v. County of San Bernardino, __ Cal.App.4th ___, 2015 WL 1259781 (4th Dist., Div. 2, 2015) (SOURCE) , the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision...more

Vineyard's Attorney Fees Claim Turns Into Sour Grapes

In Belle Terre Ranch Inc. v. Wilson, 2015 DJDAR 506, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District decided an agricultural trespass action involving an attorney fees claim....more

Winners Beware – Fourth District Upholds Trial Court’s Discretion To Drastically Reduce Successful CEQA Plaintiff’s Fees In...

In an opinion filed March 18 and belatedly ordered published on April 13, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s discretion to award only $19,176 in attorneys’ fees under Code of Civil Procedure §...more

Ninth Circuit Widens Judges’ Discretion to Allocate CERCLA Contribution Damages

Trial court may select the method of accounting for prior settlement in allocating response costs among liable parties, but claims to recover settlement payments are limited to costs consistent with the National Contingency...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Fifth Circuit Holds the Word “Replace” in Easement Grant is Ambiguous

Neither the courts of Texas nor Louisiana have directly addressed the meaning of the word “replace” in the context of a pipeline easement and, in particular, whether replacement requires the removal of the old pipeline or...more

UPDATE: Citadel Dumps Challenge to San Benito County Hydraulic Fracturing Ban

Citadel Exploration has abandoned its legal challenge to San Benito County’s Measure J, a voter-sponsored initiative that banned several enhanced recovery methods of extracting oil and gas, including hydraulic fracturing and...more

Trans Mountain Pipeline Project Hits the Courts

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which involves the proposed twinning of the existing Edmonton-Burnaby pipeline and the expansion of a marine terminal, was the subject of a number of court decisions last year involving...more

Highlights from the Admiralty Law Institute

The 25th Biennial Admiralty Law Institute kicked off with great success on March 11, 2015. Informative presentations continued on March 12-13, building on the theme of this year’s conference, “Symposium on Maritime Personal...more

First Appellate District Court Expands Recorded Easement By Granting Implied License

On January 28, 2015, in Richardson v. Franc, 14 C.D.O.S 941 (2015), the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District ruled in favor of an easement holder by granting an irrevocable license permitting additional...more

The New Jersey Supreme Court has reopened the doors to Affordable Housing Litigation

The New Jersey Supreme Court has unanimously held that the administrative process run by COAH in which municipalities show compliance with affordable housing obligations is no longer working and municipalities are no longer...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC18928 - Rathbun v. Health Net of the Northeast, Inc. - In Connecticut, the Department of Social Services manages the federal Medicaid act and awards contracts to Medicaid managed health care providers. The defendant...more

Injunctive Relief for Building Encroachment. Do I Have to Move the House?

When a land owner mistakenly builds a house or other building or structure that encroaches on a neighbor’s property, what is the remedy? Does the offending land owner have to physically remove the structure from the...more

Ninth Circuit to Consider Effect of Hobby Lobby in Land Use Context

We previously reported on the lawsuit filed by Harbor Missionary Church against San Buenaventura, California involving the City’s denial of a conditional use permit to allow the Church to continue to operate a soup kitchen in...more

Pa. Supreme Court Denies Equitable Tolling of Oil and Gas Lease’s Primary Term

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, ruled that the primary term of an oil and gas lease would not be equitably tolled during the pendency...more

Beware of Citizen Suits for Storm Water Violations

In recent months several private organizations have sent letters to California businesses informing them that they are in violation of their storm water permits and threatening to sue them under the citizen suit provision of...more

Major Verdict in Electric Utility Easement Case

More than five years after starting in state court before later restarting in federal court, a federal court jury in Missouri has issued a major verdict in litigation concerning the use of electric utility easements for...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

Undisclosed Change in Building Height Requires Supplemental EIR

Ventura Foothill Neighbors v. County of Ventura (12/15/14, 2d Civil No. B254120) - The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of California has ruled that (i) a 20% increase in the actual height of a...more

The Need For Expert Evidence To Make Out An Innocent Landowner Defense Under CERCLA

As every litigator knows, evidence almost always tells a story that is untidy and riddled with loose ends. This was illustrated by a recent innocent landowner case in California — Coppola v. Smith. There, a company had...more

Construction Case Law Update - January, 2015

FLORIDA STATE CASES - Slavin Doctrine; Design Contracts - Under the Slavin doctrine, a subcontractor design company was not liable despite negligently designing intersection traffic lights that resulted in a fatal car...more

Equal Access To Justice Act: Why Prevailing On Only 1 Out Of 3 Claims In Oregon Forestry Case Can Still Be Quite Rewarding

Generally, a failure rate of two-thirds would indicate that what you are doing isn't profitable. However, when dealing with environmental law, that clearly isn't the case. In Cascadia Wildlands v. Bureau of Land Management,...more

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