Constitutional Law Energy & Utilities Civil Procedure

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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

District Court Judge Assigned in Conflict Minerals Rule Case

How time flies! This month, the litigation relating to the U.S. SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule enters its fourth year. The litigation has been quiet for the better part of the last year, after the SEC’s petition seeking...more

Clean Power Plan has its day in court - Will the D.C. Circuit uphold EPA’s landmark CO2 regulations?

In a marathon day-long session before a packed courtroom (and a number of overflow rooms) on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the full US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit heard oral arguments in a litigation challenging the...more

Plains All American Case Dismissed – Federal Court Determines Holder Must Develop Factual Record Before Challenging Kelmar...

On August 16, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware granted Kelmar’s and Delaware’s motions to dismiss in Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., v. Cook, et al. The court determined that the Plaintiff (1)...more

Federal Court Grants Full Civil Trial to FERC Enforcement Target

The decision will likely affect the strategies of enforcement targets in electric market manipulation cases. For the first time, a federal district judge has held that a review of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s...more

US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit delays oral arguments in Clean Power Plan litigation

On May 16, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit announced that it was delaying scheduled June 2 oral arguments before a three-judge panel in litigation over the Clean Power Plan. Instead, the DC...more

Business Litigation Report - June 2016

Federal Circuit Recognizes New, but Limited, Privilege for Patent Agent Communications - Introduction - Patent agents are licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), and...more

Subpoenas and SLAPP Motions to Dismiss

If an individual or entity believes a subpoena is aimed at silencing debate on a matter of public interest, can it invoke the DC anti-SLAPP statute in response?  That is the question presented by a recent anti-SLAPP motion...more

Eighth Circuit Panel Rules Minnesota Climate Change Law Unconstitutional

Today, the Eighth Circuit determined that the Next Generation Energy Act (“NGEA”), a Minnesota law that established power sector standards for carbon dioxide emissions, was unconstitutional. In so doing, the Court affirmed...more

If You Don’t Like Nukes, Petition Congress: The D.C. Circuit Affirms the NRC’s GEIR On Nuclear Waste Storage

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges by several states and the NRDC to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement analyzing the impacts of continued on-site storage...more

Supreme Court Continues to Stake Out FERC Jurisdiction, Invalidates State Gas-Fired Power Plant Incentive Program

In an opinion unanimous in judgment (albeit with two concurring opinions), the U.S. Supreme Court recently reiterated the reach of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) jurisdiction over interstate wholesale...more

The Court has spoken: State programs to incentivize the construction or continued operation of electric generators must be crafted...

Energy regulators throughout the United States are looking for ways to encourage production of clean electricity, including from renewable sources. States, public utility commissions, power producers, power distributors and...more

Trial Court Dismisses Georgia Patronage Capital Lawsuits

On May 2, a trial court in DeKalb County, Georgia, dismissed two class action patronage capital lawsuits filed against Oglethorpe Power Corporation, Georgia Transmission Corporation (GTC) and certain distribution electric...more

Supreme Court Update: Harris V. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (14-232), Franchise Tax Board Of California V. Hyatt)...

With roughly two months left in the term, the Supremes have kicked opinion production into high gear, issuing five decisions this past week. While many of us at Update were doing the Batdance, and pondering what it looks like...more

Court of Appeal Turns a Careful Eye Toward Challenges to California’s Cap-and-Trade Auction System

A California Court of Appeal signaled it is moving closer to making what could be a far-reaching decision in the consolidated cases of California Chamber of Commerce v. California Air Resources Board (Case No. C075930) and...more

Supreme Court Rejects Maryland Power Plant Subsidies, But Signals Permissible Ways for States to Incentivize New Plants

In recent years, Maryland attempted to subsidize new power plants by guaranteeing prices for generating capacity at wholesale auctions administered by PJM Interconnection L.L.C. (PJM). Tuesday, the Supreme Court unanimously...more

The Supreme Court - April 2016 #3

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in two cases on April 19, 2016: Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC, No. 14-614: Congress, though the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), 16 U.S.C. §791a et seq., vested...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide "Critical Question" in Eminent Domain

This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide a critical question that will determine whether some landowners will receive compensation from regulations that restrict the uses of their land. The case, Murr v. Wisconsin, may...more

Federal Court Refuses To Reinstate Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing: What Now, And What’s Next?

Last fall a federal court in the Western District of Texas upheld a challenge to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (Service) decision to list the lesser prairie chicken (LEPC) as a threatened species under the federal...more

To “SIB” or Not to “SIB” – That Is the Question on How to Timely Fund Necessary Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Survey showed that $271 billion is needed for the Nation’s Wastewater Infrastructure, including for investor-owned utilities regulated by state public utility commissions....more

MoFo New York Tax Insights - Volume 7, Issue 3, March 2016

TRIAL COURT HOLDS THAT FEES RELATED TO THE NEW YORK HIGHWAY USE TAX ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL - In a class action lawsuit, an Albany County trial court held that flat highway use registration and decal fees charged to heavy...more

Newhall Case Applies Proposition 26 to Wholesale Water Rates

Newhall County Water District v. Castaic Lake Water Agency (2016) 243 Cal.App.4th 1430 (“Newhall”) - Case Disposition - Plaintiff Newhall County Water District (“Newhall”), a retail water purveyor, challenged a...more

Blog: Deadline For Filing Cert Petition Extended Again In Conflict Minerals Case

The Chief Justice has granted another extension of time for the SEC to file a petition for cert in Natl Assoc. of Manufacturers v. SEC, the conflict minerals case. The SEC now has until April 7, 2016 to file its...more

Federal Court Strikes Town Ordinance Requiring Warning Labels

In a case that may have implications for chemical warning laws, a federal court in New York found a town’s efforts to require warning labels on pesticide-treated utility poles compelled non-commercial speech and infringed on...more

Renewable Energy Case Law Update

This case law update describes a selection of renewable energy cases from 2015. It is not intended to address all renewable energy cases over the previous year, but rather, highlight a few that are more likely to be of...more

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